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"Brilliant short book"

posted Sep 6, 2011, 9:26 PM by Hazem Said   [ updated Sep 21, 2011, 5:13 AM ]

Sa’adiah ben Yosef Gaon (or Sa’adiah Gaon) was born in Egypt in the 9th century and died in Baghdad in 942. He served as the head of the Academy (Gaon=Excellency) in Sura, Babylonia and was a prominent rabbi, philosopher and the first translator of the Hebrew Bible into Arabic. He included a commentary in Arabic with his translation. Life, Sa’adiah felt, is the gift of God and it is man’s duty to be grateful, to savor and appreciate the remarkable bounty of this gift.

It is in the spirit of Sa’adiah Gaon that I offer a few words in tribute to my colleague Hazem Said (and his co-author Maha Ezzeddine). What greater gift can there be than the gift of peace, shalom, salaam.

Seeking Peace is a brilliant short book that illuminates the Prophet Muhammad (PBU”H) and the hadith teachings on bringing peace into every aspect of our lives. The authors build on the foundation that “faith is not an internal sensation but a flowing force that shapes every aspect of our life” (p. 31). So it is that peace comes to inform every aspect of the devout Muslim’s life and should similarly inform the life of every believer no matter what name they give to the Creator, the One. In each commentary the authors present beautiful, touching illustrations from everyday life to help the reader absorb the central message of the Quranic texts.

This short book is an excellent educational offering to bring peace into our lives and to meditate on the gift of As-Salaam.

Rabbie Abi Ingber

Founding Director, Interfaith Community Engagement

Xavier University