John Esposito writes in his "Makers of Contemporary Islam" that:

Faruqi's Palestinian roots, Arab heritage, and Islamic faith made the man and informed his life and work as a scholar.

My colleagues pointed out that this sentence is confusing because:

"made the man" used in this sentence is general and therefore, not specifically describes Faruqi. "made the man" not gives complete meanings. I mean made the man what?

Please let me know your thoughts about this sentence.

  • 1
    As somewhat equivalent to the proverb "clothes make the man", here also Faruqi's Palestinian roots etc. make him a man as what he appears or is accepted as today. Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


Is 'a self-made man' incorrect? 'This could be the making of him'?

There is deletion involved here, but the usages are perfectly acceptable (although, as you imply, they are semantically not totally clear).

' ... made the man' is short for

' ... made the man [into] what he is today',

with the implications 'which is plain for all to see' and 'he is obviously someone to be respected and imitated'.


Sorry; no supporting evidence readily available for the actual example.

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