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§ 38. Literature.


See A. Sprenger’s Bibliotheca Orientalis Sprengeriana. Giessen, 1857.

W. Muir.: Life of Mahomet, Vol. I., ch. 1. Muir discusses especially the value of Mohammedan traditions.

Ch. Friedrici: Bibliotheca Orientalis. London (Trübner & Co.) 1875 sqq.


I. Sources.


1. The Koran or AL-Koran. The chief source. The Mohammedan Bible, claiming to be given by inspiration to Mohammed during the course of twenty years. About twice as large as the New Testament. The best Arabic MSS., often most beautifully written, are in the Mosques of Cairo, Damascus, Constantinople, and Paris; the largest, collection in the library of the Khedive in Cairo. Printed editions in Arabic by Hinkelmann (Hamburg, 1694); Molla Osman Ismael (St. Petersburg, 1787 and 1803); G. Flügel (Leipz., 1834); revised by Redslob (1837, 1842, 1858). Arabice et Latine, ed. L. Maraccius, Patav., 1698, 2 vols., fol. (Alcorani textus universus, with notes and refutation). A lithographed edition of the Arabic text appeared at Lucknow in India, 1878 (A. H. 1296).

The standard English translations: in prose by Geo. Sale (first publ., Lond., 1734, also 1801, 1825, Philad., 1833, etc.), with a learned and valuable preliminary discourse and notes; in the metre, but without the rhyme, of the original by J. M. Rodwell (Lond., 1861, 2d ed. 1876, the Suras arranged in chronological order). A new transl. in prose by E. H. Palmer. (Oxford, 1880, 2 vols.) in M. Müller’s “Sacred Books of the East.” Parts are admirably translated by Edward W. Lane.

French translation by Savary, Paris, 1783, 2 vols.; enlarged edition by Garcin de Tassy, 1829, in 3 vols.; another by M. Kasimirski, Paris, 1847, and 1873.

German translations by Wahl (Halle, 1828), L. Ullmann (Bielefeld, 1840, 4th ed. 1857), and parts by Hammer von Purgstall (in the Fundgruben des Orients), and Sprenger (in Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad).

2. Secondary sources on the Life of Moh. and the origin of Islâm are the numerous poems of contemporaries, especially in Ibn Ishâc, and the collections of the sayings of Moh., especially the Sahih (i.e. The True, the Genuine) of Albuchârî (d. 871). Also the early Commentaries on the Koran, which explain difficult passages, reconcile the contradictions, and insert traditional sayings and legends. See Sprenger, III. CIV. sqq.


II. Works On The Koran.


Th. Nöldeke: Geschichte des Quorâns, (History of the Koran), Göttingen, 1860; and his art. in the “Encycl. Brit., 9th ed. XVI. 597–606.

Garcin de Tassy: L’Islamisme d’après le Coran l’enseignement doctrinal et la pratique, 3d ed. Paris, 1874.

Gustav Weil: Hist. kritische Einleitung in den Koran. Bielefeld und Leipz., 1844, 2d ed., 1878.

Sir William Muir: The Corân. Its Composition and Teaching; and the Testimony it bears to the Holy Scriptures. (Allahabad, 1860), 3d ed., Lond., 1878.

Sprenger, l.c., III., pp. xviii.-cxx.


III. Biographies of Mohammed.


1. Mohammedan biographers.

Zohri (the oldest, died after the Hegira 124).

Ibn Ishâc (or Ibni Ishak, d. A. H. 151, or a.d. 773), ed. in Arabic from MSS. by Wüstenfeld, Gött., 1858–60, translated by Weil, Stuttg., 1864.

Ibn (Ibni) Hishâm (d. A. H. 213, a.d. 835), also ed. by Wüstenfeld, and translated by Weil, 1864.

Katib Al Waquidi (or Wackedee, Wackidi, d. at Bagdad A. H. 207, a.d. 829), a man of prodigious learning, who collected the traditions, and left six hundred chests of books (Sprenger, III., LXXI.), and his secretary, Muhammad Ibn Sâad (d. A. H. 230, a.d. 852), who arranged, abridged, and completed the biographical works of his master in twelve or fifteen for. vols.; the first vol. contains the biography of Moh., and is preferred by Muir and Sprenger to all others. German transl. by Wellhausen: Muhammed in Medina. From the Arabic of Vakidi. Berlin, 1882.

Tabari (or Tibree, d. A. H. 310, a.d. 932), called by Gibbon “the Livy of the Arabians.”

Muir says (I., CIII.): “To the three biographies by Ibn Hishâm, by Wackidi, and his secretary, and by Tabari, the judicious historian of Mahomet will, as his original authorities, confine himself. He will also receive, with a similar respect, such traditions in the general collections of the earliest traditionists—Bokhâri, Muslim, Tirmidzi, etc.,—as may bear upon his subject. But he will reject as evidence all later authors.” Abulfeda (or Abulfida, d. 1331), once considered the chief authority, now set aside by much older sources.

*Syed Ahmed Khan Bahador (member of the Royal Asiatic Society): A Series of Essays on the Life of Mohammed. London (Trübner & Co.), 1870. He wrote also a “Mohammedan Commentary on the Holy Bible.” He begins with the sentence: “In nomine Dei Misericordis Miseratoris. Of all the innumerable wonders of the universe, the most marvellous is religion.”

Syed Ameer Ali, Moulvé (a Mohammedan lawyer, and brother of the former): A Critical Examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammed. London 1873. A defense of Moh. chiefly drawn from Ibn-Hishâm (and Ibn-al Athîr (1160–1223).


2. Christian Biographies.

Dean Prideaux (d. 1724): Life of Mahomet, 1697, 7th ed. Lond., 1718. Very unfavorable.

Count Boulinvilliers: The Life of Mahomet. Transl. from the French. Lond., 1731.

Jean Gagnier (d. 1740): La vie de Mahomet, 1732, 2 vols., etc. Amsterd. 1748, 3 vols. Chiefly from Abulfeda and the Sonna. He also translated Abulfeda.

*Gibbon: Decline and Fall, etc. (1788), chs. 50–52. Although not an Arabic scholar, Gibbon made the best use of the sources then accessible in Latin, French, and English, and gives a brilliant and, upon the whole, impartial picture.

*Gustav Weil: Mohammed der Prophet, sein Leben und seine Lehre. Stuttgart, 1843. Comp. also his translation of Ibn Ishâc, and Ibn Hishâm, Stuttgart, 1864, 2 vols.; and his Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner aus arabischen Quellen und mit jüd. Sagen verglichen. Frcf., 1845. The last is also transl. into English.

Th. Carlyle: The Hero as Prophet, in his Heroes Hero- Worship and the Heroic in History. London, 1840. A mere sketch, but full of genius and stimulating hints. He says: “We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent prophet, but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of prophets, but I esteem him a true one. Farther, as there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans, I mean to say all the good of him I justly can. It is the way to get at his secret.”

Washington Irving: Mahomet and His Followers. N. Y., 1850. 2 vols.

George Bush: The Life of Mohammed. New York (Harpers).

*SIR William MUIR (of the Bengal Civil Service): The Life of Mahomet. With introductory chapters on the original sources for the biography of Mahomet, and on the pre-Islamite history of Arabia. Lond., 1858–1861, 4 vols. Learned, able, and fair. Abridgement in 1 vol. Lond., 1877.

*A. Sprenger: First an English biography printed at Allahabad, 1851, and then a more complete one in German, Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad. Nach bisher grösstentheils unbenutzten Quellen. Berlin, 1861–’65, 2d ed. 1869, 3 vols. This work is based on original and Arabic sources, and long personal intercourse with Mohammedans in India, but is not a well digested philosophical biography.

*Theod. Nöldeke: Das Leben Muhammeds. Hanover, 1863. Comp. his elaborate art. in Vol. XVIII. of Herzog’s Real-Encycl., first ed.

E. Renan: Mahomet, et les origines de l’islamisme, in his “Etudes de l’histoire relig.,” 7th ed. Par., 1864.

Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire: Mahomet et le Oran. Paris, 1865. Based on Sprenger and Muir.

Ch. Scholl: L’Islam et son Fondateur. Paris, 1874.

R. Bosworth Smith (Assistant Master in Harrow School): Mohammed and Mohammedanism. Lond. 1874, reprinted New York, 1875.

J. W. H. Stobart: Islam and its Founder. London, 1876.

J. Wellhausen: Art. Moh. in the “Encycl. Brit.” 9th ed. vol. XVI. 545–565.


IV. History Of The Arabs And Turks.


Jos. von Hammer-Purgstall: Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches. Pesth, 1827–34, 10 vols. A smaller ed. in 4 vols. This standard work is the result of thirty years’ labor, and brings the history down to 1774. By the same: Literaturgeschichte der Araber. Wien, 1850–’57, 7 vols.

*G. Weil: Gesch. der Chalifen. Mannheim, 1846–5l, 3 vols.

*Caussin de Perceval: Essai sur l’histoire des Arabes. Paris, 1848, 3 vols.

*Edward A. Freeman (D. C. L., LL. D.): History and Conquests of the Saracens. Lond., 1856, 3d ed. 1876.

Robert Durie Osborn (Major of the Bengal Staff Corps): Islam under the Arabs. London., 1876; Islam under the Khalifs of Baghdad. London, 1877.

Sir Edward S. Creasy: History of the Ottoman Turks from the Beginning of their Empire to the present Time. Lond., 2d ed. 1877. Chiefly founded on von Hammer’

Th. Nöldeke: Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden. Aus der arabischen Chronik des Tabari übersetzt. Leyden, 1879.

Sir Wm. Muir: Annals of the Early Caliphate. London 1883.


V. Manners And Customs Of The Mohammedans.


Joh. Ludwig Burckhardt: Travels in Nubia, 1819; Travels in Syria and Palestine, 1823; Notes on the Bedouins, 1830.

*Edw. W. Lane: Modern Egyptians. Lond., 1836, 5th ed. 1871, in 2 vols.

*Rich. F. Burton: Personal narrative of a Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah, Lond. 1856, 3 vols.

C. B. Klunzinger: Upper Egypt: its People and its Products. A descriptive Account of the Manners, Customs, Superstitions, and Occupations of the People of the Nile Valley, the Desert, and the Red Sea Coast. New York, 1878. A valuable supplement to Lane.

Books of Eastern Travel, especially on Egypt and Turkey. Bahrdt’s Travels in Central Africa (1857), Palgrave’s Arabia (1867), etc.

VI. Relation Of Mohammedanism To Judaism.

*Abraham Geiger: Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum aufgenommen? Bonn, 1833.

Hartwig Hirschfeld: Jüdische Elemente im Koran. Berlin, 1878.


VII. Mohammedanism as a Religion, and its Relation to Christianity.


L. Maracci: Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani. Rom., 1691, 4 vols.

S. Lee: Controversial Tracts on Christianity and Mahometanism. 1824.

J. Döllingber (R.C.): Muhammed’s Religion nach ihrer innern Entwicklung u. ihrem Einfluss auf das Leben der Völker. Regensb. 1838.

A. Möhler (R.C.): Das Verhältniss des Islam zum Christenthum (in his “Gesammelte Schriften”). Regensb., 1839.

C. F. Gerock: Versuch einer Darstellung der Christologie des Koran. Hamburg and Gotha, 1839.

J. H. Newman (R.C.): The Turks in their relation to Europe (written in 1853), in his “Historical Sketches.” London, 1872, pp. 1–237.

Dean Arthur P. Stanley: Mahometanism and its relations to the Eastern Church (in Lectures on the “History of the Eastern Church.” London and New York, 1862, pp. 360–387). A picturesque sketch.

Dean Milman: History of Latin Christianity. Book IV., chs.1 and 2. (Vol. II. p. 109).

Theod. Nöldeke: Art. Muhammed und der Islam, in Herzog’s “Real-Encyclop.” Vol. XVIII. (1864), pp. 767–820.’

*Eman. Deutsch: Islam, in his “Liter. Remains.” Lond. and N. York, 1874, pp. 50–134. The article originally appeared in the London “Quarterly Review” for Oct. 1869, and is also printed at the end of the New York (Harper) ed. of R. Bosworth Smith’s Mohammed. Reports of the General Missionary Conference at Allahabad, 1873.

J. Mühleisen Arnold (formerly chaplain at Batavia): Islam: its History, Character, and Relation to Christianity. Lond., 1874, 3d ed.

Gustav. Rösch: Die Jesusmythen des Islam, in the “Studien und Kritiken.” Gotha, 1876. (No. III. pp. 409–454).

Marcus Dods: Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ. Lond. 2d ed. 1878.

Ch. A. Aiken: Mohammedanism as a Missionary Religion. In the “Bibliotheca Sacra,” of Andover for 1879, p. 157.

Archbishop Trench: Lectures on Mediaeval Church History (Lect. IV. 45–58). London, 1877.

Henry H. Jessup (Amer. Presbyt. missionary at Beirut): The Mohammedan Missionary Problem. Philadelphia, 1879.

Edouard Sayous: Jésus Christ d’après Mahomet. Paris 1880.

G. P. Badger: Muhámmed in Smith and Wace, III. 951–998.


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