as the following to be found in the Qur'an: "Nay, it is a glorious Qur'an in a "Preserved Tablet" (Surah LXXXV., Al Buruj, 21, 22). The word Qur'an itself denotes this, meaning "that which is recited." In another place we read that God Most High commanded Muhammad to say, "God is witness between me and you, and this Qur'an was given me by inspiration that I might warn you therewith" (Surah VI., Al An'am, 19). So also in Surah XCVII., Al Qadr, 1, God is represented as saying with reference to the Qur'an, "Verily We caused it to descend on the Night of Power." Such quotations might be almost indefinitely multiplied 1.

The Muhammadan explanation of the origin of Islam therefore, based as it ultimately is upon the Qur'an, is that the sole Source and Fountain-head of the Religion of Islam is God Himself. It had accordingly no human source, and no single part of it was derived directly or indirectly from earlier revelations or from other religions, though it was revealed to confirm the Law and the Gospel, and claims to agree with their original and uncorrupted teaching (cf. Surah LVII., Al Hadid, 26, sqq.).

European readers hardly require proof that such an opinion of the origin of Islam in general and of the Qur'an in particular is untenable. Those who cannot read the book in the original Arabic are enabled to examine its teaching by consulting the

1 Cf. Surahs IV., 84; XVII., 107; XLVI., 7; LIII., 4; &c, &c.

various translations of the Qur'an which have been made into various European languages, the best known of the English versions being those by Sale, Rodwell, and Palmer. To an intelligent mind the assertion which we are considering refutes itself. Moreover, the morality of the Qur'an, its view of the Divine Nature, its anachronisms, and its many defects make it impossible for us to doubt that it is Muhammad's own composition. When the Surahs are arranged in the chronological order of their composition and compared with the events in Muhammad's life, we see that there is much truth in the statement that the passages were not, as Muslims say, revealed, but — composed from time to time, as occasion required, to sanction each new departure made by Muhammad 1. The Qur'an is a faithful mirror of the life and character of its author. It breathes the air of the desert, it enables us to hear the battle-cries of the Prophet's followers as they rushed to the onset, it reveals the working of Muhammad's own mind, and shows the gradual declension of his character as he passed from the earnest and sincere though visionary enthusiast into the conscious impostor and open sensualist. All this is clear to every unprejudiced reader the book.

At the same time the question presents itself, Whence did Muhammad borrow the ideas, narratives, the precepts, which he has incorporated

1 Vide pp. 275 sqq.