that the prophetic office was bestowed on the family of Isaac and Jacob, not on that of Ishmael. Hence Muhammad distinguishes himself as "the Gentile Prophet," differing in that respect from the rest, who were, generally speaking, from Isaac's descendants. There is absolutely no proof that Muhammad was ignorant of reading and writing, though we are not compelled, as some have fancied, to infer that the polished style of the Qur'an is a proof that he wrote out much of it carefully, and thus elaborated the different Surahs before learning them off by heart and reciting them to his amanuenses. This latter might have been done without ability to write 1.

But even if, for the sake of argument, we admit that reading and writing were arts unknown to Muhammad, that admission does not in the slightest degree invalidate the proof that he borrowed extensively from Jewish and other sources. Even if he

1 But we are not destitute of traditions, whatever value we may attach to them, which assert that Muhammad could write, and therefore read. Bukhari and Muslim quote traditions to the effect that when the Treaty of Hudaibah was being signed, Muhammad took the pen from 'Ali and struck out the words in which the latter had designated him ''Apostle of God," substituting in his own handwriting the words "Son of 'Abdu'llah." Again, tradition tells is that, when be was dying, Muhammad called for pen and ink to write directions intended to prevent his followers from disputing about his successor; but his strength failed him. This latter tradition rests upon the authority of Ibn Abbas, and is reported by Bukhari and Muslim. It is well known as forming a subject of controversy between Sunnis and Shi'ahs.

could read Arabic, it is hardly likely that he was a student of Aramaic, Hebrew, and other languages. The parallels which we have drawn between certain passages in the Qur'an and those resembling them in various Jewish writings are close enough to show the ultimate source of much of the Qur'an. But in no single case are the verses of the Qur'an translated from any such source. The many errors that occur in the Qur'an show that Muhammad received his information orally, and probably from men who had no great amount of book-learning themselves. This obviates the second assumption of the Muslims. It was doubtless for many obvious reasons impossible for Muhammad to consult a large number of Aramaic, Zoroastrian, and Greek books; but it was by no means impossible for him to learn from Jewish 1, Persian, and Christian friends and disciples the tales, fables, and traditions which were then current. His enemies brought against him in his own time the charge of having been assisted by such persons in the composition of the Qur'an, as we learn both from the Qur'an itself and from the admissions of Ibn Hisham and of the commentators. Among others thus mentioned as helping in the composition of the book is the Jew spoken of in Surah XLVI., Al Ahqaf, 9, as a "witness" to the agreement between the Qur'an

1 In fact, in Surah X., Yunus, 94, Muhammad is bidden to ask the People of the Book for information to clear up his doubts.