Author Sumbul Ali-Karamali offers her personal account, discussing the many and varied questions she fielded from curious friends and schoolmates while growing up in Southern California—from diet, to dress, to prayer and holidays and everything in between. She also provides an academically reliable introduction to Islam, addressing its inception, development and current demographics.
Through this engaging work, readers will gain a better understanding of the everyday aspects of Muslim American life, to dispel many of the misconceptions that still remain and open a dialogue for tolerance and acceptance.
About the Author
SUMBUL ALI-KARAMALI grew up in Southern California, answering questions about Islam. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a J. D. from the University of California at Davis, and a graduate degree in Islamic Law from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. She has served as a teaching assistant in Islamic Law at SOAS and a research associate at the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law in London. Her highly praised adult book is The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing, an academically reliable introduction to what Muslims believe and practice, but one written in the personal, anecdotal, everyday context of growing up Muslim in America.
Table of Contents
Part I Muslim Beliefs and Practices (or, What It's Like to Grow Up Muslim in California)
1 Starting with the Basics: What Do Muslims Eat? 3
2 Definitions and the Declaration of Faith 16
3 How Many Times a Day Do You Pray? 22
4 Fasting: The Ultimate Internal Conflict 42
5 Holidays: From Turkey Dinner to Baklava 62
6 Donating to Charity 79
7 A Muslim Pilgrim's Progress 83
8 Everyday Rules of Behavior for Muslims 92
9 Fashion Sense (or, What Muslims Wear) 100
10 Relationships Between Men and Women (or, Can I Go to the School Dance?) 111
Part II When Did Islam Start and How Did It Develop?
11 Muhammad and His Mission 119
12 How Muslims View the World: God, Angels, and Adam and Eve 134
13 The Basis of Islam: The Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the Shariah 142
14 From Sand Dunes to Spain: The Spread of Islam 155
Part III Modern Muslim Demographics
15 Who's Who: Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, and More 173
16 Muslims: Who We Are and Where We Live 183
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is about the author, who grew up Muslim in California. She explains the Muslim religion, how it is celebrated, and the differences between non-Islamic and Islamic families. The book answers the questions people want to know like what do they eat, how do they dress, what kind of holidays do they have, who is Muhammad, the different types of Muslims, and are girls and boys treated differently? “I loved Thanksgiving. I loved making turkey-shaped place cards, and I loved pumpkin pie.” I really liked the chapter about the author growing up and seeing the magic of Christmas and how America makes a huge deal out of it and how disappointed she felt in her own festive holiday, Eid, because no one ever made a big deal out of it. I know my own feelings would feel very hurt. It was also neat to learn Muslims pray five times daily and, at the end of the prayers, they turn to each side and recite something. When they do this, they are talking to the two angels assigned to each Muslim to record all of their good and bad deeds. This was a good book. It helped me know more about the people in my life who are Muslim and understand why they wear different clothes and don’t eat pork. It’s okay to be different, and we can learn so much from people if they are willing to share their stories. *You can view the original review at City Book Review
Great for non-muslims curious about the people in their community who are muslim. Also great for muslim children who want to learn more about thei religion and who they are.