What else do they allege? ‘Yet they turn away from him and say: “Tutored (by others), a man possessed!”’ Sura 44:14. In S25:8 they call him a man bewitched. Perhaps his message is demonic, they suggest. Mohammed himself regarded his first revelation as such, before others convinced him otherwise. (Being demon possessed or even insane would remove the culpability. He could be sincerely wrong.) But studying other sources and having regular times when the revelations are worked on seems too rational to be driven by insanity or demon possession.
C.S. Lewis made a point about a man who outrageously claims to be sent from God. In Mere Christianity, the possibilities are that he is a con man, insane, or speaking the truth. These disbelievers grasped that in the seventh century. Mohammed claimed to be from the same God who sent the prior prophets, but didn’t have their stories straight. Inaccuracies led the hearers to distrust his message, discarding the third option of one who is telling the truth. The Koran reports they argued whether he was a poet possessed or a liar.
Carolyn James is a pen name for a writer who is passionate about her family, her faith, and apologetics.