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The intercession of idols is treated of and described as a thing absurd:—

What think ye of the gods whom ye invoke besides God. Show me what part of the earth they have created? Had they a share in the creation of the heavens? Have we given them a book in which they can find proofs? Nay, the wicked promise one another only deceits. Sura Fatir (xxxv) 39.

In this way were the Meccans admonished of the folly of idolatry. The circumstance which led to all these events was also used by the Prophet to justify a much stricter line of conduct in the future.

Thus Muhammad quickly rose from his fall and re-established his position with his followers ; but with the people at large it was very different. They could not accept the theory of Satanic influence described in the Qur'an as the cause of his fall, nor place any faith in a revelation so open to it. If the Our'an were really God's message, surely this shifting about and this cancelling of verses were not divine. So they laughed to scorn all his efforts to make them give up their idol worship. To the charge of changing a verse, Muhammad replied by another revelation on which the very convenient Muslim doctrine of abrogation is founded: 1

(i.e., to show respect). His Excellency had a great desire to make the circumambulation of the Ka'ba, and thought deeply in his heart what would happen should I do this.'
قريش بانحضرت كفتند كه نميكذاريم تراكة استلام حجر كنى تا وقتيكة مس كنى بتان صا را و اكرجة بسر انكشت باشد آنحضرت غايت شوق كة بطواف حرم داشت در خاطر مباركث خطور كرد جة شود اكرجة جنين كنم
Muir, however, considers the verses to refer to the great lapse at Mecca, which has been described.
1 'To withdraw a revelation and substitute another for it was, he asserted well within the power of God. Doubtless it was, but so
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When we change one verse for another, and God knoweth best what he revealeth they say: 'Thou art only a fabricator!' Nay! but most of them have no knowledge. Say, the Holy Spirit hath brought it down with truth from thy Lord. That he may stablish those who have believed, and as guidance and glad tidings to the Muslims.
We also know that they say, 'Surely a certain person teacheth him.' But the tongue of him1 at whom they hint is foreign while this (Qur'an) is in the plain 2 Arabic. Sura An-Nahl (xvi) 103-5.

obviously within the power of man that it is to us astounding how so compromising a procedure can have been permitted to be introduced into the system by friends and foes.' Margoliouth, Mohammed, p. 139.
Later on in Sura Al-Baqarah we have a definite statement (ii) 100 on abrogation. It is :—

' Whatever verses we cancel, or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like.' The Qadiani commentators deny the doctrine of abrogation. They say that in the words quoted above the word Ayal should. not be translated by 'verse' but by 'communication' and that it means 'the Law of Moses' now abrogated. But as Muhammad never learnt the Law of Moses, he cannot be said to have forgotten it. The great Imams and the commentators Baidawi, Jalalain, Jalalu'd-Din, Husain and others accept the doctrine. Professor Macdonald says that he cannot find in the works of any author one who 'denies the doctrine that one part of the Qur'an has been abrogated by another and that this has been the consistent agreement (Ijma') of Islam from the first.' (The Moslem World, October, 1917, p. 620). It is thus clear that the orthodox interpretation of texts referring to abrogation must stand.
Noldeke says:—
That God, the absolute ruler should alter His commands was not an idea repugnant to Muhammad. The Qur'an contains very different directions, suited to varying circumstances. as to the treatment of idolaters.' Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. xvi. p. 599.

Baidawi describes the varying circumstances as—
حسب الحواديث Tafsir, vol. i, p. 553.
On the whole subject, see The Faith of Islam (4th ed.), pp. 101-9.
1 Zamakhshari and Baidawi say that some refer this to Salman. the Persian, but they give other names also.
2 'The meaning is that the style of the Qur'an is very eloquent. A foreigner does not know such a style and so much less can he speak it.' Nadhir Ahmad

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