The Jewel of Medina: A Novel [NOOK Book]

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 ...

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The Jewel of Medina: A Novel

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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.

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  • The Jewel of Medina
    The Jewel of Medina  

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825305191
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 319,174
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

A professional journalist since 1979, Sherry Jones has won numerous awards and been published in magazines including Newsweek, CMJ, Southwest Art, and Rider. She is currently the Montana and Idaho correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs, an international news agency in the Washington, D.C. area, and a correspondent for Women's e-News. The Jewel of Medina is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    This novel positively increased my understanding of Islam, its history and significant founders

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Jewel Of Medina is a FANTASTIC love story and an EXCELLENT introduction to Islam.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    scorchingly frank and debauch

    Jewel of Medina is a scorching tale of exploitation and eroticism... told with a knowing tenderness and yet brutal and pointed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    A'isha is unforgettable!

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Poorly written with forged stories and lies about Aisha, an actual and very important figure for Muslims

    Written with no care about the authentic historical narrations of the story of Aisha, even though the synopsis to the books states to be 'extensively researched'. Inspired by the scandals over European newspapers' cartoons the writing and the publishing of the novel is solely aimed to raise controversy and add anger to the anger of Muslims, just like a young boy playing with the bee-nest.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    I don't care about the controversy, I care about the writing - and it's BAD!

    I was intrigued to finally have the chance to read this book after so much hoopla over its publication. The problem is, the book is just poorly written. It's melodramatic, unbelievable, and tedious. In trying to conjure a medieval Arabic style, the author has instead fallen flat and written a book that will make you roll your eyes or groan aloud at the weak and overly dramatic metaphors. Gag.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Engaging historical novel about ambitious subject

    A historical novel has to blend the accepted record of the time with the imagination of the writer, and this one succeeds extremely well. The characters are well drawn and engaging, especially A'isha and Mohammed. And the plot, the early years of Islam told from A'isha's perspective, kept me turning pages. Jones has a gift for metaphor and character-informed dialogue. Jones' book isn't a history text, but the plot choices she made work in terms of the story, the novelist's burden. There have been a lot of innacurate Internet-fueled assertions about this book since well before it was published. Someone even nonsensically called it porno! I saw this book as a kind of coming-of-age story about A'isha's spiritual awakening as she grew into the strong woman behind the icon. A'isha is an ambitious, even courageous, subject for a Western writer to address. Reading this book introduced me to stories and historical figures I had never heard of in a respectful and engaging way. No thoughtful reader is going to mistake it for straight history, but it might make that reader more mindful of and curious about the history it draws from and the culture that generated that history. I would highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    let the truth set you free

    The author's writing is alright not spectuacular. In this book, th erecord is finally set, that Aisha was no different that young girls at any time. They fall in love, they at times lust after the forbidden and they try to set their own paths. A review of Muslim history regarding the wife of Mohammad, Aisha, has left millions of muslims with the impression that she rose above the rest of the women in almost every way, most of all piety. This books shatters the lies and forgeries in Islamic history. Indeed it presents Aisha for what she really was. A young girl who loved a charming though uncourageous young man. Their love is dealt a blow as Mohammad a man of 60 year enters the equation and slects Aisha to be his bride. His marriage and selection even 1400 years ago was taboo. Yet Mohammad elects to justify his actions by telling the faithful that the Angel Gabriel had shown him a picture of Aisha on a piece of cloth. Mohammad had to tell his followers that his slection of a 9 yr old bride was not really his choice, rather Allah/God had wanted him to have her, hence making it a bit more palatable to followers who were faithful to Mohammad's message yet becoming weary of his personal and private actions. These followers would soon revert back to their old beliefs the minute Mohammad had died, thus dealing a crushng blow to the the character of Mohammad. It was not until they were forced under the sword of Abu Bakr the first of the Caliphates to proclaim themselves as Muslims again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not knowing much about the documented life of Muhammad - I can't

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Fantastic

    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.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm not even past chapter 10 (yet). However I can tell that this

    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).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    This is a must read!

    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.

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    Must Read !!

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    The prophet Muhammed's personal live, seen from his favorite wife

    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.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Error in storyline

    I am a muslim and have been taught a lot about influential islamic figures this book is interesting but aisha was not nine when she was married she was in her late 20's the book below is what makes more sense...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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