Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A book I don't like

Mother of the Faithful by Kamran Pasha is a book which I would not read for obvious reasons.

It's a "historical fiction" about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birth of Islam, written as an "autobiographical novel" in the voice of Bibi Ayesha. Here are the opening lines:

"What is faith? It is a question I have asked myself over the years, dear nephew, and I am no closer to the answer now then I was when my hair was still crimson like the rising dawn, not the pale silver of moonlight as it is today."

In the novel, this is Bibi Ayesha speaking! I didn't read beyond this. You can find out about the book at the website of Pasha, especially the following pages:


  1. These matters of writing "historical fiction" are raising many questions for what creativity, academic writing, and above all, ethics mean in the modern world.

    Some years ago when I wrote an article 'Signals from The DaVinci Code', I had humbly pointed out to this (problematic) notion of writing about religious figures and personalities in the genre of fiction and some people had criticized my comments on the dangerous trend of trying to knit a fictitious work that is based on episodes of religious history. The questions I had raised back then seem to have been important ones since another manifestation of this trend has come out in the form of the novel being discussed now.

  2. Naqib, thanks. We need not "discuss" the novel as such. Just sharing our reasons for not reading it would be good enough.