An Easy Way to Quranic Reading
Islam In Focus
By Dr.V.Abdur Rahim
Islamic Foundation Trust
78, Perambur High Road,
Pages: 108 Price: Rs.75
At-Tibbiyan could be termed a half-way help in learning the phonetics of the way the Holy Quran is read. For another half, the publishers promise to come out with the audio cassettes and CDs in due course. The author, Dr.V. Abdur Rahim, currently director of the Translation Centre at the King Fahd Quran Printing Complex in Madinah, has developed this as a fast track learning method of the Quranic tajwid. The alphabets have been arranged in the order of familiarity of the readers from the Indian sub-continent. The more familiar sounding appear first followed by the less familiar ones. The author frequently rejects the corruptions and distortions that have crept into the Quranic phonetics practised in India.
Yet the book falls short of expectations. Partly this is because English is being used as the medium of instruction. Several Arabic sounds remain without parallels in English. And it is difficult to follow the twists and turns suggested for the tongue unless one is being guided by phonetic devices. It is here that audio aids will be eagerly awaited. The explanation for lunar and solar letters is deficient.
Notwithstanding the minor handicaps, the author has succeeded considerably in easing the route to learning Arabic sounds and Quranic tajwid.
Reviewed by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj
This Is Islam
Edited by: Dr K. K. Usman
Forum for Faith and Fraternity,
Vanchinad Residency, P.O.Box No:4239,
Rs.150; $ 10
'...In the name of religion unjustifiable wars have been launched, freedom of thought and conscience has been oppressed... injustice has been inflicted upon humanity...Could this be the purpose of religion? The indisputable answer is an emphatic 'no'.
In this candid manner the book 'This Is Islam' has been written. The book, as the name suggests, is a straightaway introduction to Islam. One may ask, so what is the difference in it? The difference is the approach in which the book has been written. A panel of people headed by Dr. K. K. Usman has written it. The book comprises of seven sections, all very concisely and lucidly written. It does not get into too much of details. It gives a broad picture of the philosophy behind all the facets of Islam helping to have a higher understanding of Religion. It presents Islam quite comprehensively in its essence and clearly for a beginner.
A significant freshness strikes one while reading the book. It simply tells you what is Islam. As is quoted in the introduction of the book 'not to argue and win, but to inform and be informed'. It does not get into comparing it with other religions and then telling how Islam is better. Nor does it cross much into the subtle boundary of defensiveness in which Islamic literature generally falls, unconsciously or consciously. Throughout the book all arguments have been based upon some verse from the Qur'an (and not heavily relying upon hadiths). The most well explained concept in the book is of Unity of God. '...Islam pressed all its morals, social theory, social justice and view of the world under the single concept of tawhid, or Unity of God.'
The first section elucidates various universal concepts in Islam and tries to give a world-view revolving around the concept of Unity of God. The fifth section is on Reason and Intellect and it concisely gives the history of the different rationalistic works by Muslims. It very well explains the purpose of reason and intellect in the scheme of worship. 'God created man for a purpose, which is to worship God, and to do this he has to 'know' His will. 'Knowledge of God' is not based on blind faith: It is based on knowledge of His laws, the laws of the universe. God has given the earth in trust to mankind. Man should therefore use this trust properly by doing good. This leads to the need for better and more efficient means of managing the trust -that is, developing an appropriate science and technology, which is in itself an act of religious significance.'
The second and third sections briefly tell about the sources of Islamic way and the significance of The Pillars. Among other things it includes a flowing sketch of the life of the Prophet giving an idea and not getting into details. The sixth section takes up the issues that have been quite misunderstood by Non-Muslims as well as quite distorted by Muslims. The last section has appendices, which give quite useful knowledge, and it also has a glossary, which introduces one to some quite often-used Islamic terms.
Some sentences/paragraphs have been straightaway lifted and used as the main text from some good and standard works upon Islam to make the work concise and comprehensive and to avoid redundancy of language. A must-read for any Muslim or non-Muslim who wants to read about Islam, in a short book, it is worth its price. It undoubtedly helps to clear many cobwebs that have been woven around the simplicity of Islam, for a non-Muslim, and helps the Muslim to look beyond futile matters towards having a world-view of things. Not for thorough research but surely for a beautiful introduction to Islam packed with interesting facts. It helps to understand the basics for which Islam stands.
It can be a valuable birthday gift for your friend.