Write your own Jewel of Medina

Author Sherry Jones’s novel about Mohammed’s wife Aisha, The Jewel of Medina, sparked considerable controversy last year, culminating in an attack on her UK publisher’s house.

Jones has decided to start the new year with an interesting proposal for critics and fans alike:

Amid the controversy surrounding my novel The Jewel of Medina, I have heard, and read, various interpretations of the life of A’isha bint Abi Bakr, the youngest and most beloved wife in the Prophet Muhammad’s harim.

I’ve read stories of her piety, her strength, her mischievousness, and her devotion to Islam and to her husband. And I’ve realized how frustrating some Muslims, especially women, must feel to have this beloved woman’s story told by a non-Muslim.

I have always said that The Jewel of Medina is only one interpretation of A’isha’s life and personality. I have said that I hope others will write their own A’isha stories. Now I want to provide a place for those stories to be told.

My newly created website, www.authorsherryjones.com, offers an opportunity for anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, to write his or her own stories about A’isha. Simply click on “Join the Conversation” and follow the instructions, then post your impressions of her, your favorite hadith, your arguments over my portrayal of her, or anything else you care to say about A’isha.

The resulting forum will be available to all to see, and for anyone to post on their own websites or weblogs. I hope you will publicize this opportunity so everyone can join the conversation about this great lady.