Now, however, people are punished for a crime against which no explicit textual
prohibition exists. This so far from being a mercy obviously only adds to severity and
The true explanation is now obvious; the verse was from the outset unpopular among
Muhammadans from the Founder of Islam himself down to the humblest Companion, except 'Umar.
How much Muhammad disliked it we see from the dispute which led him to push Ubai in
his chest, in a way indicating displeasure. How much the Companions disliked it is shown
by the fact that, though at least eight persons (and certainly many more) knew of it,
not one could be got to support 'Umar in putting it forward for inclusion in Abu Bakr's
edition of the Qur'an.
Now if Muslims accuse us of having corrupted the Bible for the simple reason that a
Jew placed his hand over the Verse of Stoning (see the next chapter) so as to conceal it
from Muhammad's eyes, how much more could we accuse them of having wilfully and actually
corrupted the Qur'an by omitting the verse in question?
THE VERSE OF STONING IN THE TAURAT IN THE TIME OF MUHAMMAD
THERE is an important text in Suratu'l-Ma'ida, (v.) 47-8, which has to do with a
well-known and highly significant story; and both text and story are vitally related to
our subject, for they reveal the existence of an uncorrupted Taurat, including the very
verse now in question, in the lifetime of Muhammad. If the present copies of the Taurat
were without this verse, the situation would indeed be serious for us, for it would show
that the Bible had been tampered with since those days. But seeing this is not the case,
as we shall show in the fourth chapter, the text and story that we are now going to
examine become a valuable link connecting the uncorrupted Taurat of to-day with the
uncorrupted Taurat of Muhammad's day, and so on back into the preceding ages.
Here is the text in question:
But how shall they make thee their judge, since they possess already
the Law (Taurat) in which are the behests of God, and have not obeyed it? After
this, they will turn their backs; but such are not believers.
Verily, we have sent down the Law (Taurat) wherein are guidance and
light. By it did the prophets judge