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Muslim scholars are a vital part of Islam, and are sometimes considered 'heirs to the prophets', continuing Muhammad's work of establishing Islam in the centuries after his death. But this was not always the case: indeed, Muslims survived the turmoil of their first century largely without the help of scholars. In this book, Jonathan Brockopp seeks to determine the nature of Muslim scholarly communities and to account for their emergence from the very beginning of the Muslim story until the mid-tenth century. By analysing coins, papyri and Arabic literary manuscripts from the ancient mosque-library of Kairouan, Tunisia, Brockopp offers a new interpretation of Muslim scholars' rise to positions of power and influence, serving as moral guides and the chief arbiters of Muslim tradition. This book will be of great benefit to scholars of comparative religion and advanced students in Middle Eastern history, Islamic Studies, Islamic Law and early Islamic literature.
As the Messenger of God, Muhammad stands at the heart of the Islamic religion, revered by Muslims throughout the world. The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad comprises a collection of essays by some of the most accomplished scholars in the field exploring the life and legacy of the Prophet. The book is divided into three sections, the first charting his biography and the milieu into which he was born, the revelation of the Qur'ān, and his role within the early Muslim community. The second part assesses his legacy as a law-maker, philosopher, and politician and, finally, in the third part, chapters examine how Muhammad has been remembered across history in biography, prose, poetry, and, most recently, in film and fiction. Essays are written to engage and inform students, teachers, and readers coming to the subject for the first time. They will come away with a deeper appreciation of the breadth of the Islamic tradition, of the centrality of the role of the Prophet in that tradition, and, indeed, of what it means to be a Muslim today.