passage contains a prophecy which was fulfilled. Hence it cannot be considered to be a
proof of Muhammad's prophetic office.
Therefore the whole argument founded upon the supposed prophetic element in the Qur'an
breaks down when examined. In order to see this, we have but to compare these twenty-two
passages of the Qur'an with the very large series of prophecies about the Messiah in the
Old Testament, or those about Israel in both the Old Testament and the New, or those in
the Book of Revelation which have been already fulfilled: for instance, Rev. ix. and also
Rev. xiv. 6.
Another alleged proof of the inspiration of the Qur'an is the information which it
professes to give about ancient times and vanished nations. Such information would be of
interest, if reliable: but we must test it, as a merchant does coins offered to him,
before we can accept it as correct. Pure gold has no reason to fear any test that can be
applied to it, but comes out uninjured and approved from all kinds of testing and from the
hottest fire. Let us see whether this is so with the historical statements in the Qur'an.
The existence of the ancient Arab tribes of 'Ad and Thamud is known to us from what two
ancient Greek writers, Ptolemy and Diodorus Siculus, tell us about them. To the
information thus afforded the Qur'an adds very little that can be considered historical.
Many great discoveries of recent times have completely confirmed what the Bible tells us
about the far more ancient nations of Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, but no such
discoveries have corroborated what the Qur'an says about 'Ad and Thamud. Hence learned men
think it highly probable that what Muhammad taught about these tribes was taken from the
books of the Sabians
(الصّابيّون) which the Qur'an calls the "Volumes of Abraham"
the Muhammad seems afterwards to have discovered that these volumes were forgeries, and
therefore about four years after his claim to be a prophet he ceased to mention them. It
is possible that Hud, Salih, and Shu'aib were Christian preachers who were rejected by the
Arab tribes to whom they were sent. As no mention of them has yet been found elsewhere, we
cannot say anything about the dates at which they lived, if they ever existed. The Qur'an
tells us very little about them. The learned say that, since the Qur'anic statements about
other persons, whose existence we know from history and who lived long before Muhammad's
time, are not always quite correct, we must wait for evidence before accepting any such
statements as historically accurate. For example, much that the Qur'an states regarding
Abraham is not in accordance with the teaching of the Torah, to confirm which the Qur'an
claims to have been sent down. The story of his being thrown into the fire and coming out
safe is taken from a Jewish fable, and the latter arose from a mistake in translating one
word in Genesis. This has been proved by the author of the Masadiru'l Islam [Yanabiu'l
u'l Islam: "Original Sources of the Qur'an "]. Abraham's father's name was
not Azar (Surah vi. 74), but Terah (Gen. xi. 26). Again, in Surah vii. 130, we read that
God sent "the Flood"
(الطّوفان) upon the Egyptians in Moses' time. The use of the
definite article in. this passage makes us inquire whether this was the same as Noah's
Flood, mentioned in the same Surah (vii. 62). In Surah iii. 30-44, it is clearly taught
that Miriam, daughter of Amram, (عمرانSurah lvi. 12) and sister of Aaron (Surah xix. 29:
compare Exod. xv. 20 and Num. xxvi. 59), was identical with Mary the Mother of the Lord
Jesus Christ (compare Surah lxvi. 12), who lived about 1,400 years later. Muslim in the Kitabu'l
Adab tells us that the Christians of Najran pointed out this historical error to Al
Mughairah. He consulted Muhammad on the subject, but could not get a satisfactory