Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 6, no 1-2 (2010)

Review Article: Muḥammad is Not the Father of Any of Your Men: The Making of the Last Prophet, by David S. Powers. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. 376 pp., 7 illus. Hb $55.00/£36.00. ISBN-13: 9780812241785.

Walid A. Saleh
Issued Date: 29 Dec 2011


This review calls into question the entire premise of this work. The paleographic as well as the historical evidence presented by Powers does not hold under scrutiny. The author fails to consider the basic rules of paleography such as haplography as the most evident explanation for the mistake he sees in the Codex Arabe 328a. The total absence of historical context of early Islam is far more troubling aspect of this work. Islam is presented as a literary midrash on Rabbinic texts and not as an independent historically unfolding tradition. The tone of the book is also regrettable; condescending and at times dismissive of serious scholarship, the tone mars the value of this work.

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DOI: 10.1558/cis.v6i1-2.251

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