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Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

The Green Colour Among the Mahomedans.

According to a tradition of theirs, the green colour is considered holy among the Mahomedans. Only Serifs (saints), and especially those who have made the holy pilgrimage to Mekka, are allowed to wear a green turban and a green cloak; but this is strictly interdicted to any other, especially to a non-Mislamin, and is considered as an infringement on their religion, and as blasphemy, and therefore severely punished. For this reason they call the prophet Elijah "Al Chatr," the Green; and the spot where he is said to have shown himself, according to their tradition, is also called "Al Chatr." It is now some years ago that a highly respected English lord was ill-treated in the public street of Constantinople, because the pious believers observed that he wore green pantaloons. Soon after my arrival in Jerusalem, my mother-in-law stood one day near the door of my house, when suddenly a furious Mahomedan rushed upon her with a drawn dagger, and she was only able to escape the deadly weapon by a precipitate flight. Her offence was, that she wore for her head-dress a green shawl.

But of late they are not so particular any more, thanks to the enlightened policy of Mahmud Ali, of Egypt; still it would not be advisable to appear even now with a green garment, if one would not desire to be exposed to a brutal persecution on the part of some fanatical Arab.

Jews and Muslims in Palestine