Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton

 -  As usual in Al-Islam, it is a
hypaethral building with a spacious central area, called Al-Sahn,
Al-Hosh - Page 400
Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton - Page 400 of 571 - First - Home

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As Usual In Al-Islam, It Is A Hypaethral Building With A Spacious Central Area, Called Al-Sahn, Al-Hosh,

Al-Haswah, or Al-Ramlah,[FN#7] surrounded by a peristyle with numerous rows of pillars like the colonnades of

An Italian cloister. The arcades or porticoes are flat-ceilinged, domed above with the small Media

[p.308] Naranja, or half-orange cupola of Spain, and divided into four parts by narrow passages, three or four steps below the level of the pavement. Along the whole inner length of the Northern short wall runs the Majidi Riwak, so called from the then reigning Sultan.[FN#8] The Western long wall is occupied by the Riwak of the Rahmah Gate; the Eastern by that of the Bab al-Nisa, the "Women's Entrance.[FN#9]"

Embracing the inner length of the Southern short wall, and deeper by nearly treble the amount of columns than the other porticoes, is the main colonnade, called Al-Rauzah[FN#10] (the Garden), the adytum containing all that is venerable in the building. These four Riwaks, arched externally, are supported internally by pillars of different shape and material, varying from fine porphyry to dirty plaster. The Southern, where the sepulchre or cenotaph stands, is paved with handsome slabs of white marble and marquetry work, here and there covered with coarse matting, and above this by unclean carpets, well worn by faithful feet.[FN#11]

But this is not the time for Tafarruj or lionising.

[p.309] Shaykh Hamid warns me, with a nudge, that other things are expected of a Zair (visitor). He leads me to the Bab al-Salam, fighting his way through a troop of beggars, and inquires markedly if I am religiously pure.[FN#12] Then, placing our hands a little below and on the left of the waist, the palm of the right covering the back of the left, in the position of prayer, and beginning with the dexter feet,[FN#13] we pace slowly forwards down the line called the Muwajihat al-Sharifah, or "the Illustrous Fronting," which, divided off like an aisle, runs parallel with the Southern wall of the Mosque.

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