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There’s something about Aishah that Jones don’t understand

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A debate is still going on for The Jewel of Medina.

"I just hope that it is not marketed as an "extensively researched" historical novel about the Lady Aishah, because whatever research Jones did, she certainly does not appear to have used it or benefitted from it. The Jewel of Medina is fiction in the purest sense of the term, with little or nothing of history in it.

I also hope that readers will take it for what it is: an attempt by a Western writer with little knowledge of Arabic, Arabia, Islam, and Muslims using her own Western, 21st century values, ideals and emotions to portray an unrecognizable version of the well-known and well-documented story of Aishah.

If Jones had set out to tell the "untold" or an "alternative" story of the heroism and courage of Aishah, she could have saved herself the trouble. The Lady Aishah has already been seen as a heroine and revered as a role model by Muslim women since the beginning of Muslim history." (Marwa Elnaggar, a writer, a poet, and a consultant to

Jones is wrong about Aishah, as stated by Marwa Elnagger:

“There's something not quite right about seeing a citation for One Thousand and One Nights in a bibliography for a novel about the Lady Aishah, Prophet Muhammad's famous wife.

What it says about an author who would, in writing about the early Muslim community, use the collection of stories that has given us Aladdin, Ali Baba (he of the forty thieves), Sinbad the sailor, and the wife-killing yet story-loving king, Shahrayar, is a lot that makes any discerning reader uncomfortable.”
Full article here.