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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/182

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170
EARLY CHRISTIANITY

the assurance that it was the identical spring which had been produced by God to allay the thirst of Hagar and Ismael.[1] The memory of those who had constructed the fiery pits into which were thrown the Christians of Nadjran, was marked with detestation,[2] but the recent glory of his tribe was sanctified by divine revelation, and it was declared that God himself, by his miraculous interposition, had punished the impiety of Abrahah, who had dared to violate the sanctity of a place which had been made holy by the presence of the patriarchs.[3] The new religion was suited to the inclinations of those for whom it was made, for it allowed and even encouraged their predatory habits, and flattered their lusts.[4]

  1. بير زمزم puteus Zemzem. Dicitur hic a Deo productus, ut Hagar et Ismael sitim suam levarent. Reland de Relig. Moham. p. 121.
  2. "Accursed were the contrivers of the pit of fire supplied with fuel, when they sat round the same, and were witnesses of what they did against the true believers; and they afflicted them for no other reason, but because they believed in the mighty, the glorious God, unto whom belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth." Koran, Sur. lxxxv.
  3. Sur. xv. p. 501. Sale's Vers.
  4. The Mussulmans boast that at Muhammed's birth, angels were heard in the clouds, singing—Induite illum stola Adam, et sublimitate Noë, et scientia Abraham, et lingua Ismael, et pulchritudine Joseph, et patientia Jacob, et voce David, et castitate Johannis, et honorificentia Jesu, et fortitudine Moysi, &c. Maracci, p. 11. When the Arabian ladies complained that Muhammed had not left them a corner of paradise, he readily answered—qu'elles ressusciteraient toutes à l'âge de quinze ans,