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The Fourth and Fifth Years of the Hegira; or from the middle of 625 A.D. to the end of 626 A.D.
Ætat 57, 58.

For about one year and a half after the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir, Medina was little disturbed by war either of aggression or defence1.

Badr the Second. Mahomet marches to Badr. The Coreish remain at home, Dzul Cada, A.H. IV. Feb. March, A.D. 625

The summer and autumn of the fourth year of the Hegira passed in perfect peace. At last the time came round when, by the appointment made at Ohod, the forces of Mecca and Medina were again to meet at Badr. The year was one great drought, and Abu Sofian was desirous that the expedition should be deferred to a more plentiful season. Accordingly, the Coreish engaged Nueim, an Arab of

1 The genuine remains of the "Campaigns" of Wackidi, published by H. V. Kremer, end abruptly in the middle of the narrative of the Bani Nadhir. The rest of the volume is from unauthentic sources. I have greatly felt the want of the full and valuable traditions of Wackidi in the remainder of my work. For although the Secretary of Wackidi is an equally authoritative writer, his materials for the campaigns of Mahomet are less copious.

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a neutral tribe, to repair to Medina, and there give forth an exaggerated account of the preparations at Mecca, in the hope that, with the field of Ohod yet fresh in memory, it might deter them from setting out. The Coreish eventually marched from Mecca with two thousand foot and fifty horse, but after one or two days the scarcity of provender forced them to retrace their steps.2 The report of Nueim alarmed the inhabitants of Medina, and a disinclination appeared in some quarters again to meet the enemy. But Mahomet, indignant at this cowardly spirit, or it may be better informed of the real counsels of the Coreish 3, declared with an oath that he would go forth to Badr, even if he went alone. This bold front inspired such confidence, that fifteen hundred men,: a force more than double of any he had ever before led to battle, rallied round his standard; and they carried with them a great store of wares and merchandise for the annual fair.

2 There is in the accounts of this affair, the ordinary tendency to depreciate Abu Sofian; and I should have rejected the story of the emissary, Nueim, altogether, had it not been partly borne out by v.176 of the third Sura: See below. That the drought and scarcity were very great, is evident from the treaty made shortly after by Mahomet with Ueina for the right of grazing near Medina. The Meccan army was reduced to live on flour and water. Hence it was called "the army of Sawick." See above, p.189, note.

3 Both suppositions are probable. The large numbers that did go, and their carrying merchandise for the fair, appears as if the expectation bad been general that there would be no fighting.

3 They had ten horses.

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Mahomet gratified at the result.

They maintained a standing camp at Badr for eight days, in defiance of the Coreish, and having bartered their goods to advantage, returned to Medina 4. Mahomet was much pleased at the result of the campaign, and signified the divine approbation in the following revelation: -

"Those that responded to the call of God and his Prophet, after the wound which they had received 5, - to such of them as are virtuous and fear God, there shall be a great reward.

"Certain men said unto them,-' Verily the people 6 have gathered themselves against you; wherefore be afraid of them.' But it increased their faith, and they said, - ' God sufficeth for us: He is the best Patron.' Therefore they returned with a blessing from God, and favour. No evil touched them. They followed after that which is well-pleasing unto God: and God is possessed of boundless grace.

"Verily this devil would cause you to fear his friends; but fear Me if ye be believers."7

The Coreish mortified

The Coreish, mortified at this triumph, began to project another grand attack against Mahomet. But

4 The chronology of this period is somewhat confused. Hishmi makes the expedition to Dzat al Rica (see below) in the Second Jumad, i.e. some time before the campaign of Badr, and this latter he places in Shaban. But both Wackidi and his Secretary are consistent in the order I have given. M. C. de Perceval doubts the fair of Badr being held in the month of zrul Cada; but this also is explicitly stated in my authorities. K. Wackidi, 110; Wackidi, 4.

5 i.e. at Ohod.

6 i.e. of Mecca.

7 Sura iii. vv. 178-176. "This devil is by some commentators applied to Nueim, by others to Abu Sofian. But Nueim is declared at the battle of the Ditch to be a real, though concealed convert. I am inclined to think that the expression must have reference (unless opposed by grammatical considerations of which I am not certain,) to the Devil himself.

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a year elapsed before the design was carried into execution: meanwhile Medina enjoyed a respite.

Expeidtion to Dzat al Rica, Moharram A.H. V. May, A.D. 626

In the beginning of the fifth year of the Hegira, Mahomet set out with four hundred men,8 to disperse certain tribes of the Bani Ghatafan, which were assembling with suspicious purpose at Dzat al Rica.9 They fled to the mountains at his approach. Mahomet advanced unexpectedly upon their habitations, and carried all their women off. After an absence of fifteen days the party returned to Medina 10.

8 By other accounts seven hundred.

9 A range of hills near Al Nukhil between Al Sad and Al Shucra, - called the mountain of patches (Dzat al Rica), because composed of red, black, and white masses, it looks like patchwork. See K. Wackidi, 110 ½. The other derivations or the name are far-fetched.

10 The Secretary mentions that there was a well - favoured girl among the prisoners, but he does not say what became of her, or indeed any of these females. They were probably ransomed.

One of the tales of Mahomet being placed in jeopardy by the unexpected appearance of a man of the enemy, and supernaturally guarded, is assigned to this expedition. See Introd. v.i.p. lxxx. note.

A story illustrative of the kind and unbending manner by which Mahomet engaged the affections of his followers, may be briefly recounted here, as it relates to the present expedition. Jabir, a poor citizen, son of a man slain at Ohod, was mounted on a wretched camel, which Mahomet (after miraculously transforming from a slow into a very rapid walker) said he would buy from him. He spoke to Jabir kindly concerning his father, and five-and-twenty times invoked mercy on him. Then in a livelier strain,- "Hast thou married lately?" Jabir replied, "Yes." "A maiden, or one that had before been married?" "The latter," said Jabir. "And why not a young damsel, who would have sported with thee, and thou with her?" "My father," he explained,

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The Service of Danger

It was in this short campaign that the "Service of Danger" was introduced. Fearing that the enemy would attempt a surprise and rescue their women, a part of the army was kept constantly under arms. The public prayers were therefore repeated twice,- one division watching while the other prayed. I quote below the revelation which sanctions this practice, less for its own interest, than to illustrate

The Coran, a vehicle for "General Orders"

the tendency of the Coran now to become the vehicle of military commands. In the Coran, victories are announced, success promised, actions recounted; failure is explained, bravery applauded, cowardice or disobedience chided; military or political movements are directed ; - and all this as an immediate communication from the Deity. The following verses resemble in part what one might expect to find in the " General Orders" of some Puritan leader, or commander of a crusade in the Holy Land: -

When ye march abroad in the earth, it shall be no crime unto you that ye shorten your prayers, if ye fear that the unbelievers may attack you; for the unbelievers are an open enemy unto you.

"left seven daughters, so I married a woman of experience, able to guide them." "Thou hast done well," rejoined Mahomet. (he might here himself have learned a lesson from his humble follower.) "Now when we reach thy home at Sarar, we small kill a camel and rest there, and thy wife will hear of it and will spread carpets for us."-" But, O Prophet! I have not any carpets."- "We shall get them for thee: do therefore as I have said." So they had the entertainment at Sarar. On Mahomet's returning home, Jabir took the camel to him, when Mahomet not only gave him its full price, but also returned the camel itself. Jabir, thus set up in life, prospered greatly. Hishami, 283.

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"And when thou art amongst thorn, and leadest their prayers, let one division of them arise to prayer with thee, taking their weapons with them, and when they have worshipped, let them remove behind you. Then let the other division come up that hath not prayed, and let them pray with thee, and let them take their due precaution and their weapons. The unbelievers would that ye should neglect your weapons and your baggage; their would they fall upon you with one onset. It shall be no crime unto you, if ye be incommoded by rainr or if ye be sick, that ye lay down your weapons; but take your due precaution. Verily God hath prepared for the unbelievers an ignominious punishment."11

Campaign to Dumat al Jandal. 1st Rabi, A.H. V July, A.D. 626

During the summer, another campaign was undertaken by Mahomet. It was in the direction of Dumat al Jandal 12, on the borders of Syria, midway between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Persia, where marauding bands, driven to violence by the prevailing famine, were plundering travellers, and even threatened a raid upon Medina. It is not quite certain whether Mahomet reached so far as Duma, or whether he contented himself with capturing the herds which grazed in the neighbourhood. The robbers fled without offering any opposition. This expedition is touched very lightly upon by tradition, being disposed of in a brief notice of two or three lines; but it occupied in reality an important position. Mahomet, followed by a thousand men, reached the confines of Syria ; distant tribes learned the terror of his name ; the political horizon of the Prophet was greatly extended; the lust of plunder in the hearts

11 Sura, iv. 100-102.

12 Now Al Jof, or Jal al Jawf. Wackidi says it is five days' journey from Damascus, and fifteen from Medina. It will be farther described hereafter.

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of his people acquired a far wider range; while the Moslem forces were inured, at the hottest season of the year, to long and fatiguing marches. The army was absent for nearly a month.13 On his way back, Mahomet entered into a treaty with Ueina, a powerful chieftain of the Fezara, giving him the right to graze on certain tracts of table land to the east of Medina, where, notwithstanding the drought, forage was still procurable. 14

Mahomet marries a fourth wife, Zeinab bint Khozeima. Ramadhan, A.H. IV. Dec. A.D. 625.

It is necessary now to turn to what was passing within the home of Mahomet. The reader has already been made acquainted with his three wives, Sawda, Ayesha, and Haphsa. After his marriage with Haphsa, in the middle of the third year of the Hegira, he contracted no new nuptials for some time. But in the ninth month of the Fourth year, he espoused Zeinab daughter of Khozeima, the widow of his cousin Obeida, who had been killed at Badr.14 She was called "the Mother of the Poor," from her care of the destitute converts. Zeinab was

13 Mahomet, it is said, left Medina five days before the end of Rabi I, and returned ten days before the end of Rabi II. But if Duma be fifteen marches from Medina, and he reached or nearly reached it, he must have been absent more than twenty five days, -especially as he spent some days in the Duma territory.

14 K. Wackidi, p.111. The place is called Taghlamin, two Arabian miles from Al Miradh, on the road to Rabadba. Miradh is given as thirty-six Arabian miles from Medina. Thus the influence and authority of Mahomet was rapidly expanding. The district of Rabadba was, after Mahomet's death, annexed to the territory of Medina. C. de Perceval, iii. 348, 353; A; ljr(;ckidi, 116.

15 The date of the marriage is given by Tabari, p.409. See also above, vol. ii. p.106.

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the only one or the Prophet's wives (excepting always Khadija) who died before him.

And a fifth Omm Salma/ Shawwal, A.H. IV. Jan. A.D. 626

Within another month, he sought the hand of a fifth wife. Omm Salma was the widow of Abu Salma, to whom she had borne several children. Both had been exiles to Abyssinia, from whence they had returned to Medina. At Ohod Abu Salma was wounded, but he tiad partially recovered,16 when the wound broke out afresh. Mahomet visited his death-bed. He was breathing his last, and the women wailed loudly. "Hush!"

His prayer at the death bed of her previous husband

said the Prophet, as he entered. " Invoke not on yourselves aught but what is good; for verily the angels are present with the dying man, and say Amen to that which ye pray. O Lord! give unto him width and comfort in his grave: Lighten his darkness: Pardon his sins: Raise him to Paradise: Exalt his rank among the Blessed; and raise up faithful followers from his seed! Ye indeed are looking at the fixed eyes, but the sight itself hath already followed the dead." So saying, he drew the palm of his hand over the eyes of his departed friend, and closed them. It was eight months after the battle of Ohod, when Abu Salma died; and four months later, Mahomet married his widow. One of her children was also brought up by him17.

16 The recovery must have been almost complete, as he commanded the expedition to Catan, three months after Ohod See above, p.199.

17 Namely Omar, who was probably an infant at the time of Mahomet's marrying her. For Abu Salma, see vol.ii. p. 106.

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Mahomet marries Zeinab bint Jahsh, after she had been divorced by his adopted son Zeid, Safar, A.H. V. June, A.D. 626

The numerous marriages of Mahomet failed to confine his inclinations within the ample circuit of his harem. Rather its multiplied attractions weakened restraint, and stimulated desire after new and varied charms. On a certain day, the Prophet visited, as he often did, the house of Zeid, his freed-man and adopted son. Zeid was not at home; his wife Zeinab invited him to enter, and starting up in her loose and scanty dress, made haste to array herself for his reception. But the beauties of her figure through the half opened door had already been too freely unveiled before the licentious gaze of Mahomet. He was smitten by the sight: - "Gracious God Almighty!" he exclaimed ; "Gracious God! how thou turnest the hearts of mankind!" These rapturous words were repeated, as he turned to depart, in a low voice; but they were uttered distinctly enough to be heard by Zeinab, who perceived the flame she had kindled ; and, proud of her conquest, she was nothing loth to tell her husband of it on his return. Zeid went straightway to Mahomet, and declared his readiness to divorce Zeinab for him. This Mahomet declined: "Keep thy wife to thyself," he said, "and fear God." But Zeid could plainly see that these words proceeded from unwilling lips, and that the Prophet had still a longing eye for Zeinab. Perhaps he did not care to keep her, when he found that she desired to leave him, and was ambitious of the new and distinguished alliance. Accordingly he completed

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the divorce. Mahomet still hesitated. There might be little scandal according to Arab morals in seeking the hand of a married woman whose husband had no wish to retain her; but the husband in the present case was Mahomet's adopted son, and even in Arabia such a union was held to be illicit. Still the passion for Zeinab could not be smothered; it continued to burn within the heart of Mahomet, and at last, bursting forth, scattered all other considerations to the winds. Sitting one day with Ayesha, the prophetic ecstasy appeared to come over him. As he recovered, he smiled joyfully and said, "who will go and congratulate Zeinab, and say that the Lord hath joined her to me in marriage."18 His maid Solma made haste to carry the glad news to Zeinab, who showed her delight by bestowing on the messenger all the jewels she had upon her person. Mahomet delayed not to fulfil the Divine behest, and took Zeinab to his bed.19

18 Ayesha says, according to this tradition, that Mahomet immediately recited the Divine command to marry Zeinab, in the words of Sura, xxxiii. v.86.; but this verse is rather in the recitative style of a past event, and probably followed the marriage.

19 Some traditions say that he waited the period of divorce, that is, three months, before marrying. But the rule prescribing this interval had not, I believe, been then ordained. During the expedition to Kheibar, we shall see that in the case of a subsequent marriage, Mahomet did not observe the delay; so that he either considered himself personally exempt from the rule, or it was not revealed till after that campaign.

I have followed Tabari very closely, pp.431-433-the fullest of the early authorities I have met with. He gives a second narrative, differing only in this that, as Mahomet waited at Zeid's door,

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And supports the marriage by a divine command

The marriage caused much obloquy, and to save his reputation, Mahomet had the impious effrontery to sanction it by a special Revelation from on high, in which the Almighty is represented as formally recording a divine warrant for the union, disallowing objections on the score of adoptive affinity, and even reprehending the Prophet for his scruples and his fear of man : -

"And when thou saidst to him on whom God hath bestowed Favour, and upon whom thou too hast bestowed favours :20 ‘Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear God;' and thou concealedst in thy mind what God was about to make known, and thou fearedst man, -whereas God is more worthy that thou shouldst fear him.

"And when Zeid had fulfilled her divorce,21 WE joined thee in marriage unto her, that there might be no offence chargeable to Believers in marrying the Wives of their adopted sons, when they have fulfilled their Divorce; and the command of God is to be fulfilled.

the wind blew aside the curtain of Zeinab's chamber and disclosed her in a scanty undress. After Zeid had divorced her, Mahomet asked him whether he had seen anything to dislike in her. "Nothing," he replied, "only good." Ayesha relates that strange misgivings arose in her heart (as they well might) when she heard the Divine message commanding the marriage, and called to mind the beauty of Zeinab, lest she should glory over the other wives of Mahomet as his Divinely appointed bride. We learn from tradition that Zeinab did thus vaunt herself, saying, that God had given her in marriage to his Prophet, whereas the other wives were given by their relatives. See Sale on S. xxxiii. v.36.

20 Meaning Zeid, on whom Mahomet had bestowed freedom, and farther favoured by adopting him. In the following verse he is mentioned by name, - a singular instance, which differs from the universal practice of the Coran elsewhere. No other follower or contemporary is mentioned by name; Mahomet probably thought such a practice inconsistent with the dignity of a message from heaven.

21 Lit. "Fulfilled the matter concerning her."

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"There is no offence chargeable to the Prophet in that which God hath enjoined upon him according to the ordinance of God regarding those that preceded him (and the command or God is a predestined Decree) : -

"Those who conveyed the Messages of God, and feared him, and feared none but God, and God is a sufficient accountant.

"Mahomet is not the Father of any man amongst you. Rather he is the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets; and God knoweth all things.

"God hath not given to a man two hearts within him Nor hath he made your adopted sons your (real) sons. This your speech proceedeth from your mouths; but God speaketh the Truth; and he directeth in the right way. Let your adopted sons go by their own fathers' names. This is more just with God.22

Scandel of the transaction thus removed

The scandal of the marriage was removed by this extraordinary revelation, and Zeid was thenceforward called not "the son of Mahomet," as heretofore, but by his proper name, "Zeid, the son of Harith." Our only matter of wonder is, that the Revelations of Mahomet continued after this to be regarded by his people as inspired communications from the Almighty, when they were so palpably formed to secure his own objects, and pander even to his evil desires. We hear of no doubts or questionings; and we can only attribute the confiding and credulous spirit of his followers to the absolute ascendancy or his powerful mind over all who came within its influence.

The Veil or curtain imposed on Mahomet's wives

The seclusion of the Veil or curtain was at this time enjoined upon the wives of Mahomet. Himself well stricken in years, surrounded by six wives,

22 Sura, xxxiii. 4, 5, 86-39.

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some of whom were young, sprightly, and beautiful, and living as he did with his family in the midst of a continual concourse of courtiers and visitors, worshippers and suitors, such a restriction was needed. Indeed, he had himself proved, in the case of Zeinab, the danger arising from the free admission of friends or strangers; and his followers could hardly expect to be more exempt from temptation than their Prophet. The command to take the veil, as usual, comes from heaven; and the jealousy of Mahomet's heart is further allayed by the Divine prohibition that his wives shall never marry again, even after his death. Henceforward, they are to be called "The Mothers of the Faithful." The following is the passage : - How has the fine gold become dim!

"O ye that believe! Enter not the Habitations of the Prophet, except it be permitted you to eat bread, without waiting his convenient time. But when ye are bidden, then enter; and when ye have eaten, then disperse. And be not familiar in discourse, - Verily that giveth uneasiness to the Prophet. It shameth him (to speak thus) to you: but God is not ashamed of the Truth. And when ye ask anything of his women, ask it of them from behind a curtain;23 that will be more pure for your hearts and for their hearts. It is not fitting for you that ye give uneasiness to the Apostle of God, nor that ye should marry his wives after him at any time : - Verily that would be an enormity in the sight of God.

"The Prophet is nearer unto the Believers than their own Souls, and his Wives are their Mothers."24

23 Or veil.

24 Sura, xxxiii. 6 and 50. In v.52, the fathers, sons, nephews, and slaves, of the Prophet's wives are exempted from

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Moslem women to be partly veiled when walking abroad

Certain restrictions, but of a far less stringent nature, were about this time placed upon the dress and demeanour of all believing women. These were exposed in their walks abroad to the rude remarks of disaffected and licentious citizens; they were therefore commanded to throw their garments around them so as partially to veil their persons, and conceal their ornaments. The men who thus troubled the Moslem females were threatened with expulsion and with a general slaughter.

"O Prophet! Speak unto thy Wives and thy Daughters, and the Wives of the Believers, that they throw around them a part or their Mantles. This will be more seemly, that they may be recognized,25 and may not be subject to annoyance; and God is Gracious and Merciful.

"And truly, if the Disaffected, and they in whose hearts is a disease,26 and the propagators of falsehoods in the City, hold not back, We shall surely stir thee up against them. Then they shall not be permitted to live near unto thee therein, but for a little. Accursed! Wherever they are found, they shall be taken and killed with a great slaughter. It is the wont of God in the case of those that have gone before. And these shall not find in the wont of God any variation."27

the restriction. There is a good deal more in a strain similar to that which I have quoted; but farther extracts would only weary the reader.

25 Recognized, that is, as women of reputation.

26 i.e. Of incontinency.

27 Sura xxxiii, v.66. See also Sura xxiv. v.32. "Speak unto the Believing women that they restrain their eyes, and preserve their chastity; and display not their ornaments, except what appeareth thereof; and let them throw their veils' over their bosoms; and let them not display their ornaments except to their husbands, fathers, &C. And let them not shake their feet that their hidden ornaments be discovered."

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Rules for entering the houses, &c. of neighbours.

Rules and precautions were also prescribed to regulate the visits of strangers to their neighbours' houses, and to prevent the privacy of believers from being intruded upon without due warning.28

These restrictions rendered necessary by the loose code of the Coran.

The truth is that the extreme license of Polygamy and Divorce permitted to his followers by Mahomet rendered these safeguards necessary. Such license would not, without gross and flagrant immorality, be compatible with the free and open intercourse of European society. It would not in any nation be tolerable, without restrictions which fetter and degrade the female sex.29.

28 Sura, xxiv. Believers are forbidden to enter any house but their own (even if there be no one inside) until they have first asked leave and saluted the family, vv. 28-80. Three times during the day, i.e. before morning prayer, at the time of the siesta, and after evening prayer, even slaves and young children (who are otherwise excepted) must ask permission before entering an apartment, 59, 60. Women past child-bearing may alone dispense with the outer garment, 61. The sick, and certain near relatives, are exempted from the prohibition of dining familiarly in each other's inner apartments, 62. Sale, it appears to me, has not apprehended the right bearing of this last verse. Vide in loco.

29 On this account the introduction of European manners and customs into Mahometan society, is altogether to be deprecated. The licentiousness of the system, without the present checks, cruel and unnatural as they are, would certainly create in Mussulman countries, an utter dissolution of morality, already at a sufficiently low ebb. Let the state of things be conceived, in the open and unrestricted society of Europe, if; from an unlimited facility of divorce (besides the right of polygamy and servile concubinage), the marriage tie were left to the simple will and fancy of the husband ; - if any man might look upon any married woman (near relatives excepted) as within his reach by marriage, the present husband consenting; if, every married woman felt like Zeinab bint Jahsh, that she might become the lawful wife of any

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Visiting his wive out of their turn permitted to Mahomet by Divine sanction

A goodly row of houses now formed the eastern side of the Mosque: these were the Prophet's "habitations;" one of which was erected on every fresh marriage for the accommodation of his bride. Mahomet professed to share his time equally amongst

man whom she might captivate, and who could persuade her husband to pronounce a divorce! the foundations of society would be broken up.

I have nowhere met with a more forcible illustration of the natural results of the principles of the Coran in respect of Marriage than in a paper on the Malays of Penang. Their strange propensity to run a muck, which has become proverbial, is justly traced to the law of Polygamy and Divorce: - "A man observes the neglect of his wife, knows how easily she may be separated from him, broods over the result, and may be led into that state of mind" (i.e. of an Amok). He "views with jealousy any attentions of another man to his wife, and a fancied reciprocation on the woman's part leads to the direst results . . . . Divorces are so easily accomplished that the most abominable licentiousness is promoted, and the fine feelings that characterize the union of the sexes under the Christian dispensation are unknown.. . . Young men of thirty to thirty-five years of age may be met with who have had from fifteen to twenty wives, and children by several of them. These women have been divorced, married others, and had families by them." - Journal of the Indian Archipelago, vol. ii. No.2, p. 143.

Burkhardt tells us, of an Arab, forty-five year old, who had had fifty wives; so that he must have divorced two wives and married two fresh ones on the average nearly every year. We have cases of Mahomet's own "Companions" not much better. This is the natural and legitimate effect of the Law.

Wherever Mahometan society is otherwise, it is owing to the accident of position or custom. The natural propriety and humanity of Monogamy and of the indissolubility of the marriage tie, has with many individuals and many classes (as among some families of Pathans in India), to some extent introduced a purer practice in supercession of that prescribed by the Coran, and notwithstanding its temptations. But this abstinence from

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his wives, passing a day and night in the house of each successively. Thus their turn was known as "the day of Sawda," - "the day of Zeinab" and so on. Yet Ayesha maintained her pre-eminence in this as in all other respects; and, however much there may have been a formal circuit of the harem, reducing nominally her portion to one day in six, still hers was the most frequented of the apartments of all his wives, and best deserved the name of the Prophet's home. The irregularity of his attentions at length provoked a natural discontent; and Mahomet did not scruple to release himself from the obligation of consorting with his wives equally, and in undeviating order, by producing a command from Heaven 30.

excess cannot be carried to the credit or the system introduced by Mahomet. It is owing, in spite of that system, to the antiseptic tendencies still maintained by the Deity in human nature.

30 "Postpone any or them (thy wives) thou mayest wish ; and admit unto thyself her whom thou choosest, as well as her whom thou mayest desire of those whom thou hadst put aside ; it will be no offence in thee. This will be easier, that they may be satisfied, and not repine, but be all content with that thou givest unto them." Sura xxxiii, 48.

A passage follows which was probably given forth at a later period, for in this Sura are collected a variety of precepts, of different stages, all relating to the treatment of women :- "No more Women are lawful unto thee after this: nor that thou shouldest exchange any of thy wives for them, even though their beauty fascinate thee, excepting those (slave girls) that thy right hand may possess, and God observeth all things." ibid. v.49.

Some Commentators think that this prohibition was abrogated by the verse (47), which makes lawful to the Prophet in marriage any of his maternal or paternal cousins, and any believing woman who willingly surrenders herself to him. Others say that the passage was revealed after his number of nine wives was completed

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The burlesque on inspiration could hardly be carried beyond this point. Yet the command was gravely incorporated in the Coran (whether Mahomet intended that it should be so, we have no means of deciding); and to this day it is recited in its course, as part of the Word of God, in the worship of every Mussulman, and of every Mosque!

It is a relief to turn from these unworthy passages, to other scenes in the life of Mahomet.

Mahomet attacks and takes captive the Bani Mustalick. Shaban, A.H.

About three months after his return from Duma, rumours readied the Prophet of new projects against him, in the direction of Mecca. The Bani Mustalick, a branch of the Khozaa, hitherto friendly to his cause, were now raising forces with the view of joining the Coreish in the threatened attack on Medina. He resolved by a bold inroad to prevent their design. All the fighting men of Medina rallied round him; and a great multitude of those hitherto lukewarm in the interests of Islam, with Abdallah ibn Obey at their head, desirous to maintain a friendly appearance, or allured by the hope of plunder, joined his standard. Mahomet could now muster thirty well appointed horse.31 After a march of eight days

In the latter case, it is to be noted that the addition of slave girls, as concubines, is still permitted ad labitum.. The former inter- pretation supposes a fraud, which one would willingly believe Mahomet innocent or; for the "prohibition" was in the manner of a guarantee to his existing wives, which he had no right to abrogate.

31 Of these, twenty belonged to the Citizen, and ten to the

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he encamped at the wells of Muraisi, near the seashore, some marches short of Mecca.32 Here he had a tent pitched for himself and for Ayesha and Omm Salma, who accompanied him. The tidings of his approach carried dismay into the ranks of the Bani Mustalick, and caused all their allies to fall away from them. The overpowering force advanced; and, after a brisk discharge of archery, closed so rapidly on the enemy, that the whole were surrounded and taken prisoner, with their families, and their herds and flocks.33 Two hundred families, two thousand camels, and five thousand sheep and goats, besides much household goods, formed the booty. It was divided in the usual manner.34

Refugees. The standard of the latter was held by Abu Bakr, of the former by Sad ibn Obada.

32 It is described as a day's march from Al Furd, which is eight stages from Medina. K. Wackidi p. 111. It is also said by Hishami to be near Cudeid, p.311.

33 Ten men of the Mustalick were killed, - only one on Mahomet's side, and that by an erring shot from a Moslem..

There are other respectable traditions which say that Mahomet surprised the Bani Mustalick by rapid marches, and fell unexpectedly upon them. The completeness of the capture would seem to strengthen this view. But the Secretary of Wackidi gives his decision in favour or the narrative in the text.

34 The household stuff was sold to the highest bidder, on the spot. In the division of the spoil a camel was reckoned equal to ten sheep or goats. Some say it was on this occasion that the law was introduced for giving each horseman three times the share of a footman, - two shares being reckoned for the horse. Mahomet, it is said, desired by this inducement to encourage the development of cavalry in his army.

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Altercation between the citizens and the refugees

The army remained encamped for several days at the Wells of Moraisi. In this interval an altercation sprang up between Sinan, a citizen, and Jahja, a refugee, the servant of Omar. Jahja struck the other a blow, and the citizens of Medina rushing upon him to avenge their comrade's insult, Jahja cried loudly on the Refugees for aid. High words and threats passed on both sides, swords were drawn, aud the result might have been serious, had not Sinan been persuaded to withdraw his complaint and forgive the injury. During the quarrel, the disaffected party gave free expression to murmurs against the insolence of the Refugees: "This;" said Abdallah plainly, "ye have brought upon yourselves, by inviting these strangers to dwell amongst us. When we return to Medina, the Mightier shall surely expel the Meaner!"35

Mahomet orders an immediate march

Mahomet no sooner heard of the strife, and of the violent language of Abdallah, than he gave orders for an immediate march.36 The discontent march. of the Citizens and the momentary antagonism betwixt them and the Refugees, if allowed to spread, would have been dangerous to his safety. By

35 Or, "The Stronger shall surely expel the Weaker."

36 There is a very different tradition given in H. V. Kremer's edition of Wackidi, but it is in the apocryphal portion of the volume, and evidently rests on poor authority. It represents the sudden and hasty march back as caused by the apprehension of an attack, for the rescue of the prisoners, by the B. Mustalick. There is no reason, I think, for doubting the received narrative.

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breaking up the camp, and at once ordering a long and wearisome march, he hoped to divert men's minds from the events of the morning and make the quarrel to die away. Therefore, though the hour was still early and unseasonable, and although amity had apparently been re-established, Mahomet started without delay, and kept, the army marching the whole of that day and night and the following day, till the sun was high. Then he halted, and the force, overpowered with fatigue, was soon asleep. From thence they proceeded onwards to Medina by regular marches.37

Abdallah and the disaffected citizens reprimanded in the Coran.

Abdallah protested to Mahomet, apparently before the army moved, that he had not made use of the expressions attributed to him ; and Mahomet, although some of his followers counselled severe and decisive measures, received his excuse with civility. When Abdallah was being hardly handled by his fanatical son, who tried to extort from him the confession that he was the Meaner, and Mahomet the Mightier38, the Prophet chancing to pass by interfered

37 On the march back there was a tremendous storm; on which it is said that Mahomet desired his followers not to he alarmed, as it merely portended the death of one of his leading enemies. On reaching Medina, they found that Rufaa, a chief of the Cainucaa, and a promoter of disaffection, had died that very night. Hishami, 312.

38 There are worse actions than this attributed to Abdallah's son. He offered to bring his father's head, if Mahomet desired it; saying - " If he is to be killed, I will do it myself. If any other man commits the deed, the Devil will tempt me to avenge my father's

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and said,-" Leave him alone! For, by my life! so bug as he remaineth with us, we shall make his companionship pleasant unto him." Still, when he returned to Medina and found himself again firmly fixed in the affections of the citizens, Mahomet deemed it necessary to administer to Abdallah and his followers a public reprimand, and his bitter feelings found expression in the sixty-third Sura. The heavenly message therein conveyed, contains a curse against the insincere and disaffected professors of Islam; and the quotation in that Sura of the very words attributed to Abdallah, fixed the point of the divine reprimand against him, and shewed significantly that Mahomet did not credit his denial.39

blood: and by killing a Believer for an Unbeliever, I shall go to Hell. Suffer me to kill him myself!" Hishami, p.313.

Omar also is said to have counselled Mahomet at Moraisi to put Abdallah to death. But Mahomet replied - "Omar! How will it be if men should say that Mahomet killeth his own followers? nay, but let us give orders for an immediate march." In after days when Abdallah's authority waned, and he was treated without reverence even by his own people, Mahomet reminded Omar or his advice on this occasion, and asked whether it was not far better to have reserved him for this fate, than to have put him to death. Omar confessed the wisdom of the Prophet.

I view, however, all these traditions with suspicion, - they are too much of one type, always introducing Omar, &c., with the same violent and intolerant language which the success and conquests of Islam gave rise to in later days, but which would hardly have been suitable, or even thought of, when the party of the Disaffected was still so strong at Medina.

39 The following is the passage alluded to:- "When the Disaffected come unto thee, they say: 'We testify that thou art the Prophet of God:' and God knoweth that thou art his Prophet,

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Mahomet marries Juweiria daughter of the Mustalick chief: his seventh wife.

The captives of the Bani Mustalick, having been carried to Medina with the rest of the booty, men from their tribe soon arrived to make terms for their release. Juweiria, the daughter of their chief, fell to the lot of a citizen, who, taking advantage of her rank and comeliness, fixed her ransom at nine ounces of gold.40 Despairing to raise so large a sum, she ventured into the presence of the Prophet, while seated in the apartment of Ayesha, and pleaded for some remission of the heavy price demanded for

and God testifieth that the Disaffected are liars. They take their oaths as a Shield, and they turn men aside from the way of God; verily it is evil, that which they do: - This because they believed, and afterwards disbelieved; Wherefore, their hearts are scaled, and they understand not. When thou seest them, thou admirest them; but when they speak, thou listenest to their words, as if they were logs set up (against the wall) *; they fancy every cry is against themselves. They are enemies. Beware of them! God curse them! How are they turned unto lies!

"And when it is said unto them : ‘Come! let the Prophet of God pardon for you;' they avert their heads, and ye see them turn aside, puffed up with pride. It is the same for them whether thou askest pardon for them, or dost not ask pardon for them. God will not pardon them. God doth not guide wicked men unto the truth.

"These are they which say: 'Do not expend your Wealth upon those who are with the Prophet of God, and so they will disperse ; Whereas unto God belong the treasures of the Heavens and or the Earth: but the Disaffected understand not.

"They say : 'When we return unto Medina, verity the mightier shall expel from thence the Meaner:' Whereas Might belongeth unto God and his Prophet, and the Believers: but the Disaffected do not comprehend." Sura lxiii.

40 The ordinary ransom of a woman or child was ten camels.

* i.e. they are equally devoid of sense.

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her freedom. Ayesha no sooner saw her than, well knowing the susceptibility of Mahomet, her jealously prognosticated what was about to take place, for the damsel was fair to look upon, and of a winning carriage. Mahomet listened to her supplication. - "Wilt thou hearken," he said in reply, "to something better than that thou askest of me?" Surprised by the gentle accents of the conqueror, she inquired what that might be: "Even that I should pay thy ransom, and marry thee myself!" The damsel expressed her consent; the ransom was paid; and Mahomet, taking her at once to wife, built a seventh house for her reception. As soon as the marriage was noised abroad, the people said that the Bani Mustalick were now become their relatives, and that the rest of the prisoners should go free, as Juweiria's dower; "and no woman," said Ayesha, telling the story in after days, "was ever a greater blessing to her people than this Juweiria."41

41 K. Wackidi, 111 ½; Hishami, 318. Some traditions say that Mahomet liberated all the prisoners, as her dower; others say forty persons; others again that one hundred captives gained their freedom ; - the people letting them go without ransom so soon as they heard of the marriage. I have adopted the likeliest version.

I am not by any means certain that Mahomet's marriage with Juweiria, did not take place whilst the army was encamped at the wells of Muraisi; for Mahomet was absent twenty-eight days in this expedition (Wackidi); during ten of which he must have halted there. This would allow ample time for the negotiations of ransom, &C. Wackidi also says that only some of the women were brought to Medina.

In this view we may suppose the interview between Mahomet

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Ayesha falls into trouble

But a severer trial than the advent of a new rival hung over Ayesha; her honour was about to be called in question.

Her misadventure on the march with Safwan

The wives of Mahomet, when they marched with with him, travelled each in a litter carried by a camel. Since the order for the veil, this litter had been carefully shrouded from the public gaze. It was placed before the door of the tent, and at the hour of marching, the lady entered it in seclusion, and adjusted the curtains; the servants then approached and lifted it upon the camel. On the day on which the army re-entered Medina, from the expedition against the Bani Mustalick, the camel of Ayesha was brought at the end of the journey to her door, near the Mosque; but when the litter was opened it was found to be empty.42 Shortly after Safwan, one of the Refugees, appeared leading his camel, with Ayesha seated upon it. Ayesha explained that just before the time of marching, having occasion to go to some little distance from her tent, she dropped her necklace of Yemen beads. On coming to her litter, she perceived that it was lost, and went back to seek for it. Meanwhile the bearers came up, and imagining

and Juweiria to have occurred in Ayesha's tent. And if so, the marriage preceded the misadventure of Ayesha with Safwan. May not her vexation and reasonable jealousy at the vagrancy of Mahomet's affections have had some connection with the scene I am about to recount?

42 As explained above, both Ayesha and 0mm Salma were with Mahomet in this trip.

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Ayesha to be within, (for she was yet slender and slight in figure),43 lifted the litter according to custom, and led the camel away. On her return, Ayesha was astonished to find the place deserted, and no one left anywhere in sight44. So, expecting that the mistake would be soon discovered, and the litter brought back, she wrapped her clothes around her and sat patiently on the ground. Meanwhile, Safwan, who had been also accidentally detained, passed by, and recognizing Ayesha, expressed surprise at finding one of the Prophet's wives in this predicament. She did not answer him. No other words (so Ayesha declared) passed between them; but Safwan brought his camel near her, and turning his face in the opposite direction, desired her to mount. When she was seated, he approached, and taking hold of the halter, led the camel towards Medina. Though he made every haste, he could not overtake the army; and thus they entered the city before the gaze of the people, and some time after the other travellers had all alighted.

Mahomet's estrangement from her

The scandal-loving Arabs were not slow in drawing the worst conclusions from this inopportune

43 Being light in weight, her absence from the litter made little difference in its heaviness. Ayesha explains the slenderness of her figure by saying that the Prophet's wives had hitherto lived on a light diet of barley or pulse. They had not yet the indulgence of meat. But see Canon n. B. p. lx. vol. i.

44 We must suppose that her tent was very light, easily taken down, laden, and carried off; so soon as she was supposed to have entered the litter.

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occurrence. The reports soon readied the ears of Mahomet and caused him great uneasiness. Ayesha felt the change of his manner towards her, and (though professing to be ignorant, till some time after of the cause) it preyed upon her mind. She fell sick, and finding his indifference to be still maintained, obtained permission of Mahomet to return to her father's house.

Scandal occasioned by the occurrence in Medina

The estrangement of Mahomet from his favourite wife strengthened the grounds for her defamation. Her fall was gloried over by those who bore no love to the Prophet, and became a topic of malicious conversation even among some of his staunch adherents. At the head of the former was Abdallah ibn Obey; and foremost among the latter were Mistah (a relative and dependent of Abu Bakr), the Poet Hassan, and Hamna, daughter of Jahsh, who rejoiced over the dishonour of her sister Zeinab's rival45.

Mahomet chides his followers for meddling in the matter.

When matters had gone on thus for a month, Mahomet resolved to put an end to the scandal. So he mounted the pulpit, and sharply reprimanded his followers : "O ye people!" he said, "what concern is it of others that they should disquiet me in affairs touching my family, and that they should unjustly blame them ! Whereas, I myself know concerning

45 Ayesha says: - "Now Hamna took up the scandal, because she was sister of Zeinab, daughter of Jahsh (formerly wife of Zeid); and there was none that dared to put herself in competition with me, but Zeinab only. She herself said nothing bad, but her sister did so, envying me because of my superiority to Zeinab." Hishami, p.316.

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my family nought but that which is good. And moreover ye have traduced a man, regarding whom likewise I know not aught but what is good." Then Oseid, a leader of the Bani Aws, arose and swore that he would punish the delinquents, even to death, if the Prophet would but give permission. On this an altercation sprang up between him and the Bani Khazraj, to whom the chief offenders amongst the citizens belonged46. The quarrel was with some difficulty appeased by Mahomet, who then left the Mosque and proceeded to the house of Abu Bakr.

He consults Osama and Ali

There, having called to him Osama47 and Ali, he asked counsel of them. Osama declared his utter disbelief of the slanderous reports. Ali with greater caution, recommended the examination of Ayesha's maid; and the maid when called could bear testimony to nothing but the general innocence of her mistress48.

46 The altercation is not noticed by Hishami;- but see M. C. de Perceval, iii. p.168.

47 Osama was the son of the Prophet's nurse, Baraka (Omm Ayman), and Zeid. See vol. ii. p.49.

48 We must remember that all this is Ayesha's own account of the matter, and that there was a strong antipathy between her and Ali. Her statement must therefore be received with caution. It is as follows - Ali replied to Mahomet: "O Prophet! there is no lack of women, and thou canst without difficulty supply her place. Ask this servant girl about her, perchance she may tell the truth." So Mahomet called Bureira; Ali arose and struck her severely, saying, - "Tell the truth unto the Prophet." "I know nothing," said she, "of Ayesha but what is good - excepting this, indeed, that one day I was kneading corn, and I asked her to watch it, and she went asleep, and the goats came and ate thereof." Hishami, p.316.

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Ayesha is cleared by a revelation from heaven.

Mahomet then went to Ayesha herself. From the time when she had first learned the damaging nature of the reports about her character, she had abandoned herself to excessive grief. Her mother exhorted her to patience :-"Assuage thy sorrow, my daughter!" she said: - "It is seldom that a beautiful woman is married to a man who loves her, and who has other wives besides, but the latter multiply scandal against her, and men do so likewise." But she refused to be comforted, and continued to pine away. Now when Mahomet entered, he sat down beside her, with her father and mother; and he said, "Ayesha! thou knowest what men have spoken of thee. Fear God! If indeed thou hast been guilty of that which they accuse thee of then repent towards God, for the Lord accepteth the repentance of his servants." Ayesha held her peace, expecting (as she tells us) that her parents would reply for her ; - but they too were silent. At last she burst into a passionate flood of tears, and exclaimed, - "By the Lord! I say that I will never repent towards God of that which ye speak of. I am helpless. If I confess, God knoweth that I am guiltless. If I deny, no one believeth me. All I can say is that which Joseph's father said, -- Patience becometh me: God is my helper!"49 Then, as all sat silent, Mahomet appeared to fall into a prophetic trance. They covered him

49 Ayesha says that the name of Jacob having entirely gone from her memory at the moment, she substituted the words, Joseph's father.

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Over, and placed a pillow under his head. Thus he lay seemingly unconscious50. In a little while he recovered himself; cast off the clothes, and sat up. Wiping away the great drops of sweat from his forehead, he exclaimed, "Ayesha rejoice! Verily the Lord hath revealed thine innocence." -- "Praise be to God!" was all that Ayesha could reply.

Passages of the Coran revealed on the occassion

Then Mahomet went forth to the people, and recited before them the commands which he had received in this matter from heaven. They are contained in the twenty-fourth Sura, which opens with the declaration of the punishment for harlotry, one hundred stripes51, and proceeds thus: -

They that slander married women,52 and thereafter do not bring forward four witnesses, scourge them with four score stripes: and ye shall never again receive their testimony; for they are infamous, - Unless they repent after that, and amend, for God is forgiving and merciful.53 Verily they, ---- a party amongst

50 Ayesha assures us that her mind was perfectly tranquil at this critical moment, confident that her innocence would be vindicated from heaven.

51 This penalty is made by the Moslem divines to apply to fornication only, and not to adultery. For the latter no punishment is mentioned in the Coran, but the Sunna awards death by stoning, for it. See vol. i. Introduction, p. xxv. note.

52 Muhsinat: the meaning of which term is fixed by v.22.

53 Here intervenes the special ordinance prescribed for husbands who charge their wives with adultery. If they have no witnesses, the charge, sworn to four times, with a fifth oath imprecating the wrath of God upon the false swearer, is to be accepted in lieu of four witnesses. The wife may avert the punishment by similar oaths and a similar imprecation. No corresponding privilege is conceded to the wife who should accuses her husband of adultery. Sura xxiv, 6-9.

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you,-- that have fabricated lies, think it not to be an evil unto you.54 To every man amongst them shall be (dealt out according to) the crime which he hath wrought; and he that hath been forward amongst them in aggravating the same, his punishment shall be great.

"Why, when they heard it, did not the believers, men and women, imagine in their minds that which is good, and say,- This is a manifest Lie? Have they brought four witnesses thereof? Wherefore, since they have not produced the witnesses, they are liars, these men, in the sight of God.

"If it were not for the favour of God upon you, and his mercy in this world and in the next, verily for that which ye have spread abroad, a grievous punishment had overtaken you; - when ye published it with your tongues, and said with your mouths that of which ye had no knowledge: and ye counted it light, but with God it is weighty.

"Why, when ye heard it, did ye not say: 'it belongeth not to us that we should speak of this ;-Gracious God! This is a monstrous calumny!'

"God admonisheth you that ye return not again to the like thereof, for ever.

"And God manifesteth unto you his signs, for God is knowing and wise.

"Verily, they who love that infamy should be published regarding the believers: to them shall be a grievous torment in this world and in the next. And God knoweth, but ye do not know.

"And if it had not been for the grace of God upon you, and his mercy, - Verily, God is merciful and forgiving."55

The calumniators of Ayesha re scourged

After some farther denunciations of the wrath and curse of God against the traducers of innocent females, Mahomet stopped short; and, in accordance with the Divine command, ordered the calumniators of Ayesha to receive the punishment ordained for

54 i.e. to the Prophet and his family.

55 Sura xxiv, vv. 4, 5, and 10-20.

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them. Mistah and Hassan received each fourscore stripes; and even Hamna, the sister of the favourite Zeinab, failed to escape. But Mahomet did not venture to enforce the sentence against Abdallah. It was fortunate that he refrained from doing so, for a time of trial was approaching, when the alienation of this powerful citizen and his adherents might have proved fatal to his cause.

Hassan is concliliated by the present of an estate

Satisfied with the infliction of these punishments, Mahomet, instead of keeping up the grudge, sought rather to conciliate the slanderers of Ayesha. Safwan (the hero of the misadventure), smarting under the satires of the poet Hassan, drew his sword upon him and inflicted a deep wound. Hassan and his comrades seized and bound Safwan, and carried him before Mahomet. The Prophet first rebuked Hassan for troubling the citizens with his lampoons; and then, having composed the difference, more than compensated the Poet for his wound and the disgrace of the stripes, by conferring on him a valuable estate and mansion in the vicinity of Medina. He also commanded Abu Bakr not to withdraw from Mistah, his indigent relative, the support he had hitherto given him.56.

Hassan writes an ode in praise of Ayesha, who is reconciled to him

Ayesha, again received back to the home and the heart of Mahomet, re-established herself, perhaps more firmly than before, in the paramount influence

56 This was not thought too small a matter for a special Revelation. See Sura xxiv, 28.

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which she exercised there. Her praises were sung by Hassan himself, - her purity, her grace, her wit, and (what Ayesha piqued herself more than all upon,) her slender and elegant figure, - in glowing verse, which entirely reconciled her to the Poet57.

Guilt or innocence of Ayesha

Little remark is needed regarding the character of Ayesha, and the pretended message from the Almighty to which it gave occasion. There are not materials sufficient for deciding upon the charges brought against her, and the question is immaterial. That there were grounds of grave suspicion, Mahomet by his behaviour towards Ayesha himself admitted. The reason subsequently assigned for her innocence and the punishment of the slanderers, - namely, the

The law of slander established by Mahomet

absence of four witnesses, is inconclusive. It might have been necessary that Mahomet should caution or even punish his followers for lightly or maliciously damaging a reputation hitherto untarnished; but to prohibit, on pain of stripes, all comment on suspicious morality, unless attested by four witnesses, is to cast a veil over conduct which the interests of society may often require to be canvassed and held up to reprobation 58.

57 When me came to the passage referring to her sliminess, she archly interrupted him by a piece Of raillery at his own corpulence. M. C. de Perceval, iii, p.175.

58 It Is true that an exception is made in favour of the husband whose simple oath five times repeated may be substituted, so far is his own interests are concerned, for the four witnesses. But this would not touch the case of unmarried women, or widows, or

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Mahomet, through the Coran cautions his wives against immodesty

Although admitting so decisively the innocence of Ayesha, Mahomet did not deem the character of his wives above the necessity of a caution, enforced too by the threat of double punishment, if they erred. They were not as other women; far more than others they were bound to abstain from every word and action such as might encourage those "whose hearts were diseased." The passage, in which the jealousy of the Prophet thus betrays itself through the transparent veil of a Revelation, is too curious to be curtailed, even at the risk of the reader's patience.

"O Prophet, say unto thy Wives, ---- 'if ye seek after this present Life, and the Fashion thereof come, I will make provision for you and dismiss you with a fair dismission.'

"But if ye seek after God and his Apostle, and the Life to come, then verily God bath prepared for the excellent amongst you, a great Reward.

"O Women of the Prophet! if any amongst you should be guilty of open Vice,59 the punishment shall be doubled unto her twofold;- and that were easy with God.

"But she that amongst you devoteth herself to God and his Apostle, and worketh righteousness, Wt shall give unto her her reward twice told, and We have prepared for her a gracious maintenance.

"O ye Women of the Prophet! Ye are not like unto any one

where the husband might be blind or conniving; and yet the interests of public morals might justify society in taking cognizance of strongly suspected immorality even when not supported by four witnesses. The practical result of Mahomet's rule is that the Mahometan husband immures, or secludes his wire, or watches her at every turn ; and with such a system is this to be wondered at?

59 ordinarily used of incontinence.

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amongst (other) Women. If ye fear the Lord, be not bland in your speech, lest be indulge desire in whose heart is a disease. Yet speak the speech that is suitable.

"And abide within your Houses; and array not yourselves as ye used to do in the days of Ignorance gone by. And observe the times of Prayer; and give Alms; and obey God and his Apostle. Verily the Lord desireth only to purge away from you. Impurity, ye that are (his) household, and to purify you wholly.

"And keep in memory that which is recited in your houses, of the Signs60 of God, and Wisdom: for God pierceth that which is hidden61, and is acquainted with all things."

60 Or Verses,- meaning passages of the Coran.

61 Or "God is Benign": This word is probably used with the meaning I have given it in the text, as intimating that any secret improprieties on the part of his Wives would not be hidden from God.

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