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on 27 August 2007
Many biographies give excellent and full details of the Prophet's life. This book is different. Tariq Ramadan looks at how the Prophet dealt with unbelievers, backsliding Muslims, Jews and Christians, war captives, women etc, and what he said about them. From this he draws out universal lessons regarding how Muslims should conduct themselves. The book is short, easy to read and accessible without any past knowledge of Islam. I would recommend it to Muslims and non-Muslims alike as an exposition of what the Prophet believed and practiced.
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on 11 August 2014
I was in search of a book about the Prophet Muhammad pbuh that was concise and written in a way that would engage me from start to finish and I was happy to have been recommended The Messenger by a friend. Tariq Ramadan did not disappoint, it was a pleasure to have learnt things about the Prophet that I had no idea about, like how he was depressed during the period of silence when revelations ceased for up to 2 years.

Ramadan's book was a breath of fresh air, for once I had come across a book stressing how the Prophet was just like us, he got sick like us, he worked for a living like us, he fell in love like us, he hoped for children like us, he was bereft of people he had loved all his life just like ordinary human beings. Ramadan reminds us that it was because of his duty to set an example to the people as a Messenger, that he encouraged us to struggle in the way of righteousness

An exceptional read suitable for even complete beginners in learning about Islam, if offers both a historical and spiritual insight into the life of an exceptional man.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2012
Having studied Islam at university, I bought a number of books about Islam and Islamic thought and culture, and this is one of the books I bought. Some of the books have been negative in nature, often by Muslim and Arab writers, but this book by Mr Ramadan is a positive book about Muhammad and what he means to Islam, and perhaps to the wider world.

It isn't so much the history of Muhammad but more the understanding of Muhammad's life and teachings and the theology and meanings that come from Muhammad's life, teachings and experience. However, I enjoyed reading it and I think it would be valuable for non-Muslims like myself as well as Muslims. I do get a little tired of the constant stream of bad press Islam gets and feel that even if there are negative aspects to Islamic culture and society, we need someone to look at it positively, for balance. Not every Muslim is a terrorist anymore than any Christian or Buddhist or Orthodox Jew.

As a Christian, I don't have to believe in Islam or Judaism or Buddhism, or anything other than Christianity; I am a Christian after all. However, I think I can respect another person's belief and their right to be whatever they want to be and whatever they want to believe in; if I respect a Muslim, he or she might respect me as a Christian. If we want to live in a world of tolerance, we have to learn to be tolerant. Religion should be summed up in four letters: L O V E!

If I have one criticism of the book, it is that it is often uncritical of certain things that are purported to have happened in the development of Islam, and Islamic theology and Islamic culture. No culture is perfect, West or East, Islamic or Christian; there are warmongers and extremists on all sides. Perhaps the moderates, the true believers in a merciful and compassionate and loving God, who truly wants the best for all of us, can claim back some of the territory we so often cede to the haters? I pray for it.
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on 11 January 2016
If you have never read the seerah of the prophet and are intending to read one to understand what kind of a person he was, this is the book for you. If you have read other seerahs' then you will really appreciate the style of this book due to its beautiful descriptions, essential and analytical notes and comments articulated through the most poetic flow of words, and last but not least; the inevitable feeling and realizations within yourself that this book brings to the table. I thought I knew the prophet by now. I knew I loved, respected and followed him. But this book reaches beyond those feelings and thoughts as mere aspirations and simple efforts. It made me weep, smile and feel his struggles and psycological battles. Tariq ramadan has by no means rejected or ignored any fact nor has he fabricated any scenarios, but it is most clear that the author has put his heart and soul into this book and wrote out of love about his love. I could feel every word. For sure my fav so far. So what are you waiting for?
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on 24 March 2007
I'm always on the lookout for new material about the final messenger.

This book is deliberately short and focusses on key incidents or situations affecting the prophet and his community, from his birth and to his death. The factual detail will be well known to readers of standard biographies e.g. Adil Salahi's excellent book from the Islmaic Foundation. But Ramadan's prose adds to the historical facts by bringing out the extraordinary humanity and humility of the man. His portrait is of a deeply committed and passionate person who came from tragic circumstances but yet went on to change world history without becoming embittered or resentful.

Ramadan's writing can be a little philosophical or spiritual at times but he explains how the story of Muhammad has lessons for 21st century citizens. There is much to emulate in our own lives and educate both muslims and non-mulsims about misperceptions of Islam.

The ending of the book describing the prophet's last and dying days is particularly moving. I was left to cry and to follow his high example.
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on 28 August 2011
Ramdan manages to encapsulate history, philosophy, peace and compassion for the prophet in a brilliantly written book. His ability to draw upon the life of the prophet and extrapolate the teachings and experiences into modern day lessons enables the reader to share the passion, respect and love for which the prophet stood for. A fantastic read for anyone who has a limited understanding of Islam and the prophet. A recommended read for all.
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on 29 July 2007
Biographies on the Prophet Muhammad are certainly not short in supply. So what can have prompted Prof Ramadan to pen another? Well frankly this biography is a bit different in that its purpose is not to present a meticulous retelling of the life of the Last Prophet, but actually to give an insight into certain acpects from his life. This the author does in a remarkably lucid and highly apprecative way. So for those searching for a indepth retelling should look elsewhere, however for those seeking deeper spiritual and moralistic viewpoint into aspects, including those sometimes seen as controversial from the Prophets life, then this book is for you. Read it, and see the Prophet Muhammad as Muslims see him.
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on 16 May 2015
This is a beautifully written book with lots of insight and explanations of the historical background to the life of the Prophet. The book is deeply moving and written with a humble charm that is very refreshing.

My only criticism is that, certainly in the earlier parts, the book jumps backwards and forwards from various life events. This is absolutely fine if you've read other books on the life of the Prophet beforehand and know the sequence of events, otherwise it can be a tad confusing.

Overall well worth reading, a truly scholarly work which one would expect from Tariq Ramadan.
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on 5 October 2013
Loved this book so much, the last chapter made me cry & I'm not a softie, I gave this to my young cousin to read and she now has a better insight into our prophet's life :)
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on 22 January 2010
I really enjoy Prof. Tariq Ramadan's writing style, more academic than casual. It's also good to read the kind of book which reminds readers (esp. Muslims) that considering yourself a person of faith is about walking the talk, about trying more to live like the prophet, than defending his image in ways contrary to the example he set.
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