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persons who do not pray every day; but that all the five times are only observed by persons who have much leisure. I think that a great number of persons content themselves with three times.
J. Do they go to church to say their prayers ?
U. O. No: they pray any where ; — in their own houses, or in the streets, and open places of a town, or in the open country. Nothing is more common than to see them at prayers; and on their part, as they never see European travellers at prayers, they are convinced that they never do pray, and that they are entirely without religion. They judge from appearances ; not understanding that religion may be a private matter between God and the heart of man. In this and other matters persons on a journey are not required to be very strict; but when travelling with a caravan, I used to be interested sometimes to see that when the hours of prayer approached, if the native gentlemen heard that there was water at some distance before us, they would gallop off, and when we came up, we either found them at prayers near the water, or else that they had done their prayers, and were sitting on the ground enjoying a cup of coffee and a pipe of tobacco.
F. But how did they get it ?
U. O. They always take with them on a journey the utensils for smoking, and for preparing a cup of coffee, which they get ready in a very short time, as almost every person carries with him a flint and steel, with tinder and matches* in a small bag; or else a servant rides with a small iron pan containing a charcoal fire hanging from his saddle, and if his master wants to smoke while on horseback, he makes a sign to the man who gets ready the pipe, and when it is lighted brings it to him, and walks along by the side of his horse, holding one end of the pipe while his master smokes at the other. This is because the utensil is heavy, and must be held steady, as it comprehends the vessel of water, through which the smoke is made to pass, that it may be cool before it comes to the mouth. While travelling in the same way, with a caravan, I also used to observe the more devout of the mule-drivers remain behind on the road to say their prayers, and when they had done, come running on with all their might to overtake the caravan.
* The tinder is the same as the German tinder, sold by our tobacconists: the matches consist of a long cotton wick, smeared all over with brimstone.
F. What did the others do it by the water side for, and not these muleteers ?
U.O. The muleteers will prefer to do it by the water too, if there be any at hand. A Moslem is bound to wash himself before he begins his prayers; but where there is no water, rubbing himself with sand or earth will do. It may also be done by rubbing with the hands alone after having placed them on a stone; people at sea do it in this manner, because sea-water is considered impure. For this reason there are basins of water in the courts of mosques; and the most likely place to see a Moslem at his prayers is always near water.
H. They wash their hands, I suppose ?
U. O. Not their hands only, but also their arms up to the elbows.
J. Then they must take off their coats.
U. O. No; in all Mohammedan dresses, the sleeves are made to button and unbutton up the arm, for the convenience of washing. Persians always wear their sleeves buttoned, except when they wash; but Turks almost always wear theirs loose, and unbuttoned, except in cold weather. They also wash their face, neck, inside of the mouth, and the feet; but all this is done in a very slight way. They prefer to spread out a small carpet to perform their devotions upon, if they have one at hand; but if not, they make their outside cloak serve instead. Indeed, they generally take off their outer garment, and lay aside any rich articles of dress or ornament they may have about them, lest the trappings of vanity and power should inspire them with pride and arrogance in the presence of God. Some carry this so far as to lay aside every thing that is not an article of necessary dress, and I used to wonder greatly to see them not only take off their weapons and cloaks, but clear their pockets and the bosoms of their vest of sundry small articles, such as seals, rings, looking-glasses, and lay them down by their side. The Persian generally sits down upon his heels, and combs his beard before he begins his prayers, and then places before him some relic, generally a piece of clay, believed to be part of the earth of Mecca, their most holy place. He then stands up, with his face turned towards that city, and begins. His form of prayer is very impressive, even to those who do not understand what is said. It consists of sundry short prayers and declarations, some of which are pronounced in a loud voice, and some spoken softly, while the body is thrown into a different attitude for each part. There are seven changes of posture in each complete prayer, which is composed of these parts, and the complete prayer is sometimes repeated two or three times with little alteration.
H. But what are the postures, Sir ?
U. O. They are such as are supposed to agree with the various parts of the prayer, such as adoration, humiliation, entreaty, and declaration. In one part they stand with their open hands spread out before them, as if reading from a book ; at another they stand in a grave and composed posture, with their arms hanging down; at another they sit upon their heels, with their hands upon their thighs; at another, standing on their feet, they stoop down very low, resting their hands upon their knees, which is also the posture of profound obeisance in the presence of the king; and another and most striking posture is that in which they prostrate themselves with their knees, hands, and heads upon the ground, and in attitude of deep humiliation declare, in a loud voice, that “God is most great!” An expression which they fre