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I IMAGINE it almost needless either to make an apology for pub« 
lishing the following translation, or to go about to prove it a work 
of use as well as curiosity. They must have a mean opinion of the 
Christian religion, or be but ill grounded therein, who can apprehend 
any danger from so manifest a forgery : and if the religious and civil 
institutions of foreign nation^ are worth our knowledge, those of 
Mohammed, the lawgiver of the Arabians, and founder of an empire 
which in less than a century spread itself over a greater part of the 
world than the Romans were ever masters of, must needs be so ; 
whether we consider their extensive obtaining, or our frequent inter- 
course with those who are governed thereby. I shall not here inquire 
into the reasons why the law of Mohammed has met with so unexampled 
\ reception in the world (for they are greatly deceived who imagine it 
to have been propagated by the sword alone), or by what means it came 
lo be embraced by nations which never felt the force of the Moham- 
idiedan arms, and even by those which stripped the Arabians of their 
:onquests, and put an end to the sovereignty and very being of their 
Khalifs : yet it seems as if there was something more than what is 
vulgarly imagined in a religion which has made so surprising a progress. 
But whatever use an impartial version of the Koran may be of in other 
respects, it is absolutely necessary to undeceive those who, from the 
ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained 
too favourable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually 
to expose the imposture ; none of those who have hitherto undertaken 
that province, not excepting Dr. Prideaux himself, having succeeded to 
the satisfaction of the judicious, for want of being complete masters of 
the controversy. The writers of the Romish communion, in particular, 
are so far from having done any service in their refutations of Moham- 
medism, that by endeavouring to defend their idolatry and other 
superstitions, they have rather contributed to the increase of that 
aversion which the Mohammedans in general have to the Christian 
religion, and given them great advantages in the dispute. The Pro- 
testants alone are able to attack the Koran with success ; and for them, 
I trust. Providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow. In the 
meantime, if I might presume to lay down rules to be observed by those 
who attempt the conversion of the Mohammedans, they should be thtj 



same which the learned and worthy Bishop Kidder* has prescribed foi 
the conversion of the Jews, and which may, mutatis mutandis^ be equally 
applied to the former, notwithstanding the despicable opinion that 
writer, for want of being better acquainted with them, entertained ol 
those people, judging them scarce fit to be argued with. The first ol 
these rules is, To avoid compulsion ; which, though it be not in our 
power to employ at present, I hope will not be made use of when it is. 
The second is. To avoid teaching doctrines against common sense ; 
the Mohammedans not being such fools (whatever we may think of 
them) as to be gained over in this case. The worshipping of images 
and the doctrine of transubstantiation are great stumbling-blocks to 
the Mohammedans, and the Church which teacheth them is very unfit 
to bring those people over. The third is. To avoid weak arguments : 
for the Mohammedans are not to be converted with these, or hard 
words. We must use them with humanity, and dispute against them 
with arguments that are proper and cogent. It is certain that many 
Christians, who have written against them, have been very defective 
this way : many have used argimients that have no force, and advanced 
propositions that are void of truth. This method is so far from con- 
vincing, that it rather serves to harden them. The Mohammedans will 
be apt to conclude we have little to say, when we urge them with 
arguments that are trifling or untrue. We do but lose ground when we 
do this ; and instead of gaining them, we expose ourselves and our 
cause also. We must not give them ill words neither ; but must avoid 
all reproachful language, all that is sarcastical and biting : this never 
did good from pulpit or press. The softest words will make the deepest 
impression ; and if we think it a fault in them to give ill language, we 
cannot be excused when we imitate them. The fourth rule is. Not to quit 
any article of the Christian faith to gain the Mohammedans. It is a 
fond conceit of the Socinians, that we shall upon their principles be 
most like to prevail upon the Mohammedans : it is not true in matter 
of fact. We must not give up any article to gain them : but then the 
Church of Rome ought to part with many practices and some doctrines. 
We are not to design to gain the Mohammedans over to a system of 
dogma, but to the ancient and priiiiitive faith. I believe nobody will 
deny but that the rules here laid down are just : the latter part of the 
third, which alone my design has given me occasion to practise, I think 
so reasonable, that 1 have not, in speaking of Mohammed or his Koran, 
allowed myself to use those opprobrious appellations, and unmannerly 
expressions, which seem to be the strongest arguments of several who 
have written against them. On the ^^ontrary, I have thought myself 
obliged to treat both with common decency, and even to approve such 

^ In his Demou'tr. of the Messia.<i Part III. chap %. 


particulars as seemed to me to deserve approbation : for how criminal 
soever Mohammed may have been in imposing a false religion on 
mankind, the praises due to his real virtues ought not to be denied him ; 
nor can I do otherwise than applaud the candour of the pious and 
learned Spanhemius, who, though he owned him to have been a wicked 
impostor, yet acknowledged him to have been richly furnished with 
natural endowments, beautiful in his person, of a subtle wit, agreeable 
behaviour, showing liberality to the poor, courtesy to every one, fortitude 
against his enemies, and above all a high reverence for the name of 
God ; severe against the perjured, adulterers, murderers, slanderers, 
prodigals, covetous, false witnesses, &c., a great preacher of patience, 
charity, mercy, beneficence, gratitude, honouring of parents and supe- 
riors, and a frequent celebrator of the divine praises.* 

Of the several translations of the Koran now extant, there is but one 
which tolerably represents the sense of the original ; and that being in 
Latin, a new version became necessary, at least to an English reader. 
What Bibliander published for a Latin translation of that book deserves 
not tne name of a translation ; the unaccountable liberties therein taken 
and the numberless faults, both of omission and commission, leaving 
scarce any resemblance of the original. It was made near six hundred 
years ago, being finished in 1 143, by Robertus Retenensis, an English- 
man, with the assistance of Hermannus Dalmata, at the request cf 
Peter, Abbot of Clugny, who paid them well for their pains. 

From this Latin version was taken the Italian of Andrea Arrivabene, 
notwithstanding the pretences in his dedication of its being done im- 
mediately from the Arabic ;f wherefore it is no wonder if the transcript 
be yet more faulty and absurd than the copy, j 

About the end of the fifteenth century, Johannes Andreas, a native 
of Xativa in the kingdom of Valencia, who from a Mohammedan doctor 
became a Christian priest, translated not only the Koran, but also its 
glosses, and the seven books of the Sonna, out of Arabic into the 
Arragonian tongue, at the command of Martin Garcia, § Bishop of 
Barcelona and Inquisitor of Arragon. Whether this translation were 
ever published or not I am wholly ignorant : but it may be presumed 
to have been the better done for being the work of one bred up in tlis 

* Id certum, naturalibus egi-egie dolibus instructum Muhammedem, forma prasstanti, ingenio 
calldo, moribus facetis, ac prse se ferentem liberalitatem in egenos. comitate m in singulos, 
fortiiudinem in hostes, ac prse cieteris reverentiam divini nominis. — Severus fuit in perjure \ 
adulteros, homicidas, obtrectatores, prodigos, avaros, falsos testes, &c. Magnus iilen; 
patientise, charitatis, misericordiae, beneficentice, gratitudinis, honoris in parentes ac su perior 
prseco, ut et divinarum laudum. Hist. Eccles. Sec. VII. c. 7, lem. 5 and 7. 

t His words are : Questo libro, che gia havevo a commune utiliia di molti fatto dal j ropr! 
testo Aiabo _ tradurre nella nostra volgar lingua Italiana, &c. And afterwards; Questo \ 
I'AJcorano di Macometto, il quale, come ho gia detto, ho fatto dal suo idioma tradurre, &c 

X Vide Jos. Scalig. Epist. 361 et 362 ; et Selden. de Success, ad Leges Ebrasor. p. q 

\ I. Andreas, in Prxf. ad 1 r.^ctat. suum de Confusions Sectae Mahonietanae. 


Mohammedan religion and learning ; though his refutation of that re!i« 
gion, which has had several editions, gives no great idea of his abilities. 

Some years within the last cerilti-ry, Andrew du Ryer, who had been 
consul of the French nation in Egypt, and was tolerably skilled in the 
Turkish and Arabic languages, took the pains to translate the Koran 
into his own tongue : but his perfotinance, though it be beyond com- 
parison preferable to that of Retenensis, is far from being a just transla- 
tion ; there being mistakes in every page, besides frequent transposi- 
tions, omissions, and additions,* faults unpardonable in a work of this 
nature. And what renders it still more incomplete is, the want of Notes 
to explain a vast number of passages, some of which are difficult, and 
others impossible to be understood, without proper explications, were 
they translated ever so exactly ; which the author is so sensible of that 
he often refers his reader to the Arr Die commentators. 

The English version is no othci than a translation of Du Ryer's, and 
that a very bad one ; for Alexander Ross, who did it, being utterly un- 
acquainted with the Arabic, and no great master of the French, has 
added a number of fresh mistakes of his own to those of Du Ryer; not 
to mention the meanness of his language, which would make a better 
book ridiculous. 

In 1698, a Latin translation of the Koran, made by Father Lewis 
Marracci, who had been confessor to Pope Innocent XL, was published 
at Padua, together with the original text, accompanied by explanatory 
notes and a refutation. This translation of Marracci's, generally speak- 
ing, is very exact ; but adheres to the Arabic idiom too Hterally to be 
easily understood, unless I am much deceived, by those who are not 
versed in th( Mohammedan learning. The notes he has added are 
indeed of grea ^ use ; but his refutations, which swell the work to a large 
volume, are of little or none at all, being often unsatisfactory, and 
sometimes impertinent. The work, however, with all its faults, is very 
valuable, and I should be guilty of ingratitude, did I not acknowledge 
myself much obliged thereto ; but still, being in Latin, it can be of no 
use to those who understand not that tongue. 

Having therefore undertaken a new translation, I have endeavoured 
to do the original impartial justice ; not having, to the best of my 
knowledge, represented it, in any one instance, either better or worse 
than it really is. I have thought m.yself obliged, indeed, in a piece 
which pretends to be the Word of GOD, to keep somewhat scrupulously 
close to the text ; by which means the language may, in some places, 
seem to express the Arabic a little too literally to be elegant English : 
but this, I hope, has not happened often ; and I flatter myself that the 

• Vid« Windet. de Vita Functonim statu. Sect. iX. 


»tyle J have made use of will not only g^ve a more genuine idea of the 
original than if I had taken more liberty (which would have been much 
more for my ease), but will soon become familiar : for we must not 
expect to read a version of so extraordinary a book with the same ease 
and pleasure as a modern composition. 

In the Notes my view has been briefly to explain the text, and 
especially the difficult and obscure passages, from the most approved 
commentators, and that generally in their own words, for whose opinions 
or expressions, where liable to censure, I am not answerable ; my pro- 
vince being only fairly to represent their expositions, and the little I 
have added of my own, or from European writers, being easily discern- 
ible. Where I met with any circumstance which I imagined might be 
curious or entertaining, I have not failed to produce it. 

The Preliminary Discourse will acquaint the reader \sath the most 
material particulars proper to be known previously to the entering on 
the Koran itself, and which could not so conveniently have been thrown 
into the Notes. And I have taken care, both in the Preliminary Dis- 
course and the Notes, constantly to quote my authorities and the writers 
to whom I have been beholden ; but to none have I been more so than 
to the learned Dr. Pocock, whose Specimen Historiae Arabum is the 
most useful and accurate work that has been hitherto published con- 
cerning the antiquities of that nation, and ought to be read by every 
curious inquirer into them. 

As I have had no opportunity of consulting public libraries, the 
manuscripts of which I have made use throughout the whole work have 
been such as I had in my own study, except only the Commentary of 
al Beidawi and the Gospel of St. Barnabas. The first belongs to the 
library of the Dutch church in Austin Friars, and for the use of it I 
have been chiefly indebted to the Reverend Dr. Bolten, one of the 
ministers of that church : the other was very obligingly lent me by the 
Reverend Dr. Holme, Rector of Hedley in Hampshire ; and I take this 
opportunity of returning both those gentlemen my thanks for their 
favours. The merit of al Beidawi's commentary will appear from the 
frequent quotations I have made thence ; but of the Gospel of St. 
Barnabas (which I had not seen when the little I have said of it in the 
Preliminary Discourse,* and the extract I had borrowed from M. de 
la Monnoye and M. Toland,t were printed off), I must beg leave to 
give some further account 

The book is a moderate quarto, in Spanish, written in a very legible 
hand, but a little damaged towards the latter end. It contains two 
hundred and twenty-two chapters of unequal length, and four hundred 

* Sect. IV. p. 9S. tin not ad c«p. ^ p. 33 


and twenty pages ; and is said, in the front, to be translated from the 
Italian, by an Arragonian Moslem, named Mostafa de Aranda. There 
is a preface prefixed to it, wherein the discoverer of the original MS., 
who was a Christian monk, called Fra Marino, tells us that having 
accidentally met with a writing of Irenaeus (among others), wherein he 
speaks against St. Paul, alleging, for his authority, the Gospel of St. 
Barnabas, he became exceeding desirous to find this gospel ; and that 
God, of His mercy, having made him very intimate with Pope Sixtus V., 
one day, as they were together in that Pope's library, his Holiness fell 
isleep, and he, to employ himself, reaching down a book to read, the 
first he laid his hand on proved to be the very gospel he wanted : 
overjoyed at the discovery, he scmpled not to hide his prize in his 
sleeve, and on the Pope's awaking, took leave of him, carrying with him 
that celestial treasure, by reading of which he became a convert to 

This Gospel of Barnabas contains a complete history of Jesus Christ 
from His birth to His ascension; and most of the circumstances in the 
four real Gospels are to be found therein, but many of them turned, and 
some artfully enough, to favour the Mohammedan system. From the 
design of the whole, and the frequent interpolations of stories and 
passages wherein Mohammed is spoken of and foretold by name, as 
the messenger of God, and the great prophet who was to perfect the 
dispensation of Jesus, it appears to be a most barefaced forgery. One 
particular I observe therein induces me to believe it to have been 
dressed up by a renegade Christian, slightly instnacted in his new 
religion, and not educated a Mohammedan (unless the fault be imputed 
to the Spanish, or perhaps the Italian translator, and not to the original 
compiler) ; I mean the giving to Mohammed the title of Messiah, and 
that not once or twice only, but in several places ; whereas the title ol 
the Messiah, or, as the Arabs write it, al Masih, /.,?., Christ, is appro- 
priated to Jesus in the Koran, and is constantly applied by the Moham- 
medans to Him, and never to their own prophet. The passages pro- 
duced from the Italian MS. by M. de la Monnoye are to be seen in 
this Spanish version almost word for word. 

But to return to the following work. Though I have freely censured 
the former translations of the Koran, I would not therefore be suspected 
of a design to make my own pass as free from faults : I am very sen- 
sible it is not ; and I make no doubt that the few who are able to discern 
them, and know the difficulty of the undertaking, will give me fair 
quarter. I likewise flatter myself that they, and all considerate persons, 
will excuse the delay w^hich has happened in the publication of this 
work, when they are informed that it was carried on at leisure times 
only, and amidst the necessary avocations of a troublesome professioci 





Section Pagt 

I. — Of the Arabs before Mohammed ; or, as they express it, in the Time of 

Ignorance; their History, Religion, Learning, and Customs .. .. > 

II. — Of the State of Christianity, particularly of the Eastern Churches, and of 
Judaism, at time of Mohammed's appearance ; and of the methods taken 
by him for the establishing his Religion, and the circumstances which 
concurred thereto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *3 

III. — Of the Koran itself, the Peculiarities of that Book ; the manner of its being 

written and published, and the General Design of it . . . . . . 44 

IV. — Of the Doctrines and positive Precepts of the Koran which relate to Faith and 

Religious Duties .. 54 

V. — Of certain Negative Precepts in the Korin «• .. 95 

VI. — Of the Institutions of the Koran in Civil Affairs 103 

VII. — Of the Months commanded by the Koran to be kept Sacred ; and of the setting 

apart of Friday for the especial service of God . . . . . . . . 114 

VlII. — Of the principal Sects among the Mohammedans ; and of those who have pre- 
tended to Prophecy amoner tie Arabs, in or since the time of Mohammed xiy 





X. — Entitled, The Preface, or Introduction; containing 7 veraet 

a.— Entitled, The Cow ; containing 286 verses 

3. — Entitled, The Family of Imran; containing 200 verses 

4.— Entitled, Women ; containing 175 verses 

5. — Entitled, The Table; containing 120 verses 

6,— Entitled, Cattle; contaming 165 verses 

7.— Entitled, Al Araf ; containing 206 verses 

8. — Entitled, The Spoils; containing 76 verses 

9, — Entitled, The Declaration of Immunity; containing 139 v^satu 

10. — Entitled, Jonas; containing 109 verses 

II.— Entitled, Hud; containing 123 verses 

12. — Entitled, Joseph; containing III verses 

13. — Entitled, Thunder; containing 43 verses ... 

14. — Entitled, Abraham ; containing 52 verses 

15. — Entitled, Al Hejr; containing 99 verses 

16. — Entitled, The Bee; containing 128 verses 

17. — Entitled, The Night- Journey ; containing no verses . 

16. — Entitled, The Cave; containing III verses , 

19. — Entitled, Mary ; containing 80 verses 

20. — Entitled, T.H; containing 134 verses 

21. — Entitled, The Prophets; containing 112 verses 

22. — Entitled, The Pilgrimage ; containing 78 verses 

33. — Entitled, The True Believers; containing 118 verses 

24. — Entitled, Light ; containing 74 verses 

25. — Entitled, Al Forkan; containing 77 verses 
26. — Entitled, The Poets ; containing 227 verses .. 

27. — Entitled, The Ant ; containing 93 verses 

aS. — Entitled, The Story; containing 87 verses .. 
29. — Entitled, The Spider ; containing 69 verses 
■ya. — Entitled, The Greeks; containing 60 verses 

«. — Entitled, Lokman; containing 34 verses 

•s. — Entitled, Adoration ; containing 29 verses .. 

33. — Entitled, The Confederates; containing 73 vci ^^ 

y^ — Entitled, Saba ; containing 54 verses 

VS. — Entitled, The Creator ; containing 45 v«rse* . 
16. — Entitled. Y. S; containing S3 verses 

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37. —Entitled, Those who Rank themselves in Order; containing 182 verses .,. 

38.— Entitled, S ; containing 86 verses 

39.— Entitled, The Troops; containing 75 verses 

4a — Entitled, The True Believer; containing 85 verses 

41. — Entitled, Are distinctly Explained ; containing 54 verses 

42.— Entitled, Consultation; containing 53 verses 

43.— Entitled, The Ornaments of Gold ; containing 89 versea 

44.— Entitled, Smoke; containing 57 verses 

45.— Entitled, The Kneeling; containing 36 verses , 

46.— Entitled, Al Ahkaf; containing 35 verses 

47.— Entitled, Mohammed ; containing 38 verses 

48.— Entitled, The Victory ; containing 29 verses 

49. — Entitled, The Inner Apartments ; containing 18 V5rsc5 ,., 

50.— Entitled, K; containing 45 verses 

51.— Entitled, The Dispersing ; containing 60 verses ... ,, 

52.— Entitled, The Mountain; containing 48 verses 

S3.— Entitled, The Star; containing 61 verses ^ 

54,— Entitled, The Moon; containing 55 verses „ 

55.— Entitled, The Merciful; containing 78 verses 

56. — Entitled, The Inevitable ; containing 99 verses .*, 

57.— Entitled, Iron ; containing 29 verses ., 

58. — Entitled, She who Disputed ; containing 22 vers«i ... ,.. .„ 

59. — Entitled, The Emigration ; containing 24 verses ... ,», 

60.— Entitled, She who is Tried; containing 13 verses ... ,„ 

61.— Entitled, Battle Array ; containing 14 verses ^ 

62. — Entitled, The Assembly; containing II verses 

63. — Entitled, The Hypocrites; containing II verses 

64.— Entitled, Mutual Deceit; containing 18 verses ... 

63. — Entitled, Divorce; containing 12 verses 

66. — Entitled, Prohibition; containing 12 verses „ 

67.— Entitled, The Kingdom : containg 30 verses „ 

68. — Entitled, The Pen ; containing 52 verses 

69. — Entitled, The Infallible; containing 52 verses ... .., 

70.— Entitled, The Steps; containing 44 verses ^ 

71,— Entitled, Noah; containing 28 verses 

72. — Entitled, The Genii; containing 28 verses 

73. — Entitled, ITae Wrapped up ; containing ig verses 

74. — Entitled, The Covered ; containing 55 verses 

75. — Entitled, The Resurrection; containing 40 verses , ... 

76. — Entitled, Man; containing 31 verses 

77. — Entitled, Those which are Sent ; containing 50 verses 

78. — Entitled, The News; containing 40 verses 

79. — Entitled, Those who Tear Forth; containing 46 vers-s -. 

80. — Entitled, He Frowned ; containing 42 verses 

81. — Entitled, The Folding up; containing 29 verses 

82. — Entitled, The Cleaving in Sunder; containing 19 verses 

83. — Entitled, Those who give Short Measure or Weigh: ; containmg 36 verses 

84. — Entitled, The Rending In Sunder; containing 2:^ verses... 

85. — Entitled, The Celestial Signs; containing 22 verses 

86. — Entitled, The Star which appeareth by Night ; containing 17 verses ,., 

87. — Entitled, The Most High ; containing 19 verses ,. 

88. — Entitled. The Overwhelming; contaInin£ 36 verse* ... ,, 

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89.— Entitled, 

00. — Entitled, 

9*. — Entitled, 

92. — Entitled, 

93. — Entitled, 

94. — Entitled, 

95. — Entitled, 

96. — Entitled, 

97. — Entitled, 

9S.— Entitled, 

99. — Entitled, 

100. — Entitled, 

loi. — Entitled, 

102. — Entitled, 

103. — Entitled, 

104. — Entitled, 

105.— Entitled, 

X06. — Entitled, 

107. — Entitled, 

108.— Entitled, 

109. — Entitled, 

no. — Entitled, 

III — Entitled, 

112. — Entitled, 

113. — Entitled, 

114 —Entitled, 

The Daybreak ; containing 30 verses 

The Territory ; containing 20 verses , 

The Sun ; containing 15 verses 

The Night; containing 21 verses 

The Brightness; containing 11 verses 
Have we not Opened ; containing 8 verses 

The Fig; containing 8 verses 

Congealed Blood; containing ig verses ... .,, 

Al Kadr ; containing 5 verses 

The Evidence; containing 8 verses 

The Earthquake ; containing 8 verses 

The War-Horses which Run Swiftly; containing 11 verses 

The Striking; containing 10 verses 

The Emulous Desire of Multiplying; containing 8 verses 

The Afternoon ; containing 3 verses 

The Slanderer ; containing 9 verses , 

The Elephant; containing 5 verses „ 

Koreish; containing 4 verses 

Necessaries ; containing 7 verses 

Al Cawthar ; containing 3 verses 

1 ne Unbelievers ; containing 6 verses 

Assistance ; containing 3 verses 

Abu Laheb ; containing 5 verses 

The Declaration of God's Unity ; containing 4 vensss 

The Daybreak; containing 5 versts 

Men; ccntasntng 6 tctscc ... „, .,. ... ., 


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'T^HE Arabs, and the country they inhabit, which themseh'es call 
-*- Jezirat al Arab, or the Peninsula of the Arabians, but we Arabia, 
were so named from Araba, a small territory in the province of Tehama f 
to which Yarab the son of Kahtan, the father of the ancient Arabs, srave 
his name, and where, some ages after, dwelt Ismael the son of Abraham 
by Hagar. The Christian writers for several centuries speak of them 
under the appellation of Saracens ; the most certain derivation of which 
word is from shark, the east, where the descendants of Joctan, the 
Kahtan of the Arabs, are placed by Moses,' and in which quarter they 
dwelt in respect to the Jews.' 

The name of Arabia (used in a more extensive sense) sometimes com- 
prehends all that large tract of land bounded by the river Euphrates, 
the Persian Gulf, the Sindian, Indian, and Red Seas, and part of the 
Mediterranean : above two-thirds of which country, that is, Arabia pro- 
perly so called, the Arabs have possessed almost from the Flood ; and 
have made themselves masters of the rest, either by settlements or con- 
tinual incursions ; for which reason the Turks and Persians at this day 
call the whole Arabistan, or the country di the Arabs. 

But the limits of Arabia, in its more usual and proper sense, are much 
narrower, as reaching no farther northward than the Isthmus, v/hich 
runs from Aila to the head of the Persian Gulf, and the borders of the 
territory of Cufa ; which tract of land the Greeks nearly comprehended 
under the name of Arabia the Happy. The eastern geographers make 
Arabia Petrsea to belong partly to Egypt, and partly to Sham or Syria, 
and the desert Arabia they call the deserts of Syria.'* 

Proper Arabia is by the oriental writers generally divided into five 
provinces,^ viz., Yaman, Hejaz, Tehama, Najd, and Yamama ; to wliich 

1 Pocock, Specim. Hist. Arab. ^3. 2 Gen. x. 30. 3 See Pocock, Specim. 33, 34. 

* Golius ad Alfragan. 78, 79. ^ Strabo says Arabia Felix was in his time divided into five 

kingdoms, 1. 16, p. 1120. 



some add Bahrein, as a sixth, but this province the more exact make 
part of Irak f others reduce them all to two, Yaman and Hejaz, the last 
including the three other provinces of Tehama, Najd, and Yamama. 

The province of Yaman, so called either from its situation to the right 
hand, or south of the temple of Mecca, or else from the happiness and 
verdure of its soil, extends itself along the Indian Ocean from Aden to 
Cape Rasalgat ; part of the Red Sea bounds it on the west and south 
sides, and the province of Hejaz on the north.' It is subdivided into 
several lesser provinces, as Hadramaut, Shihr, Oman, Najran, &c., 
of which Shihr alone produces the frankincense.^ The metropolis of 
Yaman is Sanaa, a very ancient city, in former times called Ozal, and 
much celebrated for its delightful situation ; but the prince at present 
resides about five leagues northward from thence, at a place no less 
pleasant, called Hisn almawaheb, or the Castle of delights. ^ 

This country has been famous from all antiquity for the happiness of 
its climate, its fertihty and riches,"^ which induced Alexander the Great, 
after his return from his Indian expedition, to form a design of con- 
quering it, and fixing there his royal seat ; but his death, which hap- 
'nened soon after, prevented the execution of this project.^ Yet, in 
reality, great part of the riches which the ancients imagined were the 
produce of Arabia, came really from the Indies and the coasts of Africa ; 
for the Egj-ptians, who had engrossed that trade, which was then carried 
on by way of the Red Sea, to themselves, industriously concealed the 
truth of the matter, and kept their ports shut to prevent foreigners 
penetrating into those countries, or receiving any information thence ; 
and this precaution of theirs on the one side, and the deserts, unpass- 
able to strangers, on the other, were the reason why Arabia was so 
little known to the Greeks and Romans. The delightfulness and plenty 
of Yaman are owing to its mountains ; for all that part which lies along 
the Red Sea is a dry, barren desert, in some places ten or twelve leagues 
over, but in return bounded by those mountains, which being well 
watered, enjoy an almost continual spring, and, besides coffee, the 
peculiar produce of this country, yield great plenty and variety of fruits, 
and in particular excellent corn, grapes, and spices. There are no 
rivers of note in this country, for the streams which at certain times of 
the year descend from th^ mountains, seldom reach the sea, being for 
the most part drunk up and lost in the burning sands of that coast.' 

The soil of the other provinces is much more barren than that of 
Yaman ; the greater part of their territories being covered with dry 
sands, or rising into rocks, interspersed here and there with some fruit- 
ful spots, which receive their greatest advantages from their water and 
palm trees. 

The province of Hejaz, so nam.ed because it divides Najd from 
Tehama, is bounded on the south by Yaman and Tehama, on the west 
by the Rea Sea, on the north by the deserts of Syria, and on the east 
by the province of Najd.- This province is famous for its two chief 
cities, Mecca and Medina, one of which is celebrated for its temple, 
and having given birth to Mohammed ; and the other for being the 

6 Gol. ad Alfragan. 79. l La Roque, Voyage de i'Afab. heiir. 121. 2 Gol. ad 

Alfiagan. 79, 87. 3 Voyage de I'Arab. heur. 232. ^ Vide Dionys. Perieges. v. 927, &c. 

6 Strabo, 1. 16, p. T132. Arrian. 161, 1 Voy. de I'Arah. henr. 121, 123, 153. ^ Vide Gol. 
ad AJfrag 9S. Abulfeda Descr. Arab. p. 5, 


place of his residence for the last ten years of his life, and of his inter- 

Mecca, sometimes clso called Becca, which words are synonymous, 
and signify a place of great concourse, is certainly one of the most 
ancient cities of the world : it is by some ^ thought to be the Mesa of 
the ycripture,'* a name not unknown to the Arabians, and supposed to 
be taken from one of Ismael's sons.^ It is seated in a stony and barren 
valley, surrounded on all sides with mountains.* The length of Mecca 
from south to north is about tv/o miles, and its breadth from the foot of 
the mountain Ajyad, to the top of another called Koaikaan, about a 
mile. '7 In the midst of this space stands the city, built of stone cut 
from the neighbouring mountains.^ There being no springs at Mecca,^ 
at least none but what are bitter and unfit to drink,'° except only the 
well Zemzem., the water of which, though far the best, yet cannot be 
drank ol -a-ny continuance, being brackish, and causing eruptions in 
those who drmk plentifully of it," the inhabitants are obliged to use 
rain-water which they catch in cisterns.' But this not being sufficient, 
several attempts were made to bring water thither from other places by 
aqueducts ; and particularly about Mohammed's time, Zobair, one of 
the principal men of the tribe of Koreish, endeavoured at a great ex- 
pense to supply the city with water from Mount Arafat, but without 
success ; yet this was effected not many years ago, being begun at the 
charge of a wife of Soliman the Turkish emperor.^ But long before 
this, another aqueduct had been made from a spring at a considerable 
distance, which was, after several years' labour, finished by the Khalif 
al Moktader.3 

The soil about Mecca is so very barren as to produce no fruits but 
what are com.mon in the deserts, though the prince or Sharif has a 
garden well planted at his castle of Marbaa, about three miles westward 
from the city, where he usually resides. Having therefore no corn or 
grain of their own growth, they are obliged to fetch it from other places ;"* 
and Hashem, Mohammed's great-grandfather, then prince of his tribe, 
the more effectually to supply them with provisions, appointed two 
caravans to set out yearly for that purpose, the one in summer, and the 
other in winter : ^ these caravans of purveyors are mentioned in the 
Koran. The provisions brought by them were distributed also twice a 
year, viz., in the month of Rajeb, and at the arrival of the pilgrims. 
They are supplied with dates in great plenty from the adjacent country, 
and with grapes from Tayef, about sixty miles distant, very few growing 
at Mecca. The inhabitants of this city are generally very rich, being 
considerable gainers by the prodigious concourse of people of almost 
all nations at the yearly pilgrimage, at which time there is a great fair 
or mart for all kinds of merchandise. They have also great numbers 
of cattle, and particularly of camels : however, the poorer sort cannot 
but live very indifferently in a place where almost every necessary of 
life must be purchased with money. Notwithstanding this great sterility 

3 R. Saadias in version. Arab. Pentat. Sefer Juchasin. 135. b. ■* Gen. x. 30. ^ Gol. 

ad Alfrag, 82. See Gen. xxv. 15. 6 Gol. ib. 98. See Pitts* Account of the religion and 

manners of the Mohammedans, p. 96. 7 Sharif al Edrisi apud Poc. Sf)ecim. 122. 

8 Ibid. 9 Gol. ad Ahragan. 99. 1" Sharif al Edrisi ubi supra, 124. ^ Ibid, and 

Pitts ubi supra, p. 107. 1 Gol. ad Alfrag^ 99. - Tbid. ^ Sharif al Edrisi ubi supra. 

4 Idem ib. 5 Poc. Spec. 51. 


near Mecca, yet you are no sooner out of its territory than you meet on 
all sides with plenty of good springs and streams of running water, with 
u great many gardens and cultivated lands.*" 

The temple of Mecca, and the reputed holiness of this territory, will 
be treated of in a more proper place. 

Medina, which till Mohammed's retreat thither was called Yathreb, is 
a walled city about half as big as Mecca,^ built in a plain, salt in many 
places, yet tolerably fruitful, particularly in dates, but more especially 
near the mountains, two of which, Ohod on the north, and Air on the 
south, are about two leagues distant. Here lies Mohammed interred' 
in a magnificent building, covered with a cupola, and adjoining to the 
east side of the great temple, which is built in the midst of the city.^ 

The province of Tehama w^as so named from the vehement heat of 
its sandy soil, and is also called Gaur from its low situation ; it is 
bounded on the west by the Red Sea, and on the other sides by Hejaz 
and Yaman, extending almost from Mecca to Aden.^ 

The province of Najd, which word signifies a rising country, lies 
between those of Yamama, Yaman, and Hejaz, and is bounded on the 
east by Irak.'* 

The province of Yam.ama, also called Arud from, its oblique situation, 
in respect of Yaman, is surrounded by the provinces of Najd, Tehama, 
Bahrein, Oman, Shihr, Hadramaut, and Saba. The chief city is 
Yamama, which gives name to the province : it was anciently called 
Jaw, and is particularly famous for being the residence of Mohammed's 
competitor, the false prophet Moseilama.^ 

The Arabians, the inhabitants of this spacious country, which they 
have possessed from the most remote antiquity, are distinguished by 
their own writers into two classes, viz., the oJd lost Arabians, and the 

The former were very numerous, and divided into several tribes, 
which are now all destroyed, or else lost and swallowed up among the 
other tribes, nor are any certain memoirs or records extant concerning 
them f though the memory of some very remarkable events and the 
catastrophe of some tribes have been preserved by tradition, and since 
confirmed by the authority of the Koran. 

The most famous tribes amongst these ancient Arabians were Ad, 
Thamud, Tasm, Jadis, the former Jorham, and Amalek. 

6 Sharif al Edrisi ubi sxipra, 125. 7 Id. Vulg6 Geogr. Nubiensis, 5. 

1 Though the notion of Mohammed's being buried at Mecca has been so long exploded, yet 
several modern writers, whether through ignorance or negligence I will not determine, have 
fallen into it. I shall here take notice only of two ; one is Dr. Smith, who having lived some 
time in Turkey, seems to be inexcusable : that gentleman in his Epistles de Moribiis ac In- 
stitutis TjircancfH, no less than thrice mentions the Mohammedans visiting the tomb of their 
prophet at Mecca, and once his being born at Medina — the reverse of which is true (see Ep. 
I, p. 22, Ep. 2, p. 63 and 64). The other is the publisher of the last edition of Sir J. Mande- 
vile's Travels, who on his author's saying very truly (p. 50) that the said tomb was at Methone, 
z'.^., Medina, undertakes to correct the name of the town, which is something corrupted, by 
putting at the Viottom of the page, Mecca. The Abbot de Vertot, in his History of the Order 
of Malta (vol. i. p. 410, ed. 8vo.), seems also to have confounded these two cities together, 
though he had before mentioned Mohammed's sepulchre at Medina. However, he is certainly 
mistaken, when he says that one point of the religion, both of the Christians and Mohamme- 
dans, was to visit, at least once in their lives, the tomb of the author of their respective faith. 
Whatever may be the opinion of some Christians, 1 am well assured the Mohammedans thiok 
themselves under no manner of obligation in that respect. 2 Gol. ad Alfragan. 97, Abulfeda 
De cr. Arab. p. 40. '■^ Gol. ubi sup. 95. 4 Ibid. 94. ^ Ibid, 95. 6 Abulfarag. p. 


The tribe of Ad were descended from Ad, the son of Aws,' the son 
of Aram,' the son of Sem, the son of Noah, who, after the confusion of 
tongues, settled in al Ahkaf, or the winding sands in the province of 
Hadramaut, where his posterity greatly multiplied. Their first king 
was Shedad the son of Ad, of whom the eastern writers deliver many 
fabulous things, particularly that he finished the magnificent city his 
father had begun, wherem he built a fine palace, adorned with delicious 
gardens, to embellish Avhich he spared neither cost nor labour, proposing 
thereby to create in his subjects a superstitious veneration of himself 
as a god.5 This garden or paradise was called the garden of Irem, 
and is mentioned in the Koran,* and often alluded to by the oriental 
writers. The city, they tell us, is still standing in the deserts of Aden, 
being preserved by providence as a monument of divine justice, though 
it be invisible, unless very rarely, when GOD permits it to be seen, a 
favour one Colabah pretended to have received in the reign of the 
Khalif Moawiyah, who sending for him to know the truth of the matter, 
Colabah related his whole adventure ; that as he was seeking a camel 
he had lost, he found himself on a sudden at the gates of this city, and 
entering it saw not one inhabitant, at which, being terrified, he stayed 
no longer than to take v/ith him some fine stones which he showed the 

The descendants of Ad in process of time falling from the worship 
of the true GOD into idolatry, GOD sent the prophet Hud (who is gene- 
rally agreed to be Heber'') to preach to and reclaim them. But they 
refusing to acknowledge his mission, or to obey him, GOD sent a hot 
and suffocating wind, which blew seven nights and eight days together, 
and entering at their nostrils passed through their bodies,^ and destroyed 
them all, a very few only excepted, who had believed in Hud and retired 
with him to another place.^ That prophet afterwards returned into 
Hadramaut, and v\^as buried near Hasec, where there is a small town 
nov\^ standing called Kabr Hud, or the sepulchre of Hud. Before the 
Adites were thus severely punished, GOD, to humble them, and incline 
them to hearken to the preaching of his prophet, afflicted them with a 
drought for four years, so that all their cattle perished, and themselves 
were very near it ; upon v. hich they sent Lokman (different from one 
of the same name who lived in David's time) with sixty others to Mecca 
to beg rain, which they not obtaining, Lokman with some of his com.- 
pany stayed at Mecca, and thereby escaped destruction, giving rise to 
a tribe called the latter Ad, who were afterv/ard changed into monkeys.^ 

Some commentators on the Koran' tell us these old Adites were of 
prodigious stature, the largest being loo cubits high, and the least 60 ; 
which extraordinary size they pretend to prove by the testimony of the 

The tribe of Thamiid were the posterity of Thamud the son of Gather- 
the son of Aram, who falling into idolatiy, the prophet Saleh was sent 
to bring them back to the worship of the true GoD. This prophet lived 
between the time of Hud and of Abraham, and therefore cannot be the 

1 Or Uz. Gen. x. 22, 23. 2 Vide Kor. c. 89. Some rrake Ad theson of Amalek, the son 
of Ham ; but the other is the received opinion. See D'Herbel. 51. 3 Vide Eund. 498. 

4 Cap. 89. 5 D'Herbel. 51. 6 The Jews acknowledge Heber to have been a great pro- 

phet. ^ Seder 01am. p. 2. 7 Al B^idawi. 8 Poc. Spec. 3s, &c. l Ibid, 36. 

2 Jallalo'ddm et Zamakhshari. 3 Kor. c. 7. * Or G-:ther, vide Gen. x. 23. 


same with the patriarch Saleh, as Mr. cl'Herbelot imagines.^ The 
learned Bochart with more probabihty takes him to be Phaleg.^ A 
small mimber of the people of Thamud hearkened to the remonstrances 
of Saleh, but the rest requiring, as a proof of his mission, that he should 
cause a she-camel big with young to come out of a rock in their pre- 
sence, he accordingly obtained it of GOD, and the camel was knme- 
diately delivered of a young one ready weaned ; but they, instead of 
believing, cut the hamstrings of the camel and killed her; at which act 
of impiety GOD, being highly displeased, three days after struck them 
dead in their houses by an earthquake and a terrible noise from heaven, 
which, some^ say, was the voice of Gabriel the archangel crying aloud, 
" Die, all of you." Sileh, with those who were reformed by him, were 
saved from this destruction ; the prophet going into Palestine, and from 
thence to Mecca,^ where he ended his days. 

This tribe first dwelt in Yaman, but being expelled thence by Hamyar 
the son of Saba,^ they settled in the territory of Hejr in the province 
of Hejaz, where their habitations cut out of the rocks, mentioned in the 
Koran, '° are still to be seen, and also the crack of the rock whence 
the camel issued, which, as an eye-witness" hath declared, is 6^^ cubits 
wide. These houses of the Thamiidites being of the ordinary propor- 
tion, are used as an argument to convince those of a mistake who make 
this people to have been of a gigantic stature." 

The tragical destructions of these two potent tribes are often insisted 
on in the Koran, as instances of GOD'S judgment on obstinate un- 

The tribe of Tasm were the posterity of Lud the son of Sem, and 
Jadis of the descendants of Jether.' These two tribes dwelt promis- 
cuously together under the government of Tasm, till a certain tyrant 
made a law that no maid of the tribe of Jadis should marry unless first 
defloured by him y which the Jadisians not enduring, formed a con- 
spiracy, and inviting the king and chiefs of Tasm to an entertainment, 
privately hid their swords in the sand, and in the midst of their mirth 
fell on them and slew them all, and extirpated the greatest part of that 
tribe ; however, the few who escaped obtaining aid of the king of 
Yaman, then (as is said) Dhu Habshan Ebn Akran,^ assaulted the Jadis 
and utterly destroyed them, there being scarce any mention made from 
that time of either of these tribes. '^ 

The former tribe of Jorham (whose ancestor some pretend was one 
of the eighty persons saved in the ark with Noah, according to a Mo- 
hammedan tradition^) was contemporary with Ad, and utterly perished.^ 
The tribe of Amalek were descended from Amalek the son of Eliphaz 
the son of Esau,' though some of the oriental authors say Amalek was 
the son of Ham the son of Noah,^ and others the son of Azd the son 
of Sem. 9 The posterity of this person rendered themselves very power- 
ful,'° and before the time of Joseph conquered the lower Egypt under 

5 D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient. 740. 6 Bochart Geogr Sac. 5^ See D'Herbel. 366. 8 Ebn 
Shohnah. 9 Poc. Spec. 57. lO Kor. c. 15. n Abu Musa al Ashari. 12 Vide Poc. Spec. 37. 
1 Abulfeda. 2 4 iji^g custom is said to have been in some manors in England, and also 

in Scotland, where it was called " culliage," or " cullage," having been established by K. Ewen, 
and abolished by Malcolm III. See Bayle's Diet. Art. SixtelV. , Rem. H. 3 Poc. Spec. 60. 
4 Ibid. 37. &c. 5 Ibid. p. 38. 6 Ebn Shohnah. ^ Gen. xxxvi. 12. ^ Vide D'Herbe« 

lot. p. 110. 9 Ebn Shohnah. 10 Vide Numb xxiv. 20. 


their king Walid, the first who took the name of Pharaoh, as the eastern 
writers tell us ;" seeming by these Amalekites to m.ean the same people 
which the Egyptian histories call Phcenician shepherds.'- But alter 
they had possessed the throne of Egypt for some descents, they were 
expelled by the natives, and at length totally destroyed by the Israelites/.^ 

The present Arabians, according to their own historians, are sprung 
from two stocks, Kahtan, the same with Joctan the son of Eber/-* and 
Adnan descended in a direct line from Ismael the son of Abraham and 
Hagar ; the posterity of the former they call al Arab al Ariba,'^ i.e., 
the genuine or pure Arabs, and those of the latter al Arab al mostdreba, 
i.e., naturalized or insititious Arabs, though some reckon the ancient 
lost tribes to have been the only pure Arabians, and therefore call the 
posterity of Kahtan also Motareba, which word likewise signifies insiti- 
tious Arabs, though in a nearer degree than Mostareba ; the descendants 
of Ismael being the more distant graff. 

The posterity of Ismael have no claim to be admitted as pure Arabs, 
their ancestor being by origin and language an Heurew ; but having 
made an alliance with the Jorhamites, by marrying a daughter of 
Modad, and accustomed himiself to their manner of living and lan- 
guage, his descendants became blended with them into one nation. 
The uncertainty of the descents between Ismael and Adnan is the 
reason why they seldom trace their genealogies higher than the latter, 
whom they acknowledge as father of their tribes, the descents from 
him downwards being pretty certain and uncontroverted.^ 

The genealogy of these tribes being of great use to illustrate the 
Arabian history, I have taken the pains to form a genealogical table 
from their most approved authors, to which I refer the curious. 

Besides these tribes of Arabs mentioned by their own authors, who 
were all descended from the race of Sem, others of them were the 
posterity of Ham by his son Cush, which name is in scripture con- 
stantly given to the Arabs and their country, though our version render?; 
it Ethiopia ; but strictly speaking, the Cushites did not inhabit Arabia 
propei-ly so called, but the banks of the Euphrates and the Persian 
Gulf, whither they came from Chuzestan or Susiana, the original settle- 
ment of their father.^ They might probably mix themselves in process 
of time v/ith the Arabs of the other race, but the eastern v/riters take 
little or no notice of them. 

The Arabians were for some centuries under the government of the 
descendants of Kahtan ; Yarab, one of his sons, founding the kingdom 
of Yaman, and Jorham, another of them, that of Hejaz. 

The province of Yaman, or the better part of it, particularly the 
provinces of Saba and Hadramaut, was governed by princes of the 
tribe of Hamyar, though at length the kingdom was translated to the 
descendants of Cahlan, his brother, who yet retained the title of king 
of Hamyar, and had all of them the general title of Tobba, which 
signifies successor, and was affected to this race of princes, as that of 

11 Mirat Cainat. 12 Vide Josep>i. cont. Apion. 1. i. 13 Vide Exod. xvii. i8, &c. ; i 

Sam. XV. 2, &c. ; ibid, xxvii. 8, 9 ; i Chron. iv. 43. 14 R. Saad. in vers. Arnb. Pentat. Gen. 

X. 25. Some writers make Kahtan a descendant of Ismael, but against the current of oriental 
historians. See Poc. Spec. 39. 1^ An expression something like that of St. Paul, who 

calls himself " an Hebrew of the Hebrews," Phihp. iii. 5. 1 Poc. Spec. p. 40. - Vide 

Hyde Hist. Rel. veter. Persar. d. 37, &c. 


Caesar was to the Roman emperors, and Khalif to the successors of 
Mohammed. There were several lesser princes who reigned in other 
parts of Yaman, and were mostly, if not altogether, subject to the king 
of Hamyar, whom they called the great king, but of these history has 
recorded nothing remarkable or that may be depended upon.' 

The first great calamity that befell the tribes settled in Yaman was 
the inundation of Aram, which happened soon after the time of 
Alexander the Great, and is famous in the Arabian history. No less 
than eight tribes were forced to abandon their dwellings upon this 
occasion, some of which gave rise to the two kingdoms of Ghassan 
and Hira. And this was probably the time of the migration of those 
Iribes or colonies which were led into Mesopotamia by three chiefs, 
Beer, Modar, and Rabia, from whom the three provinces of that country 
are still i.^amed Diyar Beer, Diyar Modar, and Diyar Rabia.^ Abdshems, 
surnamed Saba, having built the city from him called Saba, and after- 
wards Mareb, made a vast mound, or dam,^ to serve as a basin or 
reservoir to receive the water which came down from the mountains, 
not only for the use of the inhabitants, and watering their lands, but 
also to keep the country they had subjected in greater awe by being 
masters of the water. This building stood like a mountain above their 
city, and was by them esteemed so strong that they were in no appre- 
Jiension of its ever failing. The water rose to the height of almost 
twenty fathoms, and was kept in on every side by a work so solid, that 
many of the inhabitants had their houses built upon it. Every family 
had a certain portion of this water, distributed by aqueducts. But at 
length, God, being highly displeased at their great pride and insolence, 
and resolving to humble and disperse them, sent a mighty flood, which 
l^roke down the mound by night while the inhabitants were asleep, and 
carried away the whole city, with the neighbouring towns and people.'^ 

The tribes which remained in Yaman after this terrible devastation 
still continued under the obedience of the former princes, till about 
seventy years before Mohammed, when the king of Ethiopia sent over 
forces to assist the Christians of Yaman against the cruel persecution 
of their king, Uhu Nowas, a bigoted Jew, whom they drove to that 
extremity that he forced his horse into the sea, and so lost his life and 
crovv'n,5 after which the country was governed by four Ethiopian princes 
successively, till Selif, the son of Dhu Yazan, of the tribe of Hamyar, 
obtaining succours from Khosru Anushirwan, king of Persia, which had 
been denied him by the emperor Heraclius, recovered the throne and 
drove out the Ethiopians, but was himself slain by some of them who 
were left behind. The Persians appointed the succeeding princes till fell into the hands of Mohammed, to whom Bazan, or rather 
Badhin, the last of them, submitted, and embraced this new religion.' 

This kingdom of the Hamyarites is said to have lasted 2,020 years,^ 
or as others say above 3,000 ;^ tlie length of the reign of each prince 
being very uncertain. 

It has been already observed that two kingdoms were founded by 
those who left their country on occasion of the inundation of Aram : 

1 Poc Spec. p. 65, 66. 2 Vide Gol. ad Alfrag. p. 232. ^ Poc Spec, p 57. 4 Geogr. 
Nublens p. 52. ^ gee Prideaux's Life of Mahomjt, p. 61. 1 Poc. bpec. p. 63, 64 

^ Abulfed.-i. 3 Al J^iinabi and Ahmed Ebn Yusef. 


they were both out of the proper limits of Arabia. One of them was 
the kingdom of Ghassan. The founders of this kingdom were of the 
tribe of Azd, who, setthng in Syria Damascena near a water called 
Ghassan, thence took their name, and drove out the Dajaamian Arabs 
of the tribe of Salih, who before possessed the country f where they 
maintained their kingdom 400 years, as others say 600, or as Abulfeda 
more exactly computes, 616. Five of these princes were named Hareth, 
which the Greeks w^ite Aretas : and one of them it was whose governor 
ordered the gates of Damascus to be watched to take St. Paul,^ This 
tribe w^ere Christians, their last king being Jabalah the son of al Ayham, 
who on the Arabs' successes in Syria professed Mohammedism under 
the Khalif Omar ; but receiving a disgust from him, returned to his 
former faith, and retired to Constantinople.^ 

The other kingdom was that of Hira, which was founded by Malec, 
of the descendants of Cahlan^ in Chaldea or Irak ; but after three de- 
scents the throne came by marriage to the Lakhmians, called also the 
Mondars (the general name of those princes), who preserved their do- 
minion, notwithstanding some small interruption by the Persians, till 
the Khalifat of Abubecr, when al Mondar al Maghrur, the last of them, 
lost his life and crow'n by the arms of Khaled Ebn al Walid. This 
kingdom lasted 622 years eight months.^ Its princes were under the 
protection of the kings of Persia, whose lieutenants they were over the 
Arabs of Irak, as the kings of Ghassan were for the Roman emperors 
over those of Syria.^ 

Jorham the son of Kahtan reigned in Hejaz, where his posterity kept 
the throne till the time of Ismael ; but on his marrying the daughter 
of Modad, by whom he had twelve sons, Kidar, one of them, had the 
crown resigned to him by his uncles the Jorhamites,' though others say 
the descendants of Ismael expelled that tribe, w^ho retiring to Johainah, 
were, after various fortune, at last all destroyed by an inundation,^ 

Of the kings of Hamyar, Hira, Ghassan, and Jorham, Dr. Pocock 
has given us catalogues tolerably exact, to which I refer the curious. 3 

After the expulsion of the Jorhamites, the government of Hejaz seems 
not to have continued for many centuries in the hands of one prince, 
but to have been divided among the heads of tribes, almost in the same 
manner as the Arabs of the desert are governed at this day. At Mecca 
an aristocracy prevailed, where the chief management of affairs till the 
time of Mohammed was in the tribe of Koreish, especially after they 
had gotten the custody of the Caaba from the tribe of Khozaah.'* 

Besides the kingdoms w'hich have been taken notice of, there were 
some other tribes which in latter times had princes of their own, and 
formed states of lesser note, particularly the tribe of Kenda := but as I 
am not writing a just history of the Arabs, and an account of them 
would be of no great use to my present purpose, I shall w'aive any 
further mention of them. 

After the time of Mohammed, Arabia was for about three centuries 
under the Khaiifs his successors. But in the year 325 of the Hejra, 

4 Poc. Spec. p. 76 5 2 Cor. xi. 32 ; Acts ix. 24. 6 Vide Ockiey's History of the 

Saracens, vol. i. p. 174. 7 Poc. Spec. p. 66. 8 Ibid. p. 74. 9 Ibid, and Procop. in 

Hers, apud Photium. p. 71. &c. 1 Poc. Spec. p. 45. 2 Ibid. p. 79. 3 Ibid. p. 55, seq. 

4 Vide ibid. p. 41, and Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. "- 5 Vij^ Poc. Spec. p. 79, &c. 


great part of that country was in the hands of the Karn^atians,^ a new 
sect who had committed great outrages and disorders even in Mecca.^ 
and to whom the Khalifs were obhged to pay tribute, that the pilgrim- 
age thither might be performed : of this sect I may have occasion to 
speak in another place. Afterwards Yaman was governed by the house 
of Thabateba, descended from Ali the son-in-law of Mohammed, whose 
sovereignty in Arabia some place so high as the time of Charlemagne. 
However, it was the posterity of Ali, or pretenders to be such, who 
reigned in Yaman and Egypt so early as the tenth century. The pre- 
sent reigning family in Yaman is probably that of Ayub, a branch of 
which reigned there in the thirteenth century, and took the title of 
Khaiif and Imam, which they still retain.^ They are not possessed of 
the whole province of Yaman,^ there being several other independent 
kingdoms there, particularly that of Fartach. The crown of Yaman 
descends not regularly from father to son, but the prince of the blood 
royal who is most in favour with the great ones, or has the strongest 
interest, generally succeeds.^ 

The governors of Mecca and Medina, who have always been of the 
race of Mohammed, also threw off their subjection to the Khalifs, since 
which time four principal families, all descended from Hassan the son 
of Ali, have reigned there under the title of Sharif, which signifies 
noble, as they reckon themselves to be on account of their descent. 
These are Banu Kader, Banu Musa Thani, Banu Hashem, and Banu 
Kitada ;' which last family now is, or lately was, in the throne of Mecca, 
where they have reigned above 500 years. The reigning family at 
Medina are the Banu Hashem, who also reigned at Mecca before those 
of Kitada.- 

The kings of Yaman, as well, as the princes of Mecca and Medina, 
are alsolutely independent ^ and not at all subject to the Turk, as some 
late authors have imagined."* These princes often making cruel wars 
among themselves, gave an opportunity to Selim I. and his son Soliman, 
to make themselves masters of the coasts of Arabia on the Pv.ed Sea, 
and of part of Yaman, by means of a fleet built at Sues : but their 
successors have not been able to maintain their conquests ; for, except 
the port of Jodda, where they have a Basha whose authority is very 
small, they possess nothing considerable in Arabia.^ 

Thus have the Arabs preserved their liberty, of which few nations 
can produce so ancient monuments, with very little interruption, from 
the very Deluge ; for though very great armies have been sent against 
them, all attempts to subdue them were unsuccessful. The Assyrian or 
Median empires never got footing among them.* The Persian monarchs, 
though they were their friends, and so far respected by them as to have 
an annual present of frankincense,^ yet could never make them tribu- 
tary;^ and were so far from being their masters, that Cambyses, on his 
expedition against Eg>'pt, was obhged to ask their leave to pass through 
their territories ; ^ and when Alexander had subdued that mighty empire, 
yet the Arabians had so little apprehension of him, that they alone, of 

6 Vide Elmacin. in vita al Radi. 7 Voyage de I'Arab. hear. p. 255. 8 ibid. 15^, 273. 

9 Ibid. 254. 1 Ibid. 143. 2 Ibid. 145. 3 Ibid. 143, 148 i Vide D'Herbd. Bibl. 

Orient, p. 477. o Voy. de I'Arab. heur. p. 148. 6 Diodor. Sic. 1. 2, p. 131. 7 Herodot. 

!• 3» c. 97. ^ Idem ib. c. 91. Diodor. ubi sup. 9 Herodut. 1. 3., c. 8 and 98. 


all the neighbouring nations, sent no ambassadors to him, either first or 
last; which, with a desire of possessing so rich a country, made him 
form a design against it, and had he not died before he could put it in 
execution, '° this people might possibly have convinced him that he was 
not invincible : and I do not find that any of his successors, either in 
Asia or Eg}^pt, ever made any attempt against them/ The Romans 
never conquered any part of Arabia properly so called ; the most they 
did was to make some ti'ibes in Syria tributary to them, as Pompey did 
one commanded by Sampsiceramus or Shams'alkeram, who reigned at 
Hems or Emesa ;^ but none of the Romans, or any other nations that 
we knovv'^ of, ever penetrated so far into Arabia as ^lius Gallus under 
Augustus C^sar ;^ yet he was so far from subduing it, as some authors 
pretend,* that he was soon obliged to return without eft'ecting anything 
considerable, having lost the best part of his army by sickness and 
other accidents.5 This ill success probably discouraged the Romans 
from attacking them any more ; for Trajan, notwithstanding the flatteries 
of the historians and orators of his time, and the medals struck by him, 
did not subdue the Arabs ; the province of Arabia, which it is said he 
added to the Roman empire, scarce reaching farther than Arabia Petraea, 
or the very skirts of the country. And we are told by one author,^ that 
this prince, marching against the Agarens who had revolted, met with 
such a reception that he was obliged to return without doing anything. 

The re:'.gion of the Arabs before Mohammed, which they call the 
state of ignorance, in opposition to the knowledge of God's true worship 
revealed to them by their prophet, was chiefly gross idolatry ; the Sabian 
religion having almost overrun the whole nation, though there were also 
great numbers of Christians, Jews, and Magians among them. 

I shall not here ti'anscribe what Dr. Prideaux' has written of the 
original of the Sabian religion ; but instead thereof insert a brief ac- 
count of the tenets and worship of that sect. They do not only believe 
one God, but produce many strong arguments for His unity, though 
they also pay an adoration to the stars, or the angels and intelligences 
which they suppose reside in them, and govern the world under the 
Supreme Deity. They endeavour to perfect themselves in the four 
intellectual virtues, and believe the souls of wicked men will be punished 
for nine thousand ages, but will afterwards be received to mercy. They 
are obliged to pray three times^ a day ; the first, half an hour or less 
before sunrise, ordering it so that they may, jusi as the sun rises, finish 
eight adorations, each containing three prostrations •? the second prayer 
they end at noon, when the sun begins to decline, in saying which they 
perform five such adorations as the former : and the same they do the 
third time, ending just as the sun sets. They fast three times a year, 
the first time thirty days, the next nine days, and the last seven. They 
offer many sacrifices, but eat no part of them, burning them all. They 
abstain from beans, garlic, and some other pulse and vegetables.* As 

1<> Strabo, 1. i6, p. 1076, 1132. 1 Vide Diodor. Sic. ubi supra, 2 Strabo, I. 16, p. 1092. 

3 Dion Cassius, 1. 53, p. m. 516. 4 Huet, Hist, du Commerce et de la Navigation des 

Anciens, c. 50. ^ See the whole expedition described at large by Stxabo, 1. 16, p. 1126, &c. 
5 Xiphiiin. epit. 7 Connect, of the Hist, of the Old and New Test. p. i, bk. 3. 8-Some 

say seven. See D'Herbelot, p. 726, and Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 128. 9 Others say they 
use no incurvations or prostratior.s at all ; vide Hyde ibid. ^ Abulfarag, Hist. Dynast, p. 

281. &c. 


to the Sabiari Kebla, or part to which they turn their faces in praying, 
authors greatly differ; one will have it to be the north,^ another the 
south, a third Mecca, and a fourth the star to which they pay their 
devotions •? and perhaps there may be some variety in their practice in 
this respect. They go on pilgrimage to a place near the city of Harran 
in Mesopotamia, where great numbers of them dwell, and they have 
also a great respect for the temple of Mecca, and the pyramids of Egypt;"* 
fancying these last to be the sepulchres of Seth, and of Enoch and Sabi 
his two sons, whom they look on as the first propagators of their reli- 
gion ; at these structures they sacrifice a cock and a black calf, and 
offer up incense.5 Besides the book of Psalms, the only true scripture 
they read, they have other books which they esteem equally sacred, 
particularly one in the Chaldee tongue which they call the book of Seth, 
and is full of moral discourses. This sect say they took the name of 
Sabians from the above-mentioned Sabi, though it seems rather to be 
derived from K^2i Saba^ or the host of heaven.^ which they worship.^ 
Travellers commonly call them Christians of St. John the Baptist, whose 
disciples also they pretend to be, using a kind of baptism, which is the 
greatest mark they bear of Christianity. This is one of the religions, the 
practice of which Mohammed tolerated (on paying tribute), and the pro- 
fessors of it are often included in that expression of the Koran, " those to 
whom the scriptures have been given," or literally, the people of the book. 

The idolatry of the Arabs then, as Sabians, chiefly consisted in 
worshipping the fixed stars and planets, and the angels and their 
images, which they honoured as inferior deities, and whose intercession 
they begged, as their mediators wdth GOD. For the Arabs acknow- 
ledged one supreme GOD, the Creator and LORD of the universe, whom 
they called Allah Taala, the most high GOD ; and their other deities, 
who were subordinate to him, they called simply al Ilahat, z>., the god- 
desses ; which words the Grecians not understanding, and it being their 
constant custom to resolve the religion of every other nation into their 
own, and find out gods of theirs to match the others', they pretend that 
the Arabs worshipped only two deities, Orotalt and Alilat, as those 
names are corruptly written, whom they will have to be the same with 
Bacchus and Urania ; pitching on the former as one of the greatest of 
their own gods, and educated in Arabia, and on the other, because of 
the veneration shown by the Arabs to the stars.' 

That they acknowledged one supreme GOD, appears, to omit other 
proof, from their usual form of addressing themselves to him, which 
was this, " I dedicate myself to thy service, O GOD ! Thou hast no 
companion, except thy companion of whom thou art absolute master, 
and of whatever is his."- So that they supposed the idols not to be 
sui juris., though they offered sacrifices and other ofierings to them, as 
well as to God, who was also often put off with the least portion, as 
Mohammed upbraids them. Thus when they planted fruit trees, or 
sowed a field, they divided it by a line into two parts, setdng one apart 

- Idem ibid. 3 Hyde ubi supr. p. 124, ^:c. "* D'Herbel. ubi supr. ^ gee Greaves' 

Pyramidogr. p. 6, 7. 6 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 138. ^ Thabet Ebn Korrah, a famous astro- 

nomer, and himself a Sabian, wrote a treatise in Syriac concerning the doctrines, rites, and 
ceremonies of this sect ; from which, if it could be recovered, we might expect much better 
information than any taken from the Arabian writers ; vide Abulfarag, ubi sup. ^ Vide 
Herodot. 1. 3, c. 8 ; Arrian, d. 161. 162. and Strab. 1. 16. 2 Al Shahrestani. 


for their idols, and the other for GOD ; if any of the fruits happened to 
fall from the idoFs part into GOD'S, they made restitution ; but if from 
God's part into the idol's, they made no restitution. So when they 
watered the idol's grounds, if the water broke over the channels made 
for that purpose, and ran on God's part, they dammed it up again ; but 
if the contrary, they let it run on, saying, they wanted what was God's, 
but he wanted nothing.^ In the same manner, if the offering designed 
for God happened to be better than that designed for the idol, they 
made an exchange, but not otherwise.* 

It was from this gross idolatry, or the worship of inferior deities, or 
companions of GOD, as the Arabs continue to call them, that Mohammed 
reclaimed his countrymen, establishing the sole worship of the true GOD 
among them ; so that how much soever the Mohammedans are to blame 
in other points, they are far from being idolaters, as some ignorant 
writers have pretended. 

The worship of the stars the Arabs might easily be led into, I'rom their 
observing the changes of weather to happen at the rising and setting of 
certain of them,^ which after a long course of experience induced them to 
ascribe a divine power to those stars, and to think themselves indebted 
to them for their rains, a ver\^ great benefit and refreshment to their 
parched country: this superstition the Koran particularly takes notice of.^ 

The ancient Arabians and Indians, between which two nations was 
a great conformity of religions, had seven celebrated temples, dedicated 
to the seven planets ; one of which in particular, called Beit Ghomdan, 
was built in Sanaa, the metropolis of Yaman, by Dahac, to the honour 
of al Zoharah or the planet Venus, and was demolished by the Khalif 
Othman ;^ by Avhose murder was fulfilled the prophetical inscription set, 
as is reported, over this temple, viz., " Ghomdan, he who destroyeth 
thee shall be slain. '"^ The temple of Mecca is also said to have been 
consecrated to Zohal, or Saturn.-* 

Though these deities were generally reverenced by the whole nation, 
yet each tribe chose some one as the more peculiar object of their worship. 

Thus as to the stars and planets, the tribe of Hamyar chiefly wor- 
shipped the sun ; Misam,-^ al Debaran, or the Bull's-eye ; Lakhm and 
Jodam, al Moshtari, or Jupiter ; Tay, Sohail, or Canopus ; Kais, Sirius, 
or the Dog-star ; and Asad, Otared, or Mercury.'' Among the wor- 
shippers of Sirius, one Abu Cabsha was very famous ; some will have 
him to be the same with Waheb, Mohammed's grandfather by the 
mother, but others say he was of the tribe of Khozaah. This man used 
his utmost endeavours to persuade the Koreish to leave their images 
and worship this star ; for which reason IMohammed, who endeavoured 
also to make them leave their images, was by them nicknamed the son 
of Abu Cabsha.^ The worship of this star is particularly hinted at in 
the Koran.^ 

Of the angels or intelligences which they worshipped, the Koran,' 
makes mention only of three, which w^ere worshipped under female 
names ;'° Allat, al LJzza, and Manah. These were by them called 

3 Nodhm al dorr. ■* Al Beidavvi. 5 Vide Post. 1 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 163. 2 Shah- 
restani. 3 Al Jannabi. -* Shahrestani. ^ This name seems to be corrupted, there 

bein? no such among the Arab tribes. Poc. Spec. p. 130. <> Abulfarag, p. 160. 7 Poc 

Spec. p. 132. 8 Cap. 53- ^ Ibid. lO Ibid. 


goddesses, and the daughters of God ; an appellation they gave not 
only to the angels, but also to their images, which they either believed 
to be inspired with life by GOD, or else to become the tabernacles 
of the angels, and to be animated by them ; and they gave them 
divine worship, because they imagined they interceded for them with 

Allat was the idol of the tribe of Thakif who dwelt at Tayef, and had 
a temple consecrated to her in a place called Nakhlah. This idol al 
Mogheirah destroyed by Mohammed's order, who sent him and Abu 
Sofian on that commission in the ninth year of the Hejra.' The in- 
habitants of Tayef, especially the women, bitterly lamented the loss of 
this their deity, v/hich they were so fond of, that they begged of Mo- 
hammed as a condition of peace, that it might not be destroyed for 
three years, and not obtaining that, asked only a month's respite ; but 
he absolutely denied it.'' There are several derivations of this word 
which the curious may learn from Dr. Pocock •? it seems most probably 
to be derived from the same root with Allah ^ to which it may be a 
feminine, and will then signify the goddess. 

Al Uzza, as some affirm, was the idol of the tribes of Koreish and 
Kenan ah,^ and part of the tribe of Salim :5 others^ tell us it was a tree 
called the Egyptian thorn, or acacia, worshipped by the tribe of 
Ghatfan, first consecrated by one Dhalem, who built a chapel over it, 
called Boss, so contrived as to give a sound when any person entered. 
Khaled Ebn Walid being sent by Mohammed in the eighth year of the 
Hejra to destroy this idol, demolished the chapel, and cutting down 
this tree or image, burnt it : he also slew the priestess, who ran out 
with her hair dishevelled, and her hands on her head as a suppliant. 
Yet the author who relates this, in another place says, the chapel was 
pulled down, and Dhalem himself killed by one Zohair, because he 
consecrated this chapel with design to draw the pilgrims thither from 
Mecca, and lessen the reputation of the Caaba. The name of this 
deity is derived from the root azza., and signifies the most mighty. 

Manah was the object of worship of the tribes of Hodhail and 
Khazaah,^ who dwelt between Mecca and Medina, and, as some say,^ 
of the tribes of Av/s, Khazraj, and Thakif also. This idol was a large 
stone,9 demohshed by one Saad, in the eighth year of the Hejra, a year 
so fatal to the idols of Arabia. The name seems derived from 7nana, 
to flow., from the flowing of the blood of the victims sacrificed to the 
deity ; whence the valley of Mina,'° near Mecca, had also its name, 
where the pilgrims at this day slay their sacrifices.' 

Before we proceed to the other idols, let us take notice of five more, 
which with the former three are all the Koran mentions by name, and 
they are Wadd, Sawa, Yaghuth, Yauk, and Nasr. These are said to 
have been antediluvian idols, which Noah preached against, and were 
afterwards taken by the Arabs for gods, having been men of great merit 
and piety in their time, whose statues they reverenced at first with a 

1 Dr. Prideaux mentions this expedition, but names only Abu Sofian, and mistaking the 
name of the idol for an appellative, supposes he went only to disarm the Tayefians of their 
weapons and instrumetits of war. See his Life of Mahomet, p. 98. 2 Abulfeda, Vit Moham. 
p. 127. 3 Spec. p. 90 4 Al Jauhari, apud eund. p. qi. ^ Al Shahrestani, ibid. 

<■> Al Firauzabadi, ibid. 7 Al Jauhari. 8 Al Shahrestani. Abulfeda, &c. 9 Al Beidawi, 
al Zainakhshari. 1^ Poc. Spec. 91, &c. 1 Ibid 


civil honour only, which in process of time became heightened to a 
divine worship.- 

Wadd was supposed to be the heaven, and was worshipped under 
the form of a man by the tribe of Calb in Daumat al Jandal.^ 

Sawa was adored under the shape of a woman by the tribe of Ka- 
madan, or, as others'* write, of Hodhail in Rohat. This idol lying under 
water for some time after the Deluge, was at length, it is said, disco- 
vered by the devil, and was worshipped by those of Hodhail^ who in- 
stituted pilgrimages to it.' 

Yaghuth was an idol in the shape of a lion, and was the deity of the 
tribe of Madhaj and others who dwelt in Yaman.^ Its name seems to 
be derived from ghatha, which signifies to help. 

Yaiik was worshipped by the tribe of Morad, or, according to others, 
by that of Hamadan,' under the figure of a horse. It is said he was a 
man of great piety, and his death much regretted ; whereupon the devil 
appeared to his friends in a human form, and undertaking to represent 
him to the life, persuaded them, by way of comfort, to place his effigies 
in their tem.ples, that they might have it in view when at their devo- 
tions. This was done, and seven others of extraordinary merit had the 
same honours shown them, till at length their posterity made idols of 
them in earnest.^ The name Yauk probably comes from the verb dka, 
to prevent or avert.^ 

Nasr was a deity adored by the tribe of Hamyar, or at Dhii'l Khalaah 
in their territories, under the image of an eagle, which the name sig- 

There are, or were, two statues at Bamiyan, a city of Cabul in the 
Indies, 50 cubits high, which some writers suppose to be the same with 
Yaghuth and Yauk, or else with Manah and A Hat ; and they also speak 
of a third standing near the others, but something less, in the shape of 
an old woman, called Nesrem or Nesr. These statues were hollow 
within, for the secret giving of oracles ;'° but they seem to have been 
different from the Arabian idols. There was also an idol at Sumenat 
in the Indies, called Lat or al Lat, whose statue was 50 fathoms high, 
of a single stone, and placed in the midst of a temple supported by 56 
pillars of massy gold : this idol Mahmud Ebn Sebecteghin, who con- 
quered that part of India, broke to pieces Avith his own hands.' 

Besides the idols we have mentioned, the Arabs also worshipped 
great numbers of others, which would take up too much time to have 
distinct accounts given of them ; and not being named in the Koran, 
are not so much to our present purpose : for besides that every house- 
keeper had his household god or gods, which he last took leave of and 
drst saluted at his going abroad and returning home,^ there were no 
less than 360 idols,^ equalling in number the days of their year, in and 
about the Caaba of Mecca; the chief of whom was Hobal,'' brought 
from Belka in Syria into Arabia by Amim Ebn Lohai, pretending it 
would procure them rain when they wanted it.' It Avas the statue of a 
man, made of agate, which having by some accident , lost a hand, the 

2 Kor. c. 71. Comment. Persic. Vide Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 133. •* Al JauL^iri, al 
Shahrestani. ^ Idem, al Firauzabadi, and Safio'ddin. * Al Firauzab. 6 Shahrestani. 

7 Al Jauhari. 8 Al Firauzab. ^ Poc. Spec. 04. 1" See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 

132. 1 D'Hcrbeiot, Bibl. Orient, p. 512. 2 ^\ Mofetatraf. •* Al Jannao. •* Abulfed. 
Shahrest- &c. ^ p^;^ Spec o.^. 


Koreish repaired it with one of gold : he held in his hand seven arrows 
without heads or feathers, such as the Arabs used in divination.^ This, 
idol is supposed to have been the same with the image of Abraham/ 
found and destroyed by Mohammed in the Caaba, on his entering it, in 
the eighth year of the Hejra, Vv'hen he took Mecca,^ and surrounded with 
a great number of angels and prophets, as inferior deities ; among 
whom, as some say, was Ismael, with divining arrows in his hand also.' 

Asaf and Nayelah, the former the image of a man, the latter of a 
woman, v/ere also two idols brought with Hobal from Syria, and placed 
the one on Mount Safa, and the other on Mount Merwa. They tell us 
Asaf was the son of Amru, and Nayelah the daughter of Sahal, both 
of the tribe of Jorham, who committing whoredom together in the 
Caaba, were by GOD converted into stone,'° and afterwards worshipped 
by the Koreish, and so much reverenced by them, that though this su- 
perstition was condemned by Mohammed, yet he was forced to allow 
them to visit those mountains as monuments of divine justice." 

I shall mention but one idol more of this nation, and that was a lump 
of dough worshipped by the tribe of Hanifa, who used it with more re- 
spect than the Papists do theirs, presuming not to eat it till they were 
compelled to it by famine.''^ 

Several of their idols, as Manah in particular, were no more than 
large rude stones, the worship of which the posterity of Ismael first 
introduced ; for as they multiplied, and the territory of Mecca grew 
too strait for them, great numbers were obliged to seek new abodes ; 
and on such migrations it v/as usual for them to take with them some 
of the stones of that reputed holy land, and set them up in the places 
where they fixed ; and these stones they at first only compassed out of 
devotion, as they had accustomed to do the Caaba. But this at last 
ended in rank idolatry, the Ismaelites forgetting the religion left them 
by their father so far as to pay divine worship to any fine stone they 
met with.' 

Some of the pagan Arabs believed neither a creation past, nor a 
resurrection to come, attributing the origin of things to nature, and 
their dissolution to age. Others believed both, among whom were 
those who, when they died, had their camel tied by their sepulchre, 
and so left, without meat or drink, to perish, and accompany them to 
the other world, lest they should be obliged, at the resurrection, to go 
on foot, which was reckoned very scandalous.^ Some believed a metem- 
psychosis, and that of the blood near the dead person's brain was 
formed a bird named Hamah, which once in a hundred years visited 
the sepulchre ; though others say this bird is animated by the soul of 
him that is unjustly slain, and continually cries, Osciini^ Osahti, i.e., 
"give me to drink" — meaning of the murderer's blood — till his death 
be revenged, and then it flies away. This was forbidden by the Koran 
to be believed.3 

1 might here mention several superstitious rites and customs of the 
ancient Arabs, some of which were abolished and others retained by 
Mohammed ; but I apprehend it will be more convenient to take notice 

^ Safio'ddin. 7 Poc. Spec. 97. 8 Abulfeda. 9 Ebn al Athir. al Jannab. &c. 

l^> Poc. Spec. 98. 11 Kor. c. 2. 12 Al Mostatraf, al Jauhari. 1 Al Mostatraf, al 

Jannaui, ^ Abulfarag, p. 160. '^ Vide Poe Spec. p. 13s- 


of them hereafter occasionally, as the negative or positive precepts of 
the Koran, forbidding or allowing such practices, shall be considered. 

Let us now turn our view from the idolatrous Arabs, to those among 
them who had embraced more rational religions. 

The Persians had, by their vicinity and frequent intercourse with the 
Arabians, introduced the Magian religion among some of their tribes 
particularly that cf Tamim,'* a long time before Mohammed, who was 
so far from being unacquainted with that religion, that he borrowed many 
of his own institutions from it, as will be observed in the progi'ess of 
this work. I refer those who are desirous to have some notion of 
Magism, to Dr. Hyde's curious account of it,^ a succinct abridgment 
of which may be read with much pleasure in another learned perform- 

The Jews, who fled in great numbers into Arabia from the fearful 
destruction of their country by the Romans, made proselytes of several 
tribes, those of Kenanah, al Hareth Ebn Caaba, and Kendah' in par- 
ticular, and in time became very powerful, and possessed of several 
towns and fortresses there. But the Jewish religion was not unknown 
k) the Arabs, at least above a century before ; Abu Carb Asad, taken 
notice of in the Koran,^ who was king of Yaman, about 700 years 
before Mohammed, is said to have introduced Judaism among the 
idolatrous Hamyarites. Some of his successors also embraced the 
same religion, one of whom, Yusef, surnamed Dhu Nowas,^ was re^ 
markable for his zeal and terrible persecution of all who would not 
turn Jews, putting them to death by various tortures, the most common 
of which was throwing them into a glowing pit of fire, whence he had 
the opprobrious appellation of the Lord of the Pit. This persecution 
is also mentioned in the Koran.'' 

Christianity had likewse made a very great progress among this 
nation before Mohammed. Whether St. Paul preached in any part o^ 
Arabia, properly so called,^ is uncertain ; but the persecutions and 
disorders which happened in the eastern church soon after the be- 
ginning of the third centui*y, obliged great numbers of Christians to 
seek for shelter in that country' of liberty, who, being for the most part 
of the Jacobite communion, that sect generally prevailed among the 
Arabs.^ The principal tribes that embraced Christianity were Hamyar, 
Ghassan, Rabia, Taghlab, Bahra, Tonuch,^ part of the tribes of Tay 
and Kodaa, the iijhabitants of Najran, and the Arabs of Hira.^ Aj 
to the two last, it may be observed that those of Najran becaji©^ 
Christians in the time of Dhu Nowas,^ and very probably, if the story 
be true, were some of those who were converted on the following 
occasion, which happened about that time, or not long before. The 
Jews of Hamyar challenged some neighbouring Christians to a public 
disputation, which was held sub dio for three days before the king and 
his nobility and all the people, the disputants being Gregentius, bishop 
of Tephra (which I take to be Dhafar) for the Christians, and Herbanus 
for the Jews. On the third day, Herbanus, to end the dispute, de- 

4 Al Mostatraf. 5 l,i his Hist. Relig. Vet. Persar. 6 Dr. i'lideaiix's Connect, of the Hist, 
of the Old and New Test part i. book 4. 1 Al Mostatraf. 2 Chap. 50. 3 See before- 
p. 8, and Baronii anna!, ad sec. vi. ^ Chap. 85. ^ See Gaiat. i. 17. 6 Abulfarag, p. 149. 
• Al Mostatraf. 8 Vid; Poc. Spec, n 13a i' AJ Jannab. apud I'oc Spec p. 63. 


manded that Jesus of Nazareth, if heAvere really hving and in heaven, 
and could hear the prayers of his worshippers, should appear from 
heaven in their sigtit, and they would then believe in him ; the Jews 
crying out with one voice, " Show us your Christ, alas ! and we will be- 
come Christians." Whereupon, after a terrible storm of thunder and 
lightning, Jesus Christ appeared in the air, surrounded with rays ot 
glory, walking on a purple cloud, having a sword in his hand, and an 
inestimable diadem on his head, a,nd spake these words over the heads 
of the assembly: " Behold I appear to you in your sight, I, who was 
crucified by your fathers." After which the cloud, received him from 
their sight. The Christians cried out, "Aj/f-/> eleeson^^ /.<?., " Lord, have 
mercy upon us;" but the Jew^ were stricken blind, and recovered not 
till they v/ere all baptized.' 

The Christians at Hira received a great accession b}^ several tribes, 
who fled thither for refuge from the persecution of Dhu Nowas. Al 
Nooman, surnamed Abu Kabus, king of Hira, who was slain a few 
months before Mohammed's birth, professed himself a Christian on the 
following occasion. This prince, in a drunken fit, ordered two of his 
intimate companions, who overcome with liquor had fallen asleep, to 
be buried alive. When he came to himself, he was extremelv con- 
cerned at what he had done, and to expiate his crime, not only raised a 
monument to the memory of his friends, but set apart two days, one of 
which he called the unfortunate, and the other the fortunate day ; 
making it a perpetual rule to himself, that whoever met him en the 
former day should be slain, and his blood sprinkled on the monument, 
but he that met him on the other day should be dismissed in safety, 
with magnificent gifts. On one of those unfortunate days there came 
before him accidentally an Arab, of the tribe of Tay, Avho had once 
entertained this king, when fatigued with hunting, and separated from 
his attendants. The king, who could neither discharge him, contrary 
to the order of the day, nor put him to death, against the laws of hos- 
pitality, which the Arabians religiously observe, proposed, as an expe- 
dient, to give the unhappy man a year's respite, and to send him home 
with rich gifts for the support of his family, on condition that he found 
a surety for his returning at the year's end to suffer death. One of the 
prince's court, out of compassion, offered himself as his surety, and the 
Arab was discharged^ When the last day of the term came, and no 
new^ of the Arab, the king, not at all displeased tossave his host's life, 
ordered the surety to prepare himself to die. Those who were by repre- 
sented to the king that the day was not yet expired, and therefore he 
ought to have patience till the evening : but in the middle of their dis- 
course the Arab appeared. The king, admiring the man's generosity, 
in offering himself to certain death, which he might have avoided by 
letting his surety suffer, asked him what was his motive for his so doing? 
to which he answered, that he had been taught to act in that manner 
by the religion he professed ; and al Nooman demanding what religion 
that was, he replied, the Christian. Whereupon the king desiring to 
have the doctrines of Christianity explained to him, was baptized, he 
and his subjects ; and not only pardoned the man and his surety, but 

1 Vide Giegentii disput. cum Herbano Judaeo. 


abolished his barbarous custom,' This prince, however, was not the 
first king of Hira who embraced Christianity; al Mondar, his grand- 
father, having also professed the same faith, and built large churches in 
his capital.- 

Since Christianity had made so great a progress in Arabia, v/e may 
consequently suppose they had bishops in .several parts, for the more 
orderly governing of the churches. A bishop of Dhafar has been al- 
ready named, and v\'e are told that Najran was also a bishop's see.^ 
The Jacobites (of which sect we have observed the Arabs generally 
were) had two bishops of the Arabs subject to their Mafrian. or metro- 
politan of the east ; one was called the bishop of the Arabs absolute- 
ly, whose seat was for the most part at Akula, which some others make 
the same with Cufa,'* others a different town near Baghdad. ^ The other 
had the title of bishop of the Scenite Arabs, of the tribe of Thaalab in 
Hira, or Hirta, as the Syrians call it, whose seat was in that city. The 
Nestorians had but one bishop, who presided over both these dioceses 
of Hira and Akula, and was immediately subject to their patriarch.'' 

These were the principal religions which obtained among the ancient 
Arabs ; but as freedom of thought was the natural consequence of their 
political liberty and independence, some of them fell into other diffe' 
rent opinions. The Koreish, in particular, were infected with Zendic- 
ism,7 an error supposed to have very near affinity with that of the Sad- 
ducees among the Jews, and, perhaps, not greatly different from Deism; 
for there were several of that tribe, even before the time of Mohammed 
who worshipped one GOD, and were free from idolatry,^ and yet em- 
braced none of the other religions of the country. 

The Arabians before Mohammed were, as they yet are, divided into 
two sorts, those who dwell in cities and towns, and those v\ho dwell in 
tents. The former lived by tillage, the cultivation of palm trees, breed- 
ing and feeding of cattle, and the exercise of all sorts of trades,^ par- 
ticularly merchandising,^ wherein they were very eminent, even in the 
time of Jacob. The tribe of Koreish were much addicted to com.merce, 
and Mohammed, in his younger years, was brought up to the same 
business ; it being customary for the Arabians to exercise the same 
trade that their parents did.^ The Arabs who dwelt in tents, employed 
themselves in pasturage, and sometimes in pillaging of passengers ; 
they lived chiefly on the milk and flesh of camels ; they often changed 
their habitations, as the convenience of water and of pasture for their 
cattle invited them, staying in a place no longer than that lasted, and 
then removing in search of other.* They generally wintered in Irak 
and the confines of Syria. This way of life is what the greater part of 
Ismael's posterity have used, as more agreeable to the temper and way 
of life of their father ; and is so well described by a late author/ that 
I cannot do better than refer the reader to his account of them. 

1 Al Meidani and Ahmc-d Ebn Yusef, apud Poc. Spec. p. 72. 2 Abulfeda ap. eund. p. 74. 
3 Safio'ddk apud Poc. Spec. p. 137. 4 Abulfarag in Chron. Syriac, iv] S. ^ Abulfeda in 

descr. Iracje. 6 v,de Assemani Bibl. Orient. T. 2. in Dissert, de Mnnophysitis, and p. 459. 
7 Ai Moscatraf, apud Poc. Spec. p. 136. 8 Vide Reland. de Relig. Mohiim. p. 270. and 

MilHum de Mohamnnedi.smo ante Alohim. p. 311. 1 These seem to be the same whom M. 

LaRoque cails Moors. Yoy. dans la Palestine, p no. 2 See Prideaux's Life of Mahoraec, 
p. 6. 3 Strabo, ). 16, p. 1129. 4 Idem ibid. p. 1084. •"' La Roque, Voy. dans ia 

Palestine, p. loo. &c. 


The Arabic language is undoubtedly one of the most ancient in the 
world, and arose soon after, if not at, the confusion of Babel. There 
were several dialects of it, very different from each other : the most 
remarkable were that spoken by the tribes of Hamyar and the other 
genuine Arabs, and that of the Koreish. The Hamyaritic seems to 
have approached nearer to the purity of the Syriac, than the dialect of 
any other tribe ; for the Arabs acknowledge their father Yarab to have 
been the lirst whose tongue deviated from the Syriac (which was his 
mother tongue, and is almost generally acknowledged by the Asiatics 
to be the most ancient) to the Arabic. The dialect of the Koreish is 
usually termed the pure Arabic, or, as the Koran, which is written in 
this dialect, calls it, the perspicuous and clear Arabic ; perhaps, says 
Dr. Pocock, because Ismael, their father, brought the Arabic he had 
learned of the Jorhamites nearer to the original Hebrew. But the 
politeness and elegance of the dialect of the Koreish, is rather to be 
attributed to their having the custody of the Caaba, and dwelling in 
Mecca, the centre of Arabia, as well more remote from intercourse \vith 
foreigners, who might corrupt their language, as frequented by the 
Arabs from the country all around, not only on a religious account, but 
also for the composing of their differences, from whose discourse and 
verses they took whatever words or phrases they judged more pure and 
elegant ; by which means the beauties of the whole tongue became 
transfused into this dialect. The Arabians are full of the commend- 
ations of their language, and not altogether without reason; for it claims 
the preference of most others in mxany respects, as being very liar- 
monious and expressive, and withal so copious, that they say no man 
without inspiration can be perfect master of it in its utmost extent ; and 
yet they tell us, at the same time, that the greatest part of it has been 
lost ; which will not be thought strange, if we consider how late the art 
of writing was practised among them. For though it was known to 
Job,' their countryman, and also to the Hamyarites (who used a per- 
plexed character called al Mosnad, wherein the letters were not dis- 
tinctly separate, and which was neither publicly taught, nor suffered to 
be used without permission first obtained) many centuries before Mo- 
hammed, as appears from some ancient monuments, said to be remain- 
ing in their character ; yet the other Arabs, and those of Mecca in 
particular, were, for many ages, perfectly ignorant of it, unless such of 
them as were Jews or Christians •? Moramer Ebn Morra of Anbar, a 
city of Irak, who lived not many years before Mohammed, was the 
inventor of the Arabic character, which Bashar the Kendian is said to 
have learned from those of Anbar, and to have introduced at Mecca 
but a little while before the institution of Mohammedism. These letters 
of Moramer were different from the Hamyaritic ; and though they were 
very rude, being either the same v/ith, or very much like the Cufic,^ 
which character is still found in inscriptions and some ancient books, 
yet they were those which the Arabs used for many years, the Koran 
itself being at first written therein ; for the beautiful character they 
now use was first formed from the Cufic by Ebn Moklah, Wazir (or 
Visir) to the Khalifa al Moktader, al Kaher, and al Radi, who lived 

"l Job xix. 23, 24. 2 See Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 29, 30. 3 A specimen of the 

Cufic character may be seen in Sir J. Chardin's Travels, vol. iii. p. 119. 


about three hundred years after Mohammed, and was brought to great 
perfection by Ah Ebn Bowab,'* who flourished in the following century, 
and whose name is yet famous among them on that account ; yet, it is 
said, the person who completed it, and reduced it to its present form, 
was Yakut al Mostasemi, secretary to al Mostasem, the last of the 
Khalifs of the family of Abbas, for which reason he was surnamed al 
Khattat, or the Scribe. 

The accomplishments the Arabs valued themselves chiefly on, w^ere, 
I. Eloquence, and a perfect skill in their own tongue ; 2. Expertness in 
the use of arms, and horsemanship ; and 3. Hospitality.' The first 
they exercised themselves in, by composing of orations and poems. 
Their orations were of two sorts, metrical, or prosaic, the one being 
compared to pearls strung, and the other to loose ones. They en- 
deavoured to excel in both, and whoever was able, in an assembly, to 
persuade the people to a great enterprise, or dissuade them from a 
dangerous one, or gave them other wholesome advice, was honoured 
with the title of Khateb, or orator, which is now given to the Moham- 
medan preachers. They pursued a method very different from that of 
the Greek and Roman orators ; their sentences being like loose gems, 
without connection, so that this sort of composition struck the audience 
chiefly by the fulness of the periods, the elegance of the expression, and 
the acuteness of the proverbial sayings ; and so persuaded were they 
of their excelling in this way, that they would not allow any nation to 
understand the art of speaking in public, except themselves and the 
Persians ; w^hich last were reckoned much inferior in that respect to 
the Arabians.^ Poetry was in so great esteem among them, that it was 
a great accomplishment, and a proof of ingenuous extraction, to be able 
to express one's self in verse with ease and elegance, on any extra- 
ordinary occurrence ; and even in their common discourse they made 
frequent applications to celebrated passages of their famous poets. 
In their poems were preserved the distinction of descents, the rights of 
tribes, the memory of great actions, and the propriety of their language ; 
for which reasons an excellent poet reflected an honour on his tribe, so 
that as soon as any one began to be admired for his performances of 
this kind in a tribe, the other tribes sent publicly to congratulate them 
on the occasion^ and themselves made eniertainments, at which the 
w^omen assisted, dressed in their nuptial ornaments, singing to the 
sound of timbrels the happiness of their tribe, who had now one to 
protect their honour, to preserve their genealogies and the purity of 
their language, and to transmit their actions to posterity ;^ for this was 
all performed by their poems, to which they were solely obliged for 
their knowledge and instructions, moral and economical, and to which 
they had recourse, as to an oracle, in all doubts and differences.' No 
wonder, then, that a public congratulation was made on this account, 
which honour they yet were so far from making cheap, tha-t they never 
did it but on one of these three occasions, which w^ere reckoned great 
points of felicity, viz., on the birth of a boy, the rise of a poet, and the 

^ Ebn Khalican. Yet others attribute the honour of the invention of this character to Ebn 
Moklah's brother, Abdallah al Hasan ; and the perfecting of it to Ebn Amid al Kateb, after it 
had been reduced to near the present form by Abd'alhamid. Vide D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient, p. 
5i;)o, 108, and 194. 1 Poc. Orat. ante Carmen Tograi, p. 10. 2 Poc Spec. 161. 3 Ebn 

Rashik, apud Poc. Spec ■^o. 1 Poc. Orat. prsefix. Carm. To^^rai, ubi supra. 


fall of a foal of generous breed. To keep up an emulation among their 
poets, the tribes had, once a year, a general assembly at Ocadh,^aplace 
famous on this account, and where they kept a weekly mart or fair, 
which was held on our Sunday.^ This annual meeting lasted a whole 
month, during which time they employed themselves, not only in trading, 
but in repeating their poetical compositions, contending and vieing with 
each other for the prize ; whence the place, it is said, took its name/ 
The poems that were judged to excel, were laid up in their kings' 
treasuries, as were the seven celebrated poems, thence called al Moal- 
lakat, rather than from their being hung up on the Caaba, which honour 
they also had by public order, being written on Egyptian silk, and in 
letters of gold ; for which reason they had also the name of al Mod- 
hahabat, or the golden verses.^ 

The fair and assembly at Ocadh were suppressed by Mohammed, 
in whose time, and for some years after, poetry seems to have been in 
some degree neglected by the Arabs, who were then employed in their 
conquests ; which being completed, and themselves at peace, not only 
this study was revived," but almost all sorts of learning were encouraged 
and greatly improved by them. This interruption, however, occasioned 
the loss of most of their ancient pieces of poetry, which were then 
chiefly preserved by memory ; the use of writing being rare among 
them, in their time of ignorance.' Though the Arabs were so early 
acquainted with poetry, they did not at first use to write poems of a 
just length, but only expressed themselves in verse occasionally ; nor 
was their prosody digested into rules, till some time after Mohammed f 
for this was done, as it is said, by al Khalil Ahmed al Farahidi, who 
lived in the reign of the Khalif Hariin al Rashid.^ 

The exercise of arms and horsemanship they were in a manner 
obliged to practise and encourage, by reason of the independence of 
their tribes, whose frequent jarrings made wars almost continual ; and 
they chiefly ended their disputes in field battles, it being a usual saying 
among them that GOD had bestowed four peculiar things on the Arabs 
— that their turbans should be to them instead of diadems, their tents 
instead of walls and houses, their swords instead of entrenchments, 
and their poems instead of written laws.' 

Hospitality was so habitual to them, and so much esteemed, that the 
examples of this kind among them exceed whatever can be produced 
from other nations. Hatem, of the tribe of Tay,^ and Hasn, of that 
of Fezarah,^ were particularly famous on this account ; and the contrary 
vice was so much in contempt, that a certain poet upbraids the inhabit 
tants of Waset, as with the greatest reproach, that none of their men 
had the heart to give, nor their women to deny.* 

2 Idem, Spec. p. 159. 3 Geogr. Nub. p. 51. 4 Poc. Spec. 159. 5 Ibid, and p. 381. 

Et in calce Notar. in Carmen Tograi, p. 233. 6 Jallalo'ddin al Soyuti, apud Poc. Spec. p. 

159, &c. 7 Ibid. 160. 8 Ibid, 161. Al Safadi confirms this by a story of a grammarian 

named Abu Jaafar, who sitting by the Mikyas or Nilometer in Egypt, in a year when the 
Nile did not rise to its usual height, so that a famine was apprehended, and dividing a piece 
of poetry into its parts or feet, to examine them by the rules of art, some who passed by not 
understanding him, imagined he was uttering a charm to hinder the rise of the river, and 
pushed him into the water, where he lost his life. ^ Vide Clericuni de Prosod. Arab. p. 2. 
1 Pocock, in calce Notar. ad Carmen Tograi. 2 Videi Gentii Notas in Gulistan Sheikh 

Sadi. p. 486, &c. 3 Poc. Spec. p. 48. 4 Ebn al Hobeirah, apud Poc. in not. ad Carmen 
Tograi, p. 107. 


Nor were the Arabs less prepense to liberality after the coming of 
^lohammed than their ancestors had been. 1 could produce many- 
remarkable instances of this commendable quality among them,^ but 
shall content myself with the following. Three men were disputing 
in the court of the Caaba, which was the most liberal person among 
the Arabs. One gave the preference to Abdallah, the son of Jaafar, 
the uncle of Mohammed ; another to Kais Ebn Saad Ebn Obidah ; 
and the third gave it to Arabah, of the tribe of Aws. After much 
debate, one that was present, to end the dispute, proposed that each 
of them should go to his friend and ask his assistance, that they might 
see what every one gave, and form a judgment accordingly. This was 
agreed to ; and Abdallah's friend, going to him, found him with his 
foot in the stirrup, just mounting his camel for a journey, and thus 
accosted him : " Son of the uncle of the apostle of God, I am travelling 
and in necessity." Upon which Abdallah alighted, and bid him take 
the camel with all that was upon her, but desired him not to part with 
a sword which happened to be fixed to the saddle, because it had be- 
longed to Ali, the son of Abutaleb. So he took the camel, and found 
on her some vests of silk and 4,000 pieces of gold ; but the thing of 
greatest value was the sword. The second went to Kais Ebn Saad, 
whose servant told him that his master was asleep, and desired to know 
his business. The friend answered that he came to ask Kais's assist- 
ance, being in want on the road. Whereupon the servant said that 
he had rather supply his necessity than wake his master, and gave him 
a purse of 7,000 pieces of gold, assuring him that it was all the money 
then in the house. He also directed him to go to those who had the 
charge of the camels, with a certain token, and take a camel and a 
slave, and return home with them. When Kais awoke, and his servant 
informed him of what he had done, he gave him his freedom, and 
asked him why he did not call him, " For," says he, " I would have given 
him more." The third man went to Arabah, and met him coming out 
of his house in order to go to prayers, and leaning on two slaves, be- 
cause his evesio-ht failed him. The friend no sooner made known his 
case, but Arabah let go the slaves, and clapping his hands together, 
loudly lamented his misfortime in having no money, but desired him 
to take the two slaves, which the man refused to do, till Arabah pro- 
tested that if he would not accept of them he gave them their liberty, 
and leaving the slaves, groped his way along by the wall. On the 
return of the adventurers, judgment was unanimously, and with great 
justice, given by all who were present, that Arabah was the most gene- 
rous of the three. 

Nor were these the only good qualities of the Arabs ; they are com 
mended by the ancients for being most exact to their words,' and re 
spectful to their kindred.^ And they have always been celebrated for 
their quickness of apprehension and penetration, and the vivacity of 
their wit, especially those of the desert.^ 

As the Arabs have their excellencies, so have they, like other nations,, 
their defects and vices. Their own writers acknowledge that they have; 

5 Several may be fwund in D'Herbelot's Bibl. Orient., particularly in the articles of Hasan', 
the son of AU, Maan, Fadhel, and Ebn Yahya. 1 Herodot. L 3, c 8. '^ Strabo, L r6,. 

p. 1129. 3 Vide D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient, p. 121. 



a natural disposition to war, bloodshed, cruelty, and rapine, being so 
much addicted to bear malice that they scarce ever forget an old 
grudge; which vindictive temper some physicians say is occasioned 
by their frequent feeding on camels' flesh (the ordinary diet of the Arabs 
jf the desert, v/ho are therefore observed to be most inclined to these 
vices), that creature being most malicious and tenacious of anger,'* which 
account suggests a good reason for a distinction of meats. 

The frequent robberies committed by these people on merchants and 
travellers have rendered the name of an Arab almost infamous in 
Europe ; this they are sensible of, and endeavour to excuse themselves 
by alleging the hard usage of their father Ismael, who, being turned 
out of doors by Abraham, had the open plains and deserts given him 
by God for his patrimony, with permission to take whatever he could 
find there ; and on this account they think they may, with a safe con- 
science, indemnify themselves as well as they can, not only on the 
posterity of Isaac, but also on everybody else, always supposing a sort 
of kindred between themselves and those they plunder. And in re- 
lating their adventures of this kind, they think it sufficient to change 
the expression, and instead of " I robbed a man of such or such a 
thing," to say, " I gained it."' We must not, however, imagine that they 
are tiie less honest for this among themselves, or towards those whom 
they receive as friends ; on the contrary, the strictest probity is observed 
in their camp, where everything is open and nothing ever known to be 

The sciences the Arabians chiefly cultivated before Mohammedism, 
were three ; that of their genealogies and history, such a knowledge 
of the stars as to foretell the changes of weather, and the interpreta- 
tion of dreams.^ They used to value themselves excessively on account 
of the nobility of their families, and so many disputes happened on that 
occasion, that it is no wonder if they took great pains in settling their 
descents. What knov/ledge they had of the stars was gathered from 
long experience, and not from any regular study, or astronomical rules.'' 
The Arabians, as the Indians also did, chiefly applied themselves to 
observe the fixed stars, contrary to other nations, whose observations 
tvere almost confined to the planets, and they foretold their effects from 
their influences, not their nature ; and hence, as has been said, arose 
the difference of the idolatry of the Greeks and Chaldeans, who chiefly 
worshipped the planets, and that of the Indians, who worshipped the 
fixed stars. The stars or asterisms they most usually foretold the 
weather by, were those they called Anwa, or the houses of the moon. 
These are 28 in number, and divide the zodiac into as many parts, 
through one of which the moon passes every night \^ as some of them 
set in the morning, others rise opposite to them, which happens every 
thirteenth night ; and from their rising and setting, the Arabs, by long 
experience, observed what changes happened in the air, and at length, 
as has been said, came to ascribe divine power to them ; saying, that 
their rain was from such or such a star : which expression Mohammed 
condemned, and absolutely forbade them to use it in the old sense ; 

4 Vide Poc. Sp< c. p. 87, Bochart, Hierozoic. 1. 2, c. i. 1 Voyaee dans la Palest p. 220, &c. 
2 Ibid. p. 213, &c. ^ Al Shahrestani, apud Pocock Orat. ubi sup. p. 9, and Spec 164. 

4 Abulfarag, p. 161. 5 Vide Hyde, in not. ad Tabulas stellar, fixar. Ulugh Beigh, p. 5. 


unless they meant no more by it, than that GoD had so ordered the 
seasons, that when the moon was in such or such a mansion or house, 
or at the rising or setting of such and such a star, it should rain or be 
windy, hot or cold/ 

The old Arabians therefore seem to have made no further progress 
in astrunomy, which science they afterwards cultivated with so much 
success and applause, than to observe the influence of the stars on the 
v/eather, and to give them names ; and this it was obvious for them to 
do, by reason of their pastoral way of life, lying night and day in the 
open plains. The names they imposed on the stars generally alluded 
to cattle and flocks, and they were so nice in distinguishing them, that 
no language has so many names of stars and asterisms as the Arabic ; 
for though they have since borrowed the names of several constellations 
from the Greeks, yet the far greater part are of their own growth, and 
much more ancient, particularly those of the more conspicuous stars, 
dispersed in several constellations, and those of the lesser constellatioris 
which are contained within the greater, and were not observed or named 
by the Greeks.^ 

Thus have I given the most succinct account I have been able, of the 
state of the ancient Arabians before Mohammed, or, to use their ex- 
pression, in the time of ignorance. I shall now proceed briefly to 
consider the state of religion in the east, and of the two great empires 
which divided that part of the world between them, at the time of 
Mohammed's setting up for a prophet, and what were the conducive 
circumstances and accidents that favoured his success. 



T F we look into the ecclesiastical historians even from the third cen- 
■*■ tury, we shall find the Christian world to have then had a very 
different aspect from what some authors have represented ; and so far 
from being endued with active graces, zeal, and devotion, and esta- 
blished within itself with purity of doctrine, union, and firm profession 
of the faith,' that on the contrary, what by the ambition of the clergy, 
and what by drawing the abstrusest niceties into controversy, and 
dividing and subdividing about them into endless schisms and conten- 
tions, they had so destroyed that peace, love, and charity from among 

1 Vide Poc. Spec, p 163. &c 2 Vide Hyde ubi sup. p. 4. 1 Ricaut's State of the 

Ottoman Empire, p. 187. 

26 THE PRELIMINARY DISluc/kc^j:^. sec. ii. 

them, which the Gospel was given to promote ; and instead thereof 
continually provoked each other to that malice, rancour, and every evii 
work ; that they had lost the whole substance of their rehgion, while 
they thus eagerly contended for their own imaginations concerning it -, 
and in a manner quite drove Christianity out of the world by those very 
controversies in which they disputed with each other about it.- In these 
dark ages it was that most of those superstitions and corruptiorts we 
now justly abhor in the church of Rome were not only broached, but 
established ; which gave great advantages to the propagation of Mo- 
hammedism. The worship of saints and images, in particular, was then 
arrived at such a scandalous pitch that it even surpassed whatever is 
now practised among the Romanists.^ 

After the Nicene council, the eastern church was engaged in perpetual 
controversies, and torn to pieces by the disputes of the Arians, Sabel- 
lians, Nestorians, and Eutychians : the heresies of the two last of which 
have been shown to have consisted more in the words and form of ex- 
pression than in the doctrines themselves f and were rather the pre- 
tences than real motives of those frequent councils to and from which 
the contentious prelates were continually riding post, that they might 
bring everything to their own will and pleasure.' And to support 
themselves by dependants and bribery, the clergy in any credit at court 
undertook the protection of some officer in the army, under the colour 
of which justice was publicly sold, and all corruption encouraged. 

In the western church Damasus and Ursicinus carried their contests 
at Rome for the episcopal seat so high, that they came to open violence 
and murder, which Viventius the governor not being able to suppress, 
he retired into the country, and left them to themselves, till Damasus 
prevailed. It is said that on this occasion, in the church of Sicininus, 
there were no less than 137 found killed in one day. And no wonder 
they were so fond of these seats, when they became by that means en- 
riched by the presents of matrons, and went abroad in their chariots 
and sedans in great state, feasting sumptuously even beyond the luxury 
of princes, quite contrary to the way of living of the country prelates, 
who alone seemed to have some temperance and modesty left.^ 

These dissensions were greatly owing to the emperors, and particu- 
larly to Constantius, who, confounding the pure and simple Christian 
religion with anile superstitions, and perplexing it with intricate ques- 
tions,-instead of reconciling different opinions, excited many disputes, 
which he fomented as they proceeded with infinite altercations. ^ This 
grew worse in the time of Justinian, who, not to be behind the bi&hops 
of the fifth and sixth centuries in zeal, thought it no crime to condemn 
to death a man of a different persuasion from his own."^ 

This corruption of doctrine and morals in the princci, and clergy, was 
necessarily followed by a general depravity of the people v*^ those of all 
conditions making it their sole business to get money by any means,, 

2 Prideaux's preface to his Life of Mahomet. 3 Vide La Vie de Mahommed, par Boulain' 
villiers, p. 219, &c. ■* Vide Simon, Hist. Crit. de la creance, &c. , des Nations du Levant. 

1 Ammian. Marceliin. 1. 21. Vide etiam Euseb. Hist. Eccles. 1. 8, c. i. Sozom. 1. i, c. 14,. 
&c. Hilar, and Sulpic. Sever, in Hist. Sacr. p. 112, &c. 2 Ammian. Marceliin. lib. 27. 

^ Idem, 1. 21. '1 Procop. in An'cd. p. 60. ^ See an instance of the wickednes>. of the 

Christian army, even when they were under the terror of the Saracens, in Ockley's Hist, of 
the Sarac, vol. 1. p. 239. 


and then to squander it away when they had got it in luxury and de 

But, to be more particular as to the nation we are now writing of, 
Arabia was of old famous for heresies ;' which might be in some mea- 
sure attributed to the liberty and independency of the tribes. Some 
of the Christians of that nation believed the soul died with the body, 
and was to be raised again with it at the last day :' these Origen is said 
to have convinced.^ Among the Arabs it was that the heresies of Ebion, 
Beryllus, and the Nazarceans,^ and also that of the Collyridians, were 
broached, or at least propagated ; the latter introduced the Virgin 
Mary for GOD, or worshipped her as such, offering her a sort of twisted 
cake called collyris, whence the sect had its name.'* 

This notion of the divinity of the Virgin Mary was also believed by 
some at the council of Nice, who said there were two gods besides the 
Father, viz., Christ and the Virgin Mary, and were thence named 
Mariamites.5 Others imagined her to be exempt from humanity, and 
deified ; which goes but little beyond the Popish superstition in calling 
her the complement of the Trinity, as if it were imperfect without her. 
This foolish imagination is justly condemned in the Koran^ as idolatrous, 
and gave a handle to Mohammed to attack the Trinity itself. 

Other sects there were of many denominations within the borders of 
Arabia, which took refuge there from the proscriptions of the imperial 
edicts ; several of whose notions Mohammed incorporated with his 
religion, as may be observed hereafter. 

Though the Jews were an inconsiderable and despised people in 
other parts of the world, yet in Arabia, whither many of them fled from 
the destruction of Jerusalem, they grew very powerful, several tribes 
and princes embracing their religion ; which made Mohammed at first 
show great regard to them, adopting many of their opinions, doctrines, 
and customs ; thereby to draw them, if possible, into his interest. But 
that people, agreeably to their wonted obstinacy, were so far from being 
his proselytes, that they were some of the bitterest enemies he had, 
waging continual war with him, so that their reduction cost him infinite 
trouble and danger, and at last His life. This aversion of theirs created 
at length as great a one in him to them, so that he used them, for the 
latter part of his life, much worse than he did the Christians, and fre- 
quently exclaims against them in his Koran ; his followers to this day 
observe the same difference between them and the Christians, treating 
the former as the most abject and contemptible people on earth. 

It has been observed by a great politician,^ that it is impossible a 
person should make himself a prince and found a state without oppor- 
tunities. If the distracted state of religion favoured the designs of 
Mohammed on that side, the weakness of the Roman and Persian 
monarchies might flatter him with no less hopes in any attempt on 
those once formidable empires, either of which, had they been in their 
full vigour, must have crushed Mohammedism in its birth ; whereas 
nothing nourished it more than the success the Arabians met with in 

6 Vide Boulainvill. Vie de Mahom. ubi sup. 7 Vide Sozomen. Hist. Eccles. 1. i, c. 16, 17. 

Sulpic. Sever, ubi supra. 1 Euseb. Hist. Eccles. 1. 6, c. 33. 2 Idem ibid. c. 37. 

"* Epiphan. de Hasresi. 1. i ; Haer. 40. ■* Idem ibid. 1. 3 ; Hseres. 75, 79. ^ Elmacin. 

Eutych. 6 Cap. j;- "^ Machiavelli. Princ. . 6, p. 19. 


their enterprises against those powers, which success they failed not 
to attribute to their new rehgion and the divine assistance thereof. 

The Roman empire dechned apace after Constantine, whose suc- 
cessors were for the generahty remarkable for their ill qualities, espe- 
cially cowardice and cruelty. By Mohammed's time, the western half 
of the empire was overrun by the Goths ; and the eastern so reduced 
by the Huns on the one side, and the Persians on the other, that it 
was not in a capacity of stemming the violence of a powerful invasion. 
The emperor Maurice paid tribute to the Khagan or king of the Huns ; 
and after Phocas had murdered his master, such lamentable havoc 
there was among the soldiers, that when Heraclius came, not above 
seven years after, to muster the arm.y, there were only two soldiers left 
alive, of all those who had borne arms when Phocas first usurped the 
empire. And though Heraclius was a prince of admirable courage and 
conduct, and had done what possibly could be done to restore the dis- 
cipline of the army, and had had great success against the Persians, 
so as to drive them not only out of his own dominions, but even out of 
part of their own ; yet still the very vitals of the empire seemed to be 
mortally womided ; that there could no time have happened more fatal 
to the empire or more favourable to the enterprises of the Arabs, who 
seem to have been raised up on purpose by GOD, to be a scourge to the 
Christian church, for not living answerably to that most holy religion 
which they had received.' 

The general luxury and degeneracy of manners into which the 
Grecians were sunk, also contributed not a little to the enervating their 
forces, which were still further drained by those two great destroyers, 
monachism and persecution. 

The Persians had also been in a declining condition for some time 
before Mohammed, occasioned chiefly by their intestine broils and dis- 
sensions ; great part of which arose from the devilish doctrines of 
Manes and Mazdak. The opinions of the former are tolerably well 
known : the latter lived in the reign of Khosru Kobad, and pretended 
hims^^f a prophet sent from GOD to preach a community of women 
and r^ssessions, since all men were brothers and descended from the 
same Common parents. This he imagined would put an end to all 
feuds and quarrels among men, which generally arose on account of 
one of the two. Kobad himself embraced the opinions of this impostor, 
to whom he gave leave, according to his new doctrine, to lie with the 
queen his wife ; which permission Anushirwan, his son, with much 
difficulty prevailed on Mazdak not to make use of. These sects had 
certainly been the immediate ruin of the Persian empire, had not Anu- 
shirwan, as soon as he succeeded his father, put Mazdak to death with 
all his followers, and the Manicheans also, restoring the ancient Magian 

In the reign of this prince, deservedly surnamed the Just, Mohammed 
was born. He was the last king of Persia who deserved the throne, 
which after him was almost perpetually contended for, till subverted by 
the Arabs. His son Hormuz lost the love of his subjects by his exces- 
sive cruelty ; having had his eyes put out by his wife's brothers, he was 

1 Ockley's Hist, of the Saracens, vol. i. p. 19, &c. 2 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 70- 


obliged to resign the crown to his son Khosru Parviz, who at the instiga- 
tion of Bahram Chubin had rebelled against him, and was afterwards 
strangled. Parviz was soon obliged to quit the throne to Bahram ; but 
obtaining succours of the Greek emperor Maurice, he recovered the 
crown t yet towards the latter end of a long reign he grew so tyrannical 
and hateful to his subjects, that they held private correspondence with 
the Arabs ; and he was at length deposed, imprisoned, and slain by his 
son Shiruyeh.' After Parviz no less than six princes possessed the 
throne in less than six years. These domestic broils effectually brought 
ruin upon the Persians ; for though they did rather by the weakness of 
the Greeks, than their own force, ravage Syria, and sack Jerusalem and 
Damascus under Khosru Parviz ; and, while the Arabs were divided 
and independent, had some power in the province of Yaman, where 
they set up the four last kings before Mohammed ; yet when attacked 
by the Greeks under Heraciius, they not only lost their new conquests, 
but part of their own dominions ; and no sooner were the Arabs united 
by Mohammedism, than they beat them in every battle, and in a few 
years totally subdued them. 

As these empires were weak and declining, so Arabia, at Mohammed's 
setting up, was strong and flourishing ; having been peopled at the ex- 
pense of the Grecian empire, whence the violent proceedings of the 
domineering sects forced many to seek refuge in a free country, as 
Arabia then Avas, where they who could not enjoy tranquillity and their 
conscience at home, found a secure retreat. The Arabians were not 
only a populous nation, but unacquainted with the luxury' and delicacies 
of the Greeks and Persians, and inured to hardships of all sorts ; living 
in a most parsimonious manner, seldom eating any flesh, drinking no 
wine, and sitting on the gi'ound. Their political government was also 
such as favoured the designs of Mohammed ; for the division and in- 
dependency of their tribes were so necessary to the first propagation of 
his religion, and the foundation of his power, that it would have been 
Scarce possible for him to have effected either, had the Arabs been 
united in one society. But w^hen they had embraced his religion, the 
consequent union of their tribes was no less necessary and conducive 
to their future conquests and grandeur. 

This posture of public affairs in the eastern world, both as to its 
religious and political state, it is more than probable Mohammed was 
well acquainted v?ith ; he having had sufficient opportunities of inform- 
ing himself in those particulars, in his travels as a merchant in his 
younger years : and though it is not to be supposed his views at first 
were so extensive as afterwards, when they were enlarged by his good 
fortune, yet he might reasonably promise himself success in his first 
attempts from thence. As he was a man of extraordinary parts and 
address, he knew how to make the best of every incident, and turn w-hat 
might seem dangerous to another, to his own advantage. 

Mohammed came into the world under some disadvantages, which 
he soon surmounted. His father Abd'allah was a younger son' oi 
Abd'almotalleb, and dying very young and in his father's lifetime, left 

1 Vide Teixeira, Relaciones de !qs Reyes de Persia, p. 195, &c. 2 He was not his eldest 
son, as Dr. Prideaux tells us, whose reflections biiilt on that foundation must necessarily fail 
(see his Life of Mahomet, p. 9) ; nor yet his youngest son, as M. de BoulainvilKers (Vie de Ma- 
hommed, p. :82, &c ) supposes; for Ilamza and al Abbas were both vounger than Abd'allah 


his widow and infant son in very mean circumstances, his whole sub- 
stance consisting but of five camels and one Ethiopian she-slave.* 
Abd'almotalleb was therefore obliged to take care of his grandchild 
Mohammed, which he not only did during his life, but at his death 
enjoined his eldest son Abu Taleb, who was brother to Abd'allah by 
•the samb mother, to provide for him for the future ; which he very 
affectionately did, and instructed him in the business of a merchant, 
which he followed ; and to that end he took him with him into Syria 
when he was but thirteen, and afterward recommended him to Khadijah, 
a noble and rich widow, for her factor, in whose service he behaved 
himself so well, that by making him her husband she soon raised him 
to an equality with the richest in Mecca. 

After he began by this advantageous match to live at his ease, it 
was that he formed the scheme of establishing a new religion, or, as 
he expressed it, of replanting the only true and ancient one, professed 
(">y Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets,* by 
destroying the gross idolatry into which the generality of his country- 
men had fallen, and weeding out the corruptions and superstitions 
which the latter Jews and Christians had, as he thought, introduced 
into their religion, and reducing it to its original purity, which consisted 
chiefly in the worship of one only GOD. 

Whether this was the effect of enthusiasm, or only a design to raise 
himself to the supreme government of his country, I will not pretend 
to determine. The latter is the general opinion of Christian writers, 
who agree that ambition, and the desire of satisfying his sensuality, 
V)Aere the motives of his undertaking. It may be so ; yet his first views, 
perhaps, were not so interested. His original design of bringing the 
pagan Arabs to the knowledge of the true GOD, was certainly noble, 
and highly to be commended ; for I cannot possibly subscribe to the 
assertion of a late learned writer,^ that he made that nation exchange 
their idolatry for another religion altogether as bad. Mohammed was 
no doubt fully satisfied in his conscience of the truth of his grand 
point, the unity of GOD, which was what he chiefly attended to ; all 
his other doctrines and institutions being rather accidental and un- 
avoidable, than premeditated and designed. 

Since then Mohammed was certainly himself persuaded of his grand 
article of faith, which, in his opinion, was violated by all the rest of the 
world ; not only by the idolaters, but by the Christians, as well those 
who rightly worshipped Jesus as GOD, as those who superstitiously 
adored the Virgin Mary, saints, and images ; and also by the Jews, 
who are accused in the Koran of taking Ezra for the son of GOD ;* it 
is easy to conceive that he might think it a meritorious work to rescue 
the world from such ignorance and superstition ; and by degrees, with 
the help of a warm imaginaiion, which an Arab seldom wants,^ to sup- 
pose himself destined by providence for the effecting that great re- 
formation. And this fancy of his might take still deeper root in his 
mind, during the solitude he thereupon affected, usually retiring for a 
month in the year to a cave in Mount Hara, near Mecca. One thing 
which may be probably urged against the enthusiasm of this prophet of 

1 Abulfeda, Vit. Moham. p. 2. 2 See Kor. c. 2. 3 Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 76. 
'^ Kor. c. 9. 5 See Casaub. of Enthusiasm- »- ^-■■8. 


the Arabs, is the wise conduct and great prudence he all along showed 
in pursuing his design, which seem inconsistent with the wild notions 
of a hot-brained religionist. But though all enthusiasts or madmen 
do not behave with the same gravity and circumspection that he did, 
yet he wall not be the first instance, Dy several, of a person who has 
been out of the way only quoad hoc, and in all other respects acted 
with the greatest decency and precaution. 

The terrible destruction of the eastern churches, once so glorious 
and flourishing, by the sudden spreading of Mohammedism, and the 
great successes of its professors against the Christians, necessarily in- 
spire a horror of that religion in those to whom it has been so fatal ; 
and no wonder if they endeavour to set the character of its founder, 
and its doctrines, in the most infamous light. But the damage done 
by Mohammed to Christianity seems to have been rather owing to his 
ignorance than m.alice ; for his great misfortune was, his not having a 
competent knowledge of the real and pure doctrines of the Christian 
religion, which Avas in his time so abominably corrupted, that it is not 
surprising if he went too far, and resolved to abolish what he might 
think incapable of reformation. 

It is scarce to be doubted but that Mohammed had a violent desire 
of being reckoned an extraordinary person, which he could attain to 
by no means more effectually, than by pretending to be a m^essenger 
sent from GOD, to inform mankind of his will. This might be at first 
his utmost amibition ; and had his fellow-citizens treated him less in- 
juriously, and not obliged him by their persecutions to seek refuge 
elsewhere, and to take up arms against them in his own defence, he 
had perhaps continued a •nrivate person, and contented himself with 
the veneration and respect due to his prophetical office ; but being onee 
got at the head of a little army, and encouraged by success, it is no 
wonder if he raised his thoughts to what had never before 
entered into his imagination. 

That Mohammed was, as the Arabs are by complexion,' a great 
lover of women, we are assured by his own confession ; and he is con- 
stantly upbraided with it by the controversial wTiters, who fail not to 
urge the number of women with whom he had to do, as a demonstra- 
tive argument of his sensuality, which they think sufficiently proves him 
to have been a wicked man, and consequently an impostor. But it 
must be considered that polygamy, though it be forbidden by the 
Christian religion, v/as in Mohammed's time frequently practised in 
Arabia and other parts of the east, and was not counted an immorality, 
nor was a man worse esteemed on that account ; for which reason 
Mohammed permitted the plurality of wives, v/ith certain limitations, 
among his own followers, who argue for the lawfulness of it from 
several reasons, and particularly from the examples of persons allowed 
on all hands to have been good men ; some of whom have been ho- 
noured with the divine correspondence. The several laws relating to 
marriages and divorces, and the peculiar privileges granted to Mo- 
ham/med in his Koran, were almost all taken by him from the Jewish 
decisions, as will appear hereafter ; and therefore he might think those 

1 iVjiiniian. Marcell. 1. 14, c. j. 


institutions the more just and reasonable, as he found them practised 
or approved by the professors of a religion which was confessedly of 
divine original. 

But whatever were his motives, Mohammed had certainly the per- 
sonal qualifications which were necessary to accomplish his undertak- 
ing. The Mohammedan authors are excessive in their commendations 
of him, and speak much of his religious and moral virtues ; as his 
piety, veracity, justice, liberality, clemency, humility, and abstinence. 
His charity, in particular, they say, was so conspicuous, that he had 
seldom any money in his house, keeping no more for his own use than 
was just sufficient to maintain his family ; and he frequently spared 
even some part of his own provisions to supply the necessities of the 
poor ; so that before the year's end he had generally little or nothing 
left :' " God," says al Bokhari, " offered him the keys of the treasures 
of the eardi, but he would not accept them." Though the eulogies of 
these writers are justly to be suspected of partiality, yet thus much, I 
think, may be inferred from thence, that for an Arab who had been 
educated in Paganism, and had but a very imperfect knowledge of his 
duty, he was a man of at least tolerable morals, and not such a monster 
of wickedness as he is usually represented. And indeed it is scarce 
possible to conceive, that a wretch of so profligate a character should 
ever have succeeded in an enterprise of this nature ; a little hypocrisy 
and saving of appearances, at least, must have been absolutely neces- 
sary ; and the sincerity of his intentions is wdiat I pretend not to inquire 

He had indisputably a very piercing and sagacious v/it, and was 
thoroughly versed in all the arts of insinuation.^ The eastern histo- 
rians describe him to have been a man of an excellent judgment, and 
a happy memory ; and these natural parts were improved by a great 
experience and knowledge of men, and the observations he had made 
in his travels. They say he was a person of few words, of an equal 
cheerful temper, pleasant and familiar in conversation, of inoffensive 
behaviour towards his friends, and of great condescension towards his 
inferiors.^ To all which were joined a comely agreeable person, and a 
polite address ; accomplishments of no small service in preventing those 
in his favour whom he attempted to persuade. 

As to acquired learning, it is confessed he had none at all ; having 
had no other education than what was customary in his tribe, whs 
neglected, and perhaps despised, what we ':all literature ; esteeming 
no language in comparison with their own, their skill in which they 
gained by use and not by books, and contenting themselves with im- 
proving their private experience by committing to memory such pas- 
sages of their poets as they judged might be of use to them in life. 
This defect was so far from being prejudicial or putting a stop to his 
design, that he made the greatest use of it ; insisting that the writings 
which he produced as revelations from God, could not possibly be a 
forgery of his own ; because it was not conceivable that a person who 
could neither write nor read should be able lo compose a book of such 
excellent doctrine, and in so elegant a style; and thereby obviating 

_ 1 Vide Abulfeda Vit. Moham. ,d. 144, &c. ^ Vide Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 105. 

•^ Vide Abulfed. ubi suo. 


an objection that might have carried a great deal of weight.' And for 
this reason his followers, instead of being ashamed of their master's 
ignorance, glory in it, as an evident proof of his divine mission, and 
scruple not to call him (as he is indeed called in the Koran itself^) the 
" illiterate prophet." 

The scheme of religion which framed, and the design 
and artful contrivance of those written revelations (as he pretended 
them to be) which compose his Koran, shall be the subject of the 
following sections : I shall therefore in the remainder of this relate, as 
briefly as possible, the steps he took towards the effecting of his enter- 
prise, and the accidents which concurred to his success therein. 

Before he m.ade any attempt abroad, he rightly judged that it was 
necessary for him to begin by the conversion of his own household. 
Having therefore retired with his family, as he had done several times 
before, to the above-mentioned cave in Mount Hara, he there opened 
the secret of his mission to his wife Khadijah ; and acquainted her 
that the angel Gabriel had just before appeared to him, and told him 
that he was appointed the apostle of GOD : he also repeated to her a 
passage^ which he pretended had been revealed to him by the ministry 
of the angel, with those other circumstances of his first appearance, 
which are related by the Mohammedan writers. Khadijah received 
the news with great joy,' swearing by him in whose hands her soul 
was, that she trusted he would be the prophet of his nation, and imme- 
diately communicated what she had heard to her cousin, Warakah Ebn 
Nawfal, who, being a Christian, could write in the Hebrev>^ character, 
and was tolerably well versed in the scriptures ;- and he as readily came 
into her opinion, assuring her that the same angel who had formerly 
appeared unto Moses was now sent to Mohammed.^ This first over- 
ture the prophet made in the month of Ramadan, in the fortieth year 
of his age, which is therefore usually called the year of his mission. 

Encouraged by so good a beginning, he resolved to proceed, and try 
for some time what he could do by private persuasion, not daring to 
hazard the whole afTair by exposing it too suddenly to the public. He 
soon made proselytes of those under his own roof, viz., his wife 
Khadijah, his servant Zeid Ebn Haretha (to whom he gave his freedom'^ 
on that occasion, which afterwards became a rule to his followers), and 
his cousin and pupil Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, though then very young : 
but this last, making no account of the other two, used to style himself 
the " first of believers." The next person Mohammed applied to was 
Abdallah Ebn Abi Kohafa, surnamed Abu Beer, a man of great 
authority among the Koreish, and one whose interest he v^^ell knew 
would be of great service to him, as it soon appeared, for Abu Beer 
being gained over, prevailed also on Othman Ebn Affan, Abd'alrahman 
Ebn Awf, Saad Ebn Abi Wakkas, al Zobeir Ebn al Awam, and Telha 
Ebn Obeid'allah, all principal men in Mecca, to follow his example. 

1 See Kor. c. 29. Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 28. &c. 2 Chap. 7. 3 This passage is 

generally agreed to be the first five verses of the 96th chapter. 1 I do not remember to 

nave read in any eastern author, that Khadijah ever rejected her husband's pretences as 
delusions, or suspected him of anv imposture. Yet see Prideau.x's Life of Mahomet, p. 11, &c. 
^Vide Poc. Spec. p. 157. 3 Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moham. p. 16, where the learned translator 
has mistaken the meaning of this passage. 4 For he was his purchased slave, as Abulfed i 

expressly tells us, and not his cousin-german, as'M. de Beulainvill. asserts (Vie de Mah. p. 273 . 


These men were the six chief companions, who, with a few more, were 
converted in the space of three years^ at the end of which, Mohammed 
having, as he hoped, a sufficient interest to support him, made his 
mission no longer a secret, but gave out that God had commanded 
him to admonish his near relations \' and in order to do it with more 
convenience and prospect of success, he directed Ali to prepare an 
entertainment, and invite the sons and descendants of Abd'almotalleb, 
intending then to open his mind to them ; this was done, and about 
forty of them came ; but Abii Laheb, one of his uncles, making the 
company break up before Mohammed had an opportunity of speaking, 
obliged him to give them a second invitation the next day ; and when 
they were come, he made them the following speech : " 1 know no man 
in all Arabia who can offer his kindred a more excellent thing than I 
now do you. I offer you happiness, both in this life and in that which 
is to come. GOD Almighty hath commanded me to call you unto him ; 
who therefore among you will be assisting to me herein, and become 
my brother and my vicegerent?" All of them hesitating, and declining 
the matter, Ali at length rose up and declared that he would be his 
assistant, and vehemently threatened those who should oppose him. 
Mohammed upon this embraced Ali with great demonstrations of 
affection, and desired all who were present to hearken to and obey him 
as his deputy, at which the company broke out into great laughter, 
telling Abu Taleb that he must now pay obedience to his son. 

This repulse however was so far from discouraging Mohammed, that 
he began to preach in public to the people, who heard him with some 
patience, till he came to upbraid them with the idolatry, obstinacy, and 
perverseness of themselves and their fathers, which so highly provoked 
them that they declared themselves his enemies, and would soon have 
procured his ruin had he not been protected by Abu Taleb. The chief 
of the Koreish warmly solicited this person to desert his nephew, 
making frequent remonstrances against the innovations he was attempt- 
ing, which proving ineffectual, they at length threatened him with an 
open rupture if he did not prevail on Mohammed to desist. At this^ 
Abu Taleb was so far moved that he earnestly dissuaded his nephew 
from pursuing the affair any farther, representing the great danger he 
and his friends must otherwise run. But Mohammed was not to be 
intimidated, telling his uncle plainly " tnat if they set the sun against 
him on his right hand, and the moon on his left, he would not leave his 
enterprise ; " and Abu Taleb, seeing him so firmly resolved to proceed, 
used no further arguments, but promised to stand by him against all 
his enemies.^ 

The Koreish, finding they could prevail neither by fair words nor 
menaces, tried what they could do by force and ill-treatment, using 
Mohammed's followers so very injuriously that it was not safe for them 
to continue at Mecca any longer : v/hereupon Mohammed gave leave 
to such of them as had not friends to protect them, to seek for refuge 
elsewhere. And accordingly, in the fifth year of the prophet's mission, 
sixteen of them, four of whom were women, fled into Ethiopia ; and 
uraong them Othman Ebn Affi." '^nd his wife Rakiah, Mohammed's 

•5 Kor. c. 74. See the notes mereou. , Abulfeda ubi supra. 


daughter. This was the first flight ; but afterwards several others fol- 
lowed them, retiring one after another, to the number of eighty-three 
men and eighteen women, besides children.' These refugees were 
kindly received by the Najashi,^ or king of Ethiopia, who refused to 
deliver them up to those whom the Koreish sent to demand them, and, 
as the Arab writers unanimously attest, even professed the Moham- 
medan religion. 

In the sixth year of his mission^ Mohammed had the pleasure of see- 
ing his party strengthened by the conversion of his uncle Hamza, a man 
of great valour and merit, and of Omar Ebn al Khattab, a person highly 
esteemed, and once a violent opposer of the prophet. As persecution 
generally advances rather than obstructs the spreading of a religion, 
Islamism made so great a progress among the Arab tribes, that the 
Koreish, to suppress it eftectually, if possible, in the seventh year of 
Mohammed's mission,'^ made a solemn league or covenant against the 
Hashemites and the family of al IMotalleb, engaging themselves to con- 
tract no marriages with any of them, and to have no communication 
with them ; and to give it the greater sanction, reduced it into writing, 
and laid it up in the Caaba. Upon this the tribe became divided into 
two factions ; and the family of Hashem all repaired to Abu Taleb, as 
their head ; except only Abd'al Uzza, surnamed Abu Laheb, who, out 
of his inveterate hatred to his nephew and his doctrine, went over to 
the opposite party, whose chief was Abu Solian Ebn Harb, of the family 
of Ommeya. 

The families continued thus at variance for three years ; but in the 
tenth year of his mission, Mohammed told his uncle Abu Taleb that 
God had manifestly showed his disapprobation of the league which the 
Koreish had made against them, by sending a worm to eat out every 
word of the instrument except the name of GOD. Of this accident 
Mohammed had probably some private notice ; for Abu Taleb went 
immediately to the Koreish and acquainted them with it ; offering, if it 
proved false, to deliver his nephew up to them ; but in case it were true, 
he insisted that they ought to lay aside their animosity, and annul the 
league they had made against the Hashemites. To this tli^ey acquiesced, 
and going to inspect the writing, to their great astonishment found it 
to be as Abu Taleb had said ; and the league was thereupon declared 

In the sam.e year Abu Taleb died, at the age of above fourscore ; and 
it is the general opinion that he died an infidel, though others say that 
when he was at the point of death he embraced Mohammedism, and 
produce some passages out of his poetical compositions to confirm their 
assertion. About a month, or as some write, three days after the death 
of this great benefactor and patron, ]\Iohammed had the additional 
mortification to lose his vvife Khadijah, who had so generously made 
his fortune. For which reason this year is called the year of mourning. '^ 

On the death of these two persons the Koreish began to be more 
troublecome than ever to their prophet, and especially some who had 
formerly been his intimate friends ; insomuch that he found himself 

1 Idem, Ebn Shohnah. " JJr. Prideaux seems to take this word for a proper name, but 

it is only the title the Arabs g>ve to every king of this country. See his Life of tlahomet, p. 
■^5 ' 3 Ebn Shohnah. 4 Al Jannabi. 1 Abulfed. p. 28. Ebn Shohnah- 


obliged to seek for shelter elsewhere, and first pitched upon Tayet, 
about sixty miles east from Mecca, for the place of his retreat. Thither 
therefore he went, accompanied by his servant Zeid, and applied him- 
self to t\vo of the chief of the tribe of Thakif, who were the inhabitants 
of that place ; but they received him very coldly. However, he stayed 
there a month ; and some of the more considerate and better sort of 
men treated him with a little respect : but the slaves and inferior people 
at length rose against him, and bringing him to the wall of the city, 
obliged him to depart and return to Mecca, where he put himself under 
the protection of al Motaam Ebn Adi.^ 

This repulse greatly discouraged his followers : however, Mohammed 
was not wanting to himself, but boldly continued to preach to the public 
assemblies at the pilgrimage, and gained several proselytes, and among 
them six of the inhabitants of Yathreb of the Jewish tribe of Khazraj, 
who on their return home failed not to speak much in commendation 
of their new religion, and exhorted their fellow-citizens to embrace the 

In the twelfth year of his mission it was that Mohammed gave out 
that he had made his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and 
thence to heaven,^ so much spoken of by all that write of him. Dr. 
Prideaux"* thinks he invented it either to answer the expectations of 
those who demanded some miracle as a proof of his mission, or else, 
by pretending to have conversed with GOD, to establish the authority 
of whatever he should think fit to leave behind by way of oral tradition, 
and make his sayings to serve the same purpose as the oral law of the 
Jews. But I do not find that Mohammed himself ever expected so great 
a regard should be paid to his sayings, as his followers have since done ; 
and seeing he all along disclaimed any power of performing miracles, 
it seems rather to have been a fetch of policy to raise his reputation, by 
pretending to have actually conversed with GOD in heaven, as Moses 
had heretofore done in the mount, and to have received several institu- 
tions immediately from him, whereas before he contented himself with 
persuading them that he had all by the ministry of Gabriel. 

However, this story seemed so absurd and incredible, that several 
of his followers left him upon it, and it had probably ruined the whole 
design, had not Abu Beer vouched for his veracity, and declared that 
if Mohammed affirmed it to be true, he verily believed the whole. 
Which happy incident not only retrieved the prophet's credit, but 
increased it to such a degree, that he was secure of being able to make 
his disciples swallow whatever he pleased to impose on them for the 
future. And I am apt to think this fiction, notwithstanding its extra- 
vagance, was one of the most artful contrivances Mohammed ever put 
in practice, and what chiefly contributed to the raising of his reputation 
to that great height to which it afterwards arrived. 

In this year, called by the Mohammedans the accepted year, twelve 
men of Yathreb or Medina, of whom ten were of the tribe of Khazra}, 
and the other two of that of Aws, came to Mecca, and took an oath of 
fidelity to Mohammed at al Akaba, a hill on the north of that city. 
This oath was called the women's oath, not that any women were prp 

2 Ebn Shohnah. 3 See the notes on the ijlh chapter of the Koran. ^ Life of Mahomet, 
P- 41, 51. &c. 


sent at this time, but because a man was not thereby obhged to take 
up arms in defence of Mohammed or his rehgion ; it being the same 
oath that was afterwards exacted of the women, the form of which we 
have in the Koran,' and is to this effect, viz.: ''That they should 
renounce all idolatry ; that they should not steal, nor commit fornica- 
tion, nor kill their children (as the pagan Arabs used to do when they 
apprehended they should not be able to maintain them'), nor forge 
calumnies ; and that they should obey the prophet in all things that 
were reasonable." When they had solemnly engaged to do all this, 
Mohammed sent one of his disciples, named Masab Ebn Omair, home 
with them, to instruct them more fully in the grounds and ceremonies 
of his new religion. 

Masab, being arrived at Medina, by the assistance of those who 
had been formerly converted, gained several proselytes, particularly 
Osaid Ebn Hodeira, a chief man of the city, and Saad Ebn Moadh, 
prince of the tribe of Aws ; Mohammedism spreading so fast, that 
there was sce^re a house wherein there vvere not some who had em- 
braced it. 

The next year, being the thirteenth of Mohammed's mission, Masab 
returned to Mecca, accompanied by seventy-three men and two women 
of Medina, who had professed Islamism, besides some others who were 
as yet unbelievers. On their arrival, they immediately sent to Moham- 
med, and offered him their assistance, of which he was now in great 
need, for his adversaries were by this time grown so powerful in 
Mecca, that he could not stay there much longer without imminent 
danger. Wherefore he accepted their proposal, and met them one 
night, by appointment, at al Akaba above mentioned, attended by 
his uncle al Abbas, who, though he was not then a believer, wished 
his nephew well, and made a speech to those of Medina, wherein he 
told them, that as Mohammed was obliged to quit his native city, and 
seek an asylum elsewhere, and they had offered him their protection, 
they would do well not to deceive him; and that if they were not 
firmly resolved to defend and not betray him, they had better declare 
their minds, and let him provide for his safety in some other manner. 
Upon their protesting their sincerity, Mohammed swore to be faithful 
to them, on condition that they should protect him against all insults, 
as heartily as they would their own wives and families. They then 
asked him what recompense they were to expect if they should happen 
to be killed in his quarrel ; he ansv^'ered, Paradise. Whereupon they 
pledged their faith to him, and so returned home -^ after Mohammed 
had chosen twelve out of their number, who were to have the same 
authority among them as the twelve apostles of Christ had among his 

Hitherto IMohammed had propagated his religion by fair means, so 
that the whole success of his enterprise, before his flight to Medina, 
must be attributed to persuasion only, and not to compulsion. For 
before this second oath of fealty or inauguration at al Akaba, he had 
no permission to use any force at all; and in several places of the 
Koran, which he pretended were revealed during his stay at Mecca, 

1 Cap. 60. 2 Vide Kor. c. 6. 3 Abulfeda. Vit. Mohain. p. 40, &c. •* Ebn Ishak. 


he declares his business was only to preach and admonish; that he 
had no authority to compel any person to embrace his religion ; and 
that whether people believed, or not, was none of his concern, but 
belonged solely unto GoD. And he was so far from allowing his 
followers to use force, that he exhorted them to bear patiently those 
injuries which were offered them on account of their faith ; and when 
persecuted himself, chose rather to quit the place of his birth and 
retire to Medina, than to make any resistance. But this great passive- 
ness and moderation seeins entirely owing to his want of power, and 
the great superiority of his opposers for the first twelve years of his 
mission ; for no sooner was he enabled, by the assistance of those of 
Medina, to make head against his enemies, than he gave out, that GOD 
had allowed him and his followers to defend themselves against the 
infidels ; and at length as his forces increased, he pretended to have 
the divine leave even to attack them, and to destroy idolatry, and set 
up the true faith by the sword; finding by experience that his designs 
would otherwise proceed very slowly, if they were not utterly over- 
thrown, and knowing on the other hand that innovators, when they 
depend solely on their own strength, and can compel, seldom run any 
risk ; from whence, the politician observes, it follows, that all the armed 
prophets have succeeded, and the unarmed ones have failed. Moses, 
Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus would not have been able to establish 
the observance of their institutions for any length of time had they not 
been armed.' The first passage of the Koran which gave Mohammed 
the permission of defending himself by arms, is said to have been that 
in the twenty-second chapter ; after which a great number to the same 
purpose were revealed. 

That Mohammed had a right to take up arms for his own defence 
against his unjust persecutors, may perhaps be allowed ; but whether 
he ought afterwards to have made use of that means for the establish- 
ing of his religion is a question I will not here determine. How far 
the secular power may or ought to interpose in affairs of this nature, 
mankind are not agreed. The method of converting by the sword, 
gives no very favourable idea of the faith which is so propagated, and 
is disallowed by everybody in those of another religion, though the 
same persons are willing to admit of it for the advancement of their 
own ; supposing that though a false religion ought not to be established 
by authority, yet a true one may ; and accordmgly force is almost as 
constantly employed in these cases by those v/ho have the power in 
their hands, as it is constantly complained of by those who suffer the 
violence. It is certainly one of the most convincing proofs that Moham- 
medism was no other than a human invention, that it owed its pro- 
gress and establishment almost entirely to the sword ; and it is one of 
the strongest demonstrations of the divine original of Christianity, that 
it prevailed against all the force and powers of the world by the mere 
dint of its own truth, after having stood the assaults of all manner of 
persecutions, as well as other oppositions, for 300 years together 
and at length made the Roman emperors themselves submit thereto f 
after which time, indeed, this proof seems to fail, Christianity being 

A Machiavelli, Princ. c. 6. 2 See Prideaux's Letter to the Deists, p. 220, &c. 


then established and Paganism aboUshed by piibhc authority, which 
has had great intiaence in the propagation of the one and destruction 
of the other ever since.' But to retu: n. 

Mohammed having provided for the security of his companions as 
well as his own, by the league offensive and defensive which he had 
now concluded with those of Medina, directed them to repair thither, 
which they accordingly did ; but himself with Abu Beer and Ali stayed 
behind, having not yet received the divine permission, as he pretended, 
to lea,ve Mecca. The Koreish, fearing the consequence of this new 
alliance, began to think it absolutely necessary to prevent Mohammed's 
escape to Medina, and having held a council thereon, after several 
milder expedients had been rejected, they came to a resolution that he 
should be killed ; and agreed that a man should be chosen out of every 
tribe for the execution of this design, and that each man should have a 
blow at him with his sword, that the guilt of his blood might fall 
equally on all the tribes, to whose united power the Hashemites were 
much inferior, and therefore durst not attempt to revenge their kins- 
man's death. 

This conspirs-cy was scarce formed when by some means or other it 
came to Mohammed's knowledge, and he gave out that it was revealed 
to him by the angel Gabriel, who had now ordered him to retire to 
Medina. Whereupon, to amuse his enemies, he directed Ali to lie 
down in his place and wrap himself up in his green cloak, which he 
did, and Mohammed escaped miraculously, as they pretend,^ to Abu 
Beer's house, unperceived by the conspirators, who had already assem- 
bled at the prophet's door. They in the meantime, looking through 
the crevice and seeing Ali, whom they took to be jNIohammed himself, 
asleep, continued watcLiing there till morning, when Ali arose, and they 
found themselves deceived. 

From Abu Beer's house Mohammed and he went to a cave in Mount 
Thur, to the south-east of Mecca, accompanied only by Amer Ebn 
Foheirah, Abu Beer's servant, and Abd'allah Ebn Oreikat, an idolater, 
whom they had hired for a guide. In this cave they lay hid three days 
to avoid the search of their enemies, which they very narrowly escaped, 
and not without the assistance of more miracles than one ; for some 
say that the Koreish were struck with blindness, so that they could not 
find the cave; others, that after Mohammed and his companions were 
got in, two pigeons laid their eggs at the entrance, and a spider 
covered the mouth of the cave with her web,^ which made them look 
no farther.'^ Abu Beer, seeing the prophet in such imminent danger, 
becam.e very sorrowful, whereupon Mohammed comforted him with 
these words, recorded in the Koran :*' "Be not grieved, for GOD is v/ith 
us." Their enemies being retired, they left the cave and set out for 
Medina, by a by-road, and having fortunately, or as the Mohammedans 
tell us, miraculously, escaped some who were sent to pursue them, 

1 See Bayle's Diet. Hist. Arr. Mahomet, Rem. O. ^ See the notes to chap. 8 and 36. 

3 It is observable that the Jews have a Hke tradition concernin? David, when he fled from 
Saul into the cave ; and the Targum piraphrases these words of the second verse ot Psalm 
Ivii., which was composed on occa«^ioa of that deUverance : "' I will pr.iy before the most hi^h 
God that performeth all things for me, in this manner ; I will pray te'"ore the most high Gop, 
who called a .spider to weave a web for my sake in the mouth of the cave.'" ^ Al Beidawi in 
Kor. c. 9. Vide D'Herbel. P.ibl. Orient p. 445. 5 Cap. 9. 


arrived safely at that city; whither Ali followed them in three days, after 
he had settled some affairs at Mecca.* 

The first thing Mohammed did after his arrival at Medina, was to 
build a temple for his religious worship, and a house for himself, 
which he did on a parcel of ground which had before served to put 
camels in, or as others tell us, for a burying-ground, and belonged to 
Sahal and Soheil the sons of Amru, who were orphans. ^ This action 
Dr. Prideaux exclaims against, representing it as a flagrant instance of 
injustice, for that, says he, he violently dispossessed these poor orphans, 
the sons of an inferior artificer (whom the author he quotes ^ calls a 
carpenter) of this ground, and so founded the first fabric of his worship 
with the like wickedness as he did his religion.'' But to say nothing of 
the improbability that Mohammed should act in so impolitic a manner 
at his first coming, the Mohammedan writers set this affair in a quite 
different light ; one tells us that he treated with the lads about the 
price of the ground, but they desired he would accept it as a present;^ 
hov/ever, as historians of good credit assure us, he actually bought it,^ 
and the money was paid by Abu Beer,' Besides, had Mohammed 
accepted it as a present, the orphans were in circumstances sufficient 
to have afforded it ; for they were of a very good family, of the tribe of 
Najjar, one of the most illustrious among the Arabs, and not the sons 
of a carpenter, as Dr. Prideaux's author writes, who took the word 
Najjar, which signifies a ca7^penier, for an appellative, whereas it is a 
proper name,^ 

Mohammed being securely settled at Medina, and able not only to 
defend himself against the insults of his enemies, but to attack them, 
began to send out small parties to make reprisals on the Koreish ; the 
first party consisting of no more than nine men, who intercepted and 
plundered a caravan belonging to that tribe, and in the action took two 
prisoners. But what established his aiTairs very much, and was the 
foundation on which he built all his succeeding greatness, was the 
gaining of the battle of Bedr, which was fought in the second year of 
the Hejra, and is so famous in the Mohammedan history.^ As my 
design is not to write the life of Mohammed, but only to describe the 
manner in which he carried on his enterprise, I shall not enter into any 
detail of his subsequent battles and expeditions, which amounted to a 
considerable number. Some reckon no less than twenty-seven expe- 
ditions wherein Mohammed was personally present, in nine of which 
he gave battle, besides several other expeditions in which he was not 
present -^ some of them, however, will be necessarily taken notice of in 
explaining several passages of the Koran. His ^^orces he maintained 
partly by the contributions of his followers for this purpose, which he 
called by the name of Zacdt or alms, and the paying of which he very 
artfully made one main article of his religion ; and partly by ordering a 
fifth part of the plunder to be brought into the public treasury for that 
purpose, in which matter he likewise pretended to act by the divine 

4 Abulfeda. Vit. Moh. p. 50, &c. Ebn Shohnah. ^ Abulfbda, ib. p. 52, 53. 6 Disputatio 

Christiani contra Saracen, c. 4. ^ Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 58. ^ X\ Bokhari in 

Sonna. 9 Al Jannabi. 1 Ahmed Ebn Yusef. 2 Vide Gagnier, not. in Abulfed. de Vit. 

Moh. p. 52, 53. 3 See the notes on the Koran, chap, x 4 Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. 

P 158. 


In a lew years by the success of his arms (notwithstanding he 
sometimes came off by the worst) he considerably raised his credit and 
power. In the sixth year of the Hejra he set out with 1,400 m^en to 
v^isit the temple of Mecca, not with any intent of committing hostilities, 
but in a peaceable manner. However, when he came to al Hodeibiya, 
which is situate partly within and partly without the sacred territory, 
the Koreish sent to let him know that they would not permit him to 
enter Mecca, unless he forced his way ; whereupon he called his troops 
about him, and they all took a solemn oath of fealty or homage to him, 
and he resolved to attack the city; but those of Mecca sending Aravv 
Ebn Masud, prince of the tribe of Thakif, as their ambassador to desire 
peace, a truce Vv'as concluded between them for ten years, by which any 
person was allowed to enter into league either with Mohammed or with 
the Koreish as he thought fit. 

It may not be improper, to show the inconceivable veneration and 
respect the Mohammedans by this time had for their prophet, to 
mention the account which the above-mentioned ambassador gave the 
Koreish, at his return, of their behaviour. He said he had been at the 
courts both of the Roman emperor and of the king of Persia, and never 
saw any prince so highly respected by his subjects as Mohammed was 
by his companions ; for whenever he made the ablution, in order to 
say his prayers, they ran and catched the water that he had used ; and 
whenever he spit, they immediately licked it up, and gathered up every 
hair that fell from him with great superstition.' 

In the seventh year of the Hejra, Mohammed began to think of pro- 
pagating his religion beyond the bounds of Arabia, and sent messen- 
gers to the neighbouring princes with letters to invite them to Moham- 
medism. Nor was this project without some success. Khosrii Parviz, 
then king of Persia, received his letter v/ith great disdain, and tore it 
in a passion, sending away the messenger very abruptly ; which when 
Mohammed heard, he said, " GOD shall tear his kingdom." And soon 
after a messenger came to Mohammed from Badhan, king of Yaman, 
who was a dependant on the Persians,- to acquaint him that he had 
received orders to send him to Khosru. Mohammed put off his answer 
till the next morning, and then told the messenger it had been revealed 
to him that night that Khosru was slain by his son Shiruyeh ; adding 
that he was w^ell assured his new religion and empire should rise to as 
great a height as that of Khosru ; and therefore bid him advise his 
master to embrace Mohammedism. The messenger being returned, 
Badhan in a few days received a letter from Shiruyeh informing him of 
his father's death, and ordering him to give the prophet no further 
disturbance. Whereupon Badhan and the Persians with him turned 

The emperor Heraclius, as the Arabian nistonans assure us, received 
Mohammed's letter with great respect, laying it on his pillow, and dis- 
missed the bearer honourably. And some pretend that he would have 
professed this new faith, had he not been afraid of losing his crown,'^ 

Mohammed v»Tote to the same effect to the king of Ethiopia, though 
he had been converted before, according to the Arab writers ; and to 

1 Abulfeda Vit. Moh. p. 85. 2 See before, p. 8. 3 Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 92, &c 

- Al Jannabi. 


Mokawkas. governor of Egypt, who gave the messenger a very favour- 
able reception, and sent several valuable presents to Mohammed, and 
among the rest two girls, one of which, named Mary,' became a great 
favourite with him. He also sent letters of the like purport to several 
Arab princes, particularly one to al Hareth Ebn Abi Shamer,^ king of 
Ghassan, who, returning for answer that he would go to Mohammed him- 
self, the prophet said, " May his kingdom perish ;" another to Hawdha 
Ebn Ali, king of Yamama, who was a Christian, and having some time 
before professed Islamism, had lately returned to his former faith ] this 
prince sent back a very rough answer, upon which Mohammed cursing 
him, he died soon after ; and a third to al Mondar Ebn Sawa, king oi 
Bahrein, who embraced Mohammedism, and all the Arabs of that 
country followed his example."* 

The eighth year of the Hejra was a very fortunate year to Moham- 
med. In the beginning of it Khaled Ebn al Walid and Amru Ebn al 
As, both excellent soldiers, the first of whom afterwards conquered 
Syria and other countries, and the latter Egypt, became proselytes of 
Mohammedism. And soon after the prophet sent 3,000 men against 
the Grecian forces, to revenge the death of one of his ambassadors, 
who being sent to the governor of Bosra on the same errand as those 
who went to the above-mentioned princes, was slain by an Arab of the 
tribe of Ghassan at Miita, a town in the territory of Balka in Syria, 
about three days' journey eastward from Jerusalem, near which town 
they encountered. The Grecians being vastly superior in number (for, 
including the auxiliary Arabs, they had an army of 100,000 men), the 
Mohammedans were repulsed in the first attack, and lost successively 
three of their generals, viz., Zeid Ebn Haretha, Mohammed's freedman, 
Jaafar, the son of Abu Taleb, and Abdallah Ebn Rawaha ; but Khaled 
Ebn al Walid, succeeding to the command, overthrew the Greeks v/ith 
a great slaughter, and brought away abundance of rich spoil ;'' on 
occasion of which action Mohainmed gave him the honourable title of 
Seif min soyuf Allah, One of the Swords of GOD.s 

In this year also Mohammed took the city of Mecca, the inhabitants 
whereof had broken the truce concluded on two years before. For the 
tribe of Beer, who were confederates of the Koreish, attacking those of 
Khozaah, who were allies of Mohammed, killed several of them, being 
supported in the action by a party of the Koreish themselves. The 
consequence of this violation was soon apprehended, and Abu Sofian 
himself made a journey to Medina on purpose to heal the breach and 
renew the truce,^ but in vain, for Mohammed, glad of this opportunity, 
refused to see hini ; whereupon he applied to Abu Beer and Ali, but 
they giving him no answer, he was obliged to return to Mecca as he 

Mohammed immediately gave orders for preparations to be made, 
that he might surprise the Meccans while they were unprovided to 
receive him ; in a little time he bec^an his march thither, and by the 

1 It is, however, a different name from that of the Virgin Mary, which the Orientals always 
write Maryam, or Miriam — whereas this is written Mariya. 2 This prince is omitted in Dr. 

Pocock's list of the kings of Ghassan, Spec. p. 77. 3 Abulfeda, ubi sup. p. 94, &c. ^ Idem 

ib. p. 99, 100, &c. 5 Al Bokhari in Sonna. 6 This circumstance is a plain proof that the 

Koreish had actually broken the truce, and that it was not a mere pretence of Mohammed's, as 
Dr. Prideaux insinuates. Life of Mahomet, p. oa 


time he came near the city his forces were increased to 10,000 men. 
Those of Mecca being not in a condition to defend themselves against 
so formidable an army, surrendered at discretion, and Abu Sofian saved 
his life by turning Mohammedan. About twenty-eight of the idolaters 
were killed by a party under the command of Khaled ; but this hap- 
pened contrary to Mohammed'"s orders, who, when he entered the towTi, 
pardoned all the Koreish on their submission, except only six men and 
four women, who were more obnoxious than ordinary (some of them 
having apostatized), and were solemnly proscribed by the prophet him- 
self; but of these no more than three men and one woman were put to 
-^.eath, the rest obtaining pardon on their embracing Mohammedism, 
and one of the women making her escape.' 

The remainder of this year Mohammed employed in destroying the 
idols in and round about Mecca, sending several of his generals on ex- 
peditions for that purpose, and to invite the Arabs to Islamism : wherein 
it is no wonder if they now met with success. 

The next year, being the ninth of the Hejra, the Mohammedans call 
" the year of embassies," for the Arabs had been hitherto expecting the 
issue of the war between Mohammed and the Koreish ; but so soon 
as that tribe — the principal of the vv^hole nation, and the genuine de- 
scendants cf Ismael, whose prerogatives none offered to dispute — had 
submitted; they v/ere satisfied that it was not in their power to oppose 
Mohammed, and therefore began to come in to him in great numbers, 
and to send embassies to make their submissions to him, both to Mecca, 
while he stayed there, and also to Medina, whither he returned this 
year.^ Among the rest, five kings of the tribe of Hamyar professed 
Mohammedism, and sent ambassadors to notify the same.^ 

In the tenth year Ali was sent into Yaman to propagate the Mo- 
hammedan faith there, and as it is said, converted the whole tribe of 
Hamdan in one day. Their example was quickly followed by all the 
inhabitants of that province, except only those of Najran, who, being 
Christians, chose rather to pay tribute.'^ 

Thus was Mohammedism established and idolatry rooted out, even 
in Mohamm.ed's lifetime (for he died the next year), throughout all 
Arabia, except only Yamama, where Moseilama, who set up also for a 
prophet as Mohammed's competitor, had a great party, and was not 
reduced till the Khalifat of Abu Beer. And the Arabs being then 
united in one faith and under one prince, found themselves in a con- 
dition of making those conquests Vv'hich extended the Mohammedan 
faith over so great a part of the world. 

' Vide Abiilfed. ubi sup. c. 51, 52. 2 yjde Gamier, not. ad Abnlfed. p. 121. 

^ Abulfed. ubi suji. p. 12S. ■* Ibid. p. 120. 




THE word Koran, derived from the verb karaa, to read, signifies 
properly in Arabic, " the reading," or rather, " that whicli ought 
to be read ; " by which name the Mohammedans denote not only the 
entire book or volume of the Koran, but also any particular chapter or 
section of it: just as the Jews call either the whole scripture or any 
part of it by the name of Karah, or Mikra,' words of the same origin 
and import ; which observation seems to overthrow the opinion of 
some learned Arabians, who would have the Koran so named because 
it is a collection of the loose chapters or sheets which compose it— the 
verb karaa signifying also to gather or collect f and may also, by the 
way, serve as an answer to those who object^ that the Koran must be 
a book forged at once, and could not possibly be revealed by parcels 
at different times during the course of several years, as the Mohamme- 
dans affirm, because the Koran is often mentioned and called by that 
name in the very book itself It may not be amiss to observe, that the 
syllable A I in the word Alkoran is only the Arabic article, signifying 
the, and therefore ought to be omitted when the English article is 

Beside this peculiar name, the Koran is also honoured with several 
appellations, common to other books of scripture : as, al Foi'kdn, from 
the verb faraka, to divide or distinguish ; not, as the Mohammedan 
doctors say, because those books are divided into chapters or sections, 
or distinguish between good and evil ; but in the same notion that the 
Jews use the word Perek, or Pirka, from the same root, to denote a 
section or portion of scripture.* It is also called al Moshaf, the voliiuie, 
and al Kitab, the book, by way of eminence, which answers to the Biblia 
of the Greeks ; and al Dhikr, the admonition, which name is also given 
to the Pentateuch and Gospel. 

The Koran is divided into 1 14 larger portions of very unequal length, 
which we call chapters, but the Arabians Sowar, in the singular Stira, 
a word rarely used on any other occasion, and properly signifying a row, 
order, or regular series ; as a course of bricks in building, or a rank of 
soldiers in an army ; and is the same in use and import with the Sih-a, 
or Tora, of the Jews, who also call the fifty-three sections of the 
Pentateuch Seddrijn, a word of the same signification.^ 

These chapters are not in the manuscript copies distinguished by 
their numerical order, though for the reader's ease they are numbered 

1 This name was at first given to the Pentateuch only, Nehem. viii. Vide Simon. Hist. Crit. 
du Vieux Test. 1. i, c. 9. 2 Vide Erpen. not. ad Hist. Joseph, p. 3. 3 ]Marracc. de Alcor. p. 41. 
4 Vide Gol. in append, ad Gram. Arab. Erpen. 175. A chapter or subdivision of the Massic- 
toth of the Mishna is also called Perek. Maimon. pra;f in Seder Zeraim, p. 57. 5 Vide 

Gol. ubi sup. 177. Each of the six grand divisions of she Mi'"''" "^ \s also called Seder. Maimon. 
ubi sup. p. 55. 


in this edition, but by particular titles, which (except that of the first, 
which is the initial chapter, or introduction to the rest, and by the old 
Latin translator not numbered among the chapters) are taken some- 
times from a particular matter treated of, or person mentioned therein ; 
but usually from the first word of note, exactly in the same manner as 
the Jews have named their Sedarim : though the words from which 
some chapters are denominated be very far distant, towards the middle, 
or perhaps the end of the chapter ; which seems ridiculous. But the 
occasion of this seems to have been, that the verse or passage wherein 
such word occurs, was, in point of time, revealed and committed to 
writing before the other verses of the same chapter which precede it in 
order : and the title being given to the chapter before it was completed, 
or the passages reduced to their present order, the verse from whence 
such title was taken did not always happen to begin the chapter. Some 
chapters have two or more titles, occasioned by the difference of the 

Some of the chapters having been revealed at Mecca, and others at 
Medina, the noting this difference makes a part of the title ; but the 
reader will observ^e that several of the chapters are said to have been 
revealed partly at Mecca, and partly at Medina ; and as to others, it is 
yet a dispute among the commentators to which place of the two they 

Every chapter is subdivided into smaller portions, of very unequal 
length also, which we customarily call verses ; but the Arabic word is 
Ay at. the same with the Hebrew Ototh, and signifies signs, or wonders ; 
such as are the secrets of GOD, his attributes, vvorks, judgments, and 
ordinances, delivered in those verses ; many of which have their parti- 
cular titles also, imposed in the same manner as those of the chapters. 

Notwithstanding this subdivision is common and well known, yet I 
have never yet seen any manuscript wherein the verses are actually 
numbered ; though in some copies the number of verses in each chapter 
is set down after the title, which we have therefore added in the table 
of the chapters. And the Mohammedans seem to have some scruple 
in making an actual distinction in their copies, because the chief dis- 
agreement between their several editions of the Koran, consists in the 
division and number of the verses : and for this reason I have not taken 
upon me to make any such division. 

Having mentioned the different editions of the Koran, it may not be 
amiss here to acquaint the reader, that there are seven principal editions, 
if I may so call them, or ancient copies of that book ; two of which 
were published and used at Medina, a third at IVIecca, a fourth at Cufa, 
a fifth at Basra, a sixth in Syria, and a seventh called the common or 
vulgar edition. Of these editions, the first of Medina makes the whole 
number of the verses 6,000; the second and fifth, 6,214; the third, 
6,219 ; the fourth, 6,236 ; the sixth, 6,226 ; and the last, 6,225. But 
they are all said to contain the same number of words, namely, 77,639 ;* 
and the same number of letters, viz., 323,015 :^ for the Mohammedans 
have in this also imitated the Jews, that they have superstitiously 
numbered the very words and letters of their law ; nay, they have 

I Or as others reckon them, 99,464. Reland. de Rel. Moh. j^. 25. 2 Or according to another 
computation, 330,113. Ibid. Vide Gol. ubi sup. p. 178. D'Herbelot. Bibl. Orient, p. 87. 


taken the pains to compute (how exactly I know not) the number oi 
times each particular letter of the alphabet is contained in the Koran.' 

Besides these unequal divisions of chapter and verse, the Moham^ 
medans have also divided their Koran into sixty equal portions, which 
they call Ahsdb, in the singular Hizd^ each subdivided into four equa, 
parts ; which is also an imitation of the Jews, who have an ancient 
division of their Mishna into sixty portions, called Massictoth f but the 
Koran is more usually divided into thirty sections only, named Ajza, 
from the singular ^"02, each of twice the length of the former, and in 
the like manner subdivided into four parts. These divisions are for 
the use of the readers of the Koran in the royal temples, or in the 
adjoining chapels where the emperors and great men are interred. 
There are thirty of these readers belonging to every chapel, and each 
reads his section every day, so that the whole Koran is read over once 
a day.3 I have seen several copies divided in this manner, and bound 
up in as many volumes ; and have thought it proper to mark these 
divisions in the margin of this translation by numeral letters. 

Next after the title, at the head of every chapter, except only the 
ninth, is prefixed the following solemn form, by the Mohammedans 
called the Bismillah, " In the name of the most merciful GOD ;" which 
form they constantly place at the beginning of all their books and 
writings in general, as a peculiar mark or distinguishing characteristic 
of their religion, it being counted a sort of impiety to omit it. The 
Jews for the same purpose make use of the form, " In the name of the 
Lord," or, "In the name of the great GOD :" and the eastern Christians, 
that of " In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost." But I am apt to believe Mohammed really took this form, as 
he did many other things, from the Persian Magi, who used to begin 
their books in these words, Beiidni Yezddn bakhshatshgher ddddr; 
that is, " In the name of the most merciful, just GOD.""* 

This auspicatory form, and also the titles of the chapters, are by the 
generality of the doctors and commentators believed to be of divine 
original, no less than the text itself; but the more moderate are of 
opinion they are only human additions, and not the very word of GOD. 

There are twenty-nine chapters of the Koran, which have this pecu- 
liarity, that they begin with certain letters of the alphabet, some with 
a single one, others with more. These letters the Mohammedans be- 
lieve to be the peculiar marks of the Koran, and to conceal several 
profound mysteries, the certain understanding of which, the more in- 
telligent confess, has not been communicated to any mortal, their pro- 
phet only excepted. Notwithstanding which, some will take the liberty 
of guessing at their meaning by that species of Cabbala called by the 
Jews, Notarikon,' and suppose the letters to stand for as many words 
expressing the names and attributes of GOD, his works, ordinances, and 
decrees ; and therefore these mysterious letters, as well as the verses 
themselves, seem in the Koran to be called signs. Others explain the 
intent of these letters from their nature or organ, or else from their 
value in numbers, according to another species of the Jewish Cabbala 

1 Vide Reland. de Relig. Moh. p. 25. 2 Vide Gol. ubi sup. p. 178. Maimon. praef. in 

Seder Zeraim, p. 57. 3 Vide Smith, de Moribus et Instit. Turcar. p, 58. 4 Hyde, His. 

Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 14. 1 Vide Buxtorf. Lexicon Rabbin. 


called Gematria f the uncertainty of which conjectures sufficiently 
appears from their disagreement. Thus, for example, five chapters, 
one of which is the second, begin with these letters, A.L.M., which 
some imagine to stand for Allah hit if magid; " GOD is gracious and 
to be glorified ;'"' or, A7ia li ininni^ " to me and from me," viz., belongs 
all perfection, and proceeds all good ; or else for Ana Allah dlam^ " I 
am the most wise GOD," taking the first letter to mark the beginning 
of the first word, the second the middle of the second word, and the 
third the last of the third w^ord : or for "Allah, Gabriel, Mohammed," 
the author, revealer, and preacher of the Koran. Others say that as 
the letter A belongs to the lower part of the throat, the first of the 
organs of speech ; L to the palate, the middle organ ; and IVI to the lips, 
which are the last organs ; so these letters signify that GOD is the 
beginning, middle, and end, or ought to be praised in the beginning, 
middle, and end of all our words and actions : or, as the total value 
of those three letters in numbers is seventy-one, they signify that in the 
space of so many years, the religion preached in the Koran should be 
fully established. The conjecture of a learned Christian^ is, at least, as 
certain as any of the former, who supposes those letters were set there 
by the amanuensis, for Amar li Mohammed, i.e., "at the command of 
Mohammed," as the five letters prefixed to the nineteenth chapter seem 
to be there written by a Jewish scribe, for Cob yaas.i.e., " thus he com- 

The Koran is universally allowed to be written with the utmost 
elegance and purity of language, in the dialect of the tribe of Koreish, 
the most noble and polite of all the Arabians, but with some mixture, 
though very rarely, of other dialects. It is confessedly the standard of 
the Arabic tongue, and as the more orthodox believe, and are taught by 
the book itself, inimitable by any human pen (though some sectaries 
have been of another opinion),^ and therefore insisted on as a perma- 
nent miracle, greater than that of raising the dead,^ and alone sufficient 
to convince the world of its divine original. 

And to this miracle did Mohammed himself chiefly appeal for the 
confirmation of his mission, publicly challenging the most eloquent 
men in Arabia, which was at that time stocked with thousands whose 
sole study and ambition it was to excel in elegance of style and com- 
position,^ to produce even a single chapter that might be compared 
with it.'' I will mention but one instance out of several, to show that 
this book was really admired for the beauty of its composure by those 
who must be allowed to have been competent judges. A poem of 
Labid Ebn Rabia, one of the gi-eatest wits in Arabia in Mohammed's 
time, being fixed up on the gate of the temple of Mecca, an honour 
allowed to none but the most esteemed performances, none of the other 
poets durst offer anything of their own in competition with it. But the 
second chapter of the Koran being fixed up by it soon after, Labid 

2 Vide Ibid. See also Schickardi Bechiiiat happerushim, p. 62, &c. 3 Golius in append, 
ad Gram. Erp. p. 182. l See after. 2 Ahmed Abd'alhalim, apud Marracc. de Ale. p. 43. 

3 A noble writer therefore mistakes the question when he says these eastern religionists leave 
their sacred writ the sole standard of literate performance by extinguishing all true learning. 
For though they were destitute of what we call learning, yet they were far from being ignorant, 
or unable to compose elegantly in their own tongue. See L. Shaftesbury's Characteristics, vol. 
iii. p. 235. 4 Al Ghazali, apud Poc. Spec. 191. See Kor. c. 17, and also c. 2, p. 3, and c 

II, &c. 

48 7 HE I'KEi.iMINARy DISCOURSE. sec. ili» 

himself (then an idolater) on reading the first verses only, was struck 
with admiration, and immediately professed the religion taught there- 
by, declaring that such words could proceed from an inspired person 
only. This Labid was afterwards of great service to Mohammed, in 
writing answers to the satires and invectives that were made on him 
and his religion by the infidels, and particularly by Amri al KaiS;^ 
prince of the tribe of Asad,^ and author of one of those seven famous: 
poems called al Moallakat.' 

The style of the Koran is generally beautiful and fluent, especially 
where it imitates the prophetic manner and scripture phrases. It is 
concise and often obscure, adorned with bold figures after the eastern 
taste, enlivened with florid and sententious expressions, and in many 
places, especially where the majesty and attributes of GOD are de- 
scribed, sublime and magnificent ; of which the reader cannot but ob- 
serve several instances, though he must not imagine the translation 
comes up to the original, notwithstanding my endeavours to do it 

Though it be written in prose, yet the sentences generally conclude 
in a long continued rhyme, for the sake of which the sense is often in- 
terrupted, and unnecessary repetitions too frequently made, which ap- 
pear still more ridiculous in a translation, where the ornament, such as 
it is, for whose sake they were made, cannot be perceived. However, 
the Arabians are so mightily delighted with this jingling, that they em- 
ploy it in their most elaborate compositions, which they also embellish 
with frequent passages of, and allusions to, the Koran, so that it is 
next to impossible to understand them without being well versed in 
this book. 

It is probable the harmony of expression which the Arabians find in 

the Koran might contribute not a little to make them relish the doctrine 

therein taught, and give an efficacy to arguments which, had they been 

nakedly proposed without this rhetorical dress, might not have so easily 

prevailed. Very extraordinary effects are related of the power of words 

well chosen and artfully placed, which are no less powerful either to 

ravish or amaze than music itself ; wherefore as much has been ascribed 

by the best orators to this part of rhetoric as to any other.' He must 

have a very bad ear who is not uncommonly moved with the very cadence 

of a well-turned sentence ; and Mohammed seems not to have been 

ignorant of the enthusiastic operation of rhetoric on the minds of men ; 

for which reason he has not only employed his utmost skill in these his 

pretended revelations, to preserve that dignity and sublimity of style, 

which might seem not unworthy of the majesty of that Being, whom 

he gave out to be the author of them ; and to imitate the prophetic 

manner of the Old Testament; but he has not neglected even the 

other arts of oratory ; wherein he succeeded so well, and so strangely 

captivated the minds of his audience, that several of his opponents 

thought it the effect of witchcraft and enchantment, as he sometimes 


" The general design of the Koran " (to use the words of a very 
learned person) " seems to be this. To unite the professors of the 

5 D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient, p. 512, &c. 6 Poc. Spec. p. 80. 7 See before, p. 22. 1 See 
Casaubon, of Enthusiasm, c. 4. 2 Kor. c. 15, 21, &c. 


three different religions then followed in the populous country of Arabia, 
who for the most part lived promiscuously, and wandered without 
guides, the far greater number being idolaters, and the rest Jews and 
Christians, mosdy of erroneous and heterodox belief, in the knowledge 
and worship of one eternal, invisible GOD, by whose power all things were 
made, and those which are not, may be, the supreme Governor, Judge, 
and absolute Lord of the creation ; established under the sanction of 
certain laws, and the outward signs of certain ceremonies, partly of 
ancient and partly of novel institution, and enforced by setting before 
them rewards and punishments, both temporal and eternal; and to 
bring them all to the obedience of Mohammed, as the prophet and 
ambassador of GoD, who after the repeated admonitions, promises^ 
and threats of former ages, was at last to -establish and propagate 
God's religion on earth by force of arms, and to be acknowledged 
chief pontiff in spiritual matters, as well as supreme prince in tem- 

The great doctrine then of the Koran is the unity of God ; to restore 
v/hich point Mohammed pretended was the chief end of his mission ; 
it being laid down by him as a fundamental truth, that there never was 
nor ever can be more than one true orthodox religion. For though the 
particular laws or ceremonies are only temporary, and subject to 
alteration according to the divine direction, yet the substance of it 
being eternal truth, is not liable to change, but continues immutably 
the same. And he taught that v/henever this religion became neglected, 
or corrupted in essentials, GOD had the goodness to re-inform and 
re-admonish mankind thereof, by several prophets, of whom Moses 
and Jesus were the most distmguished, till the appearance of Mo- 
hammed, who is their seal, no other being to be expected after him. 
And the more effectually to engage people to hearken to him, great 
part of the Koran is employed in relating examples of dreadful punish- 
ments formerly inflicted by God on those who rejected and abused his 
messengers ; several of which stories or some circumstances of them 
are taken from the Old and New Testament, but many more from the 
apocryphal books and traditions of the Jews and Christians of those 
ages, set up in the Koran as truths in opposition to the scriptures, 
which the Jews and Christians are charged with having altered; and I 
am apt to believe that few or none of the relations or circumstances in 
the Koran were invented by Mohammed, as is generally supposed, it 
being easy to trace the greatest part of them much higher, as the rest 
might be, were more of those books extant, and it was worth while to 
make the inquiry'. 

The o*Jier part of the Koran is taken up in giving necessary laws and 
directions, in frequent admonitions to moral and divine virtues, and 
above all to the worshipping and reverencing of the only true GoD, 
and resignation to his will ; among which are many excellent things 
intermixed not unworthy even a Christian's perusal. 

But besides these, there are a great number of passages which are 
occasional, and relate to particular emergencies. For whenever any- 
thing happened which perplexed and gravelled Mohammed, and 

1 GciJus. in appen. ad Gram. Erp. p. 176. 


which he could not otherwise get over, he had constant recourse to a 
new revelation, as an infallible expedient in all nice cases ; and he found 
the success of this method answer his expectation. It was certainly an 
admirable and politic contrivance of his to bring down the whole 
Koran at once to the lowest heaven only, and not to the earth, as a 
bungling prophet would probably have done ; for if the whole had been 
published at once, innumerable objections might have been made, 
which it would nave been very hard, if not impossible, for him to solve ; 
6ut as he pretended to have received it by parcels, as GOD saw proper 
that they should be published for the conversion and instiiiction of the 
people, he had a sure way to answer all emergencies, and to extricate 
himself with honour from any dihieulty which might occur. If any 
objection be hence made to that eternity of the Koran, which the Mo- 
hammedans are taught to believe, they easily answer it by their doctrine 
of absolute predestination ; according to which all the accidents for 
the i>ake of which these occasional passages were revealed, were pre- 
detei mined by GOD from all eternity. 

Thit Mohamm.ed was really the author and chief contriver of the 
Korai» is beyond dispute; though it be highly probable that he had no 
small assistance in his design from others, as his countrjnrtien failed 
not to object to him;' however, they differed so much in their conjec- 
tures as to the particular persons who gave him such assistance,' that 
they were not able, it seems, to piove the charge ; Mohammed, it is to 
be presumed, having taken his measures too well to be discovered. 
Dr. Prideaux ^ has given the most probable account of this matter, 
though chiefly from Christian writers, who generally mix such ridiculous 
fables with what they deliver, that they deserve not much credit. 

However it be, the Mohammedans absolutely deny the Koran was 
composed by their prophet himself, or any other for him; it being 
their general and orthodox belief that it is of divine original, nay, that 
it is eternal and uncreated, remaining, as some express it, in the very 
essence of God ; that the first transcript has been from everlasting 
by God's throne, written on a table of vast bigness, called the 
preserved table, in which are also recorded the divine decrees past and 
future : that a copy from this table, in one volume on paper, was by 
the ministry of the angel Gabriel sent down to the lowest heaven, in the 
month of Ramadan, on the night of power;* from whence Gabriel 
revealed it to Mohammed by parctils, some at Mecca, and some at 
Medina, at different times, during the space of twenty-three years, as 
the exigency of affairs required ; giving him, however, the consolation to 
show him the whole (which they tell us was bound in silk, and adorned 
with gold and precious stones of par.idise) once a year ; but in the last 
year of his life he had the favour to see it twice. They say that few 
chapters were delivered entire, the most part being revealed piecemeal, 
and written down from time to time by the prophet's amanuenses in 
such or such a part of such or such a chapter till they were completed, 
according to the directions of the angeL' The first parcel that was 

1 Vide Kor. c. 16. and c. 25.- 2 See the notes on those paiSitges. 3 Life of Mahomet, 

p. 31, &c * Vide Kor. c. gy, and note ibid. i llaerefore it is a mistake of Dr. Prideayjs 

»o say it was brought him chapter by chapt^. Life of Mahomet, p. 6. The Jews also say 
the Law was given to Moses by parcels. ^ \Ac Millium. de Mohammedi.smo ant^ Moham 
p. ^6s 


revealed, is generally agreed to have been the first five verses of the 
ninety-sixth chapter.* 

After the new revealed passages had been from the prophet's mouth 
taken down in writing by his scribe, they were published to his fol- 
lowers, several of whom took copies for their private use, but the far 
greater number got them by heart. The originals when returned were 
put promiscuously into a chest, observing no order of time, for which 
reason it is uncertain when many passages were revealed. 

When Mohammed died, he left his revelations in the same disorder 
I have mentioned, and not digested into the method, such as it is, 
which we now find them in. This was the work of his successor, Abu 
Beer, who considering that a great number of passages were committed 
to the memory of Mohamm.ed's followers, many of whom v/ere slain in 
their wars, ordered the whole to be collected, not only from the palm- 
leaves and skins on which they had been written, and which were kept 
between two boards or covers, but also from the mouths of such as had 
gotten them by heart. And this transcript when completed he com- 
mitted to the custody of Hafsa the daughter of Omar, one of the 
prophet's widows.* 

From this relation it is generally imagined that Abu Beer was really 
the compiler of the Koran ; though for aught appears to the contrary, 
Mohammed left the chapters complete as we now have them, excepting 
such passages as his successor might add or correct from those who 
had gotten them by heart ; what Abu Beer did else being perhaps no 
more than to range the chapters in their present order, which he seems 
to have done without any regard to time, having generally placed the 
longest first. 

However, in the thirtieth year of the Hejra, Othman being then 
Khalif, and obser\dng the great disagreement in the copies of the 
Koran in the several provinces of the empire — those of Irak, for ex- 
ample, following the reading of Abu Musa al Ashari, and the Syrians 
that of Macdad Ebn Aswad — he, by advice of the companions, ordered 
a great number of copies to be transcribed from that of Abu Beer, in 
Hafsa's care, under the inspection of Zeid Ebn Thabet, Abd'allah 
Ebn Zobair, Said Ebn al As, and Abd'alrahman Ebn al Hareth, the 
Makhzumite ; whom he directed that wherever they disagreed about 
any word, they should write it in the dialect of the Koreish, in which 
it was at first delivered.' These copies when made were dispersed 
in the several provinces of the empire, and the old ones burnt and 
suppressed. Though many things in Hafsa's copy were corrected bv 
Vhe above-mentioned supervisors, yet some few various readings stib 
occur ; the most material of which will be taken notice of in their 
proper places. 

The want of vowels' in the Arabic character made Mokris, or readers 
whose peculiar study and profession it v/as to read the Koran with its 
proper vowels, absolutely necessary. But these differing in thei: 

2 Not the whole chapter, as Golius says. Append, ad Gr. Erp. p. i8o. 3 Elmacin. in Vita 
Abu Beer. Abulfeda. ?Abulfeda, iaVitis Abubecr and Othman. 2 The characters or 

marks of the Arabic vowels were not used til! several years after Mohammed. Some ascribe tiie 
invention of them to Yahya Ebn Yamer, some to Nasr Ebn Asam, surnamed al Leithi, and 
others to Abu'laswad al Dili - all three of whom were doctors of Ba-sra, and iminediatdy suc- 
ceeded the companions. See D'llcrbel. Bibl. Orient p. S;. 


manner of reading, occasioned still further variations in the copies ol 
the Koran, as they are now written with the vowels ; and herein consist 
much the greater part of the various readings throughout the book. 
The readers whose authority the commentators chiefly allege, in ad- 
mitting these various readings, are seven in number. 

There being some passages in the Koran which are contradictory, 
the Mohamm^edan doctors obviate any objection from thence by the 
doctrine of abrogation ; for they say, that GOD in the Koran com- 
manded several things which were for good reasons afterwards revoked 
and abrogated. 

Passages abrogated are distinguished into three kinds : the first 
where the letter and the sense are both abrogated ; the second, where 
the letter only is abrogated, but the sense remains ; and the third, 
where the sense is abrogated, though the letter remains. 

Of the first kind v/ere several verses, which, by the tradition of Malec 
Ebn Ans, were in the prophet's lifetime read in the chapter of Re- 
pentance, but are not now extant, one of which, being all he remem- 
bered of them, was the following: " If a son of Adam had two rivers of 
gold, he would covet yet a third ; and if he had three, he would covet 
yet a fourth (to be added) unto them ; neither shall the belly of a son 
of Adam be filled, but with dust. GOD will turn unto him who shall 
repent." Another instance of this kind v/e have from the tradition of 
Abd'allah Ebn Masud, who reported that the prophet gave him a verse 
to read which he wrote down ; but the next morning looking in his 
book, he found it was vanished, and the leaf blank : this he acquainted'. 
Mohammed v/ith, who assured him the verse was revoked the same 

Of the second kind is a verse called the verse of stoning, which, 
according to the tradition of Omar, afterwards Klialif, was extant while 
Mohammed was living, though it be not now to be found. The words 
are these: "Abhor not your parents, for this would be ingratitude in 
you. If a man and woman of reputation commit adultery, ye shall 
stone them both ; it is a punishment ordained by God j for GOD is 
mighty and wise." 

Of the last kind are observed several verses in sixty-three different 
chapters, to the number of 225. Such as the precepts of turning in 
prayer to Jerusalem ; fasting after the old custom ; forbearance towards 
idolaters ; avoiding the ignorant, and the like.' The passages of this 
sort have been carefully collected by several writers, and are most of 
them remarked in their proper places. 

Though it is the belief of the Sonnites or orthodox that the Koran is 
uncreated and eternal, subsisting in the very essence of GOD, and Mo- 
hammed himself is said to have pronounced him an infidel who asserted 
the contrary," yet several have been of a different opinion ; particularly 
the sect of the Mdtazalites,^ and the followers of Isa Ebn Sobeih Ab\i 
Musa, surnamed al Mozdar, who stuck not to accuse those who held 
the Koran to be uncreated of infidelity, as asserters of two eternal 

This point was controverted with so much heat that it occasioned 

1 Aou Hashem Hebarallah, apud Marracc. de A)c. p. <ja. • Apurt Poc. Sj«e. aao 

3 See after, in Sect Vlil. < Vi»le Pot. Spec. p. ai<j. &c. 


many calamities under some of the Khalifs of the family of Abbas, al 
Mamun' making a public edict declaring the Fvoran to be created, 
which was confirmed by his successors Al Motasem* and Al Wathek,' 
who whipped, imprisoned, and put to death those of the contrary 
opinion. But at length Al Motawakkel,' who succeeded Al Wathek, 
put an end to these persecutions, by revoking the former edicts, releas- 
ing those that were imprisoned on that account, and leaving every man 
at liberty as to his belief in this point.' 

Al Ghazali seems to have tolerably reconciled both opinions, saying, 
that the Koran is read and pronounced with the tongue, written in 
books, and kept in memory ; and is yet eternal, subsisting in God's 
essence, and not possible to be separated thence by any transmission 
into men's memories or the leaves of books ;^ by which he seems to 
mean no more than that the original idea of the Koran only is really in 
God, and consequently co-essential and co-eternal with him, but that 
the copies are created and the work of man. 

The opinion of Al Jahedh, chief of a sect bearing his name, touching 
the Koran, is too remarkable to be omitted : he used to say it was a 
body, which might sometimes be turned into a man,"* and sometimes 
into a beast ;5 which seems to agree with the notion of those who 
assert the Koran to have two faces, one of a man, the other of a beast ;* 
thereby, as I conceive, intimating the double interpretation it will admit 
of, according to the letter or the spirit 

As some have held the Koran to be created, so there have not been 
wanting those who have asserted that there is nothing miraculous in 
that book in respect to style or composition, excepting only the pro- 
phetical relations of things past, and predictions of things to come ; 
and that had God left men to their natural liberty, and not restrained 
them in that particular, the Arabians could have composed something 
not only equal, but superior to the Koran in eloquence, method, and 
purity of language. This was another opinion of the Motazalites, and 
in particular of al Mozdar, above mentioned, and al Nodham.' 

The Koran being the Mohammedans' rule of faith and practice, it is 
no wonder its expositors and commentators are so very numerous. 
And it may not be amiss to take notice of the rules they observe in ex- 
pounding it. 

One of the most learned commentators* distinguishes the contents 
of the Koran into allegorical and literal. The former comprehends 
the more obscure, parabolical, and enigmatical passages, and such as 

5 Anno Hej. 218. Abulfarag, p. 245, v. etiam Elmacin. in Vita al Mamun. ^ Jn the time of 
al Mdtasem, a doctor named Abu Harun Ebn al Baca found out a distinction to screen himself, 
by affirming that the Koran was ordained, because it is said in that book, " And I have ordained 
thee the Koran. " He went still farther to allow that what was ordained was created, and j'et 
he denied it thence followed that the Koran was created. Abulfarag, p. 253. 7 Ibid. p. 257. 
i Anno Hej. 242. 2 Abulfarag, p. 262. 3 Al Ghazali, in prof. fid. 4 The Khalif al 

Walid Ebn Yazid, who was the eleventh of the race of Ommeya, and is looked on by the 
Mohammedans as a reprobate, and one of no religion, seems to have treated this book as a 
rational creature ; for, dipping into it one day, the first words he met with were these : " Ever^' 
rebellious perverse person shall not prosper." Whereupon he stuck it on a lance, and shot it 
to pieces with arrows, repeating these verses : " Dost thou rebuke every rebellious perverse 
person ? Behold, I am that rebellious, perverse person. When thou appearest before thy Lord 
on the day of resurrection, say, O Lokd, al Walid has torn me thus." Ebn Shohnah. v. Poc 
Spec p. 223. * Poc. Spec p. 222. 6 Herbelot, p. 87. 7 Abulfeda, Shahrestani, &c. apud 
Pnr. Spec p. aa«, et Marracc oe Kot « ^a. 1 Al ICamakhshari. Vid? Kor. c -i- 


are repealed or abrogated ; the latter those which are plain, perspicuous, 
liable to no doubt, and in full force. 

To explain these severally in a right manner, it is necessary from 
tradition and study to know the time when each passage was revealed, 
Its circumstances, state, and history, and the reasons or particular 
emergencies for the sake of which it was revealed.' Or, more explicitly, 
whether the passage was revealed at Mecca, or at Medina; whether it 
be abrogated, or does itself abrogate any other passage ; whether it be 
anticipated in order of time, or postponed ; whether it be distinct from 
the context, or depends thereon ; whether it be particular or general ; 
and, lastly, whether it be implicit by intention, or explicit in words.* 

By what has been said the reader may easily believe this book is in 
the greatest reverence and esteem among the Mohammedans. They 
dare not so much as touch it without being first washed or legally 
purified ;* which, lest they should do by inadvertence, they write these 
words on the cover or label, " Let none touch it but they who are 
clean." They read it with great care and respect, never holding it 
below their girdles. They swear by it, consult it in their weighty 
occasions,^ carry it with them to war, write sentences of it on their 
banners, adorn it with gold and precious stones, and knowingly suffer 
it not to be in the possession of any of a different persuasion. 

The Mohammedans, far from thinking the Koran to be profaned by 
a translation, as some authors have written,* have taken care to have 
their scriptures translated not only into the Persian tongue, but into 
several others, particularly the Javan and Malayan,' though out of 
respect to the original Arabic, these versions are generally (if not 
always) interlineary. 



IT has been already observed more than once, that the fundamental 
position on which Mohammed erected the superstructure of his 
religion was, that from the beginning to the end of the world there has 
been, and for ever will be, but one true orthodox beiief ; consisting, as 
to matter of faith, in the acknowledging of the only true GOD, and the 
believing in and obeying such messengers or prophets as he should 
from time to time send, with proper credentials, to reveal his will to 

- Ahmed Ebn Moh. al Thalebi, in Princip. Expos. Ale. ^ Yahya Ebn al Salam al Basri, in 
Princep. Expos. Ale. ^ The Jews have the same verv?ration for their law ; not daring to touch 
it with unwashed hands, nor then neither without a cover. Vide Millium, de Mohammedismo 
ante Moh. p. 366. 5 This they do by dip'jjing into it, anu taking an omen from the words 

which they first light on : which practice they also learned of the Jews, who do the same with 
the scriptures. Vide Millium, ubi sup. ^ Sionita, de Urb. Orient, p. 41. <"t Marnacc d« 

Ale. p. 33. ^ Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. -sda- 


mankind ; and as to matter of practice, in the observance of the 
immutable and eternal laws of right and wrong, together with such 
other precepts and ceremonies as GOD should think fit to order for the 
time being, according to the different dispensations in different ages of 
the world : for these last he allowed were things indifferent in their 
own nature, and became obligator^/ by GOD'S positive precept only ; 
and were therefore temporary, and subject to alteration according to 
his will and pleasure. And to this religion he gives the name of 
Islam, which word signifies resignation, or submission to the service 
and commands of GoD;' and is used as the proper name of the 
Mohammedan religion, which they will also have to be the same at 
bottom with that of all the prophets from Adam.. 

Under pretext that this eternal religion was in his time corrupted, 
and professed in its purity by no one sect of men, Mohammed pre- 
tended to be a prophet sent by GoD to reform those abuses which had 
crept into it, and to reduce it to its primitive sim.plicity ; with the addi- 
tion, however, of peculiar laws and ceremonies, some of which had 
been used in former times, and others were now first instituted. And 
he comprehended the whole substance of his doctrine under these two 
propositions, or articles of faith ; viz., that there is but one GOD, and 
that himself was the apostle of GOD ; in consequence of which latter 
article, all such ordinances and institutions as he thought fit to establish 
must be received as obligatory and of divine authority. 

The Mohammedans divide their religion, which, as I just now said, 
they call Islam, into two distinct parts : Iman, z>., faith, or theory, and 
Din, i.e., religion, or practice ; and teach that it is tsuilt on five funda- 
mental points, one belongmg to faith, and the other four to practi-re. 

The first is that confession of faith which I have already mentioned ; 
that " there is no god but the true GOD ; and that Mohammed is his 
apostle." Under which they comprehend six distinct branches ; viz., 
I. Belief in God ; 2. In his angels ; 3. In his scriptures ; 4. In his 
prophets ; 5. In the resurrection and day of judgment ; and, 6. In 
God's absolute decree and predetermination both of prood and evil. 

The four points relating to practice are : i. Prayer, under which are 
comprehended those washings or purifications which are necessary 
preparations required before prayer ; 2. Alms ; 3. Fasting ; and, 4. 
The pilgrimage to Mecca. Of each of these I shall speak in their order. 

That both Mohammed and those among his followers who are 
reckoned orthodox, had and continue to have just and true notions of 
God and his attributes (always excepting their obstinate and impious 
rejecting of the Trinity), appears so plain from the Koran itself and all 
the Mohammedan divines, that it would be loss of time to refute those 
who suppose the God of Mohammed to be difterent from the true GoD, 
and only a fictitious deity or idol of his own creation.' Nor shall I 
here enter into any of the Mohammedan controversies concerning the 
divine nature and attributes, because I shall have a more proper 
opportunity of doing it elsewhere.' 

I The root Salama, from whence Islam is formed, in the first and fourth conjugations, 
signifies also to be saved, or to enter into a state of salvation ; according to which, Islam may 
be translated the religion or state of salvation : but the other sense is more apnrr>v«d hy tb» 
^Ioha^)medans, and alluded to in the Koran itself. See •■- 2 and c % 

' Marracc. in Ale D. loa. ^ Sect V'lil 


The existence of angels and their purity are absolutely required to 
be believed in the Koran ; and he is reckoned an infidel who denies 
there are such beings, or hates any of them/ or asserts any distinction. 
of sexes among them. They believe them to have pure and subtle 
bodies, created of fire ;' that they neither eat nor drink, nor propagate 
their species ; that they have various forms and offices ; some adoring 
God in different postures, others singing praises to him, or interceding 
for mankind. They hold that some of them are employed in writing 
down the actions of men ; others in carrying the throne of GOD and 
other services. 

The four angels whom they look on as more eminently in God's 
favour, and often mention on account of the offices assigned them, are 
Gabriel, to whom they give several titles, particularly those of the holy 
spirit,^ and the angel of revelations,' supposing him to be honoured by 
God with a greater confidence than any other, and to be employed in 
v/iiting down the divine decrees ;' Michael, the friend and protector ol 
the Jews ;♦ Azrael, the angel of death, who separates men's souls from 
their bodies \^ and Israfil, whose office it will be to sound the trumpet at 
the resurrection.^ The Mohammedans also believe that two guardian 
angels attend on every man, to obsen'e and write down his actions,' 
being changed every day, and therefore called al Moakkibat, or the 
angels who continually succeed one another. 

This whole doctrine concerning angels Mohammed and his disciples 
have borrowed from the Jews, who learned the names and offices of 
those beings from the Persians, as themselves confess.* The ancient 
Persians firmly believed the ministry of angels, and their superinten- 
dence over the affairs of this world (as the Magians still do), and there™ 
fore assigned them distinct charges and provinces, giving their names 
to their months and the days of their months. Gabriel they called 
Sorush and Revan bakhsh, or the giver of souls, in opposition to the 
contrary office of the angel of death, to whom among other names they 
gave tha' of Mordad, or the giver of death; Michael they called 
Beshter, who according to them provides sustenance for mankind.' 
The Jews teach that the angels were created of fire ;'° that they have 
several offices ;" that they intercede for men," and attend them.'* The 
angel of death they name Duma, and say he calls dying persons by 
their respective names at their last hour.*^ 

The devil, whom Mohammed names Eblis from his despair, was once 
one of those angels who are nearest to God's presence, called Azazil,'* 
and fell, according to the doctrine of the Koran, for refusing to pay 
homage to Adam at the command of God.'" 

Besides angels and devils, the Mohammedans are taught by the 

* Kor. c 2, p. 13. 5 Ibid, c 7 and 38. l Ibid. c. 2, p. 12. 2 3ee the notes, Ibid, p. 13, 
3 Vide Hyde. Hist. Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 262. * Vide Ibid. p. 271, and not. in Kor. p. 13.. 

6 Vide not._ ibid. p. 4. 6 Kor. c. 6, 13, and 86. The offices of these four angels are described} 
almost in the same manner in the apocr>'phal gospel of Barnabas, where it is said that Gabrie.'j 
reveals the secrets of God, Michael combats against his enemies, Raphael receives the souls oi^ 
those who die, and Uriel is to call every one to judgment on the last day. See the Menagiana, 
torn. iv. p. 333. 7 Kor. c. 10. 8 Talmud Hieros. in Rosh hashan. » Vide Hyde, ub;^ 

sup. c. 19 and 20. 10 Gemar. in Hagig. and Bereshit rabbah, &c. Vii le Psalm civ. 4. 

11 Yalkut hadash. 12 Gemar. in Shebet, and Bava Bathra, &c. 13 Midrash, Yalkuti 

Shemuni. l* Gemar. Berachorh. 16 vide Reiand. de Rel. Moh. p. iSq. &c. l* Kor 
b e. Set- also c. 7. 38. &c 


Koran to believe an intermediate order of creatures, which they call 
Jin or Genii, created also of fire/^ but of a josser fabric than angels ; 
since they eat and drink, and propagate their species, and are subject 
to death.' Some of these are supposed to be good, and others bad, and 
capable of future salvation or damnation, as men are ; whence Mo- 
hammed pretended to be sent for the conversion of genii as well as 
men.' The orientals pretend that these genii inhabited the world for 
many ages before Adam was created, under the government of several 
successive princes, who all bore the common name of Solomon ; but 
falling at length into an almost general corruption, Eblis was sent to 
drive them into a remote part of the earth, there to be confined : that 
some of that generation still remaining, were by Tahmurath, one of the 
ancient kings of Persia, who waged war against them, forced to retreat 
into the famous mountains of Kaf. Of which successions and wars they 
have many fabulous and romantic stories. They also make different 
ranks and degrees among these beings (if they be not rather supposed 
to be of a different species), some being called absolutely Jin, some Peri 
or fairies, some Div or giants, others Tacwins or fates.^ 

The Mohammedan notions concerning these genii agree almost 
exactly with what the Jews write of a sort of demons, called Shedim, 
whom some fancy to have been begotten by two angels named Aza and 
Azael, on Naamah the daughter of Lamech, before the Flood.* How- 
ever, the Shedim, they tell us, agree in three things with the minister- 
ing angels ; for that, like them, they have wings, and fly from one end 
of the world to the other, and have some knowledge of futurity ; and in 
Ihree things they agree with men, like whom they eat and drink, are 
propagated, and die.° They also say that somiC of them believe in the 
law of Moses, and are consequently good, and that others of them are 
infidels and reprobates.* 

As to the scriptures, the Mohammedans are taught by the Koran 
that God, in divers ages of the world, gave revelations of his will in 
writing to several prophets, the whole and every word of which it is 
absolutely necessary for a good Moslem tc ^elieve. The number of 
these sacred books were, according to them, 104. Of which ten were 
given to Adam, fifty to Seth, thirty to Edris or Enoch, ten to Abraham ; 
and the other four, being the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Gospel, and 
the Koran, were successively delivered to Moses, David, Jesus, and 
Mohammed ; which last being the seal of the prophets, those revela- 
tions are now closed, and no more are to be expected. All these divine 
books, except the four last, they agree to be now entirely lost, and their 
contents unknown ; though the Sabians have several books which they 
attribute to some of the antediluvian prophets. And of those four the 
Pentateuch, Psalms, and Gospel, they say, have undergone so many 
alterations and corruptions, that though there may possibly be some 
part of the true word of GOD therein, yet no credit is to be given to the 
present copies in the hands of the Jews and Christians. The Jews in 
particular are frequently reflected on in the Koran for falsifying and 
corrupting their copies of their law ; and some instances of such pre- 

W Kor. c. 55. See the notes there. l Jallalo'ddin, in Kor. c. 2 and 18. ' Vide Ko« 

c. 55, 72, and 74. 3 See D' Herbelot, Bibl. Orient, p. 36Q, S20, &c <■ Iq libro Zoh.;- 

* G«!npra, in Ha^iga. * Igrat Raalc havvinB r- -^ 


lended corruptions, both in that book and tne two others, are produced 
by Mohammedan writers, wherein they merely follow their own pre 
judices, and the fabulous accounts of spurious legends. Whether the. 
have any copy of the Pentateuch among them, different from that of th 
Jews or not, I am not entirely satisfied, since a person who travelled 
into the east was told that they had the books of Moses, though ver^i 
much corrupted ;' but I know nobody that has ever seen them. How- 
ever, they certainly have and privately read a book v.'hich they call the 
Psalms of David, in Arabic and Persian, to which are added some 
prayers of Moses, Jonas, and others.' This Mr. Reland supposes to 
be a translation from our copies (though no doubt falsified in more 
places than one); but-M, D'Herbelot says it contains not the same 
Psalms which are in our Psalter, being no more than an extract from 
thence mixed with other very different pieces. ^ The easiest way to 
reconcile these two learned gentlem.en, is to presume that they speak 
of different copies. The Mohammedans have also a C^ospel in Arabic, 
•attributed to St. Barnabas, wherein the history of Jesus Christ is related 
in a manner very different from what we find in the true Gospels, and 
correspondent to those traditions which Mohammed has followed in 
his Koran. Of this Gospel the Moriscoes in Africa have a translation 
in Spanish '* and there is in the library of Prince Eugene of Savoy> a 
manuscript of some antiquity, containing an Italian translation of the 
same Gospel,^ made, it is to be supposed, for the use of renegades, 
This book appears to be no original forgery of the Mohammedans, 
though they have no doubt interpolated and altered it since, the better 
to serve their purpose ; and in particular, instead of the Paraclete or 
Comforter,* they have in this apocryphal gospel in'^erted the word 
Periclyte, that is, \h^ famous or illustrious ^y,'j which they pretend their 
prophet was foretold by name, that being the signification of Mohammed 
in Arabic :' and this they say to justify that passage of the Koran,' 
where Jesus Christ is formally asserted to have foretold his coming, 
under his other name of Ahmed ; which is derived from the same roo\ 
as Mohammed, and of the same import From these or some other 
forgeries of the same stamp it is that the Mohammedans quote several 
passages, of which there are not the least footsteps in the New Testa- 
ment. But after all we must not hence infer that the Mohammedans, 
much less all of them, hold these copies of theirs to be the ancient and 
genuine scriptures themselves. If any argue, from the corruption which 
they insist has happened to the Pentateuch and Gospel, that the Koran 
may possibly be corrupted also ; they answer, that GOD has promised 
that he will take care of the latter, and preserve it from any addition 
or diminution ;3 but that he left the two other to the care of men. 
However, they confess there are some various readings in the Koran,' 
as has been observed. 

Besides the books above mentioned, the Mohammedans also take 
notice of the writings of Daniel and several other prophets, and even 

1 Terry's Voyage to the East Indies, p. 277. 2 De Rel. Moham. p. 23. ' A copy of thu 
kind, he tells us, is in the library of the Duke of Tuscany, Bibl. Orient, p. 924. ^ Reland, 
ubi sup. ^ Menagian, torn. iv. p. 321, &c. ^ John xiv. 16, 26. yv. 26. and xvi. 7, compared 
Evith Luke xxiv. 49. l See Toland's Nazarenus, the tirst eight chapters. * Cap. 6i 

* KcMT. c.\^ * 'Re'r.nd, ubi sup. p. pa, tn. 


make quotations thence ; but these they do not believe to be divine 
scripture, or of any authority in matters of rehgion.' 

The number of the prophets, which have been jrom time to time 
sent by GOD into the world, amounts to no less than 224,000, according 
to one Mohammedan tradition, or to 124,000, according to another; 
among whom 313 were apostles, sent with special commissions to re- 
claim mankind from infidelity and superstition ; and six of them 
brought new laws or dispensations, which successively abrogated the 
preceding : these were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mo- 
hammed. All the prophets in general the Mohammedans believe to 
have been free from great sins and errors of consequence, and pro- 
fessors of one and the same religion, that is Islam, notwithstanding the 
different laws and institutions which they observed. They allow of 
degrees among them, and hold some of them to be more excellent and 
honourable than others.^ The first place they give to the revealers and 
establishers of new dispensations, and the next to the apostles. 

In this great number of prophets, they not only reckon divers patri- 
archs and persons named in scripture, but not recorded to have been 
prophets (wherein the Jewish and Christian writers have sometimes 
led the way'), as Adam, Seth, Lot, Ismael, Nun, Joshua, &c., and in- 
troduce some of them under different names, as Enoch, Heber, and 
Jethro, who are called in the Koran, Edris, Hud, and Shoaib ; but 
several others whose very names do not appear in scripture (though 
they endeavour to find some persons there to fix them on), as Saleh, 
Khedr, Dhu'lkefl, &c. Several of their fabulous traditions concerning 
those prophets we shall occasionally mention in the notes on the Koran. 

As Mohammed acknowledged the divine authority of the Pentateuch, 
Psalms, and Gospel, he often appeals to the consonancy of the Koran 
with those writings, and to the prophecies which he pretended were 
therein concerning himself, as proofs of his mission ; and he frequently 
charges the Jews and Christians with stifling the pass^-ges wh'.ch bear 
witness to him.' His followers also fail not to produce several texts 
even from our present copies of the Old and New Testament, to support 
their master's cause.' 

The next article of faith required by the Koran is the belief of a 
general resurrection and a future judgment. But before we consider 
the Mohammedan tenets in those points, it will be proper to mention 
what they are taught to believe concerning the intermediate state, both 
of the body and of the soul, after death. 

When a corpse is laid in the grave, they say he is received by an angel, 
who gives him notice of the coming of the two examiners ; who are 
iwo black livid angels, of a terrible appearance, named Monker and 
Nakir. These order the dead person to sit upright, and examine him 
concerning his faith, as to the unity of GOD, and the mission of 
Mohammed : if he answer rightly, they suffer the body to rest in peace, 
and it is refreshed by the air of paradise ; but if not, they beat him or. 
the temples with iron maces, till he roars out for anguish so loud, that 

* Idem, ibid. p. 41. « Kor. c z, p. 27, &c 1 Thus Heber is said to have been a prophet 
by the Jews (Seder Olam. p. 2), and Adam by Epiphanius (Adv. Hseres. p. 6). See also 
Joseph. Ant. 1. i, c. 2. 2 Kor. c 2, p. 5, 10, 16 ; c. 3, &c ^ Some of these texts are 

pioduced by Dr. Prideaux at th<* end of bi^ I-ife 0/ Mahomet, and mc»« by Marracci id 
^cor. p. 26. &c 


he is beard by all from east to west, except men and genii. Then they 
press the earth on the corpse, which is gnawed and stung till the resur. 
rection by ninety-nine dragons, with seven heads each ; or as others 
say, their sins will become venomous beasts, the grievous ones stinging 
like dragons, the smaller like scorpions, and the others like serpents : 
circumstances which some understand in a figurative sense/ 

The examination of the sepulchre is not only founded on an express 
tradition of Mohammed, but is also plainly hinted at, though not 
directly taught, in the Koran,' as the commentators agree. It is there- 
fore believed by the orthodox Mohammedans in general, who take 
care to have their graves made hollow, that they may sit up with more 
ease while they are examined by the angels ;' but is utterly rejected by 
the sect of the Mdtazalites, and perhaps by some others. 

These notions Mohammed certainly borrowed from the Jews, among 
\^hom they were ye.rf anciently received.^ They say that the angel of 
death coming and sitting on the grave, the soul imm.ediately enters 
the body and raises it on its feet ; that he then examines the departed 
person, and strikes him with a chain half of iron and half of fire ; at 
the first blow all his limbs are loosened, at the second his bones are 
scattered, which are gathered together again by angels, and the third 
stroke reduces the body to dust and ashes, and it returns into the 
grave. This rack or torture they call Hibhut hakkeber, or the beating 
of the sepulchre, and pretend that all men in general must undergo it, 
except only those who die on the evening of the sabbath, or have 
dwelt in the land of Israel.* 

If it be objected to the Mohammedans that the cry of the persons 
under such examination has been never, heard ; or if they be asked 
how those can undergo it whose bodies are burnt or devoured by beasts 
or birds, or otherwise consumed without burial ; they answer, that it is 
very possible notwithstanding, since men are not able to perceive what 
is transacted on the other slie the grave ; and that it is sufficient to 
restore to life any part of the body which is capable of understanding 
the questions put by the angels. ^ 

As to the soul, they hold that when it is separated from the body by 
the angel of death, who performs his office with ease and gentleness 
towards the good, and with violence towards the wicked,*" it enters into 
that state which they call A I Berzakh,'' or the mterval between death 
and the resurrection. If the departed person was a believer, they say 
two angels meet it, who convey it to heaven, that its place there may 
be assigned, accordmg to its merit and degree. For they distinguish 
the souls of the faithful into three classes : the first of prophets, whose 
souls are admitted into paradise immediately ; the second of martyrs, 
whose spirits, according to a tradition of Mohammed, rest in the crops 
ot green birds which eat of the fruits and drink of the rivers of paradise ; 
and the third of other believers, concerning the state of whose souls 
before the resurrection there are various opinions. For, i. Some say 
they stay near the sepulchres, with liberty, however, of going wherever 
they please ; which they confirm from Mohammed's manner of saluting 

^ Al Ghazali. Vide Poc. not. in Port. Mosis, p. 241, &c. 1 Cap. 8 and ^7, &c. 2 Smith, 
de Morib. et Instit. Turcar. Ep. 2, p. 57. 3 Vide Hyde, in Notisad Bobov. de Visit. /Egrot. p. 19 

 R. Elias, in Tishbi. See also Buxtorf. Synag. Judaic, and Lexic. Talmud. ' Vide Poc. ubi sup 

• Kor. c. 79, The Jews sajf the same, in Nishmat bavim. f. 77. ' Virie Kor. c. ■z-,. aad D'.,t. ib 


them at their j:^raves, and his affinning that the dead heard those salu- 
tations as well as the living, though they could not answer. Whence 
perhaps proceeded the custom of visiting the tombs of relations, so 
common among the Mohammedans.* 2. Others imagine they are with 
Adam, in the lowest heaven ; and also support their opinion by the 
authority of their prophet, who gave out that in his return from the 
upper heavens in his pretended night journey, he saw there the souls 
of those who were destined to paradise on the right hand of Adam, and 
of those who were condemned to hell on his left.= 3. Others fancy the 
souls of believers remain in the well Zemzem, and those of infidels in a 
certain well in the province of Hadramaut, called Borhut ; but this 
opinion is branded as heretical. 4. Others say they stay near the 
graves for seven days ; but that whither they go afterwards is uncertain. 
5. Others that they are all in the trumpet whose sound is to raise the 
dead. And, 6. Others that the souls of the good dwell in the forms of 
white birds, under the throne of GOD.^ As to the condition of the souls 
of the wicked, besides the opinions that have been already mentioned, 
the more orthodox hold that they are offered by the angels to heaven, 
from whence being repulsed as stinking and filthy, they are offered to 
the earth, and being also refused a place there, are carried down to the 
seventh earth, and thrown into a dungeon, which they call Sajin, under 
a green rock, or according to a tradition of Mohammed, under the 
devil's jaw,* to be there t-ormented, till they are called up to be joined 
again to their bodies. 

Though some among the Mohammedans have thought that the 
resurrection will be merely spiritual, and no more than the returning of 
the soul to the place whence it first came (an opinion defended by Ebn 
Sina,5 and called by some the opinion of tke philosophers^) ; and others, 
who allow man to consist of body only, that it will be merely corporeal ; 
the received opinion is, that both body and soul v/ill be raised, and 
their doctors argue strenuously for the possibility of the resurrection 
of the body, and dispute with great subtlety concerning the manner ot 
it' But Mohammed has taken care to preserve one part of the body, 
whatever becomes of the rest, to serve for a basis of the future edifice, 
or rather a leaven for the mass which is to be joined to it. For he 
taught that a man's body was entirely consumed by the earth, except 
only the bone called al Ajb, which we name the os coccygis, or rump- 
bone ; and that as it was the first formed in the human body, it will 
also remain uncorrupted till the last day, as a seed from whence the 
whole is to be renewed : and this he said v/ould be effected by a forty 
days' rain which GOD should send, and which would cover the earth 
to the height ot twelve cubits, and cause the bodies to sprout forth like 
plants.' Herein also is Mohammed beholden to the Jews, who say 
the same things of the bone Luz,' excepting that what he attributes to 
a great rain, will be effected according to them by a dew, impregnating 
the dust of the earth. 

The time of the resurrection the Mohammedans allow to be a perfect 

' Poc. ubi sup. p. 247. Sibid, p. 248. Consonant hereto are the Jewish notions of the 
souls of the just being on high, under the throne of glory. Vide ibid. p. 156. 3 Ibid. p. 250. 
4 Al Beidawi. Vide Poc. ubi sup. p. 251. 5 Or, as we corruptly name him, Avicenna. *> Ken^ 
al arrar. 7 Vide Poc. ubi sup. p. 254. ' Idem, ibid. p. 255. &r-_ SBereshit. rabbah, &c. 
Vide Poc. ubi sup. p. 117, &c. 


secrci to all bat GOD alone: the angel Gabriel himself acknowledging 
his ignorance on this point when Mohammed asked him about it 
However, they say the approach of that day may be known from cer- 
tain signs which are tu precede it These signs they distinguish into 
two sorts — the lesser and the greater — which I shall briefly enumerate 
after Dr. Pocock.^ 

The lesser signs are: i. The decay of faith among men/ 2. The 
advancing of the meanest persons to eminent dignity. 3. That a maid- 
servant shall become the mother of her mistress (or master) ; by which 
is meant either that towards the end of the world men shall be much 
given to sensualitv, or that the Mohammedans shall then take many 
captives. 4. Tumults and seditions. 5. A war with the Turks. 6. Great 
distress in the world, so that a man when he passes by another's grave 
shall say " Would to GOD I were in his place." 7. That the provinces 
of Irak and Syria shall refuse to pay their tribute. And, 8. That the 
buildings of Medina shall reach to Ahab, or Yahab. 

The greater signs are : 

1. The sun's rising in the west : which some have imagined it origin- 
ally did.s 

2. The appearance of the beast, which shall rise out of tlie earth, 
in the temple of Mecca, or on Mount Safa, or in the territory of Tayef, 
or some other place. This beast they say is to be sixty cubits high : 
though others, not satisfied v/ith so small a size, will have her reach to 
the clouds and to heaven when her head only is out ; and that she will 
appear for three days, but shov/ only a third part of her body. They 
describe this monster, as to her form, to be a compound of various 
species, having the head of a bull, the eyes of a hog, the ears of an 
elephant, the horns of a stag, the neck of an ostrich, the breast of a 
lion, the colour of a tiger, the back of a cat, the tail of a ram, the legs 
of a camel, and the voice of an ass. Some say this beast is to appear 
three in several places, and that she will bring with her the rod 
of Moses and the seal of Solomon ; and being so swift that none can 
overtake or escape her, will with the first strike all the believers on the 
face and mark them with the word Mumen, i.e., believer ; and with the 
latter will mark the unbelievers, on the face likewise, with the word 
Cafer, i.e.y infidel, that every person may be known for what he really 
is. They add that the same beast is to demonstrate the vanity of all 
religions except Islam, and to speak Arabic. All this stuff seems to be 
the result of a confused idea of the beast in the Revelations. * 

3. War with the Greeks, and the taking of Constantinople by 70,00c 
of the posterity of Isaac, who shall not win that city by force of arms, 
but the walls shall fall down while they cry out, " There is no god but 
God : God ^s most great ! " As they are dividing the spoil, news will 
come to them of the appearance of Antichrist, whereupon they shall 
If^ave all, and return back. 

4. The coming of Antichrist, whom the Mohammedans call al Masih 
al Dajjal, i.e., the false or lying Christ, and simply al Dajjal. He is to be 
one-eyed, and marked on the forehead with the letters C.F.R., signifying 
Cafer, or infidel. They say that the Jews give him the name of Messiah 

* Ibid. p. 258, ike. * See Luks sviiL 8. * .Va? U/Tiisioa's Theory of ihe Lann, bic it 

9, 98, &c. ^ Chao. rjii 


Ben David, and pretend he is to come in the last days and to be lord 
both of land and sea, and that he will restore the kingdom to thern. 
According to the traditions of Mohammed, he is to appear first between 
Irak and Syria, or according to others, in the province of Khorasan  
they add thai he is to ride on an ass, that he will be followed by 70,00x3 
Jews of Ispahan, and continue on earth forty days, of which one wili 
be equal in length to a year, another to a month, another to a week, and 
the rest will be common days ; that he is to lay waste all places, but 
will not enter Mecca or Medina, which are to be guarded by angels ; 
and that at length he will be slain by Jesus, who is to encounter him at 
the gate of Lud. It it said that Mohammed foretold several Anti- 
christs, to the number of about thirty, but one of greater note than the 

5. The descent of Jesus on earth. They pretend that he is to 
descend near the white tower to the east of Damascus, when the people 
are returned from the taking of Constantinople ; that he is to embrace 
the Mohammedan religion, marry a wife, get children, kill Antichrist, 
and at length die after forty years', or, according to others, twenty-four 
years V continuance on earth. Under him they say there will be great 
security and plenty in the world, all hatred and malice being laid 
aside ; when lions and camels, bears and sheep, shall live in peace, 
and a child shall play v/ith serpents unhurt. ■" 

6. War v.dth the Jews ; of whom the Mohammedans are to make a 
religious slaughter, the very trees and stones discovering such of them 
as hide themselves, except only the tree called Gharkad, which is the 
tree of the Jews. 

7. The eruption of Gog and Magog, or, as they are called in the 
east, Yajuj and Majuj ; of whom many things are related in the Koran,^ 
and the traditions of Mohammed. These barbarians, they tell us, 
having passed the lake of Tiberias, which the vanguard of their vast 
army will drink dry, will come to Jerusalem, and there greatly distress 
Jesus and his companions ; till at his request God will destroy them, 
and hll the earth with their carcasses, which after some time God wiU 
send birds to carry away, at the prayers of Jesus and his followers. 
Their bows, arrows, and quivers the Moslems will burn for seven years 
together ;'* and at last GOD will send a rain to cleanse the earth, and 
to make it fertile, 

8. A smoke, which shall fill the whole earth.,* 

9. An eclipse of the moon. Mohammed is reported to have said 
that there would be three eclipses before the last hour ; one to be seen 
m the east, another in the west, and the third in Arabia. 

10. The returning of the Arabs to the worship of Allat and al Uzza, 
and the rest of their ancient idols ; after the decease of every one in 
wrhose heart there was faith equal to a grain of mustard-seed, none but 
tlie very worst of men being left ahve. For GoD, they say, will send a 
cold odoriferous wind, blowing from Syria Damascena, which shall 
sweep away the souls of all the faithful, and the Koran itself, so that 
men will remain in the grossest ignorance for a hundred years. 

i Al Thalabi, in Kor. c. ^ 2 See Isaiah xi. 6, &a ' Cap. 18 and 21. * Sec Ezek 

rxxuc 9 ; Rev. xx. 8. ^ See Kor. a 44. and the notes thereoii. Compare also Jod iu ^ 

and Rev ix ». 


11. The discovery of a vast heap of gold and silver by the retreating 

of the Euphrates, which will be the destruction of many. 

12. The demolition of the Caaba, or temple of Mecca, by the Ethio- 

1 3. The speaking of beasts and inanimate things. 

14. The breaking out of fire in the province of Hejaz ; or, according 
to others, in Yaman. 

15. The appearance of a man of the descendants of Kahtan, who 
shall drive men before him v/ith his staff. 

16. The coming of the Mohdi, or director ; concerning whom 
Mohammed prophesied that the world should not have an end till one 
of his own family should govern the Arabians, whose nam.e should be 
the same with his own name, and whose fathei-'s name should also be 
the same with his father's name ; and who should fill the earth with 
righteousness. This person the Shiites believe to be now alive, and 
concealed in some secret place, till the time of his manifestation ; for 
they suppose him to be no other than the last of the twelve Imams, 
named Mohammed Abu'lkasem, as their prophet was, and the son of 
Hassan al Askeri, the eleventh of that succession. He was born at 
Sermanrai in the 255th year of the Hejra,' From this tradition, it i? 
to be presumed, an opinion pretty current among the Christians took 
its rise, that the Mohammedans are in expectation of their prophet's 

17. A wind which shall sv/eep away the souls of all who have but a 
grain of faith in their hearts, as has been mentioned under the tenth 

These are the greater signs, which, according tc their doctrine, are 
to precede the resurrection, but still leave the hour of it uncertain : for 
the immediate sign of its being come will be the first blast of the 
trumpet ; which they believe will be sounded three times. The first 
they call the blast of consterftatton; at the hearing of which all crea- 
tures in heaven and earth shall be struck with terror, except those 
whom God shall please to exempt from it. The effects attributed to 
this first sound of the trumpet are very wonderful : for they say the 
earth will be shaken, and not only all buildings, but the very mountains 
levelled ; that the heavens shall melt, the sun be darkened, the stars 
fh.ll, on the death of the angels, who, as some imagine, hold thera 
suspended between heaven and earth, and the sea shall be troubled and 
dried up, or, according to others, turned into flames, the sun, moon, 
and stars being thrown into it : the Koran, to express the greatness of 
the tarror of that day, adds that women who give suck shall abandon 
die care of their infants, and even the she-camels which have gone ten 
months with young (a most valuable part ot the substance of that 
nation) shall be utterly neglected. A farther effect of this blast will be 
that concourse of beasts mentioned in the Koran,* though some doubt 
whether it be to precede the resurrection or not They who suppose 
it will precede, think that all kinds of animals, forgetting their respec- 
tive natural fierceness and timidity, will run together into one place, 
being terrified by the sound of the trumpet and the sudden shock o( 


The Mohammedans believe that this first blast will be followed by a 
second, which they call the blast of exanimation,'* when all creatures, 
both in heaven and earthy shall die or be annihilated, except those 
which God shall please to exempt from the common fate;^ and this, 
they say, shall happen in the twinkling of an eye, nay, in an instant ; 
nothing surviving except GOD alone, with paradise and hell, and the 
inhabitants of those two places, and the throne of glory/ The last who 
shall die will be the angel of death. 

Forty years after this will be heard the blast of resurrection, when 
the trumpet shall be sounded the third time by Israfil, who, together 
with Gabriel and Michael, will be previously restored to life, and 
standing on the rock of the temple of Jerusalem,' shall, at God's com- 
mand, call together all the dry and rotten bones, and other dispersed 
parts of the bodies, and the very hairs, to judgment. This angel 
having, by the divine order, set the trumpet to his mouth, and called 
together all the souls from all parts, will throw them into his trumpet, 
from whence, on his giving the last sound, at the command of God, 
they will fly forth like bees, and fill the whole space between heaven 
and earth, and then repair to their respective bodies, which the open- 
ing earth will suffer to arise ; and the first v/ho shall so arise, according 
to a tradition of Mohammed, will be himself. For this birth the earth 
will be prepared by the rain above mentioned, which is to fall con- 
tinually for forty years,* and will resemble the seed of a man, and be 
supplied from the water under the throne of God, which is called living 
water ; by the efficacy and virtue of which the dead bodies shall spring 
forth from their graves, as they did in their mother^s womb, or as corn 
sprouts forth by common rain, till they become perfect ; after which 
breath will be breathed into them, and they will sleep in their sepul- 
chres till they are raised to life at the last trump. 

As to the length of the day of judgment the Koran in one place rells 
us that it will la^t 1,000 years/ and in another 50,000.' To reconcile 
this apparent contradiction, the commentators use several shifts : some 
saying they know not what meas 're of time God intends in those 
passages ; others, that these forms of speaking are figurative and not 
to be strictly taken, and were designed only to express the terribleness 
of that day, it being usual for the Arabs to describe what they dislike 
as of long continuance, and what they like, as the contrary ; and 
others suppose them spoken only in reference to the difficulty of the 
business of the day, which, if God should commit to any of his 
creatures, they would not be able to go through it in so many thousand 
years; to omit some other opinions which we may take notice of 

Having said so much in relation to the time of the resurrection, let 
us now see who are to be raised from the dead, in what manner and 

2 Several writers, however, make no distinction between this blast and the first, supposing 
the trumpet will sound but twice. See the notes to Kor. c. 39. ■*_ Kor. c 3a ^ Xo 

these some add the spirit who bears the waters on which the throne is placed, the preserved 
table, wherein the decrees of God are registered, and the pen wherewith they are written ; all 
which things the Mohammedans imagine were created before the world. 5 in this circum- 

cumstance the Mohammedans follow the Jews, who also agree that the tnunpet will sounf 
more than once. Vide R. Bechai in Biur hattoran, and Otiot h shel R. Akiba. « Elsewhei e 
Isee before p. 61) this rain is said to continue only forty days ; but it rather seems fimf -t 's ;o 
/»1] during the w(i.)if inter val l.ri whrftii thp Nt!t;of.i.i anii Jl>!r?l blast.s. ' Kor. c. ^2 ' Ibid. C. 7" 


form they shall be raised, in what place they shall be assembled, and 
to what end, according to the doctrine of the Mohammedans. 

That the resurrection will be general, and extend to all creatures 
both angels, genii, men, and animals, is the received opinion, which 
they support by the authority of the Koran, though that passage which 
is produced to prove the resurrection of brutes be otherwise interpreted 
by some.3 

The manner of their resurrection will be very different Those who 
are destined to be partakers of eternal happiness will arise in Honour 
and security ; and those who are doomed to misery, in disgrace and 
under dismal apprehensions. As to mankind, they say that they will 
be raised perfect in all their parts and members, and in the same state 
as they came out of their mother's wombs, that is, barefooted, naked, 
and uncircumcised ; which circumstances when Mohammed was telling 
his wife Ayesha, she, fearing the rules of modesty might be thereby 
violated, objected that it would be very indecent for men and women 
to look upon one another in that condition ; but he answered her, that 
the business of the day would be too weighty and serious to allow them 
the making use of that liberty. Others, however, allege the authority 
of their prophet for a contrary opinion as to their nakedness, and pre- 
tend he asserted that the dead should arise dressed in the same clothes 
in which they died ;' unless we interpret these words, as some do, not 
so much of the outward dress of the body, as the inward clothing of 
the mind ; and understand thereby that every person will rise again in 
the same state as to his faith or infidelity, his knowledge or ignorance, 
his good or bad works. Mohammed is also said to have farther taught, 
by anoth«»r tradition, that mankind shall be assembled at the last day, 
distingii-shed into three classes. The first, of those who go on foot ; 
the second, of those who ride ; and the third, of those who creep grovel- 
ing with their faces on the ground. The first class is to consist of those 
believers whose good works have been few ; the second of those who 
are in greater honour with GOD, and more acceptable to him ; whence 
Ali affirmed that the pious when they come forth from their sepulchres, 
shall find ready prepared for them white-winged camels, with saddles 
of gold ; wherein are to be observed some footsteps of the doctrine of 
the ancient Arabians \^ and the third class, they say, will be composed 
of the infidels, whom GoD shall cause to make their appearance with 
their faces on the earth, blind, dumb, and deaf. But the ungodly will 
not be thus only distinguished ; for, according to a tradition of the pro- 
phet, there will be ten sorts of wicked men on whom GOD shall on that 
day fix certain discretoiy marks. The first will appear in the form of 
apes ; these are the professors of Zendicism : the second in that of 
swine ; these are they who have been greedy of filthy lucre, and en- 
riched themselves by public oppression : the third will be brought with 
their heads reversed and their feet distorted ; these are the usurers : 
the fourth will wander about blind ; these are unjust judges : the fifth 
•A'il] be deaf, dumb, and blind, understanding nothing ; these are they 

3 See the notes to Kor. c. 81, and the preceding page. 1 In this also they follow their old 
guides, the Jews, who say that if the wheat which is sown naked rise clothed, it is no wondef 
the pious who are buried in :hrir clotiies shauJd tirt v.jlli ^bcni. Gemai-. Saiihedr. foL 00 
2 See before. Sect. I. d. 16^ 


who glory in their own works : the sixth will gnaw their tongues, which 
will hang down upon their breasts, corrupted blood flowing from their 
mouths like spittle, so that everybody shall detest them ; these are the 
learned men and doctors, whose actions contradict their sayings : the 
seventh will have their hands and feet cut off ; these are they who have 
injured their neighbours : the eighth will be fixed to the trunks of palm 
trees or stakes of wood ; these are the false accusers and informers : 
the ninth will stink worse than a corrupted corpse ; these are they who 
have indulged their passions and voluptuous appetites, but refused 
God such part of their wealth as was due to him : the tenth will be 
clothed with garments daubed with pitch ; and these are the proud, the 
vainglorious, and the arrogant. 

As to the place where they are to be assembled to judgment, the 
Koran and the traditions of Mohammed agree that it will be on the 
earth, but in what part of the earth it is not agreed. Some say their 
prophet mentioned Syria for the place ; others, a white and even tract 
of land, without inhabitants or any signs ot buildings. Al Ghazali 
imagines it will be a second earth, which he supposes to be of silver ; 
and others, an earth which has nothing in common with ours but the 
name ; having, it is possible, heard something of the new heavens and 
new earth mentioned in scripture : v/hence the Koran has this expres- 
sion, " on the day wherein the earth shall be changed into another 

The end of the resurrection the Mohammedans declare to be, that 
they who are so raised may give an account of their actions, and re- 
ceive the reward thereof. And they believe that not only mankind, 
but the genii and irrational animals also,* shall be judged on this great 
day ; when the unarmed cattle shall take vengeance on the h'Jmed, 
till entire satisfaction shall be given to the injured.^ 

As to mankind, they hold that when they are all assembled together, 
they will not be imme'iiately brought to judgment, but the angels will 
keep them in their ranks and order while they attend for that purpose ; 
and this attendance some say is to last forty years, others seventy, 
others 300, nay, some say no less than 50,000 years, each ot them 
vouching their prophet's authority. During this space they will stand 
looking up to heaven, but without receiving any information or orders 
thence, and are to suffer grievous torments, both the just and the 
unjust, though with manifest difference. For the limbs of the former, 
particularly those parts which they used to wash in making the cere- 
monial ablution before prayer, shall shine gloriously, and their sufferings 
shall be light in comparison, and shall last no longer than the time 
necessary to say the appointed prayers ; but the latter viill have their 
faces obscured with blackness, and disfigured with all the marks of 
sorrow and deiorm.ity. What will then occasion not the least ot their 

ICap, 14. 2 Kor. c. 6. Vide Maimonid More I?fev. part iii. c. 17. 3 This opinion the 
learned Greaves supposed to have taken its rise from the following words of Ezekiel, wrongly 
understood : "And as for ye, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I, even I, will 
judge between the fat cattle, and betwe-n the lean cattle ; because ye have thrust with side 
and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them 
abroad ; therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey, and I will judge 
between cattle and cattle," &c. Ezck. xxxiv. 17, 20, 21, 22. Much might be said concern- 
ing brutes deserving future reward and punishment. See Bayle, Dice. Hist. Art. Rorarius. 
Upm. D. S;c. 


pain, is a wonderful and incredible sweat, which will even stop theii 
mouths, and in which they will be immersed in various degrees accord- 
ing to their demerits, some to the ankles only, some to the knees, some 
to the middle, some so high as their mouth, and others as their ears. 
And this sweat, they say, will be provoked not only by that vast con- 
course of all sorts of creatures mutually pressing and treading on one 
another's feet, but by the near and unusual approach of the sun, which 
will be then no farther from them than the distance of a mile, or, as 
some translate the word, the signification of which is ambiguous, than 
the length of a bodkin. So that their skulls will boil like a pot,' and 
they will be all bathed in sweat. From this inconvenience, however, 
the good will be protected by the shade of God's throne ; but the 
wicked will be so miserably tormented with it, and also with hunger, and 
thirst, and a stifling air, that they will cry out, " Lord, deliver us from 
this anguish, though thou send us into hell fire."* What they fable of 
the extraordinary heat of the sun on this occasion, the Mohammedans 
certainly borrowed from the Jews, who say, that for the punishment 
of the wicked on the last day, that planet shall be drawn from its 
sheath, in which it is now put up, lest it should destroy all things by its 
excessive heat.* 

When those who have risen shall have waited the limited time, the 
Mohammedans believe God will at length appear to judge them ; Mo- 
liammed undertaking the office of intercessor, after it shall have been 
declined by Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Jesus, who shall beg deliver- 
ance only for their own souls. They say that on this solemn occasion 
God will come in the clouds, surrounded by angels, and will produce 
the books wherein the actions of every person are recorded by their 
guardian angels,* and will con^imand the prophets to bear witness 
against those to whom they have been respectively sent. Then every 
one will be examined concerning all his words and actions, uttered and 
done by him in this life ; not as if God needed any information in those 
respects, but to oblige the person to make public confession and ac- 
knowledgment of God's justice. The particulars of which they shall 
give an account, as Mohammed himself enumerated them, are — of their 
time, how they spent it ; of their wealth, by what means they acquired 
it, and how they employed it; of their bodies, wherein they exercised 
them ; of their knowledge and learning, what use they made of them. 
It is said, however, that Mohammed has affirmed that no less than 
70,000 of his followers should be permitted to enter paradise without 
any previous examination, which seems to be contradictory to what is 
said above. To the questions we have mentioned each person shall 
answer, and make his defence in the best manner he can, endeavour- 
ing to excuse himself by casting the blame of his evil deeds on others, 
so that a dispute shall arise even between the soul and the body, to 
which of them their guilt ought to be imputed, the soul saying, " O Lord, 
my body I received from thee ; for thou createdst me without a hand 
to lay hold with, a foot to walk with, an eye to see with, or an under- 
standing to apprehend v/kh, till I came and entered into this body ; 
therefore, punish it eternally, but deliver me." The body, on tiie other 

1 Al GhazalL ' Idem. * Vide Pococir. ncA in Port Mosis, p. 277 • S«<? berfore, p. 51^ 


side, will make this apology : — " O Lord, thou createdst me like a stock 
of wood, having neither hand that I could lay hold with, nor foot that 
I could walk with, till this soul, like a ray of light, entered into me, and 
my tongue began to speak, my eye to see, and my foot to walk ; there- 
fore, punish it eternally, but deliver me." But GOD will propound to 
them the following parable of the blind man and the lame man, which, 
as well as the preceding dispute, was borrowed by the Mohammedans 
from the Jews :* A certain king, having a pleasant garden, in which 
were ripe fruits, set two persons to keep it, one of whom was blind and 
the other lame, the former not being able to see the fruit nor the latter 
to gather it ; the lame man, however, seeing the fruit, persuaded the 
blind man to take him upon his shoulders ; and by that means he easily 
gathered the fruit, which they divided between them. The lord of the 
garden, coming some time after, and inquiring after his fruit, each 
began to excuse himself ; the blind man said he had no eyes to see 
with, and the lame man that he had no feet to approach the trees. But 
the king, ordering the lame man to be set on the blind, passed sentence 
on and punished them both. And in the same manner will God deal 
with the body and the soul. As these apologies will not avail on that 
day, so will it also be in vain for any one to deny his evil actions, since 
men and angels and his own members, nay, the very earth itself, will 
be ready to bear witness against him. 

Though the Mohammedans assign so long a space for the attendance 
of the resuscitated before their trial, yet they tell us the trial itself will 
be over in much less time, and, according to an expression of Moham- 
med, familiar enough to the Arabs, will last no longer than while one 
may milk an ewe, or than the space between the two milkings of a she- 
camel.' Some, explaining those words so frequently used in the Koran, 
" God will be swift in taking an account, " say that he will judge all 
creatures in the space of half a day, and others that it will be done in 
less time than the twinkling of an eye.* 

At this examination they also believ that each person will have the 
book, wherein all the actions of his '.re are written, delivered to him ; 
which books the righteous will receive in their right hand, and read with 
great pleasure and satisfaction ~, but the ungodly will be obliged to take 
them against their wills in their left,' which will be bound behind their 
backs, their right hand being tied up to their necks.* 

To show the exact justice which will be observed on this great day 
of trial, the next thing they describe is the balance, wherein all things 
shall be weighed. They say it will be held by Gabriel, and that it is of 
so vast a size, that its two scales, one of which hangs over paradise, and 
the other over hell, are capacious enough to contain both heaven and 
earth. Though some are v/iliing to understand what is said in the 
Koran concerning this balance, allegorically, and only as a figurative 
representation of God's equity, yet the more ancient and orthodox 
opinion is that it is to be taken literally ; and since words and 
actions, being mere accidents, are not capable of being themselves 

'Gemara, Sanhed. c. ii. R. Jos. Albo, Strm. iv. c. 33. See also Epiphaa. in Ancorat. sect. 89. 
^ The Arabs use, after they have drawn some milk from the camel, to wait a while and let 
her young one suck a little, that she may givr down her milk more plentifully at the second 
milking. 2 Pocock, not. in Port. Mosis, p. 278—382. See also Kor. & 2, p. 2t ^ jCor 

c 17, x%, 60, and 84. * Jallalo'ddic 


weighed, they say that the books wherein they are written will be thrown 
into the scales, and according as those wherein the good or the evil 
actions are recorded shall preponderate, sentence will be given ; those 
whose balances laden with their good works shall be heavy, will be 
saved, but those whose balances are light will be condemned.* Nor 
will any one have cause to complain that God suffers any good action 
to pass unrewarded, because the wicked for the good they do have their 
reward in this life, and therefore can expect no favour in the next. 

The old Jewish writers make mention as well of the books to be pro- 
duced at the last day, wherein men's actions are registered,* as of the 
balance wherein they shall be weighed ;'' and the scripture itself seems 
to have given the first notion of both.' But what the Persian Magi 
believe of the balance comes nearest to the Mohammedan opinion. 
They hold that on the day of judgment two ajigels, named Mihr and 
Sorush, will stand on the bridge we shall describe by-and-bye, to exa- 
mine every person as he passes ; that the former, who represents the 
divine mercy, will hold a balance in his hand, to weigh the actions of 
men ; that according to the report he shall make thereof to GoD, sen- 
tence will be pronounced, and those whose good works are found more 
ponderous, if they turn the scale but by the weight of a hair, will be 
permitted to pass forward to paradise ; but those whose good works 
shall be found light, will be by the other angel, who \ epresents God's 
justice, precipitated from the bridge into hell.' 

This examination being passed, and every one's works weighed in a 
just balance, that mutual retaliation will follow, according to which 
every creature will take vengeance one of another, or have satisfaction 
made them for the injuries which they have suffered. And since there 
will then be no other way of returning like for like, the manner of giving 
this satisfaction will be by taking away a proportionable part of the 
good works of him who offered the injury, and adding it to those of him 
who suffered it. Which being done, if the angels (by whose ministry 
this is to be performed) say, "Lord, we have given to every one his due ; 
and there remaineth of this person's good works so much as equalleth 
the weight of an ant," GoD will of his mercy cause it to be doubled unto 
him, that he may be admitted inlo paradise ; but if, on the contrary, 
his good works be exhausted, and there remain evil works only, and 
there be any who have not yet received satisfaction from him, God will 
order that an equal weight of their sins be added unto his, that he may 
be punished for them in their stead, and he will be sent to hell laden 
with both. This will be the method of GOD'S dealing with mankind. 
As to brutes, after they shall have likewise taken vengeance of one 
another, as we have mentioned above, he will command them to be 
changed into dust ;* wicked men being reserved to more grievous 
punishment: so that they shall cry out, on hearing this sentence passed 
on the brutes, " Would to GoD that we were dust also." As to the 
genii, many Mohammedans are of opinion that such of them as are 
true believers will undergo the same fate as the irrational animals, and 

» Kor. c. 23, 7, &c. ^ Midrash, Yalkut Shemuni, f. 133, c 3. 7 Gemar. Sanhedr. f. 91, &c 
S Exod.'xxxil' 32, 33, Dan. vii. 10, Revel, xx. 12, &c., and Dan. v. 27. 1 Hyde, de Rel. Vet 
Psrs p ■?45. 401,' &c. ' Yet they say the dog of the seven sleepers, and Ezra's ass, whicfc 

was raised "io life, will, by peculiar favour, be admitted iato paradise. See Kor. c. 18, anr 

c %. 


have no other reward than the favour of being converted into dust ; 
and for this they quote the authority of their prophet. But this, how- 
ever, is judged not so very reasonable, since the genii, being capable oi 
putting themselves in the state of believers as well as men, must con- 
sequently deserve, as it seems, to be rewarded for their faith, as well as 
to be punished for infidelity. Wherefore some entertain a more favour- 
able opinion, and assign the believing genii a place near the confines 
of paradise, where they will enjoy sufficient felicity, though they be not 
admitted into that delightful mansion. But the unbelieving genii, it i^ 
universally agreed, v/ill be punished eternally, and be thrown into hell 
with the infidels of mortal race. It may not be improper to observe, 
that under the denomination of unbelieving genii, the Mohammedans 
comprehend also the devil and his companions.' 

The trials being over and the assembly dissolved, the Mohammedans 
hold that those who are to be admitted into paradise will take the 
right-hand way, and those who are destined to hell fire will take the 
left ; but both of them must first pass the bridge, called in Arabic al 
Sirat, which they say is laid over the madst of hell, and described to be 
finer than a hair, and sharper than the edge of a sword : so that it 
seems very difficult to conceive how any one shall be able to stand 
upon it : for which reason most of the sect of the Motazalites reject 
it as a fable, though the orthodox think it a sufficient proof of the truth 
of this article, that it was seriously affirmed by him who never asserted 
a falsehood, meaning their prophet ; who to add to the difficulty of the 
passage, has likewise declared that this bridge is beset on each side 
with briars and hooked thorns ; which will, how^ever, be no impediment 
to the good, for they shall pass with wonderful ease and swiftness, like 
lightning or the wind, Mohainmed and his Moslems leading the way ; 
whereas the wicked, what with the slipperiness and extreme narrow- 
ness of the path, the entangling of the thorns, and the extinction of 
the light, which directed the former to paradise, will soon miss their 
footing, and fall down headlong into hell, which is gaping beneath 

This circum.stance Mohammed seems also to have borrowed from 
the Magians, who teach that on the last day all mankind will be 
obliged to pass a bridge which they call Pui Chinavad, or Chinavar, 
that is, the straight bridge^ leading directly into the other world ; on 
the midst of which they suppose the angels, appointed by Go.D to per- 
form that office, will stand, who will lequire of every one a strict 
account of his actions, and weigh them in the manner we have already 
mentioned.* It is true the Jews speak likewise of the bridge of hell, 
which they say is no broader than a thread ; but then they do not tell 
us that any shall be obliged to pass it, except the idolaters, who v/iL 
fall thence into perdition.' 

As to the punishment of the wicked, the Mohammedans are taught 
that hell is divided into seven stories, or apartments, one below another, 
designed for the reception of as many distinct classes of the damiTed.' 
The first which they call Jehennam, they say, will be the receptacle of 
those who acknowledged one God, that is, the wicked Mohammedans, 

1 Vide Kor. c 18. ' Pocock. ubi sap. p. 28a — 289. ' Hyde, de ReL VcL Pers. p. 245, 
103. S:c 1 Midrash, Yalkut ReubenL 5 Gehinrcrr l * Kor. c, xt. 


who aftei having there been punished according to their demerits, will 
at length be released. The second, uamed Ladha, they assign to the 
Jews ; the third, named al Hotama, to the Christians ; the fourtlv 
named al Sair, to the Sabians; the fifth, named Sakar, to the Magians; 
the sixth, named al Jahim, to the idolaters ; and the seventh, which is 
the lowest and worst of all, and is called al Hawiyat, to the hypocrites, 
or those who outwardly professed some religion, but in their hearts 
were of none.^ Over each of these apartments they believe there will 
be set a guard of angels,* nineteen in number \^ to whom the damned 
will confess the just judgment of GOD, and beg them to intercede with 
him for some alleviation of their pain, or that they may be delivered by 
being annihilated.* 

Mohammed has, in his Koran and traditions, been very exact in de- 
scribing the various torments of hell, which, according to him, the 
wicked will suffer both from intense heat and excessive cold. We shall, 
however, enter into no detail of them here, but only observe that the 
degrees of these pains will also vary, in proportion to the crimes of the 
sufferer, and the apartment he is condemned to ; and that he who is pun- 
ished the most lightly of all will be shod with shoes of fire, the fervour 
of which will cause his skull to boil like a cauldron. The condition 
of these unhj.ppy wretches, as the same prophet teaches, cannot be 
properly called either life or death ; and their misery will be greatly 
increased by their despair of being ever delivered from that place, since, 
according to that frequent expression in the Koran, " they must remain 
therein for ever." It must be remarked, however, that the infidels alone 
will be liable to eternity of damnation, for the Moslems, or those who 
have embraced the true religion, and have been guilty of heinous sins, 
will be delivered thence after they shall have expiated their crimes by 
their sufferings. The contrary of either of these opinions is reckoned 
heretical; for it is the constant orthodox doctrine of the Mohammedans 
that no unbeliever or idolater will ever be released, nor any person who 
in his lifetime professed and believed the unity of GoD be condemned 
to eternal punishment. As to the time and manner of the deliverance 
of those believers whose evil actions shall outweigh their good, there is 
a tradition of Mohimmed that they shall be released after they uhall 
have been scorched and their skins burnt black, and shall afterwards 
be admitted into paradise ; and when the inhabitants of that place 
shall, in contempt, call them infernals, GOD will, on their prayers, take 
from them that opprobrious appellation. Others say he taught that 
while they continue in hell they shall be deprived of life, or (as his 
words are otherwise interpreted) be cast into a most profound sleep, 
that they may be the less sensible of their torments; and that they 
shall afterwards be received into paradise, and there revive on their 
being washed with the water of life ; though some suppose they will 

3 Others fill these apartments with different company. Some place in the second, the idol- 
aters ; in the third, Gog and Magog, &c. ; in the fourth, the devils; in the fifth, those who 
neglect alms and prayers ; and crowd the Jews, Christians, and Magians together in the sixth. 
Some, again, will have the first to be prepared for the Dahrians, or those who deny the creation, 
and believe the eternity of the world ; the second, for the Dualists, or Manichees, and the 
idolatrous Arabs ; the third, for the Bramins of the Indies ; the fourth, for the Jews ; me fiftft, 
for the Christians ; and the sixth, for the Magians. But all agree in assigning the seventh to 
the hypocrites. Vide Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Moham. p. 412 ; D'Herbel. BiUl. OrieDt 
p. 368, &c. 4 Kor. c 40, 43. 74. &C. S \hid. c. 7*. * Ibid. c. *o. 4». 


be restorea to life before they come forth from their place of punish- 
ment, that at their bidding farewell to their pains, they may have some 
little taste of them. The time which these believers shall be detained 
there, according to a tradition handed down from their prophet, will 
not be less than 900 years, nor more than 7,000. And as to the 
manner of their delivery, they say that they shall be distinguished by 
the marks of prostration on those parts of their bodies with which they 
used to touch the ground in prayer, and over which the fire will, there- 
fore, have no power ; and that being known by this characteristic, they 
will be relieved by the mercy of God, at the intercession of Mohammed 
and the blessed ; whereupon those who shall have been dead will be 
restored to life, as has been said ; and those whose bodies shall have 
contracted any sootiness or filth from the flames and smoke of hell, 
will be immersed in one of the rivers of paradise, called the river of 
life, which v/ill wash them whiter than pearls.* 

For most of these circumstances relating to hell and the state of the 
damned, Mohammed was likewise, in all probability, indebted to the 
Jews, and in part to the Magians ; both of whom agree in making 
seven distinct apartments in hell,' though they vary in other particu- 
lars. The former place an angel as a guard over each of these infernal 
apartments, and suppose he will intercede for the miserable wretches 
there imprisoned, who will openly acknowledge the justice of God in 
their condemnation.* They also teach that the wicked will suffer a 
diversity of punishments, and that by intolerable cold* as well as heat, 
and that their faces shall become black -^ and believe those of their 
own religion shall also be punished in hell hereafter, according to their 
crimes (for they hold that few or none will be found so exactly 
righteous as to deserve no punishment at all), but will soon be delivered 
thence, when they shall be sufficiently purged from their sins, by their 
father Abraham, or at the intercession of him or some other of the 
prophets.* The Magians allow but one angel to preside over all the 
seven hells, who is named by them Vanand Yezdd, and, as they teach, 
assigns punishments proportionate to each person's crimes, restraining 
also the tyranny and excessive cruelty of the devil, who would, if left 
to himself, torment the damned beyond their sentence.^ Those of this 
religion do also mention and describe various kinds of torments, where- 
v/ith the wicked will be punished in the next life ; among Avhich though 
they reckon extreme cold to be one, yet they do not admit fire, out of 
respect, as it seems, to that element, which they take to be the repre- 
sentation of the divine nature ; and, therefore, they rather choose to 
describe the damned souls as suffering by other kinds of punishments : 
such as an intolerable stink, the stinging and biting of serpents and 
wild beasts, the cutting and tearing of the flesh by the devils, excessive 
hunger and thirst, and the like.* 

Before we proceed to a description of the Mohammedan paradise, v/e 
must not forget to say something of the wall or partition which they 
imagine to be between that place and hell, and seems to be copied 

1 Poc. not. in Port. Mosis, p. 289 — 291. 2 Nishmat hayim, f. 32 ; Gemar. in Arubin, 

I. 19; Zohar. ad Exod. xxvi 2, &c. ; and Hyde, da ReL Vet. Pers. p. 245. 1 Midrash, Yalkut 
Shemuni, part 11, f. 116. ^ Zohar. ad Exod. xix. 3 Yalkut Shemuni, ubi sup. f. 86. 

* Nishmat hayim, f. 82 ; Gemar. Arubin, f. 19. Vide Kor. c 2, p. iq, and 3, p. 34, and note* 
ihera. ' Hyde, de ReL Vet. Pers. p. iSa. * Vide Eundem, ibid. p. 


from the great gulf of separation mentioned in scripture.' They caD 
it al Orf, and mo^g frequently in the plural, al Araf, a word deriv^ed 
from the verb arafa, which signifies to distinguish between things, or 
to pari them ; though some commentators give another reason for the 
imposition of this name, because, they say, those who stand on this 
partition v/ill know and distinguish the blessed from the damned, by 
their respective marks or characteristics •? and others say the word 
properly intends anything that is high raised or elevated, as such a wall 
of separation must be supposed to be.' The Mohammedan writers 
greatly differ as to the persons who are to be found on al Araf. Some 
imagine it to be a sort of limbo for the patriarchs and prophets, or for 
the martyrs and those who have been most eminent for sanctity, 
among whom, they say, there will be also angels in the form of men. 
Others place here such whose good and evil works are so equal that 
they exactly counterpoise each other, and, therefore, deserve neither 
reward nor punishment ; and these, they say, will, on the last day, be 
admitted into paradise, after they shall have performed an act of adora- 
tion, which will be imputed to them as a merit, and will make the 
scale of their good works to overbalance. Others suppose this inter- 
mediate space will be a receptacle for those who have gone to war 
without their parents' leave, and therein suffered martyrdom ; being 
excluded paradise for their disobedience, and escaping hell because 
they are martyrs. The breadth of this partition wall cannot be sup- 
posed to be exceeding great, since not only those who shall stand 
thereon will hold conference with the inhabitants both of paradise and 
of hell, but the blessed and the damned themselves will also be able to 
talk to one another.* 

If Mohammed did not take his notions of the partition we have been 
describing from scripture, he must at least have borrowed it at second- 
hand from the Jews, who mention a thin wall dividing paradise from 

The righteous, as the Mohammedans are taught to believe, having 
surmounted the difficulties, and passed the sharp bridge above men- 
tioned, before they enter paradise will be refreshed by drinking at the 
pond of their prophet, who describes it to be an exact square, of a 
month's journey in compass : its water, which is supplied by two pipes 
trom al Cawthar, one of the rivers of paradise, being whiter than milk 
or silver and more odoriferous than musk, with as many cups set around 
it as there are stars in the firmament, of which water, whoever drinks 
will thirst no more for ever.^ This is the first taste which the blessed 
will have of their future and now near-approaching felicity. 

Though paradise be so ver'^ frequently mentioned in the Koran, yet 
it is a dispute among the Mohammedans whether it be already created, 
or be to be created hereafter: the Motazalites and some other sectaries 
asserting that there is not at present any such place in nature, and that 
the paradise which the righteous will inhabit in the next life, will be 
different from that from which Adam was expelled. However, the 
orthodox profess the contrary, maintaining that it was created even 

7 Luke xvi. 26. » Jallalo'ddin. Vide Kor. c 7. » Al BeidawL i Kor. abi sup 

Vide D'HerbeL Bihl. Orient, p. 121. &c. 9 Midrash. Vaikut SionL C 11. » AJ Ghaziii 


before the world, and describe it, from their prophet's traaitions, in the 
following manner. 

They say it is situate above the seven heavens (or in the seventh 
heaven) and next under the throne of God : and to express the amenity 
of the place, tell us that the earth of it is of the finest wheat flour, or 
of the purest musk, or, as others will have it, of saffron ; that its stones 
are pearls and jacinths, the walls of its buildings enriched with gold 
and silver, and that the trunks of all its trees are of gold, among which 
the most remarkable is the tree called Tiiba, or the tree of happiness. 
Concerning this tree they fable that it stands in the palace of Mohammed, 
though a branch of it will reach to the house of every true believer ;' 
that it will be laden with pomegranates, grapes, dates, and other fruits 
of surprising bigness, and of tastes unknown to mortals. So that if a 
man desire to eat of any particular kind of fruit, it will immediately 
be presented him, or if he choose flesh, birds ready dressed will be set 
before him according to his wish. They add that the boughs of this 
tree will spontaneously bend down to the hand of theperson who would 
gather of its fniits, and that it will supply the blessed not only with 
food, but also with silken garments, and beasts to ride on ready saddled 
and bridled, and adorned with rich trappings, which will burst forth 
from its fruits ; and that this tree is so large, that a person mounted on 
the fleetest horse would not be able to gallop from one end of its shade 
to the other in a hundred years.' 

As plenty of water is one of the greatest additions to the pleasant- 
ness of any place, the Koran often speaks of the rivers of paradise as 
a principal ornament thereof ; some of these rivers, they say, flow with 
water, some with milk, some with wine, and others with honey, all 
taking their rise from the root of the tree Tuba : two of which rivers, 
named al Cawthar and the river of life, we have already mentioned. 
And lest these should not be sufficient, we are told this garden is also 
watered by a great number of lesser springs and fountains, whose 
pebbles are rubies and emeralds, their earth of camphire, their beds of 
musk, and their sides of saffron, the most remarkable among them 
being Salsabil and Tasnim. 

But all these glories will be eclipsed by the resplendent and ravish- 
ng girls of paradise, called, from their large black eyes, Hur al oyun, 
die enjoyment of whose company will be a prmcipal felicity of the 
faithfuL These, they say, are created not of clay, as mortal women 
are, but of pure musk : being, as their prophet often aiflrms in his 
Koran, free from all natural impurities, defects, and inconveniences 
incident to the sex. of the strictest modesty, and secluded from public 
view in pavilions of hollow pearls, so large, that, as some traditions 
have it, one of them will be no less than four parasangs (or, as others 
say, sixty miles) long, and as many broad. 

The name which the Mohammedans usually give to this happy man- 
sion, is al Jannat, or the garden ; and sometimes they call it, with an 
addition, Jannat al Ferdaws, the garden of paradise, Jannet Aden, the 
garden of Eden (though they generally interpret the word Eden, not ac- 
cording to its acceptation in Hebrew, but according to its meaning in theii 

I Yahya, in KDr. c. gj. » laliaJ'oddin. ibid. 


own tongue, wherein it signifies a settled or perpetual habitation), JanHat 
al Miwa, the garden of abode, Jannat al Nairn, the garden of pleasure, 
and the like ; by which several appellations some understand sbd many 
different gardens, or at least places of different degrees of felicity (for 
they reckon no less than a hundred such in all), the very meanest 
whereof will afford its inhabitants so many pleasures and delights, 
that one would conclude they must even sink under them, had not 
Mohammed declared, that in order to qualify the blessed for a full 
enjoyment of them, GOD will give to every one the abilities of a 
hundred men. 

We have already described Mohammed's pond, whereof the righteous 
are to drink before their admission into this delicious seat ; besides 
which some authors' mention tv/o fountains, springing from under a 
certain tree near the gate of paradise, and say, that the blessed will 
also drink of one of them, to purge their bodies and carry off all excre- 
mentitious dregs, and will wash themselves in the other. When they 
are arrived at the gate itself, each person will there be met and saluted 
by the beautiful youths appointed to serve and wait upon him, one of 
them running before, to carry the news of his arrival to the wives 
destined for him ; and also by two angels, bearing the presents sent 
him by GOD, one of whom will invest him with a garment of paradke, 
and the other will put a ring on each of his fingers, with inscriptions on 
them alluding to the happiness of his condition. By which of the eight 
gates (for so many they suppose paradise to have) they are respectively 
to enter, is not worth inquiry ; but it must be observed that Mohammed 
has declared that no person's good works will gain him admittance, 
and that even himself shall be saved, not by his merits, but merely by 
the mercy of GoD. It is, however, the constant doctrine of the Koran, 
that the felicity of each person will be proportioned to his deserts, and 
that there will be abodes of different degrees of happiness ; the most 
■minent degree being reserved for the prophets, the second for the 
iOCtors and teachers of God's worship, the next for the martyrs, and 
the lower for the rest of the righteous, according to their several merits. 
There will also some distinction be made in respect to the time of their 
admission ; Mohammed (to whom, if you will believe him, the gates 
will first be opened) having alarmed, that the poor will enter paradise 
five hundred years before the rich : nor is this the only privilege which 
they will enjoy in the next life ; since the same prophet has also declared, 
that when he took a view of paradise, he saw the majority of its 
inhabitants to be the poor, and when he looked down into hell, he saw 
the greater pnrt of the wretches confined there to be women. 

For the first entertainment of the blessed on their adm.ission, they 
fable that the whole earth will then be as one loaf of bread, which 
God v/jll reach to them with his hand, holding it like a cake ; and that 
for meat mey v/ill have the ox Balam, and the fish Nun, the lobes of 
whose livers will suffice 70,000 men, being, as some imagine to be 
set before the principal guests, viz., those who, to that number, will 
be admitted into paradise without examination ;' though others sup- 
pose that a definite number is here put for an indefinite, and thai 

I Al Gha*«i. Kenz al Afrir 8 See before, p. 68. 


nothing more is meant thereby, than to express a great multitude of 

From this feast every one will be dismissed to the mansion designed 
for him, where (as has been said) he will enjoy such a share of felicit>' 
as will be proportioned to his merits, but vastly exceed comprehension 
or expectation ; since the very meanest in paradise (as he who, it is 
pretended, must know best, has declared) will have eighty thousand 
servants, seventy-two wives of the girls of paradise, besides the wives 
he had in this world, and a tent erected for him of pearls, jacinths, and 
emeralds, of a very large extent ; and, according to another tradition, 
will be waited on by three hundred attendants while he eats, will be 
served in dishes of gold, whereof three hundred shall be set before him 
at once, containing each a different kind of food, the last morsel of 
which will be as grateful as the first ; and will also be supplied with as 
many sorts of liquors in vessels of the same metal : and, to complete 
the entertainment, there will be no want of wine, which, though for- 
bidden in this life, will yet be freely allowed to be drunk in the next, 
and without danger, since the wine of paradise will not inebriate, as 
that we drink here. The flavour of this wine we may conceive to be 
delicious without a description, since the water of Tasnim and the other 
fountains which will be used to dilute it, is said to be wonderfully sweet 
and fragrant. If any object to these pleasures, as an impudent Jew did 
to Mohammed, that so much eating and drinking must necessarily 
require proper evacuations, we answer, as the prophet did, that the 
inhabitants of paradise will not need to ease themselves, nor even t« 
blow their nose, for that all superfluities will be discharged and carried 
off by perspiration, or a sweat as odoriferous as musk, after which their 
appetite shall return afresh. 

The magnificence of the garments and furniture promised by the 
Koran to the godly in the next life, is answerable to the delicacy of 
their diet For they are to be clothed in the richest silks and brocades, 
chiefly of green, which will burst forth from the fruits of paradise, and 
will be also supplied by the leaves of the tree Tuba; they will be 
adorned with bracelets of gold and silver, and cro\^^ls set with pearls 
of incomparable lustre ; and will make use of silken carpets, litters of a 
prodigious size, couches, pillows, and other rich furniture embroidered 
with gold and precious stones. 

That we may the more readily believe what has been mentioned of 
the extraordinary abilities of the inhabitants of paradise to taste these 
pleasures in their height, it is said they will enjoy a perpetual youth ; 
that in whatever age they happen to die, they will be raised in their 
prime and vigour, that is, of about thirty years of age, which age they 
will never exceed (and the same they say of the damned) ; and that 
when they enter paradise they will be of the same stature with Adam, 
who, as they fable, was- no less than sixty cubits high. And to this 
age and stature their children, if they shall desire any (for otherwise 
their wives will not conceive), shall immediately attain ; according to 
that saying of their prophet, " If any of the faithful in paradise be 
desirous of issue, it shall be conceived, bom, and grown up within the 
space of an hour." And in the same manner, if any one shall have a 
€ancy to employ himself in asjricuiture (which ru^ti^ pleasure may suj« 


the wanton fancy of some), whr^t he shall sow will spring up and come 
to maturity in a moment. 

Lest any of the senses should want their proper delight, we are told 
the ear will theie be entertained, not only with the ravishing songs of 
the angel Israfil, who has the most melodious voice of aU God's 
creatures, and of the daughters of paradise ; but even the trees them- 
selves will celebrate the divine praises with a harmony exceeding 
whatever mortals have hearct ; to which ^vill be joined the sound of the 
bells hanging on the trees, which will be put in motion by the wind 
proceeding from the throne of GOD, so often as the blessed wish for 
music : nay, the very clashing of the golden-bodied trees, whose fruits 
are pearls and emeralds, will surpass human imagination ; so that the 
pleasures of this sense will not be the least of the enjoyments of para- 

The delights we have hitherto ta.ken a view of, it is said, will be 
common to all the inhabitants of paradise, even those of the lowest 
order. What then, think we, must they enjoy who shall obtain a 
superior degree of honour and felicity } To these, they say, there are 
prepared, besides all this, " such things as eye hath not seen, nor hath 
ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive;" an 
expression most certainly borrowed from scripture.' That we may 
know wherein the felicity of those who shall attain the highest degree 
will consist, Mohammed is reported to have said, that the meanest of the 
inhabitants of paradise will see his gardens, wives, servants, furniture, 
and other possessions take up the space of a thousand years' journey 
(for so far and farther will the blessed see in the next life) ; but that he 
will be in the highest honour with GOD, who shall behold his face 
morning and evening : and this favour al Ghazali supposes to be that 
additional or superabundant recompense, promised in the Koran,' 
which will give such exquisite delight, that in respect thereof all the 
other pleasures of paradise will be forgotten and lightly esteemed ; and 
not without reason, since, as the same author says, every other enjoy- 
ment is equally tasted by the very brute beast who is turned loose into 
luxuriant pasture.^ The reader will observe, by the way, that this is 
a full confutation of those who pretend that the Mohammedans admit 
of no spiritual pleasure in the next life, but make the happiness of the 
blessed to consist wholly in cor]-oreal enjoyments* 

Whence Mohammed took the greatest part of his paradise it is easy 
to show. The Jews constantly describe the future mansion of the just 
as a delicious garden, and make it also reach to the seventh heaven.' 
They also say it has three gates,^ or, as others will have it, two,' and 
four rivers (which last circumstance they copied, to be sure, from those 
of the garden of Eden^), flowing with milk, wine, balsam, and honey.' 
Their Behemoth and Leviathan, which they pretend will be slain for 
the entertainment of the blessed,' are so apparently the Balam and 
Nun of Mohammed, that his followers themselves confess he is obUged 
to them for both.* The Rabbins likewise mention seven different 

1 Isaiah Ixiv. 4 ; i Cor. ii. 9. ' Cap. 10, &c * Vide Poc. in not. ad Port. Mosis, p. 305. 

 Vide Reland, de ReL Moh. L 2, § 17 * Vide Gemar. Tanith, f. 25, Beracoth, f. 34, and 
'viidrash sabboth, f. 37. 6 MegiUah, Amkoth, p. 78. 7 Midrash, Yalkut Shemuni 

* Gea. ii. lo, &c- 1 Midrash, Vallc Shem. ' Gemar. Bavs Bathra. f. 78; Rasbi, in Job i 
' Vide Poc. not. in Port. Mc^is. d *o8. 


degrees of felicity,* and say that the highest will be of those who 
perpetually contemplate the face of God.* The Persian Magi had 
also an idea of the future happy estate of the good, very little different 
A-om that of Mohammed. Paradise they called Behisht, and Minu, 
which signifies crystal^ where they believe the righteous shall enjoy all 
manner of delights, and particularly the company of the Hurani behisht, 
or black-eyed nymphs of paradise,* the care of whom, they say, is 
committed to the angel Zamiyad;^ and hence Mohammed seems to 
have taken the first hint of his paradisiacal ladies. 

It is not improbable, however, but that he might have been obliged, 
in some respect, to the Christian accounts of the felicity of the good in 
the next life. As it is scarce possible to convey, especially to the 
apprehensions of the generality of mankind, an idea of spiritual 
pleasures without introducing sensible objects, the scriptures have been 
obliged to represent the celestial enjoyments by corporeal image* ; 
and to describe the mansion of the blessed as a glorious and magnifi- 
cent city, built of gold and precious stones, with twelve gates ; through 
the streets of which there runs a river of water of life, and having on 
either side the tree of life, which bears twelve sorts of fruits, and leaves 
of a healing virtue.^ Our Saviour likewise speaks of the future state 
of the blessed as of a kingdom where they shall eat and drink at his 
table.9 But then these descriptions have none of those puerile imagina- 
tions"" which reign throughout that of Mohammed, much less any the 
most distant intimation of sensual delights, which he was so fond of ; 
on the contrary, we are expressly assured, that " in the resurrection 
they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be as the 
angels of GOD in heaven."" Mohammed, however, to enhance the 
value of paradise with his Arabians, chose rather to imitate the 
indecency of the Magians than the modesty of the Christians in this 
particular, and lest his beatified Moslems should complain that any- 
thing was wanting, bestows on them wives, as well as the other com- 
forts of life ; judging, it is to be presumed, from his own inclinations, 
that like Panurgus's ass,' they would think all other enjoyments not 
worth their acceptance if they were to be deban'ed from this. 

Had Mohammed, after all, intimated to his followers, that what he 
had told them of paradise was to be taken, not literally, but in a meta- 
phorical sense (as it is said the Magians do the description of Zoro- 
aster's^), this might, perhaps, make some atonement ; but the contrary 
is so evident from the whole tenour of the Koran, that although some 

4 Nishmat hayim, f. 32. ^ Midrash, Tehillim, f. 11. _ « Sadder, porta 5. 1 Hj'de, 

de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 265. 8 Rev. xxi. 10. &c., and xxiL i, 2. 9 Luke xxii. 29, 30. &c 

10 I would not, however, undertake to defend all the Christian writers in this particular : 
witness that one passage of Irena^us, whereui he introduces a tradition of St. John that our 
Lord should say, "The days shall come, in which ttieie shall be vines, which shall have each 
ten thousand branches, and every of those branches sliall have ten thousand lesser branches, 
s»od every of these branches shall have ten thousand tvncs, and every one of these twigs shall 
have ten thousand clusters of sp-apes, and in every one oi these clusters there shall be ten thou- 
sand grapes, and every one of these grapes being pressed stiaJl peld two hundred and seventy- 
five gallons of wine ; and when a man shall take hold of one oi these sacred bunches, anothei 
bunch shall cry out, I am a better bunch : take me, and bless the Lord by me," &c. Iren. 1. 5, 
c 33. n Matth. xxii. ao. l Vide Rabelais, Pantagr. 1. 5, c 7. A better authority than 

this might, however, be allefred in favour of Mohammed's judgment in this respect ; I mean th»J 
of Plato, who is said to have proposed, in his ideal commonwealth, as the reward ot valiant 
nien and consummate soldiers, the kis.tes of bo\^ and beauleou* (laii:«iats. Vida GelL Noct 
4ct. I 18. r„ a. S Vide UvUe. dp V,.l VVx P.'.is rv fl6f 


Mohamniedans, whose understandings are too refined to admit such 
gross conceptions, look on their prophet's descriptions as parabolical, 
and are willing to receive them in an allegorical or spiritual accepta- 
tion,' yet the general and orthodox doctrine is, that the whole is to be 
strictly believed in the obvious and literal acceptation ; to prove which 
I need only urge the oath they exact from Christians (who they know 
abhor such fancies) when they would bind them in the most strong 
and sacred manner ; for in such a case they make them swear that if 
they falsify their engagement, they v/ill affirm that there will be black- 
eyed girls in the next world, and corporeal pleasures/ 

Before we quit this subject it may not be improper to observe the 
falsehood of a vulgar imputation on the Mohammedans, who are by 
several writers^ reported to hold that women have no souls, or, if they 
have, that they will perish, like those of brute beasts, and will not be 
rewarded in the next life. But whatever may be the opinion of some 
ignorant people among them, it is certain that Mohammed had too 
great a respect for the fair sex to teach such a doctrine ; and there are 
several passages in the Koran which affirm that 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 God will make no distinction of sexes.* It is true, the general 
notion is, that they will not be admitted into the same abode as the 
men are, because their places will be supplied by the paradisiacal 
females (though some allow that a man will there also have the com- 
pany of those who were his wives in this world, or at least such of 
them as he shall desire') ; but that good women will go into a separate 
place of happiness, where they will enjoy all sorts of delights ;' but 
whether one of those delights will be the enjoyment of agreeable para- 
mours created for them, to complete the economy of the Mohammedan 
system, is what I have nowhere found decided. One ck-cumstance 
relating to these beatified females, conformable to what he had asserted 
of the men, he acquainted his followers with in the answer he returned 
to an old woman, who, desiring him to intercede with God that she 
might be admitted into paradise, he told her that no old woman would 
enter that place ; which setting the poor woman a-crying, he explained 
himself by saying that GOD would then make her young again.^ 

The sixth great point of faith, which the Mohammedans are taught 
by the Koran to believe, is GOD'S absolute decree, and predestinatioij 
both of good and evil. For the orthodox doctrine is, that whatever 
hath or shall come to pass in this world, whether it be good or whether 
it be bad, proce«..deth entirely from the divine will, and is irrevocably 
fixed and recorded from ail eternity in the preserved table ;* GoD 
having secretly predetermined not only the adverse and prosperous 
fortune of every person in this world, in the most minute particulars, 
but also his faith or infidelity, his obedience or disobedience, and con' 

8 Vide Eund. in not. ad Bobov. Lit. Turcar. p. 21. * Poc. ad Port. Mos. p. 305. 5 Horn- 
b*k, Sum. Contr. p. 16. Grelot, Voyage de Constant, p. 275. Ricaut's Present State of tlw 
Ottoman Empire, 1. 2, c. 21. 6 See Kor. c. 3, p. 50, c. 4, p. 67; and also c. 13, 16, 40, 48, 57, 
&-.. Vide etiam Reland. de Rel. Moh. L 2, § i3 ; and Hyde, in not. ad Bobov. de Visit, segr. 
p 21. 1 See before, p. 77. 2 Vide Chardin, Voy. tom. ii. p. 328, and Bayle, Diet. Hist. Art 
Mahomet, Rem. Q. '^ See Kor. c 56, and t'ne Qcytcs there ; ocd Ga^iiisr. not. io AbulfedA 
V;L Moh p. 14,.  See before, p. 50. 


sequently his everlasting happiness or misery after death ; wh'ch fate or 
predestination it is not possible, by any foresight or wisdom, to avoid. 

Of this doctrine Mohammed makes great use in his Koran for the 
advancement of his designs ; encouraging his followers to ftght without 
fear, and even desperately, for the propagation of their faith, by repre- 
senting to them that all their caution could not avert their inevitable 
destiny, or prolong their lives for a m.oment ; * and deterring them from 
disobeying or rejecting him as an impostor, by setting before thei the 
danger they might thereby incur of being, by the just judgment of G OD, 
abandoned to seduction, hardness of heart, and a reprobate mind, as 
a punishment for their obstinacy.* 

As this doctrine of absolute election and reprobation has been thought 
by many of the Mohammedan divines to be derogatory to the goodness 
and justice of God, and to make GOD the author of evil, several subtle 
distinctions have been invented, and disputes raised, to explicate or 
sOtten it; and different sects have been formed, according to their 
several opinions or methods of explaining this point: some of them 
going so far as even to hold the direct contrary position of absolute 
free will in man, as we shall see hereafter.' 

Of the four fundamental points of religious practice required by the 
Koran, the first is prayer, under which, as has been said, are also com- 
prehended those legal washings or purifications which are necessary 
preparations thereto. 

Of these purifications there are two degrees, one called Ghosl, being 
a total immersion or bathing of the body in water; and the other 
.:alled Wodu (by the Persians, Abdest), which is the washing of their 
tAces, hands, and feet, after a certain manner. The first is required in 
some extraordinary cases only, as after having lain with a woman, or 
been polluted by emission of seed, or by approaching a dead body ; 
women also being obliged to it after their courses or childbirth. The 
latter is the ordinary ablution in common cases and before prayer, aad 
must necessarily be used by every person before he can enter upon 
that duty.' It is performed with certain formal ceremonies, which 
have been described by some writers, but are much easier apprehended 
by seeing them done than by the best description. 

These purifications were perhaps borrowed by Mohammed of the 
Jews ; at least they a.gree in a great measure with those used by that 
nation,^ who in process of time burdened the precepts of Moses in 
this point, with so many traditionary ceremonies, that whole books 
have been written about them, and who were so exact and superstitious 
therein, even in our Saviour's time, that they are often reproved bv 
him for it.* But as it is certain that the pagan Arabs used lustrationb 
of this Hnd' .ong before the time of Mohammed, as most nations did, 
and still do in the east, where the warmth of the climate requires a 
greater nicety and degree of cleanliness than these colder parts; 
perhaps Mohammed only recalled his countrymen to a more strict 
observance of those purifying rites, which had been probably neglected 
by them, or at least performed in a careless and perfunctory manner. 

fi Kor c. 3 c. 4, &c. « Ibid, c, 4, c. 2, &c.. passim. 1 Sect. VIII. 2 Kor. c 4, and c. 5 
Vide Reland! de Rel. Moh. 1. i. c. 8. 3 Poc not. id Port. Mosis, p. 356, frc *■ ♦lark 

ni. 3, &.C. * Vide Herodo^ I i, e- iqS. 



The Mohammedans, however, will have it that they arc as ancient ?^ 
Abraham,' who, they say, wa.s enjoined by GoD to observe them, and 
was shown the manner of making the ablution by the angei Gabriel, 
in the form of a beautiful youth.' ^ay, some deduce the matter 
higher, and imagine that these ceremonies were taught our first parent5 
by the angels.^ 

That his followers might be the more punctual in this duty, Moham- 
med is said to have declared, that " the practice of religion is founded 
on cleanliness," which is the one-half of the faith, and the key of prayer, 
without which it will not be heard by GoD.'^ That these expressions 
may be the better understood, al Ghazali reckons four degrees of purifi- 
cation ; of which the first is, the cleansing of the body from all pollu- 
tion, filth, and excrements ; the second, the cleansing of the m.embers 
of the body from all wickedness and unjust actions ; the third, the 
cleansing of the heart from all blamable inclinations and odious vices ; 
and the fourth, the purging a man's secret thoughts from all affections 
which may divert their attendance on GOD : adding, that the body 
is but as the outward shell in respect to the heart, which is as the 
kernel. And for this reason he highly complains of those who are 
superstitiously solicitous in exterior purifications, avoiding those persons 
as unclean who are not so scrupulously nice as themselves, and at the 
same time have their minds lying waste, and overrun with pride, igno- 
rance, and hypocrisy.^ Whence it plainly appears with how little foun- 
dation the Mohammedans have been charged, by some Tvriters,* with 
teaching or imagining that these formal washings alone cleanse them 
from their sins.' 

Lest so necessary a preparation to their devotions should be omit- 
ted, either where water cannot be had, or when it may be of prejudice 
to a person's health, they are allowed in such cases to make use of fine 
sand or dust in lieu of it f and then they perform this duty by clapping 
their open hands on the sand, and passing them over the parts, in the 
same manner as if they were dipped in water. But for this expedient 
Mohammed was not so much indebted to his own cunning,' as to the 
example of the Jews, or perhaps that of the Persian Magi, almost as 
scrupulous as the Jews themselves in their lustrations, who both ot 
them prescribe the same method in cases of necessity ;' and there is a 
famous instance, in ecclesiastical history, of sand being used, for the 
same reason, instead of water, in the administration of the Christian 
sacrament of baptism, many years before Mohammed's time.' 

Neither are me Mohammedans contented with bare washing, but 

1 Al Jannabi in Vita Ahrah. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 303. 

2 Herewith agrees the spurious Gospel of St. Barnabas, the Spanish translation of which 
(cap. 29) has these words : Dixo Abraham, Que hare yo para servir al Dtos de los sanctos y 
propheta^ * Kesporuiio el angel, Ve e aauellafuentey lavate,porque Dios qtaere hablar con- 
tigo. Dijis Abraham. Covto teitgo de lavartne? Luego el an^el se le apparecio como U7ti 
bello mancebo, y se lavo en lafuetite,y le dixo, Abraham , haz come yo. K Abraham se lavd, &c. 

3 Al KessaL Vide Reland. de Rel. Mohamm. p. 81. ■* Al Ghazali, Ebn al Athir. 5 vide 
Poc Spec. p. 302, &c. 6 Barthol. Edessen. Confut. Hagaren. p. 360. G. Sionita and J 
Hesronita, in Tract, de Urb. and Morib. Orient, ad Calcem Geogr. Nubiens. c. 15. Du Ryer, 
dans le Sommaire de la Rel. dei Turcs, mis a la tete de sa version de TAlcor. St. Olon, Descr. 
du Royaume de Maroc, c. 2. Hyde, in not. ad Bofaov. de Prec. Moh. p. i ; Smith, de Morib 
et Instit. Turcar. Ep. r, p. 32. 7 Vide Reland. de Rel. Moh. 1. 2, c. 11. 8 Kor. c. 3, { 

f and 5, p. 74 i Vide Smith, ubi sup. 2 Gemar. Berachoth. c 2. Vide Pop. not. ad Pott 
VI':;«.»s, p. ;'8^. Sadder, porta 84- ^ Cefiren. p. iza 


think themselves obliged to several other necessary points of cleanli- 
ness, which they make also parts of this duty; such as combing the 
nail, cuttmg- the beard, paring the nails, pulling out the hairs oi 
their armpits, shaving tneii private pans, and circumcision ;* oi 
which last I will add a word or t-^o, lest I should iiot hnd a more 
proper place. 

Circumcision, though it be not so much as once mentioned in the 
Koran, is yet held by the Mohammedans to be an ancient divine insti- 
tution, confirmed by the religion of Islam, and though not so absolutely 
necessary but that it may be dispensed with in some cases,^ yet highly 
proper and expedient. The Arabs used this rite for many ages before 
Mohammed, having probably learned it from Ismael, though not only 
his descendants, but the Hamyarites,* and other tribes, practised the 
same. The Ismaelites, we are told,^ used to circumcise their childien, 
not on the eighth day, as is the custom of the Jews, but when about 
twelve or thirteen years old, at which age their father underwent that 
operation :^ and the Mohammedans imitate them so far as not to cir- 
cumcise children before they be able, at least, distinctly to pronounce 
that profession of their faith, " There is no GoD but GOD, Mohammed 
s the apostle of God ;"' but pitch on what age they please for the pur- 
pose, between six and sixteen or thereabouts.'" Though the Moslem 
doctors are generally of opinion, conformably to the scripture, that this 
precept was originally given to Abraham, yet some have imagined that 
Adam was taught it by the angel Gabriel, to satisfy an oath he had 
made to cut off that flesh which, after his fall, had rebelled against his 
spirit; whence an odd argument has been drawn for the universal 
obligation of circumcision.' Though I cannot say the Jews led the 
Mohammedans the way here, yet they seem so unwilling to believe 
any of the principal patriarchs or prophets before Abraham were really 
uncircumcised, that they pretend several of them, as well as some holy 
men who lived after his time, were born ready circumcised, or without 
a foreskin, and that Adam, in particular, was so created ;' whence the 
Mohammedans affirm the same thing of their prophet.^ 

Prayer was by Mohammed thought so necessary a duty, that he used 
to call it the pillar of religion and the key of paradise ; and when the 
Thakifites, who dwelt at Tayef, sending in the ninth year of the Hejra 
to make their submission to that prophet, after the keeping of their 
favourite idol had been denied them." begged, at least, that they might 
be dispensed with as to their saying of the appointed prayers, he 
answered, " That there could be no good in that religion wherein was 
no prayer."'' 

4 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 303. 5 Vide Bobov. de Circumcis. p. 22. ^ Philostorg. Hist. Eccl. 
1. 3. 7 Joseph. Ant. L i, c. 23. 8 Gen. xvii. 25. " Vide Bobov. ubi sup. and Poc 

Spec. p. ^19. If* Vide Reland. de Rel. Mob. 1. i, p. 75. 

1 This IS the substance of the following passage of the Gospel of Barnabas (cap. 23), viz., 
Entonces dixo Jesus ; Adam el primer Jiombre ni'iettdo cotttido por eUgano del demonio la 
ccittida prohibida por Dios en el parayso, se le rebeld su came ci. su espiritu ; por lo quai 
jurb diziendo, Por Dios que yo te gniero cortar ; y rompiendo ufia piedra tomb su ca.7ne para 
cortarla con el corte de la piedra. Por loqual /ue reprelieiuiido del a?igel Gabriel, v el It 
dixo ; Vo he jurado por Dios que lo he de cortar, y meniijoso no lo sere jamas. Ala hora 
el angel le enseflo la sjiperjluidad de su »amc, y a quella cortb. De tnanera que afist cotnt 
todo hombre tonta came de Adam, an si est a o'rli^ndo a cuntflir aquelio que Adam con jura- 
mento pronutib. 2 Shalshel. hakkabala. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 320 ; Gagnier not. in Abulfed 
Vit. Moh. B. a. 3 Vide Poc St>ec. p 30*, < See before, p 14. ^ Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 127 


That so important a duty, therefore, might not be neglected, Mo- 
hammed obliged his followers to pray five times evei*y twenty-four 
hours, at certain stated times ; viz., i. In the morning, before sunrise ; 

2. When noon is past, and the sun begins to decline from the meridian ; 

3. hi the afternoon, before sunset ; 4. In the evening, after sunset, and 
before day be shut in ; and 5. After the day is shut in, and before the 
first watch of the night.* For this institution he pretended to have 
-eceived the divine command from the throne of God himself, when 
he took his night journey to heaven ; and the observing of the stated 
times of prayer is frequently insisted on in the Koran, though they be 
not particularly prescribed therein. Accordingly, at the aforesaid 
times, of which public notice is given by the Muedhdhins, or Criers, 
from the steeples of their mosques (for they use no bell), every con- 
scientious Moslem prepares himself for prayer, which he performs 
either in the mosque or any other place, provided it be clean, after a 
prescribed form, and with a certain number of phrases or ejaculations 
(which the more scrupulous count by a string of beads) and using 
certain postures of worship ; all which have been particularly set down 
and described, though with some few mistakes, by other writers,' and 
ought not to be abridged, unless in some special cases ; as on a 
journey, on preparing for battle, &c. 

For the regular performance of the duty of prayer among the Mo- 
hammedans, besides the particulars above mentioned, rt is also 
requisite that they turn their faces, while they pray, towards the temple 
of Mecca ;* the quarter where the same is situate being, for that 
reason, pointed out within their mosques by a niche, which they call 
al Mehrab, and without, by the situation of the doors opening into 
the galleries of the steeples : there are also tables calculated for the 
ready finding out their Kebla, or part towards which they ought to 
pray, in places where they have no other direction.^ 

But what is principally to be regarded in the discharge of this duty, 
say the Moslem doctors, is the inward disposition of the heart, which 
is the life and spirit of prayer •* the most punctual observance of the 
external rites and ceremonies before mentioned being of little or no 
avail, if performed without due attention, reverence, devotion, and 
hope :5 so that we must not think the Mohammedans, or the con- 
siderate part of them at least, content themselves with the mere opu, 
opcratu77t^ or imagine their whole religion to be placed therein.* 

I had like to have omitted two things which in my mind deserve 
mention on this head, and may, perhaps, be better defended than our 
contrary practice. One is, that the Mohammedans never address 
themselves to GOD in sumptuous apparel, though they are obliged to 
be decently clothed ; but lay aside their costly habits and pompous 
ornaments, if they wear any, when they approach the divine presence, 
lest they should seem proud and arrogant.^ The other is, that they 
admit not their women to pray with them in public ; that sex beiag 

6 Vide Ibid. p. 38, 39. iVide Hotting. Hist. Eccles. torn. viii. p. 470—529; Bobov. in 

Liturg. Turcic. p. i, &c. ; Grelot, Voyage de Constant p. 253 — 264; Chardin, Yoy. de Perse, 
torn. ii. p. 388, &c. ; and Smith, de Moribus ac Instit. Turcar. Ep. i, p. 33, &c. ^Kor 

c. 2, p. 16. See the notes there. 3 Vide Hyde, de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 8, 9, and 126. ^Al 
Ghazdh. ^ Vide Poc. Spec. p. 305. 6 Vide Smith, ubi sup. p. 40. ? Rchiiid. ds ReL 

Moll. p. 96. Sc Koi c •> , p. I01. 


obliged to perform their devotions at home, or if they visit tht 
mosques, it must be at a time when the men are not there : for the 
Moslems are of opinion that their presence inspires a different kind of 
devotion from that which is requisite in a place dedicated to the wor- 
ship of GOD.^ 

The greater part of the particulars comprised in the Mohammedan 
institution of prayer, their prophet seems to have copied from others, 
and especially the Jews ; exceeding their institutions only in the number 
of daily prayers.' The Jews are directed to pray three times a day,' 
in the morning, in the evening, and within night; in imitation of 
Abraham,^ Isaac,* and Jacob ;5 and the practice was as early, at least, 
as the time of Daniel.^ The several postures used by the Moham- 
medans in their prayers are also the same with those prescribed by the 
Jewish Rabbins, and particularly the most solemn act of adoration, by 
prostrating themselves so as to touch the ground with their forehead;' 
notwithstanding, the latter pretend the practice of the former, in this 
respect, to be a relic of their ancient manner of paying their devotions 
to Baal-Peor.^ The Jews likewise constantly pray with their faces 
turned towards the temple of Jerusalem,^ which has been their Kebla 
from the time it was first dedicated by Solomon ;'° for which reason 
Daniel, praying in Chaldea, had the windows of his chamber open 
towards that city:" and the same was the Kebla of Mohammed and 
his followers for six or seven months," and till he found himself obliged 
to change it for the Caaba. The Jews, moreover, are obliged by the 
precepts of their religion to be careful that the place they pray in, and 
the garments they have on when they perform their duty, be clean :*' 
the men and women also among them pray apart (in which particular 
they were imitated by the eastern Christians) ; and several other con- 
formities might be remarked between the Jewish public worship and 
that of the Mohammedans.^* 

The next point of the Mohammedan religion is the giving of alms, 
which are of two sorts, legal and voluntary. The legal alms are of 
indispensable obligation, being commanded by the law, which directs 
and determines both the portion which is to be given, and of what 
things it ought to be given ; but the voluntary alms are left to every 
one's liberty, to give more or less, as he shall see fit. The former kind 
of alms some think to be properly called Zacat, and the latter Sadakat ; 

8 A Moor, named Ahmed Ebn Abdalla, in a Latin epistle by him, written to Maurice, Prince 
of Orange, and Emanuel, Prince of Portugal, containing a censure of the Christian religion (a 
copy of which, once belonging to Mr. Selden, who has thence transcribed a considerable 
passage in his treatise De Synedriis vett. Ebraeor. 1. i, c. 12, is now in the Bodleian Library), 
finds great fault with the unedifying manner in which mass is said among the Roman Catholics, 
for this very reason, mong others. His words are : Ubicunque congregantur sitnul viri et 
faemiTicB, ibi metis non est inienia et devota : iiatn i7iter celebrandtim missant et sacrificia, 
fmniincE et viri mutuis aspectibus , signis, ac nutibtts accendunt pravoruni appetitum, et 
desiderioruni suorum ignes : et qziando hoc iton/ieret, saltern humana /ragilttas delectatur 
ntuttio et reciproco aspectu ; et ita non potest esse mens quieta, attenta, et devota. 
_ 1 The Sabians, according to some, exceed the Mohammedans in this point, praying seven 
times a day. See before, p. 11. 2 Gemar. Berachoth. 3 Gen. xix. 27. 4 Gen. xxiv. 63. 
5 Gen. xxviii. 11, &c. "Dan. vi. 10. 7 Vide Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Moham. 

p. 427, &c., and Hyde, de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 5, &c. 8 Maimonid. in Epist. ad Proselyt. Relig. 
Vide Poc. Spec. p. 306. * Gemar. Bava Bathra, and Berachoth. 10 i Kings viii. 29, &c. 
11 Dan. vi. 10. 12 Some say eighteen months. Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 54. l^ Maimon. 
in Halachoth Tephilla, c. 9, § 8, 9. Menura hammeor, fol. 28, 2. l^ Vide Millium, ubi 

tupra, p. 424, et scq. 


though this name be also frequently given to the legal aims. They are 
called Zacat, either because they increase a man's store, by drawing 
down a blessing *"hereon, and produce in his soul the virtue of libe- 
rality/ or because they purify the remaining part of one's substance 
from pollution, and the soul from the filth of avarice;^ and Sadakat, 
because they are a proof of a man's sincerity in the worship of GOD. 
Some writers have called the legal alms tithes, but improperly, since 
in some cases they fall short, and in others exceed that proportion. 

The giving of alms is frequently commanded in the Koran, and often 
recommended therein jointly with prayer; the former being held of 
great efficacy in causing the latter to be heard of GOD : for which 
reason the Khalif Omar Ebn Abd'alaziz used to say, "that prayer 
carries us half-way to GOD, fasting brings us to the door of his palace, 
and alms procures us admission."^ The Mohammedans, therefore, 
esteem almsdeeds to be highly meritorious, and many of them have 
been illustrious for the exercise thereof. Hasan, the son of Ali, and 
grandson of Mohammed, in particular is related to have thrice in his 
life divided his substance equally between himself and the poor, and 
cwice to have given away all he had :* and the generality are so 
addicted to the doing of good, that they extend their charity even to 

Alms, according to the prescriptions of the Moha medan law, are to 
be given of five things — i. Of cattle, that is to say, ( ' camels, kine, and 
sheep. 2. Of money. 3. Of corn. 4. Of fruits, viz., dates and raisins. 
And 5. Of wares sold. Of each of these a certain portion is to be 
given in alms, being usually one part in forty, or two and a half per 
cent, of the value. But no alms are due for them, unless they amount 
to a certain quantity or number ; nor until a man has been in posses- 
sion of them eleven months, he not being obliged to give alms thereout 
before the twelfth month is begun : nor are alms due for cattle employed 
in tilling the ground, or in carrying of burdens. In some cases a 
much larger portion than the before-mentioned is reckoned due for 
alms : thus of what is gotten out of mines, or the sea, or by any art 
or profession over and above what is sufficient for the reasonable 
support of a man's family, and especially where there is a mixture or 
suspicion of unjust gain, a fifth part ought to be given in alms. More- 
over, at the end of the fast of Ramadan, every Moslem is obliged to 
give in alms for himself and for every one of his family, if he has any, 
a measure' of wheat, barley, dates, raisins, rice, or other provisions 
commonly eaten.' 

The legal alms were at first collected by Mohammed himself, who 
employed them, as he thought fit, in the relief of his poor relations and 
followers, but chiefly applied them to the maintenance of those who 
served m his wars, and fought, as he termed it, in the way of GOD. 
His successors continued to do the same, till, in process of time, other 
\axes and tributes being imposed for the support of the government^ 

1 Al Beidawi. See Kor. c. 2, d. 29. 2 Idem. Compare this with what our Saviour saj^a 

,'Luke xi. 41), " Give alms of such things as ye have ; and behold, all things are clean unto you.' 
3 D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient, p. 5. 4 Ibid. p. 422. 5 Vide Busbeq. Epist. 3, p. 178. Smith, 

de Morib. Turc. Ep. \, p. 66, &c. Compare Eccles. xi. i. and Prov. xii. 10. 1 This measure 
is a Sal, and contains about six or seven pounds weight. 2 Vide Reland. de Rel. Mahommed 
I I, p. 99, &C. Cbardin, Voy. de Pers&. torn. 2, p. 415, &c. 


they seem to have been weary of acting as almoners to their subjects, 
and to have left the paying them to their consciences. 

In the foregoing rules concerning aims, we may observe also foot- 
steps of what the Jews taught and practised in respect thereto. Alms, 
which they also call Sedaka, i.e., justice, or righteousness,^ are greatly 
recommended by their Rabbins, and preferred even to sacrifices ;' as 
a duty, the frequent exercise whereof will effectually free a man from 
hell fire,5 and merit everlasting life :^ wherefore, besides the corners of 
the field, and the gleanings of their harvest and vineyard, coiiimanded 
to be left for the poor and the stranger by the law of Moses,' a certain 
portion oi their com and fruits is directed to be set apart for their relief, 
which portion is called the tithes of the poor.^ The Jews likewise were 
formerly very conspicuous for their charity. Zaccheus gave the half of 
his goods to the poor ;« and we are told that some gave their whole 
substance : so that their doctors, at length, decreed that no man should 
give above a tifth part of his goods in alm.s.*" There were also persons 
publicly appointed in every synagogue to collect and distribute the 
people's contributions." 

The third point of religious practice is fasting ; a duty of so great 
moment, that Mohammed used to say it was " the gate of religion," and 
that " the odour of the mouth of him who fasteth is more grateful to 
God than that of musk ;" and al Ghazali reckons fasting one-fourth 
part of the faith. According to the Mohammedan divines, there are 
three degrees of fasting : i. The restraming the belly and other parts 
of the body from satisfying their lusts ; 2. The restraining the ears, 
eyes, tongue, hands, feet, and other members from sin ; and 3. The 
fasting of the heart from worldly cares, and refraining the thoughts 
from everything besides GOD.' 

The Mohammedans are obliged, by the express command of the 
Koran, to fast the whole month of Ramadan, from the time the new 
moon first appears, till the appearance of the next new moon ; during 
which time they must abstain from eating, drinking, and women, from 
daybreak till night,' or sunset. And this injunction they observe so 
strictly, that while they fast they suffer nothing to enter their months, 
or other parts of their body, esteeming the fast broken and null if they 
smell perfumes, take a clyster or injection, bathe, or even purposely 
swallow their spittle ; some being so cautious that they will not oper 
their mouths to speak, lest they should breathe the air too freely '? the 
fast is also deemed void if a man kiss or touch a woman, or if he vom.ii 
designedly. But after sunset they are allowed to refresh themselves, and 
to eat and drink, and enjoy the company of their wives till daybreak ;♦ 

3 Hence alms at-e in the New Testament termed ^iKaiocrvvr). Matth. vi. i (Ed. Staph.), 
and 2 Cor. ix. ic * Gen>ar. in Bava Bathra. 5 Ibid, in Gittin. 6 Ibid, in Rosh hashana. 
^ Levit. xix. 9, 10 ; Deut. xxiv. 19, &;c. 8 Vide Gemar. Hierosol. in Peah, and Maimon. in 

Halachoth matanoth Aniy>-im. c. 6. Confer Pirke Avoth, v. 9. ^ Luke xix. 8. l*^ Vide 

Reland. Ant. Sacr. Vet. Hebr. p. 402. n Vide Ibid. p. 138. 1 Al Ghazali, Al Mostatraf 

2 Kor. c. 2, p. 19, 20. 3 Hence we read that the Virgin ^Iary, to avoid answering the refleo 
tions cast on her for bringing home a child, was advised by the angel Gabriel to feign she hao 
vowed a fast, and therefore she ought not to speak. See Kor. c. 19. 

•* The words of the Koran (cap. 2, p. 20) are : " Until ye can distinguish a white thread from a 
black thread by the daybreak " — a form of speaking borrowed by Mohammed from the Jews, 
who determine the time when they are to begin their morning lesson, to be so soon as a man can 
discern blue from white, i.e., the blue threads from the white threads in the fringes of their 
garments. But this explication the commentators do not approve, pretending that by the white 


though the more rigid begin the fast again at midnight.* This fast is 
extremely rigorous and mortifying when the month of Ramadan happens 
to fall in summer, for the Arabian year being lunar/ each month runs 
through all the different seasons in the course of thirty-three years, 
the length and heat of the days making the observance of it much more 
difficult and uneasy then than in winter. 

The reason given why the month of Ramadan was pitched on for this 
purpose is, that on that month the Koran was sent down from heaven.' 
Some pretend that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus received their respective 
revelations in the same month.' 

From the fast of Ramadan none are excused, except only travellers 
and sick persons (under which last denomination the doctors compre- 
hend all whose health would manifestly be injured by their keeping 
the fast ; as women with child and giving suck, ancient people, and 
young children) ; but then they are obliged, as soon as the impediment 
is removed, to fast an equal number of other days : and the breaking 
the fast is ordered to be expiated by giving alms to the poor.^ 

Mohammed seems to have followed the guidance of the Jews in his 
ordinances concerning fasting, no less than in the former particulars. 
That nation, when they fast, abstain not only from eating and drinking, 
but from women, and from anointing themselves,* from daybreak until 
sunset, and the stars begin to appear \^ spending the night in taking 
what refreshments they please.^ And they allow women with child and 
giving suck, old persons, and young children to be exempted from 
keeping most of the public fasts. ^ 

Though my design here be briefly to treat of those points only which 
are of indispensable obligation on a Moslem, and expressly required by 
the Koran, without entering into their practice as to voluntary and 
supererogatory works ; yet to show how closely Mohammed's institutions 
follow the Jewish, I shall add a word or two of the voluntary fasts of 
the Mohammedans. These are such as have been recommended either 
by the example or approbation of their prophet ; and especially certain 
days of those months which they esteem sacred : there being a tradition 
that he used to say, That a fast of one day in a sacred month was better 
than a fast of thirty days in another month ; and that the fast of one 
day in Ramadan was more meritorious than a fast of thirty days in a 
sacred month.^ Among the more commendable days is that of Ashura, 
the tenth of Moharram ; which, though some writers tell us it was ob- 
served by the Arabs, and particularly the tribe of Koreish, before Mo- 
hammed's time,' yet, as others assure us, that prophet borrowed both 
the name and the fast from the Jews ; it being with them the tenth of 

thread and the black thread are to be understood the light and dark streaks of the daybreak ; 
and they say the passage was at fk-st revealed without the words "of the daybreak ;" but 
Mohammed's followers, taking the expression in the first sense, regulated their practice accord- 
ingly, and continued eating and drinking till they could distinguish a white thread from a black 
thread, as they lay before them — to prevent which for the future, the words " of the daybreak " 
were added as explanatory of the former. Al Beidawi. Vide Pocock. not. in Carmen Tograi, 
p. 80, &c. Chardin, Voy. de Perse, torn. 2, p. 423. 

5 Vide Chardin, ib. p. 421 , &c. Reland. de Relig. Moh. p. 109, &c. ^ See hereafter. Sect. VI. 
1 Kor. c. 2, p. 19. See also c. 97. 2 Al Beidawi, ex Trad. Mohammedis. 3 gee Kor. 

c. 2, p. 20. 4 Siphra, f. 252, 2. ^ Tosephoth ad Gemar. Yoma, f. 34. ^Vide Gemar. 

Voma, f. 40, and Maimon. in Halachoth Tanioth, c. 5, § 5. ' Vide Gemar .Tinith, f. 12, 

and Yoma, f. 83, and Es Hayim, Tinith. c i. 8 Al GhazalL * Al Barezi. in Com m ep t 

»ri Orat. Ebn Nobatae. 


the seventh month, orTisri, and the great day of expiation commanded 
to be kept by the law of Moses.' Al Kazwini relates that when Mo- 
hammed came to Medina, and found the Jews there fasted on the day 
of Ashura, he asked them the reason of it ; and they told him it was 
because on that day Pharaoh and his people were drowned, Moses and 
those who were with him escaping : whereupon he said that he bore a 
nearer relation to Moses than they, and ordered his followers to fast on 
that day. However, it seems afterwards he was not so well pleased in 
having imitated the Jews herein; and therefore declared that, if he lived 
another year, he would alter the day, and fast on the ninth, abhorring 
so near an agreement with them.' 

The pilgrimage to Mecca is so necessary a point of practice that, ac- 
cording to a tradition of Mohammed, he who dies without performing 
it, may as well die a Jew or a Christian -^ and the same is expressly 
commanded in the Koran.-* Before I speak of the time and manner of 
performing this pilgrimage, it may be proper to give a short account of 
the temple of Mecca, the chief scene of the Mohammedan worship ; in 
doing which I need be the less prolix, because that edifice has been 
already described by several wi-iters/ though they, following different 
relations, have been led into some mistakes, and agree not with one 
another in several particulars : nor, indeed, do the Arab authors agree 
in all things, one great reason whereof is their speaking of different 

The temple of Mecca stands in the midst of the city^ and is honoured 
with the title of Masjad al alharam, i.e.^ the sacred or inviolable temple. 
What is principally reverenced in this place, and gives sanctity to the 
whole, is a square stone building, called the Caaba, as some fancy, from 
its height, which surpasses that of the other buildings in Mecca,^ but 
more probably from its quadrangular form, and Beit Allah, i.e.^ the 
house of God, being peculiarly hallowed and setapart for his worship. 
The length of this edifice, from north to south, is twenty-four cubits, its 
breadth from east to west twenty-three cubits, and its height twenty- 
seven cubits : the door, which is on the east side, stands about four 
cubits from the ground ; the floor being level with the bottom of the 
door.7 In the corner next this door is the black stone, of which I shall 
take notice by-and-bye. On the north side of the Caaba, within a 
semicircular enclosure fifty cubits long, lies the white stone, said to be 
the sepulchre of Ismael, w^hich receives the rain-water that falls off the 
Caaba by a spout, formerly of wood,' but now of gold. The Caaba has 
a double roof, supported within by three octangular pillars of aloes 
wood ; between which, on a bar of iron, hang some silver lamps. The 
outside is covered with rich black damask, adorned with an embroidered 
band of gold, which is changed every year, and was formerly sent by 
the Khalifs, afterwards by the Soltans of Egypt, and is now provided 
by the Turkish emperors. At a small distance from the Caaba, on the 
east side, is the Station or Place of Abraham, where is another stone 

1 Levit x\i. 29, and xxiiL 27. 2 Ebn al Athir. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 309. 3 Al Ghazalu 

* Cap. 3, p. 42. See also c. 22, p. 252 and c. 2, p. 14, &c. 5 Chardin, Voy. de Perse, 

t. 2, p. 428, &c. ; Bremond, Descrittioni dell' Egitto, &c., 1. i, c. 29; Pitts' Account of th« 
Rel. &c. of the Mohammedans, p. 98, &c ; and Boulainvilliers, Vie de Mahomed, p. 54, &c., 
which last author is the most particular. 6 Ahmed Ebn Yusef. 7 Sharif al Ednsi, and 

Kitab Masaiec, apud Poc Spec p. 125, && ^ Sharif al Edrisi, ibid. 


much respected by the Mohammedans, of which somethmg will be said 

The Caaba, at some distance, is surrounded, but not entirely, by a 
circular enclosure of pillars, joined towards the bottom by a low balu* 
trade, and towards the top by bars of silver. Just without this inne\ 
enclosure, on the south, north, and west sides of the Caaba, are thref 
buildings, which are the oratories, or places where three of the orthodox 
sects assemble to perform their devotions (the fourth sect, viz., that or 
al Shafei, making use of the station of Abraham for that purpose), and 
towards the south-east stands the edifice which covers the well Zemzem, 
the treasury, and the cupola of al Abbas.' 

All these buildings are enclosed, a considerable distance, by a 
magnificent piazza, or square colonnade, like that of the Royal Ex- 
change in London, but much larger, covered with small domes or 
cupolas, from the four corners whereof rise as many minarets or steeples, 
with double galleries, and adorned with gilded spires and crescents, as 
are the cupolas which cover the piazza and the other buildings. Be- 
tween the pillars of both enclosures hang a great number of lamps, 
which are constantly lighted at night. The first foundations of this 
outward enclosure were laid by Omar, the second Khalif, who built no 
more than a low wall, to prevent the court of the Caaba, which before 
lay open, from being encroached on by private buildings ; but the 
structure has been since raised, by the liberality of many succeeding 
princes and great men, to its present lustre.' 

This is properly all that is called the temple, but the whole territory 
of Mecca being also Haram, or sacred, there is a third enclosure, dis- 
tinguished at certain distances by small turrets, some five, some seven, 
and others ten miles distant from the city.' Within this compass of 
ground it is not lawful to attack an enemy, or even to hunt or fowl, or 
cut a branch from a tree : which is the true reason why the pigeons at 
Mecca are reckoned sacred, and not that they are supposed to be of 
the race of that imaginary pigeon which some authors, who should have 
known better, would persuade us Mohammed made pass for the Holy 

The temple of Mecca was a place of worship, and in singular vene- 
ration with the Arabs from great antiquity, and many centuries before 
Mohammed. Though it was most probably dedicated at first to an 
idolatrous use,' yet the Mohammedans are generally persuaded that the 
Caaba is almost coeval with the world : for they say that Adam, after 
his expulsion from paradise, begged of GOD that he might erect a 
building like that he had seen there, called Beit al M^mur, or the /re- 
quented hotcse, and al Dorah, towards which he might direct his prayers, 
and which he might compass, as the angels do the celestial one. 
Whereupon GOD let down a representation of that house in curtains 
of light,* and set it in Mecca, perpendicularly under its original,^ order- 

2 Idem, ibid 3 Poc. Spec p. ii6. ^ Gol. not. in Alfrag. p. 99. 2 Gab. Sionita, cj 

Joh. Hesronita, de nonnullis Orient, urbib. ad calc. Geogr. Nub. p. 21. Al Mogholtai, in his 
Life of Mohammed, says the pigeons of the temple of Mecca are of the breed of those which laic 
their eggs at the mouth of the cave where the prophet and Abu Beer hid themselves, when they 
fled from that city. See before, p. 39. 3 gee before, p. 13. ^ Some sav that the Beit ai 

Mamur itself was the Caaba of Adam, which, having been let down to him from heaven, was, 
■*x. the Flood, taken up again into heaven, and is there kept. Al Zamakh. in Kor. as. ^ Al 


mg the patriarch to turn towards it when he prayed, and to compass it 
by way of devotion." After Adam's death, his son Seth built a house 
in the same form of stones and clay, which being destrc ed bv the 
deluge, was rebuilt by Abraham and Ismael,' at God's command, in 
he place where the former had stood, and after the same model, they 
eing directed therein by revelation.^ 

After this edifice had undergone several reparations, it was, a few 
/ears after the birth of Mohammed, rebuilt by the Koreish on the old 
foundation,' and afterwards repaired by Abd'allah Ebn Zobeir. the 
Khaiif of Mecca, and at length again rebuilt by al Hejaj Ebn Yusof, 
in the seventy-fourth year of the Hejra, with some alterations, in 
the form wherein it now remains.* Som.e years after, however, the 
tChalif Harun al Rashid (or, as others write, his father al Mohdi, or his 
grandfather al Mansur) intended again to change what had been altered 
by al Hejaj, and to reduce the Caaba to the old form in which it was 
left by Abd'allah, but was dissuaded from meddling with it, lest so holy 
a place should become the sport of princes, and being new modelled 
after every one's fancy, should lose that reverence which was justly 
paid it.3 But notwithstanding the antiquity and holiness of this build- 
ing, they have a prophecy, by tradition from Mohammed, that in the 
last times the Ethiopians shall come and utterly demolish it, after which 
it will not be rebuilt again for ever.'* 

Before we leave the temple of Mecca, two or three particulars deserve 
turther notice. One is the celebrated black stone, which is set in silver, 
and fixed in the south-east corner of the Caaba, being that which looks 
towards Basra, about two cubits and one -third, or, which is the same 
thing, seven spans from the ground. This stone is exceedingly re- 
spected by the Mohammedans, and is kissed by the pilgrims with great 
devotion, being called by some the right hand of GOD on earth. They 
fable that it is one of the precious stones of paradise, and fell down to 
the earth with Adam, and being taken up again, or otherwise preserved 
at the Deluge, the angel Gabriel afterwards brought it back to Abraham 
when he was building the Caaba. It was at first whiter than milk, but 
grew black long since by the touch of a menstruous woman, or, as others 
tell us, by the sins of mankind,* or rather by the touches and kisses of 
so many people, the superficies only being black, and the inside still 
remaining white.^ When the Karmatians,' among other profanations 
by them offered to the temple of Mecca, took away this stone, they 
could not be prevailed on, for love or money, to restore it, though those 
of Mecca offered no less than five thousand pieces of gold for it.^ How- 

fuzi, ex trad. Ebn Abbas. It has been observed that the primitive Christian churcn 
held a parallel opinion as to the situation of the celestial Jerusalem with respect to the terres- 
trial : for in the apocryphal book of the revelations of St. Peter (cap. 27), after Jesus has men- 
tioned unto Peter the creation of the seven heavens — whence, by the way, it appears that this 
number of heavens was not devised by Mohammed — and of the angels, begins the description 
of the heavenly Jerusalem in these words : " We have created the upper Jerusalem above the 
v»- iters, which are above the third heaven, hanging directly over the lower Jerusalem," &c. 
Vide Gagnier, not. ad Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p, 2S. 

^ ahrestani. 7 Vide Kor. c. 2, p. 8 Al Jannabi, in Vita Abraham. ^ Vide 

Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 13. 2 Idem, in Hist. Gen. al Jannabi, &c. 3 Al Jannabi 

 Idem, Ahmed Ebn Yusef. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 115, &c. ^ Al Zamakh. &c. in Kor. Ahmed 
Ebn Yusef. ^ Poc. Spec. p. 117, &c. ' These Carmatians were a sect which arose in the 
year of the Hejra 278, and whose opinions overturned the. fundamental points of Moham. 
aiedisiu. See D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient Art. Carmath. and hereafter § viiL 8 D'Herbel. p. 4a 


ever, after they had kept it twenty-two years, seeing they could not 
thereby draw the pilgrmis from Mecca, they sent it back of their own 
accord ; at the same time bantering its devotees by teUing them it was 
not the true stone : but, as it is said, it was proved to be no counterfeit 
by its pecuhar quality of sv/imming on water.* 

Another thing observable in this temple is the stone in Abraham's 
place, wherein they pretend to show his footsteps, telling us he stood 
on it when he built the Caaba,' and that it served him for a scaffold, 
rising and falling of itself as he had occasion,^ though another tradition 
says he stood upon it while the wife of his son Ismael, v/hom he paid a 
visit to, washed his head/ It is now enclosed in an iron chest, out of 
which the pilgrims drink the water of Zemzem/ and are ordered to pray 
at it by the Koran/ The officers of the temple took care to hide this 
stone when the Karmatians took the other.^ 

The last thing I shall take notice of in the temple is the well Zem- 
zem, on the east side of the Caaba, and which is covered with a small 
building and cupola. The Mohammedans are persuaded it is the very 
spring which gushed out for the relief of Ismael, when Hagar his mother 
wandered with him in the desert f and some pretend it was so named 
from her calling to him, when she spied it, in the Egyptian tongue, 
Zejn, zenty that is, " Stay, stay ,"9 though it seems rather to have had the 
name from the murmuring of its waters. The water of this well is 
reckoned holy, and is highly reverenced, being not only drunk with 
particular devotion by the pilgrims, but also sent in bottles, as a great 
rarity, to most parts of the Mohammedan dominions. Abd'allah, sur- 
named al Hafedh, from his great memory, particularly as to the tradi- 
tions of Mohammed, gave out that he acquired that faculty by drinking 
large draughts of Zemzem water,'° to which I really believe it as effica- 
cious as that of Helicon to the inspiring of a poet. 

To this temple every Mohammedan, who has health and means 
sufficient," ought once, at least, in his life to go on pilgrimage ; nor are 
women excused from the performance of this duty. The pilgrims meet at 
different places near Mecca, according to the different parts from whence 
they come," during the months of Shawal and Dhu'lkaada, being obliged 
to be there by the beginning of Dhu'lhajja, which month, as its name 
imports, is pecuharly set apart for the celebration of this solemnity. 

At the places above mentioned the pilgrims properly commence 
such ; when the men put on the Ihram, or sacred habit, which consists 
only of two woollen wrappers, one wrapped about the middle to cover 
their privities, and the other thrown over their shoulders, having their 
heads bare, and a kind of slippers which cover neither the heel nor the 
instep, and so enter the sacred territory in their way to Mecca. While 
they have this habit on they must neither hunt nor fowl' (though they 
are allowed to fish'), which precept is so punctually observed, that they 
will not kill even a louse or a flea, if they find them on their bodies : 
there are some noxious animals, however, which they have permission 
to kill during the pilgrimage, as kites, ravens, scorpions, mice, and dogs 

1 Ahmed Ebn Yusef, Abalfeda. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 119. 2 Abulfed. 3 Vide Hyde, dt 
Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 35. 4 Ahmed Ebn Yusef, Safio'ddin. 6 Ahmed Ebn Yusef. 6 Cap. 2, 
p. 14. 7 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 120, &c. 8 Gen. xxi. 19. 8 G. Sionit. et I. Hesr. d« 

nonnull. urb. Orient, p. 19. 1*J D'Herbel. p. 5. n See Kor. c 3, p. 43 and the notes 

thereon 1* Vide Bobov. de Peregr. Mecc. p. 12, &a ^ Kor. c 5, p. 85. ' * Ibid. 


given to bite.' During the pilgrimage it behoves a man to have a con- 
stant guard over his words and actions, and to avoid all quarrelling or 
ill language, and all converse with women and obscene discourse, and 
to apply his whole intention to the good work he is engaged in. 

The pilgrims, being arrived at Mecca, immediately visit the temple, 
and then enter on the performance of the prescribed ceremonies, 
which consist chiefly in going in procession round the Caaba, in 
run ling between the Mounts Safa and Merwa, in making the station 
on Mount Arafat, and slaying the victims, and shaving their heads in 
the valley of Mina. These ceremonies have been so particularly 
described by others,^ that I may be excused if I but just mention the 
most material circumstances thereof. 

In compassing the Caaba, which they do seven times, beginning at 
the comer where the black stone is fixed, they use a short, quick pace 
the three first times they go round it, and a grave, ordinary pace, the 
four last ; which, it is said, was ordered by Mohammed, that his fol- 
lowers might show themselves strong and active, to cut off the hopes 
of the infidels, who gave out that the immoderate heats of Medina had 
rendered them weak.s But the aforesaid quick pace they are not 
obliged to use every time they perform this piece of devotion, but only 
at some particular times.^ So often as they pass by the black stone, 
they either kiss it, or touch it with their hand, and kiss that. 

The running between Safa and Merwa* is also performed seven 
times, partly with a slow pace, and partly running :' for they walk 
gravely till they come to a place between two pillars ; and there they 
run, and afterwards walk again ; sometimes looking back, and some- 
times stopping, like one who has lost something, to represent Hagar 
seeking water for her son :* for the ceremony is said to be as ancient 
as her time.* 

On the ninth of Dhu'lhajja, after morning prayer, the pilgrim.s leave 
the valley of Mina, whither they come the day before, and proceed in 
a tumultous and rushing manner to Mount Arafat,^ where they stay to 
perform their devotions till sunset : then they go to Mozdalifa, an 
oratory between Arafat and Mina, and there spend the night in prayer 
and reading the Koran. The next morning, by daybreak, they visit 
al Masher al haram, or the sacred monument,^ and departing thence 
before sunrise, haste by Batn Mohasser to the valley of Mina, where 
they throw seven stones' at thr^e marks, or pillars, in imitation of 
Abraham, who, meeting tlie devil in that place, and being by him dis- 
turbed in his devotions, or tempted to disobedience, when he was 
going to sacrifice his son, was commanded by God to drive him away 
by throwing stones at him f though others pretend this rite to be as 
old as Adam, who also put the devil to flight in the same place and by 
the same means.' 

3 Al Beid. ^ Bobov. de Peregr. Mecc. p. ii, &c. Chardin, Voy. de Perse, t b, p. 440, 

&c See also Pitts' Account of the Rel. &c. of the Mohammedans, p. 92, &c. ; Gagnier, Vie de 
Moh. t. 2, p. 258, &c. ; Abulfed. Vit. Moh. o. 130, &c. ; and Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. 113, &c 
5 Ebn al Athir. 6 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 314. 1 See before, p. 16. 2 Al Ghazali. 3 Reland 
de Rel. Moh. p. 121. 4 Ebn al Athir. 5 gee Kor. c. 2, p. 21. 6 See Ibid. M. Gagniei 
has been twice guilty of a mistake in confounding this monum.ent with the sacred enclosure o< 
the Caaba. Vide Gagn. not. ad Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 131, and Vie de Moh. t s, p. 262. 
7 Dr. Pocock, from al Ghazali, says seventy, at different times and places. Spec. p. 31S 
» Al Ghazlii. Ahmed Ebc Yusef. 8 Ebn al Athix. 


This ceremony being over, on the same day, the tenth of Dhu'lhajja, 
the pilgrims slay their victims in the said valley of Mina ; of which 
they and their friends eat part, and the rest is given to the poor 
These victims must be either sheep, goats, kine, or camels ; males, \\ 
of either of the two former kinds, and females if of either of the latter, 
and of a tit age.'° The sacrifices being over, they shave their heads 
and cut their nails, burying them in the sam.e place ; after which the 
pilgrimage is locked on as completed :" though they again visit the 
Caaba, to take their leave of that sacred building. 

The above-mentioned ceremonies, by the confession of the Moham- 
medans themselves, were almost all of them observed by the pagan 
Arabs many ages before their prophet's appearance ; and particularly 
the compassing of the Caaba, the running between Safa and Merwa, 
and the throwing of the stones in Mina ; and were confirmed by 
Mohammed, with some alterations in such points as seemed most 
exceptionable : thus, for example, he ordered that when they com- 
passed the Caaba they should be clothed ;' whereas, before his time, 
they performed that piece of devotion naked, throwing off their clothes 
as a mark that they had cast off their sins,' or as signs of their dis- 
obedience towards GOD.' 

It is also acknowledged that the greater part of these rites are of no 
intrinsic worth, neither affecting the soul, nor agreeing with natural 
reason, but altogether arbitrary, and commanded merely to try the 
obedience of mankind, without any further view ; and are therefore 
to be complied with ; not that they are good in themselves, but 
because God has so appointed/ Some, however, have endeavoured 
to find out some reasons for the arbitrary injunctions of this kind ; 
and one writer,-^ supposing men ought to imitate the heavenly bodies, 
not only in their purity, but in their circular motion, seems to argue 
the procession round the Caaba to be therefore a rational practice. 
Reland^ has observed that the Romans had something like this in 
their worship, being ordered by Numa to use a circular motion in 
the adoration of the Gods, either to represent the orbicular motion 
of the world, or the perfecting the whole office of prayer to that 
God v/ho is maker of the universe, or else in allusion to the Egyp- 
tian wheels, which were hieroglyphics of the instability of human 

The pilgrimage to Mecca, and the ceremonies prescribed to those 
who perform it, are, perhaps, liable to greater exception than other of 
Mohammed's institutions; not only as silly and ridiculous in them- 
selves, but as relics of idolatrous superstition.^ Yet whoever seriously 
considers how difficult it is to make people submit to the abolishing of 
ancient customs, how unreasonable soever, which they are fond of, 
especially where the interest of a considerable party is also concerned, 

10 Vide Reland. ubi sup. p. 117. H See Kor. c. 2, p. 21 1 Kor. a 7, p. 106, 107. 

2 Al Faik, de Tempore Ignor. Arabum, apud Milllum de JNIchammedismo ante Moh. p. 322 
Compare Isa. Ixiv. 6. ^ Jallal. al Beid. This notion comes very near, if it be not the same 
with that of the Adamites. ** Al Ghazali. Vide Abulfar. Hist. Dsm p. 171. ^ Abu 

Jaafar Ebn Tofail, in Vita Hai Ebn Yokdhan, p. 151. See. Mr. Ockley's English translation 
thereof, p. 117. 6 De Rel. Mah. p. 123. ' Plutarch, in Numa, 3 Maimonides (in Epist. 
ad Prosel. Rel.) pretends that the worship of Mercury was performed by throwing of stones 
9nd that of Chemosh by making bare the head, and uuttin;; oa «u>'^wn garment";. 


and that a man may with less danger change many things than one 
great one,' must excuse Mohammed's yielding some points of less mo- 
ment, to gain the principal. The temple of Mecca was held in exces- 
sive veneration by all the Arabs in general (if we except only the tribes 
of Tay, and Khathdam, and some of the posterity of al Hareth Ebn 
Caab,' who used not to go in pilgrimage thereto), and especially by 
those of Mecca, who had a particular interest to support that venera- 
tion ; and as the most silly and insignificant things are generally the 
objects of the greatest superstition, Mohammed found it much easier 
to abolish idolatry itself, than to eradicate the superstitious bigotry- 
with which they were addicted to that temple, and the rites performed 
there; wherefore, after several fruitless trials to wean them therefrom,' 
he thought it best to compromise the matter, and rather than to frus- 
trate his whole design, to allow them to go on pilgrimage thither, and 
to direct their prayers thereto ; contenting himself with transferring 
the de\^otions there paid from their idols to the true God, and chang- 
ing such circumstances therein as he judged might give scandal. 
And herein he followed the example of the most famous legislators, 
who instituted not such laws as were absolutely the best in them- 
selves, but the best their people were capable of receiving : and we 
find God himself had the same condescendence for the Jews, whose 
hardness of heart he humoured in many things, giving them there- 
fore statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should 
not live.3 



HAVING in the preceeding section spoken of the fundamental 
points of the Mohammedan religion, relating both to faith and 
.o practice, I shall in this and the two following discourses, speak in 
the same brief method of some other precepts and institutions of the 
Koran which deserve peculiar notice, and first of certain things which 
are thereby prohibited. 

The drinking of wine, under which name all sorts of strong and 
inebriating liquors are comprehended, is forbidden in the Koran in 
more places than one* Some, indeed, have imagined that excess 
therein is only forbidden, and that the moderate use of wine is allowed 
by two passages in the same book :" but the more received opinion is, 
rhat to drink any strong liquors, either in a lesser quantity., or in a 
greater, is absolutely unla\^'ful ; and though libertines^ indulge theui- 

* According to the maxim, Tuthis est innlta ntutaye qnam unum ffuignuf/i, 1 AJ 

Shahrestani. 2 See Kor. c. 2, p. 16. ^ Ezek. xx. 25. Vide Spencer de Urim et Thum- 
mim, c. 4 § 7. 1 See c. 2, p. 23, and c. 5, p. 84. 2 Cap. 2, p. 23, and c. 16, p. 200. Vid* 

O'HerbeL Bibl. Orient, p. 6e^ ^ Vye Smith, de Morib. et Jnstu Turcar Ep. 3. p. 28. &c 


selves in a contrary practice, yet the more conscientious are so strict, 
especially if they have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca,* that they 
hold it unlawful not only to taste wine, but to press grapes for the 
making of it, to buy or to sell it, or even to maintain themselves with 
the money arising by the sale of that liquor. The Persians, however, 
as well as the Turks, are very fond of wine ; and if one asks them how 
it comes to pass that they venture to drink it. when it is so directly 
forbidden by their religion, they answer, that it is with them as with 
the Christians, whose religion prohibits drunkenness and whoredoni as 
great sins, and who glory, notwithstanding, some in debauching girls 
and married women, and others in drinking to excess.^ 

It has been a question whether coffee comes not under the above- 
mentioned prohibition,^ becauL*3 the fumes of it have some effect on the 
imagination. This drink, which was first publicly used at Aden in 
Arabia Felix, about the middle of the ninth century of the Hejra, and 
thence gradually introduced into Mecca, Medina, Egypt, Syria, and. 
other parts of the Levant, has been the occasion of great disputes and 
disorders, having been sometimes publicly condemned and forbidden, 
and again declared lawful and allowed.^ At present the use of coffee 
is generally tolerated, if not granted, as is that of tobacco, though the 
more religious make a scruple of taking the latter, not only because it 
inebriates, but also out of respect to a traditional saying of their 
prophet (which, if it could be m.ade out to be his, would prove hi^^^ a 
prophet indeed), " That in the latter days there should be m^:. who 
should bear the name of Moslems, but should not be really such ; and 
that they should smoke a certain weed, which should be called tobacco." 
However, the eastern nations are generally so addicted to both, that 
they say, "A dish of coffee and a pipe of tobacco are a complete 
entertainment;" and the Persians have a proverb that coffee without 
tobacco is meat without salt.' 

Opium and beng (which latter is the leaves of hemp in pills or 
conserve) are also by the rigid Mohammedans esteemed unlawful, 
though not mentioned in the Koran, because they intoxicate and 
disturb the understanding as wine does, and in a more extraordinary 
manner : yet these drugs are now commonly taken in the east ; but 
they who are addicted to them are generally looked upon as debauchees,* 

Several stories have been told as the occasion of Mohammed's 
prohibiting the drinking of v/ine '} but the true reasons are given in the 
Koran, viz., because the ill qualities of that liquor surpass its good 
ones, the common effects thereof being quarrels and disturbances in 
company, and neglect, or at least indecencies, in the performance of 
religious duties."* For these reasons it was that the priests were, b> 
the Levitical law, forbidden to drink wine or strong drink when they 
entered the tabernacle,^ and that the Nazarites^ and Rechabites,' and 

* Vide Chardin, uLi sapra, p. 212. 5 Chardin, ubi sup. p. 344. * Abd'alkader Mo- 

hammed al Ansari has written a treatise concerning Coffee, wherein he argues for its lawfulness. 
Vide D'Herbel. Art. Cahvah. 7 Vide Le Traite Historique de I'Origine et du Progres du 

Cafe, ^ Iji fia du Voy. de 1' Arabia heur. de la Roque. 1 Reland. Dissert. Miscell. t, 2, p. 280. 
V'ide CLt^yrfin, Voy. de Perse, t. 2, p. 14 and 66. * Vide Chardin, ibid. p. 68, &c., arid 

D'Herbei. p, 200. 3 Vide Prid. Life of Mah. p. 82, &;c. ; Busbeq. Epist. 3, p. 255; ani' 

.viaundeviile's Travels, p. 1.0.^ ^ Kor. c. 2, p. 23, c. 5, p. 84, and c 4, p. 59. See Prov. xxii» 
vs. &c ^ LcvJt. X. » * rJusib. vi. a. 7 Jerfia. Xi\.T», 6 &.C 


many pious persons among the Jews and primitive Christians, wholly 
abstained therefrom ; nay, some of the latter Avent so far as to condemn 
the use of wine as sinful.^ But Mohammed is said to have had a 
nearer example than any of these, in the more devout persons of his 
own tribe.' 

Gaming is prohibited by the Koran'* in the same passages, and for 
the same reasons, as wine. The word al Meisar, which is there used, 
signifies a particular manner of casting lots by arrows, much practised 
by the pagan Arabs, and performed in the following manner. A 
young camel being bought and killed, and divided into ten or twenty- 
eight parts, the persons who cast lots for them, to the number of seven, 
met for that purpose ; and eleven arrows were provided, without heads 
or feathers, seven of which were marked, the first with one notch, the 
second with two, and so on, and the other four had no mark at all." 
These arrows were put promiscuously into a bag, and then drawn by an 
indifferent person, who had another near him to receive them, and to 
see he acted fairly ; those to whom the marked arrows fell won shares 
in proportion to their lot, and those to whom the blanks fell were 
entitled to no part of the camel at all, but were obliged to pay the full 
price of it The winners, hov/ever, tasted not of the flesh, any more 
than the losers, but the whole was distributed among the poor ; and 
this they did out of pride and ostentation, it being reckoned a shame 
for a man to stand out, and not venture his money on such an occasion.' 
This custom, therefore, though it was of some use to the poor and 
diversion to the rich, was forbidden by Mohammed' as the source of 
great inconveniences, by occasioning quarrels and heart-burnings, 
which arose from the winners insulting of those who lost. 

Under the name of lots the commentators agree that all other games 
whatsoever, which are subject to hazard or chance, are comprehended 
and forbidden, as dice, cards, tables, &c. And they are reckoned so 
ill in themselves, that the testimony of him who plays at them, is by 
the more rigid judged to be of no validity in a court of justice. Chess 
is almost the only game which the Mohammedan doctors alio to be 
la\A^ul (though it has been a doubt with some),' because it depends 
wholly on skill and management, and not at all on chance : but then 
it is allowed under certain restrictions, viz., that it be no hindrance to 
the regular performance of their devotions, and that no money or other 
thing be played for or betted ; which last the Turks and Sonnites 
religiously observe, but the Persians and Mogols do not.* But what 
Mohammed is supposed chiefly to have disliked in the game of chess, 
was the carved pieces, or men, with which the pagan Arabs played, 
being little figures of men, elephants, horses, and dromedaries \^ and 
these are thought, by some commentators, to be truly meant by the 
images prohibited in one of the passages of the Koran^ quoted above. 

^ This was the heresy of those called Encratitse, and Aquarij. Khwaf, a Magian heretic, also 
declared wine unlawful ; but this was after Mohammed's time. Hyde, de Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 300. 
« Vide Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. 271. 10 Cap. 2, p. 23, c. 5, p. 84. H Some writers, as ai 

Zamakh. and al Shirazi, mention but three blank arrows. 1 Auctores Nodhm al dorr, et 

Nothr al dorr, al Zamakh. al Firauzabadi, al Shirazi in Orat. al Hariri, al Beidawi, &c. Vide 
i'oc. Spec. p. 324. &c. 2 Kor. c. 5, p. 73- ^ Vide Hyde, de Ludis Oriental, in Proleg. ad 
Shaiiiludium. * Vide eund. ibid. Vide eundeiu, ibid, and in Hist. ShaMudij, p. 135, 

' Cap. 5. p. 84. 



That the Arabs in Mohammed's time actually used such images foi 
chess-men appears from what is related, in the Sonna, of Ali, who 
passing accidentally by some who were playing at chess, asked, " What 
images they were which they were so intent upon ? "^ for they were 
perfectly new to him, that game having been but very lately introduced 
into Arabia, and not long before into Persia, whither it was first 
brought from India in the reign of Khosru Nushirwan.' Hence the 
Mohammedan doctors infer that the game was disapproved only for 
the sake of the images : wherefore the Sonnites always play with plain 
pieces of wood or ivory ; but the Persians and Indians, who are not so 
scrupulous, continue to make use of the carved ones/ 

The Mohammedans comply with the prohibition of gaming much 
better than they do with that of wine ; for though the common people, 
among the Turks more frequently, and the Persians more rarely, are 
addicted to play, yet the better sort are seldom guilty of it.' 

Gaming, at least to excess, has been forbidden in all well-ordered 
states. Gaming-houses were reckoned scandalous places among the 
Greeks^ and a gamester is declared by Aristotle^ to be no better than 
a thief : the Roman senate made very severe laws against playing at 
games of hazard,* except only during the Saturnalia ; though the 
people played often at other times, notwithstanding the prohibition : 
the civil law forbad all pernicious games \^ and though the laity were, 
in some cases, permitted to play for money, provided they kept within 
reasonable bounds, yet the clergy were forbidden to play at tables 
(which is a game of hazard), or even to look on while others played.' 
Accursius, indeed, is of opinion they may play at chess, notwithstand- 
ing that law, because it is a game not subject to chance,^ and being 
but newly invented in the time of Justinian, was not then known in 
the western parts. However, the monks for some time were not allowed 
even chess.* 

As to the Jews, Mohammed's chief guides, they also highly disap- 
prove gaming : gamesters being severely censured in the Talmud, and 
their testimony declared invalid.' 

Another practice of the idolatrous Arabs forbidden also in one of 
the above-mentioned passages,'" was that of divining by arrows. 
The arrows used by them for this purpose were like those with 
which they cast lots, being without heads or feathers, and were 
kept in the temple of some idol, in whose presence they were con- 
sulted. Seven such arrows were kept at the temple of Mecca ;" 
but generally in divination they made use of three only, on one of 
which was written, " My Lord hath commanded me," on another, 
'* My Lord hath forbidden me," and the third was blank. If the first 
was drawn, they looked on it as an approbation of the enterprise in 
question ; if the second, they made a contrary conclusion ; but if the 

7 Sokeike'' ^ Dimi^ki, and Auctor libri al Mostatraf, apud Hyde, ubi sup. p. 8. 8 Khon 
defSkk". a»ud <?""d. ibid. p. 41. ^ Vide Hyde, ubi sup. p. 9. 2 Vide eundem, in Proleg 

and Cita*xiin Voy. de Perse, t. 2, p. 46. ^ LJb. iv. ad Nir^m. •* Vide Horat. 1. 3. Carm. 
Od. 24. ''' fT. ^ Alencor-ibus. Novell. Just, i^ j, ^.c. Vide Hyde, ubi sup. in Hist. Aleae, 

p. no. 6 A.uthe • interdicimus, c. de episcopis. 7 In Com. ad Legem Praed. 8 £)u Fresne, 
m Gloss. 9 Ba a M&sia, 84, i ; Rosh hashana and Sanhedr. 24, 2. Vide etiam Maimon. in 

Tract. Gezila. A 11 '3^31 ^"'^^ msd&Fn civilians, M-iscardus thought common gamesters were no! 
t© be admitted ^i* vv*"'^^^'***' fe^fRg infamous persons. Vide Hyde, ubi sup. in Proleg. et ui 
H-iM W^. 5 J. ^'*^^ « 5 ^^ ?** before, o. 16. 


third happened to be drawn, they mixed them and drew over again, 
till a decisive answer was given by one of the others. These divining 
arrows were generally consulted before anything of moment was under- 
taken ; as when a man was about to marry, or about to go a journey, 
or the like.' This superstitious practice of divining by arrows was used 
by the ancient Greeks,' and other nations ; and is particularly men- 
tioned in scripture,^ where it is said, that "the king of Babylon stood 
at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination ; 
he made his arrows bright" (or, according to the version of the Vulgate, 
which seems preferable in this place, "he mixed together, or shook the 
arrows"), "he consulted with images," &c. ; the commentary of St. Jerome 
on which passage wonderfully agrees with what we are told of the afore- 
said custom of the old Arabs : " He shall stand," says he, " in the 
highway, and consult the oracle after the m.anner of his nation, that 
he may cast arrows into a quiver, and mix them together, being wTitten 
upon or marked with the names of each people, that he may see whose 
arrow will come forth, and which city he ought first to attack."'^ 

A distinction of meats was so generally used by the eastern nations, 
that it is no wonder that Mohammed made some regulations in that 
matter. The Koran, therefore, prohibits the eating of blood, and sv/ine's 
fiesh, and whatever dies of itself, or is slain in the name or in honour 
of any idol, or is strangled, or killed by a blow, or a fall, or by any other 
beast.5 In which particulars Mohammed seems chiefly to have imitated 
the Jews, by v/hose law, as is well known, all those things are forbidden ; 
but he allowed some things to be eaten which Moses did not,^ as camels' 
flesh' in particular. In cases of necessity, however, where a man may 
be in danger of starving, he is allowed by the Mohammedan law to eat 
any of the said prohibited kinds of food ;* and the Jewish doctors grant 
the same liberty in the same case.' Though the aversion to blood and 
what dies of itself may seem natural, yet some of the pagan Arabs used 
to eat both : of their eating of the latter some instances will be given 
hereafter ; and as to the former, it is said they used to pour blood, 
which they sometimes drew from a live camel, into a gut, and then 
broiled it in the fire, or boiled it, and ate it : ' this food they called 
Moswadd, from Aswad, which signifies d/ack ; the same nearly re- 
sembling our black puddings in name as well as composition." The 
eating of meat offered to idols I take to be commonly practised by all 
idolaters, being looked on as a sort of communion in their worship, and 
for that reason esteemed by Christians, if not absolutely unlawful, yet 
as what may be the occasion of great scandal ; ^ but the Arabs were 
particularly superstitious in this matter, killing what they ate on stones 
erected on purpose around the Caaba, or near their own houses, and 
calling, at the same time, on the name of some idol.* Swine's flesh, 
indeed, the old Arabs seem not to have eaten ; and their prophet, in 

1 Ebn al Athir, al Zarnakh. and al Beid. in Kor. c. 5. Al Rlosiatraf, &c. Vide Poc. Spec. 
p. 327, &c., and D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient. An., .^odah. 2 Vide Potter, Antiq. of Greeo^, 

voL L p. 334. 3 Ezek. xxi. 21. * Vide Poc. Spec. p. 329, &c. 5 Cap. 2, p. 18; c. 5, p. 73; 
c 6 ; and c. 16. ^ Lev. xi. 4. 7 See Kor. c. 3, p. 37 and 42, and c. 6. 8 Kor. c. 5, 

p. 74, and in the other passages last quoted, ^ Vide Maimon. in Halachoth Melachim. 

c. 8, § i., &c. 1 Nothr al dorr, al Firauz., al Zarnakh., and al Beid. 2 Poc. Spec, p. 320 
8 Compare Acts xv. ag with i Cor. viiL 4, &c. * See the fifth chapter of the Kor. p. 73, and 
the not^ there- 


prohibiting the same, appears to have only confirmed the common 
aversion of the nation. Foreign writers tell us that the Arabs vi^holly 
abstained from swine's flesh,^ thinking it unlawful to feed thereon,* and 
that very few, if any, of those animals are found in their country, because 
it produces not proper food for them ;^ which has made one writer 
imagine that if a hog were carried thither, it would immediately die.* 

In the prohibition of usury' I presume Mohammed also followed the 
jews, v/ho are strictly forbidden by their law to exercise it among one 
Another, though they are so infamously guilty of it in their dealing with 
those of a different religion : but I do not find the prophet of the Arabs 
has made any distinction in this matter. 

Several superstitious customs relating to cattle, which seem to have 
been peculiar to the pagan Arabs, were also abolished by Mohammed. 
The Koran'° mentions four names by them given to certain camels or 
sheep, which for some particular reasons were left at free liberty, and 
were not made use of as other cattle of the same kind. These names 
are Bahira, Saiba, Wasila, and Hami : of each whereof in their order. 

As to the first, it is said that when a she-camel, or a sheep, had borne 
young ten times, they used to slit her ear, and turn her loose to feed 
at full liberty ; and when she died, her flesh was eaten by the men 
only, the women being toi bidden to eat thereof: and such a camel or 
sheep, from the slitting of her ear, they called Bahira. Or the Bahira 
was a she-camel, which was turned loose to feed, and whose fifth young 
one, if it proved a male, was killed and eaten by men and women pro- 
miscuously ; but if it proved a female, had its ear slit, and was dismissed 
to free pasture, none being permitted to make use of its flesh or milk, 
or to ride on it ; though the women were allowed to eat the flesh of it 
when it died : or it was the female young of the Saiba, which was used 
in the same manner as its dam ; or else an ewe, which had yeaned five 
times.' These, however, are not all the opinions concerning the Bahira . 
for some suppose that name was given to a she-camel, which, after 
having brought forth young five times, if the last was a male, had her 
ear slit, as a mark thereof, and was let go loose to feed, none driving 
her from pasture or water, nor using her for carriage ;' and others tell 
Uo, that when a camel had newly brought forth, they used to slit the ear 
of her young one, saying, " O GOD, if it live, it shall be for our use, but 
if it die, it shall be deemed rightly slain;" and when it died, they 
ate it.3 

Saiba signifies a she-camel turned loose to go where she will. And 
this was done on various accounts ; as when she had brought forth 
females ten times together ; or in satisfaction of avow ; or when a man 
had recovered from sickness, or returned safe from a journey, or his 
camel had esf;aped some signal danger either in battle or otherwise. 
A camel so turned loose was declared to be Saiba, and, as a mark of 
it, one of the vertebrce or bones was taken out of her back, after which 
none might drive her from pasture or water, or ride on her.* Some say 
ttiat the Saiba, when she had ten times together brought forth females, 
was suffered to go at liberty, none being allowed to ride on hei, and 

5 SolJn. de Arab. c. 33. ^ Hieronym. in Jovin. 1. 2, c. 6. "> Idem, ibid. 8 Solinus, 

nbi sivpra. 9 Kor. c. 2, p. o- ^^ Cap. 5, p. 86. 1 Al Firauzabadi. S AI Zamakh., al 
R'lidawi. al Mostatraf. 3 n al Athlj. * Al Firauzab.. al Zaniakh. 


that her milk was not to be drank by any but her young one, or a guest, 
till she died ; and then her flesh was e..ten by men as well as women, 
and her last female young one had her ear slit, and was called Bahira, 
and turned loose as her dam had been.s 

This appellation, however, was not so strictly proper to female camels, 
but that it was given to the male when his young one had begotten 
another young one :* nay, a servant set at liberty and dismissed by his 
master, was also called Saiba ;^ and some are of opinion that the word 
denotes an animal which the Arabs used to turn loose in honour of 
their idols, allowing none to make use of them, thereafter, except 
women only.* 

Wasila is, by one author,* explained" to signify a she- camel which had 
brought forth ten times, or an ewe which had yeaned seven times, and 
every time tvi^ins ; and if the seventh time she brought forth a male and 
a female, they said, " Wosilat akhaha," i.e., " She is joined," or, " was 
brought forth with her brother," after which none might drink the dam's 
milk, except men only ; and she was used as the Saiba. Or Wasila 
was particularly meant of sheep ; as when an ewe brought forth a 
female, they took it to themselves, but when she brought forth a male, 
they consecrated it to their gods, but if both a male and a female, the> 
said, " She is joined to her brother," and did not sacrifice that male to 
their gods : or Wasila was an ewe which brought forth first a male, and 
then a female, on which account, or because she followed her brother, 
the male was not killed ; but if she brought forth a male only, they said, 
" Let this be an offering to our gods.''^ Another'* writes, that if an ewe 
brought forth twins seven times together, and the eighth time a male, 
they sacrificed that male to their gods ; but if the eighth time she 
brought both a male and a female, they used to say, " She is joined to 
her brother," and for the female's sake they spared the male, and per- 
mitted not the dam's milk to be drunk by women. A third writer tells 
us, that Wasila was an ewe, which having yeaned seven times, if that 
which she brought forth the seventh time was a male, they sacrificed it, 
but if a female, it was sufi"ered to go loose, and was made use of by 
women only ; and if the seventh time she brought forth both a male 
and a female, they held them both to be sacred, so that men only were 
allowed to make any use of them, or to drink the milk of the female : 
and a fourth^ describes it to be an ewe which brought forth ten females 
at five births one after another, i.e., every time twins, and whatever she 
brought forth afterwards was allowed to men, and not to women, &c. 

Hami was a male camel used for a stallion, which, if the females had 
conceived ten times by him, was afterwards freed from labour, and let 
go loose, none driving him from pasture or from water ; nor was any 
allowed to receive the least benefit from him, not even to shear his hair.* 

These things were observed by the old Arabs in honour of their false 
gods,' and as part of the worship which they paid them, and were 
ascribed to the divine institution ; but are all condemned in the Koran, 
and declared to be impious superstitions.' 

5 Al Jawhan, Ebn al Athir. 6 Al Firauz. ^ Idem, al Jawhari, &c. 1 Nothr al don 

and Nodhm al dorr. 2 Al Firauz. 3 Idem, al Zamakh. •* Al Jawhari ^ Al Motarrezi 

8 Al Firauz., al Jaw'iari. 1 Jallal. in For ^ Kor. c s, P- 86, and c. 6, Vide Poc. Soec 
p. 330—33*. 


The law of Mohammed also put a stop to the inhuman custom which 
had beei. long practised by the Pagan Arabs, of burying their daughters 
alive, lest they should be reduced to poverty by providing for them, or 
else to avoid the displeasure and the disgrace whicu would follow, if 
they should happen to bemade captives, or to become scandalous by their 
behaviour ;* the birth of a daughter being, for these reasons, reckoned 
a great misfortune,* and the death of one as a great happiness.* The 
m.anner of their doing this is differently related : some say that when 
an Arab had a daughter born, if he intended to bring her up, he sent 
her, clothed in a garment of wool or hair, to keep camels or sheep in 
the desert ; but \i he designed to put her to death, he let her hve till 
she became six years old, and then said to her mother, " Perfume her^ 
and adorn her, that I may carry her to her mothers ;" which being 
done, the father led her to a well or pit dug for that purpose, and 
having bid her to look down into it, pushed her in headlong, as he 
stood behind her, and then filling up the pit, levelled it with the rest of 
the gi'ound ; but others say, that when a woman was ready to fall in 
labour, they dug a pit, on the brink whereof she was to be delivered, and 
if the child happened to be a daughter, they threw it into the pit, but if 
a son, they saved it alive.^ This custom, though not observed by all 
the Arabs in general, was yet very common among several of their 
tribes, and particularly those of Koreish and Kendah ; the former using 
to bury their daughters alive in Mount Abu Dalama, near Mecca.' In 
the time of ignorance, while they used this method to get rid of their 
daughters, Sasaa, grandfather to the celebrated poet al Farazdak, fre- 
quently redeemed female children from death, giving for every one two 
she-camels big with young, and a he-camel ; and hereto al Farazdak 
alluded when, vaunting himself before one of the Khalifs of the family 
of Omeyya, he said, " I am the son of the giver of life to the dead;" 
for which expression being censured, he excused himself by alleging 
the following words of the Koran,* "He who saveth a soul alive, shall 
be as if he had saved the lives of all mankind."' The Arabs, in thus 
murdering of their children, were far from being singular ; the practice 
of exposing infants and putting them to death being so common among 
the ancients, that it is remarked as a thing very extraordinary in the 
Egyptians, that they brought up all their children ;' and by the laws of 
Lycurgus' no child was allowed to be brought up without the approba- 
tion of public officers. At this day, it is said, in China, the poorer sort 
of people frequently put their children, the females especially, to death 
with impunity.* 

This wicked practice is condemned by the Koran in several pas- 
sages ;5 one of which, as some commentators* judge, may also condemn 

a Al Beidawi, al Zamakh., al Mostatraf. •* See Kor. c. i6. o Al Meidani. 6 Al 

Zamakh. ^ Al Mostatraf. 8 Cap. 5, p. 77. 1 Al Mostatraf. Vide Ebn Khalekan, 

in Vita al Farazdak, and Poo Spec. p. 334. 2 Strabo, 1. 17. Vide Diodor. Sic. 1. i, c. 80. 

3 Vide Plutarch, in Lycurgo. ■* Vide Pufendorf, de Jure Nat. et Gent. 1. 6, c. 7, § 6. The 

Grecians also treated daughters especially in this manner — whence that saying of Posidippus ; 

Qvyarepa Se iKTldrjcri Kq.v y rrXovaio^y — i.e., 
" A man, tho' poor, will not expose his son ; 
But if he's rich, will scarce preserve his dau^^hter." — 
See Potter's Antic?, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 333 6 Cap. 6, p. loi, 103 ; c. 16 ; and c 17. Set 

also chap. 81. ^ A! Za.iiakh a! ReiH 


another custom of the Arabians, altogether as wicked, and as common 
among other nations of old, viz., the sacrificing of their children to their 
idols; as was frequently done, in particular, in satisfaction of a vov/ 
they used to make, that if they had a certain number of sons born, they 
would offer one of them in sacrifice. 

Several other superstitious customs were likewise abrogated by 
Mohammed, but the same being of less moment, and not particularly 
mentioned in the Koran, or having been occasionally taken notice of 
elsewhere, I shall say nothing of them in this place. 



THE Mohammedan civil law is founded on the precepts and deter- 
minations of the Koran, as the civil laws of the Jews were on 
those of the Pentateuch ; yet being variously interpreted, according to 
the different decisions of their civilians, and especially of their four 
great doctors, Abu Hanifa, Malec, al Shafei, and Ebn Hanbal,' to treat 
thereof fully and distinctly, in the manner the curiosity and usefulness 
of the subject deserves, would require a large volume; wherefore the 
most that can be expected here, is a summ.ary view of the principal 
institutions, without minutely entering into a detail of particulars. We 
shall begin with those relating to marriage and divorce. 

That polygamy, for the moral lawfulness of which the Mohammedan 
doctors advance several arguments,' is allowed by the Koran, every one 
knows, though few are acquainted with the limitations with which it is 
allowed. Several learned men have fallen into the vulgar mistake that 
Mahommed granted to his followers an unbounded plurality ; some 
pretending that a man may have as many wives,' and others as many 
concubines,^ as he can maintain : whereas, according to the express 
words of the Koran,* no man can have more than four, whether wives 
or concubines \^ and if a man apprehend any inconvenience from even 
that number of ingenuous wives, it is added, as an advice (which is 
generally followed by the middling and inferior people),* that he marry 
one only, or, if he cannot be contented with one, that he take up with 
his she-slaves, not exceeding, however, the limited number \i and this 

7 See Sect. VIII. l See before. Sect. II., p. 31. 3 Wxc. Cusanus, in Cribrat. Alcor. L 2. 
c. 19. Olearius, in Itinerar. P. Greg. Tholosanus, in Synt. Juris, 1. 9, c. 2, § 22. Septemcastreiisis 
(dfi Morib. Turc. p. 24) says the Mohammedans may have twelve lawful w-'ves, and no more, 
Ricaut falsely asserts the restraint of the number of their wives to be no precept of their religion, 
Dut a rule superinduced on a politic consideration. Pres. State of the Ottoman Empire, bk iii 
c 21. 3 Marracc. in Prodr. ad Refut. Alcor. part iv. p. 52 and 71. Prideaux, Life of Mah. 
p. 114. Chardin, Voy. de Perse, t. i. p. \6(>. Du Ryer, Sommaire de la Rel. des Turcs, mis 
a la tete de sa version de I'Alcor. Ricaut, ubi suara. Pufendoit, de Jure Nat. et Gent. 1. 6 
c. 1, § i8. ■* Cap. 4, p. 53. 5 Vide Gagnier, in Notis ad Abulfediae Vit. RIoh. p. 15c 

Relaud. de Rel. Moh. p. 243, &c., and Selden, IIx. Hebr. 1. i, c. 9. C Vi,lf RrJand 

abi sup. p. 244. '' Kor. "., 4, p. £3, 


is certainly tlie utmost Mohammed allowed his followers : nor can we 
urge, as an argument against so plain a precept, the corrupt manners 
of his followers, many of whom, especially men of quality and fortune, 
indulge themselves in criminal excesses f nor yet the example of the 
prophet himself, who had peculiar privileges in this and other points, 
as will be observed hereafter. In making the above-mentioned limita- 
tion, Mohammed was directed by the decision of the Jewish doctors, 
who, by way of counsel, limit the number of wives to four,' though their 
law confines them not to any certain number. '° 

Divorce is also well known to be allowed by the Mohammedan law, 
as it was by the Mosaic, with this difference only, that, according to the 
latter, a man could not take again a woman whom he had divorced, 
and who had been married or betrothed to another ;' whereas Moham- 
med, to prevent his followers from divorcing their wives on every light 
occasion, or out of an inconstant humour, ordained that, if a man 
divorced his wife the third time (for he might divorce her twice without 
being obliged to part with her, if he repented of what he had done), it 
should not be lawful for him to take her again until she had been first 
married and bedded by another, and divorced by such second husband.' 
And this precaution has had so good an effect that the Mohammedans 
are seldom known to proceed to the extremity of divorce, notwithstand- 
mg the liberty given them, it being reckoned a great disgrace so to do ; 
and there are but few, besides those who have little or no sense of 
honour, that will take a wife again on the condition enjoined.^ It must 
be observed that, though a man is allowed by the Mohammedan, as by 
the Jewish law,^ to repudiate his wife even on the slightest disgust, yet 
the women are not allowed to separate themselves from their husbands, 
unless it be for ill-usage, want of proper maintenance, neglect of con- 
jugal duty, impotency, or some cause of equal import ; but then she 
generally loses her dowry,* which she does not if divorced by her 
husband, unless she has been guilty of impudicity or notorious dis- 
obedience.'^ -"^^ 

When a woman is divorced she is obliged, by the direction of the 
Koran, to wait till she hath had her courses thrice, or, if there be a 
doubt whether she be subject to them or not, by reason of her age, 
three months, before she marry another ; after which time expired, in 
case she be found not with child, she is at full liberty to dispose of her- 
self as she pleases ; but if she prove with child, she must wait till she 
be delivered ; and during her whole term of waiting she may continue 
in the husband's house, and is to be maintained at his expense, it being 
forbidden to turn the woman out before the expiration of the term, un- 
less she be guilty of dishonesty.'' Where a man divorces a woman 

8 Sir J. Maundeville (who, excepting a few silly stories he tells from hearsay, deserves more 
tredit than some travellers of better reputation), speaking of the Alcoran, observes, among 
several other truths, that Mahomet therein commanded a man should have two wives, or three, 
or four ; though the Mahometans then took nine wives, and lemans as many as they might 
sustain. Maundev. Travels, p. 164. 9 Maimon. in Halachoth Ishoth. c. 14. 1*^ Idem, 

ibid. Vide Selden, Uxor. Hebr. 1. i, c. o. 

"^ Deut. xxiv. 3 — 4. Jerem. iii. i. Vide Selden, ubi sup. 1. i, c. ir. 2 Kor. c. 2, p. 24. 

S Vide Selden, ubi sup. 1. 3, c. 21. and Ricaut's State of the Ottom. Empir-^, bk. ii. c. 21, 
* Deut. xxiv. I. Leo Modena, Hist, de gli Riti Hebr. part i. c. 6. Vide Selden, ubi sup, 
' Vide Busbeq. Ep. 3, p. 184 ; Smith, de Morib. ac Instit. Turcar. Ep. 2, p. 52 ; and Chardia 
Vov. de Perse, t. 1, p. i6g. 8 Kor. c 4. p. 55. 7 Kor. c ». d. 24. and c. 65. 


before consummation, she is not obliged to wait any particular time,* 
nor is he obliged to give her more than one-half of her dower. ^ If the 
divorced woman have a young child, she is to suckle it till it be two 
years old ; the father, in the meantime, maintaining her in all respects ; 
a widow is also obliged to do the same, and to wait four months and 
ten days before she marry again. ^ 

These rules are also copied from those of the Jews, according to 
whom a divorced woman, or a widow, cannot marry another man, till 
ninety days be past, after the divorce or death of the husband :' and 
she who gives suck is to be maintained for two years, to be computed 
from the birth of the child ; within which time she must not marry, 
unless the child die, or her milk be dried up.^ 

Whoredom, in single women as well as married, was, in the begin- 
ning of Mohammedism, very severely punished ; such being ordered 
to be shut up in prison till they died : but afterwards it was ordained 
by the Sonna, that an adulteress should be stoned,* and an unmarried 
woman guilty of fornication scourged with a hundred stripes, and 
banished for a year.^ A she-slave, if convicted of adultery, is <o suff^jr 
but half the punishment of a free v/oman,^ viz.. fifty stripes, and banish- 
ment for six months ; but is not to be put to death. To convict a 
woman of adultery, so as to make it capital, four witnesses are expressly 
required,^ and those, as the commentators say, ought to be men : and 
if a man falsely accuse a woman of reputation of whoredom of any 
kind, and is not able to support the charge by that number of wit- 
nesses, he is to receive fourscore stripes, and his testimony is to be 
held invalid for the future.* P'ornication, in either sex, is by the sen- 
tence of the Koran to be punished with a hundred stripes.' 

If a man accuse his wife of infidelity, and is not able to prove it by 
sufficient evidence, and will swear four times that it is true, and the 
fifth time imprecate God's vengeance on him if it be false, she is to be 
looked on as convicted, unless she will take the like oaths, and make 
the like imprecation, in testimony of her innocency ; which if she 
do, she is free from punishment, though the marriage ought to be 

In most of tlie last-mentioned particulars the decisions of the Koran 
also agree with those of the Jews. By the law of Moses, adultery, 
whether in a married v/oman or a virgin betrothed, was punished with 
death ; and the man who debauched them was to suffer the same 
punishment' The penalty of simple fornication v/as scourging, the 

8 Ibid. c. 33. 9 Ibid. c. 2, p. 25, 1 Ibid. c. 2, p. 25, and c. 65. 2 Mishna, tit 

Vabimoth, c. 4. Gemar. Babyl. ad euni tit. Maimon. in Halach. Girushin, Shylhan A.-uch, 
part iiL 3 Mishna, and Gemara, and Mairnon. ubi supra. Gem. Babyl. ad tit, Cetuboth, 

c. 5, and Jos. Karo, in Shylhan Aruch, c. 50, § 2. Vide Selden, Ux. Hebr. 1. 2, c. 11, and 1. 3, 
a 10, in fin. * And the adulterer also, according to a passage once extant in the Koran, and 
still in force, as some suppose. See the notes to Kor. c. 3, p. 34, and the PreL Disc. p. 52. 
^ Kor. c 4, p. 55. See the notes there. 6 Ibid. p. 57. 7 Ibid. p. 55. 8 Ibid, c 24. 

9 Ibid. This law relates not to mamed people, as Selden supposes ; Ux. Heb. L 3, c. 12. 

10 Ibid, p. 288. See the notes there. 

1 Levit. XX. 10 ; Deut. xxii. 22. The kind of death to be inflicted on adulterers, in common 
cases being not expressed, the Talmudists generally suppose it to be strangling, which they 
think is designed wherever the phrase "shall be put to death," or "shall die the death," is 
used, as they imagine stoning is by the expression, " his blood shall be upon him ; " and hence 
it has been concluded by some that the woman taken in adultery mentioned in the Gospel 
(John viii.) was a betrothed maiden, because such a one and her accomplice were plainly ordered 
to be stoned (Deut xxiL 23, 24). But the ancients seem to h^ve been of a different opinion. 


general punishment in cases where none is particularly appointed: and 
a betrothed bondmaid, if convicted of adultery, underwent the same 
punishment, being exempted from death, because she was not free.' 
By the same law no person was to be put to death on the oath of one 
witness •} and a man who slandered his wife was also to be chastised, 
that is scourged, and fined one hundred shekels of silver/ The method 
of trying a woman suspected of adultery where evidence was wanting, 
by forcing her to drink the bitter water of jealousy,* though disused by 
the Jews long before the time of Mohammed," yet, by reason of the 
oath of cursing with which the woman was charged, and to which she 
was obliged to say " Amen," bears great resemblance to the expedient 
devised by that prophet on the like occasion. 

The institutions of Mohammed relating to the pollution of women 
during their courses,^ the taking of slaves to wife,^ and the prohibiting 
of marriage within certain degrees,' have likewise no small affinity 
with the institutions of Moses ;'° and the parallel might be carried 
farther in several other particulars. 

As to the prohibited degrees, it may be observed, that the pagan 
Arabs abstained from marrying their mothers, daughters, and aunts 
both on the father's side and on the mother's, and held it a most scan- 
dalous thing to marry two sisters, or for a man to take his father's 
wife ;" which last was, notwithstanding, too frequently practised," and 
is expressly forbidden in the Koran.'' 

Before I leave the subject of marriages, it may be proper to take 
notice of some peculiar privileges in relation thereto, which were 
granted by GOD to Mohammed, as he gave out, exclusive of all other 
Moslems. One of them was, that he might lawfully marry as many 
wives and have as many concubines as he pleased, without being con 
fined to any particular number ;^ and this he pretended to have been 
the privilege of the prophets before him. Another was, that he might 
alter the turns of his wives, and take such of them to his bed as he 
thought fit, without being tied to that order and equality which others 
are obliged to observe.' A third privilege was, that no man might 
marry any of his wives,' either such as he should divorce during his 
lifetime, or such as he should leave widows at his death : which last 
particular exactly agrees with what the Jewish doctors have determined 
concerning the wives of their princes ; it being judged by them to be 
a thing very indecent, and for that reason unlawful, for another to marry 
either the divorced wife or the widow of a king f and Mohammed, it 
seems, thought an equal respect, at least, due to the prophetic as to 
the regal dignity, and therefore ordered that his relicts should pass the 
remainder of their lives in perpetual widowhood. 

and to have understood stoning to be the punishment of adulterers in general. Vide Selden, 
Ux. Hebr. 1. 3, c. 11 and 12. 

2 Levit. xix. 20. 3 Deut. xix. 15, xvii. 6, and Numb. xxxv. 30. ^ Deut. xxii. 13 — 10. 

* Numb. V. II, &c. 6 Vide Selden, ubi sup. 1. 3, c. 15, and Leon. Modena, de' Riti Hebraici, 
parte iv. c. 6. 7 Kor. c. 2, p. 23. 8 Ibid. c. 4, p. 53 and 57, &c. ^ Ibid. p. 56 

lO See Levit. xv. 24, xviii. 19, and xx. 18 ; Exod. xxi. 8 — 11 ; Deut. xxi. 10 — 14 : Levit. xviii. 
and XX. U Abulfed. Hist. Gen. al Shahrestani, apud Poc. Spec. p. 321 and 338. 12 vide 
Poc. ibid. p. 337, &c. 13 Cap. 4, p. 5f«. 1 Kor. c. 33. See also c. 66, and the notes 

there. 2 Kor. c. 33. See the notes there. 3 Ibid. •* Mishna, tit. Sanhedr. 

c. 2, and Gemar. in eund. tit. Maimon. Halachoth Melachim, c 3, Vide Selden, Ux. Hebr. 
I. I.e. 10 Pitd. T.ife of Man. o. tr? 


The laws of the Koran concerning inheritances are also in several 
t^ispects conformable to those of the Jews, though principally designed 
to abolish certain practices of the pagan Arabs, who used to treat 
widows and orphan children with great injustice, frequently denying 
them any share in the inheritance of their fathers or their husbands, 
on pretence that the same ought to be distributed among those only 
who were able to bear arms, and disposing of the widows, even against 
their consent, as part of their husbands' possessions.^ To prevent such 
injuries for the future, Mohammed ordered that women should be 
respected, and orphans have no wrong done them ; and in particular 
that women should not be taken against their wills, as by right of 
inheritance, but should themselves be entitled to a distributive part of 
what their parents, husbands, and near relations should leave behind 
them, in a certain proportion/ 

The general rule to be observed in the distribution of the deceased's 
estate is, that a male shall have twice as much as a female :' but to 
this rule there are some few exceptions ; a man's parents, for example, 
and also his brothers and sisters, where they are entitled not to the 
whole, but a small part of the inheritance, being to have equal shares 
with one another in the distribution thereof, without making any 
difference on account of sex." The particular proportions, in several 
cases, distinctly and sufficiently declare the intention of Mohammed ; 
whose decisions expressed in the Koran^ seem to be pretty equitable, 
preferring a man's children first, and then his nearest relations. 

If a man dispose of any part of his estate by will, two witnesses, at the 
least, are required to render the same valid ; and such witnesses ought to 
be of his o^vn tribe, and of the Mohammedan religion, if such can be had.'* 
Though there be no express law to the contrary, yet the Mohammedan 
doctors reckon it very wrong for a man to give away any part of his 
substance from his family, unless it be in legacies for pious uses ; and 
even in that case a man ought not to give all he has in charity, but only 
a reasonable part in proportion to his substance. On the other hand, 
though a man make no will, and bequeath nothing for charitable uses, 
yet the heirs are directed, on the distribution of the estate, if the value 
will permit, to bestow something on the poor, especially such as are of 
kin to the deceased, and to the orphans.* 

The first law, however, laid down by Mohammed touching inherit- 
ances, was not very equitable ; for he declared that those who had fled 
with him from Mecca, and those who had received and assisted him at 
Medina, should be deemed the nearest of kin, and consequently heirs 
to one another, preferably to and in exclusion of their relations b)' 
blood ; nay, though a man were a true believer, yet if he had not fled 
his country for the sake of religion and joined the prophet, he was to 
be looked on as a stranger ? but this law continued not long in force 
being quickly abrogated.' 

It must be observed, that among the Mohammedans the children of 
their concubines or slaves are esteemed as equally legitimate with those 

s See c. 4, p. 53, 54, and 56, and the notes there. Vide etiam Poc. Spec. p. 337. ^ Kor. 

c 4, ubi supra. ^ Ibid. p. 54 and 72. Vide Chardin, Voy. de Perse, t. 2, p. 293, 2 Kor 

ibid. p. 54. 3 itjjj and p. 72- * Kor. a ;, p. 86. 6 Kor, c 4^ p. 54. ^ Cap. 8 
' Ibii and c. 3^ 


of their leg^al and ingenuous wives ; none being accounted bastards, 
except such only as are bom of common women, and whose fathers are 

As to private contracts between man and man, the conscientious per- 
formance of them is frequently recommended in the Koran.' For the 
preventing of disputes, all contracts are directed to be made before 
witnesses,' and in case such contracts are not immediately executed, 
the same ought to be reduced into writing in the presence of two wit- 
nesses^ at least, who ought to be Moslems and of the male sex ; but if 
two men cannot be conveniently had, then one man and two women 
may suffice. The same method is also directed to be taken for the 
security of debts to be paid at a future day ; and where a writer is not 
to be found, pledges are to be taken.* Hence, if people trust one 
another without writing, witnesses, or pledge, the party on whom the 
demand is made is always acquitted if he denies the charge on oath, 
and swears that he owes the plaintiff nothing, unless the contrary be 
proved by very convincing circumstances.^ 

Wilful murder, though forbidden by the Koran under the severest 
penalties to be inflicted in the next life,* is yet, by the same book, 
allowed to be compounded for, on payment of a fine t^ the family oi 
the deceased, and freeing a Moslem from captivity ; but it is in the 
election of the next of kin, or the revenger of blood, as he is called in 
the Pentateuch, either to accept of such satisfaction, or to refuse it ; for 
he may, if he pleases, insist on having the murderer delivered into his 
hands, to be put to death in such manner as he shall think fit.' In this 
particular Mohammed has gone against the express letter of the Mosaic 
law, which declares that no satisfaction shall be taken for the life of a 
murderer ;' and he seems, in so doing, to have had respect to the 
customs of the Arabs in his time, who, being of a vindictive temper, 
used to revenge murder in too unmerciful a manner,^ whole tribes 
frequently engaging in bloody wars on such occasions, the natural con- 
sequence of their independency, and having no common judge or 

If the Mohammedan laws seem light in case of murder, they may 
perhaps be deemed too rigorous in case of manslaughter, or the killing 
of a man undesignedly, which must be redeemed by fine (unless the 
next of kin shall think fit to remit it out of charity), and the freeing of 
a captive : but if a man be not able to do this, he is to fast two months 
together, by way of penance.' The fine for a man's blood is set in the 
Sonna at a hundred camels,' and is to be distributed among the rela- 
tions of the deceased, according to the laws of inheritances ; but it 
must be observed that, though the person slain be a Moslem, yet if he 
be of a nation or party at enmity, or not in confederacy with those to 
v/hom the slayer belongs, he is not then bound to pay any fine at all, the 
redeemii g a captive being, in such case, declared a sufficient penalty. ^ I 

1 Cap. s, p. 73 ; c. 17 ; c. 2, p. 31, &c. 2 Cap. 2, p. 31. 3 The same seen-s to 

have been required by the Jewish law, even in cases where life was not concerned. See 
Deut. xix. 15, Matth. xviii. 16, John viii. 17, 2 Cor. xiii. i. •* Kor, c. 2, p. 30, 31. 5 Vide 
Chardin, Voy. de Perse, t. 2, p. 294, &c., and the notes to Kor. c. 5, p. 86. 6 Kor. c. 4, p. 6^. 
f Cap. 2, p. 18, 19; c. 17. Vide Chardin, ubi sup. p. 299, &C, 8 Numb, xxxv, 31. 8 This 
is particularly forbidden in the Koran, o. 17. • Kor. c 4, p 64. s See the notes to c. 37 
* Kor. c 4, p. 6iU 


imagine that Mohammed, by these regulations, laid so heavy a punish- 
ment on involuntary manslaughter, not only to make people beware 
incurring the same, but also to humour, in some degree, the revengeful 
temper of his countrymen, which might be with difficulty, if at all, pre- 
vailed on to accept a lighter satisfaction. Among the Jews, who seern 
to have been no less addicted to revenge than their neighbours, the 
manslayer who had escaped to a city of refuge was obliged to keep 
himself within that city, and to abide there till the death of the person 
who was high priest at the time the fact was committed, that his absence 
and time might cool the passion and mitigate the resentment of the 
friends of the deceased ; but if he quitted his asylum before that time, 
the revenger of blood, if he found him, might kill him without guilt ;* 
nor could any satisfaction be made for the slayer to return home before 
the prescribed time.s 

Theft is ordered to be punished by cutting off the offending part, the 
hand,^ which, at first sight, seems just enough ; but the law of Justinian, 
forbidding a thief to be maimed/ is more reasonable ; because, stealing 
being generally the effect of indigence, to cut off that limb would be 
to deprive him of the means of getting his livelihood in an honest 
manner.* The Sonna forbids the inflicting of this punishment, unless 
the thing stolen be of a certain value. I have mentioned in another 
place the further penalties which those incur who continue to steal, and 
of those who rob or assault people on the road.^ 

As to injuries done to men in their persons, the law of retaliation, 
which was ordained by the law of Moses,'° is also approved by the 
Koran :' but this law, which seems to have been allowed by Moham- 
med to his Arabians for the same reasons as it was to the Jews, viz., to 
prevent particular revenges, to which both nations were extremely 
addicted," being neither strictly just nor practicable in many cases, is 
seldom put in execution, the punishment being generally turned into a 
mulct or fine, which is paid to the party injured.^ Or rather Mohammed 
designed the words of the Koran relating thereto should be understood 
in the same manner as those of the Pentateuch most probably ought to 
be ; that is, not of an actual retaliation, according to the strict literal 
meaning, but of a retribution proportionable to the injury : for a criminal 
had not his eyes put out, nor was a man mutilated, according to the 
law of Moses, which, besides, condemned those who had wounded any 
person, where death did not ensue, to pay a fine only,* the expression 
" eye for eye and tooth for tooth " being only a proverbial manner ol 
speaking, the sense whereof amounts to this, that every one shall be 
punished by the judges according to the heinousness of the fact.' 

In injuries and crimes of an inferior nature, where no particular 
punishment is provided by the Koran, and where a pecuniary compen- 
sation will not do, the Mohammedans, according to the practice of the 

* See Numb. xxxv. 26, 27, 28. 5 Ibid. v. 32. ^ Kor. c. 5, p. 78. Novell. 134, c. 13. 

8 Vide Pufendorf, de Jure Nat. et Gent. 1. 8, c. 3, § 26. * See tHe notes to c. 5, p. 78. 

10 Exod. xxi. 24, &c., Levit. xxiv. 20, Deut. xix. 21. 1 Cap. 5, p. 79. 2 Vide Grotium, 

de Jure Belli et Pads, 1. i, c. 2, § 8. 3 Vide Chardin, t. 2, p. 209. The talio, likewisa 

established among the old Romans by the laws of the twelve tables, was not to be inflicted, 
unless the delinquent could not agree with the person injured. Vide A. Cell. Noct. Attic. 1. 20, 
c. I, and Festum, in voce Talio. ^ See Exod. xxi. 18, 19, smd 22, * Barbeyrac, in Grot 
abi supra. Vide Cleric, io Exod. xx\. 24, and Deut. xix. ax. 


Jews in the like case,* have recourse to stripes or drubbing, the most 
common chastisement used in the east at this day, as well as formerly ; 
the cudgel, which for its virtue and efficacy in keeping their people in 
good order, and within the bounds of duty, they say came down from 
heaven, being the instrument wherewith the judge's sentence is gene- 
rally executed.^ 

Notwithstanding the Korcin is by the Mohammedans in general re- 
garded as the fundamental part of their civil law, and the decisions of 
the Sonna among the Turks, and of the Imams among those of the 
Persian sect, with the explications of their several doctors, are usually 
followed in judicial determinations, yet the secular tribunals do not 
think themselves bound to observe the same in all cases, but frequently 
give judgment against those decisions, which are not always consonant 
to equity and reason ; and therefore distinction is to be made between 
the "written civil law, as administered in the ecclesiastical courts, and 
the law of nature or common law (if I may so call it) v/hich takes 
place in the secular courts, and has the executive power on its side.' 

Under the head of civil laws may be comprehended the injunction 
of warring against infidels, which is repeated in several passages of the 
Koran,* and declared to be of high merit in the sight of God, those 
who are slain fighting in defence of the faith being reckoned martyrs, 
and promised immediate admission into paradise.* Hence this duty 
is greatly magnified by the Mohammedan divines, who call the sword 
the key of heaven and hell, and persuade their people that the least 
drop of blooc^ spilt in the way of GOD, as it is called, is most acceptable 
unto him, and that the defending the territories of the Moslems for one 
night is more meritorious than a fast of two months :* on the other 
hand, desertion, or refusing to serve in these holy wars, or to contri- 
bute towards the carrying them on, if a man has ability, is accounted 
a most heinous crime, being frequently declaimed against in the Koran.' 
Such a doctrine, which Mohammed ventured not to teach till his cir- 
cumstances enabled him to put it in practice,* it must be allowed, was 
well calculated for his purpose, and stood him and his successors in 
great stead : for what dangers and difficulties may not be despised and 
overcome by the courage and constancy which these sentiments neces- 
sarily inspire? Nor have the Jews and Christians, how much soever 
they detest such principles in others, been ignorant of the force of 
enthusiastic heroism, or omitted to spirit up their respective partisans 
by the like arguments and promises. " Let him who has listed himself 
in defence of the law," says Maimonides,^ " rely on him who is the 
hope of Israel, and the saviour thereof in the time of trouble;^ and let 
him know that he fights for the profession of the divine unity : where- 
fore let him put his life in his hand,^ and think neither of wife nor 
children, but banish the memory of them from his heart, having his 
mind wholly fixed on the war. For if he should begin to waver in his 
thoughts, he would not only confound himself, but sin against the law ; 

* See Deiit. xxv. 2, 3. 7 Vide Grelot, Voy. de Constant, p. 220, and Chardin, ubi supra, p. 
302. ^ Vide Chardin, ul)i supra, p. 290, &c. 2 Cap. 22 ; c. 2, p. 20; c. 4, p. 62, &c. ; 

c. 8 ; c. 9 ; c. 47 and c. 61, &c. 3 Cap. 2, p. 17 ; c. 3, p. 47 ; c. 47 ; c 61. ^ Reland. 

de Jure Milk. Moham. p- 5. &c, 5 Vide c. 9 ; c. 3, p. 47, &c. * See before, p. 37. 

' HalacL Melachim, c. 7. 8 Jerem. xiv. 8. ^ Job xiii. 14. 


nay, the blood of the whole people hangeth on his neck; for if they 
are discomhted, and he has not fought stoutly with all his might, it is 
equally the same as if he had shed the blood of them all ; according 
to that saying, let him return, lest his brethren's heart fail as his own.'" 
To the same purpose doth the Kabala accommodate that other pas- 
sage, " Cursed be he who doth the work of the Lord negligently, and 
cursed be he who keepeth back his sword from blood.' On the 
contrary, he who behaveth bravely in battle, to the utmost of his 
endeavour, without trembling, with intent to glorify God's name, he 
ought to expect the victory with confidence, and to apprehend no dan- 
ger or misfortune, but may be assured that he will have a house built 
him in Israel, appropriated to him and his children for ever ; as it is 
said, God shall certainly make my lord a sure house, because he hath 
fought the battles of the Lord, and his life shall be bound up in the 
bundle of life with the Lord his GOD."^ More passages of this kind 
might be produced from the Jewish writers ; and the Christians come 
not far behind them. " We are desirous of knowing.'' says one* writing 
to the Franks engaged in the holy war, " the charity of you all ; for 
that every one (which we speak not because we wish it) who shall 
faithfully lose his life in this warfare, shall be by no means denied the 
kingdom of heaven." And another^ gives the following exhortation i 
" Laying aside all fear and dread, endeavour to act effectually against 
the enemies of the holy faith, and the adversaries of all religions : for 
the Almighty knoweth, if any of you die, that he dieth for the truth of 
the faith, and the salvation of his country, and the defence of Chris- 
tians ; and therefore he shall obtain of him a celestial leward." The 
Jews, indeed, had a divine commission, extensive and explicit enough, 
to attack, subdue, and destroy the enemies of their religion ; and Mo- 
hammed pretended to have received one in favour of himself and his 
Moslems, in terms equally plain and full ; and therefore it is no 
wonder that they should act consistently with their avowed principles : 
but that Christians should teach and practise a doctrine so opposite 
to the temper and whole tenour of the Gospel, seems very strange ; and 
yet the latter have carried matters farther, and shown a more violent 
spirit of intolerance than either of the former. 

The laws of war, according to the Mohammedans, have been already 
so exactly set down by the learned Reland,^ that I need say very little 
of them. I shall, therefore, only observe some conformity between 
their military laws and those of the Jews. 

While Mohammedism was in its infancy, the opposers thereof taken 
in batde were doomed to death, without mercy ; but this was judged 
too severe to be put in practice when that religion came to be 
sufficiently established, and past the danger of being subverted by its 
enemies.^ The same sentence was pronounced not only against the 
seven Canaanitish nations,' whose possessions were given to the Israel- 
ites, and without whose destruction, in a manner, they could not have 
settled themselves in the country designed them, but against the 

•i Dent. Kx. S. ^ Jerem. xwiil lo. 3 i Sam. xxv. sS, 29. * Nicobus, in Jure Canoa 
c omnium, 23, (fxsisi.. 5. * I-<o IV. ibid, quaest. 8. « In his treatise De Jure Militari 

Mohammedanor. in f}>e tfekd v«i. oi iiis Dissertationes Miscellaneae. 1 See Kor. c. 47. 

vxA the notes th^re : aaid c a- P 6i4 ;- c. ^, \x -r?- ^ pJeLU xx. 16-18. 


Amaiekites' and Midianites/ who had done their utmost to cut them 
off in their passage thither. When the Mohammedans declare war 
against people of a different faith, they give them their choice of three 
offers, viz., either to embrace Mohammedism, in which case they 
become not only secure in their persons, families, and fortunes, but 
entitled to all the privileges of other Moslems ; or to submit and pay 
tribute,^ by doing which they are allowed to profess their own religion, 
provided it be not gross idolatry or against the moral law ; or else to 
decide the quarrel by the sword, in which last case, if the Moslems pre- 
vail, the women and children which are made captives become absolute 
slaves, and the men taken in the battle inay either be slain, unless they 
turn Mohammedans, or otherwise disposed of at the pleasure of the 
prince.^ Herewith agree the laws of war given to the Jews, which 
relate to the nations not devoted to destruction ;' and Joshua is said to 
have sent even to the inhabitants of Canaan, before he entered the 
land, three schedules, in one of which was written, " Let him fly, who 
will ; " in the second, " Let him surrender, who will ; " and in the third, 
" Let him fight, who will ; "* though none of those nations made peace 
with the Israelites (except only the Gibeonites, who obtained terms of 
security by stratagem, after they had refused those offered by Joshua), 
" it being of the Lord to harden their hearts, that he might destroy 
them utterly. "9 

On the first considera-, <e success of Mohammed in war, the dispute 
which happened among his followers in relation to the dividing of the 
spoil, rendered it necessary for him to make some regulation therein ; 
he therefore pretended to have received the divine commission to dis- 
tribute the spoil among his soldiers at his outi discretion,' reserving 
thereout, in the first place, one-fifth part' for the uses after mentioned ; 
and, in consequence hereof, he took himself to be authorized on extra- 
ordinary occasions, to distribute it as he thought fit, without observing 
an equality. Thus he did, for example, with the spoil of the tribe ol 
Hawazen taken at the battle of Honein, which he bestowed by way of 
presents on the Meccans only, passing by those of Medina, and highly 
distinguishing the principal Korashites, that he might ingratiate him- 
self with them, after he had become master of their city.' He was also 
allowed in the expedition against those of al N adir to take the whole 
booty to himself, and to dispose thereof as he pleased, because no horses 
or camels were made use of in that expedition,* but the whole army 
went on foot ; and this became thenceforward a law •} the reason of 
which seems to be, that the spoil taken by a party consisting of infantry 

3 Ibid. c. XXV. 17 — 19. 4 Numb. xxxi. 17. 8 gee c. 9, and the notes there. 6 See 

the notes to c. 47. 5" Deut. xx. 10 — 15. 8 Talmud Hierosol. apud Maimonid. Halach, 
Melachim, c 6, § 5. R. Bechai, ex lib. Siphre. Vide Selden, de Jure Nat. et Gent. Sec 
Hebr. 1. 6, c. 13 and 14 ; and Schickardi Jus Regium Hebr. c 5, Theor. 16. 

9 Josh. xi. 20. The Jev/s, however, say that the Girgashites, believing they could not escape 
the destruction with which they were threatened by God, if they persisted to defend them- 
selves, fled into Africa in great numbers. (Vide Talm. Hieros. ubi sup.) And this is assigned 
a£ the reason why the Girgashites are not mentioned among the other Canaanitish nations who 
assembled to fight against Joshua (Josh. ix. i), and who were doomed to utter extirpation 
(Deut. XX. 17). But it is observable, that the Girgashites are not omitted by the Septuagint 
in either of those texts, and that their name appears in the latter of them in the Samaritan 
PeiUateudi : they are also joined with the other Canaanites as having fought against Israel, in 
Josh. xxiv. II. 1 Kor. c, 8. 8 Ibid. 3 Abulfed. in Vit. Moh. p. 118, &c Vide 

ICor. c. 9. and the noles there. * ICol & 59, see the notes there. ^ Vide Abuifed. ubi 

sup. p. QI 

i¥.c.. VI. 7/^ FRELlMIh^AP.Y DISCOURSE. iijl 

only, should be considertd as the more immediate gift of God,* and 
therefore properly left to the disi osition of his apostle. According to 
the Jews, the spoil ought to be divided into two equal parts, one to be 
shared among the captors, and the other to be taken by the prince,' 
and by him employed for his own support and the use of the public. 
Moses, it is true, divided one-half of the plunder of the Midianites 
among those who went to battle, and the other half among all the con- 
gregation •} but this, they say, being a peculiar case, and done by the 
express order of GoD himseii", must not be looked on as a precedent. 
It should seem, however, from the words of Joshua to the two tribes and 
a half, when he sent them home into Gilead aft ^ the conquest and divi 
sion of the land of Canaan, that they were to divide the spoil of theii 
enemies with their brethren, after their return :'° and the half which 
was in succeeding times taken by the king, was in all probability taken 
by him as head of the community, and representing the whole body. 
It is remarkable that the dispute among Mohammed's men about shar- 
ing the booty at Bedr," arose on the same occasion as did that among 
David's soldiers in relation to the spoils recovered from the Amalekites ;• 
those who had been in the action insisting that they who tarried by the 
stuff should have no part of the spoil ; and that the same decision was 
given in both cases, which became a law for the future, to wit, that they 
should part alike. 

The fifth part directed by the Koran to be taken out of the spoil 
before it be divided among the captors, is declared to belong to God, 
and to the apostle and his kindred, and the orphans, and the poor, and 
the traveller :" which words are variously understood. Al Shafe'i was 
of opinion that the whole ought to be divided into five parts ; the first, 
which he called God's part, to go to the treasury, and be employed in 
building and repairing fortresses, bridges, and other public works, and 
in paying salaries to magistrates, civil officers, professors of learning, 
ministers of public worship, &c. : the second part to be distributed 
among the kindred of Mohammed, that is, the descendants of his 
grandfather Hashem, and of his great-uncle al Motalleb,^ as v^'^ell the 
rich as the poor, the children as the adult, the women as the men ; ob- 
serving only to give a female but half the share of a male : the third part 
to go to the orphans : the fourth part to the poor, who have not where- 
withal to maintain themselves the year round, and are not able to get 
their livelihood : and the fifth part to travellers, who are in want on the 
road, notwithstanding they may be rich men in their own country.' 
According to Malec Ebn Ans the whole is at the disposition of the 
Imam or prince, who may distribute the same at his own discretion, 
where he sees most need.'' Abu'l Aliya wen according to the letter of 
the Koran, and declared his opinion to be that the whole should be di- 
vided into six parts, and that God's part should be applied to the servi ce 
of the Caaba: while others supposed God's part and the apostle's to be 
one and the same.* Abu Hanifa thought that the share of P.Iohammed 
and his kindred sank at that prophet's death, since which the v/hole 

8 Vide Kor. c. 59, ubi supra. ^ Gemar. Babyl. ad tit. Sanhedr. c. 2. Vide Seldsn, de 

Jure Nat. et Gent. Sec. Hebr. 1». 6, c. 16. 8 Numb. xxxi. 27. 9 Vide Maim. Halach 

ieiach. c. 4. W Josh, xi'ii. 8. ^ See Kor. c. 8, and the notes there. 1 i San 

txx. 21 — 25. 2 Kor. c. 8. ^ Note, al Sii.T.fei himself was (lesctnded frori thi.'; 'attar 

> AJ Beid. Vide Relaiid- de Jure Milit. Motiaio, o. 42, &c. * Idem. «> Iiicm. 



ought to be divided among the orphans, the poor, and the traveller.' 
Some insist that the kindred of Mohammed entitled to a share of the 
spoils are the posterity of Hashem only ; but those who think *he 
descendants of his brother al Motalleb have also a right to a distribu- 
tive part, allege a tradition in their favour purporting that Mohammed 
himself divided the share belonging to his relations among both families, 
and when Othman Ebn Assan and Jobeir Ebn Matd.m (who were de- 
scended from Abdshams and Nawfal the other brothers of Hashem) told 
him, that though they disputed not the preference of the Hashemites, 
they could not help taking it ill to see such difference made between 
the family of al Motalleb and themselves, who were related to him in 
an equal degree, and yet had no part in the distribution, the prophet 
replied that the descendants of al Motalleb had forsaken him neither 
in the time of ignorance, nor since the revelation of Islam ; and joined 
his fingers together in token of the strict union between them and the 
Hashemites.^ Some exclude none of the tribe of Koreish from receiving 
a part in the division of the spoil, and make no distinction between the 
poor and the rich ; though, according to the more reasonable opinion, 
such of them as are poor only are intended by the text of the Koran, as 
is agreed in the case of the stranger : and others go so far as to assert 
that the whole fifth commanded to be reserved belongs to them only, 
and that the orphans, and the poor, and the traveller, are to be under- 
stood of such as are of that tribe.^ It must be observed that immovable 
possessions, as lands, &c., taken in war, are subject to the same laws 
as the movable ; excepting only that the fifth part of the former is not 
actually divided, but the income and profits thereof, or of the price 
thereof, if sold, are applied to public and pious uses, and distributed 
once a year, and that the prince may either take the fifth part of the 
land itself, or the fifth part of the income and pioduce of the whole, as 
he shall make his election. 



IT was a custom among the ancient Arabs to obsen^e four months 
in the year as sacred, during which they held it unlawful to wage 
war, and took off the heads from their spears, ceasing from incursions 
and other hostilities. During those months whoever was in fear of his 
enemy lived in full security ; so that if a man met the murderer of hi? 

^ idem. " Idem ^ idarri 


father or his brother, he durst not offer him any violence :* A great 
argument," says a learned writer, " of a humane disposition in that 
nation ; who being by reason of the independent governments of their 
several tribes, and for the preservation of their just rights, exposed to 
frequent quarrels with one another, had yet learned to cool their 
inflamed breasts with moderation, and restrain the rage of war b> 
stated times of truce."* 

This institution obtained among all the Arabian tribes, except only 
those of Tay and Khathaam, and some of the descendants of Al 
Hareth Ebn Caab (who distinguished no time or place as sacred),^ and 
was so religiously observed, that there are but few instances in history 
(four, say some, six, say others),* of its having been transgressed ; the 
wars which were carried on without regard thereto being therefore 
termed impious. One of those instances was in the war between the 
tribes of Koreish and Kais Ailan, wherein Mohammed himself served 
under his uncles, being then fourteen,^ or, as others say, twenty^ years 

The months which the Arabs held sacred were al Moharram, Rajeb, 
Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja ; the first, the seventh, the eleventh, and 
the twelfth in the year.^ Dhu'lhajja being the month wherein they per- 
formed the pilgrimage to Mecca, not only that month, but also the 
preceding and the following, were for that reason kept inviolable, that 
every one might safely and without interruption pass and repass to and 
from the festival.* Rajeb is said to have been more strictly observed 
than any of the other three,^ probably because in that month the pagan 
Arabs used to fast ;''° Ramadan, which was afterwards set apart by 
Mohammed for that purpose, being in the time of ignorance dedicated 
to drinking in excess." By reason of the profound peace and security 
enjoyed in this month, one part of the provisions brought by the 
caravans of purveyors annually set out by the Koreish for the supply 
of Metca," was distributed among the people ; the other part being, 
for the like reason, distributed at the pilgrimage.' 

The observance of the aforesaid months seemed so reasonable to 
Mohammed, that it met with his approbation ; and the same is accord- 
ingly confirmed and enforced by several passages of the Koran,'' which 
forbid war to be waged during those months against such as acknow- 
ledge them to be sacred, but grant, at the same time, full permission to 
attack those who make no such distinction, in the sacred months as 
well as in the profane.' 

One practice, however, of the pagan Arabs, in relation to these sacred 

1 Al Kazwini, apud Golium in notis ad Alfrag. p. 4, &c. Al Shahrestani, apud Poc. Spec. 
p. 311. AJ Jawhari, al Firauzab. 2 Golius, ubi supra, p. 5. 3 Al Shahiestani, ubi supra. 
See before, p. 95. 4 Al MogholtaL ^ Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 11. ^ Al Kodai, al Firauz. 
apud Poc. Spec. p. 174. Al Mogholtai mentions both opinions. 7 Mr. Bayle (Diet. Hist, 

et Crit. Art. la Mecque, Rem. F.) accuses Dr. Prideaxix of an inconsistency for saying in one 
place (Life of Mahomet, p. 64) that these sacred months were the first, the seventh, the eleventh, 
and the twelfth, and intimating in another place (ibid. p. 89) that three of them were contiguous. 
But this must be mere absence of mind in Mr Bayle ; for are not the eleventh, the twelfth, and 
the first months contiguous ? The two learned professors, Golius and Reland, have also made 
a small slip in speaking of these sacred months, which, they tell us, are the two first and the 
two last in the year. Vide Golii Lex. Arab, col. 601, and Reland. de Jure Milit. Mohammed- 
anor. p. 5. 8 Vide Gol. in Alfrag. p. 9. 9 Vide ibid. p. 6. I*' Al Makrizi, apud Poc 

ubi supra. n Idem, and Auctor Neshk al Azhar, ibid. 12 gee Kor. c. 106. 1 A 

Edrisi apud Poc. Specim. p. 127. 2 Cap. 9 ; c. 2, p. 20; c 5, p. 73 ; c. 5, p. 85, &c * Cap 

q; c. a. p 20. 


months, Mohammed *'l,ought proper to reform: for some of them, 
weary of sitting quiet for three months together, and eager to make 
their accustomed incursions for plunder, used, by wa> of expedient, 
whenever it suited their inchnations or conveniency, tc* put off the 
observing of al Moharram to the following month Safar,* thereby avoid- 
ing to keep the former, which they supposed it lawful for them to pro- 
fane, provided they sanctified another month in lieu of it, and gave 
public notice thereof at the preceding pilgrimage. This tratisferring 
the observation of a sacred month to a profane month, is what is truly 
meant by the Arabic word al Nasi, and is absolutely condemned, and 
declared to be an impious innovation, in a passage of the Korans which 
Dr. Prideaux,^ misled by Golius,' imagines to relate to the prolonging 
of the year, by adding an intercalary month thereto. It is true, the 
Arabs, who imitated the Jews in their manner of computing by lunar 
years, had also learned their method of reducing them to solar years, 
by intercalating a month sometimes in the third, and sometimes in the 
second year f by which means they fixed the pilgrimage of Mecca 
(contrary to the original institution) to a certain season of the year, 
viz., to autumn, as most convenient for the pilgrims, by reason of the 
temperateness of the weather, and the plenty of provisions ;' and it is 
also true that Mohammed forbade such intercalation by a passage in 
the same chapter of the Koran ; but then it is not the passage above 
mentioned, which prohibits a different thing, but one a little before it, 
wherein the number of months in the year, according to the ordinance 
of God, is declared to be twelve;" whereas, if the intercalation of a 
month were allowed, every third or second year would consist of 
thirteen, contrary to GOD's appointment. 

The setting apart of one day in the week for the more peculiar 
attendance on God's worship, so strictly required by the Jewish and 
Christian religions, appeared to Mohammed to be so proper an institu- 
tion, that he could not but imitate the professors thereof in that parti- 
cular; though, for the sake of distinction, he might think himself 
obliged to order his followers to observe a different day from either. 
Several reasons are given why the sixth day of the week was pitched 
on for this purpose;' but Mohammed seems to have preferred that day 
chiefly because it was the day on which the people used to be assembled 
long before his time,' though such assemblies were had, perhaps, rather 
on a civil than a religious account. However it be, the Mohammedan 
writers bestow very extraordinary encomiums on this day, calling it the 
prince of days, and the most excellent day on which the sun rises ;3 pre- 
'.ending also that it will be the day whereon the last judgment will 
be solemnized;^ and they esteem it a peculiar honour to Islam, that 
God has been pleased to appoint this day to be the feast-day of 
ihe Moslems, and granted them the advantage of having first ob- 
served it. 5 

Though the Mohammedans do not think themselves bound to keep 
their dav of '^"biir 'i:o«*-ship so holy as the Jews and Christians are cer- 

* See the notes to c. 9, uoi sup. * ran 9, ibid. « Life of Mah. p. 66. 7 in Alfrag. 

p. 12. « See Prid. Preface to the hrbi vol. of his Connect, p. vi., &c. » Vide Gol. ubi 

iupra. ^0 Kor. c. q. See also c. 2, p. 20. 1 See c. 63, and the notes there. 2 Ai 

Beidawi. 8 Ebn al Athir et al Ghazali. ap id Po . Spec. p. 317. * Vii^e Ibid. 6 A) 

GhazSlL ibid- 


tainly obliged to keep theirs, there being a permission, as is gene- 
rally supposed, in the Koran," allowing them to return to their em- 
ployments or diversion after divine service is over ; yet the more devout 
disapprove the applying of any part of that day to worldly affairs, 
and require it to be wholly dedicated to the business of the life to 

Since I have mentioned the Mohammedan weekly feast, I beg leave 
just to take notice of their two Beirams,^ or principal annual leasts. 
The first of them is called, in Arabic, Id al fetr, z>.. The feast oj 
breaking the fast, and begins the first of Shawal, immediately suc- 
ceeding the fast of Ramadan ; and the other is called Id al korbin, 
or Id al adha, i.e., The feast of the sacrifice, and begins on the tenth 
of Dhu'lhajja, when the victims are slain at the pilgrimage of 
Mecca.9 The former of these feasts is properly the lesser Beiram, 
and the latter, the greater Beiram :' but the vulgar, and most authors 
who have written of the Mohammedan affairs,' exchange the epithets, 
and call that which follows Ramadan the greater Beiram, because it is 
observed in an extraordinar}'^ manner, and kept for three days together 
at Constantinople and in other parts of Turkey, and in Persia for five 
or six days, by the common people, at least, with great demonstrations 
of public joy, to make themselves am.ends, as it were, for the mortifica- 
tion of the preceding month j^ whereas, the feast of sacrifices, though it 
be also kept for three days, and the first of them be the most solemn 
day of the pilgrimage, the principal act of devotion among the Moham- 
medans is taken much less notice of by the generality of people, who 
are not struck therewith, because the ceremonies with which the same 
is observed are performed at Mecca, the onlv scene of that solemnity. 



BEFORE we take a viev/ of the sects of the Mohammedans, it will 
be necessary to say something of the two sciences by which all 
disputed questions among them are determined, viz., their Scholastic 
and Practical Divinity. 

Their scholastic divinity is a mongrel science, consisting of logical, 
metaphysical, theological, and philosophical disquisitions, and built on 

6 Cap. 63, ubi supra. " Al G'lazali, ubi sup. p. 318. 8 The v.ord Eeiniin is Turkish, and 
properly si-nifies a feast-day or hohday. f' See c. 9, and before, Sect. IV. p. 94. 

IVide Reland. de Rehg. Moh. p. 109, and D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Beiram. 2 Hj'de, 

in notis ad Bobov. p. 16 ; Chardin, Voy. de Perse, torn. ii. p. 4^0 : Ricaut's State of the 
Of.oman Empire, 1. 2. c. 24, &c. 3 Vide Chardin and Ricaut, ubi supra. 


principles and methods of reasoning ven- different from what are used 
by those who pass among the Mohainmedans themselves for the 
sounder divines or more able philosophers, and, therefore, in the par- 
tition of the sciences this is generally left out, as unworthy a place 
among them.' The learned Maimonides* has laboured to expose the 
principles and systems of the scholastic divines, as frequently repugnant 
to the nature of the world and the order of the creation, and intolerably 

This art of handling religious disputes was not known in the infancy 
of Mohammedism, but was brought in when sects sprang up, and 
articles of religion began to be called in question, and was at first made 
use of to defend the truth of those articles against innovators ;" and 
while it keeps within those bounds is allowed to be a commendable 
study, being necessary for the defence of the faith : but when it pro- 
ceeds farther, out of an itch of disputation, it is judged worthy of 

This is the opinion of al Ghazali,* who observes a medium between 
those who have too high a value for this science, and those who abso- 
lutely reject it. Among the latter was al Shafei, who declared that, in 
his judgment, if any man employed his time that way, he deserved to 
be fixed to a stake, and carried about through all the Arab tribes, with 
the following proclamation to be made before him : " This is the re- 
ward of him who, leaving the Koran and the Sonna, applied himself to 
the study of scholastic divinity. "^ Al Ghazali, on the other hand, thinks 
that as it was introduced by the invasion of heresies, it is necessary to 
be retained in order to quell them : but then in the person who studies 
this science he requires three things, diligence, acuteness of judgment, 
and probity of manners ; and is by no means for suffering the same to 
be publicly explained.* This science, therefore, among the Mohamme- 
dans, is the art of controversy, by which they discuss points of faith 
concerning the essence and attributes of GOD, and the conditions of all 
possible things, either in respect to their creation, or final restoration, 
according to the rules of the religion of Islam.^ 

The other science is practical divinity or jurisprudence, and is the 
knowledge of the decisions of the law which regard practice, gathered 
from distinct proofs. 

Al Ghazali declares that he had much the same opinion of this 
science as of the former, its original being owing to the corrruption of 
religion and morality ; and therefore judged both sciences to be 
necessary, not in themselves, but by accident only, to curb the irregular 
imaginations and passions of mankind (as guards become necessary in 
the highways by reason of robbers), the end of the first being the sup- 
pressing of heresies, and of the other the decision of legal controversies, 
for the quiet and peaceable living of mankind in this world, and for the 
preserving the rule by which the magistrate may prevent one man 
from injurmg another, by declaring what is lawful and what is unlaw- 
ful, by determining the satisfaction to be given, or punishment to be 

1 Poc. Spec. p. ig6. 2 Apud Ebn Sina, in Libello de Divisione Scientiar, et Naiiio'ddia 

al Tusi, in Prsefat. ad Ethic. ^ More Nevoch. 1. \, c 71 and 73. > Al Ghazali, apad Poc. 
ubi supra. 2 ] hid. ^ Vide P«c ibiJl p xi>b <i Al Gi»«;ziii, ibid. ^ Ebn tk 

apu^l eund. ibid. p. i^>S. 


inflicted, and by regulating other outward actions ; and not only so, 
but to decide of religion itself, and its conditions, so far as relates to 
the profession made by the mouth, it not being the business of the 
civilian to inquire into the heart : ^ the depravity of men's manners, 
however, has made this knowledge of the laws so very requisite, that it 
is usually called the Science, by way of excellence, nor is any man 
reckoned learned who has not applied himself thereto.' 

The points of faith, subject to the examination and discus-^ion of the 
scholastic divines, are reduced to four general heads, which they call 
the four bases, or great fundamental articles.' 

The first basis relates to the attributes of GOD, and his unity con- 
sistent therewith. Under this head are comprehended the questions 
concerning the eternal attributes, which are asserted by some, and 
denied by others ; and also the explication of the essential attributes, 
and attributes of action ; what is proper for God to do, and what may 
be affirmed of him, and what it is impossible for him to do. These 
things are controverted between the Ashd.rians, the Keramians, the 
Mojassemians or Corporalists, and the Motazalites.* 

The second basis regards predestination, and the justice thereof : 
which comprises the questions concerning God's purpose and decree, 
man's compulsion or necessity to act, and his co-operation in producing 
actions, by which he may gain to himself good or evil ; and also those 
which concern God's willing good and evil, and what things are sub- 
iect to his power, and what to his knowledge ; some maintaining the 
affirmative, and others the negative. These points are disputed among 
the Kadarians, the Najarians, the Jabarians, the Asharians, and the 

The third basis concerns the promises and threats, the precise 
acceptation of names used in divinity, and the divine decisions ; and 
comprehends questions relating to faith, repentance, promises, threats, 
forbearance, infidelity, and error. The controversies under this head 
are on foot between the Morgians, the Waidians, the Mdtazalites, the 
Asharians, and the Keramians.' 

The fourth basis regards history and reason, that is, the just weight 
they ought to have in matters belonging to faith and religion ; and also 
the mission of prophets, and the office of Imam, or chief pontiff". 
Under this head are comprised all casuistical questions relating to the 
moral beauty or turpitude of actions ; inquiring whether things are 
allowed or forbidden by reason of their own nature, or by the positive 
law ; and also questions concerning the preference of actions, the favoui 
or grace of GOD, the innocence which ought to attend the prophetical 
office, and the conditions requisite in the office of Imam ; some assert- 
ing it depends on right of succession, others on the consent of the 
faithful ; and also the method of transferring it with the former, and of 
confirming it with the latter. These matters are the subjects of dis- 
pute between the Shiites, the Mdtazalites, the Keramians, and the 

The different sects of Mohammedans maybe distinguished into two 

^ Al Ghazali. Vide ibid. p. igS — 204. 2 Vide ibid. p. 204. 3 Vide Abulfarag, Hi-t. 

Dynast, p. 166. ^Al Shahrestani, apud Poc. ubi. sun. p. 204, &c. ^idem, ibidrp. 20.-. 

^ Idem. ibid. p. 206. '^Idem. ibid. 


iorts ; those generally esteemed orthodox, and those which are esteemed 
heretical. . . . 

The former, by a general name, are called Sonnites or Tradition ists ; 
because they acknowledge the authority of the Sonna, or collection ol 
moral traditions of the sayings and actions of their prophet, which is a 
sort of supplement to the Koran, directing the observance of several 
things omitted in that book, and in name, as well as design, answering 
to the Mishna of the Jews.^ 

The Sonnites are subdivided into four chief sects, which, notwith- 
standing some differences as to legal conclusions in their interpretation 
of the Koran, and matters of practice, are generally acknowledged to 
be orthodox in radicals, or matters of faith, and capable of salvation, 
and have each of them their several stations or oratories in the temple 
of Mecca.* The founders of these sects are looked upon as the great 
masters of jurisprudence, and are said to have been men of great devo- 
tion and self-denial, well versed in the knowledge of those things which 
belong to the next life and to-man's right conduct here, and directing 
all their knowledge to the glory of GOD. This is al Ghazali's encomium 
oi' *hem, who thinks it derogatory to their honour that their names 
should be used by those who, neglecting to imitate the other virtues 
vv^hich make up their character, apply themselves only to attain their 
skill, and follow their opinions in matters of legal practice.' 

The first of the four orthodox sects is that of the Hanefites, so named 
from their founder, Abu Hanifa al N6man Ebn Thabet, who was born 
at Cufa, in the 8oth year of the Hejra, and died in the 1 50th, according 
to the more preferable opinion as to the time.' He ended his life in 
prison at Baghdad, where he had been confined because he refused to 
be made Kadi or judge ;' on which account he was very hardly dealt 
with by his superiors, yet could not be prevailed on, either by threats 
or ill-treatment, to undertake the charge, " choosing rather to be 
punished by them than by GOD," says Al Ghazali ; who adds, that 
when he excused himself from accepting the office by alleging that he 
was unfit for it, being asked the reason, he replied, " If I speak the 
truth, I am unfit ; but if I tell a lie, a liar is not fit to be a judge." Ii 
is said that he read the Koran in the prison where he died, no less 
than 7,000 times.'* 

The Hanefites are called by an Arabian writer^ the followers of reason, 
and those of the three other sects, followers of tradition ; the former 
being principally guided by their own judgment in their decisions, and 
the latter adhering more tenaciously to the traditions of Mohammed. 

The sect of Abu Hanifa heretofore obtained chiefly in Irak,^ but now 
generally prevails among the Turks and Tartars : his doctrine was. 
brought into great credit by Abu Yusof, chief justice under the Khalifa 
al Hadi and Harun al Rashid.' 

3 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 298. Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 51, &c. Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. 68. 
&c. Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Moh. p. 368, 369. ^ See before, p. 90. ^ Vide. 

Poc. Spec. p. 293. 2 Ebn Khalecan. 

3 This was the true cause of his imprisonment and death, and not his refusing to subscribe, 
to the opinion of absolute predestination, as D'Herbelot writes (Bibl. Orient, p. 21), misled by 
the dubious acceptation of the word " kada," which signifies not only God's decree in particular, 
but also the giving sentence as a judge in general ; nor could Abu Hanifa have been reckoneC; 
orthodox had he denied one of the principal articles of faith. ■* Poc. Spec. p. 297 198^ 

• A! Shahrestani. ibid. ^ Idem. 7 Vid(» D'Herbel P-ibl. Orient p. 21 and 22. 


The second orthodox sect is that of Malec Kbn Ans, who was born 
at Medina, m the year of the Kejra 90, 93, 94,* or 95,9 and died there 
in 177,'° 178," or 179" (for so much do authors difter). This doctor 
is said to have paid great regard to the traditions of Moharnmed.'^ in 
his last illness, a friend going to visit him found him in tears, and 
asking him the reason of it, he answered, " How should J not weep ? 
and who has more reason to weep than I ? Would to G(jD that for 
every question decided by me according to my own opinion, I had 
received so many stripes ! then would my accounts be easier. Would 
to God I had never given any decision of my owoi ! "' Al Ghazali 
thinks it a sufficient proof of Malec's directing his knowledge to the 
glory of God, that being once asked his opinion as to forty-eight ques- 
tions, his answer to thirty-two of them was, that he did not know ; it 
being no easy matter for one who has any other view than God's glory 
to make so frank a confession of his ignorance.' 

The doctrine of Malec is chiefly followed in Barbary and other parts 
of Africa. 

The author of the third orthodox sect was Mohammed Ebn Edris a] 
Shafei, born either at Gaza or Ascalon, in Palestine, in the year of the 
Hejra 150, the same day (as some will have it) that Abu Hanifa died, 
and was carried to Mecca at two years of age, and there educated.? 
He died in 204,* in Egypt, whither he went about five years before. * 
This doctor is celebrated for his excellency in all parts of learning, and 
was much esteemed by Ebn Hanbal his contemporary, who used to 
say that " he was as the sun to the world, and as health to the body." 
Ebn Hanbal. however, had so ill an opinion of al Shafei at first, that 
he forbad his scholars to go near him ; but some time after one of 
them, meeting his master trudging on foot after al Shafei, who rode 
on a mule, asked him how it came about that he for^^Ad them to follow 
him, and did it himself?' to which Ebn Hanbal rephed, " Hold thy 
peace ; if thou but attend his mule thou wilt profit thereby,"^ 

Al Shafei is said to have been the first who discoursed of jurispru- 
dence, and reduced that science into a method ;' one wittily saying, 
that the relators of the traditions of Mohammed were asleep till ai 
Shafei came and waked them.* He was a great enemy to the scholastic 
divines, as has been already observed.^ Al Ghazali tells us that al 
Shafei used to divide the night into three parts, one for study, another 
for prayer, and the third for sleep. It is also related of him that he 
never so much as once swore by GOD, either to confirm a truth, or to 
affirm a falsehood ; and that being once asked his opinion, he remained 
silent for some time, and when the reason of his silence was demanded, 
be answered, " I am considering first whether it be better to speak or 
tO hold my tongue." The following saying is also recorded of him, 
viz., " Whoever pretends to love the world and its Creator at the same 
time, is a liar."' The followers of this doctor are from him called 
Shafeites, and v/ere formerly spread into Mawara'lnahr and other parts 
eastward, but are now chiefly of Arabia and Persia. 

SAbulfeda. 9 Ebn Khalecan. W Idem. U Abulfeda. ^ H Elmacimis. p. 114. 

!•* Ebn Khalec. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 294. ^ Idem, apud eund. ibid. 2 Al Gha/^aii, ibid. 

3 Ebn KhalecSn. * Yet Abulfeda says he lived fifty-eight years. ^ Ebn Kliaiecin. 

* Idem. 7 Idem. * M Zifarani, apud Poc. Spec. p. 296. 9 See before, p. j 18. l Vid* 
fr'nr .Sn«r, 205 — 207 


Ahmed Ebn Hanbal, the founder of the fourth sect, was bom in the 
year of ihe Hejra 164 ; but as to the place of his birth there are two 
traditions : some say he was born at Meru in Khorasan, of which city 
his parents were, and that his mother brought him from thence to 
Baghdad at her breast ; while others assure us that she was v/ith child 
of him when she came to Baghdad, and that he was bom there.' Ebn 
Hanbal in process of time attained a great reputation on account ol 
his virtue and knowledge ; being so well versed in the traditions of 
Mohammed, in particular, that it is said he could repeat no less than a 
million of them.-' He was very intimate with al Shafei, from, whom he 
received most of his traditionary knowledge, being his constant at- 
tendant till his departure for Egypt.* Refusing to acknowledge the 
Korin to be created,^ he was, by order of the Khalif al Mdtasem, 
severely scourged md imprisoned.* Ebn Hanbal died at Baghdad, in 
the year 241, and was followed to his grave by eight hundred thousand 
men, and sixty thousand women. It is related, as something very 
extraordinary, if not miraculous, that on the day of his death no less 
than twenty thousand Christians, Jews, and Magians, embraced the 
Mohammedan faith.' This sect increased so fast, and became so 
powerful and bold, that in the year 323, in the Khalifat of ai Radi, 
they raised a great commotion in Baghdad, entering people's houses, 
and spilling their wine, if they found any, and beating the singing- 
women they met with, and breaking their instruments ; and a severe 
edict was published against them, before they could be reduced to their 
duty :^ but the Hanbalites at present are not very numerous, few of 
tiiem being to be met v/ith out of the limits of Arabia. 

The heretical sects among the Mohammedans are those which hold 
heterodox opinions in fundamentals, or matters of faith. 

The first controversies relating to fundamentals began when most of 
the companions of Mohammed were dead :^ ' for in their days was no 
dispute, unless about things of small moment, if we except only the 
dissensions concerning the Imams, or rightful successors of their pro- 
phet, which were stirred up and fomented by interest and ambition ; 
the Arabs' continual employment in the wars, during that time, allowing 
them little or no leisure to enter into nice inquiries and subtle dis- 
tinctions : but no sooner was the ardour of conquest a little abated than 
they began to examine the Koran more nearly ; whereupon differences 
in opinion became unavoidable, and at length so greatly multiplied, 
that the number of their sects, according to the common opinion, are 
seventy-three. For the Mohammedans seem ambitioi's that *heit 
religion should exceed others even m this respect ; saying, that tne 
Magians are divided into seventy sects, the Jews into seventy-one, the 
Christians into seventy-two, and the Moslems into seventy-three, as 
Mo lammed had foretold ;' of which sects they reckon one to be always 
orthodox, and entitled to salvation.' 

The first heresy was that of the Kharejites, who revolted from Ali in 
the thirty-seventh year of the Hejra ; and not long after, Mdbad a. 

'i Ebn Khalecan. 3 kiem. ■* Idem. 5 gee before. Sect. Ill p. 57, &c. 6 Ebn 

Khalecan, Abulfarag, Hist. Dyn. p. 252, &c 7 Ebn Khalt:can. & Abulfar. ubi sap. 

p. 301, &c. S' Al Shahrestani, apuc! Poc. Spec. p. 104. Auctor Sharh al Mawitkef. ai'i;^ 

taiiu i). -.iia ^ V'id= Poc. ibid. * Ai .Shahic^tani, aj^ud emni p. 211. 


Johni, Ghailan of Damascus, and Jonas al Aswari broached heterodox 
opinions concerning predestination, and the ascribing of good and evil 
unto God ; whose opinions were followed by Wasel Ebn Ata.^ This 
latter was the scholar of Hasan of Basra, in whose school a question 
being proposed, whether he who had committed a grievous sin was to 
be deemed an infidel or not, the Kharejites (who used to come and 
dispute there) maintaining the affirmative, and the orthodox the negative, 
Wasel, without waiting his master's decision, withdrew abruptly, and 
began to publish among his fellow-scholars a new opinion of his own, 
to wit, that such a sinner was in a middle state ; and he was thereupon 
expelled the school ; he and his followers being thenceforth called 
Motazalites, or Separatists/ 

The several sects which have arisen since this time are variously 
compounded and decompounded of the opinions of four chief sects, 
the Motazalites, the Sefatians, the Kharejites, and the Shiites.^ 

I. The Motazalites were the followers of the before-mentioned 
Wasel Ebn Ata, As to their chief and general tenets, i. They entirely 
rejected all eternal attributes of God, to avoid the distinction of person's 
made by the Christians ; saying that eternity is the proper or formal 
attribute of his essence ; that God knows by his essence, and not by his 
knowledge ;' and the same they affirmed of his other attributes' (though 
all the Mdtazalites do not understand these words in one sense) ; and 
hence this sect were also named Moattalites, from their divesting God 
of his attributes -? and they went so far as to say, that to affirm these 
attributes is the same thing as to make more eternals than one, and 
that the unity of GOD is inconsistent with such an opinion ;* and this 
was the true doctrine of Wasel their master, who declared that who- 
ever asserted an eternal attribute, asserted there were two GODS.^ 
This point of speculation concerning the divine attributes was not ripe 
at first, but was at length brought to maturity by Wasel's followers, 
after they had read the books of the philosophers.^ 2. They believed 
the word of GOD to have been created in subjecto (as the schoolmen 
term it), and to consist of letters and sound; copies thereof being 
written in books to express or imitate the original. They also went 
farther, and affinned that whatever is created in subjecto is also an 
accident, and liable to perish.^ 3. They denied absolute predestination, 
holding that GOD was not the author of evil, but of good only ; and 
that man was a free agent :* which being properly the opinion of the 
Kadarians, we defer what may be farther said thereof till we come to 
speak of that sect. On account of this tenet and the first, the Mota- 

3 Idem, and Auctor Sharh al Mawakef, ubi sup, * Idem, ibid. p. 211, 212, and Ebu 

Khalecan, ir Vita Waseli. 

5 Al Shalir««stani, who also reduces them to four chief sects, puts the Kadarians in the place 
ti the Mdtazalites. Abulfaragius (Hist. Dyn. p. 166) reckons six principal sects, adding the 
Jabarians and the Morgians ; and the author of Sharh al Mawakef eight, viz., the Mdtazalites, 
tile Shiites, the Kharejites, the Morgians, the Najarians, the Jabarians, the Moshabbehites, 
and the sect which he calls al Najia, because that alone will be saved, being according to him 
the sect of the Asharians. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 209. 

1 Maimonides Reaches the same, not as the doctrine of the Mdtazalites, but his own. Vida 
More Nev. 1. i, f 57. 2 Al Shahre:tani, apud Poc. Spec. p. 214. Abulfarag, p. 167. 

' Vide Poc. Spec. «24. * Sharh al Mawakef, and al Shahrest. apud Poc. p. 216, Maimonide! 
f'.\ Proleg ad Pirke Aboth. § 8) asserts the same thing. * Vide Poc. ibid 6 Al Shahrest 

# i-* p. 215. ", and al Shahreet. ubi sup. p. 917. Sse btiore. S»-a. IH. p. s" 

Vjd» Poc. Suec. D. 2AO. 



zalites look on themselves as the defenders of the unity and justice of 
GOD.9 4. They held that if a professor of the true religion be guilty 
of a grievous sin, and die without repentance, he will be eternally 
damned, though his punishment will be Hghter than that of the infi- 
dels.^^ 5. They denied all vision of GOD in paradise by the corporeal 
eye, and rejected all comparisons or similitudes applied to GOD.^^ 

This sect are said to have been the first inventors of scholastic 
divinity, 1" and are subdivided into several inferior sects, amounting, 
as some reckon, to twenty, which mutually brand one another with 
infidelity : ^'^ the most remarkable of them are : — 

1. The Hodeihans, or followers of Hamdan Abu Hodeil, a M6tazalite 
doctor, who differed something from the common form of expression 
used by this sect, saying that GOD knew by his knowledge, but that 
his knowledge was his essence ; and so of the other attributes : which 
opinion he took from the philosophers, who affirm the essence of GOD 
to be simple and without multiplicity, and that his attributes are not 
posterior or accessory to his essence, or subsisting therein, but are 
his essence itself : and this the more orthodox take to be next kin to 
making distinctions in the deity, which is the thing they so much 
abhor in the Christians.''- As to the Koran's being created, he made 
some distinction ; holding the word of GOD to be partly not in subjecto 
(and therefore uncreated), as when he spake the word Kim^ i.e.^ Fzaf, 
at the creation, and partly in subjecto^ as the precepts, prohibitions, 
&C.2 Marracci ^ mentions an opinion of Abu Hodeil's concerning 
predestination, from an Arab writer,"^ which being by him expressed 
in a manner not very intelligible, I choose to omit. 

2. The Jobbai'ans, or followers of Abu Ali Mohammed Ebn Abd al 
Wahhab, surnamed al Jobbai, whose meaning when he made use of 
the common expression of the Motazalites, that " GOD knows by his 
essence, &c., was, that God'S being knowing is not an attribute, the 
same with knowledge, nor such a state as rendered his being knowing 
necessarv. ^ He held God's word to be created in subjecto. as in the 
preserved table, for example, the memory of Gabriel, Mohammed, &c.^ 
This sect, if Marracci has given the true sense of his author, denied 
that God could be seen in paradise without the assistance of corporeal 
eyes ; and held that man produced his acts by a power superadded to 
health of body and soundness of limbs ; that he who was guilty of a 
mortal sin was neither a believer nor an infidel, but a transgressor 
(which was the original opinion of Wasel), and if he died in his sins, 
would be doomed to hell for eternity ; and that GOD conceals nothing 
of whatever he knows from his servants.'^ 

3. The Hashemians, who were so named from their master Abu 
Hashem Abd al Salam, the son of Abu Ali al Jobbai, and whose tenets 
nearly agreed with those of the preceding sect.^ Abu Hashem took 
the Motazalite form of expression, that " GoD knows by his essence," 
in a different sense from others, supposing it to mean that God hath or 

9 Al Shahrest. and Sharh al Mawakef, apud Poc, ubi sup. p. 214. 10 Marracc. Prodr. ad 

ref. Alcor. part iii. p. 74. U Idem, ibid. 12 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 213, and D'Herbel. Art. 

Motazelah. 13 Auctor al Mawakef, apud Pec. ibid. 1 Al Shahrestani, apud Poc. p. 215, 

216, 217. 2 Idem, apud eund. p. 217, &c 3 In Prodr. part iii. p. 74. * Al Sliahrest 

» Idem, apud Poc. Spec. p. 215. 6 Idem, and Auctor al Mawakef, ibid. p. 218. ' Marracci. 
abi sup. p. 75, ex al Shahrest • Vide eund. »*8.«*. 


is endued with a dispcsition, which is a known property, or quality, 
posterior or accessory to his existence.' His followers were so much 
afraid of making GoD the author of evil that they v/ould not allow him 
to be said to create an infidel ; because, according to their way of 
arguing, an infidel is a compound of infidelity and man, and GOD is 
not the creator of infidelity.* Abu Hashem, and his father Abu Ali al 
Jobbai, were both celebrated for their skill in scholastic divinity.^ 

4. The Nodhamians, or followers of Ibrahim al Nodham, who having 
read books of philosophy, set up a new sect, and imagining he could 
not sufficiently remove GOD from being the author of evil, without 
divesting him of his power in respect thereto, taught that no power 
ought to be ascribed to GoD concerning evil and rebellious actions : 
but this he affirmed against the opinion of his own disciples, who 
allowed that God could do evil, but did not, because of its turpitude.* 
Of his opinion as to the Koran's being created we have spoken else- 

5. The Hayetians, so named from Ahmed Ebn Hayet, who had been 
of the sect of the Nodhamians, but broached some new notions on 
reading the philosophers. His peculiar opinions were — i. That Christ 
was the eternal Word incarnate, a^^d took a true and real body, and will 
judge all creatures in the life to come :* he also farther asserted that 
there are two GoDS or Creators — 1\, e one eternal, viz., the most higli 
God, and the other not eternal, viz. , Christ^ — which opinion, though 
Dr. Pocock urges the same as an a'gument that he did not rightly 
understand the Christian mysteries * is not much different from that of 
the Arians and Socinians. 2. That there is a successive transmigration 
of the soul from one body into another ; and that the last body will enjoy 
the reward or suffer the punishment due to each soul -? and, 3. That 
God will be seen at the resurrection, not with the bodilv eyes, but 
those of the understanding," 

6. The Jahedhians, or followers of Amru Ebn Bahr, sumamed al 
Jahedh, a great doctor of the Motazalites, and very much admired for 
the elegance of his composures ;" who diftered from his brethren in 
that he imagined the damned would not be eternally tormented in hell, 
but would be changed into the nature of fire, and that the fire would of 
itself attract them, without any necessity of their going into it.' He 
also taught that if a believed GOD to be his Lord, and Mohammed 
the apostle of God, he became one of the faithful, and was obliged to 
nothing farther.' His peculiar opinion as to the Koran has been taken 
notice of before.^ 

7. The Mozdarians, who embraced the opinions of Isa Ebn Sobeih 
al Mozdar, and those very absurd ones : for, besides his notions 
relating to the Koran,* he went so directly counter to the opinion of 
those who abridged God of the power to do evil, that he affirmed it 
possible for God to be a liar and unjust.^ He also pronounced him to 

1 Al Shahrest apud Poc p. 215. * Idem, ibid. p. 242. 3 Ebn Khalecan, in Vitis 

Eoruai. * Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 241, 242. Vide Marracc. Prod, part iiL p. 74. ^ See 

before. Sect. III. p. 53. ^ Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 218. Abulfarag, p. 167. ^ Al Shahrest. 
»1 Mawakef, et Ebn Kossa, apud Poc. ubi sub. p. 219. 8 Vide Poc. ibid 9 Marracc. et 

al Shahrest. ubi sup. 10 Marracc. ibid. p. 75. n Vide D'Herbei. Bibl. Orient. Art. 

Giahedh. 1 Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 260. 2 Marracc, ubi sup. 3 Sect. III. p. 5J 

' Vide ibid, and p. 52. * Al Shahicst. apud Poa p. .<4i. 


be an infidel who thrust himself into the supreme government :* nay, 
he went so far as to assert men to be infidels while they said " There 
is no God but God," and even condemed all the rest of mankind as 
guilty of infid ty; upon which Ibrahim Ebn al Sendi asked him 
whether p? adise, whose breadth equals that of heaven and earth, was 
created only for him and two or three more who thought as he did ? to 
which it is said he could return no answer.^ 

8. The Basharians, who maintained the tenets of Bashar Ebn 
Mdtamer, the master of al Mozdar,* and a principal man among the 
Motazalites. He differed in some things from the general opinion of 
that sect, carrying man's free agency to a great excess, making it even 
independent : and yet he thought God might doom an infant to eternal 
punishment, but granted he would be unjust in so doing. He taught 
that God is not always obliged to do that which is best, for, if he 
pleased, he could make all men true believers. These sectaries also 
held that if a man repent of a mortal sin, and afterwards return to it, he 
will be liable to suffer the punishment due to the former transgression.^ 

9. The Thamamians, who follow Thamama Ebn Bashar, a chief 
Motazaiite. Their peculiar opinions were — i. That sinners should 
remain in hell for ever. 2. That free actions have no producing author. 
3. That at the resurrection all infidels, idolaters, atheists, Jews, 
Christians, Magians, and heretics shall be reduced to dust.'** 

10. The Kadarians, which is really a more ancient name than that 
of Mdtazalites, Mdbad al Johni and his adherents being so called, who 
disputed the doctrine of predestination before Wasel quitted his master :' 
for which reason some use the denomination of Kadarians as more 
extensive than the other, and comprehend all the Motazalites under 
it' This sect deny absolute predestination, saying that evil and in- 
justice ought not to be attributed to God, but to man, who is a free 
agent, and may therefore be rewarded or punished for his actions, 
which God has granted him power either to do or to let alone.^ And 
hence it is said they are called Kadarians, because they deny al Kadr, 
or God's absolute decree ; though others, thinking it not so proper to 
affix a name to a sect from a doctrine which they combat, will have it 
come from Kadr, or Kodrat, i.e., power, because they assert man's 
power to act freely.* Those, however, who give the name of Kadarians 
to the Motazalites are their enemies, for they disclaim it, and give it to 
their antagonists the Jabarians, who likewise refuse it as an infamous 
appellation,* because Mohammed is said to have declared the Kada- 
rians to be the Magians of his followers.* But what the opinion of 
these Kadarians in Mohammed's time was, is very uncertain : the 
Motazalites say the name belongs to those who assert predestination, 
and make God the author of good and evil,' viz., the Jabarians ; but 
all the other Mohammedan sects agree to fix it on the Motazalites, 
who, they say, are like the Magians in establishing two principles, 
light, or God, the author of good; and darkness, or the devil, the 
author of evil : but this cannot absolutely be said of the Motazalites, 

s Marracc. ubi sup. p. 75. 7 Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 220. 8 Poc. Spec. p. 221 

9 Marracc. ubi sup. 10 Idem, ibid. 1 Al Shahrest. 2 Al Firauzab. Vide Poc. Spec 

p. 231, 232, and 214. 3 Al Shahrest. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 235 and 2-^0, &c. * Vide Poc 

ibid. p. 238. * Al Motarrezi, al Shahrest. Vide ibid. p. 232. ^ Ide.ti. &i. ibid 

' Idem. ibid. 


for they (at least the generality of them) ascribe men's good deeds to 
God, but their evil deeds to themselves ; meaning thereby that man 
has a free liberty and power to do either good or evil, and is master of 
his actions: and for this reason it is that the other Mohammedans call 
them Magians, because they assert another author of actions besides 
God.* And, indeed, it is a difficult matter to say what Mohammed's 
own opinion was in this matter ; for on the one side the Koran itself 
is pretty plain for absolute predestination, and many sayings of 
Mohammed are recorded to that purpose,' and one in particular, 
wherein he introduces Adam and Moses disputing before God in this 
manner : " Thou," says Moses, " art Adam ; whom GOD created, and 
animated with the breath of life, and caused to be worshipped by the 
angels, and placed in paradise, from whence mankind have been ex- 
pelled for thy fault:" whereto Adam answered, "Thou art Moses; 
whom God chose for his apostle, and entrusted with his word, by giving 
thee the tables of the law, and whom he vouchsafed to admit to dis- 
course with himself: how many years dost thou find the law was 
written before I was created?" Says Moses, "Forty." "And dost 
thou not find," replied Adam, " these words therein : * And Adam 
rebelled against his Lord and transgressed'?" which Moses confessing, 
^ Dost thou therefore blame me," continued he, " for doing that which 
God wrote of me that I should do forty years before I was created ? 
nay, for what was decreed concerning me fifty thousand years before 
the creation of heaven and earth?" In the conclusion of which dispute 
Mohammed declared that Adam had the better of Moses.* On the 
other side, it is urged in the behalf of the Motazalites, that Mohammed 
declaring that the Kadarians and Morgians had been cursed by the 
tongues of seventy prophets, and being asked who the Kadarians were, 
answered, " Those who assert that God predestina<^ed them to be 
guilty of rebellion, and yet punishes them for it :" al Hasan is also said 
to have declared, that God sent Mohammed to the Arabs while they 
were Kadarians, or Jabarians, and laid their sins upon God : and to 
confirm the matter, this sentence of the Koran is quoted : ' " When they 
commit a filthy action, they say. We found our fathers practising th'*. 
same, and God hath commanded us so to do : Say, Verily God com- 
mandeth not filthy actions."^ 

II. The Sefatians held the opposite opinion to the Motazalites in 
respect to the eternal attributes of God, which they affirmed ; making 
no distinction between the essential attributes and those of operation : 
and hence they were named Sefatians, or Attributists. Their doctrine 
was that of the first Mohammedans, who were not yet acquainted with 
these nice distinctions : but this sect afterwards introduced another 
species of declarative attributes, or such as were necessarily used in 
historical narration, as hands, face, eyes, &c., which they did not offer 
to explain, but contented themselves with saying they were in the law, 
and that they called them declarative attributes.* However, at length, 
by giving various explications and interpretations of these attributes, 
they divided into many different opinions : some, by taking the wordi 

8 Vide Poc. ibid. p. 233, &c. 9 Vide ibid. p. 237. 1 Ebn al Athir, al Bok>iari, apud 

Poc p. 236. 2 Cap. 7, p. 107. 8 Al Motarrezi, apud eund. o 237, 238. * Al Shahr«st 

apud Poc. Spec. p. 223. 


in the literal sense, fell into the notion of a likeness or similitude be- 
tween God and created beings ; to which it is said the Karaites among 
the Jews, who are for the hteral interpretation of Moses's law, had 
shown them the way:^ others explained them in another manner, 
saying that no creature was like GOD, but that they neither understood 
nor thought it necessary to explain the precise signification of tlie 
words which seem to affirm the same of both ; it being sufficient to 
believe that God hath no companion or similitude. Of this opinion 
was Malec Ebn Ans, who declared as to the expression of God's 
sitting on his throne, in particular, that though the meaning is knoAvn, 
yet the manner is unknown ; and that it is necessary to believe it, but 
heresy to make any questions about it' 

The sects of the Sefatians are • 

I. The Asharians, the followers of Abu'l Hasan al Ashdri, who was 
first a Motazalite, and the scholar of Abu Ali al Jobbai, but disagreeing 
from his master in opinion as to God's being bound (as the Motaza- 
lites assert) to do always that which is best or most expedient, left him, 
and set up a new sect of himself. The occasion of this difference was 
the putting a case concerning three brothers, the first of whom lived in 
obedience to God, the second in rebellion against him, and the third 
died an infant. Al Jobbai being asked what he thought would become 
of them, answered, that the first would be rewarded in paradise, the 
second punished in hell, and the third neither rewarded nor punished : 
" But what," objected al Ashari, " if the third say, O Lord, if thou hadst 
given me longer life, that I might have entered paradise with my be- 
lieving brother, it would have been better for me?" to which al Jobbai 
replied, " That God would answer, I knew that if thou hadst lived 
longer, thou wouldst have been a wicked person, and therefore cast 
into hell." "Then," retorted al Ashdri, "the second will say, O 
Lord, why didst thou not take me away while I was an infant, as thou 
didst my brother, that I might not have deserved to be punished for 
my sins, nor to be cast into hell?" To which al Jobbai could return 
no other answer than that GOD prolonged his life to give Iwm an 
opportunity of obtaining the highest degree of perfection, which was 
best for him : but al Ashari demanding farther, why he did not for the 
same reason grant the other a longer life, to whom it would have been 
equally advantageous, al Jobbai was so put to it, that he asked whether 
the devil possessed him? " No," says al Ashdri, " but the master's ass 
v.dll not pass the bridge;"' i.e., he is posed. 

The opinions of the Ashdrians were — i. That they allowed the attri- 
butes of God to be distinct from his essence, yet so as to forbid any 
comparison to be made between God and his creatures.' This was 
also the opinion of Ahmed Ebn Hanbal, and David al Ispahani, and 
others, who herein followed Malec Ebn Ans, and were so cautious of 
any assimilation of GOD to created beings, that they declared whoever 
moved his hand while he read these words, " I have created with my 
hand," or " stretched forth his finger," in repeating this saying of 
Mohammed, " The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the 

6 Vide Poc ibid v» 224. 1 Vide eund. ibid. * AuctCff al Mawakef, el al Safadi 

apud Poc. ubi sup. p. 230, &c Eba KluUec ka Vita al Jobbai » Ai Shahrest. apud Poc 

Spec. p. 230 


Merciful," ought to have his hand and finger cut off;' and the reasons 
they gave for not explaining any such words were, that it is forbidden 
in the Koran, and that such explications were necessarily founded on 
conjecture and opinion, from which no man ought to speak of the attri- 
butes of God, because the words of the Koran might by that means 
come to be understood differently from the author's meaning : nay, 
some have been so superstitiously scrupulous in this matter as not to 
allow the words hand, face, and the like, when they occur in the Koran, 
to be rendered into Persian or any other language, but require them to 
be read in the very original words, and this they call the safe way.' 
2. As to predestination, they held that GOD hath one eternal will 
which is applied to whatsoever he willeth, both of his own actions and, 
those of men, so far as they are created by him, but not as they are 
acquired or gained by them ; that he willeth both their good and their 
evil, their profit and their hurt, and as he willeth and knoweth, he 
willeth concerning men that which he knoweth, and hath commanded 
the pen to write the same in the preserved table : and this is his 
decree, and eternal immutable counsel and purpose.^ They also went 
so far as to say, that it may be agreeable to the way of GOD that man 
should be commanded what he is not able to perform.'^ But while 
they allow man some power, they seem to restrain it to such a power 
as cannot produce anything new; only GOD, say they, so orders his 
providence that he creates, after, or under, and together with every 
created or new power, an action which is ready whenever a man wills 
it, and sets about it : and this action is called Cash, i.e., Acquisition, 
being in respect to its creation, from GOD, but in respect to its being 
produced, employed, and acquired, from man.s And this being gene- 
rally esteemed the orthodox opinion, it may not be improper farther to 
explain the same in the words of some other writers. The elective 
actions of men, says one, fall under the power of God alone ; nor is 
their own power effectual thereto ; but GoD causeth to exist in man power 
and choice ; and if there be no impediment, he causeth his action to 
exist also, subject to his power, and joined with that and his choice , 
which action, as created, is to be ascribed to GOD, but as produced, 
employed, or acquired, to man. So that by the acquisition of an 
action is properly meant a man's joining or connecting the same with 
his power and will, yet allowing herein no impression or influence on 
the existence thereof, save only that it is subject to his power.' Others, 
however, who are also on the side of al Ashdri, and reputed orthodox, 
explain the matter in a different manner, and grant the impression or 
influence of the created power of man on his action, and that thij 
power is what is called Acquisition.' But the point will be still clearei 
if we hear a third author, who rehearses the various opinions, or expli- 
cations of the opinion of this sect, in the following words, viz. : Abu'l 
Hasan al Ashari asserts all the actions of men to be subject to the 
power of God, beifig created by him, and that the power of man hath 
no influence at all on that which he is empowered to do ; but that both 
the power, and what is subject thereto, fall under the power of God ; 

^ Idem, apud eund. p. 228, &c. 2 vide Poc. ibid. ° Al Shahrest. apud eund. p. 245. &c, 
4 Idem, ibid. p. i'46. 5 a1 Shahrest. apud Poc. p. 245. fin:. 1 Auctor Sluuh al Mawakef, 
apud euiid. p. 10.3. 2 w Sliahiest. ibid- p 2*8 



al Kadi Abu Beer says that the essence or substance of the action is 
th effect of the power of God, but its being either an action of 
obedience, as prayer, or an action of disobedience, as fornication, are 
quahties of the action, which proceed from the power of man : Abd'- 
almalec, known by the title of Imam al Haramein, Abu'l Hosein of 
Basra, and other learned men, held that the actions of men are effected 
by the power which GoD hath created in man, and that GOD causeth 
to exist in man both power and will, and that this power and will do 
necessarily produce that which man is empowered to do : and Abu 
Ishak al Isfarayeni taught that that which maketh impression, or hath 
influence on an action, is a compound of the power of GOD and the 
power of man.* The same author observes that their ancestors, per^ 
ceiving a manifest difference between those things which are the effects 
of the election of man and those things which are the necessary effects 
of inanimate agents, destitute both of knowledge and choice, and being 
at the same time pressed by the arguments which prove that GOD is 
the Creator of all things, and consequently of those things which are 
done by men, to conciliate the matter, chose the middle way, asserting 
actions to proceed from the power of GOD, and the acquisition of man ; 
God's way of dealing with his servants being, that when man intendeth 
obedience, God createth in him an action of obedience, and when he 
intendeth disobedience, he createth in him an action of disobedience ; 
so that man seemeth to be the effective producer of his action, though 
he really be not.' But this, proceeds the same writer, is again pressed 
with its difficulties, because the very intention of the mind is the work 
of God, so that no man hath any share in the production of his own 
actions ; for which reason the ancients disapproved of too nice an 
inquiry into chis point, the end of the dispute concerning the same 
being, for the most part, either the taking away of all precepts positive 
as well as negative, or else the associating of a companion with GOD, 
by introducing some other independent agent besides him. Those, 
therefore, who would speak more accurately, use this form : there is 
neither compulsion nor free liberty, but the way lies between the two ; 
the power and will in man being both created by GOD, though the 
merit or guilt be imputed unto man. Yet, after all, it is judged the 
safest way to follow the steps of the primitive Moslems, and, avoiding 
subtle disputations and too curious inquiries, to leave the knowledge or 
this matter wholly unto GOD." 3. As to mortal sin, the Ashdrians 

3 Auctor Sharh al Tawalea, apud eund. iDid. p. 248, &c. 1 Idem, ibid. p. 249, 250. 

2 Idem, ibid. p. 250, 251. I trust the reader will not be offended if, as a farther illustration 
Df what has been said on this subject (in producing of which I have purposely kept to the 
original Mohammedan expressions) I transcribe a passage or two from a postscript subjoined tc 
the epistle I have quoted above (§ 4, p. 85), in which the point of free will is treated ex prof esse 
Therein the Moorish author, having mentioned the two opposite opinions of the Kadarians. 
who allow free will, and the Jabarians, who make man a necessary agent (the former of which 
opinions, he says, seems to approach nearest to that of the greater part of Christians and of the 
Jews), declares the true opinion to be that of the Sonnites, v/ho assert that man hath power and 
will to choos'-, good and evil, and can moreover know he shall be rewarded if he do well, and 
shall be punished if he do ill ; but that he depends, notwithstanding, on God's power, and 
willeth, if God willeth, but not otherwise. Then he proceeds briefly to refute the two extreme 
opinions, and first to prove that of the Kadarians, though it be agreeable to God's justice, in- 
consistent with his attributes of wisdom and power : " Sapientia enim Dei," says he, "compre- 
hendit quicquid fiiit et futuram est ab atC'S-iiiiaie hi finsm usque mundi ct postea. Et itanovitab 
a:terno omnia opera creaturaruir;, sive bona, svve mala, quas fuerint creata cum potentia Dei, 
et ejus libera er deteraii'^a^i' wolnntaie, situt 'ui-\ yl-'vsix i-{\u Denique r.ovit eun) qui futurm 


taught, that if a believer guilty ui such sin die without repentance, his 
sentence is to be left with GOD, whether he pardon him out of mercy, 
or whether the prophet intercede for him (according to that saying 
recorded of him, '' My intercession shall be employed for those among 
my people who shall have been guilty of grievous crimes ")j or whether 
he punish him in proportion to his demerit, and afterwards, through 
his mercy, admit him into paradise : but that it is not to be supposed he will 
remain for ever in hell with the infidels, seeing it is declared that who- 
ever shall have faith in his heart but of the weight of an ant, shall be 
delivered from hell fire/ And this is generally received for the ortho- 
dox doctrine in this point, and is diametrically opposite to that of the 

These were the more rational Sefatians, but the ignorant part of 
them, not knowing how otherwise to explain the expressions of the 
Koran relating to the declarative attributes, fell into most groFs and 

erat malus, et tamen creavit eum, et similiter bonum, quern etiam creavit : neque negari potest 
quin, si ipsi libuisset, potuisset omnes crearc bonos : placuit tamen Deo creare bonos et males, 
ciim Deo soli sit absoluta et libera voluntas, et perfecta electio, et non homini. Ita enim 
Salomon in suis proverbiis dixit, Vitam et mortem, bonum et malum, divitias et paupertatem, 
esse et venire a Deo. Christiani etiam dicunt S. Paulum dixisse in suis epistolis ; Dicet etiam 
lutum figulo, quare facis unum vas ad honorem, et aliud vas ad contumeliam? Cum igitur 
miser homo fuerit creatus a voluntate Dei et potentia, nihil aliud potest tribui ipsi quam ipse 
sensus cognoscendi et sentiendi an bene vel male faciat. Quae unica causa (id est, sensus cog- 
noscendi) erit ejus gloriae vel pcenae causa : per taiem enim sensum novit quid boni vel mali 
a,d versus Dei praecepta fecerit." The opinion of the Jabarians, on the other hand, he rejects 
as contrary to man's consciousness of his own power and choice, and inconsistent with God's 
justice, and his having given mankind laws, to the observing or transgressing of which he has 
annexed rewards and punishments. After this he proceeds to explain the third opinion in the 
following words : "Tertia opinio Zunis (i.e., Sonnitarum) quse vera est, affirmat homini potes- 
tatem esse, sed limitatem a sua causa, id est, dependentem a Dei potentia et voluntate, et 
propter illam cognitionem qua deliberat bene vel male facere, esse dignum poena vel praemio. 
Manifestum est in setemitate non fuisse aliam potentiam praeter Dei nostri omnipotentis, e cujus 
potentia pendebant omnia possibilia, id est, qus poterant esse, cum ab ipso fuerint creata. 
Sapientia verb Dei novit etiam quae non sunt futura ; et potentia ejus, etsi non creaverit ea, 
potuit tamen, si ita Deo placuisset. Ita novit sapientia Dei quae erant impossibilia, id est, quae 
non poterant esse ; quae tamen nullo pacto pendent ab ejus potentia : ab ejus enim potentia 
nulla pendent nisi possibilia. — Dicimus enim a Dei potentia non pendere creare Deum allum ipsi 
similem, nee cjeare aliquid quod moveatur et quiescat simul eodem tempore, ciim haec sint ex 
impossibilibus : comprehendit tamen sua sapientia tale aliquid non pendere ab ejus potentia. 
—A potentia igitur Dei pendet solum quod potest esse, et possibiie est esse ; quae sempei 
[>arata est dare esse possibilibus. Et si hoc penitus cognoscamus, cognoscemus pariter omne 
■luod est, seu futurumest, sive sint opera nostra, sive quid\as aliud, pendere a sola potentia Dei. 
Et hoc non privatim intelllgitur, sed in genere de omni eo quod est et movetur, sive in coelis 
sive in terra ; et nee aliqua potentia potest impediri Dei potentia, ciim nulla alia potentia abso- 
luta sit, praeter Dei ; potentia vero nostra non est a se, nisi a Dei potentia : et cum potentia 
nostra dicitur esse a causa sua, ideo dicimus potentiam nostram esse straminis comparatam cum 
poteiitia Dei : eo enim modo quo stramen movetur a motu maris, ita nostra potentia et voluntas 
k Dei potentia. Itaque Dei potentia semper est parata etiam ad occidendum aliquem ; ut si 
quis hominem occidat, non dicimus potentia hominis id factum, sed aeterna potentia Dei : error 
enim est id tribuere potentiae hominis. Potentia enim Dei, cum semper sit parata, et ante 
ipsum hominem, ad occidendum ; si sola hominis potentia id factum esse diceremus, et moreretur, 
potentia sane Dei (quae ante erat) jam ibi esset fnastra : quia ppst mortem non potest potentia 
Dei eum iterum occidece ; ex quo sequeretur potentiam Dei impediri a potentia hominis, et 
potentiam hominis anteire et antecellere potentiam Dei ; quod est absurdum et impossibile. 
Igitur Deus est qui operatur aetema sua potentia; si verb homini injiciatur culpa, sive in tali 
homicidio, sive in aliis, hoc est quantum ad praecepta et legem. Homini tribuitur solum opus 
externe, et ejus electio, quae est a voliuitate ejus et potentia; non vero interne. — Hoc est punc- 
tum illud indivisibile et secretum, quod a paucissimis capitiu-, ut sapientissimus Sidi Abo Hamet 
Elgaceli (i.e., Dominus Abu Hamed al Ghazali) affirmat (cujus spiritui Deus concedat gloriam, 
Amen !) sequentibus verbis : Ita abditura et profundum et abstrusum est intelligere punctum 
illud Liben Arbitrii, ut neque characteres ad scribendum, neque ullae rationes ad exprimendum 
sufficiant, et omnes. quotqnot de hac v</ locuti svs^t, 'nahfvxuTM confusi in lioa tanti et tare 
spaciosi maris.' 
^ Al Shahre-st apufl Poc. Spec. p. acft 


absurd opinions, making GOD corporeal, and like created beings.* 
Such were — 

2. The Moshabbehites, or Assimilators ; who allowed a resemblance 
between God and his crea.tures,' supposing him to be a figure com- 
posed of members or parts, either spiritual or corporeal, and capable of 
local motion, of ascent and descent, &c.' Some of this sect inclined 
to the opinion of the Holulians, who believed that the divine nature 
might be united with the human in the same person ; for they granted 
it possible that God might appear in a human form, as Gabriel did : 
and to confirm their opinion they allege Mohammed's words, that h^ 
saw his Lord in a most beautiful form, and Moses talking with God 
face to face." And 

3. The Keramians, or followers of Mohammed Ebn Keram, called 
also Mojassemians, or Corporalists ; who not only admitted a resem- 
blance between God and created beings, but declared GOD to be cor- 
poreal.2 The more sober among them, indeed, when they applied the 
word body to GOD, would be understood to mean, that he is a self- 
subsisting being, which with them is the definition of body : but yet 
some of them affirmed him to be finite, and circumscribed, either on 
all sides, or on some only (as beneath, for example), according to dif- 
ferent opinions \'' and others allowed that he might be felt by the hand, 
and seen by the eye. Nay, one David al Jawari went so far as to say, 
that his deity was a body composed of flesh and blood, and that he 
had members, as hands, feet, a head, a tongue, eyes, and ears ; but 
that he was a body, however, not like other bodies, neither was he like 
to any created being : he is also said farther to have aftirmed that from 
the crown of the head to the breast he was hollow, and from the breast 
downward solid, and that he had black curled hair.s These most blas- 
phemous and monstrous notions were the consequence of the literal 
acceptation of those passages in the Koran which figuratively attribute 
corporeal actions to GOD, and of the words of Mohammed, when he 
said, that GOD created in his own image, and that himself had felt 
the fingers of GOD, which he laid on his back, to be cold : besides which, 
this sect are charged with fathering on their prophet a great number 
of spurious and forged traditions to support their opinion, the greater 
part whereof they borrowed from the Jews, who are accused as naturally 
prone to assimilate GOD to men, so that they describe him as weeping 
for Noah's flood till his eyes were sore.*" And, indeed, though we grant 
the Jews may have imposed on Mohammed and his followers in many 
instances, and told them as solemn truths things which themselves be- 
lieved not or had invented, yet many expressions of this kind are to be 
found in their writings ; as when they introduce GoD roaring like a lion 
at every watch of the night, and crying, " Alas ! that I have laid waste 
my house, and suffered my temple to be burnt, and sent my children 
into banishment among the heathen/' &c.* 

4. The jabarians — who are the direct opponents of the Kadarians — 
denying free agency in man, and ascribing his actions wholly unto 

2 Vide Poc. ibid. p. 255, &c. Abulfar. p. 167, &c. * Al Mawakef, apud Poc. ibid. 1 Al 
Shahrest. apud eund. ibid. p. 226. ^ Vide Marracc. P.'udr. part iii. p. 76. '^ Al Shahiest. 

ubi sup. 4 Idem, ibid. p. 225. ^ Idem, ibid. p. 2^5, S27. * Idem,- ibid. p. 227, 228. 

' Talm Berac'ioth. c. i. Vide Poc. ubi sunra, p 3aS, 


God.* They take their denomination from al Jabr, which signifies 
necessity-; or compulsion ; because they hold man to be necessarily 
and inevitably constrained to act as he does, by force of God's eternal 
and immutable decree.^ This sect is distinguished into several species ; 
some being more rigid and extreme in their opinion, who are thence 
called pure Jabarians, and others more moderate, who are therefore 
called middle Jabarians. The former will not allow men to be said 
either to act, or to have any power at all, either operative or acquiring ; 
asserting that man can do nothing, but produces all his actions by 
necessity, having neither power, nor will, nor choice, any more than 
an inanimate agent : they also declare that rewarding and punishing 
are also the effects of necessity ; and the same they say of the imposing 
of commands. This was the doctrine of the Jahmians, the followers of 
Jahm Ebn Safwan, who likewise held that paradise and hell will vanish, 
or be annihilated, after those who are destined thereto respectively 
shall have entered them, so that at last there will remain no existing 
being besides God ;^ supposing those words of the Koran which de- 
clare that the inhabitants of paradise and of hell shall remain therein 
for ever, to be hyperbolical only, and intended for corroboration, and 
not to denote an eternal duration in reality.^ The moderate Jabarians 
are those who ascribe some power to man, but such a power as hath 
no influence on the action : for as to those who grant the power of man 
to have a certain influence on the action, which influence is called Ac- 
quisition, some^ will not admit them to be called Jabarians ; though 
others reckon those also to be called middle Jabarians, and to contend 
for the middle opinion between absolute necessity and absolute liberty, 
who attribute to man acquisition, or concurrence in producing the 
action, whereby he gaineth commendation or blame (yet without ad- 
mitting it to have any influence on the action), and, therefore, make the 
Asharians a branch of this secL^ Having again mentioned the term 
Acquisition, we may, perhaps, have a clearer idea of what the Moham- 
medans mean thereby, when told, that it is defined to be an action 
directed to the obtaining of profit, or the removing of hurt, and for that 
reason never applied to any action of GOD, who acquireth to himself 
neither profit nor hurt.' Of the middle or moderate Jabarians were 
the Najarians and the Derarians. The Najarians were the adherents 
of al Hasan Ebn Mohammed al Najar, who taught that GOD was he 
who created the actions of men, both good and bad, and that man ac- 
quired them, and also that man's power had an influence on the action, 
or a certain co-operation, which he called acquisition ; and herein he 
agreed with al Ashari.* The Derarians were the disciples of Derar 
Ebn Amru, who held also that men's actions are really created by 
God, and that man really acquired them.^ The Jabarians also say, 
that God is absolute Lord of his creatures, and may deal with them 
according to his own pleasure, without rendering account to any, and 
that if he should admit all men, without distinction, into paradise, it 
would be no impartiality, or if he should cast them all into hell it would 

3 Vide Abulfarag, p. 168. 3 Al Shahrest. al Mawakef, et Ebn al Kossd, apud Poc. ibid. 

p. 233, &c. * Al Shahrest. al Motarezzi, et Ebn al Kossa, apud eund. p. 239, 243, &c. 

' Idem, ibid. p. 260. 8 Al Shahi-est. 7 Ebn al Kossa, et al Mawakef. ^ Ebn al Kossi 
ftDud Poc ubi sup. p. 24a 3 Al Sbahrcsr. apud eund. p. 2^5. 3 Idem, ibid 


be no injustice.* And in this particular, likewise, they agree with the 
Ash^rians, who assert the same,^ and say that reward is a favour from 
Gk)D, and punishment a piece of justice ; obedience being by them con- 
sidered as a sign only of future reward, and transgression as a sign ol 
future punishment.* 

5. The Morgians ; who are said to be derived from the Jabarians.' 
These teach that the judgment of every true believer, who hath been 
guilty of a grievous sin, will be deferred till the resurrection ; for which 
reason they pass no sentence on him in this world, either of absolution 
or condemnation. They also hold that disobedience with faith hurteth 
not ; and that, on the other hand, obedience with infidelity profiteth 
not.* As to the reason of their name the learned differ, because of the 
different significations of its root, each of which they accommodate to 
some opinion of the sect. Some think them so called because they 
postpone works to intention, that is, esteem works to be inferior in 
degree to intention and profession of the faith;' others, because they 
allow hope, by asserting that disobedience with faith hurteth not, &c. ; 
others take the reason of the name to be, their deferring the sentence 
of the heinous sinner till the resurrection ;' and others, their degrading 
of Ali, or removing him from the first degree to the fourth :* for the 
Morgians, in some points relating to the office of Imam, agree with the 
Kharejites. This sect is divided into four species : three of which, 
according as they happen to agree in particular dogmas with the 
Kharejites, the Kadarians, or the Jabarians, are distinguished as Mor- 
gians of those sects, and the fourth is that of the pure Morgians ; which 
last species is again subdivided into five others.^ The opinions of 
Mokatel and Bashar, bt^th of a sect of the Morgians called Thaubanians, 
should not be omitted. The former asserted that disobedience hurts 
not him who professes the unity of God, and is endued with faith ; 
and that no true believer shall be cast into hell : he also taught that 
God will surely forgive all crimes besides infidelity; and that a dis- 
obedient believer will be punished, at the day of resurrection, on the 
bridge* laid over the midst of hell, where the flames of hell fire shall 
catch hold on him, and torment him in proportion to his disobedience, 
and that he shall then be admitted into paradise.'' The latter held 
that if God do cast the believers guilty of grievous sins into hell, yet 
they will be delivered thence after they shall have been sufficiently 
punished ; but tiiat it is neither possible nor consistent with iustice that 

4 Abulfarag, p. 168, &c. ^ Al Shahrestani, ubi sup. p. 252, &c. 

6 Sharh al Tawalea, ibid. To the same effect writes the Moorish author quoted above, 
from whom I will venture to transcribe the following passage, with which he concludes his 
Discourse on Freewill. " Intellectus fere lumine natural! novit Deum esse rectum judicem et 
iustum, qui non aliter afificit creaturam quam juste : etiam Deum esse absolutum Dominum, et 
banc orbis machinam esse ejus, et ab eo creatam ; Deum nullis debere rationem reddere, cum 
quicquid agat, agat jure proprio sibi : et ita absolute potent alincere praemio vel poena quem 
vult, cum omnis creatura sit ejus, nee facit cuiquam injuriam, etsi earn tonnentis et poenis 
setemis afficiat : plus enim boni et commodi accepit creatura quando accepit esse a suo creatore, 
quam incommodi et danini quando ab eo damjiata est et affecta tormentis et p«oenis. Hoc antem 
intelligitur si Deus absolute id faceret. Quando enim Deus, pietate et misericordia motus, 
eligit aliquos ut ipsi serviant, Dominus Deus gratia sua id facit ex infinita bonitate ; et quando 
aliquos derelinquit, et poenis et tonnentis afficit, ex justitia et rectitudine. Et tandem dicimui 
omnes poeaas esse justas quae a Deo veniunt, et nostra tantum culpa, et omnia bona esse ^ 

?ietate et misericordia ejus infinita." 7 Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 256. ^ Abulfar. p. 169- 

Al Firauz. >* Ebn al Athir, al MotarrezL "^ Al Shahrest. ubi sup. p. 254, &c. * Idewi 
ibid. * See before. Sect. IV, p. 71. ' Al Shahr^t. ubi s»'»^ •> <>V). 


they should remain therein for ever ; which, as has oeen observed, was 
the opinion of al Ashari. 

III. The Kharejites are they who depart or revolt from the lawful 
prince established by public consent ; and thence comes their name, 
which signifies revolters or rebels.^ The first who were so called were 
twelve thousand men who revolted from Ali, after they had fought 
under him at the battle of Seffein, taking offence at his submitting the 
decision of his right to the Khalifat, which Moawiyah disputed with 
him, to arbitration, though they themselves had first obliged him to it.' 
These were also called Mohakkemites, or Judiciarians ; because the 
reason which they gave for their revolt was, that Ali iiad referred a 
matter concerning the religion of God to the judgment of men, whereas 
the judgment, in such case, belonged only unto GOD.' The heresy of 
the Kharejites consisted chiefly in two things, i. In that they affirmed 
a man might be promoted to the dignity of Imam, or prince, though 
ne was not of the tribe of Koreish, nor even a freeman, provided he 
was a just and pious person, and endued with the other requisite quali- 
fications ; and also held that if the Imam turned aside from the truth, 
he might be put to death or deposed ; and that there was no absolute 
necessity for any Imam at all in the world. 2. In that they charged 
Ali with sin, for having left an affair to the judgment of men, which 
ought to have been determined by God alone ; and went so far as to 
declare him guilty of infidelity, and to curse him on that account* In 
the 38th year of the Hejra, which was the year follov/ing the revolt, all 
these Kharejites who persisted in their rebellion, to the number of four 
thousand, were cut to pieces by Ali, and, as several historians* write, 
even to a man : but others say nine of them escaped, and that two fled 
into Oman, two into Kerman, two into Sejestan,two imo Mesopotamia, 
and one to Tel Mawrun ; and that these propagated their heresy in 
those places, the same remaining there to this day.^ The principal 
sects of the Kharejites, besides the Mohakkemites above mentioned, 
are six ; which, though they greatly differ among themselves in other 
matters, yet agree in these, viz., that they absolutely reject Othman 
and Ali, preferring the doing of this to the greatest obedience, and 
allowing marriages to be contracted on no other terms ; that they 
account those who are guilty of grievous sins to be infidels ; and that 
they hold it necessary to resist the Imam when he transgresses the law. 
One sect of them deserves more particular notice, viz. — 

The Waidians, so called from al Waid, v.'hich signifies the threats 
denounced by God against the wicked. These are the antagonists of 
the Morgians, and assert >hat he who is guilty of a grievous sin ought 
to be declared an infidel or apostate, and will be eternally punished in 
hell, though he were a true believer :^ which opinion of theirs, as has 
been observed, occasioned the first rise of the Mdtazalites. One 
Jaafar Ebn Mobashshar, of the sect of the Nodhamians, was yet more 
severe than the Waidians, pronouncing him to be a reprobate and an 
apostate who steals but a grain of corn.' 

8 Idem, ibid. p. 269. 1 See Ockley's Hist, of the Sarac. vol. i. p. 60, &c. * Al Shahrest- 
ubi sup. p. 270. 3 Idem, ibid. 4 Abulieda, al Jannabi, Elmacinus, p. 40. 5 Al Shah, 

rc^'tani. See Ockley's Hist, of the Saracens, ubi .sup. p. 63. <" Abulfar. p 169. Al Shahresl 
apud Poc Spec. p. 256. l Vide Poa ibid. p. 257 


IV. The Shiites are the opponents of the Kharejites : their name 
properly signifies sectaries or adherents in general, but is peculiarly 
used to denote those of Ali Ebn Taleb ; who maintain him to be lawful 
Khalif and Imam, and that the supreme authority, both in spirituals 
and temporals, of right belongs to his descendants, notwithstanding 
they may be deprived of it by the injustice of others, or their own fear. 
They also teach that the office of Imam is not a common thing, 
depending on the will of the vulgar, so that they may set up whom 
they please ; but a fundamental affair of religion, and an article which 
the prophet could not have neglected, or left to the fancy of the common 
people :' nay, some, thence called Imamians, go so far as to assert, 
that religion consists solely in the knowledge of the true Imam.^ The 
principal sects of the Shiites are five, which are subdivided into an 
almost innumerable number ; so that some understand Mohammed'* 
prophecy of the seventy odd sects, of the Shiites only. Their general 
opinions are — i. That the peculiar designation of the Imam, and the 
testimonies of the Koran and Mohammed concerning him, are necessar)' 
points. 2. That the Imams ought necessarily to keep themselves free 
from light sins as well as more grievous. 3. That every one ought 
publicly to declare who it is that he adheres to, and from whom he 
separates himself, by word, deed, and engagement ; and that herein 
there should be no dissimulation. But in this last point some of the 
Zeidians, a sect so named from Zeid, the son of Ali surnamed Zein al 
abedin, and great-grandson of Ali, dissented from the rest of the 
Shiites. •♦ As to other articles, wherein they agreed not, some of them 
came pretty near to the notions of the Motazalites, others to those of the 
Moshabbehites, and others to those of the Sonnites.^ Among the latter 
of these Mohammed al Baker, another son of Zein al abedin's, seems to 
claim a place : for his opinion as to the will of GOD was, that GOD 
willeth something in us, and something from us, and that what he 
vvilleth from us he hath revealed to us ; for which reason he thought it 
preposterous that we should employ our thoughts about those things 
<v]iich God willeth in us, and neglect those which he willeth from us : 
and as to God's decree, he held that the way lay in the middle, and 
that there was neither compulsion nor free liberty.* A tenet of the 
Khattabians, or disciples of one Abu'l Khattab, is too peculiar to be 
omitted. These maintained paradise to be no other than the pleasures 
of this world, and hell fire to be the pains thereof, and that the world 
will never decay : which proposition being first laid down, it is no 
wonder they went farther, and declared it lawful to indulge themselves 
in drinking wine and whoring, and to do other things forbidden by the 
law, and also to omit doing the things commanded by the law." 

Many of the Shiites carried their veneration for Ali and his descend- 
ants so far, that they transgressed all bounds of reason and decency ; 
though some of them were less extravagant than others. The Gholaites, 
who had their name from their excessive zeal for their Imams, were so 
highly transported therewith, that they raised them above the degree 
of created beings, and attributed divine properties to them ; trans- 

2 Al Shahrest. ibid. p. 261. Abulfar. p. 169. 3 Al Shahrest. ibid. p. 262. * Idem, ibid 
Vide D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Schiah. » Vide Poc. ibid. I Al Shahrest. ibid, a 26^ 
• Idem, et Ebn al Kossa. iSid. p. 260. &c. 


pressing on either hand, by deifying of mortal men, and by making God 
corporeal: for one while they liken one of their I mams to GOD,and another 
while they liken GOD to a creature.^ The sects of these are various, 
and have various appellations in different countries. Abd'allah Ebn 
Saba (who had been a Jew, and had asserted the same thing of Joshua 
the son of Nun) was the ringleader ot one of them. This man gave 
the following salutation to Ali, viz., " Thou art Thou," i.e., Thou art 
God : and hereupon the Gholaites became divided into several 
species ; some maintaining the same thing, or something Hke it, of 
Ali, and others of some of one of his descendants ; affirming that he 
was not dead, but would return again in the clouds, and fill the earth 
with justice.* But howmuchsoever they disagreed in other things, they 
unanimously held a metempsychosis, and what they call al Holui, or 
the descent of GOD on his creatures ; meaning thereby that God is 
present in every place, and speaks with every tongue, and appears in 
som.e individual person \^ and hence some of them asserted their Imams 
to be prophets, and at length gods,* The Nosairians and the Ishakians 
taught that spiritual substances appear in grosser bodies ; and that the 
angels and the devil have appeared in this manner. They also assert 
that God hath appeared in the form of certain men ; and since, after 
Mohammed, there hath been no man more excellent than Ali, and, 
after him, his sons have excelled all other men, that GOD hath ap- 
peared in their form, spoken with their tongue, and made use of their 
hands ; for which reason, say they, v/e attribute divinity to them.* And 
to support these blasphemies, they tell several miraculous things of 
Ali, as his moving the gates of Khaibar,' which they urge as a plain proof 
that he was endued with a particle of divinity and with sovereign power, 
and that he was the person in whose form GOD appeared, with whose 
hands he created all things, and with whose tongue he published his 
commands ; and therefore they say he was in being before the creation 
of heaven and earth.^ In so impious a manner do they seem to wrest 
those things which are said in scripture of Christ by applying them 
to Ali. These extravagant fancies of the Shiites, however, in making 
their Imams partakers of the divine nature, and the impiety of some of 
those Imams in laying claim thereto, are so far from being peculiar to 
this sect, that most of the other Mohammedan sects are tainted with 
the same madness ; there being many found among them, and among 
the Siifis especially, who pretend to be nearly related to heaven, and 
who boast of strange revelations before the credulous people.'^ It may 
not be amiss to hear what al Ghazali has written on this occasion. 
" Matters are come to that pass," says he, " that some boast of an 
union with GOD, and of discoursing familiarly with him, without the 
interposition of a veil, saying, ' It hath been thus said to us,' and 'We 
have thus spoken;' affecting to imitate Hosein al Hallaj, who was put 
to death for some words of this kind uttered by him, he having said 
(as was proved by credible witnesses), ' I am the Truth,'^ or Abu Yazid 
al Bastami, of whom it is related that he often used the expression, 

^Idem, ibid. ■* Idem, ibid. p. 264. Vide Marracc. Prodr. part iii. p. 80, &c. ^ Idem, 
ibia. ^. 265. 6 Vide D'Herbel. Bibl. Or. Art. Hakem Beamrillah. 1 Idem, ibid. Abulfar. 
p. i6g. 2 See Prid. Life of Mah. p. 93. 3 Al Shah, ubi sup. p. 266. * Poc Spec- 

U 267. * Vide D'HerbeL Bibl. Orient. Art. Halla^e. 


•Sobhani,' i.e.^ 'Praise be unto me!"' But this way of talking is the 
cause of great mischief among the common people ; insomuch that 
husbandmen, neglecting the tillage of their land, have pretended tc 
the like privileges ; nature being tickled with discourses of this kind, 
which furnish men with an excuse for leaving their occupations, under 
pretence of purifying their souls, and attaining I know not what degrees 
and conditions. Nor is there anything to hinder the most stupid 
fellows from forming the like pretensions and catching at such vain 
expressions : for whenever what they say is denied to be true, they 
fail not to reply that our unbelief proceeds from learning and logic ; 
affirming learning to be a veil, and logic the work of the mund ; whereas 
what they tell us appears only within, being discovered by the light of 
truth. But this is that truth the sparks whereof have flown into several 
countries and occasioned great mischiefs; so that it is more for the 
advantage of God's true religion to put to death one of those who 
utter such things than to bestov/ life on ten others."' 

Thus far have we treated of the chief sects among the Mohammedans 
of the first ages, omitting to say anything of the more modern sects, 
because the same are taken little or no notice of by their own writers, 
and would be of no use to our present design.' It may be proper, 
however, to mention a word or two of the great schism at this day 
subsisting between the Sonnites and the Shiites, or partisans of Ali, 
and maintained on either side with implacable hatred and furious zeal. 
Though the difference arose at first on a political occasion, it has, 
notwithstanding, been so well improved by additional circumstances 
and the spirit of contradiction, that each party detest and anathematize 
the other as abominable heretics, and farther from the truth than either 
the Christians or the Jews.^ The chief points wherein they differ are— 
I. That the Shiites reject Abu Beer, Omar, and Othman, the three 
first Khalifs, as usurpers and intruders ; whereas the Sonnites acknow- 
ledge and respect them as rightful Imams. 2. The Shiites prefer Ali 
to Mohammed, or, at least, esteem them both equal ; but the Sonnites 
admit neither Ali nor any of the prophets to be equal to Mohammed. 
3. The Sonnites charge the Shiites with corrupting the Koran and 
neglecting its precepts, and the Shiites retort the same charge on the 
Sonnites. 4. The Sonnites receive the Sonna, or book of traditions of 
their prophet, as of canonical authority ; whereas the Shiites reject it 
as apocryphal and unworthy of credit. And to these disputes, and 
some others of less moment, is principally owing the antipathy which 
has long reigned between the Turks, who are Sonnites, and the 
Persians, who are of the sect of Ah. It seems strange that Spinosa, 
had he known of no other schism among the Mohammedans, should 
yet never have heard of one so publicly notorious as this between 
the Turks and Persians ; but it is plain he did not, or he would 
never have assigned i'. as the reason of his preferring the order of the 
Mohammedan church to that of the Roman, that there have arisen 
no schisms in the former since its birth.'* 

8 Vide Ibid. Art. Bastham. ^ Al Ghazali, apud Poc. ubi sup. 2 Xhe reader may meet 

with some account of them in Ricaut's State of the Ottom. Empire, !. 2, c. 12. 8 Vjde 

ibid. c. 10, and Chardin, Voy. de Perse, t. ii. p. 169, 170, &c. 

4 The words of the Spinosa are: "Ordinem Romanse ecclesias — politicum et plurimis 
lucrosum esse fateor ; nee ad decipiendam plebem. et hominum animos coerceriQuni rommo 


As success in any project seldom fails to draw in imitators, Moham- 
med's having raised himself to such a degree of power and reputation 
by acting the prophet, induced others to imagine they might arrive at 
the same height by the same means. His most considerable competi- 
tors in the prophetic office were Moseilama and al As wad, whom the 
Mohammedans usually call the two liars. 

The was of the tribe of Honeifa, who inhabited the province 
of Yamama, and a principal man among them. He headed an em- 
bassy sent by his tribe to Mohammed in the ninth year of the Hejra, 
and professed himself a Moslem :' but on his return home, considering 
that he might possibly share with Mohammed in his power, the next 
year he set up for a prophet also, pretending to be joined with him in 
the commission to recall mankind from idolatry to the worship of the 
true God ;' and he published v/ritten revelations, in imitation of the 
Koran, of which Abulfaragius^ has preserved the following passage, 
viz, : " Now hath GOD been gracious unto her that was with child, and 
hath brought forth from her the soul, which runneth between the peri- 
tonaeum and the bowels." Moseilama, having formed a considerable 
party among those of Honeifa, began to think himself upon equal 
terms with Mohammed, and sent him a letter, offering to go halves 
with him/ in these words : " From Moseilama the apostle of GoD, 
to Mohammed the apostle of GOD. Now let the earth be half mine, 
and half thine." But Mohammed, thinking himself too well established 
to need a partner, wrote him this answer : " From Mohammed the 
apostle of God, to Moseilama the liar. The earth is God's : he giveth 
the same for inheritance unto such of his servants as he pleaseth ; and 
the happy issue shall attend those who fear him."= During the few 
months which Mohammed lived after this revolt, Moseilama rather 
gained than lost ground, and grew very formidable ; but Abu Beer, his 
successor, in the eleventh year of the Hejra, sent a great army against 
him, under the command of that consummate general, Khaled Ebn al 
Walid, who engaged Moseilama in a bloody battle, wherein the false 
prophet, happening to be slain by Wahsha, the negro slave who had 
killed Hamza at Ohod, and by the same lance,^ the Moslems gained 
an entire victory, ten thousand of the apostates being left dead on the 
spot, and the rest returning to Mohammedism.^ 

Al Aswad, whose name was Aihala, was of the tribe of Ans, and 
governed that and the other tribes of Arabs descended from Madhhaj.- 
This man was likewise an apostate from Mohammedism, and set up 
for himself the very year that Moharruned died.' He was surnamed 
Dhu'lhemar, or the master of the ass, because he used frequently to 
say, " The master of the ass is coming unto me ; "^ and pretended to 
receive his revelatior s from two angels, named Sohaik and Shoraik.^ 
Having a good hand at legerdemain, and a smooth tongue, he gained 
mightily on the mult \tude by the strange feats which he showed them, 

diorem isto crederem, ni ordo Mahumedanas ecclesise esset, qui longe eundem antecellit. Nain 
a quo tempore hsec superstitio incepit, nulla i.: '='orum ecclesia schismata orta sunt." Opera 
Posth. p. 613. 1 Abulfed. p. i6o. 2 Idem, Elmac. p. 9. ^ Hist. Dynast, p. 164. 

•* Abulfed. ubi sup. ^ Al Beidawl, in Kor. c. 5. ^ Abulfed. ubi sup. 7 Idem, ibid. 

A.bulfarag, p. 173. Elmac. p. 16, &c See Ockley's Hist, of the Saracens, vol. i. p. 15, &c 
» Al Soheili, apud Gamier, in not. ad Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 158. S Elmac. p. 9. 3 Abiilfed 
ubi sap. * Al Soheili. ubi suo. 


and the eloquence of his discourse :* by these means he greatly in. 
creased his power, and having made himself master of Najran, and the 
territory of ai Tayef,^ on the death of Badhan, the governor of Yaman 
for Mohammed, he seized that province also, killing Shahr, the son ol 
Badhaw, and taking to wife his widow, whose father, the uncle of Firua 
the Deilamite, he had also slain.^ These news being brought to Mo- 
hammed, he sent to his friends, arxd to those of Hamdan, a party ol 
whom, conspiring with Kais Ebn Abd'al Yaghuth, who bore al Aswad 
a grudge, and with Firuz, and al Asv/ad's wife, broke by night into his 
house, where Firuz surprised him and cut off his head. , While he was 
dispatching he roared like a bull ; at which his guards came to the 
chamber door, but were sent away by his wife, who told them the pro- 
phet w^as only agitated by the divine inspiration. This was done the 
very night before Mohammed died. The next m^orning the conspira- 
tors caused the following proclamation to be made, viz. : " I bear 
witness that Mohammed is the apostle of God, and that Aihala is a 
liar;" and letteis were immediately sent away to Mohammed, with an 
account of what had been done : but a messenger from heaven out- 
stripped them, and acquainted the prophet with the news, which he 
imparted to his companions but a little before his death ; the letters 
themselves not arriving till Abu Beer was chosen Khalif. It is said 
that Mohammed, on this occasion, told those who attended him that 
before the day of judgment thirty more impostors, besides Moseilama 
and al Aswad, should appear, and every one of them set up for a pro- 
phet. The whole time, from the beginning of al Aswad's rebellion to 
his death, was about four months.^ 

In the same eleventh year of the Hejra, but after the death of Mo- 
hammed, as seems most probable, Toleiha Ebn Khowailed set up for a 
prophet, and Sejaj Bint al Mondar' for a prophetess. 

Toleiha was of the tribe of Asad, which adhered to him, together 
with great numbers of the tribes of Ghatfan and Tay. Against them 
likewise was Khaled sent, who engaged and put them to flight, oblig- 
ing Toleiha, with his shattered troops, to retire into Syria, where he 
stayed till the death of Abu Beer : then he went to Omar and embraced 
Mohammedism in his presence, and, having taken the oath of fidelity 
to him. returned to his own country and people.' 

Sejaj, surnamed 0mm Sader, was of the tribe of Tamim, and thd 
wife of Abu Cahdala, a soothsayer of Yamama. She was followed not 
only by those of her own tribe, but by several others. Thinking a pro- 
phet the most proper husband for her, she went to Moseilama, and 
married him ; but after she had stayed with him three days, she left him 
and returned home. ^ What became of her afterwards I do not find. 
Ebn Shohnah has given us part of the conversation which passed at 
the interview between those two pretenders to inspiration ; but the 
same is a little too immodest to be translated. 

In succeeding ages several impostors from time to time started up, 
most of whom quickly came to nothing : but some made a considerable 
figure, and propagated sects which continued long after their decease. 

SAbulfed. ubi sup. 6 Idem, et Elmac. ubi sup. Idem, al Jannabi, ubi sup 

8 Idem, ibid. 1 Eon Shohnah and Elmacinus call her the daughter of al Hareth. 2 Elmac 
9. i6, al Beidawi, in Kor. c. s- •* Ebn SbohnaK. Vide Elmac. p. 16. 


I shall give a brief account of the most remarkable of them, in c/rder of 


In the reign of al Mohdi, the third Khalif of the race of al Abbas, 
one Hakem Ebn Hashem% originally of Meru, in Ivhorasan, who had 
been an under-secretary to Abu Moslem, the governor of that province, 
and afterwards turned soldier, passed thence into Mawaralnahr, where 
he gave himself out for a prophet. He is generally named by the Arab 
writers al Mokanna, and sometimes al Borkai, that is, " the veiled," 
because he used to cover his face with a veil, or a gilded mask, to con- 
ceal his deformity, having lost an eye in the wars, and being otherwise 
of a despicable appearance ; though his followers pretended he did it 
for the same reason as Moses did, viz., lest the splendour of his coun- 
tenance should dazzle the eyes of the beholders. He made a great 
many proselytes at Nakhshab and Kash, deluding the people with 
several juggling performances, which they swallowed for miracles, and 
particularly by causing the appearance of a moon to rise out of a well, 
for many nights together; whence he was also called, in the Persian 
tongue, Sazendeh mah, or the m.oonmaker. This impious impostor, 
not content with being reputed a prophet, arrogated divine honours to 
himself, pretending that the deity resided in his person : and the doc- 
trine whereon he built this was the same with that of the Gholaites 
above mentioned, who affirmed a transmigration or successive mani- 
festation of the divinity through and in certain prophets and holy men, 
from Adam to these latter days (of which opinion was also Abu Moslem 
himself) ;' but the particular doctrine of al Mokanna was, that the per- 
son in whom the deity had last resided was the aforesaid Abu Moslem, 
and that the same had, since his death, passed into himself. The fac- 
tion of al Mokanna, who had made himself master of several fortified 
places in the neighbourhood of the cities above mentioned, growing 
daily more and more powerful, the Khalif was at length obliged to send 
an army to reduce him ; at the approach whereof al Mokanna retired 
into one of his strongest fortresses, which he had well provided for a 
siege, and sent his emissaries abroad to pursuade people that he raised 
the dead to life, and knew future events. But, being straitly besieged 
by the Khalif 's forces, when he found there was no possibility for him 
to escape, he gave poison, in wine, to his whole family, and all that 
were with him in the castle ; and when they were dead he burnt their 
bodies, together with their clothes, and all the provisions and cattle ; 
and then, to prevent his own body^s being found, he threw himself into 
the flames, or, as others say, into a tub of aqua fortis, or some other 
preparation, which consumed every part of him, except only his hair : 
so that when the besiegers entered the place, they found no creature in 
it, save one of al Mokanna's concubines, who, suspecting his design, 
had hid herself, and discovered the whole matter. This contrivance, 
however, failed not to produce the effect which the impostor designed 
among the remaining part of his followers ; for he had promised them 
that his sotil should transmigrate into the form of a grey-headed man 
riding on a greyish beast, and tliat after so many years he would return 

4 Or Ebn Ata, according to Ebn Shohnan. 1 This explains a doubt of Mr. Bayle concern- 
ing a passage of Elmacinus, as translated by Erpcnius, and corrected by Bespier. Vide Bayk, 
otc. Hist. Art. Abumuslimus, vera la fin, et Rem- B. 


to them, and give them the earth for their possession : the expectation 
of which promise kept the sect in being for several ages after' undei 
the name of Mobeyyidites, or, as the Persians call- them, Sefid 
jamehghian, ?,<?., the clothed in white, because they wore their garments 
of that colour, in opposition, as is supposed, to the Khalifs of the 
family of Abbas, whose banners and habits were black. The historians 
place the death of al Mokanna in the 162nd or 163rd year of the 

In the year of the Hejra 201, Babec, surnamed ai Khorremi, and 
Khorremdin, either because he was of a certain district near Ardebii 
in Adherbijan, called Khorrem, or because he instituted a merry re- 
ligion, which is tbe signification of the word in Persian, began to take 
on him the title of a prophet. I do not find what doctrine he taught ; 
but it is said he professed none of the religions then known in Asia. 
He gained a great number of devotees in Adherbijan and the Persian 
Irak, and grew powerful enough to wage v/ar with the Khalif al Mamun, 
whose troops he often beat, killing several of his generals, and one of 
them with his own hand ; and by these victories he became so for- 
midable that al Motasem, the successor of al Mdmun, was obliged to 
employ the forces of the whole empire against him. The general sent 
to reduce Babec was Afshid, who having overthrown him in battle, 
took his castles one after another with invincible patience, notwith- 
standing the rebels gave him great annoyance, and at last shut up the 
impostor in his principal fortress ; which being taken, Babec found 
means to escape thence in disguise, with some of his family and 
principal followers ; but taking refuge in the territories of the Greeks, 
was betrayed in the following manner. Sahel, an Armenian officer, 
happening to know Babec, enticed him, by offers of service and respect, 
into his power, and treated him as a mighty prince, till, when he sat 
down to eat, Sahel clapped himself down by him ; at which Babec being 
surprised, asked him how he dared to take that liberty unasked } "It 
is true, great king," replied Sahel, " I have committed a fault ; for who 
am I, that I should sit at your majesty's table.-*" And immediately 
sending for a smith, he made use of this bitter sarcasm, " Stretch forth 
your legs, great king, that this man may put fetters on them." After 
this Sahel sent him to Afshid, though he had offered a large sum for 
his liberty, having first served him in his own kind, by causing his 
mother, sister, and wife to be ravished before his face ; for so Babec 
used to treat his prisoners. Afshid, having the arch-rebel in his power, 
conducted him to al Motasem, by whose order he was put to an 
ignominious and cruel death. This man had maintained his ground 
against the power of the Khalifs for twenty years, and had cruelly 
put to death above two hundred and fifty thousand people ; it being 
his custom never to spare man, woman, or child, either of the Moham- 
medans or their allies.^ The sectaries of Babec which remained after 
his death seem to have been entirely dispersed, there being little or no 
mention made of them by historians. 

^ They were a sect in the days of Abulfaragius, who lived about five hundred years after this 
extraordinary event ; and may, for aught I know, be so still. 2 gx Abulfarag, Hist. Dyn. 

p. 226. Lobb al Tawarikh, Ebn Shohnah, al Tai^ari, and Khondamir. Vide D'Herbel. Bibl 
Orient. Art. Hakem Ben Haschem. 3 Ex Abuliaiai?, v «'" ' ■'~ Sbiiacin t». 141, &r 

and Khondamir. Vide D'Herbel. Art BSbei- 


About the year 235, oPxC Mahmud Ebn Faraj pretended to be Moses 
resuscitated, and played his part so well that several people believed 
on him, and attended him when he was brought before the Khalif al 
IV] otawakkel. That prince, having been an ear- witness of his extravagant 
discourses, condemned him to receive ten buffets from every one of 
his followers, and then to be drubbed to death ; which was accordingly 
executed ; and his disciples were imprisoned till they came to their 
right minds.* 

The Karmatians, a sect which bore an inveterate malice against the 
Mohammedans, began first to raise disturbances in the year of the 
Hejra 278, and the latter end of the reign of al Motamed. Their origin 
is not well known ; but the common tradition is, that a poor fellow, 
whom some call Karmata, came from Khuzistan to the villages near 
Cufa, and there feigned great sanctity and strictness of life, and that 
God had enjoined him to pray fifty times a day, pretending also to 
invite people to the obedience of a certain Imam of the family ot 
Mohammed : and this way of life he continued till he had made a 
very great party, out of whom he chose twelve, as his apostles, to 
govern the rest, and to propagate his doctrines. But the governor of 
the province, finding men neglected their work, and their husbandry 
in particular, to say those fifty prayers a day, seized the fellow, and 
having put him into prison, swore that he should die ; which being 
overheard by a girl belonging to the governor, she, pitying the man, 
at night took the key of the dungeon from under her master's head as 
he slept, and having let the prisoner out, returned the key to the place 
whence she had it. The next morning the governor found the bird 
flown ; and the accident being publicly known, raised great admiration, 
his adherents giving it out that GOD had taken him into heaven. 
Afterwards he appeared in another province, and declared to a great 
number of people he had got about him that it was not in the power of 
any to do him hurt ; notwithstanding which, his courage failing him, 
he retired into Syria, and was not heard of any more. His sect, however, 
continued and increased, pretending that their m.aster had manifested 
himself to be a true prophet, and had left them a new law, wherein he 
had changed the ceremonies and form of prayer used by the Moslems, 
and introduced a new kind of fast ; and that he had also allowed them 
to drink wine, and dispensed with several things commanded in the 
Koran. They also turned the precepts of that book into allegory; 
teaching that prayer was the symbol of obedience to their Imam, and 
fasting that of silence, or concealing their from strangers : 
they also believed fornication to be the sin ot infidelity ; and the guilt 
thereof to be incurred by those who revealed the mysteries of their 
religion, or paid not a blind obedience to their chief. They are said to 
have produced a book, wherein was written (among other things), " In 
the name of the most merciful God. Al Faraj Ebn Othman of the 
town of Nasrana, saith that Christ appeared unto him in a human form, 
and said, ' Thou art the invitation : thou art the dem.onstration : thou 
ait the camel : thou art the beast : thou art John the son of Zacharias : 
thou art the Holy Ghost.'"* From the year above mentioned the 

* Ebn Shohnah. Vide D'HerVvl. p. 537. 1 Apud Abulfiar. tx 275. 


Karmatians, under several leaders, gave almost continual disturbance 
to the Khalifs and their Mohammedan subjects for several years; 
committing great disorders and outrages in Chaldea, Arabia, Syria, and 
Mesopotamia, and at length establishing a considerable prncipality, 
the power whereof was in its meridian in the reign of Abu Dhaher, 
famous for his taking of Mecca, and the indignities by him offered to 
the temple there, but which declined soon after his time and came to 

To the Karmatians the Ismaelians of Asia were very near of kin, 
if they were not a branch of them. For these, who were also called 
al Molahedah, or the Impious, and by the writers of the history of the 
holy wars, Assassins, agreed with the former in many respects ; such 
as their inveterate malice against those of other religions, and especially 
the Mohammedan, their unlimited obedience to their prince, at whose 
command they were ready for assassinations, or any other bloody and 
dangerous enterprise, their pretended attachment to a certain Imam 
of the house of Ali, &c. These Ismaelians in the year 483 possessed 
themselves of al Jebal, in the Persian Irak, under the conduct of Hasan 
Sabah; and that prince and his descendants enjoyed the same for a 
hundred and seventy-one years, till the whole race of them was 
destroyed by Holagu the Tartar.* 

The Batenites, which name is also given to the Ismaelians by some 
authors, and likewise to the Karmatians," were a sect which professed 
the same abominable principles, and were dispersed over several parts 
of the east.' The word signifies Esoterics, or people of inward or 
hidden light or knowledge. 

Abu'l Teyyeb Ahmed, sumamed al Motanabbi, of the tribe of Jofa, 
is too famous on another account not to claim a place here. He was 
one of the most excellent poets among the Arabians, there being none 
besides Abu Temam who can dispute the prize with him. His poetical 
inspiration was so warm and exalted that he either mistook it or 
thought he could persuade others to believe it to be prophetical, and 
therefore gave himself out to be a prophet indeed ; and thence acquired 
his surname, by which he is generally known. His accomplishments 
were too great not to have some success; for several tribes of the 
Arabs of the deserts, particularly that of Kelab, acknowledged him to 
be what he pretended. But Lulu, governor in those parts for Akhshid 
king of Egypt and Syria, soon put a stop to the further progress of this 
new sect by imprisoning their prophet and obliging him to renounce 
his chimerical dignity ; which having done, he regained his liberty, and 
applied himself solely to his poetry, by means whereof he got very 
considerable riches, being in high esteem at the courts of several 
princes. Al Motanabbi lost his life, together with his son, on the 
bank of the Tigris, in defending the money which had been given him 
by Adado'ddawla, soltan of Persia, against some Arabian robbers who 
demanded it of him, with which money he was returning to Cufa, his 
native city. This accident happened in the year 354.* 

2 Ex Abulfar. ibid. Eiraacino, p. 174. &c. Ebn Shohnah, Khondamir. Vide I "Herbel. Art 
Carmath. 1 Vide Abulfar. p. 505, h.c. D'Herbel. p. 104, 437, 505, 620, and 784. 2 Vide 
Elmaciii. p. 174 and 286. D'Herb. r-. 104. •* Vide Abulfar. p. 361, 374, 380, 483. * Prae< 
in opera Molanabbis M.S. Vide D'lierbel. '^ •'""» &c. 


The last pretender to prophecy I shall now take notice of is one 
who appeared in the city of Amasia, in Natolia, in the year 638, and 
by his wonderful feats seduced a great multitude of people there. He 
was by nation a Turkman, and called himself Baba, and had a disciple 
named xsaac, whom he sent about to invite those '^f his own nation to 
join him. Isaac accordingly, coming to the territory f Someisat, 
published his commission, and prevailed on many to embrace his 
master's sect, especially among the Turkmans ; so that at last he had 
six thousand horse at his heels, besides foot. With these Baba and 
his disciple made open war on all who would not cry out with them, 
"There is no GoD but GoD; Baba is the apostle of GOD :" and they 
put great numbers of Mohammedans, as well as Christians, to the 
sword in those parts ; till at length both Mohammedans and Christians, 
joining' together, gave them battle, and having entirely routed them, 
put them all to the sword, except their two chiefs, who being taken 
alive, had their heads struck off by the executioner.' 

I could mention several other impostors of the same kind, which 
have arisen among the Mohammedans since their prophet's time, and 
very near enough to complete the number foretold by him : but I 
apprehend the reader is by this time tired as well as myself, and shall 
therefore here conclude this discourse, which may be thought already 
too long for an introduction. 

^Alulfar, p. 479. ELn Shohnah, D Herb. Art. Baba. 







■p RAISE be to God, the Lord of all creatures ;*> the most merciful, 
■*• the king of the day of judgment. Thee do we worship, and ot 
thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, in the way of 
those to whom thou hast been gracious ; not of those against whom 
thou art incensed, nor of those who go astray." 

» In Arabic al Fatihat. This chapter is a prayer, and held in great veneration by the Mo- 
hammedans, who give it several other honourable titles ; as the chapter oi prayer, oi praise, ol 
thanks ^ving, of treasure, &c. They esteem it as the quintessence of the whole Koran, and 
often repeat it in their devotions both public and private, as the Christians do the Lord's 
Prayer. 1 

2 The original words are, Rabbi 'lalamtna, which literally signify Lord of the worlds', but 
alatnina in this and other places of the Koran properly mean the three species of rational 
creatures, men, gtnii, and angels. Father Marracci has eHdeavoured to prove from this pas- 
sage that Mohammed believed a plurality of worlds, which he calls the error of the Manichees, 
&c. :2 but this imputation the learned Reland has shown to be entirely groundless. 3 

*^ This last sentence contains a petition, that God would lead the supplicants into the tnic 
religion, by which is meant the Mohammedan, in the Koran often called the rieht way ; in 
this place more particularly defined to be, the -way of tJiose to whom. God hath been gracious, 
that is, of the prophets and faithful who preceded Mohammed ; under which api»ellations are 
also comprehended the Jews and Christians, such as "hey were in the times of their primitive 
purity, before they had deviated from their respectiv institutions ; not the way of the modern 
Jews, whose signal calamities are marks of the just anger oi God against them for their ob- 
stinacy and disobedience ; nor of the Christians of /his age, who have departed from the true 
doctrine of Jesus, and are bewildered in a labyrinthK^f error.'* 

This is the common exposition of the passage ' tTiough al Zamakhshari, and some others, by 
a different application of the negatives, refer the v^fhole to the true believers ; and then the sense 
will run thus : The way of those to whom, thou hast been gracious, against whotn thou art net 
incensed, and who have not errtd. Which translation the original will very well bear. 

^ ^'xAt. Bobovium de Precib. Mohammed, p. 3, et seq. '^ In Prodromo ad Refut. Alcorani 
part TV. D. 76, et in notis ad Ale c 1. 8 Dg Religion. Mohammed, p. 202 ' Jallalo'ddin, 
A.I Beidawj, &c- 






A L- M.® There is no doubt in this book ; // is a direction to thf 
•<-~^» pious, who believe in the mysteries^ of faith, who observe the 
appointed times of prayer, and distribute ahns out of what we have 
bestowed on them ; and who beheve in that revelation, which hath 
been sent down unto thee, and that which hath been sent down U7it6 
the prophets before thee,^ and have firm assurance in the hfe to come ^ 
these are directed by their Lord, and they shall prosper. As for the 
unbelievers, it will be equal to them whether thou admonish them, or 
do not admonish them; they will not believe. GoD hath sealed up 
their hearts and their hearing ; a dimness covereth their sight, and 
they shall suffer a grievous punishment There are some who say. 
We believe in GoD and the last day, but are not really be- 
lievers ; they seek to deceive God, and those who do believe, but 
they deceive themselves only, and are not sensible thereof. There is 
an infirmity in their hearts, and GOD hath increased that infirmity;* 
and they shall suffer a most painful punishment because they have dis- 
believed. When one saith unto them, Act not corruptly^ in the earth, 
they reply. Verily, we are men of integrity.^ Are not they them- 
selves corrupt doers ? but they are not sensible thereof. And when 
one saith unto them, Believe ye as others'^ believe ; they answer, ShaF 
we believe as fools believe ? Are not they themselves fools .'* but they 
know it not. When they meet those who believe, they say, We do 
believe : but when they retire privately to their devilsj" tixey say. We 

<i This title was occasioned by the story of the red heifer, mentioned p. q. 

^ As to the meaning of these letters, see the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. III. 

f The Arabic word is gheib, which properly signifies a thing that » akzent, at a great dis- 
tance, or invisible, such as the resurrection, paradise, and hell. And this is agreeable tc the 
language of scripture, which defines faith to be the evidence of things not seen.^ 

S The Mohammedans believe that God gave written revelations not only to Moses, Jesus, 
and Mohammed, but to several other prophets ;2 though they acknc svledge none of those which 
preceded the Koran to be now extant, except the Pentateuch of Moses, the Psalms of David, 
and the Gospel of Jesus ; which yet they say were even before Mohammed's time altered and 
corrupted by tlie Jews and Christians ; and therefore will not allow our present copies to be 

h The original word al-akherhat properly signifies the latter part of anything, and by way of 
excellence the next life, the latter or future state after death ; and is opposed to al-do?tya. 
this world; and al-oula, the former or present life. The Hebrew word ahharith, from the 
same root, is used by Moses in this sense, and is translated latter ejtdJ^^ 

i Mohammed here, and elsewhere frequently, imitates the truly inspired writers, in making 
God by operation on the minds of reprobates to prevent their conversion. This fatality or pre- 
destination, as believed by the Mohammedans, hath been sufficiently treated of in the Prelimi' 
nary Discourse. 

^ Literally corrupt not in the earth, by which some expositors understand the sowing of 
false doctrine, and corrupting people's principles. 

1 According to the explication in the preceding note, this word must be translated reformers, 
who promote true piety by their doctrine and example. 

°^ "The first companions and followers of Mohammed. 4 

° The prophet, making use of the liberty zealots of all religions have, by prescription, of 

1 Heb. xi. I. See also Rom. xxiv. 25 ; 2 Cor. iv. 18 and v. 7. '■i Vide Reland. de Rtlig. 

Moham. p. 34 and Dis.«^rt. de Samaritanis, p. 34, &c ^ Numb. xxiv. 20, ; Deut viii. ift 

^ Jallalo'ddin. 


really hold with you, and only mock at those people : God shall mock 
at them, and continue them in their impiety ; they shall wander in con- 
fusion. These are the men who have purchased error at the price of 
true direction : but their traffic hath not been gainful neither have 
they been rightly directed. They are like unto one who kindleth a fire,'* 
and when it hath enlightened all around him,^ GOD taketh away their 
light* and leaveth them in darkness, they shall not see ; they are deaf, 
dumb, and blind, therefore will they not repent. Or like a stormy 
cloud from heaven, fraught with darkness, thunder, and lightning/ 
they put their fingers in their ears, because of the noise of the thunder, 
for fear of death ; GOD encompasseth the infidels : the lightning wanteth 
but little of taking away their sight ; so often as it enlighteneth them, 
they walk therein, but when darkness cometh on them, they stand still ; 
and if GOD so pleased. He would certainly deprive them of their hear- 
ing and their sight, for GOD is almighty. (3 men of Mecca ! serve 
your Lord who hath created you, and those who have been before you : 
perad venture ye will fear hitn; who hath spread the earth as a bed for 
you, and the heaven as a covering, and hath caused water to descend 
from heaven, and thereby produced fruits for your sustenance. Set not 
up therefore any equals unto GOD, against your own knowledge. If ye 
be in doubt concerning that revelation which we have sent down unto 
our servant, produce a chapter like unto it, and call upon your witnesses, 
besides GoD," if ye say truth. But if ye do it not, nor shall ever be 
able to do it, justly fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared 
for the unbelievers. But bear good tidings unto those who believe, and 
do good works, that they shall have gardens watered by rivers ; so often 
as they eat of the fruit thereof for sustenance, they shall say. This is 
what we have formerly eaten of ; and they shall be supplied with several 
sorts of fruit having a mutual resemblance to one another.* There 
shall they enjoy wives subject to no impurity, and there shall they con- 
tinue for ever. Moreover GOD will not be ashamed to propound in a 

giving ill language, bestows this name on the Jewish rabbins and Christian priests ; though he 
seems chiefly to mean the former, against whom he had by much the greater spleen. 

In this passage, Mohammed compares those who believed not on him, to a man who wants 
to kindle a fire, but as soon as it burns up, and the flames give a light, shuts his eyes, lest he 
should see. As if he had said : You, O A':abians, have long desired a prophet of your own 
nation, and now I am sent unto you, and •li'vve plainly proved my mission by the excellence of 
my doctrine and revelation, you resist conviction, and refuse to believe in me ; therefore shall 
God leave you in your ignorance. 

P The sense seems to be here impeifect, and may be completed by adding the words. He 
turns frt^in it, shuts his eyes, or the like. 

1 That is of the unbelievers, to whom the word their being in the plural, seems to refer ; 
though it is not unusual tor Mohammed, in affectation of the prophetic style, suddenly to changf 
the number against all rules of grammar. 

"" Here he compares the unbelieving Arabs to people caught in a violent storm. To perceive 
the beauty of this comparison, it must be observed, that the Mohammedan doctors say, this 
tempest is a type or image of the Koran itself : the thunder signifying the threats therein con- 
;ained ; the lightning, the promises ; and the darkness, the mysteries. The terror of the 
threats makes them stop their ears, unwilling to hear truths so disagreeable ; when the promises 
are read to them, they attend with pleasure; but when anything mysterious or difficult o/ 
belief occurs, they stand stock still, and will not submit to be directed. 

* i.e.. Your false gods and idols. 

' Some commentatorsl approve of this sense, supposing the fruits of paradise, though of 
various tastes, are alike in colour and outward appearance : but others^ think the meaning to 
le, that the inhabitants of that place will find there fruits of the same or the like kinds as uiey 
used to eat while on earth. 

1 Jallaloddin, a Al Zamaklishari. 

4 AL KORAN. CHAI-. it 

parable a giiat, or even a more despicable thing :° for they who believe 
will know it to be the truth from their Lord ; but the unbelievers will 
say, What meaneth GOD by this parable? he will thereby mislead 
many, and will direct m.any thereby : but he will not mislead any 
thereby, except the transgressors, who make void the covenant of GOD 
after the establishing thereof, and cut in sunder that which GOD hath 
commanded to be joined, and act corruptly in the earth ; they shall 
perish. How is it that ye believe not in GoD ? Since ye were dead, 
and he gave you life ;* he will hereafter cause you to die, and will 
again restore you to life ; then shall ye return unto him. It is he who 
hath created for you whatsoever is on earth, and then set his mind to 
the creation ^t/" heaven, and formed it into seven heavens ; he knoweth 
all things. When thy LORD said unto the angels, I am going to place 
a substitute on earth,y they said, Wilt thou place there one who will 
do evil therein, and shed blood? but we celebrate thy praise, and 
sanctify thee. GOD answered, Verily I know that which ye knov/ not ; 
and he taught Adam the names of all things, and then proposed them 
to the angels, and said, Declare unto me the names of these things if 
ye say truth. They ansv^'ered, Praise be unto thee, we have no know- 
ledge but what thou teachest us, for thou art knowing and wise. God 
said, O Adam, tell them their names. And when he had told them 
their names, GoD said, Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of 
heaven and earth, and know that which ye discover, and that which ye 
conceal ?^ And when we said unto the angels, Worship'*' Adam, they 

w This was revealed to take off an objection made to the Koran by the infidels, for conda 
scending to speak of such insignificant insects as the spider, the pismire, the bee, &c.3 

^ i.e., Ye were dead while in the loins of your fathers, and he gave you life in your mothers 
wombs ; and after death ye shall be again raised at the resurrection.4 

y Concerning the creation of Adam, here intimated, the Mohammedans have several peculiar 
traditions. They say the angels, Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, were sent by God, one after 
another, to fetch for that purpose seven handfuls of earth from different depths, and of different 
colours (whence some account for the various complexion of mankind^) ; but the earth being 
apprehensive of the consequence, and desiring them to represent her fear to God that the 
creature he designed to form would rebel against him, and draw down his curse upon her, 
they returned without performing God's command ; whereupon he sent Azra'il on the same 
errand, who executed his commission without remorse, for which reason God appointed that 
angel to separate the souls from the bodies, being therefore called the angel of death. The 
earth he had taken was carried into Arabia, to a place between Mecca and Tayef, where, 
being first kneaded by the angels, it was afterwards fashioned by God himself into a human 
form, and left to dry^ for the space of forty days, or, as others say, as many years, the angels 
in the meantime often visiting it, and Eblis (then one of the angels who are nearest to God's 
presence, afterwards the devil) among the rest ; but he, not contented with looking on it, 
kicked it with his foot till it rung and knowing God designed that creature to be his superior, 
took a secret resolution never to acknowledge him as such. After this, God animated the 
figure of clay and endued it with an intellige5,t soul, and when he had placed him in paradise, 
formed Eve out of his left side. 7 

''■ This stor>- Mohammed borrowed from the Jewish traditions, which say that the angels 
having spoken of man with some contempt when God consulted them about his creation, Gou 
made answer that the man was wiser than they ; and to convince them of it, he brought a!] 
kinds of animals to them, and asked them their names ; which they not being able to tell, he 
put the same question to the man, who named them one after another ; and being asked his 
Dv/n name and God's name, he answered very justly, and gave God the name of Jehovah.' 
The angels adoring of Adam is also mentioned in the Talmud. 2 

* The original word signifies properly to prostrate one's self till the forehead touches the 
ground, which is the humblest posture of adoration, and strictly due to God only ; but it is 
sometimes, as va. this place, used to express that civil worship or homage, which may be paid tc 

3 Yahya. * Jallalo'ddin. ^ Al Termedi, from a tradition of Abu Musa al Ashari 

6Kor. c. 55. 7 Khondamir. Jallalo'ddin. Comment, in Koran, &c. Vide D'?Terbeio, 

Biblioth. Orient, p. 55. 1 Vide Rivin. S-^rpant. seduct. p. 56.  R. Mosos Haddarshan 

-n Lieresiui ruobah. ' ialii^iu Udm. 


all worshipped him, except Eblis, who refused, and was pufted up with 
pride, and became of the miinber of unbelievers.^ And we said, O 
Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden," and eat of the fruit 
thereof plentifully wherever ye will ; but approach not this tree,"^ lest 
ye become of the nujnber <?/"the transgressors. But Satan caused them 
to forfeit paradise^ and turned them out of the state of happiJiess 
wherein they had been ; whereupon we said, Get ye down,' the one of 
you an enemy unto the other ; and there shall be a dwelling-place for 
you on earth, and a provision for a season. And Adam learned words 
of prayer from his Lord, and God turned unto him, for he is easy to 
be reconciled and merciful. We said. Get ye all down from hence ; 
hereafter shall there come unto you a direction from me,^ and whoever 
shall follow my direction, on them shall no fear come, neither shall they 
be grieved ; but they who shall be unbelievers, and accuse our signs^ 
of falsehood, they shall be the companions of hell fire, therein shall 
they remain for ever. O children of Israel,^ remember my favour 
wherewith I have favoured you ; and perform your covenant with me, 

b This occasion of the devil's fall has some affinity with an opinion which has been pretty 
much entertained among Christians,^ viz., that the angels being informed of God's intention to 
create man after his own image, and to dignify human nature by Christ's assuming it, some 
of them, thinking their glory to be eclipsed thereby, envied man's happiness, and so revolted. 

" Mohammed, as appears by what presently follows, does not place this garden or paradise 
on earth, but in the seventh heaven. 5 

^ Concerning this tree or the forbidden fruit, the Mohammedans, as well as the Christians, 
have various opinions. Some say it was an ear of wheat ; some will have it to have been a fig- 
tree, and others a vine.S The story of the Fall is told, with some further circumstances, in the 
beginning of the seventh chapter. 

* They have a tradition that the devil offering to get into paradise to tempt Adam, was not 
admitted by the guard ; whereupon he begged of the animals, one after another, to carry him 
in, that he might speak to Adam and his wife ; but the}' all refused him except the serpent, 
who took him between two of his teeth, and so introduced him. They add that the serpent was 
then of a beautiful form, and not in the shape he now bears.7 

f The Mohammedans say that when they were cast down from paradise, Adam fell on the 
isle of Ceylon or Serendib, and Eve near Joddah (the port of Mecca) in Arabia ; and that after 
a separation of 200 years, Adam was, on his repentance, conducted by the angel Gabriel to 
a mountain near Mecca, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being thence named 
Arafat ; and that he afterwards retired with her to Ceylon, where they continued to propagate 
their species. 8 

It may not be improper here to mention another tradition concerning the gigantic stature of 
our first parents. Their prophet, they say, affirmed Adam to have been as tall as a high palm- 
tree ;9 but this wotdd be too much in proportion, if that were really the print of his foot, which 
is pretended to be such, on the top of a mountain in the isle of Ceylon, thence named Pico de 
Adam, and by the Arab writers i<.ahun, being somewhat above tv/o spans longl^ (though others 
say it is 70 cubits long, and that when Adam set one foot here, he had the other in the sea) ;U 
and too little, if Eve were of so enormous a size, as is said, when her head lay on one hill near 
Mecca, her knees rested on two others in the plain, about two musket-shots asunder. 12 

g God here promises Adam that his will should be revealed to him and his posterity ; which 
pr*mise the Mohammedans believe was fulfilled at several times by the ministry of several pro- 
phets, from Adam himself, who was the first, to Mohammed, who was the last. The number of 
•Tooks revealed unto Adam they say was ten.1 

^ This word has various significations in the Koran ; sometimes, as in this passage, it signi- 
fies divine revelation, or scripture in general ; sometimes the verses of the Koran in particular, 
and at other times visible tniracies. But the sense is easily distinguished by the context. 

' The Jews are here called upon to receive the Koran, as verifying and confirming the Pen- 
tateuch, particularly with respect to the unity of God and the mission of Mohammed. 2 And 
they are exhorted not to conceal the passages of their law which bear witness to those truths, 
nor to corrupt them by publishing false copies of the Pentateuch, for which the writers were but 
poorly paid. 3 

4 Irenseus, Lact. Greg. Nyssen. &c ^ Vide Marracc. in Ale. p. 24. 8 Vide ibid. p. 22. 

' Vide ibid. 8 D'Herbelot, Bib. Orient, p. 55. 9 Yahya. 10 Moncony's Voyage, 

part i. p. 372, &c. See Knox's Account of Ceylon. H Anciennes Relations des Indes, &c 

p. 3. 12 Moncony's, ubi sup 1 Vide Hottinger Hist. O.risat. p. 11. Reland. df Relig; 

Mohammed, p. 21. '•' Vahya. 3 Jallalo'ddin. 


and I will perform r^ty covenant with you ; and revere me : and believs 
in the revelatio?i which I have sent down, confirming that which is with 
you, and be not the first who believe not therein, neither exchange m) 
signs for a small price ; and fear me. Clothe not the truth with vanity^ 
neither conceal the truth against your own knowledge ; observe the 
stated times of prayer, and pay your legal alms, and bow down your- 
selves with those who bow down. Will ye command men to do justice, 
and forget your own souls ? yet ye read the book of the law : do ye not 
therefore understand .'' Ask help with perseverance and prayer ; this 
indeed is grievous, unless to the humble, who seriously think they shall 
meet their Lord, and that to him they shall return. O children ol 
Israel, remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that 
I have preferred you above all nations : dread the day wherein ons. 
soul shall not make satisfaction for another sovX^ neither shall any inter- 
cession be accepted from them, nor shall any compensation be received, 
neither shall they be helped. Remember when we delivered you from 
the people of Pharaoh, who grievously oppressed you, they slew your 
male children, and let your females live : therein was a great trial from 
your Lord. And when we divided the sea for you and delivered you, 
and drowned Pharaoh's people while ye looked on,*^ And when we 
treated v/ith Moses forty nights ; then ye took the Q?\i^ for your God^ 
and did evil ; yet afterwards we forgave you, that peradventure ye 
might give thanks. And when we gave Moses the book of the law, 
and the distinction between good and evil, that peradventure ye might 
be directed. And when Moses said unto his people, O my people, 
verily ye have injured your own souls, by your taking the calf for your 
God ; therefore be turned unto your Creator, and slay those among 
you who have been guilty of that crime j^ this will be better for you in 
the sight of your Creator : and thereupon he turned unto you, for he is 
easy to be reconciled, and merciful. And when ye said, O Moses, we 
will not believe thee, until we see GOD manifestly ; therefore a punish- 
ment came upon you, while ye looked on ; then we raised you to life 
after ye had been dead, that peradventure ye might give thanks." And 

k See the story of Moses and Pharaoh more particularly related, chapter vii. and xx. &c. 

1 The person who cast this calf, the Mohammedans say, was (not Aaron but) al Sameri, one 
of the principal men among the children of Israel, some of whose descendants it is pretended 
still inhabit an island of that name in the Arabian Gulf * It was made of the rings^ and brace- 
lets of gold, silver, and other materials, which the Israelites had borrowed of the Egyptians; 
for Aaron, who commanded in his brother's absence, having ordered al Sameri to collect those 
ornaments from the people, who carried on a wicked commerce with them, and to keep them 
together till the return of Moses ; al Sameri, understanding the founder's^ art, put them 
altogether into a furnace to melt them down into one mass, which came out in the form of a 
calf 1 The Israelites, accustomed to the Egyptian idolatry, paying a religious worship to this 
image, al Sameri went farther, and took some dust from the footsteps of the horse of the ange; 
Gabriel, who marched at the head of the people, and threw it into the mouth of the calf, which 
immediately began to low, and became animated ;2 for such was the virtue of that dust.3 One 
writer says that all the Israelites adored this calf, except only 12,000. 4 

™ In this particular, the narration agrees with that of Moses, who ordered the Levites to 
slay every 7nan his brother fi but the scripture says, there Jell of the people that day about 
3,000 (the Vulgate says 23,000) men ;6 whereas the commentators of the Koran make tha 
number of the slain to amount to 70,000 ; and add, that God sent a dark cloud which hindered 
them from seeing one another, lest the sight should move those who executed the 5,entence to 
compassion. 7 

" The persons here meant are said to have been seventy men, who were made choice of by 

4 Geogr. Nubiens. p. 45. 5 Kor. c. 7. l See Exod. xxxil. 24. 2 Kor. c. 7 

• Jallalo ddin. Vide D'Herbelot, BifcJ, Orient, p. 650. * Abulfeda. ^ Exod. xxxiL 26, a? 

* Ibid. 5»3. 7 allalo'ddin. &c. 


we caused clouds to overshadovv' you, and manna and quails" to descend 
upon you, saying, Eat of the good things which we have given you for 
food : and they injured not us, but injured their own souls. And when 
we said, Enter into this city,^ and eat of the provisio7is thereof plenti- 
fully as ye will ; and enter the gate worshipping, and say, Forgiveness !*• 
we will pardon you your sins, and give increase unto the well-doers. 
But the ungodly changed the expression into another,^ different from 
what had been spoken unto them ; and we sent down upon the un- 
godly indignation from heaven,' because they had transgressed. And 
when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, Strike the rock* with 
thy rod ; and there gushed thereout twelve fountains'^ accordiiig to the 
number of the tribes, and all men knew their respective drinking-place. 
Eat and drink of the bounty of GOD, and commit not evil in the earth, 
acting unjustly. And when ye said, O Moses, we will by no means be 
satisfied with one kind of iood. ; pray unto thy LORD therefore for us, that 
he would produce for us of that which the earth bringeth forth, herbs, 
and cucumbers, and garlic, and lentils, and onions ;* Moses answered, 

Moses, and heard the voice of GoD tsiking with him. But not being satisfied with that, they 
demanded to see God ; v/hereupon they were all struck dead by lightning, and on Moses's 
intercession restored to life. 8 

° The eastern writers say these quails were of a peculiar kind, to be found nowhere but in 
Yaman, from whence they were brought by a south wind in great numbers to the Israelites' 
camp in the desert. 9 The Arabs call these birds Salwd, which is plainly the same with the 
Hebrew Salivitn, and say they have no bones, but are eaten whole. 10 

P Some commentators suppose it to be Jericho, others Jerusalem. 

1 The Arabic word is Hittaton, which some take to signify that profession of the unity of 
God so frequently used by the Mohammedans, La ildha ilia 'llaho, There is no god but God. 

' According to Jallalo'ddin, instead oi Hittaton, they cried Habhatfi skairat — i.e., a grain 
in an ear of barley ; and in ridicule of the divine command to enter the city in an humble 
posture, they indecently cr., ^ in upon their breech. 

* A pestilence which carrie- rff near 70,000 of them.H 

* The commentators say this was a stone which Moses brought from Mount Sinai, and the 
same that fled away with his garments which he laid upon it one day while he washed ; they 
add that Moses ran after the stone naked, till he found himself, ere he was aware, in the midst 
of the people, who, on this accident, were convinced of the falsehood of a report which had 
been raised of their prophet, that he was bursten, or, as others write, an hermaphrodite.l 

They describe it to be a square piece of white marble, shaped like a man's head ; wherein 
they differ not much from the accounts of European travellers, who say this rock stands among 
several lesser ones, about 100 paces from Mount Horeb, and appears to have been loosened 
from the neighbouring mountains, having no coherence with the others ; that it is a huge mass 
of red granite, almost round on one side, and flat on the other, twelve feet high, and as many 
thick, but broader than it is high, and about fifty feet in circumference. 2 

" Marracci thinks this circumstance looks like a Rabbinical fiction, or else that Mohammed 
confounds the water of the rock at Horeb with the twelve wells at Elim ;3 for he says several 
who have been on the spot affirm there are but three orifices whence the water issued. ■i But it 
is to be presumed that Mohammed had better means of information in this respect than to fall 
into such a mistake ; for the rock stands within the borders of Arabia, and some of his country- 
men must needs have seen it, if he himself did not, as it is most probable he did. And in effect 
he seems to be in the right. For one who went into those parts in the end of the fifteenth 
century tells us expressly that the water issued from twelve places of the rock, according to the 
number of the tribes of Israel ; egresses sunt aquee largissiince in dtcodecim locis petree, juxta 
Hunterunt dziodecim tribicum Israel.^ A late curious traveller^ observes that there are twenty- 
four holes in the stone, which may be easily counted — that is to say, twelve on the flat side, 
and as many on the opposite round side, every one being a foot deep, and an inch wide ; and 
he adds, that the holes on one side do not communicate with those on the other, which a less 
Bccurate spectator not perceiving (for they are placed horizontally, within two feet of the top 
pf the rock), might conclude they pierced quite through the stone, and so reckon them to be 
but twelve. 

« See Numb. xi. 5, &c. 

8 Ismael Ebn Ali. » See Psalm Ixxviii. 26. 10 Vide D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient, p. 477. 

U Jallalo'ddin. 1 Jallalo'ddin, Yahya. 2 Breydenbach, Itinerar. Charta m. p. i. Sicard, 
dans les Memoires des Missions, vol. vii. p. 14. 3 E.xod. xv. 27 ; Numb, xxxiii. 9 

* Marracc Prodr. part iv. p. 80. * Breydenbach, ubi sup. 6 Sicard, ubi sup. 

8 ^L KORAN. CHAP, u 

Will ye exchange that which is better, for that which is worse ? Get ye 
down into Egypt, for there shall ye find what ye desire : and they were 
smitten with vileness and misery, and drew on themselves indignation 
from God, This they suffered^ because they believed not in the signs 
of God, and killed the prophets unjustly ; this, because they rebelled 
and transgressed. Surely those who believe, and those who Judaize. 
and Christians, and Sabians,^ whoever believeth in GOD, and the last 
day, and doth that which is right, they shall have their reward with 
their Lord ; there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be 
grieved. Call to 7nind also when we accepted your covenant, and lifted 
up the mountain of Sinai over you,* saying, Receive the law which we 
have given you, with a resolution to keep it, and remember that which 
is contained therein, that ye may beware. After this ye again turned 
back, so that if it had not been for God's indulgence and mercy towards 
you, ye had certainly been destroyed. Moreover ye know what befell 
those of your nation who transgTessed on the sabbath day f We said 
unto them, Be ye changed i?ito apes, driven away _/>'<?;« the society oj 
men. And we made them an example unto those who were contem- 
porary with them, and unto those who came after them, and a warning 
to the pious. And when Moses said imto his people. Verily GOD com- 
mandeth you to sacrifice a cow ;'' they answered, Dost thou make a jest 

y From these words, which are repeated in the fifth chapter, several writers^ have wrongly 
concluded that the Mohammedans hold it to be the doctrine of their prophet that every man 
may be saved in his own religion, provided he be sincere and lead a good life. It is true, 
some of their doctors do agree this to be the purport of the words ;!■ but then they say the 
latitude hereby granted was soon revoked, for that this passage is abrogated by several others 
in the Koran, which expressly declare that none can be saved who is not of the Mohammedan 
faith, and particularly by those words of the third chapter, Whoever /olloweth any other religion 
than Islam (i.e., the Mohammedan) it shall not be accepted of him, a7id at the last day he 
shall be of those ivJio perish.'^ However, others are of opinion that this passage is not abro- 
gated, but interpret it differently, taking the meaning of it to be that no man, whether he be a 
Jew, a Christian, or a Sabian, shall be excluded from salvation, provided he quit his erroneous 
religion and become a Moslem, which they say is intended by the following words, Whoever 
believeth in God and the last day, an-d uoth tliat zvhich is right. And this interpretation is 
approved by Mr. Reland, who thinks the words here import no more than those of the apostle. 
In every nation he that feareth God, a7id tvorketh righteotisness, is accepted with hint ;3 
from which it must not be inferred that the religion of nature, or any other, is sufficient to save, 
without faith in Christ.^ 

2 The Mohammedan tradition is, that the Israelites refusing to receive the law of Moses, 
God tore up the mountain by the roots, and shook it over their heads, to terrify them into a 

" The story to which this passage refers, is as follows. In the days of David some Israelites 
dwelt at Ailah, or Elath, on the Red Sea, where on the night of the sabbath the fish used to 
come in great numbers to the shore, and stay there all the sabbath, to tempt them ; but the 
night following they returned into the sea again. At length some of the inhabitants, neglecting 
God's command, catched fish on the sabbath, and dressed and ate them ; and afterwards cut 
canals from the sea, for the fish to enter, with sluices, which they shut on the sabbath, to pre- 
vent their return to the sea. The other part of the inhabitants, who strictly observed the sab- 
bath, used both persuasion and force to stop this impiety, but to no purpose, the offenders 
growing only more and more obstinate ; whereupon David cursed the sabbath-breakers, and 
God transformed them into apes. It is said that one going to see a friend of his that was among 
them, found him in the shape of an ape, moving his eyes about wildly ; and asking him whether 
he was not such a one, the ape made a sign with his head that it was he ; whereupon the friend 
said to him. Did not I advise you to desist ? at which the ape wept. They add that these un- 
happy people remained three days in this condition, and were afterwards destroyed by a wind 
which swept them ail into the sea.^ 

^ The occasion of this sacrifice is thus related. A certain man at his death left his son, then 

7 Selden, de Jure Nat. et Gent, sec Hebr. 1. 6, c. 12. Angel, a St. Joseph. Gazophylac 
Persic, p. 365. Nic. Cusanus in Cribratione Alcorani, 1. 3, c. 2, &c. ^ See Chardin's Voyages 
rol. ii. p. 326, ^31. 2 Abu'lkasem Hebatallah de abrogante et abrogate. '^ Acts jl 35 

Vide Reland. de R.el. Moham. p. j^S. &c 6 Jallalo'ddin ^ Abulfcda^ 

CKAP. 11. AL KORAN. 9 

of us? Moses said, God forbid that I should be 07ie of the foolish. 
They said, Pray for us unto thy LORD, that he would show us what cow 
it is. Moses answered, He saith. She is neither an old cow, nor a young 
heifer, but of a middle age between both : do ye therefore that which ye 
are commanded. They said, Pray for us unto thy Lord, that he would 
show us what colour she is of. Moses answered. He saith, She is a red 
cow,° intensely red, her colour rejoiceth the beholders. They said, 
Pray for us unto thy LORD, that he wov^d. further show us what cow it 
IS, for several cows with us are like one another, and we, if GOD please, 
will be directed. Moses answered. He saith, She is a cow not broken 
to plough the earth, or water the field, a sound one, there is no blemish 
in her. They said. Now hast thou brought the truth. Then they 
sacrificed her ; yet they wanted little of leaving it undone.*^ And when 
ye slew a man, and contended among yourselves concerning him, GOD 
brought forth to light that which ye concealed. For we said, Strike 
the dead body with part of the sacrificed cow .•* so GoD raiseth the dead 
to life, and showeth you his signs, that peradventure ye may under- 
stand. Then were your hearts hardened after this, even as stones, or 
exceeding them in hardness : for from some stones have rivers bursted 
forth, others have been rent in sunder, and water hath issued from them, 
and others have fallen do^vn for fear of GOD. But God is not regard- 
less of that which ye do. Do ye therefore desire that the Jews should 
believe you 1 yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then per- 
verted it, after they had understood it, against their own conscience. 
And when they meet the true believers, they say. We believe : but when 
they are privately assembled together, they say, Will ye acquaint them 
with what GOD hath revealed unto you, that they may dispute with you 
concerning it in the presence of your Lord ? Do ye not therefore 
understand ? Do not they know that GOD knoweth that which they 
conceal as well as that which they publish .'* But there are illiterate 

a child, a cow-calf, which wandered in the desert till he came to age ; at which time his mother 
told him the heifer was his, and bid him fetch her, and sell her for three pieces of gold. When 
the young man came to the market with his heifer, an angel in the shfipe of a man accosted him, 
and bid him six pieces of gold for her ; but he would not take the money till he had asked his 
mother's consent ; which when he had obrained, he returned to the rnarket-place, and met the 
angel, who now offered him twdce as much for the heifer, provided he would say nothing of it 
to his mother ; but the young man refusing, went and acquainted her with the additional offer. 
The woman perceiving it was an angel, bid her son go back and ask him what must be done 
with the heifer ; whereupon the angel told the 3'oung man that in a little time the children of 
Israel would buy that heifer of him at any price. And soon after it happened that an Israelite, 
named Hammiel, was killed by a relation of his, who, to prevent discovery, conveyed the body 
to a place considerably distant from that where the fact v/as committed. The friends of the 
slain man accused some other persons of the murder before Moses ; but they denying the fact, 
aiid there being no evidence to convict them, God commanded a cow, of such and such par- 
ticular marks, to be killed ; but there being no other which answered the description except 
the qrplian's heifer, they were obliged to buy her for as much gpld as her hide would hold ; ac- 
cording to some, for her full weight in gold, and as others say, for ten times as much. This 
heifer they sacrificed, and the dead body being, by di\'ine direction, struck with a part of it, 
revived, and standing up, named the person who had killed him ; after which it immediately 
fell down dead again. l The whole story seems to be borrowed from the red heifer, which was 
ordered by the Jev/ish law to be burnt, and the ashes kept for purifying clio.^e who happened 
to touch a dead corpse ;2 and from the heifer directed to be slain for the expiation of an uncer* 
tain murder. See Deut. xxi. i — 9. 

* The epithet in the original is yellow ; but this word we do not use in speaking of the coIiiC! 
c« cattle. 

* Because of the exorbitant price which they wer« obliged to pay for the heilei. 

* ».*., Her tongue, or the end of her tail. 3 

1 Abulfeda ' Murr-.K «ix. '* ,'a!b!oddia 


men among them, who Icnow not the book 0/ the law, but only lying 
stories, although they think otherwise. And woe unto them who tran- 
scribe corruptly the book of the laiv^ with their hands, and then say, 
This is from GOD : that they may sell it for a small price. Therefore 
M^oe unto them because of that which their hands have written ; and woe 
unto them for that v/hich they have gained. They say, The fire of hell 
shall not touch us but for a certain number of days.s Answer, Have 
ye received any promise from GOD to that purpose ? for GOD will not 
act contrary to his promise : or do ye speak concerning GOD that which 
ye know not ? Verily whoso doth evil,^ and is encompassed by his 
iniquity, they shall be the companions of hell fire, they shall remain 
therein for ever : but they who believe and do good works, they shaE 
be the companions of paradise, they shall continue therein for ever. 
Remember also, when we accepted the covenant of the children of 
Israel, sayings Ye shall not worship any other except GOD, and ye shall 
show kindness to your parents and kindred, and to orphans, and to the 
poor, and speak that which is good unto men, and be constant at prayer, 
and give alms. ^ Afterwards ye turned back, except a few of you, and 
retired afar off. i Vnd when we accepted your covenant, sayings Ye shall 
not shed your bro,%er^s blood, nor dispossess one another of your habi- 
tations. Then ye confirmed it, and were witnesses thereto. After- 
wards ye were they who slew one another,* and turned several of your 
brethren out of their houses, mutually assisting each other against them 
with injustice and enmity; but if they come captives unto you, ye 
redeem them : yet it is equally unlawful for you to dispossess them. 
Do ye therefore believe in part of the book of the law, and reject, other 
part thereof."* But whoso among you doth this, shall have no other 
reward than shame in this life, and on the day of resurrection they shall 
be sent to a most grievous punishment ; for GoD is not regardless of 
that which ye do. These are they who have purchased this present 
life, at the price of that which is to come ; wherefore their punishment 
shall not be mitigated, neither shall they be helped. We formerly de- 
livered the book of the law unto Moses, and caused apostles to succeed 
him, and gave evident miracles to Jesus the son of Mary, and strength- 
ened him v/ith the holy spirit.'^ Do ye therefore, whenever an apostle 

f Mohammed again accuses the Jews of corrupting their scripture. 

S That is, says Jailalo'ddin, forty; being the number of days that their forefathers worshipped 

he golden calf; after which they gave out that their punishment should cease. It is a received 

pinion among the Jews at present, ttiat no person, be he ever so wicked, or of whatever sect, 

shall rem.ain in hell above eleven months, or at most a year ; except Dathan and Abiram, and 

atheists, who will be tormented there to all eternity.! 

h By evii in this place the commentators generally understand polytheism or idolatry ; which 
sin the Mohammedans believe, unless repented of in this life, is unpardonable and will be 
.punished by eternal damnation ; but all other sins they hold will at length be forgiven. This 
therefore is that irremissible impiety, in their opinion, which in the New Testament is called 
ike sin against the Holy Ghost. 

» This passage v/as revealed on occasion of some quarrels whic.i arose between the Jews o( 
the tribes of Koreidha, and those of al Aws, al Nadhir, and al Khazraj, and came to that height 
that they took arms and destroyed one another's habitations, and turned one another out of 
their houses ; but when any were taken captive, they redeemed them. V/hen they were asked 
the reason of their acting in this manner, they answered. That they were commanded by theii 
law to redeem the captives, but that they fought out of shame, lest their chiefs should be de- 
spised. 3 

^ We must not imagine Mohammed here means the Holy Ghost in the Christian acceptation 
'• Vide Bartoloccii Biblioth. Rabbinic, torn. ii. p. 128, et tom. iii. p. 421. ' Jalln'o'ddia 


Cometh unto you with that which your souls desire not, proudly reject 
him^ and accuse some of imposture, and slay others ? The Jews say, 
Our hearts are uncircumcised : but GOD hath cursed them with their 
infidelity, therefore few shall believe. And when a book came unto 
them from God, confirming the scriptures which were with them, 
although they had before prayed for assistance agamst those who be- 
heved wot} yet when that came unto them which they knew to be from 
God, they would not believe therein : therefore the curse of God shall 
be on the infidels. For a vile price have they sold their souls, that 
they should not beheve in that which God hath sent down -^ out of 
envy, because GOD sendeth down his favours to such of his servants as 
he pleaseth : therefore they brought on themselves indignation on indig- 
nation ; and the unbelievers shall suffer an ignominious punishment. 
When one saith unto them, Believe in that which GOD hath sent down : 
they answer. We believe in that which hath been sent down unto us :° 
and they reject what hath bee7i revealed since, although it be the truth, 
confirming that which is with them. Say, Why therefore have ye slain 
the prophets of GoD in times past, if ye be true believers? Moses for- 
merly came unto you with evident signs, but ye afterwards took the calf 
for your god and did wickedly. And when we accepted your covenant, 
and lifted the mountain of Sinai over you," saying, Receive the law 
which we have given you, with a resolution to perform it, and hear ; they 
said, We have heard, and have rebelled : and they were made to drink 
down the calf into their hearts^for their unbelief. Say, A grievous thing 
hath your faith commanded you, if ye be true believers.*^ Say, If the 
future mansion with GOD be prepared peculiarly for you, exclusive of 
the rest of mankind, v/ish for death, if ye say truth : but they will never 
wish for it, because of that which their hands have sent before them ;'" 
God knoweth the wicked doers ; and thou shalt surely find them ol 
all men the most covetous of life, even more than the idolaters : one of 
them would desire his life to be prolonged a thousand years, but none 
shall reprieve himself from punishment, that his life may be prolonged : 
God seeth that which they do. Say, Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel' 

Vhe commentators say this spirit was the angel Gabriel, who sanctified Jesus and constantly 
attended on him.l 

^ The Jews in expectation of the coming of Mohammed (according to the tradition of his 
lallowers) used this prayer, O God, help us against the mibeiievers by tlie prophM luho is to be 
ent in the last titnes.'^ 

™ The Koran. 

° The Pentateuch. 

See before p. 8. 

P Moses took the calf which they had node, and burnt it in thejire, and q^round it to pow- 
der, and strewed it 2cpon the water (of the brook that descended/ront the mount), and nuuU 
the children of \sx3.&\ drink of it.^ 

1 Mohammed here infers from their forefathers' disobedience in worshipping the calf, at the 
same time that they pretended to believe in the law of Moses, that the faith of the Jews in his 
time was as vain and hypocritical, since they rejected him, who was foretold therein, as an 
impostor. 4 

"" That is, by reason of the wicked forgeries which they hiive been guilty of in respect to the 
scriptures. An expression much like that tif St. Paul, where he says, that sotne tnen'i sins art 
open be/ore h^nd, going before to judgment.^ 

* The commentators say that the Jews asked what angel it was that brought the divine reve- 
lations to Mohammed ; and being told that it was Gabriel, they replied that he was theii 
enemy, and the messenger of wrath and punishment ; but if it had been Michael, they would 

1 Jallalo'ddin. 2 Idem. 3 Exod. xxxii. 20 ; Deut. ix 21. * Jallalo'ddin. Yahya, •/ 

Beidawi. 5 , Tijn. v. 2 . 


(for he hath caused the Kordn to descend on thy heart, by the permis- 
sion of God, confinRing that which was before revealed, a direction, 
and good tidings to the faithful) ; whosoever is an enemy to God, oi 
his angels, or his apostles, or to Gabriel, or Michael, verily God is an 
enemy to the unbelievers. And now we have sent dovm unto thee evi- 
dent signs,* and none will disbelieve them but the evil-doers. When- 
ever they make a covenant, will some of therri reject it.? yea, the greater 
part of them do not believe. And when there came unto them an 
apostle from GoD, confirming that scripture which was with them, some 
of those to whom the scriptures were given, cast the book of God be- 
hind their backs, as if they Icnew it not : and they followed the device 
which the devils devised against the kingdom of Solomon ;" and Solo- 
mon was not an unbeliever ; but the devils believed not, they taught 
men sorcery, and that which was sent down to the two angels at Babel, 
Harut and Marut :^ yet those two taught no man until they had said. 
Verily we are a temptation, therefore be not an unbeliever. So men 
learned from those two a charm by which they might cause division 
between a man and his wife ; but they hurt none thereby, unless by 
God's permission ; and they learned that which would hurt them, and 
not profit them ; and yet they knew that he who bought that art should 
have no part in the life to come, and woeful is the price for which they 
have sold their souls, if they knew it. But if they had believed and 
feared God, verily the reward they would have had from GOD would 
have been better, if they had known it O true believers, say not to our 

have believed on him, because that angel was their friend, and the messenger of peace and 
plenty. And on this occasioH, they say, this passage was revealed, l 

That Michael was really the protector or guardian angel of the Jews, we know from scrip- 
ture ;2 and it seems that Gabriel was, as the Persians call him, the angel of revelatioTis, being 
frequently sent on messages of that kind ;3 for which reason it is probable Mohammed pre- 
tended he was the angel from whom he received the Koran. 

* i.e., the revelations of this book. 

The devils having, by God's permission, tempted Solomon without success, they made use 
of a trick to blast his character. For they wrote several books of magic, and hid them under 
that prince's throne, and after his death, told the chief men that if they wanted to know by 
what means Solomon had obtained his absolute power over men, genii, and the winds, bhey 
should dig under his throne ; which having done, they found the aforesatd books, which con- 
tained impious superstitions. The better sort refused to learn the evil arts therein delivered, 
but the common people did ; and the priests published this scandalous story of Solomon, which 
obtained credit among the Jews, till God, say the Mohammedans, cleared that king by the 
mouth of their prophet, declaring that Solomon was no idolater. 4 

▼ Some say only that these were two magicians, or angels sent by God to teach men magic, 
and to tempt them.^ But others tell a longer fable; that the angels expressing their surprise 
at the wickedness of the sons of Adam, after prophets had been sent to them with divine com- 
missions, God bid them choose two out of their own number to be sent down to be judges on 
earth. Whereupon they pitched upon Hariit and Marut, who executed their office with 
integrity for some time, till Zohara, or the planet Venus, descended and appeared before them 
in the .shape of a beautiful woman, bringing a complaint against her husband (though others 
say she was a real woman). As soon as they saw her, they fell in love with her, and endeavoured 
to prevail on her to satisfy their desires ; but she flew up again to heaven, whither the two 
angels also returned, but were not admitted. However, on the intercession of a certain pious 
man, they were allowed to choose whether they v/ould be punished in this life, or in the othei ; 
whereupon they chose the former, and now suffer punishment accordingly in Babel, where they 
are to remain till the day of judgment. They add that if a man has a fancy to leam magic, 
lie may go to them, and hear their voice, but cannot see them.l 

This story ?.lohammed took directly from the Persian Magi, who mention two rebellious 
angels of the same names, now hung up by the feet, with their heads downwards, in the terri- 
tory of Babel. 2 And the Jews have something like this, of the angel Shamhozai, who, having 

1 Jallalo'odin ; al Zamakh. Yahya. * Dan. xii. i. 3 Ibid. c. viii. i6, and ix. 21 ; Lufce 
L 19, 26. See Hyde de Rel. V^et. Persar. p. 263. * Yahya. Jallalo'ddin ' Jalblo'ddin 
I Yahya. &c. * Vide Hyde, ubi <:m:^ 12 

CHAP. 11. AL KORAN. 13 

apostle, Ratna; but say, Ondhoma;* and hearken: the infidels shall 
suffer a grievous punishment. It is not the desire of the unbelievers, 
either among those unto whom the scriptures have been given, or among 
the idolaters, that any good should be sent down unto you from your 
Lord : but God will appropriate his mercy unto whom he pleaseth ; 
for God is exceeding beneficent. Whatever verse we shall abrogate, 
or cause thee to forget, we will bring a better than it, or one like unto 
it. Dost thou not know that GOD is almighty? Dost thou not know 
that unto GoD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth? neither 
have ye any protector or helper except God. Will ye require of your 
apostle according to that which was formerly required of Moses ?^ but 
he that hath exchanged faith for infidelity, hath already erred from the 
straight way. Many of those unto whom the scriptures have been 
given, desire to render you again unbelievers, after ye have believed ; 
out of envy from their souls, even after the truth is become manifest 
unto them ; but forgive thetn, and avoid them, till GOD shall send his 
command ; for GoD is omnipotent. Be constant in prayer, and give 
alms ; and what good ye have sent before for your souls, ye shall find 
it with God ; surely GOD seeth that which ye do. They say, Verily 
none shall enter paradise, except they who are Jews or Christians :' 
this is their wish. Say, Produce your proof of this, if ye speak truth. 
Nay, but he who resigneth himself* to GOD, and doth that which is 
right,*' he shall have his reward with his LORD ; there shall co7ne no 
fear on them, neither shall they be grieved. The Jews say, The Chris- 
tians zx^ grounded QXi nothing;" and the Christians say. The Jews are 
grounded on nothing : yet they both read the scriptures. So likewise 
say they who know not the scripture, according to their saying. But 
God shall judge between them on the day of the resurrection, concern- 
ing that about which they now disagree. Who is more unjust than he 
who prohibiteth the temples of GOD,'^ that his name should be remem- 
bered therein, and who hasteth to destroy them? Those men cannot 
enter therein, but with fear : they shall have shame in this world, and 
in the next a grievous punishment. To God belongeth the east and the 
west ; therefore, withersoever ye turn yourselves to pray, there is the 

debauched himself with women, repented, and by way of penance hung himself up between 
heaven and earth. 3 

* Those two Arabic words have both the same signification, viz.. Look on tcs ; and are a kind 
of salutation, Mohammed had a great aversion to the first, because tUe Jews frequently used 
it in derision, it being a word of reproach in their tongue. 4 They alluded, it seems, to the 
Hebrew verb T^"^ ntd, which signifies to be bad or mischievous. 

y Namely, 10 see God manifestly.^ 

» This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute whi' h Mohammed had with the Jews 
of Medina, and the Christians of Najran, each of them asserting that those of their religion 
only .should be saved. 6 

* Literally, resigneth his face, &c. 

b That is, asserteth the unity of God. 7 

* The Jews and Christians are here accused of denying the truth of each other's religion, not- 
withstanding they read the scriptures. Whereas the Pentateuch bears testimony to Jesus, and 
the Gospel bears testimony to Moses.l 

^ Or hindereth men from paying their adorations to God in those sacred places. This passage, 
says Jallalo'ddin, was revealed on news being brought that the Romans had spoiled the temple 
of Jerusalem ; or else when the idolatrous Arabs obstructed Mohammed's visiting the temple 
of Mecca, in the expedition of al Hodefbiya, which happened in the sixth year of the Hejra' 

3 Bereshil rabbah, in G«n. vi. 2. < Jallalo'ddin. « See before, p. 7. * Jallalc-'ddin 

T Idem. ^ Idem. "^ Vide .4tbulfeda. Vit. Mcham d Sa. &c. 

14 AL KORAN, CHAP. 11. 

face of GOD; for God is omnipresent and omniscient They say, GOD 
hath begotten children •? God forbid ! To him belongeth whatever is 
in heaven, and on earth ; all is possessed by him, the Creator of heaven 
and earth ; and when he decreeth a thing, he only saith unto it. Be, 
and it is. And they who know not the scriptures say, Unless GOD 
speak unto us, or thou show us a sign, we will not believe. So said 
those before them, according to their saying : their hearts resemble 
each other. We have already shown manifest signs unto people who 
firmly believe ; we have sent thee in truth, a bearer of good tidings, and 
a preacher ; and thou shalt not be questioned concerning the com- 
panions of hell. But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither 
the Christians, until thou follow their religion ; say. The direction or 
God is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after 
the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron 
or protector against GoD. They to whom we have given the book oj 
the Kord?ty and who read it with its true reading, they believe therein ; 
and whoever believeth not therein, they shall perish. O children of 
Israel, remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that 
I have preferred you before all nations ; and dread the day wherein 
one soul shall not make satisfaction for another soul neither shall any 
compensation be accepted from them, nor shall any intercession avail, 
neither shall they be helped. Remember when the Lord tried Abraham 
by certain words,^ which he fulfilled : God said, Verily I will constitute 
thee a model of religions unto mankind ; he answered, And also of my 
posterity ; God said, My covenant doth not comprehend the ungodly. 
And when we appointed the holy house^ of Mecca to be the place of 
resort for mankind, and a place of security ; and said, Take the station 
of Abraham^ for a place of prayer ; and we covenanted with Abraham 
and Ismael, that they should cleanse my house for those who should 
compass //, and those who should be devoutly assiduous thej'e, and 
those who should bow down and worship. And when Abraham said. 
Lord, make this a territory of security, and bounteously bestow fruits 
on its inhabitants, such of them as believe in God and the last day ; 
God answered, And whoever believeth not, I will bestow on him little, 
afterwards I will drive him to the punishment oi hell fire; an ill journey 
shall it be ! And when Abraham and Ismael raised the foundations ol 
the house, saying. Lord, accept it from us, for thou art he who heareth 
and knoweth : Lord, make us also resigned^ unto thee, and of our 

• This is spoken not only of the Christians and of the Jews (for they are accused of holding 
Ozair, or Ezra, to be the Son of God), but also the pagan Arabs, who imagined the angels to 
be the daughters of God. 

f God tried Abraham chiefly by commanding him to leave his native country, and to offer 
his son. But the commentators suppose the trial here meant related only to some particular 
ceremonies, such as circumcision, pilgrimage to the Caaba, several rites of purification, and the 
like. 3 

S I have rather expressed the meaning, than truly translated the Arabic word Imam, which 
answers to the Latin Antistes. This title the Mohammedans give to their priests, who begin 
the prayers in their mosques, and whom all the congregation follow. 

^ That is, the Caaba, v/hich is usually called, by way of eminence, tke House. Of the sanctitj 
of this building, and other particulars relating to it, see the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV. 

> A place so called within the inner enclosure of the Caaba, where they pretend to show the 
print of his foot in a stone. 4 

k The Arabic word is Moslemuna, in the singular Moslem, which the Mohammedans takeM 
a tijie peculiar to themselves. The Europeans generally write and pronounce it Mnsulman. 

3 JalUlo'ddin. ■* Seethe Prelim. Disc, Sect IV. 


posterity a people resigned unto thee, and show us our holy ceremor^ies, 
and be turned unto us, for thou art easy to be reconciled, and merciful : 
Lord, send them likewise an apostle from among them, who may 
declare thy signs unto them, and teach them the book of the Koran and 
wisdom, and may purify them ; for thou art mighty and wise. Who 
will be averse to the religion of Abraham, but he whose mind is infatu- 
ated ? Surely we have chosen him in this world, and in that which is 
to come he shall be one of the righteous. When his Lord said unto 
him, Resign thyself unto me; he answered, I have resigned myself 
unto the Lord of all creatures. And Abraham bequeathed this religion 
to his children, and Jacob did the sa?ne^ saying, My children, verily 
God hath chosen this religion for you, therefore die not, unless ye also 
be resigned. Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death ? 
when he said to his sons. Whom will ye worship after me? They 
answered, We will worship thy GOD, and the GOD of thy fathers, 
Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, one GOD, and to him will we be 
resigned Tiiat people are now passed away, they have what they have 
gained,^ and ye shall have what ye gain ; and ye shall not be ques- 
tioned concerning that which they have done. They say. Become 
Jews or Christians that ye may be directed. Say, Nay, we follow the 
religion of Abraham the orthodox, who was no idolater. Say, We believe 
in God, and that which hath been sent down unto us, and that which hath 
been sent down unto Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and 
the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses, and Jesus, and 
that which was delivered unto the prophets from their LORD : We make 
no distinction between any of them, and to God are we resigned. Now 
if they believe according to what ye believe, they are surely directed, 
but if they turn back, they are in schism. God shall support thee 
against them, for he is the hearer, the wise. The baptism of GOD™ 
have we received, and who is better than God to baptize ? him do we 
worship. Say, Will ye dispute with us concerning GOD,'^ who is our 
Lord, and your Lord } we have our works, and ye have your works, 
and unto him are we sincerely devoted. Will ye say. Truly Abraham, 
and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Chris- 
tians? Say, Are ye wiser, or God? And who is more unjust than he 
who hideth the testimony which he hath received from God?° But 
God is not regardless of that which ye do. That people are passed 
.away, they have what they have gained, and ye shall have what ye 
gain, nor shall ye be questioned concerning that which they have done. 
(I I.) The foolish men will say. What hath turned them from their Keblah, 
towards which they formerly prayed f^ Say, Unto GOD belongeth the 

1 Or deserved The Mohammedan notion, as to the imputation of moral actions to man, 
which they call gain, or acquisition, is sufficiently explained in the Preliminary Discourse. 

™ By bapttsTfi is to be understood the religion which God instituted in the beginning ; because 
the signs of it appear in the person who professes it, as the signs of water appear in the clothes 
of him that is baptized.^ 

° These words were revealed because the Jews insisted that they first received the scriptures, 
that their Keblah was more ancient, and that no prophets could arise among the Arabs ; and 
therefore if Mohammed was a prophet, he must have been of their nation. 2 

The Jews are again accused of corrupting and suppressing the prophecies in the Pentateuch 
relating to Mohammed. 

P At first, Mohammed and his followers observed no particular rite in turnine their faces t 

\ Jallalo'ddin. > Idem. 


1 6 AL KORAN. chap. ii. 

east and the west : he directeth whom he pleaseth into the right way. 
Thus have we placed you, O Arabians, an intermediate nation,** that 
ye may be witnesses against the rest f?/ mankind, and that the apostle 
may be a witness against you. We appointed the Keblah towards 
which thou didst formerly pray, only that we might know him who 
followeth the apostle, from him who turneth back on his heels -^ 
though this change seem a great matter, unless unto those whom 
God hath directed. But God will not render your faith of none effect ;* 
for God is gracious and merciful unto man. We have seen thee turn 
about thy face towards heaven with uncertainty, but we will cause thee 
to turn thyself towards a Keblah that will please thee. Turn therefore 
thy face towards the holy temple of Mecca; and wherever ye be, turn 
your faces towards that -place. They to whom the scripture hath been 
given, know this to be truth from their Lord. God is not regardless 
of that v/hich ye do. Verily although thou shouldest show unto those 
to whom the scripture hath been given all kinds of signs, yet they will 
not follow thy Keblah, neither shalt thou follow their Keblah ; nor will 
one part of them follow the Keblah of the other. And if thou follow 
their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, verily 
thou wilt become one of the ungodly. They to whom we have given 
the scripture know our apostle, even as they know their own children ; 
but some of them hide the truth, against their own knowledge. Truth 
is from thy Lord, therefore thou shalt not doubt. Every sect hath a 
certain tract of heaven to which they turn themselves in prayer; but 
do ye strive to run after good things : wherever ye be, GOD will bring 
you all back at the resurrectiofi, for GOD is almighty. And from what 
place soever thou comest forth, turn thy face towards the holy temple ; 
for this is truth from thy LORD ; neither is GOD regardless of that 
which ye do. From what place soever thou comest forth, turn thy face 
towards the holy temple ; and wherever ye be, thitherward turn your 
faces, lest men have matter of dispute against you ; but as for those 
among them who are unjust doers, fear them not, but fear me, that I 
may accomplish my grace upon you, and that ye may be directed. As 
we have sent unto you an apostle from among you,* to rehearse our 
signs unto you, and to purify you, and to teach you the book of the 
Koran and wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew not : there- 
fore remember me, and I will reme:nber you, and give thanks unto 
me, and be not unbelievers. O true believers, beg assistance with 
patience and prayer, for GOD is with the patient. And say not of those 

wards any certain place, or quarter of the world, when they prayed ; it being declared to be 
perfectly indifferent.3 Afterwards, when the prophet fled to Medina, he directed them to turn 
towards the temple of Jerusalem (probably to ingratiate himself with the Jews), which continued 
to be their Keblah for six or seven months ; but either finding the Jews too intractable, or de- 
spairing otherwise to gain the pagan Arabs, who could not forget their respect to the temple of 
Mecca, he ordered that prayers for the future should be towards the last. This change was 
made in the second year of the Hejra,4 and occasioned many to fall from him, taking offence 
at his inconstancy.^ 

<l This seems to be the sense of the words ; though the commentators** will have the meaning 
to be that the Arabians are here declared to be a most just and good nation. 

"" i.e., Returneth to Judaism. 

• Or will not suffer it to go without its reward, while ye prayed towards Jerusalem. 

* That is, of your own nation. 

3 See before, p. 13. * Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moham p. sj. * Jalla^o'ddin. * Idem 

Vahya. && 


who are slain in fight for the rehgion of GOD,° that they are dead ; yeaj 
ihey are living :* but ye do not understand. We will surely prove you 
by afflicting you in some measure with fear, and hunger, and decrease 
of wealth, and loss of lives, and scarcity of fruits : iDut bear good 
tidings unto the patient, who when a misfortune befalleth them, say, 
We are God's, and unto him shall w^e surely returnJ Upon them 
shall be blessings from their Lord and mercy, and they are the rightly 
directed. Moreover Safa and Merwah are two of the monuments of 
God : whoever therefore goeth on pilgrimage to the temple of Mecca 
or visiteth //, it shall be no crime in him if he compass them both.' 
And as for him who voluntarily performeth a good work ; verily GoD 
is grateful and knowing. They who conceal any of the evident signs, 
or the direction which we have sent down, after what we have mani- 
fested unto men in the scripture, GOD shall curse them ; and they who 
curse shall curse them.* But as for those who repent and amend, and 
make known what they cmicealed, I will be turned unto them, for I am 
easy to be reconciled and merciful. Surely they who believe not, and 
die in their unbelief, upon them shall be the curse of God, and of the 
angels, and of all men ; they shall remain under it for ever, their 
punishment shall not be alleviated, neither shall they be regarded.^ 
Your God is one GoD, there is no God but He; the most merciful. 
Now in the creation of heaven and earth, and the vicissitude of night 
and day, and in the ship which saileth in the sea, loaden with what is 
profitable for mankind, and in the rrt:z«-water which GOD sendeth from 
heaven, quickening thereby the dead earth, and replenishing the same 
with all sorts of cattle, and in the change of winds, and the clouds that 
are compelled to do service" between heaven and earth, are signs to 
people of understanding : yet some men take idols beside GOD, and 
love them as with the love due to GOD ; but the true believers are more 

" The original words are literally, luho are slain in the -way of God ; by which expression, 
frequently occurring in the Koran, is always meant war undertaken against unbelievers for the 
propagation of the Mohammedan faith. 

^ The souls of martyrs (for such they esteem those who die in battle against infidels), says 
Jallalo'ddin, are in the crops of green birds, which have liberty to fly wherever they please in 
paradise, and feed on the fruits thereof. 

y An expression frequently in the mouths of the Mohammedans, when under any great afflic- 
tion, or in any imminent danger. 

2 Safa and Merwa are two mountains near Mecca, whereon were anciently two idols, to which 
the pagan Arabs used to pay a superstitious veneration.! Jallalo'ddin says this passage was 
revealed because the followers of Mohammed made a scruple of going round these mountains, 
as the idi >aters did. But the true reason of his allowing this relic of ancient superstition seems 
to be the difficulty he found in preventing it. Abul Kasem Hebato'llah thinks these last words 
are abrogated by those other. Who ivill reject the religion of Abraham, except he ivho hath 
infatuated his soulV^ So that he will have the meaning to be quite contrary to the letter, as if 
it had been, it shall be no critne tn him if he do not com/>ass them. However, the expositors 
are all against him,^ and the ceremony of mnning between these two hills is still observed at 
the ^ (gnmage.* 

* That is, the angels, the believers, and all things in general. 5 But Yahya interprets it of 
the curses which will be given to the wicked, when they cry out because of the punishment ol 
the sepulchre, 6 by all who hear them, that is, by all creatures except men and genii. 

*> Or, as Jallalo'ddin expounds it, God will not wait for their repentance. 

'^ The original word signifies properly that are pressed or compelled to do personal servici 
without hire ; which kind of service is often exacted by the eastern princes of their subjects, 
and is called by the Greek and Latin writers, Angaria. The scripture often mentions this sort 
of compulsion or force. 7 

ISee the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. ' See before, p. 15. * Vide Marrac^- in Ale. p. 69, &c 
4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 6 Jallalo'ddin. « See Prelim. Disc Sect. IV 

" Matth. V. 41 ; xxvii. 32, &c. 



terven m Iosq towards GOD. Oh that they who act unjustly did per. 
ceive/ when they behold their punishment, that all power belongeth 
unto God, and that he is severe in punishing ! When those who have 
been followed, shall separate themselves from their followers,' and shall 
see the punishment, and the cords of relation between them shall be 
cut in sunder ; the followers shall say, If we could return to life, we 
would separate ourselves from them, as they have now separated them- 
selves from us. So GOD will show them their works ; they shall sigh 
grievously, and shall not come forth from the fire of hell. O men, eat 
of that which is lawful and good on the earth ; and tread not in the 
steps of the devil, for he is your open enemy. Verily he commandeth 
you evil and wickedness, and that ye should say that of GOD which ye 
know not. And when it is said unto them who believe not, Follow that 
ft'hich God hath sent down ; they answer, Nay, but we will follow that 
which we found our fathers practise. What.'* though their fathers 
knew nothing, and were not n^/z//y directed? The unbelievers are 
^ike unto one who crieth aloud to that which heareth not so much as 
his calling, or the sound of his voice. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, 
therefore they do not understand. O true believers, eat of the good 
things which we have bestowed on you for food, and return thanks unto 
God, if ye serve him. Verily he hath forbidden you to eat that which 
dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that on which any 
other name but God's hath been invocated.^ But he who is forced by 
necessity, not lusting, nor returning to trafisgress, it shall be no crime 
in him if he eat of those things, for GOD is gracious and merciful. 
Moreover they who conceal any part of the scripture which God hath 
sent down unto them, and sell it for a small price, they shall swallow 
into their bellies nothing but fire ; God shall not speak unto them on 
the day of resurrection, neither shall he purify them, and they shall 
suffer a grievous punishment. These are they who have sold direction 
for error, and pardon for punishment : but how great will their suffer- 
ing be in the fire ! This they shall endure, because GOD sent down 
the book of the Koran with truth, and they who disagree concerning 
that book, are certainly in a wide mistake. It is not righteousness that 
ye turn your faces i7i prayer towards the east and the west, but righteous- 
ness is of him who believeth in GOD and the last day, and the angels, 
and the scriptures, and the prophets ; who giveth money for God's sakfl 
unto his kindred, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the stranger, 
and those who ask, and for redemption of captives ; who is constant 
at prayer, and giveth alms ; and of those who perform their covenant, 
when they have covenanted, and who behave themselves patiently in 
adversity, and hardships, and in time of violence : these are they who 
are true, and these are they who fear God. O true believers, the law 
of retaliation is ordained you for the slain : the free shall die for the 

^ Or it may bt translated, Although the ungodly will perceive , &c. But some copies instead 
of yara, in the third person, read tara, in the second ; and then it must be rendered, Oh ij 
thou didst see "when the ungodly behold their punishment, &c. 

^ That is, when the broachers or heads of new sects shall at the last day forsake or wash their 
hands of their disciples, as if they were not accomplices in their superstitions. 

For this reason, whenever the Mohammedans kill any animal for food, they always say, 
Bisnii llah, or In the name of GoD ; which, if it be neglected, they thiok it Dot lawful to eat 
of it. 

CHAP. n. AZ KORAN. 19 

free, and the servant for the servant, and a wcman for a woxaan -^ bu( 
he whom his brother shall forgive, may be prosecuted, and obliged to 
make satisfaction according to what is just, and a fine shall be set on 
him^ with humanity. This is indulgence from your Lord, and mercy. 
And he who shall transgress after this, by killing the murderer^ shall 
suffer a grievous punishment. And in this law of retaliation ye have 
life, O ye of understanding, that peradventure ye may fear. It is 
ordained you, when any of you is at the point of death, if he leave any 
goods, that he bequeath a legacy to his parents, and kindred, accord- 
ing to what shall be reasonable.* This is a duty incumbent on those who 
fear God. But he who shall change the legacy, after he hath heard it 
bequeathed by the dying person^ surely the sin thereof shall be on those 
who change it, for GOD is he who heareth and knoweth. Howbeit he 
who apprehendeth from the testator any mistake or injustice, and shall 
compose the ^natter between them, that shall be no crime in him, for 
GOD is gracious and merciful. Q true believers, a fast is ordained you, 
as it was ordained unto those before you, that ye may fear God. A 
certain number of days shall ye fast : but he among you who shall be 
sick, or on a journey, shall fast a?i eqiial number of other days. And 
those who can^ keep it, and do not, must redeem their neglect by main- 
taining of a poor man.^ And he who voluntarily dealeth better with 
the poor man than he is obliged, this shall be better for him. But if 
ye fast it will be better for you, if ye knew it. The month of Ramadan 
shall ye fast, in which the Koran was sent down from heaven^ a direc- 
tion unto men, and declarations of direction and the distinction between 
good afid evil. Therefore let him among you who shall be present"^ in 
this month, fast the same month j but he who shall be sick, or on a 
journey, shall fast the like number of other days. GOD would 7nake 

B This is not to be strictly taken ; for according to the Sonna, a man also is to be put to death 
for the murder of a woman. Regard is also to be had to difiference in religion, so that a Moham- 
medan, though a slave, is not to be put to death for an infidel, though a freeman.l But th« 
civil magistrates do not think themselves always obliged to conform to this last determination 
of the Sonna. 

^ This is the common practice in Mohammedan countries, particularly in Persia,2 where the 
relations of the deceased may take their choice, either to have the murderer put into their 
hands to be put to death, or else to accept of a pecuniar^' satisfaction. 

_' That is, the legacy was not to exceed a third part of the testator's substance, nor to be 
given where there was no necessity. But this injunction is abrogated by the law concerning 

k The expositors differ much about the meaning of this passage, thinking it very improbable 
that people should be left entirely at liberty either to fast or not, on compounding for it in this 
manner. Jallalo'ddin, therefore, supposes the negative particle not to be understood, and that 
this is allowed only to those who are not able to fast, by reason of age or dangerous sickness ; 
but afterwards he says, that in the beginning of Mohammedism it was free for them to choose 
whether they would fast or maintain a poor man, which liberty was soon after taken away, 
and this passage abrogated by the following. Therefore let him ivJio shall be present in this 
month, fast the same month. Yet this abrogation, he says, does not extend to women with 
child or that give suck, lest the infant suffer. 

Al Zamakhshari, having first given an explanation of Ebn Abbas, who, by a different inter- 
pretation of the Arabic word Yotikunaho, which signifies can or are able to fast, tenders it. 
Those who find great difficulty therein, &c., adds an exposition of his own, by supposing 
something to be understood, according to which the sense will be. Those who can fast and yet 
have a legal excuse to break it, mtist redeem it, &c. 

' According to the usual quantity which a man eats in a day and the custom of the country. 3 

^ See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 

° i.e.. At home, and not in a strange country, where the fast cannot be performed, or on 2 

I Tallalo'ddin. « Vide Chaidin Vnvaae de Perse, t iL d. 200. %c * Jallalo'ddin, 


this an ease unto you, and would not make it a difficulty unto you ; that 
ye may fulfil the number of days ^ and glorify GOD, for that he hath 
directed you, and that ye may give thanks. When my servants ask 
thee concerning me, Verily I am near ; I will hear the prayer of him 
that prayeth, when he prayeth unto me : but let them hearken unto 
me, and believe in me, that they may be rightly directed. It is lawful 
for you on the night of the fast to go in unto your wives," they are a 
garment^ unto you, and ye are a garment unto them. God knoweth 
that ye defraud yourselves therein^ wherefore he turneth unto you^ and 
forgiveth you. Now therefore go in unto them ; and earnestly desire 
that which GOD ordaineth you, and eat and drink, until ye can plainly 
distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daybreak : then 
keep the fast until night, and go not in unto them, but be constantly 
present in the places of worship. These are the prescribed bounds 
of God, therefore draw not near them to transgress them. Thus God 
declareth his signs unto men, that ye may fear him. Consume not 
your wealth among yourselves in vain ; nor present it unto judges, 
that ye may devour part of men's substance unjustly, against your 
own consciences. They will ask ihee concerning the phases of the 
moon. Answer, They are times appointed unto men, and to show the 
season of the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is not righteousness that ye 
enter your houses by the back part thereof,** but righteousness is of 
him who feareth God. Therefore enter yoiir houses by their doors ; 
and fear God, that ye may be happy. And fight for the religion of 
God against those who fight against you, but transgress not by attack- 
ing- them first, for GOD loveth not the transgressors. And kill them 
wherever ye find them, and turn them out of that whereof they have 
dispossessed you ; for temptation to idolatry is more grievous than 
slaughter : yet fight not against them in the holy temple, until they 
attack you therein ; but if they attack you, slay them there. This shall 
be the reward of the infidels. But if they desist, God is gracious and 
merciful. Fight therefore against them, until there be no temptation 
to idolatry, and the religion be GOD's : but if they desist, then let there 
be no hostility, except against the ungodly. A sacred month for a sacred 
month,^ and the holy limits of Mecca, if they attack you therein, do ye 
also attack them therein in retaliation ; and whoever transgresseth 
against you by so doing, do ye transgress against him in like manner as 
he hath transgressed against you, and fear GOD, and know that GOD is 
with those who fear hi7}i. Contribute out of your substance towards the 
defence of the religion of GOD, and throw not yourselves with your 
own hands into perdition ;* and do good, for GOD loveth those who do 

"In the beginning of Mohammedism, during the fast, they neither lay with their wives, nor 
ate nor drank after supper. But both are permitted by this passage. ^ 

P A metaphorical expression, to signify the mutual comfort a man and his wife find in each 

I Some of the Arabs had a superstitious custom after they had been at Mecca (in pilgrimage, 
Eis it seems), on their return home, not to enter their house by the old door, but tc make a hole 
through the back part for a passage, which practice is here reprehended. 

"" As to these sacred months, wherein it was unlawful for the ancient Arabs to attack one 
inother, see the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VII. 

* i.e.. Be not accessory to your own destruction, by neglecting your contributions towardi 
?he wars againft infidels, and thereby suffering them to gather 9} '^nj'lJi 

' Tadlalo'ddin- 

CHAP. n. AL KORAN. 2 5 

good. Perform the pilgrimage oj Mecca, and the visitation of God ; 
and if ye be besieged, j'«?«^ that offering which shall be the easiest; and 
shave not your heads,* until your offering reacheth the place of sacri- 
fice. But whoever among you is sick, or is troubled with any distemper 
of the head, must redasm the shaving his head by fasting, or alms, oi 
some offering." When ye are secure fro77t enemies^ he who tarrieth in 
the visitation of the temple of Mecca^ until the pilgrimage, shall bri7tg 
that offering which shall be the easiest. But he who findeth not any- 
thing to offer, shall fast three days in the pilgrimage, and seven when 
ye are returned : they shall be ten days complete. This is incumbent 
on him whose family shall not be present at the holy temple. And 
fear God, and know that GOD is severe in punishing. The pilgrimage 
must be perforined in the known months j^ whosoever therefore pur- 
poseth to go on pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor 
transgress, nor quarrel in the pilgrimage. The good which ye do, 
God knoweth it. Make provision for your journey j but the best pro- 
vision is piety : and fear me, O ye of understanding. It shall be no 
crime in you, if ye seek an increase from your Lord, by trading during 
the pilgrimage. And when ye go in procession' from Arafat,* remem- 
ber Q<jCi near the holy monument -}' and remember him for that he 
hath directed you, although ye were before this of the 7iumber of those 
who go astray. Therefore go in procession from whence the people 
go in procession, and ask pardon of GOD, for GOD is gracious and 
merciful. And when ye have finished your holy ceremonies, remember 
God, according as ye remember your fathers, or with a more reverent 
commemoration. There are some men who say, O LORD, give us our 
portion in this world ; but such shall have no portion in the next life : 
and there are others who say, O Lord, give us good in this world, and 
also good in the next world, and deliver us from the torment of hell 
fire. They shall have a portion of that which they have gained : GOD 
is swift in taking an account." Remember GOD the appointed number 
of days :^ but if any haste to depart from the valley of Mina in two 
days, it- shall be no crime in him. And if any tarry longer, it shall be 
no crime in him, in him who feareth GOD. Therefore fear GOD, and 

* For this was a sign they had completed their vow, and performed all the ceremonies of the 

" That is, either by fasting three days, or feeding six poor people, or sacrificing a sheep. 

* This passage is somewhat obscure. Yahya interprets it of him who marries a wife during 
the visitation, and performs the pilgrimage the year following. But Jallalo'ddin expounds it 
of him who stays within the sacred enclosures, in order to complete the ceremonies which (as it 
should seem) he had not been able to do \vithin the prescribed time. 

y i.e., Shawal, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja. See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV. 

 The original word signifies to rush forward impetuously ; as the pilgrims do when the) 
proceed from Arafat to Mozdalifa. 

» A mountain near Mecca, so called because Adam there met and knew his wife, after a long 
separation. 2 Yet others say that Gabriel, after he had instructed Abraham in all the sacred 
ceremonies, coming to Arafat, there asked him if he knew the ceremonies which had been shown 
him ; tc which Abraham answering in the affirmative, the mountain had thence its name. 3 

*> In Arabic, al Masker al hardttt. It is a mountain in the farther part of Mozdalifa, where 
it is said Mohammed stood praying and praising God, till his face became extremely shining. < 
Bobovius calls it Farkh," but the true name seems to be Kazah ; the variation being occasioned 
only by the different pointing of the Arabic letters. 

'' For he will judge all creatures, says Jallalo'ddin, in the space of ha'f a day. 

* i.e.. Three days after slaying the sacrifices. 

- Jallalo'ddin. 2 Jee before, p. 5. note ' ^ Al Hasan. • jallalo'ddin. • Bo''ov 

iti Pereer. Meccana. p. li. 


know that unto him ye shall be gathered. There is a man who 
causeth thee to marvel® by his speech concerning this present life, and 
calleth God to witness that which is in his heart, yet he is most inteni 
in opposing thee ; and when he turneth away from thee, he hasteth 
to act corruptly in the earth, and to destroy that which is sown, and 
springeth up •' but GOD loveth not corrupt doing. And if one say 
unto him, Fear GOD ; pride seizeth him, together with wickedness ; 
but hell shall be his reward, and an unhappy couch shall it be. 
There is also a man who selleth his soul for the sake of those things 
which are pleasing unto God ;8 and God is gracious unto his servants. 
O true believers, enter into the true religion wholly, and follow not the 
steps of Satan, for he is your open enemy. If ye have slipped after 
the declarations of our will have come unto you, know that God is 
mighty and wise. Do the infidels expect less than that God should 
come down to them overshadowed with clouds, and the angels also ? 
but the thing is decreed, and to GOD shall all things return. Ask the 
children of Israel how many evident signs we have showed them ; and 
whoever shall change the grace of God, after it shall have come unto 
him, verily GOD will be severe in punishing him. The present life 
was ordained for those who believe not, and they laugh the faithful 
to scorn ; but they who fear God shall be above them, on the day of 
the resurrection : for God is bountiful unto whom he pleaseth without 
measure. Mankind was of one faith, and God sent prophets bearing 
good tidings, and denouncing threats, and sent down with them the 
scripture in truth, that it might judge between men of that concerning 
which they disagreed : and none disagreed concerning it, except those 
to whom the same scriptures were delivered, after the declarations oj 
God's will had come unto them, out of envy among themselves. And 
God directed those who believed, to that truth concerning which they 
disagreed, by his will : for God directeth whom he pleaseth into the 
right way. Did ye think ye should enter paradise, when as yet no such 
thing had happened unto you, as hath happened unto those who have 
been before you ? They suffered calamity and tribulation, and were 
afflicted ; so that the apostle, and they who believed with him, said, 
When will the help of God come f Is not the help of God nigh ? 
They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms : Answer, The good 
which ye bestow, let it be given to parents, and kindred, and orphans, 
and the poor, and the stranger. Whatsoever good ye do, God knoweth 
it. War is enjoined you against the Infidels; but this is hateful unto 
you : yet perchance ye hate a thing which is better for you, and pei - 
chance ye love a thing which is worse for you : but GOD knoweth and 
ye know not. They will ask thee concerning the sacred montli, 
whether they ?nay war therein : Answer, To war therein is grievous ; 
but to obstruct the way of GOD, and infidelity towards him, and to keep 

^ This person was al Akhnas Ebn Shoraik, a fair-spoken dissembler, who swore that he be- 
lieved in Mohammed, and pretended to be one of his friends, and to contemn this world. But 
God here reveals to the prophet his hypocrisy and wickedness.! 
' Setting fire to his neighbour's com, and killing his asses by night. 2 

g The person here meant was one Soheib, who being persecuted by the idolaters of Mecca, 
Ibrsook £dl he had, and fled to Medina. 3 

1 Jallalo'ddia. > Idem. > Idenk. 


men from the holy temple, and to drive out his people from thence, 
is more grievous in the sight of God, and the temptation to idolatry is 
more grievous than to kill z« the sacred months. They will not cease 
to war against you, until they turn you from your religion, if they be 
able : but whoever among you shall turn back from his religion, and 
die an infidel, their works shall be vain in this world and the next ; 
they shall be the companions of hell fire, they shall remain therein for 
ever. But they who believe, and who fly for the sake of religion, and 
fight in God's cause, they shall hope for the mercy of God ; for God 
is gracious and merciful. They v/ill ask thee concerning wine^ and 
lots '} Answer, In both there is great sin, and also some things of use 
unto men ;^ but their sinfulness is greater than their use. They will 
ask thee also what they shall bestow in alms : Answer, What ye have 
to spare. Thus God showeth his signs unto you, that peradventure 
ye might seriously think of this present world, and of the next. They 
will also ask thee concerning orphans : Answer, To deal rig' teously 
with them is best ; and if ye intermeddle with the management of what 
belongs to them, do them no wrong; they are your brethren : God 
knoweth the corrupt dealer from the righteous ; and if God please, he 
will surely distress you,^ for GOD is mighty and wise. Marry not 
women who are idolaters, until they believe : verily a maid-servant 
who believeth is better than an idolatress, although she please you 
more. And give not wo^nen who believe in marriage to the idolaters, 
until they believe ; for verily a servant who is a true believer, is better 
than an idolater, though he please you 7nore. They invite unto hell 
fire, but God inviteth unto paradise and pardon through his will, and 
declareth his signs unto men, that they may remember. They will ask 
thee also concerning the courses of women : Answer, They are a 
pollution : therefore separate yourselves from women in their courses, 
and go not near them until they be cleansed. But when they are 
cleansed, go in unto them as GOD hath commanded you,"" for God 
loveth those who repent, and loveth those who are clean. Your wives 
are your tillage ; go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner so- 
ever ye will •?' and do first some act that may be profitable unto your 
souls f and fear GOD, and know that ye must meet him ; and bear good 

•» Under the name of wine all sorts of strong and inebriating liquors are comprehended.! 

1 The original word, al Meiser, properly signifies a particular game performed with arrows, 
and much in use with the pagan Arabs. But by lots we are here to understand all games what- 
soever, which are subject to chance or hazard, as dice, cards, &c.2 

^ From these words some suppose that only drinking to excess and too frequent gaming are 
prohibited. 3 And the moderate use of wine they also think is allowed by these words of the 
1 6th chapter, And of t/ie fruits of pabn-trees and grapes ye obtain inebriating drink, and 
also good nourishment. But the more received opinion is, that both drinking wioe or other 
Krong liquors in any quantity, and playing at any game of chance, are absolutely for- 

'l vi^. By his curse, which shall certainly bring to nothing what ye shall wrong the orphans 

of. , 

" But not while they have their courses, nor by usmg preposterous venery.^ 
° It has been imagined that these words allow that preposterous lust, which the commen- 
tators say is forbidden by the preceding ; but I question whether this can be proved. 2 

i.e.. Perform some act of devotion or charity. 

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V. 2 See ibid. 3 Vide Jallalo'ddin et al ZamnkhsharL 
* See the Prelim. Disc, ubi sup. 1 Ebn Abbas, Jallalo ddia 2 Jallalo ddin. \ ahya. rf 
Zamakhshart Vi e Lucret. de Rei. Nat. 1. 4. v. 1258, &.c 


tidings unto the faithful. Make not GoD the object of your oaths,' 
that ye will deal justly, and be devout, and make peace among men ;' 
for God is he who heareth and knoweth. GOD will not punish you for 
an inconsiderate word^ in your oaths ; but he will punish you for that 
which your hearts have assented unto : GOD is merciful and gracious. 
They who vow to abstain from their wives, are allowed to wait four 
months •? but if they go back from their vow, verily God is gracious 
and merciful ;* and if they resolve on a divorce, GoD is he who heareth 
and knoweth. The women who are divorced shall wait concerning 
themselves until they have their courses thrice,'* and it shall not be law- 
ful for them to conceal that which GOD hath created in their wombs,* if 
they believe in God and the last day ; and their husbands will act more 
justly to bring them, back at this time, if they desire a reconciliation. 
The women ought also to behave towards their husbands in like manner 
as their husbands should behave towards them, according to what is 
iust : but the men ought to have a superiority over them. GOD is mighty 
and wise. Ye may divorce your wives twice ; and then either retain 
them with humanity, or dismiss them with kindness. But it is not law- 
ful for you to take away anything of what ye have given them, unless 
both fear that they cannot observe the ordinances of GOD.y And if ye 
fear that they cannot observe the ordinances of God, it shall be no 
crime in either of them on account of that for which the wife shall re- 
deem herself.' These are the ordinances of God ; therefore transgress 
them not ; for whoever transgresseth the ordinances of GoD, they are 
unjust doers. But if the husbajid divorce her a third time, she shall 
not be lawful for him again, until she marry another husband. But ii 
he also divorce her, it shall be no crime in them, if they return to each 
other, if they think they can observe the ordinances of GOD ; and these 
are the ordinances of GoD, he declareth them to people of understand- 
ing. But when ye dw::)rce women, and they have fulfilled their pre- 

P So as to swear frequently by him. The word translated object, properly signifies a butt to 
shoot at with arrows. 3 

\ Some commentators* expound this negatively. That ye will not deal justly, nor be devout, 
&c. For such wicked oaths, they say, were customary among the idolatrous inhabitants of 
Mecca ; which gave occasion to the following saying of Mohammed : When you swear to de 
a thing, and afterwards /ind it better to do otlierwise, do tliat which is better, and make void 
voitr oath. 

^ When a man swears inadvertently, and without design. 

* That is, they may take so much time to consider ; and shall not, by a rash oath, be obliged 
actually to divorce them. 

* i.e.. If they be raconciled to their wives within four montb£. or after, they may retain them, 
and God will dispense with their oath. 

u This is to be understood of those only with whom the marriage has been consummated ; for 
as to the others there is no time limited. Those who are not quite past childbearing (which a 
woman is reckoned to be after her courses cease, and she is fifty-five lunar years, or about fifty* 
three solar years old), and those who are too young to have children, are allowed three months 
only ; but they who are with child must wait till they be deli\ ered.^ 

» That is, they shall tell the real truth, whether they have their courses, or be with child, or 
not ; and shall not, by deceiving their husband, obtam a separation from him before the term 
be accomplished : lest the first husband's child should, by that means, go to the second ; dx the 
wife, in case of the first husband's death, should set up her child as his heir, or demand her 
iiaintenance during the time she went wdth such child, and the expenses of her lying-in, under 
pretence that she waited not her full prescribed time.6 

y For if there be a settled aversion on either side, their conti; uing together may have ver3( 
ill, and perhaps fatal consequences. 

* i.e.. If she prevail on her husband to dismiss her, by releasmg part of her dowry. 

8 Tallalo'ddin. « idem- Ynhva. " J;al]sv!o'ddin. « Y.ihva. 


scribed time, either retain them with humanity, or dismiss them with 
kindness ; and retain them not by violence, so that ye transgress ;a for 
he who doth this, surely injureth his own soul. And make not the signs 
of God a jest : but remember God's favour towards you, and that he 
hath sent down unto you the book of the Koran, and wisdom, admo- 
nishing you thereby ; and fear GOD, and know that GoD is omniscient 
But when ye have divorced your wives, and they have fulfilled theii 
prescribed time, hinder them not from marrying their husbands, when 
they have agreed among themselves according to what is honourable. 
This is given in admonition unto him among you who believeth in GOD, 
and the last day. This is most righteous for you, and most pure. God 
knoweth, but ye know not. Mothers after they are divorced shall give 
suck unto their children two full years, to him who desireth the time 
of giving suck to be completed ; and the father shall be obliged to 
maintain them and clothe them in the mean time, according to that 
which shall be reasonable. No person shall be obliged beyond his 
ability. A mother shall not be compelled to what is u7ireasonable on 
account of her child, nor a father on account of his child. And the 
heir of the father shall be obliged to do in like manner. But if they 
choose to wean the child before the end of two years, by common con- 
sent and on mutual consideration, it shall be no crime in them. And 
if ye have a mind to provide a nurse for your children, it shall be no 
crime in you, in case ye fully pay what ye offer her, according to that 
which is just. And fear God, and know that GOD seeth whatever ye 
do. Such of you as die, and leave wives, their wives must wait con- 
cerning themselves four months and ten days^ and when they shall 
have fulfilled their term, it p-ha.U be no crime in you, for that which they 
shall do with themselves,' according to what is reasonable. God well 
knoweth that which ye do. And it shall be no crime in you, whether 
ye make public overtures of marriage unto sucfi women, within the said 
four months and ten days, or whether ye conceal such your designs in 
your minds : God knoweth that ye will remember them. But make 
no promise unto them privately, unless ye speak honourable words ; 
and resolve not on the knot of marriage, until the prescribed time be 
accomplished ; and know that God knoweth that which is in your minds, 
therefore beware of him, and know that God is gracious and merciful. 
It shall be no crime in you, if ye divorce your wives, so long as ye have 
not touched them, nor settled any dowry on them. And provide for 
them (he who is at his ease must provide according to his circum- 
stances, and he who is straitened according to his circumstances) 
necessaries, according to what shall be reasonable. This is a duty 
incu7nbent on the righteous. But if ye divorce them before ye have 
touched them, and have already settled a dowry on them,_y^ shall givi 
them half of what ye have settled, unless they release any part, or he 
release part in whose hand the knot of marriage is -^ and if ye release 

• viz., By obliging them to purchase their liberty with part of their dowry. 

*> 1 hat is to say, before they marry again : and this, not only for decency sake, but that it 
nxay be known whether they be with child by the deceased or not. 

"^ That is, if they leave off their mourning weeds, and look out for new nusbands. 

<* i.e.. Unless the wife agree to take less than hah' her dowry, or unless the husband be sc 
generous as to give her more than hrJf. o^ vhe ^vhole, which is here approved of as most c 


tke whole j'll will approach nearer unto piety. And forget not liberality 
among you, for God seeth that which ye do. Carefully observe the 
appointed p ayers, and the middle prayer,* and be assiduous therein^ 
with devotion towards GOD. But if ye fear any datiger, pray on foot 
or on horseback ; and when ye are safe, remember God, how he hath 
taught you what as yet ye knew not. And such of you as shall die and 
leave wives, ought to bequeath their wives a year's maintenance, without 
putting them out of their hotises : but if they go out voluntarily ^ it shall 
be no crime in you, for that which they shall do with themselves, accord- 
ing to what shall be reasonable ; God is mighty and wise. And unto 
those who are divorced, a reasonable provision is also due; this is a duty 
incM7nbent on those who fear God. Thus God declareth his signs unto 
you, that ye may understand. Hast thou not considered those who left 
their habitations (and they were thousands) for fear of death ?' And GOD 
said unto them. Die ; then he restored them to life, for GOD is gracious 
towards mankind; but the greater part of men do not give thanks. 
Fight for the religion of God, and know that GoD is he who heareth 
and knoweth. Who is he that will lend unto GOD on good usury ?3 
verily he will double it unto him manifold ; for GOD contracteth and 
extendeth his hand as he pleaseth, and to him shall ye return. Hast 
thou not considered the assembly of the children of Israel, after the 
titne of Moses ; when they said unto their prophet Samuel, Set a king 
over us, that we may fight for the religion of God ? The prophet an- 
swered, If ye are enjoined to go to war, will ye be near refusing to 
fight ? They answered, And what should ail us that we should not fight 
for the religion of GoD, seeing we are dispossessed of our habitations, 
and deprived of our children ? But when they were enjoined to go 
to war, they turned back, except a few of them : and God knew the 
ungodly. And their prophet said unto them, Verily GOD hath set Talut** 
king over you : they answered. How shall he reign over us, seeing we 
are more worthy of the kingdom than he, neither is he possessed of 
great riches t Samuel said, Verily GOD hath chosen him before you, 
and hath caused him to increase in knowledge and stature, for GOD 

* Yahya interprets this from a tradition of Mohammed, who, being asked which was the 
middle prayer,^ answered, The evening prayer, which was instituted by the prophet Solomon. 
But Jallalo'ddin allows a greater latitude, and supposes it may be the afternoon prayer, the 
morning prayer, the noon prayer, or any other. 

f These were some of the children of Israel, who abandoned their dwellings because ot a 
pestilence, or, as others say, to avoid serving in a religious war ; but, as they fled, God struck 
them all dead in a certain valley. About eight days or more after, when their bodies were 
corrupted, the prophet Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, happening to pass that way, at the sight of 
their bones wept ; whereupon God said to him, Call to them, O Ezekiei, and I ivill restore 
thetn to life. And accordingly on the prophet's call they all arose, and lived several years 
after ; but they retained the colour and stench of dead corpses as long as they lived, and ths 
clothes they wore changed as black as pitch, which qualities they transmitted to their posterity.^ 
As to the number of these Israelites the commentators are not agreed ; they who reckon least 
say they were 3,000, and they who reckon most, 70,000. This story seems to have been takeu 
from Ezekiel's vision of the resurrection of dry bones.2 

Some of the Mohammedan writers will have Ezekiel to have been one of the judges of Israel, 
and to have succeeded Othoniel the son of Caleb. They also call this prophet Ebn al ajUz, or 
the son of the old woman; because they say his mother obtained him by her prayers in her old 
age. 3 

s viz.. By contributing towards the establishment of his true religion. 

^ So the Mohammedans name Saul. 

1 Jallalo'ddin, Yahya, Abulfeda. &c. « Ezek. xxxviL i->-io. * Al ITialabi, Abu 

Uhak, &c 

.:hap. II. AL KORAN. 27 

giveth hij kingdom unto whom he pleaseth ; GOD is bounteous and 
wise. And their prophet said unto tliem, Verily the sign of his king- 
dom shall be, that the ark shall come unto you -} therein shall be tran- 
quillity from your LORD,^ and the relics^ which have been left by the 
family of Moses, and the family of Aaron ; the angels shall bring it. 
Verily this shall be a sign unto you, if ye believe. And when Talut 
departed with his soldiers, he said, Verily GOD will prove you by the 
river : for he who drinketh thereof, shall not be on my side (but he 
who shall not taste thereof he shall be on my side) except he who 
drinketh a draught out of his hand. And they drank thereof, except 
a few of them.™ And when they had passed the river, he and those 
who believed with him, they said, V/e have no strength to-day against 
Jalut'^ and his forces. But they who considered that they should meet 
God at the resurrection, said, How often hath a small army discomfited 
a great army, by the will of GoD ? and GOD is with those who pa- 
tiently persevere. And when they went forth to battle against Jalut 
and his forces, they said, O Lord, pour on us patience, and confirm 
our feet, and help us against the unbelieving people. Therefore they 
discomfited them, by the will of God, and David slew Jalut. And GOD 
gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him his will ;** and if 
God had not prevented men, the one by the other, vcrily the earth had 
been corrupted : but GOD is benificent towards his creatures. These 
are the signs of God : we rehearse them unto thee with truth, and thou 
art s\ix&^ one of those who have been sent by GoD. (III.) These are 
the apostles ; we have preferred some of them before others : some of 
them hath GoD spoken unto, and hath exalted the degree of others of 
them. And we gave unto Jesus the son of Mary manifest signs, and 
strengthened him with the holy spirit.^ And if GOD had pleased, 
they who came after those apostles would not have contended among 
themselves, after manifest signs had been shown unto them. But they 
fell to variance ; therefore some of them believed, and some of them 
believed not ; and if GOD had so pleased, they would not have con- 

• This ark, says Jallalo'ddin, contained th=i &nages of the prophets, and was sent down from 
heaven to Adam, and at length came to the SiJraelites, who put great confidence therein, and 
continually carried it in the front of their aimy, till it was taken by the Amalekites. But on 
this occasion the angels brought it back, in the sight of all the people, and placed it at the feet 
of Talut ; who was thereupon unanimously acknowledged for their king. 

This relation seems to have arisen from some imperfect tradition of the taking and sending 
back the ark by the Philistines.^ 

^ That is, because of the great confidence the Israelites placed in it, having won several 
battles by its miraculous assistance. I imagine, however, that the Arabic word Sakinat, 
which signifies trariqtdllity or security of tniiid, and is so understood by the commentators, 
may not improbably mean the divine presence or glory, which used to appear on the ark, and 
which the Jews express by the same word Shechinah. 

1 These were the shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, a pot of manna, and the broken 
pieces of the two tables of the law." 

™ The number of those who drank out of their hands was about 313.I It seems that Mo- 
harnmed has here confounded Saul with Gideon, who by the divine direction took with him 
against the Midianites such of his army only as lapped water out of their hands, which were 
300 men. 3 

"^ Or Goliath. 

o Or what he pleased to teach him. Yahya most rationally understands hereby the divine 
revelations which David received from God ; but Jallalo'ddin the art of making coats of mai 
(which the Mohammedans believe was that prophet's peculiar trade), and the knowledge of the 
language of birds. 

5 See before p. 10, note ^. 

 X Sam. iv. v. and vL 5 Jallalo ddin * ia«f»» Yahva.  Judges vil 


tended among themselves, but GOD doth what he will. O trae believers, 
give alms of that which we have bestowed on you, before the day cometh 
wherein there shall be no merchandizing, nor friendship, nor intercession 
The infidels are unjust doers. GOD ! there is no GOD but he ;^ the 
living, the self-subsisting : neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him ; to 
him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven, and on earth. Who is he that can 
intercede with him, but through his good pleasure i ' He knoweth that 
which is past, and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not 
comprehend anything of his knowledge, but so far as he pleaseth. His 
throne is extended over heaven and earth,' and the preservation of both 
is no burden unto him. He is the high, the mighty. Let there be no 
violence in religion." Nov/ is right direction manifestly distinguished 
from deceit : whoever therefore shall deny Tagiit,* and believe in GOD, 
he shall surely take hold on a strong handle, which shall not be broken ; 
God is he who heareth and seeth. GOD is the patron of those who 
believe ; he shall lead them out of darkness into light : but as to those 
who believe not, their patrons are Tagut ; they shall lead them from 
the light into darkness ; they shall be the companions of hell fire, they 
shall remain therein for ever. Hast thou not considered him who dis- 
puted with Abraham concerning his LORD,** because GOD had given 
him the kingdom ? When Abraham said. My Lord is he who giveth 
life, and killeth : he answered, I give life, and I kill. Abraham said. 
Verily GOD bringeth the sun from the east, now do thou bring it from 
the west. Whereupon the infidel was confounded ; for GoD directeth 
not the ungodly people. Or hast thou not coiisidered how he behavei 
who passed by a city which had been destroyed, even to her founda- 
tions ?^ He said. How shall God quicken this city^ after she hath been 
dead "i And God caused him to die for an hundred years, and after- 

l The following seven lines contain a magnificent description of the divine majesty and pro- 
vidence ; but it must not be supposed the translation comes up to the dignity of the original. 
This passage is justly admired by the Mohammedans, who recite it in their prayers ; and some 
of them wear it about them, engraved on an agate or other precious stone. 3 

"" This throne, in Arabic called Corsi, is by the Mohammedans supposed to be God's tribunal, 
or seat of justice ; being placed under that other called al Arsh, which they say is his imperial 
throne. The Corsi allegorically signifies the divine providence, which sustains and governs the 
heaven and the earth, and is infinitely above human comprehension.* 

* This passage was particularly directed to some of Mohammed's first proselytes, who, having 
sons that had been brought up in idolatry or Judaism, would oblige them to embrace Moham- 
medism by force. 1 

* This word properly signifies an idol, or whatever is worshipped besides God — particular!) 
the two idols of the Meccans, AUSt and al Uzza ; and also the devil, or any seducer. 

" This was Nimrod, who, as the commentators say, to prove his power of life and death by 
ocular demonstration, caused two men to be brought before him at the same time, one of whom 
he slew, and saved the other alive. As to this tyrant's persecution of Abraham, see chapter 21, 
and the notes thereon. 

* The person here meant was Ozair or Ezra, who riding on an ass by the ruins of Jerusalem, 
after it had been destroyed by the Chaldeans, doubted in his mind by what means God could 
raise the city and its inhabitants again ; whereupon God caused him to die, and he remained 
in that condition 100 years ; at the end of which God restored him to life, and he found a 
basket of figs and a cruse of wane he had with him not in the least spoiled or corrupted ; but 
his ass was dead, the bones only remaining, and these, while the prophet looked on, were raised 
and clothed with flesh, becoming an ass again, which being inspiied with life, began imme- 
diately to bray. 2 

.rhis apocryphal story may perhaps have taken its rise from Nehemiah's viewing of the ruins 
of Jerusalem. 3 

' Vide Bobov. de Prec. Moham. p. 5, et Reland. Dissert, de Gemmis Arab p. 235, 239 
* Vide D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Corsi. l Jallalo'ddin. 3 Jallalo'ddin, Yahva, &* 

S«»e D'Herbe). Bibl. Orient. Art. Ozair. 3 Nehem. ii. 12. &c. 

CHAP. a. AL KORAN. 29 

ards raised him to life. And God said, How long hast thou tarried 
ref He answered, A day, or part of a day. God said, Nay, thou 
St tarried here an hundred years. Now look on thy iooo. and the 
drink, they are not yet corrupted ; and look on thine ass : and this 
have we done that we might make thee a sign unto men. And look on 
the bones of thme ass, how we raise them, and afterwards clothe them 
Vnth flesh. And when this was shown unto him, he said, I know that 
God is able to do all things. And when Abraham said, O Lord, show 
me how thou wilt raise the dead -^ God said, Dost thou not yet believe ? 
He answered, Yea ; but / ask this that my heart may rest at ease. God 
said, take therefore four birds, and divide them ;^ then lay a part of 
them on every mountain; then call them, and they shall come swiftly 
unto thee : and know that God is mighty and wise. The similitude of 
those who lay out their substance for advancing the religion of GOD, is 
as a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in every ear an 
hundred grains ; for GOD giveth twofold unto whom he pleaseth : GOD 
is bounteous and wise. They who lay out their substance for the reli- 
gion of God, and afterwards follow not what they have so laid out by 
reproaches or mischief,a they shall have their reward with their Lord ; 
upon them shall no fear come, neither shall they be grieved. A fair 
speech, and to forgive, is better than alms followed by mischief. GOD 
is rich and merciful. O true believers, make not your alms of none 
effect by reproaching, or mischief, as he who layeth out what he hath 
to appear unto men to give alms, and believeth not in God and the last 
day. The likeness of such a one is as a fiint covered with earth, on 
which a violent rain falleth, and leaveth it hard. They cannot prosper 
in anything which they have gained, for God directeth not the un- 
believing people. And the likeness of those who lay out their substance 
from a desire to please GOD, and for an establishment for their souls, 
is as a garden on a hill, on which a violent rain falleth, and it bringeth 
forth its fruits twofold ; and if a violent rain falleth not on it, yet the 
^^yN falleth thereon: and GoD seeth that which ye do. Doth any of you 
desire to have a garden of palm-trees and vines,** through which rivers 
flow, wherein he may have all kinds of fruits, and that he may attain to 
old age, and have a weak offspring? then a violent fiery wind shall strike 
it, so that it shall be burned. Thus GOD declareth his signs unto you, 
that ye may consider. O true believers, bestow alms of the good things 

y The occasion of this request of Abraham is said to have been on a doubt proposed to him 
by the devil, in human form, how it was possible for the several parts of the corpse of a man 
which lay on the sea-shore, and had been partly devoured by the wild beasts, the birds, and the 
fish, to be brought together at the resurrection.^ 

' These birds, according to the commentators, were an eagle (a dove, say others), a peacock, 
a raven, and a cock, which Abraham cut to pieces, and mingled their flesh and feathers together, 
or, as some tell us, pounded all in a mortar, and dividing the mass into four parts, laid them on 
so many mountains, but kept the heads, which he had preserved whole, in his hand. Then he 
called them each by their name, and immediately one part flew to the other, till they all re- 
covered their first shape, and then came to be joined to their respective heads. 1 

This seems to be taken from Abraham's sacrifice of birds mentioned by Moses,2 with some 
additional circumstances. 

* i.e.. Either by reproaching the person whom they have relieved with what they have done 
for him, or by exposing his poverty to his prejudice.^ 

*» This garden is an emblem of alms given out of hypocrisy, or attended with reproaches, 
which pensh, and will be of no service hereafter to the giver.* 

* See D'Herbelot, p. 13, ^ Jallals'ddin. See D'Heriaeiot, abi supra. 2 Gen. xv 
* Jallalo'ddia. * Idem. 


which ye have gained, and of that which we have produced for you out oi 

the earth, and choose not the bad thereof, to give it /w^/wj-, such as ye would 
notacceptyourselves, otherwise than by connivance '? and know that GOD 
is rich and worthy to be praised. The devil threateneth you with poverty, 
and commandeth you filthy covetousness ; but GOD promiseth you pardon 
from himself and abundance : GOD is bounteous and wise. He giveth wis- 
dom unto whom he pleaseth ; and he unto whom wisdom is given, hath 
received much good : but none will consider, except the wise of heart. 
And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, verily 
God knoweth it ; but the ungodly shall have none to help thefn. If 
ye make your alms to appear, it is well ; but if ye conceal them, and 
give them unto the poor, this will be better for you, and will atone for 
your sins : and God is well informed of that which ye do. The direc- 
tion of them belongeth not unto thee ; but God directeth whom he 
pleaseth. The good that ye shall give in alms shall redound unto your- 
selves ; and ye shall not give unless out of desire of seeing the face ol 
God.** And what good thing ye shall give in alms, it shall be repaid 
you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly ; unto the poor who are wholly 
employed in fighting for the religion of God, and cannot go to and fro 
in the earth ; whom the ignorant man thinketh rich, because of their 
modesty : thou shalt know them by this mark, they ask not men with 
importunity ; and what good ye shall give in alms, verily GOD knoweth 
it. They who distribute alms of their substance night and day, in pri- 
vate and in public, shall have their reward with the Lord ; on them 
shall no fear come, neither shall they be grieved. They who devour 
usury shall not Bx'isefrom the dead, but as he ariseth whom Satan hath 
infected by a touch :' this shall happen to them because they say. Truly 
selling is but as usury : and yet GoD hath permitted selling and for- 
bidden usury. He therefore who when there cometh unto him an ad- 
monition from his Lord, abstaineth from usury for the future, shall 
have what is past forgiven him, and his affair belongeth unto GOD. 
But whoever returneth to usury ^ they shall be the companions of hell 
fire, they shall continue therein for ever. God shall take his blessing 
from usury, and shall increase alms : for God loveth no infidel, or un- 
godly person. But they who believe and do that which is right, and 
observe the stated times of prayer, and pay their legal alms, they shall 
have their reward with their Lord : there shall come no fear on them., 
neither shall they be grieved. O true believers, fear God, and remit 
that which remaineth of usury,' if ye really believe ; but if ye do it not, 
hearken unto war, which is declared against you from GOD and his 
apostle : yet if ye repent, ye shall have the capital of your money. Deal 
not unjustly with others, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. li 
there be any debtor under a difficulty of payitig his debt, let his creditor 
wait till it be /or him to do itj but if ye remit it as alms, it will be 

* That is, on having some amends made by the seller of such goods, either by abatement of 
he price, or giving something else to the buyer to make up the value. 

•1 i.e.. For the sake of a reward hereafter, and not for any worldly consideration. 1 

• viz.. Like dcsmcmiacs or possessed persons, that is, in great horror isnd distraction of mina 
and convulsive agitation of body. 

f Or the interest due before usury was prohibited. For this some of Mohammsd'i fo low 
"sxacted of their debtors, supposing they lawfully might. 2 

1 lallalo'ddin. « Idem- 


better for j^ou, if ye knew it. And fear the day wherein ye shaL y^turn 
unto God ; then shall every soul be paid what it hath gained, and they 
shall not be treated unjustly. O true believers, when ye bind yourselves 
one to the oiher in a debt for a certain time, write it down ; and let a 
writer write between you according to justice, and let not the writer 
refuse writing according to what GOD hath taught him ; but let him 
write, and let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear God his 
Lord, and not diminish ought thereof. But if he who oweth the debt 
be foolish, or weak, or be not able to dictate himself, let his agents dic- 
tate according to equity; and call to witness two witnesses of your 
neighbouring men ; but if there be not two men, let there be a man and 
two women of those whom ye shall choose for witnesses : if one of those 
wo?nen should mistake, the other of them will cause her to recollect. 
And the witnesses shall not refuse, whensoever they shall be called. 
And disdain not to write it down, be it a large debt, or be it a small one, 
until its time of payment : this will be more just in the sight of GOD, 
and more right for bearing witness, and more easy, that ye may not 
doubt. But if it be a present bargain which ye transact between your- 
selves, it shall be no crime in you, if ye write it not down. And take 
witnesses when ye sell one to the other, and let no harm be done to the 
writer, nor to the witness ; which if ye do, it will surely be injustice in 
you : and fear GOD, and GoD will instruct you, for God knoweth all 
things. And if ye be on a journey, and find no writer, let pledges be 
taken : but if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted return 
what he is trusted with, and fear GOD his Lord. And conceal not the 
testimony, for he who concealeth it hath surely a wicked heart : GOD 
knoweth that which ye Q\>. -'..Whatever is in heaven and on earth is 
God's ; and whether ye manifest that which is in your minds, or con- 
ceal it, God will call you to account for it, and will forgive whom he 
pleaseth, and will punish whom he pleaseth ; for GoD is almighty. The 
apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down unto him from his 
Lord, and the faithful also. Every one of them believeth in GOD, and 
his angels, and his scriptures, and his apostles : we make no distinction 
at all between his apostles.'^ And they say, We have heard, and do 
obey : we implore thy mercy, O Lord, for unto thee must we return. 
God will not force any soul beyond its capacity : it shall have the good 
which it gaineth, and it shall suffer the evil which it gaineth. O Lord, 
punish us not, if we forget, or act sinfully : O Lord,, lay not on us a 
burden like that which thou hast laid on those who have been before 
us ;* neither make us, O Lord, to bear what we have not strength to 
bear, but be favourable unto us, and spare us, and be merciful unto us. 
Thou art our patron, help us therefore against the unbelieving nations. 

I Whoever manages his affairs, whether his father, heir, guardian, or interpreter.' 
^ But_ this, say the Mohammedans, the Jews do, who receive Moses but reject .Testis ; and 
the Christians, who receive both those prophets, but reject Mohammed.2 

i That is, on the Jews, who, as the commentators tell us, were ordered to kill a man by way 
of a'lonement, to give one-fourth of their substance in alms, and to cut off an unclean ulcerous 
part, 3 and were forbidden to eat fat, or animals that divided the hoof, and were obliged to obscrv* 
the sabbath, and other particulars wherein the Mohammedans are at liberty 4 

I Jallaio'ddin, ' liem. 3 ijeia. * Yahya. 





AL. M.^ There is no God but God, the living, the self-subsisting : 
He hath sent down unto thee the book of the Koi-dn with truth, 
confirming that which was revealed before it ; for he had formerly sent 
down the law and the gospel, a direction unto men ; and he had also 
sent down the distinction between good and evil. Verily those who 
believe not the signs of God, shall suffer a grievous punishment ; for 
God is mighty, able to revenge. Surely nothing is hidden from God, 
of that which is on earth, or in heaven : it is he who formeth you in 
the wombs, as he pleaseth ; there is no GoD but he, the mighty, the 
wise. It is he who hath sent down unto thee the book, wherein are 
some verses clear to be understood, they are the foundation of the 
book ; and others are parabolical.'" But they whose hearts are perverse 
will follow that which is parabolical therein, out of love of schism, and 
a desire of the interpretation thereof ; yet none knoweth the interpre- 
tation thereof, except God. But they who are well grounded in know- 
ledge say. We believe therein, the whole is from our Lord ; and none 
will consider except the prudent. O Lord, cause not our hearts to 
s^NervQ from truth, after thou hast directed us : and give us from thee 
mercy, for thou art he who giveth. O LORD, thou shalt surely gather 
mankind together, unto a day of resurrection : there is no doubt of it, 
for God will not be contrary to the promise. As for the infidels, their 
wealth shall not profit them anything, nor their children, against GOD : 
they shall be the fuel of hell fire. According to the wont of the people 
of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them, they charged our 
signs with a lie ; but GOD caught them in their wickedness, and GOD 
is severe in punishing. Say unto those who believe not. Ye shall be 
overcome, and thrown together into hell ; an unhappy couch shall it be. 
Ye have already had a miracle shown you in two armies, which attacked 
each other:" one army fought for God's true religion, but the other 

^ This name is given in the Koran to the father of the Virgin Mary. See below, p. 35. 

1 For the meaning of these letters the reader is referred to the Preliminary Discourse, 
Sect. IIL 

™ This passage is translated according to the exposition of al Zamakhshari and al Beidawi, 
which seems to be the truest. 

The contents of the Koran are here distinguished into such passages as are to be taken in 
the literal sense, and such as require a figurative acceptation. The former being plain and 
obvious to be understood, compose the fundamental part, or, as the original expresses it, tlie 
mot ;er of the book, and contain the principal doctrines and precepts ; agreeably to and con- 
•siste illy with which, those passages which are wrapt up in metaphors, and delivered in an 
e,i'g natical, allegorical style, are always to be interpreted. ^ 

* T 'he sign or miracle here meant, was the victory gamed by Mohammed in the second year 
it the Hejra, over the idolatrous Meccans, headed by Abu Sofian, in the valley of Bedr, which 
is situ ale near the sea, between Mecca and Medina. Mohammed's forces consisted of no more 
than hree hundred and nineteen men, but the enemy's army of near a thousand, notwith- 
staadi ng which odds he put them to flight, having killed seventy of the principal Koreish, and 
taken "s many prisoners, with the loss of only fourteen of his own men.l This was the first 
ictor V^ obtained bj' the prophet, and though it may seem no very considerable action, yet il 

_See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. 1 Elmacin. p. 5 Hotlinger Hist. Orient. 1. 3,^^ 

\^y^]_\ »^ ^"^- Mohaai, p. ";6. &c. Pridcaux's Life of Mahom. p. 71. &c 


were infidels ; ♦hey saw the faithful twice as many as themselves in 
their eyesight ; for GOD strengtheneth with his help whom he pleaseth. 
Surely herein was an example unto men of understanding. The love 
and eager desire of wives, and children, and sums heaped up of gold 
and silver, and excellent horses, and cattle, and land, is prepared for 
men : this is the provision of tne present life ; but unto GoD shall be 
the most excellent return. Say, Shall I declare unto you better things 
than this ? For those who are devout are prepared with their LORD, 
gardens through which rivers flow ; therein shall they continue for ever : 
and they shall enjoy wives free from impurity, and the favour of GOD ; 
for God regardeth his servants ; who say, O LORD, we do sincerely 
believe ; forgive us therefore our sins, and deliver us from the pain of 
hell fire : the patient, and the lovers of truth, and the devout, and the 
almsgivers, and those who ask pardon early in the morning. GOD 
hath borne witness that there is no GOD but he ; and the angels, and 
those who are endowed with wisdom, profess the samej who executeth 
righteousness ; there is no God but he ; the mighty, the wise. Verily 
the true religion in the sight of GOD, is Islam ;** and they who had 
received the scriptures dissented not therefro7n, until after the know- 
ledge of God's unity had comxC unto them, out of envy among them- 
selves ; but whosoever believeth not in the signs of God, verily GOD 
will be swift in bringing him. to account. If they dispute with thee, 
say, I have resigned myself unto God, and he who followeth me doth 
the same : and say unto them who have received the scriptures, and to 
the ignorant,** Do ye profess the religio?i of Islam ? Now if they em- 
brace Islam, they are surely directed ; but if they turn their backs, 
verily unto thee belongeth preaching only ; for God regardeth his 
servants. And unto those who believe not in the signs of God, and 
slay the prophets without a cause, and put those men to death who teach 
justice ; denounce unto them a painful punishment. These are they 
whose works perish in this world, and in that which is to come ; and 
they shall have none to help them. Hast thou not observed those unto 
whom part of the scripture was given ?** They were called unto the 
book of God, that it might judge between them ;' then some of them 

was of great advantage to him, and the foundation of all his future power and success. For 
which reason it is famous in the Arabian history, and more than once vaunted in the Koran, 2 
as an effect of the divine assistance. The miracle, it is said, consisted in three things: 
I. Mohammed, by the direction of the angel Gabriel, took a handful of gravel and threw it 
towards the enemy in the attack, sa3^ng, May tJieir faces be confou7ided ; whereupon they 
immediately turned their backs and fled. But, though the prophet seemingly threw the gravel 
himself, yet it is told in the Koran,3 that it was not he, but God, who threw it, that is to say, 
by the ministry of his angel. 2. The Mohammedan troops seemed to the infidels to be twice 
as many in number as themselves, which greatly discouraged them. And 3. God sent down 
to their assistance first a thousand, and afterwards three thousand angels, led by Gabriel, 
mounted on his horse Haizum ; and, according to the Koran,4 these celestial auxiliaries really 
did all the execution, though Mohammed's men imagined themselves did it, and fought stout!> 
at the same time. 

o The proper name of the Mohammedan religion, which signifies the resigning or devoting 
one's self entirely to God and his service. This they say is the religion which all the prophets 
were sent to teach, being founded on the unity of God.^ 

P i.e.. The pagan Arabs, who had no knowledge of the scriptures.^ 

<l That is, the Jews. 

■" This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute Mohammed had with some Jewt, which 
is differently related by the commentators. 

s See this chapter below, and c. 8 and 3a. 8 f^j>. g, not far from the beginning. * Ibid 
> Jallalc'ddin, al Beidawi. ^ \<its&. 


turned their backs, and retired afar off. This they did because they 
said, The fire of hell shall by no means touch us, but for a certain 
number of days :" and that which they had falsely devised, hatb 
deceived them in their religion. How then will it be with the7Jt, when 
we shall gather them together at the day of judgme7it^ of which there 
is no doubt ; and every soul shall be paid that v/hich it hath gained, 
neither shall they be treated unjustly ? Say, O GOD, who possesses! 
the kingdom : thou givest the kingdom unto whom thou wilt, and thou 
takest away the kingdom from whom thou wilt : thou exaltest whom 
thou wilt, and thou humblest whom thou wilt : in thy hand is good, 
for thou art almighty. Thou makest the night to succeed the day : 
thou bringest forth the living out of the dead, and thou bringest forth 
the dead out of the living ;" and providest food for whom thou wilt 
without measure. Let not the faithful take the infidels for their pro- 
tectors, rather than the faithful : he who doth this shall not be pro- 
tected of God at all ; unless ye fear any danger from them : but GOD 
warneth you to beware of himself ; for unto GOD must ye return. Say, 
Whether ye conceal that which is in your breasts, or whether ye declare 
it, God knoweth it : for he knoweth whatever is in heaven, and what- 
ever is on earth : GoD is almighty. On the last day every soul shall 
find the good which it hath wrought, present ; and the evil which it 
hath wrought, it shall wish that between itself and that were a wide 
distance : but God warneth you to beware of himself; for God is 
gracious unto his servants. Say, If ye love God, follow me : then GOD 
shall love you, and forgive you your sins ; for GOD is gracious and 
merciful. Say, Obey God, and his apostle : but if ye go back, veril^ 
God loveth not the unbelievers. GOD hath surely chosen Adam, ar^ 
Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran^ above the 

Al Beidawi says that Mohammed going one day into a Jewish synagogue, Nairn Ebn Amru 
and al Hareth Ebn Zeid asked him what religion he was of? To which he answering, " Of the 
religion of Abraham ;" they replied, "Abraham was a Jew." But on Mohammed's proposing 
that the Pentateuch might decide the question, they would by no means agree to it. 

But Jallalo'ddin tells us that two persons of the Jewish religion having committed adultery, 
their punishment was referred to Mohammed, who gave sentence that they should be stoned, 
according to the law of Moses. This the Jews refused to submit to, alleging there was no such 
command in the Pentateuch ; but on Mohammed's appealing to the book, the said law was 
found therein. Whereupon the crhninals were stoned, to the great mortification of the Jews. 

It is very remarkable that this law of Moses concerning the stoning of adulterers is mentioned 
in the New Testament^ (though I know some dispute the authenticity of that whole passage), 
but is not now to be found, either in the Hebrew or Samaritan Pentateuch, or in the Septuagint ; 
it being only said that such shall be put to death?- This omission is insisted on by the Mo- 
hammedans as one instance of the corruption of the law of Moses by the Jews. 

It is also observable that there was a verse once extant in the Koran, commanding adulterers 
to be stoned ; and the commentators say the words only are abrogated, the sense or law still 
remaining in force. 4 

* i.e.. Forty ; the time their forefathers worshipped the calf." AJ Beidawi adds, that some 
of them pretended their punishment was to last but seven days, that is, a day for every thousand 
years which they supposed the world was to endure ; and that they imagined they were to ba 
so mildly dealt with, either by reason of the intercession of their fathers the prophets, or because 
God had promised Jacob that his oflfspring should be punished but slightly. 

* The Mohammedans have a tradition that the first banner of the infidels that shall be set up, 
on the day of judgment, will be that of the Jews ; and that God will first reproach them with 
their wickedness, over the heads of those who are present, and then order them to hell.6 

" As a man from seed, and a bird from an egg ; and vice yersd^- 

'*■ Or Amran, is the name of two several persons, according to the Mohammedan traditioa 

2 John viii. 5. ' Levit. xx. 10. See Whiston's Essay towards restoring the true text of 

the Old Test. p. 99, 100. 4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sea. III. * See before, p. 10, note B 
» Al Beidawi. 1 Jallalo'ddin 


rest of the world ; a race desce^tding the one from the other : God is he 
who heareth and knoweth. Re7ne7nber when the wife of Imrany said, 
Lord, verily I have vowed unto thee that which is in my womb, to be 
dedicated to thy service .•* accept it therefore of me ; for thou art he 
who heareth and knoweth. And when she was dehvered of it, she said, 
Lord, verily I have brought forth a female (and GOD well knew what 
she had brought forth), and a male is not as a female :* I have called her 
Mary ; and I commend her to thy protection, and also her issue, against 
Satan driven away with stones.** Therefore the Lord accepted her 
with a gracious acceptance,^ and caused her to bear an excellent off- 
One was the father of Moses and Aaron ; and the other was the father of the Virgin Mary ;2 but 
he is called by some Christian writers Joachim. The commentators suppose the first, or rather 
both of them, to be meant in this place ; however, the person intended in the next passage, it is 
agreed, was the latter ; who besides Mary the mother of Jesus, had also a son named Aaron,^ 
and another sister, named Isha (or Elizabeth), who married Zacharias, and was the mother of 
John the Baptist ; whence that prophet and Jesus are usually called by the Mohammedans, 
The two soils of the ajint, or the cousins german. 

From the identity of names it has been generally imagined by Christian writers^ that the 
Koran here confounds Mary the mother of Jesus, with Mary or Miriam the sister of Moses 
and Aaron ; which intolerable anachronism, if it were certain, is sufficient of itself to destroy 
the pretended authority of this book. But though Mohammed may be supposed to have been 
ignorant enough in ancient history and chronology to have committed so gross a blunder, yet 
I do not see how it can be made out from the words of the Koran. For it does not follow, be- 
cause two persons have the same nanie, and have each a father and brother who bear the same 
names, that they must therefore necessarily be the same person : besides, such a mistake is in- 
ponsistent with a number of other places in the Koran, whereby it manifestly appears that Mo- 
Uammed well knew and asserted that Moses preceded Jesus several ages. And the commen- 
tators accordingly fail not to tell us that there had passed about one thousand eight hundred 
years between Amran the father of Moses, and Amran the father of the Virgin Mary : they also 
make them the sons of different persons ; the first, they say, was the son of Yeshar, or Izhar 
(though he was really his brother),^ the son of Kahath, the son of Levi ; and the other was the 
son of Mathan,6 whose genealogy they trace, but in a very corrapt and imperfect manner, up 
to David, and thence to Adam.' 

It must be observed that though the Virgin Mary is called in the Koranl the sister of Aaron, 
yet she is nowhere called the sister of Moses ; however, some Mohammedan writers have 
imagined that the same individual Mary, the sister of Moses, was miraculously preserved alive 
from his time till that of Jesus Christ, purposely to become the mother of the latter.2 

y The Imran here mentioned was the father of the Virgin Mary, and his wife's name was 
Hannah, or Ann, the daughter of Fakudh. This woman, say the commentators, being aged 
and barren, on seeing a bird feed her young ones, became very desirous of issue, and begged 
a child of God, promising to consecrate it to his service in the temple ; whereupon she had a 
child, but it proved a daughter.3 

* The Arabic word is/ree, but here signifies particularly one that is/ree or detached from aii 
woxldly desires and occupations, and wholly devoted to God's service.-* 

= Because a female could not minister in the temple as a male could. 5 

b This expression alludes to a tradition, that Abraham, when the devil tempted him to dis- 
bey God in not sacrificing his son, drove the fiend away by throwing stones at him ; in memory 
»f which, the Mohammedans, at the pilgrimage of Mecca, throw a certain number of stones 
|t the devil, with certain ceremonies, in the valley of Mina.6 

It is not improbable that the pretended immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary is inti- 
mated in this passage ; for according to a tradition of Mohammed, every person that comes into 
the world is touched at his birth by the devil, and therefore cries out : Mary and her son only 
excepted, between whom and the evil spirit God placed a veil, so that his touch did not reach 
them. 7 And for this reason, they say, neither of them were guilty of any sin, like the rest of 
the children of Adam :8 which peculiar grace they obtained by virtue of this recommendation 
of them by Hannah to God's protection. 

*' Though the child happened not to be a male, yet her mother presented her to the priests 
who had the care of the temple, as one dedicated to God ; and they having received her, she 

" Al Zairiakhshari, ai Beidawi. 3 Kor. c. 19. * Vide Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. 211 

Marracc. in Ale. p. 115, &c. Prideaux, Letter to the Deists, p. 185. 5 Exod. vi. 18. 

* Al Zamakh, al Beidawi. 7 Vide Reland. ubi sup. D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient, p. 583. 

* Cap. 19. - Vide Guadagnol. Apoiog. pro Rel. Christ, contra Ahmed Ebn Zein a) 
Abedin. p. 270. 3 Al Beidawi, al Thalabi. 4 Jallalo'ddin, al Zamakhshari. *' Jallalo'ddio 
6 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 7 Lillalo'd-'in aj P«idawi. 8 Kitada. 


spring. And Zacharias took care of the child; whenever Zacharias 
went into the chamber to her, he found provisions with her -.^ and he 
said, O Mary, whence hadst thou this? she answered, This is from GOD : 
for God provideth for whom he pleaseth without measure.* There 
Zacharias called on his LORD, and said, LORD, give me from thee a 
good offspring, for thou art the hearer of prayer. And the angels' 
called to him, while he stood praying in the chamber, saying^ Verily 
God promiseth thee a son jiamed John, who shall bear witness to the 
Word« which cometh from GOD ; an honourable person, chaste,^ and 
one of the righteous prophets. He answered. Lord, how shall I have 
a son, when old age hath overtaken me,* and my wife is barren ? The 
angel said. So God doth that which he pleaseth. Zacharias answered. 
Lord, give me a sign. The angel said, Thy sign shall be, that thou 
shalt speak unto no man^ for three days, otherwise than by gesture : 
remember thy Lord often, and praise him evening and morning. And 
when the angels said, O Mary, verily GoD hath chosen thee, and hath 
purified thee, and hath chosen thee above all the women of the world : 
O Mary, be devout towards thy Lord, and worship, and bow down with 
those who bow down. This is a secret history : we reveal it unto thee, 
although thou wast not present with them when they threw in their rods 
to cast lots which of them should have the education of Mary:^ neither 
wast thou with them, when they strove among themselves. When the 
angels said, O Mary, verily GOD sendeth thee good tidings, that thou 
shalt bear theV^ ord, proceeding irom. himself; his name shall be Christ 
Jesus the son of Mary, honourable in this world and in the world to 
come, and 07ie of those who approach near to the presence of Godj and 

was committed to the care of Zacharias, as will be observed by-and-bye, and he built her au 
apartment in the temple, and supplied her with necessaries.^ 

^ The commentators say that none went into Mary's apartment but Zacharias himself, and 
that he locked seven doors upon her, yet he found she had always winter fruits in summer, and 
summer fruits in 

* There is a story of Fatema, Mohammed's daughter, that she once brought two loaves and 
a piece of flesh to her father, who returned them to her, and having called for her again, when 
she uncovered the dish, it was full of bread and meat ; and on Mohammed's asking her whence 
she had it, she answered in tne words of this passage : This isfrofn God ; for God provideth 
for whom he pleaseth ivithoiit nteasiire. Whereupon he blessed God, who thus favoured her, 
as he had the most excellent of the daughters of Israel. ^ 

f Though the word be in the plural, yec the commentators say it was the angel Gabriel only. 
The same is to be understood where it occurs in the following passages. 

% That is, Jesus, who, al Beidawi says, is st; called because he was conceived by the word 
or command of God without a father 

^ The original word signifies one who refrains not only from women, but from all other 
worldly delights and desires. Al Beidawi mentions a tradition, that during his childhood some 
boys invited him to play, but he refused, saying that he was not created to play. 

1 Zacharias was then ninety-nine years old, and his wife eighty-nine. 2 

k Though he could not speak to anybody else, yet his tongue was at liberty to praise Gori 
as he is directed to do by the following words. 

1 When Mary was first brought to the temple, the priests, because she was the daughter of 
one of their chiefs, disputed among themselves who should have the education of her. Zacharias 
insisted that he ought to be preferred, because he had married her aunt ; but the others not 
consenting that it should be so, they agreed to decide the matter by casting of lots ; whereupon 
twenty-seven of them w^ent to the river Jordan and threw in their rods (or arrows without heads 
or feathers, such as the Arabs used for the same purpose), on which they had written some 
passages of the law ; but they all sank except that of Zacharias, which floated on the water ; 
and he had thereupon the care of the child committed to him.3 

9 Jallalo'ddin, al Beidawi. Vide I.ud. de Dieu, in not. ad Hist. Christi Xaverii, p. S4a 
10 Al Beidawi. Vide do Dieu, ubi sup. p. jjS. ^ Al Beidawi 2 Idem. 3 Idem 

Jallalo'ddin. .ic. 


he shall speak unto men in the cradle,'^ and when he is grown up ;° and 
he shall be one of the righteous : she answered, Lord, how shall I have 
a son, since a man hath net touched me? the angel said, So God 
createth that which he pleazeth: when he decreeth a thing, he only 
saith unto it, Be, and it is : God shall teach him the scripture, and wis- 
dom, and the law, and the gospel ; and shall appoint him his apostle 
to the children of Israel ; and he shall say, Verily I come unto you with 
a sign from your LORD ; for I will make before you, of clay, as it were 
the figure of a bird ;° then I will breathe thereon, and it shall become a 
bird, by the permission of GoD :^ and I will heal him that hath been 
blind from his birth, and the leper : and I will raise the dead*^ by the per- 
mission of God : and I will prophesy unto you what ye eat, and what 
ye lay up for store in your houses. Verily herein will be a sign unto 
you, if ye believe. And / come to confirm the Law which was revealed 
before me, and to allow unto you as lawful, part of that which hath 
been forbidden you -J^ and I come unto you with a sign from your LORD ; 
therefore fear GOD, and obey me. Verily GOD is my LORD, and your 
Lord ; tnereiore serve him. This is the right way. But when Jesus 
perceived their unneiief, he said, Who will be my helpers towards God? 

"" Besides an instance of this given in the Koran itself,! which I shall not here anticipate, a 
Mohammedan writer (of no very great credit, indeed) tells two stories, one of Jesus's speaking 
while in his mother's womb, to reprove her cousin Joseph for his unjust supicions of her ;2 and 
another of his giving an answer to the same person soon after he was born. For Joseph being 
sent by Zacharias to seek Mary (who had gcr.e out of the city by night to conceal her delivery) 
and having found her, began to expostulate with her, but she made no reply ; whereupon the 
child spoke these words : Rejoice, O Joseph, and be of good cheer ; for God hath brojight nte 
forth front the darktiess of the womb, to the light of the world ; and I shall go to tfu children 
of Israel, and invite them to the obedience of QrOTi,* _ ^, . • 

These seem all to have been taken from some fabuions traditions of the eastern Christians, 
one of which is preserved to us in the spurious gospel of the Infancy of Chnst ; where we read 
that Jesus spoke while yet in the cradle, and said to his mother. Verily I am Jesits the son of 
God, the word which thmc hast brought forth, as the angel Gabriel did declare unto thee ; and 
my father hath sent me to save th,^ world A , . , ,- ■.- r 

^ The Arabic word prooerly signifies a man in full age, that is, between thirty or thirty-four, 
and fifty-one ; and the passage may relate to Christ's preaching here on earth. But as he had 
scarce attained this age when he was taken up into heaven, the commentators choose to under- 
stand it of his second coming.5 , , . , r j-rr . _. 

o Some say it was a bat,*) though others suppase Jesus made several birds of different sorts.- 

This circumstance is also taken from the following fabulous fadition, which may be found in 
the spurious gospel above mentioned. Jesus being seven years old, and at play with several 
children of his age, they made several figures of birds and beasts, for their diversion, of clay ; 
and each preferring his own workmanship, Jesus told them, that he would make his walk and 
leap ; which accordingly, at his command, they did. He made also several figures of sparrows 
and other birds, which flew about or stood on his hands as he ordered them, and also ate and 
drank when he offered them meat and drink. The children telling this to their parents, were 
forbidden to play any more with Jesus, whom they held to be a sorcerer.8 

P The commentators observe that these words are added here, and m the next sentence, lesfl 
it should be thought Jesus did these miracles by his own power, or was God. 9 

q Jallalo'ddin mentions three persons whom Christ restored to life, and who lived several 
years after, and had children ; viz., Lazarus, the widow's son, and the publican's (I suppose he 
means the ruler of the synagogue's) daughter. He adds that he also raised Shem the son o\ 
Noah who, as another vmtes,!^' thinking he had been called to judgment, came out of his grave 
with his head half grey, whereas men did not grow grev in his days ; after which he unmeai- 

ately died again. i , r r • i j 

"■ Such as the eating of fish that have neither fins nor scales, the caul and fat of animals, and 
camel's flesh and to work on the sabbath. These things, say the commentators, bemg arbitrary 
institutions in the law of Moses, were abrogated by jesus ; as several of the same kind, msti- 
tuted by the latter, have been since abrogated by Mohammed. 1 

,^p. ig. 2 Vide Sikii notas in Evang Infant, p. 5- ^ ^ „' Al Kessai, apud evinden. 

4 Evang. Infant, p. 5. 5 Jallalo'ddin. Al Beidftwi. 6JaUaloddin 7Allhalabi 

9 Evang. Infant, p. iii, &C. 9 Al I'^x^Wi. cr. 10 M ihalabi. 1 Al Beid^w. 


3 8 Al. KORAN. CHAP. Ill 

The apostles' answered, We will be the helpers ot GOD ; we believe in 
God, and do thou bear witness that we are true believers. O LORD, we 
believe in that which thou has sent dov/n, and we have followed thy 
apostle ; write us down therefore with those who bear witness of hUn 
And the Jews devised a stratagem against himj^ but God devised a 
stratagern aoatnst them/^ and GOD is the best deviser of stratagems 
When God said, O Jesus, verily I will cause thee to die,* and I wiU 

 In Arabic, al Haw&riyiln; which word they derive from Hdra, to be white, and suppose 
the apostles were so called either from the caftdour and sincerity oi their minds, or because they 
were princes and wore white garments, or else because they were by trade fullers.^ Accord- 
ing to which last opinion, their vocation is thus related ; that as Jesus passed by the seaside, 
he saw some fullers at work, and accosting them, said. Ye cleanse these clothes, but cleanse not 
your hearts ; upon which they believed on him. But the true etymology seems to be from the 
Ethiopic verb Hawyra, to go ; whence Hawarya signifies one tliat is sent, a messenger or 

t i.e.. They laid a design to take away his life. _ , . ,-i 

« This stratagem of God's was the taking of Jesus up into heaven, and stamping his likeness 
on another person, who was apprehended and crucified in his stead. For it is the constant 
doctrine of the Mohammedans that it was not Jesus himself who underwent that ignominious 
death, but somebody else in his shape and resemblance. '^ The person crucitiea some wiU have 
to be a spy that was sent to entrap him ; others that it was one Titian, who by the airection of 
Judas entered in at a window of the house where Jesus was, to kill him *, and others that it 
was Judas himself, who agreed with the rulers of the Jews to betray him for thirty pieces of 
silver, and led those who were sent to take him. 

They add, that Jesus after his crucifixion in ejigy, was sent down again to the earth, to com- 
fort his mother and disciples, and acquaint them how the Jews were deceived ; and was then 
taken up a second time into heaven. ^ 

It is supposed by several that this story was an original invention oC Mohammed's ; but they 
are certainly mistaken ; for several sectaries held the same opinion, laog before his time. The 
Basilidians,6 in the very beginning of Christianity, denied that Christ himself suffered, but 
that Simon the Cyrenean was crucified in his place. The Cerinthians before them, and the 
Carpocratians next (to name no more of those who affirmed Jesus to have been amere man), 
did believe the same thing ; that it was not himself, but one of his followers very like him that 
was crucified. Photius tells us, that he read a book entitled. The Journeys of the Apostles, 
telating the acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul ; and among other things contained 
therein, this was one, tluit Christ was not crucified, but another in his stead, and that there- 
fore he laughed at his crucifiers^ or those who thought they had crucified him. 8 

1 have in another placed mentioned an apocrj'phal gospel of Barnabas, a forgery originally 
of some nominal Christians, but interpolated since by Mohammedans ; which gives this pari 
of the history of Jesus with circumstances too curious to be omitted. It is therein related, that 
the moment the Jews were going to apprehend Jesus in the garden, he was snatched up into 
the third heaven, by the ministry of four angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel ; that 
he will not die till the end of the world, and that it was Judas who was crucified in his stead ; 
God having permitted that traitor to appear so like his master, in the eyes of the Jews, that 
they took and delivered him to Pilate. That this resemblance was so great, that it deceived 
the Virgin Mary and the apostles themselves ; but that Jesus Christ afterwards obtained leave 
of God to go and comfort them. That Barnabas having then asked him, why the divine good- 
ness had suffered the mother and disciples of so holy a prophet to believe even for one moment 
that he had died in so ignominious a manner ? Jesus returned the following answer. " O 
Barnabas, believe me that every sin, how small soever, is punished by God with great torment, 
because God is offended with sin. My mother therefore and faithful disciples, having loved 
me with a mixture of earthly love, the just God has been pleased to punish this love with their 
present grief, that they might not be punished for it hereafter in the flames of hell. And as 
for me, though I have myself been blameless in the world, yet other men having called me 
God, and the son of God ; therefore God, that I might not be mocked by the devils at the 
day of judgment, has been pleased that in this world I should be mocked by men with thg 
death of Judas, making ever>-body believe that I died upon the cross. And hence it is thai 
this mocking is still to continue till the coming of Mohammed, the messenger of God ; who. 
coming into the world, will undeceive every one who shall believe in the law of God from thi.^ 
mistake. 1 

» It is the opinion of a great many Mohammedans that Jesus was taken up into heaven withs 

2 Idem. 3 Vide Ludolfi Lexic. ^thiop. col. 40, et Golii notas ad cap. 61 Korani, p. 205. 

4 See Kor. c. 4. s Vide Marracc. in Ale. p. 113, &c., et inProdr. part iii. p. 63, &c 

5 Irenasns, 1. i, c. 23, &r, Epiphaa. Haeres. 24, num. iii. 7 Photius, Bibl. Cod. 114, col. 291, 
8 Toland's Nararenus, p 17, &c * Prelim. Disc. S;ct IV. 1 See the Menagf'anai 

>om. iv. p. 356, &.V ' ' ' ' . 

CHAP. 111. AL KORAN. 39 

take thee up unto me,' and I will deliver thee from the unbelievers ; 
and I will place those who follow thee above the unbelievers, until the 
day of resurrection :' then unto me shall ye return, and I will judge 
between you of that concerning which ye disagree. Moreover, as for 
the infidels, I will punish them with a grievous punishment in this 
world, and in that which is to come ; and there shall be none to help 
them. But they who believe, and do that which is right, he shall give 
them their reward ; for God loveth not the wicked doers. These signs 
and this prudent admonition do we rehearse unto thee. Verily the 
likeness of Jesus in the sight of God is as the likeness of Adam : he 
created him out of the dust, and then said unto him, Be ; and he was.* 
This is the truth from thy LORD ; be not therefore one of those who 
doubt : and whoever shall dispute with thee concerning him,^ after the 
knowledge which hath been given thee, say unto them, Come, let us 
call together our sons, and your sons, and our wives, and your wives, 
and our selves, and your selves ; then let us make imprecations, and 
lay the curse of God on those who lie.° Verily this is a true history : 
and there is no GOD but GoD ; and GOD is most mighty, and wise. 
If they turn back, GOD well knoweth the evil-doers. Say, O ye who 
have received the scripture, come to a just determination iDetween us 
and you f- that we worship not any except God, and associate no crea- 
ture with him ; and that the one of us take not the other for lords," 
beside God. But if they turn back, say. Bear witness that we are true 

out dying ; which opinion is consonant to whs,t is delivered in the spurious gospel above 
mentioned. Wherefore several of the commentators say that there is a hysteron proteron in 
these words, / ivill cause thee to die, attd I will take thee up utito tne ; and that the copulative 
does not import order, or that he died before his assumption ; the meaning being this, viz., that 
God would first take Jesus up to heaven, and deliver him from the infidels, and afterwards 
cause him to die ; which they suppose is to happen when he shall return into the world again, 
before the last day.2 Some, thinking the order of the words is not to be changed, interpret 
them figuratively, and suppose their signification to be that Jesus was lifted up while he was 
asleep, or that God caused him to die a spiritual death to all worldly desires. But others 
acknowledge that he actually died a natural death, and continued in that state three hours, or, 
according to another tradition, seven hours ; after which he was restored to life, and then taken 
ap to heaven. 3 

7 Some Mohammedans say this was done by the ministry of Gabriel ; but others that a strong 
whirlwind took him up from Mount Olivet. ■* 

* That is, they who believe in Jesus (among whom the Mohammedans reckon themselves) 
.•ihall be for ever superior to the Jews, both in arguments and in arms. And accordingly, says 
a! Beidawi, to this very day the Jews have never prevailed either against the Christians or 
Moslems, nor have they any kingdom or established government of their own. 

» He was like to Adam in respect of his miraculous production by the immediate power of 

*> Namely, Jesus. 

*^ To explain this passage their commentators tell the lollowing story. That some Christians, 
with their bishop named Abu Hareth, coming to Mohammed as ambassadors from the inhabi- 
tants of Najran, and entering into some disputes with him touching religion and the history of 
Jesus Christ, they agreed the next morning to abide the trial here mentioned, as a quick way 
of deciding which of them were in the wrong. Mohammed met them accordingly, accom- 
panied by his daughter Fatema, his son-in-law Ali, and his two grandsons, Hasan and Hosein, 
and desired them to wait till he had said his prayers. But when they saw him kneel down, 
their resolution failed them, and they durst not venture to curse him, but submitted to pay him 
tribute. 2 

^ That is, to such terms of agreement as are indisputably consonant to the doctrine of all thf 
prophets and scriptures, and therefore cannot be reasonably rejected. 3 

* Besides other charges of idolatry on the Jews and Christians, Mohammed accused them of 
paying too implicit an obedience to their priests and monks, who took upon them to pronounce 
what things were lawful, and what unlawful, and to dispense with the laws of God. 4 

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 3 Al Beidawi. * Al Thalabi. Se« 2 Kings Ji i, ii 
» /allalo'ddin, &c ^ Ja'lalo'ddin, sd BeidSwi. 3 Idem. * Idem 

40 AL KORAN. chap. iii. 

believers. O ye to whom the scriptures have been given, why do ye 
dispute concerning Abraham/ since the Law and the Gospel were not 
sent down until after him ? Do ye not therefore understand ? Behold 
ye are they who dispute concerning that which ye have some knowledge 
in ; why therefore do ye dispute concerning that which ye have no 
knowledge of ?8 GOD knoweth, but ye know not. Abraham was neither 
a Jew, nor a Christian ; but he was of the true religion, one resigned 
unto God, and was not of the nwnber of the idolaters. Verily the men 
who are the nearest of km unto Abraham, are they who follow him ; 
and this prophet, and they who believe on him : God is the patron of 
the faithful. Some of those who have received the scriptures desire 
to seduce you ;^ but they seduce themselves only, and they perceive it 
not. O ye who have received the scriptures, why do ye not believe 
in the signs of God, since ye are witnesses of them f O ye who have 
received the scriptures, why do ye clothe truth with vanity, and knowingly 
hide the truth ?* And some of those to whom the scriptures were given, 
say. Believe in that which hath been sent down unto those who believe, 
in the beginning of the day, and deny zV in the end thereof; that they may 
go back from, their faith :^ and believe him only who followeth your 
religion. Say, Verily the true direction is the direction of GOD, that 
there may be given unto some other a revelation like unto what hath 
been given unto you. Will they dispute with you before your Lord ? 
Say, Surely excellence is in the hand of GoD, he giveth it unto whom 
he pleaseth ; GOD is bounteous and wise : he will confer peculiar mercy 
on whom he pleaseth ; for GoD is endued with great beneficence. There 
is of those who have received the scriptures, unto whom if thou trust a 
talent, he will restore it unto thee •} and there is also of them, unto 
whom if thou trust a dinar, he will not restore it unto thee, unless thou 
stand over him continually with great urgency.'"^ This they do because 

' viz., By pretending him to have been of your religion. 

6 i.e., Ye perversely dispute even concerning those things which ye find in the law and the 
gospel, whereby it appears they were both sent down long after Abraham's time ; why then 
will ye offer to dispute concerning such points of Abraham's religion, of which your scriptures 
say nothing, and of which ye consequently can have no knowledge ?5 

•» This passage was revealed when the Jews endeavoured to pervert Hodheifa, Ammar, and 
Moadh to their religion.l 

i The Jews and Christians are again accused of corrupting the scriptures and stifling the 
prophecies concerning Mohammed. 

^ The commentators, to explain this passage, say that Caab Ebn al Ashraf and Malec Eba 
^ Seif (two Jews of Medina) advised their companions, when the Keblah was changed, 2 to 
make as if they believed it was done by the divine direction, and to pray towards the Caaba 
in the morning, but that in the evening they should pray, as formerly, towards the temple of 
Jerusalem ; that Mohammed's followers, imagining the Jews were better judges of this matter 
than themselves, might imitate their example. But others say these were certain Jewish priests 
of Khaibar, who directed some of their people to pretend in the morning that they had embraced 
Mohammedism, but in the close of the day to say that they had looked into their books of 
scripture, and consulted their Rabbins, and could not find that Mohammed was the person 
described and intended in the law, by which trick they hoped to raise doubts in the minds of 
the Mohammedans. 3 

1 As an instance of this, the commentators bring Abd'allah Ebn Salam, a Jew, very intimate 
with Mohammed,'* to whom one of the Koreish lent 1,200 ounces of gold, which he very punc- 
tually repaid at the time appointed. ^ 

"* Al Beidawi produces an example of such a piece of injustice in one Phineas Ebn Azura, a 
Jew, who borrowed a din&r, which is a gold coin worth about ten shillings, of a Koreishite, 
and afterwards had the conscience to deny it. _ 

"^ut the person more directly struck ai in this passage vas the above-mentioned Caab Ebn al 

Al Beidawi. 1 Iderr;. "ee before, c. 2, p. 16. 3 Al Beidawi * Sec Prideaiuj' 

».ife of MaVioin. p. 3J. ^ *I tieidawi, Jallalo'ddir,. 


they say, We are not obliged to observe justice with the heathen : but 
they utter a he against GoD, knowingly. Yea ; whoso keepeth his 
covenant, and feareth God, GOD surely loveth those who fear him. 
But they who make merchandise of God's covenant, and of their oaths, 
for a small price, shall have no portion in the next life, neither shall 
God speak to them or regard them on the day of resurrection, nor shall 
he cleanse them ; but they shall suffer a grievous punishment. And 
there are certainly some of them, who read the scriptures perversely, 
that ye may think w/^cz/ they 7-ead to be really in the scriptures, yet it is 
not in the scripture ; and they say, This is from GOD ; but it is not 
from God : and they speak that which is false concerning God, against 
their own knowledge. It is not fit for a man, that GOD should give 
him a book of revelations, and wisdom, and prophecy ; and then he 
should say unto men, Be ye worshippers of me, besides God ; but he 
ought to say, Be ye perfect in knowledge an^ in works, since ye know 
the scriptures, and exercise yourselves therei^^ God hath not com- 
manded j<?« to take the angels and the prophets ior yotir Lords : Will 
he command you to become infidels, after ye have been true believers? 
And remeinber when GOD accepted the covenant of the prophets," say- 
ing, This verily is the scripture and the wisdom which I have given 
you : hereafter shall an apostle come unto you, confirming the truth of 
that scripture which is with y; ju ; ye shall surely believe on him, and ye 
shall assist him. God said. Are ye firmly resolved, and do ye accept my 
covenant on this condition f They answered, W> are firmly resolved : 
God said. Be ye therefore witnesses ; and I also bear witness with you ; 
and whosoever turneth back after this, they are surely the transgressors. 
Do they therefore seek any other religion but God's ? since to him is 
resigned whosoever is in heaven or on earth, voluntarily, or of force : and 
to him shall they return. Say, We believe in GOD, and that which hath 
been sent down unto us, and that which was sent down unto Abraham, 

Ashraf, a most inveterate enemy of Mohammed and his religion, of whom Jallalo'ddin relates 
the same story as al Beidawi does of Phineas. This Caab, after the battle of Bedr, went to 
Mecca, and there, to excite the Koreish to revenge themselves, made_ and recited verses 
lamenting the death of those who were slain in that battle, and reflecting very severely or 
Mohammed ; and he afterwards returned to Medina, and had the boldness to repeat their 
publicly there also, at which Mohammed was so exceedingly provoked that he proscribed him, 
and sent a party of men to kill him, and he was circumvented and slain by Mohammed Ebn 
Moslema, in the third year of the Hejra.l Dr. Prideaux^ has confounded the Caab we are 
now speaking of with another very different person of the same name, and a famous poet, but 
who was the son of Zohair, and no Jew, as a learned gentleman has already observed.3 In con- 
sequence of which mistake, the doctor attributes what the Arabian historians write of the 
latter to the former, and wronglj' affirms that he was not put to death by Mohammed. 

Some of the commentators, however, suppose that in the former part of this passage the 
Christians are intended, who, they say, are generally people of some honour and justice ; and 
in the latter part the Jews, who, they think, are more given to cheating and dishonesty.4 

" This passage was revealed, say the commentators, in answer to the Christians, who insisted 
that Jesus had commanded them to worship him as God. Al Beidawi adds that two Christians, 
named Abu Rafe al Koradhi and al Sejad al Najrani, offered to acknowledge Mohammed foi 
their Lord, and to worship him ; to which he answered, God forbid that we shoidd worshif 
any besides God. 

Some commentators interpret this of the children of Israel themselves, of whose race the 
prophets were. But others say the souls of all the prophets, even of those who were not ther 
bom, were present on Mount Sinai when God gave the law to Moses, and that they entered 
into the covenant here mentioned with him. A story borrowed by Mohammed from the 
Talmudists, and therefore most probably his true meaning in this place. 

1 Al Jannabi, Elraacin. 2 Life of Mahom. p. 78, &c 8 Vide Gagaier, in DOt. ad 
Abulfed. VU. Moh. p. 64 and 12? * Al Beid^wL 


and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was 
dehvered to Moses, and Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord ; we 
make no distinction between any of them ; and to him are we resigned. 
Whoever folio weth any other religion than Islam, it shall not be 
accepted of him : and in the next life he shall be of those who perish.^ 
How shall God direct men who have become infidels after they had 
believed, and borne witness that the apostle was true, and manifest 
declarations of the divine will had come unto them? for God directeth 
not the ungodly people. Their reward shall be, that on them shall fall 
the curse of God, and of angels, and of all mankind : they shall remain 
under the same for ever ; their torment shall not be mitigated, neither 
shall they be regarded ; except those who repent after this, and amend ; 
for God is gracious and merciful. Moreover they who become infidels 
after they have believed, and yet increase in infidelity, their repentance 
shall in no wise be accepted, and they are those who go astray. Verily 
they who believe not, and die in their unbelief, the world full of gold 
shall in no wise be accepted from any of them, even though he should 
give it for his ransom; they shall suffer a grievous punishment, and 
they shall have none to help them. (IV.) Ye will never attain unto 
righteouness, until ye give in alms of that which ye love : and whatever 
ye give, God knoweth it. All food was permitted unto the children of 
Israel, except what Israel forbade unto himself** before the Pentateuch 
was sent down.' Say unto the Jews^ Bring hither the Pentateuch and 
read it, if ye speak truth. Whoever therefore contriveth a lie against 
God after this, they will be evil-doers. Say, God is true : follow ye 
therefore the religion of Abraham the orthodox ; for he was no idolater. 
Verily the first house appointed unto men to worship in was that which 
is in Becca ;^ blessed, and a direction to all creatures.* Therein are 
manifest signs :" the place where Abraham stood ; and whoever enter- 
eth therein, shall be safe. And it is a duty towards GOD, incumbejii 

P See before, chapter 2, p. 8, note T. 

q This passage was revealed on the Jews reproaching Mohammed and his followers with 
their eating of the flesh and milk of camels,! which they said was forbidden Abraham, whose 
religion Mohammed pretended to follow. In answer to which he tells them that God ordained 
no distinction of meats before he gave the law to Moses, though Jacob voluntarily abstained 
from the flesh and milk of camels ; which some commentators say was the consequence of a 
vow made by that patriarch, when afflicted with the sciatica, that if he were cured he would eat 
no more of that meat which he liked best ; and that was camel's flesh : but others suppose he 
abstained from it by the advice of physicians only.2 

This exposition seems to be taken from the children of Israel's not eating of the sinew on the 
hollow of the thigh, because the angel, with whom Jacob wrestled at Peniel, touched the 
fwllow of his thigh in tJte sinew that shrank."^ 

*' Wherein the Israelites, because of their wickedness and perverseness, were forbidden to 
eat certain animals which had been allowed their predecessors.^ 

^ Mohammed received this passage when the Jews said that their Keblah, or the temple of 
Jerusalem, was more ancient than that of the Mohammedans, or the Caaba. ^ Becca is another 
name of Mecca.8 Al Beidawi observes that the Arabs used the " M " and " B " promiscuously 
ill several words. 

' i.e.. The Keblah, towards which they are to turn their faces in prayer. 

" Such is the stone wherein they show the print of Abraham's feet, and the inviolable security 
of the place immediately mentioned ; that the birds light not on the roof of the Caaba, and 
wild beasts put off their fierceness there ; that none who came against it in a hostile manner 
ever prospered,! as appeared particularly in the unfortunate expedition of Abraha al Ashram ;2 
and other fables of the same stamp which the Mohammedans are taught to believe. 

1 See Levit. xi. 4 ; Deut. xiv. 7. 2 Al Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin. ' Gen. xxxii. 32, 

* Kor. c. 4. See the notes there. * Al Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin. • See the Prelim. Disc 

Sect. I. p. 3. ! JallaloV.din, al BeidawL ' See Kor. c. 105. 

CHAP. Ill, AL KORAN, 43 

on those who are able to go thither,' to visit this house ; but whosoevei 
disbelieveth, verily God needeth not the service of z-ny creature. Say, 
O ye who have received the scriptures, why do ye not believe in the signs 
of God ? Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, why do ye keep 
back from the way of GOD him who believeth? Ye seek to make it 
crooked, and yet are witnesses that it is the right: but GOD will not 
be unmindful of what ye do. O true believers, if ye obey some of 
those who have received the scripture, they will render you infidels, 
after ye have believed '? and how can ye be infidels, when the signs 
of God are read unto you, and his apostle is among you ? But he 
who cleaveth firmly unto God, is already directed into the right 
way. O believers, fear God with his true fear ; and die not unless ye 
also be true believers. And cleave all of you unto the covenant* of 
God, and depart not from it^ and remember the favour of GOD towards 
you : since ye were enemies, and he reconciled your hearts, and ye 
became companions and brethren by his favour : and ye were on the 
brink of a pit of fire, and he delivered you thence. Thus God 
declareth unto you his signs, that ye may be directed. Let there be 
people among you, who invite to the best religion; and command that 
which is just, and forbid that which is evil ; and they shall be happy. 
And be not as they who are divided, and disagree in matters of 
religion^ after manifest proofs have been brought unto them : they 
shall suffer a great torment. On the day of resicrrection some faces 
shall become white, and other faces shall become black.^ And unto 
them whose faces shall become black, God will say, Have ye returned 
unto y^?/r unbelief, after ye had believed? therefore taste the punishment, 
for that ye have been unbehevers : but they whose faces shall become 
white shall be in the mercy of God, therein shall they remain for ever. 

« According to an exposition of this passage attributed to Mohammed, he is supposed to be 
able to perform the pilgrimage, who can supply hi<nself with provisions for the journey, and a 
beast to ride upon. Al Shafei has decided that those who have money enough, if they cannot 
go themselves, must hire some other to go in their room. Malec Ebn Ans thinks he is to be 
reckoned able who is strong and healthy, and can bear the fatigue of the journey on foot, if 
he has no beast to ride, and can also earn his living by the way. But Abu Hanifa is of opinion 
that both money sufficient and health of body are requisite to make the pilgrimage a duty.3 

y This passage was revealed on occasion of a quarrel excited between the tribes of al Aws 
and alKhazraj, byone Shas Ebn Kais, a Jew ; who, passing by some of both tribes as they 
were sitting and discoursing familiarly together, and being inwardly vexed at the friendship 
and harmony which reigned among them on their embracing Mohammedism, whereas they 
had been, for 120 years before, most inveterate and mortal enemies, though descendants of two 
brothers ; in order to set them at variance, sent a young man to sit down by them, directing 
him to relate the story of the battle of Boath (a place near Medina), wherein, after a bloody 
fight, al Aws had the better of al Khazraj, and to repeat some verses on that subject. The 
young man executed his orders ; whereupon those of each tribe began to magnify themselves, 
and to reflect on and irritate the other, till at length they called to arms, and great numbers 
getting together on each side, a dangerous battle had ensued, if Mohammed had not stepped in 
and reconciled them ; by representing to them how much they would be to blame if they re- 
turned to paganism, and revived those animosities which Islam had composed ; and telling 
them that what had happened was a trick of the devil to disturb their present tranquillity. 4 

«_ Literally, Hold fast^ by the card of God. That is. Secure yourselves by ad/tering to Islam, 
which is here metaphorically expressed by a cord, because it is as sure a means of saving those 
who profess it from perishing hereafter, as holding by a rope is to prevent one's falling into a 
well, or other like place. It is said that Mohammed used for the same reason to call th« 
Koran, Habl Allah al matin, i.e., the sure cord 0/ Oor>.^ 

» i.e.. As the Jews and Christians, who dispute concerning the unity of Goo, the future 
state, &C.1 

^ See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV. 

S Al BeidSwL < Idem. * Idem. i Idem 

♦4 AL KORAN. chap, hl 

These are the signs of God : we recite them unto thee with truth. 
God will not deal unjustly with his creatures. And to GOD belongeth 
whatever is in heaven and on earth ; and to GOD shall all things return. 
Ye are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind : ye 
command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye 
believe in God. And if they who have received the scriptures had 
believed, it had surely been the better for them : there are believers 
among them,*' but the greater part of them are transgressors. They 
shall not hurt you, unless with a slight hurt ; and if they fight against 
you, they shall turn their backs to you, and they shall not be 
helped.^ They are smitten with vileness wheresoever they are found ; 
unless they obtain security by entering into a treaty with GOD, and a 
treaty with men :* and they draw on themselves indignation from GoD, 
and they are afflicted with poverty. This they suffer., because they 
disbelieved the signs of GOD, and slew the prophets unjustly; this, 
because they were rebellious, and transgressed. Yet they are not all 
alike : there are of those who have received the scriptures, upright 
people ;^ they meditate on the signs of Gods in the night season, and 
worship ; they believe in GOD and the last day ; and command that 
which is just, and forbid that which is unjust, and zealously strive to 
excel in good works : these are of the righteous. And ye shall not be 
denied the reward of the good which ye do ;^ for GOD knoweth the 
pious. As for the unbelievers, their wealth shall not profit them 
at all, neither their children, against GoD : they shall be the com- 
panions of hell fire ; they shall continue therein for ever. The likeness 
of that which they lay out in this present life, is as a wind wherein 
there is a scorching cold : it falleth on the standing corn of those men 
who have injured their own souls, and destroyeth it. And GOD dealeth 
not unjustly with them; but they injure their own souls. O true 
believers, contract not an intimate friendship with any besides your- 
selves '} they will not fail to corrupt you. They wish for that which 
may cause you to perish : their hatred hath already appeared from out 
of their mouths ; but what their breasts conceal is yet more inveterate. 
We have already shov/n you signs of their ill will towards you, if ye 
understand. Behold, ye love them, and they do not love you : ye believe 
in all the scriptures, and when they meet you, they say, We believe ; but 
when they assemble privately together, they bite their fingers' ends out 
of wrath against you. Say unto them, Die in your wrath : verily GOD 
knoweth the innermost part of your breasts. If good happen unto you, 
it grieveth them ; and if evil befall you, they rejoice at it. But if ye be 
patient, and fear God, their subtlety shall not hurt you at all ; for Gof 
comprehendeth whatever they do. Call to mind when thou wentest 

^ As Abd'allah Ebn Salam and his companions,2 and those of the tribes of al Aws and a] 
Khazraj who had embraced Mohammedism. 

<* This verse, al Beidawi says, is one of those whose meaning is mysterious, and relates to 
Bomething future : intimating the low condition to which the Jewish tribes of Koreidha, Nadir, 
Banu Kainoka, and those who dwelt at Khaibar, were afterwards reduced by Mohammed. 

* i.e., Unless they either profess the Mohammedan religion, or submit to pay tribute. 

f Those namely who have embraced Islam. 

S That is, the Koran. 

"» Some copies have a different reading in this passage, which they express in the third person 
T/iey shall not be denied, &c. 

i i,4, , Of a different religion. 

2 Al Beidawi 

CHAP. 111. AL KORAN, 45 

forth early from thy family, that thou mightest prep2i«« the faithtul a 
camp for war -^ and GOD heard and knew it; when two companies 
of you were anxiously thoughtful, so that ye became faint-hearted;' 
but God was the supporter of them both ; and in GoD let the faithful 
trust. And GoD had already given you the victory at Bedr,°^ when ye 
were inferior in number; therefore fear GOD, that ye may be thankful. 
WTien thou saidst unto the faithful, Is it not enough for you, that your 
Lord should assist you with three thousand angels, sent down from 
heaven f Verily if ye persevere, and fear God^ and your enemies come 
upon you suddenly, your LORD will assist you with five thousand angels, 
distinguished by their horses and attire.^ And this God designed only 
as good tidings for you" that your hearts might rest secure : for victory 
is from God alone, the mighty, the wise. That he should cut off the 
uttermost part of the unbelievers, or cast them down, or that they 
should be overthrown and unsuccessful, is nothing to thee. It is no 
business of thine ; whether God be turned unto them, or v/hether he 
punish them ; they are surely unjust doers.''' To GOD belongeth 
whatsoever is in heaven and on earth : he spareth whom he pleaseth, 
and he punisheth whom he pleaseth ; for God is merciful. O true be- 
lievers, devour not usury, doubling it twofold ; but fear GOD, that ye 
may prosper : and fear the fire which is prepared for the unbelievers ; 
and obey GoD, and his apostle, that ye may obtain mercy. And run 
with emulation to obtain remission from your Lord, and paradise, 
whose breath equalleth the heavens and the earth, which is prepared 
for the godly ; who give alms in prosperity and adversity ; who bridle 

^ This was at the battle of Ohod, a mountain about four miles to the north of Medina. The 
Koreish, to revenge their loss at Bedr,l the next year being the third of the Hejra, got together 
an army of 3,000 men, among whom there were 200 horse, and 700 armed with coats of mail. 
These forces marched under the conduct of Abu Sofian and sat down at Dhu'lholeifa, a village 
about six miles from Medina. Mohammed, being much inferior to his enemies in numbers, at 
first determined to keep himself within the town, and receive them there ; but afterwards, the 
advice of some of his companions prevailing, he marched out against them at the head of 1,000 
men (some say he had 1,050 men, others but 900), of whom 100 were armed with coats of mail, 
but he had no more than one horse, besides his own, in his whole army. With these forces he 
formed a camp in a village near Ohod, which mountain he contrived to have on his back ; and 
the better to secure his men from being surrounded, he placed fifty archers in the rear, with 
strict orders not to quit their post. When they came to engage, Mohammed had the better at 
first, but afterwards by the fault of his archers, who left their ranks for the sake of the plunder, 
and suffered the enemies' horse to encompass the Mohammedans and attack them in the rear, 
he lost the day, and was very near losing his life, being struck down by a shower of stones, and 
wounded in the face with two arrows, on pulling out of which his two foreteeth dropped out. 
Of the Moslems seventy men were slain, and among them Hamza the uncle of Mohammed, 
and of the infidels twenty-two.2 To excuse the ill success of this battle, and to raise the droop- 
ing courage of his followers, is Mohammed's drift in the remaining part of this chapter. 

1 These were some of the families of Banu Salma of the tribe of al Khazraj, .-uid Banu'l 
Hareth of the tribe of al Aws, who composed the two wings of Mohammed's army. Some ill 
impression had been made on them by Abda'llah Ebn Obba Solul, then an infidel, who having 
drawn off 300 men, told them that they were going to certain death, ajid advised them to return 
back with him ; but he could prevail on but a few, the others being kept firm by the divine in- 
fluence, as the following words intimate. 3 

™ See before, p. 32. 

° The angels who assisted the Mohammedans at Bedr, rode, say the commentators, on black 
and white horses, and had on their heads white and yellow sashes, the ends of which hung down 
between their shoulders. 

o i.e.. As an earnest of future success. 

P This passage was revealed when Mohammed received the wounds above mentioned at the 
battle of Ohod, and cried out, Haw shall that people prosper -who have stained tfieir propKefi 

- See before, p. 32. 2 Abulfeda, in Vita Moham, p. 64, &c. Elnuicin. L t. Prrdeaax'if 

Life ol Mahomet, p. 80. ^ aJ Beidawi, 

46 ^L KORAN. CHAP. i?J. 

then aiiger and forgive men: for God loveth the beneficent* And 
who, after they have committed a crime, or dealt unjustly with their 
own souls, remember God, and ask pardon for their sins (for who for- 
giveth sins except God ?) and persevere not in what they have done 
knowingly : their reward shall be pardon from their Lord, and gar- 
dens wherein rivers flow, they shall remain therein for ever : and how 
excellent is the reward of those who labour ! There have already been 
before you examples of punishment of infidels^ therefore go through the 
earth, and behold what hath been the end of those who accuse God^$ 
apostles of imposture. This book is a declaration unto men, and a 
direction, and an admonition to the pious. And be not dismayed, 
neither be ye grieved ; for ye shall be superior to the unbelievers if ye 
believe. If a wound hath happened unto you in war^ a like wound 
hath already happened unto the unbelieving people :' and we cause 
these days of different success interchangeably to succeed each other 
among men ; that GOD may know those who believe, and may have 
martyrs from among you (GOD loveth not the workers of iniquity) ; 
and that GoD might prove those who believe, and destroy the infidels. 
Did ye imagine that ye should enter paradise, when as yet God knew 
not those among you who fought strenuously in his cause j nor knew 
those who persevered with patience ? Moreover ye did sometime wish 
for death before that ye met it ;* but ye have now seen it, and ye looked 
on, but retreated from it. Mohammed is no more than an apostle; the 
other apostles have already deceased before him : if he die therefore, 
or be slain, will ye turn back on your heels ?" but he who turneth back 
on his heels, will not hurt GOD at all ; and GOD will surely reward the 
thankful. No soul can die unless by the permission of God, accord- 
ing to what is written in the book containing the determinations ol 
things.* And whoso chooseth the reward of this world, we will give 

face with blood, ivhile he called them to thtir Lord ? The person who wounded him was Otha 
tie son of Abu Wakkas.4 _ j- ■. ,• i. -i- 

q It is related of Hasan the son of Ali, that a slave having once thrown a dish on him boihng 
hot, as he sat at table, and fearing his master's resentment, fell immediately on his knees, and 
repeated these words. Paradise is for those who bridle their anger: Hasan answered, I am 
not angry. The slave proceeded, and for those who forgive men. I forgive you, said Hasan. 
The slave, however, finished the verse, adding,/^r God loveth the beneficent. Since it is so 
replied Yi2sz.\\, I give you your liberty, and four hundred pieces of silver.'^ A noble instance 
of moderation and generosity. 

^ That is, by your being worsted at Ohod. 

' When they were defeated at Bedr. It is observable that the number of Mohammedans slaia 
at Ohod, was equal to that of the idolaters slain «t Bedr ; which was so ordered by God for » 
reason to be given elsewhere.! 

* Several of Mohammed's followers who were not present at Bedr, wished for an opportunity 
of obtaining, in another action, the like honour as those had gained who fell martyrs intha* 
battle ; yet were discouraged on seeing the superior numbers of the idolaters in the expedition 
of Ohod. On which occasion this passage was rsvealed.2 

u These words were revealed when it was reported in the battle of Ohod that Mohammed 
was slain ; whereupon the idolaters cried out to his followers. Since your prophet is slain, return 
to your ancient religioft, and to yo7ir friends; if Mohammed had been a prophet he had not 
been slain. It is related that a Moslem named Ans Ebn al Nadar, uncle to Malec Ebn Ans, 
hearing these words, said aloud to his companion5-. My friends, though Mohammed be slain, 
certainly Mohamtned's Lord liveth and dieth not ; tlierefore value not your lives since tJu 
propJiet is dead, hit fight for the cause for which ht fought: then he cried out, O God, I am 
txcused before thee, anJ ^:guittedin thy sight of what tftey say; and drawing his sword, fought 
valiantly till he was killed.3 . . , . 

I Mohammed, the more eflfectually to still the murmurs of his party on theu- defeat, representt 

< Idem. Abulfeda, uhi supra. 8 Vide D'Herbe'.ot Bibl Orient. Art. HassaJi. » Is 

not ad cap 8. " .41 Beid.awi ' Idem. 


him thereof : but whoso chooseth the reward of the world to come, we 
will give him thereof; and we will surely reward the thankful. How 
many prophets have encountered those who had many n.yriads of troops: 
and yet they desponded not ir their mind for what had befallen them 
in fighting for the religion of God, and were not weakened, neither be- 
haved themselves in an abject manner? God loveth those who persevere 
patiently. And their speech was no other than that they said, Our Lord 
forgive us our offences, and our transgressions in our business ; and 
confirm our feet, and help us against the unbelieving people. And God 
gave them the reward of this world, and a glorious reward in the hfe to 
come ; for God loveth the well-doers. O ye who believe, if ye obey 
the infidels, they will cause you to turn back on your heels, and ye will 
be turned back and perish -J but GOD is your LORD ; and he is the best 
helper. We will surely cast a dread into the hearts of the unbeliev^ers,* 
because they have associated with GOD that concerning which he sent 
them down no power : their dwelling shall be the fire of hell ; and the 
receptacle of the wicked shall be miserable. GoD had already made 
good unto you his promise, when ye destroyed them by his permission,^ 
until ye became faint-hearted, and disputed concerning the command 
of the apostle., and were rebellious ;b after God had shown you what ye 
desired. Some of you chose this present world, and others of you chose 
the world to come.° Then he turned you to flight from before them, 
that he might make trial of you (but he hath now pardoned you ; for 
God is endued with beneficence toward the faithful) ; when ye went up 
as ye fled ^ and looked not back on any; while the apostle called you, 
in the uttermost part of you.*^ Therefore God rewarded you with afflic- 
tion on affliction, that ye be not grieved hereafter for the spoils which 
ye fail of, nor for that which befalleth you f for God is well acquainted 

to them that the time of every man's death is decreed and predetermined by God, and thai 
those who fell in the battle could not have avoided their fate had they stayed at home ; whereas 
they had now obtained the glorious advantage of dying martyrs for the faith. Of the Moham- 
medan doctrine of absolute predestination I have spoken in another place. 4 , , ^ , 

7 This passage was also occasioned by the endeavours of the Koreish to seduce the Moham- 
medans to their old idolatry, as they fled in the battle of Ohod. 

» To this Mohammed attributed the sudden retreat of Abu Sofian and his troops, without 
m-'king any farther advantage of their success; only giving Mohammed a challenge to meet 
them next year at Bedr, which he accepted. Others say that as they were on their march home, 
they repented they had not utterly extirpated the Mohammedans, and began to think of going 
back to Medina for that purpose, but were prevcnatad by a sudden consternation or panic feai, 
which fell on them from God. 5 , ,, , , j i. j .»• »i, 

a i.e., In the beginning of the battle, when the Moslems had the advantage, putting the 
idolaters to flight, and killing several of them. , , . , ,. . . - j j 

b That is till the bowmen, who were placed behind to prevent their being surrounded, see- 
ing the enemy fly, quitted their post, contrary to Mohammed's express orders, and dispersed 
themselves to sei^e the plunder ; whereupon Khaled Ebn al Walid perceiving their disorder, 
fell on their rear with the horse which he commanded, and turned the fortune of the day. It 
is related that though Abda'llah Ebn Johair, their captain, did all he could to make them 
keep their ranks, he had not ten that stayed with him out of the whole fifty.6 

" The former were they who, tempted by the spoil, quitted theu- post ; and tlie latte; they 
who stood firm by their leader. . .,7 ^ #- z. / 

d Cryinc' aloud, Conte hither to me, O servants of God ! I am the apostle oj God he -who 
retur7iethback shall enter paradise. But notwithstanding all hia endeavours to rally his men, 
he could not get above ny of them about him. . , ^ . ^ , , 

* ie God punished your avarice and disobedience by suffering you to be beaten by your 
enemies and to be discouraged by the report of your prophet's death ; that ye might be inured 
JO patience under adverse fortune, and not repine at any loss or d;sappomtment for the future 

* Prelim. Disc. Sect IV » Al P^^\wi « Idem Vid«' ribiiTedp /it. Moh. p. 65 «. 

jaid note. ib'd. 


ft'ith whatever y^ qq. Then he sent down upon you after affliction 
security ; soft sleep which fell on some part of you ; but other parx 
y/ere troubled by their own souls ;' falsely thinking of GoD a foolish 
ima.gination, saying, Will anything of the matter happen unto us?« 
Sav, Verily the matter belongeth wholly unto God. They concealed in 
'.heir minds what they declared not unto thee ; saying,^ If anything of 
the matter iiad happened unto us,* we had not been slain here. Answer, 
If ye had .been in vour houses, verily they would have gone forth to 
f/ght, whose slaughter was decreed, to the places where they died, and 
Ihis came to pass that GOD might try what was in your breasts, and 
miight discern what was in your hearts ; for GOD knoweth the inner- 
most parts ot the breasts of men. Verily they among you who turned 
their backs on the day whereon the two armies met each other at Ohod^ 
Satan caused them to slip, for some ^rzw^ which they had committed:'' 
but now hath GuD forgiven them ; for GoD is gracious and merciful. 
O true believers, be not as they v/ho believe not, and said of their 
brethren, when they had journeyed in the land or had been at war, If 
they had been with us, those had not died, nor had these been slain : 
ivhereas what be/ell them was so ordai?ted that GOD might make it m,atte? 
of sighing in their hearts. GoD giveth life, and causeth to die : and 
God seeth that which ye do. Moreover if ye be slain, or die in defence 
of the religion of GOD ; verily pardon from GOD, and mercy, is better 
than what they heap together of worldly riches. And if ye die, or be 
slain, verily unto GoD shall ye be gathered. And as to the mercy 
granted unto the disobedient from GoD, thou, O Mohammed^ hast been 
mild towards them ; biit if thou hadst been severe and hard-hearted, 
they had surely separated themselves from about thee. Therefore for- 
give them, and ask pardon for them : and consult them in the affair 
of war J and after thou hast deliberated, trust in GOD ; for GODloveth 
those who trust in him. If GOD help you, none shall conquer you ; 
but if he desert you, who is it that will help you after him? Therefore 
in God let the faithful taist. It is not the part of a prophet to de- 
fraud,^ for he who defraudeth, shall bring with him what he hath de- 
frauded any one of on the day of the resurrection.™ Then shall every 

f Afte> the action, those v/ho had stood firm in the battle were refreshed as they lay in the 
5eld by falling into an iit;ieea!jle sleep, so that the swords fell out of their hands ; but those 
who had behaved themselves ill were troubled in their minds, imagining they were now given 
over to destruction. 1 

6 That is, is there any appearance of success, or of the divine favour and assistance which we 
have bf ji promised ?^ 

^ i.e To themselves, or to one another in private. 

i If >OD had assisted us according to his promise ; or, as others interpret the words, if we 
had taken the advice of Abda'llah Ebn Obba Solul, and had kept within the town of Medina, our 
companions had not lost their lives. 3 

'*■ viz.. For their covetousness in quitting their post to seize the plunder. 

1 This passage was revealed^ as some say, on the division of the spoil at bedt ; when some 
of the soldiers suspected Mohammed of having privately taken a scarlet carpet made all of silk 
and very rich, which was missing.4 Others suppose the archers, who occasioned the loss of 
thebattle of Ohod, left their station because they imagined Mohammed would not give them 
their share of the plunder ; because, as it is related, he once sent out a party as an advanced 
guard, ana in the meantime attacking the enemy, took some spoils which he divided among 
those who were with him in the action, and gave nothing to the party that was absent on duty.^ 

*" According to a tradition of Mohammed, whoever ciieateth another will on the day erf 
indgment carry his fraudulent purchase publicly on his neck. 

' A! Bd.da^vi. Jallalo'ddia. ' lAz----.. ^ idem. « Al 3eidav.i. JsJlaioddin. ^ Al 



soul be paid what he hath gained ; and they shall not be treated un- 
justly. Shall he therefore who followeth that which is well pleasing 
unto God, be as he who bringeth on himself wrath from GOD, and 
whose receptacle is hell? an evil journey shall it be thither. There 
shall be degrees of rewards and punishments with GOD, for GOD seeth 
what they do. Now hath GOD been gracious unto the believers when 
he raised up among them an apostle of iheir own nation," who should 
recite his signs unto them, and purify them, a.nd teach them the book 
of the Koran and wisdom \ whereas they were before in manifest 
error. After a misfortune hath befallen you at Ohod (ye had already 
obtained two equal advantages),''' do ye say, Whence cofneth this ? 
Answer, This is from yourselves :* for GOD is almighty. And what 
happened unto you, on the day whereon the two armies met, was 
certainly by the permission of GOD ; and that he might know the faith- 
ful, and that he might know the ungodly. It was said unto themj 
Come, fight for the religion of GOD, or drive back the enemy : they 
Aswered, If we had known ye went out to fight, we had certainly fol- 
lowed you.'' They were on that day nearer unto unbelief than they 
were to faith ; they spake with their mouths what was not in their 
hearts : but GOD perfectly knew what they concealed ; who said of 
their brethren, while themselves stayed at home, if they had obeyed us, 
they had not been slain. Say, Then keep back death from yourselves, 
if ye say truth. Thou shalt in no wise reckon those who have been 
slain at Ohod in the cause of God, dead ; nay, they are sustained alive 
with their LORD,® rejoicing for what GOD of his favour hath granted 
them ; and being glad for those who, coming after them, have not as 
yet overtaken them ;* because there shall no fear come on them, 
neither shall they be grieved. They are filled with joy for the favour 
which they have received iroTO. GOD, and his bounty ; and for that GOD 
suffereth not the reward of the faithful to perish. They who hearkened 
unto God and his apostle, after a wound had befallen them at Ohod^ 

" Some copies, instead of ntin anfosihini, i.e., of themselves, read tnin anfasihiin, i.e., oj 
*he noblest among ther,i ; for such was the tribe of Koreish, of which Mohammed was 

o i.e.. The Sonna.2 

P viz., In the battle of Bedr, where ye slew seventy of the enemy, equalling the number of 
those who lost their lives at Ohod, and also took as many prisoners. 3 

q It was the consequence of your disobeying the orders of the prophet, and abandoaii^ yoiu 
post for the sake of plunder. 

'' That is, if we had conceived the least hope of success when ye marched out of Medina to 
encounter the infidels, and had not known that ye went rather to certain destruction than to 
battle, we had gone with you. But this Mohammed here tells them was only a feigned excuse ; 
the true reason of their staying behind being their want of faith and iirnmess in their religion.4 

' See before, p. 17, 

' i.e.. Rejoicing also for their sakes, who are destined to suffer martyrdom, but have not as 
yet attained it.^ 

" The commentators differ a little as to the occassion of this passage. When news was 
brought to Mohammed, after the battle of Ohod, that the enemy, repenting of their retreat, 
were returning towards Medina, he called about him those who had stood by him in the battle, 
and marched out to meet the enemy as far as Homara al Asad, about eight miles from that 
town, notwithstanding several if his men were so ill of their wounds that they were forced to 
be carried ; but a panic fear having seized the army of the Koreish, they changed their resolu- 
tion and continued their march home ; of which Mohammed having received intelligence, he 
also went back to Medina : and, according to some commentators, the Koran here approve.-. 
ilie faith and courage of those who attended the prophet on this occasion. Others say the 
ptrsons intended in this passage were those who went with Mohammed the next year, to metf 

' ideui. '^ idem ^ See before. »». ^v * A! Beidawi. • Vide Kct. vi. i». 

5° . AL KORAN. 


such of them as do good works, and fear GOD, shall have a great re- 
ward ; unto whom certain men said, Verily the men of Mecca have 
already gathered forces against you, be ye therefore afraid of them '} 
but this increaseth their faith, and they said, GOD is our support, and 
the most excellent patron. Wherefore they returned with favour from 
God, and advantage -^ no evil befell them : and they followed what was 
well pleasing unto GOD ; for GOD is endowed with great liberality. 
Verily that devil* would cause you to fear his friends : but be ye not 
afraid of them ; but fear me, if ye be true believers. They shall not 
grieve thee, who emulously hasten unto infidelity ; for they shall never 
hurt God at all. God will not give them a part in the next life, and 
they shall suffer a great punishment. Surely those who purchase in- 
fidelity with faith, shall by no means hurt GOD at all, but they shah 
suffer a grievous punishment. And let not the unbelievers think, be- 
cause we grant them lives long and prosperous, that it is better for their 
souls : we grant them long and prosperous lives only that their iniquity 
may be increased; and they shall suffer an ignominious punishment. 
God is not disposedto leave the faithful in the condition which ye are now 
in,* until he sever the wicked from the good ; nor is GoD disposed io make 
you acquainted with what is a hidden secret, but GOD chooseth such of 
his apostles as he pleaseth, to reveal his 7ni7id unto .-b believe therefore 
in God, and his apostles ; and if ye believe, and fear God^ ye shall 
receive a great reward. And let not those who are covetous of what 
God of his bounty hath granted them, imagine that their avarice is 
better for them : nay, rather it is worse for them. That which they 
have covetously reserved shall be bound as a collar about their neck," 
on the day of the resurrection : unto GOD belongeth the inheritance 
of heaven and earth ; and GOD is well acquainted with what ye do. 
God hath already heard the saying of those who said, Verily GoD is 

Abu Sofian and the Koreish, according to their challenge, at Bedr,l where they waited some 
time for the enemy, and then returned home ; for the Koreish, though they set out from Mecca, 
yet never came so far as the place of appointment, their hearts failing them on their march ; 
which Mohammed attributed to their being struck with a terror from GoD.2 This expedition 
the Arabian histories call the second, or lesser expedition of Bedr. 

5 The persons who thus endeavoured to discourage the Mohammedans were, according to 
one tradition, some of the tribe of Abd Kais, who, going to Medina, were bribed by Abu Sohan 
with a camel's load of dried raisins ; and, according to another tradition, it was Noaim Ebn 
Masud al Ashjai who was also bribed with a she-camel ten months gone with young (a 
valuable present in Arabia). This Noaim, they say, finding Mohammed and his men pre- 
paring for the expedition, told them that Abu Sofian, to spare them the pains of coming so far 
as Bedr, would seek them in their own houses, and that none of them could possibly escape 
otherwise than by timely flight. Upon which Mohammed, seeing his followr-TS a little dispirited, 
swore that he would go himself though not one of them went with him. And accordingly hs 
set out with seventy horsemen, every one of them crying out, Hashna Allah, i.e., God is our 

y While they stayed at Bedr expecting the enemy, they opened a kind of fair there, and 
traded to very considerable profit. 4 

^ Meaning either Noaim, or Abu Sofian himself. 

» That is, he will not suffer the good and sincere among you to continue indiscriminately 
mixed with the wicked and hypocritical. 

b This passage was revealed on the rebellious and disobedient Mohammedans telling 
Mohammed that if he was a true prophet he could easily distinguish those who sincerely 
believed from the dissemblers.! 

•^ Mohammed is said to have declared, that whoever pays not his legal contribution of almj 
dwly shall have a serpent twisted about his neck at the resurrection.s 

1 See before, p. 47, note 2 s Al B.«IrJ3wl 8 Idem. Jallalo'ddin ^ A] Beidiwi 

' idem. '■' Idem, Jallalo'ddin 

CHAP. lit AL KORAN. 51 

poor, and we are rich :* we will surely write down what they have said, 
and the slaughter which they have made of the prophets without a 
cause ; and we will say unto thetn, Taste ye the pain of burning. This 
shall they sicffer for the evil which their hands have sent before them, 
and because God is not unjust towards mankind ; who also say, Surely 
God hath commanded us, that we should not give credit to a7iy apostle, 
until one should come unto us with a sacrifice, which should be con- 
sumed by fire.^ Say, Apostles have already come unto you before me/ 
with plain proofs, and with the miracle which ye mention : why there- 
fore have ye slain them, if ye speak truth ? If they accuse thee of im- 
posture, the apostles before thee have also been accounted impostors, 
who brought evident demonstrations, and the scriptures, and the book 
which enlightened the 2indersta7iding. Every soul shall taste of death, 
and ye shall have your rewards on the day of resurrection ; and he who 
shall be far removed from hell fire, and shall be admitted into paradise, 
shall be happy : but the present life is only a deceitful provision. Ye 
shall surely be proved in your possessions, and in your persons ; anQ 
ye shall bear from those unto whom the scripture was delivered before 
you, and from the idolaters, much hurt : but if ye be patient, and fear 
God^ this is a matter that is absolutely determined. And when God. 
accepted the covenant of those to whom the \>Qio\of the taw was given, 
sayings Ye shall surely publish it unto mankind, ye shall not hide it ; 
yet they threw it behind their backs, and sold it for a small price; but 
woeful is the price for which they have sold it.^ Think not that they who 
rejoice at what th ey have done, and expect to be praised for what they 
have not done ;^ think not, O prophet^ that they shall escape from 

"1 It is related that Mohammed, writing to the Jews of the tribe of Kainoka to invite them 
to Islam, and exhorting them, among other things, in the words of the Koran,3 to lend unto 
God on good tisury, Phineas Ebn Azura, on hearing that expression, said, Surely God is poor, 
since they ask to borrow for him. Whereupon Abu Beer, who was the bearer of that letter, 
struck Ykva. on the face, and told him that if it had not been for the truce between them, he 
would have struck off his head ; and on Phineas's complaining to Rloharamed of Abu Beer's 
111 usage, this passage was revealed. 4 

® The Jews, say the commentators, insisted that it was a peculiar proof of the mission of aJl 
the prophets sent to them, that they could, by their prayers, bring down fire from heaven to 
consume the sacrifice, and therefore they expected Mohammed should do the like. And some 
Mohammedan doctors agree that God appointed this miracle as the test of all their prophets, 
except only Jesus and Mohammed ;5 though others say any other miracle was a proof full as 
sufficient as the bringing down fire from heaven. ^ 

The Arabian Jews seem to have drawn a general consequence from some particular instances 
of this miracle in the Old Testament. 7 And the Jews at this day say, that first the fire which 
fell from heaven on the altar of the tabernacle. 8 after the consecration of Aaron and his sons, 
and afterwards that which descended on the sJtar of Solomon's temple, at the dedication of 
that structure, 9 was fed and constantly maint? ined there by the priests, both day and night, 
without being suffered once to go out, till it was extinguished, as some think, in the reign of 
Manasses,10 but, according to the more received opinion, when the temple was destroyed by 
the Chaldeans. Several ChristiansH have given credit to this assertion of the Jews, with what 
reason I shall not here inquire ; and the Jews, in consequence of this notion, might probably 
expect that a prophet who came to restore God's true religion, should rekindle for them this 
heavenly fire, which they have not been favoured with since the Babylonish captivity. 

' Among these the commentators reckon Zacharias and John the Baptist. 

% i.e.. Dearly shall they pay hereafter for taking bribes to stifle the truth. Whoever con- 
cealeth the knowledge which God has ^iven him, says Mohammed, God shall put on hi'n a 
bridle of fire on the day of resurrection. 

^ i.e.. Who think they have done a commendable deed in concealing and dissembling the 
testimonies in the Pentateuch concerning Mohammed, and in disobeying God's commands to 

' Cap. 2, p. 26. * Al Beidawl. 5 Jallalo'ddin. • AI Beidawi 7 Levit. ix. 24 ; 

I Chron. xxi. 26 ; 2 Chrou. vii. i ; i Kings xviii. 38. 8 Levit ix. 24. ^ 2 Chron. TiL l 

10 Talmud, Zebachim, c 6. U See Prideaux's Cooorct part L bk. iii. p. 15S. 


punishment, for they shall suffer a painful punishment ; and unto GoD 
belongeih the kingdom of heaven and earth ; GOD is almighty. Now 
in the creation of heaven and earth, and the vicissitude of night and 
day, are signs unto those who are endued with understanding ; who 
remember God standing, and sitting, and lymg on their sides ;* and 
meditate on the creation of heaven and earth, sayings O Lord, thou 
has not created this in vain ; far be it from thee : therefore deliver us 
from the torment of hell fire : O Lord, surely whom thou shalt throw 
into the fire, thou wilt also cover with shame ; nor shall the ungodly 
have any to help them. O Lord, we have heard of a preacher'"^' inviting 
us to the faith, and sayings Believe in your Lord : and we believed, 
O Lord, forgive us therefore our sins, and expiate our evil deeds from 
us, and make us to die with the righteous. O Lord, give us also the 
reward which thou hast promised by thy apostles ; and cover us not 
with shame on the day of resurrection ; for thou art not contrary 
to the promise. Their Lord therefore answereth them, sayings I 
will not suffer the v/ork of him among you who worketh to be lost, 
whether he be male or fem>ale •} the one of you is from the other. The) 
therefore who have left their country, and iiave been turned out of their 
houses, and have suffered for my sake, and have been slain in Dattle ; 
verily I will expiate their evii deeds from them, and I will surely bring 
them into gardens watered by rivers ; a reward from GOD : and with 
' God is the most excellent reward. Let not the prosperous dealing of 
the unbelievers in the land deceive thee :™ it is but a slender pro- 
vision '^ and then their receptacle shall be hell ; an unhappy couch 
shall it be. But they who fear their LORD shall have gardens through 
which rivers flow, they shall continue therein for ever : this is the gift 
of GOD; for what is with GoD shall be better for the righteous than 
short-lived worldly prosperity. There are some of those who have 
received the scriptures, who believe in GOD, and that which hath been 
sent down unto you, and that which hath been sent down to them, 
subm'tting themselves unto GOD;** they tell not the signs of GOD for a 

the contrary. It is said that, Mohammed once asking some Jews concerning a passage in 
their law, they gave him an answer very different from the truth, and were mightily pleased 
that they had, as they thought, deceived hinu Others, however, think this passage relates to 
some pretended Mohammedans who rejoiced in their hypocrisy, and expected to be com- 
mended for their wickedness.l2 

i viz., At all times and in all postures. Al Beidawi mentions a saying of Mohammed to one 
Imran Ebn Hosem, to this purpose : Pray standing, if thou art able ; if not, sitting; aftd ij 
thou canst not sit up, then as thou liest along. Al Shafei directs that the sick should pray 
lying on their right side. 

k Namely, Mohammed, with the Koran. 

1 These words were added, as some relate, on Omm Salma, one of the prophet's wives, 
telling him that she had observed God often made mention of the men who fled their country' 
for the sake of their faith, but took no notice of the women. 1 

^ The original word properly signifies success in the affairs of life, and particularly {n trade. 
It is said that some of Mohammed's followers observing the prosperity the idolaters enjoyed, 
expressed their regret that those enemies of GoD should live in such ease and plenty, while 
themselves were perishing for hunger and fatigue ; whereupon this passage was reveaLled.2 

"* Because of its short continuance. 

o The persons here meant, some will have to be Abda'llah Ebn Salam^ and his companions ; 
others suppose they were forty Arabs of Najran, or thirty-two Ethiopians, or else eight Greeks, 
who were converted from Christianity to Mohammedism ; and others say this passage was 
^■evealert in the ninth year of the Hejra, when Mohanuned, on Gabriel's bringing him the news 
cf the death of Ashama king of Ethiophia, who had embraced the Mohammedan religion some 

^8 Al Beidawi. i Idem. • Idem. 3 See before, p. 44, 


small price: these snail have their reward w?th their Lord; for GoD 
is swift in taking an account.^ O true believers, be patient, and strive 
to excel in patience, and be constant-minded, and fear God, that y€ 
may be happy. 




OMEN, fear your Lord, who hath created you out of one man, ana 
out of him created his wife, and from them two hath multiplied 
many men and v.-omen : and fear GOD by whom ye beseech one 
another;'^ zxid respect women® w/z(9 have borne you, for GoD is watching 
over you. And give the orphans when they come to age their substance ; 
and render them not in exchange bad for good :* and devour not their 
substance, by adding it to your substance ; for this is a great sin. And 
if ye fear that ye shall not act with equity towards orphans of the female 
sex, take in marriage of such other women as please you, two, or three, 
or four, and not inore.^ But if ye fear that ye cannot act equitabh 
towards so many, marry one only, or the slaves which Ve shall have 
acquired.* This will be easier, that ye swerve not from righteottsness. 
And give women their dowry freely ; but if they voluntarily remit unto 
you any part of it, enjoy it with satisfaction and advantage. And 
give not unto those who are weak of understandmg, the substance 
which God hath appointed you to preserve for them; but maintain 
them thereout, and clothe them, and speak kindly unto them. And 

years before,* prayed for the soul of the departed ; at which some of his hypocritical followers 
were displeased, and wondered that he should pray for a Christian proselyte whom he had 
never seen. 5 

P See before, p. 21, and the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV. 

1 This title was given to this chapter, because it chiefly treats of matters relating to women; 
as, marriages, divorces, dower, prohibited degrees, &c. 
. ■" Saying, I beseech thee for God's sake.l 

' Literally, the wombs. 

' That is, take not what ye find of value among their effects to ycur o'svii use, and cive them 
worse in its stead. 

o The commentators understand this passage differently. The true meaning seams to bs 
as it is here translated ; Mohammed advising his followers that if they found they should 
wrong the female orphans under their care, either by marrying them against their inclinations, 
for the sake of their riches or beauty, or by not using or maintaining them so well as they 
ought, by reason of their having already several wives, they should rather tfhoose to marry 
other women, to avoid all occasion of sin.2 Others say that when this passage was revealed. 
many of the Arabians, fearing trouble and temptation, refused to take upon them the charge 
of orphans, and yet multiplied wives to a great excess, and used them ill ; or. as others write, 
eave themselves up to fornication ; which occasioned the passage. And according to th»rsc, 
its meaning must be either that if they feared they could not act justly towards orphans, they 
had as great reason to apprehend they could not deal equitably with so many wives and there- 
fore are commanded to marry but a certain number; or els^, that siuce fornication wa.>- a 
crime as well as wronging of orphans, they ought to avoid that also, by marrj'ing according to 
their abilities. 3 

» For slaves requiring not so large a dower, nor so good and plentiful a maintenance as xiza 
Mr'omeQ, a man might keep several of the former, as easily as one of the latter. 

* See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect, li ' Al Beidaw'. " IdecL ^ Iden 

' Idesn. JalUlo'ddin. 

54 ^/' KORAN. CHAP. IV 

examine the orphans^ until they attain the age <?/" marriage :' but if y^ 
perceive they are able to manage their affairs well, deliver their sub- 
stance unto them ; and waste it not extravagantly, or hastily, because 
they grow up.* Let him who is rich abstain entirely from the orphan! s 
estates ; and let him who is poor take thereof according to what shall 
be reasonable. t> And when ve deliver their substance unto them, call 
witnesses thereof in their presence : GOD taketh sufficient account oj 
your actions. Men ought to have a part of what their parents and 
kiridred leave behind them when they die : and women also ought to 
have a part of what their parents and kindred leave,*' whether it be 
little, or whether it be much ; a determinate part is due to them. And 
when tivey who are of kin are present at the dividing of what is left, 
and also the orphans, and the poor ; distribute unto them some part 
thereof; a.iid if the estate be too small, at least speak comfortably unto 
them. And let those fear to abuse orphans, who if they leave behind 
them a weak offspring, are solicitous for them : let them therefore fear 
God, and speak that which is convenient.'^ Surely they who devour 
the possessions of orphans unjustly, shall swallow down nothing but 
fire into thei;.' bellies, and shall broil in raging flames. GOD hath thus 
commanded you concerning your children. A male shall have as much 
as the share of two females f but if they be females only, and above 
two in 7iumbs2r, they shall have two third parts of what the deceased 
shall leave ;* and if there be but one, she shall have the half.s And 
the parents of ihe deceased shall have each of them a sixth part of what 
he shall leave, if he have a child : but if he have no child, and his 
parents be his heirs, then his mother shall have the third part.^ And if 
he have brethren, his mother shall have a sixth part, after the legacies* 
which he shall bequeath, and his debts be paid. Ye know not whether 
your parents or your children be of greater use unto you. This is an 

y i.e.. Try whether they be well grounded in the principles of religion, and have sufficient 
prudence for the management of their affairs. Under this expression is also comprehended the 
duty of a curator's instructing his pupils in those respects. 

2 Or age of maturity, which is generally reckoned to be fifteen ; a decision supported by a 
tradition of their prophet, though Abu Hanifah thinks eighteen the proper age.l 

^ i.e.. Because they will shortly be of age to receive what belongs to them. 

b That is, no more than what shall make sufficient recompense for the trouble of their 

'^ This law was given to abolish a custom of the pagan Arabs, who suffered not women or 
children to have any part of their husband's or father's inheritance, on pretence that they only 
should inherit who were able to go to war.2 

<i viz.. Either to comfort the children, or to assure the dying father they shall be justly dealt 

^ This is the general rule to be followed in the distribution of the estate of the deceased, as 
may be observed in the following cases.* 

f Or if there be two and no more, they will have the same share. 

g And the remaining third part, or the remaining moiety of the estate, which is not here ex- 
pressly disposed of, if the deceased leaves behind him no son, nor a father, goes to the public 
.reasury. It must be observed that Mr. Selden is certainly mistaken when, in explaining this 
passage of the Koran, he says, that where there is a son and an only daughter, each of them 
will have a moiety :^ for the daughter can have a moiety but in one case only, that is, where 
there is no son ; for if there be a son, she can have but a third, according to the above-men- 
tioned rule. 

^ And his father consequently the othr two-thirds. 6 

i By legacies, in this and the following passages, are chiefly meant those bequeathed to pious 
uses ; for the Mohammedans approve not of a person's giving away his substance from hit 
(amily and near relations on any other account. 

1 Al Beidawi. 2 Idem. 3 Idem. 4 Vide Prelim. Dine Sect. VI « Selden, de 

Success ad Leges Ebraeor. L i, C. i. * A.1 Beidawi. 

CHAP, vr AL KORAN. 55 

ordinance from GOD, and GOD is knor/ing and wise. Moreover ye may 
claim half of what your wives shall leave, if they have no issue ; but if 
they have issue, then ye shall have the fourth part of what they shall 
leave, after the legacies which they shall bequeath, and the debts be 
paid. They also shall have the fourth part of what ye shall leave, in case 
ye have no issue ; but if ye have issue, then they shall have the eighth 
part of what ye shall leave, after the legacies which ye shall bequeath 
and your debts be paid. And if a man or woman's substance be in- 
herited by a distant relation,^ and he or she have a brother or sister ; 
each of them two shall have a sixth part of the estate} But if there be 
more than this number^ they shall be eqtial sharers in a third part, after 
payment of the legacies which shall be bequeathed, and the debts, with- 
out prejudice to the heirs. This is an ordinance from GOD : and GOD 
is knowing and gracious. These are the statutes of GOD. And whoso 
obeyeth God and his apostle, God shall lead him into gardens wherein 
rivers flow, they shall continue therein for ever ; and this shall be great 
happiness. But whoso disobeyeth GOD, and his apostle, and trans- 
gresseth his statutes, God shall cast him into hell fire ; he shall remain 
therein for ever, and he shall suffer a shameful punishment. If any of 
your women be guilty of whoredom,™ produce four witnesses from among 
you against them, and if they bear witness against them, imprison them 
in. separate apartments until death release them, or GOD affordeth them 
a way to escape.^ And if two of )'ou commit the like wickedness^ 
punish them both :•* but if they repent and amend, let them both 
alone ; for GoD is easy to be reconciled and merciful. Verily repent- 
ance will be accepted with GOD, from those who do evil ignorantly, and 
then repent speedily ; unto them will GOD be turned : for GOD is know- 
ing and wise. But no repentance shall be accepted from those who do 
evil until the time when death presenteth itself unto one of them, and 
he saith. Verily I repent now ; nor unto those who die unbelievers : for 
them have we prepared a grievous punishment O true believers, it is 

^ For this may happen by contract, or on some other special occasion. 

' Here, and in the next case, the brother and sister are made equal sharers, which is an 
exception to the general rule, of giving a male twice as much as a female ; and the reason is 
said to be because of the smallness of the portions, which deserve not such exactness of dis- 
tribution ; for in other cases the rule holds between brother and sister, as well as other relations.! 

"* Either adultery or fornication. 

° Their punishment, in the beginning of Mohammedism, was to be immured till they died, 
but afterwards this cruel doom was mitigated, and they might avoid it by undergoing the 
punishment ordained in its stead by the Sonna, according to which the maidens are to be 
scourged with a hundred stripes, and to be banished for a full year ; and the married women 
to be stoned.2 

The commentators are not agreed whether the text speaks of fornication or sodomy. AI 
Zamakhshari, and from him, al Beidawi, supposes the former is here meant : but Jallalo'ddin is 
of opinion that the crime intended in this passage must be committed between two men, and 
not between a man and a woman ; net only because the pronouns are in the masculine gender, 
but because both are ordered to suffer the same slight punishment, and are both allowed the 
same repentance and indulgence ; and especially for that a different and much severer punish- 
ment is appointed for the women in the preceding words. Abu'l Kasem Hebatallah takes 
simple fornication to be the crime intended, and that this passage is abrogated by that of the 
24th chapter, where the man and the woman who shall be guilty of fornication are ordered to 
be scourged with a hundred stripes each. 

P The original is. Do tketn some hurt or damage : by which some understand that they are 
only to reproach them in public,^ or strike them on the head with their slippers'* (a great indig- 
aity in the east), though some imagine they may be scourged. '^ 

1 See this chapter, near the end. 2 Jallalo'ddin. 3 Jallalo'ddin, Yahya, Abul Kase:^ 
Habatallah, al BeidiiwL * Jallalo'ddin al Beidawi. ' Al Et'dawL 

50 AL KORAN, CHAP, rv 

not lawful for you to be heirs of women against their will,"* nor to hinder 
them from, marrying others^ that ye may tcke away part of what ye 
have given them hi dowry ; unless they have been guilty of a manifest 
crime :* but converse kindly with them. And if ye hate them, it may 
happen that ye may hate a thing wherein GOD hath placed much good. 
If ye be desirous to exchange a wife for anotJier wife,* and ye have 
already given one of them a talent '^ take not away anything there- 
from :^ will ye take it by slandering her^ and doing her manifest injus- 
tice .'* And how can ye take it, since the one of you hath gone in unto 
the other, and they have received from you a firm covenant ? Marry 
not women whom your fathers have had to wife (except what is 
already past) : for this is uncleanness, and an abomination, and an evil 
way. Ye are forbidden to marry your mothers, and your daughters, 
and your sisters, and your aunts both on the father's and on the mother's 
side, and your brother's daughters, and your sister's daughters, and your 
mothers who have given you suck, and your foster-sisters, and your wives' 
mothers, and your daughters-in-law which are under your tuition, born 
of your wives unto whom ye have gone in (but if ye have not gone in 
unto them, it shall be no sin in you to marry them)^ and the wives of 
your sons who tiroceed out of your loins ; and ye are also forbidden to 
take to wife two sisters -^ except what is already past : for GOD is gracious 
and merciful. (V.) Ye are 2l\so forbidden to take to wife iret wom&n who 
are married, except those women whom your right hands shall possess 
as slaves.^ This is ordained you from GOD. Whatever is beside this, 
is allowed you ; that ye may with your substance provide wives for 
yourselves, acting that which is right, and avoiding whoredom. And 
for the advantage which ye receive from them, give them their re- 
ward,'^ according to what i^ ordained : but it shall be no crime in you 
to make any other agreement among yourselves,^ after the ordinance 
shall be coiTiplied with ; for GOD is knowing and wise. Whoso among 
you hath not means sufficient that he may marry free women, who 
are believers, let hitn marry with such of your maid-servants whom 
your right hands possess, as are true believers ; for God well knoweth 

, <1 It was customary among the pagan Arabs, when a man died, for one of his relations to 
claim a right to his widow, which he asserted by throwing his garment over her ; and then he 
either married her himself, if he thought fit, on assigning her the same dower that her former 
husband had done, or kept her dower and married her to another, or else refused to let her 
marry unless she redeemed herself by quitting what she might claim of her husband's goods.l 
This unjust custom is abolished by this passage. 

"" Some say these words are directed to husbands who used to imprison their wives without 
any just cause, and out of covetousness, merely to make them relinquish their dower or their 
inheritance. 2 

' Such as disobedience, ill behaviour, immodesty, and the like.^ 

' That is, by divorcing one, and marrying another. 

" i.e.. Ever so large a dower. 

s See chapter 2, p. 25. 

y The same was also prohibited by the Levitical law. 4 

* According to this passage it is not lawful to marry a free woman that is already married, 
bcshe a Mohammedan or not, unless she be legally parted from her husband by divorce; but 
it is lawful to marry those who are slaves, or taken in war, after they shall have gone through 
the proper purifications, though their husbands be living. Yet, according to the decision of 
At)U Hanifah, it is not lawful io marry such whose husbands shall be taken, or in actual 
slavery with them.l 

* That is, assign them their dower. 

* That is, either to increase the dower, or to abate some part or even the whole of it. 

1 Al Beidawi. 2 Idem. 3 Idem. 4 Levit. xviii. i8. l Al BeidawL 


your faith. Ye art, the one from the other -^ therefore marry them 
with the consent of their masters ; and give them their dower according 
to justice ; such as are modest, not guilty of whoredom, nor enter- 
taining lovers. And when they are married, if they be guilty of adul- 
tery, they shall suffer half the punishment which is appointed for the 
free women.*^ This is allowed unto him among you, who feareth to sin 
by tnarrying f'ree "juomenj but if ye abstain yr^»2 marrying slaves^ it will 
he better for you ; GOD is gracious and merciful. GOD is willing to 
declare these things unto you, and to direct you according to the ordi- 
nances of those who have gone before you,® and to be merciful unto 
you. God is knowing and wise. GOD desireth to be gracious unto 
you ; but they who follow their lusts,' desire that ye should turn aside 
from the truth with great deviation. GOD is minded to make his 
relis'io7i lisrht unto vou : for man was created weak.s O true believers, 
consume not your wealth among yourselves in vanity;*^ unless there be 
merchandizing among you by mutual consent : neither slay yourselves ;' 
for God is merciful towards you : and whoever doth this maliciously^ 
and wickedly, he \\\\\ surely cast him to be broiled in hell fire ; and 
this is easy with GOD. If ye turn aside from the grievous sins,^ of 
those which ye are forbidden to comfnity we will cleanse you from your 
smaller faults ; and will introduce you iiiio paradise with an honourable 
entry. Covet not that which GOD hath bestowed on some of you pre- 
ferably to others.™ Unto the men shall be given a portion of what 
they shall have gained, and unto the women shall be given a portion 
of what they shall have gained :° therefore ask GOD of his bounty ; for 

' Being alike descended from Adam, and of the same faith. 2 

<l The reason of this is because they are not presumed to have had so good education. A 
slave, therefore, in such a case, is to have fifty stripes, arid to be banished for half a year ; but 
she shall not be stoned, because it is a punishment which cannot be inflicted by halves. ^ 

® viz.. Of the prophets, and other holy and prudent men of former ages.* 

f Some commentators suppose that these words have a particular regard to the Magians, 
who formerly were frequently guilty of incestuous marriages, their prophet Zerdusht having 
allowed them to take their mothers and sisters to wife ; and also to the Jews, who likewise 
might marry within some of the degrees here prohibited. ^ 

S Being unable to refrain from women, and too subject to be led away by carnal appetites. 6 

li That is, employ it not in things prohibited by God ; such as usury, extortion, raoine. 
gaming, and the like.' 

i Literally, slay 7iot your souls; i.e., says Jallalo'ddin, by committing mortal sins, or such 
crimes as will destroy them. Others, however, are of opinion that self-murder, which the 
gentile Indians did, and still do, often practise in honour of their idols, or else the taking away 
the life of any true believer, is hereby forbidden. 8 

^ See Wisdom xvi. 14, in the Vulgate. 

1 These sins al Beidawi, from a tradition of Mohammed, reckons to be seven (equalling in 
number the sins called deadly by Christians), that is to say, idolatry, murder, falsely accusing 
modest women of adulter^', wasting the substance of orphans, takmg of usur>-, desertion in a 
religious expedition, and disobedience to parents. But Ebn Abbas says they amount to neai 
%ven hundred ; and others suppose that idolatry only, of different kinds, in worshipping idols 
}f any creature, either in opposition to or jointly with the true God, is here intended ; that sm 
Aeing generally esteemed by Mohammedans, and in a few lines after declared by the Koran 
itself, to be the only one which God will not pardon. l 

™ Such as honour, power, riches, and other worldly advantages. Some, however, understand 
this of the distribution of inheritances according to the preceding determinations, whereby soma 
have a larger share than others. 2 

° That IS, they shall be blessed according to their deserts ; and ought, therefore, instead o5 
displeasing God by envying of others, to endeavour to merit his favoiu by good works, and to 
apply to him by prayer. 

* Idem. 3 Idem. * Jallalo'ddin. Al Beidawi = Al Beidawi. « Idem 

Jallalo'ddin. 7 idem. " Idem. ^ Idem. See before, & a. p. la ' Idem 


$8 rtL KORAN. chap, iv 

God is omniscief*^.. We have appointed unto every one kindred, to 
inherit part of what their parents and relations shall leave at thei* 
deaths. And unto those with whom your right hands have made an 
alliance, give their part of the inherita7icef for GOD is witness of all 
things. Men shall have the pre-eminence above women, because of 
those advantages wherein GOD hath caused the one of them to excel 
the other/ and for that which they expand of their substance in main- 
taining their wives. The honest women are obedient, careful in the 
absence of their husbands^ for that God preserveth them, by com- 
mitting them to the care and protection of the inen. But those, whose 
perverseness ye shall be apprehensive of, rebuke ; and remove them 
into separate apartments/ and chastise them/ But if they shall be 
obedient unto you, seek not an occasion of quarrel against theni ; for 
God is high and great. And if ye fear a breach between the husband 
and wife, send a judge* out of his family, and a judge out of her 
family : if they shall desire a reconciliation, GOD will cause them to 
agree ; for GOD is knowing and wise. Serve GOD, and associate no 
creature with him ; and show kindness unto parents, and relations, and 
orphans, and the poor, and your neighbour who is of kin to you,*^ and 
alsc your neighbour who is a stranger, and to your familiar companion, 
and the traveller, and the captives whom your right hands shall 
possess; for GOD loveth not the proud or vainglorious, who are covet- 
ous, and recommend covetousness unto men, and conceal that which 
God of his bounty hath given them* (we have prepared a shameful 
punishment for the unbelievers) ; and who bestow their wealth in 
charity to be observed of men, and believe not in GOD, nor in the last 
day ; and whoever hath Satan for a companion, an evil companion 
hath he I And what harm would befall them if they should believe in 
God and the last day, and give alms out of that which GOD hath 
bestowed on them? smce God knoweth them w^xo do this. Verily 
God will not wrong any ojie even the weight of an ant •? and if it be a 
good action, he will double it, and will recompense it in his sight with 
a great reward. How will it be with the unbelievers when we shall 

o A precept conformable to an old custom of the Arabs, that where persons mutually entered 
into a strict friendship or confederacy, the survivmg friend should have a sixth part of the de- 
ceased's estate. But this was afterwards abrogated, according to Jallalo'ddin and al Zamakh- 
shari, at least as to infidels. The passage may likewise be understood of a private contract, 
whereby the survivor is to inherit a certain part of the substance of him that dies first. 3 

P Such as superior understanding and strength, and the other privileges of the rnale sex, which 
enjoys the dignities in church and state, goes to war in defence of God's true religion, and claims 
a double share of their deceased ancestors' estates. ** 

q Both to preserve their husband's substance from loss or waste, and themselves from all 
degrees of immodesty. 5 

' That is, banish them from your bed. 

* By this passage the Mohammedans are in plain terms allowed to beat their wives, in c=s« 
of stubborn disobedience ; but not in a violent or dangerous manner. 6 

*■ i.e.. Let the magistrate first send two arbitrators or mediators, one on each side, toa.)mpo9« 
the difference, and prevent, if possible, the ill consequences of an open rupture. 

^ Either of your own nation or religion. 

^ Whether it be wealth, knowledge, or any other talent whereby they may help their neigh- 

y Either by diminishing the recompense due to his good actions, or too severely punishing 
his sins. On the contrary, he will reward the former in the next life far above their deserts. 
The Arabic word dliarra, which is translated a7i ant, signifies a very small sort of that insect 
and is used to denote a thing that is exceeding small, as a mite. 

2 Vide al Beidiwi. « Idem. ^ Idem, Jallalo'ddiiL * Idem. 


bring a witness out of each nation against itself* and shall bring thee, 
O Moham7ned, a witness against these people .^ In that day they who 
have not beheved, and have rebelled against the apostle of God, shall 
wish the earth was levelled with them ; and they shall i'Aot be able to 
hide any matter from God. O true believers, come not to prayers when 
ye are drimk,^ until ye understand what ye say ; nor when ye are pol- 
luted by emission of seed, unless ye be travelling on the road, until ye 
wash yourselves. But if ye be sick, or on a journey, or any of you come 
from easing nature, or have touched women, and find no water ; take 
fine clean sand and rub your faces and your hands therewith f for GOD 
is merciful and inclined to forgive. Hast thou not observed those unto 
whom part of the scripture*^ was delivered.'' they sell error, and desire 
that ye may wander from the right way ; but God well knoweth youi 
enemies. God is a sufficient patron, and God is a sufficient helper. 
Of the Jews there are some who pervert words from their places ;* and 
say, We have heard, and have disobeyed ; and do thou hear without 
understanding our vieaning,^ and look upon us :^ perplexing with their 
tongues, and reviling the trtig religion. But if they had said. We have 
heard, and do obey ; and do thou hear, and regard us :^ certainly it 
were better for them, and more right. But God hath cursed them by 
reason of their infidelity ; tkerefore a few of them only shall believe. 
O ye to whom the scriptures have been given, believe in the revelation 
which we have sent down, confirming that which is with you; before 
we deface your countenances, and render them as the back parts 
thereof;^ or curse them, as we cursed those who transgressed on the 
sabbath day ;^ and the command of GoD was fulfilled. Surely God 
will not pardon the giving him an equal •} but will pardon any other 
sin^ except that, to whom he pleaseth -^ and whoso giveth a companion 

^ When the prophet who was sent to each nation in particular, shall on the last day be pro- 
duced to give evidence against such of them as refused to believe on him, or observed net the 
laws which he brought. 

a That is, the Arabians, to whom Mohammed was, as he pretended, more peculiarly sent.l 

*> It is related, that before the prohibition of wine, Abd'alrahman Ebn A%vf made an entertain- 
ment, to which he invited several of the apostle's companions ; and after they had ate and 
drunk plentifully, the hour of evening prayer being come, one of the company rose up to pray, 
but being overcome with liquor, made a shameful blunder in reciting a passage of the Koran ; 
»vhereupon to prevent the danger of any such indecency for the future, this passage was re- 
vealed. 2 

^ See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 

«l Meaning the Jews, and particularly their Rabbins. 

* That is (according to the commentators), who change the true sense of the Pentateuch by 
dislocating passages, or by wresting the words according to their own fancies and lusts. ^ 
But Mohammed seems chiefly to intend here the Jews bantering of him in their addresses, by 
making use of equivocal words, seeming to bear a good sense in Arabic, but spoken by them 
in derision according to their acceptation in Hebrew ; an instance of which he gives in the 
following words. 

f literally, -withorU being made to hear or apprehend what we say. 

8 The original word is Raifia, which being a term of reproach in Hebrew, Mohammed for- 
bade their using to him.^ 

*» In Arabic, Ondhorna ; which having no ill equivocal meaning, the prophet ordered them 
to use instead of the former. 

i That is, perfectly plain, without eyes, nose, or mouth. The original, however, may also 
be translated, and turn them behind, by wringing their necks backward. 

fe And were therefore changed into ap'^s.* 

I That is, idolatry of all kinds. 

" viz.. To those who repcni.*> 

1 See before, c. 2, p. i6. '^ Al Beidawi. * Idem, Jallalo'ddin. « S<.c before, c. 2, p. 13 
* See before, c. a, p. 3. ** Ai P'*idawi 


unto God, hath devised a great wickedness. Hast thou not observed 
those who justify themselves r^ But GOD justifieth whomsoever he 
pleaseth, nor shall they be wronged a hair." Behold, how they imagine 
a lie against GOD ; and therein is iniquity sufficiently manifest Hast 
thou not considered those to whom part of the scripture hath been 
given ? They believe in false gods and idols,"^ and say of those who 
believe not, These are more rightly directed in the way of truth than 
they who believe 07i Mohammed. Those are the Tnen whom God hath 
cursed ; and unto him whom GOD shall curse, thou shalt surely find no 
helper. Shall they have a part of the kingdom,*^ since even then they 
would not bestow the smallest matter'' on men ? Do they envy other 
men that which God of his bounty hath given them ?^ We formerly 
gave unto the family of Abraham a book of revelations and wisdom; 
and we gave them a great kingdom.* There is of them who believeth 
on him ;^ and there is of them who turneth aside from him : but the 
raging fire of hell is a sufficient punishment. Verily, those who dis- 
believe our signs, we will surely cast to be broiled in hell fire ; so often 
as their skins shall be well burned, we will give them other skins in 
exchange, that they may taste the j-/mr^^r torment ; for God is mighty and 
wise. But those who believe and do that which is right, we will bring 
into gardens watered by rivers, therein shall they remain for ever, and 
there shall they enjoy wives free from all impurity ; and we will lead 
them into perpetual shades. Moreover GOD commandeth you to restore 
what ye are trusted with, to the owners ;^ and when ye judge between 

"* i.e.^ The Christians and Jews, who called themselves the children qf^^ov>, and his beloved 

o The original word signifies a little skin in the cleft of a date-stonf , and is used to express 
a thing of no value. 

P The Arabic is, in Jibt and TaghOt. The former is supposed to have been the proper 
name of some idol ; but it seems rather to signify any false deity in general. The latter we 
have explained already. 8 

It is said that this passage was revealed on the following occasion. Hoyai Ebn Akhtab and 
Caab Ebn al Ashraf,^ two chief men among the Jews, wath several others of that religion, 
went to Mecca, and offered to enter into a confederacy with the Koreish, and to join their 
forces against Mohammed. But the Koreish, entertaming some jealousy of them, told them, 
that the Jews pretended to liave a written revelation from heaven, as well as Mohammed, and 
their doctrines and worship approached much nearer to what he taught, than the religion of 
their tribe ; wherefore, said they, if you would satisfy us that you are sincere in the matter, 
do as we do, and worship our gods. Which proposal, if the story be true, these Jews com* 
plied with, out of their inveterate hatred to Mohammed.^ 

<1 For the Jews gave out that they should be restored to their ancient power and grandeur ;3 
depending, it is to be presumed, on the victorious Messiah whom they expected. 

^ The original word properly signifies a small dent on the back of a date-stone, and is 
commonly used to express a thing of little or no value. 

* viz.. The spiritual gifts of prophecy, and divine revelations ; and the temporal blessings ol 
victory and success, bestowed oa Mohammed and his followers. 

' Wherefore God will doubtless show equal favour to this prophet (a descendant also ol 
Abraham), and those who beheve on him. 3 

" Namely, on Mohammed. 

s This passage, it is said, was revealed on the day of the takmg of Mecca, the primar>' 
design of it being to direct Mohammed to return the keys of the Caaba to Othman Ebn Telha 
Ebn Abdaldai-, who had then the honour to be keeper of that holy place, "* and not to deliver 
them to his uiicle al Abbas, who having already the custody of the well Zemzem, would fain 
have had also that of the Caaba. The prophet obeying the divine order, Othman was so 
affected with the justice of the action, notwithstanding he had at first refused him entrance, 
that he immediately embraced Mohammedisni ; whereupon the guardianship of the Caaba 
was confirmed to this Othman and his heu'S for ever.^ 

7 Idem, Jallalo'ddin. See c. 5, not far from the beginning. 8 gee p. 28, note *. ^ Se« 
before, p. 40, note "". ^ Al B<udawi. 2 I,iem. ^ Idem. * See Prideaux's Life of 

Mahomet, p. a. * A! ReidSwi Ste«v D'n»:rbel. Kibl. Orier.', o i-i-zt. lai. 


men, that ye judge according to equity : and surely an excellent virtue ii 
is to which GOD exhorteth you ; for GOD both heareth and seeth. O 
true behevers, obey God, and obey the apostle, and those who are in 
authority among you : and if ye differ in anything, refer it unto GOD' 
and the apostle, if ye believe in God and the last day : this is better, 
and a fairer ;%<?M(?^ ^ determination. Hast thou not observed those 
who pretend they believe in what hath been revealed unto thee, and 
what hath been revealed before thee ? They desire to go to judgment 
before Taghut,' although they have been commanded not to believe in 
him ; and Satan desireth to seduce them into a wide error. And when 
it is said unto them, Come unto the book which GOD hath sent down, 
and to the apostle ; thou seest the ungodly turn aside from thee, with 
great aversion. But how will they behave when a misfortune shall be- 
fall them, for that which their hands have sent before them? Then 
will they come unto thee, and swear by GOD, sayings If we intended 
any other than to do good, and to reconcile the parties.^ GOD knoweth 
what is in the hearts of these tnenj therefore let them alone, and ad- 
monish them, and speak unto them a word which may affect their souls. 
We have not sent any apostle, but that he might be obeyed by the per- 
mission of GOD : but if they, after they have injured their own souls,'' 
come unto thee, and ask pardon of GOD, and the apostle ask pardon 
for them, they shall surely find GOD easy to be reconciled and merciful. 
And by thy LORD they will not perfectly believe, until they make thee 
judge of their controversies ; and shall not afterwards find in their own 
minds any hardship in what thou shalt determine, but shall acquiesce 
therein with entire submission. And if we had commanded them, say- 
ing, Slay yourselves, or depart from your houses ;*' they would not have 
done it, except a few of them. And if they had done what they were 
admonished, it would certainly have been better for them, and more 
efficacious for confirming their faith; and we should then have surely 
given them in our sight an exceeding great reward, and we should have 
directed them in the right way. Whoever obeyeth GOD and the 
apostle, they shall be with those unto whom GOD hath been gracious, 
of the prophets, and the sincere, and the martyrs, and the righteous ; 

y i.e.. To the decision of the Koran. 

* That is, before the tribunals of infidels. This passage was occasioned by the following 
remarkable accident. A certain Jew having a dispate with a wicked Mohammedan, the latter 
appealed to the judgment of Caab Ebn al Ashraf, a principal Jew, and the former to Moham- 
med. But at length they agreed to refer the matter to the prophet singly, who, giving it in 
favour of the Jew, the Mohammedan refused to acquiesce in his sentence, but would needs 
have it re-heard by Omar, afterwards Khalif. When they came to him, the Jew told him that 
Mohammed had already decided the affair in his favour, but that the other would not submit 
to his determination ; and the Mohammedan confessing this to be true, Omar bid them stay a 
little, and fetching his sword, struck off the obstinate Moslem's head, saying aloud, This is the 
revjard of him lufio refuseth to submit to the judginettt of God a7id his apostle. And from 
this action Omar had the surname of al Faruk, which alludes both to his separating that knave's 
head from his body, and to his distinguisJiing between truth and falsehood. 1 The name of 
Taghut,2 therefore, in this place, seems to be given to Caab Ebn al Ashraf. 

^ For this was the excuse of the friends of the Mohammedan whom Omar slew, when they 
came to demand satisfaction for his blood. ^ 

^ viz.. By acting wickedly, and appealing to the judgment of infidels. 

'^ Some understand these words of their venturing their lives in a religious expedition ; and 
others, of their undergoing the same punishments which the Israelites did for their idolatry' in 
worshipping the golden -calf.* 

1 Jallalo'ddin, al Beidawi. See D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient- p. 688, and Ockley's Kist m{ th< 
Sarac. v. i, p. 305. - Sm- LcJure. o <^Z. ^ ^1 BeidawL "* Iileni s«e befor'.i, p 7 

62 AL KORAN. chap, iv 

and these are the most excellent company. This is bounty from GOD; 
and God is sufficiently knowing. O true believers, take your necessary 
precaution'^ agaiiist your ejiemies, and eitJicr go forth to war in separate 
parties, or go forth all together in a body. There is of you who tarrieth 
behind f and if a misfortune befall you, he saith. Verily GOD hath been 
gracious unto me, that I was not present with them : but if success at- 
tend you from GOD, he will say (as if there was no friendship between 
you and him),* Would to GOD I had been with them, for I should have 
acquired great merit. Let them therefore fight for the religion of GOD. 
who part with the present life in exchange for that which is to come ;* 
for whosoever fighteth for the religion of GOD, whether he be slain, or 
be victorious,^ we will surely give him a great reward. And what ails 
you, that ye fight not for GOD's true religion, and m defence ^the weak 
among men, women, and children,* who say, O LORD, bring us forth 
from this city, whose inhabitants are wicked ; grant us from before thee 
a protector, and grant us from thee a defender. '^ They who believe 
fight for the religion of GoD ; but they who believe not fight for the re- 
ligion of Taghut.^ Fight therefore against the friends of Satan, for the 
stratagem of Satan is weak. Hast thou not observed those unto v/hom 
it was said. Withhold your hands from war, and be constant at 
prayers, and pay the legal alms ?■" But when war is commanded them, 
behold, a part of them fear men as they should fear GoD, or with a 
greater fear, and say, O LORD, wherefore hast thou commanded us to 
go to war, and hast not suffered us to wait our approaching end ?° Sa> 
unto them, The provision of this life is but small ; but the future shall 
be better for him who feareth Godj and ye shall not be in the least in- 
jured at the day of judgment. Wheresoever ye be, death will overtake 
you, although ye be in lofty towers. If good befall them, they say. This 
is from GOD ; but if evil befall them, they say. This is from thee, O Mo- 
hammed :** say, All is from GOD ; and what aileth these people, that they 
are so far from understanding what is said unto them ? Whatever 

•* I.e., Be vigilant, and provide yourselves with arms and necessaries. 

® Mohammed here upbraids the hypocritical Moslems, who. for want of faith and constancy 
in their religion, were backward in going to war for its defence. 

f i.e.. As one who attendeth not to the public, but his own private interest. Or else these 
may be the words of the hypocritical Mohammedan himself, insinuating that he stayed not 
behind the rest of the army by his own fault, but was left by Mohammed, who chose to let the 
others share in his good fortune, preferably to him.l 

8 By venturing their lives and fortunes in defence of the faith. 

^ For no man ought to quit the field till he either fall a martyr or gain som*; advantage foi 
the cause. 2 

i viz.. Those believers who stayed behind at Mecca, being detained there either forcibly by 
the idolaters, or for want of means to fly for refuge to Medina. Al Beidawi observes that 
children are mentioned here to show the inhumanity of the Koreish, who persecuted even that 
tender age. 

•^ This petition, the commentators say, was heard. For God afforded several of them an 
opportunity and means of escaping, and delivered the rest at the taking of Mecca by Moham- 
med, who left Otab Ebn Osaid governor of the city : and under his care and protection, thos« 
Vho had suffered for their religion became the most considerable men in the pla(;e. 

• See before, p. 28. 

™ These were some of Mohammed's followers, who readily performed the duties of theji ro- 
ligion so long as they were commanded nothing that might endanger their lives. 

^ That is, a natural death. 

•> As the Jews, in particular, who pretended that theij lan<i was orown barren, aad pinr^ 
sion scarce, siar'e Mohammed came to Medina.^ 

1 Ki BeidawL 2 Idem. » Idem. 


good befalleth thee, O man, it is from GOD ; an whatever evil befalleth 
thee, it is from thyself.^ We have sent thee an apo.. unto men, and 
God is a sufficient witness thereof. Whoever obeyeth the apostle, 
obeyeth God ; and whoever turneth back, we have not sent thee to be 
a keeper over them.** They say, Obedience : yet when they go forth 
from thee, part of them meditate by night a matter different from what 
thou spea^kest ; but GOD shall write down what they meditate by night : 
therefore let them alone, and trust in GOD, for GOD is a sufficient pro- 
tector. Do they not attentively consider the Koran.'' If it had been 
from any besides GOD, they would certainly have found therein many 
contradictions. When any news cometh unto them, either of security 
or fear, they immediately divulge it ; but if they told it to the apostle 
and to those who are in authority among them, such of them would 
understand the truth of the matter, as inform themselves thereof f7'oin 
the apostle and his chiefs. And if the favour of GOD and his mercy 
had not been upon you, ye had followed the devil, except a few of you. ^ 
Fight therefore for the religion of GOD, and oblige not any to what is 
difficult,^ except thyself ; however, excite the faithful to war, perhaps 
GOD will restrain the courage of the unbelievers ; for GOD is stronger 
than they, and more able to punish. He who intercedeth between men 
with a good intercession* shall have a portion thereof ; and he who 
intercedeth with an evil intercession shall have a portion thereof ; for 
God overlooketh all things. When ye are saluted v/ith a salutation, 
salute the person with a better salutation,'^ or at least return the same ; 
for God taketh an account of all things. GOD ! there is no GOD but he ; 
he will surely gather you together on the day of resurrection ; there is 
no doubt of it : and who is more true than GOD in what he saith? Why 
are ye divided concerning the ungodly into two parties ;* since GoD 
hath overturned them for what they have committed ? Will ye direct 
him whom God hath led astray ; since for him whom GOD shall lead 
astray, thou shalt find no true path ? They desire that ye should become 

P These words are not to be understood as contradicted to the preceding, That all proceeds 
from God ; since the evil which befalls mankind, though ordered by God, is yet the conse- 
quence of their own wicked actions. 

q Or, to take an account of their actions, for this is God's part. 

' That is, if God had not sent his apostle with the Koran to instruct you in your duty, ye 
had continued in idolatry and been doomed to destruction ; except only those who, by God^s 
favour and their superior understanding, should have true notions of the divinity; such, for 
example, as Zeid Ebn Amru Ebn NofaiU and Waraka Ebn Nawfal,2 who left idols, and 
acknowledged but one God, before the mission of Mohammed. 3 

* It is said this passage was revealed when the Mohammedans refused to follow their 
prophet to the lesser expedition of Bedr, so that he was obliged to set out with no more than 
seventy. 4 Some copies vary in this place, und instead of la tokallafo, in the second person 
singular, read la nokallafo, in the first person plural. We do not oblige, &c. The meaning 
Deing, that the prophet only was under an indispensable necessity of obeying God's commands, 
nowever difficult, but others might choose, though at their periL 

* i.e.. To maintain the right of a believer, or to prevent his being wronged. 

" By adding something farther. As when one salutes another by this form. Peace be unto 
*kee, he ought not only to return the salutation, but to add, and the mercy 0/ God ar.d kh 
blessing. , 

» This passage was revealed, according to some, when certain of Mohammed s followers, pre 
tending not to like Medina, desired leave to go elsewhere, and, havmg obtained it, went 
farther and farther, till they joined the idolaters ; e»r, as others say, on occasion of some 
deserters at the battle of Ohod ; concerning whom the Moslems were divided in opinion 
whether they should be slain as infidels or not. 

1 Vide Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Moh. p 31^^ " See the Preiiin. Disc. Sect 11 

• Al Beidawi * See before. C. 3. P- 4S- 



infidels, as they are infidels, and that ye should be equall wicked with 
themselves. Therefore take not friends from among them, until they fly 
their cotaitry for the religion of GOD ; and if they turn back from tht 
faith, take them, and kill them wherever ye find them ; and take no 
triend from among them, nor any helper, except those who go unto a 
people who are in alliance with you/ or those who come unto you, 
their hearts forbidding them either to fight against you, or to fight 
against their own people.* And if GOD pleased he would have per- 
mitted them to have prevailed against you, and they would have fought 
against you. But if they depart from you, and fight not against you 
and offer you peace, GOD doth not allow you to take or kill them. Ye 
shall find others who are desirous to enter into a confidence with you 
and at the same time to preserve a confidence with their own people :■ 
so often as they return to sedition, they shall be subverted therein ; and 
if they depart not from you, and offer you peace, and restrain their 
hands yr<?;?z warrijig against you, t'ak.Q them and kill them wheresoever 
ye find them ; over these have we granted you a manifest power. It is 
not lawful for a believer to kill a believer, unless it happen by mistake ;t 
and whoso killeth a believer by mistake, the penalty shall be the freeing 
of a believer from slavery, and a fine to be paid to the family of the 
deceased^ unless they remit // as alms : and if the slain person be of a 
people at enmity with you, and be a true believer, the penalty shall be 
the freeing of a believer f but if he be of a people in confederacy with 
you, a fine to be paid to his family, and the freeing of a believer. 
And he who findeth not wherewith to do this, shall fast two months 
consecutively, as a penance enjoined from GOD ; and GOD is knowing 
and wise. But whoso killeth a believer designedly, his reward shall be 
hell ; he shall remain therein for everf and GOD shall be angry with 
him, and shall curse him, and shall prepare for him a great punish- 
ment. O true believers, when ye are on a march in defence of the 
true religion, justly discern such as ye shall happen to meet, and say 
not unto him who saluteth you. Thou art not a true believer ;' seeking 

7 The people here meant, say some, were the tribe of Khozaah, or, according to others, the 
Aslamians, whose chief, named Helal Ebn Owaimar, agreed with Mohammed, when he set 
out against Mecca, to stand neuter ; or, as others rather think, Banu Beer Ebn Zeid.l 

« These, it is said, were the tribe of Modlaj, who came in to Mohammed, but would not 
be obliged to assist him in war. 2 

* The persons hinted at here were the tribes of Asad and Ghatfan, or, as some say, Banu 
Abdaldar, who came to Medina and pretended to embrace Mohammedism, that they migh 
be trusted by the Moslems, but when they returned, fell back to their old idolatry. 3 

*> That is, by accident and without design. This passage was revealed to decide the case 
of Ayash Ebn Abi Rabia, the brother, by the mother's side, of Abu Jahl, who meeting Harett 
Ebn Zeid on the road, and not knowing that he had embraced Mohammedism, slew him. 4 

* Which fine is to be distributed according to the laws of inheritances given in the beginning 
of this chapter. 5 

<1 And no fine shall be paid, because in such case his relations, being infidels and at open wa. 
with the Moslems, have no right to inherit what he leaves. 

* That is, unless he repent. Others, however, understand not here an eternity of damnatioE 
(for it is the general doctrine of the Mohammedans that none who profess that faith shall con 
tinue in hell for ever), but only a long space of time.l 

f On pretence that he only feigns to be a Moslem, that he might escape from you. The 
commentators mention more instances than one of persons slain and plundered by Mohammed's 
men under this pretext, notwithstanding they declared themselves Moslems by repeating the 
usual form of words, and saluting them ; for which reason this pass.' ige was revealed, to pr* 
vent such rash judgments for the future. 

Bei.iawi. JalWo'diin « Al Reid5wl. 9 Idem « Idem. » Idem. I Idem. 

CHAP. V. hL KORAN. 65 

he accidental goods of the present lifej^ for with GOD is much spoil. 
S uch have ye formerly been ; but God hath been gracious unto you ;'' 
therefore make a just discernment, for God is well acquainted with 
that which ye do. Those believers who sit still at ho)ne, not having 
any hurt,* and those who employ their fortunes and their persons for 
the religion of GOD, shall not be held equal. God hath preferred those 
who employ their fortunes and their persons in that cause^ to a degree 
of honour above those who sit at home: GoD hath indeed promised 
every one paradise, but God hath preferred those who fight for the 
faith betore those who sit still, by adding u?ito them a great reward, by 
degrees of honour conferred on them from him, and by granting them. 
forgiveness and mercy ; for GOD is indulgent and merciful. Moreover 
unto those whom the angels put to death, having injured their own 
souls,^ the angels said, Of what religion were ye ? they answered. We 
were weak in the earth.^ The angels replied, Was not God's earth 
wide enough^ that ye might fly therein to a place of refuge T^ There- 
fore their habitation shall be hell ; and an evil journey shall it be 
thither: except the weak among men, and women, and children, who 
were not able to find means, and were not directed in the way ; these 
peradventure GOD will pardon, for GOD is ready to forgive and gracious. 
Whosoever flieth from his country for the sake of GOD's true religion, 
shall find in the earth many forced to do the same, and plenty of pro- 
visions. And whoever departeth from his house, and flieth unto GOD 
and his apostle, if death overtake him in the way^ GoD will be obliged 
to reward him, for GOD is gracious and merciful. When ye march to 
war in the earth, it shall be no crime in you if )^e shorten your prayers, 
in case ye fear the infidels may attack you ; for the infidels are your 
open enemy. But when thou, O prophet, shalt be among them, and 
shalt pray with them, let a party of them arise to prayer with thee, and 
let them take their arms ; and when they shall have worshipped, let 
them stand behind you,° and let another party come that hath not 
prayed, and let them pray with thee, and let them be cautious and 
take their arms. The unbelievers would that ye should neglect your 
arms and your beggage while ye pray, that they might turn upon you 
at once. It shall be no crime in you, if ye be incommoded by rain, or 

S That is, being willing to judge him an infidel, only that ye may kill and plunder him. 

•i viz.. At your first profession of Islamism, before ye had given any demonstrati-jns of youi 
sincerity and zeal therein. 

i i.e.. Not being disabled from going to war by sickness, or other just impedime;it. It ir 
said that when the passage was first revealed there was no such exception therein, which occa 
sioned Ebn Omm Mactum, on his hearing it repeated, to object, A^id wJiat though I be 
blind? Whereupon Mohammed, falling into a kind of trance, which was succeeded by 
strong agitations, pretended he had received the divine direction to add these words to the 

^ These were certain inhabitants of Mecca, who held with the hare and ran with the hounds, 
for though they embraced Mohammedism, yet they would not leave that city to join the 
prophet, as the rest of the Moslems did, but on the contrary went out with the idolaters, and 
were therefore slain with them at the battle of Bedr.3 

1 Being unable to fly, and compelled to follow the infidels to war. 

"* As they did who fled to Ethiopia and to Medina. 

" This passage was revealed, says al Beidawi, on account of Jondob Ebn Damra. This per- 
son being sick, was, in his flight, carried by his sons on a couch, and before he arrived at 
Medina, perceiving his end approached, he clapped his right hand on his left, and soleranly 
plighting his faith to God and his apostle, died. 

• To defend those who are at prayers, and to face the enemy. 

s Al Beidav?i ^ Idem. iaJJalo'ddiD 

66 AL KORAN. CHAP. iv. 

be sick, that ye lay down your arms ; but take your necessary precau- 
tion :''' God hath prepared for the unbelievers an ignominious punish- 
ment. And when ye shall have ended your prayer, remember GOD, 
standing, and sitting, and lying on your sides,*^ But when ye are 
secMXQ from danger, complete j<97/r prayers ; for prayer is commanded 
the faithful, and appointed to be said at the stated times. Be not 
negligent in seeking out the unbelieving people, though ye suffer so7ne 
inconvenie?t''Cj' for they also shall suffer, as ye suffer, and ye hope for a 
reward from GOD which they cannot hope for; and GOD is knowing 
a7id wise.^ We have sent down unto thee the book of the Koran 
with truth, that thou mayest judge between men through that wisdorn 
which God showeth thee thereiti; and be not an advocate for the 
fraudulent ;* but ask pardon of GOD for thy wrong intention, since 
God is indulgent and merciful. Dispute not for those who deceive 
one another, for GOD loveth not him who is a deceiver or unjust.* 
Such conceal themselves from men, but they conceal not themselves 
from God ; for he is with them when they imagine by night a saying 
which pleaseth him not," and GOD comprehendeth what they do. 
Behold, ye are they who have disputed for them in this present life; 
but who shall dispute with GOD for them on the day of resurrection, or 
who will become their patron? yet he who doth evil, or injureth his own 
soul, and afterwards asketh pardon of GOD, shall find GOD gracious 
atid merciful. Whoso committeth wickedness, committeth it against 
his own soul : GOD is knowing and wise. And whoso committeth a 
sin or iniquity, and afterwards layeth it on the innocent, he shall surel)- 
bear the guilt of calumny and manifest injustice. ^ If the indulgence 
and mercy of GOD had not been upon thee, surely a part of them had 
studied to seduce thee ;^ but they shall seduce themselves only, and 
shall not hurt thee at all. GOD hath sent down unto thee the book o) 
the Koran and wisdom, and hath taught thee that which thou knewest 
not ;y for the favour of GOD hath been great towards thee. There is 
no good in the multitude of their private discourses, unless iti the dis- 
course of him who recommendeth alms, or that which is right, or agree- 
ment amongst men ; whoever doth this out of a desire to please GOD 

P By keeping strict guard, 
q That is, in such posture as ye shall be able.^ 

'' This verse was revealed on occasion of the unwillingness of Mohammed's men to accompany 
him in the lesser expedition of Bedr.2 

* Tima Ebn Obeirak, of the sons of Dhafar, one of Mohammed's companions, stole a coat 
of mail from his neighbour, Kitada Ebn al Noman, in a bag of meal, and hid it at a Jew's 
named Zeid Ebn al Samin ; Tima, being suspected, the coat of mail was demanded of him, but 
he denying he knew anything of it, they followed the track of the meal, which had run out 
through a hole in the bag, to the Jew's house, and there seized it, accusing him of the theft ; 
but he producing witnesses of his own religion that he had it of Tima, the sons of Dhafar came 
to Mohammed and desired him to defend his companion's reputation, and condemn the Jew; 
which he having some thoughts of doing, this passage was revealed, reprehending him for hij 
rash intention, and commanding him to judge not according to his own prejudice and opinion, 
but according to the merit of the case. 3 

_ * Al Beidawi, as an instance of the divine justice, adds, that Ti'ma, after the fact above men- 
tioned, fled to Mecca, and returned to idolatry ; and there undermining the wall of a house, in 
order to commit a robbery, the wall fell in upon him and crushed him to death. 

" That is, when they secretly contrive means, by false evidence or otherwise, to lay tbeif 
crimes on innocent persons. 

* Meaning the sons of Dhafar, 

T By instructing thee in the knowledge of right and wrong, and the rules of justice. 

* See before, a 3, p. 52- * Al Beidawf, * Idem, Jallalo'ddin, Yahy* 


we will surely give him a great reward. But whoso separateth himself 
from the apostle, after trite direction hath been manifested unto him, 
and followeth any other way than that of the true believers, v/e will 
cause him to obtain ^hat to which he is inclined,' and will cast him to 
be burned in hell ; and an unhappy journey shall it be tliither. Verily 
God will not pardon the giving him a companion, but he will pardon 
any crime besides that, unto whom he pleaseth : and he who giveth a 
companion unto GOD, is surely led aside into a wide mistake : the in- 
fidels invoke beside him only female deities f- and only invoke rebellious 
Satan. GOD cursed him ; and he said, Verily I will take of thy servants 
a part cut oiifro?n the rest^ and I will seduce them, and will insinuate 
vain desires into them, and I will command them, and they shall cut off 
the ears of cattle ;*' a.nd I v/ill command them, and they shall change 
God's creature.^ But whoever taketh Satan for his patron, besides 
God,® shall surely perish with a manifest destruction. He maketh 
them promises, and insinuateth into them vain desires ; yet Satan 
maketh them only deceitful promises. The receptacle of these shall be 
nell, they shall find no refuge from it. But they who believe, and do 
good works, we will surely lead them into gardens, through which 
rivers flow ; they shall continue therein for ever, according to the true 
promise of GOD ; and who is more true than GOD in what he saith ? 
It shall not be according to your desires, nor accordifig to the desires 
of those w'ho have received the scriptures.' Whoso doth evil, shall be 
rewarded for it ; and shall not find any patron or helper, beside GOD ; 
but whoso doth good w^orks, whether he be male or female, and is a 
true believer, they shall be admitted into paradise, and shall not in 
the least be unjustly dealt with. Who is better in point of religion 
than he who resigneth himself unto GOD, and is a worker of righteous- 
ness, and followeth the law of Abraham the orthodox ? since GOD took 
Abraham for his friend -.^ and to GOD belongeth whatsoever is in 

 viz., Error, and false notions of religion. 

a Namely, Allat, al Uzza, and Menat, the idols of the Meccans; or the angels, whom they 
called the daughters of God. 4 

b Or, as the original may be translated, a part destined or predetermined to be seduced 
by me. 

* Which was done out of superstition by the old pagan Arabs. See more of this custom in 
the notes to the fifth chapter. 

<l Either by maiming it, or putting it to uses not designed by the Creator. Al Beidawi 
supposes the text to intend not only the superstitious amputations of the ears and other parts 
of cattle, but the castration of slaves, the marking their bodies with figures, by pricking and 
dyeing them with wood or indigo (as the Arabs did and still do), the sharpening their teeth by 
filing; and also sodomy, and the unnatural amours between those of the female sex, the 
worship of the sun, moon, and other parts of nature, and the like. 

® i.e.. By leaving the service of God, and doing the works of the devil. 

f That is, the promises of God are not to be gained by acting after your ov.ti fancies, nor yet 
after the fancies of the Jews or Christians, but by obeying the commands of God. This 
passage, they say, was revealed on a dispute which arose between those of the three religions, 
each preferring his own, and condemning the others. Some, however, suppose the persons 
here spoken to in the second person were not the jMohammedans, but the idolaters.! 

g Therefore the JMohammedans usually call that patriarch, as the scripture also does, Khalil 
Allah, the Friend of God, and simply al Khalil; and they tell the following story. That 
Abraham in a time of dearth sent to a friend of his in Egypt for a supply of corn; but the 
friend denied him, saying in his excuse, that though there was a famine in their country also, 
yet had it been for Abraham's own family, he would have sent what he desired, but he knew 
he wanted it only to entertain his guests and give away to the poor, according to his usual 
hospitality. The servants whom Abraham had sent on this message, being ashamed to retura 

* See the Prelim. D ours*'-^ g^** *- ^ ^ Beidawi, Jallalo'ddia. "^'ahya. 


heaven and on earth ; GOD comprehendeth all things. They will con- 
sult thee concerning women -^ Answer, GOD instructeth you concerning 
them,* and that which is read unto you in the book of the Koran 
concerning female orphans, to whom ye give not that which is 
ordained them, neither will ye marry them,*^ and concerning weak 
infants,* and that ye observe justice towards orphans : whatever good 
^e do, God knoweth it. If a woman fear ill usage, or aversion, 
from her husband, it shall be no crime in them if they agree the 
matter amicably between themselves ;™ for a reconciliation is better 
than a separation. Men^s souls are naturally inclined to covet- 
ousness :® but if ye be kind towards women^ and fear to wrong 
them, God is well acquainted with what ye do. Ye can by no means 
carry yourselves equally between women in all respects, although 
ye study to do it; therefore turn not from a wife with all 7nanner 
of aversion," nor leave her like one in suspense ? if ye agree, and 
fear to abase your' wives, GOD is gracious and merciful ; but if they 
separate, GOD will satisfy them both of his abundance ;** for GOD is 
extensive a7id wise, and unto God belongeth whatsoever is in heaven 
and on earth. We have already commanded those unto whom the 
scriptures were given before you, and we cojfunand you also, saying, 
Fear GoD ; but if ye disbelieve, unto GOD belongeth whatsoever is in 
heaven and on earth ; and GOD is self-sufficient,'' a:;/^ to be praised ; 
for unto God belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth, and GOD 
is a sufficient protector. If he pleaseth he will take you away, O men, 
and will produce others^ in your stead; for GOD is able to do this. 
Whoso desireth the reward of this world, verily with GOD is the reward 

empty, to conceal the matter from their neighbours, filled their sacks with fine white sand, 
which in the east pretty much resembles meal. Abraham being informed by his servants, on 
their return, of their ill success, the concern he was under threw him into a sleep ; and in the 
meantime Sarah, knowing nothing of what had happened, opening one of the sacks, found 
good flour in it, and immediately set out about making of bread. Abraham awaking and 
smelling the new bread, asked her whence she had the flour ? Why, says she, from. you> 
friend in Egypt. Nay, replied the Patriarch, it fnust have come from, no otJier than my 
friend God Almighty.'^ 

^ i.e.. As to the share they are to have in the distribution of the inheritances of their deceased 
relations; for it seems that the Arabs were not satisfied with Mohammed's decision on this 
point, against the old customs. 

> i.e.. He hath already made his will known unto you, by revealing the passages concerning 
inheritances in the beginning of this chapter. 

^ Or the words may be rendered in the affirmative, and whotn ye desire to marry. For the 
pagan Arabs used to wrong their female orphans in both instances ; obliging them to marry 
against their inclinations, if they were beautiful or rich ; or else not suflferini^ them to marry at 
all, that they might keep what belonged to them. 3 

1 That is, male children of tender years, to whom the Arabs, in the time of paganism, used 
to allow no share in the distribution of their parents' estate. 4 

■" By the wife's remitting part of her dower or other dues. 

° So that the woman, on the one side, is unwilling to part with any of her right ; and the 
husband, on the other, cares not to retain one he has no affection for ; or, if he should retain 
her, she can scarce expect he will use her in all respects as he ought. 1 

° i.e.. Though you cannot use her equally well with a beloved wife, yet observe some 
measures of justice towards her ; for if a man is not able perfectly to perform his duty, he 
ought not, for that reason, entirely to neglect it. 2 

P Or like one that neither has a husband, nor is divorced, and at liberty to marry elsewhere. 

% That is, either will bless them with a better and more advantageous match, or with peace 
and tranquillity of mind.^ 

^ Wanting the service of no creature. 

' i.e.. Either another race of men or a different species of creatures. 

8 Al Ceidaw. See D'Ke.-bel. Bibl. Orient, p. 14, and Morgan's Mahometism Explained, 
voL L p. 132. 3 A] Beida«^ ^ See before, p. 54, note ^. ^ Al Beidawi. * Idem. > Idem 


of this world, and also of that which is to come ; God both heareth and 
seeth. O true believers, observe justice when ye bear witness before 
God, although it be against yourselves, or yotir parents, or relations ; 
whether the party be rich, or whether he be poor ; for God is more 
worthy than them both : therefore follow not your own lust in bearing 
testimo7iy^ so that ye s^^rv^ from justice. And whether ye wx&sX. your 
evidence, or decline giving it., GOD is well acquainted with that which 
ye do. O true believers, believe in God and his apostle, and the book 
which he hath caused to descend unto his apostle, and the book which 
he hath formerly sent down.* And whosoever believeth not in GoD, 
and his angels, and his scriptures, and his apostles, and the last day, 
he surely erreth in a wide mistake. Moreover they who believed, and 
afterwards became infidels, and then believed again., and after that 
disbelieved, and increased in infidelity," GOD will by no means forgiv 
them, nor direct them into the right way. Declare unto the ungodly 
that they shall suffer a painful punishment They who take the u  
believers for their protectors, besides the faithful, do they seek for 
power with them ? since all power belongeth unto God. And he hath 
already revealed unto you, in the book of the Kordn^ the following 
passage: When ye shall hear the signs of GOD, they shall not be believed, 
but they shall be laughed to scorn. Therefore sit not with them who 
believe not., until they engage in different discourse ; for if ye do., ye 
will certainly become like unto them. GOD will surely gather the un- 
godly and the unbelievers together in hell. They who wait to observe 
what befalleth you, if victory be granted you from GOD, say. Were we 
not with you f' But if any advantage happen to the infidels, they say 
unto them., Were we not superior to you,* and have we not defended 
you against the believers ? GOD shall judge between you on the day 
of resurrection ; and GOD will not grant the unbelievers means to pre- 
vail over the faithful. The hypocrites act deceitfully with GoD, but 
he will deceive them ; and when they stand up to pray, they stand 
carelessly, affecting to be seen of men, and remember not God, unless 
a little,^ wavering between faith and infidelity, and adhering neither 
unto these nor unto those -^ and for him whom GOD shall lead astray, 
thou shalt find no true path. O true believers, take not the unbelievers 
for j^«r protectors, besides the faithful. Will ye furnish GOD with an 
evident argument of i?npiety against you ? Moreover the hypocrites 

' It is said that Abda'llah Ebn Salam and his companions told Mohammed that they 
oelieved in him, and his Koran, and in Moses, and the Pentateuch, and in Ezra, but no 
farther ; wliereupon this passage was revealed, declaring that a partial faith is little better than, 
aone at all, and that a true believer must believe in all God's prophets and revelations without. 
exception. 4 , . „ . ... 

« These were the Jews, who first believed in Moses, and afterwards fell mto idolatry by- 
worshipping the golden calf; and though they repented of that, yet in after ages rejected the 
prophets who were sent to them, and particularly Jesus, the son of Mary, and now filled up 
che measure of their unbelief by rejecting of Mohammed.^ 

X Mohammed here means those who hypocritically jjretended to believe in hiin but really 
did not, and by their treachery did great mischief to his party. 1 

y Cap. 6. 

« i.e., Did we not assist you? Therefore give us pait of the spoil.2 

» Would not oiu- army have cut you off if it Iwd DOt been for our faint assistance, or rathesr 
desertion, of the Moslems, and our disheartening them ?3 

b That is, with the tongue, and not with the heart. 

'^ Halting between two opinions, and being staunch friends neither to the Moslems nor tlr« 


« Al Bediawi 6 Idem ' Ideao. " Ideia. -^ Idem 


shall be in the lowest bottom of hell fire,'^ and thou shalt not find any 
to help them thence. But they v*ho repert and amend, and adhere 
firmly unto GoD, and approve the sincerity of their religion to GOD, 
they shall be numbered with the faithful ; and GOD will surely give the 
aithful a great reward. And how should GOD go about to punish you, 
if ye be thankful and believe? for GOD is grateful i^/^^Z wise. (VI.) GoD 
loveth not the speaking ill of any one in public, unless he who is in- 
jured call for assistance; and GOD heareth and knoweth : whether ye 
publish a good actiott, or conceal it, or forgive evil, verily GOD is gracious 
and powerful. They who believe not in GOD and his apostles, and 
would make a distinction between GOD and his apostles,® and say, We 
believe in some of the prophets, and reject others of them, and seek to 
take a middle way in this matter; these are really unbelievers, and we 
have prepared for the unbelievers an ignominious punishment. But they 
who believe in GOD and his apostles, and make no distinction between 
any of them, unto those will we surely give their reward; and GOD is 
gracious and merciful. They who have received the scriptures' will de- 
mand of thee, that thou cause a book to descend unto them from heaven : 
they formerly asked of Moses a greater thing than this ; for they said, 
Show us God visibly.^ Wherefore a storm of fire from heaven destroyed 
them, because of their iniquity. Then they took the zdXi for their 
God^ after that evident proofs of the divine unity had come unto them : 
but we forgave them that, and gave Moses a manifest power to puftish 
them} And we lifted the mountain of Sinai over them,^ when we 
exacted from them their covenant ; and said unto them. Enter the gate 
of the city worshipping.^ We also said unto them, Transgress not on 
the sabbath day. And we received from them a firm covenant, that 
they wo2ild observe these things. Therefore for that°^ they have made 
void their covenant, and have not believed in the signs of GOD, and 
have slain the prophets unjustly, and have said. Our hearts are uncir- 
cumcised (but GOD hath sealed them up, because of their unbelief; 
therefore they shall not believe, except a few of thern) : and for that they 
have not believed on Jesus, and have spoken against Mary a grievous 
calumny -^ and have said. Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the son oA 
Mary, the apostle of God ; yet they slev/ him not, neither crucified 
him, but he was represented by one in his likeness;** and verily they 

<i See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV. 

"^ See c. 2, p. 31, note ^. 

f That is, the Jews ; who demanded of Mohammed, as a proof of his mission.that they might 
see a book of revelations descend to him from heaven, or that he would produce one written 
in a celestial character, like the two tables of Moses. 

g See chapter 2, p. 6. 

This story seems to be an addition to what Moses says of the seventy elders, who went up 
to the mountain with him, and with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and saw the God of Israel. l 

** 6ee chapter 2, p. 6. 

'■ See ibid. p. 6, note °'. 

^ See ibid. p. 8. 

1 See ibid. p. 7. 

"' There being nothing in the following words of this sentence, to answer to the causal for 
that, Jallalo'ddin supposes something to be understood to complete the sense, as therefore w* 
have cursed thetn, or the like. 

" By accusing her of fornication. 2 

See chapter 3, p. 2^, and the notes there. 

' Exod. xxiv. Q. 10, II 2 See the Kor. c. tg, ind that virulent book entitled Toldoth !««» 


who disagreed concerning him.^ were in a doubt as to this matter^ 
and had no sure knowledge thereof, but followed only an uncertain 
opinion. They did not really kill him: but GoD took him up unto 
himself: and God is mighty and vf'ist. And there shall not be one of 
those who have received the scriptures, who shall not believe in him, 
before his death -^ and on the day of resurrection he shall be a witness 
against them.' Because of the iniquity of those who Judaize, we have 
forbidden them good things, which had been formerly allowed them ;' 
and because they shut out many from the way of GOD, and have given 
usury, which was forbidden them by the law, and devoured men's 
substance vainly : we have prepared for such of them as are unbelievers 
a painful punishment But those among them who are well grounded 
in knowledge,' and the faithful, who believe in that which hath been 
sent down unto thee, and that which hath been sent down unto the 
prophets before thee, and who observe the stated times of prayer, and 
give alms, and believe in God and the last day ; unto these will we 
give a great reward. Verily we have revealed 02cr will unto thee, as 
we have revealed it unto Noah and the prophets who succeeded him; 
and as we revealed it unto Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and 
Jacob, and the tribes, and unto Jesus, and Jobj and Jonas, and Aaron, 
and Solomon ; and we have given thee the Koran, as we gave the 
Psalms unto David : some apostles have we sent, whom we have 
formerly mentioned unto thee ; and other apostles have we sent, whom 
we have not mentioned unto thee ; and God spake unto Moses, dis- 
coursing with hitn; apostles declaring good tidings, and denouncing 
threats, lest men should have an argument of excuse against GOD, 
after the apostles had been sent unto themj GOD is mighty and wise. 
God is witness of that revelation which he hath sent down unto thee ; 
he sent it down with his special knowledge : the angels rJso are wit- 
nesses thereof J but GOD is a sufficient witness. They who believe not, 

P For some maintained that he was justly and really crucified ; some insisted that it was 
not Jesus who suffered, but another who resembled him in the face, pretending the other 
parts of his body, by their unhkeness, plainly discovered the imposition ; some said he was 
taken up into heaven ; and others, that his manhood only suffered, and that his godhead 
ascended into heaven. 3 

<1 This passage is expounded two ways. 

Some, referring: the relative his, to the first antecedent, take the meaning to be, that no Jew 
or Christian shall die before he believes in Jesus : for they say, that when one of either of 
those religions is ready to breathe his last, and sees the angel of death before him, he shall 
then believe in that prophet as he ought, though his faith will not then be of any avail. Accord- 
ing to a tradition of Hejaj, when a Jew is expiring, the angels will strike him on the back and 
face, and say to him, O thou enemy qfGoT>, Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee, and thou 
didst not believe on him ; to which he will answer, / no-w believe hitn to be the servant of God; 
and to a dying Christian they will say, Jesus was sent as a propJiet unto tliee, and thou Jtast 
imagined him to be God, or the son q/GoD ; whereupon he will believe him to be the servant 
of God only, and his apostle. 

Others, taking the above-mentioned relative to refer to Jesus, suppose the intent of the 
passage to be, that all Jews and Christians in general shall have a right faith in that prophet 
before his death, that is, when he descends from heaven and returns into the world, where he 
is to kill Antichrist, and to establish the Mohammedan religion, and a most perfect tranquillity 
and security on earth. 1 

'' i.e.. Against the Jews, for rejecting him ; and against the Christians, for calling him God, 
and the son of God. 2 

' See chapter 3, p. 38 and 42, and the notes there, 

* As Abda'llah Ebn Salam, and his companions. 3 

3 Al Beidawi. 1 Jallalo'ddin, Yahya, al Zamakhshari, and al BeidawL See the Ptelim 

Disc Sect IV. 2 Al BeidawL a Idem. 

7 a AL KORAN. CiiAP. va 

and turn aside others from the way of GoD, have erred in a wide 
mistake. Verily those who believe not, and act unjustly, GOD will by 
no means forgive, neither will he direct them into any other way than 
the way of hell ; they shall remain therein for ever : and this is easy 
vvith God. O men, now is the apostle com^e unto you, with truth from 
your Lord ; believe therefore, it will be better for you. But if ye 
disbelieve, verily unto GoD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on 
earth ; and GoD is knowing and wise. O ye who have received the 
scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion,'^ neither say ol 
God any other than the truth. Verily Christ Jesus the son of Mary is 
the apostle of God, and his Word, which he conveyed into Mary, and 
a spirit proceeding from him. Believe therefore in GoD, and his 
apostles, and say not. There are three Godsj^ forbear this; it will be 
better for you. God is but one God. Far be it from him that he 
should have a son ! unto him belongeth whatsoever is 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 approach 
near to his presence : and whoso disdaineth his service, and is puffed 
up with pride, God will gather them all to himself, on the last day. 
Unto those who believe, and do that which is right, he shall give their 
rewards, and shall siiperabtmdantly add unto them of his liberality : 
but those who are disdainful and proud, he will punish with a grievous 
punishment ; and they shall not find any to protect or to help them, 
besides God. O men, now is an evident proof come unto you from 
your Lord, and we have sent down unto you manifest light.y They 
who believe in God and firmly adhere to him, he will lead them into 
mercy from him, and abundance ; and he will direct them in the right 
way to himself."^ They will consult thee for thy decision in certain 
cases J say unto them., God giveth you these determinations, concerning 
the more remote degrees of kindred.^ If a man die without issue, and 
have a sister, she shall have the half of what he shall leave '^ and he 
shall be heir to her,° in case she have no issue. But if there be two 
sisters, they shall have between them two third parts of what he shall 
leave ; and if there be several, both brothers and sisters, a male shall 
have as much as the portion of two females. GOD declareth unto you 
these precepts, lest ye err : and GoD knoweth all things. 

" Either by rejecting and contemning of Jesus as the Jews do ; or raising him to an equalit^r 
with God, as do the Christians. ^ 

* Namely, God, Jesus, and Mary.l For the eastern writers mention a sect ot Christians 
which held the Trinity to be composed of those three ;2 but it is allowed that this heresy has 
:>een long since extinct.3 The passage, however, is equally levelled against the Holy Trinity, 
according to the doctrine of the orthodox Christians, who, as al Beidawi acknowledges, believe 
the divine nature to consist of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; by the 
Father understanding God's essence ; by the Son his knowledge, and by the Holy Ghost his life. 

y That is, Mohammed and his Koran. 

2 viz., Into the religion of Islam, in this world, and the way to paradise in the next.* 

» See the beginning of this chapter, p. 53. 

*> And the other half will go to the public treasury. 

•^ That is, he shall inherit her whole substance. 

* Al Beidawi. 1 Idem, Jallalo'ddin, Yahya. 2 Elmacin. p. 227. Rutych. p. 52a Setf 
the PrcHm. Disc. Sect. II 3 Ahmed Ebn Abd'al Halira. * Al Beidawi 





OTRUE believers, perform your contracts. Ye are allowed to eat 
the brute cattle,® other than what ye are commanded to abstain 
from; except the game which ye are allowed at other ti7nes^ but not 
while ye are on pilgrimage to Mecca; God ordaineth that which he 
pleaseth. O true believers, violate not the holy rites of GOD,^ nor the 
sacred month,8 nor the offering, nor the ornaments hung thereon^ nor 
those who are travellirig to the holy house, seeking favour from their 
Lord, and to please him. But when ye shall have finished your piJ 
grimage, then hunt. And let not the malice of some, in that they 
hindered you from entering the sacred temple,* provoke you to trans- 
gress, by taking revenge on thejn in the sacred m,onihs. Assist one 
another according to justice and piety, but assist not one another in 
injustice and malice : therefore fear God ; for GOD is severe in punish- 
ing. Ye are forbidden to eat that which dieth of itself, and blood, and 
swine's flesh, and that on which the name of any besides GOD hath 
been invocated ;^ and that which hath been strangled, or killed by a 
blow, or by a fall, or by the horns of another beast, and that which hath 
been eaten by a wild beast,^ except what ye shall kill yourselves ;^ and 
that which hath been sacrificed unto idols," // is likewise unlawfod 
for you to make division by casting lots with arrows." This is an im- 
piety. On this day,"^ v/oe be unto those who have apostatized from their 
religion ; therefore fear not them, but fear me. This day have I per- 
fected your religion for you,* and have completed my mercy upon 

^ This title is taken from the Table, which, towards the end of the chapter, is fabled to have 
been let down from heaven to Jesus. It is sometimes also called the chapter of Contracts, 
which word occurs in the first verse. 

® As camels, oxen, and sheep ; and also wild cows, antelopes, &c. ;! but not sv/ine, nor what 
is taken in hunting during the pilgrimage. 

f i.e.. The ceremonies used in the pilgrimage of Mecca. 

K See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VII. 

" The offering here meant is the sheep led to Mecca, to be there sacrificed, about the neck of 
which they used to hang garlands, green boughs, or some other ornament, that it may be dis- 
tinguished as a thing sacred. 2 

i In the expedition of Al Hodeibiya.3 

* For the idolatrous Arabs used, in killing any animal for food, to consecrate it, as it were 
to their idols, by saying. In the name of Allat, or al Uzza.4 

1 Or by a creature trained up to hunting. ^ 

"* That is, unless ye come up time enough to find life in the animal, and to cut its throat. 

" The word also signifies certain stones, which the pagan Arabs used to set up near their 
houses, and on which they superstitiously slew animals, in honour of their gods. 6 

See Prelim. Disc. Sect. V. 

P This passage, it is said, was revealed on Friday evening, being the day of the pilgrims 
visiting Mount Arafat, the last time Mohammed visited the temple cf Mecca, therefore called 
the piig7 image of valediction. 7 

«l And therefore the commentators say, that after this time, no positive or negative precept 
was ^iven.! 

1 JaU-lo'ddin, al Beidawi. « See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 3 See the Prelim. Disc 
Sect, t *Seec. 2, p. i"^. 5 Al Beidawi. f^ Ideno. ' Idem. See Prid. Life 
of Ifes: D. D. 00. ^ Vide Abulfed. Vit. MoL p. i3i. 

74 AL KORAN. chap, v 

you ;' and I have chosen for you Islam, to be your religion. But v;hosoevei 
shall be driven by necessity through hunger to eat of what we have 
forbiddefi, not designing to sin, surely GOD will be indulgent and mer- 
ciful u7ito him. They will ask thee what is allowed them as lawful to 
eat? Answer, Such things as are good* are allowed you ; and what 
ye shall teach animals of prey to catch^ training them up for hunting 
after the manner of dogs, and teaching them according to the skill 
which God hath taught you. Eat therefore of that which they shall 
catch for you ; and commemorate the name of GoD thereon f' and fear 
God, for God is swift in taking an account. This day are ye allowed 
to eat such things as are good, and che food of those to whom the 
scriptures were given'^ is also allowed as lawful unto you ; and youi 
food is allowed as lawful unto them. And ye are also allowed to marry 
free women that are believers, and also free women of those who have 
received the scriptures before you, when ye shall have assigned them 
their dower ; living chastely with them^ neither committing fornication, 
nor taking them for concubines. Whoever shall renounce the faith, 
his work shall be vain, and in the next life he shall be of those who 
perish. O true believers, when ye prepare yourselves to pray, wash 
your faces, and your hands unto the elbows ; and rub your heads, and 
your feet unto the ankles ; and if ye be polluted by having lain with a 
woman, wash yourselves all over. But if ye be sick, or on a journey, 
or any of you cometh from the privy, or if ye have touched women, 
and ye find no water, take fine clean sand, and rub your faces and 
your hands therewith ; GOD would not put a difficulty upon you ; but 
he desireth to purify you, and to complete his favour upon you, that ye 
may give thanks. Rem.ember the favour of GOD towards you, and his 
covenant which he hath made witn you, when ye said. We have heard, 
and will obey.y Therefore fear GOD, for God knoweth the innermost 
parts of the breasts of 7nen. O true believers, observe justice when ye 
appear as witnesses before GoD, and let not hatred towards any induce 
you to do wrong : but act justly; this will approach nearer unto piety; 
and fear God, for God is fully acquainted with what ye do. God hath 
promised unto those who believe, and do that which is right, that they 
shall receive pardon and a great reward. But they who believe not, 
and accuse our signs of falsehood, they shall be the companions of 
hell. O time believers, remember God's favour towards you, when 
certain men designed to stretch forth their hands against you, but he 
restrained their hands from hurting you f therefore fear God, and in 

"■ By having given you a true aind perfect religion ; or, by the taking of Mecca, and the 
destruction of idolatry. 

* Not such as are filthy, or unwholesome. 

* Whether beasts or birds. 

« Either when ye let go the hound, hawk, or other animal, after the game ; or when ye 
kill it. , 

^ viz., Slain or dressed by Jev/s or Christians. 

y These words are the form used at the inauguration of a prince ; and Mohammed here 
Intends the oath of fidelity which his followers had taken to him at al Akaba.2 

* The commentators tell several stories as the occasion of this passage. One says, that 
Mohammed and some of his followers being at Osfan (a place not far from Mecca, in the way 
to Medina), and performing their noon devotions, a company of idolaters, who were in view, 
repented they had not taken that opportunity of attacking them, and therefore waited till th« 
hour of evening prayer, intending to fall upon them then : but God defeated their design, by 

'Vide Abulfed. ibid, p- '=»• and the Prelim. Disc. Sect 1 1- 


God let the faithful trust. God formerly accepted the covenant o( 
the children of Israel, and we appointed out of them twelve leaders : 
and God said, Verily, I am with you '^ if ye observe prayer, and give 
alms, and believe in my apostles, and assist them, and lend unto GoD 
on good usury ,b I will surely expiate your evil deeds from you, and I 
will lead you into gardens, wherein rivers flow : but he among you 
who disbelieveth after this, erreth from the straight path. Wherefore 
because they have broken their covenant, we have cursed them, and 
hardened their hearts ; they dislocate the words of the Pentateuch from 
their places, and have forgotten part ot what they were admonished ; 
and thou wilt not cease to discover deceitful practices among them, 
except a few of them. But forgive them/ and pardon them, for GoD 
loveth the beneficent. And from those who say, We are Christians, 
we have received their covenant ; but they have forgotten part of what 
they were admonished ; wherefore we have raised up enmity and hatred 
among them, till the day of resurrection ; and GOD will then surely de- 
clare unto them what they have been doing. O ye who have received 
the scriptures, now is our apostle come unto you, to make manifest unto 
you many things which ye concealed in the scriptures -^ and to pass 
over^ many things. Now is light and a perspicuous book of revelations 
come unto you from GOD. Thereby will God direct him who shall 
follow his good pleasure, into the paths of peace ; and shall lead them 
out of darkness into light, by his will, and shall direct them in the 
right way. They are infidels, who say, Verily GOD is Christ the son 
of Mary. Say unto them, And who could obtain anything from GOD 
to the contrary^ if he pleased to destroy Christ the son of Mary, and 
his mother, and all those who are on the earth ? For unto GOD 
belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth, and whatsoever is con- 

revealing the verse oifear. Another relates, that the prophet going to the tribe of Koreidha 
(who were Jews) to levy a fine for the blood of two Moslems, who had been killed by mistake, 
by Amru Ebn Ommeya al Dimri, they desired him to sit down and eat with them, and they 
would pay the fine , Mohammed complying with their request, while he was sitting, they laid 
a design against his life, one Amru Ebn Jahash undertaking to throw a millstone upon him ; 
but God withheld his hand, and Gabriel immediately descended to acquaint the prophet with 
their treachery, upon which he rose up and went his way. A third story is, that Mohammed 
having hung up his arms on a tree, under which he was resting himself, and his companions 
being dispersed some distance from him, an Arab of the desert came up to him and drew his 
sword, saying, Who hhtderetk mejrotn killing thee ? To which Mohammed answered, God ; 
and Gabriel beating the sword out of the Arab's hand, Mohammed took it up, and asked him 
the same question, IVho hi7iders mefrofn killittg tJiee ? the Arab replied, nobody, and imme- 
diately professed Mohammedism.1 Abulfeda2 teLls the same story, with some variation of 

a After the Israelites had escaped from Pharaoh, God ordered them to go against Jericho, 
which was then inhabited by giants, of the race of the Canaanites, promising to give it into 
their hands ; and Moses, by the divine direction, appointed a prince or captain over each 
tribe, to lead them in that expedition,-^ and when they came to the borders of the land of 
Canaan, sent the captains as spies to get information of the state of the country, enjoining 
them secresy ; but they being terrified at the prodigious size and strength of the inhabitants, 
disheartened the people by publicly telling what they had seea, except only Caleb the son of 
Yufarma (Jephunneh)and Joshua the son of Nun.'* 

*> By contributing towards this holy war. 

' That is, if they repent and believe, or submit to pay tribute. Some, however, think these 
words are abrogated by the verse of the sword J> 

"* Such as the verse of stoning adulterers,^ the description of Mohammed, and Christ's 
prophecy of him by the name of Ahmed. ^ 

* i.e.. Those which it was not necessary to restore. 

I Al Beidawi. « Vit. Moh. p. 73. 3 S3e Numb, i 4, 5. * Al BeidawL 

Numb, xiii and xiv ^ a1 BeidawL 5 See c 3, p. 34. ^ Al Beidawi. 


tained between them ; he createth what he pleaseth, and GOD is 
almighty. The Jews and the Christians say, We are the children ol 
God, and his beloved. Answer, Why therefore doth he punish you 
for your sins ? Nay, but ye are men, of those whom he hath created 
He forgiveth whom he pleaseth, and punisheth whom he pleaseth ; and 
unto God belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth, and of what u 
contained between them both ; and unto him shall all things return. 

ye who have received the scriptures, now is our apostle come unto 
you, declaring unto you the true religion, during the cessation of 
apostles/ lest ye should say. There came unto us no bearer of gooci 
tidings, nor any warner : but now is a bearer of good tidings and a 
warner come unto you ; and GOD is almighty. Call to mind when 
Moses said unto his people, O my people, remember the favour of GOD 
towards you, since he hath appointed prophets among you, and con- 
stituted you kingSjS and bestowed on you what he hath given to no 
other iiation in the world. '^ O my people, enter the holy land, which 
God hath decreed you, and turn not your backs, lest ye be subverted 
and perish. They answered, O Moses, verily there are a gigantic 
people in the landj^ and we will by no means enter it, until they de- 
part thence ; but if they depart thence, then will we enter therein. And 
two men^ of those who feared God, unto whom GOD had been gracious, 
said, Enter ye upon them suddenly by the gate of the city ; and when 
ve shall have entered the same, ye shall surely be victorious : therefore 
trust in GOD, if ye are true believers. They replied, O Moses, we will 
never enter the land, while they remain therein : go therefore thou, and 
thy Lord, and fight ; for we will sit here. Moses said, O Lord, surely 

1 am not master of any except myself, and my brother ; therefore make 
a distinction between us and the ungodly people. God answered. 
Verily the land shall be forbidden them forty years ; during which 
time they shall wander like men astonished in the earth '} therefore be 
not thou solicitous for the ungodly people. Relate also unto them the 
history of the two sons of Adam,™ with truth. When they offered"^ thei'P 

f The Arabic word al Fatra signifies the intermediate space of time between two prophets, 
during which no new revelation or dispensation was given ; as the interval between Moses and 
Jesus, and between Jesus and Mohammed, at the expiration of which last, Mohammed pre- 
tended to be sent. 

S This was fulfilled either by God's giving them a kingdom, and a long series of princes ; oi 
by his having made them kings or masters of themselves, by delivering them from the 
Egyptian bondage. 

^ Having divided the Red Sea for you, and guided yoa by a cloud, and fed you with quails 
and manna, &c.l 

> The largest of these giants, the commentators saj , was Og, the son of Anak ; concerning 
whose enormous stature, his escaping the Flood, and the manner of his being slain by Moses, 
the Mohammedans relate several absurd fables.^ 

k Namely, Caleb and Joshua. 

' The commentators pretend that the Israelites, while they thus wandered in the desert, 
were kept within the compass of about eighteen (or as some say twenty-seven) miles ; and that 
though they travelled from morning to night, yet they constantly found themselves the next 
day at the place from whence they set out.l 

"" viz., Cain and Abel, whom the Mohammedans call Kabil and Habil. 

"^ The occasion of their making this oiFering is thus related, according to the common tradi- 
tion in the east. 2 Each of them being born with a twm sister, when they were grown up, 
Adam, by God's direction, ordered Cain to marry Abel's tivin sister, and that Abel should 

1 Al Beidawi. 2 vide Marracc. in Alcor. p. 231, &c. D'Rerbel. Bibl. Orient p. 336 

' Al Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin. 2 Vide Abulfarag, p- 6, 7 ; Eutytb. AnnaL p. 15, 16; anr 

U'Herbelot. Bibl. Orient. Art. Cabil. 


offering, and it was accepted from one of them," and was not accepte ^ 
from the other, Cam said to his brother, I will certainly kill thee. Abel 
answered, God only accepteth/>^<?^^r/;«^of the pious ; if thou stretchest 
forth thy hand against me, to slay me, I will not stretch forth my hand 
against thee, to slay thee ; for I fear GoD the Lord of all creatures.^ I 
choose that thou shouldest bear my iniquity and thine own iniquity ; and 
that thou become a companion of hell fire ; for that is the reward of the 
unjust.* But his soul suffered him to slay his brother, and he slew 
him ;' wherefore he became of the number of those who perish. And 
God sent a raven, which scratched the earth, to show him how he 
should hide the shame of his brother,* and he said, Woe is me ! am I 
unable to be like this raven, that I may hide my brother's shame ? and 
he became one of those who repent, Wherefore we commanded the 
children of Israel, that he who slayeth a soul, without having slain a 
soul, or committed wickedness in the earth,' shall be as if he had 
slain all mankind -^ but he who saveth a soul alive, shall be as if 
he had saved the lives of all mankind. Our apostles formerly came 
unto them, with evident miracles j then were many of them, after this, 
transgressors on the earth. But the recompense of those who fight 
against God and his apostles, and study to act corruptly in the earth, 
shall be, that they shall be slain, or crucified, or have their hands and 
their feet cut off on the opposite sides, or be banished the land.^ This 
shall be their disgrace in this world, and in the next world they shall 
suffer a grievous punishment ; except those who shall repent, before ye 
prevail against them j for know that GOD is inclined to forgive, and 

marry Cain's (for it being the common opinion that marriages ought not to be had in the 
nearest degrees of consanguinity, since they must necessarily marry their sisters, it seemed 
reasonable to suppose they ought to take those of the remoter degree), but this Cain refusing 
to agree to, because his own sister was the handsomest, Adam ordered them to make their 
offerings to God, thereby referring the dispute to his determination. 3 The commentators say 
Cain's oflfering was a sheaf of the very worst of his com, but Abel's a fat lamb, of the best of 
his flock. 

Namely, from Abel, whose sacrifice God declared his acceptance of in a visible manner, 
by causing fire to descend from heaven and consume it, without touching that of Cain.4 

P To enhance Abel's patience, al Beidawi tells us, that he was the stronger of the two, and 
could easily have prevailed against his brother. 

1 The conversation between the two brothers is related somewhat to the same purpose in 
the Jerusalem Targum and that of Jonathan ben UzzieL 

^ Some say he knocked out his brains with a stone ;5 and pretend that as Cain was consider- 
ing which way he should effect the murder, the devil appeared to him in a human shape, and 
showed him how to do it, by crushing the head of a bird between two stones.6 

' i.e.. His dead corpse. For Cain, having committed this fratricide, became exceedingly 
troubled in his mind, and carried the dead body about on his shoulders for a considerable 
time, not knowing where to conceal it, till it stank horridly ; and then God taught him tc 
bury it by the example of a raven, who having killed another raven in his presence, dug a pit 
with his claws and beak, and buried him therein.^ For this circumstance of the raven Mo- 
hammed was beholden to the Jews, who tell the same story, except only that they make the 
raven to appear to Adam, and that he thereupon buried his son. 8 

* Such as idolatry, or robbing on the highway.! 

" Having broken the commandment which forbids the shedding of blood. 

» The lawyers are not agreed as to the applying of these punishments. But the commen- 
tators suppose that they who commit murder only are to be put to death in the ordinary way ; 
those who murder and rob too, to be crucified ; those who rob without committing murder, to 
have their right hand and their left foot cut off; and they who assault persons and put them 
in fear, to be banished.2 It is also a doubt whether they who are to be crucified shall be 
crucified alive, or be first put to death, or whether they shall hang on the cross till they die. 3 

3 Al Beidawi. ■* Idem, Jallalo'ddin. 5 Vide Eutych. ubi supra. « Vide D'Herbelot, 
3bi sup. 7 Jallalo'ddin, al Beidawi. 8 Vide R. Eliezer, Pirke, c. £«. ' Al Beidawi 

• Idem. I allalo'ddin. 3 Al BcidawL 

78 AL KORAN, chap. v. 

merciful. O true believers, fear God, and earnestly desiri. a near con- 
junction with him, and fight for his religion, that ye may be happy. 
Moreover they who believe not, although they had whatever is in the 
earth, and as much more withal, that they might therewith redeem 
themselves from punishment on the day of resurrection ; it shall no 
be accepted from them, but they shall suffer a painful punishment. 
They shall desire to go forth from the fire, but they shall not go forth 
from it, and their punishment shall be permanent. If a man or a 
woman steal, cut off their hands/ in retribution for that which they 
have committed ; this is an examplary punishment appointed by GOD ; 
and God is mighty and wise. But whoever shall repent after his 
iniquity, and amend, verily GOD will be turned unto him," for GOD is 
inclined to forgive and merciful. Dost thou not know that the kingdom 
of heaven and earth is God's t He punisheth whom he pleaseth, and 
he pardoneth whom he pleaseth ; for GOD is almighty. O apostle, let 
not them grieve thee, who hasten to infidelity,* either of those who say, 
We believe, with their mouths, but whose hearts believe not ;b or of 
the Jews, who hearken to a lie, and hearken to other people ; who 
come not unto thee : they pervert the words of the law from their true 
places,*^ and say. If this be brought unto v'ou, receive it ; but if it be 
not brought unto you, beware of receiving ought elsef and in behalf 
of him whom GoD shall resolve to reduce, thou shalt not prevail with 
God at all. They whose hearts God shall not please to cleanse, shall 
suffer shame in this world, and a grievous punishment in the next : 
who hearken to a lie, and eat that which is forbidden.' But if they 
come unto thee for judgTnent, either judge between them, or leave 
them ;8 and if thou leave them, they shall not hurt thee at alL But 

y But this punishment, according to the Sonna, is not to be inflicted, unless the value of the 
thing stolen amount to four dindrs, or about forty shillings. For the first offence, the criminal 
is to lose his right hand, which is to be cut off at the wrist ; for the second offence, his left foot, 
at the ankle ; for the third, his left hand ; for the fourth, his right foot ; and if he continue fi 
offend, he shall be scourged at the discretion of the judge.* 

' That is, God will not punish him for it hereafter ; but his repentance does not supersede 
the execution of the law here, nor excuse him from making restitution. Yet, according to 
al Shafei, he shall not be punished if the party wronged forgive him before he be carried before 
a magistrate. S 

» i.e.. Who take the first opportunity to tlurow off the mask, and join the unbelievers. 

*> viz., The hypocritical Mohammedans. 

•^ These words are capable of two senses ; and may either mean that they attended to the 
lies and forgeries of their Rabbins, neglecting the remonstrances of Mohammed ; or else, that 
they came to hear Mohammed as spies only, that they might report what he said to their com- 
panions, and represent him as a liar.l 

^ See chapter 4, p. 59, note ®. 

^ That is, if what Mohammed tells you agrees with scripture, as corrupted and dislocated by 
us, then you may accept it as the word of God ; but if not, reject it. These words, it is said, 
relate to the sentence pronounced by that prophet on an adulterer and an adulteress, 2 both 
persons of some figure among the Jews. For they, it seems, though they referred the matter 
10 Mohammed, yet directed the persons who carried the criminals before him, that if he ordered 
them to be scourged, and to have their faces blackened (by way of ignominy), they should 
Acquiesce in his determination ; but in case he condernned them to be stoned, they should not. 
And Mohammed pronouncing the latter sentence against them, they refused to execute it, till 
Ebn Suriya (a Jew), who was called upon to decide the matter, acknowledged the law to be so 
—whereupon they were stoned at the door of the mosque.^ 

f Some understand this of unlawful meats ; Kit ^hers of taking or devouring, as it is ex- 

rarcssed, of usury and bribes. ■* ^ , • j-^r . -u . ou-r- 

^ .• * 'V^A^f. f}iv rVinire whether thou Wilt determine their differences or not. Hence al bhafei 


Take thy choice, whether thou wilt determine their differennes or not 

■1 Jallalo'ddin, Al Beidawi ^ Ideea. 1 Al BeidawL 2 See c. 3, p. 34, oot« ', 

:i .\1 BeidawL * Iderv. 


if thou undertake to judge, judge betv/een them with equity ; for 
God loveth those who observe justice. And how \vili they submit to 
thy decision, since they have the law, containing the judgment of 
God ?^ Then will they turn their backs, after this ;' but those are 
not true believers.^ We have surely sent down the law, containing 
direction, and light : thereby did the prophets, who professed the 
trae religion, judge these who Judaized ; and the doctors and priests 
also judged by the book of GOD, which had been committed to their 
custody ; and they were witnesses thereof^ Therefore fear not men, but 
fear me ; neither sell my signs for a small price. And whoso judgeth 
not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are infidels. We have 
therein commanded them, that they should give life for life,™ and eye 
for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth ; and 
that wounds should also be punished by retaliation :° but whoever should 
remit it as alms, it should be accepted as an atonement for him. And 
whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are un- 
just. We also caused Jesus the son of Mar}' to follow the footsteps of 
the prophets., confirming the law which was soit down before him ; and 
we gave him the gospel, containing direction and light ' confirming 
also the law which was given before it, and a direction and admoni- 
tion unto those who fear God; that they who have received the gospel 
might judge according to what GOD hath revealed therein : and whoso 
judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are transgres- 
sors. We have also sent down unto thee the book of the Koran with 
truth, confirming that scripture which was revealed before it • an pre- 
servmg the same S3l& from corruption. Judge therefore between them 
according to that which GoD hath revealed ; and follow not their de- 
sires, by swerving from the truth which hath come unto thee. Unto 
every of you have we given a law, and an open path ; and if GOD had 
pleased, he had surely made you one people f but he hath thought Jit 
to give you different laws., that he might try you in that which he hath 
given you respectively. Therefore strive to excel each other in good 
works : unto God shall ye all return, and then will he declare unto you 
that concerning which ye have disagreed. Wherefore do thoUy O pro- 

was of opinion that a judge was not obliged to decide causes between Jews or Christians ; 
though if one or both of them be tributaries, or under the protection of the Mohammedans, 
they are obliged : this verse not regarding them. Abu Hanifa, however, thought that the 
magistrates were obliged to judge all cases which were submitted to them. 6 

*» In the following passage Mohammed endeavours to answer the objections of the Jews and 
Christians, who insisted that they ought to be judged, the former by the law of Moses, and the 
latter by the gospel. He allows that the law was the proper rule of judging till the coming 
of Jesus Christ, after which the gospel was the rule ; but pretends that both are set aside by the 
revelation of the Koran, which is so far from being contradictory to either of the former, that it 
is more full and explicit ; declaring several points which had been stifled or corrupted therein, 
and requiring a rigorous execution of the precepts in both, which had been too remissly observed, 
or rather neglected, by the latter professors of those religions. 

i That is, notwithstanding their outward submission, they will not abide by thy sentence, 
though conformable to the law, if it contradict their own false and loose decisions. 

^ .\s gainsaying the doctrine of the books which they acknowledge for scripture. 

1 That is, vigilant, to prevent any corruptions therein. 

■" I'he criginal word is S(riil. 

° See Exod. xxi. 24, &c. 

o i.e.. He had given you the same Hws, which should have continued in force through all 
ages, without being abolished or changed by new dispensations ; or he could have forced yoa 
•M to embrace the NIohammedan religion.^ 

' Idesi. 1 Idem. 



phet^ judge between them according to that which GOD hath revealed, 
and follow not their desires ; but beware of them, lest they cause thee 
to err"^ from part of those precepts which GOD hath sent down unto 
thee ; and if they turn back,*^ know that GOD is pleased to punish them 
for some of their crimes ; for a great number of men are transgressors. 
Do they therefore desire the judgment of the ti77ie of ignorance?^ but 
who is better than GoD, to judge between people who reason aright ? 
O true believers, take not the Jews or Christians for your friends ; they 
are friends the one to the other ; but whoso among you taketh them 
for kis friends, he is surely one of them : verily GOD directeth not un- 
just pec'ole. Thou shalt see those in whose hearts there is an infirmity, 
to hasttn unto them, saying. We fear lest some adversity befall us ;® but 
it is easy for God to give victory, or a command from him,* that they may 
repent of that which they concealed in their minds. And they who be- 
lieve will say. Are these the men who have sworn by God, with a most 
firm oath, that they surely held with you P*^ their works are become vain, 
and they are of those who perish. O true believers, whoever of you apos- 
tatizeth from his religion, GOD will certainly bring other people to supply 
his piace^ whom he will love, and who will love Aim ; who shall be 

P It is related that cei-tein of the Jewish priests came to Mohammed with a design to entrap 
him ; and having first represented to him that if they acknowledged him for a prophet, the rest 
of the Jews would certainly follow their example, made this proposal — that if he would give 
judgment for them in a controversy of moment which they pretended to have with their own 
people, and which was agreed to be referred to his decision, they would believe him ; but this 
Mohammed alisolutely refused to comply with.' 

q Or refuse to be judged by the Koran. 

■^ That is, to be judged according to the customs of paganism, which indulge the passions 
and vicious appetites of mankind : for this, it se^ms, was demanded by the Jewish tribes of 
Koreidha and al Nadir. 3 

* These were the words of Ebn Obba, who, when Obadah Ebn al Samat publicly renounced 
the friendship of the infidels, and professed that he took God and his apostle for his patrons, 
said that he was a man apprehensive of the fickleness of fortune, and therefore would not 
throw otf his old friends, who might be of service to him hereafter.! 

* To extirpate and banish the Jews ; or to detect and punish the hypocrites. 

" These words may be spoken by the Mohammedans either to one another or to the Jews, 
since these hypocrites had given their oaths to both. 2 

^ This is one of those accidents which, it is pretended, were foretold by the Koran long before 
they came to pass. For in the latter days of Mohammed, and after his death, considerable 
numbers of the Arabs quitted his religion, and returned to Paganism, Judaism, or Christianity. 
Al Beidawi reckons them up in the following order, i. Three com.panies of Banu Modlaj, seduced 
by Dhu'lhamar al Aswad al Ansi, who set up for a prophet in Yaman, and grew very powerful 
there.3 2. Banu Honeifa, who followed the famous false prophet Moseilama. 4 3. Banu Asad, 
who acknowledged Toleiha Ebn Khowailed, another pretender to divine revelation, ^ for their 
prophet. All these fell off in Mohammed's lifetime. The follov/ing, except only the last, 
apostatized in the reign of Abu Beer. 4. Certain of the tribe of Fezarah, headed by Oyeyma 
Ebn Hosein. 5. Some of the tribe of Ghatfan, whose leader was Korrah Ebn Salma. 6. Banu 
Soleim, who followed al Fajaah Ebn Abd Yalil. 7. Banu Yarbu, whose captain was Malec 
Ebn Noweirah Ebn Kais. 8. Part of the tribe of Tamim, the proselytes of Sajaj the daughter 
of al Mondhar, who gave herself out for a prophetess.6 9. The tribe of Kendah, led by al 
Ashath Ebn Kais. 10. Banu Beer Ebn al Wayel, in the pro\nnce of Bahrein, headed by al 
Hotam Ebn Zeid. And, n. Some of the tribe of Ghassan, who, with their prince Jabalah Ebn 
al Ayham, renounced Mohammedism in the time of Omar, and returned to fheir former pro- 
fession of Christianity.7 

But as to t e persons who fulfilled the other part of this prophecy, by supplying the loss of 
so many renegades, the commentators are not agreed. Some will have them to be the inhabi- 
tants of Yaman, and others the Persians ; the authority of Mohammed him'ielf being vouche<i 
for both opinions. Others, however, suppose them to be 2,000 of the tribe of al Nakha (who 
dwelt in Yaman), 5,000 of those of Kendah and Bajilah, and 3,000 of unknown descent,^ who 

1 Idem. s Idem. 3 See the Prelim Disc. Sect. VI') 

6 See ibid. 7 See ibid. Sect. i. ^ vide D'H»rb.;l 

2 Al Beidawi. 

3 Idem. 

« See ibid. 

5 See ibid. 

Bibl. Orient, d. 



humble towards the believers, but severe to the unbelievers ; they shall 
fight for the religion of GOD, and shall not fear the obloquy of the 
detractor. This is the bounty of GoD, he bestoweth it on whom he 
pleaseth : GOD is extensive ajtd wist. Verily your protector is GoD, and 
his apostle, and those who believe, who observe the stated times of 
prayer, and give aims, and who bow down to worship. And whoso 
taketh GoD, and his apostle, and the behevers for his friends, they 
nre the party of GoD, and they shall be victorious. O true believers, 
take not such of those to whom the scriptures were delivered before 
you, or of the infidels, for your friends, who make a laughing-stock 
and a jest of your religion ;y but fear GOD, if ye be true believers; nor 
those who J when ye call to prayer, make a laughing-stock and a jest of 
it ;2 this they do because they are people who do not understand. Say, 
O ye who have received the scriptures, do ye reject us for any other 
reason than because we believe in GOD, and that revelation which hath 
been sent down unto us, and that which was formerly sent down, and 
for that the greater part of you are transgressors .'' Say, Shall I de- 
nounce unto you a worse thifig than this, as to the reward which ye are 
to expect with GOD ? He whom GOD hath cursed, and with whom he 
hath been angry, having changed some of them into apes and swine,** 
and who worship Taghut,** they are in the worse condition, and err 
more widely from the straightness of the path. When they came unto 
you, they said, We believe : yet they entered i^ito your company with 
infidelity, and went iox'C!\fro7n you with the same ; but GOD well knew 
what they concealed. Thou shalt see many of them hastening unto 
iniquity and malice, and to eat things forbidden ;*' and woe unto them 
for what they have done. Unless their doctors and priests forbid them 
uttering wickedness, and eating things forbidden ; woe unto them for 
what they shall have committed. The Jews say, the hand of God is 
tied up.^ Their hands shall be tied up,® and they shall be cursed for 
that which they have said. Nay, his hands are both stretched forth ; 

were present at the famous battle of Kadesia, faught in the Khalifat of Omar, and which put 
an end to the Persian empire. 9 

y This passage was primarily intended to forbid the Moslems entering into a friendship with 
two hypocrites named Refaa Ebn Zeid, and Soweid Ebn al Hareth, who, though they had 
embraced Mohammedism, yet ridiculed it on all occasions, and were notwithstanding greatly 
beloved among the prophet's followers. 

E These words were added on occasion of a certain Christian, who hearing the Muadhdhin, 
3r crier, in calling to prayers, repeat this part of the usual form, I pro/ess that Mohammed is 
the apostle of God, said aloud. May God buryi the liar: but a few nights after his own housa 
was accidentally set on fire by a servant, and himself and his family perished in the flames. 1 

* The former were the Jews of Allah, who broke the sabbath ;2 and the latter those who be- 
lieved not in the miracle of the table which was let down from heaven to Jesus. 3 Some, 
however, imagine that the Jews of Ailah only are meant in this place, pretending that the 
young men among them were metamorphosed into apes, and the old men into swine. * 

*> See chap. 2, p. 28. 

'^ See before, p. 73. 

•1 That is, he is become niggardly and close-fisted. Tliese were the words of Phineas Ebn 
Azura (another indecent expression of whom, almost to the same purpose, is mentioned else- 
where)^ when the Jews were much inipoverished by a dearth, which the commentators will have 
to be a judgment on them for their rejecting of Mohammed ; and the other Jews who hezird 
him, instead of reproving him, expressed their approbation of what he had said. 8 

* i.e.^ They shall be punished with want and avarice. The words may also allude to the 
manner wherein the reprobates shall appear at the last day, having their right hands tied up tc 
flieir necks '^ which is the proper signification of the Arabic word. 

* Al Beidawi 1 Idem. 2 See c. 2, p. 8. 8 See towards the end of this chao€« 
• Al BeidawL » Cap. 3, p. 51. « Al Beid^wL ? See the Preiim. Yi\-^c. Sect. iV. 

82 AL KORAN. znkv, v. 

he bestoweth as he pleaseth : that which hath been sen^ down unto 
thee from thy Lord/ shall increase the transgression and infidelity of 
many of them ; and we have put enmity and hatred between them, until 
the day of resurrection. So often as they shall kindle a fire for war, 
God shall extinguish it ;« and they shall set their minds to act cor- 
ruptly in the earth, but GOD loveth not the corrupt doers. Moreover, 
if they who have received the scriptures believe, and fear God, we will 
surely expiate their sins from them, and we will lead them into gardens 
of pleasure ; and if they observe the law, and the gospel, and tlie other 
scriptures which have been sent down unto them from their Lord, 
they shall surely eat of good things both from above them and from 
under their feet.^ Among them there are people who act uprightly ; 
but how evil is that which many of them do work ! O apostle, publish 
the whole of that which hath been sent dov»'n unto thee from thy Lord : 
for if thou do not, thou dost not in effect publish any part thereof ;* and 
God will defend thee against wicked men -^ for GoD directeth not the 
unbelieving people. Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, ye 
are not grounded on anything, until ye observe the law and the gospel, 
and that which hath been sent down unto you from your Lord. That 
which hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord shall surely in- 
crease the transgression and infidelity of many of them : but be not 
thou solicito'ia for the unbelieving people. Verily they who believe, 
and those who Judaize, and the Sabians, and the Christians, whoever 
of them believeth in GOD and the last day, and doth that which is right, 
there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved.^ We 
"brmerly accepted the covenant of the children of Israel, and sent 
apostles unto them. So often as an apostle came unto them with that 
which their souls desired not, they accused some of them of impos- 
ture, and some of them they killed : and they imagined that there 
should be no punishmenty^r those crimes, and they became blin'i arjd 
deaf.™ Then was GOD turned unto them -^ afterwards many of them 
again became blind and deaf ; but GOD saw what they did. They are 
surely infidels, who say. Verily GOD is Christ the son of Mary ; sincu 
Christ said, O children of Israel, serve GOD, my Lord and your Lord ; 
whoever shall give a companion unto GOD, GOD shall exclude him fronj 
paradise, and his habitation shall be hell fire ; and the ungodly shall 
have none to help them. They are certainly infidels, who say, GOD is 

' viz. , The Koran. 

8 Either by raising feuds and quarrels among themselves, or bj' granting the victory to the 
Moslems. Al Beidawi adds, that on the Jews neglecting the true observance of theit law, and 
corrupting their religion, God has successively delivered them into the hands, first ot Bakht 
Nasr or Nebuchadnezzar, then of Titus the Roman, and afterwards of th« Persians, ana hai 
now at last subjected them to the Mohammedans. 

1» That is, they shall enjoy the blessings both of heaven and earth. 

 That is, if thou do not complete the publication of all thy revelations without exception, 
ihou dost not answer the end for which they were revealed ; because the concealing of any part, 
wnders the system of religion which God has thought fit to publish to mankind by thy ministry, 
lame and imperfect.! 

^ Until this verse was revealed, Mohammed entertained a guard of armed men for his sectuity ' 
but on his receiving this assurance of God's protection, he immediately dismissed them. 2 

1 See chap. 2, p. 8. 

■* Shutting their eyes and cars against conviction and the remonstrance of the law ; a" t-\xt 
the y worshipped the calf. 
•• i «.t Upon their repentance. 

1 Al BeidSwt. JaIlalo'dd;:i. « Idem. 


the third of three :** for there is no God besides one God ; and if they 
refrain not from what they say, a painful torment shall surely be 
inflicted on such of them as are unbelievers. Will they not therefore 
be turned unto GoD, and ask pardon of him ? since GoD is gracious 
and merciful. Christ the son of Mary is no more than an apostle ; 
other apostles have preceded him ; and his mother was a woman of 
veracity i** they both ate food.* Behold, how we declare unto them the 
signs 0/ God's unity ; and then behold, how they turn diS\de from the 
truth. Say unto thetn^ Will ye worship, besides GOD, that which can 
cause you neither harm nor profit ? God is he who heareth and seeth. 
Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, exceed not the just boimds 
in your religion,^ by speakins^ beside the truth ; neither follow the 
desires of people who have heretofore erred, and who have seduced 
rr.nny, and have gone astray from the strait path.' Those among the 
children of Israel who believed not, were cursed by the tongue of 
David, and of Jesus the son of Mary.* This befell them because they 
were rebellious and transgressed : they forbade not one another the 
wickedness which they committed ; and woe tinto them for what they 
commivted. Thou shalt see many of them take for their friends those 
who believe not Woe mito them for what their souls have sent before 
them,'^ for that GOD is incensed against them, and they shall remain in 
torment y2?r ever. But, if they had beheved in God, and the prophet, 
and that which hath been revealed unto him, they had not taken them 
for their friends ; but many of them are evil-doers. Thou shalt surely 
find the most violent of alt men in enmity against the true behevers, to 
be the Jews and the idolaters : and thou shalt surely find those among 
them to be the most inclinable to entertain friendship for the true 
believers, who say, We are Christians. This cometh to pass, because 
there are priests and monks among them ; and because they are not 
elated with pride.^ (VII.) And when they hear that which hath been sent 
down to the apostle read unto them, thou shalt see their eyes overflow 
with tears, because of the truth which they perceive therei?i^ saying, 

See chap. 4, p. 72, 

P Never pretending to partake of the divine nature, or to be the mother of God. 3 

<J Being obliged to support their lives by the same means, and being subject to the saUkS 
necessities and infirmities as the rest of mankind, and therefore no Gods.l 

'' See chap. 4, p. 72. But here the words are rjrincipally directed to the Christians. 
^ * That is, of their prelates and predecessors, who erred in ascribing divinity to Christ, before 
the mission ol Mohammed. 2 

' See before, p. 81, note ». 

" See chap. 2, p. 11, note *. 

« Having not tnat high conceit of themselves, as the Jews have ; but being humble and well 
disposed to receive the truth ; qualities, says al Beidawi, which are to be commended even in 

y The persons directly intended in this passage were, either Ashama, king of Ethiopia, and 
several bishops and priests, who, being assembled for that purpose, heard Jaafar Ebn Abi 
Taleb, who fled to that country ui the first flight,^ read the 29th and 30th, and afterwards the 
18th and i^th chapters of the Koran ; on hearing of which the king and the rest of the com- 
pany burst mto tears, and confessed what was delivered therein to be conformable to truth ; that 
prince himself, in particular, becoming a proselyte to Mohammedism -fi or else, thirty, or as 
others say, seventy persons, sent a.mbassadors to Mohammed by the same king of Ethiopia, to 
whom the prophet himself read the 36th chapter, entitled Y. S. Whereupon they began to weep, 
saying, How like is this to that •which was revealed unto Jesus ! and immediately professed 
themselves Moslems. 5 

« Jallalo'ddin. 1 Idem, al Beidawi. 2 Idem. 3 See *'ie Prelim. Disc. Sect, II. 4 A' 
'awi, al Thalabi. Vide Abuifed. Vit. Moham. p. 25, &c. Marracc. Prodr. ad RrfuL 
pari i. p. 45. * Al Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin. Vide Marracc ubi sup. 

84 AL KORAlSt. CHAP. v. 

O Lord, v/e believe ; v/rite us down therefore with those who beai 
witness to the truth: and what should hinder ms from believing in GoD, 
and the truth which .hath come unto us, and from earnestly desiring 
that our LORD would introduce us into paradise with the righteous 
people r Therefore hath Goo rewarded them, for what they have said, 
with gardens through which rivers flow ; they shall continue therein ^r 
ever; and this is the reward of the righteous. But they who believe 
not, and accuse our signs of falshood, they shall be the companions 
of hell. O true believers, forbid aot the good things which God hath 
allowed you ;z but transgress not, for GOD loveth not the transgressors. 
And eat of what GoD hath given you for food that which is lawful and 
good : and fear God, in whom ye believe. God will not punish you 
for an inconsiderate word in your oaths ;* but he will punish you for 
what ye solemnly swear with deliberation. And the expiation of such 
an oath shall be the feeding of ten poor men with such moderate food 
as ye feed your own families withal ; or to clothe them ;^ or to free the 
neck of a true believer from captivity i but he who shall not find where- 
with to perform one of these three thir^^s, shall fast three days.'' This 
is the expiation of your oaths, when ye swear inadvertently. Therefore 
keep your oaths. Thus GOD declareth unto you his signs, that ye may 
give thanks. O true believers, surely wine, and lots,*^ and images,^ and 
divining arrows,^ are an abomination of the work of Satan ; therefore 
avoid them, that ye may prosper. Satan seeketh to sow dissension and 
hatred among you, by means of wine and lots, and to divert you from 
remembring GOD, and from prayer ; will ye not therefore from 
ihem,? Obey GOD, and obey the apostle, and take heed to yourselves: 
but if ye turn back, know that the duty of our apostle is only to preach 
publicly .« In those v/ho believe and do good works, it is no sin that 
they have tasted wine or gaining before they were forbidden; if they 
fear God^ and believe, and do good works, and shall for the future fear 
God^ and believe, and shall persevere to fear him, and to do good ;*^ for 
God loveth those who do good, O true believers, GOD will surely prove 
you in offering you plcjity ^game, which ye may take with your hands or 

 These words were revealed when certain of Mohammed's companions agreed to oblige 
themselves to continual fasting and watching, and to abstain from women, eating flesh, sleeping 
on beds, and other lawful enjoyments of life, in imitation of some self-denying Christians ; but 
this the prophet disapproved, declaring that he would have no tnonks in his religion.l 

a See chap. 2, p. 24. 

^ The commentators give us the different opinions of the doctors, as to the quantity of food 
and clothes to be given in this case ; which I think scarce worth transcribing. 

" That is, three days together, says Abu Hanifa. But this is not observed in practice, being 
neither explicitly commanded in the Koran, nor ordered in the Sonna.2 

^ That is, all inebriating liquors, and games of chance. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V. and 
chap. 2, p. 23. 

* Al Beidawi and some other commentators expound this of idols ; but others, with more 
probability, of the carved pieces or men, with which the pagan Arabs played at chess, being 
little figures of men, elephants, horses, and dromedaries ; and this is supposed to be the only 
thing Mohammed disliked in that game : for which reason the Sonnites play with plain pieces 
of wood or ivory ; but the Persians and Indians, who are not so scrupulous, still make use o* 
the carved ones. 3 

^ See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. V. 

g See ibid. Sect. II. •' 

1» The commentators endeavour to excuse the tautology of this passage, by supposing th« 
threefold repetition oi fearing and believingx^i&[i, either to the three parts of time, past, present, 
and future, or to the threefold duty of man, towards God, himself, and his neighbour, &c.* 

I [allalo'ddiri. al Bj«i<la^=^^ « Al i'.eidawi. 3 Vide Prelim Disc. See* V * Al BeidSwi 


your lances,* that GOD may know who feareth him in secret ; but whoever 
transgresseth after this, shall suffer a grevious punishment. O true 
believers, kill no game while ye are on pilgrimage ;^ whosoever among 
you shall kill any designedly, shall restore the like of what ye shall 
have killed, in domestic animals,^ according to the determination of 
two just persons among you, to be brought as an offering to the Caaba ; 
or in atonement thereof shall feed the poor ; or instead thereof shall 
fast, that he may taste the heinousness of his deed. God hath forgiven 
what is past, but whoever returneth to transgress^ God will take ven- 
geance on him ; for GOD is mighty and able to avenge. It is lawful 
for you to fish in the sea,™ and to eat what ye shall catchy as a pro- 
vision for you and for those who travel ; but it is unlawful for you to 
hunt by land, while ye are performing the rites of pilgrimage ;° there- 
fore fear God, before whom ye shall be assembled at the last day. God 
hath appointed the Caaba, the holy house, an establishment** for man- 
kind ; and hath ordained the sacred month,^ and the offering, and the 
ornaments hung ih^reon!^ This hath he done that ye might know that 
God knoweth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth, and that GoD is 
omniscient. Know that GOD is severe in punishing, and that GOD is 
also ready to forgive and merciful. The duty of our apostle is to preach 
only ;' and GOD knoweth that which ye discover, and that which ye 
conceal. Say, Evil and good shall not be equally esteemed of, though 
the abundance of evil pleaseth thee f therefore fear GOD, O ye ol 
understanding, that ye may be happy. O true believers, inquire not 
concerning things which, if they be declared unto you, may give you 
pain ;* but if ye ask concerning them when the Koran is sent down, 

» This temptation or trial was at al Hodeibiya, where Mohammed's men, who had attended 
him tUither with an intent to perform a pilgrimage to the Caaba, and had initiated themselves 
with ihe usual rites, were surrounded by so great a number of birds and beasts that they 
impeded their march ; from which unusual accident, some of them concluded that God had 
allowed them to be taken ; but this passage was to convince them of the contrary.! 

^ Literally, while ye are Mohrims, or have actually initiated yourselves as pilgrims, by 
putting on the garment worn at that solemnity. Hunting and fowling are hereby absolutely 
forbidden to persons in this state, though they are allowed to kill certain kinds of noxious 
animals. 2 

1 That is, he shall bring an oflfering to the temple of Mecca, to be slain there and distributed 
among the poor, of some domestic or tame animal, equal in value to what he shall have killed ; 
as a sheep, for example, in lieu of an antelope, a pigeon for a partridge, &c. And of this value 
two prudent persons were to be judges. If the offender was not able to do this, he was to give 
a certain quantity of food to one ox more poor men ; or, if he could not afford that, to fast a 
proportionable number of days.3 

•" This, says Jallalo'ddin, is to be understood of fish that live altogether in the sea, and not 
of those that live in the sea and on land both, as crabs, &c. The Turks, who are Hanifites, 
never eat this sort of fish ; but the sect of Malec Ebn Ans, and perhaps some others, make no 
scruple of it. 

" See above, note k. 

That is, the place where the practice of their religious ceremonies is chiefly established; 
«rhere those who are under any apprehension of danger may find a sure asylum, and the 
merchant certain gain, Sc* 

P Al Beidawi understands this of the month of Dhu'lhaija, wherein the ceremonies of the 
pilgrimage are performed ; but Jallalo'ddin supposes all the four sacred months are here 
intended. 5 

q See before, p. 73. 

"■ See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. II. 

• For judgment is to be made of things not from their plenty or scarcity, but troni theu 
intrinsic good or bad qualities.^ 

» 1 he Arabs continually teasing their prophet with questions, which probably he was WJ» 

1 Idem, Jallalo'ddir- 2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V. 3 Jallalo'ddin, al E«;idawi 
» Idem "* See the Pralim Disc. Sect. VII ^ Al Beidav/i. 

86 AL KORAN. chap. Vc 

they will be declared unto you : GOD pardoneth you as to these 
matters ; for GOD is ready to forgive and gracious. People who have 
been before you formerly inquired concerning them ; and afterwards 
disbelieved therein. GOD hath not ordained anything concerning 
Bahira, nor Saiba, nor Wasila, nor Hami f but the unbelievers have 
invented a lie against GOD : and the greater part of them do not under- 
stand. And when it was said unto them, Coir,e unto that which God 
hath revealed, and to the apostle ; they answered. That religion which 
we found our fathers to follow is sufficient for us. What though their 
fathers knew nothing, and were not rightly directed ? O true believers, 
take care of your souls. He who erreth shall not hurt you, while ye 
are rightly directed :^ unto GOD shall ye all return, and he will tell you 
that which ye have done. O true believers, let witnesses be taken 
b'^tween you, when death approaches any of you, at the time of making 
tke testament ; let there be two witnesses, just men, from among you ;y 
or two others of a different tribe or faith from yourselves,^ if ye be 
journeying in the earth, and the accident of death befall you. Ye shall 
shut theiii both up, after the afternoon prayer,^ and they shall swear 
by God, if ye doubt them, and they shall say, We will not sell our 
evidence for a bribe, although the person cojicerned be one who is related 
to us, neither will we conceal the testimony of GoD, for then should 
we certainly be of the number of the wicked. But if it appear that both 
have been guilty of iniquity, two others shall stand up in their place, of 
those who have convicted them of falsehood, the two nearest in blood, 
and they shall swear by GOD, saying. Verily our testimony is more 
true than the testimony of these two, neither have we pievaricated ; 
for then should we become of the nt^nber of the unjust. This will be 
easier, that men may give testimony according to the plain intention 
thereof, or fear least a different oath be given, after their oath. There- 
fore fear GOD, and hearken ; for GoD directeth not the unjust people.*" 

always prepared to answer, they are here ordered to wait, till God should think fit to declare 
his pleasure by some farther revelation ; and, to abate their curiosity, they are told, at the 
same time, that very likely the answers would not be agreeable to their inclinations. A! 
Beidawi says, that when the pilgrimage was first commanded, Soraka Ebn Malec asked 
Mohammed whether they were obliged to perform it every year? To this question the prophet 
at first turned a deaf ear, but being asked it a second and a third time, he at last said, No ; 
but if I had said yes it -would have become a duty, and, if it were a duty, ye would not bl 
able to perforin it ; therefore give me no trouble as to things wherein I give you none I where» 
upon this passage was revealed. 

" These were the names given by the pagan Arabs to certain camels or sheep which were 
turned loose to feed, and exempted from common services, in some particular cases ; having 
their ears slit, or some other mark, that they might be 1 nown ; and this they did in honour of 
their gods.l Which superstitions are here declared to be no ordinances of God, but the inven- 
tions of foolish men. 

^ This was revealed when the infidels reproached those who embraced Mohammedism an«i 
renounced their old idolatry, that by so doing they arraigned the wisdom of their forefathers. ^ 

y That is, of your kindred or religion. 

' They who interpret these words of persons of another religion, say they are abrogated, and 
that the testimony of such ought not to be received against a Moslem. 3 

* In case there was any doubt, the witnesses were to be kept apart from company, lest they 
should be corrupted, till they gave their evidence, which they generally did when the after- 
noon prayer was over, because that was the time of people's assembling in public, or, say 
some, because the guardian angels then relie>'e each other, so that there would be four angels 
to witness against them if they gave false evidence. But others suppose they might be 
*xamined after the hour of any other prayer, when there was a sufficient assembly.4 

"» The occasion of the preceding passage is said to have been this. Tamin al Dari and Addi 

' See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V 8 Al Beidawi. » Idem. • Idem. 


On a certain day® shall GoD assemble the apostles, and shall say unto 
them, What answer was returned you, when ye preached unto the peopU 
lO whom ye were se?it f They shall answer, We have no knowledge 
but thou art the knower of secrets.*^ When God shall say, O Jesus 
son of Mary, remember my favour towards thee, and towards th- 
mother ; when I strengthened thee with the holy spirit,® that tho. 
shouldest speak unto men in the cradle, and when thou wast growr 
up ;' and when I taught thee the scripture, and wisdom, and the law 
and the gospel; and when thou didst create of clay as it were the figurt 
of a bird, by my permission, and didst breathe thereon, and it becan. , 
a bird by my permission ; and thou didst heal one blind from his birth 
and the leper, by my permission ; and when thou didst bring forth th* 
dead from their graves^ by my permission f and when I withheld the 
children of Israel from killing thee,^ when thou hadst come unto then 
with evident miracles^ and such of them as believed not, said. This i? 
nothing but manifest sorcery. And when I commanded the apostles 
of Jesus, saying, Believe in me and in my messenger ; they answered, 
We do believe ; and do thou bear witness that v/e are resigned unto 
thee. Remember when the apostles said, O Jesus, son of Mary, is thy 
Lord able to cause a table to descend unto us from heaven ?^ He 

Ebn Yazid, both Christians, took a journey into Syria to trade, in company with Bodeil, the 
freed man of Amru Ebn al As, who was a Moslem. When they came to Damascus, BodeL 
fell sick, and died, having first wrote down a list of his effects on a piece of paper, which h« 
hid in his baggage, without acquainting his companions with it, and desired them only to 
deliver what he had to his friends of the tribe of Sahm. The survivors, however, searching 
among his goods, found a vessel of silver of considerable weight, and inlaid with gold, which 
they concealed, and on their return delivered the rest to the deceased's relations, who, finding 
the list of Bodeil's writing, demanded the vessel of silver of them, but they denied it ; and the 
affair being brought before Mohammed, these words, viz., O true believers, take witnesses, 
&C., were revealed, and he ordered them to be sworn at the pulpit in the mosque, just as after- 
noon prayer was over, and on their making oath that they knewnothing of the plate demanded, 
dismissed them. But afterwards, the vessel being found in their hands, the Sahmites, suspect- 
ing it was Bodeil's, charged them with it, and they confessed it was his, but insisted that they 
had bought it of him, and that they had not produced it because they had no proof of the 
bargain. Upon this they went again before Mohammed, to whom these words. And i/ji 
appear, &c., were revealed ; and thereupon Amru Ebn al As and al Motalleb Ebn Abi Refaa, 
both of the tribe of Sahm, stood up, and were sworn against them ; and judgment was given 

* That is, on the day of judgment. 

<i That is, we are ignorant whether our proselytes were sincere, or whether they apostatized 
after our deaths ; but thou well knowest, not only what answer they gave us, but the secreU 
of their hearts, and whether they have since continued firm in their religion or not. 

* See chapter 2, p. 10. 
f See chapter 3, p. 37. 
8 See ibid. 

•» See ibid. p. 38. 

I This miracle is thus related by the commentators. Jesus having, at the request of hts. 
followers, asked it of God, a red table immediately descended, in their sight, between two 
clouds, and was set before them ; whereupon he rose up, and having made the ablution, prayed, 
and then took off the cloth which covered the table, sa>-ing. In the name ^God, tJts best pro- 
vider of food. WTiat the provisions were with which this table was furnished is a matter 
wherein the expositors are not agreed. One will have them to be nine cakes of bread and nine 
fishes ; another, bread and flesh ; another, all sorts of food, except flesh ; another, all sorts of 
food, except bread and flesh ; another, all except bread and fish ; another, one fish, which had the 
taste of all manner of food ; and another, fruits of paradise ; but the most received trauition is 
that when the table was uncovered, there appeared a fish ready dressed, without scales 01 
prickly fins, dropping with fat, having salt placed at its head and \nnegar at its tail, and round 
■jt all sorts of herbs, except leeks, and five loaves of bread, on one of which there were olives, 
on the second honey, on the third butter, on the fourth cheese, and on the fifth dried flesh. 
They add that Jesua, at the request of the apostles, showed thrm anoth&r mLacle, Dv restoiiog 

« Al Boidsw* 


nswered, Fear GOD, ye be true believers. They said, We desire to 
at thereof, and that our hearts may rest at ease, and that we may 
know that thou hast told us the truth, and that we may be witnesses 
thereof. Jesus, the son of Mary, said, O GOD our Lord, cause a table 
to descend unto us from heaven, that the day of its descent may become 
a festival day^ unto us, unto the first of us, and unto the last of us, and 
a sign from thee ; and do thou provide food for us, for thou art the 
best provider. GOD said, Verily I will cause it to descend unto you ; 
but whoever among you shall disbelieve hereafter, 1 will surely punish 
him with a punishment wherewith I will not punish any other creature. 
And when GOD shall say unto Jesus^ at the last day, O Jesus, son oi 
Mary, hast thou said unto men. Take me and my mother for two gods, 
beside GOD ? He shall answer, Praise be unto thee ! it is not for me 
to say that which I ought not ; if I had said so, thou wouldst surely 
have known it : thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in 
thee ; for thou art the knower of secrets. I have not spoken to them 
any other than what thou didst command me ; namely, Worship GOD. 
my Lord and your LORD : and I was a witness of their actions while 
I stayed among them ; but since thou hast taken me to thyself,^ thou 
hast been the watcher over them ; for thou art witness of all things. 
If thou punish them, they are surely thy servants ; and if thou forgive 
them, thou art mighty and wise. GoD will say. This day shall their 
veracity be of advantage unto those who speak truth ; they shall have 
gardens wherein rivers flow, they shall remain therein for ever : GOD 
hath been well pleased in them, and they have been well pleased in 
him. This shall be great felicity. Unto GOD belongeth the kingdom 
of heaven and of earth, and of whatever therein is ; and he is almighty. 

the fish to life, and causing its scales and fins to return to it, at which the standers-by being 
affrighted, he caused it to become as it was before ; that 1,300 men and women, all afflicted with 
bodily infirmities or poverty, ate of these provisions, and were satisfied, the fish remaining 
whole as it was at first ; that then the table flew up to heaven in the sight of all ; and every 
one who had partaken of this food were delivered from their infirmities and misfortunes ; and 
that it continued to descend for forty days together at dinner-time, and stood on the ground 
till the sun declined, and was then taken up into the clouds. Some of the Mohammedan 
writers are of opinion that this table did not really descend, but that it was only a parable ; but 
most think the words of the Koran are plain to the contrary. A further tradition is, that 
several men were changed into swine for disbelieving this miracle, and attributing it to magic 
art ; or, as others pretend, for stealing some of the victuals from off it.l Several other fabulous 
circumstances are also told, which are scarce worth transcribing. 2 

^ Some say the table descended on a Sunday, which was the reason of the Christians observ- 
ing that day as sacred. Others pretend this day ir. still kept among them as a very great 
festival ; and it seems as if the story had its rise from an imperfect notion of Christ's last 
supper, and the institution of the Eucharist. 

1 Or, since thou hast caused me to die : but as it is a dispute among the Mohammedan* 
whether Christ actually died or not, before his assumption.^ and the original may be translated 
either way, I have chosen the former expression, which leaves the mitter undecided. 

Edeia, al Riaiabl » Vide Marraca. va. Ale p. 338, &C. ' Ss« cap. 3, p. 38. 





PRAISE be unto God, who hath created the heavens and the earth, 
and hath ordained the darkness and the Hght ; nevertheless they 
who believe not in the Lord, equalize other gods with him. It is he 
who hath created you of clay ; and then decreed the term of your lives; 
and the prefixed term is with him :° yet do we doubt thereof. He is 
God in heaven and in earth ; he knoweth what ye keep secret, and 
what ye publish, and knoweth what ye deserve. There came not unto 
them any sign, of the signs of their Lord, but they retired from the 
same ; and they have gainsaid the truth, after that it hath come unto 
them : but a message shall come unto them, concerning that which 
they have mocked at.^ Do they not consider how many generations 
we have destroyed before them? We had established them in the 
earth in a manner wherein we have not established you ;** we sent the 
heaven to rain abundantly upon them, and we gave them rivers which 
flowed under their feet : yet we destroyed tliem in their sins, and raised 
up other generations after them. Although we had caused to descend 
unto thee a book written on paper, and they had handled it with their 
hands, the unbelievers had surely said, This is no other than manifest 
sorcery. They said, Unless an angel be sent down unto him, we will 
not believe. But if we had sent down an angel, verily the matter had 
been decreed,'' and they should not have been borne with, by having 
time granted them to repent. And if we had appointed an angel for 
our messe7tger, we should have sent him in the form of a man,* and 
have clothed hitn before them, as they are clothed. Other apostles 
have been laughed to scorn before thee ; but the judgment which they 
made a jest of, encompassed those who laughed them to scorn. Say, 
Go through the earth, and behold what hath been the end of those 
who accused our prophets of imposture. Say, Unto whom belongeth 
whatsoever is in heaven and earth ? Say, Unto God. He hath pre- 
scribed unto himself mercy. He will surely gather you together on the 

"* This chapter is so entitled, because some superstitious customs of the Meccans, as to cer- 
tain cattle, are therein incidentally mentioned. 

^ Except only six verses, or, say others, three verses, which are taken notice of in the notes. 

By the last term some understand the time of the resurrection. Others think that by the 
first term is intended the space between creation and death, and by the latter, that between 
death and the resurrection. 

P That is, they shall be convinced of the truth which they have made a jest of, when they 
see the punishment which they shall suffer for so doing, both in this world and the next ; or 
when they shall see the glorious success of Mohammedism. 

q i.e.. We had blessed them with greater power and length of prosperity than we have 
granted you, O men of Mecca.l Mohamraed seems here to mean the ancient and potent tribes 
of Ad and Thamud, &c.2 

"" That is to say. As they would not have believed, even if an angel had descended to them 
from heaven, God has shown his mei cy in not complying with their demands ; for if he had, 
they would have suffered immediate coMemnation, and would have been allowed no time for 

• As Gabriel generally appeared to Mahommed ; who, though a prophet, was net able to 

1 AJ Beidawi. 2 See the Prelim. Disc Sect I. p. 5. &c. 

9© AL KORAN. CHAP. vi. 

day of resurrection ; there is no doubt of it. They who destroy their 
own souls are those who will not believe. Unto him is owing v/hat- 
soever happeneth by night or by day ; it is he who heareth and 
knoweth. Say, Shall I take any other protector than GOD, the creator 
of heaven and earth, who feedeth all and is not fed by any ? Say, 
Verily I am commanded to be the firft who professeth Islam,* and it 
was said unto 7ne^ Thou shalt by no means be one of the idolaters. 
Say, Verily I fear, if I should rebel against my Lord, the punishment 
of the great day : from v/homsoever it shall be averted on that day, 
God will have been merciful unto him ; this will be manifest salvation. 
If God afflict fhee with any hurt, there is none who can take it off 
from thee^ except himself ; but if he cause good to befall thee, he is 
almighty ; he is the supreme Lord over his servants ; and he is wise 
and knowing. Say, What thing is the strongest in bearing testimony ?" 
Say, God ; he is witness between me and you. And this Koran was 
revealed unto me, that I should admonish you thereby, and also those 
unto whom it shall reach. Do ye really profess that there are other 
gods together with GOD ? Say, I do not profess this. Say, Verily he 
is one GOD ; and I am guiltless of what ye associate with him. They 
jnto whom we have given the scripture know our apostle^ even as they 
know tfeigiff ojg^^ children ;* but they who destroy their own souls, will 
not believe, ^vho is more unjust than he who inventeth a lie against 
God/ or chargeth his signs with imposture ? Surely the unjust shall 
not prosper. And on the day of resurrection we will assemble them 
all ; then will we say unto those who associated others with God^ 
Where are your companions,^ whom ye imagined to be those of God f 
But they shall have no other excuse, than that they shall say. By GoD 
our Lord, we have not been idolaters. Behold, how they lie against 
themselves, and what they have blasphemously imagined to be the 
co?npanio?i of God flieth from them.^ There is of them who hearkeneth 
unto thee when thou readest the Kord'Aj^ but we have cast veils over 
their hearts, that they should not understand it, and a deafness in their 
ears : and though they should see all kinds of signs, they will not 
believe therein ; end their infidelity will arrive to that height that they 
will even come unto thee, to dispute with thee. The unbelievers will 
say, This is nothing but silly fables of ancient times. And they will 

bear the sight of him when he appeared in his proper form, much less would others be able to 
support it. 

' That is, the first of my nation. 1 

" This passage was revealed when the Koreish told Mohammed that they had asked the 
Jews and Christians concerning him, who assured them they found no mention or description 
of 1, vm in their books of scripture, There/ore, said they, who bears witness to thee, tliat thou 
art the apostle of God ?2 

» See chapter 2, p. 16. 

y Saying the angels are the daughters of Gob, and intercessors for us with him, &c.3 

» i.e.. Your idols and false gods. 

a That is, their imaginary deities prove to be nothing, and disappear like vain phantoms and 

b The persons here meant were Abu Sofian, al Walid, al Nodar, Otba, Abu Jahl, and theii 
comrades, who went to hear Mohammed repeat some of the Koran ; and Nodar being asked 
what he said, answered, with an oath, that he knew not, only that he moved his touRTie, and 
loid a parcel of foolish stories, as he had done to them.^ 

I Al Beidawl » Idem. J»"aWddin. ' Al BeidawL 4 Ide'nFL 


forbid others from behevincr therein, and will retire afar off fi om it ; 
but they will destroy their own souls only, and they are not sensible 
thereof. If thou didst see, when they shall be set over the fire of hell! 
and they shall say, Would to GOD we might be sent back into the 
world; we would not charge the signs of our LORD with imposture, 
and we would become true believers : nay, but that is become manifest 
unto them, which they formerly concealed f and though they should 
be sent back into the wof-ld, they would surely return to that which 
was forbidden them ; and they are surely liars. And they said, There 
is no other life than our present life ; neither shall we be raised again. 
But if thou couldst see, when they shall be set before their Lord !<^ 
He shall say tinto thetn, Is not this in truth cojne to pass ? They shall 
answ^er, Yea, by our Lord. God shall say. Taste therefore the punish- 
ment due unto you, for that ye have disbelieved. They are lost who 
reject as falsehood the meeting of God in the next life, until the hour^ 
Cometh suddenly upon them. Then will they say, Alas ! for that we 
have behaved ourselves negligently in our lifetiine; and they shall 
carry their burdens on their backs ;* will it not be evil which they shall 
be loaden with ? This present life is no other than a play and a vain 
amusement ; but surely the future mansion shall be better for those who 
fear God: will they not therefore understand? Now we know that 
what they speak grieveth thee : yet they do not accuse thee of false- 
hood; but the ungodly contradict the signs of GOD.^ And apostles 
before thee have been accounted liars : but they patiently bore their 
being accounted liars, and their being vext. \, until our help came unto 
them ; for there is none who can change the words of God : and thou 
hast received some information concerning those who have been for- 
merly sent frofn hhn^ If their aversion to thy admotiitions be grievous 
unto thee, if thou canst seek out a den whereby thou 7nayest penetrate 
into the inward parts of the earth, or a ladder by which thou fnayest 
ascend into heaven, that thou niayest shov/ them a sign, do so, but thy 
search will be fruitless; for if God pleased he would bring them 

" Their hypocrisy and vile actions ; nor does their promise proceed from any sincere intention 
of amendment, but from the anguish and misery of their condilion.5 

<* viz., In order for judgment. 

' The last day is here called tJie fiour, as it is in scripture ;6 and the preceding expression of 
meeting God on that day is also agreeable to the same. 7 

f When an infidel comes forth from his grave, says Jallalo'ddin, his works shall be representea 
to him under the ugliest form that ever he beheld, having a most deformed countenance, a filthy 
smell, and a disagreeable voice ; so that he shall cry out, God defend me from ttiee, what art 
thou ? / never saw anything more detestable I To which the figure will answer, Why dost 
thou wonder at my ugliness 1 I am thy evil works ;l thou didst ride tipon m.e while thou 
wast in the world ; btit fioiv will I ride tipon thee, and thou shall carry me. And immedi- 
ately it shall get upon him ; and whatever he shall meet shall terrify him, and say. Hail, tho7t 
e?iemy of God, thoji art he who was meant by (these words of the Koran), and thiy shall carry 
their burdetis, &c.2 

g That is, it is not thou but God whom they injure by their impious gainsaying of what has 
been revealed to It is said that Abu Jahl once toid Mohammed that they did not accuse 
him of falsehood, because he was knowii to be a man of veracity, but only they did not believe 
the revelations which he brought them ; which occasioned this passage.^ 

*> i.e.. Thou has been acquainted with the stories of several of the preceding prophets ; what 
persecutions they suffered from those to whom they were sent, and in what manner GoD sup- 
ported them and punished their enemies, according to his unalterable promise. 4 

• Idem. ^ I John v. 25, S:c. ^ i Thtss. iv. 17. l See Milton's Paradise Loat, 

Wt. u V. 73?, &c « <^r^ also cap. 3. p. 4S. 3 Al ReidlwL * Idem. 

92 AL KORAN, chap. vi. 

all to the trtie direction : be not therefore one of the ignorant.* He 
will give a favourable answer unto those only who shall hearken witk 
attention : and GOD will raise the dead ; then unto him shall they 
return. The infidels say, Unless some sign be sent down unto him 
from his Lord, we will not believe: answer, Verily GOD is able to 
send down a sign : but the greater part of them know // not.^ There 
is no kind of beast on earth, nor fowl which flieth with its wings, but the 
same is a people like unto you -} we have not omitted anything in the 
book™ of our deci'ees : then unto their Lord shall they return." The> 
who accuse our signs of fa,lsehood, are deaf and dumb, walking in dark- 
ness : God will lead into error whom he pleaseth, and whom he pleaseth 
he will put in the right way. Say, What think ye ? if the punishment 
of God come upon you, or the hour of the f estirrection come upon you, 
will ye call upon any other than GOD, if ye speak truth ? yea, him shall 
ye call upon, and he shall free you from that which ye shall ask him to 
deliver you frojn, if he pleaseth ; and ye shall forget that which ye 
associated with hi^n^ We have already sent niesse?igers unto sundry 
nations before thee, and we afflicted them with trouble and adversity 
that they might humble themselves : yet when the affliction which we 
sent came upon them, they did not humble themselves : but their 
hearts becam.e hardened, and Satan prepared for them that which they 
committed. And when they had forgotten that concerning which they 
had been admonished, we opened unto them the gates of all things ;* 
until, while they were rejoicing for that which had been given them, we 
suddenly laid hold on them, and behold, they were seized with despair ; 
and the utmost part of the people which had acted wickedly, was cut off : 
praise be unto GOD, the Lord of all creatures ! Say, what think ye ? 
if God should take away your hearing and your sight, and should seal 
up your hearts ; what god besides GOD will restore them unto you ? 
See how variously we show forth the signs of God^s unity ;* yet do they 
turn aside yr*?/;/ them. Say unto them. What think ye .'* if the punish- 
ment of God come upon you suddenly, or in open view ;* will any 
perish, except the ungodly people ? We send not our messengers 
otherwise than bearing good tidings and denouncing threats. Whoso 

' In this passage Mohammca is reproved for his impatience in not bearing with the obstinacy 
of his countrymen, and for his indiscreet desire of effecting what God hath not decreed, namely, 
the conversion and salvation of all men.^ 

^ Being both ignorant of God's almighty power, and of the consequence of what they ask, 
which might prove their utter destruction. 

1 Being created and preserved by the same omnipotence and providence as ye are. 

™ That is, in the preserved table, wherein God's decrees are viritten, and all things which 
come to pass in this world, as well the most minute as the more momentous, are exactly re 

"^ For, according to the Mohammedan belief, the irrational animals will also be restored to 
life at the resurrection, that they may be brought to judgment, and have vengeance taken on 
them for the injuries they did one another while in this world.'' 

o That is, ye shall then forsake your false gods, when ye shall be effectually convinced that 
God alone is able to deliver you from eternal pxmishment. But others rather think that this 
forgetting will be the effect of the distress and terror which they will then be in.8 

PThat is, we gave them all manner of plenty; that since they took no warning by their 
afP'ctions, their prosperity might become a snare to them, and they might bring down upon 
themselves swifter destruction. 

S Laying them before you in different views, and making use of arguments and motives 
drawn from various considerations. 

' That is, says al Beidawi, either vrithout any previous notice, or after some warning given- 

8 !d«DL * See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. ' See ibid. o. 67. * Al Jieidiwi. 

CHAP. vi. AL KORAN. 93 

therefore shall believe and amend, on them shall no fear come, neither 
shall they be grieved : but whoso shall accuse our signs of falsehood, a 
punishment shall fall on them, because they have done wickedly. Say, 
I say not unto you, The treasures of God are in my power : neither do 
[say, I know the secrets of God : neither do I say unto you, Verily I 
am an angel : I follow only that which is revealed unto me. Say, shall 
the blind and the seeing be held equal ? do ye not therefore consider ? 
Preach it unto those who fear that they shall be assembled before their 
Lord : they shall have no patron nor intercessor, except him ; that 
peradventure they may take heed to themselves. Drive not away those 
who call upon their LORD morning and evening, desiring to see his 
face ;* it belongeth not unto thee to pass any judgment on them,* nor 
doth it belong unto them to pass any judgment on thee : therefore ij 
thou drive them a^vay, thou wilt become one of the unjust. Thus have 
we proved some part of them by other part, that they may say, Are 
these the people among us unto whom GoD hath been gracious ?•* 
Doth not God most truly know those who are thankful ? And when 
they who believe in our signs shall come unto thee, say, Peace be upon 
you. Your LORD hath prescribed unto him^self mercy ; so that who- 
ever among you worketh evil through ignorance, and afterwards re- 
penteth and amendeth, unto him will he surely be gracious and 
merciful. Thus have we distinctly propounded our signs, that the path 
of the wicked might be made known. Say, Verily I am forbidden to 
worship the false deities which ye invoke, besides GOD. Say, I will not 
follow your desires ; for then should I err, neither should I be one of 
those who are rightly directed. Say, I behave according to the plain 
declaration which I have received from my LORD ; but ye have forged 
lies concerning him. That which ye desire should be hastened, is not 
in my power :^ judgment belongeth only unto GOD ; he will determine 
the truth ; and he is the best discerner. Say, if what ye desire should 
be hastened were in my povv-^er, the matter had been determined 
between me and you :y but GOD well knoweth the unjust. With him 
are the keys of the secret thi?igsj none knoweth them besides himself: 
he knoweth that which is on the dry land and in the sea ; there falleth 
no leaf, but he knoweth it ; neither is there a single grain in the dark 
parts of the earth, neither a green thing, nor a dry thing, but it is 

' These words were occasioned when the Korelsh desired Mohammed not to admit the poor 
or more inferior people, such as Ammar, Soheib, Khobbab, and Salman, into his company, 
pretending that then they would come and discourse with him ; but he refusing to turn away 
any believers, they insisted at least that he should order them to rise up and withdraw when 
they came, which he agreed to do. Others say that the chief men of Mecca expelled all the 
poor out of their city, bidding them go to Mohammed ; which they did, and offered to embrace 
his religion ; but he made some difficulty to receive them, suspecting their motive to be neces- 
sity, and not real conviction ;1 whereupon this passage was revealed. 

* i.e.. Rashly to decide whether their intentions be sincere or not ; since thoii canst not know 
their heart, and their faith may possibly be more firm than that of those who would persuade 
thee to discard them. 

 « That is to say, the noble by those of mean extraction, and the rich bj^ the poor ; in that 
God chose to call the latter to the faith before the former. 2 

* This passage is an answer to the audacious defiances of the infidels, who bad Mohammed, 
if he were a true prophet, to call for a shower of stones from heaven, or some other sudden and 
miraculous punishment, to destroy them. 3 

y For I should ere now have destroyed you, out of zeal for God's hunour, had it been in mf 

» ld«in. JallaJo'ddin. « Al Beidawi, !* icero. « Idem. 

94 L KORAN, CHAP, vi 

written in the perspicuous book.' It is he who causeth you to sleep b) 
night, and knoweth what ye merit by day ; he also awaketh you there- 
in, that the p e fixed term of your lives may be fulfilled ; then unto him 
shall ye return^ and he shall declare unto you that which ye have 
wrought He is supreme over his servants, and sendeth the guardian 
angel to watch over you,^ until, when death overtaketh one of you, our 
m v;3sengers*> cause him to die ; and they will not neglect our com- 
mands^ Afterwards shall they return unto GOD, their true LORD : doth 
not judgment belong unto him? he is the most quick in taking an 
account." Say, who delivereth you from the darkness*^ of the land, and 
of the sea, when ye call upon him humbly and in private, saying^ 
Verily if thou deliver us^ from these dangers^ we will surely be thank- 
ful ? Say, God delivereth you from them, and from every grief ol 
mind ; yet afterwards ye give him companions.' Say, He is able to 
send on you a punishment from above you,8 or from under your feet,*" 
or to engage you in dissension, and to make some of you taste the vio- 
lence of others. Observe how variously we show forth our signs, that 
peradventure they may understand. This people hath accused the 
revelation which thou hast broitght of falsehood, although it be the 
truth. Say, I am not a guardian ove/ you : every prophecy hath its 
fixed time of accomplishment \ and ye will hereafter know it. When 
thou seest those who are engaged in cavilling at or ridiculing our 
signs ; depart from them, ur-til they be engaged in some other dis- 
course : and if Satan cause thee to forget this precept, do not sit with 
the ungodly people, after recollection. They who fear God are not at 
all accountable for them, but their duty is to remember, that they may 
take heed to themselves.^ Abandon those who make their religion a 
sport and a jest ] and whom the present life hath deceived : and ad- 
monish them by the Koran, that a soul becometh liable to destruction 
for that which it committeth : it shall have no patron nor intercessor 
besides GoD ; and if it could pay the utrmost price of redemption, it 
would not be accepted from it. They who are delivered over to per- 
dition for that which they have committed, shall have boiling water to 
drink, and shall suffer a grievous punishment, because they have dis- 
believed. Say, Shall we call upon that, besides GoD, which can 
neither profit us nor hurt us ? and shall we turn back on our heels, after 
that God hath directed us ; like him whom the devils have infatuated; 

« i.e.. The preserved table, or register of God's dacrees. 

* See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 

*> That is, the angel of death and his assistants.* 

* See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 

^ That is, the dangers and distresses. 

* The Cufic copies read it in the third person, 1/ he deliver us, &c. 
*■ Returning to youi old idolatry. 

g That is, by storms from heaven, as he destroyed the unbelieving people o^ Noah, and of 
Lot, and the army of Abraha, 'he lord of the elephant. 1 

i> Either by drowning you, as he did Pharaoh and his host, or causing the earth to open and 
swallow you up, as happened to Korah, or (as the Mohammedans name him) Karun.2 

_ » And therefore need not be troubled at the indecent and impious talk of the infidels pro- 
vided they take care not to be infected by them. When the preceding passage was revealed, 
the Moslems told their prophet that if they were obliged to rise up whenever the idolaters spoke 
irreverently of the Koran, they could never sit quietly in the temple, nor perform their devo 
tk»>s there ; whereupon these words were added. 3 

• See the Prelim. Disc. Sec. IV. i Al BeidawL s tda»- » Idem, Jallalo'ddin. 


wandering amazedly in the earth, arid yet having companions who call 
him to the true direction, sayings Come unto us ? Say, The direction of 
God is the true direction : we are commanded to resign ourselves unto 
the Lord of all creatures ; and it is also C077i?na7ided t^s, sayiii^^ 
Observe the stated times of prayer, and fear him ; for it is he before 
whom ye shall be assembled. It is he who hath created the heavens, 
and the earth in truth ; and whenever he saith unto a thing, Be, it is. 
His word is the truth ; and his will be the kingdom on the day whereon 
the trumpet shall be sounded :^ he knoweth whatever is secret, and 
whatever is public : he is the wise, the knowing. Call to mi7id when 
Abraham said unto his father Azer,^ Dost thou take images for gods ?™ 
Verily I perceive that thou and thy people are in a manifest error. 
rijid thus did we show unto Abraham the kingdom of heaven and earth, 
irtat he might become one of those who firmly believe.'^ And when the 
night overshadowed him, he saw a star, and he said, This is my Lord ;" 
but when it set, he said, I like not gods which set And when he saw 
the moon rising, he said. This is my Lord ; but when he saw it set, he 

k See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. 

1 This is the name which the Mohammedans give to Abraham's father, named in scripture 
Terah. However, some of their writers pretend that Azer was the son of Terah,l and D'Her- 
belot says that the Arabs always distinguish them in their genealogies as different persons ; 
but that because Abraham was the son of Terah according to Moses, it is therefore supposed 
(t>y European writers) that Terah is the same with the Azer of the Arabs. 2 How true this 
observation may be in relation to some authors, I cannot say, but I am sure it cannot be true 
of all ; for several Arab and Turkish writers expressly make Azer and Terah the same person.^ 
Azer, in ancient times, was the name of the planet Mars, and the month of March was so 
called by the most ancient Persians ; for the word originally signifying fire (as it still does), 
it was therefore given by them and the Chaldeans to that planet,'* which partaking, as was 
supposed, of a fiery nattire, was acknowledged by the Chaldeans and Assyrians as a god or 

Elanetary deity, whom in old times they worshipped under the form of a pillar : whence Azer 
ecame a name among the nobility, who esteemed it honourable to be denominated from their 
gods,5 and is found iu the composition of several Babylonish names. For these reasons a 
learned author supposes Azer to have been the heathen name of Terah, and that the other was 
given him on his conversion. 6 Al Beidawi confirms this conjecture, saying that Azer was the 
name of the idol which he worshipped. It may be observed that Abraham's father is also 
called Zarah in the Talmud, and Athar by Eusebius. 

™ That Azer, or Terah, was an idolater is allowed on all hands ; nor can it be denied, since 
he is expressly said in scripture to have served strange gods.'^ The eastern authors unanimously 
agree that he was a statuary, or carver of idols ; and he is represented as the first who made 
images of clay, pictures only having been in use before,^ and taught that they were to be 
adored as gods. 9 However, we are told his employmeni; was a very honourable one,10 and that 
he was a great lord, and in high favour with Nimrod, whose son-in-law he was, 11 because he 
made his idols for him, and was excellent in his art. Some of the Rabbins say Terah was a 
priest, and chief of the order. 12 

" That is, we gave him a right apprehension of the government of the world and of the 
heavenly bodies, that he might know them all to be ruled by God, by putting him on making 
the following reflections. 

Since Abraham's parents were idolaters, it seems to be a necessary consequence that him- 
self was one also in his younger years ; the scripture not obscurely intimates as much,l and the 
Jews themselves acknowledge it. 2 At what age he came to the knowledge of the true God 
and left idolatry, opinions are various. Some Jewish writers tcl' us he was then \>V three years 
old,3 and the Mohammedans likewise suppose him very young, and that he asked his father 
and mother several shrewd questions when a child. ■* Others, however, allow him to have been 

1 Tarikh Montakhab, apud D'Herbel. Bibl. Orient, p. 12. } D'Ferbel. ibid, 3 aJ 
Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin, Yahya, Ebn Shohnah, Mirat Kainat, &c. Vide etiam Pharhang Jehang- 
hiri, apud Hyde de Rel. Vet. Persar. p. 63. ^ Hyde, ibid. p. 63. 5 Idem, ibid. p. 64. 
6 Idem, ibid. p. 62. 7 Josh. xxiv. 2, 14. 8 Epiphan. adv. Hier. I. i, p. 7, 8. 9 Suidai 
in Lexico, voce Sepi^x. 10 Vide Hyde, ubisup. p. 63. 11 D'Herbel, ubi sup. 
12 Shalshel. hakkab. p. 94. l Vide Josh, xxiv, 2, 14, and Hyde, ubi sup. p. 59. 2 Joseph. 
Ant. 1. I, c. 7. Maimon. More Nev. part iii. c. 29, et Yad Hazzak. de Id. c. i, &c, 3 Tan- 
chuma, Talmud, Nedarim, 32, i, et apud Maimnn. Yad Hazz. ubi sup, * Vide D'Herbel 
BibL Orient. Art. Abraham. 


96 AL jcokAN. 


said, Verily if my Lord direct me not, I shall become oite of the people 
who go astray. And when he saw the sun rising, he said, This is my 
Lord, this is the greatest ; but when it set, he said, O my people, verily 
I am clear of that which ye associate with God: I direct my face unto 
him who hath created the heavens and the earth ; / avi orthodox, and 
am not o?ie of the idolaters. And his people disputed wirii him : and\\Q 
said. Will ye dispute with me concerning GoD 1 since he hath now 
directed me, and I fear not that which ye associate with h?=m, unless 
that my LORD willeth a thing; yi?r my LORD comprehendeth all things 
by his knowledge :^ will ye not therefore consider ? And how should I 
fear that v/hich ye associate with God, since ye fear not to have 
associated with GoD that concerning which he 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 clothe not their faith 
vvith injustice,^ they shall enjoy security, and they are rightly directed. 
And this is our argument wherewith we furnished Abraham that h& 
might •make use of it against his people : we exalt unto degrees oj 
wisdom and knowledge whom we please ; for thy Lord is wise and 
knowing. And we gave unto him Isaac and Jacob ; we directed them 
both : and Noah had we before directed, and of his posterity*" David 
and Solomon ; and Job,^ and Joseph, and Moses, and Aaron : thus do 
we reward the righteous : and Zacharias, and John, and Jesus, and 
Elias ;* all of them were upright men : and Ismael, and Elisha,'^ and 
Jonas,^ and Lot -^ all these have we favoured above the rest of the 
world ; and also divers ot their fathers, and their issue, and their 
brethren ; and we chose them, and directed them into the right way. 

a middle-aged man at that time.^ Maimonides, in particular, and R. Abraham Zacuth think 
nim to have been forty years old, which age is also mentioned in the Koran. But the general 
opinion of the Mohammedans is that he was about fifteen or sixteen. 6 As the religion wherein 
Abraham was educated was the Sabian, which consisted chiefly in the worship of the heavenly 
bodies,^ he is introduced examining their nature and properties, to see whether they had a 
right to the worship which was paid them or not ; and the first which he observed was the 
planet Venus, or, as others will have it, Jupiter.8 This method of Abraham's attaining to the 
knowledge of the supreme Creator of all things, is comformable to what Josephus writes, viz. : 
That he drew his notions from the changes wliich he had observed in the earth and the sea, 
and in the sun and the moon, and the rest of the celestial bodies ; concluding that they were 
subject to the command of a superior power, to whom alone all honour and thanks are due.9 
The story itself is certainly taken from the Talmud. l^ Some of the commentators, however, 
suppose this reasoning of Abraham with hi-nself was not the first means of his conversion, but 
that he used it only by way of argument to convince the idolaters among whom he then lived. 

P That is, I am not afraid of your false gods, which cannot hurt me, except God permitteth 
it, or is pleased to afilict me himself. 

1 By injustice, in this place, the commentators understand idolatrv, or open rebellion against 

"" Some refer the relative his to Abraham, the person chiefly spoken of in this passage ; some 
to Noah, the next antecedent, because Jonas and Lot were not (say they) of Abraham's seed ; 
and others suppose the persons named in this and the next verse are to be understood as the 
descendants of Abraham, and those in the following verse as those of Noah.n 

* The Mohammedans say he was of the race of Esau. See chapters 21 and 38. 

* See chapter 37. 

•1 This prophet was the successor of Elias, and, as the commentators will have it, the son Ci< 
Okhtub, though the scripture makes him the son of Shaphat. 
^ See chapters 10, 21, and 37. 
y See chapter 7, &c 

' Maimon. ubi sup. R. Abr. Zacuth in Sefer Juchasin, Shalshei. hakkab, &c. ' Vid H\ at, 
abi sup. p. 60, 61, et Hotting. Smegma Orient, p. ago, &c. Genebr. in Chron. 7 j, e tlu 

Prelim. Dlsc- Sect. L p. n. 8 Al Beidawi. » Joseph. Ant. 1. i, c. 7. l" R. Hechai 

ir Midrash. Vide Bartolocc. Bibl. Rabb. oart i. c. 6ao ^1 Al RtWawi 


This is the direccfon of Ggd, he directeth thereby such of his servants 
as he pleaseth ; but if they had been guilty of idolatry, that which they 
wrought would have become utterly fruitless unto them. Those were 
the perso7is unto whom we gave the scripture, and wisdom, and pro- 
phecy ; but if these^ believe not therein, we will commit the care of 
them to a people who shall not disbelieve the same. These were tlu 
persons whom GOD hath directed, therefore follow their direction. Say 
unto the inhabitants of Mecca^ I ask of you no recompense for preaching 
the Koran J it is no other than an admonition unto all creatures. They 
make not a due estimation of GoD,'*^ when they say, GoD hath not sent 
down unto man anything at all :^ Say, Who sent down the book which 
Moses brought, a light and a direction unto men ; which ye transcribe 
on papers, whereof ye publish S07ne part, and great part whereof ye 
conceal 1 and ye have been taught by Mohammed what ye knew not, 
neither your fathers. Say, GoD sevJ it down : then leave them to amuse 
themselves with their vain discourse. This book which we have sent 
down is blessed ; confirming that which was revealed before it ; and 
is delivered unto thee that thou mayest preach it unto the metropolis 
of Mecca and to those who are round about it. And they who believe in 
the next life will believe therein, and they will diligently observe their 
tim,es of prayer. Who is more wicked than he who forgeth a lie con- 
cerning God T or saith, This was revealed unto me, when nothing 
hath been revealed unto him ?** and who saith, I will produce a revela- 
tion like unto that which GOD hath sent down T If thou didst see 
when the ungodly are in the pangs of death, and the angels^ reach out 
their hands, saying, Cast forth your souls ; this day shall ye receive an 
ignominious punishment for that which ye have falsely spoken con- 
cerning God ; and because ye have proudly rejected his signs. And 
now are ye come unto us alone,s as we created you at first,^ and ye have 

« That is, the Koreish.l 

» That is, they know him not truly, nor have just notions of his goodness and mercy towards 
man. The persons here meant, according to some commentators, are the Jews, and according 
to others, the idolaters. 2 

This verse and the two next, as Jallalo'ddin thinks, were revealed at Medina. 

*> By these words the Jews (if they were the persons meant) chiefly intended to deny the 
Koran to be of divine revelation, though they might in strictness insist that God never re- 
vealed, or sent doivn, as the Koran expresses it, any real composition or material writing from 
heaven in the manner that Mohammed pretended his revelations were delivered, 3 if we except 
only the Decalogue, God having left to the inspired penmen not only the labour of writing, 
but the liberty, in a great measure at least, of putting the truths into their own words and 
manner of expression. 

* Falsely pretending to have received revelations from him, as did Moseilama, al Aswad al 
Ansi, and others. 

^ As did Abda'llah Ebn Saad Ebn Abi Sarah, who for some time was the prophet's amanu- 
ensis, and when these words were dictated to him as revealed, viz.. We created man of a purer 
kind of clay, &c.,4 cried out, bj' way of admiration. Blessed be God the best Creator t and 
being ordered by Mohammed to write these words down also, as part of the inspired passage, 
began to think himself as great a prophet as his master.^ Whereupon he took upon himself to 
corrupt and alter the Koran according to his avm. fancy, and at length apostatizing, was one 
of the ten who were proscribed at the taking of Mecca,6 and narrowly escaped with life on his 
recantation, by the interposition of Othman Ebn Aifan, whose foster-brother he was. 7 

* For some Arabs, it seems, had the vanity to imagine, and gave out, that, if they pleased, 
they could write a book nothing inferior to the Koran. 

' See before, p. 94, note **. 

B That is, without your wealth, your children, or your friends, which ye so much depended 
on in your lifetime. 
l» i.e.. Naked and helpless. 

1 Idem. 3 Idem. 3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 50. &c. * Kor. c. aj 

 Al BeidawL • See the Prelim. Disc. p. 43. ^ Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 109. 

16 — a 


left that which we had bestowed on you, behind your backs ; neither do 
we see with you your intercessors/ whom ye thought to have been part- 
ners with God among you : now is the relation between you cut off, 
and what ye imagined hath deceived you.*' GOD causeth the grain and 
the date-stone to put forth : he bringeth forth the hving from the dead, 
and he bringeth forth the dead from the living.^ This is GOD. Why 
therefore are ye turned away frotn him ? He causeth the morning 
to appear ; and hath ordained the night for rest, and the sun and the 
moon for the computing ^y/zw^. This is the disposition of the mighty, 
the wise God. It is he who hath ordained the stars for you, that ye 
may be directed thereby in the darkness of the land and of the sea. 
We have clearly shown forth our signs, unto people who understand. 
It is he who hath produced you from one soul ; and hath provided for 
you a sure receptacle and a repository. "^^ We have clearly shown forth 
our signs, unto people who are wise. It is he who sendeth down water 
from heaven, and we have thereby produced the springing buds of all 
tnmgs, and have thereout produced the green thing, from which we 
produce the grain growing in rows, and palm-trees from whose branches 
proceed clusters of dates hanging close together ; and gardens of grapes, 
and olives, and pomegranates, both like and unlike to one another. Look 
on their fruits, when they bear fruit, and their growing to maturity. 
Verily herein are signs, unto people who believe Yet they have set up 
the genii'^ as partners with GOD, although he created them : and they 
have falsely attributed unto him sons and daughters,** without know- 
ledge. Praise be unto him ; and far be that from him which they attri- 
bute tmto him ! He is the maker of heaven and earth : how should he 
have issue, since he hath no consort ? he hath created all things, and he 
is omniscient. This is GOD your LORD ; there is no GOD but he, the 
creator of all things : therefore serve him ; for he taketh care of all things. 
The sight comprehendeth him not, but he comprehendeth the sight ; he 
is the gracious,^ the wise. Now have evident demonstrations come unto 
you from your LORD; whoso %t^\}i\them, the advantage thereof will re- 
dound to his own soul : and whoso is wilfully blind, the C07isequence will 
be to himself. I am not a keeper over you. Thus do we variously explain 
our signs ; that they may say. Thou hast studied diligently ;** and that we 
may declare them unto people of understanding. FoUow that which hath 

Or false gods. 

k Concerning the intercession of your idols, or the disbelief of ^iiture rewards and punish- 

1 See chapter 3, p. 34. 

™ Namely, in the loins of your fathers, and the wombs of your mothers.l 

" This word signifies properly the genus of rational, invisible beings, whether angels, devils, 
or that intermediate species usually called ^^«zV. Some of the commentators therefore, in this 

Elace, understand the angels, whom the pagan Arabs worshipped ; and others the devils, either 
ecause they became their servants by adoring idols at their instigation, or else because, 
according to the Magian system, they looked on the devil as a sort of creator, making him the 
author and principle ol all evil, and God the author of good only.^ 

See the Prelim. Discourse, p. 14 and 30. 

P Or, as the word may be translated, the incofnprehensible.'^ 

q That is. Thou hast been instructed by the Jews and Christians in these matters, and only 
retailest to us what thou hast learned of them. For this the infidels objected to Mohammed, 
thinking it impossible for him to discourse on subjects of so high a nature, and in so clear and 
pertinent a maoner, without being well versed in the doctrines and sacred writings of tliou 

A Al Beidiin. « Idem. > Idem 


been revealed unto tH ♦- from thy Lord ; there i-s no GOD but he : retire 
therefore from the idokiters. If God had so pleased, they had not been 
guilty of idolatry. We have not appointed thee a keeper over them; neither 
art thou a guardian over them. Revile not the idols which they invoke 
besides God, lest they maliciously revile God, without knowledge. 
Thus have we prepared for every nation their works : hereafter unto 
God shall they return, and he shall declare unto them that which they 
have done. They have sworn by God, by the most solemn oath, that 
if a sign came unto them, they would certainly believe therein : Say, 
Verily signs are in the power of GOD alone ; and he permitteth you not 
to understand that when they come, they will not believe.'' And we 
will turn aside their hearts and their sight from the truth, as they believed 
not therein^ the first time ; and we will leave them to wander in their error. 
(VIII.) And though we had sent down angels unto them, and the dead 
had spoken unto them, and we had gathered together before them all 
things in one view ;* they would not have believed, unless God had so 
pleased : but the greater part of them know it not. Thus have we ap- 
pointed unto every prophet an enemy; the devils of men, and of genii: 
who privately suggest the one to the other specious discourses to deceive; 
but if thy Lord pleased, they would not have done it. Therefore leave 
them, and that which they have falsely imagined ; and let the hearts of 
those be inclined thereto, who believe not in the life to come ; and let 
them please themselves therein, and let them gain that which they are 
gaining. Shall I seek after any <?/^^r judge besides God to judge betwee7t 
us? It is he who hath sent down unto you the book of the Kordn, distin- 
guishing between good and evil j and they to whom we gave the scripture 
know that it is sent down from thy LORD, with truth. Be not therefore 
one of those who doubt thereof. The words of thy Lord are perfect 
in truth and justice ; there is none who can change his words -y' he 
both heareth and knoweth. But if thou obey the greater part of them 
who are in the earth, they will lead thee aside from the path of GOD : 
they follow an uncertain opinion only,* and speak nothing but lies ; 
verily thy LORD well knoweth those who go astray from his path, and 
v/ell knoweth those who are rightly directed. Eat of that whereon 
the name of GoD hath been commemorated,y if ye believe in his signs : 
and why do ye not eat of that whereon the name of God hath been 
commemorated? since he hath plainly dec'ared unto you what he hath 
forbidden you ; except that which ye be © impelled to eat of by neces- 

' In this passage Mohammed endeavours to excuse his inability of working a miracle, as had 
teen demanded of him ; declaring that God did not think fit to comply with their desires ; 
and that if he had so thought fit, yet it had been in vain, because if they were not convincea 
by the Koran, they woidd not be convinced by the greatest miracle. •* 

* i.e.. In the Koran. 

* For the Meccans required that Mohammed should either show them an angel descending 
from heaven in their sight, or raise their dead fathers, that they might discourse with them, or 
prevail on God and his angels to appear to them in a body. 

° Some interpret this of the immutability of God's decree, and the certainty of his threats 
and promises ; others, of his particular promise to preserve the Koran from any such alteration 
or corruptions as they imagine to have happened to the Pentateuch and the Gospel ;l and 
others, of the unalterable duration of the M ohammedan law, which they hold is to last till the 
end of the world, there being no other prophet, law, or dispensation to be expected after 5*. 

* Imagining that the true religion was that which their idolatrous ancestors professed. 
1 See chap. 2, p. 18, and chap. 5, p. 73. 

* Confer Luke xvi. 31. 1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 58, and Kor. c. i' 

lOO AL KORAPr. chap, vi 

sity : many lead others into error^ because of their appetites, bein^ void 
of knowledge ; but thy LORD well knoweth who are the transgressors. 
Leave both the outside of iniquity, and the inside thereof :* for they 
who commit iniquity shall receive the reward of that which they shaU 
have gained. Eat not therefore of that whereon the name of God hath 
not been commemorated ; for this is certainly wickedness : but the 
devils will suggest unto their firiends, that they dispute with you con- 
cerning^ this precept; but if ye obey them, ye are surely idolaters. 
Shall he who hath been dead, and whom we have restored unto life, 
and unto whom we have ordained a light, whereby he may walk among 
men, be as he whose similitude is in darkness, from whence he shall 
not come forth ?* Thus was that which the infidels are doing, prepared 
for them. And thus have we placed in every city chief leaders of the 
wicked men thereof,*^ that they may act deceitfully therein ; but they 
shall act deceitfully against their own souls only ; and they know it 
not And when a sign" cometh unto them, they say. We will by no 
means believe until a revelatio7t be brought unto us, like unto that 
which hath been delivered unto the messengers of GoD.* God best 
knoweth whom he will appoint for his messenger.* Vileness in the 
sight of God shall fall upon those who deal wickedly, and a grievous 
punishment, for that they have dealt deceitfully. And whomsoever 
God shall please to direct, he will open his breast to receive the faith 
of Islam : but whomsoever he shall please to lead into error, he will 
render his breast straight and narrow, as though he were climbing up 
to heaven.' Thus doth GoD inflict a terrible punishment on those who 
believe not. This is the right way of thy Lord. Now have we plainly 
declared our signs unto those people who will consider. They shall 
have a dwelling of peace with their Lord, and he shall be their patron, 
because of that which they have wrought. Think on the day whereon 
God shall gather them all together, ajid shall say, O company of genii,8 
ye have been much concerned with mankind ;^ and their friends from 
among mankind shall say, O LORD, the one of us hath received 
advantage from the other,* and we are arrived at our limited term^ 
which thou hast appointed us. GOD will say, Nell fire shall be your 
habitation, therein shall ye remain yi?r ever; unless as GOD shall please 

« That is, both open and secret sins. 

» The persons primarily intended in this passage, were Hamza, Mohammed's uncle, and Abu 
Jahl \ others, instead of Hamza, name Omar, or Ammar 

*> In the same manner as we have done in Mecca. 

^ i.e.. Any verse or passage of the Koran. 

* These were the words of the Koreish, who thought that there were persons among them- 
selves more worthy of the honour of being God's messenger than Mohammed. 

^ Literally, Wfiere he will place his coMtinission. God, says al Beidawi, bestows not the 
gift of prophecy on any one on account of his nobility or riches, but for their spiritual qualifica- 
tions ; making choice of such of his servants as he pleases, aitd who he knows will execute their 
comiiiisslons faithfully. 

f Or had undertaken the most impossible thing ia th* world. In like manner ihall th« hea>i 
of such a man be incapable of receiving ti;.^ trath. 

B That is, of devils. 1 

*» In tempting and seducing them to siCi, 

'The advantage which men received from the evil spirits, was their raising and satisfying 
their lusts and appetites ; and that which the latter received in return, was the obedience pai? 
them by the former, &.C.2 

^ via.. The day of resurrection, which we believed not in the other world. 

^ Ai B«idiiwi. 9 Idem. Jallaio'ddiu. 


to mitigate your pains} for thy LORD is wise and knowing. Thus do 
we set some of the unjust over others of them, because of that which 
they have deserved. O company of genii and men, did not messengers 
from among yourselves come unto you™, rehearsing my signs unto you, 
and forewarning you of the meeting of this your day? They shall 
answer, We bear witness against ourselves : the present life deceived 
them : and they shall bear witness against themselves that they were 
unbelievers. This hath been the method of God's dealing with his 
creatiiresj because thy Lord would not destroy the cities in their 
i:;iiquity, while their inhabitants were careless." Every one shall have 
degrees of recompense of that which they shall do ; for thy Lord is 
not regardless of that which they do, and thy LORD is self-sufficient 
and endued with mercy. If he pleaseth he can destroy you, and cause 
such as he pleaseth to succeed you, in like manner as he produced you 
from the posterity of other people. Verily that which is threatened 
you shall surely come to pass ; neither shall ye cause it to fail. Say 
unto those of Mecca, O my people, act according to your power; verily 
I will act according to my duty .•" and hereafter shall ye know whose 
will be the reward of paradise. The ungodly shall not prosper. Those 
of Mecca set apart unto GoD a portion of that which he hath produced 
of the fruits of the earth, and of cattle ; and say. This belongeth unto 
God (according to their imagination), and this unto our companions.'' 
And that which is destined for their companions cometh not unto 
God ; yet that which is set apart unto God cometh unto their com- 
panions.'* How ill do they judge ! In Hke manner have their com- 
panions induced many of the idolaters to slay their children,'^ that they 
might bring them to perdition, and that they might render their religion 
obscure and confused unto them.^ But if God had pleased, they had 
aot done this : therefore leave them, and that which they falsely 
imagine. They also say, These cattle and fruits of the earth are sacred ; 

1 The commentators tell us that this alleviation of the pains of the damned will be when they 
shall be taken out of the fire to drink the boiling water,3 or to suffer the extreme cold, called 
ai Zamharir, which is to be one part of their punishment ; but others think the respite which 
God will grant to some before they are thrown into hell, is here intended. * According to the 
exposition of Ebn Abbas, these words may be rendered. Unless him whofn God skall please 
to deliver thence. 5 

™ It is the Mohammedan belief that apostles were sent by God for the conversion both of 
genii and of men ; being generally of humane race (as Mohammed, in particular, who pre- 
tended to have a commission to preach to both kinds) ; according to this passage, it seems there 
must have been prophe^of the race o{ genii also, though their mission be a secret to us. 

^ Or considered not tlftir danger ; but God first sent some prophet to them to warn them of 
it, and to invite them to repentance. 

That is, ye may proceed in your rebellion against God and your malice towards me, and 
be confirmed in your infidelity ; but I will persevere to bear your insults with patience, and to 
publish those revelations which God has commanded me.l 

P i.e., Our idols. In which sense this v.ord is to be taken through the whole passage. 

<1 As to this custom of the pagan Arabs, see the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 13. To what is 
there said we may add, that the share set apart for God was employed chiefly in relieving the 
poor and strangers ; and the share of the idols, for paying their priests, and providing sacrifices 
for them. 2 

'' Either by that inhuman custom, which prevailed among those of Kendah and some othei 
tribes, of burying their daughters alive, so soon as they were bom, if they apprehended they 
could not maintain them ;3 or else by offering them to their idols, at the instigation of thos<, 
who had the custody of their temples. ^ 

^ By corrupting with horrid superstitions that religion which Ismael had left to his posterity.' 

3 Jallalo'ddin. « Al Beidawi. 5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72, &c. ^ AJ 

Beidiwi. '^ idem. Jallalo'ddin, 3 See cap. 81. * Al Beidawi. * Idem. 

102 AL KORAPr. chap, vl 

none shall eat thereof but who we please* (according to their imagina- 
tion) ; and there are cattle whose backs are forbidden to be rode on, of 
laden with burdetisf' and there are cattle on which they commemorate 
not the name of GOD when they slay thejn^ devising a lie against him : 
God shall reward them for that which they falsely devise. And they 
say, That which is in the bellies of these cattle/ is allowed our males 
to eat, and is forbidden to our wives : but if it prove abortive, then 
they are both partakers thereof.^ God shall give them the reward of 
their attributing these things to him : he is knowing and wise. They 
are utterly lost who have slain their children foolishly,* without know- 
ledge ;^ and have forbidden that which GOD hath given them for 
food, devising a lie against GOD. They have erred, and were not 
rightly directed. He it is who produceth gardens of vijtes, both those 
which are supported on trails of wood, and those which are not sup- 
ported/ and palm-trees, and the com affording various food, and 
olives, and pomegranates, alike and unlike unto one another. Eat of 
their fruit, when they bear fruit, and pay the due thereof on the day 
whereon ye shall gather it '^ but be not profuse/ for GOD loveth not 
those who are too profuse. And God hath given you some cattle fit 
for bearing of burdens, and some fit for slaughter only. Eat of what 
God hath given you for food ; and follow not the steps of Satan, for 
he is your declared enemy. Four pair' of cattle hath GOD given you; 
of sheep one pair, and of goats one pair. Say unto them, Hath God 
forbidden the two males, of sheep and of goats, or the two females ; or 
that which the wombs of the two females contain ? Tell me with cer- 
tainty, if ye speak truth. And of camels hath God given you one pair, 
and of oxen one pair. Say, Hath he forbidden the two males of these, or 
the two females ; or that which the wombs of the two females contain ?« 
Were ye present when God commanded you this ? And who is more 
unjust than he who deviseth a lie against GOD,^ that he may seduce 

* That is, those who serve our idols, and are of the male sex ; for the women were not allowed 
to eat of them.^ 

" Which the -, •'Tiperstitiously exempted from such services, in some particular cases, as the^» 
did the Bahira, tne Saiba, and the Hami.7 
X Seec. 5, p. 73. 

7 That is, the foetus or embryos of the Bahira and the Saiba, which shall be brought forth 

« For if those cattle cast their young, the women might eat thereof as well as the men. 

* See above, note ''. 

*> Not having a due sense of God's providence. 

^ Or, as some choose to interpret the words. Trees or plants which are planted by tlu labour 
0/ man, and those %vhich grow tuiturally in the deserts a7id on tnountains. 

d That is, give alms thereof to the poor. And these alms, ss al Beidawi observes, were what 
they used to give before the Zacat, or legal alms, was instituted, which was done after 
Mohammed had retired from Mecca, where this verse was revealed. Yet some are of another 
opinion, and for this very reason will have the verse to have been revealed at Medina. 

* i.e.. Give nol so much thereof in alms as to leave your own families in want, for charity 
begins at home. 

f Or, literally, eight males and females paired together ; that is, four of each sex, and twq 
of every distinct kind. 

8 In this passage Mohammed endeavours to convince the Arabs ©f their superstitious folly ii^ 
making it unlawful, one while, to eat the males of these four kinds of cattle ; another while, 
the females ; and at another time, their young. 1 

^ The person particularly intended here, some say, was Amru Ebn Lohai. king of Hejaz, a, 
ereat introducer of idolatry and superstition among the Arabs.? 

^ '-i Idem. 7 See cop. 5, p. 86, and Prelim. Disc. Sect V. \ Al Beidawi « Idem, 

ftee Prelim. Pi§c p. 15, and Pocock Spec. p. 8a 


men without understanding ? Verily GoD directeth not unjust people. 
Say, I find not in that which hath been revealed unto me, anything for- 
bidden unto the eater, that he eat it not, except it be tliat which dieth of 
itself, or blood poured forth,* or swine's flesh : for this is an abomination : 
or that which is profane, having been slain in the name of some other 
than of Cod. But whoso shall be compelled by necessity to eat of these 
things^ not lusting, nor wilfully transgressing, verily thy Lord will be 
gracious u7ito hiin and merciful. Unto the Jews did we forbid every beast 
having an utidivided hoof; and of bullocks and sheep, we forbade them 
the fat of both ; except that which should be on their backs, or their in- 
wards,'^ or which should be intermixed with the bone.^ This have we re- 
warded them with, because of their iniquity ; and we are surely speakers 
of truth. If they accuse thee of imposture, say, Your Lord is endued 
with extensive mercy ; but his severity shall not be averted from wickea 
people. The idolaters will say. If GOD had pleased, we had not been 
guilty of idolatry, neither our fathers ; and pretend that we have not 
forbidden thein anything. Thus did they who were before them accuse 
the prophets of imposture, until they tasted our severe punishment. 
Say, Is there with you any cej-tain knowledge of what ye allege^ that 
ye may produce it unto us ? Ye follow only a false imagination ; and 
ye only utter lies. Say, Therefore unto GoD belongeth the most evident 
demonstration ; for if he had pleased, he had directed you all. Say, 
Produce your witnesses, who can bear testimony that God hath for- 
bidden this. But if they bear testimony of this., do not thou bear testi- 
mony with them, nor do thou follow the desires of those who accuse our 
signs of falshood, and who beheve not in the life to come, and equalize 
idols with their LORD. Say, Come ;™ I will rehearse that which your 
Lord hath forbidden you ; that is to say., that ye be not guilty of 
idolatry, and that ye show kindness Xo your parents, and that ye murder 
not your children y^ry^^r lest ye be reduced to poverty : we will pro- 
vide for you and them ; and draw not near unto heinous crimes," 
neither openly nor in secret ; and slay not the soul which GOD hath 
forbidden _y^?^ to slay., unless for a just cause." This hath he enjoined 
you that ye may understand. And meddle not with the substance of 
the orphan, otherwise than for the improving thereof., until he attain his 
age of strength ; and use a full measure and a just balance. We wiU 
not impose a task on any soul, beyond its ability. And when ye pro- 
nounce judgment observe justice, although it be^'^r or against one who 
is near of kin, and fulfil the covenant of God. This hath God com- 
manded you, that ye may be admonished ; and that ye ?nay k7iow that 
this is my right way : therelore follow it, and follow not the paths oj 
others, lest ye be scattered from the path of God. This hath he com- 

1 That is, fluid blood ; in opposition to whas the Arabs suppose to be also blood, but not 
fluid, as the liver and the spleen.3 

^ See Levit. vii. 23, and iii. 16. 

' viz., The fat of the rumps or tails of sheep, which are very large in the east, a small on< 
wei.i^hing ten or twelve pounds, and some no less than threescore. 

"' This and the two following verses Jallalo ddin supposes to have been revealed at Medina 

" The original word signifies peculiarly fornication and avarice. 

• Ai. for murder, apostacy, or adultery. 4 

• Al Beidawi, Jallaio'ddin. « Al Beidawi. 

I04 AL KORAM. chap. vi. 

manded you, that ye may take heed. We gave also unto Moses the 
book of the Law; a perfect rule unto him who should do right, and a 
determination conc^ning all things needful, and a direction, and 
mercy; that the children of Israel might believe the meeting of their 
Lord. And this book which we have nou sent down, is blessed ; 
therefore follow it and fear God, that ye may obtain mercy : lest ye 
should say, The scriptures were only sent down unto two people' 
before us ; and we neglected to peruse them with attention :^ or lest ye 
should say, If a book of divine revelations had been sent down unto us, 
we would surely have been better directed than they/ And now hath 
a manifest declaration come unto you from your LORD, and a direction 
and mercy : and who is more unjust than he who deviseth lies against 
the signs of GoD, and turncth aside from them .'* We will reward those 
who turn aside ifrom our signs with a grievous punishment, because 
they have turned aside. Do they wait for any other than that the 
angels should come unto them, to part their souls from their bodies ; 
or that thy LORD should come to punish them; or that some of the 
signs of thy LORD should come to pass, showing the day of judgment 
to be at handf^ On the day whereon some of thy Lord's signs shall 
come to pass, its faith shall not profit a soul which believed not before, 
or wrought not good in its faith.* Say, Wait ye for this day ; we surely 
do waity^r it. They who make a division in their religion,*^ and 
become sectaries, have thou nothing to do with them ; their affair 
belongeth only unto GOD. Hereafter shall he declare unto them that 
which they have done. He v/ho shall appear with good works, shall 
receive a tenfold recompense for the same ; but he who shall appear 
with evil works, shall receive only an equal pu7iisiiment for the same ; 
and they shall not be treated unjustly. Say, Verily my Lord hath 
directed me into a right way, a true religion, the sect of Abraham the 
orthodox ; and he was no idolater. Say, Verily my prayers, and my 
worship, and my life, and my death are dedicated unto GoD, the Lord 
of all creatures : he hath no companion. This have I been commanded : 
I am the first Moslem.^ Say, shall I desire any other Lord besides 
God ? since he is the Lord of all things ; and no soul shall acquire any 
m.erits or demerits but for itself ; and no burdened soul shall bear the 

P That is, the Jews and the Christians. 

q Either because we knew nothing of them, or did not understand the language wherein they 

were written. 

"" Because of the acuteness of our wit, the clearness of our understanding, and ovur facility ot 
learning sciences — as appears from our excelling in history, poetry, and oratory, notwithstand- 
ing we are illiterate people.^ 

Al Beidawi, from a tradition of Mohammed, says that ten signs will precede the last day, 
viz., the smoke, the beast of the earth, an eclipse in the east, another in the west, and a third 
in the peninsula of Arabia, the appearance of Antichrist, the sun's rising in the west, the erup- 
tion of Gog and Magog, the descent of Jesus on earth, and fire which shall break forth from 

' For faith in the next life wi'^ be of no advantage to those who have not believed in this ; 
nor yet faith in this life without good works. 

u That is, who believe in part of u, and disbelieve other parts of it, or who form scmsnss 
therein. Mohammed is reported to have declared that the Jews were divided into seventy-one 
sects, and the Christians into seventy-two ; a.ici that his own followers would be split intr 
seventy-three sects; and that all of them would be damned, except only one of each. ^ 

" See before, p. 90. 

s Idem. J- See the Prelim. Disc. S^ ^. r>. 62. &c. « Al Beidilwj 

CHAP. ni. AL KORAN. 105 

burden of another.y Moreover unto your LORD shall ye return; and he 

shall declare unto you that concerning which ye 7iow dispute. It is he 
who hath appointed you to succt^d your predecessors in the earth, and 
hath raised some of you above others by various degrees of worldly 
advantages, that he might prove you by that which he hath bestowed 
on you. Thy LORD is svviit in punishing ; and he is also gracious and 




AL. M. S.*' A book hath been sent down unto thee : and therefore 
• let there be no doubt in thy breast concerning it; that thou 
mavest preach the same, and that it may be an admonition unto the 
faithful. Follow that which hath been sent down unto you from your 
Lord ; and follow no guides besides him : how little will ye be warned ! 
How many cities have we destroyed; which our vengeance overtook 
by night," or while they were reposing themselves at noonday 1*^ And 
their supplication, when our punishment came upon them, was no other 
than that they said, Verily we have been unjust. We will surely call 
those to an account, unto whom a prophet hath been sent ; and we will 
also call those to account who have been sent unto them. And we will 
declare their actions unto them with knowledge ; for we are not absent 
from thejn. The weighing of jnen's actions on that day shall be just ;* 
and they whose balances laden with their good works shall be heavy, 
are those who shall be happy ; but they whose balances shall be light, 
are those who have lost their souls, because they injured our signs. 
And now have we placed you on the earth, and have provided you 
food therein : btit how little are ye thankful ! We created you, and 
afterwards formed you ; and then said unto the angels. Worship 
Adam ; and they all worshipped hini^ except Eblis, who was not one 
of those who worshipped.' God said unto hitn^ What hindered thee 
from worshipping Adam, since I had commanded thee? He answered, 

y This was revealed in answer to the pressing instances of the idolaters, who offered to take 
the crime upon themselves, if Mohammed would conform to their worship.^ 

« Pd Araf signifies the partition between paradise and hell, which is mentioned in this 
chapter. 1 

a Some, however, except five or eight verses, begin at these words, And ask thtnt conceming 
the city, &c. 

h The signification of those letters the more sober Mohammedans confess God alone know» 
Some, however, imagine they stand for Allah, Gabriel, Mohammed, on whom be petu't. 

*= As it did the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, to whom Lot was seat. 

d As happened to the Midianites, to whom Shoaib preached. 

• See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 69. 

' See chapter 2, p. .% &c. 

» l.-ij»n» i.,i*a the Prelim. Disc Sect. IV- p. 74 

io6 AL KORAN, chap. vn. 

I am more excellent than he : thou hast created me of fire, and hast 
created him of clay. God said, Get thee down therefore from paradise; 
for it is not fit that thou behave thyself proudly therein : get thee 
hence; thou shall be one of the contemptible. He answered, Give me 
respite until the day of resurrection. God said. Verily thou shalt be 
one of those who are respited.^ The devil said, Because thou hast 
depraved me, I will lay wait for ineji in thy strait way ; then will I 
come upon them from before, and from behind, and from their right 
hands, and from their left ;^ and thou shalt not find the greater part of 
ihem thankful. God said unto him, Get thee hence, despised, and 
driven y«r away : verily whoever of them shall follow thee, I will surely 
fill hell with you all : but as for thee, O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife 
in paradise ; and eat of the Jridt thereof \i\\^x^vQ.x ye will ; but approach 
not this tree, lest ye become oj the number of the unjust. And Satan 
suggested to them both, that he would discover unto them their naked- 
ness, which was hidden from them ; and he said. Your LORD hath not 
forbidden you this tree, for ajiy other reason but lest ye should be- 
come angels, or lest ye become immortal. And he sware unto them, 
saying, Verily I am one of those who counsel you aright. And he 
caused them to fall through deceit.^ And when they had tasted of the 
tree, their nakedness appeared unto them;^ and they began to join 
together the leaves of paradise,^ to cover themselves. And their Lord 
called to them, saying, Did I not forbid you this tree ; and did I not 
say unto you. Verily Satan is your declared enemy.? They answered, O 
Lord, we have dealt unjustly with our own souls ; and if thou forgive 
us not, and be not merciful unto us, we shall surely be of those who 
perish. God said, Get ye down, the one of you an enemy unto the 
other ; and ye shall have a dwelling-place upon earth, and a provision 
for a season. He said. Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die, 
and from thence shall ye be taken forth at the resurrectio7i. O children 
of Adam, we have sent down unto you apparel,"^ to conceal your naked- 

8 As the time till which the devil is reprieved is not particularly expressed, the commentators 
suppose his request was not wholly granted ; but agree that he shall die, as well as other 
creatures, at the second sound of the trumpet.2 

^ i.e., I will attack them on every side that I shall be able. The other two ways, vi2., from 
above and from under their feet, are omitted, say the commentators, to show that the devil's 
power is limited. 3 

> The Mohammedan gospel of Barnabas tells us, that the sentence which God pronounced 
on the serpent for introducing the devil into paradise^ was, that he should not only be turned 
out of paradise, but that he should have his legs cut off by the angel Michael, with the sword 
of God; and that the devil himself, since he had rendered our first parents unclean, was con- 
demned to eat the excrements of them and all their posterity ; which two last circumstances I 
do not remember to have read elsewhcrs. The words of the manuscript are these : Y llavio 
\Dios\ a la serpiente, y a Michael, aqtiel que tiene la espada de Dios, y le dixo; Aquesta 
sierpe es acelerada, echala la printera delparayso, y cortale las piemas, y si quisiere cami7iar, 
arrastrara la vida por tierra. Y llamd a Satanas, el qual vino riendo, y dixole; Porqtce 
tu reprobo has engaHado a aquestos, y los has hecho intmundos ? Yo quiero que toda iinmun- 
dicia suya, y de todos sus hijos, en saliendo de sus cuerpos entre pH>r tu boca, porque en verdad 
ellos hara7i penitencia, y tu qttedaras harto de intnnindicia. 

^ Which they had not perceived before ; being clothed, as some say, with light, or garments 
of paradise, which fell from them on their disobedience. Yahya imagines their nakecSiess was 
hidden by their hair.^ 

1 Which it is said were fig-leaves.^ 

"" Not only proper materials, but also ingenuity oi mind and dexterity of hand to make use 
of them. 7 

« Al Beidawi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65, and D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. 
Ebiis. 3 Al Beidawi. * See the notes to cap. 2, p. 5. 5 Id«nu 8 Idem. 'Idem. 


ness, and fair garments ; but the clothing of piety is ^ etter. This h 
one of the signs of God ; that peradventure ye may consider. O chil- 
dren of Adam, let not Satan seduce you, as he expelled your parents 
out of paradise, by stripping them of their clothing, that he might show 
them their nakedness : verily he seeth you, both he and his companions, 
whereas ye see not them.^ We have appointed the devils to be the 
patrons of those who believe not : and when they commit a filthy 
action, they say, We found our fathers practising the sam^e ; and GOE 
hath commandeth us to do it. Say, Verily GOD commandeth not filthy 
actions. Do ye speak concerning GOD that which ye know not ? Say, 
My Lord hath commanded me to observe justice ; therefore set your 
faces to pray at every place of worship, and call upon him, approving 
unto him the sincerity of your religion. As he produced you at first, 
so unto him shall ye return. A part of mankind hath he directed ; and 
a part hath been justly led into error, because they have taken the 
devils for their patrons besides GOD, and imagine that they are rightly 
directed. O children of Adam, take your decent apparel at every place 
of worship,® and eat and drink,^ but be not guilty of excess ; for he 
loveth not those who are guilty of excess. Say, Who hath forbidden 
the decent apparel of GOD, which he hath produced for his servants, 
and the good things which he hath provided for food t Say, These 
things are for those who believe, in this present life, but peculiarly on 
the day of resunection.** Thus do we distinctly explain our signs unto 
people who understand. Say, Verily my Lord hath forbidden filthy 
actions, both that which is discovered thereof, and that which is con- 
cealed, and also iniquity, and unjust violence ; and hath forbidden you 
to associate with GOD that concerning which he hath sent you down 
no authority, or to speak of GOD that which ye know not. Unto every 
nation there is a prefixed term ; therefore when their term is expired, 
they shall not have respite for an hour, neither shall they be anticipated. 
O children of Adam, verily apostles from among you shall come unto 
you, who shall expound my signs unto you : whosoever therefore shall 
fear God and amend, there shall come no fear on them, neither shall 
they be grieved. But they who shall accuse our signs of falsehood, 
and shall proudly reject them, they shall be the companions of hell fire ; 
they shall remain therein for ever. And who is more unjust than he 
who deviseth a lie concerning GOD, or accuseth his signs of imposture? 
Unto these shall be given their portion of worldly happiness, according 

" Because of the subtlety of their bodies, and their being void of all colour.8 

o This passage was revealed to reprove an immodest custom of the pagan Arabs, who used 
to encompass the Caaba naked, because clothes, they said, were the signs of their disobedience 
to GoD.l The Sonna orders that, when a man goes to prayers, he should put on his better 
apparel, out of respect to the divine majesty before whom he is to appear. But as the Mo- 
hammedans think it indecent, on the one hand, to come into God's presence in a slovenly 
manner, so they imagine, on the other, that they ought not to appear before him in habits too 
rich or sumptuous, and particularly in clothes adorned with gold or sillier, lest they should 
seem proud. 

P The sons of Amer, it is said, when they performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, used to eal 
no more than was absolutely necessary, and that not of the more deliciou 5 sort of food neither, 
which abstinence they looked upon as a piece of merit, but they are here told the contrary.2 

q Because then the wicked, who also partook of the blessings of this life, will have ao -ihai-* 
k the eoioyments of the next 

i Jallalo'ddin. l Idem, al BeidSwi. « Iden. 

io8 AL KORAN, 


CO what is written in the book of God's decrees^ until our messengers* 
come unto them, a7id shall cause them to die ; saying, Where are the 
idols which ye called upon, besides GOD ? They shall answer, They 
have disappeared from us. And they shall bear witness against them- 
selves, that they were unbelievers. God shall say unto them at the 
resurrection, Enter ye with the nations which have preceded you, of 
genii and of men, into hell fire ; so often as one nation shall enter, it shall 
curse its sister,* until they shall all have successively entered therein. 
The latter of them shall say of the former of them, O Lord, these 
have seduced us ; therefore inflict on them a double punishment of the 
fire of hell. God shall answer, // shall be doubled unto all ;* but ye 
know it not. And the former of them shall say unto the latter of them. 
Ye have not therefore any favour above us ; taste the punishment for 
that which ye have gained. Verily they who shall charge our signs 
with falsehood, and shall proudly reject them, the gates of heaven shall 
not be opened unto them,*^ neither shall they enter into paradise, until 
a camel pass through the eye of a needle ;* and thus will we reward the 
wicked doers. Their couch shall be in hell, and over them shall be 
coverings of fire; and thus will we reward the unjust. But they who 
believe and do that which is right (we will not load any soul but 
according to its ability), they shall be the companions of paradise; 
they shall remain therein for ever. And we will remove all grudges 
from their minds -^ rivers shall run at their feet, and they shall say, 
Praised be God, who hath directed us unto Xhis felicity / for we should 
not have been rightly directed, if God had not directed us : now are 
we convinced by demonstration that the apostles of our Lord came 
unto us with truth. And it shall be proclaimed unto them. This is 
paradise, whereof ye are made heirs, as a reward for that which ye 
have wrought. And the inhabitants' of paradise shall call out to the 
inhabitants of hell fire, sayings Now have we found that which our 
Lord promised us to be true ; have ye also found that which your Lord 
promised you to be true ? They shall answer, Yea. And a criei^* shall 
proclaim between them. The curse of God shall be on the wicked ; who 
turn m.en aside from the way