The Historical Muhammad

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Polity, Mar 19, 2007 - History - 181 pages
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In his quest for the historical Muhammad, Zeitlin's chief aim is tocatch glimpses of the birth of Islam and the role played by itsextraordinary founder. Islam, as its Prophet came to conceive it,was a strict and absolute monotheism. How Muhammad had arrived atthis view is not a problem for Muslims, who believe that theProphet received a revelation from Allah or God, mediated by theAngel Gabriel. For scholars, however, interested in placingMuhammad in the historical context of the seventh-century ArabianPeninsula, the source of the Prophets inspiration is a significantquestion.

It is apparent that the two earlier monotheisms, Judaism andChristianity, constituted an influential presence in the Hijaz, theregion comprising Mecca and Medina. Indeed, Jewish communities weresalient here, especially in Medina and other not-too-distant oases.Moreover, in addition to the presence of Jews and Christians, thereexisted a third category of individuals, the Hanifs, who,dissatisfied with their polytheistic beliefs, had developedmonotheistic ideas.

Zeitlin assesses the extent to which these various influencesshaped the emergence of Islam and the development of the Prophetsbeliefs. He also seeks to understand how the process set in motionby Muhammad led, not long after his death, to the establishment ofa world empire.


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Islam is the religion of Allah since the Adam, in all the religions present today in any forms or shapes are derived from one source , the Creator Himself Who gives us the inspirations all the times. these inspirational thoughts if you do a synthesis and analysis are two types one good and one bad . if you eliminate the bad thoughts and replace them with good thoughts and ask help from the Creator to show you the right path , you will be able to understand the whole life Mohammad PBUH and His message Quran. 


Introduction and Overview of the Life of Muhammad
1 Ibn Khalduns Social and Economic Theory
2 PreIslamic Arabia
3 The Role of Abraham Hagar and Ishmael
4 Recent and Current Scholarship
5 Possible Influences on Muhammads Inspiration
A Recent ReExamination
7 Richard Bells Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment
8 W Montgomery Watts Muhammad
William Muirs Analysis
10 Muhammad and the Jews
11 Concluding Sociological Reflections

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About the author (2007)

Irving M. Zeitlin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto

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