CÆSAR. The Arabic and Persian form of the Latin Cæsar is Qaisar. The word occurs in the traditions of the Sahihu 'l-Mus1im (vol. ii p.99), where it is applied to the Emperor Heraclius who received a letter from Muhammad inviting him to Islam, when he was at Edessa on his way to Jerusalem, August, A.D. 628. The origin of the title is uncertain. Spartianus, in his life of Aelius verus (c. ii) mentions four different opinions respecting its origin: (1) That the word signified an elephant in the language of the Moors, and was given as a surname to one of the Julii because he had killed an elephant; or (2) That it was given to one of the Julii because he had been cut (caesus out of his mother's womb after her death; or (3) Because he had been born with a great quantity of hair (caesaries) on his head; or (4) Because he had azure-coloured (caesii) eyes. Of these opinions the second is the one adopted by the Arabic-Persian Dictionary the Ghiyan 'l-Lughat.
The first of the Julian family who occurs in history as having obtained the surname of Cæsar is Sex. Julius Cæsar, prætor in B.C. 208. It was first assumed as an imperial title by Augustus as the adopted son of the dictator, and was by Augustus handed down to his adopted son Tiberius. It continued to be used by Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, as members, either by adoption or female descent of Cæsar's family; but though the family became extinct with Nero, succeeding emperors still retained it as part of their titles, and it was the practice to prefix it to their own name, as for instance, Imperator Cæsar Domitianus Augustus. The title was superseded in the Greek Empire under Alexis Commenus by that of Sebastocrator. In the west, it was conferred on Charles the Great, and was borne by those who succeeded him on the imperial throne. Although this dignity came to an end with the resignation Francis II, in 1806, the title Kaiser is still assumed by the Emperors of Austria and Germany, and more recently by the Queen of England as Qaisar-i-Hind or Empress of India.
CAIN. Arabic Qabil. The account of Cain and Abel is given in the Qur'an, Surah v. 30, will be found in the article ABEL. The Commentators say that the occasion of making the offering was as follows: Each of them being born with a twin sister, Adam by God's direction ordered Cain to marry Abel's twin sister, and Abel to marry Cain's, but that Cain refused. They were then ordered to submit the question by making a sacrifice, and Cain offered a sheaf of the very worst of his corn, whilst Abel offered the best fatted lamb of his flock. (Tafsiru 'l-Baizawi, in loco.)
CALEB. Arabic Kalab. The son of Jephunneh (Yufannah). He is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but his name occurs in the Tafsiru 'l-Baizawi, in Surah iv. 13.
CALF, GOLDEN, The, which the Isaelites worshipped, is mentioned five times in the Qur'an. Surahs ii. 48, 88; iv. 152; vii. 146; xx. 90. In Surah xx. 90, the person who made it is said to be as-Samiri [MOSES.]
CALUMNY is expressed by the word Ghibah, which means anything whispered to the detriment of an absent person, although it be true. Buhtan expressing a false accusation. It is strictly forbidden in both the Qur'an and Hadis. [GHIBAH.]
CAMEL. Arabic. Ibil. In the Qur'an (Surah lxxxviii. 17), the institution of camels to ride upon is mentioned as an example of God's wisdom and kindness: "Do they not look then at the camel how she is created." As a proof of the great usefulness of the camel to the Arabian, and of the manner in which its very existence has influenced his language, it is remarkable that in almost every page of the Arabic Dictionary Qamus (as also in Richardson's edition), there is some reference to a camel.
Camels are a lawful sacrifice on the great festivals and on other occasions. And although it is lawful to slay a camel by zabh or by merely cutting its throat, the most eligible method, according to Muslim law, is to slay a camel by nahr or by spearing it in the hollow of the throat near the breast bone, because, says Abu Hanafah, it is according to the sunnah, or practice of Muhammad, and also because in that part of the throat bloodvessels of a camel are combined. (Hamilton's Hidayah vol. iv. p. 72.) There is zakat, or legal alms, or camels. [ZAKAT.] Muhammadan law rules that the person who leads a string of camels is responsible for anything any one of the camels may injure or tread down (Ibid., iv. 379.)
CANAAN. Arabic Kan`an According to al-Jalalain and al-Baizawi, the commentators, Canaan was the unbelieving son of Noah, but, according to the Qamus dictionary, the grandson, who was drowned in the flood, and whose case is recorded in the Qur'an (Surah xi., 44). He is said to be a son of Noah's wife Wa`ilah, who was an infidel. "And the Ark moved on them amid waves like mountains: and Noah called to his son - for he was apart - 'Embark with us, O my child! and be not with the unbelievers.' He said, 'I will betake me to a mountain that shall secure me from the water. He said, 'None shall be secure this day from the decree of God, save him on whom He shall have mercy.' And a wave passed between them, and he was among the drowned."
CAPTIVES. Asir, pl. Usura, and Usara'. With respect to captives, the Imam, or leader of the army, has it in his choice to slay them, "because the Prophet put captives death, and also because slaying them terminates wickedness"; or he may if he choose make them slaves. It is not lawful for the Imam to send captives back to their home and country, because that would be to strengthen the cause of infidelity against Islam. If they become Muslims after their capture, they must not be put to death, but they may be sold after their conversion. A converted captive must not be suffered to return to his country, and it is not lawful to release a captive gratuitously. The only method of dividing plunder which consists of slaves, is by selling them at the end of the expedition and then dividing the money (Hidayah, ii. 160.) [SLAVERY.]
CARAVAN. Persian Karwan, Arabic Qafilah. As the roads in the East are often unsafe and lead through dreary wastes, merchants and travellers associate together for mutual defence and comfort. These companies are called both karwan and qafilah. The party is always under the direction of a paid director, who is called Karwan- or Qafilah-Bashi. If a caravan is attacked on the road, the Muhammadan law allows the punishment of crucifixion for the offence. (Hidayah, vol. ii. 131.) But it is a curious provision of the Muslim law that if some of the travellers in a caravan commit a robbery upon others of the same caravan, punishment (i.e. of amputation) is not incurred by them. (Vol ii. 137.)
CARRION (Arabic Maitah) is forbidden in the Qur'an, Surah ii. 80. "That which dieth of itself and blood, and swine's flesh, and that over which any other name than that of God hath been invoked, is forbidden. But he who shall partake of them by constraint, without lust or willfulness, no sin shall be upon him."
CASTING LOTS. Zalam, or casting lots by shooting arrows, was an ancient Arabic custom, which is forbidden by Muhammad in his Qur'an, Surah v. 4; but qur`ah or casting lots, in its ordinary sense, is not forbidden, for `Ayishah relates that when the Prophet went on a journey, he used to cast lots as to which wife he should take with him. (Mishkat Babu 'l-Qasam.)
CATS. Arabic Hirrah. According to a Hadis of Abu Qutadah, who was one of the Companions, Muhammad said, "Cats are not impure, they keep watch around us." He used water from which a cat had drunk for his purifications and his wife `Ayishah ate from a vessel from which a cat had eaten. (Mishkat, book iii., c. 10, pt. 2.)
CATTLE. Arabic An`am. They are said in the Qur'an to be the gift of God. Surah xl. 79, "God it is who hath made for you cattle that ye may ride on some and eat others."
Cattle kept for the purpose of labour, such as carrying burthens, drawing ploughs, &c., are not subject to zakat, neither is there zakat on cattle who are left to forage for one half year or more. (Hidayah, i. 18)
Al-An`am is the title of the sixth Surah of the Qur'an.
CAVE, The Companions of the (Arabic Ashabu 'l-kahf) or the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, form the subject of one of the chapters of the Quran, Surah xviii. 6. [ASHABU 'L-KAHF]
CELIBACY (Arabic `Uzubah), although not absolutely condemned by Muhammad, is held to be a lower form of life to that of marriage. It is related that `Usman ibn Maz`un wished to lead a celebate life and the Prophet forbade him, for, said he, "When a Muslim marries he perfects his religion." (Mishkat, book xii., c. xx.)
CEYLON. Arabic Sarandib. The Commentators say that when Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise, Adam fell on the island of Ceylon, and Eve near Jiddah in Arabia, and that after a separation of 200 years, Adam was, on his repentance, conducted by the angel Gabriel to a mountain near Makkah, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being named `Arafah; and that afterwards he retired with her to Ceylon, when they continued to propagate their species. (D'Herbelot. Bibl. Orient., p. 55.)
CHASTITY. "Neither their (the Muslims') tenets nor their practice will in any respect bear to come into competition with Christian, or even with Jewish morality. ... For instance, we call the Muslims chaste because they abstained from indiscriminate profligacy, and kept carefully within the bounds prescribed as licit by their Prophet. But those bounds besides the utmost freedom of divorce and change of wives, admitted an illimitable licence of cohabitation with 'all that the right hand of the believer might possess,' or, in other words, with any possible number of damsels he might choose to purchase, or receive in gift, or take captive in war." (Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. i. 272. [CONCUBINAGE, SLAVES, MUT`AH, DIVORCE, MARRIAGE.]
CHARITY, as it implies tenderness and affection, is expressed by hubb, or mahabbah; as it denotes almsgiving, it is sadaqah. He who is liberal and charitable to the poor is called muhibbu 'l-fuqara'.
CHERUBIM. Arabic Karubi, pl. Karubin; Lit. "Those who are near." Heb. The word karubin is used by the commentator al-Baizawi, for the angels mentioned in the Qur'an, Surah xl. 70: "Those around it (the throne of God) celebrate the praise of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask pardon for those who believe." Al-Baizawi says the Karubin are the highest rank, and the first created angels. Husain says there are 70,000 ranks of them round the throne of God (Tafsiru 'l-Baizawi, Tafsiru Husain, in loco.)
CHESS. Arabic Shatranj. According to the Hidiyah, "It is an abomination to play at chess, dice, or any other game, for if anything be staked it is gambling (maisir), which is expressly forbidden in the Qur'an; or if, on the other hand nothing be hazarded it is useless and vain. Besides, the Prophet has declared all the entertainment of a Muslim to be vain except three: the breaking in of his horse, the drawing of his bow, and playing and amusing himself with his wives. Several of the learned, however, deem the game at chess lawful as having a tendency to quicken the understanding. This is the opinion of ash-Shafi`i. If a man play at chess for a stake, it destroys the the integrity of his character, but if he do not play for a stake, the integrity of his character is not affected. (Hamilton's Hidayah, vol. iv. p. l22.)
CHILDREN. Arabic Aulad. There are no special injunctions in the Qur'an regarding the customs to be observed at the birth of an infant (circumcision not being even once mentioned in that book), nor with reference to the training and instruction of the young; but the subject is frequently referred to in the Traditions and in Muhammadan books on Ethics. Muhammadans have so largely incorporated the customs of the Hindus in India with their own, especially those observed at the birth of children, that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish those which are special characteristic of Islam; many of the customs recorded in Herklot's Musalmans, for example, being merely those common to Hindus as well as Muhammadans. We shall, however, endeavour to describe those which are generally admitted to have some authority in the precepts of the Muslim religion.
(1.) At the birth of a child, after he has been properly washed with water and bound in swaddling clothes, he is carried by the midwife to the assembly of male relatives and friends, who have met on the occasion, when the chief Maulawi, or some person present, recites the Azan, or summons to prayer. [AZAN], in the infant's right ear, and the Iqamah which is the Azan with the addition of the words, "We are standing up for prayers" [IQAMAH] in the left ear; a custom which is founded on the example of the Prophet, who is related to have done so at the birth of his grandson Hasan (Mishkat, book xviii. c. iv. 2). The Maulawi then chews a little date fruit and inserts it into the infant's month, a custom also founded upon the example of Muhammad. (Mishkat, book xviii. c. iv. 1.) This ceremony being over, alms are distributed, and fatihahs are recited for the health and prosperity of the child. According to the traditions, the amount of silver given in alms should be of the same weight as the hair on the infant's head - the child's head being shaved for this purpose. (Mishkat, ibid., part 2.) The friends and neighbours then visit the home, and bring presents, and pay congratulatory compliments on the joyful occasion.
(2.) The naming of the child should, according to the Traditions (Mishkat, ibid.), be
given on the seventh day; the child being either named after some member of the family, or after some saint venerated by the family or some name suggested by the auspicious hour, the planet, or the sign of the zodiac. [EXORCISM.]
(3.) On this, the seventh day, is observed also the ceremony of `Aqiqah, established by Muhammad himself (Babu 'l-`Aqiqah in Arabic Ed. Sahih of Abu Daud. vol. ii. p. 36.) It consists of a sacrifice to God, in the name of the child, of two he-goats for a boy, and one he-goat for a girl. The goats must not be above a year old, and without spot or blemish. The animal is dressed and cooked, and whilst the friends eat of it, they offer the fo1lowing prayer:- "O God! I offer to thee instead of my own offspring life for life, blood for blood, head for head, bone for bone, hair for hair, skin for skin. In the name of the great God, I do sacrifice this goat!"
(4.) The mother is purified on the fortieth day, when she is at liberty to go about as usual, and it is on this day that the infant is generally placed in the swinging cradle peculiar to eastern households. It is a day of some rejoicing among the members of the Haram.
(5.) As soon as the child is able to talk, or when he has attained the age of four years, four months, and four days, he is taught the Bismillah; that is, to recite the inscription which occurs at the commencement of the Qur'an: "Bi-'smi 'llahi 'r-rahmani 'r-rahim." In the name of God the Merciful, the Gracious. After the ceremony, the child is sent to school and taught the alphabet, and to recite certain chapters of the Qur'an by rote.
(6.) According to the opinion of Sunni doctors, the circumcision of the child should take place in his seventh year the operation being generally performed by the barber. [CIRCUMCISION.] The child is not required to observe all the customs of the Muslim law until he has arrived at puberty [PUBERTY]; but it is held incumbent on parents and guardians to teach him the prayers as soon as he has been circumcised.
(7.) The time when the child has finished reciting the whole of the Qur'an, once through, is also regarded as an important epoch in the life of a child. On this occasion the scholar makes his obeisance to his tutor and presents him with trays of sweetmeats, a suit of clothes, and money.
As we have already remarked, the instruction of youth is a frequent subject of discussion in books of Muslim Ethics. The following, which is taken from the Aklaq-i-Jalali, is an interesting specimen of Muhammadan ideas on the subject:- The first requisite is to employ a proper nurse of a well-balanced temperament, for the qualities, both temperamental and spiritual, of the nurse are communicated to the infant. Next, since we are recommended by the Traditions to give the name on the seventh day (after birth ), the precept had better be conformed to. In delaying it, however, there is this advantage, that time is given for a deliberate selection of an appropriate name. For if we give the child an ill-assorted one, his whole life is embittered in consequence. Hence caution in determining the name is one of the parent's obligations towards his offspring.
If we would prevent the child's acquiring culpable habits, we must apply ourselves to educate him as soon as weaned. For though men have a capacity for perfection, the tendency to vice is naturally implanted in the soul. The first requisite is to restrain him absolutely from all acquaintance with those excesses which are characterised as vice. For the mind of children is like a clear tablet, equally open to any inscription. Next to that, he should be taught the institutes of religion and rules of propriety, and, according as his power and capacity may admit, confined to their practice, and reprehended and restrained from their neglect. Thus, at the age of seven, we are told by the Traditions to enjoin him merely to say his prayers; at the age of ten, if he omits them, to admonish him by blows. By praising the good and censuring the bad, we should render him emulous of right and apprehensive of wrong. We should commend him when he performs a creditable action, and intimidate him when he commits a reprehensible one; and yet we should avoid, if possible, subjecting him to positive censure, imputing it rather to oversight, lest he grow audacious. If he keep his fault a secret, we are not to rend away the disguise; but if he do so repeatedly, we must rebuke him severely in private, aggravating the heinousness of such a practice and intimidating him from its repetition. We must beware, however, of too much frequency of detection and reproof, for fear of his growing used to censure, and contracting a habit of recklessness; and thus, according to the proverb, "Men grow eager for that which is withheld," feeling a tendency to repeat the offence. For these reasons we should prefer to work by enhancing the attraction of virtue.
On meat, drink, and fine clothing, he must be taught to look with contempt, and deeply impressed with the conviction that it is the practice of women only to prize the colouring and figuring of dress that men ought to hold themselves above it. The proprieties of meal-taking are these on which he should be earliest instructed, as far as he can acquire them. He should be made to understand that the proper end of eating is health and not gratification; that food and drink are a sort of medicine for the cure of hunger and thirst and just as medicines are only to be taken in the measure of need, according as sickness may require their influence, food and drink are only to be used in quantity sufficient to satisfy hunger and remove thirst. He should be forbidden to vary his diet, and taught to prefer limiting himself to a single dish. His appetite should also be checked, that he may be satisfied with meals at the stated hours. Let him not be a lover of delicacies. He should now and then be kept on dry bread only, in order that in time of need he may be
able to subsist on that. Habits like these are better than riches. Let his principal meal be made in the evening rather than the morning, or he will be overpowered by drowsiness and lassitude during the day. Flesh let him have sparingly, or he will grow heavy and dull. Sweetmeats and other such aperient food should be forbidden him, as likewise all liquid at the time of meals. Incumbent as it is on all men to eschew strong drinks, there are obvious reasons why it is superlatively so on boys, impairing them both in mind and body, and leading to anger, rashness, audacity, and levity, qualities which such a practice is sure to confirm. Parties of this nature he should not be allowed unnecessarily to frequent, nor to listen to reprehensible conversation. His food should not be given to him till he has despatched his tasks, unless suffering from positive exhaustion. He must be forbidden to conceal any of his actions, lest he grow bold in impropriety; for, manifestly, the motive to concealment can be no other than an idea that they are culpable. Sleeping in the day and sleeping overmuch at night, should be prohibited. Soft clothing and all the uses of luxury such as cool retreats in the hot season and fires and fur in the cold, he should he taught to abstain from; he should be inured to exercise, foot-walking, horse-riding, and all other appropriate accomplishments.
Next, let him learn the proprieties of conversation and behaviour. Let him not he tricked out with trimmings of the hair and womanly attention to dress, nor be presented with rings till the proper time for wearing them. Let him be forbidden to boast to his companions of his ancestry or worldly advantages. Let him be restrained from speaking untruths or from swearing in any case, whether true or false; for an oath is wrongful in anyone, and repugnant to the letter of the Traditions, when required by the interest of the public. And even though oaths may be requisite to men, to boys they never can be so. Let him be trained to silence, to speaking only when addressed, to listening in the presence of his elders, and expressing himself correctly.
For in instructor he should have a man of principle and intelligence, well acquainted with the discipline of morals, fond of cleanliness, noted for stateliness, dignity, and humanity well acquainted with the dispositions of kings, with the etiquette of dining in their company, and with the terms of intercourse with all classes of mankind. It is desirable that others, of his kind, and especially sons of noblemen, whose manners have always a distinguished elegance, should be at school with him, so that in their society he may escape lassitude, learn demeanour, and exert himself with emulation in his studies. If the instructor correct him with blows, he must be forbidden to cry, for that is the practice of slaves and imbeciles. On the other hand, the instructor must be careful not to resort to blows, except he is witness of an offence openly committed. When compelled to inflict them, it is desirable in the outset to make them small in number and great in pain; otherwise the warning is not so efficacious, and he may grow audacious enough to repeat the offence.
Let him be encouraged to liberality, and taught to look with contempt on the perishable things of this world; for more ill comes from the love of money than from the simoom of the desert or the serpent of the field. The Imam al-Ghazzali, in commenting on the text, "Preserve me and them from idolatry," says that by idols is here meant gold and silver; and Abraham's prayer is that he and his descendants may be kept far removed from the worship of gold and silver, and from fixing their affections on them; because the love of these was the root of all evil. In his leisure hours he may be allowed to play, provided that it does not lead to excess of fatigue or the commission of anything wrong.
When the discerning power begins to preponderate, it should be explained to him that the original object of worldly possessions is the maintenance of health; so that the body may be made to last the period requisite to the spirit's qualifying itself for the life eternal. Then, if he is to belong to the scientific classes, let him he instructed in the sciences. Let him be employed (as soon as disengaged from studying the essentials of the religion) in acquiring the sciences. The best course is to ascertain, by examination of the youth's character for what science or art he is best qualified and to employ him accordingly; for, agreeably to the proverb, "All facilities are not created to the same person"; everyone is not qualified for every profession, but each for a particular one.
This, indeed, is the expression of a principle by which the fortunes of man and of the world are regulated. With the old philosophers it was a practice to inspect the horoscope of nativity, and to devote the child to that profession which appeared from the planetary positions to be suitable to his nature. When a person is adapted to a profession, he can acquire it with little pains; and when unadapted, the utmost he can do is but to waste his time and defer establishment in life. When a profession bears an incongruity with his nature, and means and appliances are unpropitious, we should not urge him to pursue it, but exchange it for some other, provided that there is no hope at all of succeeding with the first; otherwise it may lead to his perplexity. In the prosecution of every profession, let him adopt a system which will call into play the ardour of his nature, assist him in preserving health, and prevent obesity and lassitude.
As soon as he is perfect in a profession, let him be required to gain his livelihood thereby; in order that, from an experience of its advantages, he may strive to master it completely, and make full progress in the minutiae of its principles. And for this livelihood he must be trained to look to that honourable emolument which characterise the well-connected. He must not
depend on the provision afforded by his father. For it generally happens, when the sons of the wealthy, by the pride of their parents' opulence, are debarred from acquiring a profession, that they sink by the vicissitudes of fortune into utter insignificance. Therefore, when he has so far mastered his profession as to earn a livelihood, it is expedient to provide him with a consort, and let him depend on his separate earning. The Kings of Fars, forbearing to bring their sons up surrounded by domestics and retinue, sent them off to a distance, in order to habituate them to a life of hardship. The Dilemite chiefs had the same practice. A person bred upon the opposite principle can hardly be brought to good, especially if at all advanced in years; like hard wood which is with difficulty straightened. And this was the answer Socrates gave when asked why his intimacies lay chiefly among the young.
In training daughters to that which befits them, domestic ministration, rigid seclusion, chastity, modesty, and the other qualities already appropriated to women - no care can be too great. They should be made emulous of acquiring the virtues of their sex, but must be altogether forbidden to read and write. When they reach the marriageable age, no time should be lost in marrying them to proper mates. (See Akhlaq-i-Jalali, Thompson's ed.)
CHILD STEALING. The hand of a thief is not to be cut off for stealing a free-born child, although there be ornaments upon it, because a free person is not property, and the ornaments are only appendages; and also because the thief may plead that he took the child up when it was crying, with a view to appease it, and to deliver it to the nurse. But Abu Yusuf does not agree with Hanifah; for he says where the value of the ornaments amounts to ten dirms, amputation is incurred. Amputation is also inflicted for stealing an infant slave, because a slave is property, though Abu Yusuf says it is not. (Hidiyah, ii. 91.)
CHOSROES. Arabic Khusraw. The King of Persia to whom Muhammad sent a letter inviting him to Islam. He is said to be Nausherwan. (See Ghiyasu 'l-Lughat, in loco; refer also to Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. 54 n.)
CHRIST. [JESUS CHRIST.]
CHRISTIANITY and CHRISTIANS. Arabic, Nasraniyah, Christianity"; the terms used for Christians being Nasran, pl. Nasara, or `Isawi.
Christianity seems to have been widely diffused in Arabia at the time of Muhammad. According to Caussin de Perceval, who quotes from Arabic writers, Christianity existed amongst the Banu Taghlib of Mesopotamia, the Banu `Abdu 'l-Qais, the Banu Haris of Najran, the Banu Ghassan of Syria, and other tribes between al-Madinah and al-Kufah.
The historian Philostorges (Hist. Eccles. lib. 1, c. 3) tells us that a monk named Theophilus was sent by the Emperor Constance A.D. 342; to the Himyarite King of Yaman, and obtained permission to build three Christian churches for those who professed Christianity; one at Zafar, another at `Adan, and a third at Hurmuz on the Persian Gulf. According to the same author, the Christian religion was introduced into Najran in the fifth century. A Bishop sent by the Patriarch of Alexandria was established in the city of Zafar, and we are told by Muslim authors, quoted by Caussin de Perceval, that a Christian church was built at San`a' which was the wonder of the age, the Roman Emperor and the Viceroy of Abyssinia furnishing the materials and workmen for the building. The Arabs of Yaman were ordered by the ruler of Abyssinia to perform a pilgrimage to this new church instead of to the Ka`bah; an edict which is said to have been resisted and to have given rise to the "War of the Elephant," when Abrahah, the Viceroy of Egypt, took an oath that he would destroy the Meccan temple, and marched at the head of an army of Abyssinians mounted on an elephant. This "War of the Elephant" marks the period of Muhammad's birth. [MUHAMMAD.]
The Christianity of this period is described by Mosheim as expiring under a motley and enormous heap of superstitious inventions, with neither the courage nor the force to raise her head or display her national charms to a darkened and deluded world." Doubtless much of the success of Islam in its earlier stage was due to the state of degradation into which the Christian Church had fallen. The bitter dissensions of the Greeks, Nestorians, Eutychians, and Monophysites are matters of history, and must have held up the religion of Jesus to the ridicule of the heathen world. The controversies regarding the nature and person of our Divine Lord had begotten a sect ot Tritheists, led by a Syrian philosopher named John Philoponus of Alexandria, and are sufficient to account for Muhammad's conception of the Blessed Trinity. The worship of the Virgin Mary had also given rise to a religious controversy between the Antiduo-Marianites and the Collyridans; the former holding that the Virgin was not immaculate, and the latter raising her to a position of a goddess. Under the circumstances it is not surprising to find that the mind of the Arabian reformer turned away from Christianity and endeavoured to construct a religion on the lines of Judaism. [JUDAISM.]
Al-Baizawi and other Muslim commentators, admit that Muhammad received Christian instruction from learned Christian named Jubra and Yasara (al-Baizawi on Surah xvi. 105), and that on this account the Quraish said: "It is only some mortal that teaches him!" For the Traditions relate that Muhammad used to stop and listen to these two Christians as they read aloud the Books of Moses (Taurat) and the New Testament (Injil). But it is remarkable that Muhammad
should, after all, have obtained such a cursory knowledge of Christianity. For from the text of the Qur'an (extracts of which are subjoined) it is evident that he was under the impression that the Sacrament of Baptism was Sibghah, or the dyeing of the Christians' clothes; and if the Chapter of the Table refers to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper (which is uncertain), it was "a table sent out of heaven that it may be a recurring festival." The doctrine of the Trinity is supposed to be a Tritheism of God, Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary; and a proof against the Divinity of Christ is urged from the fact that he and His mother "both ate food." The crucifixion is denied, and Mary the mother of Jesus is confounded with Mary the sister of Aaron. Such mistakes and omissions could only arise from a most imperfect acquaintance with the ordinary institutions and beliefs of the Christian communities, with whom Muhammad must have been brought in contact. The gentler tone and spirit of the Christians seems to have won the sympathy of Muhammad, and his expressions regarding them are less severe than with reference to the Jews; but the abstruse character of their creed, as shown in their endless schisms regarding the nature of the Trinity and the person of Christ, and the idolatrous character of their worship, as still seen in the ancient Syrian and Coptic churches, led him to turn from Christianity to Judaism as a model whereby to effect the reformation of a degraded and idolatrous people like the ancient Arabians. The Jewish and Mosaic character of Muhammad's system will be treated of in another place. [JUDAISM.]
The following selections from the Qur'an will show the actual teaching of that book regarding Christianity. In the whole of the Qur'an there is not a single quotation from the New Testament, and it is noticeable that nearly all the allusions to Christianity are contained in Meccan Surahs; Surah ii. being according to Jalalu 'd-din Suyuti, one of the earliest chapters given at Makkah. and Surah v. the last.
Surah v. 85:-
Of all men thou wilt certainly find the Jews, and those who join other gods with God, to be the most intense in hatred of those who believe; and thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest in affection to them who say, 'We are Christians.' This, because there are amongst them priests (qissisun) and monks, and because they are not proud."
Surah ii. 59:-
"Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites - whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved."
(The same verse occurs again in Surah v. 74.)
Surah ii. 105:-
"And they say, 'None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:' This is their wish. SAY: give your proofs if ye speak the truth. But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what is right, - their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved. Moreover, the Jews say, 'The Christians lean on naught:' 'On naught lean the Jews,' say the Christians. Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge. But on the resurrection day, God shall judge between them as to that in which they differ. And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God's name from being remembered in His temples and who hasteth to ruin them? Such men cannot enter them but with fear. Theirs is shame in this world, and a severe torture in the next. The East and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God. Truly God is immense and knoweth all. And they say, 'God hath a son:' No! Praise be to Him! But - His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him, sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! And when He decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, 'Be,' and it is. And they who have no knowledge say, 'Unless God speak to us, or thou shew us a sign...!' So, with like words, said those who were before them: their hearts are alike. Clear signs have we already shown for these who have firm faith. Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a hearer of good tidings and a warner: and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be questioned. But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with thee. SAY: Verily, guidance of God, - that is the guidance! And if, after the Knowledge which hath reached thee, thou follow their desires, thou shalt find neither helper nor protector against God."
Surah iv. 156:-
"Nay, but God hath sealed them up for their unbelief, so that but few believe. And for their unbelief, - and for their having spoken against Mary a grievous calumny, - and for their saying, 'Verily we have slain the Messiah (Masih), Jesus (`Isa) the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.' Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not, but they had only his likeness. And they who differed about him were in doubt concerning him. No sure knowledge had they about him, but followed only an opinion, and they did not really slay him, but God took him up to himself. And God is Mighty, Wise!"
Surah ii. 130:
"They say, moreover, 'Become Jews or Christians that ye may have the true guidance.' SAY : Nay! the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith, and not one of those who join gods with God!
Say ye: We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes: and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make between any of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims).' If therefore, they believe even as ye believe, then have they true guidance; but if they turn back, then do they cut themselves off from you: and God will suffice to protect thee against them, for He is the Hearer, the Knower. The Baptism of God, and who is better to baptize than God? And Him do we serve."
They surely are Infidels who say, 'God is the third of three:' for there is no God but one God: and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall light on such of them as are Infidels. Will they not, therefore, be turned unto God, and ask pardon of Him? since God is forgiving, Merciful! The Messiah, son of Mary, is but an Apostle; other Apostles have flourished before him; and his mother was a just person: they both ate food. Behold! how we make clear to them the signs! then behold how they turn aside! SAY: Will ye worship, beside God, that which can neither hurt nor help? But God! He only Heareth, Knoweth. SAY: O people of the Book! outstep not bounds of truth in your religion; neither follow the desires of those who have already gone astray, and who have caused many to go astray, and have themselves gone astray from the evenness of the way. Those among the children of Israel who believed not were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, Son of Mary. This, because they were rebellious, and became transgressors: they forbade not one another the iniquity which they wrought! detestable are their actions!"
Surah v.18: -
"And of those who say, 'We are Christians,' have we accepted the covenant. But they too have forgotten a part of what they were taught; wherefore we have stirred up enmity and hatred among them that shall last till the day of the Resurrection; and in the end will God tell them of their doings. O people of the Scriptures! now is our Apostle come to you to clear up to you much that ye concealed of those Scriptures, and to pass over many things. Now hath a light and a clear Book come to you from God, by which God will guide him who shall follow after His good pleasure to paths of peace, and will bring them out of the darkness to the light, by His will: and to the straight path will He guide them. Infidels now are they who say 'Verily God is al-Masih Ibn Maryam (the Messiah, son of Mary)! SAY: And who could aught obtain from God, if He chose to destroy al-Masih, Ibn Maryam, and his mother, and all who are on the earth together?' For with God is the sovereignty of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them! He createth what He will; and over all things is God potent. Say the Jews and Christians, 'Sons are we of God and His beloved.' SAY Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay! ye are but a part of the men whom He hath created!
Surah v 58: -
"O Believers! take not the Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one another's friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them! God will not guide the evil-doers. So shalt thou see the diseased at heart speed away to them and say, 'We fear, lest a change of fortune befall us,' But haply God will of Himself bring about some victory or event of His own ordering: then soon will they repent them of their secret imaginings."
Surah xxii. 18:-
"As to those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeites, and the Christians, and,the Magians and those who join other gods with God, of a truth, God shall decide between them on the day of resurrection: for God is witness of all things."
Surah v. 112:-
Remember when the Apostles said - 'O Jesus, Son of Mary! is Thy Lord able to send down a furnished TABLE to us out of Heaven?' He said - 'Fear God if ye be believers.' They said - 'We desire to eat therefrom, and to have our hearts assured; and to know that thou hast indeed spoken truth to us, and to be witnesses thereof' 'Jesus, Son of Mary, said - 'O God, our Lord! send down a table to us out ,of heaven, that it may become a recurring festival to us, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from Thee; and do Thou nourish us, for Thou art the best of nourishers.' And God said - Verily, I will cause it to descend unto you; but whoever, among you after that shall disbelieve, I will surely, chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I will not chastise any other creature. And when God shall say - 'O Jesus, Son of Mary, hast Thou said unto mankind-' "Take me and my mother as two Gods, beside God?"' He shall say - 'Glory be unto Thee! it is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; ha d I said thus, verily Thou wouldst have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knoweet things unseen!"
Surah xix. 35: -
"This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He decreeth a thing, he only saith to it, Be, and it is. And verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; adore Him then. This is the right way. But The Sects have fallen to, variance among themselves about Jesus: but woo
because of the assembly of the great day, to those who believe not!"
The only New Testament saints mentioned by name in the Qur'an, are John the Baptist, Zacharias, and the Virgin Mary.
In the Mishkatu 'l-Masabih, there are recorded in the traditional sayings of Muhammad, about six apparent plagiarisms from the New Testament; but whether they are the plagiarisms of Muhammad himself or of those who profess to record his sayings, it is impossible to tell:-
Abu Harairah says the Prophet said, "Of the seven persons whom God in the last day, will draw to Himself, will be a man who has given alms and concealed it, so that his left hand knoweth not the what the right hand doeth (Book i. c. viii pt. I Matt. vi. 3)
Again: "God accepts not the prayers of those who pray in long robes (Book c. ix pt. 2; comp Matt. xii 38.)
Again: "The doors of the celestial regions shall not open to them (the wicked) until a camel pass through the eye of a needle." (Book v. c. iii. pt. 3 comp Mark x 25.)
Abu Umamah relates that the Prophet said, "Blessed be Him who hath seen me. And blessed be him who hath not seen me and yet hath believed." (Book xxiv. c. xxvi. pt. 3; comp. John xx. 29.)
Mu'az relates that the Prophet said, "Do unto all men as you would they should do unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself." (Book i. c. i pt. 3; Matt. vii 12.)
Abu Hurairah relates that the, Prophet said, "Verily God will say in the day of resurrection, O ye sons of men! I was sick and ye did not visit me. And the sons of men will say, O Thou defender how could we visit Thee, for Thou art the Lord of the universe, and art free from sickness? And God will say, O ye sons of men, did you not know that such a one of my servants was sick and ye did not visit him," &c. (Book v. c. i. pt. 1; comp. Matt. xxv. 21.)
Although it would be difficult to prove it from the text of the Qur'an, the general belief of Muhammadans is that Christians are not in a state of salvation, and Laza or the "blazing fire," mentioned in Surah lxx. 15, is according to the Imam al-Baghawi, reserved for them.
The condition of a Christian in a Muslim state is that of a Zimmi, one who pays tribute to a Muhammadan governor, for which he enjoys protection. He is allowed to repair any old church which may have been in existence at the time the country was subdued Islam, but he is not allowed to erect new ones: "for," says Abu Hanifah, "the construction of churches and synagogues in Muslim territory is unlawful being forbidden in the Traditions." "It also behoves the Imam to make distinction between Muslims and Zimmis (i.e. Christians Jews,, and others paying tribute. It is therefore not allowable for them to ride upon horses or use armour, or to wear the same dresses as Muslims." The reason for this, says Abu Hanifah, "is that Muhamadans are to be held in honour and Zimmis are not,"
The wives also of Zimmis are to be kept apart from those of Muslims on the public roads and baths. And it is also ordered that a mark should be placed on their doors, in order that when Muslim beggars come to them they should not pray for them!
The learned have ruled that a Zimmi should not be allowed to ride at all, except in cases of necessity, and if he be thus of necessity allowed to ride, he should dismount when he meets a Muslim. (Hidayah, vol ii. 219.)
A judge when he administers an oath to administers an oath, must direct him to say: "I swear by the God who sent the Gospel to Jesus."
It is a singular ruling of the Muhammadan law that a claim of parentage made by a Christian is preferable to a claim of bondage advanced by a Muslim. Abu Hanifah says if a boy be in the possession of two men, the one a Muslim and the other a Christian, and the Christian assert that the boy is his son, and the Muslim assert that he is his slave, he must be decreed to be the son of the Christian and free, because, although Islam is the superior religion, there can be no balance between the claim of offspring and the claim of bondage. (Idem., vol. iv. l33.)
Sir William Muir referring to Muhammad's reception of the Banu Hanifah and other Christian tribes, A.H. 9, says, "On the departure of the embassy the Prophet gave them a vessel with some water in it, running over from his own ablutions, and said to them, 'When ye reach your country, break down your church, sprinkle its site with this water. and build a Masjid in its place.' These commands they carried into effect, and abandoned Christianity without compunction. To another Christian tribe he prohibited the practice of baptism; so that although the adults continued to be nominally Christian, their children grew up with no provision but that of the Qur'an..... It is no wonder that Christianity, thus insulted and trampled under foot, languished and soon disappeared from the peninsula." (Life of Mahomet, vol. iv, 219.)
CHURCHES. Arabic Bia'h and Kunisah, which terms include equally churches and synagogues. The construction of churches or synagogues in Muslim territory is unlawful, this being forbidden in the Traditions: but as for places of worship which belonged to the Jews or Christians before the country was conquered by the Muhammadan power, they are at liberty to repair them, because the buildings cannot endure for ever, and, as the Imam of the Muslim army has left these people to the exercise of their own religion, it is a necessary inference
that he has engaged not to prevent them from building or repairing their churches or synagogues, however, they attempt to remove these, and to build them in a place different from their former situation, the Imam must prevent them, since this is an actual construction. Monasteries and hermitages are under the same Law. Places of prayer within their dwellings are allowed to be constructed because they are merely an appurtenance to a private habitation. What is here said is held to be the rule with regard to cities, but not with respect to villages, because as the "tokens of Islam" (i.e. prayer, festivals, &c.) appear in cities, zimmis (i.e. those paying tax for protection) should not be permitted to exhibit the tokens of their infidelity in the face of Islam. But as the tokens of Islam do not appear in villages, the erection of churches and synagogues is not prohibited there. But the Imam Abu Hanifah held that this exemption merely applied to the village of Kusa, where the greater part of the inhabitants were zimmis. He adds that in the country of Arabia, Jews and Christians are prohibited from constructing synagogues and churches, either in cities or villages, according to the saying of the Prophet, "Two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia." (Hidayah, book ix. c. viii.)
If a Jew or a Christian, being in sound health, build a church or a synagogue and then die, such building is an inheritance, and descends to the heirs of the founder. According to Abu Hanifah, it is a pious appropriation; but his two disciples hold such erections to be sinful, and only to be considered as ordinary property. If a Jew or a Christian will that his house after his death shall be converted into either a synagogue or church, the bequest is valid. (Hidayah, book lii. c. vi.)
The following tradition related by Talaq Ibn `Ali (Mishkat, iv. c. viii. 2) exhibits Muhammad's determination to destroy Christian churches: "We told the Prophet that there was a church on our ground; and we requested the favour of his giving us the water which remained after he had performed wazu. And the Prophet called for water, performed wazu and washed out his mouth; after which he poured the water for us into a vessel and ordered us to return, saying, 'When you arrive, destroy your church (Arabic bi`ah), and pour this water on the spot, and build a mosque there."
CIRCUMCISION. Arabic Khitan, khitanah or khatanah. Circumcision is not once alluded to in the Qur'an. The omission is remarkable, and Muslim writers do not attempt any explanation of it. It is held to be sunnah, or founded upon the customs of the Prophet (Fatawa `Alamgiri, vol. iv. p. 237), and dating its institution from the time of Abraham. There is no authentic account of the circumcision of Muhammad, but it is asserted by some writers that he was born circumcised. This, however, is denied by the most eminent scholars (Raddu 'l-Mukhtar, vol. v. p. 835.)
In the Sahihu 'l-Bukhari, p. 931, a short chapter is devoted to the subject of khitan or "circumcision," in which there are three traditions:-
Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said one of the observances of Fitrah is circumcision.
Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said that Abraham was circumcised when he was eighty years old.
Said ibn Jubair relates that it was asked of Ibn 'Abbas, "How old were you when the Prophet died?" He said, "I was circumcised in the days when it occurred." And Jubair says they did not circumcise in those days until men were full grown.
It is recommended to be performed upon a boy between the ages of seven and twelve, but it is lawful to circumcise a child seven days after his birth. In the case of a convert to Islam from some other creed, to whom the operation may be an occasion of great suffering, it can be dispensed with, although it is considered expedient and proper for all new converts to be circumcised. In all cases an adult is expected to circumcise himself, as it is a shame for an adult person to uncover himself to another.
The circumcision of females is also allowed, and is commonly practised in Arabia (Fatawa `Alamgiri, vol. iv. p. 237.)
The barber is generally the person employed for the circumcision of boys, and the operation as practised by Muhammadans in India is performed in the following manner. A bit of stick is used as a probe, and carried round and round between the glans and prepuce to ascertain the exact extent of the frænum, and that no unnatural adhesions exist. The foreskin is then drawn forwards and a pair of forceps consisting of a couple of pieces of split bamboo, five or six inches long and a quarter of an inch thick, tied firmly together at one end with a string to the extent of an inch, applied from above in an oblique direction, so as to exclude about an inch and a half of the prepuce above and three-quarters of an inch below. The forceps severely grasping it, causes a good deal of pain, but this state of suffering does not continue long, since the next thing to be done is the removal which is done by one stroke of the razor drawn directly downwards. The hemorrhage which follows is inconsiderable and easily stopped by the application of burnt rags and ashes.
According to several Muhammadan doctors, there were seventeen of the prophets born in a circumcised state, namely, Zakariya, Shis, Idris, Yusuf, Hanzalah, `Isa, Musa, Adam, Nuh, Shu`aib, Sam, Lut, Salih, Sulaiman, Yahya, Hud, and Muhammad. (Durru 'l-Mukhtar, p. 619.)
CLEAN AND UNCLEAN ANIMALS. All quadrupeds that seize their prey with their teeth, and all birds which seize it with their talons, are unlawful (haram), the Prophet having prohibited mankind from eating them.
Hyenas and foxes, being both included under the class of animals of prey are unlawful. (This is the doctrine of Abu Hanifah, but ash-Shafi`i holds that they are lawful) Elephants and weasels are also animals of prey. Pelicans and kites are abominable ((makruh) because they devour dead bodies.
Crows which feed on grain are mubah or indifferent, but carrion crows and ravens are unlawful. Abu Hanifah says the magpie is indifferent ((mubah), but the Imam Yusuf say it is abominable (makruh).
Crocodiles and otters and wasps, and in general, all insects are makruh or abominable. The ass and the mule are both unlawful. According to Abu Hanifah and Malik, horse-flesh in unlawful, but ash-Shafi`i says it is indifferent. The f1esh of hares is also indifferent.
No animal that lives in the water, except fish, is lawful. But Malik allows them.
Fishes dying of themselves are unlawful, and so are all animals who are not slain by zabah (Hidayah, vol. iv. p. 74.) [ZABAH.]
It must be observed that in Muhammadan law animals are either halal, "lawful," or mubah, "indifferent", or makruh, "abominable" (i.e. which is condemned but still is lawful), or haram, "unlawful."
CLERGY. The Christian clergy are mentioned in the Qur'an with expressions of comparative praise. Surah v. 85: "Then wilt surely find in enmity against those who believe are the Jews and the idolaters; and thou wilt find those to be nearest in affection to them who say 'We are Christians'; that is because there are among them priests (qissisin) and monks and because they are not proud."
The Muhammadans have no class of people occupying the precise position of priest or clergy, although the Imams, or leaders of prayers in the public assembly, are persons of learning appointed by the congregation. In Central Asia, it is usual to set apart a learned man (well skilled in theology) by binding the turban round his head, the act being performed by a leading maulawi or scholar.
In Turkey and the western portion of Islam, those who are qualified to give an opinion in religious matters, and to take the lead in guiding the people in spiritual affairs, are called `uluma' (pl, of `alim), a term which has, in Hindustan and Central Asia, assumed the form of maulawi, a word derived from maula, "lord."
The recognised offices in Islam corresponding to that of a priest or religious teacher, are, Imam, Mufti, and Qazi. Imam (in addition to its being used for the Khalifah, or Caliph, in the Traditions), is the person who leads the public prayers, an office answering to the Latin Antistes. This official is appointed either by the congregation, or by the parish or section of the town or village, who frequent the mosque in which he leads the prayers. Mufti is the legal adviser, who decides difficult religious questions, and assists the Qazi, or judge. Qazi is the judge and the administrator of the law. The appointments of Mufti and Qazi are in the hands of the Muslim government of the place. It is usual for the Qazi to take the lead in prayers at funerals, whilst the Imam of the parish generally performs the nikah, or religious service at marriages. [MARRIAGE.]
These offices are not necessarily hereditary, but is usual in Muhammadan countries for them to pass from father to son. In India at the present time there are families who retain the title of Mufti and Qazi, although the duties connected with those offices are no longer performed by them.
CAUTION (Arabic Hazar) is enjoined by Muhammad who is related to have said: "A Muslim is not bitten twice at the same hole" "He is no perfect man who has not fallen into troub1e, for there is no skillful physician but experience." "When a man has spoken and has then looked first to his right and then to his left, what he has said is sacred to those present and they must not disclose it to others." (Mishkat, xxii. c. xviii.)
COLLECTOR OF TAXES. Arab `Ashir, a collector of the tenths; and `Amil mutasaddiq a collector of alms.
The Khalifah is to allow the officer employed in the collection of the zakat as much out of it as is in proportion of his labour, and will remunerate himself and his assistants. (Hidiyah, vol. i. p. 54.)
COMMANDMENTS, The Ten. In the Qur'an it is stated that God gave Moses certain monitions on tables (of stone), and also that he gave him nine clear signs. (See Surah vii. l42, and Surah xvii. 103.) These two statements have perplexed the commentators very much, and every effort is made by them to reconcile the nine signs with the Ten Commandments, although it is evident from the Qur'an itself, that the nine clear signs refer to the miracles of Moses. [PLAGUES OF EGYPT.]
According to the Traditions, the Prophet himself was a little confused in the matter and may to some extent be responsible for the mistakes of the commentators on his book, for it is related (Mishkat, book i. c. ii. pt. 2) that a Jew came to the Prophet and asked him about the nine (sic wonders which appeared by the hands of Moses. The Prophet said: "Do not associate anything with God, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not take an innocent before the king to be killed, do not practice magic, do not take interest, do not accuse an innocent woman of adultery, do not run away in battle, and especially for you, O Jews, not to work on the Sabbath." `Abdu 'l-Haqq remarks on this tradition that the Jew asked about the nine (sic) miracles (or plagues) of Egypt and the Prophet gave him the Ten Commandments.
A comparison of the Ten Commandments given by the great Jewish law-giver with those recorded in the above tradition, and in the vi-th Surah of the Qur'an, verse 152, will show how imperfectly the Arabian Prophet was acquainted with the Old Testament scriptures.
The commentator Husain, who wrote four hundred years ago, says the following verses in the Suratu 'l-An`am (vi.) are those Ten Commandments which in every dispensation are incumbent on mankind, and cannot be abrogated (meaning undoubtedly the Ten Commandments from Moses).
"SAY: Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on you - (1) that ye assign not aught to Him as a partner: (2) and that ye be good to your parents: (3) and that ye slay not your children, beause of poverty; for them and for you will we provide: (4) and that ye come not near to pollutions, outward or inward: (5) and that ye slay not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just cause. This hath he enjoined on you, to the intent that ye may understand. (6) And come not nigh to the substance of the orphan but to improve it, until he came of age: (7) and use a full measure, and a just balance: We will not task a soul beyond its ability. (8) And when ye give judgment, observe justice, even though if be the affair a kinsman, (9) and fulfill the covenant of God. This hath God enjoined you for your monition - And, 'this is my right way.' Follow it then: (10) and follow not other paths lest ye be scattered from His path. This hath He enjoined on that we may fear Him." (Surah vi. 152.)
COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL. Arabic Amiru 'l-Mu'minin A title given by the Muslims in the first instance to the first Khalifah, Abu Bakr, and afterwards retained by succeeding Khalifahs. It is assumed by almost any Muhammadan ruler in the present day.
COMMERCE. Arabic Tijarah . Commerce and merchandise are said in the Qur'an "to be of God." Surah xvii. 68: "It is your Lord who drives the ships for you in the sea that ye may seek after plenty from Him; verily He is ever merciful to you. And when distress touches you in the sea, those whom ye call upon, except Him, stray away from you; but when He has brought you safe to shore, ye also turn away (from God); for man is ever ungrateful."
Zakat is due on merchandise of every description, in proportion to 5 per cent.
COMPANIONS, The [ASHAB.]
COMPULSION. Arabic Ikrah . Muhammadan law makes provision for persons acting under compulsion, when the person who compels has it in his power to execute orders, he be king or a thief. (Hidayah, vol. iii. p. 452.) E.g. a person forced into a contract may dissolve it. A Muslim may lawfully eat food which is prohibited if he be compelled to do so, being threatened with loss of life or limb. Nor is a Muslim guilty of sin who declares himself an unbeliever when the loss of a limb or of life is threatened. According to the Imam Abu Hanifah, if a Muslim be compelled to divorce his wife, the divorce is valid; but with him the other three Imams are not agreed to this ruling.
CONCUBINE. Arabic Surriyah , pl. sarari. The Muhammadan religion appears to give almost unlimited license to concubinage, provided the woman be a slave and not a free Muslim woman.
Those female slaves must be either (1) taken captive in war, (2) or purchased by money, (3) or the descendants of slaves. Even married women, if taken in war, are, according to the injunction of the Qur'an, Surah iv. 28, entirely at the disposal of the Muslim conqueror. "(Unlawful) to you are married women except such as your right hand possess (i.e. taken in war or purchased as slave)." This institution of concubinage is founded upon the example of Muhammad himself, who took Rihanah the Jewess as his concubine after the battle with the Bani Quraizah (A.H. 5), and also Maria the Copt, who was sent him as a slave by the Governor of Egypt.
Should a concubine bear her master a child, the Muhammadan law rules that she and her offspring are ipso facto free. For a further treatment of this subject, see the article on SLAVES.
Amongst the Shi`ahs, the temporary marriage called Mut`ah exhibits the worst form of concubinage. [MUT'AH.]
It is interesting to compare the condition of the concubine under Muslim law and under the Mosaic. Under the law of Moses, a concubine would generally be either a Hebrew girl bought of her father, or a Gentile captive taken in war. So that whilst the Muhammadan law forbids concubinage with a free woman, the Mosaic law permitted and legislated for it. See Exodus xxi.: "If a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as men-servants do. If she please not her master who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her."
With regard to female slaves taken in war, the Mosaic law ruled. Deut. xxi. 10: "When thou goest to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to thy wife: then thou shalt bring her to thine home, &c... And it shall be if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will, but thou shall not sell her" &c.
CONGREGATION. The Assembly of people in a mosque is called Jam'ah , the term used in Afghanistan for the mosque itself.
There are special rewards for those Muhammadans who assemble together for the stated prayers; for Muhammad has said, "The prayers which are said in a congregation increase the rewards of the worshipper twenty-seven degrees." "Say your prayers in a congregation, for a wolf does not eat the sheep except one has strayed from the flock," (Mishkat, book iv. ch. ixiv.)
The Sunni style themselves Ahlu Sunnah wa Jam'ah, i.e. "the people of the traditions and of the congregation," in contradistinction to the Sh'iahs, who do not worship in a congregation unless the Imam, or leader, he a man entirely free from sin [IMAM.]
The word jam'ah is also used for an assembly of people collected to decide a question of law or theology, the ijma' being their decision, more frequently called ijma'u 'l-ummah.
CONSCIENCE. There is no word in the Qur'an which exactly expresses the Christian conception of conscience. The word nafs , which, according to Arabic lexicons, expresses very much the same idea as the Hebrew hephesh, "life, aninial spirit, breath" (Job xii. 21), seems to be used In the Qur'an to convey the meaning of conscience, although English translators render it "soul." Muslim theologians say there are four kinds of consciences spoken of in the Qnr'an: (1) Nafs lawwamah, the "self-accusing soul or Conscience (Surah lxxv. 3). (2) Nafs ammarah, the "soul or conscience prone to evil" (Surah xii. 53). (3) Nafs mutma'innah the "peaceful soul or conscience" (Surah lxxxix. 12). (4) Nafs mulhammah, the "soul or conscience in which is breathed both bad and good,, (Surah lxxxiv. 27.)
It occurs also in the sense of Conscience in the Traditions (Mishkat, book i. ch. i. Pt. 3): "When anything pricks your soul (nafs) forsake it.". Abdu 'l-Haqq, in his Persian commentary the Mishkat, renders it by zat, but the English word conscience would seem to express the precise idea. In Persian works, as well as in common conversation, the word nafs is now used in its evil sense, of desire or passion, but it must be evident that this is not its Qur'anic meaning. The word zimmah, which in later Arabic, together with zamir; is used to express conscience, has in the only passage where it occurs in the Qur'an a decidedly different meaning, e.g. Surah ix. 8, 10, where it means clientship. Sale and Rodwell both translate it "faith," but Palmer more accurately renders it "ties of clientship."
CONVERSATION. The following instructions are given in the Qur'an regarding talking and conversation. Surah xxxi. 17, "Be moderate in thy walk, and lower thy voice; verily the most disagreeable of voices is the voice of asses." Surah ii 77, "Speak to men kindly." In the Traditions, Ibn Mas'ud relates that Muhammad said, "May those people go to the fire of hell who speak much."
On the subject of conversation, Faqir Jani Muhammad As'sd, the author of the celebrated ethical work entitled the Akhlak-I-Jalali p. 288, says: -
"He should not talk much, for it is a sign of levity in feeling and weakness in judgment and tends to lower him in point of consideration and position. We are told that the Prophet used to observe the strictest medium in his language; so much so, that, in the most protracted interviews, you might have counted the words he uttered. Buzurg Jamihr used to say, 'When you see a person talking much without occasion, be sure he is out of his senses. Let him not give vent to statements till he has determined in his own mind what he is going to say. When anyone is relating a story, however well known to the listener, the latter is not to intimate his acquaintance with it till the narrative is concluded. A question put to others he must not himself reply to; if put to a body of which he is a member, let him not prevent the others; and if another is engaged in answering what himself could answer better, let him keep silence till the other's statement is completed, and then give his own, but in such sort as not to annoy the former speaker. Let him not commence his reply till the querist's sentence is concluded. Conversations and discussions which do not concern him, although held in his presence, be is not to interfere in; and if people conceal what they are saying, he must not attempt furtively to overhear. To his elders he should speak with judgment, pitching his voice at a medium between high and low. Should any abstruse topic present itself; he should give it perspicuity by comparison. Prolixity he should never aim at, when, not absolutely required; the contrary, let it be his endeavour to compress all he has to say. Neither should he employ unusual terms or far-fetched figures. He should beware of obscenity and bad language, or if he must needs refer to an independent subject, let him be content with allusion by metaphor. Of all things, let him keep clear of a taste for indelicacy, which tends to lower his breeding, degrade his respectability and bring him into general disrespectability, agreement and dislike. Let his language upon every occasion correspond with the exigency of his position; and if accompanied by gesticulation of the hand or eye or eyebrow, let it be only of that graceful sort which his situation calls for. Let him never, for right or wrong, engage in disputes with others of the company - least of all with the elders or the triflers of it:- and when embarked in such dispute, let him be rigidly observant of the rules of candour.
"Let him not deal in profound, observation beyond the intellect of those he is addressing,
but adapt his discourse to the judgment of his hearers. Thus even the Prophet has declared - 'We of the prophetic order are enjoined to address men in the measure of their understandings'; and Jesus (blessed be he) said, 'Use not wisdom with the unwise to their annoyance' (St. Matthew vii. 6?). In all his conversation let him adhere to the ways of courtesy. Never let him mimic anyone's gestures, actions, or words, nor give utterance to the language of menace.
"When addressing a great person, let him begin with something ominous of good, as the permanence of his fortune, felicity, and so forth.
"From all back-biting, carping, slander, and falsehood, whether heard or spoken, let him hold it essential to keep clear; nay, even from any partnership with those addicted to such practices. Let him listen more than he speaks. It was the answer of a wise man to those who asked him why he did so, 'Because,' said he, 'God has given me two ears and only one tongue'; which was as much as to say, 'Hear twice as much as you speak.'"
CONVERTS TO THE MUHAMMADAN RELIGION. According to the author of the Hidaya (vol. ii. 170), if a hostile infidel embrace Islam in a hostile country, his person is his own, and he is not made a slave, nor can his children be enslaved. His property is also his own. But it is not so in the case of one who has been first conquered and then embraces Islam, for his own person and his children become slaves, and his wives are at the mercy of the victorious Muslim, whilst his lands also become the property of the State.
COVENANT. The word in the Qur'an and the Traditions for God's Covenant with His people is Misaq. Muhammad taught, both in the Qur'an and in the Traditions, that in the beginning God called all the souls of mankind together and took a promise (wa'dah) and a covenant (misaq) from them.
The account of this transaction is given as follows in the Qur'an, Surah vii. 171: -
"Thy Lord brought forth their descendants from the reins of the sons of Adam and took them to witness against themselves, 'Am I not.' said He, 'your Lord?' They said, 'Yes, we witness it.' This we did, lest ye should say on the Day of Resurrection, 'Truly, of this were we heedless, because uninformed.'
"Or lest ye should say, 'Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other gods with our God, and we are their seed after them: wilt thou destroy us for the doings of vain men?"'
But the story as told in the Traditions is more graphic: -
"Ubai ibn Ka'b relates, in explanation of the verse in the Suratu 'l-A'raf (verse 171): When God created (the spirits of) the son of Adam, he collected them together and made them of different tribes, and of different appearances, and gave them powers of speech. Then they began to speak, and God took from them a promise (wa'dah), and a covenant (misaq), and said, 'Am I not thy Lord?' They all answered and said, 'Thou art,' Then God said, 'Swear by the seven heavens and the seven earths, and by Adam your father, that you will not say in the resurrection, We did not understand this. Know ye therefore that there is no Deity but Me, and there is no God but Me. Do not associate anything with Me. I will verily send to you own apostles who shall remind you of this Promise and of this Covenant, and I will send to you your own books.' The sons of Adam then replied, 'We are witnesses that Thou art our Lord (Rabb) and our God (Allah). There is no Lord but Thee and no God but Thee.' Then they confessed this and made it known to Adam. Then Adam looked at them and beheld that there were amongst them those that were rich and poor, handsome and ugly, and he said, 'O Lord why didst Thou not make them all alike?' And the Lord said, 'Truly I willed it thus in order that some of my servants may be thankful.' Then Adam saw amongst his posterity, prophets, like unto lamps, and upon these lamps there were lights, and they were appointed by special covenants of prophecy (nabawah) and of apostleship (vasalah). And thus it is written in the Qur'an (Surah xxxiii. 7), 'Remember we have entered into covenant with the Prophets, with thee Muhammad, and with Noah, and with Abraham, and with Musa, and with Jesus the Son of Mary, and we made with them a covenant.' And (continues Ubai) Jesus was amongst the spirits." (Mishkat, Arabic Ed. Babu 'l-Qadr.)
COVERING THE HEAD. There is no injunction in either the Qur'an or Traditions as to a man covering his bead during prayers, although it is generally held to be more modest and correct for him to do so. With reference to women, the law is imperative, for 'Ayishah relates that Muhammad said, "God accepts not the prayer of an adult woman unless she cover her head." (Mishkat, iv. c. ix.)
CORRUPTION OF THE SCRIPTURES. Muhammadans charge the Jews and Christians with having altered their sacred books. The word used by Muhammadan writers for this supposed corruption of the sacred Scriptures of the Jews and Christians is Tahrif.
The Imam Fakhru 'd-din Razi, in his commentary, Tafsir-i-Kabir, explains Tahrif to mean "to change, alter, or turn aside anything from the truth." Muslim divines say there are two kinds of tahrif, namely, tahrif-i-ma'nawi, a corruption of the meaning; and tahrif-i-lafzi, a corruption of the words.
Muhammadan controversialists, when they become acquainted with the nature of the contents of the sacred books of the Jews and Christians, and of the impossibility of reconciling the contents of the Qur'an with those of
the sacred Scripures, charge the Christians with the tahrif-i-lafzi. They say the Christians have expunged the word ahmad from the prophecies and have inserted the statement "Son of God," and the story of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of our blessed Lord. This view, however, is not the one held by the most celebrated of the Muslim commentators.
The Imam Muhammad Isma'il al-Bukhari (p. 1127, line 7), records thar Ibn 'Abbas said that "the word Tahrif (corruption) signifies to change a thing from its original nature; and that there is no man who could corrupt a single word of what proceeded from God, so that the Jews and Christians could corrupt only by misrepresenting the meaning of the words of God."
The Mazar and Ibn Abi Harim state in the commentary known as the Tafsir Durr-I-Mansur, that they have it on the authority of ibn Muniyah, that the Taurat (i.e. the books of Moses), and the Injil (i.e. the Gospels), are in sent down from heaven, and that no alterations had been made in them, but that the Jews were wont to deceive the people by unsound arguments, and by wresting the sense of Scripture.
Shah Waliyu'llah in his commentary, the Fauzu 'l-Kabi, and also Ibn 'Abbas, support the same view. This appears to be the correct interpretation of the various verses of the Qur'an charging the Jews with having corrupted the meaning of the sacred Scriptures.
For example, Suratu Ali 'Imran (iii), 72; 'There are certainly some of them who read the Scriptures perversely, that ye may think what they read to be really in the Scriptures yet it is not in the Scriptures; and they say this is from God, but it is not from God; and they speak that which is false concerning God against their own knowledge."
The Imam Fakhru 'd-din, in his commentary in this verse, and many others of the same character which occur in the Qur'an, says it refers to a tahrif-I-ma'nawi, and that it does not mean that the Jews altered the text, but merely that they made alterations in the course of reading.
But whilst all the old commentators who most probably had never seen a copy of the sacred books of the Jews and Christians, only charge them with a tahri-I-ma'nawi, as being the only solution of the difficulty.
In dealing with such opponents the Christian divine will avail himself of the following arguments: -
1. The Qur'an does not charge the Jews and Christians sith corrupting the text of the sacred books; and many learned Muslim commentators admit that such is not the case.
2 The Qur'an asserts that the Holy Scriptures of the Jews and Christians existed in the days of Muhammad, who invariably speaks of them with reverence and respect.
3. There now exist manuscripts of the Old and New Testament of an earlier date than that of Muhammad (A.D.) 610, 632)
4. There are versions of the Old Testament now extant, which existed before Muhammad; for example, the Septuagint, the Latin vulgate, the Syriac, the Coptic, and the Armenian versions.
5. The Hexapla, or Octapla of Origen, which dates four centuries before Muhammad, gives various versions of the Old Testament Scriptures in parallel columns.
6. The Syrian Christians of St. Thomas of Malabar and Travancorn in the south of India, who were separated from the western world for centuries, possess the same Scriptures.
7. In the works of Justin Martyr, who lived from A.D. 108 to 167, there are numerous quotations from our sacred books, which prove that they were exactly the same may be said of other early Christian writers.
Muhammadan controversialists of the present day urge that the numerous readings which exist in the Christian books are a proof that they have been corrupted. But those do not affect, in the least, the main points at issue between the Christian and Muslim. The Divine Sonship of Christ, the Fatherhood of God, the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, the Atonement, are all clearly stated in almost every book of the New Testament, whilst they are rejected by the Qur'an.
The most plausible of modern objections urged by Muslim divines is, that the Christians have lost the Injil which was sent down from heaven to Jesus; and that the New Testament contains merely the hadis or Sunnah - the traditions handed down by Matthes, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and others. It is, or course, a mere assertion unsupported by any proof, but it appears to be a line of argument which commends itself to many modern Muslims.
CREATION. Arabic Khalqah. The following are allusions to the Creation which occur in the Qur'an, Surah l. 37. "of old we (God) created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days, and no weariness touched Us." Surah xli. 8 "Do ye indeed disbelieve in Him who in two days created the earth? Do ye assign him equals? The Lord of the World is He. And he hath placed on the earth the firm mountains which tower above it and He hath blessed it, and distributed its nourishments throughout it (for the cravings of all are alike) in four days. Then he applied Himself to the heaven which was but smoke: and to it and to the earth He said. "Come ye, in obedience or against your will?" and they both said, "We come obedient." And He completed them as seven heavens in two days, and in each heaven made known its office; and We furnished the lower heavens with lights and guardian angels. This is the disposition of the Almighty the all knowing one." Surah
xvi 3. "He created the heavens and the earth to set forth his truth, high let Him be exalted above the gods they join with Him! Man hath He created out of a moist germ, yet lo! man is an open caviller. And the cattle! For you He hath created them, &c.... Shall He who hath created be as he who hath not created? Will ye not consider?" Surah xiii 2: "it is God who hath reared the heavens without pillars, thou canst behold: then seated Himself upon His Throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon; each travelleth to its appointeth goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh His signs clear. Haply ye will have firm faith in a meeting with your Lord. And He it is who hath out stretched the earth, and placed on it the firm mountains, and river; and of every fruit. He hath placed on it two kinds. He causeth the night to enshroud the day" Surah xxxv 12 ...God created you of dust - then of the germs of life- then made you two sexes."
According to the Traditions (Mishkat, xxiv. c. I pt 3), God created the earth on Saturday, the hills on Sunday, the trees on Monday, and unpleasant things on Tuesday, the light on Wednesday, the beast on Thursday and Adam, who was the last of Creation, was created after the time of afternoon prayers on Friday.
CREED. The Muhammadan Creed, or Kalimatu'sh shahadah (shortly Kalimah) is the well known formula : -
I testify that there is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God."
It is the belief of Muhammadans that the first part of this creed which is called the naf I was ishut, namely, There is no deity but God," has been the statement of belief of every Prophet since the days of Adam, and that the second portion has been changed according to the dispensation; for example, that in the days of Moses it would be "There is no deity but God, and Moses is the Converser with God." In the Christian dispensation, it was "There is no deity but God, and Jesus is the Spirit of God."
Jabir relates that Muhammad said "the keys of Paradise are bearing witness that there is no deity but God."
The recital of the Kalimah or Creed, is the first of five pillars of practical religion in Islam: and when anyone is converted to Islam he is required to repeat this formula, and the following are the conditions required of every Muslim with reference to it: -
1. That it shall be repeated aloud, at least once in a life-time.
2. That the meaning of it shall be fully understood.
3. That it shall be believed in "by the heart."
4. That it shall be professed until death.
5. That is shall be recited correctly.
6 That it shall be always professed and declared without hesitation (Sharku 'l-Wiqayah)
CREMATION. [BURNING THE DEAD.]
CRESCENT. The figure of the crescent is the Turkish symbol, and hence it has been regarded by Europeans as the special emblem of the Muhammadan religion, although it is unknown to the Muhammadans of the East. This figure, however did not originate with the Turks, but it was the symbol of sovereignty in the city of Byzantium prior to the Muslim conquest, as may be seen from the medals struck in honour or Augustus Trajan and others. The crescent has been the symbol of three different orders of knighthood; the first of which was instituted by Charles I, King of Naples A.D. 1268; the second in 1448 by Rene of Anjou; the third by Sultan Selim in 1801. It must have been adopted by Muhammadans for the first time upon the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire by Muhammad II, and it is now generally used by the Turks as the insignia of their creed.
CROCODILE. Arabic Timsah. The flesh of a crocodile is unlawful for food to a Muhammadan. (Hamilton's Hidayah, iv. 74.)
CROSS, The., Arabic As-Salib The Qur'an denies the crucifixion of our blessed Lord [CRUCIFIXION.] and it is related by al-Waqidi that Muhammad had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with that figure upon it. (Muir, iii. 61.) According to Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said, "I swear by heaven, it is near, when Jesus the Son of Mary will descend from heaven upon your people, a just king, and he will break the cross, and kill the swine (Mishkat, xxiii. c. vi.) The Imam Abu Yusuf says that if a cross or a crucifix stolen from a church, amputation (the punishment for theft) is not incurred; but if it is stolen from a private dwelling it is theft. (Hamilton's Hidayah, vol. ii. p. 90.)
CRUCIFIXION. The Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is denied by the teaching of the Qur'an. [JESUS CHRIST.] It is a punishment sanctioned by the Muhammadan religion for highway robbers (Hamilton's Hidayah, vol. ii. 131.)
CRUELTY. A striking example of the cruelty of Muhammad's character occurs in a tradition given in the Sahihu 'l Bukhari (p. 1019). Anas relates, "Some of the people of the tribe of Ukl came the Prophet and embrace Islam; but the air of a1-Medinah did not agree with them, and they wanted to leave the place. And the Prophet ordered them to go where the camels given in alms were assembled and to drink their milk which they did, and recovered from their sickness. But after this they became apostates, and renounced Islam, and stole the camels. The the Prophet sent some people after them, and the were seized and brought
back to al-Madinah. Then the Prophet ordered their hands and their feet to be cut off as a punishment for theft, and their eyes to be pulled out. But the Prophet did not stop the bleeding, and they died." And in another it reads, "The Prophet ordered hot irons to be drawn across their eyes, and then to be cast on the plain of al-Madinah; and when they asked for water it was not given them, and they died."
Sir William Muir (vol. iv. p 307) says: Magnanimity or moderation are nowhere discernible as features in the conduct of Muhammad towards such of his enemies as failed to tender a timely allegiance. Over the bodies of the Quraish who fell at Badr he exulted with savage satisfaction; and several prisoners accused of no crime but of scepticism and political opposition, were deliberately executed at his command. The Prince of Kheibar, after being subjected to inhumane torture for the purpose of discovering the treasures of his tribe, was, with his cousin, put to death of the pretext of having treacherously concealed them and his wife was led away to the tent of the conqueror. Sentence of exile was enforced by Muhammad with rigorous severity on two whole Jewish tribes at al-Madinah; and of a third, likewise his neighbours, the women and children were sold into distant captivity, while the men, amounting to several hundreds, were butchered in cold blood before his eyes."
Hughes' Dictionary of Islam
Answering Islam Home Page