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'an, 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.
Jonathan E. Brockopp is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. A specialist on early Islamic legal texts, he has written widely on Islamic law, ethics, and comparative religions. His books include Early Maliki Law: Ibn Abd al-Hakam and his Major Compendium of Jurisprudence (2000), Judaism and Islam in Practice: A Sourcebook (2000, co-authored with Jacob Neusner and Tamara Sonn), and two edited volumes on Islamic ethics. His article 'Theorizing Charismatic Authority in Early Islamic Law' (2005) advances a new theory for understanding the role of Muhammad in Islamic history.