to be well-founded. This second objection, however, though it seems distinctly opposed to the Qur'anic statement that God's words cannot1 be changed, will be examined, with God's help, in the other chapters of this Part of our present volume. But before undertaking this inquiry we venture to adduce, with all courtesy and respect for our Muslim brethren, a few of the leading passages of the Qur'an in which testimony is borne to the Bible. We shall also appeal to leading Muslim commentators, in order to show that we rightly understand the meaning of the verses which we quote.

It is clear from the Qur'an itself that "the Book" (ألكِتاب), that is to say, the Bible, existed among "the People of the Book" (أهلِ آلكِتاب) in Muhammad's time, and was not "a name devoid of the thing named". This is evident from many passages, of which we content ourselves with quoting only a few.

For instance, in Surah v. (Al Ma'idah), ver. 72, Muhammad receives a command to speak thus: "Say thou: 'O People of the Book, ye are [founded] upon nothing, until ye observe [or establish] the Torah and the Injil and that which hath been sent down unto you by your Lord.’" Regarding the occasion on which this2 verse was revealed, the historian, Ibn Ishaq, is stated by Ibn Hisham, in the Siratu'r Rasul, to have spoken thus: "Rafi' ibn Harithah and Salam ibn Mushkim and Malik ibn Az Zaif and Rafi' ibn Harmalah came to the Apostle of God. They said, 'O Muhammad, dost thou not assert that thou art [standing] on the creed of Abraham and his religion, and believest in that which is with us of the Torah and testifiest that it is from God, truth?' He said, 'Yes; but ye have innovated, and ye deny what is therein of that covenant which was made with you, and ye have concealed of it that which ye were commanded to explain to men. Wherefore I am clear from your innovations.' They

1 Surahs vi. 34, 115; x. 65; xviii. 26.
2 [The Arabic is quoted in Sir W. Muir's Testimony of the Coran, S. P. C. K., 1896, pp. 209, 210.]

said, ‘Verily then we hold by what is in our hands, and truly we are [based] upon the truth and the Evidence, and we believe not in thee, and follow thee not.' Accordingly God (may He be honoured and glorified) sent down concerning them" this verse. Here we see that Muhammad declared his acceptation of the Scriptures then current among the Jews, though he repudiated the "innovations" which he rightly declared they had introduced into the outward practice of their religion. In this respect Muhammad agreed with what Christ said to the Jews in His own time (Matt. xxiii. 16-24). Both this verse of the Qur'an, however, and Ibn Ishaq's narrative show that the Jews then had the Torah and that the Christians had the Injil; for there would be no meaning in commanding them to observe (حَتّى تُقِيمُوا) the precepts contained in those books, if the books had perished or been previously corrupted. In the former case it would be impossible to obey the command: in the latter case obedience would entail their going astray.

In Surah ii. (Al Baqarah), ver. 107, we read: "And the Jews say, ‘The Christians are [founded] upon nothing,' and the Christians say, 'The Jews are [founded] upon nothing': and they are reading the Book." The tense of the latter verb (يَتْلُونَ, "they are reading aloud, reciting, or meditating") shows that the Scriptures were then in the hands of both Jews and Christians, otherwise the Preterite might be used but not the Present, for it could not be truly said that they were then able to read them and actually were in the habit of doing so.

In Surah x. (Yunus), ver. 94, it is stated that God said: "And if thou art in doubt regarding what We have sent down unto thee, then ask those who are reading the Book previous to thee." Ar Razi mentions some difference of opinion as to whether Muhammad is here addressed or not: but he tells us that even those who thought he was not, explained the verse thus,—that God was here speaking to everyone who doubted