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Hudhail1 bin Madrakah, of the same family as Muhammad himself. This man lived only fifteen generations before the "Prophet." There must have been a strong feeling among the Arabs therefore that idolatry was wrong, and that it was an innovation which was directly contrary to the faith of those ancestors2 of whom they were so proud. This being the case, and remembering that the worship of the One True GOD had never entirely ceased in the country, we are now able to understand how "Muhammad3 could come forward in the name of the supreme GOD of the nation, the GOD of Abraham, Who had been merely cast into the background by the overgrowth of local cults. In this respect the appearance of Muhammad may be compared with the efforts 

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they held, and they exchanged the religion of Abraham and of Ishmael for another. Then they worshipped idols, and turned to the same wandering from the right way as did the nations before them."
1 Ibn Hisham, p. 28.
2 This of course rendered the influence of the Jews—of which we shall speak further on—very powerful. In fact, it is difficult to exaggerate the degree to which the maintenance of a belief in Monotheism in Arabia before Muhammad's time is due to that of the various Jewish tribes in the country. Muhammad also doubtless felt confirmed in his Monotheism through their teaching, even if we do not attribute to the Jews the credit of having taught the "Prophet" this important truth.
3 Grau, ut supra, pp: 137, 138.

the Old Testament Prophets, when they rendered Jehovah, Who was still remembered in Israel, a living power, in opposition to the prevailing idolatry. As the work of Moses, however, would be historically unintelligible without presupposing a Religion of Abraham, or the labours of Elijah without the presupposition of the revelation at Sinai,—so also would the establishment of Islam be without the hypothesis of a monotheistic basis." Whatever credit therefore may be justly due to Muhammad for firmly re-establishing the worship of One GOD in Arabia, we cannot regard him as having introduced Monotheism into the country for the first time.

§ 5.—An examination of the religious rites and ceremonies of the pre-Islamic Arabs is also

Origin of
Islamic Rites.

important as an evidence of the great indebtedness which Muhammadanism acknowledges to them. Most of the rites and ceremonies which form as it were the outward expression or the garb of Islam at the present day were practised in the country from time immemorial. The Arabic historian Abu'1 Fida, treating of this subject, well says,1

1 "Hist. Ante-Islamica," Fleischer's ed., p. 180:
كانت الجاهليّة تفعل اشياء جأت شريعة الاسلام بها فكانوا لا ينكحون الامّهات والبنات وكان اقبح شئ عندهم الجمع بين الاختين وكانوا يعيبون المتزوّج بامرأة ابيهِ ويسمّونهُ الضيزن وكانوا يحجّون البيت ويعتمرون ويُحْرِمون ويطوفون ويسعون ويقفون المواقف كلّها ويرمون الجمار وكالوا يكبسون فى كُلّ ثلث
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