Fiqhussunnah- THE HINDU 10 May 2013

Prayer and peace

They say much can be wrought by prayer. But for that, one has to pray right. In a fast paced world, today’s youth are ignorant about fundamentals. So this Tamil translation of the original Arabic book, Fiqhus Sunnah (by As-Shaikh Sayyid Sabiq) aims at teaching the right method to pray. An award-winning book, it has been translated into many languages.

We often complain of our prayers going unanswered but we never bother to ponder the reason it failed. Here is a text that sums up the right method, act, timing and places to pray. Concurrently the prohibited things are also spelt out.

“Prayer is the heart of religion and faith. The Messenger of God taught us a prayer that sums up Islamic faith.” So every Muslim should faithfully it follow.

Every Fiqh (jurisprudence) ruling in the book is derived from the Holy Quran and the Hadees (traditions of the Prophet), and is, therefore, authoritative and authentic.

Starting with supererogatory prayers and their significance, the author says these are legislated to make up for any deficiencies in the performance of obligatory prayers. “God does not listen to anything from his subject as He does to the prayer one offers.”

The different types of prayers are well documented. The importance of fajar (morning) prayer and its merits constitute one chapter. The supplication after each prayer — Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib and Isha —and how to make up for missed prayers are well elaborated.

Talking about nafeel prayers, he subdivides them into general and specific. And the legality of tarawihprayers during Ramadan and the value of tahajjud (late night) prayer are discussed in detail. Strengthening this chapter is the quote — “Whoever prays during the nights of Ramadan with a firm belief and hope for reward, all his previous sins shall be forgiven.”

Different prayers — for need, protection, penitence, during solar and lunar eclipse, for rain — find a place in the later part of the book. There is a special chapter on women and congregational prayers (during Fridays and on Festivals).

It’s a detailed book written in a simple style which strikes a chord. It is cogently brought out in an uncomplicated way. The translator has taken great care to do justice to the original work and without losing the spirit of the text. The matter of consensus and agreement will only increase the reader’s faith and help him to adhere to the right principles.

In this age, a book on prayer may not hold great charm but the contents are not just for the devout but also for those who seek spiritual peace. It will be a boon to the Tamil speaking community as it has answers to delicate issues which many cannot discuss in public or seek counsel for.

The stamp of Moulavi Nooh Mahlari, who is a scholar, writer and orator, is all pervasive in the book. He has to be richly praised and appreciated for reminding us how powerful a tool prayer is to improve one’s life.


Islaamiya Chatta Karuvoolam-Thozhugai (Fiqhus Sunnah, Vol. 2)

Translated into Tamil by Moulavi Nooh Mahlari

Islamic Foundation Trust, Chennai- 600012, Price: Rs. 190 (paperback), Rs. 230 (hardbound).