acts, and of thy wisdom. Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king to do judgment and justice.’ And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon."

Although many others of the narratives that are contained in the Qur'an have been borrowed from Jewish fables, yet here it is not necessary to quote them all at length. In every case Muhammad seems to have been ignorant of the true history of the Prophets as related in the Canonical Books of the Old Testament. This was doubtless due to the fact that the Jews of Arabia were not learned men, and that they were better acquainted with the fables of the Talmud than with the Bible. Before we proceed to more important matters, however, we must deal with the story of Harut and Marut, the two angels that sinned in Babylon. This legend is of much interest, as we can trace it


in the first instance to the Jews, and can then show that it is of composite origin. We first quote it as it is narrated in the Qur'an and the Traditions, and shall then refer to the Jewish and other legends from which it was derived.

4. Story of Harut and Marut.

In the Qur'an (Surah II., Al Baqarah, 96) it is thus written:—

"Solomon did not disbelieve, but the Devils disbelieved. And they teach men sorcery and what had been sent down unto the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. And they teach not anyone until they both say, ‘Verily we are Rebellion, therefore do not thou disbelieve.’"

In the 'Araisu'l Majalis we find the following story, told on the authority of Tradition, in explanation of this verse. "The Commentators say that, when the angels saw the vile deeds of the sons of men that ascended up to heaven in the time of the Prophet Idris, they rebuked them for that and repudiated them and said, ‘These are those whom Thou hast made Vicegerents upon earth and whom Thou hast chosen, yet they offend against Thee.’ Therefore God Most High said, ‘If I had sent you down to the Earth and had instilled into you what I have instilled into them, ye would have done as they have done.’ They said, ‘God forbid! O our Lord, it were unfitting for us to offend against Thee.’ God Most High