Rabbi Mintz

“Muhammad the World-Changer: An Intimate Portrait”

“A beautifully written, immaculately researched meditation on the impact of the Prophet
Muhammad on the modern world. I loved this book!”
-Reza Aslan, author of No God but God

A six-year-old cries in his mother’s arms as she draws her last breaths to urge him: “Muhammad, be a world-changer!” The boy, suddenly orphaned in a tribal society that fears any change, must overcome  enormous obstacles to unleash his own potential and inspire others to do the same.

Fusing details long known to Muslim scholars but inaccessible to popular audiences, Mohamad Jebara brings to life the gripping personal story of Islam’s founding prophet. From his dramatic birth to nearly being abducted into slavery to escaping assassination, Muhammad emerges as an unrelenting man on a mission. Surrounding the protagonist are dynamic women who nurture Muhammad; Jewish and Christian mentors who inspire him; and the enslaved individuals he helps liberate who propel his movement.

Jebara places Muhammad’s life in a broader historical context, vividly evoking the Meccan society he was born into and arguing that his innovative vision helped shape our modern world.


A gripping narrative about a historical icon long shrouded in mystery, Muhammad, the World-Changer offers readers of all backgrounds unique insights, including:

  • How Muhammad’s personal life holds the key to unlocking the origins of Islam as a civilization and world religion.
  • How hundreds of eyewitnesses who recorded observations about Muhammad – fragments that The Algebra Society’s Jebara has fused into a textured human portrait: including Muhammad as toddler, teenager, and parent
  • How Muhammad became an orphan at age 6, with his mother’s dying instruction that he must become a “world-changer” – even has his status as an orphan in a rigidly patriarchal society meant he had instantly become an outcaste with few opportunities.
  • Muhammad’s core life mission was figuring out how to transcend the human propensity to stagnate, with his advocacy focused on unleashing human potential: encouraging people to blossom, overcome fear of change, and achieve via merit.
  • The remarkable women who nurtured Muhammad in his most vulnerable times, including the African enslaved he liberated; the businesswoman who invested in him and then proposed marriage; and the aunt who taught him therapeutic techniques.
  • How Muhammad the parent defied gender-role norms (changing diapers, cooking meals, etc.) but also lost all of his sons in infancy – in fact, he had to bury 6 of his 7 children in his relatively brief lifetime, a tragic experience that impacted his prophecy.
  • The process of revelation, including the shocking physical and emotional toll that initially terrified Muhammad and made him ill – forever shaping a reluctant prophet who was inspired by his message yet long struggled over how to best to share it.
  • How Muhammad fulfilled his mother’s dying wish, changing the world with a philosophy emphasizing empirical knowledge over dogma that pioneered the scientific method and helped unleash modernity, inspiring algebra, algorithms, and even the camera.
  • How Muhammad’s legacy remains up for grabs, as he purposely obscured his own life and designated no successor – enabling his followers to shape their own future yet also creating a power vacuum that powerful forces have competed to fill ever since.-