Bel'am, Yaish, Addas, Yessar, Cebr, Salman the Persian.
What does the Quran say about this?
The ?God ? in the Quran explains this with the customary oath:
We take an oath that we know they (the unbelievers) say, ?A mortal taught him,? but the man to whom they allude speaks a foreign tongue, while this (The Quran) is eloquent Arabic speech. (Nahl (The Bee), verse: 103)
In the verses following the one above, the ?infidels? are threatened and defined as ?liars?, ?slanderers? and they are informed that ?a grievous punishment? awaits them.
In the verse above, it is said that the person who was said to be instructing Muhammad was a foreigner, not an Arab.
Some people claim that it was a Greek slave named Bel'am who taught Muhammad.
Muhammad?s cousin Ibn Abbas conveys:
The Prophet was teaching a slave in Mecca. The slave was a foreigner. He was worshipping idols. His name was Bel?am. The idolaters saw him when he was going in to pay a visit to Muhammad or while he was leaving. And they said, ?The one who taught Muhammad everything was Bel?am.? (See Taberi, Cami?ul-Beyan, 14/119).
Some sources indicate that other slaves named Yaish and Cebr could have been teaching Mohammad, too.
It is also possible that the teachers of Muhammad could have been CEBR, YESSAR, and ADDAS, who were all from Yemen.
The Hadramis had two young slaves. One of these two was Yessar and the other one was Cebr, both of whom were from Yemen. The testimony of the owners of those two slaves is as follows:
We had two young slaves. They read their books in their own language. Prophet Muhammad used to visit and listen to them. Just for this reason, the idolaters said, ?Muhammad is learning from them?? (Tebari, 14/119).
In the quotation from Fahruddin Razi, there is a 3rd slave: Huvaytıb?s slave Addas. (See F. Razi, interpretation, 24/50)
It is noticeable that whether Greek or Yemeni, the viewpoints about the relationship between Muhammad and the slaves were different.
The viewpoints of Muslims regarding this relationship are somewhat different than the viewpoints of the idolaters, who the Muslims called ?infidels?.
According to some Muslims, there was a relationship of ?teaching and learning? between Muhammad and the slaves, but the teacher was Muhammad, the learners were the slaves. According to idolaters, the truth was just the opposite. That is, the teachers were the slaves. Muhammad was learning from them.
According to some other Muslims, the relationship between Muhammad and the slaves never went beyond a ?reading- listening? relationship. The slaves read their holy books in their own language, and ?the Prophet? only ?listened? to them.
However Muslims cannot answer the following questions:
* If Muhammad did not know their language, what was Muhammad constantly doing amongst them? And what benefits did Muhammad get by listening to the slaves if he did not know their language?
* In short, the defence Muslims put forward is far from logic. From where does the Muslims? faith come?
Muhammad?s own explanation to this question is very illuminating:
?The Moslems? faith is from Yemen.?
The following hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) exists in the books of Hadiths containing the contribution of Buhari?s ?e?s-Sahih? and is regarded as the most authoritative. According to this hadith, ?wisdom? is also from Yemen. What is more, ?canon law? comes from Yemen, too. (See Buhari, e?s-Sahih, Kitabu?l-Meğazi/74; Tecrid, hadith no: 1362; Muslim, e?s-Sahih, Kitabu?l-Iman/81-91, the hadith n: 51-52 and other books of hadiths.)
This hadith, according to researchers, is amongst the ?mutevatır hadiths (it is quoted directly from Muhammad), conveyed from the most reliable sources, and it was conveyed from eleven people who were all the Prophet?s friends. (See, Ebu'l-Feyz Muhammad, Lukatu'l-Lai'l-M?tenasire Fi Ahadisi'l-Mutevatıre, Beirut, 1985, p.42-43, hadith no: 10).
Some commentators, with some far-fetched interpretations, try to show that what?s meant with Yemen here is ?Mecca and Medina?. (See, Tecrid, 1362 numbered hadith, explanation of Kamil Miras). But in some quotations of the hadith, it is clear that the place mentioned here is Yemen that is known to anyone in geographic sense.
So, according to this hadith, with ?faith?, ?wisdom? and ?comprehension (fıkh) (here fıkh should be used in its dictionary meaning)? Islam originated from Yemen, so it was foreign to Arabs.
The one who taught Muhammad was a Persian called Salman or? (Selman Farisi)
Some agree that the foreigner who taught Muhammad was the one who was mentioned in Nahl Sura (The Bee), verse 103 is Salman the Persian. (See, Taberi, the same reference above).
It is known by everyone that Salman later identifies himself as a Muslim and becomes famous among Muslims, and has a close relationship and co-operation with Muhammad. Being a Muslim provides him with many benefits; first, freedom, that is to say getting out of slavery. Later, fame, esteem, and material and moral benefits?
It is also claimed by some that the foreigner who is said to have taught Muhammad was a ?scribe?, who was converted to Islam first but later left this belief. (see, Taberi, the same reference). This is what happens to the ?scribe?;
This slave first becomes a Muslim. He also co-operates with Muhammad like Salman did. But later, something happens and he denounces Islam and makes an explanation:
?It was me who taught Muhammad and whatever I taught him took place in the Quran as revelations??
Shortly afterwards, the man either died or was killed. As for his corpse, somehow it never stayed where it was buried.
Muhammad?s men were spreading rumours:
?This event is the reflection of God?s wrath. The man angered God very much. Now the situation is apparent. He is buried, but the earth does not, cannot admit him. The earth is afraid of God. For this reason, it rejects the unbeliever. This should be ?taken as a warning from God to others??
The man was buried but after a few days, in the morning he was seen lying out of the grave. This happened a few times. (The fact that the corpse was found out of the grave specially in the mornings arises suspicion because it is a high possibility that Muhammad?s followers took the corpse out at night by digging the grave. If it was God who took out the corpse to give warning, why did he do it at night?) Certainly the dark was the best condition to conceal the truth.
One of Muhammad?s friends Enes (son of Malik), a long time later, would narrate the event as follows:
There was a man from the House of Neccar?He was a Christian, who later became Muslim. He read Al Baqara and Ali Imran Suras. He also wrote revelations for the Prophet. Later, he converted back to Christianity. He started to say, ?Muhammad only knows what I taught him. He does not know anything else. (See, Buhari, e's-Sahih, Kitabu'l Menakıb/25,v.4,p.181-182;Tecrid, hadith no: 1477)
According to Enes, God got angry with this man and killed him by breaking his neck. The Christians buried him. In the morning, however, they found his corpse outside the grave. And the corpse was without a shroud. The Christians said, ?Muhammad?s men took off his shroud, and left him just like that.? They buried the man again, deeper this time. The next morning, the same thing happened. Later, again the Christians buried him, even deeper. The next morning, the same situation and the same speculations.... Then they thought that it would go on like that, so they gave up burying the corpse.
However there was another man who said similar things like the man from the House of Naccar. He was Abdullah, son of Sa?d son of Ebu Serh. But he did not experience the same faith as the man from the House of Naccar although Muhammad declared his execution. By means of the mediation of his foster brother Othman, he was forgiven. Later, he even became the Governor of Egypt. (Death, 656-657. See Islam Encyclopaedia).
The answer in the verse
How satisfactory is the answer in the Quran to the people who claim that it was a mortal ? not God - who taught Muhammad?
The answer, as can be inferred from the verse cited above, is as follows;
The person who is claimed to have taught Muhammad is not an Arab but the Quran is in clear Arabic, so it can?t be him who taught Muhammad.
However, a foreigner who knew Arabic could have given Muhammad some information from ?the rumours of the old?; from the Torah, the Bible and other ?holy texts?. This is what has been put forward.
Isn?t it possible that Muhammad presented the information that he got from others in his own style by pouring them into Arabic moulds.
Moreover, even Muslim researchers write with examples that the ?clear Arabic? Quran contains many words from different languages like ?Hebrew?, ?Greek?, ?Syrian?, and ?Coptic?? (See, Suyuti, el Itkan Fi Ulumi?l-Kur?an, Arabic, Egypt, 1978, 1/178-185)
Doesn?t the presence of so many foreign words in the Quran support the allegation that ?a foreigner? (or foreigners) gave information to Muhammad?
It is also possible that one or more Arabs did teach Muhammad as well as some foreigners. One example that is very important for Islam was a man called ?Museylime?. Museylime was a degrading name. In addition, Muslims called Museylime ?a big liar?. This is a blasphemy for a Muslim. It is clear that his name was ?Muslim?. It is very important to notice that his name takes us to the roots of the words ?Islam? and ?Muslim?.
This man who was degraded and looked down on by Muslims was called ?Compassionate?. He was also called ?The Compassionate of Yemame?. In fact the man was well known with this name. This is also very interesting.
Another interesting thing is these words that people from Mecca say to Muhammad:
According to the information we have received, the one who teaches you is that man of Yemame, the man called Rahman (not God). We tell you this under oath to God, we don?t believe Rahman. (see, Ibn Ishak, Siyer, verification and stall: Muhammad Hamidullah, Arabic, Konya, 1981, p.180, paragraph: 254).
Is there no ground for people of Mecca to say this?
Museylime, actually ?Muslim ?, or with his other name ?Rahman?, was from The House of Hanife, which belongs to Yemame tribe. Interesting three names: ?Muslim?, ?Hanife?, ?Rahman?. These names, especially when the first two come together, become more interesting.
In the Quran, Abraham, who was introduced as the ?name father? for the ?Muslims?, (See, Hacc, verse: 78), was called as both ?Hanif? and ?Muslim?. (See, Bakara: 135; Ali Imran: 67, 95; Nisa: 125; En'am:161; Nahl: 120,123.). Abraham is the Prophet of Sabii Religion, which short means ?star worshipping?. This is the conclusion that I reach by research from the Islam sources: Muhammad was also called a Sabii when he first appeared in his struggle.(see, Buhari, e?s-Sahih, Kitabu?t Teyemm?m, /6, v.1, p.89). The language of Sabii Religion is also Syriac. ?Islam?, ?Muslim?, ?Hanif? and ?Rahman? come from this language just like ?Allah?, ?Quran?, Furkan?, ?Book?, ?angel? and so many other words (See Aziz G?nel,The History of Turk Syrians, Diyarbakır,1970,p.46-48;Suyuti el Itkan,1/180-184;Orientalist Arthur Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Quran,Kahire,1938,p.12 and others).
Likewise, from my research I have concluded: ?Star Worshipping?, while it became an institution as a religion, and a source for Christianity and Judaism, also comprised the Muslims and the Hanifs in the Middle East. First there were Muslims, and then Hanifs, a subdivision, appeared. Abraham was the Prophet of this subdivision. Muslim (Museylime) known as ?Rahman of Yemame? and Muhammad, who had obviously learned many things from him, belonged to this subdivision. (For further information about Sabii Religion, see, Eren Kutsuz-Turan Dursun, 'Sa?ak Magazine', February 1988, volume: 49.)
Rahman of Yemame could have been only one of the sources that Muhammad benefited from. Of all the people mentioned above and others, either just one of them or all together, could have been ?teachers? of Muhammad. According to 4th verse of Al Furqan Sura, Muhammad?s helpers, in other words his teachers, were described as ?a community?, in other words ?a group of people?. This verse and two verses following this one means;
?Deniers claim ?this Quran is the fabrication of Muhammad. A group of people have helped him.? They said, ?The Quran is full of stories from the past. Others wrote it and read it to him all the time.? O, Muhammad, say, ?The Quran has come from the one who knows the secrets of the earth and the skies?. Without a doubt, he is the forgiver? ?(Al Furqan, verse: 4-6).(Official translation of the Quran by the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey)
People who say the Quran is a ?fabrication? also say the following:
1. A group of people helped Muhammad,
2. Muhammad got the Quran verses from others and had them written down,
3. The verses were constantly read to Muhammad day and night,
4. ?The verses consist of ?the tales of the old?.
As a counter argument, the Quran says:
?Those are lies and unfair claims. God brought down the verses of the Quran. He knows the secret of the earth and the skies.? Son of Hars Nadr felt the need to warn people in Mecca when Muhammad started to introduce himself as ?God?s Prophet? by putting himself in a rank between God and people, and undertaking the task of delivering God?s messages to people. And he said :
Never believe this man. All the things he puts forward and claims are from old tales. I can tell you more beautiful things than he can.? Nadr told them that he could tell them stories from Persian Tales, which were about the Persian Kings and heroes. (See, Taberi, Camin?l-Beyan, 18/137-138)
Was Nadr right?
Does anything from the tales of the old exist in the Quran?
As it is known, in the Quran there are a lot of stories called ?kıssa?. Many of them take place, firstly in the Torah, in Jewish sources, and some in the Bible. When examined, some of those stories are the same as the tales of the past long before the Torah. For example, the tale about ?the Deluge? is almost the same in the Gilgamesh Legend. There are many more examples.
At the time of Muhammad, there were many believers of different religions in and around Mecca and Medina. The number of these people who knew old tales and ?holy writings? were not in short supply. It is known that there were some slaves who had this knowledge and that Muhammad promised to set them free and worked with them. Bel'am, Yaish, Yessar, Addas, Cebr and Salman the Persian are some of those slaves mentioned above in this article...
To think that they or some others helped Muhammad to create the Quran is not far from intelligence. Intelligence and logic can?t accept the claim that ?a god? sends messages from the skies choosing this person or that as a messenger. Human?s intelligence cannot accept such a thing but ?faith?, which has nothing to do with intelligence, can.