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180 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book--couldn't put it down, April 22, 2012
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This review is from: Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins (Hardcover)
I pre-ordered this book and when it finally arrived I found myself riveted to every page.

People have long questioned whether Moses or Jesus existed, why not the same question about Mohammed? Why has it taken so long to ask?

Spencer does an amazing job showing that there is, in fact, no historical evidence at all that Mohammed ever existed, and that the tales about him were written long after he was dead and were often fabricated to justify one tribe's actions over another. Even the stories about Mecca being an important center of trade appear to be fabricated as its location would preclude it from serving this purpose.

Brilliant book. I hope other scholars will follow Spencer's lead and make more critical investigations into the origins of Islam.

Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 26, 2012 9:11:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:15:33 AM PDT
Heather Hill says:
The question of Muhammad's existence as a historical person is a very interesting one, as is that of the correct translation/interpretation of the Quran. A number of other scholars have addressed these questions; Robert spencer isn't the first one. I suspect he has used Christoph Luxenberg's book on the Syro-Aramaic reading of the Quran. Norbert Pressburg's "Goodbye, Muhammed," very persuasively argues that for the first two centuries after the supposed founding of Islam, it was actually an Arab-Christian, Monarchian sect (did not believe in the Trinity) that thus distanced itself from both Rome and Byzantium, not becoming what we today would term "Islamic" until the end of the ninth century. For those who have read Dante, the idea that Muslims were schismatic Christians is reflected in the fact that both Muhammed and Ali are placed in the inferno for having divided Christianity. Pressburg gives very convincing evidence that the Dome of the Rock and even the Kaaba were originally Arab-Christian churches; there are still the visible remnants of an apse at one end of the latter, and the inscription in the Dome of the Rock, when read in Syro-Aramaic translation, is actually a Christian confession of faith.
Unfortunately, Pressburg has not yet been translated into English and is only available in German so far, whereas Luxenberg's "The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Qur'an," appeared in English in 2007.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 9:12:08 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:12:58 AM PDT]

Posted on May 7, 2012 7:32:59 AM PDT
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