ARABIC-ORIENTALIST WILLIAM MUIR AND HIS DEALINGS WITH AL-WAQIDI NARRATIONS IN HIS BOOK "THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD” STUDY AND CRITICISM

المستشرق وليم موير وتعامله مع أخبار الواقدي في كتابه "حياة محمد" دراسة ونقد

Keywords: Keywords: Al-Waqidi, William Muir, Orientalist, deviation, citation

Abstract

Sir William Muir, the author of the book "the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)" is considered to be the renowned Scottish orientalist. His book is supposed to be the first complete and comprehensive book in English on the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from the original sources. Infect, this book caused uproar in Muslim societies generally and in scholarly (Muslim) circles particularly. Muslim scholars who rejoined the work of Sir William Muir highlighted the aspect that he quoted the historian Al-Waqidi massively. Perhaps, it was due to Al-WAqidi (as they assume) does not present the image of Islam as it is in real, but distorted one. Consequently, they blame Sir William Muir to be not fair in this regard, and citing narratives from those sources which are not reliable even in the circles of Muslim scholars just to present the picture of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) distortedly.It is known that Sir William Muir claimed in the preface of his book that he would apply the modern standards of criticism on textual contents of historic narratives considering the internal and external circumstantial evidences. Unfortunately, Sir William Muir could not apply it. His biasness and partiality emerges explicitly when we throw a glance at his work. He was right in his statement that he will consult the only core original principal references of the biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for the citation and quotation of material in his book, But the problem occurred when he tried to prove what is in his mind before from speculations and assumptions irrespective of what is actual and factual and what does appear from exploration and evidences. All his attempts focused on how to prove what western mindset assumes and thinks about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) evidently. And therefore, Sir William Muir quotes Al-Waqidi and prefers him on Ibn e Ishaq and others from his rivals not on the basis of critical evaluation but due to what does suit him more to prove his hypotheses. In this article, I have tried to highlight the methodological deviation of Sir William Muir in the case of citation from Al-Waqidi's work on the biography of Prophet Muhammad.

Published
2021-06-30