Reviews of The Religion of Islam
Marmaduke Pickthall in Islamic Culture, October
| "Probably no man living has done longer or more valuable service
for the cause of Islamic revival than Maulana Muhammad Ali of
Lahore. His literary works, with those of the late Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din,
have given fame and distinction to the Ahmadiyya Movement. In
our opinion the present volume is his finest work . . .
It is a description of Al-Islam by one well-versed in the
Quran and the Sunnah who has on his mind the shame of the Muslim
decadence of the past five centuries and in his heart the hope
of the revival of which signs can now be seen on every side.
Without moving a hair's breadth from the traditional position
with regard to worship and religious duties, the author shows
a wide field in which changes are lawful and may be desirable
because here the rules and practices are not based on an ordinance
of the Quran or on an edict of the Prophet, and should be altered
when they cease to meet the needs of the community. Such a book
is greatly needed at the present day when in many Muslim countries
we see persons eager for the reformation and revival of Islam
making mistakes through lack of just this knowledge. . . .
We do not always agree with Maulana Muhammad Ali's conclusions
upon minor points --- sometimes they appear to us eccentric
--- but his premises are always sound, we are always conscious
of his deep sincerity; and his reverence for the holy Quran
is sufficient in itself to guarantee his work in all essentials.
There are some, no doubt, who will disagree with his general
findings, but they will not be those from whom Al-Islam has
anything to hope in the future."
(Islamic Culture, India, October 1936, pages 659 - 660)
Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Lahore, 6 February 1936:
| "Thank you so much for your kind present to me of your new
book 'The Religion of Islam'. I very much appreciate the gift.
I have glanced through parts of it, and find it an extremely useful
work, almost indispensable to the students of Islam. You have
already written a number of books; one cannot but admire your
energy and power of sustained work."
Antony T. Sullivan, Center for Middle Eastern and
North African Studies, The University of Michigan, 1994:
| "This book is among the most important single-volume studies
of Islam written during the 20th century. It reads as freshly
today as when first published in 1936. Now, when prejudice, stereotypes
and extremism are all too common in both the West and the Islamic
world, Maulana Muhammad Ali's master-work should be required reading
for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Religion of Islam
remains especially useful for all those interested in Christian-Muslim
relations, and is indispensable to any serious student of Islam."
The Times of Ceylon, 21 May 1936:
| "In 1916, Maulana Muhammad Ali published a translation of the
Holy Quran with Arabic and notes, which arrested the attention
of all educated Muslims in the British Empire, by its deep learning
and exhaustive research.
The volume under review will be welcomed by all Muslims and
those who are interested in the science of comparative religion;
if for no other reason than the fact that the book contains
full references (numbering 2500, according to the author) to
original authorities, especially the Quran, the Hadith, and
well-known Arabic writers.
No less valuable and interesting is the discussion of modern
problems confronting Muslims all over the world.
The volume under review is a deeply engrossing one, which reflects
the author's scholarship and sincerity in every line. The style
of the author is lucid; the controversial points are dealt with
in crisp and logical form..."
The Hindustan Review, June 1935:
| "The author is a profound scholar, already known to the world
of learning as the translator into English of the Quran, which
is accepted by many as the best rendering in that language. He
has applied his scholarship to good purpose in the work under
review which presents the salient features of Muslim belief accurately,
in systematic order, supported by appropriate reference to the
Quran and the Hadith."