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Per advice from the meta site, I must make it absolutely clear that I am not making any claim about -- and indeed have no interest in -- whether the incident actually occurred.

My question is about scholars who believe the incident occurred, or scholars who, for the sake of exploring the mind of Muhammad, have considered a hypothetical case in which the incident might have occurred. So I'm probably asking about secular scholars, or orientalist scholars, or perhaps very liberal Muslim scholars.

For context, here is why I'm interested in the question. As far as I can tell, Muhammad was a political genius. He knew how to get people to compromise -- just consider his skill in convincing the Ansar to accept the Muhajirun, not only initially as outsiders, but also for a number of months while the Muhajirun must surely have been a burden on the food supply, before the Muslim raiding parties began having success.

If Muhammad did deliver the Satanic Verses and then abrogate them, it seems an uncharacteristic blunder. Obviously, this could be a reason for believing the incident never occurred, but as I say, I'm not interested in whether it occurred. I know there are scholars who believe it did, and I'm wondering whether any of them have explored the possible reasons, what might have been going on in Muhammad's mind.

I'm not claiming the incident occurred. I'm not asking whether the incident occurred. I'm asking whether there are any scholars who have explored Muhammad's thinking, using the incident (hypothetical or otherwise) as a lens.

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