Beyond Compare: Muhammad as Exemplar and Foil
Prophecy and Power: Muhammad and the Qur'an in Light of Comparison - Muhammad and the Qur’an in the Light of Comparison - Marilyn Robinson Waldman †
Marilyn Robinson Waldman † [+]
The author argues that new kinds of comparisons between Muhammad and previous messengers helped define Muslim identities over and against the various subject communities who claimed to “own” many of the same figures. At the same time, comparisons between Muhammad and other Muslim leaders shaped the pluralization of Muslim identity itself. Ironically, it was comparison that institutionalized an image of Muhammad as “beyond compare.” From Qur’anic primus inter pares, Muhammad slowly emerged, for the majority of the population, as the last and greatest of all messengers.