The desire to help others find contentment is a noble one and can be especially strong for those seeking to share their own deep spirituality. This is the case with Ahsan Ali Syed, who offers a collection of faith-based affirmations in One God, One Religion, One Life.
Syed’s preface notes that the book is written “In the name of Allah to whom all the Glory Belongs…” Although the book’s back cover promises that the author’s words will strike a chord regardless of degree of faith (including none at all), his affirmations are steeped in a strong belief in surrendering to God.
The volume offers one affirmation per page, with a nature-oriented black-and-white photograph on the opposite page. Many proclamations will be thought-provoking for believers, as in: “Knowledge which refines your being to take you towards God is wisdom,” and “It is elegant to dress your life by the will of God, not by your own.”
But other statements are oddly worded and, thus, confusing: “One who removes humanity out of ignorance, to guide them to eternal bliss through his ability is precocious”; “Everyone gets what is God’s wish, your jealousy for not having is disrespect towards that wish.” Missteps in punctuation also cause confusion: “To be spontaneous; [sic] is to answer God’s call exactly at the prescribed times of the day.” (This is also puzzling, as being spontaneous seems the opposite of following a strict daily routine.)
Additionally, the photographs seem so generic as to be irrelevant. For example, the author’s statement that “Evolving your inner self, to meet with your Creator is a life spent with prudence,” is accompanied by a (seemingly unrelated) photograph of a waterfall.
The grammatical issues noted create reading barriers in a format that should be easy to page through. Still, believers willing to work a little to decipher the author’s meaning should find some nuggets of wisdom to bolster their daily devotions in these pages.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.