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73 THE GOSPEL ONE OF THE SOURCES

follows:— "I have prepared for the righteous what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man." See similar words in I Cor. ii. 9.

But this absence of actual quotation does not detract from the second-hand, and in many respects fictitious, knowledge of the Christian past. And we conclude that the Gospel, and especially some of the ancient heretical works, were clearly among the Sources of Muslim teaching,— a conclusion altogether beyond question.

THE SOURCES OF ISLAM 74

Chapter V.

SOME THINGS IN THE QUR'AN AND TRADITION DERIVED FROM ANCIENT ZOROASTRIAN AND HINDU BELIEFS.

We learn from Arabian and Greek historians that previous to Muhammad's birth, and during his life, many parts of the Peninsula were ruled over by Persian kings. For example, Kesra Nousherwan having sent an army to Hra, put down Hrith the king, and in his room placed the subservient Mandzar on the throne. He also sent an army to Yemen, and having expelled the Abyssinian invaders, restored the old king, whose progeny followed him in the government of the land. Abulfeda tells us that "the family of Mandzar, and race of Nasr son of Rabia, were the Kesra's governors over the Arabs of Iraq"; also that after the Himyarites, "there were four Abyssinian governors of Yemen, and eight Persians, and then it became ruled over by Islam." It is clear, then, that both in the time of Muhammad and previously, the Persians had constant intercourse with Arabia; and being incomparably more learned than its ignorant people, must have had an important influence on their religion, on their customs, and on their knowledge at large. Both history and Qur'anic commentaries shew that the tales and

           

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