There was once a monk named Bahira, who lived in a monastery near the desert city of Basra. He had spent his life in study, and read of a great Prophet who would one day come into the world. Bahira prayed that hewould live to see him.
The people of Makkah were merchants, who traded with thecities of Syria. Day after day, caravans of camels, laden with goods, set out across the barren desert. One of these caravans belonged to Abu Talib.
Abu Talib was the Prophet's uncle, and cared for the child now that he had lost both his parents and also his grandfather. One day, Abu Talib decided that Muhammad should travel with him to Syria.
The caravan slowly made its way across the desert until,after many days, it reached the edge of the city of Basra.he monk, seated alone in his cell, looked up from his books, and out across the desert. Through the shimmering heat, he saw a caravan approaching. Above it hovered a solitary cloud.
It seemed that the cloud was shielding someone from thesun. Bahira watched as the caravan drew nearer and stopped beneath a grove of trees. As soon as everyone was in the shade the cloud disappeared.
Bahira went to greet the merchants, who he had met before.
"It's good to see you again," they told him. "But why do you never invite us into your cell?"
At once, Bahira asked them to join him for a meal. He knew that there was someone very important with them--for what else could the cloud mean? He asked them questions about themselves, but he could not get the answers he wanted. At last he said:
"Is all of your group here?"
"No," replied Abu Talib. "My nephew is minding the camels. He's very young, so we didn't bring hime."
"Let me talk to him," said Bahira.
Bahira questioned the child closely, learning all he could about who he was, what he believed, and what he thought. He became sure that Muhammad was the Prophet he was waiting for. He tried one last test.
In this, he asked the child to swear by the idol-gods of Makkah, Lat, and Ozza. Muhammad refused.
Bahira spoke at once to Abu Talib:
"This child is destined for greatness," he said. "Take himback to your country and look after him well."
So, as soon as he had finished trading in Syria, Abu Talib took his nephew back to Makkah, and looked after the boy until he grew up.
Prophet Muhammad foretold in the Bible and Torah
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