From Publishers Weekly
London-based Ramadan, the Oxford research fellow who authored Western Muslims and the Future of Islam
, is probably best known for being denied entry into the United States, based on alleged violations of the Patriot Act. This excellent, engaging book ought to turn public attention back toward Ramadan as a writer and a skilled interpreter of Islamic history. In deliberately brief chapters, Ramadan brings Muhammad to life. He highlights Muhammad's resolute faith in spite of setbacks like orphanhood and poverty, and upholds the prophet as a spiritual hero—bravely compassionate and unusually tolerant of others, including non-Muslims. Ramadan notes his extraordinary kindness, even to those he battled. For example, a slave who had been given to Muhammad turned down emancipation, saying he preferred service to Muhammad over freedom with anyone else. (Muhammad immediately freed the slave and adopted him as his own son.) Similar tales of mercy lace through Muhammad's life: in the midst of a battle march, Muhammad advised his troops to be careful not to hurt a litter of puppies on the roadside; on another occasion, Muhammad released prisoners of war because they had taught community children how to read and write. Ramadan ably demonstrates why Muhammad is a spiritual paragon to the followers of Islam. (Feb.)
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Communicates a sense of spiritual transcendence Guardian Draws lessons that are crucial for Muslims and non-Muslims alike Financial Times
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