Field Agent: Yanti Hasim
Agent Activities: Medic
Author(s): Nouman Ali Khan
Report Published: 25th February 2017
Revive Your Heart: Putting Life in Perspective is a collection of sincere reminders and advice given by Khan that speak directly to the heart and help readers to change their life for better. As the title suggests, this book is a call for spiritual rejuvenation through deep reflection and understanding of the verses in the Quran. As a founder of Bayyinah Institute, the Arabic Studies educational institution in the USA, the author uses his expertise in the Arabic language to help readers to understand the deepest meaning of the Quran, a process which is supported through the use of relevant examples and analogies that can be easily understood and relatable to everyday experiences and situations.
This thought-provoking book challenges the reader to revise their beliefs and actions, encouraging transformation from within and externally. It serves as a wake-up call to reflect and to rectify a modern Muslim’s relationship and interaction with Allah through du’a (prayers) and His book. It also helps to realign their perspective in that life in this world is temporary and that Jannah (Paradise) is the final destination. It also highlights the pertinent issues and crises such as the disunity in the Muslim community, including the unacceptable attitudes some Muslim communities have towards women, despite the beautiful teaching of Islam that states that we should honour them, and the importance of having a high level of conscience in business dealings and financial earnings.
This book is also an excellent resource for people who want to learn the actual message and the essence of Islam in the sense that what people see in a Muslim individual and Muslim communities may not reflect the beauty and simplicity of the religion. Therefore, if you are Muslim, I would like to take the opportunity to request that you give this book to non-Muslims interested in Islam.
However, I must say that I was a bit disappointed that the book seemed to be the written form of Khan’s lectures and I wished there was something different included as well. That said, and if you haven’t read his lectures, you will learn about his enthusiasm, trademark voice as well as his profound engagement with the Quran that inspires individuals to be the agent of change in society through the revival of the heart and greater God-consciousness.
People’s perception, at the end of the day, means nothing. It stands to give you nothing before Allah. It will not add to your deeds; it won’t take away from them.
So, if I find, and if you find yourself being lazy, then you have to ask whether or not your beliefs in the afterlife are concrete enough.
The real test of leadership is not when your followers are following you; the real test of leadership is when your followers disappoint you.
I had many quake moments while I was reading this book. It was as if Khan knew what I have been struggling with. I was born and raised in a ‘Muslim culture’ where getting married and having children is the pinnacle of a woman’s life. In my culture, women typically marry in their 20s. At the age of 30 (and still single), some people look at me with a ‘strange’ look. I have been bombarded with the same questions over and over again. Sometimes, people compare me to other women. “How come you are not married yet? She has three kids already.” Despite what people said, I am still smiling, but it is a lie to say that I am not affected by their words.
The truth is, I have been asking Allah, wholeheartedly, to grant me righteous children (and a righteous spouse), ever since I was in college. When the author mentioned about the du’a and the story of Prophet Zakaria in the second chapter: Du’a and frustration, I felt ashamed of my attitude and for asking Allah for what I want, when I am ungrateful for the blessings He has already given me. The book made me think of Prophet Zakaria who made du’a for offspring until his bone became weak, yet, unlike me, he never lost hope in Allah, but kept himself in full obedience and gratitude. Little did I realise that whatever Allah has planned for me in the circumstances that I am in are absolutely the best for me. Indeed, it is the gratefulness of a servant that increases the blessings of Allah.
Again, in chapter 12, I was shaken by Allah’s word in Surah Al Kahf where He revealed that money and children are the two things that make this TEMPORARY life beautiful, but that they won’t last no matter how much we adore them. Indeed, what will last forever are the good deeds that we do, and everyone has equal opportunities to do good deeds, whether we are single or married. In fact, this book reminded me that marriage and children are simply the MEANS for us to do good deeds and that our ULTIMATE AIM is to be in Paradise.
At the end of the day, thanks to this book, I can now say that people’s perception and criticism, will not add to my deeds and will not take away anything from me. I now know it is the word of Allah that will help me to know who I truly am and the value I have as His slave.
I am grateful to Allah for this opportunity to review this book as it helps me to realise that I have taken Islam for granted and it has shown me my Islamic practices have become routine. From now on, all I ask is to serve Him with sincerity and to be beneficial to others.