Well, here’s the long due review. As I started reading the book, I already knew I did not want it to end so I resorted to reading only a few pages a day so that it may last as long as possible. I couldn’t help but remember my friend who jokes about how unfair it can be when the rate of consumption is faster than the rate of production. She says how can one prepare food for three hours only for it to be eaten in five minutes? How can one strive the whole month to earn money only for it to be spent in a week? How can one take a whole year to write a book only for one to read it overnight? So I hoped in taking a long time to read it I would have done some little justice to the long time it took to write it.
I like it when a book is divided into parts that are related to each other whereby each part seems to complement the other parts. This reminds me of the book When Breath Becomes Air which is divided into two parts. Part 1: in perfect health I begin describes the author’s life before he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and part 2: cease not till death describes his life after the diagnosis. I do not know whether it is because I like poems or the titles truly did sound poetic but it gave me the impression that part two is a completion of part one just like the phrase cease not till death completes the phrase in perfect health I begin. I got the same feeling as I read the parts of this book. I saw the chapters as a journey with one part leading onto the next. We start with an aching soul but through pondering, it came to believe. By pondering over Allah’s creation, it came to believe in Allah; by pondering on its blessings and capabilities, it came to believe in its self and its abilities; by pondering about how other people survived struggles that were similar to my own struggles and how the survivors were willing to help others, I came to believe in the power of humanity. And after believing, the soul was finally able to love; to love its Creator, to love itself, and to love the creation. At least that is how I saw the chapters to complete each other.
Many a times I read a page and I felt as if the thoughts were taken right out of my brain. I related deeply to a lot of parts and it felt amazing and shocking at the same to know that someone else out there was having similar thoughts. I stuck page markers on the pages that resonated with me most and I ran out of them and I had to resort to folding the top of pages despite not wanting to distort the book in any way because I felt protective of it.
As I read some parts, I felt that the words were coming from a very deep place. I wondered whether it was easy for the writer to write them down. Because for me, I find it very difficult to put my innermost thoughts on paper for fear that other people might read them and get an access into my mind. A mind which has some thoughts I hold too dear that I find sharing them will make them lose their value. I have a fear that letting people know what transpires in my brain will make me vulnerable and exposed. I fear I might lose the privacy that I reverently cherish. This is something that was holding me back from writing and I’m still working on overcoming it. I wonder whether the writer has a similar hesitance when it comes to writing about innermost feelings or whether it’s not a challenge for her.
The hallmark of it all was that the book was signed for me despite the writer not really knowing me. And I keep on going back to the message to remind myself to keep striving. Talking of the idea of striving, it reminds me of another concept that I adore. The concept of Ihsaan. The concept of doing everything that one does to their best of abilities, in the best way and form possible. If you knew me personally you’d know that I keep on stressing about it. I find striving to be part of Ihsaan since it entails working towards being the best version of oneself.
This is one of the few paperbacks that I own and I think I’ll keep on revisiting it time and again until the cherished lines are committed to memory. I want to read it so many times that the pages threaten to fade from overuse. And I don’t think I’m willing to lend it to anyone because I intend to keep it as a personal journal, jotting down my thought on the bottom of the pages. So if I manage to get one interested in the book, they have to get their own copy! The least I could do is market the book right?
To get your copy, contact: 0704 731 560. The book can be sent as a parcel to wherever you are!
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