.In the name of the living, life-giving God, eternal and everlasting

, To our purpose. This is what our master, the revered teacher

the head, lord, distinguished, unique, and unparalleled professor, may

God prolong his life in the most perfect favor, protect him from ill

: and care for him, taught

You have asked me to make a full inquiry for you about what the

Christians, followers of Christ, who are diverse in their languages and

scattered over the four corners of the earth from east to west, south

to the north, inhabiting the islands of the sea and established on the dry land stretching as far as the setting of the sun, believe

When I landed on the island of Cyprus, I met some great men

of this land and their chiefs, and I conferred with their distinguished

and learned individuals. What I learned about the thought of the people whom I saw and talked with about their faith, what they believe, and what arguments they employ on their own behalf, since you have asked me, I will respond to your request because of deep attachment and great affection for you. So I say

 The people say: We heard that a man by the name of

Muhammad appeared among the Arabs, saying that he was the messenger of God and bringing a book that he said had been revealed

to him from God the exalted. So we did not rest until this book was

obtained for us.

I said to them: If you have heard about this man, and made

efforts to obtain for yourselves this book which he brought, then for

what reason do you not believe in him, especially since in the book it

says in The Family of Imran, ‘And whoso seeketh a religion other than

the Surrender will not (50r) be accepted by him, and he will be

a loser in the Hereafter? They replied, saying: For many reasons. I

said: What are they?

They said: One is that the book is in Arabic and not in our

language, according to what is stated in it, ‘And we have revealed it, a

Lecture in Arabic’. Also, we have found what is said in The Poets, ‘And

if we had revealed it unto one of any other nation than the Arabs, and if he had read it unto them, they would not have believed in it;

in The Cow, ‘Even as we have sent unto you a messenger from among

you, who reciteth unto you our revelations and causeth you to grow,

and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that

which ye knew not’; in The Family of Imran, ‘By sending unto them a

Messenger of their own who reciteth unto them his revelations, and

causeth them to grow, and teacheth them the Scripture and wisdom;

although before (he came to them) they were in flagrant error’; in The

Stories, ‘That thou mayest warn a folk unto whom no warner came

before thee, that haply they may give heed’; in The Prostration, ‘That

thou mayest warn a folk to whom no warner came before thee, that

haply they may walk aright’; and in Ya Sin, ‘That thou mayest warn

a folk whose fathers were not warned, so they were heedless. Already

hath the word proved true of most of them, for they believe not.

When we noticed this in it, we knew that he had not been sent

to us but to the pagan Arabs, about whom it says that no messenger or

Warner had come to them before him, and that it was not obliging us

to follow him because messengers had come to us before, addressing us in our own tongues and warning us (50v) about our religion, to which

we adhere today. They delivered to us the Torah and Gospel in our languages, in accordance with what the book brought by this man attests about them. In Abraham it says, ‘And we never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk’; in The Bee, ‘And verily we have raised in every nation a messenger; and in The Romans, ‘Verily we sent before thee messengers to their own folk. They brought them clear proof. So it has been shown correctly according to this book that he was sent only to the pagan Arabs. Its words: ‘And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter, according to the demands of what is just, it means his people to whom he brought it in their language and not others to whom he did not come, as is stated in it.

We know that God the exalted is just, and it is not part of his justice

to require on the day of resurrection that any community should have

followed a man who had not come to them, or whose book they were

not familiar with their language or without the authority of any summoner preceding him. Further, we also find in this book eulogies of the lord Christ and his mother in what he says in Banning, ‘And Mary, she who was chaste, therefore We breathed into her of our Spirit

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