that this might be the prophet whom the Jews expected and considered that it would be politic to anticipate them and to secure him for their side. So it came to pass that they listened to Muhammad, believed in him and accepted Islam. In reply to Muhammad's request for protection at Madina they pointed out that, as there was much disunion and discord amongst them, it would be better for them to return now and to invite the people to accept the faith and that, if God united them in it, they would then return to Mecca at the next annual pilgrimage and report the result.1 According to Jalalu'd-Din as-Syuti, Muhammad related to these converts the Sura Yusuf (Joseph), noted as being the only one in which only one subject is treated of throughout. The people of Madina knew something about Joseph from their Jewish neighbours, and now Muhammad repeats it to them in full detail to show that knowledge of the past was given to him by God. The whole account is a travesty of the Mosaic account and bears the mark of having been received at second-hand from ignorant persons, acquainted only with the loose traditional stories. During the year the small body of converts in Madina stood firm and, when the time for the pilgrimage came round again, there were twelve Ansar 2 amongst the Madina pilgrims. They met the Prophet and took the following oath of obedience to Muhammad and his teaching

'We will not worship any but the One God: we will not steal, neither will we commit adultery, nor

1 Mirkhund, Raudatu's-Safa, Part ii, vol. ii, p. 220.
2 Literally, ' helpers,' a name given to the Madina converts,

kill our children; we will not slander in anywise; and we will not disobey the Prophet in anything that is right.' This is known as the ' First pledge of 'Aqaba,' and, as it contained no promise to defend the Prophet, it is called the ' Pledge of Women,' as being the only one women ever took. They then returned to Madina as ardent disciples, and such large numbers attached themselves to the new teaching that they had to send to Mecca to get a special instructor. Mus'ab 1 was sent and Islam then took root in Madina. The year was one of patient waiting. The Prophet evidently despaired of making any further progress at Mecca. His hopes were placed on his new converts. at Madina. He determined to leave the Quraish severely alone and received in the last but one Sura revealed in Mecca definite instructions to do so:—

Follow that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord: there is no god but He, and retire from the idolaters.
If God had so desired, they had not followed idolatry, and we have not made thee a keeper over them, neither art thou over them a guardian.
And revile not those whom they invoke besides God, lest they revile God in enmity from lack of knowledge. Sura Al-An'am (vi) 106-8.

But if there was now no aggressive work carried on, there was no lack of confidence in the ultimate result and in the full assurance of victory over the obstinate inhabitants of Mecca. Thus:—

The unbelieving (nations) said to their apostles, ' We will surely expel you from our land, or ye shall

1 Mus'ab was a convert, who had suffered persecution. He was devoted to the cause of the Prophet, by whom he was much beloved.