The Prophet Muhammad: Faith Sensitive and Critical Approach Appraisals

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Over the years there have been numerous biographies written about The Prophet Muhammad which have been open to questions, scrutiny and debates. This is due to different approaches and perspectives held by different people. The main two approaches are Emic (insider’s points of view) and Etic (outsider’s point of view), where Emic is ‘faith sensitive’ and Etic is a ‘critical approach’ as described by Clinton Bennett. In this essay, I will discuss Bennett’s theory of the faith sensitive and critical approach when studying religion. Thereafter I am going to explore the debates set out by Emic and Etic sources and what they say about the biographies written about The Prophet Muhammad. The key aim is to concentrate on two critical areas set out by Sharifi and Khan, which have been up for debate in relation to academic studies on The Prophet Muhammad. These arguments will be analysed and explained through the use of western biographies with good and bad practise taken into consideration. Studying a combination of Bennett's theory and the theory of phenomenology will provide an understanding on whether there is a way of studying religion without debating. Additionally, it will also demonstrate hoe religion has been studied over the years as well as find a way where religion can be studied by means of both approaches. Firstly, we will look at Bennett's theory and what he means when talking about Faith sensitive and critical approach when studying religion. Bennett's theory suggests that in order to study religions one has to have a look at religion for example in this essay how to study the religion of Islam so, he says to look at Islam from more than an insider’s approach but also other critical approaches must be focused on a lot mor... ... middle of paper ... ...tanding on The Prophet Muhammad overall. Works Cited Armstrong, K. (1991) Muhammad: A Western Attempt To Understand Islam, London: Victor Gollancz. Bennett, C. (2010) Studying Islam: the critical issues. London: Continuum Cox, J.L. (2010) An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion. London: Continuum Khan, A.H. (1978) ‘Muhammad as Object and Subject’. Studies in Religion, 7: 4, pp. 275- 288, London: Sage. Rippin, A. (1990) Muslims, Volume 1. The Formative Period. London: Routledge. Sharifi, H. (1986) ‘A Muslim Assessment of Books on the Life of the Prophet Muhammad’ in A.Ashraf, (ed.) Resources for the teaching of Islam in British Schools, pp. 25-43. Cambridge: The Islamic Academy. Watt, W. M. (1961). Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Watt, W. M. (1956).Muhammad At Medinah. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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