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Six years had now passed away since he and his followers had left Mecca, and no doubt many of them wished to revisit the old familiar places. Again, Muhammad had some time before changed the Qibla (or direction in which prayer should be said) from Jerusalem to Mecca. The sacred temple there was still a holy place to the Muslims in Madina. Every day of their lives they turned towards it in acts of divine worship, though for six years they had not seen it. The longing to enter its courts and to go round its walls was now very great. The way had to be carefully prepared and Sura Al-Hajj (xxii), or such portions of it as are not late Meccan, was revealed for this purpose.1 The Meccans are reminded that the Ka'ba is for all men.

'As a man of the Quraish, Muhammad had himself grown up in pious reverence for the Ka'ba and the black stone. Properly speaking, this reverence was at variance with the principles of his religion; but he managed to adjust matters by his theory that these holy things had been established by Abraham, and only abused by the heathen.' 2 The ceremonies of the old pagan ritual are declared to be 'rites of God,' the performance of which shows 'piety of heart.' The continued sacrifice of camels is enjoined. Thus did Muhammad claim the Ka'ba and all its ceremonies for Islam. It was a master-stroke for gaining influence at the time.

[Footnote continued from previous page]
period, but some are about this date and show how the idea of the pilgrimage to the Ka'ba was working in the mind of the Prophet. The Meccans were still in possession, for they are rebuked for misconduct connected with the Ka'ba and Muhammad is directed to 'Proclaim to the peoples a pilgrimage,' v. 28.
1 vv. 27-39 ; 66-7 ; 76-7.
2 Noldeke, Sketch's from Eastern History, p. 67.

At this juncture Muhammad had a dream in which he saw himself and his followers performing all the duties of the Pilgrimage. This settled the matter, and, as the sacred month in which the 'Umbra, or Lesser Pilgrimage, is made was now at hand, a considerable body started out towards Mecca in the month of March, A.D. 628. The Quraish opposed their entrance into the city and messengers went to and fro between the two parties.1 The position of the Muslims at Hudaibiya was one of some danger and Muhammad, gathering his followers around himself under the shade of a tree, required a pledge of loyalty even to death from each one. This oath was cheerfully given, and the

1 The following verse is supposed by some authorities to refer to this:—

Who committeth a greater wrong than he who prohibiteth the temples of God, that His name should not be mentioned there, and who strives to ruin them. It is not for such to enter them except in fear, for them is disgrace in this world and in the future severe torment. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 108.

If this is correct this verse is of later date than the second Sura and must have been inserted afterwards. The commentators differ. In the Tafsir-i-Husaini, p. 19, this verse is said to refer to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem by Titus, the Roman, and that the word temple is used in the plural instead of the singular for honour. Baidawi (vol. i, p. 80) says it refers to the temple at Jerusalem, or to the prohibition by the Quraish of Muhammad's entry into Mecca. In the Khalasatu'l-Tafasir, vol. i, p. 64, various views are given. One is that it refers to Titus, who is said to be a Christian (دين نصرانيت قبول كيا ); but another view, referring it to the opposition of the Quraish to the entrance of the Muslims into Mecca, is given at some length. Thus:—

اى قريش ت نى مكة معظمة كى مسجد سى الله كى بيغمبر كو نكالديا اور مؤمنين كو عبادت وذكر خدا سى روكا اور اس سبب سى كة عبادت وذكر كعبىمين موقوف رها تم اس كى ويران اور خراب كرنى مين ساعى تهرى
'O Quraish, you cast out the Prophet of God from the Temple of Mecca, the honoured, and prevented the believers from worshipping and praising there, and so worship and praise in the Ka'ba is suspended. You have been diligent in rendering it desolate and in ruining it.'

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