Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/54

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the qurʼân

Christian tribes; there is not the least evidence in support of the accusation made against Mohammed by Christian writers, that the greater part of his revelations were due to the suggestions of a Christian monk. The person referred to in the Qurʼân, Chapter ⅩⅥ, ver. 105, is probably Salmân the Persian; the Persian legends being in the Arab mind the very archetype of those 'old folks’ tales' to which his revelations were so often compared by his contemporaries.

Other stories, such as those of ʿÂd and Thamûd; the legends of their great forefather Abraham; of the Seil al ʿArim, or the bursting of the dyke at Marab, were all commonplaces of the folk lore of the country.

He, however, told them over again with the additional particulars which he had derived from Jewish and Christian sources, and appealed to this additional information in proof of the divine origin of his version.

The city of Yathrib, better known afterwards as El Medînah, 'the city,' contained many Jewish inhabitants, and Mecca itself was no doubt also frequented by Jewish Arabs, and the influence of their beliefs and superstitions is apparent throughout the Qurʼân.

Christianity too, as we have seen, contributed considerably to the new religion, though not to so great an extent as Judaism.

It is clear, however, that Mohammed was not acquainted with the originals themselves, either of the Jewish or Christian scriptures. The only passage of the Old Testament quoted in the Qurʼân is in Chapter ⅩⅪ, vers. 104, 105, 'And already have we written in the Psalms after the reminder that " the earth my righteous servants shall inherit,' " which is an Arabic paraphrase of Psalm ⅹⅹⅹⅶ, ver. 29, 'The righteous shall inherit the land.' The well-known exclusiveness of the Jews and their unwillingness that any Gentile hand should touch their holy Book, renders it extremely improbable that even this sentence was borrowed direct from the scriptures themselves, even if Mohammed could have understood the language in which they are written.