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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|book review: Even Angels Ask|
|02/10/04 at 11:52:07|
How is everyone?
did anyone read the book: Even Angels Ask by Jeffrey Lang? did you like it? and what is your thougt regarding this book? please put you 2 cents to it... thank you
|Re: book review: Even Angels Ask|
|02/14/04 at 11:34:19|
Ok... since one one is writing their thought, i will do in inshaallah...
You guys have no idea how wonderful this book is!!!!!!!!!
OK... here goes my reivew... btw, i am putting this in my college islamic magazine... please let me know how it sounds... plzzz
Book: Even Angels Ask
A Journey to Islam in America
Author: Jeffrey Lang
“Summer has become my favorite season, with its sunshine, warmth, long days, and long walks in the late afternoon…” (xi).
This is how Dr. Lang, a mathematician starts his book, grabbing my attention. I thought to myself, Hey! This guy also loves summer the way I do. And I also wondered if he ever took the long walk with his mother as I often did. From the very first page I began to relate with him. It is true that he is a reverted (converted) Muslim, but he is also a struggling American Muslim that most of us can relate to.
Why would I recommend this book for you? Yeah, you… Because, it is going to make you ask questions! I remember, as I walked to the cozy book store of DC’s Islamic center, my eyes landed right on the blue title: Even Angels Ask. My eyebrows came together and I whispered to myself, Even Angels ask? What are the angels asking? And why would they ask? Who are they asking? I felt an urge to get this book as I want to know what the angels want to know. Anyway, spending $10 isn’t much, right.
And that was one of the best decision I have made, so far. Reading this book I discovered that Jeffrey Lang did not write a typical Islamic book, guide book, or a book that simply tells the stories of the revert American Muslims. He wrote a meticulous book, based on analysis of verses from the Quran, a description of Islam in such way that anyone, Muslims and non-Muslims, can be benefited, and mostly his personal experiences as an American Muslim. I thought that each line holds a metaphor to rediscover Islam from an individual’s intellect or point of view. For example, he wrote that,
“Islam means “surrender” or “submission,” a giving up of resistance… it is a life long endeavor and trial, an endless road that opens to boundless growth” (41).
My interpretation of this quote is that, Islam is like an open field, you have opportunities to grow things. And like an open field Islam is constantly being used to harvest. In each century, each decade, we need to grow new crops in the field of Islam, and the seeds that we plant have to come from the ultimate source, the Quran.
Almost in every chapter, Dr. Lang writes about many Muslim students that he met while he was teaching. Most of the students, if not all, are not in touch with their religion. According to Dr. Lang I would be a second generation Muslim in America. And he believed that he has discovered, “… the children of second generations Muslims… do not believe in Islam…[but] We should not conclude this that the other 90% abandons the faith; the fact is that most who turn out not to believe in it had little or no exposure to Islam when they were growing up” (220).
Throughout the book, Dr. Lang reflects his personal experiences. When he described how he felt the first time he prayed, I began to weep. Later I thought to myself - Alhumdulillah I didn’t read this part in the bus! I probably would have started crying in front of everyone in the bus!! How embarrassing that would have been! Thank Allah, indeed! - His experiences would touch anybody, especially when he began to weep uncontrollably, for the first time, feeling the powerful existence of the Creator, Allah [subhanuhu wa ta’alaa]. He made, what I think is the best duaa (supplication): “Oh God, if I ever gravitate towards disbelief again, then please, kill me first- rid me of this life. It is hard enough living with my imperfections and weaknesses, but I cannot live another day denying You” (161).
Therefore, as Dr. Lang prayed, we should not waste a day without remembering Allah [swt]. We, especially being a second generation Muslims in America, should work our way up to gain as much knowledge as we can, and apply the Quranic teachings in our daily lives. And not to forget! Read inspirational book as this one!
Say: Truly my prayer and my sacrifice and my living and my dying-all belong to God, the Lord of the worlds. (6:163)
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