be unrivalled in Arabic, that does not prove it a miracle. In Sanskrit the Rig-Veda is a work which cannot be imitated successfully; in English no dramatist equals Shakespeare; in Persian Hafiz is unique in one form of composition, Firdausi in another. Yet no one supposes that these authors were prophets on this account. In a book which claims to be inspired we look not for elegance of style but for true doctrinal teaching1, as we do even in the case of ordinary theological works in our own time. When we test the Qur'an in this way, we find no reason for accepting it as a revelation (تنزيل) from God. Nay rather [as is shown in The Original Sources of the Qur'an], we come to a contrary conclusion.

128. M. How can you say that the Qur'an denies that Muhammad had power to work miracles, when the Traditions relate so many?

C. The Qur'an informs us that the unbelievers challenged Muhammad to work miracles, and that he evaded the demand by saying that miracles were in the power of God alone, and that he was not sent with miracles but with verses from the

1 The teaching of the Qur'an ought—as is well shown in the late Rev. Dr. Kœlle's Food for Reflection—to be as far deeper than, and superior to, that of the New Testament as that of the latter is to the Old Testament, if the Qur'an were a later and more perfect revelation from God. This is not the case. On the contrary, while the Bible deals with the great facts of sin and salvation most fully, the Qur'an almost ignores them, and its teaching is distinctly on a far lower level than that of the Law of Moses.

Qur'an, lest the Arabs should see miracles and still disbelieve, and therefore be destroyed as other unbelieving peoples had been. This is what we learn from the following passages: Surahs XXIX., Al 'Ankabut, 49, 50; XIII., Ar Ra'd, 8, 30; VI., Al An'am, 37, 57, 109; II., Al Baqarah, 112; X., Yunus, 21; XVII., Al Asra'1, 93, 95, 96; VII., Al A'raf, 202. But the statement in Surah XVII., Al Asra', 61 is the clearest of all: "Nothing hindered Us from sending (thee) with miracles, except that the peoples of old treated them as lies2." It is quite clear from this that Muhammad did not work miracles, for the Qur'an represents God as explaining why that power had not been given to him.

129. M. The Qur'an itself is a sufficient miracle, as we see in the same Surah, verse 91: "Say thou: Assuredly if mankind and the Jinn should conspire to produce the like 3 of this Qur'an, they could

1 Also called Surah Bani Israil.
2 In his commentary on this passage Baizawi thus paraphrases it: "That is to say: 'We have abstained from sending thee with miracles,' as the Quraish demand, 'only because the former peoples'—those of like temper with them, as the tribes of 'Ad and Thamud-'gave them the lie:' and so likewise would these men of Mecca: 'and they would otherwise have been destroyed according to our wont' (i. e. if they had rejected the miracles); so 'We determined not to destroy them,' seeing that there are amongst them those that believe, or will have believing seed." (Quoted in Sir W. Muir's English version of Sweet Firstfruits, p. 141.) 'Abbasi adopts virtually the same explanation.
3 The Qur'an does not tell us in what the likeness is to consist, whether in eloquence or in something else. Hence the difficulty in "bringing a verse like" one of those in the Qur'an. (Dr. H. M. Clark.)