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i*uL*«W i-OUN DATiON3 

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SoMB apol<^ may seem neoessaiy for presenting a life 
of Mahombt at the present day, wken no new fact can 
be added to those already known ecmceming him. Many 
years since, during a residence in Madrid, the author pro- 
jected a series of writings illu s lr at iye<^ihe domination of 
the Arabs in Spain. These were to be introduced by a 
sketch of the life of the founder of tiie Islam fidth, and 
the first moyer of Arabian conquest. Most of the parti- 
culars for this were drawn from Spanish sources, and from 
Gagnier's translation of the Arabian historian Abulfeda, a 
copy of which the author found in the Jesuits' library of 
the Convent of St. Isidro, at Madrid. 

Puring his last residence in Spain, the author beguiled 

the tediousness of a lingering indisposition byreyising the 

manuscript, profiting in so doing by recent lights thrown 

— xm the subject by difierent writers, and particxdarly by 

L^ Dr. Gustav Weil, the very intelligent and learned librarian 

^ of the University of Heidelberg, to whose industrious 

^ researches and able disquisitions, he acknowledges himself 

c^ greatly indebted.* 

^ * Mohammed der Ftophet, sein Leben and seine Lehre. Stuttgart* 

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Sucli is the origin of the work now given to the pubKc^ 
on which the anthor Iajb no daim to novelty of fact, nor 
profundity of research. It still bears the type of a work 
intended for a Family Library, in constructing which the 
whole aim of the writer has been to digest into an easy, per- 
spicuous, and flowing narrailye, the admitted facts con« 
ceming Mahomet, together with such legends and tradi* 
tions as have been wrought into the whole system of oriental 
literature : and at the same time to give such a stmimary 
of his faith as might be sufficient for the more general 
reader. Under such circumstances, he has not thought it 
worth while to encumber his pages with a scafiblding of 
references and citations, nor depart from the old English 
nomenclature of oriental nameSt 


Sumnrsii)^ 18i9« 

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Freliminaiynoticeof Arabia and the Arabs • • • • • • 1 

Hrth and parentage of Kahomet — ^HU infiuicy and childbood, 11 

Traditions concerning Mecca and the Caaba • • • • • 15 

Firstjoumeyof Mahomet with the caravan to Syria • • • 18 


Commercial occapations of Mahomet— His marriage with 
Cadijah 22 


Conduct of Mahomet after his marriage — ^Becomes anxious 
for religious refomi — His habits of solitary abstraction — 
The -vision of the cave — His annxmciation as a prophet • 25 

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Mahomet inculcates his doctrines secretly and slowly — ^Re- 
ceives further revelations and commands — Announces it 
to his kindred — Manner in which it was received — En- 
thusiastic devotion of Ali — Christian portents .... 30 

Outlines of the Mahometan Faith . 35 


Ridicule cast on Mahomet and his doctrines — ^Demand for 
mii*acles — Conduct of Abu Taleb — ^Violence of the Ko- 
reishites — Mahomet's daughter Rokaia, with her uncle 
Othman, and a number of disciples, take refuge in Abys- 
sinia — Mahomet in the house of Orkham — ^Hostility of 
Abu Jahl; his punishment 41 


Omar Ibn al Katt&b, nephew of Abu Jahl, undertakes to 
revenge his uncle by slaying Mahomet — ^His wt»kderfol 
conversion to the£uth — ^Mahomet takes refuge in a castle 
of Abu Taleb — ^Abu Sofian^ at the head of the rival branch 
of Koreishites, persecutes Mahomet and his followers — 
Obtains a decree of non-intercourse with them — Mahomet 
leaves his retreat, and make» converts during the month 
of pilgrimage — ^Legend of the conversion of Habib the 
Wise . . 4r 


The ban of non-intercourse mysteriously destroyed — ^Mahomet 
enabled to return to Mecca — ^Death of Abu Taleb; of 
Cadijah — Mahomet betroths himself to Ayesha — Marries 
Sawda — ^Tbe Koreishites renew their persecution — Ma- 
homet seeks an asylum in Tayef — His expulsion thrice — 
Visited by genii in the desert of Naklah 5Z' 


Night journey of the prophet fr(mi Mecca to Jerusalem ; and 
thenoe to the seventh heaven 5^ 

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Mahomet makes oonyerts of pilgrims from Medina — ^Deter- 
mines to fly to that city — ^A plot to iby him — His mira- 
culons escape — ^ELis degira, or flight — EUs reoqition at 
Medina 68 


Blbslenis in Medina, Mohadjerins and AnBarians — ^The party 
of Abdallah Ibn Obha and the Hypocrites — Mahomet 
builds a moaqrae; preadies; makes converts among the 
Christians — T^ Jews slow to believe — Bro^erhood esta- 
blished between fogitiyes and allies 76 


Marria^ of Mahomet with Ayesha^-Of his daughter Attfana 
with All— -Hi^ hoosdiold arrangements 81 


The sword announced as the instroment of £Ekith — ^rst foray 
against the Koreishites— Sorprisal of a caravan ... 83 

The battle of Beder ................. 87 


Death of the prophet's daughter Rokaia — Restoration of his 
daughter Zeinab — ^E£feot of the prophet's malediction on 
Abu Lahab and his flunily — Frantio rage of Honda, the 
wife of Abu Sofian — ^Mahomet nanxyidy escapes assassina- 
tion — ^Embassy of Koreishites — ^llie Eong of Abyssinia . 04 


Growing power of Mahomet — "Hia resentment against the 
Jews — ^Insult to an Arab damsel hy the Jewiw tribe of 
Kainoka — ^A tomnlt — ^The Beni Kainoka take refuge in 
their castle — Subdued and pimished by oonfis(»tion 
and banishment — ^Marriage of Othman to the prophet's 
daughter 0mm Kalthum, and of the prophet to Haf za . 9 

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Heada incites Abu Sofian and tlie Koreishites to revenge the 
death of her relations slain in the battle of Beder — The 
Koreishites sally forth, followed by Henda and her female 
companions — Battle of Ohod — Ferocious triumph of 
Henda — Mahomet consoles himself by manying Hend, 
the daughter of Omeya 100 


Treachery of certain Jewish tribes ; their punishment — ^Devo* 
tion of the prophet's freedman Zeid ; divorces his beautiful 
wife Zeinab, that she may become the wife of the prophet, 105 


Expedition of Mahomet against the Beni Mostalek — He 
espouses Barra, a captive — ^Treacheiy of Abdallah Ibn 
Obba— Ayesha slandered — ^Her^ vindication — ^Her inno- 
cence proved by a revelation ..•...«.. 108 


The battle of the Moat— Bravery of Saad Ibn Moad— Defeat 
of the Koreishites — Capture of the Jewish castle of 
Koraida — Saad decides as to the punishment of the Jews 
— Mahomet eq>oufles BehuiAy a Je^wish captive — ^His life* 
endangered by sorcery; saved by a revelation of the angel 
Gabriel 112 


Mahomet undertakes a pilgrimage to Mecca — ^Evades Khaled 
and a troop of horse sent against him — ^Encamps near 
Mecca-^N^otiates with the Koreishites for permission 
to enter and complete his pilgrimage — ^Treaty for ten 
years, by which he is permitted to make a yearly visit 
of three days — He returns to Medina 119 


Expedition against the city of Khaibar ; sieffe— Exploits of 
Mahomet's captains — ^llattle of Ali and Ihurhab— Storm- 
ing of the citadel — AH makes a buckler of the gate — 
Capture of the place— Mahomet poisoned ; he marries 
Safiya, a captive ; also Omjn Habiba, a widow . • • . 121 

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HissioBS to YBrioas PrinoeB ; to Hetaolius ; to IQiosni 11 ; 
to ihe Prefect of £^t— Their resoH 127 


Mahomet's jpUgrmuige to Mecca ; his marriage with Mai- 
mmia — ^Ehaled Iim al Wafod and Arnni Ibn al Aaas 
become proeelytes , » 129 


A Moslem envoy slain in Syria — ^Expedition to avenge his 
death— BatUe of Mvtar-Ttsresidts 131 

Desigpg tyon Mecca Miwnon cf Aba Boftm— ItsresoK . . 184 

jnprise and oaptore of Mecca 186 


PottOities in the Moontains — ^EneBsys camp in the valley 
of Antas B attle at the pass of Uonan---Captiire of thte 
enemy's camp— Interview of Mahomet with the nurse 
of his childhood— IHfiiiaB of ip«il— Mahomet at his 
mother's grave • 146 


Death of the prophet's daoghter Uaib— Birth of his son 
Ibndiim — Dentations from distant tribes — Poetical con- 
test in presence of the prophet — ^His susceptibility to the 
charms of poe^ — ^Reduction of I3ie atr of Tayef ; 
destruotion of its idols— NegoiiatioQ with Amir Ibn 
Tafid, a proud Bedouin chief ; independent snirit of the 
latter— Interview of Adi, another chie^ wiUi MEihomet . 154 


Preparations for an expedition against Syria — Intrigues of 

'Abdallah Ibn Obba— Contributions of the faiSiful— 

March of the army— The accursed region of ELajar — 

, Encampment at Tabuc — Subjugation of the ndgbbouring 

provinces — ^Ehaled suiprises OkaXdor and his castle—- 

umofthearmy to Medina 1S9 

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Triumphal entry into Medina — ^Punishment of those iwrho 
had refused to join the campaign — Effects of excommu- 
nication-— Death of Abdallah Ibn Obba— Dissensions in 
the prophet's harem 165 


Abu Beker conducts the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca — ^Mis- 
sion of Ali to announce a revelation • . 168 


Hahomet sends his captains on distant enterprises — ^Appoints 
lieutenants to govern in Arabia Felix — Sends Ali to sup- 
press an insurrection in that province — ^Death of the pro- 
phet's only son Ibrahim — His conduct at the death-bed 
and the grave — ^His growing infirmities — ^His valedictory 
pilgrimage to Mecca, and his conduct and preaching while 
there , ^ ^ . • 170 

Of the two Mae prophets Al Aswad and MoseOma . . . •. 175 


An army prepared to march against Syria — Command given 
to Osama — ^The prophet's fiu^well address to the troops — 
His last illness — His sermons in the mosque — ^His death 
and the attending circumstances .......... 178: 


Person and character of Mahomet, and speculations on his 
prophetic car^r ,..••• 186 

Of the Islam Faith 197 

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Frdimhiary BOtioe of Armbia and the Anbf. 

DrrRiTsa a long succession of ages, extendinc^ from the 
earliest period of recorded Iiistory down to mo serenth 
century of the Christian era, that great diersonese ot 
peninsnla formed by the Eed Sea, the Euphrates, the Gulf 
of Persia, and the liidian Ocean, and known by the name 
of Arabia, remained unchanged and almost unaffected by 
the events which convulsed the rest of Asia, and shook 
Europe and Africa to their centre. While kingdoms and 
empires rose and fell; while ancient dynasties passed 
away; while the boundaries and names of countries were 
changed, and their inhabitants were exterminated or car- 
ried mto captivity, Arabia, though its firontier provinces 
experienced some vicissitudes, preserved in the depths of 
its deserts its primitive character and independence, nor 
had its nomadic tribes ever bent their haughty necks to 

The Arabs carry back the traditions of their country to 
the highest antiquity. It was peopled, they say, soon 
after the deluge, by uie progeny of Shem the son of Noah, 
who gradually formed tnemsehres into several tribes, the 
most noted of which are the Adites and Thamudites. All 
these primitive tribes are said to have been either swept 
from tne earth in punishment of their iniquities, or ob- 
literated in subsequent modifications of the races, so that 
little remains concerning them but shadowy traditions and 
a few passages in the Koran. They are occasionally men- 
ticmea in oriental history as the " old primitive Arabians," 
—"the lost tribes." 

The permanent ^pulation of the peninsula is ascribed, 
by the same authonties, to Kahtan or Joctan, a descendant 

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in the fourth generation from Shem. His posterity spread 
pyer the southern part of the peninsula and along the Ked 
Sea. Yarab, one of his sons, founded the kingdom of 
Yemen, where the territory of Araba was calkd after 
him; whence the Arabs denve 42ie names of iiiemselyes 
and their country. Jurham, another son, founded the 
kingdom of Hedjaz, over which his decendants bore sway 
for many generations. Among these people Hagar and 
her son Ismnael were kindly received, when exited from 
their home bv the patriarch Abraham. In the process of 
time Ishmael married the daughter of Mod^d, a reigning 

frince of the line of Jurham; and thus a stranger and a 
lebrcw beeaaae grtHbed on the original Aidbian stock. 
It proved a vigorous ^rait. Ishmael's wife bore him twelve 
SOULS, whio aoouired cbminion over the country, and whose 
prolific race, divided into twelve tribes, expeHed or overnm 
and obliterated the primitive stock of Joctan. 

Bock is the aooomit given by the ^eninsidar Arabs of 
£heir origbi;* and Ohimian writers cate it as contaming 
Qie Mfiltnent of the covenant of God with Abraham, as 
recorded in Holy Writ. '* And Abraham said imto God, 
O that Ishmael might live l)efare thee ! And God said» 
As for Ishmael, I have heard thee. 3eliold, I have blessed 
him, and wHl make him fruitM, and wifl multiply him 
exceedingly: twelve princes shall lie beget, and Iwilf mafce 
him a great nation. ^Ghsnesis, xvii. 18, 20.) 

These twelve princes wi& their tribes are ^oQust q>oken 
of in the Scriptures (Genesis, xxv. 18) as occimying ike 
country " from HavihOi unto ^ur, that is before jSgypt, as 
thou goest towards Assyria;" a region identified by sacred 
geoffl » ph er s with part of Arabia, xhe description of them 
agrees with that of the Arabs of the present dff^. Some 
are meDitioned as holding towns and castles, others as 
dwelling in tents, or having villages in ti^e wUdemess. 
Nebaioui and ICedar, the two first-bom of Ishum^ are 
most noted among the princes for their wealth in fibdcs 

* BeddAtheAiMto aftke 9eiiiiitaia,^rfaDW6M aaof the SbemiOe 
ff&fe, there w«Be<»tbfln<caU«d Gnshitea, hdaxg descended ftfm Cosh, tiie 
souofHaiii. ThQ7 inhabited fhe banks of the Xuphrates and the Per- 
sianGulf: The name of Cngh Is often giren in Bcriptnra to the AnOw 
geikeratty, as well as to^elr eouiMay. TtmiBt he the Jattm of ttdsTaoe 
who at present roam the deserted regions of andeit Jjqi^ asd ha9« 
basK «avle^iMflii(itria<Urinteninf the lo^-t»aied nih^ 
ThQ7 aMsonetknes distinguished as the Syio-JkzaUani. Theprasent 
woriL relates only to the Arabs of the penfaisola, or Arabia Rnoper. 

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and her&9 amd for tlie fine wool of tiietr f heep. From 
F^MODtk <mmetlie Kabaiiiai wko inhabited Btonj Arabia; 
while the name of Kedar is occasionally given in Hohr 
Wb^ to deagMtte the iriiQle Arabian TMrfioQ. " Woeifl me/' 
Bays tibie BnSmat, ^ thtttlspjofna iA Meaecii, t^t I dweM 
m the teste of SJedttr.** Both appear to hisve been the 
pn^eniion <sf the waadenng or pastoral Arabs ; the free 
nyrers of ihe ^esat " TSb wealthy matkM," aaya the 
popliet Jeroniah, ''duMt diarieUeth withovt care; whk^ 
ha^e nesti^r gates nor bars, which dwdOl alone." 

A s^aMxigdialaiietion grew lip in the eaciiiest times between 
the Ajsbs who ^held towns a&d casties/' and ilMse who 
** dwelt im. tente." Semeof the fomer oeeiped the fertile 
wadies, or TaOeys, scattered here and thm among the 
mooatains, where thesetownsaod easties were sazroanded 
by yineyards and orchards, groves of palm-trees, fields of 
asm, and wefiHstoeked partures. They were setUed in 
&eir haft]it8, <ieiio1iiig' tiienselyes to the «altiiratkm of the 
Mil and liw breedhig of ctttde. 

Others of this dass gaff>e themselTes ^ to oommieroe, 
having ports and cities along the Eed Sea; the southern 
shores of the peninstila and the Gtilf of Persia, and car- 
rvine oa in>eign trade by meajM of ships and caravans. 
oucE especially were the people of Yemen, or Arabia Ihe 
fia>p^, that land of iip i o oo , perfones, and frankincense;' 
ihe ^Mm& <sf ^the pocts^ the i^dm ii Ihe sacred Scrip- 
tares. They we4» aanoi^ the most active mercantSe 
Bav^Ktnrs of Ihe eastern seas. Their i&ips bron^ to 
thedr shores the mynh and balsams <^ the opposite coast 
of Bedbera, with the gold, the spices, and other ridi c(Hn- 
modities «€ loJia aiM tropical Africa. These, with the 
prodnets of th^ own oonntrv, were transported by 
esravans laerees the deserts to we semi- Arabian states of 
Aasomon, Moab, aad Edsm ox Idnmea, to the Fhcenician 
ports cf the Meditezraneain, and thence ^tistribnted to the 
western world. 

The camel has been termed the shq»of the desert, the 
casavaai may be termed its fleet. The oaravans of Yemen 
w^re -generdQy £tted out, nwnned, conducted and gnarded 
hy the nomadic Arabs, Ihe dwdlers in tents, who, in this 
respect, mi^ht he called the nav^ators oi the desert. 
They ^imi^ed the iimnmeraMe camels required, and also 
conmbuted to the frei^t by the flne fleeces of their connt- 
less flocks. The writmjgs of the prophets show the im- 
portance, in Sdiptoral tmies, of this inland chain of com- 

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inerce, by which the rich countries of the south, India, 
Ethiopia, and Arabia the Happ j, were linked with ancient 

Ezekiel, in his hunentations for Tyre, exclaims, "Arabia, 
and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in 
lambs, and rams, and goats ; in these were they thy mer- 
chants. -The merchants of Sheba and Baaman occupied 
in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious 
stones and sold. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden,* the 
merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Ohelmad, were thy mer- 
chants." And Isaiah, speaking to Jerusalem, says — " The 
multitude of camels shall cover thee ; the dromedaries of 
Midian and Ephah ; all they from Sheba shall come; they 
shall bring gold and incense. * * * * All the flocks of 
Kedar shaH be gathered unto thee ; the rams of Nebaiolh 
shall minister unto thee." (Isaiah, Ix. 6, 7.) 

The agricultural and trading Arabs, however, the dwellers 
in towns and cities, have never been considered the true 
type of the race. They became softened by settled and 

feaccM occupations, and lost much of their original stamp 
y an intercourse with strangers. Yemen, too, being more 
accessible than the other parts of Arabia, and offering 
greater temptation to the spoiler, had been repeatedly in- 
vaded and subdued. 

It was among the other class of Arabs, the rovers of the 
desert, the " dwellers in tents," by far the most numerous 
of the two, that the national character was preserved in all 
its primitive force and freshness. Nomadic in their habits, 
pastoral in their occupations, and acquainted by experience 
and tradition wilh all the hidden resources of the desert, 
they led a wandering life, roaming from place to place in 
quest of those wells and springs ^diich had been the resort 
of their forefathers since the days of the patriarchs; en- 
camping wherever they could find date-trees for shade, and 
sustenance and pasturage for their flocks, and herds, and 
camels ; and shifting their abode whenever the temporary 
supnly was exhausted. 

These nomadic Arabs were divided and subdivided into 
innumerable petty tribes or families, each with its Sheikh 
or Emir, the representative of the patriarch of yore, whose 
spear, planted oeside his tent, was the ensign of command. 
His office, however, though continued for many genera- 
tions in the same family, was not strictly hereditai^ ; but 

* Haran, Conna, and Aden porto on tht Indian Sm. 

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depended upon the good-will of the tribe. He mi^t be 
deposed, and another of a different line elected in his place. 
His power, too, was limited, and depended upon his per* 
sonai merit and the confidence reposed in hnn. His pre- 
rogative consisted in conducting negotiations of peace and 
war ; in leading his tribe against the enem j ; in choosing 
the place of encampment, and in receiying and entertaining 
strangers of note. Yet, even in these and similar priTi- 
leges, he was controlled by the opinions and inclinations of 

However numerous and minute might be the divisions 
of a tribe, the links of affinity were carefully kept in mind 
by the several sections. All the Sheikhs of the same tribe 
acknowledge a common chief called the Sheikh of Sheildis, 
who, whether ensconced in a rock-built castle, or encamped 

« In smmiier the wandering Ambe, sajt BnrcUianlt, feldom remaim 
above thiee or four days on the same spot ; at loon at their cattle hare 
eonsomed the herbage near a watering plaee, the tribe remoree in teaiofa 
of pasture, and the grass again springhig ap» serves fbr a sooeeeding 
camp. The encampments raiy in the nomber of tents, ftom six to 
eight hundred; when the tents are bat ftw, thej are pitched in adrde^ 
bat more considerable numbers in a straight Une, or a row of single 
tents, espedallf along a rirolet, sometimes three or foor behfaid asmanjr 
others. In winter, when water and pastore nerer faU, the whole tribe 
spreads itself orer the plain in parties of three or foar tents each, with 
an interval of half an hoar's distance between each paftjr. The Sheikh'a 
tent is always on the side on which enemies or goests may be expected. 
To oppose the former, and to honoor the latter, is the Shdkht principal 
business. Every fltther of a fkoiiiy sticks his lance into tlie groond by 
the side of his tent, and ties his horse in front. There also his camels 
repose at night — BwrdckaHt, Kotei oh Sed&uims, vol. i p. SS. 

The following is descriptive of the Arabs of Assyria, thooi^ it Is i^ 
plicable, in a great degree, to the whole race : — 

** It would be difficnlt to describe the appearance of a large tribe 
when migrating to new pastures. We soon found ourselves in the 
midst of wide-spreading flocks of sheep and camels. As fkr as the eye 
could reach, to the right, to the left, and in front, still the same moving 
crowd. Long Unes of asses and bullocks, laden with black tents, huge 
caldrons, and, variegated carpets ; aged women and men, no longer aMe 
to walk, tied on the he^> of domestic furniture; infrmts crammed into 
saddlebags, their tiny heads thrust tbrongh the narrow opening, ht^ 
lanced on the animal's back by kids or lambs tied on the ofjweite side ; 
young girls clothed only in the close-fitting Arab shirt, whidi displayed 
lather than concealed their graoeflil forms ; mothers with thebr children 
on their shoulders ; boys driving flocks of lambs ; horsemen anned with 
thdr long tofted spears, scouring the plain on their fleet mares ; riders 
urging their dromedaries with their short hooked sticlo, and leading 
thdr high-bred steeds by the halter ; colts galloping among the thnmg ; 
such was the motiey crowd through which we had to wend our way." — 
LaganT* Nineveht i. 4. 

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anodd Mi flocks and berds in ^e desert, migkfr aBsemble 
und^Ms stondaird all tLe scattered braaekes on anj emer* 
gescy affecting the oommoa weal. 
The moltipltcity of these wvaderm^ tribes, ea/c^ witit ito 

aprinee and pettj territory, but without a nsfek)nal 
produced freqnenl eoDisioin. Beveaijgo, too, was 
almost a rdigkms principle stmong them. To avense a 
relatire slain was the datyof his family, and often inTtSved 
the hosioar of Ids tribe ; and these debts of l^ood some- 
times remained unsettled for generations, prodnciz^ deadly 

The necessity of being always cm. the alert to d^end his 
fiocks and herds, made the Arab o( the deeert familiar 
from his infan^ with the exereise c^ arms. If one eoold 
exeelhiminthetise of thebow,thelanee,aiidtheseimitary; 
and the adroit and graceM management of the horse. Ke 
was a predatory warrior, also ; for though at times he was 
engaged in the service of the merchanty furnishing him> 
with camels and guides and drirers for the traBsportatioit 
of his merchandize, he was more apt to la^ oonmbutions 
on the caravan or phmder it outnrfit in its toilflil — 
gress throu^ the desert. AH this ne regarded as a '. 
timate exercise of arms, looking down upon the g 
sons of traffic aa an inferior raee, debased hj sordid 1 
and pursuits. 

Sueh was the Arab of the desert, the dweller in tents, 
in whom was fulfilled the prophetic destiny of his ances- 
tor IshmaeL " He will be a wild man ; his hand will be 
against every man, and every man's himd against him."* 
iSature had fitted him icfr his destiny. Hjb Kutm was H^ht 
and meagre, but sinewy and active, and capable of sustain- 
ing great fatigue and hardship. Ke was temperate and 
even abstemious, requiring but little food, and mat of ih» 
simplest kind. His mina» Vke his body, was light and 
aeile. He eminently possessed the iiitelfeetaal attributes 
<S the Shemitie rnee, penetrating sagacity, sublie wit, a 
teady conception, and a brilliant imagmation. Hjs sensi- 
bilities were quick and acute, though not lasting ; a proud 
and daring spirit was stamped on his sallow visage, and 
flashed horn nis dark and Kindling eye. He was easily 
aroused by the appeals of eloquence, and diarmed by tlie 
graces of poetry. Speaking a language copious in the 
extreme,, tne words of which have been compared to gemA 

• Genesis, xri 12, 

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9Dd BometB^ he mm natonlly an orator ; bat he delie^ifeed 
m pioTerbff aad apotibegms, rsther tkam is iiiBtaiiiedmgfatfr 
^ebdaauition* and wa« fcone to oonvey In idMB m tii» 
«miital st^le by iqwlogoe aad patraUe. 

TkoodlL a lemeaa Kid pgadrtoiy wanier, be was geatt^ 
ions am bospitable. He delighted in giving gifta; bii 
^oor was ahr«f9 omb totha ivajlaror, with imm ko was 
lend^toskvebisias^mafael; aadtodwidiimtfoa^hflarMig 
eiiee broken bread wxtii bim, nigiit lepose aaev^ h&» 
BeadL ihe infiolable sanctity ef bis tent. 

In xel%i(»i the Arabs, in wbat they iam the Bafs of 
Igneraaae, parto<^ buvely of Hk/e tir» faitbff, tbe Saibaii 
and ^le* Maeian, niam at tiMit tise paerailad otbt tlM 
eaetem worSi The Sabean, haw^wet, waa Hio one to 
wbx^ ikkef most adbeved. Tbej pratCTded to ii&me H 
&om Sabi ihe mm d Seth, wboi, witk bia fiitber and bk 
broker Enodh^tiiey siippose to be buried in the vnranitda. 
Others derive ^e aame fifom the Hebreir woid^ cbbtt» ov 
'Oie Stars, and traee ik» ongm ciHtte faitii to the Aaayrian 
fliiei^erds, who aa ^ej iMcbed Iheir docks bjr n^it on 
tib»r lef^ ^pkaam, and b«iea& Iheir ^o^ess aloes, noted 
^e asneets and movenenta of the hesvvnif bodies, and 
fi»mea tbeorks of the? j^ood and evil inflneneea <m hmaan 
afi&irs; vaeoe notions whieh 1^ Chakdean ^hilosophefs and 
priests Te^»d to a mtem,. snppoeed to oe more azioient 
even thantitat of the E^^tians. 

By olSiers it xb derived from stHl higher anth wity, asd 
ehttBied to be the rdi^ion of ihe antedihcrvian woriEd. It 
SBFvived, say tiiey, the d^nge, and was coalinaed amoi^ 
the potmrdbs. It was tangM by Abrahaaa, adopted by bu 
des^dants, theehildren of Isstsak, and sanctified and c<»- 
llrmed in the taMets <^ the law detivered anio MoeeSii amid 
tiie thimdef and i^tnmg of Moimt SinaL 

In its original state uie Sabean iai& was pnre and 
a^ntaal i^ mcnieating a bddef in Hhe nnity of €rod, the do«^ 
trae oi a fetore state ef rewards and ponishments, and 
i^e neeesBs^ of a vrrtoons and holy lifb to obtain a happj 
hnmortality. So pgofoimd was ^te re ve iene e of Ae Sabeaag 
fyt the Supreme Bemg, i^aJb they never mentioned hii 
name, nor did they TentiDe to apmoaek bsm, bnt i^anngk 
infeefme&te inteluq^ieneea or an^Ss. These were supposed 
to izdiabife and ammatte the beavi|»h' bodlee, in idi» saoae 
way as the human body is inhabited and animated by a 
icral. Tkej mm piaeed in their respeotife spheree to 
B«perv»e and govern tiie universe in subs^rvieBcy to the 

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Most High. In addressmg themselyes to the stars and 
other celestial luminaries, therefore, ihe Sabeans did not 
worship them as deities, bnt sought only to propitiate their 
angelic occupants as intercessors with the Supreme Being; 
loddng up uirough these created things to 6od the great 

By degrees this reheion lost its original simplidiy and 
purity, and became obscured by mysteries, and degraded 
by iaolatries. The Sabeans, mstead of resarding the 
heayenly bodies as the habitations of interme£ate agents, 
worshipped them as deities; set up groyen images in 
honour of them, in sacred ^yes and in the gloom of 
forests; and at length enshrmed these idols in temples, 
and worshipped them as if instinct with diyinity. The 
Sabean faith, too, underwent changes and modifications in 
the yarious countries through which it was diffiised. 
Egypt has long been accused of reducing it to the most 
abject state of degradation; the statues, hieroglyphics, and 
INimted sepulchres of that mysterious count^, being con- 
sidered records of the worship, not merely ot celestial in- 
telligences, but of the lowest order of created beings, and 
eyen of inanimate objects. Modem inyestigatdon and re- 
search, howeyer, are ^nduaJly rescuing the most intel- 
lectual nation of antiquity from this aspersion, and as they 
slowly lift the y eil of mystery which hangs oyer the tomlis 
of Egypt, are disooyenng tliat all these apparent objects 
of aeration were but symbols of the yaried attributes of 
the one Supreme Beins, whose name was too sacred to be 
pronounced by mortal. Among the Arabs the Sabean 
&ith became mingled with wild superstitions, and degraded 
by gross idolatry. Each tribe worshipped its particular 
star or j^lanet, or set up its particular idoL iManticide 
mingled its horrors with their religious rites. Among the 
nonuidic tribes the birth of a daughter was considered a 
misfortune, her sex rendering her of little seryice in a 
wandering and predatory life, while she might bring dis- 
grace upon her lamily by misconduct or captiyi^. Motiyes 
of unnaSnral policy, tnerefore, m&j haye mingled, with their 
religious feelings, in offering up &male infiints as sacrifices 
to weir idols, or in burning them aliye. 

The riynl sect of Magians or Guebres j^fire-worshippers), 
which, as we haye said, diyided the relinous empire of the 
East, took its rise in Persia, where, after a whue, its onl 
doctrines were reduced to writing by its ffeat prophet and 
teacher Zoroaster, in his yolume of the Zendayesta. The 

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creed, like that of the SabeanB, was originallj simple and 
spiritual, incolcstang a belief in one Supreme and Eternal 
God, in whom and by whom the nniyerse exists : that he 
wodnced, through his creating word, two actiye {nrinomles, 
OrmnBd, the principle or angS ci light or good, and Ahri- 
man, the principle or an|^l of darkless or evil : that these 
formed the worid out of a mixture of their opj^osite de- 
ments, and were engaged in a perpetual contest in the re- 
gulation of its affairs. Hence the vicissitudes of good and 
evil, accordingly as the angel of light or darkness has the 
xmper hand : this contest would continue until the end of 
the world, when there would be a general resurrection and 
a daj of judgment; the an^el of darkness and his dis- 
ciples would then be baniwed to an abode of woeM 
gloom, and their opponents would enter the blissful realms 
of eyer-durin^ light. 

The prinutiye rites <^ this religion were extremely 
simple. The Magians had neither temples, altars, nor 
religious symbols of any kind, but addressed their prayers 
and hymns directly to the I)<^^> iii what they conceiyed 
to be nis residence, the sun. Tney reyerencea this lumi- 
nary as being his abode, and as the source of the light 
and heat of which all the other heayenly bodies are com- 
posed; and they kindled fires upon the mountain tops to 
suppty H^t during its absence. Zoroaster first introduced 
the use of templM, wherein sacred fire, pretended to be 
deriyed from heayen, was kept perpetually aliye through 
^e guardianship of priests, who maintained a watch oyer 
it night and day. 

In process of time this sect, like that of the Sabeans, 
lost sight of the diyine principle in the symbol, and came 
to wonhip light or fire, as the real Deity, and to abhor 
darkness as Satan or the deyiL In their fimatic zeal the 
Magians would seize upon unbelieyers, and offer them up 
in the fiames to propitiate their fiery deity. 

To the tenets of these two sects reference is made in 
that beautiful text of the Wisdom of Solomon: " Surely 
yain are all men by nature who are ignorant of GUxl, and 
could not, by considering^ the work, acknowledge the work 
master ; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, 
<Hr the drde of the stars, or the yiolent water, or the lights 
of heayen, to be ffods, which goyem the world." 

Of these two fiuths the Sabean, as we haye before ob- 
served, was much the most preyalent among the Arabs ; 
but in an extremely degradea form, mingled with all kinds 

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ci aboseB, and Taryinff among Idie Yarbus tribes. The 
Magian fiiitili pireTailea among those tribes which, houk 
their frontier pofilaon^ had freqaent inteieoBrse witk 
Persia^ while OMier tribes parixxdc of the simeEstitaoiui and 
idolatries of tiie nations (». which tiie j bcffoered. 

Jmdaisza had made ita way into Arabi& at aa earij 
period, bat yery vagadj and imperfeetl j. Still many of 
1^ rites and eeremonies, and &A<»fmI traditiona, became- 
isaiilanted in the eonntvy. At a later day, howefver, wh^i 
Miestine was ravaged by the 'Romasoa, and the eifcy oi 
Jerusalem taken and sadDed» many ef the Jews toc^ 
niage among ih» Arabs; became mcocporafced with the 
Batiye tribes; formed l^mselFes inta eommiznitbes; ac* 
mnred possession of fertile tracts; bnilt easdes and strcm^ 
holds, and rose to conridorabib power amd isfiuaMe. 

The Christian reli^on had likewise its adherents am/on^ 
i^ Arabs. St. Panl hiniseif deelares in hk epMe to the 
Galatiaas, that soon alfcer he had been callea to preaek 
C!hristianity amonr iba heathens, he "wait into Arabia.'^ 
The dissen^cmsy ^so, which rose in the Eai^^em divreh. 
in the eady paart oP ^e third centwry, breakijs^ it up inta 
sects, each petseeating the others as it gained the ase^i- 
dency, drove majoy into exile inte remote parts c^ the East, 
filled the deserts of Arabia with anehontes* and planted 
the Ghristias fiutii among some of the principal tribes. 

The te^foing caeumstBttces, ph^rsicBil asA moral, mi^ 
give an idea of the esoses which maintained the Arabs lor 
ages in an undtanged co&ditkm. While their isolated 
position and their vast deserts protected them frcm con- 
^pest, their inot^nal feuds, and their want of a common 
tie, political cat rel%iotifl, kept thou firom being formidable 
IS eosiqiifflOfs. T&j^ were a vast aggregation of distinct 
parts; ftdl of' indifidiial vigowr, Imt wanting coher^it 
strength. Althongh their nomadic lile rend&ed them 
hardy and active; ali^uogk the gxeatof pajrt of them were 
w an r MMs fretit in&iicy» yet thdr aims w^?e only wielded 
aeainst etA a^^eat, excefitimg soiae of the frontnv tribes, 
innch occasiuM^y engaged as ineroenaries in extanal 
wns. White, tshemare,^ other noBiadie races efCratral 
Asia, pesseesiag »> giettkeor HstnesB for war£ve, had, daring 
a course of age8» svecesefwy ovemm and eoBC](iiered the 
civilized worn, tiiiis wamor race, nncanariessof its power, 
nmasned dis^isted and haismless in the depths of its 
sative deserts. 

The time at length amved when its diBC(»daiit tribes 

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wexe to be xodtod in one eieed, and animated by one com- 
mon caiuae; wben a migbtj genius waa to arise, wbo sboold 
faring together these seattered Hmbs, animate ihtm with 
Mb own enthnsiastie and daring spirit, andlead tkem forth, 
a giant of the desert, to shake and orertnm the empires of 
the earth. 


Mahoxbs, the ^leat foondar of the faith of IskM, was 
bom in JIL&cea, m April, in the year 560 of the Chx»tian 
era. He was of tihe Y&Hant and iliastzions trfl>e of Iloreidw 
<d Tvhidi there w&te two branches, dese^ided £rom two 
toothers, Haseheaa and Abd Scheme. HasdMm, the pffo> 
genitor of Mahomet, was a great benefaetor of Mecca. 
This city is ^niated in the midst of a barren and stony 
conntry, and in &nnfir times was often rabjeet to scarcity 
of provisknis. At the beginning of the sixth centory 
Hasehem established two yeaiiy earayans^ oae in m» 
winter to South Arabia or x emen; the othcor in the smn* 
mer to Syria. By these means abnndaat supplies were 
brought to Meeea, as well as a great yariety of merchandise. 
The e^ became a eommereial mart, and the tribe of 
Kore^, whidb ^acaged largely in Ihese expeditions » 
beesuae wealthy and powerf m. Hasehem, at this tiiae^ 
was the gnardiaa of the Caaba, the great shrine of Arabiaait 
jMlgrima^ and wcordi^, the custody of which was confided 
to ncme but tiie most luntonrable tribes and fanulies, im 
the same manner m, in old times, tiie tem|^ of Jerusalem 
was intmsted only to the care of the Leyites. In fact, the 
gaardianfihi|» d the Caaba was connected with ciyil dig>> 
nides and priyflegesy and gaye ^e holder of it tiie ctmtrol 
of the sabred eity. 

On the death ei Haachem, his s<m, Abd al Motalleb* 
succeeded to his honours, and inherited his patriotism. He 
ddiyared the hdLy city from an inyading aamj oi troops 
nd el^^iantB, soit by the Chzkitian {Hrineea of Abyssinia^ 
' E> at that time hdd Y^n^ in subjection. These signal 
rices rendered by father and son, ccmfirmed the gnar- 
iship of the Ca^a in the hne oi Hasehem; to the greet 
ontent and enyy of the line of Abd Sehems. 

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Abd al Motalleb had several sons and daughters. Those 
of his sons who ^gwce in history were, Abu Taleb, Abu 
Lahab, Abbas, Hamza, and Abdallah. The last named 
was the youngest and best beloved. He married Amina, 
a maiden of a distant branch of the same illustrious stock 
of Koreish. So remarkable was Abdallah for personal 
beauty and those qualities which win the affections of 
women, that, if Moslem traditions are to be credited, on 
the night of his marriage with Amina, two hundred virgins 
of the tribe of Zoreish died of broken hearts. 

Mahomet was the first and only fruit of the marriage 
thus sadly celebrated. His birth, according to similar tra* 
ditions with the one just cited, was accompanied by si^s 
and portents announcing a child of wonder. His mother 
suffered none of tiie pangs of travail. At the moment of 
his coming into the world, a celestial light illumined the 
surrounding country, and the new-bom child, raising his 
eyes to heaven, exclaimed : " Gknl is great ! There is no 
god but God, and I am his prophet." 

Heaven and earth, we are assured, were agitated at his 
advent. The Lake Sawa shrank back to its secret spring, 
leaving its borders dry ; while the Tigris, burstmg its 
boun<£, overflowed the neighbouring lands. The pdace 
of Khosru the king of Persia shook to its foundations, and 
several of its towers were toppled to the earth. In that 
troubled night the !Kadhi, or Judge of Persia, beheld, in a 
dream, a ferocious camel conquered b}r an Arabian courser. 
He related his dream in the morning to the Persian 
monarch, and interpreted it to portend danger from the 
quarter of Arabia. 

In the same eventful n^ht the sacred fire of Zoroaster, 
which, guarded*by the lli^gi, had burned without inter- 
ruption for upwards of a wousand years, was suddenly 
extinguished, and all the idols in the world feU down. The 
demons, or evil genii, which lurk in the stars and the signs 
of the zodiac, and exert a malignant influence over the 
children of men, were cast forth oy the pore angels, and 
hurled, with their arch leader, Ebfis, or Jjucifer, into the 
depths of the sea. 

The relatives of the new-bom child, say the like autho^ 
xities, were filled with awe and wonder. His moth<Vs 
brother, an astrologer, cast his nativity, and predicted that 
he would rise to vast power, found an empire, and establish 
a new faith among men. His grandfather, Abd al Mo- 
tdlleb, gave a feast to the principu Koreishites, the sev4ith 

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UfFAJSrCY. 13 

day after his birth, at wliich he presented this child, as the 
dawning gloiy of their race, ana gare him the name of 
Mahomet (or Mnhamed), indicatire of his fntore renown. 

Snch are the nuurellons acconnts giren by Moslem 
writers of the infancy of MahoQiet, and we hare little else 
than similar fables about his early years. He was scarce 
two months old when his &ther died, leaving him no other 
inheritance than five camels, a few sheep, and a female 
slaye of Ethiopia, named Barakat. His mother Amina 
had hitherto nurtured him, but care and sorrow dried the 
fountains of her breast, and the air of Mecca being un- 
healthy for children, she sought a nurse for him among the 
females of the neighbouring Sedouin tribes. These were 
accustomed to come to Mecca twice a year, in spring and 
autumn, to foster the children of its inhabitants ; but they 
looked for the offspring of the rich, where they were sure 
of ample recompence, and turned with contempt from this 
heir of poyerty . At length Haldma, the wife of a Saadite 
shephero, was moyed to compassion, and took the helpless 
infant to her home. It was m one of the pastoral yalleys 
of the mountains.* 

Many were the wonders related by Haidma of her infimt 
charfire. On the journey from Mecca, the mule which bore 
him became miraculously endowed with speech, and pro- 
claimed aloud that he bore on his back the greatest of 
prophets, the chief of ambassadors, the fayourite of the 
Almighty. The sheep bowed to him as he passed ; as he 
lay in his cradle and gazed at the moon, it stooped to Tiinv 
in reyerence. 

The blessing of heayen, say the Arabian writers, re- 
warded the charity of Haltoa. While th§ child remained 
tuider her roof, eyerything around her prospered. The 
wells and springs were never dried up ; the pastures were 
always green ; ner flocks and herds increased tenfold ; a 
maryellous abundance reigned oyer her fields, and peace 
prevailed in her dwelling. 

The Arabian legends go on to extol the almost super- 
natural powers, bodily and mental, manifested by this won- 
derfril child at a very early age. He could stand alone 
when three months old 5 run abroad when he was seven ; 

* The Beni Sad (or children of Sad) date from the most remote anti- 
qaitf, and, with the Katan Arabs, are the onlj remnants of the primi- 
tive tribea of Arabia. Their valley is among the momitains which 
range scmthwardly from the TtLjet^Burckhcnrdt on the Bedomm, vol. ii. 

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md web ten eould joia otiier dbili^reii in ^kek sports witk 
bows sad anrows. At eif^ moutiiB he could speak so as 
to be undfiVBtood ; and in i^ course of anomer montk 
eould oonyerse witb flaemoy, difybtying a wisdom aato- 
niriusff to all wbo beard him. 

At &e age of tbvee yeais, wbile pkyii^ in til^ fields 
wil^ bis foster Ixoiber, Maanod, two angds in shining 
i^paa?el mppeared befoe tbem. Hiey laid tfahoraat gently 
upon the mmnd, and Gabrifll, one of tbe ioigels, opened 
bis breast, rast wi&ont inflifting aoT $«bi. Tben taking 
fortb bis beart, be eleansed it &om aU impuri^, wringing 
from it tkose biaok and bitter dxipa of ocngmal ain, in- 
berited from onr Sorefrtfaer Adam, «ad wbicb lurk in ibo 
bearts of Ibebeitof htsdeaoeBdants, incitii^ tbem to crime. 
Wben be bad iduMrongMy purified it, be filSddit witb faitk 
«id knowledge and propliiotic bgbt, and replaoad it in the 
bosom of tbe obild. K aw, we jure assured by tbe same 
aiitibonties, be^an to emanttfae from bii couatenanee tbat 
mjstezioos li^ wbicb bad continAed down from Adam^ 
timoi^ Ibe saorediine of pronlMta»xmtil tbe time of I^^ 
and £hmael ; but wbicb bad lain dormant in tbe deflcen- 
daats of tibe Isttec, untilit tbus sbone iocdi witb senowed 
xadtanoe from ^e featoms of Mabomot 

At -das n^ematural -visitation, it is added, was im- 
presaed between tbe shoulders of tbe cbikL the seal of pro- 
phecy, wbicb eontmued Ibrovgbout life tbe symbd and 
credential of bis diiriiM mission; thougb unbeueyetrs saw 
nothing in it but a bucge mole, tbe size of a ■pige(m*B qgg. 

When tbe marvellous visitation of the angdwas reuled 
to HalAma and her busbaiuL, they were alanoed lest some 
misfortune diould be impending over the child, oar that his 
aupemstnral visitors mi^t be of tbe race of evil spirits oar 
genii, wbicb haunt tbe solitudes of the desert, wreaking 
mischief on tbe children of m^i. His Saadite nurse» 
tberefore, carried bun back to Meeca^ and delivered bim 
to bis mother Amina. 

He TesMoied with his meat until his sixth year, when 
she took bim witb ber to Medina, on a visit to b» relatives 
of tbe tribe of Adij, but on her journey homeward she 
died, and was buried at Abwa, a village oetween Medina 
and Mecca. Her grave, it will be found, was a place of 

E'ous resort and tendOT recollection to her s<m, at Ibe 
test period of his life. 

The faithful Abyssinian slave, Barakat, now acted as a 
mother to the orphan child^ and conducted him to bii 

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ilAWTtTT TBADITIOirf . 16 

grsudfoliier Abd al MotUkb, in whote komeiicld lie re- 
mained for two years, treated with care and tendemeBs. 
Abd al Motdfleb waa nem weM rtndDen in jemn ; kaving 
oGtlivBd the on&tfleiy tens <^ hunam eziiteBoe. Fisding 
Ida «ikL afproacbing, be called to bkn bk ^deat a<m. Aba 
!Ueb^aiidDeqneatbedllii^iamettobifl eapeoial protection. 
Tbe good Aba Taieb took Ida nepbew to bis bosom, and 
c^er aftorwsrds w»b to bim aa a pacreiit. Aa tbe fonner 
aneoeededto tiie gaaTdianBbq? of me Caaba at ike dealii 
of bis &tber, Mi^met eoHtisned £» aefend years in a 
kind of «ajC^4otal boosduld, wbere tbe rites and cere- 
maniea of tbe Kicred bonae wero rigidly observed. Aad 
b^« we deem it necesaaz^ to ^e a more especial notice 
of ^bc a&eged origin ci tbe Oaaba, and of tbe rites and 
traditioiui, and aupenititioas oonneeted witb it, closely 
interwoven as tbey are witb the fiutb of Islam and tlie 
gtory of its ibmiier. 


TrwMtions QODoening Jleocft aiul tbe Caaba. 

Wiisir Adam and Svo were cast &Mi from Paradise, say 
AraibianlxaditioaiSjtbeyleUin difOsrent parts of tbe eartb; 
Adam on a moontaui of tbe island of Serendib, or Ceylon; 
Ere in Arabia, on tbe borders of tbe Sed Sea, wbere tbe 
port c£ Jbddab is now ffltoated. For two bondred years 
tbey wandered separate and lonely about tbe eartb, onti], 
in conaidecatioai of tbeir penitence and wretcbedness, tbey 
were permitted to eome togetber i^ain on Mount Ararat, 
WEOb fie from the present cily of Mecca. In Ibe depib at 
bis sorrow and repentance, Adam, it is said, raised bis 
baauis and efj^B to beaten, and implored the clemency of 
God ; entreating that a sbrine mi^t be yoacbsafed to nim 
similar to tbat at wbidi be bad worshipped wben in Para- 
ge, and roond wbi(^ tbe angels oaea to move in adoring 

Tbe sofmlicatioQ of Adam was efiectoal. A tabemade 
ortemj^ ifermed of radiant deads was lowered down by 
tbe baads of angek, and placed immediately below its 
protot^ppe in ibe celestial paradise. Towards uiis beaven- 
deaccaided idkiae, Adam thenceforth tamed wben in prayer^ 

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and round it lie daily made seven circuits in imitation of 
the rites of the adormg angels. 

At the death of Adam, say the same traditions, the 
tabernacle of clouds passed away, or was again drawn up 
to heaven ; but another, of the same form and in the same 

5 lace, was built of stone and clay by Seth, the son of 
idam. This was swept away by tne deluge. Many 
fenerations afterwards, m the tune of the patri^hs, when 
[agar and her child Islimael were near perishing with 
thint in the desert, an angel revealed to them a sprmg or 
well of water, near to the ancient site of the tabernacle. 
This was the well of Zem Zem, held sacred by the pro- 
geny of Ishmael to the present day. Shortly atfterwards, 
two individuals of the gigantic race of the iunalekites, in 
quest of a camel which mid strayed from their camp, dis* 
covered this well, and, having slaJced their thirst, brought 
their companions to the pli^. Here they founded the 
city of Mecca, talking Ishmael and his mother under their 
protection. They were soon expelled by the proper in- 
nabitants of tlie country, among whom Ishmael remained. 
When j^wn to man's estate, 1^ married the daughter of 
the rulmg prince, by whom he bad a numerous progeny, 
the ance^rs of tlie Arabian people. In process of time, 
by God's command, he undertook to rebuild the Caaba, on 
the precise site of the original tabernacle of clouds. In 
this pious work he was assisted by his father Abraham. 
A miraculous stone served Abraham as a scaffold, rising 
and sinking with him as he built the walls of the sacred 
edifice. It still remains there, an inestimable relic, and the 
print of the patriarch's foot is clearly to be perceived on it 
by all true believers. 

While Abraham and Ishmael were thus occupied, the 
angel Gtibriel brought them a stone, about which traditional 
accounts are a little at variance; by some it is said to have 
been one of the precious stones ot Paradise, which fell to 
the earth with Adam, and was afterwards lost in the slime 
of the deluge, until retrieved by the angel Gkbriel. The 
more received tradition is, that it was originally the 
guardian an^el appointed to watch over Adam in Paradise, 
but changed into a stone and ejected thence with him at 
his faU, as a pumshment for not having been more vigilant. 
This stone Abraham and Ishmael received with proper 
reverence, and inserted it in a comer of the exterior wall 
of the Caaba, where it remains to the present day, de- 
voutly kissed by worshippers each time they make a circuit 

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of the tempxe. When first inserted in the wall it was, we 
are told, a single jacinth of dazzling whiteness, but be^une 
gradtudly bhidcened by the kisses of sinful mortals. At 
tibe resurrection it will recover its angelic form, and stand 
forth a testimony before God in favour of those who have 
£Eiithfally performed the rites of pilgrimage. 

Such are the Arabian traditions, which rendered the 
Caaba and the well of Zem Zem, objects of extraordinary 
veneration from the remotest antiquity among the people 
of tiie East, and especially the descendants of IshmaeL 
Mecca, which incloses these sacred objects within its walls, 
was a holy city many ages before the nse of Mahometanism* 
and was ike resort ox pilmms from all parts of Arabia. 
So universal and profound was the religious feeling re- 
specting this observance, that four months in every year 
were devoted to the rites of pilgrunaff e, and held sacred 
from all violence and warfare, ^ostue tribes then laid 
aside their arms ; took the headsfrom their spears ; traversed 
the late dangerous deserts in security; thronged the gates 
of Mecca cuid in the pilgrim's garb; made their seven 
drcuits round the Caaba in imitation of the anffelio host; 
touched and kissed the mvsterious black stone; drank and 
made ablutions at the weU Zem Zem in memory of their 
ancestor Ishmael; and having performed aU the other 
primitive rites of pilgrimage retunied home in safety, again 
to resume their weapons and their wars. 

Among the religious observances of the Arabs in these 
their ** days of ignorance," that is to say, before the pro- 
mulgation of the Moslem doctrines, £utin^ an4 prayer had 
a foremost place. They had three principal fasts within 
the year; one of seven, one of nine, and one of thirty days. 
They nrayed three times each day ; about sunrise, at noon» 
and about sunset; turning their faces in the direction 
of the Caaba, which was their kebla, or point of adora- 
tion. They had many religious traditions, some of them 
acquired in early times from the Jews, and they are said 
to nave nurtured their devotional feelinfi^s with the book of 
Psahns, and with a book said to beby Seth, and filled 
with moral discourses. 

Brought up, as Mahomet was, in the house of the guar- 
dkn of the Caaba, the ceremonies and devotions connected 
with the sacred edifice may have given an early bias tohia 
mind, and inclined it to tnose speculations in matters of 
religion by which it eventually became engrossed. Though 
his Modem biographers would fain persuade us his high 

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clestmjr waa dearlj foretold in liis cltildhood by signs and 
prodigies, yet his education afypears to have been as mudi 
Delected as that of ordinary Arab clul^en; fbr we £nd 
that he was not taneht ^ther to read or wnte. He waa 
a thoughtM diild, nower^; qnick to observe, prone to 
meditate on all that he observed, and possessed of axt 
imagination fertile, darmg, and expansive. The yearly 
infinx c^pilfftims from distant parts made Mecca a recep- 
tacle for aH lands of Boating knowledge, which he a;^ars 
to have imbibed with eagerness and retained in a tenacious 
memory; and as he increased in years, a more extended 
i^khere dr observaticai waa gradoalfy op^ied to him. 


JElfst iciamef of Kahomet with tbe etnmxk to S jila. 

ICahokbt was now twelve years of age, bnt, aa we have 
shown, he had an intelligence far beyond hia j^ears. The 
apirit of inqmrv was awake within him, quicken^ hy 
mterconrse with {»lgrim& from all parts of Arabia. Hj^ 
nnde Abn Taleb, too, beside his sacerdotal eharad«r aa 
guardian of the Caaba, was one of the most entemrising 
merchants of the tribe of Eloreish, and had mru£. to do 
witii those caravans set on £x>t by his ancestor Haschem, 
which traded to Syria and Yemen. The arrival and de< 
partnre of those caravans, which throned the gates of 
Mecca and filled its streets with pleasmg tmniut, were 
eoEdting events to a yonilL like Mahomet, and carried ids 
imagination to for^gn parts. He conld no looger repress 
the ardent curiosity tins aronsed; bnt once, when hia 
tmde was about to mount his camel to depart with the 
earavan for Syria, clang to him, and cr.treated to be per- 
mitted to accompany hmi: ** For who, oh my nnde," said 
he, " will take care <^me when ^a^ art awavF" 

The appeal was not lost upon the kind-hearted Abu 
Taleb. He bethought him, too, lliat ihe yoath was of aa 
age to enter upon &e active scenes of Arab life, and of a 
ca;picity to render essential service in the duties of the 
caravan; he readily, therefore, granted his prayer, and 
took him with him on the journey to Svria. 

The route lay through regions fertile in fables and tr»* 
ditions, which it is the deliglS; of the Arabs to recount i$ 

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ike evetiof^ laaltB of tibe csnertai, Hie vast sc^tades of 
the desert, in which that wandermg people pass so nra^ 
of their lires, are prone to en^render sup ers titk wfl fimcies; 
th^ ha^e aceordmgly pe<^led them with ^»ood and e^ 
genii, tokd clothed iStem wnh tales of oidi^tment, mast- 
gled up with wonderfxd erents whieh hi^ppened in dajs of 
M, In these erening halts of tibe oararaa, the yoroiM 
Blind of Mahomet, donbtless, imbibed man j of those supers 
ititions of ilie desert which erer aft erw ar ds dwelt in his 
memc^y, and had apowezfol inflnenee ov^er his imagination. 
We may espedaUy note two traditions i^iich he must hare 
heard at this tiane, and which we find reeorded hj him in 
after years in the Koran. One related to the moimtainoin 
dii^ariet of Hedjar. Here, as the eararan wonnd its war 
^rcmgh siknt and deserted TaQejs, caves were pointed 
out in the sides of the mountains onee inhabited vj tite 
Beni Thagrwd, at children of Thamnd, one oi the " lost 
tribes"^ of Arabia; and this was the tradition coneeming 

They w&n m proud and gnlgantio race, enstinir before 
the time of i^ patriardi i&raham. Haying hiLett into 
l^nd idolatry, God sent a prop&et of tike nazne of Saleh, 
to restore tliem to ^ ngkt way. Th^ refhsed, lM>weTer, 
to listen to him, nnless m riioiud prove the divinity of his 
misdcm hv eaosiBg m camel, big with yoang, to ksne from 
ibe ^Ktraus of a momxtain. Saleh aoeoraingly prayed, 
and lo! a rock opened, and a female eamel eame forth, 
whieh soon prodoced a foaL Some d the Thanradites 
were convinced hj the sunde, and were converted by the 
prophet inm, their idK^atrr; the greater part, however, 
remained in m^H^ Sam left the camelamong them as 
a sign» waminF them that a jndgment from heaven would 
£Ekll on them, Aoold they do ner any hann. ¥ot a time 
the cam^ was snifered to feed qxdetljr in their pastnres, 

fomg £>rth in theanonin^, and retcrrnin^ in the evening, 
t is true, that when s^ bowed her head to drink from a 
brook or weU, she never raised it nntil she had drained the 
Ia8t drop of water; but then m retnm she yielded mifi: 
Plough to sosp^Y the whole tribe. As, howeyer, ^e 
frightimed tibe od^er eamds from the pasture, i^e became 
an object of offence to the Thamndites^ who hamstrung 
and slew her. Upon thk there was a fearful cry from 
lieayen, and great claps of thunder, and in the momiDg 
all the offen£rs were found lying on their fr^ees, deaf 
Thns the whole race was swept from the earth, and 

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their cotmtry vms laid for ever afterward under tlie ban of 

This story made a powerM impression on the mind of 
Mahomet, insomuch tnat, in after years, he reftised to let 
his people encamp in the neighbonrnood, but hurried them 
away m)m it as an accursed region. 

Another tradition, gathered on this journey, related to 
the city of Evla, situated near the Eed Sea. This place, 
he was told, nad been inhabited in old times by a tnbe of 
Jews, who lapsed into idolatry, and profaned the Sabbath 
by fishing on that sacred day; whereupon the old men 
were transformed into swine, and the young men into 

We naye noted these two traditions especially, because 
they are both cited by Mahomet as instances of Divine 
judgment on the crime of idolatry, and evince the bias 
nis youthful mind was already taking on that important 

Moslem writers tell us, as usual, of wonderM cir- 
cumstances which attended the youth throughout this 
journey, giving evidence of the continual guarSanship of 
neaven. At one time, as he traversed the burning sands 
of the desert, an angel hovered over him imseen, sheltering 
him with his wines; a miracle, however, which evidently 
does not rest on the evidence of an eye-witness; at another 
time he was orotected by a cloud which hung over his 
head during tbe noontide heat; and on another occasion, 
as he sought the scanty shade of a withered tree, it sud- 
denly put forth leaves and blossoms. 

Alter skirting the ancient domains of the Moabites and 
the Ammonites, often mentioned in the sacred Scriptures, 
the caravan arrived at Bosra, or Bostra, on the confines of 
Syria, in the country of the tribe of Manaaseh, beyond 
ihe Jordan. In Scripture dajs it had been a city or the 
Levites, but now was inhabited by JSTestorian Christians. 
It was a great mart, annually visited by the caravans; and 
here our wayfarers came to a halt, and encamped near a 
convent of ^estorian monks. 

3j this fraternity Abu Taleb and his nephew were en- 
tertained with great hospitalitr. One of the monks, by 
some called Sergius, by others Bahira,* on conversing with 
Mahomet, was surprised at the precocity of his intellect, 

* Seme aseert that these two namei indicate two monks, who held 
oonveTsations with Mahomet. 

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and interested by his ea^er desire for infonnation, which 
^ipears to haye had re^rence, prindpaUj, to matters of 
rengion. They had frequent oonrersations together on 
socn subjects, in the oonrse of which the efib^ of the 
monk .mnst hare been mamhr directed acfainst that idolatry 
in which the jouthM Mahomet had hitherto been edu« 
cated; for the Kestorian Christians were strenuous in con- 
demning not merely the worship of images, but even the 
casual exhibition of them; indeed, so £r did they carry 
tiieir scruples on this point, that eren the cross, that 
general emblem of Christianity, was in a great degree in- 
duded in this prohibition. 

Many haye ascribed that knowledge of the principles 
and traditions of the Christian faith diqilayed by Mahomet 
in after life, to those early conversations with this monk; 
it is probable, howerer, that he had further intercourse 
wiHi the latter in the course of subsequent visits which 
he made to Syria. 

Moslem writers pretend that the interest taken by the 
monk in the youthful stranger, arose from his having ae« 
ddentallyperceived between Ids shoulders the netl of pro- 
phecy. He warned Abu Taleb, say they, when about to 
set out on his return to Mecca, to take care that his 
ne]^ew did not fiiill into the hands of the Jews ; foreseeing, 
with the eye of prophecy, the trouble and opposition he 
was to encounter from that people. 

It required no miraculous sign, however, to interest a 
sectarian monk, anxious to make proselytes, in an intelli- 
gent and inquiring youth, nephew of the guardian of the 
Caaba, who might cany back with him to Mecca the seeds 
of Chnstianity sown in his tender mind; and it was natural 
that the monk should be eager to prevent his h(med-for 
convert, in the present unsettled state of his rdigioos 
opinions, from bemg beguiled into the Jewish faith. 

Mahomet returned to Mecca, his imagination teeming 
with the wild tales and traditions picked up in the desert, 
and his mind deeply impressed with the doctrines im- 
parted to him in the I^estorian convent. He seems ever 
afterwards to have entertained a mysterious reverence for 
Syria, probably from the religious impressions received 
there. It was me land whither Abraham the patriarch had 
repaired from Chaldea, taking with him the primitive wor- 
ship of the one true God. " Verily," he used to say in 
after years, ''God has ever maintained guardians of'^his 
word m Syria; forty in number ; when one dies, another 

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22 11X15 OF MAHOXBT. 

» tent in ins room ; tBoA through them the land is biessed." 
And asain — ** Joy he to tlie people of %Tia» foirihe wngehi 
of the nnd God spread Hreir wings ov«r tiiem.'* 

HoTE^ — The ««iv«eiioii «f Abnlwm fttna tbeidDlatqr into whicb tbe 
'wodd had fUleii after the deluge, is related in the sixth chapter of the 
Koran. Abraham's ftther, Azer, or Zerah, as 1^ name is giren in the 
ScT^pftnres, was a statuary and an idolater. 

« And Alnratuun said nata his IMlier Amt, *Whr doat ifaaa take 
gimvwi images fivr gods ? Verily, than and thy peqple are to error.' 

** Then was the JhTnaiaint of beavgn displayed onto AfanJiam. that 
he might see how the world was governed. 

** When night came, and dailmess oyerelhadowed the earth, he t)ehc3d 
a bright star shining in the firmament, and cried «nt to We peofie wh» 
wereastK^gen: * Hiis, aecwdiag to yoar iiwfrrtiMM, is tte Lotd.* 

"^Bnt the stea^aMd Abraham avUU *lhKfe so fiitthja Gods that 

*' He beheld the moon ridag, and exclaimed, * Assuredly, tfa3s is the 
Lord.' Bat the moon like^se set, and he was cmtfbonded, and prayed 
mto God, saying, ^IMrect me, lest I become as oneof theae pe«iile,wlH> 
go astray.' 

*Tnien he smr the soe rishig, he cried eat, * This is the most g}o- 
liMs ef ail ; this of a oertainty is the Lerd.' But the san also set. 
Than said Abraham, 'I believe not, oh my people, in those tilings which 
ye call gods. Yerily. I torn my face unto Him, the Creator, who hal^ 
ibnned both the hearens and the earA.' " 


Canmereial oooupatkma of Mahamft— JBBa marriage with Cadjjah. 

Mahomet was now com^letelj laimcked in actiye life, ae- 
ocHnpanying lii^ nndes in various expeditions. At one 
ixme^ wnen about sixteen years of age, we £nd him with 
Ids uncle ZolAe^, journeying wiili the caraTan to Yemen ; 
at another time acting as armour-bearer to the same unole, 
\vlio led a warlike expedition of Koreishites in aid of the 
Keaaintes ag^unst the tzibe of Hawazan. This is cited as 
Mahomet's nrst essay in arms, though he did little else 
tlMBi svwlj his uncle with arrows in me heat of the action, 
and duddhim firom the darts of the enemy. It is sti^rma- 
tised asMmg Arabian writers as al Padjar, or the impious 
war, having been carried on during the sacred months of 

t advanced in years, he was employed by 
• UidiCBt-iil-Xasaifli, TfO. ii. p. 812. 

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dife r cjii penoaiB as commerekl agent or ftctor in cararaii 
joaroeju to SynB, Yemen, and elsewhere ; all wlikli tended 
to CTilar^e the wflkexe of his obeetration, and to mwe Jiim 
a qmck msiglit mto eharact^ and a knowledge of human 

Se WM a fieqnrait attoider of £iin, also, whkh, in 
Atmhiii, wero not always mero reaortt of tn£Bc, but ooca- 
Maallj aoeaea of poetical eontestB betireeB dii&rent tribety 
viwe prizes were adjudged to the Tietan, and their pnat 
poems treasved up in the arddves of princes. baoh» 
« yecMa ily,wms the case with ihefSur of Qcadh; aadseToi 
ot Hie prize poems adjudged there were hung up as 
tro^^hies m &e Caaba. At theae fairs, also, wei« rented 
&e popvdar traditions of Ihe Arabs, and inculcated the 
▼ari o ufl rdigioos fatths which were afloat in Arabia. Er<»i 
ond somroes of tibis kind, Afahomet gradually aecumnlated 
JBnch of thatyaned information as to oweds and doctrinef 
whieh he afterwaids dii^yed. 

There was at this tmie residing in ICeeca, » widow, 
aamedGadiiah (<nr£iiadnah),'<tfthe tribe of Koreii^ She 
hnd been twice maniedl Her last husband, a wealthy 
nerdiaDt, had reoenliy died, and ikd extoasfre concerns 
odhe house were in meed of « eondnetor. A nephew of 
4^ widow, named Omzkna, had beocnne acquainted with 
ICahomet in tiie course of his commercial ezpeditioBfl, and 
had noticed the ahflity and intemty with wbiok he ao- 
ouittedhimsdfonalloeeasions. ^e pointed him out to 
£eb sunt as a person well qualified to he her £ictor. Ths 
personal ap^pearance of Mahomet may have s<aronglj 
eeconded ous reeommeadatkm ; for he was now about 
twenty .£ye years o£ age, and extolled by Arabian writers 
for his manly beauty and engaging manners. So desirous 
was Cadijah of seeoring his serriees, diat she offered him 
double wages to conduct a caravan whidbi she was on. the 
point of scalding ofi to Syria. Mahomet consulted his 
imcle Abu Taleb, and by his advice accepted the offer. He 
was accompanied and aided in the expeditum by ihe 
ne^iew of the widow, and by her slave Mawra, and so 
highly satisfied was Oa<£jah with the way in which he 
diSc^arged his duties, that, on his return, she paid hhn 
double the aBU>unt of his stipulated wages. She after- 
wards sent him to t&e sou^em parts of Arabia on similar 
expedsiioDS, in all which he gave like satis^Mtion. 

Cadijah was now in her fortieth year, a woman of judg- 
ment and experience. The mental qsalities of Mal^met 

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rose more and more in her estimation, and her heart began 
to yearn toward the fresh and comely youth. Accorcfing 
to Arabian legends, a miracle occurred most opportunely 
to confirm and sanctify the bias of her inclinations. She 
was one day with her handmaids, at the hour of noon, on 
the terraced roof of her dwelling, watching the arrival of a 
caravan conducted by Mahomet. As it approached, she 
beheld, with astonishment, two angels overshadowing him 
with their wings to protect him from the sun. Turning, 
with emotion, to her handmaids, "Behold!** said she, 
** the beloved of Allah, who sends two angels to watch over 

Whether or not the handmaidens looked forth with the 
same eyes of devotion as their mistress, and likewise dis- 
cerned the angels, the legend does not mention. Suffice 
it to say, the widow was filled with a lively faith in the 
superhuman merits of her youthfrd steward, and forthwith 
commissioned her trusty slave, Maisai^ to offer him her 
hand. The negotiation is recorded wilh simple brevity. 
"Mahomet," £manded Maisara, "why dost thou not 
marryP" "I have not the means," repHed Mahomet. 
*' Well, but if a wealthy dame should offer thee her hand : 
one also who is handsome and of hicrh birth P" " And who 

sheP" "Cadijah!" "How is that possible P" "Let 
me manage it." Maisara returned to his mistress and re- 

ported what had passed. An hour was appointed for an 
interview, and the affair was brought to a satisfactory 
arnuigement with that promptness and sagacity which had 
distin^fuished Mahomet in all his dealing with the widow. 
The father of Cadijah made some opposition to the match, on 
accoimt of the poverty of Mahomet, following the common 
notion that wealth should be added to wealth: but the 
widow wisely considered her riches only as the means of 
enabling her to follow the dictates of her heart. She gave 
a great feast, to which were invited her father and the rest 
of her relatives, and Mahomet's imcles, Abu Taleb and 
Hamza, together with several other of the Koreishites. 
At this banquet wine was served in abundance, and soon 
difiused good humour round the board. The objections to 
Mahomet's poverty were forgotten; speeches were made 
by Abu Taleo on the one side, and by Waraka, a kinsman 
of Cadnah, on the other, in praise of the proposed nup- 
tials ; the dowry was arranged, and the marriage formally 
Mahomet then caused a camel to be killed before his 

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door^ and the flesli distributed amom^ the poor. G?he 
house was thrown open to all comers; the fenuue slaves of 
Cadijah danced to the sound of timbrels, and all was 
revebry and rejoicing. Abu Taleb, forgetting his age and 
his habitual melancholy, made merry on the occasion. He 
had paid down from his purse a dower of twelye-and-a-half 
okks of gold, equiyalent to twenty young camels. Haldma, 
who had nursed Mahomet in his mfancy, was sxmmioned 
to rejoice at his nuptials, and was presented with a flock of 
forty sheep, with which she returned, enriched and con- 
tented, to her native valley, in the desert of the Saadites. 


Condaot of Kabcnnet after Us ]iiaRiage.*-B6eoiiiei tiudoof for rdi- 
gious reform. — Bia habits of solitary abstraction. — Hie rision of tbft 
care. — Bia amumciation as a prophet. 

Ths marriage with Cadijah placed Mahomet among thd 
most wealthy of his native city. His moral worth also 
gave him ^reat influence in the community. AUah, says 
zke historian Abulf eda, had endowed him with every gift 
necessary to accomplish and adorn an honest man; he was 
so pure and sincere, so firee &om every evil thought, that 
he was commonly known by the name of Al Amin, or Hie 

The great confidence reposed in his judffment and pro- 
bity, caused him to be frequently referred to as arbiter in 
disputes between Ms townsmen. An anecdote is given as 
illustrative of his saeacity on such occasions. The Caaba 
having been injured by Are, was undergoing repairs, in 
the course of which the sacred black stone was to be re- 
placed. A dispute arose amonff the chiefs of the various 
tribes, as to wnich was entitlea to perform so auffust an 
office, and they agreed to abide by the decision of me first 
person who snomd enter by the gate Al Har^. That 
person hap]^ned to be Mahomet. Upon hearing their 
oifferent chums, he directed that a great cloth should be 
suread upon the ground, and the stone laid thereon ; and 
tnat a man from each tribe should take hold of the border 
of the cloth. In this way the sacred stone was raised 
equally and at the same tune by them all to a level with 

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its allotted plAoe, in wbick Mahomet £xed it irilii Ids own 

Four daiu^hterB and one son were the fruit of the mar- 
liaffe with Cadijah. The son was nanied Kasun, whence 
Juliomet was occasionally called Abu Slasim, or the £iU;her 
of Kasxm, according to Arahian nomendatare. This son, 
howe^CT, ^BBd in his infuicy* 

For sev^idl years after his Btaniflge he oontinned in 
ecnnmeree, Tisitmg tiie great Arabtan fairs, and making 
distant jonmeys witli tiie esraTsns. His erpediticms were 
not as pro£ltal)le as m thedajs of Ms etoiwrdfihip, and the 
wealth acquired with his wife diminished rather than in- 
creased in the course of his operations. That wealth, in 
fact, had raised him above the necessity of toiling for sub- 
sistence, and given him leisure to indulge the original bias 
of his mind; a turn for reverie and rdigious speculation, 
which he had evinced from his earliest years. This had 
been fostered in ^be eouise of his joomeyinea, by his in- 
tercourse wi& Jews and Ghristians, oiiginuly fugitives 
from persecution, but now gathered into tnbes, or forming 
part of the population of cities. The Arabian deserts, 
too, rife as we nave shown thiem with fancafbl mpersti- 
tions, had furnished aliment for his enthusiastic reverieB. 
Since his marriage with Oadnaii, also, he had a houiehold 
oracle to influence him in his rehgums opinioi», IMa 
was his wife's cousin WaraJbi, a man of speculative mind 
and flexible faith; originally a Jew; subsequai% a 
Christian; and withal a pretender to as^xt^ogy. He ig 
worthy of note as being the first on record to translate 
parts of the Old and New Testament into Aral»c. From 
nim Mahomet is supposed to bave derived much of hiB 
informalion respecting those wriiangB, and many of ih» 
traditions of l^e lilMmu and the TaJmud, on wliich he 
draws so copiously in his Koran. 

The knowledge thus variously aoquked and treasured 
up in an uncommonly retentive m^nory, was in direct 
hostility to the gross idolatry prevalent in Arabia, and 

fraetised at the Caaba. That sabered edifice had graduaHy 
ecome filled and surrounded by idols, to the aumb^ oi 
three hundred and sixty, being one for every day of the 
Arab year. Hither had been brought iddb from various 

farts, the deities of other nations, ihe chief of whidi, 
[obal, was from Syria, and supposed to have tiie pow«r 
of giving rain. Among liiese idols, too, wero Abraham 
fand Ishmael, once revered as prophets and progenitors* 

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mjB> XBuoiors ibba. . 27 

now TcrpreBeotod with dirinag anrowi m thieir kandi^ 
fyiuAxiiB of XDfigie. 

HalHBttet became xaow and more sennble of the groM- 
nesB and absurdity cf ikM idofadzy, in pio^ition aa hit 
inteBigeiit ndnd ooAtmted it with the i^intiial religioof 
lAddk bad been tlie snbjeota of bk iatquines. YacioM 
B8 in Ibe Koran tnow the rdimg idea wbiob gxa> 
spniw m in bis mind, until it eogtoesed bif 
^ to and^ biflneaoed all bit actiona. Ibat idea was 
aTeHgioosrefonn. It bad become bis £zed belief deduced 
from an Ibaefc be bad leant and meditsted, that tbeon^ 
tnie TcSigion bad been fcfrsaled to Adam «t bis creatkm* 
and been pronndgated and praotiBed in the days of inno- 
cence. Tint leligKMi inenloated the direct and spiritual 
wcnnbip of one true and odj 6od, the oreator of the 

It was bh heUei, faiihetmare, that this reUgion, so 
eferated and simple, bad i«^eatedlj been compted and 
debased by man, and espeemHy outraged by idolatry] 
wherefore a sacceBsien <»jpopiietB, e^b inspired by a 
levelatxxn from the Most Sigh, bad been sent 60m time 
to time, and at distant periods, to reatore it to its original 
purity. Such was Koab, sudi was Abraham, such was 
Moses, saA sndi was Jesus Cteist. By each of these, the 
true religion bad be^i reinst ate d upon earth, but had 
again been Titiated by their feflowers. Hie faith as 
tans^t and practised by Abraham iHien he came out <£ 
CSialdea, seems espeemUy to faaw fbimed a reliipoiis 
standard in bis mim^ from bis Yeneration for the patiwch 
as the &ilher of Isbmad, the progenitor of bis race. 

It appeand to JJalMHuet tluit the time for another 
lefozm was again arrired. The worid bad once more 
lapsed into Imnd idolatry. It needed ibe advent dT 
another -pro^flict, authorised by a mandate from, on high, 
to restore the eiring diilcben of men to the right path, ukl 
to bring back ihe worship of the Caaba to what it had 
been in the days of Abraham and the patriarohs. The 
probabiiity of such an advent, with its attendant reforms, 
seems to have taken posiession of bis mind, and^KMbeed 
hidnts of reverie and meditation, incompatible with the 
or£ttanr ooncerns of life and the bustle c^ the world. We 
are tcM that he mduafly absented himsdf iiom sooidy, 
and sought the solitude dT a cavern on Mount Hara, about 
three leagues north of Mecca, where, in emulation <3i the 
Christian sndiorites of the desert, he would remain days 

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and nights together, engaged in prayer and meditation. 
In this way he always passed the month of "R^iTnadhap, 
the holy montii of the Arabs. Such intense occupation of 
the mind on one subject, accompanied by fervent enthu- 
siasm of spirit, could not but have a powerful effect upon 
his £rame. He became subject to dreams, to ecstasies and 
trances. For six months suocessiyely, according to one of 
his historians, he had constant dreams bearing on the 
subject of his waking thoughts. Often he would lose all 
consciousness of surrounding objects, and lie upon the 
ffround as if insensible. Caoijah, who was sometimes the 
faithful companion of his solitude, beheld these paroxysms 
with anxious solicitude, and entreated to know the cause ; 
but he evaded her inquiries, or answered them myste- 
riously. Some of his adyersaries have attributed them to 
epilepsy, but derout Moslems declare them to have been 
the workings of prophecy ; for already, say they, the inti- 
mations of the Most Hign began to dawn, though yaguely, 
on his spirit ; and his mind laboured with conceptions too 
ffreat for mortal thought. At length, say they, what had 
hitherto been shadowed out in dr^uns, was made apparent 
and distinct by an angelic apparition and a diyme an- 

It was in the fortieth year of his a^e when this famous 
reyelation took place. Accounts are giyen of it by Moslem 
writers as if received from his own lips, and it is aUuded 
to in certain passages of the Koran. He was passing, as 
was his wont, the month of "Rainadhan in the cavern of 
Mount Hara, endeavouring by fasting, prayer, and soli- 
tary meditation, to elevate nis thoughts to tne contempla- 
tion of divine truth. It was on the night called by Arabs 
Al Xader, or the Divine Decree ; a nigbt in which, accord- 
ing to the Koran, angels descend to earth, and Ghibriel 
brmgs down the decrees of God. During that niffht there 
is peace on earth, and a holy quiet reigns over ful nature 
until the rising of the mom. 

As Mahomet, in the silent watches of the night, lay 
wrapped in his mantle, he heard a voice calling upon him; 
uncovering his head, a flood of %ht broke upon him of 
such intolerable splendour that he swooned away. On 
repdning his senses, he beheld an angel in a human fornix 
which, approaching from a distance, displayed a silken 
doth covered with written characters. " itead !" said the 

" I know not how to read !" replied Mahomet, 

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" Bead !" repeated the angel, " in the name of the Lor^ 
who has created all things ; who created man from a clot 
of blood. Eead in the name of the Most Hiffh, who 
taught man the nse of the pen ; who sheds on his soul 
Ihe ray of knowledge, and teaches him what before he 
knew not." 

Upon this Mahomet instantly felt his understanding 
illranined with celestial light, and read what was written 
on the doth, which contained the decrees of Gtxl, as ailer- 
wards promulgated in the Koran. When he had finished 
the perusal, Sie heav^y messenger announced, "Oh, 
Mahomet, of a verity thou art the prophet of God I and I 
am his angel Gabriel" 

Mahomet, we are told, came trembling and agitated to 
Cadijah in Ihe morning, not knowing whether wluit he had 
heard and seen was indeed true, and that he was a pro- 
phet decreed to effect that reform so long the object of 
his meditations ; or whether it might not be a mere vision, 
a delusion of the senses, or, worse than all, the apparition 
of an evil spirit. 

Cadijah, nowever, saw everything with the eye of faith, 
and the credulity of an affectionate woman. She saw in it 
the fruition of ner husband's wishes, and the end of his 
paro]^sms and privations. "Joyful tidings dost thou 
bring !" exclaimed she. " By him, in whose hand is the 
soul of Cadijah, I will henceforth regard thee as the pro- 
phet of our nation. Seloice," add^ she, seeing him still 
cast down ; " Allah will not suffer thee to isXi to shame. 
Hast thou not been loving to thy kinsfolk, kind to thy 
neighbours, charitable to the poor, hosnitable to the 
str^ger, faithfrd to thy word, and ever a aefender of the 

Cadijah hastened to communicate what she had heard to 
her cousin Waraka, the translator of the Scriptures, who, 
as we have shown, had been a household oracle of Maho- 
met in matters of religion. He caught at once, and with 
eagerness, at this miriunilous annunciation. " By him in 
whose hand is the soul of Waraka," exclaimed he, " thou 
speakest true, oh Cadijah! The angel who has appeared 
to thy husband is the same who, in days of old, was sent 
to Moses, the son of Amram. His annunciation is true. 
Thy husband is indeed a pronhet !" 

The zealous concurrence or the learned Waraka is said 
to have had a powerful effect in fortifying the duVious 
mind of Mahomet. 

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80 tnv or iluiomit. 

Novs —Dr. Ckutor WeiU in a note «o Mohannmd ifr Pnpih^ dis-' 
ciusea tbe qaestion of Miiienefa being aatiied: to attacks of eiiaepsy-;, 
which has generally been repiesented as a aknder cf his encBtea and 
of Christian writers. It appears, however* to hare been aasertcd by 
some of the oldest Moslem biographers, and given on the authorify qC 
farsms about hto. He would be seized, thejr said, with violent trem- 
bling, followed by a kind of swoon, or rather convulsion, daring whit^ 
perspiration would stoeaa from hte fbcAead in the eddort weather; he 
would lie with his e^es dosed, foaxniag at tha Moutb aai belowiiiglikft 
a young cameL Ayesha, one of hia wives,, and Zeid» one of hia di»- 
dples, are among the persons cited as testifying to that effect. Ther 
considered him at sueb times as under the inihience of a revelation. He 
bad such attacks* however, in Meeca, befiire the Koraa waa reveded to 
him. CadUaltftared that he waa poesesaed hf evil spirits, and wouHi 
have called in the aid of a coqjurer to exordae them, but he ferbadar 
her. He did not like that any one should see him during tbese 
paroxysms. 1^ visions, however, were not dways preceded by audi, 
aittacks. Baieth Ibn Haadiem, it is add, once adced hhn hi what 
nanner the revdations weio made. '* Often*'* replied he^ ** the aogH 
appears to me hi a hmnaa form* and evaelB to mat SometfaBcs I hoar 
sounds like the tinkling of a bell, but see nothing. [A ria^^ ia the 
ears is a symptom of epilepsy.] When the invisible angel haa de- 
parted, I am possessed of ithxA he has reveded." Some of his revela- 
tions he profiessed to receive direct from God, others in dreama ; fiv the 
dfeams of prophaAi^ he need to aay, are revilationK 

The readar ndl find thian^actf servioa.ift throwing ao—dngirifiar 
light upon the enigmatical career of tiiia ^dxaoxdiiHuir man. 


Mdiomet incokatea hia doetriaos aeeaetljr and doii^.— Beccivaa tether 
revdations and commands. — ^Announces it to hia kindted.— Manner 
in which it was recdved. — ^Enthusiastic devotion of Ali.— Chriatiaa 

Fob a time Makoaaet c<mfided fads reviriaaiaoms men^ to 
his own faousekold. One of the first to anro^ faimsdbT a 
bdieyer> was his seiTant ZeicU an Arab of tke tribe cf 
Kalb. This youth had been captured in ddl^iood bj « 
£reebootiD|r party ci Xoreishites, and had eome by pmv 
chase ot lot into tlhe possession of Mahomet. Seyeral 
years aiterwards his father, hearing of his being m Meecar 
repaired thither and offered a eonsiderable som for his 
ransom. " If he chooses to go with thee/' said Mahomet, 
" he shall go without ransom: but if he (looses to remain 
with me, my should I not keep himP" Zeid piefanred to 
remain, haying ever, he said, been treated bmum as & soa 

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than as a glare. Fpon thk, Mahomet pabHdj adc^pied 
Mm, and lie liad eyer linee remained with him in affee* 
tionate seiritade. Ncfw, on embracing the new Mth, he 
was set entirely free, but it will be foniKl that he continued 
through life that deroted attadmient whidi Mahomei 
seems to hare had the gift of inspiring in his foUowen 
and d^pendestB. 

The ear^ stepa <^ Mahomet in his prophetic career 
were penloos and dox^btfbl, and tak^i in secrecy. He had 
hostih^ to afmrehend on erery side; from his immediate 
kindred, the S^oreishites of the line of Hasehem, whose 
power and prosnerity were identified with idolatry; and 
still more from tiie riyalline of Abd Schema, who hadlone 
looked with eny^ and jealowF on the Hasdiemites, ana 
would elderly raise the cir <n heresy and impiety to dis- 
possess t£em of the guardianship or the Caaba. At the 
head of tins riyal brandi of Koreish was Abn Sofian, the 
son of Harb, grandsiMi of Omeya, and great grandson of 
Abd Schema. He was an able and ambitions man, of 
great wealth and influence, and will be fennd one of the 
most peney^ing and powerfiil opponents of Mahomet.* 

Uiider these adyerse circnmstances the new faith was 
propagated secretly and slowly, insonradi that for the first 
tiiree years ihe number of conyerts did not exceed forty; 
tiiese, too, for the most part, were yonngpezsons, strangers, 
and ^yes. Their meetings for prayer w«re held in pzi- 
yate, either at ^e honse c^ one of the initiated, or m a 
caye loear Mecca. Tl^ir secrecy, howeyer, did not protect 
them from outrage. Their meetings were discoyered; a 
zabl^ l»K^e into thdr carem and a scuffle ensued. One 
c^ the assailants was wounded in the head by Saad, aa 
armourer, then(^orth renowned among the frdthM as 
the first df their numbeor who shed blood in the cause of 

On^ of iJie bitterest opp<»ients <^ Mahomet was his 
unde Aba Lahab, a wealwy man, of proud spirit Bxtd 
irritable temper. His son Otha had married Mahomet's 
third daughter,Bokaia^so that theywere doubly allied. Aba 

* Niebolur iTrmtb, ToL iL) tpeaks <tf the tribe of Hub, wbidi i>o»- 
aeflsed eeyeral dtiet and a number of yillages in the highlands (tf He^jaa, 
a mountainoiu range betweoi Mecca and Medina. They have castlei 
on precfpttoQS rocks, and harass and lay onda contribution the cara^ 
▼sue. It to presumed that this tribe takes its name from the father of 
Aba SoOaii, as ^d the gx«ct liae of the Omeyades from his graad- 

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Lahab, however, waa also allied to the rival line of KoreiBh, 
having married Omm Jemil, sister of Abu Sofian, and he 
was greatly under the control of his wife and his brother-in- 
law. He reprobated what he termed the heresies of his 
nephew, as calculated to brin^ disgrace upon their imme- 
diate line, and to draw upon it the hostihties of the rest 
of the tribe of Koreish. Mahomet was keenly sensible of 
the rancorous opposition of this uncle, which he attributed 
to the instigations of his wife, Omm JemiL He espedaDj- 
deplored it, as he saw that it affected the happiness of his 
daughter Eokaia, whose inclination to his doctrmes brought 
on her the reproaches of her husband and his family. 

These and other causes of solicitude preyed upon his 
spirits, and increased the perturbation or his mind. He 
became worn and haggard, and subject more and more to 
fits of abstraction. %ose of his relatives who were at- 
tached to him, noticed his altered mien, and dreaded an 
attack of illness; others scofiSngly accused him of mental 
hallucination; and the foremost among these scoffers was 
his uncle's wife, Omm Jemil, the sister of Abu Sofian. 

The result of this disordered state of mind and body 
was ano^er vision, or revelation, commanding him to 
** arise, preach, and magnify the Lord." He was now to 
announce, publicly and bcudly, his doctrines, beginning 
with his kmdred and tribe. Accordingly, in the fourth 
year of what is called his mission, he summoned all the 
Xoreishites of the line of Haschem to meet him on the 
hill of Safa, in the vicinity of Mecca, when he would un- 
fold matters important to their welfare. They assembled 
there accordingly, and among them came Mahomet's 
hostile unde, JUbu Lahab, and with him his scoffing wife, 
Omm Jemil. Scarce had the prophet be^on to discourse 
of his mission, and to impart nis revelations, wh^i Abu 
Lahab started up in a rage, reviled him for calling them 
together on so idle an errand, and catching up a stone, 
would have hurled it at him. Mahomet tumed^^upon biw^ 
A withering look; cursed the hand thus raised in menace, 
and predicted his doom to the fire of Jehennam ; with the 
assurance that his wife, Omm Jemil, would bear the bundle 
of thorns with which the fire would be kindled. 

The assembly broke up in confusion. Abu Lahab and 
his wife, exasperated at me curse dealt out to them, com- 
pelled their son, Otha, to repudiate his wife, Bokaia, and 
sent her back weeping to Mahomet. She was soon in- 
demnified, however, by haring a husband of the true iaith« 

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being eagerly taken to wife by Mahcmiet's sealont di8cq)Ie^ 
Othman Ibn Affim. 

Nothing discomraged by the faihire of his first attempt, 
Mahomet called a seoona meeting of tiie Haschemites a^ 
his own house, where, haying reined tnem with the flesb 
of a lamb, and given them milk to drink, he stood forth 
and annoxmced, at fuJl length, his revelations received irom, 
heaven, and the divine command to impart them to thosa 
of his immediate line. 

" Oh, diildren of Abd al Motalleb," cried he, with en*- 
thnsiasm, ** to yon, of all men, has Allah vouchsafed thes^ 
most precious gifts. In his name I offer you the blessings 
of this world, and endless joys hereafter. Who among" 
YOU will share the burden of my offer. Who will be my~ 
brother: my lieutenant, my vizier P*' 

All remamed silent; some wondering, others snuUng* 
with incredulity and derision. At length, Ali, starting up 
witii youthful zeal, oflfored lumself to the service or tfai^ 
prophet, though modestly acknowledging his ycmth and 
physical weakness.* Manomet threw nis arms round tha 
generous youth, and pressed him to his bosom. " Behold, 
my brother, my vizier, my vicegerent," exohumed he ; " let 
all listen to his words, and obey him." 

The outbreak of such a stapling as AH, however, mm 
answered by a scornful burst of laughter of the Koreishitesf 
who taunted Abu Taleb, the father of the youthful pfo- 
selyte, with having to bow down before his son, and yield 
lum obedience. 

But though the doctrines of Mahomet were thus ungra* 
dously received by his kindred and Mends, they found 
favour among the people at lam, especially among tho 
women, who are ever prone to befiiend a persecuted cause^ 
Many of the Jews, also, followed him for a time, but when 
they found that he permitted his disciples to eat the flesb 
of uie camel, and of other animals forbidden by th^ law^^ 
they drew back and rejected his religion as unclean. ^ • 

Mahomet now threw off all reserve, or rather was in-' 
spired with increasing enthusiasm, and went about openly 
and earnestly proclaiming his dodrines, and giving himsea 
out as a prophet, sent by God to put an end to idola^^! 
and to mitif^te the rigour of the Jewish and the Christian. 

* Bj an enor of translaton, AU Is mde to seeompaaj hit oflVr oT 
adhesiaii bj mi MCtraTafaikt thfeat against all who ihoiild o|itpoie Ma^ 

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law. The liOk of Safii aaid Knbeis, sanctified by tnidi« 
tions conceining Hagar and Ishmael, were liiB &Toarita 
places of jpremSbrng, aad Mount Harm was hia Sinai^ 
whiHier he retired oocaaionallj, in fits of excitement and 
eathnaiaflm, to retoxn fixxm ita solitary eave with fresh 
lerelationB of the £oran. 

The good old Christian writers, on treating of the adyent 
of one whom ihej denoimee as the Arab enemy of the 
church, make superstitions record of diners prodigies which 
oocnrred abont uus time, awfol Ibrefrmners of i& tronbles 
about to agitate the wodd. In Gcmstantinople, at that 
time the seat of Christian empire^ were seyerat monstrous 
births and prodigioos apnantions, which strock dismaj 
into ihe hearts of all beholders. In certain religions pro* 
cessions in that neighbonrhood, the crosses on a suddm 
moved of themselres, and were yiokntlj agitated, causing 
astonishment and terror. The Nile, too, that ancient 
mother of wonders, gave birth to two hideous forma, 
seemingly man and woman, which rose out of its waters, 
gflteed about them for a time with terrific aspect, and sank 
again beneath the wayes. For a whole day the sua 
appeared to be diminished to one-third of its usual siae^ 
shedding pale and baleM rays. During a moonless nighty 
ft furnace light glowed throughout the heayens, and bk^y 
lances glittered in the sky. 

All i£ese, and sundry other like maryds, ware interpreted 
into signs of conune troubles. The ancient servants of 
God shook their hetSs moum&lly, predicting tbe T&jpi of 
mtidbrist at hand ; with yehement persecution of tlie 
Chxistian £gdth, and great desolation of the churches ; and 
to such holy men who have passed throu^ the trials and 
tronbles of the faith, adds the TeneraUe Padre Jayme 
Bleda, it is giyen to understand and explain these my8« 
tenons portents^ idiich forerun disasters of the churdi; 
^en as it is giyen to ancient mariners to read in the sigm 
of the air, the heayens and the deep, the coming tempest 
whidi is to oyerwhelm thear bark. 

Many of these sainted men were gathered to glorr 
bdbre the cQmpl6ti(m of their prophecies. There, seated 
Beearely in the empyreal heayens, they may haye looked 
down with compassion upon the troubles oi the Christian 
world; as men on the serene heights of mountains look 
down upon the tempests whidi sweep the earth and sea» 
iKrecking tall shipf, and riding lofty towers* 

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OlfflnM of fh« lUbOBMUn FidO. 

Thottoh it 18 not intended in this place to go foQj int^ 
the doctrines promnlgsted hy Mahomet, jet it is im- 
portant to the right appreciation of his eharacter and coch 
aoct^ and of the erents and drcnmstaiiees set forth in the 
following nairatiTe, to give their main featnres. 

It must be particularly home in mind, that ICahomel 
did not profess to set np a new religion; hot to restore 
that denred, in the earliest times, from God himself 
** We foflow," says Ihe Koran, " the religion of Abraham 
Ihe orthodox, who was no idolater. We beHere in God» 
and that which hath been sent down to ns, and that whidt 
hath been sent down nnto Abraham and Ishmael, and 
iBaae and Jacob and Ihe tribes, and that wMeh was deH- 
Tered unto Moses and Jesus, and that which was ddirered 
unto the prophets from the Lord: we make no distinction 
between any of thm, and to Gx>d we are reeifipied."* 

The Koran,t which was the great book of nis fidth, was 
defiyered in portions from thne to tim^ aeooiding to ulie 
excitement or his feelings, or the exigency of circom* 
•tanoes. It was not given as his own wou^, bat as a divine 
rerelation; as ^e yery words of Ood. The Deiiy is supf 
posed to speak in ewerj instmee. ** We hsfe sent th^ 
dbwn Ihe book of troth, oon£xming the Sd^tnre which 
was reyealed before it, and preserring the same in its 

The law of Moses, it wis aaid« had lor a time been the 
srnide and rale of human eondbot. At ^m oOTtiing of 
Jesus Christ it was superseded by the Gospd; both were 
now to give phiee to the Koran* which was more fall and 
esplidt than the preceding codes, and intended to reform 
the abuses idiioh had crept into them through the negli* 
gence or the conniptions of tbnr Toofessors. It was the 
eozopletion of the law; after it, there would be no more 
divine reyelations. Mahomet was the last, as he was Ihe 

* Kiomi, fiusp, U* 

t PolTed from tte InMo wofd Kflta, to smA or teach. 

^ Koran, cb. T. 

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greatest, of the line of prophets sent to make known the 

The xmiiy of God was the comer stone of this reformed 
religion. " There is no God but God," was its leading 
dogma. Hence, it receired the name of the religion m 
Islam,* an Arabian word, implying submission to God. 
To this leading dogma, was added, " Mahomet is the 
prophet of God;" an addition authorized, as it was main« 
tained, by the divine annunciation, and important to pro- 
cure a ready acceptation of his revelations. 
. Beside Ihe unity of God, a behef was inculcated in his 
angels or ministering spirits; in his prophets; in the resur- 
rection of the body; m the last judgment and a ftiture 
state of rewards and punishments, and in predestination. 
Much of the Koran may^ be traced to the Bible, the 
iMiidmu, and the Tahnud of the Jews,t es]^cially its wild 
though often beautiful traditions concemmg the uigels« 
the prophets, the patriairchs, and the good and evil genii. He 
had at an early a^e imbibed a reverence for the Jewish 
faith, his mother, it is suggested, having been of that 

Qjie system laid down in the Koran, however, w6s 
essentially founded on the Christian doctrines inculcated 

. * SmneEiymoIogisUderiTeldtmftom Salem or Adama, which sigDi* 
fLea salvation. The Christians fonn from it the term Islamism, and the 
Jews have varied it into Ismailism, whieh they intend as a reproach, 
and an allnsion to the origin of the Araha as descendants of 

From Islam the Arabians drew the terms Moslem or Modem, and 
HosQlman, a professor of the faith of Islam. These terms are in the 
singular number* and make MusUman in the dual, and Mnslimen in the 
plural. The French and some other nations follow the idioms of their 
own languages in adoptiug or translating the Arabic terms, and fbrm 
the plural by the addition of the letter «/ writing Musulmaa and 
3f usulmans. A few English writers, of whom Qibbon is the chief, have 
imitated them, imagining that thejr were following the Arabian usage. 
Host English authors, however, follow the idiom of thefar own language, 
writing Moslem and Moslems, Mnsulman and Musulmen ; this usage 19 
also the m«re harmonious. 

i The Mishnu of the Jews, like the Boons of the Mabomeians, is « 
collection of traditions forming the Oral law. It was compiled in the 
second oentoiy, by Jodah Hakkodish, a learned Jewish Babbi, during 
the reign of Antoninus Pius, the Roman Emperor. 

The Jerusalem Talmud, and the Babylonish Talmud, are both oom^ 
mentaries on the Mishnu. The former was compiled at Jerusalem, about 
three hundred years after Christ, and the latter hi Babylonia, abOot tivo 
centuries Utter. The Mishnn is the most aadeat xecovd possessed by the 
Jews, except the Bible. 

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oimnns aw UAsouxtAxnu, fff 

m the New Teitament; ai they Had been expounded to 
him by the Christian sectarians of Arabia. Onr Saviour 
was to be held in the highest reyerenoe as an inspired 
prophet, the greatest that had been sent before the time 
cf Mahomet, to reform the Ixw; bat all idea of his diyinity 
was rejected as impious, and the doctrine of the Trinity was 
denounced as an outrage on the unity of Qod. Both were 
pronounced errors and inteipolations of the expounders ; 
fuid iMB, it will be observe^ was the opinion m some of 
the Arabian sects of Christians. 

The worship of saints and Hie introduction of imagea 
and paintings representing them, were condemned as 
idolatrous lapses from the pure faith of Christ, and such* 
we have alieady obseirect were the tenets of the Nes« 
torians with whom Mahomet is known to have had much 

All pictures representing liTing things were prohibited* 
Mahomet used to say, that itte angels would not enter a 
liouse in which there were such pictures, and that those who 
inade them would be sentenced in the next world* to find 
souls for them or be punished. 

Most of the benignant precepts of our Saviour were in- 
corporated in the foran. Frequent almsgiving was en- 
joined as an imperatrve duty, and the immutable law of 
fight and wrong, " Do unto another, as thou wouldst he 
ehould do unto thee," was given for the moal conduct of 

" Deal not unjustly with others," B&jn the Koran, " and 
ye shall not be dealt widi unjustly. If there be any debtor 
under a difficulty of paying his debt, let his creditor 
wait until it be easy for hmi to do it ; but if he remit it 
in alms, it will be better for him." 

Mahomet inculcated a noble fairness and sincerity in 
dealing. '* Oh, merchants I" would he say, " falsehood and 
deception are apt to prevail in traffic, purify it therefore 
with alms ; give something in charity as an atonement ; for 
God is incensed bv deceit in dealing, but charity appeases 
his anger. He wno sells a defective thing, concealing its 
defect, will provoke the anger of God aiS the curses of 
the angels. 

" T&e not advantage of the necessities of another to 
buy thiiLra at a sacrifice ; rather relieve his indigence. 

" Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and free the captive if 
confined unjustly. 
■ •*Look not Boomfolly upon thy fellow-man; neither 

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3S tIFE OF ttAtrOMSI^. 

walk the earthy with insolence ; for God loveth not tha 
arrogant and yam-glorious. Be moderate in thy pace, and 
0pea£ with a moderate tone ; for the most tmgrateM of 
{ul voices, is the voice of asses."* 

Idolatiy of all kinds was strictly forbidden ; indeed H 
^fras what Mahomet held in most abhorrenoe. Many of 
ike religious usages, however, prevalent since time imme-^ 
morial among the Arabs, to which he had been aoeu9« 
tomed from infancy, and whidiwere not incompatible witil 
the doctrine of the uni^ of God, were still retamed. Sueh 
was the pilgrimage to Mecca, including all the rites con- 
nected with the Caaba, the well of Zem Zem, and oUi^ 
89Cfed places in the viciniir ; apart from any worship of 
fhe idols by which they had been profaned. 

^e old Arabian rite of praver, accompanied, or n^ei 
preceded by ablution, was still continued. Pra]^er8 indeed 
Wepre enjoined at certain hours of the day and night ; ihej 
Were simple in form and phrase, addressed direcQy to the 
Deity with certain inflezioiiH, or at thnes a total prostratioift 
of the bodv, and with the face turned towards the Sebla^ 
or point 01 adoration. 

At the end of each prayer, the followittg verse f5rom 4he 
second chapter of the Koran was recited. It is swid td 
Itare great lb pauty in the original Arabic, and is engraved 
OR gold and silver ornaments, and on precious st<me8 wom 
. fts amulets. ** God ! There is no €k)dbut He, the living, 
th0 eve; living ; he sle^eth iiot» neither doth he slumb^ 

^t!bMtikriHngWBa^n£Mihomfik»ixmtued^^ tigrone of Ids diii- 
llpteC appear to liaye beoi saggeBted If a passage in. Ufatthew; zzv. 

«< YerOy, God wOl say at tlie day of resimection, * Ob, sons of AdamI 
I was siok, and ye did not visit me.' Then tiiey wlU say, 'How ooaU 
we fisittheet ftrthoaatfCtheLofdoftiieimlvene^aiidaitfteaftoni 
ikknees.' And God wffl leidy, *Knew ye not tbai saoh » one of ingr 
•crratttswasfliok, and ye did not Tisit Urn? Had you visited that 
Mrrant, it would hare heen counted to m. as righteousness.' And 
Ood win say, * Oh, sons of Adam l I asked you for food, and ye gave 
it me not.' And tiie sons of Adam will say, *How oould we give thee 
Hood, sedng thou art tiie sustainer of the antvene^ and art ftee fhni 
tenger?* And God will say, *Such a one of my icrvanii asked yoa 
fat bread, and ye reflised it. Had you given him to eat, ye would 
kava received your reward from me«' And God will say, ■ Oh, sons of 
Adam, I asked you fbr water, and ye gave ft me not.' They wiU 
vsply, ' Oh, our supporter I how oould we etre thee water, seeing tiioa 
artthesnstainerof the universe, and not sub)eet to thiiBtr And God 
wffl say, * Suoh a one (tf my servants asked you for water, and ye di^ 
aot give it to him. Had ye done so^ ye would have received* 
ward from me.' " 

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ouTLnnu OT kihoickihism. m 

1V> Imn belongeth the hesrenB, and the earth, aad aU iliat 
ihej eontain. Who shall interoede with him vnleBsbj his 
permission P He knoweth the past and the fatnre, biit no 
one can comprehend anything of his knowledge but that 
which he rerealeth. IBs sway eztendeth aret the hairena 
and the earth, and to sustain them both is no buriheii to 
him. HeistheHigh,theMjght7r 

Mahomet was strenuous in forcing the importance and 
efficacy of pn^er. " Angels," said he, " come among jou 
both by night and day ; after which those of the nisht 
ascend to heaven, and G^od asks them how they left ma 
creatures. We fomid them, say they, at Iheir p r ay ew , 
and we left them at their prayers.** 

The doctrines in the Koran respecting the resnzrectioa 
and final judgment, were in some respects similar to those 
of the dmstian religion, but were mixed wd with wild no* 
-tioDB deriyed from other sources ; while oie joys of Urn 
Moslem heaven, though partly spiritoal, were doeged aa4 
debased by the nenwidiiaes of earth, and infinite^ below 
the ineffi£le pnr% and ipiritoal Ueasedneis of the heafen 
promised by our Saviour. 

Nevertheless, the description of the last day, as eon* 
tained in the eighlj-first chapter of the Koran, and 'whidk 
must have been given by Mahomet at the outset of hie 
mission at Mecca, as one of the first of his levelatLooib 
partakes of sublimity. 

" In the name of the all-mercifiil God ! aday shall eome 
when ihe son will be shrouded, and the stars willfidlfroiii 
the heavens. 

** When the camds about to foa will be neglected, ami 
wild beasts will herd together throu^ fear. 

"When Ihe waves otthe ocean wiQ boil, and Ihe souls 
cfihe dead again be united to the bodies. 

''When the female infant that has been buried ahve wiU 
demand, for what crime was I saonfieedP and Ihe eteznil 
books will be laid open. 

" When the heavens will pass away like a scroll, and 
hell.vnll bum fiercely; and the joys of paradise will b0 
made manifest. 

" On that day shall every soul make known that whioli 
it hath performed. 

" Venly, I swear to you by the stars whidi move swiftty 
and are lost in the brightness of the sun, and by the dazE- 
ness of the night, and by Ihe dawning of the day, these are 
not the words of an evil spirit, but of ian angel of dignity 

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And power, who possesses the confidence of Allah, and is 
revered by the angels under his command. Neither isi 
your companion, Mahomet, distracted. He beheld the 
celestial messenger in the light of the clear horizon, and 
the words reveided to him are intended as an admonitioa 
unto all creatures." 

Note. — To exhibit the perplexed maze of ooutroTenial doctrinev 
ftom which Mahomet had to acquire his notions of the Christian faith, 
we sattJoin the leading points of the jarring sects of oriental Christiana 
alluded to in the Ibregoing article & all of which have been pronooncec^ 
iioretical or schismatic. 

. The Sabellians, so called from Sabellios, a Libyan priest of the third 
oentmy, believed in the unity of God, and that the Trinity expressed 
but three different states or relations, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, all 
formhig but one substance, as a man consists of body and soul. 

The Arians, from Arius, an eoclesiaatic of Alexandria in the fourth 
^century, afllrmed Christ to be the Son of God, but distinct from him 
and inferior to him, and denied the Holy Ghost to be God. 

The Mestorians, from Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople in tlie 
fifth century, maintained that Christ had two distinct natures, divine 
and human; that Mary was only his mother, and Jesus a man, and 
that it waa an abomination to style her, as waa the custom of the 
church, the Mother of God. 

. ThoMonophydtes maintained tiie single nature of Christ, as their 
name betokens. They affirmed that he was combined of God and man* 
#• mingled and united as to form but one nature. 

The Eutychiana, flrom Entyches, abbot of a convent in Constant!- 
tiople fai the fifOi century, were a branch of the Monophysitea, expressly 
opposed to the Kestoriaas. They denied the double nature of Christ, 
declaring that he was entirely God previous to the incamatJon, and en- 
tirely man during the incarnation. 

The Jacobites, fW>m Jacobus, bishop of Edessa, in Syria, in the sixth 
flento^, wen a veiy numerous branch of the Monophysites, varying but 
little from the Eutychians. Moat of the Christian tribes of Arabs were 

The Mariamitei, or worshippers of Mary, regarded the Trinity as con- 
sisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Virgin Mary. 

The Collyiidians were a sect of Arabian Christians, composed chiel^ 
of females. They worshipped the Virgin Mary as possessed of divintty» 
-and made oiisringi to her of a twiated cake, called collyris, whence th^ 
derived thefar name. 

The Nazarsans, or STazarenes, were a sect of Jewish Christians, who 
^considered Christ as the Messiah, as bom of a Virgin by the Holy 
Ghost, and as possessing something of a divine nature ; but they con- 
formed in all other respects to the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic 

The Ebionites, ttom Ebion, a converted Jew, who lived in the first 
century, were also a sect of Judaizing Christians, little differing ftx>m 
the Nazaneans. They believed Christ to be a pure man, the greatest 
of the pr(q;>hets, but denied that he had any existence previous to 
Iwing hon. of the Virgin Mary. This sect, as well as that of the Kaaa- 
tmua, had many adherents in Arabia. 

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Many other seets might be enumerated, mdi ts the OoiiBtidMi^ 
Haronites, and Mardooitee, who took their luunei from learned and 
sealoos leaders ; and the Dooetet and Qnoetki» who wve tabdirided 
hito yarioos seets of sabtle enthusiasto. Some of these ^nwrfed the Im* 
maculate purity of the Virgin Mary, afflrming tliat her ooneeption and 
dellYery were effected like the transmission of the rays of Ugfat through 
m pane of glass, witbont impairing her Tirginity ; an opinkmstUl mate- 
■tained strenooosly in sabstanee by Spanish CathoUes. 

Most of the Dooetes asserted that Jesos Christ was of a nature so- 
tirdy divine; that a phantom, a mere fbrm without sobstance, was em- 
cified by the deluded Jews, and that the craeiflzioii and resune c ti oa 
were deceptive mystical exhibitions at Jerusalem to the benefit of th« 
human race. 

The Carpocratians, BasOidians, and Talentinlans, named after three 
Egyptian controversialists, contended that Jesos Christ was merdy • 
wise and virtuous mortal, the son of Joseph and Mary, selected hj God 
to reform and instruct mankind ; but that a divfaie nature was im* 
parted to him at the maturity of his age, and period of his baptism, by 
4St. John. The former part of this creed, which is that of the £blo»- 
ites, has been revived, and is pro fts sed by some of tlie Unitarian 
Christians, a numerous and increastaig sect of Protestants of the pro- 
sen* day. 

It is sufflefent to glance at these ffisseniioni, which we have boI 
arranged in chronological order, but which convulsed the early Christiaa 
ehuroli, and oontlnned to prevaU at the era of Mahomet, to acquit him 
of any charge of consdons blasphemy In the opinions ht tacolcated 
eoncenUng the nature and mission of o« Saviov. 


Bldlcnle cast on Mahomet and his doctrines.— Demand Ibr miradet.— > 
Conduct of Abu Taleb.— Ykrienee of the Koreishites.— Mahomefs 
daui^ter Bokaia; with her uncle Othman, and a number of dis- 
ciples, take refhge In Abysstaiia.^ — Mahomet in the house of Orichan. 
— ^Hostility of Abu Jahl ; his punishment 

The greatest difficulty with wliicli Mahomet had to con- 
tend at the outset of his prophetic career, was the ridicule 
of his opponents. Those who had known him firom his in* 
fancy — ^who had seen him aboj about the streets of Mecca» 
and afterwards ocenpied in all the ordinary concerns of life, 
scoffed at his assumption of the apostolic character. Iliey 
pointed with a sneer at him as he passed, exclaiming, 
•* Behold the grandson of Abd al Mot&lleb, who pretends 
to know what is going on in heaven!'* Some who had 
Iritnessed his fits of mental excitement and ecstasy, con* 
sidered him insane; others declared that he was possessed 

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with a devil, and aome diaiged him Tnth soroeiy and 

When he waBced the streets he was snbject to thoao 
jeers, and taunts, and inanlts which the Tnlgor are apt to 
rent up<Mi men of eccentric condnet and unsettled mind,. 
If he atteospted to preadi, his yoice was drowned by dia*> 
cordant noises and ribald songs: nay, dirt was ihrowniq^OA 
him when he was praying in the Caaba. 

Nor was it ihe vukar and ignorant alone who that 
insulted him. One of his most redoubtable assailants was 
a youth named Amm; and as he subsequently made a dis- 
tinguished figure in Mahometan history, we would impress 
the circumfitances of this, his first appearance, upeoi tilie 
mind of the reader. He was the son of a courtezan of 
Mecca; who seems to have riTalled in fascination the 
mirynes and Aspasias of Greece, and to have numbered 
some of the noblest of the land among her loveonk Whea 
she gave birth to this child, she mentioned seyeral of the 
tribe of Koreish who had equal claims to the patcdnfty. 
!Che infant was declared to have most resemblance toAara^ 
the oldest of her admirers, whence, in addition to hia 
name of Amra, he reoeired ib& desigzuation of Ibn al Aasi^ 
the son of Aass. 

I^ature had lavished her choisest gifts upon this natural 
ehnd, as if to atone for thaUenush of his birth. Though 
youn^, he was already one of the most popular poets of 
Arabia, and equally distinguished for the pungency of his 
satirical efi^ions and i& captivating swee&ess of his 
serious lavs. 

"■ When Mahomet first amioonced his niiisioBt this yootli 
assailed him with lampoons and humorous madirtgals; 
which, falling in with the poetic taste of the Arabs, were 
widely drcumted, and proved ^;reater impediments to the 
growm of Islamism than the bitterest persecution. 

llhose who were more serious in their (^position de» 
xnanded of Mahcmiet supernatural proofs of what he as« 
■erted. " Moses and Jesus, and the rest of the prophets,"* 
aaid they, *' wrought mirades to prove the divinitjr of their 
missions. If thou art indeed aprophet, greater than they, 
work the like miracles." 

Hie reply of Mahomet may be gathered firom his own 
words in the Koran. "What gteSex miracle could they 
have than tiie Xoran itself: a TOok revealed by means of 
an unlettered man; so elevated in language, so incon* 
trorertible in argoment, that the united skUL of men and 

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devils could eompoae nothing oonipanble. VHrni gim^ 
proof conld there be that it came nom none but Qod J ' 
self P The Koran itself 10 a mirade." 

They demanded, howerer, more palpable eyidence; : 

cles addressed to the senses ; that ne should cause tiia 
domb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blmd to see, the dead 
to rise; or that he should work changes in the £soe of 
natnre; cause fountains to gposh forth; ohimge a sterile 
place into a |:aTdenj with pahn-trees and yines, and nm« 
mjxg stFQomB; (mute a paJa^^e of gold to rise, decked with 
jeweb and precioiis steDes ; or ascend hy a ladd^ into 
beaten hx their presenct. Or, if the Koran did indeed, aa 
be a&med, come down &oiii heayen; tJuKt ^bej miffht see 
it as it deicended, or behold the angd who brought it; and 
then they would beHcre. 

Mahomet replied sometimes by arguments, sometbnea 
by denaiiciatioiiB. He claimed to be notiiing moire thaa 
a man sent hy Qod as au apostle. Had angels, said he, 
walked famiLarlf oa earth, an angel had assuredly bo6>l 
Bent on i^uA imision ; bnt woM had been the case oc 
those who, aa in the prcient instance^ doubted his word* 
They would not have ncem aHe, as with me, to argue, and 
dispute, and take time to be convinced; their perdilaoa 
would have been instantaneous. '' God/* added he» "needs 
no angel to enforce mj mission. He is a suffident 
witness between you and me. Those whom he ahaU dis* 
poee to be <jomrinced, wQl truly beliere; tbose whom h* 
ihall permit to remain in error, will find none to help their 
nnbebef. On the da? of resurrection they will app^tt 
blind, and deaf, and drmh, and grovalling on their taoes. 
Their abode will be in tlie eternal flames of Jeheimank 
Bueli will be the reward of theif unbelief. 

" You insist on mrracled. God gsre to Moses the 
power of working miraelea. "What was the oonsequeneeF 
rharaoh disregarded his mirades, accused him of soiroery, 
and sought to drive him and his neople fifom ^e land; bu$ 
Hiaraoh was drowned, and witii nim all his host. Would 
ye tempt God to miracles, and risk the punishment of 

It is recorded by Al Maalem, an Arabian writer, thai 
of Mahomet's discipka at one time j<Mned with the 
node in thi^ ay for miracles, and besought lum to 
J iat once, the diYinitf of his mission, by turning the 
mO. of Safa into gold. Being thus dosely urged, he betock 
Imnself to prayer; and having fimsheoi assured his £c>l- 

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lowers that the aneel Grabriel liad aj^peared to him, and 
informed him that, uionld God grant his prayer, and work 
the desired miracle, all who disSelieyed it wonld be exter- 
Biinated. In pity to the multitude, therefore, who ap- 
peared to be a stiff-necked generation, he woidd not ex- 
pose them to destruction: so the hill of Safa waa permitted 
{o remain in its pristine state. 

■ Other Moslem writers assert i^t Mahomet departed 
from his self-prescribed rule, and wrought occasional 
miracles, when he found his hearers unusally slow of 
belief. Thus we are told that, at one time, in presence of 
a multitude, he called to him a bull, and took from his^ 
horns a scroll containing a chapter of the Xoiun, just sent 
down from heaven. At another time, while discoursing in 
public, a white dore hovered over him, and, alighting on 
nis shoulder, appeared to whisper in his ear ; bemg, as he 
said, a messenger from ihe Deity. On another occasion^ 
lie ordered the earth before him to be opened, when two 
jars were found, one filled with honey, the other with milk, 
which he pronounced emblems of the abundance promised 
by Heaven to all who should obey his law. 

Christian writers have scoffed at these miracles ; sug* 
gesting that the dove had been tutored to its task, and 
Bought grains of wheat, which it had been accustomed to 
fina in tiie ear of Mahomet; that the scroll had previouslT 
been tied to the horns of the bull, and the vessels of miUc 
and honey deposited in the ground. The truer course 
would be to discard these miracidous stories altogether, as 
fables devised by mistaken zealots ; and such Qiey have 
been pronounced, by the ablest of the Moslem commen* 

There is no proof that Mahomet descended to any ard* 
fices of the kbd to enforce his doctrines or establish hig 
apostoHc claims. He appears to have relied entirely on 
reason and eloquence, and to have been supported by reli- 
gious enthusiasm in this early and dubious stage of hit 
career. His earnest attacks upon the idolatry ^diich had 
vitiated and superseded the primitive worship of the 
Caaba, began to have a sensible effect, and alaxmed the 
Koreishites. They urged Abu Taleb to silence his 
nephew, or to send him away; but finding their entreatieg 
imavailing, they informed the old man that if this |>re- 
tended prophet and his followers persisted in their heresiei. 
they should pay for them with their lives. 

Abu Taleb hastened to inform Mahomet of these me* 


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solK^itttdb ov xbv talbb. 45 

naces, imploriiig lum not to proYoke against liimsel^ and 
family snch numerous and powerful foes. 
' Tke enthusiastic spirit of Mahomet Idndled at the 
words. " Oh, my uncle !" exclaimed he, " thou|^h they 
should array the sun against me on my right hand, and 
the moon on my left, yet, untQ Gk>d sliall command me, 
or should take me hence, would I not depart from my 

He was retiring with ddected countenance, when Aba 
Taleb called him back. The old man was as yet uncon* 
verted, but he was struck with admiration of the undaunted 
firmness of his nephew, and declared that, preach what he 
might, he would never abandon him to his enemies. 
Feeling that of himself he could not yield sufficient pro* 
taction, he called upon tke other descendants of Haschem 
and Abd al Mot^eb to aid in shielding their kinsman 
£rom the persecution of the rest of the tnbe of Koreish ; 
and so strong is the family tie among the Arabs, thai 
though it was protecting lum in what they considered a 
dangerous heresy, they f3l consented excepting his uncle 

The animosity of the Xoreishites became more and 
more vkulent, and proceeded to personal violence. Ma* 
homet was assailed and nearly strangled in the Caaba, and 
was rescued with difficulty by Abu Beker, who himself 
suffered personal injury m me affiray. His immediate 
&mil^ became objects of hatred, especially his daughter 
Bokaia and her husband, Othman Ibn Affan. Such of his 
disciples as had no powerful friends to protect them were 
in peril of their lives. Full of anxie^ for their safety, 
Maliomet advised them to leave his dangerous oompa* 
nionship for the present, and take refuge in Abyssinia. 
• The narrowness of the Bed Sea made it easy to reach the 
African shore. The Abyssinians were Nestonan Christians, 
elevated by their religion above their barbarous neigh* 
hours. Their naja^hee or king was reputed to be tolerant 
and just. With nun, Mahomet trusted his daughter and 
his ragitive disciples would find refuge. 

Othman Ibn A^&n was the leader of this little band of 
Moslems, consisting of eleven men and four women. They 
took the way by the sea-coast to Jodda, a port about two 
dajrs* journey to ihe east of Mecca, where they found two 
Abvssmian vessels at andior, in which they embarked, and 
Balled for the land of refuge. 

[Qua event, which happened in the fifth year of the 

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xmakiD, of Hahoixiet, ii called the first Hegixa or Flig^t^ 
to distWrnsK it from the second He^ira» t& flkht of the 
{irophet himself ttam Mecca to Medina. The und treat- 
ment e^gteiienced by the Aigitires induced others of Ilia 
same fiuth to follow their example, nntil the nmnber of 
Moslem refugees in Abyssinia amounted to eighty-three 
men and ei^^en women, besides cMLdren. 

The Koreishites, finfjing that Mahomet was not to be 
flikinced, and was daily making conTerts, passed a law 
banifiJunff all who should embrace his faith. Mahomet re- 
tired before the storm, and todc refo^e in the house of a 
disciple named Orkham, situated on me hill of Sa&. This 
bill, as has already been mentioned, was renowned in 
Arabian tradition as the one on which Adam and Etc were 
permitted to come <mce more together, after the lon^ soli- 
tary wandmng about the earth whidi followed their ex- 
pubion frcHu paradise. It was likewise connected in tn- 
oition with the fortunes of Hagar and IshmaeL 

Mahomet remained for aracmth in the house of Orkluuiiy 
OQntmuing his rerelatians and drawing to him sectaries 
from yarious parts of Arabia. The hostili^ of the !Ko- 
teishites followed him to his retreat. Abu J ahl, an Arab 
of that tribe, sought him out, insulted him with opmpo* 
briouB langoage, and eyen pers^ialfy maltreated him. tDie 
outrage was rraorted to Hamza, an unde of Mahmnet, tm 
he returned to Meeoa from hunting. Hamza was no pro- 
selyte to Tslamism, but he was pledged to protect his 
nephew. Mardbdng with his bow unstrang in his hand to 
an assemblage of the £<Hreishites, where Abu Jahl was 
yannting h» recent triomph, he dealt the boaster js blow 
orer the head, that inilioted a grieyoos wound. The Idna- 
lolk of Abu Jahl rushed to his assistance, bat the brawler 
stood in awe of the yigorous arm and fiery spirit of Hamza^ 
and Boudit to padfy him. " Let him alone," said he to 
Us kinsmlk : ''in truth I haye treated his nephew yeiy 
roughly." He alleged in paUiaticm of his outrage tto 
spostaify of Mahomet ; but Hamza was not to be appeased. 
•' Well I" cried he, fieroely and scornfully, " I also do not 
belieye in your gods of stone; can you compel meP' 
Anger produoed in his bosom what reasoning mieht have 
attempted in yain. He fcMrthwith dedared hunseu a eon- 
yert; took the oath of adhesirai to the pn^^t, and becams 
one of the most sealous and y alisat champicms of the new 

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QBVlbBalKhiitt]ibMpliew<tf AJbaJahl, nBtoiatai to igyfgi hfa 
unele by dijiiig Mahomet — ^His wonderftil oonTenioii to the Ikith. 
— aiahoBet takes nA«e in ft eaatle of Aha Talab.— Aha Sofiaiw at 
the head of the itral hrandi of Kofeiifaitea, pew ec ol e a HahooMtand 
his ibUowen. — Ohtahu » deoree of nos-taitanoane with thwn 
Mahoaaet leavii Us icftnai asi makaa eanrerti dniiac the Bonth of 
pngriiaage^— LgfaadoftheooawntaiofHaMhtheWlae. 

isM haixed of Ahu Jald to the propliei ma increaaed by 
the seyere poniahment receiyed at the handa of Hanixa» 
fie bad a nepbeir named Omar Ibn al Xbatt&b, twentr- 
mx jean of age, of mganidc statue, prodiAooa atrengtb, 
and mat courage. Sia aayage aspect appaOed ihe bold, 
and his yeiy iralkiiig-staff stmck more tenor into be- 
hddcrs than another man's sword. Such are the wcxda of 
the Ambian bistoriaa, Abu Ahdailah Mohamed Ibn Qmal 
Alwakedi, and titie subsequent ieaJta of this warrior proye 
thai they were scarce ehai»eable with exaggeration. 

Insti^^iied by his unde, Abu Jahl, this fierce Arab undert- 
took to penetrate to the retreat <^ Mahomet, who was stiH 
in the house cf Orkham, and to strike a poniard to his 
heart. The Eoreishites are accused of haying promised 
him one hundred camels and one thousand ounces of £old 
Cor this deed of blood ; but this is improbable^ nor dia the 
TtBLge&l Befkew dAha Jahi need a bribe. 

JH he was on his way to ^ house of Qrkham^ he met 
a K.oreiBhit|»» to whiun he imparted his desi|nL The 
XJoreiBhite was a secret oonyert to Iihimism, am, soicht 
to torn him fifom his bloody errand. '* Before you slay 
lfahome<»" saidhe, ^'and draw upon yourself the yengeance 
of his relatiyes, see that yoor own are free &om heresy! " 
^ Are any of mine guilty of baoksliding P" demanded Omar 
intibL astcmiahment. "£yen so," was Ihe reply; '^thy 
sister Amina and her husband Seid." 

Omar hastened to the dwelUnfi' of his sister, and, enter- 
ing it ahxoMy, found har and her husband reading the 
Koran, Seid attempted to conceal it, but his conrosion 
oonyineed Omar oT the truth of the accusation, and 
keig^btened his fury. In his raf^e he struck Seid to tha 
•ami ; jfiafudd his foot upon his breast, and would haye 
Jfthingea his sword into it, had not his sister interposed. 
A Uow on tjhQ&oe bathed her yisage in blood. ''Enemy 

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of Allab !" sobbed Amina, '' dost thou strike me thus for 
believing in the only true GodP In despite of tkee and 
thy violence, I will persevere in the true faith. Yes," 
added she, with fervour, " * there is no God but God, 
and Mahomet is his prophet.' And now, Omar, finish tidy 

Omar paused ; repented of his yiolence, and took his 
foot from the bosom of Seid. 

" Show me the writing," sidd he. Amina, however, 
refused to let him touch the sacred scroll until he had 
washed his hands. The passage which he read is said to 
have been the twentieth chapter of the Koran, which thus 
begins: — 

" In the name of the most mercifol God ! We have net 
sent down the Koran to inflict misery on mankind, but as 
a monitor, to teach him to believe m the true God, the 
creator of the earth and the lofty heavens. 

" Hie All-merciful is enthronea on high, to him belongeth 
whatsoever is in the heavens above, and in the earth be* 
neath, and in the regions under the earth. 

" Dost thou utter thy prayers with a loud roioe P know 
that there is no need. Goa knoweth the secrets of thj 
heart ; yea, that which is most hidden. 

** Venly, I am God ; there is none beside me. Serra 
me, serve none other. Offer up thy prayer to none 
but me." 

The words of the Xoran sank deep into the heart of 
Omar. He read farther, and was more and more moved f 
but when he came to the parts treating of the resurrection 
and of judgment, his conversion was complete. ■ 

He pursued his way to the house of Orkham, but with 
sn altered heart. Elnocking humbly at the door, he craved 
sdmission. " Come in, son of al Khattlkb," exclaimed 
Mahomet. " "What brings thee hither P" 

'* I come to enrol my name among the believers of God 
sad his prophet." So saying, he nuule the Moslem pro- 
fession of faith. 

He was not content until his conversion was publiely 
known. At his request, Mahomet accompanied nim in- 
stantly to the Caaba, to perform openly the rites of 
Islamism. Omar walked on the left hiuid of the prophet^ 
and Hamza on the right, to protect him from injury and 
insult, and they were followed by upwards of ferty dis- 
ciples. They passed in open day throu^ the streets of 
llecca» to the astonishment of its mhabitants. Seven times 

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did they make the circuit of the Caaba, toaohinff each tiine 
tiie sacred black atone, and complying with all the other 
ceremonials. The Koreiahites regaided this procession, 
with dismay, but dared not approach nor molest the pro> 
phet, being deterred by the looks of those terrible men of 
battle, Hamza and Omar; who, it is said, glared upoa 
them like two lions that had been robbed of their yoon^. 

Fearless and resolute in eyerythinff , Omar went by hmi* 
self the next day to pray as a Modem in the Caaba, in 
open defiance of the Koreishites. Anothm Moslem, who 
entered the temple, was interrupted in his worship and 
radely treated ; but no one molested Omar, because he 
was tne nephew of Abu JahL Omar repaired to his undo* 
''I renounce thy protection," said he. "I will not be 
better off than my lellow-belieTers.*' From that time, he 
cast his lot with the followers of Mahomet, and was one 
of his most strenuous defenders. 

Such was the wonderful conrersion of Omar, afterwards 
the most famous champion of the Islam £EdtL So exaspe* 
rated were the Koreishites by this new trium]jh of Mano* 
met, that his unde, Abu Taleb, feared they might attempt 
the life of his nephew, either by treachery or open violence. 
At his earnest entreaties, therefore, Hie latter, accompanied 
by some of his principal disciples, withdrew to a kmd of 
castle, or stronfi^hold^ bebngmg to Abu Taleb, in the 
n^hbourhood of the dty. 

^e protection thus given by Abu Taleb, the head of 
the Ha^emites, and by others of his line, to Mahomet 
and his followers, although differmg firom them in faith, 
drew on them the wrath of the rival branch of the Ko* 
reishites, and produced a sehinn in the tribe. Abu Sofian, 
the head of that branch, availed himself of the heresies of 
the prophet to throw discredit, not merely upon such of 
his kindred as had embraced his faith, but upon the whole 
line of Haschem, which, though dissenting m>m his doc* 
trines, had, through mere claimish feelings, protected him. 
It is evident the hostility of Abu Sofian arose, not merely 
from personal hatred or relijrious scruples, but from fanuly 
feud. He was ambitiouf of transfemng to his own line 
the honours of the dty, so long engrossed by the Has- 
diemites. The last measure of the kind-hearted Abu 
Taleb, in placing Mahomet beyond the reach of persecu- 
tion, and giving him a castie as a refuge, was seised upon 
l^ Abu Sofian and his adherents as a pretext for a general 
ban of the rival line. They accordii^ly issued a decree. 

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M OE3XS 09 1CAH01CBT. 

fi>rbiddiiig tiie ifest of the tribe of Koreish from inter* 
mKtTpnSf or holdiiiff an^ intercourse, even of barj;ain or. 
BBle, wim the HaseiLenutes until they should dehrer up 
their kinsman, Mahomet, for ponishm^it. Tim decree, 
which took place in tile serenth year of what is called ihB 
liiission of the prophet, was wntten on parchment, and 
hung np in the Caaba. It reduced Mahomet and his dis* 
cq»les to great straits, being ahnost fanushed at times in 
iihe stronghold in which they had taken refbge. The fcv- 
tress was also beleaguered occasionally by the Koreishiteiy 
to enforce the haai in all its rigour, and to prevent tiie 
]^Bsibi]ity of supplies. 

• The annual season <^ pilgrimage, however, when hoster 
of pikfrims repair from au parts of Arabia to Mecca, 
brought transient relief to the persecuted Modons. 
Dicing that sacred season, according to immemorial law 
and usage among the Arabs, all hostmties were sospendedy 
and warring tril^ met in temporary peace to worsh^ at 
ike Caaba. At sudi tunes, Mahomet and his disciplee^ 
would venture from their strcmghdd and return to Mecca* 
Protected, also, by the immuni^ of the boly month, Ma- 
homet would mingle amon^ the pikrims and preadbi and 
pray ; propound nis doctrmes, ana prodaim Ids revela* 
tions. In this way he made many converts, who, <»i their 
return to tilieur several homes, carried with than the seeds 
of the new faith to distant regions. Among these converts 
were occasionally the princes or heads of tribes, whose 
example had an influence on their adherents. Arabian 
legends give a pompous and extravagant account of the 
conversion of one of iJiese princes; whicn, as it was attended 
hy some of the most noted miracles recorded (^ Mahomel^ 
BMy not be unworthy of an abbreviated insertion. 

The prince in question was Habib Ibn Maleo, sumamed 
tiie Wise, on account of his vast knowledge and erudition, 
fbr he is represented as dee^y versed in magic and the 
sciences, and acquainted wim all religions to thieaT very 
fbundations, having read aQ tiiat had been written oonoem* 
ing tiiem, and also acquired practical information, for he 
had belonged to them all by t^ms, having be^ Jew, 
Christian, and one of tiie Ma^. It is true he had had 
more than usual time for his studies and experience, 
Itaving, according to AralHaa. legend, attained to the age 
of one hundred and f^ty years. He now came to Mecca 
at the head of a powerful host of twenty thousand men, 
bringing with him a joutbM daaghter, Satiha, whom he 

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must have begotten in a ripe dd ace, and for wliom be 
was putting up raayen at the Caaba, the haying been 
strack dumb, uiddeaf, and Uind, and depriyed of the uae 
of her limbs. 

Abu Sofian and Aba Jahl, aeoovdinff to the legend^ 
thought the presence of tins yerypowerfiil, yerT iddatrou^ 
and yery wise old prince, at the nead of so formidable a 
host, a fayoorable opportonity to effect the min of Maho- 
met. They- accordingly informed Habib the Wise of the 
heresies of the pretended prophet ; and preyailed npoa the 
yenerable prince to summon him into his presence, at hit 
encampment in the Yalley of flints, there to defend hit 
doctrines ; in Ihe hope that his obstinacy in enor would 
draw upon him banishment or death. 

The legend ^es a mafliificent account of the issuing 
forth of the idolatrous filoreishites, in proud amy, on 
horseback and on foot, led by Abu Sofian and Abu JahL 
to attend Ihe grand inquisition in the Yalley of Flints ; 
and of the oriental state in iddch they were reoeiyed by 
Habib Ihe Wise, seated under a tent of crimson, on a 
throne of ebony, inlaid with iyory and sandal-wood, and 
eoyered with plates of gold. 

Mahomet was in the dwelling of Cadijah idien he re- 
ceiyed a summons to this formidable tnbunaL Cadijah 
was loud in her expressions of alarm ; and his daughters 
hung about his neck, weeping and lamenting, for thej 
thought him going to certain deiBith ; but he gently rebuked 
their fears, and b^e them trust in Allah. 

Unlike ^e ostentatious state of his enemies, Abu Sofian 
and Abu Jahl, he approached the scene of tnal in simple 
guise, dad in a white earment, with a black turban, ana a 
mantle which had belonged to his grandfather, Abd al 
Motalleb, and was made of the stuff of Aden. His hair 
floated below his shoulders, the mysterious light of pro- 
phecy beamed from his countenance ; and though he nad 
not anointed his beard, nor used any perftimes, exc^fiting a 
little musk and camphor for the hanr of his upper hp, yet 
whereyer he passed a bland odour diffiised itself around, 
being, say the Arabian writers, the fragrant emanations 
from his person. 

He was preceded by the zealous Abu Beker, dad in a 
scarlet yest and a white turban; wii^ his mantle gathered 
up under his arms, so as to display his scarlet slif^pers. 

A nlcDt awe, continues the legend, fell upon the yast 
assemblage as the prophet approached. Not a murmur. 

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mot a wliisper, was to be heard. The yery bmte animals 
were charmed to silemse; and the neighing of the steed, the 
tallowing of the camel, and the brajing of the ass were 

The venerable Habib receiyed him graciooslj: his first 
'question was to the point. " They tell thou dost pretend 
to be a prophet sent from GodP Is it soP" 

" Eyen so," replied Mahomet. '* Allah has sent me to 
proclaim the yentable faith." 

" Grood," rejoined the wary sage, "but every prophet 
lias given proot of his mission oy signs and miracles. Noah 
had his rambow: Solomon, his mysterious rin^: Abraham, 
the fire of the furnace, which became cool at his command: 
Isaac, the ram, which was sacrificed in bis stead: Moses, 
ids wonder-working rod, and Jesus brought the dead to 
life, and appeased tempests wilh a word. If, then, thou 
art really a prophet, gLve us a miracle in proof." 

The adherents of Mahomet trembled for him when they 
heard this request, and Abu Jahl clapped his hands, and 
^ztarolled the sa^adty of Habib the Wise. But the prophet 
Tebuked him with scorn. " Peace! dog of thy race!* ex- 
claimed he; " disgrace of thy kindred and or thy tribe." 
He then calmly proceeded to execute the wishes of Habib. 

The first mirade demanded of Mahomet was to reveal 
what Habib had within his tent, and why he had brought 
it to Mecca. 

Upon this, says the legend, Mahomet bent toward the 
earth and traced figures upon the sand. Then, raising hia 
head, he replied, " Oh Habib! thou hast brought hither 
thy daughter, Satiha, deaf and dumb, and lame and blind, 
in the hope of obtaining relief of Heaven. Go to thy tent; 
«peak to her, and hear her reply, and know that God is all 

The aged prince hastened to his tent. His daughter 
.met him with light step and extended arms, perfect m all 
her faculties, her eyes Deaming with joy, her face clothed 
with smiles, and more beauteous tlian the moon in an 
(mclouded nif^ht. 

The second miracle demanded by Habib was still more 
difficult. It was, that Mahomet should cover the noontide 
heaven with supernatural darkness, and cause the moon to 
descend and rest upon the top of the Caaba. 

The prophet penormed this miracle as easily as the first. 
At his summons, a darkness blotted out the whole light 
e<jf day. The moon was then seen stray;'=ig from her course 

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and wanderini^ about the firmament. By the irresistible 
power of tJie prophet, she was drawn from the hearens and 
rested on the top of ike Caaba. She then performed serea 
eircoitB aboat it, after the manner of the pil|(rims, and 
ha.Ting made a profound reverence to Manomet» stood 
before him with lambent warerinf^ motion, like a flaming 
sword, giving him the sahitation of peace, and hailing him 
as a prophet. 

Not ccmtent with this miracle, pursues the legend, BCa* 
bomet oompelled the obedient luminary to enter by the 
r^ht sleeye of his mantle, and go out by the left; then to 
dmde into two parts, one of wnich went towards the eas^ 
and the other towards the west, and meeting in the centre 
of the firmament reunited themselves into a round and 
glorious <»b. 

It is needless to say that Habib the Wise was oonvinoed» 
and converted by these miracles, as were also four hundred 
and aewentj of me inhabitants c^ Mecca. Abu Jahl, how* 
ever, was nardened in unbelief, exclaiming that aQ wair 
illusion and enchantment produced by the magic of Ma> 

NonL— Tlie nlnelM hen neoidad an aot to be ftNmd ia the psfis 
of the aoeonte Abolfede, nor an thejr maintained hf anj of the gnrer 
of the Moslem miten ; hot thej exiet in tradition, and an let tilth wtth 
great proUxityVfapooTphalanthort, who iniiet that thef an alladed 
to In the flftf-frarth chapter of the Koran. They an prohaUj ai tnia 
as manj other of the woaden related of the prophet. ItwillbefWMSi^ 
hend that he himself dahned hnt one mirade, **the Koran." 


The ban of non^interconne m/sterioulx destroyed.— Hahomet enabled 
to return to Meoca.~Death of Aba Taleb; of CadDah.— MahomeS 
betroths himself to Ayetha.— Marries Sawda.— The Koreishitsa 
renew their perwcntion.— Mahomet seeks an asylom in TayeC— Hia 
ezpnUon thence.— Visited by genii in the desert of NaUah. 

Thbsb years had elapsed since Mahomet and his disciples 
took refuge in the castle of Abu Taleb. The ban of decree 
still existed in the Caaba, cutting them off firom all inter- 
eonrse with the rest of their tribe. The sect, as usual, 
increased under persecution. Many joined it in Mecca; 
murmurs arose against the unnatural feud engendered 

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nnong the Koreishites, and Aba Sofian was made to bluah 
for the lengths to which he had carried his hoetihty againBt 
0ome of his kindred. 

All at once it was disooTcred that the jiaichment in ihe 
Caaba, on which the decree had been written, was so sub* 
«tantiaU]|^ destroyed, that nothing of the writing remained 
but the initial words, " In thy name, oh Almi^tjr God!" 
The decree was, therefore, declared to be aonnfled, and 
Mahomet and his followers were permitted to return to 
Hecca nnmolested. The mysterions removal of this k^ 
obstacle has been ecmsidered by -fioBB Moslems, another 
purade wrought by supernatural agency in fnyour of tho 
prophet; though unbeheTers haye surmised ihat the doou* 
inent, which was becoming embarrasdng in its effeets to 
Abu Sofian himself, was secretly destroyed by nunrtal 

The return of Mahomet aud his disdples to Mecca wa« 
ifdlowed by important conyersions, both of inhabit^ts o( 
(he caty and of pilgrims from afkr. The chagrin expe- 
rienced by the Koreishites from the growth of this nev 
sect, was soothed by tidings ofyictories of the P^siana 
oyer the Greeks, by which they conouered Syria and a 
part of Egypt. The idolatrous Xorekbites exulted in the 
defeat of we Christian Greeks, whose faith, being opposed 
io the worship of idols, ihey assimilated to that preached 
by Mahomet. The latter re[>lied to their taunts and ex* 
ukations, W producing Ihe ^irtieth diapter of the Koran, 
opening witii ^ese words: "The Greelra haye be«i oyer- 
come by the Persians, but they shall oyercome the latter 
in the course of a few years." - 

The zealous and beheying Abu Beker, made a wager of 
ten camels, that this OTccQction woidd be accompushed 
within three years. • "Increase the wager, but lengthen 
the time," whispered Mahomet. Abu £eker staked one 
nimdred camels, but made the time nine years. The pre- 
diction was yerified, and the wager won. This anecdote is 
confidently dted by Moslem doctors, as a proof that the 
Koran came down from heayen, and that Mahomet pos- 
sessed the gift of projjhecy. The whole, if true, was no 
doubt a shrewd guess mto futurity, suggested by a know<- 
ledge of the actual state of the warring povrers. 

Not long after his return to Mecca, Mahomet was sum* 
moned to dose the eyes of his uncle Abu Taleb, then 
upwards of fourscore years of age, and yenerable in cha* 
racter as in person. As ^e hour of death drew nigh^ 

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Miahomet exhorted Im nnele to malce ^ 
ftaih. neeeBsarj , aoeordiiig to the Iilam < 
bHssfiil resmTectioii. 

A spark of eqrthl j pride hxutend in the hieart of the 
dying patriarch. "Oh, son of raj brother !" riphed he» 
** sh^ud I repeat those words, the Koreiihites would saj, 
I did so through fear of death." 

Abulfeda, ti^ faistofian, insisti that Ab« Taleb aotoal^ 
died in Ihe ^th. Al Abbas, he says, hnng orer the bad 
of his »:pirin^ broker, and pereemng his lips to moTS^ 
approached his ear to catch his dying wovds. ll&ey wera 
the wished-for confession. Others affirm that his kst 
words were, '*1 die in the faith <^ Abd al Mot&Ueb.^ 
Oommentatars hare sought to reconcile the two acoounti^ 
hy asserting that Abd alMotftUeb, in h» latter days, re- 
Honnced the worship of idds, and bdiered m the unity of 

Scarce three days had elapsed from the death of the 
venerable Aba Taleb, when Cadijah, tiie fiuthM and 
deroted wife of Mahomet, likewise sank into tha jgnre. 
tShe was sixty-Bre years of age. Mahomet wept faittei^ 
lit her tomb, and clothed him^slf in mourning for her, and 
for Abn IMeb, so that this year was called the year of 
mourning. He was comforted in his affliction, says the 
Arabian anthor, Abn Horaira^ by an assuranoe from the 
angel Gabriel, that a silyar palaDe was allotted to Cadijah 
hi raradise, as a reward for her great iedth andhcreany 
services to the cause. 

. Though Cadijah had been much older than Mahonet at 
ihe thne of iheir marriage, ahd past tiie Uoom of yean 
when women' are deBirafa& in the Sast, and though the 
prophet was noted for an amorous tem^eiament> yet he li 
said to hare remained true to hei^ to ihb last; nor ever 
availed himself of the Aralnan law^ permitting a j^arahty 
W wires, to give her a rival in his house. "When, howevsi^ 
ttie was laid in the grave, and the first transport of hii 
piet had subsided, he sought to ecmsole himself for her 
&68, b]r entering anew into wedloek; and hencefortii m- 
dulged in a pluruify c^ wives. He permitted, br his hra^ 
four wives to each of his foUow^re; but did not fimit him- 
ieif to that numbet; for he observed tb^t a prophet, being 
nectdlarfy dfbed and privileged, was not bound to restrict 
himself to me same laws as ordinary mortals* 

His first choice was made withiii amontii after the deaA 
^Cad^ah^ and foil npon a beantifol ehild, nained Ayesha, 

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Hie daughter of bis faithful adherent, Abu Beker. Per^ 
haps he sought, by this alliance, to grapple Abu Beker 
stul more sli^nglj to his side; he being one of the braves^ 
and most popular of his tribe. Ayesha, however, was but 
seven years of age, and, though females soon bloom ancl 
ripen m those eastern climes, she was yet too young to 
^ enter into the married state. He was merely betrothed to 
her, therefore, and postponed their nuptials for two years, 
duriog which time he caused her to be carefully instructed 
in the accomplishments proper to an Arabian maiden of 
t distinguished rank. 

Upon this wife, thus chosen in the very blossom of her 
y^ars, the prophet doted more passi(mately than upon 
any of those whom he subsequently married. All these 
had been previously experienced in wedlock ; Ayesha, he 
Baid, was tne only one who came a pure unspotted virgin 
to his arms. 

' Still, that he might not be without due solace while 
Ayesha was attainip£^ the marriageable age, he took, as 4 
wife, Sawda, the wi£>w of Sokran, oue of his followers* 
Bhe had been nurse to his daughter Fatima, and was one 
of the fflithful who fled into Abyssinia from the early per- 
neeutioni of the people of Mecca. It is petendea that^ 
while in ,exile, she had a mysterious intimation of the 
future honour whidi awaited her; for she dreamt that 
Mahomet laid his head upon her bosom. She recounted 
ihe dream to her husband Sokran, 1^0 interpreted it as a 
prediction of his speedy death, and of her marriage witl^ 

7 The marriage, whether predicted or not, was one cf 
meire expediency. Mahomet never loved Sawda with the 
affection he manifested for his other wives. He would 
• even have put her away in after years, but she implored to 
; be allowed the honour of stiU calling herself his wife^ 
^ proffering that, whenever it should come to her turn tp 
; share the marriage bed, she would relinquish her right to 
-Ayesha. Mahomet consented to an arrangement whioh 
•favoured his love for the latter, and Sawda continued, ai 
Jong as she Hved, to be nominally his wife. 
' Mahomet soon became sensible of the loss he had sus^ 
i»ined in the deaih^ of Abu Taleb ; who had been not 
merely an affectionate relative, but a steadfast and power- 
ful protector, from his great influence in Mecca. At his 
•death there was no one to check and counteract the hos- 
tilities of Abu Soflan and Abu Jahl; who soon nused up 

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7I8IT1TX0V ow anm. S7 

sach a spint of peneentioii smong the KoreiBhiteSt that 
Mahomet found it unsafe to oontinae in liis natiye place. 
He set out, therefore, accompanied by his freedman Zeid, 
to seek a refuge at Tayef, a small walled town, about 
serenty miles m>m Mecca, inhabited by the Thakifites, or 
Arabs of the tribe of Thakeef. It was one of the fayoured 
[ ^jEkces of Arabia, situated among rineyards and gardens. 
Here grew peaches and plums, melons and pomegranatesi 
figs, obxe and green; the nebeck-tree, producing the 
lotus, and palm-trees with their clusters of green and 

f olden fruit. So fresh were its pastures and frnitfol its 
lelds, contrasted with the sterifity of the neighbouring 
deserts, that the Arabs &bled it to haye originuly been a 
part of Syria, broken off and floated hither at the time oi 
the deluge. 

Mahomet entered die gates of Tayef with some degree 
of confidence^ trusting mr protection to the influence of 
his uncle AI Abbas, who had possessions there. He could 
not haye chosen a w<»*se place of refuge. Tayef was <me 
of the strongholds of idolatry. Here was maintained in 
all its force the worshipof £1 Ut, <me of the female idols 
alreadj mentioned. Her image of stone was ooyered 
with jewels and predons stones, the offermgs of her yo- 
taries ; it was beheyed to be inspired with life, and the in- 
tereessiim of £1 liit was implored as one of the daughters 

Mahomet remauied about amonth in Tayef, seeking in 
rain to make proselytes among its inhabitants. When he 
attempted to preach his doctrines, his yoice was drowned 
by dunours. More tiian <»iee he was wounded by stones 
thrown at him, and which the faithfbl Zeid endeayoured 
in yain to ward off. So yiolent did the popular fury be- 
come at last, that he was driyen from the city, and eyen 
pursued for some distance beyond the walls by an insulting 
rabble of slayes and children. 

Thus driyen igncnniniously firom his hoped-for plftee of 
refiige, and not cuuring to return oronly to his natiye city, 
he remained in the aesert until Zeia should procure a 
secret asylum for him among his firiends in Mecca. In 
this extTOTuitf , he had one of those yisions or supernatural 
yisitations wnich appear always to haye occurred in lonely 
or agitated moments, when we may suppose him to haye 
been a state of mental excitement. It was after the eyen- 
ing prayer, he says, in a solitary place in the yalley of 
Vakhh, between Mecca and Tayef. He was reading the 

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KoRui, when he was ovesAeard by a pMSing oampanj of 
QhoB or Genii Hiese are spiritoai beings, some gOod» 
others bad, and liable like man to futore rewards and 
pnniidiments. *^ Hark! eiye earl" said ^aa Genii one to 
tiie other. They pansed and listened as Mahomet eon- 
tinned to read. *' \enty" said they at the end, "we hare 
heard an admirable disconrse, which direotetii nnto the 
sri^t institution; wherefore we beliere therein." 
^Chis rairitaal visitation eonsoled Mahomet fm* his es« 
pskion nom Tayef, showing thai though he and his doo« 
Irines mi^t be rejected by mm, they were held in reve^ 
zenee by spiritoai mtdhgeoees. At least so we may infer 
from i£e mention he nuikeS of it in the Ibrty-sixth and 
•eveBtT-seeoaad ohapters of the Koran. Thenoeforwaid| 
he de^uired himselfsent for the conversion of tiiese geoii 
as weD as of the hnman race. 

KoTE.— The belief in genii was preyalent tbronghoat the Eut, long 
t)efbre the time of Hahomet. They were mppoieA to hiumt solitaiy 
places, particQlaxly toward nightfUl; % sopmtitlon congenial to the 
habits and notions of tiio inhabitanti of lonelj and desert ooontzies. 
The Arabs sappu s e d merfTBXkj and bairtn warto to hare its tribe of 

rii, wlK) wero sul^eot to n dominant s|iiiit, and roamed forth at ni^ght 
beset the pilgrim and the trayeller. Whenerer, therefore, thej 
entered a lonely valley toward the dose eft eyening, they nsed to siippli« 
eate the preriding spirit, or lord of the place, to protect them trom the 
«H1 genii nnder his eottnuuii. 

Those ocdomns of dost raised by whirling eddies of wind, and whifllit 
sweep aoross the detert, are soppoaed to bb canssd \f some wH gmiaf 
or sprite of gigantic size. 

. The serpents which occasionaDy inftst houses were thought to bo 
eften genii, sonie fadldels and some beUevers. Kahomet cantknied Mf 
SBOowerstobealewtokfllahoose serpent. ** Warn him to dqiart ; if 
bo 4o not obey, then till Um, for it is a s(ign that he ia a mera nptilo 
or an InSdelfeiiiu.'' 

It is fitbled, that in earlier iimes the genii had admission to heav^ 
bnt were expelled on accoont of their meddling propensities. They have 
oyer since been of a curious and {wying nature, oAm attempting to 
damber np to the constellations ; thsnoe to peep Into heaven, and sen 
and omhear what la gotag on there. Tboy aiei however, driven thence 
by angds with flaming swords ; and those meteors called shooting stais 
are supposed by Mahometans to be darted by the guardian angds at 
ISiese intrusive genii. 

Other legends inretend that the eaith was original^ peopled by fhew 
gena, but they rebelled agahist the Most High, and nrarped tenestrial 
domhdon, which tiiey maJntainfld fyt two thousand years. At length, 
Aaaol, or liuci&r, was sent against them and defeated them, over- 
throwing their mighty Idng Gian ben Gian, the founder of the pyramids ; 
whose magic buckler of talismanic virtue fell subse<iuently into the 
hands of King Solomon the Wise, giving him power over the spdls and 
Oharms of magicians and evil g^ The rebel tfkim, defeated aii& 

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hflfiriliafal, weve drfm into m obeeve eofser cC the eair^ Tlien H 
WM that God created wum, with leM dangenmt flMalties and powm, 
and gare him the world ibr a h abi t atkML 

The angels, aocof^ng to Xbd^n notions, were created from liAgbt 
gems, the genii from fire without smoike, and Adam from claf . 

Xahomd^ when, fai the serentf -seooBd chi^ter of the Koran, he al- 
lides to the Tisitatioa of the genii in the Taller of Naklah. nakee then 
give the fallowing frank aooovnt <tf themselTes :— > 

** We fonneiiy attempted to pry into wliat was transacting in hearen* 
tat we foond the same gnaided hj angels with ilaming darts ; and we 
act <m some of the seats thereof to hear the disooorse of its inhabttantst 
bat whoso listeneth now, Unds a flame prepared to goard the odestial 
ponflneB. There are some among aa who are Mo s lem s , and there art 
others who swenre from righteousness. Whoso embraoeth Tslamism 
seeketh the true direction ; bat those who swerre from righteousness 
thaU be ihel Ibr the flre of Jeheanam.* 


HHght Jomnejr of the prophet from Mecca to JefOMdeni ; and 
thence to tiie sefcnth heaven. 

As asylum being proTided £or Mahompt in the hooge of 
Ui^m Ibn Adi, <me of his disciples^ lie yentared to rettiin 
to Mecca. The gapematiiral visitation of ^enii in the 
valley of Naklah« -was soon ioUksmed by a vision or ieye» 
lation &p more extraordinaiT^ and wlnm has ever since re- 
sumed a th^ne of comment and ccmjeetore among devout 
Mahometans. We allnde to the famons ni^ j^™^'^ ^ 
JerasaTem, and thraice to the seventh heaven. The parti- 
cnlars of it, liioiigh. given as if in the very woras of 
Mahomet, rest merehr on tradition; some, However, cite 
textg OQvroborative or it, scattered here and there in the 

W^ do Tiot pretend to give this vision or revelation in 
its ampUtode and vnld extravagance, bat will endeavour t^ 
seise npon its most essential features. 

The night on which it occurred, is described as <me of 
the dazlcest and most awfully silent that had eret beea ' 
known. There was no crowing of cocks, nor barking of 
^bgs; BO Jiowling of wild beasts, nor hooting of owls. 
The very waters ceased to mnrmxir, and the winds to 
wystle; all nature seemed motionless and dead. In the 
mid-watches of the night, Mahomet was i^>used by a voice 
oying, ** Awake, thou sleeper !" The angel Gabriel stood 

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ibefore l^m. His forehead was clear and serene, his com* 
plexion white as snow, his hair floated on his shoulders ; he 
had wings of many dazzling hnes, and his robes were sown 
wiUi peaerls, and embroidered with gold. 

He brought Mahomet a white steed, of wonderful fomi 
and qualities, unlike any animal he had ever seen; and, in 
truth, it differs from any animal ever before described. It 
had a human face, but the cheeks of a horse: its eyes were 
as jacinths and radiant as stars. It had eagle's wings, all 
glittering with rays of light; and its whole form was re- 
splendent with gems and precious stones. It was a female, 
and firom its dazzling splendour and incredible Telocity was 
called Al Borak, or Lightning. 

Mahomet prepared to mount this supernatural steed, but 
as he extended his hand, it drew back and reared. 

" Be still, Oh Borak!" said Gabriel; '* respect the prophet 
of €rod. Neyer wert thou mounted by mortal man more 
honoured of Allah." 

" Oh Gabriel !" replied Al Borak, who at this time was 
miraculously endowed with speech; " did not Abraham of 
old, the friend of God, bestriae me when he yisited his son 
IshmaelP Oh Gabriel ! is not this the mediator, the inter- 
cessor, the author of the profession of faith?" 

'< Eyen so. Oh Borak, tnis is Mahomet Ibn Abdallah, of 
one of the tribes of Arabia the Happy, and of the true 
faith. He is cluef of the sons of Adam, the greatest of the 
divine legates, the seal of the prophets. All creatiures 
must haye his intercession before they can enter paradise. 
Heayen is on his right hand, to be the reward of ihose who 
belieye in him; the flre of Jehennam is on his left hand, 
into which all shall be thrust who oppose his doctrines." 

\' Oh Gabriel !" entreated Al Borak; '< by the faith ex- 
isting between thee and him, prevail on him to intercede 
for me at the day of the resuin^ction." 

**Be assured, Oh Borak!" exclaimed Mahomet, ''that 
through my intercession thou shalt enter paradise." 

No sooner had he uttered these words, than the animal 
approached and submitted to be mounted; then rising 
with Mahomet on its back, it soared aloft far above the 
mountains of Mecca. 

As they passed like li^tning between heaven and earth, 
Gabriel cned aloud, "Stop, Oh Mahomet! descend to 
the earth, and make the prayer with two inflections of tha 

Ihey alighted on the earth, and having made theprayer— 

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** 0% Mend andwell beloved of my soul!" said Maliomet ; 
^ why dost thou commaDd me to pray in this place?" 

*' iBecaxise it is Mount Sinai, on wnich Goa communed 
with Moses." 

Mounting aloft, they again passed rapidly between 
heayen and earth, nntil Gabriel called out a second time, 
" Stop, Oh Mahomet! descend, and make the prayer with 
two inflections." 

They descended, Mahomet prayed, and again demanded, 
*' Why didst thou command me to pray in this place?" 
• " Because it is Bethlehem, where Jesus the son of Mary 
was bom." 

^ They resumed their course through the air, until a 
yoice was heard on the right, exclaiming, *' Oh, Mahomel^ 
tarry a moment that I may sneak to thee; of all created 
beings I am most devoted to thee." 

But Borak pressed forward, and Mahomet forbore to 
tarry, for he felt that it was not with him to stay hii 
course, but with Gc(A the aU-powerful and glorious. 
' Anolher voice was now heard on the left, calling on 
Mahomet in like words to tarry; but Borak still pressed 
forward, and Mahomet tarried not. He now beheld before 
him a damsel of ravishing beauty, adorned with all the 
luxury and riches of the earth. She beckoned him with 
alluring smiles : " Tmj a moment. Oh Mahomet, that I 
may t^ with thee, x, who, of all beings, am the most 
devoted to thee." But still Borak pressed on, and Ma- 
homet tarried not ; considering that it was not with him to 
stay his course, but with God the all-powerful and glorious. 

Addressing himself, however, to Grtibriel, " What voices 
are those I have heard?" said he; "and what damsel ia 
this who has beckoned to me?" 

" The first. Oh Mahomet, was the voice of a Jew; hadst 
thou listened to him, all thy nation would have been won 
to Judaism. 

" Hie second was the voice of a Christian: hadst thou 
Iktened to him, thy people would have inclined to Chris- 

"Tie damsel was 1^ world, with all its riches, its 
vanities, and allurements; hadst thou listened to her, thy 
natiim wcmld have chosen the pleasures of this life, rather 
tban the bliss of eternity, and all would have been doomed 

. Continuing their aerial course, they arrived at the gate 
Of the holy temple at Jerusalem, where, alighting from AI 

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Borak, Mahomet fastened her to the rings where the pro- 
phets before him had fsistened h^. Then, entering tha 
temple, he found there Abraham, and Moses, and Isa 
(Jesus), and many more of the prophets. Afl;er he had 
prajed in ocmipany with them for a tone, a ladder of light 
was let down from heaven, nntil the lower end rested on 
the ShaJcra, or fonndation-stone of the sacred house, being 
the stone of Jacob. Aided bj the angel Grabriel, Mahomet 
ascended this ladder with the rapd%- of lightning. 

Being arriyed at the first heaven, Gabriel knocked at the 
gat e. Who is th^reP was demanded from within. CrabrieL 
Who is with thee P Mahomet. Has he received his mis- 
sionP He has. Then he is welcoine! and the gate waa 

This first heaven was of pure silver, and in its re- 
splendent vault the stars are suspended by chains of gold. 
Ill each star an angel is placed sentinel, to prevent the 
demons from scaling the sacred abodes. As Mahomet en* 
tered, an ancient man approached him, and Gabriel said, 
** Here is thy father Adam, pay him reverence." Ma- 
homet did so, and Adam embraced him, calling him the 
greatest among his children, and the first among the 

Sl this heaven were innumerable animals of all kinds, 
which Gabriel said were angds, who, under these forms, 
interceded with Allah for the various races of animals 
Tipon eartii. Among these was a cock of daazling white- 
ness, and of such marvellous height, that his crest touched 
the second heaven, though five hundred years' journey 
above the first. This wonderful bird sahited the ear of 
Allah each morning with lus melodious chant. All crea- 
tures on earth, save man, are awakened by his voice, and 
all the fowls of his kind chant hallelujahs m emulation of 
his note.* 

They now ascended to the second heaven. Gabriel, as 
before, knodced at the gate s the same questions and re- 
plies were exchanged ; the doof opened and they entered. 

• Then aft three to wldoii, my the Modem doeton, God ahntylm 
swUlfaig ear: thavoioe d him who leada the Koran; of him who 
praji for pardon ; and of this oock» who crowa to the gkxiy of the Moat 
Hi^. When the last daj is near. the7 add, Allah will hid tUa bird «a 
dose his wings and chant no more. Ihen all the oooka on earth iHl 
oease to crow, and their silence will he a sign that the great day oC 
lodgment is impoiding. 

The Ber. Dr. Humphrey Fkideavz, Dean of Korwioh, in hif LUb oC 

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This hearoA was all of poHsKed iteel, and ^*m1w^ 
gplendour. Here they found Noah, who, embracing Ma« 
luxmel^ liailed him aa the greatest among ike prophets. 

Aznred at the tiiird heaven, thej entered with the same 
enemonies. It was all studded with preokms stones, and 
too brilliant for mortal eyes. Here was seated an angel 
of immeasurable height, whose eres were serenty thon- 
sand days' journey apurt He nad at his oommand a 
hondred thonsand bat^dions of aimed men. Before him 
was spread a yast book, in which he was continnally 
^rriting and blotting out. 

*"R^ Oh Mahomet," said Gabriel, '*is Asrael, the 
angel of death, who is in the oonfidenoe of Allah. In tibye 
book before him he is ocmtmnally writing ihe names of 
those who are to be bom, and blotting out tibe names of 
those who hare hyed their allotted time, and idio, there- 
^nre, instantly die." 

They now mounted to the fourth heayen, formed of tiie 
finest silyer. Among Ihe aa^ds who inhabited it was one 
fiye hundred days' journey m height, ffis eoimtenanoe 
was kxTabled^'and riyers of tears ran fromhis eyes. '' This," 
said Grabriel, "is the angel of tean, appointed to weep 
iOffer the sins <^ the ehildiren of men, ana to pre^tict the 
cyilB whidi await them." 

The fifth heayen was ofthe finest gold. Here Mahcnnet 
was received by Aaron with embraces and congratulations. 
The ayenmng angel dwells in this heayen, and presides 
oyer the dement of fire. Of all the angels seen loj Ifik- 
homet, he was the most hideous and ternfic His yisage 
seemed of ccmper, and was coyered witii wens and warts. 
His eyes flashed lighlning, and he grasped a flaming lance. 
fie si^ <m a throne surrounded by flames, and before him 
was a heap of red-hot chains. Were he to alight upon 
earth in his true form, the mountains would be consumed, 
the seas dried up, and all the iohabitants would die with 
tenor. To him, and tiie angels his ministers, is in- 

lEihamet, aeenses him of luiTiiig ttolen ibis wondefftd cockfrom tbe 
Iraet Bata Barths of fhb Ba^ytoEnWi Tslamd, •• wbente,** my lie, -wt 
ksreattorrofsoeiiai^odigioBt Uid» eaUed Zif, wliidi, rtandincr with 
ttf fttit OB the eaith, leaeheth op to the heaTOM with his head, and 
with the ipreadhig d his wings dackeneth the whole orfo of the smw 
lad canaeth a total eclipse thereof This bird tiie ChaMee paraphrast 
on tho Psatans says is a cock, and that he erows beibre the Lord; and 
Oe ChaMee para^irast on Job teOs ns of his crowing eveiy morning 
» tbs Loid, and that God gtfeOi Ua wisdom ftr that poipose." 

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trusted the execntioii of divine yengeance on infidels and 

Leaving this awful abode, they mounted to the sixth 
heaven, composed of a transparent stone, called Hasala, 
which may oe rendered carbuncle. Here was a great 
angel, composed half of snow and half of fire ; yet the 
snow melted not, nor was the fire extinguished. Around 
him a choir of lesser angels continually exclaimed, " Oh 
Allah ! who hast united snow and fire, unite all thy fai^- 
ful servants in obedience to thy law." 

** This," said Gabriel, " is the guardian angel of heaven 
and earth. It is he who despatehes angels unto indivi- 
duals of thy nation, to incline them in favour of thy mis- 
sion, and call them to the service of Grod ; and he will con- 
tinue to do so until the day of resurrection." 

Here was the prophet Musa (Moses) who, however, in- 
stead of welcommg Mahomet with joy, as the other pro- 
phets had done, shed tears at sight of him. 

"Wherefore dost thou weepP" inquired Mahomet. 
*' Because I behold a successor who is destined to conduct 
more of his nation into paradise than ever I could of the 
backsliding children of Israel." 

Mounting hence to the seventh heaven, Mahomet was 
received by the patriarch Abraham. This blissful abode 
is formed of divine light, and of such transcendent glory 
that the toneue of man cannot describe it. One of its 
celestial inhabitants will suffice to give an idea of the rest. 
He surpassed the whole earth in magnitude, and had 
seventy thousand heads; each head seventy thousand 
mouths; each mouth seventy thousand tongues; each 
tonffue spoke seventy thousand different lan^ages, and 
aU mese were incessantly employed in chanting the praises 
of the Most High. 

While contemplating this wonderful being, Mahomet 
was suddenly transported aloft to the lotus-tree, called 
Sedrat, which flourishes on the right hand of the invisible 
throne of Allah. The branches of this tree extend wider 
than the distance between the sun and the earth. Angela 
more nxunerous than the sands of the sea-shore, or of the 
beds of aU the streams and rivers, rejoice beneath its 
shade. The leaves resemble the ears of an elephant; 
thousands of immortal birds sport among its branches, 
repeating the sublime verses of the Koran. Its fruits are 
milder man milk, and sweeter than honey. If all the 
creatures of Gbd were assembledi one of thesQ fruits would 

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be sufficient for their sustenance. Each seed incloses a 
houri, or celestial virgin, provided for the felicity of true 
believers. Erom this tree issue four rivers ; two flow into 
the interior of paradise, two issue beyond it, and become 
the Nile and Euphrates. 

Mahomet and his celestial ffuide now proceeded to AI 
Mamour, or the House of Adoration; formed of red 
jacinths or rabies, and surrounded by innumerable lamps, 
perpetually burning. As Mahomet entered the portal, 
three vases were o&red him, one containing? wine, another 
milk, and the third, honey. He took and drank of the 
vase containing milk. 

"Well hast thou done; auspicious is thy choice," ex- 
ckdmed Grabriel. " Hadst thou drunk of the wine, thy 
people had all gone astray." 

The sacred nouse resembles in form the Caaba at 
Mecca, and is perpendicularly above it in the seventh 
heaven. It is visited every day by seventy thousand 
angels of the highest order. They were at this very time 
making their holy circuit, and Mahomet, joining with 
them, walked round it seven times. 

Gabriel could go no further. Mahomet now traversed, 
quicker than thought, an immense space; passing through 
two regions of da^ding light, and one of profound dari^- 
ness. ±!merging &om this utter gloom, he was Med with 
awe and terror at finding himself m the presence of Allah, 
and but two bow-shots m>m his throne. The face of the 
Deity was covered with twenlir thousand veils, for it 
would have annihilated man to look upon its glory. He 
put forth his hands, and placed one upon the oreast and 
the other upon the shoulder of Mahomet, who felt a freez- 
ing chill penetrate to lus heart and to the very marrow Of 
his bones. It was followed by a feeling of ecstatic bhss, 
while a sweetness and fragrance prevailed around, which 
none can understand, but those who have been in the 
divine presence. 

Mahomet now received from the Deity himself, many 
of the doctrines contained in the Eoran: and fifty prayers 
were prescribed as the daily duty of all true believers. 

When he descended from the divine presence and acain 
met with Moses, the latter demanded what Allah had 
required. " That I should make fifty prayers every 

** And thinkest thou to accomplish such a task? I have 


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96 hfs ov kavoxbt. 

msde iiie experiment befoze tihee. I tried it mA. the 
children of Israel, but in Tain; return, tfaen^ and beg & 
dimimitfton of iJie task." 

Jlalioniet retnmed acoordingly, and obtained a diminu* 
tion of ten prayers; but when ne related bis suecess to 
Moees, Hie uttter made tlie same objection to tke daily 
amount of £otty. By bis adrice Mabomet returned re- 
peatedly, until the number was reduced to five. 

Moses still objected. "Thinkest thou to exact fi^o 
prayers dailjr from thy peopleP By AUab! I bare bad 
experience -with the children of Israelt and such a demand 
is vain; return, therefore, and entreat still further miti^ 
tion of the task." 

*' No," replied Mahomet, ^ I bare already adced iodiil- 

fence until 1 am ashamed." Willi these woxds he sainted 
Coses and dq)arted. 

By the ladder of light he descended to the temple of 
Jerusalem, where he found Boank fiEistened as be had left 
her, and mounting, was borne back in an instant to the 
place whenee he luid Sxst been taken. 

This account of the vision, or nootmnal j<rameT, ia 
chiefily aocoidzng to the words c^ the historians AbuHeda, 
Al Bokbari, and Abu BJomra, and is given mote at large 
in l&e life (^ Mabomet, by Gagnier. The joozney itsdf 
bas giFen rise to endless commentaries anddispates among 
tilie doctors. Some affirm tiiat it wae no more than a 
dream or vision of the ni^; and support their assertMm. 
by a tradition deriFed from Ayesha, the wife of Mabome^ 
wno dedaied that, on ihe jngtA in qnestioD, bis body re- 
mained perfeotty still, and it was enl^ in eprit that be 
made bis nocturnal joorn^. In giving tnis tradition, 
however, they did t^A consider that at <£e time the jour- 
ney was said to have taken place, Ayesha was suU a 
child, andi though espoused, had not beeome the wife of 

Others insist that be made the celestial joimk^ bodily, 
and that the whole was miracaloai^ effeoted in so short a 
•pace of time, Ihat, on his r^nm, he was aUe to prevent 
tine compete o>v«rL um of a vase cf wasbet, wbaeh the angel 
Ghibriel had strudc with his wing on his departore. 

Oihers say tibat Mahomet only pretended to have made 
the noetimud journey to the temple of Jerusalem, and 
that the subsequent ascent to heaven was a vision. Ae- 
aording to Ahmed ben Joseph, Ihe nootonial visife to the 

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iemple was tesfified by the patriardi of JensBalem himself. 
" At the time," sajs he, ^' tnat Mahomet sent an envoy to 
'^e emperor Heraclins, at Constantinople, inviting him to 
embrace lalamism, the patriardi was in the presmoe of 
the emperor. The enToy having related the nootnmal 
jonmey of the prophet, the patriarch was seized with 
astomsmnent, ana informed the emperor of a circmnstance 
coinciding with the narrative of the envoy. * It is my 
cnstom,' said he, 'never to retire to rest at night nntil I 
have fastened every door of the tenmle. On tiie night 
here mentioned, I closed them according to my cnstom, 
but there was one which it was impossible to move. Upon 
this, I sent for the carpenters, who, having inspected the 
door, declared that thelintel over tibe pOTtol, and the edi- 
fice itself, had settled to such a degree, that it was out of 
their power to dose the door. I was obliged, therefore, 
to leave it open. Eaidy in the morning, at the break of 
^y, I repaired thither, and behold, tl^ stone placed at 
ihe comer of the temple was perforated, and there were 
vestigeB of the place where AlBorak had been foBteaed. 
TQien, said I, to those present, this portal would not hare 
remained fixed xmless some prophet had been here to 

Traditions go on to say, that when Mahomet narrated 
hk noetnmal journey to a large assembly in Mecca, many 
marvelledTet beliei^ some were perplexed with doubt, 
bnttiifi fijoreishites laughed it to soom. "Thou sayest 
ihat thou hast been to the temple of Jerosalem," said Abu 
Jahl; *' prove the troth of thy words, by giving a desorip- 

.fbr aonoment Mahomet was embarrassed by the de- 
mand, for he had visited -die temple in the night, when its 
form was not discernible; suddenly, however, the angel 
Grabriel stood by his side, and placed before his eyes an 
exact impe of ike sacred edifice, so that he was enabled 
instantly to answer the most minute questionB. 

The story still transcended the belief even of some oi 
his disciples, until Abu Beker, seeing them wavering in 
their faim, and in danger of badcsHding, roundly vouched 
for the trutii of it; in reward for which suprport, Mahomet 
gave him the title of Al Seddek, or the Testifier to the 
Tsaih^ by which he was tiienceforth distinguished. 

As we have already observed, liiis nocturnal journey 

—^ almost eniarely upon tradition, though some of iti 
T 2 

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circumstances are vaffuely alluded to in the Koran. Tbe 
whole may be a fanciM superstructure of Moslem fanatics 
on one of these visions or ecstasies to* which Mahomet 
was prone, and the relation of which caused him to be 
stigmatized by the Koreishites as a madman. 


Kahomet makes conyerts of pilgrims lh>m Medina. — ^Determines to fly- 
to that city. — ^A plot to slay him. — His miraculous escape. — ^His 
Heghra, or flight. — His reception at Medina. 

The fortunes of Mahomet were becoming darker and 
darker in his native place. Cadijah, his original bene- 
factress, the devoted companion of his solitude and seclu- 
sion, the zealous believer in his doctrines, was in her 
grave; so abo was Abu Taleb, once his faitliful and efficient 
protector. Deprived of the sheltering influence of the 
latter, Mahomet had become, in a manner, an outlaw in 
Mecca; obliged to conceal himself, and remain a burthen 
on the hospitality of those whom his own doctrines had 
involved in persecution. If worldly advantage had been 
his object, how had it been obtained? Upwards of ten 
years had elapsed since first he annoimced his prophetic 
mission; ten long years of enmity, trouble, and misfortune. 
Still he persevered, and now, at a period of life when men 
seek to enjoj in repose the fruition of the past, rather 
than risk all m new schemes for the friture, we find him, 
after having sacrificed ease, fortune, and friends, pre- 
pared to give up home and country abo, rather than his 
religious creed. 

As soon as the privileged time of pilgrimage arrived, he 
emerged once more from his concealment, and mingled 
with the multitude assembled from all parts of Arabia. 
His earnest desire was to find some powerftd tribe, or the 
inhabitants of some important city, capable and willing to 
receive him as a guest, and protect hun in the enjoyment 
and propagation of his faith. 

His quest was for a time unsuccessM. Those who had 
come to worship at the Caaba drew back from a man 
•fttigmatized as an apostate; and the worldly-minded were 

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ttnwillmg to befriend one proscribed by the powerful of 
kis native place. 

At length, as he was one day preaching on the hill Al 
Akaba, a little to the north of Mecca, he drew the atten- 
tion of certain pilgrims from the city of Yathreb. This 
city, since called Medina, was about two hundred and 
seventy miles north of Mecca. Many of its inhabitants 
were Jews and heretical Christians. The pilgrims in 
question were pure Arabs of the ancient and powerful 
tribe of Khazradites, and in habits of friendly intercourse 
with the Keneedites and Naderites, two Jewish tribes 
inhabiting Mecca, who claimed to be of the sacerdotal 
line of Aaron. The pilgrims had often heard their Jewish 
friends explain the mysteries of their faith, and talk of an 
expected Messiah. Thev were moved by the eloquence 
of Mahomet, and struck with the resemblance of hit 
doctrines to ^ose of the Jewish law; insomuch that when 
they heard him proclaim himself a prophet, sent by heaven 
to restore the ancient faith, they said one to another, 
*' Surely this must be the promised Messiah of which we 
have been told." The more they listened, the stronger 
became their persuasion of the fact, until in the end they 
avowed their conviction, and made a final profession of the 

As the Khazradites belonged to one of the most power- 
ful tribes of Yathreb, Mahomet sought to secure their 
protection, and proposed to accompany them on their 
return; but they informed him that they were at deadly 
feud with the Awsites, another powerful tribe of that city, 
and advised him to defer his coming; xmtil they should b© 
at peace. He consented; but on the return home of the 
pilgrims, he sent with them Musab Ibn Omeir, one of the 
most learned and able of his disciples, with instructions to 
strengthen them in the faith, and to preach it to their 
townsmen. Thus were the seeds of Islamism first sown 
in the city of Medina. For a time they thrived but 
slowly. Musab was opposed by the idolaters, and his hfo 
threatened; but he persisted in nis exertions, and gradually 
made converts among the principal inhabitants. Among 
these were Saad Ibn Maads, a prince or chief of the 
Awsites; and Osaid Ibn Hodheir, a man of great authority 
in the city. Numbers of the Moslems of Mecca, also^ 
driven away by persecution, took refuge in Medina, and 
aided in propoj^ting the new faith among its inhabitants^ 
unti] it found its way into almost every household. 

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Feeling now assured of being able to give M&bomet ajk 
asylum in the city, upwards of seventy of the converts of 
Medina, led by Mnsab Ibn Omeir, repaired to Mecca witk 
iAie pilgrims in the holy month of the thirteenth year of 
** the mission," to invite him to take np his abode m their 
dty. Mahomet gav« them a midnight meeting on tiie hill 
Ai Akaba. His nnde Al Abbas, who, like the deceased 
Abu Taleb, took an affectionate interest in his welfare, 
though no convert to his doctrines, accompanied him ix> 
this secret conference, which he feared might lead him. 
into danger. He ^itreated the pilgrims from Medina not 
to entice his nephew to their city until more able to protect 
him: warning them that their open adoption oi the new 
£uth would bring all Arabia in arms against them. His 
warnings and entreaties were in vain — :a solenm compact 
was made between the parties. Mahom^ demanded that 
they should abjure idolatry, and worship the one true 
God opnenly and fearles^y. For himself he exacted obe* 
dience in weal and woe;, and for the disciples who might 
accompany him, protection; even such as they would 
render to their own wives and children. On these t&emB 
he offered to bind himsdf to remain amon^ them, to be 
the friend of l^eir friends, the enemy of meir enemies* 
" But, should we perish in your cause," asked they, " what 
will be our rewara?" " Paradise !" replied the prophet. 

The terms were accepted; the emissaries from Medina 
placed their hands in the hands of Mahomet, and swore to 
abide by the compact. The latter tiien singled out twelve 
from among them, whom he designated as his apostles ; in 
imitation, it is supposed, of the example of our Saviour. 
Just then a voice was heard from the summit of the hill» 
denouncing them as apostates, and menacang them with 
punishment. The sound of this voice, heard in the darkness 
of the T^o^t, inspired temporary dismay. " It is the voice of 
the fienolblis," said Mahomet, scomfally ; " he is the foe of 
Qod: fear him not." It was probably the voice of some 
spy or evesdroj^r of the £oreishites; for the very next 
morning they manifested a knowledge of what had taken 
place in the night; and treated the new confederates with 
great harshness as they were departing from the city. 

It was this early accession to the faith, and this timely 
aid proffered and subsequently afforded to Mahomet and 
his disciples, which procured for the Moslems of Medina 
the appellation of Ansanans, or auxiliaries, by which they 
were aSberwards distinguished. 

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After the dieiparfciire of the Aiiaaziaiis, and the e^^iratioii 
of the holy mcnith, the pMenecatkniB of the Moslems were 
Tesiuned with increased Tirnlenee, insomuch that Mahomet^ 
seeing a crisis was at hand, and being resolved to leatTB 
ike city, advised his adherents ^enerallj to provide for 
^eir safety. For himself he still lingered in Meoea wiUi. 
a few devoted followers. 

Abn Sofian, his implacaUefoe, was at this time gorentoc 
of liie dty. He was both incensed and alarmed at ^10 
^reading growth of the new faith, and held a meeting of 
the chief of the KoreiahbeB to devise some means of 
efiectoally putting a stop to it. ScMPe advised thatiAf ahomet 
should be banidied the city; but it was objected that Im 
might gain other tribes to his interest, or peshapt the 
people of Medina, and return at tlrair head to tauke hif 
revenge. Others proposed to watt him up in a dungeon^ 
and supply him with food until he died; but it was 
surmised that his finends mi^t ifSoct his escape. All 
these objections w«re raised oy a violent and pragmatieal 
old man, a stranger from the Brotrinoe of Nedia, who^ say 
the Moslem writers, was no other than the devil in disguise^ 
breathing his ntalignant spirit into those present. At 
lengtii it was dedamd by Abu JaU, that the <mly effectosl 
check on the growing evil was to put Mahomet to death. 
To this aJl agreed, ai^l as a means of sharing the odium of 
ike deed, and withstanding the ves^ance it might awaken 
among the relatives of the victim, it was arranged that a 
m^n^ of eadi family should ^unge his twoid into the 
body of Mahomet. 

It is to this conspiracy that allusion is made in the 
eidi^ chapter of the Koran. ''And call to mind how the 
unbelievers plotted agaiDst thee, that th^ might either 
detain thee m bonds, or put thee to death, or expel thee 
the city; but God laid a plot against tiiem; and €rod is the 
best layer of plots." 

In met, by the tune the mu r d erer s arrived before ^ 
dwelling of Mahomet^ he was apprised of the impendiag 
danger. As usual, the warning is attributed to the anj^ 
€rabriel, but it is probaUe it was given by some Korcidute^ 
less Uoody-minded than h» ccmfederates. It came just 
IB tme to save Mahomet &om ihe hands of his enoniea. 
They paused at his door, but hesitated toenter. Looking 
ihrou^ a crevice, they beheld, as they thought, Mahomet 
wrapt in his green mantle, and lying asleep on his couek 
Shey waited £ost a while, consoltmg whetharto fall on hkm, 

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72 XI7E 07 XAHOlISr. 

wkile sleeping, or wait luitil he shoiQd go foriik. At length, 
Ihey bnrst open the door and rushed toward the couch. 
The sleeper started up; but, instead of Mahomet, All 
stood before them. Ajna^ed and confounded, they de- 
manded, "Where is Mahomet?" " I know not," replied 
Ali, sternly, and walked forth; nor did any one venture 
to molest him. Enraged at the escape of their yictim, 
however, the Koreishites proclaimed a reward of a hun- 
dred camels to any one who should bring them Mahomet 
alive or dead. 

Divers accounts are given of the mode in which Mahomet 
made his ^escape from the house after the faithM Ali had 
wrapped himself in his mantle and taken his place upon 
the couch. The most miraculous account is, that he 
opened the door silently, as the Koreishites stood before 
it, and, scattering a handM of dust in the air, cast such 
blindness upon them, that he walked through the midst of 
them without being perceived. This, it is added, is con- 
firmed by the verse of the 30th chapter of the Koran: 
*' We have thrown blindness upon them, that they shall not 

The most probable account is, that he clambered over 
the wall in the rear of the house, by the help of a servant, 
who bent his back for him to step upon it. 

He repaired immediately to the house of Abu Beker, and 
they arranged for instant flight. It was ag]^eod that they 
should take refoge in a cave in Mount Thor, about an 
hour's distance n'om Mecca, and wait there untU they 
could proceed safely to Medina: and in the meantime the 
children of Abu Beker should secretly bring them food. 
Thev left Mecca while it was yet dark, making their way 
on K>ot by the light of the stars, and the day dawned as 
they found themselves at the foot of Mount Thor. Scarce 
were they within the cave, when they heard the sound of 
pursuit. Abu Beker, though a brave man, quaked with 
fear. "Our pursuers," said he, "are many, and we are 
but two." " Nay," replied Mahomet, " there is a third; 
God is with us 1" And here the Moslem writers relate a 
miracle, dear to the minds of all true believers. By the 
time, say they, that the Koreishites reached the mouth of 
the cavern, an acacia tree had sprung up before it, in the 

geon had made its nest, 

lole a spider had woven 
beheld these signs of 
sndisturbed quiet, they concluded that no one could recently 

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hxve entered the cavem; so they tonied awsj, andptmoed 
their search in another direction. 

Whether protected hy mirade or not, the fngitiTes 
remained for three dm undiscovered in the cave, and 
Asama, the daughter ot Ahu Beker, brought them food in 
the dusk of the evenings. 

On the fourdi dnj, when they presumed the ardour of 
pursuit had abated* the fugitives ventured forth, and set 
out for Medina, on camels which a servant of AJbu Beker 
had brought in the night for them. Avoiding the main 
road usuaSy taken by the caravans, they bent their course 
nearer to the coast of the Bed Sea. They had not pro- 
ceeded far, however, before they were overtaken by a 
troop of horse, headed by Soraka Ibn Malec. Abu Beker 
was again dismayed by the number of their pursuers; but 
Mahomet repeated the assurance, " Be not troubled ; Allah 
is with us." Soraka was a grim warrior, with shagged 
iron-gray locks, and naked sinewy arms rough with nair. 
As he overtook Mahomet, his horse reared and fell with 
him. His superstitious mind was struck with it as an 
evil sign. Mahomet perceived the state of his feelings, 
and by an eloquent appeal wrought upon him to such a 
degree, that Soraka, nJled with awe, entreated his foijgive- 
ness; and turning back with his troop, suffered him to 
proceed on his way unmolested. 

The fu^tives continued their journey without further 
interruption, until they arrived at Koba, a hill about two 
miles from Medina. It was a favourite resort of the in- 
habitants of the ci^, and a place to which they sent their 
sick and infirm, &r the aar was pure and salubrious. 
Hence, too, the city was supplied with fruit: the hill and 
its environs being covered with vineyards, and with ^ves 
of the date and lotus; with gardens producing citrons, 
oranges, pomegranates,* fi^^s, peaches, and apri^iyts; and 
being irrijgated with limpid streams. 

On arriving at this fruitful spot, Al Kaswa, the camel of 
Mahomet, crouched on her knees, and would go no further. 
The prophet interpreted it as a favourable sign, and de- 
termmea to remain at Koba, and prepare for entering the 
city. The place where his camel knelt is still pointed out 
hy pious Moslems, a mosque named Al Takwa having 
been built there to commemorate the circumstance. Some 
affirm ih&t it was actually founded by the prophet. A deep 
well is also shown in the vicinity, beside which Mahomet 
reposed imder the shade of the trees, and into which h» 

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dropped Ma seal rin^. It is belieyed still to remain there, 
andlias gireii sanctity to tke well; the waters of whkh are 
conducted by snbterra&eoxiB conduits to Medinae At 
!£oba he remained four days, readin g in the house of an 
Awsite named Golthnm Ibn Hadem. While stihis yilkge 
he was joined by a distinguished chief, Bor^da Irai 
Hoseib, with serenty MlowerS) all of the tribe of Saham. 
These made profession of faith between the hands (^ 

Another renowned proselyte who repaired to the prophet 
at this village, was Sabnaa al Parsi (or the Persian). He 
is said to hare been a native of a sniaJl plaee near Ispahan^ 
and that, on passing one day by a Cnristian church, he 
was so nmch strack by the devotion of the people, and 
the solenmilrfr of the wcnrship, that he became disgusted 
with the idolatrous faith in wmch he had been brou^t upw 
He afterwards wandered about the east, from city to city, 
and convent to convent, in quest of a religion, until an 
ttident monk, fail of years and infirmities, told him of a 
prophet who had arisen in Arabia to restore the pure faith 
of Abraham. 

This Sahnan rose to -power in after years, and was 
related by the unbelievers of Mecca to have assisted 
Mahomet m compiling his doctrine. This is alluded to in 
the sixteenth chapter of the Koran. " Verily, the idolaters 
say, that a certaon man assisted to compose the Koran; but 
the language of this man is Ajami (or Persian), and the 
Koran is indited in the pure Arabian tongue."* 

The Moslems of Mecca, who had ta£:en refuge seme 
time before in Medina, hearing that Mah<Hnet was at hand^ 
came forth to meet hun at Kohst; among these was the 
early convert, Talha, and Zobeir, the nephew of Cadijah. 
These, se^g the travel-stained garments of Mahomet and 
Abu Beker, gave them white mantles, with which to make 
their entrance into Medina. I^umbers of the Ansarians^ 
or auxiliaries,' of Medina, who had made th^ compact 
with Mahomet in the praoeding year, now hast«Ekea to 
renew their vow of fidehty. 

Learning firom them that the number of proselytes ia 

* The rtDOwned and learned Hvapbrej Prideanx, IH>etor of Bhriniftf 
and Dean of Norwich, in his Life of Mahomet, ccHifsunds this Sahnaa 
tiie Persian with Abdallah Ibn Salam, a learned Jew ; by some called 
Abdias Ben Salan in the Hebrew dialect, and by others Abdallah Salen ; 
Who is aceosed by Christian writers of assistinv Mahownt in ftbticating 
1m rtvflattonab 

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ike dtf was rapidly augmenting, and that there was a 
gpnerai dispcwntion to receive him &yoiirably, he appointed 
Friday, the Mosl^n sabbath, tiie sixteendi day of the 
month E>abi, for his public entrance. 

Accordingly, on the morning of that day he assembled 
all his followers to prayer; and after a sermon, in which he 
expoimded the mam principles of his faith, he mounted his 
camel Al Kaswa, and set forth for that city which was to 
become renowned in after ages as his city of reftige. 

Boreida Ibn al Hoseib, with his seventy horsemen of the 
tribe of Sabam, jiccompanied him as a guard. Some of the 
disciples took turns to hold a canopy of palm-leaves over 
liis head, and by his side rode Abu Beker. " Oh apostle 
of Gt)dr' cried Boreida, "thou shalt not enter Medinft 
without a standard;" so saying, he unfolded his turban, 
and tving (me end of it to we point <^ his lance, bore it 
aloft Defore the prophet 

The city of Medina was fair to approach, beiiiff extolled 
for beauty of siti^ktion, salubrity ca dimate, and fertility 
of soil; for the luxuriance of iti palm-trees, and tli^ 
fragrance of its shrubs and flowers. At a shc^ distance 
from the city a crowd of new proselytes to the faith came 
ibrdi in sun and dust to meet the cavalcade. Most of 
them had never seen Mahomet, and paid reverence to Abu 
B^er through mistake; but the latter put aside the screen, 
of palm-leaves, and pointed out the real object of homage, 
who was greeted wiik loud acclamations. 

In this way did Mahomet, so reeently a fugitive itom 
his native ciiy^ with a price upon his head, enter Medina^ 
more as a conqueror in triumi^ than an exile seeking an 
asylum. He alighted at the house of a £hairadite, named 
Abu Ayub, a devout Modem, to whom moreover h& was 
distantly related; here he was hospitably received, and 
took up lus abode in the basement story. 

Shortly after his arrival he was joined by the faithful 
Ali, who had fled from Mecca, and journeyed on foot, 
hiding imnself in the day and travelling only at night, lest 
he should fl&ll into the hands of the Koreishites. He 
arrived weary and wayworn, his feet bleeding with the 
JQ Ugh ness of the joxomey. 

Within a few days more came Ayesha, and the rest of 
Abu Beker*s household, tog[ether with the fiemiiH^ of Ma- 
homet, conducted by his faithful freedman Zeid, and by 
Abu Beker's servant Abdallah. 

Such is the story of ilie memorable Hegira, or " Flight 

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of the prophet;" — ^the era of the Arabian kalendar from 
which time is calculated by all true Moslems: it corre« 
sponds to the 622iid year of the Chnstioa era. 


MeslemB in Medina, MohaAJerins and Ansarians. — The party of Abdallah 
Ibn Obba and the Hypocrites. — ^Mahomet builds a mosque ; inreaches ; 
makes converts among the Christians. — The Jews slow to belieye.-— 
Brotherhood established between fiigitiyes and allies. 

Mahomet soon fonnd himself at the head of a ntunerotis 
and powerM sect in Medina; partly made up of those of 
his disciples who had fled from Mecca, and were thence 
called MTohadjerins, or Fugitives, and partly of inhabitants 
of the ^laee, who on joining the faith were called Ansarians 
or Auxiliaries. Most of these latter were of the powerfol 
tribes of the Awsites and Khazradites, which, though de- 
scended from two brothers, Al Aws and Al Eliazraj, had 
for a hundred and twenty years distracted Medina by their 
inyeterate and mortal feuds, but had now become united 
in the bonds of faith. With such of these tribes as did 
Bot immediately adopt his doctrines he made a covenant. 

The Blhazradites were very much under the sway of a 
prince or chief, named AbdaUah Ibn Obba; who, it is said, 
was on the point of being made king, when the arrival of 
Mahomet, and the excitement caused by his doctrines, 
gave the popular feeling a new direction. Abdallah was 
stately in person, of a graceful demeanour, and ready and 
eloquent tongue ; he professed ^eatMendship for Maho- 
met, and with several compamons of his own type and 
character, used to attend the meetings of the Moslems. 
Mahomet was captivated at first by their personal appear- 
ance, their plausible conversation, and iheir apparent de- 
ference; but he found in the end that Abdallah was jealous 
of his popularity, and cherished secret animosity against 
him, and that lus companions were equally false in their 
pretended friendship ; nence he stamped them with the 
name of " The Hypocrites." AbdaUah Ibn Obba long 
continued his political rival in Medina. 

Being now enabled publicly to exercise his faith and 
preach his doctrines, Mahomet proceeded to erect a mosque. 
The place chosen was a graveyard or burying ground. 

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sliaded by date-trees. He is said to have been guided in 
his choice by what lie considered a favourable omen; his 
camel haying knelt opposite to this place on lus public 
entry into iSxe city. The dead were removed, and the 
trees cut down to make way for the intended edifice. It 
was simple in form and structure, suited to the unostenta- 
tious religion which he professed, and to the scanty and 
precarious means of its votaries. The walls were of earth 
and brick ; the trunks of the palm-trees recently felled, 
served as pillars to support the roof, which was muned of 
their branches and thatched with their leaves. It was 
about a hundred ells square, and had three doors ; one to 
the south, where the Eebla was afterwards established, 
another called the gate of Gabriel, and the third the gate 
of Mercy. A part of the edifice, called Sofiat, was assigned 
as a habitation to such of the believers as were without a 

Mahomet assisted with his own hands in the construc- 
tion of this mosque. With all his foreknowledge, he little 
thought that he was building his own tomb and monu- 
ment : for iu that edifice his remains are deposited. It has 
in after times been repeatedly enlarged and beautified, but 
still bears the name Mesjed al Nebi (the Mosque of the 
Prophet), from having been founded by his bauds. He 
was for some time at a loss in what manner his followers 
should be summoned to their devotions ; whether with- the 
sound of trumpets, as among the Jews, or by lighting fires 
on high places, or by the s&iking of timbrels. Wmle in 
this perplexity, a form of words to be cried aloud, was 
suggested bv Abdallah, the son of Zeid, who declared that 
it was revealed to him in a vision. It was instantly adopted 
by Mahomet, and such is given as the origin of the follow- 
ing summons, which is to this day heard from the lofty 
mmarets throughout the East, calling the Moslems to the 
place of worship: **Qod is great! God is great! There 
18 no €rod but God. Mahomet is the apostle of God. 
Come to prayers ! come to prayers ! God is ^at ! God 
is great ! There is no God but God." To which at dawn 
of dav is added the exhortation, " Prayer is better than 
sleep I Prayer is better than sleep !" 

liVerything in Hus humble mosque was at first con- 
ducted with great simplicity. At night it was lighted up 
by splinters of the date-tree; and it was some time before 
luQps and oil were introduced. The prophet stood on the 
ground and preached, leaning with his back against the 

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tnmk of one of the date-trees, which Beired tm pallara. H« 
afterwardfi had a pnlpit or tribune erected, to whidi he 
ascei^ed by three steps, so as to be eleyid»d aboye 
the oongreffation. Tradition asserts, that idien he fbnt 
ascended tnis pnlpit, the deserted date-tree uttered a 
groan ; wberenpon, as a consolation, he ^ve it the choice 
either to be transplanted to a garden again to flonndi, or 
to be transferred to paradise, there to yield £ruit, in after 
life, to tme believers. The date-tree wisely dbiose die 
latter, and was subsequently buried beneath the pulpit, 
there to await its blissM resurrection. 

Mabomet preached and prayed in the pulpifc, sometimes 
flitting, sometimes standing and leaning on a staff, ffis 
precepts as yet were all peaceful and benignant, inculcat- 
ing devotion to God and numanity to man. He seems to 
have emxdated for a time the benignity of the Christian 
£Edth. *' He who is not affectionate te God's creatures, 
and to his own children," would he say, ** Gtod will not be 
^affectionate te him. Every Moslem who clothes the naked 
of his faith, will be clothed by Allah in the green robes of 

In one of his traditional sermons transmitted br his dis- 
ciples, is the following apologue on the subject oi chanty : 
''When God created the earth it shook and trembled^ 
imtil he put mountains upon it, to make it fbm. Then the 
xngels asked, ' Oh God, is there anytiiing of thy creation 
stronger than these mountains P' And (^od replied, ' Iron 
is stronger tiban the mountains ; for it breaks them.' ' And 
is there anything of thy creation stronger than iron?* 
* Yes ; fire is stronger than iron, for it mehs it.' * Is there 
anythmg of thy creation stronger than fireP' *Yes; 
water, for it quenches fire.' ' Oh Lord, is there anything 
of thy creation stronger than water P* ' Yes, wind; for it 
overcomes water and puts it in motion.' ' Oh, our Sus- 
tainer! is there anythmg of thy creation stronger than 
wind P* * Yes, a good man giving ahns ; if he give with 
his right hand ana conceal it from his left, he overcomes 

His definition of charity embraoed tiie wide circle of 
kindness. Every good act, he would say, is charity. 
Your smiling in your brother's hee is chanty; an exhor- 
tation of your fellow man to virtuous deeds is equal to 
•ahns-gtying ; your putting a wanderer in the right road 
is (parity ; your assisting the blind is charity ; your re- 
moving stones and thorns and other obstroetions from 

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ike load is cliarity ; yoor gmng Tvmt^ to the tfaintj it 

" A man's true wealth hereafter is the ffood he does in 
iMs world to his £^low mao. When he cues, pe^le will 
any. What -property has he left bdiind himP ^ut the 
a^ek, who examine him in the grare, will ask, * What 
good deeds hast thon sent before thee P* " 

*'<!^ prc^^ietr' said one oi his disciples, "mj mother, 
Omm-Said, is dead; what is the best alms I can send for 
the good of her soul?" " Water!" replied Mahomet, be- 
iJiinSinghimself of the panting heats of the desert. "Dig 
a weUrar her, and gire water to ihe thirsty." The man 
di^ed a well in his mother's name, and said, '' This well 
isTOT mj mother, liiat its rewards may reach her sooL" 

C9iarity of the tcmgne, also, tliat most important and 
least cnltivated of cli^ties, was likewise earnestly incul- 
cated bf Mahomet. Abu Jaraiya, an inhabitant of Basrah, 
coming to Medina, and being nersoaded of the asostoHcal 
office of Mahomet, entreated or him some great nue of oon- 
daet. ** Speak evil of no one," answered the prcmhet. 
** Erom thid; time," says Abn Jaraiya, " I never did abuse 
any one, whether freeman or slaive." 

The rules of IslamiBm extended to the comrtesies c^life. 
Make a Bdhsoi (or salutation) to a house on entering and 
leaving it. Betam the salute of friends and acquaantanoea, 
and wayfarers on tibie road. He who rides must be the 
first to make the salute to him who walks ; he who wilka 
to him who is sitting ; a anaXL party to a hffge party; and 
tibe young to the old. 

Cm the arrival of Mahomet at Medina, some of the 
Christians of the city promptly enrolled themselves among 
his followers ; they were prollably of those sectarians who 
heUd to the human nature of Christ, and found nothing 
repugnant in Islamism, which venerated Christ as the 
greatest among the prophets. The rest of the Christians 
resident there showed but little hostility to the new 
faith, e^isideiing it far better than the old idolatry. In- 
deed, the schisms and bitter dissensions among the Chris- 
tians of the East had impaired their orthodoxy, weakened 
their zeal, and disposed them easily to be led away by new 

The Jews, of which there were rich and powerful £uiii- 
hes in Medina and its vicinity, showed a less favonrakde 
disposition. With some of them Mahomet made cove- 
nants of peace, and trusted to gain them in time to accept 

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Idm as their promised Messiah or prophet. Biased, per- 
haps unconsciously, by such views, he had modelled many 
of nis doctrines on the dognuus of their religion, and ob- 
served certain of their fasts and ordinances. He allowed 
such as embraced Islamism, to continue in the observance 
of iheir Sabbath, and of several of the Mosaic laws and 
ceremonies. It was the custom of the different religions 
of Ihe East, to have each a Kebla or sacred point, towards 
which they turned their faces in the act of adoration; the 
Sabeans towards the North Star; the Persian fire-wOT- 
shipper towards the east, the place of the rising sun ; the 
Jews towards their holy city of Jerusalem. Hitherto Ma- 
homet had prescribed nothmg of the kind : but now, out 
of deference to the Jews, he made Jerusalem the Kebla, 
toward which all Moslems were to turn their faces when in 
pr aye r. 

WMle new converts were daily made among the inha- 
bitants of Medina, sickness and discontent began to pre- 
rajl amon^ the fiigitives from Mecca. The^ were not 
accustomed to the climate; many sufifered n*om fevers, 
and in their sickness and debilify languished after the 
home whence they were exiled. 

To give them a new home, and link them closely with 
their new friends and allies, Mahomet established a bro- 
therhood between fifty-four of them and as many of the 
inhabitants of Medina. Two persons thus linked together, 
were pledged to stand by each other in weal and woe; it 
was a tie which knit their interests more closely even than 
that of kindred, for they were to be heirs to each other 
in preference to blood relations. 

This institution was one of expediency, and lasted only 
until the new comers had taken nrm root in Medina ; ex- 
tended merely to those of the people of Mecca who had 
fled from persecution ; and is ailuaed to in the following 
verse of the eighth chapter of the Xoran : " They who 
have believed and have fled their country, and employed 
their substance and their persons in flghtmg for the faiUv 
and they who have given tne prophet a refuge among them, 
and have assisted him, these shall be deemed the one 
nearest of kin to the other." 

In this shrewd, but simple way, were laid the founda- 
tions of that power which was soon to attain stupendous 
strength, and to shake the mightiest empires of the worlds 

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Marriage of Mahomet with Ayesha. — Of his daoghter Fatima with AUd— > 
Their household arrangements. 

The family relatdons of Mahomet liad been mack brokea 
up by tlie hostility brought upon him by his religious 
zeal. His daughter Sokaia was still an exile with her 
husband, Othm^ Ibn Affan, in Abyssinia ; his daughter 
Zeinab had remained in Mecca with her husband, Abul 
Aass, who was a stubborn opposer of the new faith. The 
family with Mahomet in Medina consisted of his recently 
wedded wife Sawda, and Fatima and Um Coliiium, daugh- 
ters of his late wife Cadijah. He had a heart prone to 
affection, and subject to female influence, but he had never 
entertained much love for Sawda; and though he always 
treated her with kindness, he felt the want of some one to 
supply the place of his deceased wife Cadijah. 

" Oh Omar," said he one day, " the best of man's 
treasures is a virtuous woman, who acts by God's orders^ 
and is obedient and pleasing to her husband : he regards 
lier personal and mental beauties with delight: when he 
orders her to do anyiJiin^ she obeys him; and when he 
is absent she guards his right in property and honour." 

He now turned his eyes upon nis betrothed spouse 
Ayesha, the beautiful daughter of Abu Beker. Two years 
had elapsed siace they were betrothed, and she had now 
attained her ninth year; an infantine age it would seem, 
though the female form is wonderfully precocious in the 
quickening climates of the East. Their nuptials took 
place a few months after titieir arrival in Medina, and were 
celebrated with great simpliciiy; the wedding supper was 
of milk, and ike dowry of the bride was twelve okk of 

The betrothing of Fatima, his youngest daughter, witih 
Ills loyal disciple Ali, followed shortfy after, and liieir 
marriage at a somewhat later period. Fatima was be- 
tween flfteen and sixteen years of age, of great beauty, 
and extolled by Arabian writers as one of the four perf^ 
women with whom Allah has deigned to bless the earth. 
The age of Ali was about twenly-two. 

Heaven and earth, say the Moslem writers, joined in 
paying honour to these happy espotisals. Medina resounded 

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with festivity, and blazed with Oluiniiiations, and the at* 
mosphere was laden with aromatic odours. As Mahomet, 
on the nuptial night, eonducted his daughter to her bride- 
groom, heaven sent down a celestial pomp to attend her: 
on her right hand was the archangel Grabrid^ on her left 
was Michael, and she was followed by a train of seventy- 
thousand angels, who all night kept watch round the man- 
sion of the youtibidl pair. 

Such are the vaunting exaggerations with which Mos- 
lem writers are prone to over&y every event in the history 
of the prophet, and destroy the real grandeur of his career, 
which consists in its simpheity. A more reliable account 
states that the wedding roast was of dates and olives; that 
the nuptial couch was a sheep-skin; that the portion of 
the bnde ccmsisted of two skirts, one head-tire, two silver 
armlets, one leathern pillow stuffed with palm-leaves, one 
beaker or drinking cup, one handmill, two large jars for 
water, and one pitcher. All this was in unison with the 
simplicity of .^jrab housekeemng, and with the eircum- 
stances of the married cou^e; and to raise the dowry 
required of him, AJi, it is said, had to sell several camels 
«ad some shirts of niail. 

The style of living of the prophet himself was not supe- 
rior to that of his disciple. Ayesha, speaking of it in 
after years, observed: " For a wh<de month together we 
did not light a £re to dress victuals; our food was nothing 
but dates and water, unless any one sent us meait. The 
people of the prophet's household never got wheat-bread 
two successive days." 

His food, in general, was dates and barley-bread, with 
milk and hxmej. He swept his chamber, lit his fire, 
mended his clothes, and was, in fact, his own servant^ 
Poreach of his two wives he provided a separate house 
adjoining the mosque. He resided with them by turns, 
but Avesha ever remained his favourite. 

Manomet has been extoUed by Moslem writers for the 
chastity of his eariv life; and it is remarkable that, with 
all the plurality ojr wives indulged in by the Arabs, and 
which he permitted himself in subsequent years, and wit^ 
all that constituticmal fondness which he evinced for the 
sex, he remained single in his devotion to Cadijah to her 
dying day, never givmg her a rival in his house, nor in his 
heart. Even the fresh and budding charms of Ayesha, 
which soon assumed such empire over him, could not 
cbhterate the deep and mingled feeling of tenderness and 

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^fstitode for Ids esrh- benefactress. Ayeslia was piqued 
OBe daj flk lieanng lum indalge in tiiese food recollec- 
tkHis: ''Oh, apostie of God, demsnded the jouthM 
beautf, **wm not Gadi|ah stridc^a m yean? Has not 
Allah giren thee a better wife in her steadF*' 

" l^&rerV exdaimed Mahomet, with an honest burst 
of feeling — ^merer did God attve me a better ! When I 
was poor,, she eniiGhed me; when I was pronooneed a liar, 
aike EelieTed in me; wkm I was opposed bj all the worlds 
d&e remaiBed true to me ! '' 


The swopj annmwnBd as the imtwrnMnt af ftittL — Tkttfiin^agaiiMt 
tbe Koraithitae.— Swyiaai of a oaravaa. 

Wb come now to an important era in the eareer of Ma«- 
komet. Hitherto he had rehed on avgumcait and pmua^ 
sion to make^voeeljtes;. enjoiBed the same en his disciples. 
His exhortatKNas to them to bear with patienee^ and long- 
su^erinc the violence of their enemies^ ahnost envalated 
the meek precept of oax Sainoar, " if thej smke thee on 
the one eneek, turn to Ihem the other also." He no^r 
amred at a point where he completely diveffged from the- 
c^stial smut of the Christian doeteines, and stamped hia 
religion with the alloy of fiJlible mortidity. His Jumum 
nature was not ca§pable of maintaining the sabhme for- 
bearance he had hitherto inculcated. Thirteen years of 
meek endurance had beeai rewarded by northing but agsfra* 
vated injury ai^ insult. His greatest persecut(»B had 
been those of his own tribe, tl^ Xoreisnites, especially 
those of the rival line of Abd Schems; whose vindictive 
chief, Abu Sofiai^ had now the sway at Mecca. By their 
virulent hostility his fortunes had be^i Idasted; his fomilT 
degraded, impoverished, and dispersed, and he himself 
dnven into ^ile. AU &is he might have continued to 
bear with invduntary meekness, had not the means of 
retaliation unexpectedly sprung up within hk reach. He 
had come to Medina a^ fugitive seddng an ai^lum, and 

craving merely a qidet home. In a httle while, and pro- 
bably to his own surprise, he found an army ab his com- 
mand: for among the many converts daily maoe in Medina, 
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the foffitiyes flocking to liim from Mecca, and proselytes 
from the tribes of the desert, were men of resolute spirit, 
sldlled in the use of arms, and fond of partisan warfore. 
Human passions and mortal resentments were awakened 
by this sadden accession of power. They mingled with 
that zeal for religions reform, which was snll his predomi- 
nant motive. In the exaltations of his enthusiastic spirit 
he endeavoured to persuade himself, and perhaps dia so 
effectually, that the power thus placed within his reach 
was intended as a means of effecting his great purpose, 
and that he was called upon by divine command to use it. 
Such, at least, is the purport of the memorable manifesto 
which he issued at this epoch, and which changed the 
whole tone and fortunes of his faith. 

" Different prophets," said he, " have been sent by God 
to illustrate his different attributes: Moses his clemency 
and providence; Solomon his wisdom, majesty, and glory; 
Jesus Christ his righteousness, omniscience, and power; — 
his righteousness by purity of conduct; his omniscience 
by the knowledge he msplayed of the secrets of all hearts; 
his power by the miracles he wrought. None of these 
attributes, however, have been sufficient to enforce convic- 
tion, and even the miracles of Moses and Jesus have been 
treated with unbehef. I, therefore, the last of the pro- 
phets, am sent with the sword ! Let those who promul- 
gate my faith enter into no argument nor discussion; but 
slay all who refuse obedience to the law. Whoever fights 
£or the true faith, whether he fall or conquer, will as- 
suredJy receive a glorious reward." 

" The sword," t^ded he, "is the key of heaven and heU; 
all who draw it in the cause of the faith will be rewarded 
with tem})oral advantages; every drop shed of Iheir blood, 
every peril and hardship endured by them, wiU be regis- 
tered on high as more meritorious than even fiEusting or 
praying. It they fall in battle, their sins will at once be 
blottea out, and they 'will be transported to paradise, 
there to revel in eternal pleasures in the arms of black- 
eyed houris." 

Predestination was brought to aid these belligerent 
doctrines. Every event, according to the Koran, was pre- 
destined from eternity, and could not be avoided. No 
man could die sooner or later than his allotted hour, and 
when it arrived, it would be the same, whether the angel 
of death should find >iiTn in the quiet of his bed, or amid 
Ihc storm of battle. 

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Such were the doctrines and revelations which conrerted 
Islamism of a sudden from a religion of meekness and phi- 
lanthropy, to one of violence and the sword. Thev were 
peculiarly acceptable to the Arabs, harmonizing with their 
nabits, and encouraging their predatory propensities. Yir* 
tuaUy pirates of the c&sert, it is not to be wondered at 
that, after this open promulgation of the Eeliffion of the 
Sword, they should flock in crowds to the standard of the 
prophet. Still no violence was authorized by Mahomet 
agamst those who should persist in unbelief, provided they 
should readily submit to his temporal sway, and agree to 
pay tribute; and here we see the nrst indication of worldly 
ambition and a desire for temporal dominion dawning upon 
his mind. Still it will be found, that the tribute thus ex- 
acted was subsidiary to his ruling passion, and mainly 
expended by him in the extension of tne futh. 

The first warlike enterprises of Mskhomet betray the 
lurking resentment we have noted. They were directed 
against the caravans of Mecca, belonging to his implacable 
^lemies the Koreishites. The three firat were headed by 
Mahomet in person, but without any material result. The 
fourth was confided to a Moslem, named Abdallah Ibn 
Jasch: who was sent out with eight or ten resolute fol- 
lowers on the road toward Soulh Arabia. As it was now 
the holy month of Badjab, sacred from violence and 
rapine, Abdallah had sealed orders, not to be opened 
xmtil the third day. These orders were vaguely yet signi- 
ficantly worded. Abdallah was to repair to the valley of 
I^aklan, between Mecca and Tayef (the same in which 
Mahomet had the revelation of tne Gemi), where he was 
to watch for an expected caravan of the Koreishites. 
" Perhaps," added the letter of instructions shrewdly, — 
''perhaps thou mayest be able to bring us some tidmgs 

Abdallah understood the true meaning of the letter, and 
acted up to it. Arrivinj^ in the valley of Naklah, he de- 
scried tne caravan, consistine; of several camels laden with 
merchandise, and conducted by four men. Following it 
at a distance, he sent one of his men, disguised as a pil- 
gim, to overtake it. From the words of the latter the 
£orei8hite8 supposed his companions to be like himself, 
pilgrims bouna to Mecca. Beside, it was the month of 
lUdjab, when the desert might be travelled in security. 
Scarce had they come to a halt, however, when Abdallah 
and his comrades fell on them; killed one and took two 

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M tIfS 07 XAHOiaBT. 

.pdsonen; tbe fonrtili escaped. I!ie Tictors iJien retonied 
to Medina witli tlieir pneoners and booty. 

All Medina waa scandalized at ttus breacli of the lioly 
month. Mahomet, &ding i^at he had Tentared too far* 
pretended to be asngry 'wim AbdaUah, and refosed to take 
Hie diare of ^lae bocrty offered to him. Confiding in the 
Tagneness oS his instrnddoiifi, he isBifftedthat he had not 
commanded AbdaOah to shed blood, or eosEunit any ykv 
lence dmdng the holy nion^. 

The damour stili eontinning, and being eehoed hy the 
Xcnreishitefi of Mecca, prodncS the following passage of 

"They will ask thee oonoeming the £Bcred monith, 
wh^herih^ may make war therein. Aoswer: To war 
theorein is ^evons; but to deny God, to bar tike path of <jk»d 
against his people, to drire true belieFera from his holy 
tempie, and to worship idols, are sins £ar moze grievous 
than to kill in "flie holy months.*' 

Having thus prodaimed divine sanction for the deed, 
Mahomet no long^ hesitated to taikehis share of the booty. 
fie delivered one of the prisoners on ransom; the other 
embraced Tfilamiflm. 

The above pafisaee of the Koran, however satas&ctory ib 
may have been to aevout Moslems, will scaroety serve to 
exculpate their prophet in the eyes of the promne. The 
es^emtioa o£ Abdalkh Ibn Jasch was a sad pradical 
illustration of the new religion of the sword. It contem- 
plated not m^ely an act of idunder and revenge, a venial 
act in the eyes of Arabs, andjusti£ed by Ihe new doctrinee 
hf being exercised afainstihe enemies of the £uth, but an 
outra^ also on the noly month, that period saxnred from 
time mmieanc^ial against violence and bloodshed, and 
which Mahomet himsdf prc^essed to hold in reverence. 
The craft and secrecy also with which the whole was 
devised and conducted, the sealed le^r of instructions to 
Abdallab, to be opened only at the end of three days, at 
the scene of projected outrage, and couched in language 
vague, equivocal, yet sufiicieBtly significant to the agent; 
aU were m direct opjBOsitioii to ihe ooi^uct of Mahomet 
in the earher part cuLhis career, when lie dared openlv to 
pursue the path of dutnr ''though the sun shoida be 
arrayed against him on tne right hand, and the moon on 
the left; " all showed that he was conscious of the turpitude 
of the act he was authorizing. T Tiff disavowal of the 
violence committed by AbdaUahf yet his bringing the 

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THB SmZX 0¥ BKDBB. 97 

SccBn to Ms aid to enaMe liim to profit hy it witli impu- 
nity, give still darker ^ades to uiis transaotioa; which 
aitogcShiOr shows how immediately and widely he went 
wrong the moment he departed from the benevolent spirit 
of Omistianity, which he at first endeavonred to emobte. 
Worldly pwsionB and worldly intecests were fast getting 
^e asoendenoy over that lehgioiis enthusiasm which first 
inspired him. As has well been observed, "the first 
drop of blood lAted in his name in the Holy Week, dis- 
played him a, man, in whom the slime of earth had 
^enched the hoi^ fiame of projAecy/* 


Tbe Battle of Beder. 

Ik the seccmd year of the He^ira Mahomet received in- 
telligence that his arch foe, Aou Sofian, with a troop of 
&rdy horsemen, was conducting back to Mecca a caravan 
of a thousand camels, laden with the merchandise of Syria. 
Their route lay through the country of Medina, between 
&e range of mountams and the sea. Mahomet deter- 
mined to intercept them. About the middle of the month 
Hamadhan, therefore, lie sallied forth with three hundred 
and fourteen men, of whom eighty-three were Mohadjenns^ 
or exiles from Mecca; sixty-one Awsites, and a hundred 
and seventy Xhazradites. Each troop had its own banner. 
Ihere were but two horses in this little army,* but there 
were seventy fleet camels, which the troop mounted by 
turns, so as to make a rapid march without much fatigue. 
Othman Ibn Afian, the son-in-law of Mahomet, was 
now returned with his wife Eokaia from their enle in 
Abyssinia, and would have joined the enterprise, but his 
vme was ill almost unto death, so that he was obliged 
rductanUy to remain in Medina. 

* ** The Arabs of the desert,** says Bnrekhardt, '* are notiich in horses. 
Among the great toibes on tiie Bed Sea, between Akaba and Keooa, and 
to the south and southeast of Mecca, as far as Yemen, horses an retf 
acaree, especially among those of the moontainons districts. The settled 
inhabitants of He4jaz and Yemen are not much in the habit of keeping 
horses. The tribes most rich in horses are those who dwell in the 
comparattrely fertile plains of Mesopotamia, on the banks of the river 
Ei^rates, and on the Sjxiiin plains."— jSun^fcAonft, II. ftO. 

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Mahomet for a while took the main road to Mecca» ihen, 
leaving it to the left, turned toward the Bed Sea and 
entered a fertile valley, watered by the brook Beder. 
Here he laid in wait near a ford, over whidi the caravans 
were accustomed to pass. He caused his men to dig a 
deep trench, and to divert the water therein, so that they 
mignt resort thither to slake their thirst, out of reach of 
the enemy. 

Li the meantime, Abu Sofian having received early in- 
telligence that Mahomet had saUied forth to waylay him 
with a superior force, despatched a messenger named 
Omair, on a fleet dromedary, to summon instant relief 
from Mecca. The messenger arrived at the Caaba haggard 
and breathless. Abu Jahf mounted the roof and sounded 
the alarm. All Mecca was in concision and consternation. 
Henda, the wife of Abu Sofian, a woman of fierce and 
int rep id nature, called upon her father Otha, her brother 
Al Walid, her imcle Shaiba, and aU the warriors of her 
kindred, to arm and hasten to the relief of her husband. 
The brothers, too, of the Koreishite slain by Abdallah Ibn 
Jasch, in the valley of Naklah, seized their weapons to 
avenge his death. Motives of interest were minded with 
eagerness for vengeance, for most of the Koreisnites had 
property embarked in the caravan. In a little while a 
force of one hundred horse and seven hundred camels 
hurried forward on the road toward Syria. It was led 
by Abu Jahl, now threescore and ten years of age, a 
veteran warrior of the desert, who still retained the &*e, 
and almost the vigour and activity of youth, combined with 
the rancour of old age. 

While Abu Jahl, with his forces, was hurrying on in 
one direction, Abu Sofian was approaching m another. 
On arriving at the region of danger, he preceded his 
caravan a considerable distance, carefuUy regarding every 
track and footprint. At length he came upon the track of 
the little army of Mahomet. He knew it from the size of 
the kernels or the dates, which the troops had thrown by 
the wayside as they marched, — those of Medina being re- 
markable for their smallness. On such minute signs do 
the Arabs depend in tracking their foes through the 

Observing the course Mahomet had taken, Abu Sofian 
changed his route, and passed along the coast of the E^ed 
Sea imtil he considered himself out of danger. He then 
«ent another messenger to meet any £oreishites that 

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migiit have sallied forth, and to let them know that the 
caravan was safe, and they might return to Mecca. 

The messenger met the Koreishites when in fuJ march. 
On hearing that the caravan was safe, they came to a halt 
and held council. Some were for pushmg forward and 
' inflicting a signal pmiishment on Mahomet and his 
followers ; others were for turning back. In this dilemma, 
they sent a scout to reconnoitre the enemy. He brought 
back word that they were about three hundred strong; 
this increased the desire of those who were for battle. 
Others remonstrated. " Consider," said tiiey, '* these are 
men who have nothing to lose ; they have nothing but their 
swords; not one of them will fall without slaying his man. 
Beside, we have relatives among them; if we ooncjuer, we 
will not be able to look each other in the face, having slain 
each other's relatives." These words were producing their 
effect, but the brothers of the Koreishite who had been 
slain in the vaUey of Naklah, were instigated by Abu Jahl 
to cry for revenge. That fiery old Arab seconded their 
appeal. "Forward!" cried he; "let us get water &om 
the brook Beder for the feast with which we shidl make 
merry over the escape of our caravan." The main body of 
the troops, therefore, elevated their standards and resumed 
their miuH^ though a considerable number turned back to 

The scouts of Mahomet brought him notice of the ap- 
proach of this force. The hearts of some of his followers 
failed them; they had come forth in the expectation of 
little fighting and much plunder, and were dismayed at 
the thoughts of such an overwhelming host; but Manomet 
bade them be of good cheer, for All^ had promised him 
«n easy victory. 

The Moslems posted themselves on a rising ground, with 
water at the foot of it. A hut, or shelter of we branches 
of trees, had been hastily erected on the summit for 
Mahomet, and a dromedary stood before it, on which he 
might fiy to Medina in case of defeat. 

The vanguard of the enemy entered the valley panting^ 
with thirst, and hastened to the stream to drink; but 
TTamza, the uncle of Mahomet, set upon them with a 
number of his men, and slew the leader with his owd 
hand. Only one of the vanguard escaped, who was after- 
wards converted to the faith. 

The main body of the enemy now approached with 
sound of trumpet. Three £oreishite warriors advancing 

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m firant, d^ed tlie bravest of the MoBlems to emal 
combat. Two of these challengers were Otha, the father* 
rn-hiw of Abu Sofiaa, and Al Walid, his broiiieivm-law. 
ThB thkd challenger was Shaiba, the brother of Otha. 
These, it wfll be reoolleoted, had been instipited to saUy 
forih from Mecca, by Henda, the wife of Abu Sofian. 
Thejr were all men of rank in ikeir tribe. 

Three warriors of Medina stepped forward and accepted 
their challenge; bnt they cried, " No ! Let the renegades 
of onr own city of* Mecca ad^unoe, if they dare." Upon 
this Homza and AH, the imde and consin of Mahomet, 
and Obeidah Ibn al Hareth, nndertook the fight. After a 
fi^HDc and obstinate contest, Hamsa and Ali eaxh slew his 
antagonist. They then went to the aid of Obeidah, who 
was severely woimded and nearly oyerconu3 by Otha. 
^ey dew me Koreishite and bore away their associate, 
but ne presently died of his wounds. 

The battle now became general. The Moslems, aware 
of the inferiority of their number, at first merely stood on 
^kQ de^msiye, maintaining their position on the rising 
ground, and galling the enennr with flights <^ arrows 
whenever they sought to slake tneir intolerable thirst at 
the stream below. Mahomet remained in his hut on the 
lull, accompanied by Abu Beker, and eamestfy engaged 
in prayer, in the course of the battle he had a paroxysm, 
or fell into a kind of trance. Coming to lumself, he 
declared that God in a vision had promised him the 
victory. Kushing out of the hut, he caught up a handfiol 
of dust and cast it into the air toward the Koreieftiites, ex- 
claiming, " May confusion light upon their faces." Then 
ordering his followers to charge down upon ihe enemy: 
"Fight, and fear not," cried he; "the gates of paradise 
ore under the diade of swords. He wul assuredly find 
instant admission, who falls fighting for the faith.** 

In the shock of battle which ensued, Abu Jahl, who 
was urdnff his horse into the thickest of tiie conflict, 
received a blow of a scimetar in the thigh, which brought 
him to the ground. Abdallah Ibn Masoud put his S>ot 
upon his breast, and while the fiery veteran was BtOl 
uttering imprecations and curses on Mahomet, severed 
his head from his body. 

The Koreishites now gave way and fled. Seventy 
remained dead on the field, and nearly the same number 
were taken prisoners. Fourteen Moslems were slain, 
whose names remain on record as martyrs to the fidtili. 

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TbiB ngiud TictoTy was ean^ ^ be fteoooscted ibr oa 
satoralpmioiples; i^ao MoideiiiBDeiiig fresh asd Tiiiweainedy 
and haying the advantage of a rising gionndy and a mcpplj 
of water; while the Koieidiites w&te fatigned by a hasty 
march, parched with thirst, and diminished in force, by 
•Qie loss of numbers who had turned back to Mecca. 
Moslem writers, however, attribute this earfy triumph c€ 
ihe futh to supernatural agency. When Mahomet 
scattered dnst in the air, say i^ey, uuee thonsond angeHo 
warriors in white and yellow turbans, and long dar.Biing 
robes, and mounted on Uadc and white steeds, came 
lushing like a blast, and swept the Koroshites b^ore 
them. Nor is 1Mb affirmed on Moslem testimony alone, 
Imt given on the word of an idcdt^or, a peasant too was 
attending sheep on an adjacent lull. ** I was with a com- 
IRmion, my cousin,^' said the peasant, *' up<m the fold of 
the mountain, watdiing the conflict, and waiting to join 
with the conquerors and share the spoil. Sudaenly w» 
l)dkeld a great doud sailing toward us, and wiihm it were Hie 
neighing of steeds and braying of trumpets. As it ap- 
proadied, squadrons of angels sallied forth, and we heard 
the ternflc voice of the archangel, as he urged his mare 
Hamon, * Speed! speed! OhSaizum!' At which awful 
sound the heart of my companion burst with terror, and 
he died on tiie spot; and I had well nigh diazed his 

When the conflict was over, AbdalhJi Ibn Masood 
brought the head of Abu Jahl to Mahomet, who eyed 
the grisly trophy with exultation, -exclaiming, ** This 
man was the Pharaoh <^ our nation." The true name of 
this veteran warrior was Amru Ibn Hasham. llie Ko- 
reishites had ^ven him the surname of Abu 'Ihoem, or 
Pather of Wisdom, on account of his sagacity. The 
Moslems had changed it to Abu Jahl, Father ^ Folly. 

^ ThiB miraouloiis aid ia repeatedly mentioiied in the Koran, e.g. : 
" God had already given yon the victory at Beder, vdien ye were 
inferior in number. When thou saidst onto the faithfU, Is it not enough 
ibryon that your Lord should assist you with three thousand angeb, sent 
down firom heaven? Yerily, if ye persevere, and fear God, and your 
enemies eome upon yon suddenly, your Loid will assist yon with five 
t h o Bsand angds, distij^guished by their hones and attire— 

« * • * * 

** O true believers, ye slew not those who were slain at Beder your- 
selves, but God slew them. Neither didst thou, O Hahomet, cast tiie 
gravel into their eyes, when thou didst seem to cast it; but God cast it.** 
^^SaUTs Koran, chap. iii. 

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The latter appellation has adhered to him in history, and 
he is never mentioned by true believers without the ejacu- 
lation, " May he be accursed of .Grod.'* 

The Moslems who had fallen in battle were honourably 
interred; as to the bodies of the Koreishites, they were 
contemptuously thrown into a pit which had been digged 
for them. The question was how to dispose of the 
prisoners. Omar was for striking off their heads ; but Abu 
^ker advised that they should be given up on ransom. 
Mahomet observed that Omar was like Noah, who prayed 
for the destruction of the guilty by the deluge; but Abu 
Beker was like Abraham, who interceded for the guilty. 
He decided on the side of mercy. But two of the prisoners 
wereput to death; one, named ]N adhar, for having ridiculed 
the £oran as a collection of Persian tales and fables; the 
other, named Okba, for the attempt upon the life of 
Mahomet when he first preached in the Caaba, and when 
be was rescued by Abu Beker. Several of the prisoners 
who were poor, were liberated on merely makmg oalh 
never again to take up arms against Mahomet or his 
followers. The rest were detainea until ransoms should 
be sent by their friends. 

Among the most muportant of the nrisoners was Al 
Abbas, the unde of Mahomet. He had oeen captured by 
Abu Yaser, a man of small stature. As the bystanders 
scoffed at the disparity of size, Al Abbas pretended that 
be really had surrendered to a horseman of ^gantic size, 
mounted on a steed the like of which he had never seen 
before. Abu Yaser would have steadily maintained the 
truth of his capture, but Maliomet, wUlmg to spare the 
humiliation of his uncle, intimated that me captor had 
been aided by the anffel Gabriel. 

Al Abbas would nave excused himself from paying 
ransom, alleging that he was a Moslem in heart, and had 
only taken part m the battle on compulsion; but his excuse 
did not avail. It is thought by many that he really had a 
secret understanding with his nephew, and was employed 
by him as a spy in Mecca, both before and after the battle 
of Beder. 

Another prisoner of great importance to Mahomet was 
Abul Aass, the husband of his daughter Zeinab. The 
prophet would fain have drawn his son-in-law to him and 
enrolled hun among his disciples, but Abul Aass remained 
stubborn in unbelief. Mahomet then offered to set him at 
liberty on condition of his returning to him his daughter. 

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To this the infidel agreed ; and Zeid, the faithM freedman 
of the prophet, was sent with several companions to Mecca, 
to bring Zeinab to Medina; in the meantime, her husband, 
Abnl Ablbs, remained a hostage for the fulfilment of the 

Before the army returned to Medina there was a division 
of the spoil; for though the caravan of Abu Sofian had 
escaped, yet considerable booty of weapons and camels had 
been t&ken in the battley and a large sum of monejr would 
accrue from the ransom of the prisoners. On this occa* 
sion, Mahomet ordered that the whole should be equalfy 
divided among all the Moslems engaged in the enterprise; 
and though it was a long-estabhsned custom amon^ the 
Arabs to give a fourth part of the booty to the chief, yet 
he contented himself widi the same snare as the rest. 
Among the spoils which feU to his lot was a famous sword 
of admirable temper, called Dhul Fakar, or the Piercer* 
He ever afterwards bore it when in battle; and his son-in- 
law All inherited it at his death. 

G^iis equal distribution of the booty caused great mur* 
murs among the troops. Those who had borne the brunt 
of the fight, and had been most active in tiddng the spoiU 
complained that they had to share alike with those who 
had stood aloof from the affiray, and with the old men who 
had remained to guard the camp. The dispute, observea 
Sale, resembles tmit of 1^ soldiers of David in relation to 
spoils taken from the Amalekites ; those who had been in 
the action insisting that they who tarried by the stuff 
should have no share of the spoil. The decision was the 
same — ^that they should share alikei (1 Samuel, ch. zxr* 
21 — ^26.) Mahomet, from his Imowledge of bible history, 
may have been guided by this decision. The division of 
the spoils was an important point to settle, for a leader 
about to enter on a career of predatory warfiore. Fortu* 
nately, he had a timely revelation ahoruy after his return 
to Mecca, re^ulatiu^ for the friture the division of all 
booty gained m fightmg for the faith. 

Such are the particu&rs of the famous battle of Beder, 
the first victory of the Saracens under the standard of 
Mahomet ; inconsiderable perhaps in itself, but stupendous 
in its results ; being the commencement of a career of yio» 
tones which chang^ the destinies of the world. 

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Death of the prophet's daughter Bokaia. — Restoration of hi» daagfater 
Zeinab. — Effect of the prophet's maledictioii on. Abu Lidiab and his 
family. — ^Frantic rage of Henda, the wife of Abu Sofian. — Hahonet 
nano^i^ escapes assas^ati<m. — ^Bmbassy of the Koreishites. — The 
Eiiigof Ab^seiniB. 

Mahomst retomed ia triumph to Medina wii^ the B})oils 
and pis<Hiers taken in his first battle. His exaltation^ 
howeyer, wa& checked bj doaotieBtic grief. Bokaia, his be- 
lored danffhter, so reeentij- restored from exile, was no 
BHBre. The mess^i^r, who preceded Mahomet wi& 
tiding of bis yietorj^ met the foneral train at 1^ gate of 
the Qty, bearing her bo(fy to the tomb. 

The affliction of the prophet was soothed i^orfily after* 
ward by the arriral from Mecca of his daughter Znnab, 
conducted by the faithful Zeid. The mission of Zeid had 
been aittended with <££BcuIties. The people of Mecca were 
exasperated l^ the late defeat, and me necessity of ran- 
BQsnm^ the prisoners. Zeid remained, therefore, without 
the wh&s, ami sent in a message to Kenanah^ the brother 
of Abol Aass, informing him of the compact, and a}^int- 
ing a place where Zemab should be debrered into his 
hfflids. Senonah set ou£t to eonduct her thither in a litter. 
On Ihe way he was beset by a throne of Koreishites, deter- 
m^bied to prevent the daughter of Mahomet from bein^ 
restored to him. In the confrision, one Habbar Ibn Aswad 
made a thrust at Ihe litter with a lance, which, had not 
¥enanah parried it with his bow^ might have proved fetal 
to Zeinab. Abu Sofum was attracted to the place by the 
noifie and tiunult, and rebuked Kenanah for restoring 
Mahomet's dau^ter thus publidhr, as it rakght be con- 
strued into a weak concession ; Zeinab was ti^en back, 
th^efore, to her home, and iKenanah delivered her up 
secretly to Zeid in the course of the following night. 

Mahomet was so execrated at hearing of me attack 
on his daughter, Ihot he ordered whoever idiould take ' 
Habbar, to bum him abve. When his n^ hod subsided, 
he modified this command. ^It is for Grod alone," said 
he, " to punish man with fire. If taken, let Habbar be 
put to death with the sword." 

The recent triumph of the Moslems at Beder struck the 
Koreishites of Mecca with astonishment and mortifica- 

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tion. The man so recently driren a fimtiye firom their 
walls, had suddenly started iip a powerfmfoe. Seyend oC 
their bGravest and most important men had fidlen beneath 
his sword; others were his captives, and awaited a humi- 
liating ransmn. Abu Lahah, the unde of Mahomet, and 
always his yehement opposer, had been unable, from 
illness, to tf^ce i^e field. Me died a few days after hearing 
ef the yictory, his death being hastened by the exaspera^ 
tion of his sprits. Pious Moslems, however, attribute it 
to the curse pronounced by Mahomet aforetime on bim 
and his fcimfly, when he raised his hand to hurl a stone at 
tiie {>rophet on the hill of Safa. That ourse, say they, fell 
heavily also on his eoa Otho, who had repudiated the 
prophet's daughter Bokaia; he was torn to pieces by a 
Bon, in the presence of a whole caravan, when on a journey 
to Syria. 

By no one was the recent defeat at Beder felt so 
severely as by Abu Sofian. He reached Mecca in safety with 
his caravan, it is true; but it was to hear of the triumph of 
the man he detested, and to find his home desolate. His 
wife Henda met him with frmtie lamentations icMt the death 
of her father, her unde, and her brother. Bage mingled 
with her grief, and she cried night and day for vengeance 
on Hamza and Ali, by whose hamds they had fallen.* 

Abu Sofian summoned two hundred fleet horsemen, each 
with a sack of meal at his saddle-bow, the scanty provi- 
sions of an Arab for a foray ; as he sallied forth he vowed 
neither to anoint his head, perfume his beard, nor approach 
a female, until he had met Mahomet face to fiioe. ocouring 
the country to within three miles of the gates of Medina, 
he slew two of the prophet's followers, ravaged the fields, 
and burnt the date-trees. 

Mahomet sallied forth to meet him at the head of a 

* It is a received law among all the Arabs, tbat wfaoerer sheds tha 
hlood of a man, owes blood on tbat aoeonnt to the UMty of the alaia 
penom. This aDdent law is sanetioned by the Koran. ** O true be- 
lievers, the law of retaliation is ordained to you for the slain ; the free 
shall die for the free." The blood revenge, or Thar, as it is termed in 
Arabic is claimed by the relatives of all who have been killed in open 
war, and not merely of the actual homicide, but of all hit relations. For 
those killed in wars between two tribes, the price of blood is reqnifed. 
jfrmn the pecsons who were known to have aotnaUy killed them. 

The Arab regards this blood revenge as one of his most sacred rights, 
as well as duties ; no earthly consideration coold induce him to give it 
up. He has a proverbial saying, ** Were hell-fire to be my lot, I would 
not relln^piish the Thar-^-^See Murdckmnk, v. i., Z14, NotM. 

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superior force. Abu Sofian, refi^ardless of Ms tow, did not 
iawftit his approach, but turned bridle and fled. His troop 
clattered after him, throwing off their sacks of meal in 
the hurry of their flight ; wnence this scampering affair 
was derisiyelj[ called, " Tlie war of the meal sacks." 

Moslem writers record an imminent risk of t^e prophet^ 
while yet in the field on this occasion. He was one day 
sleeping alone at the foot of a tree, at a distance from his 
camp, when he was awakened by a noise, and beheld 
Durthur, a hostile warrior, standing over him with a drawn 
sword. " Oh, Mahomet," cried he, " who is there now to 
save thee P" "God!" replied the prophet. Struck with 
conyiction, Durthur let fall his sword, which was instantly 
«ei2ed upon by Mahomet. Brandishing the weanon, he 
exclaimed in turn, ** Who is there now to save mee, oh 
Durthur P" " Alas, no one !" replied the soldier. " Then 
learn from me to be merciful." So saying, he returned 
the sword. The heart of the warrior was overcome ; he 
acknowledged Mahomet aa the prophet of God, and em- 
braced the faith. 

As if the anecdote were not sufficiently marvellous, other 
devout Moslems affirm that the deliverance of Mahomet 
was through the intervention of the angel Gabriel, who, at 
the moment Durthur was about to strike, save him a blow 
on the breast with his invisible hand, which caused him to 
let fall his sword. 

About this time the £oreishites of Mecca bethought 
themselves of tiie relatives and disciples of Mahomet ^o 
bad tf^en refuge from their persecutions in Abyssinia; 
most of whom still remained there under ihe protection of 
ike Najashee, or Abyssinian king. To this potentate the 
iKoreisnites sent an embassy to obtdn the persons of the 
fimtives. One of the ambassadors was Abdallah Ibn 
Sabia ; another was Amru Ibn Al Aass, the distin^shed 
poet who had assailed Mahomet at the outset of ms mis- 
sion with lampoons and* madrigals. He was now more 
matured in years, and as remarkable for his acute sasaciiy 
as for his poetic talents. He was still a redoubtable op- 
ponent of the faith of Islam, of which in after years her 
was to prove one of the bravest and most distmguished 

Amru and Abdallah opened their embassy in the oriental 
■style by the parade of nch presents, and tnen requested, 
in the name of the Koreish authorities of Mecca, that the 
fugitives might be delivered up to them. The king was a 

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just man, and summoned the Moslems before him to ex- 
plain this new and dangerous heresy of which they we» 
accused. Amon^ their number was Giafar, or Janar, the 
son of Abu Taleb, and brother of Ali, consequently the 
cousin of Mahomet. He was a manof persuasiye eloquence 
and a most prepossessing appearance. He stood forth on 
this occasion, and expound^ the doctrines of Islun with 
zeal and power. The king, who, as has been observed, 
was a Nestorian Christian, found these doctrines so similar 
in many respects to those of his sect, and so opposed to 
the gross idolatry of the Koreishites, that, so far from 
giving up the fugitires, he took them more especially into 
favour and protection, and returning to Amru and Abdal- 
lah the presents they had brought, dismissed them from 
his court. 


Qiowing power of Mahomet — ^His reseDtment against the Jews. — ^In- 
sult to an Arab damsel hj the Jewish tribe of Kainoka.— A tmnolt. 
— The Beni Kainoka take refhge in their castle. — Subdued and 
punished by confiscation and banishment. — Marriage of Othman to 
the prophet's daughter, 0mm Kolthum, and of the prophet to 

'Thx battle of Beder had oomi>letely changed the position 
of Mahomet ; he was now a triumphant cmef of a growing 
power. The idolatrous tribes of Arabia were easfly con- 
verted to a faith which flattered their predatory inclina- 
tions with the hope of spoil, and which, after all, professed 
but to bring them back to the primitive reli^on of their 
ancestors ; the first cavalcade, therefore, whicn entered tiiie 
gates of Medina with the plunder of a camp, made con- 
verts of almost all its heathen inhabitants, and gave Ma- 
homet the control of the city. His own tone now became 
altered, and he spoke as a lawgiver and a sovereign. The 
first evidence of this change of feeling was in his treat- 
ment of the Jews, of whom there were three principal and 
powerM families in Medina. 

All the concessions made by him to that stiff-necked 
Tace had proved fruitless : they not only remained stubborn 
in unbelief, but treated him and his doctrines with ridi- 
cule. Assma, the daughter of Merwan, a Jewish poetess. 


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wrote sfttires a^amst liim. Ske waspnt to death by one of 
las fanatie disciples. Abu Afak, an Israelite, one hundred 
and twenty- years of age, was likewise slain for indulging in 
wtire against the prophet. £!aab Ibn Aschra£ anower 
Jewish poet, repaired to Mecca after the battle of Beder, 
and endeayonred to stir np the Koreishites to yengeanoe« 
reciting verses in which he extolled the yirtnes fuid be- 
wailed the death of those of their tribe who had fallen in 
the battle. Such was his infatuation, that he recited these 
▼erses in public, on his return to Medina, and in the pre- 
Bence of some of the prophet's adherents who were related 
to the slain. Stu^ oy this invidious hostility, Mahomet 
one day exclaimed in his anger, " Who will rid me of this 
son of Aschraf P" Within a &w days afterwards, Xaab naid 
for his poetry with his life; being slain by a zealous 
Ansarian of the Awsite tribe. 

An event at length occurred which caused the anger of 
Mahomet against ike Jews to break out in open hostility. A 
damsel of one of the pastoral tribes of Arabs, who brought 
milk to the city, was one day in the quarter inhabitedlby 
the Beni Kainoka, or children of Kalnoka, one of the three 
principal Jewish families. Here she was accosted by a 
number of young Israelites, who, having heard her beauty 
extoUed, besought her to uncover her face. The damsel re- 
fused an act contrary to the laws of propriety among her 
people. A young goldsmith, whose shop was hard by, 
secretly fastened me end of her veil to the bench on which 
she was sitting, so that when she rose to depart, the garment 
remained, and her £m^ was exposed to view. Upon this 
there was laughter and sco£5n^ among the young Israelites* 
and the damsel stood in the midst confounded and abashed. 
A Moslem pres^it, resenting the shame put upon her, 
drew his sword, and thrust it through the body of the 
goldsmith; he in his turn was instantly slain by ihe 
Israelites. The Mosl^ns from a neighbouring quarter flew 
to arms, the Beni Kainoka did the same, but being inferior 
in numbers, took refuge in a stronghold. Mahomet inter- 
fered to ^uell the tamult ; but, Being generally exaspe- 
rated against the Israelites, insisted timt the offendmff 
tribe should forthwith embrace Ihe faith. They jdeaded 
the treaty which he had made with them on his coming 
to Medina, by which they were allowed the ^oyment 
of their religion; but he was not to be moved. For some 
time the ^n Emnoka refused to yield, and remained 

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obstinately slitit up in their ftrondiold ; but famiiie com- 
pelled them to SHirender. Abda&ah Ihn Obba Sol^ tke 
leader of the !Khazradite8, who waa a protect<»r of this 
Jeindsh tribe, interfered in their favour, and prevented 
their being put to the sword ; but their wealth and effects 
were con£cated, and they were banished to Syria, to the 
number of seven hundred men. 

The arms and riches aceruing to the prophet and his 
followers from this confiscation, were of great avail in the 
ensuing wars of the faith. Among the weapons which £b11 
to the share of Mahomet,^are enumerated three swords; 
Medham, the 'Keen, Al Battar, the Trenchant, and Hatef, 
the Deadly. Two lances, Al Monthari, the Disperser, and 
Al Monthawi, the Destroyer. A cuirass of silver, named Al 
iFadha, and another named Al Saadia, said to have been 
^en by Saul to David when about to encounter Gohath. 
There waa a bow, too, called Al Catdm, or the Strong, but 
it did not answer to its name, for in the first batue in 
whidi the prophet used it, he drew it with sudi force that 
he broke it in pieoes. In general, he used Hhe Arabian 
kmd of bow, with appr op riate aifrows and lances, and for- 
bade his followers to use those of Persia. 

Mahomet now sought no longer to conciliate the Jews ; 
on the contrary, Hmy became objects of his religious 
hostility. He revoked the regulation by which he had 
made Jerusalem the Kebla or point of prayer, and estab- 
lished Mecca in its viace ; towards whidi, ever since, the 
Mahometans turn ti^ir faces when performing their de- 

The death of the prophet*s daughter Bokaia had been 
properly deplored by her husband Othman. To console 
the latter for his loss, Omar, his brother in arms, offered 
him, in the course of the y^ar, his daughter Hafza for 
wife. She was the widow of Hobash, a Sumunite, eighteen 
years of age, and of tempting beauty, yet Othman de- 
dined the match. Omar was indignant at what he con- 
ceived a slight to his daughter and to himself, and com- 
l^ained of it to Mahomet. " Be not jgrieved, Omar," 
reined the rn^het, " a better wifift is <£stined for Oth- 
man, and a better husband for thy daughter." He in 
effect gave his own daughter, Owam KoLwrny to Othman» 
and took the fair Hafza to wife himself. By these politic 
^Hances he grappled both Othman and Omar more 
strongly to his side, while he gratified his own indinations 

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789737 A 



for female beauty. Hafza, nexfc to Ayeslia, was the most 
fiiToured of liis wives, and was entrusted with the coflTer 
containing the chapters and yerses of the Koran aa they 
were revealed. 


Hends incites Abu Sofian and the Koreishites to revenge the death of 
her relations slain in the battle of Beder. — The Koreishites sally 
forth, followed by Henda and her female companions. — Battle of 
Ohod. — Ferocious triumph of Henda. — ^Mahomet consoles himself by 
marrying Hend, the daughter of Omeya. 

As the power of Mahomet increased in Medina, the 
hostiUty of the Koreishites in Mecca augmented in viru- 
lence. Abu Sofian held command in the sacred ci^, and 
was incessantiiy urged to warfare by his wife Henda, 
whose fierce spirit could take no rest, untQ "blood 
revenge" had been wreaked on those by whom her father 
and brother had been slain. Akrema, also, a son of Abu 
Jahl, and who inherited his father's hatred of the pK)phet, 
clamoured for vengeance. In the third year of the Hegira, 
therefore, the year after the battle of 'beder, Abu Sofian 
took the field at the head of three thousand men, most 
of them Koreishites, though there were also Arabs of the 
tribes of Kanana and Tehama. Seven hundred were 
armed with corselets, and two hundred were horsemen. 
Akrema was one of the captains, as was also Kaled Ibn al 
Waled, a warrior of indomitable valour, who aftierwards 
rose to great renown. The banners were borne in front 
bv the race of Abd al Dar, a branch of the tribe of 
Koreish, who had a hereditary right to the foremost 
place in council, the foremost rank m battle, and to bear 
the standard in the advance of the army. 

In the rear of the host followed the vindictive Henda^ 
with fifteen principal women of Mecca, relatives of those 
slain in the cattle of Beder; sometimes filling the air 
with wailings and lamentations for the dead; at other 
times animating the troops with the sound of timbrels 
and warlike chsmts. As tney passed through the village 
of Abwa, where Amina the mother of Mahomet was 
interred, Henda was with diflSculty prevented firom 
tearing the mouldering bones out of the grave. 

Al Abbaa, the uncle of Mahometi who still resided in, 

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Mecca, and was considered hostile to the new faith, 
seeing that destruction threatened his nephew should that 
army come upon him by surnrise, sent secretly a S¥nft 
messenger to inform him of his danger. Mahomet was 
at the village of Koba, when the message reached him. 
He immediately hastened back to Medina, and called a 
council of his principal adherents. Eepresenting the 
insufficiency of their force to take the fielo, he gave it as 
his opinion that they should await an attack in Medina, 
where the very women and children could aid them by 
hurling stones from the house-tops. The elder among 
his foflowers joined in his opinion ; but the young men, 
of heady valour at all times, and elated by the late victory 
at Beder, cried out for a fair fight in the open field. 

Mahomet yielded to their clamours, but his forces, 
when mustered, were scarce a thousand men; one 
hundred only had cuirasses, and but two were horsemen. 
The hearts of those recently so clamorous to sally forth, 
now misgave them, and they would fain await the 
encounter within the walls. "No," replied Mahomet, 
" it becomes not a prophet when once he has drawn the 
sword to sheathe it ; nor when once he has advanced, to 
turn back, until God has decided between him and the 
foe." So saving, he led forth his army. Part of it wag . 
composed of Jews and Xhazradites, led by Abdallah Ibn 
Obba Solul. Mahomet declined the assistance of the 
Jews, unless they embraced the faith of Islam, and as 
they reftised, he ordered them back to Medina; upon 
which their protector, Abdallah, turned back also with 
his Ehazradites ; thus reducing the army to about seven 
hundred men. 

With this small force Mahomet posted himself upon 
the hill of Ohod, about six miles from Medina. His 
position was partly defended by rocks and the asperities 
of the hill, and archers were stationed to protect nim in 
fiank and rear from the attacks of cavalry. He wa« 
armed with a helmet and two shirts of mail. On his 
sword was engraved, " Fear brings disgrace ; forward 
lies honour. Cowardice saves no man &om his fate." 
As he was not prone to take an active part in battle, he 
confided his sword to a brave warrior, Abu Dudjana, who 
Ewore to wield it as long as it had edge and temper. For 
himself, he, as usual, tooK a commanding stand whence he 
mijrfit overlook the field. 
The Xoreishites, confident in their numbeirs, came 

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marcliing to the foot of the hill with banners flying. 
A-bu So&n led the eentre ; there were a hundred horse- 
men cm eadi wing ; the left commanded by Akrema, the 
son of Abu Jahl, the nght by £haled Ibn al Waled. Aft 
i^y adyaaeed, Henda and bser companions struck their 
timbrelB and chanted their war song; shrieking out at 
mterraifi ^e names of those who had been slain in the 
imUle of Beder« ^* Courage, sons of Abd al Dar !" cried 
iiiey to the standard-bearers. "Forward to the flghtl 
dose with i3a.e foe ! strike home and spare not ! Sharp be 
your swords and pitiless your hearts ! * 

Mahomet r^irmined the impatience of his troops; 
ordering them not to commence the flght, but to stand 
firm and T»fliTiiM.iTi their advantafe of iSe rising ground. 
Above all, the ardbers were to Eeep to their p^, let the 
battle go as it might, lest the cavalry should fall upon his 

GHie horsemen of the left wing, led by Akrema, now 
attempted to take the Moslems in flai^L, but were repulsed 
by the archears, and retreated in confusion. Upon this 
ITaTOMi. get up Ae Moslem war-cry, Amit ! amit ! (Death ! 
death !) and rushed down with his forces upon the centre. 
Abu Dudjana was at his right hand« armed with the 
MTord of Mahomet, and havmg a red band round his 
kead, on whidi was writt^i, "Help comes &om Grod! 
TOtory is ours !" 

The enemy were staggered by the shock. Abu Dud|ana 
daahed into the midst of theni, dealing deadly blows on 
erery aide, and exdiaiming, *' The sword of Oiod and his 
raopheti" Sev^i standard-bearers, of the race of Abd el 
i)ar, were, one after the other, struck down« and the 
centre began to yield. The Moslem archers, thinking the 
victory secure, ^cogot the cconmands of Mahomet, and 
leaving their post, du^ersed in quest of spoil, crying 
" Boofy] booty!" Upon this Khaled, rallying the horse, 
got possession <^ the ground abandoned iy tne archers* 
attaAed the Moslems in rear, put some to ffight, and 
threw the rest in confusion. lii the midst of the confusion 
ft horseman, Obbij Ibn Chalaf by name, pressed through 
the throng, crying, "Where is MahometP There is no 
safety whSe he hves." But Mahomet, seizing a lance 
from an attendant, thrust it through ihe throat of the 
idolator, who fell dead frcan his horse. " Thus," says the 
pious Al Jannabi, " died this enemy of Grod, who, some 
years before, had menaced the prophet, saying, ' I shall 


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BXTTLB 07 OHOD« 103 

find a day to alar tiiee.* ' Hare a care,' was die reply; 
* if it please Allali, thou tiiyself shall fiill beneath mv 

In the midst of the m^l^ a stone ^tom a sling struck 
Mahomet on the month, cutting his lip and knocking oat 
xme of lus front teeth; he was wonnaed in the face idso 
by an arrow, ihe iron head of which remained in the 
womod. Hamea, too, while slaying a XoreisJiite, was 
transfixed by the lance of Waksa, an Ethiopian slaye, who 
bad been promised his freedom if he shonid rerenge the 
death of his master, slain by fiamca in. the battle of Bedi^. 
Mosaab Ibn Omair, also, who bore the standard of Ma- 
bomet, was laid low, bnt Ali seized the sacred banner and 
bore it aloft amidst the storm of battle. 

As Mosaab resembled the prophet in person, a shout 
was put np by the enany that Mahomet was slam. The 
Xoreidiites were inspired with redoubled ardonr at the 
ftonnd; the Moslems ned in despair, bearing with Hiem Abu 
Beker and Omar, who were wounded. Kaab, the s<m of 
Malek,howeTer, beheld Mahomet lying among ^e wounded 
in a ditch, and knew him by his armour. " Cm, believers !** 
(»ied he, " the prophet of God yet lives. To the rescue f 
to the rescuer Mahomet was drawn forth, and borne up 
the hill to the summit of a rode, where the Moslems pre- 
pared for a desperate defence, llie Xoreishites, howeFer, 
thinking Mah<miet slain, Ibrbore to pursue them, ecm* 
tenting themsdres with plundering and nmtnating the 
dead. Henda and her female companions w^e foremost 
in the savage work of vengeance; and the ferocious hernae 
sought to tear out and devour the heart of Hamza. Abu 
8o&n bore a part of the mangled bo^ upon his lanee^ 
and descending the hill in taiumph, exclaimed, exoltinglTf 
" War has its vicissitudes. The battle of Ohod suooeeaa 
to the battle of Bedrar.*; 

The Koreishites having wi&drawn, Mahomet descended 
from the rock and visited the field of battle. At si^ht of 
the body of his undo Hamza, so brutally mangled and 
mutilated* he vowed to inflict like outrage on seventy of 
the enemy when in his power. His grie( we are told, 
was soothed by the angel Gabriel, who assured him that 
Hamza was enre^istered an inhabitant of the seventh 
heaven, by the title of ** The lion of God and of his 

The bodies of the slain were interred two and two, and 
three and three, in tJie places where they had fallen. Ma* 

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hornet forbade liis followers to mourn for the dead by 
cutting off their hair, rending their garments, aiid the 
other modes of Lunentation usual amons the Arabs ; but 
he consented that they should weep for tne dead, as tears 
relieve the overladen neart. 

The night succeeding the battle was one of great dis- 
quietude, lest the Koreishites should make another attack; 
or should surprise Medina. On the following day he 
marched in the direction of that city, hovering near the 
enemy, and on the return of night lighting numerous 
watch-fires. Abu Sofian, however, had received intelli- 
gence that Mahomet was still alive. He felt himself too 
weak to attack the city, therefore, while Mahomet was in 
the field, and mi^ht come to its assistance ; and he feared 
that the latter might be reinforced by its inhabitants, and 
seek him with superior numbers. Contenting himself, 
therefore, with the recent victory, he made a truce with 
the Moslems for a year, and returned in triumph to 
Mecca. — 

Mahomet sought consolation for this mortifying defeat 
by taking to himself another wife, Hend, the daughter of 
Omeya, a man of great influence. She was a widow, and 
had, with lier husband, been among the number of the 
fugitives in Abyssinia. She was now twenty-eight years 
of age, and had a son named Salma, whence she was com- 
monly called 0mm Salma, or the Mother of Sabna. Being 
distinguished for grace and beauty, she had been sought by 
Abu Beker and Omar, but without success. Even Ma- 
homet at first met with difficulty. " Alas !" said she, 
" what happiness can the prophet of God expect with me P 
I am no longer young; I have a son, and I am of a jealous 
disposition. " As to thy age," replied Mahomet, "thou 
art much younger than I. As to thy son, I will be a 
father to him: as to thy jealous disposition, I will pray 
Allah to root it from thy heart." 

A separate dwelling was prepared for the bride, ad- 
jacent to the mosque. The household goods, as stated by 
a Moslem writer, consisted of a sack of barley, a hand- 
inill, a pan, and a pot of lard or butter. Such were as yet 
the narrow means of the prophet; or rather, such the 
frugaliiy of his habits and the simplicity of Arab life. 

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Treachery of certain Jewish tribes ; fheir panidimeiit.— Derotton of tiie 
prophet* a fireedman, Zeid ; divoroea Ua beantiftil wift Zetnah, that 
she may become the wift of the prophet. 

The defeat of Makomet at the battle of Ohod acted for a 
time xmfayoiirably to his caose among some of the Arab 
and Jewish tribes, as was eyinced by certain acts of perfidy. 
The inhabitants of two towns, Adhal and Kara, sent a 
deputation to him, professing an inclination to embrace the 
faith, and requesting missionaries to teach them its doc- 
trines. He accordingly sent six disci{>les to accompany 
the deputation ; but on the journey, wmle reposing by the 
brook Kadje within the boundaries of the Hodseitites, the 
deputies fell upon the unsuspecting Moslems, slew four of 
them, and earned the other two to Mecca, where they gave 
them up to the Koreishites, who put them to death. 

A similar act of treacheiywas practised by the people of 
the province of Nadjed. Fretending to be Moslems, they 
sought succour from Mahomet against their enemies. Bfe 
sent a number of his followers to their aid, who were at- 
tacked by the Beni Suleim or Suleimites, near the brook 
Manna, about four days' journey from Medina, and slain 
almost to a man. One of the Moslems, Amru Ibn Omeya, 
escaped the carnage and made for Medina. On the way 
he met two unarmed Jews of the Beni Amir; either mis- 
taking these for enemies, or provoked to wanton raf e by 
the death of his comrades, he fell upon them and slew 
them. The tribe, who were at peace with Mahomet, 
called upon him for redress. He referred the matter to 
the mediation of another Jewish tribe, the Beni Nadher, 
who had rich possessions and a castle, called Zohra, within 
three miles of Medina. This tribe had engaged by treaty, 
when he came a fugitive from Mecca, to maintam a neu- 
trality between him and his opponents. The chief of this 
tribe "being now ap^edto as a mediator, invited Mahomet 
to an interview. He went, accompanied by Abu Beker, 
Omar, Ali, and a few others. A repast was spread in the 
open air before the mansion of the cnief. Mahomet, how- 
ever, received private information that he had been 
treacherously decoyed hither, and was to be slain as he sat 
at the repast: it is said that he was to be crushed by a 

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mill-stone, flung from the terraced roof of the house. 
Without intimating his knowledge of the treason, he left 
the company abrupt^, and hastened back to Medina. 

His rage was now kindled against the whole race of 
Nadher, and he ordered them to leave the country within 
ten days on pain of death. They would have ^parted, 
but Abdallah the Khaamdite seozedy persuaded uiem to 
stay by promising them aid. He failed in his promise. 
The Bern Nadher, thus disappointed by the " Chief of the 
Hypocrites/' shut themselyes up in th^ castle of Zohra» 
where they were besieged by Mahomet, who cut down 
and burnt the date-trees, on which they depended for sup> 
pEes. At tibfi euod of sic days they capitulated, and were 
permitted to depart, each with a camel load of eflectB» 
arms excepted. Some were bamshed to Syria» others to 
Xhaibar, a strong Jewish dty and fortress, distant several 
days* journey mim. Medina. As the tribe was wealthy^ 
Ihere was great spoil, which Mahomet took entirely to 
himself. His followers demurred that this was oontnury 
to the law of parti^n reyeided in the Koran; but he let 
them know that aeeording to another revelaticm, all booty 
gained, like the present, without stnking a blow, was mat 
won by man, but was a gift from God, and must be deli* 
rered over to the prophet to be expended by him in good 
mofA&i and the relief of orphans, of the poor, and the 
traveller. Mahomet in effect did not appropriate it to his 
own benefit, but shared it among the Mohadjerins, or 
enles from Meoea; two ^adherite Jews who had embraced 
Islamism, and two or tiiiree Ansarians or Auxiliaries of 
Medina, who had ^K>ved themselves worthy, and were 

We forbear to enter into details of various petty expe- 
ditions of Mahcnnet about this time, one of which extended 
to the neighbourhood <^ Tabuk, on the Syrian frontier, to 

Sunish a norde which had plundered the caravans of 
iedina. These expeditions were cheauered in their re- 
sults, though mostly productive of oooty, which now 
began to occupy tlie minds of the Moslems almost as 
much as the propagation of the fSutL The spoils thus 
suddenly gained may have led to riot and debauchery, as 
we find a revelation of the passage of the K<»*an, for- 
bidding wine and ffames of haaurd, tiiose fruitful causes of 
strife uid insubormnation in predaU^ camps. 

During this period of his career, Mahomet in xoxat than 
OBe instance nazrowly escaped falliag by the hand of an 

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assassiii. He liimself is duyiged widi ihe use of inndioiu 
means to rid himself of an enemy ; f<Mr it is said Uiat he 
sent Amra Ibn Omeya on a secret ^rand to Meoca, to 
■annniriniitr Aha Sc^lan, bat that the piot was disoovered* 
and the assassin only escaped by rapid flight. The charee, 
hioweyer, is not well sabstantiated, and is contrary to his 
general character and condnct. 

If Mahomet had relentless enemies, he had devoted 
Mends, an instance of idiidi we hare in the case of his 
freedmaa and adopted son, Zeid Ibn Horeth. He had 
been one of the fisst eoQTerts to the &ith, and one of its 
Bobost Ta&nt champions. Mahomet oonsolted hxat on all 
occasions, and employed him in his domeslie concerns. 
One day he entered his house with the freedom with which 
a father enters the dwelling of a son. Zeid was absent, 
but Zeinab his wife, whom he had recently married, waa 
st home. She was the danshter of Bjaseh, of the conntry 
of Sjubii, and considered the fairest c^ her tribe. In Ihe 
pnyacy of home she had laid aside her Teil and part of heft 
attire, so that her beaoty stood revealed to tbe gaae of 
Mahomet on his sadden entrance. He coold not refrain 
from egressions of wonder and admiration, to which she 
made no xepfy, but repeated them all to her hnsbaiMl <m 
bis return. 2eid knew the amoroos sosoeptibility of Ma- 
homet, and saw that he had been captiyated by the beaaty 
of Zeinab. Hastening after him, he offered to repodiate 
his wife ; bat the prophet forbade it as eontrary to the law. 
The zeal of Zeid was not to be chedked; he lored his beaa- 
tifol wife, bat he yenerated Hie pro^et, and he diycaroed 
himself without dday . "When lie requisite term of sepa- 
ration had elapsed, Mahomet accepted, with gratitude, tibis 
pious sacrifice. His nuptials wim Zeinab surpassed in 
splendour all his other maariages. His doors were tlurown 

rn to all comers ; tlwy were feasted with ike flesh of 
ep and lambs, with cakes of barley, with honey, and 
fruits, and fayourite beyerages; so ihej ate and drank 
^eir fin and then departed—raOing against the diyoroe as 
shameful, and the marriage as inceStuoua. 

At this critical juncture was reyealed that part of the 
thirty-third chapt«* of the Koran, £stingui^iing r^lxyes 

S' adoption from r^atiyes by blood, according to which 
ere was no sin in marryinff one who had been the wife of 
an adopted son. This timefy reyelation pacified the faith- 
ful ; but, to destroy all shadow of a scruple, Mahomet re- 
yoked his adoption, and directed Zeid to lennne his 

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original appellation of Ibn Hareth, after Ids natural father. 
The beautiful Zeinab, however, boasted thenceforth a 
superiority over the other wives of the prophet on the 
score of the revelation, alleging that her marriage was or- 
dained by heaven.* 


Expedition of Mahomet against the Beni Moetalek. — ^He espouses Baira, 
a captive. — Treachery of Abdallah Ibn Obba. — ^Ayesha slandered.-- 
Her vindication. — ^Her innocence proved by a revelation. 

Among the Arab tribes which ventured to take up arms 
against Mahomet after his defeat at Ohod, were the Beni 
Mostalek, a powerM race of Koreishite origin. Mahomet 
received intelligence of their being assembled in warlike 
guise under their prince Al Hareth, near the wells of Mo- 
raasi, in the territory of Xedaid, and within five miles of 
the Eed Sea. He immediately took the field at the head 
of a chosen band of the faithful, accompanied by numbers 
of the Khazradites, led by their chief Abdallah Ibn Obba. 
By a rapid movement he surprised the enemy ; Al Hareth 
was kiUed at the onset by the flight shot of an arrow ; his 
troops fied in confusion after a brief resistance, in which a 
few were slain. Two hundred prisoners, five thousand 
sheep, and one thousand camels, were the fruits of this 
easy victory. Amon^ the captives was Barra, the daughter 
of Al Hareth, and wue to a young Arab of her kin. In 
the division of the spoil she fell to the lot of Thabet Ibn 
Eeis, who demanded a high ransom. The captive appealed 
to Mahomet against this extortion, and prayed that the 
ransom might be mitigated. The prophet regarded her 
with eyes of desire, for she was fair to look upon. '* I can 
serve mee better," said he, " than by abating thy ransom: 
be my wife." The beautiful Barra gave ready consent ; 
her ransom was paid by the prophet to Thabet ; her kin- 
dred were liberated by the Moslems to whose lot they 
had fallen ; most of them embraced the faith, and Barra 
became the wife of Mahomet after his return to Medina. 

After the battle, the troops crowded round the wells of 
MoraJLsi to assuage their thirst. In the press a quarrel 

* This was Mahomet's second wife of the name of Zeinab ; the firtt, 
who had died some time previous, was the daughter of Chozeima. 

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Tose between some of the Mohadjerins, or exiles of Mecca, 
and the Khazradites, in which one of the latter received a 
blow. His comrades roshed to revenffe the insult, and 
blood wonld hare been shed but for me interference of 
Mahomet. The Khazradites remained incensed, and other 
of the people of Medina made common cause with Ihem. 
AbdaUah Ibn Obba, ea^er to take advantage of every cir- 
cumstance adverse to the rising power of Mahomet* drew 
his kindred and townsfolk apart. "Behold/' said he, 
" the insults you have brought upon yourselves by har- 
bouring these fugitive Xoreisnites. You have taken them 
to your houses, and given them your goods, and now they 
turn upon and nud&eat you. xhey would make them- 
selves your masters even in your own house; but by 
Allah, when we return to Medina, we will see wliich of us 
is strongest." 

Secret word was brought to Mahomet of this seditious 
speech. Omar counselled him at once to make way with 
AbdaUah ; but the prophet feared to excite the vengeance 
of the Idndred and adherents of the powerful Kha^adite. 
To leave no time for mutiny, he set off immediately on the 
homeward march, although it was in the heat of the da^, 
and continued on throughout the night, nor halted until 
the following noon, when the weary soldiery cared for 
nothing but repose. 

On arriving at Medina, he called AbdaUah to account 
for his seditious expressions. He flatly denied them, pro- 
nouncing the one who had accused him a Har. A revela- 
tion from heaven, however, established the charge against 
him and his adherents. ''These are tie men," says the 
Koran, "who say to the inhabitants of Medina, do not 
bestow anything on the refugees who are with the apostle 
of God, tliat they may be compeUed to separate from him. 
They say, verily, if we return to Medina, the worthier wiU 
e^^el thence the meaner. God curse them ! how are they 
turned aside from the truth." 

Some of the friends of AbdaUah, convinced by this re- 
velation, advised him to ask pardon of the prophet ; but he 
spumed their counsel. " xou have already," said he, 
"persuaded me to give this man my countenance and 
friendship, and now you would have me put my self beneath 
his very feet." 

Nothing could persuade him that Mahomet was not an 
idolater at heart, and his revelations aU imposture and de- 
ceit. He considered him, however, a formidable rival. 

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110 nwm cm MAMQXWi, 

and soofibt m ^werj wmj to iajure and amifij lum. Totiib 
imi^acftble hofltiMtjr is attarfibii^ted a acandalociB stoj whidk 
lie propagated abovt Ayeoha, tiie fayonzite mte of the 

It was the enstom witk Mahomet ahrays to hare one of 
his wives with him, on his wOitaxy ezpediticms, as oom- 
panioa and sohiee; she wastaken by lot, and on thereoent 
oecasicm the lot had hHea <m AyeaJia^ 3te trayelled in a 
litter, inclosed hj cnortainay and boaaie on the bade of s 
camel, which was led by an attendant. On the return 
homeward, the anny, on one oecasion, coming to a halt, 
the attendants of Ayesha were astonished to find the l^ter 
empty. Before they had reeovered from their surprise* 
she arrived on a camel, led by a youthful Arab, named 
Safwan Ibn al Moatt^. This eireonrntance having ecana 
to the knowledge of Abdallali, he proclaimed it to the 
world after his retnm to Medina, amnii^ thatt Ayesha 
had been gmHy of wantcMmess with the yonthlnl Safwan. 

The story was eagerb^ caught np and circulated by 
Hamna, the sister of the Deantmd Zemab, whom Mahomet 
had recently eeponsed, and who hoped to benefit her sister 
by the downfallof her deadly rival, Ayesha; it was echoed 
also by Mktah, a VinFmnan of Abu iBfker, and was cele- 
bratea in satirical verses by a poet named Hasan. 

It was some time before Ayesha knew of the scandal thus 
circulating at her expense. Sickness had confined her to 
the house on her retam to Medina, and no one ventured 
to tell her of what she was accused. She r^narked, how- 
ever, that the prophet was stem and sitent,. and no longer 
treated her wiui his nsnal tenderness. On her recovery, 
she heard with consternation the crime alleged against her, 
and protested l^r innoc^iee. The following is &r version 
of the story. 

The army, on its homeward march, had ^icamped not 
far from Medina, whexk orders were given in Ihe night to 
march. The attendants, as usual, brought a oamelbefore 
the tent of Ayesha, and facing the litter on the ground, 
retired until she couM take her seat within it. As she was 
about to enter, she missed her necklaee, and returned into 
the t^t to seeJc it. In the meantime the attendants lifted 
the litter upon the camel and strapped it fast, not per- 
ceiving that it was empty, she being slender and of httle 
weight. "When she returned firom seeking the necklace, 
the camel was gone, and the araiy was on the march; 
whereupon she wrapped herself m her manUe and sat 

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down, troitm^ Hiat, when L^ absence shoiikl be dis- 
coreredy some persons wouM be sent back in quest of her. 

While thns seated, Safwan Ibn al Moatt^ the young 
Arab, being one of the rear-gnard, came up, and, reco- 
gnizing her, accosted her with the nsual Moslem saluta- 
tion. " To Crod we belong, and to God we must return ! 
Wife of the prophet, why dost thou remain behind?" 

Ayesha made no reply, but drew her yeil closer over her 
face. Sa^aa iiien alighted, aided her to mount the camel, 
and, taking the bridle, hastened to rejoin the army. The 
sun had risen, however, before he overtook it, just without 
the walls of Medina. 

This account, given by Ayesha, and attested by Safwan 
Ibn al Moattel, was satisfactory to her parents and par- 
ticular friends ; but was scoffed at by AbdaJlah and his 
adherents, " the Hypocrites/* Two parties thus arose on 
the subject, and ^at strife ensued. As to Ayesha, she 
shut herself up within her dwelling, refusing all food, and 
weeping day and night in the bitterness of her soul. 

Mahomet was sorely troubled in mind, and asked counsel 
of All in his perplexity. The latter made light of the 
affair, observing tnat his misfortune was the firequent lot 
of man. The projphet was but little consoled by this sug- 

festion. He remamed separated &om Ayesha for amcmth ; 
ut his heart yearned toward her ; not merely on account 
of her beauty, but because he loved her society. In a 
paroxj^sm of grief, he fell into one of those trances which 
unbehevers have attributed to epilepsy ; in the course g£ 
which he received a seasonable revelati<m, which will be 
found in a chapter of the Koran. It was to this effect :— 
They who accuse a reputable female of adultery, and 
produce not four witnesses of the fact, shall be scourged 
with fourscore stripes, and their testimony rejected. As 
to those who have made the charge against Ayesha, have 
they produced four witnesses thereof? If they have not, 
they are liars in the sight of Grod. Let them receive, 
therefore, the punishment of their crime. 

The innocence of the beautiful Ayesha being thus 
miraculously made manifest, the prophet took her to his 
bosom with augmented affection. Nor was he slow in 
dealing ^e prescribed castigation. It is true Abdallah Ibn 
Obba was too powerful a personage to be subjected to the 
scourge, but it fell the heavier cm the shoulders of his 
fellow calumniators. The poet Hasan was cured £(xt some 
time of his propensity to make satirical verses, nor could 

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Hamna, thougli a female, and of ^eat personal charms, 
escape the infliction of stripes; for Mahomet observed 
that such beauty should have been accompanied by a 
gentler nature. 
The revelation at once convinced the pious Ali of the 

Eurity of Ayesha ; but she never forgot nor forgave that 
e had doubted ; and the hatred thus implanted in her 
bosom was manifested to his great detriment in many of 
the most important concerns of his after life. 


The battle of the Moat. — ^Brayery of Saad Ibn MoaoL — ^Defeat of the 
Eoreishites. — Capture of the Jewish castle of Eoraida. — Saad de- 
cides as to the pmiishment of the Jews. — Mahomet espouses Behana. 
a Jewish oaptiye. — ^His life endangered by sorcery ; sayed by a reye- 
lation of the angel Gabriel. 

During the year of truce which succeeded the battle of 
Ohod, Abu Soflan, the restless chief of the Koreishites, 
formed a confederacy with the Arab tribe of Ghatafan and 
other tribes of the desert, as well as with many of the 
Jews of the race of Nadher, whom Mahomet had driven 
from their homes. The truce being ended, he prepared 
to march upon Medina with these confederates, their 
combined forces amounting to ten thousand men. 

Mahomet had early intelligence of the meditated attack, 
but his late reverse at Ohod made him wary of taking the 
field against such munbers; especially as he feared the 
enemy might have secret allies in Medma, where he dis- 
trusted the Jewish inhabitants and the Hypocrites, the 
partisans of Abdallah Ibn Obba, who were numerous and 

Great exertions were now made to put the city in a state 
of defence. Salman, the Persian, who had embraced the 
faith, advised that a deep moat should be digged at some 
distance beyond the wall, on the side on which the enemy 
would approach. This mode of defence, hitherto unused 
in Arabia, was eagerly adopted by Mahomet, who set a 
great number of men to dig the moat, and even assisted 
personally in the labour. Many miracles are recorded of 
Jiim during the progress of this work. At one time, it is 

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said, he fed a great midtitade from a single basket of 
dates, wMch remained fiill after all were satisfied. At 
another time he feasted a thousand men upon a roasted 
lamb and a loaf of barley bread ; yet enough remained for 
all his feUow-labonrers in the moat. Nor most we omit 
to note the wonderftd blows which he gave to a rock witii 
an iron mallet, striking off sparks whicn in one direction 
lighted np' all Yemen, or Arabia the Happy : in another, 
revealed the imperial palace of Constantmople ; and in a 
third, illnminea the towers of the royal residence of 
Persia — all signs and portents of the future conquest of 
Scarcely was the moat completed, when the enemy ap- 

? eared in great force on the €ieighbouring hills. Leaving 
bn 0mm Mactum, a trusty omcer, to command in the 
city, and keep a vigilant eye on the disaffected, Mahomet 
saUied forth with three thousand men, whom he formed in 
battle array, having the deep moat in front. Abu Sofian 
advanced confidently with his combined force of Ko- 
reishites and Ghatafanites, but was unexpectedly checked 
by the moat, and by a galling fire from the Moslems drawn 
up beyond it. The enemy now encamped ; the Koreishites 
in the lower part of the valley, and the Ghatafanites in 
the upper; and for some days the armies remained on 
each side of the moat, keeping up a distant combat with 
slings and stones, and flights of arrows. 

In the meantime, spies brought word to Mahomet that 
a Jewish tribe, the Beni Koraida, who had a strong castle 
near the city, and had made a covenant ofpeace with him, 
were in secret league with the enemy. He now saw the 
difficulty, with his scanty forces, to man the whole extent 
of the moat ; to guard against a perfidious attack from the 
Koraidites; and to maintain quiet in the city where the 
Jews must have secret confederates. Summonmg a council 
of war, he consulted with his captains on the policy of 
bribing the Ghatafanites to a separate peace, by ofiering 
them a third of the date-harvest of Medina. Upon this, 
Saad Ibn Moad, a stout leader of the Awsites of Medina, 
demanded, "Do you propose this by the command of 
AHah, or is it an idea of your own P" " If it had been a 
command of Allah," repned Mahomet, " I should never 
have asked your advice. I see you pressed by enemies 
on every side, and I seek to break their confederacy." 
" Oh prophet of Gt)d !" rejoined Saad, " when we were 
fellow-idolaters with these people of Ghatafan, they got 

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none of onr diU;es wiiiioat paying for tkem ; and shall ire 
Oive them np gratnitouslT now that we tare of the tme 
&i^, and led by thee F So, by Allah ! if iiiey want our 
dates, ih)&y must win them with their fswordB." 

The Btont Saad had his eooraee soon put to the proof. 
A prowling party of Xoredshite norsemen, among whom 
was Akrema the son of Abu Jahl, and Amro, unde ai 
Xahomet's firsrt wife Cadijah, discovered a phtoe where 
the moat was narrow, and putting spurs to their steeds 
racoeecbd in leapmg orer, foUowed by some of their 
eomrades. They tlum ehailenged the bravest of the 
Moslems to equal combat. The challenge was acc^>ted 
by Saad Ilm Moad, by Ali, and sever^ of their ocm- 
panions. Ali had a dose, combat with Amru ; they 
KWght on hor6d)aek and on foot, until, grapjJing wim 
ea(£ oHier, Ihey rolled in the dust. In the €^, Ah. waa 
victorious and slew his foe. The general conflict was 
maantaimed wiiii sreat obstinacy; several were slain on 
bolii sides, and Saad Ibn M oad was severely wounded. 
At length the Soreishites gave way, and spurred their 
horses to reeross the moat. The steed of one of them, 
iN'awfal Ibn Abdallah, leaped short ; his rider was assailed 
with stones while in the moat, and defied ihe Moslems 
to attadc him with, nobler weapons. In an instant AH 
siprang down into the moat, and Naw&l soon fdll beneaUi 
his sword. Ali then joined his companions in pursuit of 
the retreating Ibe, and wounded AJoi^ma with a javdin. 
This skirmish was dignified with the name of the Battle 
of the Moat. 

Mahomet, stili unwilling to v^ture a pitched battle, 
sent !Bueim, a se^etly converted Arab of the tribe <^ 
Ghata&n, to visit the camps of ibe confederates, and 
artfully to sow dissensions among them. Bueim first 
repaired to the Eoraidites, with whom he waa in old 
habits of friendship. " What fdly is this," said he, *' to 
suffer yourselves to be drawn by the EJoreishites <^ 
Mecca into their quarrel. Bethink you how different is 
jour situaticm from theirs. I£ defeated, they have onlj 
to retreat to Mecca, and be secure. Their allies from 
the desert will also retire to their distant homes, and you 
will be left to bear the whole brunt of ike vengeance of 
Mahomet and the people of Medina. Before you make 
common cause witn them, therefore, let them pledge 
themselves and give hostages, never to draw back until 
they have brdcen the power of Mahomet."* 

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He then went to the Eoreishites and tiie tribe <^ 
Ghata&n, and wmmed them affainst confidmg in the 
Jews of Xoraida, ^o intended to eet host^es &om 
them, and delirer ikem up into the haiKlB of Mahomet. 

The distrust thns artfmlj sown anumpr the oonfederaies* 
soon produced its effects. Abu So&n sent w<»d on 
Friday erenin^ to the Konddites, to be ready to join 
next morning m a general assault. The Jews repued* 
that the f<^wing day was their Sabbath, om. which they 
eoold not engage in battle; at the same time they 
declined to join in any hostile act, unless their aUiea 
should ^ve hostages to stand hj them to the end. 

The Sloreishites and Ghatafanites were now oonyinced of 
the p^fidy of the Koraidites, and dared not yentore upoa 
the meditated attack, lest these should &U npcm them ia 
tlie rear. While therr lay idly in their camp a cold storm 
came on, with drenching rain and sweeping blasts firom 
the desert. Their tents were blown down ; their cainp> 
fires were extinguished ; in the midst of the iqnoar, the 
alarm was giren that Mahomet had raised the storm bj 
enchantment, and was coming upon them with his forces. 
All now was panic and conrasion. Abu Sofian, finding 
all efforts Tain to produce order, mounted his camel in 
despair, and gaye the word to reti^at. The confederates 
hurried off firom the scene of tumult and terror, the 
Koreishites towards Mecca, the others to their homes in 
ike desert. 

Abu Sofian, in rage and mortification, wrote a letter to 
Mahomet, upbraiding him with his cowardice in lurking 
behind a ditdh, a thing unknown in Arabian war&re ; 
and threatenmg to take his reyenge on some future day, 
when they mi^t meet in open &ht, as in the field (^ 
Ohod. Mahomet hurled back a defiance, and mredicted 
that the day was approadiing when he would nreak in 
pieces the idCols of the Xoreismtes. 

The inyaders haying disappeared, Mahomet turned to 
ttike yengeance on the Bern Koraida; who shut them« 
selyes np in thor castle, and withstood a siege of many 
days. At length, pindied by famine, they impkoed the 
intercession of their andent firiends and protectors, the 
Awutes. The latter entr^vted the prophet to grant these 
Hebrews the same terms he had foimerij granted to the 
Beni Xainoka, at the prayer of AbdaUah tne Khasradite. 
Mahomet reflected a moment, and offered to leare their 
fiite to tike decision of Saad Ibn Moad, the Awsite chief. 

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The Koraidites gladly agreed, knowing him to have been 
formerly their friend. They accoraingly surrendered 
themselyes, to the number of seven hundred, and were 
conducted in chains to Medina. Unfortunately for them, 
Saad considered their perfidious league with the enemy 
as one cause of the recent hostility. He was still 
smarting with the wound received in the battle of the 
Moat, and in his moments of pain and anger had 
repeatedly prayed that his life nught be spared to see 
vengeance wreaked on the Koraidites. Such was the 
state of his feelings when summoned to decide upon their 

Being a gross, Aill-blooded man, he was with difficulty 
helped upon an ass, propped up by a leathern cushion, 
and supported in his seat until he arrived at the tribunal 
of justice. Before ascending it, he exacted an oath 
from all present to abide by his decision. The Jews 
readily took it, anticipating a favourable sentence. No 
sooner was he helped into the tribunal, than, extending 
his hand, he condemned the men to death, the women ana 
children to slavery, and their effects to be shared among 
the victors. 

The wretched Jews looked aghast, but there was no 
appeal. They were conducted to a nublic place since 
caUed the Market of the Koraidites, wnere great graves 
had been digged. Into these they were compelled to 
descend, one by one, their prince, Hoyai Ibn Ahktab, 
among the number, and were successively put to death. 
Thus the prayer of Saad Ibn Moad for vengeance on the 
Koraidites was fully gratified. He witnessed the execu- 
tion of the men he had condemned, but such was his 
excitement that his wound broke out a&esh, and he died 
shortly afterwards. 

In the castle of Koraida was found a great quantity of 
pikes, lances, cuirasses, and other armour ; and its lands 
were covered with flocks and herds and camels. In 
dividing the spoil each foot-soldier had one lot, each 
horseman three; two for his horse, and one for himself. A 
fifth part of the whole was set apart for the pronhet. 

The most precious prize in the eyes of Manomet was 
Bihana, daugnter of Simeon, a wealthy and powerful Jew; 
and the most beautiful female of her tribe. He took her 
to himself, and, having converted her to the faith, added 
her to the number of ms wives. 

But, though thus susceptible of the dbaims of the 

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THE AMITL1T8. 117 

Israelitisli women, Mahomet became «more and more yiii« 
dictiye in his hatred of the men: no longer putting faith in 
their covenants, and sospectinj^ them otthe most msidious 
attempts npon his life. Mos^m writers attribute to the 
spells of Jewish sorcereis a long and languishing illness, 
with which he was afflicted alK>ut this tmie, and which 
seemed to defy all remedy. They describe the yeij charm 
by which it was produced. It was prepared, say they, by 
a Jewish necromancer from the mountains, aided by his 
daughters, who were equally skilled in the diabolical art. 
They formed a small waxen effigy of Mahomet ; wound 
round it some of his hair, and thrust through it eleven 
needles. They then made eleven knots in a bow-string, 
blowing with their breaths on each; and, winding the 
string round the effigy, threw the whole into a well. 

Under the influence of this potent spell Mahomet wasted 
away, until his friend, the angel Grabriel, revealed the 
secret to him in a vision. On awaking, he sent Ali to the 
well, where the image was discovered. Wlien it was 
brought to Mahomet, continues the legend, he repeated 
oyer it the two last chapters of the Koran, which had been 
communicated to him m the recent vision. They consist 
of eleven verses, and are to the following purport : 

In the name of the aU-merciful Q<xL I 1 will fly for 
refoge to the Lord of the light of day. 

That he m&j deliver me from the danger of beings and 
things created by himself. 

From the dangers of the darksome night, and of the 
moon when in ecEpse. 

From the danger of sorcerers, who tie knots and blow 
on them with their breath. 

From the danger of the envious, who devise deadly 

I will fly for refuge to Allah, the Lord of men. 

To Allan, the King of men. 

To Allah, the Goaof men. 

That he may deliver me from the evil spirit who flies at 
the mention of his holy name. 

Who suggests evil thoughts into the hearts of the 
children of men. 

And from the evil genii, and men who deal in magic. 

At the repetition of each one of these verses, says the 
legend, a knot of the bow-string came loose, a needle fell 
from tiie effigy, and Mahomet gained strengtL At the 
end of the eleventh verse he rose, renovated m health and 

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118 UW» or KAMOUST* 

irigOTST, as one restored to freedom after karmg been bound 
with. oDrds* 

The two final ebapters oi the Xcn^an, which comprise 
these yerses, are entitled the amulets, and ecmsidered by 
tide superstitions Moslems effectual talismans against sov- 
eeiT and magic charms. 

The conduct of Mahomet in the affiur narrated in thk 
diapter, has been censxured as weak and yascillating, and 
deficient in military decision, and his measures as wanting 
in true greatness <n mind, and the f<^owu^ circumstancea 
are adduced to support these diarges. mien threatened 
with violence from without, and perfidy from within, he is 
for bribing a p^urt of his confederate foes to a separate 
peace ; but suners himself to be, in a manner, hectored 
out of tibis crafty polrcy by Saad Ibn Moad ,* yet, subse* 
quentfy, he resorts to a scheme still more subtle and 
crafty, by which he sows dissension among his enemies. 
Above au, his conduct towards the Jews has been stron^y 
reprobated. His referring the appeal of the Beni Eloraid!a 
for mercy^ to the decision of one whom he knew to be 
bent on their destruction, has been stigmatized as cruel 
mockery; and the massacre of those nmortunate men in 
the market-place of Medina is pronounced one of the 
darkest pages of his history. In fact, his conduct towards 
this race from the time that he had power in his hands^ 
forms an exception to the general tenour of his disposition, 
which was forgiving and humane. He may have been 
especially prov(&ed against them by proofs of treachwy 
and deadly rancour on their part; but we see in this, ae 
in other parts of his policy m this part of his career, in- 
stances of that worldly aUoy which at times was debasing 
his spirit, now that he haa become tiie Apostle of the 

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-If ahomet undertaker a pflgrimafe to Mecca.— Sradet Kbaled and a 
troop of bone sent against bim. — ^Encamps near Mecca. — ^Nego- 
tiates wMi tbe Kereiflltftes Ibr permiMion to enter and eosplete his 
I^grimage. — ^l^eatj-ftr ten jeai^bjrirtiiA 1m is permitted to make 
a yearlj visit of ttecedajs.— fie retaraa to Medina. 

Six years had now ^psed since the fii^t of Mahomet 
£rom Mecca. As that citj was sacred in the ejes of liie 
Arabs, and their great pomt of pi^rimage, his long exile 
finom it» and his open warfare with the Koreishites, who had 
charge of the Caaha, prejudiced him in the cminion oi 
many of the tnbes, and retarded the spread oi his doc- 
trines. His followers^ too, wh^ had aeccmipanied him in 
im flight, kngnished once more to see their native home, 
and there was danger of their faith becoming enfeebled 
imder a protracted exile. 

Mahomet felt more and moiv tbe impcNrtance of linking 
He sacred city with his religion, and maintaining the 
anei^ot usages of his race. Besides, he claimed but to be 
m reformer, anxions to restore the simj^citr and purity of 
tile patriarehal faith. The month DonLKaaoa was at hand» 
the month of pilgrimage, when there was a truce to war^ 
£ire, and enemies mi^it meet in peace within the holy 
boondanes. A timely yision assured Mahomet that he 
and his fdiowers m^t safely arail themselTes of the pro- 
tection of this venerable custom to reyisit the ancient 
Murines of Arabian wcmhip. The reyelatkm was joylally 
received by his followers, and in the hoLj month ne set 
forth &om Medina on his pilgrimage, at the head of four- 
teen hxmdred men; partly Moha^erins or FugitiTes, and 
partly Ansarians or Auxiliaries. They took with them 
seventy camels to be slain in sacrifice at the Caaba. To 
manifest pubMdr that ther came in peace and not in war, 
titey halted at Vsa Hulei&, avilla^ about a day's journey 
from Medina^ where they laid aside all their weapons, ex- 

l their i^ieathed swords, and thence continued on in 

L garb. 
L the meantime a conftised rumour of this movement 
had reached Mecca. The K<»eishites, suspecting hos- 
tihties, sent forth Khaled Ibn Waled with a powerful 
troop oihone, to take post in a valley about two days' 

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ioumey from Mecca, and clieck the advance of the Mos* 

Mahomet, hearing that the main road was thus barred 
against him, took a rugged and difficult route through the 
defiles of the monntams, and, avoiding Khaled and his 
forces, descended into the plain near Mecca ; where he 
encamped at Hodeiba, within the sacred boundaries. 
Hence he sent assurances to the Koreishites of his peace- 
able intentions, and claimed the immunities and rights of 

Envois from the Koreishites visited his camp to make 
observations. They were struck with the reverence with 
which he was regarded bv his followers. The water with 
which he performed his aolutions became sanctified; a hair 
falling &om his head, or the paring of a nail, was caught 
up as a precious relic. One of the envoys, in the course of 
conversation, unconsciously touched the flowing beard of 
the prophet; he was thrust back by the disciples, and 
warned of the impiety of the act. In making his report 
to the Koreishites on his return, " I have seen the king of 
Persia, and the emperor of Constantinople, surrounded by 
their courts," said he; " but never did I oehold a sovereign 
so revered by his subjects as is Mahomet by his followers." 

The Koreishites were the more loth to admit into their 
city an adversary to their sect, so formidable in his influ- 
ence over the minds and affections of his fellow men. Ma- 
homet sent repeated missions to treat for a safe access to 
the sacred shrines, but in vain. Othman Ibn Aflan, his 
son-in-law, was his last envoy. Several days elapsed with- 
out his return, and it was rumoured that he was slain. 
Mahomet determined to revenge his fall. Standing under 
a tree, and summoning his people around him, he exacted 
an oatii to defend him even to the death, and never to 
desert the standard of the faith. This ceremony is known 
among Mahometans by the name of the Spontaneous 

The reappearance of Othman in the camp restored tran- 
fluillity. He was accompanied by Solhail, an ambassador 
itom the Koreishites, to arranj^e a treaty of peace. They 
perceived the impolicy of warrmg with a man whose power 
was incessantly mcreasing, and who was obeyed with such 
fanatic devotion. The treaty proposed was for ten years ; 
during which time Mahomet and his adherents were to 
have free access to Mecca as pilgrims, there to remain, 
three days at a time, ia the exercise of their religious 

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rites. The terms were readily accepted, and Ali was em- 
ployed to draw up the treaty. Mahomet dictated the 
words. " Write," said he, " these are the conditions of 
peace made by Mahomet the apostle of God." " Hold !" 
cried Solhail, the ambassador, " had I believed thee to be 
the apostle of Grod, I should never have taken up arms 
against thee. Write, therefore, simply thy name, and the 
name of thy father." Mahomet was fain to comply, for 
he felt he was not sufficiently in force at this moment to 
contend about forms ; so he merely denominated himself 
in the treaty, Mahomet Ibn Abdallah (Mahomet the son 
of Abdallah), an abnegation which gave some littie scandal 
to his followers. Thenr discontent was increased when he 
ordered them to share their heads, and to sacrifice on the 
spot the camels brought to be offered up at the Caaba, as 
it showed he had not the intention of entering Mecca, 
these rites being properly done at the conclusion of the 
ceremonials of pilgrimage. They reminded him of his 
vision, which promised a safe entrance of the sacred cit^ ; 
he repHed, that the present treaty was an earnest of its 
fulfilment, which would assuredly take place on the follow- 
ing year. With this explanation they had to content 
themselves; and having performed the ceremony, and 
made the sacrifice prescribed, the camp was broken up, 
and the pilgrim host returned, somewhat disappointed and 
dejected, to Medina. 


Izpedition against the city of Khaibar ; siege. — Exploits of Mahomet's 
captains. — Battle of Ali and Marhab. — Storming of the citadel.— 
Ali makes a buckler of the gate. — Capture of the place. — Mahomet 
poisoned; he marries Saflya, a captive; also 0mm Habiba, a 

To console his followers for the check their religious devo- 
tion had experienced at Mecca, Mahomet now set on foot 
an expedition calculated to gratify that love of plunder 
which began to rival fanaticism in attaching them to his 

About five days' journey to the north-east of Medina 
was situated the city of Ehaibar and its dependent terri- 
tory. It was inhabited by Jews, who had grown wealthy 
by commerce as well as agriculture. Their rich domain 

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WB8 poartff enilifKted widk grain, and plaaled wi& gamtB 
of palm-trees ; pflDr% devoted to pastorajfe sad ooveicd 
wi^ floekcr ana lierds ; and it was fortmed by sevanl 
castles. So remeirMe was its aatiqmtj, that AboJleda, tke 
Arabian historian, assures us tbot Moses, after the passag^e 
of the Eed Sea, sent an armj against the Amaiekites, 
inhabiting Grothreb (Medbta), and the strong city of 

This region had become a pfause of refnge lor the hostile 
Jews, driren by Mahconet fron Medina and ita enTirona, 
and for afi those who had made thenselTes obnoxious to 
his rengeance. These drcw&stances, together with its 
teeming wealth, pointed it out as a fit and ripe object for 
that warfare whieh he had dedared i^ainst all enemies of 

Li the beginning of the serenthyear <^the Hesira, he 
departed on an expeditioQ against !Ottbar, at the head of 
twelve hundred foot and two hundred hcose, accompanied 

SAba Beker, by Ah, by Omar, and other of his prmcipal 
cers. He had two standards ; cme reiHreaented the sun, 
the other a black ea^ ; whi<^ hist became fEonoaa is 
after years as the standard of Khaled. 

Entering the fertile territory of £habar» he began his 
w a r iai 'e by assailing the infi^or casties with whiek it was 
stndded. S<nne of IJtese capitulated without malring re- 
sistance ; in which cases, being considered " gifts &om 
€rod," the spoils went to ^e prophet, to be disposed of by 
him in the way before mentioned. Others of more strength, 
and garrisoned by stonter hearts, had to be taken by 

After the capture of these minor fortresses, Mahomet 
advanced against the dty of Xhaibar. It was stronghr 
defended by ontworks, and its dtadel, Al Xamns, bmlt 
on a steep rock, was deemed impregnable, insomiu^ that 
Senana Ibn al Eabi, the chief or king of the nation, had 
made it the depository of all his treasures. 

The siege of this dty was the most maportaaft csitep- 
prise the Moslems had yet undertaken. When Mahomet 
nrst came in sight of its stnmg and frowning walls, and its 
rock-built cita^l, he is said to have put up the following 

"Oh AHah! Lord of the seven heavens, and of aQ 
things which they cover I Lord (d the seven earths, and 
all which they su^ain ! Lord of the evil srorits, and of 
all whom they lead astray ! Lord of the wincis> and of all 

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aWSm 09 XKikiBAB. 123 

irfidB ikej scalier and digperse ! We fiqmlied« i^ee to 
deihrer into oar hmd tibis dfy, and all uai it oontainSy 
and tibe riehes of all its lands. To tkee we look for aid 
agaizMst ;3iia people, and againsi all tiie penk by whiek we 
aore enviruned." 

To grre more ademniiy to hia jirajen, he ehote aa hia 

5kM9e of wor^p a great lock, in a atony place called 
f ansdla, and, during all tike time i^iat he remained «i- 
cttmped b^ore KhsiMr, made daify ser^i eircoits round it, 
aa are made roond the Caaba. A mosone was ereeted 
on ^mr rock in after times in meHtorial of ^is deTont oere- 
moxnal, and it became on ot^ect of Teneraticm to all pioua 

The siege of tibe citadel lasted for some time, and tasked 
the skill and patience of Mahomet and his troops, asyet 
but little practised in the attadc of fortified places. Ttey 
suffered, too, from want of provisions, for tilie Arabs in 
their hasty expeditions seldom burden themselres with 
supplies, and me Jews on their amnroaeh bad laid waste 
the ler^ country, and destrc^ed the palm-trees round 
their capital. 

Mah^et directed Ihe attacks in person : the besie^esa 
protected themselves by trenches, and brought batterm^- 
rsms to play upon the walls; & breach was at lengm 
effected, but for several days every attempt to enter was 
vigorous^ repelled. Abu Beker at one time led the 
assault, bearing the standard of the prophet ; but, after 
^hting with great bravery, was conmelled to retreat. 
l£e next atta^ was headed hj Omar Ibn Khattab, who 
fought xmtil the close of day with no bett^ sueeess. A 
thira. attack was led by Ali, whom Mahomet armed with 
his own scimetar, eaQed Dhul>Fakfbr, or the Trenchant. 
On confiding to his hands the sacred banner, he pro- 
nounced hnn "a man who loved Grod and his projpaet^ 
and whom Grod and his pophet loved. A man wno knew 
not fear, nor ever turned his back upon a foe." 

And here it may be wdl to give a traditional account of 
the person and character of An. He was of the middle 
height, but robust and square, and of prodigious strength. 
He had a smiling countenance, exceeding florid, with a 
bushy beard. He was distinguished for an amiable dispo- 
sition, sagacious intellect, and religious zeal, and, from nis 
Tm<hiunt^ courage, was surnamed the lion of God. 

Aral»an writers dw^ with fond exaggeration on the 
ttkploits, at Ehaibar, of this their favourite h»o. He wbm 

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clad, they say, in a scarlet vest, over which was buekled- 
a cuirass of steel. Scrambling with his followers np the . 
great hea]^ of stones and rubbish in front of the breach, he 
planted his standard on the top, determined never to re- 
cede until the citadel was taken. The Jews saUied forth 
to drive down the assailants. In the conflict which ensued, 
Ali fought hand to hand with the Jewish commander, AI 
Hareth, whom he slew. The brother of the slain advanced 
to revenge his death. He was of gigantic stature, with 
a double cuirass, a double turban wound round a helmet 
of proof, in front of which sparkled an immense diamond. 
He had a sword girt to each side, and brandished a three- 
pronged spear like a trident. The warriors measured each 
other with the eye, and accosted each other in boasting 
oriental sir^le. 

" I," said the Jew, " am Marhab ; armed at all points, 
and terrible in battle." 

"And I am Ali, whom his mother at his birth sur- 
named Al Haidara (the rugged lion)." 

The Moslem writers nSe short work of the Jewish 
champion. He made a thrust at Ali with his three-pronged 
lance, but it was dexterously parried; and before he could 
recover himself, a blow from the scimetar Dhu'l-Fakar 
divided his buckler, passed through the helm of proof, 
through doubled turban and stubborn skull, cleaving his 
head even to his teeth. His gigantic form fell lifeless to 
the earth. 

The Jews now retreated into the citadel, aud a general 
assault took place. In the heat of the action the shield of 
Ali was severed from his arm, leaving his body exposed ; 
wrenching a gate, however, from its hinges, he used it as 
a buckler through the remainder of the nght. Abu Eafe, 
a servant of Mahomet, testifies to the fact. "I after- 
wards," says he, " examined this gate in company with 
seven men, and all eight of us attempted in vain to 
wield it."* 

The citadel being captured, every vault and dungeon 
was ransacked for me wealth said to be deposited there 
by Kenana, the Jewish prince. None being discovered, 
Mahomet demanded of nini where he had concealed his 

* This stapendous feat is recorded by the historian Abnlfeda, c. 24. 
** Aba B&fe,** observes Gibbon, ** was an eye-witness ; but who will be 
witness for Abu B&fe?" We join with the distinguished historian in 
his doubt ; yet, if we scrupulously question the testimony of an eye- 
witness, what will become of hlaiory ? 

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treamire. He declared that it had all been expended in 
tlie subsistence of bis troops, and in preparations for 
defence. One of bis faitbless subjects, however, revealed 
the place where a great amount had been hidden. It did 
not equal the expectations of the victors, and Kenana was 
put to the torture to reveal the rest of his supposed 
wealth. He either could not or would not make nirther 
discoveries, so he was delivered up to the veuf eanoe of a 
Moslem, whose brother he had crushed to death by a piece 
of a millstone hurled from the wall, and who struck on his 
head with a single blow of his sabre.* 

While in the citadel of Khaibar, Mahomet came near 
falling a victim to Jewish vengeance. Demanding some- 
thing to eat, a shoulder of fimb was set before him. 
At me first mouthful he perceived scmiething unusual 
in the taste, and spat it forth, but instantly felt acute 
internal pain. One of his followers, named Baschar, 
who had eaten more freely, fell down and expired in con- 
vulsions. All now was concision and consternation; on 
diligent iaouiry, it was found that the lamb had been 
cooked by Zamab, a female captive, niece to Marhab, the 
gigantic warrior slain by Ali. Being brought before Ma- 
homet, and charged with having infused poison into the 
viand, she boldly avowed it, vindicating it as a justifiable 
revenge for the uls he had brought upon her tribe and her 
family. " I thought," said she, " if thou wert indeed a 
prophet, thou wouldst discover thy danger ; if but a chief- 
tain, thou wouldst fall, and we should be dehvered from a 

Arabian writers are divided as to the fate of this he- 
roine. According to some, she was delivered iip to the 
vengeance of the relatives of Baschar, who haa died of 
the poison. According to others, her beauty pleaded in 
her oehalf, and Mahomet restored her unharmed to her 

The same writers seldom permit any remarkable event 
of Mahomet's life to pass without a miracle. In the 
present instance, they assure us that the poisoned shoulder 
of lamb became miraculously gifted with speech, and 
warned Mahomet of his danger. If so, it was rather 

* The Jews inhabiting the tract of oonntiy called KhiObar, are still 
known in Arabia by the name of Ben! Kheibar. They are diyided into 
three tribes, under independent Sheikhf, the Beni MeMiad, Beni Sohahan, 
and Beni Anaesse. They are aooosed of pillaging the cararang.— /»•- 
hihr, V. iL, p. 4S. 

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slow of speecli, far he had imlnbed soMewak fomoa to 
iajnre his ccmstitatioii throughout the remainder of hk 
hfe, a.ffecting hjni often with parozyBms of pain ; «bm1 m 
his lafit moments he ocmiplained that the Teins of his heart 
throbbed wiUi the pmson of Khaibar. He expeiienced 
kinder treatment at the hands of Sa%a (or Sophia), 
another female captire, who had still greater motiiTes foit 
vengeance thanZfuoiab; for she was the recently espoused 
wife of Kenana, who had just been sacrificed for his wealth, 
and she was Ihe danshter of Hoja Ibn Akhtab, prince c^ 
-tiie Beni Koraida, who, with seren hundred of his people, 
had been put to death in the square of Medina, as nas 
been related. 

l^iis Safiya was of ffreat beautj ; it is not suiprbing^ 
therefore, that she shoxdd find instant faroor in the ejea 
of Mahomet, and that he should seek, as usual, to add 
her to his harem ; but it maj occasion surprise that she 
should contemplate sudi a lot with ccnnplaomcY. Moslem 
writers, however, explain this bj assuring us tnat she was 
supernaturallj prepsuned for the event. 

\¥hile Mahomet was je^ encamped before the ctAj, and 
canyinff on ihe siege, she had a vision of the night, in 
whi^ me sun descended fixjm the firmament and nestied 
in her bosom. On recounting her dieam to her husband 
£enana in the morning, he smote her on the £M)e, ex- 
claiming, " Woman ! jou speak in parables of this Arab 
chief who has come against us." 

The vision of Sa%a was made true, &r having eon- 
verted her with all decent haste to the faith of Islam, 
Mahomet took her to wife before he left Khaibar. Iheir 
nuptials took place on the homeward mardi, at Al Sahba, 
where the army halted for three days. Abu Ajub, one of 
the prophet's most ardent disciples and marshal o£ his 
household, patrolled around ike nuptial tent throu^^umt the 
night, sword in hand. Safiya was one of the most favoured 
wives of Mahomet, whom she survived to forty years of 

Besides the marriages oi affeeticm whidi we have re- 
corded, ihe prophet, about this time, made another of 
policy. Shortly after his return to Medina, he was e^- 
dened by the arrival, firom Abyssinia, of the residue of the 
fugitives. Among these was a comely widow, tiiir^ years 
of age, whose husband, Abdallah, had died while in exile. 
She was goiendly known by the name of 0mm Habiba, 
the mother of Habiba^ from a daughter to whom shQ had 

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grwen birdi. This wkbir wss tlie dau^ter of M ahomet'i 
arch enemj, Abu Sofian ; and the prophet oonoeired thai 
a mairia^ with the dangfater xm^ist sotten tlie hoatOity of 
Hie fatb^; a poiitic oonsideTatkxi, ivhioh is aaid to haTe 
heeiL eitiier aumsited or saDCtioned b j a rerdatiom of a 
chapter of the Koran. 

When Aba Sofian heozd of ilie esponsak, "Byhearen," 
exckimed he, ** this oamel is to rampant that no mnicle 
can restrain him." 


IGaiioiiBtOTviHupriBees: toHendias; toShosnill; tothePrefeet 
«f Egypt.— Zbeir resolt. 

BuBivo the residue of the year, Mahomet remained at 
Medina, sending forth his trusty disciples, by this time 
experienced captains, on various mflitaiy expeditions ; by 
which refractory tr^es were r^idhr brought into suhjec- 
iicm. His yiews as a statesman widened as his territories 
increased. Thou^ he professed, m cases of necessity, to 
propagate his reUgion by the sword, he was not neglectful 
of me peaeeM measures oi diplomacy, and sent enTors to 
yanous iH*ince8 and potentates, whose dominions bordered 
OD. his pohtical horizon, urging tbem to embrace the faith 
of Islam ; which was in effect, to adcnowledge him, through 
his apostolic office, their superknr. 

Two of the most noted oi these missions, were to Eliosra 
IL, king of Persia, and Heraclius, the Boman emperor, at 
Constantinople. The wars between ihe Eomans and the 
Persians, £ot the dominion of the East, which had pre- 
yailed from time to time through several centuries, had 
been revived by these two potentates with varying fortunes^ 
and for several years past liiiEul distracted the eastern world. 
Countries had lie^i overrun by either power ; states and 
kii3gdoms had changed hands under altemate invasions, 
ana according to the conquests and defeats of the warring 
parties. At one time, Elhosru, with three armies, one 
Tauntingly called the 'FiStv Thousand Gkdden Spears, had 
wrested Palestine, Caj^aaocia, Armenia, and several other 
great and wealthy provinces, from the Boman emperor ; 
had made himself mast^ of Jerusalem, and carried off the 
SjgAj Cross to Persia; had invaded Africa^ conquered 

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Libya and Egypt, and extended his victories even to Caj> 

In the midst of his triumphant career, a Moslem envoy 
arrived bearing him a letter from Mahomet. EJiosra sent 
for his secretary or interpreter, and ordered him to read it. 
The letter began as follows : 

*' In the name of the most merciful God ! Mahomet, 
son of Abdallah, and apostle of God, to Xhosru, king of 

" What !" cried Khosru, startmg up in haughly indig- 
nation, " does one who is my slave, dare to put his name 
first in writing to me P" So saying, he seized the letter 
and tore it in pieces, without seeking to know its contents. 
He then wrote to his viceroy in Yemen, saying, " I am 
told there is in Medina a madman, of thetrilie of Koreish, 
who pretends to be a prophet. Eestore him to his senses, 
or if you cannot, send me his head." 

When Mahomet was told how Xhosru had torn his 
letter, "Even so," said he, " shall Allah rend his empire 
in pieces." 

The letter from the prophet to Heraclius was more 
favourably received, reaching him probably during his re- 
verses. It was signed in diaracters of silver, Mahomet 
Azzarel, Mahomet the messenger of God, and invited the 
emperor to renounce Christiamty, and embrace the faith 
of Islam. Heraclius, we are told, deposited the epistle 
respectfully upon his pillow, treated the envoy with dis- 
tinction, and dismissed him with magnificent presents. 
Engrossed, however, by his Persian wars, he paid no fur- 
ther attention to this mission, from one whom he probably 
considered a mere Arab fanatic ; nor attached sufficient 
importance to his military operations, which may have ap- 

of the 

mere predatory forays of the wild tribes of the 
Another mission of Mabomet was to the Mukowkis, or 

fovemor of Egypt, who had originally been sent there by 
[eraclius to collect tribute ; but who, availing himself of 
the confusion produced by the wars between me Somans 
and Persians, nad assumed sovereign power, and nearly 
thrown off all allegiance to the emperor. He received the 
envoy with signal nonour, but evaded a direct reply to the 
invitation to embrace the faith, observing that it was a 
^ve matter, requiring much consideration. In the mean- 
time, he sent presenii to Mahomet of precious jewels ; 
garments of Egyptian linen ; exquisite honey and Dutter ; 

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a white she-ass, called Yafhr ; a white mule, called Daldal, 
and a fleet horse, called Lazlos, or the Pranoer. The most, 
acceptable of his presents, however, were two Coptic 
damsels, sisters, called Marijah (or Mary), and Shiren. 

The beauty of Marijah caused great perturbation in the 
mind of the prophet. He would fain hare made her his 
concubine, but was impeded by his own law in the seven- 
teenth chapter of the Koran, ordaining that f<)mication 
should be punished with stripes. 

He was relieved from his mlemma, by another revelation 
revoking the law in regard to himself alone, allowing him 
intercourse with his handmaid. It remained in full force, 
however, against all other Moslems. Still, to avoid 
scandal, and above all, not to excite the jealousy of his 
wives, he carried on his intercourse with the heautiful 
Mariyah in secret ; which may be one reason why she 
remamed long a favourite. 


Kahomet's pilgrimage to Mecca; hli marriage with Malmmia. — ^Ehale4 
Ibn U Waled and Amra Ibn al Aass become ptoeelytes. 

The time had now arrived when, by treaty with the 
Koreishites, Mahomet and his followers were permitted 
to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, and pass three days 
unmolested at the sacred shrines. He departed aocora- 
ingly with a numerous and well-armed host, and seventy 
camels for sacrifices. His old adversaries would fedn have 
impeded his progress, but they were overawed, and on his 
approach withdrew silentiy to the neighbouring hills. On 
entering the bounds of Mecca, the pilgrims, according to 
compact and usage, laid aside all their warlike accoutre- 
ments exceptim^ their swords, which they carried sheathed. 
Great was their joy on beholding once more the walls 
and towers of the sacred city. They entered the gates in 
pilgrim garb, with devout and thankful hearts, and 
ilahomet performed all Ihe ancient and customary rites, 
with a zeal and devotion which gratified beholders, and 
drew to him many converts. When he had oompUed 
with all the ceremonials, he threw aside the Iram or 
pilgrim'f garb, and withdrew to Sari^ a hamlet two 


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lea^oes cBttant, and witihooi the sacred boimdarieB. Hero 
he iiad a cMemonial of a different kind to perform, but 
one in wMdi 1m wba prone to act with un^gned devotion. 
It yna to eom^ete his miniate with Mainmna, the 
dsa^kber of Al Hareth, tibe H^dite. He had become 
betiraihed to her <m his amyal at Meoca» but had post- 
poned the nuptials until after he had concluded the rites 
of pilgna^age. This was doubtless another marriage of 
pohcy, for Maimuna was fiftf-one years of a^e, and & 
widow, but the coonezioiL gdned him two powerftd 
proae^tes. One was Suhaledlbn al Waled, a nephew of 
the widow, an intrepid wanior, who had come near 
destroying Mahomet at tiie battle of Ohod. He now 
became one of iiie most victorious chamj^ons of Islamism, 
and by his prowess obtained the aroellation c^ ''The 
Sword of Goi" 

The other proselyte was Elialed's friend Amm Ibn id 
Aass ; the same who assailed Mahomet with poetry and 
satire at the commencement of hispro^hetic career ; who 
had been an ambassador from the luoreishites to the king 
of Abyssinia, to obtain the surrender of the frigitive 
Moslems, and who was henceforth destined with his 
sword to cany yictoriously into foreign lands, the faith 
his had oaee so rtrenuously opposed. 

KoTB.>-MaiiiMma was the last spouse of the prophet, and, old as she 
was at kffmaidace»surviTed all bis -other wives. JShe died maiij yean 
after Um, in a pavflion at 9etiS, under the same tree In the shade of 
which her niptial tent had been pitched, and was then i nt en od . l%e 
pfons BisloriaB, Jkl JannaU, win atylas faiiBseif « apoerMrrant of Attalu 
hoping ftr Ike paidon ef his sias tfaitnvh the Kerey^ cf Qod»* visited her 
tomb OB wtoniinf ftom * pMgrfwage t»-Meoca, in the year cf the Hc- 
fira 9<8, AJ). 15^. ** I saw there," said hsb << a dome of black maiMo 
eieoted in meuKwy of Haimmia, on the very spot on which the apostle 
of God had Teposed with her. God knows the troth ! and also the 
reason of the Uaokeoloar of OetfeoM. tloe Is a place af aUnttOB, 
aadsBonrtoty tank the bailitefli»lliaent»dee^r.* 

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A Hbdem enyoy daixt ia Syiia^— B^eAtiim to sfvage hit dotlL"^ 
Battle «f l[iitte.—itg fesnUfl. 

AxoBe the £ffer«Q[t misskms wluch Lad been sent by 
M aho m et beyond the bounds of Arabia to invite the 
seigMnmiing princes to embrace his religion, was one to 
the ^remor ca Bosra, ike great nuuii on tiie confines of 
Sym, to whidsL lie had made bis £rst caravan journey in 
the days of his youth. Syria had been alternately luSder 
Bomon and Persian domination, but was at tliat time 
fnbjeet to the emperor, ihoiiffb probably in a ^eat state 
of confusion. The envoy of mahomet was skm at Muta, 
ft town about three days' journey eastward from Jeru- 
ndem. The (me who slew him was an Arab of the 
Ghristzsn tnbe of Crassaa, and son to Shorhail, an emir, 
idio governed Muta in the name of Heraclius. 

To revenge the deatii of his legate, and to insure 
leiq^eet to Bs envoys in future, llJ^omet prepared to 
send axL amy of three th<»isand men against tne offending 
city. It was a momentous expedition, as it mi^bt, for 
ibe first time, bring tke arms of Islam in cdlision with 
those <^ the Soman Empire; but Mahomet presumed 
upon his growii^ power, the energ^^ of his troops, and 
the diaosr&red state of Syrian amiirs. The eommand 
mm intrc»ted to his freedman Zeid, who had given such 
signal proof ei devotion in surrendering to him his beau- 
tinil wife Zeinab. Several ehosen ofScers were associated 
with him. One was Mahomet's cousin Jaafar, son of 
Aba l^b, and brother of AH ; the same who, by his 
eloquence, had vindicated the doctrines of Ishmi before 
the king oiAbymaauA, and defeated the Koreish embassy. 
He was now in the prime of hfe, and noted for great 
eonrage and manfy Dea«ty. Another of the associate 
officers was Abdallah Ibn Xawaha, the poet, but who had 
mgnalized himself in amis as well as poetry. A ^hird 
was the new prosdyte Ehaled, who joined the expedition 
tt a vohmteer, bemg eager to prove by his sword the 
moetiij of Ms eonversion. 

The orders to Z^were to march n^pidly, so as to come 
vpen Mota by surprise, to summon the inhabitants to 
unbrace the £mv«adto treat them.wiihlemty. Women^ 
K 2 

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children, monks, and the blind, were to be spared at all 
eyents ; nor were anj houses to be destroyea, nor trees 
oat down. 

The little army sallied &om Medina in the Ml confi- 
dence of coming npon the enemy unawares. On theix 
march, however, they learned that a greatly superior force 
of Bomans, or rather Greeks and Arabs, was adFancing to 
meet them. A council of war was called. Some were fot 
pausing, and awaiting further orders from Mahomet : but 
Abdallah, the poet, was for pushing fearlessly forward 
without regard to numbers. " We fight for the faith !" 
cried he ; "if we fall, paradise is our reward. On, then,, 
to victory or martyrdom !" 

All caM^t a spark of the poet's fire, or rather, fana- 
ticism. Thej met the enemy near Muta, and encountered 
them with fury rather than valour. In the heat of the 
conflict, Zeid received a mortal wound. The sacred banner 
was falling from his grasp, but was seized and borne aloft 
by Jaafar. The batue thickened round him, for the ban- 
ner was the object of fierce contention. He defended it 
with desperate valour. The hand by which he held it was 
struck on; he grasped it with the other. That, too, was 
severed ; he embraced it with his bleeding arms. A blow 
ftom. a scimetar cleft his skull ; he sank dead upon the 
field, still clinging to the standard of the faith. Abdallah 
the poet next reared the banner ; but he, too, fell beneath 
the sword. £haled, the new convert, seeing the three 
Moslem leaders slain, now grasped the fatal stondard, but 
in his hand it remained aloft. His voice raUied the waver- 
ing Moslems: his powerftd arm cut its way through the 
thickest of the enemy. If his Own account maybe credited, 
and he was one whose deeds needed no exaggeration, nine 
Bcimetars were broken in his hand by the fury of the blows 
given by him in this deadly conflict. 

Night separatedthe combatants. In the momiog, Khaled,. 
whom the army acknowledged as their commander, proved 
himself as wary as he was valiant. By dint of marches 
and counter-marches, he presented his forces in so manj 
points of view, that the enemy were deceived as to his 
number, and supposed he had received a strong reinforce* 
ment. At his wnt charge, therefore, they retreated : their 
reiireat soon became a ^ht ; in which they were pursued 
with ^at slaughter. lOuiled then plundered their camp, 
in which was found great booty. Among the slain in the 
^eld of battle was found the body of Jaa£ur, covered with. 

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wounds, but all in front. Oat of respect to bis yalour, 
and to his relationship with the prophet, !Khaled ordered 
that his corpse should not be buried on the spot, but borne 
back for honourable interment at Medina. 

The arm^, on its return, though laden with spoil, en- 
tered the ci^ more like a funeral train than a triumphant 
pageant, and was received with mingled shouts and lamen- 
tations. While ihe people rejoiced in the success of their 
Anns, they mourned the loss of three of their favourite 
generals. All bewailed the fate of Jaafar, brought home » 
ghastly corpse to that city whence they had so recently 
seen him sally forth in all the pride of valiant manhoocU 
the admiration of every beholder. He had left behind 
him a beautiM wife and infant son. The heart of Ma- 
homet was touched by her affliction. He took the orphaa 
child in his arms and bathed it with his tears. But most 
be was affected when he beheld the young daughter of his 
faithM Zeid approaching Him. He fell on her neck and 
wept in speechless emotion. A bystander expressed sur- 
prise that he should give way to tears for a death, which, 
according to Moslem doctnne, was but a passport to 
paradise. "Alas!" replied the profjhet, "these are the 
tears of finendship for the loss of a friend !" 

The obsequies of Jaafar were performed on the third 
<day after the arrival of the army. By that time, Mahomet 
had recovered his self-possession, and was again the pro- 
phet. He gently rebuked the passionate lamentations of 
the multitude, taking occasion to inculcate one of the most 
politic and consolatory doctrines of his creed. "Weep 
no more," said he, " over the death of this my brother. 
In place of the two hands lost in defending the standard 
of me faith, two wiogs have been given him to bear him to 
paradise ; there to enioy the endless delights insured to all 
believers who fall in battle." 

It was in consequence of the prowess and generalship 
displayed by Khaied iu this pemous fight, tmit he wai 
honoured by Mahomet with the appeBation of "The 
Sword of God," by which he was afterwards renowned* 

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Designs upon Heooa.— ICbiIob of Aba Soian^— Tts re&sSt. 

Majiombt, bj fotee eitiber of arms or eloquence, liad now 
mcqnired dominion over a great number of the Aralnazi 
tribes. He had many i^ooMiid warriors under his com- 
mand ; s<ms of Hie desert, inured to hnnger, thirst, and 
iiie scorching rays of the snn, and to whom war was a 
sport, rather than a tcHi. He had corrected tiieir intem- 
perance, di«;iplined their Talonr, and subjected them to 
role. Eepeated yictories had giren ^^n confidence in 
tii^nsdyes and in their leader, whose stan^^d they fol- 
lowed wii^ the implicit obedience c^ sddiers, aad t^ 
blind fanadoism of disciples. 

The yiews of Mahomet expanded wilii his means, and a 
^;rand enterxnrise now opened upon his nund. Mecca, Ym 
fiatrye city, the abode of his mmily for ffen^raiions, tiie 
scene of his happiest years, was stiu in t£e hands of h» 
implacable foes. The Caaba, the object of devotion sod. 
pilgrimage to all liie children of Ishmael, the i^irine of his 
earnest worship, was still profaned by the emblems end 
rites of idolatry. To plant the standard of the {aith cm 
the walls of his native city, to rescue ^e holy house horn 
profanation, restore it to the spiritual worship of -Hie one 
true God, and make it the rallying point of Islamism, £[Hrmed 
now the leading object of his ambition. 

The treaty of peace existing with the Soreishites was 
an impediment to any military enterprise ; but some casual 
feuds and skirmishings soon gave a pretext for chargmg 
them with having violated the treaty stipulati(ms. The 
Soreishites had oy this time learned to appreciate and 
dread the rapidly increasing power of the Moslems, and 
ware eager to explain away, or atone for, the quarrels and 
misdeed of a few heedless individuals. They even pre> 
vailed on their leader, Abu Sofian, to repair to Medina as 
ambassadoir of peace, trusting that he might have some 
influence with the prophet uirough his <&ughter, Onun 

It was a sore trial to this haughty chief to come almost 
a suppliant to the man whom he had scoffed at as an 
impostor, and treated with inveterate hostility ; and hia 

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uiasioir OF ABtr sofuiT. 13$ 

proud spirit was doomed to still further mortification, for 
Mahomet, judging from his errand of the weakness of his 
party, and oeing seeretl^ b^t <m wsr» vouchsafed him no 

^pressing his rage, Abu Sofian sought the intermedia- 
tion of Abu Seker, of Omar, and Ali j but they all rebuked 
and repulsed him; for they knew the secret wishes of 
Mahomet. He next endeavour^ to secure the favoor of 
^tima, the daughter of Mahomet and wife of AH, bj^- 
flattering a motlier*s jpide, entreating her to let her son^ 
ISbtsan, a child but six years old, be his protector ; but 
^atima answered haughtdy, ** My son is too younff to b0 
ftprdtector; and no protection can avail against tnewiE 
of the prophet of Qoa,** Even his daughter, OmmHabibav 
liie wife of Mahomet, on whom Abu ^fian had calculated 
for influence, added to his mortification, for on his oi&rins^ 
to seat himself on a mat in her dwelHne, she hastily foldea 
it up, exclaiming, ** It is the bed of me prophet of God* 
and too sacred to be made l^e resting-place of an idolater," 

The cup of humiliation was full to OTerflowing, and in 
the bitterness cf his heart Abu Sofian cursed his &Ujghter. 
He now turned afain to Ali^ beseeching his advice in the 
desperate state of his embassy. 

"I can advise nothing better," replied Ali, " tiban for 
^ee to promise, as the head of the inloreishites, a conli- 
nuance of thy protection, and then to return to thy home.* 

*' But thinkest thou that promise wiH be of ai^ avail P" 

"I think not," replied Ali, drily ; **but I know not to 
the contrary.** 

In pursuance of tibds advice, Abu Sofian r^aired to the 
mosque, and made public dedaration, in Behalf of the 
Koreishites, that on meir part the treaty of peace should 
be Idthfally maintained ; after which he returned to Mecca* 
deeply humiliated by the imperfect result of his mission. 
He was received with bcoSb by the Koreishites, who ob- 
served that his declaration of peace availed nothing with* 
out the concurrence of Mahomet; 

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Bnrpiise and Capture of Mecca. 

Mahohet now prepared for a secret expedition to take 
Hecca by surprise. His allies were summoned from all 
quarters to Medina ; but no intimation was ^yen of the 
object lie had in view. All the roads leadmg to Mecca 
were barred to prevent anj intelligence of his movements 
being carried to the Koreishites. With all his precautions, 
the secret c>ame near being discovered. Among his fol- 
lowers, fugitives from Mecca, was one named Hateb, whose 
ikmilj had remained behind, and were without connexions 
or friends to take an interest in their welfare. Hateb now 
thought to gain favour for them among the Koreishites, 
by betraying the plans of Mahomet. He accordingly 
wrote a letter revealing the intended enterprise, and gave 
it in charge to a singing woman, named Sara, a Haschemite 
slave, who undertook to carry it to Mecca. 

She was already on the road when Mahomet was ap- 
prised of the treachery. Ali and five others, well mounted, 
were sent in pursuit of the messenger. They soon over- 
took her, but searched her person in vain. Most of them 
would have given up the search and turned back, but Ali 
was confident that the proiJiet of God could not be mis- 
taken nor misinformed. Drawing his scimetar, he swore 
to strike off the head of the messenger, imless the letter 
were produced. The threat was effectual. She drew forth 
the letter from among her hair. 

Hateb on being taxed with his perfidy, acknowledged 
it ; but pleaded Hs anxiety to secure favour for his des- 
titute family, and his certainty that the letter would be 
harmless, and of no avail against the purposes of the 
apostle of God. Omar spumed at his excuses, and would 
have struck off his head ; but Mahomet, calling to mind 
that Hateb had fought bravely in support of the faith 
in the battle of Beder, admitted his excuses and for- 
gave him. 

The prophet departed with ten thousand men on this 
momentous enterprise. Omar, who had charge of regu- 
lating the march, and appointing the encampments, led 
the army by lonely passes of the mountains ; prohibiting 

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the soTmd of attabal or tjrompet, or aaytibing else that 
could betray their moTements. While on me inarch, 
Mahomet was joined by his uncle Al Abbas, who had 
come forth with his fiamily from Mecca, to rally under the 
standard of the faith. Mahomet received him graciously, 
yet with a hint at his tardiness. '* Thou art the last of the 
emigrants," said he, *' as I am the last of the prophets." 
Al Abbas sent his family forward to Medina, wnile he 
turned and accompanied the expedition. The army- 
reached the valley of Marr Azzahran, near to the sacred 
city, without bemg discovered. It was nightfall when 
they silently pitched their tents, and now Omar for the 
£rst time permitted them to light their watch-jQres. 

In the meantime, thongrh Al Abbas had joined the 
standard of the faith in all sincerity, yet he was sorely dis- 
quieted at seeing his nephew advancing against Mecca, 
witii such a powerful force and such hosti^ intent ; and 
feared the entire destruction of the Koreishites, iinless 
they could be persuaded in time to capitulate. In the 
dead of the night, he mounted Mahomet's white mtde 
Padda, and rode forth to reconnoitre. In skirting the 
camp, he heard the tramp of men and sound of voices. A 
scouting ^arty were bringing in two prisoners captured 
near the city. Al Abbas approached, and found the cap- 
tives to be Abu Sofian, and one of his cantains. They 
-were ccmducted to the watch-fire of Omar, wno recognised 
Abu Sofian by the light. " Grod be praised," cried he, 
** that I have such an enemy in mj hands, and without 
conditions." His ready scimetar mieht have given fatal 
significance to his words, had not Al Abbas stepped for- 
ward and taken Abu Sofian under his protection, until the 
wiU of the prophet should be known. Omar rushed forth 
to ascertain that will, or rather to demand the life of the 
prisoner ; but Al Abbas, taking the latter up behind him, 
put spurs to his mule, and was the first to reach the tent 
of the prophet, followed hard by Omar, clamouring for the 
head of Abu Sofian. 

Mahomet thus beheld in his power his inveterate 
enemy, who had driven him £rom his home and country, 
and persecuted his family and friends ; but he beheld m. 
him the father of his wife Onmi Habiba, and Mt in- 
clined to demeney. He postponed all decision in the 
matter until mommg ; giving Abu Sofian in charge of Al 
, Wiien the captain was brought before him the following 

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^y, " Well Aim S<^mi,'' eried be, ''k it sot «t Im^ 
time to know tliat there is no other god but GodP' 

** Tkat I already knew,^ implied Aba So&m. 

" Good ! and is it not time for tbee to aeknowledge me 
as the aposi^ of GodF" 

''Defff^r art ikcn. to me ^msd. my father and mjr 
mother," repMed Abu Sofiaa, usuig an oriental phrase of 
oomplimeHt ; ** bat I am not yet prepared to aclnowlednie 
thee a prophet.** 

'* Oat atK>n l^iee P cried Omar; *' testify iistanth^ to tlie 
trath, or tny bead shall be severed from my body. 

To these threats were added 1^ coonsels and entreaitieB 
of Al Abbas, who showed hims^ a real friend in need. 
The ranooor <^ Aba Sofian had already been partly sab- 
doed by ib« onexpeoted mildness of Mahomet; so, making 
a m«it of neeesi^, he acknowledged the diTinity of his 
DQ^sion ; ibraisyi]^ an ilktstratifm of tlie Moslem maxim, 
^ To coBfinoe stubborn onbelieT^ni, ik&e is no argnmeiiib 
like4he swomL" 

Harins now embraeed tiie faith, Aba Sofian obtained 
faToorahle terms for iho peon^e of Mecca, in ease of ^eir 
eabmisskm. Kone were to be harmed who i^oold remam 
^edyin HieirhoaseBi or shoiald take refu^in the hoasee 
of Aba Sofian and Hi^dm ; or onder I^ls Daoner of Aba 

That Aba Sofian might take back to the oi^ a proper 
idea of ihe fbree Inroaght against it, he was stained ^th 
Al Albas at a narrow d^e whwe the whole army passed 
in review. As the Tarioas Arab tribes marched by wiA 
their different arms and ensigns, Al Abbas explained ti© 
name and coontry of each. Aba Sofian was sorprised at 
the nomber, discipline, and eqoipment of the troops ; f<w 
the Moslems had been rapd^ improTing in the means 
and art of war ; bat when Mahomet approached, in the 
midst of a chosen goard, armed at aQpomts and guttering 
with steel, his astonishment passed afi boands. ** There 
is no withstanding this !" cned he to Al Abbas, with an 
oath — " truly thy nephew wields a mighty power." 

"Even so,** replied Uie ottier; "rctem then to thy 
-people, provide for ttieir safety, and warn iJiem not to 
oppose tilie aposile of God." 

Aba Sofian hastened bade to Mecca, and, assembling tiie 
inhabitants, told i^em of lire mighty host at hand, led on 
bv Mahomet; of the favoarable terms offered in ease of 
meir sabmission, and <xf the vanity of sfi resistance. Ai 

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Abu Bofian had heet &e mqI of tbe oppoeitioa to Ma- 
liomet and kis dootriiiM, kis wards had uutant effect in 
pirodiicii^ aoquiesoeiiee in an erent irhiek aeei»edto leaire 
no altenmtive. Ilie greater part of ihe inkabitante, tliere- 
fore, prepaored to wiiaieas, without wawtaaoe, tiie entrj of 

ifdbLoniet, in the meantime, wiio knew not what leaift- 
imce ke might meet wiHi, made a oareM distribntioii of 
kis f<»ces aa ke spproacked ike city. Wkile ike main 
body mareked direcdj forwaord, strong detadiments ad- 
Tanced ovot Ike kills on eack side. To Ali, wko com- 
manded a hacme body of eayalij', was confided tke sacred 
banner, wkiif ke was to plant on Mount Hadjon, and 
maintain it there nntil joined bj tke propket. ISxmm 
orders were givm to all tke generals to praetiBe fornear- 
anee and in no instance to make tke first attack ; for itwaa 
tke earnest desire <^ Makmnet to win Meoca It modera- 
tkm and cl^nen!^, ratker tkan sdbdne it hj Tiolence. it 
is true, all wko <mered armed redstanee were to be cot 
down, bat xK)ne were to be karmedwko aubmittedqnieti]^. 
Overkearing one of kis captains exclaim, in ihe keatef luB 
eeal, that **no pkoe was nusred on tke day of battle," he 
instantly appointed a oooler-keaded commander in kas 

Tke main body of Ike army adranoed witkout molesta- 
laon. Makon^ bron^tt up tke rear-guard, dad in a 
scarlet Test, and mounted on nis &FOurite camel AL Kaswa. 
He proceeded but slowly, kowcTer, kis morements beisf 
impeded by tke imm^ise muititode wkick tknmged around 
kim. Amved on Mioimt Hadjmi, wkere Ak kad pkuxted 
tke standard of tke Mtk, a tent was pitcked for kim. Here 
ke aligkted, put off kis scarlet garment, md assumed tke 
Uaek turban and tke pilgrim ffarb. Casting a lode dows 
into tke plain, ko wev er, ne beneld, witk grief and indigna- 
tiim, ike gleam of swords and lances, imd Ekabd, who 
commanded Ike left wing, in a full career of carnage. His 
troops, composed of Arab tribes conrerted to tke faiik, kad 
been galled by a fii^t of arrows from a body of Kordish- 
ites ; wkerenpon tke fieiy wanior ekarged into tke tkiokest 
of ikem witk sword ana lance ; kis troops pressed afber 
kim; tkey put tke enemy to fligkt ; entered Ike gates of 
Meoca p^-meU wilki tnem, and notking but tke swift 
oconmanGb of Makomet preserved tke city firam a general 

Tke carnage being stopped, and no furtker opposition 

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140 ZJFB OF XAHomrr. 

manifested, the prophet descended from the monnt' and 
tipproaclied the ^teis, seated on his camel, accompanied by 
Abu Beker on his right hand, and followed bj Osama, the 
son of Zeid. The snn was just rising as he entered the 
gates of his natiTe city, with the glory of a conqueror, but 
Sie garb and humility of a pilgrim. He entered, repeating 
Terses of the Koran, which he said had been revealed to 
him at Medina, and were prophetic of the event. He 
triumphed in i^e spirit oi a religious zealot, not of a 
warrior. "Unto God," said he, "belong the hosts of 
heaven and earth, and Otod is mighty and wise. Now hatli 
Ood verified unto his apostle the vision, wherein he said, 
ye shall surely enter the holy temple of Mecca in full 

Without dismounting, Mahomet repaired directly to the 
Caaba, the scene of his early devotions, the sacred shrino 
of worship since the days of the patriarchs, and which he 
regarded as the primitive temple of the one true God, 
Here he made the seven circuits round the sacred edifice, 
41 reverential rite firom the daj^ of religious purity ; with 
the same devout feeling he each time touched the black 
stone with his staff; regarding it as a holy relic. He 
would have entered the Caaba, but Othman Ibn Talha, the 
ancient custodian, locked the door. Ali snatched the keys, 
hat Mahomet caused them to be returned to the venerable 
officer, and so won him by his kindness, that he not merely 
threw open the doors, but subsequently embraced the faith 
of Islam, whereupon he was continued in his office. 

Mahomet now proceeded to execute the great object of 
his religious aspirations, the puriMnff of the sacred edifice 
£x>m the symbols of idola^, with wnich it was crowded* 
All the idols in and about it, to the number of three hun- 
dred and sixty, were thrown down and destroyed. Among 
these, the most renowned was Hobal, an idol Drought from 
\BaIka> in Syria, and fabled to have the power of granting 
rain. It was, of course, a great object of worship among 
the inhabitants of the thirsty desert. There were statues 
of Abraham and Ishmael also, represented with divining 
arrows in their hands ; " an outrage on their memories, 
said Mahomet, "being symbols of a diabolical art which 
they had never practised." In reverence of their memo- 
ries, therefore, these statues were demolished. There 
were paintings, also, depicting angels in the guise of beau- 
tiful women. " The angels," said Mahomet, indignantly. 

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XBUaiOtJS BITS8. 141 

" are no such beings. There are celestial houris projided 
in paradise for the solace of true believers ; but angels are 
ministering spirits of the Most Hi^ and of too nure a 
nature to adinit of sex.'' The paintmgs were, acoorainglj, 

Even a dove, curionsly carved of wood, he broke with 
his own hands, and cast upon the ground, as savouring of 

From the Caaba, he proceeded to the well of Zem Zem. 
It was sacred in his eyes, from his belief that it was the 
identical well revealed by the angel to Hagar and Ishmael. 
in their extremity ; he considered the rite connected with 
it as pure and holy, and continued it in his faith. As 
he approached the well, his uncle, Al Abbas, presented 
h\m a cruise of the water, that he might drink, and make 
the customary ablution. In commemoration of this pious 
act, he appointed his uncle guardian of the cup of the 
well ; an office of sacred di^ty, which his descendants 
retain to this day. 

At noon one of Ms followers, at his command, sum- 
moned the people to prayer from the top of the Caaba — ^a 
custom continued ever since throughout Mahometaa 
countries, fit)m minarets or towers provided in every 
mosque. He also established the Kebla, towards which 
the mithM in every part of the world should turn their 
faces in prayer. 

He a^rwards addressed the people in a kind of sermon,, 
setting forth his principal doctrines, and amiouncing the 
iTiumph of the faith as a fulfilment of prophetic promise. 
Shouts burst from the multitude in rei>ly. ** AJlah Achbar I 
God is great !" cried they. " There is no Gt)d but Grod, 
and Mahomet is his prophet." 

The religious ceremonials beinff ended, Mahomet took 
his station on the hill Al Safa, ana the people of Mecca, 
male and female, passed before him, taking the oath of 
fidelity to him as the prophet of God, and renouncing^ 
idolatry. This was in comj^liance with a revelation in the 
Koran: "God hath sent his apostle with the direction^ 
and the religion of truth, that he may exalt the same 
over every r3igion. Verily, they who swear fealty to him, 
swear fesity unto G^ ; the hand of God is over their 
hands." In the midst of Ms triumph, however, he rejected 
aU homage paid exclusively to Jbdmself, and all regal 
authority. ** Why dost thou tremble P" said he^ to a miUL 

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ir)K>a|ffroaoliedwxthtuxudm]klfiidfcen^ "Ofwliai 

dost mou stand in awe F I am no kin^^ bat tiie son of a 
K<»^NBh^ woman, wlio ate flei^ dried m tiie SBn." 

His leni^ was eqoally oonqncuons. The <Ace haogk^ 
chiefs of the Koreishites appeared with abjeet eonnte- 
Banees before the man they had perseeoted, nt their lires 
wen in his pow«r. 

"What can you expect at my hand?" demanded he, 

"Merer, <^ generous brotiherl Mercy, <^ son of « 
feneroos line r 

" Be it so!" cried he, with a ndxtore of ioocn and |Hty. 
♦ Away t beffonel ye are fireel** 

Some of his fc^owers who had shared his persecutions, 
w«TO disappomted in tlwir antidpsifeioifes <^a H<K>dT revenge^ 
md murmured at hk dj^neney ; but he persistea in it, ^id 
^stabMshed Mecca as an inrioiahie sanctiuary, or place of 
tefage, so to ocmtmue until tibe final rastizrectk)n. He re* 
served to himself, however, the right on the present oo- 
-oaftkm, and dining that especial day to pnnish a few of the 
pec^le of the citr, who had grieroady offended, and been 
expressly proscriONBd ; yet CfFen these, for the most part, 
were tdtamately foi^ren. 

Among the Kor<B8lnte w(«ien.who adraaeed to take the 
<wth, he deeeried Henda, the wife of Aba Sofian ; the 
savage woman who had animated the infidels at the batde 
<^ Ohod, and had gnawed ^ heart of Hamaa, in rev^if e 
fer the deal^ of her feti^r. On the presoit oocaaicni, she 
had dissoked herself to escape detection; but seeing the 
e^ oT l^e TO0{>het fixe4 on her, Ae threw herself at 
his feet, exf^dming, "I am Henda: pardon! paxdcm!" 
Mahomet pardoned her, and was regmted for his clemency 
by her maJdng his doctrines the sol^eet of o(»itemptuoas 

Among Ihose destmed toromijAiaient, was Waoksa, the 
Sths^an, w^ had i^aia Hamaa; bot ha had fled firom 
Mecca <m the entrance of the army. At a subse^pient 
penod he presented himsdf b^ore tiie pn^het, and Biade 
m precession of feM before he waa reoognised. He was 
fsrmren, and made torriate the psrticakrs of the death 
of Hamza; afterwhich Mahomet dismissed him with an 
injnnction never again to oome into nis presence. He 
stervivedaiitil the time of theOaliphai et Omaat, ^xanng 
Yi^eee reign he was repeatedly soov^^ for dronhsMMfs. 

Another of the proscribed was Abdallah Ibn Saad, a 

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well fts f^ warlike aceomf^kkmentf. As ke kdd the pen 
of a ready writear, Makionet had empkjed kia to reduce 
tlie rerelatioQB oi i^ Koran to wrilnf . In •» doings he 
kad often altered and amended the tcfxt ; nay, it was dis- 
ooT^n^ thai, tiirough eaielesBneaB or desiffn, he had oeea^ 
moraXkf &lsified it, and rendered it abeud. Bid had eren 
nadeufi alterations and mendmentamatterofseoff and jest 
among hise(HQpaniODS,obaeiTin^, that if the Sloran proVed 
Mskhomet to be a projo^bet, ke himadf mnat be half a pro* 
phet. His interpolations be^ detected, he had fled mm 
tiie wrath ci Hie prophet and retained to Mecca, where 
he relapsed into idt^try. Ot tihe captnre of tke city, Ida 
Ji9Bter-bro4her ooneealea him m his house nntil the tumult 
had subsided, when he led kki into the presence of the 
privet, and supplicated for his pardon. This was the 
sever e st faint of the lenity of Mahomet. The (lender had 
betrayed hk confidence ; held him up to ridicule ; ques- 
tioned his ^Dstolic mission, and strudc at the rery 
frandation ofnis fai&. F<»r some time, he maintained a 
stem siknoe; hoping, as he afterwards dedared, some 
aealous dtsc^e n^ht strike off the offender's head. No 
(me, howeyer, stimd; so, Tieidin£ to the entreaties of 
Otlunan, he sranted a paroon. Abdallah inataui^ re- 
newed Ids jmfession of fakh ; and centinned a food Mus- 
sulman. His name will be found in the wars of the 
(M^hs. He was <me <^ tl» moat dexterous horsemen of 
bra tribe, and eyinced his ruling passiim to ihe last, for 
he died repeating the hun<ked& ^nptear <^ ihe Koran, 
entitled, *' The war steeds." Periiapt it was <me which 
had ^tperienced his interpoktioiffi. 

Anooier of Hub proscribed was Akrema Ibn Abu Jahl, 
who on many occasions had manifested a deadly hostihty 
to the prophet, inherited from hie fidher. On tiie entrance 
dMjaHoBomet into Mecca, Akrema threw hmself upon a fleet 
horse, and escaped by on opposite gate, leaving behind him 
n beautiftd wife, Onun Hakem, to y^hism he was recently 
married. Sheendbracedthefidlhoflidun, but soon after 
learnt that her husband, in attempting to escape by sen 
t6 Yemen, had been drrren badr to povt. Hastening to 
Hic presence of the Br<y^iet, she ibrem hersetf on her kneea 
before him, loose, cnshevdled, and naveBed, and im^ored 
grace for ber husband The pro^Mt,piobai^y more moved 
EyihMsr beoubr ihan her grux, raised ner g«D% from tiie 
earth, and told her her prayer was granted* Hunying ta. 

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the seaport, she arriyed just as the vessel in wluoh hst 
husbana had embarked was about to sail. She returned, 
mounted behind him, to Mecca, and brought him, a true 
believer, into the presence of the prophet. On this occa- 
sion, however, she was so closely veiled that her dark eves 
alone were visible. Mahomet received Akrema's nrofes- 
sion of faith ; made him commander of a battauon of 
Hawazenites, as the dower of his beautiM and devoted 
wife, and bestowed liberal donations on the youthful 
couple. Like many other converted enemies, Akrema 
proved a valiant soldier in the wars of the faith, and after 
signalizing himself on various occasions, fell in battle^ 
hm^ked and pierced by swords and lances. 

The whole conduct of Mahomet on gaining possession 
of Mecca, showed that it was a religious, more than a 
military triumph. His heart, too, softened toward hi» 
native place, now that it was in his power ; his resent- 
ments were extinguished by success, and his inclinations 
were all toward forgiveness. 

The Ansarians, or Auxiliaries of Medina, who had aided 
him in his campai^, began to fear that its success might 
prove fatal to their own interests. Thev watched mm. 
anxiously, as one day, after praying on tne hill Al Safa, 
he sat gazing down wistfully upon Mecca, the scene of 
his early struggles and recent glory : '' Yerily," said he, 
** thou art the best of cities, and the most beloved of 
Allah ! Had I not been driven out from thee by my own 
tribe, never would I have left thee !" On hearing this, 
the Ansarians said, one to another, " Behold ! Mahomet 
is conqueror and master of his native city; he will, 
doubtless, establish himself here, and forsake Medina !" 
Their words reached his ear, and he turned to them with 
reproachful warmth : " No I" cried he, " when you plighted 
to me your allegiance, I swore to live and die with vou. 
I should not act as the servant of God, nor as his amoas- 
sador, were I to leave you." 

He acted according to his words, and Medina, which 
had been his city of refuge, continued to be his residence 
to his dying day. 

Mahomet did not content himself with purifying the 
Caaba, and abolishing idolatry from his native city ; he 
sent forth his captains at the head of armed bands, to 
cast down the idoiB of different tribes set up in the nei^]^ 
bouring towns and villages, and to convert their worship* 
pen to his faiUku 

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Of all tlicse military apostles, none was so zealous as 
Khaled; whose spirit was still fermenting with recent 
conversion. Arrivm^ at Naklah, the resort of the idola- 
trous Koreishites, to worship at the shrine of XJzza, he 
penetrated the sacred grove, laid waste the temple, and 
cast the idol to the ground. A horrible hag, black and 
naked, with dishevelled hair, rushed forth, smieking and 
wringinff her hands; but Khaled severed her through 
the middle with one blow of his scimetar. He reported 
the deed to Mahomet, expressing a doubt whether she 
were priestess or evil spirit. " Of a truth," replied the 
prophet, " it was Uzza herself whom thou hait destroyed." 

On a similar errand into the neighbouring province of 
Tehama, Xhaled had with him tlu?ee hundred and fifty 
men, some of them of the tribe of Suleim, and was accom- 
panied by Abda'lrahman, one of the earliest proselytes of 
the faith. His instructions from the prophet were to 
preach peace and good will, to inculcate the faith, and to 
abstain from violence, unless assailed. When about two 
days' loumey on his wav to Tehama, he had to pass 
through the country of the tribe of Jadsima. Most of 
the iimabitants had embraced the faith, but some were 
still of the Sabean religion. On a former occasion 
this tribe had plundered and slain an uncle of iChaled, 
also the father of Abda'lrahman, and several Suleimitei, 
as they were returning from Arabia Felix. Dreading 
that Khaled and his host might take vengeance for these 
misdeeds, they armed themselves (m their approach. 

Ehaled was secretly rejoiced at seeing them ride forth 
to meet him in this military array. Hailing them with 
an imperious tone, he demandea whether they were 
Moslems or infidels. They replied, in faltering accents, 
" Moslems." " Why, then, come ye forth to meet us 
with weapons in your himdsP" "Because we have 
enemies among some of the tribes who may attack ua 

Khaled sternly ordered them to dismoxmt and lay by 
their weapons. Some complied; and were instantly seized 
and bound ; the rest fled. Taking their flight as a con- 
fession of guilt, he pursued them with great slaughter ; 
laid waste the coun^, and in the eflerrescence of his 
zeal, even slew some or the prisoners. 

Mahomet, when he heard of this unprovoked outrage, 
raised his hands to heaven, and called Grod to witnesa 
that he was innocent of it Khaled, when upbraided with. 

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it <m his retmn, would fain have shiiBked the blame on 
Abdalrahman, but Mahomet rejected indignantlj an 
imputation against one of the earliest and worthiest of 
his followers. The generous Ali was sent forthwith to 
restore to the people of Jadisma what Elhaled had wrests 
from them, and to make pecuniary compensation to the 
relatives of the slain. It was a mission congenial with his 
nature, and he executed it faithfully. Inquiring into the 
losses and sufferings of each indindual, he paid him to 
his fdl content. When eevery loss was made good, and 
mil blood atoned for, he distributed the remaining mon^ 
amon^ the x>«ople, gladdening er-ery heart bj his bounty. 
80 Ah received the thanks and praises of the prophet, but 
the vindictive Exhaled was rebuked even by those whom 
he had tiiought to please. 

*' Behold! ' said he, to Abdalrahman, " I have avenged 
ike death of thy falser." *' Bather say," replied the ot£^, 
mdignantly, *'thou hast av^aged the death of thine uncleu. 
9I10U hacrt disgraced the fioim by an act worthy of a& 


Hostilities in the mountains.— Enemy's camp in the ralley- of Antas.— 
Battle at the pass of Honein.— Capture of the enemy's camp. — ^In- 
terview of Mahomet with the nurse of his childhood. — ^Division of 
q^il. — ^Mahomet at his mother^ grara. 

While the military apostles of Mahomet were spreading 
his dootrines at the point of the sword in the plains, a 
hostile storm was garnering^ in the mountains. A league 
was formed among the GHiakefites, the Hawazins, the 
Joshmites, the SaiSlites, and several other of the haxdr 
mountain tribes of Bedouins, to check a power which, 
tiireatened to subjugate all Arabia. The Sai^tes, or Beni 
Sad, here mentionea, are the same j^astoral Arabs amon^ 
whom Mahomet had been nurtured m his childhood ; and 
in whose valley, aceordine to tradition, his heart had been 
plucked forth and purified by an angel. The Thakefites^ 
who were foremost in the toague, were a powerful tribe, 
potsesfling i^e strongmountaintown of Tavef and its pro- 
dftetive territory. 5Phey were bigoted idolaters ; nuun- 
taining at their capital we far-famed shrine of ^e female 

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idol Al Lat. The leader wiE iememl>er the igaomiiiioas 
treatment of Mahomet, idien he attempted to preach his 
doctrines at Tajef ; bdng stoned in the public sqnsre, and 
tdtimately driren with inralt from the gates. It was proi- 
bablj a oread of vengeance at his hands, whidi now made 
the Thakefites so active in forming a lea^e against him. 

Malec Ibn Anf, the diief of the l&kemes, had tibie 
general command of ike confederacy. He appointed the 
ya&ey of Autas, between Honein and Tayef, as the plaoe 
of assemblage and encampment ; and as he knew the nckle 
nature of the Arabs, ana tiieir proneness to retam hcnne 
on the least caprice, he orderea them to bring with ^em 
their families and effects. Thej assemUed, aooorc&igly, 
from yarions parts, to l&e number of fonr tiionsand fight- 
ing men; but the camp was crowded with womeai and 
duldren, and encombered with flocks and herds. 

The expedient of Malec Ibn Anf to secore the adhesion 
of the warriors, was strongly disapproved by Doraid, the 
ddef (^the Joshmites. ^us was an ancient warrior, up- 
wards of a hundred years old ; meagre as a dc^etoo, 
almost bHnd, and so feeble that he h^d. to be borne in s 
Hiter on the back of a camet Still, thou^ unable to 
mingle in battle, he was potent in council from Ids military 
experience. This reteran of the desert advised that m 
women and children should be sent home forthwith, and 
.the army relieved frrmi aH unnecessary inouiribraBoes. 
His advice was not taken; and the valley of Autas oott- 
tinued to present rather ihie pastoral encam^nent of a 
tribe, than the hasty levr of an army. 

In the meantime* Manomet, hearing of die gaUiering 
'storm, had sallied forth to anticipate it, at the head ex 
about twelve thousand troops, parOT fugitives from Mecca, 
and auxiliaries from Medina, partfy Jl^bs of the desert^ 
some of whom had not yet embraced the fieodi. 

In taking the field he wore a polished cuirass and hornet, 
and rode his favourite white mule Daldal, seldom mouniii^ 
a charger, as he rarelj mingled in actual fight. His 
recent successes and his superiority in numbers, making 
him confident of an easy victory, he entered the mountains 
without precaution, ana pushing forward for the ^iemy*s 
camp at Mutas, came to a deep gloomy valley on the con- 
fines of Honein. The troops marched without order 
through the rugged defile, ea(^ one choosing his own path. 
Suddenly they were assafled by showers of darts, stones, 
and arrows, wtdch lay two or wee of Mahonet's soldiefs 

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dead at his feet, and wounded several others. Malec, in 
fact, had taken post with his ablest warriors about the 
heights commanding this narrow gor^e. Every cliff and 
cavern was garrisoned with archers and slingers, and some 
rushed down to contend at dose quarters. 

Struck with a sudden panic, the Moslems turned and 
£ed. In vain did Mahomet call upon them as their ge- 
neral, or appeal to them as the prophet of God. Each 
man sought out. his own safety, and an escape &om this 
horrible valley. 

For a moment aU seemed lost, and some recent but un- 
willing converts betrayed an exultation in the supposed 
reverse of fortune of the prophet. 

" By heavens !" cried Abu Sofian, as he looked after 
the flying Moslems, '* nothing will stop them until they 
reach the sea." 

" Ay," exclaimed another, " the magic power of Ma^ 
homet is at an end !" 

A third, who cherished a lurking revenge for the death 
of his father, slain by the Moslems m the battle of Ohod, 
would have killed the prophet in the confusion, had he not 
been surrounded and protected by a few devoted fol- 
lowers. Mahomet himself, in an impulse of desperation, 
spurred his mule upon the enemy; out Al Abbas seized 
we bridle, stayed lum firom rushing to certain death, and 
at the same time put up a shout that echoed through the 
narrow valley. Al Aboas was renowned for strength of 
lungs, and at this critical moment it was the salvation 
of 3ie army. The Moslems rallied when they heard his 
well-known voice, and finding they were not pursued, re- 
turned to the combat. The enemy had descended from 
the heights, and now a bloody conflict ensued in the deflle. 
" The mmace is kindling," cried Mahomet, exultingly, as 
he saw the glitter of arms and flash of weapons. Stoop- 
ing from his saddle, aud grasping a handml of dust, he 
scattered it in the air toward tne enemy. " Confusion on 
their faces !" cried he ; " may this dust blind them !" 
They were blinded accordingly, and fled in confusion, say 
the Moslem writers : though their defeat may rather be 
attributed to the Moslem superiority of force, and the zeal 
inspired by the exclamations of the prophet. Malec and 
the Thakentes took refuge in ilie distant city of Tayef, the 
rest retreated to the camp in the valley of Autas. 

While Mahomet remamed in the valley of Honein, he 
ieat Abu Amir with a strong foroey to attadc the camp. 

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The Hawazins made a brave defence. Abu AthiV was 
slain: but bis nephew, Abu Musa, took the command, and 
obtained a complete rictory, kiUing many of the enemy* 
The camp afforded great booty and many captives, from 
the unwise ei^dient of Malec Ibn Auf, in encumbering it 
with the famines and effects, the flocks and herds, of the 
confederates; and from his disregard of the sage advice of 
the veteran Doraid. The fate of that ancient warrior of 
the desert is worthy of mention. While the Moslem 
troops, scattered through the camp, were intent on booty, 
lUbia Ibn Rafi, a young Suleimite, observed a litter borne 
off on the back of a camel, and pursued it, supposing it to 
contain some beautiful female. On overtatmg it and 
drawing the curtain, he beheld the skeleton form of the 
ancient Doraid. Vexed and disappointed, he struck at 
him with his sword, but the weapon broke in his hand. 
"Thy mother," said the old man, sneeringly, ** has ftir- 
nished thee with wretched weapons; thou wilt find a better 
one hanging behind my saddle." 

The youth seized it, but as he drew it from the scab- 
bard, Doraid perceiving that he was a Suleimite, ex- 
daimed, " Tell thy momer, thou hast slain Doraid Ibn 
Simma, who has protected many women of her tribe in 
the day of battle." The words were ineffectual ; the skull 
of the veteran was cloven with his own scimetar. When 
Itabia, on his return to Mecca, told his mother of the 
deed, " Thou hast indeed slain a benefactor of thy race," 
said she, reproachftdly. " Three women of thy family has 
Doraid Ibn Simma freed from captivity." 

Abu Amir returned in triumph to Mahomet, making a 
great display of the spoils of me camp of Autas, and the 
women and children whom he had captured. One of the 
female captives threw herself at the feet of the prophet, 
and implored his mercyas his foster-sister Al Shuna, the 
dau^ter of his nurse HalSma, who had nurtured him in 
the Saadite valley. Mahomet sought in vain to recognise 
in her withered features the bright playmate of his in- 
fancy, but she laid bare her back, and showed a scar where 
he had bitten her in their childish gambols. He no longer 
doubted ; but treated her with kmdness, giving her me 
choice either to remain witli him and under nis protection, 
or to return to her home and kindred. 
' A scruple rose among the Moslems with respect to 
their female captives. Could they take to themselves such 
as were marriea, without committing the sin ofadulteryF 

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The rerektion of a text of the Koran put an end to ibe 
difficnltf . " Ye shall not take to Trife free women wiio ar# 
married, nnless yonr rifht hand shall have made ihea 
slaves.*' Accormn^ to &s all women taken in war may- 
be made the wives of the captors, Hiongh their former 
husbands be Hying. The victors of Honein failed not to 
take immediate advantage of this law. 

Leaving the cimtives and the booty in a secure placoy 
and properly guarded, Mahomet now proceeded in pursuit 
of the lliakentes who had taken refuge in Tayef. A sen- 
timent of vengeance mingled with his pious a^our as he 
aj^roadied tms iddlatrous place, the scene of former in- 
jury and insult, and b^ield the sate whence he had once 
be^ i^ominioualy driven forth. The walls were too 
strongjnowever, to be stormed^ and there was a protecting 
castle; for the first time, therefore, he had recourse to 
cataptdts, batterinff-rams, and other engines used in sieges, 
but unknown in Arabian warfare. These were prepared 
under the direction of Salmlin al Farsi, the converted 

The besieged, However, repulsed every attack, galling 
the assailaots with darts and arrows, and pouring down 
melted iron upon the ^elds of bull-hides, under covert of 
whidi tlibey i^roached the walls. Mahcmiet now laid 
waste the fiekls, the orchards, and vineyardiy and pro- 
claimed freedom to all slaves who should desert from tiie 
dty. For twenty days he carried on an inefiGBctoal siege 
*-<ljuly offering up prayers midway between the tents of 
his wives 0mm Salama and Zeinab, to whom it had MlssxL 
l^ lot to accompany him in this campaign. His hopes of 
success be^an to fail, and he was frirther discouraged by a 
dream, which was unfavourably interpreted by Abu Beker« 
renowned f<Hr his skill in expounding visions. He would 
have raised the dege, but Iub troops murmured; where- 
upon be ordered an assault upon one of the gates* As 
usual, it was obstinately defended; numbers were slain on 
both sides; Abu Sofian, who fought valiantly on the occa- 
sion, lost an eye, and the Moslems were finally r^ulsed. 

Mahomet now broke up his camp, pr<musing his troops 
to renew the siege at a future day, and proceeded to the 
pkce where were collected the spoils of his expedition. 
These, say Arabian writers, amounted to twenty-four 
l^usand camels, forty thousand sheep, four thousand 
ounces of silver, and six thousand captives. 

In a little while appeared « deputation from the Hawa- 

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zins, dedaring the submission of their tribe, and begging 
the restoration of their ikmilies and effects. With them 
came HalSma, Mahomet's foster-nurse, now well stricken 
in years. The recollectiona of his childhood again pleaded 
with his heart. " Which is dearest to you/' said he to the 
Hawazins, " your families or your gooas P" They replied, 
** Our families." 

" Enoi^h," rejoined he, " as four as it ocmcems Al Abbas 
and myseF, we are ready to gire up our share of the pri^ 
soners ; but there are others to be mored. Come to mo 
after noontide prayer, and say, * We implore the ambas- 
sador offGtod that he counsel Ms followers to return us our 
wives and children ; and we implore his followers that they 
intercede with him in our favour.* " 

The envoys did as he advised. Mahomet and Al Abbas 
immediately renounced their share of the captives ; their 
example was followed by all excepting the tribes of Tamim 
said Fazara, but Mahomet brought them to consent by 
Promising tJiem a sixfold share of the prisoners taken in 
the next expedition. Thus ihe intercession of HalSma 
procured the deliverance of all the captives of her tribe. 
A traditional anecdote shows the deference with which 
Mahomet treated this humble protector of his infancy. 
*' I was sitting with the prophet, said one of his disciples, 
"when all of a sudden a woman presented herself, and he 
rose and spread his cloth for her to sit down upon. When 
she went away, it was observed, ' that woman suckled the 
prophet.* " 

Mahomet now sent an envoy to Malec, who remained 
shut up in Tayef, offerinj^ the restitution of all the spoils 
taken from him at Honein, and a present of one himared 
camels, if he woidd submit and embrace the faith. Maleo 
was conquered and converted by this liberal offer, and 
brought several of his confederate tribes with him to the 
standard of the prophet. He was immediately made their 
chief; and proved, subsequ^itly, a severe scourge in the 
cause of the faith to his late associates the Thakentes. 

The Moslems now began to fear that Mahomet, in these 
magnanimous impulses, might squander away aU the gains 
of meir recent battles ; thronging around hun, thereforCr 
they clamoured for a division oi the spoils and caj^tives. 
Begarding them indignantly, " Have you ever," said he, 
** found me avaricious, or false, or disloyal P" Then plucking 
a hair from the back of a camel, and raising his voice, 
"By .Allah I" cried he, "I have never taken from the 

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common spoil the value of that camel's hair more than my 
£fth ; and that fifth has always been expended for your 

He then shared the booty as usual : four-fifths among 
the troops ; but his own fiifth he distributed among those 
whose fidelity he wished to insure. The Xoreishites he 
considered dubious allies ; perhaps he had overheard tho 
exultation of some of them in anticipation of his defeat ; 
he now sought to rivet them to him by gifts. To Abu 
Sofian he gave one hundred camels and forty okks of silver^ 
in compensation for the eye lost in the attack on the ^ate 
of Tayef. To Akrema Ibn Abu Jahl, and others of like 
note, he gave in due proportions, and all firom his owa 

Among the lukewarm converts thus propitiated, was 
Abbas Ibn Mardas, a poet. He was dissatisfied with his 
share, and vented his discontent in satirical verses. Ma^ 
homet overheard him. " Take that man hence,** said he, 
** and cut out his tongue." Omar, ever ready for rigorous 
measures, would have executed the sentence literally, and 
on the spot ; but others, better instructed in the prophet*s 
meaning, led Abbas, jail trembling, to the public square 
where me captured cattle were collected, and bade him 
choose what he liked from among them. 

*' What !** cried the jjoet, joyously, relieved from the 
horrors of mutilation, " is this the way the prophet woidd 
silence my tongue? By Allah! I will take nothing.** 
Mahomet, however, persisted in his politic generosity, and 
sent him sixty camels. From that tmie forward the poet 
was never weary of chanting the liberality of the prophet. 

While thus stimulating the good-will or lukewarm uro- 
selytes of Mecca, Mahomet excited the murmurs or his 
auxiharies of Mecdna. " See," said they,^ " how he lavishes 
gifts upon the treacherous Koreishites, while we, who have 
been loyal to him through all dangers, receive nothing but 
our naked share. What have we done that we should be 
thus thrown into the background ?'* 

Mahomet was told of their murmurs, and summoned 
their leaders to his tent. " Hearken, ye men of Medina,** 
said he ; " were ye not in discord among yourselves, and 
have I not brought you into harmony? Were ye not in 
error, and have X not brought you into the path of truth ? 
Were ye not poor, and have I not made you rich?'* 

They acknowledged the truth of his words. ** Look ye I" 
continued he, " I came among you stigmatized as a liar. 

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THE pbophbt's appial. 153 

jet jou beliered in me ; persecuted, yet you protected me ; 
a fugitive, yet you sheltered me ; Lelpless, yet you aided 
me. Think you I do not feel this P Think vou I can be' 
ungrateful P You complain that I bestow gifts upon these 
people, and give none to you. It is true, I give them 
worldly gear, but it is to win their worldly hearts. To 
Tou, who have been true, I give — ^myself! They return 
tome with sheep and camels j j^e return with the prophet 
of Grod among you. For, by him in whose hands is the 
eoul of Mahomet, though the whole world shouldjjo one 
way and ye another, I would remain with you ! Which of 
you, then, have 1 most rewarded P" 

The auxiliaries were moved even to tears by this appeal. 
•* Oh, prophet of Gt)d," exclaimed they, " we are content 
with our lot I" 

The booty being divided, Mahomet returned to Mecca, 
not with the parade and exaltation of a conqueror, but in 
pilgrim garb, to complete the rites of his pilgiimage. All 
these being scrupulously performed, he appointed Moad 
Ibn Jabal as iman, or pontiff, to instruct the people in the 
doctrines of Islam, and gave the government of the city 
into the hands of Otab, a youth but eighteen years of age; 
after which he bade farewell to his native place, and set 
out with his troops on the return to Medina. 

Arrivinff at the village of Al Abwa, where his mother 
was buried, his heart yearned to pay a filial tribute to her 
memory, but his own revealed law forbade any respect to 
the grave of one who had died in unbelief. In the strong 
flotation of lus feelings, he implored from heaven a relaxa- 
tion of this law. If there was any deception on an occa- 
sion of this kind» one would imagine it must have been 
self-deception, and that he really believed in a fancied 
intimation from heaven relaxing the law, in part, in 
the present instance, and permitting him to visit the 
grave. He burst into tears on arriving at this trying filial 
place of the tenderest affections ; but tears were ail the 
tribute he was permitted to offer. " I asked leave of God/* 
said he, mournfully, "to visit my mother's grave, and it 
was granted ; but when I asked leave to pray for her, it 
was denied me I" 

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Death of the prophet's daughter Zeinab. — Birth of his son. Ibrahim^— 
Deputations from distant tribes. — Poetical contest in presence of the 
prophet. — His susceptibility to the charms of poetry.— Seduction of 
the dty of Tayef ; destmetioii of its idols.— Negotiation with Aair 
Ibn Tafid, a proud Bedonm ehirfv4ndependent qiurit of tha latter. 
— InttfTiew of Adi, another chie^ with Mahomet. 

Shobtlt afberllis return to Medina, Mahomet was a£9icted 
by the death of his daughter Zeinab, the same who had 
been given up to him in exchange for her husband Abul 
Aass, the unbeliever, c{»tured at the battle of Beder. 
The domestic affections of the prophet were strong, and 
he felt deeply this bereavement; he was consoled, how- 
ever, by the oirth of a son, by his favourite concubine 
Mmriyah. He called the child Ibrahim, and rejoiced in 
the lK>pe, that this son of his old age, his only male issue 
living, would continue his name to after generations. 

His £une, either as a prophet or a conqueror, was now 
spreading to the uttermost parts of Arabia, and deputa- 
laons fipom distant tribes were continually arriving at 
Medina, some acknowledging him as a |)rophet, and ema 
bracing Tslamiam ; others submitting to him as a temporal 
sovereign, and agreeing to pay tribute. The talents of 
Mahomet rose to the exigency of the moment ; his views 
e]^anded with his fortimes, and he now proceeded, with 
statesmanlike skill, to regnlate the fiscal concerns of his 
rwidly growing empire. Under the specious appellation 
or alms, a contribution was levied on true DelieverSy 
amounting to a tithe of the productions of the earth, where 
it was ferwized by brooks and rain ; and a twentieth part 
where its futility was the result of irrigation. For every 
ten camelfi, two sheep were required ; for forty head of 
cattle, one cow; for thirty head, a two years* calf; for 
every forty sheep, one ; whoever contributed more than 
at tnis rate, would be considered so much the more 
devout, and would gain a proportionate favour in the eyes 
of God. 

The tribute exacted from those who submitted to tem- 
poral sway, but continued in unbelief, waa at the rate of 
one dinar in money or goods, for each adult person, bond 
or free. 

Some difficulty occurred in collecting the charitable 

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contrilmtioiifl ; ike proud tribe of Tamiai openly resisted 
ihem, a&d drore away the collector. A troop of Arab 
bone was sent against them, and l^ou^t away a number 
of men, women, and <^dre& captives. A deputation of 
tiie Tamimites came to redaim the prisoners. Four of the 
deputies were renowned as orators and poets, and instead 
of humbling th^neelres before Mah(miet, proceeded to 
dedaim in prose and Terse, defying the Moslems to a 
poetical ccmtest. 

** I am not sent by God u a poet," replied Mahomet, 
^neither do I seek fame as an orator." 

Some of his followers, however, accepted the chaUenge^ 
sad a war of ink ensued, in which Uie Tamimites acknow* 
kdged themselves vanquished. So well pleased was Ma* 
hornet with the spirit of their defiance, with their poetry, 
and with tbeir finmk a^AOwledgment of defeat, that he 
not merely gave them up the prisoners, but dismissed 
Hiem with jpresents. 

Another mstance of his susceptihihty to the charms of 
poetry, is recorded in the case of Caab Urn Zohair, a cela» 
orated poet of Mecca, who had made him the subject <^ 
satirical verses, and had, coi^equently, been one of the 
inroseribed ; but had fied on ihe capture of the sacred city. 
Caab now eanro to Medina to make his peace, and ap- 
proaclung Mahomet when in the mosque, Beffan chanting 
Bis praise in a poem, afterwards renowned among the 
Arabs as a masterpiece. He concluded by eroecialfy ez- 
teOing his clemency, ^ for with the prophet of God, the 
pardon of injuries is, of aU his virtues, that on which one 
can rely wim the greatest certainty." 

Captivated wit& the verse, and soothed by the flattery, 
Mahomet i^ule good the poet's words, for he not merely 
fin^ttve him, but taking otfhis own mantle, threw it upon his 
shoulders. The poet preserved the sacred j^arment to the 
^y of his d€«ith, refusmg golden offers for it. The Caliph 
J^awyah purchased it of his heiis for ten thousand 
drachmas, and it continued to be worn by the Caliphs in 
mtocesfflxms and solemn ceremonials, until the thirty-sixth 
Ual^)hat, when it was torn ham the back of the Caliph 
Al-Most*asem Billah, byHolagu, the Tartar conqueror, 
md burnt to ashes. 

"While town after town, and castle after castle of the 
Arab tribes were embracing the faith, and professing 
idleeiaDiCe to Midkcmiet, Tayef, the stronghold of the 
Hu&efltes, remained obstinate in the worship of its 

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boasted idol Al Lat. The inliabitants confide in theic 
mountain position, and in the strength of their walls and 
castle. But, though safe from assault, they found them^ 
^selves gradually hemmed in and isolated by the Moslems, 
so Hiat at length they could not stir beyond their walla 
without beinff attacked. Thus threatened and harassed^i 
they sent ambassadors to Mahomet to treat for peace. 

The prophet cherished a deep resentment against this 
stiS-necked and most idoktrous city, which had at one 
time ejected him from its eates, and at another time re- 
pulsed him from its walls. Sis terms were conversion and 
unqualified submission. The ambassadors readily con- 
sented to embrace Islamism themselves, but pleaded the 
danger of sudd^y shocking the people of Ta^ef, by a 
demand to renounce their ancient udtn. In their name, 
therefore, they entreated ]^rmission for three years longer, 
to worship their ancient idol Al Lat. The request waa 
peremptorily denied. They then asked at least one month's 
delay to prepare l^e pubhc mind. This likewise was re* 
fused, all idolatry being incompatible with the worship of 
God. Thev then entreated to be excused from the ob* 
servance of the daily prayers. 

" There can be no true religion without prayer," replied 
Mahomet. In fine, they were compelled to make tmcoQ- 
ditional submission. 

Abu Sofian Ibn Harb, and Al Mogheira, were sent to 
Tayef, to destroy the idol Al Lat, which was of stone^ 
Abu Sofian struck at it with a pickaxe, but missing his 
blow, fell prostrate on his face. The populace set up a 
shout, considering it a good augury, out Al Mogheira 
demolished their nopes, and the statue, at one blow of a 
sledge-hammer. He then stripped it of the costly robes, 
the bracelets, the necklace, the ear-rings, and otiber orna* 
ments of gold and precious stones wherewith it had been 
decked by its worshippers, and left it in fragments on the 
groimd, with the women of Tayef weeping and lamenting 
over it.* 

Among those who still defied the power of Mahomet, 
was the Bedouin chief Amir Ibn Tufiel, head of the power- 

* The Thakefites continue a powerful tribe to this day, possessing the 
tame fertile region on the eastern dedivitj of the Heij^as chain of 
moantains. Some inhabit the ancient town of Tayef, others dwell ia 
tents and hare flocks of goats and sheep. They can raise two thousand 
matchlocks, and defended their stronghold of Tayef in the wm niXk 
the W$hAhf9.^BurcIchardf9 Nottt, r, S. 

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fal tribe of Amir. He was renowned for personal beauty 
and princely magnificence ; but was of a hanffhty spirit, 
and his magnificence partook of ostentation. At tlie great 
fair of Okaz, between Tayef and Naklah, where merdi^tSy 
pilgrims, and poets were accustomed to assemble irom all 
parts of Arabia, a herald would proclaim : " Whoso wants 
a beast of burden, let him come to Amir; is any one 
hungry, let him come to Amir, and he will be fed ; is he 
persecuted, let him fly to Amir, and he will be protected." 

Amir had dazzled every one by his generosiw, and hia 
ambition had kept pace with his popularity, ihe rising 
power of Mahomet inspired him with jealousy. When 
advised to make terms with him ; " I nave sworn," re- 
plied he, haughtily, "never to rest until I had won all 
Arabia; and shall I do homage to this KoreishiteF" 

The recent conquests of the Moslems, however, brought 
him to listen to the counsels of his Mends. He repaired 
to Medina, and coming into the presence of Mahome^ 
demanded frankly, " Wilt thou be my friend?" 

"Never, by Allah!" was the reply, "unless thou dost 
embrace the faith of Islam." 

"And if I do; wilt thou content thyself with the sway 
over the Arabs of the cities, and leave to me the Bedouins 
of the deserts r 

Mahomet replied in the negative. 

" What then will I gain by embracing thy faith P" 

" The fellowship of all true believers. 

" I covet no such fellowship !" replied the proud Amir: 
and with a warlike menace he returned to his tribe. 

A Bedouin chieftain of a different character was Adi, a 
prince of the tribe of TaL His father Hatim had been 
famous, not merely for warlike deeds, but for boundless 
generosity, insomuch tliat ike Arabs were accustomed to 
say, " as generous as Hatim." Adi the son was a Chris- 
aia ; and however he mi^ht have inherited his father's 
generosity, was deficient m his valour. Alarmed at the 
ravagine expeditions of the Moslems, he ordered a yotmg 
Arab, wno tended his camels in the desert, to have several 
of the strongest and fleetest at hand, and to give instant 
notice of the approach of an enemy. 

It happened that Ali, who was scouring that part of the 
country with a band of horsemen, came in sight, bearing 
. with lum two banners, one white, the other black. The 
youn^ Bedouin beheld them from afar, and ran to Adi, 
^Tc1a.iming, " The Moslems are at hand. I see their ban- 
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ners at a distance !*' Adi instaiitik placed his wife and 
c^dren <m the camels, and fled to oyna. His sister, sur- 
named Saffana, or the Pearl, fell into the hands of the 
Moslems, and was carried with other captives to Medina* 
Seeing Mahomet pass near to the place of her conflnement, 
she cned to him: 

"Have pity upon me, oh ambassador of God! My 
Either is dead, and he who should have protected, has 
abandoned me. Have pity upon me, oh ambassador of 
Ood, as God may have pi^ upon ihee V* 

" Who is thy protector?'* asked Mahomet. 

" Adi, the son of Hatim." 

" He is a fugitive fitjm God and his prophet," replied 
Mahomet, and ^sed on. 

On the following day, as Mahomet was passing by, AH, 
who had been touched by the woman's beauty and her 
grief, whispered to her to arise and entreat the prophet 
once more. She aoocordingly repeated her prayer—" Oh 
prophet of Gt)d ! my father is dead ; my brotiier, who 
should have been my protector, has abandoned me. Have 
mercy upon me, as God will have mercy upon thee." 

MiJiomet turned to her benignantly. " Be it so," said 
he ; and he not <mly set her wde, but gave her raiment 
and a camel, and sent her by the first caravan bound to 

Arriving in ^esence of her brother, she upbraided him 
with his desertion. He acknowledged his fault, and was 
forfflven. She then urged him to make hib peace with 
Mahomet ; " he is truly a prophet," said she, " and wfll 
floon have universal sway ,• hasten, ther^ore, in time to 
win his favour. 

The politic Adi listened to her counsel, and hastening to 
Medina, greeted the prophet, who was in the mosque. 
His own account of the interview presents a striking pic- 
ture of the simple manners and mode of life of Mahomet, 
now in the full exercise of sovereign power, and the career 
of rapid conquest. " He asked me," says Adi, " my name, 
and when I gave it, invited me to accompany him to his 
home. On the way, a weak, emaciated woman accosted 
him. He stopped and talked to her of her affidrs. This, 
thought I to myself, is not very kingly. When we arrivea 
at his house, he gave mte a leathern cushion stuffed with 

C -leaves to sit upon, while he sat upon the bare ground, 
thought I, is not very princely ! 
** He th^ asked me three tiaes to embraoe TdMwj^nw- 

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I replied, I have a fidth of my own. * I know thy faith,' 
Baid he, ' better than thou dost thyself. As prinoe, ^oa 
takest one-fonrth of the booty from thy people. Ib tlda 
Christian doctrine ?* Bj these words I perceived him to 
be a prophet, who knew more ikan other men. 

" ' Thon dost not incline to Islamism,' continued he, 
'because thou seestwe are poor. The time is at hand 
when true believers will have more wealth Ihan they will 
know how to manage. Perhaps thou art deterred by 
seeing the small nunSber of the Moslems in comparison 
with the hosts of their enemies. By Allah ! in a little 
while, a Moslem woman will be able to make a pilgrimage 
on her camel, alone and fearless, from Kadesia to Goas 
temple at Mecca. Thou thinkest, probably, that the might 
is in the hands of tiie unbelievers ; know that the time is 
not far off when we will plant our standards on the white 
oastles oi Babylon.* " * 

The p<^itic Adi believed in the prophecy, and forthwith 
embraced the faith. 


ftepaimtions itar an expectttioa against Syria. — Intrigues of Abdallah 
Smi Obba. — Contributkuis of the faithfiil. — ^Maroh of the amy. — The 
accursed region of Ha}ar. — Encampment at Tabuc. — iSuluugation of 
the ndghbouring provinces. — Kbaled surprises Okaidor and Ua 
easQt. — Return ^the army to Medina. 

Mahomet had now, either by conversion or conquest, 
made himself sovereign of almost all Arabia. The scat- 
tered tribes, heretofore dangerous to each other, but by 
their disunion powerless against the rest of the world, he 
had united into one nation, and thus fitted for external 
eonquest. His prophetic character gave him absolute 
4K>ntrol of the formidable power thus conjured up in the 
-desert, and he was now prepared to lead it forth for the 
propagation of Hie faith, and tiie extension of the Moslem 
power in foreign lands. 

His numerous victories, and the recent affair at Muta, 
had at length, it is said, roused the attention of the Em- 
peror Heraclius, who was assembling an army on the con- 
-fiaes of Arabia to crush this new enemy. Mahomet de- 

« WaUM Mohammed, p. 347. 

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tennined to anticipate liis liostilities, and to carry the 
standard of the faim into the very heart of Syria. 

Hitherto he had undertaken his expeditions with secresy ; 
imparting his nlans and intentions to none but his most 
confidential omcers, and beguiling his followers into enter- 
prises of danger. The present campaig^, however, so dif- 
ferent from the brief predatory excursions of the Arabs, 
would require great preparations ; an unusual force was to 
be assembled, and all kinds ofprovisions made for distant 
marches, and a long absence. uj& proclaimed openly, there* 
fore, the object and nature of the enterprise. 

There was not the usual readiness to flock to his stan- 
dard. Many remembered the disastrous aflair of Muta, 
and dreaded to come again in conflict with discip^Uned 
Soman troops. The time of year aJso was impropitious 
for such a distant and prolonged expedition. It was the 
season of summer heat ; the earth was parched, and the 
iSprings and brooks were dried up. The date-harvest, too, 
was approaching, when the men should be at home to 
gather the fruit, rather than abroad on predatory enter- 

All these things were artftilly urged upon the people by 
Abdallah Ibn Obba, the Elhazradite, -f^ho continued to be 
the covert enemy of Mahomet, and seized every occasion 
to counteract his plans. ** A fine season this/' would he 
cry, ''to undertake such a distant march in defiance of 
dearth and drought, and the fervid heat of the desert! 
Mahomet seems to think a war with Greeks Qtiite a matter 
of sport ; trust me, you will find it very dim^rent from a 
war of Arab against Arab. By Allah ! methinks I already 
see you all in chains.'' 

By these and similar 80o£& and su|^e8tion8, he wrought 
upon the fears and feelings of the iLnazradites, his par- 
tisans, and rendered the enterprise generally impopular. 
Mahomet, as usual, had resort to revdation. ** Those who 
would remain behind, and refuse to devote themselves to 
the service of God," said a timely chapter of the Xoran» 
*' allege the summer heat as an excuse. Tell ti^em the fire 
of heU is hotter ! They may hug themselves in the enio^r- 
ment of present safety, but endless tears will be their 
punishment hereafter. 

Some of his devoted adherents manifested their zeal at 
iliis lukewarm moment. Omar, Al Abbas, and Abda'lrah- 
man, gave large sums of mone3r ; several female devotees 
brought their ornaments and jewels. Othman delivered 

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(meihotisaEid, some say ten thoufand, dinara to Mahomet^ 
and was absolved firom his sins, past, present, or to eome«. 
Abn Beker gave fonr thousand <uadimas ; Mahomet hesi- 
tated to accept the offer, knowing it to be all that he pos* 
sessed. "^ What will remain," said he, " for ti^ee and thjr 
family P" " Grod and his prophet," was the reply. 

Tliese devout examnlesliaa a powerful effect ; yet it waa 
with much difficulty tnat an army of ten thousand horse 
and twenty thousand foot was assembled. Mahomet now 
appointed Ali governor of Medina during his absence, and 
gaardian of both their families. He accepted the trust 
' with great reluctance, having been accustomed always to 
accompany the prophet, and share all his perils. All ar- 
rangements bemg completed, Mahiomet marched fortib. 
from Medina on this momentous expedition. A part of 
his army was composed of Khazradites and their confede- 
rates, led by AbdaUah Ibn Obba. This man, whom Ma- 
homet had wdl denominated the Chief of the Hypocrites^ 
encamped separately with his adherents at night, at somo 
distance in tiie rear of the main aimv ; and when the 
latter marched forward in the morning, lagged behind and 
led his troops back to Medina. Repairing to Ali, whose> 
dominion in the dty was irksome to hun and his adherents, 
he endeavoured to make him discontented with his position, 
alleging that Mahomet had left him in charge of Medina 
solely to rid himself of an incumbrance. Stung by the 
suggestion, AH hastened after Mahomet,, and demanded if 
wlmt AbdaUah and his followers said were true. 

'' These men," repUed Mahomet, *^ are Hars.. They are 
ihe jrarty of Hypocrites and Doubters, who would breed 
sedition in Medma. I left thee behind to keep watch 
over them, and to be a guardian to both our fieunilies. I 
lirould have thee to be to me what Aaron was to Moses ; 
excepting that thou canst not be, like him, a prophet ; I 
being the last c^ the prophets." With this explanation, 
Ali returned contented to Medina. 

Many have inferred from the foregoing, that Mahomet 
intended Ali for his Caliph or successor ; that being -the 
signification of the Arabic word used to demote the rela-' 
tion of Aaron to Moses. 

The troops who had continued on with Mahomet soon 
be^ eosperience the difficulties of braving the desert 
in^^ 9Q)t^ season. Many turned back on tiie second 
day; a^d others on the third and fourth. Whenever 
irotd was brought to Ihe prophet of their desertion* " Lei 

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them gOt" wouiU be the reph*; " if they aze good te anj- 
thiiig> G<)d witt brizig tkem oiiek to us ; if thej are not» 
we ftre r^ktred fixna so huulj inewnhnmeee." 

Whik aooBie i^Tis lost heart xxj^n the march, othevs "^^lo 
had remaiE&ed at Medina repented of their faint-hearted- 
ness. Oiie» named Abu Khaithama, entering his garden 
daring tiie sidtry heat of the day, beheld a repast of 
Tiandfi aibd fresh water spread for mm hf his two wires 
in the cool shade of a tent. I^nsisg at the threshold, 
'5 At this moment," exdabned he, '"^the prophet of Gk>d is 
eiroosed to the winds and heats of the desert, and shall 
iKhaithama sit h»re in the shade beside his beantifid * 
wiTesP By Allah! I will not enter the tent!" He 
immediately armed himself with sword and lanee, and, 
monnting lus camel, hastened off to join ^e standard of 
tis« faith. 

In the meantime, ishe army, after a weary march of 
aeven days, entered t^ momitaiiioas district of Hajar, 
inhabited in days of dd by t&e Thamndites, one of the 
k>st tribes of AraHa. It was the aoevrsed regioB, the 
tradition eoneerning^ which has already been related. The 
advance of tiie am^, knowing nothing of this tradidony 
and being heated and &tigtied, behttd, widi delight, • 
brook ranning tinrongh a yecvbniTaUey, and eotA esres 
ei^ in the sid^ of tibe neiehbovring hills, osace the abodes 
of the hMuren-sadtten Thamndites. Haltmg alon^ the 
brool:, some pre p a red to bathe, otJuevs began to cook and 
make bread, while all promised &emsd:ve8 cool quarters 
for the night in the caves. 

Mahoittet, in mardiing, had kept, as was his wtait;, in 
the rear <^ the army, te assist the weak ; oceasionailj 
Itakin^ np a w aywor n laggard behind him. Anmring at 
the pkce where tlM troof»s had halted, he reeoUected it 
•f old, and tiie traditions oonoeising it, whaoii had been 
told to him when he passed here in the days of Ids boT« 
hood. Fear^l of inciirrinr the ban whioh hmif over tne 
neighbourhood,^ he <»rdered his troops to throw away the 
meat cooked with the water of the brook, to give the 
liread kneaded witii it to the caioaels, and to hvnf^r away 
£rom the heaven-accorsed place. Then wra^itiff his faee 
in the folds of his mantle^ and setting Bpiir|rto Ids miale, 
he hastened thromgh tlMbt sialbl region r^^ anny fcdkiw- 
ingMm as if %ing from an enemy. 

The sncceecung night was one of great suffering ; the 
army had to eneanqi witfaont waiter ^ the weather was 

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xNOiimcm Mr tabuc. liB 

iBteiiMlT liot, witii a parching wind from th6 desert ; aa 
intolerame thint prerailed throoglioat ihe eamp, ai 
thou^k the ThamncUte ban still Isamg oyer it. The next 
day, nfowerer, an abundant rain refr^ed and inyigorated 
both man and beast. The march was resumed wi<^ new 
ardour, and the arm j arriTed, witiiont fvaHJufit hardship^ 
at Tabue, a small town on the ccmfines of tiie Soman 
empire, about half way between Medina and Damascus, 
ana about ten days' journey from either city. 

Here Mahomet pitched nis camp in the neighbourhood 
of a fountain, and in ike midst of groves and pasturage. 
Arabian traditions affirm that the fountain was neany 
dzy ; XBSOBM^ iJiat, when a small yase was filled fat the 
prophet, not a drop was left : hayine assuaged his thirst, 
Aoweyer, and made lus ablutions, Mahomet threw what 
r^nained in the yase bade into the fountain ; whereupon 
a stream gudied forth sufficient for the troops and all the 

From this encampment Mahomet sent out his captains 
to proclaim and enforce the faith, or to exact tnbute. 
Soane of the neighbouring princes sent embassies, either 
aeiaK)wiedgiBg the diyinity of his mission, or submitting 
to his temporal sway. One of these was Johanna Ibn 
Buba,. prinoe of Eyla, a Christian city, near the Bed Sea. 
This was tiie same city about which the tradition is told, 
l^uit in days of old, w&n its inhabitants were Jews, the old 
men were turned into swine, and the yotmg men into 
mcmkeys^ £9r fishing on the Sabbath, a judgment solemnly 
TOeorded in the Koran. 

The pnnoe ot Eyla made a coyenaat of peace with 
Mahomet, agreeing to pay an annual tribute of three 
thousand dimurs or crowlis of gold. The form of the 
ooy^iant became a precedent in treating with other 
powers. * 

Amon^ the Arab princes who professed the Christian 
flnth, and reused to pay homage to Mahomet, was Okaider 
Ibn Maiec, of the tribe <^ Kenda. He resided in a castle 
at the foot of a mountain, in the n^dst of lus domain. 
Khaled was sent with a troop of horse to bring him to 
terms. Seeing the castle was too strong to be carried by 
assault, he hM recourse to stratagem. One moonlight * 
nighit, as^kaider and his wife were enjoying the fresh air 
on the terraced roof of the castle, tJ^y beheld an animal 
gzazinf^ which they supposed to be a wild ass from the 
neighbouring mountains. Okaider, who was a keen hunts- 

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man, ordered horse and lance, and sallied forUi to the 
chace, accompanied by his brother Hassan and seyeral of his. 
]>eople. The wild ass proTed to be a decoy. Th^ had not 
ridden far before Xhaled and his men rosned frt^ ambnsh 
and attacked them. They were too lightly armed to make 
mnch resistance. Hassan was killed on the spot, and 
Okaider taken prisoner; the rest fled back to the oasUe ; 
which, however, was soon surrendered. The prince was 
tdtimately set at liberty on paying a heavy ransom, and 
becoming a tributary. 

As a trophy of the victory, Khaled sent to Mahomet 
the vest stripped from the tody of Hassan. It was of 
silk, richly embroidered with gold. The Moslems gathered 
round, and examined it with admiration. ** Do you admire 
this vestP" said the prophet. " I swear by him in whose' 
hands if< the soul or Mahomet, the vest which Saad, the: 
son of Maadi, wears at this moment in paradise, is far. 
more precious." This Saad was the jud^e who passed sen- 
tence of death on seven hundred Jewish captives at Me- 
dina, at the conclusion of a former campaign. 

His troops being now refreshed by the sojourn at Tabue, 
and the neighbouring country being brought into sub- 
jection, Mahomet was bent upon prosecuting the object of 
his campaign, and pushing forward into the heart of Syria» 
His ardour, however, was not shared by his followers. In-' 
telligence of immense bodies of hostile troops, assembled 
on me Syrian borders, had damped the spirits of the. 
army. Mahomet remarked the general discouragement, 
yet was loth to abandon the campaign when but hiuf com-, 
pleted. Calling a council of war, he propounded the 
ouestion whether or not to continue forward. To Ihia. 
Omar replied, drily, " If thou hast the command of God 
to proceed frirther, do so.*' " If I had the command of 
God to proceed further," observed Mahomet, " I should 
not have asked thy counsel." 

Omar felt the rebuke. He then, in a respectful tone, 
represented the impolicy of advancing in the face of the 
overwhelming force said to be collected on the Syrian 
frontier; he reiHre^ented, also, how much Mahomet had. 
already eflected in this campai^. He had checked the 
threatened invasion of the imperial arms, and had received, 
the homage and submission of various tribes and people,: 
from the head of the Bed Sea to the Euphrates: he ad- 
Tised him, ti^reforo, to be content for the -pteseut year 

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witli what he had achieved, and to defer the completion of 
the enterprise to a future campaign. 

His counsel was adopted : u>t, whenever Mahomet was 
not under strong excitement, or fancied inspiration, he 
-was rather prone to yield up his opinion in nulitary 
matters to that of his generals. After a sojourn of ahout 
twenty days, therefore, at Tabuc, he broke up his camp» 
Imd conducted his army back to Medina. 


Triumphal entry into Medina.— Punishment of those who had reftiied 
to join the campaign. — Effects of excommunication. — ^Death of 
Abdallah Ibn Obba. — ^Dissensions in the prophet's harem. 

The entries of Mahomet into Medina on returning from 
his warlike triumphs, partook of the simpHcity and ab- 
sence of parade which characterized all his actions. On 
approaching the city, when his household came forth with, 
the multitude to meet him, he would stop to greet them, 
andrtake up the children of the house behind him on his 
horse. It was in this simple way he entered Medina, on 
i^etuniing from the campaign agamst Tabuc. 

The arrival of an army laden with spoil, gathered in the 
most distant expedition ever undertaken by the soldiers of 
Islam, was an event of too great moment not to be hailed 
with triumphant exultation by the commxmity. Those 
alone were cast down in spirit, ^o had refrisea to march 
forth with the army, or nad deserted it when on the 
march. All these were at first placed imder an interdict ; 
Mahomet forbidding his faithful followers to hold any in- 
tercourse with them. Mollified, however, by their con- 
trition or excuses, he gradually forgave the greater part of 
them. Seven of those who continued under interdict, 
finding themselves cut off from communi(m with their ac- 
quaintance, and marked with opprobrium amid an exult- 
ing community, became desperate, and chained themselves 
to the walls ot the mosque, swearing to remain there until 
piffdoned. Mahomet, on the other Jiand, swore he would 
leave tiiem there unless otherwise commanded by God. 
fortunately he received the command in a revealed verse 

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of i^ Koraa; but, in freem^ them from their Belf-xo^posed 
fetters, he exacted OAe-third of their possessions, to be ex- 
pended in i^e serriee of 1h» ffdth. 

Among those stiU «nder interdict were llaab Ihn Make, 
Mnrara Ibn Sohia, and Hilal Ibn Omeja. Hiese had 
(Huse been among ike most zealous of professing Moslems; 
. their defection was, therefore, ten times more heinous in 
the eyes of the profdiet, than that of their neighboorsy 
whose faith had been lukewarm and dubious. Toward 
them, therefore, he continued implacable. Forty days 
they remained interdicted, and the interdict extended to 
communication with their wives. 

The account given by £aab Ibn Malec of his situation, 
while thus excommunicated, presents a vivid picture of the 
power of Mahomet ever the minds of his adherents. "Ksaib 
declared that everybody shunned hini, or regarded him 
with an altered mien. His two companions m disgrace 
did not leave llieir homes ; he, however, went about from 
place to place, but no one spake to him. He sought the 
mosque, sat down near the pfoohet, and saluted him, but 
his salutation was not retumeo. On the forty-first day 
came a conmiftnd, that he should separate from his wile. 
He now left the ciiy, and pitched a tent on the lull of 
fiala, determined ibire to tmdergo in its severest ngoar 
the pusushment meted out to him. His heart, however, 
was dying away; the wide world, he said, appeared to 
grow narrow to him. On ^e fifty-first dinr came a mes- 
temser holding out the hope of pardon. He hastened to 
Medina, and sought the prophet at the mosq^ue, who re- 
ceived him with a radiant countenance, and said that €rod 
had forgiven him. Hie soul of £aab was lifted up from 
the deptiiis of dee^ondeney, and in the transports of his 
cratittude, he gave a portion of his wealth in atonement of 
ms error. 

Not long after the return of the army to Medina, Ab» 
dallah Ibn Obba, the Khazradite, " the chief of the Hypo- 
crites," fell ill, so that his life was despaired ofl Although 
Mahomet was well aware of the perfidy of this man, and 
ihd secret arts he had coDBtanHj practised against him, he 
visited him repeatedly during ms illness ; was with him at 
his dying hour, and followed his body to tiie grave. There, 
at the urgent entreaty of the son of the deceased, he put 
up prayers Ihat his mns might be f<»-given. 

Omar privately remonstrated with Mahomet for praving 
for a hypocrite; reminding him how often he had been 

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DissBSSioin nr thb xabbm. 1^ 

tlflzutoed bj AbcUUah; but he wbs simirdlf anflwered 
by a text of tiie Koran : " Thou mayest pray for ^e * Hy* 
pocrites/ or not, as thou wilt ; but though thou fihouldett 
pray ser^ity tiites, yet will ihej not bo fbrgiren." 

The prayers at Abdallah's ^rave, therefore, were put up 
out of policgr, to win favour with the Khazradites, and the 
powerml finends of the deceased ; and in this respect the 

Srayers were successful, for most of the adherents of the 
eceased became devoted to the prophet, whose swav was 
thenceforth undisputed in Medina. Subsequendfy he 
announoed toother revelation, which fcNrbade him to pray 
by the death-bed or «ta»d by the grave of any one who died 
in unbelief. 

But though Mahomet ez^ctsed such dominion over his 
^disciples, and the community at large, he had great dif> 
^ultf in governing his wives, and maintaining tranquillity 
in his harem. He appears to have acted with tolerabfo 
ecpity in his connubuu conoemB, as8i£;mng to each of lus 
Wives a separate habita<aon^ of whidiBhewas sole mistress, 
and passing the twenty-four hours wil^ than by turns. 
It so happened, that on one occasion, when he was sojouin^ 
in^ wi<ii Ma&a, the latter lefl; her dwelling t6 visit her 
&mer. Betuming unexpectedly, she surprised the prophet 
with his favourite and fortunate slave Mariyah, the mother 
of his s<m Ibrahim. The j ealousv of Hafka was vociferous. 
Mahomet endeavoured to pacify her, dreading lest her 
outcries should rouse his wWe harem to rebellion ; but 
she was only to be appeased by an oath on his part never 
more to ooliabit with Marrfah. On these terms she for- 
gave the past and promised secresy. 

She broke her promise, however, and revealed to Ajesha 
the infideHly of the prophet ; and in a little while it was 
known throughout the luirem. His wives now united in a 
storm of reproaches ; until, his patience being exhausted, 
he repudiated Hidfea, and renounced all intercourse with 
the rest. For a month he lay al<me on a mat in a separate 
apartment ; but Allah, at length, in consideration of his 
lonely state, sent down the firot and sixth chapters of the 
Koran, absolving him from the oath respecting Mariyah, 
who forthwith became the companion of his solitary 

The refractoiy wives were now brought to a sense of 
their error, and apprised by the same revelation, that the 
restrictions imposed on ordinary men did not apply to the 
prophet* In tne end he took back Hi^sa, who was peni- 

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16$ lilFS OF HAHOMBT* 

tent ; and he was reocmeiled to Ajeeha, whom he tendedy 
loTed, and all the rest were in due lime received into 
favour ; but he- continued to cherish Mariyah, for she wm 
^ir to look upon, and was the mother of his only eon. 


Altai Bdnr oondncta the yearly pilgrimage to M««ea.— HMqii 
of All to annoiinoe a reydatioii. 

The sacred month of yearly pilgrimage was now at hand, 
but Mahomet was too much occupied with pubHc and 
domestic concerns to absent himself from Medina: he 
deputed Abu Beker, therefore, to act in his place as emir 
or commander of the pilgrims, who were to resort from 
Medina to the holy city. Abu Beker accordingly departed 
at the head of three hundred pilgrims, with twenty camels 
{(xi^ sacrifice. 

I^ot long afterwards, Mahomet summoned his son-in-law 
and devotM disciple Ali, and, mounting him on Al Adha, 
or the slit-eared, the swiftest of his camels, urged him to 
hasten with all speed to Mecca, there to promu&ate befbre 
^e multitude of pilgrims assembled from all parts, an 
important sura» or chapter of the Koran, just received 
from' heaven. 

Ali executed his mission with his accustomed zeal and 
fidelity. He reached the sacred city in the height of the 
great religious festivaL On the day of sacrifice, when the 
ceremonies of pilgrimage were completed by the slaying 
of the victims in uie valley of Mina, and when Abu TSeker 
had preached and instructed the people in the doctriner 
and rites of Islamism, Ali rose before an immense multi« 
tude assembled at the hill Al Akaba, and announced him- 
self a messenger from the prophet, bearing an important 
revelation. Me then read, tne sura, or chapter of the 
Koran, of which he was the bearer, in which the reli^on 
of the sword was declared in all its rigour. It absolved 
Mahomet from all truce or league with idolatrous and 
other unbelievers, should they in any wise have been false 
to their stipulations, or given aid to his enemies. It allowed 
unbelievers four months of toleration from the time of this 
Announcement, during which months they might " go to 

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and fro about ^e earth, secnrely/' but at tbe expiration of 
tliat time all indulgence would cease ; war would then be 
made in cTery way, at every time and in every place, by 
open force or by stntagem, against those who persisted in 
tmbelief : no alternative would be leit them buttoembraee 
the faith, or pay tribute. The holy months and the holy 
places would no longer afford them protection. " When 
the months wherein ye are not allowed to attack them 
shall be passed," said the revelation, " kill the idolatrous 
wherever ye shall find them, or take them prisoners; 
besiege them, or lay in wait for them." The ties of blood 
and mendship were to be alike disregarded; the faithM 
were to hold no communion with their nearest relatives 
and dearest friends, should they persist in idolatiy. After 
the expiration of the current year, no unbeliever was to 
be permitted to tread the sacred bounds of Mecca, nor to 
enter the temple of Allah, a prohibition which continues 
to the present day. 

This stringent chapter of the Koran is thought to have 
been provoked, in a great measure, by the conduct of some 
of the Jewish and id&latrous Arabs, with whom Mahomet 
had made covenants, but who had repeatedly played him 
false, and even made treacherous attempts upon his life. 
It evinces, however, the increased conndence he felt in 
consequence of the death of his insidious and powerftd foe, 
Abdallah Ibn Obba, and the rapid conversion or subjuga* 
tion of the Arab tribes. It was, in fact, a decisive blow 
for the exclusive domination of his faith. 

When Abu Beker and Ali returned to Mecca, the former 
expressed surprise and dissatisfaction that he had not been 
made the promulgator of so important a revelation, as it 
seemed to be connected with Ids recent mission, but he 
was pacified by the assurance that all new revelations 
must be announced by the prophet himself, or by some 
one of his immediate family. 

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ICilmmet B^ds fais eaptaiiw on dirtant enteipiiew.— i^poiiits UeirteiiMitt 
to gorem iH AraMa Felix.— ^Sends Ali to suppress an insnirection im 
fh^ province.— Death of tbe prophet's only son, Ibrahim.— His 
oondact at the deathbed and the grave. — ^His growing infirmities.-* 
fiis valedictory pilgrimage to Mecca, and his conduct and preaching 
wMle there. 

Tffs promulgatioii of tilie last^i^eiitioiied chapteor of the 
Koran, with die aocompanyiiiff deoLunciation <^ exteimi- 
oatin^ war a^amst all who sEould refuse to believe or 
submit, produced hosts c^ converts and tributanes; so 
ihaJb, towards the close of the month, and in the beginning 
of the teni^ year of the Hegira, the gates of Medina were 
thronged with envoys horn distant tribes and princes. 
Among those who l)owed to the temporal power of the 
prophet was Farwa, lieutenant of Heradius, m Syria, and 
ffov^nor of Amon, the anoient capitol of the Ammonites* 
His act of submission, however, was disavowed by the 
en^ev<Hr, and punished with imprisonm^it. ,^ 

Mi^omet felt and acted more and more as a sovereign, 
but his grandest schemes as a conqueror were always 
sanctified by his zeal as an apostle. His captains were 
s^it on more distant expediticms than formerly, but it was 
always with a view to destroy idols, and luring idolatrous 
tribes to subjection ; so thatnis teniporal power but kept 
•pace with the propi^ati<m of his faith. He appoinjtedtwo 
lieutenants to govern in his name in Arabia Vehx ; but a 
portion of that rich and important countiy having shown, 
itself refractory, Ali was ordered to repair thitiber at the 
head of three hundred horsemen, and bring the inhabitanfts 
to reason. 

The youthM disciple expressed a becoming diffidence to 
undertake a mission where He would have to treat with 
men far older and wiser than himself; but Mahomet laid 
one hand upon his lips, and the other upon his breast, and 
raising his eyes to heaven, exclaimed, " Oh, Allah ! loosen 
his tongue and guide his heart!" He gave him one rule 
for his conduct as a judge. " When two parties come 
before thee, never pronounce in favour of one until thou 
hast heard the other." Then giving into his hands the 
standard of the faith, and placing the turban on his head, 
he bade him farewell. 

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WLeDL ihe mfiitatj mistionsrv anmd in the heretieid 
region of Ynnen, lus men, in&lgiiig ihdr uudent Arab 
ptropendties, began to sack, to phmder, and destroy. All 
cheeked thek excesseB, and arreBiing ikke fa^re inhabi- 
tantt, begin to exponad to them tl» doctnnes of Iilam. 
His tongue, thongn so reoenihr oonwcrsfced by the prof^et, 
i&iled to canj o(mviction,for ne waa answered l>7 durts and 
arrows ; wholenptm he retained to the ddaigmnentof the 
aword, wiidi he nijped with anch efficacy, iliat, a,ftest twenty 
nnbelievers had been slain, the rest arowed themaelvea 
ihoroiiekly eonyinoed. Hiss sealons abhieyement was fol- 
iowed by othera <€ a similar kind, after eadi o£ whidi he 
dispa^idied meBB«Qra» to the prophet, anwwineiag a new 
tritim^ of the &im. 

WMle Mahomet was eznlfcinj^ in ihe tidings of atteeess 
horn, every qoarter, he was stneken to the heart by one 
ci the soFerest of domestie berearements. Ibrahim, his 
aon, by his fsronrite oancnbine Muiyah, a child but 
£fteen mondis old, his only male iasne, on wiumi reposed 
his hope of transmitting his nMoe to posterity, was s^zed 
with a mortal malady, and expired befoiie hia effes. Ma- 
homet eonld m^ contpol a fisctner's feehnge as he bent in 
ag<my arer this blighted bloasom of his hq>es. Yet even 
in this tryii^ hoar ne showed that sohmission to the will 
<ifGk>dwluohiiD]3ned the fenndatiim ctf his fait^ "My 
heart k sad," mnrnmred he, " andmine eyes overflow with 
tears at parting witli thee, ch my son ! And atill greater 
woold be my gried^ did I m>t know that I must soon foDow 
thee ; for we are of God; from him we came, tJki to him 
we mnst retorn." 

Abda'lrahmaa seeing him in tears, demanded : *' Hast 
thon not forbidden ns to weep for the dead?" "No,*' 
replied the prophet. " I have forbidden ye to utter shrieks 
and outcries, to beat your faces, and rend your garments ; 
these are suggestions of the evil one ; out tears shed 
for a calamiiy are as bahn to the heart, and are aent in 

He followed his child to the grave, where amidst the 
agonies of separation, he gave another proof that the ele- 
ments of his religion were ever present to his mind. " My 
aon ! my son !" exclaimed he, as the body was committed 
to the tomb, " say Grod is my Lord ! the , prodbet of God 
was my fether, and Islamism is my faith I" This was to 
prepare his child for the questioning by examining angels^ 

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ITS XJVB ov MABoiarCt 

as to religious belief, which, aceordiiig to lioslem creed* 
the deceMed would undergo while in the ji^ye.* 

An eclipse of the snn which happened about that time, 
was interpreted by some of his zealous followers as a c^es- 
tial sign of mourning for the death of Ibrahim ; but ^e 
afflicted fiither rejected such obsequious flattery. *' The 
4nm and the moon/' said he, **Bie among the wonders of 
Ood, through which at times he signifies his will to his 
servants ; but their eclipse has nothing to do either With 
the birth or death of any mortaL" 

The death of Ibrahim was a blow which bowed him to- 
ward the grave. His constitution was already impaired br 
the extraordinary excitements and paroxysms of nisnmKU 
and the physical trials to which he nad l>een exposed ; the 
poison, too, administered to him at Khaibar, had tainte4{ 
the springs of life, subjected him to excrudating painsr 
and brought on a premature old age. His religious zeal 
took the uarm from the increase of bodily infirmities, and 
he resolved to- expend his remaining strength in a final 
pilgrimage to Mecca, intended to serve as a model for all 
future CMMcrvances of the kind. 

The announcement of his pious intention brought devo- 
tees from all parts of Arabia, to follow the pilgrim-prophet. 
T^e streets ot Medina were crowded with the various tribe^ 
from the towns and cities, from the fastnesses of the moun- 
tains, and the remoto parts of the desert, and the sur- 
nonnding yalleys were studded with their tents. It was a 
striking picture of the triumph of a faith, these recently 
disunitoa, barbarous, and warring tribes, brou^dbt togeUier 
as brethren, and inspired hj one sentiment of rdigious zeal. 

Mahomet was acc(mipanied on this oocasion by his nine 

* One of 1;he fimeral rites of the Koelems is for the Mulakken, or 
priest, to llddress the deceased, when in the grave, in the foliowinf 
words : - Oh. servant of God I O son of a handmaid of God I know that, 
at this time, there will oome down to thee tw6 angels commissioaea 
Mspeoting thee and the like of thee ; when thej say to thee, * Who is 
thy lA)rd ?* answer them, * God is my Lord,' in truth ; and when they 
ask thee concemhig thy prophet, or the man who hath been sent unto 
you, say to them, *Kahomet is the apostle of God,* Mrith veracity ; and 
when they fwk thee eonceming thy religion, say to them, * Islamism is 
my religion.' And when they a^ thee coacmdag thy book of dhrec- 
tion, say to them, * The Koran is my book of dhrection, and tlie Hoslemp 
«re my brothers ;' and when they ask thee concerning thy Kebla. say 
to them, : The Caaba is my Kebla, and I have lived and died in the 
assertion that there is no deity but God, and Mahomet is God's apostle,* 
and they wiU say, * Sleep, O servant of God, in the protection of God r * 
—See Lam^i Modem Egypiian$,y<jL iL p. S38. 

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wives, who were transported on litters. He departed at 
the head of an immense train, some say of fifby-fiye, others 
ninety, and others a hundred and fourteen thousand 
pUgnms. There was a large number of camels also, deco- 
rated with garlands of flowers and fluttering streamer^ 
intended to be offered up in sacrifice. 

The first night's halt was a few miles from Medina, at 
the Tillage of Dhul Holaifa, where, on a former occasion, 
he and his followers had laid aside their weapons, and 
assimied the pilgrim garb. Early on the following morn- 
ing, after praying in the mosaue, he mounted his camel 
Ai Aswa, ana entering the plain of Baida, uttered the 
prayer or invocation cafied in Arabic Tidbijah, in which he 
was joined by all his followers. The following is the im- 
port of this solemn invocation: *' Here am I in my service, 
oh Qod I Here am I in thy service ! Thou hast no com- 
panion. To thee alone belongeth worship. 'From thee 
oometh all good. Thine alone is the kingdom. There is 
none to share it with thee." 

This prater, according to Moslem tradition, was uttered 
by the patriarch Abrahiun, when, from the top of the hill 
€$ Kubeis, near Meeca, he preached the true faith to the 
whole human race, and so wonderfrd was the power of his 
voice, that it was heard by every living being throughout 
the worid; insomuch, that the very child in the womb 
responded, " Here am I in thy service, oh Gbd !" 

Li this way the pilgrim host pursued its course, winding 
i|i a l^i^ened train of miles, over mountain and valley, 
and makmg the deserts vocal at times with united prayers 
and ejaculations. There were no longer any hostile armies 
to impede or molest it, for by this time the Islam faith 
reigned serenely over all Arabia. Mahomet approached 
the sacred city over the same heights which he iiad tra* 
versed in capturinsr it, and he entered through the gate 
Beni Scheiba, whicn still bears the name of The 'H.ofy, 

A few days after his arrival, he was joined by Ah, who^ 
had hastened back from Yemen ; and who brought with 
him a number of camels to be slain in sacrifice. 

As this was to be a model pilgrimage, Mahomet rigor- 
ously observed all the rites which he had cimtinued in 
compliance with patriarchal usage, or introduced in oom- 
plimce with revelation. Being too weak and infirm to go 
on foot, he mounted his camel, and thus performed the 
circuits round the Caaba, and the joumeyings to and fro> 
between the hills of Safa and Merwa. 

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When tke camels were to be offered up in sacrifice^ he 
dew sixty-tbree with his own hand, one for eadi year of 
his age, and Ali, at the same time^ slew Ihirty-seTcn on his 
own account. 

^Mahconet then shayed his head, beginning on the right 
side and ending on the 1^^ The locks ihxia shorn away 
were equally £rided among his diseij^s, and treasured up 
as sacred relics. Khaled ever afterwards wore eoe in his 
turban^ and affirmed that it gave him si^emataral strength 
in battle. 

CoBsdous that life was waning away within him, Ma- 
homet, during this last sojourn m the seered city of his ' 
faith, soi^ht to ^igrave his doctrines deeply in thie minds 
and hearts of his mUowers. F(nr this purpose he preached 
frequently in the Caaba from the pxdpit, or in the open air 
from the back of his camd. ** Listen to my words," 
would he say, " for I know not whether, after this yeaav 
we shall ever meet here again. Oh, my hearors^ I am but 
a man like yourselves ; the angel of desoh may at any time 
appear, and X must obey his iunmuNis." 

He would then proceed to inculcate not merely religioua 
doctrines and ceremonies, but rules for oondoct in au the 
ooiscems of hh, public and domestie ; Mid the precepts 
laid down and enforced on iMa oceaoon, hwre haii a ymt 
and durable mfloence <m the morals, manners, and habi- 
tudes of the whole Modon woiid. 

It was doubtless in view of his approaching end, and in 
solicitude for the wd&re of his relatives and friends after 
his death, and especially of his favourite All, who, he per- 
ceived, luul ^ven dissatisfaction in the c<mduct of his 
recent campaign in Yemen, that he took occasicm, darin|Br 
a moment of strong excitement and enthusiasm among his 
hearers,, to address to them a solann adjuration^ 

" Ye believe," said he, " that there is but one God; that 
Mahomet is his prc^het and apostle; that paradbe and 
h e ll ar& truths ; that death and the resurrection are cer- 
tain ; and that there is an appointed time when all who 
rise from the grave must be brou^t to judgment." 

Th^ all answered, " We bdieve these things." He 
then adjured them solemnly by these dogmas of their futh 
ever to hold his frmily, and espedially Ali, in love and 
reverence. " Whoever loves me," said he, " let him re- 
ceive All as his friend.^ May God uphold those who b«>- 
friend him, and may he turn from his enemies." 

It was at the concluAon of one of hia discQuises in the 

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apen air, from the back oi Hb eamel, thai the £10110110 
Terse of the Koran is said to have eo»e down firom heayen 
m the Tery voice oi the Deity. " Evil to those, this day, 
wha have denied your region. Fear tiiem not ; fear me. 
This day I haye p^ected your rdigion, and accom^ished 
in yon m^ grace. It is my good i^easmre that Tslainisin 
be your faith." 

On hearing these words, say the Arabian historians, the 
camel Al Karwa, on which the preset was seated, fell on 
its knees in adoration. These words, add they, were the 
seal and condnsion of the law, fbr after them there were 
no fo*dier revelations. 

Having thua fnlfiHed all ike rites and ceremonies of 
pilgrimage, and made a fiill exposition of his fiuth, Ma- 
homet bade a last farewell to his native city, and, putting 
himself at the head of his pilgrim army, set out on his 
return to MecBna. 

As he came in sight of it, he lifted up his voice and 
^churned, "Qod is great! G^ is great! There is but 
one God ; he has no companion. His is the kingdom. To 
him akme belongeiii praise. He is ahnighty. He hath 
fbl^led his promise. He has stood by his servant, and 
alone dispersed his enemies. Let us return to our homee, 
and worsnm and praise him I" 

Thus ended what has been termed the valedictory pil* 
fiimage, hemg the last made by tiie prophet. 

Of the two fiilse prophets, Al Aswsd and Moseilma. 

The health of Mahomet continued to decline after his 
return to Medina ; neverthdiess, his ardour to extend his 
rdigious empire was unabated, and he prepared, on a 
great scale, for the invasion of Syria and Paleffidne. While 
he was meditating foreign conquest, however, two rival 
prophets arose to dispute his sway in Arabia. One was 
named Al Aswad, the other Moseilma; they received 
from the faithM the well-merited appellation of "The 
two liars." 

Al Aswad, a quick-witted man, and jnfled with per- 
vuasiTe eloquence, was originally an Kldater, i^en a 

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eoTLYert to Idamism, from wliich he aposiatbed ia set np^ 
for a prophet, and establish a religion of his own. Hia 
fickleness in matters of faith gained him the appellation 
of Ailhala, or "The Weathercock." In emulatioa of 
Mahomet he pretended to reoeiye revelations from heavea 
thronjgh the medinm of two angels. Being versed in. 
jugglmg arts and natural magic, ne astonish^ and con- 
founded the mnltitade with spectral illusions, which he 
passed off as miracles, insomuch that certain Moslem, 
writers believe he was really assisted by two evil genii or 
demons. His schemes, for a time, were crowned with 
^eat success, which shows how imsettled the Arabs were 
m those days in matters of religion, and how ready to 
adopt any new faith. 
BudhAn, the Persian whom Mahomet had continued as 
' vicerov of Arabia Felix, died in this year; wheretmon Ai 
Aswaa, now at the head of a powenul sect, slew nis son 
and successor, espoused his widow after putting her 
father to death, and seized upon the reins of ^ovem^ 
mcnt. The people of Najran mvited him to their city ;. 
the gates or Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, were likewise 
tiirown open to him, so that, in a little while, all Arabia 
Felix submitted to his sway. 

The news of this usurpation found Mahomet suffennfi^ 
in the first stages of a dangerous malady, and en^poMed 
by preparations for the Syrian invasion. Impatient oC 
any interruption to his plans, and reflecting that the 
whole danger and difficulty in question depended upon 
the life of an individual, he sent orders to certain of his 
adherents, who were about Al Aswad, to make wuj with ' 
him openly or by stratagem,, either waj being jusnfiable 
against enemies of the faith, according to the recent 
revelati<m promulgated by Ali. Two persons undertook 
the task, less, however, through motives of religion than 
revenge^ One, named Eais, had received a mortol offence 
from the usurper ; the other, named Firuz the Dailemite, 
was cousin to Al Aswad's newly-espoused wife, and 
nephew of her murdered feither.. They repaired to the 
woman, whose marriage wiih the usurper had probably 
been compulsory, and urged upon her the duty, according 
to the Arab law of blood, of Kven^Tog the deaths of her 
father and her former husband. iVith much difficulty 
they prevailed upon her to facilitate their entrance at the 
dead of i^ght into the chamber of Al Aswad, who waa 
asleep. FSuz stabbed him in the throat with a poniard 

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7AL8B PBOPH^TS. 177 

The blow was not •ffectoal. AI Aswad started up, and 
his cries alanned the guard. His wife, however, went 
forth and ^nieted them. " The prophet," said she, ** is 
under the influence of divine inspuration." Bv this time 
the cries had ceased, for the assassins had stricken off the 
head of their victim. When the day dawned, the standard 
of Mahomet floated once more on the walls of the city, 
and a herald proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, the death 
of Al Aswad, otherwise called the Liar and Impostor. 
His career of power began, and was terminated, within 
the space of four months. The people, easy of faith, 
resumed Islamism with as much facility as they had 
abandoned it. 

MoseiQma, the other impostor, was an Arab of the tribe 
of Honeifa, and ruled over the city and province of 
Yam am a, situated between the Bed Sea and the Gulf of 
Persia. In the ninth year of the Hegira he had come to 
Mecca at the head of an embassy from his tribe, and had 
made profession of faith between the hands of Mahomet ; 
but, on returning to his own country, had proclaimed 
that God had guted him likewise with ]frophecy, and 
appointed him to aid Mahomet in converting the numan 
race. To this effect he likewise wrote a Koran, which he 
gave forth as a volume of inspired truth. His creed was 
noted for giving the soul a humiliating residence in the 
region of the abdomen. 

Being a man of influence and address, he soon made 
hosts of converts among his credulous countrymen. Een- 
dered confident by success, he addressed an epistle to 
Mahomet, beginniog as follows : 

** From Moseilma the prophet of Allah, to Mahomet the 
jrrophet of Allah I Come, now, and let us make a parti- 
tion of the world, and let half be thine and half be mme.*' 

This letter came also to the hands of Mahomet, while 
bowed down by infirmities and engrossed by military pre- 
parations. He contented himself for the present with the 
lollowing reply: 

" Prom Mahomet the prophet of God, to Moseilma the 
liiar ! The eartii is the Lord's, and he giveth it as an 
inheritance to such of his servants as find favour in his 
sight. Happy shall those be who live ia his fear." 

In the urgency of other afiairs, the usurpation of 
Moseilma remained xmchecked. His punishment was re- 
served for a fixture day. 

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. 178 


Am. wrmj prepared to march againit Sjrifa.— Oonunaiid girea to Osaina. 
— The prophet^s £uewell address to the troopB^ — ^His last Alness.-^ 
His sermons in the mosque. — ^His death and the attending drcom* 

It was early in the eleTenthyear of the Hegira that, after 
unuBual preparations, a powerful army was ready to march 
for the invasion of Syria. It would ahuost seem a proof 
of the failing powers of Mahomet's mind» that he ^re ike 
command of such an army, on such an expedition, to 
Osama, a youth but twenty years of a^ instead of some 
one of his veteran and well-tried generals. It seems to 
have been a matter of fftvour, dictated by tender and grate* 
fill recollections. Osama was the sonof Zeid, Mahomet's 
devoted freedman, who had given the prophet such a 
signal and acceptable jm^pf of devotion in relmquishing to 
hmi his beautiful wife^inab. Zeid had continued to the 
last the same zealous and self-sacrificing disciple, and had 
fidlen bravely fighting for the faith in the battle of Muta. 

Mahomet was aware of the hazard of the choice he had 
made, and feared the troojM might be insubordinate under 
so ycrang a commander, xn a general review, iliereforey 
he exhorted them to obedience, reminding them that 
Osama's father, Zeid, had commanded an expedition of 
tiiis very kind, against the very same people, and had 
fallen by their himds ; it was but a just tribute to his 
memory, therefore, to give his son an opj^rtunity of 
avenging his death. Then placing his banner m the hands 
of the youthful general, he called upon him to fight 
valiantly the fight of the faith against all who should deny 
the unitv of &)d. The army marched forth that very 
day, and encamped at Djorf, a few miles firom Medina; 
but circumstances occurred to prevent its further progress. 

That very nkht Mahomet nad a severe access of the 
malady which for some time past had idSected him, and 
whidi was ascribed by some to the lurking effects of the 
poison given to him at Ehaibar. It commenced with a 
violent pain in the head, accompanied by vertigo, and the 
delirium which seems to have mingled with aU his pa* 
loxysms of iUness. Startinf^ up in the mid-watches of 
the night from a troubled dream, he called upon an at- 
tendant slave to accompany him ; saying he was summoned 

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by the dead who lay interred in the pdblic bnrjing-plaoe 
oJr Medina to come and pray for ikem, F<^owed oy tiie 
Blare, he paired throogh the dark and silent city, where 
all were sunk in sleep, to the great burying-gronnd, onft- 
eide of the walls. 

Arrired in the midst c^the tombs, he lifted np his r€m 
and made a solemn apostrophe to their tenants. "B*- 
joiee, ye dwellers in ihe grav'e V* exclaimed he. '' More 
peaceml is tiie mominff to i^doh yc shall awakeii, than 
that which attends the uring. Happier is vonr condition 
tiian theirs. God has delivered you fi*am me storms with 
which th^ are threatened, ana which shall follow one 
another like the watches of a stormy night, each darker 
thaxi that whi«^ weoit before." 

After praying fi>r the dead, he tamed and addressed his 
slaye. ** The clKHce is giren me," said he, " either to re- 
main in this world to the end of tLme, in the enjoyment of 
all its delights, or to return socm^ to the presence of God; 
and I have chosen the latter." 

From this time his illness rapidly increased, though hs 
endearoured to go about m usual, andshiftedhis resiaence 
&om day to day, with his different wives, as he had besa 
accustomed to do. ^He was in the dwelling of Maiimana, 
when the violence <^ his malady became so great, tiiat he 
saw it must soon prove fatal. &is heart now yearned to be 
wilh his favourite wife Ayesha, and pass with her the 
fleeting residue of life. With his head Dound up, and his 
tottering frtmie supported by Ali and Fadhl, Ihe son of Al 
Abbas, he repaired to her abode. She, likewise, was sof* 
fering with a vident pain in the head, and entreated of 
him a remedy. 

"Wherefbre ar^i^yP* said he. «< Better that tho« 
shouldst die before me. I could then dose thme eyes ; 
wrap 4hee in thy fioneral garb ; lay tiiee in Hie tOmb, and 
pray for thee." 

** Yes,** replied she, *' and then return to my house and 
dwell wrth one of thy other wives, who would profit by 
nqr death." 

Mahxnnet oniled at this eipresaon of jealous fimdne^ 
and resigned himself into her care. Bis ooly remajning 
child, Fatima, l^e wife ol Ah, eame ^presently to see him. 
Ayeflha used to say Ihat she aersr saw any one resemUe 
the prophet more in sweetness of temper than this InB 
daughter. He treated hof always with respeotM tsader- 
ness. When she came to him, he used to rise up, go to- 

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wards her, take her by the hand, and kiss it, and would 
seat her in his own place. Their meeling on this occasion 
is thns related by Ayesha, in the traditions preserred by 

« < Welcome, my child,' said the prophet, and made her 
^t beside him. He then whispered something in her ear, 
lit whidi she wept. Perceiymg her affliction, he whis- 
pered something more, and her countenance bri^tened 
with joy. ' What is the meaning of this P' said I to Fatima. 
* The prophet honours thee with a mark of confidence 
never bestowed on any of his wives.' ' I cannot discloM 
the secret of the prophet of Grod,' repHed Fatima. NeyeT" 
theless, i^Eter his death she declared that at first he an« 
nounced to her his impending death ; but, seeing her weep, 
consoled her with the assurance that she would shortly 
foUow 1dm, and become a prinoess in heaven, among the 
faithful of her sex.". 

In the second day of his illness, Mahomet was tormented 
by a burning fever, and caused vessels of water to be 
emptied on his head andbver his body ; exclaiming, amidst 
his paroxisms, " ]N^ow I feel the poison of Kluubar rending 
my entrails." 

When somewhat relieved, he was aided in repairing to 
the mosque, which was adjacent to his residence. Here, 
seated in his chair, or pulpit, he prayed devoutly ; after 
which, addressing the congregation, wnich was numerous, 
** If any of you," said he, " have aught upon his con- 
science, let lum speak out, that I may ask Orod's pardon 
for him." 

Upon this a man, who had passed for a devout Moslem, 
stood forth and confessed himself a hjpocrite, a liar, and a 
weak disciple. *' Out upon thee !" cned Omar, " why dost 
thou make known what God had suffered to remain con- 
cealed P" But Mahomet turned rebukin^ly to Omar. 
*' Oh, son of EJiattab," said he, " better is it to blush in 
this world, than suffer in the next." llien Hftinff his eyes 
to heaven, and praying for , the self-accused, " Oh God," 
exclaimed he, " give him rectitude and faith, and takefirom 
him all weakness in fulfilling such of thy ccmmiands as his 
conscience dictates." 

Again addressing the-ecmgrenition, " Is there any* one 
amonff you," said he, "whom I have stricken; here is my 
back. Jet him strike me in return. Is there any one whose 
character I have aspersed; let him nam cast reproach upon 

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SBsncss; nr tHA hosqtts. 181 

me. Is tliere any one from whom I h^ye taken Koght nn* 
justly ; let him now oome forward and be indemnined." 

Upon this, a man among the throns reminded Mahomet 
of a debt of three dinars of silver, ana was instantly repaid 
with interest. " Much easier is it»" said the propnet, *' to 
bear punishment in this world thui throuffhout eternity." 

He now grayed fervently for the faithfbl, who had fallen 
by his side m the battle or Ohod, and for those who had 
suffered for the faith in other battles ; interceding with 
them in virtue of the pact which exists between the Uviog 
and the dead. 

Ailer this he addressed the Mohadjerins or Exiles, wk> 
had accompanied him from Mecca, extorting them to hold 
in honour the Ansanans, or allies of Medina. ''The 
number of believers," said he, " will increase, but that of 
the allies neverxan. They were my family, with whom I 
found a home. Do good to those who do good to them, 
and break friendship with those who are hoitile to them." 

He thenffave three parting commands : 

JBh-gt, — ^Expel all idolaters from Arabia. 

Second, -^Aliiow all proselytes equal privileges with your* 

2^mf.— Devote yourselves incessantly to prayer. 

His sermon and exhortation being finished, he was affec« 
tionately supported back to the mansicm of Ayesha, but 
was so exhausted on arriving there that he fiunted. 

His malady increased from day to day, apparently wi1& 
intervals of delirium ; for he nwSke of receivmg visits frt>m 
the angel Gabriel, who came m>m God to inquire aftear the 
state of his health ; and told him that it rested with him* 
self to fix his dying moment ; the angel of death being 
forbidden by Allah to enter his presence without his per- 

. In one of his paroxysms he called for writing imple^ 
ments, that he might leave some rules of conduct for his 
followers. His attendants were troubled, fearing he might 
do something to impair the authority of the Koran. 
Hearing them debate among themselves, whether to com- 
ply with his request, he or&red them to leave the room» 
and when they returned said nothing more on the subjects 

On IVicUy, the day of religious assemblaffe, heprepared^ 
notwithstanding his illness, to officiate in tne mosque, and 
had water again poured over him to refresh and strengthen, 
hin^ but on makmg an effort to go forth, fainted. On re* 

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182 ura ew iuxombt. 

eovenn^, he reqiieftod Aba Btket to peifoim ike public 
prayers ; obeemnff, '* AJlih has ^^ his serviiit the right 
to araoint whom he pleases in ma liaoe." It was after- 
wards maintained hy soma that he tians intended to de6i||^ 
sate tiliiskiDi^ taried friend and'adheitent as his saeeessoirni 
office ; but Abn BAer dirank irom eoostraing the words 

Wc»rd was soon broneht to Mahomet, that the appear- 
snoe of Aba Beker in uie poMt had caused great agita* 
tion, a romoar beinf|r eiroolated ihat the prophet was ckad. 
Exerting his remainmg stren^, therefore, and leaning on 
the shomders of Ali and Alphas, he made his way mto 
the mosque, ^Hiere his appearance spread joy throi^^hoat 
tiie congregation. Aba Beker ceased to pray, bat Ma- 
homet rade him proceed, and taking his sc«t behind him 
in the pnJpit, r^leaied the prayers afUr him. Then ad- 
dressing the congregation, ''I liaTe heard," said he, " that 
a nunoor of Ihe £ath of yoor prophet filled yon with 
alarm ; bat has any pronhet belbre me lived to ever, that 
ye think I would nerer Wfc youP Ererything happens 
according to the will <^ God, amd haa its appointed tmie, 
which is not to be hastened nor ayoided. I return to him 
who sent me ; and my last eoxmiand to you is, that ye 
remain onitedi that ye love, honoar, and i^old each 
other ; that ye eahort eadi other to fahh end constancy in 
belief, and to the perlbrmance of piois deeds ; by these 
alone men prosper ; all else leads to destructian." 

in concluding his exhortation, he added, " I do but ffO 
before yoa; you will soon fc^ow me. Death awaits us aSj 
let no one Ihen seek to turn it aside item me. My life 
has been f(w your good ; so will be my death." 

lliese were the last words he spake in publio; he was 
again conducted back by Ali and Abbas to the dwdling of 

On a succeeding day there was an interyal during whidi 
he appeared so well, that Ali, Abu Beker, Omar, and the 
rest of those who had been c<mstantly about hnn, absented 
themsehres for a time, to attend to their af&irs. Ayesha 
alone remained with him. The interval was but illusive. 
His pains returned with redoubled violence. Finding 
death approaching, he gaye orders that all his slaves 
should be restor^ to freedom, and all ihe money in the 
house distributed among the'pow; th^i raising nis eyes 
to heaven, ** God be with me in the death stmgpe," 
exclaimed he. 

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DSA.TS. 18S 

Ajesli* nofw seat in kaite for her h^er and Hafza* 
I«eft ftlose with If ahom 6t» die Biistaiiied his head on her 
lap, watching oyer him with tender aaaidnity, and endea- 
Tomng to soothe his dying agonies. From time to time 
he would din his hand in a yase of water, and with it 
^eeblj sprinkle his face. At length raising his eyes, and 
meing n|rward for a time with nnmoying eyelios, " Oh 
Allah I" ejaeolated he, in broken accents, " oe it so!-*- 
mnong the ^oriacu associates in paradise !" 

" llmew by this," said Ajesha, who related the dying 
aeene, " that his last moment had arriyed, and that he had 
aoade dioiee of supernal existence." 

In a iem moments his hands were odd, and life was 
extinct. Ayei^ laid his head np<m the pillow, and beat* 

Sg her head and breast, gave W9,j to kmd lamentations, 
er ontories broo^t the oth» wwes of Mahomet, and 
their clamorons grief 80<m made the eyent known 
thronghout the eitf . Constematicm seised npcm the people, 
as if someprodigy had Ivanpened. All bnsiness was sns- 
p^ided. Tne army which had slamck its tents was ordered 
to halt, and Osama, whose foot was in ihe stirmp for Ihe 
march, turned his steed to the gates <^ Medina, and 
planted his standard at the prophet^ door. 

The multitade crowded to contemplate the corpse, and 
agitation and dispnte preyailed eyen in the chamber of 
d^th. Some discredited the eyidenee of their senses. 
** How can he be dead P" cried they. " Is he not onr me- 
diator withGodP How l^en can he be deadP Impos- 
sible ! He is bnt in a trance, and earned np to heayen like 
Isa (Jesns) and the other prophets." 

The thrmig angmented alxnit the honse, declaring with 
damonr that tl^ body shonld not be interred; when 
Omar, who had nist heard the tidings, arriyed. He drew 
his scimitar, ana pressing through me crowd, threatened 
to strike off the hands and feet of any one who should 
afSrm that the prophet was dead. " He has bnt departed 
for a time," said he, ^ as Musa (Moses) the son of Lnram 
went np forty days into the mountain -, and like him he 
will return again. * 

Abu Beker, who had been in a distant part of the city, 
arriyed in time to soothe the despair or the people and 
cahn the transports of Omar. Passing into the chamber he 
raised the cloth which coyered the corpse, and kissing the 
pale face of Mahomet, "Oh thou!" exclaimed he, "who 
wert to me as my father and my mother ; sweet art thorn 

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even in de&ih, and livrng odoTirs dost thou exliale ! Now 
Hvest thou in everlasting bliss, for never wiU Allah subject 
tiiee to a second death.' 

' Then coyering the corpse he went forth, and endea- 
TOured to silence Omar, but finding it impossible, he ad- 
dressed the multitude : *' Truly, if Mahomet is tiie sole 
object of your adoration, he is dead ; but if it be God you 
worship, ne cannot die. Mahomet was but the prophet^ 
of Groa, and has shared the fate of the apostles and holy 
men who have gone before him. Allah, himself, has said 
in his Zoran Siat Mahomet was but his ambassador, 
and was subject to death. TV hat, then! will you ttau 
the heel upon him, and abandon his doctrine because he 
is dead? Eemember your ajjostasy harms not God, but 
insures your own condemnation; while the blessings of 
God will be poured out upon those who continue foithful 
to him." 

The people listened to Abu Beker with tears and sob- 
bings, and as they listened their despair subsided. Even 
Omar was convinced, but not consoled, throwing hunsdf 
on the earth and bewailing the death of Mahon^, whom 
he remembered as his commander and his friend. 

The death of the prophet, accordiog to the Moslem his- 
torians, Abulfeda and Al Jannabi, took place on his birth- 
day, wheh he had completed his sixty-third year. It was 
in the eleventh year or the Hegira, and the 632nd year of 
the Christian era. 

The body was prepared for sepulture by several of the 
dearest relatives and disciples. They afiBjnned that a mar- 
vellous fragrance which, according to the evidence of his 
wives and daughters, emanated from his person during 
life, still continued; so that, to use the words of Ah, 
** it seemed as if he were, at the same time, dead and 

The body haviog been washed and perfumed, was 
wrapped in three coverings ; two white, and the tiurd of 
the striped cloth of Yemen. The whole was then per- 
fumed with amber, musk, aloes, and odoriferous herbs. 
After this it was exposed in public, and seventy-two 
prayers were offered up. 

l!lie body remained three days unburied, in compjliance 
with oriental custom, and to satisfy those who still be- 
lieved in the possibili^ of a trance. When the evidences 
of mortality coidd no longer be mistaken, preparations 
were made for interment. A dispute now arose as to the 

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BVBUI.. 185 

plaee of sepnltuTe. The Moliadjerms, or disciples irom 
Mecca, contended for that city, as bein^ the place of his 
nativity; the Ansarians cbumedfor Medina, as his asjlmn 
and tiie place of his residence during the last ten years of 
his life. A third' party advised that his remains shonld 
be transported to Jerasalem, as the place of sepulture of 
the projects. Abn Beker, whose word had aiways the 
greatest weight, declared it to have been the expressed 
oronion of Mahomet that a prophet shonld be buried in 
the place where he died. This, in the preseiit instance, 
was c(»aplied with to the very letter, for a grave was 
d^jgred in the house of Ayesha» beneath the very bed on 
which Mahomet had expired. 

KoTE. — The hocue of Afesha wts immediatdy a^fMent to the 
moeqiie, wfaieh was at that time a humble edifice wHh daj wallt, and a 
roof thatched with pahn-leares, and tvpported bj the trunki of trees. 
It baa since been Inohided in a spacioiu temide, on the plan of a colon- 
nade, enclosing an oblong square, 165 paces bf 130, open to the 
beavens, with four gates of entrance. The colonnade, Gt sereral rows 
of idUars of rarions sizes, covered with stucco, and gaily painted, sup- 
ports a succession of small white cupolas on the ibur sides of the square. 
At the Ibur comers are Icrfty and tapering minarets. 

Near the south-east comer of the square is an incloeure, surroundect 
by an iron railing, pahited green, wrought with filigree work and inter- 
woven with brass and gilded wire t admitting no view of the interior 
excepting through small windows, about six inches square. Thisin- 
doeure, the great resort of pilgrims, is called the Hadgira, and contains 
the tombs of Mahomet, and his two friends and early successors. Aba 
Bdcer and Omar. Above this sacred indosure rises a lofty dome, 
sarmonnted with a gilded globe and crescent, at the first sight of 
which, pilgrims, as they approach Medina, salute the tomb of the prophet 
with profound inclinations of the body, and appropriate prayers. The 
marvellous tale, so long considered veritable, that the coflbi of Mahomet 
remained suspended in the air wittiont any support, and which Christian 
writers accounted tax by supposing that it was of bon, and dexterously 
placed midway between two msgnets. is proved to be an idle fiction. 

The mosque has undergone changes. It was at one time partially 
thrown down and destroyed in an awftal tempest, but was rebuilt by the 
Soldan of Egypt. It has been enlarged and embellished by various 
caliphs, and, in particular, by Waled I., under whom Spain was invaded • 
and conquered. It was laundered of its immense votive treasures by 
the Wahabees, when they took and pillaged Medina. It is now main- 
tained, though with diminished splendour, under the care of about 
thirty Agas, whose chief is called Sheikh Al Haram, or chief <^ the 
Holy House. He is the prindpal personage in Medina. Pilgrimage to 
Medina, though considered a most devout and meritorious act, is not 
imposed on Mahometans, like pilgrimage to Mecca, as a religious duty 
and has much declined in modem days. 

The foregoing particulars aro from Burckhardt, who gained admission 
into Medina, as well as into Mecca, in disguise and at great peril } ad- 
mittance into those dties being prohibited taall but Modems. 

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Person and character of Mahomet, and peculations on hte 
prophetic career. 

Mahomet, according to acconnts handed down by traditkxa 
&om his contemporaries, was oi the middle stature, sqnare 
bnilt and sinewy, with large hands and feet. In his youth 
he was uncommonly strong and Timorous; in the latter 
part of his life he mclined to corpnleney. His head wat 
capacious, well shaped, and well set <m a neck which rose like 
a pillar from his ample chest. His forehead was high, broad 
at the temples, and crossed by yeins extending down to thft 
eye-brows, which swelled wnenever he was angry or ex- 
cited. He had an oval face, marked and e:qnnes8iye 
features, an aquiline nose, black eyes, arched eyebrows 
which nearly met, a mouth large and flexible, indicative of 
eloquence ; very white teeth, somewhat parted and irre- 
gular; black liair, which wayed without a curl on his 
shoulders, and a long and yery fall beard. 

His deportment, in general, was calm and equable ; he 
sometimes indulged in pleasaniary, but more commonly was 
grave and dignified ; though he is said to have possessed 
A smile of captivating sw^tness. His complexion was 
more ruddy than is usual with Arabs, and in his' excited 
and enthusiastic moments there was a glow and radiance 
in his countenance, which his disciples magnified into the 
suppnatural Hght of prophecy. 

His intellectual qualities were undoubtedly of an extra* 
ordinary kind. He had a <juick apprehension, a retentiye 
memory, a vivid imadnation, and an inventive genius. 
Owing but little to education, he had quickened md in- 
formeid his mind hj close observation, and stored it with 
' a great variety of knowledge concerning the systems of 
religion current in his day, or handed* down by tradition 
from antiquity. His ordinary discourse was grave and sen- 
tentious, abounding with those aphorisms and a^ogues 
so popular among the Arabs ; at times he was excited and 
eloquent, and his eloquence was aided by a voice musical 
and sonorous. 

He was sober and abstemious in his diet, and a rigorous 
observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of 
apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind ; neither was his 

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Bisqpliaiij ui dieas aflfeoted ; b«t the renUtt of a real dis- 
regard to diBtinetion fiDm so invial a souroe. Hk jgar* 
oobents were somethiies of wool ; smnetimes of the stnped 
ooiton ci Yemeo^ and were often patched. He wore a 
turban, for he said turbans were worn by the angels ; and 
in arranging it, he let one end hang down betireen his 
shonldeTs, which he said was the way ^nej wore it. He 
forbade tiie wearing of clothes entirely of silk ; but pep- 
nutted a mixture of ttunead and ailk. He forbade, lOso, 
red dothes and the use of gold rings. He wore a seal 
ring of sily er, the engrayed purt under his finger dose to 
the pabn of his hand, bearing the inscription, ** Mahomet, 
the messeager of Ctod." He was scrupulous as to personal 
cleanliness, and obseryed frequent ablutk)ns. In some 
respects he was a yohqituary. " There are two things in 
this world," would he say, ** which delight me, women and 
perfumes. These two wings rejoice mj eyes, and render 
me more fervent in deyotion." From his extreme clean- 
liness, and the use of perfumes and of sweet-scented oil 
for his hair, probably aroae that sweetness and fragrance 
of person which his disciples considered immte and mira- 
culous. His passion for the sex had an iniBuence oyer all 
his affairs. It is said that when in the presence of a 
beautiful female, he was ocmtinually smoothing his brow 
and adjusting his hair, as if anxious to appear to ad- 

Hie number of his wives is uncertain. Abulfeda, who 
writes with more caution than other of the Arabian 
historians, limits it to fifteen, though some make it as 
much as twenty-five. At the time of his death he had 
nine, each in her separate dwelling, and all in the vicinity 
of Ihe mosque at Medina. The plea alleged for his in- 
dulgpnff in a greater number of wives than he permitted 
to ms lollowers, was a desire to beget a race or prophets 
for his people. If such indeed were his desire, it was 
disappomtea. Of all his children, Fatima, the wife of Ali, 
alone survived him, and she died within a short time after 
his death. Of her descendants, none exceptiujg her eldest 
soft, Hassan, ever sat on the throne of the Caliphs. 

In his ][»rivate dealings he was just. He treated friends 
and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and the 
weak, wifli equity, and was bdoved by the common 
WGpie for the affalMlily with which he received them, and 
listened to their complaints. 

He was naturally irritable, but had brought his temper 

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imder great control, so that eyen in the self-indnlgent 
intercourse of domestic life he was kind and tolerant. 
" I served him from the time I was eieht years old," said 
his servant Anas, " and he never scolded me for anything^ 
though things were spoiled by me." 

The question now occurs, was he the unprincipled im- 
postor uiat he has been represented P Were all his visions 
and revelations deliberate falsehoods, and was his whdb 
system a tissue of deceit? In considering this question, 
we must bear in mind, that he is not chargeable with many 
extravagances ^hich exist in his name. Many of the 
visions and revelations handed down as having been given 
by him are spurious. The miracles ascribed to hun are all 
fabrications of Moslem zealots. He expressly and repeat* 
edly disclaimed all miracles exceptuig the Zoran ; which, 
considering its incomparable ment, and the way in which 
it had come down to nim from heaven, he pronounced the 
greatest of miracles. And here we must indulge a few 
observations on this famous document. While zealous 
Moslems and some of the most learned doctors of the 
faith draw proofs of its divine origin from the inimitable 
excellence of its style and composition, and the avowed 
illiteracy of Mahomet, less devout critics have pronoimced 
it a chaos of beauties and defects ; without method or 
arrangement ; full of obscurities, incoherencies, repetitions, 
false versions of scriptural stories, and direct contra- 
dictions. The truth is that the Koran, as it now exists, 
is not the same Koran delivered by Mahomet to his dis- 
ciples, but has undergone many corruptions and interpola- 
tions. The revelati<ms contained in it were given at various 
times, in various places, and before various |>ersons ; some- 
times they were taken down by his secretaries or disciples 
on parchment, on palm-leaves, or the shoulder-blades of 
sheep, and thrown together in a chest, of which one of 
his wives had charge ; sometimes they were merely trea- 
sured up in the memories of those who heard thei^ iSo care 
appears to have been taken to systematize and arrange them 
during his life; and at his death they remained in scattered 
fragments, many of them at the mercy of fiillacious me- 
mories. It was not imtil some time after his death that 
Abu Bekerundertook to have them gathered together and 
transcribed. Zeid Ibn Thabet, who nad been one of the 
secretaries of Mahomet, was employed for the purpose. 
He professed to know many parts of the Koran by heart, 
having written them down under the dictation of the pro- 
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pliet; other parts he collected piecemeal from rarious 
hands, written down in the nide way we have mentioned, 
and many parts he took down as repeated to him by yarions 
disciples who professed to have heard them nttered by the 

I>ropnet himself. The heterogeneous fragments thus col- 
ected were thrown together without sekction ; without 
eluronological order, and without system of any land. The 
Tolume mus formed during the Cafiphat of Abu Beker was 
transcribed by different hands, and many professed conies 
put in circulation and dispersed throughout the Moslem 
cities. So many errors, interpolations, and contradictory 
readings soon crept into these copies, that Othman, the 
third Caliph, callea in the various manuscripts, and forming 
fvhat he pronounced the genuine Xoran, caused all the 
^ ctibers to be destroyed. 

This simple statement may account for many of the 
inooherencies, repetitions, and other discrepancies charged 
upon this singular document. Mahomet, as has justly 
been observed, may have given the same precepts, 
or related the same apologue at different times, to dif- 
ferent persons in difi^ent words; or various persons 
3uay have been present at one time, and given various 
versions of his words ; and reported his apologues and 
ficriptural stories in different ways, according to their 
imperfect memoranda or fallible recollections. Many re- 
Temtions siven by him as having been made in foregone 
times to me prophets, his pre&cessors, may have been 
reported as havmg been given as revelations made to 
himself. It has wen intimated that Abu Beker, in the 
early days of his Caliphat, may have fotmd it politic to 
interpolate many things in the Xoran, calculated to aid 
him m emergencies, and confirm the empire of Islamisnu 
What corruptions and interpolations may have been made 
by other and less scrupulous hands, aft^ the prophet's 
death, wo may judge by the daring liberties of the kind 
taken by AbcUiIlah fibn Saad, one of his secretaries, during 
his lifetime. 

Prom all these circumstances it will appear, that even 
the documentary memorials conceminj^ Mahomet abound 
with vitiations, while the traditional are full of fable. 
These increase the difficulty of solving the enigma of his 
character and conduct. His history appears to resolve 
itself into two grand divisions. During the first part, up 
to -the period of middle Hfe, we cannot |>erceive what 
adequate object he had to gain by the impious and stu- 

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fendovLB hapostoro wi£k whkk he Btftuds charged. Was 
it riches P Mia marriage with Oa<Hjah had ah^ady made 
him wealtbj, and for years preceding his pretended yision 
he had manifested no dedre to increase his st(»*e. Was 
it distinction P He alreadj stood hi^h in his natire 
place, as a man of intelligence and promty. He was of 
the iUnstrioos tribe of Koreish, and of the most honoured 
branch of that tribe. Was it power P The goardianship 
of the Caaba, and with it the command of the sacred citj, 
had been for generations in his immediate fimuly, and lua 
situation and circumstances entitled him to Iook forward 
with confidence to that exalted trust. In attempting to 
subvert the faith in whidti he had been brought np, he 
ttmdc at the root of all these advantages. On that fiuth 
were founded the fortunes and dignities of his fiEumlj. To 
assail it must draw on himself the hostOitr of his kindred, ^ 
the indi^iaticm of his fellow-citizens, ana the horror and 
odium of all his countrymen, who were worshippers at the 

Was there anything brilliant in the outset of his pro* 
phetic career to repay hun for these sacrifices, and to lure 
Idm on P On the contrary, it was begun in doubt and 
•eoresy. For years it was not attended by any material 
iuooess. In proportion as he made known his doctrines 
and proclaimed Ids revelations, they subje^ed him to 
ridicule, scorn, oHo^uy, and finally to an mveterate per- 
secution, which rumed the fortunes of hims^ and his 
friends ; compelled some of his £Eanily and fDllowers to 
take reftise in a foreij^ land; obliged him to hide from 
sight in bis native city, and finaify drove him forth a 
fugitive to seek an uncertain home elsewhere. Why 
should he persist for years in a course ci imposture 
which was thus prostrating all his worldly fortunes, at 
a time of life when it was too late to build them up 

In the absence of sufficient w<Mddl]^ motives, we are 
compelled to seek some other explanation of his conduct 
in this stage of his most enigmatical history ; and this we 
have endeavoured to set forth in the early part of this 
woi^ ; where we have shown his entirasiastic and visionary 
spirit gradually wrought up by solitude, fasting, ^yer, 
and meditation, and irritated by bodily disease into a 
state of temporary delirium, m whion he fancies he 
receives a rev^tion from heaven, and is declared a 
prophet of the Most ffigh. We cannol but think these 

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CONDUCT Dmura his mamly caxsmh. 191 

iras 8df«deception in this instanee ; and thi^ lie believed 
in Hbe reality of the dream or Tision ; especially after liis 
doubta kad oeen combated by the aealous ana confiding 
Cadijali, and the learned and crafty Waraka. 

Once p^ramaded of hia diyine mission to go forth and 
pmch the £uth» all subsequent dreams and impulses 
mii^t be construed to the same j^urport ; all mignt be 
o<^ndered intimations of the divme wilt imparted in 
their several ways to him as a prophet. We find him 
repeatedly subject to trances and ecstasies in times of 
peculiar agitation and excitement, when he may have 
fancied himself again in communication with the Deity, 
and these were almost always followed by revelations. 

The general tenour of his conduct up to the time of his 
fiight mm Mecca, is that of an enthusiast actinfi" under a 
Bpeeies of mental delusion; deeply imbued wiw a con- 
Tidion of his bein^ a divine agent for religious rdbrm: 
and ilifire is something striking and sublime in the lumi- 
nous path which his enthusiastic spirit struck out for 
itself tnrough the bewildering maze of advene faiths and 
wild traditions ; the pure and spiritual worship of the one 
true God, which he sought to substitute for the blind 
idolatry of his duldhood. 

All the ports of the Koran supposed to have be^ pro- 
mulgated Dy him at this time, incoherently as they nave 
oome down to us, and marred as their pristine beauty 
must be in ^sing through various hands, are of a pure 
and elevated character, imd breathe poetical, if not reli* 
gious, inspiration. They show that ne had drunk deep 
d iJie living waters of Cnristianitj^, and if he had Mlea 
to imbibe t&m in their crystal puriiy , it might be bemuse 
be had to drink from broken cisterns, and stroams troubled 
and perverted by those who should have been their 
gnarGoans. The faith he had hitherto inculcated was 
{rarer than that beld forth by some of the pseudo Ohris- 
tians of Arabia, and his life, so far, had been regulated 
according to its tenets. 

Such IS our view of Mahomet and his ccmduct during 
the early nart of his career, while he was a persecuted 
and ruinea man in Mecca. A si^mal chan^, however, 
took place, as we have dhown in 8ie foregomf chapters* 
after liis fii|^ to Medina, wben, in place of the mere 
shelter and protection which lie sougbt, he finds himself 
revered as a prophet, implicitly obeyed as a chief, and at 
the head of a powerful* growing, and warlike host of 

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Totaries. Eiom tliiB tune worldly paBSioiia and worldly 
schemes too often give the impulse to his actions, instead 
of that yisionaiy enthnsiasm which, even if mistaken, 
threw a glow of piety on his earher deeds. The old 
doctrines of forbearance, long-snjSering, and resignation, 
are suddenly dashed aside; he oecomes yindictiye towards 
those who have hitherto oppressed him, and ambitious of 
extended role. His doc&rmes, precepts, and conduct, 
become marked by contradictions, and his whole coarse 
is irregular and xmsteady. His revelations, henceforth, 
are so often opportune, and fitted to particular emer- 

fencies, that we are led to doubt his sincerity, and that 
e is any longer under the same delusion concerning 
them. Still, it must be remembered, as we have shown, 
that the records of these reyelations are not always to be 
depended upon. What he may have uttered as from his 
own will, may have been reported as if giyen as the will 
of God. Often, too, as we haye alrea^ suggested, he 
may haye considered his own impulses as divine intima- 
tions ; and that, being an agent oidained to propagate the 
faith, all impulses and conceptions toward that end might 
be part of a continued and diyine inspiration. 

IT we are far from considering Mahomet the gross and 
impious impostor that some haye represented him, so also 
are we indisposed to giye him credit for yast forecast, and 
for that deeply concerted scheme of uniyersal conquest 
which has been ascribed to him. He was, undoubtedly, a 
man of great genius and a suggestiye imagination, but it 
appears to us niat he was, in a great degree, Ihe creature 
of unpulse and excitement, and yery much at the mercy of 
circumstances. His schemes grew out of his fortunes, and 
not his fortunes out of his s^emes. He was forty years 
of age before he first broached his doctrines. He suffered 
year after year to steal away before he promulgated them 
out of his own family. When he fled from Mecca, thir- 
teen years had elapsed fiom the announcement of his 
mission, and from being a wealthy merchant he had sunk 
to be a ruined fiigitiye. When he reached Medina he had 
no idea of the worldly power that awaited him ; his only 
thought was to build a humble mosque where he might 
preadi ; and his only hope that he might be sufiered to 
preach with impunity. When power suddenly broke upon 
nim, he used it for a time in {Hstty forays and local feuds. 
His military plans expanded with his resources, but were 
by no means masterly, and were scnnetunes nnsoocessfuL 

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They were not strook out with boldness, nor executed 
with decision ; but were often changed in deference to the 
^^inions of wariike men about him, and sometimes at the 
suggestion of inferior minds, who occasionally led him 
wrong. Had he, indeed, conceiyed from the outset tho 
idea of binding up the scattered and conflicting tribes of 
Anj6ia into one nation by a brotherhood cf faith, for the 
purpose of carrying out a scheme of external conquest, he 
would haye been one of the first of military projectors ; 
but tiie idea of extended conquest seems to haye oeen an 
after-thought, produced by success. The moment he pro- 
claimed tl^ reugion of the sword, and gaye the predatory 
Arabs a taste of foreign plunder, that moment he was 
launched in a career of conquest, which carried him for- 
ward with its own irresistible impetus. The £uiatic zeal 
with which he had inspired his followers did more for hia 
success than his military science; their belief in his doc-> 
trine of predestination produced yictories which no mili- 
tary calculation could haye anticipated. In his dubious 
outset, as a prophet, he had been encouraged hj the crafty 
counsels of his scriptural oracle Waraka; in ms career as 
a conqueror, he had Omar, £haled, and other fiery spirits 
by his side to urge him on, and to aid him in managing 
the tremendous power which he had eyoked into action. 
Eyen with all their aid, he had occasionally to ayail him- 
self of his supernatural machinery as a prophet, and in so 
doin^ may haye reconciled himself to the firaud by oon< 
sidenng tne pious end to be obtained. 

His military triumphs awakened no pride ncKr yaioglory^ 
as they woula haye done had they been effected for selfish 
purposes. In the time of his greatest power, he main* 
tained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as 
in the days of his adyersity. So &r from anecting regal 
state, he was displeased u, on entering a room, an^r un- 
usual testimonial of respect were shown nim. If he aimed 
at uniyersal dominion, it was the dominion of the faith : 
as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he 
Used it without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate 
it in his family. 

The riches which poured in upon him from tribute uid 
tiie spoils of war, were expended m promoting the yictories 
of the faith, and in relieying the poor among its yotaries ;. 
insomuch that his treasury was often drained of its last 
coin. Omar Ibn Al Haretn deelares that Mah<»net, at his 
deaHi, did not leaye a golden dmar nor a silyer dirhem, a 

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abive BOET a liajpe girl, nor snythin^ but Ids gnj msiet' 
Baldal, hb anna, ind the gTOond wIugIl he befitowedupon 
loB whrtfy bk efa^drea^ ai^ tbe poor. ^^iilaJl/* aaja aa* 
Aiabiaik wrher» '^ <^ered hsm ilna kers of all tJie treasnxea 
<^the eartih; bat be reloaed to ace^ tbem." 

Ifciatiuaperlbetabaagatioii of aelf, conneoied with tibia 
asrpfirently £«arlfeltptet^» razuuBff ihroagboirt the vanooa 
pbasea ofbia ibrtime> wbieb perpkx 000 in ftomkii^ a jnat 
e^timale of Maboaaafa ohaniolflr. Hoverrar be betrayed 
the aOoj of earth, aftobe bad voridly povirer at bia eom-^ 
jaand, the earlj aspiratioiMi of bia spint continually re« 
timied and bofe bim above all eartiuy tlungs. Pray^« 
that vital dofy of Talafniimij and that jafaTlibfe purifier o£ 
tiie soiil,^ waa bii ocmatamt practiee. ^'Tmat in God," waft 
bia eomforiaiid fiu]M»oii in toftea of trial and despondenen^. 
On Iba demeaoy of God» we are told, be lepoaed all boa 
ho^e&c£ supernal banpineaa. Aim^ relates thai on one 
oeoasioii aba inqidrea of bin, '^O pao^diet, do none enter 
paradise but throogfa God's nereyP ''l^one-— none— « 
noaeP v^bed be» with earnest and eaqiuAac rufis^diooj 
'* But yea, O pto|j!iei^ wiUnoljmtf enter ezeeptinff thiaokb 
hm eompaaBLanP" ISaen Mabomet pat bis band npon &s 
bead» nid r^^d tharee times, wiib great 8olenmi1?F, 
'f l^&Aat ahm I eftter paradise imlesB Ctod eorev me wi& 
bia mercyl** 

. When be ban^ OTca ^le dealh-bed of bia infant son 
Ifarahnar resignation to the wiKl of God waa exhihitftd in 
bis conduct under this keenest of affliatioiis ; and the bops 
Q§ socoL icjoining baa <diild in pairadiBe wia bia oonsolation* 
When be fblkxwed bim to tiha grareir be iiiTdked bis spuria 
in the awful encamJiMifcioa of the tondh^ to bold fast to the 
frandationa of Umb &sth» tiie mdi^ of God» and bis own 
mission as a THrofibet. Eren in bia osvn dyinr boar, wheat 
tiwre eouM be no looiger a woridly motive m deoeit, ba 
stiU breathed Uie saase rdigiona dsrotian, and Ibe aame 
b^ef in bis apostolie misaMm. GQie last words that 
trcnbled oa bia Iq^a ejaedated a tmst of aoon entering 
iBito biiaaM joQBipanioMh^i wtfb tibe pcopbets wbo bad 
gone before nim. 

It is dufficidt to leooaetkaneb ardent, penevering pieiy» 
wi^ an iaeeesaat system ai Uaapbemoaa inpoatora; nor 
aaeb pare and cievited and beoi^(ikant pEaecota as are 
aontaiaed in the KoEaa, w^ a aund bamited oy inoiUA 
passions, and doYotad to the grofvUing iateraata of mere 
movtabty ; aad we find ao other aatis£MtQfy aaoda of solv* 

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coKciirsioK. 195 

ing the enigma of his character and conduct, than by snp- 
posing that the ray of mental hallacination which flashed 
iipon nis enthusiastic spirit during his religious ecstasies in 
tne midnight cayem of Mount Hara, continued more or 
less to bewilder him with a species of monomania to the 
end of his career, and that he died in the delusiye belief 
of his mission as a prophet. 

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Ik an early cliapter of this work we Hare given such par- 
ticulars of the ffdth inctilcated by M^Uiomet as we deemed 
important to the tmderstanding of the succeeding narr»» 
tiye: we now, though at the expense of some repetition, 
' subjoin a more complete summary, accompanied by a few 

The religion of Islam, as we obsenred on the before* 
mentioned occasion, is divided into two parts — ^Faith and 
Pbacticb: and first of Faith. This is distributed under 
six different heads, or articles, — ^vi2., 1st, faith in 6rod; 
2nd, in his angels ; 3rd, in his Scriptures or Koran ; 4th^ 
in lus prophets ; 5th, in the resurrection and final judff* 
ment; 6tn, in predestination. Of these we will briefy 
treat in the order we have enumerated them. 

Faith iv Gon. — ^Mahomet inculcated the belief that 
there is, was, and ever will be, one only God, the creator 
of aU thin^, who is single, immutable, omniscient, om- 
nipotent, fSl-merciful, ana etemaL The unity c^ Qod was 
specificaLb' and strongly urged, in contradistmction to tha 
Trinity of the Christians. It was designated, in the pro« 
fession of faith, by raising one finger, and exdaimmg, 
" La illaha il AUah!" there is no God but God ; to whim 
was added, '* Mohamed Besoul Allah !" Mahomet is the 
prophet of God. 

Faith in ANaBLS. — ^The beautiful doctrine of angels, or 
ministering spirits, which was one of the most ancient and 
universal of oriental creeds, is interwoven throughout the 
Islam system. They are represented as ethereal beings, 
created firom fire, the purest of elements, perfect in form 
and radiant in beauty, but without sez; firee &om all gross 

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or senBual passion, and all the appetites and infirmities of 
frail humanity; and existing in perpetual and unfading 
youth. They are various in their degrees and duties, and 
in their favour with the Deity. Some worship around the 
celestial throne ; others perpetually hymn the praises of 
Allah ; some are winged messengers to execute his orders, 
and others intercede for the children of men. 

The most distinguiahed oi Htm heavenly host are four 
Archangels. Gabnel, the angel of revelations, who writes 
down the divine decrees; Michael, the champion, who 
fights the battles of the faMty-Azrwl, the angel of death ; 
and Israfil, who holds the awful commission to sound the 
trumpet on the day of resurrection. There was another 
angel named Azazu, the saame as Lucifer, once the most 
glorious of the celestial band ; but he became proud and 
t<^bellio^. When God coimnanded hm angels to worship 
Adam, Axazil r^us^ saying, ''Why £^ould I, whom 
liiou hast «greated of fire, bow diown to one whom thou 
hflst formed of clay F" For this ofience he was accursed, 
imd cast forth f^m. paradise, «nd his name changed to 
Eblis, which signifies despair. In revenjge of Ms abase'* 
pieixt, he wodcs all kinds of inisfihief against the children 
^men, and inspires them with diaobed^nce and impietv. 

Among llie angels of in&rior rank is a class called 
Moakkibat; two of whom keep watch upon each mortal, 
one on the right hand, iM other on the lefb, taking not^ 
c^ eveiy word and action. At ike close of eaeh day they 
iy up to heavoi wiili a written report, and are replaced 
by two similar angels <m the fbUowing day. According to 
Mahometan traditiosi, every good a^ion iB recorded ten 
times by the angel on the r^t ; and if the mortal commit 
a sin, the same benevolent spirit says to the angdl on the 
left, "Forbear for seven. hours to record it; peradventure 
he may r^nt and prey atnd obtain forgiveness." 
; Beside the sngelie KjfrdetB Mahomet inculcates a belief 
in spiritual beings called Gins or Genii, who, though like- 
Wise created oi ire, partake of the appetites and Iroilties 
^ the children of like dust, and fike ikem are ultimately 
liable to deatL By beings of this nature, which haunt 
^e soHtudes of the desert, Mahomet, as we have shown, 
professed to have been vinted afb^ bis evening orisons in 
me solitary valley of Ai Naklah. 

When the angel Asasil rebelled and fell, and became 
Satan or Eblis, he still maintained sovereignty over these 
inferior sjnrits} who are divided by (Mentalists intQ 

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XHf<e8 and Bni: ^e fonner ferooiooi and gigantic; t^ 
^teitUsr ddksate and gentle, aobnatiiig on perftmieB. It 
"wotdd fieem as if i& Peti were all <^ liie female aex, 
Hioiiifli cm tills point tliera veats chemiiij, 'Ewok tkese 
iSM^ioy beings it is si^posed ^bo Sovo^peaa fkoies sre 

' Besides these t&ere are otibar doiii'mnts aiDed Tae- 
irins or Fates; beine winged ftndea of beantiM Ibras, 
w)m» «t4^ ora(^ s^ def)^ mortak firou i^ assoolts ai^ 
l&BcliiBationB of eril damoBS* 

• l%ete is Tagneness end aneertefaity ttbont afi tiie atti> 
Wtes giren by Kaliottet to these luJtf-oeleBtiai bemgs$ 
Lis ideas on the subject baying been acquired fponraiioas 
toU3P06B^ His wbx^e systeni m mt^mediaite sprits has a 
ilroi^, Hioiigb mdis&iefe oonAudon of tiie creeds and 
inpeiititions of the Hebi<0«rs> tbe Mi^iani, and tiie Bagans 
ta Sabeans. 

h(xk of divine revelalioiL Aeeording to -tibe Moalrai 
creed, a book was tfeasured vp in 1^ se?en^ heaven, aid 
had existed tiieie &om dl etein^, in wtudi wtt« written 
down all t^e decrees <^ God, and aUensBts, past, pment^ 
Or to oome. Transcripts 6^m l^iesa taUeta of tiie dirine 
IriH wesre brought down to the lowest hevren bj tbe aag^ 
€hibiie!, and by him rerealed to MaliosMt, fitoaa taiae to 
time, in porticnifi adapted to some fi^aat or SBMreoi^* 
Being the difect words of God, tliey w«re all spofceat m 
€ie &6t person. 

Of die way in whidi Hiese revelationa wiere taken down 
&t treasured up by secretaries and disciples, and gatibered 
togethea^ 1^ Abu "beker after Hie death of Makomet, we 
baye made sufficient mention. The compilation, ^ snob 
in &ct it is, icrrms the Mbriem oode of diiril and penal, 4is 
#en as religious law, and is treated witk the utmost 
ieyerence by all true belifipyers. A lealoaB pride is i&owa 
in haying copies of it splendidly bon&d and ornamented. 
Aninsenpiaon on the eorer forbids any one to toock it who 
is unclean, and it is considered irreverent, in reading it, to 
hold it below the girdle. Moslems sw*ear by it, and take 
Om^:» from its pages, by opening it and reading the first 
text that meets me eye. With m its errors and disra?e* 
pancies, if we consider it mainly as the work <rf one man,, 
and that an unletti^ed man, it remains a stupendous 
monument of sofitajy legislation. 

Besides Ihe Koran, or written law, a number of pro* 

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cepts and apologues, which casually fell from the lips of 
Mahomet, were collected after his death from ear-wit* 
nesses, and transcribed into a book called the Sonna or 
Orel Law. This is held eqnallj sacred with the Xoraa 
by a sect of Mahomedans tl^nce called Sonnites ; otherg 
reject it as apocryphal; these last are termed Schiites^ 
Hostilities and persecutions have occasionally taken place 
between these sects almost as virulent as those whicht 
between CathoHcs and ftotestants, haye disgraced Chnsi* 
tianity. The Sonnites are distinguished by white, the 
Schiites by red turbans ; hence the latter haye receivedi 
from their antagonists the appellation of Elussilbachi, of 
Eed Heads. 

It is remarkable that circumcision, which is inyariably 
practised by the Mahometans, and forms a distinguishii^ 
rite of their faith, to which all proselytes must combrm, iai 
neither mentioned in the Xoran nor the Sonna, It seema 
to have been a general usage in Arabia, tacitly adopted 
from the Jews, and is even said to haye been preyalentf 
iIm)ughout the East before the time of Moses. 

It is said that the Xoran forbids the making likenesseg 
of any Hying thing, which has preyented the introductioa 
of portrait-painti^ among Mahometans. The passage 
of the Koran, however, which is thought to contain the ' 
prohibition, seems merely an echo of the second command- 
ment, held sacred by Jews and Christians, not to form 
imaees or pictures for worship. One of Mahomet's stan- 
dards was a black eagle. Among the most distinguished 
Moslem ornaments of the Alhambra, at GTana&, is .a 
fountain supp(»ted by lions caryed of stone, and some 
Moslem monarchs haye had their effigies stamped on 
their coins. 

Another, and an important mistake with regard to the 
system of Mahomet, is the idea that it .denies souls to the- 
female sex, and excludes them from paradise. This error 
arises from his omitting to mention their enjoyments in a 
future state, while he details, those of his own sex with 
the minuteness of a voluptuary. The beatification of 
virtuous females is alluded to in the 56th Sura of the 
Koran, and also in other places, although, from the vague- 
ness of the language, a cursory reader might suppose the 
Houris of paramse to be intenaed. 

The fourth article of faith relates to the pbophbts^ 
Their number amounts to two hundred thousand, but only 
six are super-eminent, as havio^c brought new laws ana 

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{tispensations upon earth, each abrogating those preriooaly 
received whereyer they yaried or were contradictory. 
Tliese six distinguished m>phets were Adam, Koah, Abra- 
liam, Moses, Jesus, and Mahomet. 

The fflli arHcle of Islam faith is on the BBSUBBEcnoir 
and the fival judgmbkt. On this awM subject, Maho« 
met blended some of the Christian belief with certain 
notions current among the Arabian Jews. One of the 
latter is the fearful tribunal of the Sepulchre. When 
Azrail, the angel of death, has performed his office, and 
the corpse has been consigned to the tomb, two black 
angels, Munkar and Nakeer, of dismal and appalling 
aspect, present themselyes as inquisitors ; during* whose 
scrutiny the soul is re*united to the body. The defunct, 
being commanded to sit up, is intenx^ted as to the two 
great points of faith, the uni^ of God and. the diyine 
mission of 'Mahomet, and likewise as to the deeds done by 
liim during life ; and his replies are recorded in boolui 
against the day of judgment. Should they be satisfactory, 
his soul is gently ara>m forth from his lips, and his body 
left to its repose ; should they be otherwise, he is beaten 
about the brows with iron clubs, and his soul wrenched 
forth with racking tortures. For the conyenience of thif 
awful inquisition, the Mahometans generally deposit their 
dead in hollow or yaulted sepulchres ; merely wrapped in 
funeral clothes, but not ^aoed in coffins. 

The space of time between death and resurrection is 
ealled luerzak, or the InteryaL During this period the 
body rests in the graye, but the soul has a foretaste, m 
dreams or yisions, of its future doom. 

The souls of prophets are admitted at once into the full 
firuition of paradise. Those of martyrs, including all who 
die in battle, enter into the bodies or crops of green birds, 
who feed on the fruits and drink of the streams of para- 
dise. Those of the great mass of true beHeyers are 
yariously disposed of, but, according to the most receiyed 
opinion, they hoyer, in a state of seraphic tranq^uillity, 
near the tombs. Hence the Moslem usa^e of yisitmg the 
crayes of their departed friends and relatives, in the idea 
that their souls are the gratified witnesses of these testi- 
monials of flection. 

Many Moslems belieye that the souls of the truly faith* 
fill assume the forms of snow-white birds, and nestle be* 
neath the throne of Allah — a belief in accordance with aa 
ancient superstition of the Hebrews, that the souls of the 

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Jurt will lutTO ft place in liMven uikter ihd throne cf 


iTiih regazd to the tonk of infidels, the moBt ortliodox 
opinion is, that they wHl be repalsed by angels both froni 
biearen «nd earth, and cast mto ihe caTenxms boirels 
t^tfae ear^ tiiere to await in trSbuiatkin the day of jxid|^ 

' Thb sat or sismtsBCTtoH will be preceded by signs 
end portents in heaven and earth. A total edipse of the 
moon ; a change in theootme of 1^ snn, rising in the west 
mstead of the east; wars and l^imults; a nniversal decay 
ixf Mth ; the advent of Antiduist ; the issningforth of Gog 
ftnd Magog to deedate the world; a great smoke, covering 
the whole earth : th^e and many more prodigies and omens 
sJ&ightbe and harassing the soids of men, and ]^(rodncio# 
k wretch^ness of spirit anda weariness of life; msomn^ 
that a man passing Dy a mve shail envy the qmet dead^ 
ind say, ''Would to God I were in fliy plaoel" 

Thelast dread si^nai of the awM iff will be Ihe blast 
of a trumpet bv the archangel LorafiL At tiie aotmd 
iherec^the earm will tremble ; castles and towers wHl be 
shaken to tiie ground, and monntams lerelled with the 
pliuns. The fiioe of heaven wiH be darkened; tibe Arma^ 
ment will melt away, and tiie mm, ihe Bftoon* and stars 
will &11 mto the sea. The ocean will be either dried np^ 
or will boil and roll in fiery byiows^ 
' At <he sound c^ that dreadfiil tramp a panie will faU on 
Ihe human race ; men will itr from ^eir brothers, iheiir 
pcuients, and their wives ; ana mothers, in frantie terror^ 
abandon the infant at the breast. Hie savage beasts cf 
ike ^>rests, and the tame animals of the pasi^tre, will fi>r- 
get their ^roeness and their antipauiies, and herd 
together m afi&i^. 

The second blast of the trumpet is 1^ blast o£ exter> 
mination. At that sound, all creatureB in heaven and on 
earth, and in the waters mider the earth, angels and genii, 
and men and animals, all will die; excepting the chosett 
few espeeiaUy reserved by Allah. The last to die will be 
Asrail, the angd of death ! 

' Forty days, or, according to ezplaiiations, fort^ years of 
continued rain will follow this blast of ertermination; then 
will be eomided for the third time the trumpet of the 
ardianfi^el Israfil; it is the call to judgment! Atthesound 
of this olast, the whole space between heaven and earth 
will be filled with the sot^ cf the dead flyi^ in quest of 

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•itt&ir resDectiye bodies. Then the earth will open; and 
there will be a Tattling of dij bones, and a gathennf 
togedier of scattered iiimM ; the yeiy hairs will congregate 
together, and ihe whole body be reunited, and^e sooi 
wUl re-enter it, and the dead wiU rue firom mntiktiom 
perfect in eyerj part, and naked as when bom. The 
infidels will groyel with their faces on the earth, but the 
ftlithM wHl walk erect ; as to the truly pioos, they win be 
borne aloft on winged camelsy white as milk, with saddles 
<^fine g(M. 

' Eyery hnman being wiM then be pntopon his trial as to 
the manner in fdiieh he has enjoyed his fi^nlties, and 
the ffood and eyil actions of his life. A migh^ balance 
will oe poised by ihe angel Gabriel; in one of me scaieSp 
termed lif^t, will be placed his good actions; in the 
o^ier, termed Darkness, his eyil deeds. An atom or a 
gnm of mustard-seed will suffice to turn tiik balance; aad 
we nature of the sentence will depend on the prepon-^ 
derance of either scale. At that momoit letnbotion will 
be exacted for eyery wronff and injury. "Hb who has 
wronged a feUow-mortal wiu haye to repay him with a 
portion of his own good deeds, or, if he haye none to boast 
of, will haye to take upon himseif a proportionate wei^it 
of the other^s sins. 

The trial of the balance wUl be succeeded by the ordeal 
of the bridge. The wIm^ assembled multitude will haye 
to folk3w luhomet across the bridge Al Ser4t, as fine as 
liie ed^ of a scimetar, which crosses ihe golf of Jdiennam 
or Hefl. infidds end sinM 3Coslems wul ffrope along it 
darkling and fall into the abyss ; bnt the fidtiiful, aided by 
a beammg light, will cioss with the swiftness of birds and 
enter the r^dms of paradise. The idea of thii bridge, 
and (^ the dreary realms of JeheBBam, is suj^Kised to haye 
been deriyed pcurtfy fipom the Jews, b«t chiefly fiom the 

Jehennam k a region fraught with all kinds of Irarrors. 
The yery trees haye writhing serpents for branches, bear- 
ing Ibr nruit the heads of demons. We forbear to dwell 
upon the particulars of this dismal abode, which are ^yen 
with painM and often disgusting minuteness. It is de- 
ecribed as consisting of seyen stages, one below the other, 
and yarying in the nature and mtensity of torment. The 
first stage ub alkrtted to Atheists, who deny creator and 
(^eaticm, aaid b^eye the woridto be etemaL The second 
Ibr ManidLeans sad otjiers that admit two dirine prin* 

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204 ▲PFBNDIX. 

ciples ; and for ihe Arabian idolaters of the era of Ma- 
homet. The third is for the Brahmins of India; the 
fourth for the Jews; the fifth for Christians; the sixlh for 
the Magians or Ghebers of Persia ; the seyenth for hypo* 
writes, who profess without believing in religion. 

The fierce angel Thabeck--'that is to say, the Execa« 
tioner— -presides over this region of terror. 

We must observe that the general nature of Jehennam, 
and the distribution of its punishments, hare giyen rise ta 
yarious commentaries and expositions among the Moslem, 
doctors. It is maintained by some, and it is a popular 
doctrine, that none of the beueyers in Allah and hispro* 
phets will be condemned to eternal punishment. Their 
sins will be expiated by proportionate periods of sufferings 
Tarying from nine hundred to nine thousand years. 

IJome of the most humane among the doctors contend 
against eternity of punishment to any class of sinners, 
saying that, as God is all merciful, eyen infidels will eyen- 
tuaUy be pardoned. Those who haye an intercessor, as 
the Christians haye in Jesus Christ, will be first redeemed* 
The Uberality of these worthy commentators, howeyer, 
does not extend so far as to admit them into paradise 
amon^ true belieyers; but concludes that, after long 
punishment, they will be relieyed fiK>m their torments by 

Between Jehennam and paradise is Al Araf, or the Par- 
tition, a re^on destitute oipeace or pleasure, destined for 
the reception of infants, lunatics, idiots, and such oth^r 
beings as haye done neither good nor evil. Por such, too, 
whose good and eyil deeds balance each other; though 
these may be admitted to paradise through the interces* 
sion of Mahomet, on performing an act of adoration, to 
turn the scales in their fayour. It is said that the tenants 
of this region can conyersfe with their neighbours on either 
hand, the blessed and the condemned ; and that Al Araf 
appears a paradise to those in hell and a heU to those in 

Al Jankat, OB thb Gabdbk. — ^When the true belieyer 
has passed through all his trials, and expiated all his sins, 
he refreshes himself at the Pool of the jProphet. This is 
a lake of fragrant water, a month's journey in circuit, fed 
by the riyer Al Cauther, Ti^ch flows from paradise. The 
water of this lake is sweet as honey, cola as snow, and 
dear as crystal ; he who once tastes of it will neyer more 
be tormented by thirst; a blessing dwelt upon with peco* 

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7AITR 09 T8I.1H. 206 

liaar zest by Arabian writers, ticcustomed to the parching 
thirst of the desert. 

After the true believer has drunk of this water of life, 
tke gate of paradise is opened to him by the angel Bush- 
van. The same prolixity and minuteness which occur in 
ihB description of Jehennam, are lavished on the delights 
of paradise, until the imagination is dazzled and conmsed 
by the details. The soil is of the finest wheaten flour, 
fragrant with perfumes, and strewed with pearls and hya* 
dnths instead of sands and pebbles. 

Some of the streams are of crystal purity, running be- 
tween ^een banks enamelled wiui flowers ; others are of 
milk, of wine and hone^ ; flowing over beds of musk, be- 
tween margins of campnire, covered with moss and safiEron ! 
The air is sweeter than the spicy gales of Sabea, and cooled 
by sparkling fountains* Here, too, is Taba, the wonderful 
tree of life, so large that a fleet horse would need a hun- 
dred years to cross its shade. The boughs are laden with 
every variety of delicious fruit, and hem, to the hand of 
tiiose who seek to gather. 

The inhabitants of this blissful garden are clothed in 
Taiment sparkling with jewels ; they wear crowns of gold 
enriched with pearls and diamonds, and dwell in sump- 
tuous palaces or silken pavilions, reclining on voluptuous 
couches. Here every b^ever will have hundreds of at- 
tendants, bearing disnes and goblets of gold, to serve him 
with every variety of exquisite viand and beverage. He 
will eat without satiety, and drink without inebriation; 
the last morsel and the last drop will be equally relished 
with the first: he will feel no repletion, and need no 

The air will resound with the melodious voice of Izrafil, 
atid the songs of the daughters of paradise ; the very rust- 
ling of the trees will produce ravishing harmony, while 
myriads of bells, haimng among their branches, will be 
put in dulcet motion by airs from the throne of Allah. 

Above all, the faitiiM will be blessed with female 
•ociety to the full extent even of Oriental imaginings* 
Beside the wives he had on earth, who will rejoinliim in 
all their pristine charms, he will be attended by the Hiir 
al OyAn, or Honris, so called from their large black eyes ; 
'lespfendent beings, free from every human defect or frailty ; 
perpetually retaming their youth and beauty, and renew-- 
mg their virginity. Sevens-two of these are allotted to 
every believer. The intercourse with, them will be fruit- 
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200 . jctrMWDO* 7 

M (xp not, accoxdiii^ to their wiBk» sud fH& cffiq^rhig will 
grow within an lionr to the same stature witk the pa^nd^.. 
, That the true beHever may be follj oompetent to l^e 
^oyments of thia bhsfifnl region^ he will rise from 1^. 
graye in the {»nni6 <^ manhood, at the ap^e of thirty'* of* 
tks stature of Adam» whiolx waa thirty eobits ; wiHi all hift; 
faeulties imnroved to a state of preternatural perfection,^ 
with the abilitiea of a hundred men, and with desires and: 
i^^titea quickened rather than sated by enjoyment. 

These and similar deHg^ta are promised to the meaneat* 
of the faithful ; there are gradations of enj<mnent, how* 
erer, as of merit; but, aa to tiiose prepared tor the motitt 
deserving, Mahixnet found the powera of deaeription ex- 
hausted, and was fain to make use of the text from Scri]^ 
tnre, that they should be bwAl things *' aa eye hath i^ 
seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into tho 
heart of man to conceiTO." 

The expounders of the Mahometan law difi^ in i^^uext, 
o|aniona aa to the whole meaning <^ thk ^stem of rewarcb 
and punishments. One set understanding ererythin^ in % 
figorathre, the other in a literal aenae. ^Die former insist 
t£at the prophet apake ia parable, in a manner suited tor 
the coarse peroeptimis and aeiMual natorea of hia heareras> 
and mamtain that the joys of hearen wiB be m^tal «t 
well as corporeal; tibe resuixectkm being of both soul and 
body. The soul win revel in a supentftoral derelopnirailr 
and employment of all its facultiea— in a knowledge of aOr 
^b» areana of nature ; ike fall revelation of everything^ 
paat, present, and to come. The ei^oymenta of the bodyr 
will be equally ^ted to xta varioua aenaes, and perfeciM 
to a supernatural degree. > 

. The same expound^ns regard the deaorm^n of Jehennmn 
as equally fif^uratiye ; the torments of the soul oonaisthift 
m the anguish of perfj^tual remorse feat paat Crimea, aM 
deep and ever mcreaaing despair fi»r the loaa of heaven r 
those of ike body in excruoiatmg and never-ending pain. 
' The other dociora, who oonstme everything in a literal 
aanse, are oonaidered the moat orthodox, and their sect m 
beyond measure the most numerous. Most of the partioa* 
lara in the system <^ rewards and j^uniflhmenti, aa naabeea 
already obaerved, have doae affimty to the auperstitiona oi 
Ihe Magiana and the Jewish BaSbiis. The Houri, or 
blaek-eyed nymphs, who figure so conapicuoualy in th» 
Hoalem'a paradise, are said to be the same aa l^e Huram 
Behest of wePuruanMi^i, and Mahomet ia aeoniadby 

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PAXfir OF ISLAM. 209^ 

XlHiristian inrM^atxHrt of Iwviiig piulomed much of his de- 
Mription of heay^i from tiie account oi tlie Now Jeroaalem 
in uie Apo<»ljpae; with ench Tajiadon as is used bj 
loL&Tiah jewellen, when ihej appropriate stx^en jewels to 
ihfiir owB use. 

Hke sixih mnd lati ariide of the Islam &itk is Pbbdxs- 
TiKATioiv, and on this Mahomet endeoily reposed his 
^lief dependenoe fat ^esneoess of his military enterpcisea. 
fie inemcated that erery erent had been raedetenxmied 
hy Grod» and written down in the et^Enal taluet previous to 
ihfi creatkm of the world. That the destiny of oreir in^ 
diTidoal and ^e hour of his deaidi, were irre^ooably meed, 
4nd ooold neither be Taxied nor evaded by any ettbrt of 
luuiiaa sagaoify or foresiffht. Under this persuasion, the 
HosleBis en^E^ed £s battfe without ridk ; and, as death in 
battle was equivaknt to martyrdom, and entttfed them to 
4m immediate admission into paradise, they had in either 
alternatiYe, deaik or victory, a certainty of gain. 

This doctrine, according to which men by tiieir owafbae 
will can neither avoid sin nor avert punishment, ib con- 
sidered by many Mussulmen as derogatory to the justice 
and clemency ot Grod ; and several sects have sprung up, 
who endeavour to 8<^«i and explain away this perplexing 
dogma : but the number of these doubiecs is sxoall, and 
they are not considered ortliodox. 

The doctrine of pred^tination was one ci those timely 
revelations to Mah(»net that were ahnost miraculous from 
their seasonable occurrence. It took place immediatelj 
'after the disastrous battle of Ohod, in which, many of ht^ 
followers, and among them his unde TTamga, weve shun. 
Then it was, in a moment of gloom and despondency, whe& 
his £>llowers around him were disheartened* that ne pro* 
mul£[ated this law, telling them that every man must die 
at the appointed hour, whether in bed or in the field d 
jbattle. He declared, moreover, that the angel GMbriel had 
announced to him the reception of Hamzainto the seventh 
heaven, with the title of Lion of God and of the Prcyhet. 
ISe added, as he contemplated the dead bodies, " I am 
witness for these, and for all who have been slam fi>r Hm 
cause of Grod, that they shall appear in glory at the resur- 
rection, with their wounds brimant as Tenxulioa and odo- 
xiferous as musk*" • 

What doctrine could have been devised more calculated 
to hurry f<»rward, in a wild career of conquest, & set of 
%norant and predat<»y sddiers, thiA Hit asniraiiee of 

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206 JL^XKDIX* 

booty if they sniyiyed, and paradise if they fell P* It ren- 
dered almost irresistible the Moslem arms ; bnt it likewise 
contained the poison that was to destroy their dominion. 
From the moment the snecessors of the prophet ceased to 
be {^gressors and conquerors, and sheathed the sword de- 
fniti^y, the doctrine of predestination began its baneM 
-work. Enervated by peace, and the sensuality permitted 
by the Xoran — ^whicn so distinctly separates its doctrines 
from the pure and self-denying religion of the Messiah— 
the Moslem regarded every reverse as preordained by 
AUah, and inevitable ; to be borne stoically, since human 
exertion and foresight were vain. " Help thyself, and Qod 
wiU help thee," was a precept never in force with the fol- 
lowers of Mahomet, and its reverse has been their fate. 
The crescent has waned before the cross, and exists in 
Europe, where it was once so mighty, only by the suffi*age» 
or rather the jealousy of the great Christian powers, pro- 
bably ere long to Ainiish anomer illustration, that " mej 
that take the sword shall perish with the sword." 


The artidei of religious practice are fourfold: Prayer, 
including ablution, Amis, Fasting, Pilgrimage. 

Ablution is enjoined as preparative to psateb, purity of 
body being considlered emblematical of purity of soul. It is 
prescribed in the Koran with curious precision. The face, 
«rms, elbows, feet, and a fourth part of the head to be 
irashed once ; the hands, mouth and nostrils, three times ) 
the ears to be moistened with the residue of the water 
used for the bead, and the teeth to be cleaned with a 
brush. The ablution to commence on the right and ter« 
aniuAte on the left; in washing the hands and feet to 
beffin with the fbgers and toes ; where water is not to be 
liad, fine sand may be used. 

f^TEB is to be performed five times every day, viz. : 
the first in the mornio^ b^ore sunrise; the second at 
noon; the third in ^ememoon before sunset; the fourth 
in the evening between sunset and dark ; the fifth between 
twilight and Sie first watch, being tiie vesper prayer. A 
Bixth prayer is volunteered by many between tne first 

• The reader may recollect that a belief in predesidnation, or deitis j^ 
^as encouraged by Napoleon, and had much inflnence on his troops. 

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FAITH OT I81AX. 909 

watch of tlie ni^ht and the dawn of day. These pTa;^ era 
are but repetitions of the same laudatory ejacidation» 
•* God is great ! God is powerflU ! God is all-powerful I**" 
and are counted by the scrupulous upon a string of beads^ 
They may be performed at the mosque, 07 in any cleaito 
place. During prayer, the eyes are turned to the Xebla«. 
or point of the heayen in the direction of Mecca ; which 
is indicated in eyery mosque by a niche called Al Mehrab^ 
and externally by me position of the minarets and doors*. 
Eyen the postures to be obseryed in prayer are prescribed^ 
and the most solemn act of adoration is by bowing the 
forehead to the ground. Females in praying are not ta 
stretch forth their armsi but to fold them on their bosoms. 
They are not to make as profound inflexions as the men. 
They are to pray in a low and gentle tone of yoice. They 
are not permitted to accompany the men to tiie mosque^ 
lest the minds of the worshippers should be drawn from 
their deyotions. In addressing themsehres to God, the 
fiuthiul are enjoined to do so with humility ; putting aside 
eostly ornaments and sumptuous appard. 

Many of the Mahometan obseryances with respect to 
prayer were similar to those preyiously maintained by the 
oal)eans ; others agreed with the ceremonials prescribed 
by the Jewish Sabbins. Such were the postures, in* 
flexions and prostrations, and the turning of the &oe 
towards the E^bla, which, howeyer, with the Jews was in 
Ihe direction of the temple at Jerusalem. 

Prayer, with the Moslem, is a daUy exercise ; but oa. 
Friday there is a sermon in the mosque. This day was 
generaDy held sacred among orientid nations as the day 
on which man was created. The Sabean idolaters con- 
secrated it to Astarte, or Venus, the most beautiful of 
the planets and brightest of the stars. Mahomet adopted 
it as his Sabbath, partly, perhaps, from early habitude, but^ 
chiefly to vary from the Saturday of the Jews and Sun- 
day of the Christians. 

The second article of religious practice is Chabity, or 
the giying of alms. There are two kinds of alms, yiz. t 
those prescribed by law, called Zacat, like tithes in the 
Christian church, to be made in specified proportions, whe- 
ther in money, wares, cattle, com, or fruit; and volimtaiy 
mfts termed Sadakat, made at the discretion of th? giyer* 
Every Moslem is enjoined, in oneway or the other, to dis- 
pense a tenth of his revenue in relief of the indigent and 

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ftlO AtVEXnMX* 

The third wHeie of practice is FABTiKe, also supposed 
to have been deriyed nom the Jews. In each year for 
thirty dsfi, daring the month of Eliamadaii« the true be- 
lieyer is to abstain rigorously, froni ^e rising to the set- 
ting of the sun from meat and drinks baths, perfumes, the 
interoomrse of the sexes, and all o^er gratifications and 
daligfats of the senses. This is considerea a great triumph 
of telf-d^iial. mortifying and subduing the several appe« 
tiles, and purifying both body and som. Of these three 
artioles «t practice the Prince AbdaJasis used to say» 
^Prayer leads us halfway to God ; &sting conveys us to 
fcis threi^iojd, but alms conduct us into his presence." 
. PiLOBiHAOS is ihe fourth framd praetieat duty enjoined 
inon Moslems. Every true believer is bound to make one 
pugrimage to Mecca in the course of his life, eitlier peiv 
^omilly or by proxy. In the latter case, his name must be 
aientioBed in every prayer offered up by his substitute. 
^ Pilgrimaffe is incumbent only on free persons of mature 
mgo, aonna intellect; and who have healiii and wealth 
enough to bear the fatigues and expenses of the journey* 
<Che ]Ml^rim before his oepartore worn home arranges all 
"ins attauf, publie and domestio, as if preparing for his 

' On the appointed day, which is either Tuesday, Thurs* 
di^, or Saturday, as bein^ propitious for the purpose, he 
assombles his wives, chil£en, and all his household, and 
d^outly commends them and all his concerns to the care 
jo^God durinr his holy ent^prise. Then passing one end 
4d his turban oeneath his chin to the opposite ame of his 
-iiead, like the aUare.of a nun, and j^rasping a stout staff of 
•bitter almonds, he takes leave of his housenold, and sallies 
'from the apartment, exclaiming, " In the name of God I un<* 
jdertake this holy work, confiding in his protection. I believe 
hk him, and place in lus hands my actions and my life." 
> On leaving the portal, he tarns his ieuoe toward the 
£ebla, repeats certain passages of the Koran, and adds, 
'f ^ I torn m;^ fiice to the Sjoij Caaba, the throne of God, 
ix> accomplish the pilgrimage commanded by his law, and 
:idiioh shall draw me near to him." 

He ^boally puts his foot in the stirrap, mounts into the 

departure is always < 

. Hiecoa at the beginning of the pilgrim month Dhul-hajji. 

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Xhiee laws are to be obs^nred througlioat tMa pioTis 

1. To cosnmenoe no anaiTeL ^ 

. 2. To bear meeUj all hanlmess and redoing. 

3. To promote peace and good-will aoKmg bis wm* 
panions in the carayan. 

' He is, moreoy^, to be liberal in his donations and 
diarities thronghont his pilgnma^. 

When arrived at some place in the yieimt^ of Meeca» 
he allows his ban* and nails to grow, strips himself to the 
tldn, and assumes the Ihram or pilgrim garb, coosisti&g of 
two scarfs, without seams or deoor&oacks, and of any stofi^ 
ercepting silk. One of these is folded ronnd the loins^ 
tfie other thrown over the neck and shoulders, leayins the 
right arm free. The head is nnooyered, but isbB a(^ea and 
iimrm are permitted to l(dd something roimd it in oeii* 
sideration of alms ^en to the poor. Umbrdlas are aU 
lowed as a protection against the son* and indigent piL 
grims supply their nlaoe by a rag on the end of a stan. 

The instep must oe bare; and peodHar sandals are pro« 
tided for the purpose, or a piece of the upper leather ot 
the shoe is cut out. The ptlgiim, when thus attired, k 
lenned Al Mohiem* 

l%e Ihram of faaales is an ample doak and yeil* en& 
▼elopin^the whole peRKai» so Hiat, m striotnees, the wrists, 
tile anlSes, and oTesithe eyes ahmild be eoneesded. 
r. When onee assumed^ the Ihrsmmnst be worn until the 
jnlgrimage is oompleted, however nnsnited it may beto 
the season or the weathen\ While wearing it, the pi^^rim 
must abstain from all lieentiolusness of laitfruage; afi 
sensual interoonzae ; aU quarrels and acts of violeaee ; 
he must; not ey«& take the hfb of an insect that inteta 
him; thou^ an exeeption is mads in regard to bikkig 
dogSf to sewpions, anf birds of prey. 

On arriving at Meoea, he leaves his baggage in some 
Aapy and, without attention to any woridfy coneem, re« 
pairs, straightway to t^e GaUba, oondiieted by one of the 
Metowefs, or guides, who are always at hand to offer their 
seorviees to pilgrims. 

Entering the mos^e by tibe Bab d. Salam, or Gt^ ot 
SahitatMn, he makes four proetrationa, and repeats certain 
pravers as he passes under the arch. Apporoaching the 
Caaba, he makes fo 

four prostrations opposite the 
Stone, which he then kisses ; or, if prevented by the 
p 2 

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throng, lie ioaehes it with luE riglit hand, and kisses thai ^ 
Departing from the Black Stone, and keeping the building 
on nis left hand, he makes the seven curcuits, the three 
first qnicklj, the latter four with slow and solemn pace. < 
Certam prayers are repeated in a low voice, and the Slack 
Stone kissed, or touched, at the end of eyery circuit. 

The Towaf^ or procession, round the Caaba was an 
ancient ceremony, observed long before the time of Ma* 
hornet, and performed by boui sexes entirely naked. 
Mahomet prohibited this exposure, and prescribed the 
Ihram, or pilgrim dress. The female Hajji walk the 
Towaf general^ during the night ; though occasionally 
they perform it mingled with the men in the day« 

The seven oirouits beine completed, the pilgrim presses 
his breast against the wall between the Black Stone and 
the door of the Caaba, and with outstretched arms, prays 
forpardon of his sins. 

He then repairs to the Makam, or station of Abraham^ 
makes four prostrationfl, prays for the intermediation of 
the Patriarch, and thence to me well Zem Zem, and drinks 
as much of the water as he can swallow. 

Dunng all this ceremonial, the uninstrueted Hajji haa 
his guide or Metowef dose at his heels, muttering prayers 
for him to repeat. He is now conducted out of the mosque 
hj the gate Bab el Zafa to a slight ascent about fifty pacei 
distant, called the Hill of Zaia» when, after uttermg a 
prayer with tmHfted hands, he commences the holy pro* 
menade, called the Saa or Say. This lies through a straight 
imd level street, cdled Al Mesaa, six bundled paces in 
length, lined with shops like a bazaar, and terminating at 
a puce called Merowa. The walk of the Say is in com* 
memoration of the wandering <^ Ha^ar over the same 
ground, in search of water for her child Ishmael. The 
pilgrim, therefore, walks at times slowly, with an in* 
qmsitive air, then runs in a certam place, and again 
walks gravely, stopping at times and looking anxiously 

Having repeated the walk up and down this street seven 
times, the Hajji enters a baroer's shop at Merowa; his 
head is shaved, his nails pared, the barber muttering 
prayers and the pilgrim repeating iskem all the time. The 
paring and shearmg are then buried in consecrated groundi 

» Biirckliaidt'8 TnrOB in Arabia, voL L p. 360, Load, edit, 1839. 

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TAiTH ov tsmc. 21S 

•ad the most essential duties of the pilgrimage are con* 
'aidered as fuIMed.* 

On the ninth of the month Al Dhul-hajji» the pilgrims 
make a hurried and tumultuous visit to Mount Arafat^ 
where they remain until sunset ; then pass the night in 
prayer at an Oratory, called Mozdalifa, and before sun- 
rise next morning repair to the valley of Mena, where 
they l^irow seven stones at each of the three piUars, in 
imitation of Abraham, and some say also of Adam, who 
drove away the devil from this spot with stones, when 
disturbed by him in his devotions. 

Such are the main ceremonies which form this great 
Moslem rite of pilgnimafe;but, before concluding this 
sketch of Islam faim, and closing this legendary memoir 
of its founder, we cannot forbear to notice one of his 
innovations, which has entailed perplexity on all his fol* 
lowers, and particular inconvenience on pious pilgrims. 

The Arabian year consists of twelve lunar months, 
oontainini^ alternately thirtv and twenir-nine days, and 
making three hundred and nfty-four in the whole, so that 
eleven days are lost in every solar year. To make up the 
deficiency, a thirteenth, or wandering month, was added 
to every lliird year, previoils to the era of Mahomet, to 
the same effect as one day is added hi the Christiaa 
calendar to every leap-year. Mahomet, who was tme- 
ducated, and ignorant of astronomy, retrenched this 
thirteenth or intercalary month, as contrary to the divine 
order of revolutions of the moon, ana reformed the 
calendar by a diviae revelation during his last pilgrimage. 
This is recorded in the ninth sura or chapter of the 
Koran, to the following effect : 

"For the number of montiia is twelve, as it was 
ordained by Allah, and recorded on the eternal tablesf 

• The greater part of the particolarf coneeming Mecca and Medina, 
and their respectiye pagrimages, are gathered from, the writings of that 
aooarate and indefotigahle trayeller, Barckhardt ; who, in the disgoiM 
of a pilgrim, visited these shrines, and complied with all the forms and 
ceremonials. His works throw great light npon the manners and 
eostoms of the East, and practice of the Mahometan faith. 

The fiacts related hy Bnrckhardt have been collated with those of 
other travellers and writers, and many particulars have heen inter- 
woven with them from other sonrces. 

t The eternal tables or tablet was of white pearl, extended from east 
to west, and firom earth to heaven. All the decrees of God were re- 
corded on it, and all events, past, present, and to come, to all eternity. 
It was guarded by angelf. 

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2f4 inP89DXX« 

cA the day whereia he created the heavea and the 

'' Transfer not a sacred taan& imto another month, for 
rerHj it is an innovafeion of the infidala." 

The number of days thns k>st amount in 33 years to 
363. it becomes necessary, therefixre, to add an inter* 
oalary year at the end of each thiriy*third year to rednoa 
title Mahometan into the Christian era. 

One great inconvenience arising from this revelation of 
the prophet is, ^at the Moslem months So not indicate 
the season; as they commence earlier by elevrai da^ 
eretj year. This, at certain epodia, is a sore grievance 
to tne votaries to Mecoa, as the gxeafc pilgrim month 
Dhnl-hajji, during which tiiiey are compelled to wear the 
Ihram, ot half-naked pilgrim garfo, rona the roimd (d ^be 
seasons, occurring at one time in the depth oiwioier, at 
ano4^r in the f^nd heat of summer. 

Thus Mahomet, Ihongh aeoording to legendary histonr, 
he could order the moon £rom the firmament and malce 
her revc^re about the sacred house, eould not ocmtrd her 
monthly refcdutions; and fbmid ihat the aoienoe ol 
Kumbers is superior even to ^e gift of prophecy, and seta 
miracles at deianee. 

fXB xirix 

SftTiU & Edwards, Printers, 4, Chaados Strwt 

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y Google 

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It is the intention of the anthor in the following pages, t^ 
trace the progress of ihe Moslem dominion from the death 
of Mahomet, a.i>. 022, to the invasion of Spain, a.d. 710. In 
this period, which did not occnp^ fourscore and ten years* 
and passed within the lifetime ot many an aged Arao, the 
Moslems extended their empire and their &ith over the wide 
r^ons of Asia and Africa^ suhrertinji^ the empire of the 
Knosros; suljngating great territories m India ; establishing 
tk splendid seat of power in Syria; dictating to the conquered 
kingdom of the Pharaohs ; oyerranning the whcde northern 
coast of Africa; scouring the Mediterranean with their ships; 
earrjing their cimquests in one direction to the very walls of 
Oonstantinople, and in another to the extreme limits of 
Mauritania ; in a word, trampling down all the old dynasties 
which once held haughty and magnificent sway in the East. 
The whole presents a striking instance of the triumph of 
fanatic enthusiasm oyer discipBned yalour, at a period when 
the inyention of fire-arms haa not reduced war to a matter of 
almost arithmetical calculation. There is also an air of wild 
romance about many of the events recorded in this narrative, 
owing to the character of the Arabs, and their fondness for 
stratagems, daring exploits, and individual achievements of 
an extravagant nature. These have sometimes been softened, 
if not suppressed, hj cautious historians ; but the author haa 
found them so in unison with the people and the times, and 
with a career of conquest, of itself out of the bounds of coin- 
mon probability, that he has been induced to leave them in 
all their graphic force. 

Those who have read the life of Mahomet, will find in the 
following pages most of their old acquaintances again engaged, 
but in a vastiy grander field of action ; leading armies, sub- 
jugating empires, and dictating from the palaces and thrones 
of deposed potentates. 

In constructing his work, which is merely intended for 

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popular use, the author has adopted a form somewhat between 
biography and chronicle, admitting of personal anecdote, and 
a ^eater pla^ of familiar traits and peculiarities, than is con* 
sidered admissible in the stately walk of history. His igno- 
rance of the oriental languages has obliged him to take his 
materials at second-hand, where he could have wished to read 
them in the original; such, for instance, has been the case 
with the account given by the Arabian writer, Al W&kidi> 
of the conquest of Syria, and especially of the siege of 
Damascus, which retain much of their dramatic spirit even 
in the homely pages of Ockley. To this latter writer the 
author has been much indebteo, a« well as to the Abb^ de 
Marigny's History of the Arabians, and to P'Herbelot's 
Biblioth^que OrientaXe. In &ct, his paces are oflen a mere 
digest of facte already befoore the public, but divested of 
cumbrous diction and uninteresting details. Some, however, 
are furnished from sources reoentir laid open, and not hitherto 
wroufi'ht into the regular web of nistory. 

In nis account of the Persian conquest, the author has been 
mudi benefited by the perusal of the Gremaldesaal of the 
learned Yon Hammer-PnrgstaU, and by a translation of the 
Persian historian, Tabari, reeently given to the public in the 
Journal of the Ainerican Oriental Society, by Mr. John P. 
Brown, dragoman of the United States Legation at Con- 

In the account of the Moslem conqueste along the northern 
coast of AMca, of which so little is known, he has gleaned 
manj of his facte from Conde's Domination of the Arabs in 
Spam ; and from the valuable work on the same subject, re- 
centlvput forth under the sanction of the (Mental Translation 
!Funa of Great Britain and Ireland, by his estimable friend, 
Don Pascual de €rayangos, formerly frofessor of Arabic isi 
the AthensDum (>f Madrid. 

The author mieht cite o^hesv sources whence he has derived 
scattered focte ; but it appears to him that he has already 
said enough on this point about a work written more through 
inclination than amoition; and which, as before intimated, 
does not aspire to be consulted as authority, but merely to- 
be read as a digest of current knowladge^ adapted to po- 
pular use. 

SVMMTtlDB, 1850,. 

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I. Eteetion of Aim Bekt r, fint Oalipb, Hegira llth, a.d. 632 . I 

II. Moderation of Aba Beker — Traits of his character — ^BebeHlon 
of Arab tribei.— Defeat and death of Malec Ibii Nowirah — 
Harsh measnres of Kbaled condemned by Omar, bat excosed 
by Aba Beker — ^Kbaled defeats MoseiOma, the false pro^et 
-"-Compilation of the Koran 5 

HI. Campaign against Syria — ^Army sent under Yezed Ibn Abu 
Sofian — Successes — ^Another army under Amru Ibn al Aass 
— ^Brilliant achievements of Khaled in Irak 9 

IV. Incompetency of Abu Obeidah to the general command in 
Syria — Khaled sent to supersede him — Peril of the Moslem 
army before Bosra. — Timely arrival of Khaled— 'His exploits 
during the siege — Capture of Bosra li 

Y. Khaled lays siege to Damascus 19 

VI. Siege of Damascua continued— Exploits of Derar— Defeat of 

Uie imperial army • 23 

Yn. Siege of Damascus continued — Sally of the ganiaoii^-Hero- 

ism of the Moslem women 20 

VIII. Batae of Aiznadin 29 

IX. Occurrences before Damascus — ^Exploits of Thomas — ^Ab&n 

Ibu Zeid and his Amazonian mih 34 

X. Surrender of Damascus— Disputes of the Saracen generals — 

Departure of Thomas and the exiles 39 

XI. Story of Jonas and Eudocea — Pursuit of the exiles — >Death 

of the Caliph Abu Beker 42 

XII. Election of Omar, second Caliph — Khaled superseded in com- 

mand by Abu Obeidah — Magnanimous eondoet of these 
generals— Expedition to the convent of Abyla 50 

XIII. Moderate measures of Abu Obeidah — Beproved by the 
Caliph for his slowness 67 

XIV« The siege and capture of Baalbeo . . ..... . . . 60 

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XV. Siege of EmesM — Strfttagems of the Moslems— Fanttie 

devotioii of Ikreinah — Surrender of the citj . .... 64 
XYI. Advanee of a powerfbl Imperial army — Skirmisbes of Khaled 

— Capture of Derar— Intenriew of Kbaled and Manuel . . 68 

XVII. The Battle of Yermonk 72 

XVin. Siege and ei^tore of Jerusalem 74 

XIX. Progress of the Moslem arms in 8yri« — Siege of Aleppo— 

Obstinate defenee bj Yookenna— Exploit of Dam&s--Cap- 
tareof the castle— ConTersion of Tottkenna 80 

XX. Perfidy of Tonkenna to his former firiends— Attempts the castle 

of Aazax by treachery — Captore of the castle 87 

XXL la^gnes of Vonkenna at Antioch— Siege of that city by the 
Moslems— Flight of the emperor to Constantinople— Sur- 
render of Antioch .00 

XXII. Expedition into the mountains of Syria — Story of a mira- 

colons cap 95 

XXni. Expedition of Amm Ibn si Aass against Prince Constan- 
tine in Syria— Their conference-capture of Tripoli and 
Tyre— Flight of Constantine— Death of Khaled .... 08 

XXIV. Invasion of Egypt by Amm— Capture of Memphis — Siege 
and surrender of Alexandria— Burning of the Alexandrian 
library 105 

XXy. Enterprises of the Moslems in Persia — Defence of the king 

dom by Queen Arzemia — Battle of the Bridge 113 

XXVI. Mosenna Ibn Haris ravages the country along the Euphrates 
—Death of Anemia— Yexdegird IIL raised to the throne — 
Saad Ibn Abu Wakkds given the general command — Death 

of Mosenna— Embassy to Yexdegird — Its reception . . .117 

XXVII. The Battle of Kadesia 121 

XXVIII. Founding of Bassora — Capture of the Persian capital- 
Flight of Yexdegird to Holwin 124 

XXIX. Capture of J&lul&— Flight of Yexdegird to Bel- Founding 
of Cufa — Saad receives a severe rebuke firom the Caliph for 

his magnificence 128 

XXX. War with Hormuz&n, the Satn^ of Ahw&z— His subjugatioa 
and couversion .....•...•••... 131 

XXXI. Saad suspended from the command— A Persian army 
assembled at Neb4vend — Council at the mosque of 
Medina— Batde of Neh&vend 184 

XXXII. Capture of Uamad&n ; of Bei— Subjugation of Taba- 
ristan ; of Azerb^&n — Campaign among the Cancasian 


XXXni. The CaHph Obmt astaMiiiated by a fire^worahipper— 

His ehtnetci'— Othmra eleeCed Cftlipb 143 

XXXIY. Condnsion of tbe Pefrini eoa%«est— FUghi aii4 death 

of Yezdegird .147 

XXXY. Anuru ditplaeed from the goTernment of Egypt— BeroU 
of the inhabiientfl — ^Alextndria retaken by the ioiperialiKts 
— >Amni reinstated in eommand — ^Retakes Alexandria, and 
traaqnilUses Egypt— Is again displaced — Abdallah Ibn 
Saad inTades the north of Africa 151 

XXXVI. Moawyah, Emir of Syria— Bis naval vietories— Otbnan 
loses the prophet's ring — Suppresses erroneous copies of 
the Koran---Conspiraeies against him— His death . . . 15<t 

XXXYII. Candidates for the Cidiphat— Inauguration of Ali, 
fourth Caliph — He undertakes measures of reform — Their 
consequenees^Conspiraey of Ayesha — She gets possession 
of Bassora 162 

XXXVIII. Ali defeata the rebels nnder Ayesha— His treatment of 
her 171 

XXXIX. Battles between Ali and Moawyali— Their claims to the 
Caliphat left to arbitration; the result — Decline of the 
Power of Ali— Loss of Egypt 176 

XL. Preparations of Ali for the invasion of Syria — His as s assi n at i on 182 

XU. Succession of Hassan, fifth Caliph — He abdicates in favour 

of Moawyah 185 

XLII. fieign of Moawyah I., sixth Caliph — Account of his illegi- 
timate brother Zeyad — ^Deathof Amru 187 

XLIII. Siege of Constsntinople — Truce with the emperor — 

Murder of Hassan — Death of Ayesha 101 

XLIV. Moslem conquests in Northern Africa— AchieTcments of 

Acbah ; his death 104 

XLV. Moawyah names his successor — His last sets and death — 

Traits of his character 108 

XLVI. Succession of Yezid, seventh Caliph — ^Finsl fortunes of 

Hosein, the son of Ali 201 

XLVII. Insurrection of Abdallah Ibn Zobeir — Medina taken and 

sacked — Mecca besieged — ^Death of Yezid 211 

XLVIII. Inauguration of Moawyah II., eighth Caliph — His abdica- 
tion and death — Merwdn Ibn Hakem and Abdollsh Ibn 
Zobeir, rival Caliphs — Civil wars in Syria 214 

XLIX. State of affairs in Khorassan — Conspiracy at Cnfa— Faction 
of the Penitents; their fortunes^Death of the Caliph 
Merwftn 21^ 

▼m C0KTEKT8. 

L. InauganUioii of ilbd'alm&lee, the eleTenth Gal^b — Btorj of Al 

Mokt&r, the Avenger 220 

LI. Musab Ibn Zobeir takes possession of Babylonia — Usurpation 
of Amm Ibn Saad ; his death — ^Expedition of Abd'alm&Ieo 
against Musab — The result — Omens — Their effect npon 
Abd'almiaec^Ezploitsof AlMohalleb 227 

LII. Abd*aIm&leo makes war npon his rival Caliph in Mecca — Siege 
of the saered city — Death of Abdallah — Demolition and re- 
construction of the Caaba .... 232 

LIII. Administration of AlHejagi as emir of Babylonia. . . . 236 

LIV. Rennnoiation of tribute to the emperor — Battles in Northern 
Africa — The prophet-qneen, Caldna; her achievements and 
ftite 243 

LY. Musa Ibn Nosseyr made emir of Northern Africa— his e«m- 

paigns against the Berbers ^ . 247 

LVI. Naval enterprises of Mnsa — Cruisings of his son Abdolola — 

Death of Abd'alm&leo 252 

LVII. Inauguration of Waled, twelfth Caliph — Revival of the arts 
under his reign — His taste for architeotore — ^Erection of 
mosques — Conquests of his generals ........ 255 

LVIII. Further triumphs of Musa Ibn Nosseyr — Naval enter- 
prises — Descents in Sicily, Sardinia, and Mallore*— In- 
vasion of Tingitania — Projects for the invasion of Spain — 
Conolnsiou. ..»«•••• 260 

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Election of Atm Beker, first Caliph, Heglra 11th, aj>. 632. 

The death of Mahomet lefl his religion without a head, and 
his people without a sovereign ; there was danger, therefore, 
of the newly-formed empire falling into confusion. All Me- 
dina, on the day of his death, was in a kind of tumult, and 
nothing but the precaution of Osama Ibn Zeid in planting 
the standard before the prophet's door, and posting troops in 
various parts, prevented popular commotions. The Question 
was, on whom to devolve the reins of government r Four 
names stood prominent as having claims of affinity; Abu 
Beker, Omar, Othman, and Ali. Abu Beker was the father 
of Ayesha, the favourite wife of Mahomet. Omar was father 
of Hafsa, another of his wives, and the one to whose care he 
had confided the coffer containing the revelations of the Koran. 
Othman had married successively two of his daughters, 
but they were dead, and also their progeny. Ali was cousin- 
german of Mahomet, and husband of Fatima, his only 
daughter. Such were the ties of relationship to him of these 
four great captains. The right of succession, in order of 
consanguinity, lay with Ali ; and his virtues and services emi- 
nently entitled him to it. On the first burst of Ms generous 
zeal, when Islamism was a derided and persecuted faith, he 
had been pronounced by Mahomet his brother, Ms vicegerent; 
he had ever since been devoted to him in word and deed, and 
had honoured the cause by his magnanimity as si^ally as he 
had vindicated it by his valour. His frienos, confiding in the 
justice of Ms claims, gathered round him in the dwelling of 
his wife Fatima, to consult about means of putting nim 
quietly in possession of Uie government. 

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Other interests, however, were at work, operating upon the 
public mind. Abu Beker was held up, not merely as con- 
nected by marriaffe ties with the prophet, but as one of the 
first and most zealous of his disciples ; as the Toucher for the 
truth of his night journey ; as his fellow-sufferer in nersecu- 
tion; as the one who accompanied him in his flignt from 
Mecca ; as his companion in the cave when they were miracu- 
lously saved from aiscoyeir ; as his counsellor and co-operator 
in all his plans and Trndertakingg ; as the one, in fact, whom the 
prophet had plainly pointed out as his successor, by deputing 
him to officiate in his stead in the religious ceremonies auring 
his last illness. His claims were strongly urged by his 
daughter Ayesha, who had neat influence among the faith- 
ful ; and who was stimulated, not so much by zeal for her 
father, as by hatred of Ali, whom she had never forgiven for 
having inclined his ear to iJie charge of incontinence against 
her in the celebrated case entitled The False Accusation. 

Omar also had a powerful party among the jpopulace, who 
admired him for his lion-like demeanour, his consummate 
military skill, his straightforward simplicity and daxmtless 
courage. He also had an active female partisan in his 
daughter Haffla. 

While, therefore, Ali and his friends were in quiet counsel 
in the house of Fatima, many of the principal Moslems 
gatliered together without their knowledge, to settle the 
guestion of succession. The two most important personages 
in this assemblage were Abu Beker and Omar. The m*st 
measure was to declare the supreme power not hereditary, but 
elective ; a measure which at once destroyed the claims of AH 
on the score of consanguinity, and left the matter open to 
the public choice. This has been ascribed to the jealousy of 
the Koreishites of the line of Abd Sdiems, who feared, should 
Ali's claims be recognised, that the sovereign power, like the 
guardianship of the Caaba» might be perpetuated in the 
haughty line of Haschem. Some, however, pretend to detect 
in it the subtle and hostile influence of Ayesha. 

A dispute now arose between the Mohadjerins or refugees 
from M^cca, and the Ansarians or Helpers of Medina, as to 
the claims of their respective cities in nominating a successor 
to Mahomet. The former founded the claims of Mecca on 
its being llie birth-place of ilie prophet, and the first in which 
his doctrines had been divulged ; they set forward their own 
claims also as his townsmen, nis relatives, and the companions 
of his exile. The Ansarians, on the oilier hand, insisted on 
the superior claims of Medina, as having been the asylum of 
the prophet, and hift chosen lesidence ; and on their own 

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<MmB SB hmnag supported hmt in his exile, tad envied him 
to withstand aiad oyeroome his p^raecuton. 

The dispute soon grew furious, and seimetars flashed firom 
their scabbards, when one of ihd people of Medina proposed, 
as a compromise, that eadi party should furnish a ruleor and 
the government have two beads. Omar dended the proposi- 
tion with scorn. " Two blades," said he, " caukot go into 
one sheath." Abu Beker also remonstrated against a measure 
calculated to weaken the empire in its veiy infancy. He con^ 
jured the Moslems to remain under one head, and named 
Omar and Abu Obeidab as perscms worthy of the office, and 
between whom the^ should choose. Abu Obeidah was one 
of the earliest disciples of Mahomet, he had accompanied 
him in his lUght from Mecca, and adhei!ed to him in all his 

The counsel of Abu Beker calmed for a time the tarbul^ice 
of the assembly, but it soon reyived with redoubkd violence. 
Uj^n this Omar suddenly rose, advanced to Abu Beker, and 
Lsuled him as the oldest, oest, and most <iioroughly-tried of 
the adherents of the prophet, and the one most woriJiy to 
succeed him. So saymg, he kissed his hand in token of alle- 
giance, and sw<»re to obey him as his sovereign. 

This sacrifice of his own claims in favour of a rival struck 
the assemblv wiUi surprise, and opened their eyes to the real 
merits of Abu Beker. They beheld in him the fSoithM oom- 
^nion of tlie preset, wlio had always been by his side. 
'They knew his wisdom and moderation, and venerated his 
gray hairs. It appeared but reasonable tiiat the man whose 
counsels had contributed to establish the govenuuttit should 
be chosen to carry it on. The example of Omar, therefore^ 
was promptly followed, and Abu Beker was hailed as chief. 

Omar now ascended the pulpit. " Henoe&rth," said he, 
** if any one shall presume to tate upon himself the soverei^ 
power without the public voice, let nim suffer death, as well 
es all who may nominate or upbold him." This measure was 
instantly adopted, and thus a bar was put to the att^npts of 
any other candidate. 

The whole policy of Omar in these measures, which at first 
«ight appears magnanimous, has been cavilled at as crafty 
a£l selfiBh. Abu Beker, it is observed, was well-stricken 
in years, being about the same age with the prophet ; it waa 
not j^bable ne would long survive. Omar tzusted, there- 
fore, to succeed in a little while to the command. His last 
measure struck at once at the hopes of Ali, Ids most for- 
midable competitor; who, shut up with his friends in the 
dwelling of J^atima, knew nothing of the meeting in which 

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his pretensions were thus demolished. Craft, however, we 
must observe, was not one of Omar's characteristics, and was 
totally opposed to the prompt, stem, and simple course of 
his conduct on all occasions ; nor did he ever show any 
craving lust for power. He seems ever to have been a zealot 
in i^e cause of laLun, and to have taken no indirect measures 
to mromote it. 

His next movement was indicative of his straightforward 
eut-and-thrust policy. Abu Beker, wary and managing, 
feared there might be some outbreak on the part of Ali and 
his friends when they should hear of the election which had 
taken place. He requested Omar, therefore, to proceed with 
an armed band to the mansion of Fatima, and maintain tran- 
quiUitv in that quarter. Omar surrounded the house with 
his followers ; announced to Ali the election of Abu Beker, 
and demanded his concurrence. Ali attempted to remon- 
strate, alleging his own claims ; but Omar proclaimed the 
penalty of death, decreed to all who should attempt to usurp 
the soverei^ power in defiance of public will; and threatened 
to enforce it by setting fire to the house and consuming its 

" Oh, son of IQiattdb!" cried Fatima, reproachfully, "thou 
wilt not surely commit such an outrage !" 

" Aye will I, in very truth !" replied Omar, ** xmless ye aH 
make common cause with the people." 

The firiends of Ali were fain to yield, and to acknowledge 
the sovereignty of Abu Beker. Ali, however, held hims^ 
apart in proud and indignant reserve until the death of 
Fatima, which happened in the course of several months. 
He then paid tardy nomage to Abu Beker, but, in so doin^, 
upbraided him with want of openness and good faith m 
managing the election without his privity ; a reproach which 
the reader will probablj think not altogether unmerited. 
Abu Beker, however, disavowed all intrigue, and declared 
he had accepted the sovereignty merely to allay the popular 
commotion ; and was ready U> lay it down whenever a more 
worthy candidate could be found who would unite the wishes 
of the people. 

Ali was seemingly pacified by this explanation ; but he 
spumed it in his heart, and retired in disgust into the interior 
of Arabia, taking with him his two sons Hassan and Hosein ; 
the only descencUmts of the prophet. From these have sprung 
a numerous progeny, who to this day are considered noble, 
and wear green turbans as the outward sign ci their illus* 
trious lineage. 

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Moderation of Abu Beker.-— Traits of his character.-^Hebellion of Arab 
tribes. — Defeat and death of Malec Ibn Kowirah.— Harsh measures of 
Khaled condemned by Omar, but excused by Aba Beker.— Khaled 
defeats Moseilma the false prophet. — Compilation of the Koran. 

On assuming the supreme authority, Abu Beker refused to 
take the title of king or prince ; several of the Moslems hailed 
him as God's yicar on earth, but he rejected the appellation ; 
he was not the vicar of God, he saia, but of his prophet, 
whose plans and wishes it was his duty to carry out and fulfil. 
"In so doing," added he, "I will endeavour to avoid all 
prejudice ana partiality. Obey me only so far as I obey God 
and the prophet. If I go beyond these bounds, I have no 
authority over you. If I err, set me right ; I shall be open ta 

He contented himself, therefore, with the modest title of 
Caliph, that is to say, succossor, by which the Arab sovereigns 
have ever since been designated. They have not all, however, 
imitated the modesfy of Abu Beker, in calling themselves^ 
successors of the prophet ; but many, in after times, arro* 
gated to themselves the title of Caliphs and Vicars of God, 
and his Shadow upon Earth. The supreme authority, as 
when exercised by Mahomet, imited the civil and religious 
functions : the Caliph was sovereign and pontiff. 

It may be well to observe, that the original name of the 
newly-elected Caliph was Abdallah Athek Ibn Aba Kahafa. 
He was also, as we have shown, termed Al Seddek, or The 
Testifier to the Truth, from having maintained the verity of 
Mahomet*s nocturnal journey ; but he is always named in 
Moslem histories Abu Beker, that is to say. The Father of 
the Virgin ; his daughter Ayesha being the only one of the- 

Erophet's wives that came a virgin to ms arms, the others 
aving previously been in wedlock. 

At the time of his election Abu Beker was about sixty-two 
years of age ; tall, and well formed, though spare ; with & 
norid complexion and thin beard, which womd have been gray, 
but that he tinged it after the oriental usage. He was a man 
of great judgment and discretion, whose wariness and manage- 
ment at times almost amounted to craft ; yet his purposes 
appear to have been honest and unselfish ; directed to the good 
of the cause, not to his own benefit. In the administration of 
his oflSce he betrayed nothing of sordid worldliness. Indif- 


ferent to riches, and to all pomp, luxuries, and sensual indul- 
gences, he accejjted no pay for his services but a mere pittance, 
sufficient to mamtain an Asab estaUishment of the simplest 
]{ind, in which all his retinue consisted of a camel and a black 
slave. The surphia funds accruing to his treasury he dis- 
pensed every Friday— part to the meritorious, the rest to the 
poor ; and was ever ready, from his own private means, to 
nelp the distressed. On tiering oS&ee he caused his daughter 
Ayesha to take a strict account of his private patrimony, to 
stand as a record against him should he enrich himself while 
in office. 

Notwithstanding all his merits, however, his advent to 
power was attended by public commotions. Mai^ of the 
Arabian tribes had been ecmverted by the sword, and it needed 
the combined terrors of a conqueror and a prophet to maintain 
them in allegiance to the faitn. On the deiith of Mahomet^ 
therefore, they spumed at the authority of his successor, and 
refused to pay the Zacat, or religious contributions of tribute^ 
tithes, and alms. The signal of revolt flew from tribe to tribe^ 
until the Islam empire suddenly shrank to the cities (^ Mecca» 
Medina, and Tayer. 

A strong body (^ the rebels even tock the field and ad- 
ranced upon Medina. Thc^ were led on by a powerful and 
popular Sheikh, named Malec Ibn Nowirah. He was a man 
of nigh birth and great valour, an excellent horseman, and a 
distinguished poet ; all great claims on Arab adnnration. To 
these may be added the enviable fortune of having for wife 
the most beautiful woman in all Arabia. 

Hearing of the approach of this warrior-poet and his array, 
Abu Beker hastened to fortifv the city, sending the women 
and children, the aged and iunrm, to the rocks and caverns of 
the neighbouring mountains. 

But though Mahomet was dead, the sword of Islam was 
Bot buried with him ; and Khaled Ibn Waled now stood for- 
ward to sustain the fame acquired by former acts of prowess. 
He was sent out against the rebels at the head of a hasty levy 
of four thousand five hundred men and eleven banners. The 
wary Abu Beker, with whom discretion kept an equal pace 
with valour, had a high opinion of the character and talents 
of the rebel chief, and hoped, notwithstanding his defection, to 
conquer him by kindness. Khaled was inslructed, therefore, 
ahould Malec fall into his power, to treat him with great 
respect, to be lenient to the vanquished, and to endeavour, 
hj gentle means, to win all back to the standard of Islam. 

Khaled, however, was a downright soldier, who had no 
Vkitig for gcnik means. Having ovcreomc ihi^ rebels in a 

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pitched ba^e, lie orerran th^ ootmtrj, eivihg Ms soldiery 
permission to seiz* upon tke flocks and herds of the ran* 
quished, and make slaves of their children. 

Among the prisoners bronffht unto his presence were Maleo 
and his beantinil wife. The oeantjr of tho latter dazaled tiie 
eyes even of the rough soldier, but probably hardraied his 
heart against her hnsband. 

" Why," demanded he of Malec, " do yon refdse to pay 
the ZacatP" 

'* Because I can pray to Gk>d without paying these exao* 
Uons" was the reply. 

" Pray^, without alms, is of no avaQ," said Khaled. 

" Does your master b%j so?*' demanded Maleo, haughtily. 

" My master !" echoed Khaled, ^^ and is he not thy master 
likewise P By Allah, I have a mind to strike off thr head V* 

"Are these also the orders of your master? rejoined 
Malec, with a sneer. 

" Again !" cried IDialed, in a fury — ** smite off the head of 
this rebel." 

His officers intarfered,' lor all respected the prisoner ; but 
the rage of £haled was not to be appeased. 

" The beauty of this woman kills me," said Malec, signifi* 
cantly, pointing to his wile. 

''JSfay !" cried Khaled, "it is Allah who kills thee because 
of thine apostasy." 

"I am no iux>st«te," said Malec; "I profess the true 
&ith " . 

It was too late ; the signal of death had already been given. 
Scarce had the declaration of faith passed the lips of the un* 
fortunate Maleo, when his head leu beneath the scimetar of 
Derar Ibn al Azwar» a rough soldier after £lhaled's own 

This summarr execution, to which the beauty of a wonum 
was alleged as me main excitement, gave deep concern to Abu 
Beker, who remarked, that the prophet had pardoned even 
Waeksa, the Ethiop, the slayer of his imcle Hamza, when the 
eulprit made profession of the faith. As to Omar, he declared 
that Khaled, according to the laws of the Koran, ought to be 
stoned to death lor adultery, or executed for the murder of a 
Moslem. The politic Abu Beker, however, observed that 
Khaled had sinned through error rather than intention^ 
"Shall I," added he, "sheathe the sword of GodP The 
sword winch he himself has drawn against the unbelieving?" 

So far from sheathing the sword, we find it shortly i^ter- 
wards employed in an miportant service. This was a^inst 
iho &lse prophet Mosdlma; who, encouraged by the impu- 


nitv with wbich, during the ilhiess of Mahomet, he had been 
snnered to propagate ma doctrines, had increased greatly the 
number of his piroselytes and adherents, and held a kind of 
regal and sacerdotal sway over the important city and fertile 
province of Yamama, between the Bed Sea and the Gulf 
pf Persia. 

There is quite a flavour of romance in the story of this 
impostor. Among those dazzled by his celebrity and charmed 
by nis rhapsodicsd efiusions was iSedjah, wife of Abu Cahdla, 
a poetess of the tribe of Tamim, distinguished among the 
Aiabs for her personal and mental charms. She came to see 
HoseiOma in like manner as the Queen of Sheba came to 
witness the wisdom and grandeur of King Solomon. They 
were inspired with a mutual passion at me first interview, 
and passed much of their time together in tender, if not 
religious intercourse. Sedjah became a convert to the faith 
of her lover, and caught from him the imaginary gift of 
prophecy. He appears to have caught, in excminge, the gift 
of poetiy, for certain amatory efius^ons, addressed by him to 
his beautiful visitant, are still preserved by an Arabian histo- 
rian, and breathe all the warmth of the Song of Solomon. 

This dream of poetry and prophecy was interrupted by 
the approach of Khaled at the head of a numerous army. 
Moseilma sallied forth to meet him with a still greater force. 
A battle took place at Akreba, not far from the capital city 
of Yamama. At the onset, the rebels had a transient 
success, and twelve hundred Moslems bit the dust. Ehaled, 
however, rallied his forces; the enemv were overthrown, and 
ten thousand cut to pieces. Moseidma fought with despe- 
ration, but fell covered with wounds. It is said his death-blow 
was given by Wacksa, the Ethiopian, the same who had 
killed Hamza, uncle of Mahomet, in the battle of Ohod, and 
that he used the self-same spear. Wacksa, since his pardon 
by Mahomet, had become a zealous Moslem. 

The surviving disciples of Moseilma became promptly 
converted to idamism under the pious but heavy hand of 
Xhaled; whose late offence in the savage execution of Malec 
was completely atoned for by his victory over the false 
prophet. He added other services of the same military kind 
m this critical juncture of public affairs; reinforcing and 
co-operating with certain commanders who had been sent in 
different directions to suppress rebellions ; and it was chiefly 
through his prompt and energetic activity that, before the 
expiration of the first year of the Caliphat, order was restored, 
and the empire of Islam re-established in Arabia. 

It was shortly after the victory of Ehaled over MoseiDlma, 

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tliat Abu Beker undertook to gather together, firom written 
and oral sources, the precepts and revelations of the Koran, 
which hitherto had existed partly in scattered documents, and 
partly in the memories of the disciples and companions of 
the prophet. He was greatly ureed to this undertaking by 
Omar, that ardent zealot ior me faith. The latter had 
observed with alarm the niunber of veteran companions of the 
prophet who had fallen in the battle of Akreba. " In a little 
while,'' said he, ** all the living testi&ers to the faith, who 
bear the revelations of it in their memories, will have jpassed 
away, and with them so many records of the dodrmes of 
Islam." He urged Abu Beker, therefore, to collect from the 
surviving disciples all that they remembered, and to gather 
together from all quarters whatever parts of the S[oran 
existed in writing. Abu Beker proceeded to execute this 
pious task; it was not, however, completed until luider a 
succeeding Caliph. 


Campaign against Syria. — Army sent under Yezed Ibn Abn Sofian.— Sae- 
cesses. — ^Another army under Amru I^n al Aass.—- Brilliant achieve- 
ments of Khaled in Irak. 

The rebel tribes of Arabia being once more brought into 
allegiance, and tranquillity established at home, Abu Beker 
turned his thoughts to execute the injunction of the prophet, 
to propagate the faith throughout the world, until all nations 
should be converted to Islamism, by persuasion or the sword. 
The moment was auspicious for such a gigantic task. The 
long and desolating wars between the Persian and Byzantiae 
emperors, though now at an end, had exhausted those once 
mighty powers, and left their frontiers open to aggression. 
In the second year of his reign, therefore, Abu Beker pre- 
pared to carry out the great enterprise contemplated by 
Mahomet in his latter days — ^the conquest of Syria. 

Under this general name, it should be observed, were 
comprehended the countries lying between the Euphrates 
and the Mediterranean, inclumng Phoenicia and Palestine.* 
These countries, once forming a system of petty states and 

* Syria, in its widest oriental acceptation, included likewise 3fcsopotaml8, 
Clialdea, and even Assyria, the whole forming what in scriptural geography 
was denominated Aram. 

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K) BTrCC£88(»8 OF XikSOMST. 

Id&gdoTxur, each, witii its own^orenmieiit and monarch w«ve 
now Tuerged into tlie great ioyzantine empire, and aeknow* 
led^ed the sWay of the Emperor Heraclius at Constantinople. 

Syria had long been a land of promise to the Arabs. T^y 
liad known it for 'ages b^ the intercourse of the caravans, and 
had drawn firom it their chiet supplies of com. It was a 
land of abmidance. Part of it was demoted to a^rionltare and 
luisbandrr, covered with fields of ^[rain, with vineyards and 
trees producing the finest fruits ; with pastures well stocked 
with noeks and herds. On the Arabian borders it had cities, 
the rich marts of internal trade ; while its seaports, though 
declined from the ancient snlendour and pre-eminence of 
Tyre and Sidon, still were we staples of an opulent and 
widely-extended commerce. . 

In the twelfth year of the Hegira, the following summons 
was sent by Aba Beker to the chie& of Arabia fetrea, and 
Arabia Felix: — 

"In the name of the Most Merciful God! Abdallah 
Athek Ibn Abu Kahafa to all true^ believers, health, happi* 
ness, and the blessing of God. Praise be to God, and to 
Mahomet his prophet ! This is to inform you that I intend 
to send an army of the faithful into Syria, to deliver that 
country from the infidels, and I remind you that to fight for 
the true faith is to obey God !" 

There needed no further inducement to bring to his standard 
every Arab that owned a horse or a camel, or could wield a 
lance* Every day brought some Shdkh to Medina at the 
head of the fighting men of his tribe, and before long the 
fields roimd the city were studded with encampments. The 
command of the army was given to Yezed Ibn Abu Sofian, 
The troops soon became impatient to strike their sunburnt 
tents and march. . " Why do we loiter P" cried they ; ** all o\ir 
fighting men are here ; there are none more to come. The 
plains of Medina are parched and bare, there is no food for 
man or steed. Give us the word, and let us march for the 
fruitful land of Syria." 

Abu Beker assented to their wishes. From the brow of a 
hill he reviewed the army on the point of departure. The 
heart of the Caliph swellea with pious exultation as he looked 
down upon the stirring multitude ; the glitterinjf array of 
arms ; tne squadrons of horsemen ; the lengthemng line of 
camels ; and called to mmd the scanty handful that used to 

gather round the standard of the prophet. Scarce ten years 
ad elapsed since the latter had been driven a fugitive from 
Hecca» and now a mighty host assembled at the summons of 
his successor, and distant empires were threatened by the 

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sword of Islaim. Filled widt these thoughts, he Hfted up hh 
voice, and F^^ to Gk>d to make these troop yaliant and 
yictoricms. Then ffiring Ihe word to march, the tents were 
struck, the camels hul^ and in a little idiile the annj poured 
in a lonp: continuous train oyer hiU and valley. 

Abu Bek^ aecompanied them on foot on the first day'a 
march. The leaders would have dismounted and yielded mm 
their steeds. "Nay," said he, "ride on. You are in Ihe^ 
seryice of Allah. As for me, I shall be rewarded for every 
step I take in his cause." 

His jMtiang charge to Yexed, the commander of the srmy^ 
was a singular mixture of severity and mercy. 

" Treat your soldiers with kindness and consideration ; be 
just in all your dealings with them, and consult their feeling 
and opinions. Fight valiantly, and never turn your bade 
upon a foe. When victorious, harm not the aged ; and pro- 
tect women and children. Destroy not the oalm-tree, nor 
fruit-trees of any kind ; waste not the com*neld with fire» 
nor kill any cattle, exoeptmg for food. Stand Mthfully to 
everjr covenant and promise ; respect all rehgious persons wha 
}ive ia hermitages or convents, and spare their edifices. But 
riiould you meet with a class of unbelievers of a different 
kind, who go about with shaven crowns, and belong to the 
synagogue of Satan, be sure you cleave their skulls unless 
thev embrace the true faith, or render tribute." 

Having received this summary charge, Yezed continued his 
march toward Syria, and the pious Cahph returned to Medina* 

The prayers which the latter had put up for the success of 
the army appeared to be successful. Before lon^, a great 
cavalga^ of horses, mules, and camels, laden ynih booiy^ 
poured into the gates of Medina. Yezed had encountered, 
on the confines of Syria, a body of troops detached by tho 
Emperor Heraclius to observe him, and nad defeated them, 
killing the general and twelve hundred men. He had been 
equally successful in various subsequent skirmishes. All the 
booty gained in these actions had been sent to the Caliph, as 
an offering by the army of the first fruits of the harvest of 

Ahi Beker sent tidings of this success to Mecca and tho 
surrounding coimtry, calling upon all true believers to press 
forward in the career of victory, thus prosperously com- 
menced. Another army was soon set on root, the command 
of which was given to Seid Ibn Xhaled. This appointment^ 
however, not being satisfactory to Omar, whose opinions and 
wishes hnd vast weight at Medina, Ayesha prevailed on her 
father to invite Soid to resign, and to appoint ift his plae^ 


Anra Ibn al Aass ; the same who, in the early days of the 
faith, ridiculed Mahomet and his doctrines in satirical verses ; 
but who, since his conyersion to Islamism, had risen to 
eminence in its service, and was one of its most valiant and 
efficient champions. 

Such was the zeal of the Moslems in the prosecution of this 
holy war, that Seid Ibn Khaled cheerfully resigned his com- 
mand, and enlisted under the standard which he had lately 

At the departure of the army, Abu Beker, who was excel- 
lent at coimsel, and fond of bestowing it, gave Amru a code 
of conduct for his government; admonishing him to live 
righteously, as a dymg man in the presence of God, and 
accountable for all things in a ^ture state. That he should 
not trouble himself about the private concerns of others; and 
should forbid his men all religious disputes about events and 
doctrines of the ** times of ignorance," that is to say, the 
times antecedent to Mahomet ; but should enforce the dili- 
gent reading of the Xoran, which contained all that waa 
necessary for them to know. 

As there would now be large bodies of troops in Sjnria, and 
various able commanders, Abu Beker, in maturing the plan of 
his campaign, assigned them different points of action. Amru 
was to draw toward Palestine; Abu Obeidah to undertake 
Emessa; Seid Ibn Abu Sofian, Damascus; and Serhil Ibn 
Hasan, the country about the Jordan. They were all to act 
as much as possible in concert, and to aid each other in case 
of need. When together, they were all to be under the orders 
of Abu Obeidah, to whom was given the general command in 
Syria. This veteran disciple of the prophet stood high, as we 
have shown, in the esteem and confidence of Abu Beker, 
having been one of the two whom he had named as worthy of 
the Caliphat. He was now about fifty years of age ; zealously 
devoted to the cause, yet one with whom the sword of faith 
was sheathed in meekness and humanity; perhaps the 
cautious Abu Beker thought his moderation would be a 
salutary check to the headlong valour of the fanatical soldiers 
of Islam. ^ 

While this grand campaign was put in operation against 
tiie Eoman possessions in Syria, a minor force was sent to 
invade Irak. This province, which included the ancient 
Chaldea and the Babylonia of Ptolemy, was bounded on the 
cast by Susiana or Xhurzestan and the mountains of Assyria 
and Medea, on the north by part of Mesopotamia, on the 
weet and south by the deserts of Sham or Syria, and by a 
part of Arabia Deserta. It was a region tributary to the 


Persian monaTcH, and so &r a part of his dominions. The 
campaign in this quarter was confided to IQialed, of whose 
prowess Abu Beker had an exalted opinion, and who was at 
this time at the head of a moderate force in one of the rebel* 
lions provinces, which he had brought into subjection. The 
Caliph's letter to him was to the following eneot : — " Turn 
thee toward Arabian Irak ! The conquest of Hira and Cufa 
is intrusted to thee. After the subjection of those lands, 
turn thee against Aila, and subdue it with God's help !" 

Hira was a kingdom to the west of Babylonia, on the verge 
of the Syrian Desert : ^t had been founded by a race of 
Arabs, descendants of Xahtan, and had subsistea upwards of 
six hundred years ; the greater part of the time it had been 
under a line of princes of the house of Mondar, who acknow- 
ledged allegiance to the kings of Persia, and acted as their 
lieutenants over the Arabs of Irak. 

During the early part of the third century, many Jacobite 
Christians had been driven, by the persecutions ana cUsorders 
of the Eastern Church, to take refuge among the Arabs of 
Hira. Their numbers had been augmented in subsequent 
times by fuffitives from various quarters, xmtil, shortly before 
the birth of Mahomet, the king of Hira and all his subjects 
liad embraced Christianity. 

Much was said of the splendour of the capital, which bore 
the same name with the kingdom. Here were two palaces of 
extraordinary magnificence, the beauty of one of which, if 
Arabian legends speak true, was fatal to the architect, for 
the king, fearing that he might build one still more beautiful 
for some other monarch, had him thrown headlong from the 

Khaled acted with his usual energy and success in the 
invasion of this kingdom. With ten thousand men he besieged 
the city of Hira, stormed its palaces, slew the kino^ in battle, 
subdued the kingdom, imposed on it an annual tribute of 
seventy thousand pieces of gold, the first tribute ever levied 
by Moslems on a foreign mid, and sent the same, with the 
son of the deceased king, to Medina. 

He next carried his triumphant arms against Aila, defeated 
Hormu2, the Persian governor, and sent his crown, M-ith a 
fifth part of the booty, to the Caliph. The crown was of 
great value, being one of the first class of those worn by the 
seven vicegerents of the Persian "King of Kings." Among 
the trophies of victory sent to Medina was an elephant. Three 
other Persian generals and governors made sevend attempts* 
with powerftd armies, to check the victorious career of Khaled, 
but were alike defeated. City after city fell into his hands ; 


notliing seemed capable of withstanding kis arms. Fla&tin|^ 
his victorious standard on the bank of the Euphrates, he 
wrote to the Persian monarch, caUing upon him to embrace 
the faith or pay tribute. " If you refuse Doth," added he, " I 
will come upon you with a host who love death as much as 
you do life. ' 

The repeated convoys of booty sent by Xhaled to Medina 
after his several victories, the sight of captured crowns and 
captured princes, and of the first tribute imposed on foreign 
lands, had excited the public exultation to an uncommon 
degree. Abu Beker especially took pride m his achieve- 
ments, considering them proofii of his own sagacity and 
foresight, which he had shown in refusing to punish him 
with death when strongly urged to do so by Omar. As 
victory after victory was announced, and train after train, 
laden with spoils, crowded the gates of Medina, he joyed 
to see his anticipations so far outstripped by the deeds 
of this headlong warrior. " By Allah V* exclaimed he, in an 
ecstasy, " woTnankind is too weak to give birth to another 


Xncompetenoy of Abu Obeidah to tbe general command in Syria. — Khaled 
sent to supersede him. — Peril of the Moslem army before Bosra. — 
Timely arrival of Khaled. — ^His exploits daring the siege.— Capture of 

The exultation of the Caliph over the triumphs in Irak was 
checked by tidings of a dineront tone from the army in Syria. 
Abu Obeidah, who had the general command, wanted the 
boldness and enterprise re<juisite to an invading general. A 
partial defeat of some of his troops discouraged lum, and he 
heard with disquiet of vast hosts which the emperor Heraclius 
was assembling to overwhelm him. His letters to the caliph 
partook of the anxiety and perplexity of his mind. Abu 
Beker, whose generally sober mind was dazzled at the time 
by the daring exploits of Khaled, was annoyed at finding that, 
while the latter was dashing forward in a brilliant career of 
conquest in Irak, Abu Obeidah was merely standing on the 
defensive in Syria. In the vexation of the moment, he re- 
gretted that he had intrusted the invasion of the latter 
country to one who appeared to him a nerveless man ; and he 
forthwith sent missives to Khaleda ordering him to leave the 

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jlMt bbkss. is 

lp9n>seciition of the war in Irak to his subovdinate gcneiBls, 
and repair, in aR haste, to aid die armies in Syria, and take 
the general command tibere. !Khaled obeyed the orders witli 
his nsnal promptness. Leaving his anny nnder the charge of 
Mosenna Ibn Haris, he put mmself at the head of fifteen 
linndred horse, and spnr^d oyer the Syrian bwders to join 
the Moslem host, which he learned, while on the way, was 
drawing toward the Christian ci^ of Bosra. 

This city, the reader will recollect, was the great mart on 
the Syrian frontier, annnaily visited by the caravans, and 
where Mahomet, when a youth, had his first interview with 
Sergi]u, the Nestorian monk, from whom he was said to have 
received instructions in the Christian faith. It was a place 
usually filled vHth merchandise, and held out a promise of 
great booty ; but it was strongly walled, its inhabitants were 
mured to arms, and it could at any time pour forth twelve 
thousand horse. Its very name, in the Syrian tongue, signi* 
fied a tower of safety. Against this place Abu Obeidah had 
sent Serjabil Ibn Hasanah, a yeteran secretary of Mahomet, 
with a troop of ten thousand horse. On his approach, Bo*> 
manus, the govemor of the city, notwithstanding the strength 
of the place end of the garrison, would fain have ^aid tribute, 
for he was dismayed by the accounts he had received of the 
fanatic zeal and irresistible valour of the Moslems, but his 
pe^le were stout of heart, and insisted on %hting. 

Tlie yenerable Serjabil, as he drew near to the city, called 
upon AUah to grant the -victory promised in his name by his 
apostle, and to establish the truth of his unity by confoxmd* 
ing its opposers. His prayers apparently were of no avaiL 
Squadron after squadron of horsemen wheeled down from 
the gates of Bosra, attacked the Moslems on everr side, threw 
ihem into confusion, and made great slaugnter. Over* 
whelmed by numbers, Serjabil was a^bout to oraer a retreat, 
when a grtat doud of dust gaye notice of another army at 

There was a momentary pause on both sides, but the shout 
of Allah Adibar! AUah Achbar! resounded through the 
Moslem host, as the eagle banner of £haled was (kscried 
through the doud. That warrior came galloping to the field, 
at the head of his troon of horsemen, all covered with dust. 
Charging the foe with nis qharacteristie impetuosity, he droye 
them back to ihe dty, and planted his standard before the 

The battle over, Serjabil would have embraced his deliverer 
who was likewise his ancient friend, but ]U»led regarded 

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him reproachfolly: ''What madness possessed thee/' said 
he, " to attack with thy handfal of horsemen a fortress girt 
with stone walls and thronged with soldiers P" 

" I acted," said Serjabil, ** not for myself, but at the com* 
mand of Abu Obeidah." 

" Abu Obeidah," replied Khaled, bluntly, " is a very worthy 
man, but he knows little of warfare." 

In effect, the army of Syria soon found the difference be» 
tween the commanders. The soldiers of Ehaled, fatigued 
with a hard march, and harder combat, snatched a hasty 
repast, and throwing themselyes upon the ground, were soon 
asleep. !Khaled alone took no rest ; but, mounting a fresh 
horse, prowled all night round the city and the camp, fearing 
gome new irruption fiom the foe. 

At daybreak he roused his army for the morning prayer. 
Some of the troops performed tneir ablutions with water, 
others with sand. Xhaled put up the matin prayer : then 
eyery man grasped his weapon ana sprang to horse, for the 
gates of Bosra were already pouring forth their legions. The 
eyes of Khaled kindled as ne saw tnem prancing down into 
tne plain, and glittering in the rising sun. " These infidels," 
said he, " think us weary and wayworn, but they will be con* 
founded. Forward to the fight, for the blessing of Allah is 
with us!" 

As the armies approached each other, Eomanus rode in 
adyance of his troops, and defied the Moslem chief to single 
combat. Xhaled adyanced on the instant. Eomanus, how* 
eyer, instead of leyelling his lance, entered into a parley in 
an tmder tone of yoice. He declared that he was a Ma- 
hometan at heart, and had incurred great odium among the 
people of the place by endeayouring to persuade them to pay 
tribute. He now offered to embrace Islamism, and to return 
and do his best to 3rield the city into the hands of the Moslems, 
on condition of security for life, liberty, and property. 

!Khaled readily assented to the condition, but suggested 
that they should exchange a few dry blows, to enabfo Eo- 
manus to return to the city with a better grace, and preyent 
a suspicion of collusion. Eomanus agreed to the proposal, 
but with no great relish, for he was an arrant crayen. He 
would fain haye made a mere feint and flourish of weapons ; 
but Inhaled had a heayy hand and a kindling spirit, and dealt 
such hearty blows, that he would haye seyered the other in 
twain, or cloyen him to the saddle, had he struck with the 
edge instead of the flat of the sword. 

" SofUy, softly," cried Eomanus ; " is this what you call 
aham fightmg ; or do you mean to slay me P" 

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JLB17 BEKES. 17 

** By no means/' replied Xhaled, '' but we mnst lay on our 
blows a litde roughly, to appear in earnest." 

Eomanns, battered and oraised, and wounded in several 
places, was glad to get back to bis army with his life. He 
now extolled the prowess of Khaled, and advised the citizens 
to negotiate a surrender ; but they upbraided him with his 
oowarcUce, stripped him of his command, and made him a 
prisoner in his own house, substituting in his place the general 
who had come to them with reinforcements m>m the emperor 

The new gOYemor, as his first essay in command, salHedia 
adyance of me army, and defied Xhaled to combat. Abda- 
Irahman, son of the ciediph, a youth of great promise, begged 
of Xhaled the honour of being his ch^pion. His request 
being granted, he rode forth, well armed, to the encounter. 
The combat was of short duration. At the onset, the governor 
was daunted by Uie fierce countenance of the vouthral Mos- 
lem, and confounded by the address with which he managed 
his horse and wielded his lance. At the first wound he lost 
all presence of mind, and, turning the reins, endeavoured to 
escape by dint of hoof. His steed was swiftest, and he suc- 
ceeded in throwing himself into the midst of his forces. The 
impetuous youth spurred after him, cutting and slashing, right 
and left, and hewins his way with his scimetar. 

Xhaled, de%htea with his valour, but alarmed at his peril, 
gave the signalfor a general charge. To the fight ! to the 
fight ! Paradise ! Paradise ! was the maddening cry. Horse 
was spurred against horse ; man mippled man. The despe- 
rate confiict was witnessed from the walls, and spread dismay 
through the citv. The bells rang alarums, the shrieks of 
women and children mingled with the prayers and chants of 
priests and monks moving in procession tmrough the streets. 

The Moslems, too, called upon Allah for succour, mingling 
praters and execrations as they fought. At len^h the troops 
of &>sra gave way ; the squadrons that had sidlied forth so 

gloriously in the morning were driven back in broken and 
eadlong masses to the city ; the gates were hastily swung to 
and barred after them ; and, while they panted with fatigue 
and terror behind their bulwarks, the standards and banners 
of the cross were planted on the battlements, and couriers 
were sent ofi" imploring reinforcements from the emperor. 

Night closed u]^n the scene of battle. The stifled groans 
of wounded warriors, mingled with the wailings of women, 
and the prayers of monks and friars, were heard in the once 
joyful streets of Bosra, while sentinels walked the rounds 

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ni tW Arab eunp ta guard it agaiast tbe cbsperation of 
the foe. 

Abdalralimaa conuBaadecL one of ihe patrols* Walldng 
Ilia round bonealli the shadow of ihe oi^ waUs» lie beheld a 
aian ooma steaitlul j forth, the embroiderT* of whose garments^ 
luntly glittenng m the staorlight, betrayed him to be a person 
«f oonsemienee. The lanee of Abcta'kahnaii was at hia 
breaat» when he pToclaimed himself to be Eomamia, and 
demanded to be led to £]baled. On entering the tent of that 
leader, he inyeighed against the treatment he had experienced 
£rom ilM peoi^ of Bmra, and inydced y^igeaiioe. They had 
confined him to his honae, but it was built against the wall of 
ihe citj. He had caused his sons and seryants, therefore, to 
break a hole through it, by whidk he had issued forth, and 
hf whidi he offnred to introduce a band of s<dclier8, whe- 
TB^At throw open the dty gates to the army. 

fiis ofier was instantly accepted, and Abda'lrahman waa 
intrusted witk the dangerous enterprise. He took wilii him 
a hundred mcked m^i, and, condoeted by Bomairas, entered 
HI the dead of night, by the breach in the wall, into the 
house of the tnotor. Here th^ were refreshed with food^ 
and disguised, to lode like the soldiers of the garrison. 
Abda'lrfSimaa then divided th^n into four baads of twenty* 
fiye men each ; three of which he sent in difiPerent directions^ 
with orders to keep quiet until he and his fbOowers should 
aiye the signal-shout of Allah Adibar! He then requested 
Aomanus to conduct him to tke quarters of thegoyemor» 
who had fled the fight iritk him that day. Ilnder the 
guidance of the traitor, he and his twenty-nye men passed 
with noiseless steps i^urough the streets. Most of the unfor^ 
innate people of feosra IimL sunk to sleep ; but now and then 
the groan of some wounded warrior, or llie lament of som^ 
afflicted w<MnaB, b»dte the stilhiess <k the night, and startled 
the prowlers. 

Arriyed at the gate ci the citadel they surprised the sen* 
tinels, who mistook them for a friendly patrol, and made their 
way to tke goyemor*s ehamber. Bonumus entered &ni, and 
summoned the governor to receiye a frigid. 

*' What friend seeks me ai this hour of the ni^t P" 

** Thy friend Abda'bahman," cried Bomanus, with malignant 
triumph ; " who comes to send thee to heU I" 

The wretehed poltroon would haye fied. " Nay," cried 
Abda'lrahman, ''you esca|>e me not a second time !" and with 
a blow of his scimetar kid him dead at his feet. He then 

£ye the signal shout of Allah Achbar ! It was repeated by 
3 followers at the portal ; echoed by the other parties in 

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▲BU BEKBX» 19 

difere&t qvourtera; tbe eHy gates were tlufOTm open, tbe 
legions of jGialed and Serjabif rushed in» and tlie whole city 
resounded wi& the eries of Allah Aehbor I The inhabitante^ 
startled from their slaep^ hft^ened forth to know the metmii^^ 
of the uproar, but were cut down at their thresholds, and a 
horrible eamage took place, until there was a ffeneral crj for 
quarter* Then, in ccunphance with one of the precepts of 
Mahomet, Xhaled put a stop to the slaughter, and receired 
the survivors under the yoke. 

The savage tumult bemg appeased, the unhappy inhabitants 
ci Bosra inq[uired tm to the mode in whieh they had been sur*' 
prised. £hakd hesitated to expose the baseness of Eomanus; 
but the traitor gloried in his shame, and in the ven^anee he 
had wreaked npon former Mends. ** 'Twas I !" cric^ he, wi^ 
demoniac exultation. '* I renoujice ye both in this world and 
the TietL I deny him who was emcined, and despise his wor- 
shippers. I dioose Iskm fer la^ &i^ — ^the Cadba for my 
temple — ^the Moslems for my Drethren^—Mahomet for mr 
prophet ; and I bear witness that there is but one only GrO(V 
who has no partner in his power and ^oiy." 

Having made this fuU recantation (h his old faith, and pro-- 
fession of his new, in fulfilment of his traitoroua compact, ike 
fif»ostate departed from Bosra> ^owed by the exeeratioiu of 
its inhabitants, among whom he durst no longer abide; imd 
Khaled, although he despised him in his heart, a^^inted a 
guard to protect his property firom plunder. 


Khaled lays ehgt to Damascos. 

Tbx capture of Bosra increased the ambition, and daring of 
the Moslems, and Khaled now aspired to the conquest of 
Damascus. This renowned and beautiM city, one of the 
largest and most magnificent of the Es^t, and reputed to be 
the oldest in. the world, stood in a plain of wonder^ richness 
and fertility, covered with grores and gardens, and bounded 
by an amphitheatre of hills, the ddrts of Mount Lebanon* 
A river, called by the ancients Chrysorrh<Mi, or the stream of 
gold, fiows through this plain, feedmg the canals and waten^ 
courses of its ganiens, and ike fountains of the city. 

The ccHnmerce of the i^ace bespoke the luxuriance of tiis 
seal; dealii^ in wines, silks, wool, primes, raising figs of 


tmriyalled flaToup, sweet-scented waters, and perfumes. THie 
fields were covered with odoriferous flowers, and the rose of 
Damascus has become famous throughout the world. This is 
one of the few, the very few, cities famous in ancient times, 
which still retain a trace of ancient delights. " The citron," 
says a recent traveller, "perfumes the air for many miles 
roimd the city ; and the fig-trees are of vast size. The pome- 
granate and orange grow m thickets. There is the trickling 
of water on every hand. Wherever you go, there is a trotting 
brook, or a full and silent stream besid% the track ; and you 
have frequently to cross from one vivi^ jS^®^ meadow to 
another by fording, or by little bridges. These streams are 
all from the river beloved by iN'aaman of old. He might well 
ask, whether the Jordan was better than Fharpar and Abana, 
the rivers of Damascus P" 

In this city, too, were invented those silken stufls called 
damask, from the place of their origin, and those swords a^d 
scimetars proverbial for their matcMess temper. 

When Kialed resolved to strike for this great jjrize, he 
had but fifteen hundred horse, which had followed him from 
Irak, in addition to the force which he found with Serjabil ; 
having, however, the general command of the troops in Syria, 
he wrote to Abu Obeidah to join him with his army, amount- 
ing to thirty-seven thousand men. 

The Moslems, accustomed to the aridity of the desert, gazed 
with wonder and delight upon the rich plain of Damascus. 
As they wound in lengthening files along the banks of the 
shining river, through verdant and flowery fields, or among 
groves and vineyards, and blooming garaens, it seemed as 
if they were already realizing the paradise promised by the 

frophet to true behevers ; but when the fanes and towers of 
)amascus rose to sight from among tufted bowers, they broke 
forth into shouts of transport. 

Heraclius, the emperor, was at Antioch, the capital of his 
Syrian dominions, when he heard of the advance or the Arabs 
upon the city of Damascus. He supposed the troops of 
Khaled, however, to be a mere predatory band, intent as 
usual on hasty ravage, and easily repulsed when satisfied 
with plunder, and he felt little alarm for the safety of the 
city, knoTOig it to be very populous, strongly fortified, and 
well garrisoned. He contented himself, tnerefore, with 
dispatching a general named Caloiis, with five thoustoid men, 
to reinforce it. 

In passing through the country, Caloiis found the people 
flying to castles and other strongholds, and putting them in a 
state of defence. As he approached Baalbec, tJie women came 

▲BU B^ESB. 21 

forthwith dishevelled hair, wrin^iiiff their hands, and uttering 
cries of despair. " Alas I" cried they, " the Arabs overrun 
the land, and nothing can withstand them. Aracah and 
Sachnah, and Tadmor and Bosra, have fallen, and who shall 
protect Damascus !" 

Caloiis inquired the force of the invaders P 

They knew but of the troops of Xhaled, and answered, 
" Fifteen hundred horse." 

" Be of good cheer," said Caloiis ; " in a few days I will 
return with the head of Eiialed on the point of this good 

He arrived at Damascus before the Moslem army came in 
sight, and the same 8elf-c6nfidence marked his proceedings. 
Arrogating to himself the supreme command, he would have 
deposed and expelled the former governor, Azrail, a merito- 
rious old soldier, well beloved by the peojjle. Violent dis- 
sensions immediately arose, and the city, instead of being 
prepared for defence, was a prey to internal strife. 

In the height of these tumults, the army of Xhaled, forty 
thousand strong, being augmented by that of Abu Obeidah, 
was descried marching across the plam. The sense of danger 
cahned the fury of contention, and the two governors saUied 
forth, with a great part of the garrison, to encounter the 

Both armies drew up in battle array. !Khaled was in front 
of the Moslem line, and with him was his brother-in-arms, 
Derar Ibn al Azwar. The latter was mounted on a fine 
Arabian mare, and poised a ponderous lance, looking a warrior 
at all points. Khaled regarded him with friendly pride, and 
redolved to give him an opportunity of distinguisning him« 
self. For this purpose, he detached mm with a small squadron 
of horse, to feel the pulse of the enemy. " l^ow is the time, 
Derar," cried he, " to show thyself a man, and emulate the 
deeds of thy father, and other illustrious soldiers of the 
faith. Forward in the righteous cause, and Allah wiU protect 

Derar levelled his lance, and, at the head of his handful <^ 
followers, charged into the thickest of the foe. In the first 
encounter four norsemen fell beneath his arm; then, wheeling 
ofi*, and soaring, as it were, into the field to mark a different 
quarry, he charged with his little troop upon the foot soldiers, 
slew six with his own hand, trampledT down others, and pro- 
duced great confusion. The Christians, however, recovered 
from a temporair panic, and opposed him with overwhelming 
numbers, and !EU>man discipline. Derar saw the ineauality 
of the fight, and having glutted his martial fury, snowed 

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a succBssaxB oar mahokbt. 

ilia Anb dexterity at retntA, makiag Ids mj hmA, mt^kfy 
to the Moslem army, bj "whom he was recerred with «o* 

AbdalrsJimaa gave a mmihu^ proof of ^mt courage; but 
his caTalry was received by a battalion of ifimutry arranged 
in phalanx with extmidea spears, while stonet and dSrts 
hurled from a distance galled both horse and rider. He, also, 
after maldng a daring assault and itiddeii carnage, retired 
upon the spur, and rejoined the army. 

Shakd now emulated the prowess of his friends, and ca- 
reering in front of the enemy, launched a general defiance to 
tingle combat. 

The jealousies of the two Christian commanders continued 
in the neld. Azraal, taming to Oalous, taunted him to accept 
the challenge, as a matter of course, seeing he was sent to 
protect the country in this hour of danger. 

The vaunting of Calous was at an end. He had no inc'hiia- 
tion for so close a fight with such an enemy, but pride would 
not permit him to refuse. He entered into the conflict with 
a faint heart, and in a short time would have retreated, but 
Khaled wheeled between him and his army. He then fought 
with desperation, imd the contest was furious on both sides, 
lantil Oalous beheld his blood streaming down his armour. 
His heart failed him at the si^ht ; his s&ength flagged ; ho 
Ibught merely on the defensive. Ehaled, perceiving this, 
aoddenly closed with him, shiiM his lanoe to his left hand, 
grasped CaloSs with the right, draeged him out of the saddle, 
and Dore him off oaptive to the Moslem host, who rent the 
air with triumphant shoi^. 

Mounting a fr^sh horse, KhaJed prepared i^|^;ajn for battle. 

" Tarry, my friend,** cried Berar; ''repose thyself for a 
lime, and X will take thyplaoe." 

" Oh Derar,'* rephod Ejialed, " he who labours to-day shall 
TOst to-moTTOw. uliere will be repose suffirient amidst the 
•delights of paradise !" 

When about to return to the field, CaloHs demanded a 
moment's audience, and making use of tiie traitor Bomanus 
AS an interpreter, advised Shaled to bend all Ins efforts 
against Asrail, the former governor of the dtj, whose death, 
TO said, would be the surest means of gaining the victory. 
^us a spirit of envy induced him to eaerifioe the good of liis 
country to the desire of injuring a rival. 

Khated was willing to tako advice even from an enemy, 
especially when it fell in with his own humour ; he advanced, 
therefore, in frmit, challenging Axnal loudly by name. The 

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Imtter foidcly ig^vpeared, well annod imd mcmoied, sad wit^ 
HBdottnted bearmg. 

The contest was long and ohiti&ate. The combatants 
paused for breath. Xlmled could not but regard his adrer*- 
aaiy with ftdmimtion. 

**Th7 name/' said he, " is Axrwap" (Urn is tlra Aiabb 
name ior the angel of death.) 

" AxnSl is my name," replied the other. 

'* By Allah! replied S[hjded, " th^ namesake is at hand, 
waiting to csry thy sonl to Ihe fire oi Jehennam !" 

They renewed the fight. AsrajQ, who was the most fleetly 
moimted* being sorely pressed, made use of an Arabian 
atratagem, and ^vin^ ihe reins to his steed pretmded to fly 
the field. Havmg distanced his adversary imd fatigued his 
^rse, he suddenly whe^ed about and returned to the durgeu 
Xhaled, however, was not to be outdone in siaratagem. 
Throwing himself lightly from his saddle just as his antagonist 
eame ga&oping upon him, he struck at me legs of his horse, 
brought him to the ij^und, and took his rider prisoner. 

lh.e magmtnimity of Khaled was not equal to his valo^ur; 
or rather, his fanaocal seal overcame all generous feelings. 
He admired Azrail as a soldier; but deiested him as an 
infldeL Haoing him beside his late rival, Calous, he called 
\tpon both to renounce Christianity and embrace the faith of 
Iiuam. Tbej persisted in a firm refusal, iipon which he gave 
the sknal, and their heads wea» struck off and thrown over 
ihe walk into the cify, a ioaxSal warning to the inhabitants. 


eitgB it VtauMtm eontkmed.— Bzploitt sT Demr«-*I>cliMS <ir tbe 
impocial anny. 

TsB sifge of Damascus continued with increasing rigour. TkB 
inhabitants were embarrassed and dismayed by the loss of 
their two governors, and the garrison was tninnea by frequent 
j^rmkhes, in whidi the bnvest warriors were sizre to falL 
At heagth the soldiers ceased to sally forth, and the place 
became strictly invested. Khaled, with one half of the army, 
drew near to mo walls on the ^tst side ; while Abu Obeidan, 
wi& &e other half, was statiimed on the west 13ie in* 
habitai^ now attempted to conu]^ £haled« tiering him a 

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^ 8UCCES80B8.0FUi^0HET. 

ilioasand ounces of gold, and two hundred mae;ni£ce]ii 
damask robes, to raise the siege. His reply was, mat they 
must embrace the Islam faith, pay tribute, or fight unto the 

While the Arabs lay thus encamped round the city, as if 
watching its expiring throes, Ihey were sturprised one day by 
the unusual sound of shouts of joy within its walls. Sending 
out scouts, they soon learnt the astounding intelligence that a 
great armjr was marching to the relief of me place. 

The besieged, in fact, in the height of their extremity, had 
lowered a messenger from the walls in the dead of the night, 
bearing tidings to Ihe emperor at Antioch of their perilous 
condition, ana imploring prompt and efficient succour. Aware 
for the first time of the real magnitude of the danger, Hera- 
clius despatched an army of a hundred thousand men to their 
rehef, led on by Werdan, prefect of Emessa, an experienced 

Xhaled would at once have marched to meet the foe, 
alleging that so great a host could come only in divisions, 
which might be defeated in detail ; the. cautious and quiet 
Abu Obeidah, howeyer, counselled to continue the siege, and 
send some able officer with a detachment to check and divert 
the advancing army. His advice was adopted, and Derar, 
the cherished companion in arms of Khaled, was chosen for 
the purpose. That fiery Moslem was rea<^ to march at once, 
and attack the enemy with any handful oi men that might be 
assigned him; but !Khaled rebuked his inconsiderate zeaU 
"We are expected," said he, " to fight for the faith, but not 
to throw ourselves away^." Allotting to his fi*iend, therefore, 
one thousand chosen horsemen, he recommended to him to 
hang on the flanks of the enemy and impede their march. 

The fleetly-mounted .band of Derar soon came in sight of 
the van of Werdan*s army, slowly marching in heavy masses. 
They were for hovering about it and harassing it in the Arab 
manner, but the impetuous valour of Derar was inflamed, and 
he swore not to draw back a step without hard fighting. He 
was seconded by £afi Ibn Omeirah, who reminded the troops 
that a handfdl of the faithful was sufficient to defeat an army 
of infidels. 

The battle cit was given. Derar, with some of his choicest 
troops, attacked the centre of the army, seeking to grapple 
with the general, whom he beheld there, surrounded by nis 
ffuard. At the very onset he struck down the prefect's right- 
hand man, and then his standard-bearer. Several of Derar's 
£:>llowers sprang from their steeds to seize the standard, a 
cross richly adorned with precious stones, while he beat ofl* 

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▲BXr^BBKBB. 25 

the enemy, who endeaTonred to regain it. The captnred cross 
was borne off in trinmpli ; but at the same moment Derar 
receiyed a wound in the left arm from a javelin, launched hj 
a son of Werdan. Turning upon the youth, he thrust his 
lance into his body, but, m withdrawing it, the iron head 
remained in the wound. Thus left unarmed, he defended 
himself for a time with the mere truncheon of the lance, but 
was overpowered and taken prisoner. The Moslems fought 
furiously to rescue him, but mvain, and he was borne captive 
from the field. They would now have fled, but were recalled 
by Bafi Ibn Omeirah. " Whoever flies," cried he, " turns 
his back upon God and his prophet. Paradise is for those 
who fall in battle. If your captain bo dead, Grod is living, 
and sees your actions." 

They rallied and stood at bay. The fortune of the day was 
against them ; thev were attacked by tenfold their number, 
and though they fought with desperation, they would soon 
have been cut to pieces, had not Khaled, at that critical 
moment, arrived at the scene of action with the greater part 
of his forces, a swift horseman having brought nim tidmgs 
of the disastrous aflVay, and the capture of his friend. 

On arriving, he stopped not to parley, but charged into the 
thickest of the foe, wnere he saw most banners, hoping there 
to find his captive friend. Wherever he turned he hewed a 
path before him, but Derar was not to be found. At length a 
prisoner told him that the captive had been sent ofl* to Emessa 
under a strong escort. Ehafed instantly dispatched Safi Ibn 
Omeirah with a hundred horse in pursuit. They soon over- 
took the escort, attacked them fririously, slew several, and put 
the rest to flight, who left Derar, bound with cords, upon liis 

By the time that Eafi and Derar rejoined the Moslem 
army, Xhaled had defeated the whole forces of Werdan, divi- 
sion after division, as they arrived successively at the field of 
action. In this manner a hundred thousand troops were de- 
feated, in detail, by less than a third of their number, inspired 
by fanatic valour, and led on by a skilful and intrepid chief, 
lliousands of the fugitives were kUled in the pursmt; an im- 
mense boot7 in treasure, arms, baggage, and horses fell to the 
victors, and Ehaled led back his army, flushed with conquest, 
but fatigued with fighting and burthcned with spoil, to rosiuno 
the siege of Damascus. 

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7hb tidixtgB of the defeat of Werdlan and his powerfbl arm j 
made the empoior HerficHiia tremUe, in his palace at Antiocfg 
for the safetj <^ his Syrian kingdom. Hastily levjring another 
«rmy of scveaty thousand meat, he pat them tinder the com- 
mand of Werdan, at Aiansdin, with orders to hasten to the 
relief of Damascus, and attack the Arsh srmY, which must 
he diminisiied and enfe^led hj the rec^tt batae. 
. !Khaled took connsd of Abu Obeidah how to avoid the 
impendi]^ storm. It was determined to raise the siege of 
Damascus, and seek the enemy promptly at AiznadiD. Con- 
scious, kowever, of the inadequacy or hts forces, Slhaled sent 
sussives to all Uie Moslem gefierats within his ctJH, 

** In the name of die most merciful God! Khaled Ibn al 
Walid to Amru Ibn al Aass, health and happiness. The 
Moslem brethren are about to mardi to Aiznacbn to do battle 
with seventy thousand Gredcs, who ate comin|| to extinguish 
tibe light of God. But Allah will preserve his light in despite 
of all the iofidels. Come to Aiznadin with thy troops ; for, 
God willing, Hiou dialt find me there." These missives sent, 
he broke up his encampment before Damascus, and marched^ 
with his whole foorce, towird Aignadin. He would have 
placed Abu Obeidah at the head of the army ; but the latter 
modestly remarked, that as Elhaled was now commaad^-in- 
«hief, that station appertained to him. Abu Obeidah, there- 
£^re, l^ught up the rear, where were the bagga^^e, the booty* 
the women, ana the dkildr^i. 

When the garrison of Damascus saw their enemy on the 
jBiaroh, ihej sallied forth undw two brothers, named Peter 
and FauL The former led ten thousand infantry, Ihe latter 
mx thousand horse. Overtaking the rear ci the Moslems, 
Paul with his cavalry charged into the midst of them, cutting 
down some, tramplmg othm under foot, and spreading wide 
•confusion. Peter, in the meantime, with his infimtry made a 
sweep of the camp equipage, the baggage, and the accumu- 
lated booty, and capturing most of the women, made off with 
his spoDs towards Damascus. 

Tidings of this onset having reached Khaled iivthe van. he 
•sent Derar, Abda'lrahman, and Eafi Ibn Omeirah, scouring 

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bfidc, Meh at ike kosd of two luuidred han^, iHhiEe ho M> 
lovred \nth tlie main foroe. 

Derar and hit asaooiafcM aoon tamed the tide of baltio» 
rooting Ftol and his oayahy with euoh dau^iter, that of the 
fix thouaand but a enudl part escaped td Ihiinasoas. Paol 
threw himself firom his hoarse, aad attempted to esoi^ on 
foot, but was taken prisoner. The exultation of the yictorSy 
howeyer, was damped by the int^igenoe that theur women 
had been earned away oajptire, and mat was the gtiei of 
Deror, on leamini^ that hu sister Oawah, a woman of ^reai 
beauty, was among the nnmber. 

In the meantime, Petor and his troops, with their spoils 
and captives, had proceeded on the way to Damascus, but 
halted under some trees beside a fimntam, to refresh tiiem* 
selves and divide their booty. In the divinon, Canlah, the 
sister of Derar, was allotted to Peter. This done, the captors 
went into tiieir tents to carouse and make merry with the 
spoils, leaving the women among the baggage, bewaihng 4heir 
captive state. 

Caulah, however, was the worthy sister of Derar. Instead 
of weeping and wringing her hands, she reproached her 
companions with their weakness. ** What !" cried ehe, " shaJH 
we, the daughters of warriors and followers of Mahomet, 
submit to be ihe daves and paramours of barbanans and 
idolaters P For my part, sooner will I die !" 

Among her fellow-captives were Hamzarite women, de- 
scendants, as it is siroposed, of the Amalakites of old, and 
oilers of Ihe tribe or jBDimiar, all bold viraeos, accustomed 
from thehr youth to mcnuit the horse, ply the bow, and launch 
the javelin. They were roused by the appeal of Oauli^ 
** What, however, can we do," cried they, *^ltan&g neither 
•word, nor huice, nor bowF*' 

"Let us each take a tent-pole," replied Canlah, ^and 
defend ourselves to ihe utmost. Qod may dearer us ; if not, 
we shall die and be at rest, leaving no stain t^xm our country." 
She was seconded by a resdute woman named Of^rah. Her 
words prevailed. They all armed then»elves with tent-poleSy 
and Gaulah placed ^em closely side by side in a circle. 
*' Stand firm, said she. ''Let no one pass between youi 
parry the weapons of your assailants, and strike at their 

With Caulah, as with her brother, the word was accom« 
panied by the deed ; for scarce had she spoken, when a Greek 
soldier happening to approach, with one blow of her staff she 
shattered nis skull. 

Tho noiso brought tho carousers from the tents. They 

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smroimded the women, and sought to pacify them ; but who- 
eyer came within reach of theur stayes was sure to suffer. 
Peter was struck with the matchless form and glowing beauty 
of Caulah, as she stood fierce and fearless, deaBng her blows 
on all who approached. He charged his men not to harm her, 
and endeayoured to win her by soothing words and offers of 
wealth and honour ; but she reyiled him as an infidel, a do?, 
and rejected with scorn his brutal loye. Incensed at leneUi 
by her taunts and menaces, he gaye the word, and his fol- 
lowers rushed upon the women with their scimetars. The 
unequal combat would soon haye ended, when Xhaled and 
Derar came galloping with their cayalry to the rescue. Khaled 
was heayily armed ; out Derar was almost naked, on a horse 
without a saddle, and brandishing a lance. 

At sight of them Peter's heart quaked ; he put a stop to 
the assault on the women, and would haye made a ment of 
deliyering them up unharmed. '* We haye wiyes and sisters 
of our own," said he, "and respect your courageous defence. 
Go in peace to your countrymen." 

He turned lus horse's head, but Caulah smote the legs of 
the animal and brought him to the ground, and Derar thrust 
his spear through the rider as he fell. Then, alighting and 
strikmg off the nead of Peter, he eleyated it on the pomt of 
his lance. A general action ensued. The enemy were routed 
and pursued with slaughter to the gates of Damascus, and 
great booty was gained of horses and armour. 

The battle oyer, Paul was brought a prisoner before Xhaled, 
and the goiy head of his brother was shown to him. " Such," 
cried Xhaled, " will be your fate unless you instantly embrace 
the faith of Islam." Paul wept oyer the head of his brother, 
and said he wished not to suryiye him. ** Enough," cried 
Xhaled: the signal was giyen, and the head of Paul was 
seyered from his body. 

The Moslem army now retired to their old camp, where 
they found Abu Obeidah, who had rallied his fugitiyes and 
intrenched himself, for it was uncertain how near Werdan and 
his army might be. Here the weary yictors reposed them- 
selyes from their dangers and fatigues; talked oyer the 
fortunes of the day, and exulted in the courage of their 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Bftttle of Ajgiiadin. 

The army of the prefect Werdan, though seyenty thousand in 
number, was for the most part composed of newly-levied 
trooDS. It lay encamped at Aiznadin, and ancient historians 
speajc much oi the splendid appearance of the imperial camp, 
nch in its sumptuous toniture of silk and gold, and of the 
brilliant array of the troops, in burnished armour, with glitter- 
ingswords and lances. 

While thus encamped, Werdan was suxprised one day to 
behold clouds of dust rising in different directions, m>m 
which, as they advanced, broke forth the flash of arms and din 
of trumpets. These were in fact the troops which Khaled 
had summoned by letter from various parts, and which, 
though widely separated, arrived at the appointed time 
with a punctuality recorded by the Arabian cnroniders as 

The Moslems were at first a little daunted by the number 
and formidable array of the imperial host; but Slhaled 
harangued them in a confident tone. " You behold," said he, 
''the last stake of the infidels. This arm^ vanquished and 
dispersed, ther can never muster another of^^any force, and all 
Syria is ours.* 

The armies lay encamped in sight of each other all night, 
and drew out in battle array in the morning. 

" Who will undertake," said Xhaled, " to observe the enemy 
near at hand, and bring me an account of the number and 
disposition of his forces?" 

Derar immediately stepped forward. "€ro," said EJialed, 
** and AUah go with thee. But I charge thee, Derar, not to 
strike a blow unprovoked, nor to expose thy life unneces- 

When Werdan saw a single horseman prowling in view of 
his army, and noting its strength and disposition, he sent 
forth thnrty horsemen to surround and capture him. Derar 
retreated oefore them until they became separated in the 
eagerness of pursuit, then, suddenly wheeling, he received 
the first upon the point of his lance, and so another and 
another, thrusting them through or striking them from their 
saddles, until he had killed or unhorsed seventeen, and so 
daunted the rest, that he was enabled to make his retreat in 

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Xlialed reproached him with rashness and disobedience of 

" I sought not the fight," replied Derar. " They came 
forth against me, and I feared that God should see me turn 
my bac&. He doubtleie aided »•» end had it not been for 
your orders, I should not haye desisted when I did." 

Being informed by Beiar of the nmmber and positiraB o^ 
the enemy'e troope, Khaled maishaUed his army accordingly. 
He gave cemauttid of the right wiag to Mea« and Noman ; 
the left to Saad Ibn Abu Wakkae and Serjabil. Mid took 
charge of the eentre himself, aecompenied by Abuto, Abd»- 
'hrahman, Deraar» ILu8» £afi» and othor distingoiihed leaden. 
A body of four thousand horse, imdev Yeied Ebn Abm 
Sofian, was pasted in the rear to gnavd the baggage and the 

But it was net the men alone that prepared for ihie m<>- 
mentous battle. Oankh and Ofieirah, and thdr intr^nd com- 
vanionst among whom were women <»f the higheet raakt excfted 
l^ their recent suoeesa, armed themsdree with sue& weapons 
as they found at hand, aad prepared to mingle in the nght. 
Xhaled applauded their courage and devotion, assuring them 
that, if they fell* the gates of peradiee wonli be open to them. 
He then formed them into two battalions* prmg command of 
one to Oaulah, and of the other to 0£fen«h ; and diarged 
them, besides defending themselTes against the enemy, to 
keen a strict eye upon his own troops ; and whenerer they 8«w 
a Moslem turn his back upon the foe, to slay him as a recreant 
and an apostate. Finally, he rode tlmw^ the ranks of his 
army, exhorting them all to fight with desperation, since they 
had wives, chi&r^, hcHsonr* religion, everything at stake; 
and no place of refuge should the^ be defeated. 

The war eries now arose from either army ; the Ohristiaaa 
shouting for '* Christ and f<xe the faM ;" the Moslems, ** La 
I'laha ilia Allah, Mohammed Besoul Allah 1" " There k but 
one God! Mahomet is the prophet of God 1" 

Just before the armies engaged, a venerable man came 
forth from among the Christians, and, approaching £hakd, 
demanded, " Art thou the general of this army P" " I am 
considered such," replied KEaled, " while I am true to God, 
the Xoran, and the prophet." 

'* Thou art come unprovoked," said the old man, " ihou and 
thy host, to invade this Christian land. Be not too certain of 
success. Others who have heretofore invaded this land have 
found a tomb instead of a triumph. Look at this host. It ia 
more numerous, and perhaps better disciplined than thine. 
Why wilt thou tempt a battle which may end in thy defeat^ 

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and mmsl, at all •vents, cost t^bee most kmen,tabb Uoodslied ? 
Betire, then, in poace» aad spare the miseries which most' 
otherwise fall upon either urmj. Shooldst thoa do so, I am 
authorised to offer, for every soldier in thy host, a suit of garn 
ments, a turban, and a piece of gold; for thyself, a hun£red 
pfieces and ten silken robes; and for thy Gauph, a thousand 
pteoet and a hnndred robes." 

" You ppoffer a part," replied Khaled, scornfully, " to one^ 
who will soon possess the v^ole. For yourselves i^JM^te are 
but three eonditions, — embrace the faith, pay tribute, or ex^ 
pect the sword." With this rou^h reply the venerable man 
retnmed sorrow&lly to the Christian host. 

StiU IQialed was unusually wary. " Our enemies are two 
to one»" said he, ** we must have patience and outwind them. . 
Let us hold back until nightfall, for that with the prophet 
was the propitious time of victory." 

The enemy now threw their Armenian archers in the 
advance, and several Moslems were killed and wounded with 
^^ts oi arrows. StiU Khaled restrained the in^tience of 
his troops, ordering that no man should stir from his post 
The impetuous Denr at l^^h obtained permission to attack 
the insulting band of archers, and spurred vi^rously upon 
them with his troop of horse. They faltered, but were rein- 
fenced : tro(^ were sent to sustain Perar ; many were slain 
(m both sides, but success inclined to the Moslems. 

The action was on the point of beeomiae general, when a 
horseman from the advance army gaUopea up, and inquired 
for the Moslem general. EJialed^ eonsidering it a challenge, 
levelled his lance for the encounter. ^'^Tum thy lance ande^ 
I pray thee," cried the Christian, eagerly; "^I am but a mes- 
senger, and seek a parley." 

Khaled quietly reined up his steed, and had Mb lance 
ai^wart the pommel of his saddle: ** Speak to the purpose," 
saki he, ** and tell no lies." 

" I will tell the naked truth ; dangerous for me to tell, but 
most important for thee to hear ; but first promise protection 
for myself and family." 

Having obtained this promise, the messenger, whose name 
was David, proceeded : ** I am sent by Werdan to entreat that 
the, battle may cease, and the blood of braVe men be spared ; 
and that ti^ou wilt meet him to-morrow morning, singly, in 
sight of either army, to treat of terms of peace. Such is mr 
mossi^e ; but beware, oh Khaled ! for treason hirks beneath 
it. Ten chos^i men, well armed, will be stationed in the night 
dose by tisLC place o^ conference, to surprise and seise, or kill 
tk&% when diuenc^ss and off thy guard." ^ . 



He then proceeded to mention the nlace appointed for the 
conference, and all the other particmars. '' JSnongh," said 
Khaled. " Eetom to Werdan, and tell him I agree to meet 

The Moslems were astonished at hearing a retreat sounded, 
when the conflict was inclining in their favour; they with- 
drew reluctantly from the field, and Abu Obeidah and Derar 
demanded of lEQialed the meaning of this conduct. He 
informed them of what had just been revealed to him. '' I 
will keep this appointment," said he. " I will go singly, and 
will bring back tne heads of all the assassins." Abu Obeidah, 
however, remonstrated a^inst his exposing himself to such 
unnecessary danger. "Take ten men with thee," said he, 
• " man for man." " Why defer the punishment of their perfidy 
untU morning P" cried I)erar. " Give me the ten men, and I 
will countermot these lurkers this very night." 

Having ootained permission, he pick^ out ten men of 
assured coolness and courage, and set ofi* with them in the 
dead of the night for the ]^ace of ambush. As they drew 
near, Derar caused his companions to halt, and, putting off his 
clothes to prevent all rustling noise, crept warily with his 
jisiked scimetar to the appointed ground. JSere he behcdd the 
ten men fast asleep, wim their weapons beneath their heads. 
Betuming silently, and beckoning his companions, they singled 
out eachhis man, so that the whole were oispatched at a blow. 
Q^ey then stripped the dead, disguised themselves in their 
clothes, and awaited the coming day. 

The rising sun shone on the two armies, drawn out in battle 
array, and awaiting the parley of the chiefs. Werdan rode 
forth on a white mule, and was arrayed in rich attire, with 
chains of gold and precious stones. Khaled was clad in a 
yellow silk vest and green turban. He suffered himself to be 
Hrawn by Werdan towards the place of ambush ; then, alight- 
ing, and seating themselves on the groimd, they entered mto 
a parley. Their conference was brief and boisterous. Each 
considered the other in his power, and conducted himself with 
haughtiness and acrimony. Werdan spoke of the Moslems 
as needy sailers, who Hved by the sword, and invaded the 
fertile territories of their neighbours in quest of plunder. 
"We, on the other hand," said he, "are wealthy, and desire 
peace. Speak : what do you require to reheve your wants 
and satisfy your ranacityP 

"Miserable infiael!" replied Ehaled. "We are not so 
poor as to accept alms at your hands. Allah provides for us. 
jT ou offer us a part of wliat is all our own ; for Allah has put 
all that you have into our hands, even to your wives and cnil- 

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ciren. But do you desire peace P We hare already told you 
our conditions. Either acknowledge that there is no othet 
God but God, and that Mahomet is his prophet^ or pay u$ 
such tribute as we may impose. Do you refuse P For what> 
then, have you brought me hereP You knew our terms 
yesterday, and that aSl your propositions were rdected. Do 

iron entice me here alone for single combat P ne it so, and 
et our weapons decide between us.*' 

So saying, he sprang upon his feet. Werdan also rose, but 
expecting instant aid, neglected to draw his sword. Khaled 
seized Imn by the throat, upon which he called loudly to his 
men in ambush. The Moslems in ambush rushed forth, and^ 
deceived by their Grecian dresses, Werdan for an instant 
thought himself secure. As they drew near, he discovered 
his mistake, and shrank with horror at the sight of Derar» 
who advanced, ahnost naked, brandishing a scimetar, and in 
whom he recognised the slayer of his son. " Mercy! Mercy I" 
cried he to Khaled, at finding himself caught in his own snareu 

"There is no mercy," repied Xhaled, "for him who has 
no faith. You came to me with peace on your lips> but mnr* 
der in your heart. Your crime be upon your head." 

The sentence was no sooner pronounced, than the powerful 
sword of Derar performed its office, and the head of W erdan 
^as struck off at a blow. The gory trophy was elevated on 
the point of a lance, and borne by the little band toward the 
Christian troops, who, deceived by the Greek disgoises, sup* 
posed it the head of £haled, and shouted with joy. Their 
triumph was soon turned to dismay as they discovered their 
error. Scaled did not suffer them to recover from their coo^ 
fusion, but bade his trumpets sound a general charge. What 
ensued was a massacre rather than a battle. The imperial 
army broke and fled in all directions ; some toward Caesarea, 
others to Damascus, and others to Antioch. The booty was 
immense ; crosses of silver and ^old, adorned with precious 
stones, rich chains and bracelets, jewels of price, silken robes, 
armour and weapons of all kindJs, and numerous banners, all 
which Khaled declared should not be divided until after the 
capture of Damascus. 

Tidings of this great victory was sent to the Caliph at 
Medina, by his brave and wdl-beloved son Abda'lrahmaa. 
On receiving it, Abu Beker prostrated himself, and returned 
thanks to God. The news spread rapidly throughout Arabia. 
Hosts of adventurers hurried to Medina from all parts, and 
especially from Mecca. All were eager to serve in the cause 
of the faith, now that they found it crowned with oonquesl^ 
and rewarded with riches, jized by Google 


The woiihj Aim Beker Was disposed to gratify theb 
bat Omar, <m being eonsnlted, sternly objected. "The 
greater piu-t of iHaeae fellows/' said be, " who are sa eager 
to join US now that we are sncoessftil, are tbose who sought 
to crush ns when we were few and feeble. They care not far 
the faith, but they long to ravage the rich fields of Syria» and 
share the plunder of Damascns. Send them not to me army 
to make brawls and dissensions. Those already there are 
infScient to eompleto what they have began. They have won 
the Tietory; let them enjoy the spofls." 
• In ooxnplianoe with uus adrice, Aba Beker refused the 
^prayer or the aipplicants. Upon this the people of Mecca» 
ana especially those of the tnbe of Xoreish, sent a powerM 
jdeputation, headed by Aba Sofian, to remonstrate with the 
.Caliph. " Why tare we demed permission,*' said they, " to 
£fi^ht in the caose of oar r^lgionr It is trae» that in the days 
of darkness and ignorance we made war <»i the disciples of 
ihe nroi^t, becaose we thooght we were doing Grod service^ 
Allan, however, has blessed ob with the light ; we have seen 
find renounced oar former errors. We are yoar bretiir^i in 
the faith, as we hare ever been joar kindred in blood, and 
liereby take iqpon oarselvet to nght in the common coase. 
iLet there, tiben, no lon^r be jealoasy and envy between as." 

The heart of the Oahph was moYed by these remonstrances* 
Se consulted with Ah and Omar, and it was agreed that the 
tribe of Xoreish should be permitted to join the army. Abm 
Beker accordingljr wrote to £haled» congratidatinff him on 
liis success, and informing him that a large reinK>rcemenit 
^foald join him, conduoteS by Abu Sofian. This letter he 
sealed with, the seal of the pvophet, and dispatched it by hit 
•on Abda'lrahman. 


Ooemveneet before DtantmeuB.'^^ExpMtB of Tbomas^-AbAn Urn Zekl 
and his Amazonian wi£B. 

Th^ fogitiyes firom the field of Aiznadin carried to Damascus 
the dismal tidings that the ftnny was overthrown, and the last 
liope of sucooor destroyed, iireat was the consternation of 
the inhabitants, yet ^ey set to work, with desperate activity, 
to prepare for tli^ coming storm. The fugitives had reinforoed 
<t^ garrison with several thousand effective men. l^ew for- 
tifications were hastily erected. The walls were lined ynifi 


.engines to diseharge stcmes and darts, which were stsnaged by 
Jews skilled in their use. 

In the midst of their preparation^ they beheld squadron 
after squadron of Moslem caralry emerffisg^ from among dis- 
tant groves, while a lengthening^ line <» foot soldiers poured 
. along between the gardens. Tms was the order of march of 
the Moslem host. The advance guard, of upwards of nine 
. thousand horsemen, was led by Amru. Then came two thou- 
sand Koreishite horse, led by Abu Sofian. Then a like num- 
ber under SerjabiL Then Omar Ibn Babivah with a similar 
division; then the xiain body of the army lea bv Abu Obeidah, 
and lastly, the rear-ffuard, disfdbmng the black eagle, the 
fktefol banner of Khided, and led bj &at invincible warrior. 

Khaled now assembled his captions, and assigned to them 
.their different stations. Abu Sonan was posted opposite ibe 
southern gate. Seijabil opposite that of qU Thomas. Amru 
before that of Parsidise, aiad Xais Ibn Hobeirah before that 
.^f Kaisau. Abu Obeidah encamped at some dtstanoe, in front 
of the gate of Jabiyah, and was charged to be strict and 
'vigilant, and to make frequent assaults, wr Khaled knew his 
.humane and easy nature. As to Shaled himself, he took his 
station and planted his black eagle before the eastern gate. 

There was still a southern gate, that of St. Mark, so situ^ 
«ted that it was not practicable to establish posts or engage in 
skirmishes before it ; it was, tharefbre, termed the Gate of 
.Peace. As to the active and impetuous Derar, he was ordered 
to patrol roimd the waUs and scour the adjacent plain at the 
liead o£ two thousand horse, protecting ^e caanp from surprise, 
and preventing supplies ana reinforoements to the dtv. " If 
you should be attached,*' said Khaled, '' send me word, and I 
will come to ^our assistance.'* ** And must I stand peaceably 
•until you arrive P" said Derar, in reodlection of former re- 
nroofr of his rash contests. " Not so," rejoined Khaled, '' but 
fight stoutly, and be assured I will not fail you." The rest of 
the army were dismounted, to carry on the siege on foot. 
; The Moslems were now better equipped for war than ever, 
having supplied themselves with armour and wea^ns taken 
in repeated battles. As yet, however^ they retamed their 
Arab frugality and plainness, neglecting the ddicate viands, 
the sumptuous raiment, and other luxurious indxd^ences of 
their enemies. Even Abu Obeidah, in the humih^ of his 
spirit, contented himself with his primitive Arab tent or camel's 
hair, refusing the sumptuoxis tents of the Christian com* 
manders, won in the recent battle. Such were the stem and 
simple-minded invaders of the effeminate aiid sensndi natiom 
of the East . Tnoalp 

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The first assaults of the Moslems were brarel j repelled, 
and many were slain by darts and stones hurled by the 
machines from the wall. The garrison even ventured to make 
a sally, but were driren bacK with signal slaughter. The 
siege was then pressed with unremitting^ rigour, until no one 
dared to venture beyond the bulwarks. The princ^al in- 
habitants now consulted together whether it were not best to 
capitulate, while there was yet a chance of obtaining favourable 

There was at this time livii^ in Damascus, a noble Greek, 
named Thomas, who was married to a daughter of the emperor 
Heraclius. He held no post, but was greatly respected, for 
he was a man of talents and consummate courage. In this 
moment of general depression, he endeavoured to rouse the 
spirits of the people ; representing their invaders as despicable, 
barbarous, naked, ana poorly armed, without discipline or 
military service, and formidable only through their mad 
fanaticism, and the panic they had spread through the 

Finding all arguments in vain, he offered to take the lead 
himself, if they would venture upon another sally. His 
offer was accepted, and the next morning appointed, for the 

Khaled perceived a siur of preparation throughout the 
night, lights gleaming in the turrets and along me battle-^ 
inents, and exhorted his men to be vigilant, for he anticipated 
some desperate movement. *' Let no man sleep," said he. 
^' We shaU have rest enough after death, and sweet will be 
the repose that is never more to be followed by labour." 

The Clmstians were sadly devout in this hour of extremity. 
At early dawn the bishop, m his robes, proceeded at the head 
of the clergy to the gate by which the sally was to be made $ 
where he e&vated the cross, and laid beside it the New Testa* 
ment. As Thomas passed out at the gate, he laid his hand 
upon the sacred volume. " Oh God !" exclaimed he, ** if our 
faitib be true, aid us, and deliver us not into the hands of its 

The Moslems, who had been on the alert, were advancing 
to attack just at the time of the sally, but were checked by a 
general discharge from the engines on the walL Thomas led 
his troops bravely to the encounter, and the conflict was fleroe 
and bloody. He was a dexterous archer, and sineied out the 
most conspicuous of the Moslems, who fell one iSter another 
beneath his shafts. Among others h^ wounded Ab4n Ibn Zeid 
with an arrow tipped with poison* The latter bound up the 
-wound with his turban, and continued in the fields but being 

1 1 


dyeroome by tlie venom, was convejred to the camp. He had 
but recently been married to a beantifnl woman of the intrepid 
race of the Himiar ; one of those Amazons accustomed to nse 
the bow and arrow, and to mingle in warfare. 

Hearing that her hnsband was wounded, she hastened to 
bis tent, but before she could reach it he had expired. She 
tittered no lamentation, nor shed a tear, but, bendmg over the 
body, ** Happy «rt thou, oh my beloved," said she, " for thou 
art with Allaii, who loined us but to part us from each other. 
But I will avenge tny death, and then seek to join thee in 
paradise. Henceforth shall no man toudi me more, for X 
dedicate myself to Grod !" 

Hien grasping her husband's bow and arrows, she hastened 
to the field m quest of Thomas, who, she had been told, waff 
the slayer of her husband. Pressing toward the place wherd 
he was fighting, she let fiv a shaft, which wounded ms standard- 
bearer in the hand. Tne standard fell, and was borne off by 
the Moslems. Thomas pursued it, laying about him furiously^ 
and calling upon his men to rescue their banner. It was 
shifted from hand to hand until it came into that of Seijabil. 
Thomas assailed him with lus scimetar: Serjabil threw tiie 
standard among his troops and closed with him. They fought 
with equal ardour, but Thomas was gaining the advanti^e> 
when an arrow, shot by the wife of Ab&n, smote him in uie 
eye. He staggered with the wound, but his men, abandoning 
tne contested standard, rushed to his support, and bore him 
off to the city. He refused to retire to nis home, and, his 
wound being dressed on the ramparts, would have returned to 
the conflict, but was overruled by the public. He took his 
station, however, at the city gate, whence he could survey the 
field and issue his orders. The battle continued with great 
fury ; but such showers of stones and darts and o^er missiles 
were discharged by the Jews from the engines on the walls* 
that the besiegers were kept at a distance. Night terminated 
the conflict. The Moslems returned to their camp wearied 
with a long day's fighting ; and, throwing themselves on the 
earth, were soon buned in profound sleep. 

Thomas, finding the courage of the garrison roused by the 
stand thev had that day made, resolved to put it to fiirther 

Sroof. At his suggestion, preparations were made in the 
ead of the night for a general sally at daybreak from all the 
gates of the city. At the signal of a single stroke upon a bell 
at the first peep of dawn, all the gates were thrown open, and 
from each rushed forth a torrent of warriors upon the nearest 

So silently had the preparations been made, that the be- 

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siegeis were completely taken bj suiprise. The trampet»i 
sounded alums, ine Moslems started from sleep and snatdied, 
up their weapons, but tiie enemy weare already upon them, and . 
strack them down befOTe they hkd reeorered from their amaze-i 
ment. Por a time it was a shm^hter ra;ther than a£ght, at the 
various stations. Khaled is said to have shed tears at behold- 
ing ihe carnage. " Oh thou, who never sleepest !" cried ha, in 
tilw agony of his heart, ** aid iliy fidthM servants ; let them not 
fiill beneath Hm weap<HiB <^ these infidalB." Then, followed by 
fbnr hundred horsemen, he spurred about the field wherever 
relief was most needed. 

The hottest of the fight was opposite the gate whence 
3%omas had sallied. Here Seijabil had his station, and fought 
with undaunted valowv. Near him was tiie intrepid wife of 
Aban, dx3ms deadly ezecutiosi with her shafts. She had et^ 
Bended all but on^ when a Greek soldier attempted to seize 
her. In an instant the arrow was sped through his throaty 
and laid him dead at her feet ; but she was now weaponless, 
and was taken prisoner. 

At the same time Serjabil and Thomas were again engaged 
hand to hand with equal valour ; but the scimetmr of Serjabil 
1»oke on the buckler of his adverse^, and he was on the point 
of beinff slain or captured, when Khaled and Abda'lrahman 
galloped up witii a troop of horse. Thomas was obliged to 
take refoge in the dty, and Serjabil and the Amazonian widow 
were rescued. 

The troops who sallied out at iiie gate of Jabe^ah met 
with the severest treatment. The medc Abu Obeidah waa 
stationed in front of that gate, and was slumbering quietly in 
his hair tent at the time m the sally. His first care in the 
moment of akim was to repeht tlie morning prayer. He tiien 
ordered forth a body of olioaen men to keep me enemy at bay, 
and while they were fighting, led another detaofameht, sUentr^ 
but rapidly, round between me combatants and the city. The 
Greeks thus suddenly found tibemselves assailed in firont and 
Tear ; &ey fought desperately, but so successfrd was the stra^ 
tagem, and so active the valour of the meek Abu Obeidah^ 
when <moe aroused, that never a man, says the Aralnan his- 
t(M*ian, Hiat sallied from that gate, returned again. 

The battie of tiie mght was almost as sanguinary as that 
of the day; llie Christiuis were repulsed in all quarters, and 
driven once more within their wails, leaving several thousand 
dead upon tibie field. The Moslems followed them to the very 
gates, but were compelled to retire by the deadly showelr 
hurled by the Jews m>m the engines on the walls. 

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Simender of I>ama8cii8.— Disputes of the Saracen generak — ^Depaitur* 
of Thomas and the exiles. 

Fob seyeQl^ days had Dain9^cii8 been besieged by the £mstic 
legions of. the desert : the inhabitants had no longer the heart 
to make furiiier sallies, bat again began to talk of capitulating. ' 
It was in vain that Thomas urged them to hare patience until; 
he should write to the emperor for succour ; they listened' 
only to their fears, and sent to Eihaled, begging a truce, that 
they might have time to treat of a surrender. That fierce 
warrior turned a deaf ear to their prayer: he wished for no 
surrender Ihat would protect the lives and property of the 
besieged ; he was bent upon taking the city by liie sword, and 
giving it up to be plundered by his Arabs. 

In their extremity the people of Damascus turned to the 
good Abu Obeidah, whom they knew to be meek and humane. 
Saving first treated with him by a messenger who understood 
Arabic, and received his promise of securi^, a hxmdred of the 
principal inhabitants, induding the most venerable of tho 
clergy, issued privately one night by the gate of Jabiyah, and 
sou^t his presence. ' They found tms leader of a mighty force, 
that was shaJdng tJie empire of the Orient, living in a numblo' 
tent of harr-clotn, like a mere wanderer of "flie desert. He 
listened favourably to their propositions, for his object waa 
conversion rather t^n conquest, tribute rather than plunder. 
A covenant was soon written, in which he engaged that hos- ^ 
tilities should cease on their ddiiverinc tiie city into his hands;; 
that such of the inhabitants as pleasea might depart in safety ' 
with as much of their effects as they bomd carry, and those 
who remained as tributaries should retain their property, and ! 
have seven churdies allotted to them. This covenant was not 
signed by Abu Obeidah* not being commander-in-chief, but ho^ 
assured the envoys it would be held sacred by the Moslems. 

The capitulation being arranged, and hostages given for' 
liie good faith of the besieged, ttie gate opposite to the en- 
campment of Abu Obeidah was thrown open, and the vene- * 
raHe chief entered at the head of a hundred men to take ^ 

While these transactions were taking place at the gate ^ 
of Jabiyah, a different scene occurred at the eastern gate.* 
imbaled was exasperated by the death of a brother of Amru, 
shot from the walls with a poisoned arrow. In the height of 


liis indignation, an apostate priest, named Josias, undertook 
to deliver the gate into his hands, on condition of security of 
person and property for himself and his relatives. 

By means ot this traitor, a hundred Arabs were secretly 
introduced within the wafts, who, rushing to the eastern 
gate, broke the bolts and bars and chains by which it was 
fastened, and threw it open with the signal shout of Allah 
Achbar ! 

Khaled and his legions poured in at the sate with sound 
of trumpet and tramp of steed ; putting sSl to the sword, 
and deluging the streets with blood, "Mercy! Mercy!" 
was the cry» ** No meroy for infidels !" was £lhaled*s fierce 

He pursued his career of carnage into the great square 
before the church of the Virgin Mary. Here, to his asto- 
lushment, he behdd Abu Obeidah and his attendants, their 
Bwords sheathed, and marching in solemn procession with 
priests and monks, and the prmcipal inhabitants, and sur«^ 
xcunded by women and children. 

Abu Obeidah saw fury and surprise in the looks of Xhaled, 
and hastened to propitiate him by gentle words. ** Allah, in 
his mercy," said ne, "has delivered this city into my hands 
by peacefal surrender, sparing the efiusion of blood, and the 
necessity of fighting." 

" Not so !" cried IChaled, in a fury. "I have won it with 
ibis sword, and I grant no quarter." 

" But I have given the inhabitants a covenant written with 
my own hand." 

"And what Tight had you," demanded EJialed, " to grant a 
capitulation without consulting me P Am not I the general P 
tes, by Allah. ! and to prove it, I will put every inhabitant to 
the sword." 

Abu Obeidah felt that in point of military duty he had 
erred, but he sought to paci^ KhaJed, assuring him he had 
intended all for the best, ana felt sure of his approbation ; 
entreating him to respect the covenant he had made in the 
name of God and the prophet, and with the approbation of all 
the Moslems present at the transaction. 
. Several of the Moslem officers seconded Abu Obeidah, and 
endeavoured to persuade Khaled to a^ee to the capitulation. 
While he hesitated, his troops, impatient of delay, resumed 
the work of massacre and piUa^e. 

The patience of tiie good Abu Obeidah was at an end. 
**By Allah I" cried he, "my word is treated as nought, and 
my covenant is trampled under foot !" 

Spurring his horse among the marauders^ he commanded 

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them, in the name of the prophet, to desist until lie and 
Khaled should have time to settle their dispute. The name 
of the prophet had its effect ; the soldiery paused in their 
bloody career, and the two generals, with thieir officers, retired 
to the church of the Virgin. 

Here, after a sharp altercation, Khaled, callous to all claims 
of justice and mercy, was brought to listen te policy. It was 
represented to him that he was invading a country where 
many cities were yet to be taken : that it was important to 
respect the capitulations of his generals, even though they 
might not be altogether to his mind ; otherwise, the Moslem 
word would cease to be trusted, and other cities, warned by 
the fate of Damascus, instead of sturendering on fiiYOurable 
terms, might turn a deaf ear to all offers of mercy, and fight 
to the last extremity. 

• It was with the utmost difficulty that Abu Obeidah wmn^ 
from the iron soul of Khaled a slow consent to his capitula* 
iion, on condition that the whole matter should be referred to 
the Calii)h. At every article he paused and murmured. He 
would fain have inflicted death upon Thomas, and another 
leader named Herbis ; but Abu Obeidah insisted that Ihey 
were expressly included in the covenant. 

Proclamation was then made that such of the inhabitants 
as chose to remain tributaries to the Caliph should enjoy the 
exercise of their religion ; the rest were permitted to depart. 
The greater part preferred to remain ; but some determmed 
to fmlow their cnampion Thomas to Antioch. The latter 
prayed for a passport or a safe-conduct through the country 
controlled by the Moslems. After much difficulty. Scaled 
granted them three days* grace, during which they should be 
safe from molestation or pursuit, on condition they took 
nothing with them but provisions. 

Here the worthy Abu Obeidah interfered, declaring that he 
had covenanted to let them go forth with bag and baggage. 
" Then," said Ehaled, " they shall go unarmed." Again Abu 
Obeidah interfered, and Khaled at length consented that 
they should have arms sufficient to defencTthemselves against 
robbers and wild beasts ; he, however, who had a Tance^ 
should have no sword ; and he who had a bow, should have 
no lance. 

Thomas and Herbis, who were to conduct this unhappy 
caravan, pitehed their tents in the meadow adjacent to tne 
city, whitner all repaired who were to follow them into exile } 
each laden with plate, jewels, silken stuffs, and whatever was 
most precious and least burdensome. Among other things 
was a wardrobe of the Emperor Heraclius, m which thero 


were abore three hundred loads of costlj mlks «nddoi& qi 

AH being assembled, the sad mnltitiide set fort^ cm iheit 
wa^^uang. Those who froni pride, from patriotism, or from 
religion, thus doomed themselves to poverty and exile, were 
among the noblest ajod most hi^y-bi^ of the land ; people 
accustomed to soft and Inxorions life, and to the silken, 
abodes of palaces. Of this number was the wife of Thcnnas, 
a daughter of the Emperor Heraclius, who was attended by 
her maidens. It was a piteous sight to behold aged men, 
delicato and shrinlring women, and helpless children, thus 
setting forth on a wandering journey through wasted and 
deserts, and rugged mountains infested by savage hordea^ 
Many a time did they torn to cast, a look of fondness and 
despair on those sumptuous palaces and delightful gaFdens» 
oooe HbjEor pride and joy ; and still would they turn and weep, 
and beat thdr breasts, and gaze through their tears on the 
stately towers of Damascus, and the floweay banks of the 

Thus terminated the hard-oontested siege of Damascus, 
which Yoltaire has likened, for its stratag^ns, skirmishes, and 
single combats, to Homer's siege of Tro^. More than twelvi^ 
months elapsed between the time the oaraoens £rst pitdied 
tbeir tents oefore it» and the day of its surrender* 


Btoiy cf Jonas Endooea. — ^Pnmiit of the exilet^— Desfft <^the Gafiph 
AiNiBeker. ^ 

Jx is recorded that Derar gnashed his teeth with rage at 
seeing Ihe multitude of ezil»i departing in peace, laden with 
treasures, winth he considered as so much hard-earned :sp(Hl^ 
lost to the faithful ; but what most incensed him was, ihsit so 
many unbelievers should escape the edge of the scimetar. 
Xhaled would have been equallY indignant, but that he had, 
secretly covenanted with himself to regain this booty. For 
this purpose he ordered his men to refresh themselves and 
iheir horses, and be in readiness for action, resolving to pursue^ 
the exiles when the three days of grace should have expired. ^ 
A dispute with Abu Obeidah concerning a quantity of 
gram, wnidi the latter claimed for the dtizens, detained him, 
one day longer, and he was about to abandon the pursuit as 


liepdeBS, wlian a guide -preaeated liifiUM^ wIlo kneir all the 
eoontfj, and the uiartest passes tkrcm^h tihe moimtauis. Tha 
story id this goide is worthy of Boiioe, as iUustratiiig ih» 
ciumcter of these peo{de and theae wan. 

Dnrinff the siege, Derar, as has been related, wasi^ppointed 
to patroi round the city and the camp, with two thousand 
bone. As a party of these were one night ^oing tiieir rounds 
Sjear the walls, mey heard the distant n^hii^ of a horse^ 
and looking narrowly round, descried a Eoneman eonung 
ftealthily mm the gate Keisaa. Halting in a shadowy place, 
ih(^ waited until he came close to them, when, rushing K>rth^ 
tber made hmi prisoneir. He was a youthM Syrian, richly 
ana gallantly arrayed, and apparently a person of distinction. 
Scarcely had they seized mm, when they bebeld another 
horseman issuing from the same gate, who in a s(^ vcMce 
called upon their captive by the name of Jonas. They com<* 
manded the latter to invite his companion to advance. He 
aeemed to re^dy, and called out something in Greek : upon 
bearing which, the other turned bridle and galloped back mto 
the city. The Arabs, ignorant of Greek, imd suspecting the 
irords to be a warning, would have slain their prisoner <m the 
spot, but, upon secoim thoughts, conducted him to Khaled. 

The youth avowed himself a nobleman of Damascus^ and 
betrothed to a beautiful maiden named Eudocea; but her 
parents, from some capricious reason, had withdrawn their 
consent to his nuptials, whereupon the loven had secretly 
agreed to fly from I)amascus. A sum of gold had bribed ilie 
smtinels who kept watch that night at the gate. The damsel, 
disguised in male attire, and accompanied by two d(»nestics» 
was following her lover at a distance, as he sallied in advance. 
His reply in Greek, when she called upcm him, was, ** the 
bird is caught !'* a warning at the hearing of which she had 
£ed back to the city. 

Khaled was not the man to be moved by a love tale ; but 
be gave the i»isoner his alternative. " Embrace the &ith of 
Isliun," said ne, "and when Damascus ^Eills into our power«^' 
you shall have your betrothed; refuse, and your head is 

The youth paused not between a scimetar and a bride. He 
made immediate profession of faith between the hands of 
Xhaled, and thenceforth fought sealousl^r for the capture of 
tiie city, since its downfall was to crown his hopes. 

When Damascus yielded to its foes, he sought the dwelling 
of Eudocea, and learnt a new proof of her affection. Supposing^ 
en his capture bv the Arabs, that he had fallen a martyr U> 
his faith, she haa renounced the wcM^d, and shut herself i:^ 


in a oonvent. With, throbbing heart, he hastened to the 
convent, but when the lofW-minded maiden beheld in him ft 
renegade, she turned from aim with scorn, retired to her eell,^ 
and refused to see him more. She was amon^ the noble ladies 
who followed Thomas and Herbis into enle. Her lover, 
frantic at the thoughts of losing her, reminded Khaled of his 

Sromise to restore her to him, and entreated that she might be 
etained; but !Khaled pleaded the covenant of Abu Oh^idah, 
according to which all had free leave to depart. 
< When Jonas afterwards discovered that Xhaled meditated 
a pursuit of the exiles, but was discouraged by the lapse of 
time, he offered to conduct him by short and secret passes 
through the mountains, which would insure his overtaking 
them. His offer was accepted. On the fourth day after the 
departure of the exiles, Eiialed set out in pursuit, with four 
thousand chosen horsemen, who, by the advice of Jonas^ 
were disguised as Christian Arabs. For some time they 
traced the exiles along the plains, by the numerous foot-prm£s 
of mules and camels, and by articles thrown away to enable 
them to travel more expeditiously. At length, the foot-printg 
turned towards the moimtains of Lebanon, and were lost in 
their arid and rocky defiles. The Moslems began to falter* 
** Courage !" cried cTonas, " they wUl be entangled among the 
mountains. They cannot now escape." 

They continuea their weary course, stopping only at the 
Stated hours of prayer. They had now to clunb the nigh and 
ciagged passes of Lebanon, along rifts and glens worn by 
winter torrents. The horses struck fire at every tramp ; they 
cast their shoes, their hoofs were battered on the rocks, and 
many of them were lamed and disabled. The horsemen 
dismounted and scrambled up on foot, leading their weary , 
and crippled steeds. Their clothes were worn to shreds, and 
the soles of their iron-shod boots were torn from the upper 
leathers. The men murmured and repined ; never in all their 
marches had they experienced such hardships ; they insisted 
on halting, to rest and to bait their horses. Even Xhaled, 
trhose hatred of infidels ftimished an impulse ahnost equal to 
the lover's passion, began to flag, and reproached the renegade 
as the cause of all this trouble. 

Jonas still urged them forward : he pointed to fresh foot- 
prints, and tracks of horses that must nave recently passed. 
After a few hours* refreshment they resumed the pursuit, 
passing within sight of Jabalah and Laodicea, but without 
renturmg within their gates, lest the disguise of Christian 
Arabs, -^ch deceived the simple peasant^, might not avail 
"Withthe shrewder inhabitants of the towns, 

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Intelligence received from a country boor increased their 
perplexi^. The emperor HeracHns, learing that the arrival 
of the exiles might cause a panic at Antioch, had sent orders 
ibr them to |)roceed along the sea-coast to Constantinople. 
This gave their pursuers a greater chance to overtake them : 
but fhaled was startled at learning, in addition^ that troops 
-were assembling to be sent against him, and that but a single 
mountain separated him from them. He now feared thej 
might intercept his return, or fall upon Damascus in his 
absence. A sinister dream added to nis uneasiness, but it 
was favourably interpreted by Abda'lrahman, and he continued 
the pursuit. 

A tempestuous night closed on them : the rain fell in tor* 
Tents, and man and oeast was ready to sink with fatigue : still 
they were urged forward: the nigitives could not be far 
distant, the enemy was at hand : they must snatch their prey 
and retreat. The morning dawned; the storm dearea up, 
and the sun shone brightly on the surrounding heights. 
They dragged their steps wearily, however, along the denies, 
BOW swept by torrents, or £lled with mire, until the scouts in 
the advance gave joyM signal from the mountain brow. It 
commanded a grassy me^ow, sprinkled with flowers, and 
watered by a running stream. 

On the borders of the rivulet was the caravan of exiles» 
reposing in the sunshine from the fatigues of the recent storm. 
Some were sleeping on the grass, others were taking their 
morning re{>ast ; wSle the meadow was gay with embroidered 
robes and silks of various dyes spread out to dry upon the 
herbage. The weary Moslems, worn out with the horrors of 
the mountains, gazed with delight on the sweetness and fresh- 
ness of the meadow ; but Khaled eyed the caravan with an 
ea^er eye, and the lover only stretched his gaze to catch a 
glimpse of his betrothed among the females reclining on the 
mBXgm. of the stream. , 

]£tving cautiously reconnoitred the caravan without being 
perceived, Ehaled disposed of his band in four squadrons ; 
the first commanded by Derar, the second by Eafl IJbn Omei- 
rah, the third by Abda'lrahman, and the fourth led by himr 
fielf. He gave orders that the squadrons shoidd make their 
appearance successively, one at a time, to deceive the enemy 
as to their force, and uiat there should be no pillaging until 
the victory was complete. 

Having offered up a prayer, he gave the word to his divi- 
sion, " In the name of AUah and the prophet !" and led to 
the attack. The Christians were roused from theur repose ofi 
beholding a squadron rushing down from the mountain. 


They were decdred at £rst by i^e Ghreek dresses, 1ml were 
soon aware of the tmth; though the small number of the 
enemy gave them but little drea£ Thomas hastOy marshalled 
five thousand men to reodre the shock of theonset, with sncli 
weapons as had been left them. Anoth^ and another division 
-came hnrrying down from the moontain, and the %ht was 
fnrions and well contested. Thomas and Elhaled fonght hand 
to hand; bnt ihe Ghristian champion was struck to the gromuL 
-Abda'lrahman cut off his head, elevated it on the spear of the 
standard of i^e cross which he had taken at PamaseuSy and 
ealled upon the Christians to behold the head of their leader. 
Eafi Ibn Omeirah penetrated with his division into the 
midst of title encampment to capture the women. I^ey stood 
courageously on the defensive, hurling stones at their assail- 
ants. Among them was a female of matchless beauty, dressed 
in splendid attire, with a diadem of jewels. It was the reputed 
•daughter of 1^ ^nperor, ihe wife of Thomas. Eafi attempted 
•to seize her, but she hurled a stone that struck his horse in 
^e head and killed him. The Arab drew his sdmetar, and 
^ould have slain her, but ^e cried for mercy, so he took her 
•prisoner, and gave her in charge to a trusty follower. 
'^ In ti^ midst of &e can^ige and confusion, Jonas hastened 
in search of his betrothed. If she had treated him witli diff- 
•dain as a renegade, she now regarded him with horror, as the 
traitcnr who hSl brought this destruction upon his unharci^ 
^e oimlrym ea. All hia entreaties for her to forgive and be 
Teeonciled to him were of no avail. She solemnly vowed to 
"repair to ConstantinOTle and end h^ days in a convent. Find- 
ing supj^cation fruitless, he seized her, and after .a violent 
*atniggie, threw her on the ground and made her prisoner. 
"She made no ftnrUier resistance, but, submitting to captivity, 
Seated herself quietly on the grass. The lover flattered lum- 
^If that she relented; but, watching her opportuniiy, she 
suddenly drew forth a poniard, plunged it in ber breast, and 
fell dead at his feet 

. While tiiis tragedy was performing, the general battle, or 
Talker carnage, oontmued. Exhaled ranged the field in quest 
of HerHs, but, while fighting pell-mell among a throng of 
Christians, that oommam^ came be^imd him, and dealt a mcfw 
that severed his helmet, and would have deft his skull but 
for the M^ of bis turbut. The sword of Herbis fell from 
bis hand with the violence of the blow, and before he could 
•recover it, he wa^ cut m pieces l^ the followers of Shaled. 
The struggle of ^e unhappy Christians was at an eiid: aU 
were slain or taken prisoners, except one, who was perniitted 

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to depart, and who bore the dnmal t^mgs of the massacre to 

The renegiade Jonas was loud in his lamentations for the 
lo«Bi of his betrothed, bnt his Moslem comrades consoled him 
whith one of the doctrines of the faith he had newly embraced. 
*' It was written in the book of fate," said they, ** that you 
shonld neyer possess that woman ; but be comforted, Allah 
has doubtless greater blessings in etofre for yon ;** and, in fact, 
Safi Ibn Omeirah, ont of compassion for his distress, pre- 
sented him with the beantiM princess he had taken captiye. 
Elhaled consented to the gift, provided the emperor did not 
s^id to ransom her. 

There was now no time to be lost. In this headlong pm> 
wait they had penetrated above a hundred and fifty miles mto 
the heart of the enemy's oonntry, and might be cut off in their 
"retreat. "To horse and away," therefore, was the word. 
^The plunder was hastily packed upon the mules, the scanty 
number of surviving exiles were secured, and the marauding 
band set off on a lorced march for Damascus. While <m 
iheir way they were one day alarmed by a cloud of dus^ 
Hirough which their scouts descried the banner of the cross. 
They prepared for a desperate conflict. It proved, howev^, 
ti peaceM mission. An ancient bishop, followed by a nume- 
"lous train, sought from Khaled, in the emperor's name, thft 
liberation of his daughter. The hau^ty Saracen released 
her without ransom. "Take her," said he, "but tell your 
master I intend to have him in exchange ; never will I cease 
this war until I have wrested from him every foot of terri- 

To indemnify the renege for this second deprivation, a 
large sum of gold was given him, wherewitii to buy a wife 
ifrom among the captives ; but he now disclaimed for ever all 
earthly love, and, Hke a devout Mahometan, looked forward 
for consolation amouj? ^e black-eyed Houris of paradise. 
He continued more laitibiul to his new fidth and new com- 
panions than he had been to the religion of his fathers and 
the friends of his infancy ; and after serving the Saracens in 
a variety of ways, earned an undoubted admission to th* 
paradise of the prophet, being shot through the breast at the 
Dattle of Yermouk. 

Thus perished this apostate, si^ Ihe CSnisiian chronicler; 
but Alwakec^, the venerable Cadi of Bagdad, adds a supjde* 
ment to the story^ for the encouragement of all proselytes to 
the Islam &ith. He states that Jonas, after his deadi, was 
•seen in a vision by Bafi Ibn Omeirah, arrayed in rich robes 

gitized by Google 

48 strccEs^oBS of kahomet. 

and golden sandals, and walking in a flowery mead ; and the 
beatified renegade assured him tliat, for lus exemplary 8e£- 
Tices, Allah had given him seventy of the Mack-eyed daonsels 
of paradise, each of resplendent beanty, sufficient to throir 
the sun and moon in the shade. Bafi related his vision to 
Khaled, who heard it with implicit faith. '* This it is," said 
that Moslem zealot, " to die a martyr to the faith» Happy 
the man to whose lot it falls !"♦ 

Xhaled succeeded in leading his adventurous band safely 
back to Damascus, where they were joyfully received by 
their companions in arms, who had entertamed great fears for 
their safety. He now divided the rich snoils taken in hi^ 
fiipedition ; four parts were given to the omcers and soldiers, 
a fifth he reserved for the public treasury, and sent it off t^ 
the Caliph, with letters informing him of the capture of 
Damascus, of his disputes with Abu Obeidah, as to the treat- 
ment of the city and its inhabitants, and lastly of his expe*- 
dition in pursuit of the exiles, and his recovery of the wealth 
they were bearing away. These missives were sent in the 
poimdent expectation that his policy of the sword would far 
outshine, in the estimation of the Caliph and of all true 
JMoslems, the more peaceful policy of Abu Obeidah. 

It was written in the book of fate, say the Arabian histo* 
rians, that the pious Abu Beker should die without hearin|r 
of the brightest triumph of the Islam faith ; the very day 
that Damascus surrenaered, the Caliph breathed his last at 
Medina. Arabian authors differ as to the cause of his death. 
Abulfeda asserts that he was poisoned by the Jews, in his 
frugal repast of rice ; but his daughter Ayesha, with more 
probability, ascribes his death to baflung on an unusually cold 
day, whicn threw him into a fever. While struggling with 
his malady, he directed his chosen Mend Omar to perforza 
the religious functions of his office in his stead. > 

. Peeling his end approaching, he summoned his secretary^ 
Othman Ibn ASkHy and in presence of several of the principal 
Moslems, dictated as follows : — " I, Abu Beker Ibn Adu 
Kahafa, being on the point of leaving this world for the next^ 
and at that moment when infidels believe, when the wicke4 
cease to doubt, and when liars speak the truth, do make this 
declaration of my will to the Moslems. I nominate, as my 

successor ** Here he was overtaken with faintness, so that 

he could not speak. Othman, who knew his intentions, added 

* The story of Jonas and Endocea has been made the suttjeot of an 
English tragedy- by Hughes, entitled *' The Siege of Damascns $" bat the 
lover's name is changed to Phocyas, the incidents are altered, and thQ e«ta^ 
ftrophe is made entirely different. 

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the name of Omar Ibn al Khatt&b. Wlien Abu Beker came 
to himself, and saw what his secretary had written, " God 
bless thee," said he, " for this foresight !" He then continued 
to dictate. " Listen to him, and obey him, for, as far as I 
know him, and have seen him, he is mtegrity itself. He is 
competent to everythinff he undertakes. He will rule with 

. justice ; if not, God, who knows all secrets, wiH reward him 
according to his works. I mean all for the best, but I cannot 
see into the hidden thoughts of men. Farewell. Act up- 
rightly, and the blessing of Allah be upon you." 

He ordered this testament to be sealea with his seal, and 
copies of it to be sent to the principal authorities, civil and 
military. Then, having sent for Omar, he told him of his 
having nominated him as his successor. 

' Omar was a stem and simple-minded man ; unambitious 
of posts and dignities. " Oh, successor to tiie apostle of 
God !" said he, " spare me firom this burthen. I have no 
need of the Caliphat." " But the Caliphat has need of you!*' 
repHed the dying Abu Beker. 

He went on to claim his acceptance of the office as a proof 
of friendship to himself, and of devotion to the pubhc good, 
for he considered him eminently calculated to maintam an 
undivided rule over the restless people so newly conffregated 
into an empire. Having brought him to accept, he gave 
hiTTi much dying counsel, and Sber he had retired, prayed 
fervently for his success, and that the dominion of the faith 
might be streng^thened and extended during his reign. 
Having thus provided for a quiet succession to nis office, me 

' ffood Caliph expired in the arms of his daughter Ayesha, in 
Sie sixty-fourth year of his age, having reigned two years, 
three months, and nine days. At the time of his death his 
father and mother were stiU- living, the former ninety-seven 
years of age. "When the ancient Moslem heard of the death 
of his son, ne merely said, in scriptural phrase : — " The Lord 
hath given, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the 
jiame of the Lord !" 

Abu Beker had four wives ; the last had been the widow 
of Jaafar, who fell in the battle of Muta. She bore him two 
eons after his sixtieth year. He does not appear, however, 
to have had the same fondness for the sex as the prophet, 
notwithstanding his experience in wedlock. " The women," 
he used to say, " are all an evil ; but the greatest evil of all 
is, that they are necessary." 

Abu Beker was universally lamented bv his subjects, and 
he deserved their lamentations, for he haa been an excellent 
ruler, just, moderate, temperate, frugal, and disinterested. 

E ^ 

90 strccEssoBS of k^ihohet. 

Sm leign wu too skort to enaMe ium to cany o«t any 
extensiTe scfaemes; but itiras aignaiued hy the promptness 
and abiliiy wiih whidi, through iiie aid of the aword, he 
quelled ih.e wide-spreading insurrections on the death <^ l^e 
prophet, and preserred ihe scaroely konched empire of Islani 
nom perfect shipwredc He left behind him a name dear to 
all true Moslems, and an example which, Omar used to saj» 
would be a difficult pattern for his sueoes8(Mrs to imitate. 


Bleciioii of Omiuv Mocrnd Ca^ah.— Eluded M^eneded ia coouiiaiid 1^ Aba 
Obddah. — Xagnanimoiu oondnct of tbose generals. — Ezpedition to the 
eonreiit of Abyla. 

The nomination of Omar to the succession was supported by 
Ayesha, and acquiesced in by Ati, who saw that opposition 
would be inefieotnaL The Section took place on- the day of 
the decease oi Abu Beker. The diameter of the new Oaii]^ 
has akeadj, tiirooeh his deeds, been made known in soma 
measure to Hie reader; yet a sketch of him may not be unae- 
o^table. He was now about fifty-three years of age ; a tall 
dark man, with a graye demeanonr, and a bald head. He was 
so tail, says one of his biographers, that when he sat, he was 
higher than ^obo who stoiM. His stren^ was uncommon, 
and he used die 1^ as adroitly as ih.e right hand. Though 
so bitter an enemy of Isfaomsm at fiiat as to seek Ibe life of 
Mahomet, he became from the jnoment of his conyersion (me 
of its most sincere and strenuous champions. He had taken 
an actiye part in the weightiest uid m^ decisiye erents of 
the prophet's career. HL name stands at the head of the 
weapim ccHnpanions at Bedo*, Ohod, Eluo^iar, Honein, and 
Tabuc, at the defisnoe of Medma, and the cimtare of Meoca^ 
and indeed he appears to have been the sovtl d most of the 
early military enterprises of the fiuth. His seal was prompt 
and almost fiery in its operations. He expounded and 
enforced the doomnes of Islun like a soktier; nmen a question 
was too knotty for his lope, he was ready to seyer it with the 
sword, and to strikeoff&eheadof him whopernstedinfote 
arguing and unbdie^ 

In me administration of affiurs^ his pfolMty and ^tioe 
were proyeibiaL In priyate lifo he was noted for absnnence 
■and mtgality, and a contempt for the false grandeur of the 
woiid. Water was his only beyerage. His food a lew dates^ 

OKAB. 51 

or a few bite of barley bread and salt; but in time of penance 
eroi salt waa retrenched as a loxnry. His anstere pi^ 
and self-denial, and the sinq^icity and almost poTerty or Iub 
appearanoe, were regarded with rererenoe in those primitiTe 
<£i js of Islam. He nad direwd maxims on which he squared 
his oonducty of which the following is a specimen. '* Four 
things oome not back: the spcdren word ; the sped arrow; th^ 
past life; and the neglected opportcautj." 

During his reign mosques were erected without numbed 
for the instruction and deFotion of the faithftil, and prisons 
for the punishm^it of delinquents. He likewise put in use 
a scourge with twisted thtmgs for the correcticMi of minor 
ofiences, amcmff which he included satare and scandal, and 
so potently and extensively was it ^ied, that the word went 
roimd, *' Omar's twisted scourge is more to be feared than 
his sword." 

On assuming his office, he was saluted as Caliph <^ tlie 
Oaliph of the apostle of God, in other words, successor to 
the successor of the prophet. Omar objected, tibat such a titie 
wuBi len^hen widi erery sueoessor, until it became endless; 
upon which it was proposed and agreed that he should recei\pe 
tne title of Emir-al-Moumenin, that is to say. Commander 
of the Faithful, ^is title altered into Miramamolin, was 
subsequently borne by sudi Moslem sorereigns as held inde- 
pendent sway, acknowledging no superior, and is equiyalent 
to that of emperor. 

One of the first measures of tiie new Caliph was wi^ 
regard to the army in Syria. His sob^ judgment was not to 
be dazzled by daring and brilliant exploits in arms, and he 
doubted the ntness of Ehaled for liie general command. He 
acknowledged his yakyar and military skill, but considered him 
rash, fiery, and prodigal ; prone to hazardous and extrayagant 
adyenture, and more fitted to be a partisan than a lei^er. 
He resolyed, ikereiore, to take the prmcroal command of Hie 
army out of such indiscreet hands, and restore it to Abu 
Obeidah, who, he said, had proyed himself worthy of it bv 
his piety, modesty, moderation, and good Mth. He aceora- 
ingly wrote on a skin <^ parchment, a letter to Abu Obeidah, 
informing him oi the deadi of Abu Beker, and his own 
eleyation as Caliph, and appointing him eommander-in-chief 
of the army of Syria. 

The letter was deliyered to Abu Obeidah at the time that 
Shaled was abs^it in pursuit of iJie cararan of exiles. 1h& 
good Obeidah was surprised, but sorely perplexed hj the 
contents. His own modesty made him unambitious or high 
commandy and his opinion of the signal yalonr and briUia^ 


services of EHialed made him loth to supersede him, Bhd 
doubtful whether the Caliph would not feel disposed to 
continue him as commander-in-chief when he should hear of 
his recent success at Damascus* He resolved, therefore, to 
keep, for the present, the contents of the Caliph's letter to 
himself; and accordingly on Khaled's return to Damascus 
cjontinued to treat him as commander, and suffered him to 
write his second letter to Abu Beker, giving him an accoimt 
of his recent pursuit and plimdering of the exiles. 

Omar had not been lone installed in office, when he 
received the first letter of EMLed announcing the capture of 
Damascus. These tidings occasioned the !tnost extravagant 
joy at Medina, and the valour of Khaled was extoUed by the 
multitude to the very skies. In the midst of their rejoicings 
they learnt with astonishment, that the g«peral command 
liad been transferred to Abu Obeidah. The admirers of 
Xhaled were loud in their expostulations. " What !" cried 
-they, "dismiss Khaled when m the ftdl career of victory P 
lEtemember the reply of Abu Beker, when a Hke measure was 
urged upon him. * I will not sheathe the sword of God, 
drawn for ike promotion of the faith.* " 

Omar revolved their remonstrances in his mind, but his 
resolution remained imchanged. "Abu Obeidah," said he, 
. "is tender and merciftd; yet brave. He will be careful of 
His people, not lavishing their lives in rash adventures and 
plundering inroads; nor will he be the less formidable in 
DJEifctle for being moderate when victorious." 
, In the meantime, came the second dispatches of Khaled, 
addressed to Abu Beker, announcing the success of his expe- 
dition in pursuit of the exiles ; and requesting his decision of 
the matters in dispute between him and Abu Obeidah. The 
caliph was perplexed by this letter, which showed that his 
election as caliph was yet unknown to the army, and that Abu 
Obeidah had not aj9Sumed the command. He now wrote 
again to the latter, reiterating his appointment ; and deciding 
upon the matters in dispute. He gave it as his opinion, that 
.Damascus had surrendered on capitulation, and had not been 
taken by the swovd, and directed that the stipulations of the 
covenant should be fulfilled. He declared the pursuit of the 
exiles iniquitous and rash, and that it would have proved 
fatal, but for the mercy of God. The dismissal of the em- 
peror's daughter free of ransom, he termed a prodigal action ; 
as a large sum might have been obtained and given to the 
poor. He counselled Abu Obeidah, of whose mild and hu- 
mane temper he was well aware, not to be too modest and 
compliant, but at the same time, not to ride the lives of thfe 

Mthfvl in the mere hope of plunder. This Utter hint was a 
reproof to Khaled. 

Lest this letter should likewise be suppressed through .the 
modesty of Abu Obeidah, he dispatched it by an o&cer of . 
distincnon, Shaded Ibn Aass, whom he appointed his repre- 
sentative in Syria, with orders to have the letter read in pre- ' 
sence of the Moslems, and to cause him to be proclaimed 
cahph at Damascus. 

Shaded made good his journey, and found Khaled in his 
tent, still actmg as commander-in-chief, and the army ignorant 
of the death of Abu Beker. The tidings he brought struck : 
every one with astonishment. The first sentiment expressed 
was grief at the death of the good Abu Beker, who was uni- 
TersaUy lamented as a father; the second was surprise, 
at the deposition of Khaled from the command, in the very : 
midst of such signal victories ; and many of his officers and. 
soldiers were loud in expressing their indignation. 

If Khaled had been fierce and rude in his career of triumph, 
he proved himself magnanimous in this moment of adversity* . 
" I know," said he, " that Omar does not love me ; but since 
Abu Beker is dead, and has appointed him his successor, 
I submit to his commands." He accordingly caused Omar tcr 
be proclaimed caliph at Damascus, and resifi^ed his command 
to Abu Obeidah. The latter accepted it with characteristio 
modesty ; but evinced a fear that Khaled would retire in dis^ 
gust, and his signal services be lost to the cause of Islam. 
iLhaled, however, soon let him know that he was as ready to> 
serve as to command, and only required an occasion to prove* 
that his zeal for the faith was unabated. His personal sub-^ 
mission extorted admiration even horn his enemies, and 
gained him the fullest deference, respect, and confidence of 
Abu Obeidah. 

About this time one of the Christian tributaries, a base^ 
spirited wretch, eager to ingratiate himself with Abu Obeidah, 
came and informed him of a fair object of enterprise. " At no 
great distance from this, between Tripoli and Harran, there 
IS a convent called Daiz Abil Kodos, or the monastery of the 
Holy Father, from being inhabited by a Christian hermit, so 
eminent for wisdom, pie^, and mortification of the flesh, that 
he is looked up to as a saint ; so that young and old,. rich and 
poor, resort from all parts to seek his advice and blessing, and 
not a marriage takes place among the nobles of the country, 
but the bride and bridegroom repair to receive from him the 
nuptial benediction. At Easter there is an annual fair held at 
Abyla in front of the convent, to which are brought the richest 
manufactures of the surrounding country — silken stuffs. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


jewd» <tf gold and stlTer^ and otib» precioTis prodoetioiis of 
art ; and as the fair is a peaceful congre^ati<Hi of people, mt-. 
araied and nngiiarded, it will afford am^e hoaty, at little risk 
or trouble." 

• Abu Ob^daih annouaced ike intelligenee to bis troops. 
** Wbo," said be, " will undertake this enterprise ?" His eye 
glaueed inyohmtarilr upon Sbaled ; it was just sucb a foray 
as be was wont to aeligbt in ; but Kbaled remamed siLrait. 
Abu Obeidab could not atk a service from one so lately in 
cbief command ; and wbile be besitated, AbdaUab Ibn Jaafer, 
step-son to Abu Beker, came forward. A banner was given 
him, and five hundred veteran horsemen, scarred in many a 
battie, salhed with him from the gates of Damascus, guided 
by the traitor Christian. They halted to rest before arriving- 
aet Abyla, and sent forward the Cihristian as a scout. As he> 
ap^roedied the place he was astonished to see it crowded with 
an immense concourse of Greeks, Armenians, Copts, and Jews^ 
in thdr various garbs ; beade ^ese there was a grand pro- 
oession of nobles and courtiers in rich attire, and priests in 
leliffious dresses, with a guard of five thousand horse ; all, ar 
he learned, escorting the daughter of the mrefect of TripdLi» 
who was lat^ married, and had ccmie wim her husband to 
veeeive the blessing of the yeneraMe hermit. The Christian 
acout hastened bi^k to Ihe Moslems, imd warned them to 

• " I dare not," said Abdallah, prcnnptlY ; '* I fear the wrath 
of Allah, should I torn my back^ I will fight tl^se infidels. 
Those "svho help mey God will remrard ; those whose hearts fail 
them, are welcome to retire." Not a Moslem turned hia 
bac^. "Forward !" said Abdallah to the Christian, and Ihou 
shalt behold what tha companions of the projihet can perform." 
The traitor hesitated, however, and was with difficulty per- 
suaded to guide them on a service of such peril. 

. Abdallah led his band near to Abyk, where they lay dose 
Bntil morning. At the dawn of day, having performed the 
eustomary prayer, he divided his host into five squadrons of a 
hundred each ; they were to charge at once in me difierent 
ll^aces, with the shout of Allah Aehbar! and to slay or 
eapture without stopping to pillage until the victory should 
be complete. He uien reconnoitred the place. The hermit 
was preaching in front (^ his convent to a multitude of auditors ; 
the fair teemed with peofde in the variegated earbs of the 
Orient. One house was guarded by a great number of horse- 
men, and numbers of persons riduy clad were going in and 
out, or standing about it. In this house evidently was the 
y(mthful bride. 

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OMAE. 89 

AbdaJlsk caiocniniged hia fdbwors t» danpise the nnmbcar 
oi these foes. " JElemember/' cried he, '* tiie words of the 
prqphet. ' Parsdise is under the thaiSkyw oi wards V If we 
eon^ner, we shidl have gkacicMis booty ; if we Mi, paradiae 
swaits usr^ 

The fire sqnadroBs charged^ as they had been ordered, with 
the well-known war-cry. The Christians were stmck with 
dismay, thinking the'wh(^e Moskon army upon them. There 
was a direful confuiian; the multitude flying in aU directions; 
women and children fihrtddng and crying ; booths and tents 
overturned, and precious merchandise scattered alx»it the 
streets, llie tro<^, howerer, seeing the inferior number of 
the assailants, |)luGked up spiorits and charged upcm tiiem. The 
merchants and inhalotants reooTored from their panic and flew 
to arms, and ^e Moslem band, hemmed in among such a hosi 
of foes, seemed, say the Arabian writers^ like & white spot on 
the hide of a blaok cameL A Moslem trooper, seeing the 
peril of his companions^ broke his way out of the tlmmg^ 
and, throwing the rdns on the nedc of his steed, scoured 
back to Damascus for sueoour. 

In this moment of emergency Aba Obeidah forgot all 
aeruples of delicacy, and turned to the man he hadsuperseded 
in omoe. " Fail us not^" cried he, " in tiiis moment of peril ; 
but, for God's sske hasten to deMvor thy brethren flrom 
destruction !" 

" Had Omar ^en the command of the army to a child," 
replied the gracious Khaled, '* I should have obeyed him i 
how much more thee, my predecessor in the faith of Islam V 
, He now arrayed himself in a* eoat of mail, the spoil of the 
faiae prophet Moseilma; he put on a helmet of proofs and 
over it a skull-cap, wlueh he cidled tiiie blessea cap, and 
attributed to it wonderM yirtues, ha?ing received the 
pro{>het's benediction. Then springing en his horse, and 
putting himself at the head of a chosen band, he scoured off 
towardiB Abyla, with the bold Derar at his side. 

In the meantime, the troops under Abdallah had main^ 
tained throughout the day a desperate conflict ; heaps of the 
alain testiflS their prowess; Imt their ranks were sadly 
thinned, scarce one of the surrivors but had received repeated 
wounds, and they were ready to sink under heat, fiKtigue, and 
thirst. Towards sunset a doud of dust is seen : is it a rein- 
fbrcement of their enemies P A troop of horsemen emerge. 
They bear the black eagle of !Khaled. The air resounds 
with tiie shout of Allah Achbar. The Christians are assailed 
<m either side ; some fly, and are pursued to the river by 
the unsparing swozd of £haled ; others rally round the 

56 sirocxssoss 07 hahombt. 

monasterjr. Dersr engages Iiand to hand with tHe prefect 
of Tripoli ; titey grapple ; they strangle ; they fall to the 
earth ; Derar is uppermost, ana drawing a poniard, plunf es 
it into the heart of his adyersary. He springs upon hia 
feet; vaults into the saddle of the prefect's horse, and» 
with the shout of Allah Achbar, gallops in quest of new 

The batde is over. The fair is given up to plunder* 
Horses, mules, and asses are laden with silken stims, rich 
embroidery, jewels of gold and silver, precious stones, spices, 
perfumes, and otber wealthy plunder of the merchants ; but 
the most precious part of tlie spoil is the beautiful bride^ with 
forty damsels, who formed her oridal train. 

llie monastery was left desolate, with none but the holy 
anchorite to inhabit it» Ehaled called upon the old man, but 
received no answer ; he called again, but the only reply was 
to invoke the vengeance of heaven upon his head for the 
Christian blood he had sjnlt. The fierce Saracen paused as 
he was driving off the spoil, and laying his hand upon the 
hilt of his Bcimetar, looked back grimly upon the hermit. 

" What we have done," said he, *' is m obedience to the 
law of God, who commands us to slay all unbelievers ; and 
had not the apostle of God commanded us to let such men aa 
thee alone» thou shouldst have shared the fate of thy fellow* 

The old man saw his danger in time, and discreetly held 
his peace, and the sword of Islam remained witmn its 

The conquerors bore their booty and their captives back 
in triumph to Damascus. One fifth of the spoil was set 
apart for the public treasury ; the rest was distributed among 
the soldiery. Perar, as a trophy of his exploit, received the 
horse of the prefect of Tripoh, but he made it a present to 
his Amazonian sister Caulah. The saddle and trappings 
were studded with precious stones ; these she picked out and 
distributed among her female companions. 

Among the spoils was a cloth curiously wrought with ik 
likeness of the blessed Saviour ; which, from the exquisite 
workmanship or the sanctity of the portrait, was afterwards 
sold in Arabia Pelix for ten times its weight in gold. 

Abdallah, for his part of the spoil, asked for the daughter 
of the prefect, having been smitten with her charms. His 
demand was referred to the Caliph Omar and granted, and 
the captive beauty lived with him many years. Obeidah» 
in his letters to the Caliph, generously set forth the magnani" 
mous conduct and distinguished prowess of Xhaled on this 

gtized by Google 


occftBion, and entreated Chnar to write a letter to that general 
expressive of his sense of his recent serrioes ; as it might 
soothe the mortification he most experience from his late 
deposition. The Caliph, however, though he repHed to everj 
other part of the letter of Obeidah, took no notice, either by 
word or deed, of that relating to Ehaled, from which it was 
evident that, in secret, he entertained no great regard for 
the unsparing sword of Islam, 


Koderate measures of Aba Obeidah. — ^Beprored 1^ the Caliph for 
his slowness. 

Thb alertness and hardihood of the Saracens in their rapid 
campaigns, have been attributed te their simple and abste- 
mious habits. They knew nothing of the luxuries of the 
^mpered Greeks, and were prombited the use of wine. 
Their drink was water, their food principally milk, rice, and 
t^e firuits of the earth, and their di^ss the coarse raiments of 
the desert. An army of such men was easily sustained; 
marched rapidly from place to place, and was fitted to cop0 
with the vicissitudes of war. The interval of repose, how- 
ever, in the luxurious cit]^ of Damascus, and the general 
abundance of the fertile regions of Syria, began to have their 
effect upon the Moslem t^Dops, and the good Abu Obeidah 
was especially scandalized at discovering that they were 
lapsing into the use of wine, so strongly forbidden by the 
proj^het. He mentioned the prevalence of this grievous 
sin m his letter to the Caliph, who read it in the mosque 
in presence of his officers. **By AUah!'* exclaimed the 
abstemious Omar ; " these fellows are only fit for poverty 
and hard fare ; what is to be done with these wine-bibbers P** 

" Let him who drinks wine," replied Ali, promptly, " re- 
ceive twenty bastinadoes on the soles of his feet." 

*' Grood, it shall be so," rejoined the Oatiph ; and he wrote 
to that effect to the commander-in-chief. On receiving tha 
letter, Abu Obeidah forthwith summoned the offenders, and 
had the punishment publicly inflicted for the edification of hia 
troops ; he took the occasion to descant on the enormity of the 
offence, and to exhort such as had sinned in private to come 
forward like sood Moslems, make public confession, and sub- 
mit to the bastinado in token of repentance; whereupon 


many, wlio liad mdolged in secret jpotations, mored bj Ids 
patevnal exhortation, avowed tlieir onme and their rep^itaoee^ 
^nd were set at ease in their consciences hj a sound MstiBadok- 
ingand tiie forgiyeness of the good Abu Ubeidah. 

That worthy commander now left a garrison of fiye hundred 
horse at Damascus, and issued forth with his host to prosecute 
the subjugation of Syria. He had a rich field of enterprise 
before nim. The country of Syrim feam the amenity of its 
climate, tempered by the yicini^ of the sea and the moun- 
tains, firom the fertility of its soil, and the happy distribution 
of woods and streams, was peculiarly adapted for the vigorous 
support and prolific increase of animal life ; it accoraingly 
teemed with population, and was studded with ancient and 
embattled cities and fortresses. Two of the proudest and 
most splendid of ihese were Emessa (the modern Hems), the 
capital of the plains ; and BaaJbec, the famous city of the Bun, 
si^iated between the mountains of Lebanon. 
' These two cities, with others intermediate, w^re the objects 
pf Abu Obeidah's enterprise, and he sent Ehaled in advance, 
.with Derar and Eafi Ibn Om^irah, at the head of a third d 
the army, to scour the country about Emessa. In his own 
slower march, with the m^in body of the army, he approadied 
the city of Jusheya, but was met by the governor, who piir^ 
chased a year's truce with the payment of mur hundred pieces 
of gold and fifty silken robes s and the promise to surrender 
the city at the expiration of a year, if in that interval Baalbee 
and Emessa should have been tak^u* 

When Abu Obeidah came befcnre Emessa he found Xhaled 
m active operation. The governor of the place had died on 
the day on which the MosTem force appeared, and the city was 
not funy provisioned for a siege. The inhabitants negotiated 
a truce for <me year by the payment of ten Ibousand pieces of 
gold and two hundred suits, of silk, with the ^igagement to 
surrender at the end pf that term, povided he should have 
taken Aleppo, AlhlUiir, and IKennesnn, and defeated the army 
«f the emperor. Ehaled would have persevered in the raege, 
l)ut Abu Obeidah thought it the wisest pd[i(^ to agree to these 
golden terms, by which he provided hunsdlf with the sinews 
of war, and was enabled to proceed more surely in his career. 
' The moment the treaty was concluded, the people of 
Emessa threw open their gates ; held a market, or &ir, beneath 
the walls, and began to £ive a lucrative trade ; for the Mos- 
lem camp was fml of booty, and these marauding wanriors, 
flushed with sudden wealth, squandered plunder of all kinds, 
and never regarded the price of anything that struck thdr 
fancy. In the meantime, predatoiy bonds foraged the country 

both far and near, and came driying in sheep and eaiitle, and 
horses and camels, laden with household boW of all kmda; 
besides midtitndes of captiyes. The piteous lamentations <^ 
these people, torn from their peaceful homes and doomed to 
slayery, touched the heart of Abu Obeidah. He told th^n 
that all who would embrace the Islam faith should hare their 
Hyes and property. On such as chose to remain in infidelity^ 
be imposed a ransom of fiye pieces of gold a head, besides an 
annual tribute -, caused their names aim places of abode to b« 
registered in a book, and then gaye them baok their property-^ 
their wives, and children, on condition that they should act 
as guides and interpreters to the Moslems in case of need. 

The merciful pohcy of the good Abu Obeidah promised to 
promote the success of Islam, eyen more potently than the 
sword. The Syrian Greeks came in, in great numbers, to have 
their names enregistered in the book of tributaries : and other 
cities capitulated for a year's truce on the terms granted to 
Emessa. Xhaled, however, who was no Mend to truces and 
negotiations, murmured at these peaceful measures, and offered 
to take these cites in less time than it required to treat with 
them ; but Abu Obeidah was not to be swerved from ihe path 
of moderation ; thus, in a little time, the whole tezritories of 
Emessa, AlhMir, and Kennesrin were rendered sacred from 
maraud. The predatory warriors of the desert were somewhat 
impatient at being thus hemmed m by prohibited boundaries, 
and on one occssion had well-nigh brought the truce to an 
abrupt termination. A pariy of Saracen troopers, in prowling 
along the confines of Kennesrin, came to where the Christians, 
to mark their boundary, had erected a statue of the emperor 
Heraclius, seated on his throne. The troopers, who had a 
Moslem hatred of images, regarded UtoB with derision, and 
totused themselves with careering roimd and tilting at it, until 
one of them, either accidentally or in sport, struck out one of 
the eyes wii^ his lance. 

The Greeks were indignant at this outrage. Messengers 
were sent to Abu Obeids^, loudh' complaining of it as an in- 
tentional breach of the truce, ana a flagrant insult to the em- 
peror. Abu Obeidah mildly assured them that it was his dis- 
position most rigorously to observe the truce ; that the injury 
to the statue must have been accidental, and that no indi^ity 
to the emperor could have been intended. His moderation 
only increased the arrogance of the ambassadors; their 
emjperor had been insulted; it was for the Caliph to give 
redress according to the measure of the law : " an eye for an 
eye, a tooth for a tooth." " What !" cried some of the over- 
zealous Moslems, ''do the infidels mean to claim an eye from 


the CaUph P** In their rage they would have slain the mes- 
sengers on the spot ; but the quiet Abu Obeidah stayed their 
wrath. " They speak but figuratively," said he ; then taking 
the messengers aside, he smrewdly compromised the matter, 
and satisfied their wounded loyalty, by agreeing that they 
should set up a statue of the Caliph, with glass eyes, anj 
strike out one of them in retaliation. 

While Abu Obeidah was pursuing this moderate course, 
>nd subduing the country by clemency rather than by force of 
)rms, missives came from tne Caliph, who was astonished at 
receiving no tidings of further conquests, reproaching him 
with his slowness, and with preferring worldly gain to the 
pious exercise of the sword. The soldiers, when they heard 
of the purport of this letter, took the reproaches to them- 
selves, and wept with vexation. Abu Obeidah himself was 
stung to the quick, and repented him of the judicious truces 
he had made. In the excitement of the moment he held a 
council of war, and it was determined to lose not a day, 
although the truces had but about a month run. He accord- 
ingly left Elialed with a strong force in the vicinity of Emessa 
to await the expiration of the truce, while he marched with 
the main host against the city of Baalbec, 


Siege snd capture of Baalbec. 

Baalbec, 'so called from Baal, the Syrian appellation of the 
Sun, or Apollo, to which deity it was dedicated, was one of 
the proudest cities of ancient Syria. It was the metropolis 
of the gfreat and fertile valley of Bekaa, lying between th© 
mountains of Lebanon, and Anti Lebanon. During the Grecian 
domination it was called Heliopolis, which likewise means 
the City of the Sun. It was famous for its magnificent temple 
of Baal, which, tradition affirms, was built by Solomon the 
Wise, to please one of his wives, a native of Sidon and a wor- 
shipper 01 the Sim. The immense blocks of stone of which it 
was constructed, were said to have been brought by the genii, 
over whom Solomon had control by virtue of his talismanio 
seal. Some of them remain to this day objects of admiration 
to the traveller, and perplexity to the modern engineer.* 

• Among these huge blocks some measure fifty-eight, and one sixty-nine 
feet in length. 

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OHiLB* 61 

On his marcli against Baalbec, Abu Obeidali intercepted a 
caravan of four himdred camels laden with silks and sugars, 
on the way to that city. With his usual clemency he allowed 
the captives to ransom themselves ; some of whom carried to 
Baalbec the news of his approach, and of the capture of the 
caravan. Herbis, the governor, supposing the Saracens to be 
a mere marauding party, sallied forth with six thousand horse 
and a multitude of irre^ar foot, in hope to recover the spoils^ 
but found to his cost tnat he had an army to contend witili, 
and was driven back to the city with great loss, after receiving 
. seven wounds. 

Abu Obeidah set himself down before the city, and addressed 
a letter to the inhabitants, reminding them of the invincible 
arms of the faithftil, and inviting them to profess Islamism, 
or pay tribute. This letter he gave in cnarge to a Syrian 
peasant, and with it a reward of twenty pieces of silver, " for 
Allah forbid," said the conscientious general, "that I should 
employ thee without pay. The labourer is worthy of his 

The messenger was drawn up by a cord to the battlements, 
and delivered the letter to the inhabitants, many of whom, 
on hearing the contents, were inclined to surrender. Herbis, 
the governor, however, who was still smarting with his wounds, 
tore the letter in pieces, and dismissed the messenger without 
deigning a reply. 

Abu Obeidan now ordered his troops to the assault, but 
the garrison made brave defence, and did such execution with 
their engines from the walls, that the Saracens were repulsed 
with considerable loss. The weather was cold; so Abu 
Obeidah, who was ever mindful of the welfare of his men, 
sent a trumpeter round the camp next morning, forbidding 
any man to take the field until he had made a comfortable 
meal. All were now busy cooking, when, in the midst of 
.'their preparations, the city gates were thrown open, and the 
Greekis came scouring upon them, making great slaughter, 
^ey were repulsed witn some difficulty, out carried off 
■prisoners and plunder. 

Abu Obeidah now removed his camp out of reach of the 
engines, and where his cavalry would have more room. He 
threw out detachments also, to distract the attention of the 
.enemy and oblige them to fight in several places. Saad Ibn 
Zeid, with five hundred horse and three hundred foot, was to 
show himself in the valley opposite the gate looking towards 
the mountains ; while Derar, with three hundred horse and 
. two hundred foot, was stationed in front of the gate on the 
.side toward Damascus. g.zed by Google 


Hetfaifl, ilie eoveraor, seeing the Saiucens more back their 
tentB, saroosed tii0m to be intimidated by Hieir late los8« 
** These Arabs," said he, " are half-naked yagabonds of the 
desert, who fight withoat object ; we are locked up in steely 
and fight for our wiyes and chilclren, onr property and our 
lires." He aecordinglj routed his troops to make another 
■ally, and an obstinate battle ensued. One of the Moslem 
officers, Sohail Ibn Sabah, bein? disabled by a sabre cut in 
iJie right arm, alighted from his horse, and clambered a 
nei^hboarine hiU maeh overlooked the fidd, the dty, and its 
Ticmity. Here he sat watching the various fortunes of i^e 
field. The sally had been made through the gate before 
whidi Abu Obeidah was posted, who of course received the 
whole brunt of the attack. The battle was hot, and Sohail 
perceived fr(Nn his hill that the Moslems in this quarter w^re 
mffd pressed, and that Ihe general was ffivmg ground, and in 
imminent dan^ of being routed; while Derar ai^ Saad 
remained inactive at thdr distant posts; no sally having beea 
made from the gates before which they were stationed. Upott 
■this Sohail gathered together some green branches, and set 
fire to them, so as to make a column of smoke ; a customary 
signal by day among the Arabs, as fire was by night. Derar 
^and Saad ben^ the smoke and galloped with their troops in 
that direction. Their arrival <dumged the whole fortune of 
the field. Herbis, who had thought himself on the eve of 
victory, now found himself beset on each side and cut off 
from the dity! Ifothing but strict discipline and the im- 
penetrate Gredan phaumx saved him. His men closed 
shield to shield, theirlances in advance, and made a slow and 
defensive retreat, the Moslems ydieeling around and charging 
incessantly uwm them. Abu Obeidah, who knew nothing <x 
the arrival <n Derar and Saad, imagined the retreat of the 
Christians a mere feint, and <»lled back his troops; Saad, 
however, who heard not the general's order, k^ on in pur- 
irait, until he drove the enemy to the top of a hil£ where they 
ensconced themselres in an old deserted monastery. 

When Abu Obeidah learnt the secret of this most timelj 
aid, and that it was in consequooce of a supposed signal from 
him, he aekupwledged that the smoke was an apt thou^t» 
and saved his camp from bdng sacked; but he prohibited 
any man firom repeating sudi an act without orders from the 

In the meantiiBe, Herbis, the governs, findii^ the BmaU 
Bumber that inrested the ecmvent, saUied form with his 
troops, in hopes of out^tan^ his way to the dtj, Never 
did men fight more vaiianSy, and they had ftbrady made i 

OMAS. €3 

ereat hayoc^ when tke arrirai of a treah. swarm of Moslems 
diore them bade to their foriom fortress, where thej were 
so closely watched, Hiat not a Grecian eye coold pe^ from 
tibe old walls without heing the aim of a Moslem arrow. 

Abn Obeidah now inrested the city more closely than ever, 
loaTing Saad, with his forces, to keep the gOTemor engag^ 
in liie monastery. The latter perceiyed it w^d be impos^Ie 
to h<^d Old; longer in this shattered edifice, destitute <^ pro- 
▼isions. His prond spirit was completely broken, and, throw- 
ing off his silken robes, and clothing him in a worn woollen 
garb, as suited to his humble situation, he sought a conference 
with Saad to treat on terms of capitulation. The Moslem 
captain replied, that he could only treat for the parij in the 
eonyent, whom he would receiye as 1m)1^ers, if they would 
adbiowledge God and the prophet, or would let t^em free <m 
I3ie pledge not to bear arms against the Moslems. He prof- 
fered to lead Herbis to the general, if he wished to treat foftr 
the dty also ; and added, that, should the negotiation fail, he 
and his Greeks might return into their conyent, and let God 
and the sword decide. 

Herbis was accordingly led throo^ the besieging cam^ 
into the presence of Abu Obeidah, and gnawed his lip when 
he saw the inconsiderable number of the Moslem host. He 
offered, as a ransom for the city, one thousand ounces of gold, 
two thousand of silyer, and one thousand silken robes ; but 
Abu Obeidah demanded that he shonld double the amount, 
and add thereto one thousand sabres, and all the arms of the 
soldiers in the monastery; as well as engage in behalf of the 
city to pay an annual mbute ; to engage to erect no more 
Clmstian churdies, nor eyer more act m hostiliiy against the 
Moslem power. 

These narsh terms being conceded, Herbis waa permitted 
to enter the city alone, and submit them to the inhabitants, 
all his attendants being detained as hostages. The towna- 
men at first refused to capitulate, fl&ying ^^ ^^ was tJie 
strongest in all Syria; but Herbis offered to pay down one- 
fourth of tiie ransom himself and they at leng& complied. 
One point was conceded to the people of Baalbec, to soothe 
their wounded pride. It was a^^ed that Bafi Ibn Abdallah^ 
who was to remain with fiye hundred men, acting as lieute- 
nant of Baalbec for Abu Obeidah, should encamp without tiip 
walls, and not enter ike city. These matters being arrang^ 
Abu Obeidah marched with his host on other enterpriser. • 
. The Saracen troops, under Bafi Ibn Abdallah, sooa ingra- 
tiated themselves with the people of Baalbec. They pillaged 
the surrounding country, and sold their booty for low prices 


to the townsfolk, who thus ^ew wealthy on the spoils of 
their own countrymen. Herbis, the governor, felt a desire 
to participate in these profits. He reminded his fellow- 
citizens how much he had paid for their ransom, and what 
£Ood terms he had efiected for them ; and then proposed 
Siat he should have one-tenth of what they gained m traffic 
with the Moslems, to reimburse him. Tney consented, 
though with extreme reluctance. In a few days he found the 
cain so sweet that he thirsted for more ; he therefore told 
tnem that his reimbursement would be tedious at this rate, 
and proposed to receive one-fourth. The people, enraged at 
his cupidity, rushed on him with furious outcries, and Tailed 
him on the spot. The noise of the tumult reached the camp 
of Eafi Ibn Abdallah, and a deputation of the inhabitants 
coming forth, entreated him to enter the city and govern it 
himself. He scrupled to depart from the terms of the treaty 
. imtil he had written to Abu Obeidah ; but on receiving per- 
mission from the general, he entered and took command. 
Thus did the famous Baalbec, the ancient Heliopolis, or Cily 
of the Sun, fall under the Saracen sway on the 20th of 
, January, a.p. 636, being the fifteenth year of the Hegira. 


Si«ge of Emessa.— Stratagems of the Moslems. — ^Frantic devotioii of 
Ikremah. — Surrender of the city, 

The year*s truce with the city of Emessa having now expired, 
jLbu Obeidah appeared before that place, and summoned it in 
the following form : — 

" In the name of the most merciftd Grod. Abu Obeidah 
Ibn Aljerah, general of the armies of the Commander of the 
IFaithfol, Omar al Khatt&b, to the people of Emessa. Let 
"not the loftiness of your walls, the strength of jour bul- 
warks, nor the robustness of your bodies, lead you mto error. 
Allah hath conquered stronger places through the means of 
liis servants, xour city would oe of no more consideration 
against us than a kettle of pottage set in the midst of our 

"I invite you to embrace our holy faith, and the law re- 
vealed to our prophet Mahomet ; and we will send pious men 
^0 instruct you, and you shall paarticipate in all our fortunes. 

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OKAB. 65 

*' If you refuse, you ahall still be left in possession of all 
youp property, on the payment of annual tribute. If you 
reject Dotn conditions, come forth firom behind your stone walls^ 
and let AUah, the supreme judge, decide between us." 

This simmions was treated with scorn ; and the garrison 
made a bold sally, and handled their besiegers so roughly, that 
they Vere glad when night put an end to the conflict, in the 
eyening, a crafty old Antb sought the tent of Abu Obeidah ; 
he represented tiie strength of the place, the intrepidity of 
the soldiers, and the wapie stock of provisions, which wovdd 
enable it to stand a weary siege. He suggested a stratagem, 
however, by which it might be reduced ; and Abu Obeidah 
adopted his counsel. Sending a messenger into the city, he 
offered to the inhabitants to strike his tents, and lead his troops 
to the attack of other places, provided they would furnish 
him provisions for five days' march. His offer was promptly 
accepted, and the provisions were furnished. Abu Obeidah 
now pretended that, as his march would be long, a greater 
supply would be necessary ; he continued to buy, therefore, 
as long as the Christians nad provisions to seU, and in this 
maimer exhausted their magazmes ; and as the scouts from 
other cities beheld the people of Emessa throw open their gates 
and bring forth provisions, it became rumoured throughout 
the country that the city had surrendered. 

Abu Obeidah, according to promise, led his host against 
other places. The first was Arrestan, a fortified city, well 
watered, provisioned, and garrisoned. His summons being 
repeated, and rejected, he requested the governor of the place 
to let him leave there twenty chests of cumbrous articles, 
which impeded him in his movements. The request was 
granted with j^eat pleasure at getting clear so readily of such 
marauders. The twenty chests, seci^ed with padlocks, were 
taken into the citadel, but every chest had a sliding bottom, 
and contained an armed man. Among the picked warriors 
thus concealed, were Derar, Abda'lrahman, and AbdaUah Ibn 
Jaafar ; while Xhaled, with a number of troops, was placed in 
ambush to co-operate with those in the chests. 

The Moslemliost departed. The Christians went to church 
to return thanks for their deliverance, and the sounds of their 
hymns of triumph reached the ears of Derar and his com- 
rades. Upon this they issued forth from their chests, seized the 
wife of the governor, and obtained from her the keys of the 
gates. AbdaUah, with fourteen men, hastened to the church, 
and closed the doors upon the congregation; while Derar, 
with four companions, threw open &e gates with the ciy of 


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idlak Adibttr; upon wliidi Elialed and liis f<»roe8 mdbed 
firom their ambuscade, and tke city wag taken almost witlMvat 

The city of Shaizar was next assailed, and capitnkted (m. 
lavoiurable terms; and now Aba Obeidah returned before 
ISmessa, and cmce more sammcmed it to surrender. The 
governor remonstrated loudly, r^ninding the Moslem general 
of his treaty, by which he engaged to depart frcnn Emeesa*. 
and earry the war against other jdaees. "l engaged to de- 
part," replied Abu Obeidah, " but I did not engage not to 
retmn. I hare carried the war against other places, and haye 
subdued Arrestan and Shaizar.'^ 

The people of Emesea now p^rcei^ed how tiiiey had been 
«ireumT«ited. Thdr magazines had been drained of provi- 
aicms, and tisiey had not wherewithal to maintain them against 
a aiege. The governor, howeyer, encouraged them to t^ the 
qhanee of a battle as before They prepared for the fight by 

ners in the ehurdies ; and the goremor took the sacrameid^ 
e church of St. 6e<»rge ; but he sought to enhearten him- 
aalf by grosser means, for we are told he ate the whole of a 
toasted Idd for his supper, and caroused oa wine until the 
crowing of the cock. In the morning,, eariy, he arrayed him- 
9sA£ in ri^ apparel, and sallied forth at the head oi nye thou- 
sand horsemen, all men of strength and courage, and weU 
armed. They dbiarged the besiegers so brayeh^, and their 
ardors so galled than from the walls, that the Moslem force 
gaye way. 

Khaled now threw himself in front of the battle, and 
enacted wondrous feats to rally his Boldi^*8 and restore the 
iight. In an encounter, hand to hand, with a Greek horse* 
man, his scametar broke, and he was weaponless^ but closing 
with his adyersary, he clasped him in his arms, crushed hk 
Tibs, afid, drawing Mm fiom his saddle, threw him dead to the 
earth. The imminent peil of the fight roused a frantic 
yakur in the Moslems. In the heat of enthusiasm, Ikremah, 
a youth^il ecm^m of Khaled, galloped about the field* fighting 
with reckless fury, and raying alxMit the joys of paradise |)ro- 
msed to aU true bdieyers w£o fell in the beetles of the faith. 
^' I see,** aried he, " the biadt^yed houris of paradise. One 
of them» if seen on earth, would make mankind die of lo-ye. 
They are smiling on us. One of them wayes a handkerchi^ 
af green silk, and holcb a cup of predous stones. She beckons 
me ; come hither qnuc^j, she cries, my well-beloyed !*' In 
this way he wei^, shoutiag '' Al Jennah ! Al Jennah! Parsr 
dise I Paradiae !'* eharging mto the thickest of the Chrktians, 
and making fearM hayoc, until he reached the place where 

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ili0 governor was fightmg, who s^t a javelin throug^h his 
heai^ and despatched him in quest of his vaunted Elysium. 

Night alone parted the hosts, and the Moslems retired 
exhausted to their tents, glad to repose from so rude a £ght. 
Even Khaled counselled Abu Ofoeidah to have recourse to 
stratagem, and make a pretended flight the next morning, to 
^aw the Greeks, confident through this day's success, into 
disorder ; for while collected, their phalanx presented an im- 
penetrable wall to the Moslem horsemen. 

Accordingly, at the dawning of the day the Moslems re- 
treated — at first with a show of order, then with a feigned 
confusion ; for it was an Arab stratagem of war to scatter and 
rally again in the twinkling; of an eye* The Christians, 
thinking their flight unfeigned, broke up their steady phalanx, 
some making headlong pursuit, while others dispersed to 
plunder the Moslem camp. 

Suddenly the Moslems raced about, surrounded the confused 
mass of Christians, and fell upon it, as the Arabian historian 
savs, " like ea^es upon a carcass." Xhaled and Derar and 
other chiefs spirited them on with shouts of Allah Achbar, 
imd a terrible rout and slaughter ensued. The number of 
Christian corpses on that field exceeded sixteen hundred. The 
governor was recognised among the slain by his enormous 
bulk, his bloated fl^, and his costly apparel, fragrant with 

The dtv of Emesaa surrendered as a sequel to that fight, 
but the Moslems could neither stay to take possession, nor 
afibrd to leave a garrison. Tidings had reached them of the 
approach of an immense army, composed of the heavily-armed 
<?recian soldiery, and the light troops of the desert, that 
threatened completely to overwhelm them. Tarious and con- 
tradictory were the counsels in this moment of agitation aid 
-alarm, some advised that they should hasten hack lo t Leir 
native deserts, where they would be reinforced by their 
£riends, and where the hostile army could not fiiid sustenance; 
but Abu Obeidah objected that such a retreat would be attri- 
buted to cowardice. Others cast a wistful eye upon the 
stately dwellings, the dehghtfol gardens, the fertile fields, and 
green pastures, which thev had just won bv t^e sword, and 
chose rather to stay and nght for this land of pleasure and 
abundance, than return to famine and the desert. Khaled 
decided the question. It would not do to linger there, he 
said, Constantine, the emperor's son, being not far off, at 
Caesarea, with for^ thousand men ; he advised, therefore, that 
they should march to Termouk, on the borders of Palestine 
and Arabia, where they would be within reach of assistance 

V2 gitized by Google 


from the Caliph, and mifi^Lt await, with confidence, the attack 
of the Imperial armj. The advice of Elhaled was adopted. 


Advance of a powerM imperial army. — Skirmishes of Khaled. — Capture 
of Derar. — ^Interview of Khaled and Manuel. 

The rapid conquest of the Saracens had alarmed the emperor 
Herachus for the safetjr of his rich province of Syria. Troops 
had been levied both in Europe and Asia, and transported 
by sea and land to various parts of the invaded country. The 
main body, consisting of eighty thousand men, advanced to 
seek the Moslem host, under the command of a distinguished 
general, called Mahan by the Arabian writers, and Manuel 
by the Greeks. On its way, the Imperial army was joined 
by Jabalah Ibn al Aynham, chief or king of the Cmristian 
tribe of Grassan. This Jabalah had professed the Mahometan 
faith, but had apostatized in consequence of the following 
circumstance. He had accompanied the Caliph Omar on a 
pilgrimage to Mecca, and was performing the religious cere- 
mony of the Towah, or sacred walk, seven times round the 
Caaba, when an Arab of the tribe of Fezarah accidentally 
trod on the skirt of his Thram or pilcrim scarf, so as to draw 
it from his shoulders. Tumiog fiercely upon the Arab, "Woe 
be imto thee," cried he, "for uncovering my back in the 
sacred house of God." The pilgrim protested it was an acci- 
dent, but Jabalah buffeted nim in the face, bruising him 
sorely, and beating out four of his teeth. The pilgrim com- 
plained to Omar, but Jabalahjustified himself, stating the 
indignity he had suffered. " Had it not been for my rever- 
ence for the Caaba, and for the prohibition to shed blood 
within the sacred city, I would have slain the offender on the 
Spot." " Thou hast confessed thy faidt," said Omar, " and, 
unless forgiven by thy adversary, must submit to the law of 
retaliation, * an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'" " I 
am a king," replied Jaballah, proudly, " and he is but a pea- 
sant." "Ye are both Moslems," rejoined Omar, " and in the 
sight of Allah, who is no respecter of persons, ye are equal." 
The utmost that Jabalah coidd obtain from the rigid justice 
of Omar was, that the execution of the sentence might be 
postponed until the next day. In the night he made his 

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OMjLB, 69 

escape and fled to Constantinople, where he abjured Islam- 
ism, resumed the Christian faith, and went over to the service 
of the emperor Heraclius. He had now brought sixty thou- 
sand Arabs to the aid of Manuel. Such was the powerful 
host, the approach of which had compelled the Moslems to 
abandon Emessa on the very moment of surrender. They 
had marched to Yermouk, a place noted for its pleasant 
groves, and the sweet salubrity of its air, and lay encamped 
on the banks of a little stream of the same name, heretoiore 
obscure, but now destined to become famous by a battle deci- 
sive of the fate of Syria. 

Manuel advancea slowly and deliberately with his heavily 
armed Grecian soldiery ; but he sent Jabalah in the advance, 
to scour the countr]r with his light Arab troops, as best fitted 
to cope with the slormishing warriors of the desert, thus, as 
he said, ** usin^ diamond to cut diamond." The course of these 
combined armies was marked with waste, rapine, and out- 
rage, and they inflicted all kinds of injuries and indi^ties 
on iJiose Christian places which had made treaties with or 
surrendered to the Moslems. 

While Manuel with his main army was yet at a distance, 
he sent proposals of peace to Abu Obeidah, according to the 
commands of the emperor. His proposals were rejected ; but 
Obeidah sent several messengers to Jabalah, reproaching him 
with his apostasy, and his warfare against his countrymen, 
and endeavouring to persuade him to remain neutral in the 
impending battle. Jabalah replied, however, that his faith 
was committed to the emperor, and he was resolved to flght 
in his cause. 

Upon this Elialed came forward, and offered to take this 
apostate in his own hands. " He is far in the advance of the 
main army," said he, " let me have a small body of picked 
men chosen by myself, and I will fall upon him and his infldel 
Arabs before Manuel can come up to meir assistance." 

His proposal was condemned by many as rash and ex- 
travagant. " By no means," cried Khaled, with zealous 
w zeal ; " this infidel force is the army of the devil, and can do 
nothing against the army of Allah, who will assist us with his 

So pious an argument was unanswerable. Elhaled was 
permitted to choose his men, all well-seasoned warriors, whose 
valour he had proved. With them he fell upon Jabalah, who 
was totally unprepared for so hair-brained an assault, threw 
his host into complete confusion, and obliged him, after much 
slaughter, te retreat upon the main body. The triumph of 

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90 succsssoBi ei* mahomet. 

Khaled, however, was damped by the Iosb of sereraL vvliaat 
offioera, amoD^ whom were Yezed, Eafi, and Derar, who wcxe 
borne offcaptires by the retreating; C^uristiana. 

In the meantime a i^ecial n^tsenff er, named Abdailah Jkm 
Kort, arrived at Medma, bringing letters to the Cali^ from 
Abu Obeids^, describing the pmlons aitoaticHi of the Moslem 
army, and entreating reinforcements. The Caliph Meended 
the pnlpit of Mahomet, and preadied up th^e g^ry of %htiiig 
the good fiffht of faith for God and the prophet He then 
gave Abdaflah an e^ide for AbuObeidah, filled with edging 
texts from the Koran, and ending with an aesuranoe i^t he 
would pray for him, and would, moreover, send him a ^eedy 
reinforcement. This done, he pronoimced a bdesBiBg oq 
Abdailah, and bade him depart w£h all speed. 

Abdailah was well advanced <m his reUMn, when h© called 
to mind that he had omitted to visit the tomb of the prcq^ifift. 
Shocked at his ^orgetfidness, he retracted his steps, and 
sought the dwelling of Ayesha, within whidi the pm^et lay- 
interred. He found the bea»tiM widow redlining beside tfabe 
tomb, and listening to Ali and Abbas, who weaee readin^r the 
Xoran, while Hassan and Hosein, the two sons of Ah and 
grandsons of the prophet, were sitting on their knees. 

Having paid due honours to the prophet's tomb, ihd am-- 
siderate messenger expressed his feurs that this pious visit 
might prevent his reaching the army hefote the e:q>eeted 
battle ; whereupon the holy party lifted up their hdnds to 
heaven, and Ali put up a prayer for his speedy ioumey . Thus 
inspirited, he set out anew, and travelled witli such nnucraal 
and incredible sj^ed, that the army looked upon it as jsiira- 
eulous, and attributed it to i^ blessing of Omar and the 
prayer of Ali. 

The promised reinforcement was soon cm foot. It oodp 
sisted of eight thousand men und^ the command of Seid Ibn 
Amir; to whom the Caliph gave a red silk banner, and a wozd 
of advice at parting, cautioning him to govern hiinself as well 
as his soldiers, and not to let his appetites get the better of 
his self-command. 

Seid, with Moslem frankness, counselled him, in return, to 
fear God and not man ; to love all Moslems equally with his 
own kindred; to cherish those at a distance equally with 
those at hand ; finally, to command nothing but wliat was 
light, and to forbid nothing but what was wrong. The Calmh 
listened attentively, his forehead resting on his staff and his 
eyes cast upon the gr<nind. When Seid had finished, he 
raised his h&ud and the tears ran down his chedc. " Alas T* 
said he, '' who can do all this without the aid of God !" 

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Seid Ibn Amir led liis force by the shoitesi route acnioss 
the deserte, and, hurryiii^ forward with more rapidity than 
heed, lost his way. Whue he halted one night, in the Ticinitrf 
of some springs, to asoertam his route, he was i^prisedby lu» 
scouts that the prefect of Ammon, with five thousand men» 
was near at hand. He fell upon him instantly, and cat tiie 
infantry to pieces. The prefect fled with his cavalry, but en- 
countered a foraging party frc^ the Moslem camp, the leader 
of which, Zobeir, tlmist a*Woe through his body, and betweeii 
tilie two parties not a man of his troop escaped. The Moslems 
then placed the heads of t^e Chrbtians on tJieir lances, and 
arrived with l^eir ghas^ trophies at the camp, to the great 
encouragement of Abu Obeidah and his host. 

The imperial army had now drawn near, and Manuel, tiie 
gcaoieral, attempted again to enter into negotiations. EJuded 
offered to go and confer with him ; but Ins real object was to 
flrttempt the release of his friends and brethr^i in arms. Aba 
Sofian, Berar, Eafi, and the two other offioers captured in the 
iate skirmish with the apostate Jabalah. 

When Xhalcd reached the outpost of the Christian army,. 
he was required to leave his escort of one hundred chosen 
warriors, and proceed alone to the presence of the general; 
but he refused. He equally refused a demand that he and 
bis men should dismount and deliver up their scimetan. 
Aflter some parley, he was permitted to enter into the pretence 
irf the g^ECial iniiis own way. 

Manuel was seated in state on a kind of throne, surrounded 
by his officers, all splendidly arrayed, while Khaled entered 
with his hundred war-worn veterans, clad in the simplest guise. 
Chairs were set out for him and his principal companions, but 
they pushed them aside and suited themselves cross-legged 
on the ground, after the Arabic manner. When Manuel 
demanded the reason* Xhaled relied by quoting a verse from 
the twentieth chapter of the JBloran. "Of earth ye are 
ctented, ftom earth ye came, and unto eartibi ye must return." 
** Grod made the earth," added he, " and whi^ God has made 
for men to sit upcm, is more precious than your silka& 

he confefrence was begun by Manuel, who expostulated on 
tibe injustice of the Moslems in making an unprovoked inroftdi 
into the territories of their neighbours, molestmg them in thdr 
religious worship, robbing them of their wives and prop^ij, 
and seizing on their persons as slaves. Eiialed retorted, that 
it was all owing to their own obstinacy, in refusing to acknow- 
ledge that there was but (mid God, without relation or assooiatev 
•md thai} Mahomet was his prophet Theis diacmssMMi grew 


violent, and Khaled, in bis heat, told Manuel that he should 
one day see him drtu^ged into the presence of Omar with a 
halter round his neck, there to have his head struck off, as an 
^cample to all infidels and for the edification of true be* 

Manuel replied in wrath, that !Khaled was protected by his 
<iharacter of ambassador ; but that he would punish his in- 
solence by causing the five Moslem captives, his friends, to be 
instantly beheaded. Xhaled defied him to execute his threat> 
swearing bv Allah, by his prophet, and by the holy Caaba, that 
if a hair or their heads were injured, he would slay Manuel 
with his own hand on the spot, and that each of his Moslems 
present should slay his man. So saying, he rose, and drew 
ids scimetar, as did likewise his companions. 

The imperial general was struck with admirati<Hi at his 
intrepidity. He replied, calmly, that what he had said was a 
mere threat, which his humanity, and his respect for the 
mission of iKhaled, would not permit him to fulfil. The 
Saracens were pacified and sheathed their swords, and tho 
conference went on calmly. 

In the end, Manuel gave up the five prisoners to Ehaled 
lis a token of his esteem; and, in returuyKhaled presented 
him with a beautiM scarlet pavilion, which he had brought 
with him, and pitched in the Christian camp, and for which 
•Manuel had expressed a desire. Thus ended this conference, 
and both parties retired from it with soldier-like regard for 
ieach other. 


Tbe Battle of Yermouk. 

The great battle was now at hand that was to determine the 
fate of Syria, for the emperor had staked the fortunes of this 
favourite province on a smgle, but gigantic blow. Abu Obei- 
dah, conscious of the momentous nature of the conflict, and 
diffident of his abilities in the field, gave a proof of his modesty 
and ma^animily by restoring to Khaled the command of 
the whole army. For himself, he took his station with the 
women in the rear, that he misht rally the Moslems should 
any of them be inclined to fly me field. Here he erected his 
standard, a yeUow flag, ^en him by Abu Beker, being the 
same which Mahomet nad displayed m the battle of Ehaibar. 
Before the action commenced Khaled rode among hii 

OMAB. 73 

troops, making a short but emphatic speech: "Paradise/' 
cried he, "is before you — ^the devil and nell behind. Fight 
bravely, and you wiU secure the one 5 fly, and you will fall 
into the other." 

The armies closed, but the numbers of the Christians and 
the superiority of Greek and Eoman discipline bore down tiie 
right wing of the Moslems. Those, however, who turned their 
backs and attempted to fly were assailed with reproaches and 
blows by the women, so that they found it easier to face the 
enemy than such a storm. Even Abu Soflan himself received 
a blow over the face with a tent-pole from one of those viragos, 
as he retreated before the enemy. 

Thrice were the Moslems beaten back by the steady bearing 
of the Grecian phalanx, and thrice were they checked and 
driven back to battle by the women. Night at length brought 
n cessation of the bloody conflict ; when Abu Obeidah went 
roimd among the wounded, ministering to them with his own 
hands, while the women bound up their wounds with tender 

The battle was renewed on the following morning, and 
again the Moslems were sorely pressed. The Clmstian 
archers made fearful havoc, and such was their dexterity, that, 
among the great number of Moslems who suffered from their 
arrows on that day, seven hundred lost one or both eyes. 
Hence it was commemorated as " the Day of the Blinding ;" 
and those who had received such wounds gloried in them, in 
<after years, as so many trophies of their having struggled for 
tiie faith in that day of hard fighting. There were several 
single combats of note ; among others, Seijabil was engaged 
hand to hand Vith a stout Christian ; but Seijabil, havmg 
signalized his piety by excessive watching and fasting, was so 
reduced in flesh and strength that he was no matdi for his 
adversary, and would infallibly have been overpowered, had 
not Derar come behind the Christian, and stabbed him to the 
heart. Both warriors claimed the spoil, but it was adjudged 
to him who slew the enemy. In the course of this arduous 
day, the Moslems more than once wavered, but were rallied 
back by the valour of the women. Caulah, the heroic sister of 
Perar, mingling in the fight, was wounded and struck down; 
but Ofl(^{m, her female friend, smote ofl* the head of her 
oi^nent, and rescued her. The battle lasted as long as there 
was light enough to distinguish friend from foe ; but the night 
was welcome to the Moslems, who needed all their enthusiasm 
AEul reliance on the promises of the prophet to sustain them, 
jEK> hard was the stn^gle and so overwhehning the numbers of 
4J10 enemy. On this night, the good Abu Obeidah repeated 

gitizedby VjOO 


at onoe tiie psajm belaBging to two soparate faoaiB, tkaifc km 
weary soldim nigiLt «vjoy unintennipted sleep. 

For seyeral asceessire dajn this detente battle, on wbkk 
hun^ the fate of Syria, was renewed with Tarioos fortuaiefi. 
In im ead the ^ttobc yalocnr of the Mofliems prevailed; the 
CSinetiaa host was •eonqdetdy routed and fled in all dirootioBB. 
Many w«re ormrtaken aiid raain in tiie dif&colt passes of ti» 
ttonntains ; others peiisiied in a deen part of the ri?er, te 
which they were decoyed by one of uieir own people, in ne- 
Tence for «n injury. Manuel, the imperial geoecal, fell by 
tiie band of a Moslem named Noman Imi Alkamah. 

Abn Obeidah went over the battle-fieM in penNM, seeing^ 
that l^e woanded Modems were well taken can o^ and the 
slain decently intened. Hie was perplexed for n time, oa 
finding some heads without bodaes, to know whether thoj 
were Moslems or infidels, but finally prayed over them at a 
renture, and had them baried like the rest. 

In dividing the spoils, Abn CNbeidak, scfter settmg aside 
one-fifth for the Cahph and tba public treasury, allotted to 
each foot soldier one portion and to each horseman three ; 
two for himself and one for fais steed; bnt for eadi horse <£ 
tke pnre Arabian breed he allowed a doable portiosL. This 
last ^lotment met with opposition, but was snbseqnentfy t 
finned by the Oalif^ on aceoant of the snperior yaline oft 
AraHan horses. 

Such was the great battk fo«^ht on ike banks of the Yep- 
monk, near the ^ty of that name, in the month of Z^or^RDheiv 
▲.D. ^6, and in tl^ 15th year of the Hegora. 


Siege moA nptan of JwimlcaB. 

The Moslem invaders reposed for a month at Daaaseiis i 
Ihe toil of oonqnest, dnrmg whidi time Abu Obeidah sent to 
the Caliph to know whether he should undertake ^e siege of 
Cssarea, or Jemsalem. Ali was with Omar at the time, and 
ftdyised the instant sie^ of the latter ; Iot aaeh, he said, had 
b^n the intention of the px^het The enterprise agains^ 
Jerusalem was as a holy war to the Moslems, for they 
reyerenoed it as an ancient seat of prophecy and ren^tion, 
oonnected with ^Bt& histories <^ Moses, Jesus, and Mahomet^ 
and sanctified by ooutaining the tombs of aevend of th* 

gtized by Google 

ancient proph^. llie Caliph adopted tlie advice q£ Ali, asid 
ordered Abu Obeidah to lead Ms army into Palestine, and lay 
siege to Jerusalem. 

On receivinff these orders, Abu Obeidah sent forward 
Te2sed Abu SoSan, with fire Hiousand men, to commence tho 
sie^e, and for fire suocessive days detached after hiTn consider- 
ab& reinforcements. The people of Jerusalein saw the ap- 
proach of these portentous inyaoers, who were spreading such 
o(mstemation throughout the East, but they made no s^y to 
oppose them, nor sent out any one to parley, but planted 
engines on their walls, and prepared for vi^rous defence. 
Yezed approached the dty and summoned it by sound of 
trumpet, propounding the customary terms, professicm of the 
faith or Mbute: boUi were rejected with disdmn. The 
Moslems would haye made instant assault, but Yezed had no 
auch instruciaons : he encamped, therefore, and waited untA 
orders arrived &om Abu Obeidah to al^ack the dty, when he 
made the necessary preparations. 

At cock-crow in ihe morning the Moslem host was mar- 
shalled, the leaders repeated the matin prayer each at the 
head of his battalicm, and all, as if by one consent, with a loud 
voice gave the vflrse from the Koran :* " Enter ye, oh people ! 
into the holy land which Allah ha<^ destined for you.' 

For ten days they made repeated but unavaihng attacks ; 
<m the eleventn day Abu Obeidah brought the whok army ta 
l^eir aid. He immediately sent a written summons requiring 
the inhabitants to believe in the unity of 6rod, the divine 
mission of Mahcmiet, the resurrection and final judgment : or 
«lse to acknowledge allegiance, and pay tribute to the Caliph: 
" otherwise," condiuded the letter, '' I will bring men agamst 
you, who love death better than you love wine or swine's flesh; 
nor will I leave you, God willing, until I have destroyed your 
fighting men, and made slaves ot your children." 

The summons was addressed to the magistrates and prin- 
cipal inhabitants of iBha, for so Jerusalem was named after 
the emperor JElHus Adrian, when he rebuilt that cit;^. 

Sopiionius, the Christian patriarch, or bishop of Jerusalem, 
replied that this was the holy city, and the noly land, and 
l^at whoever entered either, for a hostile purpose, was an 
offiander in the eyes of God. He felt some confidence in 
setting Ihe invaders at defiance, for the walls and towers or 
iiie ci^ had been diligently strengthened, and the garrison 
had been rein^rced by fugitives from Yermouk, and from 

* These words are from the fifth chapter of the Konn, where M^iom^ 
pals them iafeo the mouth of Moees, as addiessea to the chiULitn »tUntiL 


Tarions parts of Syria. The city, too, was strong in its 
situation, beinff sturronnded by deep ravines and a broken 
conntry ; and sS)ove all, there was a pious incentive to courage 
and perseverance in defending the sepulchre of Christ. 

Four wintry months elapsed ; every day there were sharp 
skirmishings ; the besiegers were assailed bv sallying parties, 
annoyed by the engines on the walls, ana harass^ by the 
inclement weather ; still they carried on the siege with un- 
diminished spirit. At lengm the Patriarch Sopmronins held 
a parley from the walls with Abu Obeidah. '* Do you not 
know," said he, " that this city is holy ; and that whoever 
offers violence to it, draws upon his head the vengeance of 
heaven P" 

" We know it," replied Abu Obeidah, " to be the house of 
the prophets, where their bodies lie interred ; we know it to 
be the place whence our prophet Mahomet made his nocturnal 
ascent to heaven ; and we know that we are more worthy of 
possessing it than you are, nor will we raise the siege luitil 
AUah has delivered it into our hands, as he has done many 
other places." 

Seemg there was no further hope, the patriarch consented 
to give up the city, on condition tiiat the Caliph would come 
in person to take possession and sign the articles of sur- 

When this unusual stipulation was made known to the 
Caliph, he held a council with his friends. Othman despised 
the people of Jerusalem, and was for refusing their terms, but 
Ali represented the sanctity and importance of the place in 
the eyes of the Christians, which might prompt them to rein- 
force it, and to make a desperate defence if treated with, 
andigniir. Besides, he added, the presence of the Caliph 
would cheer and inspirit the army in thisir long absence, and 
after the hardships of a wintry campaign. 

The words of Ali had their weight with the Caliph: though 
certain Arabian writers pretend that he was chiefly moved by 
a tradition handed down in Jerusalem from days of yore, 
which said, that a man of his name, religion, and personal 
tippearance, should conquer the Holy City. Whatever may- 
have been his inducements, the Calim resolved to receive, in 
person, the surrender of Jerusalem. He accordingly appointed 
Ali to officiate in his place during his absence m>m Medina ; 
then, having prayed at the mosque, and paid a pious visit to 
the tomb of tne prophet, he set out on his journey. 

The progress of this formidable potentate, who already held 
*he destinies of empires in his grasp, and had the plunder of ike 
Orient at his command, is characteristic of thej>rimitive dajfi 

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of Mahometanism, and rerealB, in some measure, the secret 
of its success. He trayelled on a red or sorrel camel, 
across wMch was siting an alforja, or wallet, with a huge sack 
or pocket at each end, something like the modem saddle- 
bags. One pocket contained dates and dried fruits, the other 
a provision called sawik, which was nothing more than barley, 
rice, or wheat, parched or sodden. Before him hun^ a leathern 
bottle, or sack, for water, and behind him a wooden platter. 
His companions, without distinction of rank, ate with Viitn out 
of the same dish, usin? their fingers according to Oriental 
usage. He slept at ni^t on a mat spread out xmder a tred, 
or xmder a common Bedouin tent of hair-cloth, and never re- 
sinned his march until he had oflfered up the morning prayer. 

As he journeyed through Arabia in this simple way, he 
listened to the complaints of the people, redressed their griev- 
ances, and administered justice with sound judgment and & 
rigid hand. Information was brought to him of an Arab who 
was married to two sisters, a practice not unusual amon^ 
idolaters, but the man was now a Mahometan. Omar cited 
the culprit and his two wives into his presence, and taxed 
him roundly with his offence; but he declared his ignorance 
that it was contrary to the law of the prophet. 

** Thou liest !" said Omar, ** thou shaft part with one or 
them instantly, or lose thy head." 

" Evil was the day that I embraced such a religion," mut- 
tered the culprit. " Of what advantage has it been to me P" 

" Come nearer to me," said Omar ; and on his approaching, 
the caliph bestowed two wholesome blows on his head with 
his walking-staff. 

"Enemy of God and of thyself," cried he, "let these 
blows reform thy manners, and teach thee to speak with more 
reverence of a religion ordained by Allah, and acknowledged 
by the best of his creatures." 

He then ordered the offender to choose between his wives, 
and finding him at a loss which to prefer, the matter was de- 
termined by lot, and he was dismissed by the caliph with this 
parting admonition : " Whoever professes Islam, and after- 
wards renounces it, is punishable with death ; therefore take 
heed to your faith. Aiid as to your wife's sister, whom you 
have put away, if ever I hear that you have meddled with 
her, you shau be stoned." 

At another place he beheld a number of men exposed to 
the burning heat of the sun by their Moslem conquerors, as 
a punishment for failing to pay their tribute, finding, on 
inquiry, that they were entirely destitute of means, he 
ordered them to be released ; and, turning reproachfolly to 

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their <^)pres8en, " Compd no men/' said he, " to moire tkam 
the^ can bear ; for I beard the aposUe of God i&j, be who 
afflicts bia feUow-man in this world, will be punished with, the 
jfire ci Jehennam." 

While jet within a day's ionraej (^Jerusalem, Abu Obeidaii 
came to meet him and conouet bun to the camp. The calipb, 
proceeded with due deUberaticMi, never forgettmg his duties 
as a priest and teacher of Islam. In the mormng he said 
the usual prayers, and preached a sermon, in which he s^ke 
of the securi^ of those wh<mi Gtxi should lead in the liffht 
way; but adaed, that there ^was no help for such as &>d 
sboiild lead into error. 

A gray-headed Christian priest, who sat before him, could 
not resist the opportunity to criticise the language of the 
caliph preacher. *' Grod leads no man into error,' said he, 

Omar deigned no direct reply, but, turning to those around, 
'* Strike off that old man's head," said he, ** if he repeats his 

The old man was discreet, and held his peace. ^ There was 
no arguing against the sword of Islam. 

On his way to the camp Omar beheld a number of Arabs, 
who had thrown b^ the simple garb of their country, and 
arrayed themselves in the silken spoils of Syria. He saw the 
danger of this luxury and effeminacy, and ordered tlmt thej 
should be dragged witb their faces in the dirt, and iheir 
ailken garments torn from their backs. 

When he came in sight of Jerusalem he lifted up his voice 
and exclaimed, " AUah Achbar ! God is mighty ! Grod grant 
us an easy conquest!" Then commanding his tent to be pitted, 
he dismounted from his camel and sat down within it on the 
ground. The Christians thrcmged to see the sovereign of this 
new and irresistible people, who were overrunning and sub- 
duing the earth. The Moslems, feaiM of an attemnt at 
assassination, would have kept them at a distance, but Omar 
rebuked their fears. " Nothmg will befal us but what God 
hath decreed. Let the faithful trust in him." 

The arrival of the caliph was followed by immediate capi- 
tulation. When the deputies from JerasaJem were admitted 
to a parley, they were astonished to find this dreaded poten- 
tate a bald heaaed man, simply clad, and seated on the ground 
in a t^at <^ hair-cloth. 

The articles of surrender were drawn up in writing 1^ 
Omar, and served afterwards as a model for the Moslem lexers 
in other conquests. The Christians were to build no new 
diiufches in the surrendered texritory. The church doors 

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OMAB. 99^ 

w^re to be set c^n to trftyellers, aadlree egress pennitted to 
Mahometans by day and night. The bells should only toU, 
and not ring, and no crosses should be erected on the churches, 
nor shown publicly in the streets. The Christians should not 
teach the Koran to their children •, nor speak openly of tiieir 
religion ; nor attempt to make proselytes ; nor hinder their 
kinsfolk fi*om embracing Islam. They should not assume tlve 
Moslem dress, either caps, slippers, or turbans, nor ^art their 
hair like Moslems, but shoula always be distinguished by 
g[irdles. They should not use the Arabian lanffoage in inscrip- 
tions on their signets, nor salute after the Moslem manner, not 
he called by M^em surnames. They should rise on the en- 
trance of a Moslem, and remain standing until he i^ould be 
seated. Theyshould entertain erery Moslem traveller three 
days gratis, xhey should sell no wine, bear no arms, and use 
no saddle in nding ; neither should they hare any domestic 
who had been in Moslem service. 

Such were the degrading conditions imposed upcm the proud 
City of Jerusalem, once the glory and terror of the East, by 
the leader of a host of wandering Arabs. They were the con- 
ditions generally imposed by tlm Moslems in their fanatical 
career <h conquest. Utter scorn and abhorrence of their reli- 
gious adversaries formed one of the main pillars of their faitlu 

The Christians having agreed to surrenoer on these terms, 
the Caliph gave them, under his own hand, an assurance of 
protection in their lives and fortunes, the use of their churches, 
and the exercise of their religion. 

Omar entered the once s^endid cit^ of Solomon on foot, 
in his simple Arab garb, with his wallang-staff in his hand, 
and accompanied by the venerable Sophronius, with whom he 
talked familiarly, inquiring about the antiquities and public 
edifices. The worthy patriarch treated the conqueror with all 
outward deference, but, if we may trust the words of a Chris- 
tian historian, he loathed the dirty Arab in his heart, and was 
particularly (fisgusted with his garb of coarse woollen, patched 
with sheepskin. His disgust was almost irrepressible when 
they entered the church of the Eesurrection, and Sophronius 
beheld the Caliph in his filtl^ attire, seated in the midst of 
the sacred edifice. ** This* of a truth,'* exdaimed he, *' is the 
abomination of desolation predicted by Daniel the prophet, 
standing in the holy place. 

It is added timt, to pacify the deanly scruples of the 
patariardbt, Omar consented to put on dean raiment which he 
offered him, until his own garments were washed. 

An instance of the strict good £uth of Omar is related aa 
ooeorring on thia Tisit to the Cbdstian traifies. While he 

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was standing with the patriarch in the chnrch of the Besiir- 
rection, one of the stated hours for Moslem worship arrived, 
and he demanded where he might pray. " Where yon now 
are," repKed the patriarch. Omar, nowerer, reftised, and 
went forth. The patriarch conducted him to the chnitsh of 
Constantino, and spread a mat for him to pray there ; hut 
aijain he refused. Cm going forth, he knelt, and prayed on the 
flight of steps leading down from the east gate of the chnrch. 
Tins done, he tamed to the patriarch, and gave him a 
generous reason for his conduct. " Had I prayed in either 
of the churches," said he, '* the Moslems would have taken 
possession of it, and consecrated it as a mosque." 

So scrupulous was he in observing his capitulations 
respecting tne churches, that he gave the patriarch a writing, 
forbidding the Moslems to pray upon the steps where he h^ 
prayed, except one person at a time. The zeal of the 
faitiiful, however, outstripped their respect for his commands, 
and one-half of the steps and porch was afterwards included 
in a mosque built over the spot which he had accidentally 

The Caliph next sought the place where the temple of 
Solomon had stood, where he founded a mosque ; which, in 
after times, being enlarged and enriched by succeeding 
Caliphs, became one of the noblest edifices of Islam worship, 
and second only to the magnificent mosque of Cordova. 

Ihe surrender of Jerusdem took place in the seventeenth 
year of the Hegira, and the six hundred and thirty-seventh 
year of the Christian era. 


Progress of the Moslem arms in Syria.— Siege of Al^po^— Obstioate defence 
by Youkenna.— Exploit of Damas.— Capture of tbe castl& Conyerdon 
of Tookenua. 

The Caliph Omar remained ten days in Jerusalem, regulating 
the great scheme of Islam conquest. To complete Sie aub- 
jugation of Syria, he divided it into two parts. Sout^iem 
Syria, consistmg of Palestine and the maritime towns, he 
gave in charge to Yezed Ibn Abu Sofian, with a considerable 
portion of me army to enable him to master it ; while Abu 
Obeidah, with a larger force, had orders promptly to reduce 
all Northern Syria, comprising the country lying between 
Haunm and Aleppo. At the same time, Aaxu Ibn al Aass, 

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with a body of Moslem troops, was ordered to invade Egypt, 
which venerable and once mighty empire was then in a state 
of melancholv decline. Such were the great jihna of Islam 
conquest in these regions ; while, at the same time, Saad Ibn 
Abi Wakk&s, another of Omar's generals, was pursuing a 
career of victories in the Persian territories. 

The return of Omar to Medina was hailed with joy by the 
inhabitants, for they had regarded with great anxiety and 
apprehension his visit to Jerusalem. They knew the salubrity 
of the climate, the fertility of the country, and the sacred 
character of the cityj containing the tombs of the prophets, 
and being the place, according to Moslem belief, where all 
mankind were to be assembled in the day of the resurrection. 
They had feared, therefore, that he would be tempted to fix 
his residence, for the rest of his days, in that consecrated 
c5ty. Great was their joy, therefore, when they saw their 
Caliph re-enter their gates in his primitive simpHcitjr, clad in 
his coarse Arab garb, and seated on his camel with his wallets 
of dried fruits and sodden com ; his leathern bottle and his 
wooden platter. 

Abu Obeidah departed from Jerusalem, shortly after the 
CaHph, and marchea with his army to the north, receiving, in 
the course of his progress throujjh Svria, the submission of 
the cities of Xennesrin and Alhadir, tne inhabitants of which 
ransomed themselves and their possessions, for five thousand 
ounces of gold, the like quantitv of silver, two thousand suits 
of silken raiment, and as much figs and aloes as would load 
&Ye hundred mules ; he then proceeded towards the city of 
Aleppo, which the Caliph had ordered him to besiege. The 
inhabitants of this place were much given to commerce, and 
had amassed great wealth ; they trembled, therefore, at the 
approach of these plundering sons of the desert, who had laid 
so many cities under contribution. 

The city of Aleppo was walled and fortified; but it 
depended chieflv for defence upon its citadel, which stood 
without the walls and apart from the city, on an artificial hill 
or mound, shaped like a truncated cone or sugar-loaf, and 
faced with stone. The citadel was of great size, and com- 
manded all the adjacent country; it was encompassed by a 
deep moat, which could be filled from springs of water, and 
was considered the strongest castle in all Syria. The governor, 
who had been appointed to this place by the ±)mperor 
HeracHus, and who had held all the territory between Aleppo 
and the Euphrates, had lately died, leaving two sons, xou- 
kenna and Johannas, who resided in the castie and succeeded 
to his ponmiand. They were completely opposite in character 


sod oondaoi. Youkeimft, the Mer of the two, was a warrior 
and managed the gotemment, while Johannaa iMwaed hia Hfe 
In almost monlfiBh retirement, derotin^ hiniaelf to atiu^, t» 
relisiouB exereiaea, and to aeta of chanty. On the approadt 
of we Moslems, Johannaa aympathizea with the leara oi 
the wealthy merchants, and adrised his brother to o<napoimd 
peaceably with the eneniy for a ransom in money. "You 
laUc like a monk," replied the fierce Yonkenna; ^ yoa know 
Bothing that is due to the honour of a soldier. Have we not 
strong walls, a brave garrison, and ample wealth to mistain 
us, and shall we meanly bay a peace without striking a blow f 
8hat yonrself up with your books and beads; study and "pnj, 
and leare the defence of the place to me." 

The next day lie sunmumed his troops, distributed money 
among them, and haying thus roused their spirit, " The 
Arabs," said he, *' haye divided their forces ; some are in 
Palestine, some haye gcme to Egypt, it can be but a mere 
detachment that is coming against us; I am for meeting them 
on iihe way, and giying them battle before they come near to 
Aleppo." His troops answered his harangue with shouts, so 
be put himself at the head of twelve thousand men, and sallied 
forth to encounter the Moslems on their mardi. 

Scarcely had this reckless warrior departed with his troops,, 
when the'timid and trading part of the community gathe^ 
together, and took adyant^e of his absence to send thir^ <^ 
the most important and opulent of tiie inliabitants to Aim 
Obeidah, with an ofier of a ransom for the city. These 
worthies, whm they entered the Moslem camp, were asto- 
nished at the ordtap and tranquillity that reigned throughout, 
under the wise regulations of the commander-in-chief. Ther 
were received by Abu Obeidah with dignified composure, and 
informed him that they had come wil£>ut the knowledge of 
Youkenna, their warlike governor, who had sallied out on a 
foray* and whose tyranny they found insupportable. After 
much discussion, Adu Obeidab offered indemnity to the city 
of Aleppo, on condition that they shoxdd pay a certain sum 
of money, furnish nrovisions to his army, make discovery of 
everything within tneir knowledge prejudicial to his interests, 
and prevent Youkenna from returning to the castle. Thej 
agreed to all the terms except that relating to tiie castle, 
i^ch it was impossible for them to execute. 

Abu Obeidab dispensed with that point, but exacted from 
them all an oath to fulfil punctually the otber conditions f 
assuring them of his protection and kindness, should t^ey 
observe it ; but adding that, should they break it, they need 
«zpect no quarter. He then offered them an escort, which 

oKiX. 188 

Ikad come. 

Ib ^e meantine YovkcDBOA, on the day after Ids saUying 
forth, Ibn in with &e advance ^oard of me Moslem arn^, 
oomnsting of oae thomnnd men, under Caab Ibn Bamarraa. 
fie oame fifOQ #ieiH hy ampnae while wzttmng Iheir horses, 
and restiiig themsel^vs on me grsas in negligent security. A 
desperate fight was the oonsequenoe ; the Moslems at first 
were si t e eewfui , btA wwre overpowered by ntmibers. One 
hnndred and seremly were akin, most of me rest wounded, 
vzmI their &emient ones of **Ya Mahomffied! Ya Ma- 
hommed!'* (Oh Mahomet! Oh Mahomet!) showed ^e ex« 
ti^NDity of their dematr. !Night alone sared them from total 
naesaere ; but Yonkemm rei^ved to pursue the work of esy 
tenainadon with the morning lig^t. In the course of '^e- 
ndght, however, one of his scovts brought him word of th4 
peaoeM negotiation carried on by the citizens of Ale^pe^ 
JUirin£^ his aSs^iee. Boifin^ with rage, he gave up all fortneir 
thought about Caab and nis men, and hastenmg back tO' 
Akppo, drew up his forees, and threatened to put ererythin(f: 
to me and sword uidees the inhabitants renounced the treaty » 
joined him against the Moslems, and |;aye up the devisers of^ 
the late traitorous sdiiemes. On ihea hesitating to comply 
with his demands, he charged on them with his troops, and 
put Ihree hundred to the sword. The cries and lamentationB 
of the multitude reached the nious Johannas in Ms retirement 
in the caslle. He hastened to the scene of carnage, and 
sought by prayers and supplicationB, and pious Temonstrances, 
to stay the ftur of his brother. ** What I" cried the fierce 
Youkenna, " snail I spare traitors who are leagued with Ihe 
enemy, and selling us for goldP" 

" iiJas !" replied Johannas, "they have only sought their 
own safely ; they are not fighting men." 

** Base wretdi I** cried Youkenna, in a firenzy, " *tia thou 
hast been the contriver of this infamous treason."* 

His naked sword was in his hand ; his actions were ev^ 
more frantic than his words, and in an instant the head of his 
meek and pious brother rolled on the pavement. 

The people of Aleppo were in danger of sufiering more 
from the madness of the army than they had anprehended 
from the sword of the invader, when a part of tne Moslei^ 
army appeared in sight, led on by Slhaled. A bloody battle 
ensued oefore the walls of the town, three thousand of Yoa* 
kenna's troops were slain, and he was obliged to take refhge 
with a considerable number within the castk^ where he placed 

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engines on the walls, and prepared to defend himself to the 
last extremity. 

A council was held in the Moslem camp« Abu Obeidah 
was disposed to besiege the citadel, and starve out the gar- 
rison, but Khaled, with his accustomed promptness, was for 
instant assault, before the emperor could send reinforcements 
and supphes. As usual, his bold counsel ^vailed ; the castle 
was stormed, and he headed the assault. The conflict was one 
of the fiercest in the wars of Syria. The besieged hurled 
huge stones from the battlements ; many of the assailants 
were slain, many maimed, and Khaled was compelled to desist 
from the attack. 

In the dead of that very night, when the fires of the camp 
were extinguished, and the Moslems were sleeping after their 
hard-fought battle, Youkenna sallied forth with his troops, fell 
on tiie enemy sword in hand, lolled sixty, and bore on fifty 
prisoners : £haled, howerer, was hard on his traces, and killed 
abore a hundred of his men before they could shelter them- 
selves within the castle. On the next morning Youkenna 
paraded his fifty prisoners on the walls of the citadel, ordered 
them to be beheaded, and threw their heads among the be- 

Learning from his spies that a detachment of Moslems 
were foragmg the country, Youkenna sent out, secretly, a 
troop of horse in the night, who fell upon the foragers, killed 
neany seven score of them, slew or hamstrung their camels, 
mules, and horses, and then hid themselves in the recesses of 
the mountains, awaiting the night to ^et back to the castle. 

Some fugitives carried tidings of this skirmish to the camp, 
and Khaled and Derar, with a trooo of horse, were soon at 
the scene of combat. They found the ground strewed with 
the dead bodies of men and animals, learnt from some pea- 
sants whither the enemy had retreated, and were informed of 
a narrow defile by which they must return to the castle. 
Xhaled and Derar stationed meir troops in ambush in this 
defile. Late in the night they perceived the enemy advancing. 
They suffered them to get completely entangled m the defile, 
when, closing suddenly upon them on every side, they slew a 
number on me spot, and took three hundred prisoners. These 
were brought in triumph to the Moslem camp, where they 
would have redeemea themselves with ample ransom, but 
their heads were all stricken off in front of the castle, by way 
of retaliation. 

For five months did the siege of this fortress continue ; all 
the attacks of the Moslems were repulsed, allUieir stratagems 

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OMAS. 85' 

discorered and circamyented; for Tottkenna liad spies in the 
verjr camp of the enemy, who gave him intelligence by word 
or signal, of every plan and movement. Abu Obeidah des- 
paired of reducing this impregnable castle, which impeded 
him in his career of conc[uest, and wrote to the CaliplC pro- 
posii^ to abandon the siege and proceed agamst Autioch. 
The Calinh, in reply, ordered him by no means to desist, as 
that would give courage to the enemy, but to press the siege 
hard, and trust the event to Grod. As an additional reliance, 
he sent him a reinforcement of horse and foot, with twenty 
camels to facilitate the march of the infantry. Notwith* 
standing all this aid, the siege was continued for seven-and- 
forty days, with no greater prospect dt success. 

While in this state of vexatious impediment and delay, 
Abu Obeidah was one day accosted by one of the^ neMy- 
arrived soldiers, who told him that, if he would ffive him 
thirty men, all strong and valiant, he would pledge nis head 
to put him in possession of the castle. The man who made 
this singular application was named Damda ; he was of Her- 
culean strength and gif^antic size, a brave soldier, and of 
great natural sagacity, although unimproved by education, as 
he was bom a s&ve. ^ Khaled backed his appucation, having 
heard of great exploits performed by him m Arabia. Abu 
Obeidah, m his perplexities, was willing to adopt any expe* 
dient to get possession of this obstinate castle, and the Arabs 
were always prone to strange and extravagant stratagems in 
theur warfare. He accordmgly placed tlmrty of his bravest 
men under command of Damas, charging them to obey him 
implicitly, notwithstanding his base conmtion ; at the same 
time, in compliance with his request, he removed with his 
army to the Stance of a league, as though about to abandon 
the siege. 

It was now night, and Dam^ concealed his thirty men 
near to the castle, charging them not to stir, nor utter a 
sound. He then went out aSme, and brought in six Christian 
prisoners, one after another. He questioned them in Arabic, 
out they were ignorant of the language, and reulied in 
their own tongue. " The curse of AUah on these Cnristian 
dogs and their barbarous jargon, which no man can imder- 
stand," cried the rude Arab, and in his rage he smote off 
their heads. 

He went forth again, and saw a man sliding down the wall, 
whom he seized tne moment he touched the ground. He 
was a Christian Arab,. and was endeavouring to escape from 
the tyranny of Toukenna, and from him DamUs obtamed the 
information he desired. He instantly despatched two men to 

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Aba Obeida]]^ rgqnesting kim to send liim some kone shamk 
gimrifle. He then took a goat-akin from, kk wallet^ with, 
wkieh ke cohered kis back and skoyld^na, and a dry <aniBt of 
bread in kia kand, and crept on aU-fbnra cktse to tke waJl of 
the castle. His men crept silently after kim. Wken ke keacd 
A noise ke gnawed kia crust witk a sonnd like tkat of a do^ 
fflmwing a bone^ and kis fellowevs r«nained motionless. In. 
^a way ke reaoked a part of tke castle wall wkick was tibd* 
easiest of access. Tken seating kims^ <mi tke gronnd, ker 
made one of kia men seat kimseu on kia sfaonld^^ and sacm: 
until sevvn were tkns mounted on eadi otker. Tken h» wk^- 
"wm u^eimost stood npriskt, and so did tke otkers ia aao^ 
cession, until Damda rose £am tke g^nad xxp<m kis feet, tmit 
snatained tke wkole by kia wcmdxons strengtk^ eack rem^timfig 
mAi aid aa ke oonld by bearing against tbe walL Tke xsp^^ox^ 
most man. waa now enabled to sonunUe npcm tbe battlem«at^ 
•Mkere ke fimnd a Cknatian sentinel dFonk and asleep^ He 
seized uid threw kim down, to tke Moakma bek^ tke wall^ 
-mho instantly despatcked kim. He tken unfolded kia turban 
and drew nn tiie man below kim» and tkey two tke next* and 
00. on until jDam&a waa alK> on the walL 

DamlLs now enjoined silence on tiliem aU and left them. 
He fonnd two ouier sentineLs sleepkig» wkom ke despatdted 
wilik kia dagg^, and then made kia way to aa apertore for 
^B disckar^ of arrows, looking ifavongk wkiek ne bekdd 
Xonkenna m a spaeioua (^amber» ri^y ekd, seated oa 
tapestry <^ aeazlet silk, fkv^ered wilk. gdd, drinkiiig and 
Tnaking meny witk a large company; for k would seem aa if, 
on tke apparent dti^artnre <^ the becaeging army, tke wkole 
castle kad been giren np to feasting and caronsii^. 

Dam^s consiaercd the company too nnmerons to be 
attacked; retoraing to Jiis men, tkerefore, ke explored cao- 
tioualy witk tkem tbe inteadcHr ni tke castle. C^miBg suddenly 
upon tke guards at tke main entrance, wko kad no appro* 
Rension of dang^ from witkin. they killed them, tkrew open 
tke gate, let down the drawbridge, and were joined by tke 
seaidne of their party. Tke castl^ was by tkis time alainned: 
the garrison, kau drunk and kalf aale^, came msking from 
all quarters in wild c<mftiffion. Tke Moslems defended tkem- 
■elyes stoutly on tke drawbridge and in tke narrow pass of 
ike barbican until tke dawn of d^y, wken a skout <h Allah 
Aekbar was keard, and £kaled, with, a tro<^ of korse, came 
timndearing tkrougk tke gate. 

Tke Gmstians tlurew down tkeir arms and cried for mercy. 
Kkaled offered them their ckoice, deatk or tke faitk of Islam. 
Xoukenna was tke foat to raise kia finger and pronounce tl^ 

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OMAR. 87 

formula; his example was followed by seyeral of his leading 
men, whereupon their wives, and children, and property were 
secored to them. The castle havinf^ been taken Dy storm, was 
completely plundered, and the spoils were divided among the 
army, excepting the usual fiilh part reserved for the Caliph. 
Damas and his brave companions, who had been ahnost out 
to pieces in the fight, were praised to the skies, nor would Abu 
Obeidah stir with his host un^ those of them who survived 
were out of danger from their wounds. 


TertOj of TotdKona to ^fbniier friends.— Attempts the castle of AAzas 
t^ tnaclieiyd — Captiue of the castle. 

It is a cireamstance worthy of remarit in the history both of 
Mahomet and his successors, that the most inveterate enemies 
of the Islam faith, when once converted to it, even though 
their conversion were by the edge of the sword, that great 
Moslem instrument of persuasion, became its faithfm de- 
fenders. Bach was the ease with Youkenna, who, from the 
tone ho embraced Islam with the Arab scimetar at his throat, 
became as determined a duumuon of its doctrines as he had 
before been an op|>onent. tike all new converts, he was 
anxious to give striking proofs of his zeal : he had slain a 
brother in suj^rting his old faith, he now proposed to betray 
a cousin in promoting the interests of the new. This cousin, 
whose name was Theodoras, was governor of an important 
town and fortress, named Aazaz, situated at no great mstance 
Irom Aleppo, and which it was noeessaiy for the Moslems to 
secure befwre they left that neighbourhood. The castle was 
of great strength, and had a numerous garrison, but Youkenna 
offered to put it into the hands of Abu Obeidah by stratagem. 
His plan was, to have one hundred Moslems disguised as 
C^mstian soldiers: with these he would pretend to ny to the 
fortress of Aazaz for refdge ; being p^ursued at a distance by 
a large body g£ Arabs, who, after coming in sight of the place, 
would appear to retire in despair, but would conceal them- 
selves in the ne^hbourhood. His cousin Theodorus, who 
knew nothing of his conversion, would receive him with 
perfect confi&nce : at a concerted hour of the night, he and 
his men would fall suddenly up(m the garrison, and at the 
same iime throw open the gates to the party without the 


walls, and between them both, he had no doubt oi carryings 
the place without difficulty. 

Abu Obeidah held counsel with Xhaled, who |>ronounced 
the stratagem apt and feasible, provided the sincerity of 
Youkenna's conversion mi^ht be depended upon. The new 
proselyte managed to obtam their confidence, and was des- 
patched on his enterprise with one hundred chosen men, 
selected by tens from ten tribes of Arabs. After they had 
departed a sufficient time, one thousand men were sent in 
pretended pursuit, headed by ]Si{alec Alashtor, who was 
mstructed in the whole strataeem. 

These Moslem wars were always a tissue of plot and coun- 
terplot, of which this whole story of Youkenna is a stnkinfi^ 
example. Scarce had this scheme of treachery been devised 
in the Moslem camp, when the distant governor of Aazaz was 
auprised of it, with a success and celenty that almost seemed 
like magic. He had at that time a spy m the Moslem camp, 
an Arab of the tribe of Gassan, who sent him a letter, tied 
under the wing of a carrier pigeon, informing him of the 
apostasy of Youkenna, and of his intended treadierjr; though 
the spy was ignorant of that part of the plan relatmg to mo 
thousand men under Malec Alashtar. On receiving thi» 
letter, Theodorus put his town and castle in a posture of 
defence, called in the Christiau Arabs of the neighbouring^ 
villages capable of bearing arms, and despatched a messenger 
named Tarik al Gassani to Lucas the prefect of Arrawendin, 
urgiuj? him to re{>air with troops to his assistance. 

BeK>re the arrival of the latter, Youkenna aj^ared with 
his pretended fugitives before the gates of Aazaz, announcing 
that his castle was taken, and that ne and Ms band were flying 
before pursuers. Theodorus sallied forth on horseback, at ihe 
head of many of his troops, as if to receive his cousin with all 
due honours. He even alighted from his steed, and, approadii- 
ing Youkenna in a reverential manner, stooped as it to kiss 
his stirrup ; but suddenly cutting the saddle girth, he pulled 
him with his face on the ^und, and in an instant his hun- 
dred followers were likewise unhorsed and made prisoners. 
Theodorus then spat in the face of the prostrate x oukenna, 
and reproached him with his apostasy and treachery; threat- 
ening to send him to answer for his crimes before the emperor 
Heraclius, and to put all his followers to the sword. 

In the meantime Tarik al Gassani, the Christian Arab, 
who had been sent by Theodorus to summon the prefect of 
Arrawendan to his aid, had executed his errand, but on Hie 
,way back fell into the hands of Malec, who was lying in 
<ambuscade with his thousand men. the sight of a nSked 

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OMIB. * 89^ 

scimetar drew from Tank information tliat tlie plot of You- 
kenna h^ been discoyered ; that lie had been sent after aid, 
and that Lucas, the prefect of Arrawend&n, mnst bo actuallj 
on his way with five nundred cavalry. 

Profiting by this information, Malec placed his thousand 
men so advantageously, as completely to surprise and capture 
Lucas and his reinforcement, as they were marching in the 
night. He then devised a stratagem still to outwit th» 
governor of Aazaz. First he dis^ised his five hxmdred men 
in dresses taken from their Christian prisoners, and gave them 
the Christian standard of the prefect of Arrawend&i. Then 
summoning Tank the messenger before him, and again dis* 
playing the scimetar, he exhorted him most earnestly to turn 
Mahometan. There was no resisting his arguments, and 
Tank made a full and hearty profession of the faith. Midec 
then ordered him to prove ms zeal for the good cause by pro- 
ceeding to Aazaz and informing Theodorus, that the prefect 
of Arrawend^ was at hand with a reinforcement of &ve 
hundred men. The double-faced courier departed on his 
errand, accompanied by a trusty Moslem, wno had secret 
orders to smite off hia head, if he should be found to waver ; 
but there were still other plots at work in this tissue of 

As Tarik and his companion approached Aazaz, they heard 
great shouting and the sound of trumpets, and this was the 
cause of the cmtnge. Theodorus, the governor, had committed 
Youkenna and his men into the custody of his son Leon. 
l^ow it so happened, that the youth, having frequently visited 
his father's mnsmen at the castle of Aleppo, had become 
violently enamoured of the daughter of Youkenna, but had 
met strong opposition to his love. The present breach between 
his father and Youkenna, threatened to place an inseparable 
barrier between him and the gratification of his passion. 
Maddened by his desires, the youth now offered to Youkenna, 
if he would give him his daughter to wife, to embrace Maho- 
metanism, and to. set him ana his companions at liberty. The 
offer was accepted. At the dead of the night, when the 
prisoners were armed and liberated, they fell upon the sleep- 
ing garrison; a tumultuous fight ensued, in the course of 
which Theodorus was slain, by the hand, it is said, of his 
unnatural son. 

It was in the height of this conflict that Tarik and his 
companion arrived at the place, and learning the situation of 
affairs, hastened back to Malec Alashtar with the news. Tho 
latter hurried on with his troops, and came in time to com- 
plete the capture of the place* He bestowed great praises on 


Y<yuke]mft» bat tbe It^i^r, isSamg lum br the hand, ezdaiined, 
« Thank Allah and this yoaih." He mm related the whcde 
stoj. Tho^ous Malee lifted up his ejes and hands ia 
wonder. " When Allah wills a thing," exclaimed he, " he 
pmMres the means." 

Leering Seid Ibn Amir in eommand of the plaiee, with 
Youkenna's band of a hundred m^d, as a garrison, Malec 
Ahishtar returned to the main armj with great booty and 
xsany TOnscmers. Yodkenna, howerer, reAis^ to accompanj 
him. JELe was mortified at the qnesticmable result of his 
vndOTtaldng against Aazaz, the pkee having been taken by 
other means tibtn his own, and rowed not to show himself in 
the Modiem eamp until he had retrieyed his credit by soom 
«ignal blow. Just at this time, there anired at Aazaz, a 
f enraging party of a thousand Moslems, that had been ravaein^ 
the neighbouring country; among them were two hunorea 
irenegades, who had iq[>ostatized wil^ Youkenna, and whose 
IsmiSes and effects w^e in the castle of Aleppo. Ther were 
the very men for his purpose, and wiHi these he marched oS 
to execute one of his charaMeriBtia stratagems at Antioch. 


laSrigacvof Tonkcnia si AaUodk, — Siege of that dty Xij tbe Xodeiiis.— 
fliS^ oCtiie emperor to Conftoitiiiople. — Snnender of Antiocfa. 

!Fhb City of Antioch was at that time ^le camtal ^ Syria 
jmd the seat of the Soman goiremiment in the JSast. It wm 
^ great extent^ surrounded by stone walls and numerofiia 
ix^wers, and stood in the midst of a jBertile country, watered 
by w^ and fountains and abundant streams. Here HeracHus 
held his court, and here the Greeks, sunk in luxury and 
effeminacy, had lost all t^ military disdftline and heroiflm 
that had made them co^ouerors in Asia. 

Towards this capital Youkeima proceeded with his band of 
two hundred men ; but in the second watch of the night he 
left them, after giving them orders to keep on in the high way 
^of the caravans, and on arriving at Antioch, to give them* 
selves out as ragitives from Aleppo. In the meantime, he, 
witii two of his relatives, stra<^ into a by-road, and soon 
fell into the hands of one of the emperor's outposts. C^b. 
announcing himself Youkenna, late governor of Aleppo, he 
uras sent und^r a guard of horse to Antioch. 

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OMAR. 91 

The emperor Heradiiu, brdceii in fspiritbjlik late reverses 
>and Iiis oontmual apprehensions, wept at the sight of You- 
kenna, and meekly upbraided him with his i^K>stasy and 
treason; but the latter, with perfect self-possession and 
^ffirontery, declared that whatever he had done was for the 
purpose of preserving his life for the emperor's service ; and 
'cited the obstinate defence he had made at Aleppo, and his 
TOesent voluntary arrival at Antioch, as proofs of his fidelity. 
The emperor was easily deceived by a man he had bee«L 
accustomed to regard as one of his bravest and most devoted 
officers ; and ind^d the subtle i^>ostate had the address ta 
indine most of the courtiers in his favour. To console him 
for what was considered his recent misfortunes, he was put 
in command of the two hundred pretended fugitives of nis 
former garrison, as soon as they arrived at Antioch ; he had 
thus a band of kindred renegades, ready to aid him in any 
desperate treachery. Furthermore, to snow his entire con- 
fidence in him, the emperor sent him, with upwards of two 
thousand men, to escort his youngest daughter from a neie^h- 
bouring jjlace to the court at Antioch. He performed his 
mission with correctness ; as he and his troop were escorting 
the princess about midnight, the neighing of their horses put 
ihem on the alert, and sending out scouts they received 
intelligence of a partv of Moslems asleep, with their horses 
finrazin^ near tiiem. They proved to be a body of a thousand 
C!hristian Arabs, under Haim, son of the apostate Jabalah 
Ibn al Ayam, who had made captives of Derar Ibn al Azwar 
and a foraging party of two hundred Moslems. They all pro- 
ceeded together to Antioch, where, the emperor received his 
daughter with great joy, and made Youkenna one of his chief 

Perar and his men were brought into the presence of the 
emperor, and commanded to prostrate themsdves before him, 
but they held themselves erect, and took no heed of the com- 
mand. It was repeated more peremptorily. " We bow to 
no created being,'* replied Derar, " tne prophet bids us to 
yield adoration to Goa alone." 

The emperor, struck with this reply, propounded several 
questions touching Mahomet and his doctrmes, but Derar, 
whose province did not lie in words, beckoned to Kais Ibn 
Amir, an old gray headed Moslem, to answer them. A long 
and edifying conference ensued, in which, in reply to the 
searching questions of the emperor, the venerable iLais went 
into a history of the prophet* and of the various modes in 
which inspiration came upon him. Sometimes like the sound 
ci a hell; sometimes in the likeness of an angel in human 

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shape i sometimes in a dream ; sometimes like the brightness 
of the dawning day ; and that when it was npon him great 
drops of sweat roUed finom his forehead, and a tremonr seized 
npon his limbs. He ibrthermore descanted with eloquence 
upon the miracles of Mahomet, of his noctumaljonmeyta 
heayen, and his conversation with the Most High. The 
emperor listened with seeming respect to all these matters, 
but they ronsed the indignation of a bishop who was present, 
and who pronounced Muiomet an impostor. Derar took fire 
in an instant ; if he could not argue, ne could make use of a 
soldier's yocabulary, and he roundly gave the bishop the lie, 
and assailed him with all kinds of epithets. Instantly a 
number of Christian swords flashed from their scabbards, 
blows were aimed at him from every side ; and according to 
Moslem accounto, he escaped death only by miracle ; though 
others attribute it to the hurry and connision of his assaUants, 
and to the interference of Youkenna. The emperor was now 
for having him executed on the spot; but here the good 
offices of Youkenna again saved him, and his execution was 

In the meantime, Abu Obeidah, with his main army, was 
making his victorious approaches, and subjecting all Syria to 
his arms. The emperor, in his miserable imbeciBty and blind 
infatuation, put the treacherous Youkenna in fvJl command 
of the cify and army. He would again have executed Derar 
and his iellow-prisoners, but Youkenna suggested that they 
had better be spared to be exchtmeed for any Christians that 
might be taken by the enemy. They were lien, by advice of 
the bishops, taken to one of the churches, and exhorted to 
embrace the Christian faith, but they obstinately reused. 
The Arabian writers, as usual, give them sententious replies 
to the questions put to them. " What hindersye," demanded 
the ]^atriarch, ** from turning ChristiansP" " The truth of our 
religion," replied they. Heradius had heard of the mean 
attire of the Caliph Omar, and asked them why, having gained 
so much wealth by his conquests, he did not go riduy clad 
like other princes r They replied, that he oared not for this 
world, but for the world to come, and sought favour in the 
eyes of God alone. " In what kind of a palace does he resideP'" 
asked the emperor. " In a house built of mud." " Who are 
his attendants P" Beggars and the poor." " What tapestry- 
does he sit uponP" "Justice and eqpitv.** "WTiat is his 
thrcmeP" "Abstinence and true Imowledge." "What is 
his treasure P" " Trust in God." "And who are his guard?" 
" The bravest of the Unitarians." 

Of all the prisoners, one only could be induced to swerve-' 

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OICAB. 93 

from Hs faith ; and lie was a youth fascinated bythe beanty 
and the nnyeiled charms of the Greek women. He was bap- 
tized with triumph; the bishops strove most who should 
honour him, and the emperor ^ave him a horse, a beautifal 
damsel to wife, and enrolled lum in the army of Christian 
Arabs, commanded by the renegade Jabalah ; but he was up- 
praided in bitter terms by his father, who was one of the 
prisoners, and ready to die in the faith of Islam. 

The emperor now reviewed his army, which was drawn up 
outside of the walls, and at the head of ever^ battalion was a 
wooden oratory with a crucifix, while a precious crucifix out 
of the main church, exhibited only on extraordinary occa- 
sions, was borne as a sacred standa^rd before the treacherous 
Toukenna. One of the main dependencies of Heraclius for 
the safety of Antioch was in the Iron Bridge, so called from 
its great strength. It was a bridge of stone across the river 
Orontes, guarded by two towers, and garrisoned bya great 
force, having not less than three hundr^ officers. The fate 
of this most important pass shows the degeneracy of Greek 
discipline, and the licentiousness of the soldiery, to which in 
a great measure has been attributed the rapid successes of the 
Moslems. An officer of the court was charged to visit this 
fortress each day, and see that everything was in order. On 
one of his visits, he found those who had diarge of the towers 
drinking and revelling,, whereupon he ordered them to be 
punished with fif^ stripes each. They treasured the disgrace 
m their hearts. The Moslem army approached to lay siege 
to that formidable fortress, and when tne emperor expected 
to hear of a long and valiant resistance, he was astonished by 
the tidings that me Iron Bridge had been surrendered without 
a blow. 

Heraclius now lost heart altogether. Instead of calling a 
council of his generals, he assembled the bishops and wesJthiest 
citizens in the cathedral, and wept over the affairs of Syria. 
It was a time for dastard counsel ; the apostate Jabalah pro- 
posed the assassination of the Gali{)h Omar, as a means of 
throwing the affairs of the Saracens into con^ion. The em- 
peror was weak enough to consent, and Yathek Ibn Mosapher, 
a bold young Arab of the tribe of Jabalah, was despatched to 
Medina to effect the treacherous deed. The Arabian his- 
torians ^ve a miraculous close to this undertaking. Arriving 
at Medma, Yathek concealed himself in a tree, without the 
walls, at a place where the Caliph was accustomed to walk 
after the hour of prayers. After a time, Omar approched 
the place, and lay down to sleep near the foot of the tree. 
The assassin drew his dagger, and was descending, when he 


bebeld a lion walking round the Caliph, licking his feet, and 
guarding him as he slept When he -wcke, the lion went 
away ; upcm which Vatfa^k, oonyinced that Omar was under 
the protection of heaven, hastened down from the tree, kissed 
his nand in t(^en of allegiance, repealed his treacherous 
errand, and ayowed his conyersion to the Islam faith. 

The surrender of the Ircm l^dge had laid op^i Antioch 
to the approach of Abu Obeidah, uid he advanced in batUe 
array, to where the Christian army was drawn up boieath its 
walls. Nestorius, one of the Christian commanders, sallied 
forth &Gm among the troqps, and defied the Moslems to single 
combat. Dam&s, the henmlean warrior, who had taken me 
eastle of Aleppo, spurred forward to meet him, but his horse 
stumbled and fell with him, and he was seized as the prisoner 
of Nestorhis, and conyeyed to his tent, where he was bound 
hand and foot. Dehac, another Moslem, took his place, and 
a braye fight ensued between him and Nestorius. The par* 
ties, howeyer, were so well matched, that, after fighting for a 
long time tmtil both were exhausted, they parted by mutual 
oonsent. While this fight was going on, me soldiers, horse 
and foot, of eitJier army, thronged to see it, and in the tumult 
the tent of Nestorius was thrown down. There were but 
three seryants left in charge of it. Fearftd of the anger of 
ikeir master, they hastened to set it up again, and loosen^ 
the bands of Dam^ that he might assist them ; but the mo- 
ment he was free, he arose in his giant stren^h, seized two of 
the attendants, one in each hand, dashed their heads against 
the head of the third, and soon laid them all lifeless on the 
ground. Then opening a chest, he arrayed himself in a dress 
belonging to Nestorius, armed himself with a sabre, spran^r 
on a horse that stood ready saddled, and cut his way through 
the Christian Arabs of Jabali^ to the Moslem host. 

While these iMn^ were happening without the walls, 
treason was at work m the ci^. x oukenna, who commanded 
there, set firee Derar and his ^llow-prisoners, famished them 
wiUi weapons, and joined to them his own band of renegadoes* 
The tidings of this treachery, and the apprehension of revolt 
among his own troops, struck despair to the heart of Heraclius. 
He had been terrined by a dream, in which he had found 
himself thrust from his throne, and his crown failing from 
his head — ^the fulfilment appeared to be at hand. Without 
waiting to withstand the eyu, he assembled a few domestics, 
made a secret retreat to the sea-shore, and set sail for Con- 

The generals of Heradius, more brave than their emperor, 
l<mgl^ a pitched battle beneath the walk ; but the treachery 

of Yonkenna, and tlie yalonr of Derar and his men, who fefl 
<m them nnawares, rendered their ffallaat struggle imayailmjf ; 
the people of Antioch seeing the l>attiie loet, capitnlated ror 
the safety of &eir city at the oost of three hundred thousand 
golden ducats, and Abu Obeidah entered the ancient capital 
of Syria in triumph. This event took ^aoe on tiie 21st of 
August, in the year of redemption 638. 


Expedition into the moantafaM of Syria. — 8torf of a miraciiloiiff cap. 

The discreet Abu Obeidah feared to expose his troops to the 
enervating delights of Antioch, and to the allurements of the 
Greek women, and, after three days of repose and refresh- 
ment, marched forth from that luxurious city. He wrote a 
letter to the Caliph, relating his important conquest, and the 
£ight of the emperor Heradius; and added, that he dis- 
covered a grievous propensity among his troops to intermarry 
with the beautiful Urecian females, which he had forbidden 
them to do, as contrary to the injunctions of the Koran. 

The epistle was delivered to Omar just as he was depart- 
ing on a pilgrimage to Mecca, accompanied by the widows of 
the prophet. When he had read the letter, he offered pravers 
and thanksgiving to Allah, but wept over Abu Ooeiaah** 
rigour to his soldiers. Seating himself upon the ground, he 
immediately wrote a reply to his general, expressing his satis- 
faction at lus success, but exhortmg him to more indulgence 
to his soldiers. Those who had fought the good fight ought 
to be permitted to rest themselves, and to enjoy the good 
things they had gained. Such as had no wives at home might 
marry in Syria, and those who had a desire for female slaves 
might purchase as many as they chose. 

Whue the main army reposed after the taking of Antioch^ 
the inde&tigable KbaLed, at the head of a detachment^ 
scoured the country as far as to the Euphrates ; took Mem- 
beffe, the ancient Hierapolis, by force, and Berah and Bales, 
and other places, by capitulation, receiving a hundred thousand 
pieces of gold by way of ransom, besides laying the inhabit- 
ants under annual trioute. 

Abu Obeidah, in an assemblage of his officers, now pro- 
posed an expedition to subdue the mountains of Syria ; but 
no one stepped forward to volunteer. The monntains were 


rugged and sterile, and covered with ioe and snow for the 
mater part of the year, and the troops already began to feel 
the effects of the softening climate and delights of Syria. At 
length a candidate presented himself, named Meisara Ibn. 
Mesrond ; a numerous body of picked men was placed under 
liis command, and a black flag was given him, bearing the 
inscription, " There is no Grod but God. Mahomet is the mes- 
senger of God." Bam^ accompanied him at the head of one 
thousand black Ethiopian slaves. The detachment suffered 
greatly in the mountains, for they were men of sultry climates, 
tmaccustomed to ice and snow, and they passed suddenly from 
a soft Syrian summer to the severity of frozen winter, and 
from the midst of abundance to regions of solitude and stenlity. 
The inhabitants, too, of the scanty villages, fled at their 
approach. At length they captured a prisoner, who informed 
them that an imperial army of many thousand m^i was lying 
in wait for them in a valley about tiiree leagues distant, ana 
that aU the passes behind them were guarded. A scout, des* 
patched in search of intelligence, con^med this news : where* 
npon they intrenched themselves in a commanding position, 
and despatched a fleet courier to AbuObeidah, to inform him 
of their perilous situation. 

The courier made such speed, that when he reached the 
presence of Obeidah, he fainted through exhaustion. Eialed, 
who had just returned from his successful expedition to the 
Euphrates, instantly hastened to the relief of Meisara with 
three thousand men, and was presently followed by Ayadlbn 
Ganam, with two thousand more. 

Khaled found Meisara and his men making desperate stand 
against an overwhelming force. At the sight of this powerful 
reinforcement, with the black eagle of Khaled in the advance^ 
the Greeks gave over the attack and returned to their camp, 
but secretly retreated in the night, leaviog their tents stand- 
ing, and bearing off captive Abdallah Ibn Hodafa, a near 
relative of the prophet, and a beloved friend of the Caliph 
Omar, whom they straightway sent to the emperor at Con- 

The Moslems forbore to pursue the enemy through these 
difficult mountains, and, after plundering the deserted tents, 
returned to the main army. W hen the Caliph Omar received 
tidings from Abu Obeidah of the capture of Abdallah Ibn 
Hodafa, he was grieved at heart, and despatched instantly an 
epistle to the emperor Heraclius at Constantinople. 

" Bismillah ! fii the name of the all merciful God ! 

" Praise be to Allah, the Lord of this world, and of that 
which is to come, who has neither companion^ wife, nor son; 

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OUAB. 97 

and blessed be Mahomet his apostle. Omar Ibn iJ Xhattlkb, 
servant of God, to Heraclius, emperor of the Greeks. A» 
soon as thon shalt receive this epistle, fail not to send to me . 
the Moslem captive, whose name is AbdallahlbnHodafa. If 
thou doest this, I shall have hope that Allah will conduct thee 
in the ri^ht path. If thou dost re^e, I will not fail to send 
thee such men as traffic and merchandise have not turned from 
the fear of Gk>d. Health and happiness to all those who tread 
in the right way !" 

In the meantime the emperor had treated his prisoner with 
great distinction, and as Abdallah was a cousin-germanto the 
prophet, the son of one of his uncles, he was an object of great 
cunosit^ at Constantinople. The emperor proffered hin^ 
hbertv if he would only make a single sign of adoration to the 
crucinx, and magnificent rewards if he would embrace the 
Christian faith ; But both proposals were rejected. Heraclius, 
say the Arab writers, then changed his treatment of him ; shut 
him up for three days, with nothing to eat and drink but 
swine's flesh and wine, but on the fo^h day found both un* 
touched. The faith of Abdallah was put to no Airther proof, 
as by this time the emperor received the stem letter from the 
Caliph. The letter had its effect. The prisoner was dismissed, 
with costly robes and rich presents, and Heradius sent to 
Omar a diamond of great size and beauty : but no jeweller at 
Medina could estimate its value. The abstemious Omar re- 
frised to appropriate it to his own use, though urged to do sa 
by tibe Moslems. He placed it in the public treasury, <^ 
which, fr^m his office, he was the guardian and manager. It 
was afterwards sold for a great sum. 

A singular story is related by a Moslem writer, but not 
supported b;^ any rumour or surmise among Christian his- 
torians. It is said that the emperor Heraclius wavered in his 
faith, if he did not absolutely become a secret convert of Ma- 
hometanism, and this is stated as the cause. He was afflicted 
with a violent pain in the head, for which he could find no 
remedy, tmtil me Caliph Omar sent him a cap of mysterious 
virtue. So long as he wore this cap he was at ease, but the 
moment he laid it aside the pain returned. Henudius caused 
the cap to be ripped open, and found within the lining a scrap 
of paper, on which was written, in Arabic character, BiBinillahf 
Arrahmani Arrahimi ! In the name of the all-merciful God. 
This cap is said to have been preserved among the Christians 
imtn the year 833, when it was given up by the goyemor of 
a besiegea town to the Caliph Almotassem, on condition of his 
raising the siege. It was found still to retain its medicinal 
virtues, which ^e pious Arabians ascribed to the efficacy r^ 



tke defreai iB B c r ipti OD. An Tmbdietin^ ChnstiftXL will set it 
down anoBff the thaxma and ineantations whidi hare fuQ 

•flfeci OB imaf^instive persons inelmed to credolity, but iipon 
iMne oikess ; sfadb persons abounded among the Arabs. 


KipecIflieB 9t Am Dm al Ajm agaiMi Frinee Oww Uiiti ae in flt^Ti*. — 

3?HB eoorse of oar Idstorj bow tnma to recmrd the Tictoriea 
^ Amrtt IbA al Aaas, to wIkmb, after the eaptare of JerosaleBi, 
the Calh^ had assigned Hie inYaaioii and soanngalion of £gjpt. 
Amro, howeyer» did not proceed immediateljto that coontr^y 
bnt remained finr some tune with his dirision of the army, soi 
Palestine, where some plaees still held oat for the emperor. 
'fhe natural and rehgioiis sobn^y of the Arabs was still 
aorely endangered am<m^ the tscmvtatioQS of Syria. Sererai 
^ the Moslem offioers bem^ seized while on tlie march, with 
chills and gxipin^ pains m consequence of eating xmnpe 
mpes» were eonnselled by a cralW old Christian AndK to 
oxink fireely of wine whidi i^pgrodiEBed, and whidn he pro- 
aonnced a sovereign remedy. Tner Mlowed his prescriptioDS 
to lnstily» that tl^y all came reelW krto the camp to the 
great scandal of Amnu The pnnismnent for dmnkenness, 
reoommended by Ali and adopted br the Caliph, was admi- 
nistered to the aelii^pients ; who eaen receiYed a sonnd basti- 
nado on the soles of the feet. This sobered them completely 
but so enraged them wil^ the old man who had reoonmKoided 
the notatioiM, that they would hare put him to dea^, had it 
not oeen represented to them that ne was a stranger and 
under Mosl^ uroteeticm. 

Anuru now aovanced upon the city of Cnsarea, where Con- 
stantine, son of the emperor, was posted with a lar^e army* 
The Moslems were beset by spies, sent by the Christian com- 
saander to obtain intelligence, llxese were commoxdy Chris* 
tian Arabs, whom it was almost izopositible to distinguish 
from those of the faith of Islam. Oiiae of these, howeTer, 
after sitting one day by- the camp fires, as he rose trod os 
the end of his own rol>e and stumbled; in his vexation, he 
uttered an oath " by Christ !*' He was immediately detected 
by his blasphemy to be a Christian and a spy, and was cut U^ 
loeces by the Dystanders. Amru rebuked them fin? theif 

OKiJi. 99 

precipitanej, as he might hare gained mfoimatioii from their 
Tietim; and ordered that in ^itnire all spies should be 
Inrought to him. 

The fears of Constantizie inereased with the approach of 
the arm J, and he now despatched a Christian priest to Amm, 
«)Hdting him to send some principal officer to confer amicably 
with him. An Ethiopian negro named Belal Ibn Bebai^ 
offered to tmdertake the embassy. He was a man of powerM 
frame and sonorous Toiee, and had been employed by Ma- 
homet as a Mneszin or crier, to snmmon the people to prayers. 
Frond of haying officiated under the prophet, he retired from 
office at his death, and had raised his yoice but once since 
that eyent, and that was on the taking possession of Jera- 
flilem, the dty of the prophets, when at the Oali]^ Omar's 
command, he snmmoned the true b^eyers to prayers with a 
force of lungs that astonished the Jewidi inhabitants. 

A mm would haye decHned the officious offer of the 
yociierous Ethiopum, representing to him that such a mis- 
sion required a smooth-spoken Arab, rather than one <^ his 
oountry; bvt, on Bekl conjuring him in the name of Allah 
and the prophet to let lum go, he reluctantly consented. 
When the priest saw who was to accompany lum back to 
CSonstantine, he objected stoulfy to such an ambassador, 
and ^^cinff contemptuously at the negro features of the 
Ethiopian, obseryed that Constantine had not sent for a slaye 
but for an officer. The negro ambassador, howeyer, pernsted 
in his di]^matic errand, but was refused admission, and 
returned mortified and indignant. 

Amru now determined to undertake the conference is 
person. Eepairin^ to the Christian camp, he was conducted 
to Oonstantme, whom he found seated in state, and who 
ordered a chair to be placed fbr him; but he put it aside, 
9Bd seated himself cross-legged on the ground after the Arab 
fiKshion, with his seimetar on has thi^ and his lance across 
his knees. The curious conference that ensued is minutely 
narrated b^ that pious Lnam and Cadi, the Modem historian 
Alwakedi, in his dironicle of the conquest of Syria. 

Constantine remonstrated against Hie inyanon, tiling 
Amru that the Bomans awT Greeks and Arabs were 
brethren, as being all the children of Noah, although, it was 
true, the Arabs were misbegotten, as being the descendants 
of Ishmael, the son of Hagar, a slaye and a concubine, jet 
•being thus brethren, it was ainfol fbr ihem to war agamst 
each other. 

Amru replied, Ihat what Constantine had said was true, 
and thai Iha AihIm gloried m acknowtodging Idbmael as.1&w 

100 8irCC£8SOS8 OF MAHOMET. 

progenitor, and enried not the Greeks their forefather Esan, 
who had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. He 
added, that their difference related to their religion, upon 
"Fhich ground even brothers were justified in warfare. 

Amru proceeded to state that Noah, after the deluge^, 
divided the earth into three parts, between his sons Shem, 
Ham, and Jajjhet, and that Syria was in the portion assigned 
to Shem, which continued down through nis descenoants 
Xathan and Tesm, and Jodais to Amalek, the father of the 
Amalekite Arabs ; but that the Arabs had been pushed from 
their fertile inheritance of Sjrria into the stony and thorny 
deserts of Arabia. 

" We come now," continued Amm, "to claim our ancient 
inheritance, and resume the ancient partition. Take you the 
stones and the thorns and the barren deserts we haye occu- 
pied, and giye us back the pleasant land of Syria, with its 
groyes, its pastures, its fair cities and nmning s&eams." 

To this Constantme replied, that the partition was already 
made ; that time and possession had confirmed it ; and that 
the groves had been planted and tiie cities built by the 
present inhabitants. Each, therefore, ought to be contented 
with the lot that had fallen to him. 

" There are two conditions," rejoined Amru, "on which the 
land may remain with its present inhabitants. Let them pro- 
fess the religion of Islam, or pay tribute to the Caliph, as is 
due from aliunbeHevers." 

"Not so," said Constantine, "but let each continue to 
possess the land he has inhabited, and enjoy the produce of 
Ids own toil, and profess the faith which ne beheves, in. his 
own conscience, to be true." 

Upon this Aynru sternly rose. "One only alternative," 
saidne, "remains. Since you obstinately refuse the con- 
ditions I propose, even as your ancestor Esau refused 
obedience to ms mother, let Grod and the sword decide be- 
tween us." 

As he waa about to depart, he added : " We will acknow- 
ledge no kindred with you, while ye continue unbelievers^ 
Ye are the children of Esau, we of Ishmael, through wHom 
alone the seal and gift of prophecy descended from father to 
son, from our great foreiather Adam, until it reached the 
prophet Mahomet. Now Ishmael was the best of tiie sons^ 
of his father, and made the tribe of Kenanah, the best tribe 
of Arabia ; and the family of Xoreish is the best of the tribe ' - 
of Kenanah ; and the children of Haschem are the best of 
the family of Koreish: and Abdallah Mot411eb, grandsire of 
liahomeit, was the best of the sons of Haischem ; and Ah- 

OKiB. 101 

dallah, the youngest and best of the thirteen sons of Abu 
MotMleb, was the father of Mahomet (on whom be peace !) 
who was the best and only issue of his sire ; and to him the 
angel Gkibriel descended m>m Allah, and inspired him with 

ill A tnfi- n^ -niv^TkYiA^nr " 

Thus terminated this noted conference, and A mm returned 
to his host. The armies now remained in sight of each other, 
prepared for battle, but without coming to action. One day 
an officer richly arrayed came forth from the Ghristiaii camp, 
defying the Moslems to single combat. Several were ea^er 
to accept the challenge in hoi>es of gaining such glittermg 
spoil; but Amru rebuked their sordid motives. "Let no 
man fi^t for eain," said he, " but for the truth. He who 
loses his life fighting for the love of God, will have paradise 
as a reward ; but he who loses it fighting for any other ob- 
ject, will lose his life and all that he fifi^hts for." 

A stripling now advanced, an Arab &om Yemen, or Arabia 
the Happy, who had sought these wars not, as he said, for 
the delignts of Syria, or the fading enjoyments of this world, 
but to (&vote himself to the service oi God and his apostle. 
His mother and sister had in vain opposed his leaving his 
peaceful home, to seek a life of dancer. " If I fall in the 
service of Allah," said he, " I shidl oe a martyr ; and the 
prophet has said, that the spirits of the martyrs shall dwell 
m the crops of the green birds that eat of the fruits and 
drink of the rivers of paradise." Finding their remonstrances 
of no avail, his mother and sister had followed him to the 
wars, and they now endeavoured to dissuade him from fight- 
ing with an adversary so much his superior in strength and 
years; but the youmM enthusiast was not to be moved. 
** Farewell, mother and sister!" cried he, "we shall meet 
again by that river of joy provided in paradise for the 
apostle and his followers.' 

The youth rusJied to the combat, but obtained almost in- 
stantly the crown of martyrdom he sought. Another and 
another succeeded him, but shared the same fate. Serjabil 
Ibn Hasanah stepped forth. As on a former occasion, in 
purifying the spint, he had reduced the flesh ; and a course 
of watcEng and fasting had rendered him but little com- 
petent to face his powerful adversary. After a short combat 
the Christian bore him to the earth, and setting his foot 
upon his breast, was about to take his life, when his own 
hand was suddenly severed from his body. The prostrate 
Serjabil looked up with surprise at his dehverer ; for he was 
in Grecian attire, and had come from the Grecian host. He 
announced himself as the unhappy Tuleia Ibn Chowailed, 

gitized by VjOO 


Ibnnerhr a pretended prophet and an afisockte of Mos^liiuu 
After l£e death of that impostor, he hflkd repented of haa falio 
prophedee, and beocone a Moedem in heart, and had aongfat 
an opportumty of signalizing his derotion to llie Islam caoM. 

*' Oh brother!*' cried S^'abil, " the merer of Allah is in- 
finite, and repentance w^es wwKf a& crimes. 

Serjabii would now laere taken him to t^e Moskm kost» 
bat Inleia hxmg bade ; and at kn^ confessed that ke would 
lon^ since hare joined the standard of Iriam, but that he waa 
afraid of Khal^ that terror and scoorro of fidse pi^pphets, 
who had killed his friend MoseOma, and who mi^ht pwit him 
to death out of resentment foriyt misdeeds. Serjalnl <niiet«d 
his fears, bjassurinir him thatiGialedwas not in tiie Moslem 
camp ; he then condneted him to Amro, who reoeired kim 
with great fayour, and afterwards gare him a letter to tha 
Caliph setting fbrth the signai sernoe he had perfbtmed, and 
his sincere cfeyotion to <£e cause ci Iriam. He was sub- 
sequentlj employed in the wars of the Moslems against the 

The weather was cold and tempestuous, and the Christians^ 
disheartened by repeated rererses, besan daily to dea^ ihm 
colours. The prince Constimtine dreaded, witn his diminished 
and discouraged troops, to encounter an enemy flushed witk , 
success, and continually augmenlang in foree. Aeoordin^^ 
he took adyantage of a temnestuous niffht, and abandonmr 
his camp, to be plundered by ike MoMems, retreated with 
his army to CsBsarea, and ibut himself up wkhin its wallf. 
Sither he was soon followed by Amro, who laid dk>se siege to 
tiie place, but the walls were strong, the garrison was 
numerous, and Constantine hoped to be Me to hcdd out until 
the arriyal of rehiforcements. xhe tidings of further disasters 
and disgraces to the imperial cause, howeyer, destroyed this 
hope ; and these were brought abo«it by the stratagems and 
trracheries of that ardi deoeiyer Toukenna. After the sur- 
render of Antioch, that wily traitor still kept up his pretended 
deyotion to tiie Christian cause, and retreated with his band 
of renegadoes to the town of Tripoli, a sea-port in Syria* 
situated on the Mediterranean. Here he was cordially ad> 
mitted, as his treachery was BtQl unknown. Watching his 
opportunity, he rose with his deyoted band, sosed cm the 
town and citadel without noise or tumult, and kept the 
standard of the cross still flying, while he sent secret mtelli- 
gence of his exploit to Abu Obeidah. Just at this time, a fleet of 
nfty ships from Cyprus and Crete put in there, laden with, 
arms and proyisions for Constantino's anny. Before notice 
could be giren of the portiae of affairs, xookenna gained 

oMAx. lor 

esmm of the ships, and embai^ced on boatd oiUlMmi iiitix 

I reneeadoes and other tro<^, deUvering the aitj of Tripoli 
into tiie hands of the force sent bj Abu Obeidah to raonre it. ; 

Bent on new treadieiies, Yonkenna now sailed with thd^ 
fleet to Tyre, displacing the Christian flag, and informing th» 
goremor that he was come with a reinforcement for the armr 
of ^ emperor. He was kindlj receiyed, and landed wim 
nine hundred of his trocps, intending to rise on the garnson 
in the night. One of his own men, howeyer, betrayed th» 
plot, and Youkenna and his followers were seised and im^ 
jmsoned in tiie dtadeL 

In the meantime Yezed Ibn Abu Sofian, who had marched 
with two thousand men against 0s8area,but had left Amru to 
subdue it, came with his troops into the neighbourhood of* 
Tyre, in hopes to And it in possession of Youkenna. TW 
goyemor of the city despising so sl^ider a force, sallied forth 
-wiHk the greater part of his garrison, and the inhabitants, 
mounted on the walls to see the battle. 

It was the fortune of Youkenna, which he deriyed from hift 
consummate skill in intrigue, that his £ulure and captiyity on 
this occasion, as on a former one in the castle of Aazaz, seryed 
only as a foundation for his success. He contriyed to gain 
. oyer a Christian officer named Basil, to whose keeping he and 
the other prisoners were intrusted, and who was aJr^y dis* 
posed to embrace the Islam faith ; and he sent information of 
his plan by a disguised messenger to Yezed, and to those of 
his own followers who remained on board of the fleet. All 
this was the work of a few hours, while the opposing fcnroea 
were preparing for action. 

Hie battle was hardly begun when Youkenna and his nine 
hundred men, set free by the apostate Basil, and ocmducted to 
the arsenal, armed Uiemselyes and separated in diflerent 
parties. Some scoured the streets, shouting La ilaha Allah 1 
and Allah Achbar! Others stationed themselyes at tiie pas* 
sages by which alone the guard could descend from the walbu 
Omers ran to the port, where they were joined by their com* 
rades from the fleet, and others threw wide the gates to a 
detachment of the army of Yezed. All this was sudd^Jy 
effected, and with such co-oneration from yarious points, thsc 
the place was presently in me hands <^ the Moslems. Mosti 
of the inhabitants embraced the Islam &ith ; the rest weed 
pillaged and made slayes. 

It was the tiding of the loss of Tripdi and IVre, and of 
the capture of the fleet, with its munitions of war, uiat struck 
dkmay into the heart of the m*ince Constantiiie, and made 
him quake within the walls of CsMazea, He felt as if Amm 


and Ills besief;:mff army were already within the walls, and, 
taking diseracefm counsel from his fears, and example from 
liis father^ flight from Antioch, he removed frirtiyely &om 
Csesarea with his family and vast treasure, gained promptly a 
convenient port, and set all sail for Constantinople. 
' The people of CsBsarea finding one morning tnat the son of 
their sovereign had fled in the ni^ht, capitulated with Amru, 
offering to deliver up tiie city, with all the wealth belonging 
to the family of the late emperor, and two hundred thousand 
pieces of silver, as ransom for their own property. Tlieif 
terms were promptiy accepted, Amru being anxious to depart 
on the invasion of iugypt. 

The surrender of Ossarea was followed bv the other places 
in the province which had stiU held out, and thus, after a war 
of six years, the Moslem conquest of Syria was completed, in 
tiie 5th year of the Caliph Omar, the 29th of the reign of the 
emperor Heraclius, the 17th of the Hegira^ and the 639th year 
of our redemption. 

. Tlie conquest was fc^lowed by a pestilence, one of the cus- 
tomary attendants upon war. Great numbers of the people 
of Syria perished, ana with them twenty-five thousand of their 
Arabian conquerors. Among tiie latter was Abu Obeidah, the 
oommander-m-chief, then fim'-eight years of age; also Yezed 
Ibn Abu Sofian, Serjabil, and. other distinguished generals, so 
that the 18th year of the Hegira became designateid as '* The 
year of the mortality." 

In closing this account of the conquest of Syria, we must 
note the fate of one of the most efficient of its conquerors, the 
invincible !Khaled. He had never been a favourite of Omar, 
who considered him rash and headlong ; arrogant in the exer- 
cise of command ; unsparing in the use of the sword, and 
xapacious in grasping the spoils of victory. His brilliant 
acnievements m Irak and Syria^ and the magnanimity with 
which he yielded the command to Abu Obeidah, and zealously 
fought under his standard, had never sufficed to effiEi.ce the 
prejudice of Omar. 

: After the capture of Emessa, which was mainly effected by 
the bravery of IDxaled, he received con^tulations on aU 
liands as the victor. Eschaus, an Arabian poet, sang his 
exploits in lofty verse, making him the hero of the whole 
Syrian conquest. EJialed, who was as ready to squander as 
to grasp, rewarded the adulation of the poet with thirty thou- 
sand pieces of silver. All this, when reported to Omar, excited 
his ^uick disgust ; he was indignant at Khaled for arrogating 
to himself, as he supposed, all the glory of the war; and he 
attributed the lavish reward of the poet to gratified vanity. 

OKAS. 105 

**Even if the money came from liis own purse," said he, "it 
was shameM squandering ; and God, says the Xoran, loyes 
not a squanderer." 

He now gave faith to a charge made against Khaled of 
embezzling the spoils set apart for the public treasury, and 
forthwith sent orders for him to be degraded from his com- 
mand in presence of the assembled army ; it is even said his 
arms were tied behind his back with his turban. 

A rigid examinationproved the charge of embezzlement 
to be imfoimded, but Ehaled was subjected to a heavy fine. 
The sentence causing great dissatisfaction in the army, the 
Caliph wrote to the commanders: " I have punished J^aled 
not on account of fraud or falsehood, but for his vanity and 
prodigality ; paying poets for ascribing to him alone all the 
successes of the holy war. Good and evil come from God, not 

These indignities broke the heart of the veteran, who was 
already infirm from the wounds and hardships of his arduous 
campaigns, and he gradually sank into the grave, regretting 
in his last moments that he nad not died in the field of battle. 
He left a name idolized by the soldiery, and beloved by his 
kindred; at his sepulture, all Uie women of his race cut off 
their hair in token of lamentation. When it was ascertained, 
at his death, that instead of having enriched himself by the 
wars, Ms whole property consisted of his war-horse, his arms, 
and a single slave, Omar became sensible of the injustice he 
had done to his faithful general, and shed tears over nis grave. 


Inrasioii of Egypt hy Amra. — Capture of Hemphis. — Siege and surrender 
of Alexandria. — ^Burning of the Alexandrian Library. 

A FBOOF of the religious infatuation, or the blind confidence 
in destiny, which hurried the Moslem commanders of those 
days into the most extravagant enterprises, is frimished in the 
invasion of the once proud empire of me Pharaohs, the mighty, 
the mysterious Egypt, with ?n army of merely five thousand 
men. The Caliph himself, though he had suggested this ex- 
pedition, seems to have been conscious of its rashness, or 
rather, to have been chilled by the doubts of his prime coun- 
sellor Othman ; for, while Amru was on the march, he dis- 
patched missives after him to the following effect : *' If this 

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epistle reach tiiee before thou hast crossed ilie boimdarj of 
l&gfpt, oome instantly back; but if it find thee within the 
Egyptian territoiy, march on with the blessmg of Allah, and 
be assiured I will send thee all necessary aid." 

The bearer of the letter overtook Amm while yet within 
Ihe bounds of Syria; that wary general either nad seeret 
information, or made a shrewd surmise as to the piiri>ort of 
his errand, and continued his march across the border without 
admitting biTn to an audience. Haying encamped at the 
Sgyptiaa village of Arish, he reoeived the oonnw witili all 
doe respect, and read the letter aloud in the presence of his 
oiBoers. When he had finished, he demanded of those about 
him whether they were in Syria or Egfpt. " In Egypt," waa 
the reply. ** T&n" said Amru, "we will proceed, with the 
blessing of Allah, and fulfil the commands of the CaHph." 

The first place to which he laid siege was Farwak, or 
Pelusium, situated on the shores of the Mediterranean, on. 
•^e Isthmus which se^rates that sea from the Arabian Gulf, 
and connects Egypt with Syria and Arabia. It was therefiNre 
considered the key to Egypt. A month's siege put Amru in 
pOBsessicm of the place ; he then examined the surrounding 
eountiy with more forethought than was senerally manifested 
by the Moslem conquerors; and proiectea a canal across the 
Isthmus, to connect the waters of the Eed Sea and the 
Mediterranean. His plan, howerer, was condemned by the 
Caliph, as calculated to throw open Arabia to a mantime 
mTa«on of the Christians. 

Amru now proceeded to Misrah, the Memphis of the 
ancients, and residence of the early Egyptian Kings. This 
city was at that time the strongest lortress in Eg3rpt, except 
Alexandria, and still retained much of its ancient magnin- 
cence. It stood on the western bank of the Kile, above the 
Pelta, and a little east of the pyramids. The citadel was of 
great strengtl^ and well garrisoned, and had recently been, 
surrounded with a deep ditch, into idiidi nails and spikes 
had been thrown to impede assailants. 

Hie Arab armies, rarely provided with the engines neces- 
sary for the attack of fortified places, generally beleaguered 
them ; cut off all supplies; attacked alffora^g parties that 
salHed forth, and thus destroyed the garrison m detail, cr 
starved it to a surrender. This was the reason of the lone^ 
duration of their sieges. Tina of Misrah, or Memphis, lasted 
seven months, in the course of which the littie army of Amru 
was much reduced by frequent skirmishings. At the end of 
this time he received a reinforoement of lOur thousand men, 
sent to him at hk urgent entreaties ly the Cah^ Still 

hM ftftee wcnM hAre been iniiiffimeBt fi»* tlie capioxe <^ tiie 
place, Imd he not bee& aided by tiie treachery of its goremor 

Tliifl man, an orifmal figyptiaa, <ar Copt, by borth, and of 
noble rank, was a ]^io£9xind hypoerite. like matt of &e 
Oopte, he -vraa of the Jaeobite seet, who denied tbe double 
nature of Christ. He had dissemlded ham sectariaa ereed* 
lion^erer, and deoeiv^ tihe eomeror Heradm by a ahow of 
loyalty ; so as to be made {»«fect of his natire Tproiwmce, and 
gotemor of the city. Most of the inhabitants oi Memphis 
were Co^ts and JacolHte Christians, and kdd their Greek 
feliow-dltizens, who wCTe of the regular CadioHc ehnrf^ of 
Constantinople, in mat aatipadiT. 

Mokawkas, in the eonrse of nis administration, had col- 
lected, by taxes and tribute, an immeoie amount of treaamre, 
which he had d^osited in tiie citad^ He saw tiiat the 
power of tiie emporor was coming to an cikI in thk quarter, 
«nd tliom^ht Hie preaent a good opportunity to proride for 
his own fortune. Carrying on a Bectet conespondence with 
the Moslem general, he a^ed to betray the place into his 
hands, on condition of receiTing the tareasure as a reward for 
his treason. He accordingly, at an appointed time, remoyed 
the greater part of the garrison firom me citadel to an island 
in tiie Nile. Hie f<nrtress was immediatdy assailed by Amm, 
at ihe head of his fresh troops, and was easily carried br 
assault, the Copts renderinff no assistance. The Greek soL^ 
cUery, cm the Moslem stanKurd bein^ hoisted on tiie citadel, 
saw through the treadn^y, and, givrng up all aa lost, escaped 
in their ships to the main land; upon which the prefect 
surrendered the place by capitulation. An ammal tribute of 
two ducats a head wasleried <m afl i^ inhdlHtants of the 
district, with tibe exception of old men, women, and boys 
under ^e age of sixteen years. It was fbrther conditi<med, 
that tiie Moslem army shiould be fbmished with prorisiims, 
fbr which tibev would pay, and tbat tiie inhabitants of the 
country should^ f<Hrthwith, build bridges over all the streams 
on the way to Alexandria. It was also agreed that erery 
Mussulman traTeiling through the country imould be entitled 
to three days' hospitality fr^ of charge. 

1?he traitor Mokawlns was put m possession of ha ill- 
ffotten wealth. He begged of Amru to be taxed witli Hbe 
Copts, and always to oe enrolled among them ; dedaring his 
almorrence of the Greeks and i^eir doctrines ; urging Amm 
to persecute them with unremitting Tiolence. He extended 

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his sectarian bigotry even into the grave, atippkting tbat, at 
hia death, he should be buried in the Chriistian Jacobite 
church of St. John, at Alexandria. 

Amro, who was politic as well as brave, seeing the irre- 
concilable hatred oi the Coptic or Jacobite Christiaiis to the 
Greeks, riiowed some favour to that sect, in order to make use 
of them in his conquest of the country. He even prevailed 
upon their patriarch Benjamin to emerge firom his desert and 
hold a conference with him ; and subse^uentlj declared that 
*' he had never conversed with a Christian priest of more 
innocent manners or venerable aspect." This piece of diplo- 
macy had its effect, for we are told that aU the Copts above 
and below Memphis swore alledance to the Caliph. 

Amru now pressed on for me city of Alexandria, distant 
about one hundred and twenty-five miles. According to 
stipulation, the people of tiie country repaured the roads and 
erected bridges to &cilitate his march ; ike Greeks, however, 
driven from various quarters by the progress of their invaders, 
had collected at different posts on the island of the Delta, 
and the channels of the Tsile, and disputed, with desperate 
but fimitiess obstinacy, the onward course of the conquerors. 
The severest check was given at Keram al Shoraik, by the 
late garrison of Memphis, who had fortified themselves there 
after retreating from the island of the Nile. For tiiree days 
did the^r maintain a gallant confiict with the Moslems, and 
then retired in good order to Alexandria. With aU the faci- 
lities furnished to them on their march, it cost the Moslems 
two-and-twenty days to fight their way to that ereat <aty, 

Alexandria now lay before them, the metropous of wc^thv 
Egypt, the emporium of the East, a place strongly fortified, 
stored with all the munitions of war, open by sea to aU kinds 
of supplies and reinforcements, and geurisoned by Greeks, 
aggregated from various quarters, who nere were to make Hie 
last stand for tiieir Egyptian empire. It would seem that 
nothing short of an enmusiasm bordering on madness, could 
have led Amru and his host on an enterprise against this 
powerful city. 

The Moslem leader on planting his standard before the 
place, summoned it to surrender on tiie usual terms, which 
being promptb^ refused, he prepared for a vigorous siege. 
The gamson £d not wait to be attacked, but made repeated 
aallies, and fought with desperate valottr. Those who gave 
greatest annoyance to tiie Moslems, were their old enemies, 
tne Greek troops from Memphis. Amru, seeing that ihe 
greatest defence was from a main tower, or citadel, made a 
gallant assault upon it, and carried it sword in hand. The 

OHAB. 109 

Chreek troops, however, rallied to tliat point from all parts of 
tlie city; tne Moslems, after a furious straggle, ^ave waj, 
and Amru, his faithM slave Werdan, and one of his generals, 
named Moslema Ibn al Mokalled, fighting to the h^t, were 
surrotmded, overpowered, and taken prisoners. 

The Greeks, unaware of the importance of their captives, 
led them before the governor. He demanded of them, 
haughtily, what was their object in thus overrunning the 
world and disturbing the qmet of peaceable neighbours. 
Amru made the nsnSL re^ly, that thejr came to spread the 
faith of Islam ; and that it was their intention, before they 
laid by the sword, to make the Egyptians either converts or 
tributaries. The boldness of his answer, and the loftiness of 
his demeanour, awakened the suspicions of the governor, 
who, supposing him to be a warrior of note among the Arabs, 
ordered one of his guards to strike off his head. Upon this 
Werdan, the slave, understanding the Greek language, seized 
his master by the collar, and, giving him a buffet on the 
cheek, called him an impudent dog, and ordered him to hold 
his peace, and let his superiors speak. Moslema, perceiving 
the meaning of the slave, now interposed, ana made a 
plausible speech to the governor ; teUing him that Amru had 
thoughts of raising the siege, having received a letter to that 
effect &om the Ca&ph, who intended to send ambassadors to 
treat for peace, and assuring the governor that, if permitted 
to depart, they would make a favourable report to Amru. 

The governor, who, if Arabian chronicles may be believed 
on this point, must have been a man of easy faith, ordered the 
prisoners to be set at liberty; but the shouts of ihe besieging 
army on the safe return of their general soon showed him 
how completely he had been duped. 

But scanty details of the siege of Alexandria have reached 
the Christian reader, yet it was one of the longest, most 
obstinately contested and sanguinary, in the whole course of 
the Moslem wars. It endured fourteen months with various 
success; the Moslem army was repeatedly reinforced, and 
lost twen^-three thousand men ; at length their irresistible 
ardour and perseverance prevailed ; the capital of Egypt was 
conquered, and the Greek inhabitants were di^rsea in all 
dnrections. Some retreated in considerable bodies into the 
interior of the country, and fortified themselves in strong- 
holds ; others took refuge in the ships, and put to sea. 

Amru, on taking possession of the city, found it nearly 
abandoned; he prohibited his troops from plundering; and 
leaving a small garrison to guard the place, hastened with 
Ms main army m pursuit of the fugitive Greeks. In the 


meantime the sli^ wkich luuL takes off a mrt of iAk^ gaamaoa 
were still lingeniii^ on the coast, and tidkigs reached them 
that Hhe Moslem ffeneraL had demarted, vad had left the 
captured ciij nearfy defenceleaa. xbcT immedkit^y made 
sau back for Alexaiidzia» and entered toe port in tlie ni|^t. 
The GredE soldiers snrpriaed the senfcineis, sot possession 
of the cit^, and pot most of the Modems tbe^foimd there to 
the sword. 

Amra was in foU pnnnit of the Qftetk foffitiTes, when 
he heard of the recapture of the eitj. Moriafied at his own 
negHsence in leafing so rieh a conquest witii so sHght a 
gnar^ he retomed in aU harte, resohrM to retake it by storm. 
The Greeks, howerer, had fbrtified thcmaelFes strtmglj in 
the castle, and made stout raaistance. ijnni was ouiged» 
therefore, to besiege it a second time, but the siege was 
short The castle was carried hj assantt; manj of the Greeks 
were cvt to pieces, the rest esci^>ed onee more to their diips, 
and now gave up the capital as lost. All this occurred in 
ihe nineteen^ year d the Hegira, and the year 640 of the 
Christian era. 

On Ihis second eaptore of the eUAj by force of arma, and 
without cajpitnlatifln, the troe^ were damofoiis to be per- 
mitted to pAunder. Amxm agam chewed tiieir r»paci4y , and 
commanded that all persons and property in the pmee should 
remain inviolate, unol the will of the Gali|di oouki be known. 
So perfect waa his command over hui troops, thai not the mod; 
trinal artide was taken. Hia letter to the Caliph dM>ws what 
mnst haFe been the population and spjfendour of .Alenranfh4a» 
and the luxury and eflfeminaiy of its iahabttaote, at the time 
of the Moslem conqneat. It states the dty to hare contained 
four thousand palaces ; fire thoaaand baths ; firar hnndred 
iheatree and plaices of amusement; twdre tiuMisand gardeners 
whidi a^^y it with veeetahles, and ibrty thousand tribntary 
Jews. It was impossil^ he sud, to do justice to its ridies 
and magn^cenee. He had hitherto held it aaered firom nluB- 
der, but lus troous having won it hr force of asms, considered 
themsdves entitled to the spoila oc victory. 

The CaMph Omar, in repfy, expressed a high senae of hia 
important services, but reproved nim for even BMntacnme the 
desire of the soldiery to munder ao rich a citr, one of the 
createst emporimns of the Sast He ehargea him, lliece- 
fore, most rigidly to watch over Ihe rapasioos piopensifties of 
his men; to prevent all pillage, viiMenoe, and waste; to 
collect and make ovt an account of all moneys, jewsk, hsiase 
hold fomiture, and eveiythiii|[^ else that wm Talnabie, to he 
appropriated towaxds defraying the ezpenaes of ihia war of 

OMAl. Ill 

Use fail&L He onlered the tribnte also, coffieeted in the eon.' 
qa^ed eountrj, to be treasured iip at Alexandiia, for the 
supplies of the Mosl^a troops. 

Tiie siarreader of all Egypt followed the capture of iis 
capitaL A tribute of two ducats was laid <m every miJe of 
mature a^e> beside a tax <m all lands in proportion to tlieir 
Talue, and tJie revenue wbidi resulted to tiiie OaUph is est!- 
mated at twelve millions of ducats. 

We bare shown that Amru was a poet in his you^ ; and 
throughout all his campaigns he manifested an intelligent and 
inquirmg spirit, if not more IngMv informed, at lesutt more 
liberal and extended in his views tnan was usual among the 
early Moslem conquerors. He delighted, m his hours of 
leisure, to converse with learned men, and aoquire through 
their means such knowledge as had been denied to him by 
the deficiency of his education. Such a companion be found 
at Alexandria in a native of the place, a Christian of the sect 
of the Jacobites, eminent for his ]^liilological researches, ids 
ecmmientariea on Moses and Anstotle, and his laborious 
treatises of various kinds^ sumamed PhUoponus, from his 
love of study, but commonly known by the name of Jdba 
tbe Grammarian. An intimacjr soon arose between tbe Arab 
conqueror and llie Christian philologist^—an intimacy honour- 
able to Amru,. but destined to be lamentable in its result to 
the cause of letters. In an evil hour, Jchn the Grammarian, 
b^ing e^eouraged by the &vour shown him by ihe Arab 
general, revealed to him a treasure hitherto unnoticed, or 
zather unvalued, by the Moslem conquerors. This was a 
vast coUeetion of books or manuscripts, since renowned in 
idstory as the AlexandbijLK Libsabt. Pereeivbg that in 
taking an account of everything valuable in the city, and 
sealing up all its treasures, Amru had taken no notice of the 
1)Ooks, John solicited that they might be given to him. Un- 
fortunately, the learned zeal of the Grammarian gave a con- , 
sequence to the books in the eyes of Amru, and made him 
scrupulous of giving them away without permission of the 
OaHph. He forthwith wrote to Omar, stating the merits of 
John, and requesting to know whether the books might be 
^ven to him* The reply of Omar was laconic, but fataL 
/* The contents of those hooks," said he, " are in conformity 
•with the Koran, or they are not. If they are, Ihe Koran is 
sufficient without them ; if they are not, they are pernicious. 
3-»et them, therefore, be destroyed." 

Amru, it is said, obeyed the order punctnsdly. The books 
and manuscrrots were distributed asmdiamcmg the five thou- 
sand baths otthe city ; but so numerous were Ihey, that it 


took six months to constiine them. This act of bftrbansm, 
recorded hj Abulpharagius, is considered somewhat doabtfol 
by Gibbon, in consequence of its not being mentioned by two 
of llie most ancient chroniclers, Almacin in his Saracenic 
histoiy, and Entychins in his annals, the latter of whom was 
patriarch of Alexandria, and has detailed the conquest of thfU; 
city. It is inconsistent, too, with the character oi Amru, as 
a poet and a man of superior intelligence ; and it has recently 
been reported, we know not on whai authority, that many of 
the literary treasures thus said to have been destroyed, do 
actually exist in Constantinople. Their destruction, however, 
is generally credited and deeply deplored by historians. 
Anmi, as a man of genius and intelligence, nut^haye grieved 
at the order of the CaUph ; while, as a loyal subject and faith- 
ful soldier, he felt bound to obey it.* 

The fall of Alexandria decided the &te of Esypt, and like- 
wise that of the emperor Heradius. ;He was already afflicted 
with a dropsy, and took the loss of his Syrian, and now that 
of his Egyptian dominions, so much to heart, that he under- 
went a paroxysm, which ended in his death, about seven weeks 
after the loss of his Egyptian capital He was succeeded by 
his son Constantine. 

While Amru was successfully extending his conquests, a 
great dearth and famine fell upon aU Arabia, insomuch that 
the Caliph Omar had to call upon him for supplies from the 
fertile plains of Egypt; whereupon Amru di^atched such* a 
train of camels IfMien with grain, that it is said, when the 
first of the line had reached the city of Medina, the last had 
not yet left the land of Egypt. But this mode of conveyance 
proving too tardy, at the command of the Caliph he das a 
canal of communication from the Nile to the Eed Sea, a dis- 
tance of eighty miles, by which provisions might be conveyed 
to the Arabian shores. This canal had been commenced by 
, Trajan, the Boman emperor. 

The able and indefatigable Amru went on in this manner, 
executing the commands and fulfilling the wishes of the 

• The Alexandrian Library was formed by Ptolemy Soter, and placed ht 
a building called the Bmchion. It was augmented in sucoessiTe reigns to 
400,000 Tolomes, and an additional 800»000 volames were placed in a 
temple called tiie Serapecm. The Bruchion, with the books it contained, 
was burnt in the war of Ciesar, but the Serapeon was presenred. Cleopatra, 
it is said, added to it the library of Fergamas, given to her by Marc Antony, 
consisting of 200,000 volumes. It sustained repeated injuries during various 
subsequent revolutions, but was always restored to its ancient splendour, 
and numerous additions made to it. Sueh was its state at tiie capture of 
Alexandria by the Moslems. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

OMAB. 113 

Calipli; and gOTemedthe country lie liad conquered mih 
sucL sagacity and justice, that he rendered himself one of 
the most worthily renowned among the Moslem generals. 


Enterprises of the Moslems in Persia.— Defence of the kingdom 
by Qneen Arzemia. — ^Battle of the Bridge. 

Fob the sake of perspicuity, we hare recorded the Moslem 
conquests in Syria and Egypt in a continued narrative, with- 
out pausing to notice erents which were occurring at the same 
time in other quarters ; we now recede several years, to take 
up the course of affairs in Persia, £rom the time that Xhaled, 
in the thirteenth year of the Hegira, in obedience to the orders 
of Abu Beker, left his victorious army on the banks of the 
[Euphrates, to take the general command in Syria. The 
victories of Xhaled had doubtless been owing in part to the 
^tracted state of the Persian empire. In the course of an 
inconsiderable number of years, the proud sceptre of the 
Xhosrus had passed from nand to hand; Xhosru U.', sur- 
2iamed Parvi^, having been repeatedly defeated by Heraclius, 
wafl deposed in 628, oy a party of his nobles, headed by his 
own son Siroes, (or Sniruyah), and was put to death by the 
latter in a vaxdt under the palace, amons the treasures he had 
amassed. To secure possession of the throne, Siroes followed 
up the parricide by the massacre of seventeen of his brothers* 
It was not ambition alone that instigated these crimes. He 
was enamoured of a sultana in the narem of his father, the 
matchless Shireen. While yet reeking with his falJier's 
blood, he declared his passion to her. She recoiled from him 
with horror, and when he would have used force, gave herself * 
instant death to escape from his embraces. The disappoint- 
ment of his passion ; the upbraidings of his sisters for the 
murders of their father and their brothers ; and the stings ot 
his own conscience, threw Siroes into a moody melancholy, 
and either caused or added acuteness to a malady of which 
he died in the course of eight months. 

His infant son, Ardisheer, was placed on the throne about 
the end of 628, but was presently slain, and the throne 
usurped by Sheriyar, a Persian noble, who was himself killed 
after a very short reign. Turan-Docht, a daughter of Xhosru 
Parviz, was now crowned^ and reigned eighteen months whea 


114 StrCOBSSOBS ot mahomet. 

As WM eet aside by her oouBin Shah Shenandeh, ^wlio was 
hiiiis^ deposed bj the nobles, and Arsemi-Dodit,* or 
Arzeiiua» as the name is wmmonkj giren, another daughter 
of iEChosra Parviz, waspkoed on {he throne in the year 632 
of the Christian era. The Persian seat of goyemment, whidi 
had been often chanjged, was at this time held in the magni- 
ficent city of Madain or Madayn, on the Tigris, where was 
the ancient Ctesiphon. . 

Arzemia was distin^mshed alike for masculine talents and 
feminine beauty ; she had been carefnlly instructed under her 
fiither KhosrH, and had acquired sad expmenoe, during the 
series of conspiracies and assassinations which bad beset the 
Ihrone for the last fonr years. Bejeoting from her oonncB 
I3ie yezT tndtors who had placed me crown npon her head> 
die nndertook to wield the sceptre without the aid of a yizir, 
thereby girin^ mortal offence to the most powerfnl nobles d 
her realm, one was soon called npon to exert her masculine 
spirit by the continued aggressions of the Moslems. 

The rrader will reooUecfe that ^e Moslem army on the 
Euphrates, at the departure of £haled, was left under the 
command <^ Mosemia Ibn Haris, (or Muthenna Ibn Hftnth, 
as the name is sometimes rendered.) On the accession of 
Omar to the Galiphat, he appointed Mosenna endr or governor 
of Sewadf the country recenify conquered by Slhaled^ lying 
ebout the lower part ot the Euphrates and the Tigris, forming 
a portion of the Persiaa province of Irak-Arabi. Hiis was in 
eompUanoe with the wishes and intentions of Abu Beker; 
tho«^ Omar does not appear to have had great confidenee 
in the military talents of Mosenna, ihd career of conquest 
having langcushed in his hands since the departure of Elhaled. 
He aooor£nglj sent Abu Obeidah Sakfi, one of iSke most 
imp<»feant disaples of the prophet^ at the head of a thousand 
chosen men, to reinfinroe the army under Mosenna, and to 
^ take the lead in military enterprises.f He was accompanied 
* by Sabit Ibn Kats, one of the reterans of the battle of beder. 
Hie Persian que^i, hearing of the advance of the Moslem 
army thus reinforoed* sent an able general, Eustam Ibn 
Eerukh-Zad (or Eerucbsad), with thirty thousand more, to 
rep^ them. Eustam halted on the confines of Irak, and sent 
foward strong detaehments under a eeneral named Dschaban^ 
and a Persian prince named Narsi (or Narsis). Hiese were 

* Docht, or Dokht, dimimtivs «f daUiUr, fi^BifiM tke anoMUxied er 

t Tbii Aba Obeidah has somettBies been fioofbonded witb the seaeral <€ 
Iha WBit name, who oonmaaded in Sjiia; tfao latter, however, wis Abs 
O W iah am d^fnmh, 0i>i<ea of JJHerah.) 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

OKAS. 115 

80 roogfaly h«idled hj tiie Moslems, tiiat Bustam found it 
necessary to hasten with his main force to their assistance^ 
He arnyed too late ; they had been seyerally defeated and 
put to flight* and the whole country of Sewad was in the 
hands of the Moslems. 

Queen Arzemia, stiU more aroused to the danger of her 
kingdom, sent Bustam a reinforcement, led by Behmaa 
Psdiadu, sumamed the Veiled, from ihe shag^ eye-browg 
which oyershadowed his yisage. He brought with lum three 
thousand men and thirty elephants. These animals, of little 
real utility in warfare, were formidable in the eyes of those 
unaccustomed to them, and were intended to strike terror into 
the Arabian troops. One of them was the white elephant 
Mahmoud, famous for haying been ridden byAbraha, the 
Ethiopian king, in foregone times, when he inyaded Mecca 
and assailed the Caaba. It was considered a harbinger of 
-victory, all the enterprises in which it had been employed 
haying proyed successful. 

With Behman, the heayy-browed, came also the standard 
of £laoh, the sacred standard. It was originally the leathern 
apron of the blacksmith £aoh, which he reared as a banner 
when he roused the people, and deliyered Persia from the 
tyranny of Sohak. It had been enlarged from time to time, 
with cosily silk, embroidered with gold, xmtil it was twenty- 
two feet long and fifteen broad; and was decorated with gems 
of inestimame yalue. With this standard the fate of the 
kingdom was belieyed, by superstitious Persians, to be con- 

The Moslem forces, even with the reinforcement brought 
by Abu Obeidah Sakfi, did not exceed nine thousand in 
number ; the Persians, encamped near the ruins of Babylon, 
were vastly superior. It was the counsel of Mosenna and 
the veteran Sabit, that they shoxdd fall back into the deserts, 
and remain encamped there until reinforcements could be 
obtained from the Caliph. Abu Obeidah, however, was for 
a totally difiPerent course. He undervalued the prowess of 
the Persians ; he had heard Mosenna censured ror want of 
enterprise, and !Khaled extolled to the skies for his daring 
achievements in this quarter. He was determined to emu- 
late them, to cross the Euphrates, and attack the Persians in 
their encampment. In vain Mosenna and Sabit remon- 
strated. He caused a bridge of boats to be thrown across 
the Euphrates, and led the way to the opposite bank. His 
troops did not follow with their usual alacrity, for they felt 
the rashness of the enterprise. While they were yet crossing 
the bridge, they were severely galled by a body of archers^ 


detached in the adyance by Bostam ; and were met at the 
head of the bridge by that warrior, with hia vanguard of 

The conflict was severe. The banner of Islam passed from 
hand to hand of seven brave champions, as one alter another 
fell in its defence. The Persians were beaten back, but now 
arrived the main body of the army with the thirty elephants. 
Abu Obeidah breasted fearlessly the storm of war wnich he 
Lad so rashly provoked. He caUed to his men not to fear the 
elephants, but to strike at their trunks. He himself severed, 
'witk a blow of his scimetar, the trunk of the famous white 
elephant, but in so doing his foot slipped, he fell to the earth, 
ana was trampled to death by the enraged animaL 

The Modems, disheartened by his k>ss, and overwhelmed 
by numbers, endeavoured to regain the bridge. The enemy 
luid thrown combustibles into the boats on tdiich it was con- 
structed, and had set them on fire. Some of the troops were 
driven into the water and perished there; the main body 
retreated along the river, protected in the rear by Mosenna, 
who now disp&yed the skul of an able general, and kept the 
enemy at bay until a slight bridge could be hastily thrown 
across another part of the river. He was the last to cross the 
bridge, and caused it to be broken behind him. 

Four thousand Moslems were either slain or drowned in 
this rash affair : two thousand fled to Medina, and about three 
thousand remained with Mosenna; who encaniped and in- 
trenched them, and sent a fleet courier to the Caliph, entreat- 
ing instant aid. Kothing saved this remnant of the army 
from Tetter destruction but a dissension which took place 
between the Persian commanders, who, instead of following 
up their victory, returned to Madayn, ihe Persian cajntal. 

This was the severest and almost the only severe oiheeic 
that Moslem audacity had for a long time experieneed. It 
took pkee in the 13th year of the Hegira, ana ^e year 6SA 
of the Christian era ; and was long and ruefolly remembered 
by the Arabs as the battle of ** El Jmr,** or The Battle of the 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Hosenna Ibn Harii rarages the country along the Euphrates. — Death of 
Arzemia. — Yezdegird III. raised to the throne. — Saad Ibn Abu Wakk&s 
giyen the general command.—Death of MoBenna.-~£mba88y to Yezde- 
gird.~It8 reception. 

'Ratitsq received moderate reinforcements, Mosenna again 
took the field in Arab style, hovering about the confines of 
Babylonia, and sending detachments in different directions to 
plunder and lay waste the country bordering on the Euphrates. 
It was an instance of the vicissitude of human affairs, and th^ 
instability of earthhr grandeur, that this proud region, which 
once held the world m awe, should be thus marauded and 
insulted by a handful of predatory Arabs. 

To checK their ravages, Queen Arzemia sent out a general 
named Mahran, with twelve thousand chosen' cavalry. Mo- 
senna, hearing of their approach, called in his plundering par* 
ties, and prepared for battle. The two hosts met near Hiridi, 
on the bord^ of the desert. Mosenna, who in the battle of 
the bridge had been the last man to retire, was now the fore- 
most man to charge. In the fury of the fight he made hig 
way, almost alone, into the heart of the Persian army, and 
wiw difficulty fought his way out again and back to his own 
men. The Persians, as we nave noted, were chosen troops^, 
and foiu^ht with unusual spirit. The Moslems, in some pa^ 
of the Seld, began to give way. Mosenna galloped up and 
tiirew himself l^fore them ; he expostulated, he threatened, 
he tore his beard in the agon^ of his feelings ; he succeeded 
in leading them back to the^ht ; which endured firom noon 
until sunset ; and still continued doubtful. At the close of 
ihe day Mosenna encountered Mahran, hand to hand, in the 
midst of his guards, and received a powerful blow, which 
might have proved fatal, but for his armour. In return ho 
smote the Persian commander with his scimetar lust wh^re 
the neck joins to the shoxdder, and laid him dead. Th|9 
Persians, seeing their leader fall, took to flight, nor stopped 
until they reached Madayn. 

The Moslems next maae a plundering expedition to Bagdad^ 
at that time a mere village, but noted for a great fair, the 
resort of merchants from various parts of the East. An. Arab 
detachment pounced upon it at the time of the fair, and 
carried off many captives and immense booty. 

The tidings of the defeat of Mahran, and the^lundering 

gitized by VjOO 

118 StrCCESSOBS ov hahohet. 

of tlie fair, spread consteniation in the Persian capital. The 
nobles and priests, who had hitherto stood in awe of the 
Bpirit of the queen, now raised a tomnlt. " These are the 
fruits," said they, " of havinff a woman to reign over us." 

Hie fate of the beautiful Arzemia was hastened by private 
revenge. Faruch-Zad, one of the most powerful of her 
nobles, and governor of Xhorassan, incited b^ love and 
ambition, had aspired to her hand. At first, it is said, she 
appeared to favour his addresses, fearing to provoke his 
enmity, but afterwards slighted them ; whereupon he entered 
the palace by night, and attempted to get possession of ha 
person. His attempt failed, ana, by her command, he received 
instant deaili at the hands of her guards, accompanied by 
some indignities. 

His son, Eustam, who had been left by him in the gorem- 
ment of Ehorassan, hastened, at the head of an armed foree, 
to avenge his death. He arrived in the height of tiie public 
discontent ; entered tiie city without oppoeiaon, stormed the 
palace, captured the yoxmg and beautiM queen, subjected her 
to degradmg outrages, and put her to death in the most cmd 
maimer. She was the sixth of the usurping sovereigns, and 
had not yet reigned a year. 

A remaining son of Ehosru Parriz was now brought for- 
ward and plsSced on the sln>pery tlirone, but was pois<med 
within forty days, some say by his courtiers, others by a slave. 
The priests and nobler now elevated a youth about fifteen 
Tears of age te this per36us dignity. He was a grandson of 
Khosru Parviz, and had been sanded, during the late period 
of anarchy and assassination, in the city of Istakar, the 
ancient Persepolis. He is known by the name of Yezd^^ird 
in., though some histerians. call lum Hermisdas IV., Som. 
his family, instead of his personal appellation. He was of a 
good natural disposition, but weak and irresolute, and apt^ 
from his vouth and inexperience, te become a passive instru' 
ment in the hands of the faction which had placed him on the 

One of the first measures of the new reign was to assemble 
a powerful army and place it under the command of Eustam, 
the same general who had so Bigna% revenged the death of 
Lis father. It was determined, bv a ngnal blow, to sweep tiie 
Arabian marauders from the lana. ^ 

Omar, on his part, hearing of the changes and warlike 
preparations in the Persian camtal, made a hasty levy of 
troops, and would have marehea in person to carry the war 
into the heart of Persia. It was with great difficulty he was 

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OMAB. 119 

^snadod from iMs plan hj his duKareei oofmeellors, Otloxiaia 
and AH, and iodnoed to send in hig place Saad Iba Abu . 
Wakkas. This was a zefdoos soldier m tibe faitii who nsed 
to boast that he was the first who had shed ^e blood of the 
tmbelieying: and, moreorer, that the prophet, in the £brst 
holf war, Ibad intniiBted to him the care of his ho«iseh<^ 
daring his absence : saying, " To yon, oh Saad, who are to me 
as mj father and my mother, I c(mfide my family/' To have 
been a favoured ana confidential companion of the proj^t, 
was fast growing to be a ttUe of great distinction among the 

Saad was invested with the general command of the forces 
in Persia ; and Mosennt^ thou^ his recent good oondoct and 
signal success entitled him to the highest consideration, was 
ordered to serve under him. 

Saad set out from Medina with an army of but kx or seven 
thousand men; among these, however, were one thousand 
well-tried soldiers who had followed the prophet in his cam* 
{Miigns, and one hundred oi &e veterans of Beder. They 
were led on also by some of the most famous champions of 
the faith. The army was ioined on its march by recruits 
from aU quarters, so that by Ihe time it joined the troops 
imder Mosenna, it amounted to upwards of thirty thousand 

Mosenna died three days after the' arrival of his sucoessos 
in the camp ; the cause and nature of his death are not men* 
tioned. He left behind him a good name, and a wife remai^* 
able for her beauty. The widow ^as easily brought to listen 
to the addresses of Saad, who thus succeeded to Mosenna in 
bis matrimonial as well as his military capacity. 
. The Persian force, under Bustam, lay encamped at Sadesia 
(or XhSdeslyah), on the frontier of Saw&d or Irak-Arabi, 
and was vastly superior in numbers to the Moslems. Saad 
aent expresses to the Caliph entreating reinforcements. Ha 
was promised them, but exhorted in the meantime to doubt 
nothmg ; never to regard the number of the foe, but to think 
always that he was fighting under the eye of the CaHph. He 
was instructed, however, oefore commencing hostihties, to 
send a delegation to Yezdegird, invitmg l?im to embrace the 

Saad accordingly sent several of his most discreet and 
reteran ofiScers on this missicm. Thej repaired to the magni* 
fieent city of Madayn, and were ushered through the sump- 
tuous halls and saloons of the palace of the S^hosrus, crowded 
with guards and attendants aU richly arrayed, into the ]^re- 

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tence of the jouthM monarch, wlioin they found seated in 
state on a tlurone supported by silver columns, and surrounded 
by the dazzling splendour of on Oriental court. 

The appearance of the Moslem envoys, attired in simple 
Arab style, in the striped garments of Yemen, amidst the 
gorgeous throng of nobles arrayed in jewels and embroidery, 
was but little (^culated to inspire deference in a young and 
inconsiderate prince, brought up in pomp and luxury, and 
accustomed to consider di^utv mseparable firom splendour. 
He had, no doubt, also been scnooled for the interview by his 
crafty counsellors. 

The audience opened by a haught}^ demand on his part, 
through his interpreter, as to the object of tiieir embassy* 
Upon this, one of their number, JN'a man Ibn Muskry, set 
fordi the divine mission of the prophet, and his dying com- 
mand to enforce his religion by the sword, leaving no peace- 
able alternative to unbeCevers but conversion or ixwute. He 
concluded by inviting the king to embrace the faith; if not, 
to consent to become a tributuy; if he should refuse both, to 
prepare for battle. 

Yezdegird restrained his indignation, and answered in, 
words which hod probably been prepared for him. " You 
Arabs," said he, "have hitherto been Jmown to us by report, 
OS wanderers of the desert ; your food dates, and sometmies 
lizards and serpents; your drink brackish water; your gar- 
ments coarse hair clotn. Some of you, who by chance luive 
wandered into our realms, have found sweet water, savoury 
food, and soft raiment. Tkej have carried back word of the 
same to their brethren in the desert, and now you come in 
swarms to rob us of our goods and our very land. Ye are 
like the starving fox, to whom the husbandman afforded 
shelter in his vineyard, and who in return brought a troop of 
his brethren to devour his grapes. Seceive mum my gene- 
rosity whatever your wants require; load your camels with 
com and dates, and depart in peace to your native land ; but 
if you tarry in Persia, beware the fate of the fox who was 
slam by the husbandman." 

The most aged of the Arab envoys, the Sheikh Mukair Ibn 
Zarrarah, repied, with great ^vity and decorum, and an 
imaltered countenance — " Oh king I all thou hast said of tlie 
Arabs is most true. The ^een lizard of the desert was their 
sometime food ; the brackish water of wells their drink; their 
fforments were of hair cloth, and they buried their infant 
daughters to restrain the increase of meir tribes. AU this 
was in the days of ignorance. Thev knew not ffood from 
evil. They were guil^, and they suffered. But jOlah in his 

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OICAB. 121 

mercy sent Hs apostle Mahomet and liis sacred Koran amons 
them. He rendered them wise and valiant. He commanded 
them to war with infidels until all should be converted to the 
true faith. On his behest we come. AH we demand of thee 
is to acknowledge that there is no God but God, and that 
Mahomet is his apostle, and to pay from thy income the 
customary contribution of the Zacat, paid by idl true belieyers, 
in charity to the poor, and for the support of the family of the 

Srophet. Do this, and not a Moslem shall enter the "Persian 
ominions without thy leave ; but if thou refuse it, and refuse 
to pay the tribute exacted from all unbelievers, prepare for 
the subjugation of the sword." 

Hie forbearance of Yezdegird was at an end. " Were it 
not unworthy of a great Padischah," said he, ''to put ambas- 
sadors to death, the sword should be the only tongue with 
which I would reply to your insolence. Away ! ye robbers of 
the lands of others! ta&e with ye a portion oi the Persian 
soil ye crave." So saying, he caused sacks of earth to be 
bound upon their shoulders, to be delivered by them to their 
chiefs, as symbols of the graves they would be sure to find at 

When beyond the limits of the city, the envoys transferred 
the sacks of earth to the backs of their camels, and returned 
with them to Saad Ibn Abu Wakk4s, shrewdly interpreting 
into a ffood omen what had been intended by the Persian 
monarch as a scornful taunt. " Earth," said they, " is the 
emblem of empire. As surely, oh Saad, as we deliver thee 
these sacks of earth, so surely wiU Allah deliver the empire 
of Persia into the hands of true believers." 


The Battle ofKadeaia. 

Thb hostile armies came in presence of each other on the 
plains of Kadesia (or Xddestyah), adjacent to a canal derived 
from the Euphrates. The huge mass of the Persian army 
would have been sufficient to bear down the inferior number 
of the Moslems, had it possessed the Grecian or Eoman 
disci]^line ; but it was a tumultuous multitude, unwieldy from 
its nmitary pomp, and encumbered by its splendid trappings. 
The Arabs, on tne contrary, were veteran skirmishers of me 
desert; light and hardy horsemen; dexterous with the bow 


and lanee, and sidlled to wheel and vetareat, and to : 
aeain to tlie attack. Many indiTidnal acta of proweia took 
puhce between diampions <^ dither armj, who dared each 
other to tangle combat in front of ihe hosts when drawn out 
in battle array. Hie eostlj armour of Ihe Persians, wron^t 
with gold, and their belts or eirdlee studded with gems, made 
them rich prises to thdr Modem Tictors; while the Pernrasj 
if victOTions, gained nothing from the rudely-clad wairiofs of 
the desert but honour and hard blows. 

Saad Ibn Abu Wakk&s was in an unfcHrtimate plight tat a 
leiider of an armj on sudi a momentous oceanon. He was 
ffneyouslj affiicted with boils in his reins, so that he sat on 
his horse with extreme difficulty. Still he animated his troops 
by his pesenoe, and gave t^ tel^fir, or battle-ory— AUak 

The P«r»an foree eame on with great shouts^ their elephanta 
in the van. The horses of the Moslem caTslry recoiled at 
sight of the latter, aad became unmanageable. A great 
number of the horsemea dismounted, attacked the u&wieldf 
animals with their swords, and dro^e th^n back upcm Hhsa 
own host. StiU the day went hard with the Moslems, ihjEOi 
force bdng so inferior, imd Haeir graieral unable to take th& 
lead and mingle in the battle. The arriralof a reinfoieemoDt 
from Syria put ti&em in new heart, and they fought on imtil 
the ai^roaoh of night, wh^i both parties desisted^ and drev 
off to their encampments. Thus ended the first day's fights 
which the Persians called the battle of Armikth, but the 
Moslema, the Day of Succour, from the timely arriyal of 

On the following morning the armies drew out again in 
battle array, but no general conflict took place. Stuid was 
unable to mount his horse and feSd his troops into action, and 
the Persians, aware of the reinforcements received by the 
Moslems, were not disposed to invoke a battle. The day 
passed in light skirmishes and smgle combats between the 
prime warriors of either host, who defied each other to trials 
of skill and prowess. These combats, of course, were des- 
perate, and commonly cost the life c^ cme, if net both of the 

Saad overiooked the field from the shelter of a tent, wh^ie 
he sat at a repast with his beautifol bride beside him. Her 
heart swelled wi& grief at seeing so many gallant Moskma 
laid low i a thought of the yaliant nusbttid she had lost passed 
Across W mind, and the unwary ejaculatimL escaped her, 
''Alas! Mosenna Ibn Haris, where art thouP" Saad waa 
ftong to the ^juiek by what 1^ woeeived a reproach en hit 

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OMAB. 123 

courage or activity, and, in ilie heat of ilie moment, strook 
her on the face with his dagger. " To-morrow," muttered he 
to himself, " I will mount my horse." 

In the ni^t he secretij sent out a detachment in the 
direction of JDamascus, to remain concealed until the two 
armies should be en^aeed on the following day, and then to 
come with banners d^payed, and a ereat souna of drum and 
trumpet, as though they were a reinforcement hurrying to the 
field of action. 

The morning dawned, but still, to his great mortification^ 
Saad was uname to sit upon his horse, ana had to intrust the 
conduct of the battle to one of his generals. It was a day ci 
bloody and obstinate conflict ; and from the tremendous shodc 
of the encountering hosts, was celebrated among the Arabs aa 
*' The day of the Concussion." 

The arrival of the pretended reinforcement inspirited the 
Moslems, who were ignorant of the stratagem, ana dismayed 
ihe enemy. Eostam urged cm his elephants to break down 
the Arab host, but they had become familiar with thoee 
animals, and attacked them so vigorously, that, aa before^ 
they tamed upon their own employers, and trarai^ed them 
down in their unwieldy flight from the field. 

The battle continued tlm>u^hout the di^ with yazying for- 
tune ; nor did it cease at nightfall, for IRustam rode about 
among his troops urging them to flght until mominjg. That 
night was called by some the nignt of delirium ; S>t in the 
dark ajid deadly struggle the combatants struck at random, 
and often caught each other by the beard : by others it was 
called the night of howling and lamentation, mmi ihe cries oi 
the wounded. 

The battle ceased not even at the dawning, but continued 
until the heat of the day. A whirlwind of diut hid the armies 
from each other for a time, and produced concision on the field, 
but it aided the Moslems, as it blew in the faces of the enemy. 
Puring a pause in the conflict, Bustam, panting with heat 
and fatigue, and half blinded with dust, took shelter from the 
sun under a tent which had been ptehed near the water, and 
was surrounded by camels laden with treasure, and with the 
luxurious frimiture of the camp. A gust of wii^ whiried the 
tent into the water. He then Ihrew himself upon the earth 
in the shade of one of the camels. A band of Arab soldiers 
came upon him by surprise. One of them, HellM Ibn Alka- 
meh by name, in his eagerness for plunder, cut the cords 
which bound the buHhen on the camel A ptiekage of mtmt 
fell upon Eustam and broke his spine. In his agony he fell, at 
threw himself into the water, but was drawn out by the kg^ 

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Ms Iiead strioken off, and eleyated on the lance of HeMI. llie 
Peniana recognised the bloody features, and fled amain^ 
abandoning to the victors their camp, with all its rich fnr- 
nitore and oag^age, and scores of beasts of burden, laden with 
treasure and with oostly gear. The amount of booty was in- 

Ihe saCTed standard, too, was among the spoUs. To the 
soldier who had captured it thirty thousand pieces of gold are 
said to hare been paid at Saad's command ; and the jewels, 
with which it was studded, wereput with the other booty, to 
be shared according to rule. HeMI, too, who brought the 
headof Eustam to baad, was allowed, as a reward, to strip the 
body of his yictim. Never did Arab soldier make ncher 
spoil. The garments of Bustam were richly embroidered, 
and he wore two gorgeous belts, ornamented with jewels, one 
worth a thousand pieces of gold, the other seventy tiiousand 
dirhems of silver. 

Thirty thousand Persians are said to have fallen in this 
battle, and unwards of seven tiiousand Moslems. The loss 
most deplorea by the Persians was that of their sacred banner, 
with which they connected the fate of the reahn. 

This battle took place in the fifteenth year of the Hegira, 
and the six hundred and thirty-sixth year of the Christian era, 
and is said to be as famous among the Arabs as that of Azbela 
among the Greeks. 

Complaints having circulated among the troops that Saad 
had not mingled in tiie fight, he summoned several of 
tiie old men to his tent, and, stripning himself, showed the 
boils by which he was so gnevously afflicted; after which 
there were no further expressions of dissatisfkction. It is to 
be hoped he found some means, equally expHdt, of excusing 
himself to his beautifbl bride for the outrage he had 'com- 
mitted upon her. 


Foondiiig of Basfonu— Capture of the Persian capital.— Flight 
of Yesdeginl to HolwAn. 

Aftbb the signal victory of Sladesia, Saad Ibn Abu WakkAs, 
by command of the Cahph, remained for some months in the 
neighbourhood, completmff the subjugation of the conquered 
country, collecting tax and tribute, and building mosques in 
every direction for the propagation of the faith. About the 

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OMAB. 125 

•ame time Omar caxised the city of Basra, or Bassora, to be 
founded in the lower part of Irak Arabi, on that great river 
formed hj the junction of the Euphrates and the Tigris. This 
city was mtended to protect the region conquered by the Mo« 
slems about the mputh of the Euphrates, to cut off the trade 
of India from Persia, and to keep a check upon Ahwaz (apart 
of Susiana or Eiiusestan), the prince or satrap of which, Hor- 
mus&n by name, had taken an active part in the late battle of 
Kadesia. The city of Bassora was founded in the fourteenth 
year of the Hegira, by Orweh Ibn Otbeh. It soon gathered 
within its walls great numbers of inhabitants from the sur- 
rounding countiy, rose rapidly in importance, and has ever 
since been distinguished as a mart for the Indian commerce. 

Having brought all the country in the neighbourhood of 
J[adesia mto complete subjection, Saad Ibn Abu Wakk&s, by 
command of the Caliph, proceeded in the conquest of Persia. 
The late victories, and the capture of the national banner, had 
struck despair into the hearts of the Persians. They consi- 
dered the downfal of their reli^on and empire at hand, and 
for a time made scarcely any resistance to the invaders. Cities 
and strongholds surrendered almost without a blow. Babel is 
incidentally enumerated among the captured places ; but the 
once aU-powerful Babylon was now shruuk into such insigni- 
ficance, that its capture seemed not worthy of a boast. Saad 
crossed the Tigris, and advanced upon Madayn, the Persian 
capital. His army, on departing m>m Xadesia, had not ex- 
ceeded twenty thousand men, having lost many by battle and 
more by disease. Multitudes, however, from the subjugated 
cities, and from other parts, joined his standard while on the 
march, so that, as he approached Madayn, his forces amounted 
to sixty thousand men< 

There was abundance of troops in Madayn, the wrecks of 
yanquishdd armies and routed garrisons, but there was no one 
capable or willinjy; to take the general command. All seemed 
paralyzed by their fears. The Jung summoned his counsellors 
about him, but their only advice was to fly. " Elhorassan and 
German are still yours, said they ; "let us depart while we 
may do so in safety. Why should we remain here to be made 

. X ezdegird hesitated to take this craven advice, but more 
from weakness and indecision of character than from any 
manly repugnance. He wavered and lingered, until what 
might have been an orderly retreat became a shameful flight. 
.Wnen the invaders were within one day's march of his 
capital, he ordered his valuables to be packed on beasts of 
burthen, and set off, with a worthless retinae of palace 


minioiis, ftfctmdants, and slavM, nude and female, for Holwftn, 
at the foot of the Medean hills. His example was fdlowed. 
throagkout ^le oitj. There was harry and tamnlt in eveiT' 
part. Fortunate was he who had a camel, or a horse, or an 
ass, to load with his most yaloable effects. Snch as were not 
so provided, took what the^ could on their shoulders ; but, in 
sucii a hasty and panic-stncken flight, where personal safetf 
was the chief concern, little could oe preserved; the greater 

Srt of their riches remained behind. Thus the wealthy 
adayn, the once &mous Otesiphon, which had formerlj re^ 
pulsed a Eoman army, though furnished wiih battering ramsy 
and other warlike engines, was abandoned without a blow at 
the approach of these nomad warriors. 

As Saad entered the deserted city, he gazed with wonder 
and admiration at its stately edifices, surrounded by yine- 
yards and gardens, all left to his mercy by the flying ownonr. 
In pious eiraltation he repeated aloud a passage of the Xoran, 
alluding to the abandonment by Pharaoh and his troops <^ 
tiieir habitations, when they went in pursuit of the children 
of IsraeL ** How many gardens and fountains, and fields of 
eom and fair dwellings, and other sources of delight, did 
they leave behind them ! Thus we dispossessed them thereof 
and gave the same for an inheritance to another people. 
Ifeither heayen nor earth wept for them. They were un- 

The deserted city was sacked and pillaged. One may 
ima^e ^e saddne of such a place by the ignorant hordes o£ 
the desert. The rude Arabs beheld tfaiemselyes surrounded by 
treasures beyond their ccmception ; works of art, the value of 
which the^r could not appreciate, and articles of luxury which 
moved their ridicule rather than their admiration. In roving 
through the streets, they came to the famous palace of the 
Xhosrus, begun by XoMd Ibn "Firuz, and finished by Ids 8(m 
Kushirwan, constructed of polished marble, and called th^ 
white palace, from its resplendent appearance. As they paei. 
at it in wonderment, they called to mind the prediction of 
Mahomet, when he heard that the haughty monarch of Persia 
had torn his letter: — "Even so shall Allah rend his empire 
in pieces." " Behold the white palace of Xosru !" cried the 
Moslems to one another. ** This is the fulfilment of the pro- 
phecy of the aposUe of Gk)d !** 

Swid entered the lofty portal <^ the palace iri&. feelings of 
devotion. His first act was to make his salaam and prostm- 
tions, and pronounce the confession of fiuth in its deserted 

• Koran, diapter sdr. ^ , 

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hallB. He then took note of its eontents, and protected it 
from the niTage of the soldiery, by making it ku head* 
quarters. It was furnished throughout with (mental luxury. 
It had wardrobes filled with gorgeous aupazeL In tiie ar« 
moury were weapons of all kmds, magnineendy wrought; a 
ooat of mail and sword, for state occasions, bededced with 
jewels of incalculable yalne ; a siLyer lM»»emaa on a gMen 
AOfse, and a golden rider on asilyer camel, all likewise studded 
with jewels. 

In the yaults were treasures of gold and silyer and preeious 
stones, with money, the Tast amount of which, though stated 
hy Arabian kistonans, we hesitate to mention. 

In some of the apartments were gold and silrer vessels 
filled with oriental perfumes. In the magazines were stewed 
exquisite spices, odoriferons gums, ana medicioal drugs. 
Among the latter were quantities <^ camphor, which me 
Arabs mistook for salt, andmixed with their food. 

Li one of the chambers was a silken carpet of great size, 
which the kin^ used in winter. Art and expense had been 
lavished unon it. It was made to represent a garden. The 
le«Fes of tne plants were emeralds ; the flowers were embroi- 
dered in their natural colours, with pearls and jewels and pre- 
dous stones ; the fountains were wrought with diamonds and 
sapphires, to represent the sparkling of their waters. Tho 
Tuue of the whole was beyond calculation. 

The hall of audience surpassed eveiy other part in magni* 
ficoice. The vaulted roof, says D'Merbelot, resembled a 
firmament decked wiUi golden spheres, each with a oorre- 
Bponding morement, so as to represent ike planets and the 
signs of the Zodiac. The throne was of prodigious grandeur, 
supported on silrer columns. Abore it was the crown of 
£hosru Naahirwan, suspended by a golden chain to bear the 
immense weight of its jewels, but contxiTed to appear as if cm 
the head of tlie monarch when seated. 

A mule is said to have been pvertaken, on which a trusty 
officer of the palace was bearing away some of the jewels of 
the crown, the tiara or diadem of Yezoegird, with his belt and 
scimetar and bracelets. 

Saad appointed Omar Ibn Muskry to take charge of all the 
spoils for regular distribution, and criers were sent about ti 
xnake prochmiation that the soldiers should render in their 
booty to that officer. Such was the enormous amounl^ that 
after a fifbh had been set apart for the Caliph, the remainder, 
divided among sixty thousand men« gave each of tliem twelve 
hundred dirhnns of silver. 

It took nine hundred hearity laden camels^ convey to 

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Medina ihe Caliph's fifth of the spoil, among which the cai]pet» 
the clothing, and r^alia of the long were indnded. The 
people of Medina, tibongh of late years accustomed to the 
rich booty of the armies, were astonished at such an amount 
of treasure. Omar ordered that a mosque should be built of 
part of the proceeds. A consultation was held over the rojal 
carpet, whether it should be stored away in the public trea- 
puiy, to be used by the Caliph on state occasions, or whether 
it should be induaed in the booty to be shared. 

Omar hesitated to decide with his usual promptness, and 
referred the matter to Ali. " Oh, prince of true behevers !" 
exclaimed the latter; "how can one of thy dear perception 
doubt in this matter P In the world nothing is thine but what 
thou expendest in well-doin^. What thou wearest will be 
worn out ; what Ihou eatest will be consumed ; but that which 
thou expendest in well-doing, is sent before thee to the other 

Omar determined that the carpet should be shared among 
his chiefs. He divided it literally, with rigid equity, cutting 
it up, without regard to the skill and beaul^ of me design, or 
its I yalue as an entire piece of workmanship. Such was the 
richness of the materials, that the portion allotted to Ali 
alone, sold for eight thousand dirhems of silver. 

This signal capture of the capital of Persia took place in 
the month Safar, in the sixteenth year of the Hegira, and the 
year 637 of the Christian era; the same year with the capture 
of Jerusalem. The fame of such immense spoil, such trea- 
sures of art in the hands of ignorant Arab soldiery, sum- 
moned the crafty and the avaridous from all quarters. All 
the world, it is said, flocked from the West, from Yemen, and 
from Egypt, to purchase the costly stuffs captured from the 
Persians. It was like the vultures, winging their way from 
all parts of the heavens, to gorge on the rdics of a hunting 

Capture of Jlluli.— Flight of Yesdeglrd to Bet^Foundiag of fHiflj flaul 

Saab Ibk Abu Waseas would fain have pursued Yezdedrd 
to Holw&n, among the hills of ancient Media, where he nad 
taken refhge ; but he was restrained by the Caliph Omar, who 
kept a cautious dieck from Medina upon his-oonquering 

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OMAB. 121^ 

generals, fearful that in the flush and excitement of victoiy 
8iey might hurry forward beyond the reach of succour. By 
the command of Omar, therefore, he remained with his main; 
army in Madayn, and sent his brother Hashem with twelve 
thousand men m pursuit of the fugitive monarch. Hashem. 
found a large force of Persians, relics of defeated armies, 
assembled in JMula, not far from Holwlin, where they were- 
disposed to make a stand. He laid siege to the place, but it 
was of great strength, and maintained a brave and obstinate 
defence for six months, during which there were eighty 
assaidts. At length, the garrison being reduced by famine 
and incessant fluting, and the commander slain, it sur-^ 

Yezdegird, on hearing of the oaptore of JMul^ abandoned 
the city of Holw&n, leaving troops there xmder a general 
named Habesh, to check the pursuit of the enemy. The place 
of refuge which he now sought was the city of Eei, or BaaV 
the Bhages of Arrian ; the Bhaga and Bhageia of the Greek 
geographers ; a city of remote antiquity, contemporary, it is- 
Baid, with Nineveh and Ecbatana, and mentioned m the book 
of Tobit ; who, we are told, travelled from Nineveh to Kages^ 
a city of Medea. It was a favourite residence of the Parthian 
kings in days of yore. In his flight through the mountains^ 
the monarch was borne on a chaur or litter between mules f 
travelling a station each day and sleeping in the litter^ 
Habesh, whom he had left behind, was soon defeated, and - 
followed him in his flight. 

Saad again wrote to the Caliph, urging that he might be 
permittea to follow the Persian long to his place of refuge 
among the mountains, before he should have tune to assemble 
another army; but he again met with a cautious check. 
" You have this year," said the Caliph, " taken Sawad and 
Irak; for Holwan is at the extremity of Irak. That is 
enough for the present. The welfare of true believers, is of 
more value than booty." So ended the sixteenth year of the 

The climate of Madajm proving unhealthy to his troops, and 
Saad wishing to estabhsh a fortined camp m the midst of his 
victories, was ordered by the Caliph to seek some favourable 
1^ on the western side of the Euphrates, where there was 
good air, a well watered plain and plenty of grass for the 
camels ; things highly appreciated by the Arabs. 

Saad chose for the purpose the village of Cufa, which,^ 
according to Moslem ^adition, was the spot where Noah 
embarked in the Ark. The Arabs further pretend that the 
serpent after tempting Eve was banished to tibis -place.. 

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ISO succEssoBs or jcahomet. 

Henoe, tkey bij, ike gvile and treachery idt -wkkk the men 
of Cm&l Are pF07«itbial. liiiB oiiy beosme lo celebrated tliafe 
the Eupkates was at one tune f^&nenSfy deBominated Kabar 
Oafa, or ihe river cf Cola. I^ most Ancient ckaraoters ei 
tke Arabic ab^BoAfet are texmed Otilfic to ihe pregent d&j. 

In bniktin^ Onfa, woaaeh of iihe 4rt«ne, ntarUe, aad timber 
fbr the fxriiusipal eioAeea were fimiAftd &<Wi tbe minfi of 
Madayn; tliesie being madk a 6aBrciij<af those nuut^mls da. 
Bsbjloma mad its Ticinifcy-, Idoit tbe bouses were ^feneraUj 
oonstmctod of Weks baked in iike firm and cemented mm 
bitumen. It vied to be isaid, '^haBefare, that ike armr on its 
MmoTie took witliit»lltiieluni8eB<of S»wad. SaadJbnAlnL 
Wakkl^, who appears to baye imbibed a >taste for Persian 
iplendoar, eveotoi a«EiD|irfcii<iT]s £jo^ or -sfuamer i^esidence, 
and decorated at ivitk:a gaaak portal taken &om tbe palace of 
iiie JQuofims «Kt Madoyn. Wnen Omar keard of tins he was 
8€n*ely disfdeased, bis 4preaAi spqprehension bepi^ that kis ^fen»- 
late would lose ibe ^od old Arab nunplio^ of mannexB in 
1fael«iffio«Bc«ntriestl»7wereoonqner^ Beforikwiik 
fiflpatcked a ismst^ emrov; Makomet IJbn ]Vftsk?ignaK ^npow- 
cred ik> giw fiaaa Jt .saliitary irebnke. On arriving at Osfiw 
Mdkonet eanaed m ffma^ iijuaatiiby of wood to be keayed 
apinst ike ioat ai Ine Eaosk, aiid sai -fire to it. Wbaa 
&ad same totk in amaBemetnt ai this outra^ Makomet pat 
into kis iiands tbe iaOowin^ letter hcsm the Cyipk. 

^ I am told iboii kast bmbt a Mty pakee, Bke to ^bal of 
tbe Ebosrus, and decorated it with « door taken iiom tbe 
latter; mik a Toew to b«fe guands and okajaberiaans statJoned 
«boict it to keep off ikose who may oooEie in quest of jnstioa 
or assistance, as was ihe practioe or tbe Xbosrus before tkee. 
In so doing thou bast departed fiom the ways of tbe prophet 
icm whom oe benedictions), and bast Ivllen into the wa^rs of 
tbe Persian snonarchs. ILnow that tbe Xbosms baye passed 
fposn their pidace to the tomb ; while ihe prophet^ irom bis 
lowly babkaEtion on earth, has been elevated to the bigbeat 
heaven. I have sent Mahomet Ibn Muslemah to bum thy 
|)alace. In this world two bofuaes are sufficient for thee ; one 
to dwell in, the other to contain the treasuse of tbe Mos- 

Saad was too wary to make any opposition to the orders of 
ibe stem-mmded Oatar ; so be looEed on "without a muraEnur 
as his stately Eiosk was consumed W the flames. He even 
ofiered Mahomet presents, whidi the latter dedinod, and 
returned to Medi»Ek. Saad removed to a different part of 
<the city, and built a more modest mansion for himself anid 
^another for Idae treasury* 

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OlEAS. 131 

In the same year TdtJi tlie fotmding of Ciifia, the CaEph 
Omar married 0mm Kolsam, tke daughter of AK a»d Eatama, 
and granddanditer of the prophet. This drew him in gtBtt 
dbser bonds offiriendship and confidence with Ali ; wht» witSi 
Othman shared his cotmeiis, and aided him in managing hcna 
Medina I3ie rapidly accnmnlating affairs of the Moslem empire. 

It nmst be ahrays noted, l£at however stem and strict 
may appear the hews and ordinances of Omar, he was rigidly 
impartial in enforcing them ; and one of his own sons, having 
been found intoxicated, received the twenty bastinadoes on 
ihe soles of Hie feet winch he had decreed for oflRenees of the 


W HT with Homrozftn, the 'Satrap of Ahw^ — Hte conqpe A safl eonven^oii. 

The fbunding of the «itT of Bassorm had giv«n great annoys 
ance and tmeasiness to Hommzl^ 1^ S£ua*ap or vioeroy df 
Ahw&z, or Snsiana. His province lay between Babylonia and 
[Parsistan, and he saw iSiat this liamg city of the Arabs wai 
intended as a check upon him. His province was oste of the 
richest and most ixnportant of Persia, producing cotton, rioe» 
sugar, and wheat. 3?t was fitndded w^ cities, wHdi the his- 
torian Tabari compared to a cluster of stars. In the centre 
stood Ihe metropofis, Susa; one of l^e royal resorts of the 
P^*8ian kings, celebrated in scriptural history, and said to 
possess the tomb of the prophet Daniel. It was once adorned 
wiih palaces and courts, and prarks <rf prodigious extent, 
fhougn now all is a wtwte, ** echoing only to Ihe roar of I3ie 
lion, or yeU of the hyaena." 

HereHormuzSn, the satrap, emulated t3ie state and luxury 
of a king. He was of a haughty spirit, priding himself upon 
his descCTit, his ancestors having once sat on the throne of 
Persia. For this reason his sons, being of the blood royal, 
wirare pemutted to wear crowns, though of smaller size than 
-i^iose worn by kings, and his family was regarded witib great 
deference by the Persians. 

This haughly satrap, not rendered wary by the prowfess of 
t^ Moslem arms, which he had witnessed and experienced at 
Kadesia, made preparations to crush tiie^rising colony of Bas- 
sora. The founders of I3iat city caHed on the Caliph for pro- 
tection, and troops were marched to their assistance from 
Medina, and from the head-quarters of Saad at Cufa. Hor- 

13^ srccESSosa of ulamowbh, 

muzlUi soon liad reason to repent his having provoked hos- 
tilities. He was defeated in repeated battles, and at length 
If as glad to make peace, with the loss of half of his territories, 
and all but fonr or his cluster of cities. He was not x>erniitted 
long to enjoy even this remnant of domain. Yczdegird, from 
his retreat at Eei, reproached Hormiiz4n and the satrap of 
the adjacent province of Farsistan, for not co-operating to 
withstand the Moslems. At his command thej united their 
forces, and«Hormnz&n broke the treaty of peace which he had 
so recently concluded. 

The devotion of Honhuz4n to his fugitive sovereign ended 
ii; his ruin. The Caliph ordered troops to assemble m)m the 
different Moslem posts, and complete the conquest of Ahwaz. 
Hormuz&n disputed his territory bravely, but was driven 
from place to place, until he made his last stand in the fortress 
of Ahw^, or Susa. For six months he was beleaguered, 
during which time there were many saUies and assaults, 
and hard fighting on both sides. At length, Bark Ibn M41ek 
was sent to take command of the besiegers. He had been an 
especial favourite of the prophet, and there was a superstitious 
feeling concerning him. He manifested at all times an in- 
difference to life or death; always pressed forward to the 
place of danger, and every action in which he served was 

On his taking the command, the troops gathered round 
him. " Oh Bara ! swear to overthrow these mfidels, and the 
Most High will favour us." 

Bara swore that the place would be taken, and the infidels 
put to flight, but that he would fidl a martyr. 

In the verynext assault, he was killed by an arrow sped by 
HormuzlUi. The amnr took his death as a good omen. '* One- 
half of his oath is ndfilled," said they, " and so will be the 

Shortly afterward a Persian traitor came to Abu Shebrali, 
who had succeeded to the Moslem command, and revealed a 
secret entrance by a conduit under the castle, by which it was 
supplied with water. A hundred Moslems entered it by night, 
threw open the outward gates, and let in the army into the 
court-yards. HormuzlUi was ensconced, however, in a strong 
tower, or keep, from the battlements of which he held a parley 
with the Moslem commander. " I have a thousand expert 
archers with me," said he, " who never miss their aim. Bj 
every arrow they discharge, you will lose a man. Avoid this 
useless sacrifice. Let me depart in honour; give me saie 
conduct to the Caliph, and let him dispose of me as he 

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OMAB. 133 

It was agreed. Hormaz&n was treated with, respect as he 
issued from his fortress, and was sent under an escort to 
Medina. He maintained the air of one not conducted as a 
prisoner, but attended by a guard of honour. As he ap- 
proached the city he halted, arrayed himself in sumptuous 
apparel, with his jewelled belt and regal crown, and m this 
guise entered the gates. The inhabitants gazed in astonish- 
ment at such unwonted luxury of attire. 

Omar was not at his dwelling ; he had gone to the mosque» 
Hormuz^ was conducted thither. On approaching the sacred 
edifice, the Caliph's doak was seen hanging against the wall, 
while he himself*, arrayed in patched garments, lay asleep with 
his staff under his head. The officers of the escort seated 
themselves at a respectful distance until he should awake. 
" This," whispered tney to Hormuz^, '* is the prince of true 

*' This the Arab king !" said the astonished satrap ; " and 
is this his usual attire ?*' " It is." " And does he sleep thus 
without guards?" " He does ; he comes and goes alone, and 
lies down and sleeps where he pleases." " And can he ad- 
minister justice, and conduct affiors without officers and mes- 
sengers and attendants P" " Even so," was the reply. " This," 
«xchumed Hormuz&n, at length, " is the condition of a pro- 
phet, but not of a long." *' He is not a prophet," was the 
reply, " but he acts like one." 

As the Caliph awoke he recognised the officers of the 
escort. " What tidings do you bnngP" demanded he — " But 
who is this so extrayagantfy arrayed P" rubbing his eyes as 
they fell upon the embroidered robes and jewelled crown 
of the satrap. ''This is Hormuz^, the kmg of Ahw&z.' 
'* Take the infidel out of this place," cried he, turning away 
his head. " Strip him of his riches, and put on lum the 
riches of Islam." 

Hormuz^ was accordingly taken forth, and in a little 
time was brought again before the Caliph, clad in a simple 
garb of the stnped cloth of Yemen. 

The Moslem writers relate various auibbles by which Hor- 
muz&n sought to avert the death with wnich he was threatened, 
for having slain Bar& Ibn M&lek. He craved water to allay 
his thirst. A vessel of water was brought. Afiecting to 
apprehend immediate execution : " Shall I be spared until I 
have drunk this P" Being answered by the Caliph in the 
affirmative, he dashed the vessel to the ground. ''Now," 
said he, " vou cannot put me to death, for I can never drink 
the water. 

The straightforward Omar, however, was not to be caught 

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' a qnibUo. ^'Yomr emaumg wili do jou no ffood^" Mod Ee^ 
'"olhttfi^wiH Mure 701. btoi to exBlmoe IskmiBxiL" The 
jHwhty fiannmki ww mbdaedL Ha made tke profesaiaa 
of&lh. im due ftjrk, sad waa afc ooce onaraikd aaun^ true 

He resided tiwnoafogrtf> in Medina ; raoiived ndi jjKcapnia 
ham ike Calipk, aod vdbeecnieai^jgaTekim ma^ aarviceaUa 
information and advice ia nis pioaecBfckm of tka war -wiA 
fenia. The eonraeit of Alivaa was eompleied m tko aiBe- 
ieeaUiyaaroftiheJSegita. • 


Bead toapended flpgiii tiie command. — ^A- Persian, anoy assembled st K^AI^ 
read^— C««]ita a^ta^MMfoe oTKidiBA.— Battle ^flTdi&TBMk 

Omab, ae we lukve bmb^ ke^fr a jealooe and ^igilttat ey9 "^fpom 
hsM diatant generals^ berag eonMastly hacmted br ne met 
tibtat thej wcnikl beocnae oomtpttfd ia the lioh ana Ivxonoaa 
oovairies tikej were inyadtiif, aad lose tiMt Aaih aimn^btitj 
wMok lie eozuttdered mestiikia^e m itoelf, and att-esset&tial ta 
ike Bvccesa d the< eauee of Islam^ NotwilJiataadrng- Hht 
severe reproof ke had given to- 8aod Ibn Aka WalcldbB ia, 
ffwnang down hia pahee at Ouia, oomplaizifis stiB readied kim 
l^t t^e general infected ike pomp <^ a OaJipk, that ke ww- 
wijnst aad opFreeaive, tmMr in tke dvrunon of ^^ik, and 
ak>w in oondncti^ mitilary tcaeenm, Tkese ^taxges pnyved^ 
for the moat part, anfiwnded^ but tke^ caused Saad to be 
aaspeaded firora his eomma»d tuilfl tkejr eocdd be invee^vated. 

Wh^i the news readied Teadegird ai Bei tkat the MosleA 
general who had conquered at £adesia, slaia BoBtam, eap> 
tared Madajn, and (Uivea himadf to^ the mosntatne, was 
deposed from the eommazid, ke eoneemd firesk hooes, aad 
wrote letters to aU the ppe^raiees yet aBeonqaered, eaMng on 
"file ij^udbxtants to take 1^ aims aoad make a grand efiS»t for 
ike salratiGsi of the empire. l^ekftTend was appointed as tke 
pkiee where the tioops were to assesiMe. It was a ^aee of 
great antiquity, fimnded, says tradition, hr Noah, and eaUed 
aDier him, and was about fifteea leagues mm Hamadlko, tke 
ancient Eebatana. Here troops g^ered together to tite 
mumber of one kandred and ^ty m>usaBd. 

Omar assOTabled kis eounsellors at the mosque of Mediaa, 
and gave them intelligence, just received, of tnis great arma- 
awst. "^Tkis,*' said ke,*« is proMdytke kist great elfort of 

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OUJLB. 13S* 

tk0 Peaniainfi. If we defeat threm now tLey will never be able- 
to VBofce agnin/' He ecxpveased a dispotttion^ therefore, to. 
take the ceaonaaid. in person. Strong objee^na were ad^ 
■vanced. " ABRemMe troopg fi?em TaariouBt parta»" aaid QthiBatt; 
''^ but remain^ j&ojneiS, eifcber at Medina,. Cu&kt ok Solmha, to 
fend reinfbrcemsemts if reqttired^ or to form a railyin^ poiiit 
&r the Moslems, if defentedJ' Othera save di£Eb?eiit eoiuiseL 
At length the matter was referred to Abbas Ibn Abd al Mo- 
t&llefa, who was eeosidered (ma of the sagett heads ^covasel 
in the tribe mi^artishL. He fOiTe it as his Qpinioii tiia^ tba 
Caliph sbcMkL rcoaein m Medma, aaui gi^e the cemBnand of 
tiie eampaigB. to ]SHi'm4ii Ibn Mnlpy,. who waa abeady i» 
Akw6s^ where ke had been &iew since Saad hodl seitt hdai 
^kiter firom Ink. It is sin^;niar to* see the fate of the ence 
mighty and magnifieent %mjpm of the Orient^ Syizu, Ckaldea^ 
JIt&fismBkr ana the denztmona ci the Medira and Persians^ 
tins ddbated and deeidtd in the mosqxie of Medina^ bj a 
handM of gncf -kieaded Arabs> who mat m. few yeaxa pre* 
riooah* had Been homeleas &fl;itiye8. 

Ormra were new sest ta Nwman to nuarcL to Hdb^vend^ 
and reinfipiceBenti jiuaed hun firom Medina, B aawjia ^ aaid 
Oufa. His force, when thus cofleetedv waa bufc moderate, but 
it was nade np of mem haEdened ami sharpened bj uioeasant 
marhrtf rendered dazing* and eos&lent by- repeated Tietoarf, 
and led by able officen. Be waa afterwaorda jokied by ten 
tiioiiHand men freoa Sawad, HoIwsLnv and otibex places, maoy 
of whom were tribntariefii 

The Persian army norw eoUectcd at. KehAicend waa eom- 
maaaded by Firuzin;. he waa old and infirm, but Mi of istel- 
ligraioe and spizstt, and the OTiy mnaaning geKeial conradered 
capable of taking charge oi bbc6 a Ibiecv tiie beat generali 
kanng fSdien in battle* Ike vetenm, lancmmg the impe- 
taoail^ of the Arab attacli^ axMi their snperioBity* in tiw open 
fidd, had taken a irtrong poaition, ibrnfied hsa eainra, and 
soiroanded it wiik a deep SMat filled with water. Here ho 
dcfteofnaed to tire oat the TOitience of tke Maslsni% and await 
aa opportrutity ta strike & dieeisiye blow. 

luLinlba dmlayed hda ioarees before the Pefaian eamp, and 
lepeatedly omeied battle, Init tibe eantums vetenzi was not ta 
be drawn oat of h» izktrene&mrada. Two noatha ekpsed 
withoat any aetion, and the ModMn troopSy aa Piraaftn had 
Ibreseen* began to grow dbcontenrted, and to onsmar at theor 

A stratagem was now resorted to by Nn*mkiL to dncw out 
tile enemy. B^reaking up hia camp, he nude a haatf ietre«t> 
leaiing Miind him BMsvy avtidea of IM» ysiat. The 

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ctratagem succeeded. The PeraianB sallied, though cautioxislj, 
in pursuit. !Nu*m^n continued his feigned retreat for another 
day, still followed by the enemj. Having drawn them to » 
sufficient distance from their fortified camp, he took up a 
position at nightfall. ''To-morrow," said he to his troops, 
** before the Sa,j reddens, be ready for battle. I have been 
with the prophet in many conflicts, and he always commenced 
battle after the Friday prayer." 

The following day, when the troops were drawn out in 
order of battle, ne made this prayer in their prtsence. " Oh 
Allah ! sustain this day the cause of Islamism; give us 
victory over the infidels, and grant me the glory of martyr- 
dom.' Then turning to his officers, he expressed a presenti- 
ment that he should fall in the battle, and named the person 
who, in such case, should take the command. 

He now appointed the signal for battle. " Three times," 
6aid he, " I will cry the tekbir, and each time will shake mv 
standard. At the third time let every one fall on as I shall 
do." He gave the signal, Allah Achbarl Allah Achbar! 
Allah Achbar! At the third shaking of the standard, the 
tekbir was responded by the army, and the air was rent by 
the universal snout of Allah Achbar ! 

The shock of the two armies was terrific ; they were soon 
enveloped in a cloud of dust, in which the sound of scimetars 
and battle-axes told the deadly work tiiat was going on; 
while the shouts of Allah Achbar continued, mingled with 
furious cries and execrations of the Persians, and dismal 
groans of the wounded. In an hour the Persians were com- 
pletely routed. "Oh Lord!" exclaimed Nu'm&n, in pious 
ecstasy, "my prayer for victory has been heard; may that 
for martyrdom be likewise favoured I" 

He advanced his standard in pursuit of the enemy, but at 
ihe same moment a Parthian arrow from the fiying foe gave 
liim the death he coveted. His body, with the face covered, 
was conveyed to his brother, and his standard given to Ha- 
difeh, whom he had named to succeed him in the command. 

The Persians were pursued with great slaughter. Firuzan 
fled towards Hamadan, but was overtaken at midnight as he 
was ascending a steep hill, embarrassed among a crowd of 
' mules and camels laden with the luxurious superfluities of a 
Persian camp. Here he and several thousand of his soldiers 
and camp-followers were cut to pieces. The boot^ was im- 
mense. Forty of the mules were found to be laden with honey; 
which made the Arabs say, with a sneer, that Fimzon's army 
-was clogged with its own honey, until overtaken by the true 
believers. The whole mmiber of Persians slain in this battle. 

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OMAB. 137 

wluch sealed the fate of the empire, is said to have amounted 
to one hundred thousand. It took place in the twenty-first 
year of the Hegira, and the year 641 of the Christian era, 
and was commemorated among Moslems as " The Victory of 

On a day subsequent to the battle, a man mounted on an. 
ass rode into the camp of Hadifeh. He was one who had 
served in the temples oi the fire-worshippers, and was in great 
consternation, fearing to be sacrificed by the fanatic Moslems. 
" Spare my life," saiahe to Hadifeh, "and the life of another 
person whom I shall designate, and I will dehver into your 
hands a treasure put under my charge by Yezdegird when he 
fled to Sei." His terms being promised, he produced a sealed 
box. On breaking the seal, Hadifeh foimd it filled with 
rubies and precious stones of various colours and jewels of 
great price. He was astonished at the sight of what appeared 
to him incalculable riches. " These jewels," said he, " have 
not been gained in battle, nor by the sword ; we have, there- 
fore, no right to any share in them. With the concurrence of 
his officers, therefore, he sent the box to the Caliph to be 
retained by himself or divided among the true believers as he 
shoTild think proper. The officer who conducted the fifth part 
of the spoils to Medina, delivered the box, and related its 
history to Omar. The Caliph, little skilled in matters of 
luxury, and holding them in supreme contempt, gazed with an 
ignorant or scornful eye at the miperial jewels, and refused to 
receive them. " You know not what these things are," said 
he. "Neither do I; but they lustly belong to those who 
slew the infidels, and to no one else." He or£red the officer* 
therefore, to depart forthwith and carry the box back to 
Hadifeh. The jewels were sold by the latter to the merchants 
who followed tne camp, and when the proceeds were divided ; 
among the troops, eacn horseman received for his share four 
thousand pieces of gold. 

Far other was ihe conduct of the Caliph when he received 
the letter giving an account of the victory at Neh&vend. His 
first inquiry was after his old companion m the faith, Nu*man. 
" May Goa grant you and him mercy !" was the reply. " He 
has become a martyr !" 

Omar, it is said, wept. He next inquired who also were 
martyrs. Several were named with whom he was acauaintedj 
but many who were unknown to him. " If I know tnem not^ 
said he, piously quoting a text of the Koran, " God does !" 

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Oq^tnre of Hamadftn ; of Bei.— Snl^iigatkiD of TthtxMam ; dAmc^ki^ht, — 
CaapaigB among tbe Oaocttiaa mosntaiiu. 

TsB Piersisn troopc wKo luid vorrnvd tiie ngnol deirafe of 
iPkos^ assemblea thelt broken fbree* amt the city «f Haaia- 
^in; Imt were sooa routed •gain by dgtaAment acgfraeii»ii 
tttem hf Hadlfek, who haA fixed \m headtpiflvten at %U^ 
▼end. 1^^ them took relbge » HMnacttw, and cBSoenuced 
t&emselTea Bi its s^ong^ Ibr^ss <»? citadeL 

Hamadki war ^le seecmd eiity in BBrsia fer gHutdssur, and 
was boUt m>on ^^e site of Edbatana, iar old times ike pzk»' 
ftA eity of i^ Medes. l^ere were i&or». Jema. aatoog its 
anhabiUnts tbaa were to be found in anj other eitf of Pleraa;: 
and it boasted of possessing l^otomlw of Bsthcor and Moxw 
decai. It was situated on a stee^emiaenioey dofvn ^hm sides of 
whi^ it deseended i»to a ftnitmi pkin, watwed hj sfeewai a a 
gashing down from the 10%- Orontes, now Mpiart Dhrand. 
She T^aoe was eommanded b^ Habedti^ the same general wb» 
liad been driven fifom Hohrsbi titer the flight oi YezdegM. 
Habesh son^t an interriew with Hadt£^, at his encammeait 
at Neh&vendi and made a tareatr of peaee wi^ him ; hot ife 
was a fraudulent one, and isxtencsed Stterelj to gain time. Be* 
taming to^ Ham^daoa, he tvmed the vrhde city into a fbrtreas^ 
and assembled a strong garrison, being reonimroed firoiii ike 
a^hbonring prorince g£ Aserbij&n. 

On b^g informed of this want of rood &itk on the part 
•f the ga7em€»^ of HsiiMtd^n, the Calip& Chnar dspcttched ■ 
strong loroe aga^t the plaoe> led bj an abb offieer aiind 
l^u'haim Ibn Mukrin. Habesh had more oouraee than oaa-> 
takm. Confident in Ae large force he iuid asaentmed^ iostaad 
of remaining within hk stKttglj fortified cilj^ he salHed £bz& 
and met the Modems in op^s, BeM. I^ haAJAe hesked £br 
^uree da js> and was harder £^ht thasi even tibat of ItehlkiTeftdr 
but ended in leaving the Moslems triumphant masten of tko 
once f(»rmidable eapital of Media. 

Kii*haim now marched against Sei. late tise ph»e of rdam 
Cif Yeadegird. Ihat prinee, howerev, had deserted it on ute 
apprott^ of danger, leaTin^ it in charge d a noble aamed 
Siy&wesh Ibn Barham. Hither the Persian princes had sent 
troops from the yet imconquered provinces, for Siy&wesh had 

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mMj offered to laake koni^ m a boekier to them,, and emat^ 
quer or fall in their defence. His patriotiam waa vaaBnuliBi^ 
treachexj aad oom^ptioii wvre too wreraleikt aawMis the Per- 
aians* Zain» a pow^rM aol^ raaideai in S«v and a deMUgr 
enemy of l%jaweah» wxofanA ta adnui two^ihoaaand MniiWiwa 
VOL at on»j;ateef thacity* at tiie time whaa ite gidhnst gorenttir 
waa makmg a BwSfy hjr ano^heff . A Boe&e of tmnlt and caxv 
na^e took place in the atieeta, vhere both amdaa engagad in 
deadly oonffieL The patriot Siykwnh was akin wi^ii a 
great part of his^ tatoopar the city waa captaga d and sacked 
and iU e^^adel dB8troy«d» asd ^a ixmko^ Zam waa lavarded 
ior his tieachavy by heinf^ mada> gofremaor of the rained 

Nu'haim now sent troopa m difle ra ut dbrertiomi aganut 
£imu^ and Banae^^tki, and Jnrean (the am^ent ffircamia), 
aadlTaJbajri^iaju Th^ met with feetderesiBtaiiaa. The national 
ifizit waa brok^i; eprea the natkmal religion waa naai^ at 
an end. *^ This Peraas rehgioa ei onrs haa become oaao^ 
lete," aaid Fadcham, a military aageyto an assemblage of ooai^ 
aumdfrsy who asked haa adfioe; '^tiie new rel^pum ia earrying 
eyery thmgbelbre it; my advieeis to make peaee and pay 
tribute;" iBda advice was adopted. All Tabaristsn became 
tributary in the anmaal sum of n^e hixadred tfaonsaiad diarhems; 
wilh tho eondltioa that the Moslems should levy no troops in 

AzaabipB waa next invaded ; the eoxmtry vfUuik had sent 
treopa to the aid of HanauUn. This proNriBee lay novth of 
!Rei and Hamadeiji, and extended to the rocky Caucasus. It 
wask the stronghold of the Magiana or Fire* worshi^pexa, where 
. they had thdr tenuples^ aad maiatained their perpetoal £«& 
Hence the name of the cvantry, Azer smiffmg fii*e. The 
pviaees of the countrr made an ineffectuaf stand ; ^eir army 
was d^eated ; l^e altars of the fire-worshippers were over- 
ipmed ; their temples destroyed^ and Azerbij^n won. 

The arms of Islam had aow been earned triamphantiy to 
ihe Toy defiles of the Caneaana; tlKwe monmtaiBB were yet 
to be Bubdned. Thwr rocky sierras on the east separated 
Azerb^dn from Haziz and the shores of the Caspian* and on 
the north firom the vast Sormafciaa ra^ns. The passes 
through these moutttaina wen aeenred of yore^ by fortreesea 
and waUa> and iron gates, to bar against irraptkms &om the 
sbadowy land of Qog and Magog, the terror of the olden 
fime, mr by these passes had poured in the barbarous hordes 
of the norm, " a mi§[hty host all riding upon horses," who 
liyed in tents, worshipped the naked swoid planted in the 

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eartih, and decorated their steeds with the scalps of their 
enemies slain in hattle.* 

Detachments of Moslems under different leaders pene- 
trated the defiles of these mountains, and made themselves 
masters of the Derbends, or mountain barriers. One of the 
most important, and which cost the ^eatest struggle, was a 
city or fortress called by the Persians, Der-bend ; by the 
Tiiks, Demir-Capi, or the ^ate of Iron ; and by the Arabs, 
J3ab-el-abwlkb, (the Gate of Gat^s.) It guards a defile be- 
tween a promontory of Mount Caucasus and the Caspian sea. 
A superstitious behef is still connected with it by the Moslems. 
Origmally it had three gates ; two only are left ; one of these 
has nearly sunk into the earth ; they say when it disappears 
the day of judgment will arrive. 

Ab&'lranman Ibn Eabiah, one of the Moslem commanders 
wh<> penetrated the defiles of the Caucasus, was appointed by 
Omar to the command of the Derbends or passes, witii orders 
t6 keep vigilant watch over them ; for the Ualinh was in con* 
tinual sohcitude about the safety of the Moslems on these 
remote expeditions, and was fearful that the Moslem troops 
might be swept away by some irruption from the north. 

Abdalrahman, with the approbation of the Caliph, made a 
compact with Shahr-Zad, one of the native chiefs, by which 
the latter, in consideration of being excused from paving 
tribute, undertook to guard the Derbends against the nortnem 
hordes. The Arab general had many conversations with 
Shahr - Zad about the mountains, which are favoured re- 

* By some, Gog and Magog are taken in an allegorical sense, signifying 
the princes of heathendom, enemies of saints and the church. 

According to the prophet Ezeldel, Gog was the king of Magog ; Magog 
signifying the i)eople, and G^g the king of the coantry. They are names 
that loom yaguely and fearfUIIy in the dark denunciations of the prophets ; 
and in the olden time inspired awe throughout the eastern world. 

The Arabs, says Lane, call Gog and Magog, Yl^uj and M^uj, and say 
they are two nations or tribes descended from Japliet, the son of Noah ; or, 
as others write, Gog is a tribe of the Turks, and Magog those of Gilan ; the 
QeU and the Gels of Ptolemy and Strabo. They made their irruptions 
into the neighbouring countries in the spring, and carried off all the fruits 
of the earth. — Salens Koran, Note to ch. 18. 

According to Moslem belief, a great irruption of Gog and Magog is to be 
one of the signs of the latter days, forerunning the resurrection and final 
Judgment. They are to come from the north in a mighty host, coyering 
the land as a cloud ; so that when subdued, their shields and bucklers, their 
"bows and arrows and quivers, and the staves of their spears, shall fumisk 
the faithftil with fhel for seven years. All which is evidently derived from 
the bo<^k of the prophet Ezekiel ; with which Mahomet had been mada 
acquaints by his Jewish instructors. 

The Koran makes mention of a wall built as a protection against theie 

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OMAB. 141 

gions of Persian romance and fable. His imagination was 
fired witli wliat lie was told about tbe people oeyond the 
Perbends, the Allani, and the E.ns ; and about the ^eat wall 
or barrier of YajiVj and Majuj, built to restrain their inroads. 

In one of the stories told by Shahr-Zad, the reader will 
perceive the germ of one of the Arabian tales of Sindbad the 
Sailor. It is recorded to the following purport, by Tabari, 
the Persian historian : ** One day as Abda'lrahman was seated 
by Shahr-Zad, conversinj? with him, he perceived upon his 
finger a ring decorated with a ruby, which burned like fire in 
the daytime, but at night was of dazzli^ brilliancy. * It 
came,* said Shahr-zad, *from the wall of Y&jiij and Majiij, 
i&om a king whose dominions between the mountains is tra- 
versed by the wall. I sent him many jjresents, and asked 
but one ruby in return.* Seeing the curiosity of Abda'lrah- 
man aroused, he sent for the man who had brought the ring, 
and commanded him to relate the circumstances of his errand. 

" * When I delivered the presents and the letter of Shahr- 
Zad to that king,' said the man, ' he called his chief falconer, 
and ordered him to procure the jewel required. The falconer 
kept an eagle for three days witnout food, until he was nearly 
starved ; he then took him up into the mountains near the 
wall, and I accompanied him. From the summit of one of 
these mountains, we looked down into a deep dark chasm like 
an abyss. The falconer now produced a piece of tainted meat, 
threw it into the ravine, and let loose tne eagle. He swep 
down after it, pounced upon it as it reached the ground, and 
returning with it perched upon the hand of the falconer. The 

fearful people of the north by Dhalkarndin, or the Two Homed ; by iv4ioin 
some suppose is meant Alexander the Great ; others, a Persian king, of the 
first race, contemporary with Abraham. 

And they said, O Dhu'lkameim, verily, Gog and Magog waste the land. 
.... He answered, I will set a strong wall between you and them. Bring 
jne iron in large pieces, until it fill up the space between the two sides of 
tiiese mountains. And he said to the workmen. Blow with your bellows 
until it make the iron red hot ; and bring me molten brass, that I may pour 
upon it. Wherefore, when this wall was finished, Gog and Magog could 
not scale it, neither could they dig through it. — Sale's Koran, ch. 18. 

The Czar, Peter the Great, in his expedition against the Persians, saw in 
the neighbourhood of the dty of Derbend. which was then besieged, the 
ruins of a wall, which went up hill and down dale, along the Caucasus, and 
was said to extend from the Euxine to the Caspian. It was fortified from 
place to place, by towers or castles. It was eighteen Bussian stades in 
height ; built of stones laid up dry ; some of them three ells long, and very 
wide. The colour of the stones, and the traditions of the country, showed 
it to be of great antiquity. The Arabs and Persians said that it was built 
against the invasions of Gog and Magog.— See TutoeU m the East, by Sir 
WiOkan OweUy, 

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raby iduldi sow sbines in tliat ring was ^nrnd ndkerms^to tte 

• ** Abdalrahmaa asked an aoconnfc of tkewafi. • It is boiK^' 
replied the man, * of Stone, iran, and Iot&bs, and extends dawa 
one moontain and np anoliiter.' 'This/ said tlte dervont and 
^-bdieving Abdalrahmaa, ' urast be tfee Teiy wail of wl&di 
tibe Almighly makeB Bmzrtion in ^e Koran.' 

" He now inqtiired<)fShahr-Zad what irastliie Tate© of the 
mby. * No one knows its ralne,' was tiie rejjiy; 'Hioci^ 
presents to an immense amount had been made in retom njt 
it.* Shahr-Zad now drew tke riss ^!om his #Bger^ and 
offered it to Abdalrahman, but t3ie Sitter reused to aoeept 
it, saying Hkst a gem of that Talne was not snitaUe to hm. 

* Had you been one ctf the Persian longs,' said Sfaabr-Zftd, * jao. 
would nave taken it from me by force ; but men who (xmAact 
likeyou will conquer all the w<»]d.' " 

The stories which he had heard had sux^ on e^lbet lapom 
Abda'lrahman, that he i^sol^ed to make aforay into tto mys- 
terious country beyimd the Deibends.^ Still it coidd oi^y be 
of a partial nature, as he wms restrained from T^ttnring hst 
hy ^Bte eanztious isjunctions of Omar. ** Were I aol iwfkil 
of dis^eaong the Calijh," said he, ** I would pu^ forwvd 
even to Tij^' and MAj{^ , and make conv«9rtB of all -die infidelB.** 

On iBsumg from the mountains, he found himself among a 
baibairoQfl peo^e, the ancestors of Hie present Turics, who 
inhafti^ted u region of country between the Ihudne and 4lie 
Caspian seas. A soldier who followed Abdalxahman in this 
f&FBj, gaye die following accoiisrtcf these people to the OsMf^ 
on ms return to Medina. " They were astonished," said he, 
"at «ur appearance, ao difSsreat from Hieir cid enemies the 
Peraans, and asked us, * Are yon angels, 0r tiie sons <^ 
Adam P* to which we replied, we are sons of Adam ; birt 
the angels of heaven are on our side, and aid us in our war- 

Ihe i&M^ forbore to assail men thus protected; (me, 
however, hm^o shrewd or dubioiaB than die rest, stationed 
hims^ behind a tree, sped an arrow, and dew a Moslem. 
The delusion was at an end ; the Turks saw that the strangers 
were mortal, and from that time there was hard fighting* 
Abda'lrahman laid siege to a place called Bdandscher, the 
city or stron^old of the Bulgarians or Huns, aiK>ther semi- 
barbarous and wariike people like the Turks, who, like them, 
had not yet made themselves world-famous by their otm- 
qu^ring migrations. The Turks came to the aid of their 
neaghhSurs; a. severe battle took place, ihe Moslems were 
defeated, and Abda'lrahman paid for his daring enterprise «Bd 

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01U.B. llil 

TOdaniie i^tinosi^y witk Lis life. The Turks, "wiio still appear 
to have retained a superstidous opinion of thfsir wikaown io- 
raders, preserved iiie bod^ of the Tmfortimate general as a 
reHc, and erected a shxine in honoor of it, a;t winch they used 
to pnt Tip their prayers for rain in ^me erf dnovi^t. 

The troops of Abda^lraliinan retreated mfiiin tiie Derv 
bends ; his broiler Belmaa Ibn EaMah vras a{^<Hnted to 8vie« 
ceed him in the eommand of iht GaueasMBL pafiseB, and tkof 
ended tfee unfortunate foray into Hie Imdof €r<ig and Magog, 


The Caliph Omar assasdimted lyj a ftre-^wonii^pw. — ffis obariota.^- 
Oflmian deotedOtlJ^. 

Th« Hfo and reign ^ tiie Caliph Omar, i£stingiB8ked b j sfock 
great aitd ertrikmg erviMitB, w&ee at lei^gih btoi^ht to a suddeft 
amid irangianary end. Axacmg "Sue PeiaaaBB ifho had hee^ 
bronght asfliaveBto MedinA, wa« one named JE^irtns, of the aeet 
of 1^ Magi, <jr ^aet^wfXpMippeaau ^3««g. tased daiiij hj his 
master two pieces of flili^«r oiek of his earning, lie eoBi|dAaie<l 
of it toOmar bb an e^ortion. TIba oaliph mqpuited mto hm 
conditioQ, and, lading tkat he was a. carpewfcer, and expert m 
tibe eons^'aetion of wiifeteiiiB, replied, that the mftn who 
«xceBed in smeh a handjeraf^ oeKud w^ aiibird i» pay twv 
diihems a day. ** Then,*' siiitleied J^imz* " Til eeoitniet 4 
windmiS for yon l^at shall keep grinding nniil thd day of 
JTtdgment.^ Omar w«b 643*aok witii his menado^ auu ^ Th^ 
sla^ threatens me,** said he, «ain^. ^ If I were diaposed to 
mudsh any ciie on sni^ietan, I svonld isak^ off hia head;* 
he suffered him, however, to depart without Joither DoAace. . 

Three days afterwards, as he was ^rayin^ in the mos^e, 
l^ruz entered anddenfy and staibbed him thoee wi^ a dag^ec 
Hieattendantrmshednponthe assafiein. He made £mons 
resistance, slew some and wounded o&ers, until osie of h^ 
mssailaints threw Ida vest over him and seized huxunpon which 
lie stabbed himself to the heart and expired. Beligk)n ma^ 
Imve had some «hare in pnmiptang dds aet of Tioksice; p^> 
haps reven^ for the rtdn brought upon his luiave eountrp:. 
"God be iSanked," said Omar, **ihaA he by whose hand it 
was decreed I should &11, was not a Moslem f 

The CaiHph gathered strength finifih the prayer 
in which he hiSi been internipted ; ^ for he idio deserts Im 


prayers," said he, " is not in Islam." Being taken to liis house, 
he Lmgoished three days without hope oirecoyeiy, but could 
not be prevailed upon to nominate a successor. " I cannot 
presume to do that," said he, " which the prophet himself did 
not do." Some suggested that he should nominate his son 
Abdailah. '' Omar's family," said he, " has had enough in 
Omar, and needs no more. ' He appointed a council of six 
persons to determine as to the succession after his decease ; 
all of whom he considered worthy of the Caliphat ; though he 
e^ye it as his opinion that the cnoice would oe either All or 
Othman. "Shouldst thou become Caliph," said he to Ali, 
** do not favour thj relatives above all others, nor nlace the 
House of Haschem on the neck of all mankind ;" and he gave 
the same caution to Othman in respect to the family of 

Calling for ink and paper, he wrote a letter, as his last tes- 
tament, to whosoever might be his successor, full of excellent 
counsel for the upri^t management of affairs, and the promo- 
lion of the faith. He charged his son Abdailah in the most 
earnest manner, as one of the highest duties of Islamism, to 
repay eighteen thousand dirhems which he had borrowed out 
or the public treasury. All present protested against this bm 
unreasonable, since the money had been exp^ided in relief of 
the poor and destitute, but C^nar insisted upon it as his last 
will. He then sent to Ayesha, and procured permission of 
her to be buried next to her father Abu Beker. 

Ibn Abbas and All now spoke to him in words of comfbrt, 
setting forth the blessings of Idam, which had crowned his 
administration, and that he would leave no one behind him 
who could charge him with injustice. " Testifythis for me," 
said he, eamestiy, ''at the day of judgment." They gave him 
their hands in promise : but he exacted that th^ should give 
him a written testimonial, and that it shoidd be buried with 
him in the grave. 

Having settled all his worldly affairs, and given directions 
about his sepulture, he expired, the seventh day after his assas- 
sination, in the sixty-third year of his age, after a triumphant 
reign of ten years and six months. 

His death was rashly and bloodily revenged. Mahomet 
Ibn Abu Beker, the brother of Ayeslia, and imbued with her 
mischief-maldng propensity, persuaded Abdailah, the son of 
Omar, that his father's murder was the result of a conspiracy; 
Firuz having been instigated to the act by his daughter 
Lulu, a Christian named Dschofeine, and Hormuz^, the 
once haughty and magnificent Satrap of Susiana. In the 
transport of his rage, and instigated by the old Arab principle 

OXAB. 145 

of blood revenue, Abdallah slew all three of tlie accused ; 
without reflecting ou the improbability of Hormuzin, at least, 
being accessory to the muraer ; being, since his oonversioiu 
in close friendship with tiie late Cali^ ; and Ids adviser, on 
many occasions, in the prosecution of the Persian war, 

The whole history of Omar shows him to have been a 
man of great powers of mind, inflexible integrity, and rigid 
justice. He was, more than any one else, the founder of 
the Islam empire ; confirming and carrying out the inspira* 
tions of the prophet ; aiding Abu Beker with lus counsels 
during his brief Cali^hat ; and establishing wise regulations 
for the strict administration of the laws throughout the 
rapidly-extending bounds of the Moslem conquests. The rigid 
lumd which he kept upon his most popular generals in me 
midst of their armies, and in the most distant scenes of their • 
triumphs, give sipial evidence of his extraordinary capacity 
to rule, ni the simplicity of his habits, and his contempt for 
all pomp and luxury, he emulated the example of the prophet 
ana Abu Beker. He endeavoured incessantly to impress the 
merit and policy of the same in his letters to his generals. 
" Beware," ne would say, " of Persian luxury, both in food 
and raiment. Keep to the simple habits of your country, 
and Allah wiU continue you victorious ; depart from them, 
and he will reverse your fortunes." It was his strong con- 
viction of the truth of this policy, which made him so severe 
in punishing all ostentatious style and luxurious indulgence 
in his officers. , 

Some of his ordinances do credit to his heart, as well ag 
his head. He forbade that any female captive who had borne 
a child should be sold as a slave. In his weekly distributions 
of the surplus money of his treasury, he proportioned them 
to the wants, not the merits of the appKcants. " God," said 
he, *' has bestowed the good things of tnis world to relieve our 
necessities, not to reward our virtues : those will be rewarded 
in another world." 

One of the early measures of his reign was the assigning 
pensions to the most faithful companions of the prophet, and 
those who had signalized themselves in the early service of the 
faith. Abbas, the uncle of the prophet, had a yearly pension 
of 200,000 dirhems ; others of his relatives in graduated pro- 
portions; those veterans who had fought in ihe battle of 
Beder 5000 dirhems ; pensions of less amount to those who 
had distinguished themselves in Syria, Persia, and Egypt. 
Each of the prophet's wives was allowed ten thousand 
dirhems yearly, and Ayesha twelve thousand. Hasan and 
Hosein, the sons of All and graad|ons of the prophet, had 



flidi A pcB8i<m of five thousand dUems. On any oi^ ^_ 
Joond fiudi wiik l^eae dkhnortenaute ovt of the pa^^ 
Omar mrokcd t^M eurae of Allak 

He waa the first to eataUidi & chanber of aceoffnkta or 
excheqaeat; i^e firat to date errNits fr(»n the fiegiia or fli^ 
of Hut prof^et ; and the first to ifitrodoee a coinage into 
the Mouem donuniona; atamnng^ the ooins with HhB mane 
of the reigmng Califdi, and tW wovda^ '* There is no €rod 
but God.'' 

Baring his reign, we are told, there were thiriy-Biz 
thooeand towns, castles, and stumg-holds taken ; but he was 
Bfit a wasteM conqueror. He £aanded new cities; eetaUished 
important maarts; bnilt innnanemble mosques^ and linked ^e 
newly aoqnired fnrovinces into one Tast empire l^ his iron 
infleealnlit^ of purpose. Aa has well been obaerred, ^ his 
Oal^phat, crowned with ihe gknes of its trij^e eonqnest of 
6yna, Persia, and EgyTut, deserves to be distrngvashea as 1^ 
heroic age of Saracen tdslory. The giffsntie taandatims of 
the Sanwenie power were per£Mted in the short space of leas 
than ten years." Let it be remembered, moreorer, that this 
great conqueror, this great Wislator, this magnanimoos 
sorer^gn, was originally a ruas half-instracted Arab of 
Mecca. Well may we say, in regard to the early ehampiooi 
of Islam, ^ there were giants in l£ose days." 

After the death <^ Omar, the aiz persons met togeth^ 
wliom he had named as a conneil to elect las soecessor. They 
were Ali, Othman, Telha Ibn Obeid'allah (Mahomet's son- 
ittrlaw), Zooeir, Abda'baham Ibn Aw^ ana Saad Ibn Abii 
WakklUu They had all been personally intimate w^ 
Kahomet, and were tiiere&>r» styled THB coKPAHiOKS. 

After mock diseosnon and repeated meeting* the Cddphai 
was offered to Ali, on condition that he woud mromise to 
gorem according to the Koran, and the traditions of Mahomet^ 
and the reffnlatkms estabtished by the two seniors or ekiersf 
meaning the two preceding Caliphs, Abu Beker and Omar. 

AH replied, iiiat he woiM govern aecor^iw to the Koran,, 
and the authentic traditkms; but would, in aU other re^eets^ 
act according to his own ii^^ment, without reference to the 
exxm^ of the seniors. This reply mat being satislactorytc^ 
ihe coond], they made tike same projposal to Othman Tbn. 
AMn, who assented to aU the conditions, and was imme- 
diately dected, and installed three days after the death of loa 
I^edeeessor. He was serenty years of age at the time of h» 
election. He was tall and swaithy, and his lon^ gray beard 
was tinged with henna. He was strict in his religions duties; 
fitting, meditating, and studying the ILonai. uaot so sinq^e 

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OTHHAir. Wf 

m Mb habits as Ids jnredeoessors, but prone to axp c MC and 
layish of bis ridbies. His bcniotifiil spint^ howefwr, was 
eviBCed at times in a way timt rained hmi mndbi jKmilaritPf. 
in a time <^ famine be had snppied tbe -poor of MecBna witk 
com. He bad mtrcbased, at great co^ tbe groond dboiik 
tbe mosque of Medina, to giye room for bouses for tke 
proi^t's wiTes> He had contributed six hmsdred and Ifty 
camels and fifby hoorses for tbe campaign against Tabur. 

He derived nracb respect amon^ zealous Moslems for hanrv 
ing nnorried two of the propket's daughters ; and for haFmg 
b^n in both of tbe Hegiras^ or flights, tbe first into Abja- 
skua, ^e second, the memorable fii^bst to Medina. Makosact 
used to say of him, '^Each thing }Sta its mate, and each maa 
Ins associate : my associate in paradise is Othman." 

Scarcely was the new Caiipn installed in office, when the 
veiabatory punishment prescribed by the law waa iuToked 
upon Obeid'allab, tbe son of Omar, for the deaths so rashly 
inbieted cm those whom he had suspected of instigating his 
&ther's assassination. Othmim was perplexed he^v^een ^w 
letter <^ the law and the odium of Mlowing the murder of liM 
lather by the execution d tbe son. He was kindly reiieTed 
£rom his perplexity by ^e suggestion,, that as the aei d 
Obeid*alkh took place in the interregnmn between th^ 
Cali^hats of Omar and Othmon, it did not come under the 
eo^ninnce of either. Othman gbidlr availed himself of the 
gwbt^ ; Obeid'aliUkh escaped unpujusned,. and ike samfiee of 
tile once magnificent Horsniz^ and hss feUow-rietims r»* 
mained vnarenged. 


Conclusion of the Persian conquest. — ^Flight and death of YezdegJML 

Ths proud empire of ihe XbosruA had received its deatb^ 
blow during the vigorous Caliphat q£ Omar ; what signa of 
Hfet it yet ^ave were but its dyinff struggles. The Moslems^ 
led by able ^enerals^ pursued uieir conquests in difiereni 
directions. Some, turmng to the west, urged Hmi triumphant 
way through ancient Arayria; crossed the Tigris by thft 
Inridge oi Mosul, passing the ruins d mighty j^ineveh an 
nnbSedingly as tbey bad passed those of Babylon ; completed 
the subjugation of Mesopotamia, and planted their standarda 
beside tiioee of their brethren who had achieved the conquest 
of Syria. ^ , 

]^ 2 Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Others directed their course into the southern and eastern 

Erovinces, following the retreating steps of Yezdegird. A 
at issued by the £te Caliph Omar had sealed the. doom of 
ih&t unhappy monarch. "Pursue the fimtive king wherever 
he may go, until you have driven him £om the face of Uio 
earth r 

Yezde^d, after abandoning Eei, had led a wandering life, 
shifting from city to city, and province to province, still flying 
at the approach of danger. At one time we hear of him in 
the splendid city of Ispahan ; next among the mountains of 
Parsistan, the original Persis, the cradle of the conquerors of 
Asia ; and it is another of the lessons furnished by lustory, to 
see the last of the Khosrus a fugitive among those mountains 
whence, in foregone times, Cyrus had led his hardy but fru^ 
and rugged bands to win, by force of arms, that vast empue 
which was now falling to ruin through its effeminate dege- 

For a time the unhappy monarch halted in Istaikar, the 
pride of Persia, where the tottering remains of Persepolis, and 
its hall of a thousand columns, speak of the ancient glories of 
the Persian kings. Here Yezdegird had been fostered and 
concealed during his youthM days, and here he came near 
being taken among the reHcs of Persian magnificence. 

From Farsistan he was driven to Xerman, the ancient 
Carmania ; thence into Korassan ; in the northern part of 
which vast province he took breath at the city of Merv, or 
Merou, on the remote boimdary of Bactriana. In all his 
wanderings he was encumbered oy the shattered pageant of 
an oriental court, a worthless throng which had flea with him 
from Madayn, and which he had no means of supporting. 
At Merv he had four thousand persons in his train; fOl 
xninions of the palace, useless hangers-on, porters, groomii, 
and slaves ; together with his wives and concubines, and tiieir 
femiale attend£aLts. 

In this remote halting-place he devoted himself to building 
a fire-temple; in the meantime, he wrote letters to such of 
the cities and provinces as were yet unconquered, exhorting 
his governors and generals to defend, piece by piece, the 
firagments of empire which he had deserted. 

The city of Ispahan, one of the brightest jewels of his 
crown, was well garrisoned by wrecks of the army of Neh&« 
rend, and might have made brave resistance ; but its governor, 
Kadeskan, staked the fortunes of the place upon a single 
combat with the Moslem commander who had invested it, 
and capitulated at the first shock of lances ; probably through 
some traitoirous arrangement. 

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OTHMAK. 14^ 

Ispahan has nerer recovered from that blow. Modem 
travellers speak of its deserted streets, its abandoned palaces^ 
its silent bazaars. " I have ridden for miles among its ruins," 
says one, " without meeting any living creature, excepting, 
perhaps, a jackal peeping over a waU, or a fox running ink> 
nis hole. "Now and tnen an inhabited house was to be seen, 
the owner of which might be assimilated to Job's forlorn man 
dwelling in desolate cities, and in houses which no man 
inhabiteth ; which are ready to become heaps." 

Istakar made a nobler defence. The national pride of the 
Persians was too much connected with this city, once their 
boast, to let it fall without a struggle. There was another 
gathering of troops from various parts; one hundred and 
twenty thousand are said to have xmited under the standard 
of Shah-reg, the patriotic governor. It was all in vain. The 
Persians were again defeated in a bloody battle ; Shah-reg 
was slain, and Istakar, the ancient Persepolis, once almost the 
mistress of the Eastern world, was compelled to pay tribute 
to the Arabian Caliph. 

The course of Moslem conquest now turned into the vast 
province of Khorassan ; subdued one part of it after another, 
and approached the remote region where Yezde^d had taken 
refuge. Driven to the boundaries of his dominions, the fugi- 
tive monarch crossed the Oxus (the ancient Gihon) and the 
sandy deserts beyond, and threw himself among the shepherd 
hordes of Scythia. His wanderings are said to have extended 
to the borders of Tshin, or China, from the emperor of which 
he sought assistance. 

Obscurity hangs over this part of his story ; it is afSrmed 
that he succeeded in obtaining: aid from the great Shan of the 
Tartars, and, re-crossing the &ihon, was joined by the troops 
of Balkb or Bactria, which province was still unsubdued and 
loyal. With these he endeavoured to make a stand against 
his unrelenting pursuers. A slight reverse, or some secret 
treachery, put an end to the adhesion of his barbarian ally, 
llie Tartar chief returned with his troons to Turkestan. 

Yezdegird's own nobles, tired of following his desperate 
fortunes, now conspired to betray him and his treasures into 
the hands of the Moslems as a price for their own safety. He 
was at that time at Merv, or Merou, on the Oxus, called 
Merou al Eoud, or * Merou of the Eiver,* to distinguish it from 
Merou in Khorassan. Discovering the intended treachery of 
his nobles, and of the governor of the place, he caused hi» 
slaves to let him down with cords from a window of his palace, 
and fled, alone and on foot, under cover of the night. At the 
break of day he found himself near a mill, on the banks -^^ 


tlie m«r, only e%kt miles from dw«%-, aa«L«ff^a«diii6 Bii&er 
liffi ri&g aad bFaimletB, eDEiebed with ffesB, if h& wotM ieaj 
him aeross the 0toetBia. l!^b(H3r,^fv^l3iewnodiiB^<)fj«i^l^ 
deraaiided foor iiiftsr oboli, <nr drtekam, theaasowrt of ft cb^'s 
eerraia^) assocNnpcfiisatiaa ^riMTiBf his w^^ Whiietb^ 
were debstisg, a party of honeneB, who were in parsut 
of the king, oamo t^ wnd c^ore Mm with, their wametaau 
Ajftother aooomiit ttstes thart;, eihansied axid &ta^ed wi^ ths 
weight of Ms emhroideTed gasrmeixtB, he souglit rest and ocab- 
oeaimeiit ik ^ mS^ and thai tho oq]^ spread tb mat, on 
Irhidi he kid down aiid siept. His rich sttn^e, however, Mi 
belt of gold flPtoddod with iewek, Ms xin^s and Mac^ts, 
excited &b avanee of 1^ miilieE, idbo slew hiai with aa axe 
wMle he slcrpt, and hsmng vtzifped the hodj, throw it inio 
^ke water. In the noraing .several hoTBemeB, in eeaa^ «f Mm, 
amved at the miU, ^dsere diseoy^mg, hy Ms dfi>the8 and jeweli^ 
that he had hsmx nvirdiered, ihey p^ the milleEr to death. 

TMs miseraible oatastrDphe i;o a maenhfe caareer is said to 
have occnrred on the 23rd August, in the year ^1 of th^ 
Ohirist^ui era. Yezdegird was m the iMrty-finuth year -of Ms 
see ; ha^ong r^^ed nine yemr* p^vkyns to the hMh -of 
jNdiicvead, and since that event hsmn^ been ten years a fo^ 
ikve. Hii^oiy lays no ciiiQira to Ms duuBge^ yet Ms hard m*- 
tones and untimdiy end have failed to xinkesi the uscud 
ixiAiereBt and syiapathy . fie had been soheoled in Adv^saisj 
hma hk early youth, yert he fisiled te profit by it Carrying 
dbont with Mm ^e wre^Kshed oe&s «af an efieeuDfibe eourt, ha 
sought only his personal safety, and wanted the ooui^i^ and 
magmniim^ to tiirow himaeif at ^e head of Ms acnaies, mid 
bame §cft Ms erown and eountry Hke a great ooverd|pi and a 
patriot prinee. 

Empores, howev^, Kke all o^her Ihmgs, havie their allotted 
tixae, And die, if not hj violenoe, at length >&£ imbaoslity and 
xM age. Tiiat of Persia had loag sicKse lost its jtamioa, and 
the energy of a Oyms weoald have been imaMe to infttse ne^ 
life into its gigantic but palsied iimbs. At the 4eaith <if Yezr 
tdegird it fell under the uadisouted swa^ of the Oah^u; and 
became little better thazi a Enusjaot province.^ 

* According to popular traditions in Persia. Yezde^rd, in the course of 
liis wanderings, took refuge for a time in the castle of Fahesider, near 
Schiraz, and bnried the crown jewels and treasares of KnsMrwan, in a deep 
pit or well under the easUe, where thej 0tiH remain, ^nardod hf a talunomv 
«o that tiiey cannot be ibund or drawn ^ordi. Others saj that he had them. 
reaaoved and deposited in trust with the K;hacan« or eii^>eror of Chin or 
Tartary. After the extinction of the royal Persian dynasty, those treasures 
«iid the crown remained in CMn. — Sir W. Owdet/'a Travels in tlw EattyU. 31. 



ABura digpiaeed from the govengnwit of Egyyt— T tef^M . €f the 1riiahitfit> 
—Alezaadria letakn bf tbe iH|MrialiBti.--.iABra MhiBtatod im mmt 
manO. — ^Betakes Atert i lri ft, aad tmatuiUiseB Egypt.^fM again 4ia- 
placed. — ^Abdallah Ibn Saad invades the north of Africa. 

'' Ik the eonqneats of Syns^ Persia, And IBJgyp^ 
writtf, " tbe Aeflh aiia vigorous enthasiasm of me personal 
eomptniooifl aikd proBelytes of Mshamet was esercised and 
expended, and tike ^enerstioB ci warriors wliose simple faiia* 
tidim had heeai inflimed bj the preacliing of ^ pseudo* 
prophet, was in a great measure consomed in the san|i^uinir|' 
Aodperpettfal toils <^ ten aidaooB campaigns." 

We shaM now aee ^e e£^t of those oonqaests on &• 
jQAiioBal ehancter and habite ; the avidity of ^aoe and power 
and wealth, supersediag xeligioiis enthusiasm ; and the ener^ 
TatiBg hixttiy and aok vohi^^uouaness of Sjria and Perjua 
trapping ^ rode hat mascoliae simpUcihr of the Arabian 
^dcMoi. Ahofe all, the sin^le-miadedneBS oi Mahomet andhxi 
two immediate Erttooessoro is at im ^id. Other objects beeidt 
the mere adyancement of Islamism distract ihe attention (£ 
its leadii^ p«)fe8s<M«; and the atrng^le for worldlf wealth 
^and worluf away, for the advaAeetaent of piiyate ends, uid 
ihe ag|;candifiement oC pairtioiilar tiihes and!^ &miliea, destacoj 
the matj of the empire, and beset ih» Caliph«t with intriga^ 
treason, and hbodahed. 

It was M gemt matter ai r^roaeh i^;aiBSt tiie Caliph Otik- 
jaum that he was iiyndicioiis in his t^pointmsntSj and Jbad aa 
iaveteMto fm^ensily to eonsnlt the latetesls of his xelatiyeB 
aad friends before that of the j^hHe. One of hia £reateat 
errora in this respoot was the lemoyal of Amm Dm Al Aaaa 
from the government of ^El^m>t, ax^ the a^^pointment of his 
own fosteiHbrotber AbdallahJim Saad in his place. This was 
the same Abdallah who, in acting aaamaauensis to Mahometr 
and wrking down his revdations, had interpolated passages of 
his own, sometimes of a ludiorons nature. For this, aM foe 
htB apotftasy, he had been paidoned bf Mahomet at the soG- 
citation of Othman, and had ever since acted w^ apparent 
• zeal ; his interest coinciding with his diity^ 

He was of a conraffeous spiiit, and one of the most expert 
, horsemenof Arabia; out what m^ght have fitted him to com- 

y Google 

152 8trCCBS80B8 OF IfAHOKBT. 

mand a horde of the desert, was insufBcient for the gOTem- 
ment of a conquered proTmce. He was new and inex^ 
rienced in his present situation ; whereas Amru had distm- 
ffoighed himselt as a legislator as well as a conqueror, and 
had already won the affections of the Efimptians bj his atten- 
tion to their interests, and his respect for their customs and 
habitudes. His dismission was, tnerefore, resented bj the 
people, and a disposition was numifested to revolt against the 
new governor. 

The emperor Constantine, who had succeeded to his father 
Heraclius, nastened to take advantage of these circumstances. 
A fleet and army were sent against Alexandria under a pre- 
fect named Manuel. The Greeks in the city secretly co-ope- 
Tated with him, and the metropolis was, partly by force of 
arms, partly by treachery, recaptured by the imperiaiista 
without much luoodshed. 

Othman, made painfully sensible of the error he had com- 
mitted, hastened to revoke the appointment of his foster 
brother, and reinstated Amru in the command in Ee;ypt. 
That able general went hastily against Alexandria wim an 
army, in which were many Copts, irreconcilable enemies of 
the Ghreeks. Among these was the traitor Makawkas, who, 
£rom his knowledge of the country, and his influence among 
its inhabitants, was able to procure abundant supplies for the 

liie Greek garrison defended the city bravely and obsti- 
nately. Amru, enraged at having thus again to lay sie^e to 
a place which he had twice alrei^jr taken, swore, by Allah» 
Hmt if he should master it a third time, he would render it as 
easy of access as a brothel. He kept his word, for when he 
took the city , he threw down the walls and demolished aJl the 
fortifications. He was merciful, however, to the inhabitants^ 
and checked the fury of the Saracens, who were daughtering 
all they met. A mosque was afterwards erected on the spot 
at which he stayed the carnage, called the Mosque of Mercy» 
Manuel, the Glreek general, found it ei^edient to embmrk 
with all speed with such of his troops as ne could save, and 
make sail for Constantinople. 

Scarce, however, had Amru quelled every insurrection, and 
secured the Moslem domination in Egypt, when he was agaia 
displaced from the government, and Abdallah Ibn Saad ap- 
pointed a second time in his stead. 

Abdallah had been deeply mortified by the loss of Alex- 
andria, which had been ascribed to his mcapaoity ; he waa 
«mulous too of the renown of Amru, and felt the necessity ^ 

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otHMAir. 153 

Tindicatmg his claims to command by some brilliant acbieve- 
ment. The north of AJfrica presentea a new field for Moslem 
enterprise. We allude to that vast tract extending west from 
the desert of Libya or Barca, to Cape Non, embracing more 
than two thousand miles of sea-coast; comprehending the 
ancient diyisions of Mamarica, Cyrenaica, Carthage, Numidia, 
and Mauritania ; or, according to modem geographical desig- 
nations, Barca, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco. 

A few words respecting the historical vicissitudes of this 
once powerM region inay not be inappropriate. The original 
inhabitants are supposed to have come at a remote time Srom 
Asia ; or rather, it is said that an influx of Arabs drove the 
original inhabitants from the sea coast to the mountains, and 
the borders of the interior desert, and continued their nomade 
and pastoral life along the shores of the Mediterranean. 
About nine himdred years before the Christian era, the PhoB- 
nicians of Tyre founded colonies along the coast ; of these 
. Carthage was the greatest. By degrees it extended its in- 
fluence along the African shores and the opposite coast of 
Spain, and rose in prosperity and power imtd it became a 
rival republic to Eome. On the wars between Bome and 
Carthage it is needless to dilate. They ended in the downfal 
of the Carthaginian republic, and tlie domination of Bome 
over Northern Africa. 

This domination continued for about four centuries, until 
the Boman prefect Bonifacius invited over the Vandals from 
Spain to assist him in a feud with a political rival. The invi- 
tation proved fatal to Boman ascendency. The Yandals, 
aided by the Moors and Berbers, and by numerous Christian 
sectarians recently expelled frt>m the Catholic church, aspired 
to gain possession of the country, and succeeded. G-enserlc, 
the Vandal general, captured and pillaged Carthage, and 
having subjugated Northern Africa, built a navy, mvaded 
Italy, and sacked Bome. The domination of the vandals by 
sea and land lasted above half a century. In 533 and 534, 
Africa was regained by Belisarius for the Boman empire, and 
the Vandals were dnven out of the land. After the de- 
parture of Belisarius, the Moors rebelled, and made repeated 
attempts to get the dominion, but were as often defeated with 
great loss, and the Boman sway was once more established. 

All these wars and changes had a disastrous effect on ihe 
African provinces. The Vandals had long disappeared; many 
of the Moorish families had been extirpated ; the wealthy in- 
liabitants had fled to Sicily and Constantinople, and a stranger 
might wander whole days over regions, once covered witii 

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154 succEssots or mAHOxsT. 

towns and dties, utd teeaamg witk pop ria tian, 
meeting & hunaa beinff . 

For near a oeBtory w ooomiiy remaiikBd sank m fiitfay 
imd inactioii, la&til now it was to be M wed fimn ito toq^ l^ 
flie all-perradiiig aernDes <^ Idbn. 

8oon ai%er the reappooiteeat <d Abd^lak to the go^vscm- 
ment of Ej^t, be set o«i upon the oaaqnest of tiii8€0«atrT» 
at the head of fort^ tiMmiand Araba. After <9»6aiiig tfc^ 
irestem bonndarj of Sg^^t he had to tra;f«rie the d e wt of 
libya, bat his vnof w» firoTided with camela aooattosned *a 
die sandy wastes of Arabk, and, after a toilaoae sianh* he 
^neampei before the waia of l^npoU; tiien, aamyw, one of the 
Biost wealthy and powerAd cities d the HuAmty touL The 
piaoe was well ^oortified and made good reaistaitoe. Abodjof 
Qrefk troops which were aeat to reinlbroe it, were a«rpr»ed 
by tiie besiegen on the aea-ooaat, and (fiapened witL gveat 

The !Romfln prefect Gregozins hamng assembled an ansy 
of one hundred and twenty thoosand men, a grea^peoportioa 
of whom were <^ hastiiv levied aaad andiadp^Bted tnbea of 
toarbary, advanced to defend bk provinoe. He was aceott* 
paniedc^ an Amaaoniaa daughter of wcndcr&l beaiity« who 
had been taoght to manage the hoiae, to draif the bow, aad 
wield the scimetar, and who was always at her father's a^ 
k battle. 

HJeaiing of the approach nf Hda am^, A hddfafch aamended 
the siege and advanced to meet it A bnef pariey toct plana 
between the hostile ooeHnanitors. Abdal&h pn^sod tiw 
nsaal alternatives, profeaaicm of Uamism, or paym^ of 
trflyote. Both were indignamt^ rmeoted. The aiaaias ck» 
gagedbefore tftewa& of xripoh. A bdaiiah, whnee feme -wm 
tfwed on thia enterprise, atinuidBted his troops by word and 
examtde, and charged the enemy n^eatedly atihe head of his 
HqoaArooB, Wheievcnr he pressed, the fbrkme of the daj 
wonld mcEne in fai^ocor of the Moslems ; bat, on the ethtr 
hand, CiTegorimi feit^ with desperate braverr, as 4he fe;fee 
of tk^ province d^ended on this oonfliet ; ancC wherei^r he 
am^eared, his da<miter was at his side, daBfiHng all eyes bj 
4ihe sptendoar of her armour and the heroism of her adnevB* 
ments. The oontest was long, ardnons, and imeertain. It 
was not one drawn battle, but a eneoesaion of confliots, ex- 
tendbg throneh several days, be^innmg at early dawn, bat 
oeasiag toward noon, when the mtolenkUe heat ci the sam 
oUiged both armiea to desist, and seek the diade of thM 

The prefect Gregorius was exasperated at^being in a 

gitized by VjOO 

OTSMA3r« 155 

rhM at })M,j hy ma inferior fence, niiek be bad e]> 
pected to crash by the sapariorrtf of aomibera. Seem^ tint 
^Ajbdillak was lite lile and sool of his *ni^, he prodaraied a 
tewued of one hundred thousaad pieoes of ^o3d aad the hand 
of Ml daiii^;iitertothe wandorvdiodioiddlad^ 

The ccDcgtetnMit eraaed aanosf the Gi^eian ybvlh. by this 
tempting iprusB, made the olBoetn of JJ^iaUah treiiDbie ror hia 
«i^ety« xhey lepceaented to Mni the impoitaiMe of his life 
io the araufr and the «^eral cause, and |»«Tai]ed imon him 
. to heepaloet&om die Bfiid of battle. His ahaenee, hovfOfBTt 
prodneed aa iaoaediate chao^, aend the Takxcr of his troopa^ 
flfftherlo sthntdated by his pssenoe, bmn to lan^oiah. 

Zobeir, a^ooUe Arab of the tribe <rf£areish, amred at tho 
field of battle with a small reinforcement in the heat cf one n£ 
the engagements. He found the troops fighting to a dis- 
advantage, and looked roiffid in tain for the general. Being 
told that he was in his tent, he hastened thither and re- 
proached him with his iAactiTit]^. Ahdallah blushed, but 
explained the reason of Iris Temaining passive. " Eetort on 
the infidel commander his perfidious oribe," cried Zobeir; 
** proclaim that his daughter as a captive, and one hundrect 
Ihousand pieces of gold, shall be the reward of the ICoskm 
•who brin^ his he^" The advice was adopted, as well a^ 
ihe IblloNrtBg stratagem suggested hy Zc^eir. (hi the next 
iBomiBg, Abdallah seo&t fbi^ only sufficient foroe to keef up 
A defe&svvB Bi^ ; but, when the sun had reached its noonli^ 
iMs^ht, and the pasrtTEBg troops retiied as uvoal to their tenttv 
Abdriiah axid Zobeir ealhed »>rth at the head of the Teserre, 
fiad charged ftnonidy among the fainting Greeks. ZobCT 
ciRigled<o^^^ prefeet, and slew him e^ter a w^ contested 
fight, fiis ^aiBffhter pressed £c>rward to avenge his death, 
^t wm scuToai^M. sbkI made prisoner. The (^:«eian army 
was eonpletely routed, and fled to the opulent town of Safe- 
ti^, wtoch was tak^i and sacked by <he Moslems. 

The battle was OT«r, <5regoritis had fallen, but no on© 
esme forwawi to claim the reward set upon his head. Hk 
eaptire daa^ter, however, on beholding Zobeir, broke forl^ 
Hvto tears and exclamations, and Ihus revealed the modest 
viel?or. Zobeir Teftreed to accept the maiden or the ^oid. He 
ioff^t, he said, for ^e fdth, not for earthly objects, and 
looked for his reward in paradise. In honour of his adiiere- 
ments, he was sent with tidings of this victory to the Oa£i^; 
hut when he announced it, in the great mosque at Medma, 
in preecmoe of the assembled people, he made no meaition of 
his own services. His modesty enhanced his merits in the 

gtized by Google 

156 sirccEssoBs of mahomet. 

eyes of the public, and his name was placed by the Moslems 
l>e8ide those of Khaled and Amra. 

Abdiillah found his forces too much reduced and enfeebled 
by battle and disease to enable him to maintjiin i^ossession of 
the country he had subdued ; and, after a campaign of fifteen 
months, he led back his victorious but diminish^ army into 
Egypt, encumbered with captives and laden with booty. 

He afterwards, by the Caliph's command, assembled an 
aimy in the Thebaid or Upper Egypt, and thence made 
numerous successM excursions into JS^ubia, the Christian • 
kiujg of which was reduced to make a humiliating treaty, by 
which he boimd himself to send annually to &e Moslem 
commander in Egynt a great number of I^ubian or Ethiopian 
Blaves by way of tribute. 


Ifoawysh, Emir of SjtUi. — ^His naral victories. — Othman loses the propheffe 
ring. — Suppresses erroneous copies of the Koran.— Conspiracies against 
him. — His death. 

Akono the distinguished Moslems who held command of 
the distant provinces during the Caliphat of Othman, was 
Moawah Ibn Abu Sofian. As his name denotes, he was the 
son of Abu Sofian, the early foe and subsequent proselyte of 
Mahomet. On his father's death, he had become chief of the 
tribe of Koreish, and head of the family of Omeya or Ommiali. 
The late Caliph Omar, about four years before his death, had 
appointed him emir, or governor of Syria, and he was con- 
tmued in that office by Othman. He was between thirty and 
forty years of age, enterprising, courageous, of qxiick sagacity, 
extenaed views, and lony aims. Having the maritime coast 
and ancient ports of Syria imder his command, he aspired to 
extend the triumphs of the Moslem arms by sea as well as 
land. He had repeatedly endeavoured, but m vain, to obtain 
permission from Omar to make a naval expedition, that 
Caliph being always apprehensive of the too wide and rapid 
extension of the enterprises of his generals. Under Othimui 
he was more successful, and in the twenty-seventh year of 
the Hegira was permitted to fit out a fleet, with which he 
launched forth on the Sea of Tarshish, or the Phoenician Sea, 
by both which names the eastern part of the Mediterranean 
Sea was designated in ancient times. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

OTHlfAK. 157 

His first enterprise was against the island of Cyprus, wliicli 
was still held in allegiance to the emperor of Constantinople. 
The Christian garrison was weak, and the inhabitants of Ijie 
island soon submitted to pay tribute to the Caliph. 

His next enterj^rise was against the island of Aradus, 
where he landed ms troops and besieged the city or fortress, 
battering it with nulitaiy en^es. The inhabitants made 
vigorous resistance, repelled Imn from the island, and it waa 
only after he had come a second time, with superior force, 
that he was able to subdue it. He then expelled the natives, 
demolished the fortifications, and set fire to the ci^. 

His most brilliant achievement, however, was a tattle with 
a large fleet, in which the emperor was cruising in the Phoeni- 
cian Sea. It was called in Arab history. The Battle of Masts, 
from the forest of masts in the imperial fleet. The Christians 
went into action singing psalms and elevating the cross ; the 
Moslems repeating texts of the Koran, shouting Allah Achbar, 
and waving the standard of Islam. The battle was severe; 
the imperial fleet dispersed, and the emperor escaped by dint 
of sails and oars. 

Moawyah now swept the seas victoriously, made landings 
on Crete and Malta, captured the island of Ehodes, demo- 
lished its famous colossal statue of brass, and, having broken it 
to pieces, transported the fragments to Alexandria, where they 
were sold to a Jewish merchant of Edissa, and were sufficient 
to load nine hundred camels. He had another fight with a 
Christian fleet in the bay of Feneke, by Castel Bosso, in which 
both parties claimed the victory. He even carried his expedi- 
tions along the coasts of Asia Minor, and to the very port of 

These naval achievements, a new feature in Arab warfare, 
rendered Moawvah exceedingljr popular in Syria, and laid the 
foundation for tnat power and importance to which he subse- 
quently attained. 

It is worthy of remark, how the triumphs of an ignorant 
people, who had heretofore dwelt obscurely in the midst of 
their deserts, were ovemmninff all the histori6al and poetical 
regions of antiquity. They had invaded and subdued the 
once mighiy empires on land, they had now laimched forth 
from the old Scriptural ports of Tyre and Sidon, swept the 
Sea of Tarshish, and were capturing the isles rendered famous 
by classic fable. 

In the midst of these foreign successes an incident, con- 
sidered Ml of sinister impoii, happened to Othman. He 
accidentally dropped in a brook a silver ring, on which was 
inscribed, " Mahomet the apostle of Grod.** It had originally 


belonged to Mahomel, imd aisce hU deaih ]Md beeik ironLbv 
Aba Beker, Omar, and Othaunw aa tbe ajmbol of oQamBoaui, 
ms rings bad been considered tbroBgbcmt tiie £aai ftoBi t2ie 
earliest timeB. Tbe brook was aeardied wxtb the moat yinifffag 
cflre> but ^e ring was noi to be foumd. Tbiavaa an ominoas 
loea in the eyes of the sapefstitioaa Moakoas. 

It happened about this time tlmt^ aeandaliaed bj the rmaoB 
Teraions of tbe Koran, and the difirfyutes tbai paevailed efot 
ceming their vaiTzng texts, he decreed, in n oouneil of the 
cbtef Moaiema, that all echoes of the Koran whidit did sdt 
a^ee with the gennkte one in the haosi^ of Hafaa, the widow 
of Mahomet, ahooM be bumt» Be^&n copies of Ha£uks Koran 
were aceor<bngilj made; six w«re sent to Mecca, Y&saent 
Syria, Bahrein,. Bassora, and Cu£eii, aind <me was retained in 
Medina. All copiea varjring from these were to be m&Oi to 
the flamea. Thia meaaure eanaed Othman to be caued the 
Gatherer of the Kooranu It, at a^ rat^ prev^iited saj 
further vitialicBi of the sacared Scriptiure of Islam, whieh has 
remained unchanged from that time to the (aresent. Besides 
this pious act, Othman caused a wall to be built round Uie 
Bmaed house of the Caaba, and enlai^ged. and beantifLed the 
moaqne of the mropinet in Medina. 

l^otwithfltai^ng all this, disaffection and intrigae w^re 
springing up roima the Tenearable CahiiiL in Medina. He waa 
Inr&ye, op€»-handed, and zmmifieentybai he wanted shrewd 
nees and doacreiiott ; wa* prone to fKroiBitismi yeij crednloQa 
and eaaily deeeired. 

Murmurs rose against him oik aU aides, and daily mcreased 
in Tbrnlenee. fiis conduct, both public and priyate, w«a 
reviewed, and circumstances, which had been passed bj ai 
trivial, were magnified into serious offences. He was cha^|ed 
with impious preaumptioai in having taken his stand, on being 
first made Cal^h, on the i^ppcfrnvost at^ oi the p«lpit, wheare 
Mahomet himself used to stand, whereas Abu Bek^ bad 
stood one step lower, and Omar two% A grav^ accusation, 
and <Hie too well merited, waa that he had disj^iaeed men of 
wortioL, eminent for their services^ and given tii^^r {4aces to bis 
own relatives and fivronrites. This was especially instanced ii^ 
dismisnn^ Amora IbnaU Aasa&om the government of Egypt* 
and appomtii^ in his stead his own brother Abdallah JDba 
Saad, who had onee been paroeenbed by Mahcanet. Anotb^r 
accusation was, that he had lavished the public money inpon 
parasites, giving one hundred thousand din^ to one, foror 
hundred thousand to another, and no less than five hundred 
and four thousand xxpao, his secretary of state, Merw^n Ibn 

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Hakem, who had, it WM said, an tmdne aseciukiicF orer kim, 
snd was, in fiiet, ilie subtie and aciiYe spirit of liis: govern- 
ment. Hie last sum, it was alleged, was taken out oi a 
portion of tlie spoils c^ Africa, wMeh liad been set impart for 
the famdj ci the -ppopheU 

The ire of the old Caliph was kindled at having his lavisih 
liberahtj thus chareed upon him as a crime. H6 laofonted the 
Tmlmt, and declared that the mooer m the treasnij beloi^ed 
to Gfod, the dffitribntion to the Oafi|^ at his own di8creti(m« 
as successor of the prophet; and he parajed €k)d to fionfbund 
whoever should gainsaj what he had set forth. 

JJvoa this Amniar Ibn Yaser, one of the primitive Moskms^ 
of whom MalKmiet himself had said that he was filled with 
faith from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, rose 
and dnpnted the words of Othman, whereupon some cf the 
Caliph's kindred of the house of Ommiah feu \qpon the vene* 
TaUe Ammar, and^beat him until he faulted. 

The outrage ofered to the person of one of the eariiest 
disci|^es and ei5j>edal favourites of the prophet was pronnd- 
gatea far and wide, and contributed to the general disecniteiit, 
whidi now assumed Ihe aspect ci rebeSitm. The xm^eader 
of the disaffected was Ibn Caba, iormeAw a Jew. This scm 
of misdiief made a fiKtious tour from lemeBr to Hidschaf, 
thence to Bassora, to Oula, to Byria, and £g7^t,> decrying the 
Caliph and the emirs he had appointed ; aeehunng idiat the 
CaHphat had been usurped by Oihraan ftom Ali, to whom it 
lightly belonged, as the nearest rektave of the prof^et, and 
suggesting by word of mouth and secret eorrespondesice^ that 
the malcontents should assemble simultaneously in various 
parts under pretext of a jnlgrbnage to Meeea. 

The plot of ihe renegade Jew succeeded. In the Mness 
of time deputations arrived from aH parts. One amounting 
to a hundred and fifty persons from Bas8<»r&; anoiher of two 
hundred, under Malec Aladbtar, from Oufii ; a third of six 
hundred from Egypt, headed by Mahomet, iJie son of Abu 
Beker, and brother of Ayesha ; together with numbers of a 
sect of zealots called Kaaregrtes, who took the lead. These 
deputies encamped like an army within a league of Medina, 
and summoned the Caliph by message either to redress their 
grievances or to abdicate. 

Othman, in constematicm, applied to AH to go forth and 
vncify Ihe midtitude. He cimsented, on condition that 
Othman would previoui^ make aton^n^st fbr his errors 
from the pulpit. Harassed and dimnayed, the aged Cahph 
mounted the pulpit, and with a voice broken by sobs and 

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tears, exclaimed, " My Grod, I beg pardon of thee, and turn 
to thee with penitence and sorrow.* The whole assemblage 
were moved and softened, and wept with the Caliph. 

Merwan, the intriguing and well-paid secretary of Othman, 
and the soul of his goremment, had been absent during these 
occurrences, and on returning reproached the Caliph with 
what he termed an act of weakness. Having his permission, 
he addressed the populace in a strain that soon roused them 
to tenfold ire. Ah hereupon, highly indignant, renounced 
any further interference in the matter. 

Naile, the wife of Othman, who had heard the words of 
Merwan, and beheld the fury of the people, warned hep 
husband of the storm gathering over his head, and prevailed 
upon him again to sohcit the mediation of AIL The latter 
suffered himself to be persuaded, and went forth among the 
insurgents. Partly by good words and liberal donations nrom 
the treasury, partly by a written promise from the Caliph to 
redress all their grievances, the msurgents were quieted, all 
but the deputies £rom Egypt, who came to complain against 
the Caliph's foster-brother, Abdallah Ibn Saad, \>mo they said 
had oppressed them with exactions, and lavished their blood 
in campaigns in Barbary, merely for his own fame and profit, 
without retaining a foothold in the country. To pacify these 
complainants, Othman displaced Abdallah from the govern- 
ment, and left them to name his successor. They unanimously 
named Mahomet, the brother of Ayesha ; who had, in fa^t, 
been used by that intriguing woman as a firebrand to kindle 
this insurrection, her object being to get Telha appointed to 
the CaHphat. 

The insurgent camp now broke up. Mahomet with his fol- 
lowers set out to take possession of his post, and the aged 
Caliph flattered himself he would once more be left in peace. 

Three days had Mahomet and his train been on their 
journey, when they were overtaken by a black slave on a 
dromedary. They demanded who he was, and whither he 
was travelling so rapidly. He gave himself out as a slave of 
the secretary Merwan bearing a message from the Caliph to 
his emir in Egypt. " I am the emir," said Mahomet. " My 
errand," said tne slave, "is to the emir AbdaUah Ibn Saad.** 
He was asked if he had a letter, and on his prevaricating was 
searched. A letter was found concealed m a water-flask. 
It was from the Caliph, briefly ordering the emir, on the 
arrival of Mahomet Ibn Abu Beker, to make away with hiTw 
secretly, destroy his diploma, and imprison, imtil further 
orders, those who had brought complaints to Medina. 

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OTHioir. 161- 

Mahomet Ibn Aba Beker returned fariotis to Medina, and 
showed the perfidious letter to Ali, Zobeir, and Telha, who 
repaired with him to Othman. The latter denied any know- 
leoge of the letter. It must then, they said, be a forgery 
of Merw&n's, and requested that he might be summoned. 
Othman would not credit such treason on the part of his 
secretary, and insisted it must have been a treacherous device 
of one of his enemies. Medina was now in a ferment. There 
was a gathering of the people. All were incensed at such an 
atrocious breacn of faith, and insisted that if the letter ori^* 
nated with Othman, he should resign the Caliphat ; if with. 
McrwSn, that he should receive the merited punishment. 
Their demands had no effect upon the Caliph. 

Mahomet Ibn Abu Beker now sent off swift messengers to 
recal the recent insurgents from the provinces, who were 
returning home, and to call in aid from the neighbouring^ 
tribes. The dwelling of Othman was beleaguered; the 
alternative was left him to deliver up Merw&n or to abdicate. 
He refused both. His life was now threatened. He barri- 
cadoed himself in his dwelling. The supply of water waa 
cut off. If he made his appearance on tne terraced roof, he 
was assailed with stones. Ali, Zobier, and Telha, endea- 
voured to appease the multitude, but they were deaf to their 
entreaties, oaad Ibn id Aass advised the Caliph, as the 
holy month was at hand, to sally forth on a pilgrimage to 
Mecca, as the piety of the undertaking and the sanctity of 
the pilgrim garb would protect him. Othman rejected the 
advice. "If they seek my life," sidd he, "they will not 
rei^ect the pilgrim gpb." 

AU^ Zobier, and Telha, seeing the danger imminent, sent 
their three sons, Hassan, Abdidkh, and Maliomet, to pro- 
tect the house. They stationed themselves by the door, and 
for some time kept the rebels at bay ; but the rage of the 
latter knew no bounds. They stormed the house; Hassan 
was wounded in its'defence. The rebels rushed in ; among 
the foremost was Maliomet, the brother of Avesha, and Am- 
mer Ibn Yaser, whom Othman had orderea to be beaten. 
They found the venerable Caliph seated on a cushion, "im 
beard flowing on his breast, the Xoran open on his lap, and 
bis wife Naile beside him. 

One of the rebels struck him on the head, another stabbed 
Hm repeatedlj with a sword, and Mahomet Ibn Abu Beker 
thrust a javelm into his body after he was dead. "Hh wi& 
was wounded in endeavouring to protect him, and her life wa» 
only saved through tiie fiddity of a slave. His house wa» 

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pltindered, as was Bome of ike ziei^ilxmnaig booset, «Milwo 
chambers of the treasmv. 

As soon as the invioious Ajesha heard that tilie xmnrder 
was accomplished, she went forth in hypocritical guise, loadly 
bewfuling the death of a man to whom she had seooretiy been 
hostile, and joining witibL tiie Ommiah family in calliBg tat 
blood rerenge. 

The noble and rirtaous Ali, willi greater sinoOTtty, was in« 
censed at his sons for not sacrifieing their lives in defence of 
the Caliph, and reproached the sons of Telha andZobier w^ 
beinglnlewarm. ** Why are yo'i so angry, father of HassanP" 
said Telha ; " had Othman given up Merwiia iMs evil would 
not have happened." 

In fact it nas been generally affirmed that 1^ letter really 
was written by Merwan withont ^e knowledjB;e of the Cali^ 
and was intended to faU into the hands of Mahomet^ and 
produce the effect which resrdted from it. Merwan, it it 
aUeged, having the charge of the oorrespcmdenoe of the 
Caliphat, had repeatedly abused tiie (xmfid^oe c^ the weak 
and superannuated Othman in like manner, but not with sufih 
a nefanous aim. Of late he had secretly joined the cabal 
figainst the Caliph. 

The body of Othman lajr exposed iht three days, and wm 
tiien buriea in the clotibies in which he was dain, unwashed 
and without any funeral ceremony. He was eighty-two yeait 
old at the time of his death, and had reigned nearly twelve 
years. The event happened in the thiiiy-fiffch year of ih» 
Hegira, in t&e year 655 of the Christian era. NotwithstandiBf^ 
his profusion and the sums lavished upon his favourites, iaoh 
mense treasures were found in his dwelling, a oonsidfiiable 
part of which he had set apart for charitable purposes. 


<Sincliditei Ibr tlie Caliphat— Iiuiiiganitioii of Ali, ibnrUi Caliph.— He tta- 
dertakeB measor^ of reform. — Their eonseqnencee. — Gomqiiracgr «f 
AyeeAia. — She gets poasesdoii of Baaaora. 

We have already seen iliat the faith of Islam had be^un to 
lose its influence in binding toother the hearts of the faithfid, 
and uniting their feelings and interests in one common cause. 
^^e factions which sprang up aii the very death of Mahomet 
liad increased with the e&ction of every euecessor, and ca&« 
didatee for the succession multiplied as the brilliant saccesses 


of the Moslem arms elevated yiotorions generals to popularity 
■aad renown. On the assassination of OSiman four candidate^ 
were presented for theOaliphat, and the fortuitous assemblage 
•of deputies from the various parts of the Moslem empu^ 
threatened to make the election difficult and tumultuous. 

The most prominent candidate was Ali, who had thd 
strongest natural claim, being cousin and son-in-law of Ma- 
homet, and his children by Fatima being the only posterity of 
the proj^het. He was of the noblest branch of the noble raod ' 
of iLoreish. He possessed the three qualities most prized by 
Arabs, — courage, eloquence, and munificence^ His intrepid 
spirit had gained him from the prophet the appellation of The 
Lion of God; specimens of his eloquence remain in some 
Terses and sayings preserved among the Arabs f and hi0 
munificence was manifested in sharing amon^ others, ever^ 
Friday, what remained in the treasury* Of his magnanimily 
we have given repeated instances ; his noble scorn of eveiyo 
thing false and mean, and the absence, in his conduct, of 
eve^hing like selfish intrigue* 

Bis right to tiie Caliphat was supported by the people oi 
Cufa, the Egyptians, and a great part of the Arabs who were 
desirous of a line of Calipha of tne blood of Mahomet. He 
was opposed, however, as formerly, by the implacable Ayesha^ 
who, though well-stricken in years, retained an unfoi^ving 
recollection of his having once questioned her chastity. 

A second candidate was Zobeir, the same warrior who difl* 
tinguished himself by his valour in the campai^ of Barbary^ 
by his modesty in omitting to mention his aohiievements, and 
in declining to accept their reward. His pretensions to the 
Caliphat were urged oy the people of Bassora. 

A third candicbte was Teiha, who had been one of the six 
electors of Othman, and who had now the powerful support of 

A fourth candidate was Moawy ah, the military governor of 
Syria, and popular from his recent victories by sea and land. 
He had, morever, immense wealth to back his claims, and was 
head of the powerfdl tribe of Xoreish; but he was distant 
firom the scene of election, and in his absence his partisane 
could only promote confusion and delaj. 

It was a day of tumult and trouble in Medina. The hodf^ 
of Othman was still unburied. His wife Naile, at the instiga- 
tion of Ayesha, sent off his bloody vest to be carried throi^ 
the distant provinces, a ghastly f^peal to the passions of tne 

The people, apprehending discord and disunion, clamoured 
fSor the instant nomination of a Caliph* Xhe depntatiooir 

164 strccEssoBS of hahomst. 

wbiolt had come. from yarioua parts with complaints aeainst 
Qthman, he<»me impatient. There were men from Bab^onia, 
and Mesopotamia, and other parts of Persia ; firom Syria and 
Egypt, as well as from the three divisions of Arabia ; these 
assembled tumultnously, and threatened the safety of the 
three candidates, Ali, I'elha, and Zobier, unless an election 
were made in four-and-twenty honrs. 

In this dilemma some of the principal Moslems repaired 
to Ali, and entreated him to accept the office. He consented 
with reluctance, but would do nothing clandestinely, and re- 
fused to take their hands (the Moslem mode at that time of 
attesting fealty), unless it were in public assembly at the 
mosque, lest he should give cause of cavil or dispute to his 
rivals. He refused, also, to make any promises or conditions. 
** If I am elected CiJiph," said he, "I will administer the 
government with independence, and deal with yon all accord- 
mg to my ideas of justice. If you elect another, I will ^eld 
obedience to him, and be ready to serve him as his vizier.'^ 
They assented to everything he said, and a^ain entreated him 
to accept, for the gooa of the people and of the faith. 

On tne following morning there was a great assemblage of 
the people at the mosque, and Ali presented himself at the 
porUd. He appeared m simple Arab style, clad in a thin 
cotton garb, flprded round his loins, a coarse turban, and using 
a bow as a wiQldng-staff. He took off his sHppers in reverence 
of the place, and entered the mosque bearing them in his left 

Finding that Telha and Zobeir were not present, he caused 
them to be sent for. They came, and knowing the state of 
the public mind, and that all immediate opposition would be 
useless, offered their hands in token of allegiance. Ali paused, 
and asked them if their hearts went with their hands : " Speak 
frankly," said he, " if you disapprove of my election, and will 
accept the office, I will give my hand to eitner of you." They 
declared their perfect satisfaction, and gave tneir hands. 
Telha's right arm had been maimed in the battle of Ohod» 
and he stretdied it forth with difficulty. The circumstance 
struck the Arabs as an evil omen. '* It is likely to be a lame 
business that is begun with a lame hand," muttered a by- 
stander. Subsequent events seemed to justify the foreboding. 

Moawyah, the remaining candidate, being absent at hia 

government in Syria, the whole family of Ommiah, of which 
e was the head, with<h!ew from the ceremony. This, like- 
wise, boded future troubles. 

After the inauguration, Telha and Zobier, with a view, it ia 
said, to excite disturbance, applied to Ali to investigate and 

S7enge the death of Othmao. Ali, who knew thafc such i^ 
measure would call up a host of enemies, evaded the insidious 
proposition. " It was not the moment/' he said, *' for such aa 
investigation. The event had its origin in old enmities and 
discontents instkated by the devil, and when the devil onod 
gained a foothold, he never relinquished it willingly. Th» 
very measure they recommended was one of the devil's sug-^ 
gesting, for the purpose of fomenting disturbances. How- 
ever," added he, " if you will point out the assassins of 0th- 
man, I will not fail to punish them according to their guilt." 

While Ali thus avoided the dangerous litigation, he en« 
deavoured to cultivate the good will of the Koreishites, and to 
strengthen himself against apprehended difficulties with the 
family of Ommiah. Telha ana Zobeir, being disconcerted in 
their designs, now applied for important commands. Telhi^ 
for the government of Cufa, and Zobier for that of Bassora ; 
but Ali again declined complying with their wishes, observing 
that he needed such able counselors at hand in his present 
emergencies. They afterwards separately obtained pcrmissioik 
from him to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, and set off on that 
devout errand with piety on their lips but crafty policy in 
their breasts. A^resha had abready repaired to the holy city, 
bent upon opposition to the government of the man she nated. 

Ali was now Caliph, but did not feel himself securely fixed 
in his authority. Many abuses had grown up during the 
dotage of his predecessor, which called for redi^ss, and most 
of tl^ governments of provinces were in the hands of persons 
in whose affection ana fidelity he felt no confidence. He 
determined upon a general reform ; and as a first step, to 
remove from office aU the governors who had been appointed 
by the superannuated Otbman. This measure was strongly 
opposed by some of his counsellors. They represented to him 
that he was not yet sufficiently established to venture upon 
iiuch changes ; and that he would make powerM enemies of 
men, who, if left in office, would probably hasten to declare 
allegiance to him, now that he was Caliph. 

Ali was not to be persuaded. " Sedition,'* he said, ** lik* 
fire, is easily extinguished at the commencement; but the 
longer it bums, the more fiercely it blazes." 

He was advised, at least, to leave his formidable rival 
Moawyah, for the present, in the government of Syria, as he 
was possessed of great wealth and influence, and a powerful 
army, and might rouse that whole province to rebelUon ; and 
• in such case might be joined by Telha and Zobeir, who were 
both disappointed and disaffected men. He had recently 
shown his mfloence over the feelings of the people under h£ft 


oommaiid: when ihe Uoody rwt of Othman arrired in {iM- 
piOTinoe, h» had diiplajed it from the ptil^it of the mosque 
m Damasoos. The mosque resounded with lamentatione 
Bungled with clamours for the rerenffe of blood ; for Othman 
had won the hearts of the people of Syria b j his mtmifioenoe. 
Scane of the noblest inhabitants of Damasdus swore to remam 
eraarate from their witob, and not to lay i^eir heads on a 
piflow until blood for blood had atoned for i^e death of Oth- 
man* Finally the Test had been hoisted as a standard, and 
had fired i^e Syimi army with a desire lor venffeance. 

Ali*s oounseuor represented all these things to him. " Suffer 
Ifoawyah, therefore," added he, *' to remain in command 
mntil lie has acknowledged your ffOTemment, and then he may 
he displaced without turmoiL Nay, I will pledge myself «» 
Inring him bound hand and foot into your presence.*' 

AJu spumed at this counsel, and swore he would ^raetiae 
1^ such treachery, but would deal with Moawyah with the 
•word alone. He commenced immediately his plan of reform^ 
wi^ the nominaticm of new goremors deybted to his seryioe^ 
4^bdallah Ibn Abbas was appointed to Arabia Felix* Ammar 
Ibn Sahel to Gufa, Othman Ibn Hanif to Bassora, Sahel Ibn 
Hanif to Syiia, and Saad Ibn Kais to E^pt. These generals 
lost no time in repairing to their respective goyemments, b«l 
the result soon conrinced Ali that he had been precipitate^ 

Jaali, the ffoyemor of Arabia Felix, readily resigned }u$ 
post to Abdimah Ibn Abbas, and retired to Mecca; but ht 
took with him the publio treasure, and deliyered it into the 
]}ands of Ayesha, and her eonfederates Telha and Zobeir. whty 
were alreadk plotting rebdlion. 

Othman Ibn Hanif on arriving at Bassora to take the coaar 
l3ELand, found the people discontented and rebellious, and 
Slaving no force to subjugate them, esteemed himself fortum^ 
in escapinff from their hands and returning to the Caliph. 

When Ammar Ibn Sahel reached the confines of Cufa, Ke 
learnt that the peojde were unanimous in favour of Abu Mua^ 
Alashari, their present governor, and determined to support 
iaim by fraud or force. Ammar had no disposition to coniend 
'With theni, the Oufians being reputed the most treadieroiie 
and perfidious people of the JBam ; so he turned the head of 
liis horse, and journeyed baok mortified and disconcerted to 

Saad Ibn Xais was received in Egypt with murmnrs by 
tiie inhabitants, who were indi^^nant at the assassinaticni. m 
Othman, and refused to submit to the ^ovemm^it of AJi, 

Stil justice was done upon the perpetra&rs of that mnrdar- 
ad prudently, ^erefore, retraced his stepa to Medina. 

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6aM Ibn Haaif liad no better moceM m Syrk* lie was 
met at Tabne bj a body <^ oavatry, who demanded his name 
and business. *' For my name/* said he» " I anljSahel, the 
son of Hanif ; and for my business, I am governor of this 
proTiBce, as lientenaiiit.of 4he Caliph Ali, Oommander of the 
JpaithfuL" ^ey assured him in vepk» that Syria had dUNufy 
an able governor in Moawyah^ son of Aba Sc&ui, aa^^f^iat to< 
their certain knowle^e there was not room in th» provinoe 
Ibr the sole of his foot; so saying, they nnshea^ed thi^ 

The new {^omor, who was not parovided with a body of 
iatoopB sufficient to enforce his authority » returned also to the 
Citiph with ^lis inteUigence. Thus ot the five govermors, a^ 
promptly sent forth by Ali in porsuanoe <d his great plan of 
reform, AbdaQah Ibn Abbaa was the only one permi^d. to 
assume his post. 

When AH received tidings of the disaffection of Syria, he 
wrote a letter to Moawyah, daiiiiing his allegiance, and tran^^ 
nitted it by an especial messenger. The la&er was detained 
many days by the Synan commander, and then sent back, ao 
mmpanied by another messenger, beanng a sealed letter supeiv 
•mbed, ^ "From Moawyah to AIL" The two couriers arrived 
at Medina in the cool of the evening, the hour of concourse^ 
«Dd passed thrbu^h the mnltiiiide beariaf the letter aloft on 
m staff, so that aU could see the superserqiitioiu The peode 
thronged after the measengera into the presence of Ah. On 
opening t^ Irtter it was found to be a perfoet blank, in token 
)0i contempt and d^anoe. 

Ali soon learned that this was no empty bravado. He was 
a^rked by his own eouier that an army of sixty i^usand 
men was actually on foot in Syria, and that the blooay gaimeojt 
of Othman, the standard of rebellion, was erected in th0 
mosque at Pamasoos. Upon this he seknmly called AUab 
and the prophet to witness thast he was not guiUy of tibat 
mtffder ; tmt made active preparations to put down the rebel- 
lion by force of arms ; sMioinff missives into all the j^rarrincei^ 
demanding the assistanoe oi me MthfuL 

The ll^riems wisre now divided into two parties : those 
•who adhered to Ali, among wbcm were the peonple of Medina 
generally ; and the MotaMU, or Separatists, who were in the 
opposition. Hie latter were headed by the able and vindictive 
Ayesha, who had her head-quarters at Mecca, and with tibe 
am of Telha and Zobier, was bu^ organizing an insnneotion. 
She had induced the powerful iamily oi Oimniah to join her 
eaose, and had sent oouriers to all the governors of rnxmnces 
whom Ali had sapsrsodedy inviting them to unite in Urn rebel- 
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lion. The treasure brought to her by Jaali, the displaced 
governor of Arabia Felix, furnished her with the means of 
war, and the bloody garment of Othman proved a powerful 

A council of the leaders of this conspiracy was held at 
Mecca. Some inclined to join the insurgents m Syria, but it 
was objected that Moawyah was sufficiently powerful in that 
country without their aid. The intrepid Ayesha was for pro- 
ceeding immediately to Medina, and attacking Ali in his 
capital, but it was represented that the people of Medina were 
tmanimous in his favour, and too powerful to be assailed with 
success. It was finally determined to march {or Bassoia, 
Telha assuring them that he had a strong party in that city, 
and pledging nimself for its surrender. 

A prodamation was accordingly made by sound of trumpet 
through the streets of Mecca, to the following effect :— 

" In the name of the most hiffh Grod. Ayesha, Mother of 
the Faithful, accompanied by me chiefs Telha and Zobier, 
is goin^^ in person to Mssora. All those of the faithful who 
bum with a desire to defend the faith, and avenge the deatJi 
of the Caliph Othman, have only to present themselves* 
and thev snail be furnished witn all necessaries for tiie 

Ayesha sallied forth from one of the gates of Mecca, 
borne in a litter placed on the back of a strong camel named 
Alascar. Telha and Zobier attended her on each side, fol- 
lowed by six hundred persons of some note, aH mounted on 
camels, and a promiscuous multitude of about six thousand on 

After marching some distance, the motley host stopped to 
refresh themselves on the bank of a rivulet near a village. 
Tlieir arrival aroused the dogs of the village, who surroun&d 
Ayesha, and barked at her most clamorouuy. Like all Arabs, 
€ne was superstitious, and considered this an evil omen. Her 
apprehensions were increased on learning that the name of 
the village was Jowab. " My trust is in God,** exclaimed she, 
solemnly; "to him do I turn in time of trouble," — a text 
-from iiie Koran, used by Moslems in time of extreme danger. 
In fact, she called to mind some proverb of the prophet alx>ut 
the does of Jowab, and a prediction that one of his wives 
would DC barked at by them when in a situation of imminent 
peril. "I will go no further," cried Ayesha; "I will halt 
here for the night." So saying, she struck her camel on the 
legto make him kneel tnat she might alight. 

Telha and Zobeir, dreading any delay, brought some pea- 
sants whom they had suborn^ to assign a different name to 

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ALL 109 

the village, and thus ooieted her supentitioiis fears. About 
the same time some horsemen, likewise instructed by them* 
rode up with a false report, that Ali was not far distant wiiji 
a body of troops. Ajesha hesitated no longer, but mounting 
nimbfy on her camel, pressed to the head of her little army, 
and they all pushed forward with increased expedition towards 
Bassora. Arriyed before the oiiy, they had noped, from the 
sanguine declarations of Telha, to see it throw open its gates 
to receive them ; the gates, however, remained closely barred. 
Othman Ibn Kanef, whom Ali had sent without success to 
assume the government of Cufa, was now in command at 
Bassora, whimer he had been invited by a part of the inhar 

Ayesha sent a summons to the governor to come forth and 
join the standard of the faithful, or at least to tlux>w open his 

fates ; but he was a timid, undecided man, and confidmg the 
efence of the city to his lieutenant Ammar, retired in great 
tribulation within his own dwelling in the citadel, and went 
to prayers. 

Amynar summoned the people to arms, and called a meeting 
of the principal inhabitants m the mosque. He soon found 
out, to nis ^eat discouragement, that the people were nearly 
equally divided into two factions, one for Ali, since he was 
regularly elected Caliph, the other composed of partisans of 
Tdha. The parties, instead of deliberating, fell to reviling, 
and ended by throwing dust in each other's faces. 

In the meantime Ayesha and her host approached the 
walls, and many of the inhabitants went forth to meet her. 
Telha and Zobier alternately addressed the multitude, and 
were foUowed by Ayesha, who harane;ued them from her 
camel. Her voice, which she elevated that it might be heard 
by all, became shrill and sharp, instead of intdligible, and 
provoked the merriment of some of the crowd. A dispute 
arose as to the justice of her appeal ; mutual revilings again 
took place between the parties ; they gave each other the lie, 
and again threw dust in each other's faces. One of the men 
of Bassora then turned and reproached Ayesha, " Shame on 
thee, O Mother of the Faithful !" said he. " The murder of 
the Caliph was a grievous crime, but was a less abomination 
than thy forgetfumess of the modesty of thy sex. Where- 
fore dost thou abandon thy quiet home, and thy protecting 
veil, and ride forth like a man, barefaced, on tnat accursed 
camel, to foment quarrels and dissensions among the faithfol P" 

Another of the crowd scoffed at Telha and Zobier. ** Yo« 
have brought your mother with you," cried he 5 " why did you 
not also bring your wives P" 

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Insiilts were tdon follo«red hj blows ; smnrds were drswn, 
m skirmish ensued, and thej fought until the hoar of prayer 
separated them. 

Ajesha sat down before Bassora with her armed host* and 
■ome days passed in alternate skirmishes and negotiaticas. 
At len|2;tli a trace was amed np<Hi, nntil deputies oould \m 
sent to Medina to learn me eanse of these dissouions aaeag 
the Moslems, and whether Telha and Zobier agreed T<^Qnt»- 
lily to the election of Afi, or did so <m oompnlsioii : if the 
jbrmer, thej should be considered as rebels ; if the lsttcc» 
their partisans in Bassora should be considered jnstifiied m 
in>holding them* 

The insurgents, however, only acquiesced in this agreemort 
lo get the gOTcmor in their powar, and so gain poeaee8k>B. of 
ihe city. They endeavoured to draw him to thesr camp bj 
IHendly messages, but he apparently suspected thdr intentatam^ 
and renised to come forth until the answer should be reemed 
from Medina. Upon iMs Tdha and Zobier, taking adraofeage 
of a stormy night, gained an entrance into the city wUh. s 
chosen band, and surprised titie governor in the mosqaoy where 
Ihey took him prisoner, after kfflrng forty of his guard. Xhsj 
sent to Ayesha to know what they should do with their ea^ 
five. " Let him be put to death," was her fierce rej^. JJfxm 
this one of the women interceded. " I adjure i^ee,'^ said ahe^ 
** in the name of Allah and the companicms of the apostle» do 
not Slav him.** Ayesha was moved by this a(^Taration> and 
commuted his punishment into forty str^es and imnrisonment. 
He was doomed, however, to suffer stiU greater evils befovehe 
escaped from the hands of his captors. JSis beard was pludced 
out hair by hair, one of the most disgraceful punishments thait 
ean be inmcted on an Arab. His eyebrows were served ia tiie 
same muiner, and then he was contemptuously] set at llber^. 

The city of Bassora was now taken possession of withcmt 
iurther resistance. Ayesha entered it m state, supp<HPted by 
Telha and Zobier, and followed by her troops and adhereslt. 
The inhabitants were treated with kindness, as friends who 
had acted through error; and every exertion was made to 
secure their good-wiU, and to incense them against Ali, who 
was represented aji a murderer and usurper. 

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JUI doiteta tlM rdMli imder A7«fllia.--'Hto tiMtoMQl cCte. 

Whin AH heard of iJie TOTolt of Meooa» imd the maroh against 
Bassora, he called a general meeting in the mosqne, and 
cndeayoured to stir up the people to arm and follow him in 
]^or8uit oi the rebels : but, though he spoke with his usual 
eloquence, and was popular in Medina, a coldness and apathy 
peiYaded the assembly. Some dreaded a civil war; others 
jeoollected that the leader of the rebels, against whom ther 
were urged to take up arms, was Aresha, the favourite wi& 
of the prophet, the Mother of the Faithfol ; others doubted 
whether Ali might not, in some degree, be implicated in the 
lieath of Othman, which had been so artibllj charged against 

At length a Moslem of distinction, Ziyad Ibn Hantelah, 
T0S6 with generous warmth, and, stuping up to Ali, ** Let 
whosoever will, hold back," cried he, •* we wm go forward,** 

At the same time two Ansars, or doctors of the law, men off 
{Teat weight, pronounced with oracular voice, "The Imam 
Othman, master of the two testimoniee, dkl not die by tho 
kand of the master of the two testimonies $ "^ that is to say^ 
^Othman was not slain by Ali" 

The Arabs are a mercurial people, and acted upon b^ sod- 
den impulses. The example of Ziyad, and the declaradon of 
the two Ansars, caused an immediate excitement Abu Ko- 
iada, an Ansar of distincticm, drew his sword. " The apostle 
of Gk>d," said he, " iukhx whom be peace, girt ma wifch this 
sword. It has long been sheathed. I now devote it to the 
destruction of these deceivers of the faithfuL" 

A matron in a transnort of enthusiasm exclaimed, " Oh^ 
Commander of the FaitnfuL if it were permitted by our law, 
I myself would go with tikee i but here is my cousin, dearer t9 
Sie than my own life, he shall IbUow thee and partake of thy 

AH profited by the excitement of the moment^ and making 
m hasty levy, marched out of Medina at the head of about nine 
hundred men, eagiur to overtake the rebels before they should 
Teach Bassora. Hearing, however, that Ayesha was already 
m possession of that ci^, he halted at a place called Anab- 

• The two t«rtim<nJe8 mean tiM two ftrndamental beB^ft of the Koslem 
«raed: **Ther* is but one God. Mahomet it the apoetle of God.* Tho 
OO^ M inutti or poBttf of the MoMalmaa rat%i^ 

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dah, until lie slioiild be joined by reintocements : Bending 
messengers to Aba Musa Alashair, gOTemor of Cn&» acd 
to yarious other commanders, ordering speedy succour. He 
was sooo joined by his eldest son Hassan, who undertook to 
review his conduct, and lecture him on his pohcy. ** I told 
you/' said he, '' when the Caliph Othman was besieged, to go 
out of the cily, lest you shoula be implicated in his death. I 
told you not tc be inaugurated until deputieB from the Ara- i 
bian tribes were present. Lastly, I told you when Ayesha 
and her two confederates took the field, to Keep at home unldl 
they should be pacified; Sv> that, should any mischief result, 
you might not be made responsible. You haye not heeded my 
adyice.. and the consequence is, that you may now be murdered 
to-morrow, with nobody to blame but yourself." 

Ali listened with impatience to this filial counsel, or ratheir, 
censure : when it was finished, he replied, " Had I left the 
city when Othman was besieged, I should myself haye be^ 
flurroimded. Had I waited for my inauguration until all the 
tribes came in, I should haye lost the yotes of the people <^ 
Medina, the ' Helpers,* who haye the priyilege of disposmg of 
the goyemment. Had I remained at liome after my enemies 
had taken the field, like a wild beast lurking in its hole, I 
should like a wild beast haye been digged out and destroyed. 
If I do not look after my own afiairs, -wm will look after them f 
If I do not defend myself, who will defend me P Such are my 
;rea8ons for acting as I haye acted ; and now, my son, hold 
your peace." We hear of no ftirther counsels from Hassan. 

Ali had looked for powerftd aid from Abu Musa Alashair. 
goyemor of Cufa, but he was of a lukewarm spirit, and cherished 
no good will to ike Caliph, from his haying sent Othman Ibii 
Hanef to supplant him, as has been noticed. He therefore 
receiyed his messengers with coldness, and sent a reply full 
of evasions. Ali was enraged at this reply ; and his anj?er 
was increased by the arriyal about the same time (^ the unror^ 
tunate Othman Ibn Hanef, who had been so sadly scourged 
and maltreated, and ejected from his goyemment at Bassora* 
What most grieyed tne heart of the ex-goyemor was the 
indignity that had been offered to his person. " Ok, Com- 
mander of the Faithful," said he, moummUy, "when you sent 
me to Bassora I had a beard, and now, alas, I haye not a hair 
on my chin !" 

Ali commiserated the unfortunate man who ikoB deplored 
the loss of his beard more than of his goyemment ; but com- 
forted him with the assurance that his sufferings would b|Q 
4M>unted to him as merits. He then spoke of his owncasej 
the Caliphs, his predecessors, had reigned without ojj^^ositioB j 

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AM. 173 

but, for his own part, tliose who had joined in electing him 
had proved false to him. '* Telha and Zobeir/' said he, " have 
submitted to Abu Beker, Omar, and Othman ; why have they 
arrayed themselves against meP By Allah they shall find 
Ihat I am not one jot mferior to my predecessors f" 

Ali now sent more urgent messages to Abu Musa, governor 
of Cufa, by his son Hassan, uid Aimnar Ibn Yaser, his general 
(^ the horse, a stem old soldier, ninety years of age, the same 
intrepid spokesman' who, for his hardihood of tongue, had been 
severely maltreated by order of the Caliph Othman. They 
were reinforced by Alashtar, a determined officer, who had 
been employed in the previous mission, and irritated by the 
prevarications of Abu Musa. 

Hassan andAmmar were received with ceremonious respect 
by the governor, and their mission was discussed, according 
to usage, in the mosque, but Alashtar remained with the guard 
that nad escorted them. The envoys pressed their errand 
with warmth, urging the necessity of their sending immediate 
succour to the Caliph. Abu Musa, however, who prided him- 
self more upon woras than deeds, answered tliem by an evasive 
harangue ; signifying his doubts of the policy of their proceed- 
ing; counsefling that the troops should return to Medina, 
that the whole matter in dispute should be investigated, and 
the right to rule amicably ac^usted. " It is a bad ousiness,'^ 
added he, ''and he that meddles least with it stands less 
chance of doing wrong. For what says the prophet touching 
an evil affair of the kindP He who sleepeth in it is more 
secure than he that waketh ; he that liethtnanhe that sitteth; 
he that sitteth than he that standeth ; he that standeth than 
he that walketh ; and he that walketh than he that rideth. 
Sheathe, therefore, your swords, take the heads from your 
lances, and the strings from your bows, and receive him that 
is injured into vour dwellings, imtil all matters are adjusted 
and reconciled. ' 

The ancient general, Ammar, replied to him tartly, that he 
had misapplied the w<nrds of the prophet, which were meant to 
rebuke such servants as himself, who were better sitting than 
standing, and sleeping than awake. Abu Musa would have 
answer^ him with another long harangue in favour of non- 
resistance, but was interrupted oy the sudden entrance of a. 
number of his soldiers, bearing evidence of having been 
piteously beaten. While Abu Musa had been holding forth 
at the mosque, Alashtar, the hardy officer who remained wiiJi 
tiie escort, had seized upon the castle of Cufa, caused the- 
garrison to be soundly scourged, and sent them to the mosque 
to cut short the negotiation. This prompt measure of Alashtar 


I^aced ike oold-spinted oondnct of Abu Mnsa in so ridiooloitt 
a liffht, that the feelings of the populace were instantly turned 
against him* Hassan, i^e son of Ali, seized nj^ tlie moment 
to address the assembly. He maintained the innocence of hit 
father in r^ard to the assassination of Othman. " His father,** 
he sai