signification of, "who are in the habit of reading" that
The Scriptures are thus appealed to as books notoriously in use
amongst the Jews and Christians: and Mahomet is desired to make enquiry
from those who were accustomed to read them without limitation to any
particular tribe, or people, or country, in order to satisfy his doubts.
The enquiry is not confined for instance to the Jews of Yemen, Medîna,
or Kheibar; or to the Arab Christian tribes, such as the Bani Hârith of
Najrân, the Bani Tay of Tayma, or the Bani Hanîfa of Yemâma. The
Prophet is referred without distinction to all within reach who used to
read the Divine Scripture previously revealed, whether Abyssinians,
Syrians, Arabs, or Egyptians, whether subjects of the Ghassânide
kingdom, of Hîra, of Constantinople, or of Persia.
It is the Jewish and Christian Scriptures thus in current use
throughout the civilized world in the time of Mahomet, which by being so
appealed to, for the purpose of silencing the doubts of the Prophet, are
stamped by the Corân not only as inspired, but as genuine, pure, and
free from corruption.