British Muslim Heritage > Poetry 
Hymn on the Faith of Abraham
From the Koran

by Amherst D. Tyssen
We hold the faith of Abram,
	Nor Christian he nor Jew,
Long, long e'er law or Gospel
	He preached religion true:
That men have souls immortal,
	And God's behests fulfil;
So be they strive sincerely
	To learn and do His will.

But later scribes enacted
	Strict rules of fasts and feasts,
And unclean meats and Sabbaths,
	And offerings to the priests;
Forbad each seventh autumn
	To sow their fields with wheat,
Forbad to wed with Gentiles,
	Or at their tables eat.

The gentle son of Mary,
	Recall'd God's first commands,
Disproved the law's divineness
	By suff'ring at its hands:
He spake a beauteous gospel
	Of charity and love,
Goodwill to men around us,
	And trust in God above.

Yet heathen myths invaded
	The Church which bore his name,
Three gods for one were worshipped,
	For faith profession came:
His words that aimed, from priestcraft
	All simple souls to save,
Were used as tyrant's weapons
	Men's reason to enslave.

Last Mecca's fervent prophet
	Old Abram's creed restored,
Renounced all human fictions,
	Took God alone for Lord;
We make his words our motto,
	And all mankind invite
To still their separate fancies,
	And on our ground unite.

  		(July 20th, 1898.) | British Muslim Heritage