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Full text of "The Dabistan"


4 4 his speech is a proof of deceit; for reason demon-
u strates that the world has a wise creator, and that
*' he, being wise, prescribes to the creatures a wor-
44 ship which to their reason does not evince itself
4 4 as an evil; and whatever is proved bad, is not
44 ordered by him. Now the law contains particu-
*4 lars which reason accounts as false or bad: such
*4 are conversations with God; the descent of in-
4 * corporeal heavenly beings in human forms or in
'c the shape of a tortoise ; the reascension to heaven
u in an elemental body ; the pilgrimage to particu-
4 4 lar edifices for performance of worship ; the cir-
44 cuit (round the Kaba), the entrance in it, the
44 fatigue, the throwing of stones;1 the acquitting
44 one's self of the pilgrimage to Mecca; the kissing
u of the black stone. If it be said that, without a
44 visible medium, it is impossible to worship the
44 all-mighty Creator, and that a place for the sake
iV of connexion is to be fixed, it may be answered,
4' that one who offers praises and thanks to God, has
*; no need of a medium and of a place; and if a fixed

1 The principal ceremonies performed by the pilgrims of Mecca have been
touched upon in vol. II. p. 409, note 3; the throwing of stones takes place
in the valley of Mina, where the devotees throw seven stones at three
marks or pillars, in imitation of Abraham, who, meeting the devil in that
place, arid being disturbed by him in his devotions and tempted to dis-
obedience, when he was going to sacrifice his son, was commanded by
God to drive him away by throwing stones at him; though others pretend
this rite to be as old as Adam, who also put the devil to flight in the
same place, and by the same means.(Sale's Koran, Prel. Disc., p. 160.)