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4.3 out of 5 stars44
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 June 2014
I remember a well known leftist newspaper calling converts the B word believe it or not. Its best to find out yourself... I can say the author really does tell the experiences of reverts from different backgrounds. If your thinking can a non muslim really want to be muslim and why? This is the book for you. Following recent media interest in women reverting/converting to Islam this will give you an insight. She also gives the accounts of women who were raised muslim/muslim by name and nominally who returned to faith. This is important too for those who you want to experience coming back to faith and learning again,this is good inspiration.
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on 9 November 2012
This book describes the author's journey of finding and accepting Islam. It includes extracts of other sisters lives, that she meets during her own journey.
I found the book compelling, I laughed and cried my way through it. As a sister who has travelled a similar journey I could relate to many of the topics discussed.
I loved the way Ms. Roberts informed the reader of Islam and our beliefs as she travelled along her path. It is very informative allowing the reader to understand and see things from a different perspective to what is usually portrayed.

To me it showed Islam for what it truly is, a beautiful, willing submission to our creator. As muslims our daily goal is to practice Islam becoming closer to Allah through following what HE asks us to do. The book shows that we don't submit to Allah without knowledge, it is only through gaining knowledge and understanding that everything makes sense. As things make sense our hearts soften and we willingly leave the desires of this life, to fulfill higher desires of serving our creator.

I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about women in Islam, to understand why we happily wear Hijab, why we strive to be the best Wives and Mums that we can etc. It gives the reader a glimpse of our daily life, of our hopes and aspirations.

A book as beautiful as the cover, enjoy and deepen your understanding of where others come from.
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on 10 June 2005
After reading the book another time I realised my review may have been a bit harsh; while the book is by no means perfect it is definetely ground breaking and should be applauded
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on 27 July 2006
This is a great book for people who want to gain knowledge about islam. from a womans perspective. it is based on womens experience of islam, and also gives new converts and sisters who have accepted islam to tell their story of how and why they converted.

the author talks about the struggles of being a muslim, and wearing her hijaab(head scarf).

it is an excellent read for anyone, but more for women i think. however i read it and thought it was good too. :) im buying it for my friends who are girls. i think they will like it because my sister loved it and speaks very highly of it.
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on 15 June 2005
I bought the book from an exhibition about Islam in the Central London Mosque as it immediately caught my eye, sadly I went there on the day the author was not there; I am myself a convert of many years so had a great interest in this book and feel there should be more mainstream books like it. I did enjoy the book very much and could not put it down, and while I appreciate the book is not designed to represent every type of Muslim it does present a fairly wide range of views. It was also good as the only other books I have seen in a similar vein are from the US and thus from an American point of view (I am thinking of here 'Daughters of Another Path' by Carol L Anway, and 'Islam Our Choice' by Debra Dirks which is only really available in the US). It was very interesting to read a book where those interviewed come from backgrounds very similar to mine and also I am familar with many of the neighbourhoods mentioned in the book; particularly those in the East End. It is also nice to see writing from a convert who dresses a lot more conservatively than most and who has chosen to take on a much more conservative lifestyle; as many convert stories come from those who don't wear hijab, hardly practice Islam and are sometimes apologists for the religion. It is really lovely to see that despite this sister following a view of Islam some westerners would wrongly view as 'extreme' that this book has been so successful and the author has even appeared on mainstream TV and radio programmes doing much to bridge many gaps. The book is written in a very poetic style which is very gripping and easy on the eye. I also loved the fact that the sister went deeply into marriage issues and how a marriage should really be in Islam as many non-Muslims and also many recent converts to Islam wrongly believe Islam endorses 'blind' arranged; or forced marriages; when in fact such marriages are not only strongly discouraged but probably not allowed and for good reason. As someone who got married in this manner a couple of years after embracing Islam; I wish I would have had this book then to put some sense into me and tell me it like it is, from the point of view of another convert it would have meant so much more. I recently had the opportunity to meet the author herself and she is a very strong, articulate sister and I wish her the best of luck with her writing and hope she is going to write a few more books soon InshaAllah (God Willing); perhaps going into more depth on some of the problems mentioned in the book that affect both reverts and non reverts alike.
However I did have a couple of very minor quibbles with the book; and I must stress these are minor and don't detract from the book overall nor the genuine humble efforts of the author. Firstly there are a couple of actions stated as being an Islamic duty in the book when there is actually quite a degree of disagreement as to whether they are or not, even amongst the famous classical scholars. One example of this is housework and looking after the house/children; while many scholars do believe this to be a duty for married women, others do not. For example in the classical and highly respected text Umdat AS Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) a completely opposite view is stated; if a man wants the housework done he should either do it himself or get servants and the onus is on himself to provide household services; not to mention that every season he must buy his wife a whole new wardrobe including coat, hat shoes etc! While this view is at the other 'extreme' and most scholars fall somewhere in the middle, it does show that in Islamic law there is and has historically been a wide scope for interpretation with regard to the role of women in Islam. I myself know several Muslim women who know less about the inside of their kitchen than their husband but it does not mean their practice or knowledge of Islam is lacking in some way; they have just chosen to follow the interpretation that housework is not a duty for them but an act of recommended charity and hey maybe their husband is also the better cook :). There are some other issues in the book that while the author does not paint them as being obligatory and points out they are not; from the style of writing it may seem they are the desired norm when again there are vast differences amongst the scholars; such as veiling the face or women with children not working outside of the home. To be fair on the author the aim of the book is not to list Islamic rulings but to share experiences and opinions only and it should be taken as such. If you are looking for an actual manual on Islamic jurisprudence concering convert's and women's issues this is not the book for you; I'd recommend something like 'Bent Rib' by Huda Al Khattab instead. Another issue I had was the recommended reading list; while some of the books I'd recommend myself and know almost all Muslims to recommend them, some of the others while great books in themselves, are of a slightly sectarian nature and also very advanced, ie aimed at those who have been Muslim a long while and having some or a lot of knowledge of Islamic sciences; while it is impossible of course to represent all threads of Islamic thought with any book there are other books I would have personally chosen to fulfil the same role that perhaps are more universal in their appeal and easier to read for the beginner or novice. I also felt that while it was briefly mentioned in one paragraph that some of the interviewees featured in the book had had problems of acceptance from the Muslim community themselves, rather than just non Muslim family, it could have been covered in more depth as it is a major problem for those who embrace Islam in the UK and an experience many new converts relate to; but perhaps that is being saved for another book....
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on 10 June 2005
A very well-written book. I think converts could relate to this book very well and she explains issues very well for non-muslims to understand.
Sophie's comment on the face-covering was not quite right as she says in the book, page 112 on the criteria for covering: "It should cover the whole body, except for the face and the hands. (Some Islamic scholars consider it obligatory to cover the face.)" Also she doesn't ever say that mothers shouldn't work outside but just say that it can be difficult to take on and balance with everything.
A poetic and at times witty style of writing makes this book a real pleasure to read. Interesting lay-out which works very well even though it can admittedly be confusing at times as to which character is which.
In all an impressive book written by an impressive woman.
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on 24 February 2013
A generally good product exactly what i expected, i knew what i was looking for and got exactly that
it was in excellent condition. An excellent read would recommned to clear misconceptions.
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on 8 April 2012
this book is about respecting people's choices, not ramming their beliefs down your throats. This book is about these women deserving respect and acceptance in the West. They wear hijab, burqa etc, and it covers their bodies, but it does not cover their minds. How do we know? Because most of them are successful as defined by Western standards of success. To not support these women would mean allowing movements to one day not accept your own choices of clothing, whether you choose to wear a short skirt or cover your entire face. The point of the book is: all women have a choice and we should all support one another's choices. That in itself is a freedom progress for women. Those women and men who tell these women not to wear these garments should really ask themselves whether they are removing liberties from them first, before attacking them with their insecurities. Most men run the Western fashion world and catwalks; gay men are designers... the hypocrisy is unbelieveable. This book says we choose, you choose, we all choose... for OURSELVES.
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on 12 May 2013
I really love this book. I think the author has done a fantastic job of explaining things and it had me laughing out loud in parts, from familiarity.
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on 14 September 2014
The book lacked any particular story line. The insight is interesting, but you have to have a bit of patience with the dialogue.
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