the Mussulmans should be agreed in the choice of an Imam. In that post he continued about two months. The people of the country never had any governor that they loved so well; they respected him to that degree, that in those few years that he governed them, there were more than twenty thousand children named Salem, purely out of love to his name.

This year the sect of Ali began to stir in Cufah, and sent circular letters to their friends round about the country, appointing a rendezvous in Nochailah for the next year following, intending to march into Syria to revenge the death of Hosein. The occasion was the following:-When after the death of Hosein, the Cufians came to reflect coolly upon that matter, their consciences accused them of having failed him both in honour and duty, and they thought they could make no atonement for their crime but by taking up arms to revenge his death. They therefore applied themselves to five leading men of the sect, Solyman the son of Sorad, who was one of the companions; and Mosabbib the son of Nahbah, one of the choicest of the friends of Ali; Abdallah the son of Saïd; Abdallah the son of Wali; and Refaah the son of Shadad. These all met together in Solyman's house, besides a great many others of the chief men of the sect, to whom Mosabbib made a speech, wherein he enlarged upon "the heinousness of their neglect, in having deserted Hosein after so solemn an invitation, and having received so many letters and messages from him; that they had neither assisted him with their hands, nor spoken for him with their tongues; neither supported him with their money, nor looked out for any assistance for him. What excuse would they have when they should come to appear before God, or how should they be able to look his prophet in the face, when by their means his son was killed, and his beloved with his offspring and his posterity cut off! There was, he told them, no way to atone for this but by revenging his death upon his murderers, which was no hard matter, provided they chose a proper general, one that the people would be willing to fight under." This was seconded by Refaah, who added, that as to a general, his opinion was, that they should choose the chief of the sect, a person reverenced by all for his years, dignity, piety, and

Grandson, as before.

experience, Solyman the son of Sorad. Solyman, having first made a speech suitable to the occasion, accepted the command; and when some other persons arose and made speeches to urge on the matter (for there were above a hundred of the chief men amongst them), he told them, that there was enough said already, and the next ste they ought to take should be to put what each of them designed to contribute into the hands of Abdallah the son of Wali, to be distributed amongst the poorest of the sect. The contents of Solyman's circular letter was as follows:

"In the name of the most merciful God.

"From Solyman the son of Sorad to Saïd the son of Hodaifah, and whosoever is with him of the Mussulmans; peace be to you. The present world is a mansion upon which every thing that is good turneth its back, and to which every thing that is bad draweth near, (or turneth its face ;) and treateth persons of uprightness ill. The chosen servants of God have resolved to leave it, and to sell the little of the present world that remaineth not, for the great reward that is with God and shall never fail. The friends of God, your brethren of the sect of the family of your prophet, have considered with themselves the trial they have undergone in the business of the son of the daughter of your prophet, who was called and answered, and called and was not answered; and would have returned but was detained; and asked for security but was hindered: and he let the people alone, but they would not let him alone; but dealt wrongfully by him and killed him, and then spoiled him and stripped him wickedly, despitefully, and foolishly. Nor did they act as in the sight of God, neither had they recourse to God, and they that have done evil shall know what shall be the end of their actions.* Now what your brethren have seriously considered concerning the events of that in which they formerly engaged is this. They see they have sinned in deceiving the innocent, the good; and in the delivering him up, and the omitting the healing and helping him. A great sin! from which there is no way left for escape, ncr any repentance but by killing those that killed him, or being killed themselves, and resigning their spirits upon this account. Now, therefore, Koran, passim.

your brethren are lestirring themselves in earnest, as also is your enemy; therefore do you get together all the assistance you are able. And we have fixed a time for our brethren to meet us at a place appointed. The time is the new moon of the month of the latter Rebiyah, in the sixty-fifth year, and the place where they shall meet us is Nochailah. O ye who never cease to be of our sect and our brethren! We have determined to invite you to this business which, as your brethren say, God would have them undertake, and as they show to us that they repent, so would we give you an opportunity to prove that you are persons duly qualified for the search of excellency, and the laying hold of the reward and repentance towards your Lord for your sin, though it be the cutting off your necks, and the killing your children, and the consumption of your wealth, and the destruction of your tribes and families. He [God] hath not hurt the courageous, religious men that were killed, but they are now alive with their Lord, sustained as martyrs ;* enduring (affliction) patiently, they met their Lord; they are made account of, and God hath given them the reward of good men. If it please God, persevere patiently in tribulation and affliction, and in the day of battle (God have mercy upon you!) for it is not fit that any of your brethren should persevere in any affliction in seeking his repentance, without you who are equally worthy and fit to seek the like reward by the same means; neither is it fit that any one should seek the favour


God by any means, though it were by death itself, but you should have the same privilege. For the best provision for a voyage is the fear of God in this world, and every thing besides shall perish and vanish away.' Wherefore let your souls be assured of this, and your desire be fixed upon the mansion of your safety, and the engaging in the holy war against the enemy of God and your enemy; and the enemy of the family of the daughter of your prophet, till you come before God with repentance and desire. God preserve both us and you to the happy life, and remove both us and you from hell, and grant it may be our reward to die by

It is a saying of Mohammed's.

+ The next sentence is much to the same purpose, but it is obscurely represented in the manuscript, and I have not yet found it in the Koran.


the hands of that part of mankind that is the most odious of all to him, and are his most vehement enemies. He is the most powerful over what he pleases, and disposeth of his friends according to his will. Farewell to you."

Saïd read the letter to all the people, who readily gave their assent, and despatched a very encouraging answer to Solyman and his friends.* The truth of the matter is, that the sect of Ali had been contriving this affair from the time of Hosein's death till the death of Yezid the son of Moawiyah, (which was three years, two months, and four days) and had sent privately to one another, and laid up magazines, and strengthened their party.

Six months after Yezid's death, in the midst of the month Ramadan, Al Moktar came to Cufah, and at the same time came Ibrahim, the son of Mohammed the son of Telha, to receive the tribute of Cufah for Abdallah the son of Zobeir. The sect of (Ali)† readily joined themselves to this Captain Al Moktar, who made use of the authority of Mohammed, the son of Hanifiyah, who was Ali's son, and the hope of the party. He told them he was come to them as a counsellor and trusty assistant from the son of Al Hanifiyah. This circumstance, added to their confidence in his known abilities, endeared him to them exceedingly. He made it his business to disparage Solyman, the son of Sorad, as a person by no means qualified for the trust he had undertaken; but one that would most certainly destroy both them and himself, having no manner of experience in warlike affairs. Abdallah, the son of Yezid, was then governor of Cufah, and having received information that the sect had a design to seize the city, he called a congregation, and told them "that these people pretended indeed to seek revenge for Hosein's death, but he was persuaded that that was the bottom of their designs. For his part they had no reason to fight against him who was no manner of way concerned in the matter, but had been a sufferer upon the same account. If on the other hand they would in good earnest follow up those who were guilty of the death of Hosein, he should be willing to assist them." Then turning to the people he said: "In short it was the son

MS. Laud. No. 161. A.

+ See the catalogue of Ali's children at the end of his life.

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of Ziyad that killed Hosein, and that killed the most valuable
men amongst you; and the best thing you can do is to make
preparation of war against him, who is the greatest enemy
you have in the whole creation, rather than exercise your
force upon one another, and shed each other's blood." Ibra-
him the collector rose up and bade the people not be deceived
with the governor's smooth speeches; and declared, that if
any rose up in arms they should be put to death, both father
and son, without distinction. As he was proceeding, Mosab-
bib cut him off short, and asked him, whether he pretended to
threaten or terrify them? That it was more than lay in his
power; "We have," says he, “already killed your father and
grandfather, and we hope, before you go out of this country,
to make you the third." Ibrahim threatened him with death,
when Abdallah the son of Wali stood up, and asked Ibra-
him what business he had to intermeddle between them and
their governor, telling him that he had no manner of autho-
rity over them, but that he might go about his business, and
look after his tax. The sect were wonderfully pleased with
Abdallah the son of Yezid's speech, and the people very much
offended at Ibrahim's behaviour; there were high words on
both sides till Abdallah came down and left the mosque. After-
wards the governor, being informed that Ibrahim had threat-
ened to write to Abdallah the son of Zobeir, and acquaint
him with the purports of his smooth speech to the Cufians,
made haste to pay him a visit, and swore that he meant
nothing by it, but to appease the people, and keep the peace,
to prevent their doing any further mischief.
With this ex-
cuse Ibrahim was very well satisfied; but Solyman and his
party encouraged by his public speech, and throwing off the
mask, appeared openly in arms.

At this time the Separatists who had before joined Abdallah the son of Zobeir, and assisted him whilst he was besieged in Mecca, deserted him. The case was thus Obeidollah, when governor at Bassorah, had been their implacable enemy, and exerted himself to the utmost to extirpate the whole generation of them, root and branch, from off the face of the earth. Distressed by his unmerciful persecution they took the opportunity, when Abdallah the son of Zobeir first made his appearance at Mecca, to apply to him. He, as matters then stood with him, was no less glad of their assistance than they

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