After completing Tariq Ramadan’s “the messenger”, I was really tempted to immediately start it all over again! Such is the Seerah of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) that we can never tire of reading it, and will always learn new lessons!
Tariq Ramadan is a well known speaker, writer, and Islamic activist in the west. Taking into consideration that his audiences are mainly non muslims and muslims living in non Muslim countries, a lot of his writings deal with multi-culturism, tolerance, and unity despite the diversity of our Ummah! This is especially true of his take on the Seerah, in which he highlights those acts, anecdotes and incidents of the prophets (PBUH) life. It is an established fact that Muhammad (PBUH) fostered multi-culturism, he did away with tribal feuds, and was always balanced in his answers to his companions, whether they were literalists or figuritists. Tariq Ramadan sketches the life of our prophet, from this perspective, showing clearly his tolerance of all religions, as well his acceptance of different opinions amongst his companions, as long as they stayed within the boundaries of Islam.
The book is a very personal account of the prophets (PBUH) life. We get to see a very intimate portrait of his days. Famous incidents from the prophets life are narrated, with renewed vigour and passion, such as his special relationship with Bilal, the black Abyssinian, his marriages to Safiyyah, the Jew, or Mariah, the Coptic, his exceptional association with the Negus, his treatment of slaves and aristocrats alike and many others, all of which highlight the diversity and tolerance of our religion and its followers. Ramadan’s style of writing is simple yet elegant, he renders deep meaning with few words, and his vivid descriptions lull one into a sense of actually being there, in the 1st century A.H.
This book definitely builds bridges, both between Muslims ourselves, who are currently so divided and between us and people of other faiths. A must read, and must have for every Muslim home, and a beautiful gift for anyone interested in Islam.