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Full text of "The Dabistan"

68

" fortuity with our faith, our desire is to obey the
" precepts of Jesus. But now, whence can we
" know that your prophet is true?" The Musel-
" man said: " From his miracles, one of which is
6i the dividing of the moon."1 The Nazarene ob-
served upon this : " If the dividing of the moon has
" taken place, the inhabitants of the world must
44 have seen it, and the recorders of extraordinary
" things in all countries, and the historians of all
" nations would have written it down with the pen
" of truth. Now none, except Muselrnans, give any
*' information of it." There was an Hindu present;
the Nazarene asked him: 4< In the Kali yug, which
' < is. the fourth of your ages, has the moon been once
" divided?" And he addressed the same question
to the Persians and Turks there present; all said:

1 This miracle has perhaps no other foundation but the atmospheric
phenomena of a double moon which was seen in Mecca, four or five years
before theHejira. Some ascribed it to Muhammed on the infidels demand-
ing a sign of him; the moon then appeared cloven in two; one part
vanishing and the oiher remaining: it was affirmed that the mount Kara
was seen interposing between the two sections. To this the believers
refer chapter LIV of the Koran, entitled the moon, which begins by these
words: * The hour approacheth, and the moon hath been split asunder/,
The most intelligent expounders understand in the first word the hour
of judgment; others think, that in the rest the preter tense isused, in the
prophetic style, for the future; and that the passage should be thus
rendered: " The moon shall be split asunder:" for this, they say, is to
happen at the resurrection.(See Sale's Koran, vol. II. p. 405). In the
subsequent section, " upon the interpretation of the prophet's miracle,"
this subject is particularly treated.