Stories of the Prophets

Friday, January 28th, 2011, 07:22 WIB
Stories of the Prophets

Book Title :  Stories of the Prophets

Author :  Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi

Translator :  Iqbal Ahmed Azami

Publisher :  UK Islamic Academy 1990


The Prophets were chosen by Allah to guide mankind to the Divine Path. They faced many difficulties and suffered severe hardships in their efforts to call their straying people to obey and worship Allah. This edition of Stories of the Prophets presents the lives of Allah's Prophets (PBUT).

At the dedication the reason of writing this book is mentioned that is all children have a keen interest in reading and listening to stories; what saddens the writer is that the stories available are only about animals - cats, dogs, lions, wolves, monkeys, and bears. He stats that we the elders are to blame for this sad state of affairs, for these are the only stories available for children. So he planned to write a series of story books suitable for children, dealing with the life and the work of the Prophets and Messengers.

In this series of stories the writer tried to write in a way that suits the interests of children via repeating some certain expressions and keeping the story simple. He comments that "what happens in these stories is very special, because, unlike other stories, they are totally free of any lie or falsehood".

Azami comment the stories that they have been drawn from the Holy Qur'an constantly reflect the author's depth of knowledge. They are written in a lively style with subtleties explained and descriptions vividly portrayed to provide the reader with a clear picture of each Prophet's mission. Each story is a delight to read and should provide both adults and children with fresh insight into the life of the men Allah chose to guide their communities. 

Sayyed Qutb comments "though quite small, Stories of the Prophets is a major work and a substantial addition to the opus of Sayyed Abul Hasan and his distinguished contemporaries in the field of Islamic Da'wah". He follows up that "Islam must be taught in its pristine purity not only to adults but also to Muslim Children. They are in greater need of such food for thought which may instruct them in the message of Islam. For it help them grow up with the taste of Islam in their souls, the radiance of faith in their hearts and joy in their spirits. Stories are the basic constituency that help orient and mature the supple minds of children. Yet, though meant for children, this book will, I believe, be invaluable to adults also. For many Muslim adults taught under the colonial and the Christian missionary-dominated educational system have been deprived of the opportunity to know the Qur'anic stories, to value their profound meaning, their spiritual quality, and their effectiveness, which are to the fore in this book".

What accounts for the book excellence is the inclusion, with elucidation, of subtle teachings of the Qur'an, of explanations that highlight and reinforce the Qur'anic message, through the author's apt comments interwoven into the telling of the story. These comments provide glimpses of the greatest religious truth and they easily and effectively enter into the hearts of children and adults alike.

As an example of the stories here is a part of the story of the Prophet 'Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus): "everything about 'Isa is a miracle. His birth was such a miracle that it is hard to believe in. People who reject Allah believe only in what they can see for themselves. They are ignorant of the Power of Allah which controls all things, and of the Will of Allah which cannot be resisted. "His command when He wills something is that He says, 'Be?' and it is" (36:82). However, the birth of 'Isa is accepted easily by those who believe in Allah as a powerful, transforming God, a Creator and Maker. Such people believe that Adam was created from water and clay without a mother or father. To believe in a birth by a mother without a father is easier than to believe in a birth without a mother or a father. That is why Allah said: the similitude of Jesus before God is that of Adam. He created him from earth and then said to him 'Be!' and he was (3:59)". (Saber)