Bought At: Gift from a Friend
Publisher: Al-Firdous Ltd. London
Genre: Islamic Non-Fiction/ Self-Help
Date Read: 18/08/2016
Do you want to be happy? We are all looking for an escape from worry, stress and depression, and for ways to find happiness. This book presents the route to happiness in a nutshell, drawing on Islamic teachings and the voices of experts both western and eastern. So sit back, relax and read it from cover to cover, or dip into it a page or two at a time in between other activities in a busy life as a wife, mother, student or worker.
I was gifted this book by a friend around my first year or second year of sixth form (3 years ago) and ever since I’ve started the book quite a few times and unfortunately didn’t finish it. So this month I included it my reading list so I could finally cross the finish line. The book has fourteen chapters and the first three didn’t really retain my attention which explains why I often left it mid-way to read other books instead. This time around, Chapter 4 was the point where I started benefitting a lot from the book.
I categorise the book into the self-help genre but what piqued my interest wasn’t necessarily the self-help at this chapter, rather it was the inspiring stories of women during the life of the Prophet PBUH. The emotive stories accompanied by spiritual advice were more memorable and I loved the short ayahs and motivational quotes at the start and conclusion of the passage. On a minor note, the ayahs and quotes didn’t always relate to the content of the page which I found quite disruptive to the flow. On one hand, the passages are quite short which makes it a light read but on the other, the content was repetitive and it would have been more motivational if it was condensed.
Is it the most motivational book I’ve ever read? No. But the beauty of the book is that it’s quite simplistic in its message and the pieces of advice were straightforward. What did irk me while reading the book was the condemnatory and condescending tone towards ‘Western non-Muslim women’ and at times I found the content jarring because of the old-fashioned views on women and the patriarchal overtones. The quote below especially had me doing a backtrack.
“A woman should stay in her house, because she is like a fragile vessel, which can break easily.” – pg.214
If I had to summarise the lesson I got from this book it would be the one from the passage below.
“A man had an argument with his wife, so he said to her: “I am going to make you miserable.” She calmly replied: “You cannot.” He said to her: “Why not?” so she replied: “Had happiness been in money, you would have deprived me from it, or in my jewellery, you would have denied them to me, but it (happiness) is not something neither you nor other people possess. I find my happiness in my faith, and my faith is located in my heart, and no one has control over my heart except my Lord, Allah SWT.” – pg. 63
3 STARS ⭐⭐⭐ —– Enjoyed reading the book. I would recommend it but unlikely to read it again.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section if you’ve read the book.
I’ve just realised I posted on Instagram about my reading aspirations but I didn’t do it on the blog! My aim is to read at least three books every month from the categories of fiction, non-fiction and Islamic. The picture above shows my reading list for this month and the book reviews for ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘Foreign Gods Inc’ will be up in September. For more consistent updates- because I’m a serial Instagrammer- follow me on Instagram at @muslimgirljournal.