By John Joseph Saunders
This can be an creation to the background of the Muslim East from the increase of Islam to the Mongol conquests. It explains and exhibits the most tendencies of Islamic old evolution throughout the heart a long time, and may support the non-Orientalist to appreciate whatever of the connection among Islam and Christendom in these centuries.
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Additional info for A History of Medieval Islam
Paul had once persecuted the faith which finally conquered him. But the generality of Meccans held aloof and scoffed at Muhammad’s pretensions. ’ Among the most popular deities of Mecca were three goddesses, al-Lat, Manat and al-Uzza, and the Prophet suddenly announced that he had received a revelation legitimizing their worship. So startling a concession to those whom he had been denouncing as sinful idolators bewildered his disciples and exhilarated his enemies, but after a short interval, he confessed that he had been deceived by Satan into uttering falsehood and that the ‘satanic’ verses had been cancelled by a genuine revelation confirming the divine unity.
Al-Walid, later to gain fame as the most brilliant of Arab captains, then intervened with decisive effect, and rode down the Muslim infantry. Seventy-four believers (the ‘martyrs of Uhud’) were killed and Muhammad himself was wounded. Yet the Kuraish strangely enough made no attempt to exploit their victory and capture Medina, but withdrew back to Mecca, perhaps feeling that they lacked the equipment and resources to besiege the town. In so doing, they missed their best chance of crushing Islam in its cradle.
He rebuilt the ruined churches, erected a big cathedral at San‘a, and in order to open up direct communication with the Mediterranean world, he invaded the Hijaz about 570 and attacked Mecca, the last independent stronghold of Arabian paganism. A hundred legends have gathered round this famous expedition, which is said to have taken place at the time of Muhammad’s birth in the ‘Year of the Elephant,’ so-called because Abraha brought an African elephant with his army, a beast never before used in Arabian warfare.