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Was Muhammad illiterate as we are told by the Islamic Historical Tradition

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 8, 2022 at 09:27

Dr. Pipes,

This is a link to a video of a very interesting examination of the question: Was Muhammad able to read and write?


It says in Surat al-'Alaq: اقرا باسم ربك الذي خلق

This can be rendered as: (O Muhammad and this is not in the text but he is the subject of the text) Read (this is how al-Mufasereen read this word اقرا or Iqra') in the name of your Lord who created.


The word اقرا is a loan word from Syriac/Aramaic ܩܪܝ which means: Proclaim, or ܩܪܐ (which is most likely the source) which means: To learn what one has found in writing.


This means that Muhammad had to have a written text and Muhammad was reading from such text. But this is not what the Islamic Historical Tradition tells us. We are told that he was امي or illiterate. The word امي (illiterate in Arabic) according to John Wansbrough is a loan word/sentence from Hebrew 'Am Ha ares, or non Jewish or gentile. And this makes sense because the Qur'an describes Muhammad as: الرسول النبي الامي or: The messenger the prophet the illiterate. This should be; The Messenger The Prophet the Gentile. And this makes more sense

Notice that in the edited Qur'an اقراء and notice the hamza added to the word اقرا and there no no hamza in Aramaic/Syriac.

BTW: The word Recitation in Arabic is تلاوة

So was Muhammad able to read and write? I will leave the answer to the readers that would watch the video


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