Muhammad was a merchant in Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia. Tradition holds that during a period of personal spiritual crisis, Muhammad was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, who presented him with the revelations that eventually became the Qu'ran. His preaching soon made him enemies in Mecca's society, and in 622 Muhammad and his followers left Mecca for Medina. After a period of warfare, Muhammad ultimately conquered Mecca, and then went on conquer the majority of the Arab world.
Muhammad in "Before the Beginning"
Muhammad in Crosstime Traffic
Muhammad in Gunpowder Empire
Muhammad in In High Places
After the Great Black Deaths wiped out 80% of Europe's population, Muhammad gained far greater importance and reverence in the surviving population, as Islam eclipsed Christianity. The name "Muhammad" was the most common name given to males.
Islam taught that Muhammad was the last prophet of God. While Muslims denied the divinity of Jesus, they did accept him as a great prophet. Muslims were very hostile to the teachings of the Second Revelation that Henri, a 14th-century Frenchman was the Second Son of God.
Muhammad in "Departures"
Mouamet was a middle-aged Christian monk at the monastery in Ir-Ruhaiyeh, with dark, tanned skin and streaks of grey in his beard. He had gained renown in his time at the monastery for his ability to create sublime hymns.
As a young man, he had been making his first run as a merchant into Damascus and heard a monk preaching in the marketplace. He was not a Christian at the time but thought he heard the Archangel Gabriel saying "Follow!" and so he did, joining the monastery. Mouamet's wife Khadija was among the elements of his worldly life which he left behind him.
His composing of hymns occurred in one of two ways. He might struggle to create a hymn, line by line, word by word, fighting against ink and papyrus until the song had the shape he wanted. Other times it was as though he had the shape of the hymn whole in his head. Then the songs seemed to write themselves, his pen racing across the page as though he were but a channel through which God spoke for Himself. Although he was proud of the former type, he was famous for the latter.
At supper one evening, as the monks were preparing for their long journey to Constantinople, Mouamet was struck with a flash of inspiration so blinding he staggered. He stared at nothing and then burst into song, singing a hymn most marvelous. If it were not so holy, one would think he was possessed by a demon. It were as if he were speaking in tongues since he heard the words in his native Arabic but sang them in good Greek.
The prior, Father John, was present and charged Mouamet with writing three copies of the hymn before he forgot it. One was for Mouamet to keep safe, one was for Father John and the third for a monk of Mouamet's choosing. This was to insure that at least one copy arrived at Constantinople even if the caravan of monks were attacked.
Mouamet protested that there was too much work to do to prepare for the journey and that his fellow monks would resent him taking time away from it to write out the hymn. He would just trust God to let him remember the hymn. However, Father John overruled him saying that writing out the hymn was God's work. He also reassured Mouamet that any who were in the refectory and had heard him sing the hymn would agree that it should be preserved.
Mouamet obediently did as he was told and went to the writing chamber to make three copies. To his surprise, although he was alone in the chamber, monks passing by in their tasks would pause in the doorway and encourage him to get his song down on papyrus. The writing went smoothly and he completed it as the bell rang for evening prayer.
Mouamet survived the journey to Constantinople and in later life became the archbishop in Ispania. After his death, he was quickly recognized by the church as a saint and was considered the patron saint of change. Seven centuries after his death, his canticles were still sung all through the Empire.
|Caliph of Islam|
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