The Size of a Mustard Seed is a great Ramadhan read I had the opportunity to finish on a road trip just before the 2016 fard fasting period. When your daily goals about reading or listening to the Quran are met, I urge you to read some urban fiction crafted by Umm Juwayriyah aka Maryam A. Sullivan because it highlights and captures well the beauty of Ramadhan accompanied of course with the struggle of our nafs.
For me it was a bit of a Ramadhan love story and I now understand better why Tohib Adejumo’s Love in Ramadan was partly inspired after her novel. In the domino effect of things, I was also inspired by Tohib and you will find out with time insha’Allah. I mean love in Ramadan can be with the Creator, it can be with yourself, it can be with a person, it can be with the deen, etc. Bottom line, it has a diverse meaning.
Going back to The Size if a Mustard Seed, it centers on Jameelah Salih, a 27 year old Indonesian-African American (post 9-11) who is a hair stylist and a college student. As the eldest of her family, she is a single Muslimah who acknowledged she has a lot of work to do on her person. In a nutshell, she is easily irritated and has an attitude problem she wants to keep under control. And one Ramadhan the opportunity to be a better Muslimah presents itself, and she grabs it.
In the midst of her self-betterment, a marriage proposal from a reknown imam comes in and Jameela while she’s excited at the idea of getting married, she finds herself being reserved about this suitor and takes a while before making a decision. Like clock work, when she makes up her mind, secrets come out of the closet. All she can do is put her trust in the One who will never forsake her to help her make sense of her situation.
Along the way, a platonic and halal love triangle surfaces and you will have to read to get more details on this part. The book is definitely suitable for teenagers and adults alike.
So like I mentioned earlier, she is the eldest of her family. Meelah, like her relatives call her, also has a younger sister named Khadidja who is married to a white revert Muslim man and a younger brother Adam who will turn out to be an exemplary young Muslim man and a dashing wakil.
The novel is diverse in terms of ethnicities and what we should take from it is that Islam has no color and no race is above another one. They are Black, White, Yellow and everything in between the shades Muslims. Muslims are a diverse people indeed! With that being said, there are still people who frown on interracial unions and The Size of a Mustard Seed touches on that a little bit with a particular character. No spoilers!
I’m so looking forward to Book 2 because I feel like Khadija’s story need to be told to great extent! Because of her untold story, I think many other Muslim writers were inspired by the great Umm Juwayriyah and that’s an honor masha’Allah. I could be wrong but that’s the impression I got so far. My rating? 5/5!
Get your copy on Amazon today. Better yet, gift it to someone during the Eid!
Jazak’Allah khair for reading,