Q&A with Sabeeha Rehman, author of "Threading My Prayer Rug"

Sabeeha Rehman's new book, Threading My Prayer Rug is out on Tuesday, July 5th! Bide your time before the book release with this Q&A with the author.

1) How did you come to write Threading My Prayer Rug?

With anti-Islamic sentiments on the rise, I wanted the readers to know that the heart of a Muslim mother is like that of any other; that Islam does not oppress women, misguided people do; that Islam does not advocate violence, misguided people do; that Muslims also have the same dreams—my son the doctor, the same fears—I hope its not cancer, the same worries—can I pay my bills, the same drive—how can I help this homeless woman on the stoop. I wanted the reader to know that Islamic values are entirely compatible with the American values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I wanted to make that case by revealing my story and getting the reader involved in my Muslim issues: by taking the reader into my Muslim home, sitting at our table, listening in to our intimate conversation, feeling the tension when the media attacked Muslims, get emotionally involved in our trials and failures, rejoice when we finally built our mosque, and get teary-eyed when my son fell in love.

2) What are you currently reading?

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Nothing happens by sheer luck. It’s grit, tenacity, diligence, and skill. Its giving up the comfort of hearth and home, and weathering it out in the sand and storm. I wonder if coming generations will benefit from our contributions to the extent that we have benefited from our predecessors.

3) Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. As a young girl growing up in Pakistan, the sad plight of the orphan girl tugged at my heart, the romance made my heart soar, and the dramatic blow at the wedding was crushing. As a woman, now in the United States, it appeals to my feminist sensibilities, as does Jane’s strength of character. For all times, it’s the writing style that is simply beautiful.

4) Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?

How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History: The Hinge Factor by Erik Durschmied, coming July 19. I relish reading historical fiction and non-fiction. I am fascinated by Napoleon’s trajectory. Would a fistful of nails indeed have won Waterloo for Napoleon? Can chance and error, weather and coincidence, change the course of history? It should make for interesting reading, and a more interesting fireside chat.

5) What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

I have a book idea percolating. I got to spend a few years in Saudi Arabia. In fact I was there on 9/11. I may write about that.

Get the book, Threading My Prayer Rugin our stores on Tuesday, July 5th!