Welcome to ‘A Muslim’s Book Shelf’ blog which is dedicated to writing book reviews. The intent of this blog is two-fold, one is to be in the service of scholars who have spent their lives preserving the Prophetic tradition, and secondly, to encourage Muslims to become life-long readers and enactors of this great tradition. The purpose of the reviews to provide a summary and excerpts from the books, equipping the potential reader with an initial understanding of its contents and encouragement to purchase and read them.
The intention behind buying a book should be the following:
The Intentions for Buying A Book
1. Intend to benefit from it, inwardly and outwardly
2. Intend to occupy your time virtuously
3. Intend to learn what is good
4. Intend to protect and preserve knowledge
5. Intend to help others, if someone asks to borrow it
6. Intend to spread knowledge
7. Intend to occupy yourself with it so as to keep away from idle talk.
This was an excerpt from The Book of Intentions, by al-Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Ayadurus.
Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar writes in the foreword of the Prayers for Forgiveness:
A pious scholar from the past was once asked what we should do to rectify our connection with our Lord. He said, ‘Seek the company of the righteous.’ He was then asked, ‘What if the righteous are no longer present among us?’ He replied, ‘Read their books.’
Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani’s writing is quoted on the back cover of the book, Instruction of the Student:
Learn! for learning is an adornment for one who possesses it, a virtue and a prelude to every praiseworthy action. Profit each day by increasing [your] learning and swimming in the seas of beneficial knowledge. Give yourself up to the study of jurisprudence, for the knowledge of jurisprudence is the best guide to piety and the fear of God, and it is the straightest path to the ultimate goal. It is a milestone leading to the ways of proper guidance; it is the fortress that saves one from all hardships. Indeed, one godly person versed in jurisprudence is more powerful against satan than a thousand ordinary worshippers.
Imam al-Ghazali, the Proof of Islam, writes in his book, The Beginning of Guidance:
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and, once gone, can never be retrieved. Do not be like the deceived fools who are joyous because each day their wealth increases while their life shortens. What good is an increase in wealth when life grows ever shorter? Therefore be joyous only for an increase in knowledge or in good works, for they are your two companions who will accompany you in your grave when your family, wealth, children and friends stay behind.
I pray that we all benefit from these reviews and they motivate us all to sit in the company of the scholars, benefiting from their company, their gazes, their lives, their words and their works. Ameen.