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Word Count: 1,457
In Road to Makkah the reader is initially confronted with a protagonist who is on a journey through the deserts of Saudi Arabia However as one continues to read the book the reader is aware that there are actually two parallel journeys going on the journey through the deserts of Saudi Arabia and also the journey through the life of Muhammad Asad on his way to Islam At first I found the book rather hard to follow because of the constant cutting from desert scenes to the description of the life he left behind in Europe but once I got past this initial hurdle the two plots no longer posed a problem to my understanding of Muhammad Asads life Following the authors journey from Europe to the Middle East and his longer life journey to Islam I was struck by the conviction with which the author believed in the message of Islam and the way that he immersed himself in the culture This I feel is truly admirable seeing as prior to converting to Islam Muhammad Asad did not have a very high opinion of religion As he writes early on in the book his family was not particularly religious and like most of the youth of Europe at that time he was fairly nonchalant about religion Although his grandfather was a rabbi Muhammad Asad did not really practice Judaism That is why I am particularly amazed by just how quickly he adopts Islam especially in light of his upbringing and negative societal views about Islam I am also impressed by the manner in which the author immersed himself in the culture of the people I have often wondered how non-Muslims view the way that Muslims practice their religion and was interested in Muhammad Asads interpretation At first glance it must seem rather odd the way that Muslims pray to God After all how could repeated prostrations bring an individual closer to God
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