Did the Prophet Muhammad really exist? This question, which may seem bizarre on the surface, is at the root of a new book by Robert Spencer, a prominent author and the director of Jihad Watch. Spencer, a figure who is praised by his fans and loathed by his detractors, has written numerous books on Islam.
Earlier this week, The Blaze spoke with the expert about his controversial, new book, “Did Muhammad Exist?” As can be derived from the title, the text delves into some uncomfortable subject matter, as Spencer examines the historical documentation surrounding the Muslim prophet.
The book’s official description perfectly encapsulates its central tenets:
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, as Robert Spencer shows in his eye-opening new book.
In his blockbuster bestseller The Truth about Muhammad, Spencer revealed the shocking contents of the earliest Islamic biographical material about the prophet of Islam.
Now, in Did Muhammad Exist?, he uncovers that material’s surprisingly shaky historical foundations. Spencer meticulously examines historical records, archaeological findings, and pioneering new scholarship to reconstruct what we can know about Muhammad, the Qur’an, and the early days of Islam. The evidence he presents challenges the most fundamental assumptions about Islam’s origins.
The premise of the book is that Islam — like Judaism and Christianity –deserves to be scrutinized and appropriately examined. Spencer maintains that Islam, unlike the other massive faith systems, has never truly been given the academic attention and examination it deserves. Like Christianity, he maintains that the faith is one that “deserve[s] historical scrutiny.”