The Life of Muhammad 2003 folio society edition

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The art of beautiful book-making is almost lost, but the Folio Society keeps up the grand tradition. It publishes important books in beautiful bindings, and the prices are very reasonable. Among the books just received is Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, Apostle of Allah. Edited by Michael Edwardes (London, 2003, pp. 177)- We should know more about Islam and its Apostle, and this is a splendid introduction. In his foreword, Edwardes summarizes the life and teachings of Muhammad. Ibn Ishaq, his earliest biographer, was born in Medina about 707 and died inn Baghdad about 773. This translation of his biography of Muhammad, published here for the first time, was made by a Hungarian, Edward Rehatsek, who spent most of his life in India. He presented the manuscript of his translation to the Royal Asiatic Society of London, and it is now published courtesy of the Society. A religion may be judged by its founder, and Muhammad seems to us a questionable character. He combined cruelty with magnanimity. When he took Mecca, only four people were put to death, but one of them was a singing girl who had composed satirical verses about him. Religious leaders seldom have a sense of humor. The Koran specifically states that women are inferior to men. Then how do Islamic feminists claim that this is not part of the authentic Islam? Muhammad had thirteen wives; Ibn Ishaq gives details about them. As he lay dying, a man brought him a fresh toothpick, which was apparently to let him clean his mouth. He bad men bring him seven leather bags of cold water. He sat in a tub and they poured it over him until he said "Enough! Enough!" When he died, the women beat their breasts. There is no mention of his leading the army which attacked Iran. This is a world alien to us.