(Translation of the book review in the Malay national newspaper, Berita Harian of 1 July 2016. See photo of the BH article below.)
Easy to understand explanation of the term ‘God’
By Dewani Abbas
While observing the Ramadan fast and appreciating the meaning behind it, it would be also beneficial if we can understand Allah in a wider way so as to increase our knowledge of Him, the Creator of the universe, and be near Him.
We get this opportunity in the book written by Mr. Shaik Kadir, “Allah: Understanding God in Islam”. The book is written in an interesting manner for easy understanding although such a subject could be presented more deeply but then it would not be easily understood by the lay person.
However, in order to give a description that is easily understood by all levels of readers, Mr. Shaik Kadir had written the book in easily-understood English so that anyone can appreciate and comprehend the meaning of ‘God’ in Islam, that is, Allah in the Qur’anic term. (“Allah” is indicated in the Qur’an as the God of all human beings, One who has no partners and no form to be made into images or imagined. The definition of Allah is given in the Qur’an in a 4-verse chapter, Chapter 112, for easy reference, easy remembrance and easy recitation.)
And we, as ordinary people, can also increase our devotion to the Almighty, seeking favour from him in making us better people for the good in this world and in the Hereafter.
Before writing the book, Mr. Shaik Kadir, a retired senior lecturer at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and who holds a Master of Education from the University of Sheffield, England, has written several books on Islam in English, with one translated into Malay.
Some of his books are: “Read! The inspiration for progress”; “The Straight Way”; “The Haj”; “Commanding a Dynamic Islamic Personality”; “Inside Islam: 101 Questions and Answers”, and “Islam Explained”.
His latest book describes Islam and looks through the messages contained in the Qur’an to explain the importance of knowing the real nature of “the God” (Allah).
One of the major parts of the book, Part 5, “Allah, Creator of the Universe”, discusses the nature of Allah.
Reading the book can further enhance our love for Allah, says Mr Shaik Kadir, who desires that this message reaches the heart of the reader (as well as providing explanation about God in Islam for people of other faiths).
Signs of Allah’s existence is clearly seen in Chapter 30, Ar-Rum, verses 20 to 25, such as:
Among His Signs is that He created you from dust; and then – you get scattered (far and wide on earth)! (30:20)
And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. (30:22)
Therefore, man must surrender to Allah and follow His commands as to show to Him that we are worthy of being created by Him, Mr. Shaik Kadir mentioned in his book.
He also mentioned that people naturally desire to know God. However, God cannot show Himself physically – for then there would be a form and a form would limit His Greatness. However, people can know Him through His Attributes, such as the “Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate” mentioned at the beginning of every chapter of the Qur’an (except Chapter 9).
Also, the Asul-Husna or the 99 Beautiful Names (of Allah) shows His Greatness, and often the zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah) is mentioned or recited by Muslims in order to be near to Him.
It is equally important that Muslims live a balanced life. Working (in halal way) for livelihood and observing righteous acts are all considered as part of worship of Allah (ibadah) and remembrance of Him (zikrullah).
Another thing that should be appreciated and highlighted is the instruction of Allah in the Qur’an that Islam does not support violence, aggression and vulgarity at all. [A powerful verse states: If any one slew an innocent person, it would be as if he slew the whole mankind; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind. (5:32)]
The book is interesting because it answers the questions, clears doubts and confusion about God. The book is also good for those who have the wants to know the term ‘God’ in Islam comprehensively.
This book can be purchased only online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Just type in the title of the book (or preferably) the author’s name in its Search box to get to the information page of the book.
The price of the book is (USD 17:06 or) S$23.10 per copy.
(Translated by Shaik Kadir. Words in the brackets are the author’s provided as additional information for clarity and emphasis.)
The websites to locate/purchase the book are:
(2) Barnes & Noble ( http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/allah-shaik-kadir/1123811503?ean=9781482865189 )