Note [original edition] :
This was a great objection made by the Meccans
to the authority of
; for when Mohammed
insisted, as a proof of its divine original, that
it was impossible a man so utterly unacquainted with learning as himself could
compose such a book, they replied, that he had one or more assistants in the
forgery; but as to the particular person or persons suspected of this
confederacy, the traditions differ. One says it was Jabar
, a Greek,
to Amer Ebn al Hadrami,
who could read and write well3
another, that they
were Jabar and Yesâr, two slaves who followed the trade of sword-cutlers at
and used to read the Pentateuch
and gospel, and had often Mohammed
their auditor, when he passed that way4
Another tells us, it was one Aïsh
, a domestic of al Haweiteb Ebn Abd al Uzza,
who was a man of some
learning, and had embraced Mohammedism
Another supposes it was one Kais, a
whose house Mohammed
another, that it was Addâs, a
servant of Otba Ebn Rabîa
and another, that it was Salmân the Persian
According to some Christian
Abdallah Ebn Salâm,
was so intimate with Mohammed
(named by one, according to the Hebrew
Abdias Ben Salon and by another, Abdala Celen), was assisting to him in the
compiling his pretended revelations. This Jew
Dr. Prideaux confounds with
Salmân the Persian,
who was a very different man, as a late author
observed before me; wherefore, and for that we may have occasion to speak of
Salmân hereafter, it may be proper to add a brief extract of his story as told
by himself. He was of a good family of Ispahan, and, in his younger years,
left the religion of his country to embrace Christianity; and travelling into
was advised by a certain monk of Amuria to go into Arabia,
prophet was expected to arise about that time, who should establish the
religion of Abraham
; and whom he should know, among other things, by the seal
of prophecy between his shoulders. Salmân performed the journey, and meeting
at Koba, where he rested in his flight to Medina,
soon found him
to be the person he sought, and professed Islâm11
The general opinion of the Christians,
however is, that the chief help
had in the contriving his Korân,
was from a Nestorian monk named
Sergius, supposed to be the same person with the monk Boheira, with whom
in his younger years had some conference, at Bosra, a city of Syria
Damascena, where that monk resided1
To confirm which supposition, a passage has been produced from an Arab
that Boheira’s name in the books of the Christians,
is Sergius; but this is
only a conjecture; and another
tells us, his true name was Saïd, or Felix,
and his surname Boheira. But be that as it will, if Boheira and Sergius were
the same man, I find not the least intimation in the Mohammedan
he ever quitted his monastery to go into Arabia
(as is supposed by the
); and his acquaintance with Mohammed
at Bosra was too early to
favour the surmise of his assisting him in the Korân,
which was composed long
after; though Mohammed
might, from his discourse, gain some knowledge of
Christianity and of the scriptures, which might be of use to him therein.
From the answer given in this passage of the Korân
to the objection of
the infidels, viz. that the person suspected by them to have a hand in the
spoke a foreign language, and therefore could not, with any face of
probability, be supposed to assist in a composition written in the Arabic
tongue, and with so great elegance, it is plain this person was no Arabian
The word Ajami, which is here used, signifies any foreign or barbarous
language in general; but the Arabs
applying it more particularly to the
it has been thence concluded by some that Salmân was the person;
however, if it be true that he came not to Mohammed
till after the Hejra,
either he could not be the man here intended, or else this verse must have
been revealed at Medina,
contrary to the common opinion.
Al Zamakhshari, Al Beidawi, Yahya.
Al Zamakh. Al Beidawi. See Prid. Life of Mah. p. 32.
Al Zamakh. Yahya.
Al Zamakh. Al Beidawi.
Ricardi Confut. Legis Saracenicæ, c. 13. Joh. Andreas, de Confus. Sectæ Mahometanæ, c. 2. See Prid. Life of Mah.
p. 33, 34.
Gagnier not. in Abulf. vit. Moh. p. 74.
Ex Ebn Ishak. V. Gagnier, ibid.
See Prid. ubi sup. p. 35, &c.
Gagnier, ubi sup. p. 10, 11. Marrac. de Alcor. p. 37.
Abu’l Hasan al Becri in Koran.