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When Muslim Marriage Fails: Divorce Chronicles and Commentaries Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: amana publications; First edition (July 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590080645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590080641
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


In this important work, author Suzy Ismail takes on the topic of crumbling Muslim marriages in the West. Using a refreshing storytelling approach, this book gives readers a view into five different failed marriages, both from the husbands and the wives perspectives, followed by commentary on why each marriage failed. Each story is different, and yet common themes such as miscommunication and a lack of common life visions repeat themselves again and again. By telling each story from both sides, the author also gives us a chance to truly see how two people can have such different perspectives and feelings on a shared situation, and in this way, reminds us of the great importance of communication in all our close relationships. The stories span from young couples unable to survive the early stages of marriage to parents of adult children leaving each other after decades in loveless relationships. They also tackle important topics such as domestic abuse, cultural differences, and infidelity. This book will undoubtedly enter into the must-read category for family literature for Muslims here in the West. --Dr. Mohamed Rida Beshir

About the Author

Suzy Ismail currently teaches in the Communication Department at DeVry University. She received her Bachelor s in English, Communication, and Middle Eastern Studies, her Master s in Communication and Information Studies, and attended Rutgers University as a doctoral student in the field of Intercultural Organizational Communication. She is also the author of The BFF Sisters and other pending works. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

More About the Author

Suzy Ismail is currently a Visiting Professor in the Communication Department at DeVry University and the lead instructor and curriculum developer at CML. She received a BA in English, Communication and Middle Eastern Studies, an MA in Communication and Information Studies, and was previously an Organizational Communication doctoral student at Rutgers University. She is the author of "Modern Muslim Marriage," "Nine to Five: Muslims in the Western Workplace," "When Muslim Marriage Fails: Divorce Chronicles and Commentaries," "The BFF Sisters: Jennah's New Friends" and several other pending works. She has been an active member on her local school's Board of Directors for the past six years. She provides family and marriage counseling, career and diversity consulting, and speaks extensively on interfaith topics of Islamic leadership and family life. Suzy currently resides in New Jersey with her husband of fourteen years and her three young children.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
There were parts that made you cry and others that made you laugh hysterically.
A deconstructionist artist, Ms. Ismail shows us the ways the married couples in her stories could have stayed together--by taking them apart.
Mimi Cross
Ismail's smooth style of writing is extremely engaging as it takes you through different Muslim marriages that have failed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mimi Cross on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Marriage Fails could easily be the title of this important book by Suzy Ismail. Ms. Ismail's book is actually entitled, When Muslim Marriage Fails, but the stories on these pages could come from any culture. The characters in When Muslim Marriage Fails are fictional composites, but the problems they face are factual, the real problems of marriages today all over the world.

From Newlyweds who become disillusioned after the honeymoon is over, to men and women who leave a loveless marriage after living together for a lifetime and raising a family, these stories are sadly familiar to anyone who is married, has been married, or who is friends with at least one married couple. That sounds like just about everyone, and that's exactly who should read this book, everyone. Because although details and language from the Muslim religion are threaded throughout the stories, told twice each, one from each partner's perspective, this makes the book a richer read if you are not Muslim and I assume creates even more resonance if you are a practicing Muslim.

Following each story the reader finds an analysis by a Muslim scholar. Each of the biographies that follow the analysis tells the reader that these are accomplished people who walk various paths in life. This emphasizes what I stated above, that these stories are for everyone, because failing marriages affect everyone, the individuals involved and their immediate families, but also extended families, entire communities, and sometimes, whole cultures.

If you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage, this collection of stories may provide you with a mirror that will help you see what needs to happen next for you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By River333 on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
My intention is to give a truthful review that's tipped more towards constructive criticism, since that seems to be lacking in other reviews. I'm very supportive of this book's goal to encourage dialogue about divorce in the Muslim community. I commend the author for taking on this topic, and I think the format of including the husband's and wife's perspectives in first person is excellent for demonstrating how differently two people can see the same situation. It's an easy, quick read that is a real eye-opener concerning the sobering realities of marriage, and I think people single, married, and divorced can benefit from its lessons.

With that said, I have some issues with this book:

1. I don't like that these stories are fictional. The basic assumption when reading a book like this is that the stories will be real, and so the author should make absolutely clear that they're not. What really irked me though was that apparently the fictional stories written by the author are loosely based on interviews she did with divorced couples, however, rather than one real case of divorce being the direct inspiration for one of the book's stories (which would make the stories more realistic), each story is apparently an amalgamation of many stories. Now it makes sense that as I was reading, I kept thinking about how outrageous these characters were, particularly the husbands. They were often represented as the most despicable of people, with absolutely nothing good about them. And the wives were often depicted as the most pathetic of victims, with very little common sense. The only exception is the last story. While I'm sure there's some truth to the stories, I think the author got too carried away with her storytelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Areena on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book author suzy ismail hai written few fiction stories of divorced couples but those stories are based on what is happening in reality nowadays and then at the end of every story there is commentary which gives us wonderful lessons to be learnt from story so we do not make such mistakes in sha ALLAH. One more good part each divorce story is told in his[husband] as well as in her [wife] view. Very nice book mashaALLAh:)
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