Where the spirit takes him

After dramatizing the lives of Buddha and Jesus, Deepak Chopra writes a novel about Muhammad.

By RASHA MADKOUR
September 28, 2010 21:23
2 minute read.
Stil from feature film ‘Muhammad: The Last Prophet

feature film ‘Muhammad: The Last Prophet.’. (photo credit: MCT)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Countless books have been written about the life of Muhammad, Islam’s prophet. Spirituality guru Deepak Chopra has added another to the mix: A novel generally rooted in facts but liberally embellished.

In Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet, Chopra employs a wide cast of narrators to tell the story of how an orphan boy raised in a pagan society grew up to lead a nation of believers in the oneness of God. All the usual highlights are here: Muhammad’s infancy and toddlerhood living with his Bedouin wet nurse in the fresh air of the desert; his brief time with his mother in the city before her death when he was only six (his father died before he was born); his precociousness as a child living with relatives; and his marriage to a wealthy widow with whom he had four daughters as well as two sons who died in infancy.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Then, at 40, came the turning point in Muhammad’s life, when the angel Gabriel appeared before him as he was meditating in a cave. “The man who wished for God to notice him was terrified once he was noticed,” Chopra writes. He imagines Muhammad thinking: “I didn’t ask for this. Let me go. I am nothing, a man among men.”

It is this ordinary nature of Muhammad that surprised Chopra when he began writing the book, which follows Buddha and Jesus in his series on founders of world religions. What links the three men is their pursuit of higher consciousness, Chopra writes in his introduction.

“[Muhammad] appeals to me most because he remade the world by going inward... In the light of what the Prophet achieved, he raises my hopes that all of us who lead everyday lives can be touched by the divine.”


Chopra appears to rely on a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim sources to inform his novel, which may irritate those who would prefer more wholehearted acceptance – or more sharp challenging – of Muslims’ version of history. As for Chopra’s writing style, solid storytelling in the beginning of the book unfortunately peters out.

The final chapters include a bizarre tale of a reformed prostitute waiting for a soldier to return home – her connection to the story of the prophet is unclear – and anticlimactic, rushed chapters on Muhammad’s return to Mecca and his death. Even so, Muhammad may appeal to those interested in a dramatic retelling of the prophet’s life.

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA