From "In the Footsteps of the Prophet"

"In the ensuing years, young Muhammad [saws] became a shepherd to earn his living, looking after the flocks on the outskirts of Mecca. He later mentioned this experience to his Companions, portraying it as a common feature characteristic of prophets: "There was no prophet who was not a shepherd.' He was asked: 'And you too, Messenger of God?' He answered; 'And myself as well' " [Hadith reported by al-Bukhari - Volume 4, Book 55, Number 618]

As a shepherd, young Muhammad learned solitude, patience, contemplation, and watchfulness. Such qualities were necessary to all prophets to carry out their missions among their people. He also acquired a deep sense of independence in his life and work, which enabled him to be most successful in the trader's calling he was soon to take up."

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