the habit of reading) the book revealed from before thee,"
(Art. LXXX.) So on one occasion (Art. CVII.) Mahomet "summoned the Jews to
the Book"that is, required an actual reference to their
Scriptures in the presence of both parties, before whom the scroll of the Old
Testament was to be produced and read; and on another occasion, they were called
upon to bring forward the same Scriptures for the settlement of a disputed
question; Art. CXV.
Both Jews and Christians are exhorted to act and to judge in accordance with
their Scriptures, implying the existence in current use amongst them, of copies
of the Scriptures, to which they could without difficulty make reference, in
order so to act and judge. They are likewise told that their religion is vain
except they "set up," or observe, both the Jewish and the Christian
Scriptures, from which the same conclusion may be drawn; for it would have been
nugatory to insist upon the observance of Scriptures not easily accessible to
the great body of the people professing those religions.
The Scriptures are also very frequently appealed to by Mahomet in evidence of
his own claims. He would not have done so, unless they had been extant and in
common use at the time.