Until recently the Arab traditions were practically the only source for the pre-Islamic history of Arabia.
But the Omayyads (with one exception) were not religious men and, while preserving the outward forms of Islam, allowed full liberty to the pre-Islamic customs of the Arabs and the beliefs and practices of Christians.
He, no doubt, like al-Asma`i and Abu `Ubaida, also himself visited the areas occupied by the tribes for their camping grounds in the neighbouring desert; and adjacent to Kufa was al-IIIra, the ancient capital of the Lakhmid kings, whose court was the most celebrated centre in pre-Islamic Arabia, where, in the century before the preaching of the Prophet, poets from the whole of the northern half of the peninsula were wont to assemble.
Conversions of Copts to Islam were at first rare, and the old system of taxation was maintained for the greater part of the first Islamic century.
Towards the beginning of the 3rd Islamic century the practice of giving Egypt in fief to a governor was resumed by the caliph Mamun, who bestowed this privilege on Abdallgh b.
So long as the centre of the Islamic world was not in Egypt, the best talent was attracted elsewhere; but after the fall of Bagdad, Cairo became the chief seat of Islamic learning, and this rank, chiefly owing to the university of Azhar, it has ever since continued to maintain.
This national party lent what weight it had to the pan-Islamic agitation which arose in the summer and autumn of 1905, regardless of the fact that a pan-Islamic triumph meant the re-assertion of direct Turkish rule in Egypt and the end of the liberty the Egyptians enjoyed.
The pan-Islamic press, allowed full licence by the Cairo authorities, spread abroad rumours that the Egyptian government intended to construct fortifications in the Sinai peninsula with the design of menacing the railway, under construction by Turkey, from Damascus to Mecca.
The report was spread by pan-Islamic agents that the intention of the Egyptian government was to construct fortifications on the frontier near Akaba, to which place the Turks were building a branch railway from the Damascus-Mecca line.
In April 1907, a few days after the appearance of his report for 1906, in which the Nationalist and pan-Islamic moveResigna- ments were shown to be detrimental to the welfare of ~Jon of Egypt, Lord Cromer resigned his post of British agent Lord and consul-general.
Harith Ibn Hilliza Ul-Yashkuri, pre-Islamic Arabian poet of the tribe of Bakr, famous as the author of one of the poems generally received among the Mo 'allakat (q.v.).
But this intervention, embodied in the "Andrassy Note" (December 1875) and the Berlin memorandum (May 1876), met with the stubborn opposition of Turkey, where the "young Turks" were beginning to oppose a Pan-Islamic to the Pan-Slav ideal.
With the spread of the Pan-Islamic movement, moreover, the undefined authority of the sultan as caliph of Islam received a fresh importance even in countries beyond the borders of the Ottoman empire, while in countries formerly, or nominally still, subject to it, it caused, and promised to cause, incalculable trouble.
He therefore leaves Mecca in pilgrim garb on the 8th of Dhu'l Hijja, called the day of tarwiya (an obscure and pre-Islamic name), and, strictly speaking, should spend the night at Mina.
Similar modes of divination were practised, it would seem, among the pre-Islamic Arabs.
Polygamy is almost unknown, possibly because many of the "Turks" are descended from the austere Bogomils, who were, in most cases, converted to Islam, but more probably because the "Turks" are as a rule too poor to provide for more than one wife on the scale required by Islamic law.
Domaine geographique des confreries (Algiers, 1898), have special reference to the Islamic sects in Algeria.
In Kufa and Basra were gathered representatives of all the Arabian tribes who formed the fighting force of the Islamic Empire, and from these al-Mufaddal was able to collect and record the compositions of the poets who had celebrated the fortunes and exploits of their forefathers.
In the troubles which overtook the Islamic empire with the accession of Othman, Egypt was greatly involved, arid it had to be reconquered from the adherents of Au for Moawiya (Moawiyah) by Amr, who in A.H.
It would seem that the constant changes in the govern~nent caused the army to get out of control at an early period of the Ottoman occupation, and at the beginning of the 11th Islamic century mutinies became common; in 1013 Troubles (1604) the governor Ibrahim Pasha was murdered by a~,~rmy.thi0 the soldiers, and his head set on the Bab Zuwflla.
How little confidence can be placed in the pre-Islamic history appears very clearly from the distorted accounts of Abraha's excursion against the Hejaz, which fell but a few years before the birth of the Prophet, and is the first event in Meccan history which has confirmation from other sources.
In the eastern Hauran, there are hill-top shrines containing each a black stone, on which rugs, &c., are hung, and these seem to perpetuate features of pre-Islamic Arabian cult, including the sacrifice of animals, e.g.