Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Imam's Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Imam's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Imam's Daughter

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  894 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Offering a remarkable look at the lifestyle and beliefs of her family, and the rigid ideas of shame and honor they used to oppress her, this Ebook of The Imam's Daughter by Hannah Shah also shines a light on contemporary Muslim culture. It is the inspiring story of the courage and emancipation of Hannah Shah herself.
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Zondervan (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Imam's Daughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Imam's Daughter

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 25, 2012 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audi, non-fiction
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
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
Susan B
Sep 03, 2011 Susan B rated it really liked it
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
Vibina Venugopal
Aug 23, 2012 Vibina Venugopal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tour
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
Oct 03, 2015 dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-uy-mid15
A horribly painful story. Her father is an evil fraud, a brutal torturing child rapist - about as far away from “holy” as they come. He should be locked up for the good of English society. But this is her story. And miraculously, she escapes.
Finally able to read the Quran in English, she finds out that what she has been told it says (as it HAD to be read in Arabic) is mostly crappola.
When so few have the power of interpretation for whole communities, it is a set up for power hungry a**holes.
Tonya (My Family's Heart)
Aug 02, 2012 Tonya (My Family's Heart) rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Sep 08, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it
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
May 04, 2010 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“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
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
Apr 06, 2012 Shahad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2012 Natasha Ghawi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 14, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book really opened my eyes about just how badly the Pakistani muslim communities in England view the rest of us! Having lived all my life close to a large Pakistani community myself I thought I was already fully aware of their real feelings for Britain and the British people and Government but I was quite shocked to learn just how much so many of them hate us. The book and the story itself is outstanding and is written in such a way, with such honestly but so little self pity that you cant ...more
Dina Al-Rubaye
Nov 26, 2013 Dina Al-Rubaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Salima Ayman
Aug 13, 2015 Salima Ayman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book to read !! Very touching story
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
A few things that got me thinking:

1) Justice & Honour: The definition of those words and what it means in the context of Hannah's environment.

2) Religion & Customs (Identity): These two things are commonly tied in together. Separating them would be hard due to mostly, tradition pass down.

3) Debates on religion: "I had a tense relationship with the Muslim students, one that was largely debate. Their attitude was a mixture of respect, because I could quote chapter and verse from the Quran
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
Feb 20, 2012 Amaali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2016 Jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overrated .
Mar 29, 2016 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite a difficult book to read because of the subject matter. It tells the story of Hannan (changes her name to Hannah), brought up within an Islamic household. From the age of 5 she is beaten and sexually abused by her father. Her whole family (mother, brothers and sisters) are aware of this and choose to do nothing about it as they believe that to do anything would bring dishonour to the family. Hannan escapes her family at the age of 16 when she overhears her father on the telephone ...more
Priyanka Korde
Apr 13, 2014 Priyanka Korde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2015 Nikole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Excellent book. I have read many good books over the last few years, but it has been a long time since I read a book I could not put down. Her story broke my heart, made me cry, and pieced me back together again. This is a beautiful story of God's unfailing love for a girl desperately searching for meaning and hope in a very dark world. And now she is able to use her story to help others. My heart breaks for her and all that she went through, but also rejoices with her for overcoming. I definite ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Stef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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.
Aug 25, 2015 Raechel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was quite a book. A true story, which makes it even more heartbreaking, yet all that more inspiring too. Hannah went through unimaginable horrors, and she's not the only one. There were several places were I wept a little with her, and for those like her.
I was so glad of her testimony though, and what a blessing she found the love of God!!

One thing that...well, concerned me was the fact that Jesus was referred to as just a prophet, which I know is the way it is in the Islamic faith, but wh
Jan 14, 2013 Phyllis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 21, 2016 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, informative but heartbreaking read of hypocrisy in a small Muslim Community in UK, and a "Holyman" 's abuse of his daughter.. I feared this to be cut and dry bias from a Christian point of view but I found it honest and fair, even pointing out towards the end of the book that the Qur'an has many of the same Christian Biblical teachings. The treachery resides in radical zealots using their religion toward their own twisted views. Sadly, this is prevalent in every religion and country alth ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Kristenia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Daughters Of Shame
  • Honor Lost: Love And Death In Modern Day Jordan
  • Fatwa: Living with a Death Threat
  • Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl
  • Sold
  • Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World
  • My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story
  • The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story
  • Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom
  • In the Name of Honour: A Memoir
  • Behind the Burqa: Our Life in Afghanistan and How We Escaped to Freedom
  • Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes To Weep
  • Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society
  • A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice
  • For the Love of a Son: One Afghan Woman's Quest for Her Stolen  Child
  • Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran
  • Disgraced
  • The Face Behind The Veil: The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America

Share This Book

“Why was it always the adults who showed such blind hatred, while we children did our best to get along?” 4 likes
“Keep quiet to avoid trouble? I was going to cause trouble!” 4 likes
More quotes…