the latter is the proper meaning of tahrif, only the "transposition" of the words took place orally, not in the written text of the Torah. Strangely enough the Verse of Stoning was once in the Qur'an itself, as far as we can learn from Tradition. 'Umar, we are told in the Mishkatu'l Masabih,1 said: "Verily God sent Muhammad in truth, and He sent down upon him the Book, and of what God Most High sent down was the Verse of Stoning. The Apostle of God stoned, and we stoned after him, and stoning in the Book of God is justice upon him that hath committed adultery." When the Qur'an was "collected" by Zaid ibn Thabit, this verse was omitted, lest it should have been said that 'Umar had inserted anything extra.2 If we may believe 'Umar the Khalifah, any removal of words from their places (Surah v, ver. 45) that took place with reference to the Verse of Stoning occurred in the Qur'an, not in the Torah, and was done by Muslims, and not by Jews.

In the Qur'an the Jews are sometimes accused of "concealing 3 the truth" knowingly, and of "twisting4 their tongues", in giving an answer to the question what the teaching of the Old Testament on this subject was. They are also accused of "casting5 the Word of God behind their backs". Against them, too, the charge of tahrif, is brought in only four places: viz. in Surahs ii. 70; iv. 48; v. 16, 45. It must be noticed here that, whatever the meaning of this accusation is, it is brought against the Jews only, never against the Christians. This single fact at once leaves the New Testament free from all suspicion of having become corrupted (محرّف) before Muhammad's time or during his life. We must now consider finally in what sense the Qur'an accuses the Jews of tahrif, We have already seen what Baizawi and Ar Razi say in reference to all these four verses except the first (Surah ii, ver. 70).

1 Kitabu'l Hudud, fasl i, p. 301.
2 See marginal note on p. 301 of the Mishkat.
3 Surah ii. 39.
4 Surah iii. 72.
5 Surah ii. 95.

According With regard to this verse both of these commentators agree1 that the tahrif mentioned in it consisted of a wrong explanation of the Torah and a concealment of what the Jews knew to be taught in it (compare Surah vi. 91, where it is said that they had the Torah in writing, but that they showed only part of it and concealed part, or most of it). This was very wrong conduct, but it is a different thing from altering the text of the Torah. If we ask at what time the Jews were guilty of tahrif, Baizawi says it was in the time of the ancestors of those who were Muhammad's contemporaries; but Ar Razi holds that it was those who lived in Muhammad's time against whom the charge is brought. Both commentators mention the opinion of those who fancied that the Jews had purposely altered the Sacred Text; but neither of them accepts this idea as correct. Ar Razi puts the question,2 "How is this possible in the Book? The exact number of its letters and its words had been summed up and handed down by continuous Tradition, and was well known in the East and in the West." He remarks that perhaps it will be said that the people were few, and those who were well acquainted with the Book were very few, and therefore it was possible for this tahrif, to take place. But, rejecting this idea, he adds, "The meaning of tahrif is the introduction of vain doubt and wrong explanations, and the changing the word from its true meaning to a baseless sense by means of verbal tricks, as heretics do at this time of ours with the verses which contravene their own religion." This is the view that he himself approves and supports with his authority. He therefore altogether exculpates the Jews from all suspicion of having changed the text of the Old Testament. When it is asserted therefore that the Qur'an states that the Torah is corrupted (محرّف), it should be remembered that this is not true in the sense in which the statement is made by the ignorant of our own time.

1 Ar Razi, vol. i, pp. 573-576; Baizawi, vol. i, pp. 67, 68.
2 Vol. iii, pp. 337, 338.