Book Review: Janāb Gurū Nānak Jī awr Islām

Fārūq, Muammad, Janāb Gurū Nānak Jī ؒ awr Islām, Maktaba Mamūdiyya, UP (1431/2010), 80 pages, paperback.

Review by Shahin-ur Rahman

Concise and easy to read, this succinct treatise on comparative religion offers a profound insight into the life of Gurū Nānak, who is believed to be the founder of the Sikh religion. Targeting the objective Sikh observer, the author presents a well-referenced Urdu biography of Gurū Nānak, proving him to be not only a Muslim, but a knowledgeable Muslim leader.

It should be known that the objective of the book was not to celebrate Gurū Nānak and boast that he adhered to the same religion as the author does.[1] Rather, quite the opposite is true: the author’s intent behind this work was to bring forth anecdotes of Gurū Nānak’s biography, which can assist the objective researcher in identifying the true teachings of Gurū Nānak as he himself taught. This would, in turn, be a means of guiding the Sikh brethren to reconsider their perception of Sikhism, and, thereby, adopt the religion that Gurū Nānak had truly preached. This is evident from the ‘food for thought’ at the end of the booklet, where the author requests the Sikh brethren to read this book side by side with the original sources and compare the two to reach an unbiased conclusion.[2]Read More »

The Study Quran Review: Gibril Fouad Haddad

[The Muslim World Book Review, 36:3, 2016, pp. 2025]
 
Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al., ed. The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary. New York: Harper Collins, 2015. Hardback. lix + 1988pp. Maps. ISBN: 9780061125867.
 
This book is the magnum opus of Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University Seyyed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933), an expert on Islamic philosophy and the history of science and the heir apparent of the syncretist Frithjof Schuon (19071998) as head of the Maryamiyya Order, a universalist movement based on the socalled Traditionalist School. (“Traditionalism” is a Western adaptation of Hinduism that negates claims of Truth  by any religion through relativizing all of them; I will refer to its ideology in this review by the term Perennialism.) It is a wellcrafted, mostly North American project that lumps several works in a single hefty volume printed on extrathin India paper: an original English rendering of the Qur’n; a firstever, rich anthology in English from 41 works of Quranic commentary with an embedded 42nd, original commentary on the part of Nasr, who terms it “not simply a collage of selections but a new work” (p. xliii); and the mismatched last part, 15 essays on the Qur’n by a mixed group of academics—three of whom are also the book’s general editors— “included… at the suggestion of the publisher… the essays are in a sense a separate book… an independent work” (p. xlv).
[Featured image source: CNN]

Saviours of Islamic Spirit – Revised Translation Released by White Thread Press

The much anticipated revised English translation of Saviours of Islamic Spirit (Tarikh-i Da’wat wa Azimat) by Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan Ali al-Nadwi (ra) has been released by White Thread Press.

The work was originally rendered into English by the late Mohiuddin Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon his soul), who has also translated other works of Shaykh Nadwi (ra). The initial publication of that translation was released by the Academy of Islamic Research & Publications (Lucknow, India). A later publication of the same translation – without editing – was done by Darul Ishaat (Karachi, Pakistan). May Allah (SWT) reward them as they were the only conduits through which this highly regarded work was available to the English-speaking audience.

Notwithstanding, some of the language in the translation had become archaic. Also, the original publication’s quality was in much need of revamping in regards to the typesetting, print, paper quality, binding, cover, etc. White Thread Press embarked upon this project some time back, and we had been eagerly awaiting news of its progress. 

All praise belongs to Allah (SWT) who brought the project to fruition. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera (may Allah bless and accept him) revised and edited the work, and it has now been released by White Thread Press.

Currently, only the 1st volume is published and available. We pray and hope that WTP continues to pursue the editing and publishing of the remainder volumes to complete the entire series (containing the biographies of Ibn Taymiyya, Nizāmuddin Awliya, Mujaddid Alf-Thāni, Shah Walīullah, Syed Ahmad Shahīd, and more).

Table of Contents

Pages: 282

Format: Softcover

Dimensions: 6″ x 9″

ISBN: 978-1-93-376413-9

Sample Excerpt

 

Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt by Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmānī

Bilal Ali Ansari

After a recent post in which I quoted from my ustādh’s work, I received a number of requests for the book and some feedback about its unavailability. Subsequently, I requested a colleague, Mawlana Kamil Uddin, to help me scan the 92 page work so that I could share it with others even though a new edition (likely with significant changes) is expected to be published sometime soon.

To my surprise, he not only took on the task but he completed it the same evening. May Allah reward Mawlana Kamil for his contribution and bless him in both worlds. For everyone’s benefit, below is linked Mawlana Nuʿmānī’s Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt:

Al-Biḍāʿat al-Muzjāt li man Yuṭāliʿu al-Mirqāt

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

hāroonsidāt

Despite my reading and writing commitments, I have managed to ‘flick channels’ and read The Reluctant Fundamentalist. For those of you haven’t read it yet, I won’t spoil it for you. Well, not too much.

The janissaries of the Ottoman empire captured Christian boys trained to fight against their own people, which they did with singular ferocity. This interesting class of warrior is described during a business lunch to Changez, the young hero of Mohsin Hamid’s second novel, at a moment of crisis over his own identity. Born in Pakistan, educated at Princeton and currently the hottest new employee at a New York firm specialising in ruthless appraisals of ailing companies being targeted for takeover, Changez recognises himself in the description. “I was a modern-day janissary,” he observes, “a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine …”

The…

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What is a Madrasa? By Professor Ebrahim Moosa: Book Review

hāroonsidāt

In The Name of God, The Most Merciful, The Especially Merciful

What is a Madrasa?

By Professor Ebrahim Moosa

Review by Haroon Ibn Ebrahim Sidat

Given the context of spurious accusations of links to terrorism and the “us versus them” dynamic being played out in the West, this is a rare contribution from an “insider,” as it were, of madrasas in South Asia. Moosa challenges sensationalist stereotypical narratives by providing a nuanced and richly textured account of the place and importance of madrasas in Islam both historically and in the contemporary moment. Madrasas refer to the institutions of higher lslamic learning in South Asia and are equivalent to seminaries, where religious functionaries and experts in Islamic law and theology are trained. Blending with his own life experiences, Moosa lays bare his objective at the outset; the book “is a primer about the role madrasas play in the cultural, intellectual, and…

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