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reliable that we have. The details of this work were learned from Zohry (d. A.H. 124), who knew a succession of the Companions, and in especial Orva, a relation of Ayesha. Zohry's book no longer exists, but much has been preserved in that of his pupil, Ibn Ishac (d. A.H. 151), from which we have quotations in the Sirat of Ibn Hisham (d. A.H. 213). No doubt in these writings there is a vast amount of the fanciful and exaggerated; but much also is valuable as giving men's impressions, and memory of facts, as they existed at the time. We take, therefore, from the Sirat the following account of the Hanefites:—

The Coreish were once gathered together during their Eed beside one of their idols, slaying sacrifices, praying, and making circuits around it, as they used to do at this festival every year. Just then four friends stood apart, and spoke secretly to one another in righteous terms. These were Waraca, Obeidallah grandson of Abdal Mutalib, Othman and Zeid ibn Amr. They said:— By the Lord! our people have nothing left of the faith of Abraham. What is this stone that we should encircle it? It can neither hear nor speak, neither hurt nor help. O our people! look out for your souls, for by the Lord ye are altogether wanting. Then they separated, and departed into various lands to find out the true faith of Abraham. Waraca embraced the Christian religion, and studying the books of its people, became fixed in their faith. Obeidallah remained in his doubts, but at last embraced Islam; then with a party of the Muslims he emigrated to Abyssinia along with his wife Omm Habibah, daughter of Abu Sofian and also a believer. There, however, he afterwards became a Christian, and perished. When he was converted to Christianity, he said to his companions: —"We see, but ye are only blinking" — that is, cannot see plainly, like a whelp trying to open its eyes. The Prophet himself married his widow, Omm Habibah, sending over a follower for that purpose to the Najashy, who himself concluded the


marriage ceremonial - the dower being 400 dinars, which formed a precedent for time to come. Now as to Othman, he repaired to the Court of the Emperor of Byzantium, where he obtained high rank and embraced the Christian faith .....

Last of all we come to Zeid, who stood fast, joining neither the Jewish nor the Christian religion. He broke off from his own people's faith, and gave up idols, the eating of carrion, blood, the slaughter of animals for the gods, and the putting of daughters to death. He said:— I worship the God of Abraham; but he blamed his people for having chosen evil ways. There is a tradition from Amina daughter of Abu Bekr that she once saw Zeid, then very aged, leaning with his back on the Kaaba, and thus addressing the people:— O Coreish! by Him in whose hand is the life of Zeid ibn Amr I swear, that not one of you professeth the faith of Abraham, but me alone, Then he prayed:— O Lord! if I but knew what way was most pleasing unto thee, I would worship thee in that manner; but I know it not. Then putting the palms of his hands to the ground, he bent his body down in worship. We are also told that Muhammad being asked by his relations to pray that Zeid might be forgiven, consented, — "for he shall be raised up alone, like a community."1 Zeid wrote the following lines regarding his parting with his people's faith, and what happened to him therefrom —

Am I to worship one or a thousand
I have altogether forsaken Lat and Ozza,
Hence I neither worship Ozza nor he two daughters,
Neither do I worship Ghanam,

I was astonished, and had strange thoughts in the night seasons.
Since the Lord destroyeth multitudes
And many others he preserveth for their goodness,

Are Divine affairs divided thus?
Thus should every brave and thoughtful man.
Nor the two idols of the Beni Amr, nor do pilgrimage unto them.
Though I did regard him my Lord, when I had little understanding.
And in the day-time the seeing will understand.
Because their works are evil;
And cherisheth the little ones.

1 Ibn Ishac tells us that Muhammad, while believing himself forbidden to pray for his own mother, yet when asked by a female relative of Zeid whether she might pray for him, said: "Yes, for he will be raised as a separate religious community at the last day."


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