read,' Say thou: 'Praise be to my Lord: have I been aught but a human being, an Apostle?"' From this passage it is clear that the Quraish were not satisfied with the statement (verse 90) that the Qur'an could not be equalled, and was a sufficient proof of Muhammad's commission. Hence they demanded a miracle of the kind here mentioned. In reply Muhammad is told to say that, being merely a man, he could not show such a miracle as they desired. Hence it is clear that the accounts of the Miraj and of the water which Muhammad is said in certain Traditions to have caused to gush forth from the ground, and even from his fingers,1 cannot be relied upon, since, if they were historical, no such answer would have been given to the demands of the Quraish as is given in this passage. Instead of this, the answer would have been a declaration of his ability to do such things. In Surah xxix. 49, 50, we find the same demand for a miracle, and the same refusal to give any sign except the Qur'an itself. "And they said, 'Unless there be sent down upon him signs from his Lord . . .' Say thou: 'Verily the signs are with God, and verily I am an evident warner.' Hath it not sufficed them that We have sent down upon thee the Book? It is being read aloud over them: verily in that is surely mercy and warning to a people who believe."

From these passages it is clear that the Qur'an teaches us that Muhammad had no power to work miracles, and that the verses of the Qur'an (for this very. reason called " signs "—آيات) are sufficient proof 2 of his being a Prophet. We have already in a previous 3 chapter inquired into this matter, and have seen that something more than mere elegance of style is needed to prove that a book has really been sent down from God Most High.

Some Muslims, however, assert that in the Qur'an itself two special miracles of Muhammad are definitely

1 See pp. 318, 319.
2 Surah xvii. 90.
3 See above, Part III, ch. iii.

mentioned. One of these is the alleged Splitting of the Moon. It is true that in Surah liv. 1 it is written "The Hour hath drawn near, and the moon hath been split." But for many reasons this verse does not prove that any such miracle was wrought by Muhammad. (1) If it meant this, it would contradict Surah xvii. 61; whereas Muslims deny that there is any self-contradiction in the Qur'an. (2) Muhammad is not mentioned in this verse in connexion with the splitting of the moon: neither in Suratu'l Qamar nor in any other Surah is he said to have had anything whatever to do with it. Nor does the Qur'an call it a miracle, nor does it say that the Splitting of the Moon was in any way a sign of Muhammad's Divine commission. If the Qur'an had meant that Muhammad wrought so stupendous a miracle, it would have said so, just as the Old Testament and the New clearly record certain definite miracles wrought by Moses, Christ, and His Apostles respectively. (3) If Muhammad had split the moon asunder, the Qur'an would certainly have stated this in answer to the demands of the Quraish in Surahs xiii. 30 and xvii. 92-95, for commentators agree in holding that Surah liv. "descended" before either of these two. (4) Injury done to a creature of God like the moon would be a sign of great power, but it would not necessarily prove that the person who exercised that power had a commission from God. (5) Had any such phenomenon occurred, it would have been observed all over the earth, and would have been recorded in the histories of many nations as a most astounding event. Those who know from Astronomy the size of the moon, and what effect its splitting in two and the wide separation of the portions from one another would have had upon the earth, will not contend that this really occurred. (6) Moreover, no history records such an event, or even the appearance of the moon being split in two, and some leading Muslim commentators deny that the Suratu'l Qamar implies that anything of the kind ever occurred. Al Baizawi