Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































 -  After the

[p.221] death of a Sherif, his relative, whether son, brother, or
cousin, &c. who had the strongest - Page 310
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After The

[P.221] death of a Sherif, his relative, whether son, brother, or cousin, &c. who had the strongest party, or the public voice in his favour, became the successor.

There were no ceremonies of installation or oaths of allegiance. The new Sherif received the complimentary visits of the Mekkawys; his band played before the door, which seems to be the sign of royalty here, as it is in the black country; and his name was henceforth inserted in the public prayers. Though a succession seldom took place without some contest, there was little bloodshed in general; and tho[u]gh instances of cruelty sometimes occurred, the principles of honour and good faith which distinguish the wars of the Desert tribes, were generally observed. The rivals submitted, and usually remained in the town, neither attending the levees of their victorious relative, nor dreading his resentment, after peace had once been settled. During the war, the rights of hospitality were held as sacred as they are in the Desert; the dakhyl, or refugee, was always respected: for the blood shed on both sides, atonement was made by fines paid to the relations of the slain, and the same laws of retaliation were observed, which prevail among the Bedouins. There was always a strong party in opposition to the reigning power; but this opposition was evinced more in the protection afforded to individuals persecuted by the chief, than in open attempts against his authority. Wars, however, frequently happened; each party had its adherents among the neighbouring Bedouins; but these were carried on according to the system in Bedouin feuds, and were seldom of long duration.

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