Muhammad, a Biography of Prophet by: Karen Armstrong

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A short history about the world's fastest growing religion and of the man, who seeded the plant of Islam himself, Muhammad (saw). Armstrong writes this book in a humanist style and introduces the reader to the cultural and historical background of the life of Mohammed and the revelation of the Quran. She first starts with the West's long history of hostility toward Islam, which has often led to the stigma of “a religion of the sword." She contradicts this ideology, by this sympathetic, captivating biography portraying Muhammad (saw) as a passionate, simple, fallible human being--a charismatic leader possessed of political as well as spiritual gifts. A prophet whose, monotheistic vision answered the deepest longings of his people. Armstrong invalidates the Western image of Muhammad (saw) as an impostor who used religion as a means to power. She finds in the Prophet's teachings a theology of peace and tolerance. The "holy war" urged by the Quran as Armstrong's states alludes to each Muslim's duty to fight for a just, decent society. She mentions how Muhammad (saw) brought the backward tribal Arabia of the seventh century into out of their darkness and draws significant parallels between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The book is precise and does not try to mislead, its rounded and revealing. Karen Armstrong has no axe to grind and presents her book in a straight forward manner, with notes and an excellent bibliography which the reader is able to examine concepts and events in greater depth. She has done her homework in compiling this book and it shows as she goes back and forth with the dates of different events. The book also shows maps in the beginning that help the reader to get a better idea of the geography of the area in the past times along with genealogical charts that give a clear picture of Muhammad’s gene . It’s a well written book for an intelligent person who wishes to be informed.

The main idea or it can be called an argument that Armstrong...
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