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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Book review of The Prophet Muhammad - Biography by Barnaby Rogerson

I was drawn to this book by a friend of mine who commented on the ease of language over Martin lingss' text. Although I did not agree with him, at the same time I wanted to see how well written this text was. So the following is a short review of this book.

The introduction makes it clear that that the author is someone has travelled in the Muslim world and experienced some Muslim Culture. One sometimes hopes in vain, that the people who write about Islam are Muslims this is not the case; many non-Muslim writers have written and will write books about Islam some of which will be useful and others will not. I am trying to decide which one this book is.

The author goes on various tangents from story to story and he does allow the reader to immerse himself into the sira. He cuts other stories short whether he is doing it purpose or not remains to be proved.

He makes several accusations which have no basis nor narration in the books of history because history is not taken from the mind rather its taken from authentic sources.

Compare this to the Lings text which is referenced almost everywhere; this has very little in the way of references, apart from that which he quotes in the text or directly.

There is a chapter at the end of the book on sources but this is not in referenced back to any pages. So can anything be taken seriously in this book without the appropriate refencing? Well, no you have to provide your sources if you are not then all you are doing is narrating a story and you could add whatever you liked to the text.

Overall there are some good quotes that someone could take but advice to Muslims is to read what Muslims have written about their blessed Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) rather than read what non-Muslims have wrote. That is not to say some authors have had some interesting stuff to say, they have, but what Muslims have written about him is much greater.

So I would recommend Martin lings text than this but this text is better than the slanderous text by robert spencer.

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