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by: Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown [Georgetown University, USA]

Venue: The Houses of Parliament – House of Commons, Committee Room 19,(Cromwell Green entrance), Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Co-organised by the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation* [] AND Islamic Courses.

*The Maimonides Interfaith Foundation [] is a dynamic, influential international charity promoting understanding and respect between people from the three Abrahamic faiths through the power of art, creativity, intercultural dialogue and education. At a wider level, it also helps drive discussions around key issues and challenges relating to the role of faith, religion and pluralism in the world today. It does this by creating cultural events that connect people, organising significant debates and by developing exciting educational initiatives like Interfaith Explorers [ ]. Among its supporters are some of the world’s most highly respected religious leaders and other prominent figures.

This event has been organised at the House of Commons with the support of Lyn Brown MP, Shadow Minister for Faith Communities and Member of Parliament for West Ham.

Few things provoke controversy in the modern world like the religion brought by Muhammad. Modern media are replete with alarm over jihad, underage marriage and the threat of amputation or stoning under Shariah law. Sometimes rumor, sometimes based in fact and often misunderstood, the tenets of Islamic law and dogma were not set in the religion’s founding moments. They were developed over centuries by the clerical class of Muslim scholars.

Misquoting Muhammad takes the reader back in time through Islamic civilization and traces how and why such controversies developed, offering an inside view into how key and controversial aspects of Islam took shape.

Reviews of the book:

  1. ‘Eminently qualified… Brown eloquently parses Islam’s rich interpretive tradition.’  – Kirkus Reviews
  2. ‘There aren’t many books on Islam where the Prophet Muhammad and Martin Scorsese appear together… helpful for the lay reader’–interpreting-the-prophets-legacy-by-jonathan-a-c-brown-book-review-9654383.html –  Independent
  3. ‘Lucid, learned and engaging’  (Karen Armstrong, Sunday Times)
  4. ‘Erudite and provocative… compelling’  (Literary Review)


Misquoting Muhammad takes the reader back in time through Islamic civilization and traces how and why such controversies developed, offering an inside view into how key and controversial aspects of Islam took shape. From the protests of the Arab Spring to Istanbul at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and from the ochre red walls of Delhi’s great mosques to the trade routes of Islam’s Indian Ocean world, Misquoting Muhammad lays out how Muslim intellectuals have sought to balance reason and revelation, weigh science and religion, and negotiate the eternal truths of scripture amid shifting values.

Copies of ‘Misquoting Mohammed’ will be available for purchase at the event alongside opportunities for book signing and questions related to the subject with author.

Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown [Georgetown University, USA]

Professor Jonathan AC Brown was raised as an Anglican and converted to Islam in 1997. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, India and Iran, and he is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009) and Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law.

Some of the articles he has written include: “How We Know early Hadith Critics Did Matn Criticism and Why It’s So Hard to Find,” Islamic Law and Society 15(2008): 143-84. “New Data on the Delateralization of Dad and its Merger with Za’ in Classical Arabic: Contributions from Old South Arabian and the Earliest Islamic Texts on D / Z Minimal Pairs,” Journal of Semitic Studies 52, no.2 (2007): 335-368. “The Last Days of al-Ghazzali and the Tripartite Division of Sufi World: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s Letter to the Seljuq Vizier and Commentary.” The Muslim World 96, no. 1 (2006): 89-113. “Criticism of the Proto-Hadith Canon: al-Daraqutni’s Adjustment of al-Bukhari and Muslim’s Sahihs.” Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies 15/1 (2004): 1-37. Social Context of Pre-Islamic Poetry: Poetic Imagery and Social Reality in the Mu’allaqat.” Arab Studies Quarterly 25/3 (2003): 29-50. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include the history of forgery and historical criticism in Islamic civilization, comparison with the Western tradition; and modern conflicts between Late Sunni Traditionalism and Salafism in Islamic thought.

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