A Critical Exposition of the Popular 'Jihád'/Introduction/20

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[Sidenote: Rapid stride of Islam at Medina.]

20. Next year twelve new converts were made from persons who had come to see the Prophet from Medina. They returned as missionaries of Islam, and Islam spread rapidly in Medina from house to house and from tribe to tribe. The Jews looked on in amazement at the people whom they had in vain endeavoured from generations to convince of the errors of polytheism, and to dissuade from the abominations of their idolatry, suddenly of their own accord casting away idols and professing belief in the one True God.[1] Thus speedily without let or hindrance, force or compulsion, did Islam take firm root at Medina and attain to a full and mature growth. There remained not a single house among the Aws and Khazraj tribes[2] of Medina in which there were not believing men and women, excepting the branch of the Aws Allah, who were not converts till after the siege of Medina. At this time there were many Moslems in Mecca, Medina, and Abyssinia, and not a single one of them could be said to have been converted to Islam by compulsion: on the contrary, they were used to be forced to renounce Islam.


  1. "After five centuries of Christian evangelization, we can point to but a sprinkling here and there of Christian converts;—the Bani Hârith of Najrân: the Bani Hanîfa of Yemâma; some of the Bani Tay at Tayma, and hardly any more. Judaism, vastly more powerful, had exhibited a spasmodic effort of proselytizm under Dzu Nowâs; but, as an active and converting agent the Jewish faith was no longer operative."—Muir's Life of Mahomet, Vol. I, page ccxxxix.
  2. The Aws or Khazraj were two branches of the Azdite tribes of Yemen from the Kahlanite stock. After their emigration to the North they separated themselves from the Ghassinides and returned to Medina, where they settled.