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1 See remarks by Sprenger; Life of Mohammed, pp. 20, 23.

2 We meet with few instances or punishments inflicted by society upon offenders before Islam. In one case a robber's hands were cut off for the theft of treasure belonging to the Kaaba; and another man was exiled for ten years on suspicion or coinnivinace at the theft. Tabari, p. 73.

3 See Sprenger's Life of Mohammed, p. 6; and M. C. de Perceval, vol. i. p.237, et. seq. Some make the Liwa, or right of the Standard, to include the Leadership also; but we find these offices held separately by different persons. Supposing that they are to be reckoned as one, then the Sicaya and Rifida might be regarded as two distinct offices, in order to make up the full number of five.

It has been already stated that Cossai did not keep in his own hands the lesser ceremonial offices of the pilgrimage, as the Ifadha and Ijaza, or right of dismissal and heading the hurried return from Arafat and dismissed the pilgrims from Mina. But the pilgrimage to Arafat was evidently under his superintendence, as he provided water and food upon the occasion; and we also read that he used to kindle a great fire at Muzdalifa to guide the pilgrims on the night of their return thither from Arafat - " a practice," says Wackidi "which existed in the time of the Prophet, and the three first Caliphs, and is continued even to the present day." Katib al Wackidi; p. 13 1/2.

4 Cossai called two of his sons after his gods Abd Menaf and Abd al Ozza; one after his house, Abd al Dur; and one, who died young, after himself, Abd al Cossai Abd Menaf was named Al Camr from his beauty; but it is said that his proper name was Al Mughira; his mother however dedicated him to Manaf, tite greatest idol at Mecca; and so that name prevaled over the other. Tabari, pp. 25-26. From Abd al Ozza descended Khadija, Mahomet's first wife.

5 Katib al Wactidi p. 12. See also Tabari, p. 35. Al Hajan is a hill "near Mecca, which became heniceforth the burial ground of the Qoray-shites," - if indeed it was not so before.) Sprenger p. 26.

6 This seems to he the real state of the case, although the accounts differ. Thus Wackidi says that, after Cussai's death, Abd Menaf succeeded to this position and to the Government of the Coreish. He adds." -

- "And he divided Mecca into quarters; subsequently to the division which Cussai made for his people."

There is a tradition by Azracki that Cossai himself divided the offices between Abd al Dar and Abd Menaf, and allotted the to the latter the distribution of water and food, and the leadership. But had it been so, the descendants of Abd Menaf would have had no necessity to fight for those offices.

7 He had six sons and six daughters. The eldest of the sons was Al Muttalib, Katib al Wackidi , pp. 13-14 1/2. The three first mentioned in the text were by one mothe; Atika, of the Bani Cay. Aylan. Naufal was by a female of the Bani Sissan. Wackidi mentions a third wife. M.C. de Perceval makes Abd Shams the eldest son See also Tabari, p. 22.

8 Hence the former were were called "the sweet scented," or these who pledged themselves in perfumes;" - the latter "the lickers of blood" Katib al Wackidi, p. 13 1/2.

Sprenger calls the former panty (that of Hashim) the Liberals the latter (the descendants of Abu Menaf) the Conservatives. But on the part of the latter there was no greater conservatism than the natural desire to retain the dignities and power they already possessed: on the part of the former there was no greater liberalism than the assertion of their pretensions to a portion of the dignities and power wlnicit they coveted. The principles of both were the same. Neither had any intention of effecting a change in the religious or political system of Mecca. Both recognized the existing patriarchal form of the constitution; neither of them had the least thought of adopting a more efficient and enliglhtened regime. It was a simple struggle for power on the part of two branches of the dominant family. But Sprenger's principle of a spirit of enquiry and advance towards the truth before the time of Mahomet, prepared film to recognize in the family of Abd Menaf the seeds of liberalism, which (as it appears to me) no more existed in them than in the family of Abd al Dar.

9 The Leadership is not here specified, and the inference might thence be drawn that it followed the right of the Banner. But we know from subsequent history, that the leadership actually fell to the lot of Abd Shams son of Abd Menaf, and from him was inherited in regular descent by Omeiya, Harb, and Abu Sofian. See Sprenger, p. 26, note 1.

The three offices retained by the descendants of Abd al Dar remained in that line. The custody of the Kaaba was generously continued by Mahomet to the person in possession at the establisliment of Islam, though he had hitherto been one of his opponents. The Hall of Council descended by inheritance to Ikrima, and was sold by him to the Caliph Moawia, who turned into the Government House. - "and so," adds the Secretary of Wackidi, "it continues in the hand of the Caliphs even unto this day". (p. 13 1/2).

10 This is according to M. C. de Perceval's calculations, which I accept as near approximations to fact. Sprenger places Hashim's birth A.D. 442. Vide Asiatic Journal No. ccxxi. p. 352.

11 See somewhat similar expressions descriptive of the long journey, in the divine proclamation which Abraham was commanded to make inviting the people to pilgrimage. Sura xxii. 28.

12 Katib al Wackidi, pp. 13-14. The fixed cess is mentioned at 100 Heraclian Mitheals. Sprenger thinks that this may mean the Aureus of Constantine, which Gibbon calculates at eleven shillings. The fixed contribution from each would thus exceed fiftypounds. The richer or the merchants may possibly have given so much; as it is certain that mercanitile projects had begun to revive at Mecca, and especially among the Coreish, and the profits of each expedition are stated to have genernally doubled the capital stock employed. As the ostentatious Arabs would expend all they could on the occasion of the annual pilgrimage, the sum specified is not an unlikely one for the more extensive traders. But as a general and uniform cess on each person or head of a family, it appears excessive and improbable. The period alluded to, however is early in the sixth century, and at that remote era we cannot look for any great certainty of detail in such matters.

13 The day or starting is called and falls on the 8th of Drul Hijj. The ceremonies concluded, and the multitude dispersed on the 12th or l3th of the same month. See preceding chap. p. ccvi.

14 The above account is chiefly from Katib al Wackidi p. 14.

15 On the liability of Mecca still to famine from long drought, see Burk hardt's Travels in Arabia, p. 240.

16 Katib al Wackidi , p. 13; Tabari, p. 22. It is added by all the Mahometan historians, that this is the origin or the name Hashim i.e. because he broke up the provisions" - But this is improbable, for she name or Hashim was already in existence. The leading opponent of the great Hashim, in the struggle for the offices of religion and state, was Amr son or Hashim:, son of Abd al Dar; so that already there was a cousin styled by the same name. The Arab poets, however, delighted in the pun; and we have fragments or poetry referring to it mantled down to us by tradition. Hashim's proper name is said to have been Amr.

17 It is added that as often as he went to Anckira (Ancyra), he was admitted into the presence of the Emperor who honoured and esteemed him; bit the legend, no doubt, originated in the desire to glorify this illustrious ancestor of the Prophet. Katib al Wackidi, p. 13-14; Tabari, p. 23. The former says that both the Caysar anti the Najashy honoured and loved him.


Katib al Wackidi, p. 14. I have endeavoured to give the meaning of this passage in the text.

19 Tabari p. 23.

20 Katib al Wackidi, p.13; Tabari, p.22.

21 It is difficult to express, in any language but the Arabic, the idea conveyed by a . It was a vain-glorious practice of the Arabs, which consisted in one party challenging another and claiming to be more noble and renowned, brave and generous than he. Each disputant adduced facts and witnesses to prose his ambitious pretensions, and the arbiter judged accordingly.

22 Katib al Wackidi, p 13 1/2; Tabari; p.24. The Mahometan historians say that "This was the beginning of the enmity between Hashim and Omeya," meaning between the Omeyads and Abbassides. Mysteriously to illustrate this pretended enmity, it is pretended that Hashim and Abd Shams (Omeya's father) were twists, that the first born came forth with his finger adhering to the forehead of his fellow; and that on being severed, blood flowed from the wound. The soothsayers were consulted, and said that there would be bloodshed between them or their descendants. Tabari, p.23. The Secretary of Wackidi does not give this legend. It is an evident Abasside fable.

The envy of Omeya, and the rivalry between the branches of Hashim and Abd Shams, need no such recondite illustration. It was the natural result of the retention of power and office by one of two collateral lines. The Hashimites had the chief dignities of providing water and food for the pilgrims. The Omeyads possessed only the leadership in battle. What more natural than that the latter should envy the former?

23 That one of the marts at Medina should have been then currently called by this name is proof that the Nabatheans must have had extensive mercantile dealings so far south as Medina. This corresponds with the conclusions arrived at in chap. ii. p. cxxv.

24 Mention has already been made in the preceding chaphter (p. ccxxxii.) of Oheiha, and also of Salma.

25 Katib al Wackidi p. 14, Tabari, p. 18. The account of the latter varies somewhat from the Secretary of Wickidi. Tabari makes Hashim on his visit to Medina to abide in the house of Amr, Salma's father, where he saw and fell In love with the comely widow. She made the stipulation that site was not to bring forth a child except in her father's house. Hashim, after contracting the alliance, proceeded on his Journey to Syria, and the marriage was not consummated till his return, when he carried Salma to Mecca. These facts, and the birth of Sheba at Medina, are not mentioned by the Secretary.

Hashim's death could not have occurred very immediately after the birth of Sheba, as he is raid to have had another child by Salma, a daughter called Ruckeya who died in infancy; but it is possible she may have been born before Sheba. Hashim had another daughter of the same name by another wife. He appears to have had in all five wives, by whom four sons and five daughters were born to him. Katib al Wackidi, ibidem. But the only child of any note was Sheba, Abd al Muttalib.

Hashim was probably between fifty and sixty when he died. Sprenger has satisfactorily shown that the absurd tradition of his being at his death only twenty or twenty-five years old, originated in a corrupt copy of a tradition in Wackidi, where it is stated that Abu Ruhm, who carried back the property left by Hashim at Gaza to his family at Mecca, was then only twenty years old.

Sprenger, however, seems to me wrong in attributing the name of "Sheba" to Hashim's being grey-headed when Salma bore him a son. The view taken in the text is that of native authority, and is besides the most natural.

26 Perceval considers that Hashim died A.D. 510, and supposes Sheba to have been then thirteen years old (having been born A.D. 497.) But Tabari makes the lad only seven or eight years of age when, some time later, he quitted Medina, (p.15). Hashim may therefore have died earlier.

I follow M.C. de Perveal in placing Sheba (Abd al Muttalib's) birth in 497 A.D. He died aged eighty-four, in 579 A.D. Sprenger, by lunar years, brings the calculation of his birth to 500 A.D., but the luni-solar system of M.C. de Pecrceval is to be preferred.

27 Al Muttalib and Hashim, and their descendants, combined and kept together on the one side; as did Abd Shams and Naufal, and their descendants, on the other. Each body, the Secretary of Wackidi adds, in all their proceedings acted "as one hand."

28 Katib al Wackidi, pp. 14-15; Tabari, pp 15-i7. The accounts vary considerably. The former makes Thabit, father or the Poet Hassan, to bring to Abd al Muttalib the tidings of his nephew; the latter makes a Meccan or the Bani al Harith to do so Tabari also varies (p.16) in representing Al Muttalib, as carrying off his nephew clandestinely, and thus omits the interview with Salma; but at p. 17 he gives another account more like Wackidi's. He also makes Al Muttalib at first represent nephew at Mecca to be really his slave, and then surprise the Coreish by leading him about the streets of Mecca well dressed, and proclaiming that he was Hashim's son.

29 There seems some reason to doubt the origin to which the name of Abd al Muttalib is attributed. But its it Is universally received by Mahometan writers, I have thought it best to adopt it in the text. There is a good deal of fragmentary poetry on the subject. The following lines describe Al Muttalib's emotion when he recognized his nephew at Medina: -

Katib al Wackidi, p.14.

Various rend .

See Tabari, pp. 17-21. These incidents are not given by Wackidi; and there in ground for suspecting at line least exaggeration in them, from the Abbasside desire of casting disrepute upon the Omeyad branch.

Aini ni litintlalib being represented as himself assertor of his rights, and as sending a message to his Medina relatives (which is given by Tabari as a poetical fragment, p.20), we must regard him its now grown up. But I do not see any ground for holding the rights of which he was dispossessed to be those or entertaining the pilgrims, as Sprenger supposes. Life of Mohammed p. 30. In that case we should have to consider his uncle, Al Muttalib, as dead, which from the narrative does not appear likely. The whole story, however, may be regarded, for the reason specified above, with some degree of doubt

30 Tradition states that Hashim was the first of Abd Menafs sons that died; then Abd Shams in Mecca where he was buried, at Ajyad then Al Muttalib as above; and lastly, Naufal at Salman in Irac. See Tabari, p.25.

31 Hishami; p.21; Katib al Wackidi p.15. The event is encircled by a halo of miraculous associations. Abd al Muttalib receives in a vision the heavenly behest to dig for the well, couched in enigmatical phrases which after several repetitions he at last comprehends. The Coreish assemble to watch his labours: his pick-axe strikes upon the ancient masonry, and he utters a loud Takbir (Allahu Akbar,-- Great is the Lord!) The Coreish then insist on being associated with him in the possession of the well. Abd al Muttalib resists the claim, which they agree to refer to a female soothsayer in the highlands of Syria. On their journey thither, their water is expended in a wild desert where no springs are to be found. They prepare to dig graves for themselves and await death, when lo! the camel of Abd al Muttalib strikes her hoof on the ground, and a fountain straightway gushes forth. The Coreish, with a flood of thanksgiving, acknowledge that God had by this miracle shown that the well Zamzam belonged solely to Abd al Muttalib, and they all return in peace to Mecca. The dispute about the gazelles and other property is represented as following the above incident after an absurd stony of this sort, what reliance is to be placed on the Secretary's judgment or common sense? Sprenger has rightly thrown the whole or these fables into his legendary chapter. Life of Mohammed, p. 58.

32 The image of Hobal was over the well or hollow within the Kaaba. In this cavity were preserved the offerings and other treasures of the temple. Tabari, p. 6.

33 The Katib al Wackidi is the only authority who states the number of the weapons, viz, seven swords, and five suits of armour; p.15. The story of their bring burled here by Modhad the last Jorhomite king, has been related in preceeding chap. p. cxcviii.

In casting the lots on this occasion, six arrows were used; two yellow for the Kaaba; two black for Abd al Muttalib and two white for the Coreish. Hashimi, p.23. The mode of casting the arrows is described by Tabari (p.6), and by M.C. de Perceval, Essai vol.1 pp. 261-265. There were ordinarily seven arrows on which fixed responses were written, from which some sort of oracle could be gathered in any matter, domestic, social or political, referred to the god ; - whether in digging for water, circumcising a lad, fixing his paternity, taking it wife, going to war, concluding a treaty, &c. The lots were cast into a bag, and drawn by the minister of the Temple. In the present case, there was a separate drawing apparently for each article, or set of articles, the arrow first drawn gaining the lot.

34 These were soon after stolen by three Coreishites, but recovered. Katib al Wackidi, p. 15 ; Tabari (p.73) gives an account of a sacrilegious theft which is probably the same. As a punishment, the chief offender had his hands cut off; and one of the Coreish was expatriated for lean years.

35 The character or the water is ft question of Rome curiosity and interest as hearing on the origin of the city. "It scorns probable," says Burkhardt, that the town of Mecca owes its origin to this well; for many miles round no sweet water is found; nor is there in any part of the country so copious a supply." Travel in Arabia, p. 145. Yet opinions vary so strangely as to its being fit for use that I can account for the contradictions only by the proverbial capriciousness of the taste for water. I will carefully note the authorities on the subject.

Bartema (1503 A.D.) says; - "In the myddest thereof (of a 'turret') is a well of three score and tenne cubites deepe; the water of this well is infected with saltpetre or saltnitr." Burton, vol. ii. p. 366.

Jos. Pitts (1680 A.D.) writes; - "Beer el Zem Zem, the water whereof they call holy water. .. . They report that it is as sweet as milk; but, for my part, I could perceive no other taste In it than in common water, except that it was somewhat brackish. The Hagges when they come first to Mecca drink of it unreasonably; by which means they are not only much purged, but their flesh breaks out oil in pimples; and this they call the purging of their spiritual corruptions." Ibid. p.392. He adds in a note, - "The worthy Mons. Therenot saith that the waters of Mecca are bitter; but I never found them so, but as sweet and good as any others, for aught as I could perceive" Ibid. p.393.

Ali Bey says; - "The well is about seven feet eight inches in diameter, and fifty-six feet deep to the surface of the water." He adds that the water "is rather brackish and heavy, but very limpid. Notwithstanding the depth of the well, and the heat of the climate, it Is hotter when first drawn up than the air. . . - it is wholesome, nevertheless, and so abundant that at the period of the pilgrimage, though there were thousands of pitchers full drawn, its level was not sensibly diminished." (vol. ii. p.81).

The other wells in the city, - which he says he "examined particularly," -- "are all of the same depth; and the water is of the same temperature, taste, and clearness, as that of Zemzem." He therefore believes them all to originate in "one sheet," supplied by the filtration of rain water: but his testimony is mingled with some degree of religious fervour. The city wells he say,' "spring from the same source as the water of Zemzem; they have the same virtue in drawing down the divine favour and blessing as the miraculous well. God be praised for it!" Ibid. p. 98.

But Sale on the authority of Edrisi, states that the springs of Meeca "are bitter and unfit to drink, except only the well Zemzem; Prel. Disc., p.4. And with this agrees the testimony of Burkhardt, who with reference to the former, writes; - "line well water is so brackish that it is used only for culinary purposes, except during the time of pilgrimage when the lowest class of Hadjys drink" Travels p.106. When the conduit from Arafat is out or repair, then "during the pilgrimage sweet water becomes an absolute scarcity; a small skin of water (two of which a person may carry) being often sold for one shilling - a very high price among Arabs." Ibid. p.107. The names of some of the wells and their diggers are mentioned by M.C. de Perceval, i p. 262.

Burkhardt ascertained that the level of Zemzem continues the same even when there is the greatest drain on its waters, by comparing the length of the bucket-rope in the morning, and again in the evening. The Turks regard this as a miracle, as it is sired not only by the multitudes of pilgrims, but by every family in the city, for drinking and ablution, though held too sacred for culinary purposes. He learned from one who had descended to repair the masonry "that the water was flowing at the bottom, and that line water is therefore supplied by it subterraneous rivulet. The water," he adds, "is heavy in its taste, and sometimes in its colour resembles milk, but it is perfectly sweet, and differs very much from that of the brackish wells dispersed over the town. When first drawn up, it is slightly tepid, resembling in this respect many other fountains in the Hejaz." Travels, p. 144. Elsewhere he says; - "however holy, its water is heavy to the taste and impedes digestion." Ibid. p. 106.

The testimony of Burton is strongly unfavourable. "To my taste," he says, "it was a salt-bitter which was exceedingly disagreeable." vol.ii. p.393. And again; - "It is apt to cause diarrhea and boils, and I never saw a stranger drink it without a wry face .. . The flavour is a salt-bitter, much resembling an infusion of a tea-spoonful of Epsom salts in a large tumbler of tepid water. Moreover it is exceedingly "heavy" to the taste. For this reason Turks and other strangers prefer rain collected together in cisterns and sold for five farthings a gugglet." Vol.iii. p.202, note.

Burton adds that as the water is carried by pilgrims in Jars to distant quarters, any one may now-a-days judge of its taste for himself. But the flavour of stale water bottled up for months would not he a fair criterion of the same water freshly drawn. Ali Bey who bottled some of it describes "the interior surface" of the bottles as "completely covered with small bubbles of extremely subtile air, resembling the points of needles. When I shook the bottle, they mounted to the superior surface, or united themselves into one bubble of the size of it grey pea." Vol.ii. p. 81.

I have not with nothing to justify the verdict of Sale that it "cannot be drink for any continuace" Prev. Disc. p. 4.

Upon the whole it may be concluded that the water though somewhat brackish and unpleasant to the taste of most who are unaccustomed to drink it, is fit for use.

36 Sprenger considers that the Omeyad family had the pre-eminence. "It is certain that Harb, and after him Abu Sofian, surpassed the family of Hashim in wealth and influence, and that they were the chiefs of Mecca" (p.31). Notwithstanding Sprenger's great authority, I believe Abd al Muttalib to have been the virtual chief of Mecca; after his death, there existed an equality among the several families; there was no real Chief over the whole city. "Sheba al Hamd, the same is Abd al Muttalib, was the Chief of the Coreish 'until his death." Katib al Wackidi p. 14.

37 The above account is from Katib al Wackidi, p.16. See also a paper in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, vii. i.; p. 34. Abd al Muttalib had six daughters, and it was one of them who made the proposal to cast lots for the camels.

Wackidi, however gives another account, which is that commonly received. Cnf Hishami p.24; Tabari, pp. 6-11; M.C. de Perceval vol. i. pp. 264-267; Weil, p. 8. According to this version, the Coreish held back Abd al Muttalib, just as he was about to plunge the knife into his son, and offered to give a ransom, but he would not listen; at last they persuaded him to refer the matter to a divineress at Kheibar, who indicated the plan or ransom described in the text. Whatever may have been the facts of the case, they have been greatly over coloured and distorted by tradition, so much so that Sprenger has placed the entire incident in his legendary chapter, p.56. I believe however the story to have some foundation of find. It is difficult, indeed, to imagine an adequate motive for the entire invention of such a tale; because the Mohametans regard the vow as a sinful one, the illegality or which rendered it null and void. Tabari, p.5. The incident was no doubt subsequently dressed up into its present romantic form; a resemblance was then pretended between it and Abraham's intended sacrifice of Ishmael; and thus they make Mahomet to say that he was "the son of two sacrifices:" But the simple desire to establish such an analogy, had there been no facts to found the story on, would have led to a very different fiction; for Abraham was commanded to offer up his son, and the Mahometan believe he acted piously in obeying; whereas they hold Abd al Muttalib, who was borne out by no such divine order, to have been wrong both in the vow, and in his attempt to fulfill it.

There appears indeed, to be grave reason for doubting whether the vow was really to immolate a son, and whether it was followed by any actual attempt to must a sacrifice of human life into execution. Human sacrifices to the Deity, so far as native tradition enables us to form an opinion, were unknown in Mecca. The truth I suppose to be that Abd al Muttalib vowed that he would devote a son to Hobal. Nadzar would probably be the word employed; and the idea of a son devoted to the service of God (a Nazarene) might have become known among the Arabs from its currency among the Jews But the custom, however natural to the Judaical system, would not mould itself to the spurious and idolatrous creed of the Kaaba. How was the devotion of a son to the service of God to he carried out at Mecca? The question was referred to the idol, who simply chose one of the sons. In this difficulty, recourse may hare been had to a divineress, and by her direction to the oracle, in order that the victim might be ransomed. The warm imagination of the traditionists has conjured up a theatrical scene with the sacrificial knife, which it is probable never existed.

The sacrifice of human beings in Arabia was only incidental; where, as in the case of violent and cruel tyrants It is alleged to have been done uniformly and on principle, the authority seems doubtful. Of the former class, are the immolation of a Ghassnide prince to Venus by Mundzir, king of Hira; see above p. clxxviii. and M.C. de Perceval, vol. ii p. 101; and the yearly sacrifice by the same prince on his "evil day,"? In expiation of the murder of two friends;" ibid. p.104, et seq.; and Pococke's Spec. History of Arabia, p.73. Of the second description, is the uncertain tale of one Naaman sacri ficing men with Isis own hand to the deity, Evagrius vi. 21; and Pococke's Spec. p.87; and the story of Porphyry that at Dismaetha (Dumat al Jandal?) . See two notes of Gibbon (chap. 1.) on this subject. He appears to believe in the practice of human sacrifice in Arabia, but in refer-to the case before us. he adds with his usual discrimination: "the danger and escape of Abdallah is a tradition rather than a fact."

The allusions which we meet with to pre-islamite infanticide refer to its met ordinary form where children are killed to avoid the expense and trouble of rearing them, and in the case of female infants to the possibility in a barbarous country of their dishonour. Thus Zeid "the Enquirer" discouraged the killing of daughters, saying "I will support them." Katib al Wackidi, p.255. So Coran vi. 137, 151 ; - "and kill met your offspring on account of poverty; We shall provide for them and for you." Also Sura xvii 31, "And kill not your children for fear of want; We shall provide for them and for you; verily the killing of them is a great wickedness."

The dislike of infant daughters and disappointment at their birth was connected with the same feelings as lead the Rajpoots of India to infaniticide. See Sura lvi. 57-59: also lxxxi. 8, and Sale's note.

In the first pledge of Ackaba, the men of Medina bound themselves among other things. "that they would not kill their children."

I can find no notice in tradition or elsewhere connecting the practice with immolation to the Deity or any religious rite.

38 See above. in. ccl.

39 Katibal Wackidi, p.16; Tabari p. 25; Sprenger, 31. Nofail, the umpire, was of the stock of the Bani Adi, and an ancestor of Omar. The story much resembles that of Hisham's contest with Omeiya, and one is half tempted to think it may be a spurious reproduction of it, the more strongly to illustrate the enmity of the two branches. But the suspicious is not sufficiently great to deprive the narrative of a place in our text. When Harb gave up the society of Abd al Muttalib, "he took up that of Abdalluh ibn Jodaan of the branch of Taym, son of Murra," who will be mentioned further below.

Another contest of a somewhat similar nature is related between Abd al Muttalib and a chief of Taif, on account of a spring of water claimed by the favour. A soothsayer, of the Bani Odzar in the south of Syria, decided in favour of Abd al Muttalib; but the story is accompanied by several marvelous and suspicious incidents. Thus on the journey northwards, a fountain of water gushes from a spot struck by the heel of Abd al Muttalib's camel, - an evident re-production of the legend of Abd al Muttalib's similar journey for the settlement of the claims of the Coreish against him.

40 For the Khozaites see the preceding chap. p. cxcviii.

41 Katib al Wackidi, p.15 1/2; Sprenger, p.31. There were present seven of the immediate family of Abd al Muttalib, Aream, and two other grandsons of Hisham.

42 The authorities are Katib al Wacicki, pp. 16 1/2-i 17, and Hishami, pp 15-19. M.C. de Perceval has given the circumstances of this expedition in more detail than the character of the traditions seems to warrant Vol.i. pp.268-279.

43 p. clxiii.

44 Wackidi gives a tradition (p.19) that there were thirteen elephants with the army, besides this famous one called Mahmud; and that the latter was the only one that escaped death from the shower of stones. But this would seem to oppose the tenour of tradition generally on the subject Wackidi adds that Abraha sent to Abyssinia for the famous elephant Mahmud expressly to join his expedition.

45 See Table, chap. iii p. cxcv.

46 They had an idol, Lat, of their own, which they honoured nearly in the same way as the Meccans did that at the Kaaba. Hishami, p. 16. They were always looked upon as jealous of the superior fame of Mecca and its shrine.

47 Of these the chiefs of the Bani Bakr and Hodzeil are mentioned. This Bani Bakr was not the tribe collateral with the Taghilibites, but the stock descended from Bakr, son of Abd Monat, son of Kinana, and nearly allied to the Coreish. See preceding chap. p. cxcvi.

48 He is said to have descended from his throne and seated himself by Abd al Muttalib. But many of these details were probably invented by the traditionist to glorify the grand-father of the prophet. Abraha is said to have asked him what favour he could do him. Abd al Muttalib replied, "to restore to him his camels." The viceroy was mortified. "I looked upon thee," said he, "at first with admiration: but now thou asked as a favour the return or thine own property, and makest no no solicitation regarding the Holy House which is thy glory, and the pillar of thine own religion and that of tiny forefathers." Abd al Muttalib answered: - "Of the camels am myself the Master, and therefore I asked for them: as for the Kaaba, another it its Master who will surely difend it;* and to him I commit its defence." The speech of Abraha is convenient for the traditionists, as affording them an occasion to add Abd al Muttalib's prophetical defiance; but it is not the speech of a Prince who came to destroy the Kaaba; and whose object was to depreciate and not to extol it. The conversation is evidently fabricated.

* Compare the attack on the Delphian temple by the Persian army, (Herod. vii. 37 1/2. On both the Gauls under Brennus, (Pansanias, x. 23 . On both occasions the Oracle declared that the god "was, able to defend his own." The slaughter occasioned by the fire from heaven, and the falling of the rocks from Parnassus are also analogous points.

It is enough throughout the narrative to admit the main events without believing the details of every speech and conversation, as the effort is patent to magnify Abd al Muttalib, Mecca, and the Kaaba.

Some accounts represent Abd al Muttalib as gaining admittance to Abraha through Dzu Nafas, (the Himyar prince taken prisoner as noticed in the text, p. cclxiii) whose friendship he had formed in his mercantile expeditions to Yemen. See M.C. de Perceval vol. i. p.214. It was on one of these expeditions that Abd al Muttalib is said to have learnt in Yemen to dye his hair black. The people of Mecca were delighted with his unexpectedly juvenile appearance, and the custom was thus introduced there. Katib al Waickidi, p. 15 1/2; Sprenger, p.86. Wackidi represents Abd al Muttalib as withdrawing from Mecca on Abraha's approach to Hira (Jebel Nur, afterwards Mahomet's sacred retreat); and from thence letting loose his 200 recovered camels as devoted to the Deity, in the hope that some one of the enemy might injure them in the Tehama; and the Deity he thereby prompted to revenge the insult upon the enemy's army.

49 No doubt these events, too, are highly coloured by legendary growth or fiction, in order to cast a mysterious and supernatural air over the retreat of Abraha.

50 No one appears to have pursued the retreating army. They sought Nofail to guide them back; but in fine confusion he escaped to one of the surrounding heights, whence it is pretended, he called out to the fugitives in these derisive lines;-

"Whither away are ye fleeing, and no one is pursuing! Al Ashram (Abraha) is the vanquished one, not the vanquisher." Hashami, p.18. A contemporary poet, a Coreishite named Abdalla, son of Zibara, estimates the killed at the incredible namber of 60,000, in these verses: -

M.C. de Perceval, vol.i, p.280.

51 His body was covered with pustules and, as they dropped off, matter flowed forth followed by blood. "lie became like an unfledged bird; and did not die until his bean separated from his chest." Hishami p. 18. This is manifestly over-drawn.

The accounts of Wackidi and Hishami leave no room to question the nature of the disease as having been a pestilent form of small-pox. Wackildi, after describing the calamity in the fanciful style of the Coran, adds -

And that was the first beginning of the small-pox, and the pustular disease, and a certain kind of bitter tree, (p.17). Similarly Hashimi;-


The word signifies likewise "small stones" and the name as applied to the small-pox is probably derived from the gravelly appearance and feeling of the hard pustules; such a feeling is believed to be common at some stages of the disease, so much so that the patient on setting his root to the ground feels as if he were standing on gravel. The name, coupled with this derivation, without doubt gave rise to the poetical description of the event in the Coran : - "Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the army of the Elephant? Did he not cause their stratagem to miscarry? And he sent against them flocks of little birds, which cast upon them small clay stones, and made them like unto the stubble of which the cattle have eaten." Sura cv.

-See above chap. i. p. lxxx. Canon III. B. This passage, as Gibbon well says, is " the seed" of the marvellous details given regarding Abraha's defeat.

Hashimi describes the stones showered upon the enemy as being "like grains of corn and pulse,"- (p. 18); and it is remarkable that the latter expression signifies also a species of deadly blain or pustule.

It would seem that not all who were struck, (or sickened,) died; for Ayesha says that she saw at Mecca the rider (Mahout) and the driver of the elephant () both blind and begging food of the people; Hishami, p.19. The story is the more likely as blindness is a very common effect of small-pox.

In certain ancient verses, said to have been written before the Hegira by Abu Cays a contemporary poet of Medina, in order to stay the Coreish from doing violence to Mahomet, he enumerates God's mercies to them, and allusions thus to the repulse of Abraha, without any of the usual miraculous allusions. Hishami, p. 76.

The other miraculous part of the story is, that when the army was about to advance upon Mecca, Nofail, the Khuthamite guide, whispered in the ear or the Elephant. It forthwith sat down, end no persuasion or compulsion would induce it to stir a step towards Mecca, while it would readily proceed in every other direction. The germ of this story lies in a saying of Mahomet's at Hodeibia his cannel sat down there fatigued; and as the place was at so convenient a distance from Mecca as to prevent a collision between the Meccans and his army, Mahomet took advantage of the circumstance and said: - "Nay! Al Caswa (that was mis camel's name) is not fatigued; but he that restrained the Elephant from advancing upon Mecca, the same hath held her back also." Katib al Wackidi, p. 118 1/2; Hashimi, p.321. hence the tratlitionists invented a variety of stories illustrative of the manner in which God was supposed to have "held back the Elephant." Yet Mahomet's meaning seems to have been simply metaphorical : - "He who by his providence restrained the elephant, or the possessor or the elephant, from advancing upon Mecca, the same," &C. It is possible that the fable of the elephant's unwillingness to move against Mecca may have been current in Mahomet's time; but it is incomparably more likely to have been the fiction of the traditionists, growing out of this saying of Mahomet.

52 If persons of rank came as pilgrims, and no Mecean garments were available for them, they were permitted to go through the ceremony in their own vestments; but they were to cast them off immediately after, and never again to use them.

The common pilgrims, who could not get clothes, circumambulated the Kaaba entirely naked: the women with a single loose shift only.

53 Including all the descendents of Kinana, see preceeding chap. p. cxcvi.; Katib al Wackidi p. l2 .

54 The word Homs, says Wackidi, refers to something new added to a religion; ibid. Its etymological derivation seems to be the bringing into play a fresh stringency in the pilgrim ceremonial. Sprenger gives its meaning as the "alliance of certain tribes by religion," p.36. But this was only an incidental feature in the imposition of the new practices, and would not appear to be the essential and original idea.

55 Hishami say, "I know not whether the Coreish introduced the innovation before or after the attack of Abraha," p.43. The Secretary of Wackidi places his account of the Homs league, under the chapter of Cossai, but he does not say that it was introduced in this time. He mentions the practice incidentally, and rather in connection with the meaning of the word "Coreish," and as showing that they formed a portion of the league. Hence no certain chronological deduction can be drawn from the position of the narrative, such parenthetical episodes being often thus irregularly introduced in the Arabian histories. Sprenger does not therefore go upon sure ground when he quotes Wackidi, as assigning the beginning of the custom to the era of Cossai; p.36, note i. He supposes that the Homs practices being then introduced, were again revived in the year of the Elephant; but the supposition is unnecessary.

56 I cannot understand on what principle Sprenger regards this league as a symptom or the declining power of the Meccan superstition, a vain effort which sought "a remedy in reforming the faith of the Haram, the last spark of the life of whose confederation seemed to be on the point of being extinguished," p.36. The facts appear to convey a conclusion totally the reverse.

57 Mahomet was not slow in availing himselfof the last of these arguments. He abolished all the restrictions, as well as the relaxations, of the Homs league. The practices are indirectly reprobated in Sura ii., vv. 199-200, where he enforces the necessity of the pilgrimage to Arafat; and in Sura vii., vv. 28 and 32, where proper apparel is enjoined, and the free use of food and water. It is said that Mahomet himself, before he assumed the prophetical office, used to perform the pilgrimage to Arafat, thus disallowing the provisions of the association.

Besides the Homs, there were observed other superstitious practices, some of them with less likelihood said to be modern innovations. Such were the arbitrary rules regarding the dedication or camels as hallowed and exempt from labour when they had come up to a certain standard of fruitfulness, with curious subsidiary directions as to their flesh being wholly illicit, or lawful to men only in certain circumstances, to women only in others. The dedicated mother camel was called Saiba, (and in some cases Wasila which included goats or ewes); of the offspring of a single camel, the eleventh female was termed Bahira; Hami, was the dedicated stallion. But Ibn Ishac and Ibn Hisham are not agreed on the details of these customs. It is pretended that Amr Ibn Lohay (in the third century A.D.; see preceding chap. pp. cxcviii. ccxii.) introduced the practice; but it no doubt grew up long before that time, and is founded as M.C. de Perceval says, in the affection of the Arabs for the camel, and their reverence for those animals which greatly added to the breed; vol, i pp. 225-226; Sale, Prel. Disc. pp. 15l-l53; Hashimi, pp. 29-30.

Mahomet inveighed strongly against these arbitrary "distinctions which God had not enjoined." See Sura V. v.112; Sura VI. v.144; Sura X. v.5.

58 The relation of the different branches, as well as the previous details of the present chapter, will be elucidated by the following table.

59 The custody of the Holy House, the Presidency in the Hall of Council, and privilege in war of binding the banner on the staff, - the offices secured to the branch of Abd al Dar, - might all have been turned to important account if the advice of their ancestor Cossai had been followed. But division of authority, want of ability, and adverse fortune, all along depressed the family.

60 Sprenger's Life of Mohammed, p.31.

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