144 The CORÂN

charge would in that case have resembled the one which follows in Art. CX., where by "twisting their tongues," or by a deceptive mode of recitation, passages were made to appear to belong to the Scriptures, which did not in reality. But such imputation, like the present, is altogether a different charge from that of corrupting the Manuscripts of the Old Testament.

NOTE, first; the accusation is addressed to the Jews of Medîna alone. Whatever else may be its scope, it does not extend beyond them. For instance, no such imputation is, in any verse of the Corân, ever hinted against the Christians, or their Scriptures.

NOTE, second; the accusation, whatever it was, did not affect the confidence of Mahomet in the genuineness and purity of the Old Testament as then in the hands of, and current amongst, the Jews of Medîna. This is evident from the tenor of all the subsequent passages in which the value and authority of the Scriptures are spoken of in as high, unqualified, and unsuspecting terms as before.

LXXIII.—SURA II., v. 85.

سورة البقرة

أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاء مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ

What! do ye believe in part of the book, and reject part thereof? But whosoever amongst you doeth this, his reward shall be none other than disgrace in the present life, and in the Day of judgment they shall be cast into a more awful torment.


This is still addressed, to the Jews of Medîna. The occasion of the passage is said to have been as follows:—The Bani Nadhîr and Bani Coreitza, two Jewish tribes which sided respectively with the two hostile parties at Medîna, did not scruple (before Mahomet came to Medîna) to fight against each other, and to kill and expel one another from their homes; but they scrupulously refused to retain any Jews who fell into their hands as captives, because they said this was forbidden in their law. In. the verse preceding the text, Mahomet upbraids them, saying that the slaying and expelling of one another was, in their Scriptures, forbidden equally with the making each other captives. Them follows the passage:—"What! do ye believe in part of the Book, and disbelieve in part thereof?"—That is to say, "it behoves you to believe and to obey the whole of your inspired Scripture in all its requirements. You cannot affect to be bound by some precepts, while you neglect others. Whoever believes and obeys only a part, disbelieving or neglecting the remainder, shall be disgraced in the present world, and suffer grievous torment in the next. The entire Scripture is divine and authoritative: every one of its injunctions is equally binding upon you."

What more conclusive proof could be desired of the authority and genuineness (according to the Corân) of the Old Testament, without exception of any single part, whole and entire; as it existed in the hands of the Jews in the time of Mahomet?