Muhammad‟s religion had little appeal for the Judaeans of Yathrib: the Banū Qurayza,. Banū Nadīr and Banū Qaynuqā. These settled tribes were already

146 KB – 47 Pages

PAGE – 1 ============
Chapter Nineteen Muhammad and the Beginnings of Islam Between the third century and the sixth God replaced the gods throughout much but not all of western Eurasia and North Africa. Still pagan were the people living in regions th at were not readily accessible from the great centers of civilization in the Mediterranean and the Near East: like sub – Saharan Africa, the far north of Europe was too remote to have been affected by Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism or Zoroastrianism. A nother largely pagan region, closer to the Mediterranean but difficult to traverse because of its lack of water, was the Arabian peninsula. Most of the bedouin tribes that roamed this land in the sixth century still worshiped their ancestral gods. Arabia and its inhabitants before the birth of Muhammad: the Hijaz, Asir and Saba The Arabian peninsula lies on the same latitude as the Sahara desert, divided from it by the Red Sea. Like the Sahara, the peninsula receives little or no rain and much of it ei ther is barren or supports only scrub vegetation. Although much of the peninsula was too dry even for pastoralists, an exception was the land bordering the Red Sea. At the southwestern tip of the , from which came frankincense, myrrh and spices. Stretching northward from Saba was Asir, a narrow corridor several hundred miles long and hemmed in between the sea and the Asir mountains, some of which rise to 10,000 feet. Here rainfall was sufficient (up to twenty inches annually) to permit farming of grain, fruit and vegetables on the terraced foothills. North of the Asir was a much wider land called the Hijaz, and this was inhabited by Arabic – speaking pastoralists. The Hijaz lies between the Red Se a and the Hijaz mountains, a low chain that crests (at 4000 feet) in the Jebel Shammar. East of these mountains is the red Nafud desert, which receives only two or three inches of rain a year. West of the mountains, the Hijaz is blest with as much as ten inches of rain, a gift from the Red Sea. Although insufficient for farming, the moisture was enough to support the pasturing of sheep, goats, camels and horses. From Mecca (Makkah) in the south to the Gulf of Aqaba in the north, the Hijaz spans some sev en hundred miles. In sharp contrast to the desert and semi – desert are the occasional oases, spots of lush vegetation made possible by voluminous natural springs, often supplemented by dug wells. Less spectacular in the Hijaz were settlements in drainag e basins where groundwater was plentiful. The more important settlements in northwestern Arabia were – from south to north – Mecca, Yathrib (Medina), Khaybar, Dedan, Tema, Tabuk, and Duma. In the sixth century these settlements – seldom less than fifty and often more than a hundred miles apart – were thickly settled, the towns being interdependent with the bedouin tribes round about. The largest city by far was Yathrib, with a population in five figures. Smaller oases supported towns of a few tho usand inhabitants or villages of several hundred. The typical oasis settlement included carpenters, smiths, potters, weavers and other craftsmen and merchants. Except for Duma, all of the major oases named above were within reach of the Hijaz. Nomadic t ribes – the bedouin –

PAGE – 2 ============
pastured their sheep and goats on the thin vegetation of the Hijaz, moving their tents across the semi – desert, following the wells and wadis, and stopping at the oases to exchange their animals and fleeces for tools, weapons, and trin kets. While Saba and the Asir had been inhabited already in the neolithic period, by ancient Ethiopia), the Hijaz and the adjacent oases were hardly inhabited be fore the end of the second millennium BC. It was not until then that people were able to ride horses and camels securely. 1 With horses and camels it was possible for pastoralists to penetrate the semi – desert and for some of them to settle down in the oas es. The people who moved into the Hijaz came from the Levant and spoke a Northwest Semitic language closely related to Hebrew, Phoenician – Arabic, which subsequently split into t he various regional languages of northern Arabia that are attested in they were called arabim in their own language and in Hebrew, and arabioi in Greek (the name desert, but as Greek navigators mapped the shores of the Red S ea, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf, they extended the name to the entire peninsula. By far the most favored part of the peninsula was that which fell within the kingdom of Saba, and later of Himyar, the Judaization of which was discussed in the first pages of the preceding chapter. This prosperous region, corresponding roughly to modern Yemen, was separated from Africa only by the straits of Bab al – Mandab (the western tip of Yemen is visible from the African coast). Not surpri singly, Ethiopians and Sabaeans were in close contact with each other all through antiquity. In the Hellenistic period trade from India began to come to the ports of Saba, and this trade was much increased after sailors learned to exploit the monsoon wind s. Cargo destined for Ptolemaic ports continued on shipboard through the Red Sea, and other cargo was carried by camel caravans through southern Arabia, the Hijaz and Petra to Damascus and other cities of the Levant. In the second or third century CE Him yarites defeated the Sabaean kings, and a Himyarite dynasty ruled the land until – ca. 525 – it was conquered by Ethiopia. Although located in what we call the Arabian peninsula, ancient Saba, Himyar and id not speak the Arabic language and they Arabic – speaking inhabitants of the Hijaz and the rest of the northern and central peninsula. Economy and society in pre – Islamic Arabia Throughout antiquity Arabic society was both local and tribal. 2 The tribe (in Arabic, the qab ) was in theory and myth a kinship group, descended from a common ancestor, and was in practice a mutual aid group. It was composed of clans, each of which was in turn composed of forgotten and always important. Less urgent and more negotiable was the local community, whether an oasis town or a bedouin encampment. A large town, such as Yathrib, might house

PAGE – 3 ============
several tribes, but the primary loyalty of every man a t Yathrib was to his qab , not to the town. Among the bedouin the local and kin communities were less complicated. In a bedouin encampment of fifteen or twenty tents the men would belong to several families and perhaps to several lineages, but almost always they were of the s ame clan and invariably of the same tribe. Islam provided a community much wider than the tribe but did not put an end to the tribal system. It was the tribe that provided – for the encampment, the family, and the individual – the protection needed to survive in a stateless society. If an encampment was attacked by outsiders, it was the solemn duty of the tribe to exact vengeance. Although loosely spread out over many encampments, the tribe was nevertheless a community, ranging in population (men, wo men and children) from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Early in the seventh century the Arabians seem to have numbered about two million and were divided into several dozen tribes. Typically, a tribe had a territory – each with well – known springs, w ells and wadis and at least one oasis town within reach – through which its encampments moved and which it defended against would – forbidden and the many tribes gathered for re ligious celebrations, during the rest of the year hostilities between tribes were frequent. The very solidarity and the territorial prerogatives of the single encouraged inter – tribal rivalries and feuds. In day – to – day life, enemies from within on more frequently than enemies from another tribe. Against your own clansmen or tribesmen your protection came from your lineage, which was your most immediate community and your first line of defense. As a yo ung man you may have been relatively vulnerable, but you were the son, brother, nephew and cousin of many brave men who lived nearby and would be quick either to defend or to avenge you. These were the kinship networks that protected you in a pre – state so ciety, and that would make a hostile acquaintance think twice about striking or even insulting you. In exchange for the protection provided by your kin – group you were of course required to stand up for anyone else in your kin – group who was victimized by a n outsider. Every lineage had its own acknowledged leader, almost always an older man who was respected for his wealth and wisdom, and whom the entire lineage looked to for guidance and approval. Individualism was not much prized in such a society: ind ividuals who cut themselves off from their kin in order to strike out on their own were not likely to survive very long. When a man needed to visit another settlement, he typically requested the protection of a clan or at least of a lineage that was respe cted in that settlement. Arabic men usually, although not always, married within their own tribe. Although by Late Antiquity polygamy was long obsolete in most of the civilized world it was still common in ike the number of his camels and other animals, was a rough index of his wealth and prestige. Polygamy was in part a reflection of the endemic warfare of pre – Islamic Arabia. When a man was killed in battle, his widows were normally taken (with their chil dren) as wives by his surviving comrades. Only with this kind of battle at Badr, for example, Muhammad saw to it that the widows of his slain followers were t aken in marriage by those of the victors who had the wherewithal to support additional wives.

PAGE – 4 ============
Arabic society also included slaves, who typically had been captured in raids on other tribes or on lands bordering the Arabian desert. The tribesman earned hi s livelihood by tending his livestock. Camels and horses provided milk and occasionally meat as well as transportation, and were most highly valued. More numerous by far were sheep and goats, which provided not only milk and meat but also wool and hair, domesticated animal totally unsuited to the semi – desert was the pig, which soon sickens and dies in that climate. 3 For the nomadic Arabians, as for the Israelites, the eating of pork was forbidden. The tribesman was of necessity also a warrior. A tribe had no army because it was an army. In the open country the tribesman had to be ready to defend himself, his family, his livestock and his encampment not only from members of hostile tribes but also from predatory animals. The young boy was therefore early introduced to weapons, both long – range and hand – to – hand. Most expensive wa s the composite bow, which could be purchased from the bowyers in Yathrib, and iron swords and cutlasses were also highly prized. The contrast between the warlike Arabic tribesmen and the pacific inhabitants of the Sassanid and Roman empires was almost c omplete. Languages, literacy, and a pre – literary society Some forty thousand graffiti and a small number of formal inscriptions show that many Arabians were able to read and write at a relatively early date. 4 In the oases of Tema and Duma an original N orth Arabian (Proto – Arabic) language diverged into Temaitic and Dumaitic respectively, and at the Dedan oasis into Dedanitic and Lihy attested by many inscriptions and graffiti in various alphabetic scripts. Individuals who thousand inscriptions. Some of the ea BC) come from the Tema oasis, but most of them come from further north and date to the later centuries BC and the early centuries CE. Thousands more inscriptions, in a related script and language , come from an area centered at Safa, a place on the western fringe of the Arabian desert and roughly a hundred miles due east of the Sea of Galilee. The earliest of the Safaitic inscriptions date from the first century BC, and the latest from the third c entury CE. The language conventionally called Arabic – the language, that is, in which Muhammad recited the suras of the Quran – was closely related to and cognate with Tham Dedanitic and the others, but was nevertheless clearly distinct from them by the fourth century CE. In other words, by that time these were no longer multiple dialects of a single language but were a constellation of separate languages. I t is probable, however, that – like Spanish and Italian today – most of these North Arabian languages were still similar enough that with some effort, application and confusion they were mutually intelligible. In any case, the oases dwellers were at least bilingual and a few of them may have been able to understand almost all of the languages cognate with their own. After the spread of Islam throughout the peninsula, the

PAGE – 5 ============
language of Muhammad was dispersed over all of Arabia and so its conventional name – – many languages spoken in the Arabian peninsula. One explanation for the origins of the language called Arabic is that its differentiation from the other Nort h Arabian languages was simply the result of geographical isolation, as was Hijaz and so may have been a regional cognate of Tham koine , and that although – no matter where in Arabia they lived – traditionally composed their poems. Still another explanation, which seems to me most likely, is that Arabic was the lingua franca of the central and northern parts of the Arabian peninsula, and the first language of most of the bedouin tribesmen, whethe r inside or outside the Hijaz. Unlike the inhabitants of the oases, most of the bedouin were illiterate. Pre – later than those in Tham oases. Although it may have been the vernacular of a million bedouin, Arabic seems to have had less prestige than the other languages of northern Arabia. The earliest known inscri ption in what we call the Arabic language was found in the desert southeast of Damascus, and therefore far to the north of the Hijaz. Dating from 328 CE, it graces the tomb and celebrates the great – 5 The text was inscribed in a script derived from the Aramaic alphabet used by the Nabataeans. Over the next three centuries that script evolved toward the classical form of the Arabic script, and literacy among Arabic speakers may have become m contemporaries were able to read and write, 6 language did not begin until well into the Islamic period. It is also important to observe that apparently neithe North Arabian languages had anyone written a book before the publication of the Quran. 7 In other words, although an elementary and utilitarian literacy in one or more of the North Arabian languages extended back more than a millennium before the birth of Muhammad, on present evidence we must conclude that in none of these languages had a literature been produced. This is not surprising. For the last five hundred years almost all the languages of the civilized world h ave been literary languages. In antiquity things were very different. In the great majority of the ancient languages a literary tradition – the writing and reading of books – either was very late in making its appearance or never appeared at all. The ca talyst for the inception of a literary tradition was often Christianity, a religion based on not only a book but a book that could be translated into any language without losing its authority. Amid the general absence of literary traditions in antiquity t he striking exceptions were Greek and Latin, although even in Latin no literature was produced until late in the third century BC, five hundred years after Latin speakers had first learned to write. In Aramaic too a literary tradition began no earlier tha n the Hellenistic period, and in many other languages a literary tradition never began at all. Macedonian, Thracian, Phrygian, the western Anatolian languages (Carian, Lycian, Lydian), the Keltic languages of western Europe, and the pre – Roman languages of Italy all died out without ever having served as vehicles for literature.

PAGE – 6 ============
It is therefore not at all an anomaly that for a very long time many tribesmen in northern Arabia had been able to read and write their languages, but that both in the Hijaz and e lsewhere in northern Arabia society remained at the pre – literary level. An important intellectual consequence was that those Arabians who could read and write had no auctores (authors, authorities) whose texts they could read and evaluate, and with whose views they could agree or disagree. This kind of intellectual activity and literary discourse had begun when the first prose writers appeared in Greece in the fifth century BC, and for the educated elite a predominantly oral culture began to give way to a culture of the written word. Over the next six hundred years this literary culture spread – albeit thinly – over much of the Hellenistic world and the Roman empire, and by the second century CE a book – reading minority could be found in all of civilized E urope, the Middle East, and North Africa. Among Arabic speakers, however, even in the seventh century CE a literary culture had not yet begun. As a result, the prerequisites for entering into extended arguments or for dealing critically with abstract ide as were not available. Although in pre – Islamic times (and in fact until late in the eighth century) Arabic society was oral rather than literary, a noteworthy feature of that society was the recitation of poetry. The best of the Arabic bards san – and a competition was held with a prize given for the best poem. Celebrated poets did much to shape an Arabic culture. In the eighth a nd ninth century a large corpus of Arabic poetry that – Islamic times was collected and written down in books, and so has been preserved. According to the standard aetiology for the 8 However that may be, it is agreed all round that the poems were orally composed and were orally transmitted over th e generations. The poets sang of victorious battles, of successful raids, and of their love affairs. The imagery is vivid and sensual, and is evidence that in the pre – Islamic period the Arabians delighted in figurative language and poetic diction. An es pecially admired sixth – century poet – Qays, the namesake of the celebrated fourth – century king. The neglect of Arabia by the imperial powers Because northern Arabia was so difficult to traverse and had no products that the ancients value d, it was not considered worth conquering. The Assyrian empire, from the tenth through most of the seventh century BC, took the form of a crescent above the Arabian desert. In the middle of the sixth century BC Nabonidus the Chaldaean spent years at the Tema oasis and may have contemplated adding other oases to his empire, based at Babylon. If so, however, the plan came to naught. Neither Cyrus nor the Achaemenid kings of Persia took the trouble to subdue Arabia, regarding it as an impoverished wilderne ss. They required Arabian cooperation only when Cambyses made a great overland expedition against Egypt and had necessarily to cross through the Sinai peninsula (Arabian tribesmen came with thousands of camels to transport y as it made its transit of the Sinai). Even the Ptolemies and the Seleukids, although recipients of trade that came north from Saba, made no serious attempt at conquests in Arabia.

PAGE – 8 ============
the third century various Roman emperors made alliances with the Tanukh tribe, the strongest in the northwestern corner of the Arabian desert, and the alliance more or less held through most of the fourth century. D uring the reign of Constantine the Tanukh were converted to a Nicene form of Christianity, and by the 370s they had a quasi – monarchy in the person of Queen Mawiyya. When Valens tried to convert the Tanukh from trinitarian to monotheist (Arian) Christianit y they Sarakenoi ( Saraceni ntractable although not a mortal menace. 10 In the early fifth century the emperors in Constantinople made an alliance with the Salih tribe and then, in the 470s, with the Ghassan. The Ghassan, who had become seventh century. Although in turn the Tanukh, Salih and Ghassan tribesmen did reduce the was assumed that any bedouin tribe, given the chance, would conduct a raid on a tempting target. The Sassanid rulers likewise allied themselves with Arabic frontier tribes in order to prevent raids on the cities of Mesopotamia. On the northeastern frin ge of the desert the strongest tribe was the Lakhm. By the fifth century the Lakhm were Nestorian Christians, as were many of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia . The Lakhm continued to serve as allies of the Sassanids until the Muslim conquest of Mesopotamia in the 630s. In appreciation for its services the Sassanids permitted the Lakhmid tribe to build for its elf the city of al – Hira, on the west bank of the Euphrates in central Mesopotamia, and outside of Hira the Lakhmids set up a Nestorian Christian monastery. Polytheistic religion in pre – Islamic Arabia In Muslim eyes, the period before Muhammad is al – jahi liyya few tribes on the fringes of the civilized world – such as the Lakhm, Tanukh and Ghassan – had been Christianized, and by the early seventh century many of the other bedouin tribesmen had heard at least second – hand report s about both Christianity and Judaism. For the tribesmen religious practices and beliefs were a welter of the old and the new, with God standing shoulder – to – shoulder among the gods. A Meccan chronicler, al – Azraqi, reports that in the pre – Abraham as an old man and performing divination by the shaking of arrows, and a picture of 11 Most of the tribes, howev er, were still nominally polytheistic and continued their sacrifices to the old gods. Some of these gods were represented in images – small statues or figurines – but others were aniconic. Many of the gods were local, each the master ( dhu ) of a particula r oasis or mountain. The Nabataeans of Petra, before their conversion to Christianity, sandstone mountains that almost enclosed Petra), and at the oasis of Dedan the chief god was Dhu Ghaba. 12 A tribe or even a clan might have its own patron god or goddess, but other deities were worshiped by all of the pagan tribes. 13 For the pagan Nabataeans the second most popular

PAGE – 9 ============
deity had been the goddess al – with Venus and Aphrodite, and al – lunar calendar, the tribes observed a truce so that those who wished could safely make a pilgrimage ( hajj ) to th e traditional sanctuary where the idols were kept. The senior god in the pre – Islamic pantheon of Arabia was All Arabic word was cognate with the Hebrew word eloah (the singular of elohim ) and meant, al to the word and used the resultant a l – vowel i (the Arabic script does not differentiate between upper – case and lower – case letters). In the time of the Assyrian empire Allah may have played among Arabic speakers a role similar to that played by El among the Northwest Semitic speakers of the Levant. Allah was a celestial and aniconic god, with no shrine of his own, 14 but most Arabians regarded him as the father of the three goddesses worship ed at Mecca. By the seventh century some Arabians had begun to regard him as God, synonymous with what they In keeping with their polytheistic understanding of the world, the early Arab ians supposed that a host of spirits – the jinn – populated the desert and could either help or hurt people who entered their haunts. All of the jinn were supposed to have been created from smokeless fire. Helpful jinn other jinn were imagined as baleful spirits, usually winged although some could take the form of dogs or snakes. Not much is known about the religious rituals of pagan Arabia. As elsewhere, worshipers s al – Book of Idols is much attention given to this subject. The slaughter of a large animal was regarded as a sacrifice to one or more of the gods, although in effect i t was a time for sacrifice was a very commonly practised form of offering. It was principally domestic beasts 15 First – born animals were favorite gifts to the gods. Although the inscriptions and other pre – Islamic sources make occasional references to priests in Arabia, it is clear that priests and priesthood did not play much of a role in religion. Sacrifices co specified holy places were deemed most effective, the typical god was pleased to receive a sacrificial offering anywhere. In divination too the individual could pose a ques tion to the god, without a priest or priestess serving as intermediary. In the most common form of divination, the person seeking an oracle was blindfolded and then drew one of the many arrows in a quiver, each of the arrows having been inscribed with a c ommand. The bedouin of pre – Islamic Arabia seem to have had few concerns about the Afterlife. Although a tribe did venerate and even worship its ancestor, the ordinary dead were not the recipients of cult. Heaven and Hell were not yet familiar concepts to the bedouin, and after

PAGE – 10 ============
death a person was supposed to continue a quasi – existence in the grave. The dead were in no 16 J udaism and Christianity in the Yemen and on the Arabian frontiers As we have seen, the Himyarite kingdom along the southwestern coast of the Arabian peninsula, in what is today Yemen, had become Judaean by the beginning of the fifth century. Somewha t earlier, Christianity had been declared the religion of the Aksumite kingdom in Ethiopia, just across the Bab al – Mandab straits from Yemen, and evidently the Jewish tradition of the Falashas in Ethiopia had begun still earlier. On the Arabian side of th e straits, by the beginning of the sixth century the small city of Najr roots in southwest Arabia may have preceded its establishment in Ethiopia. A Christian myth transmitted by Eusebius credited St. Bartholomew with bringing the gospel to Saba. 17 In another Christian tradition, miracles worked by the missionary Theophilus (who had been dispatched to the area by Emperor Constantius) converted the Himyarite king and for a time Himyar was Ch ristian. 18 Subsequently, the tradition explained, the Christians were persecuted by Judaeans and were virtually exterminated when the last of the Judaean kings of Himyar, Dhu Nawas, attacked Najran and burned hundreds (or thousands) of Christians in a gre at pit. That atrocity is thought to have occurred ca. 520. In retaliation for the atrocity, the Christian king of Ethiopia invaded Himyar ca. 525, killed Dhu Nawas, and put an end to the Himyarite dynasty. 19 Despite sm remained the dominant religion of the region for a very long time, even after Yemen was conquered by Muslim armies. At the same time, the city of Najran was Christian and became tributary to Muhammad and the Muslims. While paganism in the Sabaean sou thwest had shriveled by Late Antiquity, among Arabic frontiers. As indicated above, by the early seventh century a number of bedouin tribes on the fringes of the F ertile Crescent had been converted to Christianity. The Lakhm in the northeastern desert and the Ghassan in the northwest were Christians, the former belonging to the Nestorian and the latter to the Monophysite communion. Already by the middle of the fou rth century the Tanukh had declared themselves adherents of the Nicene creed. That the Christian faith of the bedouin tribes was profound or well – i nformed is not likely. At Hira, as we have seen, the Lakhm set up a monastery and the northwe stern tribes constructed small churches, but these were few in number. Because Arabian society was tribal, and because loyalty to the tribe was imperative for all individuals, the conversion to Christianity seems often to have been a tribal affair. We m ay suppose that when tribesmen came in close contact with Christianity they began an extended debate, some leaders declaring that only by joining the new religion could the tribesmen avoid the fires of Hell, while others believed that abandoning the old go ds would be disastrous. Once the decision to convert had been made, however, most of the tribesmen must have accepted the decision, whatever personal misgivings or fears they may have harbored.

PAGE – 11 ============
We have a first – hand account of the Christianizing of larg e crowds of Arabic bedouin in the second quarter of the fifth century. The holy man responsible for the conversion was Simeon – or Symeon – his death in 459 Simeon stayed atop hi s fifty – foot pillar in the Syrian desert, some forty miles east of Antioch, and great crowds came out to the desert to see and to receive a blessing from the (a [Even the bedouin] in many thousands, enslaved to the darkness of impiety, were enlightened by the station upon the pillar They arrived in companies, 200 in one , 300 in another, occasionally a thousand. They renounced with their shouts their traditional errors; they broke up their venerated idols in the presence of that great light; and they foreswore the ecstatic rites of Aphrodite, the demon whose service they had long accepted. They enjoyed divine religious initiation and received their law instead spoken by that holy tongue (of Symeon). Bidding farewell to ancestral customs, they renounced also the diet of the wild ass or the camel. And I myself was witnes s to these things and heard them, as they renounced their ancestral impiety and submitted to evangelic instruction. Once even I was in greatest danger: for he himself (Symeon) told them to approach to receive a priestly blessing from me, declaring they wo uld draw the greatest benefits therefrom. But, in a most savage way, they gathered at a run, and some snatched at me from in front, some from behind, others at my sides; and those a little removed, following on top of the others and reaching out with thei r hands, seized my beard, or took hold of my cloak. I would have suffocated under this enthusiastic onrush of theirs if, by his shouts, he (Symeon) had not put them all to flight. 20 If their enthusiasm continued and the bedouin received the sacrament of baptism from a Christian bishop or priest, they will indeed have become Christians, but would obviously have had a very superficial understanding of Christian doctrine. By the early seventh century Christians had translated their Bible into many tongues, but it is not likely that any translation had yet been produced in Arabic, Tham North Arabian languages. 21 Ethiopia itself and may have been intelligible to a few of the Sabaean – speaking Christians of southwest Arabia. Although Arabians who also Coptic, Greek or Syriac) had access to the scriptures, for people who spoke only Arabic none of the available versions was understandable. Among those excluded from the Christian gospel would have been most of the population in the Hijaz, both the bedouin and the inhabitants of the oasis towns. Judaism in the towns of the northern Hijaz In contrast to Christianity, Judaism was well established among the settled population of the Hijaz, and it is even possib le that most people who lived in the towns and oases had become Judaean. 22 We are especially well informed about the situation at Yathrib: the three tribes that lived in the town – the Qurayza, the Qaynuqa, and the Nadir – were all Judaean, as were sever al

146 KB – 47 Pages