Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of by Ali Dashti, F. R. C. Bagley

By Ali Dashti, F. R. C. Bagley

Initially released in 1985. via use of the earliest resources including mental and sociological research `Ali Dashti brings out the truth of Mohammad’s management, dispels the fog of superstition which has outfitted up round him, and discusses difficulties that are hardly ever tested.

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By means of divining arrows he asked whether he should track down his father's killer or not. The prognostic was negative, which meant that Dhu’l-Khalasa advised against this course. " 24 While other primitive peoples venerated the sun and moon and stars, the Bedouin Arabs were obsessed with stones and had a custom of circumambulating them. At every halt on a journey across the desert, an Arab traveller's 31 first action was to find four stones; he would put the nicest one on the ground and walk around it, and then use the three others as supports for his cooking pot.

Up to a point this argument is justifiable. A nation's great speakers and writers respect the rules of its language in so far as they avoid modes of expression which are not generally understood {P# 50} and popularly accepted, though they may occasionally find themselves obliged to take liberties. Among the pre-Islamic Arabs, rhetoric and poetry were well developed and grammatical conventions were already established. The Qur’an, being in the belief of Moslems superior to all previous products of the rhetorical genius, must contain the fewest irregularities.

In this connection another story from the Tankis olAsnam is worth quoting; "An Arab took his camels to an idol called Sa'd to get them blessed. The camels shied away from the stone, which was stained red with the blood of sacrificed animals. ' The incident is recalled in these verses: 25 'We came to Sa'd to collect our fortunes. But Sa'd dissipated them. So we shall have nothing to do with Sa'd. Is not Sa'd just a stone on a rise in the ground? '” A similar impression of the Bedouin character emerges from study of the events of the first years of the Prophet's career at Madina.

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