The Non-Historicity of Mohammed/Muhammad
A very courageous German Muslim "revert" scholar, now unconverted, came out publicly questioning the historical existence of Mohammed - and immediately went into hiding.German Muslim Says Mohammed Never Existed
Islamic Theologian’s Theory: It’s Likely the Prophet Muhammad Never Existed
MÜNSTER, Germany — Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany’s first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn’t like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.
So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.
Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn’t portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.
“We had no idea he would have ideas like this,” says Thomas Bauer, a fellow academic at Münster University who sat on a committee that appointed Prof. Kalisch. “I’m a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I’m not a Muslim.”
I have known about this debate for many years, having briefly raised it in an article with quotes from Islam
, specifically as concerns the Russian scholar N.A. Morozov:
...until the Crusades Islam was indistinguishable from Judaism and... only then did it receive its independent character, while Muhammad and the first Caliphs are mythical figures...
Apparently, Western scholarship has moved apace since then. In an article by Christopher Hitchens about the hopefully pending death of the Islamic Republic of Iran
, a commenter makes the following intriguing remarks:
Posted By: Oldspeak @ 01/03/2010 11:45:25 AM
It would probably be helpful if Westerners stopped indulging the notion that Mohammed was a real historical figure. He was made up by the late 7th century caliphate to justify rule along blood lines. Western scholars are skeptical of his historicism. There is no contemporary evidence that he existed. There are no writings of Mohammed, no eyewitness accounts, no contemporary references to him or his actions by historians (of which there were many) inside or outside that part of the world. There are no coins, no artifacts, no buildings in his name, nothing. His case is based strictly on hearsay, forgeries, and absurd interpretations of authentic documents (e.g., the Jacobi Doctrine), and the Mohammed story contradicts many known facts about the region at the time. For example, there was no Mecca in the early 7th century. The first references to him occur about five decades after his supposed death. The oldest known Koran, the Sana'a, was written on palimpset, an erasable parchment. The parchment dates from the late 7th century. The calligraphic writings on it date around 710 ACE, and there are differences with the standard Koran. This is best explained by an ambitious caliphate collating Christian-influenced religious doctrines that had been in circulation, and solidifying it with a compelling story of a divine prophet, to whom they claimed relation.
People have a right to believe what they want to believe, but if they are going to act violent based on certain doctrines, then I don't see that we have any choice but to discredit the doctrines.
The question is begged, of course, why Western scholars are so eager to apply serious scientific inquiry to the question of Mohammed's existence, while resisting with all their might the same logical study concerning Jesus Christ? Especially when there is in fact far more evidence for the existence of Mohammed than for Jesus?
This debate is a reflection of cultural programming pure and simple. Just remember that fact next time someone raises the tired and false argument that "no credible scholar questions the existence of Jesus Christ." I submit that the lack of questioning this historicity in the face of so little evidence is a sign that the scholar is not
Here is a long thread about the debate concerning Mohammed's historicity:Is Mohammed a Man or Myth?
Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt
? Try it - you'll like it: