User:Rickyrab2/Judaism and Islam, a prize essay - source

Judaism and Islam: A Prize Essay (1898)
by Abraham Geiger, translated by F. M. Young
Abraham Geiger3614494Judaism and Islam: A Prize Essay1898F. M. Young



I undertook to translate this Prize Essay by the Rabbi Geiger at the request of the Rev. Gr. A. Lefroy, the Head of the Cambridge Mission at Delhi, who thought that an English translation of the book would be of use to him in his dealings with Muhammadans. The Rev. H. D. Griswold of the American Presbyterian Mission at Lahore has very kindly put in all the Hebrew and Arabic citations for me, and has also revised my translation.

March 17th, 1896.



I VENTURE to offer to the general public a work which was primarily undertaken with somewhat scanty materials. The question propounded by the Philosophical Faculty at Bonn, viz., "Inguiratur in fontes Alcorani seu legis Mohammedicae eas, qui ex Judaismo derivandi sunt," served as an inducement to the undertaking. The point of view from which the subject was to be approached was left by the terms of the question entirely to the different workers; and that from which I have regarded it must be considered, in order that a right judgment upon my essay may be formed. It is assumed that Muhammad borrowed from Judaism, and this assumption, as will be shewn later, is rightly based. In this connection everything of course is excluded which appears only in the later development of Islam, and of which no trace can be met with in the Quran, but on the other hand all such religious ideas and legends as are hinted at in the Quran, and are explained and developed at the hands of later writers, deserve and receive consideration. Secondly, a comparison between Jewish sayings, and those of the Quran, in the hope of setting forth the former as the source of the latter, can take place only on condition that the Jewish sayings are actually found in Jewish writings prior to Islam; or unless it is certain that such sayings, though only recently recorded, existed earlier in the synagogue.

But this certainty cannot easily be attained, and historical criticism must find its doubt as to this the more deeply rooted in proportion to the number of times in which the sayings are found among those of other creeds, from which there is probability that they were adopted. Thirdly, those who undertake this work must consider seriously the question, whether a mere similarity in the tenets of two different religious sects establishes the fact that an adoption from one into the other has taken place. There are so many general religious ideas that are common to several of the positive religions existent at the time of the rise of Muhammadanism, that we must be very careful not to assert rashly that any one idea found in the Quran is taken from Judaism.

I have therefore given in the different sections the marks and indications, and in the case of some points of greater difficulty, the reasons also, from which I believe myself justified in the conjecture that there has been such a borrowing.

For these three reasons many citations which I might have made from later Islam and later Judaism are excluded, and in like manner many statements also, which do not bear the impress of a borrowing.

On the other hand, the first division had to be added, in order to shew the basis on which the probability of a general borrowing from Judaism rests. After I had once settled the subject in this way, the arrangement of the whole, and more especially of the many disconnected divisions and sub-divisions, gave me no less trouble. The borrowings are of details not of anything comprehensive; they are fragmentary and occasional in that they were chosen according to what Muhammad's reporters knew, and according to what was agreeable to the prophet's individual opinion and aim, consequently there is no close connection. How far I have succeeded in reducing these details to order the reader may see and judge from the book itself.

The materials at my disposal, when I first undertook this work, were only the bare Arabic text of the Quran in Hinckelmann's edition from which the quotations are made,[1] Wahl's Translation of the Quran, and an intimate acquaintance with Judaism and its writings, A transcript from Baidhwi's Commentary on the Qura'n on some passages in the second and third Surahs, which Professor Freytag made for himself and which he with his usual kindness allowed me to use, was the only help outside the Quran. I had thus the advantage of having an unbiased mind ; not, on the one hand, seeing the passages through the. spectacles of the Arabian commentators, nor on the other finding in the Quran the 'views of the Arabian dogmatists, and the narratives of their historians. I had besides the pleasure of finding out independently many obscure allusions, and explaining them correctly, as I afterwards learned from Arabic writings. In this form, my work received the prize, and only after that had been gained was I able to collect more materials, and to use them for the remodeling of the work in German. To these belong especially the valuable Prodromi and Comments of Maraccius in his edition of the Quran, the Commentary of Baidhawi on the 10th Surah (in Henzei's Fragmenta Arabica), and two parts of an excellent unpublished Commentary by Elpherar which begins with the 7th Surah and was bought by the famous Seetzen at Cairo in 1807, and is now in the library at Grotha, whence I received it through the kind mediation of Professor Freytag at the expense of the University Library at Bonn. To these may be added Abulfedae Annales Maslemitici and Historia Anteislamica, the works of Pococke, D'Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientale, and many other works which will be found quoted in the book itself. All observations drawn from writings to which I first obtained access while the work was in the press are given in an Appendix. The advantages of a three-fold register, viz., of the explained Arabic and Rabbinical words, of the cited passages of the Quran, and of quotations from other Arabic authors (with' the exception of the constantly-quoted Elpherar and Maraccius) need not be dwelt upon in detail. The Jewish writings which I have used consist almost entirely of the Bible, the Talmud, and the Midrashim, and in accordance with my determination to reject all Jewish writings later than Muhammad's time, they had to be thus limited. The few passages which are taken from other writings, of which the age is not so exactly known, such as the sections of Rabbi Elieser, the Book Hayyashar, and the two differing Recensions of the Jerusalem Targum on the Pentateuch (which are placed in a somewhat later period than that of the composition of the Quran by the learned Zunz in his latest valuable work Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden historisch entwickelt : Berlin, 1832, A. Asher) are all of such a kind that one can generally point to some decided declaration in Holy Scripture itself from which such opinions and traditions may have arisen, and therefore their priority of existence in Judaism can be accepted without hesitation.

I must publicly offer my thanks to Professor Freytag for the many different kindnesses he has shown me in connection with this work, and also to my dear friends S. Frensdorf and J. Dernburg for their help in the correction of the proofs. Finally, I here express my heartfelt wish that this little work may be true to the spirit of our time, the striving after true knowledge, and that learned men may give me the benefit of their criticisms upon it.

May 12th, 1833.



IT will be found, speaking generally of the whole sphere of human thought; whether we consider matters which have already become the clear and certain possession of mankind, or those which are left for the future to unveil and to determine with scientific precision, that almost always a correct intuition precedes scientific knowledge, so that a generally correct idea, though not yet supported by adequate evidence, obtains some hold on the minds of men. In this way the thesis of this treatise has long been recognised as probable, namely that Muhammad in his Quran has borrowed much from Judaism as it presented itself to him in his time, though for this opinion no sufficient grounds have hitherto been advanced. And the very endeavour to give this just conjecture its place among scientific certainties seems to have produced in the faculty the wish to see the subject accurately and thoroughly worked out by scholars, conversant with both the Quran and Judaism in their original sources ; and to meet this wish I take up my present task, conscious indeed of feeble powers, but determined to use unsparing industry in the steadfast pursuit of my purpose. This is the end which we have in view, to wit, a scientific presentation, and not a mere list of apparent adaptations from Judaism, nor a statement of isolated facts dissevered from their historical connections. For this we must study the connection of the facts to be demonstrated with the whole life and work of Muhammad, as well as with those events 'of his time, which either determined his actions or were determined by him. And so this treatise falls into two divisions, of which the first has to answer the following questions : --

Did Muhammad wish to borrow from Judaism? Could Muhammad borrow from Judaism? and if so, how was such borrowing possible for him? Was it compatible with his plan to borrow from Judaism? The second division must bring forward the facts to prove the borrowing, which has been stated on general grounds to have taken place. Only in this way can an individual proof of the kind referred to acquire scientific value, partly as throwing light upon the nature of Muhammad's plan, and partly as showing the intrinsic necessity of the fact and its actual importance by virtue of its connection with other facts of Muhammad's life and age. To this an appendix will be added, in which will be given a collection of those passages in which Muhammad seems not so much to have borrowed from Judaism, as to have reviewed it and that too in a hostile spirit.





Did Muhammad wish to borrow from Judaism? Could Muhammad borrow from Judaism? and if so, how was such borrowing possible for him? Was it compatible with Muhammad's plan to borrow from Judaism ?

It is not enough for us to give a dry meagre summary of the passages which appear to have some connection with Judaism, in order to shew that Muhammad really possessed a certain knowledge of it, and used it in the establishment of his new religion, and that, further, a comparison with it makes clear many passages in the Quran. Rather is it our task to shew how it was bound up with the spirit, the striving and the aims of Muhammad, with the mind of his time and the constitution of his surroundings, and thus to demonstrate the fact that, even were we deprived of all proofs which undeniably shew Judaism to be a source of the Quran, the conjecture that a borrowing from Judaism had taken place would still have great probability. Thus it is necessary for us first to account for this as the philosophical development of a process, afterwards to be confirmed by historical evidence.

Three questions come prominently forward here : --

First : Did Muhammad really think he would gain any object by borrowing from Judaism? or, in other words, Did Muhammad of set purpose borrow from Judaism?

Second : Had Muhammad means, and what means had he, of attaining to a knowledge of Judaism? i.e., Could he thus borrow? and if so, how was it possible for him?

Third : Were there not other circumstances which militated against, or at all events limited such a borrowing? Was it compatible with the rest of his plan so to borrow? Was it permissible for him, and if so on what grounds?

These three enquiries form the different Sections of the first division.

FIRST SECTION. Did Muhammad wish to borrow from Judaism?


Although we may by no means ascribe to Muhammad a special liking for the Jews and for Judaism and indeed in his life, as well as in the writings which he left behind him as laws for posterity, there are traces of hatred against both; - still it is evident that, on the one hand, the power which the Jews had obtained in Arabia was important enough for him to wish to have them as adherents and, on the other, that they were, though themselves ignorant, far in advance of other religious bodies[2] in that knowledge which Muhammad professed to have received by Divine revelation,[3] as indeed he liked to assert of all his knowledge. The Jews, moreover, gave him so much trouble with witty and perplexing remarks that the wish to propitiate them must certainly have arisen in him.

That the Jews in Arabia at the time of Muhammad possessed considerable power is shown by the free life of many quite independent tribes, which sometimes met him in open battle. This fact is known especially of the Banu Qainuqa' [4] in the second or third year of the Hijra, also of the Banu Nadhir[5] in the 4th year. The latter are spoken of by Janab as a great family of the Jews,[6] This fact is further known of the Jews in Khaibar[7] with whom he fought in the 7th year. The Banu Nadhir are supposed to be referred to in Quran, lix. 2. They are there described as so powerful that the Muslims despaired of their conquest, and the fastnesses which they possessed would have banished thoughts of a capture, if as Muhammad with probable exaggeration expresses it, they themselves had not destroyed their houses with their own hands, or if, as Abulieda with greater historical probability asserts, they, fearing a long siege, had not withdrawn themselves and turned to quieter regions. The want of settled civil life, which continued in Arabia till the rule of Muhammad, was very favourable to the Jews, who had fled to that country in large numbers after the Destruction of Jerusalem, inasmuch as it enabled them to gather together and to maintain their independence. A century before Muhammad, this independence had reached such a pitch that among the Himyarites the Jewish ruler actually had jurisdiction over those who were not Jews ; and it was only the mistaken zeal of the last Jewish Governor, Dim Nawas,[8] which led him to a cruel attempt to suppress other creeds (which attempt is pictured for us with the very colours of a martyrologist), that brought about the fall of the Jewish throne by the coming of the Christian Abyssinian King. 4[9] Although it seems to me altogether improbable that the passage in Quran Ixxxv. 4 refers to this event, partly because of the indefiniteness of the allusion and partly because on this supposition the Christians are called " the believers," 5[10] which is never the case elsewhere, though as a rule Muhammad's treatment of the Christians was indulgent; and although I give an entirely different interpretation to this passage an interpretation borne out by every word,[11] nevertheless this very mistake of the commentators shews the importance which the Arabs attached to this conquest of the Jewish ruler, and is a proof of the greatness of his former power. That the remains of such a power, even when shattered continued to be of importance is plain in itself, and is moreover clearly shown in a passage soon to be quoted,[12] where the Himyarites are depicted as particularly unbelieving. An Arabian author[13] mentions other tribes beside the Himyarites as adherents of Judaism, viz., the Banu Kinna Banu Hareth ben Kab, and Kinda.[14]

While this physical power of the Jews inspired partly fear, partly respect in Muhammad's mind, he was no less afraid of their mental superiority and of appearing to them as ignorant ; and so his first object must have been to conciliate them by an apparent yielding to their views. That the Jewish system of belief was even then a fully developed one, which penetrated the life of each member of the community, is proved both by its antiquity and by the fact that the Talmud had already been completed. Though the Jews of that region were among the most ignorant, as is shown by the silence of the Talmud concerning them, and also by that which was borrowed from them and incorporated

in the Qurdn, yet very many traditions and pithy sayings survived in the month of the people, which doubtless gave to the Jews an appearance of intellectual superiority in those dark times and regions of ignorance, and so gained for them honour in the sight of others. Thus it came about naturally that Muhammad wanted to learn their views and to include them in his community. It was not only the idea of swelling his society with these numbers of adherents 1 that produced this wish in him, but also the way in which they defended their own cause and their mode of dealing with him. The fact that Muhammad very often came off second best in religious disputes is evident from several sayings, and particularly from 'the following very decided one : " When thou seest those who busy themselves with cavilling at Our signs, depart from them until they busy themselves in some other subject; and if Satan cause thee to forget this precept, 2 do not sit with the ungodly people after recollection." This remarkably strong statement, in which he makes Grod declare it to be a work of the devil to be present at controversies about the truth of his mission, shews how much Muhammad had to fear from argument. Intercourse with the Jews appeared to him to be dangerous for his Muslims also, and he warns them against too frequent communication or too close intimacy with the Jews. 3 He naturally puts this forward on grounds, other than the right ones ; but the real reason for the warning is obviously that Muhammad feared the power of the Jews to shake the faith of others in the religion revealed to him. 4

" An inheritance for the assembly of Jacob." Dent, xxxiii. 4.

_ * G C3 *^ ^ y}f- c j c3

2 MUs^^ eU^-Jii U\ Sura VI. 6*7.

4 Stira LX. 18. Ou this Elpherar remarks :


Most characteristically, and doubtless quite in accordance with the intellectual manner of the Jews, this is shown in a witty and satirical play of question and answer, about which Muhammad complains bitterly, and which often gave him apparent weapons against the Jews, in that he regarded their utterances as bona fide expressions of opinion and not as mere teasing mockeries,

Thus, in order to gain reputation, and also because he was under the impression that, if some (he says ten) of the Jews would join him, all the rest would become his adherents, 1 he made the attempt with some, who either did not have the courage to withstand him, or else did not wish to enter upon a long dispute with him. They either got rid of him with an answer which he could not gainsay, or they mixed up the words which he required from them with others of similar sound, but of different and even contrary meaning. Thus they said to him once : te we can do nothing for our unbelief, for our hearts are uncircumcised." 2 On another occasion they advised him to go to Syria, as the only place where prophetic revelations were possible, accor- ding to the Jewish saying : 3 " Prophecy is not found out side the Holy Land." This is given by some expositors as the cause for the revelation in Sura XVII. 78 4 , but others assign a different reason for the verse. Further the,

" This (was revealed) because some of the poor Muslims instructed the Jews in the doctrine of the Muslims, so that there was unity between them and the former received of the fruits of the latter."

1 Comp. Stnma 445, Fundgruben des Orients, Yol, I. p. 286.

2 Sura II. 82 <Jfe \j)J SQ^ ^ s^y Oomp. Deut. x. 36. " Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiff necked."


  • Jalalu'd-din (Maracci in loco).

" This verse was revealed when the Jews said ; If thou art a Prophet, then go to Syria, for Syria alone is the land of prophets." Bo Elpherar et al.


commentators cheerily relate many anecdotes by way of explaining the reason for certain passages, which appear to the unprejudiced quite in the same light. As the occasion of Quran II. 91, Baidhawi relates the following tale: * " It is said that Omar went once into a school 2 of the Jews and asked them about Gabriel. They replied : ' He is our enemy, he reveals our secrets toMuhammad, he is also the messenger of wrath and punishment ; Michael on the contrary brings us prosperity and plenty/ Then Omar said: 'What is their position with regard to God ?' and the Jews replied : ( G-abriel on His right and Michael on His left, but between these two there is enmity.' But he said : ' God forbid that it should be as you say ; they are not enemies, but you are more unbelieving than the Himyarijb. 3 Whosoever is the enemy of either angel, he is the enemy of God. 3 Then Omar went away and found that Gabriel had preceded him with a revelation, and Muhammad said to him, 'Thy Lord has already agreed with thee, Omar/ "

Although what is here brought forward is to some extent what is really held by the Jews, as e.g. that Gabriel is the messenger of punishment, 4 and although accordingly there is much of truth in this narrative;



3 These are the words referred to above, p. 5,

4 R. Salomo Ben Adereth on Tracfc Baba Bathra 74. 2.



nevertheless even the quoted saying is perverted, for Gabriel is regarded as the messenger of God for the punishment of sinners only, and in another passage of the Talmud l it is actually said of him that he is called the 2 one who stops up, because he stops up the sins of Israel i.e., wipes them away, and therefore he could never be represented to the Israelites as their enemy.

Further, Muhammad's intentional misrepresentation 3 is shown by his changing the order assigned by the Jews to the Angels. The Jews assert that Michael stands at God's right hand and Gabriel on His left. 4 This position is reversed by Muhammad, in order to give the highest rank to Gabriel 5 to whom he attributes all his revelations. This


" Our sages, blessed be their memory, attributed the execution of God's punitive judgments to Gabriel, as, for instance, Gabriel came and over- threw them in the earth (Sanhedrin 19. 1), and Gabriel came to destroy Sodom." Comp. also Sanh. 21. 26. 95, 2. 96. 1 Sanhedrin 44.

3 These words must be taken in the sense explained at the end of the 3rd Section of the 1st Division.

4 Comp. the evening prayer of the Jews.

Also the prayer on the Day of Atonement.

bbatt bkstpE b^-ps bbn$ paja

5 Comp. also Midrash Tanchuma Sect. ttf^T f. 21. c. 2. Venetian Ed. 1545, where it is written inD! bSO^ Pit btZ?H to 1715} b$an

ny. Piy-Ta p T s i a ? wn ^D bw^i. a^rj ^a bp^D bw^s nt'

vai^aa ciba? nfc'!> ^p's ^rj ny. n

" The versa Job, xxv. 2, ' Dominion and fear are with Him,' refers to Michael and Gabriel, in that the former is made out of water, and the latter out of fire ; still they do not hurt each other, because ' He maketh peace in His high places."' Here all the facts which we sought out separately are given briefly. Michael is the milder, Gabriel the more terrible, but they are nevertheless in perpetual harmony.


is in spite of the fact that the other view is so fully in accord with the spirit of the doctrine about angels as accepted by the Jews, according to which the positions " on the right" and " on the left " mean only the decision to adopt either merciful or punitive measures. There can of course be no question of enmity between Gabriel and the Jews, or between Gabriel and Michael, and the speech is nothing but a repartee, which however to Muhammad's thinking- justified him in making an accusation against the Jews. This is even more clearly shown in the following narrative related by a commentator on the words " God is poor " J : " Thus spoke the Jews when they had heard : ( Who is he that will lend unto God a goodly loan ?' Quran II. 246> It is related that Muhammad with Abu Bakrhad written to the Jews of the Banu Qainuqa' calling them to Islam, to faithful observance of prayer, to offer free will offerings and to give God a good loan. Then Phineas the son of Azariah 2 said : ' Then God is poor, that he desires a loan 5 ? Abu Bakr boxed his ears and said : ' If there were not a

1 Baidhawi on Qurdn III. 177.

&T y\ " God is poor."


U &5Vi U

2 Phineas the son of Asai'iah (n">"1t5) *p Dn55)> tte same t the utterance that Eera 13 the son of God (ix. 30) is attributed by some.

" ' Abid ben ' TJmr says : Only one Jew used this expression, and that was Phineas the Bon of Azariah, the same man who said ; God is poor and we are rich." (Elpherar on ix. 30.)


truce between us, I would have broken your neck.' He then took him bound to Muhammad, and Phineas denied having made the speech. Then came this revelation." The same thing is found in another passage 1 : " The Jews say the hand of Grod is tied up." The meaningless character of the sentence shews in itself that the Jews were not in earnest } and. if we take into consideration the occasion of the remark, and the way in which it was made, we shall see clearly the teasing and scoffing tendency of the Jews in their dealings with Muhammad. It was an answer to an expression, which in its simple meaning " To lend to Grod" must have seemed to them ridiculous, and which might easily give rise to the retort, " if Grod now needs money, He must be poor." It was only by a certain amount of distortion and mutilation that Muhammad could twist this speech into an accusation against the Jews. A good story is preserved for us in Sunna 608 which runs as follows : " After the conquest of Khaibar the Jews set a poisoned lamb before Muhammad. When he discovered this, he had them called together, and putting them on oath to tell him the truth, he asked if they had poisoned, the lamb. They confessed, and he then enquired, ' For what reason ? ' -' To rid ourselves of you, if you are a deceiver/ was their reply ; ( for if you are a prophet, poison will do you no harm.' " Who can fail to see in this answer a desire to free themselves from the importunity of Muhammad by biting repartee ?

At other times they changed his words, or used words of double meaning. In the prescribed salutation they said indeed " Ra/ina," 2 but not in the sense intended by Muhammad, viz., " look on us " ; but either in the sense of " count us guilty, or with a play on the Hebrew " ra" in

V. 69, 'tl&i &&T *>.


the sense of the evil one," l So that he was obliged to substitute " andhurna," which also means " look on us." 2 Further instead of hifctat 3 , "forgiveness", they said probably " Khatiat" 4," "Sin." Jalalu'd-din 5 gives ano- ther variation and says that instead of the required word hubbat", love, the Jews said "habbat fi sh'airat" i.e., A grain in an ear of barley." Then they changed the salutation " As-salam 'alaika" 6 i.e., " Peace be upon thee", into " As-sam 'alaika" ? which means " Mischief on thee," 8 and this is the ground of Muhammad's complaint in Surah Iviii. 9. Such occurrences, though they led later to a great hatred on his part towards the Jews, must at first, while he still had a hope of converting them, have induced him to try all possible means to conciliate them ; for they



1 3H ra." Jalalu'd-din says (Maracci in loco) :

&jfiji\ yw <__v* 6&3\ &i> yfc j " And this is among the Jews a word of reproach meaning folly."

3 tijfif Quran II. 98, IV. 48. 49. 3 1L VII, 161, 162, II. 55, 56.

5 Jalalu'd-din (Maracci.)

"habbat "i.e. love.

o a ^a. " habbat fi sh'aicafc " i,e. a grain in an ear of barley, 6

On this Elpherar comments as follows :

The meaning "death" which Elpherar here assigns to the word *\ is quite foreign to it, as is also " contempt", which is more appropriate for f>)*>. The commentators appear, therefore, to have had in mind the Hebrew

word DDj which with fT]&n understood would mean " poison."


were not only important politically, but were also able to hold him up to derision by their intellect and wit, He was anxious therefore to persuade them that his views were on the whole the same as theirs with some few differences.

We have given sufficient reasons for Muhammad's treating the Jews with consideration, and we shall now give proofs that he actually made great efforts to win them over to his way of thinking. Besides the frequent religious controversies already alluded to, there are many passages in the Quran specially addressed to the Jews, in all of which they are admonished in a very friendly way that the Quran would serve as an arbitrator in their own disputes. Not only did he address them with gentleness and consideration, he actually did many things on purpose to. please them. At first simply and solely on account of the Jews the Qibla, or place towards which prayer was to be made, was changed by Muhammad to Jerusalem, from Mecca the spot which the ancient Arabs had always regarded as holy ; and it was only when he recognised the fruitlessness of attempting to conciliate the Israelites that he changed back to the former direction.

The first change is not, it is true, stated in so many words in the Quran, only a complaint about the second alteration is "given, but some commentators maintain that the allusion is to the former change. 1 In disputes between Muslims and Jews he shewed himself at times perhaps too lenient. This is said to have given occasion to some believers to

_ o. . j -. 53-o j -C G .. G_*e3.-^

1 Quraa TI. 136. Vg/J,a us \i (^^i *8'^* M* t*&rj JaMlu'd-din. (Maracci in loco) hag as follows :

fc f*

" After his Flight he ordered his followers to turn to the Temple at

Jerusalem (tzHpSH jT3) 5 this however, which was done to conciliate the Jews, held good for six or seven months only, and then he changed it



refuse to submit to his judgment, of which he complains in Surah IY. 63. In another passage 1 he guards himself against the accusation of giving wrong judgment by saying that he judges only according to the right ; and again in another passage 2 he asks, if they are afraid that God and His apostle will do them wrong, though the commentators relate another event as the occasion for this utterance. He advises his Muslims also to go gently in disputes with the Jews, 3 as e.g. in the following passage : " Dispute not against those who have received the Scriptures, unless in the mildest manner; except against such of them as behave injuriously towards you : and say, ' We believe in the revelation which hath been sent down unto us, and unto you ; our God and your God is one, and unto Him are we resigned' ", 4 A strong proof that Muhammad held the Jews

Surah IV. 106.

" Dispute not for those who deceive one another."

. ->J ...... O G-_ j5) - _ OS ^ j, , CS

9 Surah XXIV. 49. &y>)) (*& t&\ -&*=* Q\ 0jiV&> p\

" Or do they fear lest God and His Apostle act unjustly towards them ?'* 3 Surah XXIX. 45. ^ll\ ^ Jl> JW v^! Jaf\ \}t& 5 J


  • In the opinion of Arabic commentators thia passage is more a proof

of fear of the Jews than a recommendation to mild dealing. Elpherar in a long chain of traditions beginning with LS 4-*U5\ &s>\\ <^c- and ending with E>,fc i\ says : "

" The possessors of the Scriptures (the Jews) read the Law in Hebrew and explained it to the Muslims in Arabic; so Muhammad said: 'Neither agree with, the possessors of the Scriptures, nor call them liars, and say we believe, etc.' " Further, there is another similar narrative first related by AbuSa'id, ^JbVlsll Ji*s4 ^ &&\ ^c .x**^ j>\ bnt which can be traced back to Abu Namlatu'l-Ansari ^la>liS\ dU> f\ , which reads as follows :.


in great respect lies in the fact that in passages enumerating the different creeds *, he mentions the Jews immediately after the Muslims.

In two of these passages he even promises Godfearing Jews absolute equality with Muslims ; and though in the third and last he is not so lenient, and threatens that a distinction between them will be made, yet even in this ^passage it is very plain that precedence over other religious bodies is given to the Jews. In Muslim traditions it is said that the sinful among the Muslims will go into the first, the mildest of the seven hells, 2 the Jews into the second, Christians 3 into the third, and so on. 4

In addition to all this, which produced in Muhammad the wish to adopt much from Judaism into his religious system, we must consider the fantastic development which the

<$JJ\ J_y*> Jl2* SjU 6.X& fj&S Ji. d*^* b JUS

" While he was sitting by Muhammad, a Jew who had jusb passed by a corpse came up and said : ' Muhammad, does this corpse speak ? ' He said : ' Neither agree with the possessors of the Scriptures, nor call them liars, but say : We believe in God, His angels, His word and His Apostles. If what the Jews say is vain, do not confirm them j if it is true, do not give them the lie,' " i.e, preserve a strictly negative attitude, so as on no account to expose yourselves; thus the meaning here seems to be

C3-- -^

almost identical with that of the word \jJy8 2 referred to above.

1 Sarahs II. 59, Y. 73, XXII. 17.


{$i.&\ the Muslims.

""* & i (>S^ the Jews.

2 See Division I. Section II. Chap. i. Part II A,

. ' D'Herbelot in his Bibliotheque orientale (under " Jahoud " page 441,) asserts on the contrary that the Muslims give the Jews a lower place in hell than the Christians, bat this is /probably the opinion of a later age.

4 Pococke notse miscellanse, Cap, 7 p. 289.


Jewish, traditions and history had reached in the mouth of the people, as certain to appeal powerfully to the poetic genius of the prophet ; and so we cannot doubt that, in so far as he had the means to borrow from Judaism, and so long as the Jewish views were not in direct opposition to his own, Muhammad was anxious to incorporate much borrowed from Judaism into his Quran. Whether he had any such means will be discussed in the second section.

SECOND SECTION. Could Muhammad borrow from Judaism? and if so, how was such borrowing possible for him?


The possibility of borrowing from Judaism lay for Muhammad, partly in the knowledge which, might be imparted to him by word of mouth through intercourse with the Jews, and partly in personal knowledge of their Scriptures; while allowing him the first source of information, we must deny him the second.

From passages already quoted to which we might add many others we gather that there must hare been great intimacy between Muhammad and the Jews, leading at times even to mutual discussion of views ; but this is still more clearly shown in a passage in the second Sura, 1 where the Jews are represented as double faced, professing belief when they were with him and his followers, and then when they were alone saying : " Will ye acquaint them , with what God has revealed unto you, that they may\ dispute with you ? " This shows that the Muslims learned the Jewish views from conversation_only. We shall speak later of Muhammad's intimacy with f Abdu'lMh ibn Salam, and with Waraka, the cousin of Khadija, who was for some time a Jew, a learned man and acquainted with the Hebrew

1 Sura II. 71. &>



language and scriptures ; * so also was Habib ben Malik, a powerful Arabian prince, 2 who for some time professed the Jewish religion. These all afterwards became followers of the Prophet. Thus Muhammad had ample opportunity ef becoming acquainted with Judaism, That his knowledge thereof was not obtained from the Scriptures is clear, from the matter actually adopted, since there are mistakes, which cannot be regarded as intentional alterations, and which would certainly have been avoided by anyone who had the very slightest acquaintance with the sources. 3 It is evident also from the low level of culture to which Muhammad himself and the Jews of his time and country had attained- The contempt in which the compilers of the Talmud held the Arabian Jews, in spite of their political power, can be attributed only tO'the ignorance of the latter. Though we must not conclude from this that the Jews knew nothing of the Scriptures and, though we hear of schools among them 4 and even of their reading the sacred writings in the original, 5 still we must doubt, if there was any widely diffused critical knowledge of the Scriptures, and we may be quite certain that Muhammad himself possessed nione. Many passages testify to this. First, we may take a passage already quoted, 6 where he says he had formerly no knowledge of reading and writing, and then Sura XLIL 52, ? where he denies any previous acquaintance with " the Book" or the " Faith." Even if these are mere figures of speech to prove the divine character o his mission, still it

1 Vid. Elbecar in Maracc. Prcdomi I. p. 44 3 and WahJ, Einleitnng zur TTebersetffung des Koran XXX,

2 Wahl, Einleitung XXXY,

5 This will be explained in detail later.

  • Comp. the passage quoted above from Baidhawi in the 1st Section,

5 Comp. the passage quoted above from Elpherar in the First Section (foot note). <? Sura XXIX. 47.

? " Thou didst not understand before this what the book of the was, nor what the faith was, etc." (Sale).


Is evident from them that he never enjoyed any reputation for learning, such as would necessarily have been accorded to him, had he really known anything of the Jewish writings, and possessing which knowledge he would have lived in fear of being proved to be an impostor.

The order in which he 'gives the prophets is interesting, for immediately after the patriarchs he places first Jesus, then Job, Jonah, Aaron, Solomon, and last of all David; 1 In another passage 2 the order is still more ridiculous, for here we have David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Zacharias, John, Jesus, Elijah, Ismael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot ! The incorrect spelling of the names of these prophets, as well as the parts which he assigns to them in history, proves that he had never even looked into the Hebrew S criptures . He actually asserts that before John the Baptist no one had borne the name of John. Had he known anything of Jewish history he would have been aware that, apart from some historically unimportant people of the name mentioned in Chronicles, the father and the son of the celebrated Maccabean high priest, Mattathias, were both called John. This mistake must have been obvious to the Arabic commentators, for they try to give another meaning to the clear and unmistakable words. Muhammad himself was aware of his ignorance, and defends himself very neatly against the possible charge. For instance in two passages- 3 he asserts that Grod said to him : " We have not spoken to thee about all the former prophets, only about some of them, of others we said nothing to thee;" thus cleverly defending himself against the accusation of having over- looked some of the prophets. We have quite enough proofs in these passages, apart from those which will come before us fully in the second part, that Muhammad was singularly ignorant of the Jewish writings, and so we

IV. 16L 2 Qnrn YI. 84 ff.

  • Sura IV. 162,- XL. 78.


can afford to give up one thing which is generally brought forward as specially proving our point. This is the fact that in certain passages Muhammad calls himself an " ummiyun" * a word which is usually translated " unlearned " " ignorant." Wahl takes it so, and mentions ife as a proof of Muhammad's ignorance. But this word has here the same meaning that is expressed by it in other passages, viz., belonging to the Arabs. It is used, like the word " jahiliyat," 2 of the Arabs in their former ignorance of Islam, and Muhammad, having risen from among them, thus designates himself 3 without reference to his own individual knowledge. 4 But, as already stated, even without this proof our conclusion holds good, viz., that because of his own ignorance especially, but also on account of that of the Jews around him, Muhammad could

  • Sura XII, 156.

3 fjjlttt Sura III. 148, III. 69.

- .- iviv^a - t w

6 /A*A/;5\ y, mina 1-nmmfyina or ,j<\ mmniytra.

4 The derivation of the word seems to me to support this view, Many different derivations have been suggested, but all are unsatisfactory. Some

ummat, and give B - a -_

as .examples of a similar formation ^# makiyun, and .J&* madaniyun

553- g^

from & makka and Ju. madina (see Ewald's Critical Grammar

of the Arabic language, I. 261. 2) j bufc then they do not explain the connection between the meanings of two words. This becomes clear, however, when we consider the development in the meaning of the similar Rabbinical word lil goi. This word, meaning in the Hebrew " people," later on came to mean a " non-Jew; " because the Jews became conscious that they themselves were a little community among the other inhabitants of the land, who were the "people" proper (compare the

expression Vlty^ ^^' ^ afc ^ rs * ; *^ e ^ us ^ m8 a ^ so m ^st have looked upon themselves as a small community in the midst of the populace,


the &\, each man who was not counted among themselves, being

%te a uas

to them one of the <!U\, or an ( ^*\, and so the word came to be used of all those who did not believe in repealed religion past and present,


attain to no knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, though on the other hand he had abundant opportunity to study Judaism with its wealth of tradition and legend as it lived in the mouth of the people.

In the first section we have shown that Muhammad had good reasons for incorporating much taken from Judaism in his Quran. By so doing he hoped to strengthen the opinion that he was taught by direct revelation from Grod j he had also a strong wish to win over the Jews to his kingdom of the faithful upon earth, and then, too, the legends and fanciful sayings of the Jews harmonised with his poetic nature. In the second section we have shown that he had abundant opportunities of acquainting himself with Judaism ; and now in the third section, before finally determining that a borrowing from Judaism really took place, we have to consider and answer the question : Would such a borrowing have been consistent with the other views and opinions held by Muhammad ?

THIRD SECTION. Was it compatible with Muhammad's plan to borrow from Judaism?


We must consider this question from two sides.

First, it might have appeared to Muhammad as inadvisable to borrow from the system of any other religious body lest he should be accused of want of individuality ; and secondly, there might have been something in the very fact of adopting from Judaism which would militate against his other plans. On closer examination, however, we find that neither was the case. In general he was in favour of borrowing from earlier religions. He desired no peculiarity, no new religion which should oppose all that had gone before ; he sought rather to establish- one founded on the ancient creeds purified from later changes and additions, one which should adopt this or that new idea, and which


should above all things acknowledge him as a divinely commissioned prophet. He let all that was already estab- lished stand good, as is seen from the lists of the prophets quoted above ; and he counts it as a point in favour of his Quran that it is 1 in accord with the earlier writings recognised by him as revelations. Another time he even says that the Quran is similar to the earlier religious writings, that it is only a Repetition of them, i.e., if I am not mistaken in forsaking the general interpretation and translating the passage Sura XXXIX. 24 2 as follows : <f Grod hath sent down the most excellent tidings, 3 a writing like unto others, a repetition." If this is not the meaning, it is incomprehensible how Muhammad could try to prove the superiority of his Quran by pointing to its continual and almost wearisome repetitions. But if his assertion were true, he might gain some advantage by being in accord with earlier revealed writings, and by restoring to their proper position those of them which had been spoiled by additions and perversions, and those which had been too little accounted of. He claims for himself only the same honour which is paid to the other givers of revealed law ; 4 with this distinction however that he, as the last of the

iStira XL VI. 11. CJ

3 On the word ^fa masani which is omitted by Elpherar see below

Second Division, Third Section, First Chapter, First Part.

4 He seems to distinguish between lawgivers and prophets ; for while he gives the names of the latter in utter confusion, he mentions the former in their right order, viz., Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (Suras XXXIII. 7. X'LII. 11.) Arabic commentators recognise this difference j thus Elpherar on Sura XXXIII. f :

He distinguishes these five viz., the four given above and Muhammad, naming them alone of the prophets, because they were the compilers of writings and laws revealed to them, and were men of strong character .among the apostles.


prophets, is to be considered as the seal of the prophets, 1 and therefore as the most perfect among them, because his- book is so clear 2 that no disputes or misunderstandings can arise about it, and, therefore, no apostle would be needed after himself. Thus it is clear that a borrowing from other religions was quite compatible with Muhammad's general aim. Consideration for his Arab followers, i.e., the fear of being called a mere compiler, a reproach which he did not altogether escape, did not hinder him, from such borrowing, partly, because he believed that he might rely on their ignorance; partly, because he had only to prove the harmony which must necessarily exist between the various revelations of the same Grod. Muhammad maintained that it was all revelation, that he derived nothing from Jew or Christian, but that Grod Himself revealed to him the contents of earlier Scriptures, and the historical facts concerning them. With regard to Judaism in particular Muhammad found no special difficulty. We have already observed that much in it accorded with the Prophet's poetic spirit, and who can now assert that any objection to an agreement with Judaism would have been raised by Muhammad's contemporaries? In those days people had not reached such a pitch of so-called enlightenment, as to consider the followers of one creed only as in the right, and to regard everything belonging to another belief as worthless ; to restrict to Christians the elements common to humanity, and to condemn Judaism as crafty and lifeless. Thus it was possible for Muhammad to lay before the Jews- the points of union between his religion and their own, carefully avoiding the while those points in his doctrine- which would be unacceptable to them. It is clear in itself that he could not adopt the whole o

Sura XXXIII. 40,


Judaism into his system, but parts only and even these he was obliged to alter and rearrange. In bringing the Jews to his opinion he had to be careful not to alienate others j he could not, therefore, adopt from them such points as stood in complete contradiction to the views of other religious bodies ; and so, while he totally excluded some things, he was obliged to elaborate and alter other things with which he could not dispense, in order that they might still more , strengthen his own position. Of this he either became aware himself, or others reproached him with it, so that he was forced to assert 1- that the Quran is not a new invented fiction. He could not maintain with the Jews that their Law was immutable, for that would have been fatal to his system of religious syncretism j nor could he with them expect a Messiah, because if there were another prophet yet to come, he Muhammad could no longer claim to be the seal of the prophets. This last point was carried so far that the Arabs later on confounded the doctrine of a Dajjal, or deceiver, which they had borrowed from the Christians, with the doctrine of the . expected Messiah of the later Jews ; and the saying existed : 2 " The name of Dajjal among the Jews is Messiah the son of David." Much in confirmation of what has been stated above will be brought forward in the Second Section of the Second Division, and also in the Appendix.

While this investigation has for the most part consisted in enquiring into what was, or might well have been, in Muhammad's mind, it is by no means to be imagined that we regard him as a deceiver who deceived intentionally, and with a well-weighed consideration of each step as to whether or no it would help him towards his aim of deluding others. Wahl regards him in this light. On the

Sura XII. iii.

>~>\ Pococke Notsa Miscellanea,

appendix to Porta Mosis, cap. 7, page 260.


contrary, we must guard ourselves carefully against such an opinion, and look upon it as a sign of persistent prejudice and total misunderstanding of the human heart. Muhammad seems rather to have been a-genuine enthusiast, who was himself convinced of his divine mission, and to /whom the union of all religions appeared necessary to the welfare of mankind. He so fully worked himself into this idea in thought, in feeling and in action, that every event seemed to him a divine inspiration. Every thing necessary to the attainment of his aim stood out clearly before him, just because this one idea ruled him'. He could think of nothing but what fitted in with it, could feel nothing but what harmonised with it, could do nothing but what was demanded by it. There is no question here of design, for this one idea so possessed his spirit, heart and will as to become the sole thought of his mind, so that every thing which entered his mind was shaped by this idea. Of course, in the most fanatical minds there are occasional lucid intervals, and during these Muhammad certainly deceived himself and others ; it is also undeniable that at times ambition and love of power were the incentives to his actions, but even so the harsh judgment generally passed upon him is unjustifiable.

We may say, as a result of this investigation, that it would be very remarkable if there were not much to be found in the Quran which is clearly in harmony with Judaism. It is evident that Muhammad sought to gain the Jews to his side, and this could best be done by approximating to their religious views ; it is also evident that he had ample means of acquainting himself with these views ; and lastly, that other considerations favoured rather than hindered such a borrowing from Judaism. And now the chief work remains to be done, and that is, to demonstrate by careful reference to the Quran that borrowing from Judaism has actually taken place.




Did Muhammad borrow from Judaism ? If so, what did he borrow?

Before we pass to the consideration of individual pas- sages as instances of borrowing from Judaism, we must show some general historical grounds for the opinion that a borrowing from that source has taken place ; and thus this division falls again into two sections, a general and a particular.

FIRST SECTION. Did Muhammad borrow from Judaism?


For the answer to this question we are thrown back entirely on the Quran, * as we have no other literature

1- The following story, is related by Kazuin (Poo. Spec. p. 309):


" It is said that when the Apostle of God came to Madina, he found the Jews fasting on 'Ashura. He asked them their reason for so doing, and they answered : ' Because on this day Pharaoh and his people were drowned, but Moses and his followers were saved ' ; on which Muhammad said : ' I stand in closer connection with Moses than they do ', and then he commanded the fast day 'Ashura. The cause of the institution of the fast day 'Ashura, which like ""l'W?} the tenth day of the seventh month, (Leviticus XXIII, 27) clearly means the day of atonement, is very uncertain. Elpherar is not more exact, for he assigns an equally erroneous cause. On Sura XI. 4-6 he says :

" And they went out (of the ark) on the day 'Ashura, and Noah fasted and commanded all with him to fast out of gratitude to God." In any case, however, the important fact remains, that Muhammad adopted one of the fast days of the Jews, which was afterwards abolished like the Jewish Qibla. See also D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, nnder the word Aschour, page 127.


of the same date which treats of the matter in question. Still there are plenty of passages there preserved to us, which, in a general way sufficiently prove our point ; and indeed they all contain either the blame expressed by Muhammad's contemporaries at his borrowing from Judaism, or else an appeal from him to the Jews, as witnesses of the truth of his assertions, He complains bitterly in many passages that the Arabs said his words were not original, 1 and even called them antiquated lies. 2 Sometimes they said still more definitely that a certain man taught him, 3 and the addition of the words : 4 " The tongue of the person unto whom they incline is a foreign tongue, but this is the perspicuous Arabic tongue," shows plainly that this man was a Jew. Commentators take this view, and indeed think that it was ' Abdullah Ibn Salam, a learned Rabbi, with whom Muhammad was in constant and close intercourse, and who is frequently mentioned in the commentaries. 5 Another rather more general statement is as follows : 6 " Other people have assisted him therein; 3 ' on which Elpherar remarks 7 : " Mujahid says, by this he means the Jews." Could any one desire a clearer historical witness than this accusation, which was so often brought against Muhammad,

Comp. Suras YIII. 31, XVI. 26, XXIII. 85, XXV. 6, XXVII.'W, XL VI. 16, LXVIII. 15,LXXXIII. 13.


8 * jJ ci\ Sura XLVI. 10. ' a

\ Sura XVI. 105.


_, a - , - - a ~c& c- _ j c,j * ~

6 Abulfeda annales Moslemitioi I. 283.

SSdraXXV.5. ^"~ & " ^' J '"'


and which appeared to him so important that he constantly referred to it in the hope of refuting the charge ? He himself confesses, however, that much related by him is to be found in the earlier Scriptures. To the embarrassing question, as to why he never worked a miracle, he constantly answered that he who was called to be a preacher only, not a wonder-worker, had yet told them plainly of the miracles which are mentioned in the earlier writings, l and which the learned Jews knew well. 2 They could testify to the truth of these narratives, 3 and among them one man 4 especially, the aforesaid ' Abdu'llah Ibn Salam, 5 to whom the laudatory passage in Sura III. 68 is said to refer, Not only were they to corroborate his words to others, but also to remove any doubt from Muhammad's own mind, as to the truth of his Mission. Thus we have in one place the injunction given to him : 6 "If thou art in doubt concerning that which we have sent down unto thee,

1 Suras XX. 133. , Jfl\ JWJ\ , j XXVI. 196. t ,

2 Sura XXVI. 197.

On which Elpherar : . !L ^ <lS\ J**c ***. \Jli" ^SsC ^\ Jlj

3 Sura XVII. 103. Jfjp ^> jC'S


  • Sura XLVI. 9.

5 Elpherar in the name of several commentators, says :

A^s j;\_*o A

& (^*\

"This is , who testified to the prophetic mission of

Mnhamtnad, the chosen one, and believed in him ; but the Jews were arrogant and would not believe in him."

Cf _ji^G.- ^ o^o SG-o _ C O^Cf S3 ut O C

6 Sura X. 94. V^ Qy% e?.^^ J UU ^^ ^j 5 ^ l^ c=U ^ t^/ y\i

. >_- a - a

- C- O


ask them who have read the "book "before thee." 7 If he then, however cunningly, acknowledges the Jews as to a certain extent witnesses to his revelations, we are justified in expressing our opinion, that Judaism was one source of the utterances in the Quran, and in this certainty we may proceed at once to discuss the actually borrowed passages.

SECOND SECTION. What did Muhammad borrow from Judaism?


In the case of any single instance o! borrowing, the proof that the passage is really of Jewish origin must rest on two grounds. First, it must be shown to exist in Judaism, and to prove this we have every facility. Secondly, in order to attain to certainty we must prove that it is really borrowed, i.e. } that it is not founded on anything in old Arabian tradition, which Muhammad used largely as a foundation though he disputed some points. Then again we must shew that it had its origin in Judaism and not in Christianity. For the complete discussion of the last two points it would be necessary to write two treatises similar to the one on which I am now engaged, of which the respective subjects would be (1) the points of contact between Islam and the ancient tradition of the Arabs, and (2) the points of contact between Islam and Christianity ; and only in this way could certainty on these points be attained. But these investigations would, on the one hand, lead us too far away from our particular subject,


7 On this Elpherar says : ............... JL.U

" By that which we have sent down to thee, the Quran is meant; those who have read before thee may instruct thee, that thon art foretold in the Law which they have ; " and again ; ^A*^ J^ ($* ("\ I** ,yi*> &W*\ j |!L> y) iU\ tU* " He means the believers among the possessors pf the Scriptures, e.g., 'Abdu'llah ben Salam and his fellows."


and, on the other, they would require a much more exact treatment than could be given while handling our main subject. Then, too, they are made unnecessary by the means which we use in each individual case, and which will be shown in the different divisions of the work ; so that on most points we can without them attain to a high degree of probability, practically sufficient for all scientific purposes. For the sake of clearness, it may be well to divide the material borrowed from Judaism into thoughts belonging to it, and narratives taken from' it, and later we shall have to subdivide again.


Thoughts belonging to Judaism which have passed over into the Quran ?

The new thoughts borrowed by one religion from another are of a twofold nature. Either they are radically new, there being hitherto in the borrowing religion not even a foreshadowing of them, so that the very conceptions are new, and require accordingly new words for their expression ; or else the component parts of these thoughts have long been in existence but not in this combination, the form in which these conceptions are blended being a novel one, and the view, therefore, which arises from this unusual presentation being new. We must therefore divide this chapter according to these distinctions.


First Part.

Conceptions borrowed from Judaism ? As the ushering in of hitherto unknown religious con- ceptions is always marked by the introduction of new words for their expression, and as the Jews in Arabia,


even when able to speak Arabic, kept to the Rabbinical Hebrew names for their religious conceptions ; so words which from their derivation are shown to be not Arabic but Hebrew, or better still Rabbinic, must be held to prove the Jewish origin of the conceptions expressed. The passage already quoted about the foreign language spoken by those who were accused of helping Muhammad in writing the Quran seems to point to the use among the Jews of a language other than Arabic. The object of this chapter is to enumerate the words which have passed from Rabbinical Hebrew into the Quran, and so into the Arabic language.

Tablet, ! Ark. The termination fit is a fairly certain evidence that the word is not of Arabic but of Rabbinical Hebrew origin ; 2 for this dialect of Hebrew has adopted in the place of other endings this termination, which is very common also in Ghaldaic and Syriac ; and I venture to assert that no pure Arabic word ends in this way. 3 Our word appears in two different passages with two different meanings : first, where the mother of Moses is told to put her son into an ark, 4 the signification being here purely Hebrew ; but from this it arose that the ark of the covenant 5 was also called by this name. It is used thus especially 6 in the sense of coming before the ark in prayer. In the second Sura 7 we find it mentioned as a sign of the

2 Rabbinical Hebrew

3 Oomp. w*\ and

4 Sura XX. 39. Comp. ^2 rQfl Ex. II. 3.

5 p-1^ in the Bible. 6

^S?b. "HI? Comp. Mishna Berachoth V. 4.

The Arabians sometimes use &i*J\ *-. also in the meaning of "ark of the covenant" (D'Herbelot Bibliotheqne Orientate under " Aschmouil.")


rightful ruler that through him the ark of the covenant * should return. 2

Taurtit, the Law. 3 This word like the Greek equivalent in the New Testament is used only for the .Jewish revelation; and although Muhammad, having only oral tradition, was not able to distinguish so exactly, yet it is obvious that he comprehended the Pentateuch alone under . this name;* for among the Jewish prophets after the patriarchs he counts Moses alone as a lawgiver. For the most part the Law is mentioned in connection with the Gospel. 5

Jannatu 'Adn, Paradise. 6 The word "*Adn" is not

1 Sura II. 249.

3 The masculine gender here given to this word, as indicated by the fact that &/j refers to it, would appear strange, were it not that perhaps,

a j the old word l1")H was in mind ; and the termination "^J being foreign

to Arabic is in that language no sure indication of gender.

3 o

4 Later Arabians maintained just the opposite. Ahmad ben 'Abdu'l- Halim (Maracc. Prod. I. p. 5.) says :

Ifltf s-aS3\ u~& ** ^j ** Rjj&\ ts* U\ Jj-j &-

" If one says : Instruct me about the allusions to the Apostle of God in the Torah, one understands by that expression all revealed scriptures, since they are all called Torah; and further:

"It is acknowledged that by the word Torah are meant revealed writings, particularly those which the possessors of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) alike read ; therefore it includes the Psalms, the prophecy of Isaiah and other prophecies, but not the Gospel."

However this does not alter the conviction which we have already expressed.

. j OCB

5 JA^S\ Comp. Suras III. 2, 43, 58, 86, V. 70, VII. 157, IX. 112,

LXL 6, LXII. 5.


known in the Arabic language in the sense of pleasure or happiness, but this is the meaning which suits the word in this connection. 1 In Hebrew this is the radical meaning ; still this expression, viz., Garden of Eden, which occurs often in the Bible, is never to be explained out and out as Paradise ; but rather Eden 2 is there the proper name of a region which was inhabited by our first parents in their innocence, and the part in which they actually lived was a garden of trees. It is only natural that this earthly region of the golden age should by degrees have come to be regarded as Paradise, in that the word itself 3 no longer stands for the name of a place but is applied to a state of bliss ; 4 though the Jews still held to Eden as a locality also. It is clear from the translation " gardens of pleasure " that the Jews of that time not merely transferred the name Eden into Arabic, but carried over its supposed etymology as well. The more distinctively Christian name 5 occurs seldom in the Quran, though it also is not quite

1 The Arabic commentators give widely different meanings to the word,

but they know nothing of that given by us just because it is foreign to the

o, Arabic language. Elpherar seems to decide for the view that SUu\

5 O_

as well as 0^c, means permanence, as the pious will remain there for ever.


4 Muhammad uses it thus in Suras IX. 73, XIII. 23, XVI 33 XVIII. 30, XIX. 62, XX. 78, XXXV. 30, XXXVIII. 50, XL. 8, LXI. 12J and in other places he translates it A**Ji yU^. e. g, V. 70, X. 9 XXII. 55, XXXI. 7, XXXVII. 42, LXVI1I. 34. Sometimes also he uses it in the singular p*x$ 14 XXVI. 85; and even without the article,

LVI. 88, LXX. 38.

-> j -

5 >jrtjOj6)\ i>uts. E


strange to later Judaism, as is shown by tlio story of the four who went alive to Paradise. 1

Jahannam, Hell. 2 This word also, like its opposite Paradise, is of Jewish origin. According to its primary meaning and Biblical usage it too is the name of a place, though of a locality far less important than that which gave its name to Paradise. The vale of Hinnom. was nothing more than a spot dedicated to idol worship ; and it is remarkable that the horror of idolatry led to the use of its name to designate hell. That this is the ordinary name for it in the Talmud needs -no proof, and from it is derived the New Testament name Gehenna. Now, it might be asserted that Muhammad got this word from the Christians ; but, even setting aside the argument that, as the name for Paradise is Jewish the probabilities are in favour of a Jewish origin for the word for hell also, the form of the word itself speaks for its derivation from Judaism. We lay no stress on the fact that the aspirate he, which is not expressed in the Greek, reappears in the Arabic, because this aspirate though not always indicated by grammarians in writing, appears to have been always sounded in speech. This holds good of other Greek words which have passed into Syriac. 3 The letter mim which stands at the end of the Arabic (Jahannam), not being found in the Syriac word, proves the derivation from the

1 DT]S Paradise, Chagiga fol. 14. Compare Sura, XVIII. 107. XXIII. 11.

Among many wrong explanations Elpnerar gives the following correct one : ,J>\

" Mujahid says it means a garden in Greek, and Zajdj says it has passed iato Arabic."

3 E.g. <TWoSo9, i.e., Sunhadus and especially <yeVVd } which is pronounced in Syriac, as Gihano.


Hebrew word, (Gehinnom) . The word is found in many places in the Quran. 1

Ahba-r 2 . This word is found in several places in the Qur&n in the sense of teacher. Now the real Hebrew word 3 " habher, " companion, has acquired in the Mishna a meaning similar to that of " parish ; " 4 only that the latter was the name of a sect, and the former the name of a party within a sect. The word p&rush means, properly speaking, one separated, i.e., one who withdraws himself out of motives of piety, a Pharisee, as distinguished from one who grasps without scruple all the pleasures of this life, a Sadducee. Among those who were thus separated there grew up a difference from others not only in social customs, but especially in that they adopted a different doctrinal view, viz., a belief in oral tradition. They had also some very strict principles for the guidance of their lives. But the matter was no longer merely one of great carefulness in life and conduct, it became one of special learning and knowledge, which naturally could not be imparted in equal measure to all members of this sect. Hence these learned men, each of whom possessed some special knowledge, became greatly reverenced ; and in this way again a community was formed in contra-distinction to which the remaining people of the country were called the laity. 5 The individual members of this community however were called habherim, 6 " fellows;" and thus, though the meaning f teacher 7 is not, properly speaking, in the

Suras II. 201, III. 10, 196, IV. 58, 95, 99, 115, 120, etc.

enrin. v. 48, 68, ix. 31, M.

3 "i3p



from Xao?,


word itself , yet the peculiar development o this com- munity is the cause of the new meaning of the word.

The excessive veneration paid to these " fellows " by the Jews gives rise to Muhammad's reproof in the two passages- last alluded to. He reproaches the Christians too in both places l on account of the esteem in which they held the ruhbdn. This word ruhban is probably not derived from rahiba, 2 to fear (thus god-fearing) ; but, like qissisun 3 the word which accompanies it in Sura Y. 85, is to be derived from the Syriac, which language maintained its preeminence among the Christians in those regions ; thus ruhban is derived from the Syriac word rabhoye, and qissistin from the Syriac qashishoye.

So then ruhban does not really mean the ordinary monks, who are called daire, but the clergy; whereas qissis stands for the presbyter, the elder, who is called qashisho in Syriac.

Daras 4 =to reach the deep meaning of the Scripture by exact and careful research. Such a diligent enquiry is mentioned in several passages. 5 But this kind of interpretation, which is not content to accept the obvious and generally accepted meaning of a passage, but which seeks out remote allusions this (though it may bring much of importance and value to light, if used with tact and knowledge of the limits of the profitable in such study)

1 Sura IX. 31. 34, /X>) ruhban.

5 Sui-as III. 73, XXXIV. 43, LXVIH, 37, VII. 168. On the last passage Elpherar says ; ^^\ A*> Jiy fi^A> $ t$\ji \~Ax&\ y*)0_j


The (jjj of a writing means, to read it and arrange it over and over again.


is very apt to degenerate and to "become a mere laying of stress on the unimportant, a searching for meanings where there are none, and for allusions which are. purely accidental. And so the word acquired a secondary mean- ing, viz., to trifle, to invent a meaning and force it into a passage. Compare the standing expression ! current among many who seek 2 the simple primary meaning. The word in this usage occurs in the Quran, particularly in the mouth of Muhammad's opponents ; though until now this fact has not been recognised. The obviously misunder- stood passage in Sura VI. 105 3 is thus explained, also that in VI. 157. 4 The former may be thus translated : " And when we variously explain our signs, they may say if they like : Thy explanations are far fetched, we will expound it to people of understanding " ; and the latter as follows : " Eest ye should say : the Scriptures were only sent down unto two peoples before us, but we turn away from their system of forced explanation" ; i.e., they have left the Scriptures to us so overlaid and distorted that we cannot follow them. It is remarkable that this word, which is not a usual one in the Quran, appears in this sense only in the sixth Sura where it occurs twice ; and this is evidence that just at the time of the composition of this Sura the word in its secondary meaning was used by some persons as a reproach to Muhammad. This observation furthermore^ might well serve to indicate the unity of this Sura. Rabbdni 5 teacher. This Rabbinical word is probably


formed by the addition of the suffix an * (like mi) to the word " rab, " thus, our lord or teacher. For though the termination "an" is common in later ,Hebrew, 2 yet the weaker word "rabbi " shows that people did not hesitate to append a suffix to the word rab, and then to treat the whole as a new word. However that may be, rabban is a word of itself now, and is only conferred as a title on the most distinguished teachers. The Eabbinical rule runs thus 3 ' ' Greater than rabbi is rabban. " It appears as a title of honour in Suras III. 73, V. 48, 68. Rabbani is evidently a word of narrower meaning than the word ahbar explained above ; and this explains why rabbani is put before ahbar in the two passages last mentioned, where they both appear, and also the striking omission of our word in the other two places where ahb&r occurs, and where Muhammad finds fault with the divine reverence paid to teachers, describing them with the more general word. The case is the same with qissis and ruhban. Both classes are mentioned with praise in Snra V. 85, and with blame in Sura IX. 31, 34, the latter class however only in connection with, ahba>, in that ruhban (like ahbar) is of wider meaning : and further, on account of the combina- .tion in one passage of two different classes among the Jews and Christians, viz., the ahbar and .the ruhban, (Cf. other similar combinations) no special differentiation was to be attempted.

Sabt 4 day of rest, Saturday. This name continued to be applied to Saturday throughout the Bast by Christians as well as Muslims, though it had ceased to be a day of

1 Suffix ] like sfo

e 8 Suffix } Syriac, ono, Arabic ()>



rest. ! In one place 2 Muhammad seems rather to protest against its being kept holy. The well-known Ben Ezra remarks on this in his commentary on Exodus xvi, I, 3 where he says : " In Arabic five days are named according to number, first day, second day, etc. But the sixth day is called the day of assembly, 4 for it is the holy day o the week ; the Sabbath however is called by the Arabs salt, because the Shin 5 and the Samech, (i.e., the Arabic sin which is pronounced like the Hebrew Samech) interchange in their writings. They have taken the word from Israel." Sakinat 6 the Presence of (rod. In the development of Judaism in order to guard against forming too human an idea of the Godhead, it was customary to attribute the speaking of God, when it is mentioned in the Scripture, to a personified word of (rod,? as it were embodying that emanation from the Deity which came in Christianity to a veritable Incarnation. In like manner also when in the Scriptures the remaining stationary, or the resting of God is mentioned, something sensible proceeding from Him is to be thought of. This is especially so in the case of God's dwelling in the Temple ; 8 and this ' emanation of the

1 Stow II. 01, VII. 163. a Sura XVI, 125.

3 ofy ->st?En ijtn

5an o'vn snb s

5 BJ Shin,


^0705 TOW

i EX, xxv. 8, of . rent, xxxin. 12, ie.


Godhead 3 to adopt the speech of the Gnostics, was called on this account the Shekinah, the resting. From this derivation Shekinah came to be the word for that side of Divine Providence which, as it were, dwells among men and exerts an unseen influence among them. In the original meaning, viz. that of the Presence in the Temple over the Ark of the Covenant between the Cherubim, 1 the word is found in Snra II. 249. In the sense of active interposition and visible effectual rendering of aid it occurs in Sura IX. 26, 40 ; 2 in the sense of supplying peace of mind and at the same time giving spiritual aid it is found in Sura XLYIII. 4, 18, 26.3 It is remarkable that the word appears in three Snras only, (but several times in the two last mentioned,) and with a somewhat different meaning in each ; and it seems here again, as we remarked above on the word damsa, as though outside influence had been at work, i.e., that the use of this word by other people seems to have influenced Muhammad at the time of the composition of these Suras.

Tdghtit 4 error. Though this mild word for idolatry is

1 Ex. XXY. 22,

2 Arabic commentators do not seem willing to recognise this mean- ing. Elpherar on Sura IX. 26 says the word means &uUi>J\j security and rest ; and on Sura XL VIII. 4 he says distinctly ;

" Ben 'Abbas says this word Satinat in the Quran always means rest except in the second Sura." But even if &u}li> does mean inward peace of mind, still the meaning of outward security need not be excluded,

3 Elpherar uses the expression jVSj5\ j &u>U!aS \ to explain verse 4, and U J\ . &i*5USa5\ to explain verse 18. In the same way D'Herbelot (Biblio- 'theque Orientals under Thalout, page 862) gives in the name of the commentators the explanation j*\^\ yt&^S i.e., tranquillity of the


FURQA.N. - - 41

not found in the Rabbinical Writings, 1 still the Jews in Arabia seem to have used it to denote the worship of false gods, for it appears in the Qurdn 2 in this sense. 3

Furqdn, 4 : deliverance, 5 redemption. This is a very important word, and it is one which in my opinion has till now been quite misunderstood. In the primary meaning it occurs in the 8th Sura : " true believers t if ye fear God, He will grant you a deliverance 6 and will expiate your sins, etc." Elpherar gives five different explanations to this verse, each as unsuitable as "Wahl's translation, and the passage seems to me truly classical for the primary meaning of the word. This meaning appears also in Sura VIII. 42, where the day of the Victory of Badr is called the day of deliverance, 7 and in Sura II. 181 where this name is given to the month Ramadhan as the month of redemption and deliverance from sin. Muhammad entirely diverging from Jewish ideas, intended to establish his religion as that of the world in general; further he condemned the earlier times altogether calling them times of ignorance. 8 He declared his creed to have been revealed through Grod's Apostles from the earliest times, and to have been only renewed and put into a clearer and

1 It is to be observed however that the Targums frequently use this word in the plural NH^*:? ^ the idols themselves, but not for idolatry. 8 Sdras II. 257, 259, IT. 63, XVI. 38, XXXIX. 19. 3 M\*$ as Elpherar explains it, . 5 jo;

4 0V 1ICT 1 ? ;

  • Ibn Said according to Elpherar explains this word as follows :

" Furqan is help against the enemy." Sura XXI. 49. 6 Sura VIII. 29. Gtfji



more convincing form by himself. Hence the condition of any one outside his belief must have seemed to him a sinful one, and the divine revelation granted to himself and his predecessors appeared to him in the light of deliverance from that sinful life which could only lead to punishment ; and therefore he calls revelation itself in many places Furqdn, as in many he calls it rahmat, * mercy. In some passages he applies the term to the Quran, 2 and in others to the Mosaic revelation. 3

In this way all the passages fit in under the primary signification of the word, and there is no need to guess at a different meaning for each.

Md< un, 4 refuge. This word bears a very foreign impress, and is explained by the Arabic Commentators in a variety of ways. Golius following them, forces the most diverse meanings into it. It appears in Sura CVII. 7, and seems to me to mean a refuge ".they refuse refuge," i.e., they give no shelter to those asking for help. Later on the word seems to have been regarded as derived from ' ana 5 (certainly not from ma'ana to which Grolius refers it), and thence it acquired the meaning of support, alms.

Masdni, 6 repetition. There has been much perplexity about'this word, mainly because it has been considered as an Arabic word and has not been traced back to its source. As by degrees other teaching viz., tradition, 7 grew up by the side of that contained in Holy Writ, the whole law

2 Suras III. 2, XXV. title and verse 1,

3 Suraa II. 50, XXI, 49.

JOj _ 4 Mi

  • From 0k not from ,'.

e ^j\u, nsiiJD

1 , o-(,m

1 Compare under .l^*>\

MASiNI. 43

was divided into two parts, l the written teaching, that is the Bible, and the teaching by word of mouth or tradition. To occupy oneself with the former was called " to read ;" 2 to occupy oneself with the latter was called "to say." 3 In the Chaldaic Gremara the latter word means to speak after, to repeat the teacher's words after him. In like manner the word tinnah 4 was used almost exclusively of choral music, in which the choir repeated verses after the precentor. Thus teaching by word of mouth was called mishnah, 5 and so also the collection of oral teaching the whole tradition ; and afterwards when this was all written down the book received the same name. Now, however, an etymological error crept in and derived this word from shanah in its true Hebrew meaning " to repeat," and then applied it to the repetition of the written teaching. 6 The error of this explanation is shown both in the use of the word and in its inflection. 7 Still it seems to have been accepted by the Roman Jews, and thus it came about that in Justinian's Novels the Eishna is called secunda editio. 8 The same thing happened in the case of the Arabian Jews, and so we get our word masani. Muhammad putting his book in the place of the whole Jewish teaching calls it not only Quran (miqra) but also masani. 9

nnin and ns

tt connected with the poetic nSJfi and the Syriac tano.



7 fi3$a in construct, not



9 Suras XV. 87, XXXIX. 24.

The Arabian commentators on Sura XV. 87 differ much in their explanation of this word, but one among them gives what seems to us


Malaktit, l government. This word is used only of God's rule, in which connexion it invariably appears also in Kabbinical writings. 2 It occurs in several passages in the Quran. 3 From this narrow use of the word, and from a false derivation from mala,k or malak 4 (a word which comes from quite a different root, and which in Arabic has only the meaning of a messenger of God) it came to be used for the realm of spirits. 5

These- fourteen words, which are clearly derived from the later, or Eabbinical Hebrew, shew what very important religious conceptions passed from Judaism into Islam, namely, the idea of the Divine guidance, saki'nat, malakut j 6

the true meaning. Elpherar has : ^^ \ ^\^\ y*jUaS\ Jtfj " Tavua

says the whole Quran is called Masani." At the same time also a

reference is made to the other passage cited by us, viz., Sura XXXIX. 24.

The word \** in Sura XV. 87, seems to me to mean either that this

Sura was really the seventh (the order of the Suras was afterwards much

changed, and we may safely assert that Sura II is of later date than those

oc- a(,j s

following it), or else g* bears the meaning *> and *-> the

seventh part, as fifteen Suras make up about one-seventh of the Qur&n. Elpherar omita the word ^U* in the latter passage, a fact not satis- factorily accounted for by the supposition that he relied on an earlier explanation, for the Arabic writers always give the unexplained passages in full in their commentaries 5 and thus it seems that this word must have been altogether missing from Elpherar's text.

8 D^tj? fVOyC) j) $a(7iXeia TWV ovpav&v. 3 Sura VI. 75, VII. 184, XXIII. 90, XXXVI. 83.


5 Compare the words uyjXU3\ ^lc in Professor Freitag's work, Fakiha Elcholafa 85. 3.

O C & >*

6 &u~, wj&* God's guiding Presence.

6 - C j --



Judgment after death.


of revelation, furqan, masani; of judgment after death, jannatu ' adn and jahannam, besides others which will be brought forward as peculiar to Judaism.

Second Part. Views borrowed from Judaism.

While in the foregoing section we were content to consider it certain that a conception was derived from Judaism, if the word expressing that conception could be shown to be of Jewish origin, we must now pass on from this method of judging and adopt a new test. We must prove first in detail that the idea in question springs from a Jewish root ; then to attain to greater certainty we must further shew that the idea is in harmony with the spirit of Judaism, that apart from Judaism the conception would lose in importance and value, that it is in fact only an off- shoot of a great tree. To this argument may be added the opposition, alluded to in the Quran itself, which this foreign graft met with from both Arabs and Christians. For the better arrangement of these views we must divide them into three groups : A. Matters of Creed or Doctrinal views, J5. Moral and legal rules, and 0. Views of Life.

A.. Doctrinal Views.

We must here set a distinct limit for ourselves, in order on the one hand that we may not drift away into an endless undertaking and attempt to expound the whole Qur&n ; and on the other that we may not go off into another subject altogether and try to set forth the theology of the Qurdn ; an undertaking which was begun with considerable success in the Tubingen Zeitschrift fur Evang. Theol. 1831, 3tes Heft. Furthermore, certain general points of belief are so common to all mankind that the existence of any one of them in one religion must not be considered as


proving a borrowing from another. Other views again are so well-known and so fully worked out that we need not discuss them in detail, but shall find a mere mention of them sufficient. Of this kind is that of the idea of the unity of God, the fundamental doctrine of Israel and Isldm. At the time of the rise of the latter, this view was to be found in Judaism alone, * and therefore Muhammad must have borrowed it from that religion. This may be consi- dered as proved without any unnecessary display of learning on the point. The idea of future reward and punishment is common to all religions, but it is held in so many different ways that we shall be obliged to in our argument. Cardinal points of faith have also passed from Judaism into Christianity. To decide whether these points as adopted in the Quran have come from the Jews or from the Christians, we must direct our special attention to a comparison between the forms in which the beliefs are held in both those religions, and the form in which they are presented to us by Muhammad. This is to answer the objection, that in the following discussion so little is to be found about the cardinal dogmas, for even the enumeration of them is foreign to our purpose,

Every religion which conceives G-od as an active work- ing providence must have some distinct teaching on the creation, and this Muhammad gives in accordance with the Bible, viz., that God created heaven and earth and all that therein is in six days ; 2 although in another place he diverges somewhat and says that the earth was created in two days, the mountains and the green herbs in four days, and the heavens with all their divisions in two days more. 3 Though this passage is nothing but a flight of poetic fancy, still it shews how little Muhammad knew of the Bible, inasmuch as he is aware of nothing but the general fact

1 Christianity also teaches the Unity of God. Ed.

2 Sftraa X. 3, XI. 9, L. 37, LVII. 4. . 3 s&rft XLI g_ n


that the creation took place in six days, and that he has not any knowledge of .each day's separate work. We have already remarked that he calls the seventh day salt, but does not recognise its sanctity. It remains here to be added that Muhammad appears to allude to and reject the Jewish belief that Grod rested on the seventh day. * He evidently thought that a necessity for rest after hard labour was implied, for after mentioning the creation as having taken place in six days, he adds " and no weariness affected Us." On this Jalalu'd-din comments as follows : 2 " This was revealed as an answer to the Jews who said that G-od had rested thoroughly on the sabbath and there- fore weariness left Him." The same thing is to be found in Elpherar's commentary but not so clearly expressed.

The idea of several heavens, which is indicated by the Biblical expression " heaven of heavens, " 3 came to Muham- mad probably from the Jews, also the notion that they were seven in number, a notion due to the different names applied to heaven. In Chagiga 4 we find the assertion that there are seven heavens, and then the names are given. All these names occur in the Scripture except the first, viz. vilon,from the Latin velum. 5 This name in which heaven is compared to a curtain, which veils the glory of 6 God, is a very important one in the Talmud. Muhammad speaks often of the seven heavens, 7 and in one passage he

1 Stira L. 37.

2 Maracci.

4 Chagiga 9. 2. V^t. fc^ntj? ^JT} VlVl )H ^fT)

5 f

6 Of. Midrash on the Psalms at the end of Psalm xi, 7



Sjfiras II. 27, XVII. 46, XXIII.88, XLI.ll, LXV. 12, LXVII. 3, LXXI. 14.


calls the heavens the seven strongholds * and in another the seven paths. 2 This last expression occurs also in the Talmud. 3 During the creation, however, His throne was upon the waters. 4 This idea also is borrowed from the Jews, who say : 5 " The throne of glory then stood in the air, and hovered over the waters by the command of God. " This is somewhat more clearly expressed by Elpherar who says : " And this water was in the middle of the air. " 6

A second pivot of every revealed religion is the belief in a judgment after death ; for while the fact of the creation sets forth the omnipotence of the Creator, the doctrine of a final account teaches that it is (rod's will that His revealed laws shall be obeyed. This, then, in Judaism developed into a local Paradise and Hell, and both concep- tions have passed, as we have already shown, into IsUm. These localities, although at first mere symbols, mere embodiments of the spiritual idea of a state, afterwards became crystallised, and suffered the fate of every symbol, i.e., they were taken for the thing symbolised, and the places were more definitely indicated. Thus the Jews

Sura LXXYIII. 12. Sura XXIII. 17.

3 STO ^tf

4 Sura XI. 9. pCjf Jlc tf. $2

5 EasM on Gen, I. 2, bs f|CW I^SS "TE& Th|> HB3

win tira ttfn^rr b$ Y>B rrn:? o

Cf7 '^ffijffi Sura XXIII. 88, XXVII. 26 XXIIL 11 7, At=s3ft J\ LXXXV. 15.

with TO3 KD3


have a saying i 1 " The world is the sixtieth part of the garden, the garden is the sixtieth part of Eden ; " 2 and in the Quran we find a similar expression, viz., " paradise whose breadth equalleth the heavens and the earth : 3 Generally speaking, fear is stronger than hope, and the dread of a- terrible condemnation appeals far more powerfully than the hope of eternal happiness to a nature which pure religious feeling does not impel to piety of life. This is probably the reason for describing hell in a more detailed and particular manner than Paradise.

Seven hells are pictured as forming different grades of punishment, and these have been developed out of the seven different names mentioned in the Talmud. 4 These names with one exception 5 (Brets tahtith, subterranean realm, which is clearly adopted from the Eoman ideas at the time of their ascendancy) are Biblical. Later on these names came to be construed as seven hells, e. g. in the Midrash on the Psalms at the end of the eleventh Psalm where 6 it is said, " there are seven abodes of the wicked in hell, " after which the above mentioned names are cited with a few variations. It is also said that David by a sevenfold reiterated cry of "my son"^?^) rescued Absalom from the seven habitations of hell ; 7 furthermore hell is said to have seven portals. 8 Muhammad is not

irr p 735

9 Taanifch 10. Pesaohim 94.

?- * .- - *

^ 3 Sura III. 127.

4 n^in ft*n ta^ tfwf ntoi nfla? -i^psi

See Ernbin 19. 1.


' 2 Sam, xix. 1-5. (Soto 10.) Q'SH^ v-p*^

^SM ^nns ny$w zohar i.i. iso-



behind hand, for we read in one passage that 1 " it (hell) hath seven gates, unto every gate a distinct company of them shall be assigned." According to the Jews, a tree stands at the entrance to hell : 2 " Two date palms grow in the valley of Ben Hinnom, smoke issues from between them and this is the entrance to hell " j but Muhammad knows a tree of hell called Al Zaqq-dm 3 which serves sinners for food, about which he has much to relate. The step from such a definite idea of hell to the notion of a personality connected with it is an easy one, and we find such an individual mentioned by the Eabbis as the " prince of Grehinnom ; " 4 he is called however in the Quran simply Jahannam. In one Babbinical book 5 we find the following : " That the prince of hell saya daily, Give me food to satisfy me, comes from Isaiah, v. 14. " Muhammad says similarly: 6 " On that day We will say unto hell, ( Art thou full ? ' and it shall say ' Are there more ' ? "

When the conceptions of Paradise and hell became so definite, and their names were no longer general terms for reward and punishment, a third destination had to be provided for those whose conduct had not been such as to


Sftra XV. 44.


3 \ s S4ras XXXVII. 60, XLIV. 43,


6 OtMoth Derabbi.Akiba, 8. 1. D'SH^. trf JTltjJ

6 Sura L. 29. & y* JA jyiTj y)b^ JJb "

AL-A'RAJ. 51

entitle them to the former nor condemn them to the latter place. Thus while the righteous * found their place in Paradise, and the sinners had their portion in hell, those who belonged to neither class were placed in a space between Paradise and Hell, of which it is said in the Midrash on Ecclesiastes, vii. 14: 2 " How much room is there between them ? Eabbi Jochanan says a wall ; B. Acha says a span ; other teachers however hold that they are so close together that people can see from one into the other. " 3 The idea just touched upon in this passage is most poetically worked out in Sura YII. 44, 4 "And between the blessed and the damned there shall be a veil j

1 D^T?? righteous, Q'tyffi sinners. Q'O'fo^Sl those who staad between.


n tan ri 3 "^ P T nr s sn an^s rnn to nto$ wyyd $ niia? jrrnu? inpsi

3 Concerning this intermediate place S'adi cleverly remarks that it seems to the blessed as hell, to the lost as paradise (D'Herbelot Bibliotheque Orientale under A'raf. page 113).

  • Elpherar comments on this passage as follows :

" These are those whose good and evil deeds are so evenly balanced that the latter preclude them from paradise, while the former save them from hell, therefore they remain standing here until Gcd has declared His pleasure concerning them." And later, when he gives our explanation of verse 45 in a long chain of traditions, he says :

" Those whose good and evil deeds are equal are the middle men and stand on the road. Thence they can see at once the inhabitants ot paradise and those of hell ; if they turn to the former, they cry ' Peace be unto you :' if to the latter " etc. .....


and men shall stand on Al-Araf who shall know them by their marks ; and shall call unto the inhabitants of Paradise saying, Peace be upon yon ; yet they shall not enter therein, though they earnestly desire it. And when they 1 shall turn their eyes towards the companions of hell fire, they rejoice that they are not among them, and shew them the folly of their earthly walk and hopes. "

It is interesting to compare this view of a threefold dealing with the dead with the very similar Platonic idea. 2

The idea of the bliss of eternal life, as well as the metaphor which expresses the difficulty of attaining it, is common to the Quran and Judaism. There is a Eabbinical saying 3 to the effect that "one hour of rapture in that world is better than a whole life-time in this." With this we may compare the Quran : 4 " And what is this life in comparison with the life to come except a passing amuse- ment ? " Then for the difficulty of attaining Paradise we may compare the Rabbinical picture 5 of the elephanjfe entering the needle's eye with the words in Sara VII. 38 6 " Neither shall they enter into paradise until a camel pass through the eye of a needle. " This last metaphor seems to be borrowed from Christianity, (partly because of the similarity of the figure, in that " camel " is the metaphor used in the Grospels, and partly because of the frequent mention of the same by the Evangelists) 7 , and is only

  • " They i.e. the men between, not as Wahl and others explain it.

8 Phaedon, Chap, 62. 3 Mishna Aboth, IV, 17.

4 S6ras IX. 38, XIII. 26. |Gci S

6 Sfaa VII. 38.

? Matt, xix. 24 ; Mark, x, 25 ; Luke, xviii. 24.


deserving of mention here, because the fact that in the Talmud elephant is used seems to confirm the ordinary translation of the Greek word in the Gospels, and the Arabic word in the Quran, and to remove the doubt as to whether they might not be better rendered " cable."

Given the pure conception of immortality viz., that the life of the soul never ceases, it becomes unnecessary to fix a time at which the judgment shall take place ; and so in most Talmudic passages a future world is pictured 1 in which every thing earthly is stripped away and pious souls enjoy the brightness of God's Presence. 2 Echoes of this teaching are to be found in the Quran. In one passage 3 we read of a soul gazing on its Lord, and in another 4 the condition of a perfectly peaceful soul is beautifully described. But this entirely spiritual idea was not thoroughly carried out. Rather by the side of the pure conception of a continued life of the soul after the death of the body, 5 there existed that of the quickening of the dead. 6 Thus because the man cannot receive the requital


3 Sura LXXV. 23. f^G \% J\


4 Sura LXXXIX. 21 S.

5 Take e. g. the Rabbinical saying :

Qs*n D^-nj? Dnn^5 ^D D^Vfj Even in their death the right- ecus are called living; " and in Suras II. 149, III. 163, ifc is ordered that

G -OS ' ,-G

those who fall in holy war shall not be called u^\y\ dead, but oL^ living.


The view that by the expression Teohiyath Hammethim the future world or the (spiritual) continued life of the (bodily) dead is meant, is given clearly in the explanation which a Baraitha adds to the quoted utterance of the -Mishna. To the words : " he who asserts that the belief iu Techiyatb. Hammethim is no part of the Jewish religion has no part in


of his deeds while he is still in a state of death, the time of resurrection must be the time for the judgment. 1

These two views of the resurrection and the judgment day, though different in themselves, are both closely connected in Judaism and more especially in Islam. 2 In Judaism there is a third period the advent of a Messiah, which it is not easy to separate from the other two. Naturally this time, which is to bring forth two such important events as judgment and resurrection, will be ushered in by terrible signs, In Judaism statements to this effect are to be found only about the third period, which is generally connected with the other two, viz., the earth- ly period of the Messiah ; in Islam on the contrary every- thing is attributed to the last day. The utterance most in accord with the Talmud is that in Sunnas 41 and 141, which says that learning shall vanish, ignorance shall take root, drunkenness and immorality shall increase. With this we must compare the passage in Sanhedrin 97 : 3 " At the time when David's son comes the learned diminish, and the place of learned meetings serves for immorality." The descriptions in the Quran refer more to the last day itself, and remind us of many passages in Holy Scripture, where it is also said of those days that the world will bow itself before G-od, the heavens will be rolled together 4 and

the future world," lie adds: ( 'he denies the T, H., therefore he has no more a portion in it." Here the expression QVlttn fiTin and "future, world" are taken as identical in meaning. Compare too the Book Ikkarim, IV. 81.

2 Compare, e.g. Sura XXVI. 87. 88.


Suras XXL 104, XXXIX. 67.

CL trS^n -1553 $ySf\ Isaiah XXXIV. 4.


vanish in smoke, 1 all cities will be destroyed, 2 and men will be drunken and yet not drunken. 3

Another very distinct sign of the advent of a Messiah, which is remotely alluded to in the Bible but which attained to an extraordinary development in the Talmud and especially in later writings; is the battle of Gog, Prince of Magog. 4 Grog and Magog are, however, named by the Eabbis as two princes, and this view has taken root in the Quran in the Kabbinical form, 5 since two persons, Gog and Magog, are mentioned as dwellers in the uttermost parts of the earth. 6

In the details of the idea of future retribution many resemblances are to be found, which, by virtue of the unity cf the Jewish view and its derivation from the Scriptures, shew themselves as borrowings from Judaism. Thus according to the Talmud, a man's limbs themselves shall give testimony against him ;? in one passage we find these words : " The very members of 8 a'man bear witness against him, for it is said : ' Ye yourselves are my witnesses saith the Lord. ' " With this we may compare Sura XXIV. 24 : 9 " Their own tongues, and hands, and feet, shall one day be witness against them of their own doings. 10 The judgment

1 Sura XLIV. 9 ff.

2 Sura XVII. 60.

3 Sura XXII. 2. Oomp. Suras XXVII. 89, XXXIX. 68, LXIX. 13 ff.

4 Ezekiel, xxxviii. and xxxix.

5 Sura XXI. 96. glU ^ g*^

6 Sura XVIII. 93.

7 Chagiga 16, Taanith 11.

. "n DM qy dflwi 'y '12 D*TIP D"TH

t " * **"**"** * * T T

8 Isaiah, xliii. 12. 9

3 f&'

10 Of. also Stiras XXXVI. 65, XLI. 19.


day gains also a greater importance from the fact that not only individuals and nations appear at it, but also those beings who have been honoured as gods by the nations, and they too receive punishment with their worshippers. In Sukkah XXIX we find this statement : J "As often as a nation (on account of idolatry) receives its punishment, those beings honoured by it as gods shall also be punished ; for, it is written : 2 ' Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.' " That this general sentence admits of a reference to the punishment of the last day is not expressly stated, but it is worthy of acceptation. Muhammad expresses himself still more clearly about it: 3 " Yerily both ye and the idols which ye worship besides God shall be cast as fuel into hell fire."

A view closely interwoven with Judaism and Islam is that retributive punishment is entirely confined to the state after death, and that any single merit which a sinner has gained will be rewarded in this world, to the end that nothing may impede the course of judgment in the next. The same view, only reversed, holds good in the case of the righteous. It is a view which was thought to explain the course of destiny upon earth, which so often seems to run .contrary to the merits and demerits of men.

The Rabbinical view is expressed in the following passage : 4 " Whereunto are the pious in this world to be

? rraai nm Va f

8 Exodus, xii. 12.

3 Sura XXI. 98.

4 -viv ib^$ ibs N^B? hsta V?}?? n ^^

'3tz? wan dbl2?n -la


compared ? To a tree which stands entirely in a clean place ; and when a branch bends to an unclean place, it is cut off and the tree itself stands there quite clean. Thus (rod sends afflictions in this world to the righteous, that they may possess that which is to come, as it is written : 'Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.' 1 Sinners are like a tree which stands in an altogether unclean place ; if a branch bends over to a clean place, it is cut off and the tree itself stands there quite unclean. Thus God allows the ungodly to prosper, in order to plunge them into the lowest depth of hell, as it is written : ' There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,' " 2 Muhammad expresses this same view in several passages, but restricts himself to the latter part which refers to the prosperity of sinners, partly because his own icleas were too unspiritual for him to be able to imagine the righteous as truly happy without earthly goods, partly because in so doing his teaching would have lost in acceptability to his very degraded contemporaries. Thus in one passage 3 we read : " We grant them long and prosperous lives only

ibs teia vSffi nnqip bipsb ntab iB-fo-j n$& Dip^s i trfta rote orb yB# n"n "j^n ^ Qj.1 '.3$

1 Job, viii. 7.

3 Proverbs, xiv. 12. Kiddushin, 40. 2. Compare Dereoh Erete ; Snlta end of Chap. II ; Aboth of Rabbi Nathan, end of Chap. IX ; Erubin 26. 2 ; also the Targums and their Commentators on Deuteronomy, vii. 10.

3 Sura III. 172.



that their iniquity may be increased," l still the second view is to be found among the Arabians also, e.g., Elpherar in his comments on Quran XII. 42 2 says : " It is said that the righteous are punished and tried, in order that the day of resurrection may be perfect in light and power, as the contumacy o the righteous has been already expiated." Muhammad naturally avoided specifying any time at which the judgment should take place, though he was much pressed to do so. He excused himself with the Jewish saying that with Gr'od a thousand years are as one day, 3 which was divested of its poetic adornment and taken by the Eabbis in a purely literal sense. 4 Muhammad says 5 ; " Verily one day with thy Lord is as a thousand years of those which ye compute" j and again 6 : "On the day whose length shall be a thousand years of those which ye compute." As has been already shown, with the establishment of

1 Compare Sura IX. 55, 86, XXXI. 23. , In IX. 55, 86, the words C.SJJT (Sjfca^) ^ are evidently to be connected with Iij3j\ and not

with what immediately precedes. Thus Elpherar says on IX. 55 : ^stiS ^\ o * Sjbui^ AH\^\ JU

Mujahid and Ketada say that this verse has been transposed, it should run : " Let not therefore their riches or their children in this world cause thee to marvel. Verily God infcendeth only 'to punish them by these things in that world. "

3 Psalm, xc. 4s,

  • Sanhedrin 96. 2. See also Preface to Ben Ezra's Commentary on the

Pentateuch where he opposes this view.

5 Sura XXII. 46. 6 SuraXXXI1.4.


the doctrine of the day of judgment, the view of the resurrection and of the quickening of the dead was also formed ; and this the more readily, "because it found support in expressions in the Scripture, as e.g. those in Ezekiel, xxxvii. l : " I have opened your graves, and caused

you to come up out of your graves, ye shall

live," etc. ; and those in other passages referring partly to the metaphorical quickening of the dead land of Israel. Of this doctrine it is said that it is such a fundamental teaching of the Jewish faith that the declaration that it did not belong to the law entailed the exclusion of him who thus spoke from eternal life. 2 The Quran is, so to speak, founded upon this doctrine along with that of the unity of Grod, and there is scarcely a page in it where this doctrine is not mentioned. To adduce proofs here would be as easy as it would be useless; and indeed it is not required by our purpose, since Christianity also has inherited this view from Judaism, as is shown in the argument of Jesus in refutation of the Sadducees. Only one point deserves particular mention, because on the one hand it contains a detail adopted from Judaism, and on the other it shows the low level of thought at that time.

As soon as it becomes a question not merely of the immortality of the soul, but also of the resurrection of the body, then the soul without its body is no longer regarded as the same person, and the question naturally presents itself to the ordinary understanding : " How can this body which we have seen decay rise again, so that the same personality shall reappear ?" Neither the soul alone nor . the body alone is the person, but the union of the two. / Now one part of this union is dissolved ; another body can indeed be given to this soul, but by this means he who died

1 Ezekiel, xxxvii. 13. p^flVpjTVlp ^fl??

Sfrra C, 9. j^aV^jiU^i*} 8 Mishna Sanhedrin X, 1


does not reappear, but a new man, another personality, another consciousness comes into being. This question dimly anticipated obtrudes itself, and can only be set at rest by proving that the very same personality can appear again. Instead of showing this Muhammad contents himself with the parable, used also occasionally in the Talmud, of the renewal of the dried up earth by fertilising rain. He found however that he could not silence the common convictions of men thereby, * and so he was compelled to come back to it again and again. The Jews also sought to give prominence to this resemblance, and they put the eulo- gium 2 "Who sendeth down the rain" into the second benediction which treats of the resurrection. 3 The fact that the righteous rise actually in their clothes 4 (which after all is not more wonderful than in their bodies) is explained by the parable of the grain of wheat, which is laid in the earth without covering, but springs up again with many coverings. The passage in Quran YI. 96 contains a similar statement. This view is not strange to Islam, for a saying which is attributed to Muhammad runs thus : 5 " The dead man shall be raised in the clothes in which he died. "

. That from the standpoint of revealed religion the belief in the possibility of revelation is fundamental needs of course no proof, and in this the views of all revealed religions are alike ; yet differences can be found in the manner of conceiving of the revelation, and here we recognise again that Muhammad derived his view of it from Judaism, of course with-some modification.

Suras VI. 95, XXX, 49, XXXVI. 33, XLI. 39, XLIII. 10, etc.

8 Taanith at the beginning.

4 Sanhedrin 90. 2, and Kethubhoth III, 2,


(Poo. notes misc, cap. 7, p. 271.)


The Jews have a saying that "all the prophets saw through a dark glass, but Moses through a clear one, " l and Muhammad says : 2 It was not granted to a man that God should speak unto him otherwise than in a vision or from behind a veil ; 3 an.d then he adds : 4 O r by the sending of a messenger to reveal by His permission that which He pleaseth. " This messenger is the Holy Spirit, 5 or simply the spirit, 6 like the spirit in the story of Micaiah's vision. 1 The Arabic commentators take this holy spirit to mean Gabriel, a view which is not unknown to the Jews, for

Jebamoth 49. ITT^ Pl^ttf N^bfJQpN? SHI

2 Sura XLII, 50.

8 Commentators cite this verse as one in which the superiority of Moses is disputed ; thus Elpherar says :


" The Jews said to Muh'ammad ; ' By God ! if thou art a prophet, dost thou speak with God and see Him as Moses spoke with Him and saw Him ? ' Then he said : ' Moses did not see God. ' And then came this verse : ' It was not granted to a man that God should speak to him, except in a vision, in a dream or through supernatural inspiration, or from behind a curtain, so that man hears His Yoice, but does not see Him ; He spoke thus to Moses also. ' "


^ cj) ttHpri G^j T0

Suras LXXVIII. 38, XCVII. 4. 1 Kings, xxii. 21.


the Jewish commentators understand the words l " the definitely speaking Spirit" to refer to G-abriel. One of Muhammad's own utterances, one which is fully explained only "by the 52nd Sunna, is much more striking : 2 (t And they will ask thee of the spirit, say ; the spirit (proceedeth) at my Lord's command. "

With this the teaching about angels is closely connected, and it also had its beginning in Scripture, but appears to have been developed in later days especially through Parseeism. Muhammad is unwearied in his descriptions of angels ; so too are the later Jews in their many prayers on the day of atonement, but these are of rather late origin. 3 The angel of death 4 is specially mentioned in

While angels were regarded as purely spiritual beings who execute God's commands, a class of beings was imagined who stood between man and the purest spirits ; these were mixed spirits, who were made out of fire, 5 who possessed superior mental powers, but who were mostly inclined to evil, they were called 6 demons, but there are numerous other names for them in Arabic. The Talmud has the following statement about them : 7 " Demons

1 rWfflpSl DTI Sanhednn 44.

  • Sura XVII. 87. jj ^ ^ ffl Jj

3 Compare Suras XXXV. 1, XXXVII. 1, XL. 7, LXXV1I. 1 ff. LXXIX.IJlff.

4 Sura XXXII. 11.

5 Sura XV. 27.


7 fryfn 'ssfptt?


are declared to possess six qualities, three of which are angelic and three human. The three which pertain to angels are that they have wings, that they can fly from one end of the earth to the other (i. e. they are bound by no space), and that they know the future beforehand. They know the future beforehand ? No ! but they listen behind the curtain. The three human qualities are that they eat and drink, increase and multiply, l and die. " 2 Muslim tradition cannot do enough in their description, but there is but little about them in the Qurdn. The fact that they listened at the canopy of heaven gained for them in the Qurn the nickname of the stoned, 3 for, say the commen- tators, the angels threw stones to drive them away when they found them listening. 4 Thus it is said expressly : 5 " We have appointed them (the lamps of heaven) to be darted at the devils. }; The seventy-second Snra treats of them in detail, and seeks especially to set forth their assent to the new doctrine. The Talmud also states that they are present at the giving of instruction. The following

Si/j ^0 &i

^ ^ s

" The genii are supposed to be a species of angels, and the devil is their father ; he has thus a posterity, which is mentioned with him ; the (remaining) angels however have no posterity." Jaldlu'ddin in Maracc Prodr. II. 15.

2 Ohagiga 16. 1.

3 Suras XV. 17, 34, XXXVIII. 78, LXXXI. 24. ^"

4 The Muslim explanation of falling stars.

6 <Mlfc!B t* &&4 Sura LXVII. 5 ; compare Sura XXXVII. 7.


passage from the Berachoth shows this : " The press in the school is caused by them, the demons. " l With this we may compare the Qurdn : " When the servant of God stood up to invoke Him, it wanted little but that the genii had pressed on him in crowds. " 2 It cannot be maintained that the greater part of the teaching about genii was adopted from Judaism, it must rather be said to have come from the same dark source whence the Jews of those times drew these conceptions, viz., Parseeism.

Still here, as in the case of any point which is of inaccessible origin, a reference to a mere similarity is not without use.

Under these four heads then, viz., (1) Creation, (2) Retribution including the Last Judgment and the Resur- rection, (3) Mode of Revelation, and (4) Doctrine of Spirits, details are found, the adoption of which from Judaism we may regard as sufficiently proved. The precaution against representing, out of love for our theme, that which is common either to the general religious feelings of mankind, or to all revealed religions, or at least that which belonged to other known religious parties in Muhammad's time as peculiar only to Judaism, compels us to fix these limits. We have found. much of interest especially under the second head, so that the demands of our theme might seem to be fairly well satisfied.

B. Moral and Legal Rules-.

It is obvious that in a revealed religion all individual commands form part of the religion, and therefore one cannot draw any sharp line of distinction between the " religious " and the " moral. " We have accordingly

l tfin sin^a nb^ rKjft w^rn &

2 Sura LXXII. 19,


considered nothing which has to do with conduct under the heading A, even though it might be immediately con- nected with the points of belief under discussion and so we are able to bring together here all commands as to conduct. Prom the fact that every individual command is Divine, a conflict of duties may easily arise, which cannot be readily decided by private judgment, seeing that all the command- ments are equal, * so far as their Author is concerned. Eules for such cases must therefore be laid down. For instance, we find the following statement in the Rabbinical writings : 2 " If a father saith (to his son if he is a priest), ' defile thyself ' ; or if he saith,/ Make not restitution (of the thing found to the owner) ', shall he obey him ? Therefore, it is written: 3 ' Let every, man reverence his father and mother, but keep my Sabbaths all of you, ye are all bound to honour me. ' " And Muhammad says : 4 " We have commanded man to show kindness towards his parents, but if they endeavour to prevail with thee to associate with me that concerning which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. "

1 Pakihat Elcholefa, 94, proves that this is really the Arabic view : U

" A meritorious man says that in the sins of men there is nothing small, but whatever is done contrary to the Commandment is great with respect to Him who commands, who is exalted and holy."

2 Jebamoth 6. >8 ?

U?^ Vb> ^rtft

3 Leviticus, xix. 3.

Sura XXIX. 7. oJK&



Judaism is known to be very rich in single precepts, and Muhammad has borrowed from it much that seemed to him suitable.

1. Prayer. Muhammad like the Rabbis prescribes the standing position * for prayer. Thus : a Stand obedient to the Lord; but if ye fear any danger, then pray while walk- ing or riding " ; a and also : " Who standing, and sitting, and reclining, bear Grod in mind." 3

These three positions are mentioned again in Sura X. 13 : 4 " When, evil befalleth a man he prayeth unto us, lying on his side or sitting or standing, " where with a true perception, of the right order, the least worthy position is- th-e first spoken of. 5

Baidhawi comments thus on. Sura III. 188,. the passage alluded to above : "The meaning is that the man. may take any of' the three positions according to his strength, as Muhammad said to Amran Ibn Husain : ' Pray standing if thou art able ; if not, sitting ; and if thou canst not sit up, then, leaning on the side. " 6 The Jews were not so. strict in, this matter, yet they too have the rule that prayer should be offered standing ; 7 and in. Rabbinical writings it is

1 Note the technical expression fiJu-jj

Comp, Kabb.

2 Sdra II. 240. lL/i

3 Sura III. 188.

5 Of. also Sftra IV. 46.

3l Of. Beraohoth.X.


said that he who rides on an ass is to dismount; but the addition is made that, if he cannot dismount he is to turrjl his. face (towards Jerusalem) . * As the bodily position may be altered in urgent cases, so the prayer itself may be shortened on similar occasions. 2 So we find the permission to shorten prayer in time of war: "When ye march to war in the earth, 3 it shall be no crime in you if ye shorten your prayers." The Jews also were permitted to pray a short prayer when in a dangerous place. 4 Muhammad is quite opposed to senseless chattering, for he counts it a merit in believers to " eschew all vain discourse. 5 There- fore because attention and pious concentration of thought are to be aimed at, he enjoins 6 on believers not to draw near to prayer when they are drunk. This is in accord- ance with the Talmudic rule: "Prayer is forbidden to the drunken. " 7 It is also forbidden to those who havo touched women. 8 These persons may not engage in

1 Miahna Berachoth IV. 5. "Ill "00 2 SS'h

rp -i-nb Via; frg

jX/- O

2 Sura IV. 102. \jydS Q _

3 Compare the similar expression in Hebrew V"?.^

  • Mishna Beraohobh IV. 4. a^tt H^SD

5 Sura XXIII. 3. Compare Ecclesiastes, v. 1.

6 Sura IV. 46. Jj& ^

7 l ?v>50'? 1 ? ^ D ^ ^ 3 ^ BeraohotliS1.2. Erubin 64.

8 Suras IV. 46. V. 9. CJ\ iL^S Of, Mishna Bevachoth III, 4,


.prayer before washing with water, which cleansing is recommended as a general rule before prayer both in the Quran ! and in the Talmud. Instead of water> purification with sand may take place. 2 So in the Talmud : " He cleanses himself with sand and has then done enough." As concentrated thought is urged as a duty, it follows that prayer though audible must not be noisy, 3 and so Muham- mad says : " Pronounce not thy prayer aloud, neither pronounce it with too low a voice, but follow a middle way between these ; " and in the Talmud we find : 4 " From the behaviour of Hannah who in prayer moved her lips we learn that he who prays must pronounce the words, and also as her voice Was not heard we learn that he must not raise his voice loudly. " But because our mood does not at all times" move us to fervency of prayer, outward ceremony is necessary, and indeed prayer in a great congregation, whose devotion will stir up our own. 5 " The prayer in the congregation " 6 is greatly praised also by the Jews. Daybreak, which is mentioned in the Talmud in connection with the Shema prayer, as the time when " one can distinguish between a blue and a white thread," 7 is not mentioned in this connection in the

1 Sura V. 8. Berachoth 46.

$ Sfaas IV, 46, V. 9. Gf, the Talmudic phrase

3 Sura XVII. 110.

4 1 Samuel, i. 13. Beraohoth 31. 2. .


  • Of. Sunna 86. 87. 88. 89.


Mishna Berachoth I. 2, p? ^^ f 2


Quran it is true, for the Quran knows nothing of a Shema prayer, but it appears in connection with the beginning of the Past Day : " l Until ye can discern a white thread from a black thread by the daybreak. "

2. Some rulings in respect of women tally with Judaism ; e.g., the waiting of divorced woman for three months before they may marry again. 2 The time of suckling is given in both as two years : 3 ' ' Mothers shall give suck unto their children two full years. " Similarly in Snra XLYI. 14 we find : " His bearing and his weaning is thirty months," which is explained by Blpherar as follows: 4 "He takes the shortest duration of pregnancy, viz., six months, and the shortest of suckling, viz., twenty-four months." Compare the Talmudic saying : 5 "A woman is to suckle her child two years, after that it is as though a worm sucked. " That those relatives to whom inter- marriage is forbidden in the Scripture are precisely those whom Muhammad permits 6 to see their near relations unveiled has been already noticed by Michaelis in the Mosaic system, and he has shewn the connection between these two laws.

1 Sura II. 183.

Compare the note in the first section (p. 26) for remarks on the Past Day, ' ishtira.

2 Sura II. 228. Of. Mishna Jabhamdth IV. 10.

3 Sura II. 233. Of. XXXI. 13.


5 Kethuboth 60. 1.

Compare Josephus Ant, 2. 9. 6 Sura XXIY, 31.


As Muhammad had very little intention of imposing a new code of individual laws, since his aim was much more the spread of new purified religious opinions, and as in the matter of practice he was far too much of an Arab to deviate from inherited usages, unless they came directly into opposition to these higher religious views, it is easily to Toe explained how so few borrowings are to be found in this part and much even of what is adduced might perhaps be claimed to be general oriental custom. "We shall find moreover in the Appendix that Muhammad mentions many Jewish laws which were known to him ; he alludes to these sometimes as binding on the Jews, sometimes merely for the sake of disputing them, and hence we see that it was not want of knowledge of them that kept him back from using them, but his totally different purpose. This remark must apply also to our third heading, under which isolated instances of adaptation only will be found, except in cases where the view is directly connected with the higher articles of Faith adopted from Judaism, which have been already mentioned.

0. Views of Life.

In putting together these single fragmentary utterances, it is scarcely worth while to arrange them according to any new system, and we will therefore follow the order of the Quran.

Death with the righteous is to be prized, hence the request in the Quran : " Make us to die with the right- eous, " l which corresponds with that of Balaam, " Let me die the death of the righteous. "

Sura III. 191. j$ft g^ ^

Of. Numbers, xxiii. 10.


" Say not of any matter, ( I will, surely do this to- morrow/ unless thou add, ' If God please. ' " l Pull under- standing is first imputed to a man when he is forty yeara old,, 2 and it is said in the Mishna : "At forty years of age a man comes to intelligence. " So the hunting for some particular persons, to whom this sentence of the Quran shall apply, as the Arabic Commentators do, appears altogether unnecessary ; it is also rendered very dubious by the wide differences between the various opinions.

In the Quran a comparison is found between those who bear a burden without understanding the nature of it and who thus carry without profit, and an ass carrying books. 3

" He who intercedeth (between men) with a good inter- cession shall have a portion thereof. " 4 TMs saying is very similar to the Hebrew one : " He who asks for mercy for another while he needs the same thing himself obtains help

1 Sura XVIII. 23. "

y\ \ iU3 Jcli J>\ Of. the Hebrew expression D$n nSp; ON

f, _ _ -GS j

-Sura XLVL 14.

That full understanding is not reached until the completion of the- fortieth year is observed also by Philo (eKTrj 8e (e/38ofJ,dSi)> <TVvi<TGK><; ttK^vj), who here takes the forty-second year, only because- he attaches particular virtue to the number 7, in which Solon also agrees^ w-ith him fVid. Philo, de Opificio Miindij P. 70-72, Ed. Pfeifer I)

3 Sura LXII. 5. Cf. the Hebrew

  • Sura IV. 87, l^ s-^ ^ (^ ^- le&Jb

Cf. BabaKamma92.

i s^in -n-r


first. " In Sunna 689 it is said : " Three things follow the dead, Taut two of them turn back ; his family, his goods, and his works follow him ; his family and his goods forsake him again, and only his works remain with him. " This is also found in great detail in Kabbinical Hebrew : l "Man has three friends in his life time, his family, his property, and his good works. At the time of his depar- ture from earth he collects the members of his family, and says to them, ' I beg. you, come and free me from this evil death. ' They answer : ' Hast thou not heard 2 that no one has power over the day of death/ It is also written : 3 ' None of them can by any means redeem his brother, even his

1 Pirke Rabbi Eliezer 34.

b ib aft

p^ tanb_ i^y in^ \??b^

^2?J? ID"! n-jn snn nsi n^n? *] rfbi. n^n aV5 fi^fi? r^?^

^ nt

n$h Mfinyi Drn 'Tpq DV

a-io 1 1b

XE D s ?5 1? nqs nn^ ^5 (in b ?^ btfi ^v ^IDOni n^D ri)an ^ ^b^cri

pin n^b aft r.7^^ nVw?? 70

'n nfa>Y ^TS ^f^sb trbrn : '?.^ ^

2 Eoclesiastes, viii. 8. 3 Psalm, xlix. 8.


wealth which he loves avails not, he cannot give to Grod a ransom for him, for the redemption of their soul is costly and must be let alone for ever ; but enter thou into peace, rest in thy lot till the end of days. 1 May thy part be with the righteous/ When the man sees this, he collects his treasures and says to them : ' I have laboured for you day and night, and I pray you redeem and deliver me from this death ' ; but they answer : ' Hast thou not heard that riches profit not in the day of wrath ? } 2 So then he collects his good works and says to them : ' Then you come and deliver me from this death, support me, let me not go out of this world, for you still have hope in me if I am delivered.' They answer : ' Enter into peace ! but before thou departest we will hasten before thee; as it is written, Thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the Lord shall be thy reflrward. ' " 3


Chapter II. Stories borrowed from Judaism,

This division will prove to be the largest, partly, because these narratives, draped in the most marvellous garb of fiction, lived mostly in the mouth of the people ; partly, because this fairy-tale form appealed to the poetic fancy of Muhammad, and suited the childish level of his contempo- raries. In the case of the Old Testament narratives, which are seldom related soberly, but are for the most part embellished, it needs scarcely a question, or the most cursory enquiry, as to whether or no they have passed from the Jews to Muhammad ; for the Christians, the only other possible source to which they could be attributed, bestowed very little attention in those days on the Old Testament, but in their narratives kept to what is strictly

1 Daniel, xii. 13. * Proverbs, xi. 4. 3 Isaiah, Iviii. 8.



Christian, viz., the events of the Life of Jesus, of His disciples and His followers, and of the multitude of subse- quent Saints and wonder-workers, which afforded them abundant material for manifold embellishments. The Christians, for all that they accepted the Old Testament as a sacred writing, and although in those days no doubt had arisen as to whether or no they were to put the Old Testament on a level with the New in respect of holiness and divine inspiration, a doubt which has been brought forward for example by Schleiermacher in later times, the Christians of that period, I say, had nevertheless a more lively interest in the New Testament, since it was the expression of their separation and independence. The Old Testament was common to them and the Jews, and indeed they could not deny to the latter a greater right of possession in it, for the Jews possessed it entirely, and were versed in it even to the minutest details, an intimate knowledge with which we cannot credit the Christians. Further, just those points in the Old Testament which were specially suited to the Christian teaching are found to be scarcely touched upon in the Quran ; thus, for instance, the narrative of the transgression of the first human pair is not at all represented as a fall into sin, involving the entire corruption of human nature which must afterwards be redeemed, but rather Muhammad contents himself with the plain, simple narration of the fact. This may be taken as an instance to prove that the narratives about persons mentioned in the Old Testament are almost all of Jewish origin, and this will be more clearly shewn when we come to details.

As we proceed to the enumeration of the individual borrowed stories, the necessity is forced upon us of arrang- ing them in some order. We have no reason for arranging them according to their sources, (Bible, Mishna, Gemara, Midrash, etc.) as Muhammad did not gain his knowledge of these narratives from any of these sources, but was taught


them all verbally by those round him, and so they were all of the same value for him, and were all called biblical; furthermore we must pay no attention to their contents, for the narratives are not given as supporting any doctrines of Islam, but are merely quoted as records of historical facts ; and even in those cases where they are intended to set forth a doctrine, it is almost always either that of the unity of God, or that of the Resur- rection of the dead. It appears therefore advisable to arrange them chronologically, by which means it will be most easy to recognize the numerous anachronisms among them. Either Muhammad did not know the history of the Jewish nation, which is very probable, or the narration of it did not suit his object, for only once is the whole history summed up in brief, 1 and only the events in the lives of a few persons are mentioned. In this chronological arrangement we shall have to pay more attention to the personal importance of individuals than to any changes in the condition and circumstances of the nation, and thus in this arrangement we shall have the following Divisions : 1. Patriarchs; 2. Moses; 3. The three Kings who reigned over the individed Kingdom, viz., Saul, David and Solomon ; and 4. Holy men who lived after them.


First Part.

Patriarchs : A. From Adam to Noah. The great event of the creation of the first man gavo occasion for much poetical embellishment. Before the appearance of Adam, the jealousy of the angels, who had counselled against his creation, was roused, and Grod shamed them by endowing Adam more richly with knowledge than any of them. In the Quran we have the following des- cription : 2 " When thy Lord, said unto the angels, ( I am

1 Suva XVII, 4-8. 2 Sura II, 28-32..


going to place a substitute on earth' ; they said, 'Wilt thon 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 know 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 answered : c Praise be unto thee, we have no knowledge but what thou teachest us, for thou art knowing and wise. 1 Grod said :

  • Adam, tell them their names ; ' and when he had told

them their names, Grod 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 ? ' " The corresponding Hebrew passage may be thus translated : ! " When the Holy One, blessed be He I would create man, he took counsel with the angels, and said to them : ' We will make man in our image ; ' 2 then they said : ' What is man that thou art mindful of him ? 3 What will be his peculiarity ? ' He said: 'His wisdom is greater than yours.' Then He brought beasts, cattle, and birds before them, and asked for their names, but they knew them not. But when He had

1 Midrash Babbah on Numbers, para. 19.

^baa n-$n HA niW? wn i

inn ]nb na^i hat? nn m DIS wi$]n ^ aJhag na '

teO n n-ioJ nt IDS tots? na nt ib

^KJ f? na TJ^?? na n^i. b^ n.ji D^D nt ' ^i??-na ^m nmn

1^15 ^ P"f nnsa? ^s

Compare .Midrash Kabbah on Genesis, para. 8 and 17, and also Sanhedrin 38. , 9 Genesis, I 26. 3 Psalm, viii. 5.


created man He caused the animals to pass before him and asked him for their names, and he replied : ' This is an ox, that an ass, this a horse and that a camel/ ' But what art thou called ? ; ' It is fitting that I should "be called earthy, for I am formed of the earth.' ( And I ? ' ' Thou art called LORD, for thou rulest all Thy creatures.' " From this arose the other legend 1 that God, after the creation of man, commanded the angels to fall down before him, which they all did except Iblis, 2 the devil. The legend bears unmistakeable marks of Christian development, in that Adam is represented in the beginning as the God-man, worthy of adoration, which the Jews are far from asserting. 3 It is true that in Jewish writings great honour is spoken of as shewn by the angels to Adam, but this never went so far as adoration; indeed when this was once about to take place in error, God frustrated the action. We find in Sanhedrin 29,4 Adam sat in the Garden of Eden, and the angels roasted flesh for him, and prepared cooling wine"; and in another passage it is said, 5 " After God had created man, the angels went astray in regard to him, and wanted to say before him,

1 Suras VII. 10-18, XV. 28-44, XVII. 63-68, XVIII. 48, XX. 115, XXXVIII. 71-86.

  • Sld/3o\o<i.

- a

3 The legend of the devil's refusal to worship Adam, given by me as a Christian one, was found by Zunz (" Die Gottesdienstlichen Vor trage der Juden," page 291. Note.) in the MS. Midrash of Eabbi Moses Haddarshan. who however lived in the eleventh century.


ib f*?s&iy\ iba ib

5 Midrash Eabbah on Genesis, para. 3.

n-iwn n sin

'n '2 'j?n nirro nn Em;? "ns 1 ? ibsb


Holy one! then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and

all knew that he was of earth." In favour of the Christian

Origin of this narrative we must count the fact that the

name used by Christians for the devil is the one used in

all the passages referred to instead of the general Hebrew

name. 1 From this event according to Muhammad arises

the hatred of the Devil against the human race, because

on their account he became accursed of God , and so his

. first work was to counsel man in the Garden of Eden 2 to

^ eat of the tree of knowledge. 3 In this narrative the

Devil is again given his Hebrew name, 4 and yet the first

explanation of the temptation through the snake as coming

from the Devil seems to be entirely Christian, as no such

reference is to be found in the older Jewish writings ; the

passage quoted below can only be regarded as a slight

allusion : 5 " From the beginning of the book up to this

point 6 no Samech is to be found ; as soon however as

woman is created, Satan (with the initial letter Sin w like

Samech D) is created also/' Still we find in a book which,

though forged, is undoubtedly old/ the following statement:

insfcead of

2 This proper name is never used by Muhammad in this narrative ;

fj 03 _

he uses throughout simply 1^, which shows that the Jews knew well the distinction between the home of our first parents and Paz-adise.

3 Suras VII. 18-25, XX. 115-127.


5 Midrash Rabbah on Genesis, para. 17.

sytf 753 tjep ^n? ps 73

6 Genesis, ii. 21.

7 Pirke Eabbi Eliezer, xiii.

n?rr ns rjtfi

G? ninan bs


" Saraael, the great prince in heaven, took his companions and went down and inspected all God\ creatures ; he found none more maliciously wise than the serpent, so he mounted it, and all that it said or did was at the instiga- tion of Samael. " * Thus this legend, even if not entirely Jewish, appears to have been derived by Muhammad from the Jews. In the details of this narrative some confusion is found between the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. The former only is mentioned in Scripture as prohibited by G-od, 2 and to the eating of that alone the serpent incites Eve. After the transgression has taken place, we find the fear mentioned lest men should eat of the tree of life and live for ever. 3 Muhammad confuses the two. In one passage he puts into the devil's mouth the statement that men through eating of this tree would become " Angels," or " immortal," 4 but in another passage he mentions only the tree of eternity. 5 All the rest of the history of the first human pair is omitted, and

nyra? iv? b^i v^y 3J7j nbs ttfn^

bwao buj inv^n sb nbs

1 To the same effect Muhammad ben Kais (vide Elpherar on VII. 21) :

  • y^ ^ JV* \^/\ ^ L&$ JVS a

" His Lord called to him : ' Adam, why hast thou eaten of that, when I had forbidden it to thee ?' He replied, 'Lord, Eve gave it to me.' Then said He to Eve : ' Why didat thou give it to him ?' she replied, ' The snake commanded me to do it.' Then said He to the snake : ' Why didst thou command it ?' ' The devil ordered me to do it.' "

See also Abulfedae Historia Anteislamica, Fleischer's edition, page 12.

2 Genesis, ii. 17,andiii. 5.

3 Genesie, iii. 22.

4 Sura VII. 19. $ or

  • Sura XX. 118.


only one event in the life of Cain and Abel is depicted. This is depicted for us quite in its Jewish colours. In this passage, and indeed throughout the Quran, they are called sons of Adam, but in later Arabic writings 1 their names are given as Qabil and Habil, which are clearly chosen out of love for the rhyming sounds. The one event mentioned is their sacrifice and the murder which it led to. 2 Muhammad makes them hold a conversation before the murder, and one is likewise given in the Jerusalem Targum 3 on the strength of the words in Genesis, " Cain said unto Abel his brother." Still, the matter of the conversation is given so differently in each case that we do not consider it worth while to compare the two passages more closely. , After the murder, according to the Quran, Grod sent a raven which scratched the earth to shew Cain how to bury Abel. What is here attributed to Cain is ascribed by the Jews to his parents, and in a Eabbinical writing we find the following passage: 4 "Adam and his companion sat weeping and mourning for him (Abel) and did not know what to do with him, as burial was unknown to them. Then came a raven, whose companion was dead, took its

1 See Abnlfeda Historia Anteislamica, Fleischer's Edition, page 12, for JA>G) T Jloii. D'Herbelot Bibliotheque Orientale under the heading

Cabil calls attention to the possibility that in the word Cabil the derivation from J** is kept to. Cf . Genesis, iv. 1.

2 Genesis, iv. 3-9. Cf. Sura V. 30-36.

3 Commonly called Pseudo-Jonathan.

4 Pirke R. Eliezer, chapter xxi.

yfa MS rrT-njpa o^n? >n tfbttf bsn 1 ? nibi?b rn$

$ 'inb?? n^b T nfefs ^ rnfas a -ID



body, scratched in the earth and hid it before their eyes; then said Adam, I shall do as this raven has done, and at once he took Abel's corpse, dug in the earth and hid it." In the Quran a verse follows * which, without knowledge of the source from which it has come, seems to stand in no. connection with what has gone before, but which will be made clear by the following explanation. The verse according to my translation runs thus : " Wherefore we commanded the children of Israel, that he who slayeth a soul, without having slain a soul, or committed wicked- ness 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." One perceives here no connec- tion at all, if one does not consider the following Hebrew passage : 2 " We find it said in the case of Cain who murdered his brother : The voice of thy brother's bloods crieth. 3 It is not said here Uood in the singular, but bloods in the plural, i.e., his own blood and the blood of his seed. Man was created single in order to show that to him who kills a single individual, it shall be reckoned that he has slain the whole race ; but to him who preservos the life of a single individual it is counted that he hath preserved the whole race." By this comparison it is made clear what led Muhammad to this general digression ; he had evidently received this rule from his informants when they related to him this particular event. Another

1 Sura V. 35. 8 Mishna Sanhedrin IV. 5.

vpi Vi la -iB

ii DTI nn

3 Genesis, iv. 10, not D"T (singular), but iffi (plural). Compare the translation of Onkelos. L


allusion to Cain is found in the Quran in. a passage where he is called the man " who has seduced among men." l No one else is mentioned in this period excepting Idris 2 who, according to the commentators, is Enoch. This seems probable from the words, 3 " And we uplifted him to a place on high," and also from a Jewish writing in which he is counted among the nine who went to Paradise alive. Jalalu'ddin brings this point even more prominently forward : 4 "He lived in Paradise where he had been brought after he had tasted death ; he was quickened however, and departed not thence again." He appears to have gained his name 5 on account of the knowledge of the Divine Law attributed to him. Elpherar remarks : " He was called Idris (searcher) on account of his earnest search in the revealed Scriptures." It is remarkable that in both these passages of the Quran 6 he is mentioned after Ishmael.

1 Sura XLT. 92. yjjfc* J^ ^jj?

- a ~ -

2 JM.O\ Suras XIX. 57, 58 j XXI. 85, 86.

- a

Elpherar on Sura XIX. 57 says :

" He is the grandfather of the father of Noah, his name is Enoch ;" which name Abulfeda (Hist. Anteislamica page 14.) spells ^ and

expressly remarks : &*$* U } fo ^^ Sl^ ^ " With an unpointed ha, nun, waw, and a pointed ha 5" and later he adds y>*o\ JJ>. y^ C\ .

3 f p — G- ,-

3 Sura XIX. 58. Uc U\X sUi^. Compare Genesis, v. 24 and the Tract Derech Erez cited in Midrash Talknt, chap. XLII.

4 In Maraccio.

5 ( _ r >^\ is derived from y*,j Elpherar on XIX. 57


6 Suras XIX. 55, 56 j XXI. 85.


B.From Noah to Abraham.

The corruption which spread in the time of Noah is not described with any details in the Quran, and one event which is stated by the Eabbis to have taken place at this period is transferred by Muhammad to Solomon's time, to which he considered it better suited, as it treats of angels and genii. The Rabbinical passage runs thus : l " Rabbi Joseph was asked by his scholars : ( What is Azael ? ' and he answered : When men at the time of the Flood practised idolatry, God was grieved at it, and two angels, Shamhazai and Azael, said to him : ' Lord of the world, did

1 Midr. Abhkhir quoted in Midr. Yalknfc Chap. XLIV.

^itf 133 dnb 115^ bwro TO

n;rr nnt .

no qbbis n nnai? ^j^s 1 ? WJDM ribq nV ? 's-j ib sn^ vb^ wn < ; n Dbfai. nnb ntt


dri DM ^cb 5^ ^4 '.y ' "la vn^po ^i? ' D"j^ ^a D^J? Dn^ni ^7? "^ QDS tsbtt; n;n VT!

in. 'b '

ib n^iaw tb ^ao^n NM na w! ina

T J T 'IT" T T T "* ' T

^ ^jrib 'in nb3? nri^ oJ-nbi? Dtj?n ^i^irf Tat? Vi'w nn^in d^ irris mab sim.5V

n 'a 'p r n IQH

n'iB> ^ri

^n taxia

bp nn

Compare Yoma 67. 2. and Rashi, Zohar on Genesis, i. 26,


we not say unto Thee at the creation : ' What is man that Thou art mindful of him ? ' But He said : ' What shall become of the world ? ' They answered : ' We would have made use of it.' ' But it is well-known to Me that, if you lived on the earth, lust would overcome you, and you would become even worse than man/ ' Then give us permission fco live with men, and Thou wilt see how we shall sanctify Thy name.' ' Go and live with them.' Then Shamhazai saw a maiden by name Istahar. He cast his eyes on her and said : ' Listen to me j ' to which she replied : ' I will not listen to thee until thou teachest me the explicit name of God, through the mention of which thou risest to heaven/ He taught her this name which she then uttered and rose unspotted to heaven. Then God said : ' Because she turned herself from sin, well ! fasten her between the seven stars, that ye may enjoy her for ever ' ; and so she was fastened into the Pleiades. But they lived in immorality with the daughters of men, for these were beautiful, and they could not tame their lusts. Then they took wives and begat sons, Hiwwa and Hiyya. Azael was master of the meritricious arts and trinkets of women which beguile men to immoral thoughts/' It is evident that this story is alluded to in the passage in the Quran, 2 where the two angels Harnt and Marut are said to have taught men a charm by which they might cause division between a man and his wife. 3 During this state of

1 Psalm, viii. 6. Sura II. 96.

3 This connection and comparison which might well appear very doubt- ful, and which seemed even to me at first nothing more than a conjecture, receives full corroboration from that which later Arabian authors, quite in harmony with the Mid. Yalkut, say about the angels. We find in Maraccius Prodromi iv, 82, the following :

JIB J-jJ\ f*P\*. JJ|j f*\ ^ f& Q* &3U\ ui^tefi ^U.* Jtt j


corruption of morals Noah appears, teaching men and seeking by exhortation to turn them from their evil ways. He builds himself the Ark and is saved, while the rest of the people perish. 1 His whole appearance as an admon- isher and seer is not Biblical but Kabbinical, and serves Muhammad's ends perfectly, as Noah in this way is a type of himself. According to rabbinical writings, 2 Job, xii. 5 refers to Noah, " who rebuked them and spake to them words as severe as flames, but they scorned him and said : ' Old man, for what purpose is this ark ?' He, however, said: ' Grod is going to bring a flood upon you. 5 " Other particulars

" Mujahid says : The angels wondered at the wickedness of the sons of Adam, for Apostles had already been sent to them ; then their Lord (God) said to them : ' Choose out two of you, and I will send tKem that they may judge upon earth.' Then Harut and Marut were chosen, and they judged righteously, till Zahrah (the star Venus, just like the Yalkutish IH^pH. like nflp^ the Persian &j* and the Greek

dcmjp) . In Job xxxi. 26 the Targum puts "inflDM for the Hebrew *liN) came in the form of a most beautiful woman and complained about her husband. They were led astray by her and lusted after her, bnfc she fled and went back to where she was before .... Muhammad says : ' Yahya states on another authority than that of Mnjahid, that the woman through whom they were led astray was a human woman.' The union of these two views is to be found in the passages quoted from Midrash Yalkut.

1 Suras YII. 57-68, X. 7275, XI. 2760, XXII. 43, XXIII. 28-82. XXV. 39, XXVI. 105-121, XXIX. 13. 14, XXXVII. 73-81, LIV. 9-18, LXXI. 1 end.

8 Sanhedrin 108. (Oomp. Midrash Kabbah on Genesis, paras. 80 and 33, also on Ecclesiastes, ix, 14.)

lib; flfcjtf ninips 1 ? wa T5b dniw

r drib i?n dnb -i niab it n^n ^pjr f?

'n 'a


also accord with Rabbinical tradition, e.g., "The people laughed at the ark," 1 accords with " They mocked and laughed at him in their words." ""The waters of the Flood were hot," 2 with " The generation of the deluge was punished with hot water." Still many inaccuracies and perversions are to be found ; for instance, Muhammad makes Noah to have lived 950 years before the Flood, 3 whereas this is really the whole term of his life j and he represents one of Noah's sons as disobedient to him, and states that this same son did not follow him into the Ark, but believed himself safe on a mountain peak. 4 This idea probably arose from a misunderstanding of Ham's evil conduct after the Deluge. 5 Muhammad also makes out Noah's wife to have been unbelieving, 6 although he is silent as to wherein her unbelief consisted ; and I can find no reason for this statement, which is not men- tioned either in the Bible or in the Rabbinical writings.

Sura XI, 40 Of. Midr. Tanchuma, Section Noah.

9 Sura XI. 42. and XXIII. 27. jjwft ;&J Cf. Rosh Eashanah 16, 2, and Sanhedrin 108.

The Arabic Commentators seem to me to have quite misunderstood these passages, since they assume fabulous references. Our explanation, which is justified by a figurative interpretation of the words ' And the oven glows,' appears to me sufficiently confirmed by a comparison with the Talmudic utterance. Also D'Herbelot (Bib. Orient. Noah, page 671,) understands^!*^ JtiJ in this way.

8 Sura XXIX. 18. Cf . Genesis, ix, 29.

4 Sura XI. 44, 45, 48.

5 Genesis, ix. 22 ff.

The commentators actually call this son Canaan, /.jljuS' (compare Genesis, ix. 25 ff ) although they, like the Bible, do not reckon any son of this name in their enumeration of the sons, but count these three only, viz. e^\?,_j ,U> ^ fL,

6 Sura LX VI, 10,


Perhaps Muhammad was misled by the analogy of the wife of Lot, who is mentioned in the same context. While these variations are due to errors and to the confusion of different times and events, others are to be ascribed to deliberate : alteration and elaboration. And of this kind are those details not mentioned in Jewish History, which represent Noah as one occupying the same position as Muhammad and speaking in his spirit. This applies particularly to that which is put into his mouth as admonisher. This is the case not only with Noah, but with all who appear in the character of the righteous in any evil age. Thus he puts into the mouth of Luqman, as a wise man known to the Arabs, 2 words suitable to his own circum- stances and opinions, and the same thing happens in the case of Noah and the other preachers of Jewish history to whom he alludes. Noah although he worked no miracle, was savedvin a miraculous way, and so Muhammad cannot put into his mouth the .same words which he uses of himself, as well as ascribes to other forerunners of himself after Noah's time, viz., that he is a mere preacher ; yet he makes him say everything which is not clearly contrary to the historical facts related about him. He was only an unimportant man, 3 and did not pretend to be any one wonderful or supernatural. 4 But he was divinely commissioned to warn the people, and for this he asked no reward. 5 sancta simplicitas I one woald exclaim in considering this last point, if Muhammad had written it down with full consideration of Noah's position as one threatening the world with punishment, and if it had not been rather that he saw everything from his own distorted point of

1 The word "deliberate" is to be understood in the sense already sufficiently explained in the First Division, Third Section, so that we may use it from now on without further explanatory comment.

8 Sura XXXI. 11 ff. 3 Sura VII. 61. 4 Sura XI. 33.

5 Sura XI. 31. and XXYI. 109.


view, and was determined to make every thing accord with his ideas. In another place he goes so far as to interpolate a verse into Noah's discourse, which is entirely characteristic of his own, and in which the little word (translated "speak") 1 actually occurs, which is always regarded as a word of address to Muhammad from God (or Gabriel). The same thing will be noted further on in the case of Abraham.

After Noah the next mentioned is Had 2 who is evidently the Biblical Eber. 3 This seems a striking example of the ignorance of Muhammad, or, as it appears to me more probable here, of the Jews round about him. According to the Babbinical opinion 4 the name Hebrew is derived from Eber, but in later times this name was almost entirely forgotten and the name Jew 5 was commonly used. The Jews, to whom it was known that their name was derived from an ancestor, believed that the name in question was that in use at the time, and that the ancestor therefore was this patriarch Hud. 6 His time is that in which a second punitive judgment from God on account of bold, insolent behaviour is mentioned in the Scripture,

i y t XI. 37. Of. XXIX. 19- 2

3 -Q$ 4

Compare Mid. Kabbah on Genesis, para. 42



" Abram was called the Hebrew because he was descended from Eber." (Genesis, xiv. 13.).

S j~

t iTflj-p Yahudi. Among the Arabs sometimes o*& Yahud, more

o > '* often oyj> Hud.

6 Elpherar (on Sura VII. 63) gives along with an incorrect genealogy the following correct one, py ^ *L ^ A&asijt ^ ^JL. 0^ and the author of the book ^A^\ <!M says directly " Hud is y^c."

(Mar. Prod, iv. 92.)


and this is treated of in several chapters of the Quran. 1 In order to have the right to refer what is said about Hfid to the time of the confusion of tongues, or, as the Rabbis call it, the Dispersion, 2 we must adduce some particulars which point to this reference, for the statements are very general in their -ten our and might be referred to other occurrences. The following verse 3 possibly refers to the building of the Tower : " And ye erect magnificent works, hoping that ye may continue for ever." The Arabic commentators take it that the buildings would afford them a perpetual dwelling-place, but the verse might also mean, " make by building it an everlasting name for yourselves." The neighbourhood is called in the Quran the " Possessor of Pillars. 4 In one passage 5 there appears to be a reference to Nimrod, who lived at this time and in this region, since the children of Ad are here reproached for obeying the command of every contumacious hero. 6 The idea that they were idolators, which is brought up against them in all the passages in the Quran, agrees perfectly with the Rabbinical view expressed as follows : 7 " And it came to

1 Suras VII. 63-71, XI. 5264, XXII. 43, XXIII. 33-44, XXV. 40, XXVI. 128 141, XXIX, 37, XXXVIII. 11, XL, 32, XLL 12-16, XLVI. 2026, L. 13, LI. 41, 42, Mil. 50, LIV. 18-22, LXIX. 4-9, LXXXTX. 5-9.

3 Sura XXVI. 129. g

4 Sura LXXXIX. 6. o\i*5l L>\3 Of, Genesis xi. 4.

Sura XI, 62, Jujs-e \ljij- J^ v*\ \**i'\

  • ~ f "

Compare Genesis, x. 8, 9, where Nimrod's surname is always

6 D'Herbelot, under the heading Nimrod, asserts that the Arabians connect Nimrod with the building of the Tower.

7 Midr. Rabbah on Genesis, xi. 2, par. 38.



pass when they journeyed from the beginning (East), that is to say, when they withdrew themselves from Him Who is the beginning of the world." Muhammad says of these people l that they built an (idolatrous) symbol on every high place in order to play there (i.e. to practice idolatry). And the Eabbis tell us 2 that the race of the dispersion contemplated building a tower and putting an idol on its summit. Resemblances are also to be found with reference to the punishment which overtook them. Muhammad tells us 3 they were followed in this world by a curse, and that they shall be followed by the same on the day of resurrection, and the Eabbis say 4 that the race of the dispersion had no part in the next world, for the twice-mentioned dispersion applies to this world and the other. In Muhammad's treatment the essential point of the punishment is lost sight of, for instead of describing it as a simple dispersion and confusion of tongues, he speaks of an absolute annihilation of the sinners by a poisonous wind. 5 One sees at once the mistaken source from which this change is derived. We recognize partly from our knowledge of Muhammad's motives in making the alteration, and partly from the minuteness with which

1 Sura XXVI. 128. $& HTj g*, JSJ ^y^f Compare to play, Exodus, xxxii. 6.

Sura XI. 63. XsJT ' Il*5 f^

4 Mishna Sanhedrin X. 3. Genesis, xi. 8, 9.

^"fr 1 ? pl?D n


5 Suras XLT. 15, XLVI. 23 ff. LI. 41, LIV. 19, LXIX. 6 ff.


the new punishment is described, which would not have been accorded to a fiction. It appears therefore that the history reached this development in the mouth of the people, who delight in minute descriptions of punishment. The remaining deviations and additions, particularly the latter, are caused, as we have already remarked in .the case of Noah, by confusion with Muhammad's own time and person. This is the case when he transfers unbelief in the resurrection to the time of Had and counts it among the sin's of that time which were worthy of punishment. 1 This is seen too especially in the great importance assigned to Eber and to his desire to turn the people from their evil ways. Decided traces of this are certainly to be found in Jewish writings, 2 where we are told that Eber was a great prophet, who by the Holy Spirit called his son Pelag, because in his days the earth was divided 3 (which Eber had known beforehand) . Much also is said of the school of Eber, and Rebekah is said to have gone there ; for it is written : " She went to enquire of the Lord," 4 and Jacob is supposed to have stayed there for fourteen years. But of the fact that Eber preached to the people, he being their brother (on which Muhammad places great stress, because he himself was sent as an Arab to the Arabs) , not a trace is to be found, still less of the fact that he took no reward from them .5 One point still remains to be cleared up, why the race under discussion is called in the

1 Sura XXIII. 87.

2 Seder 'Olam quoted in Midi-ash Yalkut, Chap. 62.


3 Genesis, x, 25.

4 Genesis, xxv. 22. Midr. Eabbah on Genesis, par, 68. Also par, 68. for Jacob's sojourn in the home of Eber,

6 Sura XI, 58, XXYI, 127.


Quran the people of Ad. 1 The commentators state that Ad was the son of Uz, the son of Aram, the son of Shem, the son of Noah; and Muhammad seems also to have been of this opinion, whence it comes that he transfers the events to the land of Aram or Iram. 2 Nevertheless it seems to have come about chiefly from the fact that all these occur- rences are described with an- Arabian colouring, and so they were attributed to Arab tribes, amongst which an ancient extinct one had the name of Ad ; 3 perhaps in it there is also an etymological reference to a " return" to the early evil conduct of the generation of the Deluge. In another passage there is an allusion to this occurrence, 4 where the fact itself is brought forward much more in accordance with the Biblical account, but quite without specification of time or. persons: "Their predecessors devised plots heretofore, but Grod came into their building to overthrow it from the foundation, and the roof fell on them from above and a punishment came upon them which they did not expect." On this Elpherar remarks : 5 " These are Nimrod, the son of Canaan, who built a tower in Babel in order that he might mount to heaven" ; and farther : " And when the tower fell the language of men became confused, and so they could not finish it ; then they spoke seventy-three languages, on this account the city was called Babel (confusion), before this the language of men was Syriac." The Rabbis, too, assert that before this

2 Suva LXXXIX. 6.


3 Poo. Spec., p. 3. Siira XVI. 28.



men spoke in Hebrew, but afterwards in seventy languages. Jalalu'd-din says the same thing, 1 and adds that Nimrod built the Tower " in order that he might mount out of it into heaven to wage war with the inhabitants thereof." 2 But the identity of this narrative with that of Hnd and Ad is no more accepted by Abulf eda 3 than it is by Elpherar and Jalalu'd-din, even on the view that Hnd is the same as Bber. Although the colouring of this narrative as given in the Qur&n differs much from that of the Biblical account, yet the identity of the two can be shown by putting this and that together, and by ex- plaining the way in which the individual differences arose. But in the case of another narrative which follows this one in almost all the passages of the Quran, 4 it is very difficult to find out the subject of which it treats and the Bible characters to which it refers. This narrative is about Samud, 5 -which like Ad is an ancient extinct Arab tribe, 6 to whom their brother Salih was sent when they fell into sin. 7 Salih is said to have exhorted the Sanrddites to righteousness and to have commended to them a certain she-camel as especially under divine protection j

1 Maracc. on the passage. 2

3 Hist. Anteislamica, pp. 18 and 20.

4 Except in Suras L. 12, and LXIX. 4, where it precedes. In the former of these two passages it precedes the story of the Hidianites also, and thus no chronological order is followed. In Suras LI. 43 and LIII. 61, it actually precedes the story of the Deluge, and in Sura LXXXV. 18 Pharoah is placed before Samud on account of the rhyme.

J *' -

s o*> Samud, ^JUj S&lih.

6 Poo. Spec., p. 8.

7 The passages which treat of this are the following : Suras VII. 7178, XI. 64-72, XXII. 43, XXV. 40, XXVI. 141160, XXVII. 4655, XXIX. 37, XXXVIII. 12, XL. 32, XLI. 1218, L. 12, LI. 43-46, LIII. 51, LTV, 23-33, LXIX, 4-6, LXXXV. 18, LXXX1X. 8, XCI, 11-16,


he even bade them share water with her. 1 But the unbe- lievers of his time (according to one passage 2 only nine in number) hamstrung her, and so divine punishment over- took them. I find no similar occurrence in Jewish writings, but the likeness of the name points to Shelah 3 who how- ever, as the father of Eber, would have deserved mention before him. 4 On the whole, the word is so general in its meaning of " a pious man " that we cannot treat it here with certainty as having been originally a proper name. 5 Perhaps the story of the houghing is founded on the words in Jacob's blessing of his sons, 6 and the sharing of the water on the etymology of the name Samfid. 7 Moreover Sanrad was, according to the commentators, the son of Gether the son of Aram, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, which fits in fairly well with the date already assigned to Shelah. 8 It is however impossible

1 Sura LIV 28, XCI. 12.

2 Sura XXVII. 49.

3 nli? See Genesis, x. 24. This is also D'Hevbelot's view. See his Bib. Orient, tinder Salih.

4 Ismail ben 'All asserts however that Sdlih lived after Hud. (Maraco. Prodr., iv. 93).

5 Later Arabians call Shelah also JLi as in the passage quoted above from Elpherar, who gives however a different genealogy for Salih in his comment on Sura VII. 71. Still, in a copy of the Samaritan Arabic translation of the Pentateuch !~lb$> is translated by e^". (Compare De Saoy in Eiohhorn's BiUioihelc der Bill, liter., X, pp. 47, 110, 111.)

6 Genesis, xlix, 6. "fitf snj

7 From & ' to demand water."

8 The *.sS\ v^ ^ mentioned in Sura XV. 80 are supposed to be the

same as the Samudites, as Elpherar also says ; but this opinion has no foundation and appears improbable, because in this passage where chrono- logical order seems to be observed, the stories of Abram and the Angels, of Lot in connection with Abram, and of the Midianites are given earlier.


for rae to give any more exact explanation from Jewish writings.

C. Abraham to Moses.

Though the saints mentioned earlier bore some likeness to Muhammad, and though their condition, so similar to his own, encouraged him as well as verified his statements, yet Abraham * was his great prototype, the man of whom he thought most highly, and the one with whom he liked best to compare himself and to make out as one with him- self in opinion. Abraham's faith 2 is that which is preached in the Quran. 3 He was a believer in the unity of God. 4 He was neither Jew nor Christian for it is written : 5 <c Abraham was not a Jew, nor a Christian, but he was a believer in the unity of God, given up to God (a Muslim)." 6

2 E. 3 Sura XVI. 124

a 4 JLbL Sura II. 129, III. 60, VI. 79, XVI. 121, 124.


5 Sura II. 134,

6 On this Baidhawi has the following :

" The Jews and the Christians disputed about Abraham, and each party believed they could count him on their side. They appealed to Muhammad and thereupon came this revelation. The meaning is, that Judaism and Christianity first came into existence by the sending of the Law through Moses and the Gospel through Jesus." That this is the Jewish view is shown by the following passage :

" Our forefather Abraham observed the whole Law, for it is written (Genesis, xxvi. 5.) : " Because Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws." (Yoma r xxviii. 2).


He is represented as the friend of God, 1 and this is his name throughout the East. 2 Abraham's importance and the rich legendary material concerning him, which Judaism offered, lead us to expect much about him in the Qurdn, and our expectation is not disappointed. It is to him that the founding of the Ka'bah is traced back. 3 He is supposed to have lived in the Temple, 4 and to have composed books. 5 This opinion is also held by the Eabbis, many of whom attribute to Abraham the well-known cabalistic and undoubtedly very ancient Sepher Jazirah. Passing to the events of his life, we first come across the beautiful legend of his attaining to the true knowledge of Glod. We are told also how he tried to persuade his father and his people thereto. A special instance of this was when he destroyed the idols, and, putting the staff into the hand of the largest, attributed the action to him. He sought thus to convince the people, who quite perceived the impossibility of the idols having done it, since they could not move, but they were not thereby persuaded. 6 Abraham is represented as praying in vain that his father might be released from the punishment of hell. 7 We are told too that the people, embittered by Abraham's conduct towards the idols, wanted to have him burnt alive, but that he was rescued from that fate by divine intervention. 8 The whole story is taken from the Eabbinical writings, where we read as follows. 9 " Terah was an idolater : once

8 Sura IV. 124,

3 Sura II. 119 ff . 4 Sura XIV. 40. 5 LXXXVII. 19.

6 Saras VI. 74-82, XIX. 4251, XXI. 5269, XXII. 43, XXVI. 69 105, XXIX. 15-23, XXXVII. 81 95, XLIII. 25-28, LX. 4-6.

7 Suras IX. 115, XXVI. 86104, LX. 4. Sunna 395.

8 Suras II. 260, XXI. 69-74, XXIX. 2327, XXXVII. 9599.

9 Midrash B/abba on Genesis, para. 38,

rrn a>D^ 132 n-y-j


he went away and left Abraham to sell his idols, When- ever a buyer came, Abraham asked him his age. If he replied, I am fifty, or sixty years old, Abraham said : ' Woe to the man of sixty who desires to worship the work of a day, so that the buyer went away ashamed.' * Once a woman came, with a dish of wheat and said, c Here, put this before them ; ' but Abraham took a stick and beat down all the .

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TT; ^3^19 ^b^? 1 ! ft n.iqjzi^a n^^ nb$ s^i.


Abnlfeda (Hist. AnteisUmica, page 20) says :

S. 8j-a> U ^JjXAA ^ J n>

" Azar the father of Abraham made idols and served them and bade Abraham sell them, but Abraham, said ; ' Who would buy that which harms him and does him no good ?' "


idols, and put the stick into the Lands of the largest idol. When his father returned, he said, f Who has done this ?' On which Abraham replied, c Why should I deny it ? ' A woman came with a dish of wheat and bade me set it in front of them. I had scarcely done so when each wanted to eat before the other, and the greatest beat them all down with -the stick which he had in his hand. Terah said : ' What art thou inventing for me ? Have they then understanding ? ' Abraham replied. 'Do thine ears not hear what thy mouth says ? ; Then Terah took him and gave him over to Nimrod, who said : ' We will worship fire.' Abraham said: 'Bather water, which extinguishes fire.' Nimrod replied : e Water then.' 'Bather the cloud which carries water.' ' The cloud then.' ' Bather the wind which scatters the cloud.' 'The wind then.' 'Bather men, who endure the wind.' Nimrod at this became angry and said: 'Thou art only making a speech. I worship fire and will throw thee into it. The God whom thou dost worship may come and save thee out of it.' Abraham was then thrown into a glowing furnace, but was saved from it." The intercession for his father is not men- tioned in Jewish writings; and that this was fruitless, yea that Abraham, arriving at a clearer understanding, desisted from his attempt, 1 seems to directly contradict the Jewish view as expressed in the following passage. 2 " By the words, thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, it was shown to Abraham that his father was a partaker in eter- nal life." Further, a Babbinical saying 3 declares as a general rule that " the son makes the father clean, but not the father the son." But Muhammad very often combats

Stira IX. 115. 2 Midrash Rabba on Genesis, para. 38.

vnw 1 ? tfyg Hpa oWs Tfltafe? ^ ta$

See Genesis, xv. 15. NSH 3 Sanhedrin 104.


this view and the similar one that the merits of ancestors count for good to their posterity. 1 For example he says : " That people (the Patriarchs) are now passed away ; they have what they gained and ye shall have what ye gain, and ye shall not be questioned concerning that which they have done." 2 That Muhammad brings forward a dialogue be- tween Abraham and the people, where the Midrash has one with his father only, is explained by the fact that Abraham is intended to be a type of Muhammad, and so it is neces- sary that he should be represented as a public preacher. Another circumstance which is mentioned in the Qur&u, viz., that Lot became a believer with and through Abraham, 3 may possibly have arisen from a passage in the Midrash immediately following that quoted above, which says that Haran the father of Lot was at first irresolute, but turned to Abraham's opinion after the deliverance of the latter. Haran however failed in the ordeal of fire to which he was then subjected. The idea of Lot's conversion, however, is chiefly derived from the account given of his subsequent life, in which he shows himself to be a pious man ; and it is probably for this reason that Muhammad connects him with the event just related. Muhammad appears sometimes to have so confounded himself with Abraham that, in the middle of speeches ascribed to the latter, he indulges in digressions unsuitable to any but himself, and thus falls from the part of narrator into that of admonisher. In one passage 4 a long description of Hell and Paradise is found, and in another, 5 the declaration that those who came before had also been charged with imposture. No doubt Abraham might have said this with reference to Noah, Hnd and Salih ; still the words here seem rather forced into his speech, and indeed in one verse we find the word " say " which is to be regarded in the Quran as the stand-

9 Sura II, 128, 1S5. 3 Suras XXI. 71, XXIX. 25. 4 Sura XXVI. 88104. 5 Sura XXIX. 17-23.


ing address of God (or Gabriel) to Muhammad. 1 This view renders it unnecessary to adopt the desperate expedi- ent of Wahl, who supposes a transposition of verses, or an interpolation. The true explanation is rather Muhammad's entire identification of Abraham with himself. Further, he is not content with making Abraham preach against idolatry, he represents him also as teaching the doctrine of the Eesurrection of the dead. 2 The lack however of full certainty about this doctrine 3 caused Abraham, according to the Muhammadan view, to pray for a tangible proof of it, and then was vouchsafed to him what the Eabbis call 4 the " covenant between the divided pieces." 5

He was convinced through the fact that the divided birds came together again and became living, 6 a view which is foreign to Judaism. How Muhammad came to call Abraham's father, (whose name is given in the Bible as Terah, 7 Azar 8 is at first sight not clear, but is completely explained when we consider the source 9 of his informa- tion, namely Busebius. In his Church History, Eusebius calls him Athar 10 which is an easy transition from Thara,

1 Compare above on Noah. 2 Suras II. 260, XXVI. 81

3 Baidhawi says on Sura II. 262 :

JUii \#*> J\ C )^ ty- W & \ J


" It is said bhat, after Nimrod had said : ' I make alive and I kill,' (II. 260), Abraham answered : ' Quickening is brought about by the return of the spirit to the body,' Nimrod replied : ' Hast thou then seen that ? ' Abraham could not answer in the affirmative and had to pass over to another argument, On this he prayed to the Lord for some revelation, in order that his mind might be easy about an answer to this question, if it were put to him again."

4 d^ri5!l V% fivn Genesis, xv. 9. ff. 6 Sura II. 262.

7 nnfr 8 Sura VL ? 4 - }$ 9 Pointed out by Maraoc. Prodr., iv. 90. 10 'A#ap from <9ap, hence Arabic, ;j\


and then the Greek Athar was easily converted into the Arabic Azar. 1 The reason which is given by some Arabic commentators 2 is ridiculous. They maintain that Azar is like Yazzar, 3 and that this means: 4 "0, perverted one, 0, erring one ; " and Abraham is supposed to have thus addressed his idolatrous father. 5 We now pass on to the more mature married life of Abraham and come to his meeting with the angels, 6 whom he receives as guests. 7 Abraham took them for Arabs, was much surprised that they did not eat and stepped back in fear, whereupon they announced to him that he would have a son and told him also of the coming destruction of Sodom. In one passage of the Talmud 8 we read : " They appeared to him nothing else but Arabs;" and in another passage 9 it is said

1 According to the T&rikh Muntakhab, Azar was the father of Tharah (D'Herbelot Bib. Orient, under Abraham, page 11).

2 Tide Maraco. on the passage. 3 ^ * JU> \> g^ l>

5 But later Arabs know the right name fy\3 , too, though strange to say whenever they speak of Abraham they use the name $, but when on other occasions they mention Abraham's father, they call him by the other name. Thus Elpherar on Sura VII. 78 : j\y ^ 0\tVe> ^ LJ ^fi>^\ ^^ 0*\ The last 0$\ here refers again to Lofc, (which is shown by the manner of writing ^\ with an alif ) just as later Abraham is called the *e , uncle of Lot. Also on Sura XXI. 71. Elpherar has the following : UgS 0\; s***^ y^ y*> 0^ ) fcj^' & 0^ 04

Attention is more rarely called to the fact that both names are the same. See Elpherar on Sura XXXI. 11 where in giving the genealogy ofLuqm&n. Hesaysjj^yij tfi. See also Abulfeda Hist. Anteisldmica, pp. 18 and 20,

6 Sura XI. 72. ULj , on which Elpherar remarks : &W\ J~,j5U ^ " By messengers he means Angels."

7 Genesis, xviii. Suras XI. 72-79, XV. 51-61, XXIX. 30-82, LI. 24-38.

8 Qiddushin 52. d^^y 1 ? Sv> f? *iQFp, ^b

9 BabaMezia,86. 2.


" The angels descended and ate. They ate ? No, but it appeared as though they ate and drank." There is only one error to be found in the account as .given in the Quran. The doubt as to whether in the advanced age of the pair a son could come into the world (which in other passages and in the Bible is put into the mouth of Sarah) is here uttered by Abraham, but in very mild words. 1 - It is true that in the other Biblical account of the promise to Abraham, he himself is represented as doubting God's word. 2 In other passages the position of words and clauses might give rise to many errors, if we did not know the story better beforehand from the Bible. Thus in one passage 3 the laughter of Abraham's wife is given before the announcement is made, which leads the Arabic com- mentators to manifold absurd guesses. Elpherar by the side of these explanations (many of them quite wanting in truth) gives the right one in the following words : 4 " Bin 'Abbas and "W&hib say : ' she laughed from astonishment that she should have a child, for both she and her husband were of a great age.' Then the verse was transposed, but it ought to run thus : ' And his wife stood while We promised him Isaac, and after Isaac, Jacob, and then she laughed.' " It might seem that this son who was promised to Abraham was with deliberate forgery identified with Ishmael, because he is regarded as the ancestor of the Arabs; and so too the ensuing temptation 5 connected with the sacrifice of his son is made to refer to Ishmael.

1 Sura XV. 54. ff. 2 Genesis, xvij. 17. 3 Sura XI. 74


5 This is referred to in general terms in Sura II. 118, thus :

Of. Mishna Aboth. v. 8.


Ground for this acceptation is given in another passage, 1 when after the dispute about the idols has been related, we read from v. 99 as follows : " Wherefore We acquainted him that he should have a son who should be a meek youth, and when he had attained to years of discre- tion Abraham said unto him : ' 0, my son ! I saw

in a dream that I should offer thee in sacrifice.' " He declared himself ready, on which Abraham heard a voice telling him that he had already verified the vision ; and a noble victim ransomed him. And then the passage con- tinues : 2 " And We rejoiced him with the promise of Isaac, a righteous prophet ; and We blessed him and Isaac ; and of their offspring were some righteous doers, and others who manifestly, injured their own souls." That the announce- ment of Isaac first appears here is a proof that the preceding context 3 refers to Ishmael. It is therefore evident that according to Muhammad's representation the sacrificial action was performed on Ishmael, and further on this will be shown more in detail. But it is not clear that the announcement of the angels refers to him, seeing that in one of the three places where the same word 4 is used of this angelic announcement, it is explicitly applied to Isaac. That the angels had a two-fold mission (1) to Abraham, in order to show him his fatherhood and the destruction of Sodom, and (2) to Lot, in order to remove him from Sodom before the destruction was accomplished, is Biblical and Muhammad follows the Bible narrative. We have already mentioned that Lot is supposed to have

Sura XXXVII. 99-114. 2 Sura XXXVII. 112, 118.

0- 9 f , 9

3 As also &j$&. and U#j 3 i n v .

4 Sura XI. 74 ; Of. other two passages, Sura XXXVII. 99 and 112.


become a believer through Abraham. The visitation of the angels, which is related in Genesis, xix. 1 27, is mentioned in several passages in the Quran. 1 On the whole the narrative is fairly true, but the details are not entirely free from embellishment. For example, in some passages 2 the warning addressed to the people of Sodom on account of their unchaste use of men is treated quite separately from the narrative of the angels, and Muham- mad makes out that the angels told Lot 3 and even Abraham 4 beforehand that Lot's wife should not be saved. The unbelief of Lot's wife receives particular notice in one passage, 5 while the destruction of the cities is mentioned in many passages. 6 Muhammad especially attributes to Lot the distinguishing mark common to all preachers, viz., that they ask for no reward. 7

It has already been remarked that, according to Muham- mad's showing, Ishmael * was the son whom Abraham was

1 Suras VII. 7883, XI. 79-85, XV. 6178, XXII. 43, XXVI. 160176, XXVII. 55-60, XXIX. 27-35, XXXVII. 133-137, Liy. 33-39.

2 Compare especially Sura XXIX. 2730.

3 Suras XI. 83, XXIX. 32. According to the reading &\y.\ in the Ace. (Sura XI. 83), Lot did not even once ask her to accompany him, but left her with the people of Sodom. This reading is not only adopted by Hinckelmann, but by almost all the Arabic commentators quoted in Elpherar; which reading, as he remarks, is confirmed by the variant reading of Ben Mas'ud, who puts the word 4iS\y\ before 5u~

4 Suras XXIX. 31, XV. 60. 5 Sura LXVI. 10.

6 Sura XXV. 42, and other passages. 7 Sura XXVI. 164.

  • On the passage quoted above (Sura XXXVII. 101) Elpherar

remarks as follows :

" The learned among the Muslims are divided about the lad whom Abraham was commanded to sacrifice ; whereas the people o5c the Book on both sides (Jews and Christians) are agreed that he was Isaac, and common people are at one with them." Many commentators are then quoted, who also share this opinion. J^x^ yj> Q^\ JU . Others,


commanded to sacrifice ; and the reasons have been given which persuaded Muhammad to represent Ishmael as a

however say that he was Ishmael," and for this opinion the authorities are now cited :

" Both views are supported by the words of Muhammad. Those who maintain that Isaac was the one sacrificed prove it from Sura XXXVII. 99 ' We brought him the joyful news that he should have a meek son.' And when he was grown up, then God commanded Abraham to offer up him who had been announced to him. But we do not read in the Quran that any son except Isaac was foretold to him, as it is written in the Sura entitled Hud : ' And we announced to him Isaac.' Sura XI. 74. Those however who maintain that Ishmael was the one sacrificed prove it from the fact that the announcement of Isaac comes after the completion of the story of the sacrifice, when we read for the first time : ' And we rejoiced him with the promise of Isaac, a righteous prophet.' Sura XXXVII. 112. This shews that the sacrificed person was another than Isaac. (The same view is given in detail by Jalaln'd-din as quoted by Maracc.) Further it is said in Sura Hud (XI. 74) : ' We promised him Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob. As he had announced Isaac, BO he also announced to him Isaac's son Jacob.' How could he then have commanded the sacrifice of Isaac, when he had promised seed through him ?' Thia last proof is truly not to be ranked very high, for a similar contradiction in Holy Scripture in the case of Genesis, xxi. 12, and Genesis, xxii. would then have to be explained. Beyond the first proof adduced, there is no necessity either for this argument, or for still another argument which immediately afterwards is cited in the commentary, viz., that the horns of the ram are preserved in Mecca, the dwelling-place of Ishmael. It will have been noted that in the text I have independently decided in favour of the view that Muhammad believed that it was Ishmael whose sacrifice was ordered of God.

Doubtless all Arabian authorities would have come to this same conclusion, had not the Jews and Christians expressed their opinion so decidedly in favor of Isaac (in which they were followed by the common


very righteous man, 1 to include him in the ranks of the patriarchs and prophets, 2 to mention him as the righteous son of Abraham, 3 and to make out that he laid the founda- tion stone of the Ka'bah in connection with his father. 4

people). This fact prevented many from giving to the text of the Quran sufficiently impartial consideration, and hence led them to abandon Muhammad's real view. The method by which, these attempted to weaken the proof for the opposite opinion is clear from Elpherar's com- ment on Sura XXXVII. 112 :

" He who takes it that Ishmael was the one sacrificed explains that it was after this event that Isaac a prophet was promised to Abraham aa a reward for his obedience ; he who takes it that Isaac was the one sacrificed explains that it was only the prophetic gift of Isaac which waa announced to Abraham. Akhrama in the name of Ibu 'Abbas explains tiiat Isaac was announced to his father twice, once before his birth and again at the attainment of the prophetic gift." In the following verse, however, which upholds our view still more strongly, Elpherar givea an erroneous explanation of one part of the verse, and about the rest maintains a significant silence. Thus he explains &Jic as follows :

" That is to say, to Abraham in his children ; "

. -

but the word U^jh o, which is inexplicable on this interpretation of &^s. } he does not explain at all. In the legends of Islam, as Elpherar has already remarked in his comment on the word ,$, Isaac is almost without an exception spoken of as the one led to sacrifice. So also in Elpherar on Sura XII. 36, where Joseph relates his history to his fellow- prisoners, and on Sura XII. 86, where mention is made of a letter written by Jacob to the king who was keeping his son in prison. Here Isaac ia always called <5Ji5\ ^.oo " The sacrificed of God." And when Jacob in the course of the letter (quite according to the version of Sepher Hayyashar) alludes to the special protection of God enjoyed by his family he says :

"As for my father, both his hands and his feet were bound, and the knife was put to his throat, but God ransomed him." Compare also Abulfeda Hist. Anteisl4mica, page 22.

1 Suras XIX. 65, 56, XXI. 85, 86. 3 Sura XIV. 41.

2 Suras II, 130, 134,, III. 7T, VI. 86, XXXVIII, 48. 4 Sura II. 119.


This view is certainly not Jewish, but at the same time it is not contrary to Judaism, for the Kabbis tell us l that by the utterance : " Thou shalt be buried in a good old age (Genesis, xv. 15.) Grod showed Abraham that Ishmael would repent." And in the Talmud it is said 2 that Ishmael repented during his father's life-time. From his habit of reckoning Ishmael among the patriarchs, Muhammad fell into the error of counting him as an ancestor of Jacob. Thus in one passage 3 he says : " The God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac," which Baidhawi attempts to explain in the following manner ; 4 "He counts Ishmael among his ancestors, connecting him with the father the grand-father also is the same as the father and as Muhammad says, The uncle is a part of the father. Then pointing to 'Abbas, his uncle, he- said, This is the survivor of my forefathers."

As he hereby transfers to Ishmael the action, which as the most worthy, is attributed by the Jews to Isaac, viz., readiness to be sacrificed, the latter remains simply a pious man, about whom there is little to relate and who is quite destitute of all legendary adornment. In consequence of this, Isaac appears only in the lists of the patriarchs, and almost always in those passages where Abraham's deliver- ance from the fire is mentioned and also his reward for his piety. In these passages Muhammad following more the popular tradition mentions Isaac and Jacob but not Ishmael.

Mid. Eab. on Genesis, para. 88.

2 Baba Bathra 16. VS$ ^tf5 rq^fl 5TO

3 Sura II. 127.


We are now struck by the strange confusion which seems to have existed in Muhammad's mind about Jacob. 1 He seems to have been uncertain whether he was Abra- ham's son, or his grandson, the son of Isaac. While there is no passage which says explicitly that he was Abraham's son, yet this idea is conveyed to all who have not learned differently from the Biblical history. In the angel's announcement 2 it is said, " after Isaac, Jacob ; " 3 and in other passages 4 we read : " We gave to him (i.e. to Abraham) Isaac and Jacob." In the Sunna, however, Joseph is called clearly the grandson and Jacob the son of Abraham. 5 Although these passages do not prove the point absolutely, yet those passages which can be brought forward in support of the opposite view are much less powerful. For if it must- be allowed that in two passages 6 Abraham and Isaac, and in one of these Jacob also, are mentioned as the forefathers of Joseph, we can also shew another passage 7 where Ishmael is mentioned as a fore- father of Jacob without any continuous genealogy having been given. And further, since in the passage last cited Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac are counted as the fathers of Jacob, it is clear from the mention of Ishmael among the others how great was the confusion which reigned in Muhammad's mind about Jacob's parentage.

We by no means assert that Muhammad took Jacob for the son of Abraham, but it is evident that the relationship

-* J&.- if ** & - G .*

2 Sura XI. 74.


3 The Arabic commentators, who may not and will not understand these words as we do, are obliged to seek some other reasons for the unsuitable allusion to Jacob. Thus Blpherar says :

" It was announced to her that she would live till she saw her

son's sou."

4 Suras VI. 84, XIX. 50, XXI. 72, XXIX. 26. ' 5 Suuna 398 and 400. 6 Sura XII, 6, 38, ? Sura If. 127,

JACOB. 109

between the two was not clear to him. This error did nofc spread ; on the contrary, the later Arabs were better acquainted with these relationships. Thus, e.g., Zamakh- shari says : ! ' ' It is related of the prophet that he said, ' If you are asked, who is the noble one ? ' answer : ' The noble one, the son of the noble one, the son of the noble one, the son of the noble one is Joseph, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham/ " 2 But this is no testi- mony to the full certainty of Muhammad himself, for often the traditions spread among the later Arabs are more correct than those given in the Quran, as we said before in the case of the sacrifice of Isaac. Only a little is given of Jacob's life. There is an allusion to his wrestling with the Angel in the following words : 3 " All food was allowed to the children of Israel before the revelation of the Law, except what Israel (as he is here called) 4 forbade himself." This is evidently an allusion to the Biblical passage where the prohibition against eating the sinew of the thigh 5 is mentioned, 6 which Baidhawi 7 also gives, but assigns a wrong reason for it. Beyond this allusion and the history of Joseph, in which he is also involved and which we will give later on, the only other thing told about Jacob is his admonition before his death. This is

1 On Sura XII. 4.

(See de Sacy Anthologie Grammaticale, 125).

2 Elpherar has nearly the same words, with the addition however of a long chain of traditions.

3 Sura III. 87. *J '

4 Israelis sy** Baidhfiwi.

5 6 Genesis, xxxii, 38,


given in accordance with rabbinical sources as follows : l " And Abraham commanded this to his sons, 2 even to Jacob : ' 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 Ishmael and Isaac, one God, and to him will we be resigned.' " We find something similar in the Rabbinical writings : 3 " At the time when Jacob was leaving the world, he called his twelve sons and said to them : f Hear your father Israel, 4 is there any doubt in your hearts about God ? ' they said : ( Hear Israel our father, as in thy heart there is no doubt about God, so also there is in ours ; but the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.' 5 Then he spoke out and said : f Praised be the name of his glorious kingdom, for ever.' " 6 The sons of Jacob are not individually mentioned, but they appear in the list of the Patriarchs as "the tribes," 7 so called because of the subsequent division into tribes ; Joseph 8 alone enjoying an honorable exception. Besides

1 Sura II. 1267. 2 Compare perhaps Genesis, xviii. 19.

3 Midr. Eab. on Genesis, para, 98, and on Deuteronomy, para, 2,

'n w "n

4 Genesis, xlix. 2. 5 Deuteronomy, vi. 4.

6 Comp. the two recensions of the Jerusalem Targum on Deuteronomy, vi. 4 5 also Tract Pesaohim, page 56,


being alluded to in one other passage, 1 Joseph forms the theme of almost the whole of the twelfth Sura, 2 which is named after him. This Snra contains the narrative given us in Genesis, 3 with many abbreviations it is true, but also with many additions and alterations, which must be pointed out. We must first mention the additions which are derived from Jewish legend. Among these is the statement that Joseph was inclined towards Potiphar's wife, but that a sign warned him from her. 4 The Rab- binical comment on the words " He went into the house to do his work" 5 runs as follows : 6 " Both intended to commit sin '" and on the words t( She caught him by his garment saying, ' Lie with me/ " Eabbi Yohdnan remarks, " Both had got on to the bed, when the form of his father appeared to Joseph at the window and said: "Joseph, Joseph, one day the names of thy brethren will be graven on the stones of the Ephod, also thine ; wilt thou that it shall be effaced?" 7 The fable that the Egyptian women

1 Sura XL. 36. s Sura XII, 4108.

3 Genesis, xxxvii. 9 86 and chapters, xxxix to xlvi.

4 Sura XII. 24, &>J $ Jfj ^1 Sfjj ^> ^

5 Genesis, xxxix. 11. 6 Sotah, XXXYI. 2.



7 Elpherar in his comment on the verse quoted gives some of these particulars :

" It is said on the authority of Ben ' Abbas that he said he had undone his girdle and approached her wifch a sinful pnrpose." j$$\ ^ 8i\^S JU


mocked at Potiphar's wife, were invited in by her, and in contemplating Joseph's beauty x were so absorbed that they cut their own hands, is found in an old Jewish writing 2 which, though not genuine, is certainly very ancient, and is written is very pure Hebrew. This work is sometimes referred to in the Midrash Yalkut under the name of " The Great Chronicle/' 3 In an old Jewish German translation


however, it bears another title. 4 It is this translation which I have before me as I write, and for this reason I will not quote the actual words. 5 Also the discussion .about the

" Ketada and the greater number of the commentators say that he saw the form of Jacob, who said : ' Joseph, though thy name is written among the prophets yet thou behavest like the fools.' "

1 Elpherar on xii. 81, agreeing with the Sepher Hayyashar, gives, contrary to Wahl's forced interpretation, the correct meaning as follows :

" They cut themselves with the knife which they had in their hands, thinking they were cutting the orange, but they did not feel the pain on account of their absorption in the contemplation of Joseph."

3 - 3 4

5 An allusion to this fable is found in a passage from the Midrash Abhkir quoted in the Midr. Yalkut, chapter 146. The Quran story is seen to be still more like the narrative in Sepher


Hayyashar, when one adds the following details. The word v&* (verse 81) comes from & (viii) to lean against, like the Eabbinical

from "T5>D to support, prop ; and like the Hebrew 3D) from it signifies a meal, not on account of the new strength and support which food gives (to which one might easily be led by the expression T7 15?D> compare especially Psalm, civ. 15), but on account of the oriental method of leaning against supports at meals, as Elpherar rightly observes :

' JOSEPH. 113

tearing of the clothes, whether they were torn in front or at the back, l is found in the same way in the Sepher Hayyashar. In the words, " and a witness bore witness/' 2 which we here do not take strictly according to the meaning of the contest, but rather in the sense of an " arbitrator decided," 3 others see an allusion to a witness

JLc " Several Arabic commentators say that lx/ means food, because

the people when they sit eating lean against pillows. Therefore food is called by way of metonomy \&/." On this word the same Elpherar further comments as follows: \d\ AjSL*> IXx* oU_j\ ^ \Jb


"In the copy of Shirwaz \x& is written with a vowelless te(uu).

Opinions are divided as to the meaning of this word. Ben 'Abbas says it is an ovange. Muj&hid asserts the same thing. Some say an orange is thus called in Abyssinia. Dhuhak says it is the Indian fruit Zumaward.

tf G.y

'Akr says uOu/ js every thing which is cut with a knife. Abu Zaid } the Christian, says that whenever anything is cut with a knife it is called


by the Arabs tau/ } since cdx* and tU> with mini (j) and be, (>_>) mean

6 C,J

among the Arabs cutting." According to the reading cds/ which some

ejCii adopt, it would mean an orange or Bji'\, and we are told expressly in

Sepher Hayyashar that Joseph's mistress offered this fruit to the women

visiting her. Now our reading seems to me the right one, and the

& GJ meaning given to cdx* very doubtful, for the Arabic commentators

themselves are much divided in opinion, and their explanations are derived only from the passage itself, as often happens. Nevertheless from their words this much is clear, that the whole legend as it is found in the above-mentioned Jewish book has passed over to the Arabs, so that later commentators have tried to discover every detail in the words of the Quran.

1 Sura XII. 25. 2 IfiAl Jig* ^ S6ra XII> 26 <

So also Elpherar. F


who was present at what occurred between Joseph and the woman, and some of the commentators quoted in Elpherar express themselves quite in harmony with the Sepher Hayyashar as follows : * " Sa'id Ben Jubair and Dhuhak say it was a child in the cradle which Grod permitted to speak. This is the tradition of the Uphite commentator according to 'Abbas." In the Sepher Hayyashar it is also asserted that there was present a child of eleven months who till then could not talk, but then attained to speech. But there is a difference in that the Jewish book makes the child confirm the utterance of Joseph, while the Arabic commentator puts into its mouth the decision about the rent clothing, which other Arabic writers reject as highly unsuitable. Many commentators say that this was no child, 2 but rather a wise man full of penetration. It follows from this that Muhammad either mixed the two legends inappropriately, or else that the second one came later into Arabic tradition and was read by the Arabs into the words of the Quran. The words 3 which Wahl translates: "But the devil would not allow it 4 that he (the cup-bearer) thought of him (Joseph)," are explained by the following passage : 5 " The talk of the lips tendeth only to penury> 6 because . although Joseph reminded the

3 Sfea XII. 42. &

4 Wahl does not explain what <fy means here.

5 n^??an nfe 1 ? $ IT

(Midr, Babbah on Genesis, para. 89.) 6 Proverbs, x\v, 23,


cup-bearer twice l that he should remember him, yet he had to remain two more years in prison ; for it is written, ' And it was after two years. 3 " 2 The seeking of protection from the butler is here regarded as sinful, and therefore Muhammad says : " And Satan made him (Joseph) forget the remembrance of his Lord (God)," in that he trusted not in Grod but in man. 3 In the same Sura 4 Jacob recommends his sons to enter by different gates ; in like manner we read in the Eabbinical writings 5 that Jacob said to them : " Do not enter by the same door." 6 The statement 7 that the brothers said, when they found the cup in Benjamin's sack : " If he be guilty of theft his brother hath also been guilty," is evidently an erroneous change in the words of a passage found in the Midrash quoted above, 8 according to which they said, " See a

1 Genesis, xl. 14. . 2 Genesis, xli. .1 .

3 Blpherar has the following :

Swj ^ g.a Aj' ^yt> &>. .

  • /.jlLv&J\ (M oiwfcjJ o**6j &ae sU>

" Ib is said that the butler did not remember to mention Joseph to the king. The virtual meaning of this is that Satan made him forget

the mention of. him to his Lord (Pharaoh). But Ben 'Abbas and

most authorities after him say that Satan made Joseph forget the remembrance o his Lord, so that he sought help apart from Him and protection from a creature, and this was an omission to which Satan tempted Joseph." Then he quotes many other passages ,which represent this step of Joseph's as sinful.

  • Sura XII. 67. 5 Midr. Kabbah on Genesis, para. 91.

6 The same reason is given alike by the Arabic commentators and in the Midrash, viz. 0**N fib^- -*^> < pl>5} ^Q (Of. Elpherar on the verse) " For fear of envious looks," which the ancients regarded as very disastrons in their consequences.

7 Sura XII, 77. 8 Mid. Bab., para. 92.


thief, son of a thief," with reference to Eachel's having stolen the Teraphim. 1 From the Qurn it appears 2 that Jacob knew by divine communication that Joseph still lived, which is opposed to one Jewish view, 3 but agrees with another, 4 which runs as follows : " An unbeliever, asked our teacher, f Do the dead live on ? Your fathers did not accept this, and will you accept it ? It is said of Jacob, that he refused to be comforted. 5 If he had believed that the dead live on, would he have refused comfort ?' Then he answered him. ' Foolish one I he knew through the Holy Grhost that he still lived (in the flesh) , and one does not take comfort concerning the living.' " The story that Joseph told Benjamin beforehand who he was, is common to the Quran 6 and the Sepher Hayyashar. Besides these additions from Jewish legends there is also other matter which owes its origin to error, or possibly to traditions unknown to us. Muhammad's statement 7 that the brothers asked their father to send Joseph with them contradicts the Biblical account ; 8 and the statement that one of the

1 Genesis, xxxi. 19, The Arabian commentators give the most varying accounts. One of these confirms our view of an erroneous confusion with Rachel, viz., the following in Elpherar: ^^. *** ^

S'aid Ben Jubair and Katada say that bis grand-father, his mother's father, had an image which he worshipped. This he stole secretly." 2 Sura XII. 86, 97. 3 Pfrke Rabbi Eliezer, section 38.

4 Mid. Tanchuma quoted in Mid. Yalkut, chapter 143.

cnann 1 ? ^nx? n;n a^o ^nanii? j-is n;n

5 Genesis, xxxvii. 35. 6 Sura XII. 69.

7 Sura XII. 11 ff . 8 Genesis, xxxvii. 18 ff,


Ishmaelites who went to draw water found Joseph - in the pit is against the clear word of the Scripture that the pit was dry. 1 Muhammad makes Joseph expound Pharaoh's dream, and only afterwards does he have him fetched from prison, 2 in contradiction to the Bible narrative. 3 He asserts that Jacob became blind from grief, but that he recovered his sight by the application of a shirt to his eyes. He was perhaps thinking of .Jacob's loss of sight 4 later on, or possibly the idea is based on some legend unknown to me. According to the Quran Joseph's parents 5 came to him in Egypt, in spite of the fact that according to the testimony of the Scriptures 6 Eachel was long since dead. Muhammad's idea probably was to bring about a complete fulfilment of the dream, which mentions both parents. 7

On this, however, some of the Rabbis remark that this is a sign that no dream is without a mingling of some vain matter, while others say that Bilhah, Joseph's subsequent foster-mother, is alluded to. Something like this is quoted by Zamakhshari, to the effect that " this means his father and his aunt ; " 8 while Elpherar has 9 still more clearly : " Katada and Sada say that by the moon is meant his aunt, because his mother Rachel was already dead." Thus it is possible that Muhammad means this aunt here, even as Elpherar remarks on another

1 Genesis, xxxvii. 24. &$ 12

2 Sura XIT. 47, 50. 3 Genesis, xli. 14 ff. 4 Sura XII. 84, 93, 96. Of. Genesis, xlviii. 10.

8 Sura XII. 100, 101. 4^1 6 Genesis, xxxv. 18 ff.

7 Sura XII. 4. Of. Genesis, xxxvii. 10. Tf^NI. rjfej

8 On Sura XII. 4. &A\& ^ Sj>\ J-oS ^ ( De Sacy Anth. Gramm, page 127.)

J\S j


passage, 1 to wit, that " Most commentators say that by these are meant his father and his aunt Leah, his mother having died at the birth of Benjamin." It is quite in accordance with Muhammad's usual procedure to put into Joseph's mouth a long discourse on the unity of God and the doctrine of a future life. This is given before the interpretation of the dreams of his two fellow-prisoners. 2 With Joseph we finish the first period, for between Joseph and Moses Muhammad mentions no one else. It almost seems as if, with Justin, Muhammad regarded Moses as Joseph's son, although of course we cannot seriously attribute such an opinion to him.


Second Part. Moses and Us Time,

The history of the earlier times was preserved only in brief outlines, and was not so important either in itself, or in the influence which it exerted on the subsequent

Sura XII. 100. &\ e^tfj U &A\ } ty] ys gij-JU^ fi\ Jtt

2 The Arabian commentators, who are quite conscious of this unsuitability explain it away very cleverly by saying that Joseph made this digression, because it grieved him to be obliged to foretell evil to one of his fellow-prisoners. Elpherar comments on verse 37 as follows :

" After they had told him the dream, he was unwilling to give them the explanation for which they had asked him, because he recognised in it something that would be disagreeable to one of them. For this reason he put aside their question, and began a different discourse, in which he taught them about the gift of miracle-working and exhorted them to belief in the Unity of God,


ages j therefore Muhammad adopted from it only such legends as were edifying in themselves and to which he could append pious reflections. In the period of which we are now going to treat, there is certainly still a long- array of legends, but historical facts are preserved for us with greater distinctness and clearer detail, and these facts are of greater religious importance The giving of the Mosaic Law and the eventful life and noble personality of Moses himself afford Muhammad plenty of material for his narrative. Here we will first put together the whole life of Moses as represented in the various passages of the Quran, and then we will go on to consider the details to be commented upon. Among the oppressive enactments of Pharaoh against the children of Israel was an order that their children should be thrown into the water. Moses 1 the son of Amram 2 was laid by his mother in an ark ; Pharaoh's wife, who saw the child there, saved it from death and had it nursed by its mother. When Moses was grown up he tried to help his oppressed brethren, and once killed an Egyptian ; the next day however he was reminded by an Israelite of his yesterday's deed. This made him afraid, and by the advice of a friend he fled to Midiau, 3 and married there the daughter of a Midianite. 4 When he wished to leave Midian he saw a burning bush, approached it, and received a command to go to Egypt to warn Pharaoh 5 and to perform some miracles to make him believe ; he asked for his brother Aaron as an assistant in this work. 6 He obeyed the command and accomplished his mission, but Pharaoh remained unbelieving and assembled his magicians, who

4 Suras XX. 87 44, XXVIII. 2-29.

6 Sfaas XX. 8-37, 44-51, XXVI. 9-17, XXVIII. 29-36, LXXIX.



indeed imitated the wonders, but were so far surpassed by Moses and Aaron that they themselves became believers in spite of the threats of Pharaoh. 1 But a mighty judgment overtook Pharaoh and his people, who remained stubborn in their unbelief; and at last the Egyptians were drowned in the sea, while the Israelites were saved. 2 Nothing is related of the journey of the children of Israel before the giving of the Law, except the striking of the rock with the staff so that water flowed out, and this comes in only incidentally in two passages ; 3 in the former of which however other facts about the stay in the wilderness are related. Moses then received the Law, 4 and prayed to see God's glory. 5 During his absence the

1 Suras VII. 101-125, X. 76-90, XL 99-102, XX. 50-79, XXIII. 47-51, XXVI. 1552, XXVII. 1315, XXVIII, 36-40, XL. 24-49, XLIII. 45-54, LXXIX. 20-27.

2 Suras II. 4647, VII. 127-139, X. 9093, XX. 79-82, XXVI. 52- 69, XXVIII. 40-43, XLIII. 55.

3 Suras II. 57, VII. 160.


Sura VII. 142 and 149. On the first passage Elpherar hag : $\jj\ \$\ A>^> <j*\*z y.> JlS " Ben 'Abbas says that by Alwah he means the Torah ; " and on the second passage he says more correctly : l\^\ V&J ^\ " Wherein is the Torah."

6 Suras VII. 135147, 170, II. 52-55, 60, 87, IV. 152. In the Quran Mount Sinai is never mentioned in connection with the giving of the law, although it is so mentioned by commentators, e.g., Elpherar on VII. 140, But it was not unknown to Muhammad, seeing that it is mentioned on

other occasions. Thus it is used as an oath in Sura XOV. 2

probably on account of the rhyme. Compare 0^LJ\). Again it is men-

s tioned in the account of the creation of the olive tree. Sura XXIII. 20 :

.-^-,-0 > -*

"And a tree springing from the oV^ jj= } " in which passage the commen-

tators cited by llpherar take the name as an appellation. Among many

diverging explanations one is adduced which appears to me right, viz.,

A^-&S\i <_&W\ iLJlj.~Jb Jt> JJi * " It is said that in Syriac it means a

place thickly planted with trees ;" so that "O^P would be connected with



Israelites made the golden calf, which Moses on his return dashed into pieces and gave to the Israelites to drink ; * and after that he appointed seventy men : 2 Later on he sent spies to Canaan, but they all except two were godless. The people let themselves be deceived by them and in consequence were obliged to wander for forty years in the wilderness. 3 Further, Moses had a dispute with Korah, whom the earth swallowed up, 4 and he was wrongly accused.

This last statement may be either a reference to the matter of Korah, or to the dispute with Aaron and Miriam. These are the main events of Moses's life as they are given in the Qur&n, and we have arranged them partly according to the order of their mention in that book, but more with reference to our better source. Besides all this, a wonderful journey which Moses is said to have taken with his servant 5 is given, about which we shall speak further on. To pass on now to details. Haman 6

Compare Ben Ezra, who in his comment on Exodus, iii. 2 admits a connection, between ^D and njlD- It is to be noted that those mentioned above who take Sinai as an appellation do not regard it as identical with the mountain on which Moses received the Law, which identification is merely cited as a possible view :

^>y &>* ^jy ^\ J<^ ytt> ty'yt J^j "Ben'Zaid says that this is the mountain from which Moses was addressed." D'Herbelot (Biblio. Orient, under Sina, page 798) says: The Arabs


sometimes call this mountain Sinaini (.^JU, (which however should be /A*-, Sinani) with reference to its two peaks Horeb and Sina ; in this way Sinina might perhaps be taken as the genitive of the Arabic word


Sinuna ^yu.

1 Suras II. 48-52, 87, VII. 148-155, XX. 82-99.

2 Sura VII. 1.54. 3 Sura V. 2329.

4 Sura XXVIII. 76-83. Sura XVIII. 59-81.

6 gC& Suras XXVIII, 5, 7, 88, XXIX, 38, XL. 25. Q


and Korah 1 are mentioned as counsellors of Pharaoh and persecutors of the Israelites. The latter is alluded to in this capacity by the Eabbis, 2 who say : " Korah was the chief steward over Pharaoh's house." As to the former, Muhammad must at some time have heard him mentioned as the Jew's enemy, 3 and therefore have put him in here, although later Arabians do not thus designate the Haman 4 who lived in the time of Ahasuerus. The Rabbis also say a good deal about Pharaoh's advisers, amongst whom they sometimes mention Balaam, Job and Jethro. Of these the first agreed with Pharaoh and for this reason he was afterwards killed by the Israelites; the second remained silent, therefore he had to endure sufferings; the third fled, and so the happiness of being the father-in- law of Moses fell to his lot. The two chief magicians, 5 who are also mentioned in a letter of the apostle Paul, are specially named as abettors. Fear on account of some dream 6 is given as the greatest cause of persecution ; and this is in accord with the statement of the Eabbis that it was foretold to Pharaoh by the magicians 7 that a boy would be born who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt ; then he thought, if all male children were thrown into the river, this one would be thrown with them.8 The finding

i ^jjjj Siiras XXIX. 8, XL. 25. 2 Midr. Eabb. on Numbers, par, 14.

rfo-ig ba? in^b Di,Tbinp_ n;n nip 3 W

  • Not (.jUCfe but 0j*jA. (compare Makarizi in De Sacy's Chrest. Arabe,

page 143, line 9 of the first edition).

  • N1B& and lani 6 Sfira XXVIII. 5.

' Pirke Rabbi Bliezer, Section 48.

8 M^^ ssini nb^nb -153 rns? n^-is 1 ? a^-pn sna^ on^i> Trbtite wim Tibvn bs n^D-tn


of Moses is attributed to Pharaoh's wife, 1 and she is mentioned as a believer, 2 evidently having been confounded with Pharaoh's daughter, by whom Moses was found according to the Scriptures, 3 and in the same way the name 4 given to Pharaoh's wife by the commentators is a corruption of the name 5 by which his daughter was known among the Jews. The words of the Bible : " Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women ? " 6 give rise to the following Eabbinical fable : ? " Why must the nurse be a Hebrew women?" This shows that he refused the breasb of all the Egyptian women. For Grod said : " Shall the mouth that is one day to speak with me suck an unclean thing?" 8 According to Muhammad Moses regarded his slaying of the Egyptian as sinful and repented thereof, 9 which is contrary to the Jewish view, 10 expressed as follows ; " The verse in the 24th Psalm (according to the reading of the Kethibh \ t Who took not away his soul out of vanity ') refers to the soul of the Egyptian, which Moses did not take away, until he had investigated his case judi- cially and had found that he deserved death." That the Hebrew whom he released strove again on the following day with an Egyptian, 11 and that he betrayed Moses, because he would not uphold him, but on the contrary reproved him

1 Sura XXVIII. 8. 8 Sura LXVI. 11. 3 Exodus, ii. S.

4 &f! ' 5 rTtfS 1 Chron. iv. 18. 6 Exodus, ii. ,'

12, 2. b| b3? imrwqn^ isbp pfrnys w$ na ns tfn tT-ra tfrqsp - ps; rib]

stttp -m

8 There is an allusion to this also in Sura XXVIII. 11.

9 Suras XXVI. 19, XXVIII. 14.

10 Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, para. 5

ia rib itf

. 5 vbv na$ ^5 ^^an nsi

11 Sura XXVIII. 11 ff.


for Ms quarrelsome temper is mere embellishment) as is also the very happy invention of a man who warned Moses to flee. 1 There is a mistake to be found in the very brief account of Moses' flight to Midian and his residence there, for Muhammad speaks of two 2 instead of seven 3 daughters of the Midianite. Instead of letting the vision in the bush be the occasion of Moses 7 leaving Midian, as it is in the Bible, 4 Muhammad erroneously. makes out that Moses had formed the resolution to leave the country before this event, and that the vision appeared to him on the way. 5 The appearance of Moses before Pharaoh is connected in a remarkable way with the divine commission to the former. So closely are the two circumstances bound together that in many places Pharaoh's answer follows immediately upon (rod's command, without its having first been mentioned that Moses and Aaron had gone in obedience to Grod to Egypt, had done wonders before Pharaoh and had admonished him. But on the other hand in those passages where only the admonitions given by Moses to Pharaoh are related, without the preceding events being given, the part elsewhere omitted is of course supplied, but as we might expect with changes. Pharaoh is said to have reproached Moses with the murder of the Egyptian. 6 This is a very simple invention, which however is contrary to the literal sense of the Scriptures, 7 unless we accept the Eabbinical explanation 8 of the words, " the king of Egypt died," 9 that is, " he became leprous and a leper is as one dead ; " and also of the words, " for all are died who sought

i Sura XXVIII. 19. 2 Sura XXVIII. 23.

3 Exodus, ii. 16. 4 Exodus, iii.

5 Sura XXVIII. 29. 6 Sura XXVI. It ff.

7 Exodus, ii. 23. iv. 19. 8 Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, par. 1.

9 Exodus, ii. 23.


thy life " l which is as follows : " Were they dead ? They were Dathan and Abiram, who were involved in the dispute of Korah. This only means that they had become power- less."* Further, Moses is supposed to have shewn the sign of his leprous hand before Pharaoh, 2 which is not men- tioned in Scripture, 3 but which agrees with the following statement in the Eabbinical writings : 4 "He put his hand into his bosom, and drew it out as white as snow from leprosy ; they also put their hands into their bosoms and drew them out as white as snow from leprosy." The magicians who were summoned asked at first, in distinction from God's messengers, for their reward ; 5 but when they had seen their serpents swallowed by that of Moses, they believed, praised God and were not intimidated by Pharaoh's threats. This is quite contrary to the Bible, in which such a confession is found only after the plague of lice, 6 and there too only in the form of a mere hint. Among Moses' own people only his own tribe is said to have believed on him, 7 and the Eabbis say 8 that " the tribe of

1 Midr. Rabb, on Exodus, par. 5.

drrj on on^tf. ^ tfbqi sin& w o^sn bs via ^fyy6 -ina ^ sb^ fopbqa:? rnp D

2 Suras VII. 108, XXVI. 32. 3 Exodus, vii. 8 ff.

4 Pirke Rabbi Eliezer, Section 48.

^??n cn tfl 1 ] :ib$5 nrihss n^rn ^$3 Kirn'isjp onis

5 Suras VII. 110, XXVI. 40. 6 Exodus, viii. 15.

7 Sura X. 83. The suffix refers to Moses, as some Arabic com- mentators cited by BaidhAwi (Henzii Fragm. Arab, page 103) and by Elpherar take it.

8 Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, para. 5.

According to Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, para 1, Dathan and Abiram were the two disputants, one of whom reproached Moses with the murder of the Egyptian,


Levi was exempt from hard labour." Pharaoh himself was also a magician, and this he claims, according to my opinion, in his address to the other magicians. 1 This is in accord with the Babbinical statement 2 that the Pharaoh who lived in the days of Moses was a great magician, In other passages of the Quran, 3 Pharaoh claims for himself divinity, which assumption no doubt is intended to be accepted by the people. This trait is also developed in Jewish legend/* where we read : " Pharaoh said to them : 'From the first have ye spoken an untruth, for lord of the world am I 4 I created myself and the Nile; as it is written : 5 my river is mine own and I have made it for myself.'" In another passage 6 Muhammad puts the following words into Pharaoh's mouth: "Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine and these rivers which flow beneath me?" Blpherar, with others/ remarks on the words " beneath me," that they mean " by my command." A quite new but .charming fiction is that of a pious Egyptian, who warned his countrymen not to despise the teaching of Moses and not to persecute him. 8 Certain features of this story sound familiar. For instance, the words in verse 29: "If he be a liar, on him will the punishment of his falsehood light; but if he speaketh the truth, some of those judgments with which he threateneth you will fall upon you," bear a resemblance to the words of

1 Suras XX. T4, XXYI. 48. s Midr. Yalkut, chapter 182,

n s r n Vh} ^gfoapg n^a vy*$ rmtrJ

3 Stoas XXVI. 28, XXVIII. 38. 4 Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, para. 5.

win oa ^ D'nah a$8 ij?$ n^nj-itt onb

5 Ezekiel, xxix. 3. 6 gfaa XLIII. 60.

7 t^fk ($~*si$\ J^> " Al Hasaa says by my command."

8 Sura XL, 29 ff,


Gamaliel in the New Testament. The allusion to Joseph in verse 36 is found in a very dissimilar Jewish tradition, as follows ; 1 "If Joseph had not been, we should not be alive." Muhammad is not clear about the plagues. In some passages 2 he speaks of nine plagues. In another passage 3 he enumerates five, which stand in the following order : Flood, Locusts, Lice, Frogs and Blood. Although we cannot here find fault with the want of order in the plagues and with the omission of some of them since Mu- hammad here is not, any more than is the Psalmist, 4 to be considered as a strict historian, get the mistaken inclusion of a flood, which is not to be confounded with the overthrow in the sea, 5 may fairly be considered as a proof of the want of reliable information on the subject. The fear of the Israelites 6 at the approach of the Egyptians by the Eed sea is also mentioned by Muhammad. 7

Now we come to a circumstance, which is also taken from Jewish legend, but which has been almost entirely misun- derstood, from ignorance of its origin. The passage 8 may be translated as follows : " And we caused the children of Israel to pass through the sea, and Pharaoh and his army followed them in a violent and hostile manner, until when he was drowning, he said : ' I believe that there is no God but He on Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am now one of the resigned ; ' on which God said, (or perhaps this is to be read in the first person, so that this verse too expresses Pharaoh's penitence, and the next verse begins the expression of God's answer) ; ' Thou haat been hitherto one of the rebellions and wicked doers. This

1 Midr. Rabba on Exodus, para. 1

2 Suras XVII. 103, XXVII. 12. 3 Sura VII. 130.

  • E. g. in Psalm, cv. 28 ff. 5 first mentioned in v. 132.

6 Exodua, xiv. 10 ff. 7 Sura XXVI. 61 ff.

8 Sura X. 90 ff.


day, however will we save thee with thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who shall be after thee.' " l This is the quite simple meaning of the words, which has been turned and twisted about by others, because they were ignorant of the following Jewish legend : 2 " Eecognize the power of repentance ! Pharaoh King of Egypt rebelled excessively against the Most High saying : ( Who is Grod that I should hearken to His voice ? ' 3 but with the same tongue he repented saying : ' Who is like Thee, Lord, among the Gods ? ; 4 Q- d delivered him from the dead, for it is written : ' For now I had put forth my hand and

1 Not one Arabic commentator among those quoted in Blpherar appears to have had a suspicion of the explanation given above, which is so well suited to the words ; still it is not quite unknown to Baidhawi. Along with other explanations he gives (Henzii Fragm. Arab., page 201) the

following: a-t^yu ^ diyi <LJ U/

And to-day we save thee i.e., we will bring thee back from where thy people are sunk, even from the depth of the sea, and we will put thee

on dry land." And further on : \>y !Utf t\>Ju> " With thy body, i.e.,

whole and unharmed." But on the other hand the words : " That thou mayest be a sign to those who shall come after thee," are explained by him only in the ordinary way, viz. that he should be a horror and a warning to them. 8 Pirke Rabbi Eliezer, Section 43.

TTO DY$B ^ rrtnsg rq^fln tjs rf? into iVips SB$H -\m 'n ^ 'yti iks nann '

. ' . v . * v . ; ** ~

'n D^bs|i npba ^ '$ n^tti& nto?

nj-ii? ? 'y$ na ^bt ^.ai d^nan ^59 'n 'a' '|?n i



Comp. also Midrash on Psalm, cvi. and Midr. Yalkut, chapter 238. 3 .Exodus, v. 2, 4 Exodus, xv, 11.


smitten thee,' * but God let him live to proclaim His power and might, even as it is written in Exodus, ix. 16."

On the occasion of the striking of the Eock Muhammad makes twelve streams gush out, so that each individual tribe 2 had its own particular stream. Apparently this is a confusion of the events at Eaphidim, where the rock was struck, 3 with those at Blim where the Israelites found twelve wells. 4 On these wells the commentator Eashi, probably following earlier expositors says : 5 " They found them ready for them, in number as the twelve Tribes." When it came at last to the giving of the Law, the Israelites are said to have rebelled; but God threatened them that He would overturn the mountain 6 upon them if they would not accept the Law. The Jews also say that God threatened to cover them with the mountain as with a basin turned upside down. 7 But now the Israelites demanded that they themselves should see God; they died at the sight of Him, but were afterwards raised again. 8 The corresponding Eabbinical statement may be trans- lated as follows : 9 " The Israelites desired two things of

1 Exodus, ix. 15.

003jS GO

2 &>\ not lap* although the twelve sons of Jacob are also called L\$\ by Muhammad. Still in Sura VII. 160 lQ\ and ^\ are used side by side in an entirely similar sense, so that one recognizes the identical meaning of the two, and therefore one may with perfect right


translate &*\ as " tribe."

3 Exodus, xvii. 6.

4 Exodus, xv. 27. Comp, also the two recensions of Jerusalem Targum.

5 Dnb W3t? D^EDtp -1ES9 D^.tp 1^3

6 Suras II. 60/87, VII. 170.

7 Abodah Zarah II. 2. n^3? -in^TlW D^b? ^ n.Q3

8 Sura II. 52 ff. IV. 152.





God, that they might see His glory and hear His voice ; and both were granted them, as it is written : * ' Behold the Lord our God hath shewed us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire.' Then they had no power to bear it, for when they came to Sinai and He appeared to them, their soul departed at His speech, as it is written : 2 ' My soul went forth when he spake.' The Law (the Torah) however interceded with God for them saying : ' Would a king marry his daughter and slay all his household ? ' The whole world rejoices (on account of my appearance), and shall thy children (the Israelites) die ? At once their souls returned to them, therefore it is written : 3 ' The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.' " The story of the calf is also one of those which Muhammad, following the Eabbis, has found it easy to embellish. He says that the people would have killed Aaron, if he had not made them a calf; 4 and the Eabbis say: 5 "Aaron saw Hur (who had wish- ed to oppose them) killed ; then he thought : if I do not listen to them they will do with me as with Hur." According to another statement of the Quran 6 one of

wrrbg 'n

anb nb^ 1 ] ^pb iNstB 152 Ttosl? rp D;^ nvr tfyj ti$n

&v we? b? 0519$


jp n mjn 3 vpa

1 Deuteronomy, v. 24 (Heb., v. 21)- 2 Canticles, v, 6. 3 Psalm, xix. 8. 4 Sfaa VII, 150.

5 Sanhedrin 5 b dS nSi V^ H^^ "flH HMT

Easlii makes the same remark on Exodus, xxxii. 4. 6 Sura XX. 87, 90, 96.


the Israelites, named Samiri,! led them astray and also made the calf. This arose perhaps from Samael, 2 the name of one who is supposed by the Jews to have been helpful at the making of the calf ; but at any rate the tale has been differently developed by Muhammad. According to him this was one of the Israelites who was present, and whom Moses condemned to everlasting wandering, 3 so that he was compelled to say perpetually, " Touch not." 4 One recognises that this legend is composed of different elements. It is not foreign to Jewish tradition that another Israelite, not Aaron, made the calf, and according to one legend, Micah, 5 who is mentioned in Judges, helped in the making; 6 whence it comes that many Arabians assert that Samiri and Micah are one and the same person. 7 Perhaps Muhammad formed the word Samiri from a confusion with the name Samael.

Samiri was the name for Samaritan, and according to the Arabians the Samaritans said, " Touch us not." 8 With how much reason the Arabians hold .this is indeed unknown, perhaps only from confusion with a sect of the Pharisees described as bad in the Talmud, where it is named " The set-apart, touch me not ; " 9 but I have only a dim recollection of the passage. In short the Samaritans were certainly known to later Arabians by this name, and

3 Sura XX. 97. Compare the wandering Jew in the Christian legend.

4 JC*S 5 Judges, xvii.

6 Rashi on Sanhedrin 101. 2.

7 Of. Ahmad Ben Idris in Hottinger's Hist. Orient., page 84.

8 Cf. Makarizi (in De Sacy, Chrest. Arabe, i. 113 in the second edition, 189 in the first edition) : y*L* S y}fi ^&\ f&\ f& ^ and further : d^L** !Wl> U>jf2 8^LJ\ Q\ (J)^\ *x*^\ tf. x+*s" gWj; j\ JU on which passage De Saoy quotes the Sura, along with Baidhdwi's comment.


Muhammad doubtless knew them by it too ; and since he gave the name of Samaritan * to the maker of the calf, this man must have seemed to him to be the founder of the sect, and the " Touch me not " must have originated with him, which as a punishment was known to Muhammad from the similar story of the wandering Jew. Muhammad says that the calf lowed as it come forth. 2 With this is to be compared, the Eabbinical statement : " There came forth this calf 3 lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Eabbi Je- huda says that Samael entered into it and lowed in order to mislead Israel." 4 In the Quran it is said 5 that among the people of Moses there was a tribe which kept to the truth. This seems to refer to the tribe of Levi and especially to their behaviour about the calf, although possibly it may refer also to their belief in Moses's mission to Pharaoh of which we have spoken before. In the biblical account a statement is made, 6 which is explained by the Eabbis as follows : 7 " From Exodus, xxxii. 26, it is clear that the tribe of Levi was not implicated in the matter of -the golden calf." The Arabian commentators produce the most unedifying fables about this passage.

In the events which follow abbreviations are to be found, but neither changes nor embellishments, except in the story of the dispute with Korah, which gives rise to some. Korah is said to have had such riches that a number of

2 Suras VII. 147, XX. 90. 3 Exodus, xxxii. 24. * Pirke Rabbi Bliezer, section 45.

mn rroa rrn'! tein 0335 bsia

5 Sura VII. 159. 6 Exodus, xxxii. 26.

7 Pirke Rabbi Eliezer, section 45.

KOEAH. 133

strong men were required to carry the keys of his treasure- chamber,! and the Rabbis tell us, 2 " Joseph buried three treasures in Egypt, one of which became known to Korah. Riches kept by the owner to his hurt 3 may be applied to the riches of Korah. The keys of Koran's treasure- chamber were a burden for three hundred white mules." It is implied in the same Talmudic passage that he became overbearing and quarrelsome from the possession of such riches, and Muhammad embellishes this idea in a fine manner. One passage in the Qur&n may refer to this dispute, for it says there that some persons had accused Moses, but that Grod cleared him from the charge which they had brought against him. 4 Some of the commen- tators also refer the passage to this event, while they bring forward the following story, which we give in Elpherar's words : 5 " Abu'l- f Allah says that it refers to the fact that Korah had hired a bad woman, who accused Moses before all the people of bad conduct with herself. Grod made her dumb, cleared Moses of the accusation, and destroyed Korah." This is actually supposed to have happened after Moses had made known the law about adultery, and after the enquiry as to whether it applied to him also had been answered by him in the affirmative. 6 The Eabbis also allude to this in the following words : 7 " And when Moses

1 Sura XXVIII. 76,

9 mpb nbno

vfB ni bw titj nt i

ml? b$ vp? rvg rfinflsa spn n-fon) nttis

3 Bcolesiastes, v. 12. 4 Sura XXXIII. 69.


6 Of. Abulfeda Hist. Anteislamica, page 32.

7 "T^S i?ttsf ny^-ne 1^5 bi? VBI n^'i

See Numbers, xvi. 4.


lieard it, he fell on his face. What did lie hear ? That he was blamed for being intimate with the wife of another j " and in another passage we read : * " Each man suspected his wife on account of Moses." Other commentators understand that the accusation was that Moses had killed Aaron, because the two were alone together when Aaron died on Mount Hor j but Moses was cleared from this by the angels, who produced Aaron's corpse. 2 This is also a Rabbinical idea, for we read in the Midrash Tanchuma : 3 " All the congregation saw that Aaron was dead. 4 When Moses and Bleazar came down from the mountain, the whole congregation came together against them asking them : ' Where is Aaron ?' They said : ' He is dead.' They re- plied : ' How can the death angel come to a man who has once resisted him and held him back ? for it is written : 5 He (Aaron) stood between the dead and the living and the plague was stayed. If you produce him, well ; if not, we will stone you.' Moses then prayed : ' Lord of the world, clear me from this suspicion.' Then God immediately opened

i Sanhedrin 110. Hl fitZN S3D tn"3

: : > T v T

8 Blpherar has : <UxJ\ ^ g\to

Comp, Abulfeda Hisb. Anteislamioa, pp. 32 and 34, dka> ^ AJ\ Ui

3 "i$^^i n^JD SITI^ ^3 'iq.S p^rr nnb *nm zyty ^nj|n-b3 ^$p_ty -inn ?l3?b btaj nian tyst^a tf^n dnb JI-HJM na orrb J

in inlw ^na tay DM nsaan

'n 'a '^n n^Q TJQ .

s siMn : i '5^ dnb "n^

4 Numbers, xx, 29, 5 Numbers, xvi. 48. (Hebrew, xvii. 13.)


the grave and shewed Aaron to them, and to this refers the passage : ' The whole congregation saw, etc.' " Here I omit entirely a third very insipid fable which the commentators mention, and which seems to them to be the most probable occasion of the verse, but I cannot trace it to any Jewish source. The most correct view is, as Wahl has already remarked, that the verse refers to the reproaches of Aaron and Miriam. 1 In short the fifth verse of Sura LXI is about the answer, of Moses to the disputants. Here the commentators give only the fable not quoted by us, just because here, as in the second passage, they repeat only the most universally accepted view. But this cannot prevent us from holding to our opinion. Of the journey described by Muhammad 2 1 could not find a trace in Jewish writings, although the colouring is Jewish.* Moses is said to have gone with his servant to see the place where two seas meet, and to have forgotten a fish, which they were taking with them for food and which sprang into the sea. When they went back to seek it, a servant of God met them and made the journey with them, telling them before hand that his actions would rouse their impatience. He sank a ship, killed a youth and propped up a wall ; and only when they parted did he give sufficient reasons for these actions. The story following this about Dhu- J l-

1 Numbers, xii, 1 ft 2 Sura XVIII, 5981.

  • The author adds the following note in the Appendix :

Zunz (die gottesdiensfclichen Vortrage der Juden, historisch entwickelt, S. 180 u. Amn. d.) has pointed out the Jewish source of this story, in which the servant of God according to the Arabians is said to be Elias (of. under Elias) ; only that, according to the Jewish source, the traveller is R. Joshua ben Levi, a man who plays a leading part in tales of marvel and adventure (cf. Zunz pp. ,,140 141) and whom this adventure suits much better than it does Moses, who stands on too high a plane. We may easily recognize therefore the Jewish origin of this legend, which has been embellished quite after the manner of the Quran,


Qaritain l might well refer to Moses, the shining one, 2 if anything o the sort were known about him.

Of the individual laws which are mentioned historically in, the Quran, 3 only one, viz., that relating to the red heifer, 4 affords material for a narrative, and that is .given 5 in very unnecessary fullness and with manifold errors. In the first place Muhammad confounds the red heifer 6 with the calf which is slain for one murdered by an unknown hand, 7 and he also makes the dead man live again 8 on being struck with a piece o the animal. In view of such great distortions we must not deal hardly with him for the following small one ; he says that the cow must be of one year, 9 in contradiction to the rabbinical statement that she had to be a two-year old. 10

As to those persons who come into the history of Moses, we have already disposed of Pharaoh, Aaron and Korah, 11 while we have only mentioned others and therefore must add more aboutlthem. Miriam 12 is praised in the scripture and called a prophetess, 13 but the Eabbis value her still more highly and say of her : 14 " The angel of death.had no power over Miriam, but she died from the divine afflation, and therefore worms could not touch her." . According to

4. Sura XVIII. 82 ff. 9 Exodus, xxxiv, 29 ff .

  • ' ' ,

3 See Appendix. 4 Numbers, xix, 2 ff,

5 Sura II. 63 ff. 6 Sura II. 61.

7 Deuteronomy, xxi. 2 ff. 8 Sura II. 68.

Sura II. 63.

M Vid. Midr, Rabb. on Numbers, para. 19. u ^ '

12 ^ is

14 Baba Bathra, 17,

fi 1 ) nan


Muhammad * Miriam is the mother of Jesus. 2 Although Miriam's name is not mentioned in the passage where she is alluded to in the history of Moses, 3 yet there is not the slightest doubt that Muhammad took "both Marys for one and the same person; for the Talmudic utterance already cited, viz., that Miriam did not die through the angel of death, could easily be turned into a statement of a long, if not endless, life for her, especially by Muhammad, who treats chronology pretty much according to his own plea- sure. The other person who appears in the history of Moses is his father-in-law Jethro. Now it is true that his name, like that of Miriam, is not mentioned in the story of Moses, 4 hence the Muhammadan tradition connects this Midianite (as the Quran simply designates the father-in- law of Moses) with Shu f aib, the Arabic name for Jethro, and so they came to be considered as one and the same, not however without more or less opposition. Thus Blpherar says : 5 " Opinions are divided as to the name of Moses' wife's father. Many say he was the prophet Shu'aib j others that he was Jethro the nephew of Shu'aib who died before him ; others again that he was a man who believed on Shu'aib." But- the most widespread tradition is that it was Shu'aib himself.

Thus Elpherar always calls him by this name, when mentioning him in connection with these events and

' U.\ *e ^>T iji Suras LXIV. 12, VII. 138.

2 Of. Sura III, title and verse 30 ff. ; Sura XIX. particularly verse 29 ; Sura LXVI. 12, and Sunna 405.

3 Sura XXVIII. 10. Sura XXVIII. 23 ff. 5 Elpherar on Sura XXVIII. 23.


Abulfeda l relates just this one thing about Shu'aib, viz., that he was the father-in-law of Moses, without giving any other opinion. Though his name is not mentioned in this connection in the Qurn, other events independent of Moses' life are related of him, particularly his admonition of the Midianites, which is said by the Eabbis to have been the cause of the hatred of that people towards him. 2 Muhammad took up the admonition without mentioning the consequence which it entailed on Jethro, viz., the driving away of his daughters, which was just the circumstance which led to Jethro's connection with the life of Moses. According to Muhammad an immediate punishment fell on the Midianites. 3 The Eabbis have the following on the subject: 4 "The priest of Midian had seven daughters. 5 G-od hates idolatry and did He give Moses a refuge with an idolater ? Concerning this our teachers tell us : Jethro was priest of the idols, but knew their worthlessness, despised

1 Hist. Anteislamica, page 30. 2 Exodus, ii. VJ.

3 gfaas VII. 83-92, XI. 85-98, XXII. 48, XXV. 40, XXVI. 176-92, XXIX. 35-6, XXXVIII. 12, L. 12-3.

  • Midr. Rabb. on Exodus, para. 1.

rrvr (Tibs. Na.i& 'n'

-aa ateo na ?$$ nsn 1 ] '\ 'sb n;n dnb

bbn &nb 7^1 T '5 .

1 ! nDsb? ib na^; ribi DIM ib p^p. rtba? hatte n ib n'i3nb

5 Exodus, ii. 16,


idolatry and had thought of being converted even before Moses came. Then he called his fellow-townsmen and said to them : ' Till now I have served yon, but now I am old, choose you another priest : and he gave them back the vessels of service.' Then they put him under a ban, so that no one conversed with him, no one worked for him, no one tended his flocks ; and when he asked this service from the shepherds, they would not give it. The shepherds came and drove them away. ! Was it possible ? Jethro was the priest of Midian and the shepherds drove away his daugh- ters ? But this shews that they had put him under a ban, and for this reason they drove his daughters away." In the mouth of the people, or more probably from Muhammad himself, the legend received the embellishment that Jethro wanted to convert his fellow-countrymen to the faith, and that they were punished on account of their unbelief. A reproach which is specially brought against them, or rather the point of the exhortation, viz., to give just weight and measure, 2 must be founded on some legend or other, although I have not yet come across it in Jewish writings. 3 Jethro shows himself as a preacher quite according to Muhammad's ideas. He preaches about the Last Day 4 and asserts that he desires no reward ; 5 on the other hand his townspeople reproach him with working no miracles. 6 I have presented the facts and quotations here as though there were no doubt that all these passages refer to Jethro, but exception might be taken to this. An altogether different name 7 is found in the Quran, and it is not easy to

1 Exodus, ii. 17. 2 Suras VII. 83, XI. 86.

3 It seems as though Muhammad had confounded the Midianites with the inhabitants of Sodom, to whom such things are imputed by the Rabbis.

4 Sura XXIX. 85. 5 Sura XXVI. 180.

6 Sura XXVI. 186, 187. 7


explain how came by it. However, we must first try to shew that Shu'aib and Jethro are identical, and then put forward our conjectures as to how the many-named Jethro added this name to his others. The identity is first shewn by the fact that those to whom he was sent are called " Midianites ; " l in the second place, the two first passages 2 give the events concerning him between the story of Lot and that of Moses.

Now if we can find among the Eabbis any intimation favourable to this supposition, then nothing important will remain to oppose its adoption 3 as a probable hypothesis. Very little, however, can be adduced to shew how Shu'aib and Jethro came to be one and the same person. Muham- mad may have confused the name Hobab 4 often used for Jethro and probably pronounced Ohobab with Shu'aib. Perhaps an etymological explanation may be* thought of here, for the Eabbis assert that the staff used later by Moses and called the divine staff 5 grew in Jethro's garden. 6 Now Sha'ba 7 means staff and Shu'aib 8 may be taken as the possessor of the staff. If Shu'aib is the same as Jethro,

1 Suras VII. 83, XI, 85, XXIX. 35. ((), XXII. 43

-_o- where y-jA* is regarded as the name of a town).

2 Suras VII. 83-92, XI. 85-98.

3 It is all very -well for Ahmad ben As Salim (quoted by Maracc. on Sura VII. 83.) to assert that this is the opinion of J^sJ\ /.w &>\L " a heap of fools." Some regard Jethro, as the father of Shu'aib, (as Elpherar on Sura VII. 83 : Q^ ^ v^ yj> Jj ^ ); others, as his nephew (of. the passage quoted above from Elpherar on Sura XXVIII. 23.). The differ- ence in the names confuses the commentators, and also their ignorance of the source from -which here, as often, Muhammad drew.

4 5

6 That Moses obtained the staff from Jethro is asserted also by D'Herb. B. 0. under the word Shu'aib, p. 772, according to the Mubammadan view.

g j o-j

>., -.,ot&

SHU'AIB. 141

there are passages 1 in which the former is mentioned, while those to whom he is sent are not called Midianites ; and so we find a new name for these people, 2 viz., " men of the wood," 3 which name is evidently derived from the thorn bushes (n?p) which were in the vicinity.

It remains for us to justify the bringing forward of two more passages, 4 and it is all the more difficult for us to do so, because in order to prove our point we must accuse Muhammad himself of a misunderstanding. In these pass- ages Shu'aib is not mentioned, but the people who are held up as a warning are called " men of the well," 5 without any other particulars being given about them. But further these " men of the well " 6 are mentioned in one passage along with the " men of the wood/' and so it seems certain that Muhammad regarded them as two different peoples ; but nevertheless we allow ourselves to believe them to be really identical.

The real reason for bringing Jethro into the Qurn is, as we have already remarked, the quarrel of the shepherds with his daughters, although the fact itself is not men- tioned in that book ; and it is thus easy to understand that the Jews may have sometimes called the Midianites by this name i.e., " men of the well." No other circumstances related about these persons mentioned in the Quran would authorize this appellation. The story of Jacob at the well (setting aside the fact that not the slightest allusion

1 'E.g. Sura XXVI. 176 ff. 9

3 Elphernr on Sura YII. 83 has : <&$\ sAa&*>\ ^ft>^ (&. 1 *" ', but this same Elpherar will not allow this with regard to Sura XXVI. 177, because in connection with Midian Shn'aib is mentioned as +&>y\ their brother,

_C,G* J - C:

which is not the case with the &&5\ v T >Wo\ J " people of the wood."

4 Suras XXV. 40, L. 12. 5 6 S<ira L. 12.


to it is to be found in the Quran,) has in it no trace of hostility ; and so the conjecture is not too daring that, as a matter of fact, all these three, 1 viz., the Midianites, the people of the wood, and the people of the well, are the same, "but that Muhammad regarded the first two only as identical and looked on the last as different. Still this tradition seems to have been received even among the Arabs, for we find in Elpherar 2 among other explanations the following : " Wahb says that the people of the well 'sat beside it (the well), and the shepherds served idols. Then G-od sent Shu'aib, who was to exhort them to Isldm, but they remained in their error, and continued their efforts to harm Shu'aib. While they sat round the well in their dwellings the spring bubbled up and gushed over them and their houses, so that they were all ruined." In like manner Jalalu'd-din says : 3 " Their prophet is called by some Shu'aib, by others differently." This admission of the Arabic commentators strengthens our opinion con- siderably. Another person of some importance in the Mosaic age is said by some Arabic commentators to be alluded to in the Quran, 4 but many others dispute the allusion. Elpherar quotes four different opinions on this passage. The first opinion is that it refers to Balaam, for which he quotes many authorities, and relates the history of Balaam in almost complete accord with the

2 Oa Sura XXV. 40. s>W*^ l^lc y*/> Jfet tytf v-ofej JU

3 On Sura XXV. 40 (vid. Maracc.) 6^c J-J^ *-+**& J.J

4 Sura VII. 1745.

SAUL. 143

Bible narrative. 1 Jalalu'd-din and Zamakhshari 2 refer this to Balaam, and call him Balaam the son of Ba/ura. 3 Beyond these no other persons who come into the life of Moses, or who were important in his time, are mentioned, and thus our second part comes to an end.


Chapter II.

Third Part.

The three kings who ruled over undivided Israel.

The history following immediately on the time of Moses, including the time of the Judges, must either have seemed to Muhammad unedifying, which is improbable, as the story of that heroic age was quite in accord with his feelings and aims; or else it must have been wholly unknown to him, and this appears to have been the case from the fact that he speaks of the choosing of a king as an event happening after Moses, 4 in terms which can only mean immediately or very soon after Moses. Saul stands very much in the back ground ; for on the one hand his history was known to Muhammad only in a very abbreviated form, and on the other hand the Prophet had such an undefined notion of Saul's personality that he attributes to him the actions of others. Saul's history is related in the Quran 5 in the following manner: "After Moses the Israelites desired a king, in order that they might go out under him to the Holy War ; 6 to which however only a few of them

1 Elpherar calls him, following some authorities, .ule ^ ^*1> . and following others, yA> y* ^*1).

2 Maracc. on the passage. 3 ^yU ^ ^*1>

4 Sura II. 24 1 ;. ^p jJ ^ 5 Sura II. 247-53.

6 1 Samuel, viii. 20.


afterwards went. The prophet (Samuel) gave out that Saul was sent of God, still he seemed despicable in the eyes of the people. 1 As a sign that. the rule pertained to Saul, the prophet of Israel announced the return of the Ark of the Covenant. Saul then proved his troops, and allowed only those to belong to his army who drank water lapping it with the hand; this was done by very few, and even these were afraid of Goliath and his armies. David at length overcame the Philistine and his hosts and gained the dominion." The circumstance that through Saul the .Ark of the Covenant came back 2 is contrary to Scripture, accord- ing to which the Ark came back earlier. The story of Saul's proving his troops is evidently a confusion with that of Gideon, concerning whom this is related in the Bible, 3 and has doubtless risen from the similar story of Saul's forbidding food to the army. 4 This confusion with Gideon accounts too for the saying that only a few mighty men followed Saul. The name of the prophet is not given, and later Arabians also are in ignorance about it. 5 Saul is called Taint, 6 a name probably given on account of his height. 7 Muhammad notices in the Quran that Saul was of great height, 8 and Baidhawi gives this derivation for . Lis name. Goliath is called JaHt. 9 The personality of David 10 is certainly more clearly grasped in the Qura"n, but the actual historical events of his life are scarcely touched upon. David's victory over Goliath is mentioned

1 1 Samuel, x. 27.

2 Sura II.. 249 must be thus understood, and perhaps it would also be better to read y>U5\ *.oV. here.

3 Judges, vii. 5 ff. * 1 Samuel, xiv. 24 ff.

5 Baidhawi says : Jjj** 1 ^ (?0j-&-&) (.y**& fi g&i

6 cwjH probably derided from Jl to be tall.

7 1 Samuel, ix. 2, x. 23. 8 Sura II. 248. 9 J^Ju 10 ."I"\T

DAVID. 145

incidentally in the history of Saul. Again, the story of David and Bathsheba is only distantly alluded to, in that (setting aside the passage 1 in which he is called <f Penitent " probably with reference to her) the parable of the case in law devise.d by the Prophet Nathan 2 is narrated, 3 and to it is added 4 that David perceived that this was a sign ; and after he had repented, he was received back into favour by Grod. According to the Quran the case in dispute is not related by the prophet, but the two disputants themselves come before David. In another pas- sage 5 mention is made of David's and Solomon's excellent judgment on the occasion of some quarrel unknown to us about shepherds tending flocks on strange fields at night. A remarkable circumstance is given in several passages, 6 where it is stated that David compelled the mountains and the birds to praise Grod with him, which, as Wahl rightly remarks, owes its origin to David's poetical address to all creatures, in which address he imagines them endowed with life and reason, and calls on them to join with him in extolling the Almighty. According to the Qura"n 7 mankind is indebted to David for the invention of armour. This legend probably arose from David's warlike fame, although there is much said in the Bible about Goliath's armour. In another passage 8 we find a general mention of David. In one of the Sunnas 9 it is mentioned that David did with very little sleep j and Elpherar 10 in a long chain of tradition beginning with Ibn ' Abbas and ending

1 Sura XXXVIII. 16. v>V * Samu el, xii. 1 ff.

3 Sura XXXVIII. 20-3. 4 Sura XXXVIII. 236.

5 Sura XXI. 78.

6 Suras XXI. 79, XXXIV. 10, XXXVIII. 16-20.

? Sura XXI. 80. 8 Sura XXVII. IB.

9 Sauna 143. l0 On Sura XXXVIII, 16,


with f Amru, says : l " The Apostle of God said : ( (David) slept half the night, rose for a third, and then slept again for a sixth.'" The Babbis also speak of this, on the strength of the 2 verse, " At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee," and they assert that David used to sleep only daring sixty respirations. 3 David is also known to Muhammad as the author of the Psalms. 4 The affair of the Sabbath-breakers, who were punished by being changed into apes, is also supposed to belong to the time of David, but the circumstance is mentioned 5 only in general terms, and nothing definite is given about time or details, except in verse 82, where the time is given, but not the fact. Among the Jews there is no trace of this legend. The life of Solomon 6 is in itself unimportant, and it is only the wisdom for which he is famed in the Bible which makes him the hero of the whole Bast, one might therefore expect to find much more about him in the Quran than really exists there. Muhammad speaks of his wisdom, 7 and especially brings forward the fact that Solomon understood the language of the birds. This is also asserted by the Eabbis, and is founded on the Biblical

statement : 8 "He spake of trees and birds." The

winds 9 also performed his will, and the Genii were found in his following ; 10 this is also related, e.g,, in the second

3 Palms, cxix. 62. 3 ^ttb T^tt? (Beracliotb).

4 j Suras IV. 161, XVII. 57.

5 Suras II. 61, IV. 50, V. 65, VII, 166.

6 gW" 7 Sura XXVII. 15, 16.

8 1 Kings, v. is. rfiay bs) tyssn bi? -ISY>.!


9 gjj here probably means the spirits of the air, like j-yirm 10 Suras XXL 81, 82, XXXIV. 11, 12, XXXVIII. 35-9,


Targum on the Book of Esther, 1 thus: "To him were obedient demons of the most diverse sorts, and the evil spirits were given into his hand." This legend is derived primarily from a mistaken interpretation of a passage in Ecclesiastes. 2 Muhammad relates the following tale : 3 H On one occasion the lapwing 4 was not found in attend- ance on Solomon, and the King regarding him as a truant threatened to kill him. Then the lapwing came with the news that he had discovered a land as yet unknown to Solomon, which was not subject to him, the land of Sheba, in which the people together with the Queen worshipped the sun. Solomon sent the bird back with a letter summon- ing these people to adopt the belief in the Unity of God. He himself went thither at once with his troops, and had the Queen's throne brought to him by a ministering angel. The Queen had been already converted, and she came into Solomon's camp ; he had her brought before him into a hall, of which the flooring was glass, and she imagining it to be water, exposed her legs." This same story is to be found in the Targum 5 already referred to, together with some other circumstances which I shall omit here. The story runs as follows : " Thereupon the partridge was sought and not found among the birds, and the King commanded angrily that it should be fetched, and he wanted to kill it. Then the partridge answered the King : ' My lord and King, attend and hear my words, for three months I considered and flew about the whole world to find the town where thou wast not obeyed. Then I saw a town in the East called Kitor, where there are many

1 On Esther, i. 2.

rnvT] prn. J^BI -d^ fro^En. nb

8 Ecclesiastes, ii. 8.

3 Sura XXVII. 20-46. 4

5 Second Targum on the Book of Esther,


people, but a woman rales over them ; she is called the Queen of Sheba. If it please thee now, my lord King, I will go to that town and bind the Qneen with chains and its nobles with iron fetters and bring them all here/ And it pleased the King, and Scribes were called who wrote letters and bound them to the wings of the partridge. When the bird came to the Queen she saw the letter tied on to its wing, she opened it, and these were the contents : f Prom me, Solomon the King, greeting to thee and to thy princes ! Thou knowest well that Grod hath appointed me King over the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, and over the demons, spirits and spectres of the night, and that the kings of all the countries under heaven approach me in submission. If thou also wilt do this, great honour will be shewn thee ; if not, then I will send against thee kings and legions and horsemen. The kings are the beasts of the field; the horsemen, the birds of the air; the armies, demons and spirits; while the legions are nightmares, which will strangle you in your beds.' When the Queen had read this, she rent her clothes and sent for the elders and lords and said : ' Do you know what King Solomon has sent me ? ' They said : ' We neither know him, nor heed him.' But the Queen did not trust them, but called for ships and sent presents to the king, and after three years she went herself. When the king heard that she had come, he seated himself in a glass room.. She thought the king was sitting in the water, and bared herself to go through it. When she saw his magnificence, she 'said : l ' Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne ......

to do judgment and justice.' " We must forgive Muhammad the two slight changes he makes in the story, viz., that he turns the matter from one of government into one of

1 Kings, x. 9.


religion, and that he begins the letter * with the words : " In the name of the Merciful God," Solomon built the Temple also by the help of the spirits, who even went on building after his death, while he remained sitting on his throne till a worm gnawed him. 2

Once when Solomon became arrogant he was driven from the kingdom, and a spirit reigned in his stead until he repented. 3 The Sanhedrin 4 gives the following brief account : " At first Solomon reigned even over the exalted ones, as it is written : 5 Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord; but afterwards only over his own stick, as it is written : 6 What profit hath man of all his labour ? and further/ this was my portion from all my labour." 8 When he repented, he gave up his useless extravagances, and had his horses disabled, 9 to which the following passage alludes : 10 " It is wisely ordained that the reasons for the commandments are not given; they were given in two

'^ " Sura XXVII. SO.

2 Sura XXXIV. 13. Cf . on this point Gittin, 68.

3 Sura XXXVIII. 83-5. 4 Sanhedrin, 20.

b? nb'btf aato '$ tytfr bv nbbt


rm nt

5 1 Chronicles, xxix. 23. 6 Ecolesiastes, i. 3.

7 Bcclesiastes, ii. 10.

8 Of. also Midr. Rabba on Numbers, par. H ; on Canticles, iii. 4 ; and on Ruth, ii. 14.

9 Sura XXXVIII. 29-32. 10 Sanhedrin, 21.



cases, and one of the greatest of men sinned. For it is written : l The king shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses. Then Solomon thought, I will get me many horses and not send to Egypt; but it is written : 2 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver." A story about spirits, which is said to have happened in Solomon's time, 3 has already been mentioned in connection with Noah. A story about the ants, which fled before Solomon's army, is related in the Quran, 4 and remains to be noticed. It is evidently founded on the verse, 5 " Gro to the ant thou

sluggard and be wise;" and based on this same

foundation we have a beautiful fable in the Talmud, 6 but I could find there no trace of the story given in the Quran.

The story of the lapwing 7 has gained a firm foot hold in Arabic legend, and a pretty myth about the bird is found in Fakihat Elcholaf a. 8 For Muhammad there were no very important personages between Moses and Jesus ; and such as he does mention he merely alludes to. This is not to be wondered at when Solomon, the wise man of the East, who is endowed with all manner of legendary adornment comes, comparatively speaking, so little before us in the Quran.

1 Deuteronomy, xvii. 16. 2 1 Kings, x. 29.

3 Sura II. 96. 4 Sura XXYII. 18-9,

5 Proverbs, vi. 6 ff. 6 Chullin, 57. 2,



8 Pago 91,



Fourth Part. Holy Men after the time of Solomon.

Many important men might "be mentioned here, but Muhammad knew but few of them, and about those whom he does name he gives for the most part nothing special, but mentions them only with other pious persons. Some only are treated with a little more detail, and we will mention them here first, so as then to put the others together briefly. Of Elijah * his dispute with the people about the worship of Baal is related briefly. In the legends of Islam as well as in those of later Judaism Elijah plays a very important part. He is that mystical 2 person known under the name of Khizr. He is therefore the same as Phinehas, 3 erroneously called by some the nephew of Aaron 4 instead of his grandson, and, like Elijah the prophet 5 in later Jewish traditions, he is the mediator between heaven and earth. It is he who appears

\ Suras VI. 85, XXXVII. 123. In one place he is called a

(Sura XXXVII. 30) on account of the rhyme. We find among other opinions in'Elpherar the following :

" It is said that Ilyasin is a dialectic change for Elyas, as Ism'ail for Ism'am and Mikhayil for Mikhayin." These examples are certainly unsuitable, for in them the change is only from J to y } while here the


complete addition of the syllable 0.> takea place. This the Arabs, in spite of the similar (.j^Ui mentioned before, seem to shrink from explaining as a change deliberately made on account of the rhyme.


to the pious under the most varied forms, who visits the schools, and imparts to famous teachers . that which Grod communicates about this or that opinion expressed by them, The Muslims too know him in this capacity, and they recognize him in the servant of God who proposed himself as a travelling companion to Moses, 1 and in these actions they have the prototype of his ministry as one who appears in a miraculous manner, has intercourse with men in human fashion, and performs incomprehensible actions which only receive true significance through knowledge which is hidden from man.

Jonah is mentioned in several passages of the Quran. 2 His mission to Nineveh, his being swallowed by the fish, his rescue from it, and the story of the gourd which shaded him, are all given very briefly. 3 Job's 4 sufferings and healing are mentioned in two passages, 5 and in the latter passage Muhammad adds that Job produced a cooling and refreshing fountain for himself by stamping on the earth. We know of no parallel passage to this in the Eabbinical writings.

We come now to a passage 6 hitherto wroogly referred which translated runs thus :

" Slain were the men of the pit of the burning fire, When they sat around the same,

And were witnesses of what was done to the true believers, and they wished to punish them only because they believed in the mighty and Glorious God, " &c.

1 Sura XVIII. 59-82.

2 JJy, Suras VI. 86, X. 98, XXXVII. 139, XXI. 87 &$ y& , LXVIII.


3 Suras X. 98, XXI. 87-8, XXXVII. 139149, LXVIII. 48-51;

  • VJS 5 Suras XXI. 83-4, XXXVIII. 40-5.

6 84ra LXXXV. 4 ff.


Commentators make this refer to the punishment of a Jewish Himyarite King who persecuted the Christians, but the appellation "believers" as applied to Christians has no parallel elsewhere in the Quran, no detail bearing on this event is mentioned, and just this one form of persecution (burning) is not given by the martyrologists.

If we compare the passage with the story of the three children l all fits in perfectly.

The three believers would not bow themselves before an idol, and were thrown into the fiery furnace; those who threw them in were slain by the heat and the believers were saved. Evidently Muhammad here alludes to this. 2

It is possible that there is an allusion to the story of the revival of the dry bones 3 in a passage of the Qura"n, 4 which tells us that many who left their habitations for fear of death were slain by Grod, but were afterwards restored to life. 5 The Talmud treats the narrative given in Ezekiel more in detail. 6

Another biblical reference may perhaps be found in

1 Daniel, iii. 8 ff.

2 An intimation that this passage refers to this circumstance is given by the Arabian commentator Muqatil (cited by Elpherar), in that he asserts that there were in fact three "people of the burning fiery pit"

(j.iLsjf v^a-o\)j and of the pits one was in <j*j\i } i. e. Persia, and indeed under j*> o^> Nebuchadnezzar 5 but he adds : U$j dU\ Ju> ^L

V>\JS, God revealed nothing in the Sura about this or about the other event which took place in Syria, but only revealed about the one under Dhu-nawas. But this intimation is enough for the strengthening of our opinion.

3 Ezekiel, xxxvii. * Sura II. 244.

5 The Arabian commentators know of this but dimly, for Ismail Ben 'Ali gives out in the name o Ibn Talib that this event took place in the time of the Judge (?) J^V-, ^- e > Ezekiel, who came after yoV.^, the son. of Caleb, in this office. (Maraco : Prodr. IV, 83.)

6 Sanhedrin 92.



the words : 1 " Dost thou not see how thy Lord stretches (lengthens) out the shadow when he will, makes it quies- cent, then sets the sun over it as an indicator." This I think is perhaps an allusion to the sign given to Hezekiah, 2

We find more in the Quran albout Ezra, 3 if not about his history, yet about the way in which the Jews regarded him. According to the assertion of Muhammad the Jews held Ezra to be the Son of God.4 This is certainly a mere misunderstanding which arose from the great esteem in which Ezra was undoubtedly held. This esteem is expressed in the following passage : 5 " Ezra would have been worthy to have made known the law if Moses had not come before him." Truly Muhammad sought to cast suspicion on the Jews' faith in the unity of Grod, and thought he had here found a good opportunity of so doing.

This utterance as an expression of the Jewish opinion of that time loses much in value when we consider the personality of that Phineas the son of Azariah, to whom it is attributed.

In the traditions of Istem there is a great deal aboiit Ezra as the compiler of the Law. In this character also

1 Sura XXV. 47-8.

2 2 Kings, xx. 9-12, 8j[

The Arabian grammarians dispute as to whether tho word should receive a nunnation or not, but it seems to me that the omission of it is more suitable to the form of. the word which is like a diminutive Several of the Arabians regard this as correct.

4 Sura IX. 30. Snnna, 462.

In D'Herbelot (under the word " Ozair " page 691) much is adduced from Muslim commentators and historians to explain this passage, which however, in harmony with the Talmud, only asserts Ezra's renewing of the Law.

5 Sanhedriii 21. 2.

rib Nbbtf tr; bs rnifl inznu? NTJB ?rn


EZEA. . 155

lie comes before us in Scripture, and the Jews believed this of him ; so the probability becomes great that Muhammad, on the one hand, intentionally exaggerated, and, on the other hand, eagerly caught up the hasty and mocking utterance of some individual to prove this point against the Jews.

The Arabian commentators according to Maraccius l refer another passage in the Quran 2 to Ezra, namely, the one where it is related of some person that he passed by a ruined city and doubted if it could ever be restored. Grod let him die for one hundred years, then revived him and imparted to him the assurance that one hundred years had gone by, while he believed that but one day had passed.

The proof was that his food and drink had perished and his ass was mouldering away. Then behold! Grod put together the bones of the animal and clothed them with flesh, so that the man acknowledged : " God is mighty over all." The fable is derived, as Maraccius rightly observes, from the ride round the ruined city of Jerusalem made by Nehemiah, 3 who is often confused with Ezra.

Two other Biblical characters are merely mentioned: Elisha 4 in two passages, 5 and each time strangely enough immediately after Ishmael ; and Dhu'1-Kifl, 6 who according to his name which means the nourisher, and from the fact related of him that he nourished a hundred Israelites in a cave, must be Obadiah. 7 Perhaps however he may be Ezekiel; who according to Niebuhr 8 is called Kephil by tho Arabs. 9

1 Prod. iv. 85, 2 Sura II, 261.

3 Nehemiah, ii. 12 ff. * ^T\

5 Suras VI. 86, XXXVIII. 48. 6 Suras XXI. 85, XXXVIII, 48.

7 1 Kings, xviii. 4. 8 Reisebeschreibung II. 265.

9 According to Khondemir (D'Herbelofc Bibl. Orient, under Elisha ben Akhthob) Dhu'1-Kifl waa a follower of Elisha, but Obadiah was contem- porary with Elijah,


Now all the historical allusions have been put together, and when we examine them we see unmistakably in them the verification of the hypothesis which we laid down at the beginning-^namely, that Muhammad borrowed a great deal from Judaism, that he learned that which he did borrow from oral tradition, and that he sometimes altered it to suit his purpose. We have tried to shew in the first part that external circumstances must have raised in Muhammad the desire to borrow much from Judaism, that he had the means thereto within his reach, and that other circumstances, particularly his own main aim, offered no obstacle to, but rather fitted in with such a borrowing. In the second part, we have attempted to show that Muhammad really did borrow from Judaism, and that conceptions, matters of creed, views of morality, and of life in general, and more especially matters of history and of traditions, have actually passed over from Judaism into the Quran.

And now our task is practically ended. If a thorough demonstration has been made of all these points, then the questions as to whether Muhammad did borrow from Judaism, and what and how he so borrowed, have been sufficiently answered, Now, as a supplementary note we add a summary of the passages in which Muhammad's attribute towards Judaism seems to be negative and even hostile. Some of these passages oppose Judaism, some abrogate laws binding on the Jews, and some allude to Jewish customs without imposing them upon the Arabs. But since we consider the question, the answer to which forms the subject of our theme, as now fully answered, without giving the results of further investigation, we therefore do not give these results as a part of this work itself, but add them as an appendix,




Just as we tried before to shew from the personality of Muhammad and from the spirit of his time that borrowing from Judaism had taken place, even so we wish here to shew that statements hostile to Judaism are to be found in the Quran. Muhammad's aim was to bring about a union of all creeds, and no religious community stood more in the way of the attainment of this end than the Jews with their many cumbersome laws, unknown to other religions. Further, Muhammad's aim was to establish in and through this union such religious doctrines only as were in his opinion purified. The observance of indi- vidual laws did not seem to him of great importance, except in so far aa such laws resulted immediately from those special doctrines ; moreover, he loved the old Arabian customs and kept to 'them. The Jews on the contrary laid the greatest stress upon the punctilious fulfilment of the revealed law, and shewed not the slightest desire to depart from it. While these two causes of mutual separation were founded upon the difference in the fundamental opinions of Muhammad and the Jews, another may be added which arose more from an external difference. As we have already remarked, the Jews pressed Muhammad very hard, and often annoyed him with repartee and evasions, thus rousing in him an inextinguishable hatred. Governed by this he mis- understood their religious doctrines, putting false constructions upon them, and so justifying his own deviation from them. He wished therefore to make a final separation from these hateful Jews, and to this end he established entirely different customs. Later Arabians confess that he made changes 1 " from the


necessity of abolishing resemblances to the Jews." 1 Thus, Muhammad asserts that the Jews are the enemies of the Muslims, 2 that they slew prophets, 3 a probable reference to Jesus; further, that they in common with Christians thought themselves specially favoured by God, 4 that they believed that they alone should possess Paradise, 5 that they held Ezra to be the son of God, 6 that they trusted in the intercession of their self pious predecessors, 7 that they had perverted the Bible 8 because in ita existing form that Book contained no allusions to him, and that the Jews built temples on the graves of the prophets. 9 Such accusations and the reasons given earlier supplied Muhammad with grounds on which to justify his departure from Jewish laws.

A. Prayer. Supper precedes prayer. 10 This is in direct opposition to the Talmud, which lays down exactly how long before prayer one may eat that the hour of prayer may not be let slip. Truly in this Muhammad wished to live so as to please his Arabs.

B. Laws about women* Muhammad says : n " It is lawful for you on the night of the fast to go in unto your wives." This is clearly prescribed in opposition to the directly contrary ruling in the Talmudic law prohibiting cohabitation on the night before the fast day in Abh, that being counted as part of the fast day itself.

The laws of divorce 12 are probably identical with those of the ancient Arabs. There is a remarkable passage in the Quran, 13 which says that the man after he has put away his wife for the second time cannot marry her again until she has married another man, and been divorced by him too. This ia directly contrary to the teaching of the Bible. 14

1 Pocock notee Misc., chap. 9, page 369. s Sura V. 85.

3 Suras II. 58, V. 74. 4 Sura V. 21.

5 Suras IT. 88, LXII. 6. 6 Sura IX. 30. Sunna 462.

7 Sura II, 128, 135.

8 Sura II. 73, and other passages. 9 Snnna 70 ff. 10 Sunna 97 ff. " Sura II. 183. 12 Sura, II. 229 ff, l3 Sura II. 230. 14 Deuteronomy, xxiv, 1 ff.


The Muslims assert 1 that the Jews of that period laid down that cohabitation was to take place in the usual way. On this Muhammad to please himself and his Arabs says: 3 "Tour wives are your tillage, go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner soever ye will," etc.

0. The most important and prominent change to be consi- dered in this connection is the removal of the prohibition about food, concerning which Muhammad asserts that it was imposed upon the Jews only on account of their iniquity. 3 (It is interest- ing that Jesus states just the converse when he speaks of the abolition of divorce. 4 ) Muhammad abolishes the law about meat in several passages, 5 but holds to part of it in others, 6 following it would seem the precedent of the apostles, to whom almost the same utterance is attributed in the New Testa- ment. 7 Thus he forbids carrion, blood, swine's flesh, and that which has been slain for an idol ; to which he adds in the first passage, that which is not properly killed, viz., that slain by strangling, or by a blow from an axe, that killed by a fall from a mountain, that which is gored, and that torn by wild beasts. These last rules, considering the total silence about them in other later passages, may be regarded as " abolished/' 8 In another passage 9 Muhammad mentions particular meats which were forbidden to the Jews. 10

D. Lastly, the following utterance 11 of Muhammad is decid- edly combative : " 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

1 Sunna 460. 2 Sura II. 223.

3 Sura IV. 158. 4 St. Matthew, xix. 8.

5 Suras III. 44, SI, IV. 158, V. 89, 90.

6 Suras V. 4, VI. 146, XVI.116. 1 Acts, xv. 1928.

8 Jjlj* 9 Sura VI. 147.

10 Leviticus, xi. 3, 7, 27, ff. and 89 ff. Sura V. 49.


judgeth nofc according to what God hath revealed they are unjust." The passage of Scripture which Muhammad here has in mind is in Exodus j l and those who do not observe it are the Jews, in that they extend to all cases the permission to make atonement with money> which is given only when the injured party agrees to it. The Mishna 2 runs as follows : " If a man has blinded another, or cut off his hand, or broken his foot, one must regard the injured person as though he were a slave sold iu the market, and put a price upon him and reckon how much he was worth before the injury and how much now, etc."

These are about all the chief points showing a consideration of Judaism, and the collecting of them gives us another proof that Muhammad had a personal knowledge of Judaism through acquaintance with the Jewish manner of life and through intercourse with the Jews.

If we now once more consider this treatise as a whole, we shall find that by the establishment of the fact which was to be demonstrated, viz., that Muhammad borrowed from Judaism, we come to a clear understanding of the Quran in general as well as of individual passages in it. Furthermore, the state of culture of the Arabians of that day, and especially of the Arabian Jews, is to some extent made clear, and light is thrown upon the plan of Muhammad and upon his intellec- tual power and knowledge by many authentic documents. Then in collecting the passages which serve as proofs we are compelled to dismiss at once the ill-considered confidence with which people are apt to speak of each legend as a dream of the rabbinical Talmudists; for although the author neither can nor will maintain that no passage bearing on his thesis has escaped him in the Kabbinical literature, still this must be accepted as a fact until it can be proved that this

1 Exodus, xxi. 23 ff. 2 Mishua Baba, ^tnma viii. 1,


pi n?} rp r n na? ^w] p-a- 13555 *\ya


or that has been omitted, and thus for the present we must attribute to some other source every thing of which the Jewish origin has not been proved. By this, however, I do not intend to say that everything which, according to our ideas, is mythical and for which a Jewish source appears to be forth- coming, may be laid upon Judaism; for, on the one hand, the opinion or legend may originally have had a different signification and it may have reached its present extravagant development in the mouth of the people, and, on the other hand, the source itself may have had no obligatory importance, and therefore does not hold the same place with regard to Judaism as the Qur&n holds with regard to Islam. We must distinguish between Judaism and views derived from the Jews; this distinction, however, is unfortunately either from ill-will or ignorance often not made.

And now I submit this treatise to you, honoured readers, and your judgment will convince me of the correctness or falsity of my opinions, and as to whether my work fulfils its end or has failed in its purpose.

  1. In the translation the quotations are made from Fluegel's edition.
  2. See Jost's Geschiehte des israelitischen Volkes, Vol. II. pp. 207. ff.
  3. Sura XXIX. 47 (Arabic text) "Thou didst not read any book before this, neither couldest thou write it with thy right hand." (i. e., the Word of God). Sale's Translation.
  4. (Arabic text) Abulfeda (Vita Mohammedis ed. Gagnier, p. 67).
  5. (Arabic text) In Pococke (Specimen Historiae Arabum p. 11) (Arabic text) See also Commentators on. Sura lix, and also Vita Mohammedis p. 71.
  6. (Arabic text)
  7. 2 (Arabic text) Pcc. Spec. p. 11.
  8. (Arabic text)
  9. Comp. Assemani Bibliotheca Orientalis I. 361 pp. and Michaelis Syrische Chrestomathie p. 19 ff.
  10. Quran LXXXV. (Arabic text)
  11. See Division H, Section II, Chapter II, Part IV.
  12. Baidhawi on Quran II. 91.
  13. Vide Pococke Spec. p. 136.
  14. A good voucher for the importance to which some Jewish families had attained might be found in a poem of Hamasa (ed. Freytag p. 49), which is full of the spirit of chivalry and self reliance, if only the evidence that the family referred to was a Jewish one were sufficiently certain. The only thing for it is the name of the author (Arabic text) which, as a commentator cited by Elgherar remarks, is a Hebrew name (Arabic text) but which might easily have come into use among the Arabs. Even in the verse (Arabic text) page 52, where the pure and unmixed descent of the family is praised, and where one might expect a mention of its Jewish origin, no such allusion is found.