|44||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
There follows a brief summary of the Prophet's career. In early life a poor orphan, and an idolater, he was raised to affluence by his marriage with Khadīja. He then sought to reform his people by claiming to be their leader; but failing in this, because of their pride and tyranny, he assumed the prophetic office, and persuaded the Arabs to accept his teaching,an ignorant and debased race, who knew neither the beginning nor the issue of the path on which they were entering. He gained them over by yielding to their national love of raids and forays, such as that against the caravan belonging to Abu Jahl; and it was this which led to the Prophet's leaving Mecca, after a ministry of thirteen years, with only forty followers. He took refuge in Medina, a poor town, inhabited mostly by Jews; and people's eyes were first opened to his true character by the unjust occupation of a plot of land belonging to two orphan children, whereon to build a mosque.1
|Brief outline of|
(pp. 4, 43).
The next section is devoted to the plundering and warlike expeditions which issued from Medina. The first three, commanded by Companions of the Prophet, are dwelt upon with considerable power. Hamza, sent out with thirty followers, met Abu Jahl at Alīs, with three hundred, and, fearing to attack him, retired. Compare this, says Al Kindy, with the aid given by
|MAHOMETS WARLIKE EXPEDITIONS.||45|
God to Joshua in the conquest of the Promised Land; then one chased a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. When Hamza, a believer and follower of Mahomet, retired before Abu Jahl, the worshipper of idols, where was the Divine help, and where the assisting angels? The captain of the Lord's host appeared to Joshua before Jericho, and the walls of the city fell down flat at the blast of the Jewish horns. What parallel can Islam show to that? The next affair was under Abu Obźida, who with seventy men went to Batn Rābigh, to attack Abu Sofiān with two hundred: but no Gabriel appeared to his aid, and he returned empty-handed from the bootless march. How different this from Moses, to whose aid, as the Moslems themselves tell us, Gabriel came, and destroyed Pharaoh, with his 400,000 followers, in the depths of the sea. The third time, Sād was despatched with twenty men to intercept a caravan at Kharrār; but it had passed a day before, and Mahomet had not known of it. If Mahomet had been a true prophet, surely he had not thus been left in ignorance; for it is the sign of a true prophet to unfold the unseen, even as Samuel told Saul of his father's asses being found. Our Saviour said that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word would be established; and here, says Al Kindy, are three convincing evidences.1
|Josh. v. vi.|
I Sam. ix,
Matt. xviii. 16.
The first three expeditions conducted by Mahomet