Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and some four hundred other languages.
When, therefore, the Qur'an tells us that Muhammad was directed by God Most High to
consult "the People of the Book" as to the teaching to be found in "the
Book", the reference cannot be to any book but the Bible which we now have, since the
Old Testament and the New were then, as now, the Sacred Scriptures of the Jews and the
Christians. The Qur'an, as we have seen in Chapter I, names the chief divisions of the
Canon of Scripture,the Torah, the Zabur, the Prophets, the Injil,and actually
quotes from them passages which are found in our present Bible. The Qur'an applies to the
Bible the very loftiest titles, calling it the Word of God
الله), the Book of God, the Furqan
(فرقان) or Distinction, the Zikr
(ذِكر) or Reminder. The Qur'an threatens with fearful
punishments in the next world (Surah xl. 72) those who do not reverence the Bible. The
Qur'an claims to have been sent down from God expressly to confirm (Surah iii. 2) and
preserve this Book (S. v. 52): and Muslims are commanded to believe in the Bible as firmly
as in the Qur'an (SS. ii. 130; iii. 78) itself.
Since, therefore, it has been proved that the Old Testament and the New which are now
in circulation among the Jews and the Christians are those which existed among them in
Muhammad's time, and to which the Qur'an bears witness, it is incumbent upon all true
Muslims to read them with earnest prayer to God Most Merciful, that He would aid them to
understand "the Book of God", "the enlightening Book" (Surah xxxv.
23), and to find it a light and a mercy, "a guidance and an admonition to people of
THAT THE SACRED SCRIPTURES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT AND OF THE NEW HAVE
NOT UNDERGONE CORRUPTION, WHETHER BEFORE OR AFTER MUHAMMAD'S TIME
WE have already seen that the Qur'an calls the Bible "the Word of God"
Surah ii. 70), and that the Qur'an states more than once that God's words cannot be
changed or altered. If both these statements are correctand of that Christians have no
more doubt than have Muslimsthen it follows that the Bible has not been changed and
corrupted either before or since Muhammad's time.
But this brings us to consider what the Qur'an actually does say, and what is the
opinion of the leading commentators. These are not unanimous on the subject, yet it will
be seen that they by no means heartily support the opinion of the uneducated.
In Surah xviii. (Al Kahf), ver. 26, it is written: "And recite what has been
inspired into thee from the book of thy Lord: there is no changer of His words." Of
course the Qur'an itself is referred to primarily, but the final statement concerns God's
words in general. As the Bible is admitted to be God's Word, and the general includes the
particular, it is evident that the Bible cannot be changed. Baizawi's comment is:
"There is no one who can change or alter them, except Himself." In Surah x. (Yunus),
ver. 65, we read: "There is no changing the words of God." Baizawi says:
"There is no altering His sayings, and there is no breach of His promises." In
Surah vi. (Al In'am), ver. 34: "There is no changer of God's words," and ver.
115, "There is no changer of His words," the same statement is made. It is true
that in his note on the latter passage Baizawi speaks of the Torah as having