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tipulatifety of toption from way.
The Lord be favourable unto them, and bless them, and their sons, and their sons' sons for ever!' At these words all wept till the tears ran down upon their beards; and they called out with one voice,– Yea, we are well satisfied, O Prophet, with our lot !'”
Tayif did not escape. A converted chief agreed to keep the inhabitants within their walls; and tired out by a blockade which seemed endless, the citizens gave way. They asked privilege after privilege,-exemption from obedience, exemption from prayer, the safety of their idols ; but Mahomet could not yield; and stipulating only for the safety of a hunting-forest, they surrendered themselves into his hands. He was by this time at home in Medina, whence he sent forth his collectors throughout the tribes which acknowledged his rule to collect the tithes. A new income-tax of ten per cent would be felt as onerous even in England; but the collectors were only once resisted, and usually welcomed with acclamation. He, moreover, either from policy or really alarmed, as he alleged, at a rumour that the Greek emperor was about to march on him, ordered a general levy of his followers. His power was not consolidated even in the Hejaz, and many of the Arabs refused to obey. The Medinese, weary with exertion, stayed at home; but still the gathering proved that the fugitive had become a mighty prince. An army such as had never been seen in Arabia, an army of 20,000 foot and 10,000 cavalry, followed him to the Syrian border, and subdued for him the whole of the Christian or demi-Christian tribes in the North. The Prophet felt that the time was come. All Arabs, save of the faith, were solemnly interdicted from Mecca, and a new revelation declared that the object of Islam was the extirpation of idolatry. Conversions now flowed in fast, and the tenth year of the Hegira was a year of embassies. The “ king” of Oman surrendered all authority to Mahomet's lieutenant, Amru. The princes of Yemen, the Himyarte dynasty (the foundations of whose palaces Captain Playfair has just turned up at Aden), accepted the new faith. The Hadhramaut followed the example; and as each tribe gave way, assessors, armed with the new code, entered their territory, terminated mildly all existing authorities, and bound the district fast to Islam and Mahomet. The great tribe of the Bani Aamir was almost the last to yield; but it yielded, and in 630 the Prophet, master of Arabia, uttered his final address to the representatives of the peninsula, assembled on pilgrimage at Mecca. Mahomet had lived for twenty years a life which would have hardened the heart and ulcerated the temper of almost any man now living a life such as that which in seven years made Frederick of Prussia a malicious despot. But there are natures which trouble does not sear; and
Mahomet, in this his last address, solemnly proclaimed throughout Arabia a law of universal brotherhood. Though inartistic in form, we do not know in literature a nobler effort of the nighest kind of oratory, of the rhetoric which conveys at once guidance and command.
Ye PEOPLE! Hearken to my words ; for I know not whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you here again.
is Your Lives and Property are sacred and inviolable amongst one another until the end of time.
The Lord hath ordained to every man the share of his inheritance : a Testament is not lawful to the prejudice of heirs.
The child belongeth to the Parent : and the violator of Wedlock shall be stoned.
Whoever claimeth falsely another for his father, or another for his master, the curse of God and the Angels, and of all Mankind, shall rest upon him.
Ye People! Ye have rights demandable of your Wives, and they have rights demandable of you. Upon them it is incumbent not to violate their conjugal faith nor commit any act of open impropriety ; -which things if they do, ye have authority to shut them up in separate apartments and to beat them with stripes, yet not severely. But if they refrain therefrom, clothe them and feed them suitably. And treat your Women well : for they are with you as captives and prisoners; they have not power over any thing as regards themselves. And ye have verily taken them on the security of God : and have made their persons lawful unto you by the words of God.
‘And your slaves! See that ye feed them with such food as ye eat yourselves; and clothe them with the stuff ye wear. And if they commit a fault which ye are not inclined to forgive, then sell them, for they are the servants of the Lord, and are not to be tormented.
Ye People! hearken to my speech and comprehend the same. Know that every Moslem is the brother of every other Moslem. All of you are on the same equality' (and as he pronounced these words, he raised bis arms aloft and placed the forefinger of one hand on the forefinger of the other). Ye are one brotherhood.
‘Knorr ye uchat month this is? - What territory is this I day? To each question, the People gave the appropriate answer, The 'The Sacred Month,—the Sacred Territory, the great day of Pilah:age. After every one of these replies, Mahomet added ' 96 ses sacred and insilable hath God made the Life and the Property ý tellerie you unto the other, until ye meet your Lord.
“Let him that is present, tell it unto him that is about u s he that sball be told, may remember better than he by mama yake it.”
This was the last public appearance of he years 4 eleventh rear of the Flight, while still only I want issued orders for a levy to subjugate the shade in the mi
vested Osara, a lad, but the son of Zeid, with the supreme command; but his hour had arrived. In the beginning of Safar, a deadly fever came upon him, and he announced to the weeping congregation assembled in the mosque at Medina his own approaching decease. The exertion increased the disease, and after four days of suffering, during which the burden of his speech was always of suffering as an expiation for sin, he gradually sank, retaining, however, to the last somewhat of the ancient fire. With a quaint touch of satiric humour, he punished all his wives for giving him physic by making them take it too, and on Monday he even joined in the prayers for his own recovery in the mosque. This, however, was his last effort; and on the 8th June 632, exclaiming at intervals, “ The Lord grant me pardon,” “ Pardon,” “ The blessed companionship on high,” he stretched himself gently, and was dead.
The events which followed his death, the election of Omar, the revolt and subjugation of the Arabs, the pouring out of the tribes to the conquest of the world, the long and marvellous story of the Caliphs,—are better known than those of his own life. Our only remaining duty is to sum up his character, and record his special influence as a legislator. Upon his character as a prince, a leader of men, there will, we imagine, be little controversy. No man in history ever rose to dominion with fewer heavy stains upon his character; none ever exhibited more constancy, or a more serene, unwavering wisdom. In the first test of greatness, wealth of loving friends, none ever approached Mahomet. Alexander had friends of a sort, but Hephæstion was not of the stamp of Abu Bekr, and the majority of heroes have been lonely men. It is as a Prophet only that he will be seriously condemned, and doubtless his prophetical pretensions coloured his whole life. We can but state a strong conviction when we affirm, that a series of minute facts leave no doubt on our mind that Mahomet was from first to last absolutely sincere. He really believed that any strong conviction, even any strong wish, that he entertained was borne in upon him by a power external to himself; and as the first and most memorable of these convictions was faith in God, he believed that power to be God, and himself its Messenger. The mode of expressing his convictions was undoubtedly an invention; but that the basis of his faith in himself was sincere, admits, to our mind, of little question. This strength of conviction extended even to his legislative acts, and we cannot better conclude this brief notice of his career than by a glance at his true position as a legislator. Politically, it is easy to understand his position. Believing himself the Messenger of the Almighty, no position save that of despot was possible to him, and he made on this point no
provision for the future. The Mahometans deduce from his opinions the idea that the Khalif is vice-gerent of God, and of course absolute; but no such theory is laid down in the Koran, and the Wahabees, the strictest of Mussulman sects, acknowledge no such dogma. Its adoption was the accidental result of the movement which followed his death, and which compelled the Arabs to intrust despotic authority to their chief. Mahomet settled nothing as to his successors, and it is therefore only in social questions that his legislation is still operative. And even here we are almost without the means of knowing what were the principles he intended to lay down. The living law of Mahometanism is not to be found in the Koran, but in the commentators,-a set of the most vicious scoundrels who ever disgraced humanity, whose first object seems to have been to relax the plain meaning of the original edicts as far as practicable. The original code is on most points just enough. The law as regards property differs nothing in essentials from that which prevails in Europe. Property is sacred, and is pretty fairly divided among relatives. Life is held in reverence, and theft is prohibited, even with cruelty. Truth is strongly inculcated, and adherence to treaties declared an obligation binding on the conscience. Adultery is punished with death, though that provision is hampered by a curious law of evidence; and reverence for parents is sedulously inculcated. The law in fact, except on one point, differs little from that of the Twelve Tables; but that one has modified all Asiatic society for evil. We must give a few words to an unpleasant topic.
It will be observed that we have said nothing of Mahomet's private life, of which all biographers descant so much, of his eleven wives and two slave-girls, of the strangely relaxed law of the sexes which he established, and of his own departures even from that loose code. The omission was intended, for we conceive too much has always been made of that point in Mahomet's career. In early life temperate to a marvel for Arabia, he was undoubtedly in his later years a man loving women. We do not say "licentious" advisedly, for though all things good and bad are recorded of Mahomet, we hear of no seduction, no adultery,* no interference with the families of his followers. He was simply a man loving women, and heaping up wives, as if he had been exempted from the law he himself laid down. He probably thought he was, as his followers undoubtedly did, and personally he was no worse than thousands whom modern Europe practically condones. He was no better, but it is mere folly to say that his legislation was exceptionally licentious. What he did as regards his followers, was simply this. He left the question
* Zeinab was given to him, not taken,
exactly as he found it,- did not rise one hairbreadth above the general level of Oriental opinion. That opinion is doubtless an evil one. The true law of chastity, the adherence of one man to one woman as long as they both live, is written in a revelation older than any book,-in the great law which makes the numbers of the sexes equal. That law, however, has never yet reached the Oriental world. It is the fixed opinion of Asiatics that the relation of the sexes is a purely physical one, and not subject to any inherent law at all; modifiable, it is true, by external legislation, but not in itself a subject of necessary and inevitable moral restraint. Mahomet made no attempt to alter that opinion. He fixed a limit to the number of wives, but it was not intended as a moral protection, for he formally assigned all female slaves to the mercy of their masters. He left a monstrous evil without a remedy, and for so doing he is doubtless to be condemned. But that he introduced a new evil is untrue ; and badly as the system he sanctioned works, the Mahometans are not more corrupt than the Hindoos, and far less vicious than the Chinese.
ART. IV.-BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Papers relative to the Affairs of British Columbia. Parts I. II.
III. Presented to both Houses of Parliament. 1859-60. Papers relative to the Exploration by the Expedition under Captain
Palliser of that Portion of British North America which lies between the Northern Branch of the River Saskatchewan and the Frontier of the United States, and between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains, and thence to the Pacific Ocean. Presented
to both Houses of Parliament. 1859-60. Report of the Columbia Mission. 1860. Facts and Figures relating to Vancouver's Island and British
Columbia. By J. D. Pemberton, Surveyor-General. London,
1860. A Few years ago the north-west coast of the Pacific seemed marked out as the latest stage in the long course of American colonisation. Sanguine minds, indeed, there were which looked forward to the eventual settlement of the region beyond the Red River; but even these could hardly have imagined a time when those vast prairies would prove too small for their inhabitants, and send down their surplus population to contest the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains with the fur-trader or the Indian hunter. The gold discoveries of the last three years have given a new aspect to the whole future of British America.