Click to View


down" the books in question, or "the books descended"1 from Him. The number of books

Number of 
Inspired Books.

which tradition relates as having "descended upon," or having been revealed to, the prophets is one hundred and four, out of which ten were entrusted to Adam, fifty to Seth, to Idris thirty, to Abraham ten, to Moses one, to David one, to Jesus one, and to Muhammad2 one.

Muhammadans are convinced that each and all of the Prophets bore witness to Muhammad and believed in him. They say that when any one revelation became lost or corrupted a new message was sent down. The last of all the Prophets, according to them, is Muhammad,3 and the final and most perfect Revelation is that contained in the Qur'an. They hold that it is incumbent upon all men therefore to accept their creed under penalty of eternal punishment in one

1 Cf. Surah xxvi. 193; xlvi. 29, &c.
2 "Rusum-i-Hind," Pt. II., ch. ii., p. 262.
3 Aminah, Muhammad's mother, is related to have said that, among many other marvels at his birth, she heard a voice cry, "Go around all the world with Muhammad and arrange before him all angels, genii, men and beasts. Give him Adam's form, Seth's science, Noah's bravery, the love God had towards Abraham, Ishmael's tongue, Isaac's prosperity, Salih's eloquence, Lot's wisdom, Jacob's joy at finding Joseph, Moses' strength, Job's patience, Jonah's submisssiveness, Joshua's skill in war, David's voice, Daniel's love for God, Elijah's nobleness, John's firmness, and Jesus' continence." Weil, "Mohammed der Prophet," pp. 23, 24 (notes).


or other of the seven1 divisions of Hell. Although theoretically professing to believe in all that the

earlier Prophets taught, the Muhammadans say that such inspired books as still remain, that is the Torah (Law), the Zabur (Psalms) and the Injil (Gospel), are to be

Qur'an and Bible.

interpreted by the Qur'an and understood only by means of the explanation which this final Revelation gives of their teaching. Many of them assert that this is the reason why the title of the Furqan ("Distinction" or "means of distinguishing," i.e. between good and evil) is given to the Qur'an,2 entirely ignoring the fact that the same title is given to the Law of Moses also in the Qur'an itself.3

Those who hold this view say that the Qur'an enables them to distinguish the true meaning of the teaching of the Prophets from our erroneous4 interpretations and explanations of it. The most learned and thoughtful Muslims in India at the present day adopt this opinion, in preference to the older and perhaps still more prevalent idea that

1 Mishkat; Qisasu'l Anbiya, &c.
2 E.g. in Surah iii. 2. (But Rabbi Geiger shows good reason to doubt whether Furqan, in the Qur'an, has the meaning now given to it by Muslims.)
3 Surah xxi. 49[48]:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ الْفُرْقَانَ وَضِيَاء وَذِكْرًا لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Surah ii. 50[53]:

ثُمَّ عَفَوْنَا عَنكُمِ مِّن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

4 This is the argument, e.g., in Mizanu'l Mawazin, and is used also by Sayyid Ahmad, "Essay on the Prophecies respecting Muhammad."
3 And certainly We gave to Musa[Moses] and Haroun[Aaron] the Furqan and a light and a reminder for those who would guard (against evil). 21:48 Shakir's translation
And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright. 2:53 Yusufali's translation

Click to View