recently the followers of the so-called Mahdi and his Khalifah in the Sudan. In this, however, there is nothing miraculous.

That this may be clear, let us examine the account of the battle of Badr, regarding which some claim to find a prophecy in Surah liv. 44, 45. Concerning this battle, Al Baizawi, in his commentary on Surah viii. 5, tells us that Abu Sufyan with only thirty-nine other mounted men was escorting a caravan from Syria. The Angel Gabriel is said to have informed Muhammad of the fewness of those who protected it and of the wealth which it carried. Muhammad therefore urged his people to attack the caravan and plunder it. Meanwhile Abu Jahl led out the Meccans to Badr. On hearing this latter piece of news, Muhammad's men inquired why he had not warned them that they were about to fight, in order that they might prepare for battle. They wished to leave the enemy's army and to pursue the ill-protected caravan,1 which, Muhammad told them, had passed by the sea shore. This angered Muhammad, and he assured them that God had promised him as his prey one of the two companies, either the caravan or the enemy's army. In his commentary on ver. 6, Al Baizawi explains the reluctance of the Muslims to fight as due to the comparative smallness 2 of their numbers, and to the fact that they had only two horsemen among them and were unprepared for battle. He says, in his commentary on Surah liv. 44, 45, that 'Umar afterwards declared that he did not know the meaning of these verses until he saw Muhammad putting on his breast-plate on the day of the battle. Surah viii. 6 makes it clear that the Muslims at first feared on that day to attack the Quraish, for it runs thus: "They will dispute

1 Al Baizawi says:—فقالوا يا رسول الله عليك بالعير ودع العدوّ‬.
2 Ibn Ishaq says that at Badr Muhammad had 83 Meccans, 61 Ausites, and 170 Khazrajites, in all 314 men. Abu Jahl had about 600.

with thee concerning the truth, after that it has been made clear, as if they are being driven on to death, and see it." Ibn Hisham's account of the affair is the following: "When 1 the Apostle of God heard of Abu Sufyan's coming from Syria, he exhorted the Muslims to go against them, and he said, 'This is a caravan of the Quraish in which is their property. Therefore go ye forth against it; perhaps God will make it your spoil.' Therefore the men were incited thereto. Some of them were eager (light), and some reluctant (heavy), and that because they had not thought that the Apostle of God would offer battle. And when Abu Sufyan drew near the Hijaz, he kept asking for news and inquiring of any riders whom he met, since he feared about the matter of the men" (i.e. Muhammad's followers); "until information reached him through some travellers that Muhammad had gathered his Companions (اصحاب) together against him and against his caravan. Accordingly he thereupon became on his guard. And he hired Zamzam ibn 'Amri'l Ghaffari, and sent him to Mecca. And he bade him go to the Quraish and gather them together to [the defence of] their property, and inform them that Muhammad had gone to encounter them" (i.e. Abu Sufyan's people) "with his companions". Accordingly a large body of the Quraish marched out to defend their property. In the Hayatu'l Qulub 2 we are told, in accordance with both these accounts, that Muhammad informed his Companions that the caravan had passed and that the Quraish were advancing towards them, and that God Most High had commanded him to fight a Jihad with them. On hearing this his Companions became very much afraid and very anxious. Elsewhere the writer of that account says that, when Muhammad's Companions heard of the great number of the Quraish, then were very much afraid, and cried out loud and wept. Hence it was that, to encourage them and enable them to fight manfully a battle upon which so much depended,

1 Siratu'r Rasul, vol. ii, p. 9.
2 Vol. ii, ch. 30.