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accord with what the Muslims say regarding Azāzīl, who came to dwell in the Second heaven. But the rest of the tale about him belongs to the Zoroastrian books, which will be noticed in our Fifth chapter.

In Surah xix. vv. 69-73 we have the following passage:—

By the Lord! we shall surely assemble them round about Hell on their knees. Then will we draw forth from every Sect such of them as shall have been most rebellious against the Merciful; and we best know which of them are the more deserving to be burned therein. There are none of you but shall descend into the same. It is an established decree with thy Lord. Then we will deliver the pious ones; but will leave the wicked ones therein upon their knees.

In explaining this passage Tradition varies. Some say that all believers will descend into Hell, but will not be touched by the flames; others that it refers to the Bridge Sirāt, over which all must pass, and which is over Jehannam. It is just possible that the words, "There are none of you but shall descend into it," may be borrowed from the way in which some ignorant Christians interpreted the "Trying with fire," mentioned in the Gospel,1 as if it meant that they were thus to be purified of their sins. But if the Qur'an here refers to the Bridge Sirāt, the idea cannot be from any of them, but from the Zoroastrian books, to be noticed below.

The BALANCE is mentioned in two passages of the Qur'an, Surah xlii. 16:— It is God who hath sent dorm the Scripture with truth, and the Balance; and what shall inform thee whether the time be near at hand?

1 Mark ix. 49; 1 Corinthians iii. 13.

And Surah ci. 5, 6:— Moreover, he whose Balance shall be heavy will lead a pleasing life; but he whose Balance shall be light, his dwelling-place shall be Hell.

We need not enter into the vast store of Tradition devoted to this great Balance, but simply enquire whence the notion arose. There is a fictitious work called "The Testament of Abraham," written originally in Egypt, and thence translated into Greek and Arabic; and what is there said of the weighing of deeds, good and bad, we shall compare with what is in the Qur'an. In this book we are told that when the Angel of Death wished to seize the soul of Abraham, the patriarch desired that before his death he might see the wonders of the heavens and of the earth. Having obtained permission, he ascended and beheld all the scenes around him. After a time he ascended the Second heaven, and there saw the Balance by which angels try the deeds of mankind. The following is an extract from this work:—

Betwixt the two doors there stood a throne...and upon it was seated a wonderful Man...Before him stood a Table, like as of crystal, all covered with gold and linen. And upon the Table a book lay, its length six fingers, and breadth ten fingers. On the right hand of it and on the left, stood two angels having paper and ink and pen. In front of the Table sat a brilliant angel holding in his hand a Balance. On the left sat an angel, as it were all of fire, merciless and stern, having in his hand a trumpet, in which was flaming fire, the touchstone of sinful men. The wonderful Man seated on the throne was judging the souls and passing sentence upon them. And the two angels on the right and on the left were writing down, the one on the right, righteous deeds, and he on the left, sinful ones. And he that stood before the Table holding the Balance was weighing the souls, and the angel holding the fire,


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