Book Review – ‘Emergence’ by Damir Rafi: A Story of Discovery, Unity and Fulfilment

Emergence by Damir Rafi explains Islam, and how to be an engaged but religious Muslim in the university scene.

Emergence tells the personal story of a young British Muslim growing up in the 21st century at a unique period in Western history. We live in a time in which religious traditions and practices are in a marked decline, and Islam is increasingly becoming the scapegoat for many of the world’s social and political unrest. For children with religious convictions, growing up in such a climate can be a challenge, especially with the freedoms that come with modern life once they step into adulthood. The author relates his spiritual journey from the moment he enters this new phase of his life — his new-found freedom — when he goes to university to pursue a career in Medicine.

He takes us through his quest, exploring many issues at the heart of contemporary society: freedom of speech, terrorism, war & peace, apostasy, women’s rights, feminism, spirituality, worship, and more. He addresses misconceptions about Islam in light of modern world events, explores the purported incompatibility of Muslim and Western values, and illustrates the nobility of character of the founder of Islam – the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – who, when measured against even the social advances of the 20th century and the standards of contemporary morality, is still, as ever, the world’s leading revolutionary and a paragon of virtue.

University is a uniquely interesting place. Its diverse and open culture, largely dominated by young energetic minds cements its place as the vanguard of new ideas. Yet a dominant trend in such an environment can incline one to abandon long-held values; or at the opposite extreme, to detach oneself to the extent as to ignore worldly life altogether. In his journey, however, the author traverses a fine line. Never subdued by the allure of student life, and at the same time, never too absent from the life of others, he stands on a bridge, surveying his surroundings and drawing key lessons from the experiences of those saturated with a life of materialism on one end and those imbued with a love of spirituality on the other. All in all he commits himself to a fact-finding mission, effectively composing a collection of his research and experiences into an informative book that will be a valuable addition to the ongoing discussion on Islam and spirituality and their place in the modern society.

The book will bring people together. Indeed, it is story that will appeal to people from all walks of life. For Muslims it is a reminder of their true spiritual heritage and ultimately their responsibilities towards the wider society. For non-Muslims it is a reference guide which seeks to distinguish true Islamic principles from the insinuations and distortions in the media. For people with religious convictions – Muslim or otherwise – it is a story to which each one of us can relate to – that of life satisfaction despite detachment from a culture of hedonism. And finally, for all of us who yearn for truth, it is a testimony of perseverance, discovery and fulfilment.

You can buy Damir Rafi’s book here.

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