Why the Prophet Muhammad Matters

On the next Inside Islam radio show, Wednesday, May 12th, Jean will be talking with Professor Omid Safi, the author of Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters about the Prophet Muhammad, his image in Western discourse, his place in the Muslim worldview, and his relevance in the world today.

According to Safi, the image of the Prophet has changed throughout time in both Muslim and non-Muslim circles. Safi asserts that some negative images have continued through time even as knowledge of Islam and exposure to Muslims by non-Muslims have increased. For example, offensive and negative imagery of the Prophet Muhammad can be seen in work as old as Dante’s Inferno where the Prophet is described as  residing in Hell and in contemporary situations as when Evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell call the Prophet was a “terrorist.” Continue reading



Green Faith

How does faith affect eco-consciousness? Is religion more focused on the after-life than on stewardship of the earth? Experts on Islam and Christianity join us for an interfaith conversation about faith and environmental activism. This show will preview an Inside Islam conference on Green Faith that will be held on March 6th at the Pyle Center at UW-Madison.

Regions & Themes


South Asia

Anglo-Islamic Law in Colonial India

Mitra Sharafi, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin

In colonial India, Islamic law was famous for its flexibility. It
was one of many systems of religious law applied in the state courts, typically by European judges. Then as now, South Asia operated upon the personal law principle. For marriage and inheritance, a person’s religious affiliation determined what law would govern. Hindu law applied to Hindus, Islamic law to Muslims, and so on. State courts administered religious law, making the term “Anglo-Islamic” law the most appropriate term for the body of law applied to Muslims. Continue reading