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The Reluctant Mullah

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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In a moment of idle curiosity, Musa tries on the modest garb of a Muslim woman to experience for himself what it's like to be veiled. While this cause much mirht among his fellow students at the Madrasah, the elders are not amused, viewing Musa's experimentation as a prank too far.

Back at home he must conform to family life and face the prospect of an arranged marriage. Cl
...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 2010 by Halban
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If I Should Speak by Umm ZakiyyahBoy vs. Girl by Na'ima B. RobertPainted Hands by Jennifer ZobairThe Reluctant Mullah by Sagheer AfzalThe Sealed Nectar | Biography of Prophet Muhammad by Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri
Islamic Fiction
4th out of 115 books — 47 voters
Moth Smoke by Mohsin HamidThe Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin HamidKartography by Kamila ShamsieA Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed HanifCracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa
Notable Books by Pakistani Authors
48th out of 158 books — 144 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jennifer (JC-S)
May 28, 2012 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by: sagheer afzal
Shelves: librarybooks
‘Knowledge will not always lead you to the truth.’

Musa, a mullah in training, has just been thrown out of the Madrasah of Islamic Britons for dressing up as a Muslim woman. Musa is sent home in disgrace, and it looks like an arranged marriage to his cousin Iram from his parent’s hometown in Pakistan is in his future - or is it? When Musa’s grandfather Dadaji visits from Pakistan, a pact is agreed:

‘There are thirty-three beads on this rosary. I give you one month of days in the pursuit of love. I
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Ida
This book like the back flap said is indeed a brilliant debut.
It had captured me with the author's writing style infusing familiar Islamic elements and the battle of modern complexity.
I greatly enjoyed the clear line drawn between culture and religion so the book had me hooked like I've never been in a long while from a debut book.

I felt that the author tried to be honest and I totally believed in the realistic portrayal and the distinction between Muslims and Islam in its modern context from th
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okyrhoe
The Reluctant Mullah is a well-written first novel, with fully-fleshed characters and dialogue that flows naturally, especially during the comedic parts (incidentally I was reminded sometimes of the excellent film East is East with Jimmy Mistri & Om Puri). The tone of the story is evenly balanced between comedy, romance, and a not-boring-or-complex discourse on Islam.
I'm not a religious person, and I don't care to read books, especially fiction, where scripture is quoted throughout the work
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Bilqis
the 4th star is only because this is the first book I read that actually made laugh out loud.
Don't get me wrong this impression does not last long, you might even shed a few tears at the end.
(I laughed at some of the dialogues at the beginning, I would have rather enjoyed if the whole book was about these silly adventures of the three friends)

Somewhere along the middle I lost interest because the characters were just plain annoying with their sob stories. The Pakistani family depicted in the boo
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Amy
Fact: Nobody likes an arranged marriage.


It's on this basis that the novel The Reluctant Mullah makes its case. In it, Musa has just thirty days to find a wife that he actually likes, or else he's stuck with the one chosen for him. He fears who will be selected for him, as it goes against every romantic bone in his body. Thus, he begins searching on his own. It's not simple, as Muslim tradition makes getting to know any woman a near impossibility. He's aided (and thwarted) by friends more bent o
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Maria
I was desperately trying not to cry at the end of this book ... It's a beautiful piece of work ...
Paul Forbes
Caroline (my wife) and I met Sagheer Afzal doing book signings of his novel ‘The Reluctant Mullah’ in our local Waterstones. He told us he’d met my work colleague, the award-winning novelist Mushin Hamid and writer of the similar-titled ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and so as I had some credits on my Waterstones card I bought a copy of his debut novel. Here’s the blub from cover:
“The clock is ticking for Musa: he has 30 days to escape from an arranged marriage…”
So the premise sounds simple enou
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Martin Clark
This is a rather curious book because of a mix of styles. The main thread is the story of Musa and his mixed bag of unconventional pals (troubled siblings, lady-killing guys, audacious women) and their wacky, episodic adventures to find Musa a beautiful, intelligent bride in 30 days, before his gnomic grandfather marries him off to a cousin. It's like a Pakistani version of Friends and even feels like it's written specifically to be adapted as a screenplay.
Wrapped around this story is an examin
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Babak Fakhamzadeh
In effect, a bittersweet comedy, and a very enjoyable one.

Afzal is a Pakistani living in the UK and the book effectively deals with the trials and tribulations of second generation Pakistani immigrants. And, as with similar work, the tongue in cheek style, combined with Afzal's intimate familiarity with his subject, the story is not only gripping and funny, but also feels very natural, as well as, at times, awfully sad.

The back cover calls the book "a brilliant debut", which is a bit much. Spe
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Summreen
A humorous look at the serious issue of arranged marriages and the struggle with tradition, enforced by elders, that British born Pakistani's face when major decisions in life are being made. It captures the detail of being entrapped by tradition very well. The story of the girl in Pakistan did not interest me much i have to admit but the main characters were fruitful and varied with their own struggles and dilemma's in life.

I could not picture the 'macho' male characters that were portraid but
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Kate F
This really merits a 3.5 star rating but I can't get the .5 star so 3 it is. I bought this book last Saturday when I was approached by the author in Waterstone's Birmingham - it is not a book I would ordinarily have looked at because I tend to go for non-fiction or 19th century literature by preference but I'm glad I did because I enjoyed it ! It is funny but sad and gives a little insight into the world of arranged marriages without clobbering the reader over the head. Whilst there were too man ...more
Tariq Mahmood
I found it to be a brilliant story, a unique insight into the British Pakistani culture of today. The characters were almost real like especially the ones representing British Pakistanis. There was a bit too much reference to the Holy Book for a Pakistani (from Pakistan) but I guess that is what most British Pakistanis must feel like. I loved the various one liners in the novel including the sad ending which was pretty apt. I predict one day this novel will be adopted as a movie or a TV drama si ...more
Lydia
I think I was expecting a more light hearted, chilled out read. This is more thoughtful, although there are layers. There are funny bits and serious bits alongside each other. I wouldn't recommend it unreservedly. I have, however, been getting more into this kind of Asians-in-Britain genre fiction lately though. I'd like to explore it more. Read this as part of a BookCrossing bookring. I'll be passing it on soon.
Margaret Pitcher
As Bilqis comments, this book is laugh-out-loud funny in places, especially at the beginning and I was prepared to forgive some of the slightly stereotyped characters, these being a staple of most comic writing, but then, most unexpectedly Afzal turns the whole thing on it's head and you with it.
Lottie
Overall I did find this book enlightening and it did teach me a little about a religion and culture I know little about. However I found the characters in the book a little simplistic and inconsistent.

I certainly came away with a sense of what the author was hoping to portray.
Fatema
I thought this would be fun but it was a waste of time..

It's doesn't provide a good image of Muslims and it made me upset. In my opinion, the way Musa and his family lived doesn't reflect a Muslim upbringing (which should have been explained in the story).
Arousa
Had to read this book for my book club, I really enjoyed it, it was something different.
Made me laugh on many occasions, great read.
Syerin
Feb 19, 2013 Syerin added it
baca sampai habis sebab geramm..content sampah!
Shirley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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