Sacred Books of the East eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about Sacred Books of the East.
of his, who, to prevent discovery, conveyed the body to a place considerably distant from that where the act was committed.  The friends of the slain man accused some other persons of the murder before Moses; but they denying the fact, and there being no evidence to convict them, God commanded a cow, of such and such particular marks, to be killed; but there being no other which answered the description except the orphan’s heifer, they were obliged to buy her for as much gold as her hide would hold; according to some, for her full weight in gold, and as others say, for ten times as much.  This heifer they sacrificed, and the dead body being, by divine direction, struck with a part of it, revived, and standing up, named the person who had killed Him; after which it immediately fell down dead again.  The whole story seems to be borrowed from the red heifer which was ordered by the Jewish law to be burnt, and the ashes kept for purifying those who happened to touch a dead corpse; and from the heifer directed to be slain for the expiation of an uncertain murder.  See Deut. xxi. 1-9.]

[Footnote 29:  Those two Arabic words have both the same signification, viz., Look on us; and are a kind of salutation.  Mohammed had a great aversion to the first, because the Jews frequently used it in derision, it being a word of reproach in their tongue.  They alluded, it seems, to the Hebrew verb rua, which signifies to be bad or mischievous.]

[Footnote 30:  By baptism is to be understood the religion which God instituted in the beginning; because the signs of it appear in the person who professes it, as the signs of water appear in the clothes of him that is baptized.]

[Footnote 31:  At first, Mohammed and his followers observed no particular rite in turning their faces towards any certain place, or quarter, of the world, when they prayed; it being declared to be perfectly indifferent.]

[Footnote 32:  For this reason, whenever the Mohammedans kill any animal for food, they always say, Bismi allah, or “In the name of God”; which, if it be neglected, they think it not lawful to eat of it.]

[Footnote 33:  This is the common practice in Mohammedan countries, particularly in Persia, where the relations of the deceased may take their choice, either to have the murderer put into their hands to be put to death, or else to accept of a pecuniary satisfaction.]

[Footnote 34:  That is, the legacy was not to exceed a third part of the testator’s substance, nor to be given where there was no necessity.  But this injunction is abrogated by the law concerning inheritances.]

[Footnote 35:  This person was al Akhnas Ebn Shoraik, a fair-spoken dissembler, who swore that he believed in Mohammed, and pretended to be one of his friends, and to contemn this world.  But God here reveals to the prophet his hypocrisy and wickedness.]

[Footnote 36:  Setting fire to his neighbor’s corn, and killing his asses by night.]

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