Hello! It’s so lovely to be here in this space with you again. My post today has been inspired by the fact that a book that I’m listening to on audible has a lovely positive view of Islam mashaAllah. And it’s so wonderful that I’d like to share it with you.
So this excerpt speaks about the fact that a group of Muslims named one of the characters in the book ‘Badr-Ud-Din’. Funnily enough, this is actually a name that my husband wanted to name one of our sons. After resisting this suggestion for two of our sons, Allah blessed us with another boy and we relented. He then decided he wouldn’t name him Badr Ud Din and I remember being really glad because I was worried about the way people might pronounce it in a non-Arabic accent. How funny that this is the exact name that comes up in the modern literary classic ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt. This book won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, among other honours and it has had the most terrific reviews too.
And, having had a lot of time on my hands lately (which is another story completely!) I chose this book to read (listen to!) whilst on my travels and I haven’t been disappointed!
Here is the part that made me sit up straighter:
He told me too, that in Indonesia he had converted to Islam by his friend Bahmi, the cook.
Giving up pork, fasting during Ramadan, praying to Mecca five times a day…
But I’m not Muslim anymore he explained, dragging his toe in the dust. We were lying on our backs on the Merry-go-round, dizzy from spinning.
I gave it up a while back
Because I drink…
But who cares? Why does anybody have to know?
He made an impatient noise.
Because it’s wrong to profess faith if I don’t observe properly, disrespectful to Islam…
Did you really believe in all that?
No, my Islam was a political thing
What? You mean like the shoe bomber
F*** no! He snorted with laughter
Besides Islam doesn’t teach violence
If you converted to it and all, then what did you believe?
He fell back and chortled as if I’d let him off the hook.
Believe? Ha! I don’t believe in anything.
What? You mean now?
I mean never…
Then why the hell did you wanna be Muslim?
Because…such wonderful people
They were all so friendly to me…
They gave me an Arabic name, Badr ud Din. Badr is moon. It means something like moon of faithfulness, but they said Boris, you are Badr because you light everywhere. Being Muslim now, lighting the world with your religion; you shine wherever you go. I loved it, being Badr.
Also, the mosque was brilliant. Falling down palace. Stars shining through at night. Birds in the roof. An old Japanese man taught us the Quran. And they fed me too and were kind. And made sure I was clean and had clean clothes. Sometimes I fell asleep on my prayer rug. And that salah near dawn when the birds woke up, always the sound of wings beating.
You might agree with me that this is the most positive slant of Islam we’ve seen in a book in a long while. I was literally grinning in public whilst listening to it. I loved hearing about the beauty in the kindness of Muslims. how the character, Boris, was enraptured by the mosque, the author even mentions salah time just before dawn. Wonderful.
Also, ISLAM DOESN’T TEACH VIOLENCE.
I’ve seen awesome books that are representing a new perspective by Muslim authors and it’s very pleasing to see a popular author, who isn’t Muslim, also emphasising this fact. AlhamduLillah!
Why can’t we all set a great example according to the teaching of our beloved Rasul ﷺ? And talking about great perspectives, it doesn’t make you a Christian if you extend Season’s Greetings to those who celebrate Christmas. If you wished someone a Merry Christmas, it will be written as a good deed inshaAllah! Remember, it always comes down to your niyyah or intention. The Prophet ﷺ would always show us the best example which is to make people’s heart gladdened after they had met him. To soften people’s hearts was a beautiful trait of the Best of Creation and we would do well to imitate this.
Since my previous blog posts and thoughts on how to live a good life have been embellished and explored through the writing of my book, ‘Finding Peace through Prayer and Love: Practical Tips for a Spiritually Fulfilling Life’. I will continue to use this blog to share thoughts and reflections on life and books in general. I hope you’ll continue to accompany me on this journey!
As always. if you’ve found this post interesting and would like to read more of this do let me know and don’t forget to share with your friends!
Peace and Love,
PS Hello to everyone!
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Peace and love