But the importance of language in Islam went far beyond the production of a telling slogan. Eloquence, the sheer power of the word, as dictated by God and declaimed to all who would listen, played the first role in winning converts for Islam, leaving hearers no explanation for the beauty of Muhammad's words but divine inspiration. The classic example is 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, a contemporary of Muhammad and acknowledged authority on oral poetry, determined to oppose, perhaps even to assasinate, him. Exposed directly to the prophet's words, he could only cry out: 'How fine and noble this speech!' And he was converted.