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Dcroeg of tbe yiattons

EDITED BY

D. TKL Carle00 Davis

FELLOW OF ALL SOULS COLLEGE, OXFORD

FACTA OUCIS VIVINT, OPtlKMAOUl QLORIA REIIUM. OVIO IN LIVIAM tSS.

THK HMO'S DUM AND HARO-WON FAME SHALL LIVE.

MOHAMMED

G. P. V!j i ..AV ^- - vs

:y -.VE«!T TWKNTV-THUi'i ilfhi.i 24 .1: r" '

'lot liwJckfxbotiifr j^iif-.-

t'/US

MOHAMMED

AND

THE RISE OF ISLAM

* VI "> ».

•t

" ' ~---.R/fs

BY

D. S. MARGOLIOUTH

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

NEW YORK LONDON

VJ WSST TWENTY-THIRD STREET 24 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND

%\t $nuknbocher {)rcii8 1905

I I

Copyright, 1905

BY

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

tCbe Ittifcfcerbockcv ^ccm* tUw Vocfc

Preface v

1890, in six volumes, fol.). In this work the sayings of the Prophet recorded by different individuals are given in separate collections for each individual. The same tradition is sometimes given ten, twenty, or even a hundred times. Much of the matter is scarcely to be found elsewhere, and is likely to be genuine. The account of this work given by Gold- ziher, Z. D. M. C, 1. 463-599, is of course excellent.

2. The gigantic Commentary an the Koran by the historian Tabari, who died 310 A.H., (922 A.D.: Cairo, 1902-1904, in thirty volumes, foL). This commentary is for the historian of far greater value than the pop- ular commentaries of Zamakhshari and Baidawi, who lived many centuries later, and were influenced by later controversies.

3. The Isabah^ or Dictionary of Persons who knew Mohammed, by Ibn Hajar (Calcutta, 1853-1894, four volumes). In spite of the late date of the author of this great dictionary, his work is historically valu- able, owing to the fact that it embodies matter taken from sources which are no longer accessible. Ibn Hajar was possessed of an extraordinary library.

4. The works of early Arabic writers, especially the polygraph 'Amr, son of Bahr, called Al-Jahiz, who died in 255 A.H. (868 A.D.). Of his works there are now accessible three edited by the late Van Vloten, and the treatise on rhetoric published in Cairo. Though not dealing directly with Moham- med, they contain many an allusion which it is pos- sible to utilise.

The present writer has gone through, in addition to these (so far as they were accessible to him).

Preface vii

a state and an empire out of the Arab tribes. I have endeavoured, in recounting the mode in which he accomplished this, to do justice to his intellectual ability and to observe towards him the respectful attitude which his greatness deserves ; but otherwise this book does not aim at being either an apology or an indictment. Indeed neither sort of work is now required. The charming and eloquent treatise of Syed Ameer Ali * is probably the best achievement in the way of an apology for Mohammed that is ever likely to be composed in a European language, whereas indictments are very numerous some dig- nified and moderate, as is the work of Sir William Muir; others fanatical and virulent.f These works are ordinarily designed to show the superiority or in- feriority of Mohammed's religion to some other sys- tem ; an endeavour from which it is hoped that this book will be found to be absolutely free.

There are two forms of literature to which I should especially wish to acknowledge obligations. One of these consists of works in which we have authentic biographies of persons who have convinced many of their fellows that they were in receipt of divine communications; in particular I may mention the history of modern Spiritualism, by F. Podmore^ and the study on the founder of Mormonism, by I. W. Riley. § For the employment of " revelations "

^The Spirit of Islam^ London, 1896, Calcutta, 1902.

f Bottom is probably touched by the New but True Life of the Car" pewter^ including a New Life of Mohammed^ by Amos : Bristol, 1903.

\ Modern Spiritualism^ London, Macmillan, 1902.

%A Psychological Study of Joseph Smithy Jr,^ London, Heine- mann, 1903.

Preface ix

was not previously acquainted. Mr. Zaidan is well known in Arabic-speaking countries as a historian, novelist, and journalist; and I hope that ere long I may have the pleasure of introducing some of his works to English readers.

CONTENTS

PREFACE >ii

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

TRANSLITERATION xvii

CHRONOLOGY XIX

GEOGRAPHV Xxi

CHAPTER I

THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE HERO .... I

CHAPTER II

EARLY LIFE OF HOHAMHED 45

CHAPTER III

ISLAM AS A SECRET SOCIETY .... 83

CHAPTER IV

PUBLICITY *l8

CHAPTER V HISTORY OF THE MECCAN PERIOD . . . -IS*

xii Contents

CHAPTER VI

PAGB

THE MIGRATION . . . . . . 185

CHAPTER VII THE BATTLE OF 6ADR 234

CHAPTER VIII PROGRESS AND A SETBACK 275

CHAPTER IX THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWS . , . . 309

CHAPTER X STEPS TOWARDS THE TAKING OF MECCAH . . 338

CHAPTER XI THE TAKING OF MECCAH 377

CHAPTER XII THE SETTLEMENT OF ARABIA .... 4IO

CHAPTER XIII THE LAST YEAR 444

INDEX 473

ILLUSTRATIONS

THE A5CKNSION OP MOKAHMED FrotlHlpieCe

From D'Ohsson's Tableau Gfn/ral dt V Empire

VIEW OF JEDDAH, THE PORT OP MECCAH . . 6

Fram a Uihogntpb.

COIN, WITH ABYSSINIAN KING A PH IDAS ON OBVERSE, AND ON REVERSE THE LAST JEWISH KING OF YEMEN, DHU NUWAS OR DIMEAN ... 36

From Rnppell, Ktise in Abiiiinim, t. viii., pi. vi.; vol. ii., pp. 344 and ^itf.

THE WELL ZEMZEM 48

From Ah Bey's TraveU.

BEDOUIN ARABS STORV-TELLINO .... 59 Drawn by Alfred Fredericks,

THE BLACK STONE 79

From Ali Bey's Travels.

POSTURES OF PRAYER I03

MOSQUE OF OMAR, JERUSALEM .... ISS

From Archer and Kingsford's Siery af Ike Cruiadet.

xiv Illustrations ,

pA(a M. EARLY MOSLEM COIN T33

(Bodleian Library.) Cf, Lane-Poole, Or, Coins of the BriHsA Museum, i., p. 174, 4.

AR. COIN OF KHOSROESIL, WITH MOSLEM FORMULA

ADDED 133

Bodleian Library.

AV. COIN OF HERACLIUS I. AND HERACLIUS CON-

STANTINE 133

(Bodleian Library.) C/, Sabatier, Monnaies Byzantines, pi. xxix., 18.

AR. COIN OF KHOSROES II 133

(Bodleian Library.) Cf, Longperier, Dynastie Sassanide, pi. xi., 4.

M, MOSLEM IMITATION OF COIN OF HERACLIUS,

STRUCK AT EMESA 1 33

(Bodleian Library.) Cf, Lane-Poole, Or, Coins of the British Museum, ix., p. 6.

VIEW OF MASSOUA . . . ^ ^-^^ ^$1

From a lithograph.

OBELISKS AT AXUM 160

From an engraving.

CUFIC KORAN IN THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY, SURAH

LXXIL, 27, 28, AND LXXIII., I, 2 . . . 219

CAMELS OF BURDEN RESTING 244

From De Laborde's Voyage en Syrie,

A CARAVAN HALTED 252

From a photograph.

Illustrations xv

PAGB

ARAB WOMAN ATTENDING WOUNDED MAN . . 29I

From Mayeux's Bedouins,

JEBEL NUR, NEAR MECCAH 3II

From Ali Bey*s Travels,

THE DROMEDARY OF THE DESERT .... 34I Etching by R. Swain Gifford.

VIEW OF MECCAH 345

From the " Hilal/' 1902.

LETTER OF THE PROPHET TO THE ** MUKAUKIS," DISCOVERED BY M. 6TIENNE BARTH^L^MY ; BELIEVED BY SEVERAL SCHOLARS TO BE THE ACTUAL DOCUMENT REFERRED TO IN THE

TEXT 365

From the '* Hilal," Nov.. 1904.

VIEW OF MINA 372

From Ali Bey's Travels,

THE KA'baH 387

From the '* Hilal."

THE MAHMIL OR HOLY CARPET .... 394

From the ** Hilal."

A BEDOUIN ON A CAMEL 436

SABiEAN INSCRIPTION ...... 44O

In the British Museum.

THE REMAINS OF A PALACE AT AXUM 443

From an engraving.

THE HOLY MOSQUE AT MECCAH . 444

From the ** HUal."

XVI

Illustrations

FEMALE COSTUMES ....», Redrawn from an old print.

PLAN OF MECCAH

MAP OF ARABIA IN THE 7TH CENTURY A.D.

MAP OF WEST CENTRAL ARABIA IN THE 7TH CENTURY A.D.

PAGB . 460

y AT END

TRANSLITERATION

In this matter the example o( Naldebe and Well- hausen in their popular writings has been followed. The mode of transliteration is similar to that in use at Cairo for ordinary purposes. The Arabic letters are represented by those English letters or combinations of letters which come nearest to the Arabic sounds : one who is acquainted with the original language will without difficulty be able to identify the words and names ; whereas, to the reader who is ignorant of Arabic, further differentiation by means of diacritic points (e. g., s, t, Ij) is of no value. A few proper names that are familiar have been left in their popular forms.

CHRONOLOGY

COMPARATIVE tables of months and days as between the Mohammedan and Christian eras are to be found in Wflstenfeld, Vergleick- ungstahellen der Mukatnmedaniscken und Ckrist- lichen Zeitrecknung, 2d ed., Leipzig, 1903 ; copied in Trisorde Ckronologie, Paris, 1889, Others are in Dub- baneh's Universal Calendar, Cairo, 1S96, and (in Arabic) the Tawfikiyyat of Mukhtar Basha, Cairo, 131 1. For the first nine years of Islam these tables are somewhat misleading, since they assume that the pre-Islamic Calendar was purely lunar, whereas it b certain that it was not. Moreover the occasional notices of the weather during the Prophet's expe- ditions, etc. (collected by Wellhausen, W. p. 17, sq., Reste, pp. 94-101), disagree seriously with Wusten- feld's synchronisms; in some cases by antedating the events by two and a half months tolerable cor- respondence is obtained. It is not however possible to make out enough of the pre-Islamic Calendar to substitute a detailed scheme for Wustenfeld's; and it has been pointed <iM\.\iyVi\x\zSs\&x(AUorUntaliscke Forschungen, ii., 324-350) that the Calendar of Medi- nah may well have been different from that of Mec- cah, the same month-names having quite different

GEOGRAPHY

THE political conditions of Arabia will have al- tered very considerably before any scientific exploration and surveying of the country are possible. The maps which have been added to this volume are intended as an unpretentious aid to those who would follow the campaigns of the Prophet and the gradual extension of his sphere of influence. Forboth, the author hasavailed himself of Sprcnger's classical works on Arabian geography Die Post- und Reiserouten des Orients, Leipzig, 1864, and Die alle Geographie Arabiens, Bern, 1875, For the map of Central Arabia, use has further been made of Wiisten- l^\A's Das Gebiet von ^,f(/('«3, Gottingen, 1873, and also of the measurements given by AI-Bekri in his Geographical Dictionary, ed. Wiistenfeld, 1876; valu- able information about the modern nomenclature of this part of Arabia is to be found in the monographs Die geograpkische Lage Mekkas, by J. J, Hess, Frei- burg (Schweiz), 19CX), and Der Hedjaz und die Strasse VOH Mekka nach Medina, by B. Moritz, Berlin, 1S90. The map of the location of Tribes is based on the monograph of Blau, Z.D.M.G., xxiii., Arabien im iechsten Jakrhundert, whose results have been modified in part from Hamdani's Geography of the

xxii Geography

Arabian Peninsula^ ed. Miiller, 1891, and in part from the authorities already mentioned. The results of exploration in Arabia down to the year 1875 are well summarised by A. Zehme in the work called Arabien und die Araber seit 100 Jahren, Halle, 1875; while D. Hogarth's Unveiling of Arabia, London, 1904, summarises more recent enterprise. The plan of Meccah which is reproduced, is that of Burckhardt, as modified by Wiistenfeld in the fourth volume of his Chroniken der Stadt Mekka, Leipzig, 1861 ; its cor- rectness is attested by the greatest modern authority on Meccah, Snouck Hurgronje, who adopts it with very trifling alterations in his article in the Verhand- lungen der geographischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin, xiv., 138, foil., 1887, as well as in his classical work on Meccah.

BIBLIOGRAPHY*

I. Lives of Mohammed and Histories of the early days of

Ibn Ishak (quoted in the notes as Ishak), ob. about 150 A.H., 767 A.D.: his work (so far as is at present known) exists in two abridgments only: that by Ibn Hisham, ob. 318 A.H., S33 A.D., which has been published by Wustenfeld, Gdttingen, 1860, and later by Zubair Pasha; and that by Tabari, ob. 310 a. h., 912 a. d., embodied in his Chronicle, published at Leyden, 1882-1885.

Walddi. ob. 307 a.m., 823 a.d., author of a treatise on Mohammed's Campaigns, of which an imperfect edition was issued by von Kremer, Calcutta, 1856; an abridged tranala- . tion of a far more perfect copy was made by Wellhausen and published with the title Mtthammed in Medina, Berlin, 1881. To this last reference is made as Walddi (W.).

Ibn Sa'd, Secretary of Walddi, ob. 230 a. h., 845 a.d.; author ol an encyclopedic work on the Prophet, his followers, etc., of which throe volumes have thus far been published at Berlin under the superintendence of E. Sachau.

Ya'kubi, ob. about 292 a.h., 905 a.d., author of a history in two parts, Pre- Islamic and Islamic, published by Houtsma, Uyden, 1883.

Ibn al-Athir, ob. 630 a.h., 1333 a.d., author of a Universal History, pubHshed at Leyden and in Egypt,

Diyarbekri, ob. 98a a,h., 1574 a.d., author of a Life of the Prophet, followed by a sketch of Islamic history, called Ta'rikk al-Khamis, published at Cairo, 1302 a.h.

Works mentioned in the Preface are not repeated here.

Bzblzograpky xxv

edited by Wiistenfeld, Leipzig, 1858. The editor has ap- pended in two volumes extracts from other and later his- torians of Meccah, and in a third volume a German epitome of the whole.

History of Medinah by Samhudi, ob. 911 a.h., 1505 a.d., published at Cairo, 1285 a.m.: epitomised by Wiistenfeld in his Geschichte der Stadt Medina, Gottingen, 1873.

Modem works on Meccah and Medinah.

Burckhardt's Travels, quoted from the French transla- tion, Paris, 1835.

Burton's Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah, Memorial edition, London, 1893.

A. H. Keane, Six Months in the Hejaz, London, 1887.

Soubhy, P^lerinage h la Mecque et h Mkdine, Cairo, 1894.

Muhammad Basha Sadik, The Pilgrim* s Guide (Arabic), Cairo, 1313 a.h., 1895 a.d.

Gervais-Courtellemont, Mon Voyage d la Mecque, Paris, 1897.

Sabri Pasha, Mirror of the Two Sanctuaries (Turkish), (Constantinople, 1886.

5. Works of I. CJoldziher:

M.S., abbreviation for Muhammadanische Studien, Halle, 1889, 1890. Abhandlungen zur arabischen Litteratur, Leyden, 1896, 1899.

6. Of Th. Noldeke:

Geschichte des Korans, Gottingen, i860.

Das Lehen Muhammeds, Hannover, 1863.

Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden, Leyden, 1879.

Die Ghassanischen Fursten aus dem Hause Gafna*s, Berlin, 1887.

7. Of J. Wellhausen:

Muhammed in Medina, see above; the introduction and notes are cited as Wellhausen (W.) or (Wakidi). Reste arabischen Heidenthums, Berlin, 1897. Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, viertes Heft, Berlin, 1889.

xxvi Bibliography

Die Ehe bei den Arabem, GOttingen, 1893.

Das arabiscke Reich und sein Slurs. Berlin, 1901.

Numerous articles by these writers in the Z. D. M. G. (_Zeitsckrift der deutschen morgenidttdischen Gesellschaji) and W. Z. K. M. {Wiener Zeitschrift fAr die Kunde des Morgen- landes) are also cited; J. R. A. S. stands for Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

MOHAA/IMED

MOHAMMED

CHAPTER I

THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE HERO

AT some time in the year 594 of our era, a cara- van bearing the merchandise of a wealthy woman at Meccah was safely conducted to Bostra and safely brought back with profits propor- tionate to the risk of the undertaking. Of the quali- ties necessary for the conduct of such an expedition many differ Httle from those required by a successful general : ability to enforce discipline, skill in evading enemies and courage in meeting them, the power to discriminate false news from true, and to penetrate into other men's designs. And when the mart has been safely reached, and the leader of the caravan or agent has to sell the goods entrusted to him so as to obtain the best return, another set of qualities are called into play ; of which fidelity to his em- ployer is the chief, but patience and shrewdness are also indispensable. The leader of the expedition to Bostra, Mohammed, the orphan son of Abdallah,

The Birthplace of the Hero 3

Other nations knew nothing of their pedigrees, but the Arab knew his genealogy up to the father of mankind, whence no man could ever obtain admis- sion into a tribe which was not his own. So liberal was he that he would slaughter the camel which was his sole wealth to give a meal to the stranger who came to him at night. No other nation had poetry so elaborate or a language so expressive as theirs. Theirs were the noblest horses, the chastest women, the finest raiment; their mountains teemed with gold and silver and gems. For their camels no dis- tance was too far, no desert too wild to traverse. So faithful were they to the ordinances of their re- ligion that if a man met his father's murderer un- armed in one of the sacred months he would not harm him. A sign or a look from one of them con- stituted an engagement which was absolutely invio- lable. If he guaranteed protection, and his clients came to harm, he would not rest till either the tribe of the injurer were exterminated or his own perished in the quest of vengeance. If other nations obeyed a central government and a single ruler, the Arabs required no such institution, each of them being fit to be a king, and well able to protect himself ; and unwilling to undergo the humiliation of paying tribute or bearing rebuke.

This description, like many an encomium, requires considerable modification before it will tally with the truth. After the spread of Islam men began to care for their pedigrees, and genealogy came to be a recog- nised subject of study. But before Islam, genealo- gies were never committed to writing and only

The Birthplace of the Hero 5

and that clan was likely to be considered a branch of a tribe. But the steps which connected the indi- vidual with the founder of the clan, and those whereby the clan was deduced from the tribe, repre- sented theory, rarely a genuine tradition ; and instances are not wanting of both persons and clans being artificially grafted on tribes with which they had no physical connection.

Greater accuracy may be attributed to the state- ment about the piety of the Arabs, so far as it concerns the observation of the sacred months ; for Greek writers attest the same. For three autumn months * and one spring month a truce of God was observed by many tribes, who therein laid down their arms and shed no blood. This institution, in the fixed form which it had assumed by the com- mencement of Islam, must have been the result of many stages of development, and was itself fruitful in effects. It cannot be severed from the desire to visit a sanctuary and celebrate a feast, and indeed the two seasons correspond with those of the birth of domestic animals and the harvesting of fruit. The month before and the month after that in which the more important visit was paid may have been included in the time for the benefit of distant visitors, who thereby were enabled to arrive and return in safety. For those who had no great dis- tance to traverse the truce provided a period in which they could recover from the ravages of constant warfare, and by secure communication

* Nonnosus and Procopius: *' two months after the summer solstice, and one in mid spring."

The Birthplace of the Hero 7

antiquity, more sober tradition placed the building of the first house at Meccah only a few generations be- fore Mohammed's time ; this act being ascribed to a member of the tribe Sahm, whose name was vari- ously given as Su'aid son of Sahm* and Sa*d son of *Amr. f The former would be separated by three generations from the Prophet, while the latter would be still nearer his age. % This first house is not de- scribed, but was probably a primitive form of dwell- ing. Although a poet speaks of the people of the Tihamah as building houses with clay and mortar, it is probable that construction of this sort was carried on at Meccah on a small scale. The second Caliph § found fault with brick building; as indeed the Prophet had done before him |; the best houses were probably rude erections of roughly hewn stone. The remaining dwellings were probably en- closures, containing variations between huts and tents.T"

The community which had settled in the valley of Meccah, or Beccah, a ravine about a mile and a half long and a third of a mile broad stretching from north-east to south-west, somewhere about the middle of Arabia, at a distance of seventy miles from the western coast, cannot, when they selected this spot, have hoped to live by its produce ; for that the soil

Chronicles of Meccah^ iii., 15. f Isabah, ii., 915.

X WUstenfeld^ Genealogische Tabellen, %Jahiz, Bayan, ii., 25. II Musnadf iii. , 220.

^ From Azraki it would appear that the Prophet*s house had no roof.

The Birthplace of the Hero 9

recognised over a considerable portion of Arabia. Visits were paid to it both at fixed seasons of the year and at times dictated by the pilgrims' conven- ience. Persons who wished to curse their neigh- bours or enemies came even from a distance to the Ka'bah, where their imprecations were certain to be heard.* And a vast number of customs and cere- monies grew up round this building, many of which are not yet obsolete, and offer the anthropologist scope for conjecture, while the theologian can find in them some profound significance. The' real im- port of most of them was probably forgotten before Mohammed's time.f

The Arabs suppose, and indeed are compelled by their system to suppose, that the Ka'bah was earlier than the Kuraish, the tribe which we find dominant at Meccah in the sixth century of our era. It is probable that this is correct. The possession of a temple to which pilgrimages are made is a valuable asset, since pilgrims can be made to pay for leave to visit the god ; such a tax was levied by the Kuraish on foreign visitors,:}: and the right to collect it is likely to have been a matter for contention. Even with- out this material advantage the seizure of a temple is a natural proceeding, since thereby control of the god who inhabits it can be obtained. The name Kuraish tells us nothing of the history of the tribe thus called; either it is a totem-name (meaning swordfish), or one arbitrarily fabricated from three

Azraki^ 299,

f Wellhausen^ Reste^ 71.

Xlhn Duraid^ 172.

The Birthplace of the Hero 1 1

conqueror was really one of themselves. Kusayy, a member of the tribe, whose mother, having mar- ried a man of another tribe, had taken him to Syria, returned and married the daughter of the governor of Meccah, at whose death Kusayy claimed the suc- cession. His claim being disputed, he appealed to his relations by his mother's second marriage ; after some skirmishing, an umpire being called in recog- nised the claims of Kusayy, who, however, made no attempt to banish the Khuza'ah from their homes. The meaning of this story is probably that the Khuza'ite settlement was earlier than the Kuraish settlement, and that the newcomers, though not an unwelcome accession, had, by showing greater ac- tivity and ability than the older settlers, secured the dominant place. During Mohammed's early life there were at times, however, open ruptures between the Khuza'ah and the Kuraish,* which led to a series of fights and the intervention of arbiters f; and in the history of Islam before Meccah was taken the Khuza'ah joined the side of Mohammed against the Kuraish. It would appear that the supremacy of the latter was not to the taste of the Khuza'ah, though they waited till fortune had declared itself before they finally made common cause with Mo- hammed. Of all the myths that seems to be nearest history which makes the head of the Kurashite settlement at Meccah one Hisham, son of Mughirah,:|: of the tribe Makhzum. Traditions which seem

* Baihaki^ Mahasin^ 495, 17. f Ibn Duraid^ 106. t I^d., 94.

The Birthplace of the Hero 1 3

was common ; but for the purpose of the blood- feud they, with their respective clients, were dis- tinct, though the conflicting theories of male and female kinship appear at times to have produced complications.

For the economical basis of the community we have some data though little in the way of statistics. The possession of a popular sanctuary ensured a certain revenue from strangers; taking the form partly of a visitors* tax, partly of fees paid to the worker of the oracle (said to be 100 dirhems and a camel for each consultation), and partly of remun- eration for entertainment and garments furnished to visitors ; for by a lucrative rule the pilgrims might not use food or clothes brought by them- selves. * Secondly, the sanctity which attached to the neighbourhood of the temple rendered it a suitable place for the pursuit of the arts of peace. Hence our authorities enumerate a number of trades that were practised at Meccah : such as those of carpenter, smith, sword-maker, wine-merchant, oil- merchant, leather-merchant, tailor, weaver, arrow- maker, stationer, money-lender. On the goods which were imported from the Byzantine Empire, partly for use in those industries, the Meccans levied a tax of ten per cent.f If a Bedouin wished to pur- chase an idol for his tent he would come to Meccah to procure it. % But in the third place the sacred character which attached to "God's neighbours"

* Jahiz, MahasiHy 165,

\Azrakif 107.

X IHd„ 78; IVakidi ( IV\ 350.

The Birthplace of the Hero 1 5

the negotiations after the battle of Badr be trust- worthy, there were persons who could afford to pay 4000 dinars (;^iSOO) for a ransom. Hind, one of Abd al-Muttalib's daughters, is said to have manu- mitted forty slaves in one day.* The prevalence of a certain degree of luxury at Meccah may be further inferred from the gifts lavished on the Ka'bah which was covered with fabrics brought from Irak and Yemen, fine cloths and silks, f Wealthy mem- bers of the community possessed estates or villas in the neighbouring oasis of Ta'if. % Coin was at times hoarded, but probably most Meccans preferred to have their wealth in live stock or some form of goods. The houses of wealthy and respected citi- zens (like Mohammed himself) were employed as banks.

In one or other of the trades that have been enu- merated all the leading men of Meccah would appear to have been engaged. In the third century of Islam the legend undertook to name the commercial pur- suit of each of Mohammed's contemporaries. Ab- dallah, son of Jud'an, a leading man when the Prophet was a boy, dealt in slaves ; the general with whom the Prophet fought several battles, Abu Suf- yan, sold oil and leather ; the keeper of the key of the Ka'bah was a tailor. This fact did not exclude the existence of a number of social distinctions, which were not apparently co-extensive with differ- ences in wealth, but were probably based on historic

Jahit, Mahasin^ 77.

\Azraki^ 174.

X So Amr Ibn aUAsi, Wakidi ( W,)^ 303: Abu Sufyan : Abbas,

The Birthplace of the Hero 1 7

this, if true, also implies some sort of municipal organisation. The same is implied for the state by the traditions that visitors paid taxes, and that im- ports paid customs ; for a budget requires a variety of officials. The principle on which the chief of the clan was appointed is unknown. Ordinarily some wealth went with the office for our authorities note as exceptional the case in which a poor man was chief * ; oratorical ability, personal courage, and per- sonal dignity were essentials, f The chief, however, was not necessarily or indeed ordinarily leader of the tribe in war. Our authorities actually provide us with a list of offices of state held at Meccah, and we cannot doubt that the sanctuary and its ceremonies led to the existence of certain officials : thus there was a sacristan who kept the key of the Ka*bah, and a priest who worked the oracle of the god (Hubal) whose image was inside; and the entertaining of the pilgrims is said to have been the perquisite of certain persons. None of these functions appear to have acquired political significance. In time of war, as in many communities, the fighters subjected them- selves (in some degree) to a leader ; but in time of peace there was little government. Some mat- ters indeed were settled at a council, or comitia, in which heads of tribes, other free citizens, and even strangers,:]: it would appear, might be heard ; yet the theory of deciding by a majority of votes was certainly unknown.

* WaHdi ( W.\ 51. 'Utbah, son of Rabi'ah. \ NalUno^ Nuova Antologia^ 1893, Oct., p. 618. X Tabariy i., 1230.

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at Meccah ; and a league of which we hear called the league of the Fudul, meaning perhaps a number of persons named Fadl instituted during Moham- med's youth, for the purpose of preventing injuries, was chiefly directed against those inflicted on stran- gers visiting Meccah. From the history of Moham- med we should infer that the fear of civil strife and its consequences led to an extraordinary amount of mutual forbearance.

Between Hubal, the god whose image was inside the Ka'bah, and Allah (" the God "), of whom much will be heard, there was perhaps some connection ; yet the identification of the two suggested^ by Wellhau- sen is not yet more than an hypothesis. It seems pos- sible that Allah, really a male deity, of which Al-L&t was the female, f identified by Mohammed with the object of monotheistic adoration, was the tribal god of the Kuraish ; and indeed in lines which may possi- bly be pre-Islamic the Kuraish are called Allah 's'fam- ily.:( At the ceremonies of Muzdalifah the Kuraish and their co-religionists used to say, "We are the fam- ily of Allah "§; and by this name they were known in Arabia.) Something of this sort is also assumed in the polemic of the Koran. ^ According to ancient custom the Kuraish, when they became supreme, gave their deity a place beside the deities of the older tribes, such as Al-*Uzza, Al-Lat, Manat,

♦And hesitatingly approved by Noldeke^ Z. Z>, M, (7., xli., 715.

XJbn Duraid^ 94 ; Z, D. M. C, xviii., 226. § Tirmidki, i., 167. \Azraki, 98, 155. ^Chapter v., ultra.

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for in part by the practice of exogamy or obtaining wives outside the husband's tribe, whose gods would often accompany them ; in part by the trading of the Meccans, who had opportunities of learning of the existence and power of foreign deities.

Paganism is called by the Koran the period of Ignorance a phrase in the opinion of some borrowed from the New Testament * ; in the Koran it is thus explained : the Meccans had, we are assured, no previous revelation ; no Prophet, no books, no guid- ance.f The only reason which they could assign for the rites they practised was that their fathers had done the same.

It seems likely that this account is near the truth. We should miss much in the origin of Islam if we failed to keep before our minds its claim to be 3. first instruction to the people whom it addressed. Against any previous code, therefore, the Koran does not argue, just as it does not lean upon any such back- ground. It is true the Moslems suppose that the Arabs had been originally bound by the code of Abraham and Ishmael, and that to certain Arab races other prophets had been sent. But this was only assumed in order to prove fetish worship and the practices of the pagans to be innovations ; and the Arabs could even name the miscreant who was responsible for their introduction.

The Koran makes indeed an exception when it denies that the Arabs had any previous guide. It is

* Wellhausen, Reste^ 71. Wrongly according to Golduher^ M. S,, i., 225, who renders it ** Barbarianism." f Surah xxxiv., 43, xxxvi., 5.

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need do no more than allude. That there should be many rites of a superstitious nature connected with the camel is natural, considering the importance which attached to that animal in the life of the Arab. Of the practice of Tabu, so richly illustrated in Mr. Manning's Old New Zealand^ the customs of Central Arabia contain many examples. Of ancestor wor- ship,* sacrifices to the dead,f human sacrifices,J and even cannibalism traces have been preserved. Cases occur in the biography of the Prophet of women biting the liver or drinking out of the skull of a fallen foe. Rich illustration is also provided of the sanctu- ary or domain controlled by a god whose force per- meates it somewhat after the fashion of an electric current ; a doctrine so lucidly explained in Frazer's . Golden Bough. A mythology of a naive sort was taught by nurses to children, a few details of which crop up from time to time. The soul was thought at death to take the form of a bird.§ The sun was supposed at eventide to sink into a well.

Although the practices of paganism were exceed- ingly numerous and complicated, it does not appear that there was any systematic knowledge of them ; old men could state, so far as their memory served them, what had been the invariable custom, but it is unlikely that any one had been taught to ob- serve or to make collections of cases ; and it is only

*Goldxih€r, M,S.,\.^ 230. \IHd,, 239.

XlVellhausen, Reste^ 115.

gin Globus^ 1901, 358, etc, parallels to this superstition are collected.

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girls doomed to death * or in releasing prisoners,f or who kept their word at any cost, some were faithful adherents of the cults of Al-*Uzza and Al-Lat. Oc- cupied with the reform of their own lives and the righting of actual wrongs, these persons made no noise, and being earnest, did not suppose that the setting up of one cult for another would make men virtuous; and Mohammed himself had occasion to draw a contrast between the conduct of his pagan and that of his believing son-in-law, greatly to the dis- advantage of the latter. So far as the religious sentiment required gratification, there is no evidence to show that paganism failed to gratify it. We gather from the inscriptions of the pagan Arabs that a wealth of affection and gratitude was be- stowed upon their gods and patrons. Few indeed were prepared to die for their deities, when told to reject them or be executed. But then with sound though rare logic they inferred from their reduction to this strait that their gods were impotent and had been vainly worshipped.

A great scholar, indeed, from whom it is un- safe to differ, finds a difference between the central and the southern Arabians, and supposes the latter to have been earnest worshippers, while the former were indifferent. The ground for this assertion appears to lie in the absence of religious inscriptions from Central Arabia ; but there is no saying when

* This act is also ascribed to the monotheist, Zaid, son of 'Amr. Ihn Sa'd, iii.. 277.

f Ibn Duraid^ 193 : Sa*d, son of Mushammit, vowed that he would never see a prisoner but he would release him.

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birth of a daughter was the occasion for special felicitation, * containing an allusion to the dowry or purchase-money she would bring her parents; on the other hand the Koran asserts that the birth of a daughter was regarded as a misfortune, and that the practice of burying girls alive was common, and such occurrences are attested for the period with which Mohammed's early life coincided.f That practice cannot be altogether dissociated from fears concern- ing female frailty, and even in the most civilised period of the Caliphate we find the death of a daugh- ter in childhood regarded as a subject for congratu- lation, the father being thereby saved from a possible source of danger to his honour. " Were it not," says the author of a letter of condolence on such an occasion, " for my knowledge of your late daughter's rare virtues, I should be more inclined to congratu- late you than to condole with you, since the hiding of one's weak points is an advantage, and the burial of a daughter is a desirable thing." % With an allu- sion to the same notion, poets praising women speak of them as having been buried before death in the secrecy of the harem, or at death being transferred from one harem to another. A still older theory, however, is that the father is in any case disgraced by giving his flesh and blood into another man's power. I Where infanticide was not practised, fear of dishonour (or perhaps a religious scruple) led to

* Hariri^ Sch,, 334.

\Afusnad^ i., 398. For this subject, see fVel/Aausen, Ehe^ 458.

X Letters of Khwarizmi (Const. \ 20.

I Wellhausen^ Ehe^ 433.

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of houses are represented as forming a joint-stock company for the purpose of foreign trade, the profits on each occasion being divided proportionately among the investors, and by them expended or hoarded, or invested in fresh speculations. Sales of various sorts between individuals are recorded for the period before the taking of Meccah. Probably, therefore, this community was somewhat further advanced in commercial civilisation than the Crows or Blackfeet of Beckwourth's time.

The course of the following narrative will show that Mohammed's mission at Meccah was a failure, and that it was only at Medinah, which had been suf- fering for years from the curse of civil war, that he readily found a hearing, and that having turned Medinah into an armed camp, he was able partly by force and partly by bribes to subjugate Meccah, whence he proceeded quickly to subdue the rest of Arabia. The conquest of Arabia speedily led to that of the surrounding nations. From this we may draw with regard to Meccah certain inferences which correspond very well with the historical tradi- tion. It had clearly acquired at the time when Mohammed arose