Thursday, 23 February 2012

Three Thousand Miles for a Wish

'Three Thousand Miles for a Wish' is a work of non-fiction, a moving memoir about one woman's journey to find herself...through performing Hajj. It is a truly gripping story that tugs at one's heart.

I commend the author, Safiya Hussain, on her bravery. Writing one's own memoir, getting back in touch with one's emotions, is challenging! One even asks 'How do I describe my own life in the written word?' or 'Where on earth do I begin?'

It is the piecing together of a number of a short life stories, each harmoniously becoming one large work of art. It is not easy revealing one's inner-struggles, most intimate moments, to the world.

It's about time a book about Hajj was at the top five most downloaded Amazon ebooks as was 'Three Thousand Miles for a Wish.'

And how could one resist a book that contains such beautiful lines like:

I stared and stared at the girl in the full length mirror, unable to move. Who is she? It had to be me, of course. Not an angel. I had changed into my ihram.

Her [a mother's] love for me was a vast ocean in comparison to the droplets of love I had received from anybody else. Had she known of my sorrows, she would have taken her heart out of her beating chest and put it in the space where mine had died, I am sure.

I had the honour of interviewing the exemplary non-fiction author, Safiya Hussain.

1. How did you decide where to begin?

Sometimes, if you are lucky, something phenomenal will happen in your life that makes you utter the words 'I have got to put pen to paper, and write about this'. That's what happened to me when I went to Mecca for the journey of Hajj. A week after I returned from Saudi Arabia I got this urge to write my story and share it with the world. I was never a writer and I never knew I could write. But when my pen touched my paper the words began to flow and flow until they created the story that is today 'Three Thousand Miles for a Wish'.

2. You mention your mother a lot in your writing. Was she your inspiration?

My mother is my rock. Her faith is incredibly strong and I aspire to be like her one day. Throughout the ups and downs of writing this book she would always say 'don't give up - God never lets a person's hardwork go unrewarded'. Without her, there would be no book.

3. Why was it important for you to have this memoir published?

Something inside me, something unexplainable, would not let me let this go. It wasn't just a desire for me to write this memoir, it was more a need. I felt I needed to share this story with the world and to give them a little bit of what I had experienced first-hand.

4. What do you hope readers will learn from your novel?

That, after despair, comes hope.

4. What was the most challenging part about writing your novel?

There were two things that made me sweat profusely:

Firstly, waking up every morning and fearing that I would lose my words. There is no science behind writing, one day I would find myself writing as though this is all I've been doing my entire life and there are other days when no words would come out. I am not sure what it is that causes these two extremes but it is scary - especially when you're in the middle of a book and realise that this could be the end!

Secondly, the thought of sharing such personal details about my life and my character with everyone. I tried not to think about these worries until I had completed the novel. When I finished writing the last word, that's when I asked myself, 'Right, am I ready to share intimate details about my life with the rest of the world?' The answer was always 'no' but every night I would fall asleep knowing that if I died, the one regret I would have was to never publish this never have shared this beautiful journey of Hajj. I still feel nervous about laying my soul bare in this book, but I don't want to die with regrets.

5. What advice do you have for aspiring non-fiction writers?

Write from your heart. Don't write the way you think people want you to write. Let your heart speak out the words and they will eventually find their way to your pages.

6. What is your upcoming/next/new project?

Since I realised that I have some sort of way with words, I have blogged here and there and have plans to write three more novels. Stay tuned for those!

Download 'Three Thousand Miles for a Wish' as your latest ebook or purchase it, via AMAZON.

Follow Safiya via TWITTER and/or visit her website,


  1. It sounds like an absolutely touching rendition of one womans life-changing religious journey, and the beauty and serenity it brings to her life. I also love the fact that she places such importance on the role of a mother. Seems like it will be a riveting read, I cannot wait to get stuck into this! (Tahsin.Ali)

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  3. What would you consider main points in your book?

    1. Apologies for the late reply. The main point of Safiya Hussain's book would be...self-discovery. At least, that is what I think.