To be honest I have generally come to regard self-help books with some pessimism, mainly because a common trend is the focus on unlimited power of the individual. Frankly, some of these books put forth assertions that are just way off the mark, and people may easily find themselves in deeper despondency in their attempt to follow what these books put forth. Also, my work as a counsellor has shown me that many popular trends are attempted by people, but there is no sustainability and people often find themselves back where they began, thereby rendering self-help books to be not very helpful at all.
This is why “Best of Creation” by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar is such a refreshing read. It goes to the core of things by firstly establishing the importance of realising our reason for existence. Once this is discussed, the book moves on to focus on how we can become confident individuals and what is stopping us from reaching our potential. The entire book works within the framework of our lives as the Creation of Almighty Allah, and it is within this context that we are encouraged to find our potential and become self-confident and productive individuals. I think this understanding is crucial for us to find the balance between self-confidence and arrogance, and this is a point that is brilliantly covered within the book. In fact, the author takes the time to explain the difference between self-confidence and arrogance so that people are able to embrace confidence as an essential part of living a meaningful life.
At the same time though, the individual is not ignored. On the contrary, individual differences are embraced and encouraged and the author makes it a point to show exactly how we limit ourselves when we decide to blindly follow the society in which we live. He reminds us that we all have different capabilities, interests and potential, but it is through these various differences that we can have a society that thrives.
The book is practical and puts forth easy to implement skills. Most of the chapters end with “Action Points”, which are practical suggestions for working on the issues discussed in the chapter. This is a very helpful addition as it provides the direction in which to go, it also forces people to take action and in this way it becomes easier to remember and act upon what was discussed in the book.
I found myself needing to highlight some of the sentences as it just resonated with me. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:
“True Self- Confidence comes from understanding the purpose of our lives and our relationship with Allah.”
“We must also understand that we are Allah’s creation and we are not allowed to mistreat the Creation of Allah, and that includes our own selves.”
“One of the ways that parents ruin their children’s confidence is by expecting perfection from them.”
“It is our duty as believers to never stop learning, growing and becoming better Muslims.”
“The Self-Confidence of a believer is also free from arrogance. It is a humble acceptance that as a servant of Allah, we have great gifts that need to be used for a greater purpose. With this in mind, we develop our gifts and use them productively.”
There are many other quotes that stood out for me, but it needs to be read within the larger context of the book in order for it to be effective. The thing I liked the most about this book is that it emphasizes that Self-Confidence is not only for some people, but everyone should be confident, because after all, we all have the responsibility to live up to the title of “The Best of Creation.”
I would recommend this book as a must-read for everyone, anyone who reads this is certain to gain some sort of benefit from it.
Image from here
To find out more about the author, this book, and to purcahse it, here are some links below:
HERE IS THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE, WHICH INCLUDES SOME VERY VALUABLE INFORMATION:
LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE BOOK SOON, INSHA ALLAH!