1102 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
The material of the Koran was all produced
during Mohammed's life. The whole work is
emphatically monotheistic. The oneness of
God is the dominant thought of the whole.
Lo Illah il Allah, "there is no God but Allah,"
is reiterated on almost every page. Not the
severest passages of the Jewish Pentateuch are
more singular in their enunciation of one supreme and indivisible Deity than are the repeated declarations of the scriptures of Islam. Thus in the one hundred and twelfth Chapter:
"Cry I God is one God; the eternal God:
he begetteth not, neither is he begotten: and
there is not any like unto him."
An extract from the second chapter is as
follows: "To God belongeth the east and the west; the face of God is everywhere, for God
is omnipresent and omniscient. Yet they say
God hath begotten children: God forbid!
To him belongeth whatever is in heaven or
in earth: and when he decreeth a thing, he
only saith unto it, Be; and it is."
The third chapter, also, has this to say respecting Divine Unity: "There is no God
but God, the living, the self-existing; he hath
sent down unto thee the Book Al Koran; for
he formerly sent down the Law and the Gospel; and he hath also sent down the distinction between good and evil. Verily there is
no God but he, the mighty and the wise."
Chapter thirty-seventh of the Koran begins
as follows: "By the angels who rank themselves in order; and by those who drive forward and dispel the clouds: and by those who read the Koran for an admonition, verily your
God is one."
Islam was ever at war with Christianity
respecting the son-ship of Christ. To admit this doctrine was regarded by the Mohammedans as destroying the unity of the Deity. In the nineteenth Chapter the Koran says:
"This was Jesus, the son of Mary, the
word of truth, concerning whom they doubt.
But it is not meet for God that he should have
a son: Praise to Allah! Yet they say God
hath begotten a Son. In this they utter a
blasphemy; and but little is wanting that the
Heavens should tear open, and the earth
cleave asunder and the mountains fall down,
for that they attribute children to the most
Merciful. Verily it is not meet for God to
have a Son."
The imminent peril of the Day of Judgment is everywhere depicted in the Koran.
The threatened retribution is held forth as the
most powerful motive of human conduct. In
the expectation of this final ordeal, Islam sets
forth every deed of man and utters against
every species of sin the terrible invectives of
the coming wrath. Everywhere the Koran
proclaims the approach of inexorable doom for
every soul that sins. The fifty-first Chapter has the following paragraph:
"Cursed be the liars who wade in deep
waters of ignorance neglecting their salvation.
Forsooth they ask, When will the Day of
Judgment come? By the winds dispersing
and scattering the dust; and by the clouds
bearing a load of rains; and by the angelic
bands who distribute things necessary for the
support of all creatures; verily that wherewith ye are threatened is certainly true, and
the Day of Judgment will come. Assuredly."
In the fifty-second chapter the same strain
is continued: "By the mountain of Sinai;
and by the book written in expanded scroll;
and by the visited house; and by the elevated
roof of heaven; and by the swelling ocean;
verily the punishment of the Lord will surely
come down, on that day wherein the heaven
shall be shaken and shall reel, and the mountains shall stagger and pass away."
In many parts the Koran breathes a spirit
of piety strangely at variance with the vindictive utterances of other portions. There are
occasional tender and beautiful passages which
may well be compared with the best of the
Vedic Hymns or Psalms of David, such as: