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AUS OF ḲURAIẒA:

A poet belonging to the Jewish tribe of Ḳuraiẓa in Medina. When this tribe was besieged by Mohammed, the wife of Aus saved her life by embracing Islam and summoned her husband to do likewise. He refused to follow her example, improvising the following verses:

"When next we met, she bade me turn My faith to hers, but I declined: Come back, then, false one, to the fold, To Israel's law by God defined!

"By Moses and his code we live, In his commandments will we walk: Mohammed's faith is bad in sooth; 'Tis nothing but insensate talk.

"Both we and he believe our own To be the truest, straightest road: That one is right whose natal faith Doth guide him to the blest abode."

The second verse now reads, "How good is the religion of Mohammed," but such an alteration is common in antagonistic poems handed down by Moslem litterateurs. To the same poet is attributed another poem of similar character.

Bibliography:
  • Nöldeke, Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Poesie der Alten Araber, p. 76;
  • Hirschfeld, in Rev. Et. Juives, x. 25.
G. H. Hir.
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