In the interest of full disclosure let me tell you upfront that I had recently embraced Islam. Faith for me has always been a personal affair and the conversion itself was a low-key event with no representation from any representatives of any religious organization. Since then I’ve always picked up books to find out more about this vast religion. While this book isn’t a step-by-step guide to understanding Islam (it is about understanding Allah) it helped me learn some basics of this faith that some of the other more accomplished books failed to mention. Also, this book also provided me with some excellent advice on how to deal with the challenges one faces in relation to your faith in the modern age.
The author Mr. Javid has concisely put down some highly readable material about the basic act of worship. The purification of the body and the mind before submitting oneself to God has been explained in great detail. You will really feel the divine love the author talks about in connection with offering Salat. Like I said before, the book provides easy to follow steps to meditate and to get closer to God. This nonfiction book is a great source of knowledge for anyone reading up on Islam and Sufism.
In the introduction itself the author talks about the inspiration or the divine intervention that led to him penning these thoughts down. Be as it may, it still felt like a well researched book. He has been able to present a diverse array of stories and simple to understand couplets to get the message through. Like many people over here, I too had limited exposure to Eastern philosophy while growing up. But I am glad thanks to internet and wider means of exposure people like me get to read such material within the Western structure of knowledge and teaching. It also reminded me that even more advanced knowledge is still hidden out there in the world and it is for each of us to seek it.
I still don’t subscribe to the dogmas and strict ritual processes of organized religion. But the idea I learned from this book and through Sufism is that I can still get closer to God and do good without being a part of some closed-knit group. Sufism is an internal energy, and one can argue that it is about the emancipation of the self from the ego. And from what I hear, Sufism is based on the ancient and esoteric interpretation of Qur’an.
I would definitely recommend this, because while the book doesn’t explain Islam in great detail, it still shines light on the holy and divine part of this great religion that still remains as misunderstood as ever. If Qur’an is the absolute guide that promises to take us closer to the Truth, then this book promises to guide us to discover the true potential and power of our prayers.
“Islam and Sufism are one. Teaching that to understand Islam one must be a lover, how can one understand Islam when the heart is empty of love.” – Zarina Bibi
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 4, 2016)