can you please elaborate shortly what in Gross scenario do you agree and not agree with?
I'm working on my own one to be (one day) published. 5 to 6 years still to work. So I won't tell it here.
Gross make mistakes : "Now if it was not Mecca, the question remains where the “territory of emergence” (Gobillot 2008) of Islam can be found. The most likely candidate is the region where the first Islamic coins were minted: the area around Marw (Southern Turkestan on the Silk Road), the city the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik was probably named after: Marw-ān."
It is West from Marv.
"The most logical explanation is that the primary medium of transmission was not the memory of reciters, rather written texts or manuscripts (without diacritical dots), which later were interpreted in different ways."
"Considering the missing material evidence from Mecca and the questionable appearance of the place name “Mecca” in the Qurʾān (see below), it seems more likely that he did not “divert” the ḥajj pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but rather that it had originally been a pilgrimage to this town, and that only later was it ostensibly “re-directed” to its fictitious original location. According to Dequin
the model for this new holy site was the Buddhist Nowbahār (nava vihāra) in Balkh (Afghanistan), whose description by later Arabic authors strongly reminds the unbiased reader of the Kaʿba (see below)."
Dequin should give me his weed supplier.
"Moreover, Dequin has found evidence that it was not until after the ʿAbbāsids had taken
over power that the pilgrimage to Mecca was established "
"The research of Raymond Dequin (2012) concentrates on the era of the ʿAbbāsids. His
findings show that they were in fact a branch of the Umayyads. The new rulers intentionally
modified their genealogy in order to separate from the rest of the family; instead they created
family links to the alleged Prophet."
"To give such a fictitious family genealogy more theological weight, the concepts of muḥammad (“the praised one”) as well as that of ʿalī (“the elevated one”) were historicized ."
"According to Dequin, both terms were originally gnostic concepts denoting redemptory figures, originally going back to Christological notions."