By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

In her last lively book, Asma Hasan called herself a “Muslim feminist cowgirl” — referring to her years in Pueblo, Colorado. In this follow-up work that mixes autobiography with feisty insights into Islam and the many misconceptions people have about it, the author demonstrates the spiritual practice of enthusiasm, which writer George Matthew Adams describes as “a kind of faith that has been set on fire.” A first generation American, Asma Hasan is proud of her Islamic heritage and those ancestors who might have been “great scholars, conquerors and philosophers.”

Having a direct relationship with Allah is quite astonishing to her; in Islam there are no intermediaries. Hasan revels in the connection she feels with over a billion brothers and sisters around the world when she performs one of the five, daily, Islamic prayers. At the same time, she appreciates the diversity within the faith that enables couples in Saudi Arabia and in Malaysia to have widely different but still technically Muslim weddings.

Among some of the other seven reasons why Asma Hasan is a Muslim are because Islam has a rich mystical tradition in Sufism, because Islam is a woman’s religion (she explores Muhammad’s love and respect for women and his preference for them over the company of men), because Islam allows and expects individuals to makes mistakes, and because being Muslim makes her a better American (both affiliations share a desire for social justice, gender equality, racial equality and property rights). Asma Hasan’s ardor is dramatically conveyed on the pages of this fascinating book!