Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 1.djvu/642
5 i8 TRAVELS TO DISCOVER
before Mecca, which will bring down the introduction of
- he fmall-pox to the year 522, jufl 100 years before the He-
gira, &nd both Arabian and Abyffinian accounts might be then true.
The two officers who governed Yemen, and the oppofite coaft Azab, which, as we have above mentioned, belonged to Abyflinia, were filled Naja/bi, as was the king alfo, and both of them were crowned with gold. I am, therefore, perfuaded, this is the reafon of the confufion of names we meet in Arabian manufcripts, that treat of the fovereigns of Yemen. This, moreover, is the foundation of the ftory found in Arabic manufcripts, that Jaffar, Mahomet's brother, iled to the Najafhi, who was governor of Yemen, and was kindly treated by him, and kept there till he joined his bro- ther at the campaign of Hybarea. Soon after his great vic- tory over the Beni Koreifh, at the lafl battle of Beder Hu- nein, Mahomet is faid to have written to the fame Najafhi a letter of thanks, for his kind entertainment of his brother, inviting him (as a reward) to embrace his religion, which the Najafhi is fuppofed to have immediately complied with. Now, all this is in the Arabic books, and all this is true, as far as we can .conjecture from the accounts of thofe times, very partially writ by a fet of warm-headed bigotted zea- lots ; fuch as all Arabic authors (hiflorians of the time) un- doubtedly are. The error only lies in the application of this (lory to the Najafhi, or king of Abyflinia, fituated far from the fcene of thefe actions, on high cold mountains, very unfavourable to thofe rites, which, in low flat and warm countries, have been temptations to flothful and in- active men to embrace the Mahometan religion.