murder. It is said by some that 'Umair was blind, and that he had formerly been 'Asma's husband. He seems to have crept at night into the room where 'Asma slept, with an infant at her breast. Gently removing the child, he drove his sword into her body, piercing her through and through. When Muhammad heard of the murder next day, he pointed 'Umair out to the people in the Mosque as one that had rendered a service to God and to His Apostle.

Shortly before the murder of Abdu'l Huqaiq we read how the aged Umm Kirfa was killed by Zaid's command. Her legs were tied to camels, and these were driven in different directions until the unfortunate old woman was torn in pieces. Muhammad greeted Zaid warmly when he returned from this expedition, and uttered no reproaches for such barbarity.

Ibn Hisham 1 tells us that Muhammad sent 'Amr ibn Umayyah and Jabbar ibn Sakhar from Medinah to Mecca for the purpose of murdering Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. They did not succeed in their attempt, being detected and obliged to flee for their lives. But this biographer of Muhammad openly admits Muhammad's complicity in the plot. His account is too long to quote, but it tells of several cowardly murders which the two Muslim emissaries committed when endeavouring to escape from their pursuers.

As every man of learning is well aware, it would be easy to quote from Muslim writers of recognized authority many more 2 examples of Muhammad's conduct towards his enemies. But doubtless our honoured readers will be well content with what has now been pointed out on this 3 subject. We do not make any comment on these deeds of his, nor do we venture to express any opinion regarding them. But we should like to ask our Muslim friends to consider seriously what answer they would give to the following question:

1 Vol. iii, pp. 89, 90; Ibn Athir, vol. ii, pp. 63, 64.
2 For example, the murder of Mukhairiq; Ibn Hisham, vol. ii, p. 87.
3 See Al Kindi's remarks; Risalah, pp. 47. 48.

If Muhammad had made no claim to be a prophet, if he had been an idolater like the Arabs in the "Days of Ignorance", if he had never learnt the will of God Most High, the Merciful, the Gracious; the Holy, but had been a great and valiant warrior only, like Timur-i-Lang (Tamerlane), intent only on making himself powerful and on indulging his tastes for perfumes and women; then, in what respect—except to religious forms and ceremonies and the dictation of the Qur'an to his amanuenses—would his conduct have differed from what it actually was, in spite of his claim to be the Apostle of God? In other words, In what respect was his conduct, in moral matters, better than that of such conquerors as aim only at success in this world and enjoyment of sensual pleasures? Does Muhammad's conduct in such matters as those which we have been considering, in chastity, forgiveness of injuries, meekness, mercifulness, goodness, form any genuine proof that he was Divinely commissioned as the Seal of the Prophets, God's last and most perfect messenger to His creatures? Or is it necessary to believe his claim, in spite of his conduct after this claim was first made?

III. As to the manner in which Inspiration is said to have come to Muhammad, we have certain statements made by leading Muslim historians and in the Traditions which in substance are held reliable by both Sunnis and Shi'ites. Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Athir, Husain ibn Muhammad (in his Khamis), the Turkish writer 'Ali Halabi, and others, give us many details about this matter. The most valuable collection of Traditions upon the point is found in the Mishkatu'l Masabih (Kitabu'l Fitan: Babu'l Bu'th wa Bada'il Wahy), pp. 513-516.

We are told that he was raised up as an Apostle when forty years of age, and that the call first came when he was in retirement with Khadijah in a cave in Mount Hira near Mecca. Muhammad thought that the angel Gabriel came to him and bade him recite in the name