Books

 

    Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction

As the founder of Islam, a religion with over one billion followers, Muhammad is beyond all doubt one of the most influential figures in world history. But learning about his life and understanding his importance has always proven difficult, as our only source of knowledge comes from the biography of him written by his followers, the reliability of which has been questioned by Western scholars. This Very Short Introduction provides a superb introduction to the major aspects of Muhammad’s life and its importance, providing both Muslim and Western historical perspectives. It explains the prominent roles that Muhammad’s persona has played in the Islamic world throughout history, from the medieval to the modern period. The book also sheds light on modern controversies such as the Satanic Verses, for which author Salman Rushdie was condemned for blasphemy, and the uproar over Danish cartoons of Muhammad, which triggered violent protests around the world. As these recent events show, whatever the truth about Muhammad’s life, his persona still plays a crucial role in Muslim life and civilization.

Purchase This Book on Amazon

 

 

    Hadith:  Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World

Contrary to popular opinion, the bulk of Islamic law does not come from the Qur’an but rather from hadith, first-hand reports of the prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds, passed from generation to generation. However, with varying accounts often only committed to paper a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic scholars, past and present, have been faced with complex questions of historical authenticity.

Informative and accessible, this wide-ranging introduction provides a detailed exploration of the collection and criticism of hadith and examines the controversy surrounding its role in modern Islam. Complete with a glossary, extensive bibliography, and helpful diagrams, Hadith: An Introduction is perfectly suited to students, scholars, and the general reader interested in this critical element of Islam.

Purchase This Book on Amazon

 

 

   The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon.

 

The two ‘Authentic’ h.adīth collections of al-Bukhārī and Muslim are the most famous books in Islam after the Qur’ān – a reality left unstudied until now. This book charts the origins, development and functions of these two texts through the lens of canonicity. It examines how the books went from controversial to indispensable as they became the common language for discussing the Prophet’s legacy among the various Sunni schools of law. The book also studies the role of the h.adīth canon in ritual and narrative. Finally, it investigates the canonical culture built around the texts as well as the trend in Sunni scholarship that rejected it, exploring this tension in contemporary debates between Salafi movements and the traditional schools of law.

Purchase This Book on Amazon