chapter  XXX
5 Pages


MusALMANS, iu consequence of the diflicultics and danger of travel, and the isolation due to localized village life and caste prejudices, take careful precautions, as Hindus do, to avoid the risk attending journeys. Certain spirits of the air, known as Rijalu-1-ghaib, or Mardanu-1-ghaib, 'the hidden, concealed men ', arc supposed to be invisible, and to move in a circular orbit round the world, their stations varying on certain days. Their influence is specially exercised for three and a half hours at the dose of each lunar day, during which interval it is unlucky to undertake a journey. 'l'lwsc :,;pirits correspond to the Yogini or Lokapala, 'regents of the quarter of the heaven', of the Hindus, and the Chihal Abdal, or' forty holy men 'of the Persians. 1 When a man i:,; starting on a journey the Rijalu-1ghaib should not be in his front, but behind, or on his left. If this is not the case, he will meet with distress and hardship and his property will be in danger. Some astrologers say that there is a planet named Shukiir-i-yulduz which is so dangerous, that if a traveller finds it on his front or right he will suffer distress. In 1806 when the Persian ambassador wai,; i,;tarting for India, astrologers decided that a fortunate conjunction of stars existed which, if missed, could not recur for some months. At the same time he was told that he could not pai;s either through the door of his own houi;e or the gate of the fort, as an invisible but baneful constellation was exactly opposite. To avoid this difficulty an opening was made in the walls of his house to enable him to reach the shore in safcty. 2

The Rijalu-1-ghaib abide in different places on different days of the month. To ascertain their position, tables, couplets,

and hemistiches are used, of which a few are given below, the first table being that generally followed :

There is also a mnemonic couplet, as follows : East, on Saturday and Monday ; on Friday and Sunday,

west ; on Tuesday and Wednesday, north ; on Thursday, south addrest.