162 The CORÂN

"The Book,"—the inspired "Books" or Scriptures (Jelalooddeen) were placed by God among the descendants of Noah and of Abraham;—that is, they were deposited with the Israelites, the posterity of Abraham, and handed down amongst them from generation to generation.

In this passage the professors of the Christian religion of the time of Mahomet are praised for their tenderness and humanity. God had put into their hearts compassion and mercy رأفة ورحمة .In the concluding sentence, those of the Christians, and perhaps of the Jews also, who were "believers," are exhorted to fear God, and believe in his Apostle; in which case they are promised a double portion of mercy and other spiritual blessings. This promise the believer in the Corân must hold to have been made good in respect to all those Jews and Christians who embraced Islam. It is matter of history that there were many such even in the time of Mahomet. These, then, inherited a double blessing and walked in the clear "light" promised specially for their guidance. And so the same argument is applicable as in Art., LXII. Such converts would surely preserve carefully those Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to which Mahomet appealed as his witness, and on the belief and observance of which he laid such stress as the ground of the peculiar privileges here promised. They would hand them down to their posterity as the invaluable evidence upon which


they had embraced Islâm. Yet where do we meet with any Scriptures so handed down, other than those which are now current among Jews and Christians, and have ever been current from the earliest times? That no other Old and New Testaments have been kept up thus among the Mahometans separate from those in use among the Jews and Christians, is a clear proof that there was no necessity for such a precaution; and that the Jews and Christians who joined Islâm, were satisfied that their brethren who refused to become Mussulmans, preserved the Scriptures in their integrity; or rather that there never was any ground whatever for suspecting it to be otherwise.

XCII.—SURA XCVIII., v. 1[-5].

سورة البينة

لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ
رَسُولٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ يَتْلُو صُحُفًا مُّطَهَّرَةً
فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ
وَمَا تَفَرَّقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ
وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاء وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ