Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, Non Fiction Books

Books To Read Before You Get Married

I know quite a few people that are getting married this year and as I have been asked by a few different people about book recommendations to read before getting married I decided to write this post to put all of the books I have read and benefitted from in one place.

These are a mixture of Islamic marriage books which deal with the rights and responsibilities that Allah has given us and books that while may not always align with Islamic teachings are still very beneficial and hold a lot of insight to managing different issues in your marriage.

I also decided to include some books which are more for your own benefit as while we are looking to improve our marriage it is just as important to continue to learn and grow ourselves. Especially when it comes to Islam and how to manage our own weaknesses and strengths.

These are books that anyone can find beneficial regardless of whether they are married or not:

Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Afshan Khan

The Muslim Marriage Handbook by Huda Khattab

Traversing the Highs and Lows of Marriage by Sadaf Farooqi

The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqaiyah Maqsood

The Quest for Love and Mercy – Regulations of Marriage and Wedding by Muhammad Jibaly

The Fragile Vessels – Rights and Obligations between Spouses by Muhammad Jibaly

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Getting the Love you Want by Harville Hendrix

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

I feel that these books will be more of benefit to those already in a marriage:

Toxic In Laws by Susan Forward

Our Precious Sprouts – Islamic regulations for New-borns by Muhammad Jibaly

These are books that deal specifically with intimacy in marriage and also sexual health which is an area that is severely lacking in resources:

Like a Garment by Yasir Qadhi

The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton

The Muslimah Sex Manual: The Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex by Umm Muladhat

Closer than a Garment – Marital Intimacy by Muhammad Jibaly

Period Power by Nadya Okomoto

This is the books I recommend for your own self development:

Love and Happiness by Yasmin Mogahed

Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman

Diseases of the Hearts and their Cures by Ibn Taymiyyah

Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed

Weakness of Iman by Muhammad al-Munajjid

Muhammad: How he can make you Extraordinary by Hesham al-Awadi

Patience and Gratitude by Ibn Qayyim

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

The Self Care Project by Jayne Hardy

I hope you find some of these of benefits and if you have any recommendations do let me know in the comments!

Book Recommendations, Booksish Discussions, The Daevabad Trilogy

Netflix Adapts Daevabad – (I Hope)

Earlier this week, Shannon caused my world to stop spinning when she shared the news that Netflix are developing The City of Brass trilogy into a show. As you can imagine I absolutely lost it. I spent a very unproductive afternoon screaming about this on the potato heads discord and also on my twitter.


I am simultaneously excited and terrified about this though. I mean I know that it may never actually make it to actually becoming a show BUT if it does, will they do the books justice?

I need them to cast the characters properly, I don’t want any whitewashing of the characters and the characters are all different ethnicities that I really hope they get it right. Alizayd and Zaynab are Somali, Muntadhir is arab, Jamshid and Dara are Persian and that’s not even including all the other tribes who come from all over the world. Please, please, please get it right Netflix. I will absolutely riot if they don’t.

But Shannon has said that if this show gets made she will be involved in it so at least I can breathe a little easier now.

And just imagine if they get it right, it would be absolutely stunning and a show of epic proportions! The stunning scenery, the beautiful outfits, the delicious food, omg I am going to sob my way through that first episode.

Speaking of first episodes, the first chapter opens with the fajr adhaan and Nahri in a black abaya! I am actually going to cry if they open with that. And Ali’s first chapter is him praying fajr too and I will finally get to see a YOUNG PRACTICING MUSLIM WHO FIGHTS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE on screen. ON SCREEN. Just the thought of seeing that is making me sob. Can you imagine all those young Muslim boys who will watch this and see a practicing Muslim man who is also the hero and that they aren’t mutually exclusive?!

I have such high hopes for this show, please Netflix don’t disappoint me. I will come for you all if you mess this up!

There are so many scenes I am so excited about seeing from the royal library with the librarians on their magic carpets to Ali and Nahri studying and geeking out in the library. The scene with Ghassan and Ali (chapter 17) which was INTENSE and just imagining that scene is going to be amazing. Also when Nahri first summons Dara and she realises that maybe Yaqub was right and she should have listened to him. There is just so so much I want to see in this show.

I could actually see all my favourite characters come to life! There will be a theme song there will be new fans and it could mean that so many more people could pick up this absolutely phenomenal trilogy to read the source material.

This book means so much to me on so many levels and being able to see it on screen, a fantasy that has a middle eastern setting that has people of colour as the main characters, that shows Muslims as the heroes. It could be everything and more and I hope it gets the justice and hype it absolutely deserves.

Fiction Books, YA Books

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn – ARC Review

Thank you to Netgally and Zephyr for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to the next book!


Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

This book is about a group of young friends trying to help those who have no one else to turn to and in doing so they get in way over their heads and end up in a very dangerous situation.

I loved all the characters, they each had their own storylines which also overlapped into the main story so it made them more complex and interesting. We are told the story from the point ofview of Camille and Ade so we can really get into their heads and know how they feel and what they think throughout the story but I would have loved to get a point of view for Al and Guil too as they were such interesting characters. I hope we get it in the next book!

They each have roles in their group and feel the pressures of fulfilling it especially when they feel out of their depth. I really loved seeing how they struggled along the way but that they were there for each other and supported each other even when they fought.

Olympe was another really interesting character, this is who they break out of jail and there is more to her than they were told. She has these mysterious powers that no one really understands fully but each side of the revolution wants to use in their war. As she is being hunted the group of friends try to help her hide which created interesting dynamics as they didn’t always agree on what to do.

I also loved seeing how immersed in the history of the time the book is. I actually learned quite a lot about that time period and the history nerd in me was thrilled! From the discussions of whether the earth is flat to not understanding electricity it is clear that the author has done a lot of research for the book to feel authentic.

The story is fast paced and full of action. It is brutal and dark at times and the plot twists were done so well! I especially did not see one particular twist coming and let me tell you I was left shocked and actually gasped when it was all revealed.

I cannot wait to read the next book especially after that ending I just need to know what they will do now and where the story will take us.

Lifestyle, Reflections

What Feminism Means To Me – International Women’s Day

Over the years feminism and I have had a love hate relationship. I have slowly developed a relationship with the term even though I have been a strong advocate for female empowerment since I was teen. It’s just that word, feminism, and everything that comes with that word, that I haven’t always been on good terms with.

Anyone who knows me will know that I am always advocating for female empowerment whether it’s through discussing how important having access to a good education is important for women to talking about stigma’s in society that creates injustices for women. As I am part of the south Asian community, I especially discuss how certain cultural practices harm women and should be stopped. I have had to fight these barriers and stigmas growing up so I fight against them to help my sisters to help my cousins to help those who are younger than me so they don’t have to grow up with the same stigmas.

Yet do I call myself a feminist? I have gone from calling myself a feminist proudly to distancing myself from it to saying yes I am a feminist but not one that the media shows to so much more. Basically, it’s complicated. It’s complicated because I am a brown, Pakistani, Muslim woman who wears a hijab. I don’t “look” like a feminist. What does a feminist look like anyways?

Well mainstream media will have you believe that a feminist is a white middle class woman and I clearly don’t fit that description. I call that white feminism. It’s a type of feminism I hate because there is no space for women who don’t look like or have the same opinions as them. It’s women like these who made me want to distance myself from the term.

I have been told that I NEED to take my hijab off to be “liberated” and how they feel so sorry for me because of how I am “forced” to dress and when I tried explaining I did in fact choose to wear what I wear, I was told I don’t understand, it’s just internalised misogyny. Safe to say that we did not become friends.

After a while as I got older, I realised that actually female empowerment doesn’t only look the way that they say it does. As I studied Islam more I found that the religion is so empowering for women. It made me even more passionate about speaking up about female empowerment. I realised that a lot of the cultural practices go against what Islam teaches. I changed, I grew, I taught others around me and although the elders still cling to their cultural practices I have found that the youth fight for their rights, especially young women. For example, girls are often not allowed to go into higher education yet in Islam it is compulsory for every man, woman and child to be educated so women knowing this means they can fight to be able to study further.

Another reason that I have a complicated relationship with feminism is because of a lack of women we are shown as empowered that look like me. The last few years especially, I have noticed that a lot of feminist books are being published yet there is still no sign of women who look like me. Most of the women are white and if there is a Muslim woman included it is always Malala, no offence to her but in 1400 years of Islamic history is she really the only woman that is worthy of being included? It’s actually made me stop reading these types of books unless I know that more diverse women are included. I ended up doing my own research into Muslim women and the results were astounding, since the beginning of Islam women have been a part of all areas of society, from warriors to doctors to scholars to rulers and so much more. It’s these women who encompassed all parts of my life who became my role models.

So yes, I am a feminist and I think it’s time we broadened our idea of what feminism is, because it means different things to different people and they are all valid. I can wear a hijab and be empowered, I can follow my religion and be empowered. In fact I feel more empowered because of my religion. I will continue to learn and grow but I will always fight for female empowerment.

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Favourite Bromances

This was hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. Now Geeky is taking over the tag. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share.

I love seeing bromances in books so much! The love and banter between them is so great to see. I decided that I am going to share some of my favourite bromances in books and on TV as I have some that I love from my favourites shows too.

So here is my favourite bromances:

1 Dorian and Chaol from Throne of Glass – I love them two so much and all I wanted to see in KoA was their reunion

2 Arthur and Merlin from Merlin – omg these two are my absolute faves! Their banter and sass and how they secretly do care for each other. *chefs kisses*

3 Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices – My favourite shadowhunters! I loved their relationship so much.

4 Toni and McGee from NCIS – I love watching old episodes with them both in it and their banter.

5 Jesper and Kaz from Six of Crows – Not the most obvious one but they do care for each other (no matter how much Kaz would deny it)

6 Sherlock and Watson from BBC Sherlock – Love this show so much because of their relationship

7 Percy and Grover from Percy Jackson & the Olympians – They have an empath link! Their friendship is the sweetest!

8 Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli from Lord of the Rings – These three were my faves in the film! Especially Gimli and Legolas!

9 Darrow and Sevro from Red Rising – I loved how they always had each others back in the books no matter what.

10 Spock and Kirk from Star Trek – I loved seeing their friendship grow and how much they ended up trusting each other.

Who are you favourite bromances?