July 5, 2012

On the tenets of Islam


The Islamic Foundation Trust has brought out two books not just for the spiritually inclined but also for those who can learn, re-learn and unlearn.

The first book in its 25 chapters serialises the lectures of Ustad Rasheed Hajjul Akbar on the sayings and actions of Prophet Mohammed. The author who is an Islamic scholar, uses his oratorical skills and rhetorical utterances to emphasiseHadees as an important tool to understand the Quran and stresses upon the importance of Prophet’s guidance to mankind. Recording the statements/actions of the last Prophet of Islam, the author provides a clear meaning of Iman (having faith and belief in Allah).

Ustad Rasheed describes the human heart as an animal which when tamed and trained, obeys its master’s command. So also the heart has to be conditioned to control unwanted thoughts. This is known as tarbiya and all Muslims are enjoined to do tarbiya.

Lucid explanations

The writer succinctly explains the meaning of taqwa (piety and fearing Allah). Man should safeguard his heart from slipping into decadence. One should pray with the feeling that he is looking at Allah or that Allah is watching him. This is known as murakaba. A believer will be happy even in difficult times because he knows that Allah is watching over him. Hence to mitigate his sufferings he asks Allah for forgiveness and supplicates.

Laying stress on truth, Hadees says a Muslim may be a miser or a coward but never a liar. Observance of individual duties such as prayer, fasting and Haj are known as ‘Farzian’ and their non-observance is considered a sin. Duties towards society — economic uplift, education, security, encouraging good deeds — have been categorised as Farz Kifaya.

Tenets of Islam and Hadees have been discussed in depth in this book. This is an erudite, comprehensive and well-written book.

‘Idhazhiyal Varalaatril Samarasam’ analyses the Islamic magazine Samarasamover a period of five years from 1996 onwards. The objective of launching this 32-year-old magazine is to present the tenets of Islam in their pristine form and also clear misgivings about the religion.

The book is part of Dr. Ahamed Maricar’s thesis for his doctoral degree. He hails from a family of Tamil scholars, and his great-grandfather was Sayabu Maricar.

The author states that Islam Mithran launched in 1897 from Sri Lanka, was a trail- blazer as far as Islamic Tamil dailies are concerned. Nearer home, Saiful Islam was published from Vellore as a daily in 1910. Darul Islam (another paper of 1923) was commended by Periyar for its views.

Samarasam gives explanatory notes on the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammed (Sal). The content includes editorials, feedback from readers, question and answer sections, poems, short stories and interviews. The editorial is unbiased and according to a sample survey, readers vouch for the non-controversial writing that does not affect communal harmony.

Excerpts from this magazine have at times been reproduced in Kumudam, Idaayam, Pesugiradu, Kalki and Thuglak. Even writer Sujatha had chosenSamarasam as an outstanding religious magazine for the year 2006.

The theme of most short stories revolves round the duties of man towards God and society. The writer has catalogued 417 Islamic Tamil magazines and dailies which have appeared from 1869 to 2006, along with their periodicity, the editor’s name and place of publication.

Written in chaste Tamil, the book is educative and informative. A relevant index, illustrations, statistical data and bibliography add value to the book as do the the extracts from authentic sources.

A well researched book, it has won appreciation and commendations from the author’s peers.


Rasheed Hajjul Akbar,

Islamic Foundation Trust, Chennai- 600012, Price: Rs. 100


Dr M.I. Ahamed Maricar,

Islamic Foundation Trust, Chennai- 600012, Price: Rs. 150

Keywords: Islamic Foundation Trustspiritual booksSamarasamProphet MohammedRasheed  Hajjul AkbarAhamed Maricar