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. 

Contents

Introduction and Overview of the Life of Muhammad
1
1 Ibn Khalduns Social and Economic Theory
16
2 PreIslamic Arabia
25
3 The Role of Abraham Hagar and Ishmael
36
4 Recent and Current Scholarship
46
5 Possible Influences on Muhammads Inspiration
74
A Recent ReExamination
87
7 Richard Bells Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment
95
8 W Montgomery Watts Muhammad
107
William Muirs Analysis
124
10 Muhammad and the Jews
137
11 Concluding Sociological Reflections
154
Notes
165
Bibliography
170
Index
175
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About the author (2007)

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

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