From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(n.) Alt. of Mohammedism

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

called by its professors Islam, meaning "resignation" or "entire submission" (i.e. to the will of God), in accordance with the Koran, which, as we have already seen in the article under that heading, is the Bible of the Mohammedan, and in the days of the Prophet was the only sacred book in use, the sole exponent of duty and privilege to the Moslem, as the Mohammedan calls himself. The Koran, however, being a miscellaneous collection of hymns,, prayers, dogmas, sermons, occasional speeches, narratives, legends, laws, orders for the time in which they were given, without any chronological arrangement, and full of repetitions anti contradictions, owing to the manner of its collection, which took place subsequent to Mohammed's death, soon proved too disconnected to be continued, even by the most ardent disciple of Islam, as the sole guide of authority. Neither dogmas nor laws are here reduced to a system; they had been inserted by piecemeal just as they had been written down, or even afterwards discovered in the reminiscences of Mohammed's companions. But, aside from these imperfections of contradictions, repetitions, and the want of system, it was manifest also that the Koran was lacking in instruction on many important theological questions, in which light the Mohammedan is accustomed to regard all ritual, dogmatic, and juridical matters.

The Moslem therefore resorted, in the first place, to oral tradition, and by the aid of reported expressions of the Prophet, and examples in his public and private life (Hadith and Sunnah), supplemented the deficiencies and elucidated the obscure passages of the Koran (q.v.). When this resource failed to meet all wants, the decrees of the imams, i.e. of the caliphs as spiritual heads, were raised to the authority of divine laws and doctrines. Thus a religious structure, extended by analogy and Induction, supported by the Koran, by tradition, and by decrees of the imams, comprising juridical, ritualistic, and dogmatic doctrines, was gradually completed into a systematic whole, sufficient for all purposes as a guide to the Moslem. But we need hardly add that into such a peculiar construction contradictions in theory and practice have found their way, according to the different traditions and decisions of the imams or expounders of the law, besides the various interpretations put upon the Koran itself within the pale of the different Mohammedan sects that have arisen since the days of the Prophet. (See Mohammedan Sects). For the historical and ethical circumstances that conduced to the Origin and progress of Mohammedanism, (See Mohammed). Moslemism consists of a dogmatical or theoretical part, called "Iman" (i.e. faith), and a practical part, called "Din" (i.e. religion.) (See Vambery, Der Islam im neunzehnten Jahrhundert [Leips. 1875]).

I. Dogmas. The doctrines of Islam, as originally instituted upon its foundation, may be reduced to three leading propositions, viz.:

(1) the doctrine of one Deity,

(2) of the revelation or prophetic vision of Mohammed, and

(3) the immortality of the soul,

the latter being closely interlinked with the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, of paradise, and of hell, the day of judgment, and the rewarding of the good and faithful, as well as the punishment of the wicked and of infidels. Though these doctrines are plain and simple, they became, nevertheless, even in the first century of the Mohammedan aera, subjects of the most violent polemics. A man like Mohammed, in whom not the least trace of scholarly education is to be found, was unable to set up a systematic structure of doctrines. True, we find in sundry passages of the Koran that God is the creator and preserver of the world; that. he is One, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, just, and gracious. But the Arabs, after becoming acquainted with Persian religions and ideas, and with Grecian philosophy, would not be satisfied with such simplicity. Their desire for knowledge led them to further inquiries, for which they found no solution in the Koran, and which therefore gave occasion to dissensions, the more irremediable as they were in part connected with political differences. At the very earliest epoch reflective minds among the faithful took offence and exception to many dogmas, particularly on the essence of the Deity and its relation to mankind, as well' as to the irrational doctrines concerning the Koran itself. Thus the orthodox taught that the divine attributes existed, so to speak, by the side of Deity; while the Motazelites, i.e. the Separatists, considered the Deity itself as the essence of wisdom, beneficence, power, and other qualities. The doctrine of the justice of God led the latter (i.e. the dissenters) further to accept the dogma of human free will, while the orthodox inclined more or less to the Augustinian doctrine of predestination and grace. This same doctrine induced the liberal Mohammedans to assume a gradation of sin and punishment; while, according to the opinion of the strictly orthodox, every Moslem who commits only one sin, and departs this life without repentance, is consigned to eternal punishment. (See below.) Thus also the absolute unity of the Deity induced the Separatists to maintain that the Koran was created, since otherwise two (things) beings must have existed from eternity; the orthodox, on the contrary, regard the Koran as something uncreated, lest, God being immutable, it be viewed as not belonging to his being, and thereby the whole doctrine of revelation become undermined. The latter dogma was fiercely disputed under the caliph Mamun, who instituted a formal inquisition, .and persecuted to the utmost the adherents of the doctrine of the eternity of the Koran.

Much controversy arose also concerning the dogma of divine foreordination, and both contending parties found no difficulty in bringing proof from the Koran, which is especially rich in contradictions on this point. In one passage it reads: "To him who wants this world we give directly according to our pleasure; but he will be rejected and derided in the future state, and burned in hell." In another passage it is said: "Follow the most beautiful sent to you from your Lord, before punishment befalls you, and you find no more assistance; before the soul exclaims, Woe to me ! I have sinned and was of the mockers; or, If God would have guided me, I Would have feared him; or, Could I return to the earth, I would practice the good. Not so; my signs (the verses of the Koran) have come to thee, thou hast declared them lies, thou wast haughty and unbelieving.". While these and similar passages, as well as the continual threats and promises, speak clearly in favor of a dogma of human free will. there are others which make the acts of man dependent on the divine will, and render man, as to virtue and vice, a blind instrument of divine arbitrariness. Thus we read: "For those who are unbelievers, it is the same whether thou (God is speaking to Mohammed) admonishest them or not; they believe not. God has sealed their hearts, and over their eyes and ears there is a covering." And further: "The infidels say, Why does God not send any miracles to him (Mohammed)? Say, The Lord leaves in error whom he chooses, and guides those who turn to him who believe, and whose hearts find rest at the thought of Divinity." Very frequently we meet in the Koran with the phrase: "God guides whom he pleases, and leaves in error whom he pleases." These and similar verses, however, if we survey the whole without any bias, can be interpreted as meaning that God in his wisdom appoints at what time and which people he will bless by his revelation, and that he strengthens by faith the men who desire the good and true in their aspirations, while he abandons those in whom the propensity for evil predominates, to their more and more increasing corruption, and thus measurably hardens their hearts. Again: if the doctrine of predestination is stiffly adopted, not to come in conflict with divine justice, the doctrine of original sin i.e. of an internal corruption of mankind in consequence of the Sin of Adam must also be assumed. But such a dogma is not mooted in the Koran; on the contrary, in several places the idea of accountability for the sins of others is controverted. There is, to be sure, in the Koran, as in the Old Testament, the narrative of the first human couple residing in paradise, of their disobedience against God's interdiction, and of their expulsion from it; however, when Adam repented of his sin, God pardoned him, and said to him: "Leave the paradise, but my guide (revelation) will come to you; he who follows it has nothing to fear and never will know sorrow, but the infidels who declare our signs lies will be eternal inmates of hell." Thus it is evidently taught that the curse which rested on the human race by Adam's sin is averted; divine grace manifests itself by revelation, and every prophet from Adam to Mohammed, who designated himself as the last one for the seal of prophecy, is a Saviour for every one who believes in revelation, and acts according to its precepts, era further grace to purify mankind from original sin, and enable them to regain the beatitude of paradise, no mention is made, consequently the idea of being predestined to damnation would not be compatible with divine justice.

The history of the prophets also occupies a very large space in the Koran. Besides the Old Testament, several other prophets are named, who are said to have been sent to the extinct tribes of Arabia. The history of all these so- called divine messengers is embellished with many legends, partly to be found in the Talmud and in the Midrash, but by Mohammed fashioned to suit his purpose, in order to inspire his antagonists with fear and his votaries with consolation. He likes to identify. himself with the Biblical prophets, puts into their mouth such words as he addressed the Meccans, represents also those messengers of God's as disregarded by their contemporaries, and that hence God's wrath is inflamed, and infidels are caused to perish with ignominy, until finally, however, truth tries to prevail, and the persecuted prophet triumphs, surrounded by the few who believed in him previous to the divine punishment. In pursuance of this system, Mohammed, to be consistent, cannot accept the crucifixion of Christ; for no man ought to atone for the sins of others, nor ought a prophet to be forsaken by God. Therefore the Koran teaches it was not Christ who was crucified, but an infidel Jew whom God invested with the form of Christ, whom the Jews crucified in his stead. "Verily, Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, is the apostle of God, and his word, which he conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit proceeding from him, honorable in this world and in the world to come; and one of those who approach near to the presence of God. Yet Jesus was a mere mortal, and not the son of God; his enemies conspired against his life, but a phantom was substituted for him on the cross, while he was translated to heaven" (Sur. 3:54; 4:156,159). There is also other mention and estimate expressed in the Koran concerning Christ. He is called the living Word and Spirit of God. The miraculous birth of Christ has nothing offensive to Mohammed, for Adam had also been created by the breath of God.

Neither does he hesitate to receive all miracles related in the Gospels, since similar ones had been performed by Abraham and Moses. Even the ascension is to him neither new nor incredible, as the same is reported of Elijah and Enoch. Besides the crucifixion, he abhors in the Christian dogmas the supposition that a prophet with his mother are placed next to the Deity, and declares the Trinitarian view to be an impious fiction of the priests. The Mohammedan doctrine of God's nature and attributes coincides with the Christian, in as much as he is by both taught to be the creator of all things in heaven and earth, who rules and preserves all things, without beginning, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and full of mercy. Yet, according to the Mohammedan belief, he has no offspring: "He begetteth not, nor is he begotten." Nor is Jesus called anything but a prophet and an apostle although Mohammed goes so far as to say that the birth of Christ was due to a miraculous divine operation. But after all it is taught that, as the Koran superseded the Gospel, so Mohammed supersedes Christ, and he is declared to be by far the most illustrious apostle (Sur. 23:40). Of particular importance for Mohammed is the annunciation of a Paraclete, which he applied to himself, either pretending or even actually believing it to be himself. Of equal significance for him, and therefore treated by him with great predilection, is Abraham, first, because of his simple doctrines, to which Mohammed himself adhered in the early period of his prophetic mission; and, secondly, on account of the sacred places and relics in Mecca of which he (Abraham) is called the thunder; and, thirdly and finally, because he was the father of Ishmael, from whom Mohammed and his race claim descent. The Sunnites look in quite a different light upon the prophets. They regard them, as a class, as the simple carriers of revelation, but in all other respects declare them to be common men, liable to human infirmities; while the Shiites pronounce them perfectly pure and sinless, like the angels, instruments of God who only execute and always have executed his orders, except Iblis, who on account of his disobedience Was rejected, and, as Satan, tries to seduce men. An impor-tant dogma with the Shiites is that of the Imamat, or hereditary succession of descendants of the Prophet by his daughter Fatima, consort of Ali a doctrine which the Sunnites do not acknowledge. Many of them see in the caliphate merely a political institution, which ought to have the welfare of the nations for its foundation and supreme end.

A prominent dogma in Islam is the belief in angels, whom they thus picture: Created of fire, and endowed with a kind of uncorporeal body, they stand between God and man, adoring or waiting upon the former, or interceding for and guarding the latter. The four chief angels are "The Holy Spirit," or "Angel of Revelations" Gabriel; the special protector and guardian of the Jews Michael; the "Angel of Death" Azrael (Raphael, in the apocryphal gospel of Barnabas), and Isra-fil Uriel, whose office it will be to sound the trumpet at the resurrection. It will hardly be necessary, after what we have said under MOHAMMED, to point out, in every individual instance, how most of his 6, religious,, notions were taken almost bodily from the Jewish legends; this angelology, however, the Jews had themselves borrowed from the Persians. only altering the names, and, in a few cases, the offices of the chief angelic dignitaries. Besides angels, there are' good and evil genii, the chief of the latter being Iblis (Despair), once called Azazil, who, refusing to pay homage to Adam, was rejected by God. These Jin are of a grosset fabric than angels, and subject to death. They, too, have different names and offices (Peri, Fairies; Div, Giants; Takvins.. Fates, etc.), and are, in almost every respect, like the Shedim in the Talmud and Midrash. A further point of belief is that of certain God- given Scriptures, revealed successively to the different prophets. Four only of the original one hundred and four sacred books, viz. the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Gospel, and the Koran, are said to have survived; the three former, however, in a mutilated and falsified condition. Besides these, a certain apocryphal gospel, attributed to St. Barnabas, and the writings of Daniel, together with those of a few other prophets, are taken notice of by the Moslems, but not as canonical books. The number of prophets, sent at various times, is stated variously at between two and three hundred thousand, among whom 313 were apostles, and six were specially commissioned to proclaim new laws and dispensations, which abrogated the preceding ones. These were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed the last the greatest of them all, and the propagator of the final dispensation.

The belief in the resurrection and the final judgment is another important article of faith. The dead are received in their graves by an angel announcing the coming of the two examiners, Monker and Nakir, Who put questions to the corpse respecting his belief in God and Mohammed, and who, in accordance with the answers. either torture or comfort him. This, again, is the Jewish "Chibbut hak-keber," the Beating of the Grave, a hyperbolical description of the sufferings during the intermediate state after death. The soul, awaiting the general resurrection, enters according to its rank, either immediately into paradise (prophets), or partakes, in the shape of a green bird, of the delights of the abode of bliss (martyrs), or in the Case of common believers is supposed either to stay near the grave, or to be with Adam in the lowest heaven, or to remain either in the well of Zem- Zem, or in the trumpet of the resurrection. According to others, it rests in the shape of a white bird under the throne of God. The souls of the infidels dwell in a certain well in the province of Hadramaut (Heb. Courts of Death), or, being first offered to heaven, then offered to earth, and rejected by either, become subject to unspeakable tortures until the day of resurrection.

Mohammedan theologians are very much divided in regard to the doctrine of the resurrection. Mohammed himself seems to have held that both soul and body will be raised, and the "Bone Luz" of the Jewish Haggadah was by him transformed into the bone A1-Ajb, the rump-bone, which will remain uncorrupted until the last day, and from which the whole body will spring anew, after a forty-days' rain. Among the signs by which the approach of the last day may be known nearly all taken from the legendary part of the Talmud and Midrash, where the. signs of the coming of the Messiah are enumerated-are the decay of faith among men, the advancing of the meanest persons to highest dignities, wars, seditions, and tumults, and consequent dire distress, so that a man passing another's grave shall say: "Would to God I were in his place!" Certain provinces shall revolt, and the buildings of Medina shall reach to Yahab. Again: the sun will. rise in the west; the Beast will appear; Constantinople will be taken by the descendants of Isaac; the Antichrist will come, and be killed by Jesus at Lud. There will further take place a war with the Jews, Gog and Magog's (Jajug and Ma-juj's) eruption, a great smoke, an eclipse, the Mohammedans will return to idolatry, a great treasure will be found in the Euphrates, the Kaaba will be destroyed by the Ethiopians, beasts and inanimate things will speak, and, finally, a wind will sweep away the souls of those who have faith, even if equal only to a grain of mustard seed, so that the world shall be left in ignorance.

The time of the resurrection even Mohammed could not learn from Gabriel: iris a mystery. Three blasts will announce it: that of consternation, of such terrible powers that mothers shall neglect the babes on their breasts, and that heaven and earth will melt; that of exanimation, which will annihilate all things and beings, even the angel of death, save paradise and hell, and their inhabitants; and, forty years later, that of resurrection, when all men, Mohammed first, shall have their souls breathed into their restored bodies, and will sleep in their sepulchres until the final doom has been passed upon them. The day of judgment, lasting from one to fifty thousand years, will call up angels, genii, men, and animals. The trial over, the righteous will enter paradise, to the right hand, and the wicked will pass to the left, into hell; both, however, have first to go over the bridge Al-Sirat, laid over the midst of hell, being finer than a hair. and sharper than the edge of a sword, and beset with thorns on either side. The right, eous will proceed on their path with ease and swiftness, but the wicked will fall down headlong to hell below. Paradise is divided from hell by a partition (Orf), in which a certain number of half-saints will find place. The blessed, destined for the abodes of eternal delight (Jannat-Aden; Heb. Gan-Eden) of which it. is, however, not quite certain whether it is already created will first drink of the Pond of the Prophet, which is supplied from the rivers of paradise, whiter than milk, trod more odoriferous than musk. Arrived at one of the eight gates, they will be met by beautiful youths and angels; and their degree of righteousness (prophets, religious teachers, martyrs, believers) will procure for them the corresponding degree of happiness. It may, however, not be superfluous to add that, according to the Mohammedan doctrine, it is not a person's good works or merits which gain his admittance, but solely God's mercy; also that the poor will enter paradise five hundred years before the rich; and that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women.

As to the various felicities which await the pious (and of which there are about a hundred degrees), they are a wild conglomeration of Jewish, Christian, Magian, and other fancies on the subject, to which the Prophet's own exceedingly sensual imagination has added very considerably. Feasting in the most gorgeous and delicious variety, the most costly and brilliant garments, odors and music of the most ravishing nature, and, above all, the enjoyment of the Hur-Al-Oyun, the black-eyed daughters of paradise, created of pure musk, and free from all the bodily weaknesses of the female sex, are held out as a reward to the commonest inhabitants of paradise, who will always remain in the full vigor of their youth and manhood. For those deserving a higher degree of recompense, rewards will be prepared of a purely spiritual kind i, e. the "beholding of God's face" (Shechinah) by night and by day. A separate abode of happiness will also be reserved for women; but there is considerable doubt as to the manner of their enjoyment. That they are not of a prominently spiritual nature is clear from the story of the Prophet and the old woman. The latter solicited Mohammed to intercede with God that she might be admitted into paradise, whereupon he replied that old women were not allowed in paradise; which dictum causing her to weep he further explained by saying that they would first be made young again.

Regarding the punishment of the wicked, the Moslem has received detailed information from the Prophet. According to him, hell is divided into seven stories or apartments, one below another, designed for the reception of as many distinct classes of the damned. The first, which is called Jehenam, is the receptacle of those who acknowledged one God, that is, the wicked Mohammedans, who, after having been punished according to their demerits, will at length be released; the second, named Ladha, they assign to the Jews; the third, named al-Hotama, to the Christians; the fourth, named al-Sair, to the Sabians; the fifth, named Sakar, to the Magians; the sixth, named al-Jahin, to the idolaters; and the seventh, which is the lowest and worst of all, and is called al-Hawyat, to the hypocrites, or those who outwardly professed some religion, but in their hearts were of none. Over each of these apartments they believe there will be set a guard of angels, nineteen in number, to whom the damned will confess the just judgment of God, and beg them to intercede with him for some alleviation of their pain, or that they may be delivered by being annihilated. Mohammed has, in his Koran and traditions, been very exact in describing the various torments of hell, which, according to him, the wicked will suffer both from intense heat and excessive cold. We shall, however, enter into no detail of them here; but only observe that the degrees of' these pains will also vary in proportion to the crimes of the sufferer, and the apartment he is condemned to; and that he who is punished the most lightly of all will be shod with shoes of fire, the fervor of which will cause his skull to boil like a caldron. The condition of these unhappy wretches, it is taught, cannot be properly called either life or death; and their misery will be greatly increased by their despair of being ever delivered from that place, since, according to that frequent expression in the Koran, "they must remain therein forever." It must be remarked, however, that the infidels alone will be liable to eternity of damnation; for the Moslems, or those who have embraced the true religion, and have been guilty of heinous sins, will be delivered thence after they shall have expiated their crimes by their sufferings. The time which these believers shall be detained there, according to a tradition handed down from their Prophet, will not be less than nine hundred years, nor more than seven thousand. As to the manner of their deliver-ante, they say that they shall be distinguished by the marks of prostration on those parts of their bodies with which they used to touch the ground in prayer, and over which the fire will therefore have no power; and that, being known by this characteristic, they will be released by the mercy of God. at the intercession of Mohammed and the blessed; whereupon those who shall have been dead will be restored to life, as has been said; and those whose bodies shall have contracted any sootiness or filth from the flames and smoke of hell will be immersed in one of the rivers of paradise, called the River of Life, which will wash them whiter than pearls.

II. Practical Duties. Our consideration is next required for an examination of. that part of Islam called the "Din," or practical part, which Mohammedan jurists 'and theologians divide into two principal sections:

(a) the religious or Ceremonial Law (parts of which, however, according to our Western notions, belong to the category of state rights); and

(b) the civil law, including police and special laws.

(a) The ceremonial law, or Ritual of Islam, contains

(1) the various regulations concerning Purification, which is to precede, especially, prayer and other religious obligations, or the approach to or touch of sacred things. Here is taught what is to be considered as impure, and requires a purification after touching; what kind of water is to be used for ablution, or how. in want of water, sand is to be applied; what parts of the body are to be washed; what conditions of body require a second ablution; how women, after parturition or during menstruation, have to conduct themselves. Religious purifications are of two kinds: the Ghusl, or total immersion of the body, required as a religious ceremony on some special occasions; and the Wudu, a partial ablution, to be performed immediately before the prayer. This is of primary importance, and consists of the washing of hands, face, ears, and feet up to the ankles a proceeding generally accompanied at each stage by corresponding pious sentences, and concluded by the recital of the 97th chapter of the Koran. "The practice of religion being founded on cleanliness, it is not sufficient that the believer himself should be purified, but even the ground or the carpet upon which he prays must be clean; hence the use of a special prayer-carpet" (Segaddeh).

(2) The precepts which have for their object the performance of prayers" the key of paradise." They refer to the time at which the five daily devotions are to be held; to the prayers on Fridays and festival days; at eclipses of the sun and moon, or in seasons of drought; and to the position of the body in prayer. They treat further of the prayer of women, of things which invalidate prayer, of the abbreviation of prayer during travel or in peril of' life, of the direction while praying, and the places where prayers must not be said. In this section the Shafiites adduce the prohibition for men to wear silk clothing, or gold and silver ornaments, as well as the various ceremonies to be observed at funerals: how the corpse is to be washed, dressed, and placed in the grave; how the dead is to be prayed for; how the tomb is to be constructed; how the deceased is to be lamented for, the family of the departed to be comforted, etc.

The prayers (Salah) performed by every Mohammedan five times daily consist partly of extracts from the Revealed Book, the Koran (Fard), partly of pieces ordained by the Prophet, without allegation of a divine order (Sunnah). The first time of prayer commences at the Maghrib, or about sunset; the second at the Eshe, or nightfall; the third at Subh, or daybreak; the fourth at the Duhr, or about noon; the fifth at the Asr, or afternoon. The believers are not to commence their prayers exactly at sunrise, or noon, or sunset, lest they might be confounded with the infidel sun- worshippers. These several times of prayer are announced by the muezzins (q.v.) from the minarets or madnehs of the mosques. Their chant, sung to a very simple but solemn melody, sounds harmoniously and sonorously down the height of tile mosque, through the mid-day din and roar of the cities; but its impression is one of the most strikingly poetical in the stillness of night; so much so that. even many Europeans cannot help congratulating the Prophet on his preferring the human voice to either the Jewish trumpet- call of the time of the Temple, or the Christian church-bells. The day-call (the Adan) consists chiefly of the confession of faith (God is most great; Mohammed is God's apostle; come to prayer; come to security), repeated several times; the night, calls (Ula, the first; Ebed, the second), destined for per, sons who desire to perform supererogatory acts of devotion, are much longer. The believer often changes his posture during his prayers; and a certain number of such inclinations of head and knees, prostrations, etc., is called a Rekah. It is also necessary that the face of the worshipper should be turned towards the Keblah (q.v.), that direction being marked in the exterior wall of the mosque by a niche (Mehrab). All sumptuous and pompous apparel is laid aside before the believer approaches the sacred place; and the extreme solemnity and decorum, the unaffected humility, the real and all-absorbing devotion which pervade it, have been unanimously held up as an example to other creeds. The Moslems, it may be remarked here, do not pray to Mohammed, but simply implore his intercession, as they do that of the numerous saints, the relatives of the Prophet, and the first propagators of Islam. For the particulars of the service in the mosque, the reader is referred to that heading. It may be remarked in passing that Mohammedanism has no clergy in our sense of the word, the civil and religious law being bound up in one. (See Mollah); (See Mufti).

(3) Instructions about the Taxes of property to be paid to the state, and the manner of their application. Taxable articles are fruits of the field, domestic animals, silver, gold, and merchandise, lying with the owner a year. The taxes (the varying amounts we pass by) are to be used to aid the poor, for the conversion of infidels, for the redemption 'of slaves and prisoners, for the payment of the debts of the indigent, for the aid of travellers in distress, and in general for purposes pleasing to God; as, for instance, the erection of mosques, schools, hospitals, and the like.

(4) The precepts about Fasting, particularly in the month of Ramadan. Here is specified what is commanded and forbidden to the one who fasts, how fasting is interrupted, who is entitled to be dispensed from fasting, and what must be done in expiation for not fasting. In this section are mentioned also the various regulations for an individual who during the Ramadan wishes to retire from the world and pass his time in devotion in the mosque, and thus to lead a kind of monastic life. It was Mohammed's special and express desire that no one should fast who is not quite equal to it, lest it might prove injurious to health. But there are very few Moslems who do not keep the Ramadan the Mohammedan Lent even if they neglect their other religious duties; at all events, they all pretend to keep it, most strictly, fasting being considered "one fourth part of the faith." nay," the gate of religion."

(5) The precepts concerning the Pilgrimage, an obligation which a Moslem has to meet at least once in his life. He who neglects to perform this duty "might as well die a Jew or a Christian." Various preparations are necessary for pilgrimage. Certain holy places are to be visited, mostly such as were sacred even before Mohammed, and are connected with legends about Abraham and Hagar; certain prayers and ceremonies are to be performed, and sacrifices to be slaughtered, the meat of which is in part to be distributed among the poor. It is forbidden to wear sewed dresses during the journey. Men are not allowed to cover their heads nor women their faces; the nails of the fingers and toes are not to be cut; the hair is not to be combed nor shorn; the use of unguents and perfumes is forbidden; the contracting of marriage is forbidden, as well as the gratification of sexual passion. Finally, it is explained how the pilgrimage is considered interrupted, or as not performed, and how the transgression of any prohibition is to be atoned for.

(6) There are various regulations referring to Food. Wine and intoxicating beverages are not allowed; also the drinking of the blood even of clean animals is inter-dieted. Quadrupeds and birds must be killed according to certain fixed rules, God being invoked before the slaughter; but game shot by a hunter may be eaten. The eating of carnivorous animals of prey, quadrupeds as well as birds, is prohibited; and particularly the flesh of swine, dogs, cats, mice, etc. Of fish, such as have no scales, and those resembling serpents, are forbidden. As the same laws are in force also among the Jews, a Moslem may partake of a Jew's meal; with Christians he can dine only if he know that he conforms to the laws of Islam; but with pagans he must not eat at all, even when the food has been prepared in a proper manner, because it has been prepared without the religious ceremonies that make it fit for the believer's table.

(7) Among the "positive" ordinances of Islam may also be reckoned the "Saghir," or minor, and the "Kebir," or great festivals. The first (Al-Fetr, or breaking the fast), following immediately upon tile Ramadan, begins on the 1st day of the month of Shawfal, and lasts three days. The second (Eed A1-Kurban, or sacrifice) begins on the 10th of Dsu'l Heggeh, when the pilgrims perform their sacrifice, and lasts three or four days. Yet, although intended to be the most important of the two, the people have in most places changed the order, and, by way of compensation for the previous fast, they make the lesser festival which follows the Ramadan the most joyful and the longest of the two. The day set aside for the weekly day of rest is Friday not, as is generally supposed, because both the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday were to be avoided, but because, from times long before Mohammed, the people used to hold public assemblies for civil as well as religious purposes on that day. The celebration of the Moslem days of religious solemnity is far less strict than is the custom with the other Shemitic religions. Service being over, the people are allowed to return to their worldly affairs, if they cannot afford to give themselves up entirely to pleasure or devotion for the rest of the sacred period.

(8) One of not the least important duties laid upon the Moslem by the Koran is that of giving alms. These are twofold legal (Zekah) and voluntary (Sadakah; Heb. Zedekah, piety, righteousness); but the former (Sur. ii, 3), once collected by the sovereign and applied to pious uses, has now been practically abrogated. The Sadakah is, according to the law, to be given once every year, of cattle, money, corn, fruits, and wares sold, at about the rate of two and a half up to twenty per cent. Besides these, it is usual to bestow a measure of provisions upon the poor at the end of the sacred month of Ramadan.

(9) Before we quit this department of Mohammedan law, it may not be inappropriate to mention the procedure against apostates. To prevent the faithful from ever falling' back into idolatry, the laws relating to images and pictures have been made very stringent. Whoever makes an imitation of any living being in stone, wood, or any other material, shall on the day .of judgment be asked to endow his creation with life and soul, and on his protesting his inability to do so, shall undergo the punishment of hell for a certain period.

(b) The Civil Law of the Mohammedans comprises the following main sections:

(1) Commercial Relations, including rules to govern relations of commerce, of various contracts, of pawn and mortgage, of power of attorney, of debt obligations, and other property rights; excepting, however, hereditary and matrimonial claims. We cannot, of course, enter into details here, but we may remark that the law of trade contains many restrictions very burdensome for modern conditions of society. Thus, for instance, it is not permitted to make a difference whether the price is paid immediately or only in installments. The re-sale of articles not yet in possession of the purchaser is invalid; nor can objects of value which are not the undivided property of single persons be subjects of trade. Further, trade in things whose use is forbidden to the Moslem, e.g. liquors and unclean animals, is prohibited. A bargain concluded on a Friday, at the time of the noon prayer, is void. The buying up of merchandise, especially of victuals, in order to produce a rise of prices, is unlawful. In lending money, it is forbidden to receive interest. In case of insolvency, or refusal to pay a debt, the Creditor can require the arrest of the debtor's person. A pledge is not, as according to European law, a means of security for the payment of debt, but only a proof that such a debt exists. Only when a pledge has been given in a condition of decided insolvency does the creditor acquire the right to secure redemption of the pledge.

(2) The law of Inheritance and the Testament. We pass over the details of the first, and only observe that the law of primogeniture does not exist in the Mohammedan code, and that, as a rule, brothers or sons, and male heirs generally, enjoy many advantages over females. A testament, in order to be valid, must not contain allusions to any articles prohibited by law, such as swine, blood, wine, and the like. A legacy in favor of strangers, if persons able to succeed legal inheritance exist, must not go beyond the amount of one third; among the relatives themselves the division is at picasure. A testament, Whether written or oral, must be executed before two witnesses of the male sex. A testament in favor of minors, bondmen, and infidels is not valid in law.

(3) The Marriage law. A man is allowed to see but the hands and the face of the maiden or widow whom he intends to wed; then follows the courting in person or by proxy; a marriage-contract is concluded, in which the nuptial gift is fixed, i.e. what is allotted to the wife in case the husband dies or has himself divorced; and the ecclesiastic consecrates the marriage. A free man can marry four free women; a female slave he is only allowed to marry if he have not the means to contract marriage with a free person. Polygamy is allowed among Mohammedans, we see, then, surrounded by a number of restrictions. Hear the Koran on this point: "Take in marriage of the women who please you, two, three, or four; but if ye fear that ye cannot act equitably, one, or those whom your right hand has acquired" i, e. slaves (Sur. iv, 3). Minor girls can be forced by their father or grandfather to enter into matrimony as long as they are single; if widows, they have their own choice. Marriage of near relatives, among which niece, nurse, and milk-sister are enumerated, is prohibited. A Moslem may, if urged by excessive love, or if unable to obtain a wife of his own creed, marry a Christian woman or a Jewess, but a Mohammedan woman is not. under any circumstances, to marry an unbeliever. In all cases, however, the child born of a Moslem, whatever the mother's faith, is a Moslem; nor does the wife, who is an unbeliever, inherit at her husband's death. See MARRIAGE.

Matrimony is annulled by insanity, apostasy from islam, impotence of the male, or corporeal disability for sexual intercourse of the female. (See Divorce).

The husband is to treat his wives equally; only newly-married women are privileged for a few days. The Shiites sanction also temporary marriage. The free man can give a divorce to his wife twice and retake her, even without her consent, if three menstruations or three months have not elapsed, and then only if in the mean while she had contracted another marriage which has been dissolved by death or divorce, on this point the Mohammedan law differs from the Mosaic law, by which a divorced woman who has contracted another marriage is forever forbidden to the first husband. According to the Mosaic law, the marriage between uncle and niece is permitted, but not between aunt and nephew. Pregnant women are allowed to remarry only after their confinement; if not

pregnant, after four months and ten days. If a man accuses his wife of adultery, he must either bring .witnesses to confirm his statement, or he must himself swear four times in the mosque before a number of men that he speaks the truth, adding, "The curse of God may strike me if I speak false." The woman is then considered an adulteress, the marriage is dissolved, and can never be renewed. But if the woman afterwards swear four times against the accusation, declaring at the same time that God's wrath may strike her if her husband have spoken true, the marriage is annulled, but the woman is not considered an adulteress. Children of divorced wives must be cared for by the mother to the seventh year; later, the child can choose whether it will live with the father or the mother. The woman has a right to ask for divorce if the husband cannot support her.

(4) The Penal law and procedure. An intentional murder is punished by death; the relatives of the murdered, however, possessing the right to avenge his blood, may take a ransom instead. (Modern practices in Turkey deviating from these laws are in harmony with those of Christian countries.) Manslaughter not intentional is expiated by a ransom, estimated according to the intent of the slayer to injure the slain. For the murder of a woman only half price is paid; for that of a Jew or a Christian, a third; for that of a pagan, a fifteenth part. In case of mutilation, revenge or ransom may satisfy. Adultery is punished by death, if the marriage between adulterer and adulteress be forbidden on account of consanguinity; or if the adulterer marry the adulteress without having previously atoned for his crime according to precepts'; or if a non-Moslem is the criminal. Other cases of adultery are punished by one hundred lashes and one year of banishment. He who charges another with adultery without being able to prove his accusation is punished by eighty lashes. Drinking wine is punished by forty lashes. Pederasty amid sodomy are punishable with death, like adultery. He who steals for the first time is to have his right hand cut off; for the second time, his left; for the third time, his right foot; for the fourth time, the left foot. (The Turkish government has substituted the ordinary punishments of imprisonment, hard labor, and the bastinado.) Highway robbers, if they have committed a murder, are to be crucified; if they only threatened to murder, they are to receive corporeal punishment and to be. imprisoned. A Moslem apostatizing from his faith, and persevering in his apostasy, or denying only one of the obligations of Islam, is to be punished with death.

Of the Mohammedan procedure, we mention only the peculiarity as regards witnesses. In civil suits the testimony of two men, or of one man and two women, or of one man in conjunction with the plaintiff, is required. In affairs of tutelage, as testament, divorce, guardianship, and the like, the testimony of two men only is accepted. In affairs which concern only women, as, for instance, birth, female infirmities, nurses, the testimony of four women is necessary. In crimes of sodomy and pederasty and adultery, four male witnesses are required; in other crimes, as theft, partaking of forbidden food and drink, apostasy from the faith, the testimony of two men is sufficient. Non-Moslems, or Moslems known as hardened sinners, are not admitted as witnesses.

(5) War On Infidels. The Koran abounds in contradictions respecting the right and duty of the faithful to make war on infidels; for Mohammed, while he was the weaker party, showed himself very tolerant, and commanded to convert only by the power of the word; but later, when he became more potent, he issued severer ordinances against those who would not submit to his faith. His successors, therefore, have established the following doctrines, and declared null and void the passages of' the Koran adverse to them. Every major Moslem fit for military service is in duty bound to participate in holy wars against infidels who will not submit to the dominion of Moslems, and against the faithful who refuse obedience to the legitimate prince, or adhere to dogmas contrary to the faith. In a war against Moslemite rebels or heretics it is not allowed to kill prisoners of war, nor to attack the wounded or pillage property. As for infidel prisoners of war, who do not adopt the Islam before their capture, women and children are made slaves; men can, according to the pleasure of the prince or political exigency, either be killed, ransomed, or exchanged for Moslem prisoners; or even, as circumstances may dictate, be released or be made slaves. Children of infidels will be educated as Moslems, if their father or mother have been converted to Islam, if they have been captured without parents, or if they are found on Islamitic territory.

We omit the direction for the distribution of booty and conquered lands, as we have already alluded to the treatment to be accorded to Jews and Christians. We only remark that, in accordance with the letter of the Koran, as well as the principles of the early imams, war against non-Mohammedans is declared permanent; if it is carried on against pagans, to extinction; against Christians, to subjection; and that, therefore, in earlier times, when the Islamitic powers decided to discontinue hostilities, they simply concluded a truce. In the precepts of this kind, the Moslems come to realize that their sacred scripture contains laws and ordinances not applicable and practicable for all times and circumstances, nor to all countries and people; for the most orthodox ulemas cannot think of urging the sultan to declare war against Russia or Austria, or to forbid Europeans living in Constantinople to ride on horseback or dwell in palaces surpassing in height the houses of the Moslems. Again, in spite of Koran and Sunnah, the idolaters and fire-worshippers were no more exterminated than the Christians were humbled and made to pay capitation tax. Many fire- worshippers in Persia retained not only their lives, but preserved in several places also their pyres. It even occurred that the Mohammedan government corrected ecclesiastics because they wished to transform temples of the Guebers into mosques. The strict execution of the religious precept would have compelled them to massacre all, since their character is very tenacious a proceeding which would prove of great injury to the Islamitic state, and apparently be regarded as too cruel even for execution by bloodthirsty Arabs. The government was not unmerciful against those who remained true to their faith, but it knew no bounds against those converted to the Islam who, abhorring it in their heart, conspired secretly against the Islam and the State, and tried to undermine the first by old Parsee doctrines and philosophic speculation, and the latter by the revival of Persian nationality.

(6) Slave Laws. According to the fundamental doctrines of Islam, only captives of war made in an infidel country are slaves; in all Moslem countries, however, negroes and Abyssinian slaves also are kept in bondage by ruse or force. If slaves of an infidel become converts to Islam, the master is obliged to sell them to a Moslem for a price customary in the country. The Koran enunciates distinctly their equality with the freemen before God; and a tradition worthy of credit says: "He who manumits a faithful slave is delivered from the torments of hell." Female slaves, by whom their master has begotten children, at his death obtain their liberty, provided one of the children is alive; the children are born free, and even over the mother the master has a restricted control; he is not permitted to sell or marry her to another. There are in the Koran still other precepts favorable to the slaves.

III. Ethics. The moral law of the Koran may be considered as the most perfect part of this remarkable book. The ethics of the Koran, an element of Islam which (because not to be circumscribed and defined by doctors) has undergone the least change in the course of time, most distinctly reveals the mind of its author. It is, to be sure, as disconnected and unsystematically arranged as other matters, but the most beautiful moral principles and precepts permeate like a thread of gold this whole texture Of religion, enthusiasm, superstition, and delusion. Injustice, falsehood, pride, revenge, calumny, mockery, avarice, prodigality, debauchery, mistrust, and suspicion are inveighed against as ungodly and wicked; while benevolence, liberality, modesty, forbearance, patience and endurance, frugality, sincerity, straightforwardness, decency, love of peace and truth, and, above all, trusting in God, and submitting to his will, are considered as the pillars of true piety, and the principal signs of a true believer. Thus, e.g. the Koran contains passages like the following, which is in a sort of dialogue form: "Speak (thus God addressed Mohammed): Approach ! I will read to thee what God has forbidden thee. Thou shalt not associate with him any other being; thou shalt honor father and mother; thou shalt not kill thy children for fear of poverty, for we feed thee and them; thou shalt not live unchaste, neither privately nor publicly; thou shalt not kill any being which Allah has commanded to hold sacred, unless thou art (legally) empowered to do so; further, thou shalt not stretch out thy hand after the property of orphans, unless it be for their benefit, till they are of age; thou shalt give good measure and weight; thou shalt not lay on anybody a burden heavier than he can perform.

If thou give judgment, be just even if the person concerned be a relation, and hold fast to the covenant of God." By the prohibition of gambling and drinking wine and other intoxicating beverages, many an excess and vice is of course prevented, and quarrel and enmity avoided. Particularly mockery, haughtiness, and slanderous talk are warned against: "O ye faithful (says the Koran), deride not one another; for it might happen that those on whom ye look contemptuously are better than yourself. Do not insult each other, and do not give each other ignominious bynames! Such words are abominable in the mouth of the faithful. He who does not correct this habit is counted with malefactors. 0 ye faithful! beware of too great suspiciousness, for many a suspicion is sinful. Be not eavesdroppers, and do not speak ill of each other. Would ye fain eat the flesh of your brother, if he be dead ? As ye abhor this, do not soil his honor to his back! O ye people, we have created you of one wife and one man, and divided you in different nations and tribes (think of that!), that yon may know that only the most pious is the most notable before God" In another passage it is said: "Do not strut this earth in self-conceit! Thou canst not perforate the earth, nor attain the height of the mountains (i.e. the lifeless earth extends farther in depth and in height than thou)." In conclusion we read: "Piety does not consist in turning your face towards the east or west; but he is pious who believes in the Deity, in the day of judgment, in the angels, in the scripture and the prophets; who, though fond of property, disposes of the same to relatives, the poor, orphans, travellers, and other indigent persons, or uses it for the delivery of slaves and prisoners; who prays to God and pays his poor-tax (alms); who complies with every bargain entered into, and bears patiently distress, oppression., and all kinds of war- calamities: these are the really pious, these are the God-fearing." Mohammed was, to a certain extent, obliged to proclaim equality and fraternity of all believers as a religions principle; for he himself, as already mentioned, belonged not to the ruling party in Mecca, and his first adherents were for the most part of the lower class, so that the Meccans retorted on him: "If God had pleased to send a prophet, he would have selected him from a more prominent family."

Mohammed was frequently censured for being surrounded by slaves, freedmen, and a promiscuous crowd. It is, therefore, natural that he combated with all his might prejudices of birth and rank of every description. If, on the other hand, Mohammed is reported to have said: "He who was of the nobility in paganism remains so in Islam, if he bow before true wisdom;" this sentence is probably to be placed in that time when he was inclined to all sorts of concessions, in order to make proselytes also among the higher classes. At any rate, he revoked it when the Meccan nobility persisted in their opposition against his doctrine; as he retracted, for a similar reason, his opinion which represented the idols as mediators between God and man, and in a measure representatives of spirits or angels, and branded it even as a sentiment of Satan. But however decidedly Mohammed pronounced in favor of equality of all men, i.e. all the faithful, he failed in the attempt to abolish slavery altogether, though he mitigated its lot in many respects. Nor was he more successful in emancipating woman, albeit he protected her against the arbitrariness of man, and granted her many rights which she had not enjoyed in Arabia before his time. While he prescribed to the faithful to take not more than four women, and allowed intercourse with female slaves only to the unmarried, he proclaimed revelations by which God relieved him of restrictions binding upon others. He had the right to request every faith-rid to divorce his wife, if he desired marrying her himself. He claimed to contract for himself and others any matrimonial connection, without the consent of the girl or her protector. He was permitted to marry as many women as he pleased, and he indeed increased their number to thirteen, and felt not bound to treat them alike.

The excessive jealousy of the legislator had the most grievous consequences for the women. It extended so far that his women not only remained excluded from all intercourse with other men during his life, but were also prohibited remarrying after his death, Later, all other faithful women were also ordered to wear a close veil, leaving only the eyes free, when going out, and even in the house not to show themselves unveiled except to their nearest relatives. Thus women who, with pagan Arabs, were the spice of public and social life, were by Mohammed's jealousy confined entirely to the home and the family circle. The fair sex, with the Bedouins as well as with the mediaeval knights of the Occident objects of veneration and worship, was changed by the Islam into a subject of pity and mistrust. The place of their abode was, it is true, called Harem i.e. sanctuary but it was understood to be a sanctuary requiring veil and curtain, and finally lock and bolt and eunuchs to protect it against violation.

This system of close confinement had, of course, the saddest consequences for the male sex. The husband found only sensual, but no cordial and mental enjoyment in his harem, and fell more and more into rudeness and unnatural vices. Mohammed, by his own life and by his ordinances concerning women, has impressed the character of transitoriness and human weakness on himself and his revelations, Here is manifest in the "reformer" himself the want of a strictly moral sentiment, and in his precepts sanctioning polygamy and seclusion of woman he has left a legacy which prevents the professors of his faith making any considerable progress in civilization, and raising themselves by a sound family life to a prosperous life of state. The Jews, on the other hand, to whom the Mosaic law allows a plurality of wives, have found a rabbi from whom they have accepted monogamy as a law, even in countries where polygamy is not forbidden. The Moslem may soon also, like the Jew of our times, learn to make a distinction between eternal truths and laws and ordinances enacted for transient external circumstances. The Moslem in general is not so firmly attached to his faith as the Jew. We observe this in those Arabs and Turks who have lived a few years in Christian countries, and have participated in European civilization. Should the political independence of the Moslems, which owes its existence only to the mutual jealousies of the European powers, cease, their religion, as it is founded on illusion, spread by the sword, and leaning on secular force, will not long survive it. The professors of Islam will then suffer great change. There will be some who will relapse into former indifferentism to religion, while others will adopt the faith of their conquerors, and probably the larger number. For a revival of the caliphate, i.e. a Mohammedan empire ruled by a head of a supremacy at once spiritual and secular, the necessary elements are lacking unity of faith and nationality. Shiites and Sunnites are still as hostile towards each other as they were a thousand years ago; and to the old incompatibility of the Arabian and Persian element a third one is added, semi-Mongolian the Osmanic considerably increasing the rupture. A new universal blaze of fanaticism, even if it could prevail against rifled cannon and iron-plated frigates, is no more to be apprehended.

IV. Mohammedanism And Christianity. The friends and advocates of Mohammedanism have repeatedly, especially in our day of comparative religious research, urged upon the Christian world a consideration of the claims Islam has in the advance of humanitarian principles and the propagation of civilizing influences. Islamism, it is declared, started as the outspoken foe of all creature-worship; with emphasis proclaimed the superiority and sublimity of God; and, like the Jew and the Christian, the Moslem based his faith upon the revealed book known as the Bible. It is further urged in defence of the Arabian religion that its successes and rapid spread over a vast portion of the then known world would stamp the religion of Moslem with the approval of the Most High. As a matter of history, we have to record that scarcely a century had elapsed after Mohammed's death when 'Islam reigned supreme over Arabia, Syria, Persia, Egypt, the whole of the northern coast of Africa, even as far as Spain; and, notwithstanding the subsequent strifes and divisions in the interior of this gigantic realm, it grew, and grew outwardly, until the Crescent was made to gleam from the spires of St. Sophia at Constantinople, and the cry "Allah il Allah" resounded before the gates of Vienna, and that but for the successful opposition of Charles Martel, the Moslems might not only have caused the downfall of the Romish hierarchy, but even extirpated Christianity itself. (See Saracens).

If, however, we inquire into the causes of these successes of the Crescent, we find that Mohammed's law was artfully and marvellously adapted to the corrupt nature of man; and, in a most particular manner, to the manners and opinions of the Eastern nations, and the vices to which they were naturally addicted: for the articles of the faith which it proposed were few in number, and extremely simple; and the duties it required were neither many nor difficult, nor such as were incompatible with the empire of appetites and passions. It is to be observed, further, that the gross ignorance under which the Arabians, Syrians, Persians, and the greatest part of the Eastern rations labored at this time rendered many an easy prey to the artifice and eloquence of this bold adventurer. To these causes of the progress of Mohammedanism we may add that these victories of the Crescent were secured, not by the spread of the Koran, but by armies in hostile array, invading peaceful countries for spoil and devastation. It is an error even to place the first conquests and the rapid spread of Islam to the credit of Arabian religious fanaticism. We must reflect that military glory and booty to the Bedouins, who formed,he flower of the first Arabian armies, were not less enticing than the pleasure-gardens with everblooming virgins, (See Houris), vouchsafed to the faithful. Nor must it be forgotten that the state of the countries and nations conquered by the Arabs was decayed and rotten, falling to pieces at the first touch. In Persia and Syria, as well as in Egypt, in Barbary, in Sicily and in Spain, the Arabs were victorious because the population was dissatisfied with their governments, and often in secret understanding with the enemy. Persia was weakened by long wars with Byzantium, and divided by the nobility ruling the court; while, besides, many of its inhabitants of Arabian origin, especially in the Western provinces, sympathized with the kindred troops. A similar condition of things prevailed in Syria, where also the Shemitic population predominated, lookin

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [3]

The religion of Mohammed , or Islam , ( q. v .), is essentially much the same as the religion of the Jews with some elements borrowed from the Christian religion, and is defined by Carlyle as a bastard Christianity; originating in Arabia it spread rapidly over the W. of Asia, the N. of Africa, and threatened at one time to overrun Europe itself; it is the religion to-day of two hundred millions of the human race, and the profession of it extends over a wide area in western and southern Asia as also in northern Africa, though its limits in Europe do not extend beyond the bounds of Turkey.