uses much the same language as Abu'l Fida, but adds that the customs which he mentions, including that of the Ihlal had been retained from Abraham's time. This is no doubt true of circumcision: but it can hardly he said that Abraham had anything to do with the other matters referred to, in spite of the Muhammadan belief that he visited Mecca and worshipped where the Ka'bah now stands.

It is clear, from all that has been said, that the first source of Islam is to be found in the religious beliefs 1 and practices of the Arabs of Muhammad's day. From this heathen source, too, Islam has

1 Muhammad has also borrowed certain fables current among the heathen Arabs, such as the tales of 'Ad and Thamud and some others (Surah VII., 63-77). Regarding such stories Al Kindi well says to his opponent: "And if thou mentionest the tale of 'Ad and Thamud and the Camel and the Comrades of the Elephant" (Surahs CV., and XIV., 9) "and the like of these tales, we say to thee, 'Those are senseless stories and the nonsensical fables of old women of the Arabs, who kept reciting them night and day'":—
فإذ ذكرت قصة عاد وثمود والناقة وأصاب الفيل ونظائر هذه القصص قلنا لك هذه أخبار باردة وخرافات عجائز الحى اللواتى كنّ يدرسنها ليلهنّ ونهارهنّ.
Sprenger (quoted in Rodwell's Preface, p. xvii) thinks that Muhammad learnt the tales of 'Ad and Thamud from the Hanifs (see chapter vi of the present volume), and that the latter were Sabians and held sacred the "Volumes of Abraham" mentioned in Surah LXXXVII., 19 in which Apocryphal books these tales may have found place. But this can hardly be considered as proved. May not the "Testament of Abraham" (rediscovered a few years ago), of which we shall have to speak in chapter iv, be included among the Suhuf Ibrahim?

derived the practice of Polygamy and that of slavery, both of which, though adding nothing to their evil effects in other respects, Muhammad sanctioned for all time by his own adoption of them.


It is sometimes said in the East at the present day that Muhammad not only adopted many of the ancient habits and religions rites of the heathen Arabs and incorporated them into Islam, but that he was also guilty of plagiarism in borrowing parts of certain verses of Imrau'l Qais, an ancient Arabic poet. These, it is asserted, may still be found in the Qur'an. I have even heard a story to the effect that one day when Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter, was reciting the verse "The Hour has come near and the Moon has split asunder" (Surah LIV., Al Qamar, 1), a daughter of the poet was present and said to her "That is a verse from one of my father's poems, and your father has stolen it and pretended that he received it from God." This tile is probably false, for Imrau'l Qais died about the year 540 of the Christian era, while Muhammad was not born till A.D. 570, "the year of the Elephant."

In a lithographed edition of the Mu'allaqat, which I obtained in Persia, however, I found at the end of the whole volume certain Odes there attributed to Imrau'l Qais, though not recognized as his in any other edition of his poems which I have seen. In these pieces of doubtful authorship