not the means of determining; but there is certainly nothing, either in tradition or in the Corân itself, which would lead to the supposition of his having been abashed at the frailty and licentiousness disclosed by these transactions, or was even conscious of the discredit attaching to them.

In this year the arms of Mahomet had a serious reverse at Mūta, on the Syrian border, where his friend Zeid was killed. A new phase, however, now opened on Islâm; an indirect breach of the truce by the Coreish was eagerly challenged, and the Prophet, at the head of 10,000 men, entered Mecca as a conqueror. He treated the prostrate city with singular forbearance and generosity; the whole population came over to his cause; and, in a few weeks we find the once hostile chiefs of the Coreish marching under the banner of Mahomet. The Bedouin tribes of the neighbourhood were more stubborn. They rapidly concentrated at Tâif; and an engagement took place in the valley of Honein, which at the first threatened to be critical, for the ranks of Mahomet, as they filed through the narrow pass, were thrown into confusion by an ambush of the enemy rushing wildly upon them. The Moslems rallied at the call, which touched a double chord,—"Ye men of the Sura Bacr! Ye men of the tree of fealty!"* and driving back the Bedouins, secured a complete victory, together with great spoil. After an unsuccessful attempt to carry Tâif by siege, Mahomet divided the booty and turned homewards. To gain the hearts of

* Sura II., the first revealed at Medina. The "tree of fealty," i.e. Hodeibia.


the chiefs of Mecca, he, at the distribution, gave them special largesses from the spoil. This caused discontent among his older followers, whom he appeased by protestations of his regard, and of his resolve never to abandon Medina or return to live at Mecca. In the IX. Sura the special application of the booty is justified, the panic at Honein, described, and the eventual success ascribed to angelic aid.

The power of Mahomet. now overshadowed the Peninsula,

A.H. 9.

and the ninth year of the Hegira is known as the "Year of Deputations," which poured in upon him from all quarters, to acknowledge his supremacy, and receive instruction in the requirements of Islâm,—prayer, the giving of tithes, and fasting. Some of the visitors were rude sons of the desert; and one party, on arriving at his door, called out in a loud voice for Mahomet to come forth. Courteous and condescending, Mahomet had still a just respect for his own dignity, and the occasion was not thought too inconsiderable for a revelation (Sura XLIX.), commanding that the Prophet should be addressed in a more courtly and submissive tone.

In the summer of this year occurred the expedition to Tebūk, the last that was undertaken by Mahomet. It was intended to overawe the Syrian tribes, which had been stirred up by Roman influence to assemble on the frontier. The lukewarm party at Medina, and even some of Mahomet's sincere adherents, afraid of the heat and discomforts of the march, held back, while others showed the utmost alacrity, and contributed largely towards the equipment of the force. After a successful campaign, in which several Christian