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will not shed its water,311 and contains nothing but thunder and lightning. Leave thou Muhammad alone, for we have experienced from him nothing but honesty and kindness.' Though in the beginning Ka'b returned answers like the words just recorded, that unfortunate man nevertheless succumbed at last to the cunning persuasion of Hay, swerving from the straight path, but uttered the following apprehension: 'I fear lest the Qoraish return to their own country without being able to injure Muhammad; thou also wilt return to thy country, and we shall be punished with death as a reward for what we have done.' Hay now swore by the Torâtah [Pentateuch], and said: 'If the Qoraish and the Ghattafán return without attaining their object, I shall enter thy fort with thee, and be ready to suffer anything which may befall thee.' And that companion of the army of Eblis [i.e., Satan] used such cunning that the chieftain of the Qoryttah was deceived by his words, and tore the treaty to pieces which he had made with his lordship the Mussttafa-u. w. b.

When the impure mind of that base and accursed individual, i.e., of Hay, had been set at rest with reference to the Bani Qoryttah, he returned and informed the Qoraish of the success of his mission. When the information that the Jews had broken their covenant reached the exalted audition, the sublime mind was greatly affected, and, by the permission of his lordship the best of men, Zobeyr B. Ala'wwam, went among the Bani Qoryttah to make inquiries on the subject, and brought on his return the news that they were engaged in collecting their animals and repairing their fort. After that Sa'd B. Moa'adh and Sa'd B. A'bâdah and A'bdullah B. Ruâhah went by order of the apostle-u. w. b.-to the Bani Qoryttah to treat with them in case the above information should prove to be true. The just-mentioned individuals arrived among the Jews, and found them intent on enmity and contention; therefore they began first to advise Ka'b B. Asa'd, but without success, so that at last sharp words were exchanged 311 I.e., thou hast made statements which will not be realized.

between him and Sa'd B. A'bâdah. After Sa'd B. Moa'adh had pacified Sa'd B. A'bâdah, all of them returned together to Madinah and informed the favourite of the Most High of what had taken place, whereon his lordship exclaimed: 'We trust in Allah, and He is a good advocate!'

When the information had spread among the Musalmâns that those faithless people had broken their covenant, their fears and apprehensions increased. Meanwhile the cavalry of the idolaters began to make their appearance. Malek B. A'wuf and O'tbah B. Hassyn, with the Bani Asad, the Ghattafân and the Bani Qorârah, arrived from the upper part of the Wâdi, which is situated east of Madinah, and the Qoraish, with the Bani Kananah, became visible at the extremity of the Wâdi. The hearts of the weak among the Musalmans failed them, and their eyes were dazzled at the aspect of the formidable multitude of the enemy, as God the Most High has said: When they came against you from above you and below you, and when [your] sight became troubled and [your] hearts came even to [your] throats [for fear], and ye imagined of Allah [various] imaginations. Then were the faithful tried, and made to tremble a violent trembling.'312 Moghaytt B. Qasrah, who was one of the hypocrites, said on the occasion of the siege: 'Muhammad is promising that the treasures of the Qayssar and the Kesra will fall to our lot, and now we have not even a chance to go out to answer the calls of nature; therefore the promises made to us by Allah and by His apostle are but lies and falsehoods.' God has said: 'And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts was an infirmity, said, Allah and His apostle have made you no other than a fallacious promise.' 313 A number of hypocrites were persuading the Musalmâns to return to their houses and not to follow his lordship the apostle-u. w. b. Accordingly some of them waited on his lordship, asking for permission to return to their habitations, on the pretence that they were empty [of people] and that the enemy might enter and plunder them. On this subject God the Most 313 Ibid., 12.

312 Qurân, ch. xxxiii. 10, 11.

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High revealed the following verse: And when a party of them said, O inhabitants of Yathrab, there is no place [of security] for you [here]; wherefore return [home]. And a part of them asked leave of the prophet [to depart], saying, Verily our houses are defenceless [and exposed to the enemy]; but they were not defenceless, [and] their intention was no other than to flee.'


When the idolaters arrived near the bank of the ditch they were astonished, because that custom 315 had not been in use in the Arab country. Then they commenced besieging the professors of Islâm, and hostilities began on both sides by fighting and shooting arrows. During the contest the infidels endeavoured to approach the tent of his lordship the apostle, but were unable to cross the ditch, from which some valiant men were keeping them off. It is related that on account of the haste wherewith the Musalmâns had been working, one of the sides of the ditch had been left unfinished, and that for fear the idolaters might find an entrance by it into the camp, his lordship was accustomed nightly to watch it in his own sacred person, and the cold being intense at that time, his lordship went every time he felt chilly to A'ayshah to warm his blessed body, and again returned to his post. Nor did his lordship suffer such hardships in any other Ghazwah as in the War of the Ditch,' because in those days there was great scarcity of victuals, famine prevailed among the Musalmâns, and the weather was very inclement. Nevertheless, for the sake of relieving the distress of his companions, his lordship the receptacle of terminationu. w. b.-found it expedient to give one-third of the produce of Madinah to the Ghattafân and to the Qorârah to induce them to return, and thus to cause a division in the army of the idolaters. O'tbah B. Hassyn and Hâreth B. A'wuf, who were the chiefs of those people, agreed to make peace, and were for the completion of the treaty admitted into the assembly of his holy and prophetic lordshipu. w. b.—Dhun-nûryn being ordered to write the treaty; 314 Qurân, ch. xxxiii. 13.

315 Custom of excavating ditches.

but before this was confirmed by witnesses the prince of existences found it convenient to consult Sa'd B. Moa'adh and Sa'd B. A'bâdah, both of whom spoke as follows: 'O apostle of God, if the affair of the treaty of peace be commanded by Divine revelation, we hear and obey; but if it be based on other considerations pray inform us?' His lordship replied: 'Divine revelation has nothing to do with this matter, but as I saw that the Arab tribes are, as it were, all shooting arrows from the same bow at you, I thought that by making peace with a portion of them I would produce a division among the infidels, and lessen their power.' The two Sa'ds continued: 'O apostle of God, at the time when we and they were as yet idolaters they never aspired to the possession of a single date from our palm-groves except as guests. Why should we at present, when we have been exalted to the honour of following thee, submit to such humiliation and become liable to such baseness? We swear by Allah that we shall not give them anything except [blows with our] swords, until God the Most High decides between us and them.' Accordingly, at a sign from his lordship the apostle, Sa'd B. Moa'adh tore the treaty to pieces, whereon the chiefs of the Ghattafân and of the Qorarah left the august assembly disappointed and awed.

Wâqidi says that O'tbah and Hâreth had come into the most noble assembly for the purpose of completing the treaty of peace, and were sitting therein, when Asyd B. Khadzyr, fully armed and equipped in iron and steel, hastened to wait on the refuge of termination, and perceived O'tbah sitting [contrary to etiquette] with outstretched legs in the presence of his lordship. Asyd knew not what had been written, but, being angry at O'tbah's incivility, addressed him as follows: 'O thou eye of a fox's pup, draw in thy legs; for it is unbecoming to stretch them out, and to sit thus in the assembly of the apostleu. w. b. By Allah! if it were not for the respect due to the presence of the apostle, I would pierce both thy sides with one arrow.' The rest of the words of Asyd expressed

his dissent from the proposed treaty, and resembled those recorded above of Sa'd B. Moa'adh. His lordship thereon ordered the agreement to be torn to pieces. O'tbah, being disappointed, now rose and said: 'It would have been better for you to yield some of the dates of Madinah than to expose yourself to the hardship of war, because you have neither the patience nor the strength to cope with our tribes.' Asyd retorted: O'tbah, threatenest thou us with the sword? It will soon appear whether you or we will lament. I swear by Allah that if I were not restrained by the respect due to the assembly of the apostle-u. w. b. -you would not return.' Then his holy and prophetic lordship said in a loud voice to the Ghattafân chiefs : 'Return to your people, for between you and us the sword alone will decide." It is related that when those who had coveted the dates of Madinah had witnessed the unanimity and firmness of the Anssâr they were confounded, and returned to the Qoraish with empty bags.


The biographers of the lord of the righteous narrate that A'mru B. A'bdud was distinguished among the Arab tribes by his great impetuosity, perfect bravery, and skill in handling all the arms of war, so that if Rustam Dastân [the celebrated Persian hero] had attacked him he would have been defeated, and had Shohrab [another hero] stepped into the list of contention with him he would have succumbed. The celebrity of A'mru for valour was such that the Arab warriors considered him a match for one thousand combatants. The writer of these lines has heard Sayyid A'li Najfi-Allah have mercy on him-utter the following words: 'I have read in a book that when A'mru B. A'bdud had in the Ghazwah of the Confederates crossed the ditch and shouted for a champion, none of the companions had come forward, whereon his lordship asked: "Why do you hesitate ?" Thereon O'mar B. Alkhattâb opened his mouth with excuses on the part of the pro

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