Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review ~ Voices Behind the Veil

Do you ever weep over what you read? This summer I read a book I pulled off my husband's bookshelf. I took it along to read in the car on the way to the beach, hoping to learn and understand Islamic women more. But as we drove, I wept. Before the summer is gone and before you pick out new books for your "gets dark early at night" collection, I want to share this title with you.

Voices Behind the Veil was compiled by a man who grew up as a devout Sunni Muslim. It is a collection of writings by Christian women ... journalists, missionaries, former Muslims. I DID learn, but my heart was so moved. In the first part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shared what we know as the "Beatitudes." Did you realize that they really build on each other? We have to be "poor in spirit" to come to know Christ as our Savior, and if we do then we will "mourn" the same things that grieve God's heart. The right response would be meekness, and so on and so on goes the flow of responses. You can read the whole passage here. As I read Voices, I felt compelled to mourn the things that God mourns.

Matthew 5:3-4

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

The writer of Voices has a perspective I can never claim, since he grew up in an Islamic home. Much of the first half of the book is devoted to developing knowledge about the Muslim faith, a faith which I really want to understand. As of October 2009 there were 1.57 billion Muslims in the world today, or 23% of the global population. These people live in 200 countries. Last year my daughter rode a bus home, seated by a very friendly girl who had just moved to our southern city; her parents came 1 mile away ... as Muslim missionaries.

Not only do the women writing help readers understand information and history, (such as the key women in Islamic history, the core texts in Islamic faith, and laws of the faith) but the women share personal accounts of how Islam looks in the lives of women. Chapters of personal testimony are included about daily life in specific countries that are Muslim majority nations, what it's like to be a daughter or wife in Islam, the challenges of reaching out to those of the Islamic faith, and how to pray for Islamic women.

It was no mistake that God drew my attention to read Voices when He did. Only a few weeks after learning and understanding and weeping as I read, Jeff and I were being served a meal while in Europe. The hosts seated guests next to someone in their language group. There were not many English speakers, but there was a family from a Muslim majority country who spoke English from their African country of origin. We were seated for lunch with the husband and wife and their daughter. My heart was overwhelmed, but God had prepared me through my reading to "see" them as a family and know what to talk about and how to reach out. As Jeff and I bowed our heads and prayed quietly over our lunch and then shared an hour of conversation with this precious family, I was so thankful to have heard the Voices Behind the Veil.

If you read earlier this week, you know I am giving away a copy of Vicki Courtney's 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter here. The beginning of school seems like a great time to give books away, (LOVE free books!) and I would love to add this one to your nightstand for the coming fall/winter season. Here's how you enter to win this one ...

Leave a comment or send me an email telling me one of these:

  • What has been your experience with a woman of another faith?
  • Do you feel like you know how to interact with a woman of another faith? Of Islam?
  • What faiths are most represented where you live?

You may know Islam is growing faster than Christianity around the world today. It would be time well spent to listen to the Voices Behind the Veil and to be ready for those divine appointments when God may seat you beside a women who has not yet had the veil lifted from her eyes to know salvation is a free gift offered to her from a Heavenly Father who loves her and gave His own Son for her. The wonderful thing about mourning over what God mourns over is that He promises that one day, comfort is coming!

I will post the winner of the book on Monday in Marriage Mondays.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

6 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristen said...

That sounds like a really interesting read Julie! Thanks for the review. I really have no idea how to interact with a woman of another faith so different from mine, like Islam. The few times I have interacted with them, mostly in college, I would sayI did more of what society expects, not God. Sadly, I was politically correct, polite, respectful and avoided talking about religion at all costs. And Truthfully, I'm terrified of being in the situation again and not knowing what to say, and not wanting to blow it for Jesus. You are right, if we want to open their hearts to change, we must seek first to understand them.

Marieanne said...

Oh, I so want to respond to this! I have some writing to do this morning but I will definitely be back. Excellent topic.

Shannon said...

It's hard to know how to share with a muslim. Sometimes it's even a fear thing with everything that happened on 9/11. I'm in the middle of the Bible belt but I have lived places where Catholocism is prominent and it's very different from the churches down here. So many things are based on tradition and not a relationship with Christ. We should mourn those things. I'm praying to see people through God's eyes and have a burden for all people. Thanks for the post. I'd love to have that book.


Wanda said...

Enjoyed your review Julie. I've recently come across a Muslim friend online and the discussion of religion has made me uncomfortable. This book might help me shed some light on their faith.

Mary Joy said...

One of the things I love about visiting your blog is that you always give me something to chew on. I know a lot of people of different Evangelical Denominations and, although I am a born again Christian now, I grew up Roman Catholic and got a Bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from a Catholic College. I didn't leave the Catholic Church until 1996. Over the years I have known a couple of women who are Muslim. I did a lot of listening and a lot of loving them and let them ask the questions. I have found that treating people who differ in their beliefs with great respect and love makes a big difference. I would really like to learn more about the Muslim beliefs and traditions regarding women...we live in the Bible belt right now but near a military base and a couple of large universities so we encounter a variety of people. Thank you for the opportunity to grow, Julie. You are such a blessing to me!!! By the way...I am going to be highlighting you and your blog during a series I am doing in September! :-) Today's article talks about what I am focusing on in this new series. I would really love to hear your thoughts on the questions I present today. God bless you, sister in Jesus!!!! You are such an encourager to so many!!!

Mary said...

Thank you for bringing this book to my attention! I am ashamed to say I know very little about Islam. I'm sure this book will answer a lot of questions I have. I am definitely putting it on my list of books to read!