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three hundred camels and twenty ounces of silver; CHAP.

and Mecca was sincerely converted to the profitable
religion of the Koran.
The fugitives and auxiliaries complained, that
they who had borne the burthen were neglected in
the season of victory. “Alas,” replied their artful
leader, “suffer me to conciliate these recent enemies,
these doubtful proselytes, by the gift of some perish-
able goods. To your guard I intrust my life and
fortunes. You are the companions of my exile, of

my kingdom, of my paradise.” He was followed by

the deputies of Tayef, who dreaded the repetition of a siege. “Grant us, O apostle of God! a truce of three years, with the toleration of our ancient worship.” “Not a month, not an hour.” “Excuse us at least from the obligation of prayer.” “Without prayer religion is of no avail.” They submitted in silence: their temples were demolished, and the same sentence of destruction was executed on all the idols of Arabia. His lieutenants, on the shores of the Red Sea, the Ocean, and the Gulf of Persia, were saluted by the acclamations of a faithful people; and the

ambassadors who knelt before the throne of Medina

were as numerous (says the Arabian proverb) as the dates that fall from the maturity of a palm-tree. The nation submitted to the God and the sceptre of Mahomet: the opprobrious name of tribute was abolished: the spontaneous or reluctant oblations of alms and tithes were applied to the service of religion: and one hundred and fourteen thousand Moslems accompanied the last pilgrimage of the apostle." When Heraclius returned in triumph from the Persian war, he entertained, at Emesa, one of the

* The last conquests and pilgrimage of Mahomet are contained in Abulfeda (p. 121–133), Gagnier (tom. iii. p. 119–219), Elmacin (p. 10, 11), Abulpharagius (p. 103). The ixth of the Hegira was styled the Year of Embassies (Gagnier, Not, ad Abulfed. p. 121).

CHAP.
L.

First war
of the Ma-
hometans
against the
Roman em-

ambassadors of Mahomet, who invited the princes and
nations of the earth to the profession of Islam. On
this foundation the zeal of the Arabians has supposed
the secret conversion of the Christian emperor: the
vanity of the Greeks has feigned a personal visit of
the prince of Medina, who accepted from the royal
bounty a rich domain, and a secure retreat, in the
province of Syria.” But the friendship of Heraclius
and Mahomet was of short continuance: the new re-
ligion had inflamed rather than assuaged the rapacious
spirit of the Saracens; and the murder of an envoy
afforded a decent pretence for invading, with three
thousand soldiers, the territory of Palestine, that ex-
tends to the eastward of the Jordan. The holy
banner was intrusted to Zeid; and such was the dis-
cipline or enthusiasm of the rising sect, that the
noblest chiefs served without reluctance under the
slave of the prophet. On the event of his decease,
Jaafar and Abdallah were successively substituted to
the command; and if the three should perish in the
war, the troops were authorised to elect their general.
The three leaders were slain in the battle of Muta,"
the first military action which tried the valour of the
Moslems against a foreign enemy. Zeid fell, like a
soldier, in the foremost ranks: the death of Jaafar
was heroic and memorable: he lost his right hand:
he shifted the standard to his left: the left was
severed from his body: he embraced the standard
with his bleeding stumps, till he was transfixed to
the ground with fifty honourable wounds. “Ad-
vance,” cried Abdallah, who stepped into the vacant
place, “advance with confidence: either victory or
o Compare the bigoted Al Jannabi (apud Gagnier, tom. ii. p. 232—255)
with the no less bigoted Greeks, Theophanes (p. 276–278), Zonaras (tom. ii.
1. xiv. p. 86), and Cedrenus (p. 421).
P For the battle of Muta, and its consequences, see Abulfeda (p. 100–102)
and Gagnier (tom. ii. p. 327–343). Kaxtoos (says Theophanes) iv. At yova,

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paradise is our own.” The lance of a Roman decided CHAP. L.

the alternative; but the falling standard was rescued by Caled, the proselyte of Mecca: nine swords were broken in his hand; and his valour withstood and repulsed the superior numbers of the Christians. In the nocturnal council of the camp he was chosen to command: his skilful evolutions of the ensuing day secured either the victory or the retreat of the Saracens; and Caled is renowned among his brethren and his enemies by the glorious appellation of the Sword of God. In the pulpit, Mahomet described, with prophetic rapture, the crowns of the blessed martyrs; but in private he betrayed the feelings of human nature: he was surprised as he wept over the daughter of Zeid: “What do I see?” said the astonished votary. “You see,” replied the apostle, “a friend who is deploring the loss of his most faithful friend.” After the conquest of Mecca, the sovereign of Arabia affected to prevent the hostile preparations of Heraclius; and solemnly proclaimed war against the Romans, without attempting to disguise the hardships and dangers of the enterprise." The Moslems were discouraged: they alleged the want of money, or horses, or provisions; the season of harvest, and the intolerable heat of the summer: “Hell is much hotter,” said the indignant prophet. He disdained to compel their service; but on his return he admomished the most guilty, by an excommunication of fifty days. Their desertion enhanced the merit of Abubeker, Othman, and the faithful companions who devoted their lives and fortunes; and Mahomet displayed his banner at the head of ten thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. Painful indeed was the

* The expedition of Tabuc is recorded by our ordinary historians, Abulfeda (Vit. Moham. p. 123–127) and Gagnier (Vie de Mahomet, tom. iii. p. 147 —163): but we have the advantage of appealing to the original evidence of the Koran (c. 9. p. 154, 165), with Sale's learned and rational notes.

CHAP.

L.

Death of
Mahomet,
A. D. 632,
June 7.

distress of the march: lassitude and thirst were aggra-
vated by the scorching and pestilential winds of the
desert: ten men rode by turns on the same camel;
and they were reduced to the shameful necessity of
drinking the water from the belly of that useful
animal. In the mid-way, ten days’ journey from
Medina and Damascus, they reposed near the grove
and fountain of Tabuc. Beyond that place Mahomet
declined the prosecution of the war: he declared
himself satisfied with the peaceful intentions, he was
more probably daunted by the martial array, of the
emperor of the East. But the active and intrepid
Caled spread around the terror of his name; and the
prophet received the submission of the tribes and
cities, from the Euphrates to Ailah, at the head of
the Red Sea. To his Christian subjects, Mahomet
readily granted the security of their persons, the
freedom of their trade, the property of their goods,
and the toleration of their worship. The weakness
of their Arabian brethren had restrained them from
opposing his ambition; the disciples of Jesus were
endeared to the enemy of the Jews; and it was the
interest of a conqueror to propose a fair capitulation
to the most powerful religion of the earth.
Till the age of sixty-three years, the strength of
Mahomet was equal to the temporal and spiritual

fatigues of his mission. His epileptic fits, an absurd calumny of the Greeks, would be an object of pity c

* The Diploma securitatis Ailensibus is attested by Ahmed Ben Joseph, and the author Libri Splendorum (Gagnier, Not ad Abulfedam, p. 125); but Abulfeda himself, as well as Elmacin (Hist. Saracen. p. 11), though he owns Mahomet's regard for the Christians (p. 13), only mentions peace and tribute. In the year 1630 Sionita published at Paris the text and version of Mahomet's patent in favour of the Christians; which was admitted and reprobated by the opposite taste of Salmasius and Grotius (Bayle, MAHoMET, Rem. AA). Hottinger doubts of its authenticity (Hist. Orient. p. 237); Renaudot urges the consent of the Mahometans (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 169); but Mosheim (Hist. Eccles. p. 244) shows the futility of their opinion, and inclines to believes it spurious. Yet Abulpharagius quotes the impostor's treaty with the Nestorian patriarch (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 418); but Abulpharagius was primate of the Jacobites.

rather than abhorrence;' but he seriously believed that he was poisoned at Chaibar by the revenge of a Jewish female." During four years, the health of the prophet declined; his infirmities increased; but his mortal disease was a fever of fourteen days, which deprived him by intervals of the use of reason. As soon as he was conscious of his danger, he edified his brethren by the humility of his virtue or penitence. “If there be any man,” said the apostle from the pulpit, whom I have unjustly scourged, I submit my own back to the lash of retaliation. Have I aspersed the reputation of a Musulman? let him proclaim my faults in the face of the congregation. Has any one been despoiled of his goods? the little that I possess shall compensate the principal and the interest of the debt.” “Yes,” replied a voice from the crowd, “I am entitled to three drams of silver.” Mahomet heard the complaint, satisfied the demand, and thanked his creditor for accusing him in this world rather than at the day of judgment. He beheld with temperate firmness the approach of death; enfranchised his slaves (seventeen men, as they are named, and eleven women); minutely directed the order of his funeral, and moderated the lamentations of his weeping friends, on whom he bestowed the benediction of peace. Till the third day before his death, he regularly performed the function of public

* The epilepsy, or falling-sickness, of Mahomet, is asserted by Theophanes, Zonaras, and the rest of the Greeks; and is greedily swallowed by the goss bigotry of Hottinger (Hist. Orient. p. 10, 11), Prideaux (Life of Mahomet, p. 12), and Maracci (tom. ii. Alcoran, p. 762, 763). The titles (the wrapped ap, the covered) of two chapters of the Koran (73,74), can hardly be strained to such an interpretation: the silence, the ignorance of the Mahometan commentators, is more conclusive than the most peremptory denial; and the charitable side is espoused by Ockley (Hist, of the Saracens, tom. i. p. 301), Gagnier (ad Abulfedam, p. 9. Vie de Mahomet, tom. i. p. 118), and Sale (Koran, p. 469–474).

* This poison (more ignominious since it was offered as a test of his prophetic knowledge) is frankly confessed by his zealous votaries, Abulfeda (p. 92) and Al Jannabi (apud Gagnier, tom. ii. p. 286–288).

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