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kind of returning of men to GOD, but denied GOD's Prophets and worshipped false gods, concerning whom they believed that in the next world they would become mediators between themselves and GOD. For these deities they undertook pilgrimages, they brought offerings to them, offered them sacrifices and approached them with religious rites and ceremonies. Some things they held to be Divinely permitted, others to be prohibited. This was the religion of the great majority of the Arabs." Krehl1 tells us that nearly all Arabic authors agree in holding that "the descendants of Abraham from the very beginning professed the same Monotheistic religion that Abraham had done, and they ascribe the falling away from this 'Religion of Abraham' solely to the influence of the Devil."

[Footnote continued from previous page]
not believe in prophets and revelations." And, again, "It was no very desperate struggle between Islam and the second" (i.e., the one just mentioned) "of the two sects of Arabian deism, for the doctrines of this sect, plus the doctrine of revelations, were very nearly identical with the main principles of Islam." (Essay on the Religions of the pre-Islamic Arabs, pp. 5 and 14.) Ash Shahristani's evidence with reference to the religious and moral condition of the pre-Islamic Arabs is worthy of special attention, because as a Muhammadan he would naturally be inclined to take an unfavourable view. Yet what he says is sufficient to show how much other Muhammadan writers, and even Sayyid Amir 'Ali in his "Life and Teaching of Muhammad," exaggerate the evils of the time in their attempt to do honour to their "Prophet." In this they are too often rashly followed by European writers on the subject.
1 Op. cit

§ 3.—Although a pure Monotheism no longer prevailed among the Arabs1 at the time

 gods of
rank as

when Muhammad began his work as a Reformer, yet it would be quite incorrect to describe them as Polytheists in the same sense as the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Teutons and Scandinavians, and even the Hindus of the present day may be called such. Though others besides GOD received Divine honours in Arabia—some deified men, others perhaps personified powers of Nature, and the heavenly bodies,—yet all such objects of adoration occupied quite a secondary2 rank, and were regarded as being in every way entirely subject to GOD Most High.3 But the Arabs worshipped these inferior deities as mediators 4 with GOD, believing that they were especially dear to Him, and would undoubtedly prevail in their intercession with GOD on behalf of those devotees

1 Except, of course, among the Jewish and Christian tribes,—if the corrupt faith of the latter at that time can be correctly called a "pure monotheism."
2 Weil, "Mohammed der Prophet," p. 18: "Ubrigens betrachteten die Araber vor Mohammed ihre Gotzen, welche theils Menschen- oder Thiergestalt hatten, theils als rohen, von dem Tempel zu Mecca herruhrenden Steinen bestandet, nur als Gotter zweiten Ranges."
3 This—
أللهُ تَعَلىا , the אל עליון of Gen. xiv. 18, 19, 22—is still one of the most usual titles of GOD among the Arabs.
4 Sayyid Ahmad, "Essay on the Manners and Customs of the pre-Islamic Arabs," p. 13; Ibn Hisham, "Siratu'r Rasul," Egypt. ed., p. 127; Sale, "Prelim. Disc."; &c.

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