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one can deny that the words embody a very important truth. Certain1 English writers of the present time, led astray by the false liberalism of the day, have gone so far as to term Muhammad "a very Prophet of 2 GOD." But even such writers as these would readily acknowledge that the Muhammadan idea that their Qur'an, like another Minerva, sprang full-armed from the head of Jove—or in other words that it is entirely of Divine and not of human authorship—is erroneous. The Religion of Islam again owes very much to the personality3

of Muhammad.

of Muhammad, without whom, had it arisen, it would undoubtedly have been very different from what it is. Yet, making all proper allowance for this fact, we are obliged to conclude nevertheless that Muhammad must have been, like all of us, to a considerable degree the creature of his environment, and that he did not invent the main features of the religion which he founded, but borrowed his materials to a great extent from pre-existing systems,4 though building

1 E.g., Thomas Carlyle, "Heroes and Hero-Worship," Lect. ii., and Mr. Bosworth Smith, "Mohammed and Mohammedanism."
2 Bosworth Smith, op. cit., 2nd ed., p. 344.
3 B. Smith, "Mohammed and Mohammedanism," p. 12.
4 V. Renan, "Etudes d'Histoire Religieuse"; Geiger, "Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume aufgenommen?"; B. Smith, op. cit., p.100; Sayyid Ahmad, "On the Religions of the Pre-Islamic Arabs," p. 15, & c.

these materials into a more or less harmonious structure according to his own plan and the exigencies of his position. A candid examination of Islam as it is taught us in the Qur'an and in the authoritative Traditions of the "Prophet," and a comparison with those other systems of religion with which Muhammad came more especially in contact, will enable us to learn the origin of the Faith and to appreciate the measure of originality which may be ascribed to it.

§ 2.—When Muhammad appeared, the Arabs were by no means devoid of religious tenets. Although certain Hamitic1 elements had doubtless mingled with the Semites in the South and East,

Religions of the
pre-Islamic Arabs.

yet the members of the tribe from which Muhammad sprang (that of the Quraish), together with all the rest of the Arab inhabitants of Northern and Western Arabia, were undoubtedly of purely Semitic2 descent. Some traced their family to Joktan, others to Ishmael, and others to Abraham's children by Keturah. It has well been pointed3 out that, whatever may have been the case with

1 Grau, "Ursprunge und Ziele unserer Kulturentwickelung," cap. iv., &c.
2 Hauri, "Der Islam," cap. i.; Grau, pp. 133, sqq. ; Sayyid Ahmad, "Essay on the Hist. of Mecca," and "On the Hist. Geography of Arabia." V. also Tabari, Ibn Hisham, &c.
3 Renan, "Histoire generale et Systeme compar6 des Langues Semitiques," liv. i , ch. i.

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