George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource (1734)
In the tenth year Ali was sent into Yaman to propagate the Mohammedan faith there, and as it is said, converted the whole tribe of Hamdân in one day. Their example was quickly followed by all the inhabitants of that province; except only those of Najrân, who, being Christians, chose rather to pay tribute 1.
Thus was Mohammedism established, and idolatry rooted out, even in Mohammed’s life time (for he died the next year) throughout all Arabia, except only Yamama; where Moseilama, who set up also for a prophet as Mohammed’s competitor, had a great party, and was not reduced till the Khalîfat of Abu Becr. And the Arabs being then united in one faith and under one prince, found themselves in a condition of making those conquests, which extended the Mohammedan faith over so great a part of the world.
The several names of the Korân.
The word Korân, derived from the verb karaa, to read, signifies properly in Arabic, the reading, or rather, that which ought to be read; by which name the Mohammedans denote not only the entire book or volume of the Korân, but also any particular chapter or section of it; just as the Jews call either the whole scripture, or any part of it, by the name of Karâh, or Mikra 1, words of the same origin and import. Which observation seems to overthrow the opinion of some learned Arabians, who would have the Korân so named, because it is a collection of the loose chapters or sheets which compose it; the verb karaa signifying also to gather or collet 2: and may also, by the way, serve as an answer to those who object 3 that the Korân must be a book forged at once, and could not possibly be revealed by parcels, at different times, during the course of several Years, as the Mohammedans affirm; because the Korân is often mentioned, and called by that name, in the very book it self.
1 Abulfeda, ib. p. 129.
1 This name was at first given to the Pentateuch only, Nehem. viii. V. Simon. Hist. Crit. du vieux Test. l. 1. c. 9.
2 V. Erpen. Not. ad Hist. Joseph. p. 3.
3 Marracc. de Alcor. p. 41.