The Generalship of Muhammad: Battles and Campaigns of the Prophet of Allah

The Generalship of Muhammad: Battles and Campaigns of the Prophet of Allah

The Generalship of Muhammad: Battles and Campaigns of the Prophet of Allah

The Generalship of Muhammad: Battles and Campaigns of the Prophet of Allah


His campaigns, military thought, and insurgent strategy

"An excellent analysis of Muhammad as a general, placing his battles within the context of military history, and a good introduction to the life of the founder of Islam."--David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad

"Provides an essential understanding to those wanting to know the history that shapes modern insurgencies."--Maj. Christopher Johnson, U.S. Army, policy advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

There are many biographies of the Prophet, and they tend to fall into three categories: pious works that emphasize the virtues of the early Islamic community, general works for non-Muslim or non-specialist readers, and source-critical works that grapple with historiographical problems inherent in early Islamic history. In The Generalship of Muhammad, Russ Rodgers charts a new path by merging original sources with the latest in military theory to examine Muhammad's military strengths and weaknesses.
Incorporating military, political, and economic analyses, Rodgers focuses on Muhammad's use of insurgency warfare in seventh-century Arabia to gain control of key cities such as Medina. Seeking to understand the operational aspects of these world-changing battles, he provides battlefield maps and explores the supply and logistic problems that would have plagued any military leader at the time.
Rodgers explains how Muhammad organized his forces and gradually built his movement against sporadic resistance from his foes. He draws from the hadith literature to shed new light on the nature of the campaigns. He examines the Prophet's intelligence network and the employment of what would today be called special operations forces. And he considers the possibility that Muhammad received outside support to build and maintain his movement as a means to interdict trade routes between the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanid Persians.


It is necessary to provide you, the reader, with an idea about the scope and nature of this military analysis of the campaigns of Muhammad, along with a few of the important specialized terms and the types of sources used. In the modern world of military historical literature there are a number of terms used to describe how weaker movements engage and defeat stronger opponents. Today such terms as insurgency, asymmetric warfare, and irregular warfare are commonly used to explain such movements, and yet these terms were unknown to military thinkers until most recent times. When one speaks of insurgency today, they typically refer to a weaker group that uses methods of warfare often cited as irregular, unconventional, or asymmetric, and that strives to overcome what is considered an established government or organization. But even such a definition raises the question of what irregular, unconventional, or asymmetric warfare is. Such terminology can actually engender confusion among readers and military practitioners alike.

For the purposes of this work, “irregular” or “unconventional” warfare refer to organizational methods that eschew clear and deliberate organization and operations, especially one that clearly defines the differences between combatants and civilians. But more importantly, terms such as “insurgency” or “asymmetric warfare” highlight a difference in actual tactics and operational techniques used by a particular movement. Therefore, irregular warfare should not be confused with insurgency, or unconventional warfare confused with asymmetric . . .

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