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by one sentence, which the angel Gabriel could have delivered and explained to any one of the Prophets." Lee replies:— "However this might have been done concerns not us to know. Our question is not, as to what might have been, done, but what has been done. If the Almighty had thought proper, He might have revealed His will in ways totally different from those which He has chosen; but as His will has been revealed, it is our duty to inquire what that is, and not to suggest what might have been" (p. 560).

And, again, as to the miracles ascribed to Mohammed:—

"They are either said to have been performed in private, as his being saluted as a prophet by stocks and stones, when he was a child; or are false, such as his dividing the moon, causing the sun to stand still, etc., which would have been recorded by the Greeks and others had any such thing actually taken place; or they were executed for no adequate purpose whatever, such as the poisoned shoulder of mutton speaking.1 . . . Again, as to the number of the witnesses to these miracles, they may generally be reduced to one: Ali, for instance, or Ayesha, or Hasan, or Hosein, who delivered the account orally to someone who delivered it to another in the same way:— and so, after many generations, the account is committed to writing by Kuleini, or Bochari, or some other respectable collector of traditions. These, then, are copied by a number of compilers who follow; and then the number calculated to produce assurance is cited as worthy of all credit!" (p. 567).

The subject of such traditions, as evidence competent to prove miracles, is ably treated by Pfander in his Mîzân-ul-Haqq, where he shows that the original witnesses were interested, that their testimony never exceeded hearsay, and had already become shadowy before it was committed to paper; and that the traditions refute themselves from the absurdity as well as discrepancy of their contents. This is a topic of extreme importance; what we require, is a sifting analysis of the traditions, according to the probable dates of their being recorded; an account of the individuals who registered them; of the means they possessed for arriving at a true knowledge of the facts; and of the number through whom they successively descended. Such a manual would prove useful to the missionary; and, if written in a proper

1 [The purpose was sufficient; but according to tradition it was too late, for one of the Prophet's followers died from eating it, and the mouthful Mohammed took himself affected him all his after-life, till on his deathbed.]


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