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Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman's Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim
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Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman's Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  695 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Shortlisted for the 2018 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Honorable Mention in the 2017 San Francisco Book Festival Awards, Spiritual Category
This enthralling story of the making of an American is also a timely meditation on being Muslim
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Arcade
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  695 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a moving and wonderful story of one woman's journey through worlds both physical and spiritual.

In 1971 19 year old Sabeeha "Bia" Rehman marries her husband Khalid though an arranged marriage and moves from her native Pakistan to Queens, NY where Khalid is finishing his residency. Though they believe they'll only be in America for two years circumstances soon determine that the USA is now going to be the land she calls home.

A stranger in a strange land indeed. Separated from her huge an
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Bia along these pages.
Khalid Rehman
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is timely as we try to understand who are American Muslims? This is the story of a woman who grew up Muslim in Pakistan. Then she came to America and had to re-invent herself and re-learn Islam. She had to carve her way through lack of knowledge and misinformation about Islam, to raising children as wholly Muslim and wholly American, the bombing of the twin towers and then 9/11. Her unique conversational style of writing takes one with her on her 30 plus years of fascinating journey. A ...more
A beautiful introduction to the Islam religion and its practice through the experiences of a Pakistani immigrant trying to build a religious and cultural life for her children in America. Although I knew a little about the religion and its practice before, I was surprised at how much I did not know as I read this book. It was nice to learn alongside the author as she transitions from being fairly secular to much more devout.
Popsugar 2017 Reading challenge: A book about an immigrant or refugee
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Wants to Learn about Islam or Pakistani Culture from a Woman's POV
Recommended to Julianna by: Foothills Book Club
Reviewed for THC Reviews
I was just reading an article last week about how one of the most effective tools for fostering peace, understanding, and empathy for those different than ourselves is through the medium of storytelling. As someone who has been a life-long voracious reader, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve learned so much about other people, their cultures, and traditions through reading. Especially when it comes to non-fiction, I often have a tendency to gravitate toward books that are about
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read a lot of books surrounding the religion of Islam. Books by those who have left the religion and are aggressive towards it, ones by those who have been converted to and those who have converted from, histories of the Middle East, I've watched documentaries about Muhammad and documentaries about ISIS and all manner of middle eastern issues. But I have never read something like this; a look from someone who is Muslim and loves her religion and at the same time abhors those who have used ...more
Sajith Kumar
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
America is the greatest melting pot of the world’s cultures, races, religions and societal mores. People leave their homeland owing to oppression or for better prospects and get washed up on America’s shores. The life and career they develop out of the opportunities that await them in their new home make the later life of refugees one of affluence and plenty. The price they have to pay in return for this is the assimilation of the all-inclusive American spirit filled with tolerance and mutual re ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great book to follow my last one - Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, a memoir about growing up Appalachian in America.
I know so little about Muslims that I thought I would not understand or like Rehman's book. The more I got into her story, the more I could not put it down. Rehman's voice is refreshing and honest. She recounts her journey as a new bride and a new immigrant in the 70's and on through her role as new mother, college student, career woman - all the while with her husband Khali
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book. The whole book. But after about halfway through I speed read it and really skimmed toward the end. It was very good and I'm glad to have her understanding on being an American Muslim. Also after reading this book written by Sabeeha (Bia) she is a go-getter and it makes sense to me that she wrote this to try and bridge the gap and help us understand that the acts of few are hurting us all. She is trying to dispel Islamophobia. She, " lived with in a space where she had to answer ...more
UmAzzan Al Riyamia
An amazingly well written book on a journey we all go through (although not always with the same challenges). Sabeeha took us on her journey of fluctuating observance of Islam’s rituals, be it the physical ones or the spiritual ones. It is amazing how the love of her children brought her back to Islam.
What is amazing, she presented her thoughts kindly that even when you disagree with her you are annoyed.
In general it’s a book that makes you feel good once you are done reading it.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This engaging memoir chronicles a Pakistani Muslim's adjustments to American life. Sabeeha Rehman knows her own faith well and also believes fervently in the value of interfaith connection. On a personal level, I would love to meet the author. She feels like a friend already.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
She was born in Pakistan. She married a stranger, in an arranged marriage, and lived happily ever after in New York. How does happily ever after happen, for a Muslim Pakistani immigrant? Read on! Arriving in the early 70s, raising young Muslim men in 9-11 New York. I am struck by how easy the hard parts are. Then, she carefully walked her way through the everyday problems of raising American children.
Lovely book. She is more positive than anyone has a right to be. I loved spending a handful of n
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful way to learn, quite painlessly & often with such good humor, about Islam and how it is lived, practiced, loved.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone.
A.S. Amin
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"This book is the story of my life"

The above quote is from my mother, who also came from the Indian subcontinent in the early 1970s to start her new life with her husband in America.

This book will have an immense appeal for that pioneering generation, as it engagingly relates their experiences of getting married, moving to a new country, and assimilating into a new culture while attempting to maintain one's prior religious and cultural identity, along with imparting the best portions of it to o
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sadly I've finished....knowing & understanding much more. A book everyone should read in these times where people are urged 2 look for differences that divide, instead of shared values where we can unite. Rehman writes bravely, revealing her own inner conflicts as she faces questions most people have asked themselves...allowing the reader to figure things out alongside the author. I think this will be a book I recommend again and it is something I will come back to in order to p ...more
Cliffside Park Public Library (NJ)
Interesting book about being an immigrant and finding a way to create a life that blends old and new.
The author's arranging of the story around events and then how she dealt with them over time made a much more interesting read. The author writes clearly, with humor and pain but it's an interesting life.
Stephanie Curran
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
What a fantastic and important book!! Sabeeha Rehman speaks honestly and movingly about being an American Muslim, wife, mother, executive, and champion of the interfaith movement. I wish everyone would read this book.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. This book made me laugh, cry, and perhaps most of all, feel a surge of hope. Rehman is a talented and engaging writer who conveys a lovely message of unity and dialogue. This book should be required reading!
I wish I could give this book 6 stars! Really, really well written and absorbing.
Karl Wong
Aug 16, 2016 rated it liked it
The narrative is jumping and it's not cohesive through out the book. But it opens my eyes to Islamic world, especially American Muslim.
Marilynn Spiegel
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly believe this should be read by all those who fear Muslims, all those who are curious about the Islamic culture, and those who want to discern between religious fanatics and terrorists and those who are simply following a cultural belief. Sabeena Rehman writes with ease about the morality of her home life, the contrast and culture shock she experienced moving here in the early seventies, and the necessity she felt in writing this book after 9/11.
Rehman has worked diligently in the field
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I was fascinated by her arranged marriage at the beginning of the book. I appreciated her through self reflection on her transition from a Pakistani Muslim to an American Muslim. I think it was good for her to question a woman’s role in Islam and to find a place to live her faith in an ever changing society. The parallels to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-days saints is what surprised me the most. I have a very dear Muslim neighbor and now I really feel like I can understand a little bit h ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am so glad I read this book. Having been in Turkey many years ago, I found the people warm & friendly. The recent terrorist attacks were making me think they were not speaking up because maybe the ones in USA were of somewhat like feelings, just not as strong. This book answered many of my wrong feelings! I was amazed at all the interfaith things the author pursued. Her views on Pakistan surprised me, as I didn't think they were so advanced.
She definitely became an intelligent and true Am
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved learning about the Muslim religion and cultures. I also felt very passionate about creating interfaith in our communities once I finished reading. Parts of the book were written very fluidly and well, while other parts could have used some better editing, I thought.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Witty and thought provoking, elegant and educational, Rehman tells about the differences between Pakastani and American culture in reflection to her religion and identity with honesty.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I liked the first part of this book the best. Very fun to learn about another culture. But their time in America never changed or didn’t capture my attention enough to keep reading.
Angela Lindsey
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to read! I feel like the key to peace is respect for each others religion and culture. This book teaches both. Sabeeha gives you a beautiful look into her family and faith. Get to know your neighbors!
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good way to understand Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in the U.S. I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about the author and her transformation from a young Pakistani Muslim woman to becoming an Americanized Muslim.
Prof. Faroque
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
#An outstanding informative and uplifting book. Sabeeha Rehmans book is a great and valuable contribution, it will resonate with immigrants experience who are often faced with and have to deal with cultural and linguistic challenges. It will definitely resonate with folks who have an interest in learning about Islam. Its an easy read, its engaging, entertaining and provides a ground level view of American Muslims and the challenges they face in developing a cohesive contributing community in USA ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a thoroughly American story of an immigrant family who settle in New York City from the 1970s until the present day. She starts as a shy newlywed and homemaker in an arranged marriage and transforms over time into an interfaith activist while watching her Muslim and Pakistani immigrant communities grow and change in their relationships with the majority population.

Each step in her journey leads to another logical one as she finds her confidence and her role as a devout Muslim woman in a
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“Many immigrants fear that by embracing the culture of their adopted country, they are scraping away the defining contours of their heritage.” 1 likes
“Before you start your prayer, prepare your heart to welcome God, just as you would prepare your house to welcome a guest.” 0 likes
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