CHAPTER iv /The Honour Conferre

The Honour Conferre

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They realised that they had to seek a person who met two conditions. The first that he lived in Makkah, so that it would be plausible for them to allege that he met him morning and evening to impart his instruction. The second that he belonged to a different race and faith.

This would make it easier for them to claim that such a person could impart to him knowledge that they themselves lacked. When they looked for a person who met these two conditions they only came up with a Greek blacksmith.

Yes, they were able to produce none other than a young man who was well known in the market place, but not in study circles. Unlike them, he was neither illiterate nor an idolater. He was a Christian who could read and write.

Hence, he could be, according to them, a suitable teacher for Muhammad, and a scholar who could teach all Christian monks and Jewish rabbis, as well as the world at large.

Let us now enquire about this man: was he given to scholarly pursuits, studying books and able to distinguish the truth from falsehood in what they contained? Was he equipped with the mental faculties of perception and understanding that would make him suitable for this role? Our investigation shows that he was an ordinary blacksmith using his tools for his living. His mental power was that of an ordinary uneducated labourer, whose knowledge of books and learning did not exceed wishful thinking. Besides, he read in a foreign language that was unknown to Muhammad and his people. But none of this was sufficient to deprive him of the title of Muhammad’s teacher and mentor.

Thus, the serious circle was too narrow for them. They could only function in the open fields of absurdity. Indeed they took this so far that even they themselves could not be taken seriously by anyone. They were just like one who said that knowledge could come out of ignorance, and that man may receive the faculty of speech from a parrot! We need say no more.

“We certainly know that they say, ‘It is but a human being that teaches him!’ [notwithstanding that] the tongue of him to whom they so maliciously point is wholly outlandish, whereas this is Arabic speech, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth.”

(16: 103.)

They simply found the whole idea so funny that they approved the falsehood it implied. The whole picture looked to them full of mockery, and they laughed loudly at it as they felt it gave them their revenge.

Little did they realise that they were mocking themselves. In fact it was an admission by them that they were the most ignorant community on earth. They actually acknowledged that any foreigner, even an uneducated blacksmith, had greater knowledge than what their whole community enjoyed. They would have been much better off remaining silent than to make such a claim. Inevitably, it all backfired on them.

The truth, with which they were at loggerheads, has gained in power as a result of their false allegations. When they tried to find a human being whom they alleged imparted knowledge to Muhammad, they could not claim that that source was a foreigner.

They wanted him to come from within Muhammad’s home town. When they could find none, their last resort was to produce the blacksmith.

The point arises: if that young blacksmith had such a great treasure of knowledge, what prevented them from learning from him like Muhammad did, according to their false claims? This would easily have solved their problem, for then they would have had the same knowledge as Muhammad. Indeed if that young man was the sort of teacher they claimed, what prevented him from opening his knowledge out to the rest of the world, so that he could be acknowledged as a teacher or leader of mankind?

Besides, why did they not attribute those disciplines unknown to them to the people who spent a lifetime learning them, such as the Jewish rabbis in Madinah or the Christian priests in Syria? This would certainly have been more plausible and more convincing. This claim could have been promoted much more easily than the one attributing such knowledge to a blacksmith in Makkah.

Was the whole earth too narrow for them that they could not find a more knowledgeable person in religion and history than that blacksmith? The fact is that they considered a claim of foreign teaching even less plausible and certainly unacceptable. Had they resorted to it, they would have been more forcefully accused of arrogant obstinacy. Hence they felt that they needed to narrow the circle of their accusations. But their falsehood has been easily seen for what it is.

These were Muhammad’s people, his most hardened opponents. They were fully aware of his travels, movements and other actions.

Yet they were totally unable to establish any learning contact between him and the people of knowledge in his own time.

Nevertheless, the atheists of today, more than thirteen centuries after his message, when all events have been determined and all accounts settled, persist in trying to establish such a connection.

What is even more singular is that they try to find such a connection in historical garbage, and in an area which his own people could not lower themselves to investigate.

We tell them to spare themselves such efforts. The Quraysh, Muhammad’s tribe, had exhausted it long before them.

Let them turn away from this area, for logic and history have shown that all such attempts are destined to miserable failure.

If they persist, they should know that any doubt that is raised against the clear truth will be turned to the truth’s advantage and favour.

page iii

A Worthless, False Allegation

Had the allegation that Muhammad received all the knowledge contained in the Qur’an from a human teacher been an expression...

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