Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Review- “How to be a Happy Muslim- Insha’Allah”

When reading this book I couldn’t help but approach it from two different perspectives. Firstly, as a counsellor myself I automatically tended to read the book from the perspective of a counsellor. From this viewpoint I can sum this book up as an extremely valuable resource. It is definitely a book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all my clients. Throughout the book I felt almost as if the author was echoing my own thoughts and speaking my own mind.

What I found the most useful was that the book was written in such a simple and practical manner, there is no room for confusion or misunderstanding. The advice's are so clear and to the point that anyone can read it and implement the skills and lessons brought about, and further useful links to websites, videos and other resources are provided so that the experience of implementing change doesn't have to end with this book. Which brings me to the thing I loved the most about this book. The author takes an active stance instead of a passive/victim one and she encourages everyone to take control of their own lives and their own feelings. Instead of waiting for someone else to do something, she shows people how they need to do something themselves to become happy and she gives them the basic tools with which to do this. If anything, the thing that should be taken away from this book is that happiness (in terms of contentment and inner peace) is not something which only a few people can achieve, it is something attainable for everyone, but it involves some sort of action to be taken in order to maintain it.

In addition, the approach the book takes is holistic and it focuses on all aspects of human functioning and combines the different levels of functioning to show that happiness is a holistic thing in itself. In doing this, it highlights the need for us to view our lives holistically and from there to make the necessary changes on a more meaningful level.

My second approach to reading this book was from a personal level, with the constant awareness that this book applies to me as much as it does to any other person. On this level too, I was not disappointed. With every topic I found myself easily able to apply this to my own life. The thing that stood out for me personally was the discussion on gratitude and focusing on the positive in our lives over the negative. I can vouch that becoming more grateful leads to feelings of contentment and peace and the tools provided in the book to become more grateful and positive was very helpful in emphasizing this. I also found the Happiness Reflections and Happiness Hints to be very beneficial in bringing the topics back to my own life, thereby making the reading of this book a personal experience of reflection and self-understanding.

People often ask me the question, “but how can I become happy?” While reading this book I felt like I was getting a very in-depth answer to that question and I think that the next time I get asked this question, my answer should simply be to recommend them to read How to be a Happy Muslim-Insha’Allah. It is indeed a book which provides solutions to issues that many people are attempting to deal with and I am certain that many others will find it as helpful as I have, Insha’Allah. 

Image from here

You can read more on the author's website here