Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and by Akbar S. Ahmed

By Akbar S. Ahmed

Now reissued with a brand new advent, Discovering Islam is a vintage account of ways the background of Islam and its kinfolk with the West have formed Islamic society this present day. Islam is frequently caricatured as competitive and enthusiast. Written within the culture of Ibn Khaldun, this readable and wide-ranging booklet balances that snapshot, uncovers the roots of Islamic discontent and celebrates the assets of its energy. From the 4 ''ideal Caliphs'' who succeeded the Prophet to the refugee camps of Peshawar, an goal photograph emerges of the most good points of Muslim background and the compulsions of Muslim society.

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Francis Bacon popularized the apocryphal story which ridicules the Prophet in the saying ‘if the hill will not come to Muhammad, Muhammad will go to the hill’. ‘Muhammad remained in his moral corruption and debauchery a camel thief, a cardinal who failed to reach the throne of the Papacy and win it for himself,’ declared the French Encyclopédie Larousse. Pope Innocent III identified him as the Anti-Christ. The Royal Chaplain and Father Confessor of Spain, Jaime Bleda, writing in the early years of the seventeenth century, triumphant at the final expulsion of the Moors, in what became a standard history, introduces the Prophet as the ‘deceiver of the world, false prophet, Satan’s messenger, the worst precursor of the Anti-Christ’ (‘Morisco diaspora: a study of racial and religious intolerance at the time of the expulsion’, R.

Without pausing to speak to anyone, he went straight to his daughter’s house and drew back from the Prophet’s face the cloak with which they had covered him. He gazed at him, and then kissed him. ‘Dearer than my father and my mother,’ he said, ‘thou hast tasted the death which God decreed for thee. ’ Reverently he drew the cloak over his face again, and went out to the throng of men whom ‘Umar was still addressing. ’ he said as he approached. ’ ‘Umar paid no attention and persisted, but recognising the voice of Abu Bakr the people left ’Umar and turned to hear what the older man had to tell them.

Pressure on the Prophet and the small band of Muslims increased. In the forefront of the campaign to discomfit the Prophet was his uncle Abu Jahl. The breaking point had been reached. The Prophet resolved to accept an invitation from the people of Madinah. He was not a complete stranger to the town: his grandmother belonged to the Khazraj, one of its two major Arab tribes. In the summer of 622 the Prophet left Makkah and arrived in Madinah, a journey that was to change the history of the world.

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