Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031).

    [1] Al Makkari, ii. p. 214.

    [2] In 1630 there was not a single Moslem left in Spain.—­Al
    Makk., i. p. 74.



In spite of the close contact into which the Christians and Mohammedans were brought in Spain, and the numerous conversions and frequent intermarriages between the two sections, no thorough knowledge seems to have existed, on either side, of the creed of the other party.  Such, at least, is the conclusion to which we are driven, on reading the only direct records which remain on the subject among Arab and Christian writers.  These on the Christian side consist chiefly of quotations from a book on Mohammedanism by the abbot Speraindeo in a work of his disciple, Eulogius;[1] and some rather incoherent denunciations of Mohammed and his religion by Alvar,[2] another pupil of the abbot’s.  In these, as might be expected, great stress is laid on the sensuality of Mohammed’s paradise,[3] and the lewdness of the Prophet himself.  As to the latter, though many of Gibbon’s coarse sarcasms do not rest on good authority, very little can be said for the Prophet.  But among other blasphemies attributed by Speraindeo to Mohammed is one of which we find no mention in the Koran—­the assertion, namely, that he would in the next world be wedded to the Virgin Mary.  John, Bishop of Seville, is equally incorrect when, in a letter to Alvar,[4] he alleges a promise on the part of Mohammed that he would, like Christ, rise again from the dead; whereas his body, being neglected by his relations, was devoured by dogs.  The Christian bishop does not hesitate to add—­sepultus est in infernum—­he was buried in hell.[5]

    [1] Eul., “Mem.  Sanct.,” i. sec. 7.

    [2] Alvar, “Ind.  Lum.,” secs. 21-35.

    [3] Ibid., secs. 23, 24.  Mohammed’s paradise was by no means
    wholly sensual.—­Sale’s Koran.  Introd., p. 78.

    [4] Sec 9.

    [5] This shows the hatred of Christians for Mohammed, whom,
    says Eulogius ("Mem.  Sanct.,” i. sec. 20), it would be every
    Christian’s duty to kill, were he alive on earth.

It is generally supposed that Mohammed could neither read nor write, and this appears to have been the opinion of Alvar;[1] but the same witness acknowledges that the Koran was composed in such eloquent and beautiful language that even Christians could not help reading and admiring it.[2]

On the important question of Mohammed’s position with regard to Christianity, Eulogius[3] at least formed a correct judgment.  Mohammed, he tells us “blasphemously taught that Christ was the Word of God,[4] and His Spirit;[5] a great prophet,[6] endowed with much power from God;[7] like Adam in His creation,[8] but not equal to God (the Creator);[9] and that by reason of His blameless[10] life, being filled with the Holy Spirit,[11] He showed marvellous signs and wonders through the power of God,[12] not working by His own Godhead, but as a righteous Man, and an obedient servant,[13] obtaining much power and might from the Almighty God through prayer.”

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Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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