Muhammad: Forty Introductions

by Michael Muhammad Knight

List Price: $16.95
Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2 inches, 320 pages | ISBN 9781593761479

Order Ships 01/15/2019

Or Buy From Indiebound

He ranks among the most venerated historical figures in the world, as well as among the most contested. Muhammad: Forty Introductions offers a distinct and nuanced take on the life and teachings of the prophet Muhammad, using a traditional genre of Islamic literature called the forty hadiths collection.

Hadiths are the reported sayings and actions of Muhammad that have been collected by the tens of thousands throughout Islamic history. There is a tradition in which Muslim scholars take from this vast textual ocean to compile their own smaller collections of forty hadiths, an act of curation that allows them to present their particular understanding of Muhammad’s legacy and the essential points of Islam.

Here, Michael Muhammad Knight offers forty narrations that provide windows into the diverse ways in which Muslims envision Muhammad. He also examines his own relationship to Muslim traditions while exploring such topics as law, mysticism, sectarianism, gender, and sexuality. By revealing the Prophet to be an ongoing construction, he carefully unravels notions about Islam’s center and margins.

Muhammad: Forty Introductions is a biography utterly unique, a performance and pairing of form and function like I’ve never seen before, an entirely novel take on one of history’s most important figures. It’s a revelation.

 
—Scott Cheshire, author of High as the Horses’ Bridles
1/5

In each chapter here, Knight selects a hadith that describes a specific aspect of the prophet’s life and character. He then elaborates on each in his own unique way with the purpose of expressing his personal walk with Muhammad . . . A compelling work.

 
—Dave Pugl, Library Journal
2/5

More than a survey of the prophet’s life and times, this book is an introduction to the stunning diversity of Islam and the ways in which Muslims think, dream, and make Muhammad into their very own prophet . . . Anyone who picks up this sparkling book will be introduced to the many Muhammads who exist in the world and the ways in which they are in conversation with each other in the lives of Muslims across the globe.

 
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
3/5

The author’s portrait of Muhammad is progressive, sometimes controversial, and he aims to be inclusive of a variety of Muslim voices . . . A worthwhile and sometimes challenging read for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

 
Kirkus Reviews
4/5

In each chapter here, Knight selects a hadith that describes a specific aspect of the prophet’s life and character. He then elaborates on each in his own unique way with the purpose of expressing his personal walk with Muhammad . . . A compelling work.

 
Library Journal
5/5

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