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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xx                    BURIAL BITES                                99

Apparently they have no idea generally of a future
except that the spirit goes either to heaven or hell,
according to its works in the flesh. Some say that they
are told that there is an intermediate place called JBarjakJi,
known as the place of evil spirits, in which those who
have died in sin undergo a probation with the possibility
of beneficent results.

On asking what is meant by sin the replies all have
the same tendency,ócowardice, breaches of the seventh
commandment (which, however, seem to be so rare as
scarcely to be taken into account, possibly because of the
death penalty attaching to them), disobedience to a chief
when he calls on them to go to war, fraternising with
Sunnis, who are "accursed/* betraying to an enemy a
man of their own tribe, and compassing the death of
another by poison or evil machinations.

On being asked what deeds are good, bravery is
put first, readiness to take up a tribal quarrel, charity, i.e.
kindness to the poor, undying hatred to the Caliph
Omar, shown by ostracising the Sunnis, hatred of Kafirs,
and pilgrimages, especially to Mecca.

Death in battle ensures an immediate entrance into
heaven, and this is regarded as such a cause of re-
joicing that not only is the chapi or national dance per-
formed at a fighting man's grave, but if his death at a
distance has been lawful, i.e. if he has been killed in
fighting, they put up a rude temporary cenotaph with his
gun, cap, knife, pipe, and other things about it, and
dance, sing, and rejoice.

Otherwise their burial rites are simple. The corpse
is washed seven times in water, certain Arabic formulas
for the repose of the soul are recited, and the body,
clothed and wrapped in a winding-sheet, is carried by
four men to the burying-place on a bier extemporised out
of *tent-poles, and is buried in a shallow grave. It is