among Christians, and since not only does the Qur'an quote a passage found in three
Gospels (Surah vii. 38: compare Matt. xix. 24; Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25), but Muhammad
himself, as we have seen, quotes a verse from another part of the New Testament, therefore
it is evident to all who are men of understanding and free from prejudice that the Qur'an
refers to the Bible as it then existed among the Jews and Christians as containing a
Divine Revelation. But besides this the Qur'an always speaks of the Bible with great
reverence, and gives it the very highest titles, styling it "the Word of God"
الله: Surah ii. 70), the Furqan (Surah's ii. 50: xxi. 49), "a light and a
(ذكر), "the Book of God" (Surah ii. 95: thus Baizawi and the two
Jalals explain the verse: compare Surah iii. 22, and Surah v. 48), and other high titles.
Moreover, the Qur'an states that the inspiration bestowed on Muhammad was the same as
that given to the former prophets, as we learn from such passages as the following:(1)
Surah iii. (Al 'Imran), ver. 66: "Say thou: 'Verily the guidance is God's guidance,
that anyone should be given like to what ye have been given.'" (2) Surah iv. (An Nisa'),
ver. 161: "Verily We have inspired thee as We inspired Noah and the Prophets after
him, &c. (3) Surah xlii (Ash Shura'), ver. 1: "Thus doth God the Glorious, the Wise, inspire thee and those who were before
thee." The word which is used to describe the "descent" of the Qur'an
is also used of the earlier books. Hence, since things which are equal to the same thing
are equal to each other, it follows that the Qur'an teaches us that the Old and New
Testament are as truly "sent down" by God and as truly "inspired"
(وحي) as the Qur'an itself claims to be. Therefore it is that the Qur'an commands Muslims to
profess as firm belief in all the previous Scriptures as in the Qur'an (Surahs ii. 130:
iii. 78). They are also informed that the Qur'an was sent down for the purpose of
confirming the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians, as, for instance,
we read in Surah iii. (Al 'Imran), ver. 2: "He hath1 sent
down upon thee the Book, confirming what was before it, and He sent down the Torah and
the Injil before as a guidance unto men: and He hath sent down the Distinction
(فُرْقان)." It is said, moreover, that those who reject the Book will be punished by God for
doing so, for in Surah xl. (Al Mu'min), vers. 72, 73, it is written: "Those who hold
the Book and that wherewith We have sent Our apostles to be a lie, they therefore shall
know, when the collars and the chains are on their necks: they shall be dragged into the
hot water, then into the fire shall they be dragged." Baizawi in commenting 2
upon these verses gives several different explanations of what is meant by "the
Book". He says, "the Qur'an, or the Heavenly Books in general," and
explains "that wherewith We have sent Our apostles" as meaning "the rest of
the Books, or Inspiration and the Religious Laws". Even if, therefore, we deny that
in these verses "the Book" is that from which "the People of the Book"
derive this title, yet the other words quite clearly denote the Old and the New Testament.
The Qur'an also states that the Old Testament and the New agree with one another in
their general teaching, for in several passages we find statements similar to the
following from Surah v. (Al Ma'idah), ver. 50: "And We caused Jesus, Son of Mary, to
follow in their" [the Prophets'] "footsteps, confirming what was before Him of the
Torah, and We brought Him the
Injil, in it is guidance and light, confirming what was before it of the Torah, and a
guidance and a warning to the pious."
From what has been said in this chapter we conclude: (1) that in Muhammad's time the
Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament, containing the Torah, the Zabur, the
Prophets' books, the Injil, and the