Note 070
From Chapter 50 of the Decline & Fall

Those who believe that Mahomet could read or write are incapable of reading what is written with another pen, in the Suras, or chapters of the Koran, vii. xxix. xcvi. These texts, and the tradition of the Sonna, are admitted, without doubt, by Abulfeda (in Vit. vii.), Gagnier (Not. ad Abulfed. p. 15), Pocock (Specimen, p. 151), Reland (de Religione Mohammedica, p. 236), and Sale (Preliminary Discourse, p. 42). Mr. White, almost alone, denies the ignorance, to accuse the imposture, of the prophet. His arguments are far from satisfactory. Two short trading journeys to the fairs of Syria were surely not sufficient to infuse a science so rare among the citizens of Mecca: it was not in the cool, deliberate act of treaty, that Mahomet would have dropped the mask; nor can any conclusion be drawn from the words of disease and delirium. The lettered youth, before he aspired to the prophetic character, must have often exercised, in private life, the arts of reading and writing; and his first converts, of his own family, would have been the first to detect and upbraid his scandalous hypocrisy (White's Sermons, p. 203, 204, Notes, p. xxxvi. - xxxviii.).

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