"Departures (story)"  
Asimovs Jan1989.jpg
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Asimov's

Alternate Heroes;

Series Agent of Byzantium
Genre(s) Alternate History
Publication date January, 1989
Followed by "The Eyes of Argos"

"Departures" is an alternate history short story published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in January 1989. It was reprinted in Alternate Heroes, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Gregory Benford in 1990 and in the Harry Turtledove collection Departures in 1993. It is a prequel to the stories which make up the fix-up novel Agent of Byzantium into which Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Fire was incorporated. However, it is not included in editions of that novel.

The Point of Divergence was that Muhammad converted to Christianity and became a monk rather than being the Prophet of Islam. The story deals with his life in a monastery in Ir-Ruhaiyeh, Syria.