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Muslims to commence a war and which is recorded in the verse:—

Fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 186.1

It even does more, for it also abrogates 2 the kindly words of an earlier Meccan revelation:—

Dispute not unless in kindly sort with the people of the Book. Sura Al-'Ankabut (xxix) 45.

In any case the Arabs now saw that further opposition was useless. The whole framework of society was broken; it needed reconstruction and Muhammad alone had the power to do it. Thus, the movement towards Islam now assumed the character of a national one, and the very man, who had for so many years been the cause of disputes and wars, now became the acknowledged leader and head of an united Arabia. In this way were the Prophet's early desires fulfilled.

Submission to the political rule involved acceptance, on the part of him who submitted, of the religion of Islam, an essential tenet of which was that he 'should not only submit to its teaching and

1 This order, which restricted fighting to defensive warfare is, according to Husain, and Baidawi, abrogated by the Ayatu's-Saif. Thus:—
اين حكم بآيت منسوخ است
Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 32.
Baidawi connects it with the Hudaibiya affair. The Quraish opposed Muhammad's entrance into Mecca. The Muslim forces at Hudaibiya were in a position of some danger so, from a military point of view, the order was a wise one, but its application was purely local and for this special occasion.
So now the special and limited warfare is a thing of the past, and continuous and general fighting against all polytheists is inculcated.
2 Baidawi vol. ii, p 98.
قيل هو منسوخ بأية السيف

adopt its ritual and code of ethics, but also render an implicit obedience in all things "to the Lord and His Prophet," and that he should pay tithes annually (not indeed as a tribute, but as a religious offering which sanctified the rest of his wealth), towards the charities and expenses of Muhammad and his growing empire.' 1

A little while after this, in the autumn of the year A.D. 630, an armed force was sent towards the Syrian frontier, where the Emperor Heraclius was reported to be collecting a large body of the feudatory tribes with a view to stop the inroads of the Muslims, or to invade Arabia. The state of affairs seemed critical, and the Muslim army, now collected to withstand the Byzantines and their allies, was the most powerful one Muhammad had ever been able to raise and organize. When the expedition, after much difficulty and suffering, reached Tabuq, a place midway between Madina and Damascus, it was found that the report of the Roman preparations had been an exaggerated one, and that the Emperor had changed his mind and had gone away. Muhammad then turned his attention to the position of various Christian and Jewish tribes. John, the Christian Prince of Ailah, made a treaty with the Prophet and agreed to pay an annual tribute. The most interesting embassy to the Prophet was that of the Christians of Najran headed by their Bishop, Abu Haritha. They refused to accept Islam or to agree to Muhammad's proposal,

1 Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. iv, p: 170.

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