Studies in Islamic History and Institutions by S. D. Goitein, Shelomo Dov Goitein

By S. D. Goitein, Shelomo Dov Goitein

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II6-II7. Note that the very name Muhammad is believed to have mystical power. 24 THE NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM tried to make the life of the founder of their religion meaningful for themselves and their readers. Practically all the veteran Muslim authors of Egypt have felt the urge to write such a book, so much so that sometimes even a certain criticism of this literary trend and a warning against clericalism was voiced. The present generation is characterized by the serious endeavor of approaching the history of the Prophet scientifically.

2 The word obviously is related to umm, mother. However, whatever notions of matriarchate may have been originally connected with the term umma, they are for Islam "pre-historical". I do not quite understand why THE FOUR FACES OF ISLAM 31 the essentials of Muslim religion go back to its founder. The rise of the umma commonly is explained as follows: When Muhammad's prophetical message had only a very limited success in his native city of Mecca and its environs, he moved to Medina, where he founded a community of warriors for God's sake.

It is indeed a first rate source for the psychology of genius. Genuine concern for the well-being and salvation of others is mingled with intensive preoccupation of the author with himself. Just as the Arabs succeeded in transmitting their enthusiasm for their beautiful language to the peoples subjected by them, so Muhammad imbued his followers with the same solicitude for himself which engaged his own mind. "He who loves me, loves God"we are in no position to know whether this and similar sayings ascribed to Muhammad in the lJadith are authentic.

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