The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad by Lesley Hazleton

By Lesley Hazleton

The intense lifetime of the fellow who based Islam, and the realm he inhabited and remade.

Muhammad’s was once a lifetime of virtually unprecedented ancient value; but for all of the iconic energy of his identify, the intensely dramatic tale of the prophet of Islam isn't really renowned. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to existence. Drawing on early eyewitness assets and on historical past, politics, faith, and psychology, she renders him as a guy in complete, in all his complexity and vitality.

       Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s upward thrust from powerlessness to energy, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting importance. How did a toddler shunted to the margins prove revolutionizing his global? How did a service provider come to problem the status quo with a brand new imaginative and prescient of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca flip exile right into a new and effective starting? How did the outsider develop into the final word insider?

       Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates bright perception right into a guy navigating among idealism and pragmatism, religion and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not just an immensely major determine yet his lastingly appropriate legacy.

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The birth house of Fatimah (Masqat Sittanâ Fâtxmah) in which Muhammed lived for years with Khadîjah, and in which the visitor kisses a stone hollowed out in the middle, the kiss being given because Fatimah is supposed to have been born in it; the dwelling-house of Abu Bakr, the birth houses of the Prophet, of Ali, and of Abu Bakr, in which houses again black and green stones10 are kissed, over which stones stand wooden chests covered with carpets such as are found elsewhere in mortuary chapels: in the graveyard of al-Maalâ, the domed tombe of Khadîjah and Aminah; near that graveyard the prayer-house of the Jinn where the seventysecond chapter of the Qur’an was revealed: and countless other less generally visited buildings of historic interest.

These delîls show them what to do in all circumstances, and direct the course of their charity which always flows on these occasions. They bring the gifts into the way of their business friends, and themselves get something out of it when rich doles have been bestowed through their intervention. With the Arabs it is in general the custom that in every transaction the third party, who may have taken part in the business only with a few words of recommendation, should get a small present; why then should not the mutawwif who has disposed of his customer’s purse to good purpose get his percentage of its outgoings: of the house rent, the price of food and other commodities, the sums which pilgrims bring with them on the Hajj for the representatives of their dead relations, the cost of the donkey ride to Tan{îm, where the pilgrim dons pilgrim dress for further little pilgrimages, or to the Cemetery, of the reward of the guides (muzawwirîn) who are taken at the Cemetery?

Is it then allowable that Europe with all her own social evil should so fanatically carry on her mission in Africa against the slave-traders? No! there daily life in mekka 25 is first something better worth doing in Africa, and when the negro people learn the value of life, the slave-raiding will stop of itself: the mischief lies in the internal state of the country. 7 Our digression can be excused on the one hand by the high importance existing from time immemorial of slaves and freedmen for Mekka society, and on the other by the present actuality of the slave question.

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