152 The CORÂN

Will ye say that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, were Jews or Christians;—say, What! are ye more knowing than God? and who is more unjust than he who hideth the evidence which he hath received from God; and God is not unmindful of that which ye do.

"Who is more wicked, &c.; that is, no one is more wicked than he that does so; the people referred to here, are the Jews, who hid the testimony contained in the Pentateuch regarding Abraham's being of the Catholic faith." ومن أظلم ممن الخ أي لا أحداً أظلم منه وهم اليهود كتموا شهادة في التوراة لابراهيم بالحنيفة Jelalooddeen. Rather, the meaning is that the Jews by illiberally insisting that Abraham was a Jew, and denying the grand truth that Abraham belonged to the catholic faith of Islâm, virtually concealed the testimony confided to them by God; just as Christians say to this day that the Jews hide, because they pervert, or refuse to acknowledge, the evidence of the Old Testament for Christianity.

The Jews of Mahomet's time, no less than those of the present day, would not allow the idea of the catholic or developed faith, towards which Judaism naturally tended. They would not allow the interpretation of passages in their Scripture alleged to point to Christianity and Islâm. They would not acknowledge or produce them. They thus "hid the testimony which they had received from God."


There is no reference here either to interpolation, or to any kind of tampering with their Scriptures, by the Jews. On the contrary, the passage contains an eminent .tribute to the divine origin, authenticity, and purity of the Scriptures, actually in the hands of the Jews of that day, as شهادة عندهم من الله the testimony of God that was with them.

LXXXIII.—SURA II., v. 146[144-145].

سورة البقرة

قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاء فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوِهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ بِكُلِّ آيَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُواْ قِبْلَتَكَ وَمَا أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ وَمَا بَعْضُهُم بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِنَّكَ إِذَاً لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Verily We saw thee turn about thy face (looking uncertainly) into the Heavens; wherefore We will cause thee to turn towards a kibla that will please thee—turn therefore thy face towards the holy temple (at Mecca); wheresoever thou art, turn thy face towards it. And verily those to whom the Scripture hath been given, they know that this is the truth from their Lord, and God is not unmindful of that which they do. 
And if thou broughtest unto those to whom the Scripture hath been given, every kind of sign, they would not follow thy kibla, nor wilt thou follow their kibla, &c.

Whether that which the Jews are here represented as