The Beloved Prophet - An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme

The Beloved Prophet - An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme

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The Beloved Prophet - An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme
Saturday 27 November 2021
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Academia Library, Imam Haron Road, Lansdowne, Cape Town, South Africa
Academia Library car park, Imam Haron Road
Event Ended

About this event...

After four years in the making, The Beloved Prophet – An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme was launched at the Academia Library in Cape Town, South Africa.

Addressing the event via a live link from the UK, Shaykh Sharif Banna, chairman of Claritas Books, said the author and illustrator has contributed to the Prophet’s legacy “in a unique way in putting together what is - to the best of my knowledge - the first illustrated English biography in rhyme of the Prophet Muhammad(s).”

The 115-page full-colour hardcover book comprises 52 chapters – each with its corresponding artwork, 624 stanzas and 2,496 verses that tell the life story of the Prophet Muhammad(s), beginning with The Year of the Elephant and concluding with A New Beginning.

Banna explained that when the author first shared this labour of love with him at a chance meeting in Cape Town in 2018, “it immediately captured my imagination.”

“I’m a firm believer of pursuing our full creative potential in communicating our faith, the beauty of this message of Islam, the message and values of the Qur’an, and life and legacy of the Prophet(s).” Adding that “we essentially agreed to work together in bringing this book to life.”

Also speaking at the launch was Ebrahim Rasool, former South African ambassador to the US, who described the publication as “bold and audacious” adding that it was “the thinking person’s biography.”

“Every sentence needs to be interrogated, every word, every metaphor needs to be thought about and unpacked … It has a speed bump in every line; it forces you to slow down and ponder,” said Rasool.

Author, Zaahied Sallie, explained that “what I attempted was to give new form to an existing story, to create a reflective and meditative space of the Prophet’s exemplary life by merging poetry and art.”

Sallie said that the Prophet (s) lived at a time when the Arabic language reached its zenith in poetry. It was an art form “that drew the listener in, moving and inspiring…the setting was perfect for the noble Qur’an to win over hearts.”

“Using poetry allowed me to create a brief story, but with depth – found in the undertones and evocative use of language.”

The Beloved Prophet - An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme is a story overflowing with emotion and sentiment, presented in the most compressed literary style. Saaid Rahbeeni's beautiful artwork further animates the spirit of this profound story.

Various ulama, academia and media representatives attended the launch, including Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams, president of the Muslim Judicial Council; Shaykh Sa’dullah Khan, CEO of Islamia College; Farid Sayed, editor of The Muslim Views; as well as others.

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