Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins

Front Cover
ISI Books, 2012 - History - 254 pages

Are jihadists dying for a fiction? Everything you thought you knew about Islam is about to change.

Did Muhammad exist?

It is a question that few have thought--or dared--to ask. Virtually everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, takes for granted that the prophet of Islam lived and led in seventh-century Arabia.

But this widely accepted story begins to crumble on close examination, as Robert Spencer shows in his eye-opening new book.

In his blockbuster bestseller The Truth about Muhammad, Spencer revealed the shocking contents of the earliest Islamic biographical material about the prophet of Islam. Now, in Did Muhammad Exist?, he uncovers that material's surprisingly shaky historical foundations. Spencer meticulously examines historical records, archaeological findings, and pioneering new scholarship to reconstruct what we can know about Muhammad, the Qur'an, and the early days of Islam. The evidence he presents challenges the most fundamental assumptions about Islam's origins.

Did Muhammad Exist? reveals:

*How the earliest biographical material about Muhammad dates from at least 125 years after his reported death
*How six decades passed before the Arabian conquerors--or the people they conquered--even mentioned Muhammad, the Qur'an, or Islam
*The startling evidence that the Qur'an was constructed from existing materials--including pre-Islamic Christian texts
*How even Muslim scholars acknowledge that countless reports of Muhammad's deeds were fabricated
*Why a famous mosque inscription may refer not to Muhammad but, astonishingly, to Jesus
*How the oldest records referring to a man named Muhammad bear little resemblance to the now-standard Islamic account of the life of the prophet
*The many indications that Arabian leaders fashioned Islam for political reasons

Far from an anti-Islamic polemic, Did Muhammad Exist? is a sober but unflinching look at the origins of one of the world's major religions. While Judaism and Christianity have been subjected to searching historical criticism for more than two centuries, Islam has never received the same treatment on any significant scale.

The real story of Muhammad and early Islam has long remained in the shadows. Robert Spencer brings it into the light at long last.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - liehtzu - www.librarything.com

This one of a series of recent books examining the historical basis for the start, and amazing spread, of Islam; if you are firm in your monotheistic faith this is not for you unless you wish that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phyzics - www.librarything.com

“Did Muhammad exist? The full truth of whether a prophet named Muhammad lived in seventh-century Arabia, and if he did, what sort of a man he was, may never be known. But it would be intellectually ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Robert Spencer is the author of several critically acclaimed books about Islam, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth about Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is a columnist for FrontPage Magazine and the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Spencer holds a master's degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth for more than three decades.

Bibliographic information