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Keepers of the Faith

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Keepers of the Faith is set within a small Muslim sect of India, ruled by an avaricious priesthood that demands absolute submission while enforcing archaic social customs. When a section of the community rebels, it is summarily excommunicated, shunned by friends and family and denied religious rites. The peaceful community is split into two.

The novel follows the fates of t
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 15th 2020 by Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
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Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 to 4 stars

This story was truly an experience, more than a story of young love derailed, it focuses on the hidden darkness of religiosity and how elevating a religious leader to the status of 'godhood' at the expense of religious freedom of expression can lead to the destruction of community relationships, friendships, and families.

'Give a man a beautiful thing and he will find a way to make it ugly. Our species is fundamentally flawed'- Kaiser Ali
Ajmeri's Keepers of the Faith is not yo
Saeeda Quaisar
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a coming of age tale of two childhood sweethearts weaved in with a backdrop of the small community they belong to. He writes masterfully of their story as young lovers caught amidst the wrath of religion, authority and community and follows their fate into adulthood.
Keepers of the faith is a masterpiece of love, romance, heartache, betrayal, loyalty, religion and authority and much more. I lived alongside the characters as he painted them vivid and alive. I came out understanding h
Malika Faizee
The Keepers of the Faith, authored by Shaukat Ajmeri is an interesting read.The love story set in the 70's, revives the charm of Udaipur of yesteryears. Udaipur of old havelis (mansions) and lakes and greens, untouched by the pollution and construction that has turned it into a near concrete jungle of today.

The author sheds light on some social evils rampant in our so called (aman pasand jaman pasand) peace lovers food lover Community.How the priest class exploits the followers,of whom half are
Nusrat Ali
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“.... every human soul needed to be awakened, find its own revelation. To follow the revelations of others was like wearing other people’s clothes. They can’t fit you right and can never be your own.”

A breathtaking and brave story, Keepers of the Faith, navigates the life of two lovers and how their love is shattered due to tyranny of religion and oppressive faith. Amidst beautiful warm relationships it paints a true picture of issues faced by bohras across the world. As a young generation bohr
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so beautifully written; intertwining themes of love, power, freedom, faith and fate. It was one of those books I couldn’t put down but also didn’t want to end. I come from a Momin family and my grandparents and parents were part of the 'radical' movement that forms the backdrop of this story. Growing up, I mostly ignored my parent's ramblings about the reformist movement. I didn’t feel that it was relevant to my life. But through this book I have learned and reflected, and have fou ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Emotional and incredibly insightful. A poignant story and heartbreaking journey of young lovers crossing path over social barriers. Would read over n over again.
Rehana Ali
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Through his debut book ‘Keepers of the Faith’ Shaukat Ajmeri a progressive and a reformist, addresses socio-cultural issues associated with religion, of a so called Momin sect interwoven in the beautiful yet heartrending life journey of Akbar and Rukhsana. It is not just a story of two lovers but that of the community as a whole where evil practices in the name of God and religion seeps into the personal lives of people and cruelly tears apart families, friends and lovers. The story is set in Ud ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keepers of Faith is a beautiful love story weathered through ex-communication, religious authorities, Political turmoil and still survived in the hearts of 2 lovebirds. It beautifully portrayed the real life struggle and personal boundaries to live within community. This book opens up as many questions as it answers. This is one of the book, I would finish in one sitting. Very well written.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keepers of the Faith is vivid novel about the hardships faced by a religious community in Udaipur, India. It does a beautiful job of painting the emotions of each character where one can't help but sympathize. It feels as though I were walking through the pages alongside each character. The words capture one's attention and do not let go until the story has been completed, and still they linger a while longer. ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and vivid work of historical fiction about an islamic community fighting against division, oppression, and autocracy.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
TW: sexual assault, violence against women, religious violence

I wrote and rewrote this review many times because I wanted to make sure I captured the wonderful essence of this book. I’ll start off by saying that Shauket Ajmeri is a contemporary literary genius and this book is a treasure. This book focuses on a small Muslim sect of India ruled by an authoritative Priesthood in Udaipur, India. The sect’s division is the backdrop of this entire novel, and how it affects the love between Akbar and
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keepers of the Faith is a beautifully written book. The story is immersive, moving, funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

Shaukat Ajmeri has delivered such a powerful social message through a story of society, family, love and guilt. He has bravely touched upon lots of key social and political events that took place during the lives of the main characters.

This book is for readers from every religion, belief, community and culture plagued by the orthodox leaders who exploit their blind follow
Aida Ali
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful and powerful read! A story of love, youth and idealism set against the backdrop of authoritarian rule in the Momin sect in India. This is an extremely important book because it takes a closer look at the archaic practices within the Momin sect and immerses the reader in the emotional and social price one has to pay to attain a ticket to heaven (literally!) from an oppressive religious regime – something taking place in India today!

This book left me dreaming of Udaipur, Mumbai an
Shamoun Jivanjee
Jun 09, 2020 marked it as to-read
"Keepers of the Faith" is a well written book that i found it difficult to put it down.
The writer has very aptly illustrated all the sufferings and fracturing of the once peaceful and docile community by the tyrannical and despotic diktats of the "Mowlana."
Under the guise of religion Mowlana has enslaved the community into total submission to his dictates.
Any and all opposition to him result in excommunication - families and friendships are torn apart resulting in broken promises and relationshi
Nuruddin Bohari
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keepers of The Faith presents a true picture of a small community in turmoil caused by the ever powerful clergy.
Those who are part of this community can easily relate to the story where as others can see the heavy handed tactics used by the clergy to force the followers in total submission.
What I enjoyed the most was the way Shaukat Ajmeri has used his mastery of words into forming sentences. I was mesmerized by the skillful use the language. At times he describes events and object with words an
Sherbanu Klail
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of first-hand insight about the power of conviction, the bonds of the family, and tenacity of love. One great thing about this book is that Shaukat has developed the characters genuine in nature. Each person has a definite personality. My favorite characters felt real to me.
Some drama, surprises, and real romance kept me reading to overcome suspense. Disliked the sad ending. The frustration of two lovers, who were not able to live happily live together forever , is heartbreakin
Oan Ali
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The storyline is beautifully towed, binding all the characters throughout. The scenes are so vividly and exhaustively narrated in a lucid language that the reader gets absorbed in the plot and feels the heat and warmth of each situation.

Passion of love and longing, pangs of separation and reconciliation, hopes and zeal of life shuttling between the past and present is meticulously elaborated. While juggling the drama of life an attempt is also made to unbare the fallacy of faith in the Maulana
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading this book about the struggles of two souls deeply in love and the helpless inevitability of their religious and social circumstances which eventually decided their fates. Could not put it down - had to find out how Rukhsana's life would carry on and Naseem's onward journey. Ajmeri's writing style is very fluid and left me to think about a few things. Slated for a second read to follow up on afew things that provoked my mind. ...more
Sandra LaBine
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keepers of the Faith was totally entertaining, while also being informative about some religious customs and rites. It combined a fictional coming of age love story, with true events surrounding rebels in a religious community. The characters were well thought out and helped the story to be very believable. The writing was wonderful and evoked lovely pictures in my minds eye.

The true test for me was not wanting the story to end! I loved it.

Thank you Shaukat Ajmeri.
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I relished every word in this masterful and relevant tale of love and humanity. Shaukat Ajmeri spins a story rooted in truth, history, and honesty. I’ve grown up knowing the brave Reformists and Radicals who fought against religious tyranny and broke away from blind oppression, and this story illuminates the history and context in a beautiful and personal way.
Hunaid Shakkarwala
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before right wing conservatism was mainstream, it rose in the 80s and ruined lives and families of a small Islamic community peacefully residing in a small town in India. The book does a good job of narrating the story of a couple who were separated because of this power struggle. It gives a great historical perspective and seamlessly weaves elements of local repertoire in story telling.
Jo-Lynn Buchanan
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Dec 16, 2020
Mawenzi House
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Sep 10, 2020
Sofiya Shah
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Apr 11, 2020
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Apr 16, 2020
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Jan 28, 2021
Matt Mejaski
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Jun 19, 2020
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Bhargavi Ramamurthy
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Jan 17, 2021
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  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose bestselling debut novel, Black Buck, was published in January. It's been a Read with Jenna...
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