You are here

قراءة كتاب Observations on the Mussulmauns of India Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Observations on the Mussulmauns of India
Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society

Observations on the Mussulmauns of India Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society

No votes yet
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 3

spent in the quiet of night when his son translated to him the Bible as she read it.[8]

Her picture of zenana life is obviously coloured by her frank admiration for the people amongst whom she lived, who treated her with respect and consideration. It is thus to some extent idyllic. At the same time, it may be admitted that she was exceptionally fortunate in her friends. Her sketch may be usefully compared with that of Mrs. Fanny Parks in her charming book, The Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque. Mrs. Parks had the advantage of having acquired a literary knowledge of Hindustani, while Mrs. Mir Hasan 'Ali, to judge from the way in which she transliterates native words, can have been able to speak little more than a broken patois, knew little of grammar, and was probably unable to read or write the Arabic character. Colonel Gardner, who had wide and peculiar experience, said to Mrs. Parks: 'Nothing can exceed the quarrels that go on in the zenana, or the complaints the begams make against each other. A common complaint is "Such a one has been practising witchcraft against me". If the husband make a present to one wife, if it be only a basket of mangoes, he must make the same exactly to all the other wives to keep the peace. A wife, when in a rage with her husband, if on account of jealousy, often says, "I wish I were married to a grass-cutter," i.e. because a grass-cutter is so poor that he can only afford to have one wife.'[9] Mrs. Parks from her own experience calls the zenana 'a place of intrigue, and those who live within four walls cannot pursue a straight path; how can it be otherwise, when so many conflicting passions are called forth?'[10] She adds that 'Musalmani ladies generally forget their learning when they grow up, or they neglect it. Everything that passes without the four walls is repeated to them by their spies; never was any place so full of intrigue, scandal, and chit-chat as a zenana.'[11] When she visited the Delhi palace she remarks: 'As for beauty, in a whole zenana there may be two or three handsome women, and all the rest remarkably ugly.'[12] European officers at the present day have no opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of the conditions of zenana life; but from the rumours that reach them they would probably accept the views of Mrs. Parks in preference to those of Mrs. Mir Hasan 'Ali.

Though her opinions on the life of Musalman ladies is to some extent open to criticism, and must be taken to apply only to the exceptional society in which she moved, her account of the religious feasts and fasts, the description of the marriage ceremonies and that of the surroundings of a native household are trustworthy and valuable. Some errors, not of much importance and probably largely due to her imperfect knowledge of the language, have been corrected in the notes of the present edition. It must also be understood that her knowledge of native life was confined to that of the Musalmans, and she displays no accurate acquaintance with the religion, life or customs of the Hindus. The account in the text displays a bias in favour of the Shi'ah sect of Musalmans, as contrasted with that of the Sunnis. For a more impartial study of the question the reader is referred to Sir W. Muir, Annals of the Early Caliphate, The Caliphate, and to Major R.D. Osborn, Islam under the Khalifs of Baghdad.

[1] Col. H.M. Vibart, Addiscombe, pp. 39, 41, 42.

[2] Diwan, chief agent, manager.

[3] p. 208.

[4] p. 182.

[5] p. 290.

[6] p. 227.

[7] Calcutta Review, ii. 387.

[8] pp. 80, 422.

[9] Vol. i, pp. 230, 453.

[10] i. 391.

[11] i. 450.

[12] ii. 215.




Introductory Remarks.—The characteristic simplicity of manners exhibited in Native families.—Their munificent charity.—The Syaads. Their descent, and the veneration paid to them.—Their pride of birth.—Fast of Mahurrum.—Its origin.—The Sheahs and Soonies.—Memorandum of distances.—Mount Judee (Judea), the attributed burying-place of Adam and Noah.—Mausoleum of Ali.—Tomb of Eve.—Meer Hadjee Shah.


Celebration of Mahurrum.—The Tazia.—Mussulmaun Cemeteries.—An Emaum-baarah.—Piety of the ladies.—Self-inflicted abstinence and privations endured by each sex.—Instances of the devotional zeal of the Mussulmauns.—Attempted infringement on their religious formalities.—The Resident at Lucknow.—Enthusiastic ardour of the poor.—Manner of celebrating the Mahurrum in opposition to the precepts of the Khoraun.—Mosque and Emaum-baarah contrasted.—The supposition of Mussulmauns practising idolatry confuted.


Continuation of Mahurrum.—Consecration of Banners.—Durgah at Lucknow.—Its origin explained.—Regarded with peculiar veneration.—The Nuwaub vows to build a new one.—Its description.—Procession to the Durgah.—Najoomies.—Influence possessed and practised by them.—Eunuchs.—Anecdotes of some having attained great honours and wealth.—Presents bestowed upon them generally revert to the donor.—Rich attire of male and female slaves…Page 32


  Mahurrum concluded.—Night of Mayndhie.—Emaum-baarah of the King of
  Oude.—Procession to Shaah Nudghiff.—Last day of
  Mahurrum.—Chattahs.—Musical instruments.—Zeal of the Native
  gentlemen.—Funeral obsequies over the Tazia at
  Kraabaallah.—Sentiments of devout Mussulmauns.—The fast followed by
  acts of charity.—Remarks on the observance of Mahurrum…Page 42


Time.—How divided in Hindoostaun.—Observances after Mahurrum—Luxuries and enjoyments resumed.—Black dye used by the ladies.—Their nose-ring.—Number of rings worn in their ears.—Mode of dressing their hair.—Aversion to our tooth-brushes.—Toilet of the ladies.—The Pyjaamahs.—The Ungeeah (bodice).—The Courtie.—The Deputtah.—Reception of a superior or elder amongst the ladies.—Their fondness for jewels.—Their shoes.—The state of society amongst the Mussulmaun ladies.—Their conversational endowments.—Remark upon the fashion and duty of beards…Page 55


The Mussulmaun religion.—Sectarians.—Their difference of faith.—History of the Soonies.—The Caliphas Omir, Osman, Aboubuker, &c.—Mahumud's parting charge to Ali.—Omir's jealousy of Ali.—The Khoraun.—How compiled.—The Calipha Omir held in detestation.—Creed of the Sheahs.—Funeral service.—Opinions of the Mussulmauns respecting the Millennium.—The foundation of their faith exhibited.—Sentiments of the most devout followers of Mahumud.—Bridge of Sirraat, the Scales, &c., explained.—Emaum Mhidhie.—Prophecy of his reappearance.—Its early fulfilment anticipated.—Discourse with Meer Hadjee Shaah on this subject…Page 66


Namaaz (daily prayer).—The Mussulmaun prayers.—Their different names and times.—Extra prayer-service.—The