Book Review

The Jewel of Medina: The Prologue

The Jewel of Medina

Sherry Jones emailed me the prologue of her book The Jewel of Medina to share with you all. I’ve read it, and I sent it to shewhohashope to gain her perspective, as she and I are of different faiths and cultures, and have differing views of the prologue and the book that it introduces. Obviously, sweeping judgments based on the prologue are as frail as sweeping judgments based on not having read the book at all, but hey, what is our site without some randomly sweeping judgments, right?

If you’d like to download the prologue and read it for yourself, a PDF is available here (please right click and download, thanks). All contents of the prologue are copyright Sherry Jones. 

My reactions are from the perspective of a reader, and someone who is, due to this controversy, very curious about Islam, Aisha, Mohammed, and this book itself. Shewhohashope, a 22 year-old student of Anthropology living in London, England, is a Sunni Muslim and rabid Heyer fan.

My reaction: would this prologue make me continue reading? Yup. It’s half dishy and half history (which therein lies a problem, yo) and almost reads as a hybrid of YA, historical fiction, and historical romance. Aisha, in the prologue, is 14, and is returning to her caravan after they traveled without her. She arrives in camp with a man named Safwan ibn Al-Muattal, and upon her return is accused of adultery with Safwan. Muhammad later receives a vision or revelation that Aisha was not unfaithful to him, and her accusers were punished.

My initial impressions were that the tone was melodramatic, and that the heroine seemed very, very young, more like a modern 14 year old than what I would presume at 14 year old would be like at that time. Nowadays, a 14 year old is in middle school, and, if it’s a 14 year old girl, likely given to impulsive behavior and, in some instances, a hormonal overdrive that causes them to act like pubescent minions of evil. 14 year old girls can be MEAN like DAMN.

The biggest contention from those who would read this and be upset would be the depiction of Aisha as possibly having been tempted, and certainly having taken deliberate steps to sneak behind Mohammed’s back. Aisha is very, very human and young-acting, since she’s 14 and driven by some impulse in the prologue. A 14 year old then might have more presence of mind to resist impulse than a 14 year old today. I would figure a 14 year old at that time, who was married to a leader, who genuinely cared for him, who had been married for awhile, and who had, in context, a much shorter lifespan than we have now, would be in some ways more mature and less impulsive. But then, this is a supposition that could easily be flawed on my part, or addressed by the rest of the narrative.

However, the prologue sets up the narrative tension very quickly: what is Aisha feeling guilty about? She mentions that she and Safwan crafted a story on the ride to the caravan so that their stories would match, but she also mentions that she remained faithful to Mohammed. She has something about which she is ashamed, and there is a deliberate reason she allowed the caravan to leave her behind, but that tension and guilt betray her to those who accuse her of much, much worse, so she’s defending herself while she feels guilty and ashamed. 

As I wrote to shewhohashope, the conflict about this book is as much about faith as it is understanding what someone of another culture and another faith holds sacred and what is, frankly, a “big deal.” It is, I’ve learned, a big deal to humanize and portray as tempted and flawed one of the four matriarchs within Islam. It’s a very big deal to hint at adultery for Aisha. And it’s a huge honking big hopping deal to portray as human the prophet Mohammed.

So that’s why it’s offensive to the part of alarming and upsetting people. I completely understand that. I still want to read the rest of the book.

However, in my mind that does not give any one person the right to make such a big stink that a publisher decides for the rest of us that reading the book is too dangerous for all involved. I’m disappointed that I won’t get the opportunity to read the entire book and decide for myself, and I’m disappointed that more people won’t have the opportunity to read something that’s become salacious and notorious, because if other readers are like me, they’d be curious about Mohammed, his wives, and their role in shaping the future of Islam and do more research (like I did – hello, internet! mwah!) to learn more.

When I asked shewhohashope if she’d be willing to read the prologue and share her reaction, she agreed. She writes:

Just from the prologue, the part I could see becoming contentious is that Jones’ Aisha ran away with another man with the intent to commit adultery, when this is specifically denied in the Qur’an. And the depiction of several of the sahaba in their treatment of Aisha, although that has basis within Islamic historical records (and within the Qur’an).

I don’t know. Considering that this is a fictionalised account of the Prophet’s (saws) [wife’s] life, offence-wise anything else is icing on the cake, so it’s not as important.

But I wouldn’t want to give the impression that there aren’t differences of opinion between Muslims as well, there is definitely a difference between how Aisha is perceived within the Muslim community. She is revered by Sunni Muslims and following the political incidents that caused the split between Sunni and Shia, Aisha is regarded as a much less reliable source within the Shiah tradition of Islamic scholarship.

I am no Islamic scholar (please add this disclaimer to everything I’ve said) but I assume that they would be better than the average woman (say me) and I can’t quite countenance the thought of committing adultery.

It’s mentioned in the Quran right after ‘don’t kill your children’, and right before ‘life is sacred’.

Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)
Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
[17:33]

It’s not so much the humanising of the Prophet either. There are plenty of biographies and hadith about the Prophet’s (saws) daily life. It’s the fictionalisation aspect that is worrying, not so much because of this particular book, this is something that has built up from when the hadith themselves were an oral tradition. Consider the danger of having historical fiction someone wrote about Mohamed (saws) floating about when our main sources for what the Prophet’s (saws) life was like are based on what people said about him. And for Sunni’s at least this makes up the second highest religious authority we have.

I’d have to read more to be able to anything substantial about it as a literary work, but it’s more controversial than I though it’d be already. [Aisha] seems younger than I think she’d be for her age, but that’s not an important issue within context. And it’s not even how she was tempted towards adultery as much as it’s that fact that that goes directly against something that is in the Qu’ran. Not to mention that Aisha in Islamic tradition (or sunni tradition) is one of the four perfect women who are held up as what all Muslim women should aim to be as wel as one of the Mothers of the Faith (along with Khadijah, Mary, and Asiya (ra)). Plus, it strikes me personally as a misrepresentation of who she was. Adultery in general is just a huge deal (even more so then, and even more so for a public figure, and even more so for her) it doesn’t strike me as plausible that she’d have a moment of weakness in this manner unless she was having a crisis of faith as well as whatever personal issues she’s supposed to be dealing with, because it is such a huge, huge thing to slip up on.

There are a slew of ways to evaluate the prologue: does it tease you to read more? Does the writing style please your readerly brain? Do the contents shock you? Does the characterization offend you deeply? Does the fiction make the idea of Mohammed and his life more or less accessible to you as a reader? Did you like it? And what about Brett Farve going to the Jets? No, sorry, that’s a different discussion.

I’m curious what you think of the prologue, so please share your thoughts. Thank you to Sherry Jones for sharing her work, and to shewhohashope for sharing her opinion and her time.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Popin says:

    Even though I said I wouldn’t read it, I did and it did solidify my reasoning for not reading the novel. There are inaccuracies about her life right from the first line. it’s expected, but it just doesn’t sit well with me.

    I’ve learned about her life, so when the first sentence says

    Scandal blew in on the errant wind when I rode into Medina clutching Safwan’s waist.

    It make me shake my head, because in the hadith Aisha mentioned this never happened and while reading the prologue, it does paint the picture that Aisha wanted to be with Safwan. In our religion, to even say that is a huge sin, to the point that if you even say they had relations and that Aisha was unfaithful takes you out of the folds of Islam.

    It’s paints the Sahabis (companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him)) in such a negative light, which was disheartening to read. Ali wasn’t jealous of her, Umar didn’t want to harm her. She didn’t even know what was being said till a month or so after, and when she found out she stayed with her parents and prayed.

    I don’t really know what to say. If the topic didn’t offend some Muslims before, reading the prologue will offend Muslim (regardless of what sect you are in). I mentioned before in the other thread that if you write fiction about the Prophets and their wives, you will change it to spice it up. That’s why we stay away from it, because if you write fiction about them, you are saying lies because you weren’t there and it’s a sin and that’s why this book will offend.

    Sorry if this doesn’t make sense. I’m honestly at a loss for words after reading the prologue.

  2. 2
    Sherry Jones says:

    Thank you for your insightful reviews! I would like to point out that the Qur’an refers to a “lie” but does not say whether that lie refers to accusations of adultery or of intent. In fact, A’isha, although tempted by another, does not succumb in my book. In writing this novel, I tried to take into account both Sunni and Shia views, particularly of this incident. No worries though: Her honor remains intact! And she grows up a LOT because of this experience.

  3. 3
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Just from the prologue, the part I could see becoming contentious is that Jones’ Aisha ran away with another man with the intent to commit adultery, when this is specifically denied in the Qur’an. And the depiction of several of the sahaba in their treatment of Aisha, although that has basis within Islamic historical records (and within the Qur’an).

    I can’t disagree with this.

    The writing isn’t bad (in fact, I rather like her voice), but starting with the idea that Aisha really did run away with adulterous intentions seems problematic to me.

    I’d be curious to see what Jones based this on. Are there alternate versions of Aisha’s history out there that support this, or is it pure fictional invention? If it’s the former, that’s one thing. We all know historical accounts can vary widely depending on who’s doing the telling, and if in one version of Islam there is a belief that Aisha did act in the way and then repented, ok. If this is purely fictional though, it becomes a real problem IMO (but we all know I like my history to be, well, historically based).

    I’m not widely read enough in the history of Aisha to be able to render an educated opinion, so I’ll have to rely on those who are.

    That said, I don’t see any reason to go to the extreme of protesting the publication of the book. Lots of historically inaccurate, culturally offensive, stuff is published. Just ask any historian or minority you know.

  4. 4
    Popin says:

    Sorry for the second post, just wanted to make a correction.

    Not to mention that Aisha in Islamic tradition (or sunni tradition) is one of the four perfect women who are held up as what all Muslim women should aim to be as wel as one of the Mothers of the Faith (along with Khadijah, Mary, and Asiya (ra)).

    She isn’t part of the four righteous women, Fatima, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) daughter, is. She is highly regarded as a great Muslimah though.

  5. 5

    Hmmm. Now I’m thinking I skimmed over the portayal of the sahaba, but it is on record that people accused her of adultery so I let that slide, as it were.

    Although (as Popin says) I don’t think she did know everything that was being said straight away. I’ll have to read up on the incident.

  6. 6

    Silly mistake on my part.

    I did keep wondering about Fatima.

  7. 7

    Whether or not this book is faithful to Islam and its history doesn’t matter all that much to me, because I’m not Muslim.  If I were, and my religious leaders said, “Hey, this is a book we consider to be damaging to the faith,” well, then I wouldn’t buy the book and support the author.

    It just seems that simple, and it’s too bad the publishing house didn’t have some balls.

  8. 8
    snarkhunter says:

    DAMN it. I just had a long comment typed out, very carefully worded, and it got eaten. RAR. I’m going to much less careful in this one, so let me say that I’m not trying to be provocative, nor am I setting out to offend anyone. I am asking a real question.

    If the topic didn’t offend some Muslims before, reading the prologue will offend Muslim (regardless of what sect you are in).

    My question is, in a religion as diversely populated as Islam, is it, in your (Popin’s or anyone else’s) possible to still be a “good” Muslim and not be offended by such a representation? I have known individual Muslims who did not follow the strictures of the Qu’ran quite as literally as they perhaps “should” have (scare quotes only b/c I’m not really sure what exactly they felt was required of them, or to what extent they felt obligated to obey those requirements), and I wonder if something like this would have been as problematic for them as it is for some of our commenters here. (Which is NOT to say that you’re wrong in being offended. If it is offensive to you, it’s offensive to you. Period.) 

    I feel like we are often presented a vision of Islam as a monolithic faith, even despite the Sunni/Shi’a divide, wherein Every Believer feels exactly the same way about some things, and based strictly on my own experience of Christianity, I wonder about the truth of that. Thoughts?

  9. 9

    A vague disclaimer is no-one’s friend:

    a) I’m clearly not an Islamic scholar.
    b) I won’t be buying this book but I’m going to come to your house and slap you upside the head if you do.
    c) I speak for myself (and probably a large number of Muslims, but don’t quote me on that if large numbers stop by and say I’m full of it)
    d) Islam =/= a monolith but fictionalised representations of the Prophet (saws) are widely forbidden and intensely disliked.

    I already said some stuff about cultural appropriation in the last post, and my thoughts on that still stand.

  10. 10
    JJ says:

    I think it’s too bad, I liked the prologue and would buy the book if it was available. This is fiction, so although it may offend people, they don’t have to read it or buy it or even talk about it. It’s not as if the author is saying this is what really happened- isn’t it kind of like religious fan-fic, in a way?

  11. 11
    Popin says:

    My question is, in a religion as diversely populated as Islam, is it, in your (Popin’s or anyone else’s) possible to still be a “good” Muslim and not be offended by such a representation?

    I don’t think so. It’s alluding that Aisha wanted to have relations with Safwan, when she was cleared of any misdeeds from the Quran – which we consider to be the truth and revealed from God/Allah. So as a Muslim, regardless of your feelings towards Aisha, you can never ever, ever, allude that she wanted to sleep with Safwan, because Allah cleared her name in the Quran [24:11-20]

    Can you be a good Muslim, but not be offended, sure, but you’d also have to believe that what is written is slanderous to Aisha and wrong.

  12. 12
    snarkhunter says:

    b) I won’t be buying this book but I’m going to come to your house and slap you upside the head if you do.

    *snicker* Hee. I assume you meant you’re NOT going to do that. But if you’d like to, I’ll make you some tea and we can chat while I duck the books you pitch at me. ;)

    can never ever, ever, allude that she wanted to sleep with Safwan

    Okay. So I assume, then, that the Qu’ran also has the idea of “adultery in the heart” that the New Testament has? In which even the desire to commit adultery is a sin on the level of adultery itself?

    Can you be a good Muslim, but not be offended, sure, but you’d also have to believe that what is written is slanderous to Aisha and wrong

    Okay, I see that.

  13. 13
    Kalen Hughes says:

    I already said some stuff about cultural appropriation in the last post, and my thoughts on that still stand.

    So would you feel differently if this novel (or a similarly themed novel) were written by a Muslim? If Rushdie or Pamuk took on a fictionalized account of Aisha for example?

    I know that as a Native American I do find myself reacting differently to NA fiction written by NAs than I do to fiction written about NAs by non-NAs. And I can’t help but attribute the reaction to a very personal reaction to the cultural appropriation that I frequently feel is taking place.

  14. 14

      b) I won’t be buying this book but I’m going to come to your house and slap you upside the head if you do.

    *snicker* Hee. I assume you meant you’re NOT going to do that. But if you’d like to, I’ll make you some tea and we can chat while I duck the books you pitch at me. ;)

    I did mean not. Unless you ask me nicely.

    So would you feel differently if this novel (or a similarly themed novel) were written by a Muslim?

    I’d feel somewhat different on the question of whether the work was appropriative, yes.

  15. 15
    Sherry Jones says:

    Please do remember, everyone—this is fiction! If my intention was to remain completely true to the historical record, I would have penned a nonfiction book. The story is the thing! And believe me, A’isha is a true heroine, in every sense of the word. Like any protagonist, she makes mistakes and learns from them, and emerges as a woman of true honor.

    OK, I have to go and work on my sequel now—which is, by the way, even better than the first book. It alternates points of view between A’isha and her (historically documented) nemesis, Ali, and provides a lot of insight into both of these characters as well as the origins of the Sunni-Shi’ite split.

  16. 16
    Wryhag says:

    First, let’s get this out of the way:  Brett Favre going to the Jets I will NOT discuss. 

    I, too, want to thank Ms. Jones and Shewhohashope.  It was very brave and generous of the author to share her work, and very brave and generous of the anthropology student (a model of patience!) to share her beliefs.

    The Prologue does fascinate me.  I suspect that’s because we Westerners—or, to be more inclusive, many of us who aren’t Muslim—like seeing our leaders humanized.  It usually makes us respect them more, not less.  So, yes, I would read on.  And I would do so knowing I was reading a work of fiction, not a theological treatise or historical biography.

    About the writing itself:  If anything balled me up, it was the overuse of figurative language.  I’m a big fan of figurative language, but when the similes and metaphors and images are so elaborate, and come at me so thick and fast that I have trouble following the thread of the narrative, they become obtrusive.

    I’m undoubtedly flaunting my ignorance by saying what I’m about to say . . . but hey, that’s never stopped me before.  So, hi-ho and away I go!  I just don’t understand how or why an admittedly fictionalized version of anything can be seen as threatening or insulting.  Fiction is the product of one person’s imagination; it isn’t (usually, it isn’t) being peddled as The Truth.  If someone wrote a novel in which Madonna were portrayed as the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, I wouldn’t find it egregiously offensive.  Egregiously lame, maybe, but not something capable of undermining the tenets of Roman Catholicism.

    Here’s how I see it.  Mohamed and the Mothers of the Faith are what they are.  And they are immutable.  Their immutability is strengthened in the soul of every believer every second of every day.  A Christian could say the same of Jesus Christ.  No piddling human, no matter how creatively gifted, can alter fundamental truth.  So why fuss over The Jewel of Medina or Jesus Christ, Superstar or Charlton Heston playing Moses or George Burns playing God Almighty . . . or any of it?  There’s nothing inherently subversive about these fanciful creations, because they cannot alter truth or faith.

  17. 17
    Popin says:

    Okay. So I assume, then, that the Qu’ran also has the idea of “adultery in the heart” that the New Testament has? In which even the desire to commit adultery is a sin on the level of adultery itself?

    No. If you have that desire to commit adultery, but don’t because you remember Allah. You are actually rewarded for it, because you are struggling with yourself to do good.

    Sherry, I hope my thoughts didn’t attack you or offend you. I understand it’s fiction and I understand why you wrote your story like this. It just doesn’t sit well with me to ever want to read it though. Sorry.

  18. 18
    Teddypig says:

    Just do what the Catholics do.

    Put out an official banned book list.

    Then the rest of us can ignore it.

  19. 19
    snarkhunter says:

    If you have that desire to commit adultery, but don’t because you remember Allah. You are actually rewarded for it, because you are struggling with yourself to do good.

    So then why is it offensive to say that she might have had the desire? Since she didn’t do it, and was cleared of all wrongdoing by Allah, why is even the suggestion that she may have *wanted* to do it so wrong?

  20. 20
    Ziggy says:

    No comments on the prologue (I haven’t decided yet, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it) but I just wanted to cheer for all of us who have engaged in reasoned debate about what was an emotive subject for both sides. Maybe this belongs in the first JoM thread, not this one; if so, apologies for off-topic comment. And I am glad that the prologue is up so that those who want to, can read it.

  21. 21
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Please do remember, everyone—this is fiction! If my intention was to remain completely true to the historical record, I would have penned a nonfiction book. The story is the thing!

    See, *this* I just don’t grok.

    If an author doesn’t want to stay true to the historical record, why write about REAL people? I know it’s much easier in today’s market to sell a book based on real people (oh, that we could all be Dorothy Dunnett), but when fictionalizing them, I feel very strongly that the writer has a responsibility to be accurate (I’m looking at YOU, Phillipa Gregory).

  22. 22
    Sherry Jones says:

    Sherry, I hope my thoughts didn’t attack you or offend you. I understand it’s fiction and I understand why you wrote your story like this.

    I am not offended, Popin.  I can take it!

  23. 23
    Maya says:

    Thoughtful and thought-provoking blog post.  The cover of the book was very pretty.

    Some questions:

    1. Is the author of the book a Muslim herself?  I was assuming ‘not’, but maybe that’s not a given.
    2. What is the meaning of “(saws)” behind each reference to the Prophet Mohammed?

  24. 24
    Victoria Dahl says:

    I guess I’m confused.

    1) It’s historical fiction. I read The Red Tent and lurved it. Never, at any point, did I think this was a true story.

    2) It would be against a Muslim’s religion to humanize/fictionalize the live of Mohammed or his wives. But the author’s not Muslim, so she doesn’t have to live by the rules of Islam, so I don’t understand the problem.

    3) Jesus has been protrayed as human and weak in very human ways in soooo many books. There has always been discussion (and, I assume, fictionalization) over whether Mary was REALLY a virgin, or whether she just got knocked up. There’s lots and lots of discussion of what Jesus did with Mary Magdalene. Sooo… Adultery isn’t exactly a little Oops! in the bible either. So what? The stories haven’t broken the religion or anythng. People get upset. Sales go up. Life moves on.

    4) Again, it’s fiction. How, exactly, is it going to get tangled up with thousands of years of religion and somehow confuse the issue? It’s fiction. It’s. Fic. Tion.

    Still confused.

  25. 25
    Popin says:

    So then why is it offensive to say that she might have had the desire? Since she didn’t do it, and was cleared of all wrongdoing by Allah, why is even the suggestion that she may have *wanted* to do it so wrong?

    Mainly because her thoughts are between her and Allah, and unless she openly admitted to having these feelings we (Muslims not everyone else) can’t really say that she had these feelings.

    What is the meaning of “(saws)” behind each reference to the Prophet Mohammed?

    SAWS is the short form of saying Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam which means Peace and Blessings upon him in Arabic.

  26. 26
    Victoria Dahl says:

    If an author doesn’t want to stay true to the historical record, why write about REAL people? I know it’s much easier in today’s market to sell a book based on real people…

    Eee, I don’t know about this, Kalen. She’s not marketing it as anything other than fiction inspired by a historical figure. Asking this question is kind of like somebody asking me why I choose to write women’s porn when I could be writing real books. Because it’s what I want to do. I think it’s a legitimate answer in both cases. The same with, “Why do you write such dirty sex scenes? I know it’s an easy market, but…” There’s a market and people like it and I like it. That’s a good enough answer to any of those questions.

  27. 27
    snarkhunter says:

    Mainly because her thoughts are between her and Allah, and unless she openly admitted to having these feelings we (Muslims not everyone else) can’t really say that she had these feelings

    So it basically goes back to the perception that any fictional account of any of the holy figures of Islam are equal to telling lies about those figures.

    Do these strictures apply to other historical figures of less import (i.e., not prophets, say, but important imams or something), or are they specifically limited to fictional depictions of the Prophet Muhammed, his family, and other key prophets? I mean, is there, in your sense, a general disapproval of historical fiction as telling falsehoods about real people?

  28. 28
    Sherry Jones says:

    Of course I put A’isha in the action! She’s the protagonist! She’s got to be there! That’s the constraint of writing from first-person POV. Imagine how dull it would be to read a summary from her a month later of what she heard happened, or an account of someone else telling her everything that happened while she was at her parents’ home. That’s what you do with historical fiction—you alter the details, when needed, in service of the story. The fact is, this DID happen (if you believe every word of a history conveyed orally for centuries before ever being written down) and Ali did encourage Muhammad to divorce her, and the rest no one really knows!

    Just because the historical record doesn’t say something happened doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. As for portrayals of Ali and Umar, remember—this is A’isha’s point of view. She didn’t get along with either of them. So of course she’s not going to speak of them in glowing terms.

    I’m not trying to justify my work here. Just hoping to help ya’ll understand why I changed what I did. My book is true to history, but not every single detail. I have placed A’isha at battles she isn’t listed as having attended, too, because the story is from her point of view and I felt I needed to tell what happened at the battles. I gave her a sword, although there is no record of her having wielded one, as a metaphor of her growing strength and courage—and also to illiustrate that, in the early years of Islam, women fought in battles alongside men.

  29. 29

    If you have that desire to commit adultery, but don’t because you remember Allah. You are actually rewarded for it, because you are struggling with yourself to do good.

    Of what value is Aisha’s purity if she was never tempted? Can it not be argued that because she was tempted to commit adultery, and did not, that she is more “perfect”? That is, the fact that she passed a test of her convictions and belief in Islam is to be admired more than if her faith had never been tempted at all…

    We all know historical accounts can vary widely depending on who’s doing the telling, and if in one version of Islam there is a belief that Aisha did act in the way and then repented, ok. If this is purely fictional though, it becomes a real problem IMO (but we all know I like my history to be, well, historically based).

    Mainly because her thoughts are between her and Allah, and unless she openly admitted to having these feelings we (Muslims not everyone else) can’t really say that she had these feelings.

    Okay, I hear you. But if Muslims have historically been dead set against the very idea that Aisha would have been tempted (something only she and Allah would know), it stands to reason that if she was tempted, that possibility has either been ignored or quashed.

    Or, put another way, how can anyone—even those who were there—other than Aisha herself, say for sure she wasn’t tempted. But that in itself seems to be a huge objection for many—that because she was cleared of wrongdoing by Muhammad, it follows that she never had the thought. Insisting she never thought about it is, IMO, just as much a lie as saying she might have—which is to say, neither are lies, just opinions.

  30. 30

    I liked it.

    I’m going to buy it.

    And I won’t be afraid to be seen reading it, either.

    :)

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