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Chapter VI: Summary

23 Years: A Study of Muhammad’s Prophetic Career
Chapter VI: Summary

Professor Ali Dashti
1st Edition: December 12, 2008
2nd Edition: September 11, 2017

True face of Muhammed the Prophet
Those Eyes reveal his soul!

Chapter VI: Summary

Chapter VI: Summary

The Summary

The rise and spread of Islam constitute a unique historical phenomenon. Study of former times is always a hard task, requiring thorough and comprehensive research to uncover and clarify all aspects of the events and to ascertain their cause or causes.  Study of the history of Islam is made relatively easy by the abundance of authentic records and does not present insuperable obstacles to careful scholars, provided that they can think objectively and keep themselves free from prejudice. It is essential that the researcher should wipe inherited or inculcated notions off the slate of his mind.

Muhammad’s Mosque was also his Al Qaeda and base of Jihad Operations

This short book is not a product of profound research but at most an attempt to provide a concise, even if over-generalized, outline of the salient points of the twenty three years of Mohammad's prophetic career.

These points are recapitulated below.

1 An orphan, left on his own from the age of six with no father and mother to care for him, lived at a relative's house in much less comfortable circumstances than other children of the same age and rank. He spent his time taking camels out to graze in the barren country around Mecca. His percipient and intelligent mind had an imaginative bent. Long hours of solitude in the desert over a span of five or six years developed his power to dream and see visions. Awareness of his own deprivation and of other people's relative affluence gave him a complex which gradually evolved, being directed first at his playmates and relatives, next at the rich families, and finally at the source of the wealth of those families. This was their custodianship of the Ka 'ba, the famous idol-temple at the centre of Arab religious life. Perhaps it was after addressing fruitless prayers to the idols that he conceived his intense hatred of idolatry.

In this way of thinking he was not alone. Among the inhabitants of Mecca were possessors of scriptures and other thoughtful persons who saw the absurdity of the worship of lifeless images. Contact with such persons reinforced the process at work in his inner mind. Journeys to Syria in certain years gave him glimpses of the contrast between the outside world and the superstitious backwardness of his own people. Visits to places of worship of possessors of scriptures, conversations with their pastors, and hearing about their prophets and doctrines added to the strength of his conviction.

2 At the time when belief in one God and ideas heard from Jews and Christians were becoming the central concern of his mental life, marriage to a wealthy widow relieved him of the anxieties of his material life. Frequent meetings with her monotheistic cousin Waraqa b. Nawfal turned his conviction into an obsession. The concept of an omnipotent and jealous God totally filled his mind. He was sure that the one God resents a people's worship of other deities. The people of Ad and Thamud had been wiped out for this offence, and his own people must soon be due for similar punishment. It was therefore his urgent duty to guide them.

As time passed, this grim foreboding merged with his visions and took the form of revelations. Khadija and Waraqa b. Nawfal believed his revelations to be true and divinely inspired. Surely he now ought to warn his people, just as Hud and Saleh had warned the people of Ad and Thamud. Surely prophets did not have to come solely from the Jews but could also arise among their Arab cousins.

This spiritual process, or rather spiritual crisis and obsession, led him to start preaching to his people in his fortieth year.

3 Since everyone of any intelligence acknowledged the futility of the worship of man-made images, he could feel confident of his ability to rouse the people from their indifference. A few already shared and endorsed his belief. There were no grounds for despondency. He must start straightaway to fulfill God's command "Warn your tribe, your nearest kin" (sura 26, osh-Sho'ara, verse 214).

From the first day, however, he encountered derision and scorn. It had not occurred to his simple, devout mind that the people whom he hoped to convince through his salutary messages and sound arguments were strongly attached to their old ways, and above all that his preaching called for overthrow of the system which had given wealth and prestige to the leading men of the Qoraysh tribe. These men were bound to fight hard in defence of their position. The first to declare war on him was his own uncle Abu Lahab, who at his meeting with the Qoraysh chiefs shouted, "Perish you, Mohammad! Did you invite us here for this?"

4 The mentality of Mohammad's opponents is illustrated by Abu Jahl's remark to (ol-)Akhnas b. Shariq about the old rivalry between the Makhzum clan and the descendants of Abd Manaf and his allegation that it was because the former had caught up that the latter had produced a prophet in the hope of getting ahead again. The same notion appears in the verse of poetry said to have been composed fifty years later by Yazid b. Mo'awiya with reference to Hosayn b. Ali: "The Hashemites gambled for power, but no message came, no revelation was sent down."

The motives for opposition are made clear by Abu Jal's words to Akhnas b. Shariq. Mohammad, a poor orphan dependent on his wife's wealth, was not comparable in social and personal standing with the rich and influential chiefs of the Qoraysh tribe. If his preaching met with success, their position would be weakened or perhaps wholly lost, and the Banu Abd ol-Mottaleb (or Hashemites) would become the tribe's dominant clan. In actual fact, the Banu Abd ol-Mottaleb did not adhere to Mohammad; even Abu Taleb and his other uncles wished to av9ida breach with the other Qoraysh clans.'

Perhaps if Mohammad had foreseen the opposition of the chiefs and the heedlessness of the people which he in fact encountered during the thirteen years of his mission at Mecca, he might either not have embarked on it so unwarily or, like other monotheists such as Waraqa b. Nawfal, Omayya b. Abi's-Salt, and Qass b. Sa'eda, he might have been content to voice his faith and go his own way.

Mohammad, however, as the record of his prophetic career shows, was a man of too deep conviction to be daunted from pursuit of his goal by any obstacle. Wholly absorbed in one belief, which had taken hold in almost thirty years of reflection, he saw himself as duty-bound to guide his people to the right path.
In addition to the force of faith, he possessed another great gift, that of a unique eloquence which was indeed remarkable in an illiterate and uneducated man. In fervent tones be besought the people to be virtuous, honest, and humane. As proof that decency, righteousness, and piety are the only road to salvation, he quoted impressive reports about earlier peoples and past prophets.

5 Research has established that the preaching of Islam was a response to social conditions in Mecca. The number of persons in the town who disapproved of idolatry had been gradually increasing. Side by side with the rich and powerful magnates there was a class of indigent and destitute people. Islam spoke up for these people and was therefore likely to gain ground. History shows that the discontent of a deprived or oppressed class has been a factor in all revolutions. The Meccan magnates, however, did not stay idle. They constantly persecuted and even tortured poor, defenceless Moslems, though they did not molest Mohammad himself and the few Moslems such as Abu Bakr, Omar, and Hamza who had influential kinsfolk. Every sort of deterrent was brought to bear on members of the needy class, who ought to have formed the base of the pyramid of the new religious community. Thus in the course of thirteen years of continual preaching, Mohammad could not win more than a small number of converts, perhaps not much more than a hundred. From this only one conclusion could be drawn, surprising though it may seem. Neither the soundness of Mohammad's preaching, nor his austerity, nor his eloquence, nor his warnings of punishment after death, nor his moral and humane precepts had sufficed to give Islam the diffusion which it deserved.

6 The eventual solution was recourse to the sword, which became a major and essential factor in the diffusion and implantation of Islam. Killing and coercion were unsparingly used as means to this end. It must of course be added that use of force was not an innovation by the Prophet Mohammad but a long established Arab practice. In the harsh environment of the Hejaz and Najd, the Arabs had little or no agriculture and industry and lived without man-made or God-given laws. They were normally engaged in raiding and fighting each other. Needing time for rest and recuperation, they treated four months in every year as sacred and refrained from warfare in those months. At other times a tribe's only security against plunder of its property and women was its own alertness and capacity for self-defence.

The decision to make similar use of force was taken after Mohammad's acceptance of the protection of the Aws and Khazraj tribes and his migration to Madina. Almost all the Moslem raids were undertaken in compliance with that decision. The main targets were the Jewish tribes of Madina and the adjacent districts. In this way resources were obtained for the foundation of an Islamic state with the Prophet as its legislator, executive head, and commander-in-chief. Development of the new state was then put in hand.

7 Before the advent of Islam, the Arabs had generally been shallow-minded, materialistic, and impulsive. A verse of poetry could enrapture them and a nasty phrase could move them to kill. Their thoughts were fixed on tangible things and everyday experiences. Spiritual and mystical ideas, indeed any sort of interest in the supernatural, were alien to them. They were accustomed to violence and unconcerned with justice.

There were no lengths to which they would not go in their greed for booty. A European scholar has cited evidence that, when defeated, they sometimes abandoned their own camp and went over to the other side; but such behaviour was certainly exceptional.

In any society lacking organized government, order and security necessarily depend on balance of power and mutual fear.

The Arabs were fond of boasting and self-praise. They not only exaggerated their personal and tribal merits, but even took pride in their faults. They were incapable of self-criticism. On the morning after the rape of a captured woman, they would compose verses vaunting their prowess and reviling their victim. The primitive simplicity with which the Bedouin poets spoke of their instincts sometimes seems quite animal-like.

In so far as the Bedouin thought about spiritual and supernatural matters at all, they formed mental pictures from the concrete world around them. The same way of thinking persisted in the Islamic period, above all among the Hanbalites who denounced any use of logical categories as heresy or unbelief.

8 Study of the events of the first decade after the hejra shows that Mohammad took advantage of these Arab characteristics to win success and strength for Islam. There were occasions when a weak tribe was attacked in order to counterbalance a defeat and keep people in awe of the Moslems. Every victory over a small tribe caused it to gravitate toward Islam or at least to conclude a non-aggression pact.

The capture of booty was a potent factor in Islam's advance. Hope for a share certainly quickened eagerness to obey the commandment to wage holy war. The promise of abundant booty for the Moslems, given after the truce of Hodaybiya in sura 48 (ol-Fat-h), verse 20, was a stronger incentive than the promise of future bliss in gardens under which rivers flow (sura 85, o/-Boruj), verse 11).

Although no reliable statistics of devotees and opportunists among the Prophet's followers have yet been compiled, it can be inferred that about ninety per cent of those who had professed Islam by the time of his death had done so from either fear or expediency. The subsequent apostasy (redda) of many Arab tribes and the wars against the secessionists lend weight to this supposition.

Even at Madina, the capital and fountainhead of Islam, devotees such as Ali b. Abi Taleb, Ammar b. Yaser, and Abu Bakr os-Seddiq were far less numerous than men whose loyalty to the faith and the Prophet was coupled with worldly aims. This became immediately apparent in the leadership contest between the Mohajerun and the Ansar which delayed the burial of the Prophet's remains for three days. Ali, Talha, and Zobayr were at Fatema's house and did not hear about the wrangling between the rival factions. Abu Bakr, Omar, Abu Obayda,96 and some others were at A'esha's house, where a man came and warned them to act quickly if they did not want power to fall into the hands of the Ansar, who were rallying around Sa'd b. Obada. Omar then asked Abu Bakr to go with him to see what the Ansar were doing. When they reached the hall of the Banu Sa'eda where the Ansar had gathered, Sa'd b. Obada turned to them and said, "We Ansar are the army of Islam. We were the Prophet's supporters. Our doughty forearms made Islam strong. You Mohajerun also helped, and we shall let you join us." Omar impetuously started to walk out, but Abu Bakr grabbed his hand and stopped him. Then Abu Bakr, with his usual dignity and calm, said to Sa'd b. Obada, "I acknowledge what you said about the Ansar. But this authority rightly belongs to the Qoraysh because they are superior to the other Arab tribes." He then shook hands with Omar and Abu Obayda and said, "Give allegiance to one of these two men!"

Omar, being gifted with realism and foresight, did not let himself be flustered by this offer. He knew that in the excited state of public feeling, the only solution acceptable to all would be to choose Abu Bakr, the most senior and respected of the Mohajerun, the man who had shared danger with the Prophet in the cave and had been appointed by the Prophet to lead the prayers during his illness. For this reason, Omar promptly rose and shook hands with Abu Bakr, thereby pledging allegiance to him and presenting all the others with a fait accompli. The Mohajerun naturally followed Omar's example. Stirred by Omar's bold move, the Ansar soon also swore allegiance to Abu Bakr. According to one account, Omar was so anxious to get the matter conclusively settled that he dragged Sa'd b. Obada out of the hall and with the help of some other men gave the elderly and ailing Ansar leader such a beating that he died on the spot.97 Omar likewise brought pressure to bear on Ali, who was at first unwilling to recognise the caliphate of Abu Bakr.

Knowing that Ali's example would be followed by other Hashemites and that Abu Bakr's authority would not be secure without the Hashemite clan's full support, Omar repeatedly met and argued with Ali until, at the end of six months, Ali gave in and swore allegiance to Abu Bakr.

9 Apart from the thirteen years of the Prophet's mission at Mecca, the history of Islam is indisputably a record of violence and power-seizure. As long as the Prophet lived, force was used primarily for the purpose of spreading Islam and imposing it on polytheists. After his death, rivalry for power and leadership was the motive for the recurrent violence.

Abu Bakr owed his accession to the adroitness of Omar, as described above. On his deathbed he indicated his desire that Omar should succeed him, and thanks to this, Omar took over the caliphate without opposition. Ten years later Omar in his last hours appointed a committee to choose his successor, consisting of Ali, Othman, Abdor-Rahman b. Awf, Talha, lobayr, and Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas. When the committee met, none of them proposed a candidate because each aspired to the caliphate for himself. Abd or-Rahman b, Awf then withdrew, but nobody else expressed an opinion. At Abd or-Rahman's suggestion, the committee adjourned for three days to sound the feelings of the Mohajerun and the Ansar. During these three days Abd or-Rahman questioned the other committee members about their views.

Reportedly he asked Othman which of the other four he would recommend if the choice did not fall on him, and Othman answered that Ali had the best claim and qualifications to become the caliph. Abd or-Rahman then put the same question to Ali, who answered that Othman was the worthiest, When the committee reassembled in the Prophet's mosque at the end of the three days, it was clear to almost everyone that the next caliph would be either Ali or Othman.

The characters of the two men differed. Othman was known to be easy-going, unpretentious, and generous. Ali had a reputation for courage, devotion, and rigidity in religious matters. The worldly-minded circles, already sick of the strictness of Omar's ten year reign, were apprehensive of the possible accession of Ali because they knew that he would keep to Omar's line.

According to Tabari, these people used Amr b. ol-As as their go-between. One evening Amr went to see Ali and said that Abd or-Rahman would first turn to him and propose him for the caliphate. But hasty acceptance would be unbecoming in a man like Ali. The dignity and stability of the caliphate would be better assured if Abd or-Rahman had to repeat the proposal. On the day of the resumed committee meeting, Abd or-Rahman ascended the pulpit and first turned to Ali, saying that he was the Prophet's cousin and son-in-law, the first Moslem, and the foremost fighter for the faith. If Ali would promise to act in accordance with the book of God, the custom of the Prophet, and the examples of the two shaykhs (Le. Abu Bakr and Omar), Abd or-Rahman would swear allegiance to him as caliph. Ali replied that he would adhere to God's book and the Prophet's custom, and otherwise act as he deemed right. Abd or-Rahman then addressed Othman, saying that after Ali, he was the worthiest candidate. If Othman would conform to the book of God, the custom of the Prophet, and the examples of the two shaykhs, Abd or-Rahman would swear allegiance to him. Othman gave the promise unconditionally and became the caliph. .

This is the gist of Tabari's account. At the risk of repetition, the full report, as it appears in Bal'ami's98 Persian translation of Tabari's Annals, is appended below because it gives a revealing glimpse of the social scene at that time when ambition for power and weariness with Omar's strictness were uppermost in the minds of some of the Prophet's old companions.

"All the leading men of the desert -dwellers came to Madina after Omar's death to join in the mourning. Abd or-Rahman consulted them, and each one of them said that Othman would be best. One evening Abu Sofyan went to see Amr b. ol-As and said that Abd or-Rahman had called on him earlier in the same evening to tell him that the choice now lay between Othman and Ali. As for myself,' Abu Sofyan added, 'I would prefer Othman.' Amr answered that Abd or-Rahman had come to see him too, and added, 'I likewise would prefer Othman.' Then Abu Sofyan asked, 'What shall we do? Othman is easy-going and may let the matter slip from his hands. Ali may win by default.' Abu Sofyan stayed with Amr that night and kept on asking how they could make sure that Othman would be chosen. During the same night, Amr went to Ali's house and said to him, 'You know that I am your friend and have been fond of you since the old days. Everyone else is out of the running, and the choice lies between you and Othman. This evening Abd or-Rahman consulted all the leading men and asked whom they would prefer. Some want you and some want Othman. Then he called on me, and I let him know that I want you. Now I have come to tell you that the post will be yours tomorrow if you will listen to my advice.' Ali answered, 'I will listen to whatever you say.' Amr replied, 'You must first promise never to tell anyone about our conversation.' Ali gave the promise. Arnr then said, 'This Abd or-Rahman is a wise and prudent man. He will want you if he finds you diffident and slow to accept. He might turn against you if he found you eager and in a hurry to accept.' Ali answered, 'I will act accordingly.' Later in the same night, Amr went to Othman's house and at once said to him, 'The post will be yours tomorrow if you will heed my words. If you do not, Ali will snatch it from you.'

Othman answered, 'I will pay heed. Speak!' Amr then said, 'This Abd or-Rahman is an honest and straightforward man. He does not mind whether things are said discreetly or bluntly. So do not show reluctance when he offers it to you tomorrow! If he lays down any conditions, do not refuse them! Assent immediately to whatever he says!' Othman answered, 'I will do as you advise.' Amr then rose and went home.

"On the following day Amr went to the mosque. Abd or- Rahman led the morning prayer and then ascended the pulpit. Standing on its platform, he said, 'You should all know that Omar, God bless him, did not name his successor. He was unwilling to incur the reward or punishment for so doing. He laid the task on the shoulders of five of us. Sa'd and Zobayr have transferred their rights to me, and I have withdrawn. The choice now lies between Ali and Othman. Whom do you choose? To whom shall I swear allegiance? Before anyone in this congregation goes home, all must know who is to be the Prince of the Believers.' Some replied that they wanted Ali, others that they wanted Othman, and all argued heatedly.

Sa'd b. Zayd said to Abd or-Rahman. 'It is you whom we like best. If you will swear allegiance to yourself, nobody will oppose you.' Abd or-Rahman replied, 'It is too late for that now. Think carefully which of these two will be best, and stop arguing!' Ammar b. Yaser said, 'If you want to avoid dissension, swear allegiance to Ali!' Meqdad99 said, "Ammar is right. If you swear allegiance to Ali, there will be no opposition.' Abdollah b. Sa'd b. Abi Sarh (who was Othman's foster-brother and had reverted to Islam after his earlier apostasylOO) stood up in the crowd and said to Abd or-Rahman, 'There certainly are people who will resist if you do not swear allegiance to Othman.' Ammar then cursed Abdollah, saying 'What business is this of yours, you apostate? What sort of Moslem are you to tell us who should be the Prince of the Believers?' A man of the Makhzum clan said to Ammar, 'You slave and son of a slave, what have you to do with the affairs of the Qoraysh?' "

Thus the people split into two groups and bitter strife arose. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas stood up and said to Abd or-Rahman, 'Hurry up, man! Unless you settle the matter soon, there will be a riot.' Abd or-Rahman then rose again and said to the people, 'Be silent so that I may settle the matter as I deem right!' The people stopped talking. Abd or-Rahman called out, "Ali, stand up!' Ali rose and walked up to Abd or-Rahman. After gripping Ali's right arm with his left hand and raising his own right arm in readiness to shake Ali's right hand, Abd or-Rahman asked Ali, 'Do you swear to God that you will conduct the affairs of the Moslems in accordance with the Qur’an and the Prophet's custom and the examples of the two caliphs who succeeded him?' Mindful of the advice given by Amr that night, Ali answered, 'The task might be difficult on these conditions. Does anyone know all the commandments in God's book and all the precedents in the Prophet's custom? But I would undertake the task to the best of my knowledge, ability, and strength, and pray to God to grant me success.' Abd or-Rahman dropped his left hand from Ali's arm, and with his right hand still stretched out, said to Ali, 'Your conditions would allow slackness and weakness.' "Then Abd or-Rahman called out, "Othman, come here!' Othman rose and walked up. After gripping Othman's right arm with his left hand, Abd or-Rahman asked, 'Do you swear to God that you will conduct the affairs of this community in accordance with the Qur’an and the Prophet's custom and the examples of the two caliphs?'

Othman answered, 'I do.' Abd or-Rahman moved his right hand from over Ali's hand, which he had not touched, and laid it on Othman's hand. At the same time he swore allegiance to Othman, saying 'May God bless you in what He has ordained for you!' All the people then walked up and swore allegiance to Othman, while Ali was left standing in amazement. Ali said to Abd or-Rahman, 'You have played a trick on me.' He thought that Amr b. ol-As had given him the advice in collusion with Abd or-Rahman, Othman, Zobayr, and Sa'd.

"Having thus been disappointed, Ali turned around to leave. When he turned, Abd or-Rahman asked him, "Ali, where are you going? Are you unwilling to swear allegiance? God said that those who break their promise break it to their own hurt (sura 48, ol-Fat-h, verse 10). Did not I withdraw from this contest on the understanding that you would accept whatever I might decide? Did not Omar say that whoever opposed Abd or-Rahman's decision ought to be put to death?' After hearing these words, Ali walked back and swore allegiance. The taking of the oaths was completed before the afternoon prayer on the same day. Thereafter Othman was the Emam."

Such is Tabari's full account. It indicates that Abu Sofyan schemed with Amr b. 01-As to secure Othman's succession for fear of what might happen if Ali became the caliph. Twelve years earlier, Abu Sofyan had been so angry about the choice of Abu Bakr that he had urged Ali not to swear allegiance and had threatened to fill Madina with Qorayshite troops; but when the choice lay between Ali and Othman, he preferred Othman, whose protection would make life easy for him, and feared Ali, whose zealous piety might be dangerous.

It can be taken for certain that if Ali had succeeded Omar, the golden age of Islam would have lasted longer and the subsequent conflicts and deviations from Islamic norms would not have arisen. Othman's self-seeking kinsmen would not have appropriated the chief posts in the government, and many of the events which led to the rule of Mo'awiya and the Omayyad dynasty would have been averted.

10 After the Prophet's death, his companions can be said to have fallen into two groups: those who thought of him primarily as God's Prophet, and those who thought of him as also the founder of a state. Members of the second group had personally contributed to the state's rise. They saw themselves as having virtually inherited it and as being duty-bound to preserve and defend it. The two groups were at one in their great veneration of the Prophet.

In the second group, the outstanding man was unquestionably Omar. Concern for the state's survival was the reason why he stood, threateningly brandishing his sword, by the door of the Prophet's mosque and said to the people, "Mohammad is not dead but absent for forty days like Moses." Abu Bakr, however, reminded Omar of the words "You are mortal and they are mortal" (sura 39, oz-Zomar, verse 31). He then ascended the pulpit and said to the people, "If it is Mohammad whom you worship, Mohammad is dead. But if it is God whom you worship, God will never die." After saying this, Abu Bakr recited the verse "Mohammad is only an apostle. The apostles before him passed away. If he dies or is killed, will you turn about on your heels?" (sura 3, Al'Emran, verse 138).

Thanks to Omar's wisdom and adroitness, the leadership was extricated from the rivalry of the Mohajerun and the Ansar, and the succession of Abu Bakr was secured. Prompted by Omar, Abu Bakr pursued the wars of the redda (apostasy) and ruthlessly subdued the dissident tribes.

Naturally the question arises whether to Omar's mind the Islamic religion or the Islamic state meant most. In any case a state apparatus had been set up and needed to be preserved. The new regime founded by Mohammad had put an end to the ignorance and barbarism of the Arab tribes and must therefore be consolidated. The Bedouin must be made to stop their petty feuding and join in a new community under the banner of Islam.

This was why Omar, with his realism and understanding of the Arab character, launched the troops which became available after the crushing of the redda on the unprecedented venture of war with Iran and Rome. He knew that the tribes would not settle down to agriculture and industry, of which they were ignorant, and that they needed an outlet for their latent energy. What could be better than to train this restless force on lucrative targets beyond the frontiers? History was to show that Omar judged soundly when he adopted this policy.

11 The long series of wars between the Iranians and the Romans had greatly weakened the political and social fabrics of both empires. An even more important factor was the presence of numerous Arabs within their territories. For two or three centuries Arabs from North Arabia had gradually infiltrated into Transjordan and Syria and Iraq, where they had set up states under Roman and Iranian suzerainty. These Arab communities, or at least their lower classes, fraternized with the armies of Islam. It was above all their collaboration that made Omar's conquests possible. They may perhaps have urged him to move, because Islam had become an organization for the advancement of Arab nationalism. The epic of conquest not only satisfied the Arab desire for booty and ascendancy; it also removed the stigma of vassalage and subservience to foreigners.

12 While there were undoubtedly people who embraced Islam from sincere conviction and joined in the invasions of Syria and Iraq out of respect for the Islamic commandment of holy war, the evidence in the recorded history of the conquests shows clearly that the basic motive was desire to seize other people's property. Asceticism and unconcern for worldly wealth were confined to a small circle. The rest of the Moslems, including some of the Prophet's chief companions, made great gains from the conquests.

Talha and Zobayr, two of the ten to whom paradise was promised and members of the succession committee appointed by Omar, each left fortunes of thirty or forty million derhams in cash and real estate in Mecca, Madina, Iraq, and Egypt. After the murder of Othman, both swore allegiance to Ali but rebelled against him when they saw that he would not continue Othman's extravagance and would allow no further tampering with the public funds.

The Prophet's widow A'esha became one of Islam's most respected women, not only because he had dearly loved her but also because she was one of the few who knew the Qur’an by heart and could give reliable reports of his sayings and actions. When Ali was chosen to be caliph, she took Othman's murder as her pretext to defy the consensus and instigated the challenge to Ali at the battle of the camel. This was because Ali discontinued the allowance which Othman had paid to her from the public funds, and probably also because she remembered Ali's unfavourable opinion of her in the affair of the lie.

The civil wars marked by the battles of the camel, Seffin, and Nahrawan arose basically from Ali's switch away from Othman's laxity. All the men who after enduring Omar's strictness had lived in clover under Othman were upset by Ali's policy of austerity. These men, and in particular the astute Mo'awiya, used all available means to strengthen their personal positions.

13 The Prophet, during his lifetime, imposed Islam on the predatory and spiritually apathetic tribes by dint of the Qor’anic revelations and by means of diplomacy or, in the last resort, force.

After his death, caliphs claiming to act in his name set up an Arab national kingdom.
It was then that myths attributing superhuman abilities and miracles to Mohammad were first put into circulation. The Mohammad who throughout his prophetic career had described himself as just one of God's servants was subjected to posthumous dehumanization and apotheosis. Fabrication of myths about great men after their deaths is a widespread and long-standing phenomenon. It does not alter the fact that great men, for all their greatness, are human and prone to human weaknesses. They experience hunger and thirst, feel cold and heat, and have sexual instincts which may possibly carry them beyond the bounds of discretion. There are times when they falter before obstacles and when they resent opposition.

It is even possible that they may succumb to envy. Once they are dead, however, all their frictions with other men are forgotten and only their good achievements and thoughts are remembered. The books which Abu Ali ebn Sina (370/980-428/1037) wrote on medicine (ol-Qanun in Arabic) and on philosophy and science (osh-Shefa in Arabic and Daneshnama- ye Ala'i in Persian) are remembered, and so is his courage in an adventurous career, but his human failings are either kept hidden or glossed over.

In the cases of founders of religions professed by millions of people, the process is naturally carried to extremes.

During the war of the trench, the Qoraysh chiefs sent an envoy, Oyayna b. Hesn of the Ghatafan tribe, to Mohammad with an offer to withdraw the besieging forces if he would let them take the whole of that year's Madinan date crop. The Prophet refused. The envoy then said that they would raise the siege in return for one third of the crop. The Prophet, who had caused the trench to be dug for the town's defence, knew that the tribal alliance still posed a dangerous threat. He therefore saw fit to accept the second offer.

When he called for the peace terms to be written down, Sa'd b. Mo'adh (one of the chiefs of the Aws tribe) asked whether his acceptance was a divine revelation. The Prophet replied that it was not, but it would get rid of the allied besiegers and avert the risk of collaboration between them and the Jews, who could be dealt with later. Sa'd retorted that in the old days, when his people were pagans, nobody had been able to extort a single date from them, and now that they were Moslems, they were not going to submit to such humiliation and pay such blackmail; the only right answer was the sword. The Prophet changed his mind. He accepted Sa'd's argument and decided not to pay the blackmail.

Frequent incidents of this kind are mentioned in the histories of the twenty three years of the prophetic mission. A companion would consult the Prophet, or the Prophet would take the advice of his companions. They would ask him how God judged a matter, and he would leave it to their own decision.
After his death, however, his human characteristics were forgotten.

Everything that he ever did or said became a model of perfection and a manifestation of God's will.

Governmental and judicial authorities took his actions as precedents for the solution of every sort of problem. The simple-minded believers of that time imagined him to have been even greater than he really was.

Anybody who could claim to have heard some words from the Prophet's mouth was assured of prestige.
The Qur’anic commandments and laws are not wholly clear and precise. Believers therefore had to find precedents in the Prophet's own conduct. For example, prayer is prescribed in the Qur’an, but the ritual and number of the daily prayers had to be determined from the Prophet's usual practice. It was this need which prompted the collection of reports or traditions about his custom (sanna) and his sayings and doings (Hadith). The subsequent proliferation was such that by the 3rd/9th-4th/lOth century thousands of reports were in circulation and hundreds of inquirers were rushing around the Islamic countries to collect more reports. A class of professional traditionists arose and acquired great respect in the Islamic world.

They knew thousands of traditions by heart. One of them, Ebn Oqda (d. 332/943), is credited with having known 250,000 together with each one's chain of transmitters.

In the words of a Persian proverb, "when somebody picks up a big stone, you can be sure that he will not throw it." The vast bulk of the Hadith compilations is in itself proof that not all of their contents can be authentic. A more important aspect of the matter is the motive of these people who devoted their lives and energies to collecting Hadiths so assiduously. Basically their purpose was to leave no room for the use of human reason. Ebn Taymiya (661/1263-728/1328) said, "Nothing is true except what came to us through Mohammad." A learned scholar, Hasan b. Mohammad ol-Erbili (d. 660/1261) is reported to have said on his deathbed, "God told us the truth. Ebn Sina told us lies."

14 It is an undeniable fact that the greater the lapse of time after the Prophet's death and the further the distance from the Hejaz, the more the number of miracles ascribed to him grew. Imaginations got to work and turned a man whose mental and moral strengths had changed the world's history into a being capable of existence only in the realm of fable.

15 The Iranians were routed. Their successive defeats at Qadesiya in 15/636 or 16/637 and Nehavand in 21/642 were so shameful and painful that their failures against Alexander and the Mongols pale in comparison. The long record of disasters in Iranian history shows how vulnerable the country can be whenever it lacks a competent king or leader and good statesmen and generals. In this case Iran fell to quite small forces of ill-armed and untrained Arabs. City after city and province after province surrendered, accepting the Arab terms of conversion to Islam or inferior status as tribute-payers. Some became Moslems to avoid the poll-tax, others to escape from the oppressive grip of the Zoroastrian mobeds (priests). All that was needed to become a Moslem was acknowledgement of God's unity and Mohammad's prophethood. Gradually, and often at the point of the sword, the simple faith of Islam gained general acceptance.

It was in keeping with the national character of the Iranians that after the conquest they sought to ingratiate themselves with their conquerors. They obeyed, served, and placed their brains and knowledge at the disposal of the new masters. They learned the language and adopted the manners of the Arabs. It was they who systematized Arabic grammar and syntax. There were no limits to their obsequiousness in their efforts to get the conquerors to employ them. They outstripped the Arabs in Islamic zeal and poured scorn on their own former beliefs and customs. They not only extolled the Arab nation and Arab heroes but even tried to prove that chivalry, generosity, and leadership in here in the Arabs alone. They described Bedouin poems and trite aphorisms from pre-Islamic Arabia as pearls of wisdom and models of behaviour.

They were content to be protégés of Arab tribes and lackeys of Arab amirs, and glad to give their daughters in marriage to Arabs and to take Arab names for themselves.

Iranian brains were soon at work in the fields of Islamic theology and law, Hadith-compilation, and Arabic literature. Approximately seventy per cent of the principal Arabic works on Islamic subjects were written by Iranians. Although the first conversions had been induced by fear, after two or three generations the Iranians were more Moslem than the Arabs.

The Iranians were so adept at infiltrating the new ruling class by means of flattery and cajolery that a famous vazir reportedly never looked at a mirror for fear of seeing an Iranian in it. At first they obeyed and served the Arab rulers because they hoped to become the rulers themselves in the long run and wanted to share in the spoils in the meantime. As the years passed, however, they became confused about their own identity. In the 3rd/9th and 4th/10th centuries there were Iranians who placed no value on their nationhood and imagined the Hejaz to be the sole source of God's blessings to mankind.

This may perhaps explain how the great growth of superstition and miracle-mongering became possible. The Iranians would not have been so credulous if they could have visualized the real circumstances at Mecca, and Madina in the first thirteen and last ten years of the Prophet Mohammad's mission.

As an example of Iranian credulity, the following passage from the Behar a/-Anwar of Mohammad Baqer Majlesi (1037/1627-1110/1699),101the leading mojtahed (authority on Shi'ite Islamic law and theology) in the later Safavid period, deserves repetition here. It is related, Majlesi states, that the Emams Hasan and Hosayn asked their illustrious grandfather (the Prophet) for a present of new clothes on the day of the breaking of the fast. Gabriel came down and offered a white garment to each as a festival gift. The Prophet said that the two boys customarily wore coloured clothes but Gabriel had brought white clothes. Gabriel obtained a tub and a jug from heaven and told the boys that if they would say what colours they wanted, he would fill the tub with a liquid in which each should dip his garment, and then the garment would be dyed the colour he wanted. The Emam Hasan chose green and the Emam Hosayn chose red. While the clothes were being dyed, Gabriel wept. The Prophet asked why he wept when the children had been made happy that day. Gabriel answered that Hasan's choice of green meant that he would be martyred by poisoning with a poison which would turn his body green, and Hosayn's choice of red meant that he would be martyred when his blood would turn the ground red.

It is worthy of note that this absurd story is also quoted by the Babi writer Mirza Jani in his book Noqtat oI-Kaf.102Inherited Shi'ite superstitions evidently remained alive in the minds of the Babis, who claimed to be reformers and founded a new religion.

Mohammad and his companions are known to have lived in extreme poverty during the first year after the hejra up to the time of the Nakhla raid. Few of the companions had the commercial flair of Abd or-Rahman b. Awf, who as soon as he arrived at Madina set up a business in the bazaar and made profits. Others found work as laborers in Jewish-owned palm-groves and were put onto hoeing and well-digging because they knew nothing about date-cultivation. The Prophet himself did not take an employment but lived on charity. He often went to bed without having eaten more than a few dates to appease his hunger, and sometimes without any supper at all. This fact is not mentioned in order to disparage Mohammad. On the contrary, it attests the greatness of his achievement. He did not let poverty and lack of resources hold him back from his resolve to establish mastery over Arabia. History records few self-made men of such calibre.

The events of the time prove that Mohammad was human like the rest of mankind and did not receive help from any superhuman or supernatural power. The battle of Badr ended in victory because of the courage and steadfastness of the Moslems and the negligence and slackness of the Qorayshites. The battle of Mount Ohod ended in defeat because the Moslems did not adhere to Mohammad's strategy. If it had been predestined that God should always help the Moslems, there would have been no need for the Moslem raids, for the digging of the trench around Madina, or for the massacre of the men of the Banu Qorayza. In view of verse 13 of sura 32 (os-Sajda), "if We had so wished, We would have given every soul its guidance," it would have been more logical for God to infuse the light of Islam into the hearts of all the unbelievers and hypocrites.

When the Jewish Qaynoqa' tribe surrendered after the fortnight-long blockade of their food and water supplies, Mohammad intended to put them all to death. Their old ally, Abdollah b. Obayy, protested and blustered so much that Mohammad went black in the face with anger; but after full consideration of Abdollah b. Obayy's vow to continue protecting the Banu Qaynoqa' and threat to come out in open opposition, Mohammad changed his mind. He decided not to put them to death, and was content to evict them from Madina within three days.

These and the dozens of similar incidents reported in the biographies of the Prophet and histories of the rise of Islam are conclusive evidence that no supernatural power was at work. The events in Mohammad's life, like those in every other time and place, were determined by natural causes. Far from demeaning him, this fact makes the greatness of his mind and character all the more outstanding.

Unfortunately human beings are not accustomed and, it seems, often not able to investigate and ascertain causes of events. Their imaginative faculty is always ready to explain things by inventing gods. Primitive peoples in their ignorance can only explain thunder and lightning as the voice and flash of a potentate angered by their disobedience of his commands. Highly intelligent and learned men have ignored relations of cause and effect, preferring to postulate divine intervention even in petty incidents. They have supposed the omnipotent governor of the infinite universe to be a being like themselves. Men who thought in this way could believe that the governor of the universe sent gifts of clothes from heaven for Hasan and Hosayn and that his messenger-angel dyed the clothes red and green and wept.

Majlesi's Behar ai-Anwar is not exceptional. It is not the only book which states that a fish named Karkara son of Sarsara son of Gharghara told Ali b. Abi Taleb where to ford the Euphrates before the battle of Seftin. Hundreds of books of this type are in circulation in Iran, for example Helyal ol-Mollaqin,1O3Jannal ol-Qolub, Anvar-e No'mani, Mersad ol-Ebad 1O4and many collections of stories of prophets and 'olama.A single one of them is enough to poison a nation's mind and impair its capacity to think. Miracle-mongering is trafficking in a drug which deprives men and women of their reason.

People know what Mohammad accomplished in his prophetic career. They know too that he felt hunger, ate food, and had the same natural functions and instincts as they have. Mystification of his personality does him no honour and does mankind no good.


1 Mohammad b. Jarir ot- Tabari (224/839-310/923), an Iranian by birth, author of two great works in Arabic: the Annals of the Prophets and Kings, and the oldest surviving Qur’an-commentary (Tafsir).
2 Mohammad ol-Waqedi (d. 207/823), author of the Book of the Prophet's Wars.
3 This history of the rise of Babism was reprinted at Leiden in 1910 (ed. by E. G. Browne, E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series, XV). The author, Mirza Jani, was one of twenty eight early Babis who would not recant and were put to death at Tehran in 1268/1852.
4 Abu Jahl (Promoter of Ignorance) was the name given by the Moslems to Amr b. Hesham b. ol-Moghira, who succeeded his uncle Walid b. Moghira as head of the Makhzum clan. A firm opponent of Mohammad, he persecuted the first Moslems and in 2/624 led the Meccan force at the battle of Badr, in which he was killed.
5 A lote tree (Arabic sedra, Persian konar) is a variety of the jujube tree (zizyphus).
6 B. 1888; author of Zaynab, the first Egyptian Arabic novel (1914), and of biographies of Mohammad (1935), Abu Bake (1943), and Omar (1944); Minister of Education and President of the Senate; d. 1956.
7 Author of La vie de Mahomet (Paris 1929) and Mahomet et La tradition islamique? (Paris 1955).
8 Author of Persian works on mathematics, astronomy, chronology, and mineralogy, and reputed inventor of trigonometry (597/1201~672/1274). He also wrote a treatise on ethics (tr. by G. M. Wickens, The Nasirean Ethics, London 1964), which includes a chapter on politics and a thoughtful chapter on  economics.
9 Grandson of Chengiz Khan and brother of Qobelay Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty of China. As the first of the Ilkhanid dynasty, he reigned from 654/1256 to 663/1265 over Iran, Iraq, and most of Asia Minor.
10 The royal audience hall built for the Sasanid Iranian king Khosraw I Anasharvan (531-579). Part of its 26 metre (85 ft.) vault still stands in the ruin on the Tigris 22 ken. (13 miles) downstream from Baghdad.
11 Khosraw II Parviz (591~28) was the Sasanid king of Iran whose armies conquered Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Egypt betWeen 611 and 616. After their defeat and expulsion he was put to death and replaced by his son Shiruya, who retroceded the conquests and made peace with the East Romans. The early biographies and histories state that the Prophet Mohammad sent letters to Khosraw Parviz, the East Roman emperor Heraclius, the governor of Egypt, and the Negus of Abyssinia calling on them to embrace Islam.
12 See below, pp. 29, 149.
13 See below, p. 96.
14 See note 94.
15 Ebn Hesham (Abd ol-Malek b. Hesham), who lived in Egypt and died in 213/828, wrote a revised version of the lost biography of the Prophet by Ebn Es-haq (Mohammad b. Es-haq), a native of Mad in a who died at Baghdad ca. 150/767. Ebn Hesham's work is the oldest surviving and fullest of its kind (tr. by
A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, Oxford 1955).
16 Mohammad b. Esma'ilol-Bokhari (194/810-258/270), ofBokhara, compiler of the Hadith collection entitled the Sahih (Correct). He took great pains to verify the 211} reports (7397 in all) and especially the chains of transmitters. It is the Hadith collection most widely respected and used by Sonnite Moslems.
17 Zohayr b. Abi Solma, one of the most admired pre-Islamic poets, said to have lived into the early years of Mohammad's prophethood but not to have become a Moslem.
18 Labid b. Rabi'a, a poet of the Hawazen tribe, noted for his descriptions of nature and religious feeling; became a Moslem after leading his tribe's delegation to the Prophet Mohammad at Madina, and hereafter gave up poetry; died at a great age in 411661.
19 Celebrated physician (250/864-313/925) of Rayy (near Tehran), author of Arabic works including two medical encyclopaedias which were translated into Latin and used in medieval Europe, of a treatise on alchemy which he tried to transform into scientific chemistry, and of psychological and philosophical treatises now mostly lost. He rejected prophethood on the ground that God has endowed all humans
with reason.
20 Arabic poet (369/979-450/1058) of Ma'arra near Aleppo, blinded in childhood by smallpox; noteworthy for his agnostic and anticlerical poems and his prose account of a journey to the next world (Resalat ol-Ghofran).
21 In other accounts the Arabic words of the Prophet's answer are slightly different and could mean either "I cannot recite" or "What shall I recite?"
22 See Theodor Noldeke, Geschichte des Qorans, 2nd ed., 2 vols ed. by F. Schwally, Leipzig 1909-19; Richard Bell, The Qur' an, translated with a critical rearrangement of the surahs, 2 vols, Edinburgh 1937-39.
23 Ed. by Ahmad Zaki, Cairo 1912; ed. with French tr. by W. Atallah, Paris 1969; Persian tr. by Sayyed Mohammad Reza Jalali Na'ini, Tehran (early I970s); English tr. by Nabih Amin Faris, The Book of Idols, Princeton 1952.
24 According to some of the sources, the avenger of his father and the composer of the verses were the same person, namely Emro' ol-Qays, the semi-legendary princepoet to whom some fine pre-Islamic Arabic poems are ascribed. See R. A. Nicholson, A Literary History of the Arabs, London, 1907, repro Cambridge 1953, pp. 103-105; ErK:)Iclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., articles Dhu'l-Khalasa and Imru' al-Kays.
25 Also quoted in Ebn Es-haq's Life of Mohammad, tr. A. Guillaume, Oxford 1955, p.37.
26 An emamzada isa son, daughter, or descendant ofan Emam and thus a scion ofAli and Fatema. Tombs of emamzadas are found in many Iranian villages and towns and are visited by devotees who address appeals for help or intercession to the emamzada, either orally or in writing on a piece of paper or cloth called a dakhil. Many of these shrines are domed, and some are very old. Some may have been
tombs of local saints or Sufi votaries. In most cases, no information about the careers, let alone the genealogies, of the revered persons have come down; nevertheless they are all popularly supposed to be descendants of Emams.
27 This is the translation chosen by Ali Dashti. Another translation is "and a guide to every nation." Both are grammatically possible.
28 An introduction to study of the Qur’an by the Egyptian Jalal od-Din os-Soyuti (848/1445-910/1505), co-author of the Tafsir ol-Jalalayn.
29 A leading theologian of the Mo'tazelite school, which held that the Qar'an w~s created, that human beings have free will, and that sinners are not necessarily unbelieyers. He died between 220/835 and 230/845. Some passages from his lost writings are quoted in works of ol-Jahez and other early authors.
30 An author of the 3rd/9th century whose writings were condemned by many theologians as heretical.
31 Abu Mohammad Ali b. Ahmad b. Hazm (384/994-456/1064), a celebrated Moorish theologian, jurist, historian, and poet. Among his surviving works is a book on religions and sects (ol-melal wa'n-nehal). .
32 Abu'l-Hosayn Abd or-Rahim b. Mohammad ol-Khayyat (ca. 220/835-<:a. 300/913), a Mo'tazelite theologian of Baghdad, author of many works of which a few survive.
33 In Ali Dashti's rendering, "by an angel"; generally taken to mean the angel Gabriel.
34 Shams od-Din Mohammad Hafez of Shiraz, the most admired Persian lyric poet (726/1 326?-792/1 390).
35 ]alal od-Din Rumi (604/1207-672/1273), known to the Iranians as Mawlavi, is the most widely admired of the Persian mystic poets. He lived at Konya in Asia Minor, which was then called Rum. In those days alchemists searched for a substance, the elixir, which would transform base metals into gold,
36 Ignaz Goldziher (1850-1921), professor of Arabic at Budapest and an outstanding
scholar, Author (inter alia) of Muhammadanische Studien, 2 vols, Halle 1889-90, 1£. by C. R, Barber and S. M. Stern, Muslim Studies, 2 vols, London 1967-71; Vorlesungen aber den Islam, Heidelberg 1910, 2nd ed. 1923,1£. by Felix Arin, Le dogme et la loi tk l'lslam, Paris 1920, 2nd ed. 1958, and by A. and R. Hamori, Introduction to Islamic theolegy and law, Princeton 1981; and Die Richtungen der Islamischen Koranauslegung, Leiden 1920.
37 Abu'I-Abbas Ahmad b. Mohanunad al-Qastallani of Cairo, author of a biography of the Prophetand commentarieson the Hadith. .'
38 See note 15. The repon appears on pp. 677-678 of A. Guillaume's translation.
39 His employmeny by Mohammad was arranged by his mother, shortly after the hejra when he was ten years old. and lasted until the Prophet's death. Later he fought in wars of conquest and opposed the Omayyads. He died at Basra in 91{709(?) or 93/ 711(?).
40 Abd ol-Wahhab osh-Sha'rani of Cairo, a prolific author of mystic and theological works.
41 A Yamani who arrived at Madina and embraced Islam only four years before the Prophet Mohammad's death, bUt became a very prolific transmitter of Hadiths. He died ca. 58/678.
42 A blind man of Bedouin origin who lived at Basra and was a prolific transmitter of Hadiths (60/680?-1171735?).
43 The Library of the Universiry of Cambridge possesses the unique manuscript of the third pan of a Persian Tafsir (Qur’an commentary and translation) written by an unknown author probably ca. 1000 A.D. and copied in 628/1231. Itcoverssuras 19-114 and is the only surviving part. It is thought to be the oldest work ofits kind in the Persian language. The text was printed by the Bonyad-e Farhang-e Iran, Tehran, 1349/1970 (2 vols, ed. and introd. by ]alal Marini).
44 The event is the subject of the shon sura 105 (ol-Fif). The Abyssinians brought an elephant, which for the Hejazi Arabs was an unknown prodigy. Verses 3 and 4 state that the Abyssinians were smitten by stones of baked clay which swarms of birds dropped on them. In the opinion of Ekrema, an early traditionist, and Tabari, the historian and Qur’an-commentator, the verses are an allegorical expression of the fact that the Abyssinians were smitten by smallpox.
45 Verses 14 and 15 of sura 34 are thought to refer to this disaster. Archaeological and epigraphic evidence indicates it occurred some time in the middle of the 6th century.
46 ot- Ta'ef, a relatively large town about 50 miles (80 km.) south-east of Mecca in a mountain oasis where cereals can be grown. It had some imponance in the caravan trade and was the centre of the worship of the goddess ol-Lat.
47 In the Qur’an the town is once named Yathreb (sura 33, verse 13) and four times named ol-Madina (sura 9, verses 101 and 120, sura 33, verse 60, and sura 63, verse 8).
48 Le dogme et la loi de l'lslam, tr. by Felix Arin, 2nd ed., Paris 1958, p. 3. 213}
49 The word ommiyin is often taken to mean illiterate, but in this context evidently means those who have not been given scriptures, i.e. gentiles. See p. 53 above.
50 Cf. sura 2, 187 (p. 82 above); in both verses, the word fema appears to signify "persecUtion" rather than "anarchy", which is the normal meaning.
51 Abu Hamed Mohammad ol-Ghazzali (450/1058-505/1111), ofTus in Khorasan, was an outstanding theologian and mystic. Among his many works, the most widely read are Ehya 'olum ed-din, an Arabic treatise on faith and morals, and Kimiya-ye sa'adat, a shonened and somewhat different Persian version; TaMfot ol-Falasefa, on the inconsistencies of philosophers (i.e. metaphysicians); and ol-Monqedh men od-dalal, a spiritual autobiography (tr. by W. Montgomery Watt, The faith and practice of al-Ghazali, London 1953). Although Ghazzali was a Sonnite, his works are read and respected by many Shi'ites.
52 See note 20.
53 See note 6.
54 The Prophet's action probably set the precedent for the conferment of the robe of honour (khel'a) by Moslem rulers of the Abbasid and later dynasties, though this practice had existed in the Near East since long before Islam. Another famous poem is also called the Ode of the Cloak. This is a religious peom by an Egyptian, Sharaf od-Din ol-Busiri (608/1212-695/1296), who wrote it after being cured of paralysis by a dream in which the Prophet threw his cloak over him.
55 Ali Dashti explains this sentence as "Do not show yourselves to be waiting for the cooking of the meal," having probably read ena (pot). A. J. Arberry's rendering is "without watching for its hour" (ana, length of time).
56 The Arabic word hejab means basically "covering" and in the context probably "curtain"; in later times it came to mean "veil".
57 According to Moslem traditions, Ad is the name of an ancient nation, and Eram is the name of its town, or in a less common opinion, of its chief tribe. The people of Ad spumed the Prophet Hud whom God sent to them, and were punished with a flood and then a drought which destroyed them.
58 Thamud is the name of an ancient nation whose existence is attested in Roman sources. They were akin to the Nabataeans of Petra and have left a few inscriptions in a similar Semitic language and script. After the Roman conquest of Petra, their town ol-Heir (now Mada'en Saleh) in the north of the Hejaz was a centre of commerce for some time. Among the Thamudite remains at Mada'en Saleh and 01-Ola are rock-hewn monuments similar to those at Petra but smaller. According (0 Moslem traditions, Thamud was punished with destruction by an earthquake or thunderbolt for defying the Prophet Saleh.
59 The normal meaning of the Arabic watad (pI. awlad) is "peg", panicularly "tent-peg". No satisfactory explanation of "owner of the pegs" has been found by either traditional commentators or modem scholars.
60 See A. Guillaume's translation of Ebn Es-haq's Life of Muhammad, Oxford 1955, p. 651. "Prisoners" is Ali Dashti's and A. Guillaume's rendering of the Arabic word 'awan, which means literally "intermediate" and in this context probably "intermediate between free and unfree"; in sura 2, 63, it means "intermediate
between young and old". Another suggestion is that the word may be the plural of 'aniya, meaning "afflicted with disabilities".
61 Mahmud b. Omar oz-Zamakhshari (467/1075-538/1144), of Khwarezm, has left imponant works including an Arabic Qur’an-commentary entitled ol-KashsMf, a treatise on Arabic grammar, and an Arabic-Persian lexicon. He adhered to the Mo'tazelite school of Islamic thought, believing in human free will and the createdness of the Qur’an.
62 Abdollah b. Omar ol-Baydawi, of Fars, wrote an Arabic Qur’an-commentary, which is still much used by Sonnite Moslems, and other Arabic and Persian works. His Qur’an-commentary, entitled Anwar or-Tanzi/, is based on Zamakhshari's KashsMfbut amplified and expurgated of Mo'tazelite interpretations.
63 Ahmad b. Hanbal (164/780-241/855) of Baghdad was the author of ol-Mosnad, a Hadith compilation completed by his son Abdollah, and the founder of the literalistic and anthromorphic school of Sonnite Islamic theology and law known as the Hanbalite school. He suffered beatings and long imprisonment for his rejection of the Mo'tazelite theology then favoured by the Abbasid caliphate. Ahmad b. Taymiya (661/1222-728/1328) of Damascus revived the Hanbalite school and wrote books which in later times influenced the Wahhabite movement in Arabia.
64 Mohammad b. Sa'd (ca. 168/784-230/845) of Basra compiled the Keuib ot-Tabaqat, which gives biographies of Mohammad, his companions, and 4250 Hadith transmitters.
65 The Arabic term for temporary marriage is mot'a, which means literally "enjoyment" or "usufruct"; it is from the same root as the word "you enjoy" or "you have the usufruct of' in sura 4, verse 28.
66 The waiting period ('edda) is the period in which a widow or divorced woman is not allowed to remarry because she may be found to be pregnant by her former husband. In Islamic law the waiting period is 4 months and 10 days for a widow, 3 months for a divorced wife, 2 months for a widowed slave-concubine, and 11/2 months for a divorced slave-concubine.
67 Mohammad ot- Termedhi (d. 279/892), ofTermedh, a town on the Oxus, compiled ol-Jame', one of the six Hadith collections held in high esteem by Sonnite Moslems.
68 See p. 14f. -
69 Zaynab was married to Abu'I-As, a son of Khadija's sister: Roqayya to Otba, a son of Abu Lahab; Omm Kolthum to Otayba, another son of Abu Lahab; and Fatema to Ali b. Abi Taleb. After the stan of the preaching of Islam, Abu Lahab forced his sons to divorce Mohammad's daughters. Later Roqayya was married to Othman b. 'MIan, and after her death Omm Kolthum was married to the same Othman b. 'MIan.
70 H. Reckendorf gives her name as Qayla (Eru:yclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., Leiden 1960, vol. I, p. 697, article al-Ash'ath); W. M. Watt gives it as Qotayla (Muhammad at Madina, Oxford 1956, p. 397). Both state that she was betrothed to Mohammad, who died before she reached Madina.
71 Egypt was invaded by troops of the Iranian king Khosraw II Parviz in 616 and remained under Iranian occupation until 628. Mariya probably arrived at Madina before 628.
72 A son of the Prophet's uncle (ol-)Abbas and an ancestor of the Abbasid caliphal dynasty. Generally known as Ebn Abbas, he is the reputed source of very numerous Hadiths. He died ca. 68/687.
73 A son ofthe second caliph Omar b. ol-Khattab. He fought in many campaigns, but refused high office. He is remembered as a careful and accurate transmitter of Hadiths. He died in 73/693.
74 See note 43.
75 See note 1.
76 Zayd had a son, Osama, by a previous marriage. After divorcing Zaynab in 4 A.H.l626, he contracted funher marriages and had more children. He led several Moslem raids and was appointed by the Prophet to command the first campaign into Syria; on that campaign he was killed in the battle of Mo'ta (near Ma'an in what is now Transjordan) in 8 A.H.l629. Osama, despite his youth, was put in command of another expedition into Syria in II A.H.l632.
77 Ali Dashti's text has MaqatelfMoqatel. Zamakhshari, in his commentary ol-Kashshaf (see note 61 above) on which' Ali Dashti relied, attributes the statement to a man named Moqatel b. Solayman. (Information kindly given by Dr. Paul Sprachman of the University of Chicago).
78 Mahmud Shabestari of Tatlriz, d. ca. 720/1320, author of Golshan-e Rtiz, a short 215} exposition of Sufism in verse; tr. by E. Whinfield, The Rose Garden of Mysrery, London 1880.
79 In sura I, the invocation (In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful) is numbered as a separate verse, but in other suras it is not. The rest of sura 1 consists of six short verses.
80 The meaning of the word marhani, translated above as "repetitions", is obscure. It comes in two verses of the Qur’an, sura 15,87 and sura 39, 24. One theory is that it means verses or passages which were sent down twice; another is that it means verses which ought to be repeated in prayer; another is that it means praises.
81 Amr b. ol-As, a Qorayshite, was the conqueror and first governor of Egypt. Abu MUs3 ol-Ash'ari, a native of the Yaman, was the governor of Basra and conqueror of Khuzestan. During the battle of Seffin between' Ali's and Mo'awiya's forces in 37/657, Arnr proposed arbitration. Mo'awiya chose Arnr, and Ali chose Abu Musa, to be the two arbiters. When they met at Adhruh (near Petra) in the following year, Amr persuaded Abu MUs3 to declare that both Ali and Mo'awiya were ineligible, and then himself declared that only Ali was ineligible.
82 Some examples are sura 4, 14, abrogating sura 2, 241, on inheritance rights of widows; sura 24,2, abrogating sura 4, 19, on punishment of adultery by women; sura 5, 92, abrogating sura 2, 216, on consumption of intoxicants.
83 The Kharejites disapproved of' Ali's agreement to arbitration of the claims to the caliphate and seceded from his camp in 37/657. They believed that the most pious Moslem man, even if a black slave, ought to be the Emam (i.e. head of the Moslem community), and that a Moslem who commits a major sin ceases to be a MosleIp and ought to be punished in this world. Small Kharejite communities still exist in Oman and Algeria.
84 The Morje'ites believed that the sincerity of a Moslem's faith can only be judged by God and that punishment of Moslem sinners ought to be postponed until the judgement day, i.e. left to God's  judgement. They recommended obedience to the Omayyad caliphate because, even though sinful, it was the established regime.
85 The Mo'tazelites believed that God is necessarily just, that humans have free will, and that the Qur’an was created (i.e. by God in the lifetime of Mohammad).. The Abbisid caliphs Ma'mun (198/813-218/833), Mo'tasem (218/833-227/842), and Watheq (227/842-232/847) maintained an inquisition for the purpose of eliminating anti-Mo'tazelite judges and officials. The greatest and last Mo'tazelite writer was Zamakhshari (d. 538/1143). .
86 The Ash'arites were followers of the Sonnite theologian Abu'l-Hasan Ali 01- Ash'ari (d. 324/935), who broke away from the Mo'tazelites. They rejected human free will and scientific causality, and believed in predestination and continuous creation.
87 Batenite was a tenD used disparagingly by onhodox writers to denote those who sought inner (baren) meanings in Qur’anic texts and Islamic laws and rites. Though applicable to Sufis (mystics), the tenD was generally reserved for the various Esma'ili Shi'ite groups, such as the Qarmatis of eastern Arabia in the 4th/10th century; the Fatemid dynasty of Egypt (358/%9-567/1171); the Ekhwin os-Saia (Brethren of Purity), a Moslem Neo-Platonist group said to have been based at Basra in the 4th/lOth century who have left a collection of 52 epistles; and the Nezari Esma'ilis of Alamut (483/1090-654/1256).
88 The second caliph Omar was stabbed on 26 Dhu'Hejja 23/3 November 644 by Abu Lo'lo'a Firuz, an Iranian slave said in some sources to have been a Christian. In the hours before his death he appointed the committee which chose Othman to succeed him.
89 An early convert, noted as an ascetic and critic of the rich and as a transmitter of Hadiths. He was expelled from Syria by Mo'awiya in Othman's reign and died in 32/652. Abu Dharr ol-Ghelari, ol-Meqdad b. Amr, and Salman ol-Farsi are described as the first Shi'ites. 216
90 An early convert who fought in the Prophet's wars. He was appointed governor of Kufa by Omar and played a part in the conquest of Khuzestan. He was dismissed by Othman. He fought for' Ali in the battle of the camel and at Seffin where he was killed in 37/657.
91 An anthology of Arabic songs and poems from pre-Islamic days to the time of Ebrahim ol-Mowseli, the coun musician of the' Abbasid caliph Harun or-Rashid (170/186-1931809). lis compiler AbuJ"lFaraj Ali 01-Esfahani(2841897-3561967) was an Arab of Omayyad descent who lived at Esfahan.
92 Arabic for Khosraw, the name of a mythical Iranian King and of two Sasanid kings, Khosraw I Anusharvan (531-579) and Khosraw II Parviz (591-628).
93 Abdollah b. Qotayba (213/828-276/889), of Iranian origin, held official posts mainly at Baghdad where he died. He was the author of Oyun ol-akhbtir, a collection of edifying anecdotes, and of a poetic anthology, a treatise on the secretarial an, and many other Arabic works.
94 Taha Hosayn (1889-1973) went blind in early childhood. After education at a Qur’an-school and the.Azbar theological college in Cairo, he studied in France and earned the doctorate of the University of Paris in 1919 for his thesis on La philosophie sociale d'lbn Khaldoun. His scholarly studies of the pre-Islamic Arabic poetry (Fi'sh-she'r el-jaheli, Cairo 1926) and the life of Mohammad (Ala luimesh es-sira, 2 vols, Cairo 1933 and 1938) aroused controversy but have lasting value. He represented the liberal tendency in Egyptian nationalism. In his book on the Future of Culture in Egypt (Mostaqbal oth-theqafafi Mesr, Cairo 1938) he called for cooperation with other Mediterranean countries. He was Minister of Education from January 1950 to January 1952. Above all he is remembered for his account of his life at the Qur’an-school and the Azhar, ol-A",am (2 vols, Cairo 1929 and 1939. Vol. I, tr. by E. H. Paxton, An Egyptian childhood, London 1932; vol. II, tr. by H. Wayment, The Stream of Days, London 1948).
95 See note 89 on p. 216 above.
96 Abu Obayda b. Abdollah b. ol-Jarrah was one of the early convens who temporarily emigrated to Abyssinia and one of the ten companions to whom paradise was promised. As governor of Syria from 15/36 until his death in a plague in 18/639, he conquered Horns, Aleppo, and Antioch.
97 According to other accounts, Sa'd b. Obada died four or five years later.
98 Abu Ali Mohammad b. Mohammad Bal'ami (d. 363/974), the vazir of two Simanid amirs of Bokhara, Abd ol-Malek I and Mansur I, translated Tabari's Annals into Persian at the laner's request. The work is the oldest imponant monument of New Persian prose. It is abbreviated from Tabari's Arabic original
and supplemented with some additional material, mainly on Iranian subjects. There is a French translation by H. Zotenberg, Chronique de. . . Tabari traduite sur la version persane de... Befami, 4 vols, Paris 1867-1874, reprinted 1948.
99 Ammar b. Yaser and ol-Meqdad b. Amr were early convens and companions of the Prophet and prominent supponers ofAli. Ammar, whose mother was a slave owned by a member of the Makhzum clan of the Qoraysh, became governor of Kufa in Omar's reign and took pan in the conquest of Khuzestan; he
was killed while fighting for Ali at the battle of Seffin in 37/657. Ammar, Meqdad, Abu Dharr ol-Ghefari, and Salman ol-Farsi are regarded as the first Shi'ites.
100 See p. 98f.
101 The Behar ol-Anwar is an immense Hadith compilation in Arabic, running to 102 volumes. Mohammad Baqer Majlesi also wrote more popular books in Persian, including biographies of the Prophet and the twelve Emims. His persecution of Iranian Sonnites, Sufis, Jews, and Zoroastrians was one of the causes of the weakening of the Safavid monarchy, which was overthrown by Sonnite Afghan
rebels in 1135/1722.
102 Seenote 3. 217}
103 A Persian book by Mohammad Baqer Majlesi.
104 By Shaykh Nairn od-Din Daya(d. 654/1256), an exponem of Sufism. The MeTSIid 0/ .Ebtid eomains one of (he few early menrions of Omar Khayyam, who is denounced in it as a philosopher and an atheist. . 218


Index of Persons

Aaron 49
Abbad b. Soleyman 50
Abbas b. Abd ol-Mottaleb II, 43f., 65, 102, 124, 136, 169, 170
Abd od-Dar b. Hodayb 34
Abd ol-Mottaleb b. Hashem 1,98,170, 194
Abd or-Rahman b. Awf5, 36,167,171, 189, 198-202,209
Abdollah b. ol-Abbas 128, 144, 191, n.72
Abdollah b. Abd ol-Mottaleb I, 16
Abdollah b. Abi Hadrad 100
Abdollah b. Abi Rabi'a 76
Abdollah b. ol-Abras 15
Abdollah b. Atilt 100
Abdollah b. Jabsh 86, 132
Abdollah b. ol-Khatal98
Abdollah b. Mas'ud 149, 173
Abdollah b. Obayy 101, 109, 119, 129, 130, 209
Abdollah b. Omar 132, n. 73
Abdollah b. Omm MaktUm 61
Abdollah b. Onays 100
Abdollah ol-Qoda'i 15
Abdollah b. Rawaha 100, 109
Abdollah b. Sa'd b. Abi Sarh 98f., 190, 201
Abdollah b. Sallam 102
Abdollah b. oz-Zobayr 167
Abraha 34
Abraham 6, 14,22,35,67,72,92, 120, 141, 142, 176
Abu Afak 100
Abu Amr b. ol-Ala 50
Abll'I-Ashadd 13, 96, 143
Abu Azza ol-Jomahi 100
Abu Bakr os-Seddiq 5, 22, 28, 36, 62, 65, 103, 105, 116, 123, 131, 146, 167-71, 173, 174f., 176, 177, 81,  189, 195, 197-9,203
Abu Da'ud ot-Tayalesi 24
Abu Dharr ol-Ghefari 179, 189, n. 89
Abu'I-FarajAli ol-Esfahani 180, n.91
Abu'I-Haytham b. Tayyehan 79f.
Abu Horayra 70, n,41
Abu Jabl 4, 16, 75, 145, 152, 194, n.4
Abu Lahab b. Abd ol-Mottaleb 11, 13,
29, 30, 52, 75, 143, 149
Abu Musa ol-Ash'ari 152, n. 81
Abu Na'ela 99
Abu Obayda b. ol-Jarrah 197, n. 96
Abu Rohm ol-Ghefari 65
Abu Sa'id ol-Khodri 58
Abu Sofyan b. Harb b. Omayya 43f., 64, 75,90,98,100,102, 1O6f.,108, 119, 124, 145, 170, 199f., 202
Abu Taleb b. Abd ol-Mottaleb 1,2, IOf., 12,37,38,76,194
Adi b. Qays 71
A'esh 22 'kesha b, Abi Bake 24f., 27, 49f" 58,66, 91,92, Ill, 122,123,124, 125f., 127, 128, 129-31, 134f., 136, 137, 138, 144, 172,204
Ahmad b. Hanbal see Ebn Hanbal
Akhnas b. Shariq 4, 16, 194
Alexander 8, 21, 207
Ali b. Abi Taleb 28, 47, 70, 105, 123, 131, 136, 146, 152, 159, 167, 168-71, 173, 174-8, 181, 187,188,191,197,198-202,204, 210
Ali Mohammad Shirazi, Sayyed 2f.
Arnena b, Wabb I
Arner b. Zareb ol-Adwani 15
Ammarb. Yaser 113, 159, 179, 197,201, n.90
Amr b. Abd Wood 177
Amr b, ol-As 76, 99, 152, 167, 199f.,
2oof., 202, n. 81
Amr b. Fadl16
Arne b. ol-Hadrami 86
Amr b. Hashem 98
Amr b. Omayya 100
Anas b. Malek 66. n. 39
Aqil b. Abi Taleb 187
Aristotle 21
As b. Wirel
Asem b. Thabet 98
A~h'ath b. Qays 125
A~iya 138, 144
Asma b. Abi Bakr 116
Asma b. Marwab 100
Asma b. No'man 125
Asma b. Saba 125
Aswad b. Abd ol-Mottaleb b. Asad 63, 71
Aswad b. Abd Yaghuth 71
Atiq Nisbapuri, Abu Bakr 7 219}
Baghdadi, Abd ol-Qaher 48
Bal'ami, Mohammad 199, n. 98
Ba'li 58f.
Bara b. ol-Ma'rur 80
Baydawi, Abdollah 144, 115, n.61
Beethoven 21
Belal 22
Blachere, R. 17
Bojayr b. Zohayr b. Abi Solma 109
Buddha 20, 54
Caesar 8, 21, 75
Chengiz Khan 8
Confucius 20, 54
Cyrus 8, 21
Darwaza, Mohanunad Ezzat 14, 63f.
David 81, 121, 142
Data, Naim od-Din 62, n. 104
Dermenghem, E. 7, n. 7
Ebn Abd at-Barr 24
Ebn Es-haq, Mohanunad 26f.
EbnHanbal24, 116, 119, 148, 157,n.63
Ebn Heshim, Abd ai-Malek 14, 26f., 64, 79, 102, 170, n.15
Ebn Oqda 206
Ebn Qotayba, Abdollah 180, n.93
Ebn or-Ravandi 48, n. 30
Ebn Sa'd, Mohanunad 116, 188, 189, n.64
Ebn Sayyed on-Nas 24
Ebn Sonayna 101
Ebn Sina, Abu Ali 21, 205, 206
Ebn Taymiya, Ahmad 116, 157,206, n.63
Ebrahim b. Heshim b. ol-Moghira 180
Ebrahim b. Mohanunad 125, 150
Edison 21
Einstein 21
Ekrema b. Abi Jahl 98
Erbili, Hasan b. Mohanunad 206
Fartana 98
Fatema b. od-Dahhik 125
Fatema b. Mohanunad 122, 177, 197, n.69
Fatema b. ShQrayh 125
Ferdowsi 21
Fuwati, Heshim b. Amr 50
Ghazzali, Mohammad 94, 157, n. 51
Goldziher., I. 17,62,82,92, 120, 156f., n.36
Habla b. Qays 125, n. 70
Haddad, Professor 14,21
Hafez 21,53, n. 34
Hafsa b. Omar 123, 127, 129, 135, 136-7, 138, 144
Hakam b. Abi'l-As 179
Hakim b. HeZim 189
Hanunurabi 20
Hamna b. Jahsh 129f., 131, 144
Harnza b. Abd ol-Mottaleb 36, 44, 64, 70, 82, 103, 136, 146, 147, 195
Hanzala b. Safwan 15
Hareth b. Abi Derar 124
Hareth b. ol-Hareth 108
Hareth b. Heshim 58, 108
Harnack, A. 82
Hasan b. Ali 127, 137,208,210
Hasan ol-Qorazi 91
Hassan b. Thabet 129, 131, 144
Haykal, Mohanunad Hosayn 7, 14, 101, 122f., 135, 136, n.6
Hend b. Otba 64, 98, 119f.
Hend b. Yazid 125
Hitler 8, 80, 121
Hodhali, Abu Mo'anunar 157
Homer 21
Hormozin 178
Hosayn b. Ali 17,90, 167, 187f., 191, 194, 208, 210
Hosayn, Taha 14, 23, 186, n. 94
Howayreth b. Noqaydh b. Wahb 98
Howayteb b. Abd ol.Ozza 108
Hoyayy b. Akhtab 102, 105, 124
Hud 15, 193
Hulagu Khan 8,167, n,9
Isaac 141
Isaiah 81
Ishmael 72, 92, 93
Ja'bari 92
Jabr 22
Jadd b. Qays 151
Ja'far b. Abi Tileb 75f.
Jani Kashani 2, 208, n. 3
Jannab 190
Jawad, Ali 14
Jeremiah 81, 112
Jesus9f., 17,20,21,42,54,81, 102, 120, 138, 143, 144
Jowayriya b. ol-Hareth 124, 127, 130
Ka'b b. ol.Ashraf 88£., 99f., 143
Kalbi, Heshim b. Mohanunad 34, n. 23
Kenana b. Abi Rabj'a 102, 124 220
Kesra 180, n.92
Khadija b. Khowayled 3, 22, 24-6, 76, 122, 123, 129, 132, 193
Khaled b. SeDan 15
Khaled b. Sofyan 100
Khaled b. ol-Walid 124, 136
Khawla 125
Khayyat, Abd or-Rahim 48, n. 32
Khosraw 75, n. 11, n.92
Khosraw Parviz 9, n. 11, n.71
Korz b. Jaber 65
Kremer, A. van 17
Labid b. A'sam 159
Labid b. Rabi'a 16, n. 18
Lenin 8, 179
Leonardo da Vinci 21
Lincoln, Abraham 182
Lot 142
Ludwig, EmilIO
Ma'arri, Abu'I-Ala 18,21,48, 50, 94, n.20
Mahalli, Jalal ad-Din 5, 126
Majlesi, Mohammad Baqer 208,210, n. 101, n. 103
Malek b. Awf 107
Ma'qil b. Yasar 118
Marat, J. P. 80
MariyatheCopt66,125, 136-7, 144,150, n.25
Marwan b. ol-Hakam 188
Mary 138, 143, 144
Maymuna b. ol-Hlreth 65,124,127,136
Meqdld b. Amr 98,201, n. 99
Meqyas b. SaMba 98
Mestah b. Othiltha 129f., 131
Mez, A. 17
Mo'lwiya b. Abi Sofyan 108, 119, 152, 167, 178, 179, 187, 189,202
Mo'lwiya b. Moghira 100
Mobarrad, Mohammad b. Yalid 49
Mohammad b. Abdollah passim
Mohammad b. Bashir 180
Mohammad b. Maslama 99
Mohayyesa b. Mas'ud 101
Mo;Ahed b. Jabr 176
Moqatel b. Solayman 137.n. 77
Mosne' b. Safwln 124, 130
Mosaylema 173
Mose56, 17,20,21,42,49,54,120, 141, 142, 162, 203
Moslem b. ol-HaHn; 24, 58
Mo'tasem 148
Nader (Shah) 21
Nadr b. ol-Hareth 47, 97f.
Na'om 105, 177
Napoleon 8, 21, 80
Nazzam, Ebrahim 48, 50, n. 29
Negus 29,37,76
Nietzsche, F. W. 114
Noah 67, 120, 141
No'aym b. Mas'ud 106
Noldeke, Th. 12, 28
Nowayri, Ahmad 24
Obaydollah b. Jahsh 14, 124
Obaydollah b. Omar 178
Obaydollah b. Ziyad 187
Omar b. ol-Khattab 28, 36, 59, 62, 70, 82, 93f.,97, 101, 103, 105, 110, Ill, 119, 123, 129, 134, 135f., 145,
167-71, 173, 174-7, 178, 179, 181, 185f., 186, 189, 197-9,202-4, n. 88
Omar b. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas 187f.
Omayma b. Abd ol-Mottaleb 132
Omayya b. Abi's-Salt 15, 194
Omayya b. Khalaf 143
Omm Ayman 67
Omm Habiba b. Abi Sofyan 124, 127
Omm Jomayyel 29, 52, 149
Omm Kolthum b. Mohammad 122, n. 69
Omm Salama 123, 127, 129
Omm Shank 125, 126
Oqba b. Abi Mo'ay! 97f.
Orwa b. Mas'ud 4
Osama b. Zayd 65, 131, 172, 177
Otaba b. Abi Lahab 72
Othmanb. 'Mfin5,28, 36, 49f., 51,98f. 123, 136, 167, 171, 178, 179, 186, 188f., 198-202,204
Othman b. ol-Howayreth 14
Oyayna b. Hesn 69, 205
Pharaoh 49, 122, 138, 144, n. 59
Plato 20
Qadi Iyad 66f.
Qariba 98
Qasem b. Mohammad 30, 123, 150
Qass b. Sa'eda ol-Iyadi 15, 194
Qastallani, Ahmad 63, 67, n. 37
Qatada 70, n. 42
Qorashi, Abu Amer 158
Rayhana 125, 129
Razi, Mohammad b. Zakariya 17f., n. 19
Rebecca 141
Refa'a b. Qays 100 221}
Renan, Ernest 10
Roqayya b. Mohammad 122, n. 69
Rumi, Jalal ad-Din 1,59,141,161, n. 35
Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas 5,36, 171, 187, 198, 200, 201, 202
Sa'd b. Mo'adh 9Of., 205f.
Sa'd b. Obada 101, 108, 167, 197f.
Sa'd b. Zayd 200
Safiya b. Hoyayy 102,105,124,127,129
Safwan b. Ba'li 58
Safwan b. Mo'atta1129-31
Safwan b. Omayya 98
Sahl Tustari 6lf.
Sakran b. Amr 122
Saleh 15,42,45, 193
Salem 185
Salem b. Omayr 100
Sallam b. Meshkam 105
Salman ol-Farsi 22, 106
Samman, Mohammad Abdollah 14, 63
Sara 98
Sarah 141
Sawda b. Zam'a 122f., 123, 127, 129
Shabestari, Mahmud 139, n. 78
Shahrestani, Abu'I-Fat-h Mohammad 56
Sha'rani, Abd ol-Wahhab 68, n. 40
Shemr b. Dhi'I-Jowshan 187
Sho'ayb 15
Showaylem 102
Socrates 20, 54, 121
Sohayb b. Senan 113
Sohayl b. Amr 108
Solomon 121, 142
Soyuti, Jalal ad-Din 5, 48, 92, 101, 118, 126, 128, 176
Stalin 179
Tabari,Mohammadb.Jarir2, 7,13,135, 160, 170, 185f., 199,202, n. 1
Taher b. Mohammad 123
Talha b. Obaydollah 5, 36, 102, 169, 171, 178, 188, 197, 198
Termedhi, Mohammad 119, n.67
To'ma b. Ebriq 108
Trotsky 179
Tusi, Nasir od-Din 8, 21, n. 8
Uriah 142
Wahshi 44, 64
Walid b. ol-Moghira 4, 71, 143
Waqedi, Mohammad 2, 13, n.2
Waraqa b. Nawfall4, 22, 25f., 36, 122, 193, 194
Wells, H. G. 81
Yazid b. Mo'awiya 16f., 187, 194
Yosayrb.Rezam100 .
Zamakhshari, Malunud b. Omar 126,127, 128,131,132,133,160, n. 77
Zayd b. Amr 14
Zayd b. Hiretha 76, 124, 131-5, 144, n.76
Zayd b. Thibet 28, 173
Zaynab b. Jahsh 66, 124, 127, 129, 130, 131-5, 138, 144, 174
laynab b. Khozayma 125, 129
Zaynab b. Mohammad 122, n.69
Zobayr b. ol-Awwim 5, 36, 100, 116, 169, 170, 171, 178, 188f., 197, 198, 200, 202 lohayr b. Abi Solmi 15, 109, n. 17
Zoroaster 54 222 o'

Index of Tribes, Clans, Dynasties, Nalions, Religious and Other Groups

Abbasid dynasty 148, 167, 191
Abd Manaf, clan of 4, 16, 170, 194
Abd Shams, clan of 4
Abyssinians 22, 34, 64, 74
Ad 15,21, 53, 112, 193, n. 57
Adnani 77; see also North Arabians
Amer 76
Andalusians 66; see a/so Moors
Ansar44, 58, 85, 99,101,108,109, 118f., 166, 167, 169, 170, 172, 184, 185, 186, 189, 197f.
Arabs passim
Ash'arites 157, 158, n. 86
Assyrians 182
Aws 74, 77-80, 87, 88, 90, 99,100,107, 184, 195, 205
Babi(s) 2, 208f.
Babylonians 163
Baha'i(s) 2
Bajila 64
Batenites 158, n. 87
Bedouin 12,23,33-5,37,72,76,77,100, 103, 1O4f., 106, lll, 183, 184, 196, 207
Byzantine Greeks 151
Chaldaeans 182
Chinese 163
Christians 3, 14, 15,21,34,35,37,53, 63,76,84.116, 157, 172, 193
Daws 125
Egyptians 5, 63, 122, 163
Ekhwan os-SaJa 158, n. 87
Esma'ilites 167
Fatetnid dynasty 167
French 9, 75, 80
Ghanm 16
Ghatafin 100, 105, 106, 146, 184, 205
Greeks 151, 158, 161, 163
Hanbalites 196
hanif{s) 14, 15,22, 122
Hashem, clan of Hashetnites 4, 16f., 37,
38,79,167,168,170,175,177,194, 198
Hawazen 44, 107, 178, 185
Helal 124
Hodhayl 100
Howayteb 22
hypocrites 101
Iranians 9, 74, 106, 158, 163, 178, 180, 187, 190, 191,203,207-8
Jews 14, 15,20,21,35,45,49,53,54-7, 63,68,72,73,77-9,84,85,87-91, 93,99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104-5,
106, 108, 111, 116, 118, 120f., 124, 125, 128, 143, 144, 146, 157, 181, 184, 185, 193, 195,205,209
Johayna 34
Kharejites 157, n. 83
Khazraj 74,77-80,87,88,90,101,107, 129, 167, 184, 195
Makhzum 4, 194, 201
Modar 65
Mohajerun 85, 86, 104, ll8f., 129, 166, 169, 170, 172, 185, 186, 189, 197f.
Mongols 8, 75, 167, 207
Moors 50f., 158; see also Andalusians
Morje'ites 157, n. 84
Moslems passim
Mostaleq 102, 124, 129, 130
Mo'tazelites 48, 50, 157, 158, n.85
Nadir 87, 89f., 99, 102, 107, 144
North Arabians 64, 77
Omayya, clan of 4, 170
Omayyad dynasty 16,90,167,179,188, 191,202
Palestinians 63
Qahtani 77; see a/so South Arabians
Qaynoqa' 87, 88f., 102, 184,209
Qoraysh passim
Qorayza 87, 90f., 106f., 125, 126, 144, 184, 185, 209
Romans 74, 101, 151, 182,203
Russians 75 223}
Sabaeans 84
Safavid dynasty 208
Semites 20, 75
Shi'ites 68,117,158, 168f., 174, 208f.
Sho'ubiya 180, 190
Solaym 180
Sonnites 59, 68, 177, 148, 168f.
South Arabians 75, 77, 125
Sufi(s) 61, 158
Syrians 48
Taghleb 184
Tamin 4, 113, 184
Thamud IS, 21, 45, 53, 112, 193, n.58
ThaqiC 14, 15, 76f., 79, 90, 107, 184
Yamani(s) 77; see also South Arabians
Zoroastrians 207, 224

Index of Places

Abyssinia 29,37,65,75,78, 122, 123,124
Alexandria 189
Aqaba 78f., 87
Aqiq 187
Arabia passim
Ararat 55
Athens 121
Awtas 116
Badr 16,47,88,97, 100, 143, 145, 146, 152, 176,209
Baghdad 157, 158, 167
Banu Sa'eda, hall of the 166, 169, 197
Basra 171, 189
Canaan 141
Cairo 189, 190
Chaldaea 141
Ctesiphon 8f., 187, n. 10
Damascus 145, 157
Dorwan 159
Efriqiya 190
Egypt 99, 182, 188, 190, 204
Eram 112, n. 57
Euphrates 210
Fadak 85, 105
Fan 8f.
Fostat 189
Ghadir Khomm 168f.
Gilead, Mount 51
Gomorrha 142
Greece 121, 161
Harran 72
Hawra 34
Hejaz passim
Hera, Mount 23-5
Hodaybiya 93, 1O3f., 110
Honayn 116
Iraq 184, 187, 188, 203, 204
Iran 9, 125, 182, 184, 187, 203, 207,210
Jerusalem 49, 51, 55, 72, 88, 92
Ka'ba 1,9, II, 12, 15,23,30,31,33,34, 37,44,55,72,75,77,88,92,93,94, 98f., 103, 112, 167, 186, 192
Karbala 17
Khaybar 85,100,102, 104-5, 124, 177, 183, 184
Khuzest:in 62
Kufa 171, 187, 189, 190
Madina passim
Majorca 158
Ma'reb 75, n.45
Marwa 11,22, 55f., 93, 164
Ma'una 64
Mecca passim
Medyan 15, 21
Nahrawan 167, 204
Najd 144, 165
Nakhla 86f., 100, 184, 209
Nehavand 9, 207
North Africa 99
Ohod, Mount 35, 44, 64, 67, 100, 106, 123, 146, 147, 177,209
Okaz 15, 96
Palestine 141
Qadesiya 9, 187, 207
Qelis 34
Rayy 187f.
Rome 184, 203
Russia 8
Sara 11,29, 55f., 93, 164
Salalem 105
San'a 34
Serlin 167, 204, 210
Shushtar 62
Sinai, Mount 20
Sodom 142
Syria II, 12, 14, 15,21,53,65,81,86, 124, 172, 178, 182, 184, 189, 193, 203, 204
Ta'ef 4, 14, 15, 76f., 79, 90, 107, n.46
Tayma 105
Transjordan 203 225}
Tunisia 190
Yaman 34, 75, 81, 178
Yathreb (Madina) 14, 35, and passim Wadi ol-Qora 105
Watih 105
Yamama 28, 173 Zabir 105, 226

General Index

ablution 35, 56, 181
Adam 6, 35, 67
adoption 131-3, 135
adultery 57, 73, 78, 93, 119, 120, 181
affinity 56, 73, 92, 116, 126, 128
Arnir Arslan 7
alms tax 56, 92, 94f., 97
amputation 56, 65, 181, 182
angels 4, 6, 24-7, 31, 38-43, 45, 51f., 58, 60, 145, 146, 152, 159,208, 210
anthropomorphism 141, 157f.
Arabic 22, 4~52, 68, 141, 163,205, 207
Aramaic 15
Ashura 54
assassination 38, 77, 97, 9~IOO, 166
biographies of Mohanunad 7, 14, 22, 26f., 60, 62, 63, 64, 79f., 101, 102, 116, 120, 135f., 170,206
black stone 11, 55, 94, 182
blood-money 73, 93, 178; see also
booty 56, 86, 97, 104-8, 112, 124, 126, 144, 145, 184, 190f., 195, 196, 204
caliphate 167-71, 186f., 190f., 197-202
camel, battle of the 123, 167, 188,204
circumcision 35, 56, 73, 93
compulsion in religion 83-5, 95f., 121f., 153, 182f.
creation 13, 19f., 54, 140£., 161-3
Dhu'l-Khalasa 34
divorce 57, 66, 73, 92, 114, 115, 117f., 127, 132-5, 137f., 144, n.66
dower 113,115,128
emamzada 38, n.26
evidence 114, 181
evil eye 159
expiation 136f.
fasting 54f., 72f., 92, 164, 181
female infanticide 119, 120
Gabriel 6f., 43, 51, 144, 159,208,210, n.33
genies 30,37,39,43,47, 63, 15~1
Hadith 6, 22, 24, 27, 58,60,62,63,65, 111,120,123,128,135,141,149, 157, 176, 185, 189, 206, 207
Hebrew 15
hejri era 74
Holy Ghost 155
holywar23, 56, 82-5, 95f., 112, 114, 153, 204
Hubal 16
illiteracy of Mohanunad 53, 68
infallibility 31, 61, 71, 169
inheritance 73, 93, 113, 114, 181
intercession 70
interest, usury 78, 181, 182
Karkara 210
Lat 12, 16,31,55, 149
lote tree 6, 52, n. 5
lunar calendar 163f., 181
Manat 12,31,55, 149
magic 159f.
menstruation 36, 73, 92, 118
miracles 7, 8f., 20, 26f., 38-47,48,53, 57,60,66-8,205,207,210
New Testament 22
night journey of Mohanunad 5-7, 46, 150
Old Testament 35, 141, 142, 161f.
Ozza 12, 14, 16, 31, 55, 149, 161f.
Persian 11, 12, 39, 135, 205, 206
pilgrimage llf., 55, 58, 92, 93f., 164, 182
poll-tax 105; see also tribute
polygamy 57, 73, 120f., 125, 128, 181
prayer 6f., 55, 92, 114, 148f., 181,206
prohibitions: food 73, 93
liquor and gambling 56f., 93, 94
prostitution 50, 117, 119, 120
psychology 10, 13, 18, 25f., 32, 44, 65, 71,81, 156, 192f.
Qur’an passim
abrogating verses 54,128, 155f., 173
editing 28, 48, 51, 173 227}
language 48-51, 163
speakers 148-52, 163, 165
uncreatedness I47f.
writing down of 58, 68, 98, 149
Qur’an-commentaries 2, 5, 7, 31, 32,41, 45,46,48,50,61,69,70,71,72,94, 101,108, I 13f., Il5, Il8, 126, 127,
128, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 138, 146, 159, 160, 176
raiding 86, 97, 106, 144, 184, 195
redda 197,203
retaliation 73, 93, 101, 178, 18If.
Sa'd 34f.
Satan 30, 31, 32, 35, 37, 52, 57
seclusion of women Ill, 128
slavery 97, 98, Il9, 125, 126, 127, 132, 181, 182, 190, 201
Song of Solomon 51
sanna 123, 169, 170, 17I, 201, 206
spying 91
stones 33, 34
stoning 181, 182
Talmud 128
temporary marriage 117, n. 65
theft 73, 93
trench, war of the 62, 106, IlO, 146, 177, 205, 209
tribute 85, 105, 122, 182
Yom Kippur 54
zaqqum tree 46 228

Chapter I: Muhammad
Chapter II: Religion of Islam
Chapter III: Politics
Chapter IV: Metaphysics
Chapter V: After Muhammad
Chapter VI: Summary
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