men are not charged with corrupting the Book. When it is twice said that certain Jews in Muhammad's time (not before his time) used to shift the words from their places, such a charge is never brought against the Christians. So that, even if we admit that this expression means what you take it to mean, it relates only to the Law and not to the Gospel. But leading Muhammadan commentators 1 say that the meaning is that on certain occasions the Jews denied that certain commands were to be found in the Taurat, though they well knew they were there. As an example a tradition is quoted that at Khaibar the Jews, when asked whether the Taurat did not command the stoning of adulterers, denied it, though the command to that effect is still in the Taurat, as they knew it was. But they are not accused 2 of changing the text, and the occurrence of the verses in question in the Taurat which they and we still have proves that they did not strike them out. This explanation agrees with what other passages in the Qur'an say about the sin of the Jews in concealing the truth while they knew it. Or, as Ar Razi says, they perverted the reading "with their tongues" (Surah III., Al

1 See the opinions of some of these quoted and commented on in the Manaru’l Haqq (Arabic: English translation by Sir W. Muir; Persian version-entitled Mishqat i Sidq—by myself).
2 Hence the opinion of learned Muslims is that the Law was by these men perverted orally, and as to its meaning (ma'navi), not in it text (lafzi).

'Imran, 72), not the actual text. Another explanation which Ar Razi gives is that the Jews used to ask Muhammad questions and then falsely report his reply. If so, it was not the words of the Taurat but Muhammad's words that they are accused of shifting from their places. Hence we see that the Qur'an does not state that the Scriptures were corrupted before Muhammad's time.

8. M. Well then, if the Bible was not corrupted before Muhammad's time, it was certainly corrupted in his time, as some of the verses I have quoted prove.

C. In saying this you contradict your leading commentators, and your controversy is with them, not with me. Besides, you must remember that the Qur'an asserts that it was "sent down" to "attest the Scriptures preceding it, and to act as guardian to them" (Surah II., Al Baqarah, 38; Surah IV., An Nisa’, 50; Surah V., Al Maidah, 50; Surah III., Al 'Imran, 75). It is strange for a Muslim to accuse the Qur'an of attesting corrupted Scriptures, and still stranger for him to assert that the guardianship of the Qur'an was of no avail to hinder their corruption even in Muhammad's own time.

9. M. By "attesting the Scriptures which preceded it" is meant that the Qur'an agrees with the genuine teaching of previous prophets, and shows the fulfilment of the prophecies regarding Muhammad contained in their books, that is to say, in the