Imposture and Rebellion: Consideration of the Personality of Prophet Muhammad by Ma'ruf ar-Rusafi

Diogenes 57 (2):62-74 (2010)

This paper is devoted to an analysis of Ma‘ruf ar-Rusafi’s work The Personality of Mohammed or the Elucidation of the Holy Enigma. While ar-Rusafi is traditionally known as a poet who combines great evocative power with a superb mastery of language and strict adherence to classical form, this canonical image is seriously complicated by the iconoclastic character of this book, completed in 1933 but unpublished until 2002. It totally rejects the orthodox theory of prophecy as passive transmission, and insists on the historic development behind orthodoxy. Rusafi puts forward a way of conceiving the Prophet’s mission that he considers more faithful to the sources and in greater conformity with the elementary requirements of reason. He proposes a “disenraptured” or “demythologized” reading of the Prophet’s life and work. The author considers ar-Rusafi’s book as the most serious assault on orthodoxy that has been launched on it from within in modern times
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DOI 10.1177/0392192110393210
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