The Early History of Islam, Following Inscriptional & Numismatic Testimony; A New Interpretation of the Arabic Inscription in Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock; On the Origin of the Informants of the Prophet; 'Abd al-Malik b Marwan & the Process of the Qur'an's Composition; A Personal Look at Some Aspects of the History of Koranic Criticism in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries; Pre-Islamic Arabic -- Koranic Arabic -- Classical Arabic: A Continuum?; From Syriac to Pahlavi: The Contribution of the Sassanian Iraq to the Beginning of the Arabic Writing; Early Evidences of Variant Readings in Qur'anic Manuscripts; Leuke Kome = Laykah, the Arsians = 'Ashab 'al-Rass & Other Pre-Islamic Names in the Qur'an: A Way Out of the "Tanglewood"?; Syrian & Arabian Christianity & the Qur'an.
Karl-Heinz Ohlig is professor emeritus of Religious Studies and the History of Christianity at the University of the Saarland, chairman of the Inarah Institute for Research into the Early History of Islam and the Qur'an, and the author of many books including Weltreligion Islam: Eine Einf hrung (Islam as World Religion: An Introduction). Gerd-R. Puin, a retired research associate at the University of the Saarland, is an expert on the historical orthography of the Qur'an.
"The scholarly basis of this important proposal [a new cultural interpretation of the rapid expansion of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries CE] resides on the one hand on the observation that there is a striking lack of original written material which attests to the doctrine that we know today as Islam, from this early pre-Abbasid period. On the other it is underpinned by detailed study of the textual material which does derive from this era, as well as careful interpretation of the many written sources which became available after the beginning of the Abbasid ascendancy. However, if Islam during this era did not resemble what we know it as today, what was it? On this point the authors break unity, some giving bold, alternative interpretations, others working at the question from detailed, nuanced angles. What the current volume succeeds in doing is to refocus attention on [longstanding beliefs regarding the origins of Islam], and to situate the scholarly problem in very legitimate religious, political, cultural, and linguistic questions, within the context both of new scholarly interpretations and findings, and state of the art overviews of long-discussed issues...the prospect of bringing the two perspectives [traditional and new] together holds the promise of a lively, interesting and new chapter in western Islamic studies." --Arabica, Vol. 55, 2008