Triad of Gods, consisting of 1God, Jesus and Mary. Christians have never believed in this Triad. It is only too true that many ignorant "Christians" in Muhammad's time worshipped Mary (as some still do), asking her to intercede with her Son for them, and the early Muhammadans may hence have fancied that belief in three separate Gods, of which Mary was one, was what was meant by the doctrine of the Trinity. But such an idea was wrong and of heathen origin. The Gospels show that Christ did not bid men worship His mother, and He did use words very similar to those here imputed to Him, for in John viii. 28, He says, "I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things"; and in xx. 17, He says, "I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God." But in both passages He asserts His own Divine Sonship. If therefore the Qur'an is correct in representing Him as saying, "I spake not unto them aught but that which Thou didst bid Me," we cannot be blamed for accepting this and every other part of His teaching.

133. M. The Qur'an refutes this as part of the doctrine of the Trinity, for in Surah IV., An Nisa', 169, we read: "O people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God speak

1 Vide Jalalu'ddin's commentary on Surah V., 77, and also his and Baizawi's and Yahya's comments on Surah IV., 156. These commentators show that their opinion was that the Christian Trinity consisted of Father, Mother, and Son.

only the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, is only an Apostle of God, and His Word which He conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. Believe therefore in God and His Apostles, and say not 'A Triad.' Forbear! it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a Son." And so we read in vv. 51, 116: "God truly will not forgive the joining other Gods with Himself."

C. Here again what is denounced is belief in three Gods—the sin of joining other gods with God. The Old Testament shows how severely the Israelites were punished for this sin, and the New Testament includes idolaters among those who "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. xxi. 8; cf. xxii. 15). We have already seen that it is the carnal idea of the generation of Christ which the Qur'an rightly rejects, as do all Christians. The acknowledgement that Christ is the Word of God (كلمة الله) implies in philosophical language what we mean by calling Christ God's Son, for the same title is used in John i. I, 14. Here again therefore we see that what the Qur'an repudiates is what we Christians too repudiate, and not the true doctrine of the Trinity (vide §§ 114, 135, and chapter V).

134. M. In Surah IX., At Taubah, 30, 31, we read: "The Christians say, 'The Messiah is a Son of God.' . . . God do battle with them! How are they misguided! They take their teachers