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From the Battle of Ohod to the Expulsion of the Bani Nadhir. A.H. IV. A.D.625.
Ętat 57.

Satisfaction of the Coreish at the victory of Ohod

The people of Mecca were satisfied with the loss they had inflicted upon Mahomet Abu Sofian, on his return home, went straight to the Kaaba, where he rendered thanks to Hobal for the victory, and shaved his head. Those who had taken vows of abstinence were now fully absolved.1 Medina enjoyed a long exemption from the threat of another attack on the part of the Coreish.

Rumours of hostile designs in other quarters

The two last months2 of the Arab year, with the festival of Dzul Hijj, were passed in tranquillity; but with the opening of the fourth year of the Hegira, rumours reached Mahomet from various quarters of gatherings being organized against him, and he hastened to take the initiative.3

1 Wackidi, 291.

2 February and March, A.D. 625.

3 The opening events of this year were significant of the inimical spirit of many of the Bedouin tribes, and their readiness

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The Bani Asad ibn Khozeima dispersed by a force from Medina, Muharram, A.H. IV. April, A.D. 625.

The Bani Asad ibn Khozeima, a powerful tribe connected with the Coreish,4 resided near the hill of Catan in Najd. Intelligence was received that Tuleiha, one of their chiefs, had assembled a force of cavalry and rapid camel-riders, to make a raid upon Medina. Mahomet forthwith despatched a force of a hundred and fifty men, Citizens and Refugees indifferently, under Abu Salma, with instructions to march at night by an unfrequented route, and conceal themselves by day, so as to take the camp of the Bani Asad by surprise. They were so far successful as to fall unexpectedly upon a large herd of camels, which, with three of the herdsmen, they captured, and drove off to Medina. One of the prisoners and the usual share of the plunder having been set apart for Mahomet, the remainder was divided among the soldiers. The Bani Asad were effectually dispersed for the present; but they reserved their hostility for a future occasion. This Tuleiha is the same who at a later period set himself up as a Prophet in antagonism to Mahomet.

Bani Lahyan broken up by the assassination of their chief, Sofian ibn Khalid

Another gathering about the same time had taken place at a spot between Mecca and Tayif. The Bani Lahyan, a branch of the Hodzeil (which inhabited,

to take advantage or the reverse at Medina. They show that Mahomet perhaps acted wisely in going forth to Obod, as he certainly did act wisely in pursuing the Coreish to Hamra al Asad. A less bold front would probably have brought down the marauding tribes of Najd, like harpies, on Medina.

4 See vol. i. p. cxcvi.; and the Table, p. cxcv.

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Moharram, A.H. IV. May, A.D. 625.

as they still do, the vicinity of Mecca),5 and other tribes of the neighbourhood, rallied round their chief, Sofian son of Khalid, at Orna, with the avowed intention of following up the late victory at Ohod. Mahomet, knowing that their movements depended solely upon Sofian, despatched Abdallah ibn Oneis, with instructions to assassinate him. Abdallah went forth alone, and joining himself as a volunteer to Sofian, fell upon him unaware while no one was near, cut off his head, and carried it with him. He eluded pursuit,6 and reaching Medina in safety, presented himself before Mahomet in the Mosque. The Prophet welcomed him, and asked the issue of his adventure. Abdallah replied by displaying the head of his victim. Mahomet was so highly gratified at the success, that he presented the assassin with his staff: - This;" said he, "shall be a token betwixt thee and me on the day of resurrection. Verily few on that day shall have anything to lean upon." Abdallah joined the precious memorial to his sword, and wore it close by his side till the day of his death, when it was buried with him. The murder of Sofian broke up the assemblage at Orna; and probably, from the laxity of Arab morals, the outrage did not much affect the reputation of Mahomet; but in forming our estimation of his character,

5 Vol i. p. cxcvi. and, ref. there.

6 He took refuge in a cave over which spiders wove their webs, and screened him from his pursuers - a repetition or the miracle in the cave of Thaur. He was eighteen days absent.

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it must be numbered against him as a fresh proof of treacherous cruelty. Mahomet had no right to complain, when he paid the penalty of his treachery (as he shortly after did) in the loss of several of his followers, by an act of guile and inhumanity no greater than his own.7

Mishap at Raji. Safar, A.H. IV. May, A.D. 625

In the succeeding month, Mahomet despatched six of his followers in the direction of Mecca. The object is variously stated. Some represent that they were simply spies sent to gain information of the intentions of the Coreish 8. But the more generally received tradition is, that they were deputed for the instruction of two small tribes, the Bani Adhl and Cara,9 which, at the instigation of the Bani Lahyan, pretended a desire to embrace Islam. They were, with one exception, citizens of Medina.10 When they had journeyed as far as Raji,11 they were treacherously surrounded and

7Wackidi 108; Hishami, 442. How mistaken is the estimate which W. Irving has formed of his character! Life, ch. xxi. p.118.

8 Wackidi, 345. An apparently well-founded tradition, and probable in itself.

There is another tradition in Tabari, p.402, that the expedition consisted of ten men sent forth by Mahomet, apparently on a secret mission, and in disguise, for they were recognized, and traced to their haltingplace, by the kernels of their dates being of the Medina shape.

9 Descended from Al Haun son of Khozeima, and consequently of the same stock as the Bani Asad, referred to above.

10 The exception was a Refugee, the son of Al Bokeir. Vol. ii. p.119.

11 The Secretary describes this place as seven Arabian mile. from Al Hadda, which again is the same distance from Osfan. Wackidi, 109 ½.

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overpowered by an armed band of the Bani Lahyan, who thirsted to avenge the assassination of their chief. Three died fighting bravely:12 the other three were seized and bound as prisoners to be sold at Mecca. One of these succeeded in loosening his bands, and had nearly escaped when he was crushed by pieces of rock hurled down upon him. Zeid and Khobeib, the two survivors, were purchased by the heirs of two chiefs of the Coreish slain at Badr13. They were kept till the sacred month of Safar had expired 14. They were taken to Tanim beyond the limits of the holy territory, and, in presence of a large concourse from Mecca, put to death.

Martyrdom of Zeid and Khobeib

Zeid and Khobeib are glorified in the annals of Islam as Martyrs. And if the traditions related of their refusal to recant, even on the promise of life

12 One of these was Aasim, who, it will be remembered, killed a son of Talha at Ohod, and out of whose skull Sulafa, the mother of the slain man, swore that she would one day drink wine. See above, p.168, note. The B. Lahyan were about to cut off the head of Aasim and carry it to Sulafa, but a swarm of bees interposed, and when the people went to seek for it afterwards, the Lord had swept it away with a flood, and thus frustrated the vow of Sulafa! Wackidi, 347; K. Wackidi, 109 ½; Hishami, 275.

13 Zeid ibn al Dathinit was bought by Safwan to avenge the barbarous death of his father Omeya ibn Khalf. See above, p. 110. Some say that the captors gave the two prisoners in exchange for two men of the Hozeil, then in captivity at Mecca. Hishami, 9. 275.

14 "When the sacred months had elapsed,"&C. Wackidi, p. 346. Perhaps Safar was this year made sacred in place of Moharram. See vol. i. p. ccviii.

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and liberty, and of their constancy to Mahomet and his faith, when thus standing alone amidst his enemies, be in any degree true, they are entitled to the name 15. But it is a kind of martyrdom which, in its motives and antecedents, will rot bear comparison with corresponding scenes in the history of the Christian faith. Zeid and Khobeib were avowedly either spies or prisoners of war, and their execution was hardly less excusable (some may be inclined to think it more excusable) than many of the acts of

15 I see no reason to doubt the main facts or the story, although in the details a good deal of the marvellous has been superadded. Khobeib, when in confinement, was supplied by supernatural visitants with bunches of grapes as large as a man's head, --- not a single grape being at the season to be had elsewhere. At his execution he bade his salutation to be sent to Mahomet. There being none to take it, Gabriel carried it to the Prophet, who returned the salutation in the hearing of his companions. When imprisoned, the only requests made by Khobeib were to be furnished with sweet water, to have no food that had been offered to idols, and to be told beforehand of the time of his execution. The day before he was put to death, he asked for a razor to shave himself with, which a female attendant sent by her little boy. He asked the child whether he did not fear that he would kill him with it, out of revenge. The mother interposed, when Khobeib continued: "Nay, fear not. I would never kill your son; for treachery is not allowable in my religion." When they had bound him to the stake, they said: "Now abjure Islam, and we will let thee go." "Not so," he said; "I would not abjure Islam if I were to get the whole world in return." "Wouldst thou not that Mahomet were in thy place, and thou sitting in security at home?" "I would not," he replied, " that I should have deliverance, and Mahomet suffer the pain even of a thorn."

Similar stories are told of Zeid. They embraced each other when they came to the place of execution.

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Mahomet himself. It was a meet accompaniment of an internecine war, waged with almost equal ferocity on either side. The curse of Khobeib was not easily forgotten by the spectators of that day. After praying briefly,16 and while he was being bound to the stake, he called out loudly: "O Lord! number these men one by one, and destroy them utterly! Let not one escape!" At this imprecation, the Coreish cast themselves and their children flat upon the ground, -a superstitious act to escape the potency of the dying man's curse. Spears were then placed in the hands of the children of the warriors who had fallen at Badr; grasping these weapons, which were still kept partially in the children's hands, the Coreish stabbed the bodies of their victims. And thus ended the wretched tragedy17.

A party of Mahomet's followers cut to pieces at Bir Mauna

In the same month another and more serious catastrophe took place. Abu Bera, an aged chief of the Bani Aamir, which was a powerful tribe in Najd, 15 had visited Mahomet a short time before

16 He prayed only two Rakaats, or series of prostrations, - Saying that he would have prolonged his devotions, but feared the Coreish would attribute it to the dread of suffering death.

17 Wackidi, 348; K. Wackidi, 109; Hishami, 274. The weapons were retained in the children's hands, to keep up the fiction that they slew the victims in retaliation for their parents' death.

18 Bani Aamir or Aamir ibn Sassan, a branch of the great Hawazin tribe. Vol. i. p. ccxxiv. Abu Bera, being aged, had retired from the active duties of the chiefship, and resigned them into the hands of his nephew Aamir ibn Tofail, noticed below. See C. de Perceval, ii. p. 568.

Abu Bera (Amr ibn Malik) at a later period consulted Mahomet

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Safar, A.H. IV. May, A.D. 625

with a present of two horses and two riding camels. These the Prophet declined to receive, unless Abu Bera would embrace Islam. The chief did not comply with the invitation to join the new faith; but, "if thou wilt send," he said, "a company of thy followers to my tribe, I have hopes that they will accept thy call." Mahomet replied, that he feared for the safety of his people among the treacherous tribes of Najd, some of whom were in alliance with the Coreish. But Abu Bera declared that he would himself be responsible for their safety. Trusting to this pledge, Mahomet despatched forty, or by some accounts seventy, of his followers, mostly men of Medina, with a letter to the Bani Aamir19. After four days' marching, they reached a fountain called Bir Mauna, lying between the Bani Aamir and Suleim 20. Here they halted and despatched a messenger with the letter to Aamir ibn

regarding an internal disease from which, and from old age, he was suffering. It is possible that this visit also may have had a similar object. Wackidi, 341; C. de Perceval, iii. 289.

19 They are said to have been all citizens of ~[edina, men who spent the day in hewing wood and drawing water for Mahomet's family, and at night slept in the Mosque. But although only sixteen names are given, even these are not all Medina citizens; for Amr, who escaped, was of the Bani Dhamra, a Meccan tribe; and Amr ibn Foheira was a noted Refugee, the freedman of Aba Bakr, who accompanied his master and the Prophet in their flight from Mecca. The number seventy is a favourite one; Wackidi remarks that seventy men of Medina were killed at Ohod; seventy at Bir Mauna; seventy at Yamama; and seventy at the Yasr Abu Obeid (battle of the Bridge). Wackidi, 341.

20 A collateral tribe. See vol. i. p. ccxiiv.

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Tofail, chief of the Bani Aamir. The messenger was put to death, and Aamir called upon his tribe to attack the rest of the party. They refused to break the pledge of Abu Bera. Aamir then sought the aid of the Bani.Suleim, who had lost some of their relatives at Badr; and, having been joined by a large body of these,21 proceeded to Bir Mauna and fell upon the Mussulmans, who were waiting the return of their messenger. They were all cut to pieces, excepting two men, one who was left for dead on the field, and another, Amr ibn Omeya, who, having been absent with the camels at the time of the slaughter, was spared on his return by the chief, in fulfilment of a vow which had been made by his mother 22.

21 The clans of Usseya, Ril, and Dzakwan at once responded to the call. There are traces, as intimated in the text, of enmity originating in loss of relatives at Badr. Tueima, a Coreishite who was slain by Hamza, was the son of a woman of the Bani Suleim, whose brother "went forth on the day of Bir Mauna to stir up his tribe to avenge the death of his nephew;" and he enjoyed his revenge by killing one of the Medina party. Wackidi, 145, 344. The guide of the Mussulmans was a man of the Bani Suleim. Wackidi, 338.

22 Or, according to others, he was freed when they found that he was a descendant of Modhar (their common ancestor). Mundzir ibn Amr, the leader, seems to have escaped the massacre and been offered quarter, which he refused. Mahomet on bearing this, declared that he embraced death - which the traditionists have magnified into the meaning that he went on the expedition with a sure presentiment of his end. Wackidi, 288.

Amr ibn Tofail went over the battle-field with his prisoner Amr, who pointed out to him by name all the dead bodies, excepting that of Amr ibn Fohera (Abu Bakr's freedman); on

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Mahomet's grief, and revengeful prayer

The news of this disaster reached Mahomet simultaneously with that of Raji, and greatly affected him. Next day, after the morning prayer was concluded, he invoked the Divine vengeance on the perpetrators of both these massacr;es, saying: "O Lord! trample under foot in thine indignation the Bani Lahyan, Bani Ril, Bani Dzakwan" (and so on, naming the several tribes in succession). "Make their years like unto the years of Joseph,23 for that they have rebelled against God, and rebelled against His Prophet!" This prayer was offered up in public daily for a month 24. The Prophet professed also to have received through Gabriel the following message from the martyrs of Bir Mafina : "Acquaint our People that we have met our Lord. he is well pleased with us, and we are well pleased with Him."25

which one of tbe tribe declared that Ibn Foheira, when stabbed, called out, "I have gained Paradise," and straightway ascended in the air to heaven. There is a multitude of such traditions.

23 Alluding to the seven bad years in Pharaoh's dream.

24 Some say only fifteen days.

25 This formed a verse of the Coran; but, for some reason not apparent, was "cancelled " and removed from it. See Introduction, vol. i. p. xxv. On receiving the message Mahomet prayed: "O Lord! guide the Bani Aamir to the truth. I seek unto Thee for protection from Aamir ibn Tofail!" The treaty with the two murdered men shows that there had been some degree of friendly communication between Mahomet and the tribe. Perhaps there were divided opinions in the tribe, and the minority had no right to force the majority to receive the Mahometan

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Mahomet pays blood-money for two men, wrongly killed as reprisals.

Amr ibn Omeya, one of the survivors, on his way back to Medina, fell in with two men belonging to a branch of the Bani Aamir, and slew them while asleep, as a reprisal for the massacre at Bir Mauna. But it turned out that these men were returning from Mahomet, with whom they had just entered into terms. When Amr, therefore, reported what he had done, instead of being praised, he was rebuked by Mahomet, who declared his intention of paying the full blood-money for the two murdered men. The act, indeed, being a breach of truce, was so contrary to the international code of the Arabs, that Aamir ibn Tofail himself sent a despatch to Mahomet, complaining of it. Accordingly, the full compensation in money for the lives of the two men was transmitted to the tribe, together with the booty taken from them.26

The Bani Nadhir, a Jewish tribe, ordered to leave the country, 1st Rabi, A.H. IV. June, A.D. 625

The Bani Nadhir, one of the Jewish tribes inhabiting the vicinity of Medina, were confederate with the Bani Aamr. Mahomet thought it right, apparently on account of the ill treatment he had received from their allies, that the Bani Nadhir

teachers. The whole treatment by tradition of the massacre, find Mahomet's almost immediately after entering into communication with Aamir ibn Tofail on the subject of the blood-money, looks as if the attack was not so gratuitous and unjustifiable as it is made to appear. Mahomet at first attributed it to Abu Bera: but Abu Bera cleared himself. His son attacked Aamir, and struck him with a spear, to show that his father disowned the transaction.

26 Wackidi, 343, 354; Tabari, 417.

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should aid him in defraying the price of blood for the two men murdered by Amr.'27 Attended by a few followers, he visited their village, which was two or three miles distant 28, and laid his request before their chiefs. They answered courteously, promised assistance, and invited him to sit down while they made ready a repast. After sitting thus for a little while, he suddenly arose, and without saying a word to any one, walked out of the assembly. His followers waited long, expecting his return. But they waited in vain, and at length they also arose, and went back to Medina. They found to their astonishment, that Mahomet had returned straightway to his home, and had given out that his hasty departure from the assembly was caused by a divine intimation that the chiefs of the Bani Nadhir were seeking treacherously to take his life. It is asserted that they had formed a plot to ascend the roof under which he sat, and roll down great stones upon him. But as his own followers saw nothing to excite suspicion, and as the chapter of the Coran specially devoted to the subject does not hint at any such perfidy, the charge is open to grave suspicion 29.

27 M.C. de Perceval thinks the Jews were bound by treaty to assist in the payment of all such fines. But I find no authority for this.

28 Apparently it lay to the south of Medina, as the army in going to the attack passed through Coba, and prayed in the mosque there. K. Wackidi, 109 ½. The ancient fortalice on the spot was called Zohara, near the district of Fura.

29 Tradition, as usual, sees behind the scenes, and gives the

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However this may be, Mahomet resolved that the Bani Nadhir should no longer remain in the neighbourhood of Medina. Muhammad son of Maslama (the assassinator of Kab) was commissioned to deliver the command : "Thus saith the Prophet of the Lord, Ye shall go forth out of my country within the space of ten days: whosoever shalt remain behind after that shalt be put to death."30 "O

reader the details of the entire conspiracy ; - there is a lengthened conversation, in which Huwey is represented as urging the plot, and Amr ibn Jahsh as undertaking to carry it out; Sallam and Kinana object to it, on the ground that Mahomet was the Prophet foretold in their books as about to arise at Mecca, and that he would without doubt be supernaturally informed of their scheme. flut see Canon I H. vol.1. p. lviii. The evidence is altogether ex parte, and cast in the usual mould of fiction.

Mahomet may have seen something in the style or demeanour of the Jews which alarmed him for his personal safety (for he was suspicious and timid in this respect); or, to save the credit of Islam, and justify the violent measures resorted to, he may afterwards have conjured up the scene. But that the story was current at the time, in the shape given to it by tradition (and which I have perhaps too readily adopted in the text), is hardly to be conceived; otherwise we should undoubtedly have found it mentioned in the Coran, which, as will be seen below, speaks only of "opposition." It will also be noted how glad Mahomet and his followers were, when they found the Jews were resolved to fight. Nothing they desired more than a pretext for war with them.

30 In one account it is stated that Muhammad b. Maslama charged them directly with their treachery, and that they held their peace. Wackidi, 358. For the reasons before stated I do not credit this. There are also some conversations given in the stereotyped form, such as the following: "I adjure you by the Towrat" said Muhammad, "tell me whether ye do not remember my visiting you aforetime, when ye said to me, 'Let us either initiate thee into the Catholic Faith of the coming Prophet, or make a

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Muhammad!" said they, on receiving this cruel order, we did not think that thou, or any other of the Bani Aws, would ever consent to be the bearer of a message such as this." "Hearts are changed now;" was the only reply, as he turned his back and left them startled and dismayed.

They refuse, and are beseiged

At first, they began to make their preparations for departure. But it was a grievous prospect for them to be exiled from the home of their fathers, from their fertile fields, and their choice groves of date-trees. Abdallah ibn Obey, and the party whose adherence to Mahomet had not yet made them forget the close and ancient obligations which bound them to the Jews, were displeased at the order for their banishment. Abdallah at first strove to bring about a reconciliation.31 Failing in this, he is accused of openly attributing the charge of treachery

Jew of thee.' By the Lord! it is as if I but now saw the page which then ye shewed me, written with the testimony of him." - "Yes," replied they, "but this is not the Prophet that is for to come." And so on, in the same style. Wackidi, 358.

31 Wackidi, 359. The part taken by Abdallah was natural. That he really broke faith with the Jews in promising them aid, and then holding back, is questionable; for tradition delights to cast contempt and abuse upon Abdallah as the impersonation of disaffection and hypocrisy. See Canon, II., Introd. v.i.p. lviii. The accusation is, however, made by Mahomet himself in the Coran, as will be seen below, and I have therefore admitted it into the text. The position of Abdallah was very trying. The new faith had penetrated into every branch of the Medina tribes, and rendered any combined opposition impossible. He probably found it impracticable to fulfil his promise.

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to the duplicity of Mahomet,32 and of instigating the Bani Nadhir to resistance, by promising to stand by them with his own people and with his Arab allies. Propped up by this hope, and trusting to the strength of their fortress, they at last resolved to hold fast. So they sent to Mahomet, saying: "We shall not depart from our possessions; do what thou wilt against us." When Mahomet heard this, he cried out in exultation: "The Jews have resolved to fight!"32 - adding the takbir of joy, GREAT IS THE LORD! which, taken up by his companions, re-echoed throughout the courts of the Mosque.33 Arming at once, they made ready for the campaign, and marched forth, All carrying the standard, to invest the stronghold of the rebellious tribe. The besiegers were kept at a distance by arrows and stones; but the Bani Nadhir looked in vain for succour either from Medina or from the tribes of Najd. The Bani Coreitza, their Jewish brethren, either swayed by their ancient jealousies or fearful of incurring the wrath of the vindictive Prophet, pretended that they could not break their treaty with him, and held aloof. Two years did not elapse before they rued the day on which they made this fatal mistake. Notwithstanding these disappointments, the Bani Nadhir held out gallantly, and defied all the attempts of their enemy. Mahomet,

32 Tabari, p. 420. "when Abdallah heard of it, he said, 'This is the guile of Mahomet!'"
33 Wackidi, 110; Tabari, 420.

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at last, to hasten their surrender, had recourse to an expedient, unusual, if not wholly unwarranted, according to the laws of Arab warfare.

Their date palms are burned

he cut down the surrounding date-trees, and burned their date- trees and the choicest of them to the roots with fire.34 The Jews remonstrated against this proceeding as barbarous and cruel; and Mahomet (who needed no such justification for treachery and assassination) felt that his reputation demanded a special order from the Almighty, which was produced accordingly, sanctioning the destruction of his enemy's palm-trees.

They submit to the sentence of expatriation

After the siege had lasted thus for fifteen or twenty days 35, the Bani Nadhir, seeing no prospect of relief sent to say that they were ready to abandon. the lands which had now lost to them their chief value, Mahomet was glad to accede to the offer; for the siege might still have been indefinitely prolonged, and there were dangerous elements around him. They submitted, moreover, to the stipulation that they should leave their arms behind

34 Wackidi instances one notable tree called Al Lauz, the fruit of which was bright yellow, and the skin so thin that you could see the stone through it, The Bani Nadhir, on their palm-trees being cut down, called out from their ramparts : "O Mahomet! thou wert heretofore wont to forbid injustice on the earth, and to rebuke him that committed it Wherefore, then, hast thou cut down our palm-trees, and burned them with fire?" Hishami, 287. The passage in the Coran by which he justifies himself by divine command is given in the text below.
35 Traditions vary, as to the length of the siege, from fifteen to twenty-five days.

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them.36 Upon this, Mahomet retired; and the Bani Nadhir having laden the whole of their property, even to their doors stud lintels, upon their camels, set out, with tabrets and music, on the road to Syria. Some of them, with their chiefs Hoyei, Sallam, and Kinana, turned aside to Kheibar 37. The rest went on to Jericho and the highlands south of Syria.

Two renegades

Two of their number only abandoned their ancestral faith; and, having embraced Islam, were maintained in the possession of their fields and all their property. Thus early were the inducements of the world brought to bear on the advancement of the creed of Mahomet 38.

The fields of the Bani Nadhir divided among the refugees

The spoil consisted of fifty coats of mail, fifty stand of armour complete, and three hundred and forty

36Tabari gives a tradition that they were allowed a camel and a sword for every three men; but the more received tradition is that they had free permission to carry off all their property, excepting their arms ;-they had six hundred camels.
37 Sallam and Kinana, in the fictitious conversations of tradition, are represented as arguing in favour of Islam. We shall find these chiefs again, at Kheibar, pursued by the relentless Prophet. Hishami, 282.
38 The names of the two renegades are recorded ; - Yamin and Abu Sad. Hishami, 282. The former was the cousin of Amr ibn Jahsh, the person charged with the intention of casting down stones on Mahomet. There is a tradition that the Prophet culled Yamin aside and said : "Seest thou not what I have endured at the hands of thy cousin Amr, and what he bath plotted against me?" So Yamin hired a man to assassinate his cousin, and thus procured his murder. Hishami, 282. The story is quite in accordance with the character of Mahomet, as now developing but as it is not given by the other biographers, and may therefore be open to some doubt, I have not adopted it.

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swords. But of greater importance was the fertile tract now at the disposal of Mahomet. This he claimed as exempt from the usual law of distribution, because it had been gained without actual fighting; and he divided it at his discretion. With the exception of two indigent citizens of Medina who had distinguished themselves in the field, the whole of the confiscated lands were apportioned among the Refugees, who were now promoted to a position of independence and affluence. Abu Bakr, Omar, Zobeir, and other chief companions of the Prophet, are named among the persons thus endowed with valuable estates.39

Importance of the victory over the Bani Nadhir

The expulsion of the Bani Nadhir was a material triumph for Mahomet. One by one he was breaking up the Jewish settlements in the vicinity, and weakening the cause of disaffection; for a combination, at any period, between the Jews and the other enemies of Islam would have proved critical to his safety at Medina. A whole Sura is devoted to

Notices of it in the Coran

the victory over the Bani Nadhir which is ascribed to the terror struck by the Almighty into their hearts40. The following are extracts from this Sura:

All that is in the Heavens and in the Earth praiseth God - the Mighty and the Wise.
"He it is that hath driven forth the unbelieving Jews from

39 The names of many of the grantees are given by Wackidi. Wackidi, 110.
40 This is brought forward as justifying Mahomet in not distributing the booty as ordinary prize.

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their habitations 41 to join the former Exiles 42. Ye thought not that they would go forth ; and they themselves though that their Fortresses would defend them against God. But God visited them from a quarter they counted not upon, and cast Terror into their hearts. They destroyed their houses with their own hands, and with the hands of the Believers.43 Take warning, therefor, ye that hare eyes!

" And if God had not decreed against them expatriation, He had verily punished them (otherwise) in this World, and in the World to come there is prepared for them the punishment of Fire:-

" This because they set themselves up against God and his Prophet; and whosoever setteth himself up against God, - verily God is strong in Vengeance.

"That which thou didst cut down of the date-trees, or left of them standing upon their roots, it was by the command of God,- that He might abase the evil-doers.

"And that which God gave unto His Prophet as Booty from them ;-ye did not march any horses or camels against the same; but God giveth unto His Prophet dominion over whom he pleaseth; and God is over all things Powerful.

"That which God hath given unto his Prophet from the inhabitants of the Villages (thus surrendering), is for God and the Prophet, and his Kindred, and the Orphan, and the Destitute, and the Wayfarer, that the turn (of Booty) be not confined unto the Rich amongst you. That therefore which the Prophet

41 Lit. "Those that believe not from amongst the People of the Book."
42 Lit. to join the first gathering or emigration; i.e. to join the Bani Cainucaa, already exiled. The Commentators interpret the words to mean, "at the first emigration," - alluding by prophetic foresight to the second that was to follow, when Omar drove the Jews out of the Peninsula. This, however, is an after-thought. I agree with Weil in his note, 197, p.137.
43 i.e. The Jews destroyed their houses by taking out the doors, &C, and the Believers completed the destruction after their departure.

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giveth unto you, receive it; and that which he withholdeth from you, withhold yourselves from the same ; and fear God; for God is strong in Vengeance:

"It is for the poor of the Refugees, - those who have been driven forth from their homes and from their properties, desiring the grace of God and his favour, and assisting God and his Apostle. These are the sincere (Believers).

"They that were before them in possession of the City,44 and the Faith, love those that have taken refuge with them, and find not in their breasts any want or the Booty: they prefer (their Guests) before themselves, even if they themselves be destitute.

Hast thou not observed the Disaffected? They say unto their Brethren, - the unbelieving People of the Book, 'if ye be driven forth, we will surely go forth with you. We will never submit concerning you unto any one: and if ye be attacked we shall certainly aid you.' But God is witness that they are liars. If they are driven forth, these will not go forth with them; and if they be attacked, they will not assist them; and if they were to assist them, they would surely turn their backs, and then they would be bereft of aid.

"Verily ye are the stronger, because of the Terror cast into their breasts from God ;45 - this, because they are a People devoid of understanding.

"They shall never fight against you unitedly, excepting in fenced Towns, or from behind walls.

"Their warlike strength is mighty among themselves; ye think they are united, but their hearts are divided, because they are a People that doth not comprehend.

"They are like unto those that shortly preceded them;46 they have tasted the grievous punishment of their undertaking.

44 Meaning Medina, and the early Believers among the citizens, prior to the arrival of the Refugees from Mecca.
45 I take the ordinary interpretation, and do not follow Weil in his note, No.205.
46 Alluding again apparently to the exile or the Bani Cainucaa.

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"They are like unto Satan, when like unto Man, 'Become an Infidel;' and when he bad become an Infidel, the Tempter said, 'Verily, I am clear of thee! Verily I fear the Lord of all Worlds:' - and the end of them both is that they are cast into the Fire, - dwelling for ever therein! That is the reward of the transgressors.47

Zeid learns Hebrew and Syriac, to qualify himself for the duties of secretary

Mahomet had hitherto trusted Jewish amanuenses with the transcription of such despatches as he required to be written in the Jewish or Syriac or secretary. tongues. But his relations were gradually expanding northwards, and he could not trust documents of political importance in the hands of any one belonging to a people who regarded him now, with good reason, as the enemy of their race. About this time therefore he desired a youth of Medina, Zeid the son of Thabit, to learn the Hebrew or Syriac language. He had already been taught Arabic by one of the prisoners of Badr. Mahomet now made use of him as a Secretary, both for his vernacular and his foreign despatches. This is the same Zeid, 47 Sure: lix. The Sura ends with a few more verses in the ordinary style. In the peroration Mahomet catches (as every here and there he does to the last) something of his ancient fire; 'He is the Lord! There is no God besides ; knowing both the Visible and the Invisible; He is the All Merciful and Compassionate!

"He is the Lord ; there is no God but He! The King, the Holy, the Giver of peace, the Faithful, the Guardian, the Glorious, the Omnipotent, the Most High: -

"Far exalted is God above that which they associate with Him! He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Former! His names are the most goodly. All that is in the Heavens and in the Earth praiseth Him. He Is the Glorious and the Wise."

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afterwards famous as the collector of the Coran into one volume in the Caliph ate of Abu Bakr, and the controller of the recension of the same made under the Caliph Othman.48

48 He was eleven years old when Mahomet arrived in Medina, and was now thererore fifteen or sixteen. He learned Hebrew (or Syriac) in half a month, it is said. Mahomet used to tell him to stick his pen behind his ear - "for it brought to remembrance that which the distracted mind was seeking after." K. Wackidi, 172 ½; Tabari, 431.

The Life of Mahomet, Volume III [Table of Contents]