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first wife, while 'Ubaidu'llah the third was his 1 cousin, and the fourth, Zaid bin 'Amr, after being expelled from Mecca, resided for many years upon Mount Hira, whither Muhammad used, during his early years of married life, to retire every year for some weeks of prayer and meditation,2—we are naturally led to conclude that these Hanifs, earnest and truth-seeking men as they were, must have exercised a very great influence upon the mind of the future 'Prophet.'

This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that, as Ibn Ishaq3 tells us, Muhammad, while believing himself forbidden to pray for his own mother, yet, when asked by a female relative of Zaid whether she might pray for the latter after his death, answered, "Yes, for he will be raised as a distinct religious community at the Resurrection-Day." Muhammad married Umm Habibah, 'Ubaidu'llah's widow.4 In the Qur'an he not only uses the title Hanif as a word of praise, but speaks of Abraham by this appellation; 5 and he taught his people that the religion he founded was the Religion6 of

1 Muir, ut sup., p. 34. Both statements follow from the genealogy of these men as given by Ibn Hisham, Pt. I., p. 76.
2 Muir, p. 35; Koelle, "Mohammed and Mohammedanism," p. 26, &c. &c.
3 "Siratu'r Rasul," Pt. I., p. 77.
4 Ibid.
5 Surah xvi. 121[120]; Surah iv. 124[125]; &c.
6 Surah iv. 124[125]; iii. 89; vi. 162.

Abraham, the very faith which the Hanifs had determined to seek until they found it. The fact that he thus adopted the chosen appellation of these reformers is very significant, and shows how much he felt himself indebted to them for the first impulse1 which urged him to endeavour to reform the faith of his nation, and to bring them back to that religious unity without which they could not become so politically united together as to preserve 2 that independence which has always been so dear to the heart of every true child of the deserts of Arabia.

§ 7.—In endeavouring to eliminate from the religion of his fellow-countrymen all unworthy

and Jews.

accretions, however, Muhammad doubtless found that he had undertaken no easy task. Even when a Reformer strives to induce people to give up what is contrary to the express teaching of their Holy Books, he does not find them in most cases at all ready to do so. But the Arabs in general had no Scriptures which all were agreed to revere. The

1 Cf. Koelle, op. cit., pp. 47, sqq.
2 Ibn Ishaq (Siratu'r Rasul, Egypt. ed., Pt. I., pp. 145, 146) tells us that, after the death of Khadijah, Abu Talib summoned the chiefs of the Quraish and Muhammad to an interview, with a view to an amicable agreement, and Muhammad then told them that by embracing the faith which he taught they would not only gain their freedom, but would rule all the rest of the Arabs and the Persians also:—
فقال رسول الله صلعم نعم يا عم كلمة يعطو فيها تملكون بها العرب وتدين لكم بها العجم‫.

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