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




























 -  Then we consult him upon
matters of doctrine, and quiz him tenderly about his powers of
dormition, and flatter him - Page 90
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Then We Consult Him Upon Matters Of Doctrine, And Quiz Him Tenderly About His Powers Of Dormition, And Flatter Him,

Or rather his age, with such phrases as, "The water from thy hand is of the Waters of Zemzem;" or,

"We have sought thee to deserve the Blessings of the Wise upon our undertakings." Sometimes, with interested motives it must be owned, we induce him to accompany us to the Hammam,[FN#33] where he insists upon paying the smallest sum, quarrelling with everything and

[p.71]everybody, and giving the greatest trouble. We are generally his only visitors; acquaintances he appears to have few, and no friends; he must have had them once, for he was rich, but is not so now, so they have fallen away from the poor old man.

When the Shaykh Mohammed sits with me, or I climb up into his little shop for the purpose of receiving a lesson from him, he is quite at his ease, reading when he likes, or making me read, and generally beginning each lecture with some such preamble as this[FN#34]:-

"Aywa! aywa! aywa![FN#35]"-Even so, even so, even so! we take refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned! In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and the Blessings of Allah upon our Lord Mohammed, and his Family and his Companions one and all! Thus saith the author, may Almighty Allah have mercy upon him! ‘Section I. of chapter two, upon the orders of prayer,' &c."

He becomes fiercely sarcastic when I differ from him in opinion, especially upon a point of grammar, or the theology over which his beard has grown grey.

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