This is Umayya ibn Abi-s-Salt, a Meccan who did not accept Islam and died in 630.
The Medina pieces, whether entire suras or isolated passages interpolated in Meccan suras, are accordingly pretty broadly distinct, as to their contents, from those issued in Mecca.
Be- sides, it is a priori unlikely that a contemporary of Mahomet should have drawn up such a list; and if any one had made the attempt he would have found it almost impossible to obtain reliable information as to the order of the earlier Meccan suras.
Between these two groups stand a number of other Meccan suras, which in every respect mark the transition from the first period to the third.
Good traditions about the origin of the Meccan revelations are not very numerous.
(" The Romans are overcome in the nearest neighbouring land ") refers to the defeat of the Byzantines by the Persians, not far from Damascus, about the spring of 614, it would follow that the third group, to which this passage belongs, covers the greater part of the Meccan period.
It is the same with other allusions in the Meccan suras to occurrences whose chronology can be partially ascertained.
It is better, therefore, to rest satisfied with a merely relative determination of the order of even the three great clusters of Meccan revelations.
The suras of the third Meccan period, which form a fairly large part of our present Koran, are almost entirely prosaic. Some of the revelations are of considerable extent, and the single verses also are much longer than in the older suras.
That impression, however, is not correct, for in reality the demonstrations of these longer Meccan suras appear to have been peculiarly influential for the propagation of Islam.
The most extensive is the twelvevolume Futuhat ul-Makkiyat (" Meccan Revelations"), a general encyclopaedia of Sufic beliefs and doctrines.
2 The supremacy of the Emigrants naturally furnished the means of transition to the supremacy of the Meccan aristocracy.
- Moawiya, son of the well-known Meccan chief Abu Sofian, embraced Islam together with his father and his brother Yazid, when the Prophet conquered Mecca, and was, like them, treated with the greatest distinction.
This is the Mas'a (sacred course) between the eminences of Safa and Merwa, and has been from very early times one of the most lively bazaars and the centre of Meccan life.
The industries all centre in the pilgrimage; the chief object of every Meccan - from the notables and sheikhs, who use their influence to gain custom for the Jidda speculators in the pilgrim traffic, down to the cicerones, pilgrim brokers, lodging-house keepers, and mendicants at the holy places - being to pillage the visitor in every possible way.
The fanaticism of the Meccan is an affair of the purse; the mongrel population (for the town is by no means purely Arab) has exchanged the virtues of the Bedouin for the worst corruptions of Eastern town life, without casting off the ferocity of the desert, and it is hardly possible to find a worse certificate of character than the three parallel gashes on each cheek, called Tashrit, which are the customary mark of birth in the holy city.
The latter closes with a visit to the Ka`ba, but its essential ceremonies lie outside Mecca, at the neighbouring shrines where the old Arabs gathered before the Meccan fair.
To the ordinary pilgrim the omra has become so much an episode of the hajj that it is described by some European pilgrims as a mere visit to the mosque of Ayesha; a better conception of its original significance is got from the Meccan feast of the seventh month (Rajab), graphically described by Ibn Jubair from his observations in A.D.
The 29th of the month was the feast day of the Meccan women, when they and their little ones had the Ka'ba to themselves without the presence even of the Sheybas.
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.
`Abd el-Razzaq's report to the government of India on the pilgrimage of 1858 is specially directed to sanitary questions; C. Snouck-Hurgronje, Mekka (2 vols., and a collection of photographs, The Hague, 1888-1889), gives a description of the Meccan sanctuary and of the public and private life of the Meccans as observed by the author during a sojourn in the holy city in1884-1885and a political history of Mecca from native sources from the Hegira till 1884.