is with God, and with the Apostle, and with the Faithful. Yet the Hypocrites understand not. 7-8.

The Jews in Madina were a large and important section of the community on whom, at first, Muhammad placed great hopes, for to them the idea of a revelation was familiar. Muhammad had maintained that Islam and the Jewish and Christian religions in their purity had one common source—the Books from heaven. He seemed to expect that the Jews would admit the divine origin of Islam and acknowledge that he was a divinely-commissioned prophet, at least for the Arab people. As we have already seen he admitted them to certain privileges, used them as confederates and allowed them religious liberty. Nöldeke I considers that verse forty-five of Sura Al-'Ankabut (xxix), a late Meccan one, is a Madina verse and that it applies to this time. It reads thus:—

Dispute not with the people of the Book, except in kindly manner, except against such of them as deal evil with you.2

1 Nöldeke, Geschichtes des Qorans, p. 116.
لا تُجَادِلوا اهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إلاَّّ بِالَّتى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ إلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُم
This verse has caused much perplexity to the Muslim commentators. Husain says it refers only to those who were connected with Muhammad by treaty or were tributaries to Islam, i.e., were Dhimmis. He writes thus:—
با اهل الكتاب يعنى كسانيكة در عهد هما اند يا جزية قبول كردة اند 
'With the people of the Book, i.e., those who are in treaty with you, or pay the jizya (poll-tax).'
Some of the Arabic commentators look on this passage more as a proof of fear of the Jews than as a recommendation to mild dealing. Thus:—
كان اهل الكتاب يقرون التوراة بالعبرانية ويقسرونها بالعربية لاهل الاسلام فقال رسول الله صلعم لا تصدقوا اهل الكتاب ولا تكذبوهم وقولوا امنا بالله وما انزل
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However this may be, there is no doubt that now he was very anxious to gain their allegiance and so in several ways he strove to win them to his side. They turned towards Jerusalem in prayer, so did he; they observed the Feast of the Atonement on the tenth day of the month by sacrifice and fasting, he ordered his followers to do the same. Thus he made it easy for certain Jews to pass over to Islam. These men proved most useful, for they could supply him with much needed information about the ancient Scriptures and they led him to believe that there were in them passages relating to his advent.

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'The possessors of the Scriptures (Jews) read the Law in Hebrew and explain it to the Muslims in Arabic: so the Prophet said "Neither agree with the possessors of Scripture, nor call them liars, and say we believe on God and that which He hath sent down. "
Another account is that a Jew who had just passed by a corpse said to the Prophet:—

فقال محمد هل تتكلم هذا الجنازة فقال رسول الله صلعم احدثكم اهل الكتب فلا تصدقوهم ولا تكذبوهم ولكن قولوا امنا بالله وملائكتة وكتبة ورسلة فان كان باطلا لم تصدقوهم وان كان حقا لم تكذبوهم 
'O Muhammad, does this corpse speak?' He said, 'Neither agree with the possessors of the Scriptures, nor call them liars, but say, we believe in God, His Angels, His word and His Apostles. If what the Jews say is vain, do not confirm it; if it is true, do not give them the lie; ' i.e., preserve a strictly neutral attitude. Geiger, Judaism and Islam, pp. 15, 16.
Baidawi (vol. ii, p. 98) admits that it is said to be abrogated by the fifth verse of Sura At-Taubah (ix), the latest but one of all the Suras in the Qur'an, and that it was repealed when the breach with the Jews was quite complete. It is as follows:—
فَاقْتُلُو الْمُشْرِكيْنَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمْوهُمْ

Kill those who join other gods with God wherever Ye shall find them.

This is called theآيت السيف , 'the verse of the sword.' It is difficult to see, since it refers to idolaters, or to Christians who were considered to be polytheists, how it can abrogate a verse directly connected with Jews.
آيت السيف is said to abrogate an early Meccan verse delivered when the Prophet's position was not secure. He then said to men who sought for a compromise, 'To you be your religion, to me be my religion'—Sura Al-Kafirun (cix) 6. This position could not be allowed when Islam was strong and hence the reason for the abrogation of such a liberal sentiment. (Ante, p. 9).