Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/29

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ⅹⅹⅲ
introduction.

And now the revelations came in rapid succession. He no longer doubted the reality of the inspiration, and his conviction of the unity of God and of his divine commission to preach it were indelibly impressed upon his mind.

His only convert was at first his faithful wife ʿHadîgah; she was always at his side to comfort him when others mocked at him, to cheer him when dispirited, and to encourage him when he wavered.

Well, indeed, did she deserve the title by which after-ages knew her of Umm el Mûʼminîn, ‘ the mother of the believers.’

His daughters next believed; his cousin Ali, Abu Tâlib’s youngest son, whom Mohammed had adopted to relieve his uncle of some portion of his family cares, soon followed; then came Zâid, his freedman, favourite companion and fellow-seeker after truth; and ere long the little band of believers was joined by Abu Bekr, a rich merchant, and man of the most upright character, who had also been his confidant during that period of doubt and mental strife. Mohammed was wont to say that, ‘ all the world had hesitated more or less to recognise him as the Apostle of God, except Abu Bekr alone.’ Abu Bekr enjoyed immense influence with his fellow-citizens, and had by his probity earned the appellation of el Ziddîq, ‘ the true.’

The next converts to the new faith were two young men, Zobeir and Saʿad ibn Waqqâz, both relations of the prophet. Abd er Rahman ibn Auf and Tal′hah, men of mark and military prowess, then joined the Muslim ranks. Othmân ibn Affân, afterwards the third Caliph, a young Arab beau, also embraced Islâm for the sake of obtaining the hand of Mohammed′s daughter, Rukaiyah. The accession of these personages opened the eyes of the Qurâis to the importance of the movement, but the number of the faithful was still but small.

His other converts were only women and slaves, the former being won over by the influence of ʿHadîgah. Amongst the latter was an Abyssinian slave named Bilal, who subsequently underwent cruel persecutions for the