Muhammad: Messenger of Allah (Qadi Iyad’s As-Shifa’a translated by Aisha Bewley)
“If it were not for Qadi Iyad. No one would have heard of Morocco.”
I have still yet to finish this book. But given its magnificence and sublime nature I am compelled to write this and encourage others to read it. Unlike other Sira, Qadi Iyad’s does not take a sequential look at the Prophet’s (SAWS) life. Rather it takes an opportunity to list all of his immense qualities and character, his perfected nature, the rights due on to him.
Although it may not seem it from the outside, this is quite a long book, and the rich content inside adds to it. But it does not get cumbersome to read. Qadi Iyad makes an effort to not repeat himself, so that you are left with a continual overflowing of rich content. Reading this book, a true believer cannot help but feel closer to the Prophet (SAWS) and feel the love for him increase in ways that cannot be enumerated. What I especially like about it is the number of things it mentions that are from sound sources, such as Bukhari and Muslim. There are a number of ahadith that talk about plants and animals talking, and other unbelievable miraculous things that happened around the Prophet (SAWS) that myself, and I’m sure a number of other Muslims, would have never heard of. Given that the Muslim world to some extent has lost the true love of the Messenger of Allah, this is something that is highly needed. Books today about the Prophet (SAWS) do not mention many of his primordial and existential qualities for fear of “shirk”, with uncountable numbers containing the blasphemous phrase of saying “He was just a man”. (Rather one should say he was the best of men). On reading this book no one would ever feel the desire to say such a simplistic and narrow minded thing ever again.
This is a book that every Muslim should read, every home should have, and every child should be taught. May Allah send his infinite blessings on the Prophet, his family and his companions. May He raise the rank and have mercy on Qadi Iyad. And may he reward our Shaykha Aisha Bewley for her services to the Ummah.
And to Him is our return.