The doubt essential to faith

Lesley Hazleton on the arrogance of fundamentalism

When Lesley Hazleton was writing a biography of Muhammad, she was struck by something: The night he received the revelation of the Koran, according to early accounts, his first reaction was doubt, awe, even fear. And yet this experience became the bedrock of his belief. Hazleton calls for a new appreciation of doubt and questioning as the foundation of faith — and an end to fundamentalism of all kinds.



Categories: Islam

1 reply

  1. Lesley Hazelton, should know all about “doubt” as an agnostic Jew who can’t seem to decide on whether God exists or not. However, that doesn’t seem to stop her from writing and speaking about the religion of other people who do not share her doubts.

    Her book,”The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad” removes the miraculous claims and averts away from the question of divine authenticity of religious revelation in relation to the biography of Prophet Muhammad (sws). Her effort to “remain objective” results in a book that is often biased against the devotional interpretation of the Islamic sources. Much of her writing is based on her own speculation, judgments, and musing, and is not based in serious scholarship. She addresses Islam in a way that she feels is inoffensive, while it almost seems as if her true aim is to stealthily undermine the traditional interpretations of the religion and leave the reader in doubt about the validity of Islam.

    Her prior book, “After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split” was little better. Although an engaging read, it can also be criticized for its negative portrayals of Fatima (RA) and Aisha (RA).

    She does say many nice things about Islam, and even at times defends it from wrongful accusations. While, her books do take a more positive approach than many recent books by non-Muslims about Islam, there is still much to criticize, question, and reject, in her writings, and one should not turn to her alone in seeking knowledge about Islam.

    Liked by 2 people

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