For decades culminating in the early 1990’s several European intellectuals who reside exclusively at the University of London, the Warburgh Institute and Cambridge University have written extensively on the pre-islamic origins of Islam. Their texts are extremely well documented tracts on understanding the origins of Islam outside its orthodox setting.
There work is valuable in bringing Islam into peaceful confrontation with qualified academics who understand the very theological traditions their scrutinizing. All firmly understand and publish that the contemporary understanding of Islam is an erroneous mythic heritage exalting the role of Muhammad. Instead, Islam ought to be understood within the confines of Christian heresy, namely Nestorianism. There are several other Christological heresies that violently dominated the region in pre-islamic time. (For those without a theological background, Christology is the study of the nature of Christ; a rigor of examination regarding divine and human natures coinciding in one person.)
For those interested in brief overview of such scholars, I am referring to them here: Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, John Wansbrough, Gunther Luling and Christopher Luxenberg.
If you’re interested in getting a hard fresh scholarly look at the pre-islamic conditions that dominated the region influencing the rise of Islam, look no further than a review of the above named academics.