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A booth like the booth of Moses.pdf 150 NOTES ANDCOMMUNICATIONS 'A BOOTH LIKE THE BOOTH OF MOSES...' A STUDY OF AN EARLY HADITH 1 I The chapterabout innovationsin mosquesin al-Turiishi's Kit&b al-ha•wdith 2 wa-'l-bida' contains a remarkabletradition about the building of the mosque of the Prophet in Medina which deserves special attention. This tradition, not includedin the orthodoxcollectionsof hadith,is of considerable importance: it seems to belong to a large body of early traditions omitted by later collectors of and it may throw some light on an attitude of the Prophet which had•ith, was later ignored by Muslim scholars. This tradition may help us to understand the views and opinions of the early Muslimscholars. The hadith referredto is told anonymously and runs as follows: 'Abu'lDarda' and Ubayy b. Ka'b measured the mosque; they came afterwards to the Prophet with the rod of the cubit. The Prophet then said: " Nay, a booth like the booth of Moses: thumdm and wood, because the affair wathumdm"n (will happen) sooner than that (bal 'arish""ka-'arWish' M•sd min dkilika a),," The hadithis obscureand abstruse '. a'jal" khashabunfa-'l-amr* and the editor, Muhammadal-Talibi,remarksthat he could not find this story in the collections of traditions about the building of the mosque in Medina, or about the building of the three mosques, nor in the Nihdya of Ibn al-Athir ; he could not find anything which may elucidate the text in the collections of of the biographiesof the Companions the Prophet,nor in the stories about the life of Moses.4 This tradition is, however, given in al-Suyfiti's al-Jdmi' al-saghir" in two versions: (a) a version which contains only a part of the tradition, and (b) a version in which the tradition is reportedin full; both versions contain some slight deviations from the text of al-Turtilshi. The two versions of al-Suyiiti were copied by al-Nabhini in his book al-Fath al-kabir.* The secondpart of the traditionis found in quite a differentcontext, without being connected with the building of the mosque in Medinaor with that of any mosque at all. It is reportedby al-Tirmidhi in the Bdb qisar al-ama2and by 1 Professor R. B. Serjeant kindly agreed to read this article in typescript and has added a few valuable notes, the contents of which are given below. The author wishes to express sincere thanks for the interest Professor Serjeant has shown and for his comments. 2 Abfi Bakr Mubammad b. al-Walid al-Turtfishi, Kitdb al-hatmidith wa-'l-bida', ed. Mubammad al-Tilibi, Tunis, 1959, pp. 93-9. 3 Professor Serjeant remarks that he has often seen roofs built in such a way in South Arabia. These would be He writes (in a letter): ' Khashab would be beams, perhaps palm-trunks. On top of this would be added some wet covered with smaller branches, and then with thum•m. is better tUnand tibn, clay mixed with chopped straw, and this would form the roof. Khushaybdt than khashab because it would mean presumably little branches'. ' P. 94, n. 6. 5 II, 58, 'arsh ka-'arsh Misd ; 59, 'arish ka-'arish Misd thumam wa-khushaybat wa-'l-amr a'jal min dhdlika. c I, 226, 228. 204, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1353. 7Ix, NOTES ANDCOMMUNICATIONS 151 1; Ibn Mija in the &Bbal-bind'wa-'l-khardb Abi! Di'fid quotes the tradition in the Kitib al-adab,in Bdb m The tradition,told on the authority jal'aft'l-bind'., of al-A'mash,runs, in the reportof al-Tirmidhi,as follows : ' 'Abdullahb. 'Amr said: The Messengerof God passed by us when we were busy (repairing)a hut of ours and asked us : "What is this ? " We answered: "It threatened to fall, thereforewe repairit ". The Prophetsaid: "I think the affairwill outstrip that" '. In the collections of Ibn Mija and of Abil Di'id the tradition is also reported on the authority of al-A'mash, but there are some differencesin the formulation of the statement of the Prophet : Md ard al-amr ill a'jal min dhalika, and al-amr asra' min dhdlika. This saying of the Prophet is thus the same as that reportedin the second part of our tradition. There is, however, a differenceof meaning between the saying as quoted by al-Turtfishiand the same saying as reportedby Ibn Mija, AbfitDi'tid, and al-Tirmidhi. The keyword for the understanding of the two traditions is the word amr 'affair'. This word must be interpretedin the tradition of al-Tirmidhi,Ibn Mija, and Abfi Di'fid as meaning 'death '. This is actually the interpretationgiven by Muhammadb. 'Abd al-Hidi al-Hanafi al-Sindiin his commentaryon Ibn Maja. In the same way we can also explain the saying of al-Hasan who, when asked min dMika.4 The meaning of why he did not wash his shirt, said: al-amrawra' the tradition would be: there is no need to repair (or to plaster a wall with Di'id) even huts; death will outstrip clay, as in one of the versions of AbAi your efforts. This saying is in harmony with other statements of the Prophet and his utterances in the Bab gi.r al-amal (e.g. '. .. Be in this world like a wayfarer . . . Ibn 'Umar said: getting up do not hope for the evening . . .') and in the Bdb al-bind'wa-'l-kkarab ... Every expense of the believer will be (' rewardedexcept the expense of building...). The meaning 'death' can, however, hardly apply to the word amr in the tradition of al-Turtfish. The Prophet can hardly be assumed to have told Abu'l-Dardi' and Ubayy not to build mosquesbecause death (i.e. his or theirs) would outstrip the completion of the building; the Prophet's death or that of the builders can hardly be a reason for an injunction to build the mosque in a provisionalway, like the booth of Moses, for the mosque could well serve tradition the believers even after their death. The meaning of al-Turt.ishi's seems thus to be quite different: amr denotes here an affair which will put an end to life in general; it will put an end to worship as well. It means in this 1 r, 540, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1349. Sp, 347, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1348. SIn a modern text from al-Shibr : idha jwr amr AllAh 'ald [ful&n] "if so and so dies". I am translating this phrase as " God's command ". The context is that if a isherman dies, i.e. God's command comes to him, yet his family will continue to receive his share in the fishing -crew'searnings till the end of the fishing season' (R. B. Serjeant). 4 Ibn al-'Arabi, Mubdwrt at-abrar,i, 198. 5 This tradition was emended; the clause added states, 'except the expenses of building mosques '. These expenses will, of course, be rewarded. See a-IIkisdb, 79. Cf. Musaad al: ' Ibn 'AbbAs: the Prophet said : He who builds a mosque for Allah even like p. Tiayshsi, 341 a sand a hollow (dug by) grouse (for laying eggs), Allah will build for him a house in Paradise'. 152 NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS context destruction,disaster, calamity in which everything will perish. In this tradition of al-Turtiishiamris identicalin meaningwith al-sd'a,the time of total calamity which will be followed by the resurrection. The Prophet said to Abu'l-Dard' : 'The amr, the Day of Judgment, may be sooner than that', for he believed that the s&'a was at hand; there was no need, therefore,to erect not even for mosques. A remarkabletradition quoted by sumptuousbuildings, al-Bayhaqi on the authority of Ibn 'Abbis may be mentioned to strengthen this point. 'The Prophet said: I have not been orderedto build the mosque This meaning of amr as sumptuously (md umirtu bi-tashyid al-masjid)'. identical with al-sd'a can already be detected in the Qur'an, xvi, 1; this is also the explanation given there by the commentators.2 The fact that the Prophetwas overpowered the feeling of the approaching by Day of Judgment, which was duly stressed by Buhl3 and T. Andrae,4may be illustrated by a tradition comprehensively explained by al-Sharif al-Raai.5 'The Prophet said : I was sent at the breath of the Day of Judgment; the Day almost outstripped me' (bu'ithtu nasam al-s&'a,in k4dat la-tasbiquni ft min al-thaqila]). Another version of this tradition [the in here is mukhaffafa is also mentioned by the author; it has nafas instead of nasam. The first version is explained as denoting beginning, and should therefore be literally translated: 'I was sent at the first blowing of the wind of the s&'a'; the meaningis derivedfromthe idea of a breath of wind at the beginningof-theday. The second version, nafas, is said to be derived from the idea of delay, pause. Thus the tradition can be interpretedin two differentways: (a) the Prophet was sent at a time when the Day of Judgment was just about to begin; (b)the Prophet was sent at a time when the Day of Judgment was almost at hand; Allah postponed it for a while, and during this pause the Prophet was sent. A similar tradition is quoted by al-Tirmidhi and by Ibn the mosque of the It is obvious why this tradition about the building ofH.ibban.7 Prophet as quoted in the book of al-Turt•ishiwas omitted by Muslimscholars. The Day of Judgment did not come in the days of the Prophet and there was no reason to quote a tradition which stated clearly that the Prophet believed that the sd'a would happen in his own lifetime. II We can, fortunately, trace the first part of the tradition in other sources. It served as an argumentfor scholarswho claimedthat mosquesshould be built in an austere and modest style, like the mosque of the Prophet. Thus we have Kitib al-sunan al-kubra, II, 439. Ibn Qutayba, al-Qurtayn, 1, 242, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1355; of. P. Casanova, Mohammed et la fin du monde, 15. 3 Das Leben Muhammeds, 145, 157. * Mohammed, 43. 5 Casanova, op. cit., 18 (1), 20, 57. al-Majazat al-nabawiyya, p. 36 ; of.cL 6 Bab al-fitan, xx, 60. 7 1, 9. 2 I NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS 153 the following tradition, told on the authority of Salim b. 'Atiyya : 'The Prophet said: A booth like the booth of Moses'. The explanation given says: 'He did not like arches 1 about the mosques' (ya'ni annahu kana yakrahu al-taqfi hawdli al-masdjid).2 A slightly different interpretation is The circumstances given to this traditionin Kitdbal-wara'of Ahmadb. H.anbal.3 are also different. in which this saying was uttered according to Ibn H.anbal People asked the Prophet to adorn the walls of the mosque (an yukahhila al-masjid), and the Prophet said: 'No, a booth like the booth of Moses'. The compiler, Ahmad b. explains: 'It is a varnish like antimony H.anbal, (kuhl); the Prophet did not allow it'. Quite a differentversion of this tradition is given in an early treatise compiled by Muhammadb. Hasan al-Shaybani (died A.H.189), summarizedby his pupil Muhammadb. Sama'a (died A.H. 233), in his book al-Iktisib fi al-rizq 'People offered the Prophet to pull down his mosque and to al-mustat.b: The Prophet answered: No, a booth like the booth of Moses'.4 build it anew. The tradition is also quoted in the book of Nasr b. Muzdhim,Waq'atSiffin.5 It is quoted there on the authority of : ' When the Prophet intended al-H.asan to build his mosquehe said: Build for me a booth like the booth of Moses'. In the sources quoted above the expression about the dry branches and thumnmis missing; the second part of the tradition, about the amr which will outstrip the effort of the builders,has been cut off. III The whole tradition of al-Turtfishi is found in the Tabaqdtof Ibn Sa'd (1, 2, p. 2; in the edition of Cairo, A.H. 1358, vol. II, p. 5). The Prophet, says the tradition of Ibn Sa'd, covered the mosque with palm branches. He was asked: Why not cover with a ceiling ? The Prophet answered: 'A booth 1 The word 'arch' is used here to translate Arabic ftq. According to Professor Serjeant or taqa is in South Arabian usage a window, an aperture (letter dated 20 August 1960), '.t&q (especially in a technical sense, to a tomb), a niche in a wall for holding a lamp or something of the kind. Such a niche in my experience is usually made in a clay wall and may be topped by a round arch or pointed arch (in clay), or it could simply have a wooden top on the post and lintel These features of building, mentioned by Professor Serjeant, did not exist in the principle'. mosque of the Prophet, and orthodox circles were opposed to them. It was 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz who was the first to build the mibrab in the form of a niche when he rebuilt the mosque in Medina by order of al-Walid (details about this innovation, Creswell, A short account of early Muslim architecture, 44). The tq al-imAm in the traditions quoted by al-Turtishi seems thus to be identical with the mikrab (cf., eg., p. 94, fa-min dhalika al-maharib... fa-taqaddama al-Hasan wa-tazala al-taq an yusalliya fihi . . . wa-kariha al-salat fi tdq al-imAm al-Nakha'i .. .). The fundamental sense of mibrab, as elucidated by Professor Serjeant, was in fact columns and a space it was introduced between them. Mi4rdb in the form of an arched niche was an innovation; at the end of the seventh century and was fiercely opposed by the orthodox. Tdq as mihrab was considered as bid'a. 2 Al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan, ii, 439. 3 Ed. Cairo, A.H. 1340, p. 107 ; compiled by Abdi Bakr Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Marwazi. 4 P. 78 - Ed. Beirut, p. 238. Also 'Umdat al-akhbdr, p. 81. Cf. Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyya, ZCd al-ma'ad, 1i, 146. VOL. XXV. PART 1. 13 154 NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS like the booth of Moses, wood pieces and thumam; the affair (will happen) sooner than that '.' The same tradition, told on the authority of Shahrb. Haushab2and quoted in the Sira Halabiyya,3 contains a few interesting additions: 'When the Prophet wanted to build the mosque he said: " Build for me a booth like the booth of Moses, thumdmdt and dry branches and a covering like the covering of Moses, and the affair (will happen) sooner than that ". He was asked: "What is a covering of Moses ? " and he answered: "When he stood up his head touched the ceiling"'. This very tradition is quoted by Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Hamidal-'Abbisi in his' Umdatal-akhbdrfimadinatal-mukhttr4; the source given is the collection of Razin.5 Anotherversion of this tradition, in a slightly differentform, is given by the 'Umdatal-akhbdr the Sira Halabiyya: 'When the Prophet wanted to build and the mosque he was told [the Sira Halabiyya comments: Gabriel told him]: " A booth like the booth of Moses, thy brother ". Anas said : Thus the Prophet built it the first time from palm-branches; four years after the hijra he built the mosque from bricks '.6 A tradition quoted in both books mentions a different situation upon which the saying was uttered. Rain used to drip into the mosque. Since the covering contained little clay, the mosque was filled with muddy water. The believers then came to the Prophet and asked him to give an order that the ceiling be plastered with clay, in order to prevent the rain from drippinginto the mosque. The Prophet answered: 'No, a booth like the booth of Moses'. The mosque was left in this state until the death of the Prophet.7 In conclusion we may assume that the tradition quoted by al-Turtfishi was already widely spread in the circles of Muslim scholarsat the beginning of the third century of the hijra, or even at the end of the second century. Quoted from Ibn Sa'd in Nuwayri, Nihlyat al-arab, xvi, 345. See his biography, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, Iv, 369. 3 Ed. Cairo, A.H. 1320, n, 71; Sirat DahlAn (on margin of Halabiyya), I, 357. 4 Ed. As'ad Taribziini, p. 80. According to a tradition mentioned in the Sfrat al-Dimy4tT, quoted in the Halabiyya (loc. cit.), the explanation of the booth of Moses is given by al-Hasan, who reported the tradition. 5 Razin b. Mu'iwiya b. 'Ammir al-'AbdAri (d. 535/1140), cf. Brockelmann, GAL, Suppl., I, 630. 6 The saying of Anas is not mentioned in the Halabiyya. Libn, here translated 'bricks', means, as Professor Serjeant points out, fundamentally clay bricks, but one may assume fairly safely that in a hastily constructed building they would be of unbaked clay, cf. Landberg, Gloss. dat., in, Leiden, 1942, 2611 [reference supplied by Professor Serjeant, who also refers to the terms zjur and libn in RSO, xxvInI, 1953, 8, and madra and lubna in Le Muswon, LXII, 1-2, 1949, 160]. In the sources relating to our tradition there is, however, a controversy over the question of these bricks and their form. Some support for taking libn to mean unbaked clay bricks in this tradition may be adduced from the following tradition about the mosque built in Bawra by Abii Mils al-Ash'ari : wa-band Abj Mi~a al-Ash'ari al-masjid wa-ddr al-imara bi-libn wa-tin wa-saqqafaha bi-'l-'ushb (al-Balidhuri, Futii4, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1319, p. 355)-he built it from clay bricks and clay and covered it with brushwood [using this word for 'ushb at Professor Serjeant's suggestion]. 2 1 7 'Umdatal-akhbar,81 ; al-Halabiyya,loc. cit. NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS 155 That is evident from the quotation in the Tabaqdtof Ibn Sa'd. The mosque of the Prophet was in fact built in a very simple, even primitive, way,1 and resembled a booth." The saying of the Prophet about the Day of Judgment seems to reflect truly his feeling in the first period of his stay in Medina. The comparison with the booth of Moses in this period is not surprising: his relations with the Jews in Medina were not yet hostile. This tradition seems thus to belong to an early layer of hadithof considerableimportance. M. J. KISTER THE TURKISH VERSES OF QASIM AL-ANVAR (PLATE I) In the preface to his edition of the Kulliydt i Qdsimi Anvr 3 (printed at Tehran, 1337/1958-9, p. 112) Professor Sa'id Nafisi alludes to the difficulty he has encounteredin establishing the text of four of the poems (pp. 406-8) which the Persian poet wrote, playfully as it seems, either completely or partly in Turkish. Although the editor had ten manuscriptsat his disposal, he has to admit himself (in a footnote on p. 406) that the Turkish of the four poems in their present form is largely incomprehensible. He consoles his readerson this point with the promise of an improved edition of the Kulliydt, proposed for some future date. With the aid of the nine manuscripts available to me in this country, of which one is outstanding, the text can be considerably improved. These manuscriptsare: British Museum Ff. 157v; 210v-211r. Dated 857/1453-4 (A) Or. 3304 (Rieu, Supplement, 183) p. Ff. 155r ; 210r. A manuscriptof 268 ff., dated (B) Or. 11363 861/1456-7, which was acquiredin 1933. The copyist's name is 'Abdullahal-Isfahani Ff. 138v; 180r. Dated 877/1472-3 (Rieu, (C) Or. 2501 Supplement,p. 184) Ff. 149r ; 204r-204v. Fifteenth century(Rieu, (D) Add. 18874 I1,p. 636) 1 See Ibn Sa'd, loc. cit.; Yiqit, Bulddn, s.v. Yathrib; EI, s.v. 'MasdWjid' (Pedersen); 2-11, 25. Creswell, Early Mwslim architecture, s2 cf. Tha'lab's explanation of the verse of al-A'shi (Dfiwn, ed. Geiger, xxix, 4). It was a construction of trunks covered with dry branches, where people used to seek shelter from the heat. Cf. Abil Dharr'scommentary,ed. Bronnle, p. 424, and cf. the verse of Mutawakkilal-Laythi, Aghdni, xx, 38. 3 On the poet (757-837/1356-1433-4) see Browne, LHP, m, 473-86; F. Kopruili in his article Anatolu'da Isladmiyet (Dir fil-Flinlin Edebiyst Fakiiltesi Mejmfi'asl (Istanbul), Year 2, No. 6, 1339/1923, 467-8) gives a valuable summary of the sources on Qisim al-Anvir. His promise of a monographon the life and works of the poet has so far remained unfulfilled.