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Washington Irving

“Mahomet now proceeded to execute the great object of his religious aspirations, the purifying of the sacred edifice from the symbols of idolatry, with which it was crowded. All the idols in and about it, to the number of three hundred and sixty, were thrown down and de-stroyed. Among these, the most renowned was Hobal, an idol brought from Balka, in Syria, and fabled to have the power of granting rain. It was, of course, a great object of worship among the inhabitants of the thirsty desert. There were statues of Abraham and Ishmael also, represented with divining arrows in their hands ; "an outrage on their memories," said Mahomet, "being symbols of a diabolical art which they had never prac-ticed." In reverence of their memories, therefore, these statues were demolished. There were paintings, also, depicting angels in the guise of beautiful women. " The angels," said Mahomet, indignantly, " are no such beings. There are celestial houris provided in paradise for the solace of true believers ; but angels are ministering spirits of the Most High, and of too pure a nature to admit of sex." The paintings were accordingly obliterated. Even a dove, curiously carved of wood, he broke with his own hands, and cast upon the ground, as savoring of idolatry.”


Washington Irving, Washington Irving's Life of Mohammed
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Washington Irving's Life of Mohammed Washington Irving's Life of Mohammed by Washington Irving
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