Review: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik


Author: Ayisha Malik

Publisher: twenty7

Release Date: September 3rd 2015

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 464

“Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.’ Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. ‘Are your parents quite disappointed?’

Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.

As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love . . . ?

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is a book I started for Ramadan Readathon all the way back in June. And I think because there were so many new releases out at that time, it was a bad idea to start it. I got about 200 pages in and then stopped because it was putting me in a slump. However, I picked it up for the 24in48 readathon and managed to finish it quickly.

It follows the story of Sofia Khan, a Muslim woman working in the publishing industry who is equipped to write a book about the Muslim dating world for women. As she tries to scrape together a draft, she goes on many dates for research for her book. And then she starts to fall in love…but she’s gone on so many dates that she doesn’t know who she’s in love with.

First of all, I think this was a really good diverse book to educate me more on the Muslim community in the UK. It’s been described as being Bridget Jones with Muslim dating and I couldn’t agree more. It was hilarious, romantic and brilliant.

Also, Malik’s writing was at a very good standard too. Some of her protagonist’s wisdom and lines were clearly well though out. I mean, just take a look at this beautiful quote for instance:

“What a luxury anything organic is: to take your time; to have the lived experience. To hear what a person has to say about love and say, ‘Yes! I know that feeling. It shattered my soul and it was beautiful . . .”

I’m annoyed at myself for putting the book down at first but I can’t help but feel the reason was because the first half of the book just wasn’t as engaging as the second half. But nevertheless, I’m very glad I picked it back up.