C. We do not ask you to abandon Monotheism. Belief in the Unity of God is the very foundation of Christianity in general, and of the doctrine of the Trinity in particular. Any one who abandons it and believes in three Gods is a Polytheist and not a Christian. Both in the Old Testament and in the New the Unity of God was taught ages before Muhammad's time. In the Torah, for example, Moses thus lays down the Kalimah or Creed of the Jews: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. vi. 4). In the Injil, Jesus repeats the very same words: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark xii. 29). The doctrine of the Trinity, as taught in the Bible and held by Christians in all ages since the Resurrection of Christ, is not contrary to this. Reason could not reveal to us the doctrine of the Trinity, but it is not contrary thereto; nay, we shall see that Reason demands our acceptance of the doctrine. Let us, however, leave the question of Reason for the present and confine ourselves to the Qur'an. What proofs have you that the Qur'an is opposed to belief in the Trinity?

131. M. The Qur'an in many places denies the doctrine of the Trinity; for instance in Surah V., Al Maidah, 77: "They surely are Infidels who say, 'God is a third of three': for there is no God but one God."

C. This verse is not contrary to the doctrine of the Trinity, for we all acknowledge that every


word in this extract is true. The doctrine opposed in this verse was never held by Christians at all. Certain heretics, followers of Marcion1, said that there were three Gods—the God of Justice, the God of Mercy, the God of Evil. Perhaps Muhammad had heard of this most blasphemous doctrine and here rejects it in God's name.

132. M. It is to Christians that this verse refers, for in the same Surah we read:—

"Surely now are they Infidels who say, 'God is the Messiah, Son of Mary': for the Messiah said, 'O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord'. . ." (v. 76). "The Messiah, Son of Mary, is but an Apostle; other Apostles have flourished before Him; and His mother was a just person: they both ate food. . ." (v. 79). "Say thou; 'O people of the Book! outstep not bounds of truth in your religion'. . ." (v. 81). "And when God shall say: 'O Jesus, Son of Mary! hast thou said unto mankind, 'Take Me and My mother as two Gods, beside God?' He shall say: 'Glory be unto Thee! it is not for Me to say that which I know to be not the truth . . . . I spake not unto them aught but that which Thou didst bid Me—Worship God, My Lord and your Lord'. . ." (vv. 116, 117).

C. The Qur'an here denounces the idea of a

1 Athanasius, Orationes contra Arianos, III. 15 (where he attributes the same doctrine to Mani also). Vide also Mosheim, Read's ed., Cent. II, pt. II, cap. V, § 7.