Struggling To Surrender

When my friend saw a book with the above title in my room, he told me how fascinating and interesting the title is. Yes, I agree with him. The title is as unique as the content of the book itself. The author is Jeffrey Lang, a Mathematician and also an American Muslim origin.
“Surrender to God is not a single step, it is a continuous struggle”
Simple yet true isn’t it. These words are just parts of the beautiful words presented by Jeffrey Lang in this book called Struggling To Surrender: Some impressions of An American Convert To Islam. A book that I would recommend for both Muslims and Non Muslim to read. Reading this book, you are driven into a journey of how a man looks at himself being an atheist turned Muslim and how he makes sense over the many questions that he has regarding his religion. A senior of mine who’s doing a Postgraduate studies in Comparative religion used to tell me how she likes Jeffrey Lang’s explanation on the issue of why we have sufferings. The sister insisted how not so many Muslim writers know how to deal with the issue effectively. Yes, the issue is a bread and butter issue and needs a ‘real’ answer for such a ‘real’ question. For me, Jeffrey Lang is one of that few Muslim individuals who know how to address the issue in a very beautiful way and addresses the issue of why suffering is ‘needed’ as part of what he calls moral spiritual evolution. He asks: “Why were we not put into paradise from the start?, “Why were virtues not simply programmed into us” , “Why moral decay and suffering despite great potential for growth and happiness?”. All these and many more questions are addresses in such a beautiful ways and answered in the same manner. As he says :
“It is by trial and error, and by realizing and rising above our mistakes that we learn and progress to higher level of goodness”
.
In this book, he discusses several chapters dealing with subject matters like:
1-the Qur’an-here he touches on various themes like Qur’an and Reason, Qur’an and science, the relation of Qur’an with the Old and the New Testament, and many more.
2-Rasulullah i.e. Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him-here he sheds light on the Prophet’s characters as portrayed by the Qur’an and the prophetic tradition, The fact of Prophet Muhammad being a normal human being despite given the trust by Allah to be His messenger, and many other issues.
3-The Ummah-In this particular chapter, he discusses and deals with various issues which I would say most of the issues discussed are issues that invited so many misunderstandings and debate among both Muslims and Non Muslims. The subject matter of women in Islam, leadership, Education and segregation, the issue of how interfaith discourse should be understood and so on. However, his presentation on family and kinship would be very enlightening to read. Being asked by his daughter whether is it true that women are not allowed to go the mosque; he found the need to clarify the issue in a much broader picture. Throughout the book, you can see clearly how he’s trying to show that being Muslim is not just rituals and submission, it is all about real life situation. Yes, Islam is all about real life situation.

Not to forget, he discusses the subject matter of syahadah and Ahl Kitab(people of the Book) eloquently. For the Non Muslims, when you read this book, you may have to encounter subject matter like Hadith(the Prophetic traditions) and so on in quite a detailed manner. Of course you might not be familiar with it. It might be a bit ‘heavy’ to grasp, but surely worth to read. This book is surely a personal account of how an American man living his life as a Muslim in America and the many questions that he has to deal with be it in the society or even at home. My favourite parts are the parts where he narrated his account of coping with the Fajr prayer (the dawn prayer) and being asked how he looks at himself not understanding the recitation in the prayer which is not the language of his own =) Interesting and very amusing =)
So, grab a copy of this book at your nearest bookstore and enter a journey where you can relate to with your own life. I have no doubt about that! =)
Allahu’Alam(Allah knows Best)

31 comments:

a.j. said...

=(

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

Akh, why? hope evrything is fine for you =(

Yes.we are all struggling to surrender right?

a.j. said...

what do you feel, when you wonder what went wrong with yourself ... but you cant find the answer ... and now, i can only hope for Allah ... =( akhi .. there are things id like to share, but i cant ... and im all in hope to Allah to help me with this ...

dua along with me brother ... i felt so distance from Him and i no longer know who i am and what i used to be ...

ur brother in Islam,
aj

Al-Hamra said...

Salam alaik akh...

Nice new look 4 your blog!!Lawo...
Keep up with the good...

Barakahllahu fih ('',)

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

Akh, my dua' will always be with you. I am not the right person to advice you though.but, i believe the trail and tribulations that you are facing with show that Allah loves you so much. Akh,don't despair over His mercy. Truly Allah knows best.

If you feel like sharing with me, you may email me ok.. Ana Uhibbuk Fillah ^_^

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

Syukran Al Hamra.ever since blogging, this would be the 2nd time I chngd the template.The simplicity of this layout truly represents me =P

Al-Hamra said...

(dont try to say that I'm too full of colours by the look of my page (^^,)...malu..)

a.j. said...

akhi =)

Rain_Drops said...

I'm just reading Lang's other book Even Angels ask, then I'll be reading this one :)

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

Assalamu'alaikum,
Rain Drops :

Syukran for dropping by =)Yes,. this book is definitely worth reading. Truly inspiring. For 'Even Angels ask', I read it halfway because I had to return it to the library back then =P
InsyaAllah, if I come across this book later, I;ll definitely read it from cover to cover ! =)

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