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Revive Your Heart: Putting Life in Perspective (Book Review)

Brother Nouman Ali Khan has a new book coming out, entitled Revive Your Heart: Putting Life in Perspective. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Also, it is available now in some Islamic book retailers in the US.

You might be wondering, who is Nouman Ali Khan?

If you aren’t familiar with his work, then you can send me a thank you letter once you find out. According to a bio on goodreads, he is:

“recognized as one of the world’s most influential Muslims, not only in the West. His deep and profound bond with the Quran, the Muslim holy book, is at the heart of his work and the focus of his teachings, which manage to reach out to millions of Muslims from many different countries.”

Over the years, I have learned so much from Brother Nouman’s YouTube lectures and Bayyinah TV’s Arabic classes.

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In his new book, Nouman, takes short mentions from the Quran and blows them up to poster size so we can see the scene clearly. You think at first, we couldn’t possibly have such a large scope of understanding of such small mentions in the Quran.

But Nouman expertly expounds upon verses, words, and even letters of the Quran that you would never know there is so much depth to.

revive your heartAs Nouman is a student of knowledge and an Arabic teacher, much of what he discusses focuses on in his book are different translations and the roots, connotations, and synonyms of the Arabic used in the Quran.

He explains how each letter in the Quran is used so precisely that it opens up another world of detail that we, or at least I, usually miss out on.

Not only does he expound on the Arabic and a few stories, Nouman takes these stories that seem to be divorced from our time and context and he shows how intimately connected to us in the here and now they really are. This was so eye opening for me.

Certainly, times and situations change, but our nature and our basic needs will always be the same. We always find ourselves making the same mistakes, struggling for the same things, and so on. We are human and will always be so.

By highlighting this, Revive Your Heart shows the continuity of human kind in a way that doesn’t make me feel disgusted by the human race (per usual), but instead makes me feel a real connection with all of humanity, as is one of the purposes of the Quran.

He also tackles tough issues through these Quranic stories, issues like our sense of entitlement, how we need to be better communicators, how we treat our daughters, how we can build stronger communities, and more.

One example of a tough issues this book explains is that of the disease of bigotry in light of the Quran. Nouman explains what the Quran says about how it happens, how (very, very) often we participate in it without even knowing, and how destructive it is. Then he explains what we can and must do about it.

And his solution, no, the Quran’s solution that he explains so well is surprisingly simple. This is a section I would like to read, and recommend all read, over and over.

His writing style is conversational. You feel as if your older brother is sitting next to you having a heart to heart and offering some really sincere advice. If you enjoy his lectures, you will enjoy his writing style.

I would love to see a full tafsir (exegesis or explanation) of the Quran from Nouman (perhaps extrapolated from Quran cover to cover series on YouTube). I know that is a huge undertaking, but I also feel that Nouman can explain these Quranic topics in a way the modern mind can really understand.

About Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.