Notes on Muhammadanism/1

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1-10[edit]

I. Muhammad[edit]

THE earliest biographers of the Arabian Prophet, whose works are extant in Arabic, are Ibn-Ishaq (A.H. 151), Ibn-Hisham (A.H. 218), Waqidi (A.H. 207), and Tabari (A.H. 310). Is mail Abulfida, Prince of Hamah, in Syria (A.H. 733), compiled a Life of Muhammad in Arabic, which was translated by John Gragnier, Pro fessor of Arabic at Oxford (A.D. 1723), and into English by the Rev. W. Murray, Episcopal clergyman at Duffus, in Scotland. * Dr. Spren- ger of Calcutta commenced a Life of Muham-


  • Mr. Murray's translation was published at Elgin

(without date). It is exceedingly scarce, the British Museum not possessing a copy.

B


MUHAMMAD.


mad in English, and printed the first part of it at Allahabad (A.D. 1851); but it was never completed. The learned author afterwards published his work in German in 1869.* The only Life of Muhammad in English, which has any pretension to original research, is that by Sir William Muir of the Bengal Civil Service.†

Muhammad (lit. the praised one], son of Abdul Muttalib, by his wife Amina, was born at Mecca, August 29th, A.D. 570. He assumed Uuf prophetic office at the age of forty, fled from Mecca at the age of fifty-four, and died at Medinah, June 9th, A.D. 632, aged sixty -two.

The Hi/rat, or Hegira (the flight from Mecca), which is the Muhammadan era, dates from July 16th, A.D. 622.

The character of Muhammad is an historic problem, and many have been the conjectures as to his motives and designs. Was he an impostor, a fanatic, or an honest man " a very prophet of God ? " And the problem might


  • Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad. A.

Sprenger. 6 vols. Svo. Berlin, 1869.

†t Life of Mahomet. 4 vols. Svo. London, 1858-61. New Edition. 1 vol. Svo. London, 1877.


MUHAMMAD. 3

have for ever remained unsolved had not the Prophet himself appealed to the Old and New Testament in proof of his mission. This is the crucial test, established by the Prophet himself. He claims to be weighed in the balance with the Divine Jesus. Having done so, we find him wanting.

Objection has often been made to the manner in which Christian divines have attacked the private character of Muhammad. Why reject the prophetic mission of Muhammad on account of his private vices, when yon receive as inspired the sayings of a Balaam, a David, or a Solomon ? We do not, as a rule, attack the character of Muhammad in dealing with Islam ; it rouses opposition, and is an offensive line of argument. Still, in forming an estimate of his prophetical pretensions, we contend that the character of Muhammad is an important item in our bill of indictment. We readily admit that bad men have sometimes been, like Balaam and others, the divinely appointed organs of inspiration ; but in the case of Muhammad his professed in spiration sanctioned and encouraged his own vices. That which ought to have been the foun tain of purity was, in fact, the cover of the

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4 MUHAMMAD.

Prophet s depravity.* But how different it is in the case of the true prophet David, where, in the words of inspiration, he lays bare to public gaze the enormity of his own crimes. The deep contrition of his inmost soul is manifest in every . line " I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me : against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight." The best defenders of the Arabian Pro- phett are obliged to admit that the matter of Zein^^^tj^j^fe^oJ^^Zeida and again, of Mary, the Coptic slave, are " an indelible stain " upon his memory ; that " he is once or twice untrue to the kind and forgiving disposition of his best nature ; that he is once or twice unrelenting in the punishment of his personal enemies; and that he is guilty even more than once of con niving at the assassination of inveterate oppo* nents ; " but they give no satisfactory explana tion or apology for all this being done under the supposed sanction of God in the Quran. In forming an estimate of Muhammad s pro-

  • Vide Quran, chap, xxxiii. 37, and chap. Ixvi. 1

t Vide Muhammad and Muhammadism, by Mr. R.

Bos worth Smith, M.A., an Assistant Master of Harrow

School.


MUHAMMAD. O

phetical pretensions, it must be remembered that he did not claim to be the founder of a new religion, but merely of a new covenant. He is the last and greatest of all Grod s pro phets. He is sent to convert the world to the one true religion which God had before revealed to the five great lawgivers Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus ! The creed of Muhammad, therefore, claims to supersede that of the Lord Jesus. And it is here that we take our stand. We give Muhammad credit as a warrior, as a legislator, as a poet, as a man of uncommon genius, raising himself amidst great opposition to a pinnacle of renown ; we admit that he is, without doubt, one of the greatest heroes the world has ever seen ; but when we consider his claims to supersede the mission of the Divine Jesus, we strip him of his borrowed plumes, and reduce him to the condition of an impostor ! * For whilst he has adopted and


  • " There are modern biographers of the Prophet who

would have us believe that he was not conscious of false hood when making these assertions. He was under a hallucination, of course, but he believed what he said. This is to me incredible. The legends of the Koran are derived chiefly from Talmudic sources ; Muhammad must


6 MUHAMMAD.

avowed his belief in the sacred books of the Jew and the Christian, and has given them all the stamp and currency which his authority and influence could impart, he has attempted to rob Christianity of every distinctive truth which it possesses its Divine Saviour, its Heavenly Comforter, its pure code of social morals, its spirit of love and truth and has written his own refutation and condemna tion with his own hand, by professing to con firm the divine oracles which sap the very foundations of his prophetical pretensions.


have learned them from some Jew resident in or near Mekka. To work them up in the form of rhymed Suras, to put his own peculiar doctrines in the mouths of Jewish patriarchs, the Virgin Mary, and the infant Jesus (who talks like a good Moslem from his birth), must have re quired time, thought, and labour. It is not possible that the man who had done all this could have forgotten all about it, and believed that these legends had been brought to him ready prepared by an angelic visitor. Muhammad was guilty of falsehood under circumstances where he

deemed the end justified the means He was

brought face to face with the question which every spi ritual reformer has to consider, against which so many noble spirits have gone to ruin, will not the end justify the means ? " " Islam under the Arabs," by Major Durie Osborn, p. 21.


MUHAMMAD. 7

We follow the would-be prophet in his self- asserted mission from the cave of Hira to the closing scene, when he dies in the midst of the lamentations of his harem, and the con tentions of his friends the visions of Gabriel, the period of mental depression, the contem- plated suicide, the assumption of the prophetic office, his struggles with Meccan unbelief, his flight to Medina, his triumphant entry into Mecca and whilst we wonder at the genius of the hero, we pause at every stage and inquire, " Is this the Apostle of God whose mission is to claim universal dominion to the suppression not merely of idolatry, but of Christianity itself? >: Then it is that the divine and holy character of Jesus rises to our view, and the inquiring mind sickens at the thought of the beloved, the pure, the lowly Jesus giving place to that of the ambitious, the sensual, the time-serving hero of Arabia. In the study of Islam the character of Muhammad needs an apology or a defence at every stage; but in the contemplation of the Christian system, whilst we everywhere read of Jesus, and see the reflection of His image in everything we read, the heart revels in the


MUHAMMAD.


contemplation, the inner pulsations of our spi ritual life bound within us at the study of a character so divine, so pure.

We are not insensible to the beauties of the Quran as a literary production, although they have, without doubt, been overrated ; but as we admire its conceptions of the Divine nature, its deep and fervent trust in the power of God, its frequent deep moral earnestness, and its sen tentious wisdom, we would gladly rid ourselves of our recollections of the Prophet, his licen tious harem, his sanguinary battle-fields, his ambitious schemes; whilst as we peruse the Christian scriptures we find the grand central charm in the divine character of its founder. It is the divine character of Jesus which gives fragrance to his words ; it is the divine form of Jesus which shines through all He says or does; it is the divine life of Jesus which is the great central point in Gospel history. How then, we ask, can the creed of Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, supersede and abrogate that of Jesus, the son of God ? It is a remarkable coincidence that whilst the founder of Islam died feeling that he had but imperfectly fulfilled his mis


MUHAMMAD.

sion, the founder of Christianity died in the full consciousness that his work was done " It is finished." It was in professing to produce a revelation which should supersede that of Jesus that Muhammad set the seal to his own refutation.


  • Waqidi relates that Muhammad shortly before his

death called for a "shoulder blade" upon which to write another chapter of the Quran, which should prevent them going astray for ever.


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II. ISLAM.

ISLA M is the name given to the Muhammadan religion by its founder. Abdul Haqq (the com mentator on the Mishkat) says it implies " sub mission to the divine will."

In the Dictionary of the Quran entitled Moghrab, Islam is explained as u entering into peace (salm) with another," alluding to the fact that he who embraces Islam in a Mu hammadan state becomes free from all those penalities and disabilities which belong to one who does not embrace the faith.

In the Quran the word is used for doing homage to God. Islam is said to be the religion of all the prophets from the time of Abraham, as will appear from the following verses (Surat- ul-Imran, ver. 78, 79) : " We believe in God and in what hath been sent down to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, and in what was given *to Moses, and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We


ISLAM. 11

make no difference between them, and to him are we resigned (i.e. Muslims). Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be accepted of him, and in the next world he shall be lost."

There are three words used by Muhammadan writers for religion, namely, Din, Millat, and Mcuihctb ; and in the Kitab-ut-Tarifat the dif ference implied in these words is said to be as follows : Din as it stands in its relation to God, e.g. Lin- Ullah, the religion of God ; Millat, as it stands in relation to a prophet or lawgiver, e.g. Millat-i-Ibrahim, the religion of Abraham ; and Mazhab as it stands in relation to the divines of Islam, e.g. Mazhab-i-Hanaji, the re ligion of Hanifa. The expression Din, however, is of general application.

Those who profess the religion of Islam are called Musalmans, Muslims, or Momins.

Ahl-i-Kitdb, " the people of the Book," is used for Muhammadans, Jews, and Christians.


III. RULE OF FAITH.

THE Muhammadan rule of faith is based upon what are called the four foundations of orthodoxy, namely, the Qurdn y or, as it is called, Kaldm Ullah, the Word of God ; the Hadis (pi. Alull$\ or the traditions of the sayings and practice of Muhammad ; Ijmd , or the consent of the Mujtahidin, or learned doctors ; and Qids, or the analogical reasoning of the learned.

In studying the Muhammadan religious sys tem it must be well understood that Islam is not simply the religion of the Quran, but that all Muhammadans, whether Sunni, Shia h, or Wahhabi, receive the Traditions as an authority in matters of faith and practice. The Sunni Muhammadans arrogate to themselves the title of traditionists ; but the Shia hs also receive the Hadis as binding upon them, although they do not acknowledge the same collection of traditions as those received by their opponents. Th


RULE OF FAITH. 13

Wahhabis receive the "six correct books of the Sunnis."

The example of Muhammad is just as binding upon the Muslim, as that of Him who said " Learn of me " is upon the Christian, and very many were the injunctions which the " Pro phet " gave as to the transmission of his sayings and practice, and very elaborate is the canon whereby Muslims arrive at what they believe to be the example of their Prophet. If, there fore, the grand and elaborate system of morals as expressed in the law of Islam has failed to raise the standard of morality amongst the nations of the earth which have embraced its creed, it is not unreasonable to conclude that its failure rests in the absence of a living example of truth.


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IV. THE QURAN[edit]

THE word Quran is derived from the Arabic Qara, which occurs at the commencement of Sura xcv., which is said to have been the first chapter revealed to Muhammad ; and has the same meaning as the Hebrew kara, " to read," or ic to recite," which is frequently used in Jeremiah xxxvi., as well as in other places in the Old Testament. It is, therefore, equi valent to the Hebrew mikra, rendered in Nehe- miah viii. 18. " the reading." It is the title given to the Muhammadan Scriptures which are usually appealed to and quoted from as the " Quran Majid," or the " Glorious Quran" , the Quran Sharif," or the < ; Noble Quran " : and is also called the " Fiirqdn" or "Distinguisher,"


  • The contents of this article appear as an Introduction

to the Roman-Urdu edition of the Quran, published at Ludianah, North India, 1877.




THE QURAN. 15

"KaUm Ullah," or the "Word of God," and " Al kitcib" or " the Book."*

Muhammadans believe the Quran to be the inspired Word of God sent down to the lowest heaven complete, t and then revealed from time to time to the Prophet by the Angel Gabriel.

There is, however, only one J distinct assertion in the Quran of Gabriel having- been the me dium of inspiration, namely, Sura-i-Baqr (ii.j, 91 ; and this occurs in a Medina Sura, revealed about seven years after the Prophet s rule had been established. In the Sura-i-Shura (xxvi.),. 192, the Quran is said to have been given by the " Ruh ul A min" or Faithful Spirit; and in the Sura-i-Najm (liii.)? 5, Muhammad claims to have been taught by the " Shadid-nl-Qud ," j

  • According to Jalal-ud-din Syuty there are fifty-five

titles of the Quran. (See the Itqan, p. 117.)

f See Jalal-ud-din s Itqan, p. 91. The "Recording Angels" mentioned in the Sura-i-Abas (Ixxx.), 15, are said to have written the Quran before it was sent down from heaven.

J Gabriel (Jibrdtt) is only mentioned twice by name in the Quran : once in the verse noted above, and again in the Sura-i-Tahrim (Ixvi,), 4. He is supposed to be alluded to under the title of Riih-ul-Qudus, or the Holy Spirit, in Suras Baqr (ii.), 82, 254 ; Maida (v.), 109 ; Nahl (xvi.), 104.


16 THE QUKAN.

or One terrible in power ; and in the Traditions the agent of inspiration is generally spoken of as " an angel " (malak).* It is, therefore, not quite certain through what agency Muhammad believed himself to be inspired of God.

According to Ayeshah, one of the Prophet s wives, the revelation was first communicated in dreams, Ayeshah relatesf : " The first revelations which the Prophet received were in true dreams ; and he never dreamt but it came to pass as regularly as the dawn of day. After this the Prophet was fond of retirement, and used to seclude himself in a cave in mount Hiraa and worship there day and night. He would, whenever he wished, return to his family at Mecca, and then go back again, taking with him the necessaries of life. Thus he continued to return to Khadijah from time to time, until one day the revelation came down to him, and the angel (malak)^ came


  • Malak. Hebrew, Malakh, an angel ; prophet ; a name

of office, nob of nature. See Wilson s Hebrew Lexicon, p. 13.

I Mishkat, bk. xxiv. chap. v. pt. 1.

J C;ipt. Matthews, in his edition of the Mishkat, has followed the Persian Commentator, and translated the


THE QURAN. 17

to him and said, c Read (igarda) ; but the Prophet said, I am not a reader. And the Prophet related, that he (i. e. the angel) took hold of me and squeezed me as much as I could bear, and he then let me go and said again, Eead ! And I said, e I am not a reader. Then he took hold of me a second time, and squeezed me as much as I could bear, and then let me go, and said c Eead ! And I said, I am not a reader. Then he took hold of me a third time and squeezed me as much as I could bear, and said : " e Eead ! in the name of thy Lord who created ;

Created man from a clot of blood in the

womb. " { Eead ! for thy Lord is the most beneficent,

He hath taught men the use of the pen ;

He hath taught man that which he knoweth

not. *

" Then the Prophet repeated the words him self, and with his heart trembling he returned (i. e. from Hiraa to Mecca) to Khadijah, and

word Malak, Gabriel, instead of Angel, and most of our English authors have quoted the tradition from his book.

  • Sura-i-Alaq (xcvi.), the first five verses. The other

verses of the chapter are of a later date.

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18 THE QURAN.

said, Wrap me up, wrap me up. And they wrapped him up in a garment till his fear was dispelled, and he told Khadijah what had passed, and he said : { Verily, I was afraid I should have died. Then Khadijah said, No, it will not be so. I swear by God, He will never make you melancholy or sad. For verily you are kind to your relatives, you speak the truth, you are

faithful in trust, YOU bear the afflictions of the

7 i/

people, you spend in good works what you gain in trade, you are hospitable, and you assist your fellow men. After this, Khadijah took the Prophet to Waraqa, who was the son of her uncle, and she said to him, son of my uncle ! hear what your brother s son says. Then Waraqa said to the Prophet, O son of my brother ! what do you see ? Then the Prophet told Waraqa what he saw, and Waraqa said, c That is theNamus* which God sent to Moses. Ayeshah also relates that Haris-ibn-Hisham asked the Prophet, How did the revelation


  • Ndmiis. Understood by all Commentators to be the

angel Gabriel. It has, however, many significations, e.y. Law, Voice, Sound, &c. (see Johnson s Arabic Dictionary). Probably a corruption of the Greek vo /xos, which is always used in the New Testament for the Law of Moses


THE QURAN. 19

come to you ? and the Prophet said, * Some times like the noise of a bell, and sometimes the angel would come and converse with me in the shape of a man.

According to A yeshah s statement, the Sura-i- Alaq (xcvi.) was the first portion of the Quran revealed ; but it is more probable that the poetical Suras, in which there is no express declaration of the prophetic office, or of a divine commission, were composed at an earlier period. Internal evidence would assign the earliest date to the Suras Zilzal (xcix.), Asar (ciii.), A diyat (c.), and Fatiha (i.), which are rather the utter ances of a searcher after truth than of an Apostle of God.

The whole book was not arranged until after Muhammad s death, but it is believed that the Prophet himself divided the Suras and gave most of them their present titles, which are chosen from some word which occurs in the chapter.* The following is the account of the collection and arrangement of the Quran, as it


J The ancient Jews divided the whole Law of Moses into fifty-four Sections, which were called /Sidrah, or an order or division. These sections had each a technical

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20 THE QURAN.

stands at present, as given in traditions recorded by Bokhari :

66 Zaid-ibn-Sabit, relates * : ; Abu-Bakr sent a person to me, and called me to him, at the time of the battle with the people of Zema- mah ; and I went to him, and Omar was with him ; and Abu-Bakr said to me, " Omar came to me and said, Verily, a great many of the readers of the Quran were slain on the day of the battle with the people of Zemamah; and really I am afraid that if the slaughter should be great, much will be lost from the Quran, because every person remembers some thing of it ; and, verily, I see it advisable for you to order the Quran to be collected into one book. I said to Omar, How can I do a thing which the Prophet has not done ? He said, I swear by God, this collecting of the Quran is a good thing. And Omar used to be constantly returning to me and saying : 6 You must collect the Quran, till at length


name, e.g. the first was called " Bereshith," and the second " Noah." (See Dr. Adam Clark on Genesis.)

  • Mishkat, bk. viii. chap. iii. pt. 3.


THE QURAN. 21

God opened my breast so to do, and I saw what Ornar had been advising. And Zaid-ibn- Sabit says that, Abu-Bakr said to me, " You are a young and sensible man, and I do not suspect you of forgetfulness, negligence, or perfidy ; and, verily, you used to write for the Prophet his instructions from above ; then look for the Quran in. every place and collect it." I said, " I swear by God, that if people had ordered me to carry a mountain about from one place to another, it would not be heavier upon me than the order which Abu- Bakr has given for collecting the Quran." I said to Abu-Bakr, " How do you do a thing which the Prophet of God did not ? " He said, " By God, this collecting of the Quran is a good act." And he used perpetually to return to me, until God put it into my heart to do the thing which the heart of Omar had been set upon. Then I sought for the Quran, and collected it from the leaves of the date, and white stones, and the breasts of people that remembered it, till I -found the last part of the chapter entitled Tauba (Re pentance), with Abu-Khuzaimah Ansari, and with no other person. These leaves were in


22 THE QURAN.

the possession of Abu-Bakr, until God caused him to die ; after which Omar had them in his life-time ; after that, they remained with his daughter, Hafsah ; after that, Osman com piled them into one book.

" Anas-ibn-Malik relates : Huzaifah came to Osman, and he had fought with the people of Syria in the conquest of Armenia ; and had fought in Azurbaijan, with the people of Irak, and he was shocked at the different ways of people reading the Quran. And Huzaifah said to Osman, " O Osman, assist this people, before they differ in the Book of God, just as the Jews and Christians differ in their books." Then Osman sent a person to Hafsah, ordering her to send those portions which she had, and saying, " I shall have a number of copies of them taken, and will then return them to you." And Hafsah sent the portions to Osman, and Osman ordered Zaid-ibn-Sdbit, Ansari, and Abdullah-bin-Zu- bair, and Said-ibn-Alnas, and Abdullah-ibn- ul-Haris-bin-Hisham; and these were all of the Quraish tribe, except Zaid-ibn-Sabit and Osman. And he said to the three Quraish- , "When you and Zaid-ibn-Sabit differ


THE QURAN. 2o

, about any part of the dialect of the Quran, then do ye write it in the Quraish dialect, because it came not down in the language of any tribe but theirs." Then they did as Os man had ordered; and when a number of copies had been taken, Osman returned the leaves to Hafsah. And Osman sent a copy to every quarter of the countries of Islam, and ordered all other leaves to be burnt, and Ibn-Shahab said, "Kharijah, son of Zaid- ibn-Sabit, informed me, saying, ( I could not find one verse when I was writing the Quran, which, verily, I heard from the Prophet ; then I looked for it, and found it with Khuzaimah Ansari, and entered it into the Siira-i-Ahzab.

This recension of the Quran produced by Khalifa Osman has been handed down to us unaltered ; and, as Sir William Muir remarks, " there is probably no other book in the world which has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text." *

That various readings (such as Christians

understand by the term) did exist when Os-

man produced the first uniform edition is

  • Muir s " Life of Mohamet," vol. i. Introduction.


24 THE QURAN.

more /than probable, and the Shi ahs have al ways charged the Ansars * with " having mutilated and changed and made the Quran what they pleased ; " a charge, however, which they do not attempt to prove, beyond the mere assertion that certain passages were omitted which favoured the claims of Ali to be the first Khalif.

The various readings (Qiraai) in the Quran are not such as are usually understood by the term in English authors, but different dialect* of the Arabic language. Ibn Abbas says the Prophet said, " Gabriel taught me to read the Quran in one dialect, and when I recited it he taught me to recite it in an other v dialect, and so on until the number of dialects increased to seven." t

Muhammad seems to have adopted this ex pedient to satisfy the desire of the leading

  • See the Hyat-ul-Kalub, a Shi ah book of Traditions,

leaf 420. " The Ansars were ordained to oppose the claims of the family of Muhammad, and this was the reason why the other wretches took the office of Khalif by force. After thus treating one Khalif of God, they then muti lated and changed the other Khalif, which is the book of God."

I Mishkat, bk. ii., chap, ii., pt. 1.


THE QURAN. 25

tribes to have a Quran in their own dialect; for Abdul Haqq* says, "The Quran was first revealed in the dialect of the Quraish, which was the Prophet s native tongue; but when the Prophet saw that the people of other tribes recited it with difficulty then he obtained per mission from God to extend its currency by allowing it to be recited in all the chief dialects of Arabia, which were seven : Quaraish, Tai, Hawazin, Ahl-i-Yaman, Saqif, Huzail, and Bani-Tamln. Every one of these tribes ac cordingly read the Quran in its own dialect, till the time of Osman, when these differences of reading were prohibited."

These seven dialects are called Sabdta-Aliruf^ and the science of reading the Quran in the correct dialect is called * Ilm-i-Tajwid.

The chronological arrangement of the chap ters of the Quran is most important. In the present Urdu edition, as well as in all Arabic editions, the Suras are placed as they must have been arranged by Zaid-ibn-i-Sabit, who put them together regardless of all chro-


  • Abdul Haqq, the Persian Commentator of the

Mishkat.


2() THE QURAN.

nological sequence. If, therefore, we arrange them according to the order which is given in Syuty s Itqan,* we shall not fail to mark the gradual development of Muhammad s mind from that of a mere moral teacher and re former, to that of a prophet and warrior chief. The contrast between the earlier, mid dle, and later Suras is very striking. He who at Mecca is the admonisher and persuader, at Medina is the legislator and the warrior, who dictates obedience, and uses other weapons than the pen of the poet and the scribe. When business pressed, as at Medina, poetry makes way for prose; and although touches of the poetical element occasionally break forth, and he has to defend himself up to a very late period against the charge of being merely a poet, yet this is rarely the case in the Medina Suras, in which we so frequently meet with injunctions to obey God and the Prophet, t

To fully realize the gradual growth of Mu-

f The chronological list as given in Jalal-ud-din Syuty s Itqan will be found in the Index of the Suras.

t See Bodwell a Introduction to the English Quran, in which the Suras are chronologically arranged.


THE QURAN. 27

ham mad s religious system in his own mind, it is absolutely necessary to read the Quran through, not in the order in which it now stands, but that in which Muslim divines ad mit that it was revealed. At the same time it must be remembered that all Muhammadan doctors allow that in most of the Suras there are verses which belong to a different date from that of other portions of the chapter ; for example, in the Sura-i- J Alaq the first five verses belong to a much earlier date than the others; and in Sura-i-Baqr, verse 234 is acknowledged by all commentators to have been revealed after verse 240, which it abro gates.

The sources whence Muhammad derived the materials for his Quran, are, over and above the more poetical parts, which are his own creation, the legends of his time and country, Jewish traditions based upon the Talmud, perverted to suit his own purposes, and the floating Christian traditions of Arabia and South Syria. Muhammadanism, however, owes more to Judaism* than it does to either

  • See a book by M. Geiger entitled, "Was hat Mu-

hainmed aus dem Judentbume aufgenommen," in which


28 THE QUKAN.

Christianity or Sabeanism, for it is simply Talmudic Judaism adapted to Arabia, plus the Apostleship of Jesus and Muhammad. Wherever Muhammad departs from the mono theistic principles of Judaism, as in the idola trous practices of the Pilgrimage to the K aba, it is evident that it is done as a necessary concession to the national feelings and sym pathies of the people of Arabia, and it is ab solutely impossible for Muhammadan divines to reconcile the idolatrous rites of the K aba with that simple monotheism which it was evidently Muhammad s intention to establish in Arabia.

The Quran is divided into :

1. Harf (pi. HuruJ), Letters ; of which there are said to be 323,671.

2. Kalimah (pi. Kcdimdt), Words ; of which there are 77,934.

3. A yat (pi. A ydi), Verses. A yat is a word which signifies " signs," and it was used


that learned Jew has traced all the leading features of Islam to Talmudic sources. Also " Literary Remains of Emanuel Deutsch." Essay on Islam.


THE QURAN. 29

by Muhammad for short sections or verses of his supposed revelation. There are said to be 6,616 verses in the whole book ; but the division of verses differs in different editions of the Arabic Quran. The number of verses in the Arabic Qurans are recorded after the title of the Sura, and the verses distinguished in the text by a small cypher or circle.*

4. Sura (pi. Suwar), Chapters. A word which signifies a row or series, but which is now used exclusively for the chapters of the Quran, which are one hundred and fourteen in number. These chapters are called after some word which occurs in the text, and if the Traditions are to be trusted, they were so named by Muhammad himself, although the verses of their respective Suras were undoubt edly arranged after his death, and sometimes with little regard to their sequence. Musal- man doctors admit that the Khalif Osman arranged the chapters in the order in which they now stand in the Quran.


  • Unfortunately the verses in Rodwell s English Quran

do not correspond with the Arabic Qurans in use amongst the Muhammadans of India.


30 THE QURAN.

5. Ruki i (pi. Rfikudt), Prostrations. These are of two kinds, the Rukff of a Sura and the Ruku\ of a Sipara, and are distinguished in the Arabic Quran by the letter ain on the margin. Muhamrnadans generally quote by the Rukii and not by the verse.

6. Ruba?, The quarter of a Sipara.

7. Nisf, The half of a Sipara.

8. Suls, Three-quarters of a Sipara.

9. S ipdm* the Persian for the Arabic Juz. The Siparas or Juz, are thirty in number, and it is said that the Quran is so divided to enable the pious Muslim to recite the whole of the Quran in the thirty days of Ramazan. Muhammadans generally quote their Quran by the Sipara and Ruku\ and not by the Sura and Ay at.

10. Manzil (pi. mandzil), Stages. These are seven in number, and are marked by the letters F, M, Y, B, Sh, W, and Q, which words are said to spell Famibeshauq^ i. e. " My mouth with desire." They have been arranged to enable the devout Muslim to recite the whole in the course of a week.

  • The Persian word Sipara is derived from si, thirty,,

and pdra, a portion.


THE QURAN. o ?

Ilm-i-Usul* or the Exegesis of the Quran, is a science, some knowledge of which is ab solutely necessary to enable the Christian con troversialist to meet a Muhammadan opponent. It is used by the Muslim divine to explain away many apparent or real contradictions which exist in the Quran, and it is also avail able for a similar purpose when rightly used by the Christian in explanation of the exegesis of his own sacred books.

The words (alfdz) of the Quran are of four classes : Khass, Amm, Mushtarak, and Muaw- wal.

(1) Khdss, Words used in a special sense. These are of three kinds : Khusus-ul-jins > Special genus ; Kliusus-un-nau\ Special spe-- cies ; Khusus-ul-ain, Special individuality.

(2) Amm, Collective or common, which em brace many individuals or things.

(3) Mushtarak, Complex words which have several significations ; e.g. ain, a word which


  • Ilm-i-Usul embraces both the exegesis of the Quran

Hadis. The most authoritative works on the Ilni-i- Usu.1 of the Quran are Syuty s Itqan (Sprenger s edition), and the Manor-ul-Usul, and its commentary the Nur-ul- Anwar.


32 THE QURAN.

signifies an Eye, a Fountain, the Knee, or the Sun.

(4) ~M.uawival 9 Words which require to be explained : e. g. Suldt may mean either the Liturgical daily prayer (NamAz), or simple prayer (Dud ).

II. The Sentences ( I bar at) of the Quran are either Zdhir or Khafi, i. e. either Obvious or Hidden.

Obvious sentences are of four classes :- Zdhir, Nass, Mufassar, Mtthkam.

(1) Zdhir. Those sentences, the meaning of which is Obvious or clear, without any assist- ance from the context (karina).

(2) Nass. Those sentences the meaning of which is Manifest from the text : e. g. " Take in marriage of such other women as please you, two, three, or four." Here it is manifest that the expression " such other women as please you " is restricted.

(3) Mufussar. Sentences which are ex plained by some expression in the verse : e. y. " And the angels prostrated themselves all of them with one accord save Iblis." Here


THE QURAN. 33

it is explained that Iblfs did not prostrate himself.

(4) Muhkam. Perspicuous sentences, the meaning of which is incontrovertible : e. g. .Sura-i-Maida (v.), 98, "He (God) knoweth .all things."

Hidden sentences are either Khaji, Mushktt, Mujmal, or Mutashdbih.

(1) Khaji. Sentences in which other per sons or things are hidden beneath the plain meaning of a word or expression contained therein: e. g. Sura-i-Maida (v.), 42, "As for a thief whether male or female cut ye off their hands in recompense for their doings/ In this sentence the word Sdriq, " thief," is un derstood to have hidden beneath its literal meaning, both pickpockets and highway rob bers.

(2) Mush/dl. Sentences which are ambigu ous : e.g. Siira-i-Dahr (Ixxvi.), 15, "Vessels of silver and decanters which are of glass, decanters of glass with silver whose measure they shall mete."

> (3) Mujmal. Sentences which are compen dious, and have many interpretations : e. g.


34 THE QUKAN.

Sura-i-Ma rij (Ixx.), 19, " Man truly is by creation hasty."

(4) Mutashdbik. Intricate sentences, or ex pressions, the exact meaning of which it is impossible for man to ascertain until the day of resurrection, but which was known to the Prophet : e. g. the letters Alif, Lam, Mim (A. L. M.J ; Alif, Lam, Ra (A. L. E.) ; Alif, Lam, Mim, Ra (A. L. M. R.), etc., at the commencement of different Suras or chapters. Also Sura-i-Mulk (Ixvii.) 1, " In whose hand is the Kingdom," L e. God s hand (Arabic, yad) ; and Sura-i-Twa Ha (xx.), " He is most merciful and sitteth on His throne," i. e. God sitteth (Arabic, istawd) ; and Siira-i-Baqr (ii.), 115, " The face of God " (Arabic, ivaj-ullah).

III. The use (isti mdl) of words in the Quran is divided into four classes. They are either Haqiqat, Majaz, Sari/i, or Kindyah.

(1) Haqiqat. Words which are used in their literal meaning : e. g. ruku, a prostration ; zind, adultery.

(2) Majdz. Words which are figurative.

(3) Sarih. Words the meaning of which is


THE QURAN. 35

clear and palpable : e. g. " Thou art free, 9 " Thou art divorced."

(4) Kinatjah. Words which are metaphorical in their meaning : e. g. " Thou art separated " ; by which may be meant " thou art divorced."

IV. The deduction of arguments, or istidldl, as expressed in the Quran, is divided into four sections : Ibdrat, Ishdrat, Daldlat, and Iqtizd.

(1) Ibdrat. The plain sentence.

(2) Ishdrat. A sign or hint : e. g. " Born of him ; " meaning, of course, the father.

(3) Daldlat. The argument arising from a word or expression : e. g. Sura-i-Bani Israil (xvii.), 23, " Say not unto your parents fie " (Arabic, uff) ; from which it is argued that children are not either to abuse or beat their parents.

(4) Iqtiza. Demanding certain conditions :

e. g. Sura-i-Nisa (iv.), 91, " Whoso killeth a Mumin (believer) by mischance shall be bound to free a slave." Here the condition demanded is that the slave shall be the property of the

  • person who frees him.

An acquaintance with the use of these

D 2


36 THE QURAN.

expressions used in the exegetical commen taries of the Quran is of great assistance to the Bazaar-preacher, for it often happens that Maulavis interrupt the preacher by patting some difficult question, which the most able missionary will find it difficult to answer to the satisfaction of a mixed assemblage. For instance, an interesting discourse or discussion is often interrupted by a Maulavi putting the following question : " What did Jesus mean when He said, All that ever came before me were thieves or robbers ? The sole object of the Maulavi being to interrupt a profitable conversation or sermon, the best reply to such an one would be, " Maulavi Sahib, you know, sentences are Zahir or Khali, hidden or evident. That is Khafi. Hidden sentences you know are of four kinds, Khafi, Mushkil, Mujmal, or Mutashabih. I consider the text you have quoted to be Mujmal, and you must admit that it would take up too much time to explain a Mujmal sentence in the midst of my present discourse." Most probably the Maulavi will be satisfied, for the preacher has applied a little flattering unction, in supposing that the Mau lavi is learned in the principles of exegesis.


THE QURAN. 37

We have frequently silenced a troublesome -ob jector, who has introduced the subject of the Trinity for no other purpose than to disturb the preaching, by telliDg him that it was mu- tashdbih, i.e. intricate, and at the same time asking him if he knew the meaning of Alif Lam Mim at the commencement of the se cond chapter of the Quran. This appears to have been our blessed Lord s method with troublesome objectors: " The baptism of John : whence was it \ "

It is often painful to observe how some of our native preachers will attempt to explain the sacred mysteries of our faith in the midst of an ignorant mob. Whereas learned Muslim doctors, if placed in the same position, would decline to discuss mysterious questions under such conditions. They would say, as the Christian Divine might also say, " Many things in God s word are hidden (khafi), and cannot be explained to such a mixed audience as this, and besides this, in speaking of the nature (zdt) of God, there is always some fear of blasphemy (kufr) ; I prefer speaking to you on that subject alone, after the preaching is over."

Some passages of the Quran are contradic-


38 THE QURAN.

tory, and are often made the subject of attack; but it is part of the theological belief of the Muslim doctor that certain passages of the Quran are mansukh, or abrogated by verses afterwards revealed. This was the doctrine taught by the Arabian prophet in the Siira-i- Baqr (ii.), 105, "Whatever verses we (i.e. God) cancel or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like." This convenient doctrine fell in with that law of expediency which appears to be the salient feature in Muham mad s prophetical career.

In the Tafsir-i- Azizi it is written, that ab rogated (mansukh) verses of the Quran are of three kinds: (1) Where the verse has been removed from the Quran and another given in its place ; (2) Where the injunction is ab rogated and the letters of the verse remain ; (3) Where both the verse and its injunction are removed from the text. This is also the view of Jalal-ud-Din, who says, that the number of abrogated verses has been variously estimated from five to five hundred, and he gives the following table of twenty verses which most commentators acknowledge to be abrogated,


THE QURAN. 39

or mansiikh, with those verses which cancel them, or are Ndsikh*


  • It is to be regretted that the Greek verb /caroAvw, in

St. Matthew v. 17, has been translated in some of the versions of the New Testament by mansukJi ; for it gives rise to needless controversy, and conveys a wrong im pression to the Muhammadan mind as to the Christian view regarding this question. According to most Greek lexicons, the Greek word means to throw down, or to destroy i (as of a building), which is the meaning given to the word in our authorised English translation. Christ did not come to destroy, or to pull down, the Law and the Prophets ; but we all admit that certain precepts of the Old Testament were abrogated by those of the New Tes tament. Indeed we further admit that the old covenant was abrogated by the new covenant of grace. " He taketh away the first that he may establish the second." Heb. x. 9.

In the Arabic translation of the New Testament, printed at Beyrut, A.D. 1869, /caraXvco is translated by naqz, " to d .- molish " ; and in Mr. Loewenthal s Pashto translation, A.D. 1863, by bdtildival, " to destroy," or " render void," ; and in Henry Martyn s Persian Testament, A.D. 1837, it is also translated by the Arabic ibtdl, i. e. " making void." In both the Arabic-Urdu and Roman-Urdu it is unfortuuately ren dered mansulch, a word which has a technical meaning in Muhammadan theology contrary to that implied in the word used by our Lord in Matthew v. 17.


40


THE QURAN.


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THE QURAN. 41

Upon a careful perusal of the Quran, it does not appear that Muhammad ever distinctly de clared that it was the object of his mission either to abrogate or to destroy the teaching of the previous prophets. On the contrary, we are told that the Quran is " A book con firmatory of the previous Scriptures and their safeguard"*

And yet such is the anti-Christian character of Islam that it demands nothing short of the entire destruction of God s revealed will to mankind contained in the New Testament.

In dealing with serious minded Muhamnia- dans, we should, as far as possible, abstain from attacking any real or apparent contradic tions which may exist in the Quran, and insist more upon a general comparison between the two systems : the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of Muhammad, the position of man under the Gospel and the position of man under the Quran, the sonship of the Christian and the servitude of the Muslim, the covenant of Grace and the covenant of Works ; and endeavour to show the true seeker after Truth and Salvation, that it is impossible for the

  • Sura-i-Maida (v.), 52.


42 THE QURAN.

mission of Muhammad to abrogate and super sede that of Jesus.

It must be admitted that the Quran deserves the highest praise for its conception of the Divine nature, that it embodies much deep and noble earnestness ; but still, it is not what it professes to be it pulls down what it professes to build up, it destroys what it professes to confirm. It is not Truth, and as the counter feit of Truth we reject it. In the Quran we read,* "We believe in God, and that which was sent down unto us and that which was sent down to Ibrahim and Ismail and Isqha and Yaqub and the Tribes, and that which was delivered to Moses and the Prophets from the Lord, and Ave make no distinction between any of them." And yet this very book which " makes no distinction between any of them" and which is said to be " confirmatory" of the Scriptures, ignores the Atonement, the Sacra ments of Baptism and the Lord s Supper, and denies the Crucifixion of the Saviour, the Son- ship of Christ and the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. ,

  • Sura-i-Baqr (ii.), 136; also Sura-i-A l-i- Imran (in.),

83.


THE QUKAN.


43


THE TITLES

OF THE

CHAPTEKS OF THE QUKAN.


No.


Title of 8ura.


Meaning in English.


THE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.


According to Jal<Cl-ud- din.


Accord ing to Rev.J.M. Kodwell.


According to Sir W. Muir.


1


Fatiha


Preface


uncertain


8


6


2


Baqr


Cow


86


91


uncertain


3


Al-i- Imran


Family of Im-


88


97


A.H.2 to 10.




ran





4


Nisa


Women


91


100


uncertain


5


Maida


Table


112


114


A.H.6tolO.


6


Auarn


Cattle


54


89


81


7


Araf


Araf


38


87


91


8


Anfal


Spoils


87


95


A.H.2


9


Tauba


Repentance


113


113


The last


10


Ytinus


Jonah


50


84


79


11


Htid


Hud


61


75


78


12


Yusuf


Joseph


52


77


77


13


R ad


Thunder


95


90


89


14


Ibrahim


Abraham


71


76


80


15


Hajr


Hajr


53


57


62


16


Nahl


Bee


69


73


88


17


Ban! Israil


Children of Is


49


67


87




rael





18


Kahaf


Cave


68


69


69


19


Maryam


Mary


43


58


68


20


Twa Ha


Tw;i Ha


44


55


75


21


Ambiya


Prophets


72


65


86


22


Hajj


Pilgrimage


103


107


85


23


Muminun


Believers


73


64


84


24


Ntor


Light


102


105


A.H. 5


25


Furqan


Quran


41


66


74


26


Sh ura


Poets


46


56


61


27


Namal


Ant


47


68


70


28


Qasas


Story


48


79


83


29


Ankabut


Spider


84


81


90


30


Rum


Greeks


83


74


60


31


Luqman


Luqman


56


82


50


44


THE QUKAX.


No.


Title of Siira.


Meaning in English.


THK CHRONOLOGICAL OKDEK.


According to Jahfl-mi- din.


Accord ing to Rev.J.M. Itodwell.


According to Sir W. Muir.


32


Sijda Prostration


74


70


11


33


Ahzab Confederates


8!)


103


uncertain


34


Saba : Saba


57


85


49


35


Malaika Angels


42


86


66


36


Ya Sin Ya Sin


40


60


67


37


Saffat Hanks


55


50


59


38


Swad


S*ad


37


59


73


39


Zamar


Troops


68


80


45


40


Muni in Believer


59


78


72


41


Fussilat Explanation


60


71


53


42


Shori Council


61


83


71


43


Zukhraf


Jewels


62


61


76


44


Duklmn


Smoke


63


53


58


45


Jasiva


Kneeling


64


72


57


46


Abqaf


Ahqaf


65


88


64


47


Muhammad


M uhammad


94


96


uncertain


48


Fatah


Victory


111


108


A.H. 6


49


Hujrat


Chambers


106


112


uncertain


50


Qaf


Qaf


33


54


56


51


Zariat


Breath of


66


43


63




Winds





52


Tur


Mountain


75


44


55


53


Najam


Star


22


46


43


54


Qarnar


Moon


36


49


48


55


Rahman


Merciful


96


48


40


56


\Vaqia ; Inevitable


45


45


41


57


Hadid Iron


93


99


uncertain


58


Mujadila DUputer


105


106


uncertain


59


Hashar Assembly


101


102


A.H. 4


60


Mumtahina Proof


90


110


A. 11. 7


61


Saf


Array


110


98


uncertain


62


Jum a


Assembly


108


94


unceitain


63


Mundfiqun


Hypocrites


104


104


A.H. 65


64


Tagbabun


Deceit


109


!>:;


82


65


Talaq


Divorce


108


101


unceitain


66


Tahrim


Prohibition


107


109


A.H. 7 to 8


67


Mulk


Kingdom


76


63


42


68


Qalam


Pen


2


17


52


69


Haqa


Inevitable-Day


77


42


51


70


Ma arij


Steps


78


47


37


71


Nuh


Noah


70


51


54


THE QUKAN.


45


No.


Title of Stira.


Meaning in English.


THE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.


According to Jalal-ud- din.


Accord ing to Rev.J.M.

Rod well.


According to Sir W. Muir.


72


Jinn


Genii 39 62


65


73


Muzzammil Wrapped up 3


3


46


71


Muddassir : Mantle 4


2


21


75


Qiyamat i Resurrection 30


40


36


76


Dahr : Man 97


52


35


77


Mursalat Messengers


32 36


34


78


Naba News


79 37


33


79


Nazi at Ministers of


80 35


47



Vengeance




80


Abas He frowned


23 24


26


81


Takvvir Folding up 6 32


27


82


Infitar Cleaving 81


31


11



asunder





83


Tatfif Short Measure 85


41


32


84


Inshiqaq Kending in


82


33


28



sunder





85


Buruj Celestial Signs


26


28


31


86


Tariq ! Night Star


35


22


29


87


Ala Most High


7


25


23


88


Ghashiya


Overwhelming


67


38


25


89


Fajr


Day- break


9


39


14


90


Balad


City


34


18


15


91


Shams Sun


25


23


4


92


Lail Night


8


16


12


93


Zuha


Sun in his me


10


4


16




ridian





94


Inshirah Expanding


11


5


17


95


Tin i Fig


27


26


8


96


Alaq


Congealed


1


1


19




blood





97


Qadar


Night of


24


92


24




power





98


Baiyana


Evidence


99


21


uncertain


99


Zilzal ! Earthquake


92


30


3


100 101


Adiyat Qari a


Stfift horses Striking


13

29


34

29


2

7


102


Takasur


Multiplying


15


15


9


103


Asar


Afternoon


12


27


1


104


Hamza


Slanderer


31


13


10


105


Fil


Elephant


18


19


13


106


Qoreish


Qoreish 28


20


5


46


THE QFKAX.


! No.


THK CHRONOLOGICAL ORDKK.


Title ot Sum.


Meaning iu English.


According


Accord ing to

Kodwell!


According to Sir W. Muir.


, 107 1C8 109 110 111 112 113 114


Maim Kausar Kafirun Nasr Labab Ik hi as Falaq Nas


Necessaries Kausar Infidels Assistance Lahab Ur.it y Day-bre; k Men


15

17 101 5 21 19 20


14 9 12 111 11 10 6 7


39

18 88 30 22 20 uncertain uncertain


47


V. INSPIRATION.[edit]

ACCORDING to Muhammadan theologians, in spiration is of two kinds, Wdhi and Ilhdm. Wdhi, is that which was given to the prophets, and is used especially for the Quran ; Ilhdm being the inspiration to Walis, or saints.

Ilhdm is the word generally used by Christian missionaries for the inspiration of the sacred Scriptures, and we believe it is sometimes used by Arabic divines for a higher form of inspira tion, but always in the compound form of Ilhdm Rabbdni.

Shaikh Ahmad in his book, the Niir-ul-Anwar, defines inspiration as follows : " Wdhi, or inspiration, is either Zdhir (external), or Satin (internal). Wdhi Zdhir is divided into three classes : (1) Wdhi Quran, that which was given by the mouth of the angel Gabriel, and which reaghed the ear of the Prophet after he knew that it was Gabriel who spoke to


48 INSPIRATION.

him. (2) Ishdrat-ul-Malak, that which was received from Gabriel, but not by word of mouth, as when the Prophet said, The Holy Ghost has breathed into my heart/ (3) Ilhdm, or Wdhi Qalb > that which was made known to the Prophet by the light of prophecy. This kind of inspiration is possessed by Walis or saints, but in their case it may be true or false. Wdhi Bdtin is that which the Prophet obtained by analogical reasoning (<j[ids) just as the enlightened doctors, or Muftahidin, ob tain it."

The Ishdrat-ul-Malak, mentioned in the above quotation is never used for the inspiration of the Quran, but for certain instructions which Muhammad professes to have received direct from Gabriel, and which are recorded in the Hadis, or Traditions.

Whatever may have been the actual impres sion upon Muhammad s mind as to the nature of the communications he professed to have received from God, it is evident that Muslim theologians have no conception of the Word of God being given in the form of the Old and New Testament Scriptures. The most plausible objection raised against the New Tes-


INSPIRATION. 49

tament, by Muhammadan controversialists of the present day, is that the Christians have lost the original Gospels and that our present book contains merely the Hadis, or traditions, of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is, therefore, necessary to correct their common idea that the Gospel was revealed to Jesus in the same manner as the Quran is said to have been given to Muhammad; to show that it was the special office of the Holy Spirit to give the New Testament Scriptures, and that they came to man by the same method of inspiration whereby the Old Testament writ ings were given to the Prophets of old, the Quran being an exception to God s usual method of giving inspired writings to his Prophets. *


  • Vide 2 Tim. iii. 16 : irao-a ypa<?) 0eo7n/ev<7Tos " all scrip

ture is God-breathed " (divinatus inspirata, Vulg.), which Dean Alford says is the idea common to the Jews. Vide Jos. contra Apion. i. 7.


50


VI. THE TRADITIONS.[edit]

THE Hadis (pi. Ahddis) is, as we have already remarked, the second part of the Muhammadan rule of faith. It forms the body of that oral law of the Arabian legislator which stands next to the Quran in point of authority, being considered by all Muhammadan s, whether Sunni, Shia h, or Wahhabi, as a supplement to that book. The collections of these tra ditions are called Hadis, being records of the sayings of the Prophet, but they are also called Sunna, a word which signifies custom, or regu lation.

Muhammad gave very special injunctions respecting the faithful transmission of his say ings ; for example, it is related by Tirmizi, that the Prophet said, " Convey to other per sons none of my words except those which ye


THE TRADITIONS. 51

know of a surety. Verily he who purposely represents my words wrongly, would find a place nowhere for himself but in fire."

But notwithstanding the severe warning given by Muhammad himself, it is admitted by all Muslim divines that very many spurious traditions have been handed down. Abu Daud received only four thousand eight hundred, out of five hundred thousand, and even after this careful selection he states that he has mentioned " those which seem to be authentic and those which are nearly so" Out of forty thousand persons who have been instrumental in handing down traditions of " the Prophet," Bokhari only acknowledged two thousand as reliable authorities. It will, therefore, be seen how unreliable are the traditions of Islam although they are part of the rule of faith. Such being the case, it is not surprising that Hm-i-Hadis, or the Science of Tradition, has become a most important branch of Muslim Divinity, and that the following canons have been framed for the reception or rejection of traditions.


52 THE TRADITIONS.

I. With reference to the character of those who have handed down the tradition * :

(1) Hadis-i-Sahih, a genuine tradition, is one which has been handed down by truly pious persons who have been distinguished for their integrity.

(2) Hadis-i-Hasan, a mediocre tradition, is one the narrators of which do not approach in moral excellence to those of the Sahih class.

(3) Hadis-i-Z aif, a weak tradition, is one whose narrators are of questionable authority.

The disputed claims of narrators to these three classes have proved a fruitful source of learned discussion, and very numerous are the works written upon the subject.

II. With reference to the original relators of the Hadis :

(1) Hadis-i-Marfu\ an exalted tradition, is a saying, or an act, related or performed by


  • In the first edition of these Notes the canons for the

reception and rejection of traditions were taken from Sayyad Ahmad Khan s " Essay on Traditions," but in the present edition they have been arranged according to , the Arabic treatise, entitled Nukhbat-al-Faqr, by Shekh Shahab-ud-din Ahmad, edited by Capt. W. Nassau Lees, LL.D. (Calcutta, 1862.)


THE TRADITIONS. 53

the Prophet himself and handed down in a tradition.

(2) Hadis-i-Mauquf, a restricted tradition, is a saying or an act related or performed by one of the ashdb or companions of the Prophet.

(3) Hadis-i-Mdqtu , an intersected tradition, is a saying or an act related or performed by one of the Tdbain, or those who conversed with the companions of the Prophet.

III. With reference to the links in the chain of the narrators of the tradition, a Hadis is either Muttasil, connected, or Munqata, dis connected. If the chain of narrators is com plete from the time of the first utterance of the saying or performance of the act recorded to the time that it was written down by the collector of traditions, it is Muttasil ; but if the chain of narrators is incomplete, it is Munqata .

IY. With reference to the manner in which the tradition has been narrated, and transmitted down from the first :

(1) Hadis-i-Mutawdtir, an undoubted tradi tion, is one which is handed down by very many distinct chains of narrators, and which has been always accepted as authentic and genuine, no doubt ever having been raised


04 THE TRADITIONS.

against it. The learned doctors say there are only five such traditions ; but the exact number is disputed.

(2) Hadis-i-Mashhur, B,weU-known tradition, is one which has been handed down by at least three distinct lines of narrators. It is called also Mustafiz, diffused. It is also used for a tradition which was at first recorded by one person, or a few individuals, and after wards became a popular tradition.

(3) Hadis-i- Azir, a rare tradition, is one related by only two lines of narrators.

(4) Hadis-i-Gharib, a poor tradition, is one related by only one line of narrators.

Khdbar-i-Wdhid, a single saying, is a term also used for a tradition related by one person and handed down by one line of narrators. It is a disputed point whether a Khobar- i- Wahid can form the basis of Muslim doctrine.

Hadis-i-Mursal (lit. "a tradition let loose"), is a tradition which any collector of traditions, such as Bokhari and others, records with the assertion, " the Apostle of God said."

Riwdyat, is a Hadis which commences with the words " it is related" without the authority being given.


THE TRADITIONS. 55

Hadis-i-Mauzu , an invented tradition, is one the untruth of which is beyond dispute.

It is an universal canon that no* tradition can be received which is contrary to the Quran, and it is related that when Ayeshah heard Omar say that Muhammad had taught that the dead could hear, she rejected the tradition as spurious, because it was contrary to the teaching of the Quran.

Whatever may be the difference of opinion as to the authority of the various traditions, it must be remembered that they form the groundwork of the different schools of thought of the Muhammadan religion. It is, therefore, impossible for European critics to form a just estimate of the Muhammadan creed without being acquainted with those traditions which are generally received as authentic and genuine.

European writers are unfortunately under the impression that the " Muhammadan re vival " is a going back to " first principles," as expressed in the Quran, whereas, it is, as we have ^already remarked, a revival of the study of jthe traditions concerning their Prophet, which study has undoubtedly been promoted by the establishment of printing presses in Egypt,


56 THE TRADITIONS.

Turkey, and India. Not that we think Islam ^ will present any fairer proportions even when deprived of those excrescences which are sup posed to have been the preternatural growth of tradition, as long as the Pilgrimage has the so-called divine sanction of the Quran, and the position of women is regulated by the same " divine oracles."

The following are the six principal collectors of Hadis received by the Sunni Muhamma- dans :

1. Muhammad Ismail BoJchdri.*

Born, A.H. 194 ; died, A.H. 256.

2 . Muslim-ibn-i - Haj j aj .

Born, A.H. 204; died, A.H. 261.

3. Abu Isa Muhammad Tirmlzl.

Born, A.H. 209 ; died, A.H, 279.

4. Abu Ddud Sajistani.

Born, A.H. 202; died, A.H. 275.

5. Abu Abdur Rahman Nasal.

Born, A.H. 215 ; died, A.H. 303.

6. Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn-i-Mdjah.

Born, A.H. 209 ; died, A.H. 273.


  • The names in italics denote the usual title of the

book.


THE TRADITIONS. 57

Some divines substitute the following for that of Ibn-i-M djali.

Muawattda Imam Malik.

Born, A.H. 95 ; died, A.H. 179.

The following are the collections of Hadis received by the Shia h :

1. The Kcifi, by Abu Jafar Muhamad, A.H. 329.

2. The Man-ld-yastahzirah-al-Faqih by Shekh Ali, A.H. 381.

3. The Tahzib, by Shekh Abu Jafar Mu hammad, A.H. 466.

4. The Istibsdr, by the same author,

5. The Nahaj-ul-Bcddghat, by Sayyud Razi, A.H. 406.

Copies of the Sihah-Sittah, or " six correct " books of tradition received by the Sunnis, to gether with the seventh work by Imam Malik, have been lithographed, and can be purchased in the book shops of Delhi, Lucknow, and Bombay ; but the work most read is the Mish- kat-ul-Musabih (the niche for lamps), which is a collection of the most reliable traditions. This work was originally in Arabic; but it was translated into Persian in the reign of Akbar. It was rendered into English by Cap-


58 THE TRADITIONS.

tain Matthews, and published in Calcutta in 1809. The English translation has been long since out of print, but efforts are being made by the author of these notes for its republica- tiou. The popular collection of Shia h tradi tions arranged in the form of an historical narrative is the Hyat-ul-Qulub, a Persian work which has been translated by the Rev. J. L. Merrick (Phillips, Sampson, and Co., Boston, U.S., 1850).

The most trustworthy of the various collec tions of Sunni traditions is the one usually called JBokhdri. It was compiled by Abu Ab dullah Muhammad ibn-i-Ismail a native of Bokhara. In obedience to instructions he is said to have received in a vision, he set himself to commence the collection of all the current traditions relating to Muhammad. He suc ceeded in collecting not fewer than six hundred thousand traditions, of winch he selected only 7275 as trustworthy ! These he recorded in his work ; but it is said that he repeated a two riKat prayer before he wrote down any one of the 7275 traditions which he recorded. There is, therefore, every reason to believe that the compilers of the books of tradition


THE TRADITIONS. 59

were sincere and honest in their endeavours to produce correct and well authenticated tradi tions of their Prophet s precepts and practice ; but, as Sir William Muir remarks, " The exclu sively oral character . of the early traditions deprives them of every check against the licence of error and fabrication."

Sir William Muir has very ably dwelt upon the unsatisfactory character of Muhammadan tradition in the first volume of his " Life of Mahomet," to which Sayyid Ahmad Khan has written a reply in a supplement to his essay on Muhammadan tradition. The learned Say yid is in this, as in almost everything he writes on the subject of religion, his own refutation. Sir William Muir reveals to the public " the higgledy-piggledy condition, the unauthenticity and the spuriousness of Muhammadan tradi tions," and surely Sayyid Ahmad Khan does but confirm the same when he writes : " All learned Muhammadan divines of every period have declared that the Quran only is the Hadees mutawdtir ; but some doctors have de clared certain other Hadeeses also to be Muta- watii 1 , the number, however, of such Hacleeses not exceeding five. Such are the Hadeeses that


60 THE TRADITIONS.

are implicitly believed, and ought to be religi- ously observed."

But although the traditions of Muhammad are shrouded with a degree of uncertainty which is perplexing, not to say vexatious, to the student of history, still there can .be no doubt as to the place they were intended to, and still do occupy in the theological structure of Islam. The example of Muhammad is just as binding upon the Muslim as that of our Divine Lord and Saviour is upon the Christian. And everything Muhammad said with reference to religious dogmas and morals is believed to have been inspired by God ; by a " ivdhi ghair- i-mutlu\" or an inspiration similar in kind to that which we believe to have been given to the inspired writers of our Christian Scriptures.


61


VII. IJMA .

LIMA is the third foundation of the Muham- madan rule of faith. It literally means col lecting, or assembling, and in Muslim divinity it expresses the unanimous consent of the Muj- tahidin (learned doctors) ; or, as we should call it, " the unanimous consent of the Fathers." A Mujtahid is a Muslim divine of the highest degree of learning, a title usually conferred by Muslim rulers. There are three foundations of If ma : (\}.Itifdq-i-Qauli, unanimous consent expressed in declaration of opinion : (2) Itifdq- i-Fi li, expressed in unanimity of practice ; (3) Itifdq-i-Saquti, when the majority of the Mujtahidin signified their tacit assent to the opinions of the minority by " silence " or non- inter ferance.

The Mujtahidin, capable of making Ijma? 9 must be " men of learning and piety, not heretics, nor fools, but men of judgment."

There is great diversity of opinion as to up to what period in the history of Islam,


62 IJMA .

Ijma! can be accepted. Some doctors assert that only the Ijma of the Mujtahidin wha were Ashab (companions) ; others, that of those who were not only " companions " but " de scendants " of the " Prophet," can be accepted ; whilst others accept the Ijma of the Anscirs^ (helpers,) and of the Muhajarm (fugitives,) who were dwellers in Medina with Muhammad. The majority of learned Muslim divines, how ever, appear to think that Ijma! may be col lected in every age, although they admit that owing to the numerous divisions which have arisen amongst Muhammadans, it has not been possible since the days of the Taba Taba in, (i.e., the followers of the followers of the companions).

The following is considered to be the relative value of Ijma 9 :

That of the Ashab (companions) is equal to Hadis Muatwatir. That which was decided afterwards, but in accordance with the unani mous opinion of the Ashab, is equal to Haclis- Khabar-i-Mashhur, and that upon which there was diversity of opinion amongst the Ashd^ but has since been decided by the later Muj tahidin is equal to Hadis-i-Khabar-i-Wdhid.


IJMA . 63

Amongst the Shia hs, we believe, there are still Mujtahidin whose Ijmd is accepted, but the Sunnis have four orthodox schools of in terpretation, named after their respective founders, Hanafi, Shafa i, Maliki, and HambalL The Wahhabis for the most part reject Ijma* collected after the death of "the Companions."

From these remarks, it will be easily un derstood what a fruitful source of religious dissension and sectarian strife this third foun dation of the rule of faith is. Divided as the Christian Church is by its numerous sects, it will compare favourably with Muhammadanism even in this respect. Muhammad, it is related, prophesied that as the Jewish Church had been divided into seventy- one sects ! and the Christians into seventy-two ! so his followers would be divided into seventy-three sects ; but every Muslim historian is obliged to admit that they have far exceeded the limits of Mu hammad s prophecy ; for, according to Abdul Qadir Jilani, there are at least 150.

  • The seventy-three sects are, according to some writers,

(distributed as follows : Shia h 31, M utazilah 21, Kha- wdrij 7, Murjiah 5, Najariah 3, Jabariyah 2, Mushabiyah 1, and Najiah (the term used for the orthodox).


64


VIII. QIAS.

QI A S (lit. " to compare") is the fourth founda tion of Islam, and expresses the analogical reasoning of the learned with regard to the teaching of the Quran, Hadis, and Ijma .

There are four conditions of Qias: (1) That the precept or practice upon which it is rounded must be of common ( amm) and not of special (khtiss) application ; (2) The cause (illat) of the injunction must be known and understood ; (3) The decision must be based upon either the Quran, the Hadis, or the Ijma ; (4) The decision arrived at must not be con trary to anything declared elsewhere in the Quran and Hadis.

Qids is of two kinds, Qifa-i-Jali or evident, and Qias-i-Khji or hidden.

An example of Qids-i-Jali is as follows : - Wine is forbidden in the Quran under the word Khamar, which literally means anything in-


QIAS. 65

toxicating ; it is, therefore, evident that opium and all intoxicating drugs are also forbidden. Qids-i-Khafi is seen in the following example : In the Hadis it is enjoined that one goat in forty must be given to God. To some poor persons the money may be more acceptable ; therefore, the value of the goat may be given instead of the goat.


66


IX. FAITH.

FAITH, I man, is defined as " the belief of the heart and the confession of the mouth." It is of two kinds I mdn-i- Mujmal and I mdn- i-Mufassal.

I man-i-Mujmal is a simple expression of faith in the teaching of the Quran and the Hadis.

I mdn-i-Mufassal is a belief in the six articles of faith, viz. : 1. The Unity of God. 2. The Angels. 3. The Books. 4. The Prophets. 5. The Day of Judgment. 6. Predestination,, or the Decrees of God.


67


X. ALLAH OR GOD.[edit]

THE name of the Creator of the universe in the Quran is Allah, which is the title given to the Supreme Being by Muhammadans of every race and language. It is called the special, or essential, name of God, the ism-i-zdt; all other names being considered merely ism-i-scifdt, or attributes, of which there are said to be ninety- nine.* It is supposed to have been derived from the word ildh, a deity or god, with the addition of the definite article al, thus Al-ilah, The God. But Imam Hanifa says that, just as God s essence is unchangeable so is His name, and that Allah has always been the name of the great Eternal Being (vide Ghyas-ul-Loghat). It appears to be an Arabic rendering of the Hebrew ^ el, God. It is expressed in Per-


  • Vide the ninety-nine names of God in the article on

Zikr. There is also the Ism-ul-Azam, the exalted name of God, which is said to be unknown.

F 2


68 ALLAH OR GOD.

sian and Hindustani by the word Khudd^ de rived from the Persian Khud (self) ; the self- existing one.

The Muhammadan belief in the existence of God is expressed in the first part of the well known confession of faith, La-ildha Il-lal- Idho, " There is no deity but God," the in terpretation of which occupies so prominent a place in all treatises of divinity.

The following is an interpretation of the Muslim belief in the existence and nature of God, by the famous scholastic divine, Imam Ghazali, in his book entitled Al Maqsud-ul- asna, an extract from which Ockley has trans lated from Pocock s Specimen Historic Ara- bum:

" Praise be to God the Creator and Restorer of all things ; who does whatsoever he pleases, who is Master of the glorious throne and mighty force, and directs his sincere servants into the right way and the straight path ; who favoureth them, who have once borne testimony to the unity, by preserving their confessions from the darkness of doubt and , hesitation ; who directs them to follow his chosen apostle, upon whom be the blessing


ALLAH OR GOD. 69

and peace of God ; and to go after his most honourable companions, to whom he hath vouchsafed his assistance and direction which is revealed to them in his essence and opera tions by the excellencies of his attributes, to the knowledge whereof no man attains but he that hath been taught by hearing. To these, as touching his essence, he maketh known that he is one, and hath no partner ; singular, without anything like him ; uniform, having no con trary ; separate, having no equal. He is an cient, having no first ; eternal, having no be ginning ; remaining for ever, having no end ; continuing to eternity, without any termination. He persists, without ceasing to be ; remains without falling, and never did cease, nor ever shall cease to be described by glorious attributes, nor is subject to any decree so as to be deter mined by any precise limits or set times, but is the First and the Last, and is within and without. "(What God is not.} He, glorified be his name, is not a body endued with form, nor a substance circumscribed with limits or deter mined by measure ; neither does he resemble bodies, as they are capable of being measured or divided. Neither is he a substance, neither


70 ALLAH OR GOD.

do substances exist in him ; neither is he an accident, nor do accidents exist in him. Neither is he like to anything that exists, neither is anything like to him ; nor is he deter minate in quantity nor comprehended by bounds, nor circumscribed by the differences of situation, nor contained in the heavens. He sits upon the throne, after that manner which he himself hath described, and in that same sense which he himself means, which is a sitting far removed from any notion of contact, or resting upon, or local situation ; but both the throne itself, and whatsoever is upon it, are sustained by the goodness of his power, and are subject to the grasp of his hand. But he is above the throne, and above all things, even to the utmost ends of the earth ; but so above as at the same time not to be a whit nearer the throne and the heaven ; since he is exalted by (infinite) degrees above the throne no less- than he is exalted above the earth, and at the same time is near to everything that hath a being ; nay, * nearer to man than their jugular veins, and is witness to everything : J though

  • Vide Quran.


ALLAH OR GOD. 71

his nearness is not like the nearness of bodies, as neither is his essence like the essence of bodies. Neither doth he exist in anything, neither doth anything exist in him ; but he is too high to be contained in any place, and too holy to be determined by time ; for he was before time and place were created, and is now after the same manner as he always was. He is also distinct from the creatures by his attri butes, neither is there anything besides him self in his essence, nor is his essence in any other besides him. He is too holy to be sub ject to .change, or any local motion ; neither do any accidents dwell in him, nor any con tingencies befall him ; but he abides through all generations with his glorious attributes, free from all danger of dissolution. As to the attribute of perfection, he wants no addition of his perfection. As to being, he is known to exist by the apprehension of the understanding ; and he is seen as he is by an ocular intuition, which will be vouchsafed out of his mercy and grace to the holy in the eternal mansion, com pleting their joy by the vision of his glorious presence.

" (His Power.) He, praised be his name, is


< ALLAH OR GOD.

living, powerful, mighty, omnipotent, not liable to any defect or impotence ; neither slumbering nor sleeping, nor being obnoxious to decay or death. To him belongs the kingdom, and the power, and the might. His is the dominion, and the excellency, and the creation, and the com mand thereof. The heavens are folded up in his right hand, and all creatures are couched within his grasp. His excellency consists in his creating and producing, and his unity in communicating existence and a beginning of being. He created men and their works, and measured out their maintenance and their de termined times. Nothing that is possible can escape his grasp, nor can the vicissitudes of things elude his power. The effects of his might are innumerable, and the objects of his knowledge infinite.

" (His knowledge.} He, praised be his name, knows all things that can be understood, and - comprehends whatsoever comes to pass, from the extremities of the earth to the highest heavens. Even the weight of a pismire could not escape him either in earth or heaven ; but he would perceive the creeping of the black pismire in the dark night upon the hard stone.


ALLAH OR GOD. $

and discern the motion of an atom in the open air. He knows what is secret and conceals it, and views the conceptions of the minds, and the motions of the thoughts, and the inmost recesses of secrets, by a knowledge ancient and eternal, that never ceased to be his attribute from eternal eternity, and not by any new knowledge, superadded to his essence, either inhering or adventitious.

" (His will.) He, praised be his name, doth will those things to be that are, and disposes of all accidents. Nothing passes in the empire, nor the kingdom, neither little nor much, nor small nor great, nor good nor evil, nor profit able nor hurtful, nor faith nor infidelity, nor knowledge nor ignorance, nor prosperity nor adversity, nor increase nor decrease, nor obedi ence nor rebellion, but by his determinate counsel and decree, and his definite sentence and will. Nor doth the wink of him that seeth, nor the subtlety of him that thinketh, exceed the bounds of his will ; but it is he who gave all things their beginning ; he is the preator and restorer, the sole operator of what he pleases; there is no reversing his decree nor delaying what he hath determined, nor is


74 ALLAH OR GOD.

there any refuge to man from his rebellion against him, but only his help and mercy ; nor hath any man any power to perform any duty towards him, but through his love and will. Though men, genii, angels and devils, should conspire together either to put one single atom in motion, or cause it to cease its motion, with out his will and approbation they would not be able to do it. His will subsists in his essence amongst the rest of his attributes, and was from eternity one of his eternal attributes, by which he willed from eternity the existence of those things that he had decreed, which were produced in their proper seasons accord ing to his eternal will, without any before or after, and in agreement both with his know ledge and will, and not by methodising of thoughts, nor waiting for a proper time, for which reason no one thing is in him a hind rance from another.

" (His hearing and sight.) And he, praised be his name, is hearing and seeing, and heareth and seeth. No audible object, how still so ever, escapeth his hearing; nor is any thing visible so small as to escape his sight ; for distance is no hindrance to his hearing, nor


ALLAtf OR GOD. 75

darkness to his sight. He sees without pupil or eyelids, and hears without any passage or ear, even as he knoweth without a heart, and performs his actions without the assistance of any corporeal limb, and creates without any instrument, for his attributes (or properties) are not like those of men, any more than his essence is like theirs.

" (His word.) Furthermore, he doth speak, command, forbid, promise, and threaten by an eternal, ancient word, subsisting in his essence. Neither is it like to the word of the creatures, nor doth it consist in a voice arising from the commotion of the air and the collision of bodies, nor letters which are separated by the joining together of the lips or the motion of the tongue. The Koran, the Law, the Gospel, and the Psalter, are books sent down by him to his apostles, and the Koran, indeed, is read with tongues, written in books, and kept in hearts ; yet as subsisting in the essence of God, it doth not become liable to separation and division whilst it is transferred into the hearts and the papers. Thus Moses also heard the Word of God without voice or letter, even as the saints behold the essence of God without


76 ALLAH OR GOD.

substance or accident. And that since these are his attributes, he liveth and knoweth, is powerful and willeth and operateth, and seeth and speaketh, by life and knowledge, and will and hearing, and sight and word, not by his simple essence.

" (His works.) He, praised be his name, exists after such a manner that nothing besides him hath any being but what is produced by his operation, and floweth from his justice after the best, most excellent, most perfect, and most just model. He is, moreover, wise in his works, and just in his decrees. But his justice is not to be compared with the justice of men. For a man may be supposed to act unjustly by invading the possession of another ; but no injustice can be conceived of God, inasmuch as there is nothing that belongs to any other besides himself, so that wrong is not imputable to him as meddling with things not appertain ing to him. All things, himself only excepted, genii, men, the devil, angels, heaven, earth,, animals, plants, substance, accident, intelligible, sensible, were all created originally by hint.. He created them by his power out of mere privation, and brought them into light, when


ALLAH OR GOD. 77

as yet they were nothing at all, but he alone existing from eternity, neither was there any other with him. Now he created all things in the beginning for the manifestation of his power, and his will, and the confirmation of his word, which was true from all eternity. Not that he stood in need of them, nor wanted them ; but he manifestly declared his glory in creating, and producing, and commanding, without being under any obligation, nor out of necessity. Loving kindness, and to show fa vour, and grace, and beneficence, belong to him ; whereas it is in his power to pour forth upon men a variety of torments, and afflict them with various kinds of sorrows and dis eases, which, if he were to do, his justice could not be arraigned, nor would he be chargeable with injustice. Yet he rewards those that wor ship him for their obedience on account of his promise and beneficence, not of their merit nor of necessity, since there is nothing which he can be tied to perform ; nor can any injus tice be supposed in him, nor can he be under aiiiy obligation to any person whatsoever. That his creatures, however, should be bound to serve him, ariseth from his having declared by


78 ALLAH OR GOD.

the tongues of the prophets that it was due to him from them. The worship of him is not simply the dictate of the understanding, but he sent messengers to carry to men his commands, and promises, and threats, whose veracity he proved by manifest miracles, whereby men are obliged to give credit to them in those things that they relate."