Early Islam has emerged as a lively site of historical investigation, and scholars have challenged the traditions of both Islam and its academic study by drawing attention to the wealth of non-Islamic sources that describe its rise. A Prophet Has Appeared brings this approach to the classroom. The collection provides students with carefully selected, introduced, and annotated materials from non-Islamic records dating to the early years of Islam, which students and scholars can read alongside the Qur'an and later Islamic materials. Applying historical-critical analysis, the volume aims to place these invaluable sources on more equal footing with the much later Islamic narratives about Muhammad and the formation of his new religious movement.
The sourcebook includes new English translations of twenty different authors or sources. Initially written in many languages—not just Greek and Latin, but Syriac, Georgian, Armenian, Hebrew, and Arabic—these texts span a broad geographic expanse from England to Egypt and Iran. Ideal for the classroom and personal library, it provides readers with the tools to meaningfully approach a new, burgeoning area of Islamic studies.