Readers: In Their Own Words is a series in which we pose four questions to some of Wardah's top readers. These are their answers:
Salaam! Could you introduce yourself?
Salaam! Sam here. I teach for a living and I'm a hopeless bibliophile. (Probably the reason why I'm "featured" here? Haha)
What motivates you to read regularly?
The burgeoning collection of unread books I've accumulated. chuckles (I'm not kidding, unfortunately.)
Do you have a specific reading method?
I don't have the luxury of uninterrupted reading time at home because I've a toddler. So I'll read when I'm on the way to work, when my child naps or during meal time at work. I tend to read a few books at one go because I've quite a short attention span. I like to vary the genres so I usually toggle between fiction & non-fiction.
Oh! I can never read without a pen and highlighter. I must have these two with me because I love to jot down my thoughts whenever I come across verses that speak to my soul.
Amongst all the books you've read, what are 3 titles you find yourself recommending to others all the time, and why?
1) Healing after Loss: Consoling the Bereaved
Death is a pretty morbid topic but on the flip side, I've heard stories of people who actually look forward to Death simply because they long for the ultimate reunion with God and our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Their level of sangfroid is pretty mind-blowing to me. They don't see death as a cessation of any kind. It is not an end. In fact, they see death as a beginning of something great. MasyaAllah. And I needed some answers. Badly. What ARE their secrets? That's exactly why I picked up this book at Wardah. Such a page-turner. I was truly awed by what awaits a believer when death comes. This book will inspire readers to give their best so that when Death comes a-knocking, we are ready. In Shaa Allah.
2) A Temporary Gift: Reflections of Love, Lost and Healing
I think this is a perfect complement to my previous recommendation. Asmaa Hussein is easily one of my favourite writers. In this book (essentially a collection of her diary entries), she shares her journey of healing after losing her husband. Asmaa candidly shares the emotional turmoil she went through. What amazes me the most is how she is able to find God even in the deepest abyss of her grief and struggles. Such grace. Asmaa is truly an inspiration.
3) The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity
As a teacher (and a working mother), I find myself struggling managing my time. Frustration creeps in real easily and I find myself exhausted at the end of the day. This unhealthy cycle repeats itself. This book serves to remind me that being busy does not necessarily equate to being productive. I need to find meaning in what I do and strive for 'soul-guided productivity'. I love the holistic approach presented in this book and the practical tips are very useful in helping me to realign my life.