By Mariam Ahmed
During any life experience, there are lessons learned and ways to take those lessons and turn them into a positive change in your life. After a divorce, you may find yourself reevaluating your entire relationship as far back to the first time you met or spoke to your former spouse. You will probably try to figure out where things went wrong, what you could have done better or differently, and why this is happening to you. Rest assured that all of these feelings are normal. Try not to be too hard on yourself. It is normal to feel guilt, regret, and even anger, but as long as you take each and every one of those sentiments and turn them into something positive, this will help you move forward to your better and healthier self.
Below is a list of reading recommendations; books I came across that have helped me personally through my journey of going through a divorce.
- The Qur’an: Remember in Islamic School when your teacher would ask the class what their favorite book was? More than half the students would say “the Qur’an” and you would roll your eyes thinking, “Oh, how original.” Well guess what, your favorite book is going to become the Qur’an, if it is not already. The Qur’an is your go-to book. The gems you will take away from each read will become more and more valuable during your journey, navigating through the emotions and the ups and downs of this experience. And my favorite lesson of all is that no matter how big your hardship may seem, Allah’s subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) mercy and graciousness are much bigger.
- The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman: I appreciate this book a lot, because it allows you to recognize that each and every one of us expresses our love in different ways. Five love languages are explored and the way in which we expect to be loved and to give love are discussed. This might be a difficult read because you may wish you applied some of the lessons from the book to your own marriage, but just know that, insha’Allah, you will be able to apply them to your next. A healthier and happier marriage due to the many lessons learned.
- Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happed To You by Susan J. Elliott JD MEd: This is a great book and reference throughout your entire divorce and healing process. This book is an instructional guide of what to do and not to do during a breakup. I would find myself sitting in a park with a huge smile on my face because I realized that I was not alone in so many of the feelings and struggles I was going through. I particularly appreciate that this book teaches you to not be so hard on yourself, but to learn to love yourself and move forward to a much better you.
- Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed: A great book to put things into perspective. Ustdha Yasmin truly nails it in this book as she describes the importance of our relationship with Allah (swt) and our struggle to rid our hearts of worldly things. And yes, even the people we love are considered worldly things. This is something most struggle with, but learning to turn to Allah (swt) at all times and to let your relationship with Him fill the void will arm you against disappointment when things do not go the way you expected.
What are some of your go-to books to help you get through this difficult time?
I leave you with a quote from Sheikh Omar Suleiman.
“Wake up knowing that Allah is greater than any obstacle you may face today.”