For starters, allow me to spend the next few lines to talk a bit about myself. As much as I enjoy writing, I am impatient when it comes to reading a book or books. I did manage to finish reading some books back then but that was usually for academic purposes, or when I ran out of movies to watch or when the Wi-fi is down. Otherwise, I either buy or borrow a book just because of the nice book cover or well, usually because I was trying to force myself to enjoy reading as everyone else does. Unfortunately, until now I prefer movies more than books. However, interestingly, I kept on thinking about this book when I first came across a post. A good friend of mine simply posted a photo on one of the social media apps captioned: “Move On by Aiman Banna. Read it guys”. My dormant inner geek was suddenly triggered; I started searching for its synopsis online. The book is written in Malay, so I will be translating the words throughout, hopefully In Shaa Allah of the same meaning.

“NO IGNORANCE, NO HIJRAH. This is the story about ignorance and hijrah in a life script of a human being. Grasp the lesson, and think about it.” – Synopsis for Move On by Aiman Banna (translated).

I thought, “That’s it. I’m definitely getting the book.” And I did.

Book Review: Move On by Aiman Banna
Photo: Muslyfe/Nurul S

Before reading the book, I already had an understanding that ignorance and hijrah can give different meanings. Generally, hijrah means migration, the movement from one place to another which originated from the migration or journey of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him from Makkah to Medina. In fact, the word ‘hijrah’ has a deeper meaning. Performing hijrah includes reforming one’s attitude, it means leaving the bad, ignorance and performing the good. It means following the right path, in the cause of Allah. What the author did is delivering this message in a meaningful way.

The book is plain and straightforward but it makes you think till the very end. This is one of its strong points. One of the reasons why I tend to stop reading until the first few chapters of the book is because of the complicated storyline or that I can already guess the ending. The story of Move On was based on a true story from when the author was a carefree and rebellious young boy to when the author became a changed person, a loving son and a proud husband and father. Although I might have to mention that the arrangements may seem to be jumping from one to another, but once you read the whole book you will have an overall understanding.

To be honest, I didn’t read the book as soon as I bought it. I flipped through and read the lines on the first few pages and I closed it. Why? Because exactly as the synopsis said, it is a story about ignorance and hijrah.

And before the author tells his story, he wanted to confirm if the reader is ready to move on.

I hesitated because I was scared. I knew what the book is about but I was not sure what kind of ending it may bring me to. To me, the ending may be fixed but it depends on the reader’s perception on what the ending means. Especially when the book is based on a true story, it may be relatable to the reader i.e. me. I may have encountered the same situation in the past or what if I encounter the same situation in the future; will I have to act the same as pictured in the book/will I not? Wallahu’alam.

Eventually, I managed to bring myself to read every single page of the book which turns out to be just fine. Some parts were actually relatable to me while other parts of the book were an eye-opening. The reasons that made me hesitant to read the book in the first place no longer matter. The book portrays how a difficult situation can lead to the right or dark path and that all is on the individual’s hands to decide. The story presents where arrogance and ego may position a person at. The ending was structurally written in forms of advice. He asks questions that I have been asking myself. He laid down encouraging bits of advice rather than forceful acts to be done, like how other inspirational books tend to do.

Also, one of the most significant sentences mentioned in the book:

“Hasbuna Allah Hua Ni’mal Wakeel”

This means “Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best guardian”. It is one of the most ‘powerful’ lines of the Qur’an. The reason why I am highlighting this saying is because we are often facing difficult situations that may affect our way of thinking or decision making. My parents always tell me to remember this by heart. In event of difficult situations added with fear and anxiety surrounding us, recite this and In Shaa Allah, any kinds of hardships will be ease. Personally, I believe struggling is a must in life but we have to remember and realize that we are never alone.

Overall, I think the book was well written. The message the author meant to deliver was clear. The story the author tells about his life and through that pointed out that this is what most of the young adult individuals are constantly struggling with: ignorance, ego and chasing over meeting others’ expectations but less on meeting Allah the Almighty’s expectations. Lastly, he ended the book with a chapter that stated the questions I have been shyly asking myself and answered it well with pieces of advice that are encouraging.

This is a book review on one of the famous inspirational Malaysian writer titled Move On. I tried not to spoil too much because I definitely recommend this book and I wish to not spoil it for you. It is worth the read. I hope you enjoyed the review!