The First Muslim
The Story of Muhammad
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.
Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Misleading and deceptive
Though I respect the author for her many just causes and view points in other matters, I find it disturbing that, in many events mentioned in the book, the author seems to be choosing certain versions of the story that may not serve good the authenticity of the biography. For instance, there are many one sided versions chosen which encourage thinking of the prophet as being politically, rather than spiritually, driven. A variety of events could've been told each in their different versions, for example, in the same book; in order to ensure its neutrality. Indeed, the author does so in few places here and there, but in general she fails in my opinion to show the whole picture.
She succeeds also in selecting terms that indicate criticizing the prophet and analyzing him just as any other political leader. Everyone has the right to believe or not in his prophecy. But if comparison is needed in regards of his actions and motives, it should in my opinion be with others of the same level such as Jesus, Moses, Abraham and the like. At the end of the day, was he mainly a political leader? Or much more than that.
I advise whoever intends to read this book to read several others as well about Muhammed in order to have the whole picture, as unfortunately I do not believe this one has it.