All beginnings are difficult; and it can never be esteemed a serious charge against Mahomet that his book, the first prose work of a high order in the language, testifies to the awkwardness of the beginner.
A peculiar compliment to Mahomet was involved in the fact that the leaders of the rebellion in the various districts did not pose as princes and kings, but as prophets; in this appeared to lie the secret of Islam's success.
It is used to designate the religious duty inculcated in the Koran on the followers of Mahomet to wage war upon those who do not accept the doctrines of Islam.
For the most part the old prophets only serve to introduce a little variety in point of form, for they are almost in every case facsimiles of Mahomet himself.
On one occasion, when a dispute arose between two of his own followers as to the true reading of a passage which both had received from the Prophet himself, Mahomet is said to have explained that the Koran was revealed in seven forms.
In the later pieces, Mahomet often inserts edifying remarks, entirely out of keeping with the context, merely to complete his rhyme.
It is said that Mahomet occasionally uttered such a passage immediately after one of those epileptic fits which not only his followers, but (for a time at least) he himself also, regarded as tokens of intercourse with the higher powers.
It appears to be traceable in its Greek dress in writings of the philosopher Democritus and the dramatist Menander; it was certainly known to the author of Tobit and perhaps to the author of Daniel; some would trace its influence in the New Testament, in the parable of the wicked servant and elsewhere; it was known to Mahomet and is referred to in the Koran; it has been included among the tales in the Arabian Nights; and it survives in a good many versions ancient and modern.
In 1476 Mahomet again invaded Moldavia, but, though successful in the open field, the Turks were sorely harassed by Stephen's guerilla onslaughts, and, being thinned by pestilence, were again constrained to retire.
At this period the religion of Mahomet was spreading over the east, and in 637 the caliph Omar marched on Jerusalem, which capitulated after a siege of four months.