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Title: A Critical Exposition of the Popular 'Jihád'
       Showing that all the Wars of Mohammad Were Defensive; and
              that Aggressive War, or Compulsory Conversion, is not
              Allowed in The Koran - 1885

Author: Moulavi Gerágh Ali

Release Date: March 29, 2007 [EBook #20927]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Bryan Ness, Aaron Reed and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Pg i]





[Pg ii]













Author of



[Pg iii]


[Pg iv]


I here take the opportunity of removing a wrong idea of the alleged injunction of the Prophet against our countrymen the Hindús. The Hon'ble Raja Sivá Prasad, in his speech at the Legislative Council, on the 9th March, 1883, while discussing the Ilbert Bill, quoted from Amir Khusro's Tarikh Alái that, "Ala-ud-dín Khiliji once sent for a Kází, and asked him what was written in the Code of Mehammadan law regarding the Hindús. The Kází answered that, the Hindús were Zimmis (condemned to pay the Jízya tax); if asked silver, they ought to pay gold with deep respect and humility; and if the collector of taxes were to fling dirt in their faces, they should gladly open their mouths wide. God's order is to keep them in subjection, and the Prophet enjoins on the faithful to kill, plunder and imprison them, to make Mussulmáns, or to put them to the sword, to enslave them, and confiscate their property....'" [Vide Supplement to the Gazette of India, April 21, 1883, page 807.]

These alleged injunctions, I need not say here, after what I have stated in various places of this book regarding intolerance, and compulsory conversion, are merely false imputations. There are no such injunctions of the Prophet against either Zimmis, (i.e., protected or guaranteed) or the Hindús.

[Pg v]






[Pg vi]

Transcriber's Note:

All errata listed below have been corrected in the e-text. Mistakes not listed below have been left as they appeared in the printed book, although missing or misplaced punctuation marks have been corrected.


v 21themOmit
" 22themit
xvii f.n.Maaddite Moaddite
xxxiv21Morra Murra
" 22Soleim Suleim
xlii 9Kauuka Kainuka
xliii22 f.n.MozeimaMozeina
xlv 25KhusainKhushain
liv1Ban Bani
" 10Ghassianide Ghassanide
xci 30CaliphaterCaliphate
18 9God[2] God:
" " desist[3] desist
" 16persecution persecution[2]
" 17(fitnah(fitnah[3])
27 5liberty and liberty, any of
" 6brethern merely brethren, merely
"6-7such a mannersuch manner
" 8Society orSociety, or
" 9of it materiallyof it, materially
" 12deserve pity deserve only pity
34 6Ibu Ibn
61 6RafiRafe
7224ibu ibn
" 25ibu ibn
73 4bil bin
90 1as stallions for breeding purposes
135 28Durar Dinar
136 16Sirni Sirin
1921Jihad does not mean
the waging of war
{Read this as a marginal gloss
" 3Jahad Jahd.
" 14Katal and Kital Read this as a marginal gloss.
" 20ConclusionDitto, ditto.

[Pg vii]


Genealogical Table of the Arabscvi-cvii

I. The persecutions suffered by the early Moslems1-11
II. The Meccans or the Koreish11-16
III. The defensive character of the wars of Mohammad16-34
IV. The Jews34-40
V. The Christians or Romans40-41
VI. The intolerance42-51
VII. The ninth chapter of Sura Barát51-55
VIII. The alleged interception of the Koreish caravans by the Moslems55-60
IX. The alleged assassinations by the command or connivance of Mohammad60-76
X. The alleged cruelty in executing the prisoners of war76-91
XI. Some miscellaneous objections refuted91-114
XII. The popular Jihád or Crusade114-161

Appendix A. The word Jihad in the Koran does not mean warfare163-192
Appendix B. Slavery and concubinage not allowed by the Koran193-223
Appendix C. Koranic references225-227

[Pg viii]


1.Object of the booki
2.Early wrongs of the Moslem; justification in taking up arms, if takenii
3.Commencement of the war; the Koreish being public enemy were liable to be treated as suchib.
4.But the Moslems could not take up arms to redress their wrongs under certain circumstancesiii
5.Moslems otherwise engaged at Medina had no intention of suffering the horrors of war by taking the initiative, but were in imminent danger from the enemyiv
6.The Koreish first attacked the Moslems at Medina. They could not forbear the escape of the Moslemsv
7.Three battles waged by the Koreish against Mohammad—Badr, Ohad, and Ahzáb: these wars on the Moslem side were purely in defence, not waged even to redress their wrongs or re-establish their rightsvii
8.The battle of Badr was defensive on the part of Mohammad. Reasons for the sameviii
9.Mohammad at Medina, owing to the attacks, inroads, and threatening gatherings of the Koreish and other tribes, had hardly time to think of offensive measuresxi
10.Armed opposition of the Koreish to the Moslem pilgrims from Medina in the vicinity of Mecca. The truce of Hodeibiaxv
11.The Koreish again commit hostilities and violate their pledge. War declared against those who had violated the truce. War not carried outxvi
12.War with foes other than Koreishxviii
13.Expedition to Tabúk to check the advancing enemy. No war took placexix
14.Number of the wars of Mohammad much exaggerated: Ghazava defined; number of actual warsxx
15.[Pg ix]The Revd. Mr. Green's remarks on the wars of Mohammad criticisedxxiii
16.Another view of the wars of Mohammadxxviii
17.Caravans if waylaid were waylaid by way of reprisalxxx
18.Intolerance; no compulsory conversion enjoined or took place during Mohammad's lifetime:
Sir W. Muir quoted and refuted
19.A brief sketch of the propagation of Islam at Mecca:
Islam at Mecca;
Islam at Abyssinia;
Conversions at Nakhla
20.Rapid stride of Islam at Medinaxxxvii
21.The increasing number of Moslem converts at Mecca after the Hegiraxxxix
22.Disturbed state of the public peace among the tribes surrounding Medina. Internicine wars, an obstacle to the propagation of Islamxl
23.Sketch of the intertribal wars in Arabia during the lifetime of Mohammadxli
24.Spread of Islam in the surrounding tribes at Medina after the Hegira I—VIxliii
25.Mecca a barrier against the conversion of the Southern tribesxliv
26.Tribal conversions in the sixth year. Conversion among several other tribes of the North and North-east in A.H. VIIIxlv
27.Surrender of Mecca, A.H. VIIIxlvii
28.Mecca not compelled to believeib.
29.The wholesale conversion of the remaining tribes, A.H. IX and Xxlviii
30.The various deputations in the 9th and 10th year of the Hegirali
31.A list of the deputations of conversion received by Mohammad at Medina during A.H. IX and Xli—lviii
32.All conversions, individual and tribal, were without any compulsionlix
33.Mohammad was not favoured with circumstances round him. The difficulty Mohammad encountered in his work. Marcus Dods quoted:
Dr. Mohseim's causes of the spread of Islam and Hallam quoted
34.Mohammad's unwavering belief in his own mission and his success show him to be a true prophet. Mohammad's efforts established monotheism in Arabia. His manly exertions, and his single handed perseverance. [Pg x]The business and office of a prophet described. Sir W. Muir and Stobart quotedlxv—lxix
35.The reforms of Mohammad, his iconoclastic policy. The redemption of Arabia from venal debauchery and infatuated superstition. Muir, Marcus Dods, Stephens quotedlxix—lxxvii
36.Indictment against Mohammad. His alleged cruelty and sensuality. Muir, Rev. Hughes, Marcus Dods, and Stanley Poole refutedlxxviii—lxxxvii
37.Objections to the (1) Finality of the social reforms of Mohammad, (2) positive precepts, (3) ceremonial law, (4) morality, (5) want of adaptability to the varying circumstanceslxxxvii—lxxxix
38.All these objections apply rather to the teaching of the Mohammadan Common Law than to the Koranxc
39.(1) Finality of social reforms of Mohammad discussed. Intermediary not to be considered finalxc—xcii
40.(2) Positive precepts and (3) ceremonial law, pilgrimage, Kibla, amount of alms, fasts, forms and attitude of prayer, &c.: pretentious prayers and ostentatious almsgivingxcii—xcvii
41.(4) The Koran, both abstract and concrete in moralsxcvii—cii
42.(5) Adaptability of the Koran to surrounding circumstancescii—ciii
43.Suitability of the Koran to all classes of humanityciii—civ
Genealogical tables of the tribes mentioned in para. 31 of the Introductioncvi—cvii


I.—The Persecution.
1.The early persecution of Moslems by the people of Mecca2
2.Notices of the persecutions in the Koran4
3.Insults suffered by Mohammad5
4.Historical summary of the persecutions8
5.The Hegira, or the expulsion of the Moslems from Mecca9
6.The persecution of the Moslems by the Koreish after their flight from Mecca11

II.—The Meccans or the Koreish.
7.A Koreish chieftain commits a raid near Medina, A.H. 1ib.
8.The Koreish march to attack Medina. Battle of Badrib.
9.Attack by Abu Sofian upon Medina, A.H. 212
[Pg xi]10.Battle of Ohad12
11.Mohammad's prestige affected by the defeatib.
12.Abu Sofian threatened the Moslems with another attack next year13
13.The Koreish again attack Medina with a large army. Mohammad defends the city. The enemy retire. A.H. 514
14.Mohammad with his followers advanced to perform the lesser pilgrimage of Mecca. The Koreish oppose Mohammad, who return disappointed. The treaty of Hodeibia15
15.Violation of the treaty by the Koreish and their submission16
16.Two other tribes assume the offensiveib.

III.—The Defensive Character of the Wars.
17.Verses from the Koran in support of the defensive character of the wars25
18.What the above quoted verses show26
19.Justification of the Moslems in taking up arms against their aggressors27
20.The first aggression after the Hegira was not on the part of Mohammad28
21.The alleged instances examined29
22.Hamza and Obeida's expeditionsib.
23.Abwa, Bowat, and Osheira expeditions30
24.The affair at Nakhla31
25.At Badr Mohammad came only in his defence33
26.The first aggression after the Hegira if from Mohammad, might fairly be looked upon as retaliation34

IV.—The Jews.
27.The Jews broke treatiesib.
28.Bani Kainukaa, Bani Nazeer, Khyber, and Ghatafán35
29.Notice of them in Koran37
30.The judgment of Sád38
31.Defensive character of the expedition against the Jews of Khyber40

V.—The Christians or Romans.
32.Tabúk, the last expeditionib.
33.Description of the wars concluded41

VI.—The Intolerance.
34.Mohammad never taught intolerance43
35.In what sense the wars were religious wars44
36.The alleged verses of intolerance explained45
37.Sir William Muir quoted47
38.Comment on the above quotation50
39.Object of Mohammad's wars51

[Pg xii]VII.—The Ninth Chapter or Sura Barát.
40.The opening portion of the IX Sura of the Koran only relates to the Koreish who had violated the truce55

VIII.—The alleged Interceptions of the Koreish Caravans.
41.The nine alleged interceptions of the Koreish caravans57
42.The interceptions were impossible under the circumstances in which Mohammad was placed59
43.The interceptions, if occurred, were justified by way of reprisal60

IX.—The alleged Assassinations.
44.Instances of the alleged assassinations cited61
45.Mr. Stanley Poole quoted62
46.Asma-bint Marwan63
47.The story deserves not our belief64
48.Abu Afak65
49.Kab, son of Ashraf66
50.Mohammad could never have had any share in Kab's murder68
51.Sofian bin Khalid69
52.Justification of Sofian's alleged murder70
53.Abu Rafe72
54.Oseir bin Zarim73
55.The intended assassination of Abu Sofian74
56.Irving and Muir quoted; concluding remarks76

X.—The alleged Cruelties in executing Prisoners of War and others.
57.Treatment of the prisoners of warib.
58.Law of nations regarding the prisoners of war77
59.The execution of Nadher Ibn Harith79
60.The execution of Okba80
61.Free liberty granted to Ozza, a prisoner of war81
62.Abul Ozza proved a traitor and was executedib.
63.The execution of Moavia Ibn Mughiraib.
64.Justification of Mughira's execution82
65.The intended execution of the prisoners of Badr and the wrong version of Sir W. Muir83
66.Mohammad was never blamed in the Koran for releasing prisoners84
67.The Koran enjoins the prisoners of war to be either freely liberated or ransomed, but neither executed nor enslaved87
68.High treason of the Bani Koreiza against Medina and their execution88
69.The whole of the Bani Koreiza were never executedib.
70.The women and children of Bani Koreiza were never sold89
71.The exaggerated number of persons executed91

[Pg xiii]XI.—Some Miscellaneous Objections refuted.
72.The execution of Omm Kirfa for brigandage92
73.The alleged mutilation of the Urnee robbers93
74.Amputation or banishment substituted temporarily in place of imprisonment for want of a well organized system of jails95
75.Torture of Kinana96
76.The alleged execution of a singing girl97
77.The charitable spirit of Mohammad towards his enemies98
78.Abu Basir not countenanced by the Prophet in contravention to the spirit of the treaty of Hodeibia101
79.Nueim not employed by the Prophet to circulate false reports in the enemy's camp102
80.Deception in war allowed by the International Lawib.
81.Lecky's standard of morality104
82.The alleged permission to kill the Jews106
83.Sir W. Muir quoted108
84.The expulsion of the Bani Nazeerib.
85.Their fruit-trees were not cut down109
86.Females and the treaty of Hodeibia110
87.Stanley defended111
88.Marriage a strict bond of union113

The Popular Jihád.
89.The Koran enjoins only defensive wars114
90.The Mohammadan Common Law and the Jihád116
91.When is Jihád a positive injunctionib.
92.The Hedáya quoted and refuted117
93.Rule of interpretation118
94.The Common Law and its commentators119
95.Kifáya quoted120
96.Further quotations121
97.The Kifáya refuted122
98.S. IX, 5, discussed123
99.S. II, 189, discussedib.
100.S. II, 189, and VIII, 40, are defensive124
101.All injunctions were local and for the time being125
102.Ainee quoted and refutedib.
103.Sarakhsee quoted and refuted126
104.Ibn Hajar quoted128
105.Ibn Hajar refuted129
106.Halabi quotedib.
107.Halabi refuted132
108.Ainee again quoted and refutedib.
109.Continuation of the above133
110.Traditions quoted and refutedib.
111.Early Moslem legists against the Jihád134
112.[Pg xiv]Biographical sketches of the legists135
113.European writers' mistakes137
114.Sir W. Muir quoted and refuted138
115.Islam not aggressive139
116.Mr. Freeman quoted and refuted140
117.The Revd. Mr. Stephens quoted and refuted141
118.Mr. Bosworth Smith quoted and refuted143
119.Mr. George Sale quoted and refutedib.
120.Major Osborn quoted146
121.Major Osborn refuted149
122.The IX Sura of the Koranib.
123.The Revd. Mr. Wherry quoted150
124.Example cited from Jewish history explained152
125.Mosaic injunctions153
126.The Revd. Mr. Hughes quoted and refuted154
127.Meaning of the word Jihád155
128.Sura XLVIII, 5, explained156
129.The Revd. Malcolm MacColl quoted157
130.The untenable theories of the Mohammadan Common Law158-161


1.Jihád or Jihd in the Koran does not mean war or crusade163
2.Classical meaning of Jihád, &c.164
3.Post-classical or technical meaning of Jihád165
4.The classical logic and Arabian poetsib.
5.The conjugation and declination of Jahd or Jihád in the Koran166
6.The number of instances in which they occur in the Koran167
7.In what sense they are used in the Koran168
8.Conventional significations of Jihád169
9.Mohammadan commentators, &c., quoted170
10.When the word Jihád was diverted from its original signification to its figurative meaning of waging religious wars171
11.All verses of the Koran containing the word Jihád and its derivations quoted and explained176
12.The above verses quoted with remarks177

The Meccan Suras.
13.Lokman, XXXI, 14ib.
14.Furkan, XXV, 53, 521178
15.The Pilgrimage, XXII, 76, 78ib.
16.The Bee, XVI, 108, 111179
17.[Pg xv]The Spider, XXIX, 5180
18.Ibid, 7ib.
19.Ibid, 69ib.
20.The Bee, XVI, 40181
21.Creator, XXXV, 40ib.

The Medinite Suras.
22.The Cow or Heifer, II, 215182
23.Al Amran, III, 136ib.
24.The Spoils, VIII, 73183
25.Ibid. 75ib.
26.Ibid. 76ib.
27.The Cattle, VI, 109ib.
28.Mohammad, XLVII, 33184
29.Battle Array, LXI, 11ib.
30.Woman. IV. 97185
31.Light. XXIV, 52ib.
32.The Forbidding. LXVI, 9ib.
33.The Immunity. IX, 74186
36.The Tried, LX, 1187
35.Hatib's Story188
36.The Apartment, XLIX, 15ib.
37.The Immunity, IX, 16ib.
38.Ibid. 19ib.
39.Ibid, 20189
40.Ibid, 24ib.
41.Ibid, 41ib.
42.Ibid, 44190
43.Ibid, 82ib.
44.Ibid, 87ib.
45.Ibid, 89191
46.The Table, V, 39ib.
47.Ibid, 58ib.
48.Ibid, 59ib.
49.Jihád does not mean the waging of war192
50.Katal and Kitálib.


1.Slavery and concubinage not allowed by the Koran193
2.Measures taken by the Koran to abolish future slavery194
3.None of the prisoners of war was enslaved196
4.Bani Koreiza not enslaved198
6.Omar, the second Khalif, liberated all the Arab slaves202
7.[Pg xvi]Concubinage203
8.Maria the Coptic204
9.Despatch of Mokowkas205
10&11.Maria neither a slave nor a concubine207
12.Maria had no son209
13.The story of Maria and Haphsa a spurious one211
14.The affair not noticed in the early biographies212
15.Sir W. Muir's authority not validib.
16.The best commentators and traditionalists refute the story214
17.The story not accredited by the Koranib.
18.The story when fabricatedib.
19.Zeinab's case215
20.The story a spurious one216
21.Sir W. Muir's conjectures not justified217
22.A wrong translation of Sir W. Muir219
23.In Zeinab's case no exceptional privilege was secured220
24.The false story traced to Mukatilib.
25.Katádas conjectural interpretation not warranted222
26.Other conjectures223


I.—The verses of the Koran referring to the persecution of the Koreish at Mecca225
II.—The verses of the Koran referring to the aggressions of the Koreish at Medina as well as those of the inhabitants thereofib.
III.—The verses of the Koran alluding to the wars of defence against the Koreish and Arabs, &c., with several references to their aggressionsib.
IV.—The verses of the Koran alluding to the various battles226

[Pg i]


Object of the book.

1. In publishing this work, my chief object is to remove the general and erroneous impression from the minds of European and Christian writers regarding Islam, that Mohammad waged wars of conquest, extirpation, as well as of proselytizing against the Koreish, other Arab tribes, the Jews, and Christians;[1] that he held the Koran in one hand and the scimitar in the other, and compelled people to believe in his mission. I have endeavoured in this book, I believe on sufficient grounds, to show that neither the wars of Mohammad were offensive, nor did he in any way use force or compulsion in the matter of belief.

Early wrongs of the Moslems.
Justification in taking up arms, if taken.

[Pg ii]2. All the wars of Mohammad were defensive. He and those who took interest in his cause were severely oppressed at intervals, and were in a sort of general persecution at Mecca at the hands of the ungodly and fierce Koreish. Those who were weak and without protection had to leave their city, and twice fly to the Christian land of Abyssinia, pursued by the wrathful Koreish, but in vain. Those who remained at Mecca were subject to all sorts of indignities, malignity and a deprivation of all religious and social liberty, because they had forsaken the inferior deities of the Koreish, and believed in the only ONE GOD of Mohammad, in whose mission they had full belief. Mohammad and his followers had every sanction, under the natural and international law, then and there to wage war against their persecutors with the object of removing the (fitnah) persecution and obtaining their civil rights of freedom and religious liberty in their native city.

Commencement of the state of war.
The Koreish being public enemies were liable to be treated as such.

3. The fierce persecutions renewed by the Koreish at the time of the expulsion of the Moslems from Mecca were acts of hostility tantamount to a declaration of war. From that time commenced the state of war between the parties. In the Arab society at Mecca there was neither an organized Government, nor any distinction between a public and private person[Pg iii] and property. There was no regular army in the State, and what existed was not a permanently organized body, so provided with external marks that it could be readily identified. The form of Government at Mecca was patriarchal, and the chiefs of the Koreish and the citizens of Medina themselves constituted an army when occasion arose. Therefore, since the commencement of hostilities or the state of war, every individual of the Koreish or the Meccans was a public enemy of the Moslems, and liable to be treated as such in his person and property, except those who were unable to take part in the hostilities, or, as a matter of fact, abstained from engaging in them. Therefore it was lawful for the Moslems to threaten or to waylay the caravans of the enemy, which passed to and from Mecca close to Medina, and also to attack the Koreish at Mecca, if they could possibly do so.

But the Moslems could not take up arms to redress their wrongs under certain circumstances.

4. But as the people amongst whom the Prophet and his fugitive Moslems now sojourned had only pledged to defend them at Medina, the flying Mohammadans could not take up arms against their aggressors, the Koreish, to defend their rights of religious liberty and citizenship, much less of taking arms to compel the non-believers to believe in Moslem faith, and so they preferred to live in peace at Medina, and enjoy the blessings of their new[Pg iv] religion without any disturbance from without, if possible.

Moslems otherwise engaged at Medina had no intention of suffering the horrors of war by taking the initiative.
But were in imminent danger from the enemy.

5. In fact, the Moslems, after suffering so long such heavy persecutions at Mecca, had at length got an asylum of peace at Medina, where they had very little desire left to entertain any idea of commencing hostilities or undergoing once more the horrors of war, and were too glad to live in peace after their last escape. The people of Medina had only agreed to defend the Prophet from attack, not to join him in any aggressive steps towards the Koreish. The attention of Mohammad and his followers who had fled with him was mainly occupied in preaching and teaching the tenets of Islam, in establishing a fraternity between the refugees and the citizens, in building a house for prayer, in providing houses for refugees, in contracting treaties of neutrality with the Jews of Medina and other surrounding tribes, Bani Zamra (a tribe connected with Mecca) and also with Bani Mudlij (a tribe of Kinana related to the Koreish), in anticipation of the impending danger[2] from the Koreish, who had pursued them on the similar occasions before, and in organizing, above all these, some of the religious and civil institutions for the [Pg v]Moslems, who were now fast assuming the position of an independent society or commonwealth. Under such circumstances, it was next to impossible for Mohammad or his adherents to think of anything like an offensive war with their inveterate foes, or to take up arms for proselytizing purposes.

The Koreish first attacked the Moslems at Medina. They could not forbear the escape of the Moslems.

6. The Koreish, seeing the persecuted had left almost all their native lands for a distant city out of their approach, except by a military expedition, and losing Mohammad, for whose arrest they had tried their utmost, as well as upon hearing the reception, treatment, religious freedom and brotherly help the Moslems received and enjoyed at Medina, could not subdue their ferocious animosity against the exiles. The hostility of the Koreish had already been aroused. The severity and injustice of the Koreish was so great, that when, in 615 A.D., a party of 11 Moslems had emigrated to Abyssinia, they had pursued them to overtake them. And again, in 616 A.D., when the persecution by the Koreish was hotter than before, a party of about 100 Moslems had fled from Mecca to Abyssinia, the Koreish sent an embassy to Abyssinia to obtain the surrender of the emigrants. There is every reason to believe that the Koreish, enraged as they were on the escape of the Moslems in their third and great emigration in 622 A.D.,[Pg vi] would naturally have taken every strong and hostile measure to persecute the fugitives.[3]

It was in the second year from the general expulsion of the Moslems from Mecca that the Koreish, with a large army of one thousand strong, marched upon the Moslems at Medina. Medina being 250 miles or 12 stages from Mecca, the aggressive army, after marching 8 stages, arrived at Badr, which is 3 or 4 stages from Medina. Mahommad—with only 300 Moslems, more being from among the people of Medina than the refugees—came out of Medina in self-defence to encounter the Koreish, and the famous battle of Badr was fought only at thirty miles from Medina. There could be no doubt that the affair was purely and admittedly a defensive one.

Sura XXII, verses 39-42, copied at page 17 of this book, was first published in the matter of taking up arms in self-defence after the battle of Badr.

The three battles waged by the Koreish against Mohammad.

[Pg vii]7. The Koreish carried on three aggressive battles against the Moslems at Medina. The first, called the Battle of Badr, took place at thirty miles from Medina, the Koreish having come down 250 miles from Mecca. The second, called the Battle of Ohad, was fought at a distance of one mile from Medina, the enemy having advanced 250 miles from Mecca. The third was the battle of confederates, in which they had mustered an army of ten thousand strong. The city was besieged for several days, and the Moslems defended themselves within the walls of Medina which they had entrenched. These were the only battles between the Koreish and Mohammad, in each the latter always acted on the defensive. Neither he attacked the Koreish offensively to take revenge, nor to compel them by force of arms to accept his religion.

These wars were purely in defence, not to redress their wrongs or to establish their rights.

Even these three battles were not waged by Mohammad to redress wrong or establish imperilled rights. They were only to repel force by right of self-defence. Had Mohammad and his Moslems invaded Mecca and fought battles against the Koreish there, he would have been justified for waging war to redress the injuries of person and property inflicted by the Meccans on the Moslems whom they were tormenting for their religion and had expelled them from their homes,[Pg viii] and had even barred their yearly visitation to the shrine of Kaába. A war which is undertaken for just causes, to repel or avert wrongful force, or to establish a right, is sanctioned by every law, religious, moral or political.

The battle of Badr was defensive.

8. Sir W. Muir, the great advocate for the aggressive Koreish, holds that the war of Badr was "brought on by Mahomet himself,"[4] and that he intended to surprise the caravan of the Koreish returning from Syria under the charge of Abu Sofian, and had come out to Medina to waylay it. Abu Sofian sent for an army of the Koreish for his aid, and thus commenced the battle of Badr. I have given my reasons at pages 74-76 of the book to show that this is a false account. I will point out from contemporary records, i.e., the Koran, that Mohammad neither meant, nor had he come out of Medina, to attack the caravan.

Reasons for the same.

I. The verses 5 and 6 of Sura VIII[5] show that a part of the believers were quite averse to Mohammad's coming[Pg ix] out of Medina on the occasion of the battle of Badr. Had their mission been one of plundering rich caravans, as it is generally alleged, there could be no reason for that aversion of a party of believers who are accused so often of a hostile attitude towards the Koreish, and possessed of that great love of booty and adventure so prominent among the Arabs. The fact is, a party of believers had disputed with Mohammad the necessity of the combat and its probable result outside Medina. They preferred to defend themselves within its walls. This argument is against the allegation that Mohammad with his followers had started to waylay the caravan, and the Koreish had come only to rescue it.

II. The 43rd[6] verse of the same Sura shows that it was by a mere accident or coincidence that all the three parties of the Moslems, the Koreshite army and the caravan had arrived, and encamped close to Badr in front of each other. This is an argument against those who say that Mohammad had intentionally come to Badr to waylay the caravan there.[7] There was, in fact, no predetermination on the part of Mohammad either to waylay the caravan, [Pg x]or encounter the Koreish army at Badr. Mohammad with his followers had come out only to check the advancing enemy in his self-defence.

III. The seventh[8] verse of the same Sura shows that while the parties had so accidentally encamped close to each other, the Moslems had desired then and there only to attack the caravan, as a reprisal or by way of retaliation, instead of combating with the Koreish army. This is an argument in support of my contention that there was no previous arrangement to attack the caravan.

IV. The same verse also shows that Mohammad had no intention of attacking the caravan either before his coming out of Medina, as it is alleged by ignorant people, or after coming at Badr in front of the enemy's army.

V. Sura VIII, verse 72,[9] which treats of the prisoners of the war taken at Badr, expressly notes the treachery of the Meccans before their being taken prisoner, and refers obviously to their aggressively setting out of Mecca to attack the Moslems at Medina.

[Pg xi]

VI. Sura IX, verse 13,[10] at a subsequent event of the violation of the truce of Hodeibia by the Koreish, very distinctly charges them with attacking first and waging offensive war and being aggressive. As there was no war or attack from the Koreish on the Moslems before Badr, I conclude that in the war of Badr the Koreish were aggressive.

Mohammad, owing to the attacks, inroads and threatening gatherings from the Koreish and other Arab tribes, had hardly time to think of offensive measures.

9. But Mohammad, harassed and attacked every year by the Koreish and other hostile Arab tribes, had hardly any time to wage an aggressive war against his Koreshite foes, to establish his imperilled rights, or to redress the injuries of the Moslems or his own wrong; much less of taking up arms to compel them to renounce idolatry and believe in his Divine mission. During the first year after their expulsion from Mecca, the Moslems were in constant danger from the ferocity of the Koreish, and when Mohammad was contracting treaties of neutrality with the neighbouring tribes, Kurz-bin-Jábir, a Koreish of the desert, committed a raid upon Medina. In the course of the second year the Koreish fought the battle of Badr, followed by a petty inroad of theirs upon Medina at the end of the year. The Bani [Pg xii]Nazeer treasoned against Medina by giving intelligence to, and entertaining, the enemy. In the beginning of the third year, the nomad tribes of Suleim and Ghatafán, inhabitants of the plains of Najd, and descendants of a stock common with the Koreish, twice projected a plundering attack upon Medina. At the same time the Moslems were defeated at the battle of Ohad, near Medina, by the Koreish, which circumstance greatly affected the prestige of the Prophet, who was threatened with a similar fate the next year by his victorious enemies. With the opening of the fourth year, the inimical spirit of many of the Bedouins, as well as that of the Jews of Bani Nazeer, was perceptible, and in various quarters large masses were organized to act against Mohammad and to take advantage of the defeat at Medina. The tribes of Bani Asad and Bani Lahyán were brought together to follow the victory of the Koreish at Ohad. And last, not least, the Moslem missionaries were cut to pieces at Ráji and Bir Máuna. At the close of the year, the people of Medina were alarmed by an exaggerated account of the preparations at Mecca to attack Medina as promised last year (Sura III, v. 176). During the fifth year certain tribes of Ghatafán were assembling with suspicious purposes at Zat-al-Rikaa and the marauding bands near Dumatal Jandal threatened a raid upon Medina. The Bani Mustalik, a branch of Khozaa, hitherto friendly to Mohammad's [Pg xiii]cause, took up arms with a view of joining the Koreish in the intended attack upon Medina. At the end of the year, the Koreish, joined by an immense force of the Bedouin tribes,[11] marched against Medina, and laid siege to it for many days. The Bani Koreiza, having defected from Mohammad, joined the Koreish army when Medina was besieged.

In the beginning of the sixth year Uyeina, the chief of the Bani Fezárá, had committed an inroad upon Medina.[12] A Medinite caravan, under the charge of Zeid-bin-Háris, was seized and plundered by the Bani Fezárá.[13] In the month of Zul-Kada, (the eleventh month of the Arab lunar year), when war was unlawful throughout Arabia, but much more so within the sacred precincts of Mecca, Mohammad and his followers, longing to visit the house of their Lord and the sacred places around it, and to join the yearly pilgrimage which they had grown from their childhood to regard as an essential part of their social and religious life, not to mention their intense desire of seeing their houses and families from which they[Pg xiv] were unjustly expelled, started from Medina for performing the lesser pilgrimage. They were under the impression that, in the peaceful habits of pilgrims, the Koreish would be morally bound by every pledge of national faith to leave them unmolested, and Mohammad had promised them a peaceful entry. But the Koreish armed themselves and opposed the progress of the Moslems towards Mecca, notwithstanding the pious object and unwarlike attitude of the pilgrims. At length a treaty, in terms unfavourable to the Moslems, but in fact a victory won by Islam, was concluded by Mohammad and the Koreish at Hodeibia. By this peace war was suspended for ten years.

From my brief sketch of Mohammad's first six years' sojourn in Medina, it is evident that during this time Medina was constantly in a sort of military defence. The Moslems were every moment in the danger of an invasion, attack, or inroad from without, and treachery, conspiracy and treason from within. They either had to encounter superior numbers or to disperse hostile gathering or to chastise sometimes marauding tribes. So Mohammad could scarcely breathe freely at Medina, but much less could he find time and opportunity to mature a scheme of attacking the Koreish at Mecca in order to revenge himself and his refugees for the persecutions which the Koreish had inflicted on the Moslems, to redress their wrongs, and to[Pg xv] re-establish their rights of civil and religious liberty, or to make converts of them or any other tribes at the point of sword.

Armed opposition of the Koreish to the Moslem pilgrims in the vicinity of Mecca.
Mohammad proclaimed war against the opposing Koreish to obtain the right of civil and religious liberty at Mecca.

10. It was only when the Moslems, unarmed as they were in pilgrim's garb, were opposed by the armed Koreish, who had encamped at Zú Towa, clothed in panther's skin, or, in other words, with a firm resolution to fight to the last, and when Osman, the Moslem envoy to Mecca, was actually placed in confinement,[14] of whom the rumour was constantly rife that he was murdered at Mecca, and when a party of the Koreish had actually attacked the camp of Mohammad,[15] that excitement, alarm and anxiety prevailed in the Moslem camp, and Mohammad took a solemn oath from the Faithful to stand by their cause even unto death. (Sura XLVIII.[16]) In the meantime appeals were received from the Moslems detained in confinement at Mecca, and otherwise oppressed for deliverance. Vide Sura IV, verses 77, 99, 100; Sura VIII, verses 72, 73. He, on this occasion, proclaimed a war with the Koreish in the event of their attacking first, and enjoining the believers to [Pg xvi]redress their earlier and later wrongs, to establish their civil and religious liberty, to have free access to their native city, to have the free exercise of their religion, and to make away with the oppressions of Koreish once for all.

The following verses were published on the occasion:—Sura II, verses 186-190, 212-215. The Sura XLVIII afterwards had reference to the occasion, specially verses 10, 22-27. They are quoted in pp. 17-19.

The war thus proclaimed did not take place.

But happily a truce was agreed upon, and not a drop of blood was shed on either side. Thus the injunctions contained in the verses referred to above were never carried out. Mohammad, in proclaiming this war, had all the laws and justice on his side. Even this war, had it been waged, would have been defensive, undertaken for the purpose of establishing the civil rights of the Moslems and their religious liberty, hitherto unjustly denied them.

The Koreish again commit hostilities and violate their pledges.
War declared against those who had violated the truce.

11. This truce did not last long. The last act of hostility on the part of the aggressive Koreish was the violation of the truce within two years of its being concluded. This resulted in the submission of Mecca. The tribe of Bani Khozáa,[17] who were now converts to Islam since the truce, and who had entered into an open alliance with Mohammad [Pg xvii]at the treaty, were attacked by the Koreish and their allies, the Bani Bakr.[18] The aggressed Moslems appealed for aid to Mohammad through a deputation, that displayed their wrongs to Mohammad and his followers in very touching terms, urging in a plaintive tone to avenge them upon the treacherous murderers. War was declared by Mohammad against the aggressors, who had violated the truce, and attacked the Bani Khozáa, to redress their wrongs. A proclamation was issued declaring immunity from God and his Apostle to those who had broken the league and aided the Bani Bakr against the Khozáa. Four months' time was allowed them to make terms, in default of which they were to be warred against, seized, and besieged, in short, to suffer all the hardships of war. Sura IX, verses 1-15, was published declaring the war. It has been copied at pages 22-25 of the book.

War not carried out.

But the threatened war did not actually take place, and Mecca surrendered by a compromise. Thus Mohammad obtained his object of civil and religious liberty of the Moslems at Mecca and Medina, and averted the (fitnah) persecutions and oppressions of the Koreish without actual war or bloodshed, and also secured peace for his followers in exchange of [Pg xviii]the constant fear and agitation impending over them. This was promised some years ago in Sura XXIV, verse 54, which runs as follows:—

"God hath promised to those of you who believe and do the things that are right, that He will cause them to succeed other in the land, as He gave succession to those who went before them, and that He will establish for them their religion in which they delight, and that after their fears He will give them security in exchange. They shall worship Me: nought shall they join with Me: And whoso after this believe not, they will be the impious."

War with foes other than the Koreish.

12. Now I shall dispense with the Koreish and refer to the wars of other enemies of the early Moslems. There is only one war of the Arab tribes other than the Koreish noticed in the Koran, and that is the battle of Honain. In this war the Sakifites were the aggressors. The battle of Muraisia is not noticed in the Koran, but it is stated by biographers that information of a new project against him after the defeat at Ohad in the direction of Mecca, and the Bani Mustalik's raising fresh forces with a view of joining the Koreish in the threatened attack of Medina having reached Mohammad, he resolved by a bold attempt to prevent their design. I have shown in the book that the expedition of Mohammad against Khyber was purely in self-defence. A war undertaken to protect ourselves from the impending danger of an attack from the enemy and with the purpose of checking its advance, is a[Pg xix] defensive war under the Law. I am not going to treat of expedition of the Bani Koreizá separately, but this much is necessary to say here, that they had treacherously defected from the Moslem with whom they had entered into a defensive alliance, and had joined the confederate army against the Moslems. For a detail account of them, the reader is referred to pages 87-91 of this book.

Expedition to Tabúk to check the advancing enemy. No war took place.

13. The expedition of Mecca, already described, ended in a submission and compromise without any resort to arms; that against Tabúk was undertaken, as it is admitted by all writers, Moslem and European, for purely defensive purposes. Mohammad was much alarmed on this occasion owing to the threatening news of a foreign invasion against the Moslem commonwealth. The following verses of the Ninth Sura are most probably directed towards the Romans and their Jewish and Christian allies,[19] if not towards the Jews of Khyber:—

29. "Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the [Pg xx]Truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled."

124. "Believers wage war against such of the unbelievers as are your neighbours, and let them assuredly find rigour in you, and know that God is with those who fear him."—Sura IX.

Mohammad returned without any war, and there was no occasion to carry out the injunctions contained in these verses.

Mohammad had taken great pains, according to the severity of the impending danger, to induce the Moslems to go to war in their own defence. But as the season was hot, and the journey a long one, some of them were very backward in doing so.

There is a very violent denunciation against those who on various false pretences held back on the occasion.

Number of the wars of Mohammad.

14. The above sketch of the hostilities will show that there were only five battles in which actual fighting took place. The biographers of Mohammad and the narrators of his campaigns are too lax in enumerating the expeditions led by Mohammad. They have noted down the names and accounts of various expeditions without having due regard to a rational criticism, or without being bound by the stringent laws of the technical requirements of traditionary evidence. Consequently, they give us romances of the expeditions without specifying which of them are true and which fictitious. There are many expeditions[Pg xxi] enumerated by the biographers[20] which have, in fact, no trustworthy evidence for their support; some are altogether without foundation, and some of them are wrongly termed as expeditions for warring purposes. Ghazávát is wrongly understood by European writers as meaning "plundering expeditions." Deputations to conclude friendly treaties, missions to teach Islam, embassies to foreign chiefs, mercantile expeditions, pilgrims' processions, parties sent to disperse or chastise a band of robbers, or to watch the movements of an enemy, spies sent to bring information, and forces dispatched or led to fight with or check an enemy are all called "Ghazavát" (expeditions,) "Saráya" and "Baús" (enterprises and despatches). Thus the number of Mohammad's expeditions has been unduly exaggerated, first by biographers, who noted down every expedition or warlike enterprise reported in the several authentic and unauthentic traditions long after their occurrences, and did not at all trouble their heads by criticising them; and secondly by giving all missions, deputations, embassies, pilgrims' journies, and mercantile enterprises under the category of "Ghazavát" and "Saráya," lately construed by European writers as "plundering expeditions," or "a despatch of body [Pg xxii]of men with hostile intents." The biographers, both Arabian and European, have gone so far as to assert that there were 27 expeditions led by Mohammad in person, and 74 others headed by persons nominated by himself, making in all 101. This number is given by Ibn Sád Kátib Wákidi (vide Kustaláni, Vol. VI, page 386). Ibn Is-hak also gives the number of Mohammad's expeditions to be 27, while others led at his order are put down at 38 only (vide Ibn Hishám, pp. 972 and 973). Abú Yola has a tradition from Jabir, a contemporary of Mohammad, who mentions only 21 expeditions. But the best authority, Zeid-bin-Arqam, in the earliest traditions collected by Bokhári, Kitábul Maghazi, in two places in his book, reduces the number to 19, including all sorts of expeditions and the number in which he was with Mohammad. Out of these alleged 27, 21, 19 and 17 expeditions, there were only 8[21] or 9,[22] in which an actual fighting took place. Even the latter minimized numbers are not deserving of confidence. The actual expeditions are as follow:—

1. Badr.
2. Ohad.
*  Muraisi.
3. Ahazáb.
*  Koreiza.
4. Khyber.
*  Mecca.
5. Honain.
*  Táyif.

[Pg xxiii]

There are no good authorities for the war at Muraisi with the Bani Mustalik. There were no fightings with the Koreiza, as their affair was but a continuation of the war of Ahzab, and therefore does not require a separate number. At Mecca there was no action, and it surrendered by a compromise. As for Táyif it was a part of the battle of Honain like Autás. It was besieged to lay hold of the fugitives who had sought there a shelter, and subsequently the siege was raised. Thus, there remain only five expeditions, which I have numbered out of nine, in which Mohammad fought against his enemies in his and his followers' defence. Even these five scarcely deserve the name of battle. From a military point of view, they were but petty skirmishes in their results. The enemy's loss at Badr was 49, at Ohad 20, at Ahzáb 3, at Khyber 93, and at Honain 93; but the last two numbers are open to doubt, and seem to be exaggerated. The loss on the Moslem side was 14, 74, 5, 19, and 17 respectively. The whole casualties in these wars on the side of the Moslems were 129, and on that of the enemies 258, which is exactly double those of the Moslems, and looks suspicious; hence it must be accepted with caution.

Mr. Green quoted.

15. The Rev. Samuel Green writes:—

"It has been insinuated that Mahomet first took up arms in his own defence, and by more than one historian he has been justified in seeking to repel or prevent the[Pg xxiv] hostilities of his enemies, and to exact a reasonable measure of retaliation. 'The choice of an independent people,' says Gibbon, 'had exalted the fugitive of Mecca to the rank of a sovereign, and he was invested with the just prerogative of forming alliances, and of waging offensive or defensive war.'[23] That such a sentiment was entertained by a Mahometan does not at all surprise us, nor is it marvellous that it should be justified by an infidel; if it be true, war needs nothing to render laudable but the pretext of former injuries and the possession of power. The defence set up for Mahomet is equally availing for every sanguinary and revengeful tyrant; and men, instead of being bound together by the ties of clemency and mutual forgiveness of injuries, are transformed into fiends, watching for the opportunity of destroying each other."[24]

There was no pretence of former injuries on the part of the Moslems to make war on the Koreish. They were actually attacked by the Koreish and were several times threatened with inroads by them and their allies. So it was not until they were attacked by the enemy that they took up arms in their own defence, and sought to repel and prevent hostilities of their enemies. The defence set up for Mohammad is not equally availing of every sanguinary and revengeful tyrant. It was not only that Mohammad was wronged or attacked, but all the Moslems suffered injuries and outrages at Mecca, and when expelled therefrom, they were attacked upon, were[Pg xxv] not allowed to return to their homes, and to perform the pilgrimage there. The social and religious liberty, a natural right of every individual and nation, was denied them. A cruel or revengeful tyrant may not be justified in taking up arms in his own defence, or in seeking to redress his personal wrongs and private injuries; but the whole Moslem community at Mecca was outraged, persecuted and expelled,—and the entire Mohammadan commonwealth at Medina was attacked, injured and wronged,—their natural rights and privileges were disregarded—after such miseries the Moslems took up arms to protect themselves from the hostilities of their enemies and to repel force by force; and were justified by every law and justice.

The right of self-defence is a part of the law of nature, and it is the indispensable duty of civil society to protect its members. Even if a sanguinary and revengeful tyrant were to do so in his own behalf, he would be quite justified in this particular act. A just war, that is one undertaken for just causes to repel or revert wrongful force, or to establish a right, cannot be impeached on any ground, religious, moral, or political. But the Moslems had tried every possible means of obtaining a pacific solution of the difficulty which had arisen between them and their enemies, the Koreish and the Jews, to avert war and its horrors. Mohammad had[Pg xxvi] repeatedly informed the Koreish that if they desist they will be forgiven.

88. "But if they desist, then verily God is gracious, merciful."

189. "But if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against wrong-doers."—Sura II.

19. "O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you. It will be better for you to give over the struggle. If ye return to it, we will return; and your forces, though they be many, shall by no means avail you aught, because God is with the faithful."

39. "Say to the infidels: If they desist what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they turn to it, they have already before them the doom of the former."—Sura VIII.

And the same was the case regarding the Jews.

104. "Many of those who have Scripture would like to bring you back to unbelief after you have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the truth hath been shown to them. Forgive them then, and shun them till God shall come with his decree. Truly God hath power over all things."—Sura II.

63. "But if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in God. He verily is the hearing, the knowing."—Sura VIII.

16.... "Thou wilt not cease to discover the treacherous ones among them, except a few of them. But forgive them and pass it over. Verily God loveth those who act generously."—Sura V.

But there could be no peace or mutual agreement on the part of the enemy until the truce of Hodeibia, which was also violated by them in a short time.[Pg xxvii]

Even in the wars which were waged for self-preservation, the Prophet had very much mitigated the evils which are necessarily inflicted in the progress of wars. Fraud, perfidy, cruelty, killing women, children and aged persons were forbidden by Mohammad;[25] and a kind treatment of the prisoners of war enjoined. But foremost of these all—slavery, and domestication of concubinary slaves, the concomitant evils of war—were abolished by him, ordering at the same time that prisoners of war should be either liberated gratis or ransomed. Neither they were to be enslaved nor killed. (Vide Sura XLVII, verses 4 and 5; and Appendix B of this work.) Attacking offensively was forbidden by the Koran (II, 186 La Taatadú, i.e. 'Do not attack first'). Mohammad had taken oaths from the Moslems to refrain from plundering (vide page 58 of this book).

"All hostilities and plundering excursions between neighbouring tribes that had become Musalman he forbade on pain of death; and this among those who had hitherto lived by plunder or by war, and who he knew might be deterred by such prohibition from joining him. 'Let us make one more expedition against the Temim,' said a tribe that was almost, but not altogether, persuaded to embrace the faith, 'and then we will become Musalmans.'"[26]

[Pg xxviii]"In avenging my injuries," said he (Mohammad), "molest not the harmless votaries of domestic seclusion; spare the weakness of the softer sex, the infant at the breast, and those who in the course of nature are hastening from this scene of mortality. Abstain from demolishing the dwellings of the unresisting inhabitants; destroy not their means of subsistence, respect their fruit trees, and touch not the palm, so useful to the Syrians for its shade, and delightful for its verdure."[27]

"The Bani Bakr," writes Sir W. Muir, "meanwhile, foreseeing from the practice of the Prophet that, under the new faith, their mutual enmities would be stifled, resolved upon a last passage of arms with their foes. The battle of Shaitain fought at the close of 630 A.D. was a bloody and fatal one to the Bani Tamím."[28]

Another view of the wars of Mohammad.

16. There is another view of the wars of Mohammad held by some of the European and American writers that he commenced hostilities on the caravans of the Koreish which passed from Medina by way of reprisal and retaliation,[29] and that he at first took up arms in his self-defence, but at last he proclaimed, [Pg xxix]and waged, offensive wars against the Koreish.[30] I have already shown how improbable the line of action was on the part of Mohammad under the circumstances at Medina; and this line of policy is quite contrary to the several verses of the Koran on the subject, all enjoining the waging of wars in self-defence. But supposing that hostilities were first commenced by Mohammad after the Hegira, the state of war having commenced at the expulsion of the Moslems from Mecca, it was lawful for him to take up arms to redress the wrongs of the Moslems and to establish their lawful right by force of arms. A war commenced on these grounds is a defensive war, though from a military point of view it may be an offensive one.[31]

"The right of self-defence," writes Kent, a great authority on the [Pg xxx]International Law, "is part of the law of our nature, and it is the indispensable duty of civil society to protect its members in the enjoyment of their rights, both of person and property. This is the fundamental principle of the social compact.... The injury may consist, not only in the direct violation of personal or political rights, but in wrongfully withholding what is due, or in the refusal of a reasonable reparation for injuries committed, or of adequate explanation or security in respect to manifest and impending danger."[32]

Caravans, if waylaid, were by reprisal.

17. As regards the threatened attack on the caravans or capturing of it, there are not any satisfactory grounds of proof; but if they were attacked and captured, I do not see any reason why they should be objected to. When hostilities commence, the first objects that naturally present themselves for detection and seizure are the person and property of the enemy. Even under the International Law of most civilized countries, the legitimacy of appropriating the enemy's property rests on the commencement of the state of war. Under the old customs of war a belligerent possessed the right to seize and appropriate all the property belonging to an enemy's state or its subjects, of whatever kind they be or in whatsoever place where the acts of war are permissible. So those who object to the early Moslems' threatening, or capturing, or appropriating the [Pg xxxi]person or property of the enemy, and call them robbery, rapine or brigandage, show their complete ignorance of the International Law, ancient or modern.

Intolerance—no compulsory conversion enjoined, or took place during Mohammad's life-time.

18. The subject of the alleged intolerance on the part of Mohammad, the Prophet, towards the unbelievers has been fully discussed in paragraphs 34-39 (pp. 41-51). It is altogether a wrong assumption of European writers that the Koran enjoins compulsory conversion of the unbeliever, or that Mohammad proselytized at the point of the sword. Sir W. Muir writes:—

Sir W. Muir quoted.

"Persecution, though it may sometimes have deterred the timid from joining his ranks, was eventually of unquestionable service to Mahomet. It furnished a plausible excuse for casting aside the garb of toleration; for opposing force to force against those who obstructed the ways of the Lord; and last of all for the compulsory conversion of unbelievers."[33]

Opposing force to force and even redressing our wrongs and re-establishing our imperilled rights is not 'intolerance.' Mohammad did repel the force of his enemies when it was quite necessary for the Moslem self-preservation and protection, but he never compelled any of his enemies or unbelievers, whether a single individual, or a body of men, or a [Pg xxxii]whole tribe, to believe in him. The Koran and history contradict such an allegation. The Koran everywhere in the Meccan and Medinite Suras preaches complete toleration of every religion. History nowhere authentically records any instance of Mohammad's enforcing conversion by means of the sword.

A brief sketch of the propagation of Islam at Mecca.
Conversion at Nakhla.

19. Mohammad propagated his religion both at Mecca and Medina before, as well as after, the Hegira, by persuasion and preaching sustained by reasonable evidence. It prevailed against all persecution and opposition of the Koreish and Jews. In fact, it flourished and prospered under the severe persecutions and crushing oppositions by the mere dint of its own truth.[34] Sometimes the persecution of the Koreish itself was the cause of conversion to the Moslem faith.[35] The number of converts during the first three years after the assumption by Mohammad of his prophetical [Pg xxxiii]office is estimated at fifty. Then commenced the general persecution and the overwhelming opposition. Mohammad had, in order to prosecute his endeavours peaceably and without interruption, occupied the house of Arqam, one of his early converts, and there preached and recited the Koran to those who used to be conducted to him. A great multitude believed therein; but the brunt of the jealousy and enmity of the Koreish fell upon the converted slaves, as well as upon strangers and believers among the lower classes, who had no patron nor protector. Some believers, sixteen in number, had already left for Abyssinia. Some came back and brought tidings of their kind reception there. At this time about a hundred Moslems emigrated to Abyssinia.[36] This shows the increasing number of the converts, who represented for the most part fugitives of Mecca. There were some Christian converts to Islam at Abyssinia also.[37] The Koreish being disquieted by the hospitable reception of the refugees at Abyssinia, and enraged by the refusal of Najashee to surrender them, sought to stay the progress of secession [Pg xxxiv]from their ranks by utterly severing the party of the Prophet from social and friendly communication with them. In the seventh year of the Prophet's mission the ban commenced, and lasted for full three years. There could be very few conversions during the period of this weary seclusion. The efforts of the Prophet were chiefly confined to the conversions of the members of his own noble clan, the Bani Hŕshim, who, though unbelievers in his mission, had resolved to defend his person, and were with him in their confinement. The time of pilgrimage alone afforded Mohammad a wider field. He preached against idolatry at the fairs and assemblages of the pilgrims[38]. After his release from imprisonment in the tenth year of his mission, he went to preach at Tŕyif, but was ignominiously expelled the city[39]. On his return to Mecca he converted a party of the tribe of Jinn[40] [Pg xxxv](not Genii according to the vulgar notion)[41] at Nakhla. After his return from Tŕyif he [Pg xxxvi]preached to an audience of six or seven persons from Medina, who believed and spread Islam there.

[Pg xxxvii]

Rapid stride of Islam at Medina.

20. Next year twelve new converts were made from persons who had come to see the Prophet from Medina. They returned as missionaries of Islam, and Islam spread[Pg xxxviii] rapidly in Medina from house to house and from tribe to tribe. The Jews looked on in amazement at the people whom they had in vain endeavoured[Pg xxxix] from generations to convince of the errors of polytheism, and to dissuade from the abominations of their idolatry, suddenly of their own accord casting away idols and professing belief in the one True God.[42] Thus speedily without let or hindrance, force or compulsion, did Islam take firm root at Medina and attain to a full and mature growth. There remained not a single house among the Aws and Khazraj tribes[43] of Medina in which there were not believing men and women, excepting the branch of the Aws Allah, who were not converts till after the siege of Medina. At this time there were many Moslems in Mecca, Medina, and Abyssinia, and not a single one of them could be said to have been converted to Islam by compulsion: on the contrary, they were used to be forced to renounce Islam.

The increasing number of Moslem converts at Mecca after the Hegira.

21. When the Moslems were obliged to emigrate from Mecca under the severe Koreishite persecutions, all the followers of the Prophet with [Pg xl]the exception of those detained in confinement or unable to escape from slavery had emigrated with their families to Medina. But there were many new converts at Mecca since the expulsion of the Moslems. Those unable to fly from Mecca in the teeth of the oppressions of the wrathful Koreish (Sura IV., 77, 79, 100) were increasing. They appealed for deliverance and aid, while the Moslem pilgrims were near Mecca at Hodeibia, six years after the Hegira, and an allusion is made to the great number of the Meccan converts, living at Mecca during that time in Sura XLVIII, 25.

Disturbed state of the public peace among the tribes surrounding Medina. Internecine wars an obstacle to the propagation of Islam.

22. Irrespective of the wars prosecuted by the Koreish from the South against Mohammad at Medina, and the constant danger of inroad and attack upon Medina from the neighbouring tribes—a great obstacle in the propagation of Islam which could only be successfully accomplished in a state of peace and tranquility of both parties,—the most important and great tribes in the North and Centre of Arabia were at war against each other during the life of Mohammad, either before his mission from 570 to 610 A.D. or during his public mission from 610 to 632 A.D. The disastrous internecine wars were kept up for scores of years and the evils necessarily inflicted in their progress were not confined to the belligerents only. It required years to remove the evils of war[Pg xli] and to efface the traces of misery and sorrow the wars had brought.[44]

23. Here I will give a brief sketch of the internecine wars which took place among the various Arab tribes during the time of Mohammad.

Wars during Mohammad's Lifetime, between the Arabian Tribes in the North and Centre of Arabia.

Before his mission, 570-610, A.D.

(1.) The battle of Rahrahán between Bani Aamir bin Saasaa and Bani Tamim in Najd, 578, A.D.

(2.) The Bani Abs on the side of Bani Aamir and Bani Zobian on the side of Tamim, 579, A.D., at Sheb Jabala.

(3.) Sacrilegious war at Táyif called Harb fi-jár, 580-590, A.D.

(4.) Several battles between Bani Bakr and Tamim in 604, A.D. and the following years.

During his mission.

(A)—While at Mecca, 610-622, A.D.

(1.) The war of Dáhis between Bani Abs and Zobian, the branches of Ghatafán in Central Arabia; lasted forty years, 568 to 609, A.D.

(2.) The battle of Zú-kár between the Bani Bakr and the Persians in the Kingdom of Hira, 611, A.D.

[Pg xlii]

(3.) The Bani Kinda and Bani Háris attacked Bath Tamim when they had retired to Kuláb in the confines of Yemen and repulsed them.

(4.) The Bani Aws and Khazraj of Medina were at war. The battle of Boás was fought in 615, A.D. The Bani Aws were assisted by two tribes of Ghassan, by Mozeima and the Jewish tribes Nazeer and Koreiza. The Bani Khazraj were supported by Joheina, Ashja and the Jews of Kainuka.

(B)—While at Medina, 622 to 632, A.D.

(1.) The standing warfare between the Bani Hawázin and the Bani Abs, Zobian, and Ashja of Ghatafán was kept up by assassinations and petty engagements till they become converts to Islam.

(2.) The Koreish fought two battles of Badr and Ohad against the Moslems at Medina in 624 and 625, A.D., respectively.

(3.) Several clans of the great Ghatafán family (the Bani Murra, Ashja and Fezára) the Bani Suleim and Sád, a branch of Hawázin, and Bani Asad from Najd Bedouin tribes, and Bani Koreiza the Jews, had besieged Medina in 627, A.D., in confederation with the Koreish.

(4.) Bani Tamim and Bani Bakr renewed their hostilities, and from 615 to 630, A.D., several battles occurred between them. The last battle was that of Shaitain in 630, A.D.

In this year, after the battle, both the tribes were converted to Islam.[Pg xliii]

(5.) The Bani Ghaus and Jadila branches of Bani Tay in the north of Medina warred against each other. The war of Fasád continued twenty-five years till they embraced Islam in 632, A.D.

Spread of Islam in the surrounding tribes at Medina after the Hegira I-VI.

24. During the six eventful years of Mohammad's sojourn at Medina, from the Hegira to the truce of Hodeibia, where he was every year attacked or threatened by other hostile Arab tribes, acting always in self-defence, he had converted several members or almost entire tribes residing round Medina.

Among them were the following:—

1. The Bani Aslam.[45]
2. Joheina.[46]
3. Mozeina.[47]
4. Ghifár.[48]
5. Saad-bin-Bakr.[49]
6. Bani Ashja.[50]

[Pg xliv]

We never find a single instance even in the Magházis (accounts of the campaigns of Mohammad, however untrustworthy they be) of Mohammad's converting any person, families, or branches of tribes by the scimitar in one hand and the Koran in the other.

Mecca a barrier against the conversion of the southern tribes.

25. Up to this time, notwithstanding the persecutions, exiles and wars against Islam, it had spread by the mere force of persuasion among the Meccans, some of whom had emigrated to Abyssinia and most to Medina, the whole of the influential tribes of Aws and Khazraj at Medina, as well as among the Jews there, and among some of the tribes in the north, and east of Medina and the centre of Arabia. But as Mecca in the south had declared war against Islam, most of the Arab tribes connected somehow with the Meccans, and those inhabiting the southern and south-eastern parts of Arabia, to whom Mecca served geographically as a barrier, watched the proceedings of the war and the fate of Islam, and had no opportunity of coming to Medina to embrace Islam, nor of having friendly intercourse with the Moslems, nor of receiving Mohammadan missionaries in the face of the wars waged by the Koreish who were looked upon as the guardians of the[Pg xlv] Kaaba, the spiritual or religious centre of the idolatrous Arabs. At the end of the last or the fifth year many Bedouin tribes, among whom might be counted the Bani Ashja, Murra, Fezara, Suleim, Sad-bin-Bakr and Bani Asad, had furnished several thousand Arabs to the Koreish for the siege of Medina. Only when the aggressions of the Koreish against the Moslems were suspended that the warring tribes and those of the Central, Southern and Eastern Arabia could think of what they had heard of the reasonable preaching of Islam against their idolatry and superstitions.

Tribal conversions in the sixth year.

26. Since the truce of Hodeibia at the end of the sixth year after the Hegira Mecca was opened for intercourse, where there were some more and fresh conversions. The Bani Khozaa, descendants of Azd, were converted to Islam at the truce of Hodeibia. At the pilgrimage in the following year some influential men of Mecca adopted Islam. The movement was not confined to these leading men, but was wide and general. In the seventh year the following tribes were converted to Islam and their deputations joined Mohammad at Khyber:

1. Bani Ashár.[51]
2. Khushain.[52]
3. Dous.[53]

[Pg xlvi]

Conversions among several other tribes of the North and North-east in A.H., 8.

During the same year Mohammad converted several other tribes in the north and north-east of Arabia. Among them were—

1. Bani Abs.
2. Zobián.
3. Murra.
4. Fezara.[54]
5. Suleim.[55]
6. Ozra.
7. Bali.
8. Juzám.[56]
9. Sálaba.[57]
10. Abdul Kays.[58]
11. Bani Tamim.[59]
12. Bani Asad.[60]

Surrender of Mecca. A.H., 8.

[Pg xlvii]27. The position of Islam at Mecca was greatly strengthened since the truce in A.H. 6, by increase in the number of Moslems, influential and leading, as well as of persons of minor note and importance there, consequently the advocates of Islam, peace and compromise were growing in number and confidence. Among the idolatrous Koreish there were no chiefs of marked ability or commanding influence left at Mecca; almost all of them had gone over to the cause of Islam. In the meantime the infraction of the terms of the truce by the Bani Bakr and Koreish caused the surrender of Mecca without bloodshed.

The Meccans not compelled to believe.

28. Though Mecca had surrendered, all its inhabitants had not already become converts to Islam. Mohammad [Pg xlviii]did not take any compulsory means to convert the people: "Although the city had cheerfully accepted his supremacy," writes Sir W. Muir, "all its inhabitants had not yet embraced the new religion, or formally acknowledged his prophetical claim. Perhaps he intended to follow the course he had pursued at Medina and leave the conversion of the people to be gradually accomplished without compulsion."[61]

The wholesale conversion of the remaining tribes in A.H., 9 & 10.

29. Now it was more than twenty years that the Koran had been constantly preached to the surrounding tribes of Arabs at Mecca at the time of fairs[62] and at the annual pilgrimage gatherings,[63] by Mohammad, and by special missionaries of Islam from Medina, and through the reports of the travellers and merchants coming and going from Mecca and Medina to all parts of Arabia. The numbers of different distant tribes, clans and [Pg xlix]branches had spread the tidings of Islam. There were individual converts in most of the tribes. Those tribes already not brought over to Islam were ready to embrace it under the foregoing circumstances. Idolatry, simple and loathsome, had no power against the attacks of reason displayed in the doctrines of the Koran. But the idolatrous Koreish opposed and attacked Islam with persecution and the sword, and strengthened idolatry with earthly weapons. The distant pagan tribes on the side of the Koreish, geographically or genealogically, were prevented by them from embracing the new faith. As soon as the hostilities of the Koreish were suspended at the truce of Hodeibia, the Arabs commenced to embrace Islam as already described, and no sooner they surrendered and Kaaba[64] stripped of its idols—and the struggle [Pg l]of spiritual supremacy between idolatry and Islam was practically decided—all the remaining tribes on the south and east who had not hitherto adhered to Islam hastened to embrace it hosts after hosts during the 9th and 10th year of the Hegira.

The various deputations and embassies in the 9th and 10th year of the Hegira.

30. During these two years deputations of conversion to Islam were received by Mohammad at Medina from the most distant parts of the Peninsula, from Yemen and Hazaramaut from Mahra Oman and Bahrein in the south, and from the[Pg li] borders of Syria and the outskirts of Persia. Many of the chiefs and princes of Yemen and Mahra, of Oman, Bahrein and Yemama—christians and pagans—intimated by letter or by embassy their conversion to Islam. The Prophet used to send teachers with deputations and embassies, where they were not already sent, to instruct the newly converted people the duties of Islam and to see that every remnant of idolatry was obliterated.

List of the deputations of conversion received by Mohammad at Medina during A.H. 9 and 10.

31. Here is a list of the important deputations and embassies as well as the conversion of notable personages during these two years arranged in alphabetical order with geographical and genealogical notes.[65] Sir W. Muir thinks it "tedious and unprofitable" to enumerate them all,[66] while he takes notice of every apocryphal tradition and devours with eagerness all fictions unfavourable to the cause of Islam.

[Pg lii]Bani Aámir.[67]
Bani Abd-ul-Kays.[68]
Bani Ahmas.[69]
Bani Anaza.[70]
Bani Asad.[71]
Bani Azd (Shanovah).[72]
Bani Azd (Oman).[73]
Bani Báhila.[74]
Bani Bahra.[75]
Bani Bajíla.[76]
Bani Baka.[77]
Bani Bakr bin Wail.[78]
Bani Bali.[79]
Bani Báriq.[80]
Bani Dáree.[81]
Bani Fezára.[83]
Bani Gháfiq.[84]
Bani Ghánim.[85]
Bani Ghassán.[86]
Bani Hamadán.[87]
Bani Hanífa.[88]
Bani Háris of Najrán.[89]
Bani Hilál bin Aamir bin Sáasáa.[90]
Bani Himyar.[91]
Bani Jaad.[92]
Bani Jaafir bin Kelab bin Rabia.[93]
Jeifer bin al Jalandi.[94]
Bani Joheina.[95]
Bani Jufi.[96]
Bani Kalb.[97]
Bani Khas-am bin Anmár.[98]
Bani Khaulán.[99]
Bani Kiláb.[100]
Bani Kinána.[101]
Bani Kinda.[102]
Bani Mahrah.[103]
Bani Mohárib.[104]
Bani Morád.[105]
Bani Muntafiq.[106]
Bani Murrah.[107]
Bani Nakhá.[108]
Bani Nohd.[109]
Bani Ozra.[110]
Bani Raha.[111]
Bani Rawasa.[112]
Bani Saad Hozeim.[113]
Bani Sadif.[114]
Bani Sadoos.[115]
Bani Sahim.[116]
Bani Sakeef.[117]
Bani Salámáni.[118]
Bani Shaibán.[119]
Bani Sodaa.[120]
Bani Taghlib.[121]
Bani Tajeeb.[122]
Bani Tamim.[123]
Bath Tay.[124]
Bani Zobeid.[125]

All the conversions, individual and tribal, without any compulsion.

[Pg lix]32. Thus all these tribal conversions and the speedy spread of Islam in the whole of Arabia was accomplished without any resort to arms, compulsion, threat, or "the scymitar in one hand and the Koran in the other." The Pagan Arabs, the Christians and the Jews, those who embraced Islam, adopted it joyfully and voluntarily. Islam had been much persecuted for many years from the third year of its Prophet's mission to the sixth year after the Hegira—a period of about sixteen years, but it flourished alike during persecutions and oppositions as well as during periods of peace and security of the Moslems. It was the result of Mohammad's staunch adherence to the uncompromising severity of his inflexible principles of preaching the divine Truth and his sincere belief in his own mission that he bore steadfastly all the hardships of persecutions at Mecca and the horrors of the aggressive wars of the Koreish and others at Medina, and persuaded the whole of Arabia, Pagan, Jewish and Christian, to adopt Islam voluntarily.[126]

Mohammad was not favoured with circumstances round him.

[Pg lx]33. It was not an easy task for Mohammad to have converted the Arabs from their national idolatry to a religion of pure and strict monotheism. The aspect of Arabia was strictly conservative, and there were no prospects of hopeful changes. The indigenous idolatry and deep-rooted superstition, the worship of visible and material objects of devotion,—idols and unshaped stones,—something that the eyes can see and the hands can handle,—and the dread of invisible genii and other evil spirits, held the Arab mind in a rigorous and undisputed thraldom. Arabia was obstinately fixed in the profession of idolatry which the Peninsula being thickly overspread, widely diffused and thoroughly organized, was supported by national pride and latterly by the sword.

"It was," writes Dr. Marcus Dods, "certainly no hopeful task which Mohammed undertook when he proposed by the influence of religion to combine into one nation tribes so incapable of being deeply influenced by any religion, and so irreconcilably opposed to one another; to abolish customs which had the sanction of immemorial usage; and to root out an idolatry, which, if it had no profound hold upon the spiritual nature, was at least bound up with old family traditions and well-understood tribal interests."[127]

The sacrifices made to, and the requirements essential to Islam, its numerous positive prohibitions, the immediate repudiation of old prejudices, the [Pg lxi]renunciation of all sorts of idolatry and superstition, the throwing aside of favourite idols and the abandoning of licentious rites and customs, the total abstinence from much-relished vices, the demand for producing practical effect on the will and character, and the reaping of material fruits from holy and religious life—were barriers insurmountable for the speedy progress of Islam.

Notwithstanding these impediments Mohammad succeeded, by the influence of his religion, in combining into one nation the wild and independent tribes, and putting a stop to their internecine wars; in abolishing the custom which had the sanction of immemorial usage; and in rooting out the national idolatry of indigenous growth, without compromising his inflexible principles of truth and sincerity and honesty; and without adopting the superstitions and vices of the people.

Dr. Mosheim thinks that, "the causes of this new religion's rapid progress are not difficult to be discovered: Mahomet's law itself was admirably fitted to the natural disposition of man, but especially to the manners, opinions and vices prevalent among the people of the East; for it was extremely simple proposing few things to be believed; nor did it enjoin many and difficult duties to be performed, or such as laid severe restraints on the propensities."[128]

It is manifest from the history of religions that the people generally try their best to obtain reli[Pg lxii]gion's sanction for the vices prevalent among them. But there is no doubt in this that Mohammad never sanctioned the idolatries and superstitions of the Arabs, nor he framed his doctrines according to the opinions and fancies of the people. He preached vehemently against everything he found blamable in the people; he spared not their dear idols and beloved gods and the dreaded genii, nor accommodated his preaching and reform to indulge them in their evil practices; nor did he adopt any of the vices current among the people into his system.

Mohammad certainly did lay stress on the propensities of the mind and made the actions of the heart answerable to God, and preferred inward holiness to outside form.

53. "The heart is prone to evils."—Sura XII.

38. "The hearing and the sight and the heart, each of these shall be inquired of."—Sura XVI.

225. "God will not punish you for a mistake in your oaths; but He will punish you for that which your hearts have assented to. God is gracious, merciful."

284. "Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's, and whether ye disclose what is in your minds or conceal it, God will reckon with you for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom he pleaseth will He punish; for God is All-powerful."—Sura II.

5. "And unless made with intent of heart, mistakes in this matter shall be no crimes in you."—Sura XXXIII.

The teachings of the Koran make our natural inclination subject to regulation. It lays stress[Pg lxiii] upon the heart of men. Note the following injunctions regarding internal purity:

120. "Abandon the outside iniquity and its inside."—Sura VI.

152. "Come not near the pollutions outside or inward."—Ibid.

31. "Say: Truly my Lord hath forbidden filthy actions whether open or secret, and iniquity and unjust violence."—Sura VIII.

Referring to Dr. Mosheim's cause of the spread of Islam, I will quote Henry Hallam's opinion regarding the causes of the success of Islam.

Henry Hallam, after enumerating the three important causes of the success of Islam, the first of which is "those just and elevated notions of the divine nature and of moral duties, the gold-ore that pervades the dross of the Koran, which were calculated to strike a serious and reflecting people," and explaining the two others which are not against us, he says:—

"It may be expected that I should add to this what is commonly considered as a distinguishing mark of Mohammedanism,—its indulgence to voluptuousness. But this appears to be greatly exaggerated. Although the character of its founder may have been tainted by sensuality as ferociousness, I do not think that he relied upon inducements of the former kind for the diffusion of his system. We are not to judge of this by rules of Christian purity, or of European practice. If polygamy was a prevailing usage in Arabia, as is not questioned, its permission gave no additional license to the proselytes of Mohammed, who will be found rather to have narrowed the unbounded [Pg lxiv]liberty of oriental manners in this respect; while his decided condemnation of adultery and of incestuous connections, so frequent among barbarous nations, does not argue a very lax and accommodating morality. A devout Mussulman exhibits much more of the stoical than the epicurean character. Nor can any one read the Koran without being sensible that it breathes an austere and scrupulous spirit. And in fact, the founder of a new religion or sect is little likely to obtain permanent success by indulging the vices or luxuries of mankind. I should rather be disposed to reckon the severity of Mohammed's discipline among the causes of its influence. Precepts of ritual observance, being always definite and unequivocal, are less likely to be neglected, after their obligation has been acknowledged than those of moral virtue. Thus the long fasting, the pilgrimages, and regular prayers and ablutions, the constant almsgiving, the abstinence from stimulating liquors, enjoined by the Koran, created a visible standard of practice among its followers, and preserved a continual recollection of their law.

"But the prevalence of Islam in the lifetime of its Prophet, and during the first ages of its existence, was chiefly owing to the spirit of martial energy that he infused into it. The religion of Mohammed is as essentially a military system as the institution of chivalry in the west of Europe. The people of Arabia, a race of strong passions and sanguinary temper, inured to habits of pillage and murder, found in the law of their native prophet not a license, but a command, to desolate the world, and the promise of all that their glowing imaginations could anticipate of Paradise annexed to all in which they most delighted upon earth."[129]

[Pg lxv]

This is sufficient to refute the opinion of Dr. Mosheim. But what Hallam says regarding the prevalence of Islam in the lifetime of the Prophet, and during the first ages of its existence, that "the people of Arabia, a race of strong passions and sanguinary temper, inured to habits of pillage and murder, found in the law of their native prophet not a license, but a command, to desolate the world," is untenable. There was neither a command nor a license to desolate the world, nor was any person or tribe converted to Islam with that object in view. All the teachings of the Koran and the history of the early spread of Islam falsify such an idea.

Mohammad's unwavering belief in his own mission and his success show him to be a true prophet.

34. I will pause here for a while, and ask the indulgence of the reader to reflect upon the circumstances of the persecutions, insults and injuries, expulsion and attack suffered by Mohammad and his early followers,[130] and his un[Pg lxvi]wavering adherence to preach against the gross idolatry and immorality of his people, which all show his sincere belief in his own mission, and his possession of an irresistible inward impulse to publish the Divine Truth of his Revelations regarding the unity in the Godhead and other moral reforms. His preachings of monotheism, and his enjoining righteousness, and forbidding evil deeds, were not attended to for many years with material success. In proportion as he preached against the gross idolatry and superstition of his people, he was subjected to ridicule and scorn, and finally to an inveterate persecution which ruined his and his follower's fortune. But he unflinchingly kept his path; no threats and no injuries hindered him from still preaching to the ungodly people a purer and higher theology and better morality than had ever been set before them. He claimed no temporal power, no spiritual domination; he asked but for simple toleration, for free permission to win men by persuasion into the way of truth. He declared he was sent neither to compel conviction by miracles,[Pg lxvii] nor to constrain outward profession by the sword.[131] Does this leave any doubt of the strong conviction in his mind, as well as in the truth of his claim, to be a man sent by God to preach the Divine Perfection, and to teach mankind the ways of righteousness? He honestly and sincerely conveyed the message which he had received or which he conscientiously or intuitively believed to have received from his God and which had all the signs and marks of truth in itself. What is meant by a True [Pg lxviii]Prophet or a Revelation is not more than what we find in the case of Mohammad.[132]

The general office and main business of a prophet is to proclaim to mankind the Divine Perfection, to teach publicly purer theology and higher morality, to enjoin the people to do what is right and just, and to forbid what is wrong and bad. It is neither a part of the prophet to predict future events, nor to show supernatural miracles. And further, a prophet is neither immaculate nor infallible. The Revelation is a natural product of human faculties. A prophet feels that his mind is illumined by God, and the thoughts which are expressed by him and spoken or written under this influence are to be regarded as the words of God. This illumination of the mind or the effect of the Divine Influence [Pg lxix]differ in any prophet according to the capacity of the recipient, or according to the circumstances—physical, moral, and religious—in which he is placed.

Striking effects of Mohammad's reforms.

35. Although his mission was only to convey the message and preach publicly what was revealed to him, and he was not responsible for the conversion of the ungodly polytheists to the purer theology and higher morality, or in other words, to the faith of Islam, yet whatever success and beneficial results in the sphere of theology, morality, and reforms in social matters he achieved was a strong evidence of his Divine mission. In the name of God and in the character of His Apostle, he wrought a great reform according to his light in his own country. "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit."—(Matt. VII, 17). Facts are stubborn things, and facts are conclusive in these points.

The effects produced by his preaching, and the changes wrought by them in the religious, social, and political sphere of the polytheists, the idolatrous and grossly superstitious Arabs within a comparatively short period, mostly consisting of persecutions at Mecca, and struggles at Medina, were very striking. From an indiscriminate mass of polytheism and gross superstitious belief in gods, genii, the sons and daughters of God, he[Pg lxx] gave them a pure monotheistic belief, recognizing no other superior power but the Almighty. He raised the moral standard of his countrymen, ameliorated the condition of women, curtailed and mitigated polygamy and slavery, and virtually abolished them as well as infanticide. He most sternly denounced and absolutely forbade many heinous evils of the Arab society. He united a number of wild and independent tribes into a nation and abolished their internecine wars.

Sir W. Muir says:—

"Few and simple as the positive precepts of Mahomet up to this time appear, they had wrought a marvellous and a mighty work. Never, since the days when primitive Christianity startled the world from its sleep, and waged a mortal combat with Heathenism, had men seen the like arousing of spiritual life, the like faith that suffered sacrifice and took joyfully the spoiling of goods for conscience sake.

"From time beyond memory, Mecca and the whole Peninsula had been steeped into spiritual torpor. The slight and transient influence of Judaism, Christianity, or Philosophy upon the Arab mind, had been but as the ruffling here and there the surface of a quiet lake;—all remained still and motionless below. The people were sunk in superstition, cruelty, and vice. It was a common practice for the eldest son to marry his father's widows inherited as property with the rest of the estate. Pride and poverty had introduced among them, as it has among the Hindus, the crime of female infanticide. Their religion consisted in gross idolatry, and their faith was rather the [Pg lxxi]dark superstitious dread of unseen beings, whose goodwill they sought to propitiate, and to avert their displeasure, than the belief in an over-ruling Providence. The Life to come and Retribution of good and evil were, as motives of action, practically unknown.

"Thirteen years before the Hegira, Mecca lay lifeless in this debased state. What a change those thirteen years had now produced! A band of several hundred persons had rejected idolatry, adopted the worship of one great God, and surrendered themselves implicitly to the guidance of what they believed a revelation from Him;—praying to the Almighty with frequency and fervour, looking for pardon through His mercy, and striving to follow after good works, almsgiving, chastity and justice. They now lived under a constant sense of the Omnipotent power of God, and of His providential care over the minutest of their concerns. In all the gifts of nature, in every relation of life, at each turn of their affairs, individual or public, they saw His hand. And, above all, the new spiritual existence in which they joyed and gloried, was regarded as the mark of His especial grace, while the unbelief of their blinded fellow-citizens was the hardening stamp of His predestined reprobation. Mahomet was the minister of life to them,—the source under God of their new-born hopes; and to him they yielded a fitting and implicit submission.

"In so short a period, Mecca had, from this wonderful movement, been rent into two factions, which, unmindful of the old land-marks of tribe and family, were arrayed in deadly opposition one against the other. The believers bore persecution with a patient and tolerant spirit. And though it was their wisdom so to do, the credit of a mag[Pg lxxii]nanimous forbearance may be freely accorded to them. One hundred men and women, rather than abjure the precious faith, had abandoned their homes, and sought refuge, till the storm should be overpast, in Abyssinian exile. And now even a larger number, with the Prophet himself, emigrated from their fondly-loved city, with its sacred temple,—to them the holiest spot on earth,—and fled to Medîna. There the same wonder-working charm had within two or three years prepared for them a brotherhood ready to defend the Prophet and his followers with their blood. Jewish truth had long sounded in the ears of the men of Medîna, but it was not till they heard the spirit-stirring strains of the Arabian prophet, that they too awoke from their slumber, and sprang suddenly into a new and earnest life."[133]

Further on Sir W. Muir says:—

"And what have been the effects of the system which, established by such instrumentality, Mahomet has left behind him. We may freely concede that it banished for ever many of the darker elements of superstition which had for ages shrouded the Peninsula. Idolatry vanished before the battle-cry of Islam; the doctrine of the unity and infinite perfections of God, and of a special all-pervading Providence, became a living principle in the hearts and lives of the followers of Mahomet, even as it had in his own. An absolute surrender and submission to the divine will (the very name of Islam) was demanded as the first requirement of the religion. Nor are social virtues wanting. Brotherly love is inculcated within the circle of the faith; orphans are to be protected, and slaves treated with consideration; intoxicating[Pg lxxiii] drinks are prohibited, and Mahometanism may boast of a degree of temperance unknown to any other creed."[134]

Dr. Marcus Dods writes:—

"But is Mahommed in no sense a Prophet? Certainly he had two of the most important characteristics of the prophetic order. He saw truth about God which his fellowmen did not see, and he had an irresistible inward impulse to publish this truth. In respect of this latter qualification Mahommed may stand comparison with the most courageous of the heroic prophets of Israel. For the truth's sake he risked his life, he suffered daily persecutions for years, and eventually banishment, the loss of property, of the goodwill of his fellow-citizens, and the confidence of his friends—he suffered in short as much as any man can suffer short of death, which he only escaped by flight, and yet he unflinchingly proclaimed his message. No bribe, threat or inducement could silence him. 'Though they array against me the sun on the right hand, and the moon on the left, I cannot renounce my purpose.' And it was this persistency, this belief in his call, to proclaim the Unity of God which was the making of Islam. Other men have been monotheists in the midst of idolaters, but no other man has founded a strong and enduring monotheistic religion. The distinction in his case was his resolution that other men should believe.... His giving himself out as a prophet of God was, in the first instance, not only sincere, but probably correct in the sense in which he himself understood it. He felt that he had thoughts of God which it deeply concerned all around him to receive, and he knew that these thoughts were[Pg lxxiv] given him by God, although not, as we shall see, a revelation strictly so called. His mistake lay by no means in his supposing himself to be called upon by God to speak for him and introduce a better religion, but it lay in his gradually coming to insist quite as much on men's accepting him as a prophet as on their accepting the great truth he preached. He was a prophet to his countrymen in so far as he proclaimed the Unity of God, but this was no sufficient ground for his claiming to be their guide in all matters of religion, still less for his assuming the lordship over them in all matters civil as well...."

The learned doctor further on in his book, "Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ," remarks:—

"But as we endeavour to estimate the good and evil of Islam, it gradually appears that the chief point we must attend to is to distinguish between its value to Arabia in the seventh century and its value to the world at large. No one, I presume, would deny that to Mohammed's contemporaries his religion was an immense advance on anything they had previously believed in. It welded together the disunited tribes, and lifted the nation to the forefront of the important powers in the world. It effected what Christianity and Judaism had alike failed to effect—it swept away, once and for ever, idolatry, and established the idea of one true God. Its influence on Arabia was justly and pathetically put by the Moslem refugees in Abyssinia, who when required to say why they should not be sent back to Mecca, gave the following account of their religion and what it had done for them: 'O king, we were plunged in ignorance and barbarism; we worshipped idols; we ate dead bodies; we committed lewdness; disregarded family ties and the duties of neighbourhood and [Pg lxxv]hospitality; we knew no law but that of the strong, when God sent among us a messenger of whose truthfulness, integrity, and innocence we were aware; and he called us to the unity of God, and taught us not to associate any god with him; he forbade us the worship of idols, and enjoined upon us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of others; to love our relatives and to protect the weak; to flee vice and avoid all evil. He taught us to offer prayers, to give alms, and to fast. And because we believed in him and obeyed him, therefore are we persecuted and driven from our country to seek thy protection.'"[135]

But after all we have here seen of the opinions of Dr. Marcus Dods and Sir W. Muir, let us turn to what the Rev. Stephens thinks of Mohammad:—

"The aim of Mahomet was to revive among his countrymen the Arabs, as Moses revived among his countrymen the Jews, the pure faith of their common forefather Abraham. In this he succeeded to a very great extent. For a confused heap of idolatrous superstitions he substituted a pure monotheistic faith; he abolished some of the most vicious practices of his countrymen, modified others; he generally raised the moral standard, improved the social condition of the people, and introduced a sober and rational ceremonial in worship. Finally he welded by this means a number of wild independent tribes, mere floating atoms, into a compact body politic, as well prepared and as eager to subdue the kingdoms of the world to their rule and to their faith, as ever the Israelites had been to conquer the land of Canaan.

[Pg lxxvi]"The Koran also enjoins repeatedly and in very emphatic language the duty of showing kindness to the stranger and the orphan, and of treating slaves, if converted to the faith, with the consideration and respect due to believers. The duty even of mercy to the lower animals is not forgotten, and it is to be thankfully acknowledged that Mohammedanism as well as Buddhism shares with Christianity the honour of having given birth to hospitals and asylums for the insane and sick.

"The vices most prevalent in Arabia in the time of Mahomet which are most sternly denounced and absolutely forbidden in the Koran were drunkenness, unlimited concubinage and polygamy, the destruction of female infants, reckless gambling, extortionate usury, superstitious arts of divination and magic. The abolition of some of these evil customs, and the mitigation of others, was a great advance in the morality of the Arabs, and is a wonderful and honourable testimony to the zeal and influence of the reformer. The total suppression of female infanticide and of drunkenness is the most signal triumph of his work."[136]

The reverend gentleman quoted above continues:

"First of all, it must be freely granted that to his own people Mahomet was a great benefactor. He was born in a country where political organization, and rational faith, and pure morals were unknown. He introduced all three. By a single stroke of masterly genius he simultaneously reformed the political condition, the religious creed, and the moral practice of his countrymen. In the place of [Pg lxxvii]many independent tribes he left a nation; for a superstitious belief in gods many and lords many he established a reasonable belief in one Almighty yet beneficent Being; taught men to live under an abiding sense of this Being's superintending care, to look to Him as the rewarder, and to fear Him as the punisher of evil-doers. He vigorously attacked, and modified and suppressed many gross and revolting customs which had prevailed in Arabia down to his time. For an abandoned profligacy was substituted a carefully regulated polygamy, and the practice of destroying female infants was effectually abolished.

"As Islam gradually extended its conquest beyond the boundaries of Arabia, many barbarous races whom it absorbed became in like manner participators in its benefits. The Turk, the Indian, the Negro, and the Moor were compelled to cast away their idols, to abandon their licentious rites and customs, to turn to the worship of one God, to a decent ceremonial and an orderly way of life. The faith even of the more enlightened Persian was purified: he learned that good and evil are not co-ordinate powers, but that just and unjust are alike under the sway of one All-wise and Holy Ruler, who ordereth all things in heaven and earth.

"For barbarous nations, then, especially—nations which were more or less in the condition of Arabia itself at the time of Mahomet—nations in the condition of Africa at the present day, with little or no civilisation, and without a reasonable religion—Islam certainly comes as a blessing, as a turning from darkness to light and from the power of satan unto God."[137]

Indictment against Mohammad.

[Pg lxxviii]36. What the opponents of Mohammad can possibly say against his mission is his alleged moral declension at Medina.[138] They accuse him of cruelty[139] and sensuality[140] during his sojourn in that city after [Pg lxxx] he had passed without any blame more than fifty-five years of his age, and had led a pious missionary life for upwards of fifteen years. These moral stains cannot be inconsistent with his office of being a prophet [Pg lxxxi]or reformer. It is no matter if a prophet morally degrades his character under certain circumstances, or morally degrades his character at the end of his age—after leading for upwards of fifty-five years a life of the highest moral principles, and as a paragon of temperance and high-toned living—while he has faithfully conveyed the message, and has sincerely and honestly preached religious reforms, and the sublimity of his preachings have in themselves the marks of divine truth.

If the said prophet defends his stains or immoral deeds by professed revelations, and justifies himself in his flagrant breaches of morality by producing messages from heaven, just and equally as he does when he teaches the purer theology and higher morality for which he is commissioned, then and from that time only we will consider him as an impostor, guilty of high blasphemy in forging the name of God for his licentious self indulgences.

But in the case of Mohammad, in the first place, the charges of cruelty and sensuality during a period of six or seven years towards the end of his life, excepting three years, are utterly false; and secondly, if proved to have taken place, it is not proved that Mohammad justified himself by alleging to have received a divine sanction or command to the alleged cruelties and flagrant breaches of morality. The charges of assassinations and cruelties to the prisoners of war and others, and of[Pg lxxxii] the alleged perfidy and craftiness enumerated by Sir W. Muir, have been examined and refuted by me in this book. Vide pp. 60-73 and pp. 76-97. The cases of Maria, a slave-girl, and Zeinab not coming directly under the object of this book have been treated separately in Appendix B, pp. 211-220 of this work.

Mohammad, in his alleged cruelties towards his enemies, is not represented by Sir W. Muir to have justified himself by special revelation or sanction from on high, yet the Rev. Mr. Hughes, whose work has been pronounced as having "the rare merit of being accurate," makes him (Mohammad) to have done them under the sanction of God in the Koran.

"The best defenders of the Arabian Prophet[141] are obliged to admit that the matter of Zeinab, the wife of Zeid, and again of Mary, the Coptic slave, are 'an indelible stain' upon his memory; that he is untrue once or twice to the kind and forgiving disposition of his best nature; that he is once or twice unrelenting in the punishment of his personal enemies, and that he is guilty even more than once of conniving at the assassination of inveterate opponents; but they do not give any satisfactory explanation or apology for all this being done under the supposed sanction of God in the Qurán."[142]

Such is the rare accuracy of Mr. Hughes' work. It is needless for me to repeat here that none of these allegations are either true or facts, or alleged to have been committed under the sanction of God in the Koran.

[Pg lxxxiii]

The Rev. Marcus Dods writes regarding the character of Mohammad:—

"The knot of the matter lies not in his polygamy, nor even in his occasional licentiousness, but in the fact that he defended his conduct, when he created scandal, by professed revelations which are now embodied as parts of the Koran. When his wives murmured, and with justice, at his irregularities, he silenced them by a revelation giving him conjugal allowances which he had himself proscribed as unlawful. When he designed to contract an alliance with a woman forbidden to him by his own law, an inspired permission was forthcoming, encouraging him to the transgression."[143]

Both of these alleged instances given above are mere fabrications. There was no revelation giving Mohammad conjugal allowances which he had himself proscribed as unlawful, nor any permission was brought forward to sanction an alliance forbidden to him by his own law. This subject has been fully discussed by me in my work "Mohammad, the True Prophet," and the reader is referred to that work.[144] A few verses on the marital subject of [Pg lxxxiv]Mohammad are greatly misunderstood by European writers on the subject, and Dr. Dods shares the generally wrong idea when he says:—

"He rather used his office as a title to license from which ordinary men were restrained. Restricting his disciples to four wives, he retained to himself the liberty of taking as many as he pleased." (Page 23.)

This is altogether a gross misrepresentation of the real state of things. Mohammad never retained to himself the liberty of taking as many wives as he pleased. On the contrary, Sura XXXIII, 52, expressly forbade him all women except those he had already with him, giving him no option to marry in the case of the demise of some or all of them. This will show that he rather used his office as a restraint against himself of what was lawful for the people in general to enjoy. The only so-called privilege above the rest of the believers (Sura XXXIII, 49) was not "to retain to himself[Pg lxxxv] the liberty of taking as many wives as he pleased," but to retain the wives whom he had already married and whose number exceeded the limit of four under Sura IV, 3. Other believers having more wives than four as in the case of Kays, Ghailán, and Naofal, were requested to separate themselves from the number exceeding the limit prescribed for the first time. This was before polygamy was declared to have been virtually abolished, i.e., between the publication of vv. 3 and 128 of Sura IV. There was neither any breach of morality, nor anything licentious in his retaining the marriages lawfully contracted by him before the promulgation of Sara IV, 3. Even this privilege (Sura XXXIII, 49) was counterbalanced by Ibid, 52, which runs thus:—

"Women are not allowed thee hereafter, nor to change them for other women, though their beauty charm thee, except those already possessed by thee."

Mr. Stanley Lane Poole suffers under the same misrepresentation as other European writers[145] do when he says that:—

"The Prophet allowed his followers only four wives, he took more than a dozen himself."

[Pg lxxxvi]

He writes:—

"When, however, all has been said, when it has been shown that Mohammad was not the rapacious voluptuary some have taken him for, and that his violation of his own marriage-law may be due to motives reasonable and just from his point of view rather than to common sensuality."

"Did Mohammad believe he was speaking the words of God equally when he declared that permission was given him to take unto him more wives, as when he proclaimed, 'There is no god but God?'"[146]

Mohammad did not violate his own marriage-law, and never pretended that permission was given to him to take more wives than what was allowed for other people. All his marriages (which are wrongly considered to have been about a dozen) were contracted by him before he published the law unjustly said to have been violated by him. He retained these wives after the law was promulgated, and their number exceeded four, but he was interdicted to marry any other women in the place of these in case of their demise or divorce. Other believers were advised after the promulgation of the law to reduce the number of their wives exceeding four, but were at liberty to replace their wives within the limit assigned in the case of their demise or divorce. Mohammad's case had no breach of morality or sensual license in it. It was very wise of Mohammad to retain all the wives [Pg lxxxvii]he had married before Sura IV, 3, came into force, for the reason that the wives thus repudiated by him might have married some of the unbelievers, even some of his enemies, which would have been derogatory to the Prophet in the eyes of his contemporaries and a laughing-stock for his enemies.

Finality of the social reforms of Mohammad.
Positive precepts.
Ceremonial law.
Concrete morals of the Koran.
Want of adaptibility of the Koran to surrounding circumstances.

37. It has been said with much stress regarding the teachings of Mohammad: (1) That although under the degraded condition of Arabia, they were a gift of great value, and succeeded in banishing those fierce vices which naturally accompany ignorance and barbarism, but an imperfect code of ethics has been made a permanent standard of good and evil, and a final and irrevocable law, which is an insuperable barrier to the regeneration and progress of a nation. It has been also urged that his reforms were good and useful for his own time and place, but that by making them final he has prevented further progress and consecrated half measures. What were restrictions to his Arabs would have been license to other men.[147] (2) That Islam deals with positive precepts rather than with principles,[148] and the danger of a precise system of positive precepts regulating the minute detail, the ceremonial worship, and [Pg lxxxviii]the moral and social relations of life, is, that it should retain too tight a grip upon men when the circumstances which justified it have changed and vanished away, and therefore the imposition of a system good for barbarians upon people already possessing higher sort of civilization and the principles of a purer faith is not a blessing but a curse. Nay more, even the system which was good for people when they were in a barbarous state may become positively mischievous to those same people when they begin to emerge from their barbarism under its influence into a higher condition.[149] (3) That the exact ritual and formal observations of Islam have carried with them their own Nemesis, and thus we find that in the worship of the faithful formalism and indifferences, pedantic scrupulosity and positive disbelief flourish side by side. The minutest change of posture in prayer, the displacement of a simple genuflexion, would call for much heavier censure than outward profligacy or absolute neglect.[150] (4) That morality is viewed not in the abstract, but in the concrete. That the Koran deals much more with sin and virtue in fragmentary [Pg lxxxix]details than as a whole. It deals with acts more than principles, with outward practice more than inward motives, with precepts and commands more than exhortation. It does not hold up before man the hatefulness and ugliness of all sin as a whole.[151] (5) "That Islam is stationary; swathed in the rigid bands of the Coran, it is powerless, like the Christian dispensation,[152] to adapt itself to the varying circumstances of time and place, and to keep pace with, if not to lead and direct, the progress of society and the elevation of the race. In the body politic the spiritual and secular are hopelessly confounded, and we fail of perceiving any approach to free institutions or any germ whatever of popular government."[153]

The preceding objections not applicable to the Koran.

[Pg xc]38. All these objections more or less apply rather to the teachings of the Mohammadan Common Law (canon and civil), called Fiqah or Shara, than to the Koran, the Mohammadan Revealed Law. Our Common Law, which treats both ecclesiastical and the civil law, is by no means considered to be a divine or unchangeable law. This subject has been treated by me in a separate work[154] on the Legal, Political and Social Reforms to which the reader is referred. The space allowed to me in this Introduction, which has already exceeded its proper limit, does not admit a full and lengthy discussion of the objections quoted above, but I will review them here in as few words as possible.

Finality of the social reforms of Mohammad.

39. (1) Mohammad had to deal with barbarous nations around him, to be gradually reformed, and besides this the subject of social reforms was a secondary question. Yet it being necessary to transform the character of the people and to reform the moral and social abuses prevailing among them, he gradually introduced his social reforms which proved immense blessings to the Arabs and other nations in the seventh century. Perhaps some temporary but judicious, reasonable and helpful accommodations had to be made to the weakness and [Pg xci]immaturity of the people, as halting stages in the march of reforms only to be set aside at their adult strength, or to be abolished when they were to begin to emerge from their barbarism under its influence to a higher civilization. Consequently gradual amelioration of social evils had necessarily to pass several trials during progress of reform. The intermediate stages are not to be taken as final and irrevocable standard of morality and an insuperable barrier to the regeneration of the Arabian nation. Our adversaries stick indiscriminately to these temporary measures or concessions only, and call them half measures and partial reforms made into an unchangeable law which exclude the highest reforms, and form a formidable obstacle to the dawn of a progressive and enlightened civilization. I have in view here the precepts of Mohammad for ameliorating the degraded condition of women for restricting the unlimited polygamy and the facility of divorce, together with servile concubinage and slavery.[155] Mohammad's injunctions and precepts, intermediary and ultimate, temporary and permanent, intended for the removal of these social evils, are interwoven with each other, interspersed in different [Pg xcii]Suras and not chronologically arranged, in consequence of which it is somewhat difficult for those who have no deep insight into the promiscuous literature of the Koran to find out which precept was only a halting stage, and which the latest. It was only from some oversight on the part of the compilers of the Common Law that, in the first place, the civil precepts of a transitory nature and as a mediate step leading to a higher reform were taken as final; and in the second place, the civil precepts adapted for the dwellers of the Arabian desert were pressed upon the neck of all ages and countries. A social system for barbarism ought not to be imposed on a people already possessing higher forms of civilizations.

Positive precepts.
Ceremonial law.

40. (2) In fact the Koran deals with positive precepts as well as with principles, but it never teaches a precise system of precepts regulating in minute details the social relations of life and the ceremonial of worship. On the contrary, its aim has been to counteract the tendency to narrowness, formality, and severity which is the consequence of a living under a rigid system of positive precepts. Mohammad had to transform the character of the Arab barbarians who had no religious or moral teacher or a social reformer before his advent. It was therefore necessary to give them a few positive precepts, moulding and regulating their moral and[Pg xciii] social conduct, to make them 'new creatures' with new notions and new purposes, and to remodel the national life. (3) But lest they should confuse virtue as identical with obedience to the outward requirements of the ceremonial law,—the formal ablutions, the sacrifices in pilgrimages, the prescribed forms of prayers, the fixed amount of alms, and the strict fasts, the voice of the Koran has ever and anon been lifted up to declare that a rigid conformity to practical precepts, whether of conduct or ceremonial, would not extenuate, but rather increase in the eyes of God the guilt of an unprincipled heart and an unholy life.


Regarding the pilgrimage[156] or the sacrifices (its chief ceremony), the Koran says:—

"By no means can their flesh reach unto God, neither their blood, but piety on your part reacheth him. Thus hath he subjected them to you, that ye might magnify God for his guidance: and announce glad tidings to the doers of good."—Sura XXII, 38.


Regarding the Kibla in prayers it is said in the Koran:—

"The west and the east is God's: therefore whichever way ye turn there is the face of God."—Sura II, 109.

"All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn them; but wherever ye be, hasten emulously after good."—Ibid, 143.[Pg xciv]

"There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or west, but he is pious who believeth in God and the last day, and the angels and the scripture, and the prophets; who for the love of God disburseth his wealth to his kindred; and to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and for ransoming; who observeth the prayer, and payeth alms, and who is of those who are faithful to their engagements when they have engaged in them, and patient under ills and hardships, and in time of trouble, these are they who are just, and these are they who fear the Lord."—Ibid, 172.

Amount of alms.

In the place of a fixed amount of alms the Koran only says to give what ye can spare.

"They will ask thee also what shall they bestow in alms:

"Say: What ye can spare."—Ibid, 216, 217.


Instead of imposing a very strict fast, which in the middle of summer is extremely mortifying, the Koran makes its observance optional.

"And as for those who are able to keep it and yet observe it not, the expiation of this shall be the maintenance of a poor man. And he who of his own accord performeth a good work, shall derive good from it: and good shall it be for you to fast, if ye knew it."—Ibid, 180.

No prescribed forms of prayer.

The Koran does not teach any prescribed forms of worship and other ritualistic prayers. No attitude is fixed, and no outward observance of posture is required. There is no scrupulosity and punctiliousness, neither[Pg xcv] the change of posture in prayer nor the displacement of a single genuflexion calls any censure on the devotee in the Koran. Simply reading the Koran (Suras LXXIII, 20; XXIX, 44), and bearing God in mind, standing and sitting; reclining (III, 188; IV, 104) or bowing down or prostrating (XXII, 76) is the only form and ritual, if it may be called so, of prayer and worship taught in the Koran.

"Recite then as much of the Koran as may be easy to you."—Sura LXXIII, 20.

"Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee and discharge the duty of prayer; verily prayer restraineth from the filthy and the blameworthy. And assuredly the gravest duty is the remembrance of God; and God knoweth what ye do."—Sura XXIX, 44.

"And when the Koran is rehearsed, then listen ye to it and keep silence: haply ye may obtain mercy."

"And think within thine ownself on God, with lowliness and with fear and without loud-spoken words, at even and at morn; and be not of the heedless."—Sura VII, 203, 204.

Pretentious prayers and ostentatious almsgiving condemned.

The Koran condemns pretentious prayers and ostentatious almsgiving.

"Verily the hypocrites would deceive God; but he will deceive them! When they stand up for prayer, they stand carelessly to be seen of men, and they remember God but little"—Sura IV, 141.

"Woe then to those who pray,"

"Who in their prayer are careless;"

"Who make a show of devotion,"[Pg xcvi]

"But refuse help to the needy."—Sura CVII, 4-7.

"And they fall down on their faces weeping, and it increaseth the humility."—Sura XVII, 110.

"O ye who believe! make not your alms void by reproaches and injury; like him who spendeth his substance to be seen of men, and believeth not in God and in the latter day. The likeness of such an one is that of a rock with a thin soil upon it, on which a heavy rain falleth, but leaveth it hard. No profit from their works shall they be able to gain; for God guideth not the unbelieving people."—Sura II, 266.

"We have made ready a shameful chastisement for the unbelievers, and for those who bestow their substance in alms to be seen of men, and believe not in God and in the last day. Whoever hath satan for his companion, an evil companion hath he!"—Sura IV, 42.

No indispensable hours or places for prayers.

There are no indispensable hours or places to be observed for prayers. In Suras XI, 116; and IV, 104, the time of prayer is set down in general terms without specifying any fixed hour. There are some more times named in Suras XVII, 81, 82; XX, 130; L, 38, 39; and LII, 48, 49, but they are special cases for Mohammad himself, and "as an excess in the service." Vide Sura XVII, 81. On this subject Dr. Marcus Dods observes:—

"There are two features of the devout character which the Mohammedans have the merit of exhibiting with much greater distinctness than we do. They show not the smallest hesitation or fear in confessing God, and they reduce to practice the great principle that the [Pg xcvii]worship of God is not confined to temples or any special place:—

"Most honour to the men of prayer,
Whose mosque is in them everywhere!
Who amid revel's wildest din,
In war's severest discipline,
On rolling deck, in thronged bazaar,
In stranger land, however far,
However different in their reach
Of thought, in manners, dress or speech,—
Will quietly their carpet spread.
To Mekkeh turn the humble head,
And, as if blind to all around,
And deaf to each distracting sound,
In ritual language God adore,
In spirit to his presence soar,
And in the pauses of the prayer,
Rest, as if rapt in glory there."

"There are of course formalists and hypocrites in Islam as well as in religions of which we have more experience. The uniformity and regularity of their prostrations resemble the movements of a well-drilled company of soldiers or of machines, but the Koran denounces "woe upon those who pray, but in their prayers are careless, who make a show of devotion, but refuse to help the needy;" while nowhere is formalism more pungently ridiculed than in the common Arabic proverb, "His head is towards the Kibleh, but his heels among the weeds." We could almost excuse a touch of formalism for the sake of securing that absolute stillness and outward decorum in worship which deceives the stranger as he enters a crowded mosque into the belief that it is quite empty. Persons who hold themselves excused from the duty of worship by every slight obstacle might do worse than get infected with the sub[Pg xcviii]lime formalism of Cais, son of Sad, who would not shift his head an inch from the place of his prostration, though a huge serpent lifted its fangs close to his face and finally coiled itself round his neck. And if some are formal, certainly many are very much in earnest."[157]


The ablutions have not been imposed as burdens, or as having any mysterious merit, but merely as a measure of cleanliness.

"God desireth not to lay a burden upon you, but he desireth to purify you."

Koran both abstract and concrete in morals.

41. (4) The Koran seems fully aware of the danger of the precise and fixed system of positive precepts moulding and regulating every department of life. The danger is that the system of formalism in which men are tied down to the performance of certain religious functions, minutely and precisely fixed in respect to time, place and manner, so that neither less nor more is required of them, retains too tight a grip upon them, when the circumstances which justified it have changed or vanished away. The moral growth of those who live under such a system of minute and punctilious restraint is stunted and retarded. The tendency of mankind to formalism is so strong that they very commonly, though often unconsciously, fall into the error of imagining that there is a peculiar intrinsic merit and virtue [Pg xcix]in the mere discharge of those prescribed forms of duties and religious ceremonies. Morality is with them not in the abstract but in the concrete, as consisting of a mass of religious observances, rather than of a certain disposition of heart towards God and man. The Koran deals with vice and virtue as a whole as well as in fragmentary details. It treats of inward motives as much as of outward practice, of exhortations equally with precepts and commands. It holds up before man the hatefulness and ugliness of vice as a whole. It does not enclose the whole of the practical morality and piety within the narrow compass of a fixed number of precepts. It lays the foundation of that far-reaching charity which regards all men as equal in the sight of God, and recognizes no distinction of races and classes.

120. "And abandon the semblance of wickedness and wickedness itself. They, verily, whose only acquirement is iniquity shall be repaid for what they have gained."

152. "Say: Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on you, that ye assign not aught to Him as sharers of his Divine honour, and that ye be good to your parents; and that ye slay not your children because of poverty, for them and for you will We provide; and that ye come not near to pollutions, outward or inward; and that ye slay not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just cause. This hath He enjoined on you: haply ye will understand."—Sura VI.[Pg c]

31. "Say: Only hath my Lord forbidden filthy actions, whether open or secret, and iniquity, and unjust violence, and to associate with God that for which He hath sent down no warranty, and to speak of God that of which ye have no knowledge."—Sura VII.

33. "To those who avoid great crimes and scandals, but commit only lighter faults, verily, thy Lord will be rich in forgiveness. He well knew you when He produced you out of the earth, and when ye were embryos in your mothers' womb. Assert not then your own purity. He best knoweth who feareth him."—Sura LIII.

13. "O men! verily We have created you of a male and a female: and We have divided you into peoples and tribes that ye might take knowledge one of another. Truly the most worthy of honour in the sight of God is he who feareth Him most. Verily God is Knowing, Cognizant."—Sura XLIX.

143. "And every nation has a quarter of the Heavens. It is God who turneth them towards it: hasten then emulously after good: wheresover ye be, God will one day bring you all together: verily God is all powerful."—Sura II.

52. "And to thee We have sent down the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous scripture and its safeguard. Judge therefore between them by what God hath sent down, and follow not their desires, after the truth which hath come unto thee. To everyone of you have We given a rule and an open way."

53. "And if God had pleased He had surely made you all one people; but He would test you by what He hath given to each. Be emulous then in good deeds. To God do ye all return, and He will tell you concerning the subjects of your disputes."—Sura V.[Pg ci]

127 "And vie in haste for pardon from your Lord, and a Paradise, vast as the Heavens and the Earth, prepared for the God-fearing."

128. "Who gives alms, alike in prosperity and in distress, and who master their anger, and forgive others! And God loveth the doer of good."

129. "And who, after they have done a base deed or committed a wrong against their own souls, remember God and implore forgiveness of their sins—and who can forgive sins but God only?—and persevere not in what they have willingly done amiss."—Sura III.

21. "Vie in hasting after pardon from your Lord, and Paradise—whose outspread is as the outspread of the Heaven and of the Earth. Prepared is it for those who believed in God and his apostles. Such is the bounty of God: to whom He will He giveth it: and of immense bounty is God!"—Sura LII.

183. "Ye shall assuredly be tried in your possessions and in yourselves. And many hurtful things shall ye assuredly hear from those to whom the scriptures were given before you, and from those who join other gods with God. But if ye be steadfast and fear God, then this verily is God's decree for the affairs of life."—Sura III.

16. "O my son! observe prayer and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and be patient under whatever shall betide thee: verily this is a bounden duty."—Sura XXXI.

38. "Yet let the recompense of evil be only a like evil; but he who forgiveth and maketh peace, shall find his reward for it from God; verily He loveth not those who act unjustly."

39. "And there shall be no way open against those who, after being wronged, avenge themselves."[Pg cii]

40. "Only shall there be a way open against those who unjustly wrong others, and act insolently on the earth in disregard of justice. These! a grievous punishment doth await them."

41. "And whoso beareth wrongs with patience and forgiveth,—this verily is a bounden duty."—Sura XLII.

Adaptability of the Koran to surrounding circumstances.

42. (5) The Koran keeps pace with the most fully and rapidly-developing civilization, if it is rationally interpreted, not as expounded by the Ulema in the Common Law Book and enforced by the sentiment of a nation. It is only the Mohammadan Common Law, with all its traditions or oral sayings of the Prophet,—very few of which are genuine reports, and the supposed chimerical concurrence of the learned Moslem Doctors and mostly their analogical reasonings (called Hadees, Ijma, and Kias), passed under the name of Fiqah or Shariat, that has blended together the spiritual and the secular, and has become a barrier in some respects regarding certain social and political innovations for the higher civilization and progress of the nation. But the Koran is not responsible for this all.

Mr. Stanley Lane Poole writes:—

"The Korān does not contain, even in outline, the elaborate ritual and complicated law which now passes under the name of Islam. It contains merely those decisions which happened to be called for at Medina. Mohammad himself knew that it did not provide for every emergency, and recommended a principle of analogical deduction to [Pg ciii]guide his followers when they were in doubt. This analogical deduction has been the ruin of Islam. Commentators and Jurists have set their nimble wits to work to extract from the Korān legal decisions which an ordinary mind could never discover there; and the whole structure of modern Mohammadanism has been built upon the foundation of sand. The Koran is not responsible for it."[158]

I can only differ from the above in the allegation that Mohammad recommended a principle of analogical deduction.

Suitability of the Koran to all classes of humanity.

43. Thus the system of religious and moral teaching of the Koran admirably suits the lower and the higher forms of humanity. The precepts which regulate some department of social life, moral conduct, and religious ceremonial are blessings to the barbarous; and that portion of the Koran which inculcates large principles, for the due application of which much must be left to the individual conscience, suits the same people when they begin to emerge from their barbarism under its influence into a higher condition, or to those already possessing the higher forms of civilization. For instance, the command to give full measure, to weigh with just balance, to abstain from wine and gambling, and to treat persons with kindness are [Pg civ]intended for men not reaching the high forms of civilization. The teachings of the Koran regarding the graces of truth, honesty and temperance and mercy, the virtues of meekness, and the stress laid upon thoughts and inclinations are fit to instruct persons who have attained the higher forms of civilization, and have outgrown the need of positive precepts of minute detail.

C. Ali.


March 1884.


[1] "He now occupied a position where he might become the agent for executing the divine sentence, and at the same time triumphantly impose the true religion on those who had rejected it." The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, page 211. London, 1877. (New Edition.)

"The free toleration of the purer among the creeds around him, which the Prophet had at first enjoined, gradually changes into intolerance. Persecuted no longer, Mohammad becomes a persecutor himself; with the Koran in one hand, and scymitar in the other, he goes forth to offer to the nations the three-fold alternative of conversion, tribute, death."—Mohammed and Mohammedanism, by Mr. R. Bosworth Smith, page 137. Second Edition.

[2] See Sura XXIV, verse 54.

[3] The idea of forbearance on the part of the Koreish, as entertained by Sir W. Muir, is not borne out by their former conduct of persecuting the believers and pursuing the fugitives among them. He says: "Mahomet and Abu Bakr trusted their respective clans to protect their families from insult. But no insult or annoyance of any kind was offered by the Coreish. Nor was the slightest attempt made to detain them; although it was not unreasonable that they should have been detained as hostages against any hostile incursion from Medina"[A]. They were contemplating a grand pursuit and attack on the Moslems, and had no reason to detain the families of Mahomet and Abu Bakr as hostages whilst they could not think that the Moslems will take the initiative, as they were too glad to escape and live unmolested.

[A] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol II, page 265.

[4] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 255, foot-note. This note has been expunged in the New Edition of "The Life": Vide page 317.

[5] 5. "Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home on a mission of truth, and verily a part of the believers were quite averse to it."

6. "They disputed with thee about the truth after it had been made clear, as if they were being led forth to death and saw it before them." Sura VIII.

[6] 43. "When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they were on the further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye have made an engagement to attack, ye would assuredly have failed the engagement; but ye were led into action notwithstanding, that God might accomplish the thing destined to be done." Sura VIII.

[7] Muir's Life of Mahomet. New Edition, page 226.

[8] "And remember when God promised you that one of the two troops should fall to you, and ye desired that they who had no arms should fall to you: but God purposed to prove true the truth of his words, and to cut off the uttermost part of the infidels."

[9] "But if they seek to deal treacherously with thee—they have already dealt treacherously with God before! Therefore hath He given you power over them."

[10] "Will ye not do battle with a people who have broken their covenant and aimed to expel your Apostle and attacked you first? Will you dread them?"

[11] Bani Ashja, Murra Fezárá, Suleim, Sád, Asad, and several clans of Ghatafán, the Jews of Wady-al-Koraa and Khyber.

[12] A party of Moslems at Zil Kassa was slain, and Dihya, sent by Mohammad to the Roman Emperor, on his return, was robbed of every thing by the Bani Juzám beyond Wady-al-Kora.

[13] The Jews at Khyber were enticing the Bani Fezárá and Bani Sad-bin-Bakr and other Bedouin tribes to make depredations upon Medina.

[14] Ibn Hisham, p. 746.

[15] Ibid. 745, see Sura XLVIII.

[16] Mohammad had gained over some of the Bedouin tribes in the direction of Mecca, and were on friendly terms with him. At this time they were summoned by Mohammad to join him if there be a war. They did not join him except a very few.

[17] The Bani Khozáa are also taken notice of in Sura VIII, verses 73-74.

[18] The Bani Bakr, son of Abd Monát, were a branch of Kinána of the Moaddite stock.

[19] The Jews of Macna Azrúh and Jabra, and the Christian Chiefs of Ayla and Dúma.

[20] The biographers have only compiled or arranged the mass of popular romances and favourite tales of campaigns, which had become stereotyped in their time, but were for the most part the inventions of a playful fantasy.

[21] Musa-bin-Akba (died 141 A.H.)

[22] Ibn Sád and Ibn Is-hak as already alluded to.

[23] "Decline and Fall, Chap. 1."

[24] The Life of Mahomet, founder of the religion of Islamism and of the Empire of the Saracens, by the Rev. Samuel Green, page 126: London, 1877.

[25] Mohammad's instruction to Abdal-Rahman was—"In no case shalt thou use deceit or perfidy, nor shalt thou kill any child."—Muir, Vol. IV, p. 11.

[26] 'Quoted by Dr. Cazenove,' "Christian Remembrancer," January, 1855, page 71, from Caussin de Perceval. Mohammed & Mohammedanism. By R. Bosworth Smith, Second Edn., pp. 257 & 258. London, 1876.

[27] An History of Mohammedanism; comprising the Life and Character of the Arabian Prophet; by Charles Mills, page 27. London 1818.

[28] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, Intro., p. ccxxvii. London, 1861.

[29] Sir W. Muir doubts the intense hatred and bitter cruelty attributed by tradition to the Koreish, and says: "In accordance with this view is the fact that the first aggressions, after the Hegira, were solely on the part of Mahomet and his followers. It was not until several of their caravans had been waylaid and plundered and blood had thus been shed that the people of Mecca were forced in self-defence to resort to arms." The Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, page 265, foot-note. London, 1861. This note disappears in the new edition of 1877. In his work "The Coran," page 24, London, 1878, Sir W. Muir says: "The caravans of Mecca offered a tempting opportunity for reprisals, and several expeditions were organized against them."

[30] Mr. G. Sale writes: "He gave out that God had allowed him and his followers to defend themselves against the infidels; and at length, as his forces increased, he pretended to have the divine leave even to attack them." The Prelim. Dis. Sect. 11. Mr. Henry Coppée writes regarding Mohammad: "But he soon found that he must take up arms in self defence, and in the thirteenth year of his mission, he announced that God permitted him not only to fight in his self-defence, but to propagate his religion by the sword." History of the Conquest of Spain by the Arab-Moors, by Henry Coppée. Vol. I, page 39. Boston, 1881. But Dr. A. Sprenger makes the object of the wars of Mohammad purely defensive. He writes:—"The Prophet now promulgated, in the name of God, the law to fight their enemies, in order to put a stop to persecutions; and this became henceforth the watchword of his bloody religion." The Life of Mohammad, p. 207: Allahabad, 1851.

[31] M. Bluntschili, a modern authority on the International Law, holds: "A war undertaken for defensive motives is a defensive war, notwithstanding that it may be militarily offensive." The International Law, by William Edward Hall, M.A., Oxford, 1880, page 320.

[32] Kent's Commentary on International Law. Edited by J.T. Abdy, LL.D., Second Edition, page 144.

[33] The Life of Mahomet from original sources, by Sir W. Muir, LL.D. New Edition, page 68, London, 1877. See also page 57 of the same.

[34] I do not mean to say that flourishing under persecution is a convincing proof of the divine origin of a religion. Not that a religion established by force is altogether of human invention. Almost all religions are divine however they may have been established, but flourishing under opposition and persecution is a natural course. Christianity suffered from persecutions and other harrowing evils for 300 years, after which time it was established, and paganism abolished by public authority, which has had great influence in the propagation of the one and destruction of the other ever since.

[35] "The severity and injustice of the Cureish, overshooting the mark, aroused personal and family sympathies; unbelievers sought to avert or to mitigate the sufferings of the followers of the Prophet; and in so doing they were sometimes themselves gained over to his side." The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Second Edition, page 68.

[36] Among them were the representatives of the following tribes or clans of the Koreish, the Háshimites, Omiyyiads, Bani Abd Shams, Bani Asad, Bani Abd bin Kosáyy, Bani Abd-ud-Dár, Bani Zohrá, Bani Taym bin Morra, the Mukwhumites, the Jomahites, and the Bani Sahm. Vide Sprenger, page 190, Allahabad, 1851.

[37] Vide Hishamee, page 259. An allusion to these converts may be found in Sura V, verses 85 and 86, if it does not refer to those of Najrán.

[38] He preached to the following tribes among others:—Bani Aamr bin Sasaa, Bani Mohárib, Bani Hafasa (or Khafasa), Bani Fezára, Bani Ghassán, Bani Kalb, Bani Háris, Bani Kab, Bani Ozra, Bani Murra, Bani Hanifa, Bani Suleim, Bani Abs, Bani Nazr, Bani Bakka, Bani Kinda, and Bani Khozaimah.

[39] "There is something lofty and heroic in this journey of Mahomet to Tâyif; a solitary man, despised and rejected by his own people, going boldly forth in the name of God,—like Jonah to Nineveh—and summoning an idolatrous city to repentance and to the support of his mission. It sheds a strong light on the intensity of his own belief in the divine origin of his calling."—The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. II, page 207.

[40] The Arabs also had a similar clan named Bani Shaitán, a clan of the Hinzala tribe, the descendants of Tamim, through Zeid Monat of the Moaddite stock. The Bani Shaitán (the children of Satan) dwelt near Kúfa.—Vide Qalqashandi's Dictionary of Arab Tribes.

[41] Sura XLVI, verses 28, 29. These people were from Nisibin and Nineveh in Mesopotamia. They were Chaldeans, soothsayers, and cabalists. In the book of Daniel the Chaldeans are classed with magicians and astronomers, and evidently form a sort of the priest class who have a peculiar "tongue" and "learning" (Dan. I. 4). In Arabic, persons of similar professions were called Kahins. Some of this class of people pretended to receive intelligence of what was to come to pass from certain satans or demons, whom they alleged to hear what passed in the heavens. Others pretended to control the stars by enchanting them. They produced eclipses of the sun and moon by their alleged efficiency in their own enchantments. They practised astrology as well as astronomy and fortune-telling.

It appears that the Chaldeans (Kaldai or Kaldi) were in the earliest times merely one out of the many Cushite tribes inhabiting the great alluvial plain known afterwards as Chaldea or Babylonia. In process of time as the Kaldi grew in power, their name prevailed over that of the other tribes inhabiting the country; and by the era of the Jewish captivity it had begun to be used generally for all the inhabitants of Babylonia. It had thus come by this time to have two senses, both ethnic: in the one, it was the special appellative of a particular race to whom it had belonged from the remotest times; in the other, it designated the nation at large in which the race was predominant. Afterwards it was transferred from an ethnic to a mere restricted sense, from the name of a people to that of a priest caste or sect of philosophers. The Kaldi proper belonged to the Cushite race. While both in Assyria and in Babylonia, the sernitic type of speech prevailed for special purposes, the ancient Cushite dialect was purely reserved for scientific and religious literature. This is no doubt the "learning" and the "tongue" to which reference is made in the Bible (Dan. I. 4). It became gradually inaccessible to the great mass of people who had emigrated by means, chiefly, of Assyrian influence. But it was the Chaldean learning in the old Chaldean or Cushite language. Hence all who studied it, whatever their origin or race, were, on account of their knowledge, termed Chaldeans. In this sense Daniel himself, "the master of Chaldeans" (Dan. V. 11.), would, no doubt, have been reckoned among them, and so we find Seleucas, a Greek, called a Chaldean by Strabo (XVI. 1, § 6). The Chaldeans were really a learned class, who by their acquaintance with the language of science became its depositaries. They were priests, magicians or astronomers, as their preference for one or other of those occupations inclined them; and in the last of these three capacities they probably effected discoveries of great importance. The Chaldeans, it would appear, congregated into bodies forming what we may perhaps call universities, and they all engaged together in it for their progress. They probably mixed up to some extent astrology with their astronomy, even in the earlier times, but they certainly made great advance in astronomical science to which their serene sky and transparent atmosphere specially invited them. In later times they seem certainly to have degenerated into mere fortune-tellers (vide Smith's Dict. of the Bible, Art. Chaldeans).

In their practice of astromancy or enchanting the stars, and in pretending to overhear what passed in the heavens, they, the Jinns, used to sit on the tops of lofty mansions at night-time for hours offering sacrifices to the stars and enchanting them. In their peculiar tongue and learning they called this practice "stealing a hearing" and "sitting for listening" (Suras XV, verse 17, and LXXII, verses 8, 9).

Now at the time of Mohammad's assuming the Prophet's office there had been an unusually grand display of numerous falling stars, which at certain periods are known to be specially abundant. At the same time there were good many comets visible in different parts of heavens, which certainly might have smitten with terror these Jinns, i.e., the astromancers and soothsayers. There was one comet visible in 602 A.D., and other two appeared in 605 A.D. In 607 A.D. two more comets were visible; another one appeared in 608 A.D. Each of the years 614 and 615 had one comet. There were also comets visible in 617 A.D. (vide Chambers's Descriptive Astronomy). These comets are most probably noticed in the contemporary record (i.e. the Koran). A comet is called Tariq, or "night comer," in Sura LXXXVI, verse 1; and described as the star of piercing radiance. (Annajmus Saqib. Ibid 3.)

The Kahins were very much alarmed at the stupendous phenomena of the falling stars and the comets; and had stopped their soothsaying and divinations. Whenever they used to sit on their places of listening, enchanting, and divination during night-time, looking at the heavens, their eyes met with showers of shooting stars and brilliant comets which bewildered them very much. It is said that the first whose attention was attracted to the unusual shooting stars was a clan of the Sakeefites of Us-Tayif (Ibn Hisham, page 131). These Jinns, when they were converted to Islam at Nakhla near Tayif, expressed their bewilderment from the unusual shower of falling stars and the appearance of numerous comets in their peculiar language:—

"The heaven did we essay but found it filled with mighty garrison and of darting flames."

"We sat on some of the seats to listen, but whoever now listeneth findeth a darting flame in ambush for him."

"We know not whether evil be meant for them that are on earth, or whether their Lord meaneth true guidance for them."—Sura LXXII, verses 8-10.

So the pretenders of hearing the discourses of heavenly bodies being quite harassed by the extraordinary showers of the falling stars, and the appearances of numerous comets, had stopped their divination. This was taken notice of in the Koran:—

"They overhear not exalted chiefs, and they are darted from every side."

"Driven off and consigned to a lasting torment; while if one steal by stealth then a glistering flame pursueth him."—Sura XXXVII, verses 8-10.

"Save such as steal a hearing, and him do visible flames pursue."—Sura XV, verse 18.

"The satans were not sent down with this Koran. It beseemed them not, and they had not the power. For they are far removed from the hearing."—Sura XXVI, verses 210-212.

As an instance of terror and bewilderment caused by meteors and shooting stars among credulous people, I will quote the following anecdote:

About the middle of the tenth century an epidemic terror of the end of the world had spread over Christendom. The scene of the last judgment was expected to be in Jerusalem.

In the year 999 the number of pilgrims proceeding eastwards, to await the coming of the Lord in that city, was so great that they were compared to a desolating army. During the thousandth year the number of pilgrims increased. Every phenomenon of nature filled them with terror. A thunderstorm sent them all upon their knees. Every meteor in the sky seen at Jerusalem brought the whole Christian population into the streets to weep and pray. The pilgrims on the road were in the same alarm. Every shooting star furnished occasion for a sermon, in which the sublimity of the approaching judgment was the principal topic (vide Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay, LL.D., London, pp. 222 and 223).

It was a conceit or imposture of the Kahins to pretend that their demons had access to the outskirts of the heavens, and by assiduous eavesdropping secured some of the secrets of the upper world and communicated the same to the soothsayers or diviners upon earth. The Jews had a similar notion of the demons (schedim), learning the secrets of the future by listening behind the veil (pargôd). The Koran falsified them in their assertions. It says that the heavens (or the stars) are safe and protected against the eavesdropping (or enchantments) of the soothsayers.

"We have set the signs of Zodiac in the heavens, and we have decked them forth for the bewilders."

"And we guard them from every stoned satan."—Sura XV, verses 16, 17.

"Verily we have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars;"

"And we have guarded them against every rebellious satan."—Sura XXXVII, verses 6, 7.

" ... And we have furnished the lower heaven with lights and have protected it...."—Sura XLI, verse 11.

The Koran further says that the soothsayers impart to their votaries or to those who go to consult them what they have heard from other people and are liars:—

"They impart what they have heard, but most of them are liars."—Sura XXVI, verse 223.

It is nowhere said in the Koran that the stars are darted or hurled at the Satans. Sura LXVII, verse 5, literally means, "of a surety we have decked the lower heaven with lights and have made them to be (means of) 'Rojúm' conjectures to the (or for the) devils, i.e. the astrologer." The primary meaning of Rajm is a thing that is thrown or cast like a stone: pl. 'Rojúm,' but it generally means speaking of that which is hidden, or conjecturing or speaking by conjecture, as in Sura XVIII, verse 21. In Sura XIX, verse 47, the word "La-arjomannaka" has been explained both ways, meaning (1) "I will assuredly cast stones at thee," and (2) "I will assuredly say of thee, (though) speaking of that which is hidden (from me) or unknown (by me), what thou dislikest or hatest." Vide Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, page 1048.

[42] "After five centuries of Christian evangelization, we can point to but a sprinkling here and there of Christian converts;—the Bani Hârith of Najrân: the Bani Hanîfa of Yemâma; some of the Bani Tay at Tayma, and hardly any more. Judaism, vastly more powerful, had exhibited a spasmodic effort of proselytizm under Dzu Nowâs; but, as an active and converting agent the Jewish faith was no longer operative."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, page ccxxxix.

[43] The Aws or Khazraj were two branches of the Azdite tribes of Yemen from the Kahlanite stock. After their emigration to the North they separated themselves from the Ghassinides and returned to Medina, where they settled.

[44] The same remarks apply to the wars fought during Mohammad's lifetime but before his public mission.

[45] The Bani Aslam tribe settled north of Medina in the valley of Wady-al-Koraa. They were a branch of the Kozaaite tribes descended from Himyar.

[46] Joheina were a branch of Kozaa, the descendants of Himyar. This tribe inhabited in the vicinity of Yenbo, north of Medina.

[47] Mozeina were a tribe of the Moaddite stock of Mecca. They inhabited in Najd, north-east of Medina.

[48] Ghifár were sons of Moleil-bin-Zamra, the descendants of Kinána, one of the Moaddite tribes.

[49] Saad-bin-Bakr were a branch of Hawazin. Mohammad had been nursed among them.

[50] The Bani Ashja were a branch of the Ghatafán of the Meccan stock of the Moaddites. The Bani Ashja appear all to have been hostile to Mohammad. They fought against the Prophet at the siege of Medina with four hundred warriors in their contingent. Sir W. Muir says, "The Bani Ashjâ, who had joined in the siege of Medina, gave in their adhesion shortly after the massacre of the Coreitza; they told Mahomet that they were so pressed by his warring against them, that they could stand out no longer.—K. Wackidi, page 60." Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, 107, footnote. This story is altogether false. We never hear of Mohammad warring against Bani Ashja; on the contrary, they had themselves invaded Medina.

[51] The Bani Ash-ár inhabited Jedda. They were of the Kahlánite stock, the descendants of Al-Azd.

[52] The Bani Khushain were a clan of Kozaá, of Himiarite stock.

[53] The Bani Dous belong to the Azdite tribe of the stock of Kahtán. They lived at some distance south of Mecca. They had joined Mohammad at Khyber.

[54] These were the sub-tribes of Ghatafán of the Meccan stock. The chief families of Ghatafán were the Bani Ashja, Zobian, and the Bani Abs. Murra and Fezára were the branches of Zobian. They all inhabited Najd. Uyenia, the chief of the Bani Fezára, had committed an inroad upon Medina in A.H. 6. In the same year the Bani Fezára had waylaid a Medina caravan and plundered it.

[55] The Bani Suleim, a branch of the Bani Khasafa and a sister tribe to Hawázin, who lived near Mecca, and in whose charge, Mohammad, when but an infant, was placed, were also a tribe of the Meccan stock descended through Khasafa from Mozar and Moádd. Bani Suleim, like Bani Murra and Fezára, branches of Ghatafán, had long continued to threaten Mohammad with attacks. The Bani Suleim having joined Aamir bin Tofeil, chief of Bani Aamir, a branch of the tribe of Hawázin with their clans Usseya, Ril, and Zakawán, had cut to pieces a party of Moslem missionaries at Bir Mauna, invited by Abu Bera Amr ibn Málik, a chief of the Bani Aamir, who had pledged for their security. The Bani Suleim had joined also the Koreish army at the siege of Medina. In the seventh year, they had slain another body of Moslem missionaries sent to them.

[56] The Bani Ozra were a tribe of Kozaá, like Joheina. They, together with the Bani Bali and Juzám, inhabited the north of Arabia in the part of the territory belonging to Ghassan. The family of Himyar, descendants from Kahtán in Yemen, had flourished through the line of Kozaá, the Bani Ozza, Joheina and other important tribes to the north of the Peninsula on the border of Syria. It has been quoted by Sir W. Muir from Katib Wakidi that the chief of the Bani Juzám carried back to them a letter from Mohammad to this tenor: "Whoever accepteth the call of Islam, he is among the confederates of the Lord; whoever refuseth the same, a truce of two months is allowed for him for consideration." (Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 107, foot-note). The words "for consideration" are not in the original Arabic.—Vide Ibn Hisham, p. 963. It is not clear what was meant by the two months' truce he was advised to give them, to make terms before he could commence hostilities, if the tradition for which there is no authority be true. This has nothing to do with their compulsory conversions.

[57] Salaba was a branch of the Zobián.

[58] The Bani Abd-ul-Kays are a Moaddite tribe, the descendants of Rabia. They inhabited Bahrein on the Persian Gulf.

[59] The Bani Tamim were branch of Tábikha, a tribe of the Moaddite stock of Mecca and a sister tribe of Mozeina. They are famous in the history of Najd, a province north-east of Medina, from the confines of Syria to Yemen. Some of these branches were with Mohammad at the expeditions to Mecca and Honain. All the branches of the tribes that had not yet embraced Islam were now converted.

[60] The Bani Asad ibn Khozeima were a powerful tribe residing near the hill of Katan in Najd. They were of the Moaddite tribe of the Meccan stock. Tuleiba, their chief, had assembled a force of cavalry and rapid camel-drivers to make a raid upon Medina in A.H. 4. They were dispersed by the Moslems. In the next year they joined the Koreish in the siege of Medina.

[61] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, page 136. Those who had newly joined the Moslem Camp at Mecca to repel the threatening gathering of Hawázin, and those of them who preferred submission to the authority of Mohammad, are called by Sir W. Muir "his new converts." (IV., 149). But in fact they were not called believers. They are called simply Muallafa Qolubohum in the Koran (IX., 60) which means whose hearts are to be won over.

[62] Okáz between Táyif and Nakhla. Mujanna in the vicinity of Marr-al Zahrán, and Zul-Majáz behind Arafat, both near Mecca.

[63] "From time immemorial, tradition represents Mecca as the scene of a yearly pilgrimage from all quarters of Arabia:—from Yemen, Hadhramaut and the shores of the Persian Gulph, from the deserts of Syria, and from the distant environs of Híra and Mesopotamia."—Muir, I, ccxi.

[64] Sir W. Muir thinks: "The possession of Mecca now imparted a colour of right to his pretensions; for Mecca was the spiritual centre of the country, to which the tribes from every quarter yielded a reverential homage. The conduct of the annual pilgrimage, the custody of the holy house, the intercalation of the year, the commutation at will of the sacred months,—institutions which affected all Arabia,—belonged by ancient privilege to the Coreish and were now in the hands of Mahomet.... Moreover, it had been the special care of Mahomet artfully to interweave with the reformed faith all essential parts of the ancient ceremonial. The one was made an inseparable portion of the other."—The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 169. But the remaining tribes who had not hitherto embraced Islam, and the chiefs of the Southern and Eastern Arabia, did not adopt Islam, because Mohammad possessed Mecca, a position of no political supremacy. No paramount authority throughout the Peninsula had ever been vested in the chief who possessed Mecca. Mohammad on the surrender of Mecca had abolished all the idolatrous institutions which might have served as political or social inducements to the Pagan Arabs to embrace Islam. The intercalation of the year and commutation of the sacred months were cancelled for ever in the plain words of the Koran: "Verily, twelve months is the number of months with God, according to God's book, since the day when He created the Heavens and the earth, of these, four are sacred; this is the right usage." ... "To carry over a sacred month to another is an increase of unbelief only. They who do not believe are led into error by it. They allow it one year and forbid it another, that they may make good the number of months which God hath hallowed, and they allow that which God hath prohibited. The evil of their deeds hath been prepared for them by Satan; for God guideth not the people who do not believe."—Sura IX, verses 36, 37. The custody of the house was no more an office of honour or privilege. The ancient ceremonial of pilgrimage was not interwoven with the reformed faith. The rites of Kaaba were stripped of every idolatrous tendency. And the remaining and essential part of the pilgrimage was depreciated. "By no means can their flesh reach unto God, neither their blood; but piety on your part reacheth Him."—Sura XXII, verse 38. And after all the idolaters were not allowed to enter it. "It is not for the votaries of other gods with God, witnesses against themselves of infidelity, to visit the temples of God."—Sura IX, verse 28. Sir W. Muir himself says regarding Mohammad: "The rites of Kaaba were retained, but stripped by him of every idolatrous tendency; and they still hang, a strange unmeaning shroud, around the living theism of Islam."—Vol. I, Intro., p. ccxviii.

[65] For these deputations see Ibn Is-hak (died 151), Hishamee (died 213), Ibn Sad (died 213), Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, Chap. 30th, Seerat Shámí (died 942), and Halabí (died 1044). For the genealogies of these tribes consult Qalqashandi's Dictionary of Tribes, and Ibn Khaldún's History. Regarding the geographical positions of these tribes the reader is referred to the most valuable map of Arabia in Sir W. Muir's Annals of Early Caliphate, London 1882.

[66] The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, pp. 181 and 226.

[67] A branch of Hawázin and sister tribe of the Sakeef inhabited the province of Najd and were of the Moaddite stock. The tribe had taken little share with the rest of the Bani Hawázin at the battle of Honain against the Moslems A.H. 8. The famous poet Lebid, author of one of the Moallakas, belonged to that tribe. [See the Life of Lebid from Ketab-ul-Aghani, in an article on the Moallaqah by Lebid, by C.J. Lyall, C.S., in the Journals of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, No. 1, 1877, pp. 62-76: Calcutta.]

[68] Bani Abd-ul-Kays from Bahrein. The tribe has been described at page 47. There were many persons in the embassy. They were Christians before they embraced Islam.

[69] Descended from Anmár of the Kahtanite stock of Yemen.

[70] A sub-tribe of Asad, descendants of Rabia of the Moaddite stock. These are the Aneze of Burkhardt.

[71] Already described at p. 47. The rest of them now embraced Islam. It is said that Sura xlix, 17, refers to them.

[72] Bani Azd (Shanovah) from Yemen. This tribe was a portion of the Azdite tribe left at Yemen at the time of the northern emigration of Azd. They were a branch of Kahtan of the Kahtanite stock. In their emigration northward from Yemen they resided a long time in Hijaz at Batn Murr near Mecca. In their journey further on to the north of Syria, leaving Kozaa, they changed their name to Ghassán from their long residence, by the way, near a fountain of that name. The tribes Aus and Khazraj had separated afterwards from these Ghassanides, and settled at Yathrib, afterwards known as Medina. One Surad was the chief of the embassy of Azd from Yemen to Mohammad at Medina. Sir W. Muir says: "This person was recognized by Mahomet as the ruler of his clan, and commission was given to him to war against the heathen tribes in his neighbourhood." (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 219.) The Arabic word "yojáhid," in the original biographies, only means "to strive," and does not mean "to make war," as understood by Sir W. Muir. He has himself translated the same word as "striving" in Vol. III, page 32. At page 265 of the same volume he translates it by "to do utmost." I have discussed the subject in full in Appendix A. of this work.

[73] Another branch of the Azd described above.

[74] Bani Báhila, otherwise called Sáad Manát, descendants of Ghatafán of the Moaddite stock.

[75] Bani Bahra (bin Amr bin Al-Háf bin Kozaá), who were a branch of the Kozaá of the Himyarite stock, had emigrated to the north, and settled in the Ghassanide territory.

[76] Bani Bajíla, a sister of Khas-am and descendants of Anmar bin Nizar of the Kahtanite stock. They inhabited Yemen. The Bajíla after professing Islam had destroyed the famous image of Kholasa.

[77] A branch of Bani Aamir bin Sáasáa in the centre of Arabia.

[78] They lived about Yemama and the shores of the Persian Gulf. They were one of the Moaddite tribes. The war of Basus between Bani Bakr and their sister tribe Bani Taghlib had lasted for forty years. There have been famous poets in the Bani Bakr tribe, among whom are Tarafa, Haris bin Hiliza, and Maimún Al-Asha. The Bani Bakr and Bani Tamim were constantly at war, which was abandoned under the influence of Islam, when both the parties were converted to it during the lifetime of Mohammad.[Pg liv]

[79] They were a branch of the Kozaá from the Himyarite stock, the descendants of Kahtan, and had settled in the north of Arabia in the Ghassanide territory on the borders of Syria.

[80] A sub-tribe of Kozaá.

[81] A clan of the tribe of Lakhm.

[82] An Arab of the Bani Juzam in the north of Arabia and Governor of Amman in the Ghassanide territory announced his conversion to Mohammad by a despatch in A.H. 8.

[83] They have already been described at page 46. Their deputation waited upon Mohammad on his return from Tabúk.

[84] Descendants of Anmár of the Kahtanite stock.

[85] A sub-tribe of Azd at Yemen.

[86] Already described under Bani Azd.

[87] Bani Hamadán of the Kahtanite descent. An important tribe in the east of Yemen.

[88] A Christian branch of the Bani Bakr who inhabited Yemama.

"The account of the embassy of the Bani Hanífa is more decidedly unfavourable to Christianity, but its details appear of doubtful authority. Moseilama, the false Prophet, was among the number, and there are some unlikely anticipations of his sacrilegious claims.

"As the embassy were departing, Mahomet gave them a vessel in which were the leavings of the water with which he had performed his lustration; and he said,—'When you reach your country, break down your church, and sprinkle its sight with this water, and make in its place a mosque'....

"The story appears to me improbable, because nowhere else is Mahomet represented as exhibiting such antagonism to Christians and their churches when they submitted themselves to him."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, pp. 303-4, footnote. The author changes his opinion in the fourth volume of his work and says: "I have there stated (in Vol. II) the story to be improbable. But I am now inclined to think that during the last year or two of Mahomet's life, there was quite enough of antagonistic feeling against Christianity as it presented itself in the profession of the Arab and Syrian tribes to support the narrative."—Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, page 218, footnote.

This is a mere presumption on the part of the writer, and there is no proof of Mohammad's antagonism towards Christianity at any period of his life except against those who waged war with him. The following verse of the Koran will show how far I am true:—

"Verily they who believe (Moslems), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians and Sabeites, whoever of those believeth in God and the Last Day, and doth that which is right shall have their reward with their Lord: Fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved."[Pg lv]

[89] Also a Christian tribe in Yemen descended from the Kahtanite stock of the Bani Madhij, and collateral therefore with Bani Kinda. Two of the embassy, one of them being Akil or Abd-ul-Masih, the chief of the deputation, adopted Islam. The rest returned with a full guarantee from Mohammad for the preservation of their social and religious liberty. Further information regarding the Bani Háris of Najrán will be found at pp. 48 and 106 of this book.

"Kâtib al Wâckidi, p. 69. The subsequent history of the Najrán Christians is there traced. They continued in possession of their lands and rights under the treaty during the rest of Mohammad's life and the whole of Abu Bakr's Caliphate. Then they were accused of taking usury, and Omar expelled them from the land, and wrote as follows:—

"The despatch of Omar, the Commander of the Faithful, to the people of Najrán. Whoever of them emigrates is under the guarantee of God. No Moslem shall injure them;—to fulfil that which Mahomet and Abu Bakr wrote unto them.

"Now to whomsoever of the chiefs of Syria and Irâc they may repair, let such chiefs allot them lands, and whatever they cultivate therefrom shall be theirs; it is an exchange for their own lands. None shall injure or maltreat them; Moslems shall assist them against oppressors. Their tribute is remitted for two years. They will not be troubled except for evil deeds.

"Some of them alighted in Irâc, and settled in Najránia near to Cufa.

"That the offence of usury is alleged in justification of this measure appears to me to disprove the common tradition that a command was said to have been given by Mahomet on his deathbed for the Peninsula to be swept clear of all other religions but Islam."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, pp. 301-2.

[90] Descendants of the great Ghatafán tribe already described.

[91] Bani Himyar from Yemen. The Himyarites are too well-known to be described. The Himyarite princes of Ro-en, Mu-afir, Hamadan and Bazan, all of the Christian faith in Yemen, embraced Islam and announced their conversion by letter sent to Mohammad through their emissaries which reached him after his return from Tabúk.[Pg lvi]

[92] Either a clan of Lakhm, or a branch of Bani Aámir.

[93] A sub-tribe of the Bani Aámir bin Sáasáa already described.

[94] The King of Omán, together with the people of Omán, embraced Islam during A.H. 8 and 9. The people of Omán were of the Azdite stock.

[95] Already described at page 43.

[96] A branch of Saad-al-Ashira from the Kahtanite stock. This tribe inhabited Yemen. They had some peculiar prejudice against eating the heart of an animal. Mohammad had caused their chief to break his superstition, which he did by making him eat the roasted heart of an animal.

But they returned disgusted when told that his (the chief's) mother who had committed infanticide was in hell. However they sent another deputation a second time and finally embraced Islam.

[97] They settled in Dumat-ul-Jundal, now Jal-al-Jowf, north of Arabia. They were a tribe of the Bani Kozaá descended from Himyar.

[98] A tribe of the Kahtanite stock at Yemen. They lived in a hilly country of that name in Yemen.

[99] They were a tribe of the Kahtanite stock on the coast of Yemen.

[100] A clan of the Bani Aámir bin Sáasáa of the Hawázin tribe already described.

[101] Descendants of Khazima of the Moaddite stock.

[102] The Bani Kinda princes, Vail bin Hijar and Al-Ash-as bin Kays; the former, the chief of the coast, and the latter, the chief of the Hazaramaut in the south of Arabia. They with their whole clans embraced Islam. Bani Kinda were a powerful tribe of the Kahálánite stock.

[103] A clan of Ozra from Kozaá described at page 46.

[104] Descendants of Ghatafán of the Moaddite stock.

[105] They inhabited the sea-coast of Yemen, and were a tribe of Muzhie of the Kahtanite stock.

[106] A branch of the tribe of Aámir bin Sáasáa.

[107] A branch of Zobian.

[108] They were a tribe of the Kahtanite stock, residing in Yemen. Their deputation consisted of two hundred persons. It is said this was the last deputation received by Mohammad. Some time before this Ali was sent to the Bani Nakh-a and other tribes of the Mudhij stock in Yemen.

[109] A tribe of Kozaá of the Himyarite stock at Yemen.[Pg lvii]

[110] A sub-tribe of Kozaá inhabiting Syria described at page 46.

[111] A tribe of Muzhij of the Kahtanite stock at Yemen.

[112] They were a clan of the Bani Aámir bin Sáasáa already described.

[113] A tribe of the Kozaá of the Moaddite stock, and according to some from Yemen.

[114] Descendants of Hazaramaut of the Kahtanite stock at Yemen.

[115] A clan of the Bani Hanifa, descendants of Bakr bin Wail already described.

[116] A clan of the Bani Shaiban, the descendants of Bakr bin Wail already mentioned.

[117] The Bani Sakeef (Thackif) were a branch of the Mazar tribes of the Moaddite stock. They were a sub-tribe of the Hawázin and sister tribe to the Bani Adwán, Ghatafán, and Suleim. They (the Bani Sakeef) lived at Tayif and worshipped the idol Lat or Táqhia. Orwa, a chief of Tayif, had gone to Medina to embrace Islam. His first generous impulse was to return to Tayif and invite his fellow-citizens to share in the blessings imparted by the new faith. Upon his making public his conversion, he was wounded by a mob and suffered martyrdom. But he left a favourable impression of Islam at Tayif. Their deputation consisted of six chiefs with fifteen or twenty followers. The Prophet received them gladly and pitched a tent for their accommodation in the court of his mosque. Every evening after supper he paid them there a visit and instructed them in the faith till it was dark. Sir W. Muir writes:—"The martyrdom of Orwa compromised the inhabitants of Tayif, and forced to continue the hostile course they had previously been pursuing. But they began to suffer severely from the marauding attacks of Bani Hawazin under Malik. That chief, according to his engagement, maintained the increasing predatory warfare against them."—Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 204. At page 155 he says regarding Malik,—"being confirmed in his chiefship he engaged to maintain a constant warfare with the citizens of Tayif." But there was no such engagement with Málik. The authority (Hishamee) referred to by Sir W. Muir does not speak anything of the alleged engagement. Vide Hishamee, page 879. Hishamee has only so much that Mohammad made Malik chief of those who were converted from the tribe. These were the clans of Somála, Salma, and Fahm, and that he used to fight with them against the Sakifites. Sir W. Muir further writes that the inhabitants of Tayif said among themselves: "We have not strength to fight against the Arab tribe all around that have plighted their faith to Mahomet, and bound themselves to fight in his cause" (Vol. IV, p. 205). The italics are mine and these words are not to be found in the original authorities. Hishamee (page 914) has Bayaoo va Aslamoo, i.e., they have plighted and submitted (or converted to Islam).[Pg lviii]

[118] Descendants of the Kozaá inhabited the hills of that name (Salámán).

[119] Descendants and branch of Bakr bin Wail.

[120] A tribe of the Kahtanite stock from Yemen.

[121] The Bani Taghlib bin Wail were a tribe of the Moaddite stock of Meccan origin and a sister tribe to the Bani Bakr bin Wail. Their wars are famous in the annals of Arabia. The war of Basús has been already alluded to under Bani Bakr. These tribes, the Bani Bakr and Taghlib, were located in Yemama, Bahrein, Najd, and Tihama, but lastly the Bani Taghlib had emigrated to Mesopotamia and professed the Christian faith. The members of their deputation to Mohammad wore golden crosses. When invited to Islam, they did not embrace it, but promised to allow their children to become Moslems. Mohammad allowed them to maintain unchanged their profession of Christianity. Their Christianity was of a notoriously superficial character. "The Taghlib," said Ali, the fourth Khalif, "are not Christians; they have borrowed from Christianity only the custom of drinking wine."—Dozy Historie, i, 20.

[122] A clan of Kinda from the sub-tribe of Sakun at Yemen.

[123] The Bani Tamim were descendants of Tabikha bin Elyas of the Moaddite stock. They are famous in the history of Najd, the northeastern desert of which from the confines of Syria to Yemama they inhabited. They were at constant warfare with the Bani Bakr bin Abd Monát, descendants of Kinána of the Moaddite stock, from 615 to 630 A.D. All the branches of the tribe which had not yet converted to Islam were now converted in A.H. 9.

[124] The Bani Tay was a great tribe of the Kahtanite stock of Yemen, had moved northwards, and settled in the mountains of Ajá and Salmá to the north of Najd and Hijaz and the town of Tyma. They had adopted Christianity, but some of them were Jews and Pagans. Their intertribal war has been alluded to in para. 26. The whole tribe now embraced Islam. "A deputation from the Bani Tay, headed by their chief, Zeid-al-Khail, came to Medina to ransom the prisoners, soon after Ali's expedition. Mahomet was charmed with Zeid, of whose fame both as a warrior and a poet he had long heard. He changed his name to Zeid al Kheir (the beneficent), granted him a large tract of country, and sent him away laden with presents."

Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 178.

[125] They were a branch of Sad-al-Ashirá of the Mazhij tribe of the Kahtanite stock. They inhabited the sea-coast of Yemen.

[126] The rebellion of almost the whole of Arabia—wrongly called apostasy—after the death of Mohammad was chiefly against the Government of Abu Bakr, the first Khalifa of the Republic of Islam. No such paramount power over the whole of Arabia was ever vested in the chiefs of Mecca, and the Arabs were unaccustomed to this new form of Government. They had neither rebelled against Islam, nor apostatized from their religion, except a very few of them who had attached themselves to Moseilama for a short time.

[127] Mohammed, Buddha and Christ, by Marcus Dods, D.D., page 83.

[128] Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Book II, Chap. III, page 73.

[129] Hallam's Middle Ages, Vol. II, pp. 118-9.

[130] The early followers of Mohammad bore persecutions and exile with patience and steadfastness; and never recanted. Look to the increasing number of these early Moslems, their magnanimous forbearance, and the spontaneous abandonment of their dear homes and relations, and their defending their Prophet with their blood. The number of Christian believers during the whole lifetime of Christ was not more than 120 (Act I, 15). They had a material view of the Messiah's kingdom, and had fled at the first sound of danger. Two of the disciples when walking to Emmaus observed, "We trusted that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel," and the apostle asked Jesus after the so-called resurrection, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?"

"During the periods thus indicated as possible for comparison, persecution and rejection were the fate of both. But the thirteen years' ministry of Mahomet had brought about a far greater change to the external eye than the whole lifetime of Christ. The apostles fled at the first sound of danger, and however deep the inner work may have been in the 500 by whom our Lord was seen, it had produced as yet but little outward action. There was among them no spontaneous quitting of their homes, nor emigration by hundreds, such as distinguished the early Moslems; nor any rapturous resolution by the converts of a foreign city to defend the Prophet with their blood."—The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, Vol. II, page 274.

[131] "Let us for a moment look back to the period when a ban was proclaimed at Mecca against all the citizens, whether professed converts or not, who espoused his cause; when they were shut up in the Sheb or quarter of Abu Tâlib, and there for three years without prospect of relief endured want and hardship. Those must have been steadfast and mighty motives which enabled him amidst all this opposition and apparent hopelessness of success, to maintain his principles unshaken. No sooner was he relieved from confinement, than, despairing of his native city, he went forth to Tâyif and summoned its rulers and inhabitants to repentance; he was solitary and unaided, but he had a message, he said, from his Lord. On the third day he was driven out of the town with ignominy, blood trickling from the wounds inflicted on him by the populace. He retired to a little distance, and there poured forth his complaint to God: then he returned to Mecca, there to carry on the same outwardly hopeless cause with the same high confidence in its ultimate success. We search in vain through the pages of profane history for a parallel to the struggle in which for thirteen years the Prophet of Arabia in the face of discouragement and threats, rejection and persecution retained his faith unwavering, preached repentance, and denounced God's wrath against his godless fellow-citizens. Surrounded by a little band of faithful men and women, he met insults, menaces, dangers, with a high and patient trust in the future. And when at last the promise of safety came from a distant quarter, he calmly waited until his followers had all departed, and then disappeared from amongst his ungrateful and rebellious people."—Muir, Vol. IV, pages 314-15.

[132] "That he was the impostor pictured by some writers is refuted alike by his unwavering belief in the truth of his own mission, by the loyalty and unshaken confidence of his companions, who had ample opportunity of forming a right estimate of his sincerity, and finally, by the magnitude of the task which he brought to so successful an issue. No impostor, it may safely be said, could have accomplished so mighty a work. No one unsupported by a living faith in the reality of his commission, in the goodness of his cause, could have maintained the same consistent attitude through long years of adverse fortune, alike in the day of victory and in the hour of defeat, in the plenitude of his power and at the moment of death."—Islam and its Founder, by J.W.H. Stobart, M.A., page 23.

"Of the sincerity of his belief in his own mission there can be no doubt. The great merit is his that among a people given up to idolatry he rose to a vivid perception of the Unity of God, and preached this great doctrine with firmness and constancy, amid ridicule and persecution. But there it seems to me that the eulogy of the Prophet ought to cease."—Islam under the Arabs by R.D. Osborn. London 1876, p. 90.

[133] The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, LL.D., Vol. II, pp. 269-71.

[134] The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, pp. 320-21.

[135] Mohammed, Buddha and Christ, by Marcus Dods, D.D., pp. 17-19 & 119.

[136] Christianity and Islam: The Bible and the Koran, by Rev. W.R.W. Stephens, pp. 94, 104, 112, London, 1877.

[137] Christianity and Islam: The Bible and the Koran, by the Rev. W.R.W. Stephens, pp. 129-30, London, 1877.

[138] "We may readily admit that at the first Mahomet did believe, or persuaded himself to believe, that his revelations were dictated by a divine agency. In the Meccan period of his life there certainly can be traced no personal ends or unworthy motives to belie this conclusion. The Prophet was there, what he professed to be, 'a simple Preacher and a Warner;' he was the despised and rejected teacher of a gainsaying people; and he had apparently no ulterior object but their reformation. Mahomet may have mistaken the right means to effect this end, but there is no sufficient reason for doubting that he used those means in good faith and with an honest purpose.

"But the scene altogether changes at Medîna. There the acquisition of temporal power, aggrandisement, and self-glorification mingled with the grand object of the Prophet's previous life, and they were sought after and attained by precisely the same instrumentality. Messages from Heaven were freely brought forward to justify his political conduct, equally with his religious precepts. Battles were fought, wholesale executions inflicted, and territories annexed, under pretext of the Almighty's sanction. Nay, even baser actions were not only excused, but encouraged by the pretended divine approval or command. A special license was produced, allowing Mahomet a double number of wives; the discreditable affair of Mary the Coptic slave was justified in a separate Sura; and the passion for the wife of his own adopted son and bosom friend was the subject of an inspired message in which the Prophet's scruples were rebuked by God; a divorce permitted, and marriage with the object of his unhallowed desires enjoined."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 317-8.

[139] "But the darker shades of character as well as the brighter must be depicted by a faithful historian. Magnanimity or moderation are nowhere discernible as features in the conduct of Mahomet towards such of his enemies as failed to tender a timely allegiance. Over the bodies of the Coreish who fell at Badr he exulted with savage satisfaction; and several prisoners, accused of no crime but that of scepticism and political opposition, were deliberately executed at his command. The prince of Kheibar, after being subjected to inhuman torture for the purpose of discovering the treasures of his tribe, was, with his cousin, put to death on the pretext of having treacherously concealed [Pg lxxix] them; and his wife was led away captive to the tent of the conqueror. Sentence of exile was enforced by Mahomet with rigorous severity on two whole Jewish tribes at Medîna; and of a third like his neighbours, the women and children were sold into distant captivity, while the men amounting to several hundreds were butchered in cold blood before his eyes.

"In his youth Mahomet earned among his fellows the honourable title of 'the Faithful.' But in later years, however much sincerity and good faith may have guided his conduct in respect of his friends, craft and deception were certainly not wanting towards his foes. The perfidious attack at Nakhla, where the first blood in the internecine war with the Coreish was shed, although at first disavowed by Mahomet, for its scandalous breach of the sacred usages of Arabia, was eventually justified by a pretended revelation. Abu Basîr, the freebooter, was countenanced by the Prophet in a manner scarcely consistent with the letter, and certainly opposed to the spirit, of the truce of Hodeibia. The surprise which secured the easy conquest of Mecca was designed with craftiness, if not with duplicity. The pretext on which the Bani Nadhîr were besieged and expatriated (namely, that Gabriel had revealed their design against the prophet's life), was feeble and unworthy of an honest cause. When Medîna was beleaguered by the confederate army, Mahomet sought the services of Nueim, a traitor, and employed him to sow distrust among the enemy by false and treacherous reports; 'for,' said he, 'what else is war but a game at deception?' In his prophetical career, political and personal ends were frequently compassed by the flagrant pretence of Divine revelations, which a candid examination would have shewn him to be nothing more than the counterpart of his own wishes. The Jewish and Christian systems, at first adopted honestly as the basis of his own religion, had no sooner served the purpose of establishing a firm authority, than they were ignored, if not disowned. And what is perhaps worst of all, the dastardly assassination of political and religious opponents, countenanced and frequently directed as they were in all their cruel and perfidious details by Mahomet himself leaves a dark and indelible blot upon his character."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 307-9.

"The reader will observe that simultaneously with the anxious desire to extinguish idolatry, and to promote religion and virtue in the world, there was nurtured by the Prophet in his own heart a licentious self-indulgence; till in the end, assuming to be the favourite of Heaven, he justified himself by 'revelations' from God in the most flagrant breaches of morality. He will remark that while Mahomet cherished a kind and tender disposition, 'weeping with them that wept,' and binding to his person the hearts of his followers by the ready and self-denying offices of love and friendship, he could yet take pleasure in cruel and perfidious assassination, could gloat over the massacre of an entire tribe, and savagely consign the innocent babe to the fires of hell."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 322-3.

[140] "In domestic life the conduct of Mahomet with one grave exception was exemplary. As a husband his fondness and devotion was entire, bordering, however, at times upon jealousy. As a father he was loving and tender. In his youth he is said to have lived a virtuous life. At the age of twenty-five he married a widow forty years old; and for five and twenty years he was a faithful husband to her alone. Yet it is remarkable that during this period was composed most of those passages of the Coran in which the black-eyed Houris, reserved for believers in Paradise, are depicted in such glowing colours. Shortly after the death of Khadija the Prophet married again; but it was not till the mature age of fifty-four that he made the dangerous trial of polygamy, by taking Ayesha, yet a child, as the rival of Sauda. Once the natural limits of restraint were overpassed, Mahomet fell an easy prey to his strong passion for the sex. In his fifty-sixth year he married Haphsa; and the following year, in two succeeding months, Zeinab bint Khozeima and Omm Salma. But his desires were not to be satisfied by the range of a harem already greater than was permitted to any of his followers; rather as age advanced, they were stimulated to seek for new and varied indulgence. A few months after his nuptials with Zeinab and Omm Salma, the charms of a second Zeinab were by accident discovered too fully before the Prophet's admiring gaze. She was the wife of Zeid, his adopted son and bosom friend; but he was unable to smother the flame she kindled in his breast; and, by divine command, she was taken to his bed. In the same year he married a seventh wife, and also a concubine. And at last, when he was full three score years of age, no fewer than three new wives, besides Mary the Coptic slave, were within the space of seven months added to his already well-filled harem."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 309-10.

[141] "Vide Muhammad and Muhammadanism, by Mr. R. Bosworth Smith, M.A., an Assistant Master of Harrow School."

[142] Notes on Muhammadanism, by the Rev. T.P. Hughes, Missionary to the Afghans, Peshawar; Second Edition, page 4, London, 1877.

[143] Mohammed, Buddha and Christ, by Marcus Dods, D.D., pp. 24 & 25.

[144] Vide pp. 48-61. This work is being printed at Education Society's Press, Byculla, Bombay. It appears that Dr. Dods, in the first instance, had in view Sura XXXIII, 51. This is by no means giving Mohammad conjugal allowances which he himself had proscribed as unlawful. As a preliminary measure to abolish polygamy and to accustom the people to monogamy, Mohammad, when reducing the unlimited polygamy practised in Arabia, had put a strong condition to treat their wives, when more than one, equitably in every sense of the word,—i.e., in the matter of social comfort, love and household establishment (Sura IV, 3). When the measure had given a monogamous tendency to the Arab society, it was declared that it was impossible practically to treat equitably in all respects the contemporary wives (Sura IV, 128), and those who had already contracted contemporaneous marriage before the measure referred to above was introduced were absolved from the condition laid down in Sura IV, 3, but were advised, regarding their then existing wives, not to yield wholly to disinclination. Similarly Mohammad was also relieved from that condition in Sura XXXIII, 51, without "giving him any conjugal allowance which he had himself pronounced unlawful." The second instance is of Zeinab's case I suppose. Zeinab was in no way, when divorced by Zeid, "a woman forbidden to him by his own laws."

[145] "The Apostle becomes a creature so exalted that even the easy drapery of Mohammadan morality becomes a garment too tight-fitting for him. 'A peculiar privilege is granted to him above the rest of the believers.' He may multiply his wives without stint; he may and he does marry within the prohibited degrees."—Islam under the Arabs, by R.D. Osborn, London 1876, p. 91.

[146] Studies in a Mosque, by S.L. Poole, pp. 77 and 80, London, 1880.

[147] Vide Islam and its Founder, by J.W.H. Stobart, B.A., page 229, London, 1878; and Mohammed, Buddha and Christ, by Marcus Dods, D.D., pp. 122-23, London, 1878. Major Osborn writes, "But to the polity erected on these rude lines was given the attribute of finality. In order to enforce obedience and eliminate the spirit of opposition, Mohammad asserted that it was, down to the minutest details, the work of a Divine Legislature."—Islam under the Arabs, pp. 45 and 46.

[148] Vide The Faith of Islam, by the Rev. Edward Sell, page 7, London, 1880.

[149] Vide Christianity and Islam, the Bible, and the Koran, by the Rev. W.R.W. Stephens, pp. 95 and 131, London, 1877.

[150] Vide Islam and its Founder, by J.W.H. Stobart, B.A., page 237; and Stephens' Christianity and Islam, page 121. Major Osborn writes: "From the hour of his birth the moslem becomes a member of a system in which every act of his life is governed by a minute ritual. He is beset on every side with a circle of inflexible formalities."—Islam under the Khalifs of Baghdad, pp. 78-9. He further writes in a footnote, p. 79: "Thus prayer is absolutely useless if any matter, legally considered impure, adheres to the person of the worshipper, even though he be unconscious of its presence. Prayer also is null and void unless the men and women praying are attired in a certain prescribed manner."

[151] Vide Christianity and Islam, by W.R.W. Stephens, pp. 122-23. Major Osborn writes: "The Prophet knew of no religious life where the external rite was not deemed of greater importance than the inner state, and, in consequence, he gave that character to Islam also. Hence there are no moral gradations in the Koran. All precepts proceed from the will of God, and all are enforced with the same threatening emphasis. A failure of performance in the meanest trivialities of civil life involves the same tremendous penalties as apostacy and idolatry."—Islam under Khalifs, p. 5. He further says: "In their religious aspect, these traditions are remarkable for that strange confusion of thought which caused the Prophet to place on one level of wickedness serious moral crimes, breaches of sumptuary regulations, and accidental omissions in ceremonial observations. Sin, throughout, is regarded as an external pollution, which can, at once, be rectified by the payment of a fine of some kind." Ibid, page 62.

[152] "Occasionally our author would seem to write what he certainly does not mean; thus, in the middle of an excellent summary of the causes of Islam's decadence, it is stated,—'Swathed in the rigid bands of the Koran, Islam is powerless like the Christian dispensation to adapt itself to the varying circumstances of time and place.'"—The Saturday Review, June 23, 1883.

[153] Vide Annals of the Early Caliphate, by Sir W. Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L., page 456, London, 1883.

[154] Reforms, Political, Social and Legal, under the Moslem Rule, Bombay Education Society's Press, 1883.

[155] "The cankerworm of polygamy, divorce, servile concubinage and veil lay at the root. They are bound up in the character of its existence. A reformed Islam which should part with the divine ordinances on which they rest, or attempt in the smallest degree to change them by a rationalistic selection, abetment or variation would be Islam no longer." Annals of the Early Caliphate by Sir W. Muir, page 458.

[156] The institution of pilgrimage is a harmless one, and conducive to unity in religion for Arabs, and gives moreover an impetus to trade at large.

[157] Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ, by Marcus Dods, D.D., pp. 30-1.

[158] The Speeches and Table-talk of the Prophet Mohammad, by Stanley Lane Poole, pages lii and liii, Introduction, London, 1882.

[Pg cv]

Transcriber's Note:

Despite the reference to a "Note" on page cv in the Table of Contents, no such page exists in this edition of the printed book.

[Pg cvi]


Genealogical Table of the Arabs - Kahtan



Genealogical Table of the Arabs - Moadd

[Pg 1]


The Persecutions.

1. The early persecutions of Moslems by the people of Mecca.

The severe persecution which Mohammad and his early converts suffered at Mecca at the hands of their fellow-citizens, the Koreish, is a fact admitted by all historians.

The Koran, which may be regarded as a contemporary record of the ill-feeling manifested towards the Prophet and his followers, bears ample testimony to the fact. Not only were the early Moslems persecuted for renouncing the pagan religion and obtaining converts to the monotheistic religion of Mohammad, but they were also tortured and otherwise ill-treated to induce them to return to the religion which they had forsaken. The persecution seems to have been so great that Mohammad was compelled to recognize those of his followers, who by force and cruelty were compelled to renounce Islam and profess paganism, but were inwardly steadfast in their belief of the one true God, as true Moslems.

The Koran says:

"Whoso after he hath believed in God denieth [Pg 2]Him, if he were forced to it, and if his heart remain steadfast in the faith, shall be guiltless; but whoso openeth his breast to infidelity, on them, in that case, shall be wrath from God, and a severe punishment awaiteth them."—Sura xvi, 108.

"The incarceration and tortures," says Mr. Stobart, "chiefly by thirst in the burning rays of the sun, to which these humble converts were subjected, to induce their recantation and adoration of the national idols, touched the heart of Mahomet, and by divine authority, he permitted them, under certain circumstances, to deny their faith so long as their hearts were steadfast in it."[159]

2. Notices of the persecution in the Koran.

The oppressions, trials, and sufferings which the early Moslems underwent compelled them to fly from their homes, leaving their families and property in the hands of their oppressors. They chose this course rather than revert to paganism. They held steadfastly to the one true God whom their Prophet had taught them to trust and believe. All these facts are clearly outlined in the following verses of the Koran:—

"And as to those who when oppressed have fled their country for the sake of God, We will surely provide them a goodly abode in this world, but greater the reward of next life, did they but know it."

[Pg 3]

"They who bear ills with patience, and put their trust in the Lord!"—xvi, 43, 44.

"To those also who after their trials fled their country, then did their utmost and endured with patience, verily, thy Lord will afterwards be forgiving, gracious."—Ibid, 111.

"But they who believe, and who fly their country, and do their utmost in the cause of God, may hope for God's mercy: and God is Gracious, Merciful."—ii, 215.

"And they who have fled their country and quitted their homes and suffered in my cause and have fought and fallen—I will blot out their sins from them and will bring them into gardens beneath which the streams do flow."—iii, 194.

"And as to those who fled their country for the cause of God, and were afterwards slain, or died, surely with goodly provision will God provide for them! for verily, God is the best of providers!"—xxii, 57.

"Those believers who sit at home free from trouble, and those who toil in the cause of God with their substance and their persons, shall not be treated alike. God hath assigned to those who strive with their persons and with their substance, a rank above those who sit at home. Goodly promises hath He made to[Pg 4] all: But God hath assigned to those who make efforts a rich recompense above those who sit still at home."

"The angels, when they took the souls of those who had been unjust to their own weal, demanded, 'What hath been your state?' They said, 'We were the weak ones of the earth.' They replied, 'Was not God's earth broad enough for you to flee away in?' These! their home shall be Hell, and evil the passage to it"—

"Except the men and women and children who were not able through their weakness to find the means of escape, and were not guided on their way. These haply God will forgive: for God is Forgiving, Pardoning."—iv, 97, 99, 100.

"God doth not forbid you to deal with kindness and fairness towards those who have not made war upon you on account of your religion, or driven you forth from your homes: verily, God loveth those who act with fairness."

"Only doth God forbid you to make friends of those who, on account of your religion, have warred against you, and have driven you forth from your homes, and have aided your expulsion: and whoever maketh friends of them, these therefore are evil-doers."—lx, 8, 9.

3. Insults suffered by Mohammad.

The Prophet himself suffered insults and personal injuries from the hands of his persecutors. He was prevented[Pg 5] from offering his prayers (xcvi, 10). He allowed himself to be spat upon, to have dust thrown upon him, and to be dragged out of the Kaaba by his own turban fastened to his neck. He bore all these indignities with the utmost humility, and he daily beheld his followers treated oppressively. After his uncle's death his life was attempted, but he escaped by flying to Medina.

"And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to detain thee prisoner or to kill thee or to banish thee: they plotted—but God plotted; and of plotters is God the best."—viii, 30.

4. Historical summary of the persecutions.

About 615 of the Christian era, the Koreish of Mecca began to persecute the faith of Islam. Those who had no protection among the early Moslems were hard pressed, as related above. A body of eleven men, some with their families, fled the country, and found refuge, notwithstanding their pursuit by the Koreish, across the Red Sea at the Court of Abyssinia. This was the first Hegira, or flight of the persecuted Moslems. After some time, the persecution being resumed by the Koreish more hotly than ever, a larger number of Moslems, more than hundred, emigrated to Abyssinia. This was the second flight of the Moslems. The Koreish had sent an embassy to the Court of Abyssinia to fetch back the refugees. The king denied their surrender. About two years[Pg 6] later the Koreish formed a hostile confederacy, by which all intercourse with the Moslems and their supporters was suspended. The Koreish forced upon the Moslems, by their threats and menaces, to retire from the city. For about three years, they, together with the Prophet and the Hashimites and their families, had to shut themselves up in the Sheb of Abu Tálib. They remained there, cut off from communication with the outer world. The ban of separation was put rigorously in force. The terms of the social and civil ban put upon them were, that they would neither intermarry with the proscribed, nor sell to or buy from them anything, and that they would entirely cease from all intercourse with them. Mohammad, in the interval of the holy months, used to go forth and mingle with the pilgrims to Mecca, and preached to them the abhorrence of idolatry and the worship of the One True God. The Sheb, or quarter of Abu Tálib, lies under the rocks of Abu Cobeis. A low gateway cut them off from the outer world, and within they had to suffer all privations of a beleaguered garrison. No one would venture forth except in the sacred months, when all hostile feelings and acts had to be laid aside. The citizens could hear the voices of the half-famished children inside the Sheb and this state of endurance on the one side, and persecution on the other, went on for some three years. Five of the[Pg 7] chief supporters of the adverse faction detached from the league and broke up the confederacy and released the imprisoned religionists. This was in the tenth year of Mohammad's ministry. Soon after Mohammad and the early Moslems suffered a great loss in the death of his venerable uncle and protector Abu Tálib. Thus, Mohammad and his followers became again exposed to the unchecked insults and persecutions incited by Abú Sofian, Abu Jahl, and others; and being a handful in the hostile city, were unable to cope with its rich and powerful chiefs. At this critical period, either because he found it unsafe to remain at Mecca, or because he trusted his message would find more acceptance elsewhere, Mohammad set off to Tayef of the Bani Thakif,—the town was one of the great strongholds of idolatry. There was a stone image, called Al-Lât, adorned with costly vestments and precious stones, was an object of worship, and esteemed to be one of the daughters of God. Here Mohammad preached to unwilling ears, and met with nothing but opposition and scorn from the chief men, which soon spread to the populace. He was driven out of the town, maltreated, and wounded. He could not return to and enter Mecca unless protected by Mut-im, a chief of the blood of Abd Shams.

At the yearly pilgrimage, a little group of worshippers from Medina was attracted and won over[Pg 8] by the preaching of Islam; and the following year it increased to twelve. They met Mohammad and took an oath of allegiance. A teacher was deputed by Mohammad to Medina, and the new faith spread there with a marvellous rapidity. Again the time of pilgrimage arrived, and more than seventy disciples from Medina pledged themselves to receive and defend him at the risk of their lives and property. This was all done in secret; but the Koreish, having got notice of it, renewed such severities and persecutions, including, in some cases, imprisonment, as hastened the departure of the Moslems to Medina, their city of refuge.

5. The Hegira.

Mohammad, being much troubled by the intolerance of the people and the personal safety and security of himself and his followers being endangered, and mutual intercourse denied, saw that it was hopeless to expect any forbearance on the part of the Koreish, who would not permit him to live and preach his religion at home, and looked for assistance and protection from a strange land. He asked the people of Medina to receive and protect him. The Medina converts, who had come to Mecca on pilgrimage, pledged themselves to Mohammad, and promised to defend him as they would defend their wives and children. The Medina converts, although not acting on the offensive, became at once objects of suspicion to the Koreish,[Pg 9] who endeavoured to seize those who were in Mecca. They maltreated one of the Medina converts who fell into their hands, and the work of persecution was recommenced in right earnest.[160] Two months elapsed before the believers, except those detained in confinement or who were unable to escape from slavery, or women and children, could emigrate. Families after families silently disappeared, and house after house was abandoned. One or two quarters of the city were entirely deserted. The Koreish held a council and proscribed Mohammad, who escaped together with Abu Bakr, leaving Ali in his house, around whom, to lull the suspicions of his neighbours, he threw his own mantle, and desired him to occupy his bed. Mohammad and his follower took refuge in a cave. The Koreish despatched scouts in all directions to search for Mohammad, but in vain. After hiding for three days in the cave, Mohammad and Abu Bakr started for Medina, where they arrived safely.

The foregoing circumstances would have fully justified immediate hostilities on the part of Mohammad, but he did not take up arms until compelled to do so by the attacks of the Meccans.

[Pg 10]

6. The persecution of the Moslems by the Koreish after their flight from Mecca.

Notwithstanding the flight of the Prophet and of all the early Moslem converts who were able to effect an escape except their families, women and children, and those weak Moslems who could not leave Mecca, the Meccans or the Koreish did not forgive the fugitives and did not abstain from their aggressions against them. They maltreated the children and weak Moslems left at Mecca (iv, 77, 99 and 100), expelled the Moslems from their houses, and would not allow them to come back to Mecca for a pilgrimage (ii, 214). The Meccans several times invaded the Medina territory with the avowed intention of making war upon the Moslems (and actually fought the battles of Bedr, Ohad, Khandak or Ahzáb, at Medina), consequently the Moslems were forced to resort to arms in pure self-defence.

These were sufficient grounds for the Moslems to assume the offensive. They were desirous also of rescuing their families and those who had been unable to join in the flight from the tyranny and oppression of the Meccans. Yet they were in no instance the aggressors. Driven from their homes and families they did not resort to arms until absolutely compelled to do so in self-defence.

All that Mohammad claimed for himself and his followers was, full liberty of conscience and actions, and permission to preach and practice his religion with[Pg 11]out being molested. This being refused, he advised his followers to leave the city and seek refuge elsewhere. They emigrated twice to Abyssinia, and for the third time were expelled to Medina, where he himself followed, when his own life was attempted.

The Meccans or the Koreish.

7. A Koreish chieftain commits a raid near Medina.—A.H., I.

The attitude of the Koreish towards the Prophet and his followers after the flight rapidly became more hostile. Kurz-ibn Jábir, one of the marauding chieftains of the Koreish, fell upon some of the camels and flocks of Medina, while feeding in a plain a few miles from the city, and carried them off.

8. The Koreish march to attack Medina. Mohammad marches forth in defence, and gains the battle at Badr.—A.H., II.

Still there was no hostile response from Medina, till the aggressors (the Koreish) brought from Medina an army of 950 strong, mounted on 700 camels and 100 horses, to Badr, nine stages from Mecca, advancing towards Medina. Then the Prophet set out from Medina at the head of his small army of 305 to check the advance of his aggressors. This was the first offensive and defensive war between the Koreish and Mohammad respectively. The aggressors lost the battle.

9. Attack by Abu Sofian upon Medína.—A.H., II.

After this Abu Sofian, the head of the Koreish, accompanied by 200 mounted followers, alarmed Mohammad and the people of Medina by a raid[Pg 12] upon the cornfields and palm gardens two or three miles north-east of Medina. The nomad tribes of Suliem and Ghatafán, who were descended from a common stock with the Koreish, being probably incited by them, or at least by the example of Abu Sofian, had twice assembled and projected a plundering attack upon Medina—a task in itself congenial with their predatory habits.

10. The battle of Ohad.

The Koreish made great preparations for a fresh attack upon Medina. One year after the battle of Badr, they commenced their march,—three thousand in number, seven hundred were mailed warriors, and two hundred well mounted cavalry. Reaching Medina they encamped in an extensive and fertile plain to the west of Ohad.

Mohammad met Abu Sofian at the head of 700 followers and only two horsemen, but lost the battle and was wounded.

11. Mohammad's prestige affected by the defeat.

Mohammad's prestige being affected by the defeat at Ohad, many of the Bedouin tribes began to assume an hostile attitude towards him. The Bani Asad, a powerful tribe connected with the Koreish in Najd and Bani Lahyan in the vicinity of Mecca, prepared to make a raid upon Medina. The Mohammadan missionaries were killed at Rají and Bír Maúna. The marauding bands of Duma also threatened a raid upon the city. Bani Mustalik also raised forces to join the Koreish in their threatened attack upon Medina.[Pg 13]

12. Abu Sofian threatened the Moslems with another attack next year.

Abu Sofian, while retiring from the field, victorious as he was, threatened the Moslem with a fresh attack the next year as he said to Omar: "We shall meet again, let it be after a year, at Badr." Medina and the Moslems, however, enjoyed a long exemption from the threatened attack of the Koreish.

At length the time came when the forces of the Koreish and the Moslems were again to meet at Badr. But the year was one of great draught, and the Koreish were desirous that the expedition should be deferred to a more favorable season. Accordingly the Koreish engaged Naeem, an Arab of a neutral tribe, to repair to Medina, and there to give forth an exaggerated account of the preparations of the Koreish, in the hope that, with the field of Ohad fresh in memory, it might deter the Moslems from setting out to meet them. But Mohammad, with a force of fifteen hundred men and only ten horses, set forth for Badr. The Koreish, who never appeared mortified at the triumph of Mohammad, began to project another grand attack upon him.

13. The Koreish again attack Medina with a large army. Mohammad defends the city. The enemy retire. (Ditch or Nations.—A.H., V.)

The winter season in the next year was chosen for the renewal of hostilities by the Koreish. They joined an immense force of the Bedouin tribes (the entire army was estimated at ten thousand), marched against Mohammad, and[Pg 14] besieged Medina. Mohammad defended the city by digging a Ditch. The army of Medina was posted within the trench, and that of the Koreish encamped opposite them. In the meantime Abu Sofian succeeded in detaching the Jewish tribe of Koreiza from their allegiance to Mohammad. The danger to Medina from this defection was great. The enemy made a general attack, which was repulsed. Bad weather set in, and Abu Sofian ordered the allied force to break up. The enemy retired, and never came again to attack the Moslems. This, therefore, was the last war of aggression on the part of the Koreish, and of defence on the part of Mohammad.

14. Mohammad, with his followers, advanced to perform the lesser pilgrimage of Mecca. The Koreish opposed Mohammad, who returned disappointed.—A.H. VI.

Six years had passed since the expulsion of Mohammad and his followers from Mecca. They had not since visited the Holy house, nor had they joined the yearly pilgrimage, which was an essential part of their social and religious life. Mohammad undertook to perform the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca in the month of Zalkada, in which war was unlawful throughout Arabia. Mohammad, with his followers, the pious and peaceful worshippers, fifteen hundred in number, set forth for Mecca. The pilgrims carried no arms, but such as were allowed by custom to travellers,—namely, each a sheathed sword. The Koreish, with their allies, the surrounding tribes,[Pg 15] hearing of the approach of the pilgrims, took up arms. They pushed forward to obstruct the pilgrims. Mohammad encamped at Hodeibia, where a treaty of peace was concluded between the Koreish and Mohammad. The treaty was to the effect, that war should be suspended for ten years, neither party attacking the other. Whosoever wished to join Mohammad and enter into treaty with him, should have liberty to do so. "If any one goeth over to Mohammad, without the permission of his guardian, he shall be sent back to his guardian. But if any one from amongst the followers of Mohammad return to the Koreish, the same shall not be sent back, provided, on the part of the Koreish, that Mohammad and his followers retire from us this year without entering our city. In the coming year he may visit Mecca—he and his followers—for three days, when we shall retire therefrom. But they may not enter it with any weapons, save those of the travellers—namely, to each a sheathed sword." Bani Khozaá entered into the alliance of Mohammad, and Bani Bakr adhered to the Koreish.

15. Violation of the treaty by the Koreish, and their submission.

The peace remained unbroken until the Koreish violated the treaty of Hodeibia[161] and treacherously killed several men of the Bani Khozaá. Mohammad [Pg 16]marched against them in the eighth year of the Hegira in defence of the injured and oppressed Bani Khozaá, and to chastize the Koreish for violation of the treaty. But the Koreish submitted to the authority of Mohammad before he arrived at Mecca, and the city was occupied without resistance.

16. Two other tribes assume the offensive.

Soon after, the great and warlike tribe of Hawazin and Thakeef assumed the offensive. They assembled at Autas, and advanced upon Honain to attack Mohammad. He was obliged to leave Mecca and set out to disperse them, who were beaten back at Honain (S. ix, 26-28). Taif of the Thakeef was besieged, but in vain.

The defensive character of the wars.

17. Verses from the Koran in support of the defensive character of the wars.

This brief sketch of the defensive wars of Mohammad with the Koreish will fully show, that those who assert that Mohammad was aggressive or revengeful in his wars, or that he made war to force his religion upon the people, are altogether in the wrong.

I will now quote some verses of the Koran, showing that all the wars of Mohammad with the Koreish were defensive wars.

39. "Verily, God will ward off[162] mischief from believers: lo, God loveth not the false, the unbeliever."

[Pg 17]

40. "A sanction is given to those who have been fought,[163] because they have suffered outrages, and verily, God is well able to succour them"—

41. "Those who have been driven forth from their homes wrongfully, only because they say, 'Our Lord is the God.' And if God had not repelled some men by others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques wherein the name of God is ever commemorated, would surely have been destroyed! And him who helpeth God will God surely help: Verily, God is Strong, Mighty."

42. "They who, if We established them in this land, will observe prayer and pay the alms of obligation and enjoin what is recognized as right—and forbid what is unlawful. And the final issue of all things is unto God."—Sura, xxii.

186. "And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: verily, God loveth not the unjust."

187. "And kill them wherever ye find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you, for (fitnah)[164] persecution is worse than slaughter: yet attack them not at the sacred mosque, until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, then slay them—Such is the recompense of the infidels!"—

[Pg 18]

188. "But if they desist,[165] then verily God is Gracious, Merciful!"

189. "And do battle against them until there be no more (fitnah) persecution, and the worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against wrong-doers."

214. "They will ask thee concerning war in the Sacred Month. Say: The act of fighting therein is a grave crime; but the act of turning others aside from the path of God, and unbelief in Him, and to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and to drive out his people, is worse in the sight of God; and persecution[166] (fitnah[167]) is worse than bloodshed. But they will not cease to war against you until they turn you from your religion, if they be able: but whoever of you shall turn from his religion, and die an infidel, their works shall be fruitless in this world and in the next: and they shall be consigned to the fire; therein to abide for aye."

215. "But they who believe, and who fly their [Pg 19]country, and do their utmost in the cause of God, may hope for God's mercy: and God is Gracious, Merciful."

245. "And fight in the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth, Knoweth."

247. "Hast thou not considered the assembly of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs,—'Raise up for us a king; we will do battle for the cause of God?' He said, 'May it not be that if to fight were ordained you, ye would not fight?' They said, 'And why should we not fight in the cause of God, since we are driven forth from our dwellings and our children?' But when fighting was commanded them they turned back, save a few of them: But God knew the offenders!"

252. "And by the will of God they routed them; and (Dâood) David slew Goliath; and God gave him the kingship and wisdom, and taught him according to his will: and were it not for the restraint of one by the means of the other imposed on men by God, verily the earth had assuredly gone to ruin, but God is bounteous to his creatures."—Sura, ii.

76. "Let those then fight in the cause of God who barter this present life for that which is to come; for whoever fighteth on God's path, whether he be slain or conquer, We will in the end give him a great reward."[Pg 20]

77. "But what hath come to you that ye fight not on the path of God, and for the weak among men, women and children, who say, 'O our Lord! bring us forth from this City whose inhabitants are oppressors; give us a champion from thy presence; and give us from thy presence a defender?'"

78. "They who believe, fight on the path of God; and they who believe not, fight on the path of Thâgoot: Fight then against the friends of Satan—Verily, the craft of Satan shall be powerless!"

86. "Fight then on the path of God: lay not burdens on any but thyself; and stir up the faithful. The prowess of the infidels, God will haply restrain; for God is the stronger in prowess, and the stronger to punish."

91. "They desire that ye should be unbelievers as they are unbelievers, and that ye should be alike. Take therefore none of them for friends, until they have fled their homes for the cause of God. If they turn back, then seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; but take none of them as friends or helpers."

92. "Except those who seek asylum among your allies, and those who come over to you—prevented by their own hearts by making war on you, or from making war on their own people. Had God pleased, He would certainly have given them power against you, and they would certainly have made war upon[Pg 21] you! But, if they depart from you, and make not war against you and offer you peace, then God alloweth you no occasion against them."

93. "Ye will find others who seek to gain your confidence as well as that of their own people: So oft as they return to sedition, they shall be overthrown in it: But if they leave you not, nor propose terms of peace to you, nor withhold their hands, then seize them, and slay them wherever ye find them. Over these have We given you undoubted power."—Sura, iv.

19. "O Meccans! If ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you. It will be better for you if ye give over the struggle (or attacking upon Medina or the Moslem). If ye return to it we will return; and your forces, though they may be many, shall by no means avail you aught, because God is with the faithful."

39. "Say to the infidels: If they desist (from persecuting, obstructing, and attacking the Moslems), what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it (commit again the hostilities), they have already before them the doom of the ancients!"

40. "Fight then against them till civil strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's; and if they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do."

41. "But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector: Excellent protector! and excellent helper!"[Pg 22]

73. " ... And they who have believed, but have not fled their homes, shall have no rights of kindred with you at all, until they too fly their country. Yet if they seek aid from you on account of the faith, your part it is to give them aid, except against a people between whom and yourselves there may be a treaty. And God beholdeth your actions."

74. "And the infidels have the like relationships one with another. Unless ye do the same (i.e., aid the oppressed and repel the oppressor), there will be discord in the land and great corruption."—Sura, viii.

(When the Meccans broke the Hodeibia treaty mentioned in the above paragraph, the Koreish and Bani Bakr attacked Bani Khozaá, who were in alliance with Mohammad. It became incumbent on him to assist Bani Bakr and to chastize the aggressors. The following verses were published on that occasion, but happily, before the expiration of the fixed period, the Koreish submitted and Mecca was taken without bloodshed, and these verses were not acted upon:—)

1. "An immunity from God and His Apostle to those with whom ye are in league (and they have violated the same—compare verses 4, 8 and 10) among the polytheist Meccans."

2. "Go ye therefore at large in the land four months (i.e., four sacred months from Shaw-wal. The treaty was violated by the Koreish in Ramzan, a month immediately previous to the sacred months[Pg 23]. It is announced here that four months' time is given to the aggressors, who violated the treaty of Hodeibia, to make terms. After the time is over (verse 5) the Moslems will commence hostilities to defend their allies, the Bani Khozaá), but know that ye shall not find God feeble, and that those who believe not, God will put to shame."

3. "And a proclamation on the part of God and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage, that God is free from any engagement with those who worship other gods with God, as is his Apostle. If then, ye turn to God, it will be better for you; but if ye turn back, then know that ye shall not find God feeble: and to those who believe not, announce thou a grievous punishment."

4. "But this concerneth not those Polytheists with whom ye are in league, and who have afterwards in no way failed you, and not yet aided any one against you. Observe, therefore, your engagement with them through the whole time of their treaty. Verily, God loveth those who fear Him."

5. "And when the sacred months are passed[168] kill those who join other gods with God[169] wherever ye find them; and seize them, and besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush; but if they repent and observe prayer and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way.[170] Verily, God is Gracious, Merciful."

[Pg 24]

6. "If any one of those who join gods with God ask an asylum of thee, grant him an asylum, in order that he hear the Word of God; then let him reach his place of safety. This, for that they are people devoid of knowledge."

7. "How can they who add gods to God be in league with God and His Apostle, save those with whom ye made a league at the sacred temple? So long as they are true to you,[171] be ye true to them: verily, God loveth those who fear Him."

8. "How can they? since if they prevail against you, they will not regard in their dealing with you, either ties of blood or good faith: With their mouths they content you, but their hearts are averse, and most of them are perverse doers."

9. "They sell the signs of God for a mean price, and turn others aside from his way; of a truth, evil is it that they do!"

10. "They respect not with a believer either ties of blood or good faith; and these are the transgressors!"

[Pg 25]

11. "Yet if they turn to God and observe prayer, and pay the impost, then are they your brethren in religion: and We make clear the signs for men of knowledge."[172]

12. "But if, after alliance made, they violate their covenant and revile your religion, then do battle with the ringleaders of infidelity—verily there is no faith in them! Haply they will desist."

13. "Will ye not do battle with a people (the Meccans) who have broken their covenant and aimed to expel your Apostle and attacked you first? Will ye dread them? God truly is more worthy of your fear if ye are believers!"

14. "Make war on them: By your hands will God chastize them and put them to shame, and give victory over them, and heal the bosom of a people who believe."

36. " ... and attack those who join gods with God one and all, as they attack you one and all."—Sura, ix.

18. What the above-quoted verses show.

I need not repeat here what these verses and the facts related above show, that the wars of Mohammad with the Koreish were merely defensive, and the Koreish were the aggressors, and that Mohammad was quite justified in taking up arms against them.

[Pg 26]

"In the state of nature every man has a right to defend," writes Mr. Edward Gibbon,[173] "by force of arms, his person and his possessions; to repel, or even to repeat, the violence of his enemies, and to extend his hostilities to a reasonable measure of satisfaction and retaliation. In the free society of the Arabs, the duties of subject and citizen imposed a feeble restraint; and Mahommed, in the exercise of a peaceful and benevolent mission, had been despoiled and banished by the injustice of his countrymen." It has been fully shown in the foregoing paragraphs that the Moslems in Mecca enjoyed neither safety nor security. Religious freedom was denied to them, though they were harmless and peaceful members of the community. Besides this they were expelled from their homes, leaving their families and their property in the hands of their persecutors, and were prevented from returning to Mecca, and were refused access to the Sacred Mosque; and, above all, they were attacked by the Meccans in force at Medina.

19. Justification of the Moslems in taking up arms against their aggressors.

The persecution of the early Moslems by the Koreish was on religious grounds. They would not allow the believers to renounce the religion of their forefathers[Pg 27] and profess Islam. Their intolerance was so strong and harsh that they tortured some of the professors of the new faith to renounce the same and to rejoin their former idolatry. "Taking away the lives, the fortune, the liberty, any of the rights of our brethren, merely for serving their Maker in such manner as they are persuaded they ought, when by so doing they hurt not human society, or any member of it, materially, is evidently inconsistent with all justice and humanity: for it is punishing those who have not injured us, and who, if they mistake, deserve only pity from us."[174] The early Moslems had had every international right to resent persecution and intolerance of the Meccans and to establish themselves by force of arms, to enjoy their religious liberty and to practise their religion freely.

20. The first aggression after the Hegira was not on the part of Mohammad.

Some of the European biographers of Mohammad say, "that the first aggressions after the Hegira were solely on the part of Mahomet and his followers. It was not until several of their caravans had been waylaid and plundered, and blood had thus been shed, that the people of Mecca were forced in self-defence to resort to arms."[175]

This is not correct. The aggressors, in the first instance, were the Koreish, who, as already shown, [Pg 28]followed up their persecution of the Moslems by an attack upon the city in which the Prophet and his followers had taken refuge. Even taking it for granted that the Moslems were the first aggressors after the Hegira, was not the Hegira, or expulsion itself (leaving aside the previous persecutions and oppressions at Mecca), a sufficient reason for the commencement of hostilities by the Moslems, who were anxious to secure their moral and religious freedom, and to protect themselves and their relatives from further aggressions?

Sir William Muir admits, that "hostilities, indeed, were justified by the 'expulsion' of the believers from Mecca."[176] "It may be said," says Major Vans Kennedy, "that, in these wars, Mohammad was the aggressor by his having, soon after his flight, attempted to intercept the caravans of Mecca. But the first aggression was, undoubtedly, the conspiracy of the Koreish to assassinate Mohammad, and when to save his life he fled from Mecca, himself and his followers were thus deprived of their property, and obliged to depend for their subsistence on the hospitality of the men of Medina, it could not be reasonably expected that they would allow the caravans of their enemies to pass unmolested."[177]

[Pg 29]

21. The alleged instances examined.

There is no proof that Mohammad, after the Hegira, commenced hostilities against the Koreish by intercepting their caravans. The alleged instances of the caravans being waylaid by the Moslems at Medina are not corroborated by authentic and trustworthy traditions. They have also internal evidences of their improbability. The Medina people had pledged themselves only to defend the Prophet from attack, and not to join him in any aggressive steps against the Koreish.[178] Therefore, it seems impossible that they should have allowed Mohammad to take any aggressive steps against the Koreish which would have involved them in great trouble.

22. Hamza and Obeida expedition.

The alleged expeditions against the Koreish caravans by Hamza and the other by Obeida in pursuit of caravans which escaped, are in themselves improbable. Mohammad would not send fifty or sixty persons to waylay a caravan guarded by two or three hundred armed men.

23. The Abwa, Bowat, & Osheira expeditions.

The alleged expeditions of Abwa, Bowat, and Osheira, said to have been led by Mohammad himself to intercept the Mecca caravans, but in vain, are altogether without foundation. He might have gone, if he had gone at all, to Abwa, and Osheira to negotiate friendly [Pg 30]terms with Bani Dhumra[179] and Bani Mudlij, as his biographers say, he did.

24. The affair at Nakhla.

The affair of the Nakhla marauding party, as related in the traditions, is full of discrepancies, and is altogether inconsistent and untrustworthy. The very verse (Sura, ii, verse 214) which the biographers say was revealed on the occasion, and which I have quoted above (para. 16), contains a reference to the Meccans' fighting against the Moslems, which runs counter to the assumption of the European biographers, who make it an aggressive attack on the part of Mohammad. It is probable that Mohammad might have sent some six or eight scouts to bring in news of the movements and condition of the Koreish, whose attitude towards Mohammad had become more hostile since his flight to Medina. As the Koreish had a regular and uninterrupted route to Syria for traffic, it was only reasonable on the part of Mohammad to take precautions, and he was always on his guard. The biographers Ibn Is-hak, Ibn Hisham (p. 424), Tabri (Vol. II, p. 422), Ibnal Athir in Kamil (Vol. II, p. 87), Halabi in Insanul Oyoon (Vol. III, p. 318), say, that Mohammad had given written instructions to [Pg 31]Abdoollah-bin-Jahsh, which was to the effect "bring me intelligence of their affairs." They also say that Mohammad was displeased with Abdoollah's affair at Nakhla, and said, "I never commanded thee to fight in the Sacred Month." The biographers also relate that Mohammad even paid blood-money for the slain.

25. At Badr Mohammad had come only in his defence.

Some of the European biographers of Mohammad allege, that the battle of Badr was brought by Mohammad himself. They appear to hesitate to justify Mohammad in defending himself against the superior numbers of the Koreish, who had advanced to attack him as far as Badr, three stages from Medina. It is alleged that Mohammad intended to attack the caravans returning from Syria, conducted by Abu Sofian, his arch-enemy, therefore he set out upon his march with eighty refugees and two hundred and twenty-five people of Medina, and halted at Safra to waylay the caravan. Abu Sofian, warned of Mohammad's intention, sent some one to Mecca for succour. The Koreish, with nine hundred and fifty strong, marched forth to rescue the caravan. In the meantime, the caravan had passed unmolested, but the Koreish held a council whether to return or go to war. On the one hand, the biographers say, it was argued that the object for which they had set out having been secured, the army should at once retrace its steps. Others demanded that the army should advance. Two tribes returned[Pg 32] to Mecca, the rest marched onwards; but it is not fair to allege that Mohammad had set forth to attack the caravan. Had he any such intention, the people of Medina, who had pledged themselves only to defend him against personal attack, would not have accompanied him. The presence of a large number of the Ansárs, the people of Medina, more than double that of the Mohajirins, the refugees, is a strong proof that they had come out only in their defence.

Mohammad, on receiving intelligence of the advancing force of the Koreish, set out from Medina to check the advance of the Meccan force, and encountered it at Badr, three days' journey from Medina. The Meccan army had advanced nine days' journey from Mecca towards Medina. The forces met at Badr on the 17th of Ramzan (13th January 623), the Meccans had left Mecca on the 8th of Ramzan (4th January), and Mohammad started only on the 12th of Ramzan (8th January), about four days after the Meccan army had actually set out to attack him. Supposing Abu Sofian had some reason for apprehending an attack from Medina, and sent for succour from Mecca, but the object of the Meccan army of the Koreish for which they had set out having been secured, the caravan having passed unmolested, they ought at once to have retraced their steps. The fact that Mohammad left Medina four days after the Koreish had left Mecca with a large[Pg 33] army advancing towards Medina, is strongly in his favour.

26. The first aggressions after the Hegira, if from Mohammad, might fairly be looked upon as retaliation.

Even taking it for granted that the first aggressions after the Hegira were solely on the part of the Moslems, and that several of the caravans of the Koreish had been waylaid and plundered, and blood had been shed, it would be unfair to condemn Mohammad. Such attacks, had they been made, might fairly be looked upon as a retaliation for the ill-treatment of the Moslems before the flight from Mecca. "Public war is a state of armed hostility between sovereign nations or governments. It is a law and requisite of civilized existence that men live in political continuous societies, forming organized units called states or nations, whose constituents bear, enjoy and suffer, advance and retrograde together, in peace and in war. The citizen or native of hostile country is thus an enemy, as one of the constituents of the hostile state or nation, and as such is subjected to the hardships of war."[180] The almost universal rule of most remote times was, and continues to be with barbarous nations, that the private individual of a hostile country is destined to suffer every privation of liberty and protection, and every description of family ties. But Mohammad protected the inoffensive [Pg 34]citizen or private individual of the hostile country. He even protected those who had actually come out of Mecca to fight at Badr, but were reluctant to do so. Mohammad had desired quarters to be given to several persons in the Koreish army at Badr. Abul Bakhtari, Zamaa, Hárith Ibn Amir, Abbás and other Bani Háshim were amongst those named.

The Jews.

27. The Jews broke treaties.

Mohammad, on his first arrival at Medina, made a treaty of alliance with the Jews, by which the free exercise of their religion and the possession of their rights and property were guaranteed. It was stipulated in the treaty that either party, if attacked, should come to the assistance of the other. Medina should be sacred and inviolable for all who joined the treaty. But the Jews broke their treaty and rebelled. They assisted the enemy during the siege of Medina, and committed treason against the city.

28. Bani Kainúkaá, Bani Nazeer, Koreiza, Khyber, and Ghatafán.

The Bani Kainúkaá were the first among the Jews who broke the treaty and fought against Mohammad between the battles of Badr and Ohad.[181]

The Bani Nazeer broke their compact with Mohammad after his defeat at Ohad. They had also made a conspiracy to kill Mohammad. They were banished; some of them went over to Khyber. The Jewish [Pg 35]tribe of Koreiza had defected from their allegiance to Mohammad, and entered into negotiations with the enemy, when Medina was besieged by the Koreish and Bedouin tribes at the battle of the Ditch. They were afterwards besieged by Mohammad. They surrendered at the discretion of Sád, who passed a bloody judgment against them. The Jews of Khyber (including those of Nazeer) and Bani Ghatafán, who had lately besieged Medina with the Koreish in the battle of the Ditch, made alliance against Mohammad,[182] and were making preparations for an attack on him. They had been inciting the Bani Fezára and other Bedouin tribes in their depredations, and had combined with Bani Sád-Ibn Bakr to attack upon Medina. They were subjected at Khyber, and made tributaries, paying jizya in return of the protection guaranteed to them.

29. Notices of them in the Koran.

The treachery of the Bani Kainúkaá, Nazeer and Koreiza, and Khyber is noticed in the Koran in the following verses:—

58. "They with whom thou hadst leagued, but who ever afterwards break their league, and fear not God!"

59. "And if thou capture them in battle, then (by the example of their fate) put to flight those who are behind them—they will perhaps be warned:"[Pg 36]

60. "Or, if thou fear treachery from any people, throw back their treaty to them in like manner: verily, God loveth not the treacherous."

61. "And think not that the infidels shall get the better of Us! Verily, they shall not find God to be weak."

62. "Make ready then against them what force ye can, and squadrons of horse whereby ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and into others beside them whom ye know not, but whom God knoweth; And all that you expend for the cause of God shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged."

63. "But if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in God: He verily is the Hearing, the Knowing."

64. "But if they seek to betray thee, then verily God will be all-sufficient for thee. He it is who strengthened thee with his help and with the faithful and made their heart one. Hadst thou spent all the riches of the earth, thou wouldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them: He verily is Mighty, Wise."

65. "O Prophet! God and such of the faithful as follow thee will be all-sufficient for thee!"

66. "O Prophet! stir up the faithful to the fight...."—Sura, viii.

26. "And He caused those of the people of the[Pg 37] Book (the Jews) who had aided the confederates, to come down out of their fortresses, and cast dismay into their hearts: a part ye slew, a part ye took prisoners."—Sura, xxxiii.

29. "Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given,[183] as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and his apostles have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the Truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled."

124. "Believers! wage war against such of the unbelievers as are your neighbours, and let them assuredly find rigour in you: and know that God is with those who fear Him."—Sura, ix.

30. The judgment of Sâd.

The Bani Koreiza had surrendered themselves to the judgment of Sâd, an Awsite of their allies, Bani Aws. To this Mohammad agreed. Sâd decreed that the male captives should be slaughtered. Mohammad, disapproving [Pg 38]the judgment, remarked to Sâd: "Thou hast decided like the decision of a king," meaning thereby a despotic monarch. The best authentic tradition in Bokhari (Kitáb-ul-Jihád) has the word 'Malik,' monarch; but in other three places of Bokhari, Kitabul Monakib, Maghazi, and Istizan, the narrator has a doubt whether the word was Allah or Malik. Moslim, in his collection, has also 'Malik,' and in one place the sentence is not given at all. It was only to eulogize the memory of Sâd after his death, that some of the narrators of the story gave out that Mohammad had said that Sâd had decided like the decision of a Malak, angel; or some narrators interpreted the word Malik, king, as meaning God; and therefore put the word Allah in their traditions. Mohammad never said Malak, meaning angel, or Malik, allegorically meaning Allah; he simply said Malik, literally meaning a king or monarch.

31. Defensive character of the expedition against the Jews of Khyber.

The expedition against the Jews of Khyber was purely defensive in its character. They had, since the Jews of the tribe of Nazeer and Koreiza being banished from Medina in consequence of their treason against the Moslem commonwealth, had joined them, been guilty of inciting the surrounding tribes to attack upon Medina, and had made alliance with the Bani Ghatafán, who had taken a prominent part[Pg 39] among the confederates who had besieged Medina at the battle of the Ditch, to make a combined attack upon Medina. They, especially Abul Hukeik, the chief of Bani Nazeer, had excited the Bani Fezára and other Beduoin tribes to commit incursions on Medina. They had made a combination with the Bani Sád-Ibn Bakr to make inroads on the Moslims. Bani Sád, a branch of Hawazin, were among the confederates who had besieged Medina. Lately, Oseir Ibn Zárim, the chief of Nazeer at Khyber, maintained the same relations with Bani Ghatafán, as their former chief had, to make a combined attack on Medina. The Bani Ghatafán, with their branches of Bani Fezára and Bani Murra, in league with those of Khyber, were always plotting mischief in the vicinity of Fadak at Khyber. They (the Ghatafán) had continued for a long time to alarm Medina with threatened attacks. At the seventh year of the Hegira timely information was received by Mohammad of the combined preparation of Khyber and Ghatafán. He rapidly set forth in his defence, and marched to Khyber at once. He took up a position at Rají, between Khyber and Ghatafán, to cut off their mutual assistance. So it was not a sudden and unprovoked invasion, as Sir W. Muir calls it. He writes: "Mahomet probably waited for some act of aggression on the part of the Jews of Kheibar (it was the fertile lands and villages of that tribe which he had[Pg 40] destined for his followers), or on the part of their allies, the Bani Ghatafán, to furnish the excuse for an attack. But no such opportunity offering, he resolved, in the autumn of this year, on a sudden and unprovoked invasion of their territory."[184] It will appear from what I have stated above, that the invasion of Khyber was purely defensive in its character.

The Christians or Romans.

32. Tabúk, the last expedition.

The last expedition of Mohammad was that of Tabúk, and it was also purely defensive. The travellers and traders arriving from Syria brought news of the gathering of a large army on the borders of Syria. A year's pay, they said, had been advanced by the Greek or Roman Emperor, who was then at Hims, in order that the soldiers might be well-furnished for a long campaign; the tribes of the Syrian desert, the Bani Lakhm, Judzam, Amila, and Ghussan were flocking around the Roman Eagles, and the vanguard was already at Balcâ. Mohammad at once resolved to meet this danger. When he arrived in the vicinity of the Syrian border at Tabúk, he found no troops to oppose him. There were no signs of impending danger, and he therefore returned with his army to Medina. This was in the ninth year of the Hegira.

[Pg 41]

33. The conclusion.

This concludes the description of all the wars of the Prophet. I hope I have shown, on good and reasonable grounds, and from the surest and most authentic sources, that the wars were not of an offensive and aggressive character; but, on the contrary, they were wars of defence and protection. The early Moslems were wronged, because they believed in the faith of Mohammad; they were deprived of their civil and religious rights, were driven forth from their homes and their properties, and after all were attacked first, by the Koreish and their confederates, the Jews and other Arabian tribes. They fought neither for revenge, nor to impose the faith of Mohammad by force of arms, nor for the plunder of the caravans which passed in proximity to their city. The permission to fight was only given to the believers because they were fought against or were attacked first, and had been wronged and driven from their homes without just cause. They therefore took up arms against those who first compelled them to fly from their homes, and then attacked them. This was in full accordance, therefore, with the law of nations and the sacred law of nature. The people of Medina had only pledged themselves to protect Mohammad from his enemies. They could not, and would not, have gone forth or allowed Mohammad and his ansárs to go forth to plunder the caravan of the Koreish passing by Medina.[Pg 42]

The Intolerance.

34. Mohammad never taught intolerance.

Those people are greatly mistaken who say, that "the one common duty laid upon the Faithful is to be the agents of God's vengeance on those who believe not. These are to be slaughtered until they pay tribute, when they are allowed to go to Hell in their own way without further molestation."[185] Mohammad did not wage war against the Koreish and the Jews because they did not believe in his mission, nor because he was to be the instrument of God's vengeance on them; on the contrary, he said, "He was no more than a warner."

"The truth is from your Lord, let him then who will, believe; and let him who will, be an unbeliever."[186]

"Let there be no compulsion in religion."[187] "Verily, they who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeites, and the Christians, whoever of them believeth in God and in the last day, and doth what is right, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be put to grief."[188] Even during active hostilities, those who did not believe were allowed to come and hear the preaching, and were then conveyed to their place of safety.[189] Nor were the wars of Mohammad to exact tribute from the unbelievers. [Pg 43]The tribute was only imposed upon those who had sought his protection, and even then they were exempted from other regular taxes which the Moslems paid to their Commonwealth.

On the contrary, as has already been shown, Mohammad merely took up arms in the instances of self-preservation. Had he neglected to defend himself after his settlement at Medina against the continued attacks of the Koreish and their allies, he with his followers would, in all probability, have been exterminated. They fought in defence of their lives as well as their moral and religious liberties.

35. In what sense the wars were religious wars.

In this sense the contest might be called a religious war, as the hostilities were commenced on religious grounds. Because the Koreish persecuted the Moslems, and expelled them for the reason that they had forsaken the religion of their forefathers, i.e., idolatry, and embraced the faith of Islam, the worship of One True God; but it was never a religious war in the sense of attacking the unbelievers aggressively to impose his own religion forcibly on them. How much is Sir W. Muir in the wrong, who says, that fighting was prescribed on religious grounds? "Hostilities," he says, "indeed, were justified by the 'expulsion' of the believers from Mecca. But the main and true issue of the warfare was not disguised to be the victory of Islam. They[Pg 44] were to fight 'until the religion became the Lord's alone.'"[190]

36. The alleged verses of intolerance explained.

The verses of the Koran referred to above are as follows:

186. "And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: verily God loveth not the unjust."

187. "And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for (fitnah) persecution or civil discord is worse than slaughter but attack them not at the sacred Mosque, until they attack you therein, but if they attack you, then slay them—Such is the recompense of the infidel!"

188. "But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful."

189. "And do battle against them until there be no more (fitnah) persecution or civil discord and the only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against wrong-doers."—Sura, ii.

These verses generally, and the last one especially, show that the warfare was prescribed on the ground of self-preservation, and to secure peace, safety and religious liberty, to prevent (fitnah) persecution.

[Pg 45]

By preventing or removing the persecution (fitnah), the religion of the Moslems was to be free and pure from intolerance and compulsion to revert to idolatry, or in other words, to be the only or wholly of God. That is, when you are free and unpersecuted in your religion, and not forced to worship idols and renounce Islam, then your religion will be pure and free. You shall have no fear of being forced to join other gods with God.

The same verse is repeated in Chapter VIII.

39. "Say to the unbelievers: If they desist,[191] what is now past shall be forgiven them, but if they return to it,[192] they have already before them the doom of the former."[193]

40. "Fight then against them till fitnah (civil strife or persecution) be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's, and if they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do."

This shows that the fighting prescribed here against the Koreish was only in the case of their not desisting, and it was only to prevent and suppress their fitnah, and when their intolerance and persecution was suppressed, or was no more, then the Moslem religion was to become all of it God's. They were not forced to join any god with the true God.

[Pg 46]

37. Sir W. Muir quoted.

Sir W. Muir, in his last chapter on the person and character of Mohammad, observes in reviewing the Medina period: "Intolerance quickly took the place of freedom; force, of persuasion." ... "Slay the unbelievers wheresoever ye find them" was now the watchword of Islam:—"Fight in the ways of God until opposition be crushed, and the Religion becometh the Lord's alone!"[194] Here, Sir W. Muir plainly contradicts himself. He has already admitted at the 136th page of the fourth volume of his work that the course pursued by Mohammad at Medina was to leave the conversion of the people to be gradually accomplished without compulsion, and the same measure he intended to adopt at his triumphal entry into Mecca. His words are: "This movement obliged Mahomet to cut short of his stay at Mecca. Although the city had cheerfully accepted his supremacy, all its inhabitants had not yet embraced the new religion, or formally acknowledged his prophetic claim. Perhaps, he intended to follow the course he had pursued at Medina, and leave the conversion of the people to be gradually accomplished without compulsion." This was at the end of the eighth year after the Hegira.

Mohammad died at the beginning of the eleventh year, then the question naturally comes up, when was [Pg 47]that alleged change to intolerance, and how Sir W. Muir says, this change is traced from the period of Mohammad's arrival at Medina? In the action taken in the fifth year of the Hegira against the Jewish tribe of Koreiza, who had treasoned against the city, Sir W. Muir admits that up to that period Mohammad did not profess to force men to join Islam, or to punish them for not embracing it. His words are: "The ostensible grounds upon which Mahomet proceeded were purely political, for as yet he did not profess to force men to join Islam, or to punish them for not embracing it."[195] In a foot-note he remarks: "He still continued to reiterate in his Revelations the axiom used at Mecca, 'I am only a public preacher,' as will be shown in the next chapter." Further, Sir W. Muir, in his account of the first two years after Mohammad's arrival at Medina, admits in a foot-note (p. 32, Vol. III), that "as yet we have no distinct development of the intention of Mahomet to impose his religion on others by force: it would have been dangerous in the present state of parties to advance this principle."

38. Comment on the above quotation.

It will appear from the foregoing statements that in each of the three distinct periods of Mohammad's sojourn in Medina, i.e., the first two years, the fifth year, and the eighth year, Sir W. Muir has himself admitted[Pg 48] that Mohammad had no intention to impose his religion by force, and did not profess to force people to join Islam, or punish them for not embracing it, and that the conversion of the people at Medina was gradually accomplished without compulsion, and the same course he followed at his taking of Mecca. Then there is no room left for the uncalled for and self-contradictory remark of Sir W. Muir, that at Medina "Intolerance quickly took place of freedom; force, of persuasion." Up to the end of the eighth year when Mecca was captured, there was admittedly no persecution or constraint put in requisition to enforce religion. Mohammad breathed his last early in the eleventh year. During the two years that intervened, the din of war had ceased to sound, deputations continued to reach the Prophet from all quarters of Arabia, and not a single instance of intolerance or compulsory adoption of faith is found on record.[196]

[Pg 49]Mohammad, neither sooner, nor later, in his stay at Medina, swerved from the policy of forbearance and persuasion he himself had chalked out for the success of his mission. At Medina, he always preached his liberal profession of respect for other creeds, and reiterated assurances to the people that he was merely a preacher, and expressly gave out that compulsion in religion was out of question with him.

These are his revelations during the Medina period. "Verily, they who believe (Moslems), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites,—whoever believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: and fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved."

Sura II, 59.

"And say to those who have been given the Scripture, and to the common folk, Do you surren[Pg 50]der yourselves unto God? Then, if they become Moslems, are they guided aright; but if they turn away, then thy duty is only preaching and God's eye is on his servants."

Sura III, 19.

"The Apostle is only bound to preach: and God knoweth what ye bring to light, and what ye conceal."

Sura V, 99.

"Say: Obey God and obey the Apostle. But if ye turn back, still the burden of his duty is on him only, and the burden of your duty rests on you. And if ye obey him, ye shall have guidance; But plain preaching is all that devolves upon the Apostle."

Sura XXIV, 53.

"Let there be no compulsion in religion. Now is the right way made distinct from error; whoever therefore denieth Tâghoot,[197] and believeth in God, hath taken hold on a strong handle that hath no flaw therein: And God is He who Heareth, Knoweth."

Sura II, 237.

"Whoso obeyeth the Apostle, in so doing obeyeth God and as to those who turn back from thee, We have not sent thee to be their keeper."

Sura IV, 82.

39. The object of Mohammad's wars.

"Slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them" was never the watchword of Islam. It was only said in self-preservation and war of defence, and concerned only those who had taken up arms against the Moslems.

[Pg 51]

The verses—Suras II, 189; and VIII, 40—have been quoted above in paras. 17 and 37 (pp. 18, 21, 44 and 45), and they fully show by their context and scope that they only enjoined war against the Meccans, who used to come to war upon the Moslems. The object of making war is precisely set forth in these verses, and appears to mean that civil feuds and persecutions be at an end. But Sir W. Muir wrongly translates Fitnah as opposition. He himself has translated the meaning of the word in question as persecution, in Vol. II, p. 147, foot-note; in translating the tenth verse of the Sura LXXXV he writes: "Verily, they who persecute the believers, male and female, and repent themselves not." The original word there is Fatanoo,[198] from Fitnah. I do not know why he should put a twofold version on the same word occurring in the same book. (Suras II, 187; VIII, 40.)

The Ninth Chapter, or Sura Barat.

40. The opening portion of the IXth Sura of the Koran only relates to the Koreish who had violated the truce.
The injunctions contained in it were not carried out owing to the compromise.

Sir William Muir, while relating the publication of some verses of the ninth chapter of the Koran on the occasion of the great pilgrimage A.H. 9, and referring to the opening verses of the Sura (from 1st to 7th inclusive) [Pg 52]writes: "The passages just quoted completed the system of Mahomet so far as its relations with idolatrous tribes and races were concerned. The few cases of truce excepted, uncompromising warfare was declared against them all."[199] This is not correct. The mistake, he as well as others who follow him commit, lies in their taking the incipient verses of Chapter IX, as originally published at the end of the ninth year of the Hegira, after the conquest of Mecca, in order to set aside every obligation or league with the idolators to wage war with them, either within or without the sacred territory, and "they were to be killed, besieged, and laid in wait for wheresoever found."[200] In fact it has no such bearing of generally setting aside the treaties, and declaring uncompromising warfare, and was not published for the first time on the occasion stated above. The opening verses of the ninth Sura of the Koran, which I have quoted in full together with necessary notes in para. 17 (pp. 22-25), revealed for the first time, were before the conquest of Mecca, when the idolators thereof had broken the truce of Hodeibia. Their violation of the treaty is expressly mentioned in verses 4, 8, 10 and 13, and the same verses also enjoin to respect and fulfil the treaties[Pg 53] of those idolators who had not broken theirs. Therefore only those aggressors who had been guilty of a breach of faith, and instigated others to take up arms against the Moslems in the attack of Bani Bakr, on Khozáa, were to be waged war against, besieged, and taken captives after the expiration of four months from the date of the publication of the verses in question. But fortunately Abu Sofian compromised before the commencement of the sacred months, and before the period of the four months had elapsed. The people of Mecca submitted without bloodshed, and hence it is obvious that the injunctions contained in the commencement of the ninth chapter of the Koran were never carried out. They remained as dead letter, and will, I think, so remain perpetually. Almost all European writers, as far as I know, labour under the delusion that at the end of the ninth year Mohammad published the opening verses of the ninth Sura, commonly designated Súra Barát. But the fact is that it was published in the eighth year of the Hegira before the commencement of the sacred months, probably in the month of Shabán, while Mohammad marched in Ramzán against Mecca, not with the intention of prosecuting war, for it was to take place after the lapse of Zikad, Zelhaj and Moharram, but of taking Mecca by compromise and preconcerted understanding between himself and Abu Sofian. If it be admitted [Pg 54]that the preliminary verses of Sura IX of the Koran were revealed or published for the first time in the last month of the ninth year of the Hegira, then they—the verses—become aimless, without being pregnant of any object in view. They contain injunctions for carrying hostile operations against those who had broken certain treaties, had helped others against the Moslems, and themselves had also attacked them. They proclaimed war against certain tribes, whose people did not regard ties of blood and good faith, and had been the first aggressors against the Moslems. Not many such persons were in the whole of Arabia at and after the time alleged for the promulgation of these verses, i.e., at the last month of the ninth and the whole tenth year. By this time, almost all Arabia had tendered voluntary submission to the authority of Mohammad.

Deputations from each tribe of the Arabs continued to reach Medina during the whole of this period, and were pledged protection and friendship by the founder of the Islamic faith. From Medina the sound of drums and the bray of clarions had now died away. Hereupon we are able to speak with certainty that these verses could not be, and were not, revealed at the end of the ninth year as it has been asserted by several writers, both Mohammadan and European. And for the above reasons the most suitable occasion for the revelation of these verses is the breach of the[Pg 55] truce of Hodeibia by the Koreish and their allies during the eighth year of the Hegira which caused the reduction of Mecca by compromise. Several Mohammadan commentators are unanimous in their opinion as to this point. Consequently the verses, ordaining the manifestation of arms against the treaty-breakers and aggressors, as well as putting them to the sword wherever they were to be found, i.e., within or without the harem, or the precincts of the Sacred Mosque, were not complied with owing to the compromise by the Koreish.

The alleged Interception of the Koreishite Caravans.

41. The nine alleged interceptions of the Koreish caravans.

It has been asserted by European biographers of Mohammad that several caravans of the Koreish going to and from Syria were intercepted and waylaid by the Moslems soon after the Hegira. The alleged incursions are as follow:

(1.) Seven months after Mohammad's arrival at Medina, an expedition headed by Hamza surprised a caravan under the conduct of Abu Jahl.

(2.) A month later a party led by Obeida was dispatched in the pursuit of another caravan guided by Abu Sofian.

(3.) After the expiration of another month, a third inroad headed by Sad proceeded to lie in ambush for the Koreish caravan on the way it was expected to pass.[Pg 56]

(4.) Nearly twelve months after the Hegira, a fourth attempt was undertaken to plunder a caravan of the Koreishites by Mohammad himself at Abwa.

(5.) In the succeeding month Mohammad again marched to Bowat with the sole aim of despoiling a caravan composed of precious freight under the immediate escort of Omeya-bin Khalf.

(6.) After the lapse of two or three months Mohammad set out to Osheira to make aggression on another rich caravan proceeding to Syria led by Abu Sofian.

All these expeditions are said to have been not attended by any success on the part of the Moslems, the vigilance of the caravans in all cases eluding the pursuit made after them.[201]

(7.) In Rajab A.H. 2, a small band composed of some six persons was ordered to march to Nakhla to lie in wait there for the caravan of the Koreish. The party had a scuffle at Nakhla, in which a man of the convoy was killed; while two prisoners and the pilfered goods were taken to Medina. Hereupon Mohammad was much displeased, and told Abdallah-bin Jahsh, "I never commanded thee to fight in the sacred month."

(8.) The caravan of the Koreish, which on its passage had safely escaped the chase of the Moslems, [Pg 57]as already described in No. 6, was on its way back to Mecca. Mohammad anticipated their return, and prepared an attack, which terminated in the famous battle of Badr.

(9.) All these predatory inroads to intercept the caravans of Mecca are said to have happened during the first and the second year of the Hegira, or before the battle of Badr. It remains for me now to mention the only remaining instance of Moslem's foray upon the Koreishite caravan, which took place in the sixth year A.H. at Al-Is. The attack was completely successful.

42. The interceptions were impossible under the circumstances in which Mohammad was placed.

I have already explained (from paras. 21-24) that these early expeditions, numbered 1 to 8, are not corroborated by authentic and trustworthy traditions, and I have also given the probable nature of those marked 4, 5 and 6.

It was impossible for Mohammad and his adherents, situated as they were, to make any hostile demonstrations or undertake a pillaging enterprise. The inhabitants of Medina, where the Prophet with his followers had sought a safe asylum, and at whose invitation he had entered their city, had solemnly bound themselves on sacred oaths to defend Mohammad, so long as he was not himself the aggressor, from his enemies as they would their wives and[Pg 58] their children.[202] Mohammad, on his own part, had entered into a holy compact with them not to plunder or commit depredations.[203]

Upon these considerations it was impossible that the people of Medina would have permitted or overlooked the irruptions so often committed by Mohammad upon the caravans of the Koreish: much less would they have joined with their Prophet, had he or any of his colleagues ventured to do so. But granting that the Medinites allowed Mohammad to manifest enmity towards the Koreish by a display of arms, or that no restraint was put by them upon him when he encroached upon the territories of the neighbouring tribes, and that the caravans were molested without any grounds of justice, was it possible, I ask, for the people of Medina to avoid the troubles they would be necessarily involved in by the refuge they had given to their Prophet? They had long suffered from internal feuds, and the sanguinary conflict of Boás, a few years ago, which had paralyzed their country, and humiliated its citizens, was but too fresh in their memory yet.

[Pg 59]

43. The interceptions, if occurred, were justified by way of reprisals.

Let us suppose that these alleged interceptions of the Meccan caravans by the Moslems did actually take place, as related by the biographers of Mohammad, were they not all justified by the International Code of the Arabs, or the ancient usage and military law of nations. It has been proved beyond all dispute that the Meccans were the first aggressors in persecuting the Moslems, and expelling them from their dear homes at Mecca with the unbearable annoyance, they caused the converts of the new faith in the peaceful prosecution of their religion; taking all these causes of offence into consideration, as well as the International law and the law of Nature, the Moslems might be said to have law and justice both on their sides in waging war with their harassers for the restoration of their property and homes, and even in retaliating and making reprisals until they attained the object long sought by them. When the Meccans, on their own part, had first trumpeted hostility against the Moslems, the right of self-defence, as well as military necessity, compelled the latter to destroy their property, and obstruct the ways and channels of communication by which their traffic was prospering; for, "from the moment one State is at war with another, it has, on general prin[Pg 60]ciples, a right to seize on all the enemy's property of whatsoever kind and wheresoever found, and to appropriate the property thus taken to its own use, or to that of the captors."[204]

The alleged Assassinations.

44. Instances of alleged assassinations cited.

There were certain executions of culprits who had perpetrated the crime of high treason against the Moslem Commonwealth. These executions, and certain other cases of murders not grounded on any credible evidences, are narrated by European biographers of Mohammad as assassinations committed through the countenance and connivance which he lent them. They were about five or six in number, and they are styled assassinations from there being no trials of the prisoners by a judge and a jury, nor by any systematic court-martial. The punishment of death was inflicted upon the persons condemned, either from private enmity or for the unpardonable offence of high treason against the State, but it cannot be said, as I will hereafter show, that these so-called cases of assassinations had received the high sanction of Mohammad, or they were brought about at his direct instigation and assent for their commission. The alleged instances are as follows:—

[Pg 61]

1. Asma-bint Marwán.
2. Abú Afak.
3. Káb-ibn Ashraf.
4. Sofian-ibn Khalid.
5. Abú Ráfe.
6. Oseir-ibu Zárim.
7. The attempted assassination of Abú Sofian.

45. Mr. Poole quoted.

Before reviewing the truth and falsity of evidence in each of these cases, and showing how far the Prophet was privy to them, I will avail myself of a quotation from Mr. Stanley Lane Poole, who has remarked with his usual deep discernment and accurate judgment, in his Introduction to Mr. E.W. Lane's Selections from the Koran:

"The execution of the half-dozen marked Jews is generally called assassination, because a Muslim was sent secretly to kill each of the criminals. The reason is almost too obvious to need explanation. There were no police or law-courts, or even courts-martial, at Medina; some one of the followers of Mohammad must therefore be the executer of the sentence of death, and it was better it should be done quietly, as the executing of a man openly before his clan would have caused a brawl and more bloodshed and retaliation, till the whole city had become mixed up in the quarrel. If secret assassination is the[Pg 62] word for such deeds, secret assassination was a necessary part of the internal government of Medina. The men must be killed, and best in that way. In saying this I assume that Mohammad was cognisant of the deed, and that it was not merely a case of private vengeance; but in several instances the evidence that traces these executions to Mohammad's order is either entirely wanting or is too doubtful to claim our credence."[205]

1.—Asma-bint Marwán.

46. Asma-bint Marwán.

"The first victim was a woman," writes Major Osborn, "Asma, daughter of Marwan; she had composed some satirical verses on the Prophet and his followers; and Muhammad, moved to anger, said publicly: 'Who will rid me of this woman?' Omeir, a blind man, but an ardent Moslem, heard the speech, and at dead of night crept into the apartment where Asma lay asleep surrounded by her little ones; he felt about in the darkness till his hand rested on the sleeping woman, and then, the next instance his sword was plunged into her breast."[206]

The story of Asma's murder has been variously related by the Arabian writers, and the testimonies on which it rests are contradictory and conflicting in [Pg 63]themselves. Wákidi, Ibn Sád, and Ibn Hishám relate a very strange thing about it, that she was killed by Omeir the blind at the dead of night. A blind person commits murder in a stranger's house during nocturnal quietness, and is not arrested by any one! Doctor Weil writes, that Omeir was a former husband of Asma, and the origin of the murder may be traced to a long-brooding and private malice. Ibn Asákar in his history (vide Seerat Shámee) relates that Asma was a fruit-seller; some person of her tribe asked her if she had better fruits. She said 'yes,' and entered her house followed by that man. She stooped down to take something up, the person turned right and left, and seeing that nobody was near, gave a violent blow on her head, and thus dispatched her.

47. The story deserves not our belief.

The historians even relate that Omeir, being offended at the verses composed by Asma, had volunteered himself of his own free-will to kill her.[207] She might have been a sacrifice to envy or hatred by the sword of her assassin, but Mohammad really had no hand in her death. She had made herself an outlaw by deluding the people of Medina to a breach of treaty with the Moslems, whereby the rights and jurisdictions of Jews and Moslems were definitively settled.[Pg 64]

Ibn Ishak quietly leaves unnarrated any transaction with regard to Asma. Wakidi and Ibn Sád do not affirm that Mohammad, being annoyed at her lampoons, said dejectedly, "Who would rid me of that woman?" On the contrary, Wakidi writes, that Omeir had voluntarily swore to take her life. It is only Ibn Hisham who relates without citing his authority, that Mohammad, hearing Asma's verses, declared: "Is there nobody for me (i.e., to rid me) from Bint Marwán?" This version of the story has no corroborative proofs from the earliest biographers, and we are not inclined to put any faith in it.[208]

2.—Abú Afak.

48. Abú Afak.

It has been related that Abú Afak of Bani Amr had enraged the Moslems by fomenting enmity and sedition against their Government, when one Háris was executed for his murdering treacherously his fellow-comrade in the battle of Ohad during the time they were fighting together side by side. A convert from amongst the Bani Amr vowed to slay Abú Afak, and falling unawares upon him killed him with a cruel blow of his sword. From Ibn Ishak we learn that Mohammad had said with reference to Abú Afak, [Pg 65]"Who would rid me of this pestilent fellow?"[209] The biographers do not give their authorities whence they derived their information of the words attributed to Mohammad which he is said to have uttered with relation to Abú Afak before his followers; while at the same time it is no fair justice to form a hasty opinion of the fact without a critical examination and well-balancing of evidences of men like Ibn Ishak and others who have forgotten to tell us the original sources of their own assertion. Besides, the words quoted above are not equivalent to a peremptory order, and even granting this last condition, we are not justified in construing them to mean assassination. Sir W. Muir writes that, "the Secretary of Wâckidi says distinctly—'Now this was by command of the Prophet.'" (Vol. III, p. 133, f.n.) But it is a very easy thing for the secretary or other biographers to give an ample play to their fancies, or to fabricate commands, which the Prophet had never given out, on a very slender basis, or on no reasonable basis at all. The tendency of the biographers is always to exonerate the companions of the Prophet at the expense of truth, and to justify their deeds by casting the whole blame upon him.

[Pg 66]

3.—Káb, son of Ashraf.

49. Káb, son of Ashraf.

Káb-ibn Ashraf was an influential Jew connected with the tribe of Bani Nazeer. Being very much mortified by the defeat of the Meccans at the battle of Badr, he soon after proceeded to Mecca, where he stirred up the Koreish to avenge themselves on the Moslems of Medina. On his return to the latter place he manifested avowed hostility towards the Moslem Commonwealth. He was a traitor and a turncoat, for he not only violated his allegiance to the Moslems, but preached rebellion among their enemies. Under such circumstances, he deserved execution by the military and international law, and was decapitated at Medina accordingly. The mode of execution was a sudden violence or deception, but Mohammad never fulminated any harsh commands against him either for his assassination or for his murder. He deserved capital punishment for his treachery, which was duly measured out to him in the absence of any legal tribunals for trials of criminals by jury, for in that case any man was authorized to execute the sentence of the law. Even if it be taken for granted that the Prophet had prayed "O Lord, deliver me from the son of Ashraf, in whatsoever manner seemeth good unto thee, because of his open sedition and verses;" or said, "Who can ease me of the son of[Pg 67] Ashraf?"[210] This does not amount to a fiat for murder or execution, much less for assassination.

50. Mohammad could not have any share in his murder.

The biographers and narrators of the campaigns of Mohammad generally relate untrustworthy and fabulous details of such events, and are by no means to be relied upon. Mohammad Ibn Ishak, the earliest biographer, whose work exists, does not relate that Mohammad the Prophet ever prayed for, or said to his followers, to be got rid of Káb; whereas the latest biographers and traditionalists give us to understand that the Prophet sanctioned the murder of Káb by his own express orders. "I am far from asserting," says Sir W. Muir, "that every detail in the foregoing narrative, either of instigation by Mahomet or of deception by the assassins, is beyond suspicion. The actors in such scenes were not slow to magnify and embellish their own services at the expense of truth. There may also have been the desire to justify an act of perfidy, at which even the loose morality of the day was startled, by casting the burden of it on the infallible Prophet. But, after allowing all due weight to both of these considerations, enough remains to prove, in this case, the worst features of assassination, and the fact that they were directly countenanced, or rather prompted, by Mahomet himself."[211] [Pg 68]There is no substantial proof in this case which tends to establish the instigation Mohammad offered for the murder of Káb. The best traditions for the story of Káb's assassination rest with Jábir-bin Abdullah,[212] and Ibn Abbás through Ikrama.[213]

None of them can be an authority, for they were neither eye-witnesses, nor they heard the Prophet countenancing or prompting the assassination, nor they allude to their own authorities. Jábir-bin Abdullah was a mere boy at that time. He was not allowed to appear even at the battle of Ohad, which took place after the alleged execution of Káb, on account of his tender age.[214] Ibn Abbás was even younger than Jábir, and besides, was putting up at Mecca at the period in question.[215] Ikrama was a slave of Ibn Abbás, and was notoriously given to the forging of fictitious traditions.[216]

[Pg 69]

4.—Sofian-bin Khalid.

51. Sofian-bin Khalid.

After the reverse at Medina, in the battle of Ohad, large gatherings were organized in various quarters of Arabia against the Moslems. The Bani Lahyán, and other neighbouring tribes, rallied round the standard of their chief Sofián, the son of Khálid, at Orna with the avowed purpose of taking this occasion by the forelock when the tables were turned at Ohad. "Mahomet, knowing that their movements depended solely upon Sofiân, despatched Abdullah ibn Oneis with instructions to assassinate him."[217] The accredited envoy volunteered himself for the service, which he accomplished by destroying Sofian by surprise. Neither Ibn Ishak, nor Ibn Hisham, nor Ibn Sád have anything to say about 'instructions' for assassination. Abdullah-bin Oneis may have been sent as a spy to reconnoitre the movements of Sofián and his army, or to bring advices concerning him, but it cannot be affirmed that he was tutored by Mohammad to assassinate Sofian, even on the supposition that his mission was to kill the latter.

52. Justifications of Sofian's alleged murder.

Among the Arabs the international law of estates in their hostile relations, and the military law and usage of former times, not forgetting to mention the European international law as late as the last century, maintained[Pg 70] the broad principle that "in war everything done against an enemy is lawful that he may be destroyed, though unarmed and defenceless; that fraud or even poison may be employed against him; that a most unlimited right is acquired to his person and property."[218] Every sort of fraud except perfidy was allowed to be practised towards an enemy in war. "I allow of any kind of deceit," writes Bynkershoek, a writer on international law, the successor of Puffendorf and the predecessor of Wolff and Vattel, "perfidy alone excepted, not because anything is unlawful against an enemy, but because when our faith had been pledged to him, so far as the promise extends, he ceases to be an enemy."[219]

In the case of Sofián there was no perfidy, treachery, or violation of faith, nor was there any permission granted by Mohammad for his assassination. He sent, if it be proved he did (but it is never proved), Abdullah against Sofián who had made every preparation of arms, and who had mustered together several Bedouin tribes to attack Mohammad, to fight and kill him; it was a straightforward course allowed by the usages of the military law. Mohammad had distinctly and expressly interdicted perfidy, deceit[Pg 71] and assassination. "Do not," said he, charging his commanders and soldiers on the point of marching for a military expedition, "commit perfidy, and do not mutilate, and do not kill a child."[220] He also laid down the golden maxim, "Belief is the restraint to assassination. No believer should commit assassination."[221]

5.—Abú Rafe.

53. Abú Rafe.

Abú Rafe, called also Sallám Ibn Abul Hokeik, was the chief of Bani Nazeer, who had warred with the Moslems at Medina, and had been banished to Khyber. He had taken a prominent part in the assembling of most of the Bedouin tribes at the war of the confederates when they besieged Medina. Subsequently, he had excited Bani Fezara and other Bedouin tribes to carry on their depredations among the Moslems. A band of the latter was dispatched to inflict condign punishment upon him, and he met with his death at their hands. But the account of his execution are full of contradictions and discrepancies. But none of these diverse stories has, that Mohammad commanded the assassination of Abú Rafe, while Ibn Ishak gives no account of him at all. Ibn Hisham has—"That Abú Rafe had brought the confederate army against Mohammad, and some of Khazraj[Pg 72] had asked permission to kill him, and Mohammad permitted them."[222] Sir W. Muir narrates that Mohammad "gave them command to make away with Abul Huckeick,"[223] whilst the Secretary of Wákidi, whom he follows, simply says, "He gave command to kill him." "Making away with a person" creates an idea of secret murder tantamount to 'assassination,' but such is not the wording of the original. Sending a party to kill, or fight with an enemy are synonymous, and permissible by the international or military law, the Arab mode of fighting mostly consisting of single combats.

6.—Oseir-bin Zárim.[224]

54. Oseir-bin Zárim.

Oseir-ibn Zarim, the chief of Bani Nazeer, had maintained a hostile animosity against the Moslems of Medina, to war with whom he had enrolled himself in the adverse tribe of Ghatafán. Preparations were briskly made by this tribe to make a havoc of Medina, and Oseir had been made the hero of the enterprise. Hereupon Mohammad delegated the mission of bringing the insurgent to Medina to Abdullah-bin Rawáha and some others, with a promise of making him [Pg 73]Governor of Khyber,[225] and treating him with marked distinction, if he yielded to the wishes of the Prophet. Oseir complied, and set out with his followers to Medina. On a camel were mounted Abdullah-bin, Oneis, and Oseir. Hardly they had travelled six miles when Oseir repented of his determination to go to Medina, and stretched forth his hand towards the sword of Abdullah, who leaped from the camel and cut off his leg, Oseir in the meantime wounding Abdullah's head with his camel staff.[226]

Now, whether Oseir was assassinated or murdered perfidiously; whether he meditated treachery, and Abdullah struck him in his self-defence,—whatever might be the case, certainly there is nothing in the narrative of Oseir's death to show that Mohammad had sent him "on a secret errand with a view of getting rid of the Jewish chief" as Sir W. Muir explains.[227] The story is not imparted by earliest writers like Ibn Ishak, and the traditions of a later date are incoherent, one-sided, and imperfect. Notwithstanding these inaccuracies, no account tells us that mandates were issued for fighting with or killing Oseir, much less for his assassination.

[Pg 74]

7.—The alleged intended Assassination of Abú Sofian.

55. The intended assassination of Abú Sofian.

A Bedouin Arab was sent by Abú Sofian to Medina to assassinate Mohammad. The emissary was tracked in his evil attempt, and confessed the purpose with which he had come. This is related by Ibn Sád Katib Wakidi as the cause of Mohammad's sending Amr Ibn Omeya to assassinate Abú Sofian.[228] According to Hishamee, Amr was commissioned by the Prophet to fight with Abú Sofián, and to kill him in immediate revenge for the murder of Khobeib and his companions captured at Raji.[229] Now, Ibn Ishak and Wákidí preserve absolute silence on this head. Ibn Hisham relates nothing about assassination. It is only Ibn Sád Kátib Wákidí who hands down to posterity the orders of Mohammad for the assassination of Abú Sofian. This tradition is neither strengthened by any sterling witness, nor is it a genuine one; and for this very reason it was not accepted by Ibn Ishák or even by Wakidi, so prone to the recital of apocryphal traditions.

56. Irving and Muir quoted: concluding remarks.

Referring to the above attempted assassination Mr. Washington Irving says: "During this period of his career[Pg 75] Mahomet in more than one instance narrowly escaped falling by the hand of an assassin. He himself is charged with the use of insidious means to rid himself of an enemy, for it is said that he sent Amru Ibn Omeya on a secret errand to Mecca, to assassinate Abu Sofian, but the plot was discovered, and the assassin only escaped by rapid flight. The charge, however, is not well substantiated, and is contrary to his general character and conduct."[230]

Sir W. Muir writes: "There is just a shadow of possibility that the tradition may have been fabricated by the anti-Omeyad party to throw odium on the memory of Abu Sofiân, as having been deemed by Mahomet worthy of death. But this is not to be put against the evidence of unanimous and apparently independent traditions."[231] But, in fact, there are no unanimous and apparently independent traditions of the command of Mohammad to assassinate Abú Sofian; there is only one and but one, by Ibn Sád, which is wholly unreliable, and that too from the lips of the would-be assassin himself who before the introduction of Islam was a professional cutthroat, whose narration, therefore, deserves not our belief.

Even if it be taken for granted that Mohammad did send some one to [Pg 76]assassinate Abú Sofian, who had already sent some one to assassinate Mohammad as related by Ibn Sád, it was justified in self-defence. It was a measure for retaliation, not one of mere revenge, but only a means of protective retribution, which is lawful under the military law.[232]

The alleged Cruelties in executing the Prisoners of War and others.

57. Treatment of the prisoners of war.

Some of the war prisoners had received the condign punishment of execution for their crimes in conformity with the laws of war. It has been alleged by some European biographers of Mohammad that their (the war prisoners') execution was cruel, and that they were accused of no crime except their scepticism and political antagonism.[233]

The persons executed were as follows:—

1. Nadhr-bin-Harith.
2. Okba.
3. Abul Ozza.
4. Moavia-bin-Mughira.

The law of nations regarding the prisoners of war.

Before reviewing the case of each prisoner, I must note, by way of introductory remarks, that, under the international or military law, a prisoner of war is a public enemy armed or attached to the hostile army for active aid, [Pg 77]and who has fallen into the hands of the captor, either fighting or wounded, on the fields or in the hospitals, by individual surrender or capitulation. All soldiers, of whatever species of arms; all men who belong to the rising en masse of the hostile country; all those who are attached to the army for its efficiency and promote directly the object of the war, except religious persons, officers of medical staff, hospital nurses and servants, all disabled men or officers on the field, or elsewhere, if captured, all enemies who have thrown away their arms and asked for quarters, are prisoners of war, and as such exposed to the inconveniences as well as entitled to the privileges of a prisoner of war. He is subject to no punishment for being a public enemy, nor is any revenge wreaked upon him by the international infliction of any suffering or disgrace, by cruel imprisonment, want of food, by mutilation, death, or any other barbarity. But a prisoner of war remains answerable for his crimes committed against the captor's army or people before he was captured, and for which he has not been punished by his own authorities. All prisoners of war are liable to the infliction of retaliatory measures.


59. The execution of Nadhr Ibn Harith.

Nadhr (Nazr), one of the prisoners of war, was executed after the battle of Badr for his crime of severely torment[Pg 78]ing the Moslems at Mecca. Musáb had distinctly reminded him of his torturing the companions of Mohammad,[234] so there was nothing of a cruel and vindictive spirit of the Prophet displayed towards his enemies in the execution of Nazr as it is made out by Sir W. Muir.[235] On the other hand, his execution is denied by some critics, like Ibn Manda and Abú Naeem, who say, that Nazr-bin-Haris was present at the battle of Honain, A.H. 8, six years after that of Badr, and was presented with one hundred camels by Mohammad. Sir W. Muir himself puts down very quietly Nadhir Ibn al Harith's name in a foot-note (Vol. IV, page 151) as a recipient of one hundred camels at Honain. The same Nadhr-bin-Harith is shown among the earliest Moslem refugees who had fled to Abyssinia. These discrepancies leave no doubt that the story of Nadhr's execution is not a fact. It is also related by the narrators, who assert Nazr's execution at Badr, that his daughter or sister came to Mohammad and addressed him several verses, the hearing of which produced such a tender emotion in him, that his eyes shed tears and said, he would not have issued orders for his execution had he heard [Pg 79]these verses before. The following are two of the verses which Mohammad heard:

"Má kán Zarraka lao mananta va rubba mámannal
fata va ho-al mughizul mohnihoo."
Thou wouldst no harm have seen to set him free,
Anger how high for pardon has no plea.

But Zobier-bin-Bakár says, he heard some learned men who objected to these verses on the ground that they were all concocted; and I think that the whole story of Nazr's execution is a spurious one.


60. The execution of Okba.

Another prisoner, named Okba, was executed after the battle of Badr for a crime similar to that of Nazr. It is related that while he was going to be executed, he asked who would take care of his little girl. Mohammad replied, "Hell-fire!" This is altogether an apocryphal story, and owes its origin to the relation of Okba to the tribe of Banunnar, or the "children of fire." Wackidi does not give his authorities for the story, and Ibn Is-hak gives only one immediately before him, which is cut short of another intervening link of authorities up to the scene of occurrence. Abu Daood narrates it from Masrook, who gave it on the authority of Abdullah-bin-Mas-ood, who does not say he was present at the scene or he heard it directly or indirectly from Mohammad. Besides the circumstances under which Masrook gave out this story are very suspicious, and show that calumny was at work.[Pg 80] Masrook was proposed by Zohak to be entrusted with the administration of a certain district. Ommara, the son of Okba, objected to this, as Masrook was one of the murderers of Osman, the third Khalif. Masrook in reply said to Ommara, on the authority of Ibn Masood, that "when thy father was being executed, he had asked the Prophet, who will take care of his little girl." The Prophet replied, "Hell-fire." Therefore, I am satisfied for thee with what the Prophet had chosen for thy father.[236]

There is a discrepancy in the mode of Okba's execution as well as about the person who executed him. Ibn Is-hak says, that it was Asim who killed him, and Ibn Hisham, that it was Ali. Ibrahim is of opinion, that Okba was executed at Taimee,[237] and Mohammad-bin-Khobeib Hashimi,[238] that he was crucified, from which others differ and say that he was beheaded. I have no belief in Okba's execution at all.

61. Free liberty granted to Ozza, a prisoner of war.

Abul Ozza, one of the prisoners of Badr, and who was one of the persecutors of the Moslems at Mecca, had besought Mohammad to release him by way of compassion for his five daughters. Mohammad granted him his life and his liberty.[239] This directly points to the universal generosity of the Prophet, and from this it will [Pg 81]appear that the story of Okba's execution runs contrary to his general character and conduct. On these grounds the execution of Okba might be rejected as a fiction.

3.—Abul Ozza.

62. Abul Ozza proved a traitor and was executed.

Abul Ozza, one of the prisoners of Badr, was allowed his freedom without any ransom, on the condition that he would never again bear up arms in any war against the Prophet; but he proved a traitor. He exhorted the Arabs to make war on Mohammad, and joined himself the invading army of Mecca. He was doomed to misfortune, he was caught at Hamra, and duly executed.[240] This was in full accordance with the laws and usages of war (vide ante, para. 58).

4.—Moavia Ibn Mughira.

The execution of Moavia Ibn Mughira.

Moavia Ibn Mughira, also a prisoner of war, was granted three days' truce, on the condition that if he were found in Medina after the appointed time, he was to be executed. The period had passed, and he was still lurking at Medina. At length he was found out and killed by Zeid and Ammar on their return from Hamra-al-Assad, after five or six days. It is apparent that Moavia violated his truce, and his lurking in Medina might be either as a spy[241] or scout secretly seeking information.[Pg 82]

64. Justification of Mughira's execution.

Sir W. Muir, who calls him Othmân Ibn Mughîra, makes out a favourable case in his behalf. He writes: He "incautiously lingered at Medîna till the last day of his term of grace, when he set out for Mecca."[242] But Ibn Hisham distinctly writes that he "stayed at Medina after the three days had passed and was found lurking there." Even according to Wackidi he was caught on the fourth day. But this is far from truth, for, according to his own account, Mohammad was absent after the battle of Ohad for five days at Hamra-al-Assad; then how he (Ibn Mughira) could have endeavoured to avoid the returning Moslem force from Hamra-al-Assad, and lose his way, as Sir W. Muir gives it out, only on the fourth day?

One of the enemies, who had invaded Medina and attacked Mohammad, was, after being captured, allowed three days' truce on explicit conditions that he was to be killed there if found after three days, and was also provided with a camel and provisions for the way, was discovered lurking thereabout on the fifth or sixth day, in consequence of which he lost his life. This is called by Sir W. Muir as being "perished by a too [Pg 83]great confidence in the generosity of his enemy,"[243]i.e., Mohammad.

The intended Execution of the Prisoners of Badr.

63. The wrong version of Sir W. Muir.

Sir W. Muir writes: "It would even seem to have been contemplated at the close of the battle to kill all the prisoners. Mahomet is represented by tradition as himself directing this course." In a foot-note he says, "Thus Mahomet said: 'Tell not Saîd of his brother's death'" (Mábad, a prisoner, see above, page 110 note); "but kill ye every man his prisoner."—(Wâckidi, 100.) Again: "Take not any man his brother prisoner, but rather kill him" (page 101). "I would not, however, lay too much stress on these traditions. I am inclined rather to view them as called into existence by the passages quoted below from the Coran."[244] The contemplated execution of the prisoners is not borne out by the traditions which Sir W. Muir himself looks upon as fabricated ones. The true translation of the passages in Wackidi referred to above is as follows:—

First passage.—"Tell not Said of his brother's killing (i.e., being killed), so he will kill every prisoner in your hands."—(Wackidi, page 100.) This obviously means, that do not let Saeed know that his brother Wáhid, who was made prisoner and killed by Omar or Abu Barda, was killed. If you do so, he will, [Pg 84]being enraged, kill every prisoner now in your hands. It is very strange that Sir W. Muir translates the sentence to mean "kill ye every man his prisoner!"

Second passage.—"No body must take his brother's prisoner, so that he may be killed," meaning none of you should seize other person's prisoner. If you do so, perhaps, the other person may kill the prisoner in the contest. Sir W. Muir has quite misunderstood the sentence.

66. Mohammad never blamed in the Koran for relieving prisoners.

There are some fictitious traditions on the subject that Mohammad was reprimanded in the Koran (Sura, viii, 68, 69) for releasing the prisoners of Badr, meaning that he ought to have executed them. The verse is translated thus:—

"It is not for a Prophet to take prisoners until (hatta) he hath slaughtered in the land. Ye wish to have the goods of this world, but God wishes for the next, for God is Mighty, Wise! Were it not for a book from God that had gone before, there would have touched you, for which ye took, a mighty punishment."

The verse 68, if it is rightly translated, will mean that prisoners should not be executed. The word 'hatta' means 'until,' and is also used as a causative word. I prefer the latter, and translate—

"It is not for any Prophet that prisoners may be brought to him in order that he may make slaughter[Pg 85] in the land," which means, that it is not proper for a Prophet to take prisoners of war in order to slaughter them. This meaning is in consonance with the other passage in the Koran (xlvii, 4), which restricts the treatment of the prisoners of war to either free dismissal or ransom.

In the first place, the verse rather reprimanded those who wished to kill the prisoners; and in the second, those who desired to exact ransom for their liberty. They ought to have set them at liberty without any pecuniary advantage, if they knew any good in their deserving free liberty.

Kind Treatment of the Prisoners of War by Mohammad.

67. The Koran enjoins, the prisoners of war to be either freely liberated or ransomed, but neither executed nor enslaved.

The prisoners of war were always treated kindly by Mohammad, and the ancient practice of killing and enslaving them was much discouraged and abolished by the Koran.

"And when ye meet those who misbelieve, then strike off heads until ye have massacred them, and bind fast the bonds!"

"Then either a free grant (of liberty) or a ransom until the war shall have laid down its burdens."—Sura, xlvii, 4 and 5.

Regarding the prisoners of Badr Sir W. Muir writes: "In pursuance of Mahomet's commands, the citizens of Medina, and such of the refugees as pos[Pg 86]sessed houses, received the prisoners and treated them with much consideration." "Blessing be on the men of Medina!" said these prisoners in latter days. "They made us ride, while they themselves walked; they gave us wheatened bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates." It is not surprising that when, some time after, their friends came to ransom them, several of the prisoners who had been thus received declared themselves adherents of Islam: and to such the Prophet granted a liberty without the usual payment.[245]

The prisoners of the Bani Mustalik were released without paying any ransom.[246]

The Bani Hawazin were made prisoners of war at Honain, fought in the eighth year of the Hegira, but were all set free without any exaction of ransom from them. Mohammad first released his prisoners, and the men of Mecca and Medina cheerfully followed his example.[247] The prisoners were six thousand in number.[248]

A party of eighty, as related by Moslim in his Saheeh, or of forty or fifty Koreish, as narrated by Ibn Hisham (p. 745), went round about Mohammad's camp while stationed at Hodeibia in A.H. 6, seeking to cut off any stray followers, and having attacked the camp itself with stones and arrows, they were [Pg 87]caught and taken prisoners to Mohammad, who, with his usual generosity, pardoned and released them.

Khalid-Ibn-Waleed, in the year of his victory, A.H. 11, when he was sent to call the Bani Jazima to embrace Islam, had made them prisoners and ordered their execution. Some of the better-informed of the Moslems of the injunctions of the Koran, of releasing prisoners either freely or by exacting ransom, interposed and accused him of committing an act of the Time of Ignorance. Mohammad, much displeased, grieved at the intelligence, and said twice, 'O God! I am innocent of what Khalid hath done.'[249]

The Execution of the Bani Koreiza.

68. High treason of the Bani Koreiza against Medina, and their execution.

The Bani Koreiza, a Jewish tribe living in the vicinity of Mecca had entered into an alliance with the Moslem Commonwealth to defend the city of Medina from the attack of the aggressors. While Medina was besieged by the ten thousand Koreish and other Bedouin tribes in A.H. 6, they (the Koreiza), instead of co-operating with the Moslems, defected from their allegiance and entered into negotiations with the besieging foe. After the cessation of the siege, they were besieged in their turn, and a fearful example was made of them, not by Mohammad, but by an arbiter chosen and appointed by [Pg 88]themselves. The execution of some of them was not on account of their being prisoners of war; they were war-traitors and rebels, and deserved death according to the international law. Their crime was high treason against Medina while it was blockaded. There had no actual fighting taken place between the Bani Koreiza and the Moslems, after the former had thrown off their allegiance to the latter and had aided and abetted the enemies of the realm. They were besieged by the Moslems to punish them for their high treason, and consequently they were not prisoners of war. Even such prisoners of war suffer for high treason.

"Treating, in the field, the rebellious enemy according to the law and usages of war, has never prevented the legitimate Government from trying the leaders of the rebellion, or chief rebels for high treason, and from treating them accordingly, unless they are included in a general amnesty."[250]

69. The whole of the Bani Koreiza was never executed.

The whole tribe of the Bani Koreiza was not executed, nor all the male prisoners were put to the sword.[251] The number slain was comparatively very small. That they were not executed at the commands of Mohammad, nor all of them were killed, nor a divine sanction [Pg 89]was alleged for it, is shown by the following verse of the Koran:

"And he caused those of the people of the Book (the Jews) who had aided the confederates to come down of their fortresses, and cast dismay into their hearts: some ye slew; others ye took prisoners."—Sura, xxxiii, 26.

The slaying and taking of prisoners is attributed to them to whom the verse is addressed as their own act.

70. The women and children of the Bani Koreiza were not sold.

The rest of the Bani Koreiza,—male adults, women, and children,—were either liberated or got themselves ransomed. We read in Oyoon-al-Asar by Ibn Sayyad-al-Nas some account of the ransom. Osman-bin-Affan gathered much money by the transaction. But Sir W. Muir quotes from Hishamee, that the rest of the women and children were sent to be sold among the Bedouin tribes of Najd, in exchange of horse and arms.[252] But there is no authority for this story. Abul Mo'tamar Soleiman, in his Campaigns of Mohammad, gives another account which is more probable. He writes:—

"Out of what was captured from Bani Koreiza Mohammad took seventeen horses and distributed them among his people. The rest he divided into two halves. One-half he sent with Sád bin Obádd to Syria, and the other half with Ans bin Quízí to the land of Ghatafán, and ordered that they may be [Pg 90]used there for breeding purposes. They did so, and got good horses."[253]

71. The exaggerated number of the persons executed.

The number of male adults executed has been much exaggerated, though it is immaterial, when an execution duly authorized by the international law of a country takes place, to consider the smallness or greatness of the number. I cannot do better than quote Moulvie Ameer Ali of Calcutta on the subject, who has very judiciously criticised the same: "Passing now to the men executed," he says, "one can at once see how it has been exaggerated. Some say they were 400; others have carried the number even up to 900. But Christian historians generally give it as varying from 700 to 800. I look upon this as a gross exaggeration. Even 400 would seem an exaggerated number. The traditions agree in making the warlike materials of the Bani Koreiza consist of 300 cuirasses, 500 bucklers, 1,500 sabres, &c. In order to magnify the value of the spoil, the traditions probably exaggerated these numbers.[254] But taking them as they stand, and remembering that such arms are always kept greatly in excess of the number of fighting men, I am led to the conclusion that the warriors could not have been more than 200 or 300. The mistake probably arose from confounding the [Pg 91]whole body of prisoners who fell into the hands of the Moslems with those executed."[255]

Even 200 seems to be a large number, as all of the prisoners were put up for the night in the house of Bint-al-Haris,[256] which would have been insufficient for such a large number.

Some Miscellaneous Objections Refuted.

1.—Omm Kirfa.

72. The execution of Omm Kirfa for brigandage.

The barbarous execution of Omm Kirfa, a female, who was notorious as the mistress of a nest of robbers, by tying her each leg to a separate camel and being torn asunder, is not a fact. It is only mentioned by Katib Wáckidi, and is not to be found in any other earliest account of Wáckidi, Ibn Is-hak, and Ibn Hisham. Even Katib Wáckidi does not say that the execution was ordered by Mohammad, and it is not fair on the part of Sir W. Muir to hold Mohammad an accomplice in the ferocious act, because he reads of no disapprobation expressed by the Prophet at such an inhuman treatment.[257] But in the first place the narration is a mere fiction; and secondly, the traditions [Pg 92]are, as a rule, always incomplete; in one place they are given shorter, and in another longer, according to the circumstances of the occasion on which they are originally recited. Ibn Hisham relates, that "Zaid-bin-Harisa ordered Kays-bin-Mosahhar to execute Omm Kirfa, so he executed her with a violent execution." ('Katlan Aneefan,' p. 980.) He does not relate that Mohammad was even informed of the execution after the party had returned from this terrible mission. I think the word 'aneef' (violent or severe), as used originally by the narrator, might have been the cause of the growth of the story of executing by tying up to two camels, by way of a gratuitous explanation or glossary, as another tradition relates that she was tied to the tails of two horses (vide Koostalanee in his Commentary on Bokharee, Vol. III, p. 307).

2.—Urnee Robbers.

73. The alleged mutilation of the Urnee robbers.

Some Urnee robbers, lately converted, had plundered the camels of Medina and barbarously handled their herdsman, for they cut off his hands and legs, and struck thorny spikes into his tongue and eyes, till he died. The bandits were pursued, captured, and executed by Kurz-bin-Jabir. "They had merited death," says Sir W. Muir, "but the mode in which he inflicted it was barbarous and inhuman. The arms and legs of[Pg 93] eight men were cut off, and their eyes were put out. The shapeless, sightless trunks of these wretched Bedouins were then impaled upon the plain of Al Ghâba, until life was extinct."[258] As the robbers had mutilated the herdsman, this gave currency to their having been mutilated in retaliation. But in fact Mohammad never ordered mutilation in any case. He was so averse to this practice, that several traditions from various sources emanating from him to the effect, prove that he prohibited mutilation lest he himself be mutilated by divine judgment.[259]

74. Amputation or banishment substituted temporarily in place of imprisonment for want of a well-organized system of jails.

Sir W. Muir continues:—"On reflection, Mahomet appears to have felt that this punishment exceeded the bounds of humanity. He accordingly promulgated a Revelation, in which capital punishment is limited to simple death or crucifixion. Amputation of the hands and feet is, however, sanctioned as a penal measure; and amputation of [Pg 94]the hands is even enjoined as the proper penalty for theft, whether the criminal be male or female. This barbarous custom has accordingly been perpetuated throughout the Mahometan world. But the putting out of the eyes is not recognized among the legal punishments."[260]

These alternative punishments were prescribed for the heinous crimes of highway robbery, dacoity, and theft by house-breaking. They were (i) capital punishment, (ii) amputation, and (iii) banishment (Sura, v, 37, 42), according to the circumstances of the case. The last two were of a temporary nature substituted for imprisonment for want of an organized system of jails and prisons. When the Commonwealth was in its infancy, the troubles of the invasions and wars of the aggressive Koreish and their allies had left neither peace nor security at Medina to take such administrative measures as to organize a system of building, guarding, and maintaining jails, their inmates and their establishments. As soon as jails were established in the Mohammadan Commonwealth, amputation and banishment gave way to imprisonment. The prisoners of war, not being criminals, used to be made over by Mohammad to some citizens of Medina, as in the case of the prisoners of the battle of Badr, to keep them in their houses as guests, on account of the want of prisons; but as for [Pg 95]the other criminals—the highway robbers, dacoits, and house-breakers—they could not be treated and entertained so hospitably. Thus there was left no alternative for them except either to banish such criminals, or to award them corporal punishment in the shape of amputation.[261]

3.—Torture of Kinana.

75. Torture of Kinana.

It is related by the biographers "that Kinana, chief of the Jews of Khyber, and his cousin had kept back, in contravention of their compact, a portion of their riches. On the discovery of this attempt at imposition, Kinana was subjected to cruel torture—'fire being placed upon his breast till his breath had almost departed'—in the hope that he would confess where the rest of his treasures were concealed. Mahomet then gave command, and the heads of the chief and his cousin were severed from their bodies."[262]

The story of Kinana's being subjected to extortion and put to death for hiding some treasure, for which he had contravened his contract, is altogether a spurious one. Kinana was executed in retaliation for treacherously killing Mahmud, the brother of Mohammad-bin-Moslama, to whom he was made over [Pg 96]for execution. There is one tradition, without any authority, to the effect, that Zobeir was producing fire on Kinana's breast by the friction of flint and steel. This, if it be a fact, does not show that it was done by Mohammad's direction and approval. On the contrary, there are several traditions from the Prophet himself in which he has forbidden to punish any one with fire. It is related by Bokharee from Ibn Abbás, that Mohammad said, "God only can punish with fire." It is also related by Abu Daood from Abdullah, that the Prophet said, "No body ought to punish any one with fire except the Lord of the fire."[263]

4.—A Singing-Girl executed.

76. The alleged execution of a singing-girl.

"From general amnesty extended to the citizens of Mecca, Mahomet excluded ten or twelve persons. Of these, however, only four were actually put to death.... The two next were renegade Moslems, who having shed blood at Medina had fled to Mecca, and abjured Islam. They were both slain, and also a singing-girl belonging to one of them, who had been in the habit of annoying the Prophet by abusive verses."

"Their names are Abdallah ibn Khalal and Mikyas ibn Subâba. The murder committed by the former is said to have been wilful, that of the latter unintentional. [Pg 97]Abdallah had two singing-girls. Both were sentenced to death, but one escaped and afterwards obtained quarter; the execution of the other appears to have been the worst act committed by Mahomet on the present occasion."[264]

Abdullah had committed cold-blooded murder, and most probably the singing-girl belonging to him had taken a share in his crime. Her execution was owing to her being an accomplice or abettor in the foul act which was justified by law. Then why should the execution be considered a worst act? Mohammad felt the deepest respect for the weaker sex, and had enjoined during the warfares "not to kill women;" but the law makes no difference amongst the sexes, both sexes being liable to punishment according to their deserts.

77. The charitable spirit of Mohammad towards his enemies.

The magnanimity, clemency, forbearance, and forgiveness of Mohammad at the time of his victory at Mecca were very remarkable. Mr. Stanley Lane Poole with his usual acumen writes:—"But the final keystone was set in the eighth year of the flight (A.D. 630), when a body of the Kureysh broke the truce by attacking an ally of the Muslims; and Mohammad forthwith marched upon Mekka with ten thousand men, and the city, defence being hopeless, surrendered. Now was the time for the Prophet [Pg 98]to show his bloodthirsty nature. His old persecutors are at his feet. Will he not trample on them, torture them, revenge himself after his own cruel manner? Now the man will come forward in his true colours: we may prepare our horror, and cry shame beforehand.

"But what is this? Is there no blood in the streets? Where are the bodies of the thousands that have been butchered? Facts are hard things; and it is a fact that the day of Mohammad's greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Kureysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave an amnesty to the whole population of Mekka. Four criminals, whom justice condemned, made up Mohammad's proscription list when he entered as a conqueror the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed the example, and entered quietly and peaceably; no house was robbed, no woman insulted."[265]

5.—Abu Basír.

78. Abu Basír not countenanced by the Prophet in contravention of the spirit of the treaty of Hodeibia.

Sir W. Muir says that "Abu Basír, the free-booter, was countenanced by the Prophet in a manner scarcely consistent with the letter, and certainly opposed to the spirit, of the truce [Pg 99]of Hodeibia."[266] It was one of the articles of the treaty of Hodeibia between the Koreish and Mohammad, that if any one goeth over to Mohammad without the permission of his guardian, he shall be sent back to him.[267] A short time after, Abu Basír, a Moslem imprisoned at Mecca, effected his escape and appeared at Medina. His guardians, Azhar and Akhnas, sent two servants to Mohammad with a letter and instructions to bring the deserter back to his house. The obligation of surrender was at once admitted by Mohammad, though Abu Basír pleaded the persecution which he used to suffer at Mecca as the cause of refusing to return, but Mohammad argued that it was not proper for him to break the terms of the peace, and Abu Basír was compelled to set out for Mecca. But he had travelled only a few miles when he treacherously seized the sword of one of his escorts and slew him. The other servant fled back to Medina, whither Abu Basír also followed him. On the return of the latter, he contended that the Prophet had already fulfilled the treaty to its very letter in delivering him up, but the Prophet replied, "Alas for his mother! What a kindler of war, if he had with him any one!" When he heard this "he knew that the Prophet was [Pg 100]again going to send him back to his guardians,[268] the Koreish, so he went away to the seashore, where he, with others who had joined him after their flight from captivity at Mecca, used to waylay the caravans from Mecca." This story, which is also briefly narrated by Ibn Is-hak, and more fully by Shamee, Zoorkanee and Ibn-al-Kyyim, does not show that Mohammad acted against the spirit and letter of the truce of Hodeibia.

He himself never countenanced Abu Basír; on the contrary, he delivered him up in conformity with the terms of the treaty of Hodeibia, and when he had returned, Abu Basír had every reason to believe that Mohammad would again despatch him to the quarters whence he had come. But it appears Abu Basír went away to the seashore, out of Mohammad's jurisdiction, and it was not the duty of the Prophet to effect his arrest and send him back to Mecca whilst he was not with him, or rather out of his jurisdiction. Had he even kept him with himself at Medina after he had once made him over to the party sent forth to take charge of him, and were no other demands made for his delivery, I do not think [Pg 101]Mohammad could be fairly blamed for it according to the international law of the Arabs, or even according to the terms of the treaty of Hodeibia itself.

6.—Employment of Nueim to break up the confederates who had besieged Medina.

79. Nueim not employed by the Prophet to circulate false reports in the enemy's camp.

When Medina was besieged for several days by the Koreish and their confederates, the army of Medina was harassed and wearied with increasing watch and duty. Nueim, an Arab of a neutral tribe, represented himself as a secret believer, and offered his services to the Prophet, who accepted them, and employed him to hold back the confederates from the siege, if he could, saying "war verily was a game of deception." Nueim excited mutual distrust between the Jews and the Koreish. He told the Jews not to fight against Mohammad until they got hostages from the Koreish as a guarantee against their being deserted. And to the Koreish he said that the Jews intended to ask hostages from them. "Do not give them," he said, "they have promised Mahomet to give up the hostages to be slain."[269]

This is one tradition, and there is another to the effect that the Jews had themselves asked for the hostages, but the Koreish had not replied yet, when Nueim came to the Jews and said, he was there with [Pg 102]Abu Sofian when their messenger had come for the demand of hostages, and that Abu Sofian is not going to send them any.[270]

A third tradition in Motamid Ibn Solyman's supplement to Wackidi's Campaigns of Mohammad gives no such story at all. It has altogether a different narration to the effect, that there was a spy of the Koreish in the Moslem camp who had overheard Abdullah-bin-Rawaha saying, that the Jews had asked the Koreish to send them seventy persons, who, on their arrival, would be killed by them. Nueim went to the Koreish, who were waiting for his message, and told what he had heard as already related.[271] This contradicts the story given by Ibn Hisham and Mr. Muir. But anyhow the story does not prove that Mohammad had given permission to Nueim to speak falsehood or spread treacherous reports.

80. Deception in way allowed by the international law.

Sir W. Muir is not justified in his remarks when he writes,—"We cannot, indeed, approve the employment of Nueim to break up the confederacy by falsehood and deception, but this perhaps would hardly affect his character in Arab estimation;"[272] and further on he writes,—"When Medîna was beleagured by the confederate [Pg 103]army, Mahomet sought the services of Nueim, a traitor, and employed him to sow distrust among the enemy by false and treacherous reports: for," said he, "what else is war but a game at deception."[273] The utmost that can be made out from the former tradition quoted by Mr. Muir, and contradicted by another tradition of equal force, is that Mohammad allowed deception in war by quoting the proverbial saying, that "war is a game at deception." In this he had the sanction of the military law or the international law, as deception in war is a "military necessity," and allowed by the law and usages of war. A modern author on the international law says:—

"Military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb of armed enemies, and of other persons whose destruction is incidentally unavoidable in the armed contests of the war; it allows of the capturing of every armed enemy, and every enemy of importance to the hostile government, or of peculiar danger to the captor; it allows of all destruction of property, and obstruction of the ways and channels of traffic, travel, or communication, and of all withholding of sustenance or means of life from the enemy; of the appropriation of whatever an enemy's country affords necessary for the subsistence and safety of the army, and of such [Pg 104]deception as does not involve the breaking of good faith either positively pledged, regarding agreements entered into during the war, or supposed by the modern law of war to exist."[274]

81. Lecky's Standard of Morality.

But supposing the modern morality does not approve of Mohammad what hardly "affected his character in Arab estimation," are there no diversities in moral judgments? The moral unity to be expected in different ages is not a unity of standard or of facts, but a unity of tendency.

"That some savage kill their old parents, that infanticide has been practised without compunction by even civilized nations, that the best Romans saw nothing wrong in the gladiatorial shows, that political or revengeful assassinations have been for centuries admitted, that slavery has been sometimes honoured and sometimes condemned, are unquestionable proofs, that the same act may be regarded in one age as innocent, and in another as criminal. Now it is undoubtedly true, that in many cases an historical examination will reveal special circumstances explaining or palliating the apparent anomaly. It has been often shown that the gladiatorial shows were originally a form of human sacrifice adopted through religious motives; that the rude nomadic life of savages rendering impossible the preservation [Pg 105]of aged and helpless members of the tribe, the murder of parents was regarded as an act of mercy both by the murderer and the victim; that before an effective administration of justice was organized, private vengeance was the sole preservation against crime, and political assassination against usurpation; that the insensibility of some savages to the criminality of theft arises from the fact that they were accustomed to have all things in common; that the Spartan law legalizing theft arose partly from a desire to foster military dexterity among the people, but chiefly from a desire to discourage wealth; that slavery was introduced through motives of mercy to prevent conquerors from killing their prisoners. All this is true, but there is another and a more general answer. It is not to be expected, and it is not maintained, that men in all ages should have agreed about the application of their moral principles. All that is contended for is, that these principles are themselves the same. Some of what appear to us monstrous acts of cruelty were dictated by that very feeling of humanity, the universal perception of the merit of which they are cited to disprove; and even when this is not the case, all that can be inferred is, that the standard of humanity was very low. But still humanity was recognized as a virtue, and cruelty as a vice."[275]

[Pg 106]

The alleged permission to kill the Jews.

82. Murder of Ibn Sanina.

It is related by some of the biographers of Mohammad, eagerly recited by others of Europe, that, "on the morning after the murder of Káb, Mahomet gave a general permission to his followers to slay any Jews whom they might chance to meet,"[276] and that the murder of Ibn Sanina, a Jewish merchant, by Muheiasa, a Moslem, was the direct consequence of this order. "When Huweisa upbraided Muheiasa for killing his confederate the Jew, and appropriating his wealth,—"By the Lord!" replied Muheiasa, "if he that commanded me to kill him commanded to kill thee also, I would have done it." "What!" Huweisa cried, "wouldst thou have slain thine own brother at Mahomet's bidding?"—"Even so," answered the fanatic. "Strange indeed!" Huweisa responded. "Hath the new religion reached to this pitch! Verily it is a wonderful Faith." And Huweisa was converted from that very hour."[277]

Ibn Is-hak says this story was related to him by a freedman of the Bani Hárisa tribe from the daughter of Muheiasa, who had heard it from her father.[278] (1) Now there is nothing known of this mysterious person, the freedman of the tribe of Háris, therefore no reliance can be put on his story. (2) We have [Pg 107]no knowledge of the daughter of the murderer Muheiasa, or Moheisa, as he is called by the biographer, Ibn Hisham. (3) Muheiasa himself has not that respectable character which can lend even a shadow of veracity to his narration. (4) And lastly, the story that Mohammad had given general permission to his followers to slay any Jew whom they might chance to meet, and consequently Muheiasa killed Ibn Sanina, and Huweisa became a convert to Islam, is contradicted by another counter-tradition in Ibn Hisham (pp. 554-555), who has related from Abú Obeida, who relates from Abú Omar-al-Madaní, that, "during the execution of the Bani Koreiza (vide para. 68), one Káb-bin-Yahooza was made over to Muheiasa for execution. When the latter executed his victim, Huweisa, his brother, who was still unbelieving, upbraided Muheiasa. "If he," responded Muheiasa, "that commanded me to kill him had commanded me to kill thee also, I would have killed thee." Huweisa was quite surprised at his brother's reply, and went away astonished. During the night he used to wake up repeatedly, and wonder at his brother's staunch devotion to his faith. In the morning, he said, "By the Lord! This is a wonderful faith," and came to the Prophet to embrace Islam. These remarks show that the alleged permission to kill the Jews, and Ibn Sanina's murder, and Huweisa's conversion in consequence thereof, is all a mere concoction.

[Pg 108]

83. Sir W. Muir quoted.

Even Sir W. Muir, though very fond of collecting all such apocryphal traditions reflecting on the character of the Prophet, doubts the veracity of this one, and declares its improbability and inexpediency. He writes:—

"But the order itself is a strange one, and must, one would suppose, have been accompanied by some conditions or reservations not here apparent. It was surely not expedient for the Prophet's cause at this time that the streets of Medîna should have flowed with blood by the strict execution of this command. Yet such is the distinct tenor of the best traditions.

"The order was not an unlikely one to have issued at a time when Mahomet was irritated against the Jews by their treachery; and Hishâmi has a tradition that it was promulgated when Mahomet directed the massacre of all the males of the Coreitza, which would have been the more likely version, if the other tradition had not been so strong and positive."[279]

But the tradition quoted by him is by no means the best or strongest as I have shown above. Hishamee does not say that the order was promulgated at the execution of the Bani Koreiza. He simply narrates the story of Muheiasa and Huweisa to have taken place at that time.

The expulsion of the Bani Nazeer.

84. The Bani Nazeer.

The expulsion of the Bani Nazeer has been censured by Sir W. Muir, who says: "The pretext on which the Bani Nadhîr [Pg 109]were besieged and expatriated (namely, that Gabriel had revealed their design against the Prophet's life), was feeble and unworthy of an honest cause."[280]

A whole Sura in the Koran is devoted to the Bani Nazeer, but it does not hint at the alleged crime of their attempt on the life of the Prophet or their expulsion for the same cause. The traditions on the subject are unsupported, ex parte, and legendary. Had such a tradition been current at the time of Mohammad, or what is called Sadr Av-val (the first or Apostolic Age), we should certainly have had scores of narrators on the subject.[281] Their crime was treachery,[282] and they were a dangerous element to Medina, for a combination, at any period, between the treacherous Jews and the aggressive Koreish, or other enemies of Islam, would have proved fatal to the safety of Medina. But their banishment was too mild a punishment.

85. Fruit-trees not cut down.

It is said that Mohammad cut down the surrounding date trees and burned the choicest of them during the [Pg 110]siege of the Bani Nazeer, and justified himself by publishing the verses of the LIX Sura of the Koran.[283] But the date trees cut down were neither bearing fruit, nor did they supply any staple article of food to the Bani Nazeer, or the public in general. The Leena mentioned in the verse referred to above is a tree without fruit. Thus no fruit trees were destroyed. (Zoorkánee Vol. II, page 98.) Trees not bearing fruits were only cut, which is also justified under the Law of Moses. (See Deuteronomy XX, 20.)

Females and the Treaty of Hodeibia.

86. Females and the treaty of Hodeibia.

Females were not included in the truce of Hodeibia. The stipulation for the surrender of deserters referred only to the male sex. All women who were to come over to Medina from Mecca during the period of the peace were, by the dictates of Sura LX, 10, to be tried, and if their profession was found sincere, they were to be retained. They were prohibited from marrying the unbelievers. The guardians of such believing females were to receive from the Moslem commonwealth what they had spent upon their charges. Sir W. Muir understands from Sura LX, verse 10, that the women referred to therein were the [Pg 111]wives of the Meccans, and says:—"The unbelief of their husbands dissolved the previous marriage; they now might legally contract fresh nuptials with believers, provided only that restitution were made of any sums expended by their former husbands as dower upon them."[284] But there is nothing either to show that the women had their husbands at Mecca, or to prove, that, on account of their husbands' unbelief, their marriages were annulled. As marriage with women with husbands is forbidden in Sura IV, verse 28, and the verse LX, 10, under discussion, does not designate them as married women, I fairly conclude that this verse treats only of such as were not married. It is not the Law of the Koran that the unbelief of either party dissolves their previous marriage. It only enjoins neither to marry idolatresses, nor to wed Moslem daughters with idolaters until they believe.—(Sura II, 220.)

87. Stanley defended.

Sir William Muir, after quoting Sura LX, 10-12, says, "Stanley on Corinthians (1 Cor. VII, 1-40) quotes the above passage, and says that the rule it contains "resembles that of the Apostle," Vol. I, page 145. But there is really no analogy between them; the Gospel rule differs toto cślo from that of Mahomet:—"If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.[Pg 112]—And similarly the case of a believing wife with an unbelieving husband. (1 Cor. VII, 12-16.) Whereas Mahomet declares the marriage bond de facto annulled by the unbelief of either party, which indeed was only to be expected from his loose ideas regarding the marriage contract."[285] I think Stanley is quite correct, and the Gospel and the Koranic rule resemble each other in this respect. Because the order, "they (the believing women) are not lawful for them (unbelievers), nor are the unbelievers lawful for these (believing women)," does not relate to the women already married; and the words, "do not retain any right in the infidel woman ... if any of your wives escape from you to the infidels ..." are to the same purport as 1 Cor. VII, 15, "But if the unbelieving depart let them depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases."[286]

[Pg 113]

88. Marriage a strict bond of union.

Mohammad had no loose ideas regarding the marriage tie. He had made the marriage contract more firm and irrevocable, except under very exceptional circumstances, than it was under the Arab society; and called it "a strict bond of union."[287] Mohammad's own daughter, Zeinab, was the wife of an unbelieving husband and had fled to her father at Medina under the persecution at Mecca after the Hegira.[288] Her marriage with her unbelieving partner was not cancelled by Mohammad, and on the conversion of the son-in-law, when he came after a period of six years after his wife had come to Medina, Mohammad rejoined them together under their previous marriage. Theirs was neither a fresh marriage nor a fresh dowry. (Vide Ibn Abbas' tradition in the collections of Ahmed, Ibn Abi Daood, Ibn Maja and Trimizee.) Safwan-bin-Omayya and Ikrama-bin Abi Jahl had believing wives at the time of the conquest of Mecca, and their marriages were not dissolved by Mohammad. (Vide Ibn Shahab's tradition in [Pg 114]Movatta by Malik, and in the Tabakat of Ibn Sad Katib Wákidi.) Similarly Ibn Sofian and Hakeem-bin-Hizam had their unbelieving wives retained by them after they had themselves been converted to Islam, and their former connubial connection was not severed by Mohammad. (Vide the several traditions in Baihakee to the above effect.) It was only the legists and juris-consults of a later age who wrongly construed the passage in Sura LX, 10, to mean that the unbelief of either party dissolved the marriage tie.

The Popular Jihád or Crusade; According to the Mohammadan Common Law.

89. The Koran enjoined only defensive wars.

Almost all the common Mohammadan and European writers think that a religious war of aggression is one of the tenets of Islam, and prescribed by the Koran for the purpose of proselytizing or exacting tribute. But I do not find any such doctrine enjoined in the Koran, or taught, or preached by Mohammad. His mission was not to wage wars, or to make converts at the point of the sword, or to exact tribute or exterminate those who did not believe his religion. His sole mission was to enlighten the Arabs to the true worship of the one God, to recommend virtue and denounce vice, which he truly fulfilled. That he and his followers were persecuted, that they were expelled from their houses and were invaded upon and warred[Pg 115] against; that to repel incursions and to gain the liberty of conscience and the security of his followers' lives and the freedom of their religion, he and they waged defensive wars, encountered superior numbers, made defensive treaties, securing the main object of the war, i.e., the freedom of their living unmolested at Mecca and Medina, and of having a free intercourse to the Sacred Mosque, and a free exercise of their religion: all these are questions quite separate and irrelevant, and have nothing to do with the subject in hand, i.e., the popular Jihad, or the crusade for the purpose of proselytizing, exacting tribute, and exterminating the idolaters, said to be one of the tenets of Islam. All the defensive wars, and the verses of the Koran relating to the same, were strictly temporary and transitory in their nature. They cannot be made an example of, or be construed into a tenet or injunction for aggressive wars, nor were they intended so to be. Even they cannot be an example or instruction for a defensive war to be waged by the Mohammadan community or commonwealth, because all the circumstances under which Mohammad waged his defensive wars were local and temporary. But almost all European writers do not understand that the Koran does not teach a war of aggression, but had only, under the adverse circumstances, to enjoin a war of defence, clearly setting forth the grounds in its justification and strictly prohibiting offensive measures.[Pg 116]

90. The Common Law and Jihad.

All the fighting injunctions in the Koran are, in the first place, only in self-defence, and none of them has any reference to make warfare offensively. In the second place, it is to be particularly noted that they were transitory in their nature, and are not to be considered positive injunctions for future observance or religious precepts for coming generations.[289] They were only temporary measures to meet the emergency of the aggressive circumstances. The Mohammadan Common Law is wrong on this point, where it allows unbelievers to be attacked without provocation. But this it places under the category of a non-positive injunction. A positive injunction is that which is incumbent on every believer. But attacking unbelievers without any provocation, or offensively, is not incumbent on every believer. The Hedaya has:—"The sacred injunction concerning war is sufficiently observed when it is carried on by any one party or tribe of Mussulmans; and it is then no longer of any force with respect to the rest."[290]

91. Jihad when positive.

The Mohammadan Common Law makes the fighting only a positive injunction "where there is a general summons, [Pg 117](that is, where the infidels invade a Mussulman territory, and the Imâm for the time being issues a general proclamation, requiring all persons to stand forth to fight,) for in this case war becomes a positive injunction with respect to the whole of the inhabitants,"[291]—this is sanctioned by the Law of Nations and the Law of Nature.

92. The Hedaya quoted and refuted.

The Hedaya, or a Commentary of the Mohammadan Common Law by Nuraddin Ali of Murghinan (died in 593, A.H.) has:—

"The destruction of the sword[292] is incurred by the infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from the various passages in the sacred writings which are generally received to this effect."[293]

This assertion is not borne out by the sacred injunction of the Koran, and, on the contrary, is in direct contradiction to the same. There are several passages in the Koran already quoted in pages 16-25, which expressly forbid the taking of offensive measures, and enjoin only defensive wars. There are some other passages which are not so expressive as the several others referred to above, or in other words, are not conditional. But the law of interpretation, [Pg 118]the general scope and tenor of the Koran, and the context of the verses and parallel passages, all show that those few verses which are not conditional should be construed as conditional in conformity with other passages more clear, expressive, and conditional, and with the general laws of scriptural interpretation. Now, the author of the Hedaya and other writers on the Common Law quote only those few passages from the Koran which are absolute or unconditional, and shut their eyes against those many conditional verses, and general scope and tenor of the Koran.

Limited, or Conditional.General, or Absolute.
Sura XXII, 39-42.
Sura II, 186-189.
   "    "  212.
   "    "  214.
Sura IV, 76, 77, 78, 86.
   "    "  91, 92, 93.
Sura VIII, 39-41, 58-66.
   "    "   73, 74.
Sura IX, 1-15.
   "    "  29, 36.
Quoted in pages 16-25, 35.
    Sura II, 245, (read together with 247.)
Sura IX, 124.

The context, parallel passages
and their history, show them
to be limited and conditional,
in conformity with the general
scope of the Koran.
93. Rule of interpretation.

Now, there are only two verses in the Koran (Sura II, v. 245, and Sura IX, v. 124) containing an absolute or non-conditional injunction for making war against the unbelievers. Perhaps you may be able to detach some more sentences, or dislocate some half verses from amongst those given under the head of conditional. But these absolute, as well as those detached[Pg 119] and dislocated parts of some other verses will not, by any rule of interpretation, show absolute injunction to wage war against the unbelievers without any provocation or limitation. There is a rule in the exegesis of the Koran, as well as in other Scriptural interpretations, that when two commandments, one conditional, and the other general or absolute, are found on the same subject, the conditional is to be preferred, and the absolute should be construed as conditional, because the latter is more expressive of the views of the author than the general which is considered as vague in its expression.

The rule is:—Where a passage which is ambiguous, or which contains any unusual expression, or in which a doctrine is slightly treated, or is in general terms, must be interpreted agreeably to what is revealed more clearly in other parts, or where a subject is more clearly discussed. A single or general passage is not to be explained in contradiction to many others restricted, conditional, and limited consistently with them, and with proper reservations.

94. The Common Law and its commentators.

It is not to be wondered that the Mohammadan legists or the compilers of the Common Law are wrong in this point. Because, as a rule, or as a matter of fact, they have compiled the Common Law from different sources irrespective of the Koran, and the commentators of the Common Law take the trouble of vindicating its views, principles and casuistries, and[Pg 120] justifying the Moslem conquests under the Khalifs by the authority of the Koran. Then only they commit the unpardonable blunder of citing isolated parts of solitary verses of the Koran, which are neither expressive enough nor are in general terms. In doing so, they avoid the many other conditional and more explicit verses on the same subject.

95. Kifaya quoted.

The author of Kifaya, a commentary on the Hedaya, who flourished in the seventh century of the Hegira, remarks on the words of the text, "The destruction of the sword is incurred by the infidels, although they be not the first aggressors," already quoted in the 92nd para., and says; "Fighting against the infidels who do not become converts to Islam, and do not pay the capitation-tax, is incumbent, though they do not attack first." The author of the Hedaya has mentioned this aggressive measure specially, because apparently the words of God, "if they attack you then slay them,"[294] indicate that the fighting against the unbelievers is only incumbent when they fight first, but, however, such is not the case. It is incumbent to fight with them, though they be not the aggressors.[295]

[Pg 121]

96. Further quotation.

The same author writes in continuation of the above quotation, and attempts to reconcile his theory with the numerous precepts of the Koran, which do not permit the war of aggression:—

"Know, that in the beginning the Prophet was enjoined to forgive, and withdraw from those who joined other gods with God. God said, 'wherefore dost thou forgive with kindly forgiveness, and withdraw from those who join other gods with Me.'"

"Then He enjoined him to summon the people to the faith by kind warning and kind disputation, saying, 'Summon thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and kindly warning: dispute with them in the kindest manner.'"

"Then He allowed fighting, when they, the unbelievers, were the aggressors, and said:—'A sanction is given to those who have fought because they have suffered outrages;' i.e., they are allowed to fight in self-defence. And God said, 'If they attack you, then kill them' (II, 187); and also said, 'If they lean to peace, lean thou also to it.' (VIII. 63)."

"Then he enjoined to fight aggressively during a certain period. God said, 'And when the sacred months are passed, kill them who join other gods with God, wherever ye find them, and seize them' (IX. 5)."

"After this He enjoined for fighting absolutely, at every time and in every place. God said, 'And[Pg 122] do battle against them until there be no more (fitnah) persecution' (II. 189; VII. 40)."[296]

97. The Kifaya refuted.

Here the author of Kifaya has contrived to make out by way of subterfuge and sophistry five successive periods of the policy of the Koran regarding warfare against the unbelievers:

First PeriodForgiveness and withdrawalSura XV, 85. VI, 106
Second PeriodSummoningSura XVI, 126.
Third PeriodFighting in self-defenceSura XXII, 40. II, 187. VIII, 63.
Fourth PeriodFighting aggressively during certain timesSura IX, 5.
Fifth PeriodAggressive fighting absolutely.Sura II, 189. VIII, 40.

He is wrong in history, chronology as well as in understanding the general scope of the Koran and the tenor of the Suras. He does not regard even the context of the verses quoted.

The verses containing injunctions for turning aside, shunning, forgiving, passing over, and withdrawing are found even in the later period of the Medinite Suras.—(Vide Sura II, 103; V, 16, 46; Sura IV, 66, 83; and VII, 198.) They have nothing to do either with war or peace.

The summoning of people to the faith of God was the chief duty of the Prophetical office, and was not confined to any special period, and was alike during times of war and peace. Even during the actual [Pg 123]warfare it was incumbent on the Prophet to give quarters to the enemy, if he desired, to listen to his preachings.—(Vide Sura IX, 6.)

98. S. IX, v. 5, discussed.

The fifth verse of the ninth Sura is by no means an injunction to attack first or wage an aggressive war. This verse is one of the several published at Medina after the Meccans had violated the treaty of Hodeibia and attacked the Bani Khozaa, who were in alliance with Mohammad. The Meccans were given four months' time to submit, in default of which they were to be attacked for their violation of the treaty and for their attacking the Bani Khozaa. They submitted beforehand, and Mecca was conquered by compromise. The verses referred to above (Sura IX, 1-15, &c.) were not acted upon. So there was no injunction to wage an aggressive war. This subject has been discussed at pages 51-55 of this work, and the reader is referred to them for fuller information.

99. S. II, v. 189, discussed.

The 189th verse of the second Sura is not at all an absolute injunction to wage a war of aggression. The verses 186, 187, 188 and 189, if read together, will show that the injunction for fighting is only in defence. The verses are:—

186. And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first; verily God loveth not the unjust.[Pg 124]

187. And kill them wherever ye shall find them; and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for (fitnah) persecution is worse than slaughter; yet attack them not at the sacred Mosque until they attack you therein, but if they attack you then slay them: such is the recompense of the infidels!

188. But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful—

189. And do battle, against them until there be no more (fitnah) persecution and the only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against wrong-doers.

100. S. II, 189, VIII, 40, are defensive.

Besides, this verse as well as the fortieth verse of Sura VIII have indications in themselves of their relating to a defensive war. As the torture, aggression, in short, the persecutions suffered by the Moslems from the Koreish, are very clearly indicated by the word fitnah in these two verses, the object of fighting or counterfighting by the Moslems is plainly set forth, which is to suppress the persecutions.

They have clear reference to the persecution, to stop or remove which they enjoined fighting, and this was fighting in self-defence obviously.

They also show that the Meccans had not desisted from persecuting and attacking the Moslems, and therefore a provision was made that if they discontinue their incursions, there will be no more hostility.[Pg 125] This is quite sufficient to show that these verses relate to the defensive wars of Mohammad.

101. All injunctions local and for the time being.

Lastly, supposing the Koran permitted waging aggressive wars against the Meccans, who were the first aggressors, this does not corroborate the theory or principle of the Common Law of making lawful aggressive wars in future on the authority of these verses, as all of them in the Koran on the subject of war relate only to Pagan Arabs, who had long persevered in their hostility to the early Moslems or to the Jews, who, being in league with the Moslems, went over to their enemies, and aided them against the Moslems. These verses are not binding on other persons, who are not under the same circumstance as the Moslems were under, at Medina. [See para. 90.]

102. Ainee quoted and refuted.

Another commentator of the Hedaya, Ainee[297] (who died in 855) follows Kifaya already quoted, and mentions some other verses of the Koran on the war of aggression, which the author of Kifaya has left uncited in his work. They are as follows:—

" ...Then do battle with the ringleaders of infidelity,—for no oaths are binding on them—that they may desist."—(Sura IX, 12.)

[Pg 126]

"War is prescribed to you, but from this ye are averse."—(Sura II, 212.)

"March ye forth, the light and heavy, and contend with your substance and your persons on the Way of God."—(Sura IX, 41.)

The first verse when it is complete runs thus:—"But if, after alliance made, they break their oaths and revile your religion, then do battle with the ringleaders of infidelity,—for no oaths are binding on them—that they may desist;" and fully shows by its wording that it relates to the war of defence, as the breaking of alliances, and reviling of the Moslem religion were the grounds of making war with the object in view that the aggressors may desist. This verse is one of those in the beginning of the ninth Sura, which have already been discussed.—(Vide pages 51-55.)

The second verse (II, 212) does not allow a war of aggression, as the next verse (II, 214) expressly mentions the attacks made by the aggressors on the Moslems. It has been quoted at full length in page 18.

The third verse (IX, 41) was published on the occasion of the expedition of Tábuk, which was certainly a defensive measure, and has been discussed in pages 51 to 55.

103. Sarakhsee quoted and refuted.

Sarakhsee generally entitled Shums-ul-a-imma (the Sun of the Leaders), who died in 671 A.H., as quoted by Ibn[Pg 127] Abdeen in his Radd-ul-Muhtár,[298] makes several stages in publishing the injunctions for fighting. He writes:—

"Know thou, that the command for fighting has descended by degrees. First the Prophet was enjoined to proclaim and withdraw, 'Profess publicly then what thou hast been bidden and withdraw from those who join gods with God' (XV, 94). Then he was ordered to dispute kindly; 'Summon thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and with kindly warning: dispute with them in the kindest warning' (XVI, 126). Then they were allowed to fight, 'A sanction is given to those who are fought....' (XXII, 40). Then they were allowed to fight if they (the unbelievers) attacked them, 'If they attack you, then kill them' (II, 187). After this they were enjoined to fight on the condition of passing over the sacred months, 'And when the sacred months are passed, then kill the polytheists' (IX, 5). After this they were enjoined to fight absolutely, 'And fight for the cause of God....' (II, 186, 245). And thus the matter was settled."

There was no injunction for fighting absolutely or aggressively in the Koran. I have already explained the 5th verse of the ninth Sura as not allowing an offensive war. And the same is the case with the 186th verse of the second Sura, which has in itself the condition of fighting against those only who fought against the Moslems. The other verse, 245th, [Pg 128]of the same Sura is restricted by the verse 186th, (and is explained by the verse 245th), which refers to the defensive measures. This verse is quoted in page 19 of this work.

104. Ibn Hajar quoted and refuted.

Shahábudeen Ahmed-bin-Hajr Makki writes:—

"Fighting was prohibited before the Hegira, as the Prophet was enjoined only to preach and warn and to be patient in the persecutions of the unbelievers in order to conciliate them. After this, God gave sanction to the Moslems for fighting, (after that had been prohibited in seventy and odd verses), when the unbelievers were the aggressors, and said, 'And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you' (II, 187). And it is a genuine tradition from Zohri that the first revealed verse sanctioning it was, 'A sanction is given to those who are fought, because they have suffered outrages' (XXII, 40): that is a sanction was given for fighting on the ground of the word 'fought.' Then the war of aggression was made lawful in other than the sacred months, 'When the sacred months are over....' (IX, 5). After this, in the eighth year of the Hegira, after the victory of Mecca, the fighting was enjoined absolutely by the words of God; 'March ye forth, the light and the heavy' (IX, 41); and 'attack those who join gods with God in all' (IX, 36). And this is the very verse of the sword, and some say the preceding verse is the verse of the[Pg 129] sword, while others think that both bear on the same subject, i.e., of the sword."[299]

105. Ibn Hajar refuted.

I have already explained the several verses quoted by the author in preceding paras., but have only to pass remarks on the only verse, i.e. (IX, 36), which the authors cited have not dared to mention, because it goes contrary to their assertion. Perhaps it is a slip in the rapidity of Ibn Hajar remarks, for which he may be excused. But I will not hesitate in saying that generally the Mohammadan legists, while quoting the Koran in support of their theories, quote some dislocated portion from a verse without any heed to its context, and thus cause a great and irreparable mischief by misleading others, especially the European writers, as it is apparent from the testimony of Mr. Lane quoted in para. 113 of this work.

The verse referred to by the author mentioned in the last para., Ibn Hajar Makki, is as follows: "Attack those who join gods with God in all, as they attack you in all."—(IX, 36.) This speaks evidently of the defensive war, and has not the slightest or faintest idea of a war of aggression on the part of the Moslems. This verse refers to the expedition of Tábuk.

106. Halabi quoted.

Nooruddeen Ali al Halabi (died 1044 A.H.), the author of Insan-ul-Oyoon, a biography of the Prophet, writes:—

[Pg 130]

"It is not hidden that the Prophet for ten and odd years was warning and summoning people without fighting, and bearing patiently the severe persecutions of the Meccan Arabs and the Medinite Jews on himself and on his followers, because God had enjoined him to warn and to have patience to bear the injuries by withholding from them, in accordance with His words, 'Withdraw from them' (V, 46); and 'endure them with patience' (XVI, 128; XVIII, 27; XXXI, 16; LII, 48; and LXXIII, 10). He also used to promise them victory. His companions at Mecca used to come to him beaten and injured, and he used to tell them, 'Endure with patience, I am not commanded to fight,' because they were but a small party at Mecca. After this, when he was settled at Medina after the Hegira and his followers became numerous who preferred him to their fathers, children, and wives, and the unbelievers persisted in their idolatry, charging him with falsehoods, then God permitted his followers to fight, but against those only who used to fight against them (the Moslems), and were aggressors, as he said, 'If they fight you, then kill them' (II, 187). This was in the year of Safar A.H. 2.... Then the whole Arab host marched against the Moslems to fight against them from every direction. The Moslems passed whole nights in arms, and during the day they were in the same state, and longed to pass peaceful nights without fear from anybody except from God. Then it was revealed, 'God hath promised to those of[Pg 131] you who believe and do the things that are right, that he will cause them to succeed others in the land, as he gave succession to those who were before them, and that He will establish for them that religion which they delight in, and after their fears He will give them security in exchange' (S. XXIV, 54). After this to attack first was allowed against those who had not fought, but in other than the sacred months, viz., Rajab, Zulkada, Zulhijja, and Mohuram, according to the precept, 'And when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join gods with God ...' (IX, 5). Then the order became incumbent after the victory of Mecca, in the next year, to fight absolutely without any restriction, without any regard to any condition and time, by the words of God, 'Attack those who join gods with God in all' at any time (IX, 36). So it is known that the fighting was forbidden before the Hegira up to the month of Safar in its second year, as the Prophet was in this period ordered to preach and warn without any fighting, which was forbidden in seventy and odd verses. Then it was permitted to fight against only those who fought against them. Then it was allowed to fight against those who fought aggressively in other than the sacred months. After this it was enjoined absolutely to wage war against them whether they did or did not fight, at all times, whether during the sacred months, or others of the year."[300]

[Pg 132]

107. Halabi refuted.

Neither the fifth verse of the ninth Sura, nor the thirty-sixth of the same, allowed war of aggression. Both of them were published on the occasions of defensive wars, and the party against whom they were directed were the aggressors. All the verses quoted by Halabi, bearing on the subject, have been discussed and explained in the foregoing pages, from 92 to 106.

108. Ainee again quoted and refuted.

Ainee, the author of the commentary on the Hedaya, called Binayah, in justifying the war of aggression against the unbelievers, quotes two verses from the Koran,[301] and two traditions from the Prophet,[302] and says,—"If it be objected that these absolute injunctions are restricted by the word of God, 'if they attack you, then kill them' (II, 187), which shows that the fighting is only incumbent when the unbelievers are the aggressors in fighting, as it was held by Souri, the reply is that the verse was abrogated by another, 'So fight against them until there be no more persecution' (II, 189), and 'fight against those who do not believe in God.' (IX, 29)."[303] But he is wrong in asserting that the verse II, 187 was abrogated by II, 189, and IX, 29. There is no authority for such a gratuitous assumption. And besides, both these [Pg 133]verses (II, 189, and IX, 29) relate to defensive wars as it has been already explained in paras. 96-99.

109. Continuation of the above.

The verse 189 shows by its very wording the existence of fitnah or persecution, torture, and fighting on the part of the aggressors. By suppressing the Meccans' persecution, the Moslems had to regain their civil and religious liberty, from which they were so unjustly deprived. And this war of the Moslems to repel the force of their aggressors was the war of defence and protection enjoined in the verse. The 29th verse of the ninth Sura appertains to the expedition of Tábuk if not to that of Khyber. These expeditions were of a defensive character. Vide pages 37 and 41.

110. Traditions quoted and refuted.

The jurists further quote a tradition from the compilation of Abú Daood that the Prophet had said, "The Jihád will last up to the day of the Resurrection:" But in the first place, Jihád does not literally and classically mean warfare or fighting in a war. It means, as used by the classical poets as well as by the Koran, to do one's utmost; to labour; to toil; to exert one's-self or his power, efforts, endeavours, or ability; to employ one's-self vigorously, diligently, studiously, sedulously, earnestly, or with energy; to be diligent or studious, to take pains or extraordinary pains. Vide Appendix A.

In the second place, Yezid bin Abi Shaiba, a link[Pg 134] in the chain of the tradition, is a Mujhool,[304] i.e., his biography is not known, therefore his tradition can have no authority.

There is also another tradition in Bokháree to the effect that the Prophet had said, "I have been enjoined to fight the people until they confess that there is no god but the God." This tradition goes quite contrary to the verses of the Koran which enjoin to fight in defence,—that is, until the persecution or civil discord was removed.—(Vide Sura II, 189; VIII, 40.) Thus it appears that either the whole tradition is a spurious one, or some of the narrators were wrong in interpreting the words of the Prophet.

111. Early Moslem legists quoted against Jihád.

That the Koran did not allow war of aggression either when it was revealed, or in future as the early jurisconsults did infer from it, will be further shown from the opinions of the early Moslems; legists of the first and second century of the Hegira, like Ibn (son of) Omar the second khalif, Sotian Souri, Ibn Shobormah, Atá and Amar-bin-Dinar. All these early legists held that the fighting was not religiously incumbent (wájib), and that it was only a voluntary act, and that only those were to be fought against who attacked the Moslems.[305]

[Pg 135]

Biographical sketches of the legists.

I will give here short biographical sketches of the legists named above—

(1.) "Abű Abd-ur-Rahman Abdullah ibn Omar ibn-al Khattab was one of the most eminent among the companions of Muhammad by his piety, his generosity, his contempt of the world, his learning and his virtues. Though entitled by birth to aspire to the highest places in the empire, he never hearkened to the dictates of ambition; possessing a vast influence over the Moslims by his rank, his instruction, and his holy life, he neither employed nor abused it in favour of any party, and during the civil wars which raged among the followers of Islamism, he remained neutral, solely occupied with the duties of religion. For a period of thirty years persons came from all parts to consult him and learn from him the Traditions.... He died at Mekka A.H. 73 (A.D. 692-3) aged 84 years...."—[Tabakat al Fokaha, fol. 5.]

(2.) Atá Ibn Abi Rabah.—"He held a high rank at Mekka as a juris-consult, a Tâbî, and a devout ascetic; and he derived (his knowledge of the law and the Traditions) from the lips of Jábir Ibn Abd Allah al-Ansárí, and Abd Allah Ibn Abbas, Abd Allah Ibn Zubair, and many others of Muhammad's companions. His own authority as a traditionist was cited by Amr ibn Dinár, Al-Aamash, Al-Auzái, and a great number of others who had heard him teach. The office [Pg 136]of Mufti at Mekka devolved on him and on Mujáhid, and was filled by them whilst they lived.... He died A.H. 115 (A.D. 733-4); some say 114 at the age of eighty-eight years."—[Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, translated from the Arabic by Baron MacGuckin De Slane; Vol. II, pp. 203-204. London, MDCCCXLIII.]

(3.) Amr Ibn Dinár.—"He is counted among the most eminent of the Tábis and considered as a traditionist of very highest authority. He was only one of the Mujatahid Imáms. Died A.H. 126, (A.D. 743-4), aged eighty years."—[Tab-al-Fokaha].

(4.) "Abd Allah Ibn Shuburma ibn Tufail ad Dubbi, a celebrated Imám, and Tábi was an eminent jurisconsult of Kufa. He learned the Traditions from Ans, As-Shabi, and Ibn Sírín, and his own authority was cited for Traditions by Soffian Ath-Thauri, Sofyan ibn Oyaina, and others. His veracity and his eminence as a doctor of the law was universally acknowledged. He was an abstemious, intelligent, devout, generous, of a handsome countenance, and possessing a talent for poetry. He acted under the Khalif Al-Mamun, as kadí of the cultivated country (Sawád) around Kufa. Born A.H. 92, (A.D. 710-11); died A.H. 144 (A.D. 761-2)."—[Tabal-Fak. Al-Yáfi.]

(5.) "Sofyan Ath-Thauri (As-Sauri) was native of Kúfa and a master of the highest authority in the Traditions and other sciences; his piety, devotion, [Pg 137]veracity, and contempt for worldly goods were universally acknowledged, and as an Imám, he is counted among the Mujtahids.... Sofyan ibn Oyaina declared that he did not know a man better informed than Soyfan Ath-Thauri respecting what was permitted and what was forbidden by the law.... Sofyan was born A.H. 95 (A.D. 713-4). Other accounts place his birth in 96 or 97. He died A.H. 161 (A.D. 713-4) at Basra.... It has been stated by some that Sofyan died A.H. 162, but the first is the true date."—[Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, translated from the Arabic by Baron MacGuckin De Slane, Vol. I, pp. 576-8. London, MDCCCXLIII.]

113. European writers' mistake.

That it is a mistake on the part of the European writers to assert that the Koran allows wars of aggression, or in other words, to wage war against the unbelievers without any provocation, is shown by the testimony of Mr. Urquhart and Mr. Edward William Lane. The latter writes: "Misled by the decision of those doctors, and an opinion prevalent in Europe, I represented the laws of 'holy war' as more severe than I found them to be according to the letter and spirit of the Kur-án, when carefully examined, and according to the Hanafee code. I am indebted to Mr. Urquhart for suggesting to me the necessity of revising my former statement on the subject; and must express my conviction that no precept is to be found in the[Pg 138] Kur-án, which, taken with the context, can justify unprovoked war."[306]

114. Sir William Muir quoted.

I will quote several remarks of European writers, including clergymen and Indian missionaries, to show how astray they go in attributing to the Koran and Mohammad the wars of aggressions and compulsory proselytizing. Sir William Muir represents the principles of Islam as requiring constant prosecutions of war, and writes—

"It was essential to the permanence of Islam that its aggressive course should be continuously pursued, and that its claim to an universal acceptance, or at the least to an universal supremacy, should be enforced at the point of the sword. Within the limits of Arabia the work appeared now to be accomplished. It remained to gain over the Christian and idolatrous tribes of the Syrian desert, and then in the name of the Lord to throw down the gauntlet of war before the empires of Rome and Persia, which, having treated with contempt the summons of the Prophet addressed to them in solemn warning four years ago, were now rife for chastisement."[307]

The occasion to which Sir W. Muir refers here was to wipe out the memory of the reverse at Muta. The expedition to Muta was occasioned by the [Pg 139]murder of a messenger or envoy dispatched by Mohammad to the Ghassŕnide prince at Bostra. A party was sent to punish the offending chief, Sharahbil. This could, by no means, be maintained as a warlike spirit or an aggressive course for the prosecution of war, or for enforcing the claim of universal supremacy at the point of the sword.

115. Islam not aggressive.

That Islam as preached by Mohammad was never aggressive has been fully shown in several places of the Koran. During the whole time of his ministry, Mohammad was persecuted, rejected, despised and at last made an outlaw by the Koreish at Mecca, and a fugitive seeking protection in a distant city; exiled, attacked upon, besieged, defeated, and prevented from returning to Mecca or visiting the Holy Kaaba by the same enemies at Mecca and other surrounding tribes who had joined them, and even from within Medina plotted against by the Jews who were not less aggressive towards him than their confederates of Mecca, the Koreish, whom they had instigated to make war on him and had brought an overwhelming army, had proved traitors, and, even more injurious than the Koreish themselves. Consequently, he was constantly in dangers and troubles, and under such circumstances it was impossible for him to be aggressive, to get time or opportunity to pursue any aggressive course, or enforce, at the point of the sword, any attempt of his for universal acceptance,[Pg 140] or universal supremacy even if he had designed so. But it was far from his principles to have cherished the object of universal conquest. "That Islam ever stepped beyond the limits of Arabia and its border lands," admits Sir. W. Muir in his Rede Lecture for 1881, just twenty years after he had written the passage I am dealing with, "was due to circumstances rather than design. The faith was meant originally for the Arabs. From first to last, the call was addressed primarily to them." He writes in a footnote of the same lecture (page 5):

"It is true that three or four years before, Mahomet had addressed dispatches to the Kaiser, and the Chosroes, and other neighbouring potentates, summoning them to embrace the true faith. But the step had never been followed up in any way."[308]

116. Mr. Freeman quoted.

Mr. Freeman writes regarding Mohammad:—

"Mahomet had before him the example of Mosaic Law, which preached a far more rigorous mandate of extermination against the guilty nations of Canaan. He had before him the practice of all surrounding powers, Christian, Jewish, and Heathen; though, from the disaffection of Syria and Egypt to the orthodox throne of Constantinople, he might have learned how easily persecution defeats its own end.... Under [Pg 141]his circumstances, it is really no very great ground to condemnation that he did appeal to the sword. He did no more than follow the precedents of his own and every surrounding nation. Yet one might say that a man of such mighty genius as Mahomet must have been, might have been, fairly expected to rise superior to the trammels of prejudice and precedent."[309]

Mohammad never professed to have followed the footsteps of Moses and Joshua in waging war of extermination and proselytism. He only appealed to the sword in his and his followers' defence. Never he seems to have been anxious to copy the practice of the surrounding nations, Christians, Jews, and Egyptians. His wars of defence, as they certainly all were, were very mild, specially with regard to the treatment of children, women, and old men who were never to be attacked; and above all, in the mildness shown towards the captives of war who were either to be set free or ransomed,—but were never to be enslaved,—contrary to the practice of all the surrounding nations. This virtual abolition of slavery (vide Sura XLVII, 5, and Appendix B) has been a great boon to mankind in general as a beneficial result of Mohmamad's wars of defence.

117. The Revd. Stephens quoted.

The Reverend Mr. Stephens writes:—

"In the Koran, the Mussulman is absolutely and [Pg 142]positively commanded to make war upon all those who decline to acknowledge the Prophet until they submit, or, in the case of Jews and Christians, purchase exemption from the conformity by the payment of tribute. The mission of the Mussulman, as declared in the Koran, is distinctly aggressive. We might say that Mahomet bequeathed to his disciples a roving commission to propagate his faith by the employment of force where persuasion failed. 'O Prophet, fight for the religion of God'—'Stir up the faithful to war,' such are commands which Mahomet believed to be given him by God. 'Fight against them who believe not a God, nor the last day,' 'attack the idolatrous in all the months,' such are his own exhortations to his disciples."[310]

The Reverend gentleman is very much mistaken in his assertions against the Koran. There is no absolute or positive command in the Koran for a war of aggression or compulsory proselytism. The sentences quoted by Mr. Stephens are but mutilated verses forcibly dislocated from their context. A disjointed portion of a verse, or a single sentence of it cannot be brought forth to prove any doctrine or theory. Due regard must be made for the context, the general scope, and parallel passages. The verses referred to by Mr. Stephens are Sura IV, 86, and [Pg 143]Sura IX, 29, 36. All these have been quoted in full and discussed elsewhere.[311] They relate only to defensive wars.

118. Mr. Bosworth Smith quoted.

Mr. Bosworth Smith says:—

"The free toleration of the purer among the creeds around him, which the Prophet had at first enjoined, gradually changes into intolerance. Persecuted no longer, Mohammed becomes a persecutor himself; with the Koran in one hand, the scymitar in the other, he goes forth to offer to the nations the threefold alternative of conversion, tribute, death."[312]

Mohammad never changed his practice of toleration nor his own teachings into intolerance; he was always persecuted at Mecca and Medina, but, for all we know, he himself never turned a persecutor. The three-fold alternative so much talked of, and so little proved, is nowhere to be found in the Koran. This subject has been fully discussed in paras. 34-39.

119. Mr. G. Sale quoted.

Mr. George Sale, in his celebrated preliminary discourse to the translation of the Koran, writes, referring to the thirteenth year of Mohammad's mission:—

"Hitherto Mohammed had propagated his religion by fair means, so that the whole success of his enterprise, before his flight to Medina, must be attributed [Pg 144]to persuasion only, and not to compulsion. For before this second oath of fealty or inauguration at al Akaba, he had no permission to use any force at all; and in several places of the Korân, which he pretended were revealed during his stay at Mecca, he declares his business was only to preach and admonish; that he had no authority to compel any person to embrace his religion; and that whether people believed or not, was none of his concern, but belonged solely to God. And he was so far from allowing his followers to use force, that he exhorted them to bear patiently those injuries which were offered them on account of their faith; and when persecuted himself chose rather to quit the place of his birth and retire to Medina, than to make any resistance. But this great passiveness and moderation seems entirely owing to his want of power and the great superiority of his oppressors for the first twelve years of his mission; for no sooner was he enabled by the assistance of those of Medina to make head against his enemies, than he gave out, that God had allowed him and his followers to defend themselves against the infidels; and at length, as his forces increased, he pretended to have the divine leave even to attack them, and to destroy idolatry, and set up the true faith by the sword; finding by experience that his designs would otherwise proceed very slowly, if they were not utterly overthrown, and knowing on the other hand that innovators, when they depend [Pg 145]solely on their own strength, and can compel, seldom run any risk; from whence, the politician observes, it follows, that all the armed prophets have succeeded, and the unarmed ones have failed. Moses, Cyrus, Theseus and Romulus would not have been able to establish the observance of their institutions for any length of time had they not been armed. The first passage of the Korân, which gave Mohammed the permission of defending himself by arms, is said to have been that in the twenty-second chapter: after which a great number to the same purpose were revealed.

"That Mohammed had a right to take up arms for his own defence against his unjust persecutors, may perhaps be allowed; but whether he ought afterwards to have made use of that means for the establishing of his religion, is a question which I will not here determine. How far the secular power may or ought to interpose in affairs of this nature, mankind are not agreed. The method of converting by the sword gives no very favourable idea of the faith which is so propagated, and is disallowed by every body in those of another religion, though the same persons are willing to admit of it for the advancement of their own; supposing that though a false religion ought not to be established by authority, yet a true one may; and accordingly force is as constantly employed in these cases by those who have the power in their hands as it is con[Pg 146]stantly complained of by those who suffer the violence."[313]

I do not agree with these words of Mr. George Sale regarding Mohammad, "and at length, as his forces increased, he pretended to have the divine leave even to attack them, and to destroy idolatry, and set up the true faith by the sword;" he never attacked the Koreish or others except in his own defence. The destruction of idolatry was the chief mission of Mohammad, and that even was not resorted to by force of arms. There were neither compulsory conversions nor his history points to any extirpation of the idolaters at the point of sword from their native countries, as the chief objects of his mission. The persecutions and civil discord were to be removed or put a stop to, and force was used to repel force, but nothing more. Conversion by the sword was not enforced on any proselyte by Mohammad.

120. Major Osborn quoted.

Major Osborn has drawn a very dark picture of what he calls "The Doctrine of Jehad," in his Islam under the Arabs.[314] The defensive wars of Mohammad are explained by him as "means of livelihood congenial to the Arab mind, and carrying with it no stain of disgrace or immorality. This was robbery. Why [Pg 147]should not the faithful eke out their scanty means by adopting this lucrative and honourable profession, which was open to everyone who had a sword and knew how to use it?... Surely, to despoil these infidels and employ their property to feed the hungry and clothe the naked among the people of God, would be a work well pleasing in His sight.... And thus was the first advance made in the conversion of the religion of Islam with the religion of the sword" (pages 46-47). After this the Major writes again: "The ninth Sura is that which contains the Prophet's proclamation of war against the votaries of all creeds other than that of Islam" (page 52). Then he quotes several verses, some of them half sentences, violently distorted, from the eighth and ninth Suras, in a consecutive form, without giving the numbers. These are Sura IX, 20, 34, 35, 82, 121; Sura VIII, 67; Sura IX, 36, 5, 29, 19; Sura XLVII, 4; Sura IX, 5; and Sura VIII, 42. Lastly, the learned Major concludes by saying,—"Such was the character of the Sacred War enjoined upon the Faithful. It is Muhammad's greatest achievement and his worst. When subjected himself to the pains of persecution he had learned to perceive how powerless were torments applied to the body to work a change of conviction in the mind. 'Let there be no violence in religion' had then been one of the maxims he had laid down. 'Unto every one of you,' he had said in former days, speaking of Jews and Christians, 'have we[Pg 148] given a law, and an open path; and if God had pleased He had surely made you one people; but He hath thought fit to give you different laws, that he might try you in that which He hath given you respectively. Therefore, strive to excel each other in good works; unto God shall ye all return, and then will He declare unto you that concerning which ye have disagreed.' But the intoxication of success had long ago stilled the voice of his better self. The aged Prophet standing on the brink of the grave, and leaving as his last legacy a mandate of universal war, irresistibly recalls, by force of contrast, the parting words to his disciples of another religious teacher that they should go forth and preach a gospel of peace to all nations. Nor less striking in their contrast is the response to either mandate;—the Arab, with the Koran in one hand and the sword in the other, spreading his creed amid the glare of burning cities, and the shrieks of violated homes, and the Apostles of Christ working in the moral darkness of the Roman world with the gentle but irresistible power of light, laying anew the foundations of society, and cleansing at their source the polluted springs of domestic and national life."

121. Major Osborn refuted.

The learned author quoted above has either misunderstood the character of the wars of the Prophet of Islam, or has grossly misrepresented it. He errs in two points: First, he makes the wars as wars of conquest, compulsion, and aggression, whereas they were all[Pg 149] undertaken in the defence of the civil and religious rights of the early Moslems, who were, as I have said before, persecuted, harassed, and tormented at Mecca for their religion, and after a long period of persecution with occasional fresh and vigorous measures, were condemned to severer and harder sufferings, were expelled from their homes, leaving their dear relations, and religious brethren to endure the calamities of the persecution, and while taking refuge at Medina were attacked upon by superior numbers, several of the surrounding tribes of Arabs and Jews joining the aggressive Koreish, making ruinous inroads and threatening the Moslems with still greater and heavier miseries. From this statement it will appear that these wars were neither of conquest nor of compulsory conversion. The second great mistake under which Major Osborn seems to labour is that he takes the injunctions of war against the Meccans or other aggressors as a general obligation to wage war against all unbelievers in the Moslem faith. In fact, these injunctions were only against those aggressors who had actually committed great encroachments on the rights and liberties of the early Moslems, and had inflicted very disastrous injuries on them. These injunctions had and have nothing to do with the future guidance of the Moslem world.

122. The IXth Sura of the Koran.

It is a great misrepresentation on the part of Major Osborn to assert that "the ninth Sura is that which contains the[Pg 150] Prophet's proclamation of war against the votaries of all creeds other than that of Islam." No statement could be farther from truth than this of his. The ninth Sura, or, more correctly, the beginning or opening verses of it, contain the Prophet's proclamation of war against those of the Meccan idolaters, who, in violation of the treaty of Hodeibia, had attacked the Moslems.—(Sura IX, 4, 8, 10, 12 & 13, vide pages 23-25.) They were allowed four months' time (IX, 2, 5) to make terms. They submitted, and Mecca was taken by compromise, in consequence of which the threatened war was never waged. Those who had not broken their treaties were especially mentioned, with whom the proclamation or the period allowed for peace had no connection.—(Vide Sura IX, 4, 7, quoted above, pages 23-24.) Thus it is quite clear that the proclamation of war was only against the violators and aggressors, and not against the votaries of all creeds other than that of Islam. I have further discussed the ninth Sura in para. 40 of this work. The other verses of this Sura refer to the expedition of Tabúk, which was purely defensive in its nature as has been described in para. 33 of this book. (See also para. 42.)

123. The Reverend Wherry quoted.

The Reverend E.M. Wherry, M.A., in his note on Sale's Preliminary Discourse, says:—

"Though Muhammad undoubtedly took Moses as his pattern, and supposed himself following in his[Pg 151] footsteps when he gave the command to fight against the infidels, yet there is no comparison between them whatever so far as warring against infidels is concerned. The Israelites were commanded to slay the Canaanites as divinely ordained instruments of destruction; but Muhammad inaugurated war as a means of proselytism. The Israelite was not permitted to proselytize from among the Canaanites, (Exod. XXIII. 27-33), but Muslims are required to proselytize by sword-power."[315]

Mohammad never had said that he did follow the footsteps of Moses in giving the command of fighting in self-defence, and in repelling force by force. There could be no comparison whatsoever between the wars of Moses, which were merely wars of conquest, aggression, extermination, and expatriation, and those of Mohammad waged only in self-defence. Mohammad did not inaugurate his career by prosecuting war as a means of proselytism, and never did proselytized any one by the sheer strength of the sword. Mr. T.H. Horne, M.A., writes regarding the extirpation of the Canaanites:—

"After the time of God's forbearance was expired, they had still the alternative, either to flee elsewhere, as in fact, many of them did, or to surrender themselves, renounce their idolatries, and serve the God [Pg 152]of Israel. Compare Deut. XX. 10-17."[316] This was certainly compulsory conversion and proselytizing at the point of the sword.

124. Example cited from the Jewish history.

There is only one instance in the Koran in which an example is cited for the war of defence by Mohammad, from the Jewish History. It is the asking of the children of Israel their prophet Samuel to raise up a king for them to fight in their defence against the Philistines, who had very much oppressed the Israelites. Saul was appointed king over the Israelites, and David killed Goliath, called Jálut in the Koran, which was in defence of the Israelites. I have quoted the verses relating to the above subject from the Koran (Sura II, 247 and 252) in page 19th of this work.

"Hast thou not considered the assembly of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs,—'Raise up for us a king; we will do battle for the cause of God?' He said, 'May it not be that when fighting is ordained you, ye would not fight?' They said, 'And why should we not fight in the cause of God, since we are driven forth from our dwellings and our children?'....

This shows that what the Koran or Mohammad took as an example from the history of the Jews was only their defensive war.

[Pg 153]

125. Mosaic injunctions.

It is very unfair of the Christians to make too much of the wars of Mohammad, which were purely of a defensive nature, and offer apologies for the most cruel wars of conquest and extermination by Moses, Joshua and other Jewish worthies under the express commands of God.—(Vide Numbers XXXI; Deut. XXI, &c.) But see what Mr. Wherry says. He writes in his comments on the 191 verse of the second Sura of the Koran.

"(191). Kill them, &c. Much is made of expressions like this, by some Christian apologists, to show the cruel character of the Arabian prophet, and the inference is thence drawn that he was an impostor and his Qurán a fraud. Without denying that Muhammad was cruel, we think this mode of assault to be very unsatisfactory to say the least, as it is capable of being turned against the Old Testament Scriptures. If the claim of Muhammad to have received a divine command to exterminate idolatry by the slaughter of all impenitent idolaters be admitted, I can see no objection to his practice. The question at issue is this. Did God command such slaughter of idolaters, as he commanded the destruction of the Canaanites or of the Amalekites? Taking the stand of the Muslim, that God did so command Muhammad and his followers, his morality in this respect may be defended on precisely the same ground[Pg 154] that the morality of Moses and Joshua is defended by the Christian."[317]

126. The Revd. T.P. Hughes quoted.

The Revd. T.P. Hughes in his Notes on Muhammadanism writes:—

"Jihád (lit. 'an effort') is a religious war against the infidels, as enjoined by Muhammad in the Qurán."

Súrat-un-Nisa (VI.)

"Fight therefore for the religion of God."

"God hath indeed promised Paradise to every one. But God hath preferred those who fight for the faith." (IV, 97.) Súrat-ul-Muhammad (XLVII).

"Those who fight in the defence of God's true religion, God will not suffer their works to perish." (XLVII, 5.)[318]

The first verse quoted by Mr. Hughes appertains to the war of defence. The verse in itself has express indications of its relating to the war of defence, but Mr. Hughes was not inclined, perhaps, to copy it in full. He merely quotes half a sentence, and shuts his eyes from other words and phrases of the same verse. The verse has been quoted in page 20. It is as follows:—

"Fight then on the path of God: lay not burdens on any but thyself; and stir up the faithful. The powers of the infidels, God will haply restrain; for [Pg 155]God is stronger in prowess, and stronger to punish."—(Sura IV, 86.)

The severe persecution, the intense torture and mighty aggression of the Meccans and their allies is referred to in the original word Báss, rendered prowess into English and referred to in the previous verse 77, which shows that the war herein enjoined was to restrain the aggressions of the enemy and to repel force by force.

It is very unfair on the part of the Revd. T.P. Hughes to twist or dislocate half a sentence from a verse and put it forth to demonstrate and prove a certain object of his.

127. Meaning of Jihad.

The second verse quoted by the same author is a mere mistranslation. There is no such word in the original which admits of being rendered as "fighting." The true translation of the sentence quoted above from Sura IV, verse 97, is as follows:—

"Good promises hath he made to all. But God hath assigned to the strenuous a rich recompense above those who sit still at home."

The word rendered "strenuous" is originally "mojahid" (plural "Mojahidin," from Jihád), which in classical Arabic and throughout the Koran means to do one's utmost, to make effort, to strive, to exert, to employ one's-self diligently, studiously, sedulously, earnestly, zealously, or with energy, and does not mean fighting or warfare. It was subsequently applied[Pg 156] to religious war, but was never used in the Koran in such a sense. (Vide Appendix A.)

128. Sura XLVII, v. 5.

The third instance quoted by Mr. Hughes is also a mistranslation of a sentence in verse 5, Sura XLVII. The original word is "kotelú," which means "those who are killed," and not "those who fight," as explained and translated by the author. The correct rendering of the sentence is this: "And those who are killed, their work God will not suffer to miscarry."

Some read the word "kátalú," which means "those who fought," but the general and authorized reading is "kotelú," i.e., "those who are killed." Even if it be taken for granted that the former is the correct reading, it will be explained by several other verses which mean fighting in defence, and not fighting aggressively, which not only has been never taught in the Koran but is always prohibited (II, 186). The verse to that effect runs thus:—

"And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you; but commit not the injustice of attacking them first. Verily God loveth not the unjust."—(II, 186.)

This verse permitted only defensive war and prohibited every aggressive measure. All other verses mentioned in connection with fighting on the part of the Moslems must be interpreted in conformity with this.[Pg 157]

129. The Rev. Mr. Malcolm MacColl quoted.

The Rev. Malcolm MacColl writes:—

"The Koran divides the earth into parts: Dar-ul-Islam, or the House of Islam; and Dar-ul-Harb, or the House of the enemy. All who are not of Islam are thus against it, and it is accordingly the duty of the True Believers to fight against the infidels till they accept Islam, or are destroyed. This is called the Djihad or Holy War, which can only end with the conversion or death of the last infidel on earth. It is thus the sacred duty of the Commander of the Faithful to make war on the non-Mussulman world as occasion may offer. But Dar-ul-Harb or the non-Mussulman world, is subdivided into Idolaters and Ketabi, or 'People of the Book,'—i.e., people who possess divinely inspired Scriptures, namely, Jews, Samaritans, and Christians. All the inhabitants of Dar-ul-Harb are infidels, and consequently outside the pale of Salvation. But the Ketabi are entitled to certain privileges in this world, if they submit to the conditions which Islam imposes. Other infidels must make their choice between one of two alternatives—Islam or the sword. The Ketabi are allowed a third alternative, namely, submission and the payment of tribute. But if they refuse to submit, and presume to fight against the True Believers, they lapse at once into the condition of the[Pg 158] rest of Dar-ul-Harb and may be summarily put to death or sold as slaves."[319]

I am very sorry the Rev. gentleman is altogether wrong in his assertions against the Koran. There is neither such a division of the world in the Koran, nor such words as "Dar-ul-Islam" and "Dar-ul-Harb" are to be found anywhere in it. There is no injunction in the Koran to the True Believers to fight against the infidels till they accept Islam, failing which they are to be put to death. The words "Dar-ul-Islam" and "Dar-ul-Harb" are only to be found in the Mohammadan Common Law, and are only used in the question of jurisdiction. No Moslem magistrate will pass a sentence in a criminal case against a criminal who had committed an offence in a foreign country. The same is the case in civil courts[320]. All the inhabitants of Dar-ul-Harb are not necessarily infidels. Mohammadans, either permanently or temporarily by obtaining permission from the sovereign of the foreign land, can be the inhabitants of a Dar-ul-Harb, a country out of the Moslem jurisdiction, or at war with it.

130. The untenable theories of the Common Law and conclusion.

[Pg 159]

It is only a theory of our Common Law, in its military and political chapters, which allow waging unprovoked war with non-Moslems, exacting tribute from "the people of the Book," and other idolaters, except those of Arabia, for which the Hanafi Code of the Common Law has nothing short of conversion to Islam or destruction by the sword. As a rule, our canonical legists support their theories by quotations from the Mohammadan Revealed Law, i.e., the Koran, as well as from the Sonnah, or the traditions from the Prophet, however absurd and untenable may be their process of reasoning and argumentative deductions. In this theory of waging war with, and exacting tribute or the capitation-tax from, the non-Moslem world, they quote the 9th and other Suras. These verses have been copied and explained elsewhere in this book. The casuistic sophistry of the canonical legists in deducing these war theories from the Koran is altogether futile. These verses relate only to the wars waged by the Prophet and his followers purely in their self-defence. Neither these verses had anything to do with waging unprovoked war and exacting tributes during Mohammad's time, nor could they be made a law for future military conquest. These were only temporary in their operations and purely defensive in their nature. The Mohammadan Common Law is by no means divine or superhuman. It mostly consists of uncertain traditions, Arabian usages and customs, some frivolous and fortuitous analogical deductions from the[Pg 160] Koran, and a multitudinous array of casuistical sophistry of the canonical legists. It has not been held sacred or unchangeable by enlightened Mohammadans of any Moslem country and in any age since its compilation in the fourth century of the Hejira. All the Mujtahids, Ahl Hadis, and other non-Mokallids had had no regard for the four schools of Mohammadan religious jurisprudence, or the Common Law.

Sura XLVII, 16, and Sura XLVII, 4 and 5.

Sura XLVIII, 16, is not generally quoted by the canonical legists in support of their theory of Jehád, but by some few. It is not in the shape of a command or injunction; it is in a prophetical tone:—

"Say to those Arabs of the desert who stayed behind, Ye shall be called forth against a people of mighty valour; Ye shall do battle with them, or they shall submit (Yoslemoon)[321]...."

[Pg 161]

The verses 4 and 5 of Sura XLVII, like all other verses on the subject, appertain to the wars of defence, and no one has ever quoted them for wars of aggression. These verses have already been quoted at page 85. The abolition of the future slavery as enjoined in the 5th verse has been treated separately in Appendix B. The Arabs, like other barbarous nations round them, used either to kill the prisoners of war or to enslave them; but this injunction of the Koran abolished both of these barbarous practices. The prisoners henceforward were neither to be killed nor enslaved, but were to be set at liberty with or without ransom.


[159] Islam and its Founder, by J.W.H. Stobart, B.A., page 76.

But, in fact, there was no such permission. The verse quoted above says, that the wrath and punishment of God will be on those who deny God, except those who do so by being forced. The latter were not put on the same footing as the former; in short, those who denied God under compulsion were not counted unbelievers.

[160] "The support of the Medina adherents, and the suspicion of an intended emigration, irritated the Koreish to severity; and this severity forced the Moslems to petition Mahomet for leave to emigrate. The two causes might co-exist and re-act one another; the persecution would hasten the departure of the converts, while each fresh departure would irritate the Koreish to greater cruelty."—William Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, pp. 242, 243, foot-note.

[161] Unfortunately several missionary expeditious sent by Mohammad were met with unfavorable circumstances. The party sent to Bani Suleim, demanding their allegiance to the faith of Islam, was slain. Another party sent to Bani Leith was surprised, and its camels plundered. A small party sent by Mohammad to Fadak was cut to pieces by Bani Murra. Another party sent to Zat Atlah to call upon the people to embrace Islam, of which only one person escaped. Mohammad's messenger despatched to the Ghassanide Prince at Bostra was murdered by the chief of Muta. His army sent to avenge the treachery of the chief was defeated. All these mishaps and reverses dangerously affected the prestige of Mohammad, and encouraged the Meccans to violate the truce.

[162] Or defend, 'Yadafeo' repel.

[163] Yokâtaloona, or who fight Yokateloona. The former reading is the authorized and general.

[164] The primary signification of fitnah is burning with fire. It signifies a trial or probation and affliction, distress or hardship; and particularly an affliction whereby one is tried, proved, or tested.—Vide Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, p. 2335.

[165] Desist from persecuting you and preventing you to enter your native city and prohibiting access to the sacred mosque and attacking you, and from religious intolerance.

[166] i.e., the religious persecution and intolerance and hindrance to visit the sacred mosque being suppressed; you may profess, preach and practice your religion freely.

[167] Vide note 2 in p. 17.

[168] Shaw-wal, Zulkada, Zulhij, and Moharram, the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 1st months of the Arabian year.

These verses were promulgated in Ramzan, the 9th month of the year.

[169] And have violated the Hodeibia Truce. Compare verses 4, 8, and 12.

[170] It is not meant that they should be forced to observe prayer or pay obligatory alms, or in other words be converted to Islam; the context and general scope of the Koran would not allow such a meaning. The next verse clearly enjoins toleration.

[171] The Bani Kinana and Bani Zamara had not violated the truce of Hodeibia while the Koreish and Bani Bakr had done so.

[172] This is the same as verse 5. It only means, if meanwhile they become converts to Islam, they are to be treated as brethren in religion. But it cannot mean that it was the sole motive of making war with them to convert them. Such an interpretation is quite contrary to the general style of the Koran.

[173] The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, Vol. VI, p. 245.

[174] Archbishop Secker's Works, III, p. 271.

[175] Sir W. Muir, II, p. 265.

[176] Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 79.

[177] Remarks on the character of Mohammad (suggested by Voltaire's Tragedy of Mahomet) by Major Vans Kennedy. Vide Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay for 1821, Vol. III, p. 453, reprint Bombay, 1877.

[178] "Mahomet did not send the Medina converts on any hostile expedition against the Koreish, until they had warred with him at Badr, and the reason is, that they had pledged themselves to protect him only at their homes."—K. Wackidi, 48; Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 64, note.

[179] "K. Wackidi, 98-1/2. The provisions are noted only generally, "that neither party would levy war against the other, nor help their enemies." The version quoted by Weil binding the Bani Dhumra to fight for the faith, &c., is evidently anticipatory and apocryphal. It is not given by the Secretary of Wackidi in his chapter of treaties."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, III, p. 67, note.

[180] Contributions to Political Science by Francis Lieber, LL.D., Vol. II of his miscellaneous writings, p. 251, London, 1881.

[181] Hishamee, p. 545. Gottengen, 1859; or, The Life of Muhammad, by Abd etl Malik ibn Hishám. London: Trübner and Co., 1867.

[182] Hishamee, p. 757.

[183] The Jews of Khyber, if it does not relate to Tabook. Sir W. Muir calls this hostile declaration against Jews and Christians, and says,—"The exclusion and growingly intolerant position of Islam is sufficiently manifested by the ban issued against the Jews and Christians, as unfit for the sacred rites and holy precincts of the Meccan temple; and by the divine commands to war against them until, in confession of the superiority of Islam, they should consent to the payment of a tribute."—Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, p. 289. The command referred to by Sir W. Muir refers to the treatment of those who took up arms against the Mussalmans, rather than to their ordinary condition. No ban was issued against the Jews and Christians, as unfit for the sacred rites and holy precincts of the Meccan temple. On the contrary, the Christians of Najran, when arrived at Medina, were accommodated by the Prophet in his Mosque, and they used to say their prayers there.

[184] Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 61.

[185] Islam under the Arabs, by Major R.D. Osborne, London, 1876, p. 27.

[186] XVIII, 28.

[187] II, 257.

[188] V, 73.

[189] IX, 6.

[190] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 79.

[191] From attacking and persecuting you and preventing you from entering your homes and visiting the sacred mosque.

[192] That is, if again attack you and commit aggressions.

[193] Meaning those who were defeated at Badr.

[194] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 319.

[195] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 282.

[196] There is only one instance of intolerance, i.e., making converts at the point of sword, which Sir W. Muir, so zealous in accusing Mohammad of religious persecution during the Medina period, has succeeded in finding out during the ten eventful years of Mohammad's sojourn in Medina. I refer to the story of Khalid's mission in the beginning of the tenth year A.H., to Bani Haris, a Christian tribe at Najran, whose people had entered into a covenant of peace with Mohammad, and to whom an ample pledge had been guaranteed to follow their own faith. According to Sir W. Muir, Khalid was instructed to call on the people to embrace Islam, and if they declined, he was, after three days, to attack and force them to submit (Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 224). The version of the story thus given by the Biographers of Mohammad is too absurd to be believed; because it is a well-established fact that the Bani Haris, or the Christians of Najran, had sent a deputation to Mohammad only a year ago, i.e., in A.H. 9, and obtained terms of security from him (Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, p. 299; Ibn Hisham, p. 401). It is quite an unfounded, though a very ingenious, excuse of Sir W. Muir to make the Bani Haris consist of two sects,—one of Christians, and the other of idolators,—and to say that the operations of Khalid were directed against the portion of Bani Haris still benighted with paganism; thus reconciling the apocryphal tradition with the fact of the Bani Haris being at a treaty of security, toleration and freedom, with Mohammad.

"I conclude," he writes in a note, "the operations of Khâlid were directed against the portion of Bani Hârith still idolaters:—at all events not against the Christian portion already under treaty" (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, foot-note, p. 224). See the account of the conversion of Bani Hárith to Christianity long before Islam in Hishamee, pp. 20-22. Gibbon, Chapter XLII, Vol. V, p. 207, foot-note; and Muir's Vol. I, p. ccxxviii.

[197] A name applied to an idol or idols—especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient idols of the Meccans.

[198] The past tense, third person plural, of the infinitive Fitnah.

[199] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 211

[200] "Islam and its Founder," by J.W.H. Stobart, B.A., p. 179. London, 1878.

[201] I have closely followed Sir W. Muir in these expeditions; vide The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, pp. 64-69.

[202] "The people of Medîna were pledged only to defend the Prophet from attack, not to join him in any aggressive steps against the Coreish." Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 64.

[203] Bokharee relates from Obada-bin Sámat with the usual chain of narrators, that "I am one of the Nakeebs who pledged to the Prophet. We pledged that we will not join any other god with the God, and will not commit theft, and will not commit fornication, and will not commit murder, and will not plunder." Saheeh of Bokharee, Book of Campaigns, chapter on Deputations from Ansárs.

[204] Wheaton's Elements of International Law, p. 419, Boston, 1855; Lieber's Miscellaneous Writings; Political science, Vol. II, p. 250, Philadelphia, 1881.

[205] Selections from the Kur-án by Edward William Lane, with an Introduction by Stanley Lane Poole. Intro., p. xliv: Trübner & Co., London, 1879.

[206] Islam under the Arabs, by R.D. Osborn, p. 60, London, 1876.

[207] Wákidi's Campaigns of Mohammad, pp. 172 & 173: Calcutta Baptist Mission Press; edited by A. Von Kremer.

[208] Sir W. Muir writes that "Hishami says, that Mahomet, being vexed by Asma's verses, said publicly, 'Who will rid me of this woman?'" But there is no such word in Ibn Hishám which may be rendered 'publicly.'

[209] Ibn Hisham, p. 994. Wakidi does not give this sentence. On the contrary, he says, Sálim had taken a vow to kill Abú Afak or die himself.

[210] Ibn Sad Kátib Wákidí, pp. 186, 187.

[211] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. III, pp. 147-148.

[212] In the collections of Bokhári in the Book of Campaigns; and in the Book of Jihád by Moslim.

[213] Mohammad-bin Sád Kátib Wakidi and Mohammad-bin Ishak. The latter in Ibn Hisham, p. 551.

[214] Vide Osaba-fi Tamiz Issahába; or, Biographical Dictionary of Persons who knew Mohammad, by Ibn Hajr-al-Askalani. Part I, No. 1021, p. 434.

[215] Ibn Abbás was only five years old at that time, and was at Mecca. His evidence is consequently inadmissible.

[216] Yahya-bin Saeed al Ansaree, Ali-bin Abdullah-bin Abbás, Ibnal Mosayyab, Atá Ibrahim-bin Maisura, Mohammad-bin Sireen, Kásim, and Abdullah-bin Omar say that Ikrama was a liar. Vide Mizánul Etedal of Zahabi, Koukabi Durrári Sharah, Saheeh Bokhari, by Shamsuddin Kirmáni; and Márafat Anwaá-ilm Hadees, by Abu Omar-ad-Damishki.

[217] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. III, p. 200.

[218] Elements of International Law, by Henry Wheaton, LL.D. Sixth edition, by William Beach Lawrence, Boston, 1855; Part IV, Chapter I, p. 374, quoting Bynkershoek; in p. 416, quoting Bynkershoek and Wolff.

[219] Ibid, Chapter II, p. 470.

[220] The collections of Moslem Apud Boreida, vide Mishkat, p. 333.

[221] The collections of Abú Daúd in the Book of Jihád, Vol. II, p. 26.

[222] The Life of Mohammad based on Mohammad-ibn Ishak, by Abdel Malik-ibn Hisham, p. 714.

[223] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, p. 14.

[224] Or Yoseir-bin Razim.

[225] As Khyber was not yet conquered, neither Mohammad could make such a promise, nor the Jews could have been induced to believe it; therefore the story is a false one.

[226] The Life of Mohammad, by Abdel Malik-bin Hisham, pp. 980-981.

[227] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 16-17.

[228] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV. p. 20.

[229] The Life of Mohammad, by Abdel Malik-bin Hisham, pp. 992-993. The fighting was, according to Arab custom, in single combats.

[230] Mahomet and his Successors, by Washington Irving, p. 118, London, 1869.

[231] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 20, foot-note.

[232] Compare "Contributions to Political Science," by Francis Lieber, LL.D., Vol. II, p. 250.

[233] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 307.

[234] Wackidi Campaigns of Mohammad, p. 101, Calcutta, 1855.

[235] "It was at Otheil that the cruel and vindictive spirit of Mahomet towards his enemies first began to display itself."—Muir's Life of Mohamet, Vol. III, p. 115. After this, the author narrates the execution of Nazr. Ibn Is-hak. Vide Ibn Hisham, p. 458; Wackidi, p. 108; Abu Daood, Vol. II, p. 10. This story is not given by Ibn Hisham and Ibn Sád.

[236] Abu Daood as before.

[237] Zorkánee, Vol. II, p. 541.

[238] Sírat Halabi, Vol. II, p. 371.

[239] Wackidi, 105. Insán-ul Oyoon or Sírat Halabí, Vol. II, p. 464.

[240] Wackidi, p. 105; Hishami, p. 591; Insán-ul-Oyoon or Sírat Halabí, Vol. II, p. 464.

[241] Ibn Hisham, p. 591; Wackidi, pp. 324 and 325.

[242] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. III, p. 185.

[243] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, 185.

[244] Ibid, p. 117.

[245] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. II, pp. 122 and 123.

[246] Ibid, Vol. III, p. 243.

[247] Ibid, Vol. IV. pp. 148 and 149.

[248] Ibn Hisham, p. 877.

[249] Ibn Hisham, pp. 833 and 835.

[250] Miscellaneous Writings of Francis Lieber, Vol. II. Contributions to Political Science, p. 273, Philadelphia, 1881.

[251] Some of the Koreizites were released, among whom we hear of Zobeir Ibn Batá, and Rifáa. They were pardoned by Mohammad.

[252] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 279.

[253] History of Mohammad's Campaigns: Edited by Von Kremer, p. 374.

[254] "Compare the remarks of Ibn-Khaldún (Prelégoménes d' Ibn Khaldoun, traduits par M. de Slane, Part I, p. 14)."

[255] A Critical Examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammed, by Syed Ameer Ali, Moulvi, M.A., LL.B., of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, p. 113: William and Norgate, London, 1873.

[256] Ibn Hisham, p. 689. Others say the males were kept in the house of Osman-bin-Zaed, and the females and children in the house of Bint-al-Haris. Vide Insan-al-Oyoon, by Halabi. Vol. III, p. 93.

[257] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV. p. 13.

[258] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 19.

In the collections of Bokharee the story is traced to Ans. But Ans could not be a witness to Mohammad's command for mutilation, as Ans did not come until the expedition to Khyber; and the execution of those robbers took place before that. The story from Jábir in Ibn Mardaveih's collections to the same effect is not authentic, as Jábir, who says he was sent by Mohammad in pursuit of the robbers, and committed the act, was not a convert at that time. Koostalanee, the author of Mooahib, has declared the tradition of Ibn Jarir Tabari on the subject as an apocryphal, i.e., "Zaeef." Vide Zoorkanee on Movahib, Vol. II, p. 211.

[259] Ibn Hisham (p. 463) relates from Ibn Is-hak that Omar asked permission to mutilate Sohail, but Mohammad replied, "I would not mutilate him; if I do, God will mutilate me, though I be a Prophet."

[260] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 19.

[261] This subject has been fully and judiciously discussed by the Honorable Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur, C.S.I., in his "Commentary of the Koran;" Sura. iv. pp. 198-204.

[262] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 68.

[263] Vide Mishkát Book of Retaliation, pp. 243-244.

[264] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 131, foot-note.

[265] Introduction to Lane's Selections from the Kur-án, by Stanley Lane Poole, p. lxvii. London: Trubner and Co., 1879.

[266] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 308.

[267] Ibid, p. 35.

[268] Vide Zoorkanee on Movahib, Vol. II, page 244; also Zád-ul-Maád, by Ibn-al-Kyyim, Vol. I, page 376, Cawnpore, 1298 A.H.; and Seerat-ul-Mohammadiya, by Mohammad Karámat-ul-Ali of Delhi, in loco. The Life is compiled from Seerat Halabi and Seerat Shámee and was lithographed in Bombay.

[269] Hishamee, page 681; Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 266.

[270] Seerat Halabi, or Insan-al-Oyoon, Vol II, page 79.

[271] History of Mohammad's Campaigns, by Wackidi, pp. 368-369: Edited by Von Kremer, Calcutta, 1856.

[272] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 282.

[273] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pages 308-309.

[274] Lieber's Miscellaneous Writings, Vol. II, page 250.

[275] History of European Morals, from Augustus to Charlemagne. By William Edward Hartpole Lecky, M.A., Vol. I, pp. 101-102.

[276] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 148.

[277] Ibid, p. 149.

[278] Ibn Hisham, p. 554.

[279] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, pp. 148 & 149, foot-note.

[280] The Life of Mahomet, by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, page 308.

[281] The tradition that Mohammad had gone to Bani Nazeer asking their aid in defraying a certain price of blood, and they attempted upon his life (Muir, III, 208-209) as related by Ibn Is-hak (in Ibn Hisham, page 652) is a Mursal (vide Zoorkánee, Part II, page 95), and consequently was not current in the Apostolic Age.

[282] Ibn Ockba, an earliest biographer of Mohammad, died 140, says,—the cause of the expedition against the Bani Nazeer was this: that they had instigated the Koreish to fight against Mohammad, and had reconnoitred the weak points of Medina. Ibn Mardaveih Abd-bin-Hameed, and Abdu Razzak have related traditions to the effect that, after the event of Badr, the Koreish had written to the Jews of Medina to make war upon Mohammad, and the Bani Nazeer had resolved to break the compact. Vide Zoorkánee, Part II, pp, 96-97.

[283] Compare Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, pp. 213 and 302, foot-note.

[284] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 44.

[285] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 46, foot-note.

[286] The verses of the Koran are given below:

10. "O Believers! when believing women come over to you as refugees, then make trial of them. God best knoweth their faith; but if ye have also ascertained their faith, let them not go back to the infidels; they are not lawful for them, nor are the unbelievers lawful for these women. But give them back what they have spent. No crime shall it be in you to marry them, provided you give them their dowers. Do not retain a right in the infidel women, and demand back what you have spent and let them demand back what they have spent. This is the ordinance of God which He ordaineth among you: and God is Knowing, Wise."

11. "And if any of your wives escape from you to the infidels from whom you afterwards take any spoil, then give to those whose wives shall have fled away, the like of what they shall have spent; and fear God in whom ye believe."—Sura LX.

[287] Sura IV, 25. Rodwell's translation.

How Mohammad discouraged divorce and took several steps in the Koran to prohibit the facility of divorce prevailing in the Arab society has been fully discussed by me in my book "The Proposed Political, Legal, and Social Reforms under Moslem Rule," pp. 129-143, Bombay Education Society Press, 1883.

[288] "Some of the baser sort from amongst the Coreish, hearing of her departure, went in pursuit, determined to bring her back. The first that appeared was Habbâr, who struck the camel with his spear, and so affrighted Zeinab as to cause her a miscarriage."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 7.

[289] Ata, a learned legist of Mecca, who flourished at the end of the first century of the Hegira, and held a high rank there as a juris-consult, (vide para. 112) held, that Jihad was only incumbent on the Companions of the Prophet, and was not binding on any one else after them. See para. 112, and Tafsír Majma-ul-Bayán by Tabrasee under Sura II. 212.

[290] The Hedaya or Guide; or, A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, translated by Charles Hamilton; Vol. II, Book IX, Ch. I, page 140 London, MDCCXCI.

[291] The Hedaya or Guide; or, A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, translated by Charles Hamilton; Vol. II, Book IX, Ch. I, page 141.

[292] "Arab Kattâl; meaning war in its operation, such as fighting, slaying," &c.

[293] The Hedaya, Vol. II, 141.

[294] Sura II, 187.

[295] The Hedaya, with its commentary called Kifaya, Vol. II, p. 708. Calcutta Medical Press, 1834.

As a general rule the Mohammadan authors do not refer to the verses of the Koran by their number. They generally quote the first sentence, or even a portion of it. The No. of verses are mine. I have followed Fluegel and Rodwell's numbers of verses in their editions and translations of the Koran.

[296] Kifaya as before.

[297] Binayah, a commentary of the Hedaya, by Ainee. Vol. II, Part II, page 789.

[298] Part. III, page 219.

[299] Tuhfatul Muhtáj fi Sharah-al-Minhaj, Part IV, page 137.

[300] Insan-ul-Oyoon, Part II, pp. 289, 291. Chapter on "Campaign."

[301] Sura IX, 5 and 12. These verses have been discussed at pages 51-55.

[302] "The Jihád will last till the day of the Resurrection."

"I have been enjoined to fight the people until they confess there is no god but the God." For these traditions see the next para.

[303] Vide Ainee's Commentary of the Hedaya, Vol. II, Part II, p. 790.

[304] Vide Ainee's Commentary of the Hedaya, Vol. II, Part II, p. 798.

[305] Vide Kázee Budrudeen Mahmood bin Ahmed Ainee's (who died in 855 A.H.) Commentary on the Hedaya called Binayah, and generally known by the name of Ainee, Vol. II, pp. 789-90, "Book of Institute."

[306] The Modern Egyptians, by Edward William Lane; Vol. I, p. 117, note: fifth edition, London, 1871.

[307] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 251-252.

[308] The Early Caliphate and Rise of Islam, being the Rede Lecture for 1881, delivered before the University of Cambridge by Sir William Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., page 5, London, 1881.

[309] The History and Conquests of the Saracens, by Edward. A. Freeman, D.C.L., LL.D., pp. 41-42; London, 1877.

[310] Christianity and Islam; The Bible and the Koran; by the Rev. W.R.W. Stephens, London, 1877, pp. 98-99.

[311] Vide paras. 17, 29, 126.

[312] Mohammed and Mohammedanism. Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in February and March 1874, by R. Bosworth Smith, M.A., Second Edition, page 137; London, 1876.

[313] The Koran, by George Sale. The "Chandos Classics." The Preliminary Discourse, Section II, pp. 37-38.

[314] London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1876, pp. 46-54.

[315] A Comprehensive Commentary on the Qurán; comprising Sale's Translation and Preliminary Discourse, with additional Notes and Emendations, by the Revd. E.M. Wherry, M.A., page 220; London: Trübner & Co., 1882.

[316] An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scripture, by Thomas Hartwell Horne, Esq., M.A. Vol. II, page 524; London. 1828.

[317] Commentary on the Qurán by the Revd. Wherry, page 358.

[318] Notes on Muhammadanism; being outlines of the Religious System of Islam, by the Revd. T.P. Hughes, M.R.A.S., C.M.S., Missionary to the Afghans, page 206; Second Edition, 1877.

[319] The Nineteenth Century; London, December 1877, page 832.

[320] This subject has been fully treated in my "The Proposed Political, Legal, and Social Reforms in Moslem States," pp. 22-25: Bombay Education Society Press, 1883.

[321] Sir W. Muir, with other European translators of the Koran, translates the word "they shall profess Islam" (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 39, footnote). It ought to be translated "they shall submit." There is a difference of opinion among the commentators and canonical legists in this word. Some translate the word Yoslemoon "shall profess Islam," and others "shall submit." This difference in the interpretation of the same word is merely of a sectarian nature, each party wishing to serve their own purpose. Those legists who held that the polytheists and idolaters may either be fought against or be submitted to the authority of Islam by being tributaries, took the word in its proper sense of submission. Those who held that "the people of the Book" ought only to be made tributaries, while all other idolaters and polytheists should be compelled either to perish or to embrace Islam, interpret the word technically to mean the religion of Islam. But as the verse is not a legal command, we condemn at once the casuistic sophistry of the legists.

[Pg 163]

Appendix A


Jihád or Jihd does not mean war or crusade.

1. The popular word Jihád or Jihd, occurring in several passages of the Koran, and generally construed by Christians and Moslems alike as meaning hostility or the waging of war against infidels, does not classically or literally signify war, warfare, hostility or fighting, and is never used in such a sense in the Koran. The Arabic terms for warfare or fighting are Harab and Kitál.

Classical meaning of Jihád, &c.

2. The words Jahada, and Jáhada signify that a person strove, laboured or toiled; exerted himself or his power, or efforts, or endeavours, or ability employed himself vigorously, diligently, studiously, sedulously, earnestly or with energy; was diligent or studious, took pains or extraordinary pains[322]; for example, the term Jáhada fil-amr signifies that a person did his utmost or used his utmost powers, or [Pg 164]efforts, or endeavours, or ability in prosecuting an affair.[323] The infinitive noun Jihádan also means difficulty or embarrassment, distress, affliction, trouble, inconvenience, fatigue, or weariness.[324] Jauharce, a lexicologist of great repute, whose work is confined to classical terms and their significations, says in his Siháh that Jáhada fi Sabeelillah or Mojáhadatan and Jihádan and also Ajtahada and Tajáhada mean expending power and effort. Fayoomee, author of Misbahel Moneer, which contains a very large collection of classical words and phrases of frequent occurrence, also says that Jáhada fi Sabeelillah Jihádan and Ajtahada fil Amr mean he expended his utmost efforts and power in seeking to attain an object.

Post-classical or technical meaning of Jihád.

3. It is only a post-classical and technical meaning of Jihád to use the word as signifying fighting against an enemy. Mr. Lane says, "Jahada came to be used by the Moslems to signify generally he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like." This signification is now given by those lexicologists who do not restrict themselves to the definition of classical terms or significations, like the author of Kámoos. Mr. Lane, the celebrated author of Maddool Kámoos an Arabic-English lexicologist, clearly shows that the definition of Jihád, as the act of waging war, is only of Moslem origin and is not classical. And I will show in sequence that the Moslem usage of [Pg 165]Jihád, as signifying the waging of war, is a post-Koranic usage, and that in the Koran it is used classically and literally in its natural sense.

The Classical tongue and Arabian poets.

4. What is called the classical language of Arabia or the loghat, and is an authority for the genuineness of the Arabic terms and their significations, is the language which was spoken throughout the whole of the Peninsula previous to the appearance of Mohammad. After the death of Mohammad the language was rapidly corrupted by the introduction of foreign words. This was doubtless owing to the great extension of the Mohammadan power at this period. The classical poets are those who died before these great conquests were effected, and are the most reliable authorities for Arabic words and their significations, and they are called Jáhilí. Next to the classical poets are the post-classical, or Mokhadrams, Islámi and Mowallads. Mokhadram is a poet who lived partly before and partly after Mohammad, and who did not embrace Islámism during the life of the Prophet. The Islámi poets are the Mohammadan poets of the first and second centuries of the Hejira, and Mowallads, the poets of the fourth rank, followed the Islámis. The earliest classical poets date only a century before the birth of Mohammad, and the latest, about a century after his death. The period of the Islámi poets is the first and second centuries,—i.e., those who lived after the first corruption of the Arabic language, but before the corruption had become extensive.

The Mowallads co-existed with the general and rapid corruption of the language from the beginning or middle of the second century.[Pg 166]

The conjugation and declension of Jahd and Jihád

5. The words Jahd and Jihád and their derivations, amounting to fourteen in number, occur in the following passages in the Koran:—

1."Jâhada"     ...     Chapterxxix, 5; ix, 19.
2."Jáhadáka"     ...     Do.xxxi, 14, xxix, 7.
3."Jáhadoo"     ...     Do.ii, 215; viii, 73, 75, 76; ix, 16, 20, 89; xlix, 15; iii, 136; xvi, 111; xxix, 69.
4."Yojáhido"     ...     Do.xxix, 5.
5."Yojáhidoona"     ...     Do.v, 59.
6."Yojáhidoo"     ...     Do.ix, 44, 82.
7."Tojáhidoona"     ...     Do.lxi, 11.
8."Jihád"     ...     Do.xxv, 54; xxii, 77; ix, 24; lx, 1.
8.*"Jahd"     ...     Do.v, 58; vi, 109; xvi, 40; xxiv, 52; xxxv, 40.
9.*"Johd"     ...     Do. ix, 80.
10."Jáhid"     ...     Do.ix, 74; lxvi, 9.
11."Jâhidhoom"     ...     Do.xxv, 54.
12."Mojáhidína"     ...     Do.iv, 97; bis. xlvii, 33.
13."Mojáhidoona"     ...     Do.iv, 97.
14."Jáhidoo"     ...     Do.v, 39; ix, 41, 87; xxii, 77.
The number of instances in which they occur in the Koran.

6. There are altogether 36 verses in the Koran containing the words noted above, in the following chapters and verses:—

Chapter ii, 215.
Do.  iii, 136.
Do.  iv, 97.
[Pg 167]Do.  v, 39, 58, 59.
Do.  vi, 109.
Do.  viii, 73, 75, 76.
Do.  ix, 16, 19, 20, 24, 41, 44, 74, 80, 82, 87, 89.
Do.  xvi, 40, 111.
Do.  xxii, 77.
Do.  xxiv, 52.
Do.  xxv, 54.
Do.  xxix, 5, 7, 69.
Do.  xxxi, 14.
Do.  xxxv, 40.
Do.  xlvii, 33.
Do.  xlix, 15.
Do.  xl, 1.
Do.  xli, 11.
Do.  xlvi, 9.

In what sense they are used in the Koran.

7. Out of the above, the verses containing the words "Jahd" and "Johd,"—i.e., v, 58; vi, 109; xvi, 40; xxiv, 52; xxxv, 40; and ix, 80, marked *, are altogether out of dispute, as in all the former passages, except the last one, its obvious meaning is most or utmost solemn oaths,[325] or most energetic oaths or strongest or most forcible oaths,[326] and the latter signifies small provisions upon which a man possessing a little property can live with difficulty. The rest are of two kinds—first, the verses occurring in the Meccan Suras. As then the Moslems had not resorted to arms in their defence, though suffering from persecutions, Mohammadan commentators [Pg 168]and jurists and Christian writers are unanimous in construing Jihád in its natural sense of exertion, effort, energy, and painstaking. Secondly, the verses containing the same words occurring in the Medina Suras, which were revealed or published when the Moslems had taken arms in their defence. As regards this period, the words are considered to have an entirely new and an altogether fortuitous meaning, viz., a religious war of aggression. Even some verses of this period are rendered by Mohammadans and Christians in the literal sense of the word.

Conventional significations of Jihád.

8. I fully admit that in the post-classical language of the Arabs,—i.e., that in use subsequent to the time of Mohammad, when the language was rapidly corrupted, the word "Jihád" was used to signify "warfare" or fighting, but this was in a military sense. Since that period the word has come to be used as meaning the waging of a war or a crusade only in military tactics, and more recently it found its way in the same sense into the Mohammadan law-books and lexicons of later dates. But the subsequent corrupt or post-classical language cannot be accepted as a final or even a satisfactory authority upon the point.

"It was decided by common consent," says Mr. Edward William Lane, in his Arabic-English Lexicon (Preface, pp. viii and ix), "that no poet, nor any other person, should be taken as an absolute and unquestionable authority with respect to the words or their significations, the grammar, or the prosody of the classical language, unless he were one who had died before the promulgation of El-Islám, or who had lived partly before and partly after that event; or, as they term it, unless he were a 'Jáhilee' or a 'Mukhadram,' or (as some pronounce it) 'Muk[Pg 169]hadrim,' or 'Muhadram' or 'Muhadrim.' A poet of the class next after the Mukhadrams is termed an 'Islámee:' and as the corruption of the language had become considerable in his time, even among those who aimed at chasteness of speech, he is not cited as an authority absolutely and unquestionably like the two preceding classes. A poet of the next class, which is the last, is termed 'Muwelled;' he is absolutely post-classical; and is cited as an unquestionable authority with respect only to the rhetorical sciences. The commencement of the period of the Muwelleds is not distinctly stated: but it must have preceded the middle of the second century of the Flight; for the classical age may be correctly defined as having nearly ended with the first century, when very few persons born before the establishment of El-Islám through Arabia were living. Thus the best of the Islámi poets may be regarded, and are generally regarded, as holding classical rank, though not as being absolute authorities with respect to the words and the significations, the grammar, and the prosody of the classical language."

Mr. Thomas Chenry, M.A., writes:[327]

"Within a century of Mohammad's flight from Mecca, the Moslem empire stretched from Kashgar and Mooltan to Morocco and the Pyrenees, and the Arab man of letters was exposed to the corrupting propinquity of men of very different races. Only a poet of Ignorance, that is, one who died before the preaching of Islam, or a Mokhadram, that is, who was contemporary with it, was looked upon as of paramount and unquestionable authority. An Islámi, that is, one who was born after the rise of Islam, was of least consideration, and after the first century, the poets are called Muwalladún and are only quoted for their literary beauties, and not as authorities for the Arab tongue."

[Pg 170]

Mohammadan commentators, &c., quoted.

9. All commentators, paraphrasts, and jurisconsults admit that the primary and original signification of the words "Jahad" and "Jihád" is power, ability, and toil, and that its use, as making wars or crusades, is conventional and figurative. Ibn Attiah says regarding verse 69, Chapter XXIX, that it is Meccan, and was revealed before the enjoining of the Orfee or conventional Jihád (vide Fat-hul bayan fi maquasidil Koran, Vol. II, page 517, by Siddik Hussan). Khateeb Koostlane, in his Irshadussari, a paraphrase of Bokhari, says that "Jihád is derived from Jahd, which means toil and labour, or from Johd, which means power. And in technical language it means fighting with infidels to assist Islam" (Vol. V, page 26). Mohammad Allauddin Al Haskafi (died 1088 A.H.), the author of Dur-ral-Mukhtár, a commentary on Tanviral Absár, by Sheikh Mohammad Al Tamartáshi (died 1004), says in the chapter on Jihád, that "in the classical language it is the infinitive noun of Jáhada fi Sabil-Allah, and in the language of the law it means inviting the infidels to the true faith and fighting with him who does not accept it." And Ibn Ábidin Shámi, in his annotation on the above work, says:

"The infinitive noun of Jáhada means to do one's utmost, and that it is general, and includes any person who supports all that is reasonable and forbids what is wrong."

When the word Jihád was diverted from its original signification to its figurative meaning of waging religious war?

10. It is admitted by all lexicologists, commentators, and jurisconsults that Jihád in classical Arabic means to labour, strive earnestly, and that the change of its meaning or the technical signification occurred only in the post-classical[Pg 171] period, i.e., long after the publication of the Koran. It is obviously improper, therefore, to apply the post-classical meaning of the word where it occurs in the Koran. This fact is further admitted by all the Mohammadan commentators and English translators of the Koran, who render the word in its original and literal meaning in all the Meccan and in the early Medinite Suras or Chapters of the Koran.[328]

It is only in a few of the latest chapters of the Koran published at later dates at Medina, that they (the commentators and translators) deviate from the original meaning, and prefer the subsequent unclassical and technical signification of waging war or crusade.

All verses of the Koran containing the word Jihád and its derivation quoted and explained.

11. I herein place in juxtaposition the several English translations of the word "Jihád," together with its etymological derivation and several grammatical forms, to show, in the first place, that Mr. George Sale and the Rev. J.M. Rodwell and other European authors generally give the literal, original, and classical meaning; and in the second place, to show how they differ in giving various meanings, literal and technical, in some passages to the same word in the same verses.

[Pg 172]

It will be observed from a perusal of the statement, that the Rev. Mr. Rodwell, M.A., is more correct than the earliest English translator of the Koran, Mr. George Sale, and the latest, Mr. W.H. Palmer. The latter is the most unsatisfactory of all in this respect, as everywhere, except in six places—XXIX, 7; V, 39, 59; IV, 97; and IX, 74, 89—he translates Jihád as meaning fighting—a circumstance which not unnaturally leads to the supposition that he had paid but slight heed to the context.[Pg 173]


Serial No.No. of the
Chapter and
the Verse of
the Koran.
Original Words.English Translations.
George Sale's Translation.Rev. Rodwell's Translation.Henry Palmer's Translation.
1 XXXI. 14 "Jáhadáka" "Strive" "Endeavour to prevail" "Strive."
2 XXV. 54 "Jáhid," "Jihádan." "Oppose them herewith with strong opposition." "By means of the Koran strive against them with a mighty strife." "Fight strenuously; strenuous fight."
3 XXII. 77 "Jáhidoo" "Fight in the defence of God's religion." "Do valiantly" "Fight strenuously."
4 XVI. 111 "Jáhadoo" "Have since sought in the defence of the true religion." "Fought" "Fought strenuously."
5 XXIX. 5 "Jáhada" "Striveth" "Maketh efforts" "Fight strenuously; fight strenuously."
6 XXIX. 7 "Jáhadáka" "Endeavour" "Strive" "Strive."
7 XXIX. 69 "Jáhadoo" "Utmost endeavour" "Made efforts" "Fight strenuously."
8 XVI. 40 "Jahd" "Most solemnly" "Most sacred" "Most strenuous."
9 XXXV. 40 "Jahd" "Most solemn" "Mightiest" "Most strenuous."
10 II. 215 "Jáhadoo" "Fight in God's cause" "Fight" "Wage war."
11 III. 136 "Jáhadoo" "Those who fought strenuously." "Did valiantly" "Fought well."
[Pg 174]12 VIII. 73 "Jáhadoo be-am-
"Employed their substance and their persons in fight for the religion of God." "Spent their substance and themselves for the cause of God." "Fought strenuously with their wealth and person."
13 VIII. 75 "Jáhadoo" "Have fought for God's true religion." "Fought" "Fought strenuously."
14 VIII. 76 "Jáhadoo" "Have fought with you." "Fought" "Fought strenuously."
15 VI. 109 "Jahd" "Most solemn" "Most binding" "Most strenuous"
16 XLVII. 33 "Mojáhidína" "Who fight valiantly" "Valiant" "Fought strenuously."
17 LXI. 11 "Jáhidoo" "Defend God's true religion with your substance and in your person." "Do valiantly" "To fight strenuously."
18 IV. 97 1st. "Mojáhidína" 1st. "Those who employ their fortune and their persons for the religion of God." 1. "Defend God's true religion valiantly." 1. "Strenuous."
2nd. "Mojáhidina." 2nd. "Those who employ their fortune and persons." 2. "Contend earnestly." 2. "Strenuous."
3rd. "Mojáhidina." 3rd. "Those who fight" 3. "Strenuous" 3. "Strenuous."
19 XXIV. 52 "Jahd" "Most solemn" "Most solemn" "Most strenuous."
20 LXVI. 9 "Jáhid" "Attack the hypocrites with arguments." "Make war" "Fight strenuously."
21 IX. 74 "Jáhid" "Wage war" "Contend" "Strive strenuously."
[Pg 175]22 LXI. 1 "Jihadan" "To fight in the defence of my religion." "To fight" "Fighting strenuously."
23 XLIX. 5 "Jáhadoo" "Who employ their substance and their person in the defence of God's true religion." "Contend with their substance and their person." "Fight strenuously with their wealth and their persons."
24 IX. 16 "Jáhadoo" "Those among you who sought for his religion." "Valiantly" "Fought strenuously."
25 IX. 19 "Jáhada" "Fighteth" "Fighteth" "Strenuous."
26 IX. 20 "Jáhadoo" "Fought for his religion." "Do valiantly" "Fought strenuously."
27 IX. 24 "Jihádan" "Advancement" "Efforts" "Fighting strenuously."
28 IX. 41 "Jáhidoo" "Employ your substance and your person for the advancement of God's religion." "Contend with your substance and with your person." "Fight strenuously with your wealth and your persons."
29 IX. 44 "Yojáhidoo" "Employing their substance and their persons for the advancement of God's true religion." "Contending with your substance and your person." "Fighting strenuously."
30 IX. 82 "Yojáhidoo" "Employ their substance and their persons for the advancement of God's true religion." "Contending with their riches and their persons." "Fighting strenuously with their wealth and their persons."
[Pg 176]31 IX. 87 "Jáhidoo" "Go forth to war" "Contend" "Fight strenuously."
32 IX. 89 "Jáhidoo" "Expose their fortunes and their lives." "Contend with purse and persons." "Strenuous with their wealth and with their person."
33 V. 39 "Jáhidoo" "Fight for his religion." "Contend earnestly" "Be strenuous."
34 V. 58 "Jáhd" "Most firm" "Most solemn" "Most strenuous."
35 V. 59 "Yojahidoona" "They shall fight for the religion of God." "Will they contend" "Strenuous."


[Pg 177]

12. The above verses quoted with remarks. I will now proceed to give a correct translation of all the verses of the Koran referred to above, in the chronological order of the chapters of the Koran as far as it is ascertained together with my observations and remarks on them, and quotations from Mohammadan commentators when necessary.


(1) Lokman, XXXI, 14.

13. "But if they exert their utmost (Jáhadáka) to make thee to join that with Me of which thou hadst no knowledge, obey them not."

Chapter XXXI is one of the oldest of the Meccan Suras, having been revealed between the sixth and tenth year of the Prophet's mission. The admonition relates to a man's behaviour to his parents. He is enjoined to treat them with kindness, but not to obey them if they lead him to polytheism.

Here "Jáhadá" means "if they two (parents) task or toil thee, or make efforts and endeavour (that thou shouldst associate any god with God)," and none of the translators and commentators take the word to mean the making of war or hostilities or fighting.

(2) Furkan, XXV, 53, 54.

14. "Moreover had We pleasured We had certainly raised up a warner in every city."

"Do not then obey the unbelievers, but by means of this (Jáhid) exert with them with a (Jihadan kabirá) strenuous exertion (or labour with great labour)."

This evidently relates to the Koran, or the warning mentioned in the preceding verse, and it is wrong to translate "Jihád" as meaning to fight strenuously with them, or as inciting to strenuous fighting as translated by Henry[Pg 178] Palmer (Vol. II, p. 88). Mr. Sale and the Rev. Mr. Rodwell do not translate it fighting, and so Mohammadan commentators. Fakhr-ud-din Razi (died 606 A.H.), the Imam, in his great commentary says:

"Some say Jáhid hoom bihí Jihádán Kabirá means to make efforts in preaching, but some say it meant fighting, and others say it meant both; but the former is nearer the truth, as the chapter was revealed at Mecca, and the command for fighting was issued after the Flight, some time afterwards" (Vol. VI, p. 490).

(3) The Pilgrimage,[329] XXII, 76, 78.

15. "Believers! bow down with worship your Lord and work righteousness, haply ye may prosper."

"And ('Jáhidoo') make efforts in God, as (Jihádehi) your making efforts is His due, He hath elected you, and hath not laid on you any hardship in religion, the Faith of your father Abraham. He hath named you the Muslims."

Messrs. Sale and Palmer translate the word here as meaning fighting, which is wrong, as it is unclassical and not literal. Rodwell translates it "do valiantly," and Sir William Muir says it is used in the more general sense (Vol. III, p. 32).

This verse is a brief and concise version of the great maxim in Deut. VI. 5; Mark XII. 30; and Luke X. 27,—

"Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."

See also Luke XIII. 24: "Strive to enter in at the straight gate."

[Pg 179]

(4) The Bee, XVI, 108, 111.

16. "Whoso after he hath believed in God denieth Him if he were forced to it, and if his heart remain steadfast in the faith, shall be guiltless; but whoso openeth his heart to infidelity—on them, in that case, shall be wrath from God, and a severe punishment awaiteth them."

"To those also who after their trials fled their country, then (Jáhadoo) toiled and endured with patience. Verily, thy Lord will afterwards be forgiving, gracious."

Dr. Sprenger (Life of Mohammad, p. 159) explains this verse of the seven slaves purchased and manumitted by Abu Bekr. They had been tortured for professing Islam, shortly after Mohammad assumed the prophetic office. The flight referred to in verse 111th is the early Abyssinian flight. These verses relate to the persecutions endured by humble and needy Moslems from their townspeople of Mecca. These Moslems, after being persecuted and forced as far as denying God, while their remaining steadfast in the faith, had to flee elsewhere, and then suffered much in their wanderings; but they endured their labours and fatigues, losses, disadvantages both in body and mind, patiently. There is no allusion to fighting or waging war. The Rev. Mr. Rodwell and Mr. Palmer are both wrong in translating 'Jáhadoo' as fighting. Sale is right in not translating it as fighting, but he is too paraphrastic when he translates, "and who have since fought in defence of the true religion," as their "Jihád" was only their great exertion and toil in suffering from persecutions.

(5) The Spider, XXIX, 5.

17. "And whoso ('Jáhada') labours ('Yojáhido') toils for his own good only. Verily God is independent of all the worlds."

[Pg 180]

Mr. Palmer is wrong in making Jáhada and Yojáhido to mean fighting strenuously. Mr. Sale and the Rev. W. Rodwell are right in translating by "striveth" and "efforts" respectively, and so is Sir W. Muir in taking it into, what he styles, the general sense of the verse (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 32).

(6) The Spider, XXIX, 7.

18. "Moreover We have enjoined on man to show kindness to parents, but if they (Jáhadá) strive with thee in order that thou join that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. To Me do ye return, and I will tell you of your doings."

None of the commentators take the word Jâhadâ in this passage to mean fighting or crusade, and it is difficult, therefore, to understand why the word should have been distorted from its proper literal and classical meaning in other places of the same book.

(7) The Spider, XXIX, 69.

19. "And those who (Jâhadoo) made efforts for Us, in our path will we surely guide; for verily God is with those who do righteous deeds."

Mr. Palmer translates the word here as meaning "fought," contrary to Mr. Sale, the Rev. Mr. Rodwell, and Sir William Muir, who translate it "endeavour," "effort," and "strive." The conventional term Jihád, meaning crusade or warfare, was not in use in the time of the revelation of the Koran.

(8) The Bee, XVI, 40.

20. "And they swear by God with their (Jahd) utmost oaths that 'God will never raise him who once is dead.' Nay; but on Him is a promise binding though most men know it not."

[Pg 181]

Sale renders the word "most solemnly;" Rodwell, "most sacred oath;" Palmer, "most strenuous oath."

(9) Creator, XXXV, 40.

21. "They swore by God with their (Jahd) utmost oath that should a preacher come to them they would yield to guidance more than any people: but when the preacher came to them, it only increased in them their estrangement."

Sale's rendering is "most solemn oath," Rodwell's, "mightiest oath," and Palmer's, "most strenuous oath."


(10) The Cow or Heifer, II, 215.

22. "But they who believe, and who fly their country, and (Jahadoo) exert their utmost in the way of God, may hope for God's mercy, and God is Gracious and Merciful."

Mr. Sale and the Rev. Mr. Rodwell translate Jahadoo as those who fight, and Mr. Palmer as those who wage war; but there is no reason to change the proper meaning of the word. Sir William Muir translates the verse thus:—

"But they that believe and they who emigrate for the sake of their faith and strive earnestly in the way of God, let them hope in the mercy of God, for God is forgiving, merciful."[330]

In a footnote he says:—"The word Jihâd is the same as that subsequently used for a religious war; but it had not yet probably acquired its fixed application. It was employed in its general sense before the Hejira, and probably up to the battle of Badr."[331] I have only to add that the word never acquired its fixed application during the lifetime of the Prophet, nor is it used as such in any chapter of the Koran either before or after the Hejira.

[Pg 182]

The connection of flight mentioned in the verse as put together with Jihád, shows that it means the labour, toil, and distress which befel the fugitives in leaving their families unprotected in the hands of their persecutors on their expulsion from their country.

(11) A'l Amrŕn, III, 136.

23. "Do ye think that ye could enter Paradise without God taking knowledge of those among you who (Jáhadoo) have toiled and of those who steadfastly endured."

The Rev. Mr. Rodwell translates Jáhadoo, "did valiantly," and does not agree with Sale and Palmer, who translate it, "fought strenuously," or "fought well."

By the connection of enduring patiently, the word Jáhadoo probably means those who toiled and suffered in their exile from Mecca.

(12) The Spoils, VIII, 73.

24. "Verily, they who believe and have fled their homes and (Jáhadoo) toiled with their substance and themselves in the way of God, and they who have taken in and have helped, shall be near of kin the one to the other. And they who have believed, but have not fled their homes, shall have no rights of kindred with you at all, until they too fly their country. Yet if they seek aid from you, on account of the faith, your part is to give them aid, except against a people between whom and yourself there may be a treaty. And God beholdeth your actions."

Sale renders the word Jihád (or Jáhadoo) in this passage as
meaning "employed their substance and their persons in
Rodwell ... "Spent their substance and themselves."
Palmer ... "Fought strenuously with their wealth and person."
[Pg 183]

As the word Jihád has been applied here to both one's-self and his substance or wealth, it cannot mean "fighting," even if taken in the technical signification.

(13) The Spoil, VIII, 75.

25. "But as for those who have believed and fled their country and (Jáhadoo) took pains in the way of God, and have been a refuge or help, these are the faithful, mercy is their due and a noble provision."

Sale    ... "Fought."
Rodwell  ... "Fought."
Palmer  ... "Fought strenuously."

There is nothing in this passage to warrant a departure from the literal and proper signification of the word Jáhadoo, and using it in a post-Koranic sense.

(14) The Spoil, VIII, 76.

26. "And they who have believed and have since fled their country, (Jáhadoo) toiled with you, these also are of you. Those who are united by the ties of blood are the nearest of kin to each other. This is in the Book of God. Verily God knoweth all things."

Sale    ... "Fought."
Rodwell  ... "Fought."
Palmer  ... "Fought strenuously."

There is no valid excuse here for changing the signification of the word Jáhadoo into that which is never used in the Koran or in the classical Arabic.

(15) The Cattle, VI, 109.

27. "With their (Jahd) most binding oath have they sworn by God...."

Sale    ... "Most solemn oath."
Rodwell  ... "Most binding oath."
Palmer  ... "Most strenuous oath."
[Pg 184]

(16) Mohammad, XLVII, 33

28. "And We will surely test you until We know (Mojáhideena) who did their utmost, and who were the steadfast among you; and We will test the reports."

Sale    ... "Who fight valiantly."
Rodwell ... "Valiant."
Palmer  ... "Fought valiantly."

"Mojáhid" is not synonymous with "Mokátil"

(17) Battle Array, LXI, 11.

29. "Believe in God and His Apostle and (Jáhidoo) do strive in the way of God with your wealth and your persons!"

Sale    ... "Who fought valiantly."
Rodwell ... "Who fought valiantly."
Palmer  ... "Fight strenuously."

Devotion or worship has been divided into two kinds,—bodily, which also includes mental; and pecuniary or monetary, and the believers are exhorted here to worship God both bodily and mentally.

(18) Women, IV, 97.

30. "Those believers who sit at home free from trouble and those who (1, Mojáhidoona) toil in the way of God with their substance and their persons shall not be treated alike. God has assigned to those who (2, Majáhadoona) strive with their persons and with their substance a rank above those who sit at home. Goodly promises hath He made to all; but God hath assigned to those (3, Mojáhadína) who make efforts a rich recompense above those who sit at home."

Sale: 1st ... "Those who employ their fortune and their
substance for the religion of God."

2nd ... "Those who employ their fortune and their

3rd ... "Those who fight."
[Pg 185]
Rodwell: 1st ... "Those who fight valiantly."

2nd ... "Contend earnestly."

3rd ... "Strenuous."

Palmer:  1st ... "Strenuous."

2nd ... "Strenuous."

3rd ... "Strenuous."

I have already explained the two sorts of worship or service of God—bodily and mental. The same applies here too.

(19) Light, XXIV, 52.

31. "And they swore by God with their utmost oath...."

Sale    ... "Most solemn oath."

Rodwell ... "Most solemn oath."

Palmer  ... "Most strenuous oath."

(20) The Forbidding, LXVI, 9.

32. "O Prophet, (Jáhid) do thy utmost with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be strict towards them."

Sale    ... "Attack the infidels with arms and the
hypocrites with arguments."

Rodwell ... "Make war."

Palmer  ... "Fight strenuously."

(21) The Immunity, IX, 74.

33. The same verse, word for word.

Sale    ... "Wage war."

Rodwell ... "Contend against."

Palmer  ... "Strive strenuously."

The word Jáhid is the same in both the passages, yet the translators differ in their interpretation of it. As there had been no war against the hypocrites, the word cannot be held to bear the construction they put on it, even if we deprived it of its proper signification. In one place Sale[Pg 186] takes Jáhid to mean "attacking with arms," and in another he takes it in the sense of attacking with arguments.

There is no signification of "attacking" in Jihád, but only that of "exerting," and the verse simply means, "exert thyself in preaching to, and remonstrating with, the unbelievers and hypocrites, and also be strict towards them,"—i.e., not to be smooth with them, nor to be beguiled by them.[332]

(22) The tried, LXI.

34. "O Ye believers! take not my foe and your foe for friends: ye show them kindness although they believe not that truth which hath come to you: they drive forth the Apostle and yourself because ye believe in God your Lord! If ye have come forth[333] (Jihádan) labouring in my cause, and from a desire to please Me, ye show them kindness in private, then I well know what ye conceal and what ye discover! And whoso of you doth this hath verily, therefore, gone astray from the even way."

Sale translates Jihádan as meaning "to fight in the
defence of my religion."
Rodwell ... "To fight on my path."
Palmer  ... "Fighting strenuously."

The translators quoted above say that Hátib had informed the Meccans of an intended surprise of Mecca on the part of Mohammad with the view of making terms for his own family, which had been left there. On this occasion the passage was revealed. This shows that the campaign of Mecca is termed Jihád. But Sir William Muir does not agree with them. He says in a footnote:—"The opening [Pg 187]verses of the sixtieth Sura are said to refer to Hâtib; but they appear to have a general bearing against too great intimacy with the Coreish during the truce and to be, therefore, of a prior date."[334]

35. Hátib's story. The story regarding Hátib's revelation of the intended attack upon Mecca by Mohammad, is not supported by authentic and trustworthy traditions. The authentic tradition of Bokhari[335] only states that the occasion of the verse being revealed was in the case of Hátib, but does not say that it was during the campaign of Mecca, nor that the information contained anything about the intended campaign. The authentic tradition only says that the report contained information regarding some of the affairs of the Prophet.

Besides this, it is wrong to translate in kun tum kharajtum Jihadan fi Sabili, as "if ye go forth to fight in defence of my religion," or "if ye go forth to fight on my path," or "if ye go forth fighting strenuously in my cause." It simply means, "if you have come out striving in my cause," and the sentence is a complement or correlative of the verse, meaning, if you have come out of Mecca, striving, or to strive, in my cause, suffering from exile and undergoing the afflictions and distresses of living homeless, leaving your family and property unprotected, and all these pains (Jihád) you have taken to please me, then you should not make friends with my foes and your foes, who do not believe in the truth which has come to you, and have driven out the Prophet and yourselves [Pg 188](from Mecca, your home) only for the reason that you believe in God your Lord.

(23) The Apartment, XLIX, 15.

36. "The true believers are those only who believe in God and his Apostle and afterwards doubt not; and who (Jáhadoo) strive with their substance and their persons on the path of God. These are the sincere."

Sale here translates Jáhadoo those "who employ their substance and their persons in the defence of God's true religions."

Rodwell ... "Contend with their substance and their persons."

Palmer ... "Fight strenuously with their wealth and persons."

See my observations under No. 17, para. 28.

(24) The Immunity, IX, 16.

37. "Think not that ye shall be forsaken and that God doth not yet know those among you who (Jáhadoo) do their utmost and take none for their intimate friends besides God and His Apostles and the faithful. But God is well apprised of your doings."

Sale    ... "Fought for his religion."

Rodwell ... "Fought valiantly."

Palmer  ... "Fought strenuously."

(25) Ibid, 19.

38. "Do ye place the giving drink to the pilgrims and the visitation of the sacred temple on the same level with him who believeth in God and the last day, and (Jáhada) taketh pains in the way of God. They are not held equal by God, and God guideth not the unrighteous."

Sale    ... "Fighteth."

Rodwell ... "Fighteth."

Palmer  ... "Is strenuous."

[Pg 189]

(26) The Immunity, IX, 20.

39. "They who have believed and fled their homes and (Jáhadoo) toiled with their substance and with their persons on the path of God are of the highest degree with God, and these are they who shall enjoy felicity!"

Sale ... "Employ their substance and their
persons in the defence of God's true

Rodwell ... "And striven with their substance and
with their persons in the path of

Palmer ... "Been strenuous in the way of God
with their wealth and their persons."

(27) Ibid, 24.

40. "Say, if your father and your sons and your brethren and your wives, and your kindred and wealth which ye have gained, and merchandise which ye fear may be unsold, and dwellings wherein ye may delight be dearer to you than God and His Apostle and (Jihádan) toiling in My cause, then wait until God shall Himself enter on His work; God guideth not the impious."

Sale ... "Advancement of his religion."

Rodwell ... "Efforts on his path."

Palmer ... "Fighting strenuously."

(28) Ibid, 41.

41. "March ye forth light and heavy and (Jáhidoo) toil with your substance and persons on the way of God. This, if ye knew it, will be best for you."

Sale ... "Employ your substance and your persons
for the advancement of God's
true religion."

Rodwell ... "Contend with your...."

Palmer ... "Fight strenuously with your wealth
and persons."
[Pg 190]

(29) The Immunity, IX, 44.

42. "They who believe in God and in the last day will not ask leave to be exempt from (Yojáhadoo) toiling with their substance and their persons. But God knoweth them that fear Him."

Sale    ... "Employ their substance and their persons
for the advancement of God's
true religion."

Rodwell ... "Contending with their substance and

Palmer  ... "Fighting strenuously."

(30) Ibid, 82.

43. "They who were left in their homes were delighted behind God's Apostle and were averse from (Yojáhidoo) exerting with their riches and their persons for the cause of God, and said, 'March not out in the heat.' Say, a fiercer heat will be the fire of hell! Would that they understood this."

Sale    ... "Employ their substance and their persons
for the advancement of God's
true religion."

Rodwell ... "Contending with their riches and their

Palmer  ... "Fighting strenuously with their wealth
and their person."

(31) Ibid, 87.

44. "Moreover when a Sura was sent down with 'Believe in God, and (Jáhidoo) toil in company with his Apostle,' those of them who are possessed of riches demanded exemption, and said, 'Allow us to be with those who sit at home.'"

Sale    ... "Go forth to war."

Rodwell ... "Contend."

Palmer  ... "Fight strenuously."
[Pg 191]

(32) The Immunity, IX, 89.

45. "But the Apostle, and those who share his faith (Jáhadoo) exerted with their substance and their persons, and these ! good things await them and these are they who shall be happy."

Sale    ... "Expose their fortune and their lives."

Rodwell ... "Contend with purse and person."

Palmer  ... "Are strenuous with their wealth and
with their persons."

(33) The Table, V, 39.

46. "O ye who believe! fear God and desire union with Him and (Jáhidoo) toil on His path. It may be that you will obtain happiness."

Sale    ... "Fight."

Rodwell ... "Contend earnestly."

Palmer  ... "Be strenuous."

(34) Ibid, 58.

47. "And the faithful will say, 'Are these they who swore by God their (Jahda) utmost oath that they were surely on your side?' Vain their works; and they themselves shall come to ruin."

Sale    ... "Most firm."

Rodwell ... "Most solemn."

Palmer  ... "Most strenuous."

(35) Ibid, 59.

48. "O ye who believe! should any of you desert his religion, God will then raise up a people whom He loveth, and who love Him, lowly towards the faithful, lofty to the unbelievers (Yojáhidoona) striving in the path of God, and not fearing the blame of the blamer. This is the Grace of God; on whom He will He bestoweth it, and God is all-embracing, Omniscient!"

Sale    ... "They shall fight for the religion of God."

Rodwell ... "For the cause of God will they contend."

Palmer  ... "Strenuous in the way of God."
[Pg 192]

Jihád does not mean the waging of war.

49. These are all the verses of the Koran which contain the word "Jahd" or "Jihád," or any derivations from them. I believe that I have clearly shown by means of a careful comparison between the translators and commentators and the original passages in the Koran, that the word Jahd or Jihád in the classical Arabic and as used in the Koran does not mean waging war or fighting, but only to do one's utmost and to exert, labour or toil. The meaning which has come to be ascribed to the word is undoubtedly a conventional one, and is one that has been applied to it at a period much less recent than the revelation of the various chapters of the Koran.

Katal and Kitál.

50. I do not mean to contend that the Koran does not contain injunctions to fight or wage war. There are many verses enjoining the Prophet's followers to prosecute a defensive war, but not one of aggression. The words "katal" and "kitál" distinctly indicate this.


51. I have already analysed all the verses containing these words (katal and kitál) in this book. What I have aimed at in the Appendix is to show that those authors and translators who cite certain verses of the Koran containing the word Jahd or Jihád and its derivations in support of their assertion, and that the Mohammadan religion sanctions the waging of war and the shedding of blood, are altogether in the wrong.


[322] The Siháh of Jouhari (who died 397 or 398), the Asás of Zamakhshire (born 467, died 538 A.H.), Lisanul-Arab of Ibn Mokarram (born 630, died 711), and Kamoos of Fyrozabadee (born 729, died 816), vide Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, Book I, Part II, page 473.

[323] The Misbáh by Fayoomee (finished 734 A.H.), vide Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, Book I, Part II, page 473.

[324] Siháh, Asás, Ibnel Atheer Jezree, author of Nihayeh (died 606), the Mughrib of Almotarrazi (born 536, died 610), the Misbáh and Kámoos, vide Lane, ibid, page 474.

[325] Vide Rodwell's Translation of the Koran in loco.

[326] Vide Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon in loco.

[327] The Assemblies of Al Hariri, translated from the Arabic by Thomas Chenry, M.A., Vol. I, Introduction, p. 67. William and Norgate, 1867.

[328] In the treaty of Medina, which was made as early as the second year of the Hejira, the word Jihád is used, regarding which Sir W. Muir says:—"This word came subsequently to have exclusively the technical signification of Jihád or crusade or fighting for the Faith. If we give it this signification here, it would involve the clause in the suspicion of being a later addition; for as yet we have no distinct development of the intention of Mahomet to impose his religion on others by force: it would have been dangerous, in the present state of parties, to advance this principle. The word is sometimes used in the more general sense in the Coran; Sura XXIX, 5, 69; XX, 77, and a few other places."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, p. 32. Again he says with reference to Sura II, v. 215, which also contains the same word: "The word (Jihád) is the same as that subsequently used for a religious war, but it had not yet probably acquired its fixed application. It was applied in its general sense before the Hejira, and probably up to the battle of Badr."—Ibid, p. 74, footnote.

[329] This Sura is generally said to have been revealed at Mecca, but this is probably only the case as regards verses 1, 24, 43, 56, 60, 65, 67, 75. Mr. Muir places it at the close of the Meccan Suras of the fifth period. See Nold, p. 158; Rev. Rodwell, p. 500.

[330] Vide Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, 74.

[331] Ibid, footnote.

[332] Vide Sura LXXII, 9; XVII, 69.

[333] i.e., from Mecca when driven out of it by the Meccans in your persecution.

[334] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, p. 114.

[335] Kitabul Jihád, Magházi and Tafseer.

[Pg 193]



Slavery and concubinage not allowed by the Koran.

1. It is a false accusation against the Koran, that it allows enslavement of the captives of war, and sanctions female captives to the conquerors' embrace, or, in other words, female captives are made concubines on the field of battle. There is not a single sentence in the Koran allowing either of the above allegations. Sir W. Muir, in his "Life of Mahomet," could neither quote any verse of the Koran sanctioning the enslavement of the captives of war or servile concubinage, nor was he able to relate any instance of them during the several battles described therein. Yet, in a recent work,[336] he refers boldly, but vaguely, to the Koran; and regarding the battle of Walaja fought by Khálid against the Persians in A.H. 12 writes, after quoting Khálid's oration on gaining the victory:—

"Now, also, the cunning device of the Corân, with respect to the other sex, began to tell. Persian ladies, both maids and matrons, 'taken captive by the right hand,' were forthwith, without stint of number, lawful to the conquerors' embrace; and, [Pg 194]in the enjoyment of this privilege, they were nothing loth to execute upon the heathen 'the judgment written.'"

I do not understand why, if such was the case, Khálid did not refer the believers to the so-called "cunning device" of the Koran? By referring to this imaginary device of the Koran to the lawfulness of female captives "to the conquerors' embrace," he might have struck a chord, at which every Bedouin heart would have leapt with joy, instead of referring, as he did, merely to the riches of the land and fair fields. In fact there is no such inducement in the Koran.

Measures taken by the Koran to abolish slavery.

2. Slaves are mentioned in the Koran defacto, but not dejure. The Koran took several measures to abolish future slavery. Its steps for its abolition were taken in every moral, legal, religious, and political departments. The liberation of slaves was morally declared to be a work of piety and righteousness—(Sura XC, 13; II, 172).[337] Legally the slaves were to be emancipated on their agreeing to pay a ransom—(Sura XXIV, 33).[338] They were to be set at liberty [Pg 195]as a penalty for culpable homicide—(Sura IV, 94);[339] or in expiation for using an objectionable form of divorce—(Sura LVIII, 4);[340] and also they were to be manumitted from the Public Funds out of the poor-taxes—(Sura IX, 60).[341] They were religiously to be freed in expiation of a false oath taken in mistake—(Sura V, 91).[342] These were the measures for the abolition of existing slavery. The future slavery was abolished by the Koran by putting hammer deep unto its root and by annihilating its real source. The captives of war were, according to the clear injunctions of the Koran contained in the 5th verse of the 47th Sura, to be dismissed either by a free grant or by exacting a ransom. They were neither to be enslaved nor killed.

4. "When ye encounter the unbelievers strike off their heads, till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters."[Pg 196]

5. "And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransoming, till the war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do...."


These verses convey very clearly the decree of the abolition of future slavery, and do not require any further remarks. Moreover they were acted upon accordingly even in the lifetime of the Prophet.

None of the prisoners of war were enslaved.

3. None of the prisoners of Badr A.H. 2, of Karkart-al-Kadr A.H. 3, of Katan in Najd A.H. 4, of Zat-al Riqa[343] A.H. 5, of Bani Mustalik A.H. 5, of Koreiza A.H. 5, of Batan Makka A.H. 6,[344] or of Honain (Hawázin) A.H. 8,[345] was enslaved. All, without an exception, were set free either by way of free dismissal, or by exacting ransom [Pg 197](in cash or in exchange of Moslem prisoners) in strict conformity with the dictates of Sura XLVII, 5. There were no prisoners in the battles of Ohad A.H. 3, Ahzab A.H. 5, and Khyber A.H. 7.[346]

[Pg 198]

Bani Koreiza not enslaved.

4. Some will contend regarding the Bani Koreiza that their women and children were made slaves, and as such sold in Najd. Sir W. Muir quotes the judgment of Sád in the case of the[Pg 199] Bani Koreiza,—"That the female captives and the children shall be sold into slavery," and that it was approved of by Mohammad. He writes further:—

"A fifth of the booty was, as usual, reserved for the Prophet, and the rest divided. From the fifth Mahomet made certain presents to his friends of female slaves and servants; and then sent the rest of the women and children to be sold among the Bedouin tribes of Najd in exchange for horses and arms."[347]

I have shown in para. 30 of this book (pages 37 and 38) that Mohammad never appreciated the judgment of Sád. And I have further to add that the said judgment, according to true reports, did not contain the illegal verdict of enslaving the women and children of the Bani Koreiza, as this might have gone directly against the Koran and the precedents of the Prophet. In the collections of Bokhari, Book of Campaigns, Chapter on Bani Koreiza, there are two traditions cited on the subject. Both of them quote the words of Sád to the effect that "the women and children be imprisoned." The same is the case in Bokhari's other chapters (Book of Jihád, Chapter on the Surrender of Enemy, Book of Manákib, Chapter on the Merits of Sád).

It is not a fact that Mohammad made certain presents to his friends of the female slaves out of the captives of Bani Koreiza. The captives were not made slaves, therefore it is wrong to confound captives with slaves. There is no proof to the effect that they were enslaved. The Koran distinctly says that they were prisoners (Sura XXXIII, 26).

[Pg 200]

In fact, the women and children were not guilty of treason, and deserved no punishment. Sád's judgment must be either wrong regarding them, or applied only to those who were guilty. "One woman alone," according to Sir W. Muir, "was put to death; it was she who threw the millstone from the battlements" (Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 277). I conclude, therefore, that all the women and children were released afterwards; some ransomed themselves, others went off with their freedom. But nobody was ever sold in slavery. The assertion of Hishamee, quoted by Sir W. Muir, that the women and children were sent to be sold among the Bedouin tribes of Najd in exchange for horses and arms (Vol. III, page 279), is void of all authority, and is in direct contradiction of what Abul Mo'tamar Soleiman bin Tarkhan (died 143 A.H. and was prior to Hishamee) says, and whose account seems to be more probable. His version is that the horses of Bani Koreiza were sent by Mohammad to Syria and Najd for the purpose of breeding, and that they got big horses. Vide Wákidi Campaigns of Mohammad, page 374, Calcutta, 1855. This shows that only horses, and not women and children, were sent to Najd. The words of Hishamee (page 693) are "sabáya min sabáya Bani Koreiza." Sabáya, plural of sabi, applies to both person and property, as they say sabal adúvva vaghairohu, he made captive, captured or took prisoner the enemy, and other than an enemy. (Vide Lane's Arabic Dictionary, page 1303, col. 1.) So probably Hishamee had in view only the horses captured of the Bani Koreiza and sent to Najd, but not the women and children of the captives of Koreiza.[Pg 201]


5. Rihána, a woman of the captives of Koreiza, is said by Sir W. Muir to have been taken by Mohammad "for his concubine." He always confounds prisoners with slaves, and female captives as well as slaves with concubines. There are several conflicting and contradictory traditions regarding Rihána. Mohammad bin Sád Kátib Wakidi has related various traditions from Omar-bin-al Hakam, Mohammad bin Káb, and from other various sources that Mohammad had married Rihána. The Kátib says "this tradition is held by learned men. But he has also heard some one relating that she was his concubine."[348] But Sir W. Muir chooses the latter uncertain and unauthentic traditions. He writes in a footnote:—

"She is represented as saying, when he offered her marriage and the same privileges as his other wives: 'Nay, O Prophet! But let me remain as thy slave; this will be easier both for me and for thee.'"[349]

Even if this tradition be a genuine one, he is not authorized in his remarks in the text, where he says—

"He invited her to be his wife, but she declined; and chose to remain (as indeed, having refused marriage, she had no alternative) his slave or concubine."

She was neither enslaved, nor made a concubine. It is to be regretted that the writer of the "Life of Mahomet" most absurdly confounds slavery and concubinage.

[Pg 202]

Omar, the second Khalif, liberated all the Arab slaves.

6. During the sovereignty of Omar, the second Khalif, in accordance with the injunctions of Mohammad to abolish slavery, all the existing Arab slaves were set free. It will appear that the wishes of Mohammad to that effect were but partially carried out. In ages that succeeded the death of Mohammad, they were altogether lost sight of, and even Arabs were allowed to be enslaved by the later jurists. Sir W. Muir, in his latest work, entitled "The Annals of the Early Caliphate," says:—

"Yet great numbers of the Arabs themselves were slaves, taken prisoner during the apostasy, or in the previous intertribal warfare, and held in captivity by their fellow-countrymen. Omar felt the inconsistency. It was not fit that any of the noble race should remain in bondage. When, therefore, he succeeded to the Caliphate, he decreed: 'The Lord,' he said, 'hath given to us of Arab blood the victory, and great conquests without. It is not meet that any one of us, taken in the days of Ignorance,[350] or in the wars against the apostate tribes, should be holden in slavery.' All slaves of the Arab descent were accordingly ransomed, excepting only such bondmaids as had borne their masters' children. Men who had lost wives or children now set out in search, if haply they might find and claim them. Strange tales are told of some of the disconsolate journeys. Ashŕth recovered two of his wives taken captive in Nojeir. But some of the women who had been carried prisoners to Medîna preferred remaining with their captors."[351]

[Pg 203]

Even this speech of Omar shows that no one was enslaved during the wars of Mohammad, as he only refers to the captives of the days of Ignorance before the Prophet, and those taken in wars against the apostate tribes after him having been enslaved.


7. The Koran has never allowed concubinage with female captives. And after the abolition of future slavery enjoined in the Koran, there is no good in discussing the subject of concubinage, which depends on the legality or otherwise of slavery. The Koran had taken early measures for preventing the evil directly and indirectly, positively and negatively. In the first place, it recognizes marriage as the only legal condition of the union of both sexes. Marriage was also enjoined with the existing female slaves. (Vide Sura IV, 3, 29; and XXIV, 32, 33.) The prevention of concubinage is set forth in plain terms in Sura V, 7. The verses run thus:—

3. "And if ye are apprehensive that ye shall not deal fairly with orphans, then of other women who seem good in your eyes marry, but two or three or four, and if ye still fear that ye shall not act equitably, then (marry) one only; or (marry) the slaves whom ye have acquired. This will be more proper that ye may not have numerous families or households. And give women their dowry as a free gift; but if of their own free will they kindly give up aught thereof to you, then enjoy it as convenient and profitable."[Pg 204]

29. "And whoever of you is not rich enough to marry free-believing women, then let him marry such of your believing maidens as have fallen into your hands as slaves. God well knoweth your faith. Ye are sprung, the one from the other. Marry them then with the leave of their masters, and give them a fair dower; but let them be chaste and free from fornication, and not entertainers of lovers."—Sura IV.

32. "And marry those among you who are single, and your good servants and your handmaidens. If they are poor, God of his bounty will enrich them. And God is all-bounteous, knowing. And let those who cannot find a match live in continence till God of his bounty shall enrich them."

33. "And to those of your slaves who desire a deed of manumission, execute it for them, if ye know good in them, and give them a portion of the wealth of God which He hath given you."—Sura XXIV. "And you are permitted to marry virtuous women, who are believers, and virtuous women of those who have been given the Scriptures before you, when you have provided them their portions, living chastely with them without fornication, and not taking concubines."—Sura V.

The 28th verse of the fourth Sura does by no means sanction concubinage. It has nothing to do with it. It only treats of marriage. It, together with its preceding verse, points out whom we can marry and whom not. Its next verse interdicts concubinage when it enjoins marriage with the then existing slaves.

Maria the Coptic.

8. I will here take the opportunity of noticing Maria the Coptic, who is alleged to have been a concubine-slave of Mohammad, although she does not come under the category of prisoners made slaves. According to Sir W. Muir, the Roman Governor of Egypt had written to Mohammad:[Pg 205]—"I send for thine acceptance two damsels, highly esteemed among the Copts."[352] The writer converts them at once into "two slave-girls," and remarks, "a strange present, however, for a Christian Governor to make."[353] She was neither a captive, nor a slave, nor was she described as such in the Governor's letter. I am at a loss to know why or how she has been treated by the biographers of the Prophet as a slave or a concubine.

(1) I have great doubts regarding the truth of the story that Mokowkas the Governor had sent two maids to Mohammad, and taking it for granted they were so sent, that one of them was the alleged Maria; (2) it is not a fact that she was a slave; (3) nor a concubine-slave of the Prophet; (4) nor she as such bore a son to him; (5) and lastly, the notorious scandal about her much talked of by European writers is a mere calumny and a false story.

It will be a very tedious and irksome task to copy the various traditions bearing on the above subjects and to discuss their authenticity, and criticise their genuineness, on the principles of the technicalities peculiar to the Science of Traditions, as well as on the basis of scientific and rational criticism. Therefore I will notice only briefly each of the above subjects.

Dispatch to Mokowkas.

9. (1) That Mohammad had sent a dispatch to Mokowkas, the Roman Governor of Egypt, and that in reply he had sent Maria the Coptic maid, together with other presents, to Mohammad, is not to be found in the traditions collected by the best critics of Mohammadan traditions like Bokhari [Pg 206]and Muslim, who had sifted the whole incoherent mass of genuine and apocryphal traditions regarding the Prophet, and had picked up but a very small portion of them which they thought to be relatively genuine. We can fairly conclude that such a tradition, which is related by other non-critics and story-tellers, who have indiscriminately narrated every tradition—whether genuine or apocryphal—like Wákidi and Ibn Sád, was surely rejected by these Imams (Doctors in the Science of Tradition) as having not the least possibility of its genuineness. Even Ibn Ishak (died 150),[354] Hisham-bin-Abdul Malik (died 213 A.H.),[355] and Abul Mo'tamar Soleiman (died 143 A.H.[356])[357] have not inserted the portion of the tradition of Maria the Coptic maid being sent by the Egyptian Governor to Mohammad. The tradition narrated by Ibn Sád—(1) through Wákidi and Abd-ul-Hamíd from Jáfar, (2) and Abdullah bin Abdur Rahmán bin Abi Sásáta—is undoubtedly apocryphal, Wákidi and Abd-ul-Hamíd are of impeached integrity, or no authority at all. Ibn Khallikan, in his Biographical Dictionary, translated by Slane, writes regarding Wákidi:—"The Traditions received from him are considered of feeble authority, and doubts have been expressed on the subject of his (veracity.)"[358] Ibn Hajar Askalání writes regarding Wákidi in his Takrib, that "he has been struck off as an authority (literally left out), notwithstanding his vast knowledge." [Pg 207]Zahabi's opinion of Wákidi in Mizán-al-Etedal is that Ahmed bin Hanbal said "he was the greatest liar." Bokhari and Abú Hátim say he is struck off (or left out as an authority).

Regarding Abd-ul-Hamíd, Zahabi writes that Abu Hátim said he is not quoted as an authority, and Sofián said he was a weak authority.

Jáfar and Abdullah bin Abdur Rahmán bin Abi Sásáta are of the middle period in the Tabaeen's class, and do not quote their authority on the subject.

Maria neither a slave;

10. (2) Supposing that the Governor of Egypt had sent two Coptic maids, with other presents, to Mohammad, it does not follow necessarily that they were slave-girls. It is never stated in history that they were captives of war, or, if they were so, that they were enslaved subsequently. There is no authority for a haphazard conjecture that they were slave-girls.

nor a concubine-slave.

11. (3) Even if it be admitted that Maria the Coptic was a slave-girl, there is no proof that she was a concubine-slave. It is a stereotyped fabrication of traditionists, and the unpardonable blunder on the part of European writers, that they almost always confound female-slaves, and even sometimes captives, with concubine-slaves. None of the six standard collectors of traditions—Imams Bokhari (died 256 A.H.), Muslim (died 261 A.H.), Aboo Daood (died 275 A.H.), Tirmizee (died 279 A.H.), Nasáee (died 303 A.H.), and Ibn Mája (died 273 A.H.)—has narrated that Maria the Coptic was a concubine-slave of the Prophet. Even the early biographers—Ibn Ishak (died 150 A.H.) and Ibn Hisham (died 213 A.H.) have not made any mention to this effect. It is only Mohammad bin Sád, the Secretary[Pg 208] to Wákidi, who narrates the tradition,—firstly through Wákidi, Abd-ul-Hamíd, and Jáfar, and secondly through Wákidi, Yakoob bin Mohammad, and Abdullah bin Abdur Rahmán bin Abi Sásáta. These both ascriptions are apocryphal. I have already quoted my authorities against Wákidi and Abd-ul-Hamíd. Yakoob bin Mohammad has been impeached by Abu Zaraá, a critic in the Science of Traditions.[359] Jáfar and Abdullah both flourished after the first century. Their evidence to the supposed fact about a century ago is inadmissible.

In the Biographical Dictionaries of the contemporaries of the Prophet, there are three persons named Maria.[360] One is said to have been a housemaid of the Prophet; the second was a housemaid whose kunniat (patronymic) is given as Omm Rabab (mother of Rabab). The third is called Maria the Coptic. It appears there was only one Maria; she may have been a female servant in the household of the Prophet. The narrators have, by citing different circumstances regarding them, made them three different persons, and one of them a concubine-slave, as they could not think a house or family complete without a slave-girl or a concubine-slave. The biographers often commit such blunders. In giving different anecdotes of really the same persons, they make as many persons as they have anecdotes. That anyone of the Marias was a concubine-slave is a mere conjecture, or a stereotyped form of traditional confusion in mixing up maidservants with slaves or concubine-slaves.

[Pg 209]

Maria had no son.

12. (4) Those who have converted Maria into a slave or a concubine-slave have furnished her—the creature of their own imagination—with a son. There are various traditions as to the number and names of the Prophet's sons, all of whom died in infancy. Some traditions give different names to one, and others give as many sons as the names are reported. There might have been a son of Mohammad by the name of Ibrahim, but that he was born of Maria the Coptic is a perfect myth. This piece of the story is the continuation of the traditions of Ibn Sád, which I have already criticized in paras. 9 and 11. Ibn Sád has related another tradition through Omar bin Asim and Katáda to the effect that Mohammad's son Ibrahim was born of a captive woman. Asim has been condemned by Abu Hatim, a doctor and critic in the Mohammadan traditional literature;[361] and Katáda (died 117 A.H.) was not a contemporary witness of what he relates. Thus he fails in giving any authority to his narration. There are two more traditions in Ibn Sád from similar authorities like Katáda, namely, Zohri (died 124 A.H.) and Mak-hool (died 118 A.H.)—not contemporaries of Mohammad, but of the class of Tabaeen—to the effect that Mohammad had said, "Had Ibrahim lived, the capitation-tax would have been remitted to every Copt!" and that "Had Ibrahim lived, his maternal uncles would never have been enslaved!" They do not say who was Ibrahim!

[Pg 210]

Another and the last tradition in Ibn Sád through Yahia bin Hammád, Abu Avána, Soleiman-al-Aamash, Muslim, and Bara is to the effect that Ibrahim was born from a Coptic maid of the Prophet. The narrator Soleiman-al-Aamash was a modallis (Takrib in loco), or in other words, a liar. Besides the whole chain of the narration is Mo-an-an.

In none of the canonical collections of traditions like those of Bokhari, Muslim, and others Ibrahim is said to have been born of Maria. Therefore any of their traditions regarding Ibrahim is not against us.

It is also related in some genuine traditions that an eclipse of the sun took place on the day of Ibrahim's death.[362] The historians have related only one eclipse, which occurred in the sixth year of the Hejira, when Mohammad was at Hodeibia. This shows that Ibrahim could not be Maria's son. She only could come to Arabia a year later, as the dispatches to several princes were sent only in the seventh year. Yáfaee, in his history Mirát-uz-Zamán, has noted that the sun was eclipsed in the sixth year of the Hejira. In the tenth year, he says,—"A genuine tradition has that the sun was eclipsed on the day of Ibrahim's death, and it has been stated above that it was eclipsed in the sixth year. There is some difficulty. It was noted once only during the time of the Prophet. If it occurred twice, there is no difficulty; and if not, one of these two events must be wrong, either the eclipse took place in the tenth [Pg 211]year, or the Prophet's son died in the sixth year." But historically the eclipse was noticed only in the sixth year. There are different dates of Ibrahim's death reported by the biographers—the fourth, tenth, and fourteenth of lunar months, but in none of them can an eclipse take place.

The story of Haphsa and Maria a spurious one.

13. (5) Lastly, I have to notice the infamous calumny against Mohammad concocted up by his enemies, that Haphsa surprized the Prophet in her own private room with Maria. "She reproached her lord bitterly, and threatened to make the occurrence known to all his wives. Afraid of the exposure and anxious to appease his offended wife, he begged of her to keep the matter quiet, and promised to forego the society of Maria altogether." But he afterwards released himself from it by a special revelation—(Sura LXVI, 1). Sir W. Muir remarks:—

"As in the case of Zeinab, Mahomet produced a message from Heaven, which disallowed his promise of separation from Mary...."

The passage in the Koran relating to the affair is as follows:—

"O Prophet! Why hast thou forbidden thyself that which God hath made lawful unto thee,[363] out of desire to please thy wives; for God is forgiving and merciful?"[364]

[Pg 212]

The affair not noticed in the early biographies.

14. Now this is perfectly a fictitious story. Neither there was any such affair, nor is there anything on this head mentioned in the Koran. It is very strange that Sir W. Muir has abruptly left aside, in this instance, all his principal authorities, the Arabian biographers, Ibn Ishak, Wákidi (his secretary), and Tabari. The story is not to be found in any of these biographies, nor in the canonical collections of Bokhari, Muslim, and Tirmizee. Sir W. Muir had himself laid down the rule that only these original authorities are to be depended upon, and the later authors are to be rejected. He writes:—

"To the three biographies by Ibn Hishám, by Wackidi his secretary, and Tabari, the judicious historian of Mahomet will, as his original authorities, confine himself. He will also receive with a similar respect such traditions in the general collections of the earliest traditionists—Bokhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, &c.—as may bear upon his subject. But he will reject as evidence all later authors, to whose so-called traditions he will not allow any historical weight whatever."[365]

Sir W. Muir's authorities not valid.

15. But in this instance, Sir W. Muir, being anxious to quote his fictitious story to calumniate Mohammad, has ceased to be a judicious historian, and deviates from his self-imposed rule. He does not reject the story as he ought judiciously and conscientiously to have done, as it is not to be found in any of the earliest and original authorities mentioned [Pg 213]by him; on the contrary, he compromises himself by condescending to quote from secondary and later authors. He writes in a footnote without quoting his original authority:—

"The version given in the text is accredited by Jelálood-deen, Yahia, Beizawi, and Zamakshari, &c." (Vol. III, page 163.)

These authors were neither biographers nor historians, and are therefore no authorities at all. Zamakshari and Beizawi were commentators in the sixth and seventh centuries respectively. They give two stories, one regarding Maria and another to the effect that the oath or promise of Mohammad had been to the effect that he would not again partake of a species of strong-scented honey disliked by his wives. Jelal-ud-deen Mahalli was a commentator of the ninth century of the Hejira. Yahia is not known among the commentators. He may be one of the latest authors.

The commentators are generally no authority in the matter of traditional literature. "To illustrate allusions in the Coran, they are always ready with a story in point, but unfortunately there are almost always different tales, all equally opposite to the same allusion. The allusion, in fact, was often the father of the story. What was originally, perhaps, a mere conjecture of supposed events that might have given rise to an expression in the Coran, or was a single surmise in explanation of some passage, by degrees assume the garb of fact. The tradition and the facts which it professes to attest thus, no doubt, often rest on no better authority than that of the verse or passage itself."[366]

[Pg 214]

The best commentators and traditionists refute the story.

16. Those commentators who are well versed in the Science of Traditions, as well as doctors in the traditional literature, have rejected the story of Maria as the subject-matter of Sura LXVI, as apocryphal.

Baghvi, the author of Misbah (the text of Mishkat), says that the Sura was revealed on the subject of honey, and not in the case of Maria. The latter story is neither in the Sahihain (Bokhari and Muslim), nor has it been narrated in any authentic way.

Háfiz Ishmael Ibn Kaseeral Qarashi, as quoted by Kustlánee (notes on Bokhari, Vol. VII, page 313), says that the Sura was certainly in the case of honey.

Imam Noávee, in his notes on Muslim, (Vol. I, page 463,) says:—"In fact it was revealed in the case of the honey, and not in the case of Maria."

The story not accredited by the Koran.

17. Sir W. Muir himself admits that the earliest biographers do not relate the story, but gives a false excuse for his not following their example. He writes:—

"The biographers pass over the scene in decent silence, and I should gladly have followed their example, if the Coran itself had not accredited the facts, and stamped them with unavoidable notoriety."[367]

The allegation is absurdly false, as everybody can satisfy himself by referring to the Koran, which does not contain the fictitious and spurious story.

The story when fabricated.

18. The currency of the story did neither take place during the time of Mohammad, its proper age, nor during the lifetime of [Pg 215]the companions. It was fabricated and imposed on some of the Tabaee of weak authority in the second century.[368] There is no doubt that the whole story is a sheer fabrication from beginning to end.

Zeinab's case.

19. In conclusion, I will offer a few remarks in passing regarding Sir W. Muir's reference here to Zeinab's case. He writes:—

"The charms of a second Zeinab were by accident discovered [Pg 216]too fully before the Prophet's admiring gaze. She was the wife of Zeid, his adopted son and bosom friend; but he was unable to smother the flame she had kindled in his breast, and by divine command she was taken to his bed."[369]

The story is from the beginning to end all untrue. Mohammad knew Zeinab from her infancy, she was his cousin; and he had himself arranged her marriage with Zeid. When Zeid divorced her, she was thirty-five years old, and possibly could have no charms to fascinate even a stranger. Had she been charming or fair to look upon, Zeid should not have separated himself from her. There is no historical authority for this, or for any other version of the story. The Koran, while treating the subject, has not the slightest reference to any of the stories afterwards made out to the effect that Mohammad had been to Zeid's house, and, having accidentally seen the beauty of Zeinab's figure through the half-opened door; or that the wind blew aside the curtain of Zeinab's chamber, and disclosed her in a scanty undress, was smitten by the sight.[370]

The story a spurious one.

20. These stories, and I believe a few more varied accounts of the same, like those of the story of Maria the Coptic, were originally mere conjectures of supposed events that might have given rise to an expression in the Koran (Sura XXXIII, verse 37)—if not wilful misrepresentations of story-tellers [Pg 217]and enemies of Islam—which the European writers represent in the garb of facts. The words of the Koran which have been the father of the story are:—

"And when thou saidst to him unto whom God had shewn favour, and unto whom thou also hadst shewn favour, 'keep thy wife to thyself, and fear God,' and thou didst hide in thy mind what God would bring to light, and thou didst fear men; but more right it had been to fear God."

This shows Mohammad dissuaded Zeid from divorcing his wife, notwithstanding the great facility of divorce common at that time in Arabia.

Sir W. Muir is not justified in copying these stories from Tabari. They are not related by earliest biographers from any authentic and reliable source. He ought to have rejected them as spurious fabrications under historical criticism, as he rejects other traditions which are on a better footing of truth than these false and maliciously forged stories.

Sir W. Muir's conjectures not justified.

21. Sir W. Muir has exceeded the limit he himself had marked out for a judicious historian of Mohammad when he abounds in his wild fancies, and observes—

"Zeid went straightway to Mahomet, and declared his readiness to divorce Zeinab for him. This Mahomet declined: 'Keep thy wife to thyself,' he said, 'and fear God.' But Zeid could plainly see that these words proceeded from unwilling lips, and that the Prophet had still a longing eye for Zeinab."[371]

[Pg 218]

Now this is a mere libellous surmise. He goes on still with his defamatory conjectures, and writes:—

"Still the passion for Zeinab could not be smothered; it continued to burn within the heart of Mahomet, and at last bursting forth, scattered other considerations to the wind."[372]

Mohammad never professed to have received a divine command to marry Zeinab. It was not necessary for him to have done so. The outcry raised by the Pagan Arabs was not because they suspected an intrigue on the Prophet's part to secure a divorce, but because they looked upon an adopted son in the light of a true son, and considered, therefore, the marriage with Zeinab, after her divorce from Zeid, as falling within the prohibited degrees. This adoptive affinity was already abolished in the Koran (Sura XXXIII, 4): "God hath not made your adopted sons as your own sons."

Sir W. Muir gravely mistakes in his remarks when he says:—

"The marriage caused much obloquy, and to save his reputation, Mahomet had the impious effrontery to sanction it by special Revelation from on high, in which the Almighty is represented as formally recording a divine warrant for the union."[373]

He quotes verse 36, Sura XXXIII. But he has himself admitted (Vol. III, page 229 footnote) "that this verse is rather in a recitative style of a past event," and not a divine command to marry Zeinab. The words "we joined thee in marriage unto her" in the verse do not mean [Pg 219]a command for marriage. They simply mean that the marriage had taken place. The phrase "we joined thee in marriage unto her" is a mere form of expression. Almost all human actions are attributed to God in the Koran, and whatever occurs in the world by the ordinary course of nature, and by the free agency of men, is referred in the Koran to the immediate agency of God.

A wrong translation of Sir W. Muir.

22. In the next verse—"There is no offence chargeable to the Prophet in that which God hath enjoined upon him"—he wrongly translates Faraza as enjoined, and thus conveys an idea of a divine command. Faraza means he made (a thing) lawful or allowable. [See Lane's Arabic Dictionary, Bk. I, Pt. VI, page 2373.] In giving the above meaning Mr. Lane quotes this very verse.[374] Such unions were made lawful not only to Mohammad, but for all the Moslems, and there was nothing partaking of a special prerogative for him. No special sanction is conveyed by these verses. No special revelation from on high was brought forward to secure his own object or to give him an exceptional privilege. It was merely said that no blame attached to the Prophet for doing what was lawful.

The word "Amr," translated "command" and "behest," in XXXIII, 37 and 38, by Sir W. Muir and others, in fact means here and in other similar passage (XIX, 21; IV, 50; XI, 76; and VIII, 43, 46),—God's foreknowledge of future [Pg 220]contingencies and not a legal command. The same is the case with the word "Qadr" in XXXIII, 38, as well as in XV, 60, and LXXIII, 20, which means God's prescience and not a predestinated decree.

In Zeinab's case no exceptional privilege was secured.

23. In conclusion, Sir W. Muir remarks:—

"Our only matter of wonder is that the Revelations of Mahomet continued after this to be regarded by his people as inspired communications from the Almighty, when they were so palpably formed to secure his own objects, and pander even to his evil desires. We hear of no doubts or questionings, and we can only attribute the confiding and credulous spirit of his followers to the absolute ascendency of his powerful mind over all who came within its influence."[375]

The verses 37 and 38 of the thirty-third Sura had not in any way "secured the objects of Mohammad, much less pandered to his evil desire." As his marriage with Zeinab had taken place long before they were published, they could not be said to confer any exceptional privilege upon him.

The false story traced to Mukátil.

24. The story copied by commentators that Mohammad had accidentally seen Zeinab and admired her is traced to Mukátil,[376] a commentator of the Koran in the second century, who died at Basra 150 A.H. "The doctors (in traditions)," writes Ibn Khallikan in his Biographical Dictionary, translated by Slane, "differ in opinion respecting Mukátil: some declare that, as a traditionist, he was [Pg 221]worthy of confidence, and others accused him of falsehood."

... Ahmed bin Saiyár says:—

"Mukátil Ibn Suláimán, a native of Balkh, went to Marw, whence he proceeded to Irák. His veracity is suspected; his Traditions should be left aside and declarations should be rejected. Speaking of the divine attributes, he said things which it would be sinful to repeat." Ibráhím Ibn Yákúb-al-Juz-Jáni called Mukátil an audacious liar. Abu Abd ar-Rahmán an Nasái said:—"Liars notorious for forging Traditions and passing them off as coming from the Prophet were four in number: Ibn Abi Yahya, at Medína; Al-Wákidi, at Baghdad; Mukátil Ibn Suláimán, in Khorásán; and Muhammad Ibn Saíd, surnamed Al-Maslúb, in Syria." Wakí Ibn al-Jarráh said of Mukátil that he was a confirmed liar. Abu Bakr al-Ajurri said: "I asked Abú Dáwúd Suláimán Ibn al Asháth concerning Mukátil, and he answered:—'All Traditions given by him should be rejected.' According to Omar Ibn al-Ghallás, Mukátil Ibn Suláimán was a liar, and his traditions were to be rejected." "As for Mukátil Ibn Suláimán," said Al-Bukhári, "pass him over in silence." In another place, he says of him: "He is just nothing at all." Yahya Ibn Moín declared that Mukátil's traditions were of no value; and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: "As for Mukátil Ibn Suláimán, the author of the Commentary, I should not like to cite anything on his authority." "His Traditions are to be rejected," said Abú Hátim ar-Rázi. According to Zakariya Ibn Yahya as-Sáji, people said of Mukátil Ibn Suláimán, the native of Khorásán, "that he was a liar, and that his traditions should be rejected."[377]

[Pg 222]


Ikrama (died 107 A.H.), another liar, had only surmised before Mukátil that Mohammad might have admired Zeinab. His words, as related by the traditionists, Abd bin Hamíd and Ibn-al-Munzar, are "as if she had fallen deep in his mind."[378] But Mukátil has converted this hazardous conjecture into a fact.

Abd Allah Ibn al-Harith relates as follows:—

"I went to visit Ali, the son of Abd Alláh Ibu Abbás, and I saw Ikrama tied up at the door of a privy, on which I said: 'Is it thus that you treat your slave?' To which he replied. 'Know that that fellow has told lies of my father.'"[379]

Mohammad bin Yahya.

Mohammad bin Yahya bin Habbán[380] (died 121 A.H.) has also given the tradition of Mohammad's admiring Zeinab at Zeid's house, but does not give his authority. He was not a contemporary narrator, therefore his narration is apocryphal and technically Mursal.

Katádá's conjectural interpretation not warranted.

25. All these silly fables, wild romances, and scandalous conjectures have their origin in Katáda's improper interpretation of these words, "and thou didst hide in thy mind what God would bring to light" (Sura XXXIII, 37). Katáda (died 117 A.H.) conjectured that the Prophet concealed his desire that Zeid should divorce Zeinab. But all other authors[381] have found fault with Katáda in his surmise, [Pg 223]which is not supported by any word in the text or by any contemporary evidence. This interpretation of Katáda is contradicted by the very words of Mohammad to Zeid in the same verse: "Keep thy wife to thyself and fear God."

Other conjectures.

26. Many have been the conjectures as to what did Mohammad hide in his mind. There is one by Katáda already explained. Another is this, that he knew Zeid would divorce her, but concealing this in his mind, he interdicted Zeid from doing so. A third conjecture is this, that he concealed in his mind that if Zeid, contrary to his (Mohammad's) advice, were to divorce her (Zeinab), he (Mohammad) would marry her. These conjectures are all far-fetched and arbitrary, but it appears more probable that the social inharmony and domestic disturbances between Zeid and Zeinab, and their resolve of separation, were withheld from the public by Mohammad, fearing the scandal it might give rise to among his enemies. This is the only secret referred to in the verse so often cited.


[336] Annals of the Early Caliphate. By Sir W. Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L., page 75, London, 1883.

[337] "It is to ransom the captive."—XC, 13.

"There is no piety in turning your faces towards the east or the west, but he is pious who believeth in God and the Last Day, and the Angels and the Scriptures and the Prophets; who for the love of God disburseth his wealth to his kindred and to the orphans and the needy, and the wayfarer and those who ask; and for ransoming," &c.—II, 172.

[338] "And to those of your slaves who desire a deed of manumission, execute it for them, if ye know good in them, and give them a portion of the wealth of God which He hath given you. Force not your female slaves into sin, in order that ye may gain he casual fruitions of this world, if they wish to preserve their modesty. Yet if any one compel them, then verily, after their compulsion, will God be Forgiving, Merciful."—XXIV, 33.

[339] "A believer killeth not a believer but by mischance: and whoso killeth a believer by mischance shall be bound to free a believer from slavery," &c.—IV, 94.

[340] "And those who thus put away their wives, and afterwards would recall their words, must free a captive before they can come together again," &c.—LVIII, 4.

[341] "But alms are only to be given to the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and to those whose hearts are won to Islam, and for ransoming and for debtors, and for the cause of God, and the wayfarer," &c.—IX, 60.

[342] "God will not punish you for a mistaken word in your oaths; but He will punish you in regard to an oath taken seriously. Its expiation shall be to feed ten poor persons with such middling food as ye feed your families with, or to clothe them; or to set free a captive: but he who cannot find the means shall fast three days. This is the expiation of your oaths when ye have sworn. Keep then your oaths. Thus God maketh his signs clear to you. Haply ye will be thankful."—V, 91.

[343] Vide Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 223.

[344] According to Hishámi, p. 745, a party of fifty or forty Koreish went round about Mohammad's camp at Hodeibia, seeking to cut off any stray followers; and having attacked the camp itself with stones and arrows, they were caught and taken to Mohammad, who pardoned and released them.—Vide Muir's Life of Mahomet, IV, p. 31, f.n.; and Moslim's collection of genuine traditions Kitab-ul Jihad vas-Siyar, chapter on Tanfeel and Ransom.

[345] All the prisoners of Hawázin at Honain were released without taking any ransom and were not made slaves. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 148-149. That Mohammad had presented three female slaves to Ali, Othman, and Omar from the captives of Bard Hawázin, as stated by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, p. 149, is void of all truth. The captives were not enslaved. They were mere prisoners, as Sir W. Muir himself calls them so (ibid, pp. 148-149); yet he styles these three of them "female slaves." The captives together with the captured camp were removed to the valley of Jierána, pending negotiations (ibid, p. 142). At the end of the negotiations the prisoners were released. Thus there could be no distribution of prisoners to anyone.

[346] Sir W. Muir writes:—"Hishámee says that from the time of Kheibar slaves became very plentiful among the Moslems, p. 333. I do not find that, excepting the family of Kinâna, any mention is made of slaves taken at Kheibar. But money, which the victors obtained plentifully at Kheibar, could purchase them cheaply in any part of Arabia." (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 73-74, and footnote.) But the word originally used by Hishamee, "sabaya," means captives and property captured, and not slaves, though captives, if not ransomed, were used to be made slaves under the Arab International Law. Besides this even the family of Kinána was never enslaved. Kinána was taken captive and executed, because he had killed Mahamúd bin Muslama. Vide para. 75 of this book. The story that Mohammad immediately on Kinána's execution sent for her and cast his mantle over her, signifying that she was to be his own, and consummated his marriage with her, and that her dower was her freedom (vide Muir, ibid, pp. 68-69), is not genuine and authentic. His family, by which is meant Sofia and her cousin, was not enslaved, and there is no tradition, genuine or apocryphal, to corroborate it. I here take the opportunity of quoting a speech ascribed to Mohammad while addressing Sofia, the widow of Kinána, copied by Abul Mo'tamar Soleiman (died A.H. 143) in his "Campaigns of Mohammad." Mohammad addressed her thus:—"I give thee choice either of Islam, or of Judaism. If thou acceptest Islam, perhaps I may keep thee for myself. But if thou preferest Judaism, I may perhaps liberate thee, and join thee to thy family." Vide Wákidi's "Campaigns of Mohammad," page 393, Calcutta, 1856. This speech shows amply that Mohammad had no intention of enslaving Sofia.

The story of Mohammad's marriage with Sofia after her being given to and purchased from Dihya, emanates from Anas, who cannot be relied upon. Anas had very recently been associated with Mohammad. He entered Mohammad's service only the other day when he started for the expedition of Khyber, and was but a boy only a dozen-years old at that time. It is related by Bokhari from Anas himself, who said that the Prophet had asked Abu Tulhah to get him a boy to serve him during the Khyber expedition. So he took me to him, and I was a boy close to maturity (Bokhari-Kitabul Jihad). Anas has given two contradictory accounts about Sofia; in one he says, "Dihya asked Mohammad's permission for a captive girl, and took Sofia. When Mohammad heard about Sofia, he asked Dihya to take another one; and having liberated Sofia married her, and her freedom was her dower." In another tradition, Anas relates that "Sofia fell to the lot of Dihya, and Mohammad purchased her from him for seven camels." He says:—"The people did not know whether he had married her, or had made her a concubine-slave, but when she rode on a camel, and Mohammad put veil round her, the people knew from this that she was his wife." Both these traditions are narrated from Anas by Moslem in his Saheeh (Book on Marriage).

The idea that Mohammad married Sofia under the circumstances noted above is not satisfactorily established. It was only the fancy of the people, or was a conjecture of Anas. Yet Sir W. Muir has the effrontery to remark against Mohammad that: "Indeed, he is not free from the suspicion of being influenced in the destruction of Kinána by the desire of obtaining his wife." (The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 68, footnote.) Kinána was executed for killing Mahmood bin Muslama, and Sofia was neither enslaved nor married by Mohammad. Even if it be shown that Mohammad married her afterwards under some other circumstances, it (Sir W. Muir's presumption) is an idle guess unwarranted by any reasonable argument.

The traditionists, Anas and others, have probably confounded Sofia, the aunt of Mohammad, who was with him during the expedition of Khyber (vide Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 66, footnote), with Kinána's widow of the same name, whom they fancied Mohammad might have married and carried with him on the same camel. The lady for whom Mohammad lowered his knee to help her to ascend the camel (ibid, page 70) was most probably Sofia, his aunt.

[347] Vol. III, pp. 278-279.

[348] Vide The Biographical Dictionary of Persons who knew Mohammad, by Ibn Hajar. In Biblotheca Indica. A collection of oriental Series, published by the Asiatic Society, Bengal, No. 215, Vol. IV. Fasciculus 7, Calcutta, 1866; Art. Rehana, No. 444.

[349] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 278.

[350] "The days of Ignorance, that is, the period preceding Islam."

[351] "Two such are named by Tabari, I, page 248."

"A light ransom was fixed for each Arab slave—seven camels and six young ones. In the case of some tribes which had suffered most severely (as the Beni Hanifa, the Beni Kinda, and the people of Omán discomfited at Dabá) even this was remitted."

Annals of Early Caliphate. By Sir W. Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L., London, 1883, pp. 63, 64.

[352] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 56.

[353] Ibid, page 57, footnote.

[354] Vide Hishamee, page 972.

[355] Ibid, page 971.

[356] Vide Takrib by Ibn Hajar.

[357] Vide History of Muhammad's Campaigns by Wákidi; edited by Von Kremer, Calcutta, 1856, from p. 360 to the end.

[358] Vol. III, page 62.

[359] Vide Mizán-ul-Etedál by Zahabí.

[360] Vide Nos. 976, 977, and 978 in the Biographical Dictionary of Persons who knew Mohammad, by Ibn Hajar, published by the Asiatic Society, Bengal, Calcutta, 1870, Vol. IV, pp. 779, 780, and 781.

[361] Vide Mizán, by Zahabí.

[362] "An eclipse of the sun occurred on the same day, and the people spoke of it as a tribute to the death of the Prophet's son. A vulgar impostor would have accepted and confirmed the delusion; but Mahomet rejected the idea."—"The Life of Mahomet" by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, page 166.

[363] "Meaning the company of his female slave."

[364] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, pp. 161 and 162.

Taking concubine-slaves was an established and recognized institution of the Arab society, until Mohammad abolished it. Practically the custom has prevailed up to the present time. No blame attached to such alliances in the social system of the Arabs. "The Caliphs of the House of Abbas were all of them the children of concubines except as—Saffah, Al-Mahdi, and Al-Amin" (History of Caliphs. By Sayúte. Translated by Major Jarret, page 20, Calcutta, 1880). If the story regarding Mohammad be true, there was no fear of exposure or offending the wives.

[365] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, Introduction, page ciii.

[366] "The Calcutta Review," Feby. 1868, page 374.

[367] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. IV, page 160.

[368] Zeid bin Aslam (in Tabrani), who narrates the story, though he does not mention Maria, is a Tábaee (died A.H. 136), and does not quote his authority. Besides, his authority itself is impeached; vide Ibn Adi in his Kámal.

Masrook (in Saeed bin Mansoor) only came to Medina long after Mohammad's death; therefore his narration, even if it be genuine, is not reliable.

Zohak Ibn Muzahim (in Tabrani), also a Tábaee and of impeached authority, narrates it from Ibn Abbás, but he never heard any tradition from him, nor had he even seen him (vide Mzŕn-ul-Etedal, by Zahabi, and Ansáb, by Sam-áni). His narration must be hence considered as apocryphal.

The ascription of Ibn Omar's (died 73 A.H.) story, not strictly to the point, is untrustworthy.

Abu Hurera's narration is also admitted as apocryphal; vide Dur-rul-mansoor, by Soyutí.

All these traditions are noted by Soyutí in his Dur-rul-mansoor.

The tradition by Nasáee (died 303 A.H.) from Anas (died 90 A.H.) regarding the affair of a slave is equally contradicted by the tradition from Ayesha, the widow of the Prophet, narrated by the traditionist Nasáee in the same place of his collection of traditions. This is the story of the honey. Vide para. 16, ubi supra. Ayesha's tradition is more trustworthy than that of Anas. Hammád bin Salma, a narrator in the ascription of Anas, has been impeached owing to the confusion of his memory in the later days of his life (vide Tekreeb). Sabit, another link in the same chain, was a story-teller by profession (vide Zahabi's Tabakát,) and cannot be depended upon. And Nasáee himself has rejected the tradition ascribed to Anas, and is reported to have said that Ayesha's tradition has good ascription, while there is nothing valid in that regarding Maria; vide Kamálain's Annotations on Jelálain in loco.

[369] The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, Vol. IV, page 310.

[370] Ibid, Vol. III, page 228, and footnote at pp. 229 and 230.

[371] The Life of Mahomet by Sir W. Muir, page 228. The italics are mine.

[372] Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 229. The tradition quoted by Sir W. Muir in this page is apocryphal and technically Mursal.

[373] Ibid, p. 230.

[374] "(T.A.) he made [a thing] lawful, or allowable, to him (Jel in XXXIII, 38, and Kull in page 275 and T.A.*) relating to a case into which a man has brought himself (Kull): this is said to be the meaning when the phrase occurs in the Kur:" An Arabic-English Lexicon, by Edward William Lane, page 2375.

[375] The Life of Mahomet, Vol. III, page 231.

[376] Vide Seerat Halabi; or, Insan-ul-Oyoon, Vol. II, page 402.

[377] Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, Vol. III, pp. 409-410.

[378] Vide Dur-rul-mansoor, by Sayútí, in loco.

[379] Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, Vol. II, page 207.

[380] Narrated by Ibn Sád and Hákim.

[381] Vide Abdur Razzák. Abd bin Hamíd, Ibn Jarír, Ibn-al-Monzar, Ibn Abi Hátim, and Tabráni's Collections of Traditions.

[Pg 225]

Appendix C.

The references to the particular events and circumstances relating to the defensive wars mentioned in the Koran, quoted and referred by me in this work, may be classified as follows:—

I.—The Persecutions of the Koreish at Mecca (B.H. 10-1).

Sura xvi, 43, 44, 111.
Sura ii, 210, 214, 215.
Sura iii, 194.
Sura iv, 97, 99, 100.
Sura xxii, 57.
Sura lx, 8, 9.
Sura xlvii, 14.
Sura xlviii, 25.
Sura ix, 40, 48, 95.

II.—The Aggressions of the Koreish at Medina, as well as those of the Inhabitants thereof (A.H. 10).

Sura ii, 214; Sura viii, 72; Sura ix, 13, 48, 72.

III. The Wars of Defence against the Koreish and the Arabs, &c., with several References to their Aggressions (A.H. 1-8).

Sura xxii, 39-42.
Sura ii, 186-189, 214, 215, 245, 247, 252.
Sura iv, 76-78, 86, 91, 93.
Sura viii, 19, 39-41, 58-66, 73, 74.
Sura ix, 10, 13.
[Pg 226]

IV.—The Various Battles, &c.

(1) The Battle of Badr (A.H. 2).
Sura iii, 11, 119;
Sura viii, 5-19, 39-52, 66-72;
Sura xlvii, 4, 15.

(2) The Battle of Ohad (A.H. 3).
Sura iii, 117-122;

(3) The Second Battle of Badr (A.H. 4), and The Expulsion
of the Bani Nazeer (A.H. 4).
Sura iii, 167; and
Sura lix, 2-14.

(4) The Battle of Ahzáb (A.H. 5).
Sura xxxiii, 9-25.

(5) The Jews, Bani Koreiza, &c. (A.H. 5).
Sura viii, 58-66;
Sura xxxiii, 26-27.

(6) The pilgrimic Expedition to Hodeibia (A.H. 6).
Sura xlviii, 1-3, 10, 11, 24, 25;
Sura lx.

(7) The Expedition to Khyber (A.H. 7).
Sura xlviii, 17, 20-22.

(8) The breach of the truce of Hodeibia by the Koreish
(A.H. 8).

(a) Before the Conquest of Mecca.
Sura ix, 1-15.

(b) After the Conquest of Mecca,
Sura ix, 16-24.

(9) The Battle of Honain (A.H. 8).
Sura ix, 25-27.

(10) After the Battle of Honain (A.H. 9).
Sura ix, 28.

(11) The Expedition to Tabuk against the Christians
(Romans) and their Jewish Allies (A.H. 9).

(a) Exhortation to go to war in defence.
Sura ix, 29-41, 124.
[Pg 227]
(b) Backwardness reproached.
42-52, 56-57, 82-90.

(c) Exhortations for contribution.
53-55, 58-60, 81.

(d) The disaffected chided.
65-76, 121, 122, 125-130.

(e) The Bedouins reprobated.

(f) The penitents forgiven.
103-107, 118.


[Pg 229]




Aámir, lii.

Aamir bin Tofeil, chief of Bani Aamir, xlvi.

Abbas, 34.

Abd-bin Hamid, 109 f.n., 222.

Abd bin Kosayy, xxxiii.

Abd Monat, xvii f.n.

Abd Shams, xxviii, 7.

Abdel Malik ibn Hisham, 72 f.n., 73 f.n.

Abd-ud-Dar, xxxiii.

Abd-ul-Kays, xlvi, lii.

Abdul Hamid, 206, 208.

Abdul Rahman, Mohammad's instruction to him, xxvii.

Abdullah, 96, 97.

Abdullah bin Abdur Rahaman bin Abi Sasta, 206, 208.

Abdullah bin al Harith, 222.

Abdullah bin Jahsh, 31, 56.

Abdullah bin Khalal, 96.

Abdullah bin Omar, 68 f.n.

Abdullah ibn Abbas, 135.

Abdullah ibn Masood, 79, 80.

Abdullah ibn Oneis, 69, 73.

Abdullah ibn Rawáha, 72, 102.

Abdullah ibn Shuburma, ibn Tufail ad Dubbi, 136.

Abdullah ibn Zubair, 135.

Abdur Razzak, 110 f.n.

Abs, xxxiv, xli, xlii, xlvi.

Abű Abd-ur-Rahman Abdullah ibn Omar ibn-al Khattab, 135.

Abu Abd-ur Rahman an Nasai, 221.

Abu Afak, 61, 64, 65.

Abu Avana, 210.

Abu Bakr, vi, lix, 9, 179.

Abu Bakr al Ajurri, 221.

Abu Barda, 83.

Abu Basir, 98, 99, 101.

Abu Bera Amr ibn Malik, a chief of Bani Aamir, xlvi.

Abu Cobeis, 6.

Abu Daood, his book of Jihad, 71 f.n., 78 f.n., 79, 80 f.n.,
96, 133, 207.

Abu Hattim, 207, 209.

Abu Hurera, 215.
[Pg 230]
Abu Jahl, 7, 55.

Abu Naeem, 78.

Abu Obeida, 107.

Abu Omar-ad-Damishki, 68 f.n.

Abu Omar-al-Madni, 107.

Abu Rafe, chief of the Bani Nazeer, 61, 71-72.

Abu Sofian, viii, 7, 11, 14, 31, 32, 34, 53, 55, 56, 74, 75, 76;
attempted assassination of, 61.

Abu Talib, 6;
his death, 7.

Abu Yola, xxii.

Abu Zara, 208.

Abul Bakhtari, 34.

Abul Hukeik, the chief of Bani Nazeer, 39.

Abul Mo'tamar Soleiman, 89, 197, 200, 206.

Abul Ozza, 76, 80, 81.

Abwa, Expedition of, 29, 56.

Abyssinia, The emigration of the Moslems to, v, xxxiii, 5;
the two emigrations of, 11;
Nadhir ibn Hareth's flight to, 78, 179.

Age, The Apostolic, 109.

Ahl Hadis, 160.

Ahmas, lii.

Ahmed bin Hanbal, 221.

Ahmed ibn Abi Daood, 113.

Ahmed Khan, Syed;
his Commentary of the Koran, 95 f.n.

Ahzab, vii, xxii, xxiii, 10, 197.

Ainee, a Commentary of the Hedaya, 125, 132, 134 f.n.

Ajtahada, 164.

Ajtahada fil Amr, 164.

Akhnas, 99.

Al-Aamash, 135.

Al-Amaran, 182.

Al-Amin, 212 f.n.

Al-Auzai, 135.

Ali, 9, 80, 196.

Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas, 68.

Al-Is, 57.

Al-Lat, 7.

Allah, 38.

Allauddin Al Haskafi, 170

Almotarrazi, 164.

Al-Mamun, Khalif, 136.

Al Yafi, 136.

Amalekites, 153.

Amar, commissioned to fight with Abu Sofian, 74, 81, 219.

Amar-bin-Dinar, 134, 135, 136.

Ameer Ali, Moulvie, quoted, 90.
[Pg 231]
Amr, 64.

Amr bin Saasaa, xxxiv, xli.

Amru ibn Omerga, 75.

Anaza, lii.

Annajmus Saqib (star of piercing radiance), xxxvi.

Annals of the Eastern Caliphate quoted, 193, 202.

Ans, 93 f.n., 136, 197-198, 215.

Ans bin Qizi, 89.

Ansab, 215.

Ansars, people of Medina, 32, 41.

Apartment, The (Sura), 188.

Arabs, their society, ii, 26;
pagan, 125.

Arafat, xlviii.

Arqam, Mohammad sought refuge in the house of, xxxiii.

Asad, xii, xiii, xxxiii, xlvi, lii.

Asas of Zamakhshire, 163 f.n., 164.

Ashar, xvi.

Ashja, xii, xiii, xlii, xliii, xlv.

Ashraf, 66.

Asim, 80.

Aslam, xliii.

Asma bint Marwán, 61, 62-64.

Assemblies of Ali Hariri, translated by Thomas Chenry, 169.

As Sauri, 137.

As Shabi, 136.

Astromancy of the Jinns, xxxvi.

Ata, 68, 116 f.n., 134.

Ata ibn Abi Rabah, 135.

Autas, xxiii, 16.

Aws Allah, xxxix.

Aws Tribes (The), xxxix, xlii, xliv.

Ayesha, 215, 216.

Ayla, the Christian chief, xix.

Azd, xlv, lii.

Azdite Tribes (The), xxxix, xlv.

Azhar, 99.

Azruh, The Jews of, xix.


Badr, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, xxii, xli, xlii, 10;
the battle of, 11, 32, 34;
Nadhir executed at, 78, 110 f.n., 170, 181, 196.

Baghdad, 221.

Baghvi, 214.

Bahrein, li.

Baihakee, his traditions, 114.

Balca, 40.
[Pg 232]
Balkh, 22.

Bahila, lii.

Bahra, lii.

Bajila, lii.

Bakka, xxxiv, lii.

Bakr, xvii, xxviii, xli, xlii, lii, 15, 22, 53.

Bali, xlvi, liv.

Bariq, liv.

Baus, Meaning of, xxi.

Bir Mauna, xii.

Boas, Battle of, xlii.

Bokharee, xxii, 96, 134, 199, 207.


Calcutta Review (The) quoted, 213.

Campaigns of Mohammad by Wackidi, 78 f.n., 102, 197, 198.

Canaan, 140.

Canaanites, 153.

Capitation-tax, 120, 159.

Cattle, The (Sura), 183.

Caussin de Perceval, xxvii.

Cazenove, Dr., xxvii.

Chaldean, xxxv.

Chenry, Thomas, quoted, 169.

Chosroes, 140.

Christians, 141, 142, 147, 157.

Code, The Hanafee, 137, 159.

Commentary of the Koran, 154.

Commentary on International Law, xxx.

Concubinage not allowed by the Koran, 193;
of Rihana with the Prophet not proved, 201;
of Maria the Coptic, 204-211;
of Haphsa and Maria, 211.

Coppée's (Henry) History of the Conquest of Spain by the Arabs quoted, xxix.

Corinthians, 1, vii, 12-16; vii, 15, 112.

Cow, The (Sura), 181.

Creator, The (Sura), 181.

Cushite Tribes (The), xxxv.

Cyrus, 145.


Dahis, The war of, xli.

Daniel, The Book of, xxxv.

Daree, liv.

Dar-ul-Harb, 157, 158.

Dar-ul-Islam, 157, 158.

David, 152.
[Pg 233]
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, xxiv.

Descriptive Astronomy by Chambers quoted, xxxvi.

Deutronomy, xx, 20, 110.
Ditto, xx, 10-17, 152.
Ditto, xxi, 153.
Ditto, vi, 5, 178.

Dhumra, 30.

Dictionary, Biographical, by Ibn Khallikan quoted, 135-137, 206, 230.

Dictionary, Biographical, of persons who knew Mohammad, 208.

Dihya sent by Mohammad to the Roman Emperor, xiii, 197.

Ditch, Battle of the, 13, 35.

Dods, Dr., quoted, lx, lxxiii, lxxxiii.

Dous, xlv.

Duma, The Christian chief of, xix, 12.

Dumatal Jandal, xii.

Dur-rul-Mansoor, 215.

Dur-rul-Mukhtár, 170.

Dzu Nowâs, xxxix.


Early Caliphate and rise of Islam, by Sir W. Muir, 140.

Egypt, 140;
Governor of, 205, 206.

Exodus, xxiii, 27-33, 151.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions, by Charles Mackay, quoted, xxxviii.


Fadak, 15 f.n., 39.

Fakhr-ud-deen Razi, 178.

Faraza, 219.

Farwa, liv.

Fasád, The war of, xliii.

Fayoomee, Author of Misbahel Moneer, 164.

Females in connection with the treaty of Hodeibia, 110-112.

Fezara, xiii, xxxiv, xlii, xlv, xlvi, liv, 35, 39;
executed by Abu Rafe, 71.

Fitnah (Persecutions), ii, xvii, 17, 18, 44, 45, 122, 133.

Fluegel, Translation of the Koran by, 120.

Forbidding, The (Sura), 185.

Freeman, Dr., quoted, 140, 141.

Fruit-trees, 109-110.

Furkan, 177.

Fyrozabadee, 163 f.n.


Ghaba, Al, 93.

Ghafiq, liv.

Ghanim, liv.

Ghassan, The tribes of, xxxiv, xlii, xlvi, liv.

Ghassanide, Prince at Bostra (The), xxxix, 16, 139.

Ghatafan, xii, xiii, xli, 12, 35, 39;
tribes of, 72, 89.
[Pg 234]
Ghaus, xliii.

Ghazavat, Meaning of the word, xxi.

Ghifar, xliii.

Ghussan, 40.

Gibbon quoted, xxiv, 26, 49 f.n.

Green, The Revd. Samuel, quoted, xxiii-xxiv.


Habbar, 113 f.n.

Hafasa, xxxiv.

Hafiz Ishmael ibn Kaseer-al-Qarashi, 214.

Hakeem-bin-Hizam, 114.

Halabi, 30;
Insan-al-Oyoon of, 91;
quoted and refuted, 129-132.

Hall's (William Edward) International Law, xxix.

Hallam, lxiii, lxv.

Hamadan, liv.

Hammad bin Salma, 215.

Hamra, Abul Ozza caught at, 81, 82.

Hamza, 29, 55.

Hanafee Code (The), 137, 159.

Hanifa, xxxiv, xxxix, liv, lv, 203.

Haphsa, 211.

Harb (Warfare), 163.

Harb-fijar, Battle of, xli.

Haris, xxxiii, xxxiv, xlii, lv, 48 f.n., 64, 106.

Harith of Najrân, xxxix.

Harith ibn Amir, 34.

Hashim, xxxiv, 34.

Hashimites (The), xxxiii, 6.

Hatib's story, 187.

Hawazin, xlii, xliii, xlvi, xlviii, 16, 39, 86, 196.

Hazaramaut, li.

Hedaya (The), 116;
quoted, 117, 118, 120, 125.

Hegira (The), 8.

Hilal bin Amr, bin Saasaa, lv.

Hims, 40.

Himyar, xliii, xlvi, lv.

Himyarite stock, xlv.

Hinzala Tribe (The), xxxiv.

Hira, The Kingdom of, xli.

Hisham, 34.

Hishami, xxxiii, 74, 81 f.n., 89, 196, 197, 200.

Hisham-bin-Abdul Malik, 206.

History and Conquest of the Saracens quoted, 140, 141.

History of European Morals quoted, 105.

History of Mohammadanism (The), quoted, xxviii.

History of the Conquest of Spain by the Arabs, xxix.
[Pg 235]
History, The Jewish, 152.

Hodeibia, Truce of, xi, xiv;
violation of the truce, xvi, xxvi, xliii, xlix, 15, 22, 86;
one of the articles of the treaty of Hodeibia, 99;
females in connection with it, 110, 196.

Honain, xviii, xxii, xlvii, 16;
Nadhir ibn Harith present at the Battle of, 78, 86, 196.

Horne, T.H., 151.

Hughes, The Revd. T.P., quoted, 154.

Huweisa, 106, 107.


Ibn Abbas;
his evidence, 68, 96, 113, 215.

Ibn Abdeen, 127.

Ibn Abi Yahya, 221.

Ibn Adi, 215.

Ibn Al Athir, 30, 164 f.n.

Ibn Ky-yim, 100.

Ibn al Mosayyib, 68.

Ibn Attiah, 170.

Ibn Hajr al Askalani, 63, 206, 208;
quoted and refuted, 128, 129.

Ibn Hisham, xv, xxii, xxxvi, xlvii, 30, 63, 64, 68 f.n., 69, 71, 74,
78, 80, 82, 86, 91, 92, 93 f.n., 102, 106, 107, 109 f.n.,
207, 214.

Ibn Ishak, xxii, 30, 64, 69, 71, 73, 74, 79, 80, 91, 93 f.n., 100,
106, 109 f.n., 206, 207.

Ibn Jarir Tabari, 93 f.n.

Ibn Khaldun, 90.

Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary quoted, 136 f.n., 137, 206,

Ibn Maja, 113, 207.

Ibn Manda, 78.

Ibn Mardaveih, 93 f.n., 109 f.n.

Ibn Mas-ood, 79, 80.

Ibn Mokrram, 163 f.n.

Ibn Ockba, 109 f.n.

Ibn Omar, 215.

Ibn Omeya, 74.

Ibn Sad Katib Wakidi, xxii, 63, 69, 74, 75, 78, 114, 206, 208, 210.

Ibn Saniua, 106, 107.

Ibn Sayyad al Nas, 89.

Ibn Shahab, 113.

Ibn Shobormah, 134.

Ibn Sirni, 136.

Ibn Sofian, 114.

Ibrahim, 80.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad, 209, 210.

Ibrahim bin Maisura, 68 f.n.

Ibrahim ibn Yakub al Juz Jani, 221.
[Pg 236]
Idolatry, Mohammad's abhorence of, 6.

Ignorance, Time of, 87, 169, 202.

Ikrama bin Abi Jahl, his lying character, 68, 113, 222.

Imam (The), 117;
the Mujtahid, 136, 206.

Immunity, The (Sura), 185, 188, 189, 190, 191.

Insan-ul-Oyoon, 30, 80 f.n., 81 f.n., 91 f.n., 102,
129, 131 f.n.

International Law, by W.E. Hall, quoted, xxix.

Intolerance of the Koreish, 8;
allegation on Mohammad, xxxi, 42, 51.

Introduction of the Book, p. i.

Introduction of the critical study and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, by
T.H. Horne, quoted, 151, 152.

Irak, 221.

Irshadussari, 170.

Irving, W., quoted, 74.

Islam, the first propagation at Mecca, xxxii-xli;
the impediments it received on account of internecine wars, xl.

Islam under the Arabs, by Major R.D. Osborn, quoted, 146, 148.

Islami poets, 165, 169.

Israel, 152.

Israelites commanded to slay the Canaanites, 151.

Istizan, 38.


Jaad, lv.

Jaafir bin Kelab ibn Rabia, lv.

Jabir, xxii.

Jabir ibn Abdullah, 68, 135.

Jabra, The Jews of, xix.

Jadila, xliii.

Jafar, 206, 208.

Jahad, 170, 192.

Jahada, 163, 166, 170, 191.

Jahada fil Amr, 163.

Jahada fi Sabeel Allah, 164, 170.

Jahadaka, 166, 173.

Jahadoo, 166, 173, 179, 180, 181, 182, 188, 189, 191.

Jahd, 166, 167, 170, 181, 183.

Jahid, 166, 173, 185.

Jahid-hom, 166.

Jahidoo, 166, 173, 175, 176, 180.

Jahili, 165, 168.

Jálút (Goliath), 152.

Jarret's (Major) Translation of History of Caliphs by Sayúte, 212.

Jazima, 87.

Jedda, The abode of Bani Ashar, xlv.

Jeifer bin al Jalandi, lvi.

Jelalud-Deen Mahalli, 213.
[Pg 237]
Jews (The) of Medina, iv, 34-40, 73;
excited to take up arms by Nueim, 107, 125, 139, 141, 142, 147, 157.

Jierana, The valley of, 196.

Jihad, The popular, 114-161;
meaning defined, 155;
does not mean war or crusade, 163;
classical meaning of Jihad, &c., 163;
post-classical or technical meaning of Jihad, 164;
the classical tongue and Arabian poets, 165;
the conjugation and declination of Jahd and Jihad, 166;
the number of instances in which they occur in the Koran, 166;
in what sense they are used in the Koran, 167;
conventional significations of, 168;
Mohammadan commentators quoted, 170;
when the word 'Jihad' was diverted from its original signification to its
figurative meaning, of waging religious war, 170;
all the verses of the Koran containing the word Jihad and its derivatives
quoted and explained, 171-192.

Jihádan, 164, 170, 175, 186.

Jinn, Tribe of, xxxiv-xxxviii.

Jizya, 35.

Johd, 167, 169.

Joheina, xlii, xliii, xlvi, lvi.

Jomahites (The), xxxiii.

Joshua, 141, 153.

Jouhari, 163 f.n., 164.

Judzam, xiii, xlvi, 40.

Jufi, lvi.

Juzam, see Judzam.


Kaaba, viii;
Moslems prevented from, xlv, 5, 139;
stripped of its idols, xlix, l.

Kab, xxxiv, lvi.

Kab bin Yahooza, 107.

Kab ibn Ashraf, 61, 66-68, 106.

Kahins, xxxv, xxxvi, xxxviii;
Kahinite stock (The), xlv.

Kahlanite stock, xxxix, xlv, xlvi.

Kainuka, xlii, 34, 35.

Kalb, xxxiv, lvi.

Katib Wakidi, xlvi.

Kent's Commentary on International Law, xxx.

Khalid ibn Waleed, 87, 193.

Khasafa, xlvi.

Khas-am bin Ammar, lvi.

Khaulan, lvi.

Khazraj tribes, xxxix, xlii, xliv.

Khozaá, xii, xvi, xvii, xliii, 123.

Khozeimah, xxxiv.

Khushain, xlv.

Khyber, xiii, xviii, xxii, xxiii, 37 f.n.
[Pg 238]
Kifaya, 122, 125.

Kiláb, lii.

Kinana, Tortures of, lvi, 95;
Bani, lii.

Kinda, xxxiv, xlii, lvi.

Kitab-ul-Maghazi, xxii.

Kital (Warfare), 163, 192, 193.

Koostlánee, his Commentary of Bokharee, xxii, 92, 93, 170.

Koran does not enjoin compulsory conversion, xxxi.
everywhere preaches tolerance of every religion, xxxii.

Koreish, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, ix, x, xi, xii, xiii, xxiv, xxxiii, xxxix;
the heavy persecutions of, l;
their embassy to the Court of Abyssinia, 5;
send scouts to search for Mohammad, 9;
their severity to fugitives, id.;
their maltreatment of children and women, id.;
become more and more hostile, 11;
joined by the Bani Mustalik, 12;
their anxiety to postpone hostilities, 13;
besiege Medina once more, 14;
violate the treaty of Hodeibia, xvi, 15;
their intolerance, 27;
excited to take up arms by Nueim, an Arab, 101, 139, 187.

Koreishite persecution, xxxiv;
caravans alleged to be intercepted, 55, 56, 57.

Koreiza, The Jewish tribes of, xiii, xix, xxii, xlii, 14, 34;
execution of, 87-94, 196-200.

Kotelu, 156.

Koukabi Durrari Sharah, 68.

Kozaáite Tribe (The), xliii, xlvi.

Kufa, 136;
the abode of Bani Shaitan, xxxiv.

Kulab, xlii.

Kunniat (patronymic), 208.

Kurz-bin-Jabir, a Koreish, commits a raid upon Medina, xi, 11, 92.

Kustalani, vide Koostalanee.


La-Arjomonnaka (I will assuredly say of thee), xxxviii.

Lahyan, xii, 12, 69.

Lakhm, 40.

Lane, E.W., quoted, 137-138 f.n., 168-169.

Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, xxxviii, 163 f.n., 164, 167, 200, 219.

La-taatadú (do not attack first), xxvii.

Law, The common, in connection with Jihad, 116-117;
its commentators, 119-120, 158.

Law of Moses (The), 110, 140.

Law of Scriptural interpretations;
limited or conditional, general or absolute, 118.

Law of the Koran with regard to unbelievers, 111.

Law, The Mohammadan Revealed, or the Koran, 159.

Lecky, his standard of Morality, 104-105.

Lecture, The Rede, quoted, 140.

Leena, 110.
[Pg 239]
Legists, The early Moslem, against Jihad, 134;
their biographical sketches, 135-137.

Leith, 15 f.n.

Lieber Francis quoted, 33, 76, 88;
on Military necessity, 104.

Life of Mahomet, founder of the Religion of Islamism, by the Revd. S. Green,

Life of Mohammad by Dr. Sprenger quoted, xxiv.

Light, The (Sura), 185.

Lisanul-Arab of Ibn Mokarram, 163.

Loghat, or The Classical Tongue of Arabia, 165.

Lokman, 177.

Luke, x, 27;
and xiii, 124, 178.


MacColl, The Revd. Malcolm, quoted, 157.

Macna, The Jews of, xix.

Maddool Kamoos, by Mr. Lane, 164.

Maghazi, 38, 187 (accounts of the Campaigns of Mohammad), xliv.

Mahmud, killed by Kinana, 95.

Mahmud bin Muslama, brother of Mohammad bin Muslama, 95, 197.

Mahrah, lvi.

Mak-hool, 209.

Malak, 38.

Malik, 38.

Manakib, 199.

Marafat, Anwáa ilm Hadees, 68.

Maria the Coptic, 204;
sent by the Roman Governor to Mohammad, 205;
neither a slave nor a concubine, 206-208;
had no son, 209;
the spurious character about her story, 211, 214, 216.

Mark, XII, 30, p. 178.

Marr-al Zahran, xlviii.

Marriage, a strict bond of union in the Koran, 113.

Marw, 221.

Marwan, 62.

Masrook, 79, 215.

Mecca, xvi, xxii, 7.

Meccans, iii, 9;
their invasion of Medina, 10, 32.

Medina, 100;
Koreish march upon, vi, vii, xiii;
the flight of Mohammad to, 5.

Mesopotamia, xxxv, xlviii.

Mikyas ibn Subaba, 96.

Mill's (Charles) History of Mohammadanism quoted, xxviii.

Mirat-uz-Zaman, 210.

Misbah-ul-Moneer of Fayoomee, 164, 214.

Mishkat (Book of Retaliation), 71 f.n., 96 f.n.

Mizan-ul-Etedal, 68, 208, 210, 215.

Moadd, xlvi.
[Pg 240]
Moaddite stock (The), xxxiv, xliii, xlvii.

Mo-an-an, 210.

Moavia ibn Mughira, 76, 81-83.

Modallis, 210.

Modern Egyptians of Lane, 137, 138.

Mohajirin (Refugees), 32.

Moharib, xxxiv, lvi.

Moharram, 23 f.n., 53.

Mojahadatan, 164.

Mojahadina, 184.

Mojahadoona, 184.

Mojahid, 155, 184.

Mojahiddin, 155.

Mojahidina, 166, 174, 184.

Mojahidoona, 166, 174, 184.

Moleil bin Zamra, xliii.

Mohammad, his incapacity to undertake offensive wars against his enemies,
the Koreish, pp. ii, iv, v;
had no intention to waylay the caravans at Badr, viii-x;
his singular toleration and his wars of self-defence, xiv;
the number of his wars, xx, xxiii;
considered a sanguinary tyrant by the Revd. M. Green, xxix;
defence of his allegation, xxiv-xxv;
a second view of the wars of Mohammad, xxviii-xxx.
His imprisonment, his preaching at Tayif, xxxiv;
his followers persecuted, 1;
insults offered him, 5;
prevented from offering his prayers, id.;
his preaching against idolatry, 6;
his insecurity at Mecca, 7;
sets off to Tayif, id.;
proscribed by the Koreish, 9;
hides himself for three days in a cave, id.;
gains the battle of Badr, 10;
defeated and wounded at Ohad, 12;
fights the battle of the Ditch, 14;
undertakes the lesser pilgrimage of Mecca, id.;
encamps at Hodeibia, 15;
marches to defend the Bani Khozaá, 16;
his wars purely defensive, 17-26;
was justified in taking up arms, 27;
his attacks mere acts of retaliation, 33;
gives quarters to his enemies, and enters into a treaty with the Jews,
his last war with the Romans, 41;
never taught intolerance, 43;
the object of his wars, 50-51;
his alleged interceptions of the Koreish caravans, 55-57;
the alleged interceptions proved impossible, 58;
the assassinations said to have taken place at his own instructions,
his alleged cruelty in executing the prisoners of war, 76-83;
represented as directing the execution of the prisoners of Badr, 83-85;
his kind treatment of the prisoners of war, 85-87;
had no share in the execution of a singing girl as alleged by his
biographers, 96-97;
never refused Abu Basir from going back to his guardian, 99;
his adherence to the treaty of Hodeibia, 100;
never gave any permission for the murder of Sanina, 106-107;
his Koran never teaches aggressive wars, 125;
Freeman Stephens, Bosworth Smith, George Sale, Major Osborn, the Revd.
Wherry, the Revd. Hughes, and the Revd. MacColl, on the wars of
Mohammad, 146-161.
[Pg 241]
Mohammad (Sura), 184.

Mohammad bin Ishak, 68.

Mohammad bin Kobeib Hashimi, 80.

Mohammad bin Muslama, 95.

Mohammad bin Sad Kalib Wakidi, 68, 201, 207.

Mohammad bin Sireen, 68.

Mohammad bin Yahya bin Habban, 222.

Mohammad, Buddha and Christ, by Dr. Dods, quoted, lxxiv.

Mohammad Karamat-ul Ali of Delhi, 100 f.n.

Mohammad and Mohammadanism, by B. Smith, quoted, 143.

Mokatil, 184, 220-221.

Mokhadrams, poets, 165, 169.

Mokowkas, the Roman Governor, 205.

Moleil-bin-Zamra, xliii.

Mooahib of Koostlanee, 93 f.n.

Mooltan, 169.

Morad, lvi.

Morocco, 169.

Mosaic injunctions, 153.

Moses, The law of, 110, 140, 141, 145, 150, 152, 153.

Mosheim, Dr., quoted, lxi, lxiii, lxv.

Moslems forced to resort to arms in pure self-defence, 10;
threatened by Abu Sofian with an attack, 7, 13.

Moslim, his collections, 71 f.n., 86, 196, 198, 210, 214.

Movatta, by Malik, 114.

Mowallads, poets, 165.

Mozar, xlvi.

Mozeina, xlii, xliii.

Muallafa Qolubohum (those whose hearts are to be won over), xlviii.

Mudlij, lv;
a tribe of Kinana, iv, 30.

Mufti, 136.

Mughrib of Almotarrazi (The), 164 f.n.

Muheiasa, the murderer of Ibn Sanina, 106, 107.

Muir's (Sir W.) Life of Mahomet quoted, i, vi, viii, ix f.n., xxvii,
xxviii, xxxi, xxxii, xxxiv, xxxix, xliii, xlvi, xlviii, xlix, l, lxvi,
lxvii, lxx, lxxii, lxxviii, lxxx, 9 f.n., 27, 29 f.n., 30
f.n., 39, 43, 46, 47, 49 f.n., 51, 52, 56, 58 f.n., 64
f.n., 65, 67, 68 f.n., 69, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 82, 83, 85, 89,
91, 93, 97, 98, 99, 102, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 f.n., 138,
140, 160 f.n., 170, 178, 180, 181, 187, 188, 193, 196, 197, 198, 200,
201, 205, 210, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219.

Mujanna, xlviii.

Mujhool, 134.

Mujtahid, 137, 160.

Mukwhumites (The), xxxiii.

Muntafiq, lvi.

Muraisia, xviii.
[Pg 242]
Murra, xiii, xlv, xlvi, lvi, 15, 39.

Mursul, 109 f.n.

Musa-bin-Akba, xxii.

Musab, 78.

Mustalik, xii, xviii;
a branch of Khozaá, xxiii, 12;
released without ransom, 86, 196.

Muta, Expedition to, 138.

Mut-im, 7.


Nadhirbin Harith, 76, 77-78.

Naeem, 13.

Najashee, xxxiii.

Najd, xii, 12;
the Bedouin tribes of, xli, xlii, xliii, 89, 196, 199, 200;
celebrated for Bani Tamim, xlvii.

Najran, The Christians of, xxxiii, 37, 48.

Nakha, lvi.

Nakhla, the Jinns converted at, xxxv, xxxvi, 30, 56.

Nasaee, 207, 215, 216.

Nations, The battle of, 13.

Nazeer treasoned against Medina, xii, xlii, 34, 66, 71;
its chief, 72;
the expulsion of, 108-110.

Nazr, xxxiv, 78.

Nihayeh of Ibn-al-Atheer, 164 f.n.

Nineteenth century (The) quoted, 158.

Nineveh, xxxv.

Nisibin, xxxv.

Noavee, 214.

Nohd, lvi.

Notes on Muhammadanism, by Revd. T.P. Hughes, 154.

Nueim, his alleged employment to break up the confederates who had besieged
Medina, 101-105.

Numbers, xxxi, 153.

Nuraddin Ali-al-Halabi quoted and refuted, 129-132.


Obada-bin-Samat, 58 f.n.

Obeida, 29, 55.

Ohad, Battle of, vii, xii, xviii, xxii, xlii, xlvii, 10, 11, 34, 69, 197.

Okaz, xlviii.

Okba bin Mueit, 76, 79-81.

Oman, li.

Omar, 83, 196, 202.

Omar bin Asim, 209.

Omar ibn al Ghallas, 209.

Omar ibn al Hakam, 201.

Omeir, 62, 63.
[Pg 243]
Omeya bin Khalf, 56.

Omiyyiads, xxxiii.

Omm Kirfa, 91.

Omm Rabab, 208.

Ommara, 80.

Oneis, 73.

Orfee, 170.

Orna, 69.

Osaba-fi-Tamiz Issahába, 68 f.n.

Osborn, R.D., Major, quoted, 42, 62;
refuted, lxviii, lxxxv, lxxxvii, lxxxviii, lxxxix, 146-149.

Oseir ibn Zarim, the chief of Nazeer of Khyber, 39, 61, 72-73.

Osheira, Expedition of, 29, 56.

Osman, the Moslem envoy to Mecca, xv.

Osman, 80, 196.

Osman bin Affan, 89.

Osman bin Zaed, 91 f.n.

Otheil, 78 f.n.

Oyoon-al Asar, 89.

Ozra, xxxiv, lvi, lvii.


Palmer's (H.) Translation of the Koran quoted, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176,
178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 188, 189, 190, 191.

Patriarchal form of Government at Mecca, iii.

Pargod (Veil), xxxviii.

People of the Book (Kitabi), 157.

Persia, The Empire of, 138.

Persecution of the early Moslems, 1;
noticed in the Koran, 2-4;
their historical summary, 5;
of the Medina converts, 9;
of the Moslems by the Koreish after their flight from Mecca, 9;
of the Koreish at Mecca, 225.

Philistines, 152.

Pilgrimage, 14, 178.

Pilgrims, 8.

Poets Jahili, Mokhadrams, Islami, and Mowallads, 165.

Poole, S.L., quoted, lxxxv, 61, 97-98.

Prisoners of war defined, 76.

Puffendorf, 70.

Punishment, Forms of primitive, 94-95.

Pyrenees, 169.


Qadr, 220.

Qalqashandi's Dictionary of Arab tribes, xxxiv.

Qarashi, 214.


Rabia, The Bani Abd-ul-Kays, the descendants of, xlvii.
[Pg 244]
Radd-ul Muhtar of Ibn Abdeen, 127.

Raha, lvii.

Rahrahan, Battle of, xli.

Raid of a Koreish chief upon Medina, 11.
of Bani Asad and Bani Lahyan, 12.
of Bani Duma, 12.

Rajab, 56.

Raji, xii, 12, 39, 74.

Rajm, Meaning of, xxxviii.

Ramzan, 23 f.n., 32, 53.

Rawasa, lvii.

Red Sea, 5.

Reforms, The proposed, political, social, and legal, 113 f.n., 158

Resurrection, The day of, and Jihad, 133.

Rifáa, a Koreishite, 88 f.n.

Rihana, 201.

Ril, a clan of Bani Aamir, xlvi.

Robbers, The Urnee, 92-95.

Rodwell's Translation of the Koran quoted, 120 f.n., 167, 172, 173,
174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 188, 189,
190, 191.

Rojúm (conjecture), xxxviii.

Romans, The expedition against them, 40-41.

Rome, The Empire of, 138.

Romulus, 145.


Saad, xiii, xlii.

Saad Hozeim, lvii.

Saad ibn Bakr, xiii, xl, xliii, xlv.

Sabaya, 197-200.

Sabit, 215.

Sad, 35;
his judgment, 37-38, 55, 198, 199.

Sad bin Obadah, 89.

Sadif, lvii.

Sadoos, lvii.

Sadr Av-val (the Apostolic Age), 109.

Saeed, 83.

Saeed bin Mansoor, 215.

Saffah-al-Mahdi, 212.

Safra, 31.

Safwan bin Omayya, 113.

Saheeh, 198.

Saheeh Bokharee, 68.

Saheeh of Moslim, 86.

Sahim, lvii.

Sahm, xxxiii f.n.
[Pg 245]
Sakeef, lvii.

Sakifites (The), xviii, xxxvi.

Salaba, xlvi.

Salámáni, lviii.

Sale, G., his Translation of the Koran, xxix;
quoted, 143-146, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 184,
185, 186, 188, 189, 190, 191.

Saleim, xii, xiii, 15 f.n.

Salim, 65 f.n.

Sallam ibn Abul Hokeik, Abu Rafe, 71.

Sam-áin, 215 f.n.

Samaritan, 157.

Samuel, 152.

Saraya, Meaning of, xxi.

Sawad, 136.

Sayúte's History of Caliphs, 212 f.n., 215 f.n.

Schedim (Demons), xxxviii.

Secker, Archbishop, quoted, 27.

Seerat Halabi, 80 f.n., 81 f.n., 100 f.n., 102 f.n.

Seerat Shamee, 63, 100 f.n.

Seerat-ul-Mohammadiya, 100.

Seleucas, xxxv.

Self-defence, Right of, xxv.

Shaban, 53.

Shahbudeen Ahmed bin Hajr Makki, quoted and refuted, 128-129.

Shaiban, lviii.

Shaitain, Battle of, xxviii, xlii.

Shamee, 100.

Shamsuddin Karmani, 68 f.n.

Sarakhsee Sums-ul-Aimma (the sun of leaders), 126-128.

Shaw-wal, 23.

Sheb, the quarter of Abu Táleb, 6.

Sheb Jabala, Battle of, xli.

Sheikh Mohammad Al Tamartashi, 170.

Sihab of Jouhari, 163, 164.

Slane, De, Baron MacGuckin, 135-137.

Slavery and concubine-slaves as concomitant evils of war, 193-224;
slavery and concubinage not allowed in the Koran, 193;
Sir W. Muir quoted, 193;
measures taken by Mohammad in the Koran to abolish slavery, 194-196;
none of the prisoners of war was enslaved, 197-198;
the Bani Koreiza not enslaved, 198-200;
Omar the second Khalif liberated all Arab slaves, 202-203.

Smith, Bosworth, quoted, i, xxvii, 143.

Smith's (W.) Dictionary of the Bible, xxxvi.

Sodaa, lviii.

Soffian Ath-Thauri, 136-137.

Sofia, 197, 198.
[Pg 246]
Sofian ibn Khalid, 61, 69-71.

Sofian ibn Oyaina, 136, 137.

Sofian Sowri, 134.

Sohail, 93 f.n.

Soleiman-al-Aamash, 210.

Spider, The (Sura), 180.

Spoils, The (Sura), 182, 183.

Sprenger, Dr., Life of Mahomet quoted, xxix, xxxiii, 179.

Stanley defended, 112.

Stephens, The Revd., quoted, lxxv, 141-142.

Stobart quoted, lxviii, 2, 52.

Strabo, xxxv.

Suleim, xii, xiii, xlii, xlv, xlvi, 12.

Sura II, xvi, xxvi, xxvii, 3, 10, 18-19, 42 f.n., 44, 49, 50, 51,
111, 116 f.n., 118, 120 f.n., 121, 122, 123, 124, 126,
127, 128, 130, 132, 133, 134, 152, 156, 166, 171 f.n., 173 f.n.,
181, 194, 225.

Sura III, xii, 3, 50, 166, 174, 182, 225, 226.

Sura IV, xv, xl, 4, 10, 19-21, 50, 95, 111, 113, 118, 122, 142, 154, 155,
166-167, 172, 174, 184, 195, 203, 204, 219, 225.

Sura V, xxvi, xxxiii, 42 f.n., 50, 122, 130, 166, 167, 191, 195, 203,

Sura VI, 122, 154, 166, 167, 174, 176, 183.

Sura VII, 122.

Sura VIII, viii, ix, x, xv, xvi, xxvi, 5, 21, 22, 35-36, 45, 51, 118, 121,
122, 124, 134, 147, 166, 167, 174, 182, 183, 219, 225, 226.

Sura IX (Sura Barát), xi, xvii, xix, xx, 1, 4, 16, 22, 25, 36-37, 42
f.n., 51-55, 118, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 131,
132, 133, 143, 147, 149-150, 159, 166-167, 172, 173, 175, 176, 185, 188,
189, 190, 191, 195, 225, 226, 227.

Sura XI, 219.

Sura XV, xxxvi, xxxvii, xxxviii, 122, 127, 220.

Sura XVI, 2, 3, 122, 127, 130, 166, 167, 173, 180, 225.

Sura XVIII, xxxviii, 42 f.n., 130.

Sura XIX, xxxviii, 219.

Sura XX, 171 f.n.

Sura XXII, vi, 1, 3, 17, 118, 122, 127, 128, 166, 167, 173, 178, 225.

Sura XXIV, iv, xviii, 50, 131, 166, 167, 185, 194, 203, 204.

Sura XXV, 166, 167, 173, 175, 177.

Sura XXVI, xxxvii, xxxviii.

Sura XXIX, 166, 167, 170, 171 f.n., 172, 173, 179, 180.

Sura XXXI, 130, 166, 167, 173, 177.

Sura XXXII, xxxvii, xxxviii.

Sura XXXIII, 37, 89, 199, 216, 218, 219, 220, 222, 226.

Sura XXXV, 166, 167, 173, 181.

Sura XL, 167.

Sura XLI, xxxviii, 167.

Sura XLVI, xxxv, 167.
[Pg 247]
Sura XLVII, xxvii, 85, 141, 147, 154, 156, 160, 161, 166, 167, 174, 184,
195, 196, 197, 225, 226.

Sura XLVIII, xv, xvi, xl, 160, 225, 226.

Sura XLIX, 166, 167, 173, 175, 188.

Sura LII, 130.

Sura LVIII, 195.

Sura LIX, 110, 226.

Sura LX, 4, 110, 111, 112 f.n., 166, 225, 226.

Sura LXI, 166, 173, 175, 184, 186.

Sura LXVI, 166, 185, 211, 214.

Sura LXVII, xxxvii.

Sura LXXII, xxxvi, xxxvii, 186 f.n.

Sura LXXIII, 130, 220.

Sura LXXXV, 50.

Sura LXXXVI, xxxvi.

Sura XC, 194.

Sura XCVI, 5.

Suras, Meccan, 177-181.

Suras, Medinite, 181-191.

Surat-al-Mohammad, 154.

Surat-un-Nisa, 154.

Syed Ameer Ali Moulvie, M.A., LLB., 91 f.n.

Syria, viii, 30, 40, 89, 140, 200.


Tabaeen, 209, 215-216.

Tabakát al Fokaha, 135-136.

Tabakát of Ibn Sád Kátib Wakidi, 114.

Tabari 30, 212.

Tabi, 135, 136.

Tabikha, The ancestors of Bani Tamim, xlvii.

Table, The (Sura), 191.

Tabuk, xix, 37 f.n.;
the last expedition of Mohammad against, 40.

Tafseer Majma-ul-Bayan Tabarásee, 116 f.n., 187.

Taghlib, lviii.

Taimee, Okba executed at, 80.

Tajahada, 164.

Tajeeb, lviii.

Takreeb, 210, 215.

Tamim (The), xxvii, xxxiv, xli, xlvi, lviii.

Tanfeel, 7, 196.

Tanvir-al Absár, 170.

Tariq (Comet or night comer), xxxvi.

Tay, xxxix, xliii, lviii.

Tayif, xxii;
Mohammad preaches at, xxxiv;
sacrilegious war at, xli.

Taym bin Morra, xxxiii.

Testament, The Old, 153.
[Pg 248]
Thakeef, lvii, 16.

Theseus, 145.

Tirmizee, 113, 207.

Tojahidoona, 166.

Tradition (a mursal), 109 f.n.

Traditions quoted and refuted, 133.

Tried, The (Sura), 186.

Tuhfat-ul-Muhtaj fi Sharah-al-Minhaj, 129 f.n.

Tuleiba, chief of Bani Asad bin Khozeima, xlvii.


Urnee Robbers, 92-95.

Urquhart, 137.

Us Tayif, xxxvi.

Usseya, a clan of Bani Aamir, xlvi.

Uyeina, the chief of the Bani Fezara, xiii, xlvi.


Vans Kennedy, Major, quoted, 28.

Von Kemer's History of Mohammad's Campaigns, 90 f.n., 102.


Wady-al-Koraá, The Jews of, xiii, xliii.

Wahid, 83.

Wajib (Legal), Jihad not, 134.

Waki ibn al-Jarrah, 221.

Wakidi, 29 f.n., 30, 63, 64, 74, 78 f.n., 80 f.n.,
31 f.n., 91;
Campaigns of Mohammad, xliii, 102, 197, 200, 201, 205, 206, 208, 212,

Wars of Mohammad, their defensive nature, ii.

Weil, Dr., 63.

Wheaton's International Law, 70 f.n.

Wherry, The Revd. E.M., quoted, 150-152, 154 f.n.

Wolff, 70 f.n.

Woman, The (Sura), 184.


Yafa-ee, 210.

Yahya, 213.

Yahya bin Hammad, 210.

Yahya bin Moin, 221.

Yahya bin Saeed al Ansaree, 68.

Yakoob bin Mohammad, 208.

Yemama, li.

Yenbo, the abode of Bani Joheina, xliii.

Yemen, xxxix, li.

Yezid bin Abi Shaiba, 133.

Yojahido, 166, 179.
[Pg 249]
Yojahidoo, 166, 176, 190.

Yojahidoona, 166, 176, 191.

Yoseir bin Razim (Oseir bin Zarim), 72 f.n.

Yoslemoon, 160.


Zád-al-maád of Ibn al Kyyim, 100 f.n.

Zahabi, 215.

Zakawán, a clan of Bani Aamir, xlvi.

Zalkada, 14, 23 f.n., 53.

Zamaá, 34.

Zamra, iv.

Zamakhshire, 163, 213.

Zat-al-Rikaa, xii, 196.

Zat Atlah, 15 f.n.

Zeid killed Moavia, 81.

Zeid, the adopted son of Mohammad, and his connection with Zeinab, 215,
216, 217, 218, 222.

Zeid bin Arqam, xxii.

Zeid bin Aslam, 215.

Zeid bin Haris, seized and plundered by the Bani Fezara, xiii.

Zeid Monat, xxxiv.

Zeinab, 113, 211;
her story, 215-216;
the story of Mohammad's amour, a spurious one, 216;
Sir W. Muir's conjectures about her, not justified, 218;
in her case no exceptional privilege was secured to Mohammad, 220;
the false story traced to Mukátil, 222.

Zu Towa, the Koreish encamped at, xv.

Zil Kassa, a party of Moslems slain at, xiii.

Zobeid, lviii.

Zobeir, a Koreishite, 88, 96.

Zobian, xli, xlii, xlvi.

Zohak, 80.

Zohak ibn Muzahim, 215.

Zohra, xxxiii.

Zohri, 128, 209.

Zorkanee, 80 f.n.;
on Mooahib, 93, 100, 109 f.n., 110 f.n.

Zu-kar, Battle of, xli.

Zulhij, 23 f.n., 53.

Zul-Kada, xiii, 23 f.n.

Zul-Majáz xlviii.

[Pg 250]

Calcutta; December, 1887.


ACT XIV OF 1882,
By the Hon'ble J. O'KINEALY,
One of the Judges of Her Majesty's High Court of Judicature, Bengal.

Third Edition.   Royal 8vo., cloth.   Rs. 12; Post-free, Rs. 12-6.
And other Laws and Acts of Parliament relating to the Criminal
Courts of India. With Notes, &c.
Third Edition.

By the Hon'ble J. O'KINEALY,
One of the Judges of Her Majesty's High Court of Judicature, Bengal.

Second Edition.   Just Published.   Royal Octavo, cloth.   Rs. 18.
ACT X OF 1882,

Rulings, Circular Orders, Notifications, etc., of all the High
Courts in India; and Notifications and Orders of the
Government of India and the Local Governments.


Author of "A Treatise on the Law of Succession in India."
Second Edition,

"To judge from the style in which their present work is edited, the number of cases cited bearing upon the various sections, the ample notes appended where any explanation is necessary, and the full and complete indexes to the cases cited, we have little hesitation in saying that, while undoubtedly it is at present the best work on the subject, it need fear no competition in the future."—Englishman.

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