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Description de l’éditeur
"Finally, we get to meet the first women of Islam. Thank you for this brave book." –Coleman Barks, author of Essential Rumi, and other books on the great Persian Language poet
"Brilliant and illuminating . . . awesome in the depth of its research, the grace of its prose, and the beauty of its poetic voices." Alicia Ostriker, author, poet, and Professor Emerita of English at Rutgers University
"Poet, historian and mystic, Tamam Kahn captures the voices and hearts of women you will never forget. I would gladly sit at these women's feet night after night to hear their stories. " -Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles
Untold demystifies the most influential women at the dawn of Islam: Prophet Muhammad's wives. They are presented in all their variety, among them, Khadija, a successful merchant and his only wife for twenty-five years; Umm Salama, who helped forge an important peace treaty; Rayhana and Safiyya, two Jewish captives; and there are others. This unusual book combines short biographies with meticulous research. The reader enters seventh century Arab culture and the first moments of what came to be a new religion. This book is powerful women's storytelling.
A practicing Sufi, poet, and speaker, Kahn tells the little known stories of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad in this brief book. Usually ignored or used as salacious fodder, the stories are pieced together by the author, using the few and disparate sources on the lives and personalities of the wives. Kahn also employs the "prosimetrum" technique, which intersperses narrative text with short poems that recreate, in fictional, imagined terms, some event in a particular wife's life. The unorthodox device becomes, as only poetry can, an illustrative window into early Islam and everyday Arabian life 1,400 years ago. Kahn points out that many of Muhammad's reforms were unique for their time and benefited women. Kahn also doesn't shy away from the controversial, acknowledging that Muhammad's marriage to the beautiful Zaynab, the ex-wife of the Prophet's own adopted son, may not have had the purest motivations; she also addresses the practice of veiling. With only a few exceptions, the Prophet mainly married widows, and did so largely to form political alliances. Quite open-minded in his spouses, Muhammad even had converted Jewish wives and had a son (who died as a baby) with an Egyptian Christian woman. Even talking back to the influential Prophet, each of the women influenced Muhammad in her own way. \n