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Muhammad’s Military Expeditions: A Critical Reading in Original Muslim Sources

Ayman S. Ibrahim

Muhammad's Military Expeditions: A Critical Reading in Original Muslim (…)

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Ibrahim (Ayman S.), Muhammad’s Military Expeditions: A Critical Reading in Original Muslim Sources, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2024, 440 p. ISBN 978-0197769171


Ayman S. Ibrahim is the Bill and Connie Jenkins Professor of Islamic Studies, and Director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. He holds two PhDs in the material and intellectual history of Islam, and is the author of Conversion to Islam and The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion.


The last ten years of Muhammad’s life are vitally important not only to the study of Islam’s prophet, but to the development of the religion itself. Prior to that last decade, Muhammad and his followers were tribally weak, and were persecuted by the Arabian elites of Mecca. Yet, according to Muslim accounts, by the end of his life Muhammad had become the sole leader of Western Arabia. This last decade was colored by strategic military expeditions and tactical treaties, in which Muhammad overcame all his tribal enemies. Yet English speakers have long had limited access to thorough studies of these expeditions based on the original Arabic primary sources. In this book, Ayman S. Ibrahim seeks to fill this scholarly gap, presenting an exhaustive account of Muhammad’s final decade, with specific emphasis on his military raids against various non-Muslim groups.
What can the Muslim tradition reveal about Muhammad’s military career? Did he really launch over seventy military campaigns? Why? Can we be certain that the military incursions described in Islamic sources actually took place? These are fundamental questions in any study of the life and activities of Muhammad, and Ibrahim looks for answers in this thoroughly-researched book. Considering the views of Muslims and non-Muslims, the motivations behind raids, and the development of Islam itself, Muhammad’s Military Expeditions leaves no stone unturned.