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to prove that the association of the Muslim with the damsels of Paradise is merely Platonic. This we leave unprejudiced readers of the Qur'an to decide, merely observing that most1 Muhammadans refuse to think so. Al Baidhawi also says2 that the pure wine promised in the Qur'an to the Just is called pure because the taste of it causes those who drink it to lose all inclination towards all pleasures but the delight of the Beatific Vision. Al Ghazzali3


believes that the vision of GOD Himself morning and4 evening is the additional reward promised in Surah X. 275 to the pious; and Muslim6 the Traditionalist gives the following Tradition on the authority of Suhaib, one of the "Prophet's" friends, in support of the same explanation:—"The Prophet said, 'When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, GOD Most High shall say, Do ye wish Me to give you

1 Sale, "Prelim. Disc.," sect. iv.
2 Comment. on Surah lxxxiii., vv. 25, sqq.
3 Quoted by Pocock, in Not. ad Portam Mosis, p. 305 (Sale, "Prelim. Disc.," sect. iv.)
4 Mishkat, "Kitabu'l Fatan, Babu Ru'yati'llah," p. 493. It may well be doubted whether Muhammad ever uttered the sayings imputed to him about the Beatific Vision; but if he did, he undoubtedly borrowed the idea from the Jews, and then carnalised and materialised it.
5 Surah x. 27[26]:
لِّلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ الْحُسْنَى وَزِيَادَةٌ
6 Mishkat, "Kitabu'l Fatan, Babu Ru'yati'llah," pp. 492, 493.

anything more? Then they shall say, Hast not Thou whitened our faces, hast not Thou caused us to enter Paradise and saved us from hell-fire? Then He shall raise the Veil, and they shall look upon GOD'S face, nor shall they be given anything more dear to them than to behold their Lord."'

Such passages, if we read them in a Christian sense, sound very noble, though they raise in our minds the question how they are to be reconciled with the sensual descriptions we have mentioned

Error of
 such phrases
in a Christian

above. But to understand such phrases in a Christian sense would be as great a mistake as to imagine that the Hindu religion is essentially the same as the Christian in its teaching regarding GOD and the New Birth, because in both the terms "Union with GOD"1 and "twice born"2 are used. This will be plain if we study the whole3

1 Yoga: hence a certain class of ascetics are called yogis.
2 Dvi-ja: the three upper castes are so styled.
3 Many of them seem strongly to support the opinion of those who have held that Muhammad had a very anthropomorphic idea of GOD. E.g., the two following (Mishkat, "Babu Ru'yati'llah," pp. 492, 493): 
عن جرير بن عبد الله قال رسول الله صلعم انّكم سَتَرَوْن رَبَّكم عيانًا وفى رواية قال كُنّا جلوسًا عند رسول الله صلعم فنظر الى القمر ليلة البدر فقال انّكم سَتَرَوْن ربّكم كما هَذا القمر لا تضامّون فى رؤيتهِ *
عن ابى رزين العقيلى قال قلتُ يا رسول الله اكُلُّنا يرى ربّهُ مخليَّا بِهِ يوم القيامة ـ قال بلى ـ وما آية ذلك فى خلقِه ـ قال ـ يا ابا رزين اليس كُلّكُم يرى القمر ليلة البدر مُخليَّا بِهِ ـ قال بلى ـ قال فانّما هو خلقُ من خلق الله والله اجّلُ واعظمُ ـ رواه ابو داود‫.

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