Reading Muhammad I was reminded of writings by Kahlil Gibran and Paulo Coelho.
Deepak Chopra paints a portrait of Muhammad through the eyes of those who knew him. An image at times that is like Jesus at others an Old Testament Prophet. My lingering image was of a warlord delivering Islam at the point of a sword.
Muhammad and his followers were forced to flee Mecca. They sought sanctuary in Medina. They repaid the hospitality by driving out the Jews. Those who were left and remained neutral during the final conflict with Mecca were slaughtered in cold blood, the women and children sold into slavery.
On his death, his followers fought over the spoils, splitting Islam in two. Islam rapidly spread. It was able to spread out of Arabia due to the four centres of Christianity being at war with each other. The Turks were able to take Constantinople when the Christians in the West failed to come to their aid.
Many thanks to Jane for the gift and to Paulo for the recommendation.