Muhammad Pravaktha Jeevitham: Translation by P. Satyavathi; Hyderabad Book Trust, Flat No 8J, Balaji Nagar, Gudimalkapur, Hyderabad-500067. Rs. 80.

This is a translation of Karen Armstrong’s Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, which earned for him the Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award. Armstrong's is no mean achievement, because writing on religious heads and thinkers is no easy task; it calls for scholarship, research orientation, and an unflappable commitment to authenticity.

In her comprehensive work on the life and times of the Prophet, Armstrong brings into focus the ideological differences between the Islamic and Western worlds. The Prophet's life is one of philanthropy, compassion, and empathy. He constantly went on pilgrimage.

The renovation of Kaaba; the installation of the sacred black stone under the guidance of Muhammad; his divine vision of Gabriel on the 17th day of Ramdan and the revelations he received; and how he came to be acclaimed the messenger of Allah — all these are told in detail and in an absorbing manner.

Armstrong quotes many ‘Suras’ from the Koran. The oft-quoted one among the ‘Suras’ is, according to her, that which says “God does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make a decision to change.” The translation is commendable and smooth-flowing.

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