Muhammad's "remains"

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theomise
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Muhammad's "remains"

Post by theomise » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:48 pm

I'm not very well-educated on Islam, so perhaps this is a dumb question, but I couldn't find anything useful online...

What do secular scholars have to say about the contents of Muhammad's tomb?

Presumably the consensus can't be that his body is interred there, given that historicity in general is still an open question, no?

The topic came to mind after reading the following in the news recently:
The 61-page document also calls for the removal of Mohamed’s remains to the nearby al-Baqi cemetery, where they would be interred anonymously.... The al-Baqi cemetery already contains the bodies of many of the Prophet’s family, including his father who was removed there in the 1970s, Dr Alawi said. In 1924 all the grave markers were removed, so pilgrims would not know who was buried there, and so be unable to pray to them.
From: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 05120.html

What do scientifically minded researchers have to say about the construction of the tomb, whether anyone is actually buried there, etc.?

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Peter Kirby
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Re: Muhammad's "remains"

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:46 pm

If you're talking about the consensus, the consensus is that a historical Muhammad is a historical reality.

The minority position that disputes the historicity of Muhammad is smaller than that which disputes the historicity of Jesus, even if you poll just western (Jewish/Christian/atheist) scholars.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

theomise
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Re: Muhammad's "remains"

Post by theomise » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:If you're talking about the consensus, the consensus is that a historical Muhammad is a historical reality.
Yes, no doubt.

My question, though, is specifically about scholarly opinion regarding the contents of "Muhammad's tomb".

Affirming the historicity of Muhammad is consistent with denying that Muhammad's tomb was built in the 630s, that Muhammad's tomb contains 7th Century remains, that the remains are of Muhammad, etc. etc.

I do personally lean toward accepting the historicity of Muhammad, but the idea that his remains are in that tomb is a hypothesis that can only be established empirically.

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