Mohammed (571631)

Mohammed, great prophet of the Arabs, and founder of Islamism, born at Mecca, the son of Abdallah, of the tribe of the Koreish; left an orphan, brought up by his uncle Abu Taleb; became steward to a rich widow Kadijah (q.v.) whom he married; was given to serious meditation, would retire into solitude and pray, and one day, by the favour of Heaven, got answer which left him “in doubt and darkness no longer, but saw it all,” saw into the vanity of all that was not God, that He alone was great, inconceivably great; that it was with Him alone we had to do, we must all submit to Him; this revelation made to him he imparted to Kadijah, and after a time she assented, and his heart leaped for joy; he spoke or his doctrine to this man and that, but made slow progress in persuading others to believe it; made only 13 converts in 3 years; his preaching gave offence to the chief people, and his relatives tried hard to persuade him to hold his peace, but he would not; after 13 years a conspiracy was formed to take his life, and he fled, through peril after peril, to Medina, in his fifty-third year, and in 622 of our era; his enemies had taken up the sword against him, and he now replied with the same weapon, and in 10 years he prevailed; it was a war against idolatry in all its forms, and idolatry was driven to the wall, the motto on his banner “God is Great,” a motto with a depth of meaning greater than the Mohammedan world, and perhaps the Christian, has yet realised; it is for one thing a protest on the part of Mohammed, in which the Hebrew prophets forestalled him, against all attempts to understand the Deity and fathom “His ways, which are ever in the deep, and whose footsteps are not known” (571631).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Moffat, Robert * Mohammedanism
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