Joseph Pitts on Hajj: A Christian Slave’s Journey into The Heart of Islam

Unraveling the Extraordinary Tale of Joseph Pitts – A Glimpse into his Hajj Experience as a Christian in the Islamic World”

• Joseph Pitts was a person who?
• “Narrative accuracy for two Pitts”
• Three arguments in favor of Pitts’ “accuracy”
• Four instances of the narrative correctness in Pitts
• persistent errors and bias-related components
• Laughed at the fervor and Muslim religion
• Final

The fourth European non-Muslim to visit both Makkah and Madinah was the Englishman Joseph Pitts (1663–1735). He was followed by Ludovico de Varthema (1517–1517), who visited the Holy Cities in 1503; Vincent le Blanc (1640–1640), who is said to have made an unofficial visit in 1568 (though this is disputed by some as a fabrication); and Johann Wild (1607–1607, slave).

Similar to Le Blanc, Pitts was fascinated by the prospect of travel and exploration from a young age. According to Richard Francis Burton (d. 1890), Pitts was a highly gifted individual, and Burton was determined to make the most of the advantages that came with the Ages of Exploration and Discovery, which were bringing Europe and other parts of the world to the forefront. The world was becoming more recognized, accessible, and well-known. Emotion and enthusiasm had no bounds, and neither did opportunities and expectations.

New heroes were born, new discoveries were made, and incredible tales of human history were written on a regular basis. The sky was literally starting to become the limit as exploration and comprehension of Earth’s history increased.

But there was also a darker side to the madness; many had different perspectives, and Pitts quickly realized that there were a lot of unknowns and threats hiding in the shadows. For these people, the new developments presented a whole new set of opportunities.

It was uncommon for things to go as planned, and Pitts’s narrative illustrates how finely the line was drawn between chances and risks, between excitement and adversity, and between optimism and despair.

Joseph Pitts is a person who?

Pitts was born in the city of Exeter in 1663. At the age of 15, Pitts decided to become a seaman because he was driven by a desire for adventure and travel to see the world. After a few quick trips, he arrived in Newfoundland, a large island off the eastern coast of the North American mainland.

However, when he returned, his ship was taken from him by an Algerian pirate near the coast of Spain. The pirate’s leader was an English-speaking Dutch renegade who converted from Christianity to Islam. Pitts claimed that the pirates looked like “monstrous beasts,” and he was terrified that they would kill and consume him. Three more English ships were taken prisoner.”

Pitts was sold into slavery in Algeria in the past, in Algiers, the country’s main port and the headquarters of Barbary pirates, privateers, and pirates who in the 17th and 16th centuries captured thousands of mostly European merchant vessels and enslaved hundreds of hundreds of thousands of people. His three masters were the first to rule him reasonably, without attempting to convert his followers to Islam, and the second to do the exact opposite.

The second master, a “group of horses’ captain.” He was an alcoholic and inebriated man during his period, and he was also an assassin who was determined to convert a Christian slave to Islam in order to atone for his previous transgressions. Pitts was his opportunity. He began with a generous offer, which failed, and then various forms of torture.

When the pain became excruciating, Pitts felt forced to confess to Islam and utter phrases (testimony, shahadah) in which he stated that Muhammad was the messenger of Allah and that the only god, Muhammad, was the only god.

He was required to pronounce the words by “holding the forefinger of his right hand.” Following his conversion, Pitts was circumcised, but he continued to be mistreated and brutally beaten afterward.

When Pitts told his father about what had happened, the father comforted him and offered another form of reassurance to the effect that “he had spoken with many experts, and they all agreed that he was not guilty of the sin that could not be forgiven.” Pitts responded,

“Remember, that Peter had not had as many opportunities to disbelieve his Master and Lord as you have but he still received mercy, and that’s why you.” Pitts knew that the conversion was undoubtedly not sincere, and he took every opportunity to prove it, either through words or deeds.

Pitts was never at peace with Islam because, at the time it was practiced in Europe, Islam was seen as an antichristic group, a cult that worshipped Satan in addition to heresy and deceit; giving up Christianity and accepting Islam was considered the greatest and most unforgivable sin against Jesus Christ; it was a crime of treason and betrayal to religion, and those who committed it were known as Renegades (apostates as well as rebels).

This practice was extremely offensive and terrified the other Christians in the Muslim world, and even without. As a result, Pitts was never at peace, even after he converted to Islam. He once cried and said to his father, “wishing that he had passed away as a young man so that he wouldn’t be the one to bring the gray hairs of his parents in a state of sorrow.”

Pitts considered this to be a blessing because his problems would be somewhat alleviated. The third man he worked with was “an old and corpulent man” and a kind man who treated him with great respect, treating him as if he were his own son.

Pitts consequently acknowledged that he had been a second father to him. It was this kind-hearted master who sent Pitts to Makkah and Madinah to perform the hajj (pilgrimage).

They visited the Holy month Ramadan and stayed there for two months and ten more days until the beginning of the hajj season. In Makkah, they stayed for about four months on their own. After they finished the Hajj, Pitts returned to Algiers with his master.

The man was in his late twenties and Pitts had hopes, but “though no longer a slave but the freedom of rebels were limited, and were he caught trying to escape from Algiers the man would have been executed by torture, to serve as an instance.” Pitts never stopped thinking about escape, even though his master had given him a document granting him freedom while he was in Makkah.

After that, “a chance to get away was created after a long time. Pitts was one of the German ships that were sent to Smyrna (now Izmir) in order to aid the Turks. Once he arrived, the escape plan was put into action, and all uncertainties and barriers—including psychological ones—were removed.

Then, “after waiting in vain for an English ship, he sailed dressed in European and French attire.” When the ship arrived in Leghorn, Pitts collapsed on the ground and planted a kiss on it. He traveled across Germany on his way back to his home.”

Pitts escaped sometime between 1693 and 1694, when he was between 31 and 32 years old. His story was published in 1704 under the title “A True and Genuine account of the religion and manners of the Mohammetans”.

Pitts’ “narrative accuracy”

The first thing about Pitt’s book that should be noted is that his narratives were rather accurate. It was astonishingly different and refreshingly different given how skewed and false the narratives of Ludovico di Varthema and Vincent Le Blanc are. It felt similar to taking a breath of air.

While Pitts’ work is undoubtedly riddled with errors and sloppiness, it is significantly less blatant and uninspired than the work produced by his predecessors, without going too far in that direction. The challenges that come with Pitts’ work also seem more perceptive and deliberate. Their venom was reduced.

In summarizing Pitts’s relative integrity, Burton said, “His description of these locations is true in the major points. And even though he is stained by bias and prejudice, he’s completely free of beliefs and faith.”

Pitts’s proficiency in both languages—at the very least, Arabic and Turkish—helped him, sort of. Whether on purpose or not, he was able to acquire sufficient knowledge about Islamic culture and religion throughout his nearly 15 years in Algiers. Despite the shortcomings in his education, he was able “to bring fullness and depth to his research” because of his rich life experiences.

The Ottoman Turks ruled the Muslim world at that period, both politically and culturally. Throughout the history of Islamic civilization, they were the most formidable torchbearers. Algeria was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, just like every other country in the Islamic west (al-maghrib al-Islami). The official languages were Turkish and Arabic. Since many people spoke multiple languages, Pitts’ situation became a representation of the drama.

For example, he regularly discusses Islamic holy days, traditions, and rituals in both Arabic and Turkish. Some words are pure Arabic, like “beer el zemzem” (the zamzam well), “Sallah” (prayer), and “hagar aswad” (the black stone). Some words are pure Turkish, like “ablution,” “nomas,” “Namaz,” “bayram” (eid), and “ekinde-nomas” (Muslim third and middle prayers). Some phrases are Arabic loanwords, like “erkaets” (Arabic for “rak’at,” or “a unit of prayer), “curban” (Arabic for “sacrifice,” or “the House of God”).

Pitts aimed for accuracy. “A True and Faithful account of the Mohammetans’ manners and religion of the Mohammetans” is the title that sums up his work. “True” and “faithful” were meant to be both a sign of obligation and a witness; they were also a sign of an obligation that Pitts accepted on behalf of both his audiences and himself.

Pitts saw the situation as an accountability test, unlike his non-Muslim predecessors from Makkah and Madinah, who may have attempted to capitalize on the ignorance of their European audiences regarding Islam and the holiest of spots in the late 16th or early 17th centuries.

In the end, after describing his experience of the hajj journey to Makkah and the rituals associated with it, before advancing to the topic of Madinah, Pitts most insistently emphasized that in addition to being able to do it promptly and faithfully and punctually, he was also prepared to confront the world in order to prove him guilty of any falsehood that was known to him.

Pitts undoubtedly recognized the followers’ presence and interest; he shared their experiences and sensed that they were balancing their demands and expectations; there was a strong emotional and spiritual bond between them; he addressed each of them individually, as if he were speaking to each of them directly; he refers to them all as “you” and suggests that there is no separation between them, nor between them collectively and the reality he seeks; he said, to give an example, “I shall now give you a detailed detail about Mecca and the Mecca temple,” “I shall next provide you with a description of the temple in Mecca,” and so on.

Two arguments in favor of Pitts’ “accuracy

Pitts’ “comparative honesty” and correctness were explained in two ways. First of all, he composed his writing in the years that followed his encounters. He had time to review what had happened and consider the situations. There wasn’t much, if anything at all, to be happy about.

However, in retrospect, the latter phases of the horror he went through with his third, incredibly devoted, and paternal master were not the most agonizing. There can still be minuscule traces of regret in them.

Pitts “performed” in the hajj pilgrimage during these times. His knowledge of Islamic doctrine and customs was more than sufficient, and he had a developed enough mind and level of intelligence to be able to make deft, thorough, and error-free judgments. Finally, his thoughts and actions were neither primarily driven by his unbridled hatred and rage, nor by his melancholy mood, which was rather consistent.

Pitts felt uneasy when he left Madinah, the Hajj, and sacred places like Makkah. In addition to being fascinated by human nature, he struggled with being a confused and sometimes hardened Christian. His intellect was more alert and inquisitive than before, and he experienced astonishment, excitement, confusion, and amusement all at once as a result of the encounter.

He departed from the location and the encounter with many unanswered questions in his heart. He might have had two personalities at times. He received accolades, but he also criticized several facets of both Christianity and Islam.

He gave off the impression that he was skeptical of Islam right away, but he also made subtle but pointed criticisms of Christianity. Readers are prompted to question Pitts’ actual relationship with both religions as a result of the nuanced and tacit criticism of them.

The things that would have been weighing on Pitts once he returned to England and decided to share his experience with his fellow citizens first and foremost. He would have been somewhat appreciative to his most forgiving master, who had, after all, given him his freedom. He knew there were conflicts in his spiritual and emotional state.

Pitts, in a different sense, owed everything to the truth and nothing else. It was like paying off all of his and others’ debts when he shared and revealed it. To get results, which would be the pinnacle of his quest for independence, he had to make compromises. Freedom became an instrument of accountability and a sign of truth when the ultimate goal was achieved.

It is important to note that Pitt’s tight bond with his master temporarily served as an emotional barrier to his escape strategy. It behaved as if it were the devil, luring him to give up on his plans to flee and return to Algier to live as a Muslim.

In addition, the fact that he was now paid after gaining his master’s independence and losing a month’s salary in addition to other funds appears to have had an impact on his emotional state. But finally, it started to sound good to return home as soon as possible and experience total independence.

Another facet of Pitts’ moral and social responsibility contributed to his credibility and honesty. Pitts remarked in Makkah, “I wonder if anyone in England has never visited Mecca.” Considering the individual’s account, the incident was undoubtedly not particularly noteworthy. However, in the end, the incidents became about accountability and the potential for a bright spot amidst all the suffering.

Pitts made the choice to use the opportunity to help improve the situation, seeing at the time how unstable and under supported the Occident-Orient relations were. Due to this, Christianity and Christians gained the upper hand over Islam and its supporters. This was consistent with the well-known approach used by Martin Luther (d. 1546) with respect to the best ways to oppose Islam and evangelize Muslims and their adherents, which was thought to be a successful strategy at the time Pitts wrote his book.

As an antichristian heresy and a cult that supports Satan, the teaching holds that Christians need not be afraid of the absurd and base beliefs of Islam. Christians ought to be proactive rather than defensive. People are more prone to reject Islamic teachings and values and to recognize the absurdity of Islamic beliefs and teachings when they are more widely known and exposed to them. The best cure for the lies is affirmative truth. It recoils from it and vanishes from its dream world. Lies are just as obvious as the truth.

Martin Luther thus described the Qur’an as the ultimate source of all things Islamic in the introduction to the first edition of the Qur’an written in Latin: “I do not believe that the more educated and pious people read these works and the more their errors and the name Muhammad are spelled out.

Because just as the idiocy or even the madness of the Jews can be more readily observed after their secret sagas were exposed to the light, so after the Qur’an of Muhammad is made available to the public and thoroughly scrutinized in all its aspects and parts, everyone who is religious can better be able to recognize the sanity and tricks of the devil and be able to refute the devil’s falsehoods.”

Pitts believed that truths regarding the activities and beliefs of Muslims (Mohammetans) should be revealed and documented with accuracy. Dispelling myths and foolishness involved nothing but the best. Only gains exist. It is crucial that people learn about these problems before relying solely on a few dubious sources and being duped by someone else.

This was the fundamental inspiration behind Pitt’s choice of writing style for his book. Pitts had an obligation to uphold the truth and put an end to all falsehoods, both to himself and to his family, friends, and faith.

Pitts must have been taken aback when he learned of the existence of an Irish rebel (a Christian conversion to Islam) in Makkah, “who was taken very young, as he not only had lost his Christian faith, but also his mother tongue as well. The man endured 30 years of slave labor in Spain and in French galleys and was later redeemed and returned to Algier.

He was regarded as an extremely pious person, and an ardent zealot by the Turks because he was not abandoning to the Mahommedan faith, despite the many temptations that he was able to face.”
Because Pitts was extremely concerned “for the case of a fellow countrymen who returned to his homeland and returned to Algier and, in a voluntary manner without any violence was made a Mahometan.”

Illustrations of Pitts’s veracity in his story

Pitts’ precision in storytelling is evident in many of these cases; in some, it approaches 100% accuracy.

For example, this is how he describes arriving in Makkah for business and carrying out the ‘Umrah’ (lesser pilgrimage) before attending to anything else, like finding lodging: “As soon as we reach the heart of Mecca, the Dilleel, or guide, leads us to the main street that runs through the city and the temple it connects. After the camels have been buried, he leads his guests to the fountains so we can perform abdes (ablution).

Once we have finished, he leads us to the shrine, where we enter through the Bab-al-salem gate (i.e., after putting our shoes on a person who is always there to take the shoes off). The Gate of Peace, or Welcome Gate. The Dilleel stands up and lifts his hands to the Beat-Allah, which is in the middle of the mosque, a few steps after the entrance. The Hagges imitate him and repeat the same phrases that the Dilleel says. The Hagges cry when they first see the Beat-Allah.

We are then led to it, where we recite the same words as the Dilleel and are led through it seven times before performing two Erkaets, which is a prayer that is divided into two halves. After that, we are led out onto the street, where we may be asked to run at times or alternately, move swiftly with the Dilleel while keeping a bowshot as we go from one side of the road to the other. Once all that is accomplished we return to the area in the street that we set our camels along with our provisions and other essentials, and seek for accommodation; the instant we arrive we strip off and take off the Hirrawems (ihram as a special pilgrim’s clothing) and then put on normal clothes.”

Arriving finally at the spot and the event that pilgrims have been anticipating all their lives, and for which as long as they’d been working to prepare for both physically and spiritually and spiritually, everything must be put aside for one moment.

For the pilgrims, that moment seems as if – with the exception of for them along with Ka’bah ( baytullah) and its holy mosque the world is in a state of utter silence, it’s as if the entire world has slowed to an abrupt halt. This moment has to be captured in the moment, soaked up and enjoyed, no matter how difficult the task may be. It should be recorded within the heart, the soul and mind, as well as the memory – but across the entire body. In this way, it has to be protected from the constant assaults of obscurity, forgetfulness and even amnesia.

To achieve this but, the most effective way to do is make his life and the world surrounding him stop and be absorbed in the all-encompassing spiritual purity and holyness. In addition, he must renounce the ego, self, and all of his worldly responsibilities and submit to the power of the only absolute power, supremacy and power.

This is why – as Pitts observed, at the first glimpse of Ka’bah ( baytullah) the pilgrims erupt into tears. They did not return in their “normal physical” self until the end the the hajj. In reality most pilgrims don’t. This is because the effect that hajj has on hajj on the majority of pilgrims who following the hajj and even after returning home, they will never have their lives the same.

Next, we will discuss the rituals of the tawaf (circumambulation) within the Ka’bah, and kissing the Black Stone ( hajar aswad), Pitts says, emphasizing not only the enthusiasm and determination of pilgrims but as well their civility and moral quality: “This place is so often visited by those who go around it that the site of the towoaf i.e. the route they follow to go around it, is never empty regardless of night or day.

Most will walk around until they’re fatigued before taking a break, and then back go back to it, taking note at the end of each seventh day to do two Erkaets. There are times when there are hundreds of people at Towoaf all at once, particularly following Acshamnomas or the fourth service time (sunset and evening prayers) that is following lighting candles, which includes include both women and men and the women, however, walk to the side of while the men are closest towards the Beat.

In such a luxurious location like this, it’s not possible to assume that everyone can be able for a kiss on the (black) stone mentioned earlier so when it comes to such a situation it is a matter of lifting the hands to it, smoothing their faces, and making an an expression of love and devotion in the form of Allah-waick Barick, i.e.

Blessed God, or Allah cabor, i.e. God of the highest grade, or Allah cabor, i.e. God or anything similar, and so not passing by it until the ability to kiss it is regarded to be enough.

If there are few guys in Towoaf which is when ladies have the chance to kiss the stone. Once they’ve obtained it, they get around it as they travel around, and go around as quickly as they can, so that they come to it once more and maintain it for a lengthy period of time.

Men, once they know that women have taken over the location and are so kind that they will pass through and let them to eat their food according to what I say in their Towoaf, or go around, where they use formal language. When ladies are on the stone, it’s thought to be a rude and unhygienic thing to be near them, despite the place and time.”

Concerning Makkah and the town’s topography, Pitts writes: Makkah and its terrain, Pitts states: “First in connection to Mecca. It is a city that situated in a deserted location (about an hour’s drive away from Red Sea) in a valley, or more exactly inside the midst of a number of small hills.

It is a city of no force, without both the walls as well as gates. Its structures are (as I mentioned before) extremely ordinary, to the point that they would be an inaccessible place for entertainment, if it were not for the annual resort that attracts more than a thousand Hagges or pilgrims, upon which the entire dependence on the town (in the sense of) is based; as a lot of shops are not open throughout the time, and not just during.

The residents here, I have observed are not the most affluent of people. They are slender, thin, and skinny. This town has numerous miles of little hills that are near to one the other. I’ve been at the highest point of a few close to Mecca which I was able to view miles in the distance although I was not able to see the highest point hill. They’re all stony rock and blackish. They are all quite near of being big, looking from a distance to resemble an acorn of hay, yet they all point toward Mecca.”

Pitts is then able to shed light on a belief (“an bizarre and absurd kind of custom”) regarding the Makkah hills in particular, as well as the hills throughout the world, as well as the ancient method of building the Ka’bah of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Pitts says: “The people here have an odd and foolish kind of belief about the Makkah hills (hills) which is.

The belief is that when Abraham began to build the beat-allah God with his marvelous will decided, through his divine providence that every mountain contributed something towards the construction of it and consequently every mountain did contribute its share although the mountain close to Algier that is known as Corradog, i.e. Black Mountain; and the reason it is black it is that it did not offer any portion of itself to build the temple in Mecca.”

In a reference to two particular occurrences in the tale of Prophet Muhammad’s life and prophethood assignment, Pitts further writes: “There is at the peak of one of these (hills) an underground cave known as Hira, i.e.

Blessing. (they claim) Mahomet did usually retire to solitary worship as well as meditations and fastings. They also believe that he received a large portion of the Alcoran that was entrusted to into his home through Gabriel. Angel Gabriel. I’ve been inside this cave and found that it’s not in any way beautiful and I was awestruck. (Secondly,) about half an hour from Mecca is a steep hill.

There are steps to climb up to the top which is where you will find the cupola, which is a cloned rock. in this, it is said, Mahomet, when very young and a young man, that is. around four years old was carried by Angel Gabriel, who opened his chest and then took his heart.

From it, the blood-specks were black that were his initial corruption. He then placed it back in its place and closed the artery; and during the operation, Mahomet was not in discomfort. In this exact spot I also went in the same way, since my colleagues did the same, and also did some Erkaets as they had done.”

Following that, Pitts describes the Ka’bah in this way: “The Beat-Allah, which is situated in the middle of the temple is a square of about twenty-four feet in each square and close to twenty-four feet (or paces, according to the comments made Burton) Burton) in the height. It is constructed of an amazing stone, which is all pure and simple and without a trace of carving on it.

It is surrounded starting from the top and ending by a thick layer of silk. Over the middle of the cover are all-round gold letters and the meaning behind them I can’t quite put into my me, however I believe they were some pious expressions.

Each letter measures nearly two feet long and 2 inches wide. In the lower part of the Beat are large brass rings that are inserted to it, and through them passes a huge cotton rope. And to this, the lower part of the cover is attached.

This door’s threshold which belongs to this Beat is the highest a human could reach, and so whenever anyone enters the Beat there is a ladder-stairway that are set up for this to be used. The door is coated completely with silver, and a cover that is hung over it and is able to reach the ground that is turned to the right throughout the week with the exception of Thursday night and on Friday.

The covering on the door is very heavy and embroidered with gold in such a way that it weighs a few pounds. Its top Beat is flat and beat with sand and lime; and there is a lengthy the spout or gutter that is used to remove rainwater when it falls.

The Beat-Allah is open for two days within the span of six weeks, namely. one day for men and the following day for women. While I was in Mecca for the last the span of four months, I was given the chance to enter into it twice. This is a widely-respected benefit that millions of Hagges are not able to experience because those who come by land don’t stay in Mecca longer than 16 or 17 days.”

Concerning the Interior of the Ka’bah, Pitts notes that it was incredibly basic in construction and decor: “And I profess I did not find anything worth looking at within it, besides two wooden pillars in its middle, which were used to support an overhang, along with a piece of iron affixed to them.

On it were hung three or four silver lamps that appear to be, but not often, if at all lit. In the section of the Beat there’s a brass or iron chain, but I am not sure what it is (for I didn’t make utilization of it) and the pilgrims rub their necks to show regret. Floors of the Beat is marble as is the interior of the walls. On them there’s a note in Arabic and I had not the time to read.

The walls, even though they are marble on the outside are draped with silk that is removed prior to the Hagges get in. People who go to the Beat stay there for short time in the time frame of. barely one quarter of an hour, as other are waiting for the same privileges; and when some do go in while others go out.”

A number of fascinating things that Pitts accurately relates was the existence of 4 maqamat or locations in the sacred mosque in Makkah to each school of Islamic Jurisprudence ( madhhab) and their followers to carry out separately each of the daily five prayers. It is interesting to note that the maqamat was adorned with elaborate and distinctive architectural features.

Although it is not appropriate and can be seen to promote the spread of differences, the event is presented in the writings of Pitts using a highly conciliatory manner, insisting the fact that Muslims, even though they are split into 4 “sorts” ( madhhabs) and a variety of madhhabs, are bound by the same fundamentals. There are no differences in the ritual part. are not significant.

He says: “On each of the four squares of the Beat is a small room constructed, and on top of each one is a small chamber with windows around it. In these chambers that are called Emaums (imams) (together together with the Mezzins) are able to perform Sallah in front of the crowd of all those who are below.

The four chambers are constructed in every square in the Beat because there are four types of Mahometans. The first one is known as Hanifee The majority of these are Turks. The second is Schafee. with a manner and style that follow the Arabians adhere to.

The third Hanbelee among which there are only a few. The fourth Malakee Of which are those who live westward from Egypt and even the country of the emperor of Morocco. They all share the same basic principles, but there is one minor difference regarding the ceremonial aspects.”

After giving a detailed description of the physical features of the plain Mount Arafat, Pitts freely acknowledges that he was ignorant of the place’s significance and the rituals connected to it. This was probably caused by the fact that the events that take place during the hajj at Arafat are typically pure and intangible, enthralling the pilgrim and elevating them to the pinnacles of spiritual comprehension and essence.

Very little of what is occurring within and spiritually can be compared to a physical or external manifestation. It seems like Pitts did not have the time or skill to focus on everything, and he acknowledged this. Pitts continued to be a Christian, but he was unable to reach the spiritual depths that are the focus of Islam and the hajj. He managed to stay afloat.

The author writes that “The Curbaen Byram, or the Feast of Sacrifice is a two-month period and ten days following the Ramadan fast. On the eighth day following the two months, they all go into Hirrawem, i.e. they take off their savage habits yet again, and in this way, they go to a hill known as Gibbel el Orphat (El Arafat), i.e. it is the Mountain of Knowledge; for there, according to legend, Adam first met and became acquainted with the woman he was married to, Eve.

The Gibbel or hill isn’t large enough to accommodate the huge crowds that come to it; as it is claimed by the locals that they see more than 70,000 souls each year on the ninth day following the two months following Ramadan and, should any year there isn’t one of them, God, they say will make up the shortfall through angels. It is true that the amount of Hagges I encountered on this mountain was quite large but I don’t imagine that they would be the number of 70,000. There are bound-stones set around the Gibbel within the valley, in order to demonstrate how far the holy ground (as they believe it) extends.

A lot of them are so enthusiastic that they camp out within the bounds of these stones, just before the time to pay their respect here is due and are waiting for it. Why do they reverently enter this mountain over any other spot and get from it the title of Hagges I confess that I don’t fully know than what I’ve already stated.”

Pitts continues by going into great detail about the Mina habit of throwing pebbles. Mina location: “The next morning they relocate to a location known as Mina or Muna. Mina is approximately 2 or 3 miles from Mecca.

Then they all pitch their tents (it being a wide plain) and enjoy the duration in Curbaen Byram (Eid Al-Adha) which is i.e. three days.

After their tents are set up and everything is cleared away, every Hagge on the day before, gets up and throws seven small stones that they had collected, on the smallest pillar, or small stone structure. This act of theirs is designed to demonstrate their resolute opposition to the devil’s deeds and deeds as they also declare the following words: that is. Erzum le Shetane wazbehe; i.e. stone the devil and then to please him. There are two more similar pillars that are located near one another.

At each (I refer to the three) on the second day throwing seven stones. They do the same thing happens on the following day. It is important to note that following the throwing of seven stone on their first day (the rural people had brought large flocks of sheep for sale) Everyone purchases a sheep and then sacrifices the animal; some of which they donate to their loved ones as well as to the needy that come from Mecca and the nearby country extremely ragged and poor and the rest, they consume themselves.

After that, they cut their hair, throw off Hirrawem and put on different clothes. They then greet one another with kisses, and say”Byram Mabarick Ela and ‘Byram Mabarick Ela’ i.e. this feast is an opportunity to bless you. Because they believe that their sins have been forgiven and that they would enter heaven right away upon death, the people of Byram celebrate Eid with great excitement and plenty of lights throughout the three nights of celebration.”

Then, in reference to Madinah, the town of Madinah, and the Prophet’s tomb inside the Prophet’s holy mosque in Madinah, Pitts states as follows: “Medina is a small town that is not very wealthy, but it is surrounded by walls and has a huge mosque, though it is not as large as the one in Mecca.

There is a space in the mosque that is roughly 14 or 15 feet square. Here are exquisite windows surrounded by metal grilles. The interior of the deck is decorated and lit up. The ceilings are entirely arched. The mausoleum of Mahomet, which houses his body, is located in the center and has silk curtains that around it like a bed.

The curtains lack both style and cost. Because of the draperies around it, nothing is visible from any angle within the tomb, and none of the Hagges are permitted entry. The Eunuchs who keep vigil over it alone. All they do is sweep and clean the area while lighting their nightly lamps. The Hagges are only allowed to call for assistance, smack their hands on the windows, and place their hands between their brass grates. “.”

Pitts now brushes aside two misconceptions in the first: the assertion that the Prophet’s tomb had more than 3,000 lamps surrounding it, saying, “but it is a misunderstanding because there isn’t the number I’m sure of 100; and I am speaking from what I have observed and have been witness to.”

Furthermore, just like his predecessors before him, Pitts reveals that a small number of people, primarily in Europe, held the belief that the Prophet Muhammad’s coffin was placed atop a mosque roof and hung in midair. Pitts vehemently refutes this legend, saying, “

But trust me, it is a lie.” It is inconceivable to think that his body would have been hung there because, when I entered the tomb through the brass gate, I could see far more than any Hagges and the tops of the curtains that bordered it were not even close to reaching the height of the roof or arch. The Mahometans have never discussed anything like this in my experience.”

Pitts goes on to explain with startling accuracy and total objectivity an Islamic belief that holds that Jesus Christ will ultimately be buried in the same room, close to the Prophet Muhammad’s grave:

 “Outside of this location, the place where Mahomet’s tomb is located, there are a few sepulchres of their saints who are reputed to be holy; of which one is a preparation to welcome Jesus Christ, when he will be able to return personally into the world.” Because they declare that Christ will return in physical form approximately forty years before the last day of the world to validate Mahometan beliefs and to reiterate that Jesus Christ was not slain in the flesh but rather in the shape of an effigy or a person who resembles him.”

generating mistakes and biased elements

Despite all of that, Pitts remained a product of the 17th and 18th centuries European Christianity, which meant that he would never be able to fully break free from the negative stereotypes that were widely held about Islam, Muslims, and Islamic culture in Europe. These stereotypes were further reinforced by the shaky and false connections that existed between Islamdom and Christendom.

Pitts found himself caught in the middle. He was unable to reconcile his life with his prior knowledge of the Muslim world after facing the realities of it. He found it difficult to comprehend and accept the new information and experience.

Nevertheless, neither his position nor his personal circumstances, nor the vast majority of external factors, were favorable to him; at times, everything worked against his interests. He was deprived of the opportunity to fully consider, analyze, and integrate the events. The hajj incident, which was, in part, his only chance, was undoubtedly fruitful and intriguing in its own right.

Pitts was, after all, a cunning man whose views on Islam and Muslims were characterized by hate and contempt, even as he was occasionally taken aback by the overwhelming amount of genuine enthusiasm and admiration. Consequently,

some were left wondering if the man was truly sincere in both his apparent Islam and his real Christianity. Pitts may have been at a crossroads at times, but when it came to Islam, Pitts was best characterized as a disquieting and agnostic bigot. The book is a clear reflection of this mentality, and it significantly advances the development of early modern and medieval European-Christian writings about Islam and Islamic culture.

When Pitt wrote on the hajj, he alternated between endorsing an overt narrow-mindedness and supporting Christian anti-Islamic polemics and apologetics. Here are a few instances of Pitts’ blatant errors and biases.

Firstly, Pitts stands by his claim that the Muslims “gave no credence” to the concept that the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was the creator of the Ka’bah, even though this was merely a fiction, like many other aspects of Islamic culture.

Pitts describes the Islamic beliefs and customs as “superstitions and illusions,” Friday as the “Muslim Sabbath,” the holy Makkah (al-masjid al-haram) as a “temple,” and Muslims as “poor (lowly in comparison to miserable) inscrutable and blind.”

Third, he describes Prophet Muhammad as a “juggler (magician)” to whom the pilgrims pray (make an appeal) and as a “bloody false prophet”.

Fourthly, Pitts falsely claims that the stone (hajar aswad) was once white and known as “Haggar Essaed, i.e., “the White Stone.” However, because of the sins of the countless numbers of people who kissed it, the stone turned black and is now called Haggar Esswaed, also referred to as “the Black Stone.”

Five, Pitts incredibly argues that the Ka’bah is the center of Muslim worship, “the idol which they love: because, if they let them never be so from it, be it east, west, North, or South of it. They will be sure to bow to it, but when they’re at their Beat (bayt, which is from baytullah or the Ka’bah) They can choose to choose which side they like and make their Sallah to this side.” If this is the case, it’s difficult to come up with a more straightforward way to refute Burton’s statement, “Nothing as blindly biased than that assertion. Moslems are inclined toward Meccah in the same way in the same way as Christians toward Jerusalem.”

Sixth Pitts is wrong when he says that the maqam Ibrahim, or the stones that the prophet Ibrahim stood on or used as a scaffold to build the Ka’bah, is where Ibrahim is buried. It was about 12 feet from the Ka’bah, “enclosed with iron gates. It’s somewhat like tombstones that people are wearing however, it has an elegantly embroidered covering. In this, people are likely to look.” Near the Ka’bah.

According to Seventh Pitts, Muslims view Zamzam as a sacred drink and treat it with the same superstition “as the papists revere theirs”.

Eighth Eighth Pitts Prophet Ibrahim was ordered to give his firstborn son, Isma’il (Ishmael), to Pitts (Isaac), but not his second son, Ishaq.
Sufi Dhikr (remembrance of God) gatherings around the Ka’bah are described by 9th Pitts as “a beautiful play suitable for kids”.

The Tenth Pitts observes that Grand Cairo and Makkah were both filthy in terms of cleanliness. Furthermore, it said “they would steal even inside the temple (al-masjid al-haram) in and of itself, short of sexual indiscretion and debauchery.”

I was struck by the fervor and dedication of Muslims.

Pitts’s fascination with Muslim religious piety and the devotion displayed during that hajj ceremony is another noteworthy aspect of his story. He admits that he was unable to hold back his tears over what he saw, which occurred the moment he and other pilgrims arrived in Makkah and began performing the first rituals of worship. These emotions were real, and he was not hesitant to conceal or express them.

“And I declare,” Pitts writes, “I would not be able to resist not to be envious of the creatures of such extraordinary passionate, and loving in their stance on these beliefs, and the awe and fear they were, in such a way that I couldn’t resist crying, to witness their devotion while they were blind and obnoxious.” The pilgrims were nearly in tears at their first glimpse of Ka’bah, and the scene raged throughout.

Pitts was unable to achieve the ideal balance between his conviction that Muslims were deceived, deluded, erroneous, religious, and idolaters, and the actual situation. He was naively wondering if the public display of the most genuine emotions he had ever seen could be connected to the lies, deviance, and malice, and he was unsure if the real and the fake were in line with the established set of reality.

He was certain of the answers, but neither intended to, nor was he prepared to confront what they meant by their extensive nature. The most effective course of action, then, was to avoid dwelling on the matter for too long, to avoid ignoring it like the many stubborn heads that had come before him, and to later dismiss it as an aberration, foolishness

“It truly was an eye-opening sight that was able to penetrate the heart,” Pitts wrote, “to see the thousands of people in their attire of humility and shame as they walked around with their heads bare and cheeks drenched in tears; and to listen the sighs and screams of their victims asking for repentance of their sins promising a new life with repentance, and going on for about four to five hours.” Pitts used his most moving expressions for this remarkable circumstance at Arafat, which epitomizes the entire hajj ceremony.

When one considers the extreme devotion and fervor of Muslims, one finds it surprising that Pitts felt it was appropriate to criticize his Christian coreligionists at this point, pointing out that many of them lack religious convictions. Pitts remarks that “it is a sad reflection to compare the apathy of a lot of Christians with the fervor of these blind Mahometans that will certainly, to be feared, erupt to judge them and punish them.”

The word “papist” and its derivatives, like “papism,” are remnants of the Protestant Reformation; “These and similar terms like “popish” and “popery” are often used by Protestants to express disdain towards Roman Catholic practices and tenets.” Based on this statement and the other one, which he was snarky about certain superstitious practices associated with the pope, it is possible to conclude that Pitts was a staunch adherent of the Reformation, but it was led by the Church of England.

When it rains, pilgrims gather in a horde and fight to reach the spout so that the rainwater from the Ka’bah can fall on their bodies, “accounting it as the dew of Heaven and observing it as a wonderful joy to see it fall upon them,” as Pitts explains in a discussion of the Ka’bah. The top of the structure is flat and beaten by sand and lime. They feel it will be more joyous, though, if they are able to obtain some drinking water.”

Furthermore the writer draws attention to the aftereffects that followed the much-anticipated opening ceremony of Ka’bah and the public’s visits to the inside. The author explains that after all was finished and the leader of Makkah Sharif, who was the ruler of Makkah Sharif was able to begin cleaning the Ka’bah himself due to his humility and piety. He was able to do this with a group of his associates. First, they cleansed the interior using Zamzam, the sacred water.

Zamzam then followed that, they rinsed it off with sweet water. “The stairs that were used to the entrance of the Beat. After the Beat was removed, people gathered to collect their sweepings from the water beneath the door. The besoms, which are thought to cleanse the Beat, are chopped up and tossed into the crowd. Whoever picks up a small stick or twig from it will be able to keep it as a sacred artifact.”

Pitts states that he was informed by a fellow pilgrim that it is disrespectful to lie back with one’s feet pointing toward the Ka’bah; it is unfair to face the Ka’bah after one has completed their hajj and been given the title hajji; camels were kissed by those who carried the Kiswah (cover to protect the Ka’bah), which was made in Egypt and transported to Makkah annually; and that there were teachers of learning within the al-masjid-al-haram who, seated in high chairs among large groups of people, taught religious classes each day as well as strictly adhering to the daily prayers

Every pilgrim purchases a shroud (kaffan) made of fine linen to bury their bodies in (“because there are no coffins used for this purpose”). The shroud can be purchased elsewhere, such as Pitts’ Algier, and at a cheaper cost, but they choose to purchase it in Makkah “because they can dip it into the holy water, Zem Zem.”

This final ritual, which pilgrims are exempt from performing before leaving Makkah, perfectly illustrates the entire description of devotion and devotion. In order to ensure that they are buried there, they take care to bring the Kaffan with them wherever they go, whether by land or water.”

Pitts was therefore not inclined to condemn any extreme among the many well-articulated instances of Muslim devotion; it appeared as though everything was possible.

For example, he quotes some writers as saying that many pilgrims who made the journey back home were so obedient to themselves that they would suffer through an extended period of hot red bricks, or iron ingots; this entails willingly losing their eyes, “desiring to see nothing in the way of evil or harmful, after such a sacred sight as the holy temple of Mecca.” However, Pitts is fair enough to concede that he “never had any idea of such a thing being that was done”; it was too extreme and, therefore, inadmissible for the most devoted Muslims.

“Yea there is such a reverence is attached to it (Zamzam) and that a lot of Hagges take it back to their countries in small latten or tin containers; and give it to their guests at least a spoonful maybe to all of them one of them, who takes it into the hollow of their hands in a manner that is incredibly thoughtful and an abundance of gratitude, drinking the smallest amount and putting the remainder on their faces and heads while and then handing out their hands and hoping to God that they too will be prosperous and happy in their journey to Mecca.”

Pitts continues, discussing the respect for the Zamzam well and how that reverence extended beyond the borders of both the town of Makkah and the Hajj. Because they claim that this is the area where Ishmael’s mother Hagar buried her, they attach the highest value to the water from this well. From what I’ve heard, they tell the story exactly as it appears in Genesis 21:21. They also say that the water ran dry at where the infant swam.”

In summary

Since the age of a young child, Pitts was obsessed with travel and dreamed of adventure. But, in none of his wildest imagination did he even come near to the adventures life would bring him. His story was full of it all, not only in terms of the standard travel and exploration as well as in terms of significance to the present and self-discovery.

While he was not made an actual legend, his story was a symbol of old age and the spirit. He was a victim of the toughest of schools to establish himself in the history of. He immortalized himself as he could by sharing his story to the world as through his the utmost precision.

However, such was the state of 17th and 18th century European religious awareness that Pitts was unable or unwilling to completely steer clear of the prevalent prejudices, misconceptions and untruths. In the end his work entitled “A True and Authentic Report of the Religion and the Manners of the Mohammetans” represented a significant revolution in the development of the early modern and medieval European-Christian literature about Islam as well as Islamic culture.

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Categories: PRAYER (Salat), ALMS (Zakat), SAWN (Fasting) HAJJ (Pilgrimage) & DUA (Supplications), Hadith and Tafseer, The Holy Quran, Quran Jaz 1- 114

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