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with the same as told by Jewish writers. The passage in the Qur'an is this:— Solomon was not an unbeliever; but the Devils believed not. They taught men sorcery, and that which was sent down to the two angels at Babel, — Hārūt and Mārūt Yet these taught no man until they had said, — Verily we are a temptation, therefore be not an unbeliever.1

The following is from the Arāish al Majālis:—

The Commentators say that when the angels saw the evil doings of mankind ascending up to heaven (and that was in the days of Idrīs), they were distressed and complained thus against them: Thou hast chosen these to be the rulers upon earth, and to they sin against thee. Then said the Almighty: If I should send you upon the earth, and treat you as I have treated them, ye would do just as they do. They said, O our Lord, it would not become us to sin against thee. Then said the Lord, Choose two angels from the best of you, and I will send them down unto the earth. So they chose Hārūt and Mārūt; who were among the best and most pious amongst them.

Al Kalby's version:- The Almighty said: Choose ye three: so they chose (Azz, i.e) Hārūt, and (Azabi, i.e.) Mārūt and Azrael; and the Lord changed the names of the two when they fell into sin, as he changed the name of the Devil, which was Azāzīl And God placed in their heart the same fleshly lust as in the sons of Adam; and sending them down to the earth, bade them to rule righteously amongst mankind, to avoid idolatry, not to kill but for a just cause, and to keep free from fornication and strong drink. Now when Azrael felt lust in his heart, he prayed the Lord to relieve him, and was taken up to heaven, and for fortv years was unable to raise his head for shame before his Maker. But the other two remained steadfast, judging the people during the day, and when night came ascending to the heavens, worshipping the name of the Almighty. Catāda tells us that before a month had passed

1 Surah ii. 96.

they fell into temptation; for Zohra, one of the most beautiful of women (whom Aly tells us was queen of a city in Persia), had a suit before them, and when they saw her they fell in love with her, and sought to have her, but she refused and went away. The second day she came again, and they did the same; but she said, Nay, unless ye worship what I worship, and bow down to this idol, or kill a soul, or drink wine. They replied, It is impossible for us to do these things, which God hath forbidden; and she departed. The third day again she came holding a cup of wine, and her heart inclined towards them; so when they desired her, she said the same as yesterday, but they replied, To pray to other than God is a serious thing, and so is the killing of anyone; the easiest of the three is to drink wine: so they drank the wine, and becoming intoxicated fell upon her and committed adultery: and one saw it, and they slew him. And it is said that they worshipped an idol, and the Lord changed Zohra into a star. Aly and others tell us that she said, Come not near me till you teach me that by which ye can ascend to the heavens. They said, We ascend by the name of the great God. Again she said, Come not near me till ye teach me what that is. So they taught her; and forthwith she, repeating it, ascended to the skies, and the Lord changed her into a star.

Turning now to the Jews, the same account is given in two or three places of the Talmud, especially in this extract from the Midrash Yalkut:—1

Rabbi Joseph being asked by his disciples about Azael, told them as follows:— After the Flood, idolatrous worship prevailing, the Holy One was angry. Then two angels, Shamhazai and Azael arose and addressing him said, O Lord of the Universe, when thou createdst the world, did we not say to thee, What is man that thou art mindful of him? and now we are anxious about him. The Lord replied: I well know that if ye be sent to rule over the earth, your evil passions will have possession of you, and ye will become tyrants over mankind. They answered:

1 Cap 44.

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