I apologize in advance if any of the assumptions in my question are incorrect, as I am not extremely familiar with Muslim history or practice.

My understanding is that Muslims believe that Islam was the original faith from which Judaism and Christianity branched off, the latter two becoming somewhat corrupted over time. If this is true, why are there no records (AFAIK) of distinctively Muslim practices before the revelations of Muhammad in the seventh century?

  • I think your answer lies in the question itself. Somewhat corrupted[ or struck out] over time. Dec 5, 2013 at 5:45
  • How would that explain the lack of, say, archeological evidence?
    – user3515
    Dec 5, 2013 at 5:49
  • 1
    Archeological evidence of what, exactly? The places of worship of the Jews and Christians are analogous to mosques today.
    – Ansari
    Dec 5, 2013 at 6:04
  • Short answer: What about the kaaba? Long answer: Later, maybe over chat. Dec 5, 2013 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Muslims believe that God sent messengers all preaching an identical theology: worship Him alone, do good deeds, stay away from evil, and repent to God. The line of Prophets began with Adam (peace be upon him), continued through Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus, and all the others in between and ended with Muhammad (peace be upon them all). All of these prophets were "Muslims" in the sense that they submitted to God. Some of these messengers came with Law (and some followed the Law of previous messengers). This Law differed from one period to another, and from one people to another people. In their time and place, that was "Islam." The final message and Law is the proper noun Islam.

Your question deals with the differences in Law - Muslims don't claim that the rituals and specific details of the Law were the same since the beginning of mankind. Messengers which were sent with Law all had different details (dietary, worship, etc.). Someone who lived in the time of one of those Messengers was being a "Muslim" when they followed the applicable Law. Today you are Muslim if you follow what Muhammad (pbuh) was sent with.

As for theology, ALL prior faiths and revealed religions are distinctively "Muslim" in nature. They all call to worship of one God (or at least, we believe they did). Judaism is still strictly monotheistic and forbids idol worship. This is not necessarily distinctive to Muslims, but it is distinctive in the sense that it originated from the One God.

  • Thank you for your response. What I still don't understand, then, is in what way Islam believes that the other religions have become "corrupted", if it acknowledges legitimate differences in rituals and legal details.
    – user3515
    Dec 5, 2013 at 6:29
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    @Malper the other religions modified their theology or changed the Book on their own, or something else of that nature. For the Christians, the main thing was corruption in creed - the Nicene creed, essentially - where they declared official doctrine to be that there are three who are essentially one and that Jesus is the son. With the Jews, we believe they broke their covenant with God by disobeying Him, not accepting Messengers (in fact, killing them in some cases), and changing the Book with their own hands.
    – Ansari
    Dec 5, 2013 at 6:33

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