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the early Madína revelations. Nöeldeke inclines to place them among the later Makkan revelations, because the Jews are referred to in a friendly spirit. But this circumstance would rather point to Madína, where, during the first year of the Hijra, Muhammad courted the favour of the Jews. Still, the form of address, "O men" (ver. 132), points to Makkah. The question may therefore still be regarded as open, though we think the evidence, thus far, to be in favour of the early part of A.H. I.

Principal Subjects.

Man and his Creator

Orphans, the duty of guardians to such

The law of inheritance

The punishment of adulteresses

Repentance enjoined

Women's rights

Forbidden and lawful degrees in marriage

Gaming, rapine, and suicide forbidden

Man's superiority over woman recognised

Reconcilement of man and wife

Parents, orphans, the poor, &c., to be kindly treated

Hypocrisy in almsgiving condemned

Prayer forbidden to the drunken and polluted.

Jewish mockers denounced

Idolatry the unpardonable sin

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54, 55

Salutations to be returned

Treatment of hypocrites and apostates

Believers not to be slain or plundered

Believers in heathen countries to fly to Muslim lands

Special order for prayer in time of war

Exhortation to zeal for Islám

Fraud denounced

Idolatry and Islám compared

Equity in dealing with women and orphans enjoined
Wives to be subject to the will of husbands

God to be feared

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Muslims exhorted to steadfastness

Hypocrites to be shunned


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159, 160 161-168

The reward of hypocrisy and belief compared
Presumptuous and disobedient Jews destroyed.
The Jews calumniate Mary and Jesus
Certain kinds of food forbidden to Jews as punishment
Muhammad's inspiration like that of other prophets
Christians reproved for their faith in Jesus as the Son of
God and in the doctrine of the Trinity

The law of inheritance for distant relatives

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|| (1) O MEN, fear your LORD, who hath created you out of one man, and out of him created his wife, and from them two hath multiplied many men and women: and fear GOD by whom ye beseech one another; and respect women who have borne you, for GOD is watching over you. (2) And give the orphans when they come to age their substance; and render them not in exchange bad for good: and devour not their substance, by adding it to your own substance; for this is a great sin. (3) And if ye fear that ye shall not act with equity towards orphans

(1) O men, &c. This chapter is entitled WOMEN because it contains, for the most part, laws and precepts relating to them. The men are specially addressed, but the instruction is intended for both men and women. They are addressed in the original, "O ye people."

From them two, &c. The unity of the human race is here distinctly declared. All men are of "one blood."

And respect women. The word translated women (in the Arabic, wombs) is the object of the verb fear. Palmer translates, "Fear God, in whose name ye beg of one another, and the wombs." Sale, however, expresses the meaning by inserting the word respect.


(2) Give the orphans, &c. These orphans were the children of those who lost their lives in the wars for the cause of Islám. only the children but their property was intrusted to those who agreed to become guardians. These orphans were defrauded in various ways. Sometimes their property was appropriated by the guardians; others "exchanged bad for good," e.g., by turning the good goats or camels of the orphan ward along with their own herds, and then selecting the bad ones as the orphan's share. This law was instituted by Muhammad to prevent this kind of abuse.

(3) If ye fear that ye cannot act equitably, &c. "The commentators understand this passage differently. The true meaning seems

of the female sex, take in marriage of such other women. as please you, two, or three, or four, and not more.


to be as it is here translated; Muhammad advising his followers that if they found they should wrong the female orphans under their care, either by marrying them against their inclinations, for the sake of their riches or beauty, or by not using or maintaining them so well as they ought, by reason of their having already several wives, they should rather choose to marry other women, to avoid all occasion of sin. Others say that when this passage was revealed, many of the Arabians, fearing trouble and temptation. refused to take upon them the charge of orphans, and yet multiplied wives to a great excess, and used them ill; or, as others write, gave themselves up to fornication; which occasioned the passage. And according to these, its meaning must be either that if they feared they could not act justly towards orphans, they had as great reason to apprehend they could not deal equitably with so many wives, and therefore are commanded to marry but a certain number; or else, that since fornication was a crime as well as wronging of orphans, they ought to avoid that also, by marrying according to their abilities."-Sale, Baidhawi.

The connection of this verse with the preceding is undoubted, and that connection is close. How the explanation of the commentators would remove the fear of acting unjustly with orphans of the female sex, I cannot see. Surely marrying two, or three, or four other women would hardly produce a moral change in a man who feared he could not act justly in the matter of a sacred trust. I therefore venture to suggest that Muhammad here advises his followers to marry their orphan wards, and so, by fixing upon them a lawful dowry and exalting them to the position of lawful wives, avoid the evil of committing a breach of trust or an act of immorality. This view seems to me to be required by the preceding context. The word other, inserted by Sale and others before women, is not required. The Muslim may marry of women such as are pleasing to him, two, three, or four, whether his orphan wards or not.

Two, or three, or four. Literally, two and two, three and three, and four and four. The meaning is, that each might have two, or three, or four lawful wives. See Prelim. Disc., p. 206. Muhammad did not bind himself by this law. See chap. xxxiii. 49.

The statement of Mír Aulád Ali, professor of Oriental languages at Trinity College, Dublin, "that Muhammad had not enjoined polygamy," but only permitted it, quoted by Mr. R. Bosworth Smith (Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 144, note), is hardly borne out by this passage. Nor is such a statement borne out by the example of the Prophet. Nor is Mr. Smith's plea, that this permission may be placed in the same catagory as slavery not forbidden in the Bible, at all justified by the facts. Slavery is contrary to the whole spirit of the Bible, while polygamy is in accord with the whole spirit of the Qurán. Even the heaven of Islám is to witness the perpetuation of almost unlimited polygamy (see chaps. lv. and lvi.) The attempt to apologise for the polygamy of Islám, when made by


[SIPARA IV. if ye fear that ye cannot act equitably towards so many, marry one only, or the slaves which ye shall have acquired.

Europeans, indicates either prejudice or a want of information on the part of the writer; when made by a few "enlightened Orientals," it indicates their desire to cover up what they, by an English education and by mingling in Christian society, have learned to be thoroughly ashamed of.

One only, or the slaves. Were the requirements of this rule strictly observed, there would be no polygamy in practice, for the simple reason that the impartial treatment of two or more wives is with man an impossibility. Muhammad did not fulfil this his own precept, as his marked preference, now for the Coptic Mary and again for the sprightly Ayesha, clearly shows.

But whilst polygamy would be impracticable, the floodgates of vice would be, and now are, opened wide by the permission to add to the one wife any number of slave girls. Those who quote this passage to show that Muhammad restricted polygamy and that monogamy is entirely in accord with Muhammadanism, fail to quote the words, "or the slaves which ye shall have acquired." The whole force of the restriction is evaporated by these words. There is absolutely no restriction in this direction. The number of concubines may be as great as any Osmanli could desire, and yet it receives the sanction of the Qurán.


Instead, therefore, of any "strong moral sentiment" being aroused by these laws, by which Muhammad "has succeeded, down to this very day, and to a greater extent than has ever been the case elsewhere, in freeing Muhammadan countries from those professional outcasts who live by their own misery," the very reverse is true. No countries under heaven present such a cesspool of seething corruption and sensuality as those ruled over by the Muslims. To be sure, the form under which it appears is different, but the fact, no man acquainted with the state of things in Muslim harems, can honestly deny. The distrust which Muslims show towards their own wives and daughters testifies to the low state of morality among them. "It is the Moslim theory that women can never, in any time, place, or circumstances, be trusted; they must be watched, veiled, suspected, secluded." "In these days, when so much has been written about the high ethical tone of Islám, we shall speak plainly on this subject, unpleasant though it is. We would reiterate the position already taken, that polygamy has not diminished licentiousness among the Mohammedans. The sin of Sodom is so common among them as to make them in many places objects of dread to their neighbours. The burning denunciations of the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans, vers. 24 and 27, are applicable to tens of thousands in Mohammedan lands to-day." "In the city of Hamath, in Northern Syria, the Christian population, even to this day, are afraid to allow their boys from ten to fourteen years of age to appear

* R. B. Smith's Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 242.

This will be easier, that ye swerve not from righteousness. And give women their dowry freely; but if they voluntarily remit unto you any part if it, enjoy it with satisfaction and advantage. (4) And give not unto those who are weak of understanding the substance which GOD hath appointed you to preserve for them; but maintain them thereout, and clothe them, and speak kindly unto them. (5) And examine the orphans until they attain the age of

in the streets after sunset, lest they be carried off by the Moslems as victims of the Lorrible practice of Sodomy. Mohammadan pashas surround themselves with fair-faced boys, nominally scribes and pages, when in reality their object is of entirely another character." This, and much more, is told by Dr. Henry H. Jessup in his book entitled The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, pp. 46-48.

In India the case may not be as bad as it is in Turkey, but I think we can fairly agree with the Rev. J. Vaughan, who says:"However the phenomenon may be accounted for, we, after mixing with Hindoos and Mussulmans for nineteen years back, have no hesitation in saying that the latter are, as a whole, some degrees lower in the social and moral scale than the former." Nor have we

any hesitation in saying that the law here recorded, permitting as many as four lawful wives and any number of slave women besides, with whom even the form of a marriage is in no way necessary to legalise cohabitation, is responsible in large measure for this state of things. It is one of the darkest of the many spots which mar the pages of the Qurán,

Or the slaves. It is not even necessary that a Muslim have even one lawful wife. Should he feel it difficult to be impartial toward many wives, he may take his slave girls, whom he may treat as he please, and so avoid the responsibility of providing a dowry for even one wife!

Give women their dowry. The lawful and required amount of dowry is ten dirhams, but it may be fixed at any amount to which the contracting parties agree. See chap. ii. 229, note.

If they voluntarily remit, &c. A woman may legally insist upon the payment of the "lawful dowry," or that agreed upon by contract, in case she be divorced, unless she voluntarily remits it in part or altogether. In every case of dispute such remission must be proved by competent witnesses or by legal documents.

(4) Those of weak understanding, i.e., idiots or persons of weak intellects, whose property is to be administered so as to provide for their necessities. Their treatment must also be kindly. Here is the Muslim lunatic asylum.

(5) Examine the orphans. If males, see to their intellect and capacity to care for themselves; if females, examine them as to their ability to perform household duties.

The age of marriage. "Or age of maturity, which is generally

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