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Of MAHO METANISM, or the LIFE, RELIGION, and POLITY of MAHOMET and bis Followers.


AHOMET (or, according to Mahomet's the true Pronunciation, Moham- Birth. med,) was born at Mecca a City of Arabia; he was of the Tribe of the Korafhites, which was reckon'd the nobleft in all that Country, and was defcended in a direct Line of Primogeniture from Pher Koraish, the first Founder of it. His Father's Name was Abdollah, and the Name of his Mother Amena. His Birth was in the Month of May in the Year of Christ 571.

THOUGH he was of fo noble a Defcent, yet Mean at the in the beginning of his Life he was in a very Beginning. poor and defpicable Condition. For his Father dying before he was two Years old, all the Power and Wealth of his Family devolv❜d to his Uncles, efpecially to Abu Taleb, who afterwards bore the chief Sway in Mecca, and by whose Protection he afterwards broach'd his Impofture, and was fupported against all Oppofers.

He lived with his Mother till he was eight How be came Years of Age, when the dying, his Grandfather to rife. took him; but he alfo dying in a Year after, Mabomet was committed to the Care of his aforefaid Uncle Abu Taleb, who being a very great



A fictitious Prediction concerning him

He marries
bis Wife
Cadigha, and

Merchant, brought his Nephew up in the Affairs of Merchandise, and fent him with his Camels to Syria.

BUT while he attended his Uncle's Factors in the public Market-place at Boftra, Mahometan Authors fay that a learned Monk there perceiv'd a kind of Luftre fhining upon his Face, and from thence conjectured, and began to predict that Mahomet fhould be a Prophet; but this is a grofs Fiction, he not being acquainted with that Monk till many Years after.

He continued with his Uncle till 25 Years of Age, when one of the chief Men of the City becomes great. dying, he left his Stock, which was very confiderable, to his Widow Cadigha, who invited Mahomet to be her Factor, and married him in the 28th Year of his Age. By this means being equal in Wealth to the greatest Man in the City, his Ambition made him afpire to the Sovereignty which his Ancestors had enjoy'd, and of which he himself had been only depriv'd by being left an Orphan.

Follows Merchandife.

Projects the

Scheme of a
New Religion.

Zendicifm, what.

His trading into Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, made him well acquainted both with Chriftians and Jews; and perceiving that each of them were divided into feveral Sects, he concluded nothing would be more likely to raise him a Party, and aggrandize him, than the advancing of a new Religion.

AND for fuch a Change he judg'd the Citizens of Mecca might be well difpos'd, because their Traffic and frequent Converfe with the Christians had taken them very much off from their grofs Idolatry, which they had hitherto been addicted to: But at this time were fallen from Heathenifm into Zendicifm, an Error near a-kin to Sadducifm among the Jews; as denying Providence, the Refurrection, and a future State.


He therefore betook himself to frame fuch a He draws up Religion as might best go down with them, and a Scheme of bis Imposture, fo drew up a Scheme of that Imposture he afterwards deluded them with, which being a Medley of Judaism, the Herefies of the Eastern Chriftians, and the old Pagan Rites of the Arabs, with an Indulgence to all fenfual Delights, it did too well anfwer his Design, in drawing Men of all Sorts to the embracing of it.

BUT that he might not immediately turn He previous Preacher againft that Idolatry which he had leads an Evepractised with others, and set up for a Reformer, mitical Life. and take upon him the Character of a Prophet, (fince he was known to lead an ill Life,) without fome previous Change; in the 38th Year of his Age he began to affect an Eremitical Life, and withdrew every Morning to a folitary Cave near the City, where he pretended to spend his Time in Fafting, Prayer and Meditation: And there it is fuppofed he had his Confults with those who help'd him to frame his Alcoran.

His first Attempt was to draw his Wife into He declares a Belief of his Impofture, and in order to this himself Prowhen he return'd at Night from the Cave, he phet, and first used to tell her of Vifions that he had feen, and attempts to profelyte his Strange Voices which he had heard in his Retire- Wife. ment. But when she rejected these Stories as his own vain Fancies, or elfe Delufions of the Devil, he farther pretended a Converse with the Angel Gabriel; which fhe being as backward to believe as the other, he was obliged to fuborn a fugitive Monk (he kept then in his House) to practife with her, who accordingly did fo, and at last he brought her to be perfuaded of the Truth of all her Husband told her; and also that he really was call'd to the Prophetic Office; and thus became his firft Profelyte in this Imposture.

He propagates


HAVING thus liv'd retir'd two Years, he had bis Delufions gain'd, as he thought, a fufficient Reputation of Santity for his Design, and in the 40th Year of his Age he began to take on himself the Title of the Apostle of God, and began to propagate his Delufions, but privately for the first four Years, and only among fuch as he had most Confidence in.

His firft Profelytes.

Begins to propagate his Impofture openly.

His first Profelyte was Cadigba his Wife (as has been faid) his fecond was his Slave Zayd Ebu Hareth, and the third his Coufin Ali, Son of his Uncle Abu Taleb. He tempted his Servant Zayd by promising him his Freedom, and upon his receiving his Religion, he accordingly manumifed him. And from hence it became a Law among the Mahometans ever fince, to make their Slaves free, whenever they receive their Religion.

BESIDES thefe, he having profelyted eight or nine more of the principal Men of the City, began openly to publifh his Impofture to the People of Mecca, in the 44th Year of his Age; and publickly declar'd himself to be a Prophet fent from God to reduce them from the Error of Paganism, and to teach them the true Religion.

His crafty He faid, his Religion was not a new one, but way of infinu- that old one which God first gave to Adam; and ating the jame. when loft in the Corruption of the old World,

reftor'd it again by Revelation to Abraham, who taught it his Son Ifmael their Fore-father; and that he, when he first planted himself in Arabia, inftructed Men in the fame Religion which he had receiv'd from Abraham. But their Pofterity afterwards corrupted it into Idolatry, and therefore God had now fent him to destroy this Idolatry, and again to restore the Religion of their Patriarch Ifmael. Therefore according to his own Account the Jews do not improperly call his pretended Religion Ifmaelifm.


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