been stated about sin it is evident, therefore, that sin occurs not only outwardly but inwardly also. And that inward transgression of God's will which has been mentioned is truly called sin. Accordingly sin is that wish and desire of the heart through which man inclines to those things which are contrary to God's will and opposed to His holy commands and prohibitions. Therefore sin is that inward opposition to God's will which has entered man's heart; and on this account sin has ruined and blinded man's will, desire, mind and intellect.

Since man, in the way which has been mentioned, commits sin through transgressing God's prohibitions and neglecting His commands and by doing evil deeds, speaking improper words, and thinking the evil thoughts which occur plentifully to every man, it has been clearly proved that sin is common to all men. Even the prophets are not sinless.1 Therefore the fancy and theory which many Muslim theologians have entertained that the prophets are innocent and free from sin is erroneous, as is evident not only from the holy Scriptures but from the Qur'an2 also. The reason of this fancy of theirs is simply this, that they

1 See, for example, Suras ii. 33-4; vi. 76-8; vii. 150; xii. 24; xiv. 42; xx. 119; xxvi. 19; xxviii. 14-15; xxxvii. 139-44; xxxviii 23-4, 34; lxx. 29, etc.
2 Only one of the human race has ever lived on earth without sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. Of Him and of His work of redemption mention will be made in the proper place.

have not ascertained the nature of sin and think that outward acts alone are sins. If, according to what they say, evil thoughts and desires were not counted as sins, and the term 'sin' were restricted to merely external acts, then perhaps some men would remain sinless. But, in the first place, such an idea is opposed to God's omniscience and His holiness. For in consequence of His omniscience God is aware of each man's every thought and wish, and because of His purity and holiness He will never be pleased with an evil thought or desire. In the second place, this idea of theirs is contrary to the word of God, according as it has been shown that in God's sight an evil thought or wish is a sin. In the third place, the idea is in opposition to man's internal nature, since it has been explained and proved that thought and volition are man's internal acts, and that there is no difference between an internal and an external act except that the latter is openly manifested and the former inwardly concealed, so that no one becomes aware of it except God and the man himself. Since, therefore, every neglect of a divine command, and every transgression of a divine prohibition, and every false and improper word, and each evil thought and wish, is in God's sight a sin and is displeasing to Him, who will dare to say in the presence of God, the all-wise and the holy, that in his whole life he has never committed a sin, either outwardly or inwardly? It is self-evident