commission, and that neither men nor angels could produce a single Surah like any of those contained in the Qur'an. Every word of the Qur'an, they say, was written down by the Pen on the Preserved Tablet in Heaven, ages before the creation of the world, and doubtless this passage among the rest. From the Divine Original the Qur'an was brought down by the Angel Gabriel to the lowest Heaven on the Night of Power. He afterwards dictated it to Muhammad as occasion arose. Hence Ibn Khaldun says: "Know 1 therefore that the Qur'an descended in the language of the Arabs and in accordance with their style of eloquence, and all of them understood it and knew its various meanings in its several parts and in their relation to one another. And it continued to descend, section by section and in groups of verses, in order to explain the doctrine of the Unity of God and religious obligations, according as circumstances required. Some of these verses consist of articles of faith, and some of them of commandments for the regulation of conduct." In another passage he says: "All this 2 is a proof to thee that, amid the Divine Books, it was verily the Qur'an with which our Prophet was inspired, in the form of something recited just as it is in its words and in its sections: whereas the Torah and the Injil, on the other hand, and all the other Heavenly Books, were revealed to the Prophets in the form of ideas when they were in a state of ecstasy, and they explained them, after their return to man's ordinary condition, in their own customary language: and therefore there is nothing miraculous in them." According to this learned writer therefore, both the language and the teaching of the Qur'an are directly from God, while not the style and form, but the contents of the Old Testament and the New are due to inspiration. Hence, if our inquiry shows that the style of the Qur'an is not

1 Ibn Khalddn, vol. ii, p. 391.
2 Ibid., vol. i, pp. 171, 172.

miraculous, or at least that the peerlessness (إعجاز) of the Qur'an cannot be proved, it will not be an adequate reply to say, "The style of the Bible also is not peerless, nor does it prove the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures." We Christians do not claim that it does, and Ibn Khaldun's words show that even in his time Christians made no such claim. We hold that each Biblical writer used the style that was natural to him; hence some wrote poetry, sublime and beautiful, some prose, direct and simple. The message, the doctrine, is God's; the task of clothing it in human language was that of the Prophet or Apostle, Psalmist, Evangelist or Historian whom God commissioned to write.

Of course learned men are now aware that the dialect of the Quraish is the old language of Mecca, not that of Paradise. Arabic is one of the Semitic tongues. Its sisters are Hebrew, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Syriac, Assyrian, and other tongues of less importance. Arabic is an ancient and beautiful tongue, the Quraish dialect is the most cultivated of its dialects, and the style of many parts of the Qur'an is by all scholars admitted to be elegant and eloquent. Yet at the same time scholars rightly inform us that in the Qur'an there are to be found certain words which are not pure Arabic, but are taken from other languages and merely Arabicised. Among these are many names of people and places. Pharaoh (فِرْعَوْن) is derived. from Ancient Egyptian; Adam and Eden from a very old tongue called Akkadian; (Ibrahim) Abraham from Assyrian; the names Harut and Marut, the words Sirat, Hur, jinn, firdaus, are taken from Ancient Persian; tabut, Taghut, zakut, malakut, are Syriac; Hawari is Ethiopic; Hibr, sakinah, ma'un, Taurat [Torah], Jahannam, are from the Hebrew; and Injil is corrupted from the Greek. Hence the language of the Qur'an is not absolutely pure Arabic. We admit that there is no reason why Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Akkadian, Ethiopic, Persian, and Egyptian words should not have been written on the Preserved Tablet, if Arabic