This second Sura also contains a long passage recounting God's mercy to the Jews under Moses and in the wilderness. There is a verse in it which has given rise to much controversy:—

Verily they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion and the Christians and the Sabians—whosoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 59.1

This seems to show that all these religions are equally good, but this is not the generally received idea, for some commentators2 say that the words ' believeth in God and the last day; and doeth that which is right,' mean that non-Muslims must forsake their errors and become Muslims; others hold that the passage is abrogated by the verse:—

Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam it shall not be accepted of him, and in the next world he shall be of those who perish 3. Sura Al-'Imran (iii) 79.

1 The general opinion of the commentators is that the Sabians were a tribe whose religion was a mixture of Judaism and Christianity; they worshipped one God, though some deny this, read the Psalms, prayed towards Mecca and worshipped angels. The meaning of the whole passage is said to be that:—
كوئى جو مسلمان يا كتابى يا غير كتابى جب ايمان لائى اور اجهى كام كرى اس سى خوف نهين

'Whoever, Muslim or Kitabi (i.e., Jew or Christian), or non-Kitabi, believes and does good works has no cause of fear.' Khalasatu-'t-Tafasir, voi. i, p. 40. Rodwell says the Sabians are the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of St. John. See Rodwell, Qur'an, p. 437. For a full account of the Sabians, see S. Lane-Poole, Studies in a Mosque, pp. 252-88.
'Doeth what is right' means enter Islam with sincere entrance'—دخل فى الاسلام دحولا صادقا —Baidawi, vol. i, p. 64. See also Wherry, Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. i, p. 312.

ومَن يَّبْتغِ غَيْرَ الاِسلاَم دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلُ مِنهُ وَ هُوَ في الآَخِرَة منَ الْخَسرْينَ
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The hypocrisy of some of the Jews who had become Muslims is referred to in:—

When they fall in with the faithful they say, ' We believe,' but when they are apart one with another they say, ' Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?' Understand ye their aim.1

Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to light.
But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with the Book,2 but with lies only and have but vague fancies. Woe to them who transcribe the Book corruptly3 and then say, 'This is from God,' that they may sell it for some mean price. Woe to them for that which their hands have written, and woe to them for the gains they have made.

They say, 'Hell fire shall not touch us but for a few days.' Say, have ye received such a promise from God? for God will not revoke His promise, or speak ye of God that which ye know not?

But they whose gains are evil works and who are environed by their sins—they shall be inmates of

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It is said that this verse abrogates all past religions and all which may arise in the future:—
اس نى اون تمام دبنون كو منسوخ كرديا جو كزر كئى يا بيدا كئى جائين
Khalasatu-'t-Tafasir, vol. i, p. 271.
The text denies the acceptability of any religion which differs therefrom.' Baidawi, vol. i, p. 164.
1 One party of the Jews is represented as upbraiding the other for making known passages taken from the Scriptures which Muhammad might use against them. Baidawi and Jalalu'd-Din say that the words 'hath revealed to you' mean 'was made manifest to you in the Torah regarding Muhammad.' The next verse shows that the charge against the Jews was that of hiding passages supposed to refer to Muhammad, not of corrupting the text, in which, however no passages referring to Muhammad can be found.
2 The Pentateuch. 
Another class of Jews opposed Muhammad and wrote out passages from their traditional or Rabbinical books and tried to pass them off as genuine Scriptures. They are not charged with altering the text.