taint from the Fall is nowhere admitted. Adam fell, it is true, by eating the
forbidden fruit; but his fall (as it would appear) was the consequence, not the
cause, of the proneness of his nature to sin. All men have sinned, but it has
been each his own fault, acting independently, and not because of anything
antecedent,1 Influenced by these considerations, some have come to
the conclusion that Mahomet holds predestination only in the modified sense that
some are elected to a knowledge of the truth, while others are left in darkness
and consequent unbelief; that grace is given where God sees the will inclined to
what is good, and that it is withheld where the inclination is towards evil;2
in short, that, so far from being
THE TEACHING OF THE CORÂN.
an absolute predestinarian, Mahomet was nearer to Pelagius even than to Augustine.1
But this must be rejected as a paradox, based on no sufficient ground.
To have carried out predestination to its logical conclusion would have
reduced man to a mere machine, a simple instrument in the hand of God. That
Mahomet has stopped short of a conclusion which would have stultified his whole
mission as a warner and preacher of righteousness, does not extenuate his
downright and unqualified inculcation of blind destiny. To compare such a system
with the Christian doctrine is to compare things which have but little in
common. Where, for instance, shall we find in the Bible words answering to
these: "If thy Lord pleased, He had made all men of one religion . . . . .
but unto this hath He created them, for the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled,
‘Verily, I will fill Hell altogether with men and Genii.’"2
And, on the other hand, we may in vain search the Corân from beginning to end
for any such declaration as this: "The Lord is not willing that any should
perish"; or, "Who will have all men to be saved"; or again,
"As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked should turn from his way and live."
When the Caliph Omar journeyed to Jerusalem to receive its surrender, he
delivered an address, in the