Barron’s AP World History Flash Cards by Lorraine Lupinskie-Huvane and Kate Coughlin purport to help students raise their test scores by providing facts in capsule form on over 350 flash cards. Here is card #87, “Muhammad.” Can you spot the non-facts?
■ About 610, Muhammad had a transformational spiritual experience and traveled through the Arabian Peninsula proclaiming that he was the last prophet of Allah
■ He believed in one God (Allah)
■ Allah’s words were given to Muhammad and collected by his followers and compiled in the Quran
■ Hadith, a record of the sayings attributed to Muhammad and accounts of the prophet’s deeds, serves as a guide for interpretation of the Quran and for social and legal customs
■ Muhammad’s journey to Mecca became a symbolic starting point of the official Islamic calendar and a religious pilgrimage for the followers of Islam
Tallying up, I see one statement that is highly questionable from a historical standpoint; one that is an affirmation of Islamic religious belief, not of historical fact; and one statement that manages in one sentence to make two historical errors so glaring that it makes me wonder what happened to the Islamic authority who vetted this and slipped in the statement of Islamic faith. Did he break for lunch before this card was finished, or was suddenly taken ill?