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The testimony borne by the Coran to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (William MUIR)

The testimony borne by the Coran to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (…)

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Sir William Muir était un orientaliste écossais spécialisé dans l’histoire des débuts de l’Islam et du califat. Il étudia à l’Académie Kilmarnock, à Glasgow et à l’Université d’Edimbourg ainsi qu’à Haileybury College. Entre 1837 et 1885, il eut de haute responsabilité dans l’administration du gouvernement des Indes. En 1885, il fut élu principal de l’Université d’Édimbourg en succédant à Sir Alexander Grant, et occupa ce poste jusqu’en 1903, date où il prit sa retraite.

Préface (sans les notes de bas de page)

This pamphlet has been compiled in conformity with a promise made in the conclusion to the Bahs Mufid-ul-Am, or "Controversy between a Christian convert and the Cazeeof Dehli." It was there asserted that in certain passages quoted from the Coran, and in multitudes besides, there was a clear attestation of the
Old and New Testaments ; that there was nowhere in the Cordn
any declaration of those Scriptures having been abrogated by
God, or interpolated by man ; that, on the contrary, both were
spoken of throughout the Coran in the highest terms of respect
and reverence. " The writer,^’ it was added, " has it in view to
" excerpt from the Coran all the verses in which there is any racn-
" tion of the Holy Scriptures of the Christians, and to publish
"them for the benefit of the ^Mussulman community, who may
" thereby learn that the study and investigation of the Toui-at
" and of the Gospel are not only advantageous and expedient
"for them, but absolutely incumbent and indispensable"

It is hoped that the present collection is a satisfactory fulfilment of the promise.

In the system of the Coran, — so far as any system can be
deduced from concrete doctrines growing out of the necessity
of the day, and never delivered in any abstract and consistent
form, — the three Revelations, the Jewish, the Christian, and
the jMussulman, are equally inspired and divine. The preceding
Scriptures are, however, to be interpreted according to the latest
Revelation, and are liable to have their ordinances modified in
conformity therewith. A distinction is thus drawn between the
belief in the several Revelations, and the obligation to follow
their precepts. The Mussulman converted from Paganism was
required to believe in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, as well as in thie Coran; but it was necessary for him to be guided by tlie
latter only. The Christian convert must equally believe in
all three, but he was not boimd by the Old Testament, and
was desired to follow the inculcations of the Gospel only taken
in conjunction with those of the Coran. The Jewish convert
must needs believe in the Gospel hitherto rejected by him,
as well as in the Coran and the Old Testament; but he was
required to obey the ordinances only of his own Scriptures as
modified by the Coran. This is the prevalent idea, and there
is nothing throughout the Coran to contradict it ; though in
the final step of triumph, when professed Jews and Christians
were banished from the precincts of the Holy Temple, it seems
likely that in practice the Coran was considered, not simply as
explaining and modifying, but as absolutely superseding all previous Scripture.

It is not my business here to explain, or attempt to reconcile,
the inconsistencies of the Arabian Legislator. The Christian
advocate may appropriately show how the doctrines of Islam con-
tradict the acknowledgedly divine doctrines of Judaism and Chris-
tianity ; and how, instead of advancing towards perfection, Islam
has fallen back into a worse than Mosaic bondage. He may
take up even stronger ground. Ceremonies are liable to change,
and doctrines may be variously stated ; but facts can not, even by
a subsequent Revelation, be altered. If you believe in the Gospel
as inspired, you may indeed alter its precepts by the Coran, but
you can not cancel the fact of Christ’s death. From such lines
of argument, however, the writer has, in the present pamphlet,
carefully abstained. The single object in view has been to take
advantage of the concessions, so frequent in the Coran, of the in-
spiration and value of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and to
press them to their legitimate consequ.ences /rom the stand-point
of the Mahometan himself. Wherefore, avoiding all controversial
matter, I have sought to prove that the believer in the Coran is
bound to be equally a believer in the Old and in the New Testaments as now extant, and to warn the Mussulmans of the present
day against incurring the doom pronounced even in the Cordn^
against those who disbelieve and reject the previous Scriptures.
This course of inculcation has appeared to the writer very
necessary, because there is in our times a large class of Mussul
mans who ignorantly lavish abuse upon the Jewish and Christian
Scriptures ; who seek to cast scorn upon their doctrines, and dis-
credit upon their narratives; — forgetting that thus they belie
their own profession, and run counter to the earnest inculcations
of their own prophet.

In publishing the pamphlet first in English, the writer has
been guided by two considerations. The opportunity is aflforded of
checking mis-statements, and supplying defects therein, by a wider
circulation among tlie compiler’s friends than could be attained,
in manuscript. The record in this permanent form may also be
of use to the advocates of Christianity both here and elsewhere,
as supplying a complete collection of all the passages in the Co-
ran that bear upon the subject. Further, if the treatise be ne-
cessary in Urdu for the jNIussulraans of Northern India, it may
possibly prove equally applicable to those in other quarters of
India, perhaps also to those of Persia, Turkey, and Africa. The
description of Gerock, if derived from the conduct of the Western
Mahometans, would seem to show that there is a class amongst
them requiring, as mucb as their Eastern brethren, to have tlieir
attention recalled to the evidence of the Coran in favour of our

" Jedoch ist aucli die Ansicht der Moslemisclien Tlieologen
von unsern heiligen Schriften niclit iiberall dieselbe. Einige
woUen das Alte und das Neue Testament gar nicht als Gottes
Wort anerkennen, weil sie in demselben cine Menge Widers-
pruche, Ungereimtheiten, ja Gotteslasterungen finden."*

The present collection of passages might accordingly ^vith
advantage be published in Persian, in Turkish, in Modern Ara-
bick, and in the languages of Northern Africa.

It is only necessary to add that the work, being intended pri-
marily for INIahometans, has been printed exactly in the form in
which it is proposed that it should be translated into the Verna-
cular. It has been attempted, in connection with every quota-
tion, to give the full interpretation of the passage with occa-
sional references on important points to the Mahometan com-
mentators, and to trace the bearing upon the Scriptural argu-
ment. This has unavoidably occasioned considerable reiteration :
and the most essential parts have been again repeated in the
concluding resume. The English reader, remembering the object
of the compilation, will pardon this defect.

AY. M.

20th August, 1855.

Table des matières



Section I.— Passages from Meccan Suras

Section II.— Passages from Medina Suras


Section First. - The Collection Complete and Impartial,

Section Second. - Existence and Currency of the Old and New Testaments
in the time of Mahomet,

Section Third. - The Coran attests the Inspiration of the Jewish and
Christian Scriptures,

Section Fourth. - The Jewish and Christian Scriptures praised in the Coran,

Section Fifth. - The Scriptures appealed to, and observance of them incul-
cated, by Mahomet

Section Sixth. - Imputations against the Jews

Section Seventh. - The Scriptures of the time of Mahomet the same as
those now extant,

Section Eight. - Belief in, and Examination of, the Scriptures incumbent
on all Mahometans,

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