Inventing Muhammad?

Why would it matter if Muhammad never existed?  Certainly the accepted story of Islam's origins is taken for granted as historically accurate; while many don't accept Muhammad's claim to have been a prophet, few doubt that there was a man named Muhammad who in the early seventh century began to claim that he was receiving messages from Allah through the angel Gabriel.  Many who hear about my new book Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins ask why it would matter whether or not Muhammad existed -- after all, a billion Muslims believe he did, and they are not going to stop doing so because of some historical investigations.  Yet the numerous indications that the standard account of Muhammad's life is more legend than fact actually have considerable implications for the contemporary political scene. These are just a few of the weaknesses in the traditional account of Muhammad's life and the early days of Islam: No record of Muhammad's reported death...(Read Full Article)

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