The idea of 'warner' is developed into that of rasul Allah, 'the messenger or apostle of God'. (It should be noted that, though it is normal in European languages to refer to Muhammad as 'the prophet', for which the Arabic is nabi, this is not the standard way of referring to him by Muslims ; it is at approximately the same level as 'warner'.) The rasul is someone who has been sent, in this case sent by God, either to convey a message or to carry out some commission. As messenger of God Muhammad was to be arbiter in disputes between the various kinship-groups in Medina.1 He also stood in relation to the group of Emigrants in much the same relation as a clan-chief to his clan. Perhaps it was as chief of the Emigrants that Muhammad was recognized as leader in war of the Medinan Muslims; on the other hand the Medinans may have understood leadership in war as being involved in his position as messenger of God, since it was mainly war against the Meccans that they were thinking of at first, and the Meccans had persecuted Muhammad on account of his preaching. This position as arbiter and military leader was far from being that of an absolute autocrat. After Muhammad's military successes against the Meccans and various hostile nomadic tribes, however, he was gradually able to strengthen his position until at his death in 632 he was undisputed head of the Medinan state with its many dependent tribes throughout Arabia. Naturally the idea of 'the messenger of God' developed with the actual development of Muhammad's powers and responsibilities. The political relevance of his transcendent source of knowledge thus became realized in practice.