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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 into the earliest development of Islam. Using coins, commemorative building inscriptions, and a rigorous linguistic analysis of the Koran along with Persian and Christian literature from the seventh and eighth centuries–when Islam was in its formative stages–five expert contributors attempt a reconstruction of this critical time period.
Despite the scholarly nature of their work, the implications of their discoveries are startling:
•Islam originally emerged as a sect of Christianity
•Its central theological tenets were influenced by a pre-Nicean, Syrian Christianity
•Aramaic, the common language throughout the Near East for many centuries and the language of Syrian Christianity, significantly influenced the Arabic script and vocabulary used in the Koran
• It was not until the end of the eighth and ninth centuries that Islam formed as a separate religion, and the Koran underwent a period of historical development of at least 200 years
Controversial and highly intriguing, this critical historical analysis reveals the beginning of Islam in a completely new light.
“Despite its scholarly presentation...the explosive nature of its contents is unmistakable: the term ‘Muhammad’ originally referred to Jesus; early Islam was a variant of Christianity; the ‘Ur-Koran’ was a Christian book in the Syro-Aramaic language.”
–Die Presse (Vienna, Austria)