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Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam #2020

Standing Alone in Mecca An American Woman s Struggle for the Soul of Islam As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join than two million fellow Musli

  • Title: Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam
  • Author: Asra Q. Nomani
  • ISBN: 9780060571443
  • Page: 436
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam By Asra Q. Nomani, As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime Mecca is Islam s most sacred city and strictly off limits to non Muslims On a jouAs President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime Mecca is Islam s most sacred city and strictly off limits to non Muslims On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or illegal sex If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment But Nomani discovers she is not alone She is following in the four thousand year old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar known in the West as Hagar , the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation.Each day of her hajj evokes for Nomani the history of a different Muslim matriarch Eve, from whom she learns about sin and redemption Hajar, the single mother abandoned in the desert who teaches her about courage Khadijah, the first benefactor of Islam and trailblazer for a Muslim woman s right to self determination and Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam s first female theologian Inspired by these heroic Muslim women, Nomani returns to America to confront the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque and to fight for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists.Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman s jihad, offering for Westerners a never before seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women.

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    1 thought on “Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam

    1. I ve admired Asra Nomani ever since I saw her appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, so I was excited to read this book and disappointed when it didn t live up to my expectations.It mainly fell short in the writing department I ve enjoyed her editorials and articles in the WaPo and NYTimes, but the long format of a book showed a weakness in the pacing There was a lot of repetitious musing and, well, navel gazing as Nomani agonizes and analyzes over mundane details She can t even see a Wal mart [...]

    2. Oscar Wilde said God s law is love He asked the eternal question why is there separate rules for men and women The title of this book is a woman s struggle for the Soul of Islam, it may be accurate to say a woman s struggle for her soul within Islam For the generation of young people in Islam that where either in North America or Europe as small children or where born there raises many issues and conflicts Many governments cry that all citizens should declare alliance to nationalisation first a [...]

    3. Asra Nomani s Standing Alone in Mecca An American Woman s Struggle for the Soul of Islam is an interesting book because it s a very intimate look at an American Muslim woman s struggle to align her Muslim cultural values with her Western lifestyle I recently read Ayaan Hirsi Ali s Heretic and her point of view is that Islam itself needs to reformed and modernized She spent most of her life as a Muslim, but now considers herself an atheist Nomani s perspective is that Islam is a good religion, bu [...]

    4. DNF 28%88 pages all saying about the same thing radical Islam hates women Which I didn t even need to read one page to know that There are certainly a lot of interesting things here, and I enjoyed what I learned, especially about the roots of Islam and how it s changed The issue is that while this is technically well written the author is a journalist and knows her grammar , it s not very absorbing It s repetitive, and reads like an article rather than a book Half of these 88 pages could have be [...]

    5. On one hand, I think it s good for my book discussion group to read this, as several of the members could use a basic education about the Islamic world that isn t taught by Glenn Beck On the other, the writing style and the author s constant repetition of herself did not make for enjoyable reading in my opinion Standing Alone in Mecca became an utter chore The gist of Nomani s book is that Islamic fundamentalists have misinterpreted the Qur an in order to repress women in Muslim communities The [...]

    6. I didn t know what to expect when I picked this up, but I really enjoyed it It is a candid point of view of the things many American Muslim women might wonder about but not have the courage to ask or question Seeking to understand within one s faith isn t always the same as questioning ones faith though sometimes it may feel that way In the author s case there were doubts about her faith which lead her down a path of self discover and actualizing her relationship with God It is a book about how [...]

    7. I can t express my gratitude for having this book written This is a manifesto of women s rights in Islam It is a book that questions and speaks to me as an American, and as the wife of an Islamic follower This is a really engrossing, and at times very intimidating, story of the female psyche in Islam One woman s journey and the forces that supported her to bring rights to women in mosques and for the right to practice Islam alongside men It is about her travels to Mecca and her experience at th [...]

    8. The book chronicles Nomani s coming to terms with Islam and her own identity through a series of major events over a period of 3 years the death of her friend Daniel Pearl at the hand of Muslim terrorists in Pakistan the birth of her son Shibli after she is deserted by the partner she had intended to marry her decision to perform the hajj with her parents, son, niece, and nephew and her struggle for women s rights within her own mosque in Morgantown, Virginia and in American Islam generally.My [...]

    9. A must read This is a revolutionary book which sets a small path yet significant toward a peaceful living and better understanding among all humans It shows the real face of Islam Nomani said that she could be rated as Moslem Generation X , but I think, indeed, she should be rated as Moslem Generation A the real one Because the ones who teach and spread hatred, violence and intolerance are actually the ones who should be called the X Generation, the ones who misinterpreted and bended the teachin [...]

    10. 1 I would be very interested in a publication that explores how much the author s campaign for womens equal rights in mosques has progressed since she wrote this one.2 As someone who resorts to exit as a first option, I find it very hard to understand, or develop empathy with people who resort to voice It is a little baffling to me that women would campaign to be allowed into mosques, instead of just giving up on the mosque or religion as a whole But this book brought me a little closer to sympa [...]

    11. This is a great book for anyone interested in learning about some of the struggles progressive Muslims face in shaping how Islam will be expressed in the United States Some of the writing was repetitive and a little choppy, but that was the least of my concerns Nomani s story was so powerful that it kept things interesting, even when points were repeated And besides that, the points that she repeated are extremely important that women have a religious right to equality that men have a responsibi [...]

    12. Al hamdilulla Praise be to Allah I gave this four stars for the writing, but definitely five stars for the content I m so grateful for An invitation into Islam This is Islamic liberation theology I can t recommend it highly I am ready for my Shahadah,statement of faith, assuming as I do, multiple memberships all in this kindom of God.go to sleep what s my next book Bobby got it for me

    13. This is a great read if you are ready to hear about one woman s personal struggle with her religion The tone isn t an enlightened one but it is an honest book not some behind the burqa, thousand splendid suns or other opportunist I am an oppressed Muslim woman book There are some insightful descriptions of Hajj and Mecca as well.

    14. The challenge for each of us, Asra Nomani writes, is to discern our personal faith from the doctrines others try to impose on us 255.An independent woman, a journalist, an unmarried single mother, and a Muslim, Standing Alone in Mecca is Nomani s journey to integrate these disparate parts of herself in a way that allows her to become her fullest and most authentic self within her faith, not despite it Her journey, though, is not merely a spiritual one, but the spiritual is reflected in the physi [...]

    15. Standing Alone in Mecca is an autobiography of a Muslim, raised in the United States who has a child out of wedlock and travels to Saudi Arabia with her baby for the hajj to find herself Asra Nomani does a good job of it too Her writing is easy to read The typography is inconsistent but that is a technical point and a criticism of the publisher than anyone else.My wife met the author recently and picked up the book I read it It reminded me a lot of Blu Greenberg s book On Women and Judaism A Vi [...]

    16. Wow, what a brave, strong, and spirited woman I just had to get that said From the first page, I was drawn in and touched by Asra Nomani in the book Standing Alone in Mecca In the preface and first chapter, I connected with her a woman my own age and her stated quest sorting out the contradictions about religion She completes this task and educates and inspires us along the way Asra Nomani immigrated from India to a college town in eastern U.S when she was a child She was raised Muslim, and as m [...]

    17. Picked up this book after hearing Asma on NPR I liked what she had to say about hijabs in Islam and so looked up some of her work Asra has written a very interesting, informative, bold, and beautiful account of her revival of faith through the Hajj and using that momentum to steamroll over shocking puritan bigotry she found back home in her American mosque It is a great mix of personal soul searching and revealing investigative work, from analyzing the Qur an and Islamic history to finding out t [...]

    18. Do not be misled by the title of Standing Alone in Mecca because it speaks not of Islam or even religion but for the eternal human search for liberty, fairness and justice Her expose of Islam is the expose of abuse that every religion has gone through at the hands of dogmatic zealots It is the story of human propensity to leverage any and all means of power religion, politics, money to control others The author s journey to Mecca is a fascinating account of the pilgrim that only Muslims are all [...]

    19. Although written mainly for an American Muslim audience, Nomani s book tells an absorbing story for other readers whose knowledge of Islam is limited by whatever happens to be the day s news Nomani, best described as a reformer within the American Muslim community, accomplishes two things describing in detail the compelling experience of hajj a pilgrimage with her family to Mecca in post 9 11 Saudi Arabia and opening the doors of the mosque to reveal the fiercely intense political struggles that [...]

    20. I was well impressed by the author s fight for equality inside the mosque, so I mentioned her crusade to my wife, who remarked, what s the use if her own community has ostracised her in the end I thought it was a valid point as I plunged into the book Unfortunately the book is nothing but a classical dichotomy between parental religion in this case Islam and her own version, through the eyes of an ABCD American born Confused Desi The main accusation against ABCD is that they think they are super [...]

    21. I connected with Asra Nomani in her search for spirituality through the exploration of several religions and practices that she describes in this book I learned a great deal about Islam at its core and some of the teachings of the prophet Muhammad that promote peace and tolerance which often doesn t come through in the way Islam is practiced in certain countries or talked about in the mainstream media Nomani reiterates frequently that it is the silent moderate majority in Islam that is allowing [...]

    22. Journalist Asra Nomani is a woman of much complexity she is a single mom, a career woman and an American Muslim The birth of her son Shibli, and her desertion by Shibli s father, marks a turning point in her life and leads her to give serious thought to her spiritual life, the result of which is her desire to participate in the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.Standing Alone in Mecca is the very personal memoir of Nomani s experiences during the hajj, of her struggles as a woman in what has [...]

    23. this book was just lovely.i read it two times in 3 to 4 days,it is about Islam starts with the author who was lost in holy city in India.Asra Nomani is a brilliant writere was born in India but moved to america when she was younge was friends.with the reporter Daniel pearl and was in karachi when he got killede then talks about how she had sex before marriage and produced a son Shiblie talks about her journey into the holy city of Mecca which is in Saudi Arabiae talks about how it is considered [...]

    24. 2009 32 This is an autobiographical story of one woman s struggle with her faith She has grown up in a modern world in America, and struggles to reconcile her views on the world with what she sees in the practice of Islam For me, it was surprising to see how differently women were treated in religious situations in different countries Surprisingly, women were allowed to pray side by side with men in the most holy mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the strict Islamic states But in America, sh [...]

    25. Asra Nomani takes us on her pilgrimage to Mecca and ends up on a much longer journey to promote women s Islamic Rights This book gave me an idea of why moderate Muslims insist that Islam is a religion of peace If Ms Nomani is correct in her assertions about early Islam, it was certainly a peaceful and equitable religion than it seems to be currently She calls for moderate followers to speak up often in resistance to the Wahabism of Islam so that people, and women in particular, feel welcome i [...]

    26. I really admire what the author Asra Nomani did in fighting for the rights of Muslim women in the US and the world Freedom of religion and speech are our American rights and women practicing their religion in mosques in the US should have the same rights as men To learn about the freedom that a woman has on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and then learn that the USA is not providing those same rights was a learning experience for me The story of her hajj is the most interesting part of the book as she de [...]

    27. there was one really good thing about this book it was the first time i read an account of hajj from a woman s perspective loved that it really made me want to go there myself when the author starts talking about reform after she return from hajj, she really starts to lose it she wants to reform a community she has played no part in and then wonders why no one welcomes her she sounds very out of touch with her muslim background her constant surprise at how islam and modernity can and do co exist [...]

    28. A co worker loaned this to me because I had been to Morocco and would of course have an interest in Islamic feminism Not a burning one, but it looked interesting, so I gave it a try and remembered that I don t usually like biographies The style was the me me me that an autobiography is expected to be The story about the pilgrimage to Mecca as inspiration to active feminism in her own mosque was compelling, but the creepy men she has to deal with remind me how crazy I usually think religion is Ja [...]

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