denounced as blind and reprobate, fit descendants of the people who killed their Prophets and rejected their Messiah. The Pentateuch and the Gospel are still appealed to; but it more and more becomes the mission of Mahomet, in an ever-widening circle, to bring back all those who had perverted the doctrines of their sacred books to the old catholic faith. Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian, but a true Moslem; and the faith of Abraham was now at last recovered and perfected in the Corân. The Scriptures had foretold the coming Prophet; the Jews recognized him as they would one of their own children; but, perverted by bigotry and malice, they falsified their evidence. Their hearts were seared; a "thick covering" enveloped them; and the Suras of the period abound with passages to enforce and illustrate this conclusion.

The first year of Mahomet's residence at Medina was chiefly occupied in building the great Mosque, and providing houses for himself and his followers, who for the first few months had been received into their homes and hospitably entertained by the citizens of Medina. The authority of the Prophet was at the outset recognized only by the professed converts to Islam; but it gradually extended, till soon he became virtual chief of the whole city.

The ritual for prayer, preceded by lustrations of a Jewish character, was observed from the first arrival of Mahomet;

Suras IV. 42;
V. 7.

but it grew rather out of his practice than by Divine prescription. At the five stated periods of the day the believers were summoned by the Adzân, or call of the


Crier, to a short service in the Mosque, which might also be performed elsewhere; and Friday was set apart, though without the sacredness of the Jewish Sabbath, for a more general and solemn observance.

Sura LXII.

But Friday is nowhere mentioned in the Corân, excepting at a later period, when the believers are chided for quitting the Mosque on the arrival of a caravan, and leaving the Prophet standing alone in the pulpit. At first Mahomet followed some of the Jewish fasts and festivals; but his growing aversion from the Jews led to the establishment of separate institutions, which, though of a kindred character, differed from the Jewish both in time and circumstance. At the beginning he worshipped like the Jews, towards Jerusalem;

Sura II. 188.

but the Kibla, or direction of prostration at prayer, was now changed to the Káaba. So, also, the fast of the Atonement was at first kept by Mahomet; but in the following year the month of Ramadhân

Sura II. 184.

was ordained as a fast, professedly after the example " of those who had gone before." And, to mark a still further divergence from Judaism and approximation to the worship of Mecca, the Eed al Zoha, or slaying of victims, was observed at Medina on the same day as the corresponding rite at Minâ, and in substitution for the Jewish rite of Sacrifice.

In the second year of the Hegira, with hostilities against the Coreish, there opens a new phase of the Corân.

A.H. 2.

Hitherto, as we have seen, Mahomet had declared himself to be a simple preacher. He was not the "keeper" of the