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Muhammad’s Illiteracy Proves that Allah is the Not-So-Powerful One

The Quran claims that Allah is so powerful that all he needs to do to make something happen or bring a thing into being is to say the word “Be” (kun):

The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. S. 2:117

She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. S. 3:47

Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. S. 3:59

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in truth. In the day when He saith: Be! it is. His Word is the Truth, and His will be the Sovereignty on the day when the trumpet is blown. Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, He is the Wise, the Aware. S. 6:73

And Our word unto a thing, when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: Be! and it is. S. 16:40

It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. S. 19:35

But His command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that He saith unto it: Be! and it is. S. 36:82

He it is Who quickeneth and giveth death. When He ordaineth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. S. 40:68

The Muslim scripture further testifies that Allah accomplishes all that he desires:

Abiding there so long as the heavens and the earth endure save for that which thy Lord willeth. Lo! thy Lord is Doer of what He will. S. 11:107

And yet according to the hadiths, Allah sent a being to command Muhammad to read certain verses of the Quran, which Muhammad miserably failed to do so. This upset the entity so much that he physically and psychologically manhandled and terrorized Muhammad three consecutive times because the latter was unable to read despite being commanded to:

Narrated ‘Aisha: (the mother of the faithful believers) The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3)

Then Allah’s Messenger returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.” Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Messenger described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Messenger asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=1&translator=1&start=0&number=3)

Narrated Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) The commencement (of the Divine Inspiration) to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of true dreams in his sleep, for he never had a dream but it turned out to be true and clear as the bright daylight. Then he began to like seclusions, so he used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship Allah continuously for many nights before going back to his family to take the necessary provision (of food) for the stay. He come back to (his wife) Khadija again to take his provision (of food) likewise, till one day he received the Guidance while he was in the cave of Hira. An Angel came to him and asked him to read. Allah’s Messenger replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet added, “Then the Angel held me (forcibly) and pressed me so hard that I felt distressed. Then he released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he held me again and pressed me for the second time till I felt distressed. He then released me and asked me to read, but again I replied. ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he held me for the third time and pressed me till I got distressed, and then he released me and said, ‘Read, in the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists), has created man out of a clot, Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen, has taught man that which he knew not.” (96.1-5).

Then Allah’s Messenger returned with that experience; and the muscles between his neck and shoulders were trembling till he came upon Khadija (his wife) and said, “Cover me!” They covered him, and when the state of fear was over, he said to Khadija, “O Khadija! What is wrong with me? I was afraid that something bad might happen to me.” Then he told her the story. Khadija said, “Nay! But receive the good tidings! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you, for by Allah, you keep good relations with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, entertain your guests generously and assist those who are stricken with calamities.” Khadija then took him to Waraqa bin Naufil, the son of Khadija’s paternal uncle. Waraqa had been converted to Christianity in the Pre-lslamic Period and used to write Arabic and write of the Gospel in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said (to Waraqa), “O my cousin! Listen to what your nephew is going to say.” Waraqa said, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” The Prophet then described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same Angel (Gabriel) who was sent to Moses. I wish I were young.” He added some other statement. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Will these people drive me out?” Waraqa said, “Yes, for nobody brought the like of what you have brought, but was treated with hostility. If I were to remain alive till your day (when you start preaching). then I would support you strongly.” But a short while later Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was paused (stopped) for a while so that Allah’s Messenger was very much grieved. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=478)

Muhammad was so traumatized by this encounter that he not only ran back to his wife in dread and horror, he also tried to kill himself on several occasions:

Narrated `Aisha: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.” (The Prophet added), “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, “I do not know how to read,” whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, “I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?).” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, “Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous… up to…that which he knew not.” (96.15)

Then Allah’s Messenger returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, “O Khadija, what is wrong with me?” Then he told her everything that had happened and said, ‘I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadija said, ‘Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity afflicted ones.” Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin `Abdul `Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father’s brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, “O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew.” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” The Prophet described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Messenger asked, “Will they turn me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: “Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.”

But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, “O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah’s Messenger in truth” whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.

(Ibn `Abbas said regarding the meaning of: ‘He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)’ (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Hadith 111 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=87&translator=1&start=0&number=111)

Suffice it to say, this raises some uncomfortable questions for Muslims.

First, did Allah not know before sending his emissary that Muhammad was an uneducated illiterate merchant? If so, then why did he even bother commanding Muhammad to read when he knew it was not possible for him to do so?

Second, why continue commanding Muhammad to read after the latter had expressly stated that he was unable to read? And why have the being torture Muhammad for failing to read three consecutive times if not for the sole purpose of terrorizing and humiliating him?

Finally, since all Allah has to do for something to become a reality is to say to it “Be,” why then was he utterly powerless to enable Muhammad to read?

In fact, wasn’t the command to read in reality an expression of Allah’s command “Be”? Why, then, did Allah’s order utterly fail to accomplish his purpose of causing Muhammad to read what his lord wanted him to read?

In other words, Muhammad’s illiteracy and Allah’s humiliating failure to cause his so-called prophet to read are actually proof that Allah is not all powerful since a finite, imperfect, sinful illiterate seventh century Arabian merchant proved too much for the Muslim god to handle.

Hence, an illiterate false prophet exposes the fraud of Allah, since the former’s inability to read ends up proving that the Islamic god is in reality the not-so-powerful one!

All quranic citations taken from the Muhammad M. Pickthall’s English version.

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