be a Prophet and a Messenger from God, it must be proved, either (1) that He was the first of all men to teach the great truths of the Unity of God, the difference between good and evil, the guilt of sin, the happiness or misery of the After-life, or (2) that his teaching on these and other points was so vastly superior to that given by earlier prophets that it was unquestionably the result of a fresh Divine Revelation. But it is well known that all the truths to which we have referred had been already taught in many parts of the world, and even in Arabia itself, centuries before Muhammad's birth. The Unity of God is not only taught in both the Old Testament and the New, but it is the very foundation of Judaism as well as of Christianity. All the other truths which we have mentioned are also found in the Bible. That God is the Maker of Heaven and Earth was inculcated even by King Darius of Persia, in the inscriptions which he left upon the rocks of Bisitun and Istakhr, engraved about 500 years before the Christian era and more than a thousand years before Muhammad's birth. Had Muhammad taught only this one great doctrine for the first time, he would indeed most justly be admitted to be a prophet: but it was not so. Even before his birth the Arabs believed in God Most High (Allah Ta'ala'— الله تعالىََ). The Ka'bah at Mecca was known as the House of God (بيت الله), and the very word Allah, including as it does the definite article, taught the Divine Unity. Even the name of Muhammad's father, 'Abdu'llah (عبد الله),who died before his son's birth, contains God's Name and proves belief, in His Unity. It is admitted that in the "Times of Ignorance" other deities of inferior rank were worshipped as intercessors with God Most High, and were in this sense considered as His Partners: yet even among the heathen Arabs Monotheism had not entirely died out then. If it had done so, Muhammad might have learned it from the Jews and Christians who then dwelt in Arabia. Moreover, before professing to be a Prophet, Muhammad


had at least twice visited Syria, where he met and conversed with the people, almost all of whom then professed Christianity. His first recorded visit to Syria took place with his uncle Abu Talib when he was about nine years old; the second with Maisirah, a slave of Khadijah, when at the age of twenty-five. Even among his relatives and personal friends there were men who were or had been Jews or Christians, to say nothing of his Coptic slave-girl Mary. For instance, Waraqah ibn Naufal, one of the Hanifs, became a Christian, and was acquainted 1 with both the Torah and the Injil. Another of them, 'Uthman ibn Huwairith, also received baptism at Caesar's court in Constantinople. Waraqah and 'Uthman, as we learn from the genealogies which Ibn Hisham 2 gives, were Khadijah's cousins. Another Hanif, 'Ubaidu'llah ibn Jahsh, became a Muslim and went to Abyssinia, but there he became a Christian. When he died, Muhammad married his widow, Umm Habibah. Regarding Salman the Persian, who was one of the Ashab, some say that he was originally a Christian of Mesopotamia, and became a Zoroastrian when carried captive to Persia. The more probable opinion is that he was a Persian and a Zoroastrian by birth, but became a Christian in Syria. He then came to Arabia, became a Muslim and a close personal friend of Muhammad. He persuaded the latter to use a catapult in his attack upon Ta'if, and to dig a ditch round Medinah to protect it from the attack of the Quraish and their allies in A. H. 5. This is Ibn Hisham's account. Regarding 'Abdu'llah ibn Salam, we learn from Ibn Ishaq 3 that he was a learned Jewish Rabbi (حِبر) before he became a Muslim. 'Abbasi and the two Jalals in their commentaries tell us that this is the man referred to in Surah xlvi. 9, as a "witness" to the asserted agreement between the Qur'an and the Jewish Scriptures.

1 Siratu'r Rasul, vol. i, pp. 81, 82.
2 Ibid., vol. i, pp. 63, 76, &c.
3 Ibid., vol. i, p. 184. See also the Rauzatu'l Ahbab.