Open main menu

Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/183

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

At first Muhammed affected to shew great favour towards the Christians. His nurse was an Ethiopian slave,[1] and in his own country, as well as during his stay in Syria, he must have had numerous opportunities of learning the corrupted doctrines of Christianity then professed in those parts, and the characters of their professors. "Tell them," he said to Omar, "that their souls are as our souls, their riches as our riches, and that we rejoice at their prosperity, and grieve for their misfortunes, as we do for our own. He who oppresses a Christian shall have him for an accuser at the day of judgment. He who injures a Christian injures me."[2] He saw with what ease every new sectary obtained a party amongst them, and it was his object to gain one to support himself. He accused them of a blind and improper submission to their monks and priests,[3] whilst he wished to reduce them to a still more blind subjection to himself. He acknowledged the Gospel history, and the books

    et avec une beauté parfaite; ce qui consola et réjouit les vielles et les laides. Vertot, Discours sur 1'Alcoran. Conf. Hottinger, Hist. Orient, lib. ii. c. 4. The liberty, however, which was allowed in regard to women does not appear to have always been approved—Quatre choses, mon frère, observes a Mahomedan doctor, sont pleines de dangers, évite les avec soin: la faveur des princes, la société des méchans, l'amour du monde, et le commerce des femmes. Pend Nameh, in the Fundgruben des Orients, band ii. p. 20.

  1. Her name was Omm Aïman. Abulfed. Vit. Moham. p. 2.
  2. Elmacin, Hist. Saracen, lib. i. p. 11.
  3. Sale, note in Koran, Sur. iii. p. 44. 4to. edit.