Sidi-Mohammed-el-Gandouz, who lived, died and was buried on the
spot where the piety of the faithful has since raised the marabout or
funeral-chapel which bears his name, was renowned for the hospitality
which travellers and the poor received from him.
Passing caravans aided his charities by leaving with him dried meats,
flour, dates, butter, &c., which he distributed among the poor, whose
supplies were exhausted, and the indigent pilgrims who came to visit
him and pray with him. The practice has been kept up since his de-
cease. No caravan passes his tomb without stopping to pray and leave
a donation. All comers are allowed to enter the chapel, eat their fill,
and satisfy their thirst ; but woe to him who should carry any thing away !
He would surely perish on his journey. There is none to watch the
offerings, but there is no instance of the abuse of this 'hospitality of
Charity, saith the Prophet, extinguishes sin, as water quencheth fire.
It closeth seventy gates of evil.
An angel standeth at the gates of Paradise, erying ; "Whosoever
giveth alms to-day, shall be filled to-morrow." Daumas, l'Algerie. 95,
In the year 1627, four Barbary corsairs visited various points of
the coast of Iceland, plundered or destroyed churches, houses, and
other property, killed thirty or forty of the natives, and carried off
three hundred and fifty captives, among whom were two clergymen,
with their families. Several causes, among which the principal was
the treachery of persons who were intrusted with means to ransom
them, prevented their release until 1635.
Some of them having become renegades, and many having died or
been sold into distant slavery, only thirty-seven were found, and of
these but thirteen lived to regain their native land. A brief notice of
these occurrences will be found in Finn Jensen's Hist. Eccl. Islandiæ,
Vol. III. p. 83, and more particular narratives were published by Olaf
Egilsson, one of the captives, by Klas Eyolfsson and by Björn à Skardsá