Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/38

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the qurʼân

‘ And we made the vision which we showed thee only a cause of sedition unto men.’ (ⅩⅦ, ver. 62.)

‘ By the star when it falls, your comrade errs not, nor is he deluded! nor speaks he out of lust! It is but an inspiration inspired! One mighty in power taught him, endowed with sound understanding, and appeared, he being in the loftiest tract.

‘ Then drew he near and hovered o’er! until he was two bows’ length off or nigher still! Then he inspired his servant what he inspired him; the heart belies not what it saw! What, will ye dispute with him on what he saw?

‘ And he saw him another time, by the lote tree none may pass; near which is the garden of the Abode! When there covered the lote tree what did cover it! The sight swerved not nor wandered. He saw then the greatest of the signs of his Lord.’ (ⅬⅢ, vers. 1-18.)

At length the wished-for time arrived and Mohammed, who had been told by his envoy Muzʼhab of the success of his mission, repaired once more to the Akabeh. Here he was met at night by seventy men from Yathrib, who had come to the rendezvous clandestinely by twos and threes, so as not to attract attention and incur the hostility of the Qurâis.

His uncle ʿAbbâs, though an unbeliever accompanied him, explained to them his nephew’s position, and asked them seriously to consider the proposition which it was understood they were about to make. They declared that they were quite earnest in their desire to have Mohammed amongst them, and swore that they would defend him and his cause with their very lives. Mohammed then addressed them, recited to them some portions of the Qurʼân in which the most essential points of his doctrine were set forth, and asked them for a pledge of their good faith. This they gave in simple Bedawi fashion, one after another placing his palm in that of the prophet and taking the oath of fealty. So enthusiastic were their protestations that ʿAbbâs himself was obliged to bid them be silent and urge upon them the danger and imprudence of their noisy demon-