Meccans) today in his strength.' He performed the usual ceremonies of the pagan pilgrimage, such as kissing the black stone, making the seven prescribed circuits of the Ka'ba and the running between the Mounts Safa and Marwa.1 The animals brought for the purpose were sacrificed, and the ceremonies of the Lesser Pilgrimage were brought to an end. The honour paid to the city and to the ancient temple favourably influenced the Meccans; the show of martial power led two cavalry leaders of the Quraish to join Muhammad's standard; the friendships formed, through his marriage now with Maimuna—the fourth addition to his harem during this year—advanced his cause, and when Muhammad retired again to Madina he was much more powerful in every way than he had been at any previous period.

A few more Arab tribes were then attacked and reduced to submission. The southern portion of the Roman Empire was invaded, but in the battle of Muta the Muslims were severely defeated. 'We are justified in supposing that much was effected by Muhammad's campaign against the Byzantines, which, though not for the moment successful, made him the champion of a national idea, which the Arabs had scarcely thought of till then. Muhammad saw the attack was premature, and that, before entering on conquests abroad, his position must first be made stronger in Arabia. Then came a

1 Maulavi Muhammad 'Al says that the custom is kept up as a remembrance of Hagar's running about in search of water. This is pure imagination. These ceremonies were the old pagan ones, retained to conciliate the Meccans. Holy Qur'an, p. 72.
2 Margoliouth, Mohammad, p. 389.

revelation in this very short Sura, the Sura An-Nasr (cx):—

When the help of God, and the victory1 arrive,
And thou seest men entering the religion of God by troops.
Then utter the praise of the Lord and implore His pardon,
for He loveth to turn in mercy.

Thus encouraged, he was able to proceed. Undoubtedly the unity of the political community, the consolidation of his followers as a religious corporation needed a centre other than Madina. The time had now come when, if Islam was to be the one politico-religious force in Arabia which Muhammad had from the first intended it to be, Mecca must become its centre.

He saw that the Meccans were now weary of strife, that many Quraish leaders were either dead or had joined him, that everywhere in the country his own power was extending, and that it would be now possible by a determined effort to capture Mecca and once for all break down the remaining opposition of the Quraish.

The thirteenth Sura is the last Meccan one, but the forty-first verse is interpolated and probably refers to this period:—

See they not that we come to the land and diminish the borders thereof? God judges and there is none to reverse His judgement, and He is swift at reckoning up. Sura Ar-Ra'd (xiii) 41.

Ibn 'Abbas 2 and other commentators refer this to

1 Baidawi says that the victory is that of Mecca and that 'by troops' is meant the men of Mecca, of Ta'if, Yaman, Huwazin and all the Arab tribes. Vol. ii, p. 420.
2 Tafsir-i-ibn 'Abbas, p. 289.