Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 128
houses or elsewhere; and what is more, no one is compelled to say prayers. If, however, it were known that a man did not say them at all, no one would eat or hold intercourse with him: that is all the punishment that would befall him; and such a one, they would say, was not a good Mussulman ; and for this reason they nearly all do it; yet it is a heavy tax upon their time, whether they are busy or not. They also use beads, as we do, but without crosses.
Before entering the temple they wash their feet, hands, ears, mouth, and eyes, using the while certain ceremonies and prayers, which vary according to the hour, festival, or other occasion ; for example, when they have performed the offices of nature, or touched their privy parts, they have to wash and to say prescribed prayers; so also, after sexual intercourse they must bathe the whole body,1 and say other prayers; if it has been with his own wife, they must be of another kind, for they hold themselves polluted by it, and they would not omit this ceremony for anything, believing that by this means they are purified of their sins and defilements. What I considered indecent, besides the superstition of their damnable and abominable errors, was their washing and bathing all in the public gaze, and many together, and saying their prayers quite loud, whereby from their various prayers one became aware of their most secret doings,awhen they had slept with their wives, and when not, and when with other women.
All are circumcised (they call circumcision Seunatf)athat is to say, the male childrenawhen they reach the age of seven ; then they hold a feast for all comers, which lasts for ten
1 The references here are to the greater and less ablutions, ghusl and wudu, the former being used after such pollutions as he mentions, the latter on every occasion before prayer (see Sale, Koran, Prel. Disc.).
2 Ar. sunnah, athe dutya. Christopher gives the M. verb gebaindang, ato circumcisea. The age varies between six and sixteen among Mahom-medans, but the rite is not performed until the boy can distinctly pronounce the profession of faith (Sale, Koran, Prel. Disc.).2 Ar. sunnah, a the dutya . Christopher gives the M. verb gebaindang, a to circumcisea . The age varies between six and sixteen among Mahom-medans, but the rite is not performed until the boy can distinctly pronounce the profession of faith (Sale, Koran, Prel. Disc.).