This work of sirah attempts to focus the reader on not only the details of the Prophet's life, but on the practical lessons which can be learned fromThis work of sirah attempts to focus the reader on not only the details of the Prophet's life, but on the practical lessons which can be learned from it, something which is prevalent in other works, but not nearly to this degree. Dr. al-Buti also levels an adequate response to Orientalist history when relevant, without detracting from the work. The translation is also well-done and fluid. This work deserves a new, well funded edition, as it is my opinion that it is one of (if not the) best work of sirah in the English language.
After giving more than sufficient amount of detail of the Prophet's life and mission, he then spends around 100 pages summarizing the rule of the Righteous Caliphate, continuing the "Lessons and Principles" for these chapters as well. In it, is included a wonderful clarification of the primary Shi`a misconceptions surrounding the political leadership of the early Muslim community in a manner that is perhaps as diplomatic, but unabashed as I have ever seen. He then concludes with a refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah's (may Allah forgive him) breaking with consensus on the issue of the permissibility and merit of visiting the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) with a level of succinctness that should put the issue to rest.
This book is amongst my essential reading list for English-speaking people and it is perhaps the only book I have ever read where the introduction was perhaps as important as the book itself. Though others have noted it should be read as a supplement to other Prophetic biographies, it is not short on detail and anyone reading attentively would have a firm grounding in the subject. Thus, rather than it being a supplement to other works, I would rather suggest that more details works be read as a supplement to it!...more
The beauty of this book is that Dr. Hamid Algar relies on Saudi historical writings themselves to proves his case. As it is an essay, it is quite shorThe beauty of this book is that Dr. Hamid Algar relies on Saudi historical writings themselves to proves his case. As it is an essay, it is quite short. I only wish it was expanded into a full-fledged book....more
Professor Ehrman writes in a highly accessible and entertaining style. The message is profound: forgery was a widespread practice in Early ChristianitProfessor Ehrman writes in a highly accessible and entertaining style. The message is profound: forgery was a widespread practice in Early Christianity - so widespread that in one way or another, it found its way into almost half of the books of the New Testament. But as it is not a new claim, I got the book to serve as a comparison between the canonization of Christian scripture and hadith authentication. With that aim in mind, I appreciate Ehrman's focus on the discipline of textual criticism and how it applies to Christian religious literature. He purposely avoided duplicating his previous works, only mentioning their content as needed to provide examples to demonstrate his contentions.
Having not entirely read his previous works (this is all the local library had in stock at the time), I would imagine it is not as profound or have the shock value of something like Jesus Interrupted or Misquoting Jesus for a general audience. I would also assume that it was written in part as an answer to his critics and for that reason, it will probably not be as well received.
All I can think of when reading this book is the Prophetic curse, "Whoever lies on me, let him take his seat in the Hell-fire" and how fearful the early Muslim community was of making even unintentional mistakes. Much could be said on that topic... Giving the more academic nature of this particular work, I would recommend this as a companion piece to his previous publications. It would be more readily appreciated by people concerned with methodology and jurisprudence - two subjects which bore most people. ...more