well that is what Marc S says on that wonderful book edited by Karl Heinz & Gerd Putin on Hidden Origins of Islam
..good book.. good stuff to read in it..
The update to Hidden Origins , that is Early Islam : A critical reconstruction based on Contemporary sources, is the one I was mentionning as the must read though hidden Origins is a good introduction to it because the basic framework and methodology of the author are there.
So Mark do you agree with Karl Heinz ? that the late 7th century inscription in the Dome of the Rock , with the MHMT and that adjective to adjacent names "Muhammad" as meant by "the praiseworthy" is an indication of that word "Muhammad" is nothing but an honorable title in Arabic refereed to Jesus,??
To be honest, I have read arguments against and for it so I cannot really tell. If I have to say something, I would say that :
- Muhammad doesn't refer to Jesus,
- Muhammad has a link to the Mahdi concept,
- you could even extrapolate to say that the Mahdi/Muhammad/Paraclete concepts are all linked and were one and the same at some stage,
- those concepts have nothing to do with the Quran and were added to the Quranic world to form Islam later on
By the way, they say that Mu'awiya isn't a name but an alias, and they are right if we look at the different inscriptions where the lineage of Mu'awiya is never mentionned because that wasn't his name.