Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society

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Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Palestine Oriental Society
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□b Book No. p٠٠ م،٩غ• ٢3 Class Wo.q..l
Meadville Theo1-:-1 CaLaaI
زة9؟ع4...........................Accession No

H. E. Field Marshal the Viscount Allenby G.C.B., G.C.M.Gr.
H. E. the Right Honourable Sir Herbert Samuel Gr.B.E.
Board of Directors:
Mr. W. J. Phythian-Adams President
Mr. David Yellin Vice-President
Le Rev. Pere Gaudens Orfali Vice-President
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Danby Secretary
Dr. W. F. Albright Treasurer
The Rev. Pere Dhorme Director
Sir Ronald Storrs Director
Prof. J. Garstang Director
Editor of the Journal:
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Danby
Editorial Advisory Board:
Dr. W. F. Albright
Dr. T. Canaan
Le Rev. Pere Dhorme
Dr. Leo Mayer
Mr. David Yellin



Abel, F.-M. Le Sud Palestinien d’apres la carte mosa'ique de Madaba . 107
Albright, W. F. Egypt and the Early History of the Negeb..........131
El-Barghuthi, Omar. Rules of Hospitality (Qdnun yd-Diyafeh) . . . . 175
Canaan, T. Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine.......... 1
Dhorme, Rev. Pere. Les Habiru et les Hebreux . . ٠٠; ٠٠٠٠; . ٩. . . . 162
Sukenik, E. L. Notes of the Jewish Graffiti of Beth-ph٩ge?٠;’.....171
Tolkowsky, S. The Measuring of the Moabites with the Line.........118
Yellin, Abinoam. Cairo Genizah Fragments in the Jerusalem National
Library.....................................Ù  Ù¦ 122
Yellin, David. The Hippa'Ù Nif'al Conjugation in ilebrew and Aramaic,
and the Assimilation of Fl in the Hitpa'el Conjugation.....85
Notes and Comment.............................................169
Book Reviews..................................................204
Members of the Palestine Oriental Society......................................215

traveller in Palestine is struck by the baldness of tlie hill country.
٢١ Here and there some gardens, orchards or vineyards are to be
met with, generally grouped in the vicinity of a village. During the
spring and the first part of the summer some patches of land are
sown witli various cereals. Scattered here and there on the barren
mountains or in the plains a solitary large green tree or a small
group of trees beautify tlie surrounding region, giving it a fresh and
an animated aspect. They are a welcome shelter for the wayfarer,
protecting him from the burning rays of the summer sun. These
trees are sacred to Mohammedans since they indicate the presence
of some nabi, well or seh. This sacredness was and is still the only
reason why they escape the destruction which has been the fate of
the forests of Palestine. It is a pity that we have not countless
sacred trees commemorating holy persons, for Palestine would then
be more wooded and consequently more healthy, fertile and beautiful.
If such a tree—and most of them can look back on centuries of
life-could tell US all its experiences, we should know much more
about the history and folklore of this country. I shall try to analyse
the nature of Mohammedan sanctuaries in Palestine of which trees
are only one feature, and I hope thus to be able to explain some
religious problems.
By sanctuaries I do not mean only those places where a well-known
Prophet or well was buried, but every place—shrine, tomb, tree,
shrub, cave, spring, well, rock or stone—which is invested with some

2 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
religious reverence, even if such reverence be based on superstition,
and thus non-religious in the sense of the Qoranic teaching and
creed. Only such a widening of the field of researcch will enable
us to approach many very important questions of comparative religion
and primitive belief.
a) Their Relation to Human Habitations
Sacred shrines are innumerable in Palestine. Nearly everywhere
—in the villages, on the mountains, in valleys, in the fields—do we
meet with them. There is hardly a village, however small it may be,
which does not honour at least one local saint. But generally every
settlement boasts of many. ØŸThus, for example, 'Awartah possesses
fourteen, eleven being in the village itself and three outside at some
distance from it; 'Anata seven1 (one is not accepted by all inhabitants 2);
Jericho six; the Mount of Olives six;3 Kolonia five. Such local saints
are honoured not only by the inhabitants of the village to which
they belong, but in many cases their renown is widespread and
pilgrimages of individuals or companies are made in their honour.
Some of these shrines are situated in or close to the village. In such
a case one of them serves as a mosque where the inhabitants perform
their prayers.4 But the greater number of them lie outside, and
some even at a considerable distance from the area occupied by the
town or village. Thus we meet with a large number of holy places
in the fields far from any habitation. As every village possesses lands
which stretch for miles beyond the settlement itself, every shrine
1 The names of the different saints will be given at the end of this study.
2 The sullah (pl. of saleh, pious man) inhabiting the ruins, at the entrance of
the village from the west side, are not accepted by all as authentic. My guide,
Mohammed of this village, related that some people had heard at different
occasions ‘iddeh (religious music) at this place. A felldh who passed water at
this spot was at once afflicted with eye-trouble. These sullah inhabit the ruins
of a church. The son of es-seh 'Abd es-Salam, es-seh Sliman, is also a less
important well.
3 A seventh holy place on the Mount of Olive was Harrubet el-'Asara, a tree
which grew on the western slope, in a piece of ground which belongs at present
to a Latin Mission. The tree has been cut down.
4 Such djawami'—especially those of villages situated in the direct neighbour-
hood of the large cities —are not much used. Many of the peasants come on
Friday to the city to perform their mid-day prayer {salat ed-djum' ah), and to
transact their business.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
situated in such land belongs to that village, and is also honoured
primarly by its inhabitants. There are exceptions to this rule.
Es-seh es-Sidri in the lands of fAnata is honoured mostly by the
semi-Bedouin living to the east of the village.
The following is an analysis of the sites of shrines taken from a
few villages around Jerusalem:
Name of the Number of Those inside the Those outside
village sanctuaries village the house area
'Anata 7 3 4
،Êsâwîyeh 3 1 2
Koi ôniâ 5 1 4
AwartahØŸ 14 11 3
Some villages have their awlid (pl. of iveli) only in the house area
itself or in the immediate vicinity of it. This is the case in Bet
Hanina, Surbahir and Sa'fat, each with four such saints.
b) High Places
The shrines are mostly situated on an elevated place—the top of
a mountain, a hill or a small elevation in the plain—thus commanding
all the neighbouring country. Even such shrines as are built on the
sloping side of a mountain, or just above the bed of a valley are so
placed that they more or less dominate the surrounding area and
are visible from afar. Comparatively few welis are situated in valleys;
but if one should be, it is generally found to be in the neighbourhood
of the junction of two wadis or in a place where the wadi has
widened its bed, so that they are seen at a distance from different
directions. Many a sacred place, although situated on an elevated
spot, is not easily seen owing to the character of the weZ¿, in that
it has no building and no large tree. This is true of all such
sanctuaries as are found near caves, enclosures, springs, cisterns, rocks
or heaps of stones. Some shrines on the tops of mountains are:
en-nabi Samwil Mizpah of Samuel,
es-seh el-Qatrawani between Bir Zet and 'Atarah
e§-seh Ahmad el-Karaki et-rfaiyar Qastal
Abu Hurerah Wadi e§-Saricah
el-'Uzer near 'Awartah
es-i؟٠eh el-TJmari ed-I)jbereh near Bet ،Anan
el-Mas ad Mount of Olives.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
The shrine of es-seh elÙ ØŒUmari edÙ¦DjbeØŒeh is built on the top of
a high mountain. The vieÙ¡v from this spot to the west is magnificent.
The plain, Ramleh, Lydda, Jaffa and the sea are easily seen,
especially Ù¡vhen the weather is clear. Around the maqdm is a ruin1
and many natural caves. No tomb is to be seen, and the room
shows nothing but a mihrab. The two large carob trees withered
away owing to the severe winter of 1921—1922. Everybody who
takes refuge in this well is absolutely protected.
By elevated places I do not mean only the very summit of a
mountain, but any spot which is high and to some extent dominates
the surrounding area, such as:
E§-sêh ،Abd es-Salam ،Anata
Salman el-Fârsî
En-nabi Lîqiâ
siûh ed-Dawâ،rî
en-nabî Músa
Mount of Olives
Bét Liqiá
near Jericho
en-nabî Yûsif
cs-sêh Yâsîn
es-sêh Ahmad
es-âêh Imar
Bêt Idjzâ
Dêr Yâsîn
Hirbet Is'îdeh
Bêt Duqqû.
This peculiarity is very characteristic, not only of Palestinian
Mohammedan shrines, but also of sanctuaries elsewhere in the
Mohammedan world. Paton’s statement on this point—although not
absolutely correct—is more exact than that of McCown. The first
writer says:2 ،،The majority of the alleged tombs of saints in modern
Palestine are situated on the summits of high mountains”. Me Cown’s3
statements in this respect are hard to understand. I shall, later on,
discuss his first idea, namely: ،،A very considerable number of shrines
are on hilltops because the cities or villages to which they belong
sought such sites, not because the hill is sacred.” In reviewing
systematically the villages of the Jerusalem district which I have
visited for the purpose of this study, and noting exactly the position
of the shrines, I found that in 26 villages 70 °/o of the shrines occupied
the top of a hill or mountain, 24°/o were on the sloping side of the
1 The ruin is called Hirbet ed-Djbe'eh.
2 Annual of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem I, p. 62.
3 Annual of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem!! and III, p.63.

CANAA.N: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 5
mountain below its summit, and only 5°/o were in a valley or a plain.
Of these shrines 45 ٠/o belong to the built maqam, 18 °/o are tombs,
and 37 Ù /Ù  are sacred springs, trees, enclosures and caves. In other
words, only 52 Ù /o (45 Ù /Ù  built shrines and 7 Ù¥/o holy trees) would be
more or less easily seen, while the character of the other 48°/o lessens
the possibility of their being seen from a distance.
Nor do I agree with McCown’s statement about Jerusalem. He
writes: “There are vast numbers of shrines, several to every good
sized town, which are not easily seen, because they are not on hill
tops. Such is Jerusalem.” He does not appear to have considered
the following very important facts, wich make most of the shrines of
Jerusalem not easily seen:
1. The built shrines of most of the wells, inside the city, are low
in structure, and on their roofs houses have been erected. Examples
are: Bairam Sawis, es-seh Rihan, es-seh Hasan el-Qerami.
2. The crowded houses in the city proper hide from sight shrines
which have no building above them.
3. Most of the important sacred places in the haram area are enclosed
in the Omar and Aqsa mosques, and naturally cannot easily be seen.
On the other hand the greater part of the shrines situated outside
the city-wall are easily seen; e. g. es-seh Ahmad et-Tori, Sa'd u S'id,
es٠se٦j Djarrah, es-seh cOka§eh etc.
This choice of situation is not a new custom, for we read that
the people of the ancient Orient used to choose such places for the
erection of their temples and the worship of their gods. In Ezek. 6 2
we read: “And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord
God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills,
to the Ù¦vatercourses and to the valleys: Behold I, even I, will bring a
sword upon you, a٦١d I will destroy your high places.” It is interesting
to see how these two verses1 refer to mountains, watercourses, valleys
and green trees-—in other words “high places” combined with water
and trees, a feature still characterizing the present shrines.
Mountains and hills seem always to have played a great role in
human religion.2 It is interesting to note that all the great divine
1 Other verses are Lev. 26 30; Num. 33 32; 1 Kings 12 31, 13 32; 2 Kings 17 29,
21 3, 23 5-19; Jer. 3 2; etc.
2 See Curtiss.

6 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
works have, traditional , been performed on mountains: Ararat and
the ark of Noah, Moriah and Abraham’s sacrifice, Sinai and the
Law, Ebal and Gerizim with the blessing and the cursing. It is the
same also with Jesus: on a mountain he was tempted, was transfigured,
preached, prayed, was crucified, and from a naountain he ascended to
heaven. The prophets and kings also preferred these lofty places for
many of their important actions. Elijah received the word of the
Lord on Mount Horeb؛؛ the “schools of the prophets” were on hills
and mountains2Ø› on Mount Carmel Elijah won the victory over the
priests of Baal who worsliisped their id.ols on this mountain3Ø› Moses
died on Mount Nebo, from whence he saw the Land of PromiseØ›
Aai’on died on the top of Mount Hor؛ on this mountain Eliezer was
ordained as his fathers successor. I need not multiply these
instances, which illustrate the fact that mountains were, in olden
times, regarded as in some degi’ee sacred.4 This idea was adopted
from their predecessors by the Israelites and by them transmitted
to following generations.
A traveller through Palestine is struck by the many mountain
tops which are covered with a prominent weli') still greater is the
number of summits which bear shi’ines undistinguishable from a
distance. Does this not indicate that the present inhabitants still
believe in the peculiar sanctity of mountains? McCown minimizes the
importance of this suppositionØ› Curtiss Ø© and Paton stress it. Which
view is correct?
Many primitive ideas have unquestionablypersisted through thousands
of- years and can still be traced to the present day in one form or
another among the inhabitants of' the “immovable east.” The sacred
character of mountains seems to have been a widespread conception
in the ancient Orient. Tlie modern Palestinian places most of his
shrines on mountains and hills, irrespective of the fact whether or
not these places serve for human habitation. Although most awlia
1 1 Kings 19 8-9.
2 1 Sam. 10 5.
3 H. Zeller, Biblisches Wörterbuch, pp. 146, 147.
4 Yahweh appeared on high places, 1 Kings 3 4-5. It was forbidden for the
Israelites to partake in the worship برن high places like the heathen. Deut. 12 2؛
Jer. 2 20Ø› Ezek. 20 28-29Ø› etc.
5 Curtiss, p. 134.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
are situated in the immediate vicinity of villages, it is striking that
so many uninhabited mountains have shrines. This fact proves that the
old idea of the sacredness of mountains has probably been transmitted
to the inhabitants of modern Palestine. They do not accept it
explicitly as such, but the old practice continues nevertheless.
c) Relation of Shrines to Cemeteries
Very important is the fact that the shrines or graves of many
،،holy men” are situated in the midst of cemeteries or adjacent to
them. The folloÙ¦ving list is a rough comparison between holy places
(shrines, graves, etc.) found in connection with cemeteries and those
having nothing to do with cemeteries:
Name of the village Number of sanctuaries In cemetery Not in cemetery
et-Tur 6 3 3
Jericho 6 2 4
Sa fat 4 3 1
Surbahir 4 1 3
ØŒAnata 7 1 6
I should add the following facts. In Surbahir the five tombs
of ed-Dawa'ri are counted as one shrine. The three tombs of
edÙ Djarahid Ù¡vhich represent in reality three holy places I have
also considered as one. The same is true of the two graves of
ed٦Dawa٠ri of ¡؛؛a'fat, which are to be seen in the cemetery.
The above list shows that 63 °/o of the shrines are situated in a
cemetery; but the sanctuaries of some villages are in no way connected
with burial places, so that the general percentage of such a combination
amounts only to 3O°/o. In some cases a cemetery surrounds the shrine,
while in other cases only a few tombs are found near by. The question
arises whether the burial place was formed around the shrine, or
Ù¡vhether the tomb of some distinguished man was built in an already
existing cemetery. In most cases the cemetery is the more recent,
the holy place leading to the choice of that place for public burial.
This is always the case where the shrine is an old one. But in
connection with awlia of recent origin we nearly always find that
those men who were looked upon during their lifetime as ،،blessed
men of God,” were buried in the common cemetery, and became
ivelis after their death. Their tombs began to enjoy private and

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society:
Between Salläleh and Han Yunis
near Jericho
J erusalem
finally general reverence. The following shrines are probably older
than the cemeteries in which they are found:
e§-§eh Nuran1
es-seh Badr
en-nabi Musa
Rdjal el-Amud (Fig. 2, Plate III)
The contrary is the case with:
e§-seh Abu Halawi
es-Seh ez-Zu'beli
or sacred tombs situated in a large public cemetery
in nearly every village and city. Some prominent
are met with
examples are:
acfat؛؛؛ eS-seh cAbd el-Fattah ed٠Dawa،ri
Sa'fat Ù  es-seh Abu Sef
esÙ seh Zed Anata
es-seh Abu Yamin Bet Anan
es-seh Ghanim Jericho
es-seh SaØŒd Bet Likia (Liqia
e£-§eh (i)Mbarak Bet Iksa
.el-'Azerat Awartah
The top of the highest point of the mountain on which fAwartah
is built is crowned with the maqam of el-Azerat. This contains
two rooms, the eastern one with two domes, the western with one.
The maqam is surrounded by the cemetery. No cistern or tree
belongs to it. Not far from the shrine there is a pool hewn in
the rock. In the eastern room there is a prayer-niche, opposite
to which an entrance to a cave is seen. Many match boxes, oil
bottles and oil lamps are scattered here and there. The Ù¡vomen
of the village assemble every feast-day in this place to perform
their prayers. The western room is large, lies higher and is
1 It is interesting to note that in the neighbourhood of this saint, as well as
around es-seh Ahmad es-Sarrisi of Abu Ghos, and es-seh ’Abdallah of Sa fat only-
young children are buried. In the case of es-seh Nuran I noticed, while the
Turks were digging trenches around the shrine, that the bodies of dead children
were always placed in large broken jars (cf. the Canaanite practice of burying
children in jars).

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 9
much less used. rThe dead are ritually washed here before they
are buried.
Shrines in whose neighbourhood only one or few tombs are
found are:
es-seh Ahmad et-To٦٠i Jerusalem
es-seh Badr J erusalem
Sittna el-Hadrah Nablus.
There are two reasons why some prefer to bury their dead in the
vicinity of the grave of some tveli.1
1. The nearer the person is buried to a well or selfs tomb or
maqam, the greater is the blessing which he may receive in the world
to come. This is why so many Bedouin carry their important dead
from a great distance to be buried near a saint’s tomb. Thus the
Bedouin of er٠Ra§aydiyeh inter some of their dead around siuh
ed-Djarahid of the Mount of Olives, and the Tdwan carry their dead
to Nebi Musa.
2. The protection exercised by the saint, because of the general
respect he enjoys, is another cause for burying the dead close to the
rveli’s tomb. This used to be practised especially by important
political families who were continually on bad terms with other
families. When a leader died they buried him near a sacred spot to
protect his body from being exhumed by his enemies and thus dis-
honoured. The ،،man of God” is sure to protect every thing put
under his care; nobody dares to molest the sanctity of a man so
Juried. Such reasons led the family of cAbd el-Hadi of Nablus to
bury three members of their family—Mohammad el-Husen, Yusif
Sliman and 'Abd el-Karim—near the maqam of el-Hadrah.
d) Relation of Shrines to Ruins
Another fact not without interst is that a great number of sacred
sites lie in or near a ruin. It is not to be expected that one will
always find remains of a large ruin; there may be only a few old
rock-hewn tombs, remains of a few houses, several old cisterns•, or
some ancient pillars. Such a ruin in itself must have been a striking
i A custom which is also prevalent among some Bedouin tribes, according to
Jaussen, Coutumes des Arabes, p. 99.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
object to the simple mind of the Palestinian, and the ruin certainly
existed long before the present shrine. A ruin, an artificial cave,
a solitary tree, or some old cisterns in a lonely deserted spot, would
stimulate the imagination of the fellah. Some night vision, or the
hallucination of seeing lights and hearing prayers or religious music,
enforce the idea of the sacredness of the spot. About 32 Ù /o of all
the sanctuaries which I visited were in the vicinity of some ruin.
rum are:
Some wells situated in or near a
el-Qatrâwânî N. of Bir Zet the ruins of a church.
es-sêh -el-'Umarî
ed-Djbê،eh near Bet Aman the ruins of several buildings.
Du-l-Kafl near Qatanneh Hirbet elÙ Kfereh.
Ahmad et-Taiyâr Qastal ruins of a fortress.
'Abd el٠Azîz between Qastal
and Bet Surik a ruin with a water reservoir,
hewn in the rock.
Sittnâ es-Sâmiyeh Kolonia a tomb hewn in the rock,
and the canal of the
spring is ancient.
es-sêh Husên Koldnia tombs he٦vn in the rock.
Abû Lêmûn W.N. W. of Bet Iksa a small ruin with two cisterns.
el-MufadÙ¢lel Awartah a rock-hewn tomb.
Let us approach a common type of well and examine it more
thoroughly. What do we find here? Of course the same objects are
not found in every case. We shall try to investigate every object
separately, leaving the classification till later. For our purpose we
will take note of the following: A building, a tomb, a tree (or a
group of trees), a Ù¦vater reservoir (cistern, well, spring, basin, etc.)
and a cave. It will be rather difficult to give an absolute description
of each one since they vary so much in the different parts of Palestine
that we rarely meet with two completely alike.

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
a) The Building
The building itself—the shrine, maqam, qzibbeh, or, as it was
called in Biblical times, ،،house of high places”1—is in most cases,
and in all the simpler cases, a quadrangular building. We will
consider at present only this form. The door—and there is only
one — is low. There is generally one small window, but sometimes
there may be more (taqah, taqat or sarraqah, sarraqat), though
occasionally there is none at all. The roof is a simple vaulted dome2
with a long perpendicular stone in the centre, which is raised above
the vault itself. This stone is in some cases cut in the form of a
half-moon. Instead of such a stone an iron bar with three balls
— the lowest the largest — and a half-moon at the top may sometimes
be found.3 This dome-form (qubbeh) is a very characteristic feature
in Mohammedan shrines. It is not found only in the simple weK,
but also in the large and important shrines of the prophets as well
as in common mosques. ،،The qubbeh is,” as McCown says,4 ،،a
characteristic feature of the Palestinian landscape.” Very often the
word qubbeh is used as a synonym of ،،shrine,” although originally
it stands for a vaulted building.5 The inside is always plastered and
whitewashed, but as the buildings are very often very old, everything
may consequently be defective. A great many of the maqcrns are in
a pitiful state of disrepair, mainly due to neglect, winter storms and
old age. The war was another cause of their ruin; as in the case
of esÙ seh Ahmad el-Karaki et-Taiyar (Qastal), en-nabi SamÙ¡vil (Mizpah
Samuel), e§-seh Hasan (Bet Iksa), el-Qatrawani (N. of Bir Zet),
Abu-l-،٥n (Biddu), es-seh ،Abd el-،Aziz (near Bet Surik), etc. During
the war some had to be levelled to the ground, in order to deprive
the enemy of a mark for his guns (e8-£eh Nuran, between Sallaleh
and Han Yunis). Doors and other wooden parts were nearly always
taken away by the soldiers and used as fire wood (e§٠Seh ،Anbar,
ØŒAbd es-Salam, el-ØŒUmari ed-Djbeceh etc.). In some cases the villagers
have replaced the lost doors by others and repaired the shrines in
1 ا Kings 12 31; 13 32.
2 The qubbeh, of the Bedouin is an imitation of the text, Jaussen, 102.
3 Such a decoration is a sign of the building being of recent construction.
4 Annual II and III, 50.
خ Stefc Mu٦٠٦٦t el-wuMt, ١ةأةلآةلآلآ s. ،b.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
a more or less primitive way, as in the case of el-Qatrawani, e§-§eh
Hasan and en-nabi Samwil.
An inspection of the interior of a shrine proper will show that
one or more niches (also called taqali) are situated in the wall, a
feature common to all. Actually they look like elongated cupboards.
Occasionally there may be only a single niche, though generally more
are to be met with. In the simple, small one roomed shrine of
es-seh Badr, which lies on the top of a hill in the north-west part
of Jerusalem, I counted eight. In el-fUzer fAwartah) there are
some dozens of them. They are built at different heights and are
irregularly distributed in the four walls, without any regard for
symmetry. With few exceptions they are dirty, even the wall around
and especially the part below being badly smeared with oil. This
unsightly effect is due to the fact that it is here that oil lamps, oil
bottles, matches and other small objects are deposited.
The inside generally shows signs of having once been decorated
with hinna or nileh or both. The decoration consists of simple lines
running more or less parallel to each other, around the inside making
a sort of frieze. Often the frieze is more complicated. Some typical
designs are represented in Plate I.
But in addition to the frieze we find two other very important
decorations, viz. representations of the hand and imitations of palm
branches (sometimes twigs or trees), both of which are explained by
superstitious beliefs. In Mohammedan superstition the hands represent
the hand of Fatimeh (the daughter of the Prophet), in Christian the
hand of the Holy Virgin, and in Jewish the hand of God.1 This
superstitious decoration is said to bring blessing. We encounter it
very distinctly and often on the two outer sides of the door (sdaglia-t)
on the top stone (saSiyeh), and on the inner walls of the shrine,
especially around the mihrab. It is generally an imprint of a human
hand dipped in blood, liinna, or nileh. A dozen such impressions
may be seen in such shrines.
Not only in shrines but also on the doors of houses may such
impressions be seen. They are intended to protect the inhabitants
against the bad effects of the evil eye. Small imitations of the hand,
made of glass, mother-of-pearl, silver, gold or some other metal, are
< Canaan, Aberglaube, pp. 64 ff., Doutté, Magie et Religion, pp. 325 11٠.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctnaries in Palestine
carried by small children for the same reason.1 Blood impressions
of the hand are rarely found. I have seen them on newly-built houses
when a sheep was sacrificed before the house Ù¦vas inhabited, as well
as at the feast of Bairam (Ù£uZ ed-Dhiyeh): Once only have I observed
blood impressions of the hand on the door of a shrine. This mark
was made by a man who offered a sheep which was vowed to the well.
The imitation of the palm tree (Plate I, Fig. 8) is mostly used as
an inside decoration. It is made up of a perpendicular line with
shorter side lines, which unite, making an acute angle, opening
upwards. The total number of the side branches is never constant;
but in most cases there is an equal number on either side. I examined
carefully to see whether the number on one side coincided with the
sacred numbers 3, 5, 7 or some multiple of them,2 but in most cases
they did not. In some, especially in el-Badriyeh (Sarafat) and el-
Qatrawani (N. of Bir Zet) they all coincided with the numbers three
and five in the first and five and seven in the Qatrawani. ØŸThis feature
is always explained as standing for palm branches or palm trees
(ndhl). We know that palm branches are carried in most funeral
processions of well-to-do people or of important men, as a symbol of
life. Mohammedan superstition holds that palm-trees were created
from the same earth from which God made Adam.3 This is why
this tree is said to have many resemblances to man.4 The Qoran
mentions it very often, as it is one of the chosen trees.5
Nevertheless I would raise the question: Is it not possible that
these figures were formerly rude imitations of the hand and that
gradually the distinct number five was lost and thus also the original
Other decorations which one may find, are seen on plate I, and
Fig. 5 of Plate II. The representation of the serpent points to long
life.6 “Haiyeh” (Figs. 1,7; Plate I) serpent, and fiiaya” life, have
1 Canaan, I. c.j Doutte, I. c. pp. 317 ff.; L. Einsler, Mosaik.
2 Very few examples offered the number four.
٦ Haritu-l-t Acbjayb, لآدأل .لآ.
4 Alerglaube, p. 87.
5 Kahle, PJ VIII, 141, explains the palm branches as a prophylactic measure
against the evil eye. I have never heard such an explanation. Neither palm
branches nor their representations are ever used as an amulet against the evil eye.
6 Kahle, PJ VIII, 140.

14 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
a similar sounding root.1 I could not explain the squares with the
dots (Plate I, Fig. 6). It is improbable that the dots (Pl. I, Fig. 4
and 5) represent ،،visiting cards” of the pilgrims, as Kahle thinks.
In some shrines I have seen rudimentary representations of a mosque,
a minaret, a ship, flowers, etc. The only purpose of these figures is
to beautify the maqâm. Sometimes Qoranic verses or the names of
God, the Prophet, and some of the sahâbeh are written on the walls.
The shrine of es-sêh Yasin is the best example, where beside the
words allah and Muhammad, which are surrounded by wreaths of
leaves, we find the Mohammedan creed ،،There is no god but God,
and Mohammed is the apostle of God”, two flags (the Turkish and
that of the Prophet), a half moon and many five-pointed stars. In
the mihrâb censer and chain are painted.
These decorations are made with hinnâ, nîleh or sîraqûn. Some
peasants think nîleh should never be used in holy places, hinnâ being
the only suitable material. When hinnâ (Lawsonia inermis)2 is used
as a red dye, it is kneaded into a paste and then daubed on the
wall. Very often samneh (butter) is mixed with it,3 but not necessarily
always, as Curtiss thinks.4 It is with this paste that the impression
of the hand is so often made. While adhering to the wall the paste
has a dirty greenish-brown appearance, but when it falls off it leaves
a brownish-red colour. The mihrâb5 and the immediate surroundings
are decorated first of all. Most of the other decorations are made
with nîleh (methylene blue) and sîraqûn (minium).
In many of these simple shrines, but not in all, there is a mihrâb,
which has the usual form and points southwards. There is at least
one in each of the larger sanctuaries. In some there are several.
Thus qabr er-Ra٢i near Nebi Musa has three.6 In some awliâ the
mihrâb is only indicated on the southern wall either with colour, or
with a ridge-like frame of projecting plaster. In the Christian church
of el-Hadr (between Bêt Djâlâ and the Pools of Solomon), which is
Ù¤ Canaan, Aberglaube, p. 85.
2 Hava, 138.
3 Kahle, I. c.
4 Curtiss, 209.
5 That of es-sultân Ibrâhîm el-Adhamî of Safât and the shrine of el-Imâm
cAlî on the carriage-road near Bâb el-Wâd, showed dozens of these imprints.
6 In the §ahrah (The Dome of the Rock) there are several prayer niches
which will be described later.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 15
honoured and visited also by the Mohammedans, the prayer direction
is marked by a large picture of St. George. I have seen Mohammedans
go in and perform their prayers turning their faces towards the
picture and so to the south. All mihrabs are marked in the southern
wall of the sanctuaries. The following three are the only exceptions
I know of. A mihrab in the building below el-Aqsa, a milyrab in
nabi Dahud and one in the shrine of elÙ Mufadclil (ØŒAwartah).1 In the
first it is said that the Prophet prayed during his night-visit to
Jerusalem, and when he had finished the angel Gabriel ordered him
in future to perform his prayers with the face turned to Mecca.
Thereupon the Prophet turned his face in this direction and per-
formed his second prayer.2
The floor of the poorer maqams is mostly bare, but sometimes
mats are present. The larger and more important shrines have mats
and often costly carpets.
While the last description holds true for all simple maqams, we
have still to consider those which are larger, more important, and
more elaborate. I shall try to describe them according to the various
complications of their structure. But before proceeding to this part
of our subject something should be said about the qubbeh or ؛،cupola.”
This is one of the most important features of the awlia and belongs
to almost every typical shrine. In examining a qubbeh3 we, find two
different types:
1. The simple one, where the qubbeh is built directly over the four
walls of the shrine. It looks like a hemisphere superimposed upon
the walls.
2. The square space formed by the four walls is converted into
an octagon near the roof by filling in the corners with pendentives.
The octagon is raised a little, and the hemispherical qubbeh rests on
it. A perpendicular section of such a building (cut diagonally) is
shown in Fig. 4, Plate II.
The maqams which possess two instead of one vaulted dome, are as
simple in character as those just described. In reality such a building
1 The last two are mentioned in PJ VII, 86.
2 It is curious that Abraham and Lot are thought to have performed their
prayers with the face turned to Mecca (southwards), although they are pre-
Islamic characters.
3 For a short description of it see PJ VII, 92.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
represents two rooms which, by dispensing with the separating wall, are
united to form one elongated whole. A high strongly built arch, which
helps to support the roof, takes the place of the missing wall.
In the next class are sanctuaries which have a raivaq (open arched
hall) built in front or at the side. This may be composed of one
arch, but more often of two. The people assemble here before and
after their visits to the shrine. Sometimes meals are taken and
festivals are held in this place. In Bet Hanina the inhabitants have
recently built to the south-east of djami' es-sultan Ibrahim el-Adhami
a three vaulted hall, opening to the north, and with a mihrab. E§-§eh
Salman el-Farsi (Mount of Olives) has such an open rawaq in front
of the sanctuary itself. In el-'Uzer (el-Qariyeh) and e&-seh Hamad
(Koldnia) the rawaq is at one side of the sanctuary.
Still more complicated are those shrines where one or more additional
rooms are built beside or around the sanctuaries opening into the
vaults. These serve as kitchen, dwelling-place for the servant (haddam,
qaiym) and store rooms. Sometimes, only of course when the sanctuary
is situated in or quite near a village, one of these rooms may be
used as a school room (kuttdb or maktab), and occasionally anotherØŸ
one is occupied by the seh or katlb, who may act as the teacher.
Some cases in point are:
es-seh Hamad Koldnia
es٠§eh I'mar Bet Duqquh
el-'Uzer Abu Gho§
el-Anbia Nablus
In a few cases one room is used for the ritual washing of the
dead before burial, as in ePAzerat (ØŒAwartah) and djami' el-'Uzer
(Abu Ghos).
At times the maddjeh (guest-chamber) is connected with the shrine,
as in en-nabi Su'ah1 (in the village Su'ah) 2 where it is a room built
over the shrine. In e§-£eh Abu Isma'il (Bet Liqia) and e£-£eh Hsen
(Bet 'Anan) the front room serves as a madafeh. In both these cases
we find in the centre of the room the hearth (el-wdjdq) on which
coffee is prepared for those present. The guest-house of e§-seh Yasin
(Der Yasin) is situated opposite the maqam and separated from it
1 Although the name lookes as if it were feminine it stands for Ù Yu$ac.
2 South of Bab el-Wad.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
by an open place.1 It is only in the colcl months of the year that
these guest-houses are used; in the summer months the people prefer
to sit outside under a tree or in a raivaq.2 A rough sketch of esÙ seÙ¦i
Hamad (Koldnia) well illustrates the class described above. See
Fig. 1, Plate II.
Another class is formed by holy places where the real sanctuary
is surrounded by many rooms. The rooms serve for pilgrims who
make a visit once a year and generally spend several days in the
place. In such cases the building is mostly composed of two, at
times of three, stories. The lower story is used for store rooms,
kitchen and stables, and the upper for the use of visitors. A servant
lives all the year around in such a sanctuary to guard it. These
larger shrines are not generally dedicated to awlia but to prophets
(anbid, pl. of nabi). En-nabi Musa is the best known example of
this class. But only a few prophets have such large shrines. En-nabi
Saleh (Ramleh), el-Anbia (Nablus), en-nabi Yusif (Bet Idjza) and many
others have fairly simple buildings, while el-TÙ¢zer, el-Mansuri and
el-Mufaddil (all in ØŒAwartah) who are also counted as prophets, have
no building at all.
Some djaiudmi' and awlia are certainly ancient churches or old
houses. Thus I think that djdmi* fOmar ibn el-Hattab (Surbahir)
and djami el-'Uzer (el-Qaryeh) were once churches.3 The shrines of
es٠§eh ،Abdallah (Bet Surik), es-§eh Saleh (Der Yasin), e§-seh Srur
(ØŒAwartah) and es-seh en-Nubani (Nablus) are simple rooms, which
were once used as dwellings. They have no mihrab or vault and have
no signs of any tomb. They are at present in very bad state of
Many a built maqam is an open sanctuary, where the walls of the
roof rest on pillars. The best example of such a shrine is that of
Hasan erÙ¦RaÙ¦4 who was supposed to have been the shepherd of the
prophet Moses. Inside of a rectangular enclosure, built of stones
1 The school-room of es-seh Iteyim (Bet Iksa) is used according to Kahle (PJ
VI, 71) as a maddfeh. Every kuttab may be used at times as a guest house, but
this occasional use does not give such a place the special characteristics which
are found in a maddfeh and which were mentioned above.
2 For 1maddfeh see Haddad, JPOS II, pp. 279 ff.
3 The best book on this subject is Mader, Altchristliche Basiliken und Lokal-
tradition in Sudpalastina, خلود
4 Kahle, PJ VII, 91.

18 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
and mortar, we see an elongated and vaulted roof which rests on
six pillars, three to the north and three to the south. Between these
pillars is the large tomb. El-Mas'ad (Mount of Olives) is an octagonal
sanctuary with the sides closed up. Masadjid sittna 'Aiseh has a vault
resting on four corner pillars, Ù¦vhere the south side has been completely
closed, and the eastern and western only partly built. The western
and the southern walls of the shrine of Ahmad es-Sarrisi1 are closed,
while the two other sides are open.
I do not propose to give an exhaustive architectural description
of all types of shrines. My only aim has been to give simple examples
of the different classes. Descriptions of beautiful mosques like es-
Sahrah, el-Aqsa, etc., need not be given here, since they may be
found in convenient form elsewhere.2 Many of the sanctuaries which
are situated in a village serve at the same time as the djamz of
that place, where the people assemble for prayer. Many a djami' was
built in the immediate neighbourhood of a iveli, as in the case of
e§-seh Djarrah, Sacd u S'id (both in Jerusalem), Salman el-Farsi
(Mount of Olives) etc. Some sacred sites which are situated out in
the fields, and which contain no tomb, serve for the passer-by as a
place in which to perform his prayers, e. g. el-Imam 'All, on the
carriage-road from Jerusalem to Jaffa.
We often find in front of the sanctuary an elevated place, well
covered with large, smooth stone flags, called msalldydt. They are
generally in close contact with the sanctuary and serve for prayer.
It is not necessary that a ritually clean cover be spread on them
since they are always kept clean. Such ،،prayer platforms” are met
with in es-seh Saleh (fAnata), Irdjal Sufah (W. of Der Ghassaneh),
es-seh Damrah and es-^eh en-Nubani (both in Mazari en-Nubani.3
Before passing on, it may be well to note that in some shrines
there are inscriptions. They are generally found just above the
door of the sanctuary or above that of the court, though occasionally
Ù¤ On the top of a mountain in Abu Ghos.
2 Short descriptions are found in Baedeker, Meistermann and other guide-
books; scientific descriptions are: Gressmann, Der Felsendom in Jerusalem, PJ
IV, 54 ff.; R. Hartmann, Der Felsendom und seine Geschichte, 1909; De Vogue,
Da Mosque d'Omar a Jerusalem, 1905.
3 I am indebted for information regarding the last three places to Omar Effendi

CANAAN: Moliammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 19
they may be found above the window (es- h JDjarrah). or above
one of the pillars of the vault (eSSeh Hasan er-Ba'1). Some such-
inscriptions are:
1. Above the central door of the sbrine el-HadrahØ› (Nablus):
ءبر هدا ادبك د ابام السلطان الملك س٨ف الردن افلاون الهوالع عزه أللد
ووالده ١سلطان الملك الصاؤع علأ الددن عز 'سره.
Tills prayer luntse rvas built during tire (reign) days 0Ø› tire sultan,
titering Sei؛ ed-Drn Qalaran, lire pious. God ١nake him porer؛ut;
and Iris ؛atlrer es-suttan tire pious king ،Ala cd-Dim His victories
be glorious.
2. Inside maqdm el-Hatlr (Nablus): 2
يا دامدوفي يا بدوي مقام الخضر احد البدوي عبدالقارر ابيلاذى
0 Dasuql 0 Badaur Tire maqam 0؛ el-Halr Al mad el-Badari لآ
"Abd-el-Qadir ed-Drani.
Ù 3. An inscription on velvet laid on the cenotaph of el-Anbia
4هذاضربع انبياونا انبيا اللد الكرام من اولاد سددنا .بعقوب وهم ردالون
و.بشاًت5 ودشر على نبينا وعليتهم وءلى سئو-الانبيا افضل الصلاة وأتم السلأم.
This is the tomb 0Ø› the proplrets ojâ–  God, tire Gtorious: the sons 0Ø›
our master Jacob, and tlrey are Baydin, Jasadar and Aar. On
bell 0Ø› our Prophet, tlrese, and all otlrer proplrets may there be the
most e$icacious prayers, and tire most complete peace.
4. In the raivaq adjacent to the shrine of el-Anbia:
كدما دذل زكريا لدمكر١ب ودد عد ها رقا 6
Whenever Zacharias went into the chamber to her (his wife Mary)
lie found provisions with her. 7
1 On a marble stone.
2 The writing is in five sections, side by side.
3 El-Badawi is repeated twice. The second time should be er-Rifai.
4 Obviously a scribal error for Zebulon.
Ù¥ Stands for Issacliar.
6 A verse of the Qoran, Surah in, 37.
7 Sale’s translation. The commentators say that none went into Mary’s
apartment but Zacharias himself,, and tliat he locked seven dooi’3 upon her, yet
he found she had always winter fruits in the summer, and summer fruits in
the winter. — I cannot find the connection between the above verse of the
Qoran and the shrine of el-Anbia, which has nothing to do with Zacharias
and Mary.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
5Ù  On a marble stone above the entrance to the shrine of es-sultdn
Ibrahim el-Adhami (Bet Hanina):
بامدم الله الر٦حمحن اؤرحدم امر بادشا هذا ١لعبد ٠. ٠ الءع دددودد دن
حجا٠بد رحبه الله في سنة مدبح ودلنددن وست يابة٠ 1
It the name of the most merciful God. The Itadj Sweld the son,
of Hamagd, God be merciful to him, has ordered the building of this
-place of worship . ٠ ٠ in the gear 637. تآ ٠غا:\
6. Above the door 01 maqam elYaqin, Beni Ncem (on a marble
دمدم الله الرحس الرحيم آمر با نشا هذ١ ٠١لبكد مكبد عبد اله . . .
ءلي اوصاؤع.. . هذ١ من ماله ...
In the name of the most merciful God. Mohammed Abdallah . . Ù 
Al es s leh Ù  Ù  .has ordered the building of this prager house, front,
his own moneg . . .1
7- Between the two northern vaults of the slirine of Gasan er-Bai
(near the Nebi Musa) we read:
ادشا؛ هذه القبة الداركة عدى حمدن الراعي ددس مره حماحمب الخير
هككبد باشا حدن اش دن اسم؛ ل وداج السلمدن فد٠وع في اباء فلم بلذى
ماج فبعلو هبته ح٠للظه الله دعاوى نقل الما على ال٨لد من قربة اربع؛
وحصل الذواب سئة ا ربيع عنئدر ومادة والف.
Mohammed Pasa, the doer of good, has erected this blessed
on Gasan er-RaÙ¦, God sanctifg his secret, as he (the Pasa) was
returning from welcoming the Mohammedan *pilgrims. He proceeded
in building but found no water. But because of his high zeal, God
protect him, the water was brought to the place s from ti e Ullage of
Jericho. Thus he deserued the heavenlg reward. The 1 Babi" 1110.
8. On the tomb of es-seh Abul-Halaweh (Jerusalem):
هو الاي البافي. هذا قبر ولي الفد ١لشيخ خس ابو ادلأوة. لروحه
الفانعة. ٣.٠ا.
1 Dots represent words which are indecipherable.
2 The qufic inscription on the tomb of F timeh the daughter of' Hasan the
grandson of the Frophet is:
أسكنت هدن كان في الا حذ؛ ع سمدكنه بالر نمم مذي ?دن الذرب والعر
افدبك فاطبه بنهتى ابن فاضة بنت الا ت٠ة بنت الارم الر هر.
See Mudjir ed-Din I, 67.
3 Lit. “to the village.”

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
He is the everlasting living one. This is the tomb of the friend of
GodA es-seh Hasan Abu el-Halaweh. For his soul (read) “al-fatihdh,.”
1305. VL
9. A golden embroidered writing on a red silk cloth placed on
the tomb of en-nabi -Lût (Beni N١êm), runs:
هزا انبر النبي ووط ءلي ا الصلوة والسلام.
This is tie tomb of the prophet Lut, peace and btessings be on hint.
10. On another cloth in the same shrine.
باسم اللد الرحمت ١نيحيم وبد د٨ههحذع٠٨ن وم1 ذوفبذى الا بالدد لا اك الا
الدا سددنا هركجد ردول الدا بسم الدا ما نداء الدا سددى ؤوط رسول
اللد لاحول ولا نو الا بالدا.
In the name oj? the host mercijut God. In him we -find help. My
success (good lucl) is only in God. There is no god but God. Our
tl Mohammed is the apostle^ oj God. In the name oj GodØ› what
God wishes. Mg tord Lut is an apostle oj God. There is neither
might nor strength but in God.
11. The writing on a banner, presented to en-nabi Lût by soldiers
coming from Aleppo and proceeding to the Suez Canal front during
the last war (1915—1916), was as folio ١vs:
a) ٠با حضوه سددى احبد الرفاءي
Oil excelle١٦cy,^ my Lord Ahmad er-RiJa'i
(written in the upper right’corner of the banner)؛
b) يا حضرة الغنطب الرباذي س٨دي ء٨د القادر اسبلا ني
Oh excellency, the di-vine pole, my lord 'Abd elQadir ed-Dtanl
(in the left upper corner)Ø›
c) با حضزه ألقطب العدوي س٨دي اسد الدوى.
Oh excellency, the supreme pole, my lord Ahmad elAdawl
(left, lowei' corner);
d) يا حضرة القطب الءقيحذي سددى ابرامبم ١لداسوق
Oh excellency, the true pole, my lord Ibrahim edÙ Dasuqi
(right lower corner);
Ù¡ Hava, p. 887.
2 Lit. Master.
3 More than a prophet.
4 hadrat is a title of honour. With Hava I render ،،excellency.”
٥ el-’Ada١vi is used here instead of el٠Bada١vi.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
e) لا الد الا الد ود رول امد
Tlxere is ^0 god, but God and Molxammed is the apostle of God
(in the centre)ØŸ
f) سددنا خبل الله به الاللام
Our Lord the Friend of GodÙ¡ peace he upon Ilim
(between a and 6)5
g) The Turkish crescent, between & and 6.
b) The Torch
Inside the shrine and generally in the centre of the room we find
the tomb of the holy person whose name it bears. Before giving
any description of the tomb itself one point should be made clear-
the connection of the tomb with the building. The tomb is often
not in the shrine, but outside of it: on the mastabah, in the rawaq
or in the garden adjacent to the maqam. But it is not at all necessary
that there should be a tomb directly or indirectly connected with
the place to make it a shrine, and there are many tombs which
have no qubbek Both these features will be discussed at length in
another part of this work. Ù¦Ve may classify tombs according to their
position as follows:
1. Those connected with a maqam, may be situated^
a) in the shrine itselfØŸ as el-Badriyeh (Sardfat), Bisr elljdfi
(Nablus) etc.;
b) in the rawaq; es-sayid Ahmad et Taiyar (Sarafat);
c) in the garden adjacent to the sanctuary; en-nabi (Annir (Der
Amdr), es-Seh Yusif (Harbatd).
2. Those which have no shrine built, but are situated
a) in a caveØ› eS-Seh es-Sidri (Anata), es-sitt erRab ah (Mount of
b) outside in the fields or in a cemetery; es-seh Muhammad el-
Baqqani (Nablus), eg-seh Ramad , eg eh 'Bed (both in Qatanneh),
el ter Awartah) etc.;
c) inside the village, among the houses and not attached 'to any
maqam or cemetei’y; es-seh Suwan and es-seh Ismd'il (both in

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 23
It often happens that in addition to the main tomb or tombs,
which are situated inside the shrine, there are one or more outside
which are intimately connected with the life history of the main
ØŸThese may be situated at various distances and still retain their
association. Some illustrations are:
In the neighbourhood of esÙ seh ØŒAbd esÙ Salam and outside the
maqam is to be seen tlje tomb of his son Salman. El-BadriyehÙ  has
outside her shrine and in the adjacent hall the tomb of her husband
es-sayid Ahmad et-Taiyar. EsÙ seh Ahmad ehBustami and his brother
e§٠seh Murad (Nablus) have their negro servant buried outside of
the maqam. El٠Qatrawani’s shepherd lies buried near the sanctuary
of his master.
The number of tombs in one sanctuary varies. In the majority
of cases there is only one, but some have two, others even more.
One of the tombs, generally the largest, is of more importance than
the others. It contains the important well, and therefore the
sanctuary takes his name. The other graves are those of his near
relatives: his Ù¦vife, his brother, his male descendants and sometimes
his servant. The shrines of es-§eh Anbar and es٠seh Badr comprise
two tombs each, that of the well and that of his wife. In the case
of esÙ seh Badr both tombs are in the same room, while in that of
e£-seh ،Anbar the tomb of the weZis wife is in a small room adjacent.
In el-Badriyeh one tomb in the shrine itself is said to be hers, the
other to the north that of her children, while the tomb outside her
shrine is believed to be that of her husband. More interesting are
those cases where we meet with more than two tombs. In es-seh
Hamad (Kolonia) there are five, the tomb of the well, two for his
two wives, one for his son and the fifth that of his servant (really
black slave rabd). The tomb of the servant is shown partly in and
partly outside the shrine. But the two halves do not correspond to
each other. We often meet Ù¦vith tombs which are arranged side by
side and which belong to one of the following classes:
1. The graves of members of the same family, like the Dawari in
Surbahir and the Yamin family in Bet Anan. All are regarded as
sullah, righteous men (pl. of sdleh). In Sa'fat there are also two tombs
of the family of ed-DawaØŒri. In Irdjal el-'Amud (Nablus) we find
many tombs outside the maqam which are supposed to be the graves
of the servants of the awlia buried here.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
2. The tombs of mudjalidin and sidiada. Both words mean
،،martyrs.” The first denotes those who have fallen in a holy war.
In Hebron we are shown the tombs of es-Suhada. After decapitation,
it is said, the heads rolled down shouting na$hadu, na^hadu, nashadu
(،،We witness, we witness, we witness”). In Ramleli the tombs of
el-Mudjahidin are arranged in several rows, not far from en-nabi
Saleh. Some large tombs are said to contain the remains of more
than one saint, as in al-Anbia (Nablus). rThe darih is supposed to
be built over the remains of the prophets Raiyalun, Yasdjar and
Asar the sons of Jacob. An inscription on silk hanging over the
tomb reads: ،،This is the tomb of the prophets of God, the Glorious,
the sons of our master Jacob, and they are Raiyalun, Yasadjar and
Asar. On behalf of our Prophet, these, and all other prophets may
there be the most efficacions prayers and the most complete peace.”1
In Abu Ghos we find that the tomb of es-seh IsmaØŒil el-Tnbawi,
which lies by the north wall of the shrine, has a structure connecting
it with the wall. This structure is said to be the tomb of his son
es-seh Nasir.
The following list illustrates the number of the tombs at some
maqdms, and their connection with the leading well himself:
Ù  Name of the well Location Ù  Graves of Graves of Wife or the well brothers wives Sons Servant
es٠Hamad2 Kolôniâ 1 — 2 1 1
es-Badr2 Jerusalem 1 — 1 — —
es-'Anbar ،Êsâwîyeh 1 — 1 — —
e£-Ismâ،îl2 el٠Qaryeh 1 — — 1 —
es-Ifmar Bêt Duqquh 1 — 1 33 —
Zâwieted-Darwisiyeh Nablus4 1 1 — — 1
el-Qatrâwânî near Bîr Zêt 1 — — — 1
el-Anbia 2 Nablus 3 — — — —
el-Badrîyeh5 Sarâfât 1 — 1 1 —
es-'Abd es-Salam ،Anata 1 — — 1 —
i The tradition that Zebulon, Issachar and Asher are buried in Nablus may
go back to the Samaritans.
2 Already described.
3 Eâ-sêh I،mar is the son of es٠sêh Sâleh. His son Dâhûd had one son,
Marrâr, whose son’s name was Qasirn. Icmar and the last three are buried in
this sanctuary.
4 The two brothers Alimad and Mrâd el-Bustâmî are of equal importance.
s The more important grave of the two is that of el-Badriyeh.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
The tombs are built of stone. In most cases the whole is simply-
plastered ever and whitewashed. Even if they are situated out in the
open air (cemetery, fields, etc.), and have no protection at all from
the storms, they are no better treated. Other tombs are constructed
of good hewn stones, Ù¡vhich is usually the mark of a tomb of recent
origin.1 The tombs of el-Ù¢Uzer, elÙ Mufaddil and of el-Mansuri are
very well kept. In the case of the first (Fig. 2, Plate II) I could
recognize three layers of well wrought plaster (qsard). The general
structure of these tombs and of the cenotaphs of many important
ivelis consists of an upper gable section superimposed upon a lower
oblong base. Fig. 3 of Plate II shows a transverse section of such
a cenotaph.
The orientation of the tomb is in general from E. to W., i. e. the
orthodox orientation of all Mohammedan tombs in this part of the
Mohammedan world. rlÙ¦he dead are laid on their right sides with
their heads to the west and their feet to the east, thus turning their
faces to the qibleh (direction of Mecca).2 There are a few exceptions
to this rule. Es-seh G-hanim of Jericho, situated in the western
cemetery, is the best case of such an exception since his tomb is
built from N. to S. This saint is of the holy family ed-Dawacri. We
have already seen that some of them are buried in Surbahir and
others in Sa'fat. In the case of es-seh Zed (ØŒAnata.) it is somewhat
difficult to decide how the tomb is supposed to lie. The wall runs
from N. to S. and in the midst of it there is a Sahid, but only one,
and no signs of any enclosure running from east to west, defining
the direction of the tomb. It is generally said that graves showing
this direction belong to the pre-Islamic prophets, but this explanation,
although true of some, does not hold in the two cases alluded to.
The graves ot enÙ nabi Samwil, el-'Uzer, elÙ Mufaddil3 and el-Anbia4
run approximately north to south, that of Lot5 (Beni Nrem) has a
N. to S. direction.
Ù¡ With regard to the general construction of modern Mohammedan tombs I
may refer ٠ to Boehmer’s article, Auf den miislimischen Friedhofen Jerusalems,
ZDPV, 1909—10.
2 PJ VII. 86; Jaussen, Coutumes, p. 99.
3 Both in ØŒAwartah.
4 In Nablus.
5 It is curious that while the direction of the tomb is N. S., this prophet is
reported to have turned his face, while praying, to the south.

26 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
In shape the cenotaphs are elongated with top rounded, flat or
with a triangular section rising to a single edge. The tomb of el-
Badriyeh (Fig. 1, Plate III) has a line from end to end of the top,
running parallel to the axis, and thus dividing the cenotaph into
two parts. It looks as though two tombs were indicated, but popular
tradition allows only for one. At both ends we find perpendicular
stones, nasb1 or saliid, marking the head (west) and the feet (east).
Very often only the head nasb, sometimes carved in the form of a
turban, is found (es-seh Abu Halaweh, Jerusalem); in others neither
head nor feet are marked at all (eSÙ seh Saddad and eS-seh Saleh).
Female saints (el-Badriyeh, RabØŒah etc.) and gigantic tombs (el-cUzer
and el-Mufaddil) have no saivahid. In many cases, Ù¡vhere we do not
find any such stones, a careful investigation shows that the cenotaphs
once had them, but have lost them (e§٠seh ،Neni in Surbahir). Where
more than one saint is supposed to be buried in one and the same
grave, we may find more than one sahid, as in el-Anbia (Nablus),
where there are three Sawahid, one standing for each of the three
sons of Jacob, who are supposed to be buried here. According to
Jaussen these two perpendicular stones are symbolic, representing
the two angels who visit the dead.2 I could not verify this
The tomb may be as high as 1—1.50 meters, but some are very
low. The tombs of es-geh Badr, of his wife, and that of es-§eh Rihan
are not raised at all above the surrounding floor. Those built outside
a maqam are generally elevated, while the lower ones are always inside
of buildings. The sizes of tombs differ enormously. The greater number
are of normal size, though some have exceptionally large dimensions.
The following are the largest that I have seen:
Name of saint Location Length Breadth Height
El-'Uzer ØŒAwartah 564 362 385 cms.
el٠Mansuri ،Awartah 440 235 — cms.
el-Mufacldil ،Awartah 468 264 — cms.
es-sultän Halil Qalawäni Nablus 458 — — cms.
1 Muhit el-muhit and Hava do not give this special meaning, but „a stone
set up”.
2 I have been unable to find such an explanation in the Arabic books.
3 Coutumes, 337.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
Name of saint Location Length Breadth Height
el-Anbia Nablus 410 — — cms.
Hasan er-Râl near Jericho 590 225 140 cms.
en-nabi Mûsâ near Jericho — - — cms.
es- h Djarrah Jerusalem 195 137 185 cms.
Many cenotaphs have in one of their walls a small niche (tdqah), in
which oil lamps (sradj, pl. surdj), matchboxes ('libit kabrit; tsahhateh) 1,
etc. are placed. These niches may be found in the northern side of
the tomb, as at eih Suw n,2 e§- h Imbarak 3 in the southern side,
as at ed-Dawa'ri,2 ed-Djarhhid,* eS eh Zed,5 e§-seh Ismacil,* 2 3 4 * * * 8 or in the
western side, as in the case of eS-Sel HamdallahG and es-8eh 'Anbar
Some tombs possess more than one, as in the case of the siuh ed-
Djarhhid on the Mount of Olives, where there are three tombs in
one line.8 The one in the centre has two niches, a western and a
southern. The last niche is supplied with a wooden door. In one
tdqah I found a lamp and tins of oil and in others water, matches,
and burned incense.9 ES-Seh ez-Zughbeli (near the tomb of el-Mansftri
in 'Awartah) has such tdqat (pl. of tdqah), a southern, a western and
an eastern one.
While in tombs situated in a shrine, with such a taqah tlie incense
is generally burnt in one of the wall niches,40 in all tombs found in
the fields or in a cemetei’y and 'having no building, light and incense
are placed in these cenotaph niches.
Some have on top a circular, shallow or deep cup-like cavity, in
whicli water, but more often flowers are placed. It is believed by
some that the soul of the dead visits the tomb once a week, on
Eriday and expects to find some water to quench its thirst. These
؛ Really lcahhdteh, the ،،k” is pronounced in some dialects “ts”.
2 In Surbahir.
3 Bet Iksa.
4 Mount of Olives.
s ، Anata. The tdqah is made in this case by removing a stone from the wall
running from north to south.
Ù¥ Biddu.
Ù¦ ØŒEsawiyeh.
8 Kahle mentions only two tombs, but there are three; PJ VII, 90.
Ù¥ rThe middle and the southern tombs are connected at their head-ends with
a small wall. Whosoever lies between them will be cured from his disease. See
also Kahle, PJ VII, 91.
٠٥ In es-seh Hamad the oil lamps were placed on the tomb.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
cupÙ like holes are to be found more frequently in the tombs of common
people than in those of sullah (pl. of saleh, pious man).
From what I could gather from different people these cups are
used for one of the following purposes1Ø›
1. Water and flowers are placed in them. The purpose of the
Ù¡vater is to keep the flowers living for a long time. This is the
explanation given by the better class of people.
2. The water in the cup is for the birds, to drink 'ann riih el-maiyet,
“for the (benefit) of the soul of the dead.” The idea behind this
explanation is that the birds Ù¦vill thank the soul of the dead for
this benevolent act, and will in case of necessity testify to this good
action. Such an explanation is given by people of the middle class.2
3. The water in the cup3 serves to quench the thirst of the soul
of the dead. This idea I have heard from peasants and some simple
Mohammedans of Jerusalem.
Flowers, water, etc. are generally brought on ØŸThursday afternoon,
the day when the cemeteries are usually visited.
Another custom, which points to the belief mentioned under
No. 3, is the fact that very often the relations of the dead read
the fatiliah, for his soul in case his widow becomes engaged to
another man. At the same time an egg and a small jar full of
water are buried at the head of the tomb. The water is supposed
to quench his thirst and wet his mouth, while the egg Ù¦vill burst
asunder, in place of the dead man, when the behaviour of his wife
becomes known to him.4
Up to now only complete tombs have been mentioned, but parts
of tombs are also found. A short description of one of them will
suffice. In Surbahir5 just behind the guest-house there is a rectangular
depression in the rock about 4x2 metres in extent, with a depth
of 50—60 cm. Two steps lead down. In the midst of the western
ا It is curious tat Kahle gives only one explanation of these cups, PJ VII, 90.
2 For the same reason, as Kahle thinks, about 450 kg of corn and a zir of
Ù¦vater are placed on the feast-day of el-imam es-Safi 1 on the roof of his maqam
3 At times there are two such cups. Even on common tombs one may find them.
4 This custom is dying out.
5 I have heard both “Surbahir” and ،،Surbahil”.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 29
wall there protrudes a small, very simple building resembling one half
of a common Mohammedan tomb. Enquiring about the significance
of this I was told that eS-Seh Isma 1 was buried in a small cave in
in the rock, and that this building is intended to covei’ his feet,
which protruded since the cave was not long enough for the whole
body. In the east side of this half tomb there is a taqali which
serves light and incense.
Very often tombs are decorated. Hinna, siraqun and nileh are
used. Palm branches, hands, lines and dots are frequently met
with. Siraqun pi’oduces a beautiful red colour. It is curious that all
representations of palm branches made on the graves of edÙ Dawari
(Surbhir) had five or seven branches. Sometimes verses from the
Qoran or the names of God are written with these colours. In the
case of the three tombs of Syuh ed-Djarahid (Mount of Olives) I
noticed a red line running across every tomb, commencing with the
lower and naiddle part of' the northern side and terminating at the
lower and middle part of the southern side. In many cases an
inscription may be found connected with the tomb. The inscribed
stone is on the sides or on the top of the cenotaph.
Lastly it should be noted, that a gi’eat number of' the tombs
situated inside a maqam are covered with one or more star at[ (pl. of
st&rah, cover). Generally it is a greenish cloth, often with a bordei’
or embroidery in other colours. Sometimes the covers are decorated
with verses from the Qoran. On the rasiyeh (headstone) a turban
and sometimes a masbaliah (rosary) are placed. This last may, as
in the case of Beiram Sawig (Jerusalem), be placed around the whole
tomb. In many cases the starah itself is not put directly on the
tomb, but on a wooden cage, which is made in the form of the tomb
and encloses the grave. Such are especially used where the tombs are
very- low, as in al-Badriyeh and the already mentioned Beiram &awi§.
In many cases an inscription laid on the starah, and embroidered on
a piece of velveteen, informs US of the name or names of those interred
in the grave, as on the tombs of Irdja el And, el-Anbi^, eS-Seh
Ahmad el-Bistami and es-sul n Badr el-Ghafir (all in Nablus).
Sometimes the tomb is encircled with an iron frame (eS-Seh Salm&n
1 Also sitrat, pl. of sitreh. This expression is not used much for these covers.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
All tombs so far described have been tombs built of masonry.
But there are others made of an elongated heap of stones, surrounded
by a stone enclosure.1 Such graves very much resemble the present
simple tombs of the peasants. We meet with them especially among
the Bedouins (es-sêh Zughbeh,2 Jericho). In some cases there is no
surrounding enclosure, and this points to the most primitive type of
tomb cult. The only example of this kind which I have seen is that
of es-âêh Hués3 of Biddû. No tâqah is connected with it.4 In others
we do not find a heap of stones, but only a perpendicular stone at the
head and another at the foot to mark the position of the grave (qabr),
as in e§-sêh Sabbah at Jericho. This supposed tomb is surrounded
by a huwêtah (enclosure).5
c) Trees
Trees constitute a very important element of most shrines. This is
not a new custom, for many of the ،،high places” of the Old ؟Testament
were associated with ،،green trees”. I have no doubt that with few
exceptions every Mohammedan sanctuary is, or was once, characterised
by one or more trees. Welis of recent origin, however, are generally
treeless, like es-sêh Abu Halawi. A large number of these trees ٦vere
cut down during the war, while many have died of old age or been
uprooted by storms (el-Butmeh in Bêt Safâfâ). These are doubtless
the main causes why so many shrines are at present treeless. I have
very often heard the following statement: ،،The well has no tree at
present, but I remember very well that during my childhood there
stood a large tree there.” In many cases, where the old tree was cut
down, the inhabitants of the village, to whom that particular saint
belongs, have planted a new one of the same species, as was done,
for example, in es-sêh ،Anbar. The huge fig tree which once grew
there was cut down and burned by the soldiers, whose camp was in
the neighbourhood. The people of ØŒEsawiyeh have planted another
1 Doutté, Magie et Religion^ p. 432.
2 Not Zu bell, as given by Kahle, PJ, 1911, p. 88.
3 In 1922 the inhabitants of the village had heaped stones together to build
the tomb.
4 Kahle describes another example of this category, namely es-sêh Mohammed
Darir el-Qadri (PÙ¨ 1911, p. 87).
٥ In the vicinity there is a zaqqûm tree (a kind of myrobalm).

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
in its place. At times it so happens that at some distance from the
well a tree grows up, and a statement by some one from the adjacent
village, that it was revealed to him in a dream that this tree belongs
to the same well, is sufficient to protect the tree completely. A mes
tree (celtis australis L.) growing quite near esÙ seh Abdallah (Sarfat),
and a fig tree growing above the cave of es-seh Abd es-Salam (Anata)
are regarded at present as belonging to the saints.
According to my data from all the shrines where I Ù¡vas able to
obtain definite information as to the presence or absence of trees,
they were found in 60 Ù /o of the cases. From an analysis of the
different species of trees growing near these places we find that
sanctity is not attributed to one more than to others. This fact
indicates that it is not the tree itself which makes the place holy
but that the tree derives its sanctity from the well to whom it is
dedicated. In some cases it would appear that there is proof to the
contrary, but see below. The following analysis may not be without
interest. Out of 128 cases where trees were found near sanctuaries,
in 30 cases the trees were oaks (ballut1), in 25 figs (tin2), in 21 carobs
(barrub3), in 16 olives4 (zetun5), in 14 Mulberries (tut6 7 8), in 12 lote
trees (sidr1) and in 10 terebinths (butum*). Other trees occasionally
found are:
1 Quercus coccifera L. In this connection I wish to express my thanks to
Mr. Dinsmore for his kindness in giving the exact botanical names.
2 Ficus carica L.
3 Ceratonia siliqua L.
4 Olea europea L.
5 A few words about the role ’ played by the olive tree in the Palestinian
folklore may be of interest. The olive tree is called in the different commentaries
on the Qoran, eS-Sadjarah el-miibarakeh, the blessed tree. It comes from Paradise,
and is the most noble among all the plants (Fahr er-Razi VI, 264; VIII, 458).
A common proverb compares the olive tree with the bedouin (who can live
anywhere in the desert and requires very little for his living) and the fig tree
with the fellah (who has more necessities) and the vine with a sirriyeh (who
requires a great deal of attention). Christians belive that olive trees kneel down
in the night of the feast of Holy Cross.
6 Morus nigra L.
7 Zizyphus Spina Christi L.
8 Pistacia palestina Boiss.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Fig. 1، A frieze representing two serpents.
Fig. 2. The number 810170 inscribed over the entrance to the
sanctuary of en-nabi Lut.
Fig. 3. A frieze (esÙ sultan Ibrahim el-Adhami, Sa'fat).
Fig. 4. Dots of hinna, or nileli.
Fig. 5. Dots of the five fingers.
Fig. 6. Decorations seen in the shrine of es-seh Hamed in ed-Djib.
I could not elicit their meaning.
Fig. 7. Representations of two serpents.
Fig. 8. Representations of different sorts of palm twigs, some have 5,
others 7 leaves, while most of them have more.

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
snobar Pinus pinea L. stone pine,
saru Cupressus sempervirens L. cypress,
qres Pinus haleppensis Mill. Aleppo pine,
nahl Phoenix dactylifera L. palm tree,
maUul Quercus aegifaps L. Greek oak,
sdbr Opuntia ficus indica L. Mill. pricklyÙ pear,
dalyeh Vitis vinifera vine,
rumman Punica granatum L. pomegranate,
mes Celtis azcstralis L. hackberry, nettle tree,
djummez Ficus sycomorus L. sycomore,
glzar Lazzrzcs nobilis laurel.
Trees which naturally predominate on the plains — such as
mulberries, palms and sycomores —are naturally more common in
connection with shrines found in the plains.
In some cases a solitary tree serves to beautify the shrine, in
others a small or a large grove is assigned to the holy person. It is
my opinion that in the neighbourhood of many of these holy trees
there used to be woods, from which one or more trees now survive,
testifying to the former ،،forest glory” of Palestine. Es-seh el٠Qatrawani,
Irdjal Abu Tuh,1 e§-§eh Ahmad,2 es٠§eh Abu Lemun,3 etc. illustrate
this view.
It is not necessary that a group of trees assigned to a zveli should
be all of the same species. The following shows that different trees
may be connected with the same zuelz:
Abu Lemun Bet Iksa terebinth and oak trees;
el-Mansuri ØŒAwartah mulberry and vine trees;
el-'Uzer 'Awartah terebinths, a palm and a carob;
sadjarat el-Arb'in Qubebeh figs, oak and terebinths;
el-'Uzer 'Ezariyeh pomegranate, cypress and a lemon;
Salman el-Farsi Mount of Olives Aleppo pine, cypress, olive and
Abu Tuh
Bêt Lîkiâ
olive, oak, terebinth, carob ØŒnd
several other sorts.
The trees are generally in close proximity with the sanctuaries.
In very exceptional cases the building encloses the tree, or rather
٤ Bêt Lîkiâ.
5 Hirbet Qariet S'îdeh.
3 Bêt Iksâ.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 35
part of the trunk. But it is not infrequent for the tree to be found
at some distance from the well. In cases where the holy man has
several trees dedicated to him, one may grow near the maqam, while
others are at considerable distance from it. The best example of
this is al-Badriyeh, who has in her sanctuary an oak, two olive trees
and a lemon tree, another large oak tree to the east of the maqam,
a third oak in the valley, one on the way to elÙ Malha and a fifth
which stood once east of er-Ram. This last was cut down during
the war. Es-sultan Ibrahim el-Adhami (Bet Hanina) has a mulberry
and at some distance two oaks and a meseh. The last died recently
and was cut down.1
Holy trees, not connected with any qubbeh or tomb will be
described later. All holy trees, whether they be near to or far from
the shrine are revered and respected; even those that are not
connected at all with any shrine enjoy the same reverence. If the
holy tree is a fruit-tree such as mulberry, fig, vine, cactus, etc. it
is regarded as a soibil,2 i. e. everybody who passes that way is
permitted to eat as much as he chooses, but nothing must be
carried away. One who breaks this rule is said to be severely
punished by the saint of that particular tree. Nearly all who avail
themselves of this privilege will recite the fatihah before plucking
the fruit. In other cases the qayim or haddam (the responsible
servant of the shrine) reserves for himself only the right to gather
the fruit of such trees, as well as those of the waqf gardens
belonging to the shrine, as in the case of sittna el-Hadra in
Nablus. In the case of el-Mansuri fAwartah) the large vine is
rented to some inhabitant of the village, who has the sole right to
cut the grapes. The income from the fruits is used to repair the
How severely the saint will punish anyone who steals from his
property is shown in the following story about el-Mansuri.
A gendarme happened to pass through ØŒAwartah. He rested under
the mulberry tree beside the sanctuary. Seeing the beautiful
1 Other examples are es-seh JJamad (Kolöniä) with a mulberry in the sanctuary
and an oak at a distance; eä-seh ،Abdallah (el-Qubebeh) also has a mulberry and,
on the hill opposite on the south, a carob (el-harrubeh ed-djdideh).
2 Sabil is used also for a water reservoir, as will be explained elsewhere.

36 journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
grapes in the maqam, he cut a few bunches, despite the repeated
warnings of the people of the village. Before long the gendarme
began to vomit blood incessantly. Nothing helped or relieved him
until he bought a sheep and offered it to el-Man u 1, thus appeasing
his wrath and atoning for liis fault.
Another well-observed rule is that no one dares to cut any branch,
however small it may be, 1'rom any of these trees. Furthermore, the
saint will not allow anyone to gather and take away the bl’oken or
withered branches. Tliey may only be used for cooking such meals
as are off'ered in fulfilmeut of a vow, or meals prepared in festivals
of that particular well. ES- h Brek (pronounced by some Bretj
south of Yalo had many trees which were cut down by some of the
inhabitants of that village and converted into charcoal. According
to local belief he revenged this infamous act by slaying every one
of the trespassers. The people always believe that locusts cannot
injure the holy trees. Most of those I asked about this subject
assured me that while all other trees of' the village in the year 1915
were completely eaten up by this frightful curse, the holy trees
remained untouched. This can be taken as an excellent illustration
of the childlike belief of the peasants, for only such trees which
were in general not attacked elsewhere by the locusts, were spared
in the case of the wells.
One additional point should be mentioned in connection with
trees. The sacredness of the trees and the respect shown to every
well is the reason why peasants of the neighbouring fields deposit
their grain and wood, their ploughs and other agricultural implements,
and the like, under these trees for one night or longer, feeling sure
that the well will protect them. More will be said later about this
Not to be confused with holy trees which are associated with
saints, are those which are inhabited by demons. It is very difficult
to give any definite rule by means of which a stranger can differen-
tiate between the one and the other. The following points appeal-
to be characteristic:
1. I have never heard that a tree supposed to be inhabited by
demons was hung with pieces of cloth. Every person whom I asked
about this answered in the above senseØ› and so I can not verify the

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
statement of Mills, quoted by Goldziher in liis Mohammedanische
2. While any tree can be sanctified by a well the djinn seem
only to inhabit certain kinds of trees, especially the harrub. Several
stories illustrating this belief may be found in my Aberglaube.2 This
is why an Arabic proverb says, “Sleeping below a carob tree is not
recommended,” 3 since it is thought that these trees are not only
preferred by the demons as a home, but that they assemble here
from time to time. Therefore a simple fellah will not bind his donkey
to a carob tree without asking the djinn first for permission. Super-
stition tells US that this tree was the cause of the ruin of king
Solomon’s kingdom. The misfortunes attached to it may arise from
the idea that the harrub 4 belongs to the misfortune-bringing planet
Saturn. Ù  Black fig-trees are also thought to be preferred by the
demons. 6
When a tree is inhabited by a demon it cannot belong at the
same time to a weiS. This is different with springs, where a good
and a bad spirit may dwell in one and the same water course. 7
The story of the liarrub tree and the 1’uin of king Solomon’s
kingdom runs as follows: One day in the temple courts king Solo-
mon noticed a young plant unknown to him. He asked this plant
for it name. “Harrub” was the answer. “Of what use art thou?”
continued the king. “To destroy thy works,” replied the plant.
The king then asked God that his death whenever it should occur,
might be hidden from the demons till all mankind should be aware
2 p. 8 ff.
لأ en-nom taht eli-harrub glier mamd'uh.
4 1٦١ا١لآذةةأا gliaiatu-Thahm.
5 The word harrub (carob) comes from the same root as harraba, “to ruin,”
and so it is a very bad omen to dream about this treeØ› cf. 'Abd el Ghani en-
هلل١ل١ةلآ٦ tat٩٠r el-a٩٦am fttd hr el-mcmam سه ZDMGr.
ئ The following story may illustrate this point. M. I. from Artas went with
his wife s., daughter of M. z., to the vineyards. He approached her under a
fig tree and forgot to say: “bismi-llah er-rahman er-rahvm,,” to drive away the
djinn who live in sucli a tree. Soon afterwards his wife was attacked with
epilepsy whicli, as we know, is thought to be caused by a djinn. In this case
lie was told by a seh, to whom he went for advice, that the inhabiting demon
was a teyr taiyar, “a flying bird,” whicli could not be cauglit.
. 7 JPOS, I, pp. 153—170, and Aberglaube.

38 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
of it. Having prayed thus, Solomon dug up the carob and planted
it in his garden where, to prevent as far as possible any harm
coming from it, he watched it closely until it had grown into a
strong sapling. He then cut it down and made it into a walking
Now, many years before, Balqis, Queen of Sheba, had come to
prove the king with hard questions, one of which was how to pass
a silk thread through a bead, with a screw-like perforation. He
asked all animals, birds, reptiles, insects and Ù¡vorms for help.
Only a small white worm undertook the task, which it performed
by taking the end of the thread in its mouth, then crawled in at
one end, and out of the other. Solomon granted its request that
it might lodge in any plant it chose, and feed thereon. Unknown
to him it had found a home under the bark of the harrtib tree,
which had become his staff, and had penetrated to the very centre
of the trunk. The time arrived for the king to die, and he
happened to be sitting as usual, leaning on his stick, when the
angel of death came and took away his soul; unknown to the
demons who continued their work according to the king’s instruc-
tions for full forty years. At last, however, the worm hollowed
the whole staff, which suddenly broke and the body of the king
rolled to the ground; and thus the evil spirits knew that their
tyrant was dead.1
d) Water Courses
Another feature of most of the holy places is the presence of
water. This is either rain-water stored in cisterns (bir, pl. bidr) or
hrabat (pl. of lvrabeh, a cistern-like hole, which is not plastered), or
living Ù¦vater of wells and baiydrat (pl. of baiyarali, which are
especially found in the plain), and lastly running water from springs
and brooks. Of course not all shrines have water near them, but it
is to be found in the greater number. Such a spring or cistern is
more or less sacred to the holy man near whose shrine it is, and
from him it may derive supernatural power, which if known is made
1 The story is found in Dairatu-l-'ma drif VII; a part of it is mentioned in
al-uns ed-djalil etc. I, 121; Hanauer, Folklore of the Holy Land pp. 49.50. The
text is taken mostly from the last source.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
use of by the felldhin. This subject will be dealt with later in greater
In many cases the cistern or the well is in a ruined condition
and thus does not hold water.1 At shrines situated on or near the
tops of high mountains, cisterns are more usual; in the western plains
wells, cisterns, baiyardt and hrdbdt are generally found; while in the
hill country, where the holy places are situated on the sloping side
of the mountain, springs are more common.
In a few cases a sabil is attached to the sanctuary. Sabtl means
in this case a reservoir, built by the public road and filled at re-
gular periods with water, so that every thirsty passerby benefits by
it. A cup is always left in these places. Among welts with sabils
may be mentioned: al-imam cAli and es-seh Djarrah. The latter is
surrounded by a zdwiyeh (a sort of a convent). Outside the maqam
a neÙ¡v mosque was built, on the inner walls of which hang tbul (pl.
of tabl, drum), snudj (pl. of sindj, brass castanets), spears (harbeh,
pl. harbat2), long sharp spits or sidfi (pl. of sth) and ٥٠٠ (pl. of bis)
spits of another sort.3
The word misqdy is used in some places for sabtl. Some shrines,
like sayidna Sa'd el-Ansar and es-£eh Hamdallah, have one or more
big earthernware jars (zir, pl. ziar), which are kept full of water.
The pious pilgrim and the passerby find water for their ritual puri-
fication and refreshment.
The welt Hamdallah4 is situated in the immediate neighbour-
hood of the western cemetery of Biddu. It is composed of a quad-
rangular enclosure, built of stone and mortar. The door is in the
northern side. Around the tomb an oak-tree and a rose-bush
grow, and another rose-shrub is to be seen outside the enclosure.
A similar jar to that mentioned above was placed in the outer
south-west corner, but was broken when I visited the shrine in 1922.
A mihrab, indicated on the southern wall, marks the direction for
prayers. Some rags were fastened on the tree. To the north of
this shrine there is a large water basin, hewn in the rock.
1 As is the case in Abu Lemun, elÙ Qatrawani, esÙ Sidri, etc.
2 The correct pjural is hirab.
3 The use of these weapons and musical instruments will be described else-
4 McCown, 1. c., mentiones only the name, not having seen the actual place،

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Fig. 1. A rough sketch of es-seh Hamad in Kolonia.
A. = Outer Court. a = Cistern
B = Maqam b = A mulberry tree
C = School Room c = Mihrab
D == Rawaq d = The tomb of the servant, partly inside
the shrine and partly in the court
E = Room for the teacher e = The tombs of the seh, his two wives and
that of his son.
Fig. 2. A rough sketch of the sanctuary of el-'Uzer (Awartah).
A = Elevated place
B = The huge tomb
C = A room with a Samaritan inscription on the western
wall. Below the inscription there are three niches
a, b, c = Three rooms, in b there is an inscription (Samaritan),
in c food is cooked by the visitors
1, 2 — Two butum trees
3 = Several carob trees
4 = A palm tree
5 = A quadrangular opening leading to a cave.
Fig. 3. A transverse section of the tomb of el-fUzer. The other
tombs of Awartah have the same form.
Fig. 4. A perpendicular section of a complicated qubbeh. Section
running through two opposite corners.
Fig. 5. Decorations around the mihrab of the sanctuary of esÙ seh
Yasin (Der Yasin).

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
اض٠2.لم .7٠
MuJ¿ دوءم; ع -

42 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Sometimes the running water and the tree are the only indications
of the sacredness of the place, and at other times we find only
water courses, which although not connected Ù¦vith any shrine, grave
or holy tree are considered to be sacred and are assigned to some
holy person. In one case, el-Matba ah, there is a swamp connected
with a weZz. This marsh has a widespread reputation for relieving
rheumatic pains and is at the same time supposed to cure sterility.
65°/o of all sanctuaries recorded in this connection possessed a
source of water (flowing or standing) in the neighbourhood.
e) Caves
The last feature to be noted is the presence of a cave in or about
the shrine. Ù¦Ve must consider three quite different kinds of caves:
1. Sacred caves connected with a sanctuary, either tomb or maqam.
2. Sacred caves, which have no connection with any shrine.
3. Simple caves, having no apparent connection Ù¦vith the sacredness
of a shrine, though situated near one.
It is interesting to note how many holy places are directly or
indirectly connected with one or other kind of cave.
Sacred caves sometimes lie inside the maqam itself and appear
rather like a shallow cistern with a wide opening.1 In such cases
we seldom find a tomb in the shrine, and the people believe that
the tomb is inside the cave itself.2 Of course no one has ever dared
to descend into the cave to look for the grave. The mouth of such a
cave is generally closed.
The following story illustrates this belief. The qaiym of es-seh
Mohammad, whose shrine lies in wadi edÙ Damm, to the south of
edÙ Djorah, once ventured to decend into the cave (el-ghar) of the
shrine. There he saw the weli with a bloody sword in his hand.
This sword was that of the Mohammedan leader who fell here
while leading the troops who finally conquered Askalon. As soon
as the qaiym climbed out he fell sick, and died in a few days.
More often the caves are outside the building, either near by or
some distance away. Occasionally people relate that the holy man
1 As is the case, for example, in the sanctuary of enÙ nebi Lut (Bani Ncem)
2 S. Kahle, PJ, 1911, p. 92.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 43
has been seen leaving his shrine and walking to the cave, whence,
after staying some time, he returns to his maqam. Caves connected
with holy persons are always respected. Some have never been
entered; others are approached only during the daytime, as their
ivahrah (condition of inspiring awe) is very strong. In many cases
oil lamps are lighted and incense is burnt in the cave itself. No
animals are allowed to enter such a cave, for it is believed that the
spirit of the holy man will sooner or later inflict severe punishment
upon such an animal. Many peasants say that they have seen in
such a cave a greenish light, which is extinguished as soon as a
human being approaches the place.
In most respects the above description also applies to sacred
caves not connected with any shrine. Fuller details regarding this
type of holy places will be given later. Among such caves we may
mention: One on the left side of the carriage-road leading from
Jerusalem to Koldnia, just opposite the last house Ù¡of Lifta, which is
situated on the right side of the road.1 A cave in the garden of
the Leper Hospital in Jerusalem.2
In addition toÙ¦ these two groups of caves there are many instan-
ces where caves are not far distant from sanctuaries but haveÙ o
direct connection with them. Often they lie in a ruin. Shepherds
may keep their flocks there during the night. Instances are the
caves found around the shrines of es-§eh ،Abd es-Salam, es-seh es-
Sidri and esÙ seh ØŒAnbar. The caves of the first are in the ruins of
hirbet ØŒAlmit, those of the second in hirbet Der es-Sidd, and those
of the third in hirbet Ibqu، ed-Dan. The caves below the shrine of
es٠sitt el-Badriyeh (٠§arafat) are used for storing straw (tibn).
These caves are of two types — either natural or hewn in the
rock. Most of the latter are ancient rock tombs, the entrances to
which have been enlarged. It is sometimes observed that old, damaged
and partly buried vaults are counted as caves. This I have especi-
ally noticed in ØŒAwartah.
The three caves belonging to this class are to my mind the
crudest type of sanctuaries. They were ruined, dark, dirty and
unattended. Es-Seh Srur is situated inside the village and is made
1 The terrain where this cave is found is known by the name el-Homeh.
2 The story of this cave is given on another page.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
of a low, dirty, dark and half ruined room which was at the time
of my visit full of lime. El-eAdjami is a very low, narrow and
dirty opening in the habitation of a peasant. The maqam was
filled with firewood. A second 'Adjami has as shrine a roomlike
cave, situated beloÙ¡v a building and vaulted over.
Although these sanctuaries are of so crude a type, they are
honoured and respected by the peasants. Oil-lamps are lighted
in them, oaths and vows are made in their name.
Among sanctuaries having a sacred cave in their vicinity are:
El-'Uzer near ØŒAwartah, es-Sahrah in the mosque of Omar (Jerusa-
lem), e§-seh Ahmad el٥Hwes in Biddu, and e£-§eh es-Sidri near
c An ata.
The first two will be described more fully later. ØŸThe tomb of
e§-£eh Ahmad el-Hwes1 lies in the common cemetery, while the
cave, which is more highly honoured, lies at the very edge of the
village. It is an ancient tomb hewn in the rock which becomes
partly filled with water during the winter time. All vows and
lights are offered to this saint in this place. He has been also
Ù en to Ù¦valk out of the cave.
The esÙ Sidri has been already described.
Sacred caves which are not connected at all Ù¦vith a tomb or a
masonry maqam will be discussed below. Among caves which, although
found in the neighbourhood of holy places, have no connection with
the sacredness of the maqam are:2
eSÙ seh Yusif between el-Bireh and Surdah,
es-seh ‘Ammar in Der Duwan,
es-§eh Abu Yusif north of Kafr Nimeh,3
e§-seh cAbd es-Salam in ،Anata.
The shrine of es-seh 'Abd es-Salam lies east of ØŒAnata in the
vicinity of the ruin. It has one room enclosing the tomb, which
is covered with a green cloth. The head stone is dressed with a
greenish laffeh (the head dress of the peasant). I found in the
shrine a straw mat, many oil-lamps, oil-bottles which were mostly
1 McCown, op. cit. p. 50, seems to know nothing about the tomb of this
well. He describes only the cave.
2 These caves need not be always close to the well.
3 Reported to the writer by Omar Effendi el-Barghuti.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 45
empty, straw brooms, an earthern oil-jar and a copy of the Qoran.
Outside of this room there are several caves, small and large, which
do not share the sacredness of the weZz. To the northeast we see
the tomb of his son, e^-seh Sliman، A fig-tree grows in the rock
adjacent to the shrine. It is related by some that the father
planted it; according to others, God made it grow in the rock to
prove the authenticity of the well.
Ù¡Ve have hitherto dealt only with those caves whose nature as
such is apparent. Very often people tell us that beneath or beside
a well there is a hidden cave, inside of which the tomb of the holy
person is situated. This feature is met witli in es-seh Ahmad el-
Karaki et-Taiyar (in Qastal), sittna el-Hadra (in Nablus), es-seh el-
Qatrawani (between Bir Zet and ØŒAtarah) en-nabi Samwil (Mizpah
of Samuel), e§-£eh-'Abdallah (in Qubebeh), etc.
Sittna el-Hadra illustrates this class. Three doors, the middle
one being the main one, lead to an elongated room which is spread
with carpets. The walls, especially the southern one, are decorated
with rough paintings, Qoranic verses, and hung with musical in-
struments and weapons of the dervishes. The mihrab is beautifully
decorated. A door in the western wall leads to a small and dark
room, which is known by the name huzn Ja'qub (،،Jacob’s sorrow”),
since it is believed that Jacob wept here for the supposed death
of his beloved son Joseph. The Ù  relates that this room is built
on a cave which was once opened. Fifty two steps used to lead
down to it. This cave is thought to be the actual place where
Jacob spent his days of mourning.1 The sanctuary is surrounded
by beautiful gardens.
It is a mistake to confuse the caves described above with those
inhabited by djinn, who appear in different shapes, mostly during
the night, and always try to ØŒinjure the passerby. Such caves are
Mgharit Abu Farh and Mgharit Mardj el-Badd (both in Abu Dis).
In the first one the djinn appear sometimes in the form of animals
and sometimes in the shape of human beings. At the second men-
tioned cave the demons assume the appearance of a cock.
Places and caves regarded as holy by Christians and Jews may,
at the same time, be considered by the Mohammedans to be the
1 There is no tomb in this cave.

46, Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
abiding place of djinn. Although this is rare, the following episode
illustrates the point. Sliman Mustafa, a peasant of Malha, was
returning one evening from Jerusalem. As he was overtaken by
heavy rain, he sought shelter in a cave Ù¡vhich lies near Bir el-Balat,
and not far from the convent of the Holy Cross. The monks of this
convent are said to have buried their dead here in former years.
No sooner had he sat down on a stone than a he-goat came close
to him. The peasant, joyful at this unexpected gift, struck a match
but could see nothing. As soon as the light of the match went out,
he saw the goat again. Frightened by the repeated appearance and
disappearance of this animal, he rushed out of the cave with the
words ،،in the name of the Gracious, Merciful God.” This freed him
from the demon, which was following him in the shape of the he-goat.
We have now considered all the characteristic elements of these
sanctuaries — ١vith the exception of stone circles, stone heaps and
rocks, which may also be found. We now proceed to deal with the
various combined features which may make up a well. Attention
must first be drawn to a constant factor affecting the importance of
the different features of a shrine. The two most important parts of
a sanctuary are without doubt the maqam and the tomb; trees and
water-courses rank second, other features being generally of minor
significance. I hope, however, in the following pages to make it clear
that even to these unimportant features is sometimes granted a high-
degree of sanctity. No place can be considered holy, i. e. inhabited
by a holy person, unless two conditions are fulfilled: (1.) The
performance there of religious acts, such as oaths, vows, lighting lamps,
burning incense, etc.; (2.) the occurrence there of unnatural phenomena,
as, for example, hearing religious music, seeing a light lit by itself,
or a severe punishment befalling a trespasser. These points will be
considered in a subsequent chapter. Let us now study the different
features which may constitute a shrine in the wide sense of the word.
They may be divided into nine classes:
I. Sanctuaries consisting of a maqam and a tomb, with all or
most of the other features;
II. A maqam but no tomb;

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
.III. A tomb without a magamp
IV. A cave with or without a tomb;
V. A simple circular enclosure of stone, without a tomb;
VI. A spring or a well;
VII. A solitary tree or a group of trees;
VIII. A heap of stones;
IX. A simple large stone or a rock.
I to VI may, or may not be combined with one or more of the
following features: a tree, water, a ruin or a cave.
I. Sanctuaries with a shrine (maqam) and a tomb.
These are the most complete and highly developed forms. Usually
we find them whenever we have to do with an important, well-
established and highly honoured saint. In such cases the tomb of
the holy person Ù¡vas the primary part of the shrine, and in the
course of time an individual or village built the sanctuary. The more
important the holy man, the greater the complexity of the building.
Prophets (anbia) enjoy the largest maqams. But even many of the
simple syuh have shrines falling within this group, as, for example,
e£٠§eh et-Tdri, es-seh ،Anbar, etc. Some of them are elaborate
structures, as e§-seh Ifmar (Bet Duqqu), es-§eh Hamad (Kolonia)
andlrdjal el-Amud (Nablus). Good examples of large and complicated
buildings are those of en-nabi Musa and All ibn ،(^)lem.1.
The shrine of es٠seh Prnar2 the son of e§-Seh Saleh is situated
on the mountain on which Bet Duqqu is built. The sanctuary
consists of three rooms, a cistern and an open place to the north
of the rooms. The open place is surrounded by a massive wall
and has a palm-tree on its east side. The two western rooms
communicate with each other. In the southern one there are the
tombs3 of the well and his wife, while in the northern one his son
es-§eh Dahud is buried. On each side of the door which leads
from this room to the open place we see a tomb, the eastern one
of which covers the remains of e§٠seh Qasim, the son of All the
son of Marar, while the western one belongs to this Marar the
1 North of Jaffa.
2 Corruption of ØŒOmar.
3 The tombs were decorated with hinnd and maghrz.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Fig. 1Ù  Plau of elBadi'iyeh.
A = Outer Court
B = Inner Court
C = Back Court
D = Small Garden
E = Cemetery
F = Sanctuary
G = Ruaq, serving as a djami،
a = door to outer court
b = door to inner court
c = entrance to the maqam
d = cistern
e = tomb of elÙ Badriyeh
f = tombs of her children
g = tomb of her husband
h = prayer niche
i = two olive trees
k = an oak tree
1 — entrance to a cave.
Fig. 2. Plan of Irdjal el-Ù¢Amud.
a = entrance to court
b = cistern
c == private tombs (those of the servants and relatives of the Saints)
d = qubbeh
e = a djami‘ with a mihrab
f = under the window is the opening to a cave, where 40 martyrs
are said to be buried. It is called ghar seydna ØŒAll ibn Abi Talib
g = the tombs of the Siuh.
On the sasiyeh of the main entrance (a) a fragment of a pillar is built.
Fig. 3. A part of the wall of the enclosure of el-Manui in (Awartah.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
? /!/
â–  Tjji
¿/ - ?7[ ¿m-t.¿ ¿w/
f ^¿{¿¿4, J.

50 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
SOP of Dahud. The eastern room used to serve as a maktab
(school room), hut its ruined state at present makes it useless.
In the two western rooms tliere were oilamps, oil-bottles, two
long wooden sticks for banners, a pot with sweet-basil and a
heap of cai’ob fi٠uits.2 The last is the tvell’s portion of the
carob tree, which belongs to him and grows at some distance
from the maqam.
Since every point in connection with maqams of this group has
already been described, we may pass on to the next class.
II. Maqams without a tomb
They are sanctuaries built in a village and bearing the name of
a djamil (a mosque), like djami' el-Arbn (‘^sWyeh), djami' (Omar
ibn el-Ha tab* (Surbahir ), djami' elUzer (el-Qaryeh), etc.
Djami' el-Uzer lies to the east of the French Benedictine chui’ch
and convent. The shrine consists of an open place, to the soutli
of which there is a rawaq with two arches and a prayer room,
which has two beautifully decorated mihrabs. To the west of the
open court is a small room, in which the dead-are ritually washed
before they are buried. Ø® spring and a palm-tree are found in
the open courtyard. Around the two mihrabs of the prayer room
and around that of the rawaq there are impressions of hands, and
representations of palm branches, some of which have nine,' others
seven leaves.
The people are well aware that the holy man whose name the
mosque bears was not buried here. They explain the connection of
his name with the place by the fact that during his lifetime he was
very pious and therefore so honoured that in every place where he
is supposed to have offered prayer—and he never missed one of the
five daily prayers—a mihrab was erected and later a djami was
built. This e.xplanation, told me by the muhtar (the village chief) of
1 Elkan, ocymon basilicum.
2 Jlarrub, carob.
3 This, of course, is not an absolute rule, for there are mosques containing
tombs, like djami' el-'Amari (Der Aban).
4 Probably a church which was changed into a mosque.
.5 Pronounced at times also Surbahil.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 51
Surbahir, and by people of Soba, is commonly given in connection with
the Caliph (Omar ibn el-Jgtab and es-sultn Ibrahim el-Adhami.!
Many mosqnes beai’ing the name of the Caliph are called (Umari.
This may account for some, but, of course, it cannot explain all the
djawami (pl. of djami) of this category. In many cases it is believed
that the holy man lived, taught, or appeared after his death in this
spot and that therefore a mosque was built in his memory. A. third
explanation was given me by the muhtar of cAnata. He said that
every time a new mosque is built it is dedicated to some saint, who
is not necessarily chosen from among the most important. But the
present writer is of the belief that the basis of such a dedication is
a legend connecting the man of God in question with the locality.
The following stories will serve as illustrations.
In the room known by the name of huzn Ya'qub and situated in
sit n el-Hadra (Nablus), Jacob is supposed to have mourned for the
death of liis beloved son Joseph.
ElUzer came to el-Qaryeli to adore Almighty God. He fastened
his ass to a pillar beside the spring and prayed. His devotion was
performed with such intensity that it lasted one hundred years, and
he thought it was only a few minutes. As he turned to the place
where he had fastened his animal he found that only the skeleton
of the ass was left.2
ES-Seh eliQatrawani lived in the village of Qatrah north of G-aza.
According to one version of the story he left his village —since he
could not fulfill his religious duties there—and came to the lonely
1 In £a،fat, Bet Hanina and Soba. In the first two there is a mosque, while
in the ,third we find only a square place with a mihrab, a large fig tree (not an
oak-tree as Mc.Cown says) and a small enclosure Qyuwettyeh) in the north-west
corner. In the taqah situated in the west wall are found various pits of broken
pottery, in which incense was burned. Most of the people gave me the name
es-sultan Ibrahim, not esÙ seh Ibrahim (Me Cown).
2 Cf. Qoran, Surah II, 253 ff. The text (Sale’s translation) runs: ،،And God
caused him (cUzer or Ezra) to die for a hundred years, and afterwards raised him
to life. And God said, How long hast thou tarried here? He answered, A day
or part of day. God said, Nay, thou hast tarried here an hundred years. Now
look on thy food and thy drink, they are not yet corrupted, and look on thine
ass: and this we have done that we might make thee ٥ «ign unto men. And
look on the bones of thine ass, how we raise them and afterwards clothe them
with flesh.”

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
spot of Dahrit Hammudeh,1 a high hill between Bir Zet and Atarah.
Here he lived in prayer and self-mortification. According to another
version when his dead body was being carried for burial, he flew up
off their shoulders and descended on the hill, where his shrine stands
at present.2
In the room leading to the so called Stables of Solomon, ،،the crib
of Christ” (srir saiydna ،Isa) is shown. It is related that St. Mary
used to put her child here.
Below the Holy Rock of the ،،Mosque of Omar” visitors are
shown places where David, Solomon, Abraham, Elijah and Mohammed
are thought to have prayed. Each of these spots is holy.
Near some shrines of the first group there has been built recently
a mosque, which bears the name of the holy person honoured near
by. But such a djamz serves only for prayer, while all honours
continue to be given to the old shrine. Examples of this are e§-seh
Djarrah and Sa'd u Scid3 (both in Jerusalem).
Hitherto we have only dealt with shrines of this class, where it
is absolutely certain (according to general belief and to external
appearance) that no tomb exists. But there is a subdivision of this
class forming a connecting link between this and the previous group,
and comprising those sanctuaries where no tomb exists and where
there is not the slightest external sign pointing even to the possibility
of a tomb, though local tradition asserts that the saint was buried
there, either beneath the building or in a cave which was afterwards
closed. Such sanctuaries are el-Qatrawani, es-§eh Ahmad el-Karaki
(Qastal), es٠§eh Husen (Bet Surik), e§-seh Abu Ismail (Bet Likia),
es-Seh 'Abdallah (Qubebeh), etc.
E§-seh Abu Isma 11, which lies in the midst of the village, consists
of two rooms. The front one serves as a guest-house (maddfeh),
while the second is the shrine of the saint. No tomb is anywhere
to be seen. But it is said that the well is buried in a cave which
lies beneath the shrine. In the middle of the guest-house is the
fire-place (udjaq) where coffee is prepared. In the outer courtyard
Ù¤ The shrine is surrounded by the remains of a church.
2 I heard these two versions from people of *At ah, the second seemed to
be the prevailing one.
'Ù¥ The shrine of the latter leh is in ruins.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 53
is a sidreh (lote tree) which furnishes a protecting shadow, so that
the guests assemble under it in the summer months.
Another subdivision is the group to which Qubbet el-Arbin1 (،،the
dome of the Forty”) belongs. Every Mohammedan knows that ،،the
Forty” were not buried in this sanctuary; nevertheless an elongated,
rectangular frame of stones in the midst of the floor running east
and west, stands for a tomb.
III. A tomb without a building
There is scarcely a village which does not possess at least one such
weli. In some places —as in Surbahir and Jericho—this type is by
far the most common. Such holy places may be composed of one or
of a whole set of tombs. Where several tombs are found side by side
the persons buried generally belong to the same ،،holy family.” Such
cases are syuh ed-Djaabri2 (Hebron), hadj Icbed (St. John), Irdjal
Sufeh (Der Ghassaneh3), es-£eh Abu Yamin (Bet 'Anan), eS-!§uhada
(the martyrs of Hebron) and elÙ Mudjahdin (the fighters in the holy
war—of Ramleh). In many cases the descendants of these saints
are still living.
The shrine of es٠§eh Abu Yamin is surrounded by an enclosing
wall. The tombs of es-seh and of his son are in the maqam, while
the graves of his descendants are in the open court around the
building, enclosed by the wall. A pomegranate, a palm and a fig
tree belong to the saint. It is said that he is often seen flying
while his band of musicians is playing. According to local belief
he and all his descendants were chosen men of God.
With the exception of a few such places — like those of es-Suhada
and el-Mudjahdin—most representatives of this class belong to recent
times. They generally come within one of the following categories:
1. A living seh of a holy family dies. His tomb receives more or
less the same honours as those of his ancestors. Examples areÙ¦ es-
seh Bhet, e£-seh Hilu and es-Seh Saleh of the family of ed-Dawari
1 Situated on the Mount of Olives, in the midst of the cemetery. It is a square
building with a small dome. A small fig garden is connected with it.
2 Their ancestor was the renowned scholar (alim) ed-Dja'bari.
3 Information derived from Omar Effendi ElÙ Barghuti.

54 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
ا These syuh ed-Dawacri are interred in the common western
cemetery of the village. Their tombs are enclosed by a rectangular
wall which is in many places defective. The most important of
them are es-seh elÙ 'Neni and Abfi Mita. Although their tombs are
smaller than the three mentioned above, they enjoy greater respect
and honour. All except the tomb of elNen have stones at head
and foot and a niche in which oil is lighted. The newer tombs are
decorated with liinna and siraqun. Broken oil-jars and oil-bottles
are scattered around the tombs.
2. If there dies a famous holy man or a derwis who had founded or
was a prominent member of a tariqah, or used to heal the sick during
his life, his tomb tends to become sacred and himself a well The
best example of this is es-seh Abu Halawi.
He is buried in the cemetery which'runs along the east wall
of Jerusalem. The tomb is situated on rising ground to the north
of St. Stephen’s gate. The qandil١ described by Kahle 1 and shewn
in the photograph which he took of the place, was stolen during
the war. Flowers are very often deposited on the tomb. This seh
was very much honoured during his life. Sick people and those in
trouble used to obtain healing and help from him. While- his dead
body was being carried to the place of burial, it flew away and
descended on the spot where the soul of the well chose to have
his remains interred. His tomb is honoured and the sick very
often tear a piece from their garments and bind it around the
head stone.
3. A night vision of some villager shows him that this or that
place, in or near his own neighbourhood, is sacred as the burial
place of a lueli The people of the village will then probably build
thei’e a tomb, as was done in the case of es٠seh Suwan.
A peasant of Surbahir, who lived in a small cave, lost one
naember of his family after the other through death. No one could
explain his misfortune. One night a reverend sell, appeared to him
in a night vision and reproaching him severely said: “Why do you
nbt respect my habitation? If you will not atone for your past
forgetfulness I will cause the remainder of your family to die.”

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
The frightened man asked: ،،Who are you, my Lord?” The reply
was: ،،I am seh Suwan and am buried here.” Early in the morning
a tomb was built, the cave cleaned and the family moved elsewhere.
In many cases a low circular enclosure, huivetiyeh, surrounds the
tomb. Even in high structures it is never vaulted. Generally it is
constructed of simple, unhewn stones, as in the following cases:
ES-âêh Sabbâh
es-Sêh Zughbeh
eâ٠sêh Hamdallah
es٠âêh Imbârak
e§-sêh fTêrî
es-sêh el٠Habîll
in Jericho,
in Jericho,
in Biddû,
in Bêt Iksâ,
in Dêr Ghassâneh.
in Dêr Ghassâneh.
Sometimes this enclosure is built more solidly, hewn stones and
mortar being used. The walls may be high and surround the entire
group of objects: tomb, trees, mihrab and open court. This open space
surrounding the tomb is often paved with stone slabs, especially in
the case of important wells like el-'Uzer (Fig. 2, Plate II), el-Mufaddil
and al-Mansuri (all in ØŒAwartah). In the case of alÙ Mansuri the wall
surrounding the tomb is constructed on three sides of beautiful small
vaults (Fig. 3, Plate III).
In the case of simple enclosures an opening like a door is some-
times left on one side. This door is often made of two large side
stones set upright with another on top, and is rather low. Although
visitors are supposed to enter through this door, this is seldom done.
Many Bedouin wells are of this type.
Es-seh Sabbah and ez-Zughbeh2—both in Jericho — are good
illustrations of the foregoing type. The former has a very low
door, while in the second a breach in the low wall serves the
purpose. A visitor must creep if he wishes to enter through the
door of the enclosure of Sabbah in orthodox fashion,3 so every
one prefers to jump over the wall.
In most cases of a tomb with an enclosure it is said that at
different times the people proposed to erect a maqam, but the saint
1 Information from Omar Effendi el-Barghuti.
2 Kahle, PJ, 1911, pp. 88. Not ZuØŒbeh but Zughbeh.
3 Creeping through the door, and thus humiliating oneself is regarded with
more favour by the 5e7¿, than jumping over the wall.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
himself refused to have one and pulled down in the night what was
built during the day, throwing the stones far away.
The tomb of es-seh Darwis of Bet Surik is surrounded by a
high enclosing wall. Every time the peasants of the village tried
to build him a suitable tomb and to put a roof on the four walls,
the saint showed his dissatisfaction by pulling down their work,
until they were obliged to give up their idea. The same is said
of el-Mansuri, el-Mufaddil and others.
In some cases we are shown a tomb, but exact investigation will
fail to disclose any thing, even a heap of stones, which might mark
the existence of a tomb. Under the terebinth tree of es-Seh Mustafa
(Soba) irregularly scattered stones were said to represent the tomb
of the welt But I could not distinguish any characteristic of a tomb.
The scattered stones were shaped like ordinary field stones.1
IV. A cave with or without a tomb
There are two types of sacred caves: those with and those without
a tomb. The first type is rare and its best representative is es-seh
esÙ Sidri.2 A careful description of this sanctuary may suffice to explain
this point more exactly. The well is situated in the ruin Der es-Sidd,
south of es-seh rAbd es-Salam, on the top of a low hill. In the ruin
there are many caves3 hewn in the rock, with stairs leading down
to them. Many cisterns, mostly defective, are scattered here and
there. Bir ez-Zqaq provides water for shepherds. The saint’s tomb
is situated in a rather large, natural cave with a low roof. The
entrance is built of good hewn stones and surrounded by a square
outer court, which lies lower than the western part. There is no door
to close the cave. At the N. N. E. extremity we find the tomb erected
on an elevated square platform with two pillar fragments on the
front corners. On both of them, as well as around the tomb, we find
oil-lamps, candle-stumps, matches, broken jars, bottles, etc. Besides
this tomb there is no other building. At present no tree is connected
with this sanctuary, but formerly a large terebinth adorned the
empty space.
1 McCown, op. cit., p. 56.
2 According to some his first name is Muhammed, according to others
3 These are used at present for cattle.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
Other examples of this type are: EsÙ seh Ahmad el-Gharib (N. of
el-Mdjedil near Nazareth); e£-seh Salman el-Farsi (Mount of Olives):
who Ù  used to have his tomb in a cave, and es-sayidi er-Rab'ah.
By the cave of es-Seh Salman el-Färsi a beautiful qubbeh1 was built.
Formerly a narrow canal (dahlia) used to lead to the cave. In
front of the pretty shrine several trees were planted: a cypress, a
pine, two pomegranates and an olive tree. A cistern is also
connected with the place.
EsÙ sayidi er-RabØŒah2 (not Rahba, as stated by Meistermann,3
nor Rähibet as stated in Baedeker4) who has her sanctuary near
el-Mascad (the place of ascension) and below Zäwiet el-Asfadiyeh, is
honoured by the Mohammedans, Christians and Jews. The Christians
and Jews do not reverence here er-Rabrah,5 but Pelagia6 and the
prophetes Hulda,7 respectively. Twelve steps lead from the upper
room to the cave in which the tomb is shown, all hewn in the solid
rock. A small room near the grave is said to be the place where
she used to perform her daily devotions. Er-Rab ah, it is said, used
to kneel a thousand times daily saying: ،،I ask for no recompense,
but to satisfy the Almighty God.” In the upper room there is a
cistern whose water is said to have a specially pleasant taste.
There are some caves, in front of which tombs are found and
both these two features are intimately connected with each other.
It is said that the well has been seen occasionally walking from his
tomb to the cave. As illustrations we may cite e§-seh Ahmad el-
Huwes, which has already been described, and e§-seh ،Asfur8 to
the south of Der Ghassäneh.9 In the first case, all honours are paid
to the cave, where it is supposed that the soul of the saint lives.
1 Kahle, PJ, vol. VI, 1910, p. 79. The ruined qubbeh has been restored.
2 The full name is er-Rabcah el-ØŒAdawiyeh elÙ Basrlyeh of the descendants of
Al eAqil.
3 Guide de la Terre Sainte, p. 278.
4 Palästina und Syrien, p. 94.
5 She is said to have died in the year 135 A. H.
Ù  She was formerly called Margarita, and died 457 A. C. Here it is supposed
that she atoned for her sins (Meistermann).
Ù¢ The inhabitants of the Mount of Olives pronounce it Huldah.
8 I owe this information to the kindness of ،Omar Effendi el-Barghui؛i.
9 In reality this shrine does not belong to this but to the rirst class. It is
said that the saint used to sit in the cave during his lifetime.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
The second category—a cave without a tomb, and supposed to be
inhabited by a saint — has many representatives in Palestine. The
caves are either natural or rock-hewn tombs. They are situated on
the edge of a village, or outside in the fields. We seldom find them
among human habitations. Among caves which are considered to
be the habitation of saints are:1
es-seh Ali Qaitn
es-£eh Ghreyib
Mgh ret es-Seh
Irdjal el-Arb'in
el-Arb'in Mghazi
es-seh Tsa
Irdjal Abu Tuh
es-seh Yusif
es-seh Abdallah
Mount Carmel,2
el-Hadr, near Bet Djali
Kut’r 'Aqab,
Bet Likia,
Bet Likia,
Bet Likia,
Bet Hanina,
Mizpah of Samuel.
Six3 steps lead down to Mgharit Irdjal4 el-Arbcin of Biddu.
The cave is small, somewhat round, with a low roof. During the
winter months part of it is full of water. In front of this cave
two oaks, an olive and a terebinth grow one beside the other. In
their shade the hatib (religious head of the village) teaches the
children. No tomb is anywhere attached to this ،،Forty.”
The Irdjal Abu Tuh, whose number is unknown, inhabit a small
cave, situated in a rather large grove.5 The entrance to the
mgharah is so small that no one can enter. Broken jars, oil-
bottles, oil-lamps and burned incense are scattered around the
opening. These saints are very much respected, no one daring to
cut off a twig from their groves.
rThe different names used for caves, irrespective of whether they
belong to this group or not, are mgharah, ghar, sqaf, and hikf.
These different expressions do not mean the same thing. The ex-
pression ghar is used only for cave-like cisterns, which are situated
1 Jaussen, Coutumes Ù des Arabes, p. 302, mentions also a cave called Mgharet
Imm Djde'.
2 Curtiss, Kahle and Mu linen.
3 Kot eight: Annual of American School of Archaeology 11—1, p. 58.
4 Very ol'ten IrdjM is abbreviated and we hear Djar Arb'in.
5 It is one.of the largest groves connected with welis.

CANAAN : Xohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
in the maqarn. They are always treated as the most holy places
and nobody dares to enter. A hadit says: ma minn nabiyn ilia
walahu ghar‘. ،،Every prophet has a cave assigned to him.” In many
cases (e. g, en-nabi Samwil) the visible tomb found in the shrine is
said not to be the true one but to surmount the actual tomb, which
is in the ghdr and cannot be seen nor visited. H-ikf1 stands mostly
for a small cave covered by a large stone slab, like es-seh el-'Umari
east of Hizma. The other expressions generally denote ordinary
caves. As has been already observed small, low, vaulted rooms are
sometimes called caves (mgharali). I met this peculiarity in cAwÙ£artah.
In Soba the Arbc in Mghazi are represented by a small shallow hole
in the old masonary. This was also called mgliarah. Here lights
and incense are burnt.2
Of course all honours are paid to such a cave just as to any
shrine. It is lit up, offerings and even sheep may be vowed, a pious
Ù¦voman will never enter any of them while impure, and no animals
are allowed to defile the holy place by their entrance.3 Not in-
frequently the cave is connected with a tree, a grove or a well as in
the case of:
e§-âêh Ahmad G-hreyib
es-sêh Mûsâ
Irdjâl Abu Tûh
Irdjâl el-Arb'în
in el-Mdjedil near Nazareth,4
in Harb at a5
in Bet Likiä,
in Biddü.
The following story illustrates how a simple cave may eventually
come to receive the honours of a shrine.
The Mohammedan leper Djum'ah,c from Abu Dis, while in the
leper asylum ،،Jesus-Hilf”, Jerusalem, used to live during the
1 Hikf is not known in Muhit el-Muhit. It may be derived from kahf, where
the first and second letters have been interchanged, and 7¿ pronounced instead
of li.
2 See description and plate in McCown’s article, p. 56. He does not describe
the place as a mgharah. When counting the welts of this village, McCown was
not shown the tomb situated in the village cemetery and which is dedicated to
es-seh Shadeh and es-sehah Mas'udeh. This place is not highly honoured.
3 This rule is not kept so strictly as it used to be.
4 I owe this information to a student of the English College, Jerusalem, who
comes from Nazareth.
Ù¥ ØŒOmar Effendi el-Barghuti.
Ù¥ Heard from this leper himself.

60 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
summer months in a tent out in the large garden of the institution,
to guard it from thieves. While, one Thursday evening, he was
saying his prayers, he distinctly heard prayers and religious music
of dervishes. Djum'ah at once left his tent and walked slowly
towards the place whence the madih (religious song) came, a cave,
in Ù¡vhich a greenish light was burning. Djum'ah dared not enter.
Remaining outside the cave he waited until these mysterious
visitors had finished their prayers. Afterwards he noticed the
same every Thursday evening (lelatu-d-djum ah). Since that time
he kept the cave and its surroundings clean, since suUah 1 (pious
men) lived or gathered every Thursday evening in this cave to
perform their prayers. Djum'ah was too poor to offer a light
every week, as he should have done according to common belief.2
The foregoing story illustrates also the fact that many places are
held sacred only by a few private persons. Their renown has not
yet spread.
We must not overlook the most important sacred cave of the
Mohammedans of Palestine below the Holy Rock in the ،،Mosque of
Omar.” The different parts of this cave, which are highly honoured
by every Moslem, will be described in the section dealing with sacred
stones. Even Christians believe in some holy caves, e. g. the ،،Milk
Grotto”3 4 of Bethlehem in which, tradition alleges, some drops of the
milk of St. Mary happened to fall while she was suckling her Child.
The curative powers of this place will be described later.
V. A simple stone enclosure
Such an enclosure may be very small, having a diametre of not
more than 30—40 cm., though sometimes much more. The circular
enclosure Qiuwetiyeh or huwetah*—sometimes also called hod5 qt
Ù¦ When no special saint can be nominated, vague expressions like sullah,
awlia, dardwis, adjdm, etc. are used.
2 The sacredness of this cave has been forgotten siuce Djumcah left the in-
stitution long ago.
3 This grotto will be described later.
4 The common expression, hauwatak ballah, ،،I(beg) God to be a wall around
you” (e. g. may God protect you), comes from the same root hauwata. See
MuMt el-MuMt, vol. I, p. 477. .
5 Hod means really a watering-trough.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 61
sireh1) was in every instance known to me made of simple, unhewn
stones, set irregularly’side by side, and with no attempt at symmetry.
Often a gap is left in the circle to act as a dooiÙ¡way. In the case
of es-Sehah Imbarakeh (Kalandia) the female saint is said to gather
clean pieces of broken pottery and arrange them as a hnwetah,
leaving a small gap for the entrance. Since the war it is observed
that she does not replace the old pieces with new ones as she used
always to do. Somewhere in the inner wall of these circles there is
usually a taqah, in which oil-lamps and matches are placed, and
where incense is burnd.
In Biddu we find the western cemetery on a small elevation.
At its north-eastern corner is a small crudely built enclosure in
which es-seh ØŒAli et-Tallal2 is honoured. Near this holy spot grow
an olive and a fig tree, and a cistern was lately discovered there.
All these belong to the saint. Two sides of the elevation are
made of old masonry. This place is a good example of a sacred
enclosure combined with trees, a cistern and ruins.
In the case of es-seh Fredj (Bet Hanina) an old petroleum tin
partly covers the sacred enclosure, and thus protects the light from
being blown out. The fact that awlia belonging to this class are
not kept clean and are not much cared for, points to the conclusion
that they are not so highly honoured as others. We hear of cases
where villages have tried to erect a maqam for one or other Seh of
this group, but where the holy men prevented the completion of the
work in the same way as we have seen in the case of es-seh Huwes.
Some of the sanctuaries belonging to this group have been trans-
fered to the category mentioned under II by the erection of a
building in place of the stone enclosure. Masadjid sittna 'Aiseh in
the neighbourhood of nabi Musa illustrates this point. A simple,
square handsome building with the northern side completely opened,
and the east and west sides partly open, stands on the site of the
old enclosure. No tomb,\cistern nor tree is connected with this place.
1 Sireh means really an enclosure for cattle. The Arabic dictionaries give
neither to this word nor to hod the meaning used in the text, i. e. a sacred
2 Not et-Talali as in McCown, p. 59. ،،The depressed spot” is the enclosure
and not the grave of the well. Es-seh Hasan Abu-1â– 'Alamen of Biddu is not
mentioned in the list given by McCown.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
A few metres to the north of el-Mansuri (Awartah) one is shown
a very badly made enclosure said to mark th٠e tomb of Hu§a, the
son of el-Mansuri. A large wind-proof kerosene lantern is placed
in the centre. Of this and the other important worthies of Awartah
it is said that they do not wish any building to be erected over their
It is interesting to note that even Christians have similar en-
closures, which they respect and honour. On the left side of the
stony road leading from Bet Djala to el-Hadr, passing el-Marah
and going through esÙ Sarafeh, just before the latter is reached, there
is a small enclosure into which a passer-by may throw bread, figs
or grapes. It used always to be kept clean. The peasants of Bet
Djala tell how that when St. George (el-Hadr) came from the north
to the village el-Hadr (where a church is built for him) he Ù¡valked
Ù¡vith gigantic strides, one of which happened to fall in this spot.1
A few enclosures sacred to Mohammedans which have not yet
been mentioned in the text are:
es-sêh Ghreyib2
en-nabî Dâniâl
es-sêh Saïd3
es-sêh Mrâd
es-sêh Abû-l-Kfêr4
es-sêh Abd el-Muhsin
in Yâlô,
near el-Hadr,
in Idna,
in Yâlô,
in Hirbet el-Kfêreh,5
in Djibiah.
En-nabi Danial (also pronounced Danian) has his huwetah in
a vineyard, situated between Artas and el-Hadr, in Marah ed-
DjamiÙ¦ The prophet, passing this way, performed a prayer at this
spot. Some oak trees, to which rags and hair are fastened, grow
near the enclosure. He is supposed to appear occasionally walking
in the vineyard and wearing a green crown. With him is his horse
which he ties to one of the trees. Formerly he always refused to
1 This is the only enclosure which I know of honoured by Christians.
2 Near the enclosure there is a gharah (laurel) tree, on which no rags are
3 The stones of the enclosure are painted with hinna. A man with fever
is said to be cured if he lies for a while in the enclosure.
4 In the enclosure there is a heap of stones (tomb?). A carob and an oak
tree are near by.
5 This ruin is surrounded by the remains of a deep trench and a wall.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
have a building, but lately lie changed his mind and, appearing
to Husen Musa (from Artas), asked him to build him a shrine.
VI. A watercourse (spring or cistern)
We knoÙ¡v that nearly all the springs of Palestine are thought to
be haunted by spirits. These spirits are supposed to belong to the
class of demons.1 But at the same time there are watercourses
definitely assigned to some holy man. Their number is much less
than that of those inhabited by demons. Kahle2 thinks that two
conditions must be fulfilled to make a spring holy — 1) that the
source should be more or less mysterious, a dark canal, or a large
cavity; and 2) that the spring play an important role in the water-
supply of the adjacent village. Although many springs fulfil both
conditions the greater number fulfil one only, whereas many springs
inhabited by demons satisfy the same two conditions.
For our purpose it is necessary to study especially the differences
between sacred springs and those haunted by djinn. The following
is a comparative table of the differences:
Springs inhabited by
Holy Men Djinn (demons)
1. May be situated in the neigh- 1. Never,
bourhood of a weli.
2. Prayer and religious music may 2. Never.
be heard especially on Thurs-
' day evening.
3. A light with a greenish flame 3. Never.
may be observed appearing and
4. The water may be used for 4. In exceptional cases,
different ailments.
5. The inhabiting saint appears 5. The djinn take the shape of an
as a reverend seh (with white, animal, a negro, a monster or
red, or green head dress) or a a bride.
pious sehah.
1 Canaan, Haunted Springs and Water Demons, JPOS, vol. I, p. 153 etc. and
* PJ, vol. VI, p. 93 f.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Holy Men
6. People falling accidentally into
a cistern or well inhabited by
a holy man are generally pro-
tected from any injury, especially
if they call for the help of the
7. The saint likes to hear the name
of God and prayers.
8. A wondrous sign may appear.
Djinn (demons)
6. On the contrary the djinn may
even injure the victim.
7، The demon trembles before
these powerful words, and is
usually driven away by them.
He may in revenge injure the
person who has uttered them.
8. Never.
Although these statements are true of all watercourses which are
directly or indirectly connected with a shrine, they also apply to
those which, while having no connection at all with sanctuaries or
tombs of the saints, are nevertheless believed to be inhabited by the
spirit of a holy person. I shall deal only with the latter category.
Often such sources of water have a tree growing near by, and since
both may be holy it is sometimes difficult to know which is the more
important: the Ù¦vatercourse or the tree.
El-Matba، ah1 is a marshy pool said to cure all sorts of rheumatic
ailments. No unclean women (nidjsih) may approach the holy spot.
Once a barren women made a pilgrimage to this place, hoping to
find help. It so happened that at the moment of her arrival she
was overtaken by her period (itwassali rasha). Being pious she waited
far from el-MatbaØŒah until she became pure (tihrat), then took some
mud and rubbed her body with it. Scarcely a year had passed
before she conceived and bore a child.
ØŒEn es-Sarif just above ØŒen es-Samiyeh (Koldnia) is a newly dis-
covered spring and a newly found well. A few weeks Ù  after the dis-
covery of the spring, a seh with a green turban appeared in a night
vision to Muhammed *All and ordered him to tell the inhabitants
of the village that they should not defile his shrine, the newly
i It is situated between es-seh Ibrek (from whom it draws its power) and
Tell es-Sammam. I owe this information to ،Omar Effendi el-Barghûtf.

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
discovered spring. “What is your name, my se(??” asked Muhammed.
“Es-Sarif” was the answer.
Some waters derive their power from the fact that they mix once
a year with the water of the holy well Zamzam in Mecca.1 At such
a period the water is curative. Wells of this type with a special
reputation are: 'En Imm ed-Daradj in Siloam,2
Hammam es-Sifa3 in Jerusalem,4
the cistern in the shrine of en-Nubani in Nablus.
This overflow of the water of Zamzam takes place generally on
the tenth of Moharram, which is also known by the name cAsurd,
and is thought to be the anniversary of the death of Husen, the son
of Fatimeh, Mohammed’s daughter. The connection of the over-
flowing of the spring and the memory of Husen is not without interest.
According to some the water of this holy well at Mecca mixes on
this day with all springs in Mohammedan countries, thus giving
every Moslem the opportunity of drinking from Zamzam.
The sanctity, as well as the curative action of other waters, is
said to be derived from various holy men: Job, Jesus, el-Hadr,
Sitti Mariam, etc. Springs connected with Job will be described later
on. Since it is believed that Jesus sent the blind man, whom he
healed by earth moistened with spittle,5 to fen Imm el-Ldzeh6 to
wash his eyes there,7 8 some Christian womens believe that this water
1 JPOS, vol. I, pp. 153-170.
2 According to Uns ed-Djalil II, 407, Halid bin Ma'dan thinks that this
spring gets its water from ed-Djanneh (paradise).
3 Also called Hammam ØŒAsura, from c aS ar ah, the tenth day of the month
Mo h ar ram.
4 I have to call attention to the widespread belief that most of the Turkish
baths are thought to be inhabited by djinn. The following story may illustrate
this idea. The wife of an effendi lost all her jewels in the bath. All enquiries
failed to find them. At last a wizard woman (sahreh) assured her that the in-
habiting djinn had taken her jewels. She gave her a written talisman and
ordered that for three days every day one third of the talisman should be bur-
ned in the bath. This was done and, behold, on the third day the wife of the
effendi found her lost jewels in the place where she had left them. In Aber-
glaube I give another similar story.
5 J ohn 9 1 if.
6 Just below Bir Ayub.
7 The Gospel of St. John relates that Christ sent him to Siloam. This spring,
Imm el-Ldzeh, is not far from Siloam.
8 Heard from several Armenian women of Jerusalem JPOS. I, 153—170.

66 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
has still the power to cure inflamed eyes. The Mohammedans of
Nablus believe that el-Hadr takes a bath every Thursday evening
in the basin found in Hammam ed-Daradjeh. This is the reason
that it is thought to be inhabited or visited by this holy man. The
sick go there at this time to take a bath, burn incense and light
candles. In Hammam Sitti Mariam1 (near St. Stephen’s Gate,
Jerusalem) barren women bathe in the hope of becoming fruitful.
It is believed that St. Mary once took a bath in this place; so
candles, oil and flowers are vowed.2
A connecting link between waters haunted by demons and those
inhabited by saints is formed by cases where the people believe that
a good and a bad spirit haunt the same spring. This is a special
characteristic of periodical springs. Thus ØŒen Fauwar3 is thought to
be inhabited by a hurr, ،،free man” (master) and an ،،servant”
(slave born). The first is a white person, the other a negro, as the
words themselves indicate. The following are the springs4 which
may be grouped in this class:5
ØŸEn ed-Djoz (Ramallah) inhabited by a white and a black sheep,
ØŒEn Artas (Artas) inhabited by a white and a black sheep,
Bir ØŒOnah (Bet Djala) by St. Mary and sometimes an ØŒa&d,
،En el-Hadjar (Der Ghassaneh) inhabited by es٠sitt Mu’mineh
and sometimes by a marid.
I have never heard of a spring that was inhabited by a being
which might at times be a well, and at other times change into a
djinn as Curtiss was told about Zerqa Main. In all probability this
spring belongs to the foregoing group and is supposed to be in-
habited by two spirits —a good and a bad one. Both are separate
beings, and one never changes into the other.
It is often reported that these two classes of powerful antagonistic
spirits are continually fighting each other. In the case of ØŒen FauÙ¡var
1 According to Uns ed-Djalil, Balqis the daughter of king Sarahil of Ya'rib
(Qahtan) took a bath in this place to remove the hair growing on her legs and
thighs. This goat hair was an inheritance from her mother, who was a
djinniyeh (JPOS).
2 This custom is dying out.
3 See Aberglaube.
4 They have been described in JPOS I, 153.
5 *En Fauwar is thought by some to be inhabited by a white and a black

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
we are told when the hurr gains the victory he allows the water to
How for the benefit of thirsty mankind. But it is not long before
the 'abd recovers and resumes the battle. As soon as he overpowers
the hurr he shuts off this blessing of God and thus avenges himself
on the human race. This antithesis of
good against evil,
white against black,
light against darkness,
angels against devils,
upper against lower world,
God against Satan
is a very old idea in Semitic religions, and we could not have it
better reproduced than in the present simple imagination of a
Palestinian fellahJ
The following is a list of holy springs with the names of the saints
inhabiting them, modified from my article ،،Haunted Springs and
Water Demons,” JPOS I, p. 153—170:
Hammam ed-Daradjeh Nablus elHader
Hamnam sitti Mariam Jerusalem St. Mary,
Hammam es-Sifa3 Jerusalem Job,*
Bîr en-Nûbânî5 Nablus mixes with Zamzam,
eu Imm ed-Daradj Siloam mixes with Zamzam,e
Bir es-Sa^ar Der Tarif el-well Su'eb,7
Bir Ayub Siloam Job,
Bir Sindjil Sindjil Joseph,
ØŒEn Qina Qina el-weli Abu el-E en,8
1 JPOS I, 153-170.
2 Many a woman, together with her newly born child, takes a bath in the
djurn of el-Hader on the seventh day of her confinement.
3 Also called H. ØŒAsura. The water is said to mix once a year with that of
4 There is a basin in which it is supposed that Job took his bath and was
5 The cistern is found in an elongated room whose walls are hung with dervish
musical instruments and weapons, a banner and Qoranic verses. No tomb is to
be seen. It is supposed that many aqtab gather here to perform their prayers.
6 This spring used to be inhabited by a camel. A hen with lier chickens took
the place of this djinn after his death.
٦ Aberglaube»
8 JPOS, 1. c.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
،En el-Hadjar Dêr Ghassâneh es-sitt Mu’minah,
،En ed-Djakûk ٢ a weK,
،En el-Amîr Heast of Mizpah^ sullah and awlia,
،En Masiûn Ramallah an angel,
Bîr ed-Djabbârah Yâlô e§٠seh Al٠٦mad ed-Djabbarah,
Bîr in Hizmah sullah,
Bîr Imm Djdê، Bêt Djibrîn salhat,
،En el-Qubbeh Kôbar es-sitt Zenab,
،En es-Sarqîyeh Kôbar es-sitt Fattumeh,
،En es-Sâmîyeh Kolôniâ es-sitt es-Samiyeh,
،En es-Sarîf Kolôniâ ,arif؛؟؛-§es-seh e
El-Matba،ah Tell es-Sammâm es٠seh Ibr^k,
،En ed-Djôz Kolôniâ es-seh Husen,1
،En Rafîdiah Rafîdiah e§-seh Nafi،,2
Bîr el-Waraqah Jerusalem leads to paradise,3
'En er-Râhib Nablus monk,4 5
،En Kârim ،En Kârim the Virgin Mary,
Bîr ،Ônâ Bêt Djâlâ the Virgin Mary,
،En Kibriân W. of Bêt Djâlâ St. Gabrianus,
،En Imm el-Lôzeh below Bîr Ayûb cures eye troubles.’؟
Mohammedans as well as Christians believe that these saints try
to save those who happen to fall into the well. The following story
will illustrate this. A child of ØŒEsawiyeh happened to fall into a
ruined cistern. Soon afterwards his parents got him out. The boy
said that two men came to his help, while he was falling, and carried
him softly to the bottom. One of them was a reverend olcl man;
the other wore clothes similar to those of the villagers of the
surrounding district, and two old fashioned pistols in his belt.6 The
1 To this saint a tree is also dedicated.
2 An oil-lamp used to be lighted here.
3 The story of this cistern is told in Uns ed-Djalil II, 368.
4 This spring stops its flow once a week od Sundays, as the monk is said to
fulfil his duties on this day.
5 Curtiss and Kahle give few examples of holy springs.
Ù  Other stories are given JPOS, 1. c.

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
old people of the village remembered that a dervish of this description
had fallen into the cistern many years before.1
The belief in sacred springs, inhabited springs and curative waters
can be traced back to the Old and New Testaments. Naaman was
cured of his leprosy by washing himself seven times in the Jordan.2
The blind man sent by Jesus to Siloam came back after he had
washed his eyes, with his sight restored.3 The pool Bethesda cured
every disease, ،،for an angel went down at a certain season into the
pool and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling
of the water stepped in was cured of whatever disease he had.”4
Names like 'En Shemesh, “Spring of the Sun,”5 etc. point to the
fact that these springs were dedicated to gods.6
VII. A solitary tree
I do not propose to include under this head any tree which, though
situated in absolute solitude, far from any shrine or grave, belongs
nevertheless to a welt, who has a sanctuary somewhere in the vicinity.
Thus, for example, es-£eh Hamad, situated in the midst of the village
Koldnia, has a tree on the opposite mountain to the S. E. of the
village, on the old road leading to Jerusalem. Another case is
el-Badriyeh.7 I have already mentioned the different trees belonging
to this holy woman.
1 I will not describe here liun (pl. of cen) el-hasr (springs of retention of
urine), since they are generally not connected with any shrine or name of a wel%.
They are not revered religiously. I think that what Curtiss says about the stones
which cure backache, is truer of these springs, i. e., that their therapeutic use is
based on the belief in a magic power, the supernatural powers of good spirits.
For these springs cf. Aberglaube wa&JPOS, 1. c. — Minute questioning of the people
of Soba during my last visit resulted in their saying that ØŒen el-hasr of this
village was called also ØŒen Musa, and that they have seen sometimes two beautiful
young ladies, sitting beside the water and combing their hair. They disappeared
as soon as they knew that they were seen. Some peasants referred the name
Moses to that of the Prophet Moses. If this is true then the spring belongs
to the category already mentioned, where good and bad spirits haunt one and
the same spring.
2 2 Kings 5 iff.
3 John 9 6-7.
* John 5 1-5.
5 Jos. 1.5 7.
6 L. B. Paton, Annual of Amer. School, vol. I, pp. 51 ff.
ØŸ Kahle mentions some of these trees, PJ VI, 98.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Only those trees will be described which, although considered as
being the habitation Ù of some saint, have nevertheless absolutely no
connection with any maqam. Jaussen1 seems to include in this group
trees which are connected with a holy spring and a holy rudjm\ such
cases I have tried to avoid since it is very difficult to say which of
these features was primarily sacred. There are several cases belonging
to this group, and it is at times difficult to explain the reason which
gave such trees their sanctity. This question, which often arises,
will be dealt with below in another connection. Among sacred trees
of this type, which receive honours like other welts, are:2
Name of saint Location Kind of tree
Es-seh Barri Der Ghassaneh Oak,3
Es-seh 'Abdallah Qatanneh Oak,
Eä-seh 'Abdallab Sa، fat4 Olive and, at a distance,
Eä٠seb Abu Riä Bet 'Anan Terbebinth,5
Sadjrat Abu När es-Sa rawiyeh Greek oak {Querctis
adjrat es-Sa'adeh؛؟¡ between Yamun [Aegilops L),
and Djinin Zardeh,
Harrubet el-'Asarah6 el-cEsawiyeh Carob,
Zetünit en-Nabi7 Haram e§-Serif Olive,8
Es-seh Hasan Koldnia Oak,9
En-nabi Abu Lemfin10 between Bet Iks a
and Biddu Oak and terebinth trees.
1 Coutumes des Arabes, p. 331.
2 Curtiss seems to have seen or heard of only a few examples. He describes
briefly one tree in Northern Syria.
3 Heard from ØŒOmar Effendi el-BarghutiÙ 
4 Kahle, PJ VI, 98, 99.
Ù¥ There is a small cave beside it, in which lights and incense are offered.
I think that the tree is the more important feature.
6 Another Harrubet el-ØŒAsarah used to grow on the western slope of the
Mount of Olives.
ØŸ See Canaan, Aberglaube, and Kahle, PJ VI, 97.
8 In its place it is said a palm once grew. When the Prophet visited Jerusalem
in his miraculous journey, he sat under this palm; the palm soon withered and
the olive tree grew in its place.
9 Around the oak tree there is a ruin. The lamps are placed in a small cave.
To the S. S. E. of this sacred tree there is a spring now bearing the name of
the well. Formerly it was known by the name ØŒen ed-Djoz.
10 Also mentioned by Kahle, PJ VI, 98; 99. A ruin with a newly discovered
cistern surrounds the trees.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 71
Other trees will be mentioned below. A few observations must
still be made regarding some peculiarities of these trees, ØŸØ›!adjarat
Abu Nar has a menstrual period (bithid) every time she is irritated
by a trespasser. A viscous fluid is excreted.1
Under Sadjaret es٠Saadeh the §eh Hasan el-Aruri was ordained
to a qutub (a ،،pole” in religion, i. e. a leader) by several saints.
This is of course sufficient cause for making a tree sacred.2 It
derives virtue from the man with whom it came in contact, and is
able to help the needy with this power.3
E§-seh Mustafa and es-sultan Ibrahim of Soba belong to this
category. Ù¢The first has a terebinth, an almond and a quddeb tree.
The stones scattered irregularly under these trees and supposed to
represent the tomb, have no connection with a grave. Es-sultan
Ibrahim’s shrine is made of a square open enclosure with a taqah,
a prayer niche, a small liuwetah and a fig tree. I think that this
sort of sanctuary is the connecting link between the class of shrines
under discussion and the large enclosures.
In reviewing critically the names of the ivelis belonging to this
group, we observe that some have, as their own holy name, the simple
name of the tree. We never find any name of a person assigned to
such trees. Thus, for example,4 Sittna elÙ Grharah 5 (Laurel Lady) is
situated to the E. of Bet Nuba. There are two holy terebinths,
each of which bear the name el-walvyeh elÙ Butmeh (Holy Terebinth
Lady). One is north of Bet Nuba and the other in Qubebeh. It
is said that the Laurel Lady appeared during the attack of the
British (1917) standing on the top of the tree, with a greenish
garment, a light head-shawl and a sword in her hand, which dripped
with blood. Every time the English troops advanced she threw
them back.
1 This is the only case I have been able to collect of a tree having a menstrual
flow. For this condition with demons see JPOS. 1153, etc. I owe this information
to the kindness of ،Omar Effendi el-Barghûtî.
2 Related by 'Omar Effendi el-Barghûtî.
3 Curtiss mentions another such case.
4 The following holy trees were not included in. the foregoing list.
Ù¥ Fumigating a sick person with the leaves of this tree will effect a cure.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
In Bet Safafa a djami was erected on the site of the holy Butmeh,1
whose sacred tree had been uprooted by a violent storm. The ruins
of this djdmi are still known as djami' el-Butmeh. This sacred tree
was supposed to be inhabited by sullah.2
Fastened to most of these trees are rags of all possible colours.
Even stones, as will be mentioned later, are placed at times on the
Should a tree and an enclosure be found, as in the case of es-selj
Fredj in Bet Hanina, I think the tree is the more important. But
when a tree and a spring represent the sacred place, it is most difficult
to know which of them has priority.3
We generally find a taqali connected with these sacred trees. It
may be represented by a crack in an adjoining rock, a low enclosure
covered with tin or with a stone slab, a hollow in the tree itself, or
it may be a built structure. In this taqali oil-lamps are lighted and
incense burned. An excellent example of a built niche beside a sacred
tree is that of Harriibet el-fAsarah near el-'Esawiyeh. Just beside
the tree a low, roomlike niche has recently been built. I should not
reckon this one cubic metre building a qubbeh, as does Kahle.4 In
es-seh. ØŒAbdallah (Sa'fat), a petroleum tin serves as a taqah.
Even some Christians of Palestine believe more or less in the
sacredness of certain trees, but they do not burn lights or incense
to them. Among trees of this type are:
1 Near the Mamilla pool there used to be a terebinth tree. ØŸThe common
belief was that when it was cut doÙ¦vn or withered away the rule of the Turks
would depart from Palestine. It so happened that during the last year of the
war it dried up, and soon afterwards Jerusalem was taken by the British troops.
This tree used to be known also by the name el-Butmeh.
2 A Bethlehemite was allowed to take the wood of this tree for use in an oil
press (badd). He had to build in its place a djdmi with a rawdq and a cistern.
But since he did the work so badly that it collapsed a few years later, the saint
living in the tree punished him very severely, and one by one all his family died.
Under el-Butmeh the people of the village used to assemble for gossip and
entertainment of their guests, as in a maddfah (related by the imam of Bet
3 In the case of es-seh Husen we have a tree and a spring dedicated to him.
I think that the tree is the more important feature, although the saint is seen at
times sitting near the spring. The spring used to be called Ù£en ed-Djoz.
4 PJ. 1. c.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
Butmet el-cAdrat Djifnâ
A mes tree
Palm tree
Olive trees،
Olive tree
near St. Elias, Celtis,1 2
between Bethlehem
and Jerusalem
Mär Säbä,3 4
in the Shepherd’s field (Bet Sahür).5 *
We also find parallels to such trees in the Bible, especially in
the case of the Burning Bush.G This was not connected with any
shrine, being itself holy, since the Lord spoke from it. The same
may be said to be the case with the mulberry trees of David. Their
sanctity showed itself through ،،the sound of a going in the tops of
the trees.” 7 This was a sign from God. Abraham builds his first
altar, and receives the first revelation which God makes to him,
under the terebinth of Moreh (Gen. 12 6-7). The next altar he built,
is under the terebinth of Mamre. In Beer sheba he plants a tamarisk
and calls on the name of Jehovah (Gen. 21 33). Under an oak tree
the angel appeared to Gideon (Judg. 6 11; 24—S. Curtiss).
VIII. Heaps of stones
When one stands at such a spot it is a cause for wonder to look
round in every direction and find nothing to suggest the idea of
sanctity except mere heaps of stones which, of course, differ in size
and form in different places. It is to be noted that (i)rdjumeh (pl.
of rudjm) may also be inhabited by djinn. Thus, for example, one
of the stony tumuli in el-Baqcah (the Plain of Rephaim) is thought
to be inhabited by a hen with her chicken.
1 A man who cut it down was punished with death.
2 Cf. Canaan, Aberglaube, p. 63.
3 Aberglaube, p. 87.
4 The oil of these trees -is sold for a high price. From the olive-stones rosaries
are made.
5 It is said that the angel appeared to the shepherds at the spot where this
tree is growing. Some peasants who tried once to burn the tree noticed, to their
great astonishment, that fire had no action on it. This proved to all the
sacredness of this olive (related to me by L. Faldensberger).
Ù  Ex. 3 2 ff.
7 2 Sam. 5 24.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
Such heaps of stones or tumuli are of the following types: 1. quite
isolated with no other feature, except that at times a few stones are
set up to form a small taqah for the oil lamps; 2. the rudjm, or its
summit only, is surrounded completely by an enclosure of stones;
3. very rarely the rudjm may be placed in a cave. As examples of
these forms we may cite:
1. e sei Tbed es-sêh Sad es-sêh Ahmad in Sataf, in wadi Hadr east of Abû Dis, Efirbet el-Qsur, opp. to ed-üjôrah;
2. es eh Abd el-Muhsin Djibiah,Ø›
es-sêl El-Birdaq2
3. es-âêh MurdjânS
Bêt Rima;
Djorah (near 'Ên Khrim).
Naturally one asks what the rudjm represents, and what is its
purpose. Ù¦Ve often hear expressions which indicate that there is a
tomb under the rudjm. We also know that the ancient Palestinians1 2 3 4
used to pile large heaps of stones on the tombs of their important
dead, and up to the present day most٠!/٠¿¿ tombs are either marked
by a small enclosure of stones or an elongated low stone heap. Jaussen5
reports that the Bedouins still mark the places where some one has
been killed, be it in war or treacherously, by a heap of stones. In
the case of some of the rdjumeh which I am now describing, this
explanation may be true, but certainly not in every case.
A special class of stone heaps must still be mentioned — e\-masahid6
(pl. of masliad). ØŸThese are recent heaps of stones placed irregularly
and at different places. The word maShad may express one of the
following meanings;
1. The place from which something is seen.7 8
2. Since at such places the pilgrim always utters first of all, a&hadu
anna Vi ilahan ilia allah, thus testifying to the unity of God, the places
may be named mashad after this testimony (^liddeh)3
1 The §eh appears as a negro, with a sword in his hand.
2 Inhabited by ØŒAdjam. Only the top of the large hill is surrounded by an
3 A negro saint.
4 Jos. 7 26; 8 29.
5 Coutumes des Arabes, p. 336.
Ù¥ Not often used in the singular.
7 From the root Sdhada ،،to behold.”
8 From the root sahida, sihadeh, ٤٤to give testimony.”

CANAAN•: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 75
3. Stones which are believed to be witnesses before God that the
person who erected them visited that sanctuary and said a prayer.
It is belived that in the day of judgment men may ask animals,
plants or stones to testify for them. Thus these stones piled up by
the pilgrim while uttering a prayer and saying the may bear
witness1 both to his piety and to his visit to the holy place. They
will at the same time remind the holy man, in whose honour the
ziarah (visit) was made, to help and to intercede for the pilgrim.2
Even in the Old Testament we have a heap of stones set as a witness,
as in the story of Laban and Jacob.3 4
Travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho there is a road branching
to the right, a few kilometres after passing elÙ Hod. This road leads
to Nabi Musa. The hills where the shrine is seen for the first time,
are covered whith these stone heaps. Every Mohammedan who passes
by—whether during the festival or at any other time — throws one
or more stones on such a heap or makes a new one. As he does so
he utters the above mentioned sihadeh and recites the fatihah. Few
heaps are large, most of them consiisting of a few stones only. The
lowest stone is the largest and the top one the smallest. These small
heaps may be made up of 2, 3, 4 or five stones.
Generally, on every road leading to the sanctuary from whatever
direction, nawasib* (pl of nasb, another name for these stone-heaps)
are erected. Thus I observed such heaps on the four roads leading
to Nabi Mfisa, on three roads to el-Hadr (Bet Djala) and on two
1 Cf. Luke 19 40Ø› Heb. 3 11.
1 لمآلآ .الآهذ٢عاً امتآ لآل أه٦لد١ ة لمسأ et-tuhfil-marcli'yali fll-alibar el-qudsiqalx
(by Abd el-Madjid All) we read on page 62 that a man, while on Arafat, took
seven stones and said: “Oh stones, witness that I believe and say, there is no
god but God, and Mohammed is his prophet.” That night he dreamt that in
the judgment day he was tried and found to be a sinner and sent to hell. As
he approached the first gate of hell one of the stones blocked the entrance. All
the angels of the lower world were unable to remove this obstacle. The same
tiling happened at every one of the seven gates of hell. He was in consequence
brought back to the lieavenly judge who allowed him to enter lieaven since tlie
stones had borne witness in his favour.
3 Gen. 3145 ft'.
4 Not nasib as McCown has. Nasib means “lot, luck”؛ while nasb (pl. nawasib)
“stones set up as a sign,” comes from the same root from which nusb or nusub
(pl. ansab) ‘؛idols” is derived. Cf. Mullit el-Muhit.

76 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
leading to es-seh el-'Umari edÙ Djbeci, and also on the two roads to
Hasan er-Ra'i.1
This custom of making small piles of stones applies only to
comparatively few sanctuaries. Christians are also acquainted with
these qanatir (pl. qantarah, a third name) and they pile stones when
reaching es-Sarafeh, on their way from Bet Djala to el-Hadr, since
from this point they can see on one side Mar Elias and on the other
side the convent of St. George.
These sawahid do not closely resemble the stones that mark the
boundaries of fields, as McCown2 thinks. Landmarks are generally
made of large stones placed separately at a distance from each other,
running more or less in a straight line, usually between fields. When
they are made of stones they differ from qandtir in using far larger
and fewer stones.
Qandtir may also stand for quite different purposes. Among these
minor purposes we may mention:
1. Heaps which are raised in a place Ù¡vhere a holy man is supposed
to have rested, as in the neighbourhood of the sqif es-seh cAsfur.3 4
2. Sometimes a traveller after climbing a high mountain raises a
heap of stones or throws a stone on an existing heap, saying at
the same time a prayer as a mark of thanks to God that he has
overcome a difficulty. Heaps of this sort are generally known by
the name d-MafazehA At the top of the ascent of Farhah near Salfit
such mafazat may be seen. Simila٦٠ cases are described in Joshua,
Ù¦vhere the Israelites erected stones at Gilgal as a memorial after
crossing the Jordan and thus overcoming the difficulties of long
wandering.5 Samuel also, after subduing the Philistines, ،،took a stone
and set it between Mizpah and Shen and called it Ebenezer, saying,
Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”6
1 Other sanctuaries where such stone heaps are set up are: en-nabi Lut,
cnÙ nabi Yaqin, ØŒAll bin ØŒLem, el-'Uzer, etc.
2 Annual of the Amer. School II and III, p. 66.
3 Heard from 'Omar Effendi el-Barghu£i.
4 Mafdzeh means in reality desert. Here it denotes success in overcoming a
dangerous difficulty. Muhit el-Muhit.
5 Joshua, ch. 4.
Ù¥ 1 Sam. 712.

CANAAN : Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine
3. Ù¦VheiÙ e prominent chiefs of a village or a district are killed,
heaps of stones1 are raised by passers-by and prayers are said for
their souls. Such qanatir are smaller and much less numerous than
those near a sanctuary. In Maqtal el-Masaih2 on the way to Bet
Rima we find such heaps. The qanatir of this class are the connecting
link between prominent persons and holy men, a point on which I
shall dwell later.
In concluding the treatment of this group I must observe that while
the rdjumeh are regarded as holy places and the dwellings of holy
men, the sawahid, qanatir and mafazat do not enjoy this dignity.
On the southern road leading from Qastal to Soba we find a
large heap of stones, built in a circular form. It is about 1.50 metres
high and 2 metres in diameter. In the centre of the upper part a
perpendicular stone projects. No taqah, tree nor cistern is connected
with it. The people whom I asked for explanation said that a weli
had appeared (a#har nafsuh) at this spot which belonged to him.
In piety the peasants erected this heap.
IX. A single large stone or a rock.
We have only few representatives of this category. With the
exception of the Holy Rock, as-Sahrah, of the ،،Mosque of Omar,”
which is highly honoured not alone by the Mohammedans of Palestine
but by the whole Moslem world, the other holy stones and rocks of
Palestine receive far less respect and religious reverence than the
other kinds of shrines and maqamat. The sanctity assigned to them
is in every way slight. A description of the Holy Rock is of prime
importance and will be given at the end of this chapter. ،
Some holy places of this category are the following:
Ù¦Araq el-Adjami3 in Bet Idjza is a natural rock, in no way
prominent, nor is it connected with any maqam, tree, cave, or
cistern. In the middle of it is a small, artificial depression, in which,
I was told, offerings are put.
1 These resemble in some respects the heaps of stones mentioned in Jos. 7 26;
829 and 2 Sam. 1817.
2 When I saw this place in 1921 there were but few heaps.
3 I found no tdqah connected with this place.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
In the neighbourhood of Der Ghassaneh there are some rocks
called Nuqqar el-f Adjam.1 They are situated between two hills, and
are assigned to el-'Adjam. In passing, the fellah will recite the
fatihah to these awlia, just as he would at any other shrine. No
vows, offerings, or oaths are made to or by them.
In the village Seh Sacd (in the Hauran) there is a stone called
Sahret Ayub, on which it is said that the prophet Job used te lean
during the days of his affliction. The stone is an ancient stela with
hieroglyphics of the time of Barneses II.2
On the height of the mountain el-Martum,3 near the ruins of
Beni Dar,4 and to the south of the village Bani N'em, a maqam is
built for the supposed prophet Yaqin.5 In the room we notice a
rock encircled with an iron frame. This rock shows the impressions
of two feet and of two hands. It is related that Abraham was
ordered by God to come to this place, where he could observe the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is curious that although
Abraham is known to be a pre-Jslamic prophet the impressions show
that he performed his prayer with the face turned to Mecca.
Outside this maqam there is another rock shoÙ¡ving also the im-
pressions of two feet. They are said to be those of Lot. This rock
is surrounded by a huwetiyeh.
Hadjar el-cAruri6 to the south of Salfit is a large piece of rock,
beside which esÙ seh el-'Arflri is said to have rested. Qalat er-Rifai
to the west of Der Ghassaneh is supposed to be the place where
er-Rifai used to rest. In the cemetery of Bab er-Rahmeh situated
along the western wall of Jerusalem to the south of St. Stephen’s
Ù¤ The nuqqar are composed of several large stones raised from the ground.
The suffiyeh darawiS are afraid to pass in their neighbourhood, especially during
the night. The night between Thursday and Friday is the most dangerous
(,Omar Effendi el-Barghuti)Ù  These features are true of many other holy places.
A complete description of them will be given in another chapter.
2 ZDPV XIV, 147. I have not seen this place.
3 The view from this high mountain, especially to the east, is excellent. The
Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab are distinctly seen.
Ù¦ The ruins are at present also called hirbet nabi Yaqin.
5 Mudjir ed-Din says the shrine was called masdjad el-Yaqin, because Abra-
ham said, when Sodom and the other cities were destroyed: ،،Hada hua-1- haqqu-
1-yaqin”, This is the sure truth, (el-uns ed-djalil p. 35).
6 *Olnar Effendi el-Barghuti.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 79
Gate, there is a broken pillar,1 beside the tomb of es-seh Saddad.
It is believed that by rubbing one’s back on this pillar one will be
cured of any backache.2
El٠Hadjar el-Mansi, ،،the forgotten stone,” is supposed to be the
grave of a Christian who joined the Mohammedan faith just before
his death. Some inhabitants of the Mohammedan quarter on ،،Mount
Zion”3 observed on various occasions a light shining from this spot.
This proved to them the sanctity of the place.4 A light used to
be burned every Thursday evening to this ،،forgotten man.”5
In el-Aqsa Mosque there are two pillars, between which it is be-
lieved that no bastard child can pass.6 This is one of the many so
called ،،ordeals of God”.7
Inside el-Mas'ad, the Chapel of the Ascension (on the Mount of
Olives) we are shown on a stone the impression of the right foot of
Jesus. This place belongs to the Mohammedans but it is also held
sacred by the Christians, who celebrate mass here on certain days.
The sacred stone is surrounded by a beautiful octagonal building
with a vaulted roof.8
Christians honour also other stones and rocks. I need not mention
Golgotha, and the pillar where Christ was bound and scourged, but
will limit myself to a description of the sacred stones of St. George,
the ،،Milk Grotto,” and the rock on which Elijah is supposed to
have rested.
The holy stone of St. George (el-Hadr between Bet Djala and
the Pools of Solomon) still plays an important role. The story as
it is recorded in the author’s Aberglaube is as follows. While a
Greek priest was officiating at the Holy Communion in the Church
1 Kahle, 1. c.
2 It is to be presumed that this pillar draws its curative power from the
seh near whose grave is is found.
3 The quarter is known as Haret en-Nabi Dahud.
4 It is in the Armenian cemetery.
Ù¥ Heard from the Armenian Victoria.
Ù¥ It is also believed that only those who will enter Paradise can pass between
the pillars.
For parallels see Goldziher II, pp. 408,409; and Curtiss, 1. c.
s In the Aqsa mosque we are shown qadam seyidna 'Isa, the foot impression
of Christ, and in the room leading to the so-called ،،Solomon’s Stables,” srir
seyidna Isd, the cradle of Christ.

80 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
of Mar Djirius, a few drops of the sacred wine were spilled. They
penetrated through his foot and burst the stone on which they fell.
The wound of the priest never healed and he died as a punishment
for his carelessness in handling the Blood of the Saviour. The stone
received a supernatural curative power from the sacred wine, which
benefited every sick person who happened to kneel on it. Its repu-
tation soon spread all over Palestine, and great numbers of sick
flocked thither. Even the Czar of Russia heard of the wonderful
virtues of this stone and sent a man-of-war to Jaffa to bring it
away. In solemn procession the stone is said to have been brought
to Jaffa. But St. George did not allow it to be transported further.
Every time the boat carrying this precious treasure removed some
distance from the shore el-Hadr brought it back with his spear. All
recognized the folly of disobeying the wishes of the saint and so the
stone was brought back to its place.1
The white stones of the Milk Grotto are used by Christians and
Moslems of Bethlehem and the surrounding district as amulets to
increase the flow of mother’s milk. It is supposed that a few drops
of the Virgin’s milk dropped on the floor.
Opposite to Mar Elias on the western side of the carriage road
there is a depression in the rock. It is related that St. Elijah slept
in this place while escaping from his persecutors.2
But the most important rock is es-Sahrah which measures 17.7X13.5
metres and is situated in the midst of the ،،Mosque of Omar.” The
rough surface of the rock stands in great contrast to the beauty and
harmony of the interior of the most beautiful mosque of the Orient.
The rock is in itself sacred, and is protected from visitors by a
railing. Its sanctity is due to its connection ,with so many prophets,
١لآساًلآةأ ا Folklore of the Holy Land, لآ.
2 From between Mar Elias and Tantur a piece of rock was carried to Bet
Djala. It is said that while Mary was coming from Bethlehem to Jerusalem
carrying her child, she passed Jews threshing beans on the rock east of Tantur.
Christ cried for some, and she asked the people to give her a handful. They
refused and said that they were not beans but only stones. And forthwith they
turned into small stones. The workers at once followed her and accused her of
being a witch. Slie hastened to escape and when she was on the point of falling
into their hands she asked a rock to hide her. At once the stone opened and
sheltered her. In vain did her pursuers search for her. This stone carries the
name of srir es-Saiydeh.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 81
especially Mohammed. When the Prophet ascended to heaven the
rock would have followed him, were it not that the angel Gabriel
held it down. On two occasions the rock spoke, once to Mohammed
and again to (Omar. I shall not describe all the beliefs connected
with this stone since tliey can be found elsewhere. On, around and
below it we find the following sacred places:
I. On the rock itself: 1
1. The impressions of the fingers of the angel Gabriel, who kept
the rock from following the prophet while he ascended to
lieaven (western part).
2. The footsteps of Idris (east).
3. The footsteps of Mohammed, twelve in number. The prophet
is said to have walked over that part of the rock. The stone
yielded and so the impressions l’emained.
II. Below the rock:
4. Before entering the cave below the Sacred Rock one is shown
the ؛‘tongue of the rock.” It is said that in the night visit
(lelatu-l-Mzrddj) of the prophet he saluted the rock: as-saldmu
عaleiki yd salirati-lllah (“peace be with you, G Rock of God”),
ال’ هل٦ه anerd اده labbefi{ uaci، as-sa٦am /ya rasul
allah (“at your service, and peace be with you, 0 Apostle of
5. Fifteen steps lead to the cave below the sahrdh. To the right
of it we have the niche of king Solomon.
6. Still further to the right the place where Mohammed prayedØŸ
since he was tall and the roof low, he- would have struck
his head, but
7. The rock gave way in that place, and we are shown tadjit
eS’Sahrah (the impression of his head).
8. The praying place of al H dr, at an elevated point.
9. Masnad DjubraU is the place where the angel waited until
the prophet finished his prayer.
10. Mihrh Ibrahim el-Halil, and to the left of the staircase.
11.. Mihrh Dahd.
12. The rock is perforated in the middle and it is said that the
prophet ascended directly through it to heaven.
1 Kahle, PJ VI, 93,:mentions only 20 places (under 19 heads).

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
13. Just below the centre of the cave is believed to be the Bir
el-Arwah, which is covered with a marble plate. The souls come
together twice a week in the cistern and perform their prayers.
III. Directly around the sacred Rock:
14. The impression of the foot of the prophet, which is shown
on a separate stone, placed on small pillars to the S. W. corner.
15. The hairs from the beard of the prophet are kept in a silver
case just above No. 14.1
16. The banners of the prophet and of Omar are kept in a box,
which is near No. 15.
17. Two niches connected with Hamzeh.
18. A mihrab in the northern side of the salirah, where some
of the prophets used to pray (mihrab el-Anbia).2
IV. At a distance from esÙ Sahrah:
20. Bab ed-Djanneh (the northern door).3
21. El-Balatah es-Sodah4 (which was removed by Djamal Pasa)
is also known by the name of Balatit edÙ Djanneh. It is said
that Mohammed drove nineteen golden nails into this stone.
Prom time to time God was to send an angel to remove a
nail, and when all have been removed the last day will be at
hand. One day the devil succeeded in removing some of them.
Ù¡Vhile he was taking them out he was driven away by the angel
Gabriel who found that only three and a half nails remained.
22. Near the southern door we see mihrab AbiHanifatu-n-Numan.5
23. In one side of the eastern door wTe find a mihrab bearing the
name of Hiluet ØŒAll5 (the secluded place of prayer of ØŒAll).
In el-mursid liz-zair wad-dalil we find an enumeration of these
places. A special prayer for every place is given, and the number
of kneelings to be performed is indicated. Mudjir ed-Din6 mentions
Ù¡ They are shown on the 27th of Ramadan, which is thought to be lelatu-l-Qadr.
2 It is said that the Prophet Mohammed prayed here with other prophets
in lelatu-l-Mi'radj.
3 The four doors of the mosque are the western (Bab el-Gharb, or Bab en-
Nisa), the northern (Bab ed-Djanneh), the eastern (Bab Dahud, or Bab es-Sinsleh)
and the southern (Bab el-Qibleh). Uns ed-Djalil gives to the eastern door the
name Bab Israfil.
4 Under it is said to be the tomb of Solomon.
Ø› It is not regarded as so important as the others.
6 El-uns ed-djalil ft tdrih el-quds wal-halil, p. 371 if.

CANAAN: Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine 83
only Nos. 1, 4, 11, 14, 21, and the cave (al-ghdr).1 Al-imam Abu Bakr
bin ePArabi2 3 pretends to have seen the rock floating in the air,
without any support. A modern belief which has its parallel in al-uns
ed-djalU^ is that from under this rock four streams flow,4 to the south
Hammam es-Sifa, to the east Siloam (ØŒen sitti Mariam), to the north
en Hadjdji and en el-Qasleh, and to the west Hammam es-Sultan.5
Before closing this chapter I may further mention Abu ed-Dhur
a rock situated on the left side of the carriage road from Jerusalem
to Jericho, after passing ØŒen elÙ Hocl.6 This rock has a widespread
reputation for the cure of backache. After a patient has rubbed his
back against the rock, he places a stone on it. When last I saw
this ،،father of backs” he was loaded with a large heap of stones.
He is not assigned at present to any well, and I cannot explain its
widespread therapeutic use, except by assuming that it must have
been once connected in some way with a holy man or object of
worship.7 * I do not think that Curtiss is right in saying that such
stones act by their own magic power. Neither the colour nor the
substance of which our last example is composed differ in any way
from the rocks in the neighbourhood as to attract special attention. 8
We note also in this connection that this idea of honouring stones
is not a characteristic of the present inhabitants of Palestine, but
was well known in the ancient Orient. In Gen. 18 isff. we read:
،،Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he
had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil
upon it. And he called the name of the place Beth-el”.9 In Is. 57 6
1 In an appeal by the Supreme Moslem Council of Palestine, which contains
a short guide tÙ¥ the Temple Area, only Nos. 5, 8,10,11 are mentioned.
2 Referred to by Mudjir ed-Din, p. 371.
3 Mudjir, p. 205.
٠ JPOS I, 153—170.
5 Mudjir ed-Din says that all water that is drunk comes from under the
Sahrah. Everybody who drinks water at night time should say: “0 water of the
Holy City you are saluted” (p. 206).
6 Called also the ،،Spring of the Apostles” It is probably the ،،Spring of the
Sun,” mentioned in Jos. 15 7.
7 It is curious that in the continuation of Wadi el-Hod and not far from
this rock we have I'raq es-Sams and Mgheiyr es-Sams which correspond to the
Biblical name of 'en ha-semes.
3 This rock is not mentioned in the guide books. No religious honours are
paid to it.
Ù¥ See also Curtiss, 1. c.

Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
we read about ،،the smooth stones of the stream/’ to which the Israelites
had ،،poured a drink offering” and ،،offered a meat offering.”1
Before leaving this section of our subject we may call attention
to those rare sacred places that are not characterized by any of the
aforementioned features, i. e. those that exhibit no tomb, maqam,
tree, cave, enclosure nor rock. It is hardly possible to believe that
such dirty and unasuming places have ever attracted the attention
of the peasants. We find generally no clue to explain why they have
been assigned to a well. Among places of this nature I may mention:
Es-seh Salman (Bet Surik), a small cupboard-like hollow in the
wall of a garden. The pomegranate trees near by do not belong to
the well. In this opening I saw oil-lamps.
El-eAdjami (ØŒAwartah), an open place having on two sides the
remains of two old and strongly built walls. No tomb, cistern nor
tree belongs to the well. In the western wall there is a taqah,
where oil is burned and incense offered.
El-Ù£Adjami (a second saint of the same name in 'Awartah), a ruined
building with no remains or signs of a mihrab or tomb. The inhabitants
of the village say that the place used to be the house of a peasant.
It seems that a ruin is connected with most examples of this class.
Thus the place bought by the Russians in 'Anata shows a ruin of
a building with some pillars, probably the remains of a church. The
fellahin of this village believe that it is haunted by sullah, but no
body knows who they are. Ù¡
Not all of these places are Ù¦vell cared for. They are often dirty
and unattended. Thistles and other weeds flourish. Old tins, stones
and rubbish fill them. This was especially true of the two sacred
places of 'Awartah, also of Banat es-£eh Salah2 and of el-'Umari
(both in Jericho). Of the last two3 the former shows an outline of
a small square building4 which was very poorly constructed. Near
the second5 there is' a ruined cistern.
(To be continued.)
٤ S. Bevan, in Basting’s Dictionary of the Bible III, 1381.
2 Some call them Banat es-seh Sabbah.
3 They were three and were honoured in two places in Jericho. When their
habitations were ruined they left Jericho and went to Hasban. They used to
appear in the form of Bedouin women.
< I found tin oil-lamps in the so-called shrine.
5 A djami، is said to have once been situated here, bearing the name of ،Omar.

HEN we compare the conjugations of the verb as developed
in the different Semitic languages, we are struck by the
following facts:
I. In the case of all the conjugations derived from the original
qal there is a characteristic primary form which runs through all
the phases of the conjugation and is presei’ved in all its inflections.
A consonant with a vowel has the vowel throughout and a consonant
with Seva or dageS forte has a Seva or dageS forte throughout, as,
;٥٥٢١٥<؛ عحجه<؛ ,اً١٢بمججب ;<؟هقا؛ ل٦هقب ,٥٥<؛ ;دب ٥٥١؛ ,٦؛< :for example
٠<؟هةا؛ ;٥٥٦؛ ,،ة؛ ;ه؟رلو لاهرل١<؛ ,أ٢جرل١ب
II. In those conjugations dei’ived from the original qal, if the
first consonant of the form (that is the first radical or a prefixed
consonant) has a Sevâ mobile, there is prefixed (in those paradigms
wliere there is no prefixed consonant,ا namely in the perfect,
the imperative and the infinitive) a ،٦ in Hebrew, a K in Aramaic
and a اً (hamza) in Arabic2؛ cf. the following illustrations: ٦جهحلف,
t of the imperfect and Ù¥ of the participle.
2 As in all cases in Arabic ٦vhere there wonld otlierwise be a sevâ mobile in
the beginning of a word. For example: هو5 =) إتلل ,(يد١ه =) ادندن); as also
in non-Arabic proper names أهلأطون for Flat n.
Vestiges of tlie prefixed N, where one would otherwise have .Seva mobile at
the beginning of a word, are found in Hebrew in about forty names, as for
example: y١٦TK, 5>١٥ri؛J, n٦٦٥N, لادرل«, etc. j especially when the first radical is a
sibilant or a labial.

86 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
;H۶؟B<؛B<؛ ,B۶B٠n<؛ ,١٠٦بمجؤ3ا؛ ;م١بمج١?؛<؛ 5>5lBi?H١ ,55٦٥٢١،٦ ;ؤ٠جةرل<؛ ٦جهحل؛
;Ji٥r١M<؛ ,»R؛ ;in Hebrew ؤلأي٩ل8حللأ و٠حرلب ,^tysnt
:بعال ,أض ,؛ض in Aramaic; and ؛٠٥٠ ,»ب١مةحل5 ا3٠جل<5
;؛،لأل ,شل اغهعل 5إشل ,شن ,إكل دقعا ل اغئغعل الئغكل
in Arabic. ستفعال ١عشتغحل ,غئتاهعل
III. In all the conjugations derived from the qal, the participle
:as ,^'١'٦ل'د' to the imperfect stem in place of ٥ is formed by prefixing
ل١٠جةحت?،—بجهجلا؛ ;٦ج—وج ;٦هح3لأ — ؟هرل<؛ ;حهرللأ—٥< ;ح؟رل١<5—هجرلو
There is only one exception to these general rules in Hebrew,
the peculiar conjugation known as nif'al, which has the following
a) There is no common primary form which runs through all its
paradigms, which, accordingly, do not cori’espond to one another as
in other conjugations. There are ttvo quite distinct fo.rms, as if we
had before US fragments of two different conjugations: on the one
hand, the perfect, the infinitive absolute, and the participle have
their first radical with Seva and rafe (٠لآ ,بقرل1<5 ,دؤرإلح), and on
the other hand, the imperfect, the infinitive construct, and the
imperative have a vowel and a dageS forte in tlieir first radical
(٠., 5»bh5).
b) The prefixed ،٦ is found only in the infinitive construct and
the imperative, but not in the perfect, the formation of which is
entirely diff'erent (5بجرل).
c) The participle has not prefixed Ù¥, and is completely different
from the imperfect (٠(بقرلب
d) The great difference in form between the perfect and imperfect
was apparently felt so strongly by the language that it formed a
special infinitive absolute for each of them, with corresponding
forms 5>٦،جرلي١٠هرل), a phenomenon unparalleled in other
We may now raise the question: how does it happen that only
this one conjugation is anomalous in Hebrew, differing both from
the other Hebrew conjugations and from the inflection of the same
conjugation in other Semitic languages?

DAVID YELLIN: The Hippae-Nif al Conjugation in Hebrew and Aramaic 87
The second strange phenomenon to which we wish to call attention
is the supposed absence of the nif al conjugation from the Aramaic
This reflexive conjugation with prefixed د, which occurs in all the
other Semitic languages, does not exist in Aramaic, according to the
opinion current among grammarians.
The question now arises: Is it conceivable that an entire con-
jugation, with wide ramifications in Assyrian, Hebrew, Arabic and
Ethiopic, should have entirely disappeared in Aramaic?
On the other hand we find in Aramaicا hundreds of vestigial
cases of reflexive and passive verbs of the form ١١٠, that is
the Aramaic qal in its two forms2 with a prefixed «, followed by
dageg f'orte in the initial consonant of the root. This conjugation,
moreover, is found complete, with all moods and tenses, as
,هجرلخ ,»؟رل5١ ,?ا??لب
What is this conjugation, and to what forms in the other Semitic
languages does it correspond?
The grammarians have hitherto answered that it is merely an
or in which the n has been assimilated to the first
But is it indeed possible to admit that one letter can be assimilated
to all letters of' the alphabet, homogeneous or heterogeneous, even
laryngeal? 4. Is it possible that a phenomenon which does not exist
otherwise in any Semitic language occurs only in a single -Hebrew
morphological category in the inflection of the verb, and here only
in one conjugation? This is the third strange phenomenon to which
we must direct our attention.
In Hebrew also there are some vestiges where, according to tlie
opinion of the grammarians, the n of hitpael, is assimilated to
heterogeneous letters (HO?٥ ؟ HD?١،٦بميؤ^ا؛ ه ;؟؟, etc.). But
whereas in Hebrew we have to d'o otherwise only with scattered and
sporadic instances, perhaps exceptional, here we have hundreds of
1 Also in Mandaean and Samaritan. See Brockelmann: GvGr. I, § 257 H a e.
2 As tlie three Hebrv forms ٠١٥$, r٥n, دلأ; (Aramaic: هب٦ .ق١ممد, —).
3 In the unpointed text of tlie Talmud, a Ù¡ naturally follows mostly the first
consonant, e. g., لألاهءب ,١٤٠هحلب, etc.
4 See below for the lists, which are attached to this article.

88 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
cases, belonging to a common formation, and where all the letters
of the alphabet areÙ  involved.
The grammarians endeavour to explain this strange phenomenon
analogically: since the letter H may be assimilated to the first radical
Ù¦vhere the latter is a dental, the assimilation is extended by analogy
to all the other letters of the alphabet when in the same position.1
But a case which is intelligible according to the theoretical laws of
assimilation is not intelligible at all where there is no reason for the
assimilation, and, as with the laryngeals, no possibility of it.
On examining thoroughly the Hebrew verbs which have the hitpa'el
conjugation, we find a number of facts which seem to conflict with
the assumption that JÙ¦ is really assimilated in these forms:
a) In all the numerous roots which are found in Hebrew in the
hitpa'el, the n is not assimilated to heterogeneous consonants.2
b) In the case of roots beginning with the dentals n, Ù¦ ,Ù¥, the
language almost always — intentionally, as it were—fails to form
the hitpa'el at all; in the Bible we find only a few sporadic
c) Among the few exceptional cases we sometimes find that the rÙ¡
has not been assimilated even to the homogeneous consonants.4
d) In roots where the rÙ¡ of the hitpael is supposed to have been
assimilated we also find corresponding forms, in much greater
number, where the H has not been assimilated.5
ا See GvG. I,§ 257Hae.
2 Cf. ٦3«nn, ٦٦an٦٥؛ ,٠٦nn etc., etc.
3 With n we find only ٩n٥r١H (Hab. 1 5), 1) ١عل١بلئه Sam. 22 26; Ps. 18 26), هائلرل٩لرل١ه
(2 Chr. 36 16), in all of which cases the n of the hitpa'el has been assimilated to
the n of the stem; with ٦ only ٠١3٦٥٦، ,:؟؟»٩ ,٦٥«, or only three cases, about wliich
I will speak below; with ٥ only in the case of the verbs ٦٥|٦ and «٥٥, which will
also be discussed below.
4 Cf. D١p٥٦٢١b (Jud. 18 22); $٦٠٩٢١٥ (Jerusli. Keth. Ill, 27d); and in Aramaic:
ه٩٢١ث?أ١١ (Gen. R. s. 14); ٦٥٠٩٢١« (Targ. Prov. 6 6).
5 As ٩«3آ٢ي (Jer. 23 13), but 1) ٦١ا٦ليت٢١١ Sam. 10 6); HBsn (Prov. 26 26), but ٩٥3٢٦١٠
(Jonali 3 8), HBsnb (1 Kings 11 29), DÙ¡B3J?Ù¥ (2Kings 19 2; Isa. 37 2); etc.

DAVID YELIjIN: The Hippae-Nif al Conjugation in Hebrew and Aramaic 89
All these questions demand an answer, and the phenomena an
explanation. I will endeavour to furnish an explanation in the
following pages.Ø›
If we undertake to complete the paradigm of the conjugation
represented in the imperfect hy 5الاةرل, and in the imperative and
infinitive by 5>٦،جرل, in agreement with the other Hebrew conjugations,
we will be led to postulate a perfect of the type ٦،جرلب and a participle
of the type 5هجرل. We will then have a paradigm of the 5٦،هجإ
conjugation running as follows: 5٦،هرل5 ,٠٦هرلب ,٦،جرل, strictly
parallel to the corresponding hitpaei forms: 5و٦م١بمهرل؛ لا١بمهرل5 ,٦جهرل
5ه١جةرل5 ,٦جلجرل. In Arabic also we have a parallel series of forms,
with unassimilated د in place of dageS forte: ,إدععل ,تثععل ,إئددل
سهيل ر١دغعال .
Did we once have forms like these in Hebrew, and did we have
a complete conjugation bgsn, taking its place among the other con-
jugations?—In my opinion this was the case, and the following
illustrations will furnish ample evidence for the correctness of my
view. In connection with the discussion of them a number of other
points, not sufficiently understood hitherto, will be elucidated.
1. In Num. 3٥3 we read: مظ ي رل عهد١رل٦ n لامة دلا ح أج٦ د٦٦ ب١١ »١«.
'What is the word أم۶ظححت? It certainly cannot be an infinitive, since
Hebi’ew style requires that it be a perfect after the preceding im-
perfect, like the corresponding word in the section immediately
following: ٦٦ د٦٦ <١١5 7»؟٦٦، »٦٥n ٦٥۶، دلا«. Cf. also دلا ا؟أ٢ه» ٠٠٠
أ٣رلي٦، (Lev. 4 2); and ١»٥ 1» ٠ ٠ ٠ »1 ٦اً٦1رذ (Lev. 4 27-8); ?١
١بلإ٢ه» ٠٠٠ »٥٥١» (Lev. 5 21-2). There can therefore be no doubt
1 At this point it may be stated that I read this paper in 1918 before my friend
Mr. Israel Eitan 5 the suggestions wliich he naade are given below witli his name.
I was glad to see that my views with regard to the assimilation of the n furnished
the basis for his paper before the Palestine Oriental Society, March 1920, later
published in the Journal of tliis Society, Vol. I, pp. 42—49, under the title
“Contributions a l’histoire du verbe hebreu,” and later in Englisli as “Light on
the History of the Hebrew Verb,” JQR, New Se.ries, Vol. XII, No. 1.

90 Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society
that we have here the perfect of this rare conjugation, and that the
form ٦،بيرل is a perfect, corresponding to the more usual ا.ب٣يحل
2. In Ex. 9 18 we read: ٥1١n د0لا١٦ه ؛١٥ in٥3 ٠"rn «5> ٦t؛*K . د٠٠٦٦
٦٦٥١٢٦٠، ١رل٦ رلا٦ل٦ا The Massora has marked the final ،٦ in ،٦٦٥٦٠٦
with a afe ٠٦, indicating that there was no mappiq in the ،٦, which
was consequently not a pronominal suffix. The word is therefore
a perfect, and not an infinitive. Hebrew idiom also requires that
a perfect be employed after the phrase ۵١١٠٦١۵5 O1٠۵١١٠٦ 1٥, witli the
definite articled and a passage very sinailar to ours is Hag. 2, 18:
۵5أ ۵١١٠٦ »^٦ ١.؟٦ ١۵دلآ ١١. The infinitive comes only after the ex-
pression ۵١’¿ or ۵٦٥٥|? (without the article).3 Even here, however, we
sometimes find the perfect (1 Sam. 8,29Ø› Neb. 5 14); once even witli-
out ٦٥۶« between ۵١١٥ and the verb (Jer. 36 2)٠, precisely as in our
passage. Accordingly the form ،٦٦p١i٦ is to be considered as a case
of the perfect of the old conjugation hippal in the sense of ١٥.4؟٠٦٦
3. In Ezek. 5 13 we read: ١۵۵٥٠٦١ ١۵۵۵ ده أ٦اج۵ج١ج١. There can be
no doubt that the stem ۵١٦٥ has the same meaning in ١۵۵٥۵١؟ as in
١١٠٦ ؟ئ۵۵۵د١٦ (Is. 1 24), where the verb is in the nif al. Accordingly,
we should alter the pointing to ١۵۵٥،٦١؟ (with a qames under the د),
a perfect of the same conjugation hippa 1 in pause. In the generations
close to the time of the Massorites, after this formation had been
forgotten, our word was read, with a segol under the ي) د), as though
it were a hitpael with assimilated n and a segol for path under
the د because of the following pausal qames under the ۵ (as in
pausal ١۵؟ for usual ١۵N). But, as we have already observed, thei’e
is no foundation for the assumption that Ûµ is ever assimilated to a
following د in Hebrew, since this process is otherwise unknown in
Semitic, and has been elevated into a law by the Hebrew grammarians
1 It is true that we have in Lev. 2514; ٦١٥ H د n ٦٥٠٦ri١٥y١٥١ ^؟؟٩٦ ههد٦ ؛
٦n١٥y, with the infinitive instead of the perfect, but this idiom 'is extremely diffi-
cult, and apparently stands for بأد٦٠٦ل?|ب٠٦ IN. At all events we need not add to the
difficulty if it is possible to explain the case in a way agreeing more closely
with the normal usage of the Hebrew language.
2 Cf. Num. 1132; Deut. 4 32; 97; 2 Sam. 711; 1 Kings 816; 2 Kings 2115;
Jer. 7 25; 32 31; 1 Chr. 17 5; 2 Chr. 6 5.
Ø­ Cf. Ex. 10 6; Lev. 2315; Deut. 9 24; Jud. 19 30; 1 Sam. 7 2; 2 Sam. 7 6.
4 It is interesting to note that Onkelos renders this verb by ٠٦لبب؛٦ت in the
perfect. Rashi also explains ٠٦٦٥١٠٦ by ٠٦٦٥١m Both felt with their native lin-
guistic tact that this was the correct rendering and interpretation.