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Embassies of Submission received at Medina. Ninth and Tenth Years of the Hegira A.D. 630, 631.

Ętat. 62, 63.

Numerous embassies during the Tenth year of the Hegira.

THE life of Mahomet was now drawing to a close; but his work was nearly completed. The proof this was amply shewn "in the stream of submissive embassies which from all quarters of Arabia now flowed uninterruptedly towards Medina.

Embassies from the south and east follow the submission of Tayif,

The adhesion of Tayif and the destruction of its famous idol produced a wide and powerful effect in the south and east of the Peninsula. Within a few months after those events, and before the close of the ninth year of the Hegira, many of the chiefs and princes of Yemen and Mahra, of Oman, Bahrein, and Yemama, had signified by letter or by embassy their conversion to Islam and submission to the Prophet.

Conversion of the province of Oman; Dzul Cada, VIII. February, 631.

Some of them had been converted even earlier. On his return from the siege of Tayif; towards the close of the eighth year of the Hegira,1 Mahomet sent Amru with a despatch to Jeyfar, king of Oman,

1 See above, p.156.

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summoning him and his brother to make profession of the true faith. At first they gave answer "that they would be the weakest among the Arabs, if they made another man possessor of their property." But as Amru was about to depart, they repented, and calling him back, embraced Islam. The people followed their example, and without demur paid their tithes to Amru, who continued till the Prophet's death to be his representative in Oman.1

and or the Himyarite princes of Mahra and Yemen;

At the same time, Ayash ibn Harith was deputed to Abd Khelal and other Himyarite princes of the Christian faith in Yemen.2 He carried with him a letter in which Mahomet expressed his belief in Moses and Jesus, but denied the Trinity and the divinity of Christ.3 Their reply, accepting the new faith

1 K. Wackidi 50 ½ . I conclude that Amru remained in the capacity of representative or governor on Mahomet's part it is said that he distributed the tithes among the poor of the country, which probably made the people less unwilling to pay them. The king's brother's name was Abd: called also by Hishami, Ayadh.

1 Their title is given as Cayl of Dzu Roein, Munfir and Hamddn." K. Wackidi, 69; Hishami, 428. The Secretary does not specify the date; and Hishami places the embassy at the close of the ninth year. M. C. de Perceval, on the authority of the Khamis and Sirat al Rasul, says the embassy was despatched simultaneously with that of Amru; another name is also given by him to the ambassador.

3 The instructions which Mahomet gave to Ayash are curious. He was to be very particular in his purification and prayers on reaching the country. He was to take the Prophet's despatch in his right hand and place it in the right hand of the Princes. He was to recite the xcviiith Sura, and then call upon them to submit, saying that he was able to refute every argument and

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with all its conditions, reached the Prophet after his return from Tabuk; and he acknowledged it in a despatch, praising the alacrity of their faith, setting forth the legal demands of Islam, and commending his tithe collectors to their favour.1

book they could adduce against Islam. When they spoke (or perhaps recited their belief in Islam) in the Himyar tongue he was to desire them to translate what they said into Arabic. (See Vol i. Introduction, p. x.) Then he was to repeat Sura xlii. 14th and 15th verses, in which it is asserted that there is no real controversy between Mahomet and Christians. A strange part of the instructions was, to call upon the people, after they believed, to produce three sticks,- two of which were gilded white and yellow, and one a black knotted cane,- which they used to worship. These he was to burn publicly in the marketplace. K.Wackidi, 55.

1 "From Mahomet, the Apostle of God, to Harith, &c. I praise God on your behalf, - that God beside whom there is no other. Now, your messenger bath reached me at Medina, on my return from the land of Greece; and he bath conveyed to me your despatch, and given me intelligence regarding your conversion and your fighting against the idolaters. Now, verily hath the Lord guided you with the right direction, that ye should amend your lives, obey God and his Apostle, set up prayer, pay the tithes, and from your booty set aside a fifth as the share of God and his Apostle." So far the Secretary (p. 60) and Hishami (428) agree. The latter adds a long detail of what the tithes should be - namely, of the produce of land, if watered naturally by streams or rain, a tenth; if by buckets, a twentieth. Of camels, they must give for every forty, a two year old she camel; for thirty, a he camel; for five, a goat. Of cows, one for every forty, or a calf for every thirty. For every forty sheep or goats, one kid. "This is what is obligatory, and whoever exceedeth, it will be for his own benefit. Every one that shall fulfil this, and believe in Islam, and assist the Believers against the Idolaters, he verily is one of the faithful: he shareth in what they share, and is responsible for that for

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and of Bahrein and Hejer.

Simultaneously with the mission of Amru, or a little later,1 Mahomet sent Ala "the Hadhramite towards the Persian Gulph with a letter to Mundzir ibn Sawa, the chief of Bahrein. Mundzir at once embraced Islam, and forwarded a reply to Mahomet saying, "that of the people of Hejer to whom he had read the Prophet's letter, some were delighted with the new religion, but others displeased with it; and that among his subjects there were Jews and Magians, regarding whom he solicited instructions." A rescript was granted by Mahomet securing Mundzir

which they are responsible. Thus it shall be with all Jews and Christians who embrace Islam. But they that will not abandon Judaism and Christianity, shall pay tribute, every adult male and female, whether bond or free, a full dinar of the Munfar standard, or its equivalent in cloth. Whosoever shall pay this, is embraced in the guarantee of God and his Apostle: whoever refuseth is their enemy."

Then he commends his messengers, teachers, and tithe collectors, to the Princes' good offices, - specifying Muadz as their chief, and desiring that the tithe and tribute should be made over to him. He forbids oppression, "for Mahomet is the protector of the poor as well as of the rich amongst you." The tithe is not for Mahomet or his family : it is a means of purifying the rest of the giver's property, and is to be devoted to the poor and the wayfarer.

See also the account of the deputation from Hannadan, who sang as they approached Mahomet,- "We have come to thee from the plains of Al Rif; in the hot whirlwinds of summer and kharif." (Kharif, "autumnal harvest," a word familiar to the Indian administrator.) Mahomet's reply secured to them their hills and dales, &c. Hishami, 483.

1 K. Wackidi, 50. The Secretary says, on Mahomet's way home from Jierrana. Hishami, however, makes it occur before the taking of Mecca, p.422.

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in the government of his province so long as he administered it well, and directing that tribute should be levied from the Jews and Magians. To the Magians he dictated a separate despatch, inviting them to believe in die Coran :-- "If they declined, toleration would be extended to them on the payment of tribute; but in such case, their women would not be taken in marriage by true believers, nor would that which they killed be lawful as food to any Moslem."1 Ala remained at the court of Mundzir as the representative of Mahomet.

Embassies from the Bani Hanifa and other Christian tribes. End of A.H. IX; beginning of 631 A.D.

Among the tribes of Bahrein which sent embassies to Medina before the close of the ninth year of the Hegira, were the Bani Bakr, who had so gloriously overthrown the forces of Persia twenty years before2 ; the Abd al Cays; and the Bani Hanifa, a Christian branch of the Bani Bakr, who inhabited Yemama. One of the deputation from the Bani Hanifa was Museilama, who, from what he then saw, conceived the idea that he too might successfully set up pretensions to be a Prophet. When the customary presents were distributed amongst them, the deputies solicited a share for him, saying that he had been left behind to guard the baggage.

1 K. Wackidi, 51. This passage refers to the distinction made by Mahomet in favour of the Jews and Christians, whose women might be taken in marriage, and what was killed and cooked by them might be eaten by the Moslems. See also two despatches to the people of Hejer, pp.53 and 534.

2 See vol. i. Introduction, pp.182, 238.

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Mahomet commanded that he should have the same as the rest,- "for his position," he said," is none the worse among you because of his present duty." These words were afterwards converted by Museilama to his own ends.1

A Christian tribe desired to demolish its church

On the departure of the embassy, the Prophet gave them a vessel with some water in it remaining over from his own ablutions, and said to them: "When ye reach your country, break down your church, sprinkle its site with this water, and in place of it build up a Mosque." These commands they carried into effect, and abandoned Christianity without compunction.2 To another Christian tribe, as I have shewn before, he prohibited the practice of baptism, so that, although the adults continued to be nominally Christian, their children grew up with no profession but that of the Coran.3 It is no wonder

1 K. Wackidi, 61. The words of Mahomet were :-

2 See the tradition, given in full, in vol. il. p.304. I have there stated the story to be improbable. But I am now inclined to think that during the last year or two of Mahomet's life, there was quite enough of antagonistic feeling against Christianity, as it presented itself in the profession of the Arab and Syrian tribes, to support the narrative. The following tradition is illustrative of Mahomet's relations to our faith at this period. Among the Bani Abd al Cays was a Christian named Jarud. He said, "O Prophet, I have hitherto followed the Christian faith, and I am now called on to change it. Wilt thou be surety for me in the matter of my religion!" "Yea," replied Mahomet, "I am thy surety that God hath guided thee to a better faith than it." On this Jarud and his comrades embraced Islam. Hishami, 422; K.Wackidi, 61 ½.
3 See vol. ii. p.303; K. Wackidi 64; Hishami, 426.

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that Christianity (which, as I have shewn before, never had obtained in Arabia a firm and satisfactory footing,) now warred against, and, where her adherents remained faithful, reduced to tribute,-her distinctive right prohibited wherever the professors were passive and careless,- her churches demolished and their sites purified before they could be used again for worship by the Christian converts, - it is no wonder that Christianity, thus insulted and trampled under foot, languished, and soon disappeared from the Peninsula.

Deputations from the South. Beginning of A.H. X. April and May, 632.

The tenth year of the Hegira opened with fresh deputations from the south. The Bani Morad and Zobeid, inhabiting the sea coast of Yemen, the Bani Khaulan, who lived in the hilly country of that name, and the Bani Bajila, were among the first whose embassies appeared at Medina. The latter tribe at Mahomet's command destroyed the famous image of Dzul Kholasa, of which the Temple, from the popularity of its worship, was called the "Kaaba of Yemen."1

Submission of the Bani Azd and the people of Jorsh

About this time, a party of fifteen or twenty men of the Bani Azd from Yemen2 presented themselves, with Surad, one of their chiefs. This person was recognized by Mahomet as the ruler of his clan, and a commission was given to him to war against the heathen tribes in his neighbourhood. The injunction

1 Vide C. de Perceval, v. iii. p.292.

2 That portion of the tribe which was left behind after the northern migration. See vol.i. p. clvi.

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was promptly fulfilled. After besieging Jorsh, the chief city of the idolaters, for more than a month without success, Surad made the feint of retiring to a hill. The enemy falling into the snare pursued him, and in a pitched battle sustained a signal defeat. The people of Jorsh immediately sent an embassy of submission to Medina.1

Chiefs of the Bani Kinda from Hadhramaut visit Medina

From Hadhramaut, two princes of the Bani Kinda, Wail and Al Ashath, the former chief of the coast, the latter of the interior, visited the Prophet at the head of a brilliant cavalcade, arrayed in garments of Yemen stuff lined with silk. "Will ye embrace Islam?" said Mahomet to them, after he had received their salutations in the Mosque.- "Yea; it is for that end we have come." "Then why all this silk about your necks?" The silken lining was forthwith torn out and cast aside. 2 To mark his delight at the arrival of the embassy, Mahomet desired Bilal to call aloud the summons to general prayer.3 When the citizens were assembled,

1 It is pretended that Mahomet had immediate intimation of the victory, and communicated the intelligence at the moment to two men of that country, who going home found it to be as he had said; and that the thing becoming known, was the occasion of the conversion of the whole tribe. The same remark will occur to the reader here as in the intimation regarding the Battle of Mota. See above, p.102. K. Wackidi, 65 ½ ; Hishami, 426.

2 K.Wackidi, 64; Hishami, 426. Mahomet disapproved of silk and velvet for men's attire.

3 i.e. the same as the Friday service, at which all attended, joined in the "common" prayer, and heard the sermon. K. Wackidi, 67 ½.

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the Prophet introduced the strangers to the congregation. "O People!" he said; "this is Wail ibn Hejr, who hath come unto you from the region of Hadhramaut, out of desire to embrace Islam." He then presented Wail with a patent securing him in his rights: "Since thou hast believed, I confirm thee in possession of all thy lands and fortresses. One part in every ten shall be taken from thee: a just collector shall see to it. I guarantee that thou shalt not be injured in this respect so long as the faith endureth. The Prophet, and all believers, shall be thine allies."1 Muavia, son of Abu Sofian, was desired to carry Wail to his house and entertain him there. On his way, the haughty prince displayed what Mahomet styled "a remnant of heathenism." He would not allow Muavia to mount behind him: the ground was scorching from the mid-day sun, yet he refused the use even of his sandals to his host, who was obliged to walk barefooted by the camel:- "What would my subjects in Yemen say," he exclaimed in disdain, "if they heard that a common man had worn the sandals of the king! Nay, but I will drive the camel gently, and do thou walk in my shade." Such insolent demeanour was altogether foreign to the brotherhood of Islam: but it was tolerated by Mahomet, for the accession was too valuable to be imperilled.

Al Ashath marries Abu Bakr's daughter

The other chief, Al Ashath, sealed his adhesion to the cause of Mahomet by marrying Omm Farwa,

1K. Wackidi, 56 ½ , 67 ½.

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Abu Bakr's daughter. The marriage was not then consummated, her parents declining that the bride should leave them for so distant a home as Hadhramaut.1

Muadz sent forth at the head of a band of collectors of envoys to the south of Arabia.

The supremacy of Islam being thus widely recognized in the south of Arabia, Mahomet sent forth a band of officers charged with the instntction of the people, and the collection of the public dues. Over them he placed Muadz ibn Jabal, who had by this time fulfilled his mission at Mecca.2. "Deal gently with the people," said the Prophet to Muadz, as he dismissed him to his new scene of labour, "and be not harsh. Scare them not, but rather cheer. Thou

1 C. de Perceval, Vol. iii. 293. Al Ashath joined the rebellion which broke out upon the death of Mahomet, but subsequently returned to his allegiance, was pardoned, and then received Omm Farwa his wife.

A member of the royal family in the deputation besought Mahomet to pray that his stammer might be removed. This the Prophet did, and appointed him a portion from the tithes or Hadhramaut. Another tradition relates that this man was seized with a paralytic affection on his way home. His followers came and told Mahomet, who desired them to heat a needle and pierce his eyelid with it; and this remedy healed him. Mahomet attributed the illness to something which the chief must have said after leaving Medina. K. Wackidi, 68.

2 K. Wackidi 292 ½. The Secretary places the deputation of Muadz in Rabi second, or July A.H. IX. or 631. I conceive that this may be a mistake for A.H. X. On the other hand. Muadz is mentioned in the letters sent to the Himyarite Princes (see above, p.216), written at the close of A.H. IX. The discrepancy may be reconciled by supposing that this was the second deputation of Muadz. Hishami 428.

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wilt meet with Jews and Christians who will ask thee, What is the key of Paradise? Reply, Verily the key of Paradise is to testify that there is no God but the Lord alone. With him there is no partner."1 These envoys of Mahomet were invested to some extent with a judicial authority. Acceptance of the new faith implied of necessity the simultaneous recognition of its social and juridical institutions. Every dispute must be brought to the test of the Coran, or of the instructions of Mahomet, and the exponents of these became, therefore, the virtual judges of the land.2

1 I do not find in my authorities the honorific address given by Mahomet to Muadz, according to C. de Perceval, vol. iii. p.294. Muadz was inextricably involved in debt, and his creditors had been clamorous before Mahomet for payment. Muadz surrendered all his property, but it fell far short or the claims. When Mahomet therefore sent him away, he said, "Go, and perchance the Lord will relieve thy wants." Muadz would appear to have made good use of his position, for Omar, when he subsequently met him at Mecca performing the Pilgrimage, reprimanded him for the state in which he appeared, followed by slaves, &c. He is said to have been very particular in following the practice of Mahomet, and never spat on his right side. He was lame, and was obliged to stretch out his legs at prayer. The people (as they always imitated the Imam in all his postures) did the same, till he forbade them.

1 Mahomet asked Muadz before he left, how he would adjudicate causes: "By the Book," he replied. But if not in the Book? "Then by thy precedent." But if there be no precedent? "Then I will diligently frame my own judgment; and I shall not fail therein." Thereupon Mahomet clapped him on the breast and said: "Praise be to God, who hath fulfilled, in the messenger sent forth by his Apostle, that which is well pleasing to the Apostle of the Lordl" K. Wackidi,292 ½.

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Najran submits to Khalid. Rabi 1st A.H. X. June, A.D. 6311

Towards the close of the Prophet's life, the sound of war had almost died away at Medina. Only two expeditions of a hostile character were undertaken during the tenth year of the Hegira. The first, under command of Khalid, set out against the Bani Harith, of Najran, during summer. About a year before, a deputation consisting of the bishop and clergy of Najran had visited Mahomet, and (as I have before recounted) had obtained terms of security on the payment of tribute.2 Khalid was now instructed to call on the rest of the people to embrace Islam; if they declined he was, after three days, to attack and force them to submit. Having reached his destination, he sent mounted parties in all directions, with this proclamation, "Ye people! Embrace Islam, and ye shall be safe." They all submitted, and professed their belief in the new faith.3 Mahomet in a despatch to Khalid acknowledged with delight his report of these proceedings, and summoned

1 So the Secretary, p. 134. Hishami makes it a month or two later, in Rabi 2nd, or Jumad 1st.

2 See vol.ii. p.290, et seq. I conclude that the operations of Khalid were directed against the portion of the Bani Harith still idolaters ;-at all events not against the Christian portion already under treaty.

3 Hishami tells this naively:- "So they, being worsted, believed, and embraced the invitation to profess their adhesion to the new faith. Thereupon Khalid began to teach them the nature of Islam, and the word of God, and the regulations of the Prophet." p. 430. Surrendering at discretion before an armed force is belief according to the language of tradition, and it preceded the teaching of what Islam itself was.

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him to return and bring with him a deputation from the Bani Harith. An embassy from the tribe accordingly visited Medina, and were treated with courtesy.1

Campaign of Ali to Yemen against the Bani Nakha &c. Ramadhan, A.H. X Dec. A.D. 631

As the Bani Nakha and some other tribes of the Madhij2 stock in Yemen still held out, Ali was sent in the winter at the head of three hundred well equipped horse, to reduce them to submission. Yemen had repeatedly sent forth armies to subdue the Hejez; this was the first army the Hejez had ever sent forth to conquer Yemen. Ali met with but feeble opposition. His detachmpnts ravaged the country all around, and returned with spoil of every kind,-women, childreng camels, and flocks. Driven to despair, the people drew together, and attacked Ali with a general discharge of stones and arrows. The Moslem line charged and put them to flight, with the slaughter of twenty men. Ali held back his troops from pursuit, and again summoned the fugitives to accept his terms. This they now hastened to do. The chiefs did homage, and pledged that the people would follow their example. Ali accepted their promise; he then retraced his steps with the booty, and reaching Mecca in the spring, joined Mahomet in his last pilgrimage. The Bani Nakha fulfilled their pledge, and submitted themselves

1 This must have happened in the winter, as the deputation did not return again to Najran till Dzul Cada, or February, 682. Hishami, 431.

2 Descendants of Cahlan: see Vol.i. p. cxlix.

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to Muadz, the Prophet's envoy in Yemen. Two hundred of them set out to tender a personal allegiance to Mahomet. It was the last deputation received by him. They reached Medina at the beginning of the eleventh year of the Hegira.1

Numerous embassies and despatches.

Numerous other embassies are described by the Secretary of Wackidi, who has devoted a long chapter to the subject, and a chapter also to the despatches and rescripts of the Prophet. Those which I have already described will afford a sufficient conception of the whole; further detail would be tedious and unprofitable. But one or two incidents of interest connected with them may be subjoined.

The Bani Aamir ibn Sassaa, Abu Bera applies to Mahomet for a cure

The part played by the mini Aamir ibn Sassaa at the massacre of Bir Mauna, will be in the memory of the reader.2 This tribe had taken little share with the rest of the Bani Hawazin (of which they formed a branch) in the battle of Honein. It maintained, under its haughty chieftain Aamir ibn Tofail, an independent neutrality. The aged chief of the tribe, Abu Bera, still exhibited friendly feelings towards Mahomet, but with advancing years his influence had passed away. Labouring under all internal ailment, he sent his nephew Labid, the poet of the tribe, to the Prophet, with the present of a beautiful horse, and an urgent request that he would point out a cure for his disease. Mahomet declined the gift, saying courteously, "If I could ever

1K. Wackidi 67 and 124.

2 Vol. iii. p.204

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accept the offering of an idolater it would be that of Abu Bera." Then taking up a clod of earth, he spat upon it, and directed that Abu Bera should dissolve it in water, and drink the mixture. Tradition tells us that when he had done this, he recovered from his sickness.1

Interview of Aamir ibn Tofail with Mahomet, Conversion of the Bani Aamir. A.H. X. A.D. 631, 632.

The following year Aamir ibn Tofail, at the solicitation of his tribe, presented himself before Mahomet, and sought to obtain advantageous terms. "What shall I have," he asked, "if I believe?" "That which other believers have," replied Mahomet, "with the same responsibilities." "Wilt thou not give me the rule after thee?" "Nay, that is not for thee, nor for thy tribe." "Then assign unto me the Nomad tribes; and do thou retain the rest." "This," said Mahomet, "I cannot do; but I will give thee the command over the cavalry, for thou excellest as a horseman." Aamir turned away in disdain: "Doth this man not know," he cried, "that I can fill his land from one end to the other with troops, both footmen and horse?" Mahomet was alarmed at the threat, for the Bani Aamir were a formidable tribe; he prayed accordingly for deliverance from this foe: "O Lord! defend me against Aamir ibn Tofail. O Lord! guide his tribe unto the truth; and save Islam from his stratagems!"

1 Labid is famous for his Moallaca, or "suspended" poem. See vol. i. p. ccxxvi. According to another tradition, Mahomet gave Labid a leather bottle of honey, of which Abu Bera ate, and so he recovered. Wackid's Campaigns, p.341.

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The haughty chieftain never reached his home; he sickened by the way, and died miserably in a deserted hut.1 The Bani Aamir shortly after gave in their adhesion to the Prophet.

Prejudices of the Bani Jufi

The Bani Jufi, a tribe inhabiting Yemen, had a deeply-rooted prejudice against eating the heart of any animal. Cays, one of their chief men, came to Mahomet with his brother, and professed belief in the Coran. They were told that their faith was imperfect until they broke through their heathenish scruples, and a roasted heart was placed before them. Cays took it up and ate it: trembling violently. Mahomet; satisfied with the test of his sincerity, presented him with a patent which secured him in the rule over his people.2 But before Cays and his brother left the presence of Mahomet, the conversation turned upon the guilt of infanticide: "Our mother Muleika," said they, "was full of good deeds and charity; but she buried a little daughter alive. What is her condition now?" "The burier and

1 He died of a virulent boil or blain. Tradition delights to dwell on the miseries of Aamir's end. Arbad, a chief who accompanied him, was about the same time struck by lightning.

The text chiefly follows the Secretary, p 60 ½. Hishami adds the popular story, that Aamir visited Mahomet with the design of assassinating him; but that Arbad, who was to deliver the stroke while Aamir engaged the Prophet in conversation, was restrained by a supernatural power: p.419. The tale is apocryphal. It is of the same class as that described in vol. i. p. lxxx.

2 This document seems to have been preserved, for the Secretary speaks of a "copy" of it.

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the buried are both in hell," replied the Prophet. The brothers turned away in wrath. "Come back," Mahomet cried; "my own mother, too, is there with yours." They would not listen. "This man," they said, as they departed, "hath not only made us eat the heart of animals, but saith that our mother is in hell: who would follow him?"

Two of their chiefs cursed by Mahomet for robbing his tithe camels

On their way home, they met one of Mahomet's followers returning to Medina with a herd of camels which had been collected as tithe. They seized his tithe the man, left him bound, and carried off the camels. Mahomet was greatly offended; and he entered the names of the robbers in the curse (the repetition of which seems still to have been kept up) against the perpetrators of the massacre at Bir Mauna.1

1 K. Wackidi, 63 ½. A second deputation from the same tribe visited Mahomet, and was well receive. We do not hear anything more of Cays. Mahomet healed the hand of the leader of the second deputation from a protuberance which had prevented him holding his camel's rein, by striking an arrow on it and then stroking it, when it disappeared. He changed the name of this chief's son from Aziz (glorious) to Abd al Rahman ; saying, There is none glorious but the Lord." Ibid.

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