Magians and the Jews; low people of the baser sort, aspiring by the profession of Islam, to raise themselves to riches and power, and form alliances with the learned and honourable. Then there are hypocritical men of the world, who in this way obtain indulgences in marriage and concubinage, forbidden to such as hold by the Christian faith. There is moreover the dissolute class, given over wholly to the lusts of the flesh, who take Islam as a ladder to attain their object. Lastly, there are those who by this means obtain an easier livelihood.

"Now tell me, hast thou ever seen, my Friend (the Lord be gracious unto thee!) or ever heard of, a single person of sound mind,—any one of learning and experience, acquainted with the Scriptures, renouncing Christianity, otherwise than for some such worldly object to be reached only through thy religion, or for some gratification withheld by the faith of Jesus? Thou wilt find none; for, excepting the tempted ones, all continue steadfast in their faith, secure, under our most gracious Sovereign, in the profession of their own religion"

(93, 94).
Certain classes of apostates and heretics are here described in bitter terms ; hypocrites who contemned the Prophet and questioned his claims in secret, while outwardly pluming themselves in the garb of the Moslem faith. There were heretics who held that the Holy Ghost was divided into three portions, given one to Jesus, another to Moses, and the third to a certain person whose name Al Kindy had a horror even to


mention;1—Mahomet having no lot or part therein. These were the most heathenish and detestable of schismatics. Then there were Christian renegades, who used their profession to lord it over innocent and faithful brethren of their old faith,—wolves ravening the lambs, even as our Saviour had foretold. The blasphemies of this Satanic brood were beyond description. They boasted that they could produce traditions to prove anything they liked. What would his Friend say of their profanity in pretending that the Lord had sent to Abu Bekr, saying, "O Abu Bekr, I am well pleased with thee; art thou likewise well pleased with me?"2 It was the old tale,—there was no prophet but his followers fabricated lies about him. Of a similar kind were the mass of contradictory traditions about the Call to prayer, (Adzān) Funeral rites, Prayers, Fasts, Festivals, &c., which it would be wearisome to detail, and his Friend knew it all. The passage is wound up with a scathing denunciation of these hypocritical and blasphemous liars. He had spared the mention of their calumnies against the existing Government, the name of Islam, Prophets, Holy men, &c. But their profanities (like those he had mentioned) were so horrible, the wonder was that they were not destroyed by a thunder-

1  I do not know to what person allusion is here made, and again below at p. 89.

2  As usual, the illustrations go in depreciation of Abu Bekr, as was the fashion of the Alyites at Al Māmūn's court. A few reigns later, no one would have dared to repeat traditions affecting the character of the first three Caliphs.