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The Imam's Daughter

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  541 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Hannah Shah is an Imam's daughter. She lived the life of a Muslim but, for many years, her father abused her in the cellar of their home.





At 16 she discovered a plan to send her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, and she ran away. Hunted by her angry father and brothers, who were determined to make her an honour killing, she had to keep moving house to escape them. Then,
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Published (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,518)
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PSmith
True, shocking incident of a young Pakistani girl beaten up and abused by her father, a local Imam of East Street, Birmingham, England, with her mother and a big family of 3 brothers and 2 sisters as onlookers. Not even her mother tries to protect her, even in the feeblest of ways. The abuse starts at the age of 5, lasts till 16 or so, at which age she escapes with the help of her university teacher and social workers. She then converts to Christianity, and is a marked target by her community. F ...more
Zillah
I have to admit l struggled with1st few pages, but then l just got so into the story that it followed me even when l wasn't reading. Just as it said on the covers- terrifying! Terrifying beyond my comprehension! But in the same time full of hope after you manage to get about half way through the book.
What l liked about Hannan, in comparison to Ayaan Hirsi Ali ( whose book l didn't give a really good review) is that she made clear that it wasn't a book about Islam or against lslam, and that not a
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Susan B
This book tells the fascinating true story of Hannan (now anglicized to Hannah), the daughter of a Pakistani Muslim Imam. Growing up in northern England and attending a public school, Hannah learned early on how very different her family was from that of English families. Watching the abuse of her mother by her father, and then experiencing his abusive hand herself, made her long for another kind of life.

At the age of sixteen, Hannah discovered that her parents were about to send her back to Pak
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Vibina Venugopal
Family is the greatest asset to a person, it comes as a warmth for a mother, affection of a father,togetherness of siblings , and its through a family one perceives the world around..IWorld's shabbiness is given a shade of beauty by family's support and a beautiful shade is further magnified..What if the beginning itself slumbers??? What if the people who were meant to protect turn around ruining life, then your becomes something like Hannah's..Hannah is a Muslim and obviously this name doesn't ...more
Tonya
Aug 02, 2012 Tonya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Tonya by: I Received As A Birthday Gifft
First let me say I have heard of these kinds of things happening before, have watched documentaries, etc but reading it here in this book "The Imam's Daughter" by Hannah Shah I felt like I was right there, seeing these things happen, feeling her pain, wishing I could bring her out of that life she was forced to live for so very long. Then to watch her slowly grow confident, and free day by day, the book draws you in, keeps you in to the very end - best based on a true story I have ever read. I r ...more
Duane Alexander Miller Botero
Shah was born to a Pakistani family in the UK, where she was raised and lived all her life, making her part of one of the largest diaspora communities in the world. Her father was a truly evil man, and an imam in the local Muslim community. He started beating her at age five and then sexually molesting and raping her after that. This continued for over ten years until Hannah was finally able to escape. Much of the book is about the time at her home and you learn a great deal about the honor-sham ...more
Martin
I thought that I had experienced the ultimate in literary horror when I read Eishes Chayil's "Hush." However, although steeped in and drawn from reality, it was nevertheless a work of fiction. This book was the unvarnished paralyzing, stultifying horrific truth. How she survived intact from this hellish nightmare is beyond my understanding. They should bottle her courage and dole it out to those in despair. Her capacity to forgive is beyond my comprehension as well. The book clearly highlights t ...more
Jan
I borrowed this book from my local library as an audio E-book, to read while sewing, and doing household activities. It turned out to be a book that I will probably never forget. For the first half of the book at least, I didn't know if I wanted to continue listening to this true story of a small Muslim girl's life in Britain, the daughter of the Imam of the local Pakistani community. The details were so horrifying that I almost made the decision to stop listening. But something about the story ...more
Readersentertainment


“My father was the Imam; my father was the mosque.” The world Hannah was born into meant her father has absolute power over nearly everyone, especially his family. A sometimes dark and brutal tale, the book is overwhelmingly a tribute the resilience of one woman’s soul.

Raped by her father from the age of five, Hannah Shah lived in a child’s pretend world to escape the horrors of her home. With imaginary Loneliness Birds from heaven coming to her rescue, she was able to survive beatings, rape, a
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Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Its about the daughter of immigrant Pakistani parents who live in the UK. The father is an iman who is a zealot when it comes to islam but who isnt very passionate about anything else.

Well almost, he also devotes a great amount of time to beating his wife,ignoring his children and hating everyone who isnt a muslim.
One day Hannan fights back and yells at her father to stop hitting her mother.This makes him start to target her also and eventually sexually abuse her.

She is 6 years old.

Her mother k
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Shahad
the imam's daughter is a true story of a girl who lived in an so-called "religious" muslim family. she lived a life of a caged butterfly struggling to get out, for about 10 years, her dad constantly abused her in the dark cellar of their home. she finally escapes at the age of 16 and converts to christianity after discovering a plan to send her back to pakistan for an arranged marriage.even after her escape, she was still hunted by her angry dad and brothers and one day, a mob of 50 man showed u ...more
Yakking Yogini
This is the true story about a Pakistani Muslim girl growing up in Great Britain. Hannan Shah is probably one of the bravest young women I know and all the more so because of her Muslim background. She grew up in a household where her father, the spiritual leader of the community, begins raping and beating her in the basement at the tender age of 5, and continues to do so until she runs away from home at the age of 16. She meets up with a network of British families who hide her to prevent her f ...more
Natasha Ghawi
This book taught me many new things. For example, it taught me to appreciate the amazing family I was brought into. Even though we have gotten into our fights my parents have never been abusive and I thank god for that. The book talks about Hannan who later on changes her name to Hannah. She has been physically abused since the age of 5 and later on sexually abused by her father. Her family has never done anything to stop him. She could never reach out to anyone because her father was the imam o ...more
Dina Al-Rubaye
A little girl that suffered all her childhood, she was always coerced to obey rules that she did not even approve of , to live the dull despondent life under the dictation of her dad. She despised her life in every way. Her dad always made her feel like a worthless daughter that only deserved to be punished using the most appalling abusive methods. She had some skills in writing and it is considered an attainment to finish every verse of the Quran her dad ignored all those valuable traits of her ...more
Aisa Kariman
Not great literature, i personally didn't like the style of writing.
Though a sad story about an abused Muslim girl who struggled and escaped her terrifying family who wanted to force her to marry. She ran away and started her own life, and became a successfully young woman. Despite her abused childhood she is a big help for girls who are forced to marry in arranged marriages. Although Hannah Shah converted to Christianity she made it clear that the situation she had lived in, was on cultural ba
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Sehrish Hussain
Hannah Shah is de dochter van een Pakistaanse imam, een zeer gerespecteerd figuur in de lokale moslimgemeenschap in het noorden van Engeland. Haar vader lijkt te leven als een voorbeeldige, vrome moslim, maar achter de voordeur, verborgen voor de buitenwereld, regeert hij als een ware tiran. Uit angst houdt Hannah haar mond, tot ze op haar zestiende uitgehuwelijkt dreigt te worden. Ze loopt weg van huis en duikt onder. Vanaf dat moment is Hannah Shah haar leven niet meer zeker. Haar vader heeft ...more
Amaali
The flow of the book is good. However I see it as a typical story that criticize the religion of Islam. Hannan is abused by her father, the Imam of the community. It can happen to any girl anywhere in the world of any caste creed or nationality. She her self points out Islam fathers who love their daughters and who are not stern. So I don't believe that all that sufferings happened just because she is a Muslim. She just emphasizes the fact that she is Muslim.
Anyways the book was sort of unputdo
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Priyanka
A candid and disturbing account of a woman who suffers sexual abuse from her own father since childhood and her courageous steps to escape and detach herself. The double standards and hypocrisy of a society, not just Islamic as narrated here, but even what we see around everyday, hits home. That, for me was the most disturbing and enraging feeling that refuses to subside, but triumphs with this protagonist! Admire her inquisitive and critical mind, for even attempting to analyse her own religion ...more
Stef
The first few chapters were very confronting but if I found it uncomfortable reading about it then I cannot imagine how she felt dealing with it. What courage she has to tell her story and developer a stronger character through her journey, especially through the love of Christ.
Phyllis
Hannan had to overcome the abuse, dysfunctionality of her family and the rules of the religion she was brought up in. A beautiful story of her courage to face her past and move beyond that to live in freedom and free of her past! A very good read.
Kristenia
This is an amazing, terrifying, enlightening tale of one's true horror and the many year steps to overcome something few could have overcame. Inspiring, heart-breaking, life enriching.
Arthur Berm
A true story of an amazing young girl growing up at home, living daily in terror and abuse by her father, the Imam of their Muslim community in Northern England. This heart breaking story shows the ignorance of the muslim leaders that come to leadership positions without proper training for the positions they hold, exercising Sharia law and using allah for authority. A religion based on fear and condemnation that holds their women as prisoners and abuse in stead of love and compassion. Hannah ma ...more
Miyaness
Really interesting read, caught my attention from start to ending. I'm a muslim, and I do find this book pretty controversial though.
Natalie
This is a very difficult book to review. I have some serious doubts about its veracity and could write something typically scathing. However, this tells the story of horrific abuse suffered by a young Muslim girl at the hands of her father from the age of five, and if it is an accurate account, to belittle it would be horrendously inappropriate.

Several elements of the story do not ring true and suggest an unreliable narrator at best; this is an 'all names have been changed' format which adds to
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Suzanne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristjan
A very useful addition to the discussion (or perhaps, a discussion-starter) about the position of women, and particularly girls within Islam or some Islamic communities. Are Western countries going to do something about child abuse within their borders? Are they going to institute safeguards and shelters to help the abused? Caution: Contains non-explicit descriptions of horrific violence.
Janet
Hannah Shah tells her story of growing up as a Pakistani Muslim in northern England. Her father was an uneducated imam who physically and sexually abused her from a young age. She ran away from home at age 16 when she discovered that her parents were planning to marry her off. Several attempts to reconnect with different family members led to death threats. While on the run she met many Christians who helped her and led her to Christ. She eventually went to Lancaster University to study religion ...more
Julie
This was a hard book to read and made me angry in some parts. The story was very inspiring and shows how the resilience of the human spirit and God's grace can help but a life back together. There were also regular people who were angels in this young girls life.
*•.♥.•*Sabrina Rutter*•.♥.•*
I was a little worried that this memoir was going to be all about religion. I have christian beliefes, but don't attend church regularly, and so I was not looking forward to reading 288 pages of a religious testimonial. I'm so glad I went ahead and gave this book a go! Although the author talks about her faith, and conversion from islam to christianity she doesn't get carried away with it.
Everytime I think I have heard it all I stumble upon a book like this one. I was truelly shocked at the thin
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Alaa
It was difficult reading this book. It's impossible to remain impassive as you read through the pages painted with her abuse. I had to put it down sometimes because I couldn't handle what I was reading.

This book is an autobiography of Hannah Shah's (pseudonym) life. While flipping through the pages I got more and more attached to her and to her story that it feels wrong just writing a review that will never carry the weight and meaning that has impregnated the book.

This woman has been able to
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“Why was it always the adults who showed such blind hatred, while we children did our best to get along?” 3 likes
“Keep quiet to avoid trouble? I was going to cause trouble!” 3 likes
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