Throughout this whole account we notice that Ibn Hisham is scrupulously careful to give us the very words which his predecessor Ibn Ishaq had used in his narrative. We have therefore something definite to go upon in considering the history and beliefs of these reformers, and especially of Zaid, whose touching story and whose noble verses show what an influence for good he might have exercised upon Muhammad. We shall see reason to believe that he did exercise 1 a certain amount of influence, and we may well wish it had had more effect upon Muhammad's life and character.

Ibn Hisham, again on Ibn Ishaq's authority,

فلا عزّى أدين ولا ابنتيها
ولا صنمىَ بنى عمر وأزور
ولا غنماً أدين وكان ربّاًَ
لنا فى الدهر إذ حلمى يسير
عجبت وفى الليالى معجبات
وفى الأيام يعرفها البصير
بأن الله قد أفنى رجالاً
كثيراً كان شأنهم الفجور
وأبقى آخرين بسبر قومٍ
فيربل منهم الطفل الصغير
وبيننا المرء يعثر ثاب يوماً
كما يتروّح الغصن المطير
ولكن أعبد الرحمن ربى
ليغفر ذنبى الرب الغفور
فتقوى الله ربكم احفظوها
متى لا تحفظوها لا تبور
ترى الأبرار دارهم جنان
وللكفار حامية سعير
وخزى فى الحيوة وان يموتوا
يلاقوا ما تضيق به الصدور
Siratu'r Rasul, vol. i, p. 77.

Imam Abu'l Farah in his Kitabu'l Aghani (pt. 111, p. 15) tells us that Muhammad had met and conversed with Zaid ibn 'Amr before the former received inspiration.

informs us that Al Khattab, who was Zaid's uncle, reproved the latter for abandoning the religion of his people, and persecuted him to such an extent that he was unable to live in Mecca any longer. He seems to have travelled in other parts of the country, but at last took up his residence in a cave on Mount Hira 1. There he lived to a great age, and when he died he was buried at the foot of the mountain. His death is said to have occurred only five years before Muhammad first put forth, in A.D. 612, his claim to the prophetic office. Now Ibn Ishaq tells us that it was the custom of the Quraish "in the Days of Ignorance" to leave the city and spend a month upon Mount Hira — the month of Ramadan, as he implies — every year in the practice of penance (tahnannuth) 2. It is clear that it was in consequence of this custom that Muhammad afterwards selected the whole of that particular month to be observed by his followers for ever as a time of abstinence. As it fell in summer in his time, this retreat may have been a welcome change to the wealthier members of the community, who were thus enabled to leave for a time the hot and close streets of an

1 Siratu' Rasul, vol. i, p. 79.
2 ثم جاءه جبريل بما جاءه من كرامة الله وهو بحرآء فى شهر رمضان . . . كان رسول الله يجاور فى حرآء من كل سنة شهراً وكان ذلك مما تحنث به قريش فى الجاهلية والتحنث التّبرر . . . قال ابن هشام تقول العرب التحنّث التحنّف يريدون الحنيفية فيبدلون الفاء من الثاء. ‭(Op. cit., vol. I, pp. 80,81.)