The Muslim Write

ARC Review: Finding Peace through Prayer and Love by Sidra Ansari

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Beacon Books, 2020.

A Must-Read Book for Muslim Women

In “Finding Peace Through Prayer and Love”, Sidra Ansari writes, “…it is the things that people feel they have no control over that they need the most help with.” This is just one of the many insightful gems she shares in this publication from Beacon Books. Topping out at just over 200 pages, the brilliant body of work gives detailed advice on living a joyful life as a Muslim woman in modern times.

Sidra Ansari tackles the challenges faced by Muslim women in finding balance and peace in their lives. Divided into three parts, the book touches on areas such as: contentment, patience, child-raising, time management, self-care, marriage and relationships. Sidra efficiently lays out practical advice coupled with stories from her own life, quotes from the Holy Qur’an, Hadiths and a handful of other self-development books. Beginning with her experience living in the west, realizing the need to find peace, focusing on her passion while making choices and being grateful no matter the outcome, the author shares her favourite life principles of making choices and commitments. In the second part, she shares tips and advice on relationships, marriage, raising children as well as the inevitable reality of losing loved ones. Carefully punctuated with anecdotes from the author’s life, the third part carries a wealth of knowledge on the importance of self-care, time management and isolation as a means to achieve peace, fulfillment and closeness to Allah. Furnished with quotes, end notes and a list of recommended reading, Sidra’s unique contribution is a blueprint for Muslim women looking to traverse the the trials and throes of marriage, relationships and living as a Muslim woman in a modern age.

Much of the beauty of this book is in that it is non-judgemental. Sidra does not claim to proffer a perfect solution to living a peaceful life devoid of difficulties, but instead renders advice and tips based on study, research and practical application from her own life to achieve a balance in life. She writes, “The idea behind writing this book was not to give you advice on how to live a perfect life, but rather, to remind you that despite imperfections, one can strive to carry on and attempt to live a joyful life.”

The book serves as a friendly guide for Muslim women to attain peace as they fill their roles within and outside their homes. Even though there are a few references to sufism interspersed with much of the mainstream Islamic content, this book will appeal to all Muslims irrespective of sect.

Sidra Ansari has written a lucid collection of advice that will serve Muslim women from all walks of life looking to make peace with their selves.

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