Carl Heinrich Becker (1876 - 1933). Becker was a German scholar on Islam, with many articles in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam to his credit. As a politician he was minister of culture and education in the state of Prussia.
Becker was born April 12, 1876 in Amsterdam. The son of a banker, Becker attended universities at Lausanne, Heidelberg, and Berlin, and travelled abroad in Spain, the Sudan, Greece, and Turkey before earning his doctorate in 1899. He was granted the title of Professor in 1906.
In 1902, Becker became a privatdozent for semitic philology at the University of Heidelberg. After the completion of his habilitation, he was appointed Professor of History and Culture of the Orient at the Kolonialinstitut and Director of the Seminar for History and Culture of the Orient in Hamburg. In 1910 he took over the editorship of Der Islam, the journal for the history and culture of the islamic orient. In 1913 he moved to Bonn, where he was a Professor of Oriental Philology.
During the First World War, Becker began his work with the Prussian Ministry of Culture, and after the war he was promoted to State Secretary and, eventually, to the position of Prussian Minister for Science, Art, and People's Education.
Some of C.H. Becker's studies are included in Quest for the Historical Muhammad edited by Ibn Warraq.
Becker developed the idea that the "bursting of the Arabs beyond their native peninsula was, like earlier erruptions in which the religious element was totally lacking, due to economic necessities."