MOSAYLIMA (Little Moslem), one of the most important rivals of Mohammed, belong ed to the clan Dal, a division of the tribe of the Bani Hanifah, of Yamdma in Nedjed. The traditions about his life and age are extremely contradictory and legendary. It appears, however, tolerably certain that he had risen to a certain eminence in his tribe, probably as a religious teacher only at first, before Mohammed assumed his prophetical office. The name lie was known by among his friends was Rahman, the Benignant or Merciful; a term which Mohammed adopted as a designation of God himself. This wold, which is Aramaic, was a common divine epithet among the Jews, from whom took it, together with a vast bulk of dogmas, and ceremonies, and legends. If, however, Mosaylima, as is supposed by some, assumed that natne in the meaning of Messiah, Savior, it would prove that he had anticipated Mohammed in the apostleship, which is commonly denied. It was in the ninth year of the Hedjrah that Mosaylima, at the head of an embassy sent by his tribe, appeared before Mohammed, in order to settle certain points of dispute. The traditions are very contradictory on the circum stance whether or not Mosaylima was then already the recognized spiritual leader of his tribe. When they were introduced to Mohammed in the mosque, they greeted him with the orthodox salutation of Moslems—viz., "Simian). alayk" (Peace upon thee), and after a brief parley, recited the confession of faith. Shortly after this event, Mosaylima openly professed himself to be a prophet, as well as Mohammed. The latter seat a messenger to him, as soon as he heard of this, to request him to reiterate publicly his profession of Islam. Mosayiima's answer was a request that Mohammed should share his power with him. "From Mosaylima, the apostle of God," lie wrote, according to Abdufeda, "to Mohammed, the apostle of God. Now let the earth be half mine, and half thine." Mohammed speedily replied: "From Mohammed, the apostle of God, to Mosaylima, the liar. The earth is God's: he giveth the same for inheritance unto such of his servants as he pleases, and the happy issue shall attend those who fear him." Yet notwithstanding these testimonies, of probably late dates, it seems, on the other hand, perfectly certain that Mohammed made very great concessions to his rival—con cessions that point to his having secretly nominated Mosaylima his successor, and that he by this means bought Mosaylima's open allegiance during his lifetime. It was not a question of dogmas, though they each had special revelations, but a question of suprem acy, which was thus settled amicably. "Mohammed," Mosaylima said, appointed by God to settle the principal points of faith, and I to supplement them." He further had a revelation, in accordance with Mohammed's: "We have sent to every nation its own prophet," to the effect: "We have given unto thee [Mosaylima] a number of people; keep them to thyself, and advance. But be cautious, and desire not too much; and do not enter into rival fights." When Mohammed was at the point of death, he desired to write his will. Whatever he may have wished to ordain, is uncertain; it is well known, at all events, that his friends did not obey his order, and refused to furnish him with writing materials, very probably because they did not like to be bound by his last injunctions. Sprenger sup poses that he wished formally to appoint Mosaylima his successor, and that it was just this which his surrounding relations feared. Mosaylima then openly declared against
Islam. and many parodies of the Koran sprang up in the Nedjed, ascribed to him. In the 11th year of the Hedjrah, it at last came to an open breach between the two rival powers. Abn Bekr, the caliph, sent Khalid, "the sword of the faith," with a number of choice troops, to compel Mosaylima to submission. Mosaylima awaited the enemy at Rowdah, a village in the Wadi Hanifah. S9 formidable indeed was Mosaylima's force, that Walid is raid to have hesitated for a whole day and night before he undertook an assault unanimously disapproved of by his council. On the second morning, however. he advanced, and in a battle which lasted until the evening, contrived, with fearful losses of his own, to gain the victory. Mosaylima fell by the hands of a negro slave, and his head was cut off by the conqueror, and placed at the head of a spear, to convince Intim friends and foes of Ida death. then advanced to the slain prophet's birth place, in order to slay all its inhabitants., They, however, by a clever. stratagem con trived to conclude, an honorable peace, but' had to embraCe' Islam. The Mosleymian "heresy" was thus stamped out, and only a few scattered remnants of the new faith contrived to escape to Hasa and Basrah, where they may have laid the foundation of the later Karmathian creed.
It is extremely difficult to come to any clear notion of Mostlylima's real doctrines, as all the accounts that have survived of them come from victorious adversaries—adversaries who have not hesitated to invent the most scandalous stories about him. Thus, a love adventure between Mosaylima and the prophetess Sajah, the wife of a soothsayer of Yamiinm, who is supposed to have stayed three days in his tent, is told with great minuteness, even to the obscene conversation that is supposed to have taken place between them during that time; the fact being that this story, which is still told with much relish by the natives, is without the slightest foundation. From the same source, we learn that Mosaylima tried to deceive his followers by conjuring-tricks. It seems, on the contrary, that Mosaylima was of much higher moral standing than Mohammed himself. Thus, he is said to have enjoined the highest chastity even among married peo ple: unless there was hope of begetting children, there should be restriction of conjugal duty. Even the nickname, "Little Moslem," given to him seems to indicate that he, too, preached the unity of God, or Islam, as the fundamental doctrine of faith. How far his religion had a socialist tendency, and offered less show of dignity and outward morality to its followers, or whether it rejected fatalism, contained an idea of incarna tion, and invested its preachers and teachers with a semi-mediatorial character, as the latest explorer of the Nedjed, Mr. Palgrave, tells us we have no means of judging. But we must receive these conclusions, probably drawn from the information of the natives, with all the greater caution, as that story of the prophetess Sayth, whom he reports, after his informants, not only to have been properly married to Mosaylima, but to have, after his death, become a devout partisan of Islam, and to have entered an "orthodox alli ance," does not, as we said before, deserve the slightest credence.