Friday, 22 May 2015

The Qur'an as Scripture, Part IIIb

Arthur Jeffery

Continues from Part IIIa

Having come thus far in our discussion we are in a position to answer the question of how Muhammad conceived the mechanism of revelation whereby Scripture became available to men. In Sura VI.93 we read -

"Who has done greater wrong than he who has invented a falsehood about Allah, or says: 'I have received a revelation,' when nothing has been revealed to him; and he who says: 'I shall have sent down (to me) the like of what Allah has sent down'?"

and again in XLII.51/50 we read -

"It is not for a human that Allah should speak to him save by wahy, or from behind a veil, or should send a messenger to reveal by His permission what He wills and thus have We revealed to thee a spirit (ruh.) from Our affair ('amr), for thou didst not know what Scripture (kitab) or Faith ('iman) was. But We have made it a light to guide whom We will of Our servants, and thou, indeed, wilt guide to a straight path."

In these two passages we have all the essential elements. Scripture is necessary that men may be rightly guided (VI.157/158; III.4/2) to that "straight path," may know and understand the "way of God" they could never have found by the exercise of their own intelligence. To know and walk this way is to walk in the safety of true religion, to be in the Faith. It is the function of Scripture to record what Allah has been pleased to reveal about this Faith. The initiative in the matter is with Allah. He could have left men without guidance, but in His mercy He has at various points in history chosen humans to whom He has revealed messages which He wished them to set forth as guidance for their fellows. These chosen servants are His messengers, His prophets, and so significant is their office that evil-minded men will falsely pretend to have also had such a revelation for human guidance. No greater wrong than this can be conceived, for instead of guiding men such pretenders would be leading them astray from the "straight path." There are three ways in which Allah can convey such a message to His chosen messenger.
(i) He may speak with him in personal converse at a personal interview, when there is naught but the Veil between Allah and His Servant (II.253/254). It was thus that He spoke with Moses (IV.164/162; VII.144/14l),30 and thus did He speak with Muhammad on the famous night of the Mi'raj or Heavenly Journey.31 Perhaps we are also meant to understand that He spoke thus with Adam in personal converse in the Garden (II.31/29.37/35).32
(2) Or He may speak by wahy, giving inspiration from within much as He inspires the bees in the matter of house building, or inspires the heavens and the earth as to their cosmic functions. In manner this is not very different from the way in which the poets and soothsayers are inspired, though in the case of Allah's messengers the source is divine not demonic and the material given is heavenly instruction.
(3) Or He may send a celestial messenger. There seems to have been some confusion at first in Muhammad's mind as to whether this was just any angel or a special celestial being. Later he identifies this messenger with the Holy Spirit, and finally with Gabriel.

In all this we are dealing with matters commonly discussed among those People of the Book with whom Muhammad was in contact during his formative period. Among them all three methods were associated with God's revelation of Himself to men. He spoke directly to Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen. III), and He spoke to Moses (Ex. XXXIV.34)33 both at the Bush (Ex. III,IV) and at Sinai (Ex. XIX), as well as to others among His servants such as Abraham (Gen. XXVI.2), Jacob (Gen. XXXV.15) and David (I Ki. VI.12). At a later period reverence for the Divine introduced the notion of the Veil that hung between the Divine Presence and creatures who drew near.34 But God also prompted from within those servants whom He sent, thus giving them what they were assured was the word of the Lord. Ezekiel says of his experience -

"Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thy house .... but when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith the Lord God. He that heareth let him hear," (Ezek. III.24,27).

And the Lord also sent His angels with His heavenly message to His servants. He so sent His message to Gideon (Judg. VI.11ff.), to Manoah (Judg. XIII.3ff.), to Abraham and Lot (Gen. XVIII.XlX), to Elijah (I Ki. XIX.5ff.) to the unnamed prophet of Bethel (I Ki. XIII.18), and we read in the Gospel that when a heavenly voice answered the cry of Jesus the people said: "An angle hath spoken to him" (Jno. XII.29). That there was understood to be a connection between the angelic messengers and the moving of the spirit is quite clear both in Judg. XIII.20-25 and Luke I.13-17. Finally in Daniel and in the Gospel of Luke the angelic messenger is named Gabriel, so that in later writings there is a strong tendency to identify the celestial being who appears in the Old Testament theophanies with Gabriel.35

There is thus no escape from the conclusion that though Muhammad began with a concept of inspiration hardly, if at all, distinguishable from that of the poets and soothsayers in the Arabia of his day, yet as he developed his interpretation of his mission to bring to the Arabs the content of the religion of the People of the Book his thinking expanded from this limited concept of inspiration to a fuller concept ofrevelation connected with a Scripture. In this development of his thinking36 it is now clear that he took over from the People of the Book a theory of the mechanism of revelation as well as a theory of the nature of Scripture and a theory of the prophetic succession through which that Scripture was communicated to Allah's creatures.

Since Muhammad thought of himself as in the succession of these men sent of God, and since the Qur'an as a revelation to him from Allah was to take its place beside previous Scriptures, it is of some importance to consider what the Qur'an has to say about these previous Scriptures.

In his thinking about the messengers it was part of the office of a messenger to be sent with Scripture (LVII.25; XVI.36/38; X.47/48; XXXV.25/23; III.184/181),37 and in V.44/48 we read that the function of doctors and teachers among the people was to guard Scripture. The necessity for such guarding is obvious. Scripture is the ultimate authority in matters of religion,38 given that men may be rightly guided (XXIII.49/51; VI.157/158), and so something over which men should meditate, and which the intelligent should ever keep in mind (XXXVIII.29/28). It is not strange, therefore that belief in Scriptures sent from Allah should be laid down as a fundamental belief for Muhammad's followers (II.177/172; IV.136/135). But ultimately all Scripture is one, for there was one archetypal Book of which the Scriptures of the various Prophets were but portions (XVIII.27/26; III.23/22; II.231; XXXIII.6; XXIX.45/44; XXXV.31/28; IV.44/47,51/54). Therefore Muslims are to believe in the entire Book (III.119/115; cf. V.59/64), as Muhammad himself was bidden believe in whatever Scripture Allah had sent down (XLII.15/14).

What then does the Qur'an have to say about these portions of the archetypal Scripture which were sent down to his predecessors, and in which he and they are to believe? In XIII.138 we read that each age had its Scripture,39 but in VI.156/157 the Arabs seem to know that Scripture has been sent down to only two previous peoples, an idea which would fit in very well with passages we have already considered, such as II.136/130; LVII.26; IV.54/57, which suggest that the receiving of Scripture was a matter confined to the two groups of the Ahl al-Kitab.37 Thus the regulation for Muslims is that they believe in what was sent down to the People of the Book (XXIX.46/45; II.4/3; IV.136/135; cf. XLII.13/11; V.59/64). This assumes that they were in a position to discover what was in those previous Scriptures, just as the injunction to Muhammad to consult those who read Scripture when he is in doubt about what is being revealed to him (X.94) assumes that such Scripture readers were readily available. Yet the only Scriptures mentioned by name in the Qur'an, apart from two early references to the Scrolls (suhuf) of Abraham and Moses (LXXXVII.19; LIII.36/37,37/38), whose meaning is doubtful,41 are the Taurah of Moses, the Zabur of David and the Injil of Jesus.

i) Of the Taurah we read that it was "sent down" like other revelation material (III.3/2,65/58,93/87; V.44/48 etc.), to be the Scripture for the Children of Israel (XLV.16/15; XL.53/56; II.4I/38,44/41), giving them Allah's guidance (XVII.2; XXXII.23; XL.53/56). It was later than the time of Abraham (III.65/58), and is specifically the Book of Moses (XI.17/20; XLVI.12/13),42 though Aaron's name is associated with his in this matter (XXI.48/49; XXXVII.117). It is described as a light and a warning to the God fearing (XXI.48/49; cf. XL.54/56), for it was given for men's enlightenment (XXVIII.43). It is called an Iman (XI.17/20; XLVI.12/1l) and a mercy (VI.154/155; XI.17/20; XLVI.12/11), a dhikra (XL.54/56), a light (VI.91; V.44/48) and a guidance (VI.91,154/155; IV.44/48).48 It contains the huk of Allah (V.43/47), is a tafsil44 of every matter (VI.154/155; VII.145/142), teaching the Children of Israel much that neither they nor their fathers knew (VI.91). It is a completion (tamam) for everyone who would do right (VI.154/155), and contains Allah's pledged promise of Paradise for such as will devote their persons and their substance to Him (IX.111/112). Nevertheless it is but a portion of the Kitab of Allah (V.44/48). In particular it contained the Law for the Children of Israel, for it was the Taurah which contained the law of retaliation (V.45/49), the food regulations they had to observe (III.93/87), the prohibition of usury (IV.161/159; V.42/46), etc.45 It is doubtless what is meant by the Tablets written out by Allah for Moses,46 since they also are called a guidance and a mercy, a monition concerning all things which Moses is to command the people to observe (VII.145/142, 154/553).

After the time of Moses this Taurah was inherited by the Prophets among the Children of Israel who judged the people according to it (V.44/48). Later Allah taught it to Jesus (III.48/43) for Jesus came to confirm it (LXI.6; III.50/44; V.46/50) as it was read and studied by his contemporaries (III.79/73). Later still it was inherited by the doctors and teachers of the Jews,47 who were its keepers and witnesses to it, and who judged the people of their community according to it (V.44/48). Finally it came down to the Jews of Arabia, Muhammad's contemporaries, who had copies which he challenged them to bring out and read (III.93/87), for he claimed that in it was a word-picture of the perfect Muslim (XLVIII.29), a teaching with regard to that Day of Meeting about which the Arabs laughed when he preached of it (VI.154/155), and a description of himself as the expected prophet (VII.157/156). His Jewish contemporaries used to read in it (II.44/41,75/70ff.; V.43/47; VII.169/168), knowing that it was something revealed from the Lord (II.76/71), but obstinately they say that they will believe in it but in nothing that has come after it (II.91/85). Sura V.45/49 quotes Exod. XXI.23-27, and it is possible that parts of V.32/35 and XVII.2,4,7 are meant to be quotations from the Taurah.

ii) The Zabur was the Book given to David (XVII.55/57; L.163/161), a "blessed Book" sent down to him (XXXVIII.29/28), since he was one of Abraham's rightly-guided progeny (VI.84,87) and thus among those to whom Allah gave the gifts of Scripture, Wisdom and Prophecy (VI.89). As such he was taught by Allah (II.251/252). The Zabur is actually quoted in Sura XXI.105, where the words "My righteous servants shall inherit the earth" is a quotation from Ps. XXXV11.29. When Sura V.78/82 says that the unbelieving among the Jews were cursed by the tongue of David this may possibly be a reference to certain imprecatory Psalms, though it is more likely to be a generalization.

iii) The Injil is the revelation given to Jesus, who was taught it by Allah (III.48/43; LVII.27; V.46/50). Like other Scriptures it was "sent down" (III.65/58; V.47/51), and like them it was intended to give guidance and light (V.46/50; cf. III.3/2),48 and to give warning (V.46/50). It agrees with the Taurah in giving a word-picture of the perfect Muslim (XLVIII.29), in containing Allah's pledged promise of Paradise (IX.111/112), and in having in it a description of Muhammad as the coming Prophet (VII.157/156).49 This agreement is not strange since it was intended as a confirmation of the Taurah (V.46/50). From Jesus the disciples received it and believed in it (III.53/46), and the Christians are to judge according to it (V.47/51).

In each case, it will have been noticed, the Scripture is thought of is a body of material given from without to one individual. Moreover the Injil is thought of as, like the Taurah, something to be observed, being thus the Law for the Christian community as the Torah was the Law for the Jews. The names used for these three Scriptures are words borrowed from the religious vocabulary of the Ahl al-Kitab. Taurah is the Heb. Torah, meaning "instruction," which among the Jews early came to be to be used as a technical term for the Law (...)50 and by extension for the whole of the Old Testament.51 Zabur is an Arabic corruption of the Hebrew word mizmor,52 doubtless under the influence of the genuine Arabic word zubur. Injil is (...), but passed on to Arabic through the Ethiopic wangel.53 Both the names Muhammad uses for his own "lessons" of Scripture are likewise words taken from the technical religious vocabulary of the People of the Book, Qur'an being the Syriac qeryana, used in the 5yriac speaking Church for the "readings" used as Scripture lessons,54 and Sura being a distortion of another Syriac word.55 The more general word for Scripture, viz. Kitab was also derived from the same source,56 as was the word furqan which in II.53/50; XXI.48/49 is associated with Moses, in III.4/2 with both the Taurah and the Injil, and in XXV.1; II.185/181 with the revelation to Muhammad.57

It is not surprising therefore to see how closely Muhammad's thought of his own Book follows this picture he had formed from what he had learned about the Scriptures of the Ahl al-Kitab. Like them his Scripture is derived from the celestial archetype (XLIII.4/3; LVI.78/77ff.; and cf. LII.2,3; XVIII.27/26), from which, like them, it is "sent down" (LVI.80/79; XLIV.3/2; XCVII.5; II.185/181; XXVI.192; XXXIX.1; XX.4/3), though it also consists of only portions of that divine original (XXIX.45/44; XXXV.31/28). It was brought down, as they were, by angelic mediation (XXVI.193; XVI.102/104). Thus it is truly wahy (LIII.4). Its message, like theirs, is something taught by the Merciful One Himself (LV.1ff.),58 so it is a book of warning (X.57/58; XXVI.194; XXV.1; XXXII.3/2; XXXVI.70), as well as of good tidings (XXVII.2;II.97/91; XVI. 89/91,102/104). Like its predecessors it is a mercy (XXVII.77/79; XLV.20/19; XVI.64/66,89/91), and a light (XII.52; LXI.8; IV.174) to give men guidance (LXXII.13; XVIl.9; XXVII.2; II.97/91; XVI.89/91,102/104; XII.111) leading them out of darkness into light (XIV.1) and into the paths of Allah (XIV.1; XXXIV.6). It contains Allah's command (LXV.4,5,8), so that like the earlier Scriptures it is a book of Law, containing Allah's legal prescription (farida, IV.11/12,24/28; IX.60), His ordinance (wasiyya, IV.12/16), His precepts (hudud, IV.13/17; II.l87/183,229-230; IX.97/98), and His injunctions (kitab, IV.24/28; cf. 66/69). That is, it contains Allah's instructions for the Muslim community (IV.127/126) just as the Torah contained those for the Children of Israel and the Gospel those for the Christians. So Muhammad is to give judgment according to it (V.48/52,49/54) as the Children of Israel were to be judged by the Taurah and the Christians by the Injil. For this reason the Qur'an is placed on a level with those two Scriptures (IX.111/112; cf. XXVIII.48,49; II.136/130),59 and as the Gospel came to confirm the Torah so the Qur'an has come to confirm them both (II.89/83; XII.111; X.37/38; XXXV.31/28).

It is thus clear that as Muhammad claimed to be in the succession of the earlier Prophets as messengers called to summon men to the "way of God," so his Book, the Qur'an is considered to be in the succession of the earlier Scriptures which men read to find what had been revealed from heaven as to that "way of God." It remains to see how both his conception of his own office and his conception of a Scripture connected with that office went beyond the teaching of the People of the Book.

Columbia University, New York City

1 Three different verbs are used for "to choose" in connection with Allah's messengers, viz ikhtara, ijtaba and is istafa, but for the purposes of our discussion here they are synonymous and cou1d each translate the Biblical bakhar. In the Qur'an Allah's choosing is not confined to choosing the prophetic succession. He chooses Saul to be king over Israel (II.247/248), and the Virgin Mary was "chosen" (III.42/37). This is consonant with Scriptural usage.
2 This word, which Bell translates "upright," is also used of the faithful followers of a Prophet. Since the salihun of the Qur'an obviously represent the saddiqim of the 0ld Testament, (the (...) of the Greek Bible), perhaps we should include here the title siddiq given in the Qur'an to Abraham (XIX.41/42), to Idris (XIX.56/57), to Joseph (XII.46), to the Virgin Mary (V.75/79), and used of certain faithful believers in IV.69/71; LVII.19/18. On the word see my Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an. pp. 194, 195.
3 That Lot should be included among the righteous bespeaks Christian influence. It is only in very late Jewish documents that we find Lot included in such a fellowship, whereas as early as the Second Epistle of Peter (II.8) we find Lot referred to in Christian circles as (...)
4 So the angelic messengers came bi'l-haqq (XV.55,64).
5 It is because each prophet is chosen from among his own people that they are commonly referred to as "their brother." This is said of Salih, who was the "brother" of Thamud (XXVII.45/46). Of Hud who is the "brother" of 'Ad (XI.50/52), of Shu'aib who is the "brother" of Midian (XXIX.36/35). So also Noah is the "brother" of his people (XXVI.106) and Lot of his (XXVI.161). 
6 In Sumerian the compound verb a2.......ag3 means both "to send" and "to command", and the corresponding noun a2-ag2 (-ga2) means "a message".
7 Cf. LXIX.43; LVI.80/79; XX.4/3; XXVI.192; XLI.2/1; etc. In the Quran tanzil is used only for the messages sent down to Muhammad, never for the message sent to any other prophet, though the verb is used of the message in the Torah and of that in the Gospel (III.3/2; IV.136/135; etc.).
8 R. Bell in his translation of the Qur'an always renders awha by the verb "to suggest", which will cover all the meanings: "to indicate," "to prompt," "to reveal."
9 Similarly in the Old Testament the false prophets are rebuked for claiming that God had spoken to them when He had not spoken (Jer. V 31; XIV.14; XXIII.21ff; Mic.III.11), and the New Testament in its turn warns of the coming of such false prophets (Matt. VII.15; XXIV.11,24; Mk.XIII.22; I John IV.1).
10 Perhaps this distinction should not be pressed. Mani, it will be remembered, was said to have taught that the Law and Prophets were produced under the inspiration of the Evil Spirits. (Acta Archelai, caps.x,xi-xiii,xxxix; Serapion of Thumuis Adversus Manichaeos. xxxvi; Titus of Bostra, Contra Manichaeos, III.5), so that it is not impossible that in Muhammad's environment revelation even at the Scripture level may have been thought of as possible through Satanic inspiration.
11 Qur'an in each of these passages means not the whole book which we know as the Qur'an but rather "Scripture lesson," i.e., it has the original meaning of the Syriac word from which it is derived. Similarly the stories about the ancient worthies in the passages previously mentioned might each be taken as a Scripture lesson, for they are the stories of Noah (XI.49/51), of Joseph (XII.102/103) and of the Virgin Mary (III.44/39).
12 Goldziher has gathered material on this in an essay "Ueber die Vorgeschichte der Higa-Poesie," in Bd. I of his Abhandlungen zur arabischen Philologie, Leiden, 1896. It will be remembered that in quite another area we have the statement of Democritus that it is impossible to produce good poetry without an inspiration akin to madness, (Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, II. 66).
13 Specimens are given in al-Jahiz. Kitab at-Bayan wa't-Tabyin, (Cairo, 1926).
I,203; al-Qalqashandi, Subh al-A'sha, I,211; al-Ibshihi, al-Mustatraf, II,105. The lexicons say that this word saj' meant originally the prolonged yearning-cry of a female camel (a1-Sihah, sub. voc.), or the cooing of a pigeon (Lane, p. 1309), and then was applied by a figure to the utterances of the soothsayers. It is worthy of note that the cognate Heb. meshugga' is used in connection with the ecstatic utterances of the prophets (Hos. IX.7; II Ki. IX.111, Jer. XXIX. 26), and also in I Sam. XXI.14 (15) ff. for the kind of madness David simulated at the Court of Achish of Gath.
14 "Choked" is perhaps the best word to use here. Ibn Hisham has the verb ghatta, but al-Bukhari Sahih, I.5 has ghatta with th instead of t. Both verbs have the meaning "to plunge deep into water," though ghatta is used also of the gurgling sound of a cooking-pot. In al-Athir, Nihaya, III, 68 says that both words mean the same thing and suggests that we are to understand a choking for breath. 
15 It is quoted from the early biography of Ibn Ishaq by Tabari. Annales, I,115off. In the bowdlerized edition of Ibn Hisham the account of Muhammad's fear and a considerable part of Khadija's words of comfort have been omitted. The story was known, however, to the canonical Traditionists, (cf. al-Bukhari I.5; IV.347), though there also considerations of reverence for the prophet have caused the deletion of all reference to his particular fear and to the thoughts of suicide. Sprenger, Leben, I,336-339, translates the whole passage from his copy of Tabari. The pleasant tale told in the Sira of Ihn Hisham of how Khadija thought out a device to prove whether Muhammad's visitor from the Unseen were demonic or angelic obviously arose after the identification of the source of revelation with Gabriel had been made.
16 The thought of suicide is seen by some writers in such Qur'anic passages as XVIII.6/5; XXVI.3/2, but these passages must in any case refer to events later in his ministry, and have no relevance to this "first revelation."
17 Wm. Muir,
Life of Mohammed. (Edinburgh. 1912), p. 42.
18 Sura LIII.1-18 distinctly mentions two experiences of visitation from the Unseen. This double "calling" is met with elsewhere in that area. It will be remembered that the angelic being visited Mani when he was just emerging out of childhood to teach him how to prepare for his mission, and then came and "called" him again when it was time for his mission to commence (Fihrist, p. 328).
19 Lekach Tob, ed. Buber, p. 36; Midrash Tanhuma Noah; and cf. Book of the Bee, XX.
20 In the Quran. however, it is Pharaoh who brands Moses as mad.
21 This N.T. word (...) "to throw out of position" fits well with what the Qur'an says of the reception of the prophet Hud by his people, for they said that it was clear that one of the gods must have smitten him (XI.54/57), and this throwing him off his balance was the cause of his safaha "craziness" (VII.66/64). Here we are reminded at once of Homer's picture of Hector, smitten by the god Ares, rushing with foaming mouth and blazing eyes towards the Greek ships (Iliad XV.605), and of the smitten Cassandra in the Agamemnon of Aeschylus who cries (II.1214-1216):
"Oh! Oh! the agony?
Once more the dreadful throes of prophesy
Whirl and distract me with their ill boding onset."
22 In Deut. XXXIV.9 we read that the spirit of wisdom which Joshua had was passed on to him from Moses.
23 Grimme, Mohammed, II, p. 51; Hirschfeld, New Researches, p. 15.
24 This spirit of Allah was breathed into Mary (XXI.91; LXVI.12), just as Allah's spirit was breathed into Adam (XV.29; XXXVIII.72; XXXII.9/8).
25 So in LXX.4 the Spirit is distinguished from and yet functions along with the angels.
26 It is perhaps worth remembering that where in the Hebrew text of the chapters of Numbers it is an angel who speaks to Balaam, in the Aramaic Targums it is a Memra from God who meets Baalam in the way.
27 Thus the "faithful spirit" of XXVI.193 is identified with Gabriel, likewise the "one strong in power" of LIII.5, and the "noble messenger" of LXXXI.19 (unless the noble messenger here refers to Muhammad himself, as in LXIX.40). It will be noticed that the phrase "beside Him of the Throne established" in LXXXI.20 is much the same as Gabriel says of himself in Lk. I.19 6
...), a phrase to which Strack-Billerbeck II.97 bring Rabbinic parallels.
28 It is common to both Sunni and Shi'a Islam. For the Shi'a doctrine see Ibn Babawaihi as translated by A. A. Fyzee. A Shi'ite Creed, pp. 82,83.
29 Targ. Yer. I on the passage.
30 The reference is to the theophany at Sinai (Ex. XIX.20).
31 See Hashiyat al-Dardir 'ala Qissat al-Mi'raj, pp. 22,23.
32 The older Commentators on the passage II.253/254, e.g., al-Baidawi, mention only Moses and Muhammad as those to whom Allah spoke face to face. Later writers, however, such as al-Alusi, Ruh at-Ma'ani III,2, and al-Khafaji,'Inayat al-Qadi, II.332, add Adam to them.
33 The New Testament writers also note this, cf. Mk. XII.26; Jno.IX.29.
34 The Qur'anic hijab corresponds to the wilon and the pargod of the Rabbinic texts (Hag. 13a; Gen.R. iii,4; Lev.R. xxxi,7; Midrash Tehillum at end of Ps. XI; III Enoch XLV,1.6), the bar goda of the Mandaean texts, and the (...) of the early Christian and Gnostic tractates (see the Index to Miss Baynes' Coptic Gnostic Treatises, p. 197). This same word hijab is used for the veil before the Presence in the Arabic text of the Samaritan Molad Mosh, (ed. S. Miller, p. 133).
35 The evidence for this is assembled in Strack-Billerbeck II,91.
36 It is significant that in XXVIII.86 we have the statement that he had had no expectation that Scripture would ever be given him, cf. in this connection also XXIX.48/47.
37 In this connection we may also note II.213/209 which states that whenever Allah sent a Prophet He sent him with Scripture, and remind ourselves that in connection with the covenant with the Prophets III.81/75 regards the giving of Scripture and Wisdom as part of Allah's Covenant obligation.
38 Cf. the oft repeated taunt at the Meccans that they can produce no Scriptural authority for their religious ideas and practices (XXXVII.157; LXVIII.37; XXXIV.44/43).
39 When in XLV.28/27 it says that on the Day every nation will be summoned to its own Book, this might seem to carry out this idea that each group will have to give an accounting of its response to the Scripture sent for its guidance. Kitab in this verse, however, may not mean Scripture, but may refer to the Record Book in which the records of nations as well as of individuials are written.
40 This is the strongest argument in favour of the idea that such messengers as Hud, Salih, Shu'aib must be meant to represent Old Testament characters.
41 If it is insisted that these suhuf must have been writings circulating under the names of Moses and Abraham, one can only suggest that the reference may be to some such works as the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Apoca1ypse of Moses, or the Testament of Abraham and the Testament of Moses. In XX.133, however, as-suhuf al-'u1a apparently means nothing more
than "previous Scriptures." so that the reference in LXXXVII.19 and LIII.37/38ff. may be merely to the Old Testament Scriptures.
42 So we are to understand that the Taurah is meant in numerous passages such as XXIII.49/51; XXV.35/37; XVII.2 etc. which speak of the Book that was given to Moses.
43 Possibly it is meant by "the truth" in VII.159.
44 Bell translates tafsil as "a clear setting forth." It is said of the Qur'an in X.37/38 and XII.111.
45 XVI.118/119 says that Allah had told Muhammad about the things He had made forbidden to the Jews, where the reference would be to the Torah.
46 In later Rabbinic teaching the Tablets given to Moses at Sinai contained not merely the Ten Commandments but the whole Torah. See on this Ginzberg's
Legends of the Jews, III.97.197; VI.60.
47 The words he uses here are two technical words of Jewish origin, rabbaniyun and ahbar, the plurals of Rabban and Hibr, both derived from words in common use among the Jews for their teachers. See Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an pp. 137 and 49.
48 Thus it may be the Gospel that is meant by the "enlightening Book" in XXXV.25/23
49 Since in this passage Allah is speaking to Moses this is a reference to a Book not yet in existence among men, unless we are to believe, as has sometimes been suggested, that Muhammad at one time believed that Moses and Jesus were roughly contemporary, and only later learned that Jesus was a much later prophet.
50 Since (...)was given to Moses (cf. Jno. I.17) this is doubtless the origin of the Namus in the Waraqa story already mentioned.
51 Isaiah is quoted as the Law in I Cor. XIV.21, and the Psalms similarly in Jno. X.34; cf. also Jno. XII.34; XV.25; IV Ezra XIV.21, and the Talmudic passages Sanh. 91 b, and Mo'ed Kalon 5a.
52 See Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an, p. 149.
53 Ibid. p. 72.
54 Ibid. p. 234.
55 In Foreign Vocabulary, p. 182, I favored the derivation from surta "writing," but scholars now seem more inclined to think that it is a corruption of sbarta, "preaching."
56 Ibid. p. 249.
57 Ibid. pp. 225-229.
58 That it was "from the Lord of the Worlds" is often emphasised (XXVI.192; XXXII.2/1; X.37/38).
58 Cf. in this connection such passages as II.4/3; III.84/78; IV.60/63,136/135,162/160; V.59/64,66/70,68/72.

The Muslim World, Volume 42 (1950), pp. 185-206.



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