The purpose of this little book is to present in an accessible
form all the Biblical personages who are mentioned either
directly or indirectly by Mohammed in his Koranic utterances,
The Koran itself is such a medley of fantastic fiction and
apocryphal allusions that it is interesting to separate the
biblical elements from the rest. The many variations and
errors whenever they are found always prove instructive, as
for example, when we find Mohammed apparently confusing
Mary (Jesus’ mother) with Miriam (Moses’ sister), and making
Amram (Miriam’s father) the father of the Virgin Mary; or
when he propagates a tremendous error concerning Ezra (q.v.}.
The great Arabian prophet, it must be remembered, never
received our canonical scriptures. He had to depend on garbled
accounts, on Talmudic legends and fantasies ; on the reports of
false gospels; on the figments of Jewish and Christian
proselytes; and on any oral information that might be given
to him by the members of his household or the companions of
his travels. The perusal of a work such as this ought to
provide, if nothing else, some idea of the perverted knowledge
of the Scriptures of the Jews and the Christians held by the
founder of Islam*
In compiling this book, the author has consulted the
original Arabic of all the texts quoted from the Koran, and the
translation has been compared chiefly with the versions of Sale
and Rodwell. The English, as far as possible, is made to
conform with the Arabic construction. Words which are not
to be f ound in the original are usually denoted by being enclosed
within brackets. The book itself arose out of the need for such
a handy work of reference of a popular nature experienced by
the compiler during certain of his Koranic studies. Thus,
although it is more or less a straightforward compilation made from the Arabic text, it incidentally expresses opinions and con-
clusions for which the author holds himself alone responsible.
This is particularly so in the case of the proposed identification
of Job with the Koranic Dhu’l-Kifl, and of Elisha with Idris.
It is not to be expected that these theories will be generally
accepted as possible or probable, 2 but they are given for what
they may be worth.
The Bibliography at the end is suggestive rather than
exhaustive. Islamic students may wonder why no use was
made of Horovitz’s Koranische Unfersuchungen (Leipzig,
1926). The reason is that the present work was completed
before the latter was published.
The question of the transliteration of Arabic words into
Roman characters, always a stumbling-block to orientalists, is
reduced as far as possible to simplicity, without, it is hoped,
any loss of general accuracy. No ligatures or logotypes have
been employed, since the student of Arabic can dispense with
such aids, while the general reader, unacquainted with the
phonology of the language, is not materially assisted by their
presence on the printed page. Long vowels are generally
represented in the text though not always in the Koran
quotations. They are, however, omitted in the case of those
words which are now naturalised elements in our dictionaries,
e.g., Koran, Caliph, Medina, etc. The .conventional spelling of
words like Mecca, Kaaba, vizier, and Moslem is retained, as
being more in keeping with a work making a general appeal.
The same reason has led to the adoption of the more familiar
Mohammed and Othmdn in preference to the more correct
Muhammad and ’Utkvnan.
It is not to be expected that the author has succeeded in
avoiding mistakes, but if such be comparatively few, it is
largely due to the vigilance of Mrs. T. H. Weir, M.A., who
very graciously read the proofs and gave good advice and
encouragement. Thanks are also due to the printers for their
care and patience with the text during the author’s absence in
the East. Although finished in 1926, the present work has, for
personal reasons, been withheld from publication until now.
Cairo, april, 1931.
Table des matières (63 figures bibliques)
- Chronological List of Suras,
- Bible characters :
John the Baptist,
Sheba, The Queen
- Index to Koran References,
- Index to Bible References.