Abraham would go about crying, "Who will buy that which will hurt and not benefit him?" Then when God Almighty commanded him to call his people to the Divine unity, his father refused the call, and so did his people. Thus the matter spread abroad till it reached Nimrod, son of Cush, king over the country . . . . who took Father Abraham, and cast him into a fierce fire; but the fire grew cool and pleasant unto Abraham, who came out of it after some days. And thereupon his people believed in him.

Again, in the Arâish al Majâlis we read: Before this, when Abraham one night came up out of his cave and saw the stars before the moon arose, he said: This is my Preserver.1 And when the night overshadowed him, he saw a star, and said, This is my Lord; and when it set, he said, I love not those that set. And when he saw the moon rising, he said, This is my Lord; but when it set, he said, Verily if my Lord direct me not, I shall be of those that go astray. And when he saw the sun rising, he said, This is my Lord; this is the greatest. But when it set, he said, O my people! Verily I am clear of that which ye associate together with God. Verily I direct my face unto him who hath created the heavens and the earth. I am orthodox, and not one of the idolators.

They say that Abraham's father used to make idol images and give them to Abraham to sell. So Abraham taking them about would cry: "These will neither hurt nor help him that buys," so that no one bought from him. And when it was not sold, he took an

1 Surah vi. 76, etc.; all is from the Qur'an so far as in italics; and so also in the next two pages.

image to the stream, and striking its head, would say, Drink, my poor one! in derision, — for his people and the heathen around him to hear. So when his people objected, he said, Ah! do ye dispute with me concerning God, and verily God hath directed me . . . . And this is our argument wherewith we furnished Abraham for his people. We raise the dignity of whom we wish, for thy Lord is wise and knowing.1 And so in the end Abraham overcame his people by such arguments. Then he called his father Azar to the true faith, and said: O my father, wherefore dost thou worship that which neither hears nor sees, nor yet doth profit thee in any way, and so on to the end of the story.2  But his father refused that to which Abraham called him; whereupon Abraham cried aloud to his people that he was free from what they worshipped, and thus made known his faith to them. He said, What think ye? That which ye worship, and your forefathers also, are mine enemies, excepting only the Lord of the worlds.3  They said, Whom then dost thou worship?  He answered, "The Lord of all worlds."  "Dost thou mean Nimrod?"  "Nay, but he that created me and guideth me," and so on. The thing then spread abroad among the people, till it reached the ears of the tyrant Nimrod, who sent for him, and said: "O Abraham! Dost thou hold him to be thy god that hath sent thee; dost thou call to his worship and speak of his power to those that worship other than him? Who is he?" A. "My Lord, he that giveth life, and giveth death."4  N. "I give life, and cause to

1 Surah vi. 80-85. 2 Surah xix. 40. 3 Surah xxvi. 75-77. 4 Surah ii. 260.