Was the Prophet (saws) an illeterate person?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
You are indeed doing an excellent work. May allah reward you for that. I have 2 questions: Q1)I have heard in a Speech of Dr. Zakir Naik that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was Illiterate ( he didnt knew to read and write) When I told this to my other Dawoodi Bohra friends they contradicted that a person who calls himself The City of Knowledge (Anaa Madinatul Eelm) can be Illiterate. They further elobarated the point that the person on whom the Koran has been sent down can be illiterate. Q2) In the same discussion of Dr. Zakir Naik, he explained how the Koran was written. Can you pls elobarate/explain in detail how the Koran was written. You must have definitely heard about Muslims burning the Koran after Muhammad. Pls explain that also in detail. I know the answers to both the questions asked above. But for more clarification I need your help and guidance. May allah bless you.
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Was the Prophet (saws) an illeterate person?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your question: Was the Prophet (saws) indeed illiterate and why?
We have answered this question on our forum in detail and are sending an attachment with the answer from the archive for your reference.
Your question: he explained how the Koran was written. Can you pls elobarate/explain in detail how the Koran was written.
Whenever the Revelations of the Glorious Quran were received, the Messenger of Allah (saws) ordered the scribes to write down verbatim whatever was revealed, and they would write it down. In the absence of paper, the scribes would write down the verses of the Quran verbatim on leather, on tree barks, on bones, etc. Thus the Quran was fully documented, although in various fragments, even at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws). Besides, a considerable number of the noble companions had memorized the whole Quran in the lifetime of the Prophet (saws), from the Prophet (saws) himself.
After the death of the Prophet (saws), the documented Quran was available with Hadrat Abu Bakr (r.a.), and after his death, it was passed on to Hadrat Umar (r.a.). During the reign of the third Khalifah, Hadrat Uthmaan (r.a.), he made arrangements to collect and document the Quran in an actual book form on paper, and ordered, with the advice of the other noble and close companions of the Prophet (saws), like Hadrat Ali (r.a.), Hadrat Talha (r.a.), Hadrat Zubair (r.a.), Hadrat Abdul Rahman bin Awf (r.a.), etc., that all the available fragments of the Quran be collected and destroyed by burning, probably so that there remains absolutely no confusion for future generations. The Quran that was documented in a book form in the reign of Hadrat Uthman (r.a.) was documented in the exact language and dialect of the Revelation of the Quran; that is, in the Quraishi Arabic dialect, and that is the exact same Quran which is available to all the believers today and until the end of time, Insha Allah.
Some misguided and ignorant sects of Islam do try to claim that the Quran has been slightly changed, or that some words or phrases were missing from the Quran that was documented in the reign of Hadrat Uthman (r.a.)! But the true believers, who truly believe in Allah and the Last Day, are satisfied with the assurance and promise made by their Lord that He Who Revealed the Quran will Himself make arrangements to guard the Glorious Quran against any form of corruption.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 15 Surah Al Hijr verse 9:It is We (Allah), Who has sent down this Quran, and We (Allah) will assuredly guard it against corruption.
If you only ask your Dawoodi Bohra friend if the Quran available to us today has been changed, if he is honest, he will confirm his (false) belief that indeed there are a few words that have been changed! Either he does not believe in the Assurance and Promise of the Lord as declared in the above Aayah of Surah Hijr verse 9 We (Allah) will assuredly guard it against corruption, or he believes that his self-made syedna, who has declared the current Quran as imperfect, has more right to be believed than Allah Subhanah Himself!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,