Updated: Mar 7, 2019
The book club theme for April/March is all about learning more about the Prophet of Islam, or the last prophet, Mohammad (peace be upon him). Both authors are some of the most prominent British reverts!
I recently had friends over from France and while touring the mosques in the UAE I attempted to answer their burning questions about Islam. They both had read a few pages of the Holy Quran but had difficulty understanding the context in which it was revealed. That’s when I asked if they knew about the Prophet Mohammad’s ﷺ life and they were curious to learn more. I had other books picked out for March/April but changed my mind! The books are.....
Muhammad: His Life Based on Earliest Sources by Dr Martin Lings
The Life of the Last Prophet by Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens)
Muhammad: His Life Based on Earliest Sources
In ‘Big Little Steps’ I actually highly recommend Dr Martin Lings’ book; his research was based on Arabic sources from the eighth and ninth centuries and was well-received by many - including the presidents of Pakistan and Egypt, who each presented Dr. Lings with an award for the book. The Islamic Quarterly called it "an enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worth of the subject."
A widely acclaimed British scholar, Martin Lings was also the keeper of Oriental manuscripts at the British Museum and British Library.
The comprehensive biography is presented in a narrative style that is easily comprehensible, yet authentic and inspiring in its use of language, reflecting both the simplicity and grandeur of the story it tells. The book has been published in twelve languages and has been acknowledged as the best biography of the Prophet in English at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad. The latest & revised edition, which represents the final updates made to the text before the author’s death in 2005, incorporates important additions about the Prophet’s expanding influence and his spreading of the message of Islam into Syria and its neighboring states.
If you want to dive deep into the life of Mohammad, bother before his prophethood and post-migration, I must warn you that you will feel a strong connection to him and his companions!
“This work is widely recognized as the most readable account of the life of the Prophet to date.” --Times of London
“For those interested in Islam in one way or another, it is mesmerizing.” --Parabola
The Life of the Last Prophet
Yusuf Islam is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian and education philanthropist. Cat Stevens converted to Islam and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year.
This biography of the Prophet is a much shorter version (a quick read, really) with highlights of Islam, which he narrated in a lovely audiobook! It contains beautiful recitations of the Holy Quran recited by the renowned Egyptian Qari’ (reciter), Sheikh Muhammad Al-Minyaoui. The cherry on top? His very own rendition of the call to prayer (adhaan).
This spoken-word recording of “The Life of The Last Prophet” was the first official release by Yusuf Islam since his departure from the music business as Cat Stevens back in 1978. The biography is fully authenticated and approved by an international group of ‘Ulema (scholars).
Join the conversation on our Goodreads page!
I can't wait to hear your thoughts and discuss these together!