designs, made his escape to a cave in Mount Thaur, near Mecca; and three
days after, eluding the vigilance of his enemies, was on his way to Medina.
The day of his flight marks the era of the Hégira (or emigration) A.D.
The portions of the Corân belonging to the last few years at Mecca,
reiterate the arguments already described against idolatry and the
objections urged by the unbelievers; proofs of the Divine attributes;
Scriptural and legendary tales; with vivid, and sometimes dramatic,
representations of heaven and hell. Towards the close of this period will
also be found allusions to the impending emigration. The Suras grow much
longer (extending often over many pages), and the diction becomes still
tamer and more artificial, but every here and there with bursts of bold
imagery and impassioned poetry.
A new feature appears in Christianity now coming under notice. In the
earlier Suras our Faith is mentioned seldom and but allusively. Throughout
the Corân, indeed, passages relating to the Gospel are comparatively few;
but two or three are given in great detail, and recite the narratives of the
births of John the Baptist and of Jesus: the first of these was produced
shortly after Mahomet's return from Tâif. There are also some passages
regarding our Lord's miracles, a few references to the Apostles, and the
tale (rendered with much fantastic colouring) of the Seven Sleepers. The
Gospel narrative corresponds generally with the opening of St. Luke,
Suras XIX. 1;
III. 33; V. 118.