Interview of Lesley Hazleton writer of "The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad"


Lesley Hazleton, author of The First Muslim, talks about why and how she wrote about the life of Prophet Muhammad.

lesley hazleton

Lesley Hazleton: Writing about Muhammad, the man.

His father died before he was born and his mother died when he was six but Muhammad went on to become one of the most significant figures in history. Little attempt has been made to see his life, his struggles, his accomplishments against the socio-economic norms of the Arab world of his times.

Indeed, even his call against female infanticide must have been revolutionary in an age when sons were said to add to a man’s stature.

With The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton has set about filling the gap between the Muhammad we know through scriptures and hagiographies and a very normal man who was shaken to his bones when first revelation came to him on Mount Hira. A Jew settled in Seattle, Hazleton has spent many years in the Arab world. Her earlier works include After the ProphetJezebel and Mary: A Flesh and Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother. Excerpts from an interview:

Most accounts on Prophet Muhammad are written either from the viewpoint of believers or the West. There is very little attempt to collate the geography and history of the place…

From the start, I wanted to accord Muhammad the integrity of a full life lived. The last thing I wanted was yet another “duty read”. So I took an agnostic stance, laying aside piety and legend on the one hand, along with stereotype and judgmentalism on the other. And avoiding the deadening pall of circumspection in the …continue reading at

1 reply

Leave a Reply