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of the determination (of the people), and perhaps he will come: then these people will refuse the capitulation : thus his coming then will be superfluous and humiliating. Therefore do not write to him until they have entered into a firm engagement, and previously taken an oath under a heavy penalty, on their faith, and firmly agreed that if thou dost write to the Khalíf, and he does come to thee, and grant them security for their lives and for their property; and if he shall write them this in writing; then they shall accept it, and be willing to allow the tribute, and contribute according to that which the people of Syria have contributed. Therefore Abú-Ubaidah sent this proposal to them ; to which they agreed. So when they had done this, Abú-Ubaidah wrote to Omar, Commander of the Faithful (with whom may God rest satisfied!),-“In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate! To the servant of God, Omar, the Commander of the Faithful, from AbúUbaidah-Ibn-Al-Jirah, health be upon thee! I praise God for thee. He who is the only God! To come to the point: We have stood firm against the people of Elia, and they thought that in their procrastination there would be relief, but God never withdrew from them weakness and loss, and leanness and misery. Therefore, when they saw this, they asked that the Commander of the

Faithful should come to them, and that he should ratify the security for them, and be the writer of the treaty of peace; but we fear that if the Commander of the Faithful should come, and the people should excuse themselves, and go back from their word, then thy arrival (may God keep thee in safety !) would be superfluous and humiliating. So we have exacted from them a firm promise, secured under a great penalty by oath, that they will assuredly assent, and agree to the tribute, and pay according to that which the people of Syria have paid, and those people who have been received into capitulation, which they have also done. Therefore, if thou thinkest fit to come, then do


there be in thy coming advantage and security. So may God conduct thee, lead thee in the right way, and prosper thy affairs ! and peace be upon thee, and the mercy and blessing of God!”

Now, when this letter came to Omar, (with whom may God rest satisfied !) he summoned the chiefs of the Moslems, and read to them the letter of Abú-Ubaidah, (with whom may God rest contented !) and asked their advice regarding the affair which he had mentioned in his letter: thereupon Othman (with whom God rest contented !) said, if God has thus lowered them, and made them vile, and reduced them to difficulty; and if


he is every day augmenting their weakness, and their leanness, and their loss, and their terror; then, if thou remainest and dost not go down to them, they will see that thou makest the affair light and cheap, not regarding them of great moment; then they will delay but a little while until they give up their determination, and pay the tribute of slaves. Then said Omar, (with whom may God be content !) Are there none of you that hold an opinion besides this? Upon this said Ali-Ibn-AbúTalib, (God be content with him !) Yes, I have a different view. He said, What is that? So he said, They have made proposals wherein is humiliation and degradation to them, but to the Musalmáns victory; for it is a part of their engagement to yield up the city to us now, immediately, in peace. Between you, then, and between them, there is now nothing, but that you should go down to them; and to thee, in thus going to them, there is a reward for all your thirst and hunger, and for every valley, and for every expense, until thou come unto them. If thou goest to them now, there is peace, and security, and safety, and victory; but there is no security, if they despair of thy granting peace to them, that they will not keep fast their citadels; and their

power will be multiplied and their condition be ameliorated ; their misfortunes will accrue to the Musalmáns, and the siege will be prolonged and the Musalmáns be reduced to difficulties from the hard labour, and fainine will ensue; and perhaps the Musalmáns may be worsted by sallies from the strongholds, and the enemy may shoot at them with arrows, and cast at thein with javelins; and it may happen that some of the Moslems may die. If (therefore) you prevent the slaughter of one Musalmán by your entrance into the frontiers of the land, then the Moslems will be in a happy condition among their brethren, (i. e. if the city yield without the loss of one man, the whole brotherhood of Moslems will rejoice). Upon this said Omar, (with whom may God rest satisfied !) “ Othmán's advice is the best with regard to military tactics against an enemy; but Ali's is best with regard to the advantage of Islám. Go in the name of God Almighty! I am also going.”

So he marched out, and encamped out of Medína, and published among men his place of encampment and his expedition. Therefore AbbasIbn-Al-Mutallib collected an army from among the companions of the Prophet, (upon whom be the blessing of God and peace !) and the chiefs of the Koraish, and of the aiders (of Muhammad), (with whom may God rest satisfied !) and of the Arabians, until, when the full complement of his men was complete, he went to Medina, to seek after Ali-Ibn-Abú-Talib (with whom may God be content !). Thus they went; and Ali, with his chiefs, met the Musalmáns, and said, “Praise to God! who hath exalted us by Islám, and honoured us by the faith, and hath displayed his mercy towards us by his Prophet Muhammad, (upon whom be the blessing and peace of God !). Moreover, he conducted us from error, and reconciled us after that we had been at variance, and united our hearts, and hath thereby given us the victory over every one of our enemies, and established us in the country, and made us kindlyaffectioned brethren. Therefore, 0 ye servants of God! praise God for this benefit, and entreat of him an increase thereof, and thanksgivings thereon, and the accomplishment of that which ye proceed to undertake to-morrow! since God adds augmentation to those who seek, and fills with his favours those who render him thanksgivings.” So said they; nor did they lay aside this word every dawn and every day. And when the army drew near to Syria, he halted the soldiers until the number of those soldiers who were coming up should be complete. When, therefore, the standards upon

the spears, and the soldiers upon the horses, already drew near, the Syrian army went out to meet Omar-Ibn-Al-Khattab, (with whom may God rest content !) and he was the first,

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