Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
G. Willow Wilson is honest to the bone, and I laughed and cried by turns at the vivid and poetic account of her life’s journey in The Butterfly Mosque.
From a student’s philosophic interest in Islam to a religious awakening in the hospital while suffering from what she calls adrenal distress, to Egypt, where she accepted a teaching position for a year, to meeting Omar, her adored and adoring soon-to-be Sufi husband and his extended family—all against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern way of life in Cairo, that overcrowded, overhot, overdusty great city of the Nile.
Willow’s descriptive and analytical powers are at once affectionate and insightful. The Middle Eastern way of life, with its emphasis on family and community interdependence instead of independence, its Islamic tradition of courtesy and hospitality, and its foundation of religion woven into every aspect of daily living, is something few in the secular West seem to appreciate.
Indeed, the Middle East division of the State Department as well as Western Think Tanks and Islamic Studies seminars would benefit greatly if The Butterfly Mosque were required reading.
Her candor is both refreshing and thoughtfully intelligent, and her bravery in forging a common ground, a space in which to live with her husband and within Islam the way her heart beckoned, is to glimpse what is left unsaid, but there between the lines—those that accept their calling and follow their heart are on the Divine path, no matter their religion.
If you have not yet read this wise and intimate memoir, buy a copy now, or order it online here, or check it out of your local library. Willow’s is a life worth knowing.