cover image Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet

Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet

Deepak Chopra, HarperOne, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-178242-8

Chopra, an iconic figure in American popular culture, proves with this biography of Muhammad that he is more than just a New Age talking head. Varying by chapter the narrative viewpoints and using actual characters from the life of Muhammad, such as Muhammad's first wife, Khadijah, and his daughter Fatima, Chopra tells the story of Muhammad's life in this "teaching novel." Similar volumes by Chopra have already profiled Buddha and Jesus. While technically this is fiction, several historical events—including ones dear to many Muslims' hearts—are related. The result is one of the most imaginative and touching biographies of Muhammad. For instance, in the prelude, inventively narrated by the Angel Gabriel, the angel bringing the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad, describes the illiterate caravan trader who had married his wealthy female boss. The next chapter, narrated by Muhammad's grandfather Abdul Muttalib, tells the legend of the Zamzam well, which Muslims visit to this day in their annual hajj pilgrimage. Chopra goes on to describe a people yearning for a message that would liberate them from polytheistic tribalism and the messenger, a trustworthy but frightened man who became a prophet. Chopra's grasp of Muhammad's mission and life is accessible and extends his range in a surprising direction; his popularization is welcome. (Oct.)