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Muhammad: Prophet for Our Time (Eminent Lives) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

Praise for ‘The Spiral Staircase’:

‘The book deserves many readers…Karen Armstrong must be a Woman of Iron to have survived, made a career and a life.' Hilary Mantel

‘A subtle and funny memoir.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘An exceptionally impressive autobiography…Karen Armstrong’s account of her spiralling journey provokes thought and inspires respect.’ Daily Telegraph

Review

Praise for 'The Spiral Staircase': 'The book deserves many readers!Karen Armstrong must be a Woman of Iron to have survived, made a career and a life.' Hilary Mantel 'A subtle and funny memoir.' Sunday Telegraph 'An exceptionally impressive autobiography!Karen Armstrong's account of her spiralling journey provokes thought and inspires respect.' Daily Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 458 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (15 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TU1Q7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #163,721 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a person very familiar with the life of Muhammad, both through personal study, and from the interactions with learned Muslims, I was at first a little ambivalent as to whether there was much for me to learn in this study. I am happy to be proved wrong in this case, as Karen Armstrong's work provides a realistic and healthy rebuttal to the many detractions against Islam's Prophet.
Even the most stubborn skeptic of the supernatural would find it hard to disagree that Muhammad was a much better man than the times he lived in. He was, as Karen Armstrong demonstrates, a benevolent social reformer who tried to provide a better path forward than the eclectic paganism of his time, and the lawless, dog eat dog system of tribal honor.
Armstrong's study does not concern itself greatly with the supernatural aspects of the prophet's life. Revelations are mentioned, but only in passing, and the main bulk of the text concerns the intentions and deeds of the prophet's life.
Contrary to the claims of his detractors, Muhammad was a man who abhorred violence, and took to it only as a last resort, and even then did so with a system of rules, far more noble and lenient than the other tribes of his time.
Muhammad is presented as a man with a great degree of respect and reverance for the people of the book, and one struggles to imagine as to why the three holy faiths are at loggerheads today.
Very little attention is given to the supernatural, rather the biography simply focuses on the man, and presents a positive, yet wholly human, portrait of the prophet.
On the whole, a much needed study, and one that can be recommended to all, regardless of one's familiarity with the subject matter.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you are looking to get a basic understanding of the life of Muhammad without too much interest in the distinction between sunni, shi'ite and sufi amongst others then I recommend this book. Written by Karen Armstrong, a former nun recognised for undertstanding and describing many religious traditions, the book takes the reader through the journey of the life of Muhammad. Little of his early life is covered, but his time in Mecca, Medina (Yathrib as well) and Mecca again is well covered. His revelations, efforts to build a religious movement and leadership and described without judgement and the glossary in the back providing some translations as well as a who's who is welcomed. I found it sometimes a bit difficult to follow who was who (the glossary did help) but other than that I learnt a lot and enjoyed reading this.

I have read several Karen Armstrong books before and will look to read more in the future - definitely recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the understanding that karen has of the prophet in pasticular and islam in general is unsurpassed in the western world,if i didnt know better id have thought it was a muslim writer,thats how much affection she shows for the subject.and her in depth analysis is refreshing for muslims alike as it breaks away from the typical style of islamic sholars and gives a fresh approach to the subject
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By lax123 on 23 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved reading this book, it is interesting unlike some of the books around on Islam. Karen Armstrong seems to have grasped the concept of an interesting history book which is concise and insightful. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about the Muslim prophet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book which put things in context. Would recommend as a starting point to understanding Islam for anyone.
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Format: Paperback
It would be too much to expect that the founder of any of the world's major religions could be understood from one book, even at the introductory level (not counting sacred scripture, direct exposure to which may be essential). Consider Christianity, consider Buddhism. In the U.S., especialy after 9/11, it may be especially difficult to understand the life of Muhammad. Even before 9/11, even from the early times of Islam, Christian sources were critical of Islam and Muhammad. It is difficult to get a balanced read from any single source: if such a source exists, how to know which it is?

I had read the Qu'ran years ago but recently have read criticisms of Muhammad from conservative Christians. I had been impressed from my own reading of the Qu'ran and by my Muslim friends so was more than skeptical of the criticisms I read of both Islam and Muhammad. Not expecting to get to an answer easily but not wanting to spend too much time to get some perspective, I opted for this portrait which, by intent, set out to present Muhammad in a "balanced way". I had not read Karen Armstrong before. I knew she did not have a scholarly background in Islam ( excepting self-made), but that she seemed respected in the area of comparative religions, although not without critics. So I chose this book expecting it to have introductory value and to offset or put into perspective some criticisms of Muhammad I had heard from conservative Christians.

This is an exceptionally well-written book and it does not seem to dodge some of those aspects of Muhammad's life that others were critical of. It does, as Armstrong intended, appear to attest well to his contributions. I expect it will serve me well as I learn more about Muhammad and the formative history of Islam, which I mean to do.
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