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LOVE INSHALLAH BOOK

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Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women [Nura " Love InshAllah [goes] to a place where few, if any, books have gone before. Start by marking “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” as Want to Read: In this groundbreaking collection, American Muslim women writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their real-life tales of flirting, dating, longing, and sex. Their stories show just. A collection of honest real-life love stories by American Muslim women gives a rare insight into their love, faith and choices. Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women is a collection of 25 modern Muslim love stories. They turned to Facebook to ask American.


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A new book, “Love, InshAllah,” brings together 24 essays about the love lives of American Muslim women. It's why I loved being a part of the book Love Inshallah, so much – for the first time I saw my narrative side-by-side with 24 other Muslimah's love stories. It gave. Love, InshAllah by Nura Maznavi, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

The ones they liked best made it into the book. This isn't a book review, but it's worth mentioning some of the stories that stand out, because they show a side to some Muslim women that most people don't think about. There's the story of a convert who believes fervently in God and is also a lesbian living with her burqa-wearing partner.

Political activist Tanzila Ahmad has a wild affair with a member of a Muslim punk band. Zahra Noorbakhsh shares the hilarious story of her mother's sex talk "You have a hole. And for the rest of your life men will want to put their penis in your hole" and the disappointment of losing her virginity to a boy called Dean. There are also tender tales of falling in love via semi-arranged marriages and what it feels like when your mum tries to set you up with some aunty's son.

Some Muslims say there is no need for this book. One of the negative reviews on Amazon says: "This book is not meant for nor is it any reflection of any practising Muslims … I'm not sure what purpose this book serves … This book is not befitting to have Allah in its title. But of course it is. For a Muslim woman, surrounded by stereotypes of silence, forced marriages and oppression, how can it not be?

There has rarely been a space for a Muslim woman to talk openly about sexuality, heartbreak, love or lust only one other book, Love in a Headscarf , comes close but not quite. These are things that "good" Muslim girls don't "do". But life can be a balancing act for a modern Muslim woman, negotiating different cultures and pursuing romance within the confines of her faith — it's the Muslim woman's marriage predicament Comment is free has talked about before.

So many western-born Muslim women are struggling to find the one. Jul 18, Khadijah Qamar rated it it was ok Shelves: I was excited about this book when it came out and special ordered it through my library. As my rating indicates, I was very disappointed. The negligee on the front cover should have warned me. This book simply falls into a long line of oriental literature that sexualizes Muslim women. What's the biggest shame is that it's written by two Muslim women.

This was their opportunity to delve into a subject rarely spoken about and explore the nature of romantic relationships among Muslims.

However the I was excited about this book when it came out and special ordered it through my library. However they chose to do it insensitively and chose stories that were usually racy, if not downright raunchy.

Perhaps the authors were trying to demonstrate that "Muslim American women are just like other American women" - if I remember correctly, they might have even said something to that effect in their introduction.

But that's painting Muslim American women with too broad a brush stroke and ignoring the nuances that differentiate them and the spirituality that guides them. Their audience was obviously the broader American public. In order to appeal to them, they chose cheap stories that had very little "Muslim" about them.

I'm not just referring to the "un-Muslim" behavior that many of the women displayed - that's ignorant of how varied and diverse actual Muslims are in their character and behavior. The fact that many of the stories hardly referred to anything Islamic at all suggests that Islam had very little to do with they way many of the women lead their lives.

For a reader unfamiliar with Islam, this book gives the wrong message about what Islam professes. For Muslims, this book might aim to generate tolerance of the diversity with Islam. However, too many of the stories depict behavior that most Muslims would consider un-Islamic. For that reason, it likely creates more divisions that it does build bridges.

I understand that the authors were trying to show Muslim American women as they really are. But if you are going to tie Islam to a book about love, you should choose a more responsible message that actually reflects the teachings of Islam. In many cases, the women in these stories just happened to have been born Muslim. Islam was not something they seemed to reflect on when they made their romantic choices.

This book should not have had "Muslim" in the title. Of course without it, the authors would probably have lost the "shock and awe" factor they earned from the racy stories inside that helped the book to sell. Mar 10, Huma Rashid rated it really liked it. Some of the stories in this book are better than others, but the book itself is a must-read simply because of the picture it presents.

Everyone has an image of Muslim women. Especially those who don't know one personally. In reading this book, you'll see a whole world of feeling and passion and angst that's never part of the discussion of Muslim women, and for that reason, this book goes a long way in fighting misconceptions about women like us.

I want to do a full, meaningful, carefully written Some of the stories in this book are better than others, but the book itself is a must-read simply because of the picture it presents.

I want to do a full, meaningful, carefully written review, but I just can't. So much of the stuff in this book hits too close to home. If you're inclined, you can read my many posts on the subject here at my book blog. I discuss specific stories, certain quotes, general ideas, and even personal thoughts and experiences. I'm so glad a book like this was written. And screw the haters who will only talk about how the women in this book are all hell-bound for daring not to adhere to that particular critic's narrowly tailored view of what Islam is and what it demands.

View all 3 comments. May 13, Asma Alsalameh rated it it was ok. I was excited when I heard about this book-finally someone was going to tell our stories!

'Love InshAllah,' Newly-Released Book Shatters Stereotypes On Muslim Women, Sex And Love

However, overall this book wasn't what I expected it to be. In addition, maybe half of these stories were told by self-proclaimed non-practicing girls. I understand wanting to be diverse but come on!!! That was my main issue with the book-that it does not represent. Also, this book could have a lot of potential to be gre I was excited when I heard about this book-finally someone was going to tell our stories!

Also, this book could have a lot of potential to be great when talking about the relationship issues Muslim women face, however most of these stories were superficial and not very insightful.

Maybe there can be a part 2 that redeems itself by being more representative and intellectually stimulating. Jan 24, Viola rated it liked it. As a non-Muslim American, who likes to be generally worldly and culturally sensitive, I was drawn to this book because I love love.

Love is one of the most universal human experiences; it is powerful enough to breakdown boundaries and unify people of all different backgrounds. With this book, I was ready to be charmed by some love stories and to be enlightened about the Muslim-American experience. Instead, I should've prepared myself to be disappointed. Before I purchased the book, I downloaded t As a non-Muslim American, who likes to be generally worldly and culturally sensitive, I was drawn to this book because I love love.

An arranged marriage may seem very foreign to non-Muslim and non-Indian Americans, but, as this story depicts, love can prevail. This first story prompted me to purchase the entire book of some two dozen stories. Unfortunately, not all of the stories are as good as the first one. In fact, many are not good at all. Despite the fact that the editors sought diversity, the stories all seemed to meld together for me after awhile.

Most of them are very forgettable and not particularly well-written. A few stories aren't about love at all, but rather lust. Other stories end abruptly, leaving you feeling unresolved and shortchanged. And, instead of being about love, by and far, most of the stories are actually coming of age stories -- young women trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be -- young women caught between the world of their parents and their own world -- young women wanting to remain faithful to their religion and also wanting to find a compatible husband.

At the extreme ends, there are a couple of gay Muslim stories and one of polygamy. But, like I said, all the stories seemed to feel the same after awhile. Maybe that is what the editors intended -- that is, to show how similar our experiences are despite our differences. In sum, although there are a few gems in the book, as a whole it was rather disappointing.

View 1 comment. Jan 05, Manaar rated it really liked it. This book was a surprisingly good read; I finished it within a couple days. It was on my to-read list for a long time before I finally decided to give it a try, since I'd heard a few negative reviews about it. I'm glad I picked it up, though. What kept me reading despite a few stories that made me feel uncomfortable e. For example, one was experi This book was a surprisingly good read; I finished it within a couple days. For example, one was experiencing a love-filled arranged marriage after having met her husband once before the nikkah, another was actively dating and having sexual relations before marriage, and another was struggling with a queer identity while trying to find love.

But each woman identified herself both as American and Muslim this was the authors' only requirement for them , and wrote with such intense faith in Allah, mA, that I couldn't help but admire them. Of course, I definitely would not do or write about some of the experiences mentioned in the book, but who am I to judge them? We're all on our own path. For this reason, I recommend the collection to everyone. I'm really glad Nura Maznavi and Ayesha Mattu helped make this book happen, and I'd very much like to read the American Muslim man's perspective next book, Ayesha and Nura?

It opened my eyes to the dynamics of love in the lives of American Muslim women like myself, a topic I've admittedly been very naive about, and allowed me to witness first-hand the beautiful ways Allah SWT brings people together. Because at the end of the day, we are all just reading the book He wrote.

Jan 17, Motasem rated it liked it. As a Muslim, I feel this collection of short stories succeeds in portraying a diversity of relationships experienced by Muslim Americans but at the same time it may improperly normalize some of the more extreme examples that certainly exist but are arguably very rare.

With some of these stories, I don't believe the editors sought shock value but rather to open an honest dialogue which is certainly an admirable goal. But the introduction identifies a parallel goal of breaking stereotypes and I th As a Muslim, I feel this collection of short stories succeeds in portraying a diversity of relationships experienced by Muslim Americans but at the same time it may improperly normalize some of the more extreme examples that certainly exist but are arguably very rare.

But the introduction identifies a parallel goal of breaking stereotypes and I think some of the more controversial in a socially liberal sense short stories overreach and create newer perceptions that many would argue are just as misrepresentative of our Muslim American community. This causes ethical concerns within the community and the non-Muslim readers may walk away with misconstrued judgments given the brevity of the context.

But all that aside, from a literary perspective, I thought the writing for most of the short stories was mediocre and thus my rating. Apr 22, Hannah rated it it was amazing. I have read a lot of negative reviews for this book. People are expecting something based on the title and the cover of the book which they shouldn't. This book is not going to teach you a whole lot about the Muslim rules for dating or marriage some, but not a lot. It will, however, tell you a lot of personal stories and experiences of American women who identify as Muslim.

People can identify as something and not accept every practice of the group they identify with. There are practicing Mu I have read a lot of negative reviews for this book.

There are practicing Muslims, lapsed Muslims, cultural Muslims, and Muslims in name alone. This book deals with a little bit of each. Each woman tells their love story failed and successful and talks about how Islam played a role in it. I think it is a beautiful collection and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you're looking for a book on the Muslim rules of dating and marriage however, this is not it. Apr 09, Juwi rated it really liked it. This is a great collection of essays from all kinds of Muslim Women writing about love and relationships.

If you are someone looking to get married, or if you are married yourself God works in mysterious ways. It's good to see a mix of views from people that were born Muslim as well as converts and how everyone deals with relationships, marriage, sex, divorce and other various issues differently. Thanks to the editors for deciding to make this book happen and for all the contributors for sharing their stories.

I would specifically recommend it to muslim women but also men.

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But you don't have to be Muslim to read it obviously. Nov 06, Bojar rated it did not like it Shelves: If you like to read stories about brainwashed women, that's your book. May 17, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this for my Jewish and Muslim women's book club. The writing was uneven and some of the essays dragged but for the most part I enjoyed the variety of voices. I learned a lot about Muslim dating and marriage customs from different parts of the world.

Fresh Perspectives on Love

Apr 01, Madiha rated it did not like it. I have mixed feelings about this book. My initial assumption of what the book would be about, or rather it's content were very inflated. That balloon burst almost as soon as I began to read the book. This book shouldn't be taken to represent Islam. Rather it should be seen as an anthology in which women, who have a common belief system, which vary in intensity, share their love stories.

Many of which were very dry. I do not see the point of the book. I see it as a source of "fitnah" and a medium I have mixed feelings about this book. I see it as a source of "fitnah" and a medium to expose that which God has allowed to remain hidden.

It's content is dry and not very relatable in my opinion. I'm unsure as to who the targeted audience is. Overall I don't see any point in its content. What message the book attempts to send is lost. May 26, Yasmeen rated it liked it. It was a quick, enjoyable read on my flight back from Chicago on Memorial Day.

I mostly laughed; it was nice to be able to relate to the many anecdotes that the writer's described i. American friends who don't really understand the nuances of our culture that is intrinsically tied to our religion. It brought me back to my awkward teenage years and oddly enough, I didn't mind. It also brought me back to my college years where I discovered and lost love. And no, he wasn't a Muslim. I'm quite con It was a quick, enjoyable read on my flight back from Chicago on Memorial Day.

I'm quite content with my life now, and have found ways to navigate through my dual-identity. But for all you that are feeling a bit repressed and follow arbitrary rules imposed by familial influences, I would recommend this novel.

Love, InshAllah

But fair warning: The only thing you may gain from this read is that you'll realize you're not alone in your kooky yet loving family. Jul 06, Cristina Ana rated it did not like it. Meh… disappointing.

May 20, Sabeeha Rehman rated it it was amazing. An eye opener for the Muslim mom, who is in denial. Touching stories of Muslim women, whose love lives are no different than any other.

Its a beautiful read.

After reading it, I recommended it to my Book Club, and they loved it. Jan 27, Victoria rated it it was amazing. This is a fabulous insight into a variety of WOMEN's lives, who may be defined by their faith but are ultimately sympathetic to any woman. It is a shared experience, and it is so worthwhile.

Oct 16, Kiran rated it liked it. In general, I'm finding I like reading anthologies. I went into this one hoping to find some common ground, relatable even as I am an American Muslim woman. However, while enjoyable, this didn't have too much balance. Surprisingly, I looked up two authors whose stories were the most interesting to me, and it turns out t In general, I'm finding I like reading anthologies.

Surprisingly, I looked up two authors whose stories were the most interesting to me, and it turns out that the two host a podcast together and are close friends.

Small world. Muslim women talking about their secret love life! Will there be sex? Will there be forbidden love? Will the stories portray Muslim women as normal women who seek intimacy and respect from their own partners? Instead, the anthology disappointed me. Instead, we only get 1 essay about a lesbian hijabi, who fell in love with a married niqabi you have to read her story; it was really good and sad. It was how she met her husband, a liberal, progressive Muslim.

Even though they were both Muslims, the way they practiced faith differently became an issue for her. She knew Islam through rule-based doctrine and rituals. This was interesting, because it seemed like even within the same faith, faith was still a problem. The other essays were also about women who struggled with faith in their marriage, perhaps meeting a non-muslim, but at the end of the day the non-muslim always converts. Non-muslims and muslims do get married, and they do lead a happy marriage together.

Also, what about intra-faith marriages between shia and sunnis?

Is this an issue in America? I did not feel that the book lifted the veil on Muslim women, enough. There was an essay that promoted and romanticized polygamy… And this clearly did not sit well with me, there are many issues with polygamy and how it has dehumanized many women and broken families as well. A story should be written on that to accompany the polygamy essay. Mar 24, Irving Karchmar rated it it was amazing Shelves: Deeply touching and intimate, the 25 stories in Love, InshAllah: Written by American Muslim women of all ages, races and nationalities, many of them first generation Americans struggling to bridge the cultural gap, they tell of love found and love lost, of arranged marriages that work and those that do not, of coming out and staying in the closet; the full range of human experience for women o Deeply touching and intimate, the 25 stories in Love, InshAllah: Written by American Muslim women of all ages, races and nationalities, many of them first generation Americans struggling to bridge the cultural gap, they tell of love found and love lost, of arranged marriages that work and those that do not, of coming out and staying in the closet; the full range of human experience for women of every country and religion, and no doubt shocking for more orthodox Muslims.

It is above all an honest book of love stories that transcend religion, a perfect book to upend the stereotypical Western misconceptions of veiled and abused Muslim women. These tales are filled with hope and humor and life, and I confess that I laughed and cried by turns with these brave and amazing women. Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, who collected and edited the stories and wrote two of them, are owed a debt of gratitude, and I pray that the day will soon come when love stories by the millions of American Muslim women will be less a secret and just another part of everyday American life.

I loved it! Feb 04, Khairul Hezry rated it liked it Shelves: The following review is an excerpt from my blog: Far from driving him away with the look, it intrigued him.

Gay love. I bought mine from Amazon. True that. View 2 comments.For a Muslim woman, surrounded by stereotypes of silence, forced marriages and oppression, how can it not be? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love openly for the first time, showing just how varied the search for love can be — from singles events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.

It debunks many of the myths about Muslim-American women and their sexuality, which has been demonized, fetishized, and grotesquely misunderstood. These bold new voices share stories that are romantic in the very best sense of the word - by turns intimate, sexy, funny and sad.

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'Love InshAllah,' Newly-Released Book Shatters Stereotypes On Muslim Women, Sex And Love

Zahra Noorbakhsh shares the hilarious story of her mother's sex talk "You have a hole. This New World. Taken individually, the stories elicit the cringes, smiles and tears of readers.

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