Book Review: Revive Your Heart (Nouman Ali Khan)
It feels like ages since I last wrote a book review. Let’s just say life has been surprising challenging yet wonderfully hectic, thus I lost touch in reading. I still have a whole bookshelf of books yet to be read. I have the tendency to purchase books to read even when I have a ton of unread books at home. Lol. I am sure I am not the only one. Oh well, it is ok, I will get through it, one book at a time.
The good thing about being on social media is that you are constantly updated on the latest books to hit the market. Actually I love stalking following anyone who share the lessons they learned from books on their social media. There is too much negativity and news on social media these days, a little positivity makes a huge difference. If you are on instagram, check out the tag #bookstagram and you will see there is a whole world of bookworms like you.
As I age and grow older, I feel the urgency to read books that will not only provide me with the knowledge, but also books that will force me to reflect and think. Books that will bring me closer to Him, inshaAllah. This book, came at the perfect time.
I have been following Nouman Ali Khan online and most of his online videos are relatable. It is up to date with the current happenings around the world. As much as we want to deny the harsh reality, everything that happens around the world will directly or indirectly affects us.
I read the entire book in the first 10 days of Ramadhan. The mornings after sahur and Subuh prayers are the best time for the mind to absorb, in my opinion. I was only able to do this because I am not working this Ramadhan. The perks of being in a teaching industry. You get the school holidays off.
I wanted to make full use of my time so I started this book. For those who have yet to read this book, fear not, I will not spoil it for you. However, I do want to share some pointers that touched me.
1. Internalise the teachings of the Quran
I was left feeling disgusted after reading the news on London Bridge attack. This is unfortunately not the only tragedy. The number of hate crimes and terrorist attacks that hit the news everyday, it makes one wonder if there are any more good left in this world.
Allah swt will not change the state of the people until they transform what is within their own selves. – Al Ra’d 13:11
There is no point feeling overwhelmed by the flood of tragedies. I am saddened reading all the news about ‘muslims’ attacking innocent people. Gosh, it is an embarrassment to the entire ummah. There is nothing Islamic about these people. Nowhere in the Quran can you find ‘Attack and hurt others’. Where do they even get this conclusion?
A true muslim who read and study the Quran know and understand that all these acts of terror have nothing to do with Islam. Terrorists are terrorists. They have no religion. The words of the Quran, when studied closely will reveal the right way to live in this dunya. It is so easy to be swayed with distractions these days, which is why it is vital to always go back to basics. The teachings of the Quran is basic, learn it, study it, live it.
2. Making Akhirah big and dunya small
Here, Nouman Ali Khan talks about putting life into perspective. A lot of us are too consumed with worldly issues, we forget that we are only here temporarily and that his dunya is merely a pitstop. We forget that we should be focusing more on akhirah.
Therefore, when something undesirable happens, remember that it happened because of Allah’s will and in His timing. Part of the reason for giving you these experiences is that they are going to mature you. This is part of you growing. Both the good things and the bad things that happen to us are here to help us grow and mature.
Always believe that beneath all calamities, there lies a hidden ‘hikmah’ or blessing that you may be unaware of. Thus, it is forbidden to be angry at Allah swt. Here, let me quote you my own personal painful experience of going through slip disc last year. You may refer to my archive to read the whole story. In summary, when I first experienced the inconvenience, I was upset. I kept asking myself ‘Why me? I work so hard and this is what You befall me.’
The ‘inconvenience’ grew and extended to unbearable pain. By this time, I was upset, but staying home (I was not able to walk so I was on long medical leave from work) allowed me some time to reflect. I was able to align my thoughts and direct it to the state of ‘redha’. Was it difficult? YES! Alhamdulilah for all the experience, I am now more appreciative of my blessings and am constantly mindful about my relationship with Allah swt.
I missed the big picture, which was akhirah. This pain was temporary. Any pain, worry, problem or calamity that befall you are temporary, because this is only a pitstop. When the time comes, we need to move on to life in the Hereafter. That is where we will spend the bulk of our life in inshaAllah.
Every now and then a book will impact me so much that my life habits change. This was one of those book. I am so glad I went back to purchase this book. It was out of stock in the bookstore 2 weeks before.
Quote from book:
Maybe you need more reminders about the afterlife because they necessarily give you a sense of urgency. For those of you who think, “Well, Judgement Day, Paradise, Hellfire, it is so far away!”, Allah swt says,
Verily, they think that the chastisement is far off, while We think that it is near at hand. (Al-Ma’arij 70: 6-7)
Get this book, read it, understand it and internalise it.