whatever is made of the duty of taking up arms for the spread of the faith, or even in self-defence. But after the Hijrah, when many of the people of Medina had become his "Helpers," he in the first place gave permission to his "Companions" to fight for the protection of their own lives. Ibn Hisham 1 observes that this permission was for the first time given in these verses "It is permitted to those who fight because they are treated wrongfully ... those who have been expelled from their dwellings unjustly, merely because they say, ‘Our Lord is God’" (Surah XXII., Al Hajj, 40, 41). After a time, when victory had attended Muhammad's arms on several plundering expeditions directed against the caravans belonging to the Quraish, this permission was turned into a command. Accordingly we read in Surah II., Al Baqarah, 212, 214: "War is fated for you, although it is hateful to you. ... They ask thee concerning the month in which war is prohibited. Say thou: War in it is a serious matter, and so is hindering from the way of God, and unbelief in Him and in the Sacred Mosque; and the expulsion of His people from it is more serious in God's sight, and rebellion is worse than slaughter.'' This means that the Muslims were bidden to fight, even during the time when war was forbidden by the unwritten law of the Arabs, and not permit their enemies to

1 Siratu'r Rasul, vol. i, p. 164, on the authority of 'Urwah and others.

hinder them from having access to the Ka'bah. Thirdly, when, in the sixth year of the Hijrah, the Muslims had overcome the Banu Quraidhah and certain other Jewish tribes, the command to engage in the Holy War, or Jihad, became still sterner; for in Surah V., Al Maidah, 37, it is written "Verily the punishment of those who fight against God and His Apostle and strive to do evil in the land is that they be slain, or be crucified, or have their hands and their feet cut off on opposite sides, or be expelled from the land: that is a punishment for them in the world, and for them in the next life is reserved great torment." It may be observed that the Commentators explain that this decree refers to the treatment to be inflicted on idolaters, not on Jews and Christians. But the conduct which Muslims should observe towards the "People of the Book," was prescribed some years later, shortly before Muhammad's death, in the eleventh year of the Hijrah. Then the fourth stage is reached in Surah IX., At Taubah, 5 and 29 — probably the latest in date of all the Surahs of the Qur'an — where it is commanded that, after the conclusion of the four Sacred Months of that year, the Muslims should recommence the war. The command in these verses runs thus: "Accordingly when the Sacred Months are past, then slay the Polytheists wherever ye find them, and take them and besiege them and lay wait for them with every ambuscade. If therefore they repent and raise the