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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and foretelling read...., 9 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Road to Mecca (Paperback)
For me, reading the Road to Mecca was a life changing moment (As the cliche goes). I found in this book the story of man who attained the ultimate peace and tranquility in his being. A man who went on a jounrney and discovered something, utterly beautiful. Asad, captured a moment in the middle east which is now forever lost and also the saw the seeds of what is now a changed middle east, where oil has taken over the spirituality of a beduin and replaced the calmness of movement from a camel to roaring and globe warming expensive cars, private jets and meglomaniacal cities.

From a religious point of view, this is also a book where a Jewish journalist converts to Islam. But what this book puts across is that all the faiths, if we see them from a point of view of what they were meant to be before being politicised, are infact giving the same message of being peaceful and one with yourself and those around you. Asad, captures that moment for me and demonstrates that best of qualities that I really think we all have within us(although we repress it into nonexistence), humanism. An ability to view this world not through parallels and myriads of differences based on religion, race, region, language etc, but viewing everyone and anyone as a human being and appreciating the differences that they bring to this world. To Asad, Islam brought this humanism down to its simplest terms, being peaceful and being content with your life. This is an amazing story to read in the times of today, where on one side, suicidal muslim fundamentalist abuse the religion of Islam to further their political and bigoted idealogies and where the powerful west, for all its greed and demagogery, bullies(through war and capitalism) the world into becoming a version that fits into their narrow and evagelical view of "defined freedom".

I read this book on my journey to and back from work in a very busy city. Because of this book there were many a times when I missed my station as I found myself walking in the desert next to Asad, feeling what he felt. I also remember being extremely sad when this book came to and end, as it meant that I could not longer loose myself to Asad's world anymore.

I recommend this book as one of the greatest example of how the inhabitants of this world should look at each other and come to appreciate our differences. I also recommend this book to those who find that the modern world is an unnatural combination of automation and detachment of the soul. Infact where in the real desert Asad went and found the yearnings of his soul. In the modern world of the desert of trains and offices and city centres and subarbias, we have lost our souls.

Whatever road you take in your life to find peace and to look within your Soul, let Asad tell you his story as it would help you on the way.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jul 2008 16:34:57 BDT
yes indeed. I have read this book about 40 times, whenever I read it, it refreshes me and I find myself along with Zayed his companion in one of the journeys across the sands of time. his choice of words presents an unearthly world beyond space and time.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2008 14:42:46 BDT
S. W. Ali says:
I agree Mr Ali. What M. Asad represented was one of the beautiful examples of human thought and culture coming together and shows the amazing tranquility that religions offer and how Judaism and Islam and Christianity in principle are the words of the same God.

Posted on 13 Nov 2009 15:19:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2009 15:20:24 GMT
Mr. L. Aduli says:
S.W. Ali: You wrote a very well thought out and interesting review for this book. You are right, we need to see our fellow human beings not as someone from here or there, or a speaker of this or that language, but as fellow human beings who ultimately have the same desires and wants in this life as we do. Thank you.
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