Pearl of Wisdom

'He is the All-hearing but not by means of any organ.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 152

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Question : #198 Category: Islamic History
Subject: Prophet Muhammad was uneducated?
Question: Assalamualaikum'

Why did Angel Jibreel forced Muhammad(SAW) to read, when he knew that he was uneducated? What was the moral/lesson behind this?

Answer: A common misnomer that is widespread about the final Messenger of God is that he was illiterate. With some research, the notion of the illiteracy of the Prophet can be refuted.

The Prophet may not have normally exercised reading and writing in public, but there were exceptions even to this. F
urthermore, the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt peace be upon them were asked about the meaning of the Ummi in the phrase Ummi Prophet from the Holy Quran, and they replied, By Allah, he could read and write in seventy languages.

As for the word Ummi in the title the Ummi Prophet, it is the association to Umm al-Qura, another name the City of Makkah is known for. The Ummi Prophet means the Prophet who is a citizen of Umm al-Qura.

Further, the Prophet (pbuh) was a well know trader/commerce merchant which would require to the minimum some form of reading and writing skills. And the Hadiths mentions The Prophet (pbuh) as the City of Knowledge..., this would further proof that he could not have been an illetrate.

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