Book Review: A Temporary Gift by Asmaa Hussein
Would you believe me if I told you I’ve read this book twice, yes twice! You know, some books are hard to review because you fear you won’t do it justice, well this one is of those books!
On Friday 10th of August 2013, 26 year old Amr Kassem took part in a peaceful protest in Alexandria, Egypt. He was there along with thousands of other people, protesting against the mass injustices taking place in the aftermath of the coup d’état by the Egyptian military under the command of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. On his way home, he was shot by a sniper and killed. Leaving Asmaa Hussein – the author a widow and their daughter fatherless.
In the first few pages of the introduction alone, I had goosebumps and tears. It was heartbreaking. Being married myself it’s something unimaginable for me, losing my husband is one of my biggest fears. Looking at the cover made my insides jump a little, as Amr looked a lot like one of my closest brothers.
Asmaa tells us her story through diary entries, of how she met and lost her husband. These entries were written during the two years following Amr’s departure from this world. They’re personal, heavy and yet so uplifting. Asmaa has a way with words, majority of it will make your soul- stir and yearn for Allah. Especially her duahs, they are so beautiful. I found myself closing the book countless times, stopping to reflect on them.
‘How strange that a hardship may actually be a blessing while ease can be the true difficulty! May Allah (swt) make us from those who are constant in both ease and difficulty.’– Asmaa Hussein (Page 236.)
Asmaa took me on a journey of her pain, loss and most importantly how she lived after immense trauma and found love in other things. She uses and calls upon Allah with His most beautiful names and reiterates the importance of never questioning Allah’s decree. We plan and Allah plans, Allah is the best of planners.
Asmaa talks a lot about Amr’s good character and how he was giving of himself to his family, friends and community. I found myself taking plenty away and feeling inspired to be a better muslim by his character alone.
I’ve been following Asmaa on social media since reading this book and it’s warming to see, she has found light at the end of her dark tunnel. I find her inspiring with the many hats she wears. An author to multiple books, a registered social worker, a speaker, a publisher and founder of Ruqayas Bookshelf.
I’ve been recommending this book to everyone at every opportunity I get. It’s one of those books that you’ll keeping taking off your bookshelf to read again and again.
Guess who got to interview the author? Yep, me. Click here to read it.