|88||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
bolt, or that the heavens did not fall down and crush them. It was only the mercy and longsuffering of God that spared them and gave space for repentance.
Al Kindy now addresses himself to the Moslem conceit,advanced by his Friend in exaltation of Islam,that before Creation the Almighty had inscribed upon the great Throne the Prophet's name along with the Moslem creed, There is no God but the Lord, and Mahomet is the Apostle of God. He asks, in playful irony, whether this was written up for the benefit of the Angels lest they should forget it,as if those who sang the praises of their Maker when He said, Let there be light, were likely to forget any of His works. Or, was it for the benefit of mankind? If so, how were they to see it, while here on earth? and in the Day of judgment, the truth would be too clearly set before the eyes of all, to need any adventitious help. He scouts the notion as unworthy of his Friend; and adds that he never heard of any of the companions of his Friend who shared in these views, nor indeed of any wise and intelligent Moslem who did not reject the tale. The idea was a preposterous and ignoble fancy borrowed from the corporeal conception of the Jews that God was seated on a material throne.
|The name |
"It is customary for your preachers (he proceeds) to preface their sermons by the following invocation:O Lord, bless Mahomet and the posterity of Mahomet,
the seed of
above all man-
kind" (96, 97).
|even as Thou hast blessed Abraham and the posterity of Abraham; and having so said, they think that they have exhausted all that can possibly be invoked in the way of blessing. Now consider the horrid impiety of connecting thus a person (Mahomet) whose name ye imagine to be written with that of the Most High on the Throne of Light, and on whose behalf alone Adam and the world are said to have been created,connecting with the name of such a one the posterity of Abraham, including a person whom thou knowest, but whose name I should tremble to write in this place.1 But indeed the superiority of the Israelites over all other nations is reiterated in various passages of the Coran itself, as,'O children of Israel, remember the favour wherewith I have favoured you, and preferred you above all mankind,'preferred therefore above thee, and above thy Master, of whose superior excellence thou makest mention." This, however, he said in the way of a mere argumentum ad hominem, and not by any means as conveying his own sentiments. For he had throughout carefully avoided reference to race or superior descent,seeing that all mankind were of one blood, children of a common parent,the only difference between man and man being in mind and virtue. And in saying even so much as he had, he deprecates the vulgar aspersion which the ignorant and spiteful|