starve at the grave of his master, that he might
be ready at the resurrection again to carry him. A vast
variety of Biblical language was also in common use,
or at least sufficiently in use to be commonly understood.
Faith, Repentance, Heaven and Hell, the Devil and his
Angels, the heavenly Angels, Gabriel the Messenger of
God, are specimens acquired from some Jewish source,
either current or ready for adoption. Similarly familiar
were the stories of the Fall of Man, the Flood, the
destruction of the Cities of the Plain, &c. — so
that there was an extensive substratum of crude ideas
bordering upon the spiritual, ready to the hand of Muhammad."
Early Arabian writers inform us that when Muhammad
appeared the Jews were expecting the advent of the Messiah,
and used frequently to threaten their enemies with the
vengeance which the coming Prophet would take upon them.
This no doubt had its influence in leading some among
the Arabs, especially the Banu Khazraj of Medina (as
Ibn Ishaq says), to accept Muhammad as the Prophet whose
advent was predicted.
Muhammad declared that he was Divinely commissioned
not to found a new religion but to recall men to the
"Faith of Abraham." It was natural for him,
therefore, to endeavour to gain the Jews over to his
side. This he attempted to do at Medina, and for some
time it seemed as if he had a fair prospect of success.
One step which he took