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Muhammad Hardcover – July 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up-Demi's somewhat reverent picture-book introduction to Muhammad is similar in format to her Buddha (Holt, 1995). Born into a powerful and influential Meccan tribe in the year A.D. 570, Muhammad was nursed for five years by a desert woman who recognized his "inner beauty and greatness." Between the ages of 40 and 63, he had many visions that revealed to him the words that became the Koran and the Five Pillars of Islam. Although he quickly gained many followers, his attempts to convert the idol-worshipping Meccans to monotheism annoyed the Quraysh tribal leaders, forcing the Muslims into military confrontations. Ultimately, he was able to unite the feuding Arab tribes into the Ummah brotherhood. Demi states that he granted religious tolerance to Christians and Jews, but forced them to pay a "tribute" to the Islamic government. Also, problematic generalized statements, such as "-Muhammad taught God's words that said that all men and women, black and white, rich and poor, must be treated with dignity and respect," are presented as fact. No mention is made of the disparaging references in the Koran to Jews and Christians, who are termed "disbelievers," or that Muslims are admonished not to take them as friends. Demi's carefully designed paint-and-ink illustrations, with their tiny detailed people in brightly colored costumes and Islamic architecture and symbols, are done in the style of the Persian miniature. Because Islamic tradition forbids the creation of graven images, Muhammad is depicted as a golden silhouette; his printed name is followed in the text by the Arabic symbol for benediction. Quotes from the Koran appear throughout, and a one-page bibliography includes text and art references. Elsa Marston's Muhammad of Mecca: Prophet of Islam (Watts, 2001) is a more thorough, unbiased introduction to Muhammad and Islam.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-7, younger for reading aloud. More than any other children's book available, this biography of the prophet Muhammad reflects the literary and artistic traditions of the Islamic world. Like most Arab texts, it begins with the words, "In the name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate," and an Arabic honorific always follows Muhammad's name. The readily understandable narrative tells the stories of Muhammad's life as Muslim children hear them, beginning with his birth in Mecca and ending with the declaration that although Muhammad has died, God never will. In keeping with Islamic artistic tradition, the paintings do not portray the face or body of the Prophet; instead they show his silhouette in gold leaf. Using the ancient Persian miniature style, Demi ignores scale and paints primarily in two dimensions (so that, for instance, worshippers do not appear to be kneeling on a rug so much as superimposed on it). With dramatic scenes extending past the borders of the intricately patterned frames, the art will be a continual source of interest for young people. Demi weaves together selections from the Qur'an and an overview of Islam in this excellent retelling of the Prophet's life that combines beauty and scholarship. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
The artistic style adopted here is of the Persian miniature style, and it is beautiful indeed. I felt like I was reading an Islamic manuscript. The story follows Prophet Muhammad's life since birth, to his upbringing, and into adulthood. It covers the main events in his life such as his receiving the revelation from Allah (God) through the angel Gabriel; how the words of God were put down by Muhammad through the aid of scribes, an endeavor that took 23 years; the Ascension; and, many more up till his death. There are also selected verses from the Quran in the book.
This is a well-written and beautifully-illustrated book on the life of Prophet Muhammad and is most suited to children ages 8 and up.
Most recent customer reviews
Muhammad was the messenger of Allah, not God.
In Arabic, the Qur'an and Sharia, Almighty God is Ilah and Allah is ‘the god’ in...Read more