Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Reader Report: Undivided

Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace

"Although this is certainly a book for mothers and daughters struggling with interfaith tensions , it is equally meaningful for mothers and daughters who feel divided by tensions in general. An important work for parents whose adult children have left the family’s belief system, it will help those same children as they wrestle to better understand their parents.
Undivided offers an up close and personal look at the life of an Islamic convert—a young American woman—at a time when attitudes are mixed about Muslims (and Muslim women in particular), but interest in such women is high. For anyone troubled by the broader tensions between Islam and the West, this personal story distills this friction into the context of a family relationship—a journey all the more fascinating."

Patricia Raybon & Alana Raybon

Publishing Info
W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2015

I've decided to write a post on each book I read, for two reasons - 1) to keep track of what I've read, and 2) to share the good stuff with you guys! I read a good bit last summer, and am anticipating the same this year. Maybe I'll keep reading good stuff into the school year, we'll see what happens there.

While cleaning out my room to rearrange, I found a couple gift cards, one to BooksAMillion. I headed there while I was out yesterday, thinking I'd pick up some bookmarks because I'm running out for things like scriptures and other Church books. There's a book I read last summer that I absolutely loved and have been wanting to purchase since, so I decided to skim the store for it. While looking, I came across this - "Undivided," the devoted mother, the hijab-wearing young lady. The title intrigued me - the idea of faith dividing family. Many people think Mormons are as far from traditional Christians and Muslims are. Is their story like mine? Can I learn about my family relationships by reading their story?

I don't like to buy books I haven't read (what if I don't like it? what if I don't even finish it? then I wasted $20). I read the cover flaps, and then the introduction. I decided to read a couple pages and get a feel for the book. Next thing I knew, I had been reading for an hour. I decided to buy the book.

And I absolutely loved it. The strong faith of both women shone through in their writing. I realized earlier in the semester that angry fights wouldn't open my parents to my faith. I had to love and talk. That's what these ladies learned - listen, love, understand. I am grateful that our strife is not near as divisive as theirs and it seems that it won't be as long.

Both accounts taught me about faith. I related to Patricia's (mother) faith and hope in Christ. I related to Alana's struggle with the Trinity (the Trinity was a real struggle for me as a kid, too, one that was relieved when I heard about Joseph Smith's First Vision) and respect her acceptance of God as one. Alana's attempts to reconcile common beliefs or explain newfound convictions with her mother rang true to me - do I focus on what we agree about or explain my new beliefs? Planning to read the Old Testament once I find a study guide, Patricia's knowledge and quoting of this scripture has me so excited to get into this part of God's Word. Alana's beautiful Arabic phrases bring reverence into her story, and acceptance and understanding of Islam. This book has fed my curiosity of both the Old Testament and the Islamic faith, both of which I will be learning about more in the near future.

Good read, highly recommend.

(From Patrician and Alana Raybon: "19 Tips to Handle Hurt When a Child Converts" - tips for parents and children)

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