by Atiya Hasan
“But I recognize that I am the only one that stands in the way of my own happiness. I am the only one who can fill my heart with love again. If I learn to love myself more, I will rediscover my capacity to love others.” – The Ride by Ramy Eletreby
If you loved “Love, InshAllah” as much as I did, then “Salaam, Love” is an even bigger treat. I was surprised by how much I found myself being able to relate to the stories that unraveled before me. In Muslim culture, the men have always been the “unknown other” for women, but these stories reminded me that the struggle to be in perfect faith is a universal struggle. It was a reminder that having flaws, faltering and falling in life are concepts that we are all well acquainted with, whether it be male or female.
As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. What Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi have put together here is the much-needed, much awaited Muslim answer to the series. The narratives that come through are powerful, meaningful and impressionable. The book is standing proof of our society’s blaring deficiency in allowing Muslim men a safe place to divulge into their deepest selves to discuss such matters.
I look forward to whatever it is that the authors hope to put forth next and applaud them for all the efforts they have made in putting together “Salaam, Love.”