Henry Stubbe (1632-1676) was an extraordinary English scholar who challenged his contemporaries by writing about Islam as a monotheistic revelation in continuity with Judaism and Christianity. His major work, The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism, was the first English text to document the Prophet Muhammad's life positively, celebrate the Qur'an as a divine revelation, and praise the Muslim toleration of Christians, undermining a long legacy of European prejudice and hostility.
Nabil Matar, a leading scholar of Islamic-British relations, standardizes Stubbe's text and situates it within England's theological and intellectual climate in the seventeenth century. He shows how, to draw a historical portrait of Muhammad, Stubbe embraced travelogues, Latin commentaries, studies on Jewish customs and Scripture, and, most important, Arabic chronicles, many written by medieval Christian Arabs who had lived in the midst of the Islamic polity. No European writer before or for a long time after Stubbe produced anything similar to what he wrote about Muhammad the "great Prophet," Ali the "gallant" advocate, and the "standing miracle" of the Qur'an. Stubbe's book therefore makes a unique contribution to the study of the representation of Islam in Western thought.
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About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments
Introduction: The "Copernican Revolution" of Henry Stubbe
The Printed and Manuscript Sources: Editorial Policy
The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism
What People are Saying About This
Nabil Matar is the leading literary historian (indeed, historian) of Islam's influence in Britain during the early modern period through the Enlightenment, and perhaps the sole scholar competent to produce an edition of this kind. He is a textual editor who also possesses the breadth of literary, historical, and theological knowledge to introduce and explain the text.
This is a work of significant historical revisionism, dedicated to refuting popular misunderstandings and presenting, for the first time, Christian Arab writers as 'indispensable interlocutors who challenged western historiography and the Western canon.'