Ruzina Ahad is the author of “Dream, Du’a Do,” which is a little light-hearted self-development book that offers strategies for Muslim women to not just survive in today’s world, but also to thrive in it. Ruzina was born and raised in London, UK and now lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Let’s learn more about this book and its author:s
Rumki: “Dream Du’a Do” appears to be a necessity on our bookshelves مَا شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ. Can you describe what inspired you to write this book?
Ruzina: The inspiration to write this book first hit me as we were closing in on 2019 and beginning a new decade. I am a journaling enthusiast and so as we were beginning a new decade, I began thinking about all the hopes and dreams I had for myself for 2020 and beyond. I used my journal to jot them down.
The first words that I wrote down in my journal were dream du’a do. This has been a personal mantra for me for as long as I can remember as not only I am a big dreamer but I’m a big believer of manifesting my dreams through the power of du’a.
For each goal or dream that I wrote down in that journal, I also started researching du’as which could help me achieve these goals and started keeping a journal of them too. Soon enough, the pages began to be filled with ideas of how to make du’a and what were the best times to make du’a.
As I flipped through the pages of my journal, I realised the concept’s potential for becoming a published book, especially the type of book that I wished I had as a teenager. Living as a Muslim in a non-Muslim country, I realised that growing up, I never had a book like “Dream Du’a Do” to ease me into practicing Islam. This experience motivated me to write one for my younger self, for my own children and for the youth today.
The pandemic also really pushed me to complete the book. At the start of Covid 19, everything seemed so morbid and I began to really think about all the things I wanted my children to know in order to live a successful life just in case I wasn’t around to tell them in the future!
Rumki: You wrote that this is an “ultimate survival guide” for the Millennial Muslimah. What do you mean by this term and can youth relate to this book too?
Ruzina: The reason why I called this book the ultimate survival guide is because I touch upon many topics that affect Millennial Muslimahs when it comes to going after their goals.
I wanted to write a really easy self-help book or a how-to-guide where you get to laugh a little and learn a lot as I walk you through some of the basic principles from neuroscience and positive psychology, tying them in with the teachings of Islam to ultimately explore what it means to achieve your big dreams.
Rumki: I love how you go into details of different types of dreams and how those dreams are. What kinds of dreams did you have growing up? Tell us about your upbringing and how it has shaped who you have become.
Ruzina: I had all sorts of dreams growing up and I think my environment definitely shaped my dreams.
As Millennial Muslims, we grew up amongst the backdrop of 9/11 and the whole war on terror and in many ways, the events that unfolded after that shaped us in more ways than we could ever have imagined. I am also a second-generation Bengali, born in the UK. This means that we are that awkward generation where we’re not quite Bengali, but not fully English either. We were the first to challenge tradition, the first to make our mark on the internet, the first to question our place in our community,
Even today in 2022, our dress code is dictated to us by countries such as France and India. We are living through times, when we have been constantly told that Muslim women are weak, oppressed and need liberating which is why one of my biggest dreams, even as a child, was to become a teacher so I could educate the world that this is so far from the truth.
Rumki: Have you gotten feedback from any readers? What has the best feedback been and how did it make you feel?
Ruzina: Since the release of this book, I’ve been inundated with messages from readers- Muslim and non-Muslim all over the world, sharing their reading journey and dreams with me which has been so inspirational.
As Muslim women, we are capable of so much more than we are told; our Islamic history is rich with strong fierce. We can attend university, enjoy drinking coffee, shower with soap and can tell the time on a clock because some Muslim, somewhere, some time ago, dreamt it all up and made that dream come true!
The world needs more Muslimahs who dare to dream big, who believe in the magic of possibility.
There are so many industries out there that are painfully lacking representation from us, the health and fitness industries need more women like us, the fashion and entertainment industries need more women like us, the tech, research, education scientific, financial, political, medical, theological among so many other industries, are all waiting for us to use our privileges as Millennial Muslimahs to make our marks in the world.
Rumki: Where can we follow your journey?
Ruzina: ”Dream Du’a Do” is available pretty much worldwide, but especially from The Dreamwork Collective website, Virgin Megastore, Kinokunya, magrudy’s in the UAE, Waterstones, Foyles, and Blackwells in the UK, Barnes and Noble, in Canada and USA, Baitul Hikmah in South Africa, Bookandread from Bangladesh as all other major bookstores. And of course, you can get the ebook version on Kindle or the audiobook on Audible from Amazon!