Subhanallah wabihamdih Subhanallah Al Azim.
I am deeply humbled that this is yet another book which I needed, was looking for it, and then suddenly I got it as a gift. Alhamdulillah.
Was looking for it because Shaykh Masood Yusuf chose to review a chapter of this book in his Series of Lesson on Imam Nawawi's Maqasid, exclusively for Al Falah TV YouTube channel. This book (as seen in pic above) is an English translation of the same, by a hidden gem of Jordan, Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller.
You might have watched the first lesson given by Shaykh Masood about a month ago. Here's the link, in case you haven't seen it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fMZxvQ5qHQ
|Catch Shaykh Masood's Lesson on Imam Nawawi's Kitab Al Maqasid|
on Al Falah TV YouTube channel
In this series, Shaykh Masood chose to expound on the chapter of tasawuf or tazkiyatun nafs or purification of the soul. Imam Nawawi's Maqasid is very concise. The chapter on tasawuf (sufism) is only 8 pages long and does not come with an elaborate explanation. Therefore, you would need to listen to a guru/shaykh to help you understand.
For your kind information, Al Falah TV team has recorded the second and third lesson of the tasawuf chapter by Shaykh Masood Yusuf, but we have put them on a queue because we have been busy preparing for the upcoming Sunnah Food Campaign Video Competition (SFCVC).
In my opinion, this book could have been selected as a school textbook for Muslim pupils to learn Islam in a structured manner. Needless to say, it is, of course appealing to believers or non-believers beyond school-going age because it is indeed a manual of Islam.
No one actually handed us a clear manual as we were growing up. Yes, we all learned how to read the Quran from an early age, but the rest we have had to grapple with whatever the ustazah/ustaz taught us in primary/secondary school, unless you were enrolled in a proper Islamic school. So if you were to have the same education background as I did, you would rejoice at seeing a simple straightforward-looking book entitled 'Manual of Islam' in English. It's amazing that the English version of Imam Nawawi's Maqasid was first put together by a convert about 22 years ago. This book might function as a 'safety net' for anyone wishing to swim in the sea of Islam.
I guess, without a proper manual, without having a 'safety net' most of us had to dive and swim anyway assuming all would be just fine. That's life. Just like driving your first car for the first time without even referring to its manual. Just like having to go on a plane and trusting the pilot even though we do not personally know the person, even though we do not know him/her well enough. But of course, the system is such that, we all have to trust the pilot anyway and that he/she ought to be trustworthy and dependable. And that we trust our ability in driving without having to first check the car's manual.
But then again this one poster I saw on Instagram made me ponder. It's in Malay, so let me translate it for you.
"We can be calm when boarding a plane despite the fact that we do not even know who the pilot is. But why are we often restless embracing life when we are cognizant of the fact that it is Allah who orchestrates everything?"