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87 THE LIGHT OF MUHAMMAD

A grand and royal Halo long attached itself to JamshÓd, Lord of the good flock, while he ruled over the Seven climes — Demons, men, fairies, wizards, sorcerers, and evil-doers... Then when he approved of that false and baseless word, the visible halo departed from him in the form of a flying bird ....When JamshÓd, Lord of the good flock, no longer saw that halo, he became devoid of joy, and in distress gave himself up to making enmity upon earth. The first time that halo was removed from JamshÓd, it departed from Jam son of VÓvagh‚n (the Sun) in the form of a Var‚gh bird, and Mithra seized the halo When a second time the halo was removed from JamshÓd, it departed as before in the form of a bird; then FaridŻn the brave took that halo ....When that halo departed the third time from JamshÓd, it was taken by Keres‚spa (Garsh‚sp), that great and powerful man.1

Now if we bring these two accounts together, and remember that according to the Avesta, JamshÓd was the first man created by God upon earth, and therefore the same as Adam the father of mankind, we see at once that the light from JamshÓd descended on the best of his posterity agrees with what Tradition speaks of as the Light of Muhammad,— which Muslims appear thus to have borrowed from the Zoroastrians. We also gather that what appears in the Zoroastrian book about JamshÓd ruling over men, genii, giants, etc., is very similar to what the Jews write of Solomon, evidently from the same Source, and taken from them by the Muslims, as indeed has been seen in our Third Chapter. Also what the Muslims write about the division of the Prophet's light, coincides closely with what appears in a Zoroastrian book,2 and was evidently taken from that Source.


1 Yesht xix. 31-37. 2 Das‚tÓr-i ¬smanÓ
THE SOURCES OF ISLAM 88

V. The Bridge Sir‚t.— Muslims tell us the Prophet held that at the last day after the Judgment, all mankind will pass over this bridge, which is finer than a hair, and sharper than a sword; and that the wicked will fall from it into hell. Now what is the origin of the name Sirat? Though adopted into Arabic, it is of Persian origin, and called by the ancient Zoroastrians ChÓnavad, and its history is also derived from them, as will be seen from the following account taken from one of their ancient writings:—

I flee from much sin and I keep my conduct pure. The keeping pure of the six vital powers, — conduct, speech, thought, intellect, reason, wisdom, — according to thy will, O Author of the power to do good works, with justice do I perform it, that service of thine, in thought, speech, and deed. It is good for me to abide in the Bright way, lest I arrive at the severe punishment of Hell, that I may cross over ChÓnavad and may reach that blest abode, full of odour, entirely delightful, always bright.2

The meaning of the Persian name is "the connecting link," the Bridge being that which joins earth with Paradise.

VI. The Muslims say that each Prophet before his death gives notice of the next to follow, as Abraham did of Moses, Moses of David, and so on. Nothing of this sort, however, is in the Bible; on the contrary, the Prophets from first to last gave notice of the coming of the Messiah, and nothing more. As they could not therefore have got this notion from the Scriptures,


1 It is difficult to explain in English how ChÓnavad became Sir‚t; but it comes from the varied sound of the letters — ch being turned into sharp s.
2 DÓnkart, an ancient Zoroastrian book.

           

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