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The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad
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Penguin Publishing Group 2013
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Description
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.
Lesley Hazleton's new book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, is out now from Riverhead Books.

Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
Hazleton's account follows the arc of Muhammad's rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton's narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/24/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101602003
ASIN:
B008ON42FY
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lesley Hazleton. (2013). The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lesley Hazleton. 2013. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lesley Hazleton, The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad. Penguin Publishing Group, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lesley Hazleton. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad. Penguin Publishing Group, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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title
The First Muslim
fullDescription
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.
Lesley Hazleton's new book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, is out now from Riverhead Books.

Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
Hazleton's account follows the arc of Muhammad's rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton's narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 12, 2012
        Despite Islam’s position at the forefront of the American consciousness, the general public knows little of its founder and prophet beyond platitudes and condemnations. Hazleton (After the Prophet) attempts to rectify this imbalance with her vivid and engaging narrative of Muhammad’s life. The author portrays her subject as an unlikely and unsuspecting vehicle for the divine, “painfully aware that too many nights in solitary meditation might have driven him over the edge.” Sympathetic but not hagiographic, her work draws liberally from a long tradition of Islamic biographical literature about the prophet; the nuanced portrait that emerges is less that of an infallible saint than of a loving family man, a devoted leader of his people, an introspective and philosophical thinker who reluctantly accepted the burden of conveying the word of God, and a calculating political strategist. Hazleton writes not as a historian but as a cultural interpreter, reconstructing Muhammad’s identity and personality from the spiritual revolution that he sparked and the stories that his followers passed down. While the speculation is sometimes off-putting (as when Muhammad’s final illness is confidently diagnosed as bacterial meningitis), the result is a fluid and captivating introduction that will be invaluable for those seeking a greater understanding of Islam’s message and its messenger. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins/Loomis Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2012
        A longtime reporter on the Middle East, Hazleton (After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam, 2009, etc.) carefully delineates the great events in the life of the "first Muslim," who, like the Christian prophet Jesus, was chosen as the "translator" of God's message to mankind. The author sifts through and synthesizes many differing and conflicting sources for a gently reverential and ultimately winning study of a humble soul in search of his identity. Hazleton effectively fleshes out the iconic events of the messenger's life. Left fatherless as a baby, shunted to a wet nurse who cared for him and brought him up in the Bedouin ways, Muhammad grew into a capable, hardworking caravan agent for his uncle in Mecca before making an advantageous match with a wealthy widow 16 years his elder, Khadija, who would prove a steady companion and his first convert. Muhammad first made a name for himself as the arbitrator in the collective repair of the damaged sacred sanctuary of Kaaba; his altered state atop Mount Hira at age 40 was an experience of "poetic faith," Hazleton explains, resulting in beautiful verses flowing from his lips. He spoke urgently of social justice and reform, and he spoke in Arabic. Exiled from Mecca by the ruling elite, he again proved a natural, masterly negotiator among tribes in Medina, appealing to a higher authority to solve their disputes and drawing up a binding contract of monotheism. Hazleton explains that he resorted to violence only after a passive resistance got him nowhere--the troublesome precedent of jihad. The author writes poignantly of the evolution of the public messenger from the private man. A levelheaded, elegant look at the life of the prophet amid the making of a legend.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2012

        There don't seem to be a lot of universally acknowledged biographies of Muhammad around, so I'll go out on a limb to highlight this one, because Hazleton, who reported on the Middle East for a dozen years, wrote the well-regarded After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam, a PEN USA Book Award finalist.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 1, 2013
        It is surprising how little most people know about the life of the prophet Muhammad. Hazleton sets out to rectify that in this eminently readable biography. Relying on two biographies from the eighth and ninth centuries, as well as other sources, she presents Muhammad's life as both history and story. It begins with a moving scene: Muhammad alone in the barren mountains, at night, praying and waiting. Who he is and how he came to be there are revealed in chapters that show him as an orphan in need of protection, as a young camel driver appreciated for his fairness, as a prophet touched by Allah, and as a political leader driven to bring the message to all those with ears to listen. The beauty of Hazleton's book is that she portrays Muhammad throughout his life as a living, breathing man with the hopes, fears, struggles, and the monumental blessing and burden of knowing he has received divine knowledge. Does she delve into psychology to bring about a fully realized portrait? Yes, but respectfully so, posing more questions than she answers. A highly readable, insightful biography.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.

Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.

Hazleton's account follows the arc of Muhammad's rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate...

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