--Nevo has found in the Arab religious texts, dating from the first century and a half of Arab rule
(seventh to eighth century A.D.), a monotheistic creed. However, he contends that this creed "is
demonstrably not Islam, but [a creed] from which Islam could have developed." (Nevo 1994:109)
**Note: the creed was rather Samaritan (see first post of the preceding page).
--Nevo also found that "in all the Arab religious institutions during the Sufyani period [661-684 A.D.]
there is a complete absence of any reference to Muhammad." (Nevo 1994:109) In fact neither the
name Muhammad itself nor any Muhammadan formulae (that he is the prophet of God) appears in any
inscription dated before the year 691 A.D.. This is true whether the main purpose of the inscription
is religious, such as in supplications, or whether it was used as a commemorative inscription, though
including a religious emphasis, such as the inscription at the dam near the town of Ta'if, built by the
Caliph Mu'awiya in the 660s A.D. (Nevo 1994:109).
--His name is only found on the Arab inscriptions after 690 A.D. (Nevo 1994:109-110).... the first dated
occurrence of the phrase Muhammad rasul Allah (Muhammad is the prophet of God) is found on an
Arab-Sassanian coin of Xalid b. Abdallah from the year 690 A.D., which was struck in Damascus (Nevo 1994:110).
--Of greater significance, the first occurrence of what Nevo calls the "Triple Confession of Faith," including
the Tawhid (that God is one), the phrase, Muhammad rasul Allah (that Muhammad is his prophet), and the
human nature of Jesus (rasul Allah wa- abduhu), is found in Abd al-Malik's inscription in the Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem, dated 691 A.D. (Nevo 1994:110)! Before this inscription the Muslim confession of faith cannot
be attested at all.
(**Note on the Dome's data-): viewtopic.php?p=94306#p94306
--According to Nevo, the first Arabic papyrus, an Egyptian entaqion, which was a receipt for taxes paid, dated
642 A.D. and written in both Greek and Arabic is headed by the "Basmala," yet it is neither Christian nor Muslim
in character (Nevo 1994:110).
(**See the works of the late archeologist Father Michelle Picirillo on the 'bismalla' in Madaba (Ex.43.6; Ps.103.8).
--The religious content within the rock inscriptions do not become pronounced until after 661 A.D. However, though
they bear religious texts, they never mention the prophet or the Muhammadan formulae (Nevo 1994:110). "This means,"
Nevo says, "that the official Arab religious confession did not include Muhammad or Muhammadan formulae in its
repertoire of set phrases at this time," a full 30-60 years and more after the death of Muhammad (Nevo 1994:110).
--Of even greater significance, these inscriptions show that when the Muhammadan formulae is introduced, during the
Marwanid period (after 684 A.D.), it is carried out "almost overnight" (Nevo 1994:110). Suddenly it became the state's
only form of official religious declaration, and was used exclusively in formal documents and inscriptions, such as the
papyrus "protocols" (Nevo 1994:110).
--Yet even after the Muhammadan texts became official, they were not accepted by the public quite so promptly. For years
after their appearance in state declarations, people continued to include non-Muhammadan legends in personal inscriptions,
as well as routine chancery writings (Nevo 1994:114).
--In fact, according to Nevo, Muhammadan formulae only began to be used in the popular rock inscriptions of the central
Negev around 30 years (or one generation) after its introduction by Abd al-Malik, sometime during the reign of Caliph
Hisham (between 724-743 A.D.). And even these, according to Nevo, though they are Muhammadan, are not Muslim.
The Muslim texts, he believes, only begin to appear at the beginning of the ninth century (around 822 A.D.), coinciding
with the first written Qur'ans, as well as the first written traditional Muslim accounts (Nevo 1994:115).
(**The introduction of a paper mill in Baghdad around 800AD greatly helped).
--Thus, it seems from these inscriptions that it was during the later Marwanid period (after 684 A.D.), and not during the
life of Muhammad that he was elevated to the position of a universal prophet, and that even then, the Muhammadan formula
which was introduced was still not equivalent with that which we have today.
(**This period corresponds to the much intriguing 2nd civil war led by Ibn al-Zubayr, which I'm studying).