This successor volume to The Hidden Origins of Islam (edited by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin) continues the pioneering research begun in the first volume. : The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into Its Early History ( ): Karl-Heinz Ohlig, Gerd-R Puin: Books. Karl-Heinz Ohlig. Follow. Follow on Amazon. Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations and more coming soon. Learn More.

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All the information we posses on the origins of Islam is taken from later texts — “biographies” that were written in the 9th and 10th centuries. One of these texts, the Ohilg of at-Tabari 10th centuryis also the source of further histories.

As such, we lack any corroborating contemporary texts for the first two centuries.

The Hidden Origins of Islam

Can these later documents still be regarded as accurate? From a scholarly point of view, are they not something akin to falsifications? To categorize these texts, or similarly the books of Moses or the Romulus and Remus tale, as falsifications would be entirely wrong, as one has to take into consideration this specific literary genre.

Religious-political foundation myths are not history texts and nor were they meant to be. You advocate the thesis that Islam was not conceived as an independent religion. What proof do you have for this claim? According to the evidence of Christian literature under Arab rule from the 7th and 8th centuries, as well as from Arab coinage and inscriptions from this period, such as that on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the new rulers adhered to a Syrian-Persian form of Christianity that rejected the decisions of the Council of Nicaea.

Instead, it regarded Jesus as the messenger, the prophet, the servant of God, but not the physical son of God, who is a strictly unitary being not “adjoined” to any person. The fathers of the Church, for instance, regarded John of Damascus d. There is no mention of a new, independent religion of the Arabs before the 9th century. This formulation sounds somewhat arbitrary or like a conscious decision. It is much more the case that religions often arise in that a new assessment is made of the inherited religious conceptions of a tradition.

These are then interpreted differently, solidified, and systematized in a specific manner. You have also engaged in historical-critical research with respect to the Prophet Mohammed. What can be said about his person?

It has been established that the earliest coinage with the motto MHMT appeared in eastern Mesopotamia aroundmade their way westward, and there bilingual coins were stamped with MHMT in the center and muhammad in Arabic script at the edge. These coins bear a Christian iconography, i. It also fits in with the polemics of John of Damascus against statements he considered heretical. Later, it seems as if this Christological predicate lost its reference, so that it appears in the Koran as a frequently mentioned, nameless prophet, which could then be historicized into the form of an Arab prophet.


The earliest source of this historicization is to be found in writings of John of Damascus, who speaks of the pseudo-prophet Mamed. Only later could the wealth of stories of this Mohammed fill out the historical deficit. It is entirely possible — even when previously historically improvable — that an important preacher was present at the beginning or at another point in the history of the Koran movement.

However, according to the evidence of Arab coins and the inscription in the Dome of the Rock, it must be assumed that the term muhammad, the revered or the praiseworthy, was originally a Christological honorific title. Such inquiries are forbidden in Muslim theology, which hasn’t yet passed through its Enlightenment.

Western Islamic studies remains preoccupied with philology without employing the established methods of historical scholarship. Similarly, there is little religious-historical or Christian theological investigation into the extremely varied cultural traditions of the Middle East. As such, the roots and motives of these traditions are not recognized. In your book “Early Islam,” you write that you do not wish to harm this religion. Many Muslims will see the exact opposite in your work.

Since the 18th century, many Christians, even to this day, regard the Enlightenment as an attack and an attempt to destroy their religion. In reality, however, it has allowed Christianity to survive in the modern world and also be applicable to the lives of modern man.

This is a phase that Islam still has to go through, but it is unavoidable if it doesn’t want to exist in the future only in ghetto-like, closed communities. In his long and detailed plea for a secular Islamic Studies, Tilman Nagel calls on the discipline to emancipate itself from the Muslim understanding of Mohammed if it wants to get closer to historical reality.

Its authors claim to be able to trace the actual emergence of Kwrl-heinz through recourse to “contemporary sources”. Daniel Birnstiel has read the book. The translation from the German is inaccurate.

The German original reads: Karl-Heinz Ohlig mentioned that ‘muhammad’ on the Dome of the Rock came from the Sanctus, but meant, no doubt, that it comes from the Benedictus.


It is possible that some anonymous Arab, working from an original Syriac-Aramaic text, translated ‘barik’ or ‘tubwayhun’ as ‘muhammad’. Nevertheless, ‘praise’ is normally given to God in liturgy. This is a very appealing solution to the origin of the name ‘Muhammad’ kkarl-heinz may actually be correct. More archeology is needed. Jesus, born a Jew, spent his days in the region now known as Israel.

He was born in Bethlehem and lived by the Sea of Galilee. Christians believe that he was crucified at Golgotha outside Jerusalem — only to rise from the dead three days later.

Skip to main content. New Research into Its Early History,” the theologian Karl-Heinz Ohlig has come to the conclusion that Islam was not originally conceived as an independent religion. Alfred Hackensberger has talked with the author. According to Karl-Heinz Ohlig, “the term muhammad was originally a Christological honorific title”. In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English.

Comments submitted by readers using fantasy names or intentionally false names will not be published. Readers’ comments can be found by Google and other search engines. Leave this field blank. Comments for this article: Muhammad as a Christological Honorific Title.

Benedictus rather than Sanctus Karl-Heinz Ohlig mentioned that ‘muhammad’ on the Dome of the Rock came from the Sanctus, but meant, no doubt, that it comes from the Benedictus.

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