Skip to content
Hardcover Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time Book

ISBN: 0060598972

ISBN13: 9780060598976

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time

(Part of the Eminent Lives Series)

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

Save $16.86!
List Price $21.95

1 Available

Book Overview

Muhammad was born in 570 CE, and over the following sixty years built a thriving spiritual community, laying the foundations of a religion that changed the course of world history. There is more historical data on his life than on that of the founder of any other major faith, and yet his story is little known. Karen Armstrong's immaculately researched new biography of Muhammad will enable readers to understand the true origins and spirituality of...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The real Muhammad!

What a difference when you think you know something and when you decide to study and read about it. Islam is just completly different now to me because this book present the origins and the real end in mind that the Prophet Muhammad had; very different from what the media, politician and specially religious fanatics whants you to believe.

A Much Needed Look at a Very Contemporary Man

Karen Armstrong's Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time directly addresses the central conflict of our times, "Some Muslim thinkers regard the jihad against Mecca as the climax of Muhammad's career and fail to note that he eventually abjured warfare and adopted a nonviolent policy. Western critics also persist in seeing the Prophet of Islam as a man of war, and fail to see that from the very first he was opposed to the jahili arrogance and egotism that not only fueled the aggression of his time but is much in evidence in some leaders, Western and Muslim alike, today." Karen goes out of her way to present a balanced and fair perspective on the life of Muhammad. She does this by basing her biography on the Prophet's response to al-Jahiliyah: commonly translated as "an Islamic concept of 'ignorance of divine guidance.'" Karen examinees more than Jahiliyah's theological significance, going into its practical impact on the culture of the Arabian peninsula. The dominant jahili spirit of the time was arrogant, quick to take a offense, warlike and vengeful. Islam, as practiced and taught by the Prophet, Karen makes clear, was a rejection of all of these traits - usually to the great consternation of his followers: "And the servants of Allah, Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant (jahilun) address them, they say, `Peace!' " (Sura The Criterion 25:63 - translation from The Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary.) The revelations that form the Qur'an came to Muhammad not always in dreams or trances, but were sometimes aggressive even terrifying experiences. Muhammad describes the nature of revelation as gently falling like rain" and, at other times, traumatically, where he feels his "soul ripped away." After revelation, even the Prophet needed to take time to understand what had been revealed. Karen writes, "[Allah] instructed Muhammad to listen to intently to each revelation as it emerged; he must be careful not to impose a meaning on a verse prematurely, before it's full significance had become entirely clear." "High above all is Allah, the King, the Truth! Be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to thee is completed, but say, "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge." (Sura Ta-ha, 20:114) Karen, like others, notes that the Qur'an itself has been structured as high-level Arabic poetry, a concept central to the impact of the Qur'an on its Arabic audiences. This is a point entirely missed by Western audiences. You can get some sense of it by listening to a good chanter reciting the verses, but it's a shallow appreciation at best. Karen describes how listening to "the rich, allusive language and rhythms of the Qur'an helped [the Muslims] to slow down their mental processes and enter a different mode of consciousness." Karen portrays, through the biography, the Qur'an's shared vision of the "people of the book" - the Islamic concept of a shared heritage of monotheism between Muslim, Christia


This is an outstanding biography of the last Prophet. I know this is coming from a follower but brief is a strange human phenomenon and who ever believes, he or she knows from the heart that it to be true and whosoever does not -well- they should be curious enought to try to know. I highly recommend a complementary biography of Muhammad by Martin Lings. I would ask people that if you are not a believer even then try to learn the life of a man who has the most influence on human civilization-ever. More than Eienstein, Newton, Jesus and Moses. He was the lawgiver (like Moses), currently has over one billion followers and preached warship on One God (like Moses and Abrahim). Over three billion people have taken his name as theirs during the last 14,000 years. Read about him and decide for yourself. The both biographies I recommended are written by Westerners!

The Origins of Islam

Karen Armstrong's book provides maps, a useful glossary, ample references and, of course her usual clear, crisp prose in very readable form. She shows how Muhammed devoted his adult life to bringing together very divergent tribal societies into a somewhat cohesive group willing to use Islam to work together for the common good. She makes it clear that Muhammed - although chosen to be a prophet - was always considered a man, not a god. Her chapter on Jihad is especially good, as it explains the true meaning of Jihad in Islam: not a battle cry, but a constant struggle to improve on oneself according to the requirements of Islam. The term Jihad has been twisted all too often into a derogatory word among those who do not understand Islam. This is an excellent book for learning about the origins of Islam.

This is the Muhammad that Muslims have always known.

I want to say that this is the history and character of the Prophet that all Muslims are familiar with and hold dear. Her book is based on authentic and verifiable resources of his words and actions throughout his lifetime that is a complete area of rigorous study in Islam called Sunnah. If you want to only read books based in hatred, with little intellectual and academic scholarship - there are many, and most often written with no depth of contextual understanding of the Islamic faith or any real knowledge of this man. However, this is written without prejudice and by a non Muslim.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured