Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Critique

Islam-o-sharia by Hasan Mahmud, published in Bangladesh.
Language: Bangla
3rd Edition, 2008

Hasan’s book begins with the time when life of the prophet of Islam was ending. It was an all-destructive Thursday, in Hasan’s words, a grand deception was taking place at the dying moment of a man’s life—a man whose mere words could once change the face of Arabia, but now too frail to command even his closest allies.

In a poignant language he evokes memory of those moments and the readers would relive highly charged emotions, as if the incidents were happening right in front of their eyes. This is the beauty of Hasan’s writing. His book is part history, part analysis, and part beseeching the forgotten glory. Nonetheless, it is an intense book.

Amidst the black letters of the book the readers will see dark red blood, in pages after pages, the blood of the very best of the Muslim saints who are the pride of the Muslim ummah. Even after 1400 years, your own blood will boil, and your eyes will become moist.

Hasan writes with intense passion and he begs the readers to revive the beauty, peace and the grand scheme of a religion, called Islam, underneath the violent raiment in which it has been cloaked.

Two underlying themes, justice and compassion override all other emotions, in pages after pages. Hasan quotes materials, all from respected written sources to rediscover the beauty of Islam.

He cites Islamic scholars, at times self proclaimed, albeit, with considerable followings that preach violence by the name of the religion, and goes on to demonstrate how vain their callings are, with support from Quran and Hadith. Without saying in as many words, he hints time and again, how the short sighted religious preachers utilized hadiths that are against the very teachings of the Quran.

Hasan devotes considerable ink in his book to refute the wrong conception of Quran-sanctioned oppression of the women. Hasan insists, provides logic, and establishes with cross references that many hadiths were indeed inserted by the debauched Muslim rulers and their henchmen. In the hands of the uneducated and sometimes educated, nonetheless, unscrupulous religious scholars those hadiths received stamps of authority.

Those additions and insertions created the phenomenon of radical Islam, an extreme and violent transformation of the original religion that spread only peace and harmony. Whereas the very name Islam literally connotes peace and submission, at the hands of the egotistical rulers it became an implement of tyranny. With this book Hasan wages a war against the evil of the radical Islam.

The book fosters understanding of the true spirit of Islam. Even the perpetrators of radical Islam would see the eternal truth in it, and Hasan fervently hopes that would mellow them to enter the mainstream civilized life of the modern era, and become effective members of the global society.

Links to Hasan’s book and other works: