Books Launch: “God Intervenes Between a Person and Their Heart” and “Love is Deeper than Words.”

Key Lessons From The Prophets

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About The Book: God Intervenes Between A Person And Their Heart

In this video I explore the themes and questions that inspired the writing of the book.  The book was published on May 23, 2020.  Your review and feedback is appreciated.

God Intervenes Between A Person And Their Heart: Key Lessons from the Prophets is a journey in listening, reflecting, and answering the call of faith, inspired by the life experiences that challenged me, and questions that I had to work through for myself and others.

The stories of the Muslim prophets are generally used for legalistic purposes, either to support Muslims or to tear them down. I would like us to take a step back from these dos and don’ts and to see the Muslim prophets as benchmarks or a mirror devoid of imperfection that can help us human beings see our various imperfections and reflect on our human struggles, to see and question afresh.

There are many sections about the lives of the prophets and how their stories connect to the contemporary world. I hope to make the prophets relatable to the readers by sharing stories of how they embraced and faced their all-too-human struggles.

In this project, it’s important for us to connect all our wounds together: The wounds of the prophets; the wounds of the Native Americans; the wounds of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism; the wounds of the disabled; the wounds of domestic violence. We have to recognize and seek out the wounds in our society, both as the oppressed and as the privileged, and sometimes as both. The prophets’ stories can help us see into this complex landscape, and help us see how coexistence, too, is a shared, universal experience.

The book opens with the anger of the oppressed and blends into the stories of Adam and Satan, as the story of humanity begins with repentance and self-criticism, a state that doesn’t have to feel harsh or depressing, but instead can feel comfortable and wholly human.

The questions of love and projection, truth and wisdom, power and oppression are not just stories from the Torah, Bible, or Qur’an: They are things that each one of us struggles to understand. By being able to connect to the shared cultural history, and the shared stories of these prophets, we can connect to each other.

The stories of the Prophets are connective tissue, and the Prophets are connective figures, helping connect Muslims with themselves, Muslims with each other, and Muslims with other groups.

About The Book: Love Is Deeper Than Words

Love is a powerful force, such that whatever a person loves enslaves and drives them. God wants us to love Him more than anything else. This isn’t because He needs our love, but rather because God loves us. God is Al Ghani. He is free of want and need. If all humanity lovingly worshipped God, this would not benefit Him in the least. And all of humanity choosing disobedience would not bring Him the smallest harm. He wants us to love Him more than anyone and anything else to protect us from being enslaved to any person or object, including our own ego. His love for us is protective and nurturing.

Then, why not compel us to love Him? Since He has power over us, God can compel us. We are His universe, His property, and His creation. Because His love invites with beautiful wisdom but does not compel or force. Instead, we are free to choose out of love and conviction to know, obey, and seek Him. God gives us the power and choice to disobey Him, and yet many lovingly choose to obey.

Those who disobey God will engage in acts of escapism, but the Quran repeatedly asks us, “then where are you going?” Escapism may provide temporary relief but does not address the root cause. We can only find peace and meaning in our lives by reflecting on our actions, seeking God’s guidance, and following His commands.

“But we think that we can by no means frustrate Allah throughout the earth, nor can we frustrate Him by flight.”

(Quran 72:12)

Establishing a solid relationship with God is crucial to genuinely loving others wholeheartedly. Through spending time alone with Him, we can develop more profound and meaningful connections with those around us. This way, we won’t use relationships to escape God or fill a void that only God can satisfy. Finding contentment and validation in our relationship with Him makes us less likely to seek it out in romantic or other relationships. Moreover, consistent prayer, His remembrance, and personal reflection with God can bring peace and tranquility, especially during challenging times.

By anchoring our faith, we can gain a truthful perspective, wisdom and better handle difficulties.

It is essential to recognize that change starts from within, which requires seeking guidance and aid from God. Hence, only by turning and returning to God can transformation occur.

Al Fatiha is read in every prayer, hold on to it, for guidance, wisdom, and resolve. This scholar clarifies this understanding here. And here.

The video mentions At-Tufayl. You can read my post on it here.


God Intervenes Between A Person And Their Heart

Review by Publisher Weekly:
Blogger Wazwaz offers a collection of devotional reflections drawn from the lives of the prophets of Islam in this enjoyable debut. Based on words from the eighth chapter of the Koran—“know that Allah intervenes between a person and their heart and that to Him you will be gathered”—her meditations are wide-ranging: addressing radicalism and speaking truth to power through the lives of Noah and Moses, oppression and sexual harassment in that of Joseph, interreligious exchange through Jesus and Mary, and slander and the #MeToo movement in the stories of Muhammad and his wife Aisha. Rather than focusing on the superficial legalistic readings of prophets’ stories, Wazwaz unearths universal messages of hope, faith, and forgiveness for a wide range of readers. Though Wazwaz primarily draws on the narratives of the Koran, she also quotes a range of other sources, including Martin Luther King Jr., Stoic philosopher Seneca, evangelical preacher Charles Spurgeon, and the New Testament. The result is a breezy, eclectic patchwork of inspiration that creatively applies the principles and practices of Islamic tradition to the world’s most urgent concerns.

Fadwa Wazwaz | Fəd-wə Wəz-wəz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. She is an author of God Intervenes Between A Person And Their Heart: Key Lessons From The Prophets, and Love Is Deeper Than Words: Key Lessons From The Prophets.
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