Mohammed and the Rise of Islam
D. S. Margoliouth
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: MOHAMMED CHAPTER I THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE HERO AT some time in the year 594 of our era, a caravan bearing the merchandise of a wealthy woman at Meccah was safely conducted to Bostra and safely brought back with profits proportionate to the risk of the undertaking. Of the qualities necessary for the conduct of such an expedition many differ little from those required by a successful general: ability to enforce discipline, skill in evading enemies and courage in meeting them, the power to discriminate false news from true, and to penetrate into other men's designs. And when the mart has been safely reached, and the leader of the caravan or agent has to sell the goods entrusted to him so as to obtain the best return, another set of qualities are called into play; of which fidelity to his employer is the chief, but patience and shrewdness are also indispensable. The leader of the expedition to Bostra, Mohammed, the orphan son of Abdallah,then a man of twenty-five, had displayed the necessary qualities, and given satisfaction to his employer, the widow Khadijah, who was perhaps some years his senior. As a reward for his services the widow bestowed on him her hand, thereby securing for herself and for her spouse a place in history. Over the country which they made famous there lies a veil which even at the beginning of this twentieth century is only lifted at the fringe. The explorer still enters the interior at the risk of his life. Official chronicles of the vicissitudes of its governments are rarely kept; their historians are visitors, to whom curiosity or some other motive gives courage to enter the forbidden land. Religious fanaticism was introduced by Islam, as an addition to the dangers of the country; otherwise the Arabia of the twentieth century is similar to- t...
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