The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited and remade.
Look out for Lesley Hazleton's new book, "Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto," coming in February 2016.
Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all 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's account 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 established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton's narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. "The First Muslim "illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
About the Author
Lesley Hazleton reported on the Middle East from Jerusalem for more than a dozen years, and has written for "Time", "The New York Times", "The New York Review of Books", and "Harper s", among other publications. Her last book, "After the Prophet", was a finalist for the PEN-USA book Award. Hazleton lives in Seattle.