A life of the prophet Muhammad by bestselling religious writer Karen Armstrong. Most people in the West know very little about the prophet Muhammad. The acclaimed religious writer Karen Armstrong has written a biography which will give us a more accurate and profound understanding of Islam and the people who adhere to it so strongly. Muhammad also ...Read MoreA life of the prophet Muhammad by bestselling religious writer Karen Armstrong. Most people in the West know very little about the prophet Muhammad. The acclaimed religious writer Karen Armstrong has written a biography which will give us a more accurate and profound understanding of Islam and the people who adhere to it so strongly. Muhammad also offers challenging comparisons with the two religions most closely related to it - Judaism and Christianity.Read Less
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very good author who leaves her personal opinions out of her history
Apr 23, 2007
A Naturalistic Account?
Religiously Karen Armstrong is a naturalist. She sees the spiritual as arising out of the social history of humans. Here, in her book Muhammad, she faces a man who spoke a bible, believing that God was speaking through him. She does not hesitate to acknowledge that belief, recording Muhammad's reiteration that God was speaking directly to him and that the Quaran, written down by others because Muhammad was illiterate, was therefore, directly, God's word. But, occasionally, she refers to Muhammad's personal genius, his in depth understanding of his Arab people, whom he succeeded in bringing out out of incessant trible warfare to become a united people. This referal to the psychological and the social, the natural powers, is almost hidden as if she wanted Muslims to judge her book positively in terms of her God references. Yet, overall, this is a magnificent account out of her genius of the spiritual and the religious, whether natural or supernatural. Muhammad was a great man who accomplished the impossible against enormous odds. He was an active leader who understood his people and what they needed. Against all odds he brought his people out of tribalism into a monotheims, repeating what the Israelites accomplished for themselves, a pattern he studied and followed.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-03-16 In a meticulous quest for the historical Muhammad, Armstrong first traces the West's long history of hostility toward Islam, which it has stigmatized as a ``religion of the sword.'' This sympathetic, engrossing biography portrays Muhammad (ca. 570-632) as a passionate, complex, fallible human being--a charismatic leader possessed of political as well as spiritual gifts, and a prophet whose monotheistic vision intuitively answered the deepest longings of his people. Armstrong ( The Gospel According to Woman ) refutes the Western image of Muhammad as an impostor who used religion as a means to power, an attitude encapsulated in a psychotic dream episode in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Denying that Islam preaches total intransigence, she finds in the Prophet's teachings a theology of peace and tolerance. The ``holy war'' urged by the Koran, in Armstrong's reading, alludes to each Muslim's duty to fight for a just, decent society. She draws significant parallels between the spiritual aspirations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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