Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance, yet despite 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 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 justice? How did the pariah hounded out of beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and compellingly readable, The First Muslim offers vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. In the process, it illuminates not only a momentous figure but also his enduringly relevant legacy.