and the Jewish Scriptures. The commentators 'Abbasi and Jalalain in their notes on this passage tell us that this was Abdu'llah ibn Salam, who, if we may believe the Raudatu'l Ahbab, was a Jewish priest or Rabbi before he became a Muslim. In Surah XXV., Al Furqan, 5, 6, we are told that Muhammad's enemies said, "Others have helped him with it," and stated that he had merely written down certain "Tales of the Ancients," which were dictated to him by his accomplices morning and evening. 'Abbasi states that the persons thus referred to were Jabr, a Christian slave, Yasar (also called Abu Fuqaihah), and a certain Abu Takbihah, a Greek. In Surah XVI., An Nahl, 105, in answer to the accusation, "Surely a human being teacheth him," Muhammad offers the inadequate reply that the language of the man who is hinted at was foreign, whereas the Qur'an itself was composed in plain Arabic. This answer does not attempt to refute the obvious meaning of the charge, which was that (not the style of the language used but) the stories told in the Qur'an had thus been imparted to Muhammad. 'Abbasi says that a Christian named Cain was referred to, while Jalalain's Commentary again mentions Jabr and Yasar. Others suggest Salman, the well-known Persian disciple of Muhammad, others Suhaib, others a monk named Addas. We may also note the fact that 'Uthman and especially Waraqah, cousins of Khadijah, Muhammad's first wife, were


acquainted with the Christianity 1 and the Judaism of the time, and that these men exercised no slight influence over Muhammad during his early years as a prophet, and perhaps before. Zaid, his adopted son, was a Syrian, according to Ibn Hisham, and must therefore have at first professed Christianity. We shall see that other persons were among Muhammad's friends, from whom he might easily have obtained information regarding the Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian faiths. The passages borrowed from such sources are, however, so disguised in form that it is quite possible that those from whom Muhammad made his inquiries may not have recognized the imposture, but may have really fancied that these passages were revealed, as they professed to be, to confirm the truth of the respective creeds, at least so far. If so, Muhammad adroitly employed the information he obtained from these men in such a manner as to deceive them, though he could not deceive his enemies. Hence, despairing of silencing the latter, he finally turned upon them with the sword.

In the next chapter we proceed to inquire what, if any, influence Christianity, orthodox or unorthodox, exercised upon nascent Islam and the composition of the Qur'an.

1 See the quotation from Ibn Ishaq, pp. 264, 265 below.