Dr. Spevack has done an admirable job in reintroducing more clearly the figure of Sh. Ibrahim al-Bajuri; the 19th century scholar and former rector ofDr. Spevack has done an admirable job in reintroducing more clearly the figure of Sh. Ibrahim al-Bajuri; the 19th century scholar and former rector of Al-Azhar who lived on the eve of modernity before the subsequent turmoil that visited the Muslim world (in the form of modernism; reformers and fundamentalists). Dr. Spevack places al-Bajuri in his proper context as a traditionally trained Azharite scholar in a long line of such "archetypal" scholars representing a long-standing tradition going back centuries based upon what he calls the "Gabrielian" paradigm - central to this is the idea of being well-trained and steeped in the study of law, rational theology and Islamic spirituality -he asserts this is common to all "archetypal" scholars past and present. The significant chapters of the book were Chapters 3 and 4, which illustrates clearly the continuation of traditional thought via the on-going centuries old dialogue within the tradition and with past masters. Spevack continually asserts the continued intellectual vitality and originality of Islamic scholarship albeit in an ever diminishing form until the time of Al-Bajuri; this acts as a counter-narrative to the widely held view of intellectual stagnation and blind conformisms that were rampant since the thirteenth century onwards. This effort is more than a 4-star rating - I'd firmly place it towards 4.5 star rating. All in all, a good read that does not lack the details of some other works of this nature and size. ...more
A very short introduction to the types of Classical Qur'anic Exegesis Literature (First Half) - (Second Half) with a very readable short introduction A very short introduction to the types of Classical Qur'anic Exegesis Literature (First Half) - (Second Half) with a very readable short introduction to the life and times of Imam Abul Qasim al-Qushayri with a special mention of his Qur'anic Commentary: Lata'if al-Isharat. ...more
The author attempts a telling of the life and times of ibn Hajar al-Asqalani by placing him in relation to the historical, religious and social contex The author attempts a telling of the life and times of ibn Hajar al-Asqalani by placing him in relation to the historical, religious and social context of his day and age; the author has relied primarily on the works of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in order to reconstruct this narrative. By the end of this short work, one is left with the impression that the only twin concerns of his milieu were - plagues and briberies! ...more
It falls within the genre of Shama'il literature within the broader realm of Seerah-type Literature. The This book is an essential read - a must read!
It falls within the genre of Shama'il literature within the broader realm of Seerah-type Literature. The Shama'il literature mainly deals with but is not exclusive to the Mohammedan Description and Character. The author (Shaykh Y. Nabahani) has relied upon earlier works in this genre and has presented his own well-organised and systematic synthesis. The book is divided into sections, and each section into chapters. The sections broadly speaking cover the following themes: The Prophetic Lineage and Noble Names; The Prophet's Physical Description; The Description of the Prophet's Possessions (e.g. Clothing, Bedding & Weaponry etc.); The Description of the Prophet's Daily Habits (e.g. Eating, Drinking & Sleeping etc.); The Description of the Prophet's Character (including his dealing with his Wives; his Shyness and Joking etc.) and the last section deals with a Description of the Prophet's Worship (prayers; fasting and recitation).
Having read this work one should be in a fairly good position to be able to describe the Prophet, his Character and Lifestyle - having a much clearer picture as to why he (upon him be abundant peace and blessings of God) is the greatest and best of God's Creation, and why more than one fifth of the world's population follow, love and revere this man. Why some people hold this amazing, beautiful personality in such profound awe and express such ardent love towards him. I along with countless others, throughout time and history, are instantly proud and deeply thankful that we are included amongst his lowly followers and hold the privilege of being part of the religion that he brought. The Prophet makes being a Muslim believer possible, and as Muslims the very least we can do in beginning to repay this immense gratitude is to know something about the Greatest Man that has and ever will grace the Earth - so as to know and in the very least how far we have stayed from his exalted life and teachings. How, before others, we have defiled his memory - God forbid. Besides, in order to love and follow him, to be able to bring all his teachings together and have a unifying grasp, this knowledge is essential. It's the glue that holds all the pieces together - without the glue there is no whole, likewise, without the Prophet, there is no Islam. May Allah reward abundantly the translator (Abdul Aziz Suraqah) who has rendered an immense service to humanity, by conveying a very readable and enjoyable text; not only has the translator translated the original text masterfully, but has also included throughout the text footnotes, clarifying some of the narrations.
As I begun, so I shall end: An essential, indispensable read! As such reads ultimately bring the person of the Prophet closer to the reader ... priceless. ...more
I've seen references to this work in various places, thought i'd give this short book (essay) a read. The author runs through in a cursory manner the I've seen references to this work in various places, thought i'd give this short book (essay) a read. The author runs through in a cursory manner the genesis of the Wahhabi movement, and it's close ties in the formation of the early Saudi State and later Saudi Religious Establishment. Saudi Arabia until today is the foremost propagator of the Wahhabi ideology and it's global exporter - indications to this effect are made in the American context via various organisations. The author's tone is hostile, understandably the subject matter at hand has had serious historical ramifications and the fallout continues to plague various societies. Interesting to note, Wahhabism thrives most prosperously in war-torn and conflict ravaged nations - where all apparatus of state, society and civilisation have fallen to ruin, from the ashes rears the ugly head of Wahhabism. This is a good read to ascertain a historical prospective, albeit all too short to satisfy any real curiosity - also, such efforts need to be updated; parallels and influences on current happenings need to be illustrated and explained, as Wahhabism has a tendency to deceptively morph itself in order to dupe the unsuspecting and dimwitted. ...more
An absolute must have! A phenomenal book that collates and brings together numerous Prophetic Traditions on the inestimable virtues of Ahl al-Bayt, frAn absolute must have! A phenomenal book that collates and brings together numerous Prophetic Traditions on the inestimable virtues of Ahl al-Bayt, from the great Imams of Sunni Islam. This book is a compilation deriving from authoritative sources, the translator (Khalid Williams) and the Publisher (Visions of Reality) are to be commended for this effort, which to my knowledge, is the best book on the Ahl al-Bayt in the English language to date, which contains plenty of authoritative source materials from the great books of the Sunni Tradition. The book has been masterfully arranged into six parts, and weaves together the tapestry of virtues, distinctions and specialities specific to the Ahl al-Bayt; this book is a work of Tradition, and thus, reads like most books of hadiths, with multiple narrations with slight variations cited one after the other, and containing long-strung chains of transmissions. The traditional commentaries accompanying the hadiths culled from the much larger works of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim may not be of interest to all levels of readership, as they are at times quite technical and scholarly. The Forward and Introductory Material at the beginning of each Part is helpful in orientating and 'setting the scene' to the subsequent material that follows. This book should be read from cover to cover, and for those who are not adept at reading books from the genre of Prophetic Traditions (hadiths), then merely, slow down, and take your time, patience bears goodly fruits! No muslim should be ignorant of this knowledge, as it is an individual obligation to love, respect and esteem the Ahl al-Bayt. If one is ignorant, undoubtedly, one is remiss in his/her duty. So, learn, and learn to love. For to know them, is to love them!...more
This book contains brief biographical sketches of all of the Umayyad Caliphs. The most fascinating being that of Umar bin Abdul Aziz - considered to b This book contains brief biographical sketches of all of the Umayyad Caliphs. The most fascinating being that of Umar bin Abdul Aziz - considered to be amongst the Khalifa al-Rasidun. The scope of the book is to focus on the persons of the caliphs therefore being a more personal history. All in all, makes for an interesting albeit turbulent read, as the caliphs range from the brilliant all the way down to the utterly deplorable. The book is replete with anecdotes and narrations revealing the wit and character of the caliphs, or lack thereof! ...more
An example of Dua of Tawassul through the names of the martyrs of Badr and Uhud (may Allah be well pleased with them all) - A tradition in certain parAn example of Dua of Tawassul through the names of the martyrs of Badr and Uhud (may Allah be well pleased with them all) - A tradition in certain parts of the Muslim world to recite this for the Removal of Distress. ...more
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad is truly pioneering in his efforts for Islam in the West and this is the latest addition, undo Truly remarkable and wondrous!
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad is truly pioneering in his efforts for Islam in the West and this is the latest addition, undoubtedly will be well received and deeply appreacited by the Western Muslim English speaking world and/or lovers of Persian poetry. Loving the Ahl al-Bayt is a central tenant of both Sunni and Shia Islam, and needs to be revived with the vigour of yesteryears in order for the worldwide Ummah (Muslim community) to regain it's past glory and rightful place. These are selections from the larger original Farsi work and they have been rendered for English recital in traditional soulful Celtic melodies.
An audio CD is also available of a complete reading and recital, and comes highly recommended too. ...more
From a literary point of view a very-well written piece explicating the Spiritual Way and Doctrine of Shaykh Ahmed al-Alawi, from the lenses of an adhFrom a literary point of view a very-well written piece explicating the Spiritual Way and Doctrine of Shaykh Ahmed al-Alawi, from the lenses of an adherent and propagandist for the perennialist school, the late Dr. Lings. The book begins well with a delightful re-telling of the "encounters" of a western physician with the Shaykh. However, there are passages in the book which are rather obscure (and concepts not readily rendered into language) and despite the best efforts of the author, much is 'lost in translation' and leaves room for misunderstandings and distortions of the intended purpose - that of introducing to the wider Western readership the 'spiritual heritage and legacy' of the Shaykh Ahmed al-Alawi. ...more
An informative read notwithstanding the usual orientalist assumptions and underpinnings which taint a work of this nature. The work seemingly sponsore An informative read notwithstanding the usual orientalist assumptions and underpinnings which taint a work of this nature. The work seemingly sponsored by an interfaith initiative seems to flow in that manner and serves as a useful subtext towards understanding some prevalent trends in our own times. Authored along the lines of a novel it lends itself nicely to a gentle read based on modern history. ...more
This book was recommended years ago by one of my teachers in response to one of my queries. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain a copy, and furtherThis book was recommended years ago by one of my teachers in response to one of my queries. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain a copy, and further still was much delayed from reading it - finally now that I have - I must say it's been a rather pleasant, delightful and a wonderful read. Acquainting yourself remotely with the "Muslim Jesus" is at once spirit-boosting and humbling. A must read for those spiritually inclined, Muslims and non-Muslims alike; texts like these are a much needed antidote to our torn world today, were globally mistrust in sown of 'the other' and exploited to our collective demise and detriment. ...more