on, though still at Mecca, we find the same charge repeated in Sura Al-Furqan (xxv):—

And the infidels say, 'The Qur'an is a mere fraud of his own devising and others have helped him with it, who had come hither by outrage and lie.'
And they say, 'Tales of the Ancients' 1 that he hath put in writing, and they were dictated to him morning and evening. 5-6.

They must also have looked upon him as a Kahin,2 or soothsayer. See Suras lii. 29 and lxix. 42.

The Suras of the early Meccan period exhibit the dark feelings and suspicions of the Prophet, though the language is often very fine and the rhetorical cadence is full of poetic colour. The oaths with which he strengthens his teaching are very characteristic. The strong and comminatory attacks on his adversaries, of whom he even singles out some, are a marked feature of this period of his career. These Suras are the finest in the whole Qur'an and in them the passionate agitation of the Prophet appears at its height.

A conciliatory appeal is now made to the Meccans on the ground of their privileges:—

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the army of the Elephant?
Did he not cause their stratagem to miscarry?
And he sent against them birds in flocks,

1 أساطير الاولين
2 'The Kahins were soothsayers, connected with a sanctuary ... all mysterious and obscure things seem to have been referred to them. They foretold the future and the unseen. Muhammad's first utterances were in genuine Kahin form and Kahin spirit.' Macdonald, Religious Attitude and Life of lslam, pp. 29, 31. See, Sell, Life of Muhammad, p. 38.

Claystones did they hurl upon them,
And he made them like stubble eaten down. Sura Al-Fil (cv) 1-.5.

This is an allusion to the deliverance of the inhabitants of Mecca from the army of the King of Abyssinia, sent to destroy the Ka'ba in the year when Muhammad was born. The plague, which in quite a natural way destroyed so many of the enemy, is here represented as a miraculous interposition of Providence.

In the Sura Quraish (cvi) there is an allusion to the sacred Ka'ba and the inviolability of its territory :—

Let them worship the Lord of this house,
who hath provided them with food against hunger,
And secured them against alarm. 3-4.

In Sura At-Tin (xcv) a similar appeal is enforced with an oath :—

I swear by the fig and the olive
By Mount Sinai
And by this inviolable soil. 1-3.

The commentators, Ibn 'Abbas and Husain, say that the fig and the olive stand for two hills near Mecca, Tina and Zita, famed for their trees, or for the mosques of Mecca and Damascus. The view put forth by Baidawi and Zamakhshari that they stand for what is nourishing and wholesome is more reasonable. An extraordinary and fanciful explanation is given by Maulavi Muhammad 'Ali. He says the fig represents Judaism, now passed away, for Christ said to the barren fig tree (Matt. xxi. 19) 'Let no fruit grow on thee,