Memories of Muhammad: why the Prophet matters, by Omid Safi


  • Nagihan Haliloğlu University of Heidelberg

Abstract Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters, by Omid Safi, (New York: HarperOne, 2009), 352 pp., ISBN: 978-0061231346, $24,99 (Hardcover) (First Paragraph) Omid Safi's book Memories of Muhammad is not a biography of the Prophet Muḥammad in the conventional sense. This point is suggested by the subtitle: Why the Prophet Matters, which reveals the central theme of the book. This question is currently being asked by many Muslim and non-Muslim columnists and intellectuals. An American Muslim of Iranian origin, Safi starts the book by introducing the "Muḥammad Problem", in which he locates Islam and the Qurʾān in the American tradition. The introduction functions like a manifesto of the American Muslim in particular and of Muslims living in non-Muslim lands in general. It examines the way that different faiths have been received in the Christian West and how the Founding Fathers of the USA viewed Islam, revealing little-known facts such as Thomas Jefferson's interest in the Qurʾān and the Arabic language and that the Muslim American Congressman Keith Ellison swore on Jefferson's copy of the Qurʾān when he took office. ...




How to Cite

Haliloğlu, N. (2010). Memories of Muhammad: why the Prophet matters, by Omid Safi. Ilahiyat Studies: A Journal on Islamic and Religious Studies, 1(1), 130–133. Retrieved from



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