National Geographic : 1953 Jul
In the courtyard a party of Javanese had camped and were cooking their food over little fires. On the first floor slept fam ilies of Iraqis, and upon the stairs reclined great swarthy men from Af ghanistan. At each win dow other faces peered in, curious, attentive, un abashed. With care and defer ence I threaded my way past these clusters of informal guests and climbed to the roof, where my father had erected a kind of flimsy penthouse. At times I thought any mild wind would pitch it five floors into the street, and me with it; but at night it was hot enough below to tempt me to accept any perils for a breath of moving air. This evening I lay down upon my rug, pil lowed my head on my arms, and dropped into oblivion. I arose to the surface of consciousness only at the cry of the muezzin at dawn: "Prayer is better than sleep!" It seemed to me, at the time, a de batable point. But my father permitted no re buttal; presently I heard his call: "Sabah el-kheir, Ab dul Ghafur. May your morning be bright. Are you awake?" "May your morning also be bright. I am. Unfortunately." After breakfast we conferred upon our next moves. We had finished the chief requirements of the hadj proper, but we could still perform if we wished the ziyarat, or pilgrimage to Medina. I wanted very much to go, but the time was draw ing near when I must re turn to the United (Text continued on page 48) 43 "La Ilaha Illa Allah!" Cries a Yemenite on Mount of Mercy Umbrella and sandals aloft, money belt secure around his waist, an ecstatic pilgrim states his faith, "There is no god but God," at the ceremony of the Standing above the plain of 'Arafa.