“With neither artifact nor archive, the student of Islamic origins could quite easily become victim of a literary and linguistic conspiracy,” declared John Wansbrough, the father of modern Islamic revisionism. So impressed has this statement become in the minds of some scholars, they fail to recognise, or, even worse, are simply uninterested in the earliest extant documentary evidence relating to Islamic origins.
Building on the outstanding contributions of Robert Hoyland as well as others, the publication of Youssef Ragheb’s comprehensive listing of securely dated Muslim texts from the 1st/7th century, provides scholars with an excellent opportunity to supplement their investigations into early Islamic history. Surely now is the time for this evidence to be taken seriously as it rightly demands, and consequently incorporated into any hypothesis that seeks to relate an account of Islamic origins.
Islamic Awareness have taken the opportunity to update their article “Dated Muslim Texts From 1-72 AH / 622-691 CE: Documentary Evidence For Early Islam” including the new finds mentioned by Ragheb, namely, his intimate knowledge of early papyri / parchment texts kept in the Louvre. The link is: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/earlyislam.html