A Review in English: Ismail Kamus’ Indahnya Hidup Bersyariat & Indahnya Amalan Doa
Tuesday, 21st September, 2010 § 2 Comments
I once told an acquaintance that these two books by Ustaz Ismail Kamus should been included into the syllabus of Malaysian schools. The first book, Indahnya Hidup Bersyariat (How To Live Your Life, The Muslim Way…it sounds clunky in English, I know) covers just about every aspect of life from birth to death and everything in between. In this day and age when most Muslims in Malaysia are Muslims in name only and not in practise, it is handy to have a comprehensive book that can guide the wayward Muslim to the right way. Chapters include stuff you might expect to see in a Islamic book, how to make ablution the correct way, how to pray, how to dress, but it also includes other topics that are as important but not usually covered in detail such as how to prepare a dead body for burial. The (Malay) language used is simple and there are photos practically on every page. Visual aids always help.
The other book, Indahnya Amalan Doa (The Beauty of Supplications) makes a good companion to the first book. As the title suggests, it is chock full of supplications a Muslim is encouraged to make and in Islam there is literally a doa or supplication for everything. I mean everything. Entering your home, leaving your home, entering the toilet, leaving the toilet, before you eat and after you’ve had your meal, before leaving for a journey, upon hearing the call to prayer, supplications by a child for his/her parents and vice versa, for toothache, for a fever, before sexual intercourse…this book has them all. Muslims are encouraged to make doa to Allah for everything because being a Muslim is literally “to submit” to the will of Allah. Supplications also teach us to remember Allah always and also to teach us humility. Allah is not only there when we want to pass our exams or when the doctor says we have cancer but is also there with us when we receive that promotion or that raise we wanted. So why remember Allah only when we are in need of help and not when things are good?
The only problem with this book is that there are two pages of corrections pasted on the inside front cover. Apparently there were several mistakes either during writing or printing and it was not caught out after the book was printed. Fortunately they saw it before it was published and managed to include the correct supplications. I say this is a problem because I expected a better editing work from the publishers, Telaga Biru. The correct supplications, which are preferred to be given in Arabic, are essential and seeing as how most Malaysian Muslims aren’t fluent in Arabic it would have been more professional of Telaga Biru if the book was mistake-free. One would not tolerate typos in a work of fiction, why would one tolerate it in a book advising on how to better practise one’s faith? Oh well, as long as the reader remembers to flip to the inside front cover for the corrections, it should be okay.