The First Muslim Book Summary - The First Muslim Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The First Muslim summary

Lesley Hazleton

The Story of Muhammad

4.2 (97 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.

Table of Contents

    The First Muslim
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    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.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The First Muslim?

    Key ideas in The First Muslim

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    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.

    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.

    Categories with The First Muslim

    Book summaries like The First Muslim

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial