It is not possible to oppose that the recognition of the Unity of God was introduced among the Arabs for the first time by Muhammad. For the word Allah, containing as it does the definite article, is a proof that those who used it were in some degree conscious of the Divine Unity. Now Muhammad did not invent the word, but, as we have said, found it already in use among his fellow countrymen at the time when he first claimed to be a Prophet, a Divinely commissioned messenger. Proof of this is not far to seek. Muhammad's own father, who died before his son's birth, was called Abdu'llah, "Servant of Allah"1. The Ka'bah or Temple at Mecca seems long before Muhammad's time to have been called Baitu'llah or "House of Allah." Arabic tradition asserts that a shrine for the worship of God was built on that very site by Abraham and his son Ishmael. Although we cannot regard this statement as in any sense historical, yet the tradition serves at least to show the antiquity of the worship there offered, since its origin was lost in fable. The Ka'bah is, in all probability, the spot referred to by Diodorus Siculus 2 (B.C. 60) as containing a shrine or temple which was very specially honoured by all the Arabs. In the poems entitled Al Mu'allaqat, handed down to us from pre-Islamic times, the

1 So also a nephew of Muhammad was called Ubaidu'llah.
Ιερον αγιωτατον ιδρυται τιμωμενον υπο παντων 'Αραβων περιτ-τοτερον (Diod. Sic., Lib. III.).

word Allah (= ο Θεός) is of frequent occurrence 1. And Ibn Ishaq, the earliest biographer of Muhammad of whose work any certain remains have come down to us, is quoted by Ibn Hisham as stating that the tribes of Kinanah and Quraish, when performing the religions ceremony known as the Ihlal, used to address the Deity in such words 2 as these: "Labbaika, Allahumma! — We are present in Thy service, O God; we are present in Thy service! Thou hast no partner, except the partner

1 For example, we find in the Diwan of An Nabighah the following lines:—
من الجود والأحلام غير موازب
قويم فما يرجون غير العواقب
لهم شيمة لم يعطها الله غيرهم
محلتهم ذات الإله ودينهم
(Poem I., ll. 23, 24, ed. Ahlwardt.)
And again:—
ترى كل ملك دونها يتذبذب
إذا طلعت لم يبد منهن كوكب
ألم تر أن الله أعطاك سورة
بأنك شمس والملوك كواكب
(Poem III., ll. 9, 10.)
And so also in Poem VIII., ll. 5, 6:—
يرد لنا ملكاً وللأرض عامراً
ونرهب قدح الموت إن جاء قاهراً
ونحن لديه نسأل الله خلده
ونحن نزجى الخلد إن فاز قدحنا
Labid has also the following verse:—
ولا زاجرات الطير ما الله صانع لعمرك ما تدرى الضوارب بالحصى
2 Quoted in Ibn Hisham's Siratu'r Rasul, Egyptian edition, Part I., pp. 27, 38.