116 The CORÂN

the book regarding the true character of the ancient prophets." جواب لقولهم هل هذا إلا بشر مثلكم يأمر بهم أن يسألوا أهل الكتاب من حال رسل المتقدمة Baidhâwi.

Mahomet, in thus appealing to the possessors of the Sacred Scriptures, Jewish and Christian, virtually appealed, in confirmation of his claims and doctrine, to the Scriptures themselves as extant and current among the Jews and Christians of his day. What a mighty difference between the Prophet of Islam and his followers of the present time! He professed to make the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments the foundation of his claims, and his pillar of support when attacked; they spend their days in the impious attempt to subvert the authority of those very Scriptures.

XLVIII.—SURA XXI., v. 49[48-50].

سورة الأنبياء

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ الْفُرْقَانَ وَضِيَاء وَذِكْرًا لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ وَهُم مِّنَ السَّاعَةِ مُشْفِقُونَ
وَهَذَا ذِكْرٌ مُّبَارَكٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ أَفَأَنتُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ

And verily We gave Moses and Aaron the distinction (Al Forcân), and a light, and an admonition to the pious,—
those who fear their Lord in secret, and who tremble for the hour (of Judgment). 
This blessed admonition also We have sent down; will ye therefore deny it?

The Books of Moses, here named the Forcân (that which discriminates the true from the false), are


spoken of in terms of high eulogy as a light to lighten the faithful, and an admonition to the pious, those who fear God, and stand in awe of the hour of judgment. Why then do not the pious Mussulmans,—those who aspire to the character here given, study this holy book, and seek to enlighten themselves by its divine counsel?

Note that the Corân itself is not spoken of in terms of higher praise than the Pentateuch is in this verse.

The name "Al Forcân" is in the Corân equally applied as a distinctive epithet to the Corân itself, as to the Pentateuch.

The tenor of the expressions here, as elsewhere, points to a book in current use, by which the piety and godliness of true believers were sustained and their souls enlightened. Such was the estimation in which the Bible was held by the author of the Corân.

XLIX.—SURA XXI., v. 105.

سورة الأنبياء

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

And verily We have written in the Psalms, after the Law, that "my servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."

"In the Psalms, that is, in the book of David; after the admonition, i.e. the Pentateuch"; في الزبور في كتاب داؤد من بعد الذكر أي التوراة   Baidhâwi. Others make Zubûr to mean the sacred books generally.