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DiviAion..^PJ(o|
Sec(cion..|V;V.(:>

THE

FAITH OP ISLAM,
AN EXPLANATORY SKETCH OF THE PRINCIPAL

FUNDAMENTAL TENETS OF THE MOSLEM


RELIGION,
BY

W.

H.

/ ILLI AM, QU
Supreme Court
oj Judicature.)

{Solicitor of the

" I
life
is

like

the

Mussulman

he

is

not ashamed of his

God

his

a fairly pure one."


:

General Gordon.

" Say

unbelievers, I will not worship that which ye worship

nor will ye worship that which I worship.

Neither do I worship that

which ye worship

neither do ye worship that which I worship.


I

Ye

have your religion, and

my

religion."

Sura 109, Koran.

LIVERPOOL
WiLLMER Brothers & Company,
64
Ltd,,
25, Victoria

Street, am>

&

66,

Chester Street, Birkenhead.


1892.

[All Rights Reserved.]

PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.


As
all

the

5,000

-edition

of this

copies which comprised the second work have been exhausted, it has become

necessary

to issue

another one-

Since the publication of the

last issue the

pamphlet has been perused by the Caliph of

the Faithful, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey,

who was
same
;

gracious enough to signify his commendation of the


letters

and

have been received from Sierra Leone,


the

Lagos, and other portions of Western Africa, the Cape of

Good Hope and


Hungary,

Transvaal

in

South Africa, from

the Phillipine Islands, Australia,


in

and even from

Hong Kong

China, and

Tobolsk

in Siberia, asking for

copies of the book to be forwarded,

and permission has been


translated into and
in

granted and the brochure


published,
in

is

now being
other

addition

to

languages,

Turkish,

Oerman, Bengalee, and Tamil


India).

(the language of

Southern

In this edition I have carefully retained every line of the


original text, but I have,
in

many

instances, considerablj'

extended the information previously given,


to present as full

and complete a sketch

of
to

my desire being my religion as


an unnecessary

was possible without extending the book


length.
facilitate

And

I trust that the perusal of this little

work may

a correct knowledge of " the truth of that faith

which

is

most excellent."

'*'

W. H. Abdullah
15,

Quilliam.

Manchester Street, Liverpool,


Srd Ramazan, 1309.

(Which Christians
*

style the 2cZ Ap'il, 1892.)

92adSura, " The Night."

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.


The
copies
great success of this httle work, the first edition of 2,000
all

beiog disposed of in less than eight months and

there

being a continuous

demand

for

more
I

copies,

has

necessitated the issue of another edition.


carefully revised the book,

have accordingly
it

and although
single
it

I have not found

necessary to eliminate

line

of

the original text,

nevertheless I have deemed

advisible in

some instances

to

amplify and extend the information given.

As an example
letters

of

the

widespread

interest

awakened

through the publication of

this

pamphlet I may mention that


Calcutta,

have been received from Mussulmans in Switzerland,


Ceylon,

St. Petersburg,

The Punjaub,
(British

Bombay,

Lahore and various other portions


Settlements

of India, Egypt, Straits

and Rangoon
it

Burmah\

asking for

copies of the work, that

has been perused by royalty in the

personages of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen of

England and Empress

of India,

and of His Royal Highness

the Khedive of Egypt, and that permisson has been granted

and the book

is

now being

translated into Burmese, Persian,


for

Hindustanee and Arabic

publication in

those

various

languages, and I only trust that these few pages will aid in
the hastening of the time foretold in the Koran
assistance
of Allah
shall

"When

the

come,

and the

victory,

and the

people
troops."

shall "

be seen

entering

into

the religion of

God by
Q.

W. H.
82, Elliot Street,

Liverpool,

29f7i

Dulhegala, 1307,
15fch

which Christians Btyle the


*

August, 1890.

110 Sura " Assistauce."

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.

The
Hall,

subject

matter

contained in this

little

work
in

was

originally delivered in the

form of three lectures


of

Vernon
as

Liverpool.

Some

the

author's

co-religionists

suggested that

those

lectures

should be

x^ublished

pamphlet

for public circulation.

However, as he had only


present form.

kept a few notes of his remarks on those occasions, the writer

deemed
His

it

wiser to rewrite the matter in


to

its

great embarrassment has been

condense into the

smallest possible space a concise yet fair

and accurate

state-

ment

of the tenets held

by Mussulmans, and he trusts that he

has not carried the process of condensation too


this little

far, and that remove some of the prejudices of those who hold a different belief, and that he has been able to place the main principles of the faith of Islam in an intelligible and,

work

will

as far as possible, interesting form.

W. H.
July, 1889.

Q.

T HE
When we
subjects

TAITH OF
;

SLAyVl,

consider that Islamism

the British Empire, and the

is so much mixed up with many milHons of Moslem fellow

who

live

under the same

rule, it is

very extraordinary
its

that so
history,

little

should be generally known about this religion,


of its followers
;

and that

and consequently the gross


led astray

ignorance of the masses on the subject allows them to be


easily deceived,

and

their

judgment

by any preten-

der striving to raise up an excitement against those of that


persuasion.
If,

however,

it

be the duty of mankind to live at


all

peace together, and do each other


the
evil,

the good, instead of

all

in their power,

we cannot inform

ourselves too%iuch

on

this

and kindred subjects.


be more absurd than the belief held by the

What can

majority of the people in England that the coffin of the

prophet Mahomet
*'

is

composed of
"

steel,

and held

in suspension
;

'twixt earth

and heaven

by the means of loadstones


this

and

yet of so old a duration

is

ridiculous

story,

and so

generally is it believed, that it has given rise to an expression which has become as much a part of the English language as
is

a standard Shakesperian quotation.

Much

of this

deplorable ignorance,

doubtless,

owes

its

origin to the mischevious tales regarding the customs


ligious belief of the
at the

and

re-

Moslems, which were circulated in Europe

time of the crusades by Christian priests,

who thus

played upon the credulity of their flocks in order to inflame

10
their zeal
*'

on behalf

of the expeditions then being raised to

rescue the Holy


is it

Land from

the grasp of the infidel "

but

equally

without doubt that falsehoods and misrepresentaindustriously published and circulated amongst

tions are

still

English speaking people by interested persons, paid agents of


societies,

who know

full well

how

gullible the general public

are,

and who trade on

their ignorance in order to extract

subscriptions from their pockets.

In the following pages, therefore, we


correct
is

will

endeavour to

some

of these erroneous notions,* and to explain

what

" The Faith of Islam."

One

of the best

and

briefest

descriptions of the faith of

Islam is that given by David Urquhart in the introduction to *' The Spirit of the East," published vol. I. of his clever work ** Islam, as a religion, teaches no in 1839, and reads thus
:

new dogmas;

establishes no

new

revelation,

no new precepts;
It gives a

has no priesthood, and no church government.


code to the people,

and a constitution

to the state, enforced

by the sanction

of religion."

That Urquhart was right has been admitted by many.


Palgrave, Vambery, Rawlinson, Layard, Rolland, Stanley of
Alderley,

De Chonski, and

others,

have participated in his

insight and

confirmed his statements.

Every

traveller

who

has come into intimate contact with Moslem Notwithstanding something to say in their favour.

people has had


all this,

the bulk of opinion in Great Britain has remained unaffected.

The truth has not been


body
of the

generally known, because the great

Enghsh-speaking people being brought up in one


have inherited a
bitter

sect or another of the Christian faith

and

them when a aud even to be an essential part of their religion dignitary of the Anglican Church hke Canon Isaac Taylor
unreasoning prejudice on the subject that seems to
;

11

has had the courage at a church congress to dehver his honest


convictions on the matter, he has
invective and bigoted vituperation.

been assailed by bitter

Canon Taylor, as delivered by him at the church congress at Wolverhampton, on the 7th October, 1887,

The remarks

of

aiid reported in

the

Times of the

follo\\'ing

day, are well

worthy of careful perusal and consideration.

Our time and

space will not permit us to give the whole of his speech, but

we cannot

refrain

from republishing a portion of

it.

" The Eev. Canon Isaac Taylor said that over a large portion of the world Islamism as a missionary religion
is

more

successful than Christianity.

(Sensation.)

Not only are the

Moslem converts from paganism more numerous than the Christian converts, but Christianity in some regions is actually
receding before Islam, while attempts to proselytize

Mahomfaith of

medan

nations are notoriously unsuccessful.


fail to

We

not only do

not gain ground, but even

hold our own.

The

Islam already extends from Morocco to Java, from Zanzibar


to China,
It

and

is

spreading across Africa with giant strides*

has acquired a footing on the Congo and the Zambesi,

while Uganda, the most powerful of the negro states, has


just

become Mahomedan.
is

In India western civilization,


only
in

which
for

sapping

Hindooism,
255

prepares
India,

the

way

Islam.
already

Of the

millions

50 millions

are

Moslems/''
half.

and
It

of
is

the

whole population of
first

Africa
of

more than
that

not the
;

propagation
is

Islam

has to be

explained
retains

but
its

it

the

perits

manency
*

with

which
gives

it

hold

upon
in

The recent census

the

number

of

Moslems

India as

57,365.204, and the


there) as 2,284,191.

number
It is

of Christians (including

Europeans residing
persons

estimated that about

five millions of

have, in India alone, during the last ten years, become converts to Islam.

12
converts.
Christianity
is

less tenacious in its grasp.

An

African tribe once converted to Islam never reverts to paganism, and never embraces Christianity

Islam has

done more

for civilization

than Christianity.

Take

for ex-

ample the statements

of English officials or of lay travellers

as to the practical results of Islam.


is

When Mahomedanism

embraced by a negro tribe, paganism, devil worship, fetish-

ism, cannibalism,

human

sacrifice, infanticide, witchcraft, at

once disappear.

by clsanliness,
respect.

The natives begin to dress, filth is replaced and they acquire personal dignity and selfis

Hospitality becomes a religious duty, drunkenness


rare,

becomes

gambling

forbidden,

immodest dances and

the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes cease, female chasity


is

regarded as a virtue, industry replaces idleness, license

gives place to law, order

and sobriety

prevail, blood feuds,

cruelty to animals

and

to slaves are forbidden.


is

feeling of

humanity, benevolence and brotherhood

inculcated.

Poly-

gamy and

slavery are regulated


all, is

and

their evils are restrained.

Islam, above

the most powerful total abstinence associa-

tion in the world, whereas the extension of

European trade

means

the extension of drunkenness


;

and vice, and the degrada-

tion of the people

while Islam introduces a civilization of no

low order, including a knowledge of reading and writing,


decent clothing, personal cleanUness, veracity and self-respect.
Its restraining
little

and

civilizing effects are marvellous.

How
all

have we by

to

show

for the vast

sums
!

of

money and

the

precious lives lavished upon Africa

Christian converts are

reekoaed

thousands,
stern

These
ought

are

the

facts
;

Moslems converts by millons. we have to face. They are


it is

extremely unpleasant facts


to begin

folly to ignore

them.
is

We

by recognising the
faith,

fact that

Islam

not an

an ti- Christian

but a half- Christian faith.

Islam was a

13
replica of the faith of

Abraham aud Moses, with


Islam
is

Christian

elements.

Judaism was exclusive.

cosmopolitan

not like Judaism, confined to one race, but extended to the

whole world.

Moslems acknowledge four great teachers


of
:

Abraham, the friend


Jesus, the

God

Moses, the prophet of

God

work

of

God
is

and Mahomed, the apostle of God.*

There

nothing in the teaching of


It is

Mahomed

antagonistic to Christianity.

midway between Judaism

and

Christianity.

This reformed Judaism swept so swiftly

over Africa and Asia because the African and Syrian doctors-

bad substituted metaphysical dogmas for the religion of They tried to combat licentiousness by celibacy and virginity. Seclusion from the world was the road toChrist.

holiness,

and

dirt

was the

characteristic of

monkish

sanctity..

The
of

people were practically polytheists, worshipping a

crowd

of martyrs, saints

and angels.

Islam swept away this massIt

corruption

and superstition.
;

was a

revolt

against

empty theological polemics


ag:unst the exaltation of

was a masculine protest celibacy as a crown of piety. It


it

brought out the fundamental dogma of religion

the

unity

and greatness of God.


It

It replaced

monkliness by manliness.
to

gave

hope

to

the

slave,

brotherhood

mankind and
nature.

recognition to the fundamental facts of


. .

human

The
races

virtues

which Islam inculcates are what the


to

lower

can be brought

understand

temperance,

cleanliness, chastity, justice, fortitude, courage, benevolence^


hospitality, veracity,

and resignation.

to cultivate the four cardinal virtues,

They can be taught and to abjure the seven


brotherhood of

deadly sins.

The Christian

ideal of the

man

* Moslems recognise six gi-eat teachers.

In addition to the four given


;

above they acknowledge Adam, the created of God


specially preserved of God.

and Noah, the


this fact.

Canon Taylor has overlooked

u
is

the highest

but Islam preaches a


all

jjractical

brotherhood

the social equality of


)

Moslems.is

This

is

the great bribe

which Islam

offers.

The convert
;

admitted at once to aa

'

exclusive social caste

he becomes a member of a vast con-

fraternity 150,000,000.1-

Christian convert

is

not regarded
is

as a social equal, but the

Moslem brotherhood
life.

reality.

We

have over much


little

*'

dearly beloved brethren " in the reading

desk, but very

in daily

True, the Koran offered a

material paradise, but the social privileges attained in this

world are a more potent motive


practical difficulties in the

Tlie two great


of the conversion of Africa

way

are polygamy and domestic slavery. did not prohibit them


;

Mahomet,
Slavery

like

Moses,
;

that would have been impossible


is

but
of

he endeavoured
I

to mitigate their evils. It

no part
evil

the creed of Islam.

was tolerated as a necessary


St. Paul.

by

Mahomet
the

as

it

was by Moses and


is

la the hands of

Moslem

it

a very mild institution, far milder than


is

negro slavery in the United States. | Polygamy Moses did not prohibit it. difficult question.
practised

a
It

more
was
in

by David, and
Testament.

it

is

not directly forbidden


limited
the

the

New
of

Mahomet
;

uabounded
rather

licence

polygamy
in

it

is

the

exception

than

the rule

the

most
and

civilized

Moslem
||

lands,

European
with
all

Turkey,
*

Algiers,

Egypt.

Polygamy,

brethren

"Verily, the true believers are brethren: wherefore reconcile your and fear God, that ye may obtain mercy." 49 Sura, " Inner :

Apartments."
It t These figures are greatly below the real strength of Islam. estimated there are 240 millions of professing Moslems in the world.
is

to your slaves, see that ye feed them as ye feed yourselves, I "And as and clothe them as ye clothe yourselves." Saying of the Prophet Mahomet. " A case of polygamy was unknown in Candia, amongst a population of 40,000 Mussulmans." Urciuhart's " Spii-it of the East,"' Vol. II., page3S8.
II

15
its evils, lias its

counter-balancing advantages.

It

has abollegal

ished female infanticide,


protector.

and gives every woman a

Owing

to

polygamy Moslem countries are


to

free

from professional outcasts, a greater reproach


than polygamy to Islam.

Christendom
pol3^gamy of
less

The
less

strictly regulated

Moslem lands
injurious to

is infinitely

degrading to

women and
is

men than

the promiscuous polyandry which

the
in

curse of Christian

cities,

and which

is

absolutely

unknown

Islam.

The polyandrous English are not entitled to cast


Let us
first

stones at polygamous Moslems.

pluck out the

beam from our own


our brother's eye.

eye, before

The

four

we meddle with the mote in evils of Moslem lands polylicence of divorce

gamy,

slavery, concubinage,

and

are

no
if

exclusive reproach to Islam.

Within our own memory,

not now, they have

all

prevailed in aggravated forms in the

United States a land nominally Christian and peopled by a


race of
that in some respects

EngUsh brotherhood Moslem morality


to

Let us remember
is

better than our own.

In resignation

God's

will, in

temperance, charity, veracity,

and

in the brotherhood of believers, they set us a pattern

we

should do well to follow.

Islam has abolished drunkenness,

gambling and prostitution


Islam
is

the three curses of Christian lands.


It is

the closest approach to Christianity which has been

able to take hold of Eastern or Southern nations.

superior to

the

grovelling

superstition of the Coptic

and

Abyssinian churches."

The pubUcation of Canon Taylor's remark^ led to a some" what animated correspondence in the columns of the " Times
newspaper.

Many of these letters are well worth reproduction,


one,

but the bpace at our disposal will not permit us to avail ourselves of

more than

and

it is

from the pen of Mr. Joseph

16

Thompson, the well-known African traveller, who under date of November 10th, writes from Edinburgh as follows
:

'*

From

experience I

know how dangerous

it fs

to recognise

any good in any living religion outside the orthodox pale a^nd its immediate vicinity, or to offer any criticism on the

method adopted by church agencies to propagate their The critic's motives are sure to be misrepresented creeds.
and held up
ignored.
to

opprobrium, while his facts will probably be


its

He

soon discovers that the church or

mission-

ary agencies love not the light,

or at least only such as


specially

passes through authorized loopholes or

supplied

coloured glass.

As an observer of somewhat varied experiin Eastern, Central, and Western Africa, where I have ence seen Christianity and Mahomedanism f in contact with the
Negro, I would claim to be heard.
It

has been argued by

some

of your correspondents that in


its

Eastern Africa and the


congenial

Nile basin you see Islam in

true colours in
all

association with the slave trade and

forms of degradation

and

violence.

more

baseless statement could not be con-

ceived.

I unhesitatingly affirm of Eastern

and I

speak from a wider

experience

Central Africa
if

than any

of

your
it

correspondents possess

that
all

the slave trade thrives

is

because Islam has not been introduced to these regions, and


for

the

strongest

of

reasons,

that

the

spread

of

Mahomedanism

would

have

meant

the

concomitant

suppression of the slave trade.


*

This letter Avas published iu the " Times " of the 14th November, 1887.

The Moslems do not


is

call their religion

Mahomedanism, nor do they


This

render any worship, as some have supposed, to their Prophet.

name

purely of foreign origin, and

is

objected to by them, on the same

principle, that

he

whom

Christians style St. Paul, objected to saying, " I

am

of Paul,

Cephas or Apollos."

17
((

Islam

is

not preached to the Negro because the Muscat

Arabs desire to retain their slave-hunting grounds.

To do
In the
rest

otherwise would have been to hail the natives as brother

Mussulmans where they hoped

to capture slaves.

same way many

of our

Christian

traders,

you may

assured, would resist

most strenuously the introduction


of Christianity

of
if

missionaries of their religion into their trading grounds,


it

was not found that the profession


It is

among

the natives
of gin.

was not incompatible with a large consumption


sometimes convenient, however, to confound a

people with their religion

when

it

does not come too near

home.
"Again,
religion of
it

has been triumphantly pointed out that the


does not sx3read in the Eastern division

Mahomet

of the African continent.

That

is

perfectly true.

have

already mentioned
equally

one potent reason.


Islam,
like

There

is
is

a second

important.

Christianity,

brought

among
far

the natives by an alien race

a race in every respect


characterizes
is

above

them

a
off

race

which

them

as

"Wa-Sherzi (wild men).

The Muscat Arab

cut off by a
it.

wide gulf from the Negro.

He

does not attempt to pass

By

being thus cut

from the race the Negro makes no


nor
its

attempt to acquire
unhesitatingly

its religion

manners.

But while I
its

afiirm

that

the

slave

trade flourishes in
is

Eastern Central Africa because Islam


professor,
I

not there, only


so

as

confidently

assert

that this

much
It

reviled religion has done one

great service there.


traffic.

has

prevented
itself

the

spread of the liquor

In Zanzibar
the
traffic,

the

Sultan has been impotent


nations
objected

to arrest
to

because Christian
'

any

restriction

of

trade.'

Happily, on the mainland he has hitherto been

allowed a freer hand in enforcing the rules of his religion, and

18
so

done an enormous service in preventing the demoralization

of the easily seduced blacks.

How long tliis will last now that


'

Germany's

'

pioneers of civilization
to

are descending
to

upon the

land remains

be seen.

Turning now

Western Africa and

the Central Soudan


of visiting

which I also have

had the opportunity

we find a far different state of things prevailing.


as a living, active force, full of the fire
of its early days, proselytizing too with
its

Here we have Islam


and energy

much

of

the marvellous success which characterised

early days.

Here we have it preached equally in the streets of Sierra Leone, and among the debased cannibal tribes of the Niger With the disingeiiousness which makes them attempt basin.
to

fasten

the

evils

of

the

slave

trade

upon Islam,

the

defenders of the Christian faith seek with might and main to

minimize and

distort the facts about the success of

Islam in good

Western Central
except
it

Africa.

Unable

to

recognise

any

describe
to

its

come through orthodox channels, they seek to advance as a terrible calamity and unmixed evil
They declare

the African.
their

as

they have been taught

from

childhood

that

propagated by means of

Mahomedanism can only be fire and sword. They delight to


Negro on his knees, his
by ferocious

draw pictures of the

terror-stricken

hut in flames behind him, his wives and children, with halters

round their necks, being dragged

off

men
'

to

make slaves of, him with drawn


or the Koran.'

while a demon-like

Mussulman stands over


death

sword, giving him the alternative of

This

is

the stereotyped notion


idea,

danism
from

is

propagated

an

suppose,
I

how Mahomehanded down


have

previous
of

generations.

Happily,

had

an

opportunity

seeing for myself,

and seeing

differently.

The greatest triumphs of Islam in the Central and AVestern Soudan have been by peaceful and unassuming agencies the

19
erratic Fellani

herdsman
or

in the past, the energetic

and enter-

prising

Hausa

Nupe

trader in the present.

From some-

where about the 12th century the herdsman has been engaged
spreading his rehgion from Lake Chag to the Atlantic, with
the result that the entire region
little

became honeycombed with


last century.

Mahomed an

coteries

by the end of
off

but wanted a leader to

throw

the yoke of

They paganism and


of this

proclaim the Unity of God.

With

the beginning

century came the leader in the person of Fodiyo. and in a


surprisingly short time

Mahomedanism was

established as the

reigning religion over a huge extent of country, giving an im-

petus to the barbarous tribes which has produced the most


^astounding results.

In these later years the chief agent in


Protected by the sanctity of his busitribe within

the spread of Islam has been, as I have already remarked, the

Hausa

or

Nupe

trader.

ness, the

Negro merchant penetrates into every

hundreds of miles of his own home.

He

mixes with the


;

barbarous pagan as one of like blood with himself


in the

he sleeps

same house, he

eats the

same

food.

Everywhere he

carries his religion with him,

its

great central features unob-

scured by unthinkable and transcendental dogmas.


just so

He

has

much

of doctrine as his

pagan brother can understand


it

and
six

assimilate.

The

trader remains a month, or

may

be

months

or a year.

During that time he

is

admired

for his

fine clothes,

"They see
there
this
is

and the people around him begin to ape him. nothing which they may not hope to aspire to

nothing in his rehgion they do not understand.

In

manner have

the seeds of civilization and Islam been

scattered broadcast

among numerous savage tribes, till the land resounds with the inspiring din of a hundred industries, and morning, noon, and evening rises the watchword of Islam,
to stocks

^nd knees which were formerly bent

and

stones,

20

now bend
to

before the one God, and lips which have quivered

with enjoyment over the flesh of a brother

man

are employed

acknowledge His greatness and compassionateness.


''

If

Islam

has not always

been propagated

by such

Have we not peaceful means, what is there to wonder at ? required some eighteen centuries to learn that we have no
right to force our religion on others
?

What wonder,

then, if

ardent negro propagandists should seek occasionally to force


the
blessings
of their
?

religion

on their unbelieving

and

stubborn bre^.hren

"

Having thus briefly given extracts from the speeches and some of our countrymen upon the subject, let us now endeavour to calmly and dispassionately consider what
writings of
is

the creed of Islam and then to try and see

if it

will stand

the test of
*'

reason and commonsense.


like a horse for beauty,,

Islam has been defined as being


for its
for its

strength and endurance and


conviction,

swiftness

in

carrying^

and
it

like a

sword

keen incisive power in

argument
as

teaches a
die,

man

always to live remembering that


short he should therefore do
lives,

he has once to

and as

life is

much good

in the world as
to die." ^

he can while he

and thus

be always prepared

creation of the world

The fundamental doctrine of Islam is that from the very down to its final destruction there has
is

been, and for ever will be, but one true orthodox belief; tha

foundation of this religion


there
is

the recognition of the truth that

one only and true God.


tlie

" There

is

no God but

* This masterly definition of


lips

Faith of Islam I received from the

of

His laiperial Majesty


an.l

Ghazi

Abdul Hamid-as-sani, Sultan

of

Turkey

Calipli of the Faithful, in

au interview he was graciously

pleased to accord rae at the Imperial Palace of Yildiz, Constantinople^


in

Ramazan, 1308 (May,

1891).

21
<jod."

*'He

is

God, besides
is

whom

there

is

no God; who
present
there
:

knowefch that which


is

future,

and that which


God, besides

is

He
no

the most Merciful.


;

He

is

whom

is

God

the King, the Holy, the Giver of Peace, the Faithful, the

Guardian, the Powerful, the Strong, the most High.

He

is

God, the Creator, the Maker, the Originator.


excellent names. *

He

hath most
over

Whatever

is

in

heaven and earth praiseth


This belief
is

Him and He
:

is

the Mighty, the Wise." f

and over again inculcated in the Koraa and passage upon


passage might be quoted to verify this statement, but a few
will

suf&ce.

*'

Verily your

Lord
six

is
;

God, who

created the

heavens and the earth in


throne
the
;

days

and then ascended His


;

He

causeth the night to cover the day

it

succeedeth

same

swiftly;

He

also created the

sun and the moon, and

the stars, which are absolutely subject unto His


Is not the whole creation,

command.
His
?

and the empire


all

thereof,

Blessed be God, the Lord of

creatures

Call

upon your

Lord humbly and in secret


transgress,

for

He

loveth not those


;

who
upon

and act not corruptly


:

in the earth

and
is

call

Him

with fear and desire


It is

for the

mercy

of

God

near unto

the righteous.

He who

sendeth the winds spread abroad

before His mercy, until they bring a cloud heavy with rain,

which
to

He

drives unto a dead country


is

and He causes water


all sorts

descend thereon, by which


forth."

caused
7.
(/'

spring

Koran,

of fruits to

Sura

Al.
is

Araf.")

The
the
of the

description of the attributes of the Deity

very

fine, as

following extracts from the second

and other Suras

Koran

will

show.
is

"God! there
*

no God but He; the Living, the Self


list

In the appendix will be found a complete

in

Arabic and English

in parallel

columns

of the 99 excellent
t

names, or attributes of Allah (God).

59 Sura.

" The Emi^jration."

22
subsisting, the Eternal
!

neither slumber nor


is

sleep

seizeth

Him

to

Him

belongeth whatsoever
is

in

the heavens or on

the earth.

Who

there that can intercede with


?

Him, but
is

through His good pleasure

He knoweth

that which

past,

and that which


pleaseth.

is

to

come unto them, and they


of
is

shall not

comprehend an34hing
His throne

His knowledge, but so

far

as

He
is-

extended over heaven and

earth,,

and the preservation


the
*'

of both is

no burden unto Him.

He

High the

Mighty."
is

Blessed be He, in whose hands


is

the

Kingdom, and over


His deeds

all

things

He

potent.
is

Who

hath created Death and Life,


in

to prove

which of you

most righteous

He

is^

the Mighty

the

Forgiving
;

w]#o
!

hath

created

the seven

heavens one above another


the creation of the

no defect canst thou discover in

thou a single flaw


it

God of Mercy repeat thy gaze Sesst Then twice more repeat thy gaze, and

shall return
'

unto thee, dulled and weary."

Prophet, say to those

who ask
who

thee of
is

God

that
;

God
is

is

one,
is

He

has no partner, and there

none

like

unto Him.

He

accessible to everyone
;

supplicates

Him

He
to

the Master of everything


alone,

His grandeur appertains

Him
it.

and there
eternal.

is

none other that can be compared with

He

will

He begetteth not, neither is He has no need for either son or heir He had no parents nor was He born of any, and. there is none
is

he begotten, nor
;

He

beget.

like

unto Him." -

^ Sura 112.

This sura

is

held in special veneration by

all

Moslems,
is

and, according to an authenticated tradition of the Prophet,


in value to a third part of the whole Koran.
th,e

equal
to-

It

was revealed
were
the

in

answer

Koreish,

who asked

the

Prophet

Avhat

distinguishing

attributes of the Deity he invited

them

to worship.

23

The Caliph AH condemned


''

in emphatic

language

all

an-

thropomorphic and authropopathic conceptions of the Deity.

God was not


;

like

any ohject that the human mind can


to

conceive
least

no attribute can be ascribed


to

him which bore the

resemblance

any quality of which human beings

have perception from their knowledge of material objects.

The
tion

perfection of piety consists in knowing


of

God
His
is

the perfec;

knowledge
of verity

is

the
is

affirmation

of

His verity

the
all
all
is

perfection
sincerity
;

to

acknowledge

unity in
to

and the perfection of sincerity

deny

attributes to the Deity

....
some
created
;

He who
object.

asks where
is

God

assimilates

Him

with
is

God
is

Creator, not

because

He Himself

God

existent, not because

He was

non-existent.

He
;

is

with every object, not from reis

semblance or nearness

He He
is

outside of everything, not

from separation.

He

is
;

the Primary Cause, not in the meanthe Seer, but no sight can see

ing of motion or action

Him.

He

has no relation

to place, time, or

measure."

"^

This belief in an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and


wise Deity carries logically with
it

all-

the fact that God's religion\

and rule

of life

must have

at all ages

been the same.

To

this

religion is given the

name

of

Islam

a word not only

signify-/

ing resignation, or entire submission to the service

and com-

mands

of

God, but also meaning striving after righteousness.


second
sura of
the

In the
ethical

Koran the essence


in in

of

the
are
;

principles
:

involved

thus
it

summarised

and embodied
is

Islam
this

**

There

no

doubt

book

is

a guidance to the pious,

who by

faith believe in

the

Unseen, who observe the appointed prayers, and distribute


(alms) out of what
*

We

have bestowed on them

and who

Nahj-ul-Balaghat.
A.li,

See also "Life and Teachings of Mahomet," by

Sjed Ameer

chap. 19.

24
believe in that revelation

which

We

have sent down unto

thee (Mahomet), and in that which hath been revealed by


to the prophets before thee, in the
life

Us

and who have a


'^'

fixed assurance

to

come

these
basis

have received the du'ection of

their Lord,
*

and they

shall prosper."

The

principal

on which the Islamic system

is

founded are

(1) a belief in the unity, immateriality, power,


;

mercy, and supreme love of the Creator

(2) charity

and
the

brotherhood
passions
;

among
and
(5)

mankind

(3)

subjugation

of

(4) the
;

outpouring of a grateful heart to the giver


accountability
for

of all good

human

actions

in

another

existence.

expressed in

The grand and noble conceptions the Koran of the power and love of the Deity
of

surpass everything of their kind in any other language.

The unity

God, His immateriality. His majesty, His

mercy, form the constant and never-ending theme of the

most eloquent and


light,
is

soul-stirring passages.

The

flow of

life,

and

spirituality never ceases.

But throughout, there


is

no trace

of

dogmatism.

Appeal

made

to the inner
f

consciousness of man, to his intuitive reason alone."

The Moslem
by God
their
to

believes that this orthodox faith


at his creation
;

was revealed
faith of

Adam

but as years rolled along

and generation succeeded generation the primitive


forefathers

became perverted, clouded with


superstitions,

foolish

traditions

and clogged by idolatrous


the inhabitants
of the
in

until

many

of

world

had

lapsed into

absolute idolatry.

Then God,

His

infinite

mercy, not

desiring to punish the nations of the world

without giving

them an opportunity for repentance, him to warn the people to quit their
*

inspired

Noah and

sent

idolatrous
1 to 6.

and wicked

Sura

2.

(The Cow) verses

t " Life aud Teachings of

Mohammed

" by Syed Ameer Ali.

25
practices

and
faith

to return to the

worship of the only true

God
in

and the

of Islaaa

hut the warnings of

Noah being

vain, the deluge destroyed the evil doers.

This mission of

Noah's and

its

non- success

is

alluded to very fully in the


(**

Koran, as the following extract from the 71st Sura


will
**

Noah

")

show
Verily

we

sent

Noah unto
verily I

the people, saying,

Warn

the

people before a grievious punishment overtake them.


said,

Noah
;

my

people,

wherefore, serve God, and fear


forgive

am a public warner unto you Him and obey Him He will


:

you your past


;

sins,

and

will grant

you

respite until a
it

determined time

for

God's determined time


;

when

cometli,

shall not be deferred

if

ye were

men
;

of understanding ye

would know
called

this.

And Noah
:

said,

Lord, verily I have


but

the

people night and day

my

calling

only
to the

increaseth their aversion


true faith, that
fingers

and whensoever I
forgive

call

them

Thou mayest
ears,

them, they put their


their

in

their

and cover themselves with

garments, and

persist in their infidelity, and proudly disdain

my
to

counsel. Moreover, I invited them openly, and I spake them again in public and I also secretly admonished them in private and I said, Beg pardon of your Lord for He is inclined to forgive and He will cause the heavens to pour down rain plentifully upon you, and will give you increase of wealth and of children and He will provide you
;
:

gardens, and furnish you with rivers.

God how God hath created the heavens, and hath placed the moon therein for a light, and hath appointed the sun as a taper ? God hath also provided and caused you
ye hope not for benevolence in
you.
:

What aileth you, that since He hath created

Do

ye not see

to spring forth to return

from the earth


:

hereafter

He

will cause

you

unto the same

and He

will again take

you thence.

26

by bringing you

fortli

from your graves.

spread the earth as a carpet for you, that ye


therein, through spacious paths.
verily they are disobedient to

And God liatb may walk


said,

And Noah
other

Lord,
his

me, and they follow him whose

riches

and
"

children

do

no

than

increase

perdition."

Ages

rolled on, the world

was re-peopled, and again the


another
distinguished

nations perverted the true faith and lapsed into idolatry,

and once more the Almighty sent


prophet to
call the

people from their sin and to point out to them


;

the primitive faith

this

was the patriarch Abraham. The father


as

of Abraham was undoubtedly an idolater, even the Christian

scriptures

represent
v.

him

having served

strange

gods

(Joshua xxiv.,
idolaters,
it

2-14),

and since Abraham's parents were

appears to be a necessary consequence that he also

in the

was one in his younger days, and this is not only intimated book of Joshua, but acknowledged by the Jews.f At what age he came to the knowledge of the true God and left
idolatry opinions vary.

Some Jewish

writers place

it

at the

early age of 3 years,

but others consider him to have been a

middle aged

man

at that time.

Maimonides, in particular,

and Kabbi Abraham Zacuth, think him to have been 40 years old, which age is also mentioned by several of the learned
commentators of the Koran.

The

general

opinion of the

Moslem
.

doctors of theology
|I

is

that he was about 15 or 16


is

years old.

The

story

of

Abraham's conversion
6. Cattle)

thus

given in the Koran.


* The story of Noah
is

(Sura

aUuded to in Suras

7, 10, 11, 26, 29. 51, 56,

and

71 of the Koran.
t
+

Joseph, Ant.

i. i. c.

7.

Maimon, More Neo. part


i.

III. c. 29.

Taachuma, Talmud, Nedarim, 32


Vide Hyde de rehgiou.

et

apud Maimon.

II

Veb. Persar, pp. 60, 61.

27
'*

And

thus did

we show unto Abraham

the

kingdom of

heaven and earth, that he might become one of those


firmly beHeve.

who

"

And when
This
set.

the night overshadowed

him he saw
he

a star, and

he

said.

is

my
;

Lord

but

when

it set,

said, I

hke not
he
said,.

gods which

And
shall

when he saw the moon


it set,

rising,
if

This

is

direct

my Lord me not, I

but when

he said. Verily

my

Lord

become as one

of the people

who ga

astray

"

this is the greatest

And when he saw the sun rising, he said, This is my Lord, my people, but when it set, he said,
;

verily
direct

am
I

clear

of that

my

face unto

Him

which ye associate with God I who hath created the heavens and
:

the earth.

am

orthodox, and

am

not one of the idolaters.


said
?

And
now

his people disputed with him,

and he

" Will ye dispute with

me

concerning

God

since he hath

directed me, I fear not that

which ye associate with him,


;

unless that

my Lord
And how
He
?

willeth a thing

for

my

Lord comprenot therefore

hendeth
consider

all
?

things by his knowledge

will ye

should I fear that which ye associate

with God, since ye fear not to have associated with


concerning which

God

that

hath sent down unto you no authority ?

Which,

therefore, of the

two parties

is

the

more

safe, if

ye

understand aright

They who

believe,

and clog not

their

faith with injustice, they shall enjoy security

and be rightly

directed."
It is

worthy of observation en passant, as external corroevidence


of the
strict

borative

accuracy of the Koranical

narrative, that the idolatrous religion wherein

Abraham was

educated was doubtless the Sabian, which consisted chieflv in


the worship of the heavenly bodies,

man

of a logical

mind he would examine

and naturally being a their nature and

28
properties
;

and

tlie

star wliicli lie observed

was probably-

one of the planets Venus, Mercury, or Jupiter.


of Abraham's attaining to

the knowledge of the


is

The method Supreme

Creator of the Universe given in the Koran


able to the

also conform-

Talmudic tradition

^^

and

to the writings of

Josephus

The next distinguished prophet through whom the Deity again re-taught His will to mankind was Moses. We need
not dwell at any length on the ministrations of Moses, as the

account given in the Koran


tian scriptures that
tale
;

is

so similar to that of the Chrisretelling a

it

would be simply

well-known
is

but the advice given by Moses unto the people


all

one

which we

can take to heart and apply


;

to ourselves.

"

Ask

assistance of God, and suffer patiently

for the earth is God's,

He He
fear

giveth

it

for
;

an inheritance unto such of


shall be

his servants as

pleaseth

and the prosperous end

unto those that

Him."

The

fifth of

the series of super-eminent prophets

is

Jesus,

He whom
with God.

Christians adore as their saviour, and rank equally


This, indeed,
is

the great difference between the

Christian belief and the faith of Islam.


1

The ordinary
and

Chris-

tian, not too well versed in the curious


lof his sect,

intricate theology

has a vague idea that he believes in " The Trinity,"

and when asked of what this consists, he will reply, " The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and perhaps may add by way of
explanation,
'*

Three persons, but one God."


seeming inconsistency he
if

When

asked

to explain this

will retort that it is

a mystery, and
refer

a Catholic or an English Episcopalian,

may

one to that truly Christian and Charitable proclamation


*

Vide Bertolocc, Bibb. Rabb. part


Josephus, Ant. of the Jews, book
\

1, p. 1,

640.
7.

chap

Sura

7.

29

known

as

tlie

Athanasian creed, which,

after

summing up and
by-

declaring the essentials of the Catholic faith, concludes

consigning to everlasting perdition those


every line, word, and syllable of that

who cannot accept creed. The poet Byron


matter
in

has in his characteristic


feelings of the

satirical style, cleverly described the

orthodox Christian on this


:

the

following lines

" So now

all

things are d-n'd, one feels at ease

As

after reading Athanasius' curse,

Which doth your true believer so much please I doubt if any now could make it worse, O'er his worst enemy, when at his knees,
'Tis so sententious, positive

and

terse,

"

And

decorates the book of

Common

Prayer,
*

As doth a rainbow the

just clearing air."

The word "Trinity"


nowhere
to be

is

not a

scriptural

term,
;

and

is

found in the Christian scriptures

it

was

intro-

duced into the Church in the second century, to express the


belief in the

union of the three persons in the Godhead.


theological writers are unable to explain
treatises

The great
theory,

this

and their

on the subject generally consist of


it

apologies, or of declarations that

is

an incomprehensible
thus, "

mystery.

Dr. Robinson
flight of

pens his feelings

Equally

above the boldest

the most extended limit

human genius to invent, as beyond of human intellect fully to compreand such a mystery
genius
to
is

hend,
If

is

the profound mystery of the ever Blessed Trinity."


is

Dr Robinson

right,

" beyond

the boldest flight

of

hum in

invent,"

then the

almost similar belief in Scandanavian and Ancient Egyptian

mythology, in the Platonic school, and


theology,

in

modern Hindoo

must

also be not of

human

invention but of Divine

revelation.

proposition,

we

fancy, that Christians will not


G,

Byron,

"Don

Juan," Canto

Stanza 23.

30
"be likely to

accede
**

to.

Another writer* thus alludes

to the
is

Even among same subject, more properly a subject of belief than


every attempt to penetrate into
it,

Christians the sacred Trinity


of investigation;

and
His

further than
is

God

in

holy word has expressly revealed,

at best

an injudicious,

and

often a dangerous, effort of mistaken piety.''

No

well-

meaning, enquiring, pious Christian brethren, you must not attempt to penetrate this mystery. You must swallow it
wholly
without

enquiry

or

investigation,

and

if

your

<;ommonsense revolts against such treatment be comforted

by the enunciation of the inflexible sentence that this is the Catholic faith," which faith, except every one do keep whole
and undefiled, without doubt he
Strange as
"that
I

shall perish everlastingly." f


it is

it

may appear
which

to Christians,

no

less

a fact

throughout the whole of the Christian scriptures there


directly
is (1

is

no passage

proves the

doctrine

of the

Trinity but ooe, and that

John,

v. 7.)

" There are three

that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the

Holy

Ghost

and

these

three

are

one."

And

it

is

remarkable fact that the Kevision Committee have expunged this passage from the Revised Testament, giving as their
reason that
it

could not honestly be

left

in.

The Eevision

Committee are supported in their action by the works of Newton, Gibbon, Porson, and others who all prove that this
text
that

was an interpolation
^^

and Oalmet.t himself acknowledges,


in

this

verse

is

not to be found

any ancient copy of

the

BihUr
* " Adams' Religious World Displayed."
t
\

Atbanasian Creed.

Augustine Calmet

was a learned French theologian and

historian,

born in Lon-aiue in 1672, and died in Paris in 1757.

At au early age he
in

became a Benedictine mouk, and studied philosophy and theology


various abbeys of that learned order.

He

wrote copiously on subjects of

81

Our readers may


question to him, "
everlasting
life ?

also, while

on this subject, consider the

reply given by Christ himself to a certain ruler

who put

this

Good Master, what

shall I do to inherit

"

And
is

Jesus said unto him, "


is

Why
is

calleth

thou me good;
xvii,
V.

none

good save one that

God."

(Luke
the

18-19).

They who contend that Christ


to

One

whom

he thus distinguished from himself ought

ponder well

over this passage.


for the Christian doctrine of the Trmity, and the by them of the great teacher Jesus. Let us now see what is the faith of Islam on this point, and by way of

So much

deification

premise we

feel justified in asserting that, to

human
is

intelli-

gence, the idea of a


illogical absurdity.

God-man,
It is

or a

man-God,

in itself

an

not a reasonable idea, or conception* but the confusion, blurred and undefined of two separate

ideas or conceptions which are each mutually exclusive of one another. Moslems believe that in God there is no contradiction.

The Almighty Creator in his unerring wisdom has endowed us with reasoning faculties. All knowledge comes
Granted that our reason

from reason.
Bacred

may

possibly be very

learning, in the form of commentaries and dissertations. His commentaries were published in French at Paris in 23 vols., quarto, in 1707-16 and extended to all the books of the Old and New Testament.

His writings and publications were exceedingly numerous, not only in


biblical literature, but also in history, topography, genealogy, biography,

and

antiquites. The works by which he is best known are " Dictionnaire Historique et Critique de la Bible," Paris 1730, which has been translated

into

English,

German,
'

Italian

and Dutch

the English translation

appeared in 1732, and


1720-22.
erudition

Tresor d'Antiquites Sacrees et Profanes," Paris


scholar Calmet was

As a
than

biblical

more distinguished
deficient

for

for

critical

acumen, and

he was

in

the

departments of rabbinical learning and oriental philology.

The two works

named above have always been

highly esteemed, not only in his

own

church, but also by Protestant theologians.

82
circumscribed, nevertheless
distinct voice of God's able to
it is

to us, so far as it goes,

the

own undeniable
what
it
it is

truth.
;

It

may

not be

measure the
of

infinities

and eternities
as

that

is

within the

power

God

alone, but in

reasonably capable of

deciding there

we may

trust
is

we would

trust

the

commonreason, entirely within the limits of our own sense and understanding, that the same person cannot be both God
Deity himself.
it

And

a plain matter of simple

and man.

What is man
ful

A creature undoubtedly gifted


of finite

with wonder-

and noble endowments, yet

power in eveiy con-

ceivable direction.

He

is

limited in physical strength, in

intellectual understanding, in knowledge and in the stretch

and scope

of his affections.

And

not only

is

he limited in

all

these things, but in every one of

them he commences with


roll

a very small beginning, and as years


in body but also in

by he grows not only

mind and

in feelings.

The very
;

con-

ception of a
if

man

is that of a finite

and growing being

and

Christ was
if

man, he was a
finite

finite

and growing being

and

he was not a

and growing being, whether, as

Christians claim he was the Deity, or otherwise, then at least

he was not man.

Now
God
tell
?

let

us look at the other side of the picture.

What
?

is

What is

this other nature which Christian theologians


fiian in

us was combined with the natural


infinite, undefinable,

Jesus

What

bat the

Omnipoteat Power, that sustains


heaven and penetrates the
of

and controls the


Universe
of earth
;

brilliant orbs of

*'
;

unto

whom belongeth the kingdom


created
all

heaven and

who hath God

things,
?
"^'

and disposed the same

according to His determinate will

Had

this

a beginning
*

Sura 25, " Al Forkau."

Korau.

33

Has

there ever been in God, growth, gradual enlargement

of capacity,

and

rising
?

by degrees

to

an acme of faculty not

grasped primarily

No, a thousand times repeated. No.

Perish the mere

transient thought of such a slur upon the dignity of God,


**

the

One God

the Eternal God,

who

begetteth not, neither

is

he begotten

and there

is

not anyone like unto Him." *


'

What

then of this so-called

holy mystery," this " Godbe


*

man/' which your Christian man and perfect God "


'?

creeds claim to

perfect

If

he
he

is
is
!

perfect

man, then he

is
is

limited in every faculty

If

perfect God, then he

not limited in any faculty

whatever

As man, he grew from the impotence and ignorance


fancy.

of in-

As God, he was

all

powerful and complete from

all eternity

^nd never

grew.

Christian you are on the horns of a dilemma.

Don't try and explain


of " It
is

it

by the cant phrase and parrot cry


believed."
at all, except the

a mystery
is

and therefore must be


it

There

no mystery about

wonder that
it.

anyone should be such an arrant stupid as


It
is

to believe

sheer

nonsense,

pure

unadulterated

folly,

and

nothing but a

flat

contradiction.

Commonseuse and reason


with an apparent absurdity.

repels against being

humbugged
derogatory

From
not only

this

jargon of unmeaning bosh, which

is

to the

character of Christ, but also to the dignity of

God

himself, let us turn to the Koran,

and there we

will find

a logical explanation of the true nature of Jesus.


*

Sura 112.

"

The Declaration

of God's Unity."

Koran.

34
((

Verily Christ Jesus, the son of Mary,

is

the apostle of

God, and His Word, which


spirit

He

conveyed into Mary,

by a

proceeding from

Him.

Believe, therefore, in

God and His

apostles,

and say not

there are three Gods

forbear this, it will

be better for you.

God

is

but one God.


it

Far be

from

Him

that

He

should have a son


is

Unto Him belongeth whatsoever

in

heaven and on earth

and God

is

a sufficient protector.

Christ doth not proudly


;

disdain to be a servant unto

God

neither the angels

who
and
other

approach near

to

His presence.
these precepts, lest ye err
:

God declareth unto you God knoweth all things." *


apostles have preceded

" Christ, the son of Mary,

is

no more than an apostle

him

and his mother was a


|

veritable-

woman

they both ate food."

Probably the orthodox

Christian

will

strongly

protest

against this, and will vehemently decry us, because, as he

puts

it,

we make

Christ " a mere

man

hasty and ill-considered expression, the adjective

" but surely this is a " *'

mere

cannot be applicable
creature

as

if

man

necessarily

is

a miserable,

poor,

being

that

mean and contemptible. Man is a communes with the Almighty God, whom
low,

the most

merciful
love,

and
to

compassionate

Deity loves

with

an
ful

infinite

whom
with

the

mighty

God
of

speaks

through conscience and by every witness

of the beautioffering

and

true,

being

the

capacity

I)rayer,

and whose prayers have the due consideration of


*

Sura

4,

"Women."

Koran,

f i.e.,

Never pretending
of

to partake of the Divine nature, or to be the

mother
+

God.
5,

Sura

" The Table."

Koran.

85
Allah himself.

created by God.

was a

God is man's Creator man is a creature And therefore when we say that Christ man, and a pro^ohet, we do him no dishonour. We
;

admit that he had in a superlative degree some

of the greatest

endowments the Almighty Creator has given


Are we Moslems,
all

to

any creature.

therefore, not fully justified in saying with

tenderness

and

kindness,

but with the unswerving

firmness of the most supreme conviction, that this illogical

fancy of Christians, of this unexplainable anachronism, a


**

God- Christ

"

has stood in the way of the proper under-

standing of the actual nature of the true God, and held

many

men

aloof

from professing any form of religion


all

who are unable to accept this dogma of the divinity of Christ as "infidels." The Mussulman smiles at their bigotry and credulity, and replies, " They are surely infidels, who say, Verily God is Christ the son of Mary since Christ said,
Christians dub

persons

curious and unnatural

0, children of Israel, serve God,

my

Lord and your Lord." *

The prophet Jesus poured out


with

his whole heart in pleading


their love, confidence

men

to

go straight to

God with

and

prayer.

He

never put himself between them, and even

if

we

take the record of the Christian Gospel itself


that

we

find there

when he taught

his disciples

how

to

pray he bade them

say " Our Father which art in

Heaven, Hallowed be Thy

name, forgive
to be

us our trespasses, &c." f

The last and greatest of all the prophets Moslems believe Mahomet, who was born at Mecca on the 10th April, in the year 569 of the Christian era. His family was of the illustrious tribe of the Koreish, one of the most influential
* t

Sura

5.
vi.

" The Table."


verses 9 to 13
;

Koran,
also,

Gospel of Matthew, chap.

Luke, chap.

xi.

reraes

2 to 4.

Christian Bible.

36
tribal families tlirougliout Arabia, claiming as it did, to be

descended from Ishmael, the eldest son of Abraham, and his


grandfather was custodian of the Kaaba, the head quarters

His father, whose name and temple of Arabian idolatry.* was Abdullah, died before his birth he lost his mother when but six years old, and then fell to the charge of his uncle Abu Talib. He was of a very delicate constitution, and
;

excessively sensitive to bodily pain.

It

was while under the


respect as one
exhibit indica-

care of this uncle,


of his

who

treated

own

children, that
intelligent

him in every Mahomet began to

tions of

an

and inquiring mind.

He was

very

fond of indulging in solitary meditation, and on one of his

playmates requesting him to join in their amusements he


replied, "

Man

is

created for a nobler purpose than indulging

in frivolous pursuits."

He
of

possessed

wonderful powers

of

imagination, great elevation of mind,

and delicacy and

refineaffecself-

ment

of feeling.

He was

an excessively amiable and

tionate disposition, fond of children, given to almsgiving,

denying, and unpretending in social intercourse.


Before

According
and
the

Mahomet's time the Kaaba was the place

of worship

pilgrimage of the idolatrous Arabs and contained 360

idols, equalling

number
that
it

of days in the Arabian year.

There was a tradition to the

effect

had been erected by Abraham and Ishmael.

More authentic
era.

history, however, placed the period of its erection at 993 years before that
of

Solomon's temple, or 2000 years before the Christian


exists

This building
to the worship

still

though now divested of


God.
silver

its idols

and consecrated
by

of the true

The
The

ceiling is supported

pillars of aloe- wood,

between

which hang

lamps, while a golden spout carries off the rain water


walls are

from the

roof.

hung on the
is

outside with black damask,

ornamented with a gold band, which


traveller Burckhardt, describing the
effect of the
silver,

changed annually.

The

great

Kaaba

at the present day, says, "


of gold

The
and

whole scene, the mysterious drapery, the profusion

the blaze of lamps, and the kneeling multitude, surpasses anything

the imagination could have pictured."

37
to

tradition

he was of middle height, and dignified and

imposing in appearance.--

As

to

acquired learning in the


it

ordinary acceptance of the word,

must be admitted that

Mahomet had none at all, in fact that he was so ignorant of what we term book learning that he could neither read nor
write
;

this fact is alluded to in the

29th Sura of the Koran in

the

following passage: "


;

Thou

couldst not read any book


it

before this

neither could thou write

with thy right hand."


as

When

about forty years of age

Mahomet withdrew,

had

been his custom to do annually for some preceding years, to


a dark cave in
cleft

Mount Hira,f (" a huge barren rock, torn by and hollow ravine, standing out solitary in the full
Here

white glare of the desert sun, shadowless, flowerless, without


well or rill.") about one hour's journey from Mecca.
,in this cave

he continued

for

about a month, sitting alone,

passing in this grotto the

While thus Ramazan, he lay wrapped in his mantle during the silent watches of the night. About midnight he heard a voice twice was it repeated, and twice he made efforts to avoid hearing it, but it could not be

occupying his time with religious meditation.

month

of

ignored

he

felt

as

if

a fearful weight were upon him, and


arrived.

as though his last

moment had

third time he
it

heard the sound, and could not stop his ears against

uncovering his head, a flood of light suddenly broke in upon

him

of such intolerable splendour that he

swooned away.
in

regaining his senses he beheld before

him an angel

On human

form,

who thus addressed him

" Oh, Mahomet, I

am

Gabriel

"
!

The angel then displayed a


characters.

silken cloth covered with written

* "Islam, Its Genius and mission."

Lake.

Now

called the

Mount

of Light.

38

"Read!" said the know not how to man untaught."


*

angel.

read

"

repHed Mahomet.

" I

am

The answer
the Koran.
**

of the angel is preserved in the 9Gth

Sura of

Read

in the

created all things who hath man from a clot of blood. Read in the name of the most beneficent God, who taught man the use of the pen Who taught man what he knew not Verily, verily, man is rebellious

In the name of

name of God God who hath

created

Is insolent because he groweth in riches.

True unto God

is

the return of

all

"What of him who holdeth back, who forbiddeth a servant

when he prayeth What of him ?


piety ?

Doth he follow

right,

or

command unto
?

Dost not see that he rejecteth truth and turneth back

Doth he not know that God


Verily, verily,
if

seeth

he desist not we will drag him by the

forelock

The

lying, sinful forelock.


call his

Let him

assembly

We

will call the

guards of the Abyss

Nay, obey him not, but adore and draw nigh

"
!

The angel
cloth,

ceased,

and Mahomet instantly


celestial
light,

felt

his underat the

standing illumined with

and looking
it,

read the decrees of the Almighty written upon

which

were afterwards promulgated in the Koran.

When

he had

finished the perusal, the heavenly messenger again spoke and


said,
'

Oh, Mahomet, truly thou shalt be the prophet of God,

39

even as I
this

am

His angel Gabriel," and vanished.


as soon as

Terrified at

had dawned * Mahomet hastened home, trembling and agitated, and narrated to his wife Khadijah the events of the night, adding that he was perplexed, not knowing whether what he bad heard and seen
vision,

the day

was

true,

and that he was decreed

to be a prophet
;

and

init

strumental in effecting a reform in religion

or

whether

might not be a dream, or a delusion of the senses, or worse than all, the apparition of an evil spirit. Khadijah, however,
with the acute penetration of feminine nature, saw what had
occurred in
-dost
its

true light,
!

and exclaimed: "Joyful tidings


in

thou bring
I

By Him,
nation.

whose hand
regard

is

the soul of
as

Khadijah,
prophet of

shall

henceforth
Rejoice,
will

thee

the

our

dear
suffer

husband,
thee
to
fall

and
to

be of good

cheer,

God
thou

not

shame.

Hast

not

been

loving
to

to

thy
]30or,

kinsfolk,

kind to thy

neighbours,

charitable

the

hospit-

able to the stranger, faithful to thy word,

and ever a defender

of the truth?"

Khadijah hastened

to

communicate what she had heard to a


of Naufal,

kinsman

of hers

named Warika, son


'*

who was

old

and

blind,

and

knew the

scriptures

of

the

Jews and

Christians,"

and he

also accepted at once,

and with eagerness,

this miraculous annunciation.

"

God

be

praised

!"

exclaimed
;

Warika,

" the

son of

Abdullah speaks the truth

there shall

the great law, like unto the law of

come unto Mahomet Moses verily this is the


;

messenger who came


prophet of his people.

to

Moses.
Tell

Thy husband
this
:

will be the to

him

Charge him
!

keep

hope in his heart


*

I will

stand by
tlie

him

" f

This was the morning of


t

24th of Ramazan.
A. Gilman.

"

The Saracens," by the Rev.

40
Subsequently
tlie

two

men met

in the street,

and then the


Scriptures,,

hUod

old student

of the

Jewish and Christian

who had searched in them for consolation and found none, but who knew of the promise therein held out to mankind of a Deliverer and a Comforter, * grasped Mahomet by his
hand and
life is,

said " I swear by

Him

in

whose hand Warika's

God

has chosen thee to be the prophet of this people.


to thee.

The Holy messenger has come


a
liar,

They

will call thee

they will persecute thee, they will banish thee, they

will fight against thee.

Oh

that I could live to those days

I would fight for thee,"

and so saying he kissed him on

liis-

forehead. f

Despite these

assurances,
;

Mahomet
felt

at

first

still

was-

perplexed
to

and anxious

he

that he

had been spoken


read were
yet
still

by Gabriel, and

the

words

he had
not

imprinted
his

on his heart,

but he was

sure
certain

that
of
of"

mission was to preach;


Koreishites
ridiculed

added
wild

to

which
this

the

him.

In

condition
side,

perplexity

he

sought

the

mountain

and

sat

wrapped

in his cloak, pondering over the past events.


to

While thus musing the angel again appeared


said
'^
:

him

and.

Oh thou

that art covered

Arise and preach.

And magnify God

Purify thy garments.

And shun abominations


* Deuteronomy,

Chap,

xviii,

v.

15, 18
iii,

&

19

(Jewish Pentateuch).
vii. v.

Quoted by Christians

in Acts, Chap,

v.

22 to 24, and Chap.

37,

but by them mistakenly applied


xvi, V. 7 to 13 (Christian
t

to Christ.

See also Gospel of John, Chap,

New

Testament).
p.

Rouzat-us-Safa

Ibn

Hisham,

103.

Warika died soon

after this.

event.

41

Grant not favours

for increase

Wait

patiently for God.

When
distress

the trumpet shall sound, Verily that day shall he

and uneasiness
felt

for the unhelievers."

"

Mahomet now
commissioned

that he

was

in

direct

communication
to say.

with the angel, and messenger of God, and that he had been
to preach,

and would he taught what

He

rose superior to all his former trembling forbodiug


:

and

exultingly cried

" By the splendour By the stilly night

of
!

midday

The Lord hath not forsaken


Neither doth
Verily the

thee,

He

hate thee

life to

come

shall be better

than the present one

In the end God shall reward thee,

And thou
Find thee

shalt be pleased.
find thee

Did He not

an orphan, and give thee a home


?

erring,

and guide thee

He

found thee poor and made thee rich.

Wherefore oppress not the orphan,

Nor

repel the beggar,


!

But declare the great bounty of God

"
:j:

Mahomet returned home and began


seminate the truth
of his
;

at first to quietly disAli,

his wife, a

young nephew

and a few
;

immediate

relations early believed in

him

but his
It is

family generally treated his pretensions with contempt.


strongly

corroborative

of

Mahommed's

sincerity,

that the

earliest converts to

Islam were his bosom friends and the people


all

of his household,

who,
*

intimately acquainted as they

must

Sura 74. " The Covered."

t " The Saracens," Gilmau.


J

Sura 93, " The Brightness " Koran.

42
liave been with the secrets of his private Hfe, coukl not
failed to

have

have detected those discrepancies, which

in a greater

or less degree invariably exist between the pretensions of the


hypocritical deceiver in public,

and

his actions in the privacy

of his

own home.
life

For the next few years Mahomet's


tinual state of insult, ridicule
also to his few disciples.
offers of wealth or

was passed

in a con-

and persecution, which extended

Once, indeed, his opponents


if

made

of leadership

he would abandon his

purpose.

The prophet replied by


:

reciting the 41st Sura of the

Koran, one verse of which runs

" If a lure from Satan entice thee, then Take thou refuge in God, for He is the Hearing, the AUwise."

Mahomet's adversaries answered this by requesting him to work a miracle in proof of his divine mission but he refused, saying that he was sent to spread the truth, and not to perform miracles and at the same time, challenging the unbelievers to produce any work which could rival even a single chapter of
:

the Koran, in either beauty or sublimity.

No

proof, indeed, has ever

been adduced, that Mahomet at


artifices

a,ny time descended to

any

or pseudo-miracles

to

enforce his doctrines, or to establish his claim to be one of

the prophets of God.

On

the contrary,

he relied entirely

upon common

sense, reason

and eloquence, and supported by


the opposition which

the inate conviction of the inspiration of the Almighty he

continued his work, in the teeth of


ignorance or fanaticism offered to
its

all

progress.

Mahomet
being the
of the

thus preached publicly in Mecca, daily adding to

the number of his disciples, his favourite places for preaching


hills of

Safa and Kubeis, both in the neighbourhood


last

city.

At

his

opponents

became angry and

attempted to silence him by force and threats of violence.

43

When

the opposition was assuming

its fiercest

character, the

Mahomet arose. His uncle endeavoured to persuade him from pursuing the matter further but the prophet had made his decision and repHed, " That if they set the sun against him on his right hand, and the moon on his
courage of
;

left,

he would not leave his enterprise." *

Persecution increased at Mecca against


disciples,

Mahomet and

his

and

at last the proi^het advised his followers to seek

safety

by

flight to

Medina, where there resided a number of

converts to
advice and

Islam.
left

Most
;

of the

Moslems accepted

this
still

Mecca

but

Mahomet remained behind

preaching and declaring the doctrine of the Unity of God.

At length
slept

his enemies

determined to
set out to

assassinate him, and

a body of desperate villains


;

murder him as he

but

before

they had reached his house


of

Mahomet
and the

was
with

divinely

warned
for

the impending danger,

prophet went to the house of

Abu

Beker, and arranged

him
at

instant

flight.

arrived

Mahomet's
of the

dwelling,
j)6rceived,

The murderous gang and peeping through


as

a crevice

door,

they thought, the


his green
to fall

prophet lying asleep on his couch wrapped in


mantle.

They waited

for awhile, consulting

whether
forth.

on him while sleeping or wait until he should go

At

length they burst open the door and rushed towards the
couch.

The
is

sleeper started

up

but instead of Mahomet,


cried,

Ali stood before them.


*'

Astounded and amazed, they


? "
**

Where
!

Mahomet

know not

am
;

not his

keeper

"

replied Ali,

sternly,
f

and walked forth

nor did

they venture to molest him.

"Islam,

Its

Genius and Mission."

Lake.

" Life of t Irving's

Mahomet."

44

In

tlie

the darkness of the niglit, in a cave at the foot of

meanwhile the prophet and Abu Beker, profiting by left Mecca and secreted themselves

Mount Thor, a

hill to

the south of

bounded.

The The intelligence that the band of would-be assassins had been unsuccessful, and that the prophet had escaped, aroused their whole energy. Horsemen mounted on A price was set upon swift steeds scoured the country.
Mecca.

fury of the idolatrous Koreish

was now un-

Mahomet's head, f Scarce had the fugitives got within the cave when they

Abu Beker, although heard the distinct sounds of pursuit. a brave man, now became fearful lest their place of refuge
should be discovered.
"

Our pursuers,"

said he, " are

many,

and we are but two." " Nay," replied Mahomet, " we are three; God and

is

with us,

He

will protect us."

The
cave,

fugitives

remained

for three days

undiscovered in the

and on

and on the fourth day Mahomet set out for Medina, arrival there was received by the inhabitants more as

a conqueror returning in triumph than a fugitive exile seeking

an asylum.
Prior to entering Medina,
called

Mahomet had

rested at a village

Koba, in order to be

fully

assured that his proposal to

take up his abode there would be agreeable to the inhabitants.

Being assured that such was the case, he determined

to

remove thence on the following Friday.

By

that time the


idolaters

faithful Ali,

who had been severely maltreated by the

after their disappointment at

the escape of the prophet,

had

arrived

and accompanied him.


his favourite camel, with

In the morning the prophet

mounted
t

Abu Beker behind him.

The blood money offered was the value of a hundred camels, Hasham, p. 328; Ibn-alAthir, vol. II., p. 81.

vide Ibn-

45
host of followers surrounded them
;

a powerful chieftain at the


;

head

of seventy

horsemen acted as a guard of honour

others

of the faithful took turns in holding a canopy of

palm leaves
along as

over his head


standard. *

one enthusiastic follower unfolded his green


it

turban, and tying

to the point of his lance bore

it

In passing

it is

worthy of notice that


date
of

all

Moslem

historians
flight

calculate the years from the

Mahomet's

to

Medina, which
first

is

called the " Hegira," and is considered the

year of the Moslem era.

This of course

is

similar to

Christians calculating their years from the traditionary date


of the birth of Christ, f

At Mecca Mahomet had been persecuted and derided, but at Medina all was changed. As the men of this city of refuge

came
soul
in a
still

know him they devoted themselves to him heart and No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man And yet with all this he cloak of his own clouting." |
to
;

"

remained the same noble, but yet humble, true-hearted


out for the last time into the mosque, two days

man.

He went

before his death, and publicly, before the assembled worshippers, asked, "

Have

I injured

any man

If so, let

my own
owe any
to

back bear the stripes."

No one answered.
" Yes,

"

Do

man
paid.
of
*

ought

? "

A voice answered,
shame now,"

me
**

three drachms,"

borrowed on such an occasion.


''

Mahomet ordered them


said he,

be

Better be in

than at the

Day

Judgment."
Hence the colour
of the Sacred

Standard of Islam (Green).

fThe decree appointing the "Hegira" or " flight " as the first year of the Moslem era was made hy the Caliph Omar, some years after the death The Arabian year was and is a lunar one, and commences of the Prophet. on the first of the month of Moharram. Crichtoa's " History of Arabia."

Carlyle, "

Heroes and Hero Worship."

46

Space
the
life

will not

permit us to further extend this sketch of


of

and work

Mahomet

suffice

it

to say that tlie first

small

company
felt

multiplied to thousands and tens of thousands

until the whole of Arabia knelt to worship the true God.

The

prophet

that his time on earth


his last days in

and he spent

was drawing prayer and praise.

to

a close,

Finally, the

time of his departure to the heavenly regions arrived, and


lying on his couch he sighed
:

"Oh

God, succour

me

in

the

agonies of death; come

Thou

close to

Thy

servant."

His wife
:

prayed by his
"

side,

and, as she prayed, the prophet muttered


servant pardon of his sins and join
.

Oh God,
.
. .

grant

Thy

him

to the
.

companionship on high

Eternity in paradise
I

Pardon

Yes

...
It

come
!"

The

companionship

of the

blessed

on high

and
''-

thus-

peaceably expired on a carpet spread upon the


prophec's soul was with his God.

floor.

The
8th,

was Monday, Jane

in the year 632 of the Christian era,


after the Hegira.

and

in

the tenth year

" Thus died the only


at

man
f

in the world's history


:

who was

once a poet, prophet, and legislator

the founder of a

religion

and an empire."

Much has been

written by various Christian writers

upon
it

the character of Mahomet, and most of their productions have

been tinged with an amount


is

of bigotry

and rancour which


profess to be

regrettable to observe
of the

among persons who


Jesus."

fol-

lowers

"

meek and lowly

Some

writers,

however, of modern times, have come to learn that vituperation is not argument,

and have admitted the many excellencies

of the prophet's character,

and the mightiness

of his work.

On

this subject

Mr. John Davenport, in his excellent work

* Gibbon's " History of the Decline and Fall of the


t "

Komau Empire,"

The Saracens."

Gilman.

47
**

Mahomet and

the Koran,"

^^

writes, "

The more
to

insight

is

obtained from undoubted historical


character of

sources as

the real

Mohammed,

the less reason will there be found to

justify the strong

and vituperative language poured upon his head by Maracci, Prideaux and more recently by Frederick Schlegel and others."
original just
:

The view taken by Thomas Carlyle of the prophet is so and striking, that we cannot refrain from inserting '' The deep-hearted son of the wilderness, it with his beaming black eyes, and open, social, deep soul, had other thoughts in him tliau ambition. A silent, great soul; he was one of

whom Nature herself has While others walk in formulas and hearsays, contented enough to dwell therein, this man could
those

who cannot but

be in earnest

appointed to be sincere.

not screeu himself in formulas


soul

he was alone with his wholo

and the

reality of things.

The great mystery


with
its

of existenco
;

glared in upon him, with

its terrors,

splendours
'

no
I
'
!

hearsays could hide that uuspeakable

fact,

Here am

Such slncenhj, as we named it, has in truth something of divine. The word of such a man is a voice direct from Nature's own Men do and must listen to that, or to nothing else ; heart. From of old, a thousand all else is wind in comparison.
thoughts in his pilgrimages and wanderings had been in this

man.
live in,

What am
What am

I ?

What

is this

unfathomable thing I

which men name Universe


?

Death

i to believe ?

What is Life ? What is What am I to do ? The


'

grim rocks of Mount Hara, of Mount Sinai, the stern sandy


solitude

answered not.
its

The

great heaven rolling silently over

head with

blue glanciug stars, answered not.

no answer.

The man's own


had
to
J.

soal,
I

There was and what of God's inspira"


Acre, Loudon, 1882 (Note to

tion dwelt therein,


* Pul)lished by

answer
137,

Davy & Sous,

Loug

page

53).

48
Let us now
briefly

proceed to set forth the tenets of Islam


to.

not previously alluded

We
Islam

have already seen that the great leading principle of


is

the belief in one

God

in unity

and an abhorrence

of

idolatry in

any form.

We

have also alluded


;

to the six dis-

tinguished and super-eminent prophets

in addition to these

ihere are a host of minor prophets such as David, Solomon,

Ezra, Job, Zacharias, John, Elias, Ismail, Edris, Hud, and

many
The

others. *

other primary

doctrines

are,

Faith in

God's holy
in their

angels, or ministering spirits.

They are various


throne
others

degrees and duties, and in their favour with the Deity.

Some
to

worship around

the

celestial

perpetually

hymn

the praises of

God

some are winged messengers

execute His orders,

and others intercede on behalf of mankind.


the
;

The most
archangels

distinguished of this heavenly host are the four

Gabriel,

angel of revelations,

-down the divine decrees


the battles of the faith
Israfil,

Michael, the champion,


;

who who

writes
fights
;

Azrail, the angel of death

and

who

holds the awful commission to sound the trumpet

Among the angels of inferior on the day of resurrection. ranli is a class named Moakidbat, two of whom keep watch
upon each mortal
left

one on the right hand, the other taking note of every word and action. At the

on the

close of

each day they ascend to heaven with their written report,

and are replaced by two similar angels on the following day. According to Moslem tradition, every good action is recorded and if the mortal ten times by the angel on the right
;

commit a
*

sin, the

same benevolent

spirit says to the

angel on

David, Solomon, Job, and several of the other names given in the
;

text are mentioned in the 6th Sura

Ismail and Edris are alluded to in

the lyth Sura,

Hud

in the 23rd Sura.

49
-the left,

"Forbear

for seven

hours

to record it;

peradventure

he may repent and pray and obtain forgiveness."


Another
revelation,
is

article

of belief

is

in the holy books of

divine

and particularly

in the latest revealed

one which

known

as the " Koran."


is

The word Koran


and
*'

derived from the verb kaara,


in

to

read,

signifies

literally

Arabic,

" the reading," or rather

that which ought to be read."

The Koran

is

divided into

114 larger portions of very unequal length, which are termed

Sowar

or

Suras, answering to chapters.

Every chapter

is

sub-divided into small portions, or verses, which are also of


Si

very unequal length.


or
title,

Each Sura
is

is

known by

a distinctive

name

which
of,

taken sometimes from a particular


;

matter treated

or person mentioned therein


of note in the Sura. at the

but usually

from the

first

word

Next

after the title,


is

head of every

chajpter,

except

only the ninth,


called

prefixed the following solemn form generally

the " Bismillah," " In the

name

of the

most merciful

God."

The Koran

is

universally allowed to be written with the


is

utmost elegance and purity of language, and


the standard of the Arabic tongue.
beautiful

confessedly
is

The

stjde

generally

and fluent,

character.

where it assumes the prophetic considerable portion of the book is composed


especially

of historical references to the works of God,

His XDrophets in former times.

and the acts The other part is taken up


all to

of in

the declaring of necessary laws and directions, in frequent

admonitions to moral and divine virtues, and above

the

worshipping and reverencing of the only true God, and resignation to His will.'''
* Sale's Korau,

" The Preliminary Discourse."

50

From
East.

a literary point of view, apart

from

its

claims to be an

inspired volume, the

Koran
of

is

the most
in a

poetical

work

of the

The great portion

it is

rhymed

prose, conform-

ablv to the taste which has, from the remotest times prevailed
It abounds with splendid in the above portion of the globe. imagery and the boldest metaphors. Emerson, in many places in his writings, has spoken reverently of the Koran, and Goethe
is of

opinion that "


is

The Koran

is

work with whose dullness


by
its

the reader

at first disgusted, afterwards attracted


finally

charms,

and

irresistibly

ravished by

its

many

beauties," while

Carlyle says:

"When
it

once you get this


begins to disclose

Koran
itself
;

fairly

off,

the essential type of


is

and
If a

in this there

a merit quite other than the literary


it

one.

book come from the heart,


:

will contrive to

reach
ta
is

other hearts
that.

all art

and

authorcraft are of small

amount
Karan

One would say the primary character


its

of the

that of

(jenuinemss, of its being a bona fide book.

Sincerity,
;

in all senses, seems to


all,

me

the merit of the Koran


;

it is,

after

the first and last merit in a book

gives rise to merits of

all

kinds

nay, at bottom,
*

it

alone can give rise to merit of

anv kind."
Sir

" The William Muir thus speaks of the sacred book drawn from Nature and ProKoran aboinids with arguments
:

vidence

witli a

view to prove the existence of God, as the

Supreme Euler, and to enforce His sovereign claim on the The retribution of obedience and gratitude of mankind.
good and
evil in the

world to come, the obligation to follow


vice
;

virtue and eschew

the

duty and happiness of the

creature in worshipping and serving the Creator, and such like topics, are set forth in language of beauty and vigour,

abounding often with real poetry.


*

Thus,

also, the reason-

"Heroes and Hero

\\ors,h\i^."- -Carlyle.

51
ableness of the
considerations,

Resurrection
especially

is

taught by

many

forcible

and

southern chmes, of

by the analogy, so striking in the earth long dry and dead, quickened
life

suddenly into exuberant

by the copious rain from heaven."

And Washington
"

Irving, alluding to the

same

subject writes

The

Koran
''

contains

pure,

elevated

and

benignant

precepts,"

religious duties.

Koran are not confined to moral and '-From the Atlantic to the Ganges," says Gibbon, " the Koran is acknowledged as the fundamental
injunctions of the

The

code, not only of theology, but of civil

and criminal jurispru-

dence, and the

property of

which regulate the actions and the mankind are governed by the immutable sanction
laws

of the will of

God." In other words, the Koran


;

is

the general

code of the Moslem world


judicial, criminal, penal

a social,

civil,

commercial, military,
:

and yet

religious code

by

it

every-

thing
daily

is

regulated, from the ceremonies of religion to those of


;

life
;

from the salvation of the soul

to

the health of the


to those of
;

body

from the rights of the general community


;

each individual

from the interests


;

of

man

to those of society

from moraUty
life to

to crime

from punishment here


is

to that of the
all,

come,

"

The Mahomedan Law


to the

binding upon
it is

from the crowned head

meanest subject;

a law in-

terwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and the most enlightened jurisprudence that ever existed in the
world."
I

The Koran consequently


is

differs materially

*'

from the

Christian Bible, which, according to Combe,

contains no

system of theology, but


* " The Life of

composed

chiefly of narratives, des-

Mohammed." Washington Irving. t" Mahomet and the Koran." Davenport. (Impeachment of Warren Hastings.) X Edmund Burke.

" Essay on the relation between Science and Religion."

52
criptions, sublime effusions, of devotional emotions,

and much

sound morality,
nexion."

bound together by no

striking logical con-

Mahomet was

so convinced of the danger attending

priesthoods in political states, and of their tendency to corrupt


all

governments, that he disapproved of the continuance of


institution,

any such

and desired that every Mussulman

should possess a copy of the Koran, and be his


Islam, therefore,
is

own

priest.

without a priesthood.

The doctors
is

of

the law are the doctors of divinity, because the law

the

Koran
perty
;

yet they are not supported by tithes nor church protheir functions are not sacerdotal, but judicial.

The Koran teaches that all men are equal in the sight of God " 0, men verily we have created you of a male and female and we have divided you into peoples and tribes that
:

ye might take knowledge one of another.

Truly the most

who feareth Him And if God had but He pleased He had surely made you all one people would test you by what He hath given to each. Be emulous then in good deeds. To God do ye all return." H
worthy of honour in the sight of God
most. Verily,
is

he
*

God

is

knowing and wise."

'*

*'

Islam recognizes no distinction of race or colour

black
-

or white, citizens or soldiers, rulers or subjects, they are pe


fectly equal, not in theory only, but in practice.

In the

field

or in the guest chamber, in the tent or in the palace, in the

mosque

or in the market, they

mis without reserve and withof Islam,

out contempt.

The

first

Muezzin

a devoted
||

adherent and an esteemed disciple, was a negro slave."

We
and

need not allude to the Moslem belief in the resurrection

final

judgment.
*

In Paradise, and a system of rewards


" The Inner apartments."
5.

Sura 49.

^
II

Sura

"

The Table."
Sjed Ameer
All.

" Life and Teachings of Mahommed."

53

and punishments
as

and

also in the doctrine of Predestination

anyone at

all

acquainted with ordinary Christian theology


of these terms.

will

comprehend thoroughly the meaning


spirit

The
show

of charity is strongly enjoined

upon

all

true
will

believers,
:

as

the

following passage

from

the

Koran

" Serve God, and associate no creature with


Ivindness unto parents,

and

relations,
is

him and show and orphans, and the


:

poor,

and your neighbour who


is

of kin to you,

and

also your

neighbour who

a stranger, and to your familiar companion,

and the

traveller,
;

and the captives

whom

your right hand

God loveth not the proud or vainglorious or the covetous, who recommend covetousness unto men, and conceal that of which God in His bounty hath given them, and who bestow their wealth in charity to be seen
shall possess
for
.
.
.

of

men."

And

again in the following passage


first

and the orphan, and

" The

give food unto the poor,


(i.e.

the bondsman, for His


for

God's) sake, saying,

God's sake only

we

desire

We feed you no recompense from you, nor


f
i

any thanks.
Almsgiving

Wherefore God shall reward them.*'


is

especially enjoined as

we have

just seen,

and

/|

as the two following passages will show.

'

" They will ask thee also what they shall bestow on alms

Answer what ye have

to spare."

And
"
benefit

again,
givetli
Ills

Who
is

substance in alms, and by


it

whom no

bestowed on any that


the
4.

may

be compensated, but

who bestoweth
*

same

for the sake of the

Lord, the Most


2.

Sura

Sura 76.

Sura

54

High, hereafter he shall be well satisfied with his reward." *

The morality
Evil speaking
I

of the Koran,
is

is
:

of the highest character

condemned

"

God

loveth not the speaking evil of

any one

in public." f

true believers, carefully avoid entertaining a suspicion of

another

for

some suspicions are a crime.


:

Enquire not too

curiously into other men's failings

neither let the one of you


I

speak

ill

of another in his absence."


is

Covetousness
1

also forbidden

" Covet not that which


preferable to others."

God hath bestowed on some

of

you

^J

Kespect to females
/

is

inculcated.

No

legal

code in the world enjoins so


the

much

respect to

mothers

as
:

Moslem

law.

The Koran

contains

the

\^n junction
**

Fear God by whom ye beseech one another a^nd respect women who have borne you, for God is watching over you." r And when the great prophet was asked where Paradise was, J and how it could be attained, he replied " Paradise is at the
;
||

foot of the mother."

And
Cairo,

this is

no mere

lip

service or cant phrase

amongst

Moslems.

To-day there can be seen in Constantinople, in


in Alexandria,

and

and many other


to their places
of

places, stalwart

young Mussulmans carrying on


decrepit Christian mothers

their backs their oil

and

worship on the

Christian Sabbath, and waiting outside these edifices until

the conclusion of the service, in order to carry their maternal

parent back

home

again.

Eespect

is

not only enjoined upon every true believer to his


all

mother, but kindness and justice required to be shown to


of the

weaker
*

sex.

Sura 92.

Sura

4.

Sura

49.

Sura

4.

*^

55

The Koran says


;

"Men's
if

souls are naturally inclined to

women and fear to rcovetousness but with what ye do. Turn wrong tliem, God is well acquainted not from a wife with all manner of aversion, nor leave her
ye be kind towards
like

one in suspense

if

ye agree, and fear to abuse your


;

wives,

God

is

gracious and merciful

but

if

they separate,
||

God
"

will satisfy

them both
to

of

His abundance."

Men ought
to

have a part of what their parents and


;

kindred leave behind them when they die

and women

also

ought
part

have a part of what their parents and kindred leave,


it

whether
is

be

little

or whether
"'

it

be much, a determinate

due to them."
is

Islam
in the

the greatest temperance society in the world, as


are forbidden

Koran both drunkenness and gaming


will

"They
*'

In both there

ask thee concerning wine and lots; answer, true behevers ; Also, " is great sin. "If
lots,

surely wine,

and

and images, and divining arrows, are

an abomination
that ye

of the

work

of

Satan

therefore avoid them,

may prosper. Satan seeketh to sow dissension and among you, by means of wine and lots, and to divert you from remembering God and from prayer, will ye not,
hatred
therefore, abstain

from them

? "

Tlie Koran also condemns debauchery

^very kind (Suras

4,

17), avarice and pride (Suras

and excesses of 4, 17 and


and

18), covetousness (Suras 4, 33), hypocrisy (Suras 4, 63),

the thirsting after worldly goods (Suras 100 and 102).

In the thirtieth Sura,| usury, bribery, and other forms of " Whatever ye shall give by way extortion are condemned.
of a bribe, or shall take as extortion, usury, or
illicit

gain, to

be an increase of men's substance, shall not be increased by


,11
J

Sura

4.

"

Women."
"

^ Sura
The

2.

Sura

5.

Sura 30,

v. 38, entitled

Greelis "revealed at Mecca.

56
tlie

blessiog of

God

but whatever ye shall give iu alms,

for-

God's sake, for that ye shall receive a twofold reward."


**

They who devour usury

shall not arise

from the dead,


:

but as he ariseth
this shall

whom
to

the evil one has infected by a touch


*

them because they say, Truly selling is and yet God hath permitted selling and forbut usury bidden usury. He, therefore, who when there cometli unto him an admonition from his Lord, abstaineth from usury for the future, shall have what is past forgiven him, and his But whoever returneth to usury, affair belongeth unto God.
happen
;
'

that one shall be the denizen of the place of punishment,

and shall continue therein


blessing from

for

ever.

God

shall take
:

His

usury,

and
right,

shall

increase alms

for

God

loveth no infidel or ungodly person.

But they who

believe

and do that which


prayer,

is

and observe the stated times of


have their

and pay their legal alms, they shall


:

reward with their Lord

there shall

come no
if

fear on them,

neither shall they be grieved.

0, true believers, fear God,

and remit that which remaineth of usury,


but
if

ye really believe
is

ye do

it

not,

hearken unto war which


;

declared

against you from God and his apostle


shall

yet, if ye repent,

ye

have the capital of your money.

Deal not unjustly


If

with others, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly.

there be any debtor under a difficulty of paying his debt, let


his creditor wait
till
it

be easy for

him

to do
if

it

but
it.

if

ye

remit

it

in alms

it will

be better for you,

ye knew

And
shall

fear the day wherein ye shall return unto

God; then

every soul be paid what


treated unjustly." *

it liatli

gained, and they shall not be

But although usury


allowed.
"

is

thus condemned, lawful commerce

is

One
*

of the signs of
Sura
2,

God
v.

is,

that he sendeth the

" The Cow,"

276 et seq.

57
winds, bearing welcome tidings of rain, that he

may

cause

you

to taste of his

mercy

and that ships may


seek
to

sail at

His
'^

command,

that

ye

may
;

enrich yourself of His

abundance by commerce

and that ye

may

give thanks."

brotherly love the


*'

Amongst other things bearing on Koran contains the

the true principles of following


;

with an equal balance


of their matters
;

Give just measure, and be not defrauders and weigh and diminish not unto men aught
;

neither

commit violence

in the earth acting

corruptly."!

As regards orphans
" Give to orphans

when they come


in exchange
it

of age their substance


for

and render them not


a great sin."|

bad

good

and devour
is

not their substance by adding

to

your substance, for that

''Oppress not the orphan nor repulse the

beggar."

The Koran is opposed to mere ceremonial and ritualism, and points out that it is sincerity of heart and good actions
that proves the true-believer.

1\

" There

is

no piety in turning
;

your laces towards the East or towards the West


pious

but he

is

who

believeth in God,
;

and the

last day,

and the angels,

and the

scriptures

who, for the love of God, disburseth his ransoms, who

wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and the needy, and
the wayfarer,

and those who beg, and

for

observeth prayer and payeth the legal alms, and


those

who

are faithful to their engagements

who is of when they have


and in

contracted them, and

who

are patient under hardships

time of adversity
these are they

these are they


fear the Lord."

who

are just

and pious,

who

Sura 30 v 45.
J

Sura 26,

Sura

4.

Sura 93.

58

The

following virtues

are

also
to

inculcated

filial

piety,

gratitude towards God,

fidelity

engagements, sincerity,

justice without respect to persons, chastity

and decency even

in words, the

ransoming

of captives,
injuric^s,

patience, submission,

benevolence, forgiveness of
evil,

the returning of good for

and the walking


God.

in the path of virtue, not with the view

of obtaining the approbation of the


^/Cceptable unto

world, but

for

being

cruelty to slaves, self


is

Amongst other things denounced in the Koran are, wanton murder and extravagance. Humility
enjoined upon
all

true believers,

and the putting


is

off all

repentance until the

approach of death
all

condemned."

Prayer

is

regarded by
;

Moslems as an indispensable
so neccessary

adjunct to true rehgion

and Mahomet thought it


it

a duty that he used to term


the

" the Pillar of Religion, and


the

Key

to

Paradise

"

in

fact,

prophet

evidently

considered with James Montgomery


*

that

Prayer

is

the soul's sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed,

The motion

of a hidden fire

That trembles

in the breast.

Prayer

is

the burden of a sigh.

The falling of a tear The upward glancing of an eye, "When none but God is near.
Prayer
is

the simplest form of speech


lips

That infant

can try

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on

high.

See Suras

3, 17, 24,

and

26.

59
Prayer
is

the contrite sinner's voice


;

Returning from his ways

While angels

in their songs rejoice

And
Prayer

cry,

'

Behold he prays

is

the Moslems' vital breath,


;

The Moslems' native air His watchword at the gates

of death;

He

enters heaven with prayer, t

And it when the

is

recorded, that in the 9th year of the Hegira,


to

Thakififces sent

make

their submission to the

prophet, after the keeping of their favourite idol had been

denied them, they begged, at least, that they might be excused

from saying the appointed prayers.


request and answered
religion
:

Mahomet

refused their

" That there could be no good in that

wherein was no prayer,"


true

The Koran contains many passages enjoining upon


believers the necessity of prayer

be taken as typical of the rest


been revealed unto thee
of the

the following extracts may " Recite that which hath


:

Koran, and be constant in

prayer, for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the blame-

worthy, and surely the remembering of


tant duty."
'*

God

is

most impor-

Verily, they

who

recite

the

Book

of

God, and observe

prayer, and give alms in public and in private, from

what we

have bestowed upon them,


shall not perish."
'*

may hope

for a

merchandise that

Enjoin prayer on thy family, and dost thou persevere

therein."

" Glorify

God

therefore,

when ye reach the evening, and


to

when ye

rise at

morn

and
is

Him

be praise in the heavens

Hymn, "What

prayer? "

James Montgomery.

60

aud on the earth

and at sunset, and when ye rest at noon "

The Koran abounds with many suitable passages which are used by Moslems as model prayers, just in the same manner as Christians repeat what they term " The Lord's Prayer." As an example, we will take for instance what is Jmown as the " Initial Prayer," which comprises the first Sura of the
Koran.
" Praise be to God, the Master of the Universe
;

" The most merciful, the Ruler of the day of judgment.


*'

Thee do we worship, and


In the way of those
to

of Thee do

we beg assistance.

*'
**

Direct us in the right way,

**

Not of those against

whom Thou hast been gracious whom Thou art incensed,


astray-

**

Nor

of those
is

who go

Amen."
and
is

Another

called the "Angel's Prayer,"


:

found in the

40th Sura, * and runs thus " Lord, Thou encompassest

all

things by

Thy mercy

and knowledge
path,

''Wherefore forgive those who repent and follow Thy


"
"
*'

And

deliver

them from

the punishment of perdition

Lord, lead them also into gardens of eternal abode

Which Thou hast promised unto them,


right,
;

**And unto everyone who shall do


*'

" Of their fathers, and their wives, and their children

For Thou

art the Mighty, the

Wise God.
from
evil

"
**

And

deliver

them from

evil

For whomsoever Thou shalt


day,

deliver

on that

**

**

On him wilt Thou show mercy And this will be great salvation."
;

* Entitled "

The True BeHever;

" revealed at Mecca.

61

The Koran condemns


almsgiving.

pretentious prayers and ostentatious

" Verily, the hypocrites would deceive " But He will deceive them " When they stand up for prayer,
!

God

" They stand carelessly to he seen of men,


*'

And
And

they remember

God but
and
pray,

little,

**

Wavering between

faith

infidelity,

"
*'

adhering neither unto this nor to that." *


then to those

Woe

who

"

"

Who in their prayers are careless Who make a show of devotion,


refuse assistance to the needy." f
[j

"But

learned writer

has remarked,

**

The utmost solemnity


Mos-

and decorum are observed


lems.

in the public worship of the

Never are they guilty of an irregular word or action


;

during their prayers

they appear wholly absorbed in the

adoration of their Creator, without affected humility or a forced


expression of countenance."

Among the many excellencies


conspicuous
it
;

of the

Koran are two eminently

one being the tone of awe and reverence which

always observes when speaking of or referring to the Deity,

to

whom it neverattributes either human frailties


the total absence

and passions;

the other

throaghout

it

of all impure,

immoral and indecent


ishes,

ideas, expressions, narratives, &c., blem-

which,

it

is

much
the

to be regretted, are of too frequent

occurrence in what Christians style the " old Testament."

So

exempt, indeed,
that
it

is

Koran from these undeniable

defects,

needs not the slightest castration, and


*

may

be read^

Sura

4.

"

Women."
I.,

+
II

Sura 107.

" Necessai-ies."
p. 120.

Lane, " Modern Egypt," Vol

62

from beginning

to end,
itself.

without causing a blush to suffuse the


*

cheek of modesty

Many
istic of

other authors have also written in terms highly eulog-

the

Koran and
:

its

contents

himself thus

" By a fortune

one of these

exp esses

absolutely unique in history,

Mohammed
and
write,

is

a threefold founder of a nation, of an empire


Illiterate himself, scarcely able to
is

of a religion.

read or

he was yet the author of a book which

a poem, a code

of laws, a book of

common

prayer,

and a

bible in one,

and

is

reverenced to this day by a sixth of the whole


a miracle of purity of
style, of

human

race as
It is the

wisdom, and of truth.

one miracle claimed by


called it;

Mohammed his
it
:

standing miracle he

and a miracle indeed


I

is."

Encyclopedia,"

1 find the following

" The language of the


such
it

In the "Popular

Koran
charms
Its

is

considered the purest Arabic, and contains

of style

and poetic beauties, that


life."
;

remains inimitable.

moral precepts are pure.

A man who should observe them

strictly would lead a virtuous

occurs the following passage

" The Law of


I|

And in

the Herbert lectures

Islam contains

admirable moral precepts, and, what is more, succeeds in bringing them into practice and powerfully supporting their observsays, " The code of ance," while an eminent Cln-istiau Cleric
the Koran makes, doubtless, a deeper impression than has been made on Christianity by the code of the Bible."

Much

has been

made by opponents

of the

Moslem

faith,

by

the reiteration of the accusation that Fatalism and Islam are synonymous terms. On this subject I can only say that such a statement is only proof of the astounding bigotry and ignor-

Mabomet and the Korsiu.'' Davenport. Smith, p. t The Life of Mohammed," by Bosworth + The Popular Encj'clop. dia, Divisiou, viii., p. 326.
*

'

"

343.

||

Dean

Stanley, " Eastern Church," page 279.

63
ance of the persons uttering
it.

So

far as the life of

Mahomet
is

and the language


utter

of the

Koran go
for not

to prove,

Fatalism

an
if

and absolute invention,

once but frequently, as

to especially guard against such an assumption,

Mahomet
view
is

denied

it

as emphatically as he

could.

And

this

supported by such able Christian writers and scholars as

John Joseph Lake, Fellow


author
of

of the Meterological Society,

and

"

The
its

Christian

religion

Its

Philosophical

Principles

and

Enemies," and by the learned Dr. Deutsch.*


of

The Koran repudiates the idea


sin
;

any vicarious

sacrifice for

but on the contrary expressly teaches the commonsense

doctrine that each soul


to "

must account

for itself to the Deity,


will not defraud
;

God who

is

wise and knowing,

who

you

of

any

part of the merit of your

works

and who

is

iuchiied

to forgive

mass

of

and be merciful,"! and throwing on one side the mystery and superstition taught by Christians under
sin, of

the names of " Redemption and Regeneration, '* lays upon

each individual the task of atoning for his own


pardon, and of rendering himself
fit

securing

for

admission to paradise.
;

'A burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another

and
its

if

a heavy burdened soul call on another to bear part of

burden, no part thereof shall be borne by the person

who
if

shall be called on, although


'

he be ever so nearly related. "|'

If I err, verily I shall err only against

my own

soul

but

be rightly directed,

it

will be
is

by that which

my Lord

revealeth unto

me

for

He

ready to hear, and nigh unto-

those

who

call

upon Him. "II

* Vide his article in the " Quarterly Review."


+
+

Koran Sura
Sura 35.
Sura 34.

49,

'*

Inner Apartments."

" The Creator."


" Saba."

^[

64

**The mercy which


"there is

God

shall freely bestow on


;

mankind,

none who can withhold


*

and what He

shall withhold,

there

is

none who can bestow, besides

Him

and He

is

the

Mighty, the Wise."


It

may

be just as well here, to allude to an absurd notion

amongst Christians that Moslems believe that women have no souls, or if they have that they will perish, like those of brute
beasts,

and
is

will not be

rewarded in the next


;

life.

This

doctrine

not held by true believers

on the contrary there are


affirm that

several passages in the

Koran which

women,

in the

next

life

will not only be punished for their evil actions, but

will also receive the

rewards of their good deeds, as well as

the men, and that in this case,


of the sexes.
I

God

will

make no
(*'

distinction

The following

extract from the 4th Sura


of a

Women

")

may

be taken as a sample

Koran dealing with


be rewarded for
it
;

this

number of similar passages in the subject : '* Whoso doeth evil, shall
any protector or helper,
ivhether nude or

and

shall not find

other than

God

but whoso doeth good works,

female, and is a true believer, that one shall be admitted into Paradise, and shall not in the least be unjustly dealt with."

The
relif'ion

stock charge against Islam

is,

generally, that

it

is

propounded by the unrestrained use of the sword.

Never was there a greater fallacy. Islam has never interfered with the dogmas of any faith never persecuted, never estab-

lished an inquisition, never aimed at compulsory pro&elytism.


It offered its religion

but never enforced

it,
'*

the

maxim

of the

Mussulman being the text of the Koran


violence
in
*
+

Let there be no
Turks, and

religion."

'*

Had

the Saracens,

Sura 35.

"The
"

Creator."
3, 4, 13, 16, 40, 48, 57, etc.

Vide Koruu, Suras

Sura

3.

The Cow.'>>

G5
other Maliomedan tribes," says Cliatfield (" Historical Review," page 311),
''

adopted the same conduct towards the


tlie

Christians as the European natives had practised towards


followers of the Koran,
it is

probable that the Christian religion


" It
is

would have been extinguished in the East."


said," observes Mons. Jurieu, " that there

may

be truly

no comparison
In the wars

between the cruelty of the Saracens against the Christians

and that of Popery against the true

belisvers.

against the Vaudois, or in the massacre alone on St. Bar-

tholomew's day, there was more blood


religion than

spilt

on account of

was shed hy the Saracens

in all their persecu-

tions of the Christians. prejudice, namely, that

It is expedient to cure

men
sect,

of this

Mahomedanism is a cruel by putting men to their choice was propagated


the abjuration of Christianity.
the conduct of the Saracens

which

of death or
;

This is in no wise true and was an evangelical meekness in

comparison with that of Popery, which exceeded the cruelty


of the cannibals."

And

finally, the
is

argument which

Carl3'le

has employed on this question

at once so cogent,

unanswer"

able and unique, for its dissimilarity to any previously given,

that the temptation of quoting

it

cannot be resisted.

Much

has been said of Mahomet's propagating his religion by the


sword.

Yet withal,

if

we

take this for an argument of the


is

truth or falsehood of a religion, there


it.
!

a radical mistake in

The sword indeed but where will you get your sword ? Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minoriiy In one man's head alone, there it dwells as yet. One of one.

man

alone of the whole world believes


all

it

there

is

one

man

against

men.

That he take a sword, and try to propagate


little

with that, will do

for

him.

You must

first

get your
it

sword

On

the whole, a thing will propagate itself as


it

can.

We

do not find, of the Christian rehgion either, that

always

66
disdained the sword,

when once
:

it

had got one.

CharleI

magne's conversion of the Saxons was not by preaching.


care httle about the sword
for itself in this world,
it

I will allow a thing to struggle

with any sword or tongue or implement


of.

has, or can lay hold

We
is

will

let

it

preach, and

pamphleteer, and fight,


do,

and

to the uttermost bestir itself,

and

beak and claws, whatsoever

in

it

very sure that

it will,

in the long run, conquer nothing that does not deserve to be

conquered.

What
is

is

better than

itself,

it

cannot put away,


is

but only what

worse.

In this great duel, Nature herself


the thing which
truest,
is

umpire, and can do no wrong;


rooted in Nature, what we call
other will be found growing

deepest-

that thing and not the

at last.""is

We claim for Islam that it


want no

free

from

'*

cant and rant

;"

we

hypocrites, no time servers in our ranks,


is

we have no
Carlyle

time or taste for platitudes, oiw religion

our

life.

with his keen piercii^g

intellect,

perceived this trait in our


it
''
:

prophet and his followers, and thus alludes to


like

Withal I
a rough

Mahomet
is

for his total

freedom from cant.

He
in
is

is

self-helping son of the wilderness;

does not pretend to be

what he

not.

There

is

no ostentatious pride
humility
;

him

but

neither does he go

much upon

he

there as he
;

can be, in cloak and shoes of his own


plainly to all

clouting

speaks

what
this

it is
*

manner of Persian Kings, Greek Emperors, they are bound to do knows well enough, about
;

himself,

the respect due unto thee


;

:"

no

Dilettantism

in

Mahomet
it
!

it is

a business of Reprobation and Salvation


;

with him, of Time and Eternity


about

he

is

in

deadly earnest
kind of

Dilettantism, hypothesis, speculation, a

*The reader who


will find
it

desires to pursue this hranch of the suhject further

fully dealt with in the author's work, "

The Religion

of the

Sword."

67
amateur-search for truth, toying and coquetting with truth
this is the sorest sin.
sins.
:

The

root

of all

other imaginable

It consists in the heart

having been open


a

to truth

" livmg in a vain show."

and soul of the man, never

Such
is

man

not only utters and produces falsehood, but

him-

self a falsehood.

The

rational moral principal, spark of the


life-death.

divinity, is

sunk deep in him, in quiet paralysis of


like
is

On

the other

into

hand Islam, the essence of man,

any great Faith, and insight

a perfect equaliser of
earthly

men

the
all

soul of one believer outweighs all

kingships

men

according to Islam, too, are equal.


that this religion
of

On

the whole,
is

we
is

will repeat,

Mahomet's
element
it.

kind of

Christianity;

and

has a

genuine

of

what

spiritually highest looking

through

For

these

twelve
fifth

centuries

it

has been the religion and

life

guidance of the

part of the whole kindred of mankind.


it

Above

all

things,

has been

religion

heartily

believed.

These
!

Arabs

believe their religion,

and try

to live

by

it

No

Christians

since the early ages, or only, perhaps, the English Puritans

in the

modern

times,

have ever stood by their

faith as the

Moslems do by
with
the
it

theirs,

believing
it,

it

wholly, fronting

Time

and Eternity with


of Cairo

This night the watchman on


cries,
'

streets

when he
along
God.'

Who

goes

?'

will hear
*

from the
is

passenger,

with

his

answer,
Islam

There

no

God
the

but
souls,

Allah,

Akhar,
daily

sounds

through

and

whole

existence, of these

dusky millions.

Zealous

missionaries

preach

it

abroad

among Malays,
what
is

black Papuans, brutal Idolaters


is

displacing
'''

worse, nothing that

better or as good."

On

this subject Dr.

Marcus Dods observes:

"There

are

two features

'

of the devout character

which the Mohammedans


Carlyle.

Heroes and Hero Worship."

(The Hero as a prophet.)

68

have the merit of exhibiting with much greater distinctness than Christians do. Tliey show not the smallest hesitation
or fear in confessing God, and they reduce to practice the

great princi^jle that the worship of

God

is

not confined to

temples or any special place


**

Most honour

to

the
is

men

of prayer
!

Whose Mosque

in

them everywhere

Who
On

amid

revel's

wildest din,
discipline,

In war's severest

rolling deck, in

thronged bazaar,

In stranger land, however far,

However

different in their reach

Of thought, in manners, dress or speech


Will quietly their carpet spread.

To Mecca
And, as
if

turn the humble head,


blind to all around.

And
In

deaf to each distracting sound,

In simple language God adore,


spirit

to

His presence soar,


"

And
" It

in the pauses of the prayer,


if

Kest as
is

wrapt in glory there."

one of the glories of Islam," says another Christian


*'

writer,!

that

its

temples are not

made with hands, and

that

its

ceremonies can be performed anywhere upon God's

earth, or under

His heaven."
is

Such

is

the faith of Islam, such

the belief of about

240,000,000 of

humim

beings

who

still

follow the teachings of


five

the last and greatest of the prophets, and

times a day

address to Almighty
"

God

the prayers

of the faithful.

Mohammed, Buddha, and


1

Christ," by JSlarciis Dads,


p.

D.D.

(p. 30.)

"

Our Indian Mussulmans,"

179

Hunter.

69

from Morocco along the whole north coast of Africa and southwards to the Transvaal,
faith prevails

The Moslem

including Zanzibar.

It

dominates in Egypt, and the Turkish

Empire, in Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, and Turkestan, has


over 57,000,000 of followers in India,
is

powerfully represented
;

among
its

the Malays, and has

now a
in

firm footing in China

there

are fifteen thousand

Moslems

Cape Colony alone, while

mosques can be found


is

in the wilds of Siberia,

and

in St.

Petersburg there

a by no

means

uninfluential
its

Mahommedan
not
excepting

congregation, while missionary efforts for

propagation are

succeeding in
the United

various

parts

of the

world,

Kingdom.
the brotherhood to v/hich
;

This

is

countrj^men in England
acceptance.

this is the faith

we now invite our we offer for their

We

ask them to fling aside the prejudices that

have been engrafted upon their minds from the bigotry of


generations of crafty and ingenious theological metaphysicians.

To cease

to be satisfied

with the lame explanation of a seemthat


it

ingly impossible theological tenet

is

a mystery.

Mysteries, delusions, and hallucinations are discordant notes


in

the great

harmony

of the simple faith revealed

by the

Almighty

to primitive

man.

Anything incomprehensive or tinged with improbability

must

of necessity create doubt

and

distrust,

and perhaps con-

fusion in the

mind

of

this to be dreaded in

the seeker for truth, and most of all is the case of religious belief where the
of error or

issues are so

momentous, and the consequence

fallacy so serious.
as to our

What we

desire to

know

is

the great facts

own

spiritual nature

and

destiny.

Islam gives the


to be resigned to

answer in simple language.


"

It teaches

man

the inscrutable and allwise will of the

Almighty Deity.
return."

From God

ye came and unto

Him must ye

Perish

70
all

human

ambitions, the care from any

human
all

institution or
all

personal interest and reputation.

Perish

systems, and

mysterious creeds, however honoured and venerable they


be, rather

may

than that man, the

last

and noblest work

of the

Creator, should be led astray from the plain and straight path
of truth

and righteousness.

But

it

may

be argued
?

Are you
who

not giving an under value to men's beliefs

Surely they

protest that beliefs are nothing, cannot have measured the

natural effect of their

has aptly said


of

own words, as one modern lecturer* "In what region is it that a man's belief is
in the

no value ? Certainly not


beliefs

commercial world, where a


success or his

man's

go
is

far to account

either for his

failure.

He

unwisely credulous and embarks his capital in


disaster

enterpises which bring only loss,

and ruin.
opens the

He

is

timidly sceptical, and he loses the opportunity which to


of truer insight

and more courageous


at

faith

men way to
world

distinguished success.

Not in the .literary or


an
entire chain of

scientific

where

it

must be

once apparent that the adoption of a

false principle will vitiate

arguments,

and
of
if

where consequently wise students think


observation and no

no
too

amount
excessive

number
life

of experiments

they be necessary for the testing of a particular conclusion.

Not in the ordiuary

the innocuous character of a poison


practical mistake with

man where a false belief say in may be the cause of a fatal consequences. Wherever a man
of a

has to act upon a

belief, it is of the

highest

moment

that the

belief should itself be in

harmony with

fact."

Dr. Maudsky, in pregnant and well-chosen words, has


truly said, *'It should be every

man's steadfast aim, as part

of his

nature

his

patient
it

work
;

to

cultivate

such entire

sincerity of relations with


*

to be so completely

one with

it

" Orthodoxy and Scepticism," by the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers, B.A.

71
in
life,

that

when

the

summons comes
it,

to surrender his

mortal

part to absorption into

he does

so,

not fearfully, as to an

enemy who has vanquished him, but trustfuU}'-, as to a mother who, when the day's task is done, bids him lie down to sleep."

And

in such language
to the

may
will.

be expressed the resignation of the

Moslem

Divine
let

In conclusion

me warn

those

who

are ready to embrace,

as well as those wlio

have already had the courage of their

convictions and renounced Christianity and embraced Islam,

that they must expect to be sneered

at,

reviled,

and

their

motives questioned and misconstrued.


It

was so

in the days of

Mahomet an

will be so until the

end of the world.

And
:

for their comfort

and consolation the


to sus-

Almighty has Himself revealed a passage in the Koran


tain
**

**

them They upbraid tlieo that thou hast embraced Islam. Answer them and say. Upbraid me not with having emin their faith
:

braced Islam
" Iiather
to the faith.
'*

God upbraideth you whom He hath


God knoweth

also directed

Verily,

the secrets of heaven and earth

and

God

behcldeth that which


'

ye do." *
last verses.

Kordn, Sura 49,

APPENDIX
THE 99 EXCELLENT NAMES OF GOD (aLLAH).

The
of

title
;

Allah

is

called ism-uz-zat,
titles

or the essential

nam&

God

the ninety- nine other


*'

are called al-asma'olis

hasnii. or the

excellent names."
excellent

This
;

referred to in the

Koran

**
:

But God's are


is

names

call

on

Him therehy."*
or Traditions,.
said,
''

This verse

commented upon
states

in the Hadees,

and Ahu Horaira

that the

Prophet

Verily
recites-

there are ninety-nine

names

of God,

and whoever

them

shall be one of those

who

shall enter into Paradise/'

In the same Tradition these names, or attributes, are given


thus
:

1.

Ar- Rahman
Ar- Rahim
Al- Malek,

2. 3.

4.
5. 6.

Al- Quddus,
As- Salam,

Al- MOmen,

7. 8.
9.

Al- Mohaymen,
Al- Aziz, Al- Jabbar, Al- Motakkaber,

10.
11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Al- Khaleq,
Al- Bart, Al- Mosawwir, Al- G'haffar,

Al- Qahhar,
Sura
7.

The Merciful, The Compassionate, The King, The Holy, The Peaceful. The Faithful. The Protector. The Dear One. The Repairer. The Great. The Creator. The Maker. The Fashioner, The Forgiver. The Dominant.
Text, (Ayat) 179.

74
16.
17.

Al- WahhAb,
Ar- RazzAq,

The Bestower.

The Provider.
_The Opener.

18. Al- Fattah,


19.

Al- Alem,

The Knower.

20. Al- Qabez,

21. Al- Baset,


22. Al- Khafez,
23. Ar. Eafi',

The Restrainer. The Spreader.


The Keeper of The Exalter. The Houourer.
Secrets.

24. Al- Mo'ezz,


25. Al- MoziL,
iiQ.

AMI As- SI

27. Al- Basir,


28. Al-

Hakem,

29. Al- A.DIL,


so. Al- Latif,

Sl. Al- Khabir,


32. Al. Halim,

53, Al- AziM,

54. Al- 6^HAFUR,


35. As- 6'akur,

S6. Al- Ali,

37. Al- Kabir,


38.

Al- Hafiz,

so. Al- MOQUIT,


40.

Al- Hasib,

41. Al- Jalil,

42. Al- Karim,


43. Ar- Raqib,

44. Al45. Al-

Mo JIB,
Was6,

46. Al- Hakim,


47. Al-

Wadud,

The Destroyer. The Hearer. The Seer. The Ruler. The Just. The Beautiful. The Aware. The Clement. The Grand. The Forgiving. ': The Grateful. The Exalted. The Great. The Guardian. The Strengthener. The Reckoner. The Majestic. The Generous. The Watcher. The Approver. The Compreiiender, The Wise. The Loving.
;
. ,

..

.,

,.

75
48. Al-

MannAn,

76
80. Al-

Montaqem,

81. Al82.
S3.

Afuw,

Ar- Eauf,

Maleku'l Mulk,
Jalale w'al

84. Zu'l

The The The The The

Avenger.
Pardoner.

Kind.

Ruler of the lungdom.

Lord

of Majesty

and

Ekeam,
85.

LiberaHty.

Al- Moqset,

The Equitable.

86. Al- Jami, 87. Al- (jhani, 88. Al-

Moghni,

89. Al-Mo'ti, 90. Al-

Mane,

91. Az- Zarr,

92.
93.

An-Nafe,
An- Nur,

94.

Al- Hadi,

95. Al- Badi,

96. Al- Baqi,


97. Al-

Wares,

98. Ar- Easchid, 99. As- Sabur,

The Collector. The Independent. The Enricher. The Giver. The Witholder. The Distresser. The Profiter. The Light. The Guide. The Incomparable. The Enduring. The Inheritor. The Director. The Patient.

The list either begins or closes with Allah, thus completing the number of one hundred names, which are usually recited on a rosary at leisure moments by many devout Moslems.

2<r

ID

E x:

78
Islam, Definition
of,

by Sultan Abdul-Hamid
. .
:

II.

20

Islam and temperance

00

Islam, Meaning of the term

Free from Cant



66
J

Jesus

^O oO

Koran, The

. .

49 to 64

Kaaba, The

36
35

Mahomet, Birth
,,

Conversion
Miracles
Persecution

37

,,

42
42
.

,,

and Waraka
Character

39

,,

Foretold in both Jewish and Christian Scriptures


36,

40

,,

46,47
44

,,

Entry
UgrlIi

to

Medina

,^

46
51
54

Mahomedan Law, Edmund Burke on


Mothers
to be respected

Mahomedanism not Propagated by


Moses
Muir, Sir William, on the Koran

the Sword

64

28 50
24
.

Noah

No No

Priesthood in Islam

52
.

Vicarious Sacrifice for Sin

63

Only one Goi

20,24
.

Orphans
Paradise

57 52 14

Polygamy

Prayer a Duty
Predestination

58 to 61
.

53 ^^
63 52

Prophets

of

Islam
.

Redemption and Regeneration

Resurrection and Final Judgment


Slavery

14, 17

Thompson's Letter
Trinity Considered

to "

Times "

ito20
.

29

Wives to be treated with kindness

54

Women

have Souls
to be

64
54

Women, Respect

shewn

to

IN
Tolunie 1

VOLUMES.
and
will

Mow

Ready.

Volinne 2 in the Press Shortly he Published.

'

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THE
OF THE

RELIGION

SWOR
&
Islam,

AN ENQUIRY INTO THE TENETS AND HISTORY OF

Judaism, Christianity
the

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Tolerant.

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Life,

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