114 The CORÂN

unreserved. It was the Pentateuch, as then in the hands of the Jews, and the contents of which Mahomet had already adduced in confirmation of his doctrine, that is appealed to, and in reference to which, in conjunction with the Corân, the Coreish are challenged to produce an inspired book that guided more rightly than they did.

XLV.—SURA XXVIII., v. 53[52-53].

سورة القصص

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ
وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ

Those to whom We have given the Scripture before it (i.e. before the Corân,) believe therein;
and when it (the Corân) is read unto them, they say,—We believe in it; verily it is the truth from our Lord, surely we were Moslems from before.

The portions of the Corân recited to, or read by, certain Jews or Christians, are supposed in this text to have been so like their own Scriptures, and contained, moreover, such frequent affirmation that the object of Mahomet's mission was to confirm those Scriptures, that these Jews or Christians expressed their conviction of the truth of Mahomet's doctrines, and said that they were exactly the same as their own which they had held before. "Surely we were Moslems already"; as much as to say, "If this be Islâm, it is nothing more or less than what we find in our own inspired Books." Nota bene; this verse belongs to an early


stage of Mahomet's mission, before his flight to Medina.

Compare the above verse with Arts. VII., XIII., XV., XXXV., and other passages of similar purport.

XLVI.—SURA XXIII., v. 25[49-50].

سورة المؤمنين

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ
وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَى رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ

And verily We gave Moses the book, if haply they might be directed;
and We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, &c.


سورة الأنبياء

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

And We sent not before thee (as Apostles) other than men whom We inspired: ask, therefore, the people of the Scripture, if ye know it not.

"We inspired," var. read. "it hath been inspired into them." يوحي وفي قراءة بنونJelalooddeen.

"The people of the Scripture, that is, those learned in the Pentateuch and the Gospel." أهل الذكر العلماء بالتوراة والإنجيل Baidhâwi.

"This is given as a reply to the speech of the Coreish, —What! is this (pretender) any other than a mortal like yourselves? God directs them to ask the people of