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Say: “If Allah had so willed, I should not have rehearsed it to you, nor would He have made it known to you. A whole life-time before this have I tarried amongst you: will ye not then understand?”

Asad writes,

This argument – placed in the mouth of the Prophet – has a twofold implication. Ever since his
early youth, Muhammad had been renowned for his truthfulness and integrity, so much so that
his Meccan compatriots applied to him the epithet Al-Amin (“The Trustworthy”). In addition to
this, he had never composed a single line of poetry (and this in contrast with a tendency which
was widespread among the Arabs of his time), nor had he been distinguished by particular
“How, then,” goes the argument, “can you reconcile your erstwhile conviction – based on the
experience of a lifetime – that Muhammad was incapable of uttering a lie, with your present
contention that he himself has composed the Qur’an and now falsely attributes it to divine
revelation? And how could he who, up to the age of forty, has never displayed any poetic or
philosophic gifts and is known to be entirely unlettered (ummi), have composed a work as
in its language, as penetrating in its psychological insight and ‘as compelling in its inner
logic as the Qur’an?”


Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran.

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