Mahomet eBook

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

Out of his spirit-fervour Mahomet’s triumph had been achieved.  In the dim beginnings of his faith, when nothing but its conception of the indivisible godhead had been accomplished, he had brought to its altars only the quenchless fire of his inspiration.  He had not dreamed at first of political supremacy, only the rapture of belief and the imperious desire to convert had made his foundation of a city and then an overlordship inevitable.  But circumstances having forced a temporal dominance upon him, he became concerned for the ultimate triumph of his earthly power.  Thereupon his dreams took upon themselves the colouring of external ambitions.  Conversion might only be achieved by conquest, therefore his first thoughts turned to its attainment.  And as soon as he looked upon Arabia with the eyes of a potential despot he saw Mecca the centre of his ceremonial, his parent city, hostile and unsubdued.  Certainly from the time of the Kureisch failure to capture Medina he had set his deliberate aims towards its humiliation.  With diplomacy, with caution, by cruelty, cajolements, threatenings, and slaughter he had made his position sufficiently stable to attack her.  Now she lay at his feet, acknowledging him her master—­Mecca, the headstone of Arabia, the inviolate city whose traditions spoke of her kinship with the heroes and prophets of an earlier world.

Henceforward the command of Arabia was but a question of time.  With Mecca subdued his anxiety for the fate of his creed was at an end.  As far as the mastery of the surrounding country was concerned, all that was needed was vigilance and promptitude.  These two qualities he possessed in fullest measure, and he had efficient soldiery, informed with a devoted enthusiasm, to supplement his diplomacy.  He was still to encounter resistance, even defeat, but none that could endanger the final success of his cause within Arabia.  Full of exaltation he settled the affairs of his now subject city, altered its usages to conform to his own, and conciliated its members by clemency and goodwill.

The conquest of Mecca marks a new period in the history of Islam, a period which places it perpetually among the ruling factors of the East, and removes it for ever from the condition of a diffident minor state struggling with equally powerful neighbours.  Islam is now the master power in Arabia, mightier than the Kureisch, than the Bedouin tribes or any idolaters, soon to fare beyond the confines of its peninsula to impose its rigid code and resistless enthusiasm upon the peoples dwelling both to the east and west of its narrow cradle.



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Mahomet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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