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Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters Paperback – November 2, 2010
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“Safi traces the three important stages of Muhammad’s life: his climb up the mountain to receive God’s revelation (through the prophet Gabriel); his flight from Mecca and Jerusalem to heaven where he has a direct encounter with God; and his migration from Mecca to Medina and back.” (Raleigh News and Observer)
“[Memories of Muhammad] attempts to discover the true Muhammad obscured by both hagiography and militant extremism...Safi is on the front edge of a generation of scholars who, with one foot in both worlds, are trying to explain Islam and the West to each other.” (Religion News Service)
“Safi… brings the prophet into clearer focus with his book Memories of Muhammad. Safi provides a sweeping look at Muhammad’s life and explores many of the controversial issues that color modern perceptions.” (Washington Post Book World Blog)
“...A rounded and revealing portrait of the life, work, and legacies of Muhammad.” (Spirituality and Practice)
“Safi responds to all these Muhammad problems by giving us a highly readable and interesting retelling of the story of this man... [and] provides important background for anyone who wants to understand our friends and enemies among the more than one billion people who embrace Islam.” (The Pilot)
“This book ranks as a milestone for non-Muslim readers. When most of the other books in this era are forgotten, people will continue to read Memories of Muhammad.” (Read the Spirit)
“Safi makes his argument by simply and beautifully narrating the life of Muhammad. Beyond offering a biography of the spiritual leader, Safi explicates his spiritual teachings and describes how he has been remembered by Muslims over 1,400 years.” (Boston Globe)
“...Safi maintains that it is necessary to learn about the Prophet Muhammad in order to understand Islam and to engage in open and constructive dialogue.” (Wisconsin Public Radio)
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, the non-Muslim world still is desperately seeking information about Islam largely because of continuing violence linked to individuals and groups claiming to represent the faith.
Whatever factors led to HarperOne's decision to publish "Memories of Muhammad," the fact is that this book ranks as a milestone for non-Muslim readers. Dr. Safi is professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina and he serves as the chair of the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion.
He's a Muslim scholar writing for general readers from the wealth of his authority as an academic. Looking over the stacks of books available about Islam, he correctly identified the Prophet Muhammad as a central point of confusion for non-Muslims and produced this book to help guide us in understanding the significance of this major religious figure.
When most of the other books in this era are forgotten, people will continue to read "Memories of Muhammad."
[a] it is not a typical description of Muhammad's biography and important events in Muslim history. Omid Safi described/analyzed major events by contextualizing them. For example, it does not just talk about when one of the major events in Muslim history took place. He sheds light into why it happened, what were its precursors, as well as immediate and long term implications for Muslim and non-Muslim world;
[b] Omid Safi makes great attempt to associate/relate major events in Muslim history with other world religions, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism;
[c] Though it is easy to grasp Shia-inclination, I liked how Omid Safi attempted to explain centuries-long tension between Sunni and Shia Muslims;
[d] The style and structure of the book is unprecedented. For example, one of the sub-titles reads "Muhammad, Eric Clapton, and the Tale of Layla and Majnun"...
Please don't be discouraged that Omid Safi's book includes some depictions of major events in Muslim history. One of the reviews refers to this fact and apparently that made him give 1 out of 5. But that's the problem Muslims have. We don't look at the substance and overrule something based on what someone said or what illustrations it includes... I am Sunni Muslim and yet enjoyed reading this book very much, AND would gladly read new pieces of scholarship by Omid Safi.
Without being overly zealous Omid Safi gives arguments about need of humanity to believe in God. To quote from the book "In the begnining we imagine God to be a slightly better version of ourselves, then the comforter of all that is missing from our lives, and then a king, before we finally realize that God is the Ultimate, the One, the perfection of Love, Majesty, and Beauty." God tells Muhammad PBUH "My heaven cannot contain me, nor can my Earth. But the heart of my faithful servant contains me". The one line which touched me the most from the book is "You can not know yourself without knowing God. You can not know God without knowing yourself."
He forcefully makes the point that the prophet Muhammad was sent as the mercy to all the worlds. He reminds Muslims to practice compassion and justice practiced by the last prophet to mankind. He mentions "For me, Muhammad represents the completion of the possibilities available to us as human beings, not because he is a superhuman, but precisely because he embodies the meaning of what it means to be fully human." Author refers an incident from the life of the prophet "on the way to Mecca, Muhammad saw a female dog that had given birth to a new litter of pups.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The only valid biography about Muhammad and Islam is by Ibn Ishaq, whose remarkable book was censored by Ibn Hisham. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jennifer
Very helpful in understanding Islam and the many disparate Muslim countries across Arabia, Africa, Europe and, yes, in the US. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bryan P. Bohn
I read this book with great interest and have learnt several new aspects about Islam.it is recommended to non-Muslims. Read morePublished 7 months ago by syed asad
This is a serious look at Muslims and what Muhammad really wrote and what he wanted to achieve. Well written, and a must to understand that most muslims are a positive influence in... Read morePublished 13 months ago by mark h. johnson
This is just the book I wanted, to inform me about Muhammad and Islam. It arrived in very good shape. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Marcia Heiser
The footnote references are not linked to the footnotes in the Kindle edition. I have had it with irresponsible publishers who sell half-baked e-books and expect readers to scroll... Read morePublished 18 months ago by jazzbird
Omid Safi is a renowned scholar of religion at UNC. This book is an excellent academic piece on the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Very well written. Thorough and detailed.Published on February 6, 2013 by Paul McNamara
I found this book to be truly inspiring. During my spiritual journey, I began to study Islam and was uncertain of whether or not the Shahaddah was a step I was ready to take. Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by gitty guitara