The Rise of Islam - Graphic Novel

A classical Islamic graphic book brought back to life to share the universal message and history of the beginning of Islam.



Immerse yourself in a glimpse of the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from the point of the first revelation to the Prophet’s Last Sermon at Arafat. 


In the Name of Allah, The Merciful and Compassionate! The aim of this work is to present to the public, and especially youngsters, an idea of how one of the world’s great religions, Islam, came into existence.

This is a bold attempt to take the reader into a period of man’s eventful past. It tells a beautiful story in picture form to aid our understanding and it is a job done with reverenceand sensitivity. In every page pictures have been a universal language for telling a story.

A Chinese proverb says, “A picture is better than a thousand words”. Pictures convey a much more real and concrete impression than words alone can do.

For this reason the author has used this manner to relate for our benefit an inspiring story. If the reader has gained a better understanding and has been inspired to read more or lead a purposeful life, then the author’s hopes are realised.


Our lives appear to be a random mix of jigsaw puzzle pieces that have no connection with each other. In the fullness of time, we see Allah’s master plan emerging out of apparently disconnected events.


In the summer of 1967 I was a curious 21 year old, walking home from lectures. This was my final year at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. On my way, I would meet my friend, Mr Halim, who owned a corner shop in District Six. Here we would share a chilled Pepsi and a chat. Just inside the front door stood racks of English and Afrikaans newspapers, magazines and picture-story paperbacks. South Africa had no television yet, so those books were like printed equivalents of soap operas of the day.

Whilst Mr Halim and I discussed the latest news, I noted how quickly the picture story books were being snapped up off the shelves, much quicker than the newspapers. Women rushing home from work in the textile factories would drop in to buy the latest ones, without even glancing at the newspapers. That made a lot of sense to me. These women experience hardship and humiliation daily. Why bother to read about the grim life in Apartheid South Africa, when the fantasy world of perfect love and romance in picture story books was so much more appealing?

If only these long suffering people could find something more substantial, more life- affirming and enriching than mere escapism, I wondered. If only they could read some really inspiring books to extend their mental and spiritual horizons...

That’s where I found the idea and the inspiration for this book. Why not tell the beautiful story about how Islam began, by using Prince Valliant – style pictures? I had no pretensions about this. I was no Hal Foster, and I had no King Features Syndicate to back me. Colour printing would be prohibitively expensive. But why not just do it in plain black and white?

In apartheid South Africa, good jobs were scarce for people of colour like me. My efforts were rewarded by a brief spell as a Display Artist for Cuthbert’s Shoes, followed by an offer from the Muslim Assembly (Cape). They needed someone with audio-visual skills to produce teaching aids for schools and community centres. Under the expert tutelage of my dear friend and mentor, this book was completed on 25th May, 1970. The original print run of 10,000 copies was sold out within a year.

Dear reader: If you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing and illustrating it, remember that all praise is due to Allah alone. Any faults you may find are mine entirely. I ask you to remember us all in your prayers:

Rise of Islam - Arshad Gamiet

9780860378167 - Paperback

History of Islam Illustrated