132 The CORÂN

in the life to come. But people could not be praised for "holding fast" by any other than a genuine and uncorrupted Scripture. Jelalooddeen instances Abdallah-ibn-Sallâm as one of the pious Jews here alluded to.

Where then are the Scriptures which these converted Jews were directed to hold fast by, if they are not the same which have been handed down from the time of Mahomet from generation to generation,—even as before his time?

LXV.—SURA LXXIV., v. 30[30-31].

سورة المدثر

عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَوَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا وَلَا يَرْتَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ

Over it (Hell) are nineteen angels;
and We have not made the guardians of the fire other than angels; and We have not expressed their number, except as a trial to those who disbelieve, and in order that those to whom We have given the book may firmly believe, and that they who believe may increase in faith; and that those to whom We have given the book may not doubt, nor the believers.

This is a Meccan Sura, but the text is believed to have been added to it after Mahomet went to Medîna.

The passage is obscure. But it appears to point to some supposed coincidence between what is,


here said of the keepers of Hell, and what is said on the same point in the Scriptures of the people of the Book; which coincidence is adduced as a ground of faith, for those who possessed the Scriptures, and for the true believers. So Baidhâwi;—"that they might gain faith in the prophetic mission of Mahomet, and in the truth of the Corân when they saw that it was accordant with what was in their own Scriptures."

ليكتسبوا اليقين بنبوة محمد وصدق القرآن لما رأو ذالك موافقا لما في كتابهم‭.

This interpretation corresponds with previous passages, already quoted, of the same purport.