Why The Prophet Muhammed Matters

Broadcast date: 3 p.m. Central Time, May 12, 2010

Audio (available after broadcast): [audio:https://insideislam.wisc.edu/audio/hoe100512k.mp3]

Who was the Prophet Muhammed and how do Muslims remember him today – as a mystic, a revolutionary, or a military leader?


  • Omid Safi, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of Memories of Muhammad

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2 thoughts on “Why The Prophet Muhammed Matters

  1. Having recently watched the movie, “Ghandi”, I was moved by Ghandi’s awareness of Muhammad and how he treasured Muslims. In particular, there is a moving scene in which Ghandi is fasting until Hindu-Islamic violence ended. A Muslim confesses to Ghandi that he has killed Hindus because his own boy was killed, and, as the man seeks God’s forgiveness, Ghandi calls for him to adopt a boy, orphaned from the fighting. Ghandi further instructs him to make sure he a Hindu boy… and to raise him as a Hindu. Perhaps this is a radical call, but it made me appreciate the resonance of Muhammad’s teaching on how important it was to take care of the orphan.

  2. You deliver stellar shows regularly, and this Wednesday’s show with Omid Safi, was Super Nova. Holy smokes! Every word of that show I found interesting — and I might even call the show enlightening. It’s amazing what one can learn … when one learns! And Mr. Safi is one amazing guest / teacher. And as he answered, in response to one of the callers, one might do well to raise the esteem of Islam in others’ eyes (if a Muslim) by taking the precepts of the religion to heart … and seeking to be as humble and as non-defensive as Mohammad iis written to have been in the face of derision. Indeed, Omid practices what he preaches! And I came away from the show feeling that anyone as acutely clear and sensitive and radiating of understanding and humility as this man, surely must be following a very rich vein! There can’t be anything wrong with this man’s path!

    As well, I came away with the satisfying feeling of hearing aired to a wide audience the universality of ‘the path,’ regardless of it’s ‘faith skin,’ or fabric — mere coverings over the one and only endeavor common to us all: the search to find and excavate from that source of fulfillment, love, peace and meaning, within. As, that’s where it lies.

    I’d not call myself an adherent of any ‘ism’ or faith — and yet, perhaps of all of them, at their essence (which Omid spoke to so eloquently in stating that one can come to the realization that all ‘faiths’ share a single source and are of one essence). But I have found a ‘path,’ if you will, with a very definite ‘practice’ that’s yielding a very satisfying result … and I recognize in Omid one who’s at the task, and reaping the rewards of taking that inner journey, that spiritual sojourn, that path of prayer, however it’s executed, in its particulars, for him. Good man. Good show.

    As for the Inside Islam series: fantastic! The very right thing, at the very right time. So much understanding … already gained … and so much yet to be had, I’m sure. Keep up the great work! Oh, I’m sure that you will! But, good work!, I say, anyway. Good work!