I know we all have lots of characters that we love but do you have characters that you love above all others? I have a few characters that I love that much. And I wanted to share them with you because you should all go read the books they’re in so you can also meet them!
Alizayd al- Qahtani from The City of Brass
Art by: Jocelyn Chatman
Of course, to no one’s surprise, I absolute love Alizayd al-Qahtani. He is the love of my life; I would die for him. He is the character that I have been wanting to read in books for so long. A character that is unapologetically Muslim and practices his faith openly. He also has a really wonderful character arc in the trilogy from being a naïve teenager to becoming the man who does whatever is required to save his people and his home. He makes mistakes but he learns and grows. His core beliefs which come from his faith, include justice for all is one of the main things that drives him to fight for those that are oppressed. I have actually written a whole blog post about why he means so much to me, you can read it here
Samirah al-Abbas from the Magnus Chase trilogy
Art by: Viria
She is a badass Valkyrie who wears a hijab and unapologetically practices her faith. When I first read Magnus Chase I literally screamed with joy! I loved how much Rick Riordan researched into Islamic beliefs and showed it so accurately and so respectfully. I loved how he helped show misconceptions about Muslim women through her but that she was such a well rounded character. She had goals and ambitions in life and she has such a cute relationship with her fiancé who fully supports her being a Valkarie. I just loved seeing her fast and pray and she was such a badass in battle. I loved her friendship with Magnus and that he was so respectful of her faith and how much they support and help each other.
Zainab from Love From A to Z
Art by: Kahanee Djinn
Zainab is someone I related to so much. She has so much anger inside her because of the injustice and Islamophobic people she has to deal with especially as that person is in a position of authority. I was so happy to see an angry young Muslim woman in a book because we do feel like this but we’re always supposed to be happy and calm and nice. Zainab was me, she expressed everything I felt, things I could never express, especially when I was younger. I also absolutely loved seeing how she navigates her feelings for Adam while keeping things halal and seeing that in a book made my heart fill with joy because I was told too often that I was a bad Muslim for wanting to marry my now husband because we had met at university, so clearly we didn’t keep it halal. If I had this book back then, I can’t imagine how much it would have helped me. Zainab will always hold a special place in my heart.
So theses are my top 3 favourite characters, as you can tell they all have the fact that they are unapologetically Muslim in common. Until I had read these book I honestly had no idea just how much I truly needed to see characters who looked like and had the same beliefs as me. My heart feels like it will explode with love not only for these characters but that they could be written and published so that so many young Muslim’s will see them at a time when they are trying to figure out who they are and they can see that they don’t need to downplay their faith or hide it to fit in.