Sunday, September 12, 2021

Did Muhammad Exist

 How about something a little different?  Robert Spencer is at it again with a new edition of his book Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins. Andrew E. Harrod reviews Spencer's new book at the American Thinker in an article entitled Robert Spencer Deconstructs Islam. One of the things that Spencer points out, which is damning, is that for a number of years after the Arab conquest of vast territories, no one seems to have mentioned that they were doing this in the name of a prophet of Islam named Muhammad:

Spencer surveys the historical record of various of various societies like the Byzantine Empire that bore the brunt of Arab invasions in the Middle East and North Africa following Muhammad’s supposed death in 632. The surprising documentary result:
"No one who interacted with those who conquered the Middle East in the middle of the seventh century ever seems to have gotten the impression that a prophet named Muhammad, whose followers burst from Arabia bearing a new holy book and a new creed, was behind the conquests."
Spencer notes that “this silence is extremely strange. Islam, in its canonical texts, is an unapologetically supremacist religion.” Tellingly, “coins minted in the 650s and possibly as late as the 670s” by early Islamic caliphs like the Damascus-based Umayyads make no “reference to Muhammad as Allah’s prophet or to any other distinctive element of Islam.” Some of these coins even feature crosses, but “it is hard to imagine that such a coin would have been minted at all had the dogmatic Islamic abhorrence of the cross been in place at the time.”

In addition to the fact that Muhammad doesn't seem to have been mentioned in the years after his supposed death, unlike Jesus Christ, who was constantly invoked by those who knew Him in life, and who witnessed His ministry, His death and resurrection. But even the supposed holy book the Koran doesn't, in many places make sense. Now, here is a topic which I do not understand, so I am relying on Spencer here, but the written Arabic includes what are known as diacritical marks, dots placed above or below a character, that change the character. Spencer notes that with many of these problematic passages, if you take away the diacritical marks, the passage suddenly makes sense read as Syriac passages. This implies that the texts were borrowed from other sources.

In addition, Spencer notes that much of Islamic tradition is based on the supposed life of its "prophet" Muhammad. But these Hadiths were written many years after Muhammad's death. Spencer makes the point that many, maybe most, of these stories may have been manufactured to support various factions within Islam. More interesting, the Hadiths paint a picture not of man teaching peace and love, but of a warlord who ordered the assassination of his enemies.

The resulting potential for hadith fraud surrounding a holy lawgiver Muhammad is enormous, Spencer observes. Thus, “with Muhammad held up as an exemplar, the Hadith became political weapons in the hands of warring factions within the Islamic world. And as is always the case with weapons in wartime, they began to be manufactured wholesale.” “The consequence of all this was inevitable: utter confusion,” Spencer concludes; the “Hadith is riddled with contradictions.”
In the end, one must decide which God is the True God. There is Allah, who is vengeful, cruel event to those who believe in him, and fits all the qualities of Satan himself. Or there is the God of Creation, who knew each of us before the world began, who loves his creation and wants the best for each of us. (Oh, I know that there is another alternative, but we will leave that for another day. I do not believe it is possible to be an atheist.)

I would note that the God of Creation could care less about politics.  Yes, we try in our way to express God's will in our votes, but God is not a Republican or a Democrat.  There is, furthermore, a just reason for war, but we have often engaged in unjust wars.  Our God weeps for every child killed in the womb, of that I am sure.  But he also has as much affection for women as for men, and would not like us to treat them as mere objects.  And while He would be appalled at the way some of women dress, He also does not want them to be forced into nameless, faceless burqas.  God especially loves children.  How do I know?  Because Jesus loved children.  

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