Thank you to author Dr Recep Dogan for taking the time to answer our questions and inspire our aspiring Muslimah writers inshaAllah.
How would you describe yourself as a writer?
- A social activist and volunteer who is dedicated to informing the community
- Outspoken and has a sense of humour
- Curious and always searching for the truth
What or who motivated you to get started in developing your craft professionally?
My academic history (masters and PhD) has affected my development in terms of writing on Islamic topics. Most importantly, when I began lecturing in Australia in Islamic studies, I noticed both students and community do not know Hanafi school of thought well enough for there isn’t much English literature in this regard. So I felt a deep need to fill this gap and therefore wrote Five Pillars of Islam first.
What insights into your ‘good days’ working routine can you share with our aspiring artists?
Time management and deep concentration are the key factors to writing successfully. For this reason my 400+ page book was written within a couple of months. When this book was written, Arabic, English and Turkish resources were used and analysed to bring out a comprehensive work accessible to everyone. So resource is an important factor in writing. Aspiring artists should manage time very well, find a quiet and suitable place to concentrate and study/analyse/review a lot of classical and contemporary literature based on the topics they wish to write about.
In Ramadan, how do your working routine and public interactions change? Do you have specific goals for this year?
Ramadan is a very busy period of the year so my work load just increases. I attend iftar functions and give public lectures. I engage in interfaith dialogue as I feel it is very important to introduce Islam to other cultures and help remove bias and prejudice ideas through the help of the blessed month of Ramadan.
What are your three top tips for maintaining momentum when working alone?
Time is a magical tool which makes huge differences for the one who is able to manage and utilise it in the best manner. In order to write something there must be a need for it. If the person wishes to write, they should feel the need. The writer must be well aware of the community and the conditions surrounding them. Determination will eventually give you the desired outcome. There is a saying ‘drop by drop, a lake will become’, which means that writing consistently and having determination will give you what you want.
How do you incorporate challenges into your process?
One of the hardest parts of writing is ‘publication’. Getting your book published is hard as most publishers take books not based on public need but on its marketable value.
At the beginning I had difficulty but eventually found “FB Publishing” and Gary Stevens the owner of the company. He and his company helped me a lot in getting my book published.
What is your priority non-writing interest and why is it important to you?
I like outdoor activities because they make me feel refreshed, therefore I become more productive in my writing. Also, spending time with family and friends helps me feel connected to the outside world.
Young Muslimah Magazine loves to highlight good reads. What book have you read recently that you would recommend to our readers, and why?
I have read two great books by a well-known scholar by the name of Fethullah Gulen. The books are The Messenger of God: Muhammad (PBUH) and Emerald hills of the Heart. The first book gives the reader a fantastic perspective and different aspects of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The second book is an unmatched book which delves into the deep levels of the spiritual side of Islam.
Which of your own books would you recommend to our young Muslimah readers?
I can recommend my debut book Five Pillars of Islam. My second book Usul Al-Tafsir: Methodology and Sciences of Qur’anic Interpretation and my third book The Exemplary Role Model Muhammad (PBUH).
And importantly, what new works can readers look forward to from you and where can we go to access them?
The Exemplary Role Model Muhammad (PBUH) was just published this month.
Thank you for your time and support to our readers mashaAllah; jazakallahkhayr.
Insha’Allah our Islamic Editor, Nadia Leona Yunis, will review Dr Recep Dogan’s Five Pillars of Islam in our Oct issue.
PBUH – Peace be upon him