Thursday, 30 March 2017

Revive Your Heart, Nouman Ali Khan | Book Review

Happiest of happy release days to Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan. 

A stunning collection of spiritual lectures that are both current and thought-provoking, Revive Your Heart: Putting Life into Perspective is Nouman Ali Khan's first book and I'm so glad it exists. I've followed his lectures and conferences on Youtube for a few years now and he is hands down one of my favourite Islamic teachers.

Revive Your Heart was written to suggest how Muslims can find peace in chaotic times. In a world that revolves around technology, social media and globalisation, it is easy to get distracted and disheartened by every day life. As a Muslim myself, Nouman Ali Khan's book was as much comforting as it was eye-opening. His thoughts on the way Muslims continue to favour sons over daughters as appalling was a refreshing thing for a young woman who has been exposed to such experiences whilst his call to collectively condemn terrorist attacks that hijack the name of Islam was a reassuring confirmation that the Muslim ummah (community) could be unified under this global issue.

Divided into five key parts, Revive Your Heart delves into the issue with Connecting to Allah through Du'a, Creating a Cohesive Muslim Community, Our Financial Dealings, Some Contemporary Issues and finally, Focusing on the Akhirah. The chapters are very short therefore I would recommend reading the book in parts. This way, you're able to treat each topic individually, allowing time to process it, maybe even discuss with those around you, just like as if you were to watch one of his youtube videos. I really felt like reading Revive Your Heart became a brief period amongst the assignment deadlines every week where I could spend valuable time reflecting on myself, my behaviour towards those around me and most importantly, my connection to God. 

Favourite parts! 

This is a book that interestingly works much like the format of Nouman Ali Khan's youtube videos. Just as easy as it is to copy>link>share his talks, I found myself snapping pictures of poignant passages midway through reading and either posting them on Snapchat, Insta-story or sending them to friends. Some of my favourite quotes are:

The believer recognises that whatever Allah gives you, whatever food He puts on the table, whatever job you found, whatever business you're doing - not only is it good enough, you desperately needed it. You don't get to be fussy with Allah and tell him, 'Ya Allah, I don't know if I want this one'. You don't get to tell Allah, 'I know You provided me this rock or this tree to sit under but if You could provide me some kind of bedding, it would be better'. 'I know You gave me this water over here but maybe some coconuts might help.' No, no, no. Whatever You have given me, is exactly what I needed and I desperately needed it. 
- from A Prayer for Desperate Times p. 15.

It's an honour Allah gave to these girls that are born in our households... I'm reminded - Allah has blessed me with four daughters... but I will tell you something: I had two daughters in a row, and then when my third daughter was born I was really happy. And I got a bunch of doughnuts and I went to the masjid. For I'sha, I'm just going to give everybody doughnuts because we had a girl again. This brother came outside the masjid and he said, 'Oh doughnuts? What happened? Good news?' I said 'Yeah, it's a girl' and he said, 'in sha Allah, next time.' That's what he said - 'in she Allah, next time' - and I wanted to slap him!'
- from It's a Girl! p. 158.

And any people, any people including Muslims when they are insulted, when things they hold sacred are insulted, they have a right to be offended. We have a right to be offended. We have a right to be insulted that is part of our dignity. If it didn't hurt our feelings it would mean we have no dignity... I have a right to be angry but those are two separate issues. What's happening in the media now is these two are being made into one issue... No, no, no; for the Muslim it's not that simple... we are against people who are killed unjustifiably and we stand against those who killed them unjustifiably... but at the same time we have a right to be offended by that kind of ignorant and hateful speech; and we will speak out against it and we will stand against it. 
- from Thoughts on Paris (Charlie Hebdo) p. 179.

One thing I have always appreciated about Nouman Ali Khan is his honesty. You can tell when something seriously grieves him in his videos just from the way he talks or when something ridiculous cracks him up. It's the same for Revive Your Heart

This book is the perfect addition in your life to reflect during the quiet hours. Get your copy from Amazon or Kube Publishing now. 

*** Will you be getting a copy? What other spiritual/lifestyle book have you read? ***

*A copy of Revive Your Heart was provided for review. Words are my own. 

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