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A Critical Exposition of the Popular ‘Jihad’—Part 3: Islam flourished under Quraish opposition and persecution of Muslims


 By Moulavi Chirágh Ali 

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 Quraish 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 Quraish 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 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 Quraish fell upon the converted slaves, as well as upon strangers and believers among the lower classes, who had neither 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 Quraish 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 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 Hàshim, 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 Tàyif, but was ignominiously expelled the city [39]. On his return to Mecca he converted a party of the tribe of Jinn [40] (not Genii according to the vulgar notion)[41] at Nakhla. After his return from Tàyif he preached to an audience of six or seven persons from Medina, who believed and spread Islam there.

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 36: Among them were the representatives of the following tribes or clans of the Quraish, 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 40: The Arabs also had a similar clan named Bani Shaitan, 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.]

[Footnote 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 affected 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 especially 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 as romancers 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’ 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. (_Animus 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.]

[Sidenote: 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 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 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.

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Sidenote: The increasing number of Moslem converts at Mecca after the Hegira.]

21. When the Moslems were obliged to emigrate from Mecca under the severe Quraishite persecutions, all the followers of the Prophet with the exception of those detained in confinement or unable to escape from slavery had immigrated 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 Quraish (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.

[Sidenote: 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 Quraish 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 tranquillity 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 and to efface the traces of misery and sorrow the wars had brought.[44]

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

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.

(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 Quraish fought two battles of Badr and Uhad 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 Quraish.

(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 Shaitani in 630, A.D.

In this year, after the battle, both the tribes were converted to Islam.

(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.

[Sidenote: 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]

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.

[Footnote 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.]

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 50: The Bani Ashja were a branch of the Ghatafán of the Meccan stock of the Moaddites. The Bani Ashja appears 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.]

[Sidenote: 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 Muhammedan missionaries in the face of the wars waged by the Quraish who were looked upon as the guardians of the 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 Quraish for the siege of Medina. Only when the aggressions of the Quraish 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.

[Sidenote: 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]

[Sidenote: 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]

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

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

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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 Quraish army at the siege of Medina. In the seventh year, they had slain another body of Moslem missionaries sent to them.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 57: Salaba was a branch of the Zobián.]

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

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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 Quraishin the siege of Medina.]

[Sidenote: Surrender of Mecca. A.H., 8]

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 Quraish 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 Quraish caused the surrender of Mecca without bloodshed.

[Sidenote: The Meccans not compelled to believe.]

28. Though Mecca had surrendered, all its inhabitants had not already become converts to Islam. Mohammad 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]

[Footnote 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.]

[Sidenote: 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 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 Quraish opposed and attacked Islam with persecution and the sword, and strengthened idolatry with earthly weapons. The distant pagan tribes on the side of the Quraish, geographically or genealogically, were prevented by them from embracing the new faith. As soon as the hostilities of the Quraish 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 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.

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

[Footnote 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]

[Footnote 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 Quraish and were now in the hands of Muhammad.... 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]

[Sidenote: 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 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

     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]

[Footnote 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.]

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

[Footnote 67: A branch of Hawázin and sister tribe of the Sakeef inhabited the province of Najd and was 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 Kitab-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.]]

[Footnote 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.]

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

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

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

Footnote 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 "_yo jihad_," 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.]

[Footnote 73: Another branch of the Azd described above.]

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

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

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

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 80: A sub-tribe of Kozaá.]

[Footnote 81: A clan of the tribe of Lakhm.]

[Footnote 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.]

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

[Footnote 84: Descendants of Anmár of the Kahtanite stock.]

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

[Footnote 86: Already described under Bani Azd.]

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

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

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