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A Temporary Gift: Reflections on Love, Loss, and Healing

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On Friday, August 16, 2013, twenty-six-year-old Amr Kassem attended a peaceful protest in Alexandria, Egypt along with thousands of others, rallying against the mass injustices taking place in the aftermath of the coup d'etat by the Egyptian military under the command of Abdel Fattah al_sis. As Kassem returned home to his family, an Egyptian army sniper shot and killed him On Friday, August 16, 2013, twenty-six-year-old Amr Kassem attended a peaceful protest in Alexandria, Egypt along with thousands of others, rallying against the mass injustices taking place in the aftermath of the coup d'etat by the Egyptian military under the command of Abdel Fattah al_sis. As Kassem returned home to his family, an Egyptian army sniper shot and killed him, leaving a woman widowed and a child fatherless. A Temporary Gift is a record of journal entries written by Kassem's widow, Asmaa Hussein, during the two years following his departure from this world. This book is about re-learning how to live in the face of immense trauma. It is a reminder that beyond the pain and darkness of loss there is still the potential of light in patience and constancy.


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On Friday, August 16, 2013, twenty-six-year-old Amr Kassem attended a peaceful protest in Alexandria, Egypt along with thousands of others, rallying against the mass injustices taking place in the aftermath of the coup d'etat by the Egyptian military under the command of Abdel Fattah al_sis. As Kassem returned home to his family, an Egyptian army sniper shot and killed him On Friday, August 16, 2013, twenty-six-year-old Amr Kassem attended a peaceful protest in Alexandria, Egypt along with thousands of others, rallying against the mass injustices taking place in the aftermath of the coup d'etat by the Egyptian military under the command of Abdel Fattah al_sis. As Kassem returned home to his family, an Egyptian army sniper shot and killed him, leaving a woman widowed and a child fatherless. A Temporary Gift is a record of journal entries written by Kassem's widow, Asmaa Hussein, during the two years following his departure from this world. This book is about re-learning how to live in the face of immense trauma. It is a reminder that beyond the pain and darkness of loss there is still the potential of light in patience and constancy.

30 review for A Temporary Gift: Reflections on Love, Loss, and Healing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nur Diyana Md Nasir

    Never had a book got me all teary in the train multiple times, even as early as the first chapter -- until this one did! Her words made me feel feelings so deep, that I thought this is one of the books I would want my loved ones to read when my soul departs someday. 'Cos the pain of losing, the challenge of healing, may perhaps be made easier with this.. Can't describe enough what a tremendous gift it has been for me, masyaAllah. :) "One of the many things Amr taught me was the importance of giv Never had a book got me all teary in the train multiple times, even as early as the first chapter -- until this one did! Her words made me feel feelings so deep, that I thought this is one of the books I would want my loved ones to read when my soul departs someday. 'Cos the pain of losing, the challenge of healing, may perhaps be made easier with this.. Can't describe enough what a tremendous gift it has been for me, masyaAllah. :) "One of the many things Amr taught me was the importance of giving: not just giving money to those in need, but giving of yourself to your family, friends, and community. I mean the kind of charity that is to be a positive force on this earth, to radiate goodness and fairness wherever you go and to give from what is most personally yours: your heart, your smile, your good words. Those who continuously give are actually those who see themselves as the ones in need. They need Allah's mercy, His forgiveness. They need to alleviate the distress of others so that Allah swt can alleviate their distress on the Day of Judgment. I think Amr realized how much we were in need of this, so he endeavoured to always give to me, our daughter, his friends, and his community. He never stopped giving until the day he returned to Allah." - Asmaa Hussein, pg. 121

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aaisha

    A yet soul-stirring, yet heart-wrenching journey through Asmaa's marriage, the loss of her beloved husband and her healing process during iddah. Asmaa shares her experiences of the bitterness of patience, as well as the sweetness that follows after realising that the Almighty is the Best of Planners and He is more merciful to His slave than a mother is to her child. Hence, His Plan for her is better than all her plans. Asmaa reiterates the importance of fighting the question that naturally persi A yet soul-stirring, yet heart-wrenching journey through Asmaa's marriage, the loss of her beloved husband and her healing process during iddah. Asmaa shares her experiences of the bitterness of patience, as well as the sweetness that follows after realising that the Almighty is the Best of Planners and He is more merciful to His slave than a mother is to her child. Hence, His Plan for her is better than all her plans. Asmaa reiterates the importance of fighting the question that naturally persists during these trying times: never questioning the Decree of Allah by reminding herself of His unconditional Love and Mercy. May Allah grant her the strength and character of Asmaa (RA); and grant her and her daughter sabrun jameel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rayhaanah

    'A Temporary Gift' is a rich tapestry of moving prose, interwoven with delicate reflections that compels one to reflect & re-evaluate the purpose of life. Asmaa Hussein's journal entries teach life lessons in courage, resilience, Faith, beautiful patience, hope, and Taqwa. Once in a while you chance upon a book that makes you both smile and cry; a book that shakes you to the core and compels you to realign your true purpose; a book that leaves you changed, forever. This, is one of them. If there 'A Temporary Gift' is a rich tapestry of moving prose, interwoven with delicate reflections that compels one to reflect & re-evaluate the purpose of life. Asmaa Hussein's journal entries teach life lessons in courage, resilience, Faith, beautiful patience, hope, and Taqwa. Once in a while you chance upon a book that makes you both smile and cry; a book that shakes you to the core and compels you to realign your true purpose; a book that leaves you changed, forever. This, is one of them. If there's any one book you read this year, please let it be Asmaa Hussein's 'A Temporary Gift: Reflections on Love, Loss, and Healing'.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yomna

    A book that pinched and screwed right into my heart. Full of great reminders and touching words. I sobbed throughout the whole book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    sajida

    I am not sure what drew me into this book... But it happened and now i want everyone i know and love to read this. I have never lost someone close to me, Alhamdulilah but i was still able to somehow understand losing someone who is alive and breathing... Asmaa has done a great job at writing this book and i am so pleased to have read this in my lifetime.. it was beneficial in terms of understanding pain and healing through an Islamic perspective but also beneficial in understanding myself as a huma I am not sure what drew me into this book... But it happened and now i want everyone i know and love to read this. I have never lost someone close to me, Alhamdulilah but i was still able to somehow understand losing someone who is alive and breathing... Asmaa has done a great job at writing this book and i am so pleased to have read this in my lifetime.. it was beneficial in terms of understanding pain and healing through an Islamic perspective but also beneficial in understanding myself as a human who will have moments of hopelessness and hopefulness. May Allah bless you and preserve you and your family.. i pray one day i am able to be as wise and patient as you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ayesha

    This is a beautiful book of love. It made me strive to be a better person, to leave a mark on the hearts of people who are close to me, people I love, to follow the legacy of brother Amr, his commitment to his faith, family and friends, to love to so dearly with all my heart, so much love, an ocean of love Asma has for her husband. I highly recommend this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Narmeen

    My heart was in my hands, feeling your love and loss as if it was my own. I can only pray that I get to be honored like Amr was/is in this world and the next. Thank you for sharing you story with us Asmaa Hussein and for reaffirming my faith in God. Your words have encouraged me to be a better version of myself and to strive harder for what I believe in. God overwhelms me and He bestowed you with the power of words that touch my soul and many others. May you, me and anyone who has ever been a vic My heart was in my hands, feeling your love and loss as if it was my own. I can only pray that I get to be honored like Amr was/is in this world and the next. Thank you for sharing you story with us Asmaa Hussein and for reaffirming my faith in God. Your words have encouraged me to be a better version of myself and to strive harder for what I believe in. God overwhelms me and He bestowed you with the power of words that touch my soul and many others. May you, me and anyone who has ever been a victim of an unrest heart find their peace soon. Ameen. P.s. thank you for also implanting the idea of having a blog dedicated to my future kids with my life lessons and advice for them. I'm sure Ruqayah will grow up to be a beautiful human. Inshallah.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ayda Razak

    A story about a wife's grief on losing her husband that was shot while doing protest for standing up for the rights of his brothers and sisters who had been killed indiscriminately, and how she reflects on love, lost, and healing. "Your plane ticket was booked to come home with me in just two days. Our suitcases were mostly packed. Your dinner was ready for when you returned that afternoon. But your ticket to your real home in the hereafter was already booked far before we knew one another. You di A story about a wife's grief on losing her husband that was shot while doing protest for standing up for the rights of his brothers and sisters who had been killed indiscriminately, and how she reflects on love, lost, and healing. "Your plane ticket was booked to come home with me in just two days. Our suitcases were mostly packed. Your dinner was ready for when you returned that afternoon. But your ticket to your real home in the hereafter was already booked far before we knew one another. You didn't need your suitcases because you had packed your good deeds away in a place where they are never lost and with a Keeper who never forgets. I pray you have arrived at your destination without delays or worries. I pray you are safe in the protection and company of your Lord".

  9. 5 out of 5

    Imane

    this book is a collection of reflexions writtern by Asmaa Hussein during the two years following her Husband Amr's murder in Egypt. it's a very emotional, deep and honest book. i had to stop many times to reflect on what Asmaa's saying. even thought the situation was (is) hard, difficult and heartbreaking, but God's mercy is bigger and that's what i learned from this book. I think Asmaa did the best she could under very difficult circumstances, she shared her personal life with us, her vulnerabi this book is a collection of reflexions writtern by Asmaa Hussein during the two years following her Husband Amr's murder in Egypt. it's a very emotional, deep and honest book. i had to stop many times to reflect on what Asmaa's saying. even thought the situation was (is) hard, difficult and heartbreaking, but God's mercy is bigger and that's what i learned from this book. I think Asmaa did the best she could under very difficult circumstances, she shared her personal life with us, her vulnerability, her heart, her humaneness...and i thank her for that, because it gave us a great lesson to ponder upon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aqsa Malik

    Beautiful!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anum

    I think everyone should read this book atleast once..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Umm Saud

    Forever I will cherish this book. It has many memories attached to it

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tanzeel haider

    A beautiful book which will make you closer to Allah. This book is a beautiful love story of two pious people and a great self help book. The journey as described by the author Asmaa Hussein is or will be traversed by almost everyone of us during some parts of our lifetime. And she does well by sharing her wisdom and understanding of her life situation and by doing that she has definitely equip the readers with the knowledge which will ease the pain and help one get closer to Allah subhana ta'Al A beautiful book which will make you closer to Allah. This book is a beautiful love story of two pious people and a great self help book. The journey as described by the author Asmaa Hussein is or will be traversed by almost everyone of us during some parts of our lifetime. And she does well by sharing her wisdom and understanding of her life situation and by doing that she has definitely equip the readers with the knowledge which will ease the pain and help one get closer to Allah subhana ta'Ala.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    Finally got around to finishing this book by Asmaa Hussein. It was a journey. I felt that I couldn't finish it all in one sitting; it seems impossible to do so. With each journal entry, I needed time to soak up each sentence and the emotions Asmaa was sharing, and before turning a page, I had to take a moment for reflection. Honestly, this is the most beautiful body of writing that I've come across on the subjects of the transient nature of this world/people, the journey of loss, hardship, bless Finally got around to finishing this book by Asmaa Hussein. It was a journey. I felt that I couldn't finish it all in one sitting; it seems impossible to do so. With each journal entry, I needed time to soak up each sentence and the emotions Asmaa was sharing, and before turning a page, I had to take a moment for reflection. Honestly, this is the most beautiful body of writing that I've come across on the subjects of the transient nature of this world/people, the journey of loss, hardship, blessings, and trying to understand the wisdom of God's plan. It is truly a gem, and I am so happy that I picked it up after following her Facebook posts for a while. I gifted copies to a few of my friends, and wholeheartedly recommend everyone to read this. My personal copy is badly dog-eared, and when I reached the middle of the book I ended up picking up a highlighter (a little too late). I plan on re-reading this and highlighting all the parts I missed!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yasmine

    I have been unintentionally postponing reading this book for so long , maybe because i wasn’t ready for it or because it’s just not the right time . But Allah’s plans are always better than mine ; he planned the dates , the timings in the day , the location for every chapter , the company and my psychological wellbeing ؛ so that every single word would make a change in me. I am grateful for every word i read , i am grateful for everything i felt , i am grateful for holding on despite everything i I have been unintentionally postponing reading this book for so long , maybe because i wasn’t ready for it or because it’s just not the right time . But Allah’s plans are always better than mine ; he planned the dates , the timings in the day , the location for every chapter , the company and my psychological wellbeing ؛ so that every single word would make a change in me. I am grateful for every word i read , i am grateful for everything i felt , i am grateful for holding on despite everything i am passing through . اللهم لك الحمد حتى ترضى ولك الحمد اذا رضيت و لك الحمد بعد الرضا ولك الحمد ابدا ابدا I loved everything about it

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mehreen Shaikh

    A beautiful book that will make you weep, it will make you pause and reflect on your life, it will make you want to be better and do better. A book that you will definitely re-read, and want those you love, to read it too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mahnoor Khan

    unimaginably beautiful 💝

  18. 5 out of 5

    _thatgirlwiththebook_

    So i read this book called "A Temporary Gift" by Asma Hussein a few days back and im still under its spell. Its a top notch and hell of a deep read. If you've loved and lost someone in your life then its the next BOOK YOU SHOULD READ!!! It beautifully explains how the bad that happens to you is for your own good. It makes you stronger, it makes you more confident. What your lord has planned for you is no doubt better than what you want for yourself. In short its a beautifully written book with s So i read this book called "A Temporary Gift" by Asma Hussein a few days back and im still under its spell. Its a top notch and hell of a deep read. If you've loved and lost someone in your life then its the next BOOK YOU SHOULD READ!!! It beautifully explains how the bad that happens to you is for your own good. It makes you stronger, it makes you more confident. What your lord has planned for you is no doubt better than what you want for yourself. In short its a beautifully written book with so many great teachings! Its a journey of the author. Who is a canadian-muslim and after all finds a perfect partner for herself in egypt. After getting married to him she couldn't ask for more, she considers him a beautiful gift from Allah in return of her good deeds, everything becomes more beautiful when they welcome their first baby. But then suddenly her gift is taken away from her in a protest in egypt and losing him means losing herself... To know how she gets back to living a normal and grateful life again, go check this book out. You won't be able to forget it soon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Farah Mohd Noor

    I'll tell you this book definitely a must read for all. The author's reflection on her everyday life is totally amusing and serene to look upon. I like it when I learn a new insight of knowing that Allah is so merciful and so loving towards His slaves. I learn how deep someone can be in love even for a short time as I can feel her love for her husband is soo deep, and that's when I realized how enormous Allah's love is towards us. I believe this book is also suitable for everyone including the n I'll tell you this book definitely a must read for all. The author's reflection on her everyday life is totally amusing and serene to look upon. I like it when I learn a new insight of knowing that Allah is so merciful and so loving towards His slaves. I learn how deep someone can be in love even for a short time as I can feel her love for her husband is soo deep, and that's when I realized how enormous Allah's love is towards us. I believe this book is also suitable for everyone including the not yet Muslim or a new Muslim convert. It's like her understanding on life is so deep that is so true that we couldn't help to just read it but also feel it in the depth of our heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Selflovemine

    A Temporary Gift shows you how beautiful and empowering Islam is in motion.The concepts of tawakkul (reliance of Allah), sabr (patience) and love for the sake of Allah come to life through her personal journey. She found strength, inner peace and courage by connecting with her Creator in these difficult times and in turn, allowed me to see Islam in a whole new light. This book will no doubt move you (possibly to tears), but by the end of it I didn’t feel sad. In fact, her words are comforting. I A Temporary Gift shows you how beautiful and empowering Islam is in motion.The concepts of tawakkul (reliance of Allah), sabr (patience) and love for the sake of Allah come to life through her personal journey. She found strength, inner peace and courage by connecting with her Creator in these difficult times and in turn, allowed me to see Islam in a whole new light. This book will no doubt move you (possibly to tears), but by the end of it I didn’t feel sad. In fact, her words are comforting. I felt like everything was going to be okay. It reminded me that regardless of what life throws at me, I have Allah, I know that He loves me and that’s more than enough to keep me going.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wani Nusrat

    The book speaks about love found unexpectedly and love leading to transformation and then how the loss of this heart and soul felt is lost and its loss further refine and strengthens the faith, audacity, thinking and life goals of the lover. " Allah blesses a heart with the beautiful love and that love with its influence makes you realise that you too are capable of infinite and valuable love, and He takes gifts away at appointed times to make your hearts taste the goodness he has in it, to make The book speaks about love found unexpectedly and love leading to transformation and then how the loss of this heart and soul felt is lost and its loss further refine and strengthens the faith, audacity, thinking and life goals of the lover. " Allah blesses a heart with the beautiful love and that love with its influence makes you realise that you too are capable of infinite and valuable love, and He takes gifts away at appointed times to make your hearts taste the goodness he has in it, to make yours hearts strong again and again. From Him we are to Him we shall return".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fatinfarzanaa

    It is a beautiful book. Very beautiful that I lost words on how to describe it. It taught me, reminds me so much of Allah, our Creator. It continously reminds me of how mercy Allah is towards us. The love story between the author and her husband (Innalillah), is so outstanding. May Allah bless all of us. This book was beautifully written, i do not know how many times my tears running down my cheeks reading this

  23. 4 out of 5

    Azeezat

    I found this book to be very clarifying, a clear reminder that our days are numbered, and that the time, the moments we have, are best utilised properly. In pursuit of Allah's pleasure, being kind courageous, honourable, upholding sacred values, and repenting and making amends when we fall short. I found this book to be very clarifying, a clear reminder that our days are numbered, and that the time, the moments we have, are best utilised properly. In pursuit of Allah's pleasure, being kind courageous, honourable, upholding sacred values, and repenting and making amends when we fall short.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abibi

    This book had been lying on shelf for quite sometime till one fine night and couldn't put it down till I read, absorbed, marvelled, cried at how it touched my heart. What a simple, relatable, beautiful read. This book is free from any pretences - something written from the heart. One of those books, i'll keep on revisiting. This book had been lying on shelf for quite sometime till one fine night and couldn't put it down till I read, absorbed, marvelled, cried at how it touched my heart. What a simple, relatable, beautiful read. This book is free from any pretences - something written from the heart. One of those books, i'll keep on revisiting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Faiha Naseem

    This is the kind of book that makes you want to grab a highlighter and sticky notes, and to just absorb every last bit of reflection you can get from it. I absolutely love how genuine the whole book was, how the chapters were divided, how each reflection was connected to her experiences, those tiny beautiful details really brought the whole book to life 💗 Keeping sister Asmaa Hussein and her husband Amr in my prayers. May Allah reuinte them in Jannah, Ameen.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mushee Rah

    I was really saddened by the death of Amr, and I was overwhelmed by the sabr (patience) of this awesome lady. May Allah accept Amr as a Shaheed and grant him the best place in Jannah. May Allah ease Asma' affairs and reward her immensely for her great Sabr and having Tawakkul in Allah. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently going through a difficult phase in life. I was really saddened by the death of Amr, and I was overwhelmed by the sabr (patience) of this awesome lady. May Allah accept Amr as a Shaheed and grant him the best place in Jannah. May Allah ease Asma' affairs and reward her immensely for her great Sabr and having Tawakkul in Allah. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently going through a difficult phase in life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Farah Afzal

    A beautiful read. It breaks your heart and heals it simultaneously. Also for me, its a reminder that Allah loves small consistent acts. We may not necessarily be involved in big philanthropic projects but still obeying Allah and serving the creation in your day to day life may bring you His love

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sania Safdar

    @Asmaa Hussein you have done a great job...this book helped me in so many ways. I have read so many books that show re-learning but this book made me more courageous. This book really helped the process of healing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yasmeen Al-Shehab

    What a beautiful soul stirring story of love life loss and faith. That you Sr Asma for sharing your insights and wisdom and giving us a window into your unfathomable pain. May god grant you sabr and ease and reunite you with Amr in the next life. Ameen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    How to open it????? By seeing ppl reviews I also want to read this book but I don't know y it's not opening☹ someone please guide me How to open it????? By seeing ppl reviews I also want to read this book but I don't know y it's not opening☹ someone please guide me

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