1 The Sources of Islam


Since every religion must have had a Source from which it sprung, so this last faith, Islam, must like all others have had its originating cause. Accepted neither by Jews nor Christians, many treatises have been written to convert it. These have been answered by Muslims in such Works as the Mzn ool Mavzn; but unfortunately the learning of the Authors of these defenses of Islam has not been equal to their zeal. The Object of the present work is to investigate the various theories which have been put forward as to the origin of Islam. The Author first states briefly the Muslim view, and then examines the claim of those who hold that Islam has a human and not a divine origin.

In this new endeavor, it has been the Author's object, by God's help, to show from whence the Muslim faith has risen, its foundation and origin, in other words, its Source. And he trusts that those who study the following pages, having learned the origin of the Faith, may not lose sight of those Sources whence has arisen the vast stream which has overflowed so many nations of the East.


Chapter I.


Muslims hold that their Faith came direct from heaven. The Qur'an and all their tenets were sent down by Gabriel from God himself to Muhammad. Much of their faith is also built upon Tradition handed down by the Prophet's followers. But the Shi'ite differ from the Sunni as to much that is told us by Tradition; and the Author, therefore, has based his arguments mainly on the Qur'an which is accepted as divine by every Muslim, and on such tradition as is comfortable thereto. As for the Qur'an, it is held to be of eternal origin, recorded in heaven, and lying as it does there upon the "Preserved Table" (Surah Ixxxv. 21).1 Thus God alone is held to be the "Source" of Islam; and if so, then all effort to find a human origin for any part of it must be in vain. Now, if we can trace the teaching of any part of it, to an earthly Source, or to human systems existing previous to the Prophet's age, then Islam at once falls to the ground.

1 See also Surah vi. 19 and xcvii. 1. Also Ibn Khaldun, i. 194 and ii. 458.