Mecca was complete. The Prophet had on his side high family connexions,
relationship with the guardians of the Ka'ba, many personal virtues, indomitable
patience, uncompromising fearlessness and fervid eloquence, and yet he succeeded
in getting only a very small band of followers. His mission at Mecca was a
complete failure. The time had come to try elsewhere.
The city of Yathrib was not unknown to Muhammad. His grandfather and his
great-grandmother were natives of the place and his father was buried there.
There was a good deal of rivalry between Yathrib and Mecca and a man despised in
the latter place would not thereby be at a disadvantage in the former. Then, for
more than one hundred years there had been a blood feud between the men of the
two great tribes who dwelt in Yathrib, and just now there was a disposition to
put a stop to these dissensions by selecting some one person as a king or ruler.
'Hence the soil of Yathrib was thoroughly prepared for Islam. In a healthy
community like that of Mecca it gained no hold; but in one that