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The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,089 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
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. In his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a biography of the Prophet Muhammad, highlighting the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influentia ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 22nd 2007 by Allen Lane (first published December 11th 2006)
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Rebekka Steg
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammed by Tariq Ramadan is very well written. It is so easy to dig into, read and understand. It is beautifully written and was honestly a joy to read. In addition to its accessibility and beautiful language, the biography comes with an extensive list of references making it a highly educational and authoritative work.
I greatly enjoyed learning more about the Prophet (pbuh) and his lives, and how his actions and ways of dealing with si
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: TTBOOK
Shelves: 2009
I think reading about any prophet will endear you to the principles and ideas of the spiritual path their teachings laid before us. This is no exception, and I found it insightful into the life of the Prophet and the Muslim faith, especially with both being so maligned.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book / Quran:

In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alteand day; in the sailing of the hsops through the ocean for the profit of humankind; in the rain that God sends down from t
Apr 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non-muslims who'd really like to know what the Prophet (pbuh) was really like, muslims
Shelves: nonfiction, history, islam
Tariq Ramadan paints a thoughtful, careful picture of the Prophet (pbuh) in this biography. As stated in the beautiful introduction, this is not intended to contain all of the information about the Prophet (pbuh). Rather, the intent of the author is to highlight certain events in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) that illustrate his character, beliefs and ethics. This biography is timely, reminding both Muslims and non-Muslims of the forbearance, peacefulness and gentleness of the Beloved of God (p ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, islam-muhammad
I started reading this book immediately after finishing Martin Lings' excellent biography of the Prophet (pbuh), and I highly recommend reading the two together. Lings told the history of the Prophet in a way that made him human. Ramadan's book tells HOW the Prophet was human, and focuses in on selected incidents from the life of Muhammad to show how we can pragmatically learn from lived experience. As a Muslim, that's invaluable to the deepening of faith as we are required to learn from and fol ...more
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know a lot of other people loved this book so take my comments with a grain of salt...I just wasn't too impressed, and still greatly prefer to read "Muhammad" by Martin Lings. But I think for non-Muslims this is a very good, clear book that's a great introduction to someone not as familiar with the Prophet Muhammad's life, peace be upon him
For Christians the story of Jesus amounts to more than just the facts. The same is true for Buddhists of the Buddha, and Muslims of Mohammed. Believers affirm the uniqueness of the lives of their founders as proof that his way is divine, or in the case of Buddhists enlightened. But in their ardor to be worthy followers, they burnish the founder's image to such a degree that he is no longer interesting. There is no drama in his life because the founder is incapable of error. If he does err he doe ...more
Ruba AlTurki
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
المراجعة قريبا إن شاء الله,وحتى ذلك الحين لا تفوتوا فرصة قراءته فهو غاية في الروعة وأكثر من ذلك, إنه كتابي المفضل الجديد :)

بالرغم من إنتقاد البعض لإختياري هذا الكتاب كـ كتابي المفضل الجديد وذلك لتحفظاتهم الشخصية على الكاتب، إلاأن ذلك لم يغير شيئاًفلايزال كتابي المفضل الجديد.. بغض النظر عن الكاتب أنا أقرأ الكتاب وليس الكاتب بل وغالباً ما أجهل إسم الكاتب عند اقتنائي لاي كتاب. قد يكون للكاتب تأثير أحياناً على موضوعية البحث أو تحيّزه لرأي أو توجه معيّن لكن من الصعب أن يكون لك اهداف تغرسها "بين السط
While based on traditional sources, this isn't your typical biography of Muhammad. It differs in that Ramadan often comments on the prophet's spiritual motivations. This is an absolutely refreshing angle. For example, the way Ramadan speaks of the prophet's proximity to nature (eg: the cave, the desert, trees, animals, etc.) reveals the absolute necessity of observing, understanding, respecting, and appreciating nature as an avenue towards knowing God and drawing closer to Him -- before the reve ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This simply told tale of the Prophet of Islam is beautiful to read and easy to understand. Instructive and educational, and evocative in its ability to penetrate the motivations and personality of Mohammed, it takes the reader on an emotional journey, if not a spiritual one, in which we can feel we begin to understand an outstanding person, and the lessons of humility and wisdom which made him such an example that his message spread to the world. No need to be a moslem to feel you can gain somet ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second reading of this book brought me even more joy and insight than the first. I deeply appreciate Ramadan's attention to equality, freedom, reason, and love throughout the life of the Prophet (PBUH). I recommend this book for personal and small group use and especially for multifaith/interfaith groups that seek greater understanding and appreciation of each other's faith traditions. Ramadan treats many of the "difficult" texts and hadith (traditions passed down of the life of the Prophet [ ...more
Apr 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for an approachable introduction to Islam in its beginnings
Shelves: islamichistory
This is a beautifully written biography of the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam.

I don't know quite how to describe the tone of the author - sad, reflective, pensive - but it is one of the most beautiful biographies I have ever read. I've been told that when the Quran is read in Arabic it has a tone that is of this nature.

The most useful aspect of the narrative is in how he links various revelations in the Quran to the events in the Prophet's life. I certainly have a new appreciation for certain passages
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هو بالأساس كتاب أجنبي نقله إلى العربية: د.زهير السمهوري. لا يحكي سيرة النبي عليه الصلاة و السلام بالتفصيل، إنما هو عبارة عن دروس من حياة النبي محمد عليه الصلاة و السلام موجهه للمسلمين و غير المسلمين. الكتاب بشكل عام رائع جدًا جدًا. بأبي و أمي يا رسول الله! اللهم أجمعني بحبيبك عليه الصلاة و السلام في الفردوس الأعلى، اللهم آمين!
Shaimaa Ali
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This work is a real Masterpiece!!
Not only Ramadan managed to illustrate Prophet Muhammad's life in a page-turning book, but he also did commented on certain events with words of wisdom that reflected his deep understanding. For me reading lots of books in Arabic & by lots of famous writers & learning 'Sirah" through my whole life, I was thinking what new this book will bring? ..but it did brought me sincerity, spirtualit and even more .. His writing was amazing, it really reflects his lo
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read compared to most books like these, but as you study the seerah in depth, you're left feeling unsatisfied by this book. Perhaps my error was to read it at the same time as studying. It serves well as an introduction and I love the way Ramadan writes, but if your intention is to learn seerah, then would recommend additional sources. I will try his other works. There are some very beautiful passages in this book and I have been brought to tears many times. The conclusions Ramadan draws ...more
Ebrahim Abdulla
لا يوجد في الكتاب بحوث جديدة أو نظرة مختلفة لسيرة الرسول الكريم تعتمد على مصادر مختلفة وما شابه، بل اعتمد بشكل رئيسي على مصدر كلاسيكي واحد تقريبًا (سيرة ابن هشام)، وقُدمت فصول الكتاب قصيرةً ومُكثفةً. الكتاب موجه للمسلمين الغربيين ولغير المسلمين بالدرجة الأولى، لكن ما يميزه بالنسبة لي هو أنه سرد سلس لأهم أحداث السيرة بشكل مُختصر وواضح، بالإضافة إلى مزج هذا السرد التاريخي بتأملات ذاتية وتعليقات تُركز على التربية الروحية، والدروس المُستفادة من بشريّة الرسول ونبوتِه في نفس الوقت. أحد أهم هذه "الدرو ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
دائماً ما يجول بخاطري سؤال عن من يعيش خارج البلاد في أوروبا مثلا، كيف يبني هؤلاء الآباء المراقبة الذاتية في أبناءهم و هم في مجتمع متحرر، و نحن هنا لم نستطع أن نفعل ذلك إلا في ما ندر!! هذا التساؤل دفعني لقراءة هذا الكتاب حيث أن مؤلفه يعيش هناك و كتبه باللغة الانجليزية فقلت لابد انه يعرف الطريقة والأسلوب التي يصل بها لمن هم لا يدينون بالإسلام أو الأبناء الذين يعيشون في مجتمع متحرر لا يدرسون السيرة ولا يعرفون الكثير عن جوانبها، فوجدت في هذا الكتاب سلاسة في السرد بأسلوب جميل يلامس المشاعر بدون التقع ...more
Aug 06, 2010 marked it as to-read
I like it so far. It is written in short chapters. The history is from classical sources, orthodox, and a space is given for reflection in each section. Ramadan writes well, and his expressive form carries the sense (I mean sense in the sense of sense, bodily incorporation) of what I find has often been expressed in a castrated form, such as, for instance, the idea of submission.
Arief Bakhtiar D.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

TARIQ Ramadan tak punya pretensi berlebihan ketika menulis biografi Nabi Muhammad yang kemudian diberi judul The Footsteps of the Prophet. Sejak awal, ia menegaskan bahwa bukunya tidak ditulis untuk menyaingi buku-buku sejarah klasik tentang Nabi seperti yang ditulis Ibnu Ishaq atau Ibnu Hisham. Tariq juga menyatakan bahwa ia tak bermaksud menyediakan ruang yang akan menunjukkan pada kita, yang mungkin berharap, suatu interpretasi baru yang revolusioner tent
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I have been giving an awful lot of 5 stars out lately but really, I have been reading such great stuff. This is a great analysis of the life of the Prophet - its not a traditional biography but rather it goes over the events in the Prophet's life and derives various ethical and moral lessons from his experiences. Its a great introduction to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for both non-Muslims seeking to learn more about Islam and Muslim's seeking greater understanding ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This must be one of the better books on the history of early years of Islam and the life of the Prophet. What makes it unique is that it includes many teachings and saying of him too and it's not merely a narration of life events. This adds life to the book and gives a taste of prophet's character too. I truly like this book for this reason. Like many other books it did disappoint me with regards to neglect of the role of Ali especially in the event of prophet's speech in their farewell hajj pil ...more
Fuad Syazwan Ramli
Jika dilihat pada fakta sejarah, tiada yang baru dalam buku ini melainkan fakta-fakta dan kisah-kisah klise yang kita pelajari sejak dari tadika lagi.

Kekuatan buku ini bukanlah pada perincian fakta sejarah, melainkan pada huraian pengajaran yang boleh diambil dari kehidupan Nabi Muhammad SAW dan manusia di sekelilingnya, tidak kira keluarga, Sahabat, atau musuh.

Dengan bahasa yang mudah dan boleh dikatakan ringan, Tariq Ramadan menghuraikan peristiwa yang berlaku dengan penuh menarik dan pengajar
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tariq Ramadan’s “In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons form the Life of Muhammad” is a discussion of events in the life of the Messenger of God. Comparisons can be made to other Prophets in the Abrahamic faiths and those of other cultures. Ramadan points out that Muhammad was kind, gentle and patient. He forgave his enemies and laid down rules to be followed by Muslims. The author does not make any mention the current factions within Islam. However, reading this work with general background k ...more
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have never read the seerah of the prophet and are intending to read one to understand what kind of a person he was, this is the book for you. If you have read other seerahs' then you will really appreciate the style of this book due to its beautiful descriptions, essential and analytical notes and comments articulated through the most poetic flow of words, and last but not least; the inevitable feeling and realizations within yourself that this book brings to the table. I thought I knew t ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, history
Such a refreshing account of the life the Prophet (SAW). I was hoping for a more intimate account of his daily life though, however, there were some lovely anecdotes that inspired so much awe. For example, the way he treated his wives, his love for animals, and his excellent skills as a leader and negotiator.

The last few paragraphs, which details the Prophet's last concerns for the future Ummah, were especially poignant. His primary concern was that people will fall for the riches of this world
Hasanul Banna Siam
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Muslims
Shelves: favorites
I couldn't hold my tears when i reached the end of the book. Such an excellent biography of Prophet Muhammad (sm) it is!! Prof.Tariq Ramadan has a very unique writing style which made the book even more engaging. This Biography is different from typical biography books, because this one focuses more on deriving teachings from Prophet's life, instead of merely mentioning events. Five star all the way -- this book is a must-read for all Muslims.
Asmaa Kamel
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading and I guess I'll read it again! The idea of coming up with reflections on the different aspects of the Prophet's life (peace be upon him) is new and rather interesting compared with the mere narrative of the events of his life found in most other books. I guess this is an open invitation for everyone to write their own reflections on the Prophet's life and use them as a way to converse with the thoughts in the book.
Ali M
Apr 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read, and while I can't compare it to the other books on the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), I'd say it's very good. It reads like a novel, and it's not a dry text. On the contrary, it paints a vivid picture of his life, what he faced, the trials he went through, etc, but without going into extreme details. It gives you the highlights, along with the author's own interpretation and present-day application of the trails and lessons learned some 1400 years ago.
This book does two things in a beautiful historical and spiritual narrative:

1. Increase your love, appreciation,and awe of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
2. Apply the themes from the life of the Prophet (PBUH) to modern-day issues, not so much on a societal level, but more on an individual level, looking into the character of the Prophet (PBUH)and how he truly serves as a model for humankind.

Tariq Ramadan is great--I am looking forward to reading more from him.
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is thank God I found this book! Tariq Ramadan wrote about the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the most concised manner. This book is suitable for everyone, Muslims or non-Muslims alike, to learn how to treat one another in life's most difficult moments.
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you want to understand Islam this is a very good book to explain its origins.
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Tariq Ramadan is the son of Said Ramadan and Wafa Al-Bana, who was the eldest daughter of Hassan al Banna, who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Gamal al-Banna, the liberal Muslim reformer is his great-uncle. His father was a prominent figure in the Muslim Brotherhood and was exiled by Gamal Abdul Nasser[3] from Egypt to Switzerland, where Tariq was born.

Tariq Ramadan studied Philos
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“No one must ever let power or social, economic, or political interest turn him or her away from other human beings, from the attention they deserve and the respect they are entitled to. nothing must ever lead to a person to compromise this principle or faith in favor of a political strategy aimed at saving or protecting a community from some peril. The freely offered, sincere heart of a poor, powerless individual is worth a thousand times more in the sight of God than the assiduously courted, self-interested heart of a rich one.” 28 likes
“الإسلام لايقيم عالما مغلقا للمرجعية بل يعتمدعلى مجموعة من المبادئ الشمولية التي يمكن أن تتطابق مع أسس وقيم معتقدات وتقاليد دينية” 15 likes
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