In In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no 9), Nora K. Schmid (University of Oxford) reviews Sean W. Anthony, Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam (Oakland: University of California Press, 2020).
In her review, Schmid writes “What do we know about Muḥammad? How do we know what we know and how certain can we be of that knowledge? These are questions that have been asked by scholars many times and answered in many different ways. In Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam, Sean W. Anthony presents a fresh attempt to provide answers to these questions. The book has two goals. It strives to “revitalize historical research into the life and times of Muḥammad” and it attempts to “shed new light on the historical circumstances and the intellectual currents that gave rise to the sīrah-maghāzī tradition as a discrete genre of Arabic letters from the last decade of the seventh century C.E. up until the end of the eighth.” The book is therefore truly a study of two topics, the historical Muḥammad and the sīrah-maghāzī genre, and an urgent plea to make sense of the former in light of the latter…”
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