Responses to Islamic Awareness

What About Salmān - The Persian?


The "Islamic Awareness" team objects to the theory that Salmān the Persian helped Muhammad write his Qur'an and attempts to rescue the Qur'an from this theory.

Salmān, who had been a Zoroastrian before accepting Christianity in Syria, later moved on to Medina where he met the Prophet(P) and accepted Islam. Salmān's life is documented in Islamic history, notably as the very first person to propose digging a trench for the defense of Medina when the city was threatened with invasion by the Meccan disbelievers and their allies. His bright suggestion, coupled with violent wintry gales, successfully repelled the enemy.

The "Islamic Awareness" team defends Muhammad and the Qur'an with the following argument:

It is well known to Muslims that the greater part of the Qur'ān, i.e., about two thirds of it, was revealed in Mecca before the Prophet(P) migrated to Medina (this includes the stories of Biblical Prophets!), where Salmān met him.

Salman the Persian did, in fact, first meet Muhammad when he arrived at Yathrib (Medina):

At that time the Prophet was inviting his people in Makkah to Islam but I did not hear anything about him then because of the harsh duties which slavery imposed upon me.

When the Prophet reached Yathrib after his hijrah from Makkah, I was in fact at the top of a palm tree belonging to my master doing some work. My master was sitting under the tree. (Source: "Companions of The Prophet", Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid)

The Inductive Fallacy of an Unrepresentative Sample

It is also true that most of the Qur'an is composed of Meccan Suras. It is also true that most of the information concerning the Prophets are found in the Meccan Suras. However, when we look at the Suras given to us by the "Islamic Awareness" site, we find something interesting. The "Islamic Awareness" team commits a fallacy of an unrepresentative sample because, although most of the information concerning the Prophets are in Meccan Suras, most of the information concerning Jesus are found in Medinan Suras! Only two of the eight passages cited are Meccan: Suras 19:16-40 and 21:90-91. These verses describe the events leading up to the birth of Jesus with details similar to the Christian Apocrypha. The Medinan Suras (3:33-62; 5:72-77; 5:110-120; 4:156-159; 61:14; and 57:27) are clearly in the majority.

The fallacies of Style Over Substance and ad hominem

Furthermore, the Book's literary style is so sublime that even born Arab linguists who have tried over the years to imitate it have not been successful - to say nothing of a Persian.

Beauty is in the eyes and ears of the beholder, I am more interested in the message than in the style. However, the claim that the Qur'an's style cannot be imitated is simply not true (see this link, and also the whole discussion about the so-called Miracle of the Qur'an).

I also believe it unnecessary to insult the Persians and their ability to learn other languages. Persians are capable of learning Arabic, as well as other languages. Apparently, Salman the Persian was able to learn a sufficient amount of Arabic to enable him to survive in the Hijaz, even more, to become a noted companion of Muhammad. The same Style Over Substance fallacy is found also in their response on the Ten Wise Jews.


The "Islamic Awareness" team constructed another argument based on a number of logical fallacies. Clearly, the majority of the material in the Qur'an concerning Jesus dates from the Medina Period, when Muhammad knew Salman. Does this prove that Salman taught Muhammad information concerning Jesus? No, but it certainly provides support to the theory that Salman may have imparted knowledge to Muhammad, and completely destroys the "Islamic Awareness" team's claims that he could not have influenced Muhammad.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Islamic Awareness
Answering Islam Home Page