Murphy, James Cavanah, 1760-1814. / The Arabian antiquities of Spain
Part I. A description of antiquities at Cordova, pp. -6
A DESCRIPTION OF ANTIQUITIES AT CORDOVA. versatile taste of the Arabs, who were passionately fond of variety, and also to the inequalities of the soil; which are so great, that in order to reach the edifice, it becomes ne- cessary to ascend thirty steps on the south side, and on the north side to descend fourteen steps. Between most of the projecting piers or buttresses, doors are placed, which are ornamented with fret-work in stucco, of equally delicate and durable workmanship; that has continued unimpaired, not- withstanding it has been exposed to the injuries of the weather for so many centuries. In some of these ornaments, the Arabs have combined with the stucco a kind of mosaic of baked earth, the introduction of which has contributed greatly to consolidate the whole of the fret-work. These ornaments are further painted with various brilliant colours; which must have produced a very striking effect before any alterations were made in the edifice. PLATE VIII. A CUFIC INSCRIPTION IN THE PLACE APPROPRIATED TO THE PER- FORMANCE OF ABLUTIONS, IN THE MOSQUE AT CORDOVA. Translation of thefirst seven Lines of the Inscription. "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Forgiving. 0 ye "who believe, when ye proceed to prayer, wash your faces, "and your hands up to the elbow, and touch your heads and "your feet unto the ancles : and if ye be unclean from sexual intercourse, wash yourselves all over. But, if ye be sick or "on a journey, or any one of you should come from the "easing of nature, or if ye have touched women, and find no "water, perform the ceremony with good earth, and touch "your faces and your hands therewith. God willeth not to "impose any difficulty upon you: but he desireth to make "you pure, and to accomplish his grace upon you, to the end that ye may be thankful." Koran, Sur~t (or chapter) V. Ayat (or verse) 7. This part of the inscription, it will readily be perceived, refers to the performance of ablutions before prayer ; which constitute one of the four fundamental points of religious practice required by Mohammed. A particular account of them may be seen in the " Preliminary Discourse," prefixed to Mr. Sale's translation of the Koran, pp. 104-106, (4to edition). The characters in this plate present a fine specimen of the Cufic letters without the dia- critic points, which were chiefly used for inscriptions on stone. The translations of the inscription in this arnd the following plate, were executed by Professor Shakespear, of the Hon. East India Company's College, at Croydon. Translation of the eighth, ninth, tenth, elei'enth, twelfth, and thirteenth Lines. " In the name of God, the Merciful, the Forgiving. Attend "carefully to the times of prayer, and to the medial prayer; " and stand up to God, supplicating. The Imnim Almustansir " Billah Abdullah ihakam, Commander of the Faithful, - . ~ * *1* ~ "whom God prosper after (imparting J the divine aid, com- "manded, in respect to what he thought deficient in this sanctuary, to clothe it with marble; which he caused to "be introduced with the introduction of (pious works and) excellent water. This he executed by the hands of his "minister and Hajib, Jaafar, son of Abdurrahman, with " whom may God be pleased, and under the inspection of " Muhammad son of------,+ and Abmad son of Nasr, and " Khalad son of Hashim, commander of the guards, and " Mutref son of Abdurrahman, the secretary his domestic, in " the month Dhu-l-Hijja of the year three hundred and fifty- " four." (A. D. 965). '4 He, that directeth his face to God "and doeth good, hath taken hold of the firm handle. To God is the event (or success) of things." Of the additional works executed in the mosque by order of Alhakam and referred to in this and the following plate, some account is given in the " History of the Mahometan Empire in Spain," pp. 181-183. The three first lines of this part of the in- scription are taken from the Koran, Sur-t xi. Ayat 115. The concluding sentence is also taken from the same book, Surit xxxi. Ayat 22. Translation of the last four Lines. " In the name of God, the Merciful, the Forgiving. 0 ye "who believe, fear God in the truth of his fear, and ye shall not die unless (or till) ye are Moslems (that is, in safety). "And take hold of the bond of God (his religion) altogether; and separate not yourselves (from it). And remember the grace of God upon you: when ye were foes, then he caused friendship between your hearts, and ye became brethren "through his favour; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, when he delivered you from it. In this manner God " manifesteth unto you his signs (or miracles or verses of the Koran), that ye may be guided to righteousness." Korin, Sur-at iii. Ayat 102-103. PLATE VIII. No. 2. A CUFIC INSCRIPTION ON THE ADDITIONS MADE TO THE MOSOQJE BY ORDER OF THE KHALIF ALHAKAM. THE three upper lines of this inscription are on the right hand of the arch; and the three lower lines are on the left hand of the arch. Translation of both parts of the Inscription. " In the name of God, the Merciful, the Forgiving. Praise " be to God, who hath directed us by the (divine) guidance: " for we could not have been guided in the right way unless " he had guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord " came with the truth. " The Imaim Almustansir Billah Abdullah Alhakam, *The words included in the parenthesis in this part of the inscription, are doubtful. 1'The proper name of this person is wanting, the translator not being able to ascertain it from the Critic characters.
Based on the date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright