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world they shall suffer a grievous punishment; (38) except those who shall repent before ye prevail against them; for know that GOD is inclined to forgive, and merciful.

|| (39) O true believers, fear GOD, and earnestly desire R1% a near conjunction with him, and fight for his religion, that ye may be happy. (40) Moreover they who believe not, although they had whatever is in the earth, and as much more withal, that they might therewith redeem themselves from punishment on the day of resurrection; it shall not be accepted from them, but they shall suffer a painful punishment. (41) They shall desire to go forth from the fire, but they shall not go forth from it, and their punishment shall be permanent. (42) If a man or a woman steal, cut off their hands, in retribution for that which they have committed; this is an exemplary punishment appointed by GOD; and GOD is mighty and wise. (43) But whoever shall repent after his iniquity and amend,

(38) Except those who shall repent. If the offenders be unbelievers, and previous to their being forcibly seized they profess Islám, they are to be forgiven; even stolen property may not be taken from them. If they be Muslims, they are to be pardoned; stolen property being returned and the price of blood being paid in case murder have been committed. See the Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(39) A near conjunction. The original word means a helper or a means of accomplishing anything. The meaning here is that believers should seek the means of near approach to God, which means, say the commentators, is obedience to his commandments.

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(42) Cut off their hands. But this punishment, according to the Sunnat, is not to be inflicted unless the value of the thing stolen amount to four dinars, or about forty shillings. For the first offence the criminal is to lose his right hand, which is to be cut off at the wrist; for the second offence, his left foot, at the ankle; for the third, his left hand; for the fourth, his right foot; and if he continue to offend, he shall be scourged at the discretion of the judge.” Sule, Jalaluddin.

Savary says this law is not observed by the Turks, who use the bastonnado in ordinary cases, often beheading robbers of notoriety. But if so, the Turk is inconsistent with his religion, for "this is an exemplary punishment appointed of God."

(43) But whoever shall repent. "That is, God will not punish him for it hereafter; but his repentance does not supersede the execution of the law here, nor excuse him from making restitution. Yet,

verily GOD will be turned unto him, for GOD is inclined to forgive, and merciful. (44) Dost thou not know that the kingdom of heaven and earth is GOD's? He punisheth whom he pleaseth, and he pardoneth whom he pleaseth; for GOD is almighty. (45) O apostle, let not them grieve thee who hasten to infidelity, either of those who say, We believe, with their mouths, but whose hearts believe not; or of the Jews, who hearken to a lie, and hearken to other people; who come unto thee: they pervert the words of the law from their true places, and say, If this be brought unto you, receive it; but if it be not brought unto you, beware of receiving aught else; and in behalf of him whom GOD shall resolve to seduce, thou shalt not prevail with GOD at all. They whose hearts GOD shall not please to

according to al Shafa í, he shall not be punished if the party wronged forgive him before he be carried before a magistrate."-Sale, Baidhawi.

See above on vers. 37 and 38.

(45) See notes on chap. iv. 43-50. The passage is directed against apostates, hypocrites, and Jews.

And hearken to other people. "These words are capable of two senses, and may either mean that they attended to the lies and forgeries of their Rabbins, neglecting the remonstrances of Muhammad, or else that they came to hear Muhammad as spies only, that they might report what he said to their companions, and represent him as a liar."-Sale, Buidháwi.

If this be brought unto you, &c. "That is, if what Muhammad tells you agrees with Scripture, as corrupted and dislocated by us, then you may accept it as the Word of God; but if not, reject it. These words, it is said, relate to the sentence pronounced by that prophet on an adulterer and adulteress, both persons of some figure among the Jews. For they, it seems, though they referred the matter to Muhammad, yet directed the persons who carried the criminals before him, that if he ordered them to be scourged and to have their faces blackened (by way of ignominy), they should acquiesce in his determination; but in case he condemned them to be stoned, they should not. And Muhammad pronouncing the latter sentence against them, they refused to execute it, till Ibn Súriya (a Jew), who was called upon to decide the matter, acknowledged the law to be so. Whereupon they were stoned at the door of the mosque."-Sale, Baidhawi.

That which is forbidden, i.e., usury, which in Oriental languages is said to be eaten. Forbidden meats could only be intended providing the persons addressed here included Christians as well as Jews.

cleanse shall suffer shame in this world, and a grievous punishment in the next: who hearken to a lie, and eat that which is forbidden. (46) But if they come unto thee for judgment, either judge between them, or leave them; and if thou leave them, they shall not hurt thee at all. But if thou undertake to judge, judge between them with equity; for GOD loveth those who observe justice. (47) And how will they submit to thy decision, since they have the law, containing the judgment of GOD? Then will they turn their backs, after this; but those are not true believers.

|| (48) We have surely sent down the law, containing R direction and light: thereby did the prophets, who professed the true religion, judge those who judaised; and

(46) Or leave them, i.e., "take thy choice whether thou wilt determine their differences or not. Hence al Sháfa'í was of opinion that a judge was not obliged to decide causes between Jews or Christians; though if one or both of them be tributaries, or under the protection of the Muhammadans, they are obliged, this verse not regarding them. Abu Hanífa, however, thought that the magistrates were obliged to judge all cases which were submitted to them."-Sale, Baidhawi.

(47) They have the law. See note on chap. iv. 44. Sale says that "in the following passage Muhammad endeavours to answer the objections of the Jews and Christians, who insisted that they ought to be judged, the former by the law of Moses, and the latter by the gospel. He allows that the law was the proper rule of judging till the coming of Jesus Christ, after which the gospel was the rule; but pretends that both are set aside by the revelation of the Qurán, which is so far from being contradictory to either of the former, that it is more full and explicit; declaring several points which had been stifled or corrupted therein, and requiring a vigorous execution of the precepts in both, which had been too remissly observed, or rather neglected, by the latter professors of those religions."

On the doctrine of abrogation alluded to by Sale, see note on chap. ii. 105. The statements of this passage alike contradict the idea that Muhammad regarded the Christian or Jewish Scriptures as corrupted in any way whatever, and that of the abrogation of those Scriptures; for, if corrupted, how could he say the Jews of Madina "have the law, containing the judgment of God"? And, if abrogated, how could he say in ver. 49, "We have therein (in the law (Tauret), see ver. 48) commanded them," &c., quoting almost literally a portion of the law of Exod. xxi. 23-27, and adding, "Whoso judgeth not according to what God hath revealed, they are unjust and infidels"?

(48) The true religion, i.e., Islám, the one true religion of all ages of the world. See note on chap. ii. 136.

the doctors and priests also judged by the book of GOD, which had been committed to their custody; and they were witnesses thereof. Therefore fear not men, but fear me; neither sell my signs for a small price. And whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are infidels. (49) We have therein commanded them, that they should give life for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth; and that wounds should also be punished by retaliation: but whoever should remit it as alms, it should be accepted as an atonement for him. And whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are unjust. (50) We also caused Jesus the son of Mary to follow the footsteps of the prophets, confirming the law which was sent down before him;

Committed to their custody; and . . . witnesses. The only fair interpretation of this passage is that the Scriptures of the Jews were preserved from all corruption by the jealous watchfulness of those doctors and priests" who had been appointed as the custodians of the precious treasure. These keepers of the LAW are the witnesses to the character of that which has been committed to their charge. ("They are vigilant to prevent any corruption therein."-Sale.) Wherefore he exhorts the Jews whom he is here addressing, "Therefore, O Jews, fear not men, but fear me (i.e., God); neither sell my signs for a small price," i.e., by perverting the meaning of your Scriptures, as in ver. 45.

(49) Compare with Exod. xxi. 23-27. Muhammad could not have had the Scriptures before him, else he would have quoted more fully. An atonement. This expression conveys here the Mosaic idea of satisfaction, but does not seem to have been used by Muhammad in the Bible sense, the meaning being that when the injured person forgave the transgressor, no punishment should be inflicted by others on this account. The popular belief among Muslims agrees with this, viz., that God cannot forgive an offence against a man or beast unless the offender first be pardoned by those whom he has injured. See also note on chap. iii. 194.

This passage, as well as chap. xvu 35, is said to be abrogated by chap. ii. 178. That passage certainly professes to relax the law of retaliation prescribed by Moses. If so, there appears to be a contradiction between these two passages which cannot fairly be reconciled by the convenient doctrine of abrogation, for in this case the passage abrogated was revealed several years after the passage which abrogates it.

(50) Confirming also the law. The testimony to the law is the gospel of Jesus, and the testimony confirming both is the Quran.

and we gave him the gospel, containing direction and light; confirming also the light which was given before it, and a direction and admonition unto those who fear God: (51) that they who have received the gospel might judge according to what GOD hath revealed therein and whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are transgressors. (52) We have also sent down unto thee the book of the Qurán with truth, confirming that scripture which was revealed before it; and preserving the same safe from corruption. Judge therefore between them according to that which GOD hath revealed; and follow not their desires by swerving from the truth which hath come unto thee. Unto every one of you have we given a law and an open path; (53) and if GOD had pleased, he had surely made you one people; but he hath thought fit to give you different laws, that he might try you in that which he hath given you respectively. Therefore strive to excel each other in good works: unto GOD shall ye all return, and then will he declare unto you that concerning

See v. 52. Portions may be abrogated, and so cease to be of binding force to whom they are so abrogated, but all remains true. The eternal truths of God as to his own nature and attributes, his moral law, historical fact, &c., cannot be abrogated (see chap. ii. 105 note), and therefore the Qurán again points the way to its own refutation. (52) See notes on chaps. ii. 75-78; iii. 77 ; iv. 44.

(53) One people, i.e., "He had given you the same laws, which should have continued in force through all ages, without being abolished or changed by new dispensations; or he could have forced you all to embrace the Muhammadan religion."—Sale, Baidhawi.

This passage seems to have been intended to reconcile all parties to Islám, notwithstanding its differences when compared with Judaism and Christianity. These were intended as a trial of faith. But, in accordance with the teaching of the preceding verses, the claim should have been that God had made them one people, possessing the same religion and acknowledging the same divine messengers, and that that wherein they differed was due to their own sin and unbelief, and not to God's will. The fact of irreconcilable differences between the "people of the book" and himself seems to have forced itself into the consciousness of the oracle of Islám, and inade consistency in the statement of prophetic claims and the facts of experience an impossibility. See also Arnold's Islám and Christianity, pp. 172 and 174.

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