JESUS CHRIST SUPPLANTED BY MOHAMMED
AS in a total eclipse of the sun the glory and the beauty of the heavenly orb are hidden, and only the corona appears on the edge, so in the life and thought of Mohammedans their own prophet has almost eclipsed Jesus Christ. The general idea of His life, as we have gathered it from many Moslem sources, is, after all, vague, shadowy, and not at all clearly outlined in the mind of Moslems. An Arab from Hassa expressed this truth a few days ago when he said to me: "Until my wife became a Christian I knew nothing of Jesus whatever, only His name, and that He was a Prophet!" Whatever place Jesus Christ may occupy in the Koran—and the portrait there given is a sad caricature; whatever favourable critics may say about Christ's honourable place among the Moslem prophets, it is nevertheless true that the large bulk of Mohammedans know extremely little, and think still less, of Jesus Christ. He has no place in their hearts nor in their lives. All the prophets have not only been succeeded, but supplanted by Mohammed; he is at once the sealer and concealer of all former revelations. Mohammed is always in the foreground, and Jesus Christ, in spite of His lofty titles and the honour given Him in the Koran, is in the background. There is not a single biography of Jesus Christ standing by Himself, alone and unique, as a great prophet of God, to be found in the literature of Islam. Christ is grouped with the other prophets; with Lot, Alexander the Great, Ishmael, Moses, Abraham, Adam.
We cannot forget this fact when we try to form a conception of the Moslem Christ. It is because of this that Islam presents difficulties offered by no other religion in the work of missions. "It cannot be treated like any other religion," says Rev. W. H. T. Gairdner; "it baffles more than any other, for it is more difficult to concede to it what is gladly conceded to other religions that appeared before Christ, that they in some part prepared and prepare the way for Him. How can that which denies the whole essential and particular content of the message be said to prepare for Him, or to be a half-way house to His kingdom? For that is what Islam does. Other religions know nothing of Christianity; one and all they came before it, and speak of it neither good nor evil. But the whole theory of Islam is that it, the latest sent of all religions, does not so much abrogate Christianity with its Book, as specifically and categorically deny both as wilful corruption and lies."
TRANSLATION OF PAGE FROM THE BOOK ENTITLED
"DALA‘IL EL KHEIRAT."
“O God! pray for the Moon of Perfection. O God! pray for the Light that shines in the darkness. O God! pray for the Key to the door of peace. O God! pray for the Intercessor of all humanity! O Thou Mercy of God! (Mohammed) I am afraid and terrified. O Thou Grace of God! I am bankrupt; help Thou me. I have no good work in which I can put my trust, save Thy great love and my faith in Thee. Be Thou my safety from the evil of this life, and in the hour of death, and deliver my body from the fire.”
The sin and the guilt of the Mohammedan world is that they give Christ's glory to another, and that for all practical purposes Mohammed himself is the Moslem Christ. The life and character of Mohammed as portrayed for us by his earliest biographers, who were all his faithful followers and admirers, leaves no doubt that he was thoroughly human and liable to error. Later tradition has changed all this, and made him sinless and almost divine. The two hundred and one titles of honour given to Mohammed proclaim his apotheosis. These names and titles are current in all popular books of devotion among Moslems, from Morocco to China; are separately printed and learned by heart in Moslem schools. The list which follows contains at least two score of names that Christians would apply only to Christ, and many of them are by Mohammedans themselves applied to God as well as to their prophet, namely—
Mohammed, Ahmed, Hamid, Mahmood, the Unique, The Only, The Forgiver, the Raiser of the Dead, The Avenger, "Ta Ha," "Ya Seen," The Pure, The Purified, The Good, The Lord, The Apostle, The Prophet, The Apostle of Mercy, The Manager, The Gatherer, The Follower, The Leader, The Apostle of War, The Apostle of Rest, The Perfect, The Crown, The Wrapped One, The Covered One, Servant of God, Beloved of God, Chosen of God, Companion of God, Mouthpiece of God, Seal of Prophets, Seal of Apostles, The Quickener, The Deliverer, The Reminder, The Victorious, The Victor, Prophet of Mercy, Prophet of Repentance, The Watcher, The Well-known, The Famous, The Witness, The Martyr, The Witnessed, Bringer of Good Tidings, The Preacher, The One under Vows, The Warner, The Light, The Lamp, The Candle, The Guidance, The Guide, The Mahdi, The Enlightener, The Summoner, The Called One, The Answerer of Prayer, The Interceder, The Hidden, The Pardoner, The Saint, The Truth, The Strong, The Faithful, The Entrusted One, The Gracious, The Honoured, The Valiant, The Mighty, The Evident, The Mediator, The Bestower, The Able, The Honourable, The Exalted, The Possessor of Might, The Possessor of Grace, The Obedient, The Subjector, The Benevolent, The Merciful, The Good Tidings, The Assister, The Provider, The Benefactor, The Mercy of God, The Gift of God, The Strong Refuge, The Way of God, The Straight Way, The Memorial of God, The Sword of God, The Portion of God, The Shining Star, The Exalted, The Corrector of Evil, The Bearer of Faults, The Illiterate, The Chosen One, The Rewarded, The Mighty One, Abu Kasim, Abu Tahir, Abu Tayyib, Abu Ibrahim, The Intercessor, The Interceder, The Pious, The Peace Maker, The Guarder, The Truthful, The Upright, Verity, Lord of Apostles, Leader of the Pious, Leader of Pure Women, Friend of the Merciful, Righteousness, The Justifier, The Illustrious, The Adviser, The Man of Counsel, The Undertaker, The Entrusted, The Surety, The Compassionate, The Founder of the Law, The Holy One, Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth, The Spirit of Rectitude, The All-Sufficient, The Sufficer, The Perfect One, The One who Attained, The Healer, The Giver, The Gift, The Fore-runner, The Rear Guard, The Rightly Guided, The Right Guidance, The Beginner, The Precious, The Honoured, The Honour-laden, The Opener, The Key, The Key of Mercy, The Key of Paradise, The Source of Faith, The Source of Truth, The Guide to Plenty, The Selected One, The Purifier of Good Works, The Pardoner of Sins, The Lord of Intercession, The Highly Exalted, The Most Noble, The Essence of Power, The Essence of Glory, The Essence of Honour, The One who Helps, The One who has a Sword, The One who has Praise, The One who has a Covering, The Argument, The Sultan, The Possessor of the Cloak, The Possessor of High Degree, The Possessor of the Crown, The Possessor of the Helmet, The Possessor of the Banner, One who ascended to Heaven, The Possessor of the Sceptre, The Possessor of the Seal, The Possessor of Boraak The Possessor of the Sign, The Possessor of the Proof, The Possessor of the Argument, The Eloquent, The Pure of Heart, The Gracious One, The Pitiful, The Ear of Goodness, The Perfection of Islam, Lord of Two Worlds, The Eye of Kindness, The Eye of Brilliancy, The Helper of God, The Helper of Men, The Pleader for the Nations, The Knowledge of Truth, The Discloser of Secrets, The Elevator of the Lowly, The Glory of the Arabs, The One who has Victory.
Some of these titles, as we have indicated by printing them in italics, are similar to those given to God Himself. Mohammed is also called the Light of God, the Peace of the World, the Glory of the Ages, the First of all Creatures, and other names of yet greater import. One tradition goes so far as to say, "No man in whatsoever condition he is can resemble God so much as thou dost. But if there could be an image to represent God as He is, it could be no other than thyself."
No Moslem prays to Mohammed, but every Moslem prays for him in endless repetition daily. In spite of statements in the Koran to the contrary, most Moslems believe that he will be the only intercessor on the day of judgment. The books of devotion used everywhere are proof of this statement. God favoured him above all creatures; he dwells in the highest heaven, and is several degrees above Jesus in honour and station. Mohammed holds the keys of heaven and hell: no Moslem, however bad his character, will perish finally; no unbeliever, however good his life, can be saved except through Mohammed. Islam denies the need of Christ as Mediator, only to substitute Mohammed as a mediator, without an incarnation, without an atonement, and without demand for a change of character. One has only to question the Moslem masses, or to read tradition in proof of these statements.
Every detail of the life of Jesus Christ has been imitated and parodied by Mohammed's later biographers and admirers. "En se developpant, la theologie musulmane," says Rene Basset, "plus au courant du christianisme, tendit a en rapprocher de plus en plus le fondateur de l'islam et a attribuer a celui-ci les miracles qui devaient le rendre au moins l'egal de Jesus. Cette deviation de l'idee reelle qu’on avait du Prophete, commença de bonne heure et ne fit que s'accroitre avec le temps. De la, les prodiges calques sur ceux que rapportaient les Evangiles et qui sont en opposition complete avec les sentiments reels de Mohammed." In the commentary on the poem in praise of Mohammed (from the introduction to which these words are taken) the author shows scriptural parallels in this Coronation hymn of Islam to every exaggerated word of praise there attributed to the Arabian prophet. Dr. Koelle has shown in great detail how Moslem authors attribute to their prophet an equality with, and even a superiority to, the Prophet of Nazareth, by ascribing to him all the glory which centres around the Christ in the New Testament. Pre-existence is ascribed to Mohammed, and his genealogy is traced through Abraham to Adam, as in the case of Jesus Christ. An angel announced Mohammed's conception and birth and the name which he was to bear. Mohammed, like Jesus, was lost in his childhood and found again, and at the age of twelve he took a special journey. After the commencement of his public ministry Mohammed, like Jesus, passed through a remarkable ordeal of Satanic temptation. He, like Jesus Christ, chose twelve apostles. His enemies were those of his own household, and he was recognised by spirits from the unseen world more readily than by those to whom he was sent. The demons knew Jesus; the jinn accepted Islam at the hands of Mohammed. The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is surpassed by the story of Mohammed's ascent into heaven, where he had personal communion with all the previous prophets, and leaving Jesus far below in the second heaven, himself mounted to the seventh, where, according to Moslem tradition, he ate and drank with God.
Koelle quotes traditions to show that, as Jesus Christ to us, so to Moslems, Mohammed is above all other men in worth and dignity. He was the greatest and best of all God's messengers; his body the true temple in which the Divine Presence dwelt. Mohammed bore the divine seal of prophecy, and imparted divine benefits by laying on his hands. As a parody of the mystery of the Lord's Supper, Mohammed is said to have sanctioned the drinking of his own blood. When Malik bin Sinan sucked his wounds, swallowing the blood, the prophet exclaimed, "Any one whose blood touches mine, him the fire of hell shall not destroy."
The miracles of Jesus Christ, even the fantastic miracles given by Moslem tradition, shrink into insignificance compared with the miracles ascribed to Mohammed by tradition. Feeding a hungry multitude with a handful of dates, opening the eyes of the blind, healing the sick, turning barren lands into fruitful fields, and raising the dead,—all these and many other things are attributed to Mohammed.
In his death as well as in his life Mohammed is made to resemble Jesus Christ. His death was foretold; it was not unavoidable, but freely accepted by him; he died a martyr's death, and his sufferings were meritorious, taking away sin and helping those who believe in him to enter paradise. "It is recorded on the testimony of Ali that three days after his Excellency's funeral there came an Arab, who threw himself down upon the prince's grave, and took a handful of earth from it, casting it on his own head, and then called out, 'O Apostle of God, thou hast spoken it, from thee we have heard it, thou hast received it from God, and we have received it from thee, and it is derived from those who came down to thee, that noble verse, "And if they have darkened their souls, let them come unto thee!" I have brought darkness on my soul: but I am come to thee as a confounded, bewildered sinner, that thou mayest ask pardon for me of the Most High.’ Then there came forth a voice from that Excellency's tomb, saying three times, 'Thou hast been pardoned, thou hast been pardoned.'"
Not only are all these superhuman characteristics and divine glories ascribed to Mohammed in tradition, but he is the Prophet to whom all former prophets bore witness, and concerning whose coming they testified. "Wahab bin Minbeh said that the Most High sent the following revelation to the prophet Isaiah: 'I will send a prophet who is to be unlettered, and by his name I will open the ears of the deaf, and the minds of the listless; and I will clothe him with gravity, and I will make goodness his outward mark, and godliness and temperance his inward mind; and wisdom his understanding; and truth and purity his nature, and propriety his disposition; and equity his practice; and truth his law; and right guidance his leader; and Islam his people; and his name Ahmed. And through him I will show to his people the right way out of error, and the way of knowledge after ignorance; and by his name I will make the few many and the divided united; and will bring amongst the separated hearts and the antagonistic nations harmony and intimacy; and his people shall be superior to every other; and they shall pay respect to the light of the sun, i.e. they shall look to the sun to know the right time for prayer.'" On the same authority, God gave the following revelation to Jesus: "Declare Mohammed to be true, and believe in him; and tell also thy people that those of them who reach his time should believe in him. O thou son of the Virgin, i.e. O thou Jesus, know thou, that if it had not been for Mohammed, I should not have created Adam and Paradise and Hell; and the truth is, that when I made the Throne, it shook and would not stand firm till I wrote upon it, 'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the Apostle of Allah,' whereupon it steadied itself and became quiet."
Jesus Christ is supplanted by Mohammed not only in Moslem tradition and in the hearts of the common people who are ignorant and illiterate. He is supplanted in the hearts of all Moslems by Mohammed. They are jealous for his glory and resist any attempt to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ at the expense of Mohammed. When, e.g., a Christmas vacation was granted in certain government schools of Egypt, the Moslem paper El ‘Alam entered a vigorous protest, calling it a dangerous innovation, and stating that Egypt was a Moslem country, and that Moslems as such had nothing to do with the birthday of Jesus. "Keep your feast day; we will have nothing to do with it."
"You will be interested to know," writes a missionary from Turkey under the new regime, "that the birthday of Mohammed is now kept, beginning with last year, and all the schools are closed for the day. It is reckoned the most important holiday in the year, and we must give our Moslem boys the day off. In Smyrna, where all Government and Custom departments observed Sunday instead of Friday as a holiday, because this city is so largely Christian, we hear the custom will now be reversed, and Friday established as the weekly holiday.
The new Islam does not hesitate to apply the very name of The Messiah to Mohammed, as the old Islam does His office as Mediator. In a series of articles on Islam and Socialism in a leading review of India, Mushir Hosain Kidwai speaks thus of Mohammed: —
"The time was ripe because the moral, social, religious, and political state of the whole peninsula had reached the depth of degradation. Human sacrifice to idols, the burying alive of infants, misappropriation of property and exploitation of the money of helpless orphans, forced marriages of girls and minors, cruel treatment of slaves, unrestricted polygamy and concubinage, wild despotism, vengeful blood-feuds, individualistic egotism, class and birth arrogance, and other vices, demanded from a merciful Providence the commission of real Messiah, to clear the putrid atmosphere of Arabian society, and to save humanity, which was then in a state most susceptible to infection, from a dangerous calamity.
"Fortunately for the progress of the world, the Messiah did come. He came and miraculously metamorphosed the whole Arabian society by masterly introducing the principles of true Socialism in almost every phase of human life. He came and brightened the gloomy aspect of the whole world by inspiring humanity through a universal faith, with the loftiest conception of Divinity and purest ethics of duty. If Arabia owes its glory to Socialism, the world owes it to Islam. And Socialism and Islam both were perfected by the Messiah, who cured not a leper or two, but the whole leprous society; who gave a new and vigorous life not to a few dead persons, but to a whole nation; who performed not only supernatural miracles of but superstitious value in our sceptical age, but material and everlasting wonders, whose signs are manifest to this day; who ruled not only over the shifting sands that form a mirage of temporary territorial domains, but also over an ever-increasing number of living human hearts, which sing even now the same song that he set, binding them together in one chord—the Chord of God—the truest and best socialism."
In the Gospel of Barnabas, a spurious document dating about the middle of the sixteenth century, and not referred to by Moslems until after Sale had called attention to it in his translation of the Koran, Mohammed is also called the Messiah. The Gospel of Barnabas was evidently written by a Christian renegade in the Middle Ages, and has for its special object the advancement of Islam, the author desiring to foist upon the world a forgery which would strengthen the claims of Mohammed and prove that Jesus Christ had foretold his coming. Every reader of the Koran knows that Jesus Christ is spoken of consistently in that book as the Messiah, yet, strange to say, this Gospel of Barnabas again and again gives Mohammed that title, while Jesus is made his forerunner, as John the Baptist was to Christ in the canonical Gospels. Thus in Chapter LXXXIII, where Jesus is speaking to the Samaritan women, he says, "I am indeed sent to the house of Israel as a prophet of salvation, but after me shall come the Messiah, sent of God to all the world; for whom God hath made the world." In Chapter XLIII Jesus says, "If the messenger of God whom ye call Messiah were son of David, how should David call him Lord? Believe me, for verily I say unto you that the promise was made in Ishmael, not in Isaac." And again in the following chapter: "I therefore say unto you that the messenger of God is a splendour that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance; he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given to all his creatures. O blessed time, when he shall come to the world! Believe me that I have seen him and have done him reverence, even as every prophet hath seen him; seeing that of his spirit God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him my soul was filled with consolation, saying: 'O Mohammed! God be with thee, and may He make me worthy to untie thy shoe-latchet, for obtaining this I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.' And having said this, Jesus rendered his thanks to God.
Now although this Gospel of Barnabas is evidently a late forgery, it is more and more being used by Moslems as an argument against Christianity; this shows how, with the centuries, Mohammed has gradually taken the place of Jesus Christ in Moslem literature, and how even His supreme title of the Christ, or the Messiah has, both in the Middle Ages and in current periodical literature, been given to the prophet of Arabia. Whether the title of Messiah is given him or not, Mohammed is for all practical purposes the Moslem Christ.
Islam is indeed the only anti-Christian religion. This world faith joins issue with everything that is vital in the Christian religion, because it joins issue in its attitude toward the Christ. By this it must stand or fall. In this respect all schools of Moslem thought are practically the same. They differ in ritual and tradition; in interpretations, broad or narrow; in going back to the old Koran or in advocating the new Islam; but whether Shiahs or Sunnis, Wahabis or followers of Seyyid Ameer Ali, their position as regards the Christ is practically the same.
"Islam," says Rev. G. Simon of Sumatra, "is not a preparation for Christianity; it is easier to build on a strange soil than first of all to tear down old buildings which are so firmly set together that they offer an unsurmountable obstacle to demolition." The resolution passed by the Lucknow Conference, 1911, expressed this sentiment even more forcibly:—
"This Conference is persuaded that, in order to stem the tide of Moslem advance, it is important to strengthen the work among animistic tribes, pagan communities, and depressed classes affected by this advance; for we are clearly of opinion that adoption of the faith of Islam by the pagan people is in no sense whatever a stepping-stone towards, or a preparation for, Christianity, but exactly the reverse."
Christianity gladly admits the strength of theism as a basis of unity between Islam and Christianity. We assert as strongly as do all Moslems that there is only one God, but because there is only one God there can be only one Gospel and one Christ. The words quoted from Dr. James Denney at the head of this chapter are significant in this connection. "It pleased the Father" that in Jesus Christ "all fulness should dwell”; not in Mohammed. "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"; not in Mohammed. "In Him are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge"; not in Mohammed. "He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life"; not Mohammed. This is the issue which cannot be avoided.
The only Christianity that has a missionary message for the Moslem world is this vital Christianity. It is the only Christianity that can meet the deepest need of our Moslem brethren. Our love for them is only increased by our intolerance of their rejection of the Christ; we cannot bear it, it pains us; and the day is coming when many will confess Him in the words of a Moslem convert to a Bible-woman who was visiting her: "I see now that the very centre of your religion is Christ, and I want to love and serve Him."
The main question even as regards the new Islam is not how much nearer they have come to Christian ethics and Christian civilisation in their attempts to reform the old system, but it is the old question, "What think ye of the Christ?"
1 W. H. T. Gairdner, The Reproach of Islam, p. 141.
2 Titles of two chapters of the Koran.
3 On Mohammed as the foreteller of future events, see Carletti, Idhar-ul-Hak, vol. ii. pp. 145-154.
4 The famous animal on which Mohammed made his night journey to heaven.
5 Quoted in W. A. Rice, Crusaders of the Twentieth Century, p. 15.
6 Cf. Islam: A Challenge to Faith, pp. 48, 49.
7 René Basset, La Bordah du Cheikh el Bousiri, Poeme en l'honneur de Mohammed traduit et commentéé. Paris, 1894, p. xi.
8 Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, pp. 242-372.
9 The following account of this journey is given in Miskat-ul-Misabih: "Whilst I was sleeping upon my side, he (Gabriel) came to me, and cut me open from my breast to below my navel, and took out my heart, and washed the cavity with Zam-zam water, and then filled my heart with Faith and Science. After this a white animal was brought for me to ride upon. Its size was between that of a mule and an ass, and it stretched as far as the eye could see. The name of the animal was Buraq. Then I mounted the animal, and ascended until we arrived at the lowest heaven, and Gabriel demanded that the door should be opened. And it was asked, 'Who is it?' and he said, 'I am Gabriel.' And they then said, 'Who is with you?' and he answered, 'It is Muhammad.' They said, 'Has Muhammad been called to the office of a prophet?' He said, 'Yes.' They said, 'Welcome, Muhammad; his coming is well.' Then the door was opened; and when I arrived in the first heaven, behold, I saw Adam. And Gabriel said to me, 'This is your father Adam, salute him.' Then I saluted Adam, and he answered it, and said, 'You are welcome, O good son, and good Prophet!' After that Gabriel took me above, and we reached the second heaven; and he asked the door to be opened, and it was said, 'Who is it?' He said, 'I am Gabriel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He said, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Was he called?' He said, 'Yes.' It was said, 'Welcome, Muhammad; his coming is well.' Then the door was opened; and when I arrived in the second region, behold, I saw John and Jesus (sisters' sons). And Gabriel said, 'This is John, and this is Jesus; salute both of them.' Then I saluted them, and they returned it. After that they said, 'Welcome, good brother and Prophet.' ... Then I entered the seventh heaven, and behold, I saw Abraham. And Gabriel said, 'This is Abraham, your father, salute him'; which I did, and he returned it, and said, 'Welcome, good son and good Prophet.' After that I was taken up to the tree called Sidratu’ l-Muntaha; and behold, its fruits were like water-pots, and its leaves like elephant's ears. And Gabriel said, 'This is Sidratu’ l-Muntaha.' And I saw four rivers there; two of them hidden, and two manifest. I said to Gabriel, 'What are these?' He said, 'These two concealed rivers are in Paradise; and the two manifest are the Nile and the Euphrates.' After that I was shown the Baitu’ l-M’amur. After that, a vessel full of wine, another full of milk, and another of honey were brought to me, and I took the milk and drank it. And Gabriel said, 'Milk is religion; you and your people will be of it." Cf. the commentators on Surah 7:1.
10 Cf. Carletti, Idhar-ul-Hak, vol. ii. pp, 154-190: he gives forty miracles. Also, Two Hundred and Fifty-two Authentic Miracles of Mohammed, by Maulvi Mohammed Inayat Ahmad. Translated and published by the Mohammedan Tract and Book Depôt. Lahore, 1894
11 Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 373.
12 Cf. Sayous, Jesus Christ, etc., pp. 82-85.
13 Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 430.
14 Ibid., p. 431. There are numerous traditions of this character in all the later biographies of Mohammed. See, for example, Insan-ul-Ayun, Dakaik-ul-Akhbar, or Kasus-ul-Anbiya.
15 El Alam. Cairo, 26th December 1910.
16 The Moslem press in Egypt is also resisting every attempt on the part of the Copts to secure Sunday as a day of rest from Government service. El Mueyyed (18th March 1911) in a leading article of ten columns quoted largely from the New Testament to prove that if any day ought to be observed it was Saturday, and that the Copts had no right to claim Sunday, because Jesus and His apostles did not observe the day.
17 Sayous, Jésus-Christ d’aprés Mahomét, chap. vi: “Les passages de l'ancient Testament sont dérobés à la gloire de Jésus-Christ pour enrichir celle du prophète pillard et d'ailleurs l'idée même d'une prophétie Messianique est un emprunt évident à la theologie chrétienne."
18 The Hindustan Review, March-April 1911, p. 300 (Allahabad.)
19 The Gospel of Barnabas, p. 191.
20 Ibid., p. 105.
21 Cf. Recent Moslem literature in Egypt, especially Ahmed Ali El Malyee's Jawab‘an Su‘al badh Ahl-el-kitab.
22 The Shiah sect also believe that Mahommed has superseded Jesus Christ, and is superior to Him in station and dignity, but they add that Ali also is in every respect not only the equal of Jesus Christ, but superior to him. See, for example, the book entitled Munakib al Abtal, by Mohammed bin Ali bin Shar Ashub (Bombay), in which we are told (vol. i. p. 141) that even as Jesus Christ's miraculous birth, so was that of Ali, only in more noble degree; even as He spoke before His birth to His mother, so did Ali; even as He mastered learning in His childhood, so did Ali; even as Jesus Christ prophesied of the coming of Mohammed, so also He prophesied concerning Ali; even as He raised the dead, so did Ali; even as He opened the eyes of the blind and cured the lepers, so did Ali; even as men disagree in regard to the character of Jesus, so have they disagreed in regard to the character of Ali; so those who believe in Him give him the highest station.
Cf. the extravagant statements regarding the intercession of Husain in the Miracle Play of Hasan and Husain, Col. Sir Lewis Pelly (London, 1879), vol. ii. pp. 343-347, where Mohammed says: "Good tidings, O Husain! act thou according to thy will. Behold the fulfilment of God's promise. Permission has proceeded from the Judge, the gracious Creator, that I should give to thy hand this key of intercession," etc. etc.
23 Edinburgh Conference Report, vol. iv. p. 147.
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