phets "the Ambassador of Light," which he identified with the Deity. He was less fortunate than Muhammad, however, since he was impaled by the command of Bahram I, of Persia, about 276 A.D. 1. Finally, he produced a book, called Artang 2 by Oriental writers, which he said had been sent down to him from heaven and contained the final revelation to men. His denial of Christ's sufferings originated in his acceptance of the Gnostic idea of the essential evil of all matter, and this made him deny that the true Jesus had a human body. In this respect he followed Basilides more logically than did Muhammad, as we have already seen.

8. Creation of Adam and his being worshipped by the Angels.

In Surah III., Al 'Imran, 52, we read:—

"Verily the likeness of Jesus, according to God, is as the likeness of Adam;" and of the latter it is then added: "He created him out of earth; then He said to him, ‘Be’; therefore he comes into being 3."

With regard to the creation of Adam out of the

1 Most of our information about Mani himself comes from Al Fihrist, though it is difficult to say on what authorities the author of that work relied. Mani was born probably in A.D. 216. Patristic writers give much information about his teaching.
2 Perhaps meaning "The Noble Tome" from Arta (Av. ereta) + anga limb, portion.
3 See note 2 to p. 55 above.

soil, Tradition tells us that when God Most High wished to create him, He sent one after another of the Archangels to take and bring Him a handful of earth. The Earth, knowing that many of Adam's descendants would be condemned to hell fire, adjured each of these messengers not to take away any portion of her substance. Hence they all except the last, 'Azrail, returned empty-handed. 'Azrail, however, took a handful of earth in spite of this adjuration, some say from the spot upon which the Ka'bah was afterwards built, others from the whole surface of the earth. He brought it to God 1, saying, "O God, Thou knowest: lo! I have brought it." Abu'l Fida, on the authority of Kamil ibn Athir, says, "The Prophet of God said, ‘Verily God Most High created Adam from a handful which He took from the whole of the Earth, ... and truly he was called Adam because he was created from the surface (adim) of the Earth.’"

This Tradition is interesting because it affords another instance of how much Islam is indebted to heretical ideas. The whole fable is borrowed from Marcion, as we learn from a quotation from one of the latter's writings which is given in Ezniq the Armenian's work entitled The Refutation of Heresies. In speaking of this heresiarch of the second century, Ezniq quotes 2 the following passage as containing some of his peculiar views, "And

1 Qisasu'l Anbiya, p. 11.
2 Book IV.