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Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Living Islam Out Loud presents the first generation of American Muslim women who have always identified as both American and Muslim. These pioneers have forged new identities for themselves and for future generations, and they speak out about the hijab, relationships, sex and sexuality, activism, spirituality, and much more.

Contributors: Su'ad Abdul-Khabeer, Sham-e-Ali al
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 15th 2005 by Beacon Press
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 ·  225 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Yousef M
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: women, islam
This book is inspiring and motivational in its depictions of several Muslim American women activists and feminists and the obstacles they've had to overcome in voicing opinions that are often unheard or, worse, intentionally ignored by chauvinistic Muslims. I'm glad they came out with a book like this, especially one that is more reflective of the progressive outlook which many Muslims (myself included) would like to see more of.

However, I do think readers should be aware much of the content des
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
"It has been said there are as many paths to God as there are individual souls. Living Islam Out loud is a collection of essays written by American Muslim women about their experiences in searching for God. The editor’s intention is to “humanize American Muslim women to our fellow citizens of the world.” For many of the essayists, including the editor, “alienation from the mainstream Muslim community was a perquisite to our personal transformation.” She notes that each culture comes with its own ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
In some ways there wasn't anything magnificent about this book, yet at the same time, I couldn't put it down. I read this book in 1 day after finding it at a used book store while visiting Chicago. I feel like with any book, my reading is informed by my own experiences and needs. In a lot of ways I've been needing an autobiographical account from Muslim women that is outside of the conservative and policed Islamic community I've been raised in. I found comfort in many shared mutual experiences a ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book and one that every woman should read!
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this anthology a lot more than similar collections that I've read and this really surprised me! Ultimately, I think it came down to the ways in which the editor selected the contributors. Authors had to be 1) raised Muslim in America, 2) be contributing to public life in an extraordinary way and 3) possess the will and courage to share honestly the experiences that had shaped their lives. This is actually a lot more specific than other collections I have read (including queer Muslim on ...more
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Muslim Women Living in the West
Recommended to Shaheena by: [Living Islam Book Club]
I learned so much and it is apparently so controversial but this is what I learned from it.

I was moved by this book by identifying so much with the women and admiring these women even if I don’t necessarily agree with all their viewopoints. It was mentioned in the book that each of these women came to some of this realization after feeling judged and outed by the community. I can identify with that. I'm still trying to find my way back and am inspired that they did so much. I'm not sure I have t
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
This is a wonderful collection of essays by amazing, inspirational American Muslim women. Keep in mind that the book isn't entirely representational of all American Muslim women (but what book could possibly represent everyone?). The writers were chosen by editor Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur based on this criteria: must have been raised Muslim in America, must be contributing to public in an an extraordinary way, and must possess the will and courage to share honestly. In that sense, these are the essa ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tinea by: Seyyedreza
Powerful collection of life experiences written by American Muslim women, essays and poetry. Diverse life paths, religious convictions, and backgrounds are represented here, allowing space for different Muslim women to situate themselves, their struggles, and their desires (political, spiritual, and personal) within this US context of patriarchy, white supremacy, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, secular liberalism, and many things wonderful, empowering, and fulfilling which don't sum up into those neat ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
I really didn't like this book. I just reached a point in the book that could not read it any longer. Some of the narratives were extremely brave but some things are better unsaid. When Allah veils us and conceals our sins; it ungrateful to share them openly.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very enlightening. Clear writing and very moving, personal stories.
Homeless YeCo
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gender-studies
This is about young American Muslim women. Some are very liberal. This book got a mixed reaction from our members due to some irreverent parts.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: all muslim women everywhere
Shelves: prettygood
i enjoy this book for many reasons. it's not the first muslim women's anthology of experience that i've read, but i think it is the first compiled by an american black muslim woman. ( saleemah abdul-ghafur also co-created Azizah magazine, which was on the cutting edge before alot of these other magazines, delving into topics such as female filmmakers and domestic abuse. ) in some ways can relate to the editor - growing up american, female, muslim and black and having to deal with some of these i ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't know if this anthology is one of the "first of its kind" or not, but I think because I have been reading a lot of "Muslim woman narratives" lately, after a while, (for the most part), they start appearing the same. Muslim women are women, they are powerful, they're complex, they struggle with their religion, they face abuse, and they grow from it all. I suppose for non-Muslims (and even many Muslims it would seem) who aren't as ...."well-versed" in the community, the book may be a bit ey ...more
Sarah Lameche
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-and-islam
This book started off a one thing then became something else. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. The women's stories were full and interesting. Some of the poems I enjoyed some were just O.K. Then slap bang I hit a stumbling block. When I read 'Hijra from Harlem' it spoiled the book for me. This women literally states "when I become president...". I just didn't enjoy reading this section. It irritated me and put me off reading on. However read on I did and I loved the next stories of t ...more
Genie McFate
Aug 09, 2011 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone who is curious about Muslim women
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
What an awesome book! If you're curious about American Muslim women and want to encounter a variety of viewpoints on the topic, this is an excellent choice.

These essays by American Muslim women, cover a variety of topics: to hajib or not hajib, which can also have political connotations on top of religious ones; women fighting for the right to be equal members of mosques; marriage; American Muslim women who were born in the US or came here as immgrants; and a lesbian American Muslim who must wri
Oct 01, 2007 rated it liked it
I first came across this book when I attended a talk the author gave at a divinity school in Berkeley, CA. The book tends to focus on the negative and also devotes a lot of time to not-so-mainstream experiences, which may or may not mislead one into thinking that certain experiences are more common or usual than they are. That being said, I think that because this is the case, the narratives in this book are of a type too-often ignored by the mainstream Muslim community. Whether or not you agree ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yes.
Sometimes I feel isolated in, what people call, progressive American Islam. I know that I'm not and this book reiterated that for me. The theme that every faith journey is different, that Allah is accessible to us even if we're not disposed to the most traditional interpretations of the Prophet's words and that Allah has given us the capacity to form our own blessed identity within His will was great.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam, 2014
well planned and executed presentation of voices from the female american muslim perspective. Loved that the author was passionate about bringing voice to those who are seldom asked to contribute to diversity dialogues! perhaps would have liked to have heard voices of women who have converted to Islam as well as just those of women who were born into the faith. but that is my only concern. would recommend
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Some of the women annoyed me and others were very compelling; overall I'm glad I read this book. I don't know as much about Islam or about women's experiences in Islam as I would like to, and this was a good start. There were a lot of common themes in the stories, but each woman also had a unique perspective. Generally, it was well-written and illuminating.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed this book. I felt I got a variety of different voices of women with different experiences. I feel I got a stronger understanding of Islam and Muslims. Given the medias coverage lately I feel it was needed. Perceptions from the media paint Muslims in a very negative light and ignore the fact that Muslims are people.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Anecdotes of those who have many number of identities: American, Muslim, Woman, Teachers, Wife, Mother, and more. They talk about struggles, joy, love, sex, job, education and family, and their lives. Cultural aspects and religious elements combined together, their struggles to synthesize their own identity. Very honest and strongly appealing stories.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Mostly very depressing short pieces. I read this along with Infidel for a book club. Infidel provided a much deeper understanding of Islam, Muslim women, and the various cultural differences influencing the religion.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
This wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be about American women converts to Islam. But in fact it was about women who were born Muslim and then had to find ways to reconcile their faith with their nationality. Still a good read. I recommend it.
Amber Buchholz
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amber by: Tasnim
I cried my way through this entire book. This is essential reading to anyone who takes seriously the Muslim woman's struggle to discover herself, reclaim herself, and walk with dignity on her spiritual path.
Daughters Of Abraham
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: muslim
This is about young American Muslim women. Some are very liberal. This book got a mixed reaction from our members due to some irreverent parts.
Stephanie Marie
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I really enjoyed all of the diversity in this book. I also liked that it was comprised of short stories and poetry.
Waheedah Bilal
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The voices of an eclectic group of young American Muslim women bring joy, tears, and insight as they share their lives.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it liked it
A few powerful narratives, but the themes became a bit repetitive. Would have been nice to see more diversity in terms of ideologies of the contributors.
Miami University Libraries
King Library (2nd floor) | BP67.A1 L58 2005
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam
A terrific collection of stories and reflections from American Muslim women.
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