Emile Dermenghem (1892-1971)

A prolific French writer and researcher, he wrote several books on Muslim culture including Vies des saints musulmans and Mahomet et la tradition islamique.

“The Koran is the only miracle performed by Mahomet. Its literary beauty, its irradiation, an enigma even today, have the power of putting those who recite it into a state of fervor, even if they are the least pious. And Mahomet defied either man or jinn to produce anything comparable; this was the proof that he offered of the authenticity of his mission. It is not a question of exceptional literary value. Mahomet despised poets and did not want to be ranked with them. This was altogether another thing; the difference between an inspiration coming from God or from the jinn. There is little doubt that each verse, even though it is related to some insignificant thing in his private life, shook him profoundly to the depths of his soul. Undoubtedly, too, .it is there that one should look for the secret of his influence and his prodigious success.

Today we cannot question his sincerity. His whole life, in spite of his faults (and he did not deny having faults), proves that he believed profoundly in his mission and that he accepted it heroically as a burden of which he was to bear the heaviest portion. His creative ability and the vastness of his genius, his great intelligence, his sense of the practical, his will, his prudence, his self-control and his activity, in short, the life he led makes it impossible to take this inspired mystic for a visionary epileptic”.

The Life of Mahomet, Emile Dermenghem, pg. 249-250; George Routledge & Sons. Ltd. London, 1930