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paradise, or life eternal; these being, as their traditions taught, the sole purposes for which the tenth of every man's possessions, whether consisting in the precious metals, in the produce of the flocks and herds, or in the fruits of the field, had been originally dedicated, by the law of Moses, to the maintenance of the
poor. Now, in the Mahometan superstition, the legal obligation of alms-giving holds exactly the same place, and rests precisely on the same basis, which it occupied in the Jewish ritual. Mahomet pronounced alms to be a chief foundation of religion ; and affirmed anew, in his Koran, the maxim, plainly borrowed from the Jews, that the liberal distribution of alms would suffice to ensure to the true believer the favour of God, and a free passage into paradise. With this especial view, moreoyer, the Mahometan law, like the Rabbinical, enjoins, and rigidly enforces, the payment, by every Mussulman, of a tenth of his property, of his gold and silver, of his flocks and herds, and of all fruits of the field, as a legal tax or contribution for the poor. + To
pass from precepts to prohibitions, the Mahometan ritual, again, following the lead of the Jewish, proscribes certain meats, as common or unclean ; and, if more limited than the law of Moses in its restrictions on food, so far as it obtains, the correspondence is most exact ; the law of Mahomet treading even punctiliously in the steps of the Mosaic code, and proscribing, article for article, the same kinds of meat, which had been previously condemned in the Pentateuch. Including, in so doing, on its list of prohibited meats, some articles which had been forbidden, also, by the law of the New Testament, to the primitive churches.
* Mill, pp. 440, 441.
† Ib. pp. 438–440.
In one respect, it should be noticed, the exact correspondence with Judaism, in this feature of the comparison, is peculiarly deserving of observation ; namely, inasmuch as it supplies a strong circumstance in proof of the common patriarchal origin of the rites of the Jews and of the Arabians. The connecting link in question arises from the understood fact, that one of the chief prohibitory laws concerning animal food, which are laid down by the Koran, and which thus remarkably coincide with the Mosaic prohibitions, appears to have been, from time immemorial, in force among the pagan Arabs; and to have been incorporated into Mahometanism, not directly from Judaism, but rather from this native source. *
* The prohibition of swine's flesh : see Mill, p. 336. ; and Sale, Prelim. Disc. p. 169, 170.
Upon the subject of forbidden meats, it may now be enough, in conclusion of this topic, to submit in parallel columns, the coinciding precepts of the Bible and the Koran : they can require no comment.
KORAN. " That which dieth of it- " Ye are forbidden to eat, self, he shall not eat.” * that which dieth of itself,
6. Ye shall eat the loo and blood, of no manner of flesh." +
" And the swine, he is un- and swine's flesh, clean to you ; of their flesh
shall not eat.” “ Abstain from meats
and that on which the name offered
besides God to idols,
hath been invocated ; and from things
and that which hath strangled.”
or by a fall, 66 That which is torn with or by the horns of another beasts, he shall not eat." ||
“ Neither shall ye eat flesh and that which hath been torn of beasts in the field.”I eaten by a wild beast;
yourselves; “ Save only that they keep and that which hath been themselves, from things of- sacrificed unto idols.” tt fered to idols.” ** * Levit. xxii. 8. of Ib. xvii. 14.
# Ib. xi. 7, 8. § Acts, xv, 29.
|| Levit. xxii. 8. | Exod. xxii. 31. Levit. xvii. 15. xxii. 8. ** Acts, xxi. 25. tt Sale's Koran, chap. v. vol. i. p. 149.
The above specimens present a very curious exemplification of the kind of correspondence, which obtains between the Bible and the Koran. The continuous text of the latter, is here literally made up from disjecta membra of the Old and New Testaments. Further examples of this species of coincidence, will be found in another place. See section viii.
The rite of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, together with most of the ceremonies observed in its performance, was taken by Mahomet from the practice of the pagan Arabs; among whom, according to the concurrent evidence of Mahometan writers, the usage had prevailed from remote antiquity. But, whether of pagan or of patriarchal origin (for the Mahometans pretend to derive it from the times of Abraham and Ishmael), this ritual observance practically maintains the general correspondence, between the rites and ceremonies of Mahometanism, and the established rituals of the Jewish, and of the Christian church.
The annual ascent or pilgrimage of the twelve tribes to Jerusalem, during the earlier epochs of their commonwealth, and the periodic resort thither, after the dispersion, of Jews from all nations and countries of the earth, at the time of the passover, constituted the most prominent external feature connected with the worship of the temple.
See Pocock, Specim. pp. 302–307.; Mill, De Mohammed. ante Mohamm. pp. 324–328. ; Reland, De Relig. Mohamm. pp. 113–123.; also Sale, Prelim. Disc. pp. 15.-162.
Now, what the ascent to Jerusalem was, to the people of the Jews, the pilgrimage to Mecca is, to the Mahometan world: a religious obligation of the same imperative and solemn interest; and a scene of assemblage of the same annual and universal resort. Insomuch that, “ Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, Cretes, and Arabians *,” with many nations more, whence worshippers once went up in joyful pilgrimage to the venerable Jewish temple, may now be seen and heard performing their spurious rites, between Safa and Merwa, Mina and Arafat, by the well of Zemzem, and before the black stone of the Caaba!
The still more perfect analogy, which, in process of time, sprang up, between Mahometanism and Christianity, in this article of ritual observance, must be reserved for the place to which it more properly belongs; namely, the comparison of the Mahometan with the Papal superstition. +
* Acts. ii. 9-11.
of See section a.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.