George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource (1734)

The Preliminary Discourse.

Bect 1. Besides, had Mohammed accepted it as a present, the orphans were in circumstances sufficient to have afforded it; for they were of a very good family, of the tribe of Najjâr, one of the most illustrious among the Arabs, and not the sons of a carpenter, as Dr. Prideaux’s author writes, who took the word Najjâr, which signifies a carpenter, for an appellative, whereas it is a proper name 2.

He makes reprisals on the Koreish.
Mohammed being securely settled at Medina, and able not only to defend himself against the insults of his enemies, but to attack them, began to send out small parties to make reprisals on the Koreish; the first party consisting of no more than nine men, who intercepted and plundered a caravan belonging to that tribe, and in the action took two prisoners. But what established his affairs very much, and was the foundation on which he built all his succeeding greatness, was the gaining of the battle of Bedr, which was fought in the second year of the Hejra, and is so famous in the Mohammedan history 3. As my design is not to write the life of Mohammed, but only to describe the manner in which he carried on his enterprize, I shall not enter into any detail of his subsequent battles and expeditions, which amounted to a considerable number. Some reckon no less than twenty seven expeditions wherein Mohammed was personally present, in nine of which he gave battle, besides several other expeditions in which he was not present 4: some of them however will be necessarily taken notice of in explaining several passages of the Korân. His forces he maintained partly by the contributions of his followers for this purpose, which he called by the name of Zacât or alms, and the paying of which he very artfully made one main article of his religion; and partly by ordering a fifth part of the plunder to be brought into the public treasury for that purpose, in which matter he likewise pretended to act by the divine direction.

And at length concludes a truce with them for ten years.
In a few years by the success of his arms (notwithstanding he sometimes came off by the worst) he considerably raised his credit and power. In the sixth year of the Hejra he set out with 1400 men to visit the temple of Mecca, not with any intent of committing hostilities; but in a peaceable manner. However when he came to al Hodeibiya, which is situate partly within and partly without the sacred territory, the Koreish sent to let him know that they would not permit him to enter Mecca, unless he forced his way; whereupon he called his troops about him, and they all took a solemn oath of fealty or

1 Ahmed Ebn Yusef.

2 V. Gagnier, Not. in Abulfed. de Vita Moh. p. 52, 53.

3 See the notes on the Korân, chap. 3. p. 36.

4 V. Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 158.

Cite this page

George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource, C. Ackers in St. John’s-Street, for J. Wilcon at Virgil’s Head overagainst the New Church in the Strand., Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 25 May. 2024: http://quran-archive.org/explorer/george-sale/1734?page=71