side or the other is a full and complete expression of Muhammadanism, gives a wrong impression of the system as a system of practical religion, and of actual belief. In practice, a man may hold contradictory beliefs, without attempting to co-ordinate or reconcile them by forming a definite theological system. He may believe that all things occur in accordance with the divine will, and yet hold that man can choose his own line of conduct and decide which of two actions he will perform. How these two beliefs are to be reconciled or co-ordinated, he may refuse to consider; and when he is urged to say how they can be reconciled intellectually or metaphysically, he may fall back, as the Muhammadans often do, on the pious ejaculation, Allah a'lam, 'God knows best'. This phrase, on the lips of the pious believer, has ever been a wonderful solvent of all intellectual difficulties.

As, however, our object is not to discuss the views of others, whether Muslims or Christians, we shall without further delay pass on to the proper subject of our investigation, the teaching of the Qur'an on God.

The Doctrine of God, as taught in the Qur'an, is far from being simple, and is by no means clear-cut. Muhammad appears to have had no definite theological conception of God. His doctrines were wholly those of one who sought to teach practical religion, and this fact must be taken into consideration in our interpretation and estimate of his words.

While we cannot say that Muhammad attempts to prove the existence of God, we see that he brings forward almost innumerable references to the evidences of


His existence and of His providential government of the world.

These evidences are drawn from all quarters. The heavens above us, and the earth on which we live, are claimed to be full of signs which speak in no uncertain voice to those who are willing to hear. In the movements of the celestial bodies, in the alternations of day and night, and in the recurrence of the seasons in their courses, may be seen the wise and beneficent working of one almighty will. The winds, the clouds, the rains, are the harbingers of His mercy. In the revival of vegetation after the summer drought man may behold the manifestations of his Maker's Power and Wisdom. In the adaptations of animals to their environment, and to the various uses to which they may be put by man, may be seen the signs of a mind which knows the end from the beginning, and can carry out its purpose in marvellous ways.

We have space to quote only a few of the passages which thus speak of the 'signs of God'. 'It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon for a light, and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the number of the years and the reckoning of time. God hath not created all this but for the truth.1 He maketh His signs clear to those who understand.

'Verily in the alternations of night and day, and in all that God hath created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who fear Him." 2

1 'That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.' RODWELL.
2 Suratu Yunas (x) 5-6.