Page 220

IN

136

THE TRACK OF THE MOORS

intention of his own,

Mohamed's words,

inscribed without any

laws of his religion and reduced his from the infidel an analogy to the old

revision, crystallised the

descendants to accept

choice which was offered to conquered countries the Koran or the sword.

:

the choice of

one so astute and so eager for codified reform, leave the Koran in a condition of possible misinterpretation.

Why

did

Mohamed

neglect this part of his heritage to his ntw kingdom, and preserve with so little care words into which he know that the had nevertheless breathed a fiery eloquence ?

Why

did

We

palm-leaf substitutes for paper, jotted over with impassioned notes, passed in a still embryo condition to the Khalif Usman,

patched them together with the ambiguity dear to the Arab mind, sealing the mass of half-intelligible matter with his un-

who

Then came another, more scholarly and willing life-blood. therefore still more ambiguous, who gave the finishing touches, until it has come down to us, a masterpiece of crude iterations, of endless repetition, unintelligible to the average Mohamedan, who learns it by heart without the least desire after the eager

—

—

to grapple with its questioning of boyhood has been quashed Yet who can turn over the pages of this Book entanglements. without a strong sentiment of wonder and admiraDesert the of

tion for

its

enduring power ? It was not written for us, and its whole language never can reach us. He

translated or not,

who wrote enduring

those

its

his success

fragments never dreamed, perhaps, of

pages were to be among

upon

far higher claims than

monument

how

his followers, relying for

any book.'

But there

it

us with despair, not because it stands, represents fairly either El Islam or its antagonism towards the thought of our times, but because in its pages is locked away the a

intelligence of the

that

fills

Arab mind. '

E/ Islam.

Burton,

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In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

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