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More employment opportunities Hershock n. Social status is constructed in terms of what one possesses. The more I have, the higher my social standing. These values stimulate consumption and create the illusion that poverty can only be alleviated by increased consumption Hershock n. The more I have, the richer I appear: while, in fact, in trying to possess more I become poorer. The consumption driven economy urges cheap production in order to participate in a competitive market. The result is exploitation of labour and resources. The illusion is created that a proper life is a life of consuming goods.

Loy suggests that a 'happy life' should not be measured in terms of income but in terms of well-being. With 'well-being' the all-encompassing levels of deprivation as identified by the UN and World Bank, need to be addressed. Well-being does not consider consumption. These values applied in current economic systems need to be revised.

Religion can suggest values that can redirect attention away from selfish greed and the need to own and consume. Values of contentment and finding well-being without consumption should be part of an economic system.


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Olupona suggests xvi that members of religious affiliations encourage governments to be intolerant towards corruption, to create skills-development programmes among local people, and to persuade Western governments not to give tax relieves to companies who contribute to environmental disasters.

These are some examples of sound values to be implemented in an economic system which can alleviate poverty. Non-governmental organisations NGOs with close ties to religious factions can contribute to the discussions on the causes of poverty. The NGOs can create awareness of the contributing factors to poverty by keeping the topics on the agenda in discussions with government.

Olupona xvi attests to the successes reached by the Catholic social justice lobbying group, called Network, who continuously asks government and corporations ethical questions on economic policies. By asking how do government economic policies affect the poor or how do policies alleviate and prevent poverty, government and industry leaders will become aware of the problem and the urgency to address it through creating policies conducive to alleviating and even eradicating poverty.

Societies can reconstruct value systems. Only societies can reinforce what is of true importance in human life. Society needs a reorientation to what is truly necessary for a complete existence compare what has already been mentioned in the Redirection of Attention above. These religiously determined values will temper and influence growth and consumption driven economic developments.

Religion must teach society the moral obligation of generosity. Marcell Mauss when writing on human nature, states that generosity is an obligation. Whether generosity is a human trait being exercised under all conditions is questionable. Self-preservation weighs heavier than self-sacrifice. Generosity does not come naturally, but can be encouraged. It was the traditional way and ought to be the way in which humans meet each other in society Mauss What is needed is an adjustment in human attitude towards material elements.

The minimum human needs, according to a Buddhist understanding, are food sufficient to prevent hunger and maintain health, clothing sufficient to appear socially decent and to protect the body from the natural elements, housing which provides shelter and security and medicine to prevent disease Premasiri More than this is considered excessive.

Compare the Jewish prayer reflecting this attitude:. Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord? Pr The greatest wealth according to the Buddhist teaching Premasiri lies in being content. Contentment tempers the need to own and consume. Contentment creates the possibility to share and redistribute resources. Contentment is however only possible when basic human needs are met.

If I have what is necessary to survive I can share with others. Loy suggests that the function of religion when it comes to poverty is to provide a moral framework for society. Members of society should be made aware of their moral responsibility towards members of society Loy Generosity should be the guiding principle when responding to poverty Loy Maimonides, the medieval Jewish philosopher, deals in his commentary on the Talmud Mishna Torah in chapter entitled Hilkot matanot aniyim [Laws about giving to the poor] with giving to the poor.

According to Maimonides it is best to give a loan to a poor person in order to enable that person to make a living instead of begging. Such a gift is best given anonymously, willingly and with sympathy. A gift to the poor tzedakah is best given before it is asked for.

This attitude illustrates generosity towards the poor. Religion must assist in restoring and maintaining human dignity. As has been indicated earlier, poverty has the effect of creating class differences in society, causing the affluent to look upon the poor with disdain. Nobody should look down on the poor with disdain Geremek as if the poor is inferior or lesser human beings. The problem is that economically poor can be equated with spiritually poor. Olupona xix states that in order for peace to prevail, the restoration of the spiritual sanctity of life is necessary.

Religion has the obligation to remind society of the equality of human existence. Human beings cannot be classed and categorised according to the level of affluence. Society should secure the sanctity of life for all members of society. Religion provides the moral fibres enabling society to perform this task. The role of religion when it comes to poverty can never be reduced to merely sympathy and well-wishing, nor empty words of comfort by emphasising a better future still to come.

People with different religious affiliations need to play an active role in attempting to alleviate and if possible eradicate poverty. Religion should create awareness of the problem of poverty. Human beings still exist in this-worldly life. Religion may redirect attention to a higher, spiritual existence in future, devoid of material needs. It still does not change the existential effects of poverty. Olupona xv emphasises the contribution faith-based initiatives can make in poverty alleviation. In Islam the principle of zakat [the obligatory gift to the poor] has exactly this function to maintain the integrity of the umma [community] Hashmi by distributing wealth so that none in the community will go wanting Hashmi Religiosity is a growing phenomenon.

Research carried out by Norris and Inglehart indicates how religion is growing especially amongst poor and oppressed communities. A feeling of insecurity, a lack of food and survival for example create the seedbed for religion. A feeling of dependence amongst the oppressed and the poor, increases religious activities.

Corrupt religious leaders can in such oppressed communities however extort money from the poor in exchange for promises of wealth. Olupona xvi confirms that in Africa the most impoverished people tend to be deeply spiritual. Olupona xvii suggests that faith-based communities work together with institutions to alleviate poverty. He suggests cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in order to support the poor.

Faith-based communities are considered to be credible partners and can assist the institutions in redistributing resources amongst local communities. The faith-based communities should however, according to Olupona xviii , maintain their prophetic calling by continuously commenting on global financial policies and must express a discomfort with unjust policies to the trade and industry community.

These faith-based communities provide a primary support network for families and dislocated individuals. Not only is the support in terms of material provision but faith-based communities also provide a sense of belonging and identity Olupona xvi. This restores the human dignity to those in material need. The willingness to assist, Olupona states xvi , is based on ancient religious teachings, values and morals encouraging assistance to those in need.

The danger with diakonia [service to those in need] as a way of alleviating poverty is however twofold: humanitarianism and proselytising. Serving those in need only to relieve their material need ends up as humanitarianism based on philanthropy. The religious character is lost as humanitarian assistance is mainly focused on relieving material need.

In addition to this religions can view the assistance to the poor as a means to convince them to convert to a particular religion. Assistance to the poor then becomes a missionary tool. The true agenda is not maintaining the sanctity of life, but expanding the borders of a religion. These pitfalls should be kept in mind when religions attempt to alleviate poverty. Another danger is that of reductionism. Reducing the solution to poverty to the spiritual or ethical levels, is dangerous.

Instead, when expressing concern about poverty, it should be holistic, keeping all needs of humans in mind. Olupona xvi suggests a balance between religious endeavour to save souls as well as to address misery and poverty. The this-worldly and other-worldly concerns need to be in harmony and addressed equally.

Poverty is nothing new and seemingly will never end. How society has responded to poverty over centuries has changed. There is however not only one way in which societies respond to poverty. The response to poverty is contextual. Each society responds to poverty in a different manner, as determined by economic, political, cultural, psychological, philosophical and traditional factors as well as religious convictions.

Religion can play a role in addressing poverty. Religion not only becomes the moral consciousness reminding society of being generous to the poor but also seeing the poor as fellow human beings. Religion can also create a new matrix of thought, influencing the values of society. A society with a high regard for materialism and consumption, needs to take note of an existence stretching further than earthly life that includes a connection to a spiritual realm.

The earthly material existence is a reduction of human existence. Societal thought needs to be redirected. Religion not only functions in an ethical and ideological capacity when responding to poverty. Religion can motivate people to engage actively in participating in activities alleviating poverty. The balance is restored when poverty is not only measured in terms of ethical and spiritual measures, but also in attempts to provide the material needs of the poor.

True wealth does not lie in material possessions. Freedom to exist carefree is an asset. Religion can contribute to experiencing the fullness of life in all its forms. The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationship s that may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article. Buijs, G. Waarom wij ons soms voor anderen inzetten', in G. Buijs red. Chryssides, G.

De Beer, C. Du Toit, C. W du Toit ed. Galston, W. Kolakowska, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford. Gordon, D. Hoffenberg eds. Levinas, E. Lingis, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. Loy, D. Mauss, M. Walls, W.

The Influence of Animism on Islam, an Account of Popular Superstitions

Norton, New York. Norris, P. Paris ed. Premasiri, P. Sharma, A. Religionswissenschaft in theologischem Kontext, G tersloher Verlagshaus, G tersloh. The various sects in orthodox Islam can be distinguished by the casual observer most easily in the method of ablution and in the prostration of the prayer ritual.

Theodore Nldeke of Germany, and the Dutch scholar Prof. Wensinck have made a special study of the origin and detail of the prayer ritual, the latter more especially of the Moslem laws of ablution. In the preparation of the five daily prayers, especially in the process of ablution - the object of the Moslem seems to be to free himself from everything that has connection with supernatural powers or demons as opposed to the worship of the one true God.

That is the reason for its supreme importance. Wensinck tells us that these beliefs have little or nothing to do with bodily purity as such, but are intended to free the worshiper from the presence or influence of evil spirits. It is this demonic pollution which must be removed.

In two traditions from Muslim we read, "Said the Prophet: 'If any of you wakens up from sleep then let him blow his nose three times. For the devil spends the night in a man's nostrils. Said the Prophet of God: 'If a Moslem servant of God performs the ablution when he washes his face every sin which his face has committed is taken away by it with the water or with the last drop of water.

And when he washes his hands the sin of his hands are taken away with the water or with the last drop of water. And when he washes his feet all the sins which his feet have committed are taken away with the water or with the last drop of water until he becomes pure from sin altogether. That ablution in Islam as taught by Mohammed to his disciples was originally not intended to remove physical uncleanness but was a ceremonial precaution against spiritual evil, of demons, etc.

For example, Skeat describes the bath ceremony as practiced at Perak: "Limes are used in Perak, as we use soap. When a Malay has resolved on having a really good 'scrub' they are cut in two and squeezed ramas in the hand. In Penang a root called sintok is usually preferred to limes. When the body is deemed sufficiently cleansed, the performer, taking his stand facing the East, spits seven times, and then counts up to seven aloud. After the word Tujoh seven he throws away the remains of the limes or sintok to the West, saying aloud, Pergi-lah samua sial jambalang deripada badan aku ka pusat tasek Pawjangi, 'Misfortune and spirits of evil, begone from my body to the whirlpool of the lake Paujangi!

Similar purificatory ceremonies form an integral part of Malay customs at birth, adolescence, marriage, sickness, death, and in fact at every critical period of the life of a Malay. Another tradition gives the value of the hairs of the Prophet when they fell in the washing-vessel. The Prophet used to wash his feet when he wore sandals by simply passing his hands over the outside of the sandals; the object, therefore, cannot have been to cleanse impurity but to ward off demons.

Another tradition is given as follows: According to 'Abd-el-Rahman, a man came to Omar ibn el-Khattab and said, "I am in a state of impurity and cannot find water. You did not make your prayers, but I rolled myself in the sand and prayed. When I told the Prophet of this, he said, 'That was enough,' and so saying he took some earth in his hands, blew on it and then rubbed his face and hands with it.

There are a number of traditions regarding spitting in a mosque. It must in no case be done in front of any one, nor to the right hand but to the left. Again, in entering a mosque one must put the right foot forward first for fear of evil consequences. In the same way we are told that a man who was carrying arrows in his hand entered a mosque, and the Prophet cried: "Hold them by the point.

Types of Religious Organizations

We also find traditions concerning such Animistic practices as crossing the fingers or the limbs at the time of prayer. In regard to the ritual ablution ghasl after certain natural functions, Wensinck remarks, "Das Geschlechtsleben stand im semitischen Heidentum unter dem Schutze gewisser Gtter and war ihnen somit geweiht. Die mnnlichen und weiblichen Prostituierten bei den plastinischen und babylonischen Heiligtmern sind ja bekannt genug.

Ich brauche darber. Weil nun der betreffende Gott fr den Monotheismus Dmon geworden ist, so ist auch sein Kult, das Geschlechtsleben, fr den Monotheismus dmonisch. It is during sleep that the soul, according to animistic belief leaves the body. Therefore, one must waken those who sleep, gently, lest the soul be prevented from returning. Not only during sleep, but during illness demons are present and in Egypt it is considered unfortunate for any one who is ceremonially unclean to approach a patient suffering from ophthalmia.

The Moslem when he prays is required, according to tradition, to cover his head, especially the back part of the skull.


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  4. This according to Wensinck is also due to animistic belief; for evil spirits enter the body by this way. Goldziher shown that the name given to this part of the body al qafa has a close relation to the kind of poetry called Qafiya, which originally meant a poem to wound the skull, or in other words an imprecatory poem. It is therefore for the dread of evil powers which might enter the mind that the head must be covered during prayer. References are found to this practice both in Moslem tradition and in the Talmud, on which they are based. Again it is noteworthy that those places which are ritually unclean, such as closets, baths, etc.

    According to tradition a Moslem cannot perform his prayer without a Sutra or some object placed between himself and the Kibla the direction of Mecca in order, "that nothing may harm him by passing in between. The call of the Muezzin according to Al-Bokhari drives away the demons and Satan. The raising of the hands during prayer and the movement of the forefinger is perhaps to ward off the spirits of the air,8 or it may have a connection with the Qanut. Others say that the spreading out or the stretching forth of the fingers and arms is to prevent any idol or thing of blasphemy being hidden between the fingers or under the armpits, a ruse used formerly by the unbelievers and discovered by the Angel Gabriel.

    Among the Arabs before the time of Mohammed and among Moslems to-day, sneezing, especially during prayer, is an ominous sign and should be accompanied by a pious ejaculation. This also is clearly animistic; among the tribes of Malaysia the general belief is that when one sneezes, the soul leaves the body.

    At the close of the prayer, as is well-known, the worshiper salutes the two angels on his right and left shoulders. When one sneezes one should say, "I ask forgiveness of God"; when one yawns, however, the breath soul passes inward and one says, "Praise be to God. The noon-day prayer is never held at high noon but a short time after the sun reaches the meridian. Wensinck points out that this is due to the belief that the sun-god is really a demon and must not be worshiped by the monotheist.

    According to al-Bokhari the Prophet postponed the noon-day prayer until after high noon for "the greatest heat of the day belongs to the heat of hell. Abu-Dzarr said: The Muezzin of the Prophet had called for the noon-prayer. Then he added: "Great heat is of hell: so when it is excessively hot wait until it is cool, then make your prayers. Maxwell, quoted by Skeat page 15 , says: "Sunset is the hour when evil spirits of all kinds have most power.

    In Perak, children are often called indoors at this time to save from unseen dangers. Sometimes, with the same object, a woman belonging to the house where there are young children, will chew kuniet terus an evilsmelling root , supposed to be much disliked by demons of all kinds, and spit it out at seven different points as she walks round the house. Among the Malays each of these periods has a special meaning and a special guardian deity, one of the Hindu divinities.

    The table given corresponds very closely to the Moslem prayer schedule. Under it the day is divided into five parts and five days form a cycle: to each of these divisions is assigned a name, the names being Maswara Maheswara , Kala; Sri, Brahma, and Bisnu Vishnu , which recur in the order shown in the following table or diagram:. The most interesting thing of all, however, is the, tradition regarding the Sutra.

    The word means something that covers or protects; from what is it a protection and why is it used? The Commentaries do not explain what the Sutra really means but it is very clearly a protection against demons, as is shown by the traditions given. He did the same thing when he traveled and it is from this that the emirs took the custom. Other authorities say the Sutra of the Prophet was the short spear or the camel-saddle, or his camel when kneeling.

    Abu-Johaifa said: "The Prophet went out during the heat of the day and when he came to ElBatha and prayed two rakas for the noon-prayer and the evening prayer, he stuck a pike before him and made his ablutions. The faithful washed themselves with the rest of the water. The reference to the demon is animistic: "Abu Salih es-Sam'an said: I saw something that separated him from the crowd. A young man of the Bni Abu Mo'ait trying to pass before him, Abu Said gave him a push full on the chest. The young man looked round for another way out and not finding any, he returned.

    Abu Said pushed him back still more violently. The young man cursed him and then went and told Merwan of Abu Said's conduct. The latter at this moment entered and Merwan said to him: "What is the matter with you, O Abu Said, that you thus treat one of your own religion? It is also a sign that none must pass before him, but never used except by men of mature years and serious mind, and then only in open or public places, never in a room or house-top. If stones are used they must never be less than three, otherwise it would seem as if the stone were the object of worship.

    There are cases in which passing before one at prayer is counted as sin either to the pray-er or to the one passing, i. It generally consists of earth from Kerbela, compressed into a small tablet and bearing Arabic inscriptions; it is various in shape. If one has not this object, he can use a common stone, a piece of wood or a clod of earth; in the baths they keep small pieces of wood for the convenience of worshipers.

    With regard to wood, they say all the trees in the world came from heaven, and their life is directly from God, so they are holy objects. The Kerbela talismans are called turbat as being. On the side nearest him of the muhr the worshiper lays a small pocket comb, then next to himself the rosary. The back is to the north; this looks like sun-worship. They should be held widely spread apart. We have the following tradition in Ibn Maja: 19 "Said the Prophet: 'Do not put your fingers close together during prayer.

    It is also forbidden to cover the mouth during prayer.


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    For example, we read in the Sunnan of Ibn Maja21 that Mohammed forbade prayer being made on or near watering places of camels because camels were created by devils. It is an old superstition that Satan had a hand in the creation of the camel; the explanation is given in the commentators. We are solemnly told that the fingers must be spread so as to afford no nestling place for evil demons and that therefore the method of washing the hands rakhlil consists in rubbing the outspread fingers of both hands between each other.

    Ibn Maja, Vol. I, pp. The last reference is particularly important as it shows that Mohammed inculcated the practice of moving the first finger during prayer. Some of the sects do not spread the fingers of the right hand during prayer but make a special effort to spread those of the left.

    This may be because the left hand is used for ablutions and therefore is specially apt to be infected by demonic influence. We give further reference to all such practices as recorded in a standard work on tradition, the Sunmin of An-Nasai. There are many traditions concerning Mohammed's struggle with afrits and Jinn in a mosque.

    The most interesting one is given in Muslim Vol. I was about to tie him to the side of a pillar of the pillars of the Mosque so that ye might get up in the morning and behold him, all of you, when I remembered the prayer of my brother Solomon: "O Lord, forgive me and give me a dominion such as no one ever had," and after that God set the demon free! The forming of ranks in Moslem prayers as they face the Mihrab, is most important and therefore they are extremely careful of it. There are many traditions in this respect which can.

    For example, not only must the worshipers stand in a row, but in a mosque it is considered most important to stand so close together that nothing can possibly pass between. They stand ready like soldiers in massed-formation. Here is the tradition: Anas states that the Prophet said: "Observe your ranks, for I can see you from behind my back. Ibn-'Abbas said: "On a certain night I made my prayers together with the Prophet. As I was placing myself on his left, the Messenger of God taking hold of me by the back of my head, placed me on his right. After having made our prayers, he lay down and rested until the muezzin came to look for him.

    Then he got up an made his prayers without making his ablutions. This is an important matter for discussion in all works of Fiqh. In the prayer called Qunut, which takes place during and as part of the morning prayer Salat , the hands are raised in magical fashion. Goldziher believes the original signification of this was a curse or imprecation on the enemy; such was the custom of the Arabs. The Prophet cursed his enemies in this way. So did also the early Caliphs. In Lane's Dictionary Art. Qunut we find the present prayer given as follows: "O God, verily we beg of Thee aid, and we beg of Thee forgiveness.

    And we believe in Thee and we rely or Thee, and we laud Thee well, and we will not be unthankful to Thee for Thy favor, and we cast off and forsake him who disobeys Thee: O God, Thee we worship and to Thee we perform the divinelyappointed act of prayer, and prostrate ourselves; and we are quick in working for Thee and in serving Thee; we hope for Thy mercy, and we dread Thy punishment; verily or may Thy punishment overtake the unbelievers. It is said of the Prophet that he stood during a whole month after the prayer of daybreak cursing the tribes of Rial and Dhukwan.

    We read in AlMuwatta Vol. Later on this custom was modified or explained away. Al-Bukhari even wrote a book on the subject as to when the hands might be lifted in prayer. There is no doubt regarding the origin of the Qunut prayer. So he granted them seventy men from among the Companions; when they departed with them, however, they took them out to the desert and killing them threw them into the well Mayrah. This became known to the Prophet and he mistrusted them and was filled with wrath and began to curse them saying: 'O God, curse Ra'ala and Lahyan and Beni Dhakwan because they mocked God and his Apostle.

    O God, cause to come down upon them a famine like in the days of Joseph and help el-Walid ibn el-Walid and the weak company of Mecca. He did not send you as a punishment. The affair does not concern you; for God will either forgive them or punish them. They are the transgressors. In spite of the assertion of God's unity there are many other things connected with Moslem prayer which show pagan magic, such as the power through certain words and gestures to influence the Almighty.

    These practices were prevalent before Islam. Professor Goldziher mentions the custom of incantation Manashada similar to that practiced by the heathen Kahins. Of certain readers in the early days of Islam it was said: "If so and so would adjure anything upon God he would doubtless obtain it. We are told al-Bukhari that on one occasion the Prophet while praying for rain raised his hands so high that one could see the white skin of his arm-pits. In the case of Du'a therefore, the Kibla is said to be heaven itself and not Mecca. Another gesture used in Du'a is the stroking of the face, or of the body with the hands.

    This custom, borrowed from the Prophet also has magical effect. At the time of his death the Prophet put his hands in water and washed his face with them, repeating the creed.

    Goldziher refers especially to magical elements in the prayer for rain,26 and against eclipses of the sun or moon. These, like excessive drought, were explained and combated by the pagan Arabs in a superstitious manner. Mohammed forbade them to recognize in such phenomena anything more than special manifestations of the omnipotence of the Creator, yet ordained in this case also certain ritual prayers, to be continued as long as the eclipse lasted.

    No Mohammedan questions for a moment that the omnipotence of God reveals itself in these eclipses - indeed no doctrine is more popular than that of the omnipotence of God and predestination - yet in the ranks of the people all kinds of superstitions prevail in regard to such phenomena. In these temporary obscurations of sun and moon they discern the action of malignant spirits and do not regard the performance of a simple service of prayer as a sufficient protection.

    Various sorts of ratebs are also held in order to relieve the suffering heavenly body. The whole ceremony of sowing rice and reaping the first crop is thoroughly animistic, and yet it is carried on with Moslem-pagan prayers and invocations. Among many examples we give the following from Skeat. Then she took in her left hand the cord of tree-bark, and after fumigating it together with all the vessels of rice and oil, took up some of the rice and strewed it round about the sheaf, and then tossed the remainder thrice upwards, some of it falling upon the rest of the company and myself.

    Grant this, Moses! Grant this, Joseph! Grant this, David! Grant me, from God the opening of all the doors of my daily bread, on earth, and in heaven. Prayers for rain must only be done out of doors and with old clothes on, the burnous being worn inside out to express distress and need. For eclipse of the sun a long prayer is made standing with hands down at the side, fingers extended, then a long prayer while the hands are bent on the knees.

    These two positions are repeated with each prayer. In Yemen, at the first of the year, if there is a drought five cows are brought to a special mosque and each one in turn is driven around the mosque three times by a huge crowd of young men, who constantly pray or recite the Koran. In case of an eclipse water is put in large trays in the open air and the people peer into this water searching for the moon's reflection, but in this prayer also is not forgotten.

    In there was a total eclipse of the moon visible in Egypt. As might well be expected the eclipse greatly excited the Egyptian masses, who were very much impressed by the fact that it coincided with Ramadan and the war. Pans and drums as well as other noise-making appliances were beaten by them as long as the phenomenon was visible, and even after its disappearance, many servants refused to go to sleep on the roofs.

    This superstition dates from before their conversion to Islam but still persists and spread to Morocco. In Tlemcen the Moslems in time of drought gather 70, pebbles which are put in seventy sacks; during the night they repeat the Koran prayers over every one of these pebbles, after which the bags are emptied into the wady with the hope of rain.

    Snouck Hurgronje, "the actual custom no longer survives, though it has left traces of its former existence in sundry popular expressions. But if there is no result the negroes are summoned to use their magic. The rain-makers were nine in number and would go around with wooden clubs to a tsamiya tamarind or a ganje rubber tree near the gate of the town, and sacrifice a black bull, the blood being allowed to flow into the roots. Then four pots of giya beer were brought, and were drunk by the rain-makers.

    After this, the eldest of the nine Mai-Shibko would rise, put on the hide and call out: "You Youths, You Youths, You Youths, ask the Man Allah to send down water for us, tell the Owner of the Heavens that men are dying here, ask him to spit upon us. We are true to you, see, we have sacrificed a bull to you.

    Cordier : "A procession is formed headed by the ahong, or priest, carrying three objects which I will here describe: 1 A sack filled with 7, stones, very clean and which have been gathered from the bed of some river near by. These may be said to represent a sort of rosary as ten prayers are repeated over each stone. On the handle of this sword is inscribed the words pao-kien, i.

    This sword is made of wood and is covered with inscriptions in Arabic characters and carried in a case made of yellow linen. The Chinese call it Chao p'ai, that is to say the 'Tablet that is planted. This tablet is also covered with Arabic inscriptions. Koran are also carried in these processions, aud as they march prayers are chanted. Arriving at Hei-long-t'an, the source of the black dragon, the procession halts near the basin called Etang du dragon.

    There a Moslem beats the water with the sword while the prayers are continued. This done an ahong holding the brass tablet gets into the water and throws it in so as to make a fish come out others say a water snake. When this happens it is taken back to the basin where it is again thrown in. It is true that the beautiful opening chapter of the Koran with its lofty theism and the chapter of the Forenoon with its pathetic reference to Mohammed's childhood are frequently on Moslem lips.

    But what thoughts a Moslem has when he repeats the following chapters, if he understands the words, we may learn from the commentaries. After reading what they tell us there remains little doubt that paganism entered Islam by the door of the Koran! Skeat's "Malay Magic," p. Houdas p Bokhari: Chap. Muslim, Vol. I am told by my sheikh from Al-Azhar that according to Moslem tradition it is bad luck Makruh to drink water or any liquid while one is standing.

    If however, one is compelled to drink standing one should move his big toe rapidly as this will ward off all harm. We find here the same superstitious custom of warding off evil spirits by moving the first toe up and down as that of the finger at the end of the ritual prayer. Prayer is forbidden at three particular periods: at high noon because the devil is then in the ascendant; when the sun is rising because it rises between the horns of the devil, when the sun is at the setting because it sets between the horns of the devil.

    Al-Bokhari, translated by Houdas Paris, , p. Skeat's "Malay Magic" p. See "Muslim," Vol. Takhlil is not only used of the fingers but of the toes as well, there also demons lurk. In prayer there should be no gaps in the ranks of the worshipers lest Satan come between. One should blow the nostrils three times when awakening so as to drive away the devil. The Prophet forbade sleep in bathrooms because they are the abode of devils. I, p The Prophet forbade facing the Kibla when fulfilling a call of nature, for fear of Satan.

    The separation of the fingers p. The forefinger should be bent when giving witness. The fingers should be moved. Turning the head around during prayer is caused by the devil. Houdas' al Bukhari French Trans. See al Bukhari who gives certain chapters on magical formulas to be used on this occasion. Certain 6f the companions of the Prophet were celebrated as rain-makers. Hurgronje's "The Achenese," pp. Levermore of Tsinchow, "the Moslems had a rain procession,- a thing rarely known with them. It is said once before they had one, and the informer significantly adds, 'and they revolted just after.

    The Moslems walked the streets carrying incense and reading their incantations. Two chairs carrying Moslem sacred books were caned, whilst the priests had open Arabic Korans in their hands. The words of Frazer apply in this connection:1 "As in Europe beneath a superficial layer of Christianity a faith in magic and witchcraft, in ghosts and goblins has always survived and even flourished among the weak and ignorant, so it has been and so it is in the East. Brahminism, Buddhism, Islam may come and go, but the belief in magic and demons remains unshaken through them all, and, if we may judge of the future from the past, is likely to survive the rise and fall of other historical religions.

    They yield a dull assent to it with their lips, but in their hearts they never really abandon their old superstitions; in these they cherish a faith such as they cannot repose in the creed which they nominally profess; and to these, in the trials and emergencies of life, they have recourse as to infallible remedies when the promises of the higher faith have failed them, as indeed such promises are apt to do.

    Customs which have in many cases been approved and perpetuated by the example of Mohammed himself. According to Skeat there are certain portions of the human frame which are considered invested with a special sanctity and require special ceremonies among the pagans. These parts of the anatomy are the head, the hair, the teeth, the ear and the nails.

    He says in regard to hair and its sacred character: "From the principle of the sanctity of the head flows, no doubt, the necessity of using the greatest circumspection during the process of cutting the hair. Sometime throughout the whole life of the wearer, and frequently during special periods, the hair is left uncut. Thus I was told that in former days Malay men usually wore their hair long, and I myself have seen an instance of this at Jugra in Selangor in the person of a Malay of the old school, who was locally famous on this account.

    So, too, during the forty days which must elapse before the purification of a woman after the birth of her child, the father of the child is forbidden to cut his hair, and a similar abstention is said to have been formerly incumbent upon all persons either prosecuting a journey or engaging in war. Often a boy's head is entirely shaven shortly after birth with the exception of a single lock in the center of the head, and so maintained until the boy begins to grow up, but frequently the operation is postponed generally, it is said, in consequence of a vow made by the child's parents until the period of puberty or marriage.

    Great care, too, must be exercised in disposing of the clippings of hair more especially the first clippings , as the Malay profoundly believes that "the sympathetic connection which exists between himself and every part of his body continues to exist even after the physical connection has been severed, and that therefore he will suffer from any harm that may befall the severed parts of his body, such as the clippings of his hair, or the parings of his nails.

    Accordingly he takes care that those severed portions of himself shall not be left in places where they might either be exposed to accidental injury, or fall into the hands of malicious persons who might work magic on them to his detriment or death. The means by which this soul-stuff is protracted or conveyed to others is through spitting, blowing, blood-wiping, or touch. In all of these particulars and under all of these subjects we have superstitions in Islam that date back to pagan days but are approved in and by Moslem tradition and in some cases by the Koran itself.

    In the disposal of hair-cuttings and nail-trimmings among Moslems to-day, and their magical use, there is clear evidence of animistic belief. People may be bewitched through the clippings of their hair and parings of their nails. This belief is world-wide,4 "To preserve the cut hair and nails from injury, says Frazer, "and from the dangerous uses to which they may be put by sorcerers, it is necessary to deposit them in some safe place.

    In Morocco women often hang their cut hair on a tree that grows on or near the grave of a wonderworking saint; for they think thus to rid themselves of headache or to guard against it. In Germany the clippings of hair used often to be buried under an elder-bush. In Oldenburg cut hair and nails are wrapped in a cloth which is deposited in a hole in an elder-tree three days before the new moon; the hole is then plugged up. In the west of Northumberland it is thought that if the first parings of a child's nails are buried under an ash-tree, the child will turn out a fine singer.

    In Amboyna before a child may taste sago-pap for the first time, the father cuts off a lock of the infant's hair, which he buries under a sago-palm. In the Aru Islands when a child is able to run alone, a female relation shears a lock of its hair and deposits it on a banana-tree.

    In the Island of Rotti it is thought that the first hair which a child gets is not his own, and that if it is not cut off it will make him weak and ill. Hence, when the child is about a month old, his hair is polled with ceremony. As each of the friends who are invited to the ceremony enters the house he goes up to the child, snips off a little of its hair and drops it into a cocoanut shell full of water.

    Afterwards the father or another relation takes the hair and packs it into a little bag made of leaves, which he fastens to the top of a palm tree. Then he gives the leaves of the palm a good shaking, climbs down, and goes home without speaking to any one. Indians of the Yukon territory, Alaska, do not throw away their cut hair and nails, but tie them up in little bundles and place them in the crotches of trees or wherever they are not likely to be disturbed by beasts. For they have a superstition that disease will follow the disturbance of such remains by animals.

    Often the clipped hair and nails are stowed away in any secret place, not necessarily in a temple or cemetery or at a tree, as in the case already mentioned. Among the Malays hair offerings are made to-day in thoroughly pagan fashion, but it is interesting that the shorn locks are not buried under the threshold as they were before Islam, but are now sent to Mecca.

    leanizanma.ml

    The Influence of Animism on Islam [CHAPTER X AMULETS, CHARMS AND KNOTS]

    We quote from Skeat a description of the ceremony at a wedding when the bride's locks are cut: "The cocoanut containing the severed tresses and rings is carried to the foot of a barren fruittree e. In North Africa a man will not have his hair shaved in the presence of any one who owes him a grudge. After his hair has been cut, he will look around, and if there is no enemy about he will mix his cuttings with those of other men, and leave them, but if he fears some one there he will collect the cuttings, and take them secretly to some place and bury them.

    With a baby this is said to be unnecessary, as he has no enemies a surprising statement. Nails are cut with scissors and they are always buried in secret. One can see this superstition also in the account given of a charm described by Captain Tremearne,6 which consists of certain roots from trees mixed with a small lock of hair from the forehead and the partings of all the nails, hands and feet, except those of the index fingers.

    The fact of this exception clearly shows that we deal again with a superstition that has come from Arabian Animism, as we shall see later. In Bahrein, East Arabia, they observe a special order in trimming the finger-nails and bury the discarded trimmings in a piece of white cloth saying Hatha amana min 'andina ya Iblis yashud lana at Rahman. Concerning the thumb, they think it has no account with God because it can do no evil alone. The belief that cut hair and nails contain soul-stuff and therefore may be used for spiritual communion leads Moslems to hang their hair on the tombs of saints together with shreds of their garments, nails, teeth, etc.

    On the great gate of Old Cairo, called Bab-el-Mutawali, this also takes place and one may watch a constant procession of men, women and children having communion with the saint who dwells behind or under this gateway and seeking through personal contact with the doorway by touching, breathing, etc. In connection with this superstition Rev. Hgberg, of Chinese Turkestan,8 tells of the popular belief that "during the last days, Satan will appear on earth riding on a Merr dedjell Satan's mule. Every hair on the mule's body is a tuned string or musical instrument.

    By the music furnished in this way all the people on earth are tempted to follow Satan. Great horns grow out on their heads, so that they can never return through their doors. The faithful Mohammedan has, however, a way of salvation. He has carefully collected his cut-off nails, and placed them under the threshold, where they have formed a hedge, blocking the door so as to prevent the household from running after Satan! Again the hair and nails have special power assigned to them as a protection for the soul against evil!

    In many parts of the Moslem world such as in East Arabia, human hair is used by native doctors of medicine as a powerful tonic. It is generally administered as tincture or decoction. In this respect the hair of saints has more value than ordinary hair. I have known of a case where a learned kadi sent to the barbers to collect hair in order to prepare such a powerful tonic. Miss Fanny Lutton writes from Muscat, Arabia: "Just in front of the Mission compound is a Mosque, and in the compound of the Mosque is a saint's grave.

    I have witnessed some queer heathenish performances there. Only a short time ago a crowd of women, men and children were assembled. A woman brought her one year-old son to have his head shaved over the grave. A cloth was spread to receive the hair and it was afterwards tied to a small flagpole at the head of the grave, and then a new red flag was also attached which must be left there until it fades and wears out, when it must be replaced with a new one and with similar ceremonies.

    Refreshments were partaken of by the visitors sitting around the grave and much merriment was indulged in. In a similar narrative, skin karosses revert to being springbok L V Khwa possesses the ability to change his form at will, and was not only responsible for the providence of rain but the observance of rites and taboos. Viewed in such terms,! Khwa is not only a rain-giver, but also a death-giver.

    His abode is the waterhole, which is seen in terms of a gate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Khwa Solomon , a, The only natural lake in South Africa is fed by the Mutale River. There are several different beliefs held about it, one of which being that it is inhabited by a god of fertility in the form of a python. As is the case in other animistic religions, ancestors are employed as intermediaries between the people and the god.

    They are invoked by a ritual in which a maiden with a pot of beer is sent into the lake. If not, then other measures must be employed to enlist the help of the ancestral spirits to have a good season. Outside of Africa, the form of the water-spirit is rarely a snake. However, in Russia, there is a folktale of a snake and a Russian girl.

    The snake inhabited a pond and wished to marry the girl. The girl was abducted from her home after promising to marry the snake without any intention of honouring her pledge. This was achieved by a mass of snakes breaking into her house and carrying her off to the pond, where underwater they took human form and the girl had two children by her husband. In Northern and Central Europe there is a trend for the physical form of the water-spirit to be half or wholly human.

    In cases where they are half human, their lower body tends to be that of a fish. On the west coast of Ireland, the merrow was a form of mermaid, the sighting of whom heralded the coming of gales. Some were believed to have taken humans as partners. They also possessed the ability to metamorphose into little hornless cows when taken to wandering on land. In the Baltic region, Votian beliefs included the presence of water-spirits of both sexes in the sea, rivers, springs and lakes. The fishermen regarded them as the guardians of fish.

    These beings, half human, half fish, were supplicated by fishermen anxious for a good catch and safe trip, as some of the spirits were held to either prevent catches or to cause boats to lose their way. Offerings of a first catch or the head of a black cat were commonplace. They were held as the cause of drowning. In many cases it was believed that spirits of the opposite sex to the victim s carried out the drowning. In these cases, "the water-spirit as an empirical supernatural being could be perceived for only a short period of time: a criterion for the supernatural is the sudden disappearance of an anthropomorphic being, particularly when an observer happens to expose its proximity.

    References to the places where spirits were most often seen or were believed to live are more general.

    Présentation

    Such places in bodies of water could be, for example, sites where water suddenly swirls upstream, sites with a deep bottom or those where people had drowned. Although the time of the water spirit's appearance is often unspecified we should note that in several reports and memorates the supernatural event has taken place at high noon. Water-spirits were also held to be responsible for the drowning of livestock. In such cases, attempts were again made to placate the water-spirit with animal sacrifice and monetary offering so that the entity would not deprive the community of this important resource.

    A distinction has been made between the water-spirits of the sea and those of the inland rivers, springs and lakes. Based on the different environmental circumstances, experiences and concerns of the fishing and agricultural communities, the water-spirits were accorded different natures.

    Whilst the fishing community held that the water-spirits had a clear form and tended to be occasionally malign, but on the whole once placated, benevolent, the agricultural community treated the spirits as demons. The demonic water spirits are but characteristic of the beliefs of agricultural and cattle-breeding people. In Poland and Germany, there was a belief in the water-man or nix and his wife. He possessed a human form, with a malevolent nature. Inhabiting lakes, rivers and ponds he "tempts passers-by to go bathing, in order to drown them.

    This he does to everyone who trespasses into his domain while bathing. Blue spots on a drowned person's body are a sign that the nixes caused the drowning. To have observed his wife on the banks of a river bleaching her laundry was an omen of rainy weather or high water. He and his wife were also held to be responsible for price fluctuations for products butter and grain that they sold at the market. Animistic beliefs in water-spirits were not simply confined to the regions where the beliefs originated.

    In essence, the water-spirits could travel with peoples, even across vast distances from continent to continent. The Atlantic slave trade running between West Africa and the colonies of North America not only transported beleaguered peoples, but their belief systems as well. For this reason, water-spirits almost human in form by the name of "cymbees" inhabited springs in the Low-country of South-Carolina.

    These spirits were very similar to those believed to exist amongst indigenous peoples inhabiting the Congo, who feared the power of the "simbi" spirits. They had great power and were feared, "Truly they have great power and authority, for their power is revealed by the force they show in the water and in the gullies. They stir up very high winds and unleash tornadoes, so that the bodies of people are filled with fear and trembling.

    They break people's courage and render it feeble, weak, limp, petrified, hollow and fevered; they are stunned and grovel in terror. This is how the Bi simbi show their strength: if they see someone come to draw water from the pool where they reside, they rise to the surface and cover it with foam and turbulence, turning and twisting. So the person drawing the water is scared stiff when she sees how the water boils in the pool. She may tumble into the water because she is dizzy. If she does not cry out so that those who remain in the village hear her, when next they meet her she may be dead.

    The water-spirits were as feared as the Bisimbi of West Africa and threatened "especially in instances when individuals usually women tried to draw water or children endeavoured to swim in the springs. Enslaved people described the spirits as vaguely human in form, each possessing unique characteristics, and later informants related various names for the spirits such as The Evil, One-Eye at Eutaw, Pooshee, and Lang Syne plantations , and The Great Desire of the Unrotting Waters.

    Indeed, from these accounts "cymbees" appear to fit within the category of malevolent spirits that populated the Low-country's forest and swamps and included such spectres as Plat-Eyes, "conjur-horses," and spirit bears. The North American Indians also believe that the rivers and lakes contain water-spirits. They treat water with great respect, and recognise its many uses. In doing so, they not only give offerings to a creator god, but also to the water-spirits by giving tobacco, food and gifts. Water plays an important role in their beliefs, and responsibility for it is held to have been delegated to women by the creator god.

    As an example, "'When babies are born, that water comes first. It clears a path for our babies to travel to mother earth.

    Religion in the Mongol Empire

    The teachings tell us to treat that water and all of her aspects as you would your mother. The water spirits, in turn, will take care of children playing in the water, whether they are swimming or skiing. The water-spirits in this case do not have any specific form. Bodies of water are not necessarily inhabited by a specific entity with a certain physical form or nature. Instead, they may contain an undetermined number of spirits or ghosts. These cases, again, can be found all over the world.

    In Scotland, deep pools were held to be inhabited by water demons, or guardian spirits, who on the whole tended to be malevolent. In cases of the sack of a castle, the laird's precious possessions may have been thrown into a nearby deep pool for protection. He dived, saw the plate chest, and was preparing to lift it, when the demon ordered him to go to the surface at once, and not to come back. At the same time the demon warned him that, if he did come back, he would forfeit his life. The diver obeyed. When he reached the bank he told what he had seen, and what he had heard.

    By dint of threats and promises of large reward, he dived again. In a moment or two afterwards his heart and lungs rose and floated on the surface of the water.