How many generations have we destroyed before them! And they cried for mercy but no time was it of escape!
And they marvel that a warner from among themselves hath come to them; and the infidels say, 'This is a sorcerer, a liar;
Maketh he the gods to be but one God? A strange thing forsooth is this!'
And their chiefs took themselves off. 'Go,' said they, 'and cleave steadfastly to your gods. Ye see the thing aimed at.
We heard not of this in the previous creed.1 It is but an imposture;
To him alone of us all hath a book of warning been sent down?' Yes! they are in doubt as to my warnings, for they have not yet tasted of my vengeance. Sura Sad (xxxviii) 1-7.

Another feature of the revelation of this, the middle Meccan period, is the constant assertion of the. inspiration of the Qur'an. It is called the blessed Book, the luminous Book, the honourable

ما سَمِعْنَا بهذَا لى الْمِلّة آلاْخِرَةِ
Muhammad puts this speech into the mouth of polytheists and thus ironically implies that Christianity teaches a plurality of gods.
In the Tafsir-i-Husaini the reference is explained to be to the Christian religion, which was the latest and which it is erroneously said accepted the doctrine of the Trinity only; but not that of the Unity.
صلت عيسىا كة آخرين صلت است جة ايشان بتثلبث قائل اند نه بتوحيد
Baidawi says it refers to the religion of their ancestors, or to the Christian religion, the last of the religions.
Ibn 'Abbas says, ' we have not heard from Jews or Christians that God is one'—
لم نسمع من اليهود والنصارى ان الله واحد
Zamakhshari says, 'It refers to the Christians, who are Trinitarians, not Unitarians; or it refers to the Qnraish.
Mujahid says it refers to the religion of the Quraish. Khulasatu-t-Tafasir, vol. iv, p. 44.

Qur'an. It is the Book from God, the best of all recitals He hath sent, a missive from on high:—

A blessed book have we sent down to thee, that men may meditate its verses, and that those endued with understanding may bear it in mind. Sura Sad (xxxviii) 28.

Muhammad is bidden not to grieve at the hardness of heart of his hearers and is assured that his message is divine. These are the signs of the lucid Book:—

Haply thou wearest thyself away with grief because they will not believe.
Were it our will we could send down to them a sign from Heaven, before which they would humbly bow.
But from each fresh warning that cometh to them from the God of mercy they have only turned aside,
And treated it as a lie. Sura Ash-Shu'ara' (xxvi) 2-S.

In the one hundred and ninety-second and following verses of this Sura there is a very strong assertion of the fact that Gabriel brought the Book down from heaven: but, as there is a reference to the Jews, this passage is considered by Jalalu'd-Din as-Syuti to belong to the Madina period and so I do not quote it here. In other parts of this Sura, five of the older prophets are represented as saying 'Fear God and obey me;' and the conclusion drawn is that in like manner the Quraish should obey Muhammad, or suffer for their disobedience; and if they disobeyed him then he could, in the name of God, say,

I will not be answerable for your doings. 216.

The fragmentary nature of the revelations was useful, as it enabled the Prophet to meet with a