The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-394

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#308] The olden “Harem” (or gyn�ceum, Pers. Zenanah, Serraglio): Har�m is also used by synecdoche for the inmates; especially the wife. [FN#309] The pearl is supposed in the East to lose 1% per ann. of its splendour and value. [FN#310] Arab. “Fass,” properly the bezel of a ring; also a gem cut en cabochon and generally the contenant for the contenu. [FN#311] Arab. “Mihr�b” = the arch-headed niche in the Mosque-wall facing Meccah-wards. Here, with his back to the people and fronting the Ka’abah or Square House of Meccah (hence called the “Kiblah” = direction of prayer), stations himself the Im�m, artistes or fugleman, lit. “one who stands before others;” and his bows and prostrations give the time to the congregation. I have derived the Mihrab from the niche in which the Egyptian God was shrined: the Jews ignored it, but the Christians preserved it for their statues and altars. Maundrell suggests that the empty niche denotes an invisible God. As the niche (symbol of Venus) and the minaret (symbol of Priapus) date only from the days of the tenth Caliph, Al-Walid (A.H. 86-96=105-115), the Hindus charge the Moslems with having borrowed the two from their favourite idols—The Linga-Yoni or Cunnus phallus (Pilgrimage ii. 140), and plainly call the Mihrab a Bhaga= Cunnus (Dabistan ii. 152). The Guebres further term Meccah