The Heritage Seminar

An Overview of Academic Study concerning the Origins of Islam

This Seminar is re-exploring the Historical Heritage of Islam. It moves beyond later events that form our paradigms, and attempts to understand the origins of Islam based on the earliest sources available.

The traditional understanding of Islam is based upon Islamic literature emerging 150-200 years after Muhammad. Other sources are more limited, however closer to the time of Muhammad.

Based upon the book of Mun’im Sirry The controversy of Early Islam, The Debate between the Traditionalists and the Revisionists, this seminar provides an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of scholars revising the History of Islam. Despite vastly different opinions amongst these scholars, a number of common themes emerge, including that the dividing line between Christianity and Islam was not as clear during the formative years of Islam, and that the religious practices and theology of Islam today evolved over many centuries.

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