The Mecca Mystery: Probing the Black Hole at the Heart of Muslim History Info

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The theological and political claims of Islam rest squarely on
history. Islam will ultimately be victorious, so we are told, because
modern Muslims are the direct heirs of a glorious vision for humanity
mapped out by Muhammad, and those who conquered the great empires of
Late Antiquity following him as their 'excellent example' (Qur'an 33:21)
A lot will, therefore, depend on whether the history that is so deeply
inspiring to the followers of Islam came down to us in an accurate and
reliable way.If it can be proved that it did not, the entire Islamic
theological edifice can be called into question.In his latest book Peter
Townsend (author of 'Questioning Islam' and 'Nothing to do with
Islam?') goes right back to the earliest years of the Muslim faith to
ask some questions that are routinely ignored by those who are content
to simply repeat the same old 'certainties' of standard Islamic history.
The result of this research, drawing on the work of scholars from a
wide range of disciplines, is a profile of the birth of Islam that is
fresh, surprising and sometimes shocking.Journeying to 7th century
Arabia with Townsend as your guide will cause you to look at Islam, its
truth-claims and its place in the world with new eyes.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Mecca Mystery: Probing the Black Hole at the Heart of Muslim History:

4

Sep 20, 2018

Peter has challenged the main story of Islam, which someone like me has been brought up with. He has put together a very convincing and thorough study which has managed to open quite a few holes in the age-old Islamic folklore. He has then presented an alternate story of how the original story was crafted by the power struggle of the Muwayyids and the Abbasids, which would make another very interesting book as well.

My only issue against this study is that he has not managed to isolate Islam Peter has challenged the main story of Islam, which someone like me has been brought up with. He has put together a very convincing and thorough study which has managed to open quite a few holes in the age-old Islamic folklore. He has then presented an alternate story of how the original story was crafted by the power struggle of the Muwayyids and the Abbasids, which would make another very interesting book as well.

My only issue against this study is that he has not managed to isolate Islam from the various cultures which adopted it over the hundreds of years. Each culture has modified the original story to suit its own purposes. Also, his basic assertion that all 1 billion Muslims live and breath this story is completely wrong. Yes, we have grown up listening to the Islamic story but haven't always followed it. it's no different from any child brought up in a Christain based culture who grows up to become a vital member of the modern Western society? The fact that most Muslims not only disregard their own history but also general history demonstrates the level of our subconscious distrust. So I think most of this effort might be wasted on us I am afraid...... ...more
5

Oct 15, 2018

A truly astounding book! Leaves little doubt that Islam was created in order to bind together a rapidly expanding and difficult to control Arab empire by inventing the myth of an Arabic prophet who spoke for an Arabic god who demanded absolute submission and rewarded those who fought and died in his name. Particularly compelling is the overwhelming evidence from Roman and Persian sources that Mecca simply did not exist during the suppossed time of the supposed prophet... but that's just the tip A truly astounding book! Leaves little doubt that Islam was created in order to bind together a rapidly expanding and difficult to control Arab empire by inventing the myth of an Arabic prophet who spoke for an Arabic god who demanded absolute submission and rewarded those who fought and died in his name. Particularly compelling is the overwhelming evidence from Roman and Persian sources that Mecca simply did not exist during the suppossed time of the supposed prophet... but that's just the tip of the iceberg. ...more
4

Mar 15, 2020

I recommend this above Tom Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword - at least to read first, because of its clarity. This is a lucid, well-structured account with ample references to cross-check his claims. He could have done with a better editor though - there is some repetition and for some reason he keeps calling Dan Gibson (Quranic Geography) Douglas Gibson. But these are minor quibbles, the book is a vital read
5

Mar 09, 2019

Fascinating analysis of classic Islamic early history using primary historical sources.
5

Feb 26, 2020

Facts do matter.

In a world where violence and intolerance are used to stifle truth we need an open dialogue on sensitive matters such as blind Faith and dogmatic beliefs.
5

Mar 02, 2019

A good introduction to the problems that underlie accepting the traditional story of Islam's origin as true.

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