when we are considering Zoroastrian influence on the origin of Islam. But it is more probable from the language of the verses we have quoted that here Muhammad expresses his belief in Purgatory. If so, he must have learnt this from the Christians of his day. Attempts have been made to deduce this doctrine from Mark ix. 49 and 1 Cor. iii. 13. It is possible, of course, that Muhammad had heard these verses read, and that he misunderstood them in this sense; but it is far more likely that he borrowed the error ready made. The "Testament of Abraham" tells us that each man's work is tried by fire, and that if the fire burns up any man's work, he is carried off to the place of torture by the angel who presides over fire. As, however, the meaning of this isolated passage in the Qur'an is somewhat uncertain, we need not inquire further into the origin of the doctrine of Purgatory.

10. The "Balance."

Mention is made of the Balance (in which good deeds and bad are to be weighed at the Last Day) in several places in the Qur'an, the chief of which are:—

Surah VII., Al A'raf, 7, 8: "And the weighing on that day shall be truth: therefore he whose scales are heavy — those are accordingly the prosperous; and he whose scales are light — those are accordingly those who shall have lost their own souls."


Surah XXI., Al Anbiya, 48: "And We shall set the just scales for the Day of the Resurrection, therefore a soul shall not be wronged in anything; and if it were the weight of a grain of mustard. We should bring it; and it sufficeth with Us as accountants."

Surah XLII., Ash Shura', 16: "It is God who hath sent down the Book with truth, and the Balance."

Surah CI, Al Qari'ah, 5, 6: "Therefore as for him whose scales are heavy, he shall consequently be in a happy life; and as for him whose scales are light, his mother (i. e. abode) shall be lowest hell."

Commentators, on the authority of Tradition, explain these verses by informing us that on the Resurrection Day God will erect between Heaven and Earth a Balance having a tongue and two scales or pans. This will be reserved exclusively for the task of weighing men's good deeds and their bad ones, or the records in which these are set down. True believers will see that the scale into which their good deeds are cast will outweigh the other, which contains their evil deeds: while the scale containing the good deeds of unbelievers will be light, being outweighed by their evil ones. Not the very slightest good act of the believer will be left out of the account, nor will anything be added to his sins. Those whose good deeds preponderate will enter Paradise, but those