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Review: From my sisters’ lips by Na’ima B. Robert

Hi guys,

This book is part of my reading challenge for March and it did not disappoint. Truth be told, my friend got me this book as a gift sometime last year but I started it and didn’t complete it as I got really busy at the time. So I decided to wait and read it again when I did have time to fully commit to it. Roberts book did not disappoint.

The book is written in the perspective of the author herself and namely her experiences with finding Islam and the stories of other muslim women she has met on her personal journey. In a society where so often, there is a negative narrative surrounding muslims and particularly muslim women. It is so important that a female muslim writer is telling her own story, unafraid and unapologetically. We don’t need people to speak for us, they just need to hand us the mic as the saying goes.

Roberts own story of how she found faith is interesting enough, the parts about her time in Guinea stood out to me; how she found herself drawn by a force she couldn’t explain was expressed beautifully. I found her own story was complimented really well by the stories of the other women. I just assumed that it would be separated into chunks or chapters for each woman but they’re interspersed nicely. This stops it from being too much information in one go and also allows you to get to know their names and who they are. Each woman had a unique story to tell, they were from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and I think this is a really good choice on part of Roberts. It destroys the narrative that a muslim woman is one singular thing, we can be anything we want to be.

I don’t normally read non fiction or auto biographical / true story kind of literature so this was something different and made me want to read more of this genre. I also appreciated the fact that Roberts doesn’t ever sound preachy, in any way. Everything she explores is through her own lens and she is really informative. I would recommend it to anyone who isn’t familiar with Islam or it’s practices, people who have questions will definitely have them answered if they give this book a chance. It addresses a lot of key issues; hijab, the role of women in Islam, the practices and 5 pillars, amongst others.

As a young muslim woman myself, I found a lot of what Roberts says within the book to be so relatable and it gave me an insight into what a conversion experience can be like. A lot of the times, we don’t really step outside our own bubbles and we’re unaware of others experiences. ‘From my sisters’ lips’ was definitely thought provoking and it filled me with joy and I felt a real connection with what I was reading.  I really enjoyed this book to be honest, and I would recommend it to muslims and non-muslims alike, I think either way there is something to be gained from it. It is powerful. Rating: 4/5

Until next time, Rumaanah x

 

 

 

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