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33433819 Hand of Fatimah

33433819 Hand of Fatimah

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Published by Tahir Ali

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Published by: Tahir Ali on Sep 07, 2010
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09/26/2010

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CHAPTERXXXIII.
TIIEHANDOFFA'TIMAII.
In allagesandamongallpeoples,he,handhasbeena symbolofstrengthandpower,andapictureofitha;bcenregardedasarepresentationof God'IntheEgyptiantextoftheBoohofCateson thealabastercofrnof SetiI inSirJohnSoane'sMuseum'the" GreatHand"meansthesupremePowerwhichrulesheavenandearth.AndintheVignetteswhichillustratethetextwe seehis" GreatHand"erasDinghechaintowhichtheFourSonsofHorusIreiast-"ned,andwhichietterstheserpentsoftheUnderworldandApepthegod ofEvilandeverlastingenemyofRatheSun-god.InmediaevalpicturestheSlpremeBeingisrepresentedyahandwhichoroiectsfromtheclouds'Sometimeshehandisop"t,utaraysoflightissue{romthefingers'butii isoftenseenntheactofbenediction,i'e'withtwofingersraised.InJheBibletheraisingo{thehandto"agod isregardedasanacto{worship(seer Kingsxii.18;Jobxxxi.27,etc')TheAssyriansusedJcollectio.tofptuy"t.towhichtheygave thcname"Nishkiti,"7.e.-theliftingofthehand"(Ktng,BabylonianM agicandSorcery,ondon'1896)'in \i"tte*Asiathe actofraisingthehandwasuniversallyregardedassymbolicalofinvocationto adeity,whethern attestationofanoath'orInofferingupprayerandsupplication'Andthe
 
AMULETSAND SUPERSTITIONS
words" liftingofthe hand" actuallyintroduces heactualprayer of NebuchadnezzarI to Marduk inlheEast IndiaHouse Inscription.Little modelsof theoutstretchedhand havebeenfound in manycountries,andthesewereusedas amulets figuresofthe handwereattachedto royalsceptresandspearsandotherweapons,alwayswiththeidea of con-ferringpower on the holdersof thesceptresandtheusers ofthe weapons.Inpictures ahand withthethumb andthe third andfourthfingersclosed,andthe firstand secondfinger outstretched,indicates" blessing;but aclosedhandwiththefirst andIourth fingersoutstretchedrepresentshe" hornsoftheDevil." Neverthelessmodelsof suchahandwere wom as amulets.Aclosedhandwiththefirst
Thehand of Falimah.
 
THE HANDOFFATIMAH
fingeralone outstretchedwas insomecountriesregardedas a sureprotectionagainstthe Evil Eye.Amongthe Arabsand Abyssiniansthe righthand isheldto be the"handofhonour"and the Ieft the"handof dishonour,"becauset isused in the per-formanceof actswhich,thoughnecessary,arcregardedas unclean.Thehandsmustbe \\'ashedbeforeprayersandbeforemeals.And note thewordsinPs.xxvi. 6 :" I willwash minehands ininnocency."Amongthe Arabsfiguresanddrawingsofthe righthand ofthe ladyFAgimah,i.e. the"Weaver," were heldto bepowerfulamulets.FAtimah wasa daughterof Muhimmadby his firstwife Khadijah,and she married'Ali,the cousinofMutrammad,by whomshe hadthreesons,gasan,$usainand Muhain.She iscalled"AI-Zahra,"the"bright blooming"(anameof Venus),and"Al-Battrl"i.e."clean maid"or"Virgin,"evenafter her motherhood.Muhammadheldher tobe one ofthe four perfectwomen,the otherthree beinghis wifeKhadijah,Asia,thewifeofPharaoh,and the VirginMary.Accordingto thecommentatorsthe handof FAtimahrepresentsthewhole religionof Isldmand itsfundamentalduties,viz., to keepthe Fastof Ramad6.n,to makethepilgrimageto Makkah,to givealmstothe poor,and destroythe unbelievers,and to perforrnstrictlyand regulariythe prescribedablutions.Herhandtoo symbolizedthe familyofMuhammad,the thumb representedtheProphethimself,thefirst fingerFApimah,thesecondfinger'Aliherhusbandthe thirdand fourthfingerstheirsonsF.{asanandf,{usain.Andthefourthfingeralso

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