Agent: Sabrina Fatima
Agent Activities: Third Grade Teacher and Blogger
Location: New Jersey, USA
Where to Finder Her: @sabr11593 (Instagram)
Author(s): Yasmin Mogahed
Report Published: 20th September 2016
Reclaim Your Heart is an inspirational/religious book filled with articles and poetry on topics such as attachments, love, hardships, women’s status and gender issues, our relationship with the Creator, and the world. Throughout the book, verses from Islam’s Holy Scripture, the Quran, are used to emphasize points and help readers reflect about life and their relationship with God.
The author connects different ideas to God and provides lessons, practical advice, and examples of people who have been through challenging or enlightening experiences. For example, she mentions the story of Prophet Moses seeking knowledge with his companion Khidr. Through it she emphasizes how human knowledge is actually limited while God knows better. She also uses it to remind us to not judge others and explains to us how God can take something or someone away from us so that we remain mindful of the fact that nothing and no one lasts forever.
This book really makes one think deeply, by bringing attention to ideas that many believe they already know and may have heard but haven’t really listened to and implemented. While Reclaim Your Heart does use numerous references from the Quran, making it a perfect read for Muslims, anyone who enjoys studying comparative religion or who is curious about what Islam says about the aforementioned topics will enjoy this book. Reclaim Your Heart will hopefully motivate you, as much as it did me, to pay better attention to feelings and actions, so as to become a better and more conscious individual.
“Sometimes God takes in order to give. But, it’s crucial to understand that His giving is not always in the form we think we want. He truly knows best what is best.”
“So often we think that God only tests us with hardships, but this isn’t true. God also tests with ease. He tests us with blessings and with the things we love, and it is often in these tests that so many of us fail. We fail because when God gives us these blessings, we unwittingly turn them into false idols of the heart.”
Reclaim Your Heart reminded me of so many people and events, but more importantly, this book made me look at my own life in a different way. I realized after reading it that like so many other people, I was guilty of having a false attachment! False attachments are things such as money, people, career, physical appearance, belongings, etc. that we fear losing. For me, my false attachment was my mom. I love my mom (like so many others love theirs) for ALL her hard work and sacrifices. I realized through this book however, if I wanted to come closer to God and love Him before anyone and all else, I had to, on a certain level, let her go (although of course I still love my mom).
Furthermore, I subsequently wondered if my life, with all of its blessings (and trivial difficulties), was due solely to my own actions or if God was testing me. After being reminded that God does test people with good things, such as good food and a home, a college education, a job that one loves etc., I realized my good life is indeed also a test! The only way to pass this test, while still enjoying the blessings of God, is to make sure these blessings don’t consume my heart and make me forget who it all came from in the first place!
Finally, every time I fall into a slump or get lazy when it comes to my faith, I always remember what Yasmin Mogahed wrote. She suggested “to develop certain habits which become your ‘bare minimum’. That means no matter how I feel, how unmotivated or how low, I still do these things at the very least. For example, for me and other Muslims, the bare minimum includes the five obligatory daily prayers at their appointed times. I already knew this, but the author wrote it in a way that really impacted me.
Reading about hardships in Reclaim Your Heart will hopefully prepare me for when extremely difficult times come in my life. After all, hardships test us, “but they can also be a blessing and a sign of God’s love.” Where is God’s love in adversity? I really know now that hardships can be a purifier and have proven to bring (some) people back to their Lord!