MOSTAFA AL-BADAWI is a Consultant Psychiatrist and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He studied under many shaykhs, foremost among whom is the late Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. Dr. Badawi is also one of the leading contemporary translators of Islamic books from Arabic into English, and his works include Book of Assistance, The Lives of Man, Key to the Garden, and Degrees of the Soul.
In this work Dr. Badawi elucidates the Islamic world-view, its timeless values and its psychological insights into the nature of man and contrasts it with the modernistic Western world-view. In the light of the recent events in New York City and Washington, it has never been more important to seek for means of understanding.
This is one of the best introductions to the Islamic understanding of God, life, and the human.
this author's translation from Arabic are excellent, and have done an immeasurable surface for English-speaking Muslims and his bio of Imam al Haddad was fascinating. However, this book is a mixed bag. The first portions- concerning the 7 heavens, 7 earths, Footstool, Throne, the first and second sides of the soul, spirit, intellect, etc. are somewhat complex and difficult to follow (I found myself skimming at times)- although including some interesting information (although, as he points out, they are unknown to most Muslims). The critique of the west is solid, if not new, as is the section on the Times. The best part of this book is its chapter on Islamic normative values (about a quarter of the book)- which beautifully depicts the Muslim world-view, of God, of social relations etc. That is what I would recommend this book for. But definitely check out his works on Imam al-Haddad.
This book is amazing2012/1/9
If you want to know the purpose of man, and the reason for his existence this book gives some great proofs and arguments for why everything is the way it is. Hopefully, the intelligent and critical individual can use this great book as a tool to guide their own development as a human being.
Metaphysics in an Islamic light2003/8/21
Not very different from the faith-healing books one finds out there except that this is retrofitted in the light of Islamic knowledge. Many philoshophers and faith-healers have discovered and practised similar knowledge thru multiple religious or non-religious routes but Dr. Badawi's belief is that you can discover it only thru Islam. I was a bit irritated by Dr. Badawi's references to the "metaphysical" ahadith e.g.: "According to tradition, our world, the material domain, when compared to the subtle surrounding domain, is no larger than a mother's womb in relation to the whole planet earth..." and "At the center of the seventh heaven is the Populous House, said in hadiths to be the heavenly sanctuary visited daily by seventy thousand angels..." For those who feel safe with metaphysics only when painted in the Islamic light, this book should be welcome. For those who appreciate metaphysics in a non-religious context, there may be a few things of interest here but nothing earth-shattering. And those who completely deny the existence of metaphysics in the Islamic message will only scoff at this work. On the amazon scale, I would give him 2 stars (out of 5) for the effort and research he put in.