If you’re over the age of 20, then chances are that you already have a healthy cynicism for the attention span of people younger than you. You’ve seen the progression from epic movies to youtube videos and now to 6 seconds on Vine. You’ve watched as conversations on the phone have been replaced by emails, then text SMS messages and now the 140 character limit of Twitter.
The trouble is that no amount of eye rolling and nostalgia will undo this collective shortening of the average persons ability to focus and concentrate. This becomes especially worrying when you consider it in the context of things that we need to know. One of the foremost things on the need to know list is the life of the greatest man who ever lived – the seerah or biography of the Prophet Muhammad
The book “Jesus and the the Last Messenger” by Adam Rahman seems to be a Seerah written for this age. It is short, readable and makes use of lots of white space. In fact, I read the entire book in one sitting. Having read most Seerah books in English – I’m pretty sure this is the only Seerah book you can say those things about.
Of course the brevity comes at a cost. Large personalities and events are glossed over such as the reversion of Umar and the battle of Hunain. However, this is more than made up for by the readability of the book and the way the author avoids turning the Seerah into simply a rehash of the different battles involved. I found the chapters on how the Prophet and Khadijah first met and then married to be particularly well written and poignant.
The life of the Prophet is one that is rich in meaning and substance. Every anecdote is worthy of a volume in itself, every sentence could have a book written about it… and that is no hyperbole. Adam Rahmans writing style tends to bring this out in subtle ways. I found myself re-reading about well known events with interest rather than a sense of De’ja vu.
It is becoming incredibly difficult to get people to read anything these days that doesn’t involve emo vampires or wizard boarding school kids. “Jesus and the Last Messenger” is a readable and light Seerah that is a perfect fit for this generation that does enough to spark the flame of interest for further study and inspiration.
(If you are interested in buying the book then it is available on Amazon in both paperback and eBook: http://amzn.com/0615977391 – The author has stated that all proceeds will go to charity.)