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fabrication, to be found nowhere in any early biographies such as those of Hishami and Wâckidi. Not a single old authority appears to have been consulted, but only such late Persian works as the Rowzat ul Ahbâb, the Madârij ul Nubúwat, etc. The Maulavi of course ignores criticism in any shape.

The legends recorded in this biography are incredibly extravagant. The improbabilities are so great that the most childish intellect, honestly exercised, would not for a moment entertain them. And yet all is told—the visits of angels and their conversations, scenes of heaven and hell both past and prospective, and above all, that wild fiction of Mohammed's existence cycles of years before the creation,—all told with unhesitating credence, as mere matters of fact. The first eight pages trace the progress of the " Light of Mohammed," from its first creation to the conception of the Prophet. After the usual introduction, the work opens thus:—

Ye that are lovers of the face of Mohammed, and ye that be enamoured with the curls of Ahmed, know and be well aware, that the light of Mohammed is the origin of all existing things, and the essence of every thing that hath a being; because that when it pleased the great Creator to manifest His glory, He first of all created the light of Mohammed from the light of His own Unity; and from the light of Mohammed produced every existent being. Now, this glorious personage was made the last of the prophets, solely on this account that, as the rising sun chaseth away the splendours of the moon and stars, so doth the glory of the religion of Mohammed supersede all other religions; so that, if that pre-existent light had displayed its brilliancy from the first, then would all other prophets have shrunk into obscurity, and been shorn of their apostolic dignity.

After tracing this light into the form of a star, its history is interrupted by some stories such as the following:—

A tradition runs that, in the days of the children of Israel, there was a sinful and flagitious man who, for the space of 200 years, wearied every one by the enormity of his offences; when he died, they threw his corpse upon a dunghill;—no sooner done than Gabriel coming to Moses, spake thus;— Thus saith the Almighty God, "This day my friend hath departed from the world, and the people have cast his corpse upon a dunghill. Now let that corpse be dressed and prepared for burial without delay: and ye shall speak unto the children of Israel, that they forthwith recite the burial service over his bier if they are desirous of pardon." Therefore, Moses marvelled exceedingly, and inquired why forgiveness was required; and God answered thus:—"The Lord well knoweth all the sins which that


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