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Mohammed Mohde. Previous to my calling on him, Mullah Bahram, the Guebre, informed me, that on entering the room of the Mujtehed, I ought to speak in the following manner: "You are my Superior, I am your servant; you are a great man, I have heard much about you: I have never seen so good a man as yourself." Although I did not make the Mujtehed such a complimentary address, he treated me with the greatest civility. I said to him, that having been a Jew, and believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins and iniquities, I have an ardent desire to induce my nation to believe the same doctrine. He replied, that he had no objection to my arguing with Mussulmans; but I should not go to their houses, for there were many fanatics at Teheran, who might serve me as they lately served the Russian Ambassador, and he should be sorry for such an event; for Mohammed said, "Be kind to a stranger, even though he be an Infidel!" The Mujtehed and the rest of the Mullahs treated me with great attention; among them were Akhonda Mullah Ramasan Ali, who was acquainted with Henry Martyn, and his controversies. I learned from the Mujtehed, that the Sheah divide themselves into seven parties: namely, Kysaanee, Wakef, Naoosees, Fatahee, Ismaele, Saydee, and Asne Asheree.
The Yeseede, or worshippers of the Devil, are called by the people of Teheran, followers of the enemies of Iman Hussein.
It is remarkable, that Jews throughout the world, as well as Parsees, Mohammedans, Eastern Christians, Sabeans and Hindoos, believe, that there are in the world 72 religions, 72 languages, and 72 nations.
My old friend, before mentioned, Khosroe Khan, told me he had frequently dreamed about the Lord Jesus Chirst: one day he dreamed that the Apostle Peter appeared to him, and asked him, whether he had a great desire to enter the kingdom of heaven: but Khosroe Khan was ashamed to answer.
The Persians, in order to console one, whose relation is dead, say, "May life be to you! may peace be to your head! may the most merciful God preserve those, who have remained alive!" The salutations of the Mohammedans to a married person, are, "May you be blessed! good futurity and good luck! may you become old!"
. A FEMALE MOHAMMEDAN MULLAH.
Hajee Hindee Zohoree Aluesa, a learned woman from the city of Lucknow, called on me, accompanied by a Persian gentleman with a red beard. She was about fifty years of age, and had performed a pilgrimage to the sepulchre of Imam Resa at Meshed, the holy city, and to the sepulchre of Imam Hussein, at Kerbelay, and to the sepulchre of the Prophet of Mecca. I spoke to her about the death of Jesus Christ, and the judgments to come. She sometimes touched her companion with her arm, observing that I had said many things, which she had frequently preached. She told me, that she had discovered by the book, called Khorooj Namah, that Christ will come again in the year 1861, on the mountain Abokbeys, near Mecca; andElija and the Prophet Jonas, who is still in the fish's belly, will be his forerunners.
I received a visit from Mohammed Mohde Mirza, brother-in-law to the Prince Governor of Teheran, (a descendant of Nadir Shah,) and several other persons. I related to them the manner in which I came to the knowledge of Christ. It is neither self-conceit, nor vanity, to remember the goodness of God, and the goodness of Christ towards one's soul; on the contrary, it humbles the soul, from the consideration of its unworthiness, compared with the experience of the goodness and loving kindness of God; and to promulgate that goodness, makes our brethren sympathize with us, and encourages them to look to that Saviour, who is able to save even to the uttermost.
SOOFFEES:* MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHERS IN THE EAST.
I have already in my former journals treated of the Sooffees I met with at Sheeras, Ispahan, Cashan, Erivan, Teheran; I shall only briefly notice once more these Eastern mystical, sensual and (in the strictest sense of the word,) antinomian Pantheists and Infidels.
Abool Kasem Shahed of Gheelan, a learned Dervish, employed in the printing office of the Pasha of Egypt at Cairo, gave me, eleven years ago, the following definition of a Sooffee. "A Sooffee is a person, who with purity of intention, becomes, as it were, a friend to the whole race of mankind, and bears to every religion a friendly relationship. In the time of our Lord the prophet, upon whom be the mercy and peace of God, the chosen Disciples, who were worshippers of God, in the darkness of the world, were clothed with a cloth of Soof (hair): the true worshippers of God, therefore, came to be distinguished by the appellation of Sooffees." There is however a distinction between the Sooffees, followers of Omar, and the Sooffees, followers of Ali. One of the former, residing at Bussorah, gave me the following definition: "A Sooffee signifies a professor of Taanwoof, which, as Junaid of Bagdad says, means the undivided devotion of the mind to God: to the disregard of all, but him, even though the doctrinal arguments should be drawn from the Sheraa, or law of Islam. The sects of our pure Sooffee, doctors of this blessed family, are divided into numerous branches, which however are classed into four principal ones.
First. The Mefaa, which is attributed to the ancient Sayid Ahmed Alkebeer Arrifaae. In this sect, youth are allowed the sounding of drums, and dancing with the brethren, the men of purity,
* Sooffee is supposed by some to be derived from the word Soof (hair cloth); for those who belong to this sect wear cloth of this description; others suppose it to be derived from the Arabic word "Soon" (pure).
accompanied with the mention of the Lover; that is to say, "The mighty and exalted God, and the praises of his beloved, the honoured Prophet Mohammed."
Second. The Kadaree. This is the sect of the pious Dr. Sayd Abd Alkadeer Aj-jilanee of Bagdad. One of their ceremonies is, walking in a circle with a gentle movement of the body to and fro, accompanied with chants, in honour of God and the Prophet.
Third. The Nakhshbande, from Hajee Mohammed Nakhshbande of Bokhara. His disciples repeat in a low voice, "Allah," (God) till the breath is lost, and fainting they reflect themselves; the Sheikh being in the circle, until master and disciples earnestly hehold each other, and each is present to the soul of his fellow. Hajee Mohammed Nakhshbande, a famous descendant of the family of Nakhshbande, is now residing at Cashmeer; he is Moorsheed (spiritual guide) of all the Mussulmans in Toorkeestaun.*
Fourth. The Mohde, from Sayd Ali, son of Assayd Mohde of Yemen. They sound the psaltery either singly or in circles, in praising God and his Prophet. They chant the finest psalmody, with voices of the greatest perfection. All their observances are admitted and practised by the doctors of Islam; they are held to be in conformity with the Law and the Prophet.
MIRZA ABOOL KASEM.
Mirza Abool Kasem at Sheeras, according to the account given by Abool Kasem Shahed of Gheelan, was the C hief of the Sooffees; he had a great many disciples; they call him, "Saket," (silent:) no smile was ever seen on his countenance. Masnawee, a book, written by a Turkish Dervish, is their chief book: they continually cite from it this sentence, "He that has a good temper, say, that he is good: let him be of the sect of Ali, or of the sect of Omar."
Poor and depised people! you are almost like my own nation, ye worshippers of fire! What shall I relate of you,—you descendants of Keon and of Yezdigird! Poor Guebres! how often have I watched you performing your devotion, in the corner of the British Embassy at Teheraun!
The Guebres reside chiefly at Yezd, Kerman, Sheeras, Ispahan, and Kashaan. In India, they reside chiefly in Bombay, Soorat and Guzzerat.
As I have treated at large about this sect in the third volume of my Journal, I will only add, that' they do not use water for any unclean purpose; for as Mullah Bahram said, "In the water the light is visible." The atrocious, and unnatural crimes committed among Persians and Turks, are nbt committed by the Guebres. They relate of Zershust, that he was cast into a fiery furnace by
• Whole families and whole cities of Mohammedans, have as their Moorsheed some holy man, whom they consult in all matters of importance.
Nimrod, for refusing to acknowledge him as God, and to worship him as such.
They say, that Zershust arrived at the knowledge of one God by degrees, by drawing conclusions from effects to the first cause. It is remarkable, that the Jews assert both of Abraham: namely, that he was cast by Nimrod into a fiery furnace, and that he came to the knowledge of God, by the power of his reasoning, and his knowledge of Astronomy. A superstitious belief in the sanctity of those Patriarchs, leads to the same mistake, as that of philosophy: namely, an attempt to deprive God of his glory, by ascribing to the power and exertions of man himself, what only could be effected by the favour and grace of God.
These Guebres, up to this time, have in regular succession, several ecclesiastical Dignitaries, and have beside the Mobed and Destoor, likewise Phersangaane, Pharhand and Hirebed.
They believe in the deluge, and that the whole world was of water, before God created it. They are acquainted with the history of fallen angels. Good men, according to them, go to Beheight, i. e. to Paradise; and bad men, to Doozakh, i. e. Hell, where they remain, until they have expiated their sins.'
The Devil is called Ahrmand. They sacrifice a sheep every year to Ormuzd. The Mobed distinguishes himself from the Destoor, by wearing hair upon his head. I give herewith the names of Angels, as they are called by the Guebres; as they may afford matter of speculation to philologists. They are thirty in number, viz. Wahman, Ardi Behesht, Shahr War, Sepandar Mezd, Khordad, Amordad, Deh, Ador, Aboon, Khorshed, Mah, Tatsh-Dar, Goosh, Deh, Mahrisad, Sorosh, Rushn, Parwardeen, Wahraroom, Room, Bad, Deh, Deen, Ard, Ashdaad, Asmoon, Somyad, Muntrasapand, Anaron.
My friend Mullah Bahram did not remember the name of the thirtieth angel. They relate that Abraham agreed with Sarah, that circumcision should be the penalty of his unfaithfulness to her, and that he one day made himself liable to that penalty. They call themselves Fars or Behdeen.^ They call God Yezdoon Ormuzd, who has 1100 names beside. Ormuzd is the name of God among them, and the name of the first day of every month.
The prayer they offer to God, is called by them supplication; to the angels they offer prayer, called intercessory prayer. Every one of the angels is the protector of something. Wahman is the protector of beasts. Sepandar is the protector of trees. Khordad, the protector of water. Ardi-Behesht, the protector of fire. The
* It is remarkable, that I have not hitherto met with a sect, who believe in everlasting punishments, except Christians: neither Jews, nor Parsees, nor Buddhists, nor Hindoos believe it.
t I am not quite sure with regard to the word Behdeen. My Guebres at Sheeras and Teheraun, derived it from the words, beh, Rood, and deen, belief; but Mr. Wilson at Bombay told me, that the laymen only call themselves, not Behdeen, but Beedeen, i. e. without faith.
Guebres, during prayer, loose their girdles from their loins, and turn their faces towards the East, with the hand on their breast. They never extinguish the fire in the temple of Yazd. Oh that the fire divine may be kindled in the hearts of that poor people, which no power can extinguish! Their Priests are obliged to pray for the souls of dead men. They have a book called Yasht, and assert, that those who pray in it, will have their bodies exempt from putrefaction. The names of their present Mobed at Yazd are, Jame Shawr, and Rostam. They believe in metempsychosis.
REASON OF THE HATRED BETWEEN JEWS AND GUEBRES.
Key Khosroe had a Vizier, whose name was Gudarz. He was sent as Governor to Palestine, where he married a Jewess; who, after she had lived with him for some time, became pregnant. Soon after her pregnancy, he was recalled to Persia; before he left his wife, he told her, that if the child should be a boy, she should give him a number of cities in Judea; if a girl, she should give her a certain sum of money from the Jewish treasury. The child was a boy: the Jews tried to kill him; but his mother made her escape with him; and when his father returned to Palestine, the Jews were severely punished. The name of the Vizier's son was rack- ham; the Jews call him Bukhtulnaz; and on account of him, the Jews hate the Guebres: this is the story of the Guebres. The Guebre at Sheeras told me, "When we have walked in the good way, we go to Behesht Gorasmund, (the dwelling-place near God, where the angels are, and the spirits of light, or "Horizon," as it is called in their language.) There, no destruction takes place; there we eat sweet fruits, whence pure water flows from our hands, and our whole body; and we drink of the desire and love of God. A time is coming, when this world will pass away, and another will be created; and God will do this 18000 times." When a boy is seven years of age, he receives the girdle. With regard to their mode of burying their dead, I refer my readers to the third volume of my former journals.
Armenians from the neighbourhood of Ispahan called on me; they inform me that around Ispahan, and as far as Kerman-Chah, 16785 Armenians are residing in sixty villages.
The Armenians in Persia have been hitherto very ill treated, especially at Sheeras: for though the Mohammedans at Sheeras are considered as the most civilized, they are neverthless the most cruel and inhuman set of people (the people of Khorossaun excepted) throughout Persia: but the Armenians on the frontier of Russia are better treated; for the Persians, there, are always afraid that they may go over to the Russians.
Before I enter now upon a country, where the light of Christianity never shone; where never any Apostle of old, or any missionary of the present time has been; I think it not amiss to give