This translation of Syed Sulaiman Nadwi’s “Khutbat-e-Madras” is dedicated to the western world in particular and all users of English language in general. It is a well acknowledged fact that the western world has generally shown a hostile attitude towards Islam. But that attitude is now showing visible signs of change. Although Islam is still being portrayed by the western media as a threat and ‘extremist fundamentalism”, in the words of the of the Reader’s Digest it is “the world’s fastest growing religion.” Many prominent social and political leaders of the western world have begun to admit the importance of Islam for humanity and that there is a need to study it impartially and objectively in order to have a greater understanding of Islam and the Muslim world. At this point, it would be logical to say that a proper understanding of Islam can come only through original Islamic sources.
As the readers of this book will notice, an immense amount of literature about the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him) is available in different languages of the world besides Arabic. It is our belief that Syed Suleiman Nadwi’s ‘Khuthat-e-Madras” is, perhaps, the best book to introduce the Prophet of Islam and the message of Islam to the western world. When Syed Sulaiman Nadwi was preparing the material for this book he had in mind
basically a non-Arab, non-Muslim audience. He was in a unique position to introduce the Prophet of Islam because he had already co authored a seven-volume biography of the holy Prophet which is highly regarded in the Muslim world for its scholarly merits. Compared to this biography the present book seems like a bottle of perfume extracted from tons of flowers.
Sheikh Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi, who is one of the most prominent scholars of Islam at the present time, a teacher, an author and a historian, well known in both the Arab and non-Arab world, says about this book that it is a miracle of scholarship. It was a rare good fortune of this translator to meet Sheikh Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi (who was passing through Al-Khobar on his way back from Makkah) and show this translation to him for his approval. He wrote a very gracious letter from India with his appreciation and comments, some of which might be relevant here:
“…Syed Sulaiman Nadwi‘s “Khutbat-e-Madras” holds a unique position in the literature about the holy
Prophet (Peace be upon him). Without lessening the importance of this valuable treasure which has been produced over the last fourteen centuries, I would like to say that the present world needs a series of articles to explain the universal nature of the message which the holy Prophet’s biography extends to all mankind, particularly its relevance to the complexities of the ever-advancing modern life. It is the need of time that Syed Sulaiman Nadwi‘s great book should be translated into different languages so that its benefit should reach the whole world. I congratulate you for translating it into English. I pray to Almighty Allah for the success of your effort with the hope that it may kindle the light of faith all over the world…” [Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi, Lucknow, India, 24 May, 1996].
In conclusion, I would like to say that Islam, which literally means peace, guarantees a life of peace and prosperity in this temporary world and a life of everlasting peace and joy in the next world. It is a message from Allah, the Creator of man, to man for his eternal success. We hope and pray that Almighty Allah, Most Gracious and Merciful, make this book a means towards understanding this message and grant us His Pleasure and Mercy in this life and the hereafter.
Syed Riazul Hassan
Dammam, Saudi Arabia
30th July, 1996