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99 ORDERS COMMANDING WAR

those who believe not in God, nor in the last day, nor forbid that which God and his Apostle have forbidden, and profess not the true religion, namely, of those to whom the Scriptures have been given, until they pay tribute by the hand, and be reduced low.

And so we learn from these successive passages in the Qur'an, that the great and unchanging Almighty God, step by step, allowed his Divine Law to be altered as the Prophet and his followers gradually gained successive victories by the sword. Not only so, but we see the same liberty of change permitted in respect of certain passages in the Qur'an to be cancelled by other passages; thus in Surah ii. 100:— We abrogate no verse, or cause it to be left out, but we bring in its place a better, or one like unto it. Ah! close thou not know that God is over all things almighty?

Hence so long as Muhammad entertained the hope of bringing together both Jews and Christians, and also the Arab tribes, by the retention of some of their national practices, there seemed to him the possibility of uniting all Arabia in one Grand religion. But when he found this to be impracticable, then it remained for him either to abandon and eventually destroy the two former, or else lose the native Arabs as a whole. The objects and the mind of the Prophet are manifest throughout his prophetic life. Thus, to take an instance, the marriage with Zeinab wife of his adopted son Zeid, as justified in the Qur'an,1 shews how much the revelation and whole system of the


1 Surah xxxiii. 37.
THE SOURCES OF ISLAM 100

day was permeated by the objects of his hourly life and personal surroundings; which indeed is manifest in a multitude of other matters in the Qur'an itself and in Tradition. And certainly, when we look at the variety of teaching and of interests embodied in these, we gain a wide and extensive survey of the thousand rills which run along to form the vast Muslim river;— Sources they all are of Islam, but every one affected by the intellect, the nature, and the personal aims and objects, of the Prophet himself.

We readily admit the many precious truths and lessons taught in the Qur'an, above all the Unity of Almighty God; and, among such stories as those about the Table, Paradise, the tree Tb, etc., we often find good and valuable teaching. But anyone who has drunk of the pure and sparkling stream, will turn from all others, especially if turbid anywhere, and seek refreshment in the Water of Life, so often borne testimony to in the Qur'an itself; and what is that blessed Fountain but the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, to which Muhammad in the following passages himself bears such remarkable testimony: Verily we have sent down the Torah, in which are direction and Light. ..... And we caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was in his hands of the Torah, and we gave him the Gospel in which is Guidance and Light and Attestation of that which was revealed before it of the Torah, and a Direction and Admonition to the pious.1


1 Surah v. 48, 50.
           

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