Why do we say "If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain.

Well-Known Expressions

If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain

Meaning:

If things aren't going your way, you'll have to adjust to the way they are.

Background:

The legend goes that the Prophet Mohammed wa asked to provide proof of his teaching, so he ordered Mount Safa to come to him. When the mountain did not move, Mohammed praised God for being merciful saying that if the mountain had obeyed his command it would have fallen on all of them and destroyed them, and therefore he would now go to the mountain and give thanks to God for having mercy on such a disbelieving people.

It's not clear whether this is a true legend of Mohammed or an English invention - in English, the saying has been traced back to Francis Bacon's Essays (1625):

"Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled: Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again: and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, "If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill." - Francis Bacon.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Story of Arthur Truluv
    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg
    Elizabeth Berg's heartwarming novel scored an an impressive 4.4 average rating from the 48 members ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.