into thirty portions; so that the whole may (like the Psalms), by the use of a daily portion, be read through in the month.

Their intense veneration for the Corân induced among Mahometans a superstitious aversion to its being printed and sold as a common book. There is also a very prevalent unwillingness to desecrate the sacred text, and incur the danger of erroneous rendering, by a translation into other languages. Such scruples are on the decrease; and printed copies, with interlineal versions in Persian and Urdoo, are now commonly used in India. But the translations are so literal as often to be unintelligible, slavish adherence to the letter proving, as usual, a greater irreverence than an attempt to give the sense and spirit in a free translation.

The translation of Sale, published A.D. 1734, is still the standard English version. Though paraphrastic, perhaps to an excess, it deserves our admiration, not only for its faithfulness, but for the wonderful transfusion of the spirit of the original into a foreign tongue.*

* Sale's paraphrase brings out the sense generally in accordance with the interpretation of the commentators. The student will, however, find that the original is often capable of a different rendering. The standard commentaries—Beidhawi, Zamakhshari, and Jalâlein—should be consulted, as giving the Mahometan view, though one does not always agree with their interpretation. The learned introduction by Sale should be carefully studied by all who desire to follow the development of Islâm, and the teaching of the doctors and various schools of theology from the Corân



THE doctors of Islâm have laid at Mahomet's door much for which he is not responsible. Assuming the Corân to be the expression of Omniscience, and, therefore, infallibly accordant with eternal truth, they have tried to reconcile its discrepancies, and fill up its outlines by analogy, or by alleged tradition from the Prophet, and so have elaborated complete systems of theology and ethics, ascribed either directly to Mahomet, or represented as legitimate deductions from his teaching. In this process Jewish and. Magian doctrines (to some extent really held by Mahomet) were, after his death, eagerly adopted by his followers, and assimilated with the proper materials of Islâm; and thus rabbinical fable and tradition have been freely embodied in the popular belief as if proceeding from the Prophet himself. In the course of time Grecian philosophy, as studied at the court of the Caliphs, was brought to bear upon the Corân. Adopting its methods of reasoning, Arabian philosophers, introduced into Islâm metaphysical disquisitions and abstruse distinctions, altogether foreign to the simplicity of Mahomet's faith, although pretended to be based upon his authority. In proportion as the ground for such deductions is slender and uncertain, are the wide divergencies in the different schools and systems, and the heat and acrimony with which they