even that He CREATED 1 a bird out of clay (Surah iii. 43), although power to create is one of the Divine Attributes. To Him alone of the greater Prophets the Qur'an imputes no sin. Of no other Prophet does the Qur'an tell us that his birth took place through God's Spirit (Surah xxi. 91) and that he was "a sign to all creatures" (ibidem), and was "a Spirit from Him", i.e. from God (Surah iv. 169). All other Prophets are dead, but the Qur'an informs us that the Lord Jesus was taken up alive into heaven (Surah iv. 156): and Muslims agree with Christians in believing that He still lives there, and will return at the end of the world. Christ did not need to have His breast opened, His burden removed (as is said of another in Surah xciv. 1-3), His sins forgiven (contrast Surah xlvii. 21). Nor do His people pray for God's mercy on Him, saying, "O Lord, have mercy upon Him and give Him peace." 2 In all these points and in not a few others Muslims, in accordance with the Qur'an, admit the distinction which exists between Christ and every other Prophet, every other human being. Even to Muhammad the Qur'an does not attribute such dignity as it does to Christ. And yet there can be no doubt that the aim of the Qur'an is to substitute Muhammad for Christ as the Head of the human race. In this matter there is something very contradictory, since the Qur'an does not attribute miraculous birth, sinlessness, power of working miracles, or a truly noble and holy character to Muhammad, as will be shown in a later chapter and at the end of the present one.

One of the leading doctrines of the Qur'an is that fate decides every man's actions and his happiness or misery hereafter. Thus in Surah xvii. 14 it is written: "And as for every man, We have fastened for him his fate upon his neck, and We shall bring out to him on

1 The word خَلَقَ is used.
1 As is commanded regarding Muhammad, in Mishkat, p. 78. No other Prophet needs his people's prayers: it is admitted that Muhammad does.

the day of the Resurrection a book which shall meet him wide open.'' In Surahs xiv. 4 and lxxiv. 34 it is declared that "God misleadeth whom He willeth, and guideth aright whom He willeth". The same teaching is given in Surahs ii. 5, 6; iv. 90; vi. 125; vii. 177, 178, and elsewhere. In Surahs vii. 178, xi. 120, and xxxii. 13 we are told that God said, "Verily I shall fill hell with Jinns and men all together," and that this was His purpose in creating them. Yet other passages tell us that men are to be rewarded in the next world for having been Muslims here on earth, and punished for not having become such. If every action has been fated beforehand, and man is devoid of freedom of will, it is evident that there can be on man's part neither merit nor demerit, neither goodness nor wickedness, and neither reward nor punishment; for the latter words imply good and evil desert. Nor can there be any object in commands and prohibitions, since there is no power on man's part to obey or disobey, if Fate has fixed everything beforehand. Yet the Qur'an which professes to come from the All-wise God, contains both commands and prohibitions. The Qur'an in some places tells Muhammad that his efforts to convert men to God are useless, because God Himself has made it impossible for them to believe. For instance, in Surah ii. 5, 6 it is written: "Verily those who have disbelieved, it is equal to them whether thou hast warned them or hast not warned them: they will not believe. God hath set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and upon their sight there is a dimness, and for them is severe punishment." Yet he is commanded to attempt their conversion, not by force but by gentle means. Thus in Surah ii. 257 it is written: "There is no compulsion in the Religion." In Surah xxiv. 53 we read the command to Muhammad: "Say thou, 'Obey God and obey the Apostle'; for, if ye turn back, verily upon him lies that with which he has been burdened, and upon you that with which ye have been burdened: and if ye obey ye shall