Book Review

Book Review

 Muhammad (SAW) the Perfect Man

by Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki
Translated by Khalid Williams
Foreword by Dr Mostafa Badawi

First English Translation of Muhammad; al-Insan al-Kamil. 

This book,considered one of the best about the sublime nature of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, comes at an important time when from an Islamic point of view – the prevailing secular consumerism in the West has given birth to an immorality – where even the elect of Allah’s creation – the Prophets and Messengers, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them, are not safe from being openly mocked or their lives ridiculed. In the East despotic rulers, the lack of leadership, external interference and sectarian division has opened up chasms of angst.

It is in this atmosphere that this phenomenal book ‘Muhammad the Perfect Man’ written by the leading Islamic scholar of recent times –Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki al-Hasani, is presented to the general readership in English for the first time.

The book ranks among the most important works of the author who writes with great erudition and love about the perfection of the last of the Messengers, Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, sourcing every point from Islamic sources. The book starts with the perfection of the noble lineage of the Prophet, followed by the perfection of his physical form and discusses in detail the perfection of the Muhammadan heart. In the 300 pages that follow the Perfection of the Prophetic attributes are listed in detail – ranging from the perfection of the Prophetic knowledge, justice, mercy, humility, leadership, courage, generosity, patience, loyalty, wisdom, oratory and forbearance to name but just a few. The author contends from a traditional Islamic point of view that the message of Islam can only be perfect if the bringer of that message is himself perfect.The author catalogues the Prophetic Perfections in great detail and provides scriptural evidence with meticulous scholarly authority.

It serves as a timely reminder to the characteristics of the greatest human being that ever lived, and presents an insight into the noble Prophetic way, the behavioural code of conduct – the Sunna – of the Perfect Man, that he, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, left behind for all peoples for all times. The book is further augmented by Khalid Williams’ lucid and exemplary translation adding depth, breadth, clarity and making this within easy reach of the English speaking world.

The book is a modern day classic in the Arabic language – with it’s translation it is set to becomes the same in English.

Albani and His Friends 2nd Revised Edition

Albani and his friends is a concise guide and critique to the modern day salafi movement. It is one of the most detailed and well researched books discussing the Salafi movement and their many aberrations to date. The book is ordered alphabetically dealing with more than a dozen high ranking Salafi scholars. It begins with an excellent discussion of the classical term salaf and salafi by the Syrian jurist and theologian Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti (taken from his book Non-Madhabism is the gravest Innovation threatening Islamic Law). The book discusses amongst others the following topics:

The Classical understanding of the term Salaf and Salafi
A Concise guide to famous Salafi scholars and their aberrations
The Attributes of Allah
Issues connected to the Prophet (peace be upon him)
Doctrinal issues
Legal issues and salafi misinterpretations
Ambiguous verses in the Quran


This series of essays was written soon after the USA’s Iraq invasion, when the war on terror seemed to define the age. The book’s twenty-six authors explore the recent follies of people who truly believe that God supports their crusades. The essays expose conspiracy theories, strategies of domination, slanders against other cultures, or perversions of theology, with well-compiled detail. But sometimes these critiques seem to raise new conspiracy theories to replace those they debunk. Most of the authors focus on the dangers of Western religious militancy, and defend Islam from Western prejudice. But several essays, especially the ones by Aftab Ahmad Malik, Zaid Shakir, and Khaled Abou El Fadl, give hard-hitting reflection on the conflicts over prejudice and zealotry within Muslim communities.


Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless



Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless Against the Killing of Civilians’ The key Islamic concepts and rules pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, and the subject of suicide bombings and the reckless targeting of civilians have probably never before been presented in English with such depth, clarity of thought, and breadth of scholarship in Muslim Law.



The State We Are In: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad

By Yahya Birt, Aftab Ahmad Malik, Hamza Yusuf Hanson, David Dakake, Tahir Abbas.

This anthology analyzes the crucial contemporary issues and challenges facing the Muslim minority in the West from a range of theological and sociological perspectives. Focusing on the recent London terrorist bombings in July 2005, it examines verses from the Koran used by terrorists to justify terrorist attacks and concludes with a comprehensive fatwa against suicide bombings and the targeting of civilians. Including a detailed glossary, this collection of essays from renowned Muslim scholars draws upon both the classic Islamic intellectual discourse and current social and cultural observations.




Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling :

It sounds overly dramatic, I know, but I truly feel that John Taylor Gatto has liberated my soul by writing DUMBING US DOWN. But that is exactly what he has done. John Taylor Gatto confirms everything I had always believed about schools: that they are simply cruel prisons where spirits are destroyed and minds are conquered. Easy for me to say, though, seeing as how I myself never did too well in school. John Taylor Gatto, on the other hand, has been named Teacher of the Year several years running by both New York City and State. Here is someone accepted by the teaching establishment, honored by the teaching establishment. He speaks for me and thousands of others who’ve been tortured in these horrible institutions.

John Taylor Gatto reveals many fascinating, and frightening, things. For example, literacy went down in the US after the advent of compulsory schooling. Yes, more people could read and write before schooling was mandatory. Gatto says this is because reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about 100 hours to transmit, but

Schools purposefully distort the learning process and intentionally slow down the students’ learning so as to justify robbing them of 12 years of their lives while they teach what Gatto refers to as the seven lessons schools really teach.




The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computers, and Family Life


Author Marie Winn has published several books about the medium of television and how it affects families and children. This book, “The Plug in Drug” was first published more than 25 years ago and has now been updated to include computers and other modern technology. Having been a television addict myself and someone who is interested in what others have to say about the ill effects of excessive TV viewing, I purchased thi book hoping to become enlightened about the destruction that can be caused by overconsumption of television.

After reading this book, my feelings are mixed. The author (and the studies she sites from other’s works) is decisively anti- television. She points out how families are not as closely- knit as they were in the past and how television viewing has caused kids to lose interest in other activities, like book reading and involvement in sports and outdoor recreation. She even draws the conclusion that the downward trend in SAT test scores can be atrributed to the rise of television viewing and popularity.

Breaking the “spell” of television can be difficult. Parents find that TV viewing acts as a built- in babysitter and is also handy for use as a bribe. It’s also much easier to let kids watch TV than to actively take part in other activities with them. This makes it especially tough to turn off the set and look for other, more productive ways to spend time.

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