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action of the Quraish is recalled to mind and referred to in an early Madina Sura:—

And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted1 against thee, to detain thee prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee: they plotted, but God plotted, and of plotters God is the best. Sura Al-Anfal (viii) 30.2

Abu Bakr and Muhammad took refuge in a cave for three days until the search was over. Many years after the Qur'an alludes to the miraculous interposition of God in protecting the Prophet:—

God assisted him formerly, when the unbelievers drove him forth in company with a second only, when they two were in the cave. God strengthened him with hosts ye saw not, and made the words of those who believed not the abased, and the word of God was the exalted. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 40.

The 'second of the two' —thani athnain— became one of the honourable titles of Abu Bakr.3 Muhammadan

1 Sale following some of the Traditionists says that the Quraish plotted to kill him; but the Traditions seem to have grown out of the verse. 'A resolution so fatal would unquestionably have been dwelt on at length, both in the Qur'an and in the Traditions, and produced as a justification of all subsequent hostilities.' Wherry, Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. i, p. 84. See also Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. ii, p. 125. 2 In a late Meccan Sura Muhammad referred to the plot against a prophet Salih:—

They devised and we devised a device and they were not aware of it.
And see what was the end of their device. We destroyed them and their whole people.
And for their sins these their houses are empty ruins:
verily in this is a sign to those who understand. Sura An-Naml (xxvii) 51-3.

This was no doubt meant as a warning to the Quraish who were then his bitter opponents.
3 The Sunnis who highly esteem Abu Bakr say that verse fourteen of Sura Al-Ahqaf (xlvi), a late Meccan one, refers to him:—
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traditions record many miracles connected with these three days.1 On leaving the cave, the travellers arrived in due course at Madina. The Flight —the Hijra— was now complete. It showed that the Prophet's work in Mecca had ended in failure. The Meccans saw that the adoption of his system would lead to a civil despotism based on religion and this they were not prepared to accept. In Madina the prospects were far brighter. The expectation by the Jews of a Messiah had caused the idea of a coming prophet to be common; tribal feud and faction had worn the people out and they were really glad of some one with authority to be a ruler amongst them. The way was prepared for the setting up of the politico-religious system so long meditated on and by the Prophet so much desired. 'Muhammad's failure in Mecca was that of the Prophet, and his triumph in Madina that of the Chieftain and the Conqueror.'

Up to this time the Qur'an continues, as we have seen, to be made up of arguments in refutation of idolatry and of fierce denunciations of the Meccan people, who were not met with rational arguments, for Muhammad enveloped himself in his prophetical dignity, and in the name of Allah poured forth maledictions upon his opponents and condemned them to be roasted in hell. At Mecca it deals with

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We have commanded man to show kindness to his parents. His mother beareth him and bringeth him forth with pain, and his bearing and his weaning is thirty months: until when he attaineth strength and the age of forty years he saith, 'O Lord give me inspiration, that I may be grateful for thy favour wherewith Thou halt favoured me and my patents,'

According to the commentator Husain, Abd Bakr embraced Islam in his thirty-eighth year, and his father and mother were also converted, and in his fortieth year he said, 'O Lord give me inspiration, that I may be grateful.' The favours are described as the gift and blessing of Islam. Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 321.
Rodwell considers that this explanation of the verse was invented after Abu Bakr became the Khalifa. Noldeke is doubtful about it.
1 See Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, pp. 315-21.

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