And be not like those Meccans, who came out of their houses insolently and to be seen of men and who turn others away from God. Sura Anfal (viii) 49.

Against all this opposition, Muhammad is instructed in the Sura Qalam (lxviii) to say of himself., as from God :—

Thou, by the grace of thy Lord, art not possessed. 2.

During the next year or two the theory of divine inspiration becomes more fully developed and the infallibility of the Prophet more strenuously asserted. The revelations as they come are not only declared to be the very words of God himself, but their original is said to be in Heaven :

Yet it is a glorious Qur'an,1
Written on the preserved Table. Sura Buruj (lxxxv) 21.

This table is the Lauhu'l-Mahfuz, or preserved table, kept near the throne of God. The Qur'an

Is an admonition in revered pages; exalted, pure;
Written by scribes honourable and just. Sura Abasa (lxxx) 13-14.

The commentator Zamakhshari explains this thus: 'Being transcribed from the preserved table, kept pure and uncorrupt from the hands of evil spirits, and touched only by the Angels.' Baidawi says: 'Angels wrote it, or prophets transcribed the book from the (preserved) table, or by revelation, or the scribes wrote it by the revelation between God and His Prophet.'2

1 'Unique in arrangement and meaning.' Baidawi, vol. ii, p. 391.
2 vol. ii, p. 387.
كَتَبة مِن الملائكة او الانبياء ينتسخون الكتاب مِن اللوح او الوحى او سُفراءَ يُسْفِرون بالوحى بين الله ورسله

The opposition was now very severe and is met by denunciations of the strongest kind in the Sura Mursalat (lxxvii), an early Meccan one. No less than ten times in a chapter of fifty short verses are the words repeated :

Woe be on that day to those who charged with imposture!

The active form of the opposition seems to be referred to in the thirty-ninth verse, in which a sort of challenge is set forth :

If now ye have any craft, try your craft on me.1

The denunciations close with the fierce command :—

Begone to that hell that ye called a lie,
Begone to the shadows that lie in triple masses,
But not against the flames shall they help or shade you. 25-31.

The next Sura, Sura Naba' (lxxviii) is in the same strain of bitter invective :

Hell truly shall be a place of snares,
The home of transgressors,
To abide therein ages;
No coolness shall they taste therein nor any drink,
Save boiling water and running sores;
Meet recompense !
For they looked not forward to their account;
And they gave the lie to our signs, charging them with falsehood;

1 So in the Sura Tariq (lxxxvi) we have the following words:

They plot against thee
And I will plot against them.
Deal calmly, therefore, with the Infidels. 15-17.

Some authorities, however, place this Sura later on, about the time of the first emigration to Abyssinia.