Prophet Muhammad The Sultan of Hearts By Resit Haylamaz and Fatih Harpci Clifton, (NJ: Tughra Books, 2014. vol. 1: 531 pages; vol. 2: 490 pages.)

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Amr Sabet

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Abstract

For those seeking solace from the trepidations of this world, Prophet Muhammad:
The Sultan of Hearts is a thoughtful work of reflection and comfort.
This two-volume comprehensive narrative of enchanted times recollecting
the “Prophetic” summoning introduces the readers to Prophet Muhammad’s
sīrah (biography) within a lucid and flowing stream of emotion. More than
simply an effort to record events, stating who said what and did what based
upon whose narration, as many of the traditional biographies tend to do, this
work infuses events with meanings and feelings. As the authors indicate, the
purpose is not to speak about the Prophet, but to “let him be observed in his
own actions” (p. xvi), creating thereby an “awareness” of his life not as a sole
figure, but “in connection with his companions” in order to “present a life
model that has been miraculously constructed” (p. xvi).
This sīrah is not about reinterpreting events. In fact, a great deal of what
it says falls back on the earlier and primary biographies of such figures as Ibn
Hisham, Ibn Sa‘d, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Abd al-Barr, and al-Tabari, as well as the
nine Sunni canonical Hadith collections (p. xvii). Its claim to novelty is not
due to this “synthesis” alone, but more to its focus on the Prophet’s life in society
as a member of that society, rather than on the wars in which he engaged,
as if those events were the most significant aspects of his mission (p. xiii).
The authors’ intention, as they put it, is not simply to speak about the Prophet
in their own descriptions, but rather to observe him in his own actions. His
multi-dimensional personality is brought forth not only as a Prophet, but also ...

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