Understanding Islam

By Khalid Hussain Mir | May 2020

Title : Essentials of Islamic Sciences
Author    : Anjum Awan (D.Phil)

The range of Islam is immensely wide. All the aspects of a man’s life from his birth to death, and even the life after death, come under the purview of Islam. Islam is the only nominated religion of Allah, well-ordered with social, political and economic systems, guidelines and principles for national and international relations.

Muslim scholars and scientists have provided memorable contributions to every field of knowledge such as Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, Tasawwuf, History, Philosophy, Medicine, Astronomy, Bio-sciences, etc. Similarly, in academics for the ast few decades, Muslim scholars have made momentous attempts to produce adequate literature in English, particularly on themes of the Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Tasawwuf in the subcontinent as well as in other parts of the world in a separate, thematic way. A few scholars such as Dr. Rafique Anjum have also selected a new pattern which is more informative and helpful for students and scholars and covers basic concepts and terminologies of the afore-stated themes. Dr Awan has systematically inter-penetrated and integrated them periodically in a digestible format to the seekers of knowledge.

Dr. Rafique Anjum (b. 1962), is a well-known linguist, poet and a doctor of medicine and philosophy. He has earned recognition for his inspired, systematic and critical literary works. For his creative and significant contribution and excellence in literature, he has been awarded the Best Book Award in 2007 by the Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. He is at present working as an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and coordinator of the Centre for Research in Gojri, Pahari and Kashmiri languages (CRGPKL) in the School of Islamic Studies & Languages at BGSB University, Rajouri. Dr. Anjum has extensively written on the fields of his expertise. Some of his significant works include: Sunehri Tareekh (2000); Gojri-English Dictionary (2004); Anjum Shanasi (Biography, 2007); Gojri-Urdu Dictionary (2008); Gojri-Kashmiri Dictionary (2018); and Revisiting Islam (2018).

The book under review, entitled “Essentials of Islamic Sciences”, comprises five broad chapters under the caption of ‘Khairul Qurun, study of Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Tasawwuf’. Besides this, the useful chronological charts and an index has been added for convenience of readers looking for a particular term. It begins with a foreword by Prof. Akhtar ul Wasey, followed by an introduction (pp. 11-16) which is very informative as it provides information about the basic purpose of the book and its need and importance as well.

In chapter 1 (pp. 17-43), the author has made a sincere effort to present an overview of the pre and post-Islamic history of Arabia, particularly the period of Khairul Qurun in reference to the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), including the major events that changed the course of world history, and the period of the four rightly guided caliphs of Islam, followed by the chronological outline of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. The author says that the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam appeared on the horizon of Arabia as a blessing and in a short span of just 23 years, he miraculously transformed one of the worst periods in history into ‘Khairul Qurun’ or the best era (p. 22).

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