|48||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
Al Kindy now adverts to one or two other warlike passages in the Prophet's life. Abdallah ibn Jahsh, having been sent towards Mecca with a small party of scouts, attacked a caravan from Yemen, killed the leader, and carried off the spoil to Medina, where Mahomet, after appropriating the royal Fifth, gave over the remainder to the captors. The justice of this proceeding was much canvassed by the citizens of Medina at the time, and our Author leaves it to his friend to draw his own conclusion.1
Equally unjustifiable was the treatment of the Beni Caynoc‚a, a Jewish tribe on the outskirts of Medina, who, without any fault, or colourable excuse, were besieged and forced to surrender at discretion. Abdallah ibn Obey, their ally, pleaded for them: at his intercession Mahomet spared their lives; but, banishing them to Syria, he laid hold of their property and distributed it among his companions.2 "I would (says Al Kindy) that I knew how thy Master reconciled it to his conscience to seize the goods of a people that had not injured him, and with whom there was no ground of quarrel, excepting that he wished to reduce their power, and that they were very rich. Such is not the wont of prophets, nor, indeed, of any that believe in God and in the Last day.
of the Beni
"I could produce many like things, but that it would weary the reader; and what I have said sufficeth as a sample. But I must say a word as to what befell thy
|Master on the field of Ohod, when his lower front tooth on the right side was broken, his lip split open, and his cheek and temple gashed, at the hands of Otba; and also as to what befell Talha, who lost several of his fingers in warding off the sword brandished by Ibn Camea over the Prophet's head.1 With this compare what our Lord, the Saviour of the world, did, when one of his followers had his ear cut off, and the Messiah put it back in its place, whole even as the other. Now if, when that happened to Talha, thy Master, in whose defence he lost his fingers, had restored them and made the hand whole, that indeed had been the sign of a true prophet. But where were the angels that they did not come to his help, and save him from having his tooth broken, his lip gashed, and his face covered with blood;he the Prophet of prophets, the Elect of the elect, the Messenger of the Lord? Where were they, that they did not save him as they delivered the prophets of oldElijah from the followers of King Ahab; Daniel from the lion of Darius; Ananias and his brethren; the godly youths, from the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, and other prophets and holy men of God? And yet (as ye hold) Adam and all mankind were created solely on behalf of this thy Master, whose name is also written on the Throne of God!|
"I turn to another subject. Now, we say that the bent of thy Master's life doth not answer to the boast that he 'was sent a Mercy and Blessing to the human race.' On the contrary, his chief object and