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Full text of "The Dabistan"

158

For the inhabitants of hell are four rivers, in oppo-
sition to those in heaven; they are called " that of
*' heat; that of water, blood, and matter; that of
" liquid pitch : and that of poison ;*' that is to say :
death, ignorance, simple ignorance, and compound
ignorance; for it is said :

" These are the similes which we propose to men; the wise only under-
stand their explanation."

ACCOUNT OF THE TREE TUBA, WHICH is IN HEAVEN, AND

THE TREE ZAKUM, WHICH IS IN HELL.

It is to be known that Tuba1 is a celestial tree
which sends branches into every corner of heaven ;
and this is an emblem of the tree of wisdom, from
which branches extend to every corner—to any
body, whether it be elemental or imaginary; that is
to say, to every mind which is illumed and warmed
by a ray of the sun of wisdom; it is by this light
that his speech and conduct answer the exigency of

1 Tuba, says Herbelot, according to the Commentators of the Koran,
is a word derived from the Ethiopian language, and means properly
" eternal beatitude." The Tuba, as the heavenly lotos tree, or tree of
life, occurs in all mythologies, in the Chinese, Indian, Persian, Egyp-
tian, and Scandinavian. This tree is represented upon the coffin of a
mummy which exists in the imperial cabinet of Vienna; a deity pours out
from its branches the paradisiacal fountain, which, according to the Mu-
hammedans, issues from the roots of the tree of life.—(See The Mines of
Orient, vol. V,)