the science of Medicine. Others have able physicians among their friends. Let these therefore inquire whether there is a disease, often beginning in early youth or childhood, among the symptoms of which are some or all of the following: The patient utters a strange, inarticulate cry, falls (يُصْرَعُ) ‬1 suddenly to the ground, becomes pale, then sometimes turns purple, the body trembles violently, the mouth foams, the eyes are shut, and the sick person seems on the point of death; he often sees flashes of light and bright colours, hears a ringing in his ears, and frequently suffers after the attack from a most violent headache. He often has a distinct warning before a fit comes on.

It has been asserted that there is such a disease, and that it is not very rare. The author of these pages is not a physician, for which cause—among others—he does not venture to offer an opinion upon the subject.

We must now leave it to our readers to consider, and by God's guidance to decide, whether the facts which we have learnt about Muhammad's conduct and character are such as to lead to the conclusion that he was really and in very truth a Prophet of God. Let it never be forgotten that the statements about him which we have quoted are not those of his enemies, but those made by his friends, his relatives, and those who most firmly believed in his claim to be the Seal of the Prophets, the Apostle of God.

1 [Translators into Arabic should use this word, because (صَرْعْ) means Epilepsy.]



FROM Ibn Hisham 1 and other biographers of Muhammad we learn that, when he arose as a Prophet in Mecca in his fortieth year, he at first adopted gentle means in order to spread his religion: He called it "the Religion of Abraham", he identified his teaching with that of Zaid the Hanif, and he employed personal influence, persuasion, and argument in order to induce men to abandon idolatry and to return to the worship of God Most High (الله تعالىَ). His wife Khadijah was perhaps his first convert; the other seven who soon joined him were his slave Zaid 2 ibn Harithah, Abu Bakr, 'Uthman ibn 'Uffan, Zubair ibnu'l 'Awam, 'Abdu'r Rahman ibn 'Auf, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, and Talhah. Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham mention the names of a number of other early converts, including even the infant 'Ayishah. These were privately won over to Islam during the first three years of Muhammad's teaching. He then began to preach in public, under the protection of his uncle Abu Talib, who was not then converted. It is disputed whether he ever became a Muslim. Only sixteen converts took part in the first Hijrah to Abyssinia in the fifth year 3 of Muhammad's mission; but from time to time others followed them to the court of the Najashl, so that they finally amounted to eighty-three men, besides some

1 Siratu'r Rasul, vol. i, pp. 73-88.
2 Who thereby gained his liberty.
3 Ibn Hisham, vol. i, p. 111.