Quraish. No wonder that thoughts of a change of abode began to fill his mind. They find expression in a Sura of this period 1:—

Follow thou that which hath been revealed to thee by thy Lord! there is no god but He! and withdraw from these who join other gods with Him. Sura Al-An'am (vi) 106.

The latter words refer to the Hijra, or flight from Mecca, and so the Prophet's subjective feelings received the sanction and authority of an outward revelation.

In the year A.D. 620, about the time of the annual pilgrimage of the pagan Arabs to Mecca, Muhammad noticed a small company of strangers from Madina. He said to them, ' Who are you?' They replied, 'We are Khazrajites,' one of the leading Madina tribes. They added, 'We come from a people amongst whom there is much ill-will and enmity; perhaps God will invite them through thee: we shall invite them to the faith which we ourselves now profess, and if God unites them around thee, then no man will be more powerful

1 This Sura contains some Madina verses, for in verse ninety-one we have the usual charge against the Jews of concealing portions of their scriptures. This charge was not usual at Mecca but it was common in Madina. In verse ninety-two we also read of the Qur'an :—

And this Book which we have sent down is blessed, confirming that which was before it, and in order that thou mightest warn the mother city and those who dwell around it. Sura Al-An'im (vi) 92.

Sale translates اُّمَّ الْقُرىَ —mother of the city—as metropolis of Mecca, and has the authority of some commentators for it, but from the context it seems better to refer it to Madina. Anyhow, Muhammad did not, except in the futile expedition to Ta'if (ante, p. 61), preach or warn those who dwelt around Mecca.
It was common now to put back into earlier Suras verses revealed later on. See Wherry's Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. ii, p. 182, and Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. ii, p. 268.


than thou.' In reply to a further question they said that they were friends of the Jews, whereupon Muhammad propounded to them the doctrine of Islam and read portions of the Qur'an. It would appear that some of the Madina people whom the Prophet now met were Jews1 for in the Sura Yunus (x), a late Meccan one, we have:—

They have charged with falsehood that which they comprehend not, and the explanation thereof hath not yet come unto them. In like manner did those who were before them (charge their messengers) with falsehood: but see what was the end of the unjust. 40.

So also in the Sura Al-Ahqaf (xlvi), also a late Meccan one we read:—

If this Book be from God, and ye believe it not, and a witness2 of the children of Israel bear witness to its conformity (with the Law) and believe thereon while ye turn away scornfully ? Verily God guideth not unjust people. 9.

It had so happened that when oppressed by the Khazrajites the Jews, looking forward to the advent of their Messiah, had said: 'The time is nigh when a prophet will arise: we shall follow him and with his help destroy you.' On hearing Muhammad's claim to be a prophet, these men of Madina thought

1 This has led some persons to consider that verse forty or even the whole Sura was revealed in Madina.
2 'Whether this witness and other Jewish supporters of Muhammad were among his professed followers, slaves perhaps, at Mecca, or were causal visitors from Israelitish tribes, or belonged to the Jewish inhabitants of Madina (with the inhabitants of which city the Prophet was on the point of establishing friendly relations), we cannot do more than conjecture.' Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. ii, p. 185.
Mu'alim says that this witness was a learned Jew, called 'Abdu'llah bin Salam, who became a believer in Madina. Kabir says that the verse is a Madina one and so the witness must have been a Jew there. Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. iv, p. 201.