150 The CORÂN

The Jews say, the Christians are not (founded) upon anything; and the Christians say the Jews are not (founded) upon anything; and yet they read the Scripture.

"They read," present or imperfect tense, "are reading," or "are in the habit of reading." These are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in current use among the Jews and Christians, which elsewhere are spoken of as "confirmed" or "attested" by the Corân.

LXXXI.—SURA II., v. 137[136].

سورة البقرة

قُولُواْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Say,—We believe in God, and in what hath been revealed unto us, and in what hath been revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes; and in what hath been given unto Moses and unto Jesus, and in what hath been given unto the prophets from their Lord we make no distinction between any of them; and unto Him we are resigned.

It is not necessary to determine what is meant by "that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob." It may probably signify the revelations made to them or respecting them, as recorded in the Books of Moses. It is to be noted, however, that the


expression used in reference to the patriarchs, ما أنزل —that which was revealed to them, differs from the phrase applied to the Scriptures which were "given" or "delivered" to the prophets: ما أوتي موسى وعيسى وما أوتي النبيون من ربهم أتي "that which was given unto Moses and Jesus, and that which was given unto the prophets from their Lord." The word أوتي is used only of a Book, Scripture, or Revelation, committed to writing, and so spoken of as given or delivered; whereas the former term, (نزل ) signifies the inspiration, or revelation, to man of the will of God, which may or may not be recorded.

The verse proceeds with a very important declaration of the necessity of belief in the Scriptures which "were given to Moses, to Jesus, and to the prophets from their Lord," equally with the Corân; to make no distinction between them; to honour, reverence and obey all, because all are held in the Corân to be equally the word of God. Why is it then that those who believe in the Corân neglect these sacred Scriptures, the observance of which is inculcated by their prophet as an indispensable condition of Islâm.

LXXXII.—SURA II., v. 141[140].

سورة البقرة

أَمْ تَقُولُونَ إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأسْبَاطَ كَانُواْ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى قُلْ أَأَنتُمْ أَعْلَمُ أَمِ اللّهُ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن كَتَمَ شَهَادَةً عِندَهُ مِنَ اللّهِ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ