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Mahomet or Mohammed


according to Deutsch, means the Predicted Messiah. (Hag. ii. 7.) It is the titular name taken by Halabi, founder of Islam. (570–632.)

Angel of. When Mahomet was transported to heaven, he says: “I saw there an angel, the most gigantic of all created beings. It had 70,000 heads, each had 70,000 faces, each face had 70,000 mouths, each mouth had 70,000 tongues, and each tongue spoke 70,000 languages; all were employed in singing God’s praises.”

⁂ This would make more than 31,000 trillion languages, and nearly five billion mouths.

Banner of. Sanjaksherif, kept in the Eyab mosque, at Constantinople.

Bible of. The Koran.

Born at Mecca, A.D. 570.

Camel (Swiftest). Adha (q.v.).

Cave. The cave in which Gabriel appeared to Mahomet was Hoiâ.

Coffin. It is said that Mahomet’s coffin, in the Hadʹgira of Mediʹna, is suspended in mid-air without any support. Many explanations have been given of this phenomenon, the one most generally received being that the coffin is of iron, placed midway between two magnets. Burckhardt visited the sacred enclosure, and found the ingenuity of science useless in this case, as the coffin is not suspended at all.

Daughter (His favourite). Fatĭma.

Died at Medĭna, Monday, June 8th, 632, age of seventy-two. The 10th of the Hedjʹrah.

Dove. Mahomet had a dove which he used to feed with wheat out of his ear. When the dove was hungry it used to light on the prophet’s shoulder, and thrust its bill into his ear to find its meal. Mahomet thus induced the Arabs to believe that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost in the semblance of a dove. (Sir Walter Raleigh: History of the World, bk. 1. pt. i. chap. vi. (See also Prideaux Life of Mahomet.)

“Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?”

Shakespeare: 1 Henry VI., i. 2.

Father. Abdall, of the tribe of Koreish. He died a little before or little after the birth of Mahomet.

Father-in-law (father of Ayesha). Abu-Bekr. He succeeded Mahomet and was the first calif.

Flight from Mecca (called the Hedjʹrah), A.D. 622. He retired to Mediʹna.

Grandfather (paternal). Abd-el-Mutallib, who adopted the orphan boy, but died in two years.

Hedjʹrah. (See above, Flight.)

Heir (adopted). Said or Zaid.

Horse. Al Borak [The Lightning]. It conveyed the prophet to the seventh heaven. (See Borak.)

“Borak was a fine-limbed, high-standing horse, strong in frame, and with a coat as glossy as marble. His colour was saffron, with one hair of gold for every three of tawny; his ears were restless and pointed like a reed; his eyes large and full of fire; his nostrils wide and steaming; he had a white star on his forehead, a neck gracefully arched, a mane soft and silky, and a thick tail that swept the ground.”—Croquemitaine, ii. 9.

Miracles. Chadin mentions several, but some say he performed no miracle. The miracle of the moon is best known.

Moon (The). Habib the Wise told Mahomet to prove his mission by cleaving the moon in two. Mahomet raised his hands towards heaven, and in a loud voice summoned the moon to do Habib’s bidding. Accordingly, it descended to the top of the Caaba (q.v.), made seven circuits, and, coming to the ‘prophet,ʹ entered his right sleeve and came out of the left. It then entered the collar of his robe, and descended to the skirt, clove itself into two plaits, one of which appeared in the east of the skies and the other in the west; and the two parts ultimately reunited and resumed their usual form.

Mother of. Amiʹna, of the tribe of Koreish. She died when Mahomet was six years old.

Pond. Just inside the gates of Paradise. It was white as milk, and he who drank thereof would never thirst again. (Al Koran.)

Revelation made when he was forty years old by Gabriel, on Mount Hora, in Mecca.

Standard. Bajʹura.

Stepping-stone. The stone upon which the prophet placed his foot when he mounted the beast Al Borak on his ascent to heaven. It rose as the beast rose, but Mahomet, putting his hand upon it, forbade it to follow him, whereupon it remained suspended in mid-air, where the true believer, if he has faith enough, may still behold it.

Swords. Dhuʹl Fakar (the trenchant), Al Battar (the beater), Medham (the keen), and Hatef (the deadly). (See Swords.)

Successor. (See above, Father-in-law.)

Tribe. On both sides, the Koreish.

Uncle, who took charge of Mahomet at the death of his grandfather, Abu Talebʹ.

Wives. Ten in number, viz. (1) Kadidja, a rich widow of the tribe of Koreish, who had been twice married already, and was forty years of age. For twenty-five years she was his only wife, but at her death he married nine others, all of whom survived him.

Mahomet loved Mary, a Coptic girl, and in order to justify the amour, added a new chapter to the Koran, which may be found in Gagnier’s Notes upon Abulfeda, p. 151.

The nine wives. (1) Ayesha, daughter of Abu Bekr, only nine years old on her wedding-day. This was his youngest and favourite wife.

(2) Sauda, widow of Sokran, and nurse to his daughter Fatʹima.

(3) Hafsa, a widow twenty-eight years old, who also had a son. She was daughter of Omeya.

(4) Zoinab, wife of Zaid, but divorced in order that the prophet might take her to wife.

(5) Barra, wife of a young Arab and daughter of Al Hareth, chief of an Arab tribe. Both father and husband were slain in a battle with Mahomet. She was a captive.

(6) Rehana, daughter of Simeon, and a Jewish captive.

(7) Safiʹya, the espoused wife of Kenaʹna. Kenaʹna was put to death. Safiya outlived the prophet forty years.

(8) Omm Habiʹba — i.e. mother of Habiba; the widow of Abu Sofʹian.

(9) Maimuʹna, fifty-one years old, and a widow, who survived all his other wives.

Also ten or fifteen concubines, chief of whom was Mariʹyeh, mother of Ibrahim, the prophet’s son, who died when fifteen months old.

Year of Deputations. A. D. 630, the 8th of the Hedjʹrah.


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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