Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time by Karen Armstrong
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Looks a little like Jesus, doesn't he?
This was one of my first forays into the life of a man who has meant so much to so very many. Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time felt easily digestible to me, an outsider and an utterly ignorant one at that.
Having lived about 500 years after Jesus, we seem to know more concrete information about the life of this prophet, thought by Islamists to be the last prophet, than we do of the Christians' "son of god". He came from Mecca and is the man who brought all of the Arabian nations under one religious umbrella. He was a fighter, who raised a Jihadist army that he turned upon his own hometown, in the name of god of course.
Perhaps that sounded too snarky. I do not intend to belittle the man or his religion. My scorn is for all organized religions. However, I try to set aside my prejudices when reading non-fiction on religious matters or biographies regarding their saintly figures. For instance, some of Muhammad's deeds did not seem entirely honorable in hindsight, but that is hindsight, which is distorted by the distance of time.
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time is a nice primer, a good first step towards greater knowledge. During these difficult times, when many of us Americans do not readily accept the followers of Islam with open arms, getting to know the history of the people is an important step in realizing our overwhelming similarities as humans, the one an only tribe of man and woman that should truly matter.
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