‘I don't know what to think; the missionary assured us again and again in his preaching that, in the noble Qur'an, we Muslims are told to ask the advice of Jews and Christians if we are in doubt; but how can that possibly be? Was not Muhammad the last and greatest Prophet? and does not the noble Qur'an contain the final and complete revelation of God? We know that it does. How then can it possibly command us to ask advice of a people who mistakenly follow a corrupted and abrogated Scripture, and worship the Prophet Jesus as God!’ The speaker was Ghulam Jabbar, a tall and handsome Bengali youth of eighteen years, who had just returned to his village home in Islamabad for his holidays after six months of hard study in the Government school of Dhanpur in East Bengal. Ghulam was the only son of Isma’il Jabbar, a wealthy Muslim landowner of Islamabad, a man who lavished all the affection of an intense nature on his son, and had planned for him a liberal education and a subsequent entry into the Civil Service of India. Nor were his hopes misplaced, for Ghulam was a bright, intelligent lad, who had easily stood first in the village school, and was now, in his new surroundings at Dhanpur, throwing himself with all the enthusiasm of youth into his preparation for Matriculation a year hence.

Muslim Boys on a Train in Bangladesh
Muslim Boys on a Train in Bangladesh

It had been a hot and trying day, and now, as the sun went down in a misty haze which betokened still greater heat on the morrow, Ghulam was sitting with his great friend, Emarat Husain, on the bank of the river which flowed past the large village where they had both been born, and was giving him an animated account of the new experiences which had been his in the important town of Dhanpur. The conversation had drifted from the school and its studies to religion, and Ghulam was describing the preaching of the Christian missionary in the streets of Dhanpur. The lads were, both of them, deeply religious, and they had often read together, in the days when they attended the village school at Islamabad, the Lives of the Prophets and other popular Muslim books, and it had been a great grief, to them both when the time came for Ghulam to go to Dhanpur for the further prosecution of his studies. Emarat's father was far from rich, and his son had early been called from the school to help him in his business as a rice-merchant. The lads, however, had often corresponded, and the old-time confidence and affection was in no way lessened by the passage of time; so nothing was more natural on this autumn evening than that Ghulam should confide to his friend the new thoughts and questionings which were surging through his mind.

‘Yes’, he continued, ‘the missionary read from a Bengali translation of the noble Qur'an, and though I forget in what chapter he said the words were to be found, I remember well the words themselves, which were these, “Ask those who are acquainted with the Scripture, if ye know not”. And, then, at the close of his preaching, he invited his hearers to go to his house and ask any question concerning religion. There was much that I did not understand in what he said, and some things that I certainly could not accept, and I longed to show him the falsity of his beliefs, and to tell him of our Prophet Muhammad; but I did not go near him for some days, for I was a stranger, and I thought that an introduction was necessary for such an interview. I had heard, too, only a few days before, how Tomij Siddiq had been driven away like a dog by the liveried servants of the magistrate when he one day tried to see that official. But one day as I was taking my evening walk, I saw, to my surprise, that the missionary was playing cricket with a number of students, and, when I asked about him, I was told that these missionaries are not like the officials—though I used to think they were—and that no letter of introduction was necessary in order to secure an interview with them; in fact, my informant told me, Mr. Williams, for that was the missionary's name, was always most glad to receive visitors and to discuss religious matters with them. One day, therefore, when the sun had gone down, and there was none to notice me, I hastily stepped up to his door, and asked to see him. He had just returned, so he told me, from preaching in a market some miles away, but he welcomed me most graciously, and at once ushered me into his study, a large room in which were more books than I had ever seen before in a private house. To my surprise he did not begin to talk about religion at all, but asked me about my home and my studies, and it was only when I ventured to remark that I had heard him preach in the streets of Dhanpur that he began to speak of the matter that had brought me to him. I had heard that these missionaries generally abused other religions, and I was prepared to defend the holy religion of Islam to the best of my power; in fact, I had armed myself beforehand with a number of historical facts relating to the wonderful spread of our holy faith which I could quote to him; but, to my surprise, he did not attempt to criticize Islam at all; on the contrary he asked me whether I had studied the noble Qur'an; and when I confessed that I had not, owing to my ignorance of the Arabic language, he expressed both surprise and sorrow, and strongly advised me to procure a translation of that book in order to become acquainted with its teachings. I was so surprised at this that all the arguments which I had prepared vanished from my mind; for I had not expected this kind of advice from a Christian missionary. So I listened in silence until he went on to speak of the Injil, and of the praise which the Prophet of God had bestowed upon that Book. Of course, I replied at once that the Injil was both corrupted by the Christians, and abrogated by the noble Qur'an, so that its study was no longer incumbent upon us Muslims; but, instead of arguing with me, he again quoted the passage I had heard in his street preaching about the duty of Muslims, when in doubt concerning any matter, to “ask the people of the Book” who, he said, were Jews and Christians. After more conversation of a like nature I came away, but I cannot get rid of these words “ask the people of the Book,” for, if such a command really stands in our holy Qur'an, then it seems clear that the Taurat and Injil are neither corrupted nor abrogated, and so, dear friend, I have told you all my heart in order that I may hear what you have to say to this strange teaching of our holy Book—if indeed, such teaching be really found there!’

For a moment there was silence, and then Emarat replied in a voice that shook with passion, Ghulam you are a fool! I thought you were too old a bird to be caught with such chaff. Of course, the words you have quoted are only the creation of your missionary's own fancy. I do not believe for a moment they are to be found in the noble Qur'an. Why did you not challenge him to produce them? and then you would have learned what deceivers these Christian missionaries are. Why! If our holy Qur'an really taught that, then the conclusion is clear that it is our duty, as Muslims, to listen to the teaching of these foreigners; but that can never be, for we know that Islam is the last and perfect religion, and the Qur'an the final and complete revelation of God, and, as such, is a sufficient guide for all Muslims,’ and, so saying, Emarat, by way of emphasis, hurled a clod of earth into the swiftly flowing waters of the river before him.

‘Yes! I was foolish’ returned Ghulam, ‘not to have demanded to be shown the passage; and, yet, I cannot think that that man wilfully deceived me. His face was too open and his tones too earnest and sincere for that. The most that I can believe of him is that he may be mistaken. At any rate I have a proposal to make, and that is that we go to Maulavi Ibrahim 'Ali, and ask him whether there is really any such passage in the noble Qur'an. He is, as you know, the leading maulavi of these parts, and a staunch defender of Islam.’

Nothing loth to throw the responsibility of a decision upon other shoulders, Emarat readily acquiesced in his friend's proposal, and the two soon after rose and made their way to the house of the village priest. The maulavi received them with pleasure not unmingled with respect, for he remembered that one of his visitors was the only son of his patron, the rich Muhammadan landowner of Islamabad, and, after uttering a few gracious words of welcome, he requested to know the object of their visit. Neither was eager to be the first to disclose the matter which had brought them thither, for they knew the maulavi well enough to fear his displeasure at their listening at all to the words of a Christian missionary, but finally Ghulam summoned up courage, and, in simple, straightforward language, told his story.

The maulavi was angry: his countenance betrayed the fact, and yet he dared not openly reprehend the one who, before long, would inherit his father's estates and his father's power; and, so, with a forced saute, and a contemptuous wave of the hand, he thus made reply, ‘By my life! these missionaries are always trying to overturn the faith of the unwary, and by their evil speech and false address seeking to blind the eyes of the faithful. They take a verse of the noble Qur'an, and, without trying to understand its meaning, twist it to suit their own ends, and to misrepresent the teaching of our holy religion. Yes! the passage you mention is in the noble Qur'an, of that there is no doubt’, and so saying, the maulavi opened his leather-bound copy at Qur'an Al-Anbiya' (21:7) and read:—

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ.

‘The missionary's translation, too,’ he added, ‘is not a bad one, for, literally, the passage means “Ask the people of the Dhikr, if you do not know.” But it is in his interpretation of the verse that the Christian priest has lied. He says it means that the people addressed, are told to ask the Jews and Christians when they do not know the meaning of certain things, whereas the true interpretation of the words أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ is the Muslim priests, who are entrusted with the Qur'an, the Book of God. This is clear; and when the verse was first sent down, it, of course, primarily applied to our Prophet Muhammad, on whom be the peace and blessing of God. To him, first of all, the people were to apply for a solution of all their doubts, and, after his death, the verse was, and is still, taken to apply to all Muslim priests. The explanation which would make the words “People of the Dhikr” apply to Jews and Christians is too absurd to be entertained for a moment, and only serves to show the crass ignorance and narrow prejudice of these Christian missionaries,’ and, so saying, the maulavi closed the book, and sat with a look of contemptuous disdain overspreading his features.

Greatly relieved, the two friends, with profuse thanks to the maulavi, rose and took their departure, and wended their way to the home of Ghulam, where, in the elegantly furnished room which he called his own, they went over again the comforting words of the maulavi, and congratulated themselves on the happy proposal which had led them to seek his aid in their time of difficulty. It was now that Emarat's combative nature asserted itself, and he soon proposed a letter to the missionary, setting forth the true interpretation of the verse which had caused them such perturbation. Nor was Ghulam slow to acquiesce, and soon the two friends were busy drafting a letter in the name of Ghulam in which the maulavi's words were quoted, and which concluded by inviting the missionary to embrace the holy religion of Islam, in which alone, he was assured, was salvation to be found; and then, as it was now late, the two friends bade each other good night, and Emarat departed for his home at the other end of the village.

But Ghulam could not sleep. Can it be, he repeated to himself again and again, that the missionary is a deceiver after all? I cannot believe it. His whole attitude, and the very tones of his voice spoke of sincerity and deep religious faith. And, yet, why should he speak with such assurance of what he did not understand? He told me, too, that he knew Arabic, so that he could hardly have been mistaken. Soliloquizing thus, Ghulam at last fell into a troubled sleep, and rose, the next morning restless and anxious. The day passed slowly away and the afternoon of the next day found the two friends impatiently waiting the arrival of the usual mail from Dhanpur. What will the missionary reply? was the thought uppermost in their minds; and when, at length, a letter came with the name of Ghulam written in a bold, clear hand on the envelope, the two friends hastened away to a quiet spot on the banks of the river, and, tearing open the missive devoured its contents. And this is what they read:—






It gave me great pleasure to receive your letter of yesterday’s date, and to learn that you are seeking to know the truth concerning the teaching of the Qur'an; for I am persuaded that an unprejudiced reading of that book will inevitably lead you to study those other Scriptures of the Christians which it so often mentions as the ‘word of God’, and uniformly commends as ‘a light and guidance for men.’ I commend your decision to seek the advice of one of your religious teachers, and I specially thank you for giving me the opportunity of replying to his comments on the passage which I quoted. Let me say, at the outset, that I do not care to enter into any religious discussion with your friend simply for the sake of argument; for I have seen a great deal of such wrangling, and I know how unprofitable, and even harmful, it may be. But since the maulavi has given a flat denial to one of the plainest teachings of the Qur'an, and in doing so has not scrupled to stigmatize me as a ‘deceiver’, I must ask to be permitted to return to the subject. Maulavi Ibrahim practically accepts my translation of the passage, so the question resolves itself into one of interpretation. He affirms that the term ‘People of the Dhikr’ primarily meant Muhammad, and that, after his decease, it applied to all Muslim teachers of the Qur'an, and that, therefore, the passage means no more than that Muslims who are in doubt on religious matters are to seek the advice of their religious teachers—a rather superfluous piece of advice surely. It will not be difficult, however, for me to show that your friend is grievously in error in imagining that the term ‘People of the Dhikr’ here means Muslims. It means Jews and Christians, and was, further, applied, in the time of Muhammad, to a sect known as the Sabians, and this I will now proceed to prove by showing that the term as used in many other parts of the Qur'an is applied to Jews and Christians, and that the best Muslim commentators of the Qur'an have acknowledged that such is the proper signification of the term, and, secondly I shall show that as Muhammad himself was commanded in the Qur'an to ‘ask the People of the Book’ for a solution of his doubts, the words, manifestly cannot apply to him, or, indeed, to any Muslim.

Now let us turn, in the first place, to the passage which I quoted, and ask what Muslim commentators of reputed standing and authority have to say regarding the term. But, first of all, I would remark that the words translated ‘People of the Book’ are, in the original ‘People of the Dhikr’. The word ‘Dhikr’ is generally used in the Qur'an to express the idea of an ‘admonition’ or an ‘exposition’ of religion. As such the Qur'an is sometimes called a Dhikr it is true, but the context always makes it clear when that book is referred to, and when the preceding Scriptures of the Jews and Christians are meant. In the passages, for example, in which the people, and even Muhammad himself, are told to ask the people of the Dhikr, the context shows that the word certainly refers to the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians; and this the leading Muslim commentators of the Qur'an candidly admit. Take the passage to which I referred in Qur’an an-Nahl (16:43). The very context of the verse makes the meaning clear.

It reads thus:—

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ.

‘And we have not sent before thee (Oh Muhammad) any but men whom we inspired, therefore ask ye the people of the Dhikr, if ye do not know.’ In this passage the former prophets of the Jews and Christians are clearly referred to, and the people addressed are told to ask the people of those former Scriptures for a settlement of their doubts.

This is so clear that the Muhammadan commentators of the Qur'an are unanimous upon the point. Thus, in his comment on this passage ‘Abbas, one of the most famous of the exegetes of the Qur'an, plainly says that the term means أهل التوراة والإنجيل ‘the people of the Taurat and Injil.’  1  In the Tafsira’l-Jalalain it is said that the word means العلماء بالتوراة والإنجيل  2  that is, ‘the learned men of the Taurat and Injil.’  3  Again in the Khulasat al-Tafsir (vol. ii, p. 543) the term is explained thus:—

تم علم والوں سے پوچھو اگر خود نہیں جانتے یعنی یہود ونصاری سے جن کے پاس کتب آسمانی موجود ہیں۔

‘Ask the learned men, if you do not know, that is, ask the Jews and Christians with whom the heavenly books are found.’

Finally, though I could easily quote many more authorities to the same effect, in the Mada’ihi'l-Qur’an  4  the word is said to mean یہودی ونصاری کے عالموں.

‘The learned men of the Jews and Christians’ so, my young friend, you must acknowledge that the maulavi, in his attempt to avoid a difficulty, has contradicted the learned commentators of the Qur'an whose words I have quoted.

If you turn to the comments of those authorities on the passage quoted by Ibrahim Maulavi from Qur'an Al-Anbiya' 21:7 you will find the same thing. It will be well, therefore, before we pass to the passage where Muhammad himself is definitely commanded to seek light and guidance from the Jews and Christians, to examine the commentaries on the verse quoted by him. The great commentator Imam Baidawi (Baydawi)  5  says on page 426 of his Tafsir that the words were:—

جَوَابٌ لِقَوْلِهِمْ: هَلْ هَذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يأمر بهم أن يسألوا أهل الكتاب عن حال الرسل المتقدمة.

‘A reply to their words: Is this man aught but a mortal like yourselves. He (God) commands them that they should ask the people of the Book concerning the true character of the ancient prophets.’ ‘Abbas, in his comment on the passage, says the words ‘People of the Dhikr’ mean أهل التوراة والإنجيل ‘The people of the Taurat and Injil’,  6  and in the Tafsiru'l-Jalalain, it is explained by العلماء بالتوراة والإنجيل. ‘Those learned in the Taurat and Injil’'.  7  Thus I have shown that the command to ‘ask the People of the Book’ (Dhikr) means, ‘ask the People of the Taurat and Injil’.

Let us now turn to Qur’an Yunas 10:94; there we read:—

فَإِن كُنتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِّمَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكَ.

‘And if thou art in doubt, (O Muhammad) of that which we have sent down unto thee, ask those who read the Book before thee’. Here, again, the commentators are unanimous in explaining the words ‘those who read the Book’ as referring to Jews and Christians. The verse before us has only one meaning, which is clearly contained in the words themselves. In it Muhammad is commanded to refer to the Jews and Christians for the settlement of his doubts. It is not surprising, then, that ordinary Muslims should be told to do the same. That this is the true meaning of the verse is candidly acknowledged by ‘Abbas, Jalalain and others. Thus, for example, in the Tafsiru'l-Jalalain we read:—

فإن كنت يا محمد في شك مما أنزلنا إليك من القصص فرضاً فاسأل الذين يقرءون الكتاب التوراة من قبلك فإنه ثابت عندهم يخبروك بصدقه.

‘If thou art in doubt, O Muhammad, concerning that which we have sent down to thee of the stories and commands, ask those who are reading the book of the Taurat before thee; for verily it is confirmed with them, and they will inform thee concerning its truth.’  8  ‘Abbas comments thus on the same verse:—

فإن كنت يا محمد في شك مما أنزلنا إليك مما أنزلنا جبرائيل به يعني القرآن فاسأل الذين يقرءون الكتاب يعني التوراة من قبلك.

‘If thou art in doubt, O Muhammad, concerning that which we have sent down upon thee; of that which we have sent down by Gabriel, namely, the Qur'an, then ask those who are reading the book of the Taurat before thee.’  9 

Baidawi (Baydawi) says:—

قيل الخطاب للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والمراد به أمته أو كل من يسمع أي إن كنت أيها السامع في شك مما أنزلنا على لسان نبيك.

It is said that the person addressed is the Prophet of God, on him be the peace and blessing of God, and that it refers to his followers or to every one who hears. That is, if thou art in doubt, Oh hearer, concerning that which we have sent down on the tongue of thy Prophet.’

The great scholar Imam Fakhru'd-din-Razi  10  in his famous commentary called al-Kabir  11  (vol. 5, p. 29) concludes a long comment in these words, ‘Lastly, if we suppose the Prophet himself to be here addressed in his own person as “thou” the explanation is that, being a man, he was, as such, liable to be troubled in his heart by doubts and anxious possibilities which could only be removed by clear declarations and manifest proofs, and God most high, therefore, made this revelation to dispel these misgivings. And after all, it is only stated as a possibility.’

Such are the explanations of the ancient commentators. Not a few of the moderns, whilst admitting that Muhammad himself is addressed in the verse before us, strive to find a way out of an obvious difficulty by adding that, though Muhammad is personally addressed, yet the meaning is that his followers are really meant! This explanation, however, has no basis in the words of the Qur'an, though it clearly shows the perplexity into which the words have thrown many Muslims. The fact is, both Muhammad and his followers are, in various verses of the Qur'an, exhorted to ask advice and teaching from the people of the preceding Scriptures, the Jews and Christians. Therefore, dear friend, I again urge you to give heed to my words, and the words of your Qur'an. God has sent the Taurat and Injil as a ‘direction and a mercy'. Is it strange, then, that you should seek the counsel of those who have been made by God the custodians of those sacred volumes? Surely it is your highest wisdom to give heed to their words, and, above all, to study those holy Books in which God has revealed His will to men. Your own Qur'an bears witness that they are نور وهدى للناس ‘a light and a guidance to mankind’;  12  let them, then, be your guide through the perplexities and difficulties which face you, and you will find that they will lead you into a satisfaction and peace such as you have never known before.

Your Sincere Friend,





When the two friends finished their perusal of the missionary's letter there was a moment of intense silence, broken at length by Ghulam, who, turning to his companion, said: “I know now, Emarat, what I felt and believed before, namely, that the missionary is no deceiver. The proofs he offers are too strong to be doubted, and, to me at least, it is as clear as the day that, in seeking the advice and counsel of a Christian missionary, I am only obeying the command of the noble Qur'an. I cannot understand why this should be: I only know that it is so. Moreover I feel that I cannot stop here. If, as he asserts, the Qur'an speaks so highly of the Taurat and Injil, and calls those books the “word of God,” then it seems to me that it is my bounden duty to study them. At any rate I shall ask maulavi Ibrahim what he has to say to a Muslim reading the Christian Scriptures.’

For a moment Emarat made no reply. It was evident that a great battle was going on within him, and that love of and loyalty to his ancestral faith found themselves in violent opposition to a somewhat undefined, yet real, sense of duty to follow the truth so far as revealed to him. Of the truth of the missionary's words he had now no doubt, and he dimly realized that that truth might lead him to a final resting-place far removed from his present one. In spite of his business surroundings, which were both uncongenial and strongly destructive of any real piety, Emarat had a deep religious nature, and his soul was strangely stirred by the concluding lines of the missionary's letter. His sense of duty was strong, and when once a path was made clear to him he seldom wavered in it. It was, therefore, with feelings of genuine relief that he hailed his friend's proposal to again interview the village priest on the subject of the Christian Scriptures. Surely this time he would be able to help them, and would speak words that would quiet the tumultuous feelings which were stirring the very depths of his soul. Surely he, the great champion of Islam, would be able to give an answer to the anxious questions which forced themselves unbidden upon his mind. Could it be, he asked himself, that the Christian Scriptures, which he had always been taught to regard as both corrupted and abrogated, were indeed commended in the Qur'an! Could it be that the missionaries were right in urging their study upon Muslims! It was with such thoughts as these that the young merchant hailed the proposal of his friend with cordial approval, and they soon found themselves once again at the house of the maulavi. The latter was sitting on the floor of his house, with his Qur'an on a low stool before him, and as he swayed his body from side to side was intoning the sonorous Arabic of the Qur'an in a musical kind of chant. The lads waited quietly until his recitation was ended, and then Ghulam, with a respectful salutation, addressed him:—

‘We have come to you, maulavi Sahib,’ he said, ‘to ask about the Taurat and Injil. We cannot read the Arabic Qur'an, but we have been told that it contains much praise of the Christian Scriptures, and that they are there described as the “word of God” and “a light and guidance for men.” Now we have always been taught that the Bible, as the Christians call their Scriptures, is not only corrupted, but also abrogated, so that we Muslims are no longer required to read it; but, if that be so, then why does the Qur'an speak of it in terms of such high praise?’

The maulavi was silent for a moment, and then launched out into such a violent tirade against Christians, whom he described as infidels, that the lads began almost to wish that they had stayed away. ‘The word of God did you say!’ he cried in conclusion, ‘Yes! it may have been once, and indeed was so in the time of our holy Prophet, upon whom be the peace and blessing of God, and then it was that God spoke of it as a “light and guidance for men”; but these infidel Christians have corrupted it since then, and have not only added many things which are not true, such as the stories about a pretended death of the Prophet ‘Isa on the cross, but they have also cut out of it many prophecies concerning our Prophet Muhammad, on whom be the peace and blessing of God. No. It certainly is not right for good Muslims to read the Taurat and Injil now. The words of the noble Qur'an, which seem to allow that, apply, at most, to the copies which were in existence in the time of the Prophet, upon whom be the peace and blessing of God, and not to the corrupt copies of those Scriptures which are now current. It is thus these Christian missionaries are leading astray so many Muslims, so that even some learned maulavis in the Panjab have been deceived by them, and have become Christians. Take my advice, and have nothing to do with them or their Book. The holy Qur'an is sufficient for all good Muslims.’

The burning words of the maulavi, uttered with much feeling and declamation, made a great impression upon the two friends, who went away more puzzled than ever as to the course they ought to pursue, and twilight deepened into night as they sat together on the bank of the river discussing the new questions which had, with such dramatic suddenness, been brought before them. So long they had lived their quiet, uneventful village lives, taking for granted all that had been taught them of God and religion by the village priest, taking on trust every statement concerning the Qur'an and their Prophet, that now, when suddenly brought face to face with another Scripture and another faith, not as the perversion of truth which they had always been taught to regard them, but as a great God-given book and religion, they were both perplexed and dismayed.

‘Can it be’, said Ghulam, as he grasped his friend by the hand, ‘that we have been wandering in the dark, when God had sent the Taurat to give us light? The maulavi sahib said many hard things about the Christians, but I noticed that he did not deny the presence of these praises of the Taurat and Injil in the holy Qur'an. The most that he said was that such verses applied to the copies of the Taurat and Injil which were current in the time of our Prophet, and not to the mutilated and untrustworthy copies which are current amongst the Christians to-day. But the missionary is a learned man. Can it be that he is ignorant of these things! It seems almost impossible to believe that he does not know that the copies which were current in the time of our Prophet contained, as our maulavi has often taught us, many references to the coming of the “Seal of the Prophets,” Muhammad. And yet it is equally impossible for me to believe that, knowing these things, he should endanger his soul by still clinging to this corrupted Injil, or should endeavour to teach others to believe in it. People do not do such things without a motive, and what possible motive could he have for wilfully leading men astray? It cannot be money, for I know that these missionaries are poor, and a Muslim, who has been to England, once assured me that they could easily earn much more money in business in their own country; and it cannot be love of ease, for these men seem to be always busy, and I have often seen them preaching in the public streets in the heat of our tropical climate which is so trying for these foreigners. I cannot understand it, and I intend, upon my return to school next week, to seek out this Christian priest, and tell him how mistaken he is in following a corrupted Injil. Perhaps I shall be able to lead him to acknowledge our Prophet as the last great messenger of God,’ and so saying, Ghulam rose, and taking leave of his friend, wended his way homewards.

4. Is this the correct spelling? Is there a reference for this book?

12. Qur'an al-An'am 6:91.