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carried as we now have it has been corrupted (muharraf) 1, the following is the style of argument which has been found most effective.

Christian. When was the Bible corrupted? before Muhammad's time, or after it?

3. Muslim. Before it.

C. You cannot really mean that, for you are a Muslim, and to assert that the Bible was corrupted before Muhammad's time is to accuse Muhammad of being a false teacher, and to state that the Qur'an is untrue and a forgery, which is just what the idolatrous Arabs in Muhammad's time did.

4. M. How so?

C. Because the Qur'an, which Muhammad claimed to have received from God through the archangel Gabriel, asserts the authority and genuineness of the Bible which was then in circulation among the Jews and Christians, and declares that the Qur'an itself was sent down as being "confirmatory of previous Scripture, and its safeguard 2" (Surah 3 V., Al Maidah, 52). Now, if the Bible had

1 The Muhammadans practically charge the Bible with being "corrupted" in two respects, (1) by the suppression of Muhammad's name and of passages relating to him, and (2) by the substitution of our present Gospels (which they regard as made up of untrustworthy traditions) for the supposed original Gospel that "descended on Jesus." (Rev. W. A. Rice.)
2 Muslims now endeavour to explain these words as denoting that the Qur'an "is a correct re-statement of the older Scriptures." (Rev. J. T. Allnutt.) Of course this is not what the verse means.
3 Of course the full transliteration of the Arabic would be
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been corrupted before his time, Muhammad must have been, knowingly or ignorantly, leading people who believed in him astray. If the Qur'an thus confirms a corrupted book, how can you believe that your Qur'an has come from the All-knowing (Alim عليم ) God?

5. M. But you Christians do not accept the Qur'an, and therefore have no right to quote its evidence in defence of your own books. If you do not believe in it, why do you rely on it as a proof of the genuineness of your Bible?

C. We do not rely on its testimony, but you do; and as you will not accept any other proof, we adduce proofs that you must accept, if you are Muslims. Your statement that the Bible was corrupted before Muhammad's time is contrary to the statements of the Qur'an. Which are we to believe?

6. M. The Qur'an does not state that the Bible existed uncorrupted in Muhammad's time.

C. Then will you kindly explain the meaning of the following, among many other passages that might be quoted:—

1 Surah X Yunus 94
2 Surah V Al Maidah 70
3 " " 72
4 " " 47
5 " " 50,51,52

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Suratu'l Maidati, and similarly in other cases. But it is more convenient to transcribe as above. The Roman figures give the number of the Surah.

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