Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed
When Shelina Janmohamed, an Oxford-educated Muslim living in the bubbling ethnic mix of North London, opted for the traditional “arranged” route to finding a partner, she never suspected it would be the journey of her life. Through ten long years of matchmaking buxom aunties, countless mismatches, and outrageous dating disasters, Shelina discovers more about herself and her faith. Along the way, she learns that sometimes being true to her religion means challenging tradition, while readers learn much about Islam that may surprise them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir of a Muslim woman on a search for her life partner. Shelina takes into the world of how Muslim societies help their young people find a spouse. She shows us the process of the prospective groom and his family coming to the house to meet her and how for Asian families “talking about families is like English people talking about the weather; a safe preamble that can be pursued endlessly”.
She also teaches us about Islam, not the radical kind, but the true Islam. To her family it’s an “Islamic responsibility to help your child find a suitable spouse”. Traditionally the “Aunties” and other members of your community would recommend someone and then you met through the matchmaker, but Shelina uses modern day technology also to help in her search.
I enjoyed learning more about this process because I thought that “arranged” marriages were wrong because the girl didn’t have a say, luckily she does and I’m glad to be corrected.
This is a heartwarming book and a soul searching that leads one young woman on a quest to find a life partner and finding herself. To learn more about Shelina and Islam check out her website www.spirit21.co.uk.
I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for a review.