Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt


The first officer of the mosque is the Nayb el Haram, or Hares el Haram,
the guardian who keeps the - Page 220
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The First Officer Of The Mosque Is The Nayb El Haram, Or Hares El Haram, The Guardian Who Keeps The Keys Of The Kaaba.

In his hands are deposited the sums bestowed as presents to the building, and which he distributes in conjunction with the Kadhy:

Under his directions,

[p.158] also, the repairs of the building are carried on. [The honour of keeping the keys of the Kaaba, and the profits arising from it, were often subjects of contention among the ancient Arabian tribes.] I have been assured, but do not know how truly, that the Nayb el Haram's yearly accounts, which are countersigned by the Sherif and Kadhy, and sent to Constantinople, amount to three hundred purses, merely for the expenses of the necessary repairs, lighting, carpets, &c., and the maintenance of the eunuchs belonging to the temple. This officer happens at present to be one of the heads of the three only families descended from the ancient Koreysh who remain resident at Mekka. Next to him, the second officer of the mosque in rank is the Aga of the eunuchs, or, as he is called; Agat el Towashye. The eunuchs perform the duty of police officers in the temple; [The employment of slaves or eunuchs in this mosque is of very ancient date. Mawya Ibn Aly Sofyan, a short time after Mohammed, first ordered slaves for the Kaaba. - Vid. Fasy.] they prevent disorders, and daily wash and sweep, with large brooms, the pavement round the Kaaba. In time of rain, I have seen the water stand on the pavement to the height of a foot; on such occasions many of the hadjys assist the eunuchs in removing it through several holes made in the pavement, which, it is said, lead to large vaults beneath the Kaaba, though the historians of Mekka and of the temple make no mention of them.

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