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Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle…
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Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam

by Asra Nomani

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A very interesting, readable and unputdownable book. Everyone must put it on their must read list. There are several reasons why I like it, here are a few of them,

- This writer was a reported for WSJ so the prose and style of writing is stellar.
- It is almost a history book and the author has taken pains to cover Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Islamic history in fair amount of detail
- The author describes in sufficient detail the life of the Prophet and this part alone makes this book worthwhile and readable
- Description of the branch of islam that is being practised in Saudi Arabia, Wahabbism.
- The descriptions of the various customs and terms associated with the religion supported by quotes from the Quran.
- Very detailed analysis and interesting titbits of information about Sunni, Shia and Ismaili branches of Islam.
- Description of the rise of the Fatimid Caliphate.
- Her clinical analysis of the religion in general

Gave me some deep insights into the religion that I never would have acquired had I not picked up this book. Very well done.

Women like this are at the vanguard of change. Moderate voices that will over time steam roller over all the virulent and fundamentalist elements that rule the roost today.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
A very interesting, readable and unputdownable book. Everyone must put it on their must read list. There are several reasons why I like it, here are a few of them,

- This writer was a reported for WSJ so the prose and style of writing is stellar.
- It is almost a history book and the author has taken pains to cover Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Islamic history in fair amount of detail
- The author describes in sufficient detail the life of the Prophet and this part alone makes this book worthwhile and readable
- Description of the branch of islam that is being practised in Saudi Arabia, Wahabbism.
- The descriptions of the various customs and terms associated with the religion supported by quotes from the Quran.
- Very detailed analysis and interesting titbits of information about Sunni, Shia and Ismaili branches of Islam.
- Description of the rise of the Fatimid Caliphate.
- Her clinical analysis of the religion in general

Gave me some deep insights into the religion that I never would have acquired had I not picked up this book. Very well done.

Women like this are at the vanguard of change. Moderate voices that will over time steam roller over all the virulent and fundamentalist elements that rule the roost today.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
There are three major parts to the book: Asra's spiritual and personal motivations leading up to the Haj, the Haj experience and the post Haj fight for the application of Islamic tenets in modern America. The book provides a unique view into the fundamental teachings of Islam and the role of strong women in shaping Islam before being hijacked by the patriarchy and extremists within Islam. ( )
  nvenkataraman1 | Aug 22, 2015 |
My knowledge about all sides of the Islamic faith expanded greatly after reading about Nomani's spiritual journey. This modern Muslim American daughter broke religious boundaries by entering into premarital relationships and by getting pregnant. Her pregnancy led her back to her faith and help her to see how she as an unwed mother was connected to other progressive Muslims and Muslim leaders in the past and present. Definitely a must read for those who want to learn more about the history and tradition of Islam, who care about social justice and feminism, or who care about life experiences of others. ( )
  mizztcasa | Jul 27, 2010 |
This work falsely paints an optimistic picture of Islam. The author conveniently ignores much of the misogyny in Islam and instead blames culture and men. The fact that she doesn't mention feeling guilty or repenting blatantly betrays the state of her faith: iffy at best, since Islam holds faith without works to be next to useless. ( )
  heina | Apr 1, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asra Nomaniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One hot winter afternoon, I was lost in India on the banks of the Ganges, a river holy to Hindus.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060832975, Paperback)

As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join more than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime. Mecca is Islam's most sacred city and strictly off limits to non-Muslims. On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli -- living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or "illegal sex." If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment. But Nomani discovers she is not alone. She is following in the four-thousand-year-old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar (known in the West as Hagar), the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation.

Each day of her hajj evokes for Nomani the history of a different Muslim matriarch: Eve, from whom she learns about sin and redemption; Hajar, the single mother abandoned in the desert who teaches her about courage; Khadijah, the first benefactor of Islam and trailblazer for a Muslim woman's right to self-determination; and Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's first female theologian. Inspired by these heroic Muslim women, Nomani returns to America to confront the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque and to fight for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists.

Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world. Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern-day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman's jihad, offering for Westerners a never-before-seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:01 -0400)

"As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join more than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime. Mecca is Islam's most sacred city and strictly off limits to non-Muslims. On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli - living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or "illegal sex." If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudia Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment. But Nomani discovers she is not alone. She is following in the four-thousand-year-old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar (known in the West as Hagar), the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation." "Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world. Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern-day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman's jihad, offering for Westerners a never-before-seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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