true faith."

لفي شك منه ومن كتابه لا يعلمونه كما هو أو لا يؤمنون به حق الإيمان

Mahomet is accordingly to invite them to the true faith, to be himself steadfast in the doctrines commanded by God, and not to follow the vain imaginations of the Jews and Christians. He is at the same time to declare his belief in all that God has revealed to them, and to say that he is empowered by God to decide their differences and disputes. He is to impress upon them that their God and his God is one and the same; that the works of the People of the Book, and of his own People, will be equally accepted; and that there was no real cause of difference or dispute between them.—(Compare Art. X.)

In this passage it is evident,—First, that Mahomet speaks of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as inherited by the Jews and Christians of his own time, as then extant and in general use amongst them. Secondly, that he expresses his belief in those Scriptures in unqualified terms, necessarily implying that they were regarded as genuine and uncorrupted. Thirdly, that the only cause of dispute between himself and the Jews and Christians of the day, was the alleged doubts and differences into which they had fallen, their erroneous interpretations and doctrines, and their enmity and divisions among themselves. There was no essential difference between Mahomet and them; no (حجة issue or) ground of controversy. Their errors and differences, which had in reality no support from their Scriptures, Mahomet


announced himself commissioned to adjust. After professing his belief in their Scriptures, Mahomet adds:— وأمرت لاعدل بينكم and I am directed to decide between you.

The whole tenor of the passage is directly opposed to any imputation against either the genuineness or the Divine authority of the Scriptures, Jewish or Christian.

XXV.—SURA XL., vv. 55, 56.[53-55]

سورة غافر

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْهُدَى وَأَوْرَثْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْكِتَابَ
هُدًى وَذِكْرَى لأولِي الْأَلْبَابِ فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ
وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالإبْكَارِ

And verily We gave unto Moses guidance, and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the book,
—a guide and an admonition unto people of understanding hearts.
Wherefore be patient, for the promise of God is true, and ask pardon for thy sin, &c.

Commentators agree that the Book here meant is the Tourât or Pentateuch. The books of the Old Testament were inherited though the providence of God by the Israelites from generation to generation, as "a guide and admonition to the earnest enquirers." The fact is used in the text as an argument why Mahomet should have patience and trust in the certainty of God's promise to him.