‘The Life of Muhammad’ documentary tonight on PBS

PBS documentary explores the life of Muhammad and the origins of Islam Photo: PBS/Life of Muhammad

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2013 —Tonight PBS is airing “The Life of Muhammad;” a three part documentary that traces the life, work and words of The Prophet Muhammad. Journalist Rageh Omaar hosts the three-hour production that presents the prophet in a respectful light without shirking from the controversies that surround him. 

For the many among us who know little beyond the radical aspects of Islam, a historical perspective of the prophet behind the religion may not convert any viewers, but it could give us a better understanding of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.


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Of particular interest is the final hour of the documentary that analyzes events during Muhammad’s later life, including the introduction of the moral code known as Shariah and the concept of “jihad.”

If a lesson about the origins of Islam is a bit too cerebral for viewers, there is a feast of reality shows to watch that are light on facts and heavy on contrived drama. Last week on “Amish Mafia,” the bearded enforcers of Lancaster County saved the day by destroying the inventory of an illegal raw milk peddler. 2.5 million people actually watched “Amish Mafia” last Tuesday, so maybe illegal raw milk is a bigger threat than some of us realize.

Also tonight, The Travel Channel is airing a new show at 10 p.m. called “F’ing Fast.” The show is about adrenaline junkies and their quest for speed on land, water and in the air. Okay we get the appeal of watching people risk their lives going fast, but is that the best the producers could do for a title? Maybe it’s because the majority of reality show producers are f’ing idiots, but that isn’t exactly a revelation is it?

Tonight’s viewing:


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All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Extreme Weight Loss: (New) Chris helps a woman — who blames her obesity for her daughter’s death — to get healthy.

CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) In the aftermath of a tragic event that strikes close to home, the NCIS team unites to demand answers and protect vulnerable colleagues.

FOX: So You Think You an Dance: (Live) The Top 8 dancers—Hayley Erbert, Fik-Shun, Jasmine Harper, Jenna Johnson, Paul Karmiryan, Tucker Knox, Aaron Turner and Amy Yakima—perform with All-Stars from previous seasons, but two more contestants are eliminated. Jenna Elfman is the guest judge.

NBC: Hollywood Game Night: (Repeat) he star players are Kristin Chenoweth, Felicity Huffman, Dominic Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon and Wilmer Valderrama. Included: Contestants display their music stylings.

CW: Whose Line is it Anyway?: (New) Keegan Michael-Key appears.

PBS: The Life of Muhammad: (New) Journalist Rageh Omaar chronicles the life of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, in this three-part series, which opens with a look at the world in which he was born. Also: his marriage to his first wife, Khadijah.

8:30 p.m.

CW: Whose Line is it Anyway? (Repeat) Synchronized swimmers Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva; comedian Jeff Davis.

9 p.m.

CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) Sam’s most private secrets are threatened to be revealed during the continued investigation into the death of a CIA agent who once worked with Sam.

NBC: America’s Got Talent: (New) The final 12 performers hit the Radio City stage to battle for a spot in the AGT semifinals.

CW: Capture: (New) A medical emergency occurs and a player is taken off the field on a stretcher; one team get tempted by an offer of pizza, beer and chicken wings.

PBS: The Life of Muhammad: (New) Part 2 of 3. Rageh Omaar recounts important events in Muhammad’s life, including the Night Journey to Jerusalem; his departure from Mecca for Medina; and the eight-year war with the Meccan tribes. 

10 p.m.

ABC: Body of Proof: (Repeat) A wealthy fund manager accused of defrauding investors is kidnapped; Megan gets closer to discovering the truth about her dad.

CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) Finch and Reese must look to an unconventional source for help after the Machine gives them the number of a successful surgeon.

PBS: The Life of Muhammad: (New) Conclusion. Events from the later stages of Muhammad’s life are recalled, including the introduction of the moral code known as Shari’a and the concept of jihad.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Pretty Little Liars at 8 p.m. on ABCFAM

Nine for IX at 8 p.m. on ESPN

Amish Mafia: The Devil’s Cut at 8 p.m. on DSC

The Haves and Have Nots at 9 p.m. on OWN

Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Dance Moms at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Covert Affairs at 9 p.m. on USA

Doomsday Preppers at 9 p.m. on NGC

Rizzoli & Isles at 9 p.m. on TNT

Airport 24/7: Miami at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Amish Mafia at 9 p.m. on DSC

Who Do You Think You Are? At 9 p.m. on TLC

Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Perception at 10 p.m. on TNT

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Tickle at 10 p.m. on DSC

F’ing Fast at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

Gangsters: America’s Most Evil at 10 p.m. on BIO

Suits at 10 p.m. on USA

Doomsday Castle at 10 p.m. on NGC

The Little Couple at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on TLC

The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on History Channel

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on ENC

Love and a .45 on FLIX

Date Night on FXM

Hostel on IFC

The Player on SUND

Man on the Moon on TMC

9 p.m.

Erin Brokovitch on AMC

This is Spinal Tap on BBC

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on HBO

Later tonight:

American History X at 9:50 p.m. on MOMAX

Hide and Seek at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Reservoir Dogs at 10 p.m. on FLIX

The Big Lebowski at 10 p.m. on TMC

Sunset Strip at 10:30 p.m. on SHO


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

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