The First Muslim — Book Review

abdul hannan
3 min readFeb 16, 2021

Sheer disappointment!
I read this book after reading “After the Prophet”. In both books she has shown biasedness, but in “The First Muslim” she has described her personal perspective at almost every place instead of describing actual events clearly and in more detail by providing actual reasons.
She has twisted the arguments and reports just to support her own perspective!
I wonder how does Lesley know with so much certainty that what was going on in the minds of people in 7th century? I mean did she use a time machine to travel back in time to see the events with her own eyes? Or did she use telepathy to read the minds of people?
Even if she was present at that time in Arabia how could she tell what people were thinking?

Throughout the book she has tried to portrait Prophet Muhammad as a villain especially in his dealings with the Jews, she indirectly has tried to assert the point that Quran was not revealed to Muhammad by Allah, but he himself came up with it as revelation came to support his decisions.
Lesley has written in the book that “The pain was an essential part of it, part of the birthing process, for this is what he was doing: verse by verse, he was giving birth to the Quran.”

Similarly She has written “If Abd al-Muttalib” even registered the boy’s existence, it was doubtless as just another child scurrying around”
Why does the writer think it was impossible for Abd al-Muttalib to acknowledge and love his orphan grandson? When she has mentioned in the book that Abd al-Muttalib himself was an orphan and had a similar childhood as Muhammad. Besides watching his own childhood image in Muhammad Abd al-Muttalib had another big reason to show affection for Muhammad due to his own son Abdullah.
She has written in the book that Muhammad had heard a few stories during his childhood in the city of Damascus and later on those stories became part of The Holy Quran.
She should have described the reasons why these events became part of The Holy Quran.
For example the story of the people of cave is described in Chapter 18 of The Noble Quran (Along with the reason for the event of being there which Lesley didn’t bother to mention). Arabs used to ask questions from Prophet Muhammad about people of the cave and as a result of those questions Allah answered and that historical event became part of The Holy Quran.

She has shown clear biasedness while describing the dealing of Prophet Muhammad and Medinan Muslims with the Jewish tribes. I can understand that as she is a jew herself, but while writing on such a sensitive topic she should have written like a true historian without being biased. She should have presented other accounts from the history as well that led to the exile of those tribes.
They were not exiled because they were Jews they were exiled because they were traitors, if this was not the case why were Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza both Jewish tribes were allowed to stay in Medina after battle of Badr? Why did Muhammad ordered only Banu Qaynuqa to leave?
Whenever a tribe broke treaty or betrayed the fellow Medinans that particular tribe faced the consequences.
A much better read of these events can be found in “No God, but God” by Reza Aslan.



abdul hannan

Believer, Reader, Learner, Developer