34.8 False Prophets
Now the whole peninsula was at peace under the rule of the Messenger. Its tribes and clans were at last united in a coherent whole. In the rule of Mohamed they found an impartial justice, and secure freedom that they had never attained before alone or under Persian or Roman rule. He asked for no temporal power or territory; all he asked was that they realize that Allah is One. Once they grasped this concept he let them rule themselves in their own lands in peace, provided it was according to the justice, brotherhood, and benevolence that Islam decreed.
Some people from the tribes were still unable to grasp the greatness of what had happened to the Arabs, and still thought in terms of temporal power and influence. They resented that a man from Quraysh should have power over them. Why not a man from their own tribe? Then they too would have the pride and glory of a prophet to boast of before all the Arabs. They could not defeat Mohamed by the force of arms nor could they defeat him by their decadent superstitions and idol worship, for Mohamed had put an end to the worship of idols once and forever. So they began to produce prophets of their own. These would-be prophets did not dare attack Mohamed or the Koran, but simply said that they also received messages from heaven. Most of them, so long as Mohamed was alive, kept their pretensions secret. Mohamed paid little attention to these prophets and concentrated all his efforts on assembling an army to counteract Roman troop movements.
One of these pretenders was a little ugly creature called Musaylima, so ugly that his tribe would not take him with them to meet the Prophet in the Year of the Delegations. This Musaylima sent Mohamed a message saying that half the land belonged to Quraysh and half of it belonged to his tribe, but that Quraysh were unfair. Mohamed wrote in reply,
"The land belongs to Allah. He makes heir to it whom He will of His righteous slaves, and peace unto those who follow guidance."
Another such prophet appeared in Yemen and was killed by his own people after his behavior proved him to be a liar.