The revelation ends with a repetition of the restrictions imposed upon women and an injunction to the Muslim not to enter each other’s houses until they have asked leave. This was a necessary ordinance in that primitive community, where bolts were little used and there was virtually no privacy, and was designed, in common with most of his present utterances, to encourage the leading of decent, well-regulated lives by the followers of so magnificent a faith. Ayesha’s defamers were publicly scourged, and the matter dismissed from the Muslim mind, save that regulations had once more been framed upon personal feelings and specific events, and were to constitute the whole future law regarding an important and difficult question.
Mahomet was justly content with the position of affairs after the dispersion of the Beni Mustalik. He had shown his strength to the surrounding desert tribes; by systematically crushing each rebellion as it arose, he had demonstrated to them the impossibility of alliance against him. He knew they were each prone to self-seeking and distrustful of each other, and he played unhesitatingly upon their jealousies and passions. Thus he kept them disunited and fearful, afraid even to ally with his powerful enemy the Kureisch. For after all, the Meccans were his chief obstacle; their opposition was spirited and urged on by the memory of past humiliations and triumphs. They alone were really worthy of his steel, and he knew that, as far as the intermediary wars were concerned, they were but the prelude to another encounter in the year-long warfare with his native city.
The drama closes in now upon the protagonists; save for the expulsion of the last Jewish tribe in the neighbourhood of Medina, there is little to compare with that central causal hatred. The final hour was not yet, but the struggle grew in intensity with the passage of time—the struggle wherein one fought for revenge and future freedom from molestation, but the other for the establishment of a faith in its rightful environment, the manifestation before men of that Faith’s determined achievement, the symbol of its destined conquests and divinely appointed power.
THE WAR OF THE DITCH
“And God drove back the Infidels
in their wrath; they won no
advantage; God sufficed the Faithful in the fight, for God is strong,
The Kureischite plans for the annihilation of Mahomet were now complete. They had achieved an alliance against him not only among the Bedouin tribes of the interior, but also among the exiled and bitterly vengeful Medinan Jews. Now in Schawwal, 627, Mahomet’s unresting foes summoned all their confederates to warfare “against this man.” The allied tribes, chief among whom were the Beni Suleim and Ghatafan, always at feud with Mahomet, hastened to mass themselves at Mecca, where they were welcomed confidently by the Kureiseh.