THE INFLUENCE OF ANIMISM ON ISLAM
PAGAN PRACTICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PILGRIMAGE
WHEN we consider Mecca, Mohammed s words of prophecy in the second chapter of his book seem to have been literally fulfilled: "So we have made you the center of the nations that you should bear witness to men." The old pagan pantheon has become the religious sanctuary and the goal of universal pilgrimage for one-seventh of the human race.
From Sierra Leone to Canton, and from Tobolsk to CapeTown, the faithful spread their prayer carpets, build their
houses (in fulfillment of an important tradition, even their outhouses!) and bury their dead toward the meridian of Mecca. If the Moslem world could be viewed from an aeroplane, the observer would see concentric circles of living worshipers covering an ever-widening area, and one would also see vast areas of Moslem cemeteries with every grave dug toward the sacred city.
The earliest settlements at Mecca were undoubtedly due to the fact that the caravan trade from South Arabia northward found here a stopping place near the spring of Zem Zem, long before the time of Mohammed, just as the early Roman settlements at Wiesbaden and other places in Germany were so located because of the medicinal waters.
The sacred Mosque, Masjid al Haram, with the Ka'aba as its center, is located in the middle of the city. Mecca lies in
a hot, sandy valley, absolutely without verdure and surrounded by rocky, barren hills, destitute of trees or even shrubs. The valley is about 300 feet wide and 4,000 feet long, and slopes towards the south. The Ka'aba or House of God (Beit Allah) is located in the bed of the valley. All the streets slope toward it, and it occupies, as it were, the pit of a theater.
The Ka'aba proper stands in an oblong space 250 paces long and 200 broad, surrounded by colonnades, which are used as schools and as a general meeting place for pilgrims.
The outer enclosure has nineteen gates and six minarets; within the enclosure is the well of Zem Zem, the great pulpit,
the staircase used to enter the Ka aba door, which is high above the ground, and two small mosques called al Kubattain.
The remainder of the space is occupied by pavements and gravel, where prayers are said by the four orthodox sects, each having its own allotted space.
In the southeast corner of the Ka aba, about five feet from the ground, is the famous Black Stone, the oldest treasure
of Mecca. The stone is a fragment resembling black volcanic rock, sprinkled with reddish crystals, and worn smooth
by the touch of centuries. It was undoubtedly an aerolite and owes its reputation to its fall from the sky. Moslem historians do not deny that it was an object of worship before Islam. In Moslem tradition it is connected with the history
of the patriarchs, beginning as far back as Adam.
The word Ka'aba signifies a cube, although the measurements, according to Ali Bey, one of the earliest writers who gives us a scientific account of the pilgrim ceremonies, do not justify its being so called. Its height is thirty-four feet four
inches, and the four sides measure thirty-eight feet four inches, thirty-seven feet two inches, thirty-one feet, seven
inches, and twenty-nine feet. The cloth covering is renewed every year. At present it is made of silk and cotton tissue
woven at Khurunfish, the factory site in Cairo. The time of departure of the annual procession which takes it to Mecca
is one of the great feast days in Cairo.
Formerly, we are told, the whole of the Koran text was woven into the Ka'aba covering. Now the inscription contains the words, "Verily, the first house founded for mankind to worship in is that at Mecca, a blessing and a direction to all believers." Seven other short chapters of the Koran are also woven into this tapestry, namely, the Chapter of the Cave, Miriam, Al Amran, Repentance, T.H., Y.S., and Tabarak.
The final duty of righteous Moslems and the most important ceremony of the Moslem religion is the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca is not only one of the pillars of the religion of Islam, but it has proved one of the
strongest bonds of union and has always exercised a tremendous influence as a missionary agency. Even to-day the
pilgrims who return from Mecca to their native villages in Java, India and West Africa are fanatical ambassadors of
the greatness and glory of Islam. From an ethical stand point, the Mecca pilgrimage, with its superstitious and childish ritual, is a blot upon Mohammedan monotheism.
But as a great magnet to draw the Moslem world together with an annual and ever-widening esprit de corps, the Mecca
pilgrimage is without a rival. . . . For the details of the pilgrimage one must read Burckhardt, Burton, or other of the score of travelers who have risked their lives in visiting the forbidden cities of Islam. The record of their heroism has been compiled in one short volume by Augustus Ralli under the title "Christians at Mecca"; (Heinemann, London,
1909). The earliest European pilgrim was Ludovico Bartema who reached Mecca in 1503. The most accurate in his
description of the ceremonies of the Hajj is Burckhardt (1814-5), the most fascinating, Burton (1853), and it remained for a Hollander, Christiaa-n Snouck Hurgronje, to give us a history of Mecca, a photographic atlas of the city, and a philosophical dissertation on the pilgrimage. 1 "It is
1 "Het Mekkaansche Feest," Leiden, 1880 and Mekka 2 vols. in German. The latter book is accompanied by a photographic atlas.
possible, "says Ralli," to divide Christian pilgrims to Mecca into three groups. First come those from Bartema to Pitts,
inclusive, whom I have already compared to a cloud of light skirmishers. They are followed by the votaries of science
Badia, Seetzen, Burckhardt, Hurgronje. In a parallel column advance those impelled by love of adventure or curiosity von Maltzan, Bicknell, Keane, Courtellemont.
Burton belongs to both the latter groups; Wallin to the first, but he fell on evil days; and it is hard to classify Roches.
"It would tax -the ingenuity of most of us to find such another heterogeneous collection of men devoted to one theme.
It is a far cry from the humble Pitts to the princely Badia, from the scientific Burckhardt to the poetical Courtellemont,
from the impersonal Hurgronje to the autobiographical Roches, from the obscure Wild to the world-famous Burton.
Such contrasts might be pursued in the written records that remain; between Burckhardt s orderly accumulation of facts
and Keane s rollicking narrative. But suffice it that the members of this select company, differing in time and country, aim and temperament, are united by the single bond of a strange adventure." This strange adventure led them all to
observe the pagan rites of the great monotheistic faith of Islam, of which the ceremonies in brief are as follows:
After donning the garb of a pilgrim and performing the legal ablutions, the Ilajji visits the sacred mosque and kisses the
Black Stone. He then runs around the Ka'aba seven times thrice very rapidly and four times very slowly in imitation of the motions of the planets. Next he offers a prayer: "O Allah, Lord of the Ancient House, free my neck from hell-fire, and preserve me from every evil deed; make me contented with the daily food Thou givest me, and bless me in all Thou hast granted." At "the place of Abraham" he also prays; he drinks water from the sacred well of Zem Zem and again kisses the Black Stone. Then the pilgrim runs between the hills of Safa and Marwa. He visits Mina and Arafat, a few miles from Mecca, and at the latter place listens to a sermon. On his return he stops at Mina and stones three pillars of masonry known as the "Great Devil," the "middle pillar" and the "first one" with seven small pebbles. Finally, there is the sacrifice of a sheep or other animal as the climax of the pilgrim s task. Snouck Hurgronje and Dozy have given us the theory of the origin of these strange ceremonies in their monographs. The whole pilgrimage is, in the words of Kuenen, "a fragment of incomprehensible heathenism taken up undigested into Islam."
And as regards the veneration for the Black Stone, there is a tradition that the Caliph Omar remarked: "By God, I
know that thou art only a stone and canst grant no benefit or do no harm. And had I not known that the Prophet kissed thee I would not have done it." (Nisai, Vol. II, p. 38.)
There are two books that may be considered authoritative on the ceremonies of the pilgrimage : Wellhausen's " Reste
Arabischen Heidentums," pp. 68-249, and Burton's "Pilgrimage to Al Medina and Mecca."
Burton's description of the ritual is complete: "We then advanced towards the eastern angle of the Ka'abah, in which is inserted the Black Stone; and, standing about ten yards from it, repeated with upraised hands, There is no god but Allah alone, Whose Covenant is Truth, and Whose Servant is Victorious. There is no god but Allah, without Sharer; His is the Kingdom, to Him be Praise, and He over all Things is potent.
After which we approached as close as we could to the stone. A crowd of pilgrims preventing our touching it that time, we raised our hands to our ears, in the first position of prayer, and then lowering them, exclaimed, O Allah (I do this), in Thy Belief, and in verification of Thy Book, and in Pursuance of Thy Prophet s Example may Allah bless Him and preserve! O Allah, I extend my Hand to Thee, and great is my Desire to Thee! O accept Thou my Supplication and
diminish my Obstacles, and pity my Humiliation, and graciously grant me Thy pardon! After which, as we were still
unable to reach the stone, we raised our hands to our ears, the palms facing the stone, as if touching it, recited the
various religious formulae, the Takbir, the Tahlil, and the Hamdilah, blessed the Prophet, and kissed the finger-tips of
the right hand. The Prophet used to weep when he touched the Black Stone, and said that it was the place for the pouring forth of tears. According to most authors, the second Caliph also used to kiss it. For this reason most Moslems, except the Shafa'i school, must touch the stone with both hands and apply their lips to it, or touch it with the fingers, which should be kissed, or rub the palms upon it, and afterwards draw them down the face.
Under circumstances of difficulty, it is sufficient to stand before the stone, but the Prophet's Sunnat, or practice, was to touch it. Lucian mentions adorations of the sun by kissing the hand.
"Then commenced the ceremony of Tawaf, or circumambulation, our route being the Mataf the low oval of polished
granite immediately surrounding the Ka'abah. I repeated, after my Mutawwif, or cicerone,
'In the Name of Allah, and Allah is omnipotent!' I purpose to circuit seven circuits unto Almighty Allah, glorified and exalted! This is technically called the Niyat (intention) of Tawaf. Then we began the prayer, O Allah (I do this), in Thy belief, and in Verification of Thy Book, and in Faithfulness to Thy Covenant, and in Perseverance of the Example of the Apostle Mohammed may Allah bless Him and preserve! till we reached the place Al-Multazem, between the corner of the Black Stone and the Ka abah door. Here we ejaculated, O Allah, Thou hast Rights, so pardon my transgressing them. Opposite the door we repeated, O Allah, verily the House is Thy House, and the Sanctuary Thy Sanctuary, and the Safeguard Thy Safeguard, and this is the Place of him who flies to Thee from (hell) Fire! At the little building called Makam Ibrahim, who took Refuge with and fled to Thee from the Fire! O deny my Flesh and Blood, my Skin and Bones to the (eternal) Flames!
As we paced slowly round the north or Irak corner of the Ka'abah we exclaimed, O Allah, verily I take Refuge with Thee from Polytheism, and Disobedience, and Hypocrisy, and evil Conversation, and evil Thoughts concerning Family, and Property and Progeny! "When fronting the Mizab, or spout, we repeated the words, O Allah, verily I beg of Thee Faith which shall not decline, and a Certainty which shall not perish, and the good Aid of Thy Prophet Mohammed may Allah bless Him and preserve! O Allah, shadow me in Thy Shadow, on that Day when there is no Shade but Thy Shadow, and cause me to drink from the Cup of Thine Apostle Mohammed may Allah bless Him and preserve! that pleasant Draught after which is no Thirst to all Eternity, Lord of Honor and Glory! Turning the west corner, or the Rukn al- Shami, we exclaimed, O Allah, make it an acceptable Pilgrimage, and a Forgiveness of Sins, and a laudable Endeavor, and a pleasant Action (in Thy sight), and a store which perisheth not, O Thou Glorious! O Thou Pardoner!'
This was repeated thrice, till we arrived at the Yamani, or south corner, where the crowd being less importunate, we
touched the wall with the right hand, after the example of the Prophet, and kissed the finger-tips. Finally, between the south angle and that of the Black Stone, where our circuit would be completed, we said, O Allah, verily I take refuge
with Thee from Infidelity, and I take Refuge from the Tortures of the Tomb, and from the Troubles of Life and Death. And I fly to Thee from Ignominy in this World and the Next, and I implore Thy Pardon for the Present and for the Future. O Lord, grant to me in this Life Prosperity, and in the next Life Prosperity, and save me from the Punishment of Fire.
"Thus finished a Shaut, or single course round the house.
Of these we performed the first three at the pace called Harwalah, very similar to the French pas gymnastique, or Tarammul, that is to say, moving the shoulders as if walking in sand. The four latter are performed in Ta ammul, slowly and leisurely, the reverse of the Sai, or running.
These seven Ashwat, or courses, are called collectively the Usbu." (Burton's "Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Mecca,"
He continues (p. 169): "Having kissed the stone we fought our way through the crowd to the place called Al-Multazem. Here we pressed our stomachs, chests, and right cheeks to the Ka abah, raising our arms high above our heads and exclaiming, O Allah! O Lord of the Ancient House, free my Neck from Hell-fire, and preserve me from every ill Deed, and make me contented with that daily bread which Thou has given to me, and bless me in all Thou hast
granted! Then came the Istighfar, or begging of pardon:
1 1 beg Pardon of Allah the Most High, who, there is no other God but He, the Living, the Eternal, and unto Him I
repent myself! After which we blessed the Prophet, and then asked for ourselves all that our souls most desired."
Prayer is granted at fourteen places besides Al-Multazem, all of them connected, as we shall see, with the old idolatry
of Arabia. Viz.:
1. At the place of circumambulation.
2. Under the Mizab, or spout of the Ka aba.
3. Inside the Ka aba.
4. At the well Zem Zem.
5. Behind Abraham s place of prayer.
6. On Mt. Safa.
7. On Mt. Marwah.
8. During the ceremony called "Al-Sai."
9. Upon Mount Arafat.
10. At Muzdalifah.
11. In Muna.
12. During the devil-stoning.
13. On first seeing the Ka aba.
14. At the Hatim of Hijr.
"Muna," says Burton (Vol. II, p. 180), more classically called Mina, is a place of considerable sanctity. Its three
standing miracles are these: The pebbles thrown at the Devil return by angelic agency to whence they came; during
the three Days of Drying Meat rapacious beasts and birds cannot prey there; and lastly, flies do not settle upon the
articles of food exposed so abundantly in the bazars. During pilgrimage houses are let for an exorbitant sum, and it
becomes a World s Fair of Moslem merchants. At all other seasons it is almost deserted, in consequence, says popular superstition, of the Rajm or (diabolical) lapidation.
Distant about three miles from Meccah, it is a long, narrow, straggling village, composed of mud and stone houses of one or two stories, built in the common Arab style. Traversing a narrow street, we passed on the left the Great Devil, which shall be described at a future time. After a quarter of an hour's halt, spent over pipes and coffee, we came to an open space, where stands the Mosque Al-Khayf. Here, according to some Arabs, Adam lies, his head being at one end of one long wall, and his feet at another, whilst the dome covers his omphalic region. After passing through the town we
came to Batn al-Muhassir, The Basin of the Troubler (Satan) at the beginning of a descent leading to Muzdalifah (the Approacher), where the road falls into the valley of the Arafat torrent." At noon we reached the Muzdadifah, also called Masha al- Haram, 'the Place dedicated to religious Ceremonies'. It is known in Al-Islam as the 'Minaret without the Mosque' opposed to Masjid Nimrah, which is the Mosque without the Minaret. Half-way between Muna and Arafat, it is ahout three miles from both. "Burton: (Vol. II, pp. 180-7):" Arafat, anciently called Jabal Hal, the Mount of Wrestling in Prayer and now Jabal al-Rahmah, the l Mount of Mercy is a mass of coarse granite split into large blocks, with a thin coat of withered thorns. "(Pp. 188-9):" The Holy Hill owes its name and honors to a well-known legend. When our first parents forfeited Heaven by eating wheat, which deprived them of their primeval purity, they were cast down upon earth. The serpent descended at Ispahan, the peacock at Kabul, Satan at Bilbays (others say Semnan and Seistan), Eve upon Arafat and Adam at Ceylon. The latter, determining to seek his wife, began a journey, to which earth owes its present mottled appearance. Wherever our first father placed his foot which was large a town afterwards arose; between strides will always be country. Wandering for many years, he came to the Mountain of Mercy, where our common mother was continually calling upon his name, and their recognition gave the place the name of Arafat. Upon its summit, Adam, instructed by the archangel Gabriel, erected a Mada'a, or place of prayer: and between this spot and the Nimrah Mosque the couple abode till death. "Burton: (Vol. II, pp. 203-205):" We found a swarming crowd in the narrow road opposite the Jamrat-al-Akabah, or, as it is vulgarly called, the Shaytan al-Kabir the Great Devil. These names distinguish it from another pillar, the Wusta, or Central Place (of stoning), built in the middle of Mima, and a third at the eastern end, Al- Aula or the First Place.
"The Shaytan al-Kabir is a dwarf buttress of rude masonry, about eight feet high by two-and-a-half broad, placed
against a rough wall of stones at the Meccan entrance to Muna. Finding an opening, we approached within about
five cubits of the place, and holding each stone between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, we cast it at the
pillar, exclaiming, In the name of Allah, and Allah is Almighty! (I do this) in Hatred of the Fiend and to his Shame. After which came the Tahlil and the Sana or praise to Allah. The seven stones being duly thrown, we retired, and entering the barber s booth, took our places upon one of the earthen benches around it. This barber shaved our heads, and, after trimming our beards and cutting our nails, made us repeat these words: I purpose loosening my Ihrain according to the Practice of the Prophet, Whom may Allah bless and preserve! O, Allah, make unto me in every Hair, a Light, a Purity, and a generous Reward!
In the name of Allah, and Allah is Almighty!
After following all these details of the ceremony with Burton for our guide, we are ready to ask the why and where
fore of the performances.
If the Jews and Christians had hearkened to the call of Mohammed at Medina when he made the Kibla, Jerusalem,
the course of Moslem history might have been that of an oriental Unitarian sect. But when the Prophet changed the
Kibla from Jerusalem to Mecca he compromised with idolatry and the result was that Islam at its very center has remained pagan. The transformation of the old Pantheon of the Arabs into the house of God which Abraham rebuilt and which Adam himself founded was the legend to justify the adoption of these pagan practices. Other ceremonies which had nothing to do with the Ka aba but which were performed at certain places near Mecca were also adapted to the new religion.
In the tenth year A. H. Mohammed made his pilgrimage to Mecca, the old shrine of his forefathers, and every detail of
superstitious observance which he fulfilled has become the norm in Islam. As Wellhausen says the result is that "we now have the stations of a Calvary journey without the history of the Passion." Pagan practices are explained away by
inventing Moslem legends attributed to Bible characters, and the whole is an incomprehensible jumble of fictitious lore.
The Ka'aba itself in its plan and structure is a heathen temple. The covering of the Ka aba goes back to old heathenism. The Temple was the Bride and she received costly clothing. The building stands with its four corners nearly to the points of the compass; not the sides of the building, but the corners point N.S.E. and W. We may therefore expect, as is the case, that the holy objects were at the corners of the building. The Black Stone is in the E.S.E. corner; the other four corners also had sacred stones which are still places of special worship. The front of the Ka'aba is the N.E. side, and the door is not in the middle but near the Black Stone. Between the Stone and the door is the Multazam, the place where the pilgrim presses himself against the building, hugs the curtain and calls upon God.
On the N.W. side there is an enclosure in the shape of a half-circle called the Hajr, or the Hatim. Wellhausen has a note (p. 74) to show that this enclosure was formerly a part of the Ka'aba but that shortly before Mohammed's time the
building was restored on a smaller foundation. This enclosure, therefore, marks the original size of the heathen
temple. There seems to be no doubt that the Black Stone was the real idol of the Ka aba. Bait Allah and Masjid,
according to Wellhausen, originally signified "the stone" and not "the temple." In ancient days there was an empty well inside the Ka'aba to receive votive offerings. In front of the well stood a human image, that of the god Hobal. One
may still see a similar worship at the tomb of Eve, near Jiddah, where there is a well for offerings under the middle dome which is over the navel of Mother Eve. It has been thought that Hobal, the main god of the Ka aba, was perhaps
"Allah" himself. Others say that the word has connection with Baal the sun-god. When we remember the circumambulation of the Ka'aba seven times, three times rapidly and four times more slowly in imitation of the inner and outer planets, it is not strange to find Baal the sun-god chief of the temple. The present place called Maqam Ibrahim (Sura 2: 119) was originally a stone for offierings. A short distance outside of Mecca are the two hills Al Safa and Al Marwa ; both of these names signify " a stone," i. e., an idol.
The road between them runs almost parallel with the front of the Ka'aba and directly east is the well of Zem Zem, originally also a place for sacred offerings. It contained two golden gazelles among other things. There are many other sacred places in the vicinity formerly associated with idol-worship now transformed by Moslem legend into graves of the saints, etc. Arafat and Muzdalifa are at present only stations where one stops on the pilgrimage. No offerings are brought there. Formerly Muzdalifa was a place of fire-worship. Wackidi says: "Mohammed rode from Arafat towards the fire kindled in Muzdalifa ; this is the hill of the holy fire." The mountain was called Quzah and Wellhausen thinks it may have been the place of the thunder-god whose sign was the rainbow. (Quzah.)
The early history of Mecca shows that it was a place of pilgrimage long before Mohammed. The battle of Islam for the conquest of Arabia was determined at Mecca. This was the capture of the Pagan center. In conquering it Islam was itself conquered. "There is no god but Allah" and the old idol-shrines at Mecca? Dozy has shown that Mecca was an old Jewish center, but his conclusions have been disputed by later writers.4
Not only the pilgrimage itself, but its calendar goes back to paganism. The names of the Arabic months have many of them a pagan significance. Of course the calendar was solar, but Mohammed changed it into a lunar calendar.
Moharram was the month of the great feast. Tree worship and stone worship as we shall see later belong to the old heathenism. In Nagran a date-palm served as god. A number of sacred trees or groves between Mecca and Medina
which formerly were idol temples, are now visited because "Mohammed resided there, prayed there, or had his hair cut
under them." (See Bokhari, 1 : 68-3 : 36.) Prof. A. J. Wensinck in writing on the Hajj in the Encyclopedia of Islam (Vol. II, p. 22 ff.) gives it as his opinion that "great fairs were from early times associated with the Hadjdj which was celebrated on the conclusion of the date-harvest. These fairs were probably the main thing to Muhammed's contemporaries, as they still are to many Muslims. For the significance of the religious ceremonies had even then lost its meaning for the people." Nevertheless the significance of the various rites and ceremonies although no longer understood clearly, point to a pagan origin.
Snouck Hurgronje thinks he sees a solar rite in the wukuf ceremony. Wensinck says: "The god of Muzdalifa was Quzah, the thunder-god. A fire was kindled on the sacred hill also called Quzah. Here a halt was made and this
wukuf has a still greater similarity to that on Sinai, as in both cases the thunder-god is revealed in fire. It may further
be presumed that the traditional custom of making as much noise as possible and of shooting was originally a sympathetic charm to call forth the thunder."
4 "De Israeliten te Mekka van David's tyd enz," Dozy (Leiden).
As soon as the sun was visible, the ifada to Mina used to begin in pre-Islamic times. Mohammed therefore ordained
that this should begin before sunrise; here again we have the attempt to destroy a solar rite. In ancient times they
are said to have sung during the ifada, "ashrik thabir kaima nughir" The explanation of these words is uncertain; it is
sometimes translated: "Enter into the light of morning, Thabir, so that we may hasten." And again we know from a statement in Ibn Hisham (ed. Wustenfeld, p. 76, et seq.), that the stone throwing only began after the sun had crossed the meridian. Houtsma has made it probable that the stoning was originally directed at the sun-demon; important support is found for this view in the foct that the Pilgrimage originally coincided with the autumnal equinox as similar customs are found all over the world at the beginning of the four seasons.
With the expulsion of the sun-demon, whose harsh rule comes to an end with summer, worship of the thunder-god who
brings fertility and his invocation may easily be connected, as we have seen above at the festival in Muzdalifa. The
name tarwiya, "moistening," may also be explained in this connection as a sympathetic rain-charm, traces of which
survive in the libation of Zein Zem water. Other explanations of the stone-throwing are given. Van Vloten connects it with snake-worship or demonolatry and as proof gives the expression used in the Koran so frequently, As Shaitan ar
rajim "the pelted devil." Chauvin finds in it "an example of scopelism (sic) the object being to prevent the cultivation of the ground by the Meccans." Both theories have been refuted by Houtsma.5
Regarding the throwing of the pebbles in the pilgrimage ceremony we may compare what Frazer says in his chapter on the transference of evil to stones and sticks among pagans and animists ("The Scapegoat," pp. 23-24): 6 See Art. "Hadjdj in the Encyclop. of Islam," Vol. II, p. 200.
"Sometimes the motive for throwing the stone is to ward off a dangerous spirit; sometimes it is to cast away an evil;
sometimes it is to acquire a good. Yet, perhaps, if we could trace them back to their origin in the mind of primitive man, we might find that they all resolve themselves more or less exactly into the principle of the transference of evil.
For to rid themselves of an evil and to acquire a good are often merely opposite sides of one and the same operation;
for example, a convalescent regains health in exactly the same proportion as he shakes off his malady. And though the practice of throwing stones at dangerous spirits, especially at mischievous and malignant ghosts of the dead, appears
to spring from a different motive, yet it may be questioned whether the difference is really as great to the savage as it
seems to us." ..."Thus the throwing of the sticks or stones would be a form of ceremonial purification, which among primitive peoples is commonly conceived as a sort of physical rather than moral purgation, a mode of sweeping or
scouring away the morbid matter by which the polluted person is supposed to be infected. This notion perhaps explains
the rite of stone-throwing observed by pilgrims at Mecca; on the day of sacrifice every pilgrim has to cast seven stones on a cairn, and the rite is repeated on the three following days.
The traditional explanation of the custom is that Mohammed here drove away the devil with a shower of stones; but the
original idea may perhaps have been that the pilgrims cleanse themselves by transferring their ceremonial impurity to the stones which they fling on the heap."
Dr. Snouck Hurgronje gives, in addition, the following pagan practices of the pilgrimage. It is commonly supposed that in the time of ignorance two idols were worshiped on Safa and Marwa, and the names of these idols are mentioned. In the second chapter of the Koran, Verse 153, the pagan custom observed by the Arabs before Islam is sanctioned. Prof. Hurgronje thinks that the existence of the small sanctuaries around the Ka aba are due to the existence of sacred trees, stones and wells, which formerly were pagan places of worship, but were afterwards Islamized by stating that under such a tree the Prophet sat down this stone spoke to him on that stone he sat down and certain wells even were made sacred because Mohammed spat in them.
(Azraqi, p. 438, quoted in Hurgronje, p. 123.)
A little south of the valley of Arafat there is a small hill called the Hill of Grace, on the top of which there was for merly a small building with a dome. At present it is connected with Um Salima, but its origin is lost in obscurity.
When the Wahhabis came to Mecca and desired to purify it of idolatry, they destroyed these places. Prof. Hurgronje
concludes that while the general ritual of the pilgrimage is Mohammedan, there are many practices that now are con
demned as innovations, which are in reality old Arabian and pagan in their character. His conclusion at the end of his
learned paper is this:
"Should Sprenger s hope ever be fulfilled, and it is not probable that a school of Tiibingen critics should arise in Islam, then surely the feast at Mecca and the pilgrim ceremonies would be the first to disappear among the practices which belong to the heart of the Moslem religion."