Book Review: Letters to a Young Muslim

Letters to a Young MuslimLetters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A new approach to looking at how one might look at Islam as a Muslim. It is both descriptive, giving form to ideas hitherto consider taboo and therefore remained unuttered in public, as well as proscriptive, providing concrete ideas on alternative ways a Muslim might think of their religion.

To be clear this is not a book arguing for or against Islam, nor is it an apologist book repeating the mantra that the bad things done in the name of Islam are not done by true Muslims. The author clearly sees a serious problem in how Islam is interpreted and practiced today, and provides alternative ways of thinking about it.

The reviews that complain that the author does not quote the Koran completely miss the point, the whole point of the book is how to separate oneself as a Muslim from the clerics who insist that they are the sole arbiters of what is Islamic. The important point is that we as Muslims are allowed to think for ourselves without reference to the Koran or the self appointed guardians of the understanding of Islam.

The other issue, of why it was published in English first, is in my opinion because it is aimed at Arab millennials who predominantly speak English as a first language. The book does not pretend to try to convert the hard core Muslims who do not want to change their minds, it is aimed at giving those who still are ready to think for themselves the intellectual framework and tools to continue evolving their individual thoughts and their individuality.

Well worth the read.

View all my reviews