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Karen Armstrong, author, scholar, and journalist, is among the world's foremost commentators on religious history and culture. Her books include the bestselling A History of God and The Battle for God, as well as Buddha and Islam: A Short History.


Anyone reflecting on the current world climate of intolerance would agree that it's impossible to have too many enlightening books on Muhammad and his spiritual legacy. Written for educated lay readers, this entry in the "Eminent Lives" series is a briefer post-9/11 update of Armstrong's insightful Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (1991). Five fast-paced chapters cover Mecca, Jahiliyyah (time of ignorance), Hijrah (migration to Medina), Jihad, and Salam (peace). Readers of these pages cannot escape the genius of Muhammad and his aim for peace and compassion among nations and among Muslims themselves: "Muslim must never fight against Muslim." Armstrong makes a strong appeal to the nations and religions of the world "not merely [to] tolerate but to appreciate one another." Clearly, Muhammad is a prophet for our time, and inhabitants of this unstable planet must take his words to heart if our species is to survive. Recommended for all libraries.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

A good glimpse of how the vast majority of the world's Muslims understand their prophet.--New York Times
Karen Armstrong's sympathetic profile paints a portrait of a very human prophet--Wall Street Journal

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