Click to View

all such efforts had entirely failed that he turned against the Jews with the far more powerful argument of the sword.

§ 8.—The Qur'an shows in the clearest manner possible how much of his teaching Muhammad

Influence of
Talmudic Judaism
on Muhammad.

borrowed1 from the Jews, while professing to have received it by revelation from GOD through the archangel Gabriel. Yet it would be a mistake to suppose that Muhammad 2 was personally acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, or that he learnt much from them except indirectly. His Jewish friends, such as Waraqah, who had for some time professed3 Judaism,—Habib bin Malik, and above all 'Abdu'llah ibn 4 Sallam, were doubtless far better acquainted with tales from the Talmud than with the canonical Scriptures. We

1 Vide Geiger, "Was hat Mohammed aus d. Judenthume aufgenommen?" passim, and examples further on.
2 Muhammad is called
النّبىُّ الاُمّىُّ in Surah vii. 156. Muslims generally render this by "the unlettered Prophet," and say he could not read or write. This, however, is hardly credible. A better rendering is "the Genti!e Prophet," i.e. one who did not belong to "the People of the Book," and was unacquainted with the scriptures of the earlier prophets.
3 Ibn Ishaq. He afterwards became a Muslim; but when Muhammad left the doctrines of the Hanifs, Waraqah left him, and died a Christian. (Rodwell, Koran, pref., p. xvii.)
4 R. Geiger, op. cit., p. 24; Abu'l Fida, "Annales Moslemici," i. 283.

are not therefore surprised to find that the accounts which Muhammad gives us in the Qur'an regarding Scripture characters agree far more closely with Talmudic legends than with the facts recorded concerning these persons in the Old Testament itself. This will be seen from a few examples.

The Qur'an (Surah V., vv. 30—35[24—32]) informs us that when "the sons of Adam" had offered


each his sacrifice to GOD, and when that of Abel was accepted and Cain's rejected, Cain1 said to Abel, "Verily I shall slay thee." Abel replied, "Truly GOD accepteth from the pious. Verily if thou stretchest forth thine hand to slay me, I shall not stretch forth my hand against thee to slay thee; for truly I fear GOD, the Lord of the Worlds. Truly I would rather that thou shouldst draw down upon thyself my sin and thy sin; then thou wilt be among the Companions of Hell-fire, and that is the recompense of the wicked." "Accordingly," we are told,

Cain and Abel.

Cain's "spirit impelled him to the slaughter of his brother: therefore he slew him; then he became one of those who suffer loss. Therefore GOD sent a raven to scratch in the earth, to show him how he might conceal the injury done to his brother. He said ‘Woe is me! am I unable to be like this raven? then I would conceal the wrong done to my brother.' He then

1 The names of these "sons of Adam" are not mentioned, however, in the Qur'an. Muslims call them Qabil and Habil.

Click to View