Character Analysis: The Jewel Of Medina

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Intro and Thesis: The novel The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones, is an intriguing and engulfing story of A’isha, the wife of Muhammad. I found myself enjoying the reading and excited about what event was going to happen next. Although it is not all based in fact, it helps individuals grasp the concepts of early Islamic life. The novel shows many examples of strong women despite their lesser status that is expected at the time, especially when portraying A’isha. I think A’isha’s character helped the growth of Islam and the position of women because of her strength, courage, and faithfulness to God.
Synthesis of Reading: The novel walks the reader through A’isha’s life from the age of six when she was young and carefree. She would often play
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Although she always believed that she would marry Safwan, she discovers that she is to be married to Muhammad, prophet of Al-Lah, which is the reason she was put into purdah. Muhammad was a part of A’isha’s life since she was born but she was still shocked when she discovered it. A’isha is forced into the wedding with no thoughts of her feelings, which is seen when her mother states,” Did you think your father invited you out here to ask what you want?” (Jones 37). On the day of her wedding, A’isha tries to flee, however, ends up marrying Muhammad. Her dreams of freedom are crushed and she states “I might as well die now” (Jones44). When she lives with Muhammad, he is very patient with her and even starts to teach her how to fight with an actual sword. Although Muhammad has two wives (including A’isha) he continuously marries for political reasons up to ten times. This causes A’isha extreme amounts of pain and jealousy, which gets her into trouble frequently. This jealousy causes A’isha to spend more time with Safwan than they should and they often flirt dangerously. Safwan states, “I think about you all the time. I can’t stop! I must have you, A’isha. Come away with me We’ll leave tonight” (jones156). Eventually A’isha runs away with Safwan in order to gain some of her freedom back. “The umma might whisper, my parents might mourn, my sister-wives puzzle or sneer, but none of them could judge me. None of them had spent six years in purdah..None of them had lived in constant fear of losing the few freedoms they possessed…When Safwan arrived, I’d find respite at last” (Jones 178). Safwan tries to sleep with her and even goes as far to ask her to join the Ghatafan, who are enemies of the umma. A’isha would be forced to go against her faith and promises to God. She decides to go back to Muhammad but is not accepted back warmly until she has Muhammad speak to

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