5. Religious propaganda gives a dynasty at its
beginning another power in addition to that
of the group feeling it possessed as the result of
the number of its (supporters).
As 16 we have mentioned before, the reason for this is that religious coloring does away with mutual jealousy and envy among people who share in a group feeling, and causes concentration upon the truth. When people (who have a religious coloring) come to have the (right) insight into their affairs, nothing can withstand them, because their outlook is one and their object one of common accord. They are willing to die for (their objectives). (On the other hand,) the members of the dynasty they attack may be many times as numerous as they. But their purposes differ, in as much as they are false 17 purposes, and (the people of the worldly dynasty) come to abandon each other, since they are afraid of death. Therefore, they do not offer resistance to (the people with a religious coloring), even if they themselves are more numerous. They are overpowered by them and quickly wiped out, as a result of the luxury and humbleness existing among them, as we have mentioned before.18
This happened to the Arabs at the beginning of Islam during the Muslim conquests. The armies of the Muslims at al-Qadisiyah and at the Yarmuk numbered some 30,000 in each case, while the Persian troops at al-Qadisiyah numbered 120,000,19 and the troops of Heraclius, according to alWaqidi, 400,000.20 Neither of the two parties was able to withstand the Arabs. (The Arabs) routed them and seized what they possessed.
Another illustration is the Lamtunah (Almoravid) and Almohad dynasties. In the Maghrib, there existed many tribes equaling or surpassing them in numbers and group feeling. However, their religious organization doubled the strength of their group feeling through (their) feeling of having (the right religious) insight 21 and (their) willingness to die, as we have stated, and nothing could withstand them.
This can also be illustrated (by the situation existing at the time) when the religious coloring changes and is destroyed. The power (of the ruling dynasty) is then wiped out. Superiority exists then merely in proportion to (the existing) group feeling, without the additional (power of) religion. As a result, the dynasty is overpowered by those groups (up to this time) under its control, that are equal or superior to it in strength. It had formerly overpowered the groups that had. a stronger group feeling and were more deeply rooted in desert life, with the help of the additional power that religion had given it.
An illustration of this is the relationship of the Almohads with the Zanatah. The Zanatah were deeply rooted in the desert and more savage than the Masmudah, but the Masmudah had the religious call to follow the Mahdi. They took on (his religious) coloring. As a result, the strength of their group feeling increased many times over. Therefore, they were at first able to overpower the Zanatah and to make them their followers, even though (the Zanatah) were more strongly rooted in the desert and had a stronger group feeling than they. But (later on) when the Masmudah lost their religious coloring, the Zanatah rose up against them from every side and took their power away from them. "God has the power to execute His commands." 22