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ship not any except GOD, and associate no creature with him; and that the one of us take not the other for lords, beside GOD. But if they turn back, say, Bear witness that we are true believers. (64) O ye to whom the scriptures have been given, why do ye dispute concerning Abraham, since the Law and the Gospel were not sent down until after him? (65) Do ye not therefore understand? Behold ye are they who dispute concerning that which ye have some knowledge in; why therefore do you dispute concerning that which ye have no knowledge of? GOD knoweth, but ye know not. (66) Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian; but he was of the true religion, one resigned unto God, and was not of the number of the idolaters. (67) Verily the men who are the nearest of kin

more addicted to the practice here condemned than the Muslims themselves. The worship of Walis and Pirs is of a kind with the worship of saints among certain sects of Christians.

(64) Why do ye dispute? The commentators say both Jews and Christians claimed that Abraham belonged to their religion; Muhammad here decides that he belongs to neither. He, however, thereby contradicts his oft-repeated claim that every new revelation confirmed that which had preceded it; that the prophets belonged to a common "race" or class (ver. 34, and note); and that all true believers in every dispensation were true Muslims, professing the "religion of Abraham the orthodox." See also notes on chap. ii. 135-140.

This passage implies that the Jews and Christians were in possession of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament current in his day. The same is implied in Baidháwi's note on the next verse, quoted by Sale:-"Ye perversely dispute even concerning those things which ye find in the Law and the Gospel, whereby it appears that they were both sent down long after Abraham's time: why then will ye offer to dispute concerning such points of Abraham's religion of which your Scriptures say nothing, and of which ye consequently can have no knowledge?"

(66) See notes on chap. ii. 135-140. It would seem that Muhammad was ignorant of the national relationship existing between Abraham and the Jews. The term Jew was probably understood by him in an ecclesiastical sense only. Yet this is the teaching of God and his prophet! See also Rodwell's note on chap. xvi. 121.

(67) Nearest of kin. The relationship here spoken of is not necessarily one of kindred; the words of kin do not belong to the original Arabic. The nearness spoken of here should rather refer to nearness in point of religious faith and practice. See vers. 64–66, and Tafsír-iRaufi in loco.

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unto Abraham are they who follow him: and this prophet, and they who believed on him: GOD is the patron of the faithful. (68) Some of those who have received the scriptures desire to seduce you; but they seduce themselves only, and they perceive it not. (69) O ye who have received the scriptures, why do ye not believe in the signs of GOD, since ye are witnesses of them?

|| (70) O ye who have received the scriptures, why do you clothe truth with vanity, and knowingly hide the truth? (71) And some of those to whom the scriptures were given say, Believe in that which hath been sent. down unto those who believe, in the beginning of the day; and deny it in the end thereof; that they may go back from their faith; (72) and believe him only who followeth your religion. Say, Verily the true direction is the direc

And this prophet, i.e., Muhammad. The meaning is that Muhammad, and those who believe on him, are most nearly related to Abraham. (68) Some... desire to seduce you. Sale, on the authority of Baidhawi, refers this passage to the time when certain Jews endeavoured to pervert Hudhaifa, Amár, and Muadh to their religion. So too Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(69) Why not believe? The signs to be believed were the incomparable verses of the Qurán. The argument of the prophet was certainly not convincing.

(70) Clothe truth with vanity, &c. See note on chap. ii. 41. (71) Deny it in the end thereof. "The commentators, to explain this passage, say that Qáb Ibn al Ashraf and Málík Ibn al Saif (two Jews of Madína) advised their companions, when the Qibla was changed (chap. ii. 142), to make as if they believed it was done by the divine direction, and to pray towards the Kaabah in the morning, but that in the evening they should pray as formerly towards the Temple of Jerusalem, that Muhammad's followers, imagining that the Jews were better judges of this matter than themselves, might imitate their example. But others say these were certain Jewish priests of Khaibar, who directed some of their people to pretend in the morning that they had embraced Muhammadanism, but in the close of the day to say that they had looked into their books of Scripture and consulted their Rabbins, and could not find that Muhammad was the person described and intended in the law; by which trick they hoped to raise doubts in the minds of the Muhammadans."-Sale, Baidhawi.

(72) Your religion, i.e., Judaism.

That there may be given, &c. This passage is very obscure, but the idea seems to be that if the Jews are directed by God, they should bring forth verses like unto those of the Qurán.

tion of GOD, that there may be given unto some other a revelation like unto what hath been given unto you. Will they dispute with you before your Lord? Say, Surely excellence is in the hand of GOD, he giveth it unto whom he pleaseth; GOD is bounteous and wise: (73) he will confer peculiar mercy on whom he pleaseth; for GOD is endued with great beneficence. (74) There is of those who have received the scriptures, unto whom if thou trust a talent he will restore it unto thee; and there is also of them, unto whom if thou trust a dinár, he will not restore it unto thee, unless thou stand over him continually with great urgency. This they do, because they say, We are not obliged to observe justice with the heathen: but they utter a lie against GOD, knowingly. (75) Yea, whoso keepeth his covenant, and feareth God, GOD surely loveth those who fear him. (76) But they who make merchandise of GOD's covenant, and of their oaths, for a small price, shall have no portion in the next life, neither shall GOD speak to them or regard them on the day of resurrection, nor shall he cleanse them; but they shall suffer a grievous punishment. (77) And there are certainly some of them who read the scriptures perversely, that ye may think

(74) A talent... a dinár. As usual, the commentators have a story to illustrate the text. A Jew, by name Abdullah Ibn Salám, having borrowed twelve hundred ounces of gold from a Quraishite, paid it back punctually at the time appointed. Another Jew, Phineas Ibn Azúra, borrowed a dinâr, and afterwards denied having received it! The followers of the Arabian prophet must have been very simpleminded indeed to make this revelation necessary.

Sale thinks the person especially intended was Qáb Ibn Ashraf, a Jew, who finally became so inimical that Muhammad proscribed him and caused him to be slain.


Some commentators (Baidhawi, &c.) think the trustworthy persons referred to here are Christians and the dishonest ones Jews. view agrees very well with the sentiments of contempt for the heathen attributed to these covenant-breakers in the latter portion of this verse.

(75) Whoso keepeth his covenant, &c. Muslims showing the spirit attributed to Jews in the preceding verse cannot quote this precept of Muhammad in justification of their conduct.

(77) Some ... read the Scriptures perversely. The charge here is

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what they read to be really in the scriptures, yet it is not in the scripture; and they say, This is from GOD; but it is not from GOD: and they speak that which is false concerning GOD, against their own knowledge. (78) It is not fit for a man that GOD should give him a book of revelations, and wisdom, and prophecy; and then he should say unto men, Be ye worshippers of me, besides GOD; but he ought to say, Be ye perfect in knowledge and in works, since ye know the scriptures, and exercise yourselves therein. (79) GOD hath not commanded you to take the angels and the prophets for your lords: Will he command you to become infidels after ye have been true believers ?

(80) And remember when GOD accepted the covenant of the prophets, saying, This verily is the scripture and

that Jews and Christians misrepresent the teaching of their own Scriptures. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdú Qurán thinks this passage and others like it show the eagerness of Muhammad to find a sanction for his prophetic claims in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. When, however, the Jews frankly told him what their Scriptures taught, he charged them with wicked concealment of the prophecies concerning himself. It is possible that Muhammad was himself the victim of misrepresentation on this subject by interested parties.

This passage, too, shows beyond dispute that Muhammad regarded the Scriptures in the hands of the Jews and Christians as credible. No charge is ever brought against the Scriptures, but invariably against the interpreters.

(78) It is not fit, &c. This verse is evidently directed against Christians, who worship Jesus.

Sale says, "This passage was revealed, say the commentators, in answer to the Christians, who insisted that Jesus had commanded them to worship him as God."

Worshippers of me besides God. Here again we see that Muhammad's conception of Christian theology was all wrong.

(79) The angels. The idolaters of Makkah worshipped angels. The prophets for your lords, e.g., the Jews worship Ezra and the Christians worship Jesus.-Tafsir-i-Raufi.


(80) The covenant of the prophets. "Some commentators interpret this of the children of Israel themselves, of whose race the prophets But others say the souls of all the prophets, even of those who were not then born, were present on Mount Sinai when God gave the law to Moses, and that they entered into the covenant here mentioned with him. A story borrowed by Muhammad from the

the wisdom which I have given you: hereafter shall an apostle come unto you, confirming the truth of that scripture which is with you; ye shall surely believe in him, and ye shall assist him. GOD said, Are ye firmly resolved, and do ye accept my covenant on this condition? They answered, We are firmly resolved: God said, Be ye therefore witnesses; and I also bear witness with you: (81) and whosoever turneth back after this, they are surely the transgressors. (82) Do they therefore seek any other religion but GOD's? since to him is resigned whosoever is in heaven or on earth, voluntarily or of force: and to him shall they return. (83) Say, We believe in GOD,

Talmudists, and therefore most probably his true meaning in this place."-Sale.

The prophecy alluded to here is probably the general promise of the Messiah contained in such passages as Deut. xviii. 15-18, and which constituted the spirit of prophecy. The only direct statement in the Qurán giving the very words of prophecy is found in chap. lxi. 6, where the allusion is to the Paraclete. In either case the prophet of Arabia made a serious mistake. The desperation of his followers to find the prophecies of the Bible relating to him is manifested at one time by their attempts to disprove the genuineness of the same, at another time by their endeavours to show that Deut. xviii. 15-18, John xiv. 16, 26, and xvi. 13, &c., really refer to their prophet. For a specimen of the latter the reader is referred to Essays on the Life of Mohammad by Sayd Ahmad Khan, Bahadur, C.S.I.

(82) Resigned. voluntarily or of force. The idea of converting men by force is here said to have belonged to the covenant of Sinai. The verse, however, conveys a threat against unbelieving Arabs.

(83) This verse very well illustrates the kind of attestation borne to the former Scriptures and to the prophetic character of the prophets by whom they were revealed. An array of names and a general statement declaring their truly prophetic character is given, but every where their doctrine is ignored or rejected when conceived of as in conflict with the Qurán and the Arabian prophet. Now, Muhammad must be regarded as either making a statement of fact as to the oneness of his faith with that of the persons he mentions, or he was ignorant of what he here states as a fact. In either case he seems to me fairly chargeable with imposture. For even if he were ignorant of what he pretends to know, his pretence is a deception, and no reasonable apology can be offered for his putting a statement of this character in the mouth of God. How, then, Mr. Smith (Muhammad and Muhammadanism, p. 25) can so positively assert the impossibility of any longer regarding Muhammad as an impostor.

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