Thursday, September 11, 2008

Review: I am a Muslim-Shekh Abubaker Najaar

I am a Muslim by Sheikh Abubaker Najaar (Part 1 & Part 2)
Part 1 was originally published in 1962. Part 2 was originally published in 1978. This volume includes the 6th edition of part 1 and the 2nd edition of part 2. Publisher Formeset Printers. ISBN: 0958395616

This South African author passed away in 1993. The materials here are compilations of lectures on various topics, with part 1 being at a simpler level and part 2 being at a more advanced level. More precisely, part 1 covers basic belief, ritual purity, ritual prayer, required charity (zakaa), fasting, haj and a few miscellaneous topics. Part 2 is more for the Muslim who needs to interact with non-Muslims. It contains some polemical material. It contains some aspects of theology which need more explanation. It tries to address issues of controversy among Muslims. It has a bit of sex education.

I evaluated this book for use in a class of 12-14 year olds in weekend Islamic school in Georgia, United States of America. My conclusion is that the book, given the lack of alternatives, can be used for this purpose provided the teacher corrects some statements and provides context to others.

For example:

p. 117-"It is the experience of the courts that many a case of sexual assault is provoked by the victim's lewd clothes and behaviour."
p. 154-Muslim-owned businesses should close during salat al-jumu'ah, even if non-Muslim employees are working during that time.
p. 226-"A widow, however, should refrain adornment for a period of four months and ten days and should not leave the house, unless through dire necessity."
p. 244-A explanation of court process in South Africa related to multiple marriage.
p. 248-A place designated as a masjid can never be used for another purpose.

I did not find an outlet which sells this book.

If anybody can suggest books which can be used in the United States for this purpose, I'm open to hear about it. I taught from Islam: The Natural Way by Abdul Wahid Hamid, but I felt the text was too ideological and "movement"-oriented.

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