PodCast – Episode 04 – The Historical Emergence of Islam


Episode: 04

Title: The Historical Emergence of Islam

Summary: In the past 20-30 years, there has been increased research and interest concerning exactly how Islam really began. The orthodox view of Islam’s beginnings comes to us from material written and compiled 200-300 years after the fact. Jay Smith has been working in this area of historical research for the past 17 years, debating it with Muslims scholars, to good effect. Two months ago a new book was published in the UK entitled ‘In the Shade of the Sword’, by Tom Holland, one of the most celebrated historians in the UK today. His book details some of the most provocative and exciting academic research concerning this area of study, paralleling much of the material Jay has been using in his debates. Since its release, the book has sent shock waves throughout the Muslim community in Europe, which will hopefully help a growing disillusionment in the veracity of Islam’s origins. Jay introduced and explained Holland’s findings, as well as the ramifications this will have on the foundations of Islam for the future.


Speaker: Jay Smith

Jay, located in London, often speaks and debates with Muslims on at Speakers Corner in London. Speaker’s Corner is located the north-east corner of Hyde Park in London. Speakers there may speak on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful. London is a great place for Jay to be located as it is where most of this research is happening, and at the same time he is able to field test it down at Speaker’s Corner to his hearts content. Recently he used some of this material at Speaker’s Corner on a Sunday from atop a ladder, and the Muslims were so angered that they attacked and broke the camera filming them.

Jay has been a missionary with the Brethren in Christ World Mission since 1983 working in evangelism with Muslims in England, France, and Senegal. Jay is considered to be one of the top Christian apologists to Muslims in the world, and has been involved in well over 60 formal debates with Muslim scholars globally.


About Author

JAY'S SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY I have worked for over 27 years with Muslims, have two masters degrees in divinity and Islamics, and I am currently finishing my Phd. dissertation at the Bible College of Victoria, Australia, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Riddell. UNIVERSITY WORK: My area of expertise is in Christian/Muslim apologetics and polemics. As such I have been invited onto many university campuses to teach classes, participate in panels, help out numerous Christian Union's with training, and also to do 'dialogues' and debates with Muslim polemicists. DEBATES: Since 1995 I have participated in over fifty formal debates with distinguished Muslim scholars, statesmen, and apologists, including: Dr. Jamal Badawi (Univ. of Halifax), Dr. Mousa Pidcock (Leader of the Islamic party of Britain.), Abdul Rahman Green (Da'ist at Regents Park Mosque), Shabir Ally (President of the Islamic Propagation Center, Toronto, and world renowned debater), Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minster of Pakistan), Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad (Founder of Hizb-ul-Tahrir-UK, and al Muhajiroun), Ishmael Muhammad (son of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of Nation of Islam), Dr. Azzam Tamimi (President of Muslim Association of Britain, and Hamas spokesman), Dr. Timothy Winter (Cambridge Univ. Lecturer & convert to Islam), Ayattolah Sayed Fadhel Milani (Principal UK based Shiite Cleric), Anas al-Tikriti (Muslim Association of Britain), Iqbal Siddiqui (Editor of Crescent International Magazine), Sarfraz Manzoor (Independent Muslim journalist), Sheikh Muhammad Bahmanpour (Shiite cleric and professor of theology), Mohammed Ali (Head of The Muslim Channel [TV]), Sheikh Mohammad Al Houssaini (professor at Leo Baeck Rabbinical College), and Sheikh Abu Hamza al Misri (President and founder of Students of Shariah, and convicted terrorist). TEACHING: Since working on my Phd. I have been teaching advanced Islamics to the 2nd year students at OM's Turning Point, in Harlesden, London, and have taught apologetics/polemics at Oakhill College in Southgate, London, for the last five years, as well as apologetics at Moorland Bible College in Bournemouth. I am now teaching 1-2 week modules on Islam at two Seminaries (Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, and the Ethiopian Graduate Theological Seminary in Addis Ababa). I also teach Islamics every year for Ichthus's Networkers Program in SE London, and Christian/Muslim Apologetics for the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) in Oxford. Since 2001, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has been using me to teach their evangelists Islamics in the US, England and Scotland. OVERSEAS TRAINING: For the last 7 years I have been teaching 1-2 week-long programs in Islamics, training missionaries before they go into the Muslim world. The countries I have taught include: Korea, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the US, Canada and Hungary. SPEAKER'S CORNER: Though I have been going to debate at Speaker's Corner since 1993, it has been since 2000 that I have been leading a workshop every Sunday afternoon (1:30 - 3:00 p.m.) at All Souls Church, Langham Place, teaching and preparing Christians who are interested in engaging publicly with Muslims. We have between 20 - 50 who attend every week, though the number rises to 150-200 during the summer, due to the influx of Christians who come to London to engage with Muslims. Following the workshop we head down to Speaker's Corner and engage with the Muslims for 2-3 hours. YOUTUBE: Most recently, I have been posting over sixty 5-10 minute videos on the very popular Youtube internet site (see: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=PfanderFilms) answering the most frequently asked questions (FAQs), which then are used to reverse the questions, and open the site up for vigorous discussions with both Muslims and Christians. To date, over 800,000 people have watched those videos, and hundreds of videos by Muslims have been posted in response. CODGERS: In the last year I have helped begin a group of 10-15 men and women interested in learning and doing debates with Muslims. We meet fortnightly to carry out debates (one person taking on the Muslim position, the other that of Christianity), to film them and then critique them. As of the autumn of 2009 we are carrying out 1-2 debates per month with Muslims in the London area on a range of topics concerning both Islam and Christianity. BRITISH MUSEUM TOUR: During the initiation of my Phd. I put together a tour which looked at archaeological, documentary and manuscript evidence for the Bible (both the Old and New Testament) which can be found in the British Museum and the British Library. To date over 4,000 people have taken the tour, and it has now been filmed. A new 6 hour DVD of the tour has been put together in English and in Persian, which you can procure at: http://www.222publications.com/catalog/


  1. Are there recordings available of Jay’s debates with Timothy Winter and/ or the two Shiites ?

    (On line or for purchase ?)

    Dr. Timothy Winter (Cambridge Univ. Lecturer & convert to Islam),

    Ayattolah Sayed Fadhel Milani (Principal UK based Shiite Cleric),

    . . . .

    Sheikh Muhammad Bahmanpour (Shiite cleric and professor of theology),

  2. The documentary programme by Dr. Tom Holland entitled ‘Islam The Untold Story’, which has now been uploaded to the following website:

    [Works in YouTube in the UK, but not in the States]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm8xKh8eQqU

    US Site:

    Islam: The Untold Story part 1:

    Islam: The Untold Story part 2:

    Some of you have asked about the book on which it is based. That can be bought at:

    USA: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Sword-Global-Empire-Religion/dp/1408700077/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346423812&sr=1-2&keywords=in+the+shadow+of+the+sword

    UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Sword-Battle-Global-Ancient/dp/1408700077/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346423774&sr=1-1

    There is an Islamic Reaction to the documentary that can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2SGeeE6uM

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: