Rebuttal to Islam Religion Article “The Authorship of the Quran”

This is response to Muslims belief that Qur’an was revealed verbatim (i.e. word for word) by God, to Muhammad in twenty three years career in separate revelations over the major portion of his life at Mecca and at Medina. Muslims’ claim of “internal evidence” for the divine authorship of the Quran, i.e. from statements to that effect in the Quran itself (e.g. Quran 4:82; 6:19; 6:92; 27:6; 45:2, etc.) The site Islam-Religion gives reasons, why Qur’an is authored by Allah. We will see how much true their claim is.

First Reason:-

Muhammad: Unlettered and Had No Teachers

The fact that Muhammad could neither read nor write (Quran 29:48) is well known and uncontested by even his non-Muslim contemporaries and present day historians.  He had no schooling or teacher of any kind.  He had never been known to compose oral poetry or prose.  The Quran, with its all-embracing laws and freedom from all inconsistencies, has its greatness acknowledged even by non-Muslim scholars.  Its contents treat social, economic, political and religious legislation, history, views of the universe, living things, thought, human transactions, war, peace, marriage, worship, business, and everything relating to life – with no contradicting principles.  The Quran has never been edited or revised as it was never in need of any revision or correction.  How were such vast subject areas expounded upon with such precision by a 7th century Arab with no formal education or even the ability to read what scant material there may have been in his environment on such topics?  Where and when has history ever produced an illiterate author of such a scripture?

My Response:- 

This is not at all true that Muhammad was illiterate, the Biography of Muhammad, and his history recorded by Muslims have sufficient proof of his literacy. If not literate, he was able to read and write a bit. Ibn Ishaq records one of Prophet’s written communication from Musaylima.

MUSAYLIMA’S LETTER AND THE APOSTLE’S ANSWER THERETO Musaylima had written to the apostle (Prophet Muhammad):

From Musaylima the apostle of God to Muhammad the apostle of God. Peace upon you. I have been made partner with you in authority. To us belongs half the land and to Quraysh half, but Quraysh are a hostile people…

Then he (Prophet Muhammad) wrote to Musaylima:

From Muhammad the apostle of God to Musaylima the liar. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. The earth is God’s. He lets whom He will of His creatures (to) inherit it and the result is to the pious…

[The Life of Muhammad, a translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, Page – 649]

Even Qur’an gives some hint that Muhammad used to learn hear and learn Scriptures from Christians. For instance see Qur’an 16:103, which says:-

And We certainly know that they say, “It is only a human being who teaches the Prophet.” The tongue of the one they refer to is foreign, and this Qur’an is [in] a clear Arabic language.

Ibn Jalalayan in his explanation of this verse says:-

And verily (wa-laqad is for confirmation) We know that they say, ‘It is only a human that is teaching him, the Qur’ān’ — this was a Christian blacksmith whom the Prophet (s) used to frequent. God, exalted be He, says: The tongue, the language, of him to whom they refer, to whom they incline, [with the accusation] that he is [the one] teaching him, is foreign’; while this, Qur’ān, is [in] a clear Arabic tongue, one of lucidity and clarity: so how can a foreigner be teaching him?

Evidence from Hadith.

Sahih Bukhari, Vol 7 Book 62 No 88 Reads:-

Narrated ‘Ursa:

The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

If still not convinced that Muhammad was literate, please see what an Islamic scholar ‘Edip Yuksel’ say about Muhammad literacy.

The verse 7:158 states that Muhammad was a gentile:

“So you shall believe in God and His messenger, the gentile (ummy) prophet.”

The Arabic word “ummy” describes people who are not Jewish or Christian. The meaning of this word, which occurs six times in the Quran, has been changed to ” one who can neither read nor write”. This deliberate manipulation by Muslim scholars has become widely accepted as the true meaning of the word. For example Yusuf Ali, in his translation, follows this pattern: “… So believe in God and His Apostle, the unlettered Prophet,…”. Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation also reflects the same manipulation: “… So believe in Allah and His messenger, the prophet who can neither read nor write,..”.

The Quran explains the true meaning of “ummy”

Let’s examine the true meaning of “ummy” in the Quran. Anyone can easily understand that “ummy” does not mean an illiterate person by reflecting on the verse 3:20 below:

“And say to those who received the scripture, as well as those who did not receive any scripture (ummyyeen)…”

In this verse the word “ummy” describes Meccan idol worshipers. It is obvious that “ummy” does not mean illiterate because it has been used as the antonym of the people of the scripture. If the verse was ” … And say to those literate and illiterate”, then their above translation of “ummy” would be correct. According to the verse 3:20 the people of Arab peninsula were two main groups:

1. The people of the scripture, i.e., Jews and Christians.

2. Gentiles, who were neither Jewish nor Christian.

If the people who were neither Jews nor Christians were called “ummyyeen” (3:20; 3:75), then the meaning of “ummy” is very clear. As a matter of fact, the verse 3:75 clearly explains its meaning as gentile.

Mecca was the cultural center of the Arabs in the 7th century. Poetry competitions were being held there. It is a historical fact that Meccans were not familiar with the Bible, thus they were gentiles. So the verse 62:2 describes Meccan people by the word “ummyyeen”:

“He is the One who sent to the gentiles (ummyyeen) a messenger from among them, to recite to them His revelations, purify them, and teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone far astray.” (62:2)

The Quran does not classify the people of Arab peninsula as the literate and the illiterate, as Muslim scholars claim. The Quran classifies the people as people of the book (Jews & Christians) and gentiles. The second classification is the correct one, and the Quran supports it.

The disbelievers claimed that Muhammad was quoting verses from the Old and New Testaments (25:5; 68:15). The verse below refutes their accusation and gives the answer:

“You did not read any previous scriptures, nor did you write them with your hand. In that case, the objectors would have had reason to harbor doubts.” (29:48)

This verse tells us that Muhammad did not read nor write previous scriptures. The word “min qablihi = previous” proves that Muhammad read and wrote the final scripture.

Muhammad was a literate gentile (ummy)

After this examination on the true meaning of the word “ummy”, here are the reasons and proofs for the fact that Muhammad was a literate gentile:

ˆ To magnify the miraculous aspect of the Quran, religious people thought that the story of illiteracy would be alluring.

ˆ The producer of the illiteracy story found it easy to change the meaning of “ummy”, which in the entire Quran, consistently means “gentile” (2:78; 3:20; 3:75; 62:2).

ˆ The Arabs of the 7th century were using letters as numbers. This alphabetical numbering system is called “Abjed”. The merchants of those days had to know the letters of the alphabet to record their account. If Muhammad was a successful international merchant, then he most probably knew this numbering system. The Arabs stopped using the “Abjed” system in the 9th century when they took “Arabic numbers” from India.

ˆ The Quran’s spelling is unique. The mathematical miracle of the Quran, which proves that Quran is the word of God, confirms the unique spelling of the Quranic words. The different spellings of some words are not the personal preference of the scribes. For example, the words “salat”, “zakat”, “hayat” are written with “waw” instead of “alif”. In verse 3:96 the name of Mecca is spelled as “Bacca”. The word “bastatan” is written with “seen” throughout the Quran, except in 7:69 where it is written with “saad”.

ˆ If you write the first verse of the first revelation with Basmalah, you will conclude that Muhammad was literate. We know that Basmalah has 19 letters, the first revelation i.e., 96:1-5 consists of 76 (19×4) letters, this first chronological chapter consists of 19 verses and is placed first of the last 19 chapters and has 285 (19×15) letters. (The code 19 will be mentioned in the next questions). This information explains the different spelling of the word “bism” in the beginning of the Basmalah and in the first verse of chapter 96. You decide; is it reasonable for an illiterate to dictate two different spellings of the same word which is pronounced the same?

ˆ Traditional history books accept that Muhammad dictated the Quran and controlled its recording. Even if we accept that Muhammad did not know how to read or write before revelation of the Quran, we can not claim that he preserved his illiteracy during 23 years while he was dictating the Quran.

ˆ The first revelation was “Read,” and the first five verses of that revelation encourage reading and writing (96:1-5). The second revelation was “The pen and writing” (68:1).

Now, let’s ask our questions:

a) As you can see in verse 3:20 and 3:75, the Quran uses the word “ummy” as the antonym of the “ehlil kitab = people of the book”. Do you believe that Quran classifies people as literate and illiterate?

b) The Quran describes Meccan people with the word “ummyyeen = gentiles” (62:2). According to your claim, all Meccan people must have been illiterate. According to your holy books, who was writing poems in Mecca? Who was reading the poems hanging on the walls of the Kaba?

c) Which numbering system were the Arabs using in the 7th century? Did those who were making calculations with those numbers know how to read and write?

d) Is the unique spelling in the Quran the result of errors and personal opinions? How do you explain the different spelling of “bism” of the Basmalah and the first verse of chapter 96?

e) Does God command an illiterate man to “read”? Could Muhammad read after Gabriel’s instruction ? Does this story not contradict your claim that Muhammad died an illiterate?

f) Let us accept that Muhammad was illiterate before the revelation of the Quran. Why did he insist on staying illiterate for 23 years after the first revelation: “Read !”? Did he not obey his Lord’s command? Did he receive another command forbidding him from reading and writing?

g) Was it so difficult for Muhammad to learn to read and write? If a person still does not learn to read and write after 23 years of careful dictation of a book, what do you think about such a person? Is he stupid or a liar?

h) Was Muhammad encouraging his followers to read and write? If so, why did he exclude himself? How do you explain this strange attitude and verse 2:44?

i) How can an illiterate man insure the accuracy of a scribe?

j) You are trying to imitate Muhammad from his eating to his attire, from his beard to his toothbrush; why do you not imitate his illiteracy? Why do you not follow his sunnah?

k) You are the people who disagree on almost every subject; but you agree on the story of the illiteracy of Muhammad. How could you manage this agreement?


 This is enough to prove that Muhammad was literate and could have been written Qur’an using sources from other religion, as it can be seen in this article. Now lets move to second evidence.

Muhammad’s Known Integrity

Muhammad’s sincerity, truthfulness and integrity were so well known that he was even nicknamed “Al-Ameen” (The Trustworthy) by his pre-Islamic community.  Not a single lie is recorded against him, and many modern Western Orientalists have themselves admitted that contrary to any deliberate deception, that the Prophet had a profoundly sincere conviction that it was revealed to him by God Himself is undeniable.

If his integrity had been in question, and he was supposed to have been motivated by the desire for personal glory to produce the Quran, why then would he disclaim authorship and instead claim it was from God, especially when the pagan Meccans had conceded that no one could produce such a scripture (Quran 2:23-24, 17:88, etc.), but only marvel at it?  His enemies even offered him kingship over Mecca and any riches he desired if only he would stop reciting.  If it was true that he desired his personal glory and leadership, why would he decline the offer when it was presented to him and instead prefer a life of humility, simplicity, persecution, sanctions, and even hostile attack by those who felt threatened by the Message of One God?

 My response:-

This is claim is chanted by Muslims that Muhammad was known as “Al-Ameen”, to reply this I’ll quote, what Ali Sina writes about this in his book, ‘Understanding Muhammad’. He says:-

Muslims claim that Muhammad was known to be an honest man as the Meccans called himAmin. This claim is disingenuous. Amin means trustee. It was the title of those who sold and bought merchandise on behalf of others.  One is called school trustee, or city trustee because of his profession.  The title “Amin” is a label for every sort of profession.  Here are some examples: Amin El-Makataba (Trustee of the library); Amin El-Shortaa (Police Trustee); andMajlass El-Omnaa (Council of Trustees.)

Abul Aas, husband of Zeinab, Muhammad’s daughter, was also called Amin because of his profession. Muhammad acted as the trustee (Amin) for Khadijah once, when he took her merchandise to Damascus and sold it on her behalf.

Further we see that Meccans claimed Muhammad to be liar and Madman, see Qur’an 15:6:-

And they say,”O you upon whom the message has been sent down, indeed you are mad.

His own tribe also called him Soothsayer, see Qur’an 52:29

So remind [O Muhammad], for you are not, by the favor of your Lord, a soothsayer or a madman.

Ibn Ishaq records that Meccans called him Jinn Possessed, and his message to be ancient Fables. This exposes the real identity of Prophet Muhammad. He was never considered by Meccans as Honest or True. But later, this was added by later Muslims to hide his Heinous acts and show him as a Noble Man.

9 thoughts on “Rebuttal to Islam Religion Article “The Authorship of the Quran”

  1. u are so dumb u dont know arabic ummy means iliterate go on google translator u r a looser how can muhammad write the quran if quran says u dont know not jesus pbuh is mentioned more imagine if he wrote it he would of praised himself alot i can give u 10 reasons y he didnt

    • Mustahsin,

      Was he really illiterate? I don’t whether you will be able to understand or not. But you must be knowing that Abu Talib took care of Muhammad in his childhood. He loved Muhammad more than his own children and took him to many journeys. Apart from this, it is also a well known fact that Ali Talib, son of Abu Talib, and cousin of Muhammad was one of the scribe of Muhammad. He used to write what Muhammad dictated, and was literate. Now guess,how Abu Talib left Muhammad illiterate and taught Ali Talib?

      Now you asked why he praised Jesus more? This was because he wanted to show that his religion is not different than that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc. He not only praised Jesus, but he also made Allah praise himself. He use to put words in Allah in mouth to praise him.


    • Dear Muzi,

      Thanks for the interest, you are welcome to refute the articles here one by one. If you succeed, then with every refutation to an article, I promise to remove that particular article.


  2. I think you are missing a very big point here. I wrote “memorise to the letter”. Harry Potter is only read by 80 millions people. Quran in read by 2.2 billion people. BILLION you hear, not MILLION. That is the very reason that I started reading Quran and study Islam in the first place. I attended many of Dr Zakir Naik lecturers both in India and USA. He studied all 19 bible and memorise them but not to the very letter. I accept your challenge. I will follow whatever religion you want me to follow if you can memorise “any book to the letter”. Remember, “any book to the letter”. but it is got to be at least a quarter of quran content. Now, here is a catch. What will you do if you cannot memorise that book. Because I can rest assure that you will never achieve that feat. Not even in the next life. I will sell my soul to the devil if you can achieve what you said you will. I will be your slave for that matter. By the way, I can tell you right now that you can memorise every single letter in the Quran.
    Dear Rahul,
    all these while my approach is on the “logics” point of view. You are writing based on emotion and not from the “factual” point of view. That is for me very absurd. I haven’t even begun the philosophical point of view. You did not do any travelling. You did not look around your society.
    Anyway I am ready when you are. Drop me an email when you manage to memorise that book. here is my e-mail……

    • I am not missing any big point. I know that around 2 billion people read Quran. But do they understand it too? No.

      Now I don’t understand why Muslims resort to logical fallacies? Now you are appealing to population for proving your point, and it is a logical fallacy. I can prove that.

      Further I accept your challenge, “I will follow whatever religion you want me to follow if you can memorise “any book to the letter”.

      Next you accused me of this, “You are writing based on emotion and not from the “factual” point of view. ” Which is not at all true, I am writing on factual basis quoting most authentic sources of Islam, using canonical scriptures. If you want to disprove it, then come with authentic sources of Islam, which refutes me.


  3. There are 30 millions people all over the world from different countries and ethnic background who memorise the entire AlQuran to the letter by heart. 80 percent of those are non arab speaking nations. this a very solid proof that AlQuran is not man made. It has to be divinely revealed. give me just one person who can memorise any book. any book at all, half the contents (chapters, verses etc.) OK, OK, I give another discount, a quarter of the content. Can you give me that person. Would you like to accept that challenge yourself. You can spend your entire life. You will definitely not be able to memorise any book at all. I am sure there millions you can find in Indian subcontinent. They could be right under your nose…Think about that.

    • Dear Timothy Blair,

      You gave me a very weak proof of the divine authorship of Quran, which is not only easy refutable but is a logical fallacy too. As you said:-

      “There are 30 millions people all over the world from different countries and ethnic background who memorise the entire AlQuran to the letter by heart. 80 percent of those are non arab speaking nations. ”

      Is this proof of divine authorship of Quran? You see here even Harry Potter has beaten Quran because it is read by 80+ million people on face of Earth.

      Another point you said that give me one person who can memorize any book completely. What a weak argument, because no need to go too far, your own Dr. Zakir Naik has memorized the entire Bible, Vedas and many other scriptures so are all these book true?? Also I am ready to accept your challenge, and I promise to remember the entire Hanuman Chalisa for you. Is that enough?? Or you want me to memorize a thick book???


    • 1.Memorizing a book is not a proof of its supremacy. Understanding God through that book is. Please accept that logic.If the acceptance is there, then we shall proceed to the next line.
      2.God is quality, not quantity. Please do not resort to quantification of actions to prove the authenticity of the actions. Once you accept the logic of quantification, a cancer patient in his third stage must not be treated, because cancer cells would have been accepted by the greater part of the body, and hence it should become a proof of holiness of Cancer cells. I am in no doubt that you will appreciate this logic, and therefore I shall proceed to the next step.
      3.I (not to the words) have memorized the Bhagawad Gita. I (to the word) have memorized the Vishnu Sahasranam (the manifestations of God). However, since I have done so, I understand that it is foolish to challenge the person in front of me to give a proof of his superiority through his memorizing capacity. 4.Rather he would be supreme by his understanding in God. This also you will accept, as it has been well documented that even Muhammad kept forgetting his own recited verses.
      5.However, i understand what it feels like, if your entire belief system is challenged. I am sure that it will not bring out godliness in you.
      6.So I shall wait….wait for you to be taken up by God in his arms. PEACE BROTHER

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