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given? They were called unto the book of GOD, that it might judge between them; then some of them turned their backs, and retired afar off. (24) This they did because they said, the fire of hell shall by no means touch

mentators regard the word nasiban part, as designating only a portion of the Pentateuch, but "the book of God" in the following sentence is evidently the equivalent of "part of the Scriptures here, and that undoubtedly refers to the volume of the Jewish Scrip


They were called unto the book of God. The following is Sale's note on this passage :

"This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute Muhammad had with some Jews, which is differently related by the commen


"Al Baidhawi says that Muhammad, going one day into a Jewish synagogue, Náim Ibn Amr and al Hárith Ibn Zaid asked him what religion he was of. To which he answering, Of the religion of Abraham,' they replied, 'Abraham was a Jew;' but on Muhammad's proposing that the Pentateuch might decide the question, they would by no means agree to it.

"But Jalaluddín tells us that two persons of the Jewish religion having committed adultery, their punishment was referred to Muhammad, who gave sentence that they should be stoned, according to the law of Moses. This the Jews refused to submit to, alleging there was no such command in the Pentateuch; but on Muhammad's appealing to the book, the said law was found therein. Whereupon the criminals were stoned, to the great mortification of the Jews.

"It is very remarkable that this law of Moses concerning the stoning of adulterers is mentioned in the New Testament [John viii. 5], (though I know some dispute the authenticity of that whole passage), but it is not now to be found either in the Hebrew or Samaritan Pentateuch, or in the Septuagint; it being only said that such shall be put to death [Lev. xx. 10]. This omission is insisted on by the Muhammadans as one instance of the corruption of the law of Moses by the Jews.

"It is also observable that there was a verse once extant in the Qurán commanding adulterers to be stoned; and the commentators say the words only are abrogated, the sense of the law still remaining in force."

On the question of the law relating to stoning raised here, see Alford's Greek Testament, notes on John viii. 5. Stoning was the ordinary mode of execution among the Jews (Exod. xvii. 4; Luke xx. 6; John x. 31; and Acts xiv. 5), and therefore the general statement of Lev. xx. 10 would designate this mode, unless some other mode were distinctly commanded. Besides, Deut. xxii. 21-24 very clearly appoints this as the mode of punishment. This suggests a sufficient reply to the Muslim claim referred to by Sale in the note just quoted.

us, but for a certain number of days; and that which they had falsely devised hath deceived them in their religion. (25) How then will it be with them, when we shall gather them together at the day of judgment, of which there is no doubt; and every soul shall be paid that which it hath gained, neither shall they be treated unjustly? (26) Say, O GOD, who possessest the kingdom; thou givest the kingdom unto whom thou wilt, and thou takest away the kingdom from whom thou wilt thou exaltest whom thou wilt, and thou humblest whom thou wilt: in thy hand is good, for thou art almighty. (27) Thou makest the night to succeed the day: thou bringest forth the living out of the dead, and thou bringest forth the dead out of the living; and providest food for whom thou wilt without measure. (28) Let not the faithful take the infidels for their protectors, rather than the faithful: he who doth this shall not be protected of GOD at all; unless ye fear any

(24) A certain number of days. The number, according to the commentators, is forty or seven or four. It is worth noting the fact that this claim ascribed here to the presumption of the Jews is precisely the claim of all Muhammadans who believe that all believers in God and Muhammad will certainly reach the joys of paradise. Some may have to undergo purgatorial sufferings, but only for "a certain number of days."

That which they have falsely devised, i.e., their imagining that their sins would be lightly punished through the intercession of their fathers (Tafsir-i-Kaufi).

(25) How then will it be, &c. Sale gives a tradition on the authority of Baidhawi, "that the first banner of the infidels that shall be set up on the day of judgment will be that of the Jews, and that God will first reproach them with their wickedness over the heads of those who are present, and then order them to hell."

(26, 27) Rodwell regards these verses as misplaced here. They are probably the fragment of some Makkan chapter. (28) Unless ye fear any danger from them. There shall be no friendship between Muslims and unbelievers, unless fear of the enmity of the infidels should make it necessary. Here we find a divine sanction to that duplicity so prevalent among Muslims. Taken in connection with the preceding context, this passage would seem to sanction apparent estrangement from Islám, provided expediency should demand it. Under such circumstances a Muslim may appear to be more friendly towards the unbelievers than he is towards his co-religionists.

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danger from them: but GOD warneth ye to beware of himself for unto GOD must ye return. (29) Say, Whether ye conceal that which is in your breasts, or whether ye declare it, GOD knoweth it; for he knoweth whatever is in heaven, and whatever is on earth: GOD is almighty. (30) On the last day every soul shall find the good which it hath wrought, present; and the evil which it hath wrought, it shall wish that between itself and that were a wide distance: but GOD warneth you to beware of himself; for GOD is gracious unto his servants.

(31) Say, if ye love GOD, follow me: then God shall

(29) Whether ye conceal, &c., i.e., God knows the faith of your hearts. If, therefore, you should find it necessary to dissemble so as apparently to deny the faith, be of good cheer-God knows your heart-faith-"God knowest whatever is in heaven, whatever is in


(31) Say, if ye love God, follow me. Passages inculcating the duty of love to God are of rare occurrence in the Qurán. Here it is made the ground or reason of acceptance with God and of the pardon of sin. In other places salvation is made to depend on faith and good works (chap. ii. 3-5, 37, 38; chap. iii. 194; chap. iv. 55, 121-123, &c.), on repentance (chap. ii. 161; chap. xxv. 69-76, &c.), on pilgrimage and warring for the faith (chap. ii. 217; chap. iii. 196; chap. lxi. 12, &c.), on almsgiving (chap. ii. 271-274), on the grace of God (chap. xxxvii. 39, 55), &c. Everywhere the plan of salvation by atonement, as clearly taught in the Christian Scriptures, is ignored. It is in reference to this fact that missionaries have been led to make the statement, controverted by Mr. Bosworth Smith ("Muhammad and Muhammadanism,” 2d ed. p. 332), that "even the religious creed of Muhammadanism is further removed from the truth than is that of the heathen." We think there can be scarcely any doubt as to the truth of this statement. All heathen forms of religion have relics of truth bound up in their doctrines and rites, handed down, probably, by tradition from ancient times, which afford to the Christian evangelist some kind of common ground in his endeavour to lead them to accept Christ as their substitute, and to believe in him as their Saviour, because he alone satisfies the conditions of their own religion and the cravings of their souls for a Divine Helper. But Muhammadanism strikes at this most important doctrine-this very heart of Christianity. It sweeps away almost every vestige of Bible truth as to the way of pardon. It fills the mind of its votaries with complacent pride and self-satisfaction. It destroys the last workings of a guilty conscience. In short, it imports all the evils of that form of Judaism against which our Lord hurled his "woes," saying, among other things, "Ye compass sea and land to make one prose

love you, and forgive you your sins; for GOD is gracious and merciful. (32) Say, Obey GOD, and his apostle; but if ye go back, verily GOD loveth not the unbelievers. (33) GOD hath surely chosen Adam, and Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imrán above the rest of the world; (34) a race descending the one from the other: GOD is he who heareth and knoweth. (35) Remember when the wife of Imrán said, LORD, verily I

lyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more a child of hell than yourselves." Does Mr. Smith deny the justice of this declaration of our Lord? If not, does he infer that our Lord himself thought "polytheism better than monotheism, and idolatry than a sublime spiritualism"?

(33) The family of Abraham. This expression, say the commentators, includes a number of prophets descended from Abraham, including Muhammad. It probably is intended to include all the prophets from Abraham to Moses. See Tafsír-i-Raufi and Abdul Qadir.

Family of Imrán. This expression, like the one just noted, also includes all prophets descended from Imrán, e.g., Moses, Aaron, Zacharias, John, and Jesus. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is said to have been "the daughter of the son of Imrán" (Tufsír-iRaufi, &c.)

(34) A race descending the one from the other. This seems to show that Muhammad regarded the prophets as either lineally descended one from another, or that they were successors to each other in office, both of which ideas are incorrect.

(35) When the wife of Imran said, &c. According to the commentators her name was Anna or Haunah. In the Apocryphal Gospels the parents of Mary are called Joachim and Anna. The name was probably derived from Christian tradition (see Arnold, Islam and Christianity, p. 150), but the "wife of Imran" in this verse looks very like the wife of Elkanah in 1 Sam. i. 11. All the stories related by the commentators confirm this impression.

Again, the statement here, that the Virgin Mary was the "daughter of Imrán," coupled with that of chap. xix. 29, that she was "the sister of Aaron," certainly looks as if the Virgin Mary were confounded with the sister of Moses and Aaron. That there is in this passage a medley of Jewish and Christian traditionary fiction and Bible story, learned from hearsay, I think indisputable. I will quote briefly the views of several writers, giving both sides of the question, and leave the reader to draw his own inference :

"From her (Mary) being called the sister of Aaron and the daughter of Aniran, it has been justly concluded that Muhammad considered the Virgin Mary and Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, as identical; and no sophistry on the part of Muhammadan

have vowed unto thee that which is in my womb, to be dedicated to thy service; accept it therefore of me;

divines or European writers can remove this impression.”—Arnold, Islam and Christianity, p. 149.

"It is concluded by some that Mahomet confounded Mary (Maryam) with the sister of Moses. The confusion of names is the more suspicious, as it is not favoured by Christian authority of any description-the traditional names of Mary's parents being Joachim and Anna."

"Gerock combats this idea at some length (p. 24), showing that Imrán is never named in the Coran as the father of Moses, nor Mary (Maryam) as his sister, and that Mahomet is seen elsewhere to be well aware of the interval between Jesus and Moses. The latter fact cannot, of course, be doubted; Mahomet could never have imagined that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the sister of Moses and Aaron. But it is still extremely probable that the confusion of this mis-nomenclature originated in the notions of Jewish informants, amongst whom the only notorious Mary (Maryam) was the daughter of Imrán and sister of Moses; and they could ordinarily give the name of Maryam those accompaniments; that is, they would speak of 'Mary the daughter of Imrán.' Mahomet adopted the phraseology (for his informants were mainly, if not solely, Jews) probably through inadvertence and without perceiving the anachronism it involved."—Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. pp. 281, 282, note.

The following is Sale's note on this passage, in which he combats the charge of anachronism brought by Reland, Marracci, and Prideaux; his Muslim authorities are, as usual, Baidháwi and Zamakhshari :—

"Amrán is the name of two several persons, according to the Muhammadan tradition. One was the father of Moses and Aaron, and the other was the father of the Virgin Mary; but he is called by some Christian writers Joachim. The commentators suppose the first, or rather both of them, to be meant in this place; however, the person intended in the next passage, it is agreed, was the latter, who, besides Mary the mother of Jesus, had also a son named Aaron, and another sister named Ishá (or Elizabeth), who married Zacharias, and was the mother of John the Baptist; whence that prophet and Jesus are usually called by the Muhammadans, The two sons of the aunt, or the cousins-german.

"From the identity of names it has been generally imagined by Christian writers that the Qurán here confounds Mary the mother of Jesus with Mary or Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron; which intolerable anachronism, if it were certain, is sufficient of itself to destroy the pretended authority of this book. But though Muhammad may be supposed to have been ignorant enough in ancient history and chronology to have committed so gross a blunder, yet I do not see how it can be made out from the words of the Qurán. For it does not follow, because two persons have the same name, and have each a father and brother who bear the

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