The inspiring short stories of incredible Muslims

“Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World” by Burhana Islam

This is an inspiring book about Muslims that have made their mark in the world. It is beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, with mini biographies long enough to give us the complete picture, but short enough to make it neat and concise.

The extraordinary characters mentioned in the book range from both men and women, from many different ethnicities, who come from various occupations or roles in society throughout history. They vary from well known historical figures such as Salah Al-Din and Zheng He, to contemporary icons such as Muhammad Ali, Mo Farah and Malala Yousafzai, to several previously-little-known characters that turn out to be exceptional human beings, such as Rufaida Al-Aslamiyah, Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar, Sayyida Al-Hura and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo.

Fittingly, the book is mainly written for young Muslims who are seeking for inspiration from “their own clan”, but adults can also learn a lot from reading it, as have I while enjoying the beautiful but simple narrations.

And boy, what an inspiration. The book serves to show that Muslims can become anything we want to be without hard limitation, from becoming an actor, to athlete, architect, baker, warrior, explorer, healer, badass queen, scientist, senator, gold medalists, poet, DC and Marvel cartoonist, social justice movement leader, to the inventor of algebra and algorithm, and so much more, even becoming a real-life spy.

Now, although the heroes in the book are almost equally divided between men and women, I get the general feel that this book also wants to show that Muslim women are brave, powerful, and can take matters into their own hands (and rightly so in the eyes of Islam) and does not have to fit into the stereotype of oppressed women. Hence, with this in mind, this is a perfect book for my children to read and learn from, especially for my little daughter.