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the Jews,) which continued to be their Kebla for seventeen or eighteen months; but, either finding the Jews too intractable, or despairing otherwise to gain the Pagan Arabs, who could not forget their respect to the temple of Mecca, he ordered that prayers, for the future, should be towards the east; that is, towards the Caaba, or temple of Mecca. This change occasioned many to fall from him, taking offence at his inconstancy. Again, he ordered that the Faithful should be called to prayers with a loud voice from the top of the mosques; whereas before he was, out of policy, inclined to the Jewish horn, and had actually made use of rattles, as Christians did. He likewise ordained the grand fast of Ramadan, in which month the Koran came from heaven, and made several regulations about alms, things lawful and unlawful, policy, &c.; all which were either inspired or confirmed by miracles.

It does not belong to the plan of this work to give an account of the military expeditions, by which, in successive years, the Prophet succeeded in establishing his religion in almost every part of his own country. One or two expeditions, however, are too important in the Prophet's history to be passed over without notice.

In the sixth year of the Hejira, with fourteen hundred men, he undertook a pilgrimage to the holy temple of Mecca. But the inhabitants of Concludes

that city, being jealous of his intentions, despatched a mestreaty with the senger to the Prophet, while he halted several days at Meccans for ten Hodeibiya, saying, that if he entered the city, it must be at

the point of the sword. Upon this, the Prophet summoned his men to attack the city ; but, before this could be effected, the Meccans sent an ambassador to him to confer upon terms of peace. Finding it to be for their mutual advantage to enter into a treaty, one was formed, which stipulated that the Prophet and his followers should have free access to the city and temple, after one year, whenever they pleased, during the space of ten years, provided they came unarmed, as befitted pilgrims, and remained not more than three days at a time.

During the same year tlie Prophet led his army against Chaibar, a city inhabited by Arab Jews, who offering him a manly resistance, he laid Attacks Chai- siege to the place and carried it by storm.

A great mibar, a city of racle is here said to have been performed by Ali, surnamed Arab Jews, where “ The Lion of God.” A ponderous gate, which eiglit men he is poisoned.

afterwards tried in vain to lift from the ground, was torn by him from its hinges, and used as a buckler during the assault ! Mahomet, on entering the town, took up his quarters at the house of Hareth, one of the principal inhabitants, and here met with a reception which eventually cost him his life. Zeinab, the daughter of Hareth, while preparing a meal for the conqueror and his attendants, inserted a quantity of poison into a shoulder of mutton which was served up at the table. Bashar, a companion of Mahomet, had scarcely begun to eat of it, before he was seized with convulsions, and died upon the spot. Mahomet, by spitting out the greatest part of what he had taken into his mouth, escaped immediate death, but the effects of the fatal drug had entered his system, and, resisting every effort of medicine to expel or counteract it, in somewhat more than three years afterward it brought him to his end. If, as the reporters of Mahomet's miracles affirm, the shoulder of mutton informed

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the Prophet of its being poisoned, it is certain the intelligence came too late. The seeds of death were henceforth effectually sown in his constitution; and his own decline ever after kept pace with his growing power. When Zeinab was asked, how she had dared to perpetrate a deed of such unparalleled enormity, she is said to have answered, " that she was determined to make trial of liis powers as a prophet; if he were a true prophet,” said she, “ he would know that the meat was poisoned ; if not, it would be a favour to the world to rid it of such a tyrant.” It is not agreed among the Mahometan writers what was the punishment inflicted upon this second Jael, or whether she suffered any. Some affirm that she was pardoned ; others, that she was put to death*.

In the seventh year of the Hejira, the year stipulated in the beforementioned treaty being elapsed, Mahomet and his followers made the Al-Kadha, or visit of consummation or accomplishment, and pilgrimage of Mecca. At the distance of six miles from that town, they all took an -oath to perform religiously all the ceremonies and rites prescribed in that visit. Being come nearer, they left their arms and baggage, and entered the holy city in triumph, devoutly kissed and embraced the black stone of the Caaba, and went seven times round the temple. They performed the three first rounds by running, jumping, and shaking their shoulders, to show their vigour after the fatigue of the journey ; the other four, by walking gravely, not to over-tire themselves; and this custom is kept up to this day. Then prayer was proclaimed, and the Prophet, mounted on a camel, ran seven times between two hills, on which were to be seen, at that time, two idols of the Koreish. The Mussulmans were shocked at it; but their scruples were quieted by a passage of the Koran sent from heaven, in which God declared that those two hills were a memorial of him, and that the pilgrims who should visit them ought not to be looked upon as guilty of any sin. This same custom is still in use amongst the Arabians, who pretend that it is as ancient as their patriarch Ishmael, and look upon it as part of the religious worship practised by Abraham. The whole concluded with a sacrifice of seventy camels, and the Mussulmans shaved themselves.

The following year, Mahomet, accusing the Meccans of a violation of the treaty, summoned an army of ten thousand men, with a design to make himself master of the city. As he advanced towards it, he found all in consternation, increased his army with those who daily focked to him ; and by force, threats, or persuasion, he brought over to his party many proselytes of note, who were likely to procure the conversion of others. Then he attacked the Koreish, not like an apostle, but as a conqueror, and

gave the signal, saying, “ This is a day of slaughter, in which, quisite, the most sacred place of refuge may be violated.” His orders were obeyed; they entered Mecca sword in hand, and killed all the Koreishites they could find; but Mahomet pretended this barbarous execution was made against his intentions.

The apostle made his public entry next morning at sunrise, repeating aloud, with an affected humility, the chapter of the Koran called Victory, which came down from heaven at Hodaiba; he went directly to the

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* Bush's Life of Mahoinet.

Caaba, and, without alighting from his camel, devoutly performed the seven rounds, and touched the black stone with his staff; then he dismounted, went in, and pulled down all the statues, amongst others that of Ibrahim or Abraham, in the hands of which were the arrows or rods used by Arabian idolaters in their divinations by casting lots. On entering, he often repeated the words God is great, &c.; and turning to every side of the temple, he said prayers with various inclinations of the body, and fixed the Kebla ; the 360 idols which were round the Caaba, and that which was on the top, underwent, according to Arabian writers, the same fate in a wonderful manner : Mahomet only touched them with his cane, saying, Truth is come, let falsehood disappear, lying is mere vanity; and down they fell. He then went in and preached in a pulpit, made for that

purpose, which the Khalifs, who succeeded him, used likewise. The seven rounds were now repeated; after which he went to the well of ZemZem, made a stop at Ibrahim's footstep, drank large draughts of the sacred water, and washed himself: the Mussulmans then followed his example. This well had been long reputed to have the virtues of restoring health, of strengthening the memory, and of blotting out sin.

Mahomet now made a speech to the inhabitants of Mecca, on the favour which God bestowed upon them, by his means, in freeing them from idolatry ; he also let them know that they were become his slaves ; but he restored to them that liberty which by the right of conquest they had lost.

Many wonders and heavenly oracles are said to have accompanied this ceremony ; the apostle disposed of the several offices of the temple, renewed the oath to the believers, and they mutually took an oath to bind themselves to him.

In the tenth year of the Hejira, Mahomet made his famous pilgrimage to Mecca, called the pilgrimage of Valediction. He was attended on

Pilgrimage of this occasion by 90,000 men, some say, 114,000, or, as valediction. others will have it, a still greater number. Nor is this to be wondered at, when it is considered that the people came in vast crowds from all parts of Arabia, of which he was now absolute master, to accompany him in this peregrination. He took all his wives, enclosed in their pavilions on the backs of camels, with him ; together with an infinite number of camels, intended for victims, which were crowned with garlands and ribands.

It is well known, that the pilgrimage to Mecca is looked upon by the Mussulmans to be of such importance, that whoever is able to undertake it, and does not perform it once at least in his lifetime, is reputed an infidel. This custom was complied with long before Mahomet ; and the Arabians say it is as ancient as the patriarchal age. Mahomet had visited the Caaba twice before, as we have related, but in this year he vowed. and performed it in a most magnificent manner. During the journey, he often said prayers with the usul reverences. He entered the holy city at the same place as when he took it, and the religious ceremonies were the same, in respect to going seven times round the Caaba and kissing the black stone twice. From a neighbouring hill he now pronounced this form of the profession of the unity of God :-God is great ; there is no God but he only; he has no companion ; the power of governing belongs to

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him; praise be given to him alone; he is powerful above all; he only is strong. The sun being nearly setting, he instructed the people, and taught them the rites to be observed in the pilgrimage, and stood till the close of the day. He then said vespers, or evening prayers,-lay on the ground, slept till the break of day, and said morning prayers a few minutes before the rising of the sun. IIe now ran through the valley of Mohasser to that of Mina, in which are pebble stones ; he took up seven of them, and threw them one by one against Satan, repeating each time the said form of unity. At the place of sacrifice he made a discourse, to let the people know the ceremonies of it. He then killed with his own hands and offered sixty-three camels; that is, as many as he was years old. Ali killed thirty-seven to make up

the hundred. Then these words, which are the ratification of the Koran, were heard from heaven :- -Woe be this day to those who have denied your religion. I have this day brought il to its perfection, and have fulfilled my grace upon you. It is my good will and pleasure, that ISLAMISM be henceforth your religion. The Mussulman doctors say, that the word religion comprehends all the decisions, statutes, and precepts of the law ; and that, since that time, no positive nor negative command has come down from heaven. This being completed, Mahomet shaved his head, the right side first, then the left, threw away the hair, of which Khaled, one of his officers, tied part to his turban, and was powerfully helped by this precious relic in all the battles in which he was afterwards engaged. The whole concluded with a holy repast, in which they ate what remained of the sacrificed camels; the prophet then said a prayer, drank some Zem-Zem water, and once more made the seven rounds. Within a mile of Mecca is Mount Araa, a place much respected by the Mussulmans, because, according to their tradition, Adam and Eve, after their sin, were condemned to a separation for one hundred and twenty years, which having expired, they met by God's appointment on the top of this hill, and complied with the so long interrupted conjugal duty. In memory of which, the place is dedicated to penance and retirement; of both which duties Mahomet acquitted himself, prayed for his own sins and for those of his followers, and recommended the same acts of devotion in the Koran.

We are now come to the last period of Mahomet's life : the last embassy he received was from the Arabians of Yemen, in the month of Moharram, the eleventh year of the Hejira ; and the last expedition which he ordered was in the following month of Safar. Two days after, he fell into a sickness, accompanied by a most violent pain in the head; these were occasioned by the poison which he had taken, three years before, at Chaibar ; and which poison, at certain intervals, had greatly disordered him, ever since the reduction of that place. Having now called his wives together, he entertained them, chiefly the most beloved of them, and his daughter Fatima, with such discourses as showed his fanatical enthusiasm, or which were the result of the senseless fancies of a brain distempered by the violence of the fever. But to be able to speak more sensibly to his followers, he ordered seven large skins, or ineasures, full of cold water, to be thrown upon him, in order to recall his wandering spirits. Then, being carried to the mosque and set in the pulpit, he recited aloud the before-mentioned form of unity ; begged God's pardon; proffered to

make a public reparation for all the injuries he might have done to anybody; and actually paid to a particular person the principal and interest of a small sum of money which he pretended was due to him ; saying at the same time, It is much more easy to bear shame in this world than in the next. He then said the prayers for noon; and likewise prayed for the dead, according to the agreement and communion which subsist between the liring and the dead. These and other devout actions he performed as long as he had any strength left.

We shall only mention the Mahometan fables concerning Gabriel's being often sent by God to inquire how the Prophet did; his introduction of Azrael, the angel of death, to the apostle just before his dissolution, having first obtained his leave; and the pious discourses of all three. Gabriel assured him he could not take his life without his express permission : nay, he gave him, as they tell us, his option of life or death; which the Moslem doctors look upon as one of the most singular and illustrious prerogatives of the Prophet. Whereupon Mahomet, continue these authors, having chosen death, and desired the aforesaid angel, Azrael, to execute his office, he was immediately thrown into agonies, that terminated with his life. Thus Mahomet died at noon, on a Monday, the twelfth of the month, called Rabbi the First, in the eleventh year of the Hejira ; being about sixty-three years old. Historians take notice that he was born on a Monday ; began his apostolical functions on a Monday; fled from Mecca on a Monday ; made his entry into Medina on a Monday ; took Mecca on a Monday; and at last died on a Monday. His death was thought so extraordinary that it was called an assumption. Some said, He is not dead, he is only taken up into heaven, like Jesus in an ecstacy. Others said, He is gone to his Lord, as Moses, who left his people for forty days and came again. Their disputes ran high respecting his death ; but Abu-Beker, who succeeded him, put an end to those quarrels by giving a final sentence, that Mahomet was dead, like all other apostles and prophets who had gone before him. This decision being unanimously received, his body was washed and perfumed, especially those parts which touched the ground at the adoration paid to God, viz. the feet, the hands, the knees, and the forehead. The ablution called Wodhu was also performed on the face, the arms, the palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Lastly, the whole body was embalmed by Ali, whom Mahomet had ordered to do it; and those who helped him were hoodwinked, because the Prophet had foretold that blindness would be the fate of any other person who should see him naked. Strange wonders and sweet odours accompanied this ceremony; at least so say the Mussulman writers. Ali dipped some cloths in the water with which he had been washed; they imbibed the virtues of it, and Ali, who kept them and wore them, became a partaker of those virtues.

Prayers were now said for him and his family by all the faithful in order. Gagnier asserts, that his body was not hung up in an iron chest, as is generally reported.

In relation to the place where the Prophet's remains were to be deposited, there happened some disputes among his followers. The Mohajerins insisted upon his being buried at Mecca, the place of his nativity; and the Ansars, at Medina, the place of his residence during the last ten years

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