Mahomet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about Mahomet.

His first act was to worship at the Kaaba, but before completing the whole ancestral rites he destroyed the idols that polluted the sanctuary.  Then he commanded Bilal to summon the Faithful to prayer from the summit of the Kaaba, and when the concourse of Believers crowded to the precincts of that sacred place he knew that this occupation of Mecca would be written among the triumphant deeds of the world.

His victory was not stained by any relentless vengeance.  Strength is always the harbinger of mercy.  Only four people were put to death, according to tradition, two women-singers who had continued their insulting poems even after his occupation of the city, and two renegades from Islam.  About ten or twelve were proscribed, but of these several were afterwards pardoned.  Even Hind, the savage slayer of Hamza, submitted, and received her pardon at Mahomet’s hands.  An order was promulgated forbidding bloodshed, and the orderly settlement of Believers among the Meccan population embarked upon.  Only one commander violated the peace.  Khalid, sent to convert the Jadzima just outside the city, found them recalcitrant and took ruthless vengeance.  He slew them most barbarously, and returned to Mecca expecting rewards.  But Mahomet knew well the value of mercy, and he was not by nature vindictive towards the weak and inoffensive.  He could punish without remorse those who opposed him and were his equals in strength, but towards inferior tribes he had the compassion of the strong.  He could not censure Khalid as he was too valuable a general, but he was really grieved at the barbarity practised against the Jadzima.  He effectually prevented any further cruelties, and on that very account rendered his authority secure and his rulership free from attempts to throw off its yoke within the vicinity of his newly-won power.

The populace was far too weak to resist the Muslim incursion.  Its leaders, Abu Sofian and Abbas with their followings, had surrendered to the hostile faith; for the inhabitants there was nothing now between submission and death.  The Believers were merciful, and they had nought to fear from their violence.  They embraced the new faith in self-defence, and received the rulership of the Prophet very much as they had received the government of all the other chieftains before him.

One command, however, was to be rigidly obeyed, the command inseparable from the dominion of Islam.  Idolatry was to be exterminated, the accursed idols torn down and annihilated.  Parties of Muslim were sent out to the neighbouring districts to break these desecrators of Islam.  The famous Al-Ozza and Manat, whose power Mahomet for a brief space had formerly acknowledged, were swept into forgetfulness at Nakhla, every image was destroyed that pictured the abominations, and the temples were cleansed of pollution.

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Mahomet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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