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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 7

First and most importantly, Dr. Speight has tried his very best to

remove some misunderstandings about Islam by helping Chris-

tians to overcome the tendency of stereotyping the Muslims.

He outlines the worldwide distribution of Muslim population,

identifying the predominantly Muslim countries, as well as those

where they are in minority, thereby pointing out their geo-po-

litical importance.

Dr. Speight discusses beliefs and worship of the Muslims, rightly

emphasizing the highest esteem and the exalted place to which

the Holy Quran and Hadith are held by the Muslims. He briefly

discusses how the Holy Quran repeatedly makes mention of

the prophets of the Jews and Christians, and other stories and

incidents, also reported in the Bible.

Dr. Speight briefly touches upon moral values, social justice,

human rights as well as practice of politics and economics as

emphasized in Islam. Family life, marriage, divorce and position

of women in Islam are discussed and also similarities and differ-

ences between Islam and Christianity, with a recommendation

to be open-minded and understanding.

Dr. Speight is forthright in giving credit to Muslims contributions

in the advancement of modern science, mathematics, medicine,

philosophy, culture and civilization, etc., which got Europe out

of the “dark age”.

Though he notes only a few examples and very briefly, yet he

has belied the popular and favorite theme of the news media of

today, which paints the Arabs, nay all Muslims, as uncivilized,

uneducated and barbarous terrorists. Two prayers of Hazrat Ali

Zainul Abidine (pbuh) are also included herein.

However, some of his assertions need clarification and comment.

For example, on Page 42, Dr. Speight mentions that Abraham

(pbuh) “repudiated” Hagar.

This is actually the Biblical version, which differs from the Holy

Quran and Hadith. The Holy Quran reports Abraham saying,


our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley

without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House...” (Quran 14:37)

This arrangement of keeping his two wives at separate places

was to keep peace in the family.

On page 45, Dr. Speight writes, “The Quran does not give the

name of the son who was offered” in sacrifice, but the Hadith

refers to Ismail (pbuh) as the son who was sacrificed by Abraham

(pbuh), whereas the Bible refers to Isaac as that son.

In addition, on Page 68, Dr. Speight in his discussion of the

Shi’a sect, he offers the opinion that the Shia’s maintain that

Muhammad “really did prefer his cousin and son-in-law, Ali,

and that this preference was suppressed by the leaders who had

another opinion on succession.” They believe that Ali’s selection

as Muhammad’s successor was divinely ordained and not strictly

dependent upon the will of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

However, Dr. Speight does go on to point out that “ is safe

to say that the elements of unity [previously discussed] ...hold

Sunni and Shi’a together more strongly than their divergences

keep them apart.”

“God is One” is an introductory descriptive neat little book writ-

ten in simple and easy to understand language. It is nevertheless,

very informative not only for non-Muslims but also for Muslims

who are not knowledgeable about contributions of early Muslims

to modern civilization.

This book may help fill the gap, at least a little, in removing a

misunderstanding about Islam. He has rightly mentioned that

misunderstanding about Islam is due to environment. No doubt

this book is written for the Christian laity to adapt their approach

and behaviors toward understanding Islam for the propagation

of Christianity.

However, on balance, “God is One” is a positive contribution

to the better understanding of Islam.

The following holidays are observed among Muslim

communities throughout the world:

‘Eid al-Fitr -

also known as the Little Feast, marks the

end of the great fast of Ramadan. It is on the first day

of Shawwal.

‘Eid al-Adha -

Feast of Sacrifice, also known as the Great

Feast, 70 days after Eid al-Fitr, on the 10th of Dhu al-


Ra’s al-Sannah -

New Year’s Festival, falls on the first of

the month of Muharram.

Mawlid an-Nabi -

the Prophet’s Birthday, is celebrated

on the 12th day of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal.

Eid Mubarak!! Happy Eid!!