Mahomet eBook

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

The evil example he had set in this first Release extended with his conquests until it was accounted of universal application, and no Muslim considered himself dishonoured if he broke his pledge with any Unbeliever.  From this time a more dogmatic and terrible note enters into his message.  He openly asserts that idolatry is to be extirpated from Arabia by the sword, and that Judaism and Christianity are to be reduced to subordinate positions.  Judaism he had never forgiven for its rejection of him as Prophet and head of a federal state; Christianity he hated and despised, because to him in these later years monotheism had become a fanatic belief, and the whole conception of Christ’s divinity was abhorrent to his worship of Allah.  He was not strong enough to proclaim a destructive war against either faith, but he allowed them to exist in his dominions upon a precarious footing, always liable to abuse, attack, and profanation.

From the spring of 631 until the end of his life, Mahomet’s campaigns consist in defensive and punitive expeditions.  The realm of Arabia was virtually his, and the constant succession of embassies promising obedience and expressing homage continued until the end.  But he was not allowed to enjoy his power in peace.  The continuous series of small insurrections, speedily suppressed, which had accompanied his rise to power in later years, was by no means ended with his comparative security.  But they never grew sufficiently in volume to threaten his dominion; they were wiped out at once by the alertness and political genius of his rule, until his death gave all the smaller chieftains fresh hope and became the signal for a desperate and almost successful attempt to throw off the shackles.

The first important conversion after his return from Taif was that of Jeyfar, King of Oman, followed closely by the districts of Mahra and Yemen, which localities had been hovering for some time between Islam and idolatry.  The tribes of Najran were inclined to Christianity, and Mahomet was now anxious to gain them over to himself.  The severity he had practised against a certain Christian church of Hanifa, however, weighed with them against any allegiance until he promised that theirs should be more favourably treated.  A treaty was then made with these tribes by which each was to respect the religion of the other.

Mahomet remained in Medina throughout the year 631 and the beginning of 632, keeping his state like unto that of a king, surrounded by his Companions and Believers, receiving and sending forth embassies, receiving also tribute from those lands he had conquered, the beginning of that wealth which was to create the magnificence of Bagdad, the treasures of Cordova.  The tribes of the Beni Asad, the Beni Kunda, and many from the territory of Hadramaut made their submission; tax-gatherers were also sent out to all the tributary peoples, and returned in safety with their toll.  Almost it seemed as if peace had settled for good upon the land. 

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Mahomet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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