Price  £8.99
Format  Paperback
Published  11 February 2010
Length  384 pages
ISBN  9781905559169
ISBN  9781905559275 (ebook)

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The Reluctant Mullah
Sagheer Afzal            


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 causes much mirth 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. Cleverly, the family patriarch, Dadaji, offers him a deal: a month of days to find himself a bride or else Musa must accept Dadaji’s own choice.

And so the race is on for Musa, a devout Muslim and gentle idealist, who dreams of a perfect companion but despairs of ever finding her. When his siblings and friends step in to help, their efforts lead both to hilarity and outrage but soon the dark side of tradition rears its ugly head...

A brilliant debut.

About Sagheer Afzal

Sagheer Afzal was born in Harrow to Pakistani parents and educated in a Dewsbury madrasah. He now lives in Peterborough and works with prisoners.

Latest News

April 2011

Review of The Reluctant Mullah in Altmuslimah

'It manages to be cute and chatty at times while, in the end, piercing, with a devastating thrust, into the depths of what it means to submit to God even in the face of excruciating tragedy.

... Afzal is a writer who brings readers inside some of the more difficult struggles of life -- which is one of the gifts good novels bring us, namely to push us out of our comfort zone and make us reflect.'          Altmuslimah


Sagheer Afzal talks about his book at the London Book Fair:

February 2011

Victoria Pendleton, gold-medal Olympic cyclist, recommends The Reluctant Mullah in an interview with The Independent:

'A book that changed me... I also recently read The Reluctant Mullah by Sagheer Afzal. It was really eye-opening and took me on a rollercoaster of emotions.'


November 2010

Costa First Novel award: the books that nearly made it

'This is the book David Lodge might have written if he had been a British Muslim. A cracking set of characters (my favourite being a Confuscious-spouting, foul-mouthed but endearing Muslim builder) with Musa, recently kicked out of his North-London Madrasaha, and looking for true-love, being the most compelling and sympathetic. I felt I learned a lot about British Muslim life, not to mention aspects of the Koran that were surprising and accessible. A solid - and fresh - debut.'                            Mostly Books Blog