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Love In A Headscarf

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,538 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
'At the age of thirteen, I knew that I was destined to marry John Travolta. One day he would arrive on my North London doorstep, fall madly in love with me and ask me to marry him. Then he would convert to Islam and become a devoted Muslim.' Shelina is keeping a very surprising secret under her headscarf - she wants to fall in love and find her faith. Torn between the Buxo ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published October 1st 2009)
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Aurora65 Shelina's story starts at age 19, facing marriage. If the reader is old enough to seriously contemplate marriage and what that entails, then that's…moreShelina's story starts at age 19, facing marriage. If the reader is old enough to seriously contemplate marriage and what that entails, then that's the right age. The book is intellectual, and emotional. Nothing in it is graphic. FYI, your response is from a western non-Muslim. As a mother with a daughter in this age range, I enjoyed the book, and her insights. So there's no upper limit!(less)

Community Reviews

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Shelina is a thoroughly modern Muslim - a British Indian Muslim. Her ancestors were from India and converted to Islam and moved to Tanzania. When Tanzania was granted independence from Britain, Shelina's father chose to take the offer as a British citizen to move to England. Moving into that environment has caused her family to closely examine which Muslim practices are/were part of their culture, and which were actually a part of Islam. This was the second book I've ever read about Muslim women ...more
Arabian Rihanna
Jan 10, 2013 Arabian Rihanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memoir of a British Indian Muslim woman looking for a husband.

The book started with a very juvenile style. The author's Islamic reasoning was a little too simplistic — like that of a teenager. I actually thought the book was excerpts from Shelina's diary when she was 19.

The book lacks a clear time-frame. All I know is that it started when Shelina was a college student, it mentioned half-way through the book that the internet was still new, and it was published in 2009.
Also, I only know
Dec 05, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My motivation to read “Love in a Headscarf” was pure curiosity. I tend to judge people as individuals rather than as part of a group and really had no prior knowledge of Islam before 9/11. Since that terrible day a lot of (mostly negative) statements have been made about Muslim belief and it seemed appropriate to listen to the voice of someone who actually lives that life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author’s sense of humor in finding a husband created a story that entertained while also
May 13, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: دارمشان
وقتی خریدم فکر می کردم رمان است. ولی نیست. روایت زندگی خود نویسنده است در دورانی که می خواهد ازدواج کند.

خوب ها
بخش هایی که اسلام را توضیح می داد یا داستان های قرآن را با زندگی خودش مقایسه می کرد...نسان دادن تفاوت و حتی تضاد و تناقض سنت با دین.

بد ها
روش های شلینا برای رسیدن به هدفش به خصوص در نیمه ی دوم کتاب...ریتم کند روایت در بخش هایی از کتاب.

پی نوشت: حدود یک سالی صبر کردم تا "عشق زیر روسری" با جلد اصلیش چاپ شود بعد بخرم. ( ظاهربینی روشنفکرانه:))
May 08, 2015 Fahime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
شلینا، دختر مسلمان هندی-آفریقایی ساکن لندن، به سن ازدواج می رسد. شلینا دختر مستقلی است. دانشجوی آکسفورد. اما به هر حال درگیر کلیشه های رایج ازدواج می شود: شوهرت باید از تو بزرگتر باشد، بلندتر، باهوش تر و ... شلینا شش ایده آل برای همسر آینده اش در نظر گرفته و بعد تر، که سنش بیشتر و بیشتر می شود، باز هم از ایده آل هایش دست نمی کشد. برای پیدا کردن همسر آینده اش از هیچ روشی صرف نظر نمی کند: خواستگاری سنتی، بلایند دیت، سایت های همسریابی، آژانس های همسریابی و ... روایت شلینا بسیار خواندنی ست. اما در خ ...more
Jul 04, 2010 theinspirationtree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Read my full review of Love In A Headscarf at

Reading about Shelina’s life was a very pleasant experience. She began her book by envisaging that she is telling us her story over a cup of coffee and, while reading, I actually felt like I was sitting with her in such a place, listening to her relate her story. I laughed at all the right places, shook my head sadly when things got a little depressing, brooded thoughtfully over her reasoning and rejoiced when she fin
May 25, 2013 Ebthal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
كتاب جيد ربما يفيد الغير مسلمات أكثر
فلقد كانت قرائته نوع من التذكير لما نعاني منه أو يحدث لنا كفتيات عربيات أو مسلمات.

كتاب ذو عنوان لطيف وإن كنت أفضل اعنوان الانجليزي له
love in a headscarf
و غلاف أنيق ذو ألوان رقيقة

في البداية ظننته كتاب فكاهي أو ساخر من نوعية (عايزة أتجوز) ولكن النسخة الانجليزية,
ولكني فوجئت به كتاب يتحدث عن الزواج في الإسلام كما هو مكتوب علي الغلاف مصحوبا ببعض المواقف الشخصية

تحدث الكتاب عن شروط فارس الأحلام التي تضعها معظم الفتيات,
وعلاقتيّ الحب والزواج من منظور إسلامي مخلوطاً بم
Shaimaa Ali
Nov 20, 2012 Shaimaa Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اولا احب ان اسجل اعتراضى الشديد على عنوان الكتاب عند ترجمته الى العربية (اريد عريس) .. هذا الكتاب لا يشابه كتاب غادة عبد العال وان تماثل الموضوع .. ولا ادرى ما المشكلة فى ترجمته بالانجليزية (الحب من خلال الحجاب) .. الا اذا كان لدى الناشر مشكلة مع الحجاب مثلاً !

احببت الكتاب كثيراً ، الشخصية المثقفة واسعة الذكاء والاهتمامات : شيلينا هى مثال للكثير من الفتيات المصريات الان ، وبعكس الجو المصرى الخاص بنا (البكاء على اللبن المسكوب او اضاعة العمر فى الاكتئاب) تواجه شيلينا موقفها بشجاعة وبالكثير من الاي
Fatemeh Eftekhari
May 12, 2015 Fatemeh Eftekhari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تفاوت فرهنگی آشکار می شود حتی اگر این دین یک دین واحد باشد تصویر شدن این تفاوت رو به شدن دوست داشتم و خب بلاخره بعضی جاهای داستان ریتم کند ان خسته کننده می شد و اسم کتاب رو به شدت دوست دارم
May 08, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This review is also published on my blog:

So here, in my own words, is the underlying premise of Love in a Headscarf: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single, practicing, devout Muslim woman in possession of intelligence, wit, and beauty must be in want of a husband who has the same qualities. As well as romance. Lots of romance.

The novel is an account of the author's search for "the One" through highly structured and family and community-or
مصطفي سليمان
النسخة الانجليزية من كتاب عايزه أتجوز

اينعم هو الاسم تجاري
علشان الناس تربط بينه وبين
عايزة أتجوز
ودا شئ غريب
بس ماشي

انا مش هعرف أقيمه لسبب بسيط
الكتاب بالنسبة ليا
غير موجه للعرب
هو موجه بشكل كبير للغرب
الكتاب عن فتاة انجليزية من اصول آسيويه ومسلمة
بتحكي عن قصصها عن العرسان اللي اتقدموها ليها عن طريق الخاطبة
وجواز الصالونات
ايون ف انجلترا
اه فيه خاطبة
الفرق كبير بالنسبة ليا
بينه وبين عايزه أتجوز يمكن للاختلاف الشخصيات
وطريقة التفكير

هناك مفيش قولبة زي هنا
هناك اه بيعمولها زي علبة التونة
بس مش زي هنا خالص
فيه ضغط ب
Jan 11, 2012 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shidduch daters
Recommended to K by: rivka
Shelves: memoirs, mideastwomen
It was fun to read this Muslim woman's memoir and marvel about the similarities between her dating experiences and the courtship system in my culture. The parallels were striking, even in small ways. The involvement of the entire family, the priorities, the traditional values, the power of the "aunties" (middle-aged women who may or may not be relatives and may or may not be nice people) who serve as the gatekeepers between the seeking woman and possible guys and must be humored at all costs, an ...more
My response to Shelina Zahra Janmohamed's memoir Love in a Headscarf, which chronicles ten years of searching for a spouse through a traditional South Asian arranged marriage process in North London, is one of tough love.

Janmohamed is a self-identified "British East-African Asian Muslim," as well as a graduate of Oxford. In other words, she is part of a generation of cultural "pioneers" who have had to invent a way to maintain their immigrant parents' culture and Muslim faith within the context
Dee (PlainlyReads)
I read this like 3 years ago I think. It was one of the required novels for my 20th Century Literature subject. I usually feel pressured when I have to read novels for my literature class, despite my love for reading. Because I'm the kind of person of who thinks a lot about the workload i.e assignments, quizzes, exams....and reading. Every semester I have to read 5-8 novels, supposedly it was a good thing right? but imagine when you have to read book that doesn't strike your interest at all. But ...more
Arranged marriages or match-made marriages are not quite as black and white as they used to be. These days, arranged marriages come with some flexibility that allows for both the boy and the girl looking for a life partner, to spend a little bit of time trying to get to know one another, and with both parties able to choice to decline any further communication with the other.

In this book, Shelina outlines her reasons for wanting an arranged marriages, and gives examples of the men who were intro
SISTERS Magazine
Love in a Headscarf is highly readable. In this personal memoir, Shelina, a British-Asian Muslim woman, shares the secret of how in her teenage fantasy, she had set her standards so as to fall in love with the man she would marry. Considering her Asian background and culture, this seems impossible. Having tried the recommendations of the “Buxom Aunties” and some close family members, but still without a suitor to match the earlier standards she had set, Shelina decides to follow a Muslim-style a ...more
Dec 24, 2010 rivka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rivka by: Meaghan
A great first book for 2012, although I have no idea why it took me a year from getting my hands on it to finally read it!

Anyone who has any experience with arranged marriages or curiosity about them should read this book. Anyone who is open to hearing a Muslim explain what her religion is about (hint: neither oppression of women nor terrorism) should as well.

It was interesting to me how much of both aspects I could relate to, though the details of course are different. And some parts, of course
When I started this book, I did not know what to expect. I've never read any similar books, and to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I liked the book. I really did.

Written in 1st person's narrative, Shelina Zahra Jannmohamed recounts her experiences in her journey as a British Muslim of Asian origin (or something of that sort). As tradition demands, her practice of "husband-searching" started at the tender age of eighteen when she was still going to university. The
Dec 24, 2010 Meaghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is here both trying to tell the story of her decade-long search for Mr. Right, and explain/defend Muslim practices to the non-Muslim reader. I think she met both of those objectives. I came away from the book with a greater understanding of Islam and a greater appreciation of arranged marriages, and had a couple of chuckles on the way -- particularly the part where, while traveling in Egypt, Shelina and a friend put an arrogant, bigoted tourist in her place.

(I received this book for f
Aug 23, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This autobiography narrates the search for the pure love (the Divine love), along with the man-woman love, that is more essential &nurturing for the soul. It shows how God has Wisely prepared her for the moment she always dreamed of, and that this was the most suitable time (Not earlier or later). Her character was amazingly formed during her search for the One. She mainly extracted her principles from her faith (Islam) rather than traditions. She believes that traditions are, most of the ti ...more
Zaynab tyty Quadri
Jan 30, 2013 Zaynab tyty Quadri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-asap
this book took me on a journey, i would never have experienced anywhere else, it spoke out my unspeakable troubles, calmed my frayed nerves and most importantly it led me on a journey to find the one, the great one, Almighty Allah.

i love this book a lot. thanks to my friend bilkis begum for recommending it to me. xx
چقدر دوستش داشتم. چقـدر این شینا زهرای عزیز خوب نوشته، چقدر حال خوبی داشت این کتاب. اکثر مواقع موقع خواندنش لبخند میزدم، نه فقط به خاطر بامزگیهایش، به خاطر فکر درست و خوبش، به خاطر زیرکی و هوشش که چنین کتابی نوشته؛ با چنین بستری برای بیان مطالب مهمی در مورد اسلام و مسلمانان.
این خانم واقعا همانطور که خالهخانباجیها گفتند باهوش است. مطالبی که درمورد نقش و جایگاه زن بیان میکرد، حقوق زن و مرد، جایگاه خانواده، نقش محبت و احترام در خانواده اسلامی و جامعه اسلامی، و موارد بسیار دیگر بسیار نزدیک به تفکر
Mar 18, 2014 thelastword rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Desperate girls who need to know they can never be as desperate as this one.
Shia woman's desperate search for hot mate; uses all the words she learnt at Oxford to describe the journey. Oh, and there's God. But He only appears when she thinks you might catch on to what she actually wants. Which brings us full circle to the 'hot mate' part.

What Shelina Wants in a Husband:

'Good looking
Height 5'8 - 5'10
Fantastic dress sense
The most handsome man in the world; it would simply not be possible for any other man to be better looking
Smells good
Handsome (did I mention Handsome?)
Rania Abdullah Gandapur
A beautiful piece of writing by a "first-time author!" Loved the humour, the devotion, the dedication and the positivity. One thing I found really impressive about Shelina is that she knew what she wanted and, therefore, the negative remarks that she'd received had no impact on her life. Normally people get inspired by their surroundings. Whether they know or don't know what they're doing is right or wrong, they continue to do it because people around them are doing it. Maybe because they fear r ...more
Gamal elneel
يقولون ان حين تمتلك الثقة وتشعر بالتكامل وتتوقف عن الطلب سيأتى الشريك

ولكنى لم اتوقف يوما عن الانتظار ولن اتوقف

فالحب دائما هو بداية القصة

ومهما كانت درجة التعقيد فى حياتنا قبل الحب فانه قادر ع تحويلها من الاسود الى الابيض

الى لون أخاذ يحبس الانفاس

هذا لا يعنى ان الحياة دون حب لا معنى لها فالحياة بكل تفاصيلها هى الحب

وعندما نعرف الحب بقلب شجاع متفتح وصادق عندها فقط تبدأ الحكاية

فالحب هو الشرارة التى تشعل الروح وهى ايضا التى تبقى جذوتهاو مشتعلة
Ahmad Sharabiani
Love in a Headscarf, Shelina Zahra Janmohamed
عنوان: عشق زیر روسری؛ نویسنده: شلینازهرا جانمحمد؛ مترجم:محسن بدره؛ اصفهان، آرما، 1392؛ در 344 ص، شابک: 9786006077475؛ موضوع: ازدواج
Yasmin Zaini
Mar 26, 2016 Yasmin Zaini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelina is me. Period.

A lot of people I've met tend to warm up to people who are similar to them. I am the exact opposite. And that's because I haven't come to accept myself yet, not fully. Everytime something strikes a chord within me, I curl up into a ball and retreat. I run as far away as I can from the object that reminds me of something in me, or of me. I am what you call a socially awkward person in that sense. Most of my friends are my foils in character or total polar opposites in every
Aug 12, 2011 Hugger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelina, as a writer, has succeeded in portraying how Muslim women think, what kind of rights Islam has given to women, and how Islam is not a religion of oppression as many westerns think but on the contrary it is rather a lifestyle and surprisingly for others, it has so many love stories and concepts that one could learn from.

As for Shelina’s stories with arranged marriage, it shows how different kinds of men she has met yet there was always something missing and many girls could relate to tha
Jamila El-Jabry
Jun 29, 2011 Jamila El-Jabry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love in a headscarf an autobiography by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed of her life in search of Mr. Right in the UK, her endless meeting with suitor, and learning about herself on the way. It’s amazing that we all come from different ethnic backgrounds but have similar thoughts on religion, marriage and living the life in the west. Does creating criteria for significant other really important, we know who we want but is it fair to create unrealistic expectation of how the person should or should not l ...more
❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄
(view spoiler)

2.5 stars

I didn't want to read this book.
It was pure horror.
I have no plans of ever getting married and this book revolves around it, around the whole process, the'tradional'Asian groom hunting thing and how women are supposed to be and the essential such a very nice pretty youn
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Shelina Zahra Janmohamed is the author of "Love in a Headscarf", a humorous and irreverent memoir about growing up as a Muslim woman. She writes regularly for EMEL magazine, a leading glossy Muslim lifestyle magazine. She also writes for the Times Online, the National (based in the UAE) and has written for the Guardian and Comment is Free.

She has her own award-winning blog which is now four years
More about Shelina Zahra Janmohamed...

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“Don’t just hope it happens you have to make it happen” 37 likes
“Islam has rules. Once they are part of your life, you dont notice them anymore.” 28 likes
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