and, on his return, related what he had seen, or professed to have seen.

The Arabic historian Abu'l Fida mentions many old Arabian rites and observances which were adopted into Islam and are sanctioned in the Qur'an and Traditions. "The Arabs of the Times of Ignorance", he 1 says, "used to do things which the religious law of Islam has adopted. For they used not to wed their mothers or their daughters, and among them it was deemed a most detestable thing to marry two sisters; and they used to revile the man who married his father's wife, and to call him Daizan (ضيزان). They used, moreover, to make the Pilgrimage (الحجّ) to the House," i.e. the Ka'bah, "and visit the consecrated places, and wear the Ihram, and perform the Tawwaf, and make the runs, and take their stand at all the Stations, and cast the stones." (Compare Surahs xxii. 27, 28, 30; v. 98; ii. 139, 144, 145, 153, 190, 192, 193-195, &c.) Abu'l Fida speaks of other customs which were also adopted into Islam from the heathen Arabs, such as ceremonial washings after certain kinds of defilement, parting the hair, paring the nails, &c. He says that the heathen Arabs used to practise circumcision and to cut off a thief's hand. Of course some may assert with Ibn Ishaq 2 that these customs had been retained from Abraham's days. We know that this is true with regard to circumcision, but it cannot be proved regarding all the ceremonies above referred to. It is by no means contrary to reason to suppose that, in giving a new Revelation, God might sanction many rites already in use among the people to whom the Revelation came. But this would not agree with the theory that the Qur'an was written down on a Preserved Tablet in Heaven ages before such customs arose, and even before the heathen Arabs had come into existence.

1 Abu'l Fida's التّواريخ آلْقديمة من آلْمختصر في اخبار آلْبشر, Leipzig, 1831, ed. Fleischer: cf. also Al Kindi's Apology.
2 Siratu'r Rasul, Part I, p. 27.

It is sometimes asserted by Muslims that the Qur'an teaches so much of the knowledge of God, of morality, of good government, and of the future life, that it must have come from God. Undoubtedly, if it taught something on these points far higher and better than the Bible does, this argument would have very great weight. But we have already seen that, regarding the Nature and Attributes of God Most High, the teaching of the Qur'an is not in advance of that of the New Testament. In fact, in what the Qur'an says of God's resolve to fill Hell with men and jinns,1 His having fastened each man's fate upon his neck, His permission to Muhammad to indulge in licentious conduct to a greater extent than to ordinary Muslims, His commanding a Jihad for the spread of Islam, and many other matters of importance, the doctrines of the Qur'an are manifestly at a far lower level than are those of the Law of Moses. The Old Testament nowhere positively sanctions polygamy, though for a time it was tacitly permitted among the Jews. But that monogamy has always been God's law for man is indicated in Gen. ii. 18-24, and clearly taught by Christ (Matt. xix. 3-9 ; Mark x. 2-12) and His Apostles (for example, in 1 Tim. iii. 2, 12; 1 Cor. vii. 2). Christ prohibited even a lustful look on earth (Matt. v. 28), but the Qur'an encourages Muslims to hope for almost unlimited indulgence in this vice, even before God's face in Paradise. This teaching is not likely to produce purity of heart here on earth. As to good government, we ask where it is now to be found in Muhammadan lands, or at what period in past history did it exist? It would be interesting to have an answer to this question, and to learn exactly what connexion exists between such good government and the teachings of the Qur'an.

It is perfectly true that the Qur'an does tell us a great deal about the future life, especially about the tortures of Hell and the pleasures of Paradise. Regarding

1 Surahs xi. 120; xxxii. 13.