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Book Reviews

Mark Gabriel: Jesus and Muhammad

Book Review:

Jesus and Muhammad

by Mark A. Gabriel. Published by Charisma House, Lake Mary. 2004  ISBN 1591852919

This is a fascinating book for two reasons. It is the testimony of a convert from Islam to Christianity who was a graduate and lecturer at Al Azhar University in Egypt, the most highly respected university in the Sunni Islamic world. Gabriel tells his story from the time of his youth and describes his amazing ability to memorise the Qur'an, his devotion, and the respect he gained amongst his family and peers for his understanding of the Qur'an. He outlines his studies to Doctoral level at  Al-Azhar, his clashes with Professors, his questioning of some of his beliefs, his arrest and finally how he came to follow Christ. It is an amazing testimony.

The second reason the book is fascinating is that the bulk of the book is a comparison of the life and teachings of Jesus and Muhammad. In a way it describes some of the process he engaged in in becoming a Christian.

For those with only a basic knowledge of Islam this book provides an accurate and easy to read outline of the main events in Muhammad's life, written by an expert. It also describes Muhammad's main teachings in a clear straightforward manner, as well as his character and behaviour. In each case parallels with Jesus are put alongside (helpful to those who only have a basic knowledge of Christianity).

The book is not vindictive or disrespectful. It is written with a focus on the actual teachings and sayings of both Jesus and Muhammad.

As an introduction to the life of the two leaders and as a summary of the main teachings  of the two religions, the book is excellent. It would be useful for those who were weighing up whether they should follow one or the other religion. It is certainly an excellent introduction to Islam for those who know little about it.

Dale Appleby

October 2008

 

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