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71

Of MAHOMETANISM, or

the Life, Religion, and Polity
of MAHOMET and bis Fol-
lowers.

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AHOMET (or, according to Mahomet's

the true Pronunciation, Moham. Birth.
med,) was born at Mecca a City
of Arabia; he was of the Tribe of
the Korashites, which was reckon'd

the noblest in all that Country, and was descended in a direct Line of Primogeni. ture from Pber Korais, the first Founder of it. His Father's Name was Abdollah, and the Name of his Mother Amena. His Birth was in the Month of May in the Year of Christ 571.

THOUGH he was of so noble a Descent, yet Mean at the in the beginning of his Life he was in a very Beginning. poor and despicable Condition. For his Father dying tefore he was two Years old, all the Power and Wealth of his Family devolv'd to his Uncles, especially to Abu Taleb, who afterwards bore che chief Sway in Mecca, and by whose Protection he afterwards broach'd his Imposture, and was supported against all Opposers.

He lived with his Mother till he was eight How became Years of Age, when she dying, his Grandfather to rise. took him ; but he also dying in a Year after, Mabomet was committed to the Care of his aforesaid Uncle Abu Taleb, who being a very great

F
4

Merchant,

concerning him

Merchant, brought his Nephew up in the Affairs of Merchandise, and sent him with his Camels

to Syria. A fiaitious

But while he attended his Uncle's Factors in Prediction

the public Market-place at Boftra, Mahometan Authors say that a learned Monk there perceiv'd a kind of Lustre shining upon his Face, and from thence conjectured, and began to predict that Mabomet should be a Prophet ; but this is a gross Fiction, he not being acquainted with that

Monk till many Years after. He marries He continued with his Uncle till 25 Years of bis Wife Cadigha, and Age, when one of the chief Men of the City becomes great. dying, he left his Stock, which was very conti

derable, to his Widow Cadigba, who invited Mahomet to be her Factor, and married him in the 28th Year of his Age. By this means being equal in Wealth to the greatest Man in the City, his Ambition made him aspire to the Sovereignty which his Ancestors had enjoy'd, and of which he himself had been only depriv'd by being left

an Orphan. Follows Mor.

His trading into Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, chandise.

made him well acquainted both with Cbristians and Jews; and perceiving that each of them were divided into several Seets, he concluded nothing would be more likely to raise him a Party, and aggrandize him, than the advancing of a new

Religion. Proje&s the

And for such a Change he judg'd the Citizens Scheme of a New Religion

of Mecca might be well dispos’d, because their Traffic and frequent Converse with the Christians had taken them very much off from their gross Idolatry, which they had hitherto been ad

dicted to : But at this time were fallen from Zendicism, Heathenism into Zendicism, an Error near a-kin what

to Sadducism among the Jews; as denying Providence, the Resurrection, and a future State.

HE

He therefore betook himself to frame such a He draws up Religion as might best go down with them, and a Scheme of

his Imposture, so drew up a Scheme of that Imposture he afterwards deluded them with, which being a Medley of Judaism, the Heresies of the Eastern Cbristians, and the old Pagan Rites of the Arabs, with an Indulgence to all fenfual Delights, it did too well answer his Design, in drawing Men of all Sorts to the embracing of it.

But that he might not immediately turn He previously Preacher against that Idolatry which he had leads an Eiepractised with others, and set up for a Reformer, mitical Life. and take upon him the Character of a Propbet, (since he was known to lead an ill Life,) without some previous Change ; in the 38th Year of his Age he began to affect an Eremitical Life, and withdrew every Morning to a solitary Cave near the City, where he pretended to spend his Time in Fafting, Prayer and Meditation : And there it is supposed he had his Consults with those who help'd him to frame his Alcoran.

His first Attempt was to draw his Wife into He declares a Belief of his Imposture, and in order to this himself Prowhen he return'd at Night from the Cave, he pbet, and for used to tell her of Visions that he had seen, and attempts to

proselyre his strange Voices which he had heard in his Retire-Wife. ment. But when she rejected these Stories as his own vain Fancies, or else Delusions of the Devil, he farther pretended a Converse with the Angel Gabriel; which she being as backward to believe as the other, he was obliged to suborn a fugitive Monk (he kept then in his House) to practise with her, who accordingly did so, and at last he brought her to be persuaded of the Truth of all her Husband told her; and also that he really was calls to the Prophetic Office; and thus became his first Profelyte in this Imposture.

pagate bis

He propagates HAVING thus liv'd retir'd two Years, he had bis Delusions gain'd, as he thought, a sufficient Reputation of privateh.

San&tity for his Design, and in the 40th Year of his Age he began to take on himself the Title of the Apostle of God, and began to propagate his Delusions, but privately for the first four Years, and only among such as he had most Confi

dence in. His for Pro- His first Profelyte was Cadigba his Wife (as febytes.

has been said) his second was his Slave Zayd Ebu Haretb, and the third his Cousin Ali, Son of his Uncle Abu Taleb. He tempted his Servant Zayd by promising him his Freedom, and upon his receiving his Religion, he accordingly manumised him. And from hence it became a Law among the Mahometans ever since, to make their Slaves

free, whenever they receive their Religion. Begins to pro

Besides these, he having proselyted eight or

nine more of the principal Men of the City, beImpol ure

gan openly to publish his Imposture to the People openly.

of Mecca, in the 44th Year of his Age; and publickly declar'd himself to be a Propbet sent from God to reduce them from the Error of Pa

ganism, and to teach them the true Religion. His crafty

He said, his Religion was not a new one, but way of infinu-that old one which God first gave to Adam ; and Gring the same.

when lost in the Corruption of the old World, restor'd it again by Revelation to Abraham, who taught it his Son Ismael their Fore-father; and that he, when he first planted himself in Arabia, instructed Men in the same Religion which he had receiv'd from Abraham. But their Porterity afterwards corrupted it into Idolatry, and therefore God had now sent him to destroy this Idolatry, and again to restore the Religion of their Patriarch Ismael. Therefore according to his own Account the Jews do not improperly call his pretended Religion Ifmaelism.

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