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- The Koran - 110/136 -


the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.

2 See note, p. 32.

3 See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154, n.

4 Lit. mother.

5 In the battle of Bedr, Muhammad, with 319 followers routed 1000 Meccans, A.H. 2.

6 That is, knowledge, or revelation, became the cause of disputings.

7 That is, will ye receive Islam? The Ummiin, or common folk, the heathen Arabians destitute of Revelation. In the earliest extant biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, we find these words addressed by Zaid, previous to the assumption of the prophetic office by Muhammad, to the Koreisch. This is one of the facts which shew that the way was to a great extent prepared for Islam. This whole address of Zaid's-which contains not less than six passages afterwards repeated in the Koran-may be seen in Dr. Sprenger's Life of M. p. 42. The instances of others who had learned to disbelieve in idolatry, and had either become Jews or Christians, or held their minds in suspense, might easily be multiplied. Comp. Sharastani, p. 437. Masudi, ch. 6.

8 The King of the Kingdom, or, Lord of Might. This verse and the following are either fragments of some lost Sura, or belonging to one of the Meccan Suras. At any rate, they are misplaced, interrupting as they do the connection of the preceding and subsequent verses.

9 The wife of Imran is Hannah or Anne. Comp. Protev. Jac. iv. [greek text].- Evang. de Nat. Mar. 1: Voverunt tamen (Mari‘ parentes) si forte donaret eis Deus sobolem, eam se Dni servitio mancipaturos.-Although Muhammad had no direct access to the Apocryphal Gospels, yet these may have influenced, or at any rate, contained much in common with, the ordinary traditions of S. Syria. And of this, the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary, supposed by Gibbon (ch. 50) to have been "borrowed from the Koran," probably formed a part.

10 That is, the female could not become a priest.

11 See note, p. 114.

12 According to a tradition of Muhammad every new-born child is touched by Satan, with the exception of Mary and her Son, between whom and Satan God interposed a veil. (Djelal. Beidh.) Hence this passage may imply the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary. See v. 37 below.

13 Evang. de Nat. Mar. 7: Quotidie ab angelis frequentabatur, quotidie divinâ visione fruebatur, queam a malis omnibus custodiebat et bonis omnibus redundare faciebat. Protev. Jac. 8: [greek text]. Hist. Nativ. Mar. 6: Quotidie escâ, quam de manu angeli accipiebat, ipsâ tantum reficiebatur.

14 The word rendered descendants is a collective noun. Gerock (p. 20) thinks that Zacharias' prayer was not for a son of his own, but for an adopted son- as, for instance, the future husband of Mary who might become his heir, and hence accounts for his surprise and unbelief at the announcement of John.

15 Lit. chamber. By this may be meant an [greek text] of the Temple Comp. Luke i. 21.

16 Luke i. 28.

17 Hist. de Nativ. Mar. 6: Abierunt simul Joachim et Anna uxor ejus ad templum domini, et . . . tradiderunt . . . Mariam in contubernio virginum qu‘ die noctuque in Dei laudibus manebant.

18 These reeds, say the commentators, were written over with passages from the law, and cast into Jordan. That of Zacharias alone swam, and was the token that the charge of Mary was to devolve on him. Others render, their divining arrows. See a detailed account of the manner in which this matter was settled by [greek text], virgae, in Protev. Jac. Thilo. p. 204. Hist. Nat. Mar. ib. p. 359 sqq.

19 Ar. El-Mesich Isa ben Mariam, illustrious in this world as a Prophet, in the next as an Intercessor. Beidh.

20 Evang. Thom‘, ch. 2 (Thilo. p. 281) and Evang. Infantić Arab. ch. 36, 46. (Thilo. p. 111, 123.)

20-21a (0) Addenda: Lit. who my helpers unto God? i.e., helpers of his religion (Beidh). If Muhammad had become, by any means, acquainted with the use of the Ćth. radeh, helper or disciple, we have herein a probable interpretation of this passage, as well as of the word Ansar.

21 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 111.

22 Muhammad probably believed that God took the dead body of Jesus to Heaven- for three hours according to some-while the Jews crucified a man who resembled him. Sura [c.] iv. 156. The word motewaffika (comp. Sura [lxxx.] xxxix. 156) means, in speaking of God, to cause to die, take to himself. It would also seem from Sura [lviii.] xix. 34, that Muhammad supposed Jesus to have died a natural death, though it is nowhere said how long he continued in that state. The Muhammadans believe that Jesus on his return to earth at the end of the world will slay the Antichrist, die, and be raised again. A vacant place is reserved for his body in the Prophet's tomb at Medina. See Lieut. Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. ii.

23 Lit. verily the similitude or analogy of Isa is as the similitude or analogy of Adam, i.e. neither of them had a human father.

24 This refers to an embassy from the Christians in Nedjran in Arabia, with their Bishop, Abu Hareth, at their head, to Muhammad at Medina, who had now acquired political power. The embassy declined to be parties to the strange mode of settling the dispute here proposed, but consented to pay tribute on condition of not being molested in their religion or lands.

25 If this be not a mere figure of speech, it must mean let us call over and curse the names, the persons being at a distance.

26 As the Christians do their Bishops and Priests.

27 Whether he were a Jew or Christian.

28 About Moses and Jesus, and their respective faiths.

29 See Sura xvi. 121, p. 209, note.

30 Muhammad insinuates that the claim to be equal with God could never have been made by Jesus himself, but by his followers, in ignorance of the Scriptures and of his true nature.

31 That is, to call them rabb-a title due only to God.

32 Assembled on Mount Sinai. Compare the Jewish legend, that all the prophets, even those who were not yet born, were present on Mount Sinai, when God gave the law to Moses. See Shemoth Rabba. Parashah 28, according to which, not only the Prophets but the Rabbis of every generation, were present at the giving of the Law.

33 Becca, place of crowding, i.e. Mecca. This sentence, together with other Suras-the Cave, Mary, Imran, Repentance, T, H, are woven into the Kiswah or covering of the Caaba, which is renewed annually.

34 The Makam Ibrahim (praying place of Abraham) is a small building supported by six pillars about 8 ft. high, four of which are surrounded from top to bottom by a fine iron railing, while they leave the space between the two hind pillars open; within the railing is a frame about 5 ft. square, said to contain the sacred stone on which Ibrahim stood when he built the Caaba. Burckhardt. Lieut. Burton (Pilgrimage, iii. 336) says that as the Arab tradition speaks clearly and consistently as to the fact of Abraham having visited Mecca to build the Caaba, it may be considered an open question. Thus also Dr. G. W. Freytag (Einl.).

35 The Koran.

36 Or, they are smitten with. Sale. S'etendra comme une tente. Kas.

37 This probably refers to the battle of Ohod.

38 The Arabic word occurs at verse 13 of horses as known by certain marks. So here these angels would be known by their accoutrements, etc.

39 This and the following verses to 154 were probably revealed shortly after the reverse of Ohod.

40 This verse and xxxix. 31 (p.257) were recited at Muhammad's death by Abu Bekr, in order to convince Omar and the other Muslims of the possibility of that event. It has been supposed that these passages were invented by Abu Bekr on this occasion, and inserted into the Koran. But this is more than doubtful. See Nöldeke, pp. 199-201.

41 That is, return to idolatry. A report had been spread in the battle of Ohod that Muhammad had been slain.

42 Lit. according to a writing (i.e. of God) definite. The Rabbins also teach (Com. Tract. Rosch. Haschanah) that there are books in which God has written down the lifetime of every individual. Lit. No soul can die.

43 Lit. and their saying was no other than that they said.

44 To relapse into infidelity. The Koreisch attempted to seduce the Muslims to renounce their faith after the battle of Ohod.

45 The command to abstain from taking the spoils. This disobedience turned the scale of victory against the Muslims.

46 Victory and plunder.

47 Some took to flight, others stood firm, and were not careful of their lives.

48 That is, in confused rout.

49 Muhammad had been accused of having secretly appropriated a portion of the spoil.

50 At Ohod.

51 See Sura [xci.] ii. 149.

52 At Ohod; lit. wound.

53 Lit. that Satan. Said to refer to Noaim, or Abu Sofian, the leader of the Koreisch.

54 This is an answer to the taunt that Muhammad could not distinguish true


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