Noble Brother is the first of its kind. It is the story of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) told in poetry. The book is written by Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballah, the notable writer and blogger whose blog “God, Faith, and a pen” received Awarding The Web prize in 2010.
The Nobel Brother was written in an interesting simple way yet with a grand style. Although the story of Prophet Mohammad has been written in many books and presented through films and episodes, there is something new the readers would feel when reading Noble Brother.
In this interview, Dr. Hassaballah talks about his book.
OnIslam.net (OI): What stimulates you to write this work?
Dr. Hassaballah: I have written a number of poems about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and thanks be to God, they have always received a lot of positive feedback. Then, it hit me: why not write his entire story in poetry? It would be a very unique way to tell his story, and it would be accessible to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
At that moment, Noble Brother was born. Over several months, then, I composed each poem.
|The poetry just came to me as I re-lived the various stories and incidents in the Prophet's life.|
(OI): Why did you choose “Noble Brother” as a title?
Dr. Hassaballah: I chose this from the conquest of Makkah, during which the Prophet (pbuh) forgave the Meccans for all the evil they did to them. After the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked the Meccans, "What do you think I would do to you?" They replied (in Arabic), "Akhun kareem, ibnu akhin kareem." I translated this as "Noble Brother," and that is where I got the title. And it truly fits, for the Prophet (pbuh) was truly a "Noble Brother."
(OI): Who is your target reader?
Dr. Hassaballah: I wrote this book for both Muslims and non-Muslims, young and old. Poetry is such a universal form of art and expression that appeals to truly everyone. It can tell tremendously profound stories, such as that of the Prophet Muhammad's life, in a manner that everyone can enjoy without translation. It is, in fact, how the Arabs - the learned and the ignorant - communicated best with each other.
Thus, I thought it appropriate to do in the English language, which is my own native tongue.
(OI): In writing poetry, have you been influenced by a certain poet or style?
Dr. Hassaballah: No, not really. I just told the story in the poetic style that I know best. Most of the book is in heroic couplets, for this is the easiest method of poetry for me.
(OI): On what criteria did you select the incidents of the poems?
Dr. Hassaballah: I tried to select the key events in the Prophet's life. Of course, Noble Brother is not intended to be a comprehensive telling of the Prophet's story. But, I tried to pick the most important parts of his life to give the reader a good introduction, with my hope that the reader will be motivated to learn more about our Noble Messenger (pbuh).
That is why I added a suggested reading list at the end of the work.
(OI): Did you face any difficulties in writing the book?
Dr. Hassaballah: Alhamdulillah, no. The poetry just came to me as I re-lived the various stories and incidents in the Prophet's life. The Seerah is my absolute favorite story of Sacred History, and I have read and listened to the Seerah dozens of times. Thus, I was blessed that the poems were easy to compose.
(OI): The last poem in the book, Your Shoulder, is very touching, yet it doesn’t speak about the Prophet’s life, why do you include it in your book?
Dr. Hassaballah: "Your Shoulder" is my own personal lament that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is gone from our lives. Indeed, he does live on in the Seerah, our hearts, our minds, and the many ways his story has been told.
But, there are so many times when I wish the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was with us today. "Your Shoulder" puts that feeling into poetic verse.
(OI): What change do you hope this work will achieve?
Dr. Hassaballah: I hope and pray that Noble Brother will inspire more Muslims to learn about the incredible life and history of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). I hope and pray that Noble Brother helps keep the legacy and spirit of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) alive in our world today.
I also hope and pray that Noble Brother will open the doors for more non-Muslims to learn about our Noble Messenger (pbuh).
By telling his story in poetry, I hope and pray that non-Muslims can pick up the book and learn about him without being afraid of being preached to, and thus good will and mutual understanding will increase between all peoples.