Respectful of Islamic tradition, this biography from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s publishing imprint presents a coherent narrative of the prophet’s life.
The main incidents from birth to the flight to Yathrib (now Medina) in 622 are here, but disappointingly, the author omits the last 10 years of Muhammad’s life. Within her narrative, Conover carefully delineates information taken from the Quran, from hadith (traditional sayings and deeds) and from early biographies, although the books in her bibliography are recent. The author notes when she has totally invented a scene in concluding chapter notes and freely admits that “sensory and scene details have been added” throughout. The smooth text is accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Islam. There are no illustrations, but a decorative pattern in green, the Islamic symbolic color, surrounds each chapter title. The book ends before the battles in Medina, thereby eliding the controversial aftermath of the “Battle of the Ditch,” in which a Muslim general had Jewish men who supported the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, the prophet’s enemies, put to death.
Though incomplete, this slim volume provides a readable account of how the orphan boy and young trader developed into the prophet. (timeline, glossary, bibliography, notes) (Biography. 11-14)