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A Divine Language – A review of the book ‘Sufi Prayer & Love’

“What has he found who has lost God? And what has he lost who has found God?” – Ibn Atta Al-Iskandari

Author Ahmad Javid’s book ‘Sufi Prayer and Love’ is a deeply personal and enriching discourse on prayer and love for the almighty. It explains in great detail the intimate talk you should have in your life with God, this is also known as Salat (prayer). This prayer is a separate divine language on its own and will bring you closer to the Almighty.

This is the kind of book that should appeal to a lot of people because at its heart lies an intelligent discussion on prayer - the right kind of prayers and the power it gives you in life. And Muslims especially should find this book as a great guide that extols the virtue of prayer and love for Allah. Most of us do pray but when our prayers remain unanswered we often wonder where we went wrong. It doesn’t exactly teach you how to pray but it explains in great detail what a prayer should be. Through simple stories and descriptions you will understand how to communicate with God better. The book doesn’t limit itself to mere explanations of the various rituals we follow as part of our prayers, but it explains the meaning and purpose behind every word and action.

It is said that you cannot teach Salat or prayer to someone as it is a personal and internal process. But the author here has managed to do just that through careful selection of texts showcased through the three parts in the book. And the Arabic recitations included in the book give off positive spiritual vibes. It makes the process of prayer an enriching experience than an event that you are simply going through the motions of.

The language used is wonderful and I had no trouble in following the book. The English and the Arabic words, mostly used in brackets combine together to make this a great read. As a non Muslim myself, I appreciate the fact that I got immediate translations of words and phrases that I have often heard in relation to the Islamic faith.

I don’t have any major grouses with the book, but at certain places I did wish the book had footnotes to give a more detailed history about certain items mentioned in the passages. Though the language used and the sentence structuring is contemporary, it has its own poetic feel. But if you are looking for a genuine Arabic poetic rendering, that you won’t find it here.

The introduction given by the author was an honest piece of writing and my heart went out to him that he was able to make such a divine connection with the almighty. I would highly recommend this book to my Muslim brothers and sisters who think that they already know enough about their religion and faith. Reading this book should give you a different perspective and bring you in harmony with God.

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