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MAHOMMEDAN INSTITUTIONS


(685-705), and his example was followed by the more vigorous of the caliphs up to the time of Mohtadī the Abbasid (869-870). If any other than the caliph presided over this court it had to be a man whose dignity, independence and authority commanded respect. He was not bound by strict rules of evidence, method and literal application of law as was the cadi. Rather, he applied a system of equity suited to the absolute source of authority which he represented.

As the chief of police, mentioned above, was rather the head of the caliph’s bodyguard, there was also a police system after our ideas, but more thoroughgoing. The muhtasib had charge in the broadest sense of public order and morals in the streets, and had oversight as to weights, measures and adulterations; but had no right to interfere privately or enter houses save in the clearest and most necessary cases. He had a summary jurisdiction in all minor cases where no trial was necessary; but where witnesses and oaths entered the case must go to the cadi. Slaves and beasts of burden were under his guardianship; he prevented public scandals, such as the sale of wine; he regulated the public conduct of Jews and Christians. In the interest of public morals he had to find suitable husbands for widows and see that they did not marry before the legal time; questions of paternity also he had to investigate. The outdoor costume of the people he could regulate. It should, of course, be remembered that the canon law of Islam covers minutely all sides of life (see Mahommedan Law).

It is impossible in Islam to separate logically from the mass of institutions those which we should call religious, as Islam on all sides is for the Moslem equally religious. But perhaps the following may practically be separated under that rubric. Islam, runs a tradition, is built on five things: testimony that there is no god save Allah, and that Mahomet is the apostle of Allah; prayer; the poor-rate; pilgrimage; fasting. For these see Mahommedan Religion.

The law and usage of religious foundations in perpetuity (waqf, mortmain) became as important in Islam as monastic endowments in medieval Europe, and such foundations tended similarly to absorb the greater part of the national wealth. It was the only safe way of providing for posterity. A pious foundation could be erected in such a way that either so much from its funds would be paid yearly in perpetuity to the descendants of the erector, or those descendants would be employed as officials of the foundation.

When it became impossible for the caliph to lead the people personally in prayer in the mosque, he delegated that part of his duties to another, hence called imām (q.v.). Naturally, then, the appointment of the imām would lie with the The Imām. supreme ruler. This holds of the daily prayers in the principal mosque (al-masjid al-jāmi‘) supported by the ruler where the Friday service is held, but in the separate smaller mosques built by each community the community chooses its own imām. With regard to the Friday service, the schools of law disagree as to the necessity of the presence of an imām appointed by the chief ruler. But the imām should certainly make mention of the ruler in his sermon and pray for him. At the occasional prayers, such as those for rain, &c., the presence of an imām appointed by the ruler is not necessary. The imām appoints the muaddhin, the announcer of the hour of prayer from the minaret, and both have a claim on the state treasury.

Another office exercised when possible by the caliph, but very frequently delegated to some high dignitary, such as the heir to the caliphate or a prince, was the leadership of the pilgrimage caravan to Mecca and back. Sometimes this official, called amīr-al-ḥajj, was appointed imām as well. He then led all the pilgrimage ceremonies at Mecca. When outside of towns where there was a cadi he exercised also over the caravan the rights of a judge.

Mahommedan law (q.v.) is treated separately. Here, again, as judging is a duty of the caliph, a cadi is the delegate, or, when appointed by a vizier or governor, a delegate of his delegate. He examines into disputes brought before him and The Cadi. enforces his judgments, he names administrators of the estates of minors, the insane, &c.; he supervises the waqf property of mosques and schools in his district and inspects highways and public buildings; he watches over the execution of wills; he inflicts the due legal penalties for apostasy, neglect of religious duties, refusal to pay taxes, theft, adultery, outrages, murder; he can inflict the penalties of imprisonment, fine, corporal punishment, death; if there is no imām, he can perform his duty, as in fact can anyone who has the requisite knowledge. But it should be noticed that all this holds only of the un-europeanized Moslem state.

For the existence of an army in Islam, there are two grounds, the holy war (jihād, q.v.) against unbelievers without the state and the suppression of rebellion within. Under the ordinance of Omar the entire community was preserved The Army. and used as a weapon for the subduing of the world to Islam, and every able-bodied male Moslem was theoretically a fighting man, part of the national militia. This army was divided into corps situated in the conquered lands, as armies of occupation, where they eventually came to form military colonies in great camp-cities. The occupied countries had to support them, and they were bound to render military service at any time. But as the ideal of Omar broke down before facts the use of mercenary and slave troops finally increased; although there has always continued in Moslem armies acting against unbelievers a proportion of volunteers not paid a fixed wage but subsidized by the state from the poor-rate and alms funds. The generals were appointed by the caliph, and had either unlimited authority to act as his representatives, concluding peace, acting as cadi and imām, distributing booty; or were restricted within limits, e.g. to simple leading of the troops and carrying on military operations. They, in turn, appointed their subordinates; this principle of giving a head full powers and full responsibility was very generally applied in Islam. It was controlled of course by the espionage of the postal system. As war by a Moslem power is essentially sacred war, the regulations of jihad must be considered here. Unbelievers must first be invited to embrace Islam and, if they follow a sacred book and are not idol-worshippers, are given a choice between (a) becoming Moslems; or (b) submitting to the Moslems and entering on a treaty with them of protection and tribute; or (c) fighting. If they accept Islam, their lives, families and property are secure, and they form henceforth part of the Moslem community. The ability of Islam to create a common feeling between highly different races is one of its most striking features. If they submit and enter on treaty relations, they pay a poll-tax, for which their personal safety is assured, and assume a definitely inferior status, having no technical citizenship in the state, only the condition of protected clients (dhimmīs). If they elect to fight, the door of repentance is open, even when the armies are face to face. But after defeat their lives are forfeit, their families are liable to slavery, and all their goods to seizure. It is open to the sovereign either to put them to death; or to enslave them; or to give them their liberty; or to exchange them for ransom or against Moslem prisoners. The sovereign will choose that which is best for Islam. As for their families and wealth, the sovereign can release them only with consent of the army that has captured them. Apostates must be put to death. Four-fifths of the booty after a battle goes to the conquering army.

The technical art of war seems to have been little studied among Moslems; they have treatises on archery but very little upon tactics. Their writers recognize, however, the essential difference between the European and Persian methods of charging in solid lines and holding the ground stubbornly, and the Arab and Berber method of flying attacks and retreats by clouds of cavalry. Therefore, one explained, the custom grew of using a mass of European mercenaries as a fixed nucleus and rallying-point. The early Moslem armies, too, had used the solid, unyielding charge, which may have been the secret of their success. For one of the greatest puzzles of history is the cause which changed the erratic, untrustworthy swarms of Arab horsemen with their childish strategy into the ever-victorious legions of the first caliphs. They certainly learned rapidly. Byzantium and Persia taught them the use of military engines and the entrenched camp. Before that they had been, at the best, single knights with mail-shirt, helmet, sword and lance. Bowmen, too, they used, but the principal use of the bow seems to have come with the Turks.

The glory of Moslem education was its university system, which fed the higher learning and did not serve everyday needs. Its primary system was very poor, almost non-existent; and technical education has never been recognized in Education. Islam. Primary teachers were despised as ignorant and foolish. Apparently, if we may trust the many stories of how ignorant men set up for themselves, there was no control of them by the state. Their pupils were young only; they taught the rudiments of reading, Koran, catechism, prayer, writing and arithmetic, but very little of the latter. Technical education was given by the gilds through their apprentice system, teaching mechanical arts and crafts. This was genuine instruction, but was not so regarded; it was looked upon rather as are the mysteries and secrets of operative masonry. It produced artisans of independent character, but not artists. Thus there was no distinction between architect and builder; there was no sculpture; and painting, so far as it went, was like carving, a craft. All Moslem university education, like all Moslem