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The prophet Muhammad's love life is a sensitive subject. But was the book Random House decided not to publish worth all the fuss?

By Shereen El Feki   January 2009

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones (Beaufort Books, $24.95)

“Three things were made beloved to me in this world of yours: women, perfume and—the delight of my eye—prayer,” the prophet Muhammad is said to have once remarked. Reports of his sayings and actions, called hadith in Arabic, are one of the main sources of Islamic law, and they include guidance on how to lead a satisfying sex life. This full-blooded approach incensed medieval Christians, who used the prophet’s sensuality as a key indictment against Islam as a whole. Lately, many Muslims too have become uncomfortable with discussion of the…

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