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50THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.

concern was to take beautiful women to wife; to attack surrounding tribes, slay and plunder them, and carry off their females for concubines. His chief delights were, by his own confession, sweet scents and women—strange proofs these of the prophetic claim!1 His amour with Zeinab, wife of Zeid, I am averse from noticing out of respect for this my book;—excepting only that I will quote the passage which he himself gave forth as having come down from heaven in this matter:—

And when thou (O Prophet) saidst to him on whom God had bestowed favour, and upon whom thou, too, hast bestowed favour (i.e. Zeid the friend of the Prophet),—Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear God; and thou concealedst in thy mind what God was minded to make known, and thou fearedst man,—whereas God is more worthy that thou shouldst fear him. And when Zeid had fulfilled her divorce, WE joined thee in marriage unto her, that there might be no offence chargeable to Believers in marrying the wives of their adopted sons, after they have fulfilled their divorce; and the command of God is to be fulfilled. There is no offence chargeable to the prophet in that which God hath enjoined upon him, according to the ordinance of God in respect of those that preceded him;—and the command of God is a predestined decree.—Sura xxxiii. 36, 37.2

" This specimen will suffice for men of understanding."


1  There is an objectionable passage here, p. 50, lines 4 and 5, which (however much it may add point to the passage) I would omit in the translation. It is, besides, based on a weak tradition.

2  See "Life of Mahomet," p. 302.

THE WIVES OF MAHOMET.51

Ayesha's
misadventure.
Next is introduced the story of Ayesha's night adventure with Safwn, which created a great scandal at Medina, and made Mahomet suspicious of his favourite wife ;---whereupon Ali addressed him in the same sense, ending with these words: O Prophet of God! the Lord hath not straitened thee in this matter, and there are many other women besides her. "But he would not be persuaded, because of his uxorious fondness of Ayesha, whom only of all his wives he married a maiden, and who being young and bewitching had possession of his heart (and this was the cause of the enmity between Ali and Ayesha all their lives); so that in the end he promulgated a revelation of her innocence, in Sura Nr— Verily they that slander married women, etc. The story is notorious and needeth from me no further application."1

Wives of
Mahomet.
Then follows an enumeration of Mahomet's wives, with remarks on certain of them. Omm Salma, our Author tells us, was of a jealous temperament, and wished to avoid the honour of the prophet's hand by the excuse that she had several children to tend; whereupon Mahomet engaged to bring them up for her, but in this he deceived her, for he never fulfilled the promise.2


1  "Life of Mahomet," p. 313.

2  Al Kindy therefore calls her "the deceived." Her excuse and the prophet's promise are certainly mentioned in tradition; but I do not recollect anything to show that in not himself bringing up the children, or adopting them as his own, Mahomet "deceived" the lady. See "Life of Mahomet," p. 300.

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