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163
IN ARABIA.

charge is calculated to convince no one but a Mussulman.[1] The generality of the Arabian commentators are agreed that the person suspected was a Greek, or at least, a Christian.[2] That others were concerned in his plans, and assisted him perhaps by publishing his miracles, we may easily believe; but the legends of Bohira, or Sergius, are obscure, absurd, and therefore improbable.[3]

  1. "We know indeed that they already say—truly a man teacheth him: but the language of him whom they suspect is a barbarous language, and this is pure Arabic عربي مبين." Koran, Sur. 16. § 100.
  2. Maracci, p. 37.
  3. On Muhammed's first journey to Bostra, they tell us, a certain learned monk, called Bohira, or Sergius, or according to others, Caab, met him, and declared that he was destined by God to be his prophet, that he had read prophecies of him in the evangelists and in the prophets, and that he had a book, which was written in the time of Christ, and which related entirely to Muhammed, and contained his whole history. Maracci, p. 13. The words of the Koran afford indisputable testimony that some one was suspected of assisting Muhammed, and that he was a stranger; by comparing this with the legends of Bohira, I think it not improbable that some such Christian was an accomplice with him, and that he was employed in spreading reports of his sanctity, and in publishing false prophecies of his mission. The Arabic and Christian legends may be consulted in Maracci, pp. 35, 36; Gagnier, tom. i. p. 79; Abulpharagius, in the Arabic edition of Pococke, p. 162; Sale, Preliminary Discourse, § 2; Prideaux, who supposes him to have been a Jew. Euthymius says that the doctrines of Muhammed were composed of the dogmata of the Nestorians, Arians, and Jews. Maomethica, pp. 537, 552, in the Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum, tom. xii.