Do not therefore accuse us of altering the Bible by inserting accusations against the prophets. Your own Qur'an does this; and if we agree with the Qur'an in holding that the prophets were sinners who repented, what is there against reason in the belief 1? At any rate, any fault you find with the Bible in this respect recoils upon the Qur'an.

84. M. The prophets are by us called sinless because they repented and their sins were therefore not reckoned to them.

C. If that is what you mean, your argument against the Bible, on the ground that it mentions that the prophets did commit sins, falls to the ground, for you say the same thing yourselves. We are not called upon to discuss the entirely different question whether or not God forgave them their sins. Before He could forgive them, they must have committed sins which required forgiveness.

85. M. At least Muhammad is never said to have committed sin.

C. If you read what Muhammadan writers have related concerning his life, his treatment of the Jews, his conduct towards those who had lampooned him, his matrimonial relations, and other

1 A well known Tradition states that on the Judgment Day every prophet except Jesus, when asked to act as Mediator or Intercessor, will decline, alleging his sins as a reason for not being able to do so. Unfortunately, however, this Tradition represents Muhammad as undertaking the task, which our Lord also is said to decline, though He gives no reason for so doing. (Mishkat, Bab XXIII., fasl, xi.).

such matters, you will be able to form an opinion of your own upon that matter.

86. M. Some of these things would have been wrong in any one else, but in the Apostle of God they were not, because God commanded him to act as he did. Certain privileges also were granted him in matrimonial matters because he was God's chosen one. This we learn from Surah XXXIII., Al Ahzab, 38.

C. The affair of Zainab, to which that verse refers, and which is dealt with in the preceding (v. 37) verse of that Surah, is one upon which it would be well to reflect before pronouncing Muhammad sinless.

87. M. The Qur'an never attributes sin to Muhammad.

C. In Surah XLVIII., Al Fath, 2, God is represented as saying to Muhammad, "Verily, we have won for thee an undoubted victory, in order that God might forgive thee what went before of thy fault and what followed after1." 'Abbasi says that this means the faults he committed before he

1 Zamakshari is commenting on this verse says: "'What went before of thy fault,' i.e. the matter of Zainab, 'and what followed after,' i.e. the matter of Maryam (Mary the Copt)." In both of these cases, as Muslims must thus confess, Muhammad's sensual passions were the cause of his sin. (Rev. Dr. Zwemer.) Tradition represents Muhammad as acknowledging his own sinfulness. Cf. Hayatu'l Qulub, vol. II, pp. 75, 301; Mishkat, Bab X., fasl. iii., I; and fasl. vii., I; Bab XXII., fasl, xii.; Bab IV., fasl. xii., I; fasl. xix., I; fasl. xxiv., I. Vide Mr. James Monro's Teaching of the Moulvies as to the Sinfulness of Mahommed, 2nd Ed. (Parts I and II).