Non-Christian monotheism existed in Arabia long before Prophet Muhammad
1. Prophet Abraham had built the Ka’aba with his son Ishmael. The children of Ishmael continued to worship One true God until the time of Amr b. Luhayy b. Qam’a b. Khindiff who was the first to start the worshipping of idols. About him Prophet Muhammad once said, “I saw Amr b. Luhayy dragging his intestines in hell, and when I asked him about those who lived between his time and mine he said that they had perished…He was the first to change the religion of Ishmael, to set up idols, and institute the custom of the bahira, sa’iba, wasila, and hami.”
2. According to Ibn Ishaq, the ancient historian, “the beginning of stone worship among the sons of Ishmael was when Mecca became too small for them and they wanted more room in the country. Everyone who left the town took with him a stone from the sacred area to do honor to it. Wherever they settled, they set it up and walked round it as they went round Ka’aba. This led them to worship what stones they pleased and those which made an impression on them. Thus as generations passed they forgot their primitive faith and adopted another religion for that of Abraham and Ishmael. They worshipped idols and adopted the same errors as the peoples before them” (Seerah by Ibn Ishaq).
3. Even Western scholars who are hostile to Islam argue the point that monotheism was native to Arabia. H.A.R Gibb in his book ‘Muhammedanism’ argues that “The existence of a supreme God, Allah, is assumed as an axiom common to Muhammad and his opponents. The Koran never argues the point; what it does argue is that He is the one and only one. La ilaha illa’aalah, ‘there is no god but Allah. But it is more doubtful whether this is to be regarded as the direct deposit of Christian or Jewish teaching. In the Koran it is connected with a different tradition altogether, an obscure Arabian tradition represented by the so-called ‘hanifs’, pre-Islamic monotheists whose very name shows that the Syrians regarded them as non-Christians (Syriac “hanpa”, ‘heathen’). Muhammad glories in the name and attaches it as a distinctive epithet to Abraham, “who was neither Jew nor Christian.”