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three hundred camels and twenty ounces of silver; CHAP.
and Mecca was sincerely converted to the profitable
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).
ambassadors of Mahomet, who invited the princes and
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.
distress of the march: lassitude and thirst were aggra-
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).