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The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad Paperback – 28 Feb 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028552
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

Communicates a sense of spiritual transcendence (Guardian)

Draws lessons that are crucial for Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Financial Times)

About the Author

Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and St Antony's College (University of Oxford). He is the Director of the Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (Doha) He is the author of The Quest for Meaning and The Messenger, and has been described as one of the 'most important innovators for the twenty-first century' by Time magazine.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Islamic monotheism has always stood in continuity with the sacred history of prophethood. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Salma on 11 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By M. Amin on 27 Aug. 2007
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Pizarro on 1 Mar. 2014
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Tariq Ramadan shows, with the simplicity of knowledge, the meanings within the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The contents, are not only of historical value but are, also a spiritual guide for today's world. The reader will be in debt to a man of knowledge and understanding.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. S. C. VINE VOICE on 13 Mar. 2012
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SoA on 4 Sept. 2014
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Fast delivery, condition exactly as described.
Content of the book is quick, light and easy to follow with insightful lessons/reflections on certain well-known aspects from the life of Muhammad peace be upon him. A biography that has been delivered in a different style for those who are looking to understand the moral aspects of the last Messenger's life. If you are looking for a more of a factual, to-the-point type of biography then this isn't for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael on 3 Dec. 2014
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A good biography about the life of Muhammad the Holy Prophet of Islam. It is many ways a standard biography and the content will be familiar to those who have studied the life of the Prophet. I recommend this book to anyone of any faith or of no faith at all who would like to know the truth about this man of whom George Bernard Shaw called 'the saviour of humanity'.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Memon on 24 Mar. 2007
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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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