[SIZE="5"]The Road to Mecca[/SIZE]
by: [SIZE="3"]Muhammad Asad[/SIZE]
(born Leopold Weiss
A unique book. Its haunting overtones will linger in the memory
-- New York Hearld Tribune
A very rare and powerful book, raised, completely above the ordinary by its candor and intelligence
... -- New York Post
"Trenchant with adventure magnificently described, and a commentary upon the inner meaning of Arab and Moslem life, helpful to all who would achieve a more accurate understanding of the Arabs and their lands."
--Christian Science Monitor
In August 1954, there appeared in America a remarkable book, written by an author named Muhammad Asad and bearing the title The Road to Mecca. The book, a combination of memoir and travelogue, told the story of a convert to Islam who had crossed the spiritual deserts of Europe and the sand deserts of Arabia, on a trek that brought him ultimately to the oasis of Islamic belief. The book immediately won critical acclaim, most notably in the prestige press of New York, where Simon and Schuster had published it.
Amazon Online Reader : The Road to Mecca
(1900-92) was a converted Jew, named Leopold Weiss
at birth. He was no ordinary convert. Asad not only sought personal fulfillment in his adopted faith. He tried to affect the course of contemporary Islam, as an author, activist, diplomat, and translator of the Qur'an. Muhammad Asad died in February 1992 at the age of ninety-one, so that his career may be said to have paralleled the emergence of every trend in contemporary Islam.
The grandson of a Central European Orthodox rabbi, Asad yearned for a life without the "carefully contained, artificial defenses which security-minded people love to build up around them," where he could find for himself "an approach to the spiritual order of things." He found his first "quiet gladness" in Taoism, only regretting this "ivory tower" could not be lived in. Against his father's wishes, he left the pursuit of a doctorate in Vienna to take up journalism. His fascinating travels took him to Jerusalem, Arabia, and India, and finally into service at the United Nations. In 1926, Asad embraced Islam. His account of his years in Arabia, his desert adventures, friendship with King Saud, and marriage there is truly gripping.
was a Polish-Austrian Jew born to an orthodox rabbi in Lwow (then a part of Austro-Hungary) in the summer of 1900 whose spiritual journey led him eventually to leave Judaism and embrace Islam. Though published in 1957, Asad is recounting events from the 1920s and early 1930s. The central thread is a haj to Mecca in 1932 via camel from the northern reaches of Saudi Arabia. He uses flashbacks to give the history of his travels and conversion.