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Dictionary of World Biography
took several wives, of whom his favourite was A’ishah
(Ayesha), her father, Abu-Bakr, became Muhammad’s
successor, as first caliph of Islam.
Muhammad was a unique combination of religious
and secular leader, ruling central Arabia with a
population of about two million. He has been
described as the Islamic equivalent of a combination
of *Jesus, St *Paul, the four evangelists and
*Constantine, but no claim of divinity was made by
or for him.
There is little about Muhammad’s life to explain those
undoubted qualities that inspired such devotion
among his followers, an inspiration which founded
a great new world religion and carried the hitherto
backward peoples of Arabia to the conquest of an
empire which, at its peak, was greater in extent than
that of the Romans. It also led to a flowering of arts
and sciences that shone all the more brightly against
the background of the Dark Ages in Europe.
Watt, W. M., Mohammed: Prophet and Statesman.
1961; Anderson, K., Muhammad: A Life of the
Prophet. 1991; Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time.
2006; Hazelton, I., The First Muslim. The Story of
Muhammad. 2013.
Muir, Edwin (1887–1959). Scottish poet, born
in Orkney. After working as a clerk in Glasgow, he
became involved in left wing politics. He married
Willa Anderson (1919) and went to Prague, where,
with his wife, he translated the works of *Kafka and
began to publish his own poetry. He worked for
the British Council 1942–50, then became warden
of Newbattle Abbey College. His Collected Poems
appeared in 1952. His prose works include a study of
John *Knox and his Autobiography (1954).
Muir, John (1838–1914). American conservationist,
born in Scotland. He lived in the Sierra Nevada from
1868, devoted himself to nature, travelled extensively
in the west and Alaska and campaigned for forest
conservation, national parks and the preservation of
wilderness. The Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks
were proclaimed in 1890 and he won the support
of presidents *Cleveland and Theodore *Roosevelt.
He was Founder-President of the Sierra Club and a
prolific writer.
Mujibur
Rahman,
Sheikh
(1920–1975).
Bangladeshi politician. A lawyer, he was Secretary
of the Awami League 1950–71 and campaigned for
the succession of East Pakistan (Bengal). In 1970
the League won 151 of 153 Bengali seats. In March
1971 Mujibur proclaimed an independent Republic
of Bangladesh with Indian support, while China
backed Pakistan. Pakistan was defeated in open war
(December 1971), Mujibur became Prime Minister
1972–75, and in 1975 ‘President for Life’. With the
Bangladesh economy facing collapse, he established a
one-party state, provoked violent opposition from the
army and was soon assassinated.
600
Muldoon, Sir Robert David (1921–1992). New
Zealand politician. Trained as a cost accountant,
he entered parliament as member for Tamaki, for
the National Party, in 1960. He was parliamentary
Undersecretary to the Minister of Finance 1964–66,
and Minister of Finance 1967–72. He became Leader
of the Opposition in 1974 and Prime Minister
1975–84.
Muller, Hermann Joseph (1890–1967). American
geneticist. Educated at Columbia University, and
a student of T. H. *Morgan, he worked on the
genetics of the fruit fly. In 1926 he produced an
experimental induction of mutations by the use of
X-rays and received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in
1946 for this work. He taught at the University of
Texas 1920–32, in the USSR 1933–37 (leaving over a
dispute with *Lysenko), Edinburgh 1937–40, Boston
1941–45 and Indiana 1945–67. He was among the
first scientists to warn of the dangers of X-rays and
nuclear fallout.
Müller, Johannes Peter (1801–1858). German
physiologist. In 1833 he took the chair of
physiology at Berlin University. His early
researches were chiefly in two fields, embryology
and the nervous system as it relates to vision.
He experimented to determine whether the foetus
breathes in the womb. He tried to establish the
relations between the kidneys and the genitals.
In optics, he investigated the capacity of the eye
to respond not just to external but also to internal
stimuli (whether organic malfunction, or simply the
play of imagination). Müller’s physiological work was
summarised in his Handbuch der Physiologie (1830–
40). He argued that life was animated by some kind
of life-force not reducible to the body, and that there
was a soul separable from the body – ideas rejected by
the next generation of German physiologists.
Müller, Paul Hermann (1899–1965). Swiss
chemist. He synthesised (1939) DDT (dichloro
diphenyl trichlorethane) and discovered its great
power as an insecticide. He won the Nobel Prize for
Medicine (1948).
Mullis, Kary B. (1944– ). American biochemist.
He won his PhD at Berkeley, worked for the Cetus
corporation 1979–86 and developed the technique
of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enabling the
amplification and replication of fragments of DNA.
He won the 1993 Japan Prize and shared the 1993
Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Michael Smith, but
was subject to peer criticism for his scepticism about
HIV-AIDS, which he doubted was spread by virus.
Mulroney, (Martin) Brian (1939– ). Canadian
lawyer and politician, born in Québec. He worked
as an electrician, graduated in law from Université
Laval, became a labour lawyer and gained a national
reputation as President of the Iron Ore Co. 1976–83.
Elected as Leader of the Progressive Conservative