The First Muslim Book Summary - The First Muslim Book explained in key points
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The First Muslim summary

Lesley Hazleton

The Story of Muhammad

4.1 (113 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

'The First Muslim' by Lesley Hazleton is a historical account of the life of Prophet Muhammad. The book narrates his early years, revelations, and legacy, conveying an understanding of Islam as a religion of compassion and justice.

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    The First Muslim
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    Muhammad’s story begins with a vow made by his grandfather.

    The story of Muhammad starts well before his birth – and it was unusual from the very beginning.

    Muhammad’s grandfather was chief of the Hashim clan, a prominent grouping within the Quraysh tribe who, at the time, were a rich community that controlled the city of Mecca. His name was Abd al-Muttalib, and as a young man he found a freshwater spring known as Zamzam, which many people believed to be sacred.

    Other members of the tribe, envying Abd al-Muttalib’s discovery, challenged his right to the spring. So, to convince them that he was the rightful owner, Abd al-Muttalib swore that if the gods gave him ten healthy sons, he would sacrifice one of them on the banks of the water source.

    As fate would have it, Abd al-Muttalib was blessed with ten wonderful sons and was forced to keep his word. To make the decision, he threw ten arrows into the air near the stone of Hubal, a monolith that was sacred to the Quraysh. Each arrow bore the name of one son and the arrow to fall closest to the stone would seal the fate of the son whose name was written upon it. When the decision was made, Abd al-Muttalib’s favorite son, and Muhammad’s future father, Abdullah, was chosen.

    With a heavy heart, Abd al-Muttalib prepared to sacrifice Abdullah. But tribal members stepped in, saying that there could be another way. Eventually, it was decided that Abd al-Muttalib should speak to a priestess, known as a kahina, from the city of Medina.

    The kahina said that Abdullah’s life could be spared if an equivalent offering was sacrificed instead. Abd al-Muttalib was instructed to throw two arrows, one representing his son, the other ten camels. Every time it fell against his son, they’d have to increase the offering by an additional ten camels. Finally, after ten throws, Abd al-Muttalib got lucky. His son would be saved. And so the hundred camels were sacrificed. Afterward, Abdullah married a woman named Amina and the couple conceived Muhammad on the same night.

    But fate would take another turn. The following day, Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, left on a trade expedition and would later die of unknown causes.

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    What is The First Muslim about?

    The First Muslim (2013) details the incredible story of the prophet Muhammad, the first member of the Islamic faith. These blinks take you back to before Muhammad’s birth and tell the complete story of God’s revelation to this prophet, how he spread Islam and what his contemporaries thought of his ideas.

    The First Muslim Review

    The First Muslim (2012) by Lesley Hazleton is a fascinating exploration of the life of Prophet Muhammad and the origins of Islam. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a meticulous, well-researched account of Prophet Muhammad's life, presenting a comprehensive understanding of his character and impact.
    • The book delves into the historical and cultural context of the time, providing readers with deeper insights into the birth of Islam.
    • Hazleton's engaging narrative style brings the history of Islam to life, capturing the reader's attention and ensuring that the book is far from boring.

    Best quote from The First Muslim

    Abdullah was buried in an unmarked grave, leaving his bride a widow, and his only child an orphan in the womb.

    —Lesley Hazleton
    example alt text

    Who should read The First Muslim?

    • Historians of all types
    • Students and scholars of Islam and its history
    • Critical readers who want to know more about the origins of Islam

    About the Author

    Lesley Hazleton is a renowned Middle East specialist. Her other books include After the Prophet, which was selected as a finalist for the 2010 PEN nonfiction award.

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    The First Muslim FAQs 

    What is the main message of The First Muslim?

    The main message of The First Muslim is a comprehensive biography of the Prophet Muhammad, showcasing his life, beliefs, and impact on the world.

    How long does it take to read The First Muslim?

    The reading time for The First Muslim varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is The First Muslim a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The First Muslim is definitely worth reading as it provides a deep and insightful understanding of the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Who is the author of The First Muslim?

    The author of The First Muslim is Lesley Hazleton.

    What to read after The First Muslim?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The First Muslim, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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