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Perhaps the most fascinating forerunner to the Prophet was Zayd b. Nufayl, who lived shortly before the call to Islam.
An Arab preacher of monotheism whom the Prophet Muhammad probably witnessed in the late sixth century was Qus b. Qus was an eloquent orator who made a lasting impact on the Arabs. He was either a Christian bishop from Najran, or a Hanīf.
Suyūṭī says that Qus was the first person to use the phrase “as for what comes after” (), which became an integral part of Friday sermons in Islam.
Ed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and Honors BA in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto.
He is an educator and researcher based in Toronto, Canada.
It is implied by Masʿūdī that he rejected the Prophet out of jealousy. Upon his death, Umayya b.
Abī’l Salṭ purportedly said, “I know that the is the truth, however I am in doubt regarding Muhammad.” Umayya’s inclusion in Islamic literature highlights a belief in monotheism and an expected prophet, as well as a subtle warning against those who vie to be more than what God has made them.
One of the most perplexing characters in Islamic history is Ibn Ṣayyād.
Ibn Ṣayyād was a Jewish boy from Medina who claimed to be the messenger of God (perhaps to the Jews), while claiming that Muhammad was the messenger of God to the gentiles. The latter claim would seem typical of a Jew of that era who had trouble accepting an Arab prophet.
Qus was best known for a poetic speech he gave at the ʿUkāth market near Ta’if.
ʿUkāth, which was the largest souq in pre-Islamic Arabia, was where Arab leaders would compete in reciting poetry, narrating stories and sharing wisdom. The best poems were hung at the Kaʿba. The speech in question was one narrated by the Prophet himself,   and it begs the listener’s attention, speaks of the sober reality of death, and alludes to the coming of a prophet. Sāʿida says, “And a prophet of God will come; and his coming is near. Blessings to him who believes in the prophet and basks in the light of guidance. ” Sadūq’s version does not contain this prophecy; and it also implies that Qus died just before the Conquest of Mecca, but this is unlikely.