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year of the hegira. If two caliphs were since seen in the Mahometan empire, this division should be imputed to Abdallah's bad conduct, who did every thing that could alienate the Syrians from him, who were willing to throw themselves into his arms. Moavia H. Immediately after the death of Iesid, his son, Moavia II. had been placed on the throne of the caliphs. This prince descended from it six weeks after, to shut himself up in solitude. The day on which he published his abdication, he said to the people: Moavia I. my grandfather, wrested the sceptre of Syria from the son-in-law of the prophet, the lawful faliph, more noble, more great, and more virtuous,than Moavia, who was nothing but an usurper. My father le fid put to death Osein, theprophetisgrandson, whom he ought to have revered and served. I will not succeed to an authority so unjust, but go and weep in silence, and ask forgiveness of the prophet for the crimes committed by my family against his. The Syrians, enraged at the abdication of their caliph, vented their fury, as it is said, on the prince's preceptor, whom they accused of having inspired him with such moderate sentiments. This man was buried alive by the people. The dispossessed caliph persisted in the resolution which he had taken, and died at Damascus a short time after his abdication, the Syrians not having been willing to admit him, nor indeed would they afterward have beerrable to prevail on 'Moavia II. to .execute any of the functions of the priesthood, or
of the empire. They then turned their eyes on
the throne, which he had appeared at first to defend only for them. Mahomet and his brothers, grandsons to Oscin, (for history does not again mention his sons,) were descended in a direct line from the sounder of the Mussulman law, by Fa-* 'tima his only daughter, wife of AJi I. Such indisputable pretensions to the califate disturbed Abdallah, though the young prince, who had this apparent right, did not seem to think of it. The caliph then reigning attempted to extort from the young Mahomet an oath of fidelity, which the descendant of the prophet was too high spirited to take to any one, Abdallah immediately had all the Aliians imprisoned, giving them but a few days to submit, or to prepare to die. A great number of Mussulmen, faithful to the memory of Ali, assembled together. Their chief, called Moctar, raised the people of Mecca and several towns of Arabia. Abdallah was • compelled to negociate; and the Aliians were released from captivity the very day that Abdallah bad fixed on to demand their heads, if they persisted in refusing the oaths. This faction, strong enough to enforce respect to the descendants of the prophet, was not sufficiently so to place them on the throne: the necessity of defending Arabia against the enterprises of Abdalmalec, caliph of Syria, soon reunited all the Arabians under the authority of their caliph Abdallah, and the interests of the house of Ali gave way to the common
eause. But Abdallah's efforts only precipitated; his fall. He perished in a battle, after having lost Medina and Mecca. His generals attempted in vain to defend Irac. Abdalmalec, more valiant, or more fortunate, than aH of them, reduced to one sceptre all those who had the fame faith; and whilst the descendants of Mahomet were reduced to a private station, no more than one caliph was known, usurper of the empire' which the false prophet had sounded.
Thus far the Arabians and all the Mussulmen had made use of the money of the Greeks. The Mahometan princes had not yet struck their own coin. Abdalmalec was the first, who made use of this sovereign right: the occasion of it was as follows. In some transactions which the caliph had with the Greek emperor, respecting the bounds of the two empires, the Mussulman prince always began his dispatches with the form prescribed by his religion: There is no other God but trie God, and Mahomet is his Prophet. The Christian monarch, offended, sent word to Abdalmalec, that if he did not change this form, he, the Greek emperor, would have legends put on his coin in which Mahomet should be described by titles displeasing to his followers. The caliph immediately forbade the circulation of the Greek money in his territories, and caused drachms to be struck, of which theTArabic legend was, God is eternal. The superstitious Mussulmen complained at first
against the exposing of the holy name of God to the touch of prophane and impure hands.; but they comprehended, in the sequel, that it was for the dignity of an empire like theirs to have a particular coin. There were several wars between these two powerful states under the caliph Abdalmalec; but as we propose in this discourse to give only the history of the Mahometan religion, the origin and foundation of the Ottoman empire, it will suffice to say, that Abdalmalec took Carthage and all Africa proper; and that these conquests were not made without the shedding of much blood. Abdalmalec died, after a reign of twenty-one years more brilliant than just. More than any other caliph, he founded his power on fear and chastisements; he impoverished and depopulated the countries which he had added to the empire, and the growth which he gave this great body sensibly diminished itsfubstance and forces. Waiid i. Walid I. succeeded his father Abdalmalec without contention. It is said that this prince had, by his frequent divorces, seventy-two wives; for Mahomet, who had allowed himself an unlimited 'number, had not granted his successors more privileges in this respect than the other Mussulmen. In those times, the incontinence of Roderick, king of Spain, and the resentment of count Julian, procured the Mussulmen the most flourishing kingdom at that time in all Christendom.