Islam students at LUC

Archive for July 20th, 2010

I thought that Omid Safi’s book provided a unique and personal insight to the life of Muhammad and the beginnings of Islam. However, I fell that he presented his information through a dialogue in a manner demanding sympathy from the reader regarding the hardships that the Muslim faith has endured. This criticism is not intended to detract from these historical events or to undermine the character of Muhammad’s followers and the Muslim faith. The books factual information and Safi’s knowledge of the topics are impressive and has lead me to a more complete understanding of some of our in class topics. I think that Safi’s tone and constant reference to the hardships against Muslims (hardships that throughout history have been experienced by countless religions, races, cultures, and societies) detract from his message and create a sense of bias, whether intended or not. The tone of Safi’s book might also seem more severe in comparison to In The Footsteps of the Prophet, which seemed to be more concerned with educating the reader. Safi take such a defensive stance that I found it read his book with out feeling like I was being bombarded with this idea that Islam is the victim. Even the description on the back cover, its first sentence being, “People have been attacking Muhammad for 1,300 years” pushes the reader to sympathy before any information is presented.

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After finishing the lectures on the life of Muhammad it is crazy to see all the trials and tribulations that he went through just to convert the people back to a way of thinking that was there before.  It always seems this way, when people begin to get used to a certain way of living and feel comfortable, change is always difficult especially when it may hurt those people financially. I also really think that the treaty terms that Muhammad set up with the Quuraysh was something that he had in mind all along, something that he knew would help him to grow in numbers. He may have been limited to not converting people from Mecca, which he knew he would be successful, but he had a chance, with protection, to try to convert everywhere else. Once the treaty was broken he had the numbers to be able to go into Mecca and take back the town, and restore the monotheism that was once was.