Open main menu

Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/167

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

river Tigris had overflowed its bounds. The minister of Noushirwan, we are told, was endowed with the faculty of divination, and in the morning he compared his dream with the other events of the night, and was enabled to inform the terrified monarch that some new and unexpected danger was impending from the quarter in which Arabia lay. The king immediately conferred with Al Nomân, the king of Hirah, by whose advice he deputed Abdo'l-Masihun, an Arab of the tribe of Ghassan, to make strict inquiries throughout the peninsula.[1] Such were the events which, according to the Arabian writers, preceded the coming of their prophet. But part of the Persian palace might have fallen, or the sacred fires might have been unexpectedly extinguished, had Muhammed never been born.

From his birth to his fortieth year, Muhammed is said to have been educated, and to have lived, in the sinful and idolatrous manners of his fellow countrymen.[2] Part of the intervening period he is reported to have spent in Syria, but in what manner may be considered as somewhat uncertain.[3] His

  1. Abulfeda, de Vit. Moham. ibid. Abu Abdallah, p. 25. Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, tom. i. p. 79.
  2. Maracci, Prodrom. pp. 10, 16.
  3. The oriental accounts of his mercantile life, and his expeditions to Bostra and Damascus, are very little to be depended upon. I am not aware of one contemporary or nearly contemporary writer who mentions them, and if known to the Christian writers, they would certainly have taken advantage of them in their controversial writings. Michael Febure, in his Teatro della