Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet


Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet tells the story of the 7th century prophet who changed world history in 23 years, and continues to shape the lives of more than 1.2 billion people.  Muhammad premiered nationally on PBS December 18, 2002.

The Los Angeles Times called Muhammad “a candid, thoughtful, flowing, visually stunning film.…that is as timely as documentaries get….this important film delivers again and again.”

The film creates a detailed and intimate portrait of Muhammad, the man and the prophet. It takes viewers not only to ancient Middle Eastern sites where Muhammad’s story unfolded, but into the homes, mosques and workplaces of some of America’s seven million Muslims to discover the many ways in which they follow Muhammad’s example. A KQED presentation, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet was produced by Kikim Media and Unity Productions Foundation. To visit the PBS web site for Muhammad, click here.

Long after its initial broadcast, Muhammad has had an enormous impact thanks to a unique collaboration with the producers of Frontline’s Muslims. Together, the programs form the centerpiece of an extraordinary community engagement campaign and educational outreach effort, known as The Islam Project. According to Active Voice, the campaign’s organizers, the project has been one of their most successful outreach campaigns to date.

Funding for Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Arabian Bulk Trade, Sabadia Family Foundation, Irfan Kathwari Foundation, El-Hibri Foundation, Qureishi Family Trust, and many other individual contributors.


“….I settled into my comfy chair with remote in hand at 8 p.m. Ironically, a Jewish documentary was just concluding on my local PBS station. I had many questions in my mind: Why do the Muslims hate Jews? Why are Muslims so violent? How come Muhammad killed so many people? Two hours later, and nearly in tears, I had a completely different perception of the prophet and Islam. I had new questions: Where were all the angry people? Where is all the violence we hear about? Why hasn’t anyone talked about this before?”

-Posting from a Chicago viewer on WTTW’s website


New York Times
“A program that offers easily assimilated knowledge and a sympathetic understanding is a definite service.”
Scripps Howard News Service
“Stereotypes about Muslims are quickly dispelled, and a better understanding of Islam results from Muhammad: Legacy of A Prophet.The enlightening documentary…is a well-researched reminder that Islam is about peace, love and the acceptance of other people’s beliefs – the same tenets as those in Christianity and Judaism.”

San Francisco Chronicle
“Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet…. will be a revelation for anyone not familiar with the life of a man who brought monotheism to Mecca 1,400 years ago and changed the course of human history….Riveting, informative and inspiring, “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” should almost be required viewing for non- Muslims. It sets the record straight about a man who has been demonized by those who know little to nothing about the substance of his life or his message.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
“How do you produce an engaging two-hour biography of one of the most influential men in world history without showing his image? The producers of Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, a PBS documentary about the Arab desert trader whose religious experiences led to the founding of Islam, have smartly overcome this cinematic challenge.
Combining symbolic images from the desert landscape in which Muhammad lived almost 1,400 years ago, contemporary footage of Muslims visiting Islam’s holy sites and, most importantly, interviews with American Muslims about what Muhammad means to them, the film offers an absorbing rendition of his life story.

It’s about as palatable an introduction to who Muhammad was and what most Muslims believe about him as you are likely to find…For people who complain that TV is a junkyard and that this season has become a mad, soulless dash, this informative, heartfelt documentary may be a blessed opportunity for rest and reflection.”

The New York Times (Alessandra Stanley)
“The documentary is well worth watching both as the first serious attempt to tell the story of Muhammed on television and also as a testimony to the hypersensitivity of our times.”

Read the full reviews:
San Francisco Chronicle
Scripps Howard News Service
Washington Post
Palo Alto Weekly
Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press (sidebar)
Philadelphia Inquirer
New York Times (Peter Steinfels)
New York Times (Alessandra Stanley)