Was Prophet Mohammed Illiterate?
Was Prophet Mohammed Illiterate?
Muslim scholars and the entire Muslim world will tell us that prophet Mohammed was an illiterate man who could not read or write. They tell you this information to make the miracle of the Quran sound even more miraculous disregarding that such statements create some obvious questions:
- According to historians, the prophet Mohammed encouraged his followers to learn to read and write and teach others the same so as to spread knowledge throughout the world. How is it that a man who led by example never learnt to read and write himself?.
- The Quran was transmitted to us through the prophet Mohammed’s own lips over a period of 23 years. Is it conceivable that the man who was in contact with God’s words and who was careful to have them written down and copied never bothered to learn to read what he was having written?.
- The prophet Mohammed was reputed to be a skilful tradesman, having done some successful enterprises for his first wife “Khadija”. Any student of history knows that numbers as we know them weren’t developed until decades after the prophet’s death. All trade was done with letters having numeric values (A=1, B=2, G=3, D=4, H=5, etc..). How could the prophet be a successful trader without knowing the letters?.
Although the above questions may seem obvious to any rationale human being, they do not appear so to those who have engulfed themselves in fabricated tales where truth and deception mix. The case that Islamic scholars use to prove that the prophet Mohammed was illiterate is the use of the word “Ummy” in the Quran when referring to the prophet. The scholars have said that “Ummy” means “Illiterate” and that God is the one who supports this story.
Let us look at ALL the verses in the Quran which use the word “Ummy”:
“…and tell those who have received the scriptures and the Ummien have you submitted?…” (3/20)
“And from the people of the scriptures are those whom if you entrust him with an ounce he will return it to you, and those whom if you entrust him with a Dinar he will not return it to you unless you are persistent, that is because they said: We have no obligation to the Ummien, and they say upon God falsehood while they are fully aware“(3/75)
“The ones who follow the Ummy messenger prophet whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel…” (7/157)
“And from them are Ummien who do not know the scriptures except wishes and they only follow conjecture” (2/78)
“He is the One Who sent to the Ummien a messenger from amongst them…” (62/2)
“…believe in God and His messenger the Ummy prophet who believes in God…” (7/158)
For the sake of clarity I have kept the word “Ummy” in its original form without translating it so the reader may draw his/her own conclusions. If we, as the Islamic scholars have previously done, use the word “Illiterate”, then we get some strange and non-sensible verses.
The Arabs of Mecca were very well known for their strength in poetry and their deep grasp of the Arabic language. These people were neither Jews nor Christians, but they believed that they followed the religion of Abraham.
Since the Arab’s were never recipients of any heavenly scripture then they could be correctly described as “Gentiles”, and since the prophet Mohammed was raised from amongst the Arabs then he too was a “Gentile” before receiving the scriptures.
Therefore, a more accurate translation of the word "Ummy" would be "Gentile" since a gentile is a term used on any who have not received the scriptures, which is exactly what the Arabs were, and NOT "Illiterate" as people would have us believe.