Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Prophet Muhammad - A Biography, by Barnaby Rogerson

I find it incredibly bizarre how few good, simple, well-written, easy-to-read biographies there are of the Prophet Muhammad in the English language. Martin Lings' biography is oft-cited by Muslims as the one to read but, truth be told, it doesn't read like a novel. A bit too scholarly - dry, overly detailed - I found it to be. In terms of language and readability, this one by Barnaby Rogerson is the best I have read so far. Not entirely brilliant but within it is a decent biography of the Prophet Muhammad. I recommend skipping - or skimming over - the second and third chapters on your first read as a lot of it is just boring, bloated, unnecessary history and geography about the old Arabia. The fourth chapter is where the biography really takes off. Sure the book is littered throughout with some strange claims but if you can get past that - and in the absence of other, better, biographies of the Prophet Muhammad in the English language - this is one of the easiest to read.