Bismillah ar-rahmani ar-rahimi
Welcome to #MuslimBookClub third edition!!! We have several books on the roaster. Grab your drink and enjoy reading our thoughts on the books selected. Don’t go anywhere until you have read it all and perhaps a couple more times and order some of the books that pick your interest, *wink, wink.* So, let’s start with a controversial book.
Muslim Cool by Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is a real thought-provocative anthropological account of race and religion in America. It snaps an accurate picture of the era’s components and its culture; pop culture to be exact. The book makes a direct link between Hip-Hop and Islam and boldly calls Hip-Hop ‘Islam.’ In our opinion, this is opened to objective and subjective discussions. Of course poetry and capellas have deep roots in Islam. The gray area is when certain instruments are thrown in the mix. But let’s not judge too quickly because other majorly Muslim countries also have their own music ‘they don’t see as innovative.’ So when it comes to music being halal or haram, every Muslim is slightly a bit hypocritical here. Besides, based on the five pillars of Islam, saying the Shahada makes one Muslim. Therefore, music like dress is a lifestyle. Attesting tawhid is the most important thing. The rest is more about levels of faith, perfecting the deen and seeking closeness to the One. #ZuhudGoals insha’Allah.
Above all, Muslim Cool can’t be denied for the research and reality it paints. Allahu alim.
The Abuse of Forgiveness by Umm Zakiyyah gives many alternative ways or scenarios to help us grasp the misunderstood topic that is forgiveness. It explains terms like forced forgiveness, forgiveness peddlers and unforgiving amongst others. To summarize a bit her thoughts and other professionals in the field that she quoted, one doesn’t have to forgive a perpetrator if it helps the victim completely heal. Reading the lyrics of Scars by Hip-Hop artist Khalil Ismael was relate-able in the sense of protecting one’s heart. Protect it with all your might! We mean it because there are dangers of repressing anger because people deem you too nice or spiritual. For that reason, they expect you to forgive so easily things that leave scars and cause emotional triggers. She starts and ends beautifully with a quote by Cheryl Richardson, “People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” We agree and you will understand if you get a chance to read Normal Calm by Hend Hegazi or Expendable by Sahar AbdulAziz.
Umm Afraz Muhammed gives us some insight on the aforementioned Normal Calm. “Normal Calm is a simple story revolving around Amina, an Arab-American student, who is raped by one of her friends. Un-marriageable according to her culture, her life takes her through a journey where she experiences depression and loneliness. Through her childhood friend, she learns to trust people again, and puts her past behind her. She meets Sherif and they fall in love. They soon share their secrets with each other. What happens once he knows of her rape? This is where the plot begins… Normal Calm is a book that will have you smiling, empathizing, and crying for the characters. A very well-written book by Hend Hegazi.”
Great Muslims of the West by Muhammad M.Khan is a good read because it shines the light on many erased and forgotten Muslims who have lived and left traces on the Western world for centuries and in this century. The most like-able part is when unsung and erased female Muslim scholars have been documented with great care. One such mover and shaker like Khan puts it, is Lois Ibsen al-Faruqi. We drew parallels with her work and Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer’s when it came to art, Islam and music. To end here, the book effortlessly shows that behind every great empire, man, etc. there was a pivotal woman and hidden figure who chose to decline the spotlight. May Allah be pleased with them and and help shine more light on their works, aameen.
Reclaim Your Heart by Yamin Mogahed was another refreshing read alhamdullilah. She says, “If you allow dunya to own your heart, like the ocean that owns the boat, it will take over.”
The ocean will certainly swallow you but if you sink, make sure to resurface with jewels and pearls. In other words, when you hit rock bottom, decide and know that the only way out is UP! While the book is not for everyone, it has a lot of gems and golden rules that can’t be denied.
DeenplusBook read A Gift for a Muslim Bride by Muhammad Haneef Abdul Majeed. The verdict ? Check it out below.
I would like to recommend this book to teens, just so that they can have the correct mentality when they are of age to marriage and insha’Allah, prosper in their married life. Also, this can be a really good gift for a friend or family member that is about to get married.
Expendable by Sahar Abdulaziz is a Muslim authored read. It was so timely for us on so many levels. The main character is Bella and her recent attitude has been, “Nobody no longer effs with me.” It resonated with us and that’s the power of good writing; it changes lives and it’s therapeutic alhamdullilah.
The New Muslim’s Field Guide by Theresa Corbin and Kaighla Um Dayo is a compelling self-help book of about 218 non-illustrated pages. For a start, it’s more than a new Muslim’s field guide. It navigates the intricacies of the many shades of Islam due to the plethora of cultural and school of thoughts of its adherents. And hands down, it’s a great start to guide the new Muslims understand Islam… To continue, the book spans over eighteen insightful chapters covering sensitive topics from reliable Islamic sources, cultural Islam, the real Islam, love, sex, marriage to Islamophobia amongst other subjects. The authors also share some ludicrous anecdotes to help the readers relate and keep them tuned in… We highly recommend The New Muslim’s Field Guide to new Muslims, single & searching folks, and any born Muslim who wants to reconnect with the faith.
The Moon of Masarrah by Farah Zaman is a YA and middle-grade adventurous story about cursed diamonds, pirates, sea bluffs, cute red-heads, leaders, villains and smart girls. We see that history repeats itself until one generation gets it right. Zaman is a genius! Masha’Allah. Check it out!
Open the Door to a Wealthier Life: An Islamic Perspective on Personal Finances and Investing by Farhan Khalid is our last good read in this series. We found the Islamic banking info very useful. Non-finance background readers will greatly benefit from this book. And if you have a finance foundation, the tips on Islamic banking can be of help. Keep an eye out for the full review in the upcoming The Lifestyle Magazine insha’Allah.
That’s it. Let’s end with a parting dua.
Subhanaka Allahumma wa-bihamdika ash-hadu anla ilaha illa anta as-taghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka. Aaamen.
The Fofky’s Book Club