Ask yourself why do "wise" atheists today criticise the past for having a system where the few, learned and literate, scholars were able to make the
illiterate believe some "made-up" religion; while these same athiests are having the same thing done to them by happily believing the few learned
scientists presenting evolution theories (with no evidence) in the media and at school as though it were fact. There's a new religion being forced on
Originally posted by Leveller
...There are some scholars who state that when it started out, there were no more than 10 literate people in the whole of Mecca. Some scholars even
state that Mohammed himself could not read and write. Personally I dispute this, but there is no doubt that pre-Islamic Arabia was a society of oral
tradition. Everything was conducted by word of mouth.
I don't know how many literates there were. So I'm asking where you got that information from? Neither link you gave say so (skim-read and used find
to check) but maybe you can point it out. Maybe you're right but I want to see a valid source, before I believe. I understood that his tribe were the
most literate in the region, but don't know of any figure.
I agree that much was conducted by word of mouth, what would be the point to going up to someone and writing a conversation? I expect "mail" was
only something for the very, very rich. It does not mean people were actually illiterate.
Not just some, but most scholars agree that he was "illiterate," (see below) we can't quickly toss that aside because it doesn't fit your belief.
There are different degrees of literacy, but the agreement is that the Qur'an was way, way beyond him. The ahadith say that he had to get others to
write down the revelations.
I don't understand why if you believe that only, at most, ten people were literate, that you are so keen on believing Muhammad would have been one of
those ten. He grew up as an orphan in poverty, this makes the chances of him being able to read and write much less, surely? At age 25 he married a
rich woman, but beyond this age people are generally not forced, nor keen, to learn if they don't have to. Of course, this is my theory just as you
There's no doubt that, as anyone with patience can, he could copy words on paper. This isn't literacy though.
Originally posted by Leveller
Nothing in this source points to what you said above, though. A good source (biased or not) is one that mentions where it gets its information from;
all scientific papers do this. Sri Swami Sivananda
(who, by his photo, appears to be a deeply religious Hindu) seems to have made a decent
summary from what I've read; but, with all due respect to him, maybe he has just made stuff up for all we know because he has not given references
(okay we could e-mail him and ask). Example: He didn't get what Gabriel said to Muhammad correct according to valid historical documents (based on
A better source, at least one can check up where they got information from, they seem to have got a lot of it from
Above, you said, "Some scholars even state that Mohammed himself could not read and write,"
yet your own quoted source says the opposite,
"Islamic history records that Muhammad was illiterate, though some scholars argue that Muhammad is likely to have received some form of
Instead of "some," you should have said "most?"
The first few verses in the Koran are all about learning to read and write as well.
What is the reasoning behind your statement? The first revealed are as difficult as anywhere in the whole Qur'an. In your opinion, what are the first
few revealed verses (in English)?
As for your comment above: Heh. If I wasn't interested in religion I wouldn't be here would I? I find Islam exteremly interesting as it is so young
and it is well documented compared to early Christianity or Judaism.
I wasn't saying whether or not you
were interested, I was saying:if
one is not interested; for common ground as an observation that I
hope you agree with. Surely to research properly you pick out sources of information that have sources themselves. While you may make up theories (and
I'm not doing against that) based on "weak evidence" like "must be very few literate people back then, because of 1970 stats,"
very scientific to accept them with the weakest of evidence; especially if other, possibly stronger, evidence says different.
The story of Mohammed is not unlike that of Buddha. Here we have a wealthy man who leaves his home to study another religion. Whilst in contemplation
he receives enlightenment and founds a new faith. Though the disturbing difference is that Buddha found enlightenment joyous whereas Mohammed found it
Certainly the first revelation terrified him, this is understandable. He also felt he wasn't strong enough to carry out the task, but are you saying
that means it cannot be a divine revelation?
Go on to my next post, please.
[edit on 2-7-2004 by mithras]