One of the main arguments against the Qur’anic historicity has ‘traditionally’ (orientalism-ally speaking) meant that for a long while the earliest extant copy of the Qur’an was Uthmanic. And this was wrapped up (negatively) in the supposed ‘politics’ of the Uthmanic time period or thereafter. The claims, therefore, were that the Qur’an we currently possessed did not correspond to the one from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, the Qur’anic manuscript found in Birmingham has revised that old fossil of a critique.
The main argument about the criticisms of Early Islamic history has been put forward in recent times by Tom Holland, the fiction writer and historian (Islam – The Untold Story). His argument can be summarised as:
- The religion was invented – about a century after the Arab Conquest – to justify Muslim rule; and
- Prophet Muhammad did not exist at all (in the way history, so far, has told us).
Putting aside the absolute hilarity of his claims, his points have, nonetheless, been critiqued – as weak – in many places, the most succinct of which (on the net) includes:
A Few Words on Hadiths
The Hadith Tradition is a ‘common sense science’ or a ‘common sense tradition’ and is ‘one of the biggest accomplishments in human intellectual history… in its breadth, in its depth, in its complexity and in its internal consistency.’1