The Prophet Book Summary - The Prophet Book explained in key points
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The Prophet summary

Kahlil Gibran

Prose Poetry Fables on the Beauty of Life and the Human Condition

4.5 (64 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is a timeless spiritual classic. It offers profound insights on love, marriage, work, and the human condition, and has touched the hearts of millions with its poetic wisdom.

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    The Prophet
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Love, marriage, and childhood

    After 12 years living in Orphalese, the prophet Almustafa is journeying back to “the isle of his birth.” As he waits for his ship to slip into the harbor, the city’s people gather at the dockside. One after another, residents approach and ask the prophet to speak on a different topic, realizing this is the last opportunity they’ll ever have to draw from his deep and beautiful wisdom. “Disclose us to ourselves,” one person pleads, “and tell us all that has been shown you of that which is between birth and death.”

    First, Almustafa speaks of love. To him, this is the most pivotal theme; it underlies almost all the other topics he discusses. Above all, he says, love depends on freedom. It must be given freely and expect nothing in return. Because of this, love in its purest form doesn’t seek to possess or ask to be possessed.

    Next, a resident asks the prophet to speak of marriage. This, he says, is the connection of two souls in love, for eternity. But, he warns, there must be space within this togetherness – room for two people to breath and grow. Remember: love is not possessive, and it is not bondage. The prophet tells married couples to “let the winds of the heavens dance between you,” and says that the oak tree and the cypress can’t grow in each other’s shadows.

    Then comes childhood. Like marriage, this is based on love which is nonpossessive. Almustafa reminds parents that their children are not their property – in fact, they are not even their children. Instead, they are sons and daughters whose souls belong to tomorrow. A parent is simply a guardian who’s showing them the way.

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    What is The Prophet about?

    The Prophet (1923) follows the prophet Almustafa during his departure from the fictional city of Orphalese. As the community bids Almustafa farewell by the harbor, they petition him to share some final nuggets of wisdom from the deep well of his mind. What follows is a collection of profound insights into various aspects of life and the human condition.

    The Prophet Review

    The Prophet (1923) by Kahlil Gibran is a timeless classic that offers profound insights into life and humanity. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its sage-like wisdom and introspective reflections, it prompts readers to contemplate the deeper meaning of existence.
    • Gibran's poetic prose paints vivid and beautiful imagery that evokes strong emotions and resonates with the human experience.
    • The book covers a wide range of topics including love, pain, joy, freedom, and death, ensuring that everyone can find something relatable within its pages.

    Who should read The Prophet?

    • Anyone seeking inspiration
    • Teenagers on the cusp of adulthood
    • Lost souls in need of spiritual guidance

    About the Author

    Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and artist. Born in 1883 into a region of the Ottoman Empire which then became Lebanon, he migrated with his mother to the US at the age of 12. As a child he showed precocious artistic talent, and in his adult life penned two other famous books: Broken Wings and The Madman.

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    The Prophet FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Prophet?

    The main message of The Prophet is about finding inner peace and living a meaningful life.

    How long does it take to read The Prophet?

    The reading time for The Prophet varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Prophet a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Prophet is a must-read for anyone seeking wisdom. It offers profound insights on various aspects of life in a concise and poetic manner.

    Who is the author of The Prophet?

    The author of The Prophet is Kahlil Gibran.

    What to read after The Prophet?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Prophet, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
    • Animal Farm by George Orwell
    • Ikigai by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles
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