The Jewel of Medina: A Novel

The Jewel of Medina: A Novel

3.7 37
by Sherry Jones
     
 
A'isha bint Abi Bakr is the daughter of a rich merchant from Mecca in the harsh, exotic world of seventh-century Arabia at the time of the foundation of Islam. When she is married to the Prophet Muhammad at the age of nine, she must rely on her wits, her courage, and even her sword in a struggle to control her own destiny and carve out a place for herself in the

Overview

A'isha bint Abi Bakr is the daughter of a rich merchant from Mecca in the harsh, exotic world of seventh-century Arabia at the time of the foundation of Islam. When she is married to the Prophet Muhammad at the age of nine, she must rely on her wits, her courage, and even her sword in a struggle to control her own destiny and carve out a place for herself in the community, fighting religious persecution, jealous sister-wives, political rivals, and her own temptations. As she grows to love her kind, generous husband, her ingenuity and devotion make her an indispensable advisor to Muhammad. Ultimately, she becomes one of the most important women in Islam, and a fierce protector of her husband's words and legacy.Extensively researched, The Jewel of Medina evokes the beauty and harsh realities of life in an age long past. At once a love story, a history lesson, and a coming-of-age tale, it introduces readers to the turmoil that surrounded the birth of the Islamic faith through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jones's controversial novel about A'isha bint Abi Bakr, the "child-bride" and one of the favored wives of Muhammad, comes to light amidst a swirl of debate about free speech. As for the book itself, it's not bad for a first novel. It opens with a 14-year-old A'isha returning to Muhammad in the company of her first love. Fearing she'd been unfaithful, Mohammad sends her back to her parents while he debates her innocence. The novel then backtracks to A'isha's youth, where her strength of character and sharp wit quickly become apparent. When she's betrothed to Muhammad at age six, she's ordered confined to her house (to preserve her virginity) until her marriage three years later. She is forced to leave her beloved Mecca for Medina when it becomes unsafe for Muhammad and his followers, and as Muhammad-here depicted as caring, progressive and politically savvy-marries more women and early followers of Islam face political challenges and devastating battles, A'isha grows from a self-centered child to a worldly woman whose advice and counsel are a source of comfort and strength to Muhammad. The subject matter here is more spectacular than the writing, which tends toward the maudlin and purple. It's a page turner, but not outstanding.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780825305184
Publisher:
Beaufort Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/15/2008
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Videos

Meet the Author

Since the publication of her controversial first novel, [i]The Jewel of Medina[/i], Sherry Jones has spoken to audiences around the world on censorship, freedom of speech and the many issues around fictionalizing the lives of historical figures. [i]The Sword of Medina[/i] is her second novel.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Jewel of Medina 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Ian_Page More than 1 year ago
I have just read the Jewel of Medina and it is an inspiring, well written adventure that brings the early days of the Muslim religion to life. This is my first exposure to the Muslim culture and it is a very positive experience. Muhammad, A'isha and Ali become real people expressing honest human emotions and a genuine desire for creating a religion of peace, understanding and equality. This is such a relief from their minimalist image portrayed by today's Muslim extremists. The Jewel of Medina held my attention from the opening prologue and never faltered. It is fast paced, complex, emotional and even lighthearted as Muhammad, A'isha and Ali each evolve into powerful leaders for their faith. Read the Jewel of Medina for entertainment, understanding and compassion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just read the Jewel of Medina and it is an inspiring, well written adventure that brings the early days of the Muslim religion to life. This is my first exposure to the Muslim culture and it is a very positive experience. Muhammad, A'isha and Ali become real people expressing honest human emotions and a genuine desire for creating a religion of peace, understanding and equality. This is such a relief from their minimalist image portrayed by today¿s Muslim extremists. The Jewel of Medina held my attention from the opening prologue and never faltered. It is fast paced, complex, emotional and even lighthearted as Muhammad, A'isha and Ali each evolve into powerful leaders for their faith. Read the Jewel of Medina for entertainment, understanding and compassion.
DaDa More than 1 year ago
Jewel of Medina is a scorching tale of exploitation and eroticism... told with a knowing tenderness and yet brutal and pointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a page turner that tells a wonderful and compelling story about the beginning and maturation of the relationship between the Prophet Muhammad and his favorite wife A'isha. Through that story we get not only to see A'isha's character grow and mature, but we also learn something of the struggle of Muhammad and his followers to practice their faith, and worship their God as they wished. In the hands of author Sherry Jones, A'isha is shown as a remarkable and irresistible character. How A'isha learns to deal with these obstacles, how she learns to live as one of several wives of the prophet, and how the experiences contribute to her growth and strength as a woman constitutes the central conflict in the story, and its resolution is truly beautiful. The Jewel of Medina is historical fiction in the best sense of the genre. Jones' writing style is a pleasure, always inviting us deeper into the story, often soaring, and is always a veritable feast of metaphors! It is, of course, written with modern sensibilities, and the author takes full advantage of artistic license to create vibrant and living characters from historic personages about whom little in the way of everyday detail is known. If 'text book' history is sometimes modified to suit the dramatic requirements of giving us a forceful narrative, the story is accurately anchored in history at all the key points, and thus gives us non Muslims a glimpse into the very human side of Islam and its founding prophet, and and particularly of his plucky and adventurous favorite 'jewel' of a wife A'isha.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Not knowing much about the documented life of Muhammad - I can't speak to the accuracy of this story. Accuracy aside - this was a very well written historical novel. The characters came to life and I became attached to just about all of them. The story follows Aisha from the time she is 6 and through her life as one of Muhammad's many wives. There is love and tragedy - sins and forgiveness - war and peace, all very well written in a way that kept me wanting to read more and more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought a hard copy at a dollar tree hoping for something to read that wasnt aweful. This book is outstanding.you love and hate each charecter. If you like historical fictioh, romance, and/or stories about other cultures this is a MUST read.
Leena_Clifford More than 1 year ago
I'm not even past chapter 10 (yet). However I can tell that this book is gonna be amazing. I know that I am rooting on the side of Muhammad and A'isha. I want Muhammad to protect his people and I want A'isha to win over Muhammed and serve her people. The history lesson this book provides is also makes it worth while. Everyone always needs to learn new and different things. This is a way to learn a little about the creation of Islam through the eyes of a child (and finally a young woman).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book not too long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did not put the book down at all! It is a wonderful blend of history and fiction, the emphasis being on the fiction part. I did not come to know about the controversy surrounding the book until after I had read it, to me it seemed completely understandable why people would not be fond of this book and the way the story is written, considering it's about the prophet Mohamed and his youngest bride A'isha. It's written in her perspective and if you are a fan of historical novels this is an absolute wonderful read. If you can look past the fact that it is written about Mohamed and take the story for what it is: a young girls tale of coming of age as an individual, a wife, and becoming accustomed to her place in her marriage and the world at a time when her husbands mission holds utmost importance, then you will enjoy this book just as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mrs-cc More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised reading this book, it gives light to alot of things conserning the women in his life. all in all a good book to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
librarysusie More than 1 year ago
This was historical fiction telling the story of A'isha Bint Abi Bakr child bride of the Prophet Muhammad. It's set at the beginning of the of Islam, while it is a story of the beginnings of Islam it is more a story of A'ish and her life. It's told in first person from A'isha's point of view, she was promised/engaged to Muhammad very young and married him when she was 9 years old. She was his third wife and after seeing her mother be a kind of slave to the head wife in her own home A'isha vows to be hatun or "Great Lady" and never be a slave to anyone. A'isha is just a child when she marries Muhammad and has a quick tongue and a jealous streak that gets her in trouble alot, she can be rash and petty but she is also strong, independent and eventually very loyal to those she allows to love her. I enjoyed this book I've read alot of historical fiction but never any set in this time and place so it was a new experience for me. It was interesting how Ms. Jones brings a humanity to Muhammad that maybe we non-Muslims didn't know about him like how he treated his wives he listened to their opinion and would never have beat them, which in that day and age no matter what religion was something different. I will be reading the next book in this series to see what happens to everyone after the sadness at the end of this book. I would say if you like historical fiction with a good love story try this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love historical novels. The subject matter intrigued me. It is the first book I read about the lives of women during prophet Muhammed's time, seen from the view point of a woman. I found it enjoyable to read and also educational. I had known that the prophet had multiple wives but never knew the reasons why. The book is a beautiful love story as well as a historical description of the creation of Islam. I cannot wait for the sequel to understand more of the split into Sunni and Shi'ite branches of Islam and how it impacts the lives of women of its time and the time we live in now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago