A man of his time
but is that good enough to be an example for all time?
Though gently put, the historical facts that disturb so many non-Muslims are still evident. It's interesting to note that many Muslims in the West see Muhammad as a kind of Jesus figure, which, as one of the comments on the video states, really does demonstrate who the ideal role model is doesn't it?
I recommend watching this as people very rarely act in genuinely stupid ways. In their own minds they nearly always have good reasons for their beliefs and actions. Here is a documentary that gives more time than usual in dealing with Muhammad's good points (and also some failings by past Christians).
Yet from my point of view - and from the point of view of many non-Muslims like me - though generous, the film does little to assuage our concerns. Sharia (the way of life for Muslims based on the Sunnah, the life and teachings of Muhammad) may not always have been applied as it was written and intended but nevertheless it remains authoritative. Revivals of religious fervor result in its stringent application. This is not good.
So there are several Muhammads: the peaceful, the wise, the administrator, ruler, the brigand, the assassin and the violent warlord. At all times feeling led by God to act in these ways and being the perfect example of a life pleasing to Allah. In Islamic theology this confusion in the variety of Muhammads was made sense of by giving precedence to the later teachings & practises of the man which were, unfortunately, overwhelmingly violent & supremacist.
Therein lies our problem.
Through the Lens of Muhammad's Life: How the Example and Teachings of Muhammad Shape Islam Today
For the vast majority of Muslims, the example and teachings of Muhammad are the final authority for Islamic beliefs, practices, and interpretation of the Qur'an.
This documentary traces the origin of modern Islamic doctrines and practices from the life of Muhammad himself. It also explains some of the apparent contradictions we find in Islam (e.g., between peace and the use of violence), and will enable viewers to better judge the legitimacy of assertions made by Muslims and Islamic groups who claim to represent “true Islam.”
Topics covered (43 minutes):
1. Muhammad’s Authority [1:41]
2. From Peaceful Persuasion to Violent Extremism [5:31]
3. Magnanimity, Generosity, and Mercy [11:05]
4. Jihad (Holy War) for the Cause of Islam [15:37]
5. Jews, Christians, and Pagans Under Islam [20:25]
6. The Roots of Jewish Hatred [24:07]
7. Marriage and Women [30:51]
8. Slavery in Islam [36:32]
9. The Enigmatic Muhammad [39:14]