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Muhammad [Paperback]

Karen Armstrong
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 1993
This biography presents a picture of the prophet Muhammad that facilitates a more accurate and profound understanding of Islam, and the people who adhere to it so strongly. It also offers comparisons of the two religions most closely related to it - Judaism and Christianity.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st U.S. Ed edition (1 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062508865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062508867
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,059,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Armstrong is one of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but then left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a best-selling author of over 15 books. An accomplished writer and passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and the Senate and has participated in the World Economic Forum.

Product Description

Book Description

A life of the prophet Muhammad by best-selling religious writer Karen Armstrong --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Karen Armstrong spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, an experience she recollected in her best-selling autobiography, Through the Narrow Gate. She is the author of the world-wide bestseller, A History of God (which has now appeared in more than thirty languages), the acclaimed History of Jerusalem and, most recently, Buddha in the Weidenfeld & Nicolson Lives series. She is a teacher at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and, in 1999, she received the Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It has been difficult for Western people to understand the violent Muslim reaction to Salman Rushdie's fictional portrait of Muhammad in The Satanic Verses. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a highly readable and balanced biography. 18 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a balanced, informative and readable account of the Prophet of Islam. It is especially ideal for a western reader as it puts the events surrounding the coming of Islam not only into historical context but also within the context of Islam in the world today. Armstrong also dispels the popular conception of Islam as a harsh, fanatical religion that was spread 'by the sword' and of its prophet as an opportunistic womanising crusader. Indeed, she probes at the man behind the prophet and what emerges is a sensitive account of a man who was courageous yet fallible, strong yet gentle- a wise visionary who created a civilised society from what used to be the 'bloodbath' of pre-Islamic Arabia. She also emphasises the many similarities that Islam has in common with Judaism and Christianity and brings out the fact that Islam was really a continuation of those two great religions.
By setting the scene of pre-Islamic Arabia- a savage and tribal society, the reader not only appreciates that Islam was in fact a liberating force but also gains a sympathetic understanding of Muhammad's role and actions. Many aspects of his life and his actions that a westerner gazing at him through a twenty-first century lens finds hard to understand or reconcile with the actions of a prophet, are explained and put into context, such as his marrying twelve times.
Essentially, this is an excellent historical account and I would recommend it to anyone due to its readable and easy style and its well-balanced treatment of its subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Muhammad 22 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An interesting book, however, I have not yet been able to compare it with other biographies which I feel is essential when reviewing this book properly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cured my Islamophobia 27 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
How relieved I was to discover that Muhammad was actually wise, noble and enlightened.

Until I read this wonderful book I thought he was a monsterous seventh century war-lord who convinced his followers that God wanted them to convert, subjugate (as dhimmi) or kill "unbelievers". I thought he had fifteen wives, the last of whom was the daughter of his adopted son and was aged between six and nine at betrothal and fourteen at consummation. I believed he wiped out the Qurayza Jews who were foolish enough to shelter him, claiming to have personally beheaded at least 600.

I even thought his present day followers, like (British Born) Cleric Anjem Choudary wanted to continue in the same way, mainly because they keep saying they do.

Armstrong's book, which is wonderful example of Blairite multiculturalism and political correctness, has convinced me that I believed these things due to a mental illness called 'Islamophobia'. Gosh I'm glad I'm cured.
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54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's it all about? Find out here. 23 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an atheist bought up as an anglican I was very much in the dark about Islam generally, though I do have some muslim friends. I found this book generally informative about Islam and the prophet. The book takes a while to get into Muhammad's life, the second chapter starts with the prophet's first vision, but then doesn't mention anything about the prophet's life after that, this occurs several times in the first few chapters. So prepare yourself for a lot of background and a lot of Islamic theology/philosophy at the start. Having said that the beginning of the book lays some very important groundwork for understanding what Muhammad was trying (and succeeding) to acheive, which is essential for the newcommer to the subject. I read this book as I wanted to find out about the Caliphate and thought it would be good background reading, which it was, but now I'll probably read more of Karen Armstrong's other books as well. She's such an informative writer, knows her subject inside out and is totally non-judgemental, leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. If you buy this book you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hot and Cold 20 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
Having studied the life of Prophet Muhammad;Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon him (PBUH) I was overwhelmingly impressed with some chapters in this book which were quite simply outstanding. Other contents of the book raised some eyebrows as Karen Armstrong mentioned several events quoting no references & this in a book where she has quoted hundreds of references, perhaps some points are her own personal viewpoints. Just as you read the book thinking good job you will notice contradictions creeping in, perhaps the book was not thoroughly reviewed before it went to print as some contradictions are clear as day. The Battle of Badr, Islam not being for all Mankind (in first 100 years) are some examples where Karen Armstrong research was perhaps not the best & even then you can refute these points with other points in the book.

If your a Muslim this is an excellent supplementary textbook, if your a Non-Muslim I would advise reading "When the Moon Split" or Martin Lings book. I have copied the urls for both books below.
[...]

[...]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outsiders view 29 Dec 2010
By Toofy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book takes some time to get through but really worth it if you're interested in getting an accurate picture of what the man and the faith is all about. A breath of fresh air, well worth reading and even giving as a present to someone who wants an intelligent review of this man and his faith.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book
A biography of an Islamic Prophet written by a non Muslim should have been a suspicious book. But it is not. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Tariq Yusuf Rajbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and very good book to read
This book is very good book to know more about the prophet of Islam and how great person he was. Don't watch TV and get misleading information about Islam and Muhammad. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Semi El Sharef
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
A very nice book about Muhammad . I think the information is amazing accurate & valid. its a very good read if some 1 wants to be educated. Read more
Published 7 months ago by shawnkelmon22
5.0 out of 5 stars Muhammad: Biographt of the Prophet Karen Armstrong
Another good buy. A good read with lots of information about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Worth th money spent !!!!!
Published 7 months ago by rehana
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
The author does share faith with the Muslim people, but she wrote about prophet Muhammed with respect. There is criticism but it is not offensive. I recommend everyone to read it.
Published 9 months ago by Farid A Reza
1.0 out of 5 stars Why
Avoiding a sound judgment could be either the result of lack of knowledge or deliberate. The problem with some Western writers in general is that they don't appreciate the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written!
Very easy to read! In depth knowledge on the topic, quite objective and to the point. I would read it again and have recommended the book to others.
Published 15 months ago by A. Dikko
2.0 out of 5 stars poor research
As a muslim I must be honest I am quite shocked at some parts of this biography. When she accueses Muhammad (pbuh) of making a mistake in referring to Mary the mother of Jesus as... Read more
Published 23 months ago by awz1
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! A MUST BUY!!!!!
This is a birllant book written beautifully and has really helped me to understand and appreciate the life of Muhammad as it was in his time. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Crazylife
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I find this book to be irritatingly inconsistent. In many places Ms Armstrong contradicts herself and in her effort to play devils' advocate as well as unbiased historian, she... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Kay
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