Book Review: Bukhari Publications’ Two Arbaʿīn Collections on the Virtues of the Prophet and Prayers on Him

It has been over a month since I received three recently published books by a new and exciting publishing house, Bukhari Publications. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time yet to give the books the detailed and meticulous review they deserve. That said, I have for a long time considered the necessity of producing less formal reviews that might not stand up to the standard of an academic journal but nevertheless satisfy the need of the common reader to get basic feedback on a new book and answer the pressing question of whether or not it is worth buying. Continue reading


Brief Comments on “The Qur’an: The New Translation” by MAS Abdel Haleem

This translation of the meanings of the Qur’an – which I wish the cover articulated clearer instead of just “The Qur’an” in large print – is one of three translations of the Qur’an’s meanings that I use the most. The other two are Ahmad Zaki Hammad and Ali Unal’s translations. I am aware of other quality works, but I find that these three more or less do the job for me. The Majestic Qur’an was a book I used quite often, but it was very hard to find and I had borrowed it from a library. Though I’ve missed it, I find the other three suffice quite well. 

Compared to Hammad’s The Gracious Qur’an, I found this translation more lucid in places and reads better without the need for parenthetical filler expressions. However, in some places, I found the author taking a bit of liberty in the translations of words and found myself wondering whether he would have translated differently had the audience not been expected to be potentially antagonistic to Islam and its message. 

al-Kawashif al-Jaliyyah ‘an Mustalahat al-Hanafiyyah by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ilah al-Mulla

The following treatise is a wonderfully brief but expansive work on the terminology of the Hanafi school of law. It began as an introduction to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ilah’s (amongst the scholars of Ahsa’) doctorate on the first volume of ‘Allamah Siraj al-Din Ibn al-Nujaym’s al-Nahr al-Fa’iq and was later expanded upon to include more terms from those used by later scholars of the madhhab, including Ibn ‘Abidin and ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi. Continue reading

Book Review: The Rights of Parents by Imam Muhammad Mawlud

photo (7)In the desire to acquire sound Islamic knowledge and please Allah, there can be no more essential guide than sound morals and manners (ādāb). Any education that is not built upon the foundations of ādāb is bound to crumble or lead astray. This primacy of applied ethics in the Islam worldview can perhaps be best gauged by the erudite hadith and fiqh master ʿAbdullāh ibn al-Mubarak’s (may Allah shower him with His mercy) narration from his teacher, Mukhlid ibn al-Ḥusayn, who once remarked, “We are more in need of acquiring adab than learning hadith.”

Amongst the scholars whose writings reflect this emphasis on social etiquette and manners was Imām Muḥammad Mawlūd (d. 1905), the renowned 19th century Mauritanian reviver of the faith. Other than his Maṭharat al-Qulūb (Purification of the Heart) made famous in the English-speaking world by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s translation and lectures, Imam Mawlūd authored a long list of texts on ādāb, including the Maḥārim al-Lisān (Prohibitions of the Tongue), a text on the adab of hosting guests, one on the adab of seeking knowledge, one on eating, and another on the adab of the masjid. Continue reading

Book Review: Madrasah Life by Shaykh Mohammed Akram an-Nadwi

Shaykh Akram Nadwi’s “Madrasah Life” is a a pleasurable and easy narrative. It is no more than a hundred pages and being the personal account of an exceptional student and scholar, its quite fun reading. The book explores a day in the life of a madrasah student at the famed Nadwat al-Ulama in Lucknow, India. Known for its emphasis on language and literature, it is not surprising that the esteemed author includes frequent references to poetic verse and literary discussion in this short piece. Continue reading

The Gracious Quran: My Preferred Translation of the Quran’s Meanings in English

With the enormous amount of translations of the meanings of the Qur’an available in the market today, it becomes very difficult for the average reader to decide which one to use and which one best suits his/her purpose.

While I admittedly have not read through or analyzed all of the translations out there, I have had the blessed opportunity to read some of the more common and available translations as well as reviews of each.

In choosing the best translation, it is important to keep a number of key factors in mind:

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Book Review: The Ramadan of Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya and Our Elders

Book: The Ramadan of Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya and our Elders

Author: Dr. Mohammad Ismail Memon Madani

Publisher: Madania Publications

ISBN: 978-1-936157-04-4

Pages: 171

Dr. Mohammad Ismail Memon Madani’s most recent publication, entitled The Ramadan of Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya and our Elders, is a most welcome addition to an ever-growing library of quality English Islamic literature. I received the book only days before the end of Ramadan and was so excited to read through the first few chapters that I hurriedly finished it before the ‘Id dawn. Having completed the book, my only regret was not having had the chance to read through it before the advent of the holy month. Continue reading