This book has been compiled by selecting material from the Qur’an, Hadith and the Bible[1] that mostly relates to character building and personality development. It can be read by people of all ages starting from young adults and also used as workshop and lesson material. The book is based on fifty lessons. Each lesson ends on a discussion topic besides material from the above mentioned three sources. In this way, each lesson consists of four segments.

The instructor must be able to explain the texts in each lesson to the participants and also be in a position to answer their questions on them. He can consult various commentaries on the Qur’an and Hadith on the subject matter. Bible verses can be explained in the light of the Qur’an, as only those of them have been selected which are in consonance with the Qur’an. It cannot be denied that adulterations and interpolations have crept into the Bible, and part of it may also have been lost. However, like the Qur’an, it was revealed by the Almighty and as such is still a treasure trove of wisdom and philosophy.[2] Hence it has been included in the texts selected in this book.

The four segments that form part of each lesson are on the one hand intended to expose serious participants to a wide variety of moral teachings and ethical directives, and on the other hand meant to provide variation in the content of each lesson so that the attention of the participants can be engaged as far as possible.

Instructors might find useful material for them in my books “Essays on Character Building” and “Qur’an Workshops on Character Building” for the fourth segment of each lesson.

I hope and pray that this book is able to provide material for personality development and character building for all those who want to spiritually improve themselves.

Finally, I must thank Ms Nikhat Sattar for thoroughly reading this book and presenting valuable suggestions.

 

 

Shehzad Saleem

Al-Mawrid, Lahore

March 2016



[1].While the Qur’an and Hadith translations are my own, the Bible translations are from the copyright-free BBE (Bible in Basic English) version. I have not changed the punctuation including the obsolete format of capitalization. However, I have added titles to the excerpts given. The BBE was accessed from: http://www.o-bible.com/bbe.html (18 Aug 2015).

Amongst the books of the Old Testament, I have confined myself to the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the Psalms and the Proverbs. The selections from the New Testament are from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.It is known that the Pentateuch consists of the guidance mostly revealed to Moses (sws), the Psalms to David (sws) and the Proverbs to Solomon (sws) and the Gospels to Jesus (sws).

[2]. The Bible is perhaps one of the most sparingly read books amongst common Muslims. This is because Muslim scholars have generally adopted a very averse attitude towards it. This aversion is mostly based on some narratives attributed to Prophet Muhammad (sws). However, none of these narratives is sound. For a detailed evaluation of these narratives, see: Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut, Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 2nd ed., vol. 23 (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-risalah li al-taba‘ah wa al-nashr wa al-tawzi‘, 2008), 349-350.

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