God, was guilty of this very sin. Abraham is held by all Muslims to have been a
prophet, and they consider it very wicked to deny that all prophets are sinless
Although it is the unpardonable sin to worship any other but God, yet the Qur'an teaches
that 'Azazil or Iblis was cast out of God's favour because he refused to worship Adam (Surahs
ii 31; vii. 10; xvii. 63; xviii. 48; xx. 115).
The Qur'an rightly condemns hypocrisy (Surahs ii. 78; iv. 137; ix. 65-69; lviii. 13).
It states that the lowest stage in Hell is reserved for hypocrites (Surah iv. 144). Now it
will be admitted that people who through compulsion pretend to change their religion, and
who thus profess with their lips what in their hearts they do not believe, are hypocrites.
But the Qur'an commands Muslims to force men to accept Islam, that is to say, to become
hypocrites. For we find several passages which make fighting in a Jihad incumbent
on Muslims under certain circumstances. They must then fight until all their heathen
opponents are compelled to embrace Islam, unless the latter prefer to be killed. The
"People of the Book", however, may be spared, if they "pay tribute out of
hand, and are brought low" (Surah ix. 5, 29, 41; compare Surahs v. 39; lxi. 11; xxii.
77). To condemn hypocrisy, and yet to command Muslims to force men to become hypocrites,
seems to the minds of most men self-contradictory.
The Qur'an in some measure condemns lust, for in Surah lxxix. 40 we read: "Whoso
hath feared the place of his Lord and hath restrained himself from desire, then verily
Paradise is the abode" for him. Yet elsewhere the same book permits to Muslims
polygamy, divorce, and the use of female slaves as concubines (Surah iv. 29). To Muhammad
himself, moreover, special marital indulgence was permitted (Surah xxxiii. 37, 38, 49-51),
doubtless in consequence of certain inclinations of his regarding which the Traditions
speak too plainly for us to quote them here. Even to those who are not slaves of lust here
on earth, the
chief reward promised in Paradise, if they are faithful Muslims, is unlimited
indulgence in that vileness (Surahs lv. 46-78; lvi. 11-39; see also Mishkatu'l Masabih,
"Sifatu'l Jannat'').1 In this matter there is something far worse than
contradiction, but there is undoubtedly the latter also. Surely if lust is wrong on earth
and hateful to God, the Holy One, it cannot be pleasing to Him in Paradise.
Wine is forbidden to Muslims here on earth (Surah v. 92; compare Surah ii. 216), but in
Paradise rivers of wine are promised them (Surahs xlvii. 16; lxxvi. 5; lxxxiii. 25).
The Qur'an's statements about the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be said to be free from
contradiction. Some passages speak of Him as a mere man and a prophet, like any other of
the chief prophets, entirely denying His Deity (Surahs iii. 52; v. 19, 109, 110; xliii.
59). Others, however, give Him higher titles than are given to any other human being, some
of themas, for example, "The Word of God."
الله, compare Surah iv. 169)being
such that they cannot rightly be assigned to any creature. Regarding Christ only does the
Qur'an say that He was born of a Virgin (Surah xxi. 91), that He was "illustrious in
this world and in the next" (Surah iii. 40).2 The words used in Surah iii.
31 are explained by the Tradition quoted by Muslim and referred to by Al Ghazzali, that
Satan was present at the birth of every child born into the world except Jesus and His
mother (Mishkatu'l Masabih, Kitab i, Bab iii. 1, and Kitab xxv, Bab i. 1). The
Qur'an testifies to Christ's miracles (Surah ii. 254, &c.), and