Muhammad And The Believers Chapter Summary

847 Words 4 Pages
Muhammad and the Believers presents us with a historical narrative of the early life of Islam and its formation. The five chapters inform the reader with the necessary exposition and background as well as subtle and reoccurring criticisms. While Donner makes it clear that not every story, reading, and text in the Quran is believable, they are in fact important as they give us insight and understanding. The book presents itself as a historical reading yet is familiar enough for the average reader to enjoy.

The first and second chapter focus on the Byzantine and Sassanian empires as well as the early biography of Muhammad. Donner introduces the Quran and the Umma document both of which contribute as major sources. Chapters three and four focus on conquests and leadership challenging the validity and accuracy of many events. Chapter five marks the “emergence of Islam” in an attempt to make sense of the various final aspects in Islam’s creation.
As the book emphasizes, Islam was not just suddenly born, it was formed from Muhammad’s early followers of monotheists comprised of Christians, Pagans, and Jews and more. With religious conquests and expansion paving the way, Islam branched out and began to dominate the Middle East.
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This is perhaps where I felt Donner shined the most, presenting the reader with information and history and explaining why these things cannot be corroborated, in other words making them almost useless in modern research. That’s not to say that “all” scripture, texts, writings, or any other kind of ancient historically document is admissible as they are most definitely not. It is important learn what we can from ancient scriptures like the Bible and Quran, however what I believe Donner is conveying is that scholars and historians must know when to draw the proverbial line between truth and

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