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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Author sheds light on prophet

Conover humanizes life of Muhammad

By Tracy Simmons

A lot’s been written about the Prophet Muhammad. But a 104-page narrative about the first half of his life, written for a multi-generational audience, by a Buddhist – that’s new.

In “Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer,” Spokane author Sarah Conover illustrates why Muhammad is a beloved figure in Islam.

“The tale too often told about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in our times is twisted to the point of deformation – which just makes ‘Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Refomer’ that much more meaningful and powerful’,” writes Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core.

Conover said she wanted to humanize Muhammad for non-Muslims, including young adults.

“I felt this was really missing in the market, there are many books written about the Prophet Muhammad that assume you’re already a believer, so that’s hard for non-Muslims to step right into,” she said. “I was looking to make a bridge. There was nothing (written) that really puts him in a setting so you could see him as a human being, like you, like anyone.”

Conover reconstructs Muhammad’s tale through scholarly research, creative writing and by drawing from her fond experiences visiting the Middle East, she said.

“So many of the things I love about Islam come from the first period of his life,” she said.

Conover chose to write about the prophet’s life up until the year 622, when he makes the journey from Mecca to Medina.

That’s when things got complicated for Muhammad, she said. “Things changed. He’s fighting for his life, for his religion’s survival. He becomes a warrior in a certain way, a political strategist and a prophet and all that gets mixed up. To explain that well, to contextualize it, you’re not going to do that for a multi- generational audience,” she said.

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