In the West, Islam is often regarded as a warrior faith, with Muhammad as its conquering leader, armed with the Qur'an in one hand and a scimitar in the other. But what sort of man was he? Was he the spiritual founder of a nation, committed to the will of God, or a military dictator? God's chosen prophet or an autocratic polygamist? This biography offers an in-depth account of Muhammad's life and explores his central role both in the early development of Islam and today. It features: his revelations and early journey; an exploration of Muhammad both as prophet and military leader; the revelation of the Qur'an; Muhammad's role in interfaith realtionship past and present; his significance for topical issues such as the Salman Rushdie affair, jihad, apostasy, and the status of women; and contemporary western and Muslim scholarship on Muhammad. Balanced and readable, this book offers thorough coverage of a wide range of complex issues in a manner which will enable scholars, students, and interested newcomers alike to form their own opinions about the mission and role of Muhammad.
Martin Forward is currently the Helena Wackerlin Professor of Religious Studies at Aurora University, Illinois, and Executive Director of its Center for Faith and Action. He is an ordained Methodist minister, is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, and is an acknowledged expert in contemporary religious studies.
'Through this minefield of complex questions, Forward writes in a balanced, honest, respectful, accessible, and sensitive style, for which he should be commended.' - Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Muslim World Book Review