The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
63 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Informative & educational - Goodreads
... etc. explanations and arguments to the table. - Goodreads
Very well written with excellent research behind it. - Goodreads
This book was easy to read and interesting. - Goodreads
It is easy to read, and rather poetic at times. - Goodreads

Review: The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

User Review  - Catalina - Goodreads

As a non-Muslim I was interested in learning more about Islamic origins and history. Being that this is the first book of Hazelton that I just read, the author has an immediate and captivating style ... Read full review

Review: The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

I picked this up because I'd heard Lesley Hazleton speak after the publication of her book on the succession after Muhammad's death, and because i wanted a refresher to Karen Armstrong's "Muhammad: A ... Read full review

Related books

Other editions - View all

About the author (2013)

Lesley Hazleton reported on the Middle East from Jerusalem for more than a dozen years, and has written for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and Harper's, among other publications. Her last book, After the Prophet, was a finalist for the PEN-USA book Award. Hazleton lives in Seattle.

Bibliographic information