l< The neck of the lord Muhammed is similar to the neck of an idol.'
If that prevailed, then idolatry would be laudable.
In like manner, the tradition about the she-camel
straying far off,' which is published in the Sir,
" acts and deeds;" then the assault upon the cara-
van of the Koraish, in the beginning of the Hejira ;2
also demanding nine wives,3 and the interdiction of
women from husbands according to the pleasure of
1 This appears an allusion to the following occurrence: Ayesha, Mu-
hammad's favorite wife, accompanied the prophet on an expedition against
the tribe of the Mostalek, in the sixth year of the Hejira (A. D. 627).
During the night-march, according to her own statement, she alighted
from her camel, in order to search for a valuable necklace which she had
dropped. On account of her light weight, her absence was not perceived
by the drivers, who went on and left her alone on the road. There,
having laid down and fallen asleep, she was .the next morning found by
Safwan Ebn al Moattel, and brought, at noon, on his own camel to Mu-
hammed's next resting-place. This occurrence raised suspicions respecting
Ayesha's virtue; Muhammed found necessary to inveigh against slander in
the Koran (chap. XXIV), and to punish the free-speakers as slanderers:
but he could not silence the severe reflections of some respectable men,
among whom was Ali. — (Hammer's Gemaldesaal, Ilflr Band. Sexte,
2 Muhammed made, in the beginning of the Hejira, several unsuccessful
attempts to intercept the caravans of the Koreish, his enemies; at last,
in the second year of the Hejira (A. D. 623), took place the battle of Bedr,
in the valley of the same name, near the sea, between Mecca and Medina.
Muhammed, with 319 combattants, had marched to take a caravan of the
Koreish, which, richly laden, returned from Syria; apprised of it, the
inhabitants of Mecca sent 950 men to succour the caravan: this force
was attacked and routed by Muhammed's inferior number, assisted by
angels, and a rich booty fell into his hands.
3 See vol. III. p. 79.