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The above illustrations of the lines of defence adopted by Muhammad for himself, based on the alleged similarity of the treatment accorded

[Continued from previous page]
On the whole passage in the text
كتاب متشابها مثانى the commentator Husain remarks in Persian:—
كتابى مانند يكديكر يعنى قرآن كه بعضى ازان مشابة بعضى ست در اعجاز يا در جودت لفظ وصحت معنى يا برخى ازان مصدق برخى ديكر ست ودر ان تناقض وآختلاف ليست
مثانى ... دوبارة ودو تو كردة بعنى مشتمل است برزوجات جون امر و نهى ووعد ووعيد وذكر وفكر ورحمت وعذاب وبهشت ودوزخ وصوصن وكافر
which runs as follows:— The Qur'an, some of which resembles other parts in miracles, or in the suitableness of its words and sound meaning, or one part of it verifies some other part, and there is no disagreement and difference in it. Mathani is said to mean—two tunes or twofold, i.e. the Qur'an contains pairs (of expressions) such as command and prohibition, promise and threat, speech and thought, mercy and anger, heaven and hell, believer and infidel. Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 262.
Zamakhshari refers to the twofold form of its commands and prohibitions ; promises and threats.
او اصر و نواهية وعدة وعيدة
Nadhir Ahmad in his Urdu translation has,ايكث هى بات سمحهانى كى لئى بار بار دوهرائى كئى هين 'In order to make it understood each matter is repeated again and again.'
In a note he seems to refer it to the descent of the Qur'an at various times and considers this to be a great proof of its divine nature.
Rabbi Geiger considers that the perplexity about the word arises from the fact that it is considered an Arabic one and has not been traced back to its source
טשכה . The Jewish law was divided into two parts, the written and the oral teaching. The latter part was called Mishnah and so in time the whole collection of oral teaching, or Tradition, was called by the same name. Then an etymological error crept in and Mishnah was derived from a word meaning 'to repeat,' and so was applied to the act of the repetition of the written teaching and not to the collected body of Tradition. The Arabian Jews made the same mistake and so we get mathani. Then Muhammad, if he used the word correctly, put the Qur'an in the place of the whole Jewish teaching, the Mishnah, and did not refer to repetition at all. So, at least, one Arabic commentator admits for, according to Rabbi Geiger, Ta'us said, ' the whole Qur'an is mathani'—وقال الطاوس القرآن كلة مثانى
See Geiger, Judaism and Islam (S.P.C.K., Madras) p. 43.
The fear caused to men by the revelation is not surprising, when it is believed that in heaven the effect of it (
وحى ) is that nature is convulsed, that angels become senseless, and that Gabriel is the first one to return to consciousness. For further details, see Khulasatu-t-Tafasir, vol. iv, p. 75.

to other prophets and the constant iteration of the claims of the Qur'an to be a divine revelation, are but a few of the many utterances on this subject, and the general impression left upon the mind of the reader is that they are the outward expressions of a man whose own mind was not at ease and who sought by the very frequency and force of his assertions not only to silence his adversaries, but also to give confidence to his own hind and to confirm the faith of his followers.

Early in his Meccan career the Prophet challenged the production of a book like the Qur'an:—

Will they say, 'He hath forged it himself ? Nay, rather it is that they believe not.
Let them produce a discourse like it, if they speak the truth.' Sura At-Tur (lii) 34-5.

Sura Al-Isra' (xvii), one of the latest of the second period of the Meccan Suras, continues the challenge :—

Say, verily, were men and jinn assembled to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce its like, though the one should help the other. 90.

A little later on we find:—

If they shall say, 'The Qur'an is his own device,' say . then bring ten Suras like it of your own devising, call whom ye can to your aid beside God. Sura Hud (xi) 16.

So convincing was this argument considered to be that we find it used also at Madina:—

If ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 21.

1 This Sura is a composite one; vv. 75-82 must belong to Madina.

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