|54||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
|Temple, His own decease, and the persecutions that should follow. He acquainted His disciples with the death of Lazarus, and then raised him to life again. Our Author concludes with Peter's threefold denial as foretold by our Saviour, and his bitter sorrow for the same.|
"Now, tell me," he proceeds, "what thing thy Master foretold, or made known, in virtue of which thou holdest him to be a prophet. If thou sayest that he made known to us the history of the prophets that went before him, as of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Messiah, and others,I have a ready answer; namely, that he told us what we knew already, and what even our very children read at school. And if thou wilt make mention of such other narratives, as of Ad and Thamūd, of Sālih and his Camel, of the Elephant,1 and the like, I reply that these are witless fables, and old wives' tales, such as we Arabs hear night and day, and are no proof whatever of a Divine mission. And so the evidence of the past falleth to the ground. But if thou sayest that he foretold what was to happen in the future, it behoveth thee to give instances of the same; for over 200 years have elapsed since his time, and surely something of what he foretold must have come to pass ere this. But thou knowest, and we all know, that thy Master never uttered a
the case of
|MIRACLES; CONQUEST OF PERSIA.||55|
single word of prophecy; and so the other condition also faileth.
"Such being the case, let us see whether there is any sign of the second kind of evidence, to wit, of miracles. Now, Mahomet himself hath told us plainly that it was said to him (by the Almighty), Nothing hindered Us from sending thee with Miracles, but that those of old time gave them the lie; that is to say, 'If it had not been that thy people would have called them impostures, even as those of old did, we should have bestowed on thee the gift of miracles.' Now, by my life, what, according to all the rules of logic, could be a more conclusive answer? Thou knowest (the Lord guide thee!), and all they that hear my Apology know, that thy Master herein disclaimed miracles as a proof of his mission, because he had not the power of showing them; and it is not for an impartial man like thee to turn aside from the truth.
Sura xvii. 60.
"If thou claimest, as a proof of his mission, that thy Master and his Companions, notwithstanding they were few and weak, trampled under foot the mighty kingdom of Persia, with all its resources, armies, and munitions of war, then we answer thee in the words of the Lord to the children of Israel, 'Not because the Lord loved you above all nations, hath he given you the victory over the Amorites and Perizzites so that ye have slain them, ravaged their lands and inherited their cities, but because of the