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 (35 ratings)
16 mins
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    The Prophet
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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.

    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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