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In the Name of God بسم الله

Questions Regarding The Basics...

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Just a few questions I'd like some clarification on...

I've been trying to build a stronger foundation and so I hope people can have some patience and finesse when asking the questions below

1) Was the prophet illiterate? If so, why did G-d give these revelations to a prophet that was illiterate and so couldn't write down the text? And how would one then explain this illiteracy since Islam values education and literacy so much?

2) Why did the Qur'an refer to itself as "the book" when it wasn't yet recorded and just orally transmitted at that time?

3) Read a hadith about an angel that procrastinated and was punished- I thought angels lacked free will?!?

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Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

All praise and Glory is Due to Allah the Lord and sustainer of all that exist. Blessing and salurations to His last Messanger Muhammad (s.a.w.s) upon His Pure Family (as) to His rightous companions and to us his Ummah until the day of Recompence.

Asalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Thaks for your asking these important Questions. Trying to build a srtrong a strong foundation in faith is very important in our lives a muslims. But the reality is if we are building a stablisment for example, we need to have Sabr, and endurance. We need to wait like a farmer, he is plowing under the hot sunlight. But beyond that, he is still waiting for the right time for the harvesting. It does not mean that if you a give a lot of effort today later or tommorow you gowl is in front of you. So we can conclude that, for us to have a strong foundation of Faith we need to sacrifice and work hard for the sake of Allah and according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) and his pure family (as). We need to seek and study hard, seek inteligence.

Ahmad ibn Idris has narrated from Muhammad ibn Hassa’n from abu Muhammad al-Razi from Sayf ibn ‘Umayra from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.

"One who has Intelligence he has a religion also and one who has religion he enters Paradise."

And it is also said:

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from ibn Faddal from al-Hassan ibn al-Jahm who has said the following.

"I heard (Imam) al-Rida (a.s) saying, "The friend of a person is his/her Intelligence and the enemy of a person is his/her ignorance."

It is our obligation to seek knowledge about islam:

The Holy Prophet (s) of Islam said: “Seeking knowledge is

incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female.”

[Al-Majlisi Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1. p. 177]

seeking knowledge is one of the great acts of worship that leads one to the path of Paradise. Such a knowledgeable person becomes the embodiment of divinely inspired attributesand his character, words and actions manifest them.

Imam Ali (a) used to say: ‘O seeker of knowledge, knowledge has many

merits. (If you imagine it to be a human being then) its head is

humbleness, its eye is freedom from envy, its ear is understanding, its

tongue is truthfulness, its memory is research, its heart is good intention,

its intellect is the knowledge (ma`rifah) of things and matters, its hand is

compassion, its foot is visiting the learned, its resolution is integrity, its

wisdom is piety, its abode is salvation, its helmsman is well-being, its

mount is faithfulness, its weapon is softness of speech, its sword is

satisfaction (ridha), its bow is tolerance, its army is discussion with the

learned, its wealth are refined manners, its stock is abstinence from sins,

its provision for journey is virtue, its drinking water is gentleness, its

guide is Divine guidance, and its companion is the love of the elect.”

[Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, kitab fadl al-‘ilm, bab al-nawadir, hadith # 3]

The prophet (SAWS) also said:

The Prophet of God (s) was asked: “What is Knowledge?” He replied: “To

keep silent”. He was asked: “Then?” He said: “To listen attentively.” He

was asked: “Then?” He said: “To remember.” He was asked: “Then?” He

said: “To act upon (what is learned).” He was asked: “Then?” He said: “To

propagate.” [Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 2, p. 28

And the Imam 'Ali (as) Give us signs of a knowledgeable person:

Imam Ali (a) used to say: “There are three signs of a knowledgeable

person: “Knowledge, Forbearance and Silence”. [ibid, vol. 2, p. 59]

But there is a warning sister...and waht is that? Our Imam 'Ali (a.s) enumerate to us the donts when we are studying knowledges.

These are the following:

Imam Ali (a) said: “Do not seek knowledge for four aims: (1) Selfglorification

in front of people of knowledge (2) Quarrelling with the

ignorant (3) Showing off in gatherings of people (4) Attracting attention

of people in order to secure an office of authority.” [Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-

Anwar, vol. 2, p. 31]

So seek knowledge for the sake of
Allah
with a intention to make
Allah
happy, and not for the wordly gain.

Here is the reality of knowledge sister:

Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Knowledge is not (acquired) through

extensive learning. Rather, it is the light that God sends in the heart of

whomever He wishes to guide.” [Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 67, p. 140]

Prophet Muhammad (s) said “Verily knowledge consists of these three: the

‘firm sign’, the ‘just duty’ and the ‘established sunnah (method)’. All

else is superfluous.” [Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 1, "kitab fadl al-'ilm", "bab

sifat al-'ilm wa fadluh", hadith #1]

Prophet Muhammad (s) said: 'One who proceeds on a path in the pursuit

of knowledge, God makes him proceed therewith on a path to the

Garden (Paradise). And, verily, the angels spread their wings for the

seekers of knowledge out of delight. Verily, every creature of the heaven and the earth asks forgiveness for the seeker of knowledge, even the fish

in the sea. The merit of the `alim (the learned) over the 'abid (the devout)

is like the merit of the moon over the stars on a full-moon night. The

learned are the heirs of the prophets, for the prophets did not leave

behind a legacy of wealth but that of knowledge. So whoever partakes of

it derives copious benefit.'" [Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 1, kitab fadl al-'ilm,

hadith # 1]

And the prophet (s.a.w.s) also said:

The prophet (s.a.w.s) said: the ink of a SCHOLAR is much holy than the blood if a martyr.

and Imam 'Ali (a.s) said:

Imam Ali (a) said: "A person setting forth for the acquisition of

knowledge is like the one who struggles in the way of God.” [Al-Majlisi,

Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 179]

But do you know sister what is the key of attaining true Knowledge? it is the fear to
Allah
(s.w.t)

...And fear God, (so that) He will teach you...

(Qur'an, 2: 282)

Study these site sister, this site helps me to know the sound knowledge about true islam, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and his pure Ahlul Bayt (as) a few days ago.

Tis site is very useful in studying islam, i have copy some of my answers from this site.
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Alhamdulillahi Rabbil 'alamin.

and about to your questions sister i can answer some of them through the help of Allah (SWT) insha Allah.

your first question is: 1) Was the prophet illiterate? If so, why did G-d give these revelations to a prophet that was illiterate and so couldn't write down the text? And how would one then explain this illiteracy since Islam values education and literacy so much?

Masha Allah sister what a beautiful and knowledgeable question. YES uor Prophet (SAWS) is a ILLITERATE person. Allah (SWT) himself confirmed it in the verses of the Holy Quran.

"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him it is those who will be the successful."

(7:157)

The Nabi (SAWS) did not read any scripture before the Qur'an, it is because He is a illiterate.

"And you did not recite before it any scripture, nor did you inscribe one with your right hand. Otherwise the falsifiers would have had [cause for] doubt."

(29:48)

We proved through the words of Allah from the holy Qur'an that the Nani(SAWS) is a illitetare person, contrast to the statements of the foolish people that says our Nabi (SAWS) is a literate person. May Allah protect us from these persons who are inventing false accusations against the prophet, as it is said in the Qur'an how bad are these people who are accusing the Prophet (SAWS) and the Qur'an false accusations.

"And those who disbelieve say, "This [Qur'an] is not except a falsehood he invented, and another people assisted him in it." But they have committed an injustice and a lie. And they say, "Legends of the former peoples which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon."

(25:4-5)

Woe unto them, Hellfire is enought for them. May Allah forgive them, and guide them to the right religion of Islam. ameen.

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In the Name of Allah the Most compasionate the Most Mercifull.

You Also said in your first Question: "why did G-d give these revelations to a prophet that was illiterate and so couldn't write down the text?" Masha Allah.

Your Question is can be answered by answering some other questions related in that topic sister.

1) is it nessesary for God to chose a LITERATE person to become his prophet?

the answer is NO... there a some prohets prior to the prophet Muhammad (SAWS) which are illiterate. For example prophet Noah (as) he did not study but God choose him to become a prophet. so what is the problem if Prophet Muhammad is a illiterate person? being a illiterate person is not the basis of God in choosing His prophet. We must also understand that "GOD KNOWS THE BEST" HE DO WHAT EVER HE WANT TO DO, and we have not rights to questioned God..."WHY YOU CHOOSE A ILLITERATE PROPHET?...astaghfirullah.

2) Is prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is educated? YES He was educated but not in school and universities like us, he wa EDUCATED BY Allah.

The prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said: I am was EDUCATED BY GOD and 'Ali is educated by Me"

3) How Allah educated the Nabi? He educated the prophet and also the whole mankind trough the clear teachings of the holy Qur'an.

"And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe."

(29:59)

If the unbelivers argue with us about this issue then Allah said to us what we will unswer to them.

"So if they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, "Have you submitted yourselves?" And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away - then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants."

(3:20)

Prophet Muhammad has a mny Good characteridtics thats why Allah choose him as a prophet not only a educated by the knowlege of mankind.

  1. Sound Intellect
  2. Doing Things for the Sake of God
  3. Sincerity
  4. Good Morals, Ethics and Companionship
  5. Politeness and Good Manners
  6. Love for Reformation and Reconciliation
  7. Ordering with the Good and Forbidding Evil
  8. Love of Purification
  9. Safeguarding and Minding One's Language
  10. Excelling in Acts of Worship
  11. Forbearance
  12. Good Appearance
  13. Asceticism in Worldly Affairs
  14. Altruism
  15. Strong Faith and Dependence on God
  16. Kindness and Compassion
  17. Simplification and Ease
  18. Fearing God, being Mindful to Not Trespass His Limits
  19. Spending Generously
  20. Cooperation
  21. Truthfulness
  22. Aggrandizing the limits set by Allah, and Always Seeking the Moderate Path
  23. Pleasant Facial Expression
  24. Honesty, Trustworthiness and Reliability
  25. Bravery and Courage
  26. Bashfulness and Modesty
  27. Humbleness
  28. Mercy and Compassion
  29. Patience and Forbearance
  30. Patience
  31. Justice and Fairness
  32. Fearing God, and Being Mindful of Him
  33. Richness and Contentment of the Heart
  34. Hoping for Goodness, Even for his Enemies

Even this is a sunni site check this out sister, and you will see that our prophet has a good character.

Thats all for today sister, i hope i answered your first question through the will of Allah.

insha Allah i will answer the rest of your questions next time.

i want to ask your pardon if sometimes you do not understand my english, it is because i am a filipino and my english is not good sometimes.

We love you sister for the sake of Allah.

Asalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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There is no consensus on the Prophet's illiteracy. Some believe he was literate. I think he memorized the verses. In that time, there were a very few literate people in Saudi.

Quran refers to itself as "kitab". Maybe in that time, "ketab" had a broader meaning, not simply a "book" (maybe it referd to any kind of written text). It was recorded by Imam Ali, Othman, ... . Angels dont lack free will, they lack lust.

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Salaam!

1) Was the prophet illiterate? If so, why did G-d give these revelations to a prophet that was illiterate and so couldn't write down the text?  And how would one then explain this illiteracy since Islam values education and literacy so much?

Yes he was illiterate.  And so were many of the Arabs.  Mainly because they hardly needed to write anything down.  They burned everything they needed to know into their minds, they were characterized by having tenacious memorizing capabilities, and they learned everything orally.  Contrary to what we modernists imagine, writing is in fact a concession to human weakness.  To truly know something is to first of all be able to memorize it and make it part of ones body.  Even today, if we look at how traditional Muslims study Islamic studies in places like Mauritania children are taught to memorize entire texts.  The traditional of studying Arabic grammar, for example, is to memorize an entire text (matn).  And the students learn it directly from a teacher orally.  One has not mastered a science unless they have learned it orally from a teacher who learned it from his teacher and so on.  The Quran was revealed orally because people were living in an oral tradition.  

2) Why did the Qur'an refer to itself as "the book" when it wasn't yet recorded and just orally transmitted at that time?

A book doesn't necessarily mean a written book.  It can be a recited book.  

The whole cosmos (everything other than God) can be regarded as a book.  Because each thing that exists is a word that God spoke.  god created each thing by speaking it (be and it is).  So the entire world (s) from beginning to end can be an entire book because each thing related to one another just like how words relate to one another to for sentences, paragraphs, and chapters.  The things of this world are also connected and are integrated into higher levels of existence (from the corporeal, to the barzakh, to the heavens).  The book of the cosmos has its ultimate meaning in its the Author (I.e. God). 

The human being also can be understood as a book because his body which is divisible into many parts are harmonizes through the soul which is in turn integrated into the spirit, which is in turn nothing but the breath of God.  So the meaning of the book of the human being is it's Author (I.e. God). 

This is why Imam Ali (as) says in a poem in his diwan :”You think you are just this insignificant speck but within thee is encapsulated the greatest universe. So you are the manifest book (referring to the Qur’an, the book which makes clear).

3) Read a hadith about an angel that procrastinated and was punished- I thought angels lacked free will?!?

We can say that angels have limited free will.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

1) The accused illiterately of prophet has been discussed many times here but the video below explains it well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBQBPFhag7Y

2) The entire Quran was revealed to prophet on laylatul qadr according Shia beliefs then it was gradually revealed again as it applied. That is why Allah (swt) said "Surely We revealed it on the grand night"

3) Can you bring that hadith? But so you know, I was taught angels have free will but what they don't have is lust and desire. So although they can refuse an order but they won't because they don't have desire not to do so. But I really like to hear about the hadith.

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(salam)

As brother Ahmed quoted above, in the Qura'aan, the Holy Prophet (saww) has been called Ummi. This is where the whole idea of the Holy Prophet (saww) being illiterate comes from. Now the word ummi can be translated to uneducated, Illiterate, or unlathered but keeping in mind ummi can mean different things as well as its very confusing. I believe the correct translation should be "uninstructed" as he (saww) was not taught by anyone except Allah swt.

Being a controversial topic of course not everyone would agree but using the word "ummi" as a base for believing that the Holy Prophet (saww) "could not" read and write is wrong in my opinion. The Qura'an and the words of Ma'sumeen (as) prove this.

Qura'aan says : Were it not for Allah’s grace and His mercy on you, a group of them were bent on leading youastray; but they do not mislead anyone except themselves, and they cannot do you any harm. Allah hassent down to you the Book and wisdom, and He has taught you what you did not know, and great isAllah’s grace upon you. Suran Nisa (5:113) Translated by Sayyid Ali Quli Qara'i.

This verse clearly shows that the Holy Prophet (saww) was taught by Allah (swt) alone! and not by anyone else. We believe that the Holy Prophet (saww) is the word of Allah swt and he (saww) does not speak from his own will. Qura'an: Nor does he speak out of [his own] desire. (53:3)

Brother Ahmad also used verse from chapter 29 ayat 48

"And you did not recite before it any book, nor did you transcribe one with your right hand, for then could those who say untrue things have doubted."

I dont think this verse means that he (saww) was an illiterate person and it certainly does not mean you can go as far as calling the person "foolish" for believing he (saww) was fully capable of reading and writing, rather this verse was revealed to nullify the claims of the non believers that the Holy Qura'an is the work of Holy Prophet (saww) na'uzubillah.

Now from the words of the Ma'asumeen (as)

Hadeeth 1:

Narrated Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sufi:

I asked Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ali al-Rida, peace be upon them both, saying: "O son of the Allah's Apostle, why was the Prophet called the Ummi?" He answered: "What do the people say?". I said: "They claim that he was called the Ummi because he was illiterate." He replied: "They lie! May the curse of Allah be upon them for this. Allah has clearly said in His Book: "He it is Who sent among the Ummi a Messenger from among themselves, to recite to them His Verses (i.e. the Qur'an), to purify them, to teach them the book (i.e. literacy) and to teach them wisdom (i.e. knowledge and ethics). [Qur'an 62:2]." How would he teach what he himself could not do? By Allah, Allah's Apostle used to read and write in 72, or he said 73, languages. He was called the Ummi because he was from Makkah. Makkah is one of the mother (umm) towns, and this is why Allah the High and Exalted said: 'So that you (Muhammad) may warn the mother (umm) town (i.e. Makkah) and whoever is round about it'."

Al-Sadooq, Ilal Al-Sharaa’i`, vol. 1, ch. 105, Pg. 124/125 hadeeth # 1 (Chapter on the reason for the Prophet (saww) being named Al-Ummi)

Hadeeth 2:

From Hishaam bin Saalim from Abee Abd Allaah (عليه السلام) said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to (or, would) read/recite the book, but not write.”

Al-Sadooq, Ilal Al-Sharaa’i`, vol. 1, ch. 105, pg. 126, hadeeth # 6

The Infallible Prophet (saww) who was sent by the Almighty Allah swt to teach mankind the book and wisdom can not be incapable of reading or writing. The words of the Ma'asumeen (as) have proved this as well. He was fully capable of reading and writing in my opinion however he did not "choose" to write. This does not mean he "couldn't write" I'm sure him being the Prophet of God and all he had his reason not to physically write something as that would cause people to think of him as the author of the Qura'an Na'zubillah. It is therefore my belief he was fully literate (reading and writing) but chose not to write.

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Just a few questions I'd like some clarification on...

I've been trying to build a stronger foundation and so I hope people can have some patience and finesse when asking the questions below

1) Was the prophet illiterate? If so, why did G-d give these revelations to a prophet that was illiterate and so couldn't write down the text? And how would one then explain this illiteracy since Islam values education and literacy so much?

The Quran referd to him(saws) being illiterate. Your standard mosque lecture says that because poetry was the intellectual accomplishment of that time and place, then a nabi who recites anything far better than their poems and by an illiterate is an ayatollah. Similarly, Musa(as) with the staff/pole turning into a snake and swallowing the magicians ropes and his hand turning white. This was also far beyond anything men could do. Inshallah, Hojjatallh will have something of the same nature.

2) Why did the Qur'an refer to itself as "the book" when it wasn't yet recorded and just orally transmitted at that time?

Allah(swt) knows. The first reveal Sura, Iqra, means/commands "recite".

3) Read a hadith about an angel that procrastinated and was punished- I thought angels lacked free will?!?

You need to cite and note the grade of this hadith.

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In His Name the Most High,

All praise is due to Allah, may peace be upon Muhammad and his pure progeny and may the curse of Allah be upon their enemies.

Asalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

I have read a link from al-qatrah.net that is related in your question.

try to read this... http://www.alqatrah.net/en/question/index.php?id=77

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Sayed kamaal Al Haidari very popular scholar in the middle east believes that this is an accusation to say that the prophet was illeterate. He used the thaqalayn hadeeth for proof that the prophet said i have left upon to you the quran and the ahl al bayt. The fact that he said i have left upon to you the quraan this dissproves that he was illeterate or that the sahaabas collected the quraan...

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