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Being Productive, Happy and Socially Useful Muslims

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Love of God: Making God One’s Supreme Concern
Relapse into Darkness

How To Be A Happy Muslim Insha Allah
By Sheima Salam Sumer
Published by: FB Publishing
647 Camino De Los Mares
San Clemente CA 92673
Price: Not mentioned


Sheima Sumer’s book is a ray of light and hope. Sumer reminds us that our understanding of faith should be a source of achieving felicity and joy, paving the way for happy individuals and happy societies, and a happy humanity at large.

Reviewed by Nigar Ataulla

How To Be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah is a book by trained counselor Sheima Salam Sumer which intends to guide you in achieving inner peace and joy by combining Islamic teachings with mental and physical health concepts. This book will empower you to feel content and in control of your emotions, no matter what is happening in your life, and to be able to cope with and solve any problems that you face. It seeks to help you to think and feel positive across situations and to be in a constant state of gratitude to God.
Sumer earned her Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina in 2007. She has worked as a professional counselor in a variety of settings. She published her first book in 2012, titled: “The Basic Values of Islam: Alphabetically Listed with Islamic References”. Her second book, “How To Be a Happy Muslim Insha Allah”, reflects her journey on how to feel good and happy within while being true to Islam. She hopes that this book will indicate how meaningful understandings of Islamic teachings can help people feel positive and joyous and become more productive, happy and socially- useful persons.

Negative Judgment About Others
I believe that spiritual counseling is of utmost importance. Sometimes, when people tell me their stories of life, they make negative judgments about others and blame them for their conditions. I have been often wanted to tell them: “Turn to God, He alone can solve our issues and problems”. But one needs to understand that people come with the baggage of their past and their worries about the present and the future and they need to be, first of all, understood well. While turning to God in all situations is the ideal way to handle life, one additional thing I learnt from this book is that your journey to become happy will go back and forth. You will feel like you have improved or progressed, and then you will feel like you have regressed or gone backward. This is very normal. Going back and forth is part of the journey to becoming the best “you” possible. Acceptance of the ups and downs in life while maintaining faith and trust in God is a sure way towards joy. And the more joyful you are, the more joy you are able to spread around you, helping to kindle the same in others, too.
This book has reached far and wide and has won considerable acclaim. It draws on the Quran and Sunnah, resources from psychology, health and nutrition, and personal stories to provide readers with clear, practical tools to make positive improvements in their attitude and behaviour so as to become more happy and contented. God wants us to be happy, it reminds us. It is a short and comprehensive guide, presented in an easy to read and personal way. It is designed to provide encouragement to Muslims who wish to improve their outlook and approach to life on positive lines. People caught up in demanding jobs, consumerism and other trappings of contemporary society will benefit from the author’s advice.

Muslims Living in an Unhappy Atmosphere
That religious faith and practice should help us become peaceful and happy, among other things, and that happiness is an important aspect of our spiritual (in additional to our emotional and physical) health is presented wonderfully in this book from an Islamic perspective. Sumer is candid in her use of personal stories to highlight how she has applied these principles in her own life.
While the world is witnessing unprecedented scientific advancement and material and technological growth, many Muslim societies are engulfed in flames of war, terrorism, destruction, senseless killings and sectarian strife. Many Muslims are living in an unhappy atmosphere of violence, hatred, pain and suffering and find themselves confused and clueless about the road ahead. In this dark hour, Sumer’s book is a ray of light and hope. Sumer reminds us that our understanding of faith should be a source of achieving felicity and joy, paving the way for happy individuals and happy societies, and a happy humanity at large. She has succeeded in creating a step-by step guide that shows how the practical application of timeless and sacred Islamic teachings, properly understood, coupled with modern health ideas and techniques of counseling can form ingredients of how to be a happy Muslim.
This book is a valuable reminder that happiness is important and worth striving for, and that it is attainable, regardless of outside circumstances, as long as one is willing to put forth conscious and consistent efforts. “How to Be a Happy Muslim” is worth reading again and again.
For more insight into the book you can email at [email protected] and check out the website: www.howtobeahappymuslim.com)