Thus the main object, or at any rate one of the main objects, of the Corân, was to provide the Arabs in their own language with a confirmation of the previous revelation.1 The Corân was not to supersede the Jewish Scriptures; it was intended to be an "attestation" thereof in the Arabic language, and thus accessible to the Arabs,—which the former Scriptures from being in a foreign tongue, could not be. And that the Corân was confirmatory of the previously revealed Scripture, is adduced by Mahomet as a conclusive proof against the accusation of the Coreish that his Revelation was an antiquated lie.

Surely such language is compatible only with the position that the Jewish Scriptures were held by Mahomet to be entirely divine and genuine.

XVII—SURA XLVI., v. 30[29-30].

سورة الأحقاف

وَإِذْ صَرَفْنَا إِلَيْكَ نَفَرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَمَّا حَضَرُوهُ قَالُوا أَنصِتُوا فَلَمَّا قُضِيَ وَلَّوْا إِلَى قَوْمِهِم مُّنذِرِينَ
قَالُوا يَا قَوْمَنَا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَابًا أُنزِلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ وَإِلَى طَرِيقٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

1 At this stage of his mission, this was no doubt the sincere and real object of Mahomet. By-and-by, the scope of his designs changed with his circumstances; and in the full development of Islâm at Medina, the Corân becomes no longer a mere attestation of the previous Scriptures, but as the last, and therefore most authoritative, deliverance of God's will, altogether supersedes them. It is not, however, expedient to bring forward this point prominently, because it would be offensive to the Mussulmans, and the object here is to attract them to our Scriptures, not to repel them by arousing a controversial and hostile spirit.


And (call to mind) when We caused a company of the Genii to turn aside unto thee that they might hear the Corân; And, when they were present thereat, they said,—Give ear. and when it was ended, they returned to their people as, warners;
they said,—Oh our people! verily we have heard a book revealed after Moses, attesting the revelation that precedeth it; it leadeth to the truth, and unto the straight path. 

"Attesting that which is before it," (lit. between its hands,) that is, the preceding Scriptures. So Jelalooddeen,—

مصدقا لما بين يديه أي تقدمه كالتوراة
"attesting that which is before it, i.e. which precedeth it, as the Tourât (Pentateuch)."

The description, by the Genii to their brethren, of this new Revelation, was that it attested and confirmed the truth of the previous revelation. This was its chief feature; its leading object; that by which they characterized and distinguished it.

This, it will be observed, is in perfect keeping with the passage last quoted (No. XVI.).


سورة فاطر

وَإِن يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالزُّبُرِ وَبِالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ

And if they reject thee, verily they who preceded them rejected (their prophets), who brought them clear signs, and writing, and the enlightening book.