Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim

Sabeeha Rehman. Skyhorse/Arcade (Perseus, dist.), $25.99 (314p) ISBN 978-1-62872-663-3
Rehman’s spirited debut memoir illuminates the challenges of living an authentically Muslim life in America. In 1971, her arranged marriage to Khalid, a doctor, took her from her native Pakistan to New York. She humorously relates her confusion on first encountering junk mail, central heating, and bountiful American supermarkets, contrasting her new life with milestones from her early years in England and Pakistan. The Rehmans largely “put religion on hold” until their sons were born, which gave them the impetus to form a Muslim community. They helped start a local Muslim community center, raised funds for a new mosque, fasted for Ramadan, and completed the hajj. As an administrator at an interfaith hospital, Rehman came into contact with multiple religions and participated in cross-cultural feasts and presentations. Throughout, she is keen to draw distinctions between what she sees as essential to Islam and what is cultural and possibly outmoded—particularly rituals that run counter to women’s rights. The answer to extremism, she believes, is education and dialogue: “Get to be known and love thy neighbor.” With sparkling anecdotes about everything from the “Christmas-ization of Eid” to engineering her son’s marriage, Rehman lends a light heart and an open mind to the process of becoming a multicultural “hybrid.” (July)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 07/01/2016
Ebook - 978-1-62872-666-4
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-1-62872-862-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-2534-9
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