Deepak Chopra releases 'Muhammad' early as an e-book

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The Independent Culture

Hot debate in the US about Islam has sparked spiritual guru Deepak Chopra to release his upcoming book weeks early in electronic form. Chopra fans can stay tuned to online retailers for exactly when the e-book will soon become available.

The new book, a fictionalized biography of Prophet Muhammad, is set to be released in print form on September 21 in the US. (Oct. 1 in the UK). But HarperCollins, the book's publisher, authorized e-book retailers to sell the book as soon as possible. The decision comes in response to the heated controversy in the US about the nature of Islam and the proposed mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York City.

Born in India, Chopra has become a leader of alternative medicine and has written more than 50 books translated into more than 35 languages. His newest book, Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet, is part of his "teaching novel" series, in which he offers fictionalized biographies of the founders of prominent religions. His prior novels Buddha and Jesus were bestsellers in the US.

In the book, Chopra hopes to illuminate the mysteries of the often misunderstood prophet, and relies on real-life characters and events in Muhammad's life, such as his first wife, Khadijah, and his daughter Fatima, to base his narrative.

This is the first time HarperCollins has offered an e-book sale before its print edition. Amazon and other online retailers have yet to release the e-book to consumers, but Chopra readers can expect to see it available online between now and September 21.