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the Qur'an has been their safeguard, their 'trusty keeper.' Thus Muslims who make rash statements on this subject not only show great ignorance of the Qur'an itself, but treat it with the utmost disrespect when they thus impute failure to it in this most important duty which it claims to fulfil.

If then the Scriptures have been corrupted the Qur'an has failed of its purpose and has not been their safeguard. The fact is, that Muhammad had no real doubt about the authenticity and genuineness of the Scriptures, but now that he had no further use for the Jews it was necessary to discredit them and to show that they were not worthy of credit.1 It is instructive to note that all these passages about the perversion of the meaning of the Bible and the charge of concealing its predictions were revealed at Madina.

The Jews having been thus rebuked and set aside as no longer likely to be useful or necessary, there was no object whatever in assimilating the customs and practices of Islam to those of Judaism; so the Qibla (i.e., the direction towards which the prayers should be said) was now changed back again 2 from

1 This appears from a Tradition recorded by Bukhari: ' Do not ask about anything from the men of this Book.'
لا تسالو أهل الكتاب عن هى
The story goes that one day 'Umar got a book from a Jew or a Christian and read it to the Prophet, who became angry and ordered it not to be read. Faidu'l-Bari, part 30, p. 29.
2 The first change from Mecca to Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but it is supposed that the words of complaint in, 'The foolish ones will say, "what hath turned them from the Qibla which they need", ' [Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 136] refer to this.
The original is
مَا وَ لّيهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتهِمُ اْلَّتِى كانوا عَلَيْهَا
on which Jalalu'd-Din says:—
لما هاجر اسر باستقبال بيت المقدس قالّفا لليهود ستة او سبعة شهرا
[Footnote continues on next page]

Jerusalem to Mecca and, as usual, a revelation came to authorize the change.

It is immediately preceded by a long passage in the second Sura to show that the Ka'ba and the religion of Abraham, of which Islam is declared to be the revival, is better than the Qibla of the Jews and Judaism. The Christians, too, have a hint given them in the expression, 'The baptism of God have we received,' 1 that in the reception of Islam consists the true regeneration of man. Then the

[Footnote continued from previous page]
'After the Hijra he ordered his followers to turn to the Temple at Jerusalem (
נית המקדש); this, however, which was done to conciliate the Jews, held good for six or seven months only, and then he changed it.' See Geiger, Judaism and Islam, p. 14.
1 The original in Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 132 is simply
صِبْغَتَ اللهِ 'Baptism of God.' Sale adds the words, ' do we receive' and Rodwell adds 'Islam,' and reads 'Islam is the baptism of God.' Palmer says it means the 'dye of God,' and that the word is a metaphor derived from dyeing cloth and must not be confounded with baptism. The commentators differ in their interpretation. Some say that it simply means دين اللد , 'religion of God;' others that it means 'circumcision' and is meant to show the Christians that though they have substituted baptism for that rite, yet the Muslims also have a ceremony which purifies the recipient. By those who adopt this view صِبْغَتَ اللهِ is explained as:—
ختان است وآن تطهير مسلمان باشد
'Circumcision which purifies Muslims. 'Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 23.
The word also means colour, and so some say that when a man was admitted into the Christian Church his clothes and person were coloured yellow; others that his children were baptized in yellow water. Then they go on to say that, when a man became a Muslim, he was purified from the contamination of idolatry and received, under the metaphor of dyeing, a sort of spiritual baptism. In these several ways, however, the commentators try to show that Christians have no rites superior to those of Islam, whether as to a Qibla or as to a baptism. Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. i, p. 80. Baidawi agrees generally with the above.
Jalalu'd-Din Rumi (Mathnavi, Book ii) says: 'The baptism of God is (by) the dye of God's nature: all rites and ceremonies become of one colour in it.' This is the esoteric Sufi conception of being immersed and obliterated in the Unity: all things and all beings are in that Unity of one colour and as one.

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