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II


One day, when Mohammed was about twenty-five years old, he was walking through the bazaar or market-place, of Mecca when he met the chief camel-driver of a wealthy woman named Khadijah (Kha-di'-jah). This woman was a widow, who was carrying on the business left her by her husband. As soon as the camel-driver saw Mohammed he stopped him and said:


"My mistress wishes to see you before noon . I think she intends to engage you to take charge of her caravans."


Mohammed waited to hear no more. As quickly as possible he went to the house of Khadijah; for he was well pleased at the thought of being employed in so important a service. The widow received him in a very friendly way. She said:


"I have heard much of you among the traders. They say that though you are so young you are a good caravan manager and can be trusted. Are you willing to take charge of my caravans and give your whole time and service to me?"


Mohammed was delighted.


"I accept your offer, " said he, "and I shall do all I can to serve and please you."


Khadijah then engaged him as the manager of her business; and he served her well and faithfully. She thought a great deal of him, and he was much attracted to her, and soon they came to love one another and were married.


As he was now the husband of a rich woman he did not need to work very hard. He still continued to attend to his wife's business; but he did not make so many journeys as before. He spent much of his time in thinking about religion. He learned all that he could about Judaism and Christianity; but he was not satisfied with either of them.


At that time most of the people of Arabia worshiped idols. Very few of them were Christians.


Mohammed was very earnest and serious. In a cave on Mount Hira , near Mecca , he spent several weeks every year in prayer and religious meditation. He declared that, while praying in his cave, he often had visions of God and heaven. He said that many times the angel Gabriel appeared to him and revealed to him the religion which he afterwards taught his followers. As he himself could not write, he committed to memory all that the angel told him, and had it written in a book. This book is called the "Koran, " which means, like our own word Bible, the "Book." The Koran is the Bible of Mohammedans.



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