234 The CORÂN

Had there existed the slightest suspicion that the sacred Scriptures were anywhere being tampered with, uncorrupted copies would surely have been preserved by them. The fact is that the assumption is throughout baseless. There never was such a suspicion. Mahomet certainly never entertained it; and as little did his immediate followers. Any imputation against the Jews and Christians of attempting to corrupt their Scriptures was not even thought of for many years afterwards;— not, indeed, until the Mahometan doctors, finding the Corân to differ from those Scriptures, betook themselves to this most groundless assumption as the simplest mode of escaping the difficulty.

Again, the supposition of such imputation (assumed for the sake of argument) cannot at the most be extended beyond the Jews of Medî;na It was they alone who were inimical to Mahomet; to them only the assertions in the Corân apply. But the Jewish and Christian Scriptures,—attested as they are in every part of the Corân,—were in the hands of millions, other than Jews, throughout the Roman and Persian empires; in the kingdoms of Abyssinia, Hî;ra, Armenia, Egypt, the Ghassânide dynasty in Syria, &c. The accusation or suspicion of inimical tampering, let it be pressed never so unfairly, cannot by any means reach these multitudes not only of Jews, but of Christians beyond Arabia.

Again, within two years of the death of Mahomet, the Mussulman armies had overrun Syria, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, which contained innumerable copies of the Old and New Testament in the churches, synagogues, monasteries, and private


houses. In a few more years the Mahometans had Egypt in their possession, and shortly after the whole northern coast of Africa,—countries that were likewise filled with Christians, Monasteries, and Churches. Is it conceivable that,—with the supreme power in their hands, with Jews and Christians daily gained over at the point of the sword, with cities, towns, and monasteries in their possession, and endless copies of the Scriptures thus at their disposal,—the Moslems would have lost the opportunity of securing correct manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, and of thus adding to the proofs of their Prophet's mission; —if, indeed, the slightest suspicion had crossed their minds that anywhere the Scriptures had been tampered with, or if in reality those Scriptures had (as the modern doctors of Islâm would have us believe) contained any testimony to the mission of their Prophet not now to be found in them? The absence of any such attempt is satisfactory proof that the suspicion of unfair dealing never did exist.

There can therefore be no escape, to the honest believer in the Corân, from the conclusion that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, as current through-out Christendom in the days of Mahomet, were the genuine and uncorrupted word of God.


It does not belong to the present task to proceed to the proof that the Scriptures of the time of Mahomet's