suppose that she had some aversion to becoming the wife of a man, who had not only sanctioned but had been present at the cruel massacre of her husband and her relatives. She had no power to refuse the position of a slave; so Muhammad took her as his concubine and justified his action by the verse:—

O Prophet! We allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee. Sura Al-Ahzab (xxxiii) 49.1

Suras al-Hadid (lvii), al-Hashr (lix), as-Saff (lxi), al-Jamu'ah (lxii), and at-Taghabun (lxiv) commence as songs of praise and were all delivered about this time to celebrate the subjection of the Jews and the infidels.

We must now go back a little and refer to the most important of the military efforts made by the Prophet. The battle of Badr, though it was not the first of his warlike expeditions, was the greatest of all that had yet been undertaken.2 Previous to the engagement at Badr the Prophet himself headed four free-booting expeditions and three more were

1 Syed Amir 'Ali says: 'I look upon the story of Raihana's becoming a left-handed wife of the Prophet as a fabrication' (Life of Muhammad, p. 114). This repudiation of the offence by an author of the high character of Syed Amir 'Ali shows the gravity of it, but the fact is well attested, and the commentator Husain, who is most careful and accurate, says that this passage does refer to the slave women 'Safiyya and Raihana and those like them.' He says so distinctly in the words:—
جون صفية وريحانة وأمثال أيشان
Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 204.
2 Muhammad heard that a rich Meccan caravan had gone to Syria. He ordered his followers to capture it on its return. He was the aggressor and his attempt at plundering it was the real cause of the battle. See Sell, The Life of Muhammad (C.L.S.), p. 115 ; also Tabari, Tarikhu'r-Rasul, (De Geoge's ed.) series 1, vol. iii, p. 1495.


conducted by his lieutenants,1 but they failed of their object, for the Quraish received little harm and the Muslims gained little or no booty. The only relatively successful expedition was one conducted in the month Rajabu'l-Arab—a month sacred from time immemorial to peace and immunity from tribal attacks. In it a Quraish caravan at Nakhla was attacked and plundered and some prisoners were taken. The victory, however, did not compensate for the fear created in the minds of the Muslims by so daring a violation of Arab custom. At first Muhammad denied that he had given any command for the attack to be made in that month, but, as the dismay still prevailed in the hearts of the people, a revelation came condoning the offence. Thus:—

They will ask thee concerning war in the sacred month; say, ' to war therein is bad, but to turn aside from the cause of God, and to have no faith in Him, and in the sacred temple, and to drive out its people is worse in the sight of God; and civil strife is worse than bloodshed.' Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 214.

Ibn Ishaq says this means, 'If you make war in the holy month, they keep you from the way of God, they are unbelievers and debar you from the holy temple. This is more serious before God than the death of some men whom ye have killed.' The Quraish were very angry and said, 'Muhammad

1 During the ten years of his residence at Madina Muhammad organized thirty-eight military expeditions, and twenty-seven of these he accompanied in person as chief commander for the furtherance of the cause of Islam. Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, quoted by Koelle Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 324.