The Savage

The Savage

And Other Short Islamic Stories

Joel Hayward


176 pages / Published: 1st February 2018


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Good Islamic short stories are almost as rare as red diamonds, but prove as dazzling and entrancing when found.

This collection of unique, intriguing and powerful stories – written in eloquent and captivating prose by an accomplished scholar, poet, and storyteller who converted to Islam after falling in love with the Holy Quran – avoids the current trends of trivial anecdotal narrative and over-the-top fantasy.

His richly drawn characters are believable, as are even the most unexpected plot twists and turns, and he never strays from the reality of historical and contemporary events even when telling fabulously fictitious stories that contain surreal or imaginary elements.

Written in various styles and in different voices, these highly original and evocative tales will move, sadden, delight and provoke readers.

They will not let readers escape without challenging their assumptions or let them avoid engaging with the subtly revealed underpinning moral, philosophical or religious issues.


Joel Hayward


New Zealand


Joel Hayward is Professor of Strategic Thought at the National Defense College of the United Arab Emirates. His former posts have included being the Director of the Institute of International and Civil Security and the Chair of the multidisciplinary Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Khalifa University (UAE) and the Dean of the Royal Air Force College (UK). He is the author of many books and peer-reviewed articles.


The Savage











The Glory of Iqbal 1877-1938

" Fascinating, imaginative and meaningful fiction"

2024-05-02 04:46:17

As a Muslim, I always hoped to read imaginative and creative fiction about aspects of Islamic history and aspects of everyday life facing Muslims today. There simply isn’t much Islamic fiction, at least in English or about real historical events. Joel Hayward, a convert to our religion who also writes elegant Islamic poetry, has beautifully filled the gap with this remarkable collection of stories. They draw the reader into events that we know from history books, or current events that we read about in newspapers or see on television, yet the stories take us out of the real world into fantastic made-up situations that challenge all our assumptions and pose intriguing moral questions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories and found myself identifying strongly with some of the invented characters. You will love this book as much as I did. I strongly recommend it.

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"Great imaginative book written superbly"

2021-09-06 07:42:48

There's a lot of Islamic history accurately presented in these fictional stories of characters and events from the author's imagination. Everything therefore seems believable, and one will learn a lot about Islam and the different eras and events in the stories. The stories themselves are dissimilar to each other in tone and "voice", and don't seem to come from the same mind, yet the way they are written is consistently excellent and the magic of the stories themselves will hold your attention from cover to cover

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"Totally captivating "

2021-08-07 16:10:40

Muslims don’t read much fiction, and we tend to believe that made up stories about Islamic issues shouldn’t be told in case they cause offence or violate things that are sacred. I used to shy away from fiction for exactly that reason. This book absolutely proved me wrong. I only bought it because I’ve read the author’s Islamic history books and really liked them. But I am extremely pleased I did. Every story drew me in. Every page contained some kind of spell. Joel Hayward is a wonderful storyteller and several of the stories would make great movies.

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"Really amazing stories "

2020-12-18 06:48:39

I was really amazed by how these stories captured my imagination. I couldn’t put this book down. Joel Hayward is ordinarily an Islamic historian and scholar of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ biography. But here he reveals that he also has brilliant talent as a creator of fictional worlds.

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"The text itself is good"

2019-06-10 04:06:23

The text itself is good. It is simultaneously accessible and scholarly. The stories could have had a better build up!

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"An aid to understanding Islam"

2019-06-08 04:05:38

This book has definitely been an aid to understanding Islam - its culture, history, customs, history, etc. It well-written and easy to consume.

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"A treasure trove of Islamic literature by one of the greatest storytellers I have ever come I highly recommend the book."

2018-06-20 06:11:05

The Savage is a rare treasure trove of Islamic literature by one of the greatest storytellers I have ever come across. This collection of pearls full of wisdom inspired by centuries of Islamic history and tradition is a unique work of art and a masterpiece by Dr. Joel Hayward. The author is now known for his highly creative, intriguing, and deeply reflective writing, but this specific piece goes beyond that. Through the author’s elegant power of expression, these stories appear to be coming alive right in front of the reader, and that is not an easy task for anyone but for Dr. Hayward that seems to come naturally. I highly recommend the book.

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