Five Swoonworthy Muslim Romances

The rise in prominence of Muslim romances celebrates the rich and diverse experiences of Muslims and Muslim romance the world over, all while celebrating those universal themes of love that every romance reader craves.

The covers of the five romance books featured in this article.
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Romance has always been one of the most popular book genres, and with the rise of communities like BookTok in recent years, it’s only gotten more popular. That surge in popularity has brought with it a rise in the availability and popularity of Muslim romance novels. The rise in prominence of these stories platforms the rich and diverse experiences of Muslims and Muslim romance the world over, all while celebrating those universal themes of love that every romance reader craves. Notably, this subgenre is chock full of authors who are carving out their space in an industry where Muslim voices continue to be underrepresented.

Here are five romance novels featuring Muslim characters — clever heroines and brooding heroes — that are guaranteed to make you swoon. 

  1. "The Mis-Arrangement of Sana Saeed" by Noreen Mughees

In Noreen Mughees's debut novel, perfect for fans of Sonali Dev and Uzma Jalaluddin, star-crossed childhood sweethearts are reunited against all odds, only for their second chance to clash with their parents’ strict beliefs. The story follows 33-year-old Sana Saeed, who, despite her past dreams of passionate love, has embraced the responsibility of caring for her beloved and autistic younger brother, Zia. However, their traditional mother won't allow Sana to be named as Zia’s future guardian until Sana is married.

Unexpectedly, Sana’s childhood friend Daniel Malik reenters her life as her new boss. And while Sana cherishes their past together, a relationship between them is all but forbidden by her mother. With the clock ticking on her brother’s guardianship, Sana agrees to an arranged marriage, hoping that love will blossom along the way. But when a high-stakes work project forced Daniel and Sana together, Sana will find her commitment to her family challenged, forcing her to choose between them and the one man who claimed her heart long ago.

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A post shared by Noreen Mughees (@noreen_lekhak)

  1. “Ayesha at Last” by Uzma Jalaluddin

Selected as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Romance Books in 2019, this modern Muslim twist on "Pride and Prejudice" follows the complex life of Ayesha Shamsi. To repay her uncle's debts, she puts aside her dream of becoming a poet and takes up teaching. Living with her lively Muslim family, she constantly hears about her cousin Hafsa's many rejected marriage proposals.

Despite her loneliness, Ayesha is against arranged marriages. Everything changes when she meets Khalid, an intelligent but conservative man who she is strangely drawn to despite his challenging ways. When Khalid and Hafsa unexpectedly announce their engagement, Ayesha grapples with her feelings for Khalid and unsettling rumors about his family, ultimately leading her to discover uncomfortable truths about herself.

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A post shared by Uzma Jalaluddin (@uzmajalaluddin)

  1. “Love from A to Z” by S. K. Ali

From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable YA romance — a blend of "The Sun Is Also a Star" and "Anna and the French Kiss" — featuring two Muslim teenagers who cross paths during a spring break trip.

Zayneb, the only Muslim in her class, faces discrimination from her hateful teacher. When she confronts him and is suspended, she travels to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, seeking a fresh start for her spring break. Then there's Adam, who's dealing with a recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis. He’s trying to keep his diagnosis hidden from his grieving father while keeping the memory of his mother alive for his younger sister.

Both Zayneb and Adam play roles for the people in their lives, keeping their true selves hidden away. Everything changes when they meet.

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A post shared by S. K. Ali / sajidah (@skalibooks)

  1. "Sofia Khan is Not Obliged" by Ayisha Malik

This contemporary romantic comedy offers a fresh perspective on Muslim dating and relationships in the modern world. The story revolves around the main character, Sofia Khan, a British Muslim woman in her late twenties.

Sofia is an independent woman who has just broken off her engagement due to differences with her potential husband's family. She decides to take a break from dating and relationships altogether, wanting to focus on herself and her career. All that changes when her boss persuades her to write a book about the Muslim dating scene, a topic Sofia initially hesitates to explore.

The novel humorously and thoughtfully delves into Sofia's experiences as she immerses herself in the world of Muslim dating, covering the challenges, cultural expectations and societal pressures that come with the territory. Throughout her journey, Sofia leans on her supportive friends and family, who provide both comic relief and emotional support. And somewhere among the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, is it possible that she might just be falling in love?

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A post shared by Adiba Jaigirdar (@dibs_j)

  1. “Much Ado About Nada” by Uzma Jalaluddin

Jalaluddin makes our list again with another Jane Austen–inspired tale. This sparkling second-chance romance follows Nada Syed, who, on the brink of turning thirty, feels stuck living with her family in Toronto's Golden Crescent neighborhood. Despite having a good engineering job, she flails in her industry, tech startup dreams crushed due to a double-crossing partner. With a sense of failure looming over Nada, her best friend Haleema, pushes her to attend a Muslim conference. There, Nada meets Haleema's fiancé, Zayn, and his brother Baz. Unbeknownst to Haleema, Nada and Baz share a complicated past — some of it good, some of it bad, all of it secret — which resurfaces at the conference. Nada must decide between holding onto what was or pursuing new beginnings.

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A post shared by Uzma Jalaluddin (@uzmajalaluddin)

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