Muhammad and the Birth of Islam
Islam, by most accounts, is the world's youngest of all religions. Most historical accounts indicate that the religion began among the Arab tribes of the Hijaz, a coastal area in west Arabia from Mecca to Medina and led by a man called Muhammad. The religion spread as a result of from Arabs conquering Spain and Indus Valley long after of his death in 632 A.D. A new study shows, it may have started more in the area of Syria and Palestine and those who were thought to be Meccans were really Arab tribes rich from Rome's empire.
Islam's defining moment hinges around the Battle of Badr in 624 A.D., when the Muslim army led by Muhammad fought the Qurayshites in the Mecca region. While the Muslims were greatly outnumbered, they had divine intervention, angels. All the facts of the battle are handed down and like any battle may be embellished. Is the account of this battle any more accurate than any ancient battle? In any case, the similarities between Islam's battles and those depicted in Homer's , The Illiad" are nearly identical, according to researchers, except for words used to describe events.
According Islam, the Quran, which is a record of the divine revelations that only Muhammad received from the angel Gabriel. Muhammads sayings or teachings are recorded in "hadiths". New research shows that Islam started in the Fertile Crescent from Christians and Judaized Arabs. The Quran is a collection of Muhammad's sayings and teachings told to him by an angel written between 644-656 A.D. by the then ruler, Caliph Uthman. Researchers have found some of it is uncannily similar to the Old and New Testaments. Yet, this Holy book mentions Mecca only once and only four times to Muhammand (Jesus equivalent in the Christian faith). Most of the references talk about angels, demons and prophets of the divine. Researchers question the validity of references to cattle, grain and vines in the Mecca area. Why? Mecca is in the middle of the desert and is one of the driest places on earth and its soil is volcanic. This is not place to raise or have cattle nor to grow wheat or other farm types. If it were, it would be happening still today. The Quran's veracity is, at times, doubtful. There is doubt the veracity for some of hadiths supposedly handed down. Whatever he really did say and teach was not written down until long after he died and were then orally told by his biographers, who were no doubt, told by someone else. All this happened, two centuries-200 years-after he died.
The hadiths of Islam now form the sunna, or its law and practices\customs. Different tribes or people subscribe to different parts of the hadiths, which is why Iran and Saudi Arabia have different Muslim societies. The new study seems to think that Muhammad had not received any divine communication but was a man creating a cult-like religion of Jews, Christians and Arabs. This cult thought the world was ending. Muhammand was a man at the right place, at the right time.
This new study is indeed, a revelation, but not of the divine, but research. It could be a false religion.