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wholly sensual. - Sale's Koran. Introd., p. 78.

[4] Sec 9.

[5] This shows the hatred of Christians for Mohammed, whom,
says Eulogius ("Mem. Sanct.," i. sec. 20), it would be every
Christian's duty to kill, were he alive on earth.

It is generally supposed that Mohammed could neither read nor write, and
this appears to have been the opinion of Alvar;[1] but the same witness
acknowledges that the Koran was composed in such eloquent and beautiful
language that even Christians could not help reading and admiring it.[2]

On the important question of Mohammed's position with regard to
Christianity, Eulogius[3] at least formed a correct judgment. Mohammed,
he tells us "blasphemously taught that Christ was the Word of God,[4]
and His Spirit;[5] a great prophet,[6] endowed with much power from
God;[7] like Adam in His creation,[8] but not equal to God (the
Creator);[9] and that by reason of His blameless[10] life, being filled
with the Holy Spirit,[11] He showed marvellous signs and wonders through
the power of God,[12] not working by His own Godhead, but as a righteous
Man, and an obedient servant,[13] obtaining much power and might from
the Almighty God through prayer."

[1] Alvar, "Ind. Lum.," sec. 26.

[2] _Ibid._, sec. 29. This is more than can be said at the
present day.

[3] Eul., "Lib. Apol.," sec. 19.

[4] Koran, ch. iii. 40.

[5] Koran, ch. ii. 81, "strengthened with Holy Spirit."

[6] Kor., c. iii. 59.

[7] Kor., c. iii. 45.

[8] Kor., c. iii. 50.

[9] Kor., c. ix. 33.

[10] Kor., c. iii.

[11] This is a mistake of Eulogius. See Sale's note on Koran,
ch. ii. 81, note.

[12] Kor., ch. v. 110 ff.

[13] Koran, cc. iv. ad fin; xliii. 59.

Alvar is much more unfair to Mohammed than his friend Eulogius, and he
even seems to have had a prejudiced idea[1] that the Prophet set himself
deliberately to preach doctrines the opposite of those taught by Christ.
It would be nearer to the truth to say that the divergence between the
two codes of morals was due to the natural ignorance of an illiterate
Arabian, brought into contact only with an heretical form of
Christianity, the real doctrines of which he was therefore not likely to

According to Alvar, the sixth day of the week was chosen for the
Mohammedan holy day, because Christ suffered on that day. We shall
realise the absurdity of this when we consider the reverence in which
Mohammed held the very name of Christ, going so far even as to deny that
Christ Himself was crucified at all.[2] The true reason for selecting
Friday, as alleged by Mohammed himself, was, because the work of
creation ended on that day.[3]

Again, sensuality was preached, says Alvar, because Christ preached
chastity. But Mohammed cannot fairly be said to have preached
sensuality, though his private life in this respect was by no means

Gluttony was advocated instead of fasting. A more baseless charge was
never made; for how can it be contended that Christianity enjoins
fasting, while Islam disapproves of it, in the face of such texts as
Matthew ix. 14,[4] and Isaiah lviii. 6 - "Is not this the fast that I
have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy
burdens, and to let the oppressed go free?" on the one hand; and on the
other the express injunction of the Koran[5]: - "O true believers, a fast
is ordained you, as it was ordained to those before you ... if ye fast,
it will be better for you, if ye knew it. The month of Ramadan shall ye
fast." But Alvar goes on to make a more astonishing statement
still: - "Christ ordained that men should abstain from their wives during
a fast, while Mohammed consecrated those days to carnal pleasure."
Christ surely gives us no such injunction, though St Paul does say
something of the kind. The Koran[6] explicitly says - "It is lawful for
you on the night of the fast to go in unto your wives; they are a
garment unto you, and you are a garment unto them." We even find an
incident recorded by an Arabian writer, where Yahya ibn Yahya, the
famous faqui, imposed a penance of a month's extra fast on Abdurrahman
II. (822-852) for violating the Prophet's ordinance, that wives should
be abstained from during the fasting month.[7] Alvar, being a layman,
may perhaps be supposed not to have studied Mohammedanism critically,
and that his zeal was not according to knowledge is perhaps the best
explanation of the matter. In one place[8] he informs us of his
intention of writing a book on the Cobar,[9] but the work, if ever
written, has not survived. Nor is this much to be regretted, if we may
judge by the wild remarks he indulges in elsewhere[10] on this theme. In
that passage he seems to apply the obscure prophecy of Daniel[11] to
Mohammed, forgetting that verse 37 speaks of one who "shall regard not
the desire of women," a description hardly characteristic of Mohammed.
He identifies the God Maozim (Hebr. Mauzim), which our revised version
(v. 38) translates the "God of fortresses" with the Mohammedan
Cobar;[12] and the strange god, whom he shall acknowledge, Alvar
identifies with the devil which inspired the Prophet in the guise of the
angel Gabriel. All this, as the writer himself allows, is very

[1] See Dozy, ii. 107.

[2] See Koran, cc. iii. 47; iv. 157; and Sale's notes.

[3] See Sale's note on Koran, c. lxii. 9.

[4] Cf. also Matt. xi. 19 - "The Son of Man came eating and
drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man and a

[5] Chapter ii. 180.

[6] Chapter ii. 185. The Mohammedan fast is confined to the day

[7] From Ibn Khallekan, apud Dozy, ii. 108.

[8] "Ind. Lum.," sec. 25.

[9] _I.e._, the Caaba apparently.

[10] "Ind. Lum.," sec. 25, ff.

[11] C. xi. vv. 21, ff.

[12] ? Caaba.

Alvar does not scruple even to accuse the Moslems of idolatry, asserting
that the Arabian tribes worship their idol (the Caaba black stone[1]) as
they used to do of yore, and that they set apart a holy month, Al Mozem,
in honour of this idol.[2]

Finally, Mohammed is spoken of variously as the precursor of
Antichrist,[3] or as Antichrist himself.[4]

Let us now see how far we can gather the opinions of educated Moslems
with regard to Christian doctrine and worship. If we find these to be no
less one-sided and erroneous than the opinions of Christians as to
Mohammedanism, yet can we the more easily excuse the Moslems, for the
Koran itself, the very foundation and guide of all their religious
dogmas, is full of incorrect and inconsistent notions on the subject.

The most important of these mistakes was that the Christians worshipped
a Trinity of Deities - God, Christ, Mary.[5] The inclusion of the Virgin
Mary into this Trinity was perhaps due to the fact that worship was paid
to her even at that early date, as it certainly is among the Roman
Catholics at this day. As will have been seen from a passage quoted
above,[6] something very like adoration was already paid to the Virgin
in the churches of Spain.

[1] Sale, Introduction to Koran, p. 91.

[2] Alvar, "Ind. Lum.," sec. 25.

[3] _Ibid._, sec. 21.

[4] _Ibid._, sec. 53.

[5] See Koran, v. ad fin.: - "And when God shall say unto Jesus
at the last day: O Jesus, son of Mary, hast thou said unto men,
Take me and my mother for two Gods, beside God? he shall
answer, Praise be unto thee! it is not for me to say that which
I ought not."

[6] P. 56.

But the following extract from a treatise on Religions, by Ali ibn
Hazm,[1] the prime minister of Abdurrahman V. (Dec. 1023-March 1024),
will show that some educated Moslems knew enough of the Christian creed
to appreciate its difficulties: - "We need not be astonished," says Ibn
Hazm, "at the superstition of men. Look at the Christians! They are so
numerous that God only knows their numbers. They have among them men of
great intelligence, and princes of great ability. Nevertheless they
believe that three is one, and one is three; that one of the three is
the Father, another the Son, another the Spirit; that the Father is, and
is not, the Son; that a man is, and is not, God; that the Messiah is God
in every respect, and yet not the same as God; that He who has existed
from all eternity has been created.

"One of their sects, the members of which they call Jacobites, and which
number hundreds of thousands, believes even that the Creator Himself was
scourged, crucified, and put to death; so that the Universe for three
days was deprived of its Governor."

Another extract from an Arabic writer will show us what the Moslems
thought of the worship of St James, the patron saint of Spain, round
whose shrine rallied the religious revival in the north of the
Peninsula. It is Ibn Hayyan,[2] who, in his account of Almanzor's
fiftieth expedition against the Christians, says: - "Shant Yakoh
(Santiago)[3] is one of the sanctuaries most frequented, not only by the
Christians of Andalus, but of the neighbouring continent, who look upon
its church with a veneration such as Moslems entertain for the Caaba of
Mecca; for their Caaba is a colossal idol (statue) which stands in the
middle of the church. They swear by it, and repair to it in pilgrimage
from the most distant parts, from Rome, as well as other countries
beyond Rome, pretending that the tomb to be seen in the church is that
of Yakob (James), one of the twelve apostles, and the most beloved by
Isa (Jesus). - May the blessing of God be on him, and on our
Prophet! - The Christians call this Yakob the brother of Jesus, because,
while he lived, he was always with him. They say that he was Bishop of
Jerusalem, and that he wandered over the earth preaching the religion
[of Christ], and calling upon the inhabitants to embrace it, till he
came to that remote corner of Andalus; that he then returned to Syria,
where he died at the age of 120 solar years. They pretend likewise that,
after the death of Yakob, his disciples carried his body and buried it
in that church, as the most remote part, where he had left traces [of
his preaching]."

[1] II. 227, apud Dozy, iii. 342. Ibn Hazm was, says Dozy, "a
strict Moslem, _averse to judging divine questions by human

[2] Al Makkari, ii. 293.

[3] Miss Yonge, p. 87, says the Arabs called him Sham Yakub,
but what authority has this statement?

In a country where literature and the arts were so keenly cultivated, as
they were in Spain during the time of Arab domination, and where the
rivalry of Christian, Jew, and Moslem produced a sustained period of
intellectual activity such as the world has rarely seen, controversial
theology could not fail to have been largely developed. But the books,
if any were written, from the Christian or Moslem standpoint, have all
perished, and we have only such slight and unsatisfactory notices left
to us as those already quoted.

In estimating, therefore, what influences the rival religions of Spain
had upon each other, we are driven to draw such inferences as we can
from the meagre hints furnished to us by the writers of the period; from
our knowledge of what Christianity was in Spain, and Mohammedanism in
Africa, before they were brought into contact in Andalusia, compared
with what they became after that contact had made itself felt; and from
the observed effects of such relations elsewhere. Upon a careful
consideration of these scattered hints we shall see that certain
effects were visible, which, had the amalgamation of the two peoples
been allowed to continue uninterruptedly for a longer period, and had
there been no disturbing element in the north of Spain and in Africa,
would in all probability have led to some marked modification in one or
both religions, and even to their nearer assimilation.



Such mixtures of religions are by no means without example in history.
The Sabians, for instance, were the followers of a religion, which may
have been a cross between Judaism, Christianity, and Magianism.[1] But
Mohammedanism itself has furnished the most marked instances of such
amalgamation. In Persia Islam combined with the creed of Zoroaster to
produce Babyism; while in India Hinduism and Mohammedanism, fused
together by the genius of Nanak Guru, have resulted in Sikhism.

It may be said that Mohammedanism has been able to unite with
Zoroastrianism and Hinduism owing to their very dissimilarity with
itself, whereas Christianity is too near akin to Islam to combine with
it in such a way as to produce a religion like both, and yet different
from either.[2] Christianity and Mohammedanism, each have two cardinal
doctrines (and two only) which cannot be abrogated if they are to remain
distinctive creeds. In one of these, the unity of God, they agree. In
the other they do, and always must, differ. The divinity of Christ on
the one side, and the divine mission of Mohammed on the other, are
totally incompatible doctrines. If the one is true, the other cannot be
so. Surrender both, and the result is Judaism. No compromise would seem
possible. Yet a compromise was attempted, if we can credit a statement
attributed by Dozy to Ibn Khaldun,[3] in recounting the history of the
successful rebel, Abdurrahman ibn Merwan ibn Yunas, who during the last
quarter of the ninth century, while all Moslem Spain was a prey to the
wildest anarchy, became a leader of the renegade or Muwallad party in
Merida and the neighbourhood. Thinking to unite the Muwallads and
Christians in one revolt, he preached to his countrymen a new religion,
which held a place halfway between Christianity and Islam. This is all
we are told of an endeavour, which might have led to the most important
consequences. That we hear no more of it is evidence enough that the
attempt proved abortive. The only other attempt, if it can be called so,
to combine Islam and Christianity has resulted in that curious compound
called the religion of the Druses.

[1] For an attempted compromise between Christianity and
Brahmanism, see the proceedings of Beschi, a Roman Catholic
priest, "Education and Missions," p. 14.

[2] Cp., however, the Druse religion.

[3] Dozy, ii. 184. Dozy adds that Abdurrahman was called the
Galician (el Jaliki) in consequence of this attempt of his: but
there is some error here, as Ibn Hayyan (see Al Makkari, ii.
439, and De Gayangos' note) says he was called ibn ul'jaliki,
_i.e._, of the stock of the Galicians.

But though no religion, holding a position midway between Islam and
Christianity, arose in Spain, yet those religions could hardly fail to
undergo considerable modifications in themselves by reason of their
close contact for several centuries.

In respect to Christianity we shall naturally find the traces (if any)
of such modification in the so-called heresies which may have arisen in
Spain during this period. These will require a somewhat strict
examination to be made to yield up their secret.

The Church of Spain seems to have gained a reputation for introducing
innovations[1] into the doctrines and practices of the true faith, and
even of priding itself on its ingenuity in this way. The very first
Council whose acts have come down to us, held at Elvira in Spain, early
in the fourth century, contains a canon censuring the use of pictures.
The very first heretics, who were punished for their error with death by
the hands of their fellow-Christians, were reared in the bosom of the
Spanish Church. The doctrine, novel then, but accepted now by all the
Western Churches, of the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son as
well as from the Father, was first formulated in a Spanish Council at
the end of the sixth century, but not universally received in the West
until 600 years later.[2] And as we have seen, the use of pictures was
denounced long before the times of the Iconoclasts.

We will now take in order the several heresies that made themselves
noticeable in Spain, or Gothic Gaul, during the Arab supremacy, and see
if we can trace any relation between them and the Moslem faith.

To take an unimportant one first, a heresy is mentioned as having arisen
in Septimania (Gothic Gaul), presumably during the eighth century.[3] It
was more practical than speculative, and consisted in a denial of the
need of confession to a priest, on the (unimpeachable) ground that men
ought to confess to God alone. This appears to us Protestants a wholly
laudable and reasonable contention; but not so to the worthy abbé who
records it: cette doctrine, _si favorable à libertinage_, trouva un
grand nombre de partisans, et excite encore le zèle d'Alcuin.[4]

[1] Alcuin ad Elipandum, iv. 13 - -"Audi me, obsecro, patienter,
scholastica Hispaniae congregatio, tibi loquentem, quae novi
semper aliquid audire vel praedicare desideras, non contenta
ecclesiae universalis Catholica fide, nisi tu aliquid per te
invenies, unde tuum nomen celebrares in mundo."

[2] Lateran Council, 1215.

[3] See, however, Alcuin's letter to the clergy of the
province, Ep., 71. Migne, vol. ci. p. 1594.

[4] Rohrbacher, "Hist. Univ. dé l'Eglise Cathol.," ix. 309.

That this error was due in any sense to the influence of the Arabs in
the neighbouring territories of Spain, it is of course impossible to
affirm, but at all events the reform was quite in the spirit of the
verses of the Koran: "O ye who have received[1] the Scripture come to a
just determination between us and you, that we worship not any except
God, and associate no creature with Him: and that the one of us take not
the other for lords, beside God." And "They take their priests and monks
for their lords besides God."[2]

[1] Chap. iii. p. 39. See Sale's note: "that is, come to such
terms of agreement as are indisputably consonant to the
doctrine of all the prophets and Scriptures, and therefore
cannot reasonably be rejected."

[2] Chap. ix. Mohammed charged the Jews and Christians with
idolatry both on other grounds and because "they paid too
implicit an obedience to their priests and monks, who took upon
them to pronounce what things were lawful and what unlawful,
and to dispense with the laws of God." See Sale, _Ibid._
_Cp._ -

Haughty of heart and brow the warrior came,
In look and language proud as proud might be,
Vaunting his lordship, lineage, fights, and fame,
Yet was that barefoot monk more proud than he.
And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree,
So round the loftiest soul his toils he wound;
And with his spells subdued the fierce and free.
Till ermined age and youth in arms renowned
Honouring his scourge and hair-cloth meekly kissed the ground.

And thus it chanced that valour, peerless knight,
Who ne'er to king or kaiser veiled his crest,
Victorious still in bull-feast or in fight,
Since first with mail his limbs he did invest,
Stooped ever to that anchoret's behest;
Nor reasoned of the right, nor of the wrong,
But at his bidding laid the lance in rest,
And wrought fell deeds the troubled world along,
For he was fierce as brave, and pitiless as strong.
- SCOTT'S "Don Roderick," xxix. xxx.

Let us next consider an heretical view of the Trinity attributed to
Migetius (_circa_ 750). According to the rather obscure account, which
has come down to us,[1] he seems to have regarded the Three Persons of
the Trinity, at least in their relations with the world, as corporeal,
the Father being personified in David, the Son in Jesus, and the Holy
Ghost in Paul. It is difficult to believe that the doctrine, thus
crudely stated by Elipandus, was really held by anyone. We may perhaps
infer[2] that Migetius revived the error of Priscillian (itself a form
of Sabellianism), and reducing the Three Persons of the Trinity to one,
acknowledged certain [Greek: energeiai], or powers, emanating from Him,
which were manifested in David, Jesus, Paul respectively. As the first
and last of these three recipients of the Divine powers were confessedly
men, it follows that Migetius was ready to strip Jesus of that Divinity,
which is the cardinal doctrine of Christianity, and which more than any
other doctrine distinguishes it from the creed of Mohammed. Accordingly
he appears to have actually denied the divinity of the Word,[3] and in
this he made an approach to Mohammedanism.[4]

[1] Elipandus to Migetius, sec. 3. See Migne, vol. 96, p. 859.

[2] With Enhueber. Dissert, apud Migne, ci., p. 338 ff., sec.

[3] Enhueber, sec. 32.

[4] Neander, v. 216, n., says, Migetius held that the [Greek:
Logos] became personal with the assumption of Christ's
humanity; that the [Greek: Logos] was the power constituting
the personality of Christ. Hence, says Neander, he was accused
of asserting that Christ, the son of David according to the
flesh, and not Christ, the Son of God, was the Second Person of
the Trinity.

A similar, but seemingly not identical, error was propagated by those
who, as we learn from a letter of Alvar to Speraindeo, did not believe
the Three in One and One in Three, "denying the utterances of the
prophets, rejecting the doctrine of learned men, and, while they claimed
to take their stand upon the Gospel, pointing to texts like John xx. 17,
'I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, unto my God and your God,' to
prove that Christ was merely man."[1] In his answer to Alvar's letter,
Speraindeo says, "If we speak of the Trinity as one Person, we Judaize;"
he might have added, "and Mohammedanize." These heretics, according to
the abbot, spoke of three powers (_virtutes_) forming one Person, not,
as the orthodox held, three Persons forming one God.[2] Here we see a
close resemblance to the error mentioned in the preceding paragraph; but
the heretics we are now dealing with make an even closer approach to the
teaching of Mohammed in their quotation of John xx. 17 given above, as
will be seen, if we compare with that text the following passages of the
Koran, put into the mouth of Christ: "Verily, God is my Lord, and your
Lord; therefore serve him:"[3] "They are surely infidels who say,
verily, God is Christ, the Son of Mary, since Christ said, O children of
Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord:"[4] and, "I have not spoken
unto them any other than what thou didst command me - namely, worship
God, my Lord and your Lord."[5]

[1] Alvar's letter. Florez, xi. 147. Another text quoted in
defence of this doctrine of Agnoetism was Matt. xxiv. 36: "Of
that day and that hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels of
heaven, but my Father only." In answer to this, Speraindeo
refers to Gen. iii. 9, where God the Father seems not to know
where Adam is.

[2] Speraindeo's illustration of the Trinity cannot be called a
happy one. He likens it to a king, whose power is one, but made
up of the man himself, his diadem, and his purple.

[3] Koran, c. iii. v. 46.

[4] Kor., c. v. 77.

[5] Kor., c. v. 118.

We come next to the famous Adoptionist heresy, the most remarkable and
original of those innovations to which Alcuin taunts the Spanish Church
with being addicted. Unfortunately we derive little of our knowledge of
the new doctrine from the originators and supporters of it - our
information on the subject coming chiefly from passages quoted by their
opponents (notably our own Alcuin) in controversial works. But that the
heresy had an important connection with the Mohammedan religion has been
the opinion of many eminent writers on Church history. Mariana, the
Spanish historian, and Baronius, the apologist for the Roman Church,
held that the object of the new heresiarchs was, "by lowering the
character of Christ, to pave the way for a union between Christians and
Mohammedans."[1] Enhueber,[2] also, in his treatise on this subject,
quotes a tract, "De Primatu Ecclesiae Toletanae," which attributes the
heresy to its author, Elipandus, being brought into so close a contact
with the Saracens, and living on such friendly terms with them.[3]

Neander[4] thinks that there are some grounds for supposing that Felix,
one of the authors of the heresy, had been employed in defending
Christianity against objections brought against it from the Moslem
standpoint,[5] and in proving the divinity of Christ, so that they might

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