supposed divine opinion the varying events of each day; but it needed some authority to justify it.

This is found in the verse:—

And we have parcelled out the Qur'an into sections, that thou mightest recite it unto men by slow degrees, and we have sent it down piecemeal.1 Sura Al-Isra' (xvii) 107.

In Sura At-Tur (lii) the charge of forgery is met and the supernatural nature of the Qur'an is asserted:—

Will they say, 'He hath forged it himself?' Nay, rather is it they that believe not.
Let them produce a discourse like it, if they speak the truth. 33-4.
Have they such a knowledge of the secret things that they can write them down? 41.
Verily, there is a punishment for the evil-doers. 47.

Sura Al-Haqqah (lxix), which belongs to the first Meccan period, contains one of the strongest denials of forgery to be found in the Qur'an:—

It needs not that I swear by what ye see, and by what ye see not,
This verily is the word of an Apostle worthy of all honour,
And that it is not the word of a poet;2
How little do ye believe!

1 Baidawi explains 'piecemeal' (تنزيلا ) as على حسب الحوادث —'according to circumstances.' This was a convenient theory, as it allowed a revelation to be produced when needed. The giving it by 'slow degrees' and 'piecemeal' may also have been for the convenience of the hearers. In Sura Al-Furqan (xxv) 34 such a mode of revelation is said to have had for its object the confirming of the Prophet's mind.
In the Sura Ash-Shu'ara' (xxvi) 221-5, called 'The Poets,' Muhammad said that the poets who wrote against him were mad:—

 It is the poets whom the erring follow
Seest thou not that they wander as bereft of senses, 224-5,
 [footnote continued on next page]


Neither is it the word of a soothsayer—
How little do ye receive warning!
It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.
But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,
We had surely seized him by the right hand and had cut through the vein of his neck;
Nor would we have withheld any of you from him. 38-47.

In other words, the restraining influence, we (God) had upon you (the Quraish), preventing you from doing harm to the Prophet, would have been withheld. So anxious was Muhammad, at this period, to combat the idea that he was a mere poet and that the Qur'an was the product of his poetic genius, that in the Sura just quoted he makes God declare that it is not so. This is the most impassioned assertion of the divinity of the Qur'an to be found in that book. The very force and earnestness of it seem to betray doubt in the mind of Muhammad. It does not show forth the confident assurance of a man who fully believed in what he said. The calm dignity of a prophet of God is entirely lacking here. A few out of the many other passages are:—

[Footnote continued from previous page]
On the other hand, Muhammad employed poets to defend him and his religion. Such poets are not to be blamed. They are, according to Baidawi, referred to as those:—

Who defend themselves when unjustly treated, and they who treat them unjustly shall know hereafter with what treatment they shall be treated. 228.

The latter clause, according to Mu'alim, 'refers to the opponents of the Prophet':—

ية اشارة هى رسول الله كى هجو كرنى والرن كى كوف
Khulasatu-Tafasir, vol. iii, p. 388.