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Did Mohammed Believe in Himself?
However strange it may appear, the heavenly origin of his revelations, obtained though they were from fallible and imperfect sources, appears to have been believed by Mohammed himself.
It would be against the analogy of his entire life, to suppose a continuing sense of fraud — a consciousness that the whole was a fabrication of his own mind, an imposition upon his followers, an impious assumption of the name of the Almighty. Occasional doubts and misgivings, especially when he first submitted to Jewish promting, there may have been; but a process similar to that by which he first assured himself of his own inspiration, quickly put them to flight. The absence of spiritual light and of opportunities for obtaining it which excused this marvelous self-deception in the early prophetical life of Mohammed, cannot be pleaded for his later years. Ignorance was no longer then involuntary. The means of reaching a truer knowledge lay plentifully within his reach. But they were not heeded; or rather they were deliberately rejected, because a position had been already taken up from which there could be no receding without discredit or inconsistency.
The living inspiration of God vouch-safed to himself was surely better and more safe than the recorded revelations of former prophets; it was at any rate more incomparable more authoritative than the uncertain doctrines deduced from them by their erring adherents. Thus did ignorance become wilful. Light was at hand; but Mohammed preferred darkness. He chose to walk “in the glimmerings of his own fire, and in the sparks which he had kindled.” — Muir’s Life of Mohammed.
Richland County Observer (Richland Center, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1858