192 The CORÂN

of his own accord, made unlawful to himself, and which the Israelites accordingly would not eat. (See Genesis xxxii. v. 32.) Therefore, reasoned Mahomet, in the Abrahamic (or Catholic) faith which I follow, flesh is not forbidden.

Then, to prove his position, the words of the text follow in which God commands Mahomet to say to the Jews,—"Come hither; bring the Tourât and read it (to prove whether or not I am right) if ye be sincere."

And this was to be an authoritative and final decision of the question; Whoever after that shall fabricate a lie against God, surely they are the transgressors."

It was then the Tourât,—the Old Testament, which the Jews of Medina had in use, in common with the Jews of all surrounding countries, which Mahomet demanded to be produced before all, and which is thus appealed to as an unimpeachable test of a disputed fact.

CXVI.—SURA III., v. 99.

سورة آل عمران

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَى مَا تَعْمَلُونَ* قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ تَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَأَنتُمْ شُهَدَاء

Say; O ye People of the Book! why do ye disbelieve in the signs of God, and God is witness of that which ye do? Say, O ye People of the Book! why do ye hinder from the way of God him that believeth, desiring to make it (the way of God) crooked, while ye are witnesses?


"While ye are witnesses, acquainted namely with the fact that the approved religion is the right religion that is the faith of Islâm, as shown in your Book."— وأنتم شهداء عالمون بإن الدين الدين المرضي هو القيم الدين الإسلام كما في كتابكمJelalooddeen. An indirect reference to the authoritative character of the sacred Books in the possession of the Jews.

CXVII.—SURA III., v. 113[-114].

سورة آل عمران

لَيْسُواْ سَوَاء مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَآئِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللّهِ آنَاء اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ
يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

They are not all alike. Amongst the People of the Book there is an upright race that read the signs (or revelations) of God in the night season, and they bow down worshipping. They believe in God and the last day, and command that which is just, and dissuade from that which is wicked, and they make haste in doing good works. These are the virtuous ones.

The text, which occurs after a passage upbraiding the Jews for killing their prophets, and other rebellious conduct, intimates that there were, in the time of Mahomet, honest and good Jews, who regularly read the Scriptures and prayed.

Whether or not such Jews joined Islâm it cannot