Günter Lüling

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Günter Lüling (* October 25, 1928 in Varna, Bulgaria † 10. September 2014) was a German Protestant theologian, philological scholar (Dr. in Arabistics and Islamics) and pioneer in the study of early Islamic origins. From 1962 to 1965 he was the Director of the German Goethe-Institut in Aleppo, Syria.


A student of Albert Schweitzer and Martin Werner, he attempted to demonstrate the textual link between pre-Islamic Christian hymnody in the Middle East to the composition of the Qur'an. He theorized that the early believers of what later became Orthodox Islam were originally one of the worldwide last communities sticking to a - supposedly original - non-Trinitarian Christian creed whose theological positions were adopted by later generations to become the purely Arab ethno-centric religion Islam (i.e. "religion of Abraham and the tribes"). He also proposed that the Meccan and Central Arabian adversaries of Muhammad, the "mushrikun", the "associators" or those who "associate" other gods to God, were Trinitarian Christians but who were in early post prophetic times reinterpreted as if having been "idolators" or "pagans".[1]

Although Lüling is rarely quoted, his ideas seem to have gained ground among European scholars. German Islam expert Tilman Nagel acknowledged in a 2008 interview these views as a mainstream theory by observing that "(Western Islam research) has moved towards the other extreme: since the late 1970s you hear that 'the historic figure Mohammed is a fiction, the Qur'an was written and changed during centuries by anonymous writers'. Some Islam experts even believe that the first Muslim community was a Christian Syriac sect".[2] Nagel then refutes this idea, which he considers erroneous.

With his approach of research Lüling was an early representative of the "Saarbrücken School" which is part of the Revisionist School of Islamic Studies.


  • Kritisch-exegetische Untersuchung des Qur'antextes. Erlangen, 1970 (Thesis).
  • Die Einzigartige Perle des Suwaid ben Abī Kāhil al-Yaškurī : zweiter Teil ; über die eindeutige Christlichkeit dieses in der vorislamischen Heidenzeit hochgerühmten Gedichtes. Erlangen: Lüling, 1973.
  • Über den Ur-Qur'an. Ansätze zur Rekonstruktion vorislamischer christlicher Strophenlieder im Qur'an. Erlangen: Lüling, 1974.
    • A challenge to Islam for reformation: the rediscovery and reliable reconstruction of a comprehensive pre-Islamic Christian hymnal hidden in the Koran under earliest Islamic reinterpretations. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 2003. (580 pages, available by sea mail). ISBN 81-208-1952-7. (Translation and considerable reworking of the 2. German edition 1993 of Über den Ur-Koran, 1st ed. 1974.)
    • Über den Urkoran. Ansätze zu Rekonstruktion der vorislamisch-christlichen Strophenlieder im Koran. 3rd corr. ed. Erlangen: Lüling, 2004. ISBN 3-922317-18-9
  • Zwei Aufsätze zur Religions- und Geistesgeschichte. (Contains: 1. Der vorgeschichtliche Sinn des Wortes "Metall". 2. Avicenna und seine buddhistische Herkunft.) Erlangen: Lüling, 1977.
  • Der christliche Kult an der vorislamischen Kaaba als Problem der Islamwissenschaft und christlichen Theologie. Erlangen: Lüling, 1977.
  • Die Wiederentdeckung des Propheten Muhammad: eine Kritik am "christlichen" Abendland. Erlangen: Lüling, 1981. ISBN 3-922317-07-3
  • Das Passahlamm und die altarabische "Mutter der Blutrache", die Hyäne: d. Passahopfer als Initiationsritus zu Blutrache u. heiligem Krieg. In ZRGG 34/1982, S. 131 - 147; (Sonderdr. aus ZRGG 34/1982). ISBN 3-922317-11-1
  • Sprache und archaisches Denken : neun Aufsätze zur Geistes- und Religionsgeschichte. Erlangen: Lüling, 1985. ISBN 3-922317-13-8
  • Der christliche Kult an der vorislamischen Kaaba als Problem der Islamwissenschaft und christlichen Theologie. 2nd corr. ed. Erlangen: Lüling, 1992. ISBN 3-922317-16-2.
  • Sprache und Archaisches Denken. Aufsätze zur Geistes- und Religionsgeschichte. Erlangen: Lüling, 2005. 2nd enlarged ed. ISBN 3-922317-19-7

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4. (Nov., 1981), pp. 519-521., GÜNTER LÜLING Die Wiederentdeckung des Propheten Muhammad. Eine Kritik am "christlichen" Abendland (Erlangen: Verlagsbuchhandlung Hannelore Lüling, 1981). Pp. 423.
  2. ^ GEO magazine, October 10, 2008, retrieved at

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