A History of Persia (Vol.2) by Percy Molesworth Sykes

By Percy Molesworth Sykes

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THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ISLAM 15 be awakened in the early dawn by the beautiful cadence of this call to prayer. In spite of the welcome The Breach with the Jews. to the Prophet and the support of his kinsmen, given he encountered not only local jealousies but the hostility of the three tribes of Jews towards the new religion. In token of his breach with these, he suddenly directed the faithful to follow his example and pray towards Mecca. This reversal of custom was upon the whole a politic stroke ; for, although it laid Mohamed open to a charge of inconsistency, it must have gratified the people of Arabia by preserving to Mecca its pre-eminence in the ceremonial of the new faith.

We read that XLVI ISLAM UNDER FIRST FOUR CALIPHS 29 " " in there were more than one thousand Companions its ranks. Organized into four divisions, with a total strength of 30,000, apart from a reserve of 6000 men marched north, and working independently eventually threatened Syria from Hebron on the west to Damascus on the east. Heraclius despatched four armies to overwhelm the detached divisions, which thereupon united on the left bank of the Yermuk, an eastern tributary of the Jordan. There the two hosts faced one another for months, withAbu Bekr in great out risking any decisive action.

Antioch, too, surren- dered after a battle fought outside its walls, and Heraclius, scarcely more than a decade after his splendid victories over Persia, withdrew from Syria, leaving Jerusalem to The Holy City of Christendom capitulated in its fate. H. 15 (636), submission. Omar and He marked arrived in person to receive this historical its event by acts of clemency and by the foundation of the mosque which bears his name to-day. H. 19-20 (640-641). the Arabs were making good their position in SouthWestern Persia before advancing on to the Iranian plateau, Amr started from Palestine to invade Egypt with a force of only 4000 men.

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