124 The CORÂN

And We gave to him (i.e. to Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and We placed among his descendants prophecy and the book.

"And the Book, meaning thereby the (inspired) books generally, that they shall receive (all). the four Books," والكتاب يريد به الجنس ليتناول الكتب الأربعةBaidhâwi. "Meaning the Books; that is to say, the Pentateuch, the Gospel, the Psalms, and the Corân "; والكتاب بمعنى الكتب أي التوراة والأنجيل والزبور والقرآنJelalooddeen.

These are the Divine books, which (according to this passage) were preserved among the race of Abraham. And the tenor of the text, as well as of the Mahometan Commentaries, implies that the Scriptures in question, that is the Old and New Testaments, were preserved and handed down from generation to generation among the seed of Abraham.

LIX.—SURA XXIX., v. 46.

سورة العنكبوت

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَهُنَا وَإِلَهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

And contend not with the people of the book but in a generous manner, excepting those of them who, act wickedly; and say,—We believe in that which hath been revealed to us, and in that which hath been revealed to you: and your God and our God is one, and we are to Him resigned.


The text shows the manner in which, at this period, Mahomet addressed the Jews and Christians;—rather in the style of one identifying himself with their respective religions, than of one commissioned to supersede them. At any rate, it enables us to understand some of the grounds on which it was natural for the Jews and Christians to rejoice,—nay, to "weep with joy and gratitude," at finding the prophet of Mecca prepared to sustain and ratify their Scriptures in all material points, and anxious apparently only to reform the abuses of Image, Saint, and Angel worship, which had crept in amongst them.

Further, there can be no stronger proof than this passage, of the reverence and faith felt, and expressed, by Mahomet, towards the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians:—"We believe in that which hath been revealed to us, and in that which hath been revealed to you; our God and your God is one; and we are to him resigned."

The Musslumans of Mahomet's time, and the succeeding generation, would have laughed to scorn the miserable subterfuge set up by some Mahometans of the present day, who pretend that it was not the Pentateuch and Gospel in universal use among the Jews and Christians, but some different Scripture, that Mahomet alluded to. Such a supposition is perfectly gratuitous, and runs counter to the whole tenor of the Corân.