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The Life of Mahomet: From Original Sources

Sir William Muir (Author) Ram Swarup (Author)
Synopsis First published in 1861 in four volumes, this Indian reprint with a 26-page introduction by Ram Swarup, is a pioneering study based wholly on orthodox original sources. After this work, many Lives of the Prophet have appeared, but it still remains a classic and in some ways has not yet been surpassed in comprehensiveness and in the wealth of material. William Muir's The Life of Mahomet was first published in four volumes, a pioneering study based wholly on orthodox original sources. An abridged edition came out in 1876. The third edition was published with important alterations in one volume in 1894. The present volume is a reprint of this edition. After Muir's Life many Lives of the Prophet have appeared, but it still remains a classic and in some ways not yet been surpassed in comprehensiveness and in the wealth of material. Thanks to Archeology and other related disciplines, today we know a great deal more about Pre-Islamic Arabian culture, but ever since Muir there has been no addition in the source material relating to the Prophet's life. This was exhausted long ago by early Muslim writers and all this was taken into account by Muir.  Muir wanted his work to be faithful to the original traditions and thought that such a biography would be respected by the Muslims, and would therefore serve the Missionary cause better. He wanted it to oppose two kinds of Lives that were current: one was by Missionary writers who were careless about their facts, slipshod in their scholarship, hostile in intent, unsympathetic in treatment, and uninhibited in expressing their opinions. He also wanted his Life to oppose Biographies of the Prophet written by native Muslim writers which were current among devout Muslims. These were highly fanciful and extravagant and were based on fabricated traditions of which the early biographers of the Prophet were quite innocent.  This first Indian reprint is being placed primarily in the hands of Hindus so that they may study and reflect on the doctrine of Islam. For, there is very little in Islam which is not founded on and does not revolve round the personality of the Prophet. Knowledge of Islam will also lead them to knowledge of Christianity which shares its God, its prophets, and most of its monotheistic theology with the succeeding Semitic creed. Many Hindus, some of them saints and scholars, have been saying for long that Christianity and Islam teach essentially the same truths as Sanatana Dharma. Some schools of thought have also learnt to look at themselves with the eyes of prophetic monotheism. Ram Swarup's introduction to the Indian reprint will help them correct their perspective on comparative religion, and look at prophetic creeds from the viewpoint of Sanatana Dharma, particularly in its traditions of Yoga.
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About the author

Ram Swarup

Ram Swarup(1919-1998) graduated from the University of Delhi in 1941 and had been an original writer and thinker ever since. He participated in his country's struggle for independence, courting imprisonment. For some years, he was a close associate of British-born Mira Behn (Miss Slade), Mahatma Gandhi's adopted daughter. In the fifties he led a movement warning against the growing danger which international communism presented to the newly won freedom of the country. Around 1957, he took to a life of meditation and spiritual reflection, and since then he had made a deep study of the scriptures of different religious traditions. Ram Swarup was a noted writer in many fields. His previous books and brochures include Communism and Peasantry : Implications of Collectivist Agriculture of Asian Countries, Foundations of Maoism, and Buddhism vis-a-vis Hinduism. His Gandhism and Communism stressed the need to raise the struggle against communism from a military to a moral and ideological level. The brochure caught the attention of several US Congressmen, and some of its ideas were adopted by the Eisenhower administration in its agenda for the Geneva Conference in 1955. His Gandhian Economics, small but seminal, shows that the present industrial production system suffers form circularity, a deep internal technological contradiction-coal and iron, and a hundred other commodities symbolized by them, producing and consuming one another in a crescendo, round and round. His magnum opus, The Word As Revelation : Names of Gods, is on Linguistics, Philosophy, Vedic exegesis, and Yoga. It shows how a religion of 'many Gods' represents authentic spirituality.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Life of Mahomet: From Original Sources
Format Softcover
Date published: 31.12.2002
Edition Reprint.
Publisher Voice of India
Language: English
isbn 8185999076X
length 26+cxix+556 p., Illustrations; 22cm