Inspirational People

Inspirational Women Throughout History – Barakah (ra)

Barakah (ra) is one of the first people to become Muslim but we hardly ever discuss her and how amazing she was and I have wanted to share a post about her for a while now. With everything going on in the world at the moment, I thought this would be a great time to share her story.

She was an Abyssinian woman who has been with the Prophet (pbuh) from when he was born to when he died. She was the midwife to his mother so she was there when he was born and she was the first person to hold him as a baby. She outlived the Prophet (pbuh) too so she was there when he passed away.

She is the person who raised him after his mother died when he was a young boy and she was so dedicated to raising him that she refused to get married and only agreed after he was married to Khadijah (ra) and they convinced her that she should live her own life and that they are still nearby.

The Prophet (pbuh) said about her that she is his mother after his mother. When he would see her, he would say that this is the entirety of what is left of my family. He would always introduce her as his mother and would visit her every single day.

She said about him that she never left him and he never left her. They had a beautiful mother son relationship and were very close and they would always laugh and joke with each other.

When he was fighting in any battle she would be there on the sidelines to make sure he was safe she would go around the battle field while keeping her eyes on the Prophet (pbuh) and make sure he wasn’t hurt. She was so fiercely protective over him that in the battle of Uhud when it looked like he would be killed she picked up a sword and ran to defend him, herself. At the end of the battles she would care for the wounded.

As an elderly woman she migrated from Makkah to Medina and during the travel she feared that she would die of thirst as she couldn’t find any water. On her journey she experienced a miracle. She said that when the sun set she saw a bucket coming down from the heavens and she drank from the bucket and then she dumped the rest of the water on herself to cool herself off. After this time she would fast on the hottest of days and do tawaf under the sun and she never became thirsty again for the rest of her life. So acts of worship like fasting became the easiest of acts of worship for her.

The Prophet (pbuh) gave her the glad tidings of Jannah several times during her life.

She was the woman who raised the Prophet (pbuh). In so many ways she was the person closest to him and she was an Abyssinian woman who had been a slave and was freed by the Prophet (pbuh).

Tying this to what is happening in the world; how can you call yourself Muslim and don’t care about Black lives. Because of a Black woman who raised and protected the Prophet (pbuh) we were given Islam.

You can read my previous posts in this series here:

Aisha bint Abu Bakr (ra)

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (ra)

Nusaybah bint Ka’ab (ra)

Fatima al Fihri

Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, Ramadan Readathon

Books To Give You A Spiritual Boost in Ramadan

Growing up I didn’t have much access to attending classes for Islamic studies past learning to read the Quran as a kid so the main way I learnt about Islam was through reading and over the years I have read a lot of books that helped me to learn about Islam.

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While I have been attending Islamic classes for about 10 years now I still love reading these books and learn so much and they have helped me get through some really difficult times. So I thought I would share these books and I hope you all benefit from them too!

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Spiritual Boosting Books

Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman
Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman
Patience and Gratitude by Ibn al-Qayyim
The Eternal Challenge: A Journey Through the Miraculous Quran by Abu Zakariya
Love and Happiness byYasmin Mogahed
Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed
Signs of the Day of Judgement by Ibn Kathir
Diseases of the Heart and their Cures by Ibn Taymiyyah
The Heart of the Quran by Asim Khan
Al-Ubudiyyah: Being a True Slave of Allah Ibn Taymiyyah
Weakness of Iman – It’s Signs of Weakness, Causes and Cures by Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid
Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan
Morals and Manners in Islam: A Guide to Islamic Adab by Marwan Ibrahim al-Kaysi
The Abandoned Prayers by Adanan Aali Uroor
Light Upon Light by Nur Fadhilah Wahid
The Relief From Distress by Ibn Taymiyyah
Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Yasir Qadhi
Lesson from Surah Kahf by Yasir Qadhi
Muhammad: How He Can Make You Extraordinary by Hesham al-Awadi
Children Around the Prophet by Hesham al-Awadi

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History Books

Lost Islamic History by Firas Al-Khateeb
Muhammad The Last Prophet by Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary
Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir
Muslim Girls Rise by Saira Mir
Ibn Battuta: The Journey of a Medieval Muslim by Eduardo Albert
Child Companions Around the Prophet by Sameh Strauch
Sala ad-din and the crusades by Qaiser M. Talib
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
When the Moon Split by Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri

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Books About Women

The Forgotten Queens of Islam by Fatima Mernissi
Al-Muhaddithaat: Women Scholars in Islam by Akram Nadwi
Beyond the Veil by Fatima Mernissi
Women in Islam: Challenging Narratives by Ismail Adam Patel
Islam: The Empowering of Women by Aisha Bewley
Muslim Women: A Biographical Dictionary by Aisha Bewley
It’s Noy About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan
Women in the Quran by Asma Lamrabet
The Veil and the Male Elite by Fatima Mernissi
Golden Stories of Sayyida Khadijah by Abdul Malik Mujahid
A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly
Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas
Gendered Morality by Zahra Ayubi

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Other

Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Afshan Khan
Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet by Abdul-Matin
The Unchallengeable Miracles of the Quran by Yusuf Al-hajj Ahmad
Slavery and Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Hadith: The Foundations of Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Islamic Medicine: Key to a Better Life by Yusuf Al-Hajj Ahmad
Worship During Menses by Muhammad al-Jibaly
The Quest for Love and Mercy by Muhammad al-Jibaly
Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet by Ibn Qayyim
The Productive Muslim by Mohammad Faris
Scents and Flavors by Charles Perry

I hope you’re able to find something you want to read and I am always happy to answer any questions or give you other book recommendations if you’re looking for something specific!

This isn’t all the books I own but ones I definitely recommend!

Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, Ramadan Readathon

Muslim Shelf Space Books Available on Scribd

So as it’s Ramadan and I’m currently taking part in Ramadan Readathon I thought I would share some of the many books by Muslim authors that are available as either ebooks or audiobooks on scribd. I know we can’t all buy every book we want to read so if you have a scribd subscription you can find these books and more on there to read!

PS. If you would like to try scribd you can use my referral link to get access for 60 days for free!

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Fiction EBooks

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
The Weight of our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem
She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert
Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
No Sex in the City by Randa Abdel Fattah
That Can Be Arranged by Huda Fahmy
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
When Wings Expand by Mehmed Mariam Sinclair
Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani
The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Non Fiction EBooks

Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman
Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathon AC Brown
Prayer of the Pious by Omar Suleiman
Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas
Great Muslims of the West Mohammad Mojlam Khan
Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan
Signs on the Earth: Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis by Fazlun Khalid
A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly

Fiction Audiobooks

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
More to the Story by Hena Khan
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zayn Joukhadar
The Lines we Cross by Randa Abdel Fattah

Non Fiction Audiobooks

Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathan AC Brown
Muslim Girls Rise by Saira Mir
Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
The Sealed Nectar by Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

I hope you all find something that you want to read in this list! I have read a lot of these and definitely recommend them!

Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Muslim Shelf Space, Non Fiction Books

A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly – ARC Review

I was sent an ARC by One World Publications in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book, reading about Muslim women, some which I already knew about and some who were new to me.

Rating: 4.5/5

What this book is about:

Beginning in seventh-century Mecca and Medina, A History of Islam in 21 Women takes us around the globe, through eleventh-century Yemen and Khorasan, and into sixteenth-century Spain, Istanbul and India. From there to nineteenth-century Persia and the African savannah, to twentieth-century Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, before reaching present day London.

From the first believer, Khadija, and the other women who witnessed the formative years of Islam, to award-winning mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani in the twenty-first century, Hossein Kamaly celebrates the lives and ground breaking achievements of these extraordinary women in the history of Islam.

When this book was announced I literally squealed with joy! Finally a book that includes Muslim women! Whenever I see a book published about amazing women, I have always found that consistently Muslim women are excluded or at most only one Muslim women is in there (always Malala) and I always felt upset because surely in 1400 years they must have found more than one woman worthy of being put into these books?

It actually put me off reading them eventually as even in books to empower women, women who looked like me were still excluded. The only time I found Muslim women being spoken about were in classical Islamic texts but I wanted something that was accessible to all and then this gem of a book was published.

While this book isn’t perfect, it is certainly a great book for anyone wanting to learn about Muslim women and how much they have achieved and in so many fields. From being literal queens and leaders of their communities to mathematicians and so much more. This book shows how accomplished women were throughout Islamic history and it is just the tip of the iceberg.

These are the women I was raised learning about, Khadijah (ra) who is the first woman spoken about in this book is my role model and always has been since I was young. She was a successful businesswoman and one of the wealthiest people in her tribes. She proposed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and he worked for her even after they were married. I could honestly write a whole essay about her and my love for her. And I am so glad that she is in this book and that you all get to meet her.

This book has a wide range of women, starting from when Islam first came all the way up to modern times and I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to narrow it down to just 21. But I am so glad to have read this book because there are so many women that even I hadn’t heard of. Muslim women who lived in different places in the world but all had a huge impact on their society.

These women are shown as they were, independent, outspoken, brave, smart, and so much more. It was refreshing to see this and not the usual media narrative which perpetuates stereotypes and always shows Muslim women as weak and submissive. This book amongst others I have read this year are the beginning of us taking back the narrative of who we truly are.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially if you do not know much about Muslim women throughout history. It is a great starting point as it gives a great overview of their lives and achievements but it isn’t so dense that it puts you off reading.

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Books That Define You

This is hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. 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. You can share your most or least favourites too!

This weeks post is about books that define you! So I’m going to share some fiction and non-fiction books which are essentially part of me and you can learn a lot about me from knowing these are some of my favourite books that are basically me!

So the fiction books which I feel are a part of me:

1 The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – Look I think we’ve all established that I am obsessed with these books and I will one day love them enough to actually transport myself into Daevabad.

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2 Love From A To Z by S.K. Ali – A love story with Muslim characters, who don’t date, yet still fall in love? Where has this book been all my life?! This is essentially me and my husband and this book will have a special place in my heart.

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3 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – The Pride & Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters that I have been waiting for that not only made me nostalgic for the original but was a fresh new spin and incorporating young Muslim lives into the story.

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4 Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – The book of my childhood that made me completely and entirely obsessed with books!

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5 The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton – While HP may have cemented my bookworm status, it was these books that actually made me a reader

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These are the non-fiction books which will essentially show you who I am and what I am passionate about:

6 Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford – Talking about female empowerment is something I can talk about until the end of time.

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7 I Will Not Be Erased by Gal-Dem – Seeing stories written by people of colour and especially those who are Muslim is something I am so passionate about supporting. Only we can write our stories.

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8 The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton – Talking about taboo subjects is something I do a lot. It brings me great joy to see the scandalised faces of those who still think that periods are ‘eww’

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9 It’s Not About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan – I need more stories and essays with the complex and vast view of Muslim women. These are stories where I can see me, where I can see my stories. I need more of these!

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10 Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed – This is the book that I read time and time again and has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life.

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11 The Quran – And lastly the book that is essentially a guide on the way I live my life. The most important book I will ever read. It is THE book that I turn to in all and any situation I find myself in, good and bad.

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So these are the books that basically define me and topics that people I know will associate with me. I hope this has helped give you an insight to the person I am!

Is there any books that define you?