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Indeed the narratives he gives are not in accordance with Biblical statements, but do conform to Jewish legend and Rabbinical fable. It seems clear that he had some Jewish acquaintances from whom he gathered the material, afterwards worked up into the form in which it now appears in the Qur'an. 'The mixture of truth and fiction,' says Muir, 'of graphic imagery and of childish inanity, the repetition over and over again of the same tale in stereotyped expression, and the constant elaborate and ill-concealed effort to draw an analogy between himself and the former prophets, by putting the speech of his own day into their lips and those of their pretended opposers, fatigue and nauseate the patient reader of the Qur'an.' 1

The point, however, to be noticed is that all this information is produced as evidence of direct inspiration. Thus :—

I had no knowledge of what passed among the celestial chiefs (angels) when they disputed: verily it hath been revealed to me only because I was a public preacher. Sura Sad (xxxviii) 70.

This story of the creation of man which follows was probably obtained from the Jews, but the knowledge of it is adduced as a proof of his divine

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The Qadiani commentator, Muhammad 'Ali, gives three possible meanings of the term—(1) one who could neither read nor write; (2) one from among the Arabs; (3) one from Mecca—the Ummu'l Qura, or metropolis of the Arabs (Holy Qur'an, p. 361.) On Sura Al-'Ankabut (xxix) 47 he says that Muhammad could neither read nor write. This he argues is a proof 'of the divine origin of his teaching and differentiates him from all other prophets and makes him superior to all of them.' Op. cit. p. 781. It may be admitted it makes him different; but how ignorance can make him superior is difficult to understand. '
1 Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. ii., p. 185.

apostleship. We also read of the history of Joseph that it came by inspiration of God:—

In revealing to thee the Qur'an, one of the most beautiful of narratives will we relate unto thee. Sura Yusuf (xii) 103.

And then follows the story of Joseph, as told in Jewish legends; but a divine origin is claimed for this account of it:—

This is one of the secret histories which we reveal unto thee. Sura Yusuf (xii) 103.

The people of Mecca would not, however, believe in the supernatural source of these matters and said:—

Surely, a certain person teacheth hire. Sura An-Nahl (xvi) 105.

To this accusation the Prophet in the same verse replies that the tongue of him at whom they hint is foreign1 and the Qur'an is Arabic; to which the retort was easy, that he supplied the material and that Muhammad worked it up in an Arabic form. Again and again Muhammad had to rebut statements such as this :—

The Qur'an is a mere fraud of his own devising and others have helped him with it. Sura Al-Furqan (xxv) 5.

1 اَعجَمى which Husain says means 'without eloquence.' ' Now, ' he adds, 'the speech of the Prophet was eloquent as to matter and style,(در فصاحت وبلاغت ), so how could he have learned the Qur'an from such a man?'
Ibn 'Abbas says that,
اَعجَمى means a Hebrew. There is a very full note on this verse by Wherry, Commentary on the Qur'an, vol. lii p. 45.
Verses 111, 119-20, 125 are clearly Madina ones, and so Sura An-Nahl (xvi) is a composite one,

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