Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/33

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Concerning Praiseworthy Men

prophetess of God?" and she replied, "Mocailama has shown me what has been revealed to him, and I found it to be the truth, so obey him."

Then Mocailama asked her in marriage from the goum, which was accorded to him. When the goum asked about the marriage dowry of his future wife, he told them, "I dispense you from saying that prayer 'aceur'" (which is said at three or four o'clock) . Ever from that time the Beni'Temin do not pray at that hour; and when they are asked the reason, they answer, "It is on account of our prophetess; she only knows the way to the truth." And, in fact, they recognize no other prophet.

On this subject a poet has said—

For us a female prophet has arisen;
Her laws we follow; for the rest of mankind
The prophets that appeared were always men.[1]

The death of Mocailama was foretold by the prophecy of Abou Beker[2] (to whom God be good). He was, in fact, killed by Zeid ben Khettab. Other people say it

  1. This history of the encounter between Mocailama and Chedja, whose proper name was Fedja bent el Harents ben Souard, is reproduced in the work of Abou Djaferi Mohammed ben Djerir el Teberi, where it is told with the minutest particulars, and bears the signs of a veritable religious truth.
  2. Abou Beker is the father of Aicha, the wife of Mohammed. He followed the latter in the year 11 of the Hegira. By his and Omar's authority, a great many Mussulmans were turned from their design to apostasize. He was the first Kalif, and remained in power, in spite of the pretensions of the partisans of Ali Mohammed's son-in-law, who maintained that the Prophet had long before his death assigned Ali as his successor.