Prophet’s poetic biography

Book: The Soul of the Desert
Author: Umer O Thasneem
Publisher: Other Books, Calicut, Kerala
Pages: 294 Price: Rs. 260
Year: not mentioned
ISBN: 978-93-80081-14-4

39-year-old author in his passionate introduction to the text writes a long introduction trying to defend the Prophet’s honour against the orientalist onslaught. This was, however, not needed for a poetic biography.

Inspired by noble sentiments to pay his poetic tribute the poet attempts an exercise which he is neither academically qualified nor poetically gifted. He maintains neither the rhythmic cadence of the English language nor does he follow a metre nor a stanza form of any language. He probably forgot Samuel Johnson’s remarks about religious poetry…. the wings (poetry) fail to carry the weight of the lofty grandeur of religious feelings. (theology)

He, at the very beginning, sought liberty from the rules of grammar or lexicon – poetic license. However he should have remembered that Maysarah was Ummul Mu’aminin Hazarat Khadija’s servant not Halimas’s (p. 63). There are a few more slips here and there. Inspite of his very noble intensions, the book fails to impress and inspire. His sincerity deserves, however, applause and appreciation. One wonders why does he want the Prophet to remain soul of the desert and not of mankind or the universe!