Click to View


§ 9. Islam has often been called a Christian1 heresy; it would be far more correct to term it a Jewish one. From orthodox Christianity and even from heretical sects Muhammad borrowed

Influence of
on Muhammad.

comparatively little, but it would be not far from the truth to say that at one period 2 in his life he seemed inclined to accept Judaism as it then was and adapt it to the requirements of his countrymen. Islam has well been designated 3 "the Religion of Revelation translated into Flesh," in order to show its servile and carnal character, even although this did not altogether prohibit its adoption of certain great truths of Revealed Religion, which, however, it degraded. Although in the Qur'an Muhammad refers to the Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament no less than one hundred and thirty-one times,4 yet in the whole book5 there is only one direct quotation

1 Carlyle, e.g., says ("Heroes and Hero-Worship"— "Mahomet": Chapman and Hall's ed., p. 52), "Islam is definable as a confused form of Christianity."
2 He adopted this attitude towards Judaism at the outset of his career as a "Prophet," and retained it for twelve or thirteen years—up to the time of the Hijrah.
3 Grau, "Ursprunge und Ziele unserer Kulturentwickelung," p. 138: "Keineswegs aber ward im Islam das Heidenthum vollstandig uberwunden; vielmehr ist er nur die ins Fleisch ubersetzte Religion der Offenbarung, das Kind der Magd und nicht der Freien, wie Ismael."
4 Vide each such passage quoted and commented on in Sir Wm. Muir's "The Coran," S.P.C.K.
5 Surah xxi. 105:
وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ
The quotation is from Ps. xxxvii. 11.

from the Old Testament and another less direct 1 from the New,2 together with the assertion that Christ predicted the coming of a prophet called 3 Ahmad. In this latter statement we have doubtless a misunderstanding of our Lord's words about the coming of the Paraclete 4 whom He promised to

1 Surah vii. 38[40]:
وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ
Cf. Matt. xix. 24; Mk. x. 25; Luke xviii. 25. Geiger compares the Rabbinical saying,
כמא דמעיל פילא בקפא דמחטא
; but Muhammad agrees with the N. T. in saying "camel" instead of "elephant."
2 Rodwell ("Koran," pp. xviii., xix.) compares Deut. xxvi. 14, 17, I Pet. v. 2, with Surah xxiv. 50 and Surah x. 73; also John vii. 15 with the "illiterate Prophet"; &c. "The passages of this kind," he continues, "with which the Koran abounds, result from Muhammad's general acquaintance with scriptural phraseology, partly through the popular legends, partly from personal intercourse with Jews and Christians."
3 Surah lxi. 6:
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ
Muhammad no doubt meant to refer to John xvi. 7, sqq.
4 The Paraclete—called
فَرَاقْلِيطُ in Arabic—is supposed to be Muhammad through a confusion between παρακλητος and περικλυτος. Vide Sayyid Ahmad, "Essay on the Prophecies respecting Muhammad," pp. 18, sqq.

Click to View