Monday, July 11, 2011

"Islamic Theologian's Theory: It's Likely the Prophet Muhammad Never Existed"

"The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed"
MÜNSTER, Germany -- Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany's first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn't like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged....

When Prof. Kalisch took up his theology chair four years ago, he was seen as proof that modern Western scholarship and Islamic ways can mingle -- and counter the influence of radical preachers in Germany. He was put in charge of a new program at Münster, one of Germany's oldest and most respected universities, to train teachers in state schools to teach Muslim pupils about their faith....

Prof. Kalisch, who insists he's still a Muslim, says he knew he would get in trouble but wanted to subject Islam to the same scrutiny as Christianity and Judaism. German scholars of the 19th century, he notes, were among the first to raise questions about the historical accuracy of the Bible....


  1. I found this on a "most popular on Facebook" list at After I posted it, I noticed that the article was dated November 2008. Nevertheless, it must be making the rounds on Facebook today.

  2. Of course, should a christian scholar make a similar claim about Jesus - well that's just NUTS!

    Why am I thinking of John Loftus right now? Hmmmmm.


  3. Claims like that have been made for some 200 years now about Christ.

    Gary Habermas, for one, has thoroughly addressed that issue:

    12 Historical Facts (Most Critical Scholars Believe These 12 items)

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

    2. He was buried.

    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

    4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

    7. The resurrection was the central message.

    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    9. The Church was born and grew.

    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

    So we are on some pretty firm ground.

    On the other hand, it is interesting to watch as others face these same kinds of historical questions.

  4. I love how David poured out his own preconceptions to fill the unstated point of the post. Very educational from this end of the internet tube.

    I didn't see any assessment of the Muslim scholar's position in John's post, so David's comments do a great job of betraying his own militancy.

  5. Islamic apologists have been using higher criticism to bash Christianity for decades now completely unaware that if they used the same methods on their Koran, then they would lose their faith.

    Now they're getting a dose of their own medicine.

    Of course, should a christian scholar make a similar claim about Jesus - well that's just NUTS!

    You mean, "well that's just NUTS [insert a litany of arguments for why this claim is made]

    Why am I thinking of John Loftus right now?

    I dunno, but shouldn't you keep that to yourself?



    We've debunk OTFanity.

  7. Interesting article John. Me predicts that Google+ will rival Facebook by 2012.

  8. Me predicts that Google+ will rival Facebook by 2012

    Well, yeah, if three-year-old articles are circulating on Facebook. It's doomed ;-)