The Truth about Mohammad

Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion

Spencer, Robert

Review on 02 October 2006 by Donald N. Anderson (a version of this review is on

Mr. Spencer has written an excellent new biography of Mohammed based entirely on early Islamic sources.  This is not a replacement for the classic The Life and Times of Mohammad by Sir John Glubb but rather supplements that book with a careful discussion of those themes in Mohammad’s life that had greatest impact on Islam and have fomented controversy in modern times.

It is easy to see why Mr. Spencer was reluctant to write this book as the Jihadists recently honored him by elevating him to the list of the 5 people they most want to murder.  He may just be reciting the facts as reported by Muslim sources, but giving English speaking Westerners additional information about the worlds most “perfect man” and exemplar for a major religion certainly does not help promote that religion to people with Western sensibilities.  Westerners do not generally subscribe to the notion that anything that promotes Islam is “good” and anything that puts Islam in a less popular light is “bad.”

The sayings and character of Mohammad are very important since fundamental Islam considers his revelation from Allah via Gabriel to be the final unchanging commandments of God to all the people on earth.  They further consider Mohammed’s life to be the perfect example of how people should live, and his sayings an essential addition to the revelation in the Qu’ran.

Mohammad’s treatment of critics, his promotion of raiding and Jihad, his attitude toward women, his provisions for Jews and Christians, and his prescribed punishments for crime, are all treated at some length.

It's very apparent from Mr. Spencer's description that the invariance in fundamental Islam, coupled with Mohammad’s extensive prescriptions, and the utter lack of a prescribed mechanism for adjustment and change, lead directly to his subtitle of Mohammad as “Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion.