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Book Review
A precious gift
By Dr A.G. Khan

Book: Tuhfatul Muslimeen (in Urdu)
Author: Habib Ahmad Khan Yusufzai
Publisher: Author, 62, Adarsh Nagar Barwaha (M.P.) 451 115
Price: Rs. 100

I attempt this review with a lot of hesitation. Firstly, I don't consider myself competent to comment on a book on Islamic studies, secondly the author happens to be the father of my five-decade-old friend.
Yet, I cannot resist the temptation to review this book because the author has done a commendable job, which deserves not only recognition, but also warm appreciation. To compile facts at the age of eighty two when people nurse their ailments or curse their failing memory, to recall events of the forties; to undertake such task at a small town where facilities for any scholarly studies are non existent; to pay from one's hard earned savings towards the cost of printing; and last but not the least, not to be distracted by the strenuous responsibilities of a police man are a few facts that compel us to admire and appreciate the painstaking endeavour.

However, this book merits attention for other reasons as well. This investigation in Islamic Studies is enriched with frequent quotations from literary works by Ghalib, Iqbal, Hali, Josh Malihabadi, Seemab Akbarabadi, Kaif Bhopali and Shaikh Saadi. It tries to suggest the source that might have motivated these poets to pen those couplets. It is an excellent example of tracing the origin of poems in the holy Qur’an. Few scholars might have drawn our attention to the fact that out of six instances in which the surah begins with Alif-Lam-Meem it is only in the second one (Al-Imran) that there is a zabar on meem (p. 25). We are made aware of a unique incident (page-26) in honour of the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He narrates a statement by Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi, that during his sojourn at Mecca he dreamed that the two grand sons of the holy prophet presented him a pen belonging to the Prophet. (p.44). Another incident (not commonly narrated by other scholars) is on pages (70-73) in which the Prophet’s hijrah is vividly described and a miracle is narrated. An authentic portrayal of the holy Prophet’s features, his physique, appearance, complexion, hair, beard etc as described by the companions is presented to us to enable us to have some idea of his personality (60-69).

With regard to Hazrat Isa’s arrival prior to the Day of Judgment the compiler tells us that there are 21 references on the authority of 14 companions. He gives us a sketch showing the route by which Hazrat Isa would march to kill Dajjal at Lud (Lydda, a place near Tel Aviv) on page 136. He describes the events following the killing of Dajjal, Daabbatul Ard, dwellers in hell and heaven quoting extensively from the Qur’an and other sources that it gives us an impression of a pageant passing in front of our eyes almost a running commentary (141-220)
Rarely do we come across an exhaustive enquiry into the nature, origin and traits/characteristics of Man, Angels and Djinns. He gives a comparative analysis of the three (221-255).

The author claims that a gentleman at Dhar (M.P.) gave him a copy of a letter dictated by the holy Prophet addressed to Djinns and this letter has the power to drive away the evil spell of any Djinn (p.262).

He warns, however, that such exorcism requires a lot of preparation and precaution lest it should boomerang on the practitioner. The last seventy pages are devoted to a picturesque portrayal of the dwellers in paradise and the bliss they would enjoy in the presence of Allah.
He supports his conclusions from authentic sources-Qur’an and ahadith in addition to scores of scholarly works/scholars like Ghazali, Tirmidhi, Hanbal, Ibn Saad, Ibn Maaza, Sahih Muslim, Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Usmani, Sahih Bukhari, Ibn Khaldun, Hujjatullah Balighah Maududi totaling 22 titles. He even draws our attention to the fact that Atharwaved has a conclusive assertion about the birth of the holy Prophet (P. 96).

There are several short discourses covering various topics, which can become brief sermons for the Friday congregations. The author has been doing this kind of taalim after his retirement for the last two decades.
A bound book of 352 pages is presented to us at a very nominal price of Rs 100. It is obvious that financial gain is NOT the motivation behind his endeavour. We must ensure that at least the cost of printing is recovered.
Once again, I strongly recommend this scholarly work as a significant contribution to Islamic Studies. May Allah reward him for his enormous patience and pains! Amen.

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