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Images of Muhammad: Narratives of the Prophet in Islam Across the Centuries Hardcover – August 18, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Khalidi's new book, like his previous book, The Muslim Jesus, is a remarkable find in the often stormy sea of misinformation on the religion of Islam and Islamic history."
--Winnipeg Free Press, September 13, 2009

"A courageous and seminal work...pathbreaking analysis of a difficult subject...Images of the Prophet is a fascinating and beautifully written book that deserves the widest possible attention."
--Middle East Policy, vol.xvii, no.1, Spring 2010

"Its answer to the question "Who is Muhammad?' provides one of the most illuminating discussions about the centrality of the Prophet to Islam that has appeared in years."
--Professor David Thomas, Islam and Christian Muslim Relations, vol 23, number 1, January 2012.

"An elegant and nuanced account of the origin and evolution of the Prophet's story...chapter 8 is a tour de force."
--Dr Tim Winter, Speculum, vol 86, issue 2, 2011.

"Khalidi presents a wholly new, unified and even surprising view of the man who founded Islam."
--Publishers Weekly, August, 2009.

"A wonderful overview of how Muslims have viewed their prophet...deep erudition on every page...brilliantly informative...beautifully written...consummately well informed."
--Prof FM Donner, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol.71, no.2, October 2012

"Tarif Khalidi's Images of Muhammad is...a deeply learned work...reflecting a formidable level of erudition...attractive to educated readers...as well as to undergraduate and graduate students...has the originality...of a powerful and learned mind.
--Professor Marion Homes Katz, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol 133.4 (Oct-Dec. 2013).

About the Author

TARIF KHALIDI is Sheikh Zayed Chair in Islamic and Arabic Studies at the American University in Beirut. He is the author of The Muslim Jesus, and was previously Sir Thomas Adams’s Professor of Arabic, director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Born in Jerusalem, he now lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (August 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385518161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385518161
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're curious about world religions, and you're not Muslim yourself, you've probably looked into the Quran and you may have read about the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad. This book is not a new biography of the Prophet.
It's a book, written by a scholar of Islam for general readers, explaining how writers have shaped--and reshaped--biographies of the Prophet down through history since the time of the revelation of the Quran well over a thousand years ago. It's probably not the best "first book" to read about Islam. Works by John Esposito generally are good starting points for American readers.
But "Images of Muhammad" artfully explores the many different stresses and shadings that writers have brought to accounts of Prophet Muhammad's life down through the centuries: He was a figure meant to reconcile an entire people to God. He was a figure who helped to connect the individual believer to God. He was a great innovator. He was a man who corrected and preserved a pure religious tradition. He had personal likes and dislikes he wished to pass along. He was a religious figure who transcended cultural preferences.
Perhaps you get the idea.
Dr. Khalidi takes us through more than a millennium of reflections on the Prophet's life and we come away with a larger, richer portrait of this figure than any single writer's account could paint.
Dr. Khalidi's interest is in the literary form known as "Sira," the short-hand term for a Life of the Prophet Muhammad. So, his book is not a survey of all literature that includes the Prophet, nor does he cover various contemporary books about the Prophet. He's interested here in how Muslims have shifted their emphasis in remembering their beloved founding figure down through the years.
I write this review as a non-Muslim.
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Format: Hardcover
I could not down put this cleverly conceived, well researched and intriguing book. I had always believed that the basic outline biography of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh had changed little during the last 1400 years. It has actually changed considerably. At various times, and for different cultural or political reasons, particular aspects of his life and character have been stressed (or downplayed). Nothing in this excellent book offended me, and the main thesis does not make me doubt my own understanding of the Holy Prophet life, yet it has certainly made me more aware than I was of my own culture's influence on my views.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Intelligently done book.

Just dont believe everything you read and do you research before making up your minds either way.
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