Standing Alone An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam

ISBN-10: 0060832975

ISBN-13: 9780060832971

Edition: N/A

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As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join more than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime. Mecca is Islam's most sacred city and strictly off limits to non-Muslims. On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli -- living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or "illegal sex." If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment. But Nomani discovers she is not alone. She is following in the four-thousand-year-old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar (known in the West as Hagar), the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation. Each day of her hajj evokes for Nomani the history of a different Muslim matriarch: Eve, from whom she learns about sin and redemption; Hajar, the single mother abandoned in the desert who teaches her about courage; Khadijah, the first benefactor of Islam and trailblazer for a Muslim woman's right to self-determination; and Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's first female theologian. Inspired by these heroic Muslim women, Nomani returns to America to confront the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque and to fight for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists. Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world. Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern-day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman's jihad, offering for Westerners a never-before-seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women.
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Book details

List price: $15.99
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 2/28/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.31" wide x 8.00" long x 0.79" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, has also written for the Washington Post , New York Times , and Time magazine on Islam, and has covered the war in Afghanistan for . She has spoken about women’s rights in Islam on CNN, PBS, NPR, and the BBC. A Muslim born in India, Nomani was raised in the foothills of West Virginia, and currently lives in Morgantown with her son, Shibli.

Embarking on the Journey: January 2001 to January 2003
The Dalai Lama and the Seeds of a Pilgrimage
Relfections on Life as a Daughter of Islam
Islamic Red Tape
The Wall of Wahhabism
Betrayal and a Turning Point
Birth and Rebirth
Fear and Doubts
Departure and the Faith of My Parents
Starting the Pilgrimage: February 2003
An Introduction to Community
On the Road of Bin Laden
Open Borders, Closed Doors
House of Saud, House of Donuts
Climax and Anticlimax
The Divine in the Desert
A Prayer Side by Side
Laws of Men in the Name of God
The Prophet and His Female Anchors
The Courage of My Mother
The Contradiction of Public and Private
Religion, Sex, and Segregation
A Road and Reclaimed History
The City of Illumination
The Vision of My Father
My Nephew and the Promise of the New Muslim Man
Making the Pilgrimage: February 2003
Small Acts and Large Lessons in the Women's Tent
The Devil's in the Details
Sex, Lies, and Truth
Judgment Day, Sin, and Forgiveness
My Judgment Day
The True Face of Satan
My Niece's Memo to Allah: A Very Good God
Continuing the Pilgrimage: February 2003
A Different Path
The Prophet and a Mirage
Travel Warnings and War Clouds
The Dome of the Rock
Bringing the Pilgrimage Home: March 2003 to October 2003
A Triumphant Homecoming
My Voice Claimed
The Legacy of the Prophet and His Daughter
A Princess in Islam
A Mother's Commitment to Islam
Asserting the Lessons of the Pilgrimage: October 2003 to May 2004
Reality Check at My Local Mosque
History Reclaimed
Our Ascension
Islamic Rights in Western Law
Time for Action
A Restraining Order in the House of God
Disappointment After Disappointment
Imported Hatred
Messages of Worthlessness
Harvesting the Fruits of the Pilgrimage: June 2004 to October 2004
Muslim Women's Response
From the Mosque to the Bedroom
Back to Mecca
Happiness Claimed
New Triumphs
The Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in Mosques
The Professor
Death Threats and the Final Fruits of Pilgrimage
An Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in Mosques
An Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom
Letters: The Silent Muslim Moderate Majority Speaks
Recommended Reading
Insight: Afterword
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