BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Muhammad: Prophet of God


Mormon studies, book review, Muhammad, Islam


Islamic studies scholar Daniel C. Peterson has written a small book that speaks volumes about the man who, in about the year AD 610, while meditating in a cave near Mecca in Arabia, received a prophetic call that led to the establishment of a religion that today is claimed by almost a quarter of the world's inhabitants. It adds to the growing body of research by Peterson and other Latter-day Saint scholars that strengthens the Church's role as a voice of reason in an area rife with misunderstandings and ignorance--the Islamic world.

Although written from a strongly academic and scholarly perspective, Muhammad: Prophet of God is a book that offers an unusual opportunity for general readers without a firm foundation in Middle East history to gain an appreciation for the rich complexities of the culture, mores, and conflicting forces in the Arab world during the time of Muhammad.

By placing Muhammad in context--as a man of his times who was influenced by traditions and historical forces--Peterson plays a similar role to Richard Lyman Bushman in his "cultural biography of Mormonism's founder," Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Although Joseph and Muhammad are products of very different eras, each book portrays a prophet who is leading a religious restoration in a time of apostasy, and each depicts a leader who is strongly charismatic, sincere, and human.