Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/126

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117
SOME MUSLIM LAWS AND BELIEFS.

persons lounge, chat, eat, sleep, spit, sew, etc.: another lesson to us with our churches nearly always closed and useless. The Muslim does not abstain from business on the Friday, his Sabbath, except during the time of prayer, and for this he has the authority of the Kur-an: when will our bigoted Sabbatarians learn so much liberal wisdom from him? The Prophet did not forbid women to attend public prayers in the mosques, but pronounced it better for them to pray in private; in Cairo they are not admitted to the public prayers, it being thought that their presence would inspire a wrong sort of devotion. The result is that few women in Egypt pray at all. If ours were in like case, how many churches and chapels would attract large congregations? The Egyptians, like the modern Arabs, are not a truthful people, but there are some oaths which few would falsely take; such as swearing three times by "God the Great," or on a copy of the Kur-an "By what this contains of the word of God I"—I wonder whether the Christian Englishmen are few who falsely swear by God and on the Bible. Mr. Lane witnessed many instances of forbearance in persons of the middle and lower classes when grossly insulted; and often heard an Egyptian say on receiving a blow from an equal, "God bless thee," "God requite thee good," "Beat me again": how many of the Christians obey in like manner one of the plainest precepts of Christ? In general a quarrel terminates by one or both of them saying "Justice is against me"; often after this they recite together the first chapter of the Kur-an; and then, sometimes, embrace and kiss one another. If a similar custom prevailed here there would be little serious quarrelling; for the men would all avoid disputes save with pretty girls and charming women, and would always make it up very quickly with them. The Muslim believes that there have been six great Prophets and Apostles—Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed; each of whom received a revealed law or system of religion and morality, each of the first five