the Meccans, who were so blind and obtuse that they did not realize that the Muslims were encroaching more and more on the territories of the pagan Arab tribes. Husain,1 however, says it refers to the Jews, whose forts, lands and possessions had now come unto the possession of the Muslims.

Some, apparently, were very reluctant to join in this expedition and are thus reproved:—

What! will ye not fight against those (Meccans) who have broken their oaths and aimed to expel your Apostle, and attacked you first? Will ye dread them? God is more worthy of your fear, if ye are believers!
So make war on them: by your hands will God chastise them and will put them to shame, and will give you victory over them. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 13-4.

Those who took an active part in the attack on Mecca and shared in the victory over it are highly praised, and their conduct is favourably contrasted with those who gave alms and fought for Islam after this event had shown the power of the Prophet:—

Those amongst you who contributed before the victory and fought shall be differently treated from others amongst you: they are grander in rank than those who gave and fought afterwards. Sura Al-Hadid (lvii) 10. 2

1 Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 343.
2 'Who contributed before the victory and fought'—
مَّنْ اَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَيْلِ الْفَتَحِ وَقَاتَل
Nöldeke says it refers to the victory at Badr. He is probably correct, but with the exception of Mu'alim, who refers it to the treaty of Hudaibiya, Baidawi and all the Muslim commentators I have consulted say it is this victory over Mecca which is referred to. 'The superiority of those who took part in it is thus described: 'Those
[Footnote continued onto next page]

Two years had passed since the treaty of Hudaibiya was made and, according to its terms, the peace between Madina and Mecca was to last for ten years. This difficulty was overcome. A Bedouin tribe attached to Muhammad was attacked by another tribe in alliance with the Quraish. The Prophet seized the occasion, took up the quarrel, and with a large army of some ten thousand men advanced against Mecca. Abu Sufyan, the old and implacable enemy of the Prophet, saw that the time for opposition was past. He sought for an interview with Muhammad, repeated the Muslim creed; and became henceforth a good Muslim. This led to the comparatively quiet submission of Mecca where Abu Sufyan, the hereditary leader of the Quraish, possessed great influence. As soon as Muhammad entered the city he proceeded to the Ka'ba and saluted the black stone. He then ordered all the idols to be hewn down and, in order to show that he now exercised supreme authority, he appointed 'Uthman bin Talha and 'Abba's to the two hereditary offices connected with the temple.'

A crier then proclaimed in the streets this order: Whoever believeth in God and in the last day, let him not leave in his house any image whatever that he doth not break in pieces.' 2

1 [Footnote continued from previous page]
Companions who before the victory over Mecca were believers and helpers are superior to all believers and to the best of the people.'
وة صحابى جو فتح مكة سى بهلى مومن ومعين هوى دوسرى تمام مومنين بلكة خيار است سى افضل هى
Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. iv, p, 364.
1 It is said that this transaction is referred to and justified in
Verily, God enjoineth you to give back your trusts to their owners. Sura An-Nisa' (iv) 61.
2 Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. iv, p. 129.