words in their stead,' so they stirred up the people to persecute the
faithful with still more vigour. However weak Muhammad may have shown himself in
this matter, he now and for ever broke with idolatry and began to declare the
punishment due to idolaters. So in a Sura of this period we have:
Worship ye what ye carve
When God hath created you and what ye make ?
Fain would they plot against him, but we brought them low. Sura As-Saffat (xxxvii)
Moses is called in as a witness of God's displeasure at idolatry and is
represented as saying to the children of Israel :
Now look at thy god to which thou hast continued so devoted. We will surely
burn it and reduce it to ashes. Sura TaÂHa (xx) 97.
Soon after his fall, Muhammad received a revelation warning him against ever
approaching near to such a compromise again:
And, verily, they had well-nigh beguiled thee from what we revealed to thee
and caused thee to invent some other thing in our name; but in that case they
would surely have taken them as a friend. 1 Sura Al-Isra' (xvii)