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Ibn Battuta in Delhi - ~ MA(Panjab Ph by MAHDI EUSAIN...

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Unformatted text preview: . ~ MA- (Panjab), Ph. by MAHDI EUSAIN, D. (London), D.Lit. (Sorbonne, .Paris) - CHAPTER XI SUL’I‘AN MUHAMMAD SHAH (CONTINUED) 0m arrival at the sultdn’s palace on our reaching Dehlt, the sultan being away When we arrived at Dehli' the capital, we went to the sultan’s palace. We entered the first, second and third gates in succession. On each gatewe found the palace oflicers (nuqabd) who have been described before. ‘When we came to them, their chief showed us into a vast and spacious reception-hall . Where we saw the vezir, flwaja J ahan, who was expecting us. The first of us to enter was Ziya-ud-din fludawandzada, who'was followed by his brother, , inam-ud-din. Then followed their-\ brother ‘ Im5d~ud-din, who was followed by me; and I by their brother Burhan- ud- din, who was followed by Amir Mubarak of Samarqand, Aran Bug_a Turki, Malikzada— Khudawandzada’ s nephew 1—and Badr- ud- din al- Fassal respectively. When we entered the third gate we came into the great council- hall2 called hazdr sutun (asylum) that is, the hall of one thousand pillars, wherein the sultan held his public courts At that time the vezir bowed bending his head nearly to the earth and we bowed—~our heads bent to the knees ‘ and our fingers touching the ground—in the direction of the sultan’ s throne. And all those who formed our company bowed likewise. When we had finished bowing, the heralds called out ‘Bismillah’ in a loud voice and we _ walked out. Our arrival in the house of the sultan’s mother and her good qualities The sultan’s mother called. Mukhdfima-i-jahan3 is one of the most virtuous women. She is very charitable and has built many hospices wherein she has made provision for feeding the wayfarers. But she has lost her eyesight, which came about in this way When her son ascended the throne all the ladies and maliks’ and amirs’ daughters dressed in their best clothes came to pay her visits. She was seated on a gold throne studded with jewels All of them bowed to her. Then all of a sudden she lost her eyesight. She was treated in various ways, but to no effect. Her son venerates her exceedingly, an instance of which 1s afforded by the fact that once his mother travelled with him; but he returned a -little earlier than she. When she arrived, he proceeded to receive her and got down from his horse, she being in the palanquin; then he kissed‘1 her foot publicly in View of all. Let us return to our subject. When we left the sultan’ s palace, the vezir came out with us up to the turning- door (bab-us-sarf), Which is W 1 I. e. sister’ s son. 2 See p. 57, footnote 5. 3 I. e. the Lady of the world. 4 This practice is absolutely in conformity with the Islamic injunctions regarding parental reverence. SUL'er MUnAMMAD sHLH (CONTINUED) 11% called the bab- ul- Itamm. 1 This is the residence of the Makhdfima-i-jahan; - and on arriving at the gate We alighted from our horses. Each of. us had brought a present according to his means.- The chief justice2 Kamal- ud-din bin Burhan entered With us; then entered the vezir who bowed at the gate; and so d1d, we The secretary at the gate (katib- ul- bab) registered our presents. Then there came a group of page- -,boys andtheir chief having come up to the vezir whispered something to him. Thereupon they returned to the palace, came back to the vezir and again returned 7 to the palace. All this while we remained standing, but later we were asked to sit 1n a portico that was there. Then food was brought, and gold pitchers called suyun were brought. These are shaped like cauldrons and have gold stands called subuk. Then . were brought cups,p1ates and ewers—all these being made of gold. The food was laid out on two dinner-carpets, each bearing two rows of visitors; and at’the head of each row sat a chief visitor. When we proceeded to take dinner, the chamberlains and heralds bowed and we bowed as they did. Then the sherbet was brought, which we drank and the chamberlains called out ‘Bismz‘lldh.’ . Then we ate; and barley-drink 3 and betel-leaf were brought in succession. Again, the chamberlains called out ‘Bismilldk,’ At.(that time allof ‘ us bowed. ‘Then we were called to a'specified place and were awarded silk robes. embroidered with gold. :.Then we were taken to the palacegate where we bowed; and the chamberlains called out ‘Bismilldh.’ The vezir stood up, and we stood by him. Then was brought from inside the palace a chest containing unsewn‘clothes of silk, linen and cotton. ' Every one of us received his share from it. After this was brought a large tray of gold containing dry fruits and. a similar tray containing rose- water and still another tray containing betel- leaves. It is customary with them that the person for whom these articles are brought from the palace holds the tray' in one hand, plaCes it upon his shoulder, and makes a bow _with the other, almost touching- the ground. The vezir took the tray purposely in his 'hand . With a view to . instruct '4 _me how I should act. ,1 This he did by _way of kindness, .. hospitality, and. - goodness. ,‘May God grant him good recompense for it! I acted like him. Then we retired to the - house which had been set apart for us in the city of Dehli close to the Palam‘ (Bdlam) gate and victuals were sent for us. Conci'uz'al entertainment. When I arrived at the house which had been prepared for me I found ,' therein all the necessary things such‘ as bedding, carpets, mats, utensils 1 Le. the sacred area. I . g _ 3 The MS. No. 909 has .LgLJl ”.55 while other MSS. have hill...” 5.36.01 41.]! HA; ‘5‘” as has been shown in Chapter II, p. 12. Defrémery and Sanguinetti have given a very useful note upon it (Vol. III, p. 37 7): . 3 Le. Eli. See p. 66 81142111.. _ . 4 Such was the great stress thenlaid on the observance of the court etiquette. . I 120 THE REHLA or 11m BArzijurA and'cots.1 a’The cots in India are portable, and a single man can carry one. It is necessary for- every traveller to carry his cot with him and his. Servant carries it on his head. The cot consists of feur tapering legs on which stretch four sticks, and between them is made a net of silk or cotton. When one sleeps on it one does not need to keep it supple, as it is supple by itself " Then they brought along with the cot two mattresses, two pillows and _ a quilt—all made of silk. It' is a custom in India to cover the mattresses and the blankets with white sheets of linen or cotton.‘ .When the covers become dirty they are washed; and thus the inner parts are kept safe. That night there came two men, one was a miller whom they_call [Lhawds and the other a butcher who is called qassdb. .We were told to' take a specified quantity of flour and meat from each of them. I do not remember now what that amount was; it is customary to give flour and meat in an equal measure. This is the account of the feast given by the sultan’ s mother. And subsequently there came to us the sultan’s feast, which Will be related shortly. . On the morrow, we rode-fto the Sultan’s palace, and saluted the vezir Who gave me two money-bags each containing one thousand .tankas. (diner dardhim) saying, ‘ This is sar-shustz‘ ’—that is, for your ‘head-wash ’.2 ”Then he' gave me a robe of fine wool and made a note of all my companions, servants and pages, who were divided into. four classes—those of the _ first class were awarded two hundred dinars each, those of the second class one hundred and fifty dinars each, those of the third class one hundred diners each, and those of the fourth seventy-five dinars each. They were about ferty all told, and the total sum given to them came to about four thousand dinars and odd. After that, the victuals to be given by the sultan were'fixed—ethat is, one thousand» Indian ratls of flour, one-third ‘of which was refined flour called darmak and two-thirds of bran, that is, the buttered one (medium), and one ‘thousand ratls of meat and a considerable number of ratls of sugar, of ghee, of honey 3 and betel-nut, the amount of which I do not remember, and a thousand betel- leaves. The Indian mg“ is equal to tWenty ratls of Morocco and twenty-five Egyptian ratls. The victuals received by @udawandzada were four thousand ratls of flour, the same amount of meat and the other relative articles which we have mentioned. ' My daughter’s death and the Observances on this occasion , - One and a half month after our arrival my. daughter, Who was-less than a year old, died. The news of her death reached the vezir who ordered her to be buried in] the hospice which he had built outside the 2 See p. 59 supra, footnote 3 and p. 73, footnote 4. 3 I read the word who as 611... as given in the MS. 909. Us)...» is the Arabic 'word for honey-comb (al- Qamxus, Teheran, 1277 A ”H ). “ See p. 232 infra, footnote 1. 1 . / songs}: MUnAMMAD SHAH (CONTINUED) 121 Palam (Bdldm) gate near the tomb of our1 Shaikh Ibrahim Qfinavi; and so we buried her there. The vezir wrote about this to the sultan, whose reply was received in the evening of the following day,2 although the distance between the sultan? s hunting-ground and the capital was a journey of ten days. . ' It is a custom in India for the people to go to the grave ‘of the deceased in the morning of the third day after the burial. Carpets and silk cloths are spread on all sides of the grave, which is covered with flowers. No season of the year is without flowers, such as jasmine, gul shabbu—which has a yellow colour—”filial which is white and msrin which is of two varieties, white and yellow. orange and lemon branches bearing fruit are also placed on the grave. Fruits are attached to the branches by means of threads if the branches happen to bear none. Then dry fruits and copra, 3 are strewn ‘on the grave and people assemble around it taking their respective copies of the'Qur’an which they recite there. When a whole Qur’an has been recited, rose-drink is brought and the people drink it. Then rose-water is sprinkled on them and betel-leaves are served ; and they disperse. The third day after the burial of this daughter I went out, as was customary, early in the morning having made necessary arrangements as best as I could; but 'I found the vezir had already arranged everything. Under his orders the grave had been roofed with a tent-enclbsure where- .assembledm‘en like Shams-ud-din al-Ffishan'ji—the chamberlain (hdjib) who had welcomed us in Sind~and Qazi Nigam-ud-din al-Karvani and many ”other important men of the city. And as I came I found the aforesaidpeople- had taken their respective seats with the chamberlain in their midst—all engaged in reciting the Qur’an. I also set by the grave along with my com- panions. After they had finished reciting the Qur’ an, some master reciters (qu‘mi’) 4 recited it in a very sweet voice. This done, the qdzi stood up and 'read an elegy on the deceased daughter and praised the sultan; and as the sultan’s name was ,pronounced,_all stood up and bowed. Then they sat and the ngi invoked divine blessings. After this, the chamberlain and his staff took barrels of rose- water and sprinkled it on the assembly (0112- nds), then they passed round bowls of sugar- -candy drinks and distributed betel- leaves. Next, I as well as my companions were awarded eleven robes. Later, the chamberlain mounted on horse, so did we, riding along with him to the royal palace Where we bowed in the direction of the throne according to the '.custom Then I returned to my house; but hardly had I reached when food came from the house of Makhduma- 1- jahanp The meals were so abundant that they filled my lodging as well as the abodes 1 He was a non~Indian being an inhabitant of Konia. 2This shows how quick and efficient was the postal service. - 3 The text has mirjil. ( (11;)[5 ) meaning a coco-nut. But I _feel that Ibn Battfita meant copier—one of the dry fruits . 4 Qurm is the plural of quirk—a well- known term signifying a master- reciter specializing in the phonetics of the Holy Qur’ an ‘122‘ ‘ THE REHLA or iBN'BAQrfiZL‘A of my companions All dined accordingly and so did the poor; still many loaves and sweets, and refined sugar remained unconsumed for several days. All this was done under the orders of the sultan. , After a few days a dolal was brought by some pages from the , ' Makhdfima- i jahan’ s: house. It was a litter 111 which women are conveyed, and which is sometimes used by men -.too The tide which resembles a cot has its upper part made of cotton or silk cords, and over it there is a stick similar to that found on parasols 1n our country; and it is made from~ bent Indian reeds. It is carried by eight bearers divided in two equal batches, four shouldering it at a time while the remaining four rest. The~ dolas function in India almost in the same way as donkeys' 1n Egypt; and .many a man uses the dola as conveyance For those who oWn slaves it is they who ply the dole, but thoée who own no slaves hire men for this _ purpose. They are to be found in small numbers in the markets of a town and 1n front of the royal palace and at the gentry’ s door looking fer employment. The dolas used by women are overhung with silk curtains. Such was also the said dola which the pages brought from the house of the sultan’ s mother. They carried my slave girl, that is, the mother of the deceased daughter, 111 this dola; and along with her I sent a Turkish maid- servant to be presented to the sultan’ s mother. My slave girl spent the night there, and she came back the following day. She was awarded a sum of one thousand tankas (dimir dardht'm) together with gold bracelets studded with jewels, a gold necklace similarly studded, a linen shirt embroidered yvith gold and a robe of silk embroidered with gold, besides sheets of drapery. When she brought all these things I gave them away to my companions. and to those merchants from whom I had borrowed to save my honour, since informers used to report all about me to the sultan. Sultan’s and cezir’s favours on me during the farmer’s absence from file . capital -During my stay at Dehli the sultan ordered a certain number of. villageshwhose revenue came to five thousand dinars annually, to be assigner me. The vezir and the government ofiicials (ahl- ud- dtwd’n) assigned them to me and I set out for those places——that 1s the village named .Badali2 and another Basahi3 and one- -hal_f of the village named Balara. 4 1 A smaller variety of what Ibn Battuta calls dolo is commonly known as doli. . It should be noted that dolz' 15 still in use in some parts of the country in almost the same form as has been described by Ibn Battfita. The difference lies' 1n the fact that only two bearers are required for shouldering the etch, for it is smaller in size. The'bigger one which requires eight bearers is called pinata, 1061qu or dola, and ‘it is a symbol of family prestige' 111 some of the old families of Oudh. 2 Badali or Bad]! is a village and railway station on the East Indian Railway, north-west of Delhi.‘ 3 & 4 Basahi or Basai and Balara were two villages north-east of Delhi. SUerAN MUHAMMAD SHEH (CONTINUED) 123 These villages lay at a distance of sixteen kiroh 1 that is, mil 2 from Dehli ' in the sadt of Hindpat. 3 The wait in India is a collection of a hundred villages, and the territories4 dependent upon a. city are divided into sadis each of which 1s ' under a chowdhri ( jautri), the latter being the chief of the local infidels and a mutasarrif—an officer charged with collecting the taxes. At that time there arrived in Dehli some female infidel captives, ten of Whom the vezir» sent to me. I gave one of these to the man who had brought them to me, but he was not satisfied. My companions took three young girls, and I do not know What happened to the fest. In India female captives are low-priced because they are dirty and know, nothing of the town manners. Even those who are educated can be had at a cheap price; no one, therefore, stands in need of buying the captive girls. . M 1 & 2 For kiroh and mil, see p. 3,’,footnote supra. 3 The Arabic form is Hindbat. For Hindpat or Indrapat, one of the pats of the time of the Mahabharata, see p. 43 supra. 7 4 I .é. the suburbs of a city. CHAPTER XII g SUL'I‘AN MUHAMMAD SHAH (CONTINUED) _ In India the infidels. occupy one continuouspiece of land and inhabit regions which are adjacent to those of the Muslims. The Muslims dominate the infidels; but the latter fortify themselves in mountains, in rocky, uneven and rugged placesas well as in bamboc') groves. ' In India’the bamboo is not hollow; it is big. Its several parts are so intertwined that even fire cannotvaffect them, and they are on the whole very strong. The'infidels live in those forests'which serve them as ramparts, inside'which are their cattle and their crops. There is also water for them . within, that is rain water which collects there. Hence they cannot be subdued except by means of powerful armies, who, entering those forests, cut down the bamboos with specially prepared instruments. ‘Idlwhich I witnessed during the sultdn’s absence The ,‘Td-ul-Fttr 1 came, and the sultan had not returned to the capital. On the day of ‘Id the orator (lglzattb) mounted an elephant, on whose back was ' placed a seat like a throne with four flags on its four corners. . The orator M 1 ‘Id-ul-Fr'tzr is a great festival—greater and more popular than the ‘Id-uLAghIi described in the course of Chapter VI (p. 61)—although' it is called or was originally set forth as ‘Id-us-saghtr (the minor ‘Id) as compared to the ‘Id-ul-Aghd which was shown as ‘Id-ul—kabixr (the major ‘Id). ‘ ‘Id-ul-Ft’tr is celebrated throughout the Muslim world to mark the close of the month of fasting, Le. Ra/magdn (vtde p. 29, supra). The first of the month of Shawwdl which succeeds the' month of Ramgdn is called Id-ul-Fr'tr because the Muslims are. ’ required that day’ to break their prolonged fast and to offer special thanksgiving service (namziz) in congregation as far as possible and then to give firm” (aims) to the poor. It should be noted that fitra is a special kind of alms—a donation to be given, to one person as a whole without being divided up amongst two or many. It is behaved that the five, if rightly dispensed, will standa guarantee for the protection of the person in. whose name it has been given from unforeseen calamities in the course of the following year. That is why the fligm must be given by all men and women who can ‘ . afford to do so on behalf of every member of the family including small children and babies in the wombs as well as the dependents, guests and servants. This is obligatory on every believer, for one, who in spite of his or her possessing livelihood for a whole year does not give the fitra—the measure and nature of which has been specified—runs the risk of incurring Allah’s displeasure.' Neither his or her feats of the month of Ramagtin will be accepted by Him nor any other good deed of his including the performance of the anz and the recitation of the 'Qur’an. In fact ‘Id-ul-Fttr is' the day of meditation when the believers pray to Allah to discipline their lives and mend their morals after the models of discipline and morality set by the Prophet and his true followers. They recall how strongly Isldm deprecates the hoarding of wealth and how strenuously the Prophet endeavoured all his life to help the poor and to encourage the circulation of capital and to fight against capitalism. SULrAN MUHAMMAD SHAH (CONTINUED) 125 was dressed in black. Before him rode the muezzins mounted on elephants, and they called out "Alldh-o-akbar.’1= The jurists and judges of the city were on horseback; and each of them bore a sum which he distributed in charity on'his way tothe place 2 of prayers on which was raised alcanopy of cotton, and the floor of which was all carpeted. The people assembled reciting the name of Allah the exalted; then the orator conducted the congregational prayer and delivered a sermon. Afterwards, the people retired to their houses while we returned to the sultan’s palace. There dinner was served, and it ...
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