The women are especially fond of the bath, and often have entertainments there; taking with them fruits, sweetmeats, &c., and sometimes hiring female singers to accompany them. Ancient Wizard Lets get those brooms polished its almost time to ride shirt. An hour or more is occupied by the process of plaiting the hair, and applying the depilatory, &c.; and, generally, an equal time is passed in the enjoyment of rest, or recreation, or refreshment.
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All necessary decorum is observed on these occasions by most females; but women of the lower orders are often seen in the bath without any covering. Ancient Wizard Lets get those brooms polished its almost time to ride shirt. Some baths are appropriated solely to men; others, only to women; and others, again, to men during the forenoon, and in the afternoon to women. When the bath is appropriated to women, a napkin, or some other piece of drapery, is suspended over the door, to warn men from entering. Before the time of Moḥammad, there were no public baths in Arabia; and he was so109 prejudiced against them, for the reasons already alluded to, that he at first forbade both men and women from entering them: afterwards, however, he permitted men to do so, if for the sake of cleanliness, on the condition of their having a cloth round the waist; and women also on account of sickness, child-birth, &c., provided they had not convenient places for bathing in their houses.
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But, notwithstanding this license, it is held to be a characteristic of a virtuous woman, not to go to a bath even with her husband’s permission: for the Prophet said, “Whatever woman enters a bath, the devil is with her.” As the bath is a resort of the Jinn, prayer should not be performed in it, nor the Ḳur-án recited. The Prophet said, “All the earth is given to me as a place of prayer, and as pure, except the burial-ground and the bath.” Hence also, when a person is about to enter a bath, he should offer up an ejaculatory prayer for protection against evil spirits; and should place his left foot first over the threshold.—Infidels have often been obliged to distinguish themselves in the bath, by hanging a signet to the neck, or wearing anklets, &c., lest they should receive those marks of respect which should be paid only to believers.