7 ARABIAN DOCTRINES AND PRACTICES

retained by the Prophet. Some denied a future life as well as a Creator, while others admitted both.1 He then mentions a variety of tribal gods, and gives the name and place of eleven, including Ozza of the Coreish, Hobal aloft on the Kaaba, etc.; also angels, genii, and heavenly bodies adored by the Sabaeans. We are then informed of a variety of local customs in vogue among the heathen Arabs, some retained in Islam, as family restrictions in marriage, Hajj to the Kaaba with its various practices, visiting Safa and Marwa, throwing stones in Wady Mina, ablution, and several minor matters. Very similar is the testimony of Ibn Ish‚c, and the SÓrat al RasŻl, that notwithstanding the idolatry into which the Arabs fell when they lost the faith of Abraham and Isaac, yet throughout it all they never forgot the great God above all other gods. Thus at the new moon, the Beni Kin‚na and Coreish would cry aloud "Labbeik, Allah Labbeik!  Thou hast no Companion, but rulest over all"; — acknowledging thus the oneness of Him they called upon; and while joining their idols in worship with the Highest, they yet placed them all under his hand. Then the Unity is thus expressed in the Qur'an: Verily your Lord is God who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then ascended the throne to rule over all things. There is no intercession but by his permission. God is your Lord, wherefore serve him. Ah! will ye not consider? (Surah x. 3).

From all this we perceive that while the Arabs up to the Prophet's time worshipped idols, they did so


l  To these the Qur'an replies, Surah 1. 14: Is our power exhausted by the first creation; for these are in perplexity as to a first creation.

THE SOURCES OF ISLAM 8

regarding them as intercessors with the great God whom they held supreme.1 The truth was so well known in Muhammad's own household, that his father and uncle bore the names Abd-Allah and Obeid-Allah, — "Al," as we have seen, signifying The One. Hence we are sure that the Unity was acknowledged long before the Prophet's mission, as well as the various Meccan customs still in current use. Circumcision also was practised from of old, as we learn from the Epistle of Barnabas written about two centuries after Christ. Multitudes of idols being all around Mecca,2 certainly little inspiration was needed to shew how false the system was, and the task was well carried out by Muhammad. While so many of the ancient places, rites, and customs were maintained, only one quasi-idolatrous practice has been kept up, namely, the Kissing of the Black Stone, which was then worshipped as of heavenly descent; the habit was so loved by the people, that it could not be forbidden, and indeed is still observed.

In conclusion, then, we find that the first "Source" of the Qur'an and Tradition consisted of the notions, customs, and religious beliefs, existing around Muhammad. And we know of no other answer as to the adoption of these, than they were assumed to exist in the time of Abraham, and therefore were continued by the Prophet. Now, although we are told in the Torah that the doctrine of the Unity, as well as circumcision, were


1 Our Author pithily remarks that the Muslims of today who seek forgiveness through the intercession of their holy men are as much polytheists as these old Arabs were.
2 Some say there were 360 around the Kaaba. But Ibn Ish‚c gives authorities for only fifteen generations of idolators before the Prophet's time.