Michael Muhammad experiences writing book on Islam
Publish Date : Tuesday 18 December 2018 - 20:23
IBNA- In ‘Muhammad: Forty Introductions’ out next month by Soft Skull Press in New York, the American writer and journalist Michael Muhammad Knight unfolds his interpretation of Islam.
According to IBNA
correspondent quoting from Frieze
, the Muslim Michael Muhammad Knight
, views upon the character of prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Borrows his form from the Islamic literary tradition of the hadith (which literally translates to ‘news’ or ‘report’), specifically the arba’in, Knight gives the Prophet new life.
Through both oral and written forms of transmission, hadiths memorialize Muhammad’s actual statements, his lived habits and his preferences. In this way, Knight not only re-introduces us to the prophet and his teachings, but also to the thick history of scholarship that has attended to his legacy in the form of stories told and retold by those who had once been in his presence.
Muhammad: Forty Introductions’ is a strange, delightful memoir which intertwines stories about the Prophet and with stories about Knight himself. Knight converted to Islam at age 13, and after realizing that his own heritage was one sutured to white supremacy, fled the US for Islamabad, Pakistan to study Islam at Faisal Mosque, where he forged an alternative lineage within the teachings of Mohammad, adopting the prophet’s name to fit his own daily practice.
For Knight, religion isn’t only a form of spiritual or unseen piety, but is material, quotidian and behavioral. Knight ties each of his own life – teaching, writing, forgiving – to a separate hadith, and in doing so, demonstrates how Mohammad the prophet and Knight after him ‘assess personal choices beyond simple questions of permissible or prohibited.’
The book speaks to the diversity of Islamic literature – and by extension, Islamic lives. Knight introduces his readers to the ways in which Muslim men and women live, but also dream and think (readers can look to his 2013 book, ‘Tripping with Allah’, for an account of Knight’s somatic – and psychedelic – relationship to religion).
Recognizing that the canon of religious texts is always the product of power struggle, Knight compiles the hadiths that have formed Islam’s ‘anti-canon’ – the texts which have previously been considered false or improperly forged.