What Role Did Heretical Christians Play in the Formation of Islam?

One of the most interesting features of history in the development of Islam is that the earliest Christian interactions with Muhammad and the Qur'an actually understood Islam to be yet another heretical sect of Christianity. Christian philosophers and apologists originally did not view Islam as a new religion.

In a publication from 2014, Dr. Darren M. Slade explored the possible influence of several heretical Christian sects on Muhammad’s understanding of Jesus, including the Monophysites, Nestorians, Gnostics, Nazoreans, and monastic teachings. Dr. Slade concludes that it is possible these schismatic Christian groups could have had a partial influence on Muhammad’s conception of who Jesus was. Although, he also argues that it would be unwise to conclude that Muhammad wholly borrowed or stole his ideas from Christian heretics simply because the Qur’an does not consistently advocate one group’s Christological beliefs over the others.

As part of our commitment to making academic research easily accessible to the public, you can download Dr. Slade's article for free by clicking below:

"Arabia Haeresium Ferax (Arabia Bearer of Heresies): Schismatic Christianity’s Potential Influence on Muhammad and the Qur’an”, American Theological Inquiry 7, no. 1 (January 2014): 43-53.

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