Muhammad kept away from his people and their idol worship. He spent most of his time herding goats to help his uncle. Many people related stories about kindness to birds and animals. When pigeons pecked at his food, he left it to them out of sheer love and pity.
He was a shepherd until the age of thirteen. Then his uncle took him on a camel caravan on a trading journey to Damascus. And here, another strange thing happened.
Not far from Damascus there was a monastery in which a monk named Bahira lived. When the caravan stopped nearby, Bahira, in accordance with Arab custom, went to welcome them and show his hospitality.
Bahira: When you emerged at the corner of the Gulf of Aqaba, the whole land began to bow! Trees and stones bowed. And they never bow except to a prophet. There is yet another sign that marks him as a Prophet: the Seal of Prophecy on his shoulder. Just as our scriptures tell.
Abu Talib: Are you speaking sense, Bahira?
Bahira: Yes. Go back home. Look after him and don’t bring him back to Damascus. A great destiny awaits your nephew.