Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad by Shaikh Al-Amin Ali Mazrui

The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad by Shaikh Al-Amin Ali Mazrui, with translation and introduction by Hamza Yusuf and a foreword by Ali Mazrui.

I purchased this book from Astrolabe.

This book was composed by Shaik Al-Amin Ali Mazrui, who was the Chief Cadi of Kenya until 1947, when he passed away. He is the father of the renowned scholar of African civilization and world trends, Ali Mazrui. My first exposure to Professor Ali Mazrui was through his 1986 ground-breaking PBS series, The Africans: A Triple Heritage, which I highly recommend as a way of understanding modern African culturally and from a development perspective. This is a lecture he gave about the topic at Stanford, April 24, 2000.

The text is composed of an introduction, then the Arabic text of 130 hadiith on the right page and the English translation on the left side.

There is a translator’s note afterwards defending the use of non-Sahiih hadiths, both for legal rulings and moral and ethical values. The translator also added short biographies of the main collectors of the hadiith from which the author selected.

The jacket cover has a beautiful design. The book itself is hardcover, with excellent print quality. The presentation befits the words of An-Nabiy, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam.
The author was extremely successful in selecting texts which address a variety of aspects of behavior, attitudes and habits. By pondering these texts and attempting to implement them in our lives, we can hope to improve as people and Muslims.

The translation reads very well.

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