Mahomet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about Mahomet.
found in the earlier part of the Kuran:  “When the seas shall be commingled, when the seas shall boil, then shall man tremble before his creator.”  “By the swollen sea, verily a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent.”  In every natural manifestation that struck Mahomet’s imagination in these early days, God appeared to him as the sovereign of power, as terrible and as remote as He was in the lightnings on Sinai.  What wonder, then, that when the call came to him to take up his mission it became a command to “arise and warn”?

The chroniclers would have us believe that his contact with Christianity was more important than his communion with Nature.  Most of the legends surrounding his relations with Christian Syria may be safely accepted as later additions, but it is certain that he paid some attention to the religion of those people through whose country he passed.  A Syrian monk is said to have seen Mahomet sitting beneath a tree, and to have hailed him as a prophet; there is even a traditional account of an interview with Nestorius, but this must be set aside at once as pure fiction.

The kernel of these legends seems to be the desire to show that Mahomet had studied Christianity, and was not imposing a new religion without having considered the potentialities of those already existing.  However that may be, Christianity certainly interested Mahomet, and must have influenced him towards the monotheistic idea.  The Arabians themselves were not entirely ignorant of it; they witnessed the worship of one God by the Jews and Christians on the borders of their territory, and although it is a very debatable point how far the idea of one God had progressed in Arabia when Mahomet began his mission, it may fairly be accepted that dissatisfaction with the old tribal gods was not wanting.  Mahomet saw the countries through which he passed in a state of religious flux, and heard around him diverse creeds, detecting doubtless an undercurrent of unrest and a desire for some religion of more compelling power.

With the single slave he reached Bostra in safety with the merchandise, and having concluded his barter very successfully, and retaining in his mind many impressions of that crowded city, returned to Mecca by the same desert route.  Meisara, the slave, relates (in what is doubtless a later addition) of the fierce noonday heat that beset the travellers, and how, when Mahomet was almost exhausted, two angels sat on his camel and protected him with their wings.  When they reached Mecca, Khadijah sold the merchandise and found her wealth doubled, so careful had Mahomet been to ensure the prosperity of his client, and before long love grew up in her heart for this tall, grave youth, who was faithful in small things as well as in great.

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Mahomet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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