Montgomery Watt, 1909-2006
He was the author, most notably, of Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman, 1961, Muhammad at Mecca, 1953, and Muhammad at Medina, 1956.
Watt brought a deep sense of spirtuality to his work and, for that reason, many Muslim scholars find his approach more sympathetic to the biography of the Prophet than, say, Rodinson's. I do recommend reading this interview conducted in 2000 as it elaborates the connections between his own faith and his life's work on Islam.
Those of us who study and teach Islamic history will recognize the immense loss to our field.
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Michael R. Davidson - 10/30/2006
I count myself unlucky that two giants in the Humanities, Denys Hay and Kenneth Jackson, died shortly before I arrived in Edinburgh. I was, however, privileged, but more appropriately humbled, to have the opportunity to hear Prof. Watt speak early in my graduate career there. He will be deeply missed.