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Full text of "The Dabistan"

72

duced to silence. The Mahomedan took up the
word, and said : cc Our prophet brought forth the
*' Koran, divided the moon, and ascended to hea-
*' ven." The philosopher observed upon this: " It
** is stated in your sacred book:

44 * And they say: We will by no means believe on thee, until thou
** * cause a spring of water to gush forth for us out of the earth, or thou
44 * have a garden of palm trees and vines, and thou cause rivers to spring
44 * forth from the midst of this palm plantation , or that thou throw down
44 * upon the earth the heaven torn in pieces; or that thou bring down
44 * God Almighty and the angels to vouch for thee; or thou have a house
" * of gold; or thou ascend by a ladder to heaven: neither will we
'* * believe thy ascending, until thou cause a book to descend unto us
44 ' which we may read. The answer is in this way: Say, 0 Muhammed,
" * pure is God the nourisher, I am but a man-prophet.'1

" From this an equitable judge can conclude, he
4t who could not cause a spring of running water
c' to come forth, how could he have shown the mira-
" cles which are related of him? when he had not
" the power of tearing the heaven in pieces, in what
" manner could he divide the moon? when he was
" unable to show ihe angels, how could he see Ja-
64 briil with his own eyes? and his companions too
4' did not behold him in the shape of an Arab; when
4i he was unable, in the presence of unbelievers, to
" go to heaven with his body, how did he perform

1 Koran, chap. XVII. v. 92-95. The Dabistan gives the Arabic text
and the Persian translation, which last I have followed. It agrees, except
in a few words, with the English version of Sale, and the French of
M. Kiisimirskv.