Martin Lings’ Muhammad is Other Books’ best seller. To say that means the publisher lays claim to something which it often abhors. Best sellers may not be the best titles we often boast of. There are titles which we hardly find many readers but which stand for the aims and objectives of Other Books-to publish books on subaltern history and narratives from Kerala. But Lings’ Muhammadhas been our pampered project-conceived and actualized with utmost care that the title deserves. It is a spiritual, yet meticulous and truthful, account of the multi-faceted life of Prophet Muhammad, Peace of God Be Upon Him. This justifies Other Books, says one of our stringent critics.
In a span of two years, the title has gone to second edition, with the deliberations for the third one looming large. There are many factors which guided its readability. Firstly, the book in original is highly readable, guided, of course, by Martin Lings’ photographic prose which emanates from the author’s sublime, spiritual and spotless mind. Secondly, the translation is so highly readable, too, that, according to many readers, it can be read as another book and on its own merit. Thirdly, the cover, where the gilded ‘Muhammad’ and his honorific in Malayalam and Arabic respectively in a violet canvas tries to and, according to many readers again, succeeds to reflect the content. Fourthly, a heavily subsidized price brought about by the generosity of its sponsors (who don’t want to be identified) and our desire to generate more readers and well-wishers than profit.
The good news is that on 13th September, 2014, the book had its second launch, initiated by some well-wishers at Manchery who read the book and became its fan. About that the second page tells.