The Jewish Foundation of Islam


Jewish Foundation of Islam

1. Preface

2. The Jews of Arabia





Contact Truthnet

Third Lecture
Allah And Islam In Ancient History

The lessons which Mohammed learned, in one way or another, from the Israelites of Mekka gave him a new horizon. The idea of the prophet and his mission and authority, and the picture of the chosen people holding the religious leadership of the nations of the earth, illustrated in the written records of the past from the very beginning, meant more to the Mekkan tradesman than any other of his acquisitions. He not only gained a new conception of human history, but began to see that it is all religious history, directed in its successive periods by Allah and his prophets. The choice of the Arabs was one link in a continuous chain, and the revelation given to them through their prophet was the last stage in a process which began with Adam. Moreover, the thought of "islam Islm" (whenever this took shape in Mohammed's mind) must take in not only the Arabs, but also the other peoples of the earth. Allah had not simply transferred his interest from the children of Israel (i. e. the Jews and Christians) to the children of Ishmael; he was the "Lord of the Worlds," holding all races in his hand. The preferred people has a certain responsibility for its fellows. The Hebrew scriptures took account of foreign nations, and assigned them to their places with authority; the prophets were much concerned with them; Jonah was sent to Nineveh to convert its population. The great table in the tenth chapter of Genesis (of which Mohammed certainly had some knowledge) classified the races of the earth according to their genealogy.

All this was food for the Arabian prophet's thought, but not material for his use. He had neither the knowledge of the outside world nor the interest in it which would lead him to make his quran Koran range abroad. The idea of a sketch of religious history, connected or disconnected, could hardly have occurred to him, nor would any such undertaking have served his purpose. His concern was with the Arabs, with the Israelites whose inheritance they had received, and especially with the Hebrew prophets as his own predecessors. The one and only place in which the quran Koran ventures outside Arabia, either in connection with events of its own day or in prophecy of the future, is the remarkable passage at the beginning of the 30th Sura, where the prophet takes momentary notice of a contemporary event in Syria, a military incident in the Graeco-Persian war about which some information had reached Mekka: "The Greeks are beaten, in a near part of the land; but after their defeat they themselves shall conquer, in a few years." This singular prediction is probably not a vaticinium ex eventu (though the Greeks did ultimately conquer), but the expression of the prophet's conviction that the "people of the Book" were bound to triumph over the unbelievers.

The "history" contained in the quran Koran consists mainly of bits of narration taken from the Old Testament and the Jewish midrash. This fragmentary material, usually scattered along in the most casual way, occupies a large portion of the growing volume, especially the part produced in the middle years of the prophet's public career. The earliest Suras, prevailingly brief, consist chiefly of impassioned exhortation. muhammad Mohammed is here the preacher, proclaiming, warning, and promising. In the last years of his life, at Medina, he is so occupied with legislation and other practical matters as to leave little room for story telling, even if that which he regarded as essential had not already been provided. It is during the latter years of his Mekkan ministry, especially, that he gives a large amount of space to the "old stories" (as his skeptical countrymen impolitely termed them). He himself was highly interested in the tales of the ancients, the wonders which Allah wrought among them, the deeds and experiences of their famous men, from Adam and his family down to the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and the martyrs of nejran Nejrn. The Arabs must now be told all this, and learn it as the preliminary stage of their own religious history. Moreover, the stories would help him to gain a hearing. Thus he says at the beginning of the twelfth Sura, dealing with Joseph and his fortunes, "We now narrate to you a most beautiful tale."  29 And in fact, these little anecdotes of prophets and heroes undoubtedly led many to listen who otherwise would have paid no attention to the new teacher.

Mohammed was both sincere and wise in his effort to give the new religion of the Arabs its secure foundation in the past, and to claim its affiliation with the great religions which had preceded. And he had in mind, in his constant reference to Biblical personages and incidents, not merely the instruction and inspiration of his countrymen, but also the effect on another audience. The ideas which had awakened him and changed his whole view of life were not his own discovery, but were the fruits of his intercourse with the Jews of Mekka, possibly (though not probably) also with Christians, either at home or abroad. These counsellors should hear the revelation now given by Allah to his Arabian prophet. In Mohammed's thought, Islam was not at all a new religion, but merely a continuation. The quran Koran, he declares many times over, "confirms" the scriptures already existing. Jews and Christians (he hardly distinguished between them at first) would be glad to hear more about Moses and Solomon and Jesus. He felt that he was giving them support, and expected them to support him in return.

There was another consideration which weighed heavily. The history of the past, from beginning to end, was the story of his own predecessors. He was filled with the thought of those favored men who stood so near to the One God, and by him had been commissioned to teach their people. They were "prophets" (nebiyim nebym, anbiya anbiy) one and all, and the fact ever foremost in his mind was the way in which their message had been received, or rather rejected, by the most of their contemporaries. His own experience, as soon as he had fairly begun preaching to the people of Mekka, showed him very clearly what opposition a prophet is likely to encounter. The new teaching is not received with gratitude and awe; it is laughed at. Thus Noah was ridiculed by his people, until they were drowned in the flood. So the men of Sodom and Gomorrah jeered at Lot, until the fire came down from heaven. The Israelites of the exodus from Egypt would not submit to the authority of Moses, but rebelled against him; and for their obduracy they perished in the desert. In general, the Hebrew prophets were very badly treated; so Mohammed's informants told him. It is easy to see why the quran Koran abounds in passages dealing with the heroes and patriarchs of the Old Testament. There are lessons here "for those who have intelligence," the Mekkan prophet keeps reiterating. The truth prevailed, in spite of opposition; the unbelievers roasted in Gehennama; and-most important of all-the religion proclaimed by these ancient mouthpieces of God is precisely the one which is now announced, in its final and most perfect form, to the people of Arabia.

There were also lessons from Arabian history. Mohammed and his fellow-countrymen had seen the ruins of vanished cities, and had heard of many others. There were traditions of the sail arim al-arim (34, 15), the bursting of the great dam at marib Marib in Yemen, and the destruction of the city by the resulting flood. This was a judgment from heaven. Far more striking were the signs of vanished splendor, of a high civilization now utterly obliterated, in the regions north of the Hijaz. The tribes of ad Ad and thamud Thamd, and the cities of Midian had perished, leaving behind only a few very impressive traces. Why were these prosperous peoples wiped out of existence? Mohammed's imagination gave the answer. Each one of them had its prophet, who preached islam Islm. They would not hear, and therefore God destroyed them. But the quran quranic Koranic narratives dealing with these events were, after all, of secondary importance. islam Islm was for the world, and the emphasis must be laid on persons and events which were known and acknowledged the world over. The three rejected prophets of the northern desert and Sinai were indeed important in Mohammed's scheme of religious history, but they were small links in a great chain. When the merchants of Qoreish traveled into Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Abyssinia, they would meet no one who had ever heard of hud Hd, or salih li, or shuaib Shuaib; but in every city where they halted they would find multitudes to whom the names of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Elijah, and "Jesus the son of Mary" were perfectly familiar.

A very striking feature of the quran quranic Koranic scraps of Israelite history is the rabbinic element-gleanings from Talmud and midrash-so frequently in evidence. This has always been the subject of comment and conjecture. Thus H. P. Smith, The Bible and Islam, p. 77, says of muhammad Mohammed's story of Moses, "From Jewish tradition he asserts: that Moses refused all Egyptian nurses; that the people at Mount Sinai demanded to see God, and on seeing him fell dead, but were revived by divine power; and that they refused to accept the covenant until the mountain was lifted up bodily and held over them (28: 11; 2:53, 60; 7:170). The information that the golden calf, through the magic of its maker, bellowed, is found in rabbinical sources." Geiger, Was hat muhammad Mohammed.... aufgenommen?, pp. 154-172, had discussed these and other similar features of the story. The remark is made in Nldeke-Schwally, p. 8, that the source of muhammad Mohammed's knowledge of Biblical characters and events was less the Bible than the extra-canonical literature. This, I think, states the matter not quite correctly, for even in the stories where muhammad Mohammed makes largest use of the haggada there is frequent evidence that he knew also the canonical account. Wellhausen, Reste (1st ed.), p. 205, in his argument for the Christian origin of Islam, handles this Jewish haggada in a very gingerly manner. "Es ist wahrscheinlich, dass Muhammed denselben durch jdische Vermittlung zugefhrt bekommen hat, wenngleich man dessen eingedenk bleiben muss, dass derselbe Segenstoff auch bei den orientalischen Christen im Umlauf war, und dass die Haggada ihre Quelle grossenteils in apokryphen Schriften hatte, die wenn sie auch jdischen Ursprungs waren doch seit dem zweiten Jahrhundert immer ausschliesslicher in christlichen Besitz bergingen." I confess myself unable to see light in this argument, nor do I know any sound reason for doubting that muhammad Mohammed received his haggada directly from Jews. Wellhausen felt this to be a weak point; for he at once proceeds to draw a line between the religious material of the quran Koran and the stories, which he would have us believe to be merely the fruit of the prophet's intellectual curiosity. It therefore, he declares, is a matter of very little importance, whence Mohammed obtained the legends; and the fact that some "chance" brought him into contact with a man who was acquainted with Jewish lore is not really significant. To this, an advocate of the contrary view would reply, that the legends are the "Vorgeschichte" of Islam; the account of Allah's dealing with men in the past, from which may be learned something in regard to his dealing in the present; the indispensable fabric of the doctrine of "the prophet of Allah." And if it was by mere "chance" that Mohammed was given Israelite instruction, it was a chance that lasted many years, and gave the quran Koran the most, and the best, of its material.

Mohammed's heroes of the past are almost all designated by him as "prophets"; they received the truth from Allah, and taught it to their children and their contemporaries. Adam was a prophet (20:120; 3:30); so were Ishmael, and David, and Job. In all, twenty-five are named; among them are the three Arabian prophets, hud Hd, salih li, and shuaib Shuaib, and the three from the Gospel: Zachariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus. All the rest are from the Old Testament. A list of eighteen, containing only Biblical names, is given in Sura 6:83-86. In 33:7 there is an instructive list of the most important of the prophets, those with whom Allah made a special covenant. The names are these: Mohammed, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. (The fact that Mohammed is named first is due merely to the literary form of the passage.) It is very noticeable that the quran Koran knows nothing of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, nor has knowledge of any of the Minor Prophets with the exception of Jonah. This certainly does not mean that the books of these prophets were wanting at Mekka, but simply, that they were utterly beyond Mohammed's comprehension and outside his interests. His instructors knew better than to try to introduce him to these abstruse writings. Jonah, the little story-book, was in a class by itself. We might indeed have expected to find some mention of Daniel; but he also, it seems, did not enter Mohammed's horizon.

It must always be borne in mind that we cannot tell with certainty, from the quran Koran, what portions of the Old Testament the prophet had heard. He makes use only of what is important for his purpose, as we learn from an occasional allusion to persons or events not otherwise treated. As a matter of fact, he shows some acquaintance with each of the five books of the Torah, and with the "historical books" from Joshua to 2 Kings. The book of Joshua, indeed, is represented only in the person of the prophet Dhu l kifl l-Kifl, who will receive notice presently; while a bit of the book of Judges, taken from the story of Gideon, has strayed into the narrative of "Saul and Goliath" (see the Fourth Lecture). Barely mentioned, for instance, are azar zar, named in 6:74 as the father (!) of Abraham (evidently el azar el-zar, derived from the Eliezer of Gen. 15:2); imran Imrn (Amram), named as the father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (identified with the Virgin Mary); Samuel, introduced without name as the prophet who anointed Saul as king; Elijah and Elisha. Also the wives of Noah, Lot, and Pharaoh, of whom the first two are assigned to everlasting fire. The influence of the Jewish haggada constantly appears. Rabbinical sources for the quran quranic Koranic narratives of Cain, Noah, Lot, and Aaron have been pointed out by Geiger, and others are soon to be mentioned. For a few interesting bits of legend which sound like Jewish lore-the incident of the Breakers of the Sabbath, who were changed to apes (2:61; 4:50; 5:65; 7:166); David's invention of coats of mail (21:80); and how Job produced a spring of cool water by stamping on the ground, and thereafter was permitted to fulfil his hasty oath by beating his wife with a bundle of leaves instead of with a rod (38:41-43)-no haggadic source is known.

Mohammed did his best with Arabian religious history, though he had little at hand that he could use. He thought of hud Hd, the prophet of the people ad Ad, salih li, the prophet of thamud Thamd, and perhaps especially shuaib Shuaib, the prophet of Midian, as preachers sent to peoples very closely related to the Arabs; and he introduces them frequently, sometimes in passages of considerable length, in the Suras of the Mekkan period. The incident of the elephant brought to the neighborhood of Mekka by the army of Abraha, the Abyssinian viceroy of Yemen, at about the middle of the sixth century, is made the subject of the very early Sura 105, as an example of the might of Allah, who "brought their cunning plans to nought." In another Sura of about the same time there is mention of "the Men of the Ditch, of the blazing fire; when they sat above it, witnessing what they were doing to the believers" (85:4-7). I have no doubt, in spite of the arguments of Geiger (p. 189) and Horovitz (pp. 92f.), that this refers to the persecution of the Christians of nejran Nejrn by the Yemenite Jewish ruler dhu Dh nuwas Nuws, shortly before the time of the viceroy Abraha.  30 It seems quite plain that the quran Koran is dealing here with a historical event, and persecution for religious faith is clearly stated in vs. 8. Mohammed treats the story as something well known in Mekka.

There is another feature of Arabian history, seemingly remote from Israelite influence, which occupied Mohammed's attention. There were certain ancient practices, religious and social, which were deeply imbedded in the life of the people; the property not merely of the Hijaz, but of the Arabian peninsula. The customs and ceremonies connected with the kaba kaaba Kaba at Mekka had much to do with the commercial and friendly intercourse of the tribes, and the "house" itself was venerated far and wide. We may be sure that Mohammed intended, from the first, to preserve every time-honored element of the native "paganism" which did not involve idolatry. Neither the people of Mekka and Yathrib and taif if, nor the Bedouin tribesmen, would have been willing to abandon their ancestral rites and practices for no obviously compelling reason; and Mohammed would have been the last man to wish them to do so. It was imperative for his scheme of things to plant the new religion as deeply in the soil of Arabia as in that of the Hebrew and Christian revelations. This he could do by the help of the patriarch Ishmael, as will appear.

It is not necessary to review here the long list of personages of ancient history whose names and deeds play so important a part in the quran Koran. A considerable part of the Hebrew history and haggadic legend thus reproduced will be touched upon in the course of the next Lecture, dealing with the quran quranic Koranic narratives. At that time (if Allah wills) a goodly number of Biblical characters (including Alexander the Great) will be introduced in their Arabian dress; so that sooner or later all the members of the "long list" shall have received mention, at least by name. Some of this Jewish-Muslim material has been well treated by Geiger, other writers have occupied themselves chiefly or wholly with the post-muhammad Mohammedan legends, as for example Weil's Biblische Legenden der Muselmnner, 1845 (also translated into English), and the important essays by Max Grnbaum and Israel Schapiro. The proper names in the quran Koran have been admirably treated by Josef Horovitz in his article, "Jewish Proper Names and Derivatives in the quran Koran," in the Hebrew Union College Annual, II (1925), 145-184, and again in the Second Part of his quran Koranische Untersuchungen (1926).

The present Lecture will pay especial attention to two subjects which are of prime importance for our understanding of the foundations of Islam: the source of muhammad Mohammed's ideas regarding Jesus and the Christian religion, and the place occupied by Abraham and Ishmael in his conception of the revelation to the Arabs. Before dealing with these three "prophets," however, I shall notice very briefly a few others, for whom the mere mention by name seems, for one reason or another, hardly sufficient.

It is perhaps needless to say, that the Hebrew chronology of the quran Koran is not one of its strong points. Mohammed had some idea of the long time that must have elapsed since Moses; though he certainly knew nothing of the complete line of descent which the Muslim genealogists carried back from his family, and from the Arab tribes generally, to Adam and Eve. He knew, as early (at least) as the 37th Sura, something of the succession of Hebrew heroes, and was aware that the prophet-kings, Saul, David, and Solomon, were subsequent to the patriarchs; however hazy his ideas were as to the order of the other prophets and the time at which they lived. He had fantastic notions (as others have had) in regard to Ezra, and evidently had no idea where to locate him. Elijah and Elisha, Job, Jonah, and "idris Idrs," are left by him floating about, with no secure resting place. He had heard nothing whatever as to the genealogy of Jesus (the claimed descent from David), nor of his contemporaries (excepting the family of John the Baptist), nor of any Christian history. He associated Moses with Jesus, evidently believing that very soon after the revelation to the Hebrew law-giver there had followed the similar revelation which had produced the Christians and their sacred book. This appears in his identification of Mary the mother of Jesus with Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron, plainly stated in more than one place. In all this there is nothing surprising, when it is remembered how the prophet received his information.

A Few "Minor" Prophets. The incident in the life of Adam which is oftenest dwelt upon in the quran Koran is the refusal of the devil (iblis Ibls, shaitan Shain) to obey the divine command to the angels to fall down before this newly created being. The account is best given in 38:73-77, and appears only less fully in six other passages. Geiger, p. 98, doubts whether this can have come to muhammad Mohammed through Jewish tradition, on the ground that the command to worship any other than God would have seemed to any Israelite inconceivable. Grnbaum, Neue Beitrge zur semitischen Sagenkunde, pp. 60 f., follows Geiger. The quran Koran does not speak of worshipping, however, but merely of approaching a personage of high rank in a truly oriental way. See, for example, the use of the verb in the last verse of amr Amr ibn kulthum Kulthm's muallaqa muallaqa (Arnold's Septem moallakat Moallakt, p. 144), where the action is one of purely human homage. The passages which Geiger cites, Sanhedrin 59 b (not "29") and Midr. Rabba 8, are a sufficient parallel to the quran Koran. See also the "Life of Adam and Eve" (Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha), chaps. 12-17. As for iblis Ibls and shaitan ash-Shain, the former name seems to have come down into Arabia from the north, while the latter is evidently a fruit of the long contact with the Abyssinians; both names were doubtless current among the Jews of the Hijaz before muhammad Mohammed's time. The identification of the serpent with Satan would seem to be implied in the passage Ber. Rabba 17, which Geiger quotes. See also Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, V, p. 84.

The prophet shuaib Shuaib, who was sent to the Midianites, is generally recognized as identical with the Biblical Jethro. The name was hardly invented by muhammad Mohammed; it is far more likely that it was brought into use by the Arabian Jews. Its origin is obscure, but it is natural to suppose that there was some etymological reflection behind it. These Midianites, from whom Moses took his wife (the daughter of a priest), were in their origin very closely related to the Hebrews, though their main body became a persistent and dangerous enemy. Might the name shuaib Shuaib, "little tribe," have been the result of thinking of  ("rest of it") as representing the faithful "remainder" of a larger Hebrew tribe?

The prophet dhu Dh kifl l-Kifl presents another problem. I think that here again the solution is to be found in the long association of the Arabs with the Abyssinians, in the traffic on the Red Sea. The word kefl appears frequently in the Ethiopic version of Joshua in speaking of the "division" of the territory among the Hebrew tribes, which is the central feature of that book. I believe that Joshua is "dhu Dh l kifl l-Kifl," that is, the one who effected the Division, It is very noticeable that he does not receive mention in the quran Koran, unless under this name.

uzair Uzair ("little Ezra") is made by Mohammed the subject of a very singular accusation aimed at the Jews. In one of the latest Suras, and in a context dealing harshly with all those who are not Muslims, occurs this passage (9:30): "The Jews say, Ezra (uzair Uzair) is the son of God, and the Christians say, el mesiah el-Mesa is the son of God." (This might make Ezra turn in his grave-if he had one.) Mohammed here seems to be trying to believe what some enemy of the Jews had told him. He is bound to claim pure monotheism for the Muslims alone, in his day. The use of the unpleasant diminutive, "little Ezra," is probably his own invention. The name occurs nowhere else; and this great figure in Jewish legend has no other mention in the quran Koran, unless under the name which here follows.

If I am not mistaken, Ezra has his double in the quran Koran, in the person of the prophet idris Idrs (19:57 f., 21:85), of whom we are told only this, that he was given a high place of honor. The name has generally been derived from ; and indeed, it could hardly be anything else. Various other suggestions have been made, from Nldeke's "Andreas" (Zeitschrift fr Assyriologie, vol. 17, 83 ff.) to Toy's "Theodore of Mopsuestia." But any Andreas seems utterly remote from Mohammed's horizon. On the other hand, it would be very easy for the Greek name of the famous Ezra to make its way down into Arabia, there ultimately to be picked up by the Arabian prophet. The latter could of course not be expected to know, or to find out, that it was only another name for his "uzair Uzair."

isa s ibn Maryam. The treatment which Jesus and his work receive in the quran Koran is of especial importance in the attempt to determine the principal sources of Mohammedanism, It is a patent fact that the prophet knew next to nothing about Jesus; also, that there are no distinctly and peculiarly Christian doctrines in the sacred book. All those who have studied the matter know and declare that the great bulk of the quran quranic Koranic material is of Jewish origin; and we have certain knowledge that Mohammed resorted habitually to learned Jewish teachers. Have we any good reason for supposing that he also received personal instruction from a Christian? I believe that it will eventually be recognized that whatever knowledge (or pseudo-knowledge) he possessed in regard to the person and life of Jesus was derived from two sources: first, the facts and fancies which were common property in the Hijaz and elsewhere in Arabia; and second, a small amount of information supplied to him by his Israelite mentors.

The form of the name is remarkable, in comparison with yeshu Yesh. The Christian Arabs of northern Arabia had the form yasu Ys,  31 which is just what would be expected; "isa s" makes its first appearance in the quran Koran. It has been explained by Nldeke and others as a Jewish pleasantry of which muhammad Mohammed was the innocent victim, the name of Esau, the typical enemy, being in fact substituted for that of Jesus.  32 There is indeed complete formal identity, and the symbolic transfer is certainly characteristic. The Mekkan Israelite who might be supposed to have had this happy thought can of course have had no idea that the substituted name would go beyond muhammad Mohammed ibn Abdallah and his few adherents. There is another explanation, which in recent years has frequently been adopted. The pronunciation of the name in Nestorian Syriac is izo ƚo (). It is surmised that when this pronunciation came (in some way) to muhammad Mohammed's ear, he altered it by transposing the guttural and changing the final vowel, in order (for some reason) to give it assonance with the name musa Ms (Moses). 33 This theory, while neither simple nor free from difficulties, is not quite impossible, and the student may take his choice.

If the hypothesis of the Syriac origin of the name is entertained, it certainly is permissible to give it connection with that one of muhammad Mohammed's habitual instructors (the only one concerning whom we have any definite information) who seems to have come to Mekka from the Persian or Babylonian domain. This man has been mentioned several times in the preceding lectures. His language was ajami ajam. He was certainly a learned man, probably a Jew, certainly not a Christian (see below). The passage in which he is mentioned (16:105) is late Mekkan, and it is evident that muhammad Mohammed had for some time been under his instruction. A number of quran quranic Koranic properties which seem to have come from Mesopotamia make their appearance at about this time. Such are the Babylonian angels harut Hrt and marut Mrt, the pair yajuj Yjj and majuj Mjj (both pairs already noticed), the mention of the sabians bians," and the collection of Mesopotamian-Jewish legends utilized in the 18th Sura; see especially the Fourth Lecture. It is at least very noticeable that the first mention of isa s in the quran Koran, in the 19th Sura, dates from this same period.

Rudolph, p. 64, remarks on the strange circumstance that the earliest occurrence of the name of Jesus in the quran Koran comes so late. It is indeed significant! In general, it is not safe to conclude that the prophet's first knowledge of a Biblical personage or conception of an idea may be dated from the quran Koran, and chronological tables assigning such matters to successive periods are likely to be of slight value. But if, as Rudolph supposes, muhammad Mohammed had received his earliest and most important religious enlightenment from Christians, it is nothing short of amazing that his only allusion to anything specifically Christian, prior to the second Mekkan period, should be an incidental rebuke of the worship of two Gods. He had of course from the first some knowledge of the Christian sect (as he would have termed it), and may have heard the name of its founder. In one of his early Suras (112) he attacks the worship of "Allah's son," but the doctrine was too remote to give him any real concern, and he exhibits no further interest in it until the later period when he began to hear more about this "prophet" and his history. And even in the Suras of the Medina period it is evident that the Christians, with their founder and their beliefs, were only on the outer edge of his horizon, not at all important for the basal doctrines of Islam, and chiefly useful in the polemic against the Jews.

Wellhausen, in his too hasty contention that the Arabian prophet received his first and chief impulse from Christianity, made the strange claim that Mohammed assigned to Jesus the supreme place in the religious history of the past. "Jdische Gesinnung verrt es nicht, dass Jesus im Quran hoch ber alle Propheten des Alten Testamentes gestellt wird" (Reste, 1887, p. 205). This assertion evidently rests on a slip of the memory, or on forced interpretation, for there is in the quran Koran nothing that could substantiate it. On the contrary, in 2:130, a passage belonging to the Medina period, where the prophets, Jesus among them, are enumerated by name or collectively, the words are added: "We make no distinction among them." That is, in rank; certain prophets, or groups of prophets, were endowed with special gifts or distinctions not shared by their fellows (2:254). Abraham was given islam Islm (2:126; 22:77); Moses was given The Book (2:81); David was given the Psalms (4:161); Jesus was given the wondrous signs (bayyinat bayyint) and "the Spirit" (2:81, 254). The five prophets with whom Allah made a special covenant-Jesus among them-have already been named (Sura 33:7). Nowhere in the quran Koran is there any trace of a wish to give isa s ibn Maryam especially high rank among the prophets; he simply had his very honorable place (chronologically somewhat vague!) in the long line. Later, in the early caliphate, when Muslims and Christians were closely associated, especially in Syria and Egypt, Jesus was indeed placed "high above the prophets of the Old Testament," and the attempt was made to interpret the quran Koran accordingly, as any one may learn by reading the native commentators.

muhammad Mohammed did his best to specify the particular distinctions which Jesus had been given, as a prophet; and he had cogent reason for so doing, quite aside from any polemic against the Jews. The fact of a great Christian world outside was perfectly familiar in all the cities of Arabia. The purpose of the newly arisen Arabian prophet was, from the first, to gain the support of the Jews and the Christians, by no means to make them his enemies. His program was obviously and necessarily this, to declare that these faiths, in their beginnings and as promulgated by their founders and divinely appointed representatives, were identical with his own teaching. Only in their later development had they strayed from the right path. The time had come for a new prophet to call these peoples back to the true religion. This could only be done by exalting their teachers and claiming to build on their foundation. Many since muhammad Mohammed's time have conceived the same plan, though lacking his energy and his unique opportunity. During the first years of his public teaching, however, as has already been said and many scholars have remarked, he seems to have known so little about the Christians that he could simply class them as Israelites who had gone their own peculiar way.

It was with Abyssinia especially that the Mekkans associated the Christian faith. Arabs and Abyssinians were, and from ancient time had been, partners in the Red Sea traffic; and, as we have seen, scraps of Abyssinian speech and religious terminology had made their way all over the peninsula. It was very well known that the Christians worshipped al masih al-Mas. This name is attested in Arabia before Mohammed's time, all the way from nejran Nejrn in the south to ghassan Ghassn in the north (Horovitz, pp. 129f.); and he eventually employs it frequently in the quran Koran. Accompanying this term was another, ar ruh ar-R, "the Spirit," associated in some way with the worship of Jesus and regularly mentioned along with him. muhammad Mohammed was utterly bewildered by the term (and so, of course, were the Arabs generally, in so far as it was known to them), and he plays with it in the quran Koran in several very different ways. Stories of the miracles of Jesus, including the raising of the dead, we should suppose to have been, what the Arabs heard first and oftenest from their Abyssinian associates, and indeed from all other Christians with whom they came in contact. The fact that the quran Koran has no mention of these "bayyinat bayyint" until the second Mekkan period is merely another indication of the comparative remoteness of the Christians and their doctrines from the prophet's earlier thinking. When at length they became somewhat more real to him, he picked up the few Christian terms that were lying ready to hand, and used them over and over, with only the vaguest ideas as to their meaning. (Even Rudolph, p. 65, reaches a similar conclusion: "Bei den drftigen Kenntnissen, die er speziell von Jesus hat, bekommt man den Eindruck, dass er sich seine Anschauung aus Einzelheiten, die er da und dort erfuhr, selbst zusammengemacht hat".)

As to the time when the prophet began to feel more directly concerned with the claims of the Christians, it is a plausible conjecture that it coincided with the so-called "Abyssinian migration" which took place about five years after the beginning of his public activity. Ahrens, p. 150, thinks that this shows that Mohammed felt himself in closer sympathy with Christianity than with Judaism: "htte er sich dem Judentume nher verwandt gefhlt, so lag fr ihn der Anschluss an die Juden von Jathrib oder Khaibar nher." On the contrary, the reason for Mohammed's choice is obvious; namely, that while still in Mekka he had been shown very clearly that the Jews were much more likely to be his enemies than his friends. The time had come when he and his followers needed to see what support could be had from the Christians; but it is hardly likely that the envoys-or fugitives-went with high hopes. While the Muslim accounts are utterly incredible in the most of their details, the main fact seems well established, namely, that a company of muhammad Mohammed's adherents took temporary refuge in Abyssinia; partly in protest against the treatment which they had received in Mekka, partly also, no doubt, in the hope of receiving some support-at least moral support-from these time-honored allies. It was a most natural proceeding, and it doubtless made an impression in Mekka, though not in Abyssinia. The gain which the quran Koran made from it seems to have been merely what has just been described, an awakening of interest which led the prophet to gather up such Christian scraps as he could use. One of the new catchwords was "injil Injl" (Evangelium), which in Mohammed's mouth-as Rudolph, p. 80, remarks-meant simply the Christian book of revelation preserved in heaven; he seems to have known nothing about separate gospels or evangelists. He took up the shibboleth of the Virgin Birth (21:91; 66:12); this also he could concede to the Christians without difficulty, and he maintains it stoutly in opposition to the Jews (4:155). Nevertheless Jesus was a mere man like other men (16:45; 21:7); the quran Koran says this in different ways, in numerous passages. Whether "the Word" (kalima, ) as a designation of Jesus, 3:40 and elsewhere, was only another catchword which Mohammed could of himself pick up in Mekka or Medina may be strongly doubted. He had among his teachers in Mekka a man of letters who had read at least some portion of the Gospels and was familiar with the popular legends regarding Jesus which were current in Christian lands; and it was from him, in all probability, that he heard the theological term. This man was a learned Jew, as I think the evidence plainly shows.

It has sometimes been said, e. g. recently by Rudolph, pp. 65 f., and Ahrens, p. 153, that a Jewish teacher, if he could have consented to say anything to Mohammed about Jesus, must have ridiculed and vilified him. "Htte jdischer Einfluss auf muhammad Mohammed bestimmend eingewirkt, so htte er entweder ber Jesus schweigen oder ihn beschimpfen mssen. Palstinische Rabbinen, die in vllig christianisierten Stdten wohnten, brachten es fertig, ber Jesus vllig zu schweigen-das Schweigen des Hasses und der schimpflichen Nichtachtung; und der Talmud redet in den drftigen Stellen, an den er auf Jesus zu sprechen kommt, nur mit beschimpfenden Worten von ihm." This, I think, hardly deals fairly with the Jews, nor sees clearly what sort of teaching was natural-one might even say necessary-under the circumstances now before us. The customary "Schweigen" in Jewish works written in Christian cities was a matter of course, and the attitude of the Talmud is also perfectly defensible. On the other hand, there was never lack of Jews, all through the Middle Ages, who spoke appreciatingly of Jesus, while rejecting the Christian dogmas. In the present case, whatever the teacher's preference may have been, Mohammed's own intention must have been the deciding factor. He knew the Jews to be a minority, and on the other hand was profoundly conscious of the religion of the Abyssinians and of the great Christian empire whose center was at Byzantium.  34 He was bound to make Christian allies, not enemies. Any vilification of Jesus would have led him to reject his teacher as untrustworthy. The latter of course knew this, and took care to keep the teaching in his own hands. There was certainly reason to fear what a Christian would teach in regard to the Jews. Now that the time had come for Mohammed to ask, from one who evidently knew: "What does the 'Book' of the Christians tell about isa s ibn Maryam?" the answer was given in good faith, as far as it went. That which Mohammed already knew was confirmed and supplemented, and numerous interesting details, chiefly from folklore, were added. The informant was certainly acquainted with the Gospels, but no particle of gospel information concerning the grown man Jesus, or his reported lineage, or his activities (excepting that, as Mohammed must already have heard, he performed miracles), or his teaching, or his followers, was given forth. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth, the most prominent of all the Christian shibboleths at that time, could be acquiesced in-it cost nothing; and it could not possibly have been combated!

What, according to the quran Koran, was the mission of Jesus? Numerous passages give the same vague answer: He was sent to confirm the Israelites in the true doctrine, in the teachings of the Torah (3:43 f.; 5:50; 43:63 f.; 57:27; 61:6), to insist on the worship of only one God (5:76), to warn against straying from the faith of Abraham and Moses and forming new sects (42:11)! It is very difficult to believe that any one of the verses here cited could have been written by Mohammed if he had ever talked with a Christian, orthodox or heretical; but they contain exactly what he would have acquired from the teaching which I am supposing. He knew that the followers of Jesus had ultimately chosen to form a separate sect, and that Jews and Christians were in controversy, each party declaring the other to be mistaken (2:107); but why the new sect had been formed, he did not at all know. He says in 3:44 that Jesus "made lawful" some things which had been prohibited. This may have been given him by his teacher, or it may be the reflection of his own doctrine (useful for his legislation), that some foods were forbidden the Israelites in punishment for their sins; see 4:158 and 3:87.

The passage 19:1-15 is of great importance as evidence of the source of Mohammed's information in regard to the prophet isa s. Here is an extended literary connection with the Christian scriptures, the one and only excerpt from the New Testament, namely an abridgment of Luke 1:5-25, 57-66. This was discussed in the Second Lecture, and the details need not be repeated here. The account of the aged and upright Hebrew priest and the birth of his son in answer to prayer, reading like a bit of Old Testament history, would appeal to any Israelite of literary tastes as interesting-and harmless. But as soon as the account of the birth of Jesus is reached, the gospel narrative is dropped as though it were red-hot, and muhammad Mohammed is left to flounder on alone, knowing only the bare fact that John was the kinsman and forerunner of Jesus, and the dogma of the Virgin Birth; things which his people had long ago learned, especially from the Abyssinians. It seems possible to draw two conclusions with certainty: first, Mohammed was told the story of Zachariah and John by a learned man; and second, the man was by no means a Christian.

Horovitz, p. 129, declares that he can see no Jewish influence in the quran quranic Koranic utterances regarding Jesus. It may, however, be possible to recognize such influence from what is withheld, as well as from what is said. The instructor, in this case, certainly knew what was told about Jesus in the Four Gospels; but not a word of it came to the ear of muhammad Mohammed. On the contrary, the bits of personal and family history of Jesus which appear in the quran Koran are all derived from fanciful tales which were in popular circulation; tales which a literary rabbi would certainly have known, and which, from his point of view, were perfectly harmless. We at the present day have some knowledge of them from surviving fragments of the "apocryphal gospel" literature. See, in the quran Koran, 3:32, 39, 43, and 5:110. The nature of the teaching with which Mohammed had been supplied appears most clearly in the Suras (especially 3, 4, and 5) revealed at Medina, during the time when the attitude of the prophet toward the Jews was one of bitter hostility. It is evident that he then tried to make much of Jesus and his history and his importance as a prophet, and to remember all that he could of what he had formerly been told; but what he had at his command was next to nothing. Any arguments or accusations that he could have used against the Jews he would have been certain to employ, and any Christian, lettered or unlettered, would have supplied him with plenty of material; but he had in fact no ammunition beyond what the Jews' own tradition had given him. In one very late utterance, 5:85, he makes a valiant attempt to put the Christians high above the Jews: the latter are the chief enemies of Islam, the former are its greatest friends. But he very unwisely attempts to tell wherein the excellence of the Christians consists, and can only specify their priests and monks-of whom recently (in 57:27) he had expressed a low opinion!

muhammad Mohammed did not know, that isa s had met with opposition from his people other than that which his predecessors had endured, and this is most significant. If he had known the fact, he could not have failed to make use of it; but it had not been told him. It was a mere matter of course that isa s 's contemporaries tried to kill him; the Hebrew people had been wont to kill their prophets (2:81, 85), as their own scriptures and popular traditions declared (see the Strack-Billerbeck comment on Matt. 23:35-37). That any special significance had been attached, by the Christians or others, to the death of isa s, or to his ascension, Mohammed never had heard. For the docetic doctrine which he gives forth (4:156), asserting that it was not Jesus who was executed, but another who was miraculously substituted for him, it is quite superfluous to search for a heretical Christian or Manichaean (!) source. The heresy was old, and very widely known, though of course rarely adopted. It precisely suited the purpose of Mohammed's Jewish instructor. isa s, thus escaping the fate intended for him, was taken up to heaven (3:48), as numerous others had been taken. No Christian doctrine was more universally held and built upon than the Second Coming. The Arabian prophet could easily have fitted it into his scheme of things, if he had known of it; at least to the extent of giving the Christian prophet some such important place in the Day of Judgment as he holds in the later Muslim eschatology; but there is nothing of the sort in the quran Koran.

The conclusion to be drawn from all this is evident, and certain: Mohammed derived his main impression of the prophet "isa s" and his work from Jewish teaching, very shrewdly given.

In support of this conclusion a word may be added in regard to the various indications of Christian influence which some have claimed to find in the quran Koran, especially in recent years. Nldeke's pioneer work, his Geschichte des quran qorans Qorns (1860), recognized hardly any Christian element. He declared (p. 2): "Gewiss sind die besten Theile des islams Islms jdischen Ursprungs"; and again (p. 5): "Die Hauptquelle der Offenbarungen.... bildeten fr Muhhammed die Juden.... Viel geringer ist dagegen der Einfluss des Christenthums auf den quran qoran Qorn." On the contrary, in Schwally's revision of this work we are given the impression of a strong Christian element in Islam at its very beginning. We read (p. 8) that in numerous particulars the influence of Christianity is "beyond any doubt" (ausser allem Zweifel), and the following are specified: the institution of vigils;  35 some forms of the prayer-ritual; the use of the "Christian" term furqan furqn "to mean revelation"; the central significance of the conception of the Last Day; and the superiority assigned to Jesus above all the prophets. The conclusion is (ibid.), that "Islam might be regarded as the form in which Christianity made its way into all Arabia."

The items in the above list are all taken over from Wellhausen, Reste (1887), 205-209, and have been repeated by others, e. g. by Rudolph, p. 63. Each one of these claims is considered elsewhere in the present Lectures, and it will suffice to say here that not a single one of them is valid. The conclusion expressed seventy years ago by Muir in his Life of muhammad Mahomet, II,. 289, is still very near the truth if it is limited to muhammad Mohammed and the quran Koran: "We do not find a single ceremony or doctrine of Islam in the smallest degree moulded, or even tinged, by the peculiar tenets of Christianity."  36

ibrahim Ibrhm and ismail Ismal. The importance of these two patriarchs in the genesis of Islam has not been duly appreciated. We must first bear in mind the ethnic relationship which gave such encouragement to muhammad Mohammed in his wish to consort with the Jews and his attempt to gain their support. The Arabs were Ishmaelites, according to the Hebrew tradition. God said to Abraham (Gen. 17, 20): "As for Ishmael, I have heard thee; behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation." The twelve princes, subsequently named (25, 13 ff.), represent Arabian tribes or districts; notice especially Kedar, Duma (dumat Dmat al-Jandal), and teima Teim. The "great nation" is the people of Arabia. Ishmael was circumcised (17, 26), was with his father at the time of his death, and assisted Isaac in burying him (25, 9). The Arabs were rightful heirs of the religion of their father Abraham, though they chose paganism instead.

On this foundation Mohammed built his tales of Abraham and Ishmael at Mekka. In the 14th Sura, which bears the title 'Abraham,' he introduces, in a characteristically casual and obscure manner, his association of Ishmael with the kaba kaaba Kaba. I say "his association," but it is quite likely that he himself did not originate the idea. The Arabs cannot possibly have remained ignorant of the fact that the Hebrew scriptures declared Abraham and Ishmael to be their ancestors. It was then most natural that they should have been associated, in popular tradition, with the ancient sanctuary. In verses 38-42 we read: "Remember the time when Abraham said, Lord, make this land  37 secure, and restrain me and my children from worshipping idols. Lord, they have led astray many men; whoever then follows me, is mine; and if any disobey me-thou art forgiving and merciful." (Here he refers to the children of Ishmael, the unbelieving Arabs.) "O our Lord, I have caused some of my offspring to settle in an unfruitful valley, at the site of thy holy house; thus, Lord, in order that they may offer prayer. Grant therefore that the hearts of some men may be inclined toward them; and provide them with the fruits of the earth, that they perchance may be grateful..... Praise to God, who gave me, even in old age, Ishmael and Isaac; verily my Lord is one who hears prayer."

This passage, together with the majority of those which mention Ishmael, I should assign to the prophet's later Mekkan period. (This is not, however, a generally accepted conclusion, as will presently appear.) In general, Mohammed has very little to say about Ishmael; and there was good reason for his reticence. He did not himself read the Old Testament, but merely built upon what he had been told. The episode of Hagar was of no value for his purposes; in fact, he never mentions Hagar at all.  38 The early Jewish narrators seem to have felt little interest in the disinherited elder son of Abraham, and left him at one side.

After Islam had become a great power in the world, new light dawned, and the story-tellers, both Jewish and muhammad Mohammedan, found that they knew more about Ishmael and his family. An early example is the picturesque tale, found in the Jerusalem Targum and apparently alluded to in the pirqe Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer, of Ishmael's two wives, so very different in character and disposition; and of the visits of the "very old man" Abraham to the tent of his nomad son, far away in the Arabian desert. The names of the two wives (otherwise "tent-pins"), Ayesha and Fatima, make it quite certain that this legend was not known to muhammad Mohammed and his contemporaries.

The famous well, Zemzem, at Mekka is also brought into connection with the Biblical history. According to pirqe Pirqe aboth Aboth, one of the ten things created , that is, between the sixth day of creation and the following day of rest, was "the mouth of the well." This refers, as all interpreters agree, to the miraculously traveling well of the Israelites ("the spiritual rock that followed them," 1 Corinthians 10, 4), mentioned in Ex. 17 and Num. 20 and 21, in the account of the journey from Egypt to the promised land. Here again the Jerusalem Targum and the pirqe Pirqe rabbi Rabb Eliezer bring in the story of Ishmael, by including also the well which appeared to Hagar (Gen. 21, 19). The Mohammedan orthodox Tradition (hadith adth) then puts the capstone on all this by making Zemzem the well which saved the lives of Hagar and her son.  39 This, to be sure, would mean that the mother and child had walked some 600 miles on the occasion described. Such sages as Abu Huraira and Ibn abbas Abbs were not troubled by considerations of geography; and inasmuch as this improvement of the legend is early Muslim tradition, it might be termed a doctrine of primitive Islam. But Mohammed knew better; at least, he says not a word in the quran Koran about the sacred well at Mekka.

The highly significant passage in which Abraham and Ishmael are associated in the founding of the kaba kaaba Kaba at Mekka is 2, 118-123. "When his Lord tested Abraham with certain commands, which he fulfilled, he said, I make thee an example for mankind to follow. Abraham said, And those of my posterity? God answered, My compact does not include the evil-doers." This refers to the pagan Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael; like the verse 14:39, already cited. The passage proceeds: "Remember the time when we made the house [that is, the kaba kaaba Kaba] a place of resort and of security for mankind, and said, Take the 'station of Abraham' (also 3:91) as a place of prayer; and how we laid upon Abraham and Ishmael the covenant obligation, saying, Make my house holy (cf. 80:14 and 98:2) for those who make the circuit, for those who linger in it, those who bow down, and prostrate themselves in devotion, And when Abraham said, Lord, make this land secure, and nourish its people with the fruits of the earth; those among them who believe in God and the last day; he answered, As for him who is unbelieving, I will provide him with little; and thereafter I will drive him to the punishment of hell-fire; it will be an evil journey" (a warning to the men of Mekka, and to all the Arabs, the faithless Ishmaelites).

Then comes the important statement regarding the founding of the kaba kaaba Kaba; important, because it plainly contradicts the orthodox Muslim tradition. "And when Abraham with Ishmael was raising the foundations of the house, he said, Lord, accept this from us;.... make us submissive to thee, and make of our offspring a nation submissive to thee; and declare to us our ritual.... Lord, send also among them a messenger of their own, who shall recite to them thy signs and teach them the book and divine wisdom, and purify them; verily thou art the mighty and wise." According to the later Muslim doctrine, the kaba kaaba Kaba was first built by Adam; the station (or standing place) of Abraham is the spot inside the sanctuary where his footprint in the rock is still to be seen; the command to the two patriarchs, "Make my house clean," meant "Cleanse it of idols." But the meaning of the quran Koran is plain, that the holy station and the holy house began with Abraham and his son.

In the verses which immediately follow, it is expressly said that the true and final religion, islam Islm, was first revealed to the family of the patriarch. Verse 126: "Abraham and Jacob gave this command to their sons: God has chosen for you the (true) religion; you must not die without becoming Muslims." We could wish to know how important in muhammad Mohammed's thought this conception of the genesis of Islam was, and how early it was formed in his mind. I shall try to answer the question at the close of this Lecture.

In so far as we are reduced to conjecture, there are certain known factors in the Mekkan prophet's religious development that would lead us to suppose, if nothing should hinder the supposition, that he attached himself very early and very firmly to Abraham's family when he sought (as he must have sought) support in the past for the faith which he set himself to proclaim. We have seen how essential to all his thinking, from the very first, was the idea of the written revelation, the scriptural guidance given by God to men. Jews and Christians alike were "people of the Book"; in each case a book of divine origin, But Jews and Christians were in sharpest disagreement. As the quran Koran puts it in Sura 2, 107, and as Mohammed had known long before he began his public ministry, "The Jews say, The Christians are all wrong (lit., rest on nothing); and the Christians say, The Jews are all wrong; and yet they read the scriptures!" Now Mohammed knew that these two religions were branches from the same stock; that the Christian sect had its beginnings in Judaism; and that the Christians held to the Hebrew scriptures, and claimed for themselves the prophets and patriarchs. The Hebrew people were the children of Abraham; so also, then, were the Christians, even though they attached no importance to this origin. Did not these facts point clearly to the starting point of the final religion? Here also the Arabs, the sons of Ishmael, came in for their long-lost inheritance. muhammad Mohammed could only conclude that Jews and Christian alike had been led away from the truth. The right way was now to be shown to them, as well as to the Arabs. This belief he expresses at first confidently, at length bitterly, at last fiercely.

It is not always easy to determine, from the quran Koran, either the relative age or the relative importance of Mohammed's leading ideas. We have seen the reasons for this. On this very point, the place occupied by the Hebrew patriarchs in the development of the prophet's religious doctrine, there has been some difference of opinion.

According to early Muslim tradition, there were in Arabia, not only in Mekka and Medina but also in a few other cities, before the time of muhammad Mohammed's public appearance as a prophet, certain seekers after truth, who revolted against the Arabian idolatry. They called themselves hanifs anfs, and professed to seek "the religion of Abraham," their ancestor. Now Mohammed in the quran Koran repeatedly applies to Abraham the term hanif anf as descriptive of his religion. Where and how he got possession of the term cannot be declared with certainty, but may be conjectured, as we have seen. Certainly it came originally from the Hebrew  hanef nef; and probably its employment by him as a term of praise, rather than of reproach, indicates that in his mind it designated one who "turned away" from the surrounding paganism. Be that as it may, his use of the word seemed to give support to the tradition just mentioned, until a thorough investigation of the latter showed it to be destitute of any real foundation.

The conclusive demonstration was furnished by Snouck Hurgronje, in his brilliant and searching monograph entitled Het Mekkaansche Feest (1880). Snouck made it clear to all who study his argument that muhammad Mohammed himself had no knowledge of any Arabian "hanifs hanfs," and that the tradition had its origin in a theory of later growth. The conclusion at which he arrived went still farther than this, however, for he denied that the prophet had any special interest in the Hebrew patriarchs in the earlier part of his career. This is a matter which seems to me to be in need of further investigation.

Sprenger, Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad, Vol. II (1862), pp. 276-285, gave at some length his reasons for believing that muhammad Mohammed himself invented the association of Abraham with the kaba Kaba, that he for some time supposed Jacob to be the son of Abraham, that he learned of Ishmael's parentage only at a comparatively late date, etc.; all this very loosely reasoned, and arbitrary in its treatment of the quran Koran. Snouck, starting out from the plausible portion of Sprenger's argument, developed thoroughly and consistently the theory that the prophet's especial interest in the Hebrew patriarchs arose in Medina, as a result of his failure to gain the support of the Jews. That is, in his reaction against the religion of Moses (?) he turned back to those earlier prophets to whose family he could claim to belong. Accordingly, after removing to Yathrib and suffering his great disappointment there, he began to make great use of the two patriarchs Abraham and Ishmael, to whom while in Mekka he had attached no especial importance.

The complete argument will be found in the reprint of Snouck's Mekkaansche Feest in his Verspreide Geschriften, I, 22-29; repeated also by him in the Revue de l'histoire des religions, vol. 30 (1894), pp. 64 ff. His principal contentions are the following: (1) In the Mekkan Suras Abraham is merely one among many prophets, not a central figure. (2) The phrase millat ibrahim Ibrhm, "the religion of Abraham," as the designation of Islam, is peculiar to the Medina Suras of the quran Koran. (3) It was only after leaving Mekka that Mohammed conceived the idea of connecting Abraham and Ishmael with the kaba Kaba, (4) In several comparatively late Mekkan Suras the prophet declares that before his time "no warner" had been sent to the Arabs (32:2; 34:43; 36:5). Yet at this same time Ishmael is said by him to have "preached to his people" (19:55 f.). Does not this show that the prophet while in Mekka had not associated Ishmael with the Arabs?

These conclusions are accepted, as proven, in the Nldeke-Schwally Geschichte des quran qorans Qorns (see especially pp. 146 f., 152), and have been widely adopted. I think, however, that the argument will not bear close examination, in the light of present-day estimates of the Arabian prophet's equipment. muhammad Mohammed's knowledge of Hebrew-Jewish lore in general, and of the Pentateuchal narratives in particular, is appraised considerably higher now than it was in 1880, and this is true also of Arabian culture in the Hijaz. Whether or not the Mekkan Arabs had known that the Hebrew patriarch Ishmael was their ancestor, Mohammed must have known it and have been profoundly impressed by the fact, very early in his course of instruction. The quran Koran, as I shall endeavor to show, testifies clearly to this effect. Mohammed certainly could not cut loose from the Jews by adopting Abraham! If he had wished to "emancipate Islam from Judaism," and had found himself free to make his own choice, he could easily and successfully have denied the Ishmaelite origin of the Arabs, falsely reported by the Jews. The founding of the kaba kaaba Kaba could equally well have been ascribed to Noah, or "idris Idrs," or some other ancient worthy. There is not a particle of evidence to show that the quran Koran gave less weight in Medina to Moses and his ordinances than had been given in Mekka. The fact is just the contrary; and the prophet not only leans heavily on Moses, but openly professes to do so (e. g. in 5:48 f. !). And finally, Snouck's theory is not supported by the quran Koran unless the text of the latter is reconstructed by the excision and removal from Mekkan contexts of certain passages which, as they stand, would be fatal to the argument.

In reply to the principal contentions listed above: (1) In one of the very early Mekkan Suras Abraham is emphatically a "central figure in the history of the world. In the closing verses of Sura 87 we read of "the primal books, the books of Abraham and Moses." Whatever the prophet's idea may have been as to the contents of these "books," Abraham is here made the father of the written revelation of God to mankind. He instituted "The Book," of which Mohammed stood in such awe. In another early Sura, 53, these "books" are again mentioned, and in the same connection Abraham is characterized in a significant way; vs. 38, "(the book) of Abraham, who paid in full." This last phrase is elucidated in 2:118, where it is said: "When his Lord tested Abraham with certain commands, which he fulfilled, he said, 'I make thee an example for mankind.'" The command to the patriarch to sacrifice his own son is of course the one especially in mind, and it is plain that Mohammed had essentially the same idea of Abraham in the two passages.

The account of the attempted sacrifice which the quran Koran gives, in 37:99-113, is important for our knowledge of muhammad Mohammed's attitude toward the Jews in the early part of his career at Mekka. Abraham is given tidings of the coming birth of his "mild son"  40 (vs. 99). The boy grows up, and is rescued from the sacrificial knife by divine intervention (vss. 103-107). Thereafter (vs. 112), the birth of Isaac is foretold to Abraham. This seemed to Snouck (pp. 23 f.) to show that Mohammed had become confused and uncertain in regard to the story-unless vss. 112 f. could be regarded as an interpolation, But the prophet, far from being confused, shows here both his acquaintance with the Old Testament narrative and also his practical wisdom. Why does he not name the elder son? The answer is plain. Mohammed was perfectly aware, even before he began preaching in public, that Abraham's first-born son, Ishmael, was the father of the Arabs. In the Hebrew narrative he is an utterly insignificant figure, an unworthy son of the great religious founder. The Arabian prophet, instituting a religion centering in Arabia, saw his opportunity to improve this state of things. It is very significant that he employs three verses of his very brief narrative (101-103) to show that Abraham's son was informed beforehand of the intended sacrifice and fully acquiesced in it-a most important touch which has no counterpart in the Biblical story. Ishmael was a true "muslim." He leaves out the name, but this is not all. The mention of Isaac is introduced after the concluding formula (vss. 109-111) which runs through the chapter, and without any adverb of time (such as thumma); and thus he completely avoids unnecessary trouble either with the Jews who were his instructors or with his own few followers. The whole passage is a monument to his shrewd foresight, a quality which we are liable constantly to underestimate in studying his method of dealing with the Biblical narratives.

(2) As for the millat ibrahim Ibrhm, "the religion of Abraham," the single passage 12:38, of the Mekkan period, is sufficient to nullify the argument. Could any one suppose that muhammad Mohammed meant by the milla of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph any other religion than Islam? Ishmael could not have been mentioned here, since Joseph is enumerating his own ancestors. More than this, there are two other Mekkan passages (16:124 and 22:77) in which the phrase millat  ibrahim Ibrhm occurs. These shall receive further notice presently.

(3) I have already expressed the opinion that the association of Abraham and Ishmael with the sanctuary at Mekka is pre-Islamic (see also Schwally, 147, note 3). As for Mohammed himself, he sets forth the doctrine fully in Sura 14:38-42. The whole chapter is Mekkan, and has always been so classed; and there is no imaginable reason why an interpolation should have been made at this point. Yet Schwally, p. 152, cuts out these verses from the Sura on the sole ground that Snouck's theory requires their excision. The latter treats the passage, on p. 29, quite arbitrarily. It is obvious why the patriarch here names Ishmael and Isaac, not Isaac and Jacob. Verse 37 had just spoken of the countless favors of Allah, who "gives you some portion of all that you ask of him." This introduces the mention of Abraham, who in vs. 41 praises Allah for giving him two sons in his old age, and adds, "verily my Lord is the hearer of prayer!" Could any one ask for a better connection? The verses are Mekkan, and always occupied this place in the Sura.

(4) The passages which mention the "warner" give no aid whatever to the theory. The prophet would at all times have maintained that the Arabian peoples had never had a "messenger" sent to them. The only passage in which there is mention of admonition given by Ishmael is 19:56, where it is said that he commanded "his family" (this, unquestionably, is what ahlahu means) to pray and give alms. As "a prophet and messenger" he must have done this much. But it is made perfectly plain in the quran Koran-the principal passages have already been discussed-that his children paid no attention to the admonition. Long before Arabia began to be peopled with the Ishmaelite tribes, the disobedient sons had passed away, along with the instruction given to them. No Arabian tribe had ever heard a word in regard to the true religion.

The Question of Composite Mekkan Suras. Some brief space must be given here to a matter which really calls for a monograph. A moment ago, I claimed as Mekkan utterances of the prophet two passages (16:124 and 22:77) which by occidental scholars are now quite generally regarded as belonging to the Medina period. The 16th Sura is Mekkan, as no one doubts. Of its 128 verses, Schwally assigns 43, 44, and 111-125 to Medina; at the same time combating, on obviously sufficient grounds, the opinions of those who would assign to Medina numerous other passages. In regard to Sura 22 Nldeke had declared (p. 158), that "the greater part of it" was uttered at Mekka, but that its most significant material came from the Medina period. It accordingly is now classed as a Medina Sura in the standard treatises and in Rodwell's quran Koran; see also Nicholson's Literary History of the Arabs, p. 174. In the course of the argument concerning the association of Abraham and Ishmael with the kaba kaaba Kaba I discussed a supposed insertion in Sura 14, with the result of showing that the theory of interpolation is at least quite unnecessary. These are merely single examples out of a multitude. The accepted working hypothesis as to the composition of the quran Koran recognizes a considerable revision, after the Hijra, of the later Mekkan Suras by the insertion of longer or shorter passages, which certain criteria enable us to detect. Of course the theory has its apparent justification; the question is, whether it has not run wild.

The quran Koran is a true corpus vile, no one cares how much it is chopped up. The Arabs themselves have been the worst choppers. Their ancient theory of the sacred book led to just this treatment. It was miraculously revealed, and miraculously preserved. muhammad Mohammed, being "unable to read and write," left no copy behind at his death; so when it became necessary to make a standard volume, its various portions were collected "from scraps of paper, parchment, and leather, from palm-leaves, tablets of wood, bones, stones, and from the breasts of men." This is something like Ezra's restoration, from memory, of the lost Hebrew scriptures, twenty-four canonical and seventy apocryphal books (4 Ezra, 14:44 ff.), and the two accounts are of like value for historical purposes. The Muslim commentators found no difficulty in seeing-as they did see-oracles of Mekka and Medina wonderfully jumbled together in many Suras. Their analysis of the chapters which they themselves pronounced Mekkan was based either on fancied historical allusions or on fundamentally mistaken notions as to the activities and associations of the prophet in the years before the Hijra. The disagreement of these early interpreters, moreover, was very wide.

muhammad Mohammed himself wrote down the successive Suras; and he gave them out as complete units, a fact which is especially obvious in such a group as the ha mim -Mm chapters, 40-46, but is hardly less evident throughout the book. It might also be inferred from the challenge to his critics to produce "ten Suras," in 11:16. He had his amanuenses, who made some copies for distribution. He himself supplemented a number of the completed Suras, after they had been for some time in circulation, making important insertions or additions, obviously needed, and generally indicated as secondary by their form. Thus, 73:20 is an easily recognizable Medina appendage to a Mekkan Sura. The cautious addition in regard to Jesus in the 19th Sura (vss. 35-41, marked off from their context by the rhyme) is another well known example. In 74:30, the prophet's "nineteen angels" (numbered for the sake of the rhyme) called forth some ridicule, which he thereafter rebuked in a lengthy insertion, quite distinct in form from the rest of the chapter.  41 In such cases it certainly is the most plausible supposition that muhammad Mohammed made the alteration in writing, with his own hand.

It might at the outset seem a plausible hypothesis that the prophet would make numerous alterations, in the course of time, in the Suras which he had composed, as his point of view changed and new interests came into the foreground. The loose structure of the quran Koran in nearly all of its longer chapters rendered interpolation singularly easy. The kaleidoscope is constantly turning, and the thought leaps from one subject to another, often without any obvious connection. Since the verses are separate units, each with its rhymed ending (often a mere stock phrase), nothing could be easier than to insert new verses in order to supplement, or explain, or qualify; or even in order to correct and replace an objectionable utterance, as was done (according to an old tradition) in the middle of the 53rd sura surah Sra. It is important to note, however, that we should not be able to recognize any such insertions, unless the prophet called attention to them in some striking way. Did muhammad Mohammed, in fact, freely revise his (i. e. Gabriel's) revelations? There is a doctrine clearly stated by him, and well illustrated, that certain utterances are "annulled" by subsequent outgivings. The latter, however, are never put beside the former, nor given specific reference to them, but merely make their appearance wherever it may happen-that is, when and where Gabriel found the new teaching desirable. In like manner, the supposed insertions now under discussion, "Medina additions to Mekkan Suras," are as a rule given no obvious motive by anything in their context, but seem purely fortuitous. If they really are insertions, and were made by the prophet, it was not with any recognizable purpose.

For one reason in particular it is not easy to suppose any considerable amount of alteration in the divine oracles, after they had once been finished and made public. From the first they were learned by heart and constantly recited by those who had committed them to memory. As early as Sura 73:1-6 the prophet urges his followers to spend a part of the night in reciting what they have learned, and it is implied that the amount is already considerable. The acquisition was very easy, and before the prophet's death the number of those who could repeat the whole book without missing a word cannot have been very small. Under these circumstances, any alteration, especially if made without apparent reason, could not fail to be very disturbing. The few which (as we have seen) the prophet himself made were doubtless explained by him; and we may be sure that he would have permitted no other to change the divine messages! After his death, the precise form of words was jealously guarded; and when, through the unforeseen but inevitable accidents of wider transmission, variant readings crept in, so that copies in different cities showed some real disagreement, a standard text was made, probably differing only in unimportant details from the form originally given out by muhammad Mohammed. In the early subsequent history, indeed, minor variations in the text, consisting mainly of interesting differences of orthography and peculiarities of grammatical usage, amounted to a large number; see the very important chapter on the history of the text in Nldeke's Geschichte des quran qorans Qorns. But whoever reads the quran Koran through must feel that we have the prophet before us in every verse.

The dating of the Suras of the quran Koran, as of Mekka or Medina, is generally, though not always, an easy matter. Any chapter of considerable length is sure to contain evidence clearly indicating the one city or the other as the place of its origin. The simple classification of this nature which was made by the best of the early muhammad Mohammedan scholars is nearly everywhere confirmed by modern critics. Even in the case of the briefer Suras there is not often room for doubt. The possibility of dating more exactly, however, is soon limited. The career of the prophet in Medina, covering ten years, is well known to us in its main outlines. Since a number of important events, chronologically fixed, are plainly referred to in the quran Koran, about one-half of the twenty or more Medina Suras can be approximately located. Not so with the twelve years of the Mekkan revelations. Here, there is an almost complete lack of fixed points, and we have very inadequate information as to Mohammed's personal history and the development of his ideas and plans. It is possible to set apart, with practical certainty on various grounds, a considerable number of Suras as early; and a much smaller number can be recognized with almost equal certainty as coming from the last years of the Mekkan period. Between the arbitrary limits of these two groups a certain development, partly in the literary form and partly in the relative emphasis given to certain doctrines, can be traced in the remaining Suras; but with no such distinctness as to make possible a chronological arrangement. This is true of all three of the conventional "Mekkan periods."

The native interpreters, as already observed, analyzed the Mekkan Suras to their heart's content; recognizing allusions to very many persons, events, and circumstances, and accordingly treating this or that Sura without regard to considerations of literary or chronological unity. Modern occidental scholars saw that these hypotheses as to actors and scenes were generally either purely fanciful or else plainly mistaken; in Nldeke's treatise, for example, they meet with wholesale rejection. The underlying theory, that of casually composite chapters, in which oracles from widely different periods might stand side by side without apparent reason for their proximity, was nevertheless adopted. The criteria employed by the Muslim scholars in identifying Medina verses in Mekkan Suras were also, in considerable part, taken over as valid. These consist of single words and phrases, often arbitrarily interpreted, and also of allusions to conditions supposed to be characteristic of the Medina period but not of the earlier time.

Here the critic is on slippery ground. That which Mohammed gave forth from time to time was largely determined by the immediate circumstances, concerning which it is likely to be the case that we either are not informed at all, or else are wrongly informed by the guesses of the native commentators. Ideas which (in the nature of the case) must have been in the prophet's mind from the very beginning may happen to find their chief expression only at a late date. Certain evils existed for some time before they became very serious. There were "hypocrites" in Mekka as well as in Medina. Such words as "strive," "contend," and "victory" gained great significance after the battle of Bedr; but they ought not to be forbidden to the prophet's Mekkan vocabulary. In Sura 29, for example, which unquestionably in the main was uttered before the Hijra, many of the Muslim authorities assign the first ten verses to Medina, and Nldeke follows them.  42 Verse 45 is similarly treated-in spite of 6:153, 16:126, and 23:98! In fact, there is no valid reason for such analysis; the whole Sura is certainly Mekkan, and so not a few scholars, oriental and occidental, have decided. Another example of the forced interpretation of single words is to be seen in the treatment of the very brief Sura 110. If Mohammed believed himself to be a prophet, and had faith in the ultimate triumph of the religion which he proclaimed, it is far easier to suppose that this little outburst came from the time when he first met with serious opposition than to imagine it delivered late in the Medina period, as is now commonly done. The word "victory" is no more remarkable here than it is in the closing verses of Sura 32.

Another mistake made by the early commentators has had serious consequences. Having little or no knowledge of the presence of Jews in Mekka, and with their eyes always on the important Jewish tribes of Medina and the prophet's dealings with them, they habitually assigned to the Medina period the allusions to Jewish affairs which they found in Mekkan Suras; and in this they sometimes have been followed by modern scholars. It is one principal aim of the present Lectures to show that muhammad Mohammed's personal contact with the Jews was closer (as well as much longer continued) before the Hijra than after it. By far the most of what he learned of Israelite history, literature, customs, and law was acquired in Mekka. It is also a mistaken supposition that he met with no determined opposition from the Jews, resulting in bitter resentment on his part, before the Hijra.  43 On the contrary, he was perfectly aware, before leaving Mekka, that the Jews as a whole were against him, though some few gave him support. After the migration to Yathrib, when his cause seemed to triumph, he doubtless cherished the hope that now at length the Jews would acknowledge his claim; and when they failed to do so, his resentment became active hostility.

It is not difficult to see why the Muslim historians and commentators habitually assign to Medina those passages in the quran Koran in which Mohammed is given contact with Jewish affairs, in default of any definite allusion to Mekka as the scene. The latter city was the Muslim sanctuary par excellence, from the prophet's day onward, and unbelieving foreigners were not welcome. As for the Jews themselves, they of course realized, after seeing how their compatriots at Yathrib had been evicted or butchered, that Mekka was no place for them. Their exodus began during Mohammed's lifetime, and must soon have been extensive. After this emigration, their former influence in the holy city, as far as it was kept in memory, was at first minimized, and then ignored; eventually it was lost to sight. The prophet's close personal association with Mekkan Jews, and especially his debt to Jewish teachers (!), was of course totally unknown to the generations which later came upon the scene. On the other hand, they had very full knowledge of his continued contact with the Jews of Yathrib; and they very naturally interpreted the quran Koran in the light of this knowledge. Modern scholars have been far too easy-going in giving weight to these decisions of the native commentators, and the mistaken analysis of Mekkan Suras has too often been the result.

It would be fruitless to attempt to collect here the many "Medina" verses which have been found by Muslim scholars in the Mekkan chapters merely because of the mention of Jews. Some similar criticism may be found in Nldeke-Schwally in the comments on 6:91, 7:156, and 29:45 (already mentioned), as well as in the passages about to be considered. It must be clear, from what has thus far been said, that the only sound and safe proceeding in the "higher criticism" of the Suras recognized as prevailingly Mekkan is to pronounce every verse in its original place unless there is absolute and unmistakable proof to the contrary. I know of no later additions to Mekkan Suras, with the exception of the few which Mohammed himself plainly indicated.  44

All this has led up to the consideration of the two passages previously mentioned, 16:124 and 22:77, in which Islam is termed "the religion (milla) of Abraham." Both passages are now generally assigned to the Medina period, but for no valid reason. Both Suras are "in the main" Mekkan, as few would doubt. In Sura 16, verses 43f, and 111 would naturally be supposed to refer to the migration to Abyssinia. Since however the latter verse speaks of "striving," an allusion to the holy war is postulated, and all three verses are referred to the Hijra; but the third stem of jahada was well known even in Mekka! Verse 119 is given to Medina on the ground that it probably refers to 6:147. If it does, this merely shows that 6 is earlier than 16; a conclusion which is opposed by no fact. Verse 125 is suspected of coming from Medina on the ground that "it deals with the Jewish sabbath." It is thus rendered natural (Schwally, p. 147) to assign the whole passage 111-125 to Medina; and Abraham, in vs. 124, is accordingly counted out. But unless better evidence than the foregoing can be presented, the whole Sura must be pronounced Mekkan.

Sura 22 affords the best single illustration of the fact that the latest Mekkan revelations closely resemble those of Medina not only in style and vocabularly but also in some of the subjects which chiefly occupied the prophet's attention. Considerable portions are now declared to be later than the Hijra; see Nldeke-Schwally, pp. 214 f. These shall be considered in as brief compass as possible.

Vs. 17 is by no means "a later insertion"; it has its perfect connection in the concluding words of the preceding verse. Vss. 25-38 give directions in regard to the rites of the hajj ajj, at the sacred house. Does this remove them from their Mekkan surroundings? Did not Mohammed (and his adherents) believe in the duty of the Pilgrimage before they migrated to Yathrib? Probably no one will doubt that they did so believe. It is very noticeable that the whole passage, as well as what precedes and follows it, is argumentative; addressed quite as plainly to the "idolaters" as to the Muslims. This is the tone of the whole Sura. Notice especially vss. 15 (and in Medina would certainly have been written: "Allah will help his prophet"); 32-36 (in the latter verse observe the words: "those who endure patiently what has befallen them"); 42-45; 48-50; 54-56; 66-71. In the last-named verse we see that the idolaters, among whom Mohammed is living and whom he is addressing, occasionally hear the quran Koran recited, and threaten to lay violent hands on those who recite it! The passage in regard to the hajj ajj is not mere prescription, for the instruction of the Muslims; it is designed to inform the Mekkans that Mohammed and his followers mean to observe the rites in the time-honored way, and that they have been unjustly debarred from the privilege. The prophet is thoroughly angry, and expresses himself in a way that shows that some sort of a hijra must soon be necessary. In vs. 40 formal permission is given to the Muslims to "fight because they have been wronged"; from which we may see what a pitch the Mekkans' persecution had reached. The description of the whole situation given in Ibn hisham Hishm, 313 f., is generally convincing, as well as perfectly suited to this most interesting Sura.

The strongest support of the theory of later insertions in the chapter seemed to be given by vs. 57. Nldeke saw here the mention of certain true believers, who after migrating from Mekka had been killed in battle; and he therefore of necessity pronounced the passage later than the battle of Bedr. The view that a general supposition was intended, rather than historical fact, seemed to him to be excluded by grammatical considerations. His footnote, repeated by Schwally, says: "If the reading were man qutila, 'if any one is killed,' then the verses could have been composed before the battle; but alladhina alladhna qutilu qutil excludes the conditional interpretation, and shows merely the completed action: 'those who were killed.'" It is evident that Nldeke completely overlooked the passage 2:155 f., which is strikingly parallel in its wording, while fortunately there can be no difference of opinion as to the interpretation. In both cases we have merely a general hypothesis. muhammad Mohammed is not always bound by the rules of classical Arabic grammar (probably it would be more correct to say that his imagination was so vivid as to make the supposition an actual occurrence), and he frequently employs alladhi alladh and alladhina alladhna in exactly this way. The passage in our Sura refers to some lesser migration (or migrations) before the Hijra, and to Muslims who may die, or be killed, after this clear proof of their devotion to the cause of Allah. (Nothing is said of being killed in battle.)

Finally, vss. 76 ff. are said to have originated in Medina, because "they enjoin the holy war," and because of the mention of the "religion of Abraham." The interpretation of the first words of vs. 77 as referring to the holy war is not only unnecessary, however, but also seems out of keeping with what is said in the remainder of the verse. The believers are exhorted to strive earnestly for the true faith; compare the precisely similar use of this verb in the Mekkan passages 25:54 and 29:69. The saying in regard to Abraham is important for the history of the term "islam Islm," as will be seen. To conclude: Sura 22 is thoroughly homogeneous, containing no elements from the Medina period. And (as was said a moment ago) much stronger evidence than has thus far been offered must be produced before it can be maintained. that Mekkan Suras were freely interpolated after the Hijra.

The Origin of the Term "islam Islm." The theory propounded by Professor Snouck Hurgronje and discussed in the preceding pages has, I think, helped to hide from sight the true source of the name which muhammad Mohammed gave to the faith of which he was the founder. The one thing which we usually can feel sure of knowing as to the origin of a great religion is how it got its name. In the case of "Islam," the only fact on which all scholars would agree is that the name was given by muhammad Mohammed. The formal title appears rather late in the quran Koran, but is virtually there very early, for the true believers are termed "Muslims" in the Suras of the first Mekkan period. There has been considerable difference of opinion as to what the word means. The great majority have always held that this verbal noun, "islam islm," was chosen as meaning "submission"; that is, submission to the will of God; but not a few, especially in recent years, have sought another interpretation. It is not obvious why the prophet should have selected this name, nor does ordinary Arabic usage suggest this as the most natural meaning of the 4th stem of the very common verb salima.

Hence at least one noted scholar has proposed to understand the prophet's use of this verb-stem as conveying the idea of coming into the condition of security (Lidzbarski, in the Zeitschrift fur Semitistik, I, 86). The meaning of "islam Islm" would then be "safety"; and in view of the long catalogue of unspeakable tortures in Gehenna which are promised to the unbelievers, this might seem an appealing title. The interpretation is far from convincing, however, in view of several passages in the quran Koran. Professor Margoliouth of Oxford, one of the foremost Arabists of our time, offered the theory that the Muslims were originally the adherents of the "false prophet" Musailima, who appeared in central Arabia at about the time of muhammad Mohammed. This theory, as might be expected, was not received with favor.

It has been doubted by some whether the term is really of Arabic origin; see Horovitz, Untersuchungen, p. 55; Nldeke-Schwally, p. 20, note 2, and the references there given. The attempt to find a real equivalent in Aramaic or Syriac has failed, however; and I, for one, can see no good reason for doubting that we have here genuine native usage. Moreover, the only meaning of the term which suits all the quran quranic Koranic passages is the one which has generally been adopted.

But why "submission"? This was never a prominently appearing feature of the Muslim's religion. It is not an attitude of mind characteristic of muhammad Mohammed himself. It is not a virtue especially dwelt upon in any part of the quran Koran. It would not in itself seem to be an attractive designation of the Arab's faith. Why was not the new religion named "Faith," or "Truth," or "Safety," or "Right-guidance," or "Striving," or "Victory"? -since these are ideas prominent in the quran Koran. Why "Submission"?

I believe that the origin of the name is to be found in a scene in the life of Abraham and Ishmael depicted in the quran Koran and already mentioned in this Lecture, and that the choice was made by muhammad Mohammed because of his doctrine that the final religion-or rather, the final form of the true religion-had its inception in the revelation given to Abraham and his family. The quran Koran knows of no "Muslims" prior to these patriarchs. We have seen that one of the very early Suras speaks of "the books of Moses and Abraham" (87:19). In another Sura of the same period we find the earliest occurrence of the designation "Muslims" (68:35). In what probably is the very last Mekkan utterance of the prophet (22:77), Abraham and the naming of Islam are mentioned in the same breath: "God gave you the faith of your father Abraham and named you Muslims." The collocation is certainly significant.

The Mekkan Arabs knew, and probably had known before the time of muhammad Mohammed, that according to the Hebrew records they were the descendants of Ishmael. Because of their tribal organization, with all its emphasis on family history, we should suppose them to have been pleased with the gain of a remote ancestor, even if they felt little or no interest in his person. To muhammad Mohammed, the fact was profoundly significant. At the time when he first became aware of great religions outside Arabia, he heard of that ancient prophet Abraham, who through his second son Isaac was the founder of both the Israelite and the Christian faith, and through his elder son Ishmael was the father of the Arabian peoples. It may have been through meditation on this startling fact that he was first led to the conception of a new revelation, and a new prophet, for his own race. The Arabs were rightful heirs of the religion of Abraham; although, as he repeatedly declares, they had rejected the truth and fallen into idolatry.

It may be regarded as certain, however, that muhammad Mohammed did not believe his call to the prophetic office to be in any way the result of his own reflection on what ought to be. On the contrary, he was called by Allah, and the revelation for the Arabs was new, never previously given to any one. In some true sense he himself was "the first of the Muslims" (39:14). But when at length, after the quran Koran was well advanced, he turns to the Hebrew patriarchs, he claims them as a matter of course and speaks of them in no uncertain terms. "Abraham said, Lord, make this land [the neighborhood of Mekka] safe, and turn me and my sons away from worshipping idols.... Lord, I have made some of my seed dwell in a fruitless valley, by thy holy house [the kaba kaaba Kaba].... Praise to Allah, who has given me, even in my old age, Ishmael and Isaac" (14:38 ff.). "When his Lord tested Abraham with certain commands, which he obeyed, he said, I make thee an example for mankind to follow.".... "We laid upon Abraham and Ishmael the covenant obligation" [namely, to make the kaba kaaba Kaba at Mekka a holy house, the center of the true Arabian worship; the beginning of a new stage in the religion of the world]..... "And when Abraham, with Ishmael, was raising the foundations of the house, he said, Lord, accept this from us,.... make us submissive to thee, and make of our offspring a nation submissive to thee, and declare to us our ritual..... Lord, send also among them a messenger of their own, who shall teach them the Book and divine wisdom" (2:118 ff.).

In the verses which immediately follow it is clearly implied that the true and final religion, islam Islm, was first revealed to the family of the patriarch. Vs. 126: "Abraham and Jacob gave this command to their sons: God has chosen for you the true religion; you must not die without becoming Muslims. All this plainly shows that the submission was originally associated in muhammad Mohammed's mind with Abraham; it was from his action, or attitude, that the religion received its name. He obeyed the commands with which Allah tested him (53:38 and 2:118).

There was one supreme test of Abraham's submission to the divine will, and it is described in an early passage in the quran Koran; namely, the attempted sacrifice of Ishmael (why Ishmael, not Isaac, has already been explained). Sura 37:100 ff.: "When the boy was old enough to share the zeal of his father, Abraham said, My son, in a vision of the night I have been shown that I am to slaughter you as a sacrifice. Say now what you think. He replied, Father, do what you are commanded; you will find me, if Allah wills, one of the steadfast. So when they both were resigned, and he led him to the mountain,  45 we called to him, Abraham! You have indeed fulfilled the vision;.... verily this was a clear test!" The verb in vs. 103, they both submitted" (aslama aslam), marks the climax of the scene. Elsewhere in the quran Koran the verb means "embrace islam Islm"; here, it means simply "yield" to the will of Allah. muhammad Mohammed certainly had this supreme test in mind when he quoted the promise to the patriarch: "I make you an example for mankind to follow."

The prophet must have had the scene before his eyes, and the all important verb in his mind, long before he produced the 37th Sura. And when he first began speaking of the "Muslims," it was the self-surrender of the two great ancestors of his people that led him to the use of the term. It required no more than ordinary foresight on the prophet's part to see, at the very outset of his public service, that a struggle was coming; and that his followers, and perhaps he himself, would be called upon to give up every precious thing, even life itself, for the sake of the cause. Submission, absolute surrender to the divine will, was a fit designation of the faith revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, and the Arabs.