Posted December 17, 2003
Book: The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography
Author: Barnaby Rogerson
Hidden Springs Books, Mahwah, New Jersey, pp. 240
Excerpt from Preface:
Within Islam, he represents almost everything of human value. Muhammad, Prophet of God, the last and greatest of that long line of men, from Adam through to Abraham, Moses and Jesus, who have struggled to bring the word of God to humankind. Even when viewed in an entirely secular perspective he remains a superhero. He was found of the Caliphate, one of the greatest empires of the world; creator of classical Arabic, a new literature and world language; founder of a new national identity, the Arab; and creator of Islam, a worldwide culture that is now 1,200 million strong and growing more rapidly than you can count. Only by marrying the best qualities of certain characters from European civilization — a combination, say, of Alexander the Great, Diogenes and Aristotle, or the Emperor Constantine, St. Paul and St. Francis — can you bring to understand the measure of the man.
Of course, his historical achievements were mere accidental spin-offs. His only purpose was to forge a new relationship between God and humankind. To those billions of believers who follow in his spiritual path he is omnipresent within the individual world of imagination, prayer and petition. He is perceived in many ways. He is the ultimate stern patriarch, that man of men who stands at the forefront of all the saints, heroes and good rulers from centuries of proud Muslim history. He is the implacable lawgiver, the guide who has clearly pointed out the roads destiny, this way leads to heaven, this way to hell. He is the loving grandfather, leading the prayers in the mosque while his infant grandson clambers upon his shoulders. He is the sacrificial hero who goes into the testing fire of the spiritual world for the benefit of humankind, shaken to the core of his very being by the terror of being addressed by God through the angels — and all the while persecuted and reviled by his own people. He is the great lover of women — he required no other luxuries, no possessions, so complete was his joy and satisfaction in the company of his wives. He is the wise sage who despised the luxurious trappings of royalty, the halls, guards, courtiers, silks and gold that hitherto had always been associated with power. He is also the savant of the mystics, the guide who has led generations of dervishes, sufis, poets and lovers of God on their quest. He is the only man to have journeyed to heaven and back. He is the Hero of Heroes.
Excerpt from Contents of Book:
By the light of day, and by the fall of night, your
Lord has not forsaken you, nor does He abhor you.
The life to come holds a richer prize for you than
this present life.
You shall be gratified with what
your Lord will give you.
Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter?
Did He not find you in error and guide you?
Did He not find you poor and enrich you?
Therefore do not wrong the orphan, nor chide away the beggar.
But proclaim the goodness of your Lord.
(Surah Ad-Dhuha, no. 93, verses 1-11)
"No father hath given his child anything better than good manners" The Prophet Muhammad
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Dawn over Mecca
Chapter 2: Arabia and her neighbours
Chapter 3: From boy shepherd to the caravans of old Arabia
Chapter 4: Muhammad: man, husband, father, seeker
Chapter 5: Muhammad's first revelations
Chapter 6: Muhammad in Medina: the prophet and his city
Chapter 7: War with Mecca
Chapter: 8 Victory and magnanimity: Muhammad converts Arabia to Islam