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By S. D. Goitein, Shelomo Dov Goitein

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While meditating on this question, there ripened in him the conviction that God's message must be revealed some day in an Arabic version-and through none other than himself. There could be also no doubt as to the content of that book, for listening to preachers of different denominations he found that all said basically the same things. And how could it be otherwise? Were they not all sent by the same God? Consequently, as Muhammad reiterates again and again, the scripture promulgated through himself could also contain nothing else except what had been revealed before.

1 Islam, like Judaism, is a religion of commandments, in which the minute observance of ritual and ethical in junctions is intended to sanctify every moment of the believer's life 1 Wilfred Cantwell Smith, "Some Similarities and Differences between Christianity anf Islam," The World of Islam, cd. by J. Kritzek and R. Bayly Winder, London 1959, pp. 57-8, suggests that a Muslim, while memorizing the Koran, the pre-existent Word of God, might have a religious experience similar to that of a Christian in Communion.

While it may apply to certain areas such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen or parts of Pakistan and Turkey, it cannot be accepted with certainty as being true in general. In the past, peasants and the urban proletariat often made poor Muslims, both out of ignorance and indolence and because of strong re- 28 THE NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM sentment against their oppressors and exploiters who passed as good Muslims. Yet Islam was the only spiritual content of life and as such dominated the mind of the masses even when they did not make much use of it.

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