As for the question of Muhammad’s existence, Spencer gives a concise answer to round off his book: “the full truth of whether a prophet named Muhammad lived in seventh-century Arabia, and if he did, what sort of a man he was, may never be known” (p. 216), but for too long, the topic of Islamic historiography has been confined to highly specialized academia, with the growing problem of Islamist intimidation.
Thus, an accessible primer on the subject as we have here is most welcome. In addition, the project of translating this book into Arabic is to be commended.
In the years to come, it would be good to see Spencer’s book prescribed as introductory reading for courses on Islam in schools and universities. I myself have taken the step of donating his book to Brasenose College’s library, and hope that others will similarly distribute the work upon reading it.