In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammadby Tariq Ramadan
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… See more details below
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.
In the Footsteps of the Prophet is Ramadan's loving portrait of Muhammad, but it is also a biography written with the instincts of a savvy publicist. Beneath the book's somewhat dull exterior -- essentially a highlight reel of the Prophet's sayings and doings over 23 years of revelation -- lies a pointed agenda: to reappropriate and redefine Islam's message and messenger for Muslim minorities and the Western societies in which they live. Muhammad could have hoped for no more sympathetic an advocate than Ramadan to counter all the bad press.<
Swiss Muslim Ramadan (research fellow, St. Anthony's Coll., Oxford Univ. & Lokahi Fdn., London; Western Muslims and the Future of Islam) provides neither biography nor true history but instead attitudes, situations, and words that reveal the personality and deep faith of the Prophet Muhammad in order to convey the ethics, spirituality, and values his experiences bring to life itself. As Ramadan writes, "[B]elievers of any faith, and all who study Muhammad's life regardless of personal religious belief, can derive teachings from this." While some have been conditioned to view Islam as intolerant, rigid, or violent, Ramadan highlights the compassion, humanity, and respect that the Prophet felt toward all, be they Muslim, Jewish, or Christian; wealthy or poor. For Ramadan, what ultimately makes the Prophet controversial is not jihad (which, in Muhammad's view, is the daily personal struggle of all individuals for and with God), but his love ethic, made manifest in his own relationship with Allah and reflected in his life and teachings. Thoughtful and accessible, this book offers much of interest to those looking for a relatively uncritical spiritual discussion on Muhammad. Recommended.
- Oxford University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Tariq Ramadan is a Research Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University and the Lokahi Foundation (London). He is the author of Western Muslims and the Future of Islam; Islam, the West, and the Challenges of Modernity; and To Be a European Muslim.
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