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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  24 reviews
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
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published April 23rd 2012 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (first published April 9th 2012)
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Michael Morgan
The 'quest for the historical Jesus' is hardly thought of today as being particularly controversial. For well over a century books and articles have poured out sifting the evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. On the other hand Muhammad is generally assumed to be an historical figure - yet in fact the evidence for the Muhammad of the orthodox Muslim account is incredibly thin. In the 7th century Arabs conquered much of the Middle East. According to Muslims (and others who have been remarka ...more
Lee Boyland
A critical look into the story of Muhammad

The author continues his investigation into the origins of Islam with his latest work that shines a light into the murky accepted version of Muhammad and his creation of Islam. It is the sequel his book, THE TRUTH ABOUT MUHAMMAD.

Islam, unlike all other major religions, has never been subjected to critical analysis. Perhaps the reason is that any criticism of Islam’s prophet, or of Islam itself, is considered blasphemy. Critics, scholars, and even Muslims
Danusha Goska
Robert Spencer's 2012 book "Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins," citing peer-reviewed scholarship, makes a very strong case that everything previously believed about Islam, both by devout Muslims and secular historians, was invented to serve imperial, military, political ends. Islam was invented, Spencer argues, to provide a unifying ideology for the Arab conquest that began in the seventh century and that defeated Persia, besieged Byzantium, stretched to India, and made ...more
An impeccable research, which cannot be challenged, the author shows that all Arabic sources of the life of Muhammed are late legends, tendentious, and are unsupported by historical documents or facts. The archeological and epigraphic evidence sustain the fact the Muhammed is only what the word means "THE PRAISED ONE", which qualifies to Jesus and no other. This is how people in the Middle East spoke of Jesus. This book brings manuscripts, letters, coins, and much more evidence to obliterate eve ...more
Max Evans
I like a book where I learn a lot, especially when I don't expect to. One thing I should say coming into this, is that I did know a little bit about Islam and it's followers. For example I know that Moslems will not let anyone critically study the Quran. Well you can but you risk being killed, especially if you're Muslim. Also, the Muslims don't like archeology. Remember the Taliban blowing up the famous Buddha's? That's what Muslims do. The Saudis do it all the time. Also, I've always had quest ...more
Onyango Makagutu
A must read for every Muslim and non- Muslim. Well written, engaging and informative. It puts to question many things many people take for granted on Islam, Quran and it's beginnings.
This is a scholarly work and it is highly recommended

This is another great book by scholar Robert Spencer who is a fearless leader in pointing out the evil effects of Islamic terrorism and Islamic culture across the globe. I have been following his timely articles on his website and also read instant messages on his Twitter account; it is an honor to know that we have a fearless scholar amongst us who dares to say that Islamic terrorists are savages and substantiate his statement
This book presents evidence that just don't support its conclusions. Just for example, the fact that Byzantine documents did not use the term "Muslim" means less than nothing. Well into the 20th century, the most common term in English was Mohammedan. Does that mean Muslims didn't exist until 1950?

If you're looking for something on the historical Muhammad, go somewhere else.
This book is extremely insightful. Again Robert Spencer has outdone himself! With a bit of luck this book will help to open up Islam.

Access to Islamic inquiry is so difficult due to death threats. Maybe if enough people begin studying Islam as indeed Judaism & Christianity have been studied, the jihadists will lose their iron grip on the religion.
Arlee Bird
After having done much of my own research about the origins and doctrines of Islam, Robert Spencer's Did Muhammad Exist? provided an enlightening new perspective on this topic for me. The book is highly readable and thoroughly engaging as it provides solid historical reference as well as citations from the Koran and other Islamic writings to back up Spencer's findings.

This book provides a scholarly exposé without being a dry reading experience. In fact I found this to be an entertaining book th
The empire came first and the theology came later... this is what the book is all about.
Keith Akers
I only read the first 1/3 of the book, so don't pay too much attention to my rating or this review. The book isn't bad, and evidently the early history of Islam (including even the Qur'an) is less clear than I thought. However, my concern is that the author doesn't really "prove" that Mohammed did not exist, just show that the early history of Islam is much more complex than we thought and throw out a series of puzzles. It's left to the reader (or other scholars) to come up with a better story, ...more
Salar Idris Taha
The book in my point of view deserves to be translated to the language of Islam, Arabic.
George Paul
Was Islam “born in the full light of history,” as Ernest Renan claimed? Or is its origin “covered” in the “mystery” that Renan believed shrouded all other religions? Robert Spencer argues for “Islam’s obscure origins” in his new book, Did Muhammad Exist?

The “canonical story” of Islam’s origins, accepted by all Muslims and (arguably) most non-Muslim scholars begins with the birth of Muhammad in 570 C.E. in Mecca, a hub in the trade routes from east to west. In 610, Muhammad began to receive monot
Rich Wooten

This is a fascinating look at the history of Islam and the veracity of the Qur'an. I was amazed at the depth of discovery that Mr. Spencer uncovered in his studies. While reading, I couldn't help but wonder how widespread knowledge of this truth would impact our world. Obviously, there are significant objections to the conclusions of Mr. Spencer's book by orthodox Islamic interpretation of the Qur'an. But I wonder if this book were allowed to be read by 'average' people of the Muslim faith, how
Jul 14, 2014 Jean rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jean by: Found in library
Arian Christians fled to Syria and Arabia with their holy books (now called 'Christian apocryphal books') after the 325 Council of Nicaea established the Orthodox Christian teachings on Christ's 2 natures and his membership in the Trinity. When stripped of its diacritical marks, the Arabic of the Qu'uran reveals that its substratum is a Syriac Arian Christian lectionary praising Jesus the Messiah--not divine but human. Early Arab monotheists welcomed Jews and Arian Christians as partners, but wh ...more
a lot of information, and he certainly makes his argument that the idea that the origins of Islam are well attested historically is not tenable, but I'm not sure there is enough to confidently go beyond that and to be fair, the author acknowledges as much.
Faisal Noor
Meh. Reads more like conjectures against conspiracy theories than a compelling bunch of arguments. Good to sow some doubts in a hardcore theologian's mind though.
The chapter on the origins of the Qur'an is the strongest and most interesting. A Syriac origin must be an idea taken more seriously than heretofore. One is tempted to write to the Saudi religious authorities a simple letter stating, the Arian Syiac speakers want their book back.
It only get's 4 stars because Spencer actually brings together the well known information regarding the historicity and origins of Islam and the Quran. However due to his obvious bias against Islam which does come up near the end of the book, he does not get the full 5 stars.
Pedro Bonilla
I thought this book would more aggressively argue for the non existence of muhammad but it didnt. The book provides a lot of scholarship and keeps a scholarly tone however. Most of the book is spent undermining the credibility of muslim scholarship.
Todd White
Intrigued by the idea that there hasn't been the same critical examination of the evidence that there has been for Christianity over the past 200 years.

The book didn't really answer the title's question.
August Kaiser
August Kaiser marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2015
Ahmed added it
Mar 20, 2015
Taoufiq Hebboul
Taoufiq Hebboul marked it as to-read
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Robert Bruce Spencer is an American author and blogger best known for critiques of Islam and research into Islamic terrorism and jihad. He has published ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers, and is a regular contributor to David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine. In 2003 he founded Jihad Watch, a blog which aims to bring public attention to what it describes as "the concerted effort by ...more
More about Robert Spencer...
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions about the World's Fastest-Growing Faith Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam Is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs

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