1 Sir W. Muir, Life of Mahomet, 3rd ed., p. lxxxiv.

2 Ancient Christianity. vol. i. p. 266.


4 Cent. VII, pt. 11, cap iii. § 1, ed. Reid.

5 Quoted in Dr. Koelle's Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 136.

6 Sir W. Muir, Life of Mahomet, 3rd ed., pp. 20, 21. He is here speaking of Muhammad's visit to Syria.

7 Life of Mahomet, pp. 143, 144.

8 Surah LXI., As Saff, 6: "And when Jesus, the Son of Mary, said, ‘O children of Israel, verily I am an Apostle of God unto you, confirming what was before Me of the Law, and bringing good news of an Apostle who will come after Me: his name is Ahmad." Ahmad is the same name as Muhammad. The latter must have heard of the prophecy in John xvi., 7, &c., and his informant must, purposely or ignorantly, have mistaken for , which latter word does not occur in the New Testament.

9 Surah III., 40, and IV., 169.

10 The district where the Cave was situated.

11 Believers and unbelievers.

12 So as not to touch them.

13 That is, of the cave.

14 i.e. the Judgement Day.

15 Muhammad.

16 Others say Jews, but this is less likely.

17 Vide Bar Hebraeus, Chron. Ecc., I. 142 sqq.; Assemani, Bibl. Orient. I. 335, sqq.

18 Cat. Syr. MSS., p. 1090.

19 Vide Jalalain and 'Abbasi in loco.

20 De Gloria Martyrum, cap. 95.


22 In the Sahih of Muslim (Kitabu'l Adab) we are told that the Christians of Najran pointed this blunder out to Al Mughairah. He consulted Muhammad about it, but could get no satisfactory answer.

23 But Firdausi is following the Avesta here in telling us that Faridun (Avestic Thraetaona) married these women, Arnavaz and Shahrnaz (the Avestic Arenavachi and Savanhavachi); Yeshts, v. 34; ix. 14; xv. 24.

24 R. Abraham Geiger, Was hat Mohammed, p. 172.

25 A reference to the Law which prohibited any but the High Priest from entering the Holy of Holies.

26 i.e. Muhammad.

27 i.e. the Qur'an (commentators).

28 i.e. Muhammad.

29 The angel Gabriel, who is hence called the Holy Spirit by Muslims.

30 Or, unchaste.

31 Jesus.

32 Note the definite article.

33 Commentators are doubtful whether this is Jesus or Gabriel.

34 That is "Rejoice." The birth of a boy is still said to be a "brightening of the eyes" in the East, and congratulations are expressed by the formula of the text.

35 The Child.

36 Or, unchaste.

37 Jesus.

38 The Gospel.

39 Protevangelium Iacobi Minoris, capp. 3, 4, 5.

40 So in Muhammadan Tradition, as we have seen, Mary's mother is named Hanna.

41 Op. cit., capp. 7, 8, 9, 11.

42 Coptic Apocryphal Gospels, p. 15: Frag. ii. A: lines 10-12.

43 Op. cit., capp. 3, 4, p. 132.

44 Protevangelium Iacobi Minoris, capp. 15.

45 Op. cit., cap. 18.

46 The scene here described is not mentioned in the Qur'an itself nor do Muhammadan traditions clearly record it in reference to the birth of Christ. It is upon this description that Milton dwells in his Ode "On the morning of Christ's Nativity":

"No war, or battle's sound
Was heard the world around:
   The idle spear and shield were high up hung,
The hooked chariot stood
Unstained with hostile blood,
   The trumpet spake not to the armed throng.

But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
   His reign of peace upon the earth began:

While the birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze. ..."

But something of the same thing has left its trace upon later Muhammadan legend, only in reference to Muhammad's birth. Thus in the Raudatu'l Ahbab, Fatimah, daughter of Abdu'llah, is reported as having said: "I was with Aminah" (Muhammad's mother) "when the symptoms of her approaching confinement set in: and, on looking up to heaven, I saw the stars to such an extent incline towards the earth that I thought they must fall down." Or, according to another account, "The stars were so near the earth that I thought they would fall upon my head." (Quoted by Dr. Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 257)

47 Cf. Plautus, Amphitruo, Act I., Sc. i., vv. 115-20.

48 Hist. Nativitat. Mariae, cap. 20.

49 Vide The Noble Eightfold Path, pp. 69, 70.

50 Op. cit., pp. 196 sqq.

51 "Sa mangalasalamulam gantva salasakhayam ganhitukama ahosi. Salasakha suseditavettagam viya onamitva deviya hatthapatham upaganchi. Sa hattham pasaretva sakham aggahesi. ... Salasakham gahetva titthamanaya eva c'assa gabbhavutthanam ahosi."

52 Verses 34, 35:—

"Yadi passanti pavane darika phalite dume,
tesam phalanam hetumhi uparodanti darika.
Rodante darike disva ubbidha vipula duma,
Sayem ev' onamitvana upagacchanti darike."

The story of Buddha's birth under a tree is also found in the Romantic History of Buddha, translated by Beal from the Chinese Sanskrit (p. 43), and also in the Phu-yau-king (ibid., p. 347).

The fancy that Mary was brought up in the Temple is, of course, along with the name of her mother Anna (Hannah), derived from the account of Samuel's dedication by his mother Hannah. But it is an evidence of great ignorance to imagine the same thing possible in the case of a girl, and still more so to say, as the apocryphal books do, that Mary was brought up in the Holy of Holies!

53 Book I. § 34, ed. Cowell.

54 Beal, Rom. Legend, p. 44.

55 Beal's version of the Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king (pp. 3, 4).

56 In the Zamyad Yesht of the Zoroastrians a somewhat similar account of speaking at birth is mentioned in connexion with the monster Snavidhka, who when still very young said: "I am still an infant, and I am not yet grown up: if I ever do grow up I shall make the earth a wheel, I shall make the heavens a chariot: I shall bring down the Good Spirit from the bright Garo-nmanem" [the highest heaven, the abode of Ahuro Mazdao, corresponding to the Muhammadan 'Arsh]: "I shall cause the Evil Spirit to rush up from miserable hell. They will bear my chariot, both the Good Spirit and the Evil Spirit, unless the manly-hearted Keresaspa slay me." The mention of the "wheel" and the "chariot" in this passage distinctly indicates Buddhist influence in Persia, and reminds us of how Buddha was said to have "turned the wheel of the Law," implying his claim to universal dominion. Hence the idea of the infant speaking at birth also is seen to be not an original Zoroastrian but a Buddhist legend.

57 Maidah means a table provided with food.

58 The word used here is always applied to the Apostles of Christ exclusively. It is an Æthiopic word. Does this show any connexion between the fable and some legend current in Æthiopia, whither Muhammad's first converts fled for refuge?

59 To the Table.

60 These expressions show that there is a reference to the institution of the Lord's Supper.


62 "Neque passum eum; et Simonem quendam Cyrenaeum angariatum portasse crucem eius pro eo; et hunc secundum ignorantiam et errorem crucifixum, transfiguratum ab eo, uti putaretur ipse esse Iesus."

63 For our present purpose it is unnecessary to refer to the difference between Irenaeus' account and that given by Hippolytus in his Philosophumena. Much as the two reports differ in certain respects, they agree sufficiently in showing the general fact of Basilides' Gnostic views in these matters.


65 Manes, Ep. Fund., ap. Evodium: "Princeps itaque tenebrarum cruci est affixus, idemque coronam spineam portavit." It is unnecessary here to appeal to the statement in the "Gospel of Barnabas" that Judas was crucified instead of Christ, as that work was written long after Muhammad's time. The various and somewhat contradictory Traditions of the Muslims regarding the question whether Christ died or not; if so, how long He remained dead, and who was crucified in His place, will be found treated of in my Religion of the Crescent, Appendix A.

66 Weil, Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner, pp. 296 sqq.

67 Op. cit., pp. 274, 275.

68 Op. cit., pp. 549, 550.

69 This is the title of the Antichrist.

70 Qisasu'l Anbiya, p. 275; cf. 'Araisu't Tijan, p. 554.


72 Coptic Apocryphal Gospels, pp. 108, 109.

73 Araisu'l Majalis, p. 554.

74 Qisasu'l Anbiya, p. 275.

75 p. 142, note 1.

76 Manichaism had taken refuge in Arabia long before Muhammad's time (Beausobre, Histoire du Manichéisme, Pt. 1. ch. iv).

77 Most of our information about Mani himself comes from Al Fihrist, though it is difficult to say on what authorities the author of that work relied. Mani was born probably in A.D. 216. Patristic writers give much information about his teaching.

78 Perhaps meaning "The Noble Tome" from Arta (Av. ereta) + anga limb, portion.

79 See note 2 to p. 55 above.

80 Qisasu'l Anbiya, p. 11.

81 Book IV.

82 pp. 242, sqq.

83 Probably Muhammad confounded the "first-begotten" of this passage with the term "first-created" repeatedly applied to Adam in the "Testament of Abraham": vide below, p. 208.

84 pp. 251, sqq.

85 Published in Texts and Studies, vol. ii, no. 2.

86 See examples in The Religion of the Crescent, Appendix C, pp. 242 sqq.

87 "Testament of Abraham", Recensions A, cap. xii, p. 91: cf. pp. 92, 93, 113, 114, capp. xiii, xiv, and Recension B, cap. vii.

88 Cf. Surah L., 16, 17, 20.

89 The Book of the Dead, vol. iii, p. xlvii.

90 Op. cit., p. lxxv.

91 Vide Note, p. 8 above.

92 In Zoroastrian mythology also the Balance appears in a manner very similar to its use in Egyptian. Rashnu, one of the three judges of the dead (cf. the Greek story of the same duty assigned to Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, in Plato's Gorgias, cap. lxxix) holds a Balance, and in it men's good deeds and bad are weighed after their death. The other judges are Mithra and Sraosha, the Mihr and Sarosh of later Persian legends. In the Middle Ages in Europe Michael was supposed to hold the Balance.

93 The Ka'bah at Mecca.

94 The Temple at Jerusalem!

95 Pp. 218 sqq.

96 Op. cit., p. 521.

97 "Testament of Abraham", Recension A, cap xi.

98 Mishkatu'l Masabih, p. 487.

99 On the Muhammadan idea of this, vide The Religion of the Crescent, pp. 116, 118.

100 In his Muhammadanische Studien (vol. II, pp. 382 sqq.) Professor Goldziher has an interesting account of the way in which in later times "Traditions" were borrowed from Christian sources. But this lies beyond our present inquiry.