In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history.
In the Footsteps of the Prophet is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing a life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet's life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet's example for some of today's most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet's life remain -- or become again -- an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism -- a fixation on ritual -- toward a committed spiritual and social presence?
In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad's life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam.
Great Read, whatever your personal belief
By L. F Sherman "dikw" - April 5, 2007
This biography of Prophet Muhammad can be called a "spiritual biography" that tells the story of a life but emphasizes decisions, revelations, and the spiritual and emotional lessons therein. Emerick's biography of the Prophet and that by Karen Armstrong are good, this is better. Incidentally, it hints at the paranoia of those in government who cancelled the author's visa while he was en route to teach at Notre Dame University. (I taught there briefly and can assure you that it is not a hot bed of radicalism.)
The position of women, place of jihad, role of law, and relations with non-Muslims are totally different than the media caricatures and also different from some Fundamentalist politicization and corruptions.
Under duress and attack we see un Islamic practices claiming to be Fundamental (the Western media is more than happy to second that claim). One needs to know that the Shari'a is partly a product, close to two centuries later, that evolved to empower... read more
Insightful, devout and learned
By L. B. Lloyd - January 4, 2008
Ramadan's scholarship, appreciation for pluralism, personal faith and passion for his Muslim heritage infuse this wonderful book. He takes us on a brief journey through the life of the prophet Muhammad and pauses to reflect on the way the Prophet used specific events to teach his contemporaries and on how those events and teachings have formed the Muslim community over the centuries.
As an American, I appreciated how the book responds to Western mis-understandings of Islam (for example, the greater jihad is the personal struggle to follow Allah; the lesser jihad is armed struggle) without being defensive. As a Christian, I appreciated "going along" with Ramadan as he reflects on his faith and makes it accessible because it comes from the heart.
Beautiful biography of prophet Muhammad
By Quaid J. Saifee "quaidj" - March 24, 2007
Tariq Ramadan has done an excellent job in writing this biography of the prophet and making it relevant to 21st century. This biography is second to none including biography by Martin Lings and Karen Armstrong. Mr. Ramadan has used beautiful writing to represent one of the most extra ordinary life.
It is well suited equally for both Muslims and Non Muslims. A must read to understand Muhammed as well as the message he brought.
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