Michael Connolly's Reviews > The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion

The Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer
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's review
Aug 11, 12

bookshelves: reviewed, islam

Some reviewers have called this book a polemic, but I found it rather dry and academic. Spencer goes into a great deal of detail about the Arabic sources on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The three main sources are the Qur'an, the Hadith (traditions and commentary) and the Sira (biography of Muhammad).
Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. His full name was Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn And al-Muttalib. Muhammad's tribe was the Quraysh. Mecca was their main city. Their local shrine was the Ka'bah. Muhammad was the first person to unite all the tribes of Arabia, and the first to convert the Arabs from their traditional polytheistic religions to a monotheistic religion.
Muhammad claimed that he received divine revelation, but it does not seem that Muhammad's revelations produced very many good ideas that made the Arabs more civilized. It is the reviewer's opinion that civilization has usually originated from settled, agricultural societies, not from nomadic cultures, such as the Arabs. Most of the good parts of Islamic civilization came from the older civilizations that they concurred: the Egyptians, Greeks and Persians. In the reviewer's opinion, if any human being has actually received divine revelation, Mozart is the most likely candidate.
Muhammad first tried to peacefully persuade his Arab tribe in Mecca, the Quraysh, to convert to Islam. They refused. In 622 A.D. he left Mecca and moved to Medina. The Muslims call this journey the Hijra. Medina was a Jewish city at the time, called Yathrib. The three main Jewish tribes in Medina were the Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadir, and Banu Qurayzah. Muhammad tried to peacefully persuade the Jews in Medina to convert to Islam. They also refused. So then he mounted an army, attacked Mecca, and forced the Arabs there to convert to Islam.
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