Page 1097

1097 MOHAMMEDAN ASCENDENCY.-CAREER OF THE PROPHET. 1097

Mohammed and Kadijah took a certain Jew, or, as

some say, a monk, named Waraka, into their confidence, and told him all that had occurred. Thereupon the holy man said: "I swear by Him in whose hands Waraka's life is, that God has chosen thee to be the

Prophet of this people." Such was the commission of Mohammed, the beginning of his prophetic office.

For more than twenty years

revelations continued to be

given by Gabriel, as circumstances seemed to require. No

one ever saw the celestial visitant but the Prophet himself, he was his own interpreter.

What Gabriel told him in the

grotto he repeated to Kadijah

or other believers; and these

revelations, gathered together

by his followers after his death,

constitute the Book Al Koran,

the Bible of Islam.

Having persuaded himself

of the truth of his visions,

Mohammed began proclaiming

his mission to the Arabs. His

first converts were those of

his own household. From this

nucleus his doctrines leavened

the surrounding neighborhood.

Finally the tribe of Hashem

was called together in council.

Before the assembly the

Prophet stood up and explained his purpose and the

principles of the new faith.

There was much contrariety

of opinions among the Hashemites. The Prophet's uncle,

Abu Taleb, arose and pronounced him a fool. Young Ali

expressed his admiration for his

cousin's doctrines and his purpose to follow him and fight for his cause.

Most of the tribe voted in the same way; but

Abu Taleb remained an infidel.

After a brief proclamation of his doctrines

at Hajasha, Mohammed repaired to Mecca.

Here he preached with passionate vehemence. He told the Meccans that they were a race of

miserable idolaters, unfit either to live or to die. "There is no God but Allah," he shouted