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die." A. "How dost thou make alive, and cause to die?" N. "I take two men who at my hands deserve death, one I kill, who thus dies; the other I forgive, who thus is made alive." Whereupon Abraham answered, "Verily God bringeth the sun from the East, now do thou bring him from the West." 1 Thereupon Nimrod was confounded, and returned him no reply. The people then went away to celebrate their Eed, and Abraham, taking the opportunity, broke all the idols but the biggest, and then the story proceeds as follows: —

When they had prepared food, they set it before their gods and said, "When the time comes we shall return, and the gods having blessed the meat we shall eat thereof." So when Abraham looked upon the gods, and what was set before them, he said derisively. "Ah! ye are not eating"; and when no answer came, "What aileth you, that ye do not speak?" and he turned upon them and smote them with his right hand.2 And he kept striking them with a hatchet in his hand, until there remained none but the biggest of them, and upon its neck he hung the axe.3  Now when the people returned from their Eed to the house of their gods, and saw it in such a state, they said, Who hast done this to our gods? Verily he is a wicked one. They answered, We heard a young man speaking of them; They call him Abraham. He it is, we think, who hath done it. When this reached the tyrant Nimrod and his chief men, They said, Bring him before the eyes of the people; perhaps they will bear witness that he hath done

1 Surah ii. 260. 2 Surah xxxvii. 90.
3 Here the text is quoted: He brake them all in pieces except the biggest, that they might lay the blame on it (Surah xxi. 59).

this thing. And they were afraid to seize him with-out evidence.1 So they brought him and said: Hast thou done this unto our gods, O Abraham? He answered, Nay but that big one hath done it; he was angry that ye worshipped along with him these little idols, and he, so much bigger than all; and he brake the whole of them in pieces. Now ask them if they can speak.2  When he had said this, they turned their backs, and said (among themselves), "Verily it is ye that are the transgressors. We have never seen him but telling us that we transgress, having those little idols and this great one." So they broke the heads of them all, and were amazed that they neither spake nor made any opposition. Then they said (to Abraham), Certainly thou knowest that they speak not. Thus when the affair with Abraham was ended, he said to them: Ah! do ye indeed worship, besides God, that which cannot profit you at all, nor can it injure you. Fie on you, and on that which ye worship besides God! Ah, do ye not understand?

When thus overthrown and unable to make any answer, they called out, Burn him, and avenge your gods if ye do it. Abdallah tells us that the man who cried thus was a Kurd called Zeinun; and the Lord caused the earth to open under him, and there he lies buried till the day of Judgment. When Nimrod and his people were thus

1 Cotāda and Al Sidy are quoted here; and it is added from Al Dzahhāk, "Perhaps they may give evidence as to what we should do, and punish him."
2 A note is here added to the following purport:— Muhammad on this remarked that Abraham in all told three lies, all on behalf of the Lord, namely, "I am sick"; "the big one hath done this"; and what he said to the King regarding Sarah, "She is my sister."

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