Did the Prophet Muhammad really exist? By Therion

The Prophet Muhammad has been a hot topic for debate in German academic circles lately. The debate isn’t just about the Prophet’s teachings, but about whether or not he even existed.

It is generally believed that the Prophet Muhammad was born in the Arabian Peninsula in 570 AD and that he died in Medina in 632 AD. However some German academics call into question traditionally recognized ‘truths’ about the Prophet, some even going so far as to claim he never existed in the first place.

Der Spiegel recently interviewed Michael Marx, director of the “Corpus Coranicum” project at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

Der Spiegel : There is a group of prominent German Islamic scholars, who are becoming increasingly aggressive about questioning whether the existence of the Prophet is even historically accurate. The theory got its most recent backing from the University of Münster’s Professor Muhammad Sven Kalisch, who is in charge of training teachers for Islamic education at the secondary-school level.

Karl-Heinz Ohlig, is another outspoken academic who has cast doubt on the existence of Muhammad. He takes the view that that the Qur’an was an early Christian text. Marx disagrees with Ohlig’s claim that Muhammad never existed:

Marx : There are far too many pieces of evidence that make Ohlig’s thesis that the Prophet never lived untenable. In the 14 centuries of polemics between Christians and Muslims, this issue has never made an appearance. Even in Syrian-Aramaic sources, however, there is some documentation about the prophet from an earlier time.

Marx stressed that it is difficult to scientifically prove the existence of historical figures – including great leaders such as Charlemagne. He speaks of an “evidentiary thread” and claims that the evidentiary situation offered by the Qur’an is better than for any other religions.

You can link to the full Spiegel interview with Marx here

See also :

Criticism of Islamic Theologian Muhammad Kalisch – Doubt about Muhammad’s Existence Poses Threat to Islamic Religious Education


  1. Lloyd Adams

    Congratulations to Prof. Kalisch to date to criticize Islam. We need to keep the same light shining and criticize Christianity. I am less concerned about whether Jesus lived or not, but more concerned about the religious restrictions and limitations imposed upon us as citizens. What we need is more Constitution and less Bible.

    I do my own research as an amatueur theologian and read the manuscripts left out of the Bible. I higly recommend authors such as Bart Ehrman, Robert Feather, John Allegro, Sam Harris and Michael Baigent. At least in our socieity, we are free to read and at least think for ourselves and remove the Jesus glasses.

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