This enthralling story of the making of an American is also a timely meditation on being Muslim in America today.
Threading My Prayer Rug is a richly textured reflection on what it is to be a Muslim in America today. It is also the luminous story of many journeys: from Pakistan to the United States in an arranged marriage that becomes a love match lasting 40 years; from secular Muslim in an Islamic society to devout Muslim in a society ignorant of Islam, and from liberal to conservative to American Muslim; from student to bride and mother; and from an immigrant intending to stay two years to an American citizen, business executive, grandmother, and tireless advocate for interfaith understanding.
Beginning with a sweetly funny, moving account of her arranged marriage, the author undercuts stereotypes and offers the refreshing view of an American life through Muslim eyes. In chapters leavened with humor, hope, and insight, she recounts an immigrant's daily struggles balancing assimilation with preserving heritage, overcoming religious barriers from within and distortions of Islam from without, and confronting issues of raising her children as Muslims - while they lobby for a Christmas tree!
Sabeeha Rehman was doing interfaith work for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the driving force behind the Muslim community center at Ground Zero, when the backlash began. She discusses what that experience revealed about American society.
©2016 Sabeeha Rehman (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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"As a UK Christian thank you for writing this book"
I like to think of my self as accepting and some what open minded but will admit that the media's incessant spew of negativity has at times left me worried and fearful of the future. Why do they choose to ignore the disgust the global Muslim community has for these extremists? What do they have to gain by refusing to air the compassion the Muslim communities in our own areas are showing towards those effected by the attacks (including their own people)? Why am I only accidentally coming across footage of Muslim people demonstrating in a near by city against the atrocities as I scroll through Facebook? I can see that the media machine is about money and control but the journalists, as humans with families of their own, living alongside Muslim people, why are they helping to stir the pot of anger and distrust? What do they personally have to gain? I worry that the Muslim community will give up on us and believe we all dislike them. That the younger generation of Muslims will become so angry with how their religion is being portrayed and by the abuse some face that it will twist their own belief to the point they end up identifying more with the extremists.
I am ignorant of the Muslim faith but feel it's important to learn, I believe educating ourselves is the only way to positively move forward in an informed manner to a place where everyone gets along. I have quite recently started work in a Catholic primary school where a small number of Muslim families have chosen to send their children as it is the only faith school in the area, this was my first contact with Muslim people, these delightful children have become my Teachers and I their willing pupil. It is through them that I found out how similar are religious beliefs are but also how their own beliefs differ depending on household or where their families are from, some listen to music and decorate their houses for Eid whilst for others it is prohibited. I have also turned to Google for help but have often ended up navigating my way on to sites with a lot of angry and conflicting views, too scared to ask questions.
My own need for a better understanding has become even more important now that my Niece who, whilst travelling to a predominantly Muslim country to Teach, has fallen in love with a very lovely young man of the Muslim faith who our family met in person this Christmas time on his first visit to England. Was I surprised when she told us about her new love? A little bit. Was I worried? Yes, a little bit. Not because I thought he was a bad person or that he was going to try to radicalise her but because of the path they have both chosen to walk together, I fear it will be a difficult one for them and any children they have. Where will they settle and be accepted? Are they in danger of being targeted and hurt? Their culture and upbringing are very different, will this be a problem? How does a cross cultural marriage work? I am sure love will find a way but my list of questions is long, my plan is to educate myself and your book has been a perfect start. Thank you x
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