It is evident that, in thus compelling Christians and Zoroastrians to choose between (1) becoming Muslims against their will, (2) paying the jizyah-tax and being bitterly humiliated, and (3) being put to death, the Arab generals were obeying the Qur'an (Surah ix. 29). In fact, they might have treated the Zoroastrians in the sterner way mentioned in Surah ix. 5, had they not considered them entitled to rank as "People of the Book", though doubtless that title properly belonged only to the Jews and the Christians.

Occasionally when people were thus forced to accept Islam at the point of the sword, they rejected it when they thought themselves strong enough to do so. Thus in A. H. 30 we are told that the Khalifah 'Uthman sent Uthman ibn Abi'l 'As, or Sa'd his brother (for accounts differ) against Yezdijird, who was advancing to the assistance of the people of Istakhr [Persepolis], of whom we learn that they had previously "yielded 1 obedience to the chiefs of Islam", but had now "turned aside from the right way".

But to abandon Islam when proved not to be from God is a dangerous thing. By the law of the Qur'an the punishment is 2 death; for in Surah ii. 214 it is enacted that "Whosoever shall apostatize from his religion, let him die for it, and he is an infidel". If a man outwardly professes Islam but inwardly disbelieves, his condition is that of a hypocrite, and, according to the Qur'an the hypocrites will be in the lowest 3 abyss of Hell. Yet the chief duty of Muslims in the early days of Islam was to force people by the sword to become Muslims outwardly, that is, to become hypocrites. Worldly temptations were also held out to men as inducements to accept Islam in appearance, and in these two ways it spread. Ignorance was then employed to safeguard men's faith. This is clear from

1 Rauzatu's Safa, vol. ii, p. 258.
2 In Ibn Hisham, vol. ii, p. 217, a man is sentenced to death for abandoning Islam.
3 Surah iv. 144.

the Khalifah 'Umar's commands regarding the libraries captured in conquered lands. Regarding the great library at Alexandria, Abdu'l Faraj tells us that, when 'Amr ibnu'l 'As conquered Egypt in A. D. 640, 'Umar was asked whether the library was to be preserved or not. In reply he said: "If these writings of the Greeks agree with the Book of God" (the Qur'an), "they are useless, and need not be preserved. If they disagree with it, they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed." Similarly, as we are informed in the Kashfu'z Zunun, Sa'd Abu Waqqas, having conquered Persia, wrote to ask the same Khalifah what he should do with the libraries of Persia. The reply was: "Cast them into the rivers. For, if in these books there is guidance, then we have still better guidance in the Book of God. If, on the contrary, there is in them that which will lead us astray, then may God protect us from them." In each case the order was obeyed. Only in the time of the Mu'tazilah has any freedom of thought and inquiry been permitted in any Muslim land.

The persecutions inflicted on those who refused to accept Islam in Persia compelled many of the Zoroastrians to flee to India, where their descendants now form a large and industrious trading community in Bombay. They found it far more tolerable to live amid the idolatrous Hindus than to endure the ignominy and oppression which they had to suffer from the Muslims in their own land. Those who live or have travelled in Muslim lands well know how miserable is the condition of the Dhimmis (whether Jews, Christians, or Zoroastrians) there. They cannot even give evidence in a court of justice, they cannot defend themselves from wrong and violence, they are liable at any moment to be massacred by the Muslims,—as at Adana recently, in Armenia and in Bulgaria only a few years ago. For many generations the children of Christians were often taken away by force, made Muslims by violence, and compelled to serve