The Qur’ãn can, without an exaggeration, be called the Bible in Arabic so far as its dominant theme is concerned. That dominant theme is monotheism with all its implications, of which the most important is iconoclasm. Our judgement is confirmed by the way the pagan Arabs responded to the Qur’ãn.

The Allah of the Qur’ãn announced again and again that he was making his revelations available in the Arabic language so that the Arabs could have a scripture of their own.1 The response from the Arabs, however, was far from positive. Biographers of the prophet inform us that the more the pagan Arabs came to know the Qur’ãn the more hostile they became to it, till the man through whose mouth it was being conveyed left Mecca in total frustration. The only Arab audience which the Prophet could find was in Yathrib (Medina), the City of the Book.

Today the Qur’ãn is regarded, not by the Muslims alone, as the greatest classic ever composed in the Arabic language. But the people to whom the language belonged before it was usurped by Islam, took no such pride in the composition. On the contrary, they felt extremely annoyed that their ancient language was being misused for a very profane purpose by a person whom, as we shall see, they thought demented and possessed by evil spirits.

We can very well understand their reaction to the Qur’ãn if we consider its contents without being taken in by the hallow which has been built around it in centuries after the pagan Arabs were made to disappear from the scene. It is certainly a very strange document in Arabic which says precious little about Arabia, its geography, its history, its people, its society and its age-old culture, and pours unmitigated contempt on its religion and ways of worship. The pagan Arabs were not at all wrong if they concluded that Allãh of the Qur’ãn was reducing their language to an empty shell in order to pack it with chronicles, characters and concepts that were not only alien but also wholly distasteful to them. We at this distance in time can see more clearly that Allãh was doing to Arabic what the Founding Fathers of the Christian Church had done to Greek and Latin, and what Lenin will do to Russian and Mao Tse-tung to Chinese, that is, using a language as a convenient cover for doctrines calculated to destroy the culture which has produced it, and devastate the land in which it has flourished.

The Qur’ãn does not contain a single worthwhile story from pre-Islamic Arabia, unless we accept as facts of history its concoctions about Abraham and the Ka‘ba. For all its bulk, it is full of stories borrowed bodily from the Bible except for a few minor details where Allãh’s memory falters or the latter-day Jewish tradition has offered embellishments. All its heroes are the biblical prophets. The list includes Ãdam (Adam), Nûh (Noah), Idris (Enoch), Ibrãhîm (Abraham), Ismã‘îl (Ishmael), Ishãq (Issac), Lût (Lot), Yãqûb (Jacob), Yûsuf (Joseph), Mûsa (Moses), Hãrun (Aaron), Tãlût (Saul), Da‘ûd (David), Sulaymãn (Solomon), Ilyãs (Elijah), Alyãsa‘ (Elisha), Ayyûb (Job), Hizqîl (Ezekiel), Yûnus (Jonah), Zakariya (Zacharias), Yãhya (John the Baptist), and Îsã Masîh (Jesus Christ).  Maryam (Mary), the mother of Jesus, is also there. The only prophets who do not figure in the Bible are Hûd, Sãlîh and Shua‘ib. They, however, remain shadowy characters whose parentage and place of functioning cannot be determined with certainty. They look like figments of Allãh’s imagination. In any case, they have been brought in only for playing the role in which their brothers from the Bible are cast, that is, cursing their own people and praying to Allãh to rain disasters on them.

The lion’s share in the stories of the Qur’ãn goes to Banû Isrã’îl (Children of Israel), that is, the biblical Jews. In these stories Allãh identifies himself with Jehovah and their tenor remains the same as in the Bible. Allãh reminiscences how he entered into a covenant with Abraham, and brought back his progeny from Egypt and into the promised land. Abraham is presented as the first Muslim which is the same as the first circumcised Jew. It is, however, Moses who looms larger than every other prophet. He is the subject of a large number of verses in the Qur’ãn. He provides the perfect model which Allah expects Muhammad to follow faithfully.

Muhammad himself is lifted clean out of his own people and pagan environment, and placed squarely and firmly in the family of biblical prophets.2 Allãh informs him that he is the Last Prophet3 anticipated by the earlier prophets and in the older scriptures.4 He is also assured that he is by no means alone in the midst of ‘ignorant pagans” and that he can always turn for help to those “who read the earlier Scripture (that was) before you.”5 For, what is being revealed to him was also revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus.6

The main theme of the Qur’ãn is also the same as that of the Bible, namely, a fierce war between monotheism (tauhîd) on the one hand, and idolatry (shirk) on the other. The only difference is that this time we miss most of Jehovah’s thunder. Allãh too, condemns, curses, and tries to frighten those who do not accept him as the only god, and refuse to accept Muhammad as the last prophet. He also tells stories of earlier people whom he had destroyed for their failure to follow his prophets. But the fury of the original gets diluted in the imitation. It must also be said to the credit of the Qur’ãn that its Allãh does not employ obscene language. That may be due to the personal culture of the Prophet, or to the fact that, unlike Jehovah, Allãh did not have to face failure. He is certainly modest while introducing himself, which he does mostly in the third person. But the proposition remains unaltered. “He is Allãh,” he says, “and there is no god save Him… Your God is only Allãh than whom there is no other god… He is Allãh the One… He is only One God… Your God is One God.” Once in a while the proposition is put in the form of questions, “Is there any other god beside Allãh?… Or have they other gods?” The answer is always provided by Allãh himself and is invariably an emphatic “no”. The refrain runs throughout the Qur’ãn.

The only compromise which Allah makes with his self-proclaimed status of absolute exclusiveness is in favour of prophets whom he needs from time to time in order to advertise his claims and extend his dominion. “Lo! Your Lord is Allãh,” he says, “Who created the heaven and the earth in six days, then established Himself on the Throne, directing all things. There is no intercessor with Him except after His permission.”7 That enables him to appoint the latest prophet and provide the second part of the Kalima, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allãh.”

The principal task assigned to the Prophet is to see that Allãh alone is worshipped, obeyed and served, and to wage a relentless war against Allãh’s rivals. Here, too, Allãh prefers to guide the Prophet at every stage of the campaign-how to launch an ideological blitzkrieg against the other gods and those who worship them; how to indoctrinate and marshal into a militant formation all those who opt for Allãh and break the kinship ties which bind them to their ancestral society; when and how to go on the offensive at selected fronts or all along the line; how to amass booty including the women and children of the idolaters, and apportion it among the faithful; how to force the defeated and the demoralised adversaries into the victorions fold; and how to annihilate pagan religion and culture till not a trace of them survives. Some portions of the Qur’ãn, particularly the Medinese Sûras, do sound like chapters in a treatise on war.8

Iconoclasm in the Qur’ãn

The verses (ãyats) which deal with idolatry and idolaters lie scattered in all chapters (sûras) of the Qur’ãn; taken together they constitute the largest number, particularly in the Meccan Sûras, as compared to those devoted to other subjects. Many a time, the verses occur in the stories of prophets who came before Muhammad. But it is more than obvious that they are addressed to the pagan contemporaries of the Prophet. We have collected and collated them under several sections as the theme develops, stage by stage, till it reaches its climax, that is, Allãh’s threat to destroy all peoples and human settlements where gods other than him are honoured.

The “other gods” mean idols, most of the time; this is clear by the word Sanam (pl. aSnãm) which stands for carved statues, and wathan (pl. awthãn) which stands for simple stones, trimmed or untrimmed. Sometimes the “other gods” are the Stars, the Sun and the Moon as well; we have seen that worship of these heavenly bodies was prevalent in pagan Arabia. But the description which we find most frequent in the Qur’ãn is “partners ascribed to Allãh.” The technical term used for this ascription is shirk which literally means “mixing” or “associating”. The idolaters are consequently called mushriks, which term has acquired a stink in Islamic parlance. Witnessing the tantrums which Allãh throws constantly about “partners ascribed to him”, we are left with a strong impression that the pagans had never neglected Allãh; they only preferred to worship him surrounded by his numerous companions who were his own Aspects, Names and Forms.9

Surveying the scene in pagan Arabia, Allãh of the Qur’ãn notices with great anger as well as anguish that, though most of them worship Allãh, they always ascribe partners to him. What is worse, they worship females such as Al-Lãt, Al-Manãt and Al-‘Uzzã, calling them daughters of Allãh.10 They do not know that Allãh never had a consort and, therefore, no sons or daughters. They are also unfair to Allãh when they burden him with daughters, while they prefer sons for themselves.11 Allãh informs the idolaters that these female deities are “mere names” invented by their forefathers and repeated by them, and that the worship of other gods, male or female, has received “no warrant”, that is no scriptural authority. The “idolaters” are also accused of dividing their offerings between Allãh and the partners ascribed to him. But no offerings ever reach Allãh because the partners grab his portion as well as their own. And their worship in the Ka‘ba is “naught but whistling and handclapping.”12 It seems that, like pagans everywhere and at all times, the pagans of Arabia also worshipped their Gods with song and dance.

Allãh also complains that the pagans pray to Allãh only when they are in trouble, but turn to other gods as soon as they are out of it. If asked why they do not worship Allãh alone and always, they say that they follow “the way of their forefathers”; they do not know that their forefathers were “unintelligent” and had received “no guidance”. They also forget that it is Allãh who has created them and provides for them. On the contrary, they have invented lies in support of which they come out with no proof. And they persist in their error even when a Book has been sent to them. They have chosen mere “slaves” as their protectors instead of the “master”, without realizing that slaves control nothing and can protect no one. Nor do they grasp the “simple truth” that if there were gods beside Allãh, both heaven and earth would have got disordered. The most unkindest cut of all, however, is that they invite Muhammad to disbelieve in Allãh and turn to their gods. But Muhammad has not only no knowledge of their gods, he has also received proof to the contrary. It is the same proof which the earlier prophets had received. The idolaters thus compound their error by trying to drag Allãh’s prophet down to their own degenerate level.13

Turning to Muhammad, Allãh issues a stern command: “Say: O mankind! If you are in doubt about my religion then (know) that I worship not what you worship instead of Allãh, but I worship Allãh who causeth you to die, and I have been commanded to be of the believers…14 There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error, and he who rejects false deities and believes in Allãh alone has grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allãh is Hearer, Knower.”15

Coming to the “other gods”, the cause of the whole quarrel, Allãh makes it quite clear that he himself has not appointed them, nor authorised their worship. The prophets and scriptures sent by him earlier can be consulted on the subject. He challenges the “idolaters” to produce proof to the contrary, if they have any. On the other hand, he has sent a scripture to Muhammad confirming the earlier prophets, and prohibiting the pagan practices in very clear words. The other gods “possess not an atom’s weight either in heaven or on earth, nor have they any share in either”. They do not “own so much as the white spot on a datestone”.16

Allah waxes eloquent about his own creation, which includes everything in the cosmos; the Qur’ãn is crowded with verses in which its author revels in unbounded self-adultation. The exercise over, he challenges the “idolaters” to produce evidence that their gods have ever created anything. The truth, he says, is that they cannot create but are themselves created. They are dead, not living. If the “idolaters” want to know the worth of their gods, they should call them (the gods) and wait for an answer; they will wait in vain. For, the gods have no ears with which they may hear, and no eyes with which they may see. Also, they have no feet with which they may walk, and no hands with which they may hold anything. They are helpless, and dwell in darkness.17

Being deaf, dumb, blind and without limbs, the other gods can neither help anyone, nor hurt. If a fly snatches away something from them, they do not have the strength to get it back. They are as frail and fragile as a spider’s web. They cannot come to the rescue of those whom Allãh wants to hurt. Those who hope to be helped by the other gods on the Last Day, are in for great disappointment; they (the gods) have not been given any power of intercression on anyone’s behalf. They can lead their devotees only to doom because they are “Satan’s handiworks” like “strong drink and games of chance.”18

The test will come on the Day of Judgment. Allãh is, however, in two minds about what will happen on that fateful day.

According to one version, his messengers will round up the “idolaters” and ask them about the whereabouts of their gods. The “idolaters” will say that the gods have “departed”, that is, taken to their heels. At the same time, the “idolaters”, will confess that they “have been disbelievers”. They will be brought before Allãh who will ask the angels in his court whether they (angels) were the ones whom the “idolaters” worshipped. The angels will plead not-guilty and name the jinns. Allãh will then turn to the “idolaters” and ask them why they had come alone and not accompanied by their gods. The “idolaters” will deny that they were idolaters. Allãh’s verdict after their denial is not recored.19 But it can be guessed that, because they were not believers, they will be consigned to eternal hell-fire, maybe of a lesser degree.

The second version is more consistent and in keeping with the spirit of the Qur’ãn. It says that Allãh will command: “Assemble those who did wrong together with their wives and what they used to worship.” All of them will be brought before Allãh. He will start by interrogating the gods. He will ask whether they misled the “idolaters”, or the latter went astray on their own. The gods will declare that they did not choose their worshippers, but were chosen for worship without their consent; the forefathers of the “idolaters” had gone astray because Allãh had “made it easy” for them, and the succeeding generations had followed in their footsteps. Thus the gods will disassociate themselves from their devotees and plead their own innocence. They will, however, admit that they might have misled others because they themselves were in error. The “idolaters” will feel outraged and shout at the gods, “Didn’t you come to us from the right and the left. Why are you blaming us alone?” The gods will remain unrepentant. They will hit back, “You were unbelievers on your own. We had no power to influence you.”20 What we find intriguing in this drama on the Day of Judgment is that the gods who were dead, blind, deaf, dumb and without any brains whatsoever, become alive all of a sudden, start seeing, hearing and speaking, and display wits like those of smart lawyers!

Allãh confides that he will set the devils to sow confusion in the camp of idolatry. The gods will turn against their worshippers, and vice versa. The doors of hell will be opened and the “idolaters” will be thrown into blazing fire. It is then that they will admit that they were wrong-doers and bewail that their gods had failed them. They will wish to have another life on earth, so that they may be among the believers. But it will be too late. Bound in chains, they will be dragged through boiling waters. No mediator will come forward to mediate for them.21 

Next, Allãh recites the record of earlier prophets and wise men vis-a-vis the idols and idolaters. We will relate it chronologically.

Abraham chided his father Ezra and his people for being idolaters. He also rejected the worship of Stars, the Moon and the Sun, all of which he saw setting after rising. His people argued with him in favour of the ancestral way of worship. He asked them to produce scriptural proof in defence of their gods. At the same time, he sought forgiveness from Allãh for his father. He harangued his father not to worship those who neither hear, nor see, nor are helpful in any way. His father rejected the advice and threatened to stone him. Abraham now decided to demonstrate the worthlessness of the gods. He sneaked into a place of worship when his people were away and smashed all the idols to pieces except the biggest one among them. The people, when they came back and saw the scene, made enquiries. Some youngmen who had seen Abraham doing the deed reported the matter to them. So Abraham was questioned. He pointed an accusing finger at the big idol and said that the big one had smashed the smaller ones, and that the truth could be found out by questioning the pieces. His people said that idols were not known to speak. He shouted back, “Why then do you worship them? Fie on you and what you worship!” They got angry and tried to bum him alive. But Allãh cooled the fire and saved him. He told his people that it was not he but they and their gods who were fuel for hell-fire, where they will be tormented for ever. Then he separated himself from his people and proclaimed, “There has arisen between us and you hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allãh.” Before he left, he informed his father, “I have sought forgiveness for you, though I know nothing for you from Allãh.” His devotion was rewarded by Allãh with a son, Issac, and a grandson, Jacob.22

Moses found his people adoring the golden calf soon after he brought them out of Egypt. He ordered them to slaughter with their own hands those among them who had gone astray. It was done. Moses also cursed Sãmirî, the man who had connived at the worship of the golden calf, so that Sãmirî became a leper in this life and fuel for hell-fire in the next. Moses burnt the golden calf and scattered the ashes on the sea.23

Solomon was informed by his pet hooper that the people of Saba‘ (Sheba of the Bible) were ruled by a woman and worshipped the Sun instead of Allãh. He wrote to the Queen of Saba‘ demanding that she and her people should come to the true faith. The Queen took fright and consulted her chieftains who went in a delegation to Solomon with rich presents. The king spurned the presents and demanded that the Queen be present in his court to settle the matter. The Queen had no choice. She went to Jerusalem, saw Solomon’s power, and accepted that there was no god beside Allãh.24

Elijah warned his people not to worship Ba‘al. They disregarded his advice and will face the doom on the Day of Judgment. Luqmãn advised his son not to be an idolater and serve his parents. But if anyone’s parents pressed their son to ascribe partners to Allãh, they were to be disobeyed. Ties of faith stood above ties of kinship. Coming down the road of time, seven young men in Palestine took refuge inside a cave and went to sleep when they saw their people degenerating into idolatry. They slept for three hundred years and thought it only a day when they were awakened by Allãh. One of them went out to find food and discovered that the Roman Empire was rid of idolatry and worshipped Allãh alone. The people in the town also learnt about the true believers in the cave and hailed them as followers of Jesus Christ. A mosque was erected over their graves when the seven faithful died after some time.25

Some of these stories are repeated several times and spread over several Sûras. Allãh tells them for the benefit of the “idolaters” of Arabia. He exhorts them to follow the path of Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Elijah, Luqmãn and the seven young men; otherwise they were bound to become fuel for hell-fire. Had there been any other gods, they themselves would have tried to reach the throne and usurp Allãh’s authority; there would have been disorder in heaven as well as on earth.26 If the “idolaters” fail to repent, Allãh threatens to cast terror in their hearts; he tells them clear and loud that their abode will be hell-fire. He can never forgive idolatry which is the greatest crime. They will find no escape from the torments in hell, which is their journey’s end. There will be an awning of fire above them, and a floor of fire underneath; they will not be able to drive it away from their faces, nor from their backs. We are leaving out the blood-curdling accounts, which abound in the Qur’ãn, about what the fire will do to the victims, again and again, and for ever and ever.27

Finally, Allãh bares his fangs and comes out in his true colours. “And how many generations,” he thunders, “We destroyed before them!… Had they any place of refuge?… and they cried out when it was no longer time for escape… Not one of them but denied the messenger, therefore My doom was justified… We seized them unawares and lo! they were dumb-founded. So of the people who did wrong the last remnant was cut off… And the heavens and the earth wept not for them, nor were they reprieved… How many townships have we destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came upon them… Have they not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequences for those who were before them, and they were mightier than these in power?  Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see the nature of the sequel for the guilty! …And when We would destroy a township, We send commandments to its folk who live at ease, and afterwards they commit abomination therein, and so the word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation… There is not a township but we shall destroy it ere the Day of Resurrection and punish it with dire punishment… And we verily have destroyed townships round about you… Allãh struck at the foundations of their buildings, and then the roof fell down upon them from above them, and the doom came upon them whence they knew not… Are they who plan ill-deeds then secure that Allãh will not cause the earth to swallow them? …Or that He will not seize them in their going to and fro so that there be no escape for them? …So think not that Allãh will fail to keep His promise to His messenger. Lo!  Allãh is Mighty, Able to Requite.”28

Lest the idolaters entertain the illusion that Allãh is bragging and does not mean business, he names the tribes and towns he destroyed in olden times. Nûh had warned his people repeatedly against idolatry. But they refused to renounce the gods of their forefathers. Allãh sent heavy rains, waters rose on all sides, and they were drowned.29 Hûd taught his people in Ãd not to worship any gods besides Allãh. They too were not prepared to give up the gods of their forefathers. Allãh sent violent storms which raged for seven nights and eight days, and they were swept away.30 Sãlih was sent as a prophet to his people in Thamûd. He invited them to worship Allãh alone and throw away their idols. They did not listen to him. Instead, they hamstrung his camel. Allãh caused an earthquake along with a great thunderclap in the sky, which turned their town upside down and they were buried in the debris.31 Lût lived in Sadûm when Allãh’s angels arrived to punish the inhabitants for their sinfulness. The prophet advised them to repent and seek refuge in Allãh. They turned a deaf ear and threatened to throw him out. Allãh rained stones on them, and the town together with its people was totally destroyed.32 Shua’ib invited the people of Madayan (Midian) to turn to Allãh. Their chiefs invited him to renounce Islam. Allãh’s wrath caught up with them.33 Mûsã and Hãrûn were sent to Fir‘ûn (Pharoah), and showed him many signs from Allãh. But Fir‘ûn refused to become a believer, and threatened to imprison the prophets. He was drowned in the sea along with his army.34 The “dwellers of Ar-Raas” and “folk of Tubba”’ also denied the messengers whom Allãh had sent to them. They were wiped out.35

Allãh of the Qur’ãn now throws away the mask he has worn in order to pass as Allãh of the pagan Arabs. He comes out in his true colours. He is no other than the old Jehovah of the Bible, the hardened gangster we have met in the earlier section. And like his earlier incarnation, he, too, is a denizen of the dark depths in human nature. Only the situation in which Jehovah alias Allãh intends to operate this time is totally different.

The Jews living in Egypt after the collapse of their patrons, the Hyksos conquerors, belonged to a bedraggled community which had lost its moorings long ago. They hardly had a religion or culture of their own and, therefore, were prone to succumb to whosoever promised to be a saviour. Jehovah had not found it difficult to possess them through his mouthpiece, Moses, and terrorise them into more or less total submission. Moreover, he had indoctrinated them for forty long years before he led them into the promised land. The land was not their own, and they could slaughter and despoil its natives without inhibitions imposed by ties of kinship and a shared culture. The Jews could never stand up to Jehovah or question the doctrines he had taught them. Whenever they lapsed into natural religion normal to mankind, they suffered from a bad conscience. That is why prophets could always find a ready audience and flourish among them. Jehovah had a safe constituency even when he failed to fulfil his promises, or carry out his threats.

The pagans of Arabia whom Allãh of the Qur’ãn had to face were, however, an altogether different cup of tea. The land in which they lived was the one in which their forefathers had lived and prospered far ages past. They had an ancient religion and culture of which they were mighty proud. They were not at all on the lookout for a new cult or a saviour who could rescue them from a miserable state, or lead them into a promised land. They did not cast covetous eyes on other people’s patrimony, while they zealously guarded their own. They had a first-hand experience of monotheism during the short-lived Jewish regime in Yemen, and the Abyssinian invasion that followed. They felt amused by prophets foaming at the mouth, and dismissed them either as poets, or magicians, or plain lunatics. Thus they were ill-prepared to receive revelations from Allãh or warm up to a privileged messenger.

The Qur’ãn has preserved portions of a debate which developed between the Meccans on the one hand and Muhammad on the other. “The history then of the first years of Mohammed’s preaching at Mecca is not without events, but it is, in the main, the history of a debate, and a debate in which the speeches of the counsel of one side only are preserved. The Meccan Surahs of the Koran are rarely to be dated with precision: many are reports or notes of the same course of lectures repeated over and over again by the lecturer. Hence the order in which question after question was posed by the adversary is not known.”36 We are taking up that debate before we proceed to the other methods adopted by the Prophet for subduing the pagans of Arabia and destroying their places of worship. Even in its state of partial and partisan preservation, the debate provides deep insights into the working of the pagan mind, as also of the mechanics of monotheism.


1 Qur’ãn, 12.2; 20.113; 26.195; 41.3; 43.3.

2 Ibid., 4.163; 5.19; 7.157; 33.7; 36.3 among others.

3 Ibid., 33.40.

4 Ibid., 3.81; 7.157; 46.9; 61.6.

5 Ibid., 2.41; 3.199; 5.33; 10.94; 6.20, 114; 10.37; 17.107; 26.196; 28.52; 34.6; 46.10, 87.18.

6 Ibid., 3.84; See also 5.44-46; 11.17; 45.16, 87.19.

7 Ibid., 10.3. See also 34.23.

8 It is not an accident that Brigadier S.K. Malik of the Pakistan military establishment has quoted copiously from the Qur’ãn in his The Quranic Concept of War, Lahore (n. d), New Delhi Reprint, 1986. General Zia-ul-Haq, the late president of Pakistan, recommends the book which, in his own words, “brings out the Quranic philosophy on the application of military force within the context of the totality that is Jehad.”

9 Some scholars think that Muhammad used the term “partners” because he was a businessmen. Allãh of the Qur’ãn does sound like a racketeer out to consolidate a monopoly over worship which humans offer to the Divine.

10 A translator of the Qur’ãn observes in a footnote that these Arab Goddesses were like Lakshmî and Sarasvatî of the Hindus (Qur’ãn Majîd translated into Hindi by Muhammad Fãrûq Khãn, Rampur (U.P.), sixth reprint, 1976, p. 242). Hindus can accept the observation as a complement, though the translator frowns upon their Goddesses as “mere names without reference to any existence.” In any case, it establishes kinship between Hindus and the Arab pagans. Hindu Gods and Godesses have invited the some invectives and physical onslaughts from the Islamic invaders and their remanants as the Arab Gods and Godesses did from the Prophet and his flock.

11 Allãh of the Qur’ãn, like Jehovah of the Bible, has great contempt for females. See Qur’ãn, 16.57;37.149-53; 43.16-19; 52.39; 53.21-22,27; 65.1-7.

12 Qur’ãn, 12.106; 4.117; 6.101-102; 59.19-23; 6.137; 8.35.

13 Ibid., 3.98; 2.170; 30.40; 18.15; 4.153; 18.102; 21.22; 40.42; 40.66.

14 Ibid., 10.40.

15 Ibid., 2.256. The first line of this verse is often cited by apologists of Islam in support of their proposition that Islam stands for tolerance in matters of belief. The complete verse, however, says quite clearly that the unbelievers have no business to persist in error after the right guidance has come. All commentators on the Qur’ãn proclaim, in unmistakable language, that this verse authorises Muslims to wipe out all other religions.

16 Ibid., 48.47; 21.24-25; 34.22; 35.13.

17 Ibid., 31.11; 25.3; 16.17; 16.21; 7.194-194; 13.16.

18 Ibid., 25.55; 21.43; 29.40; 17.56; 36.23; 19.15; 43.86; 5.90.

19 Ibid., 7.37; 34.40-41; 6.22-23, 95.

20 Ibid., 37.22; 25.17-19; 28.63; 37.28-30.

21 Ibid., 19.82-83; 16.86., 26.19-102; 40.74; 74.48.

22 Ibid., 6.75-82; 14.41; 19.42; 21.57-69, 98-100. 26 86: 60.4; 26.77.

23 Ibid., 2.54; 29.96-97.

24 Ibid., 27.22-24.

25 Ibid., 37.123-128; 31.13-15; 18.9-21.

26 Ibid., 3.95, 17.39; 42; 21.22; 3.151; 4.41; 14.30; 18.52; 39.16; 21.39.

27 For detailed description of the torment see Ibid., 2.24; 4.56; 7.42; 10.4; 14.16-17; 17.97; 18.19;20.74; 22.19-22; 35.36-37; 44.44, 50; 69.30-36.

28 Ibid, 50,36; 38.3.14; 6.44-45; 44.29; 7.4; 35.44; 27.69; 17.16,58; 46.27; 16.26,45,46; 14.47. “Able to Requite” is a very mild translation of the Arabic “Azîz al-Intiqãm”, which means “Lover of Vengeance”.

29 Ibid., 71.21-28. The story is repeated in several other chapters.

30 Ibid., 6.65., 7.70; 11.58; 26.136 140; 54.18-21. The story is repeated in several other chapters.

31 Ibid., 7.73-74; 11.62-65; 26.158-159; 54.23-31. The story is repeated in several other chapters.

32 Ibid., 7.80-84; 11.77-83; 26.54-58. The name of the town, Sadûm (Sodom of the Bible) is not mentioned in the Qur’ãn but is given by commentators. The story is repeated in several other chapters.

33 Ibid., 7.85.93. The story is found in several other chapters.

34 Ibid., 10.148-53; 26.18-29; 28.40-42. The story is found in many other chapters.

35 Ibid., 50.10-14. These places have not been identified with certainty.

36 D.S. Margoliouth, op. cit., p. 125.

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