Exploring my Muslim Identity

Resources to help you explore, get to know better, and feel proud of your Muslim identity, Islamic history, culture and heritage. Check out these TV, books, podcasts, websites/blogs, YouTube channels…

(This page is a work in progress – more resources coming soon!) 

Saints in the City – 3mins

TV shows:

  •  Man Like Mobeen – Comedy starring Guz Khan about a man who just wants to follow his faith and lead a good life, but can he succeed with his criminal past always chasing him? Available on Netflix and BBC iPlayer. “Made me laugh and felt good to see something from a Muslim perspective for once.”
  • Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King – a Netflix comedy special. Stand-up comic Hasan shares personal stories about racism, immigrant parents, prom night horrors and more in this stand-up special.
  • Resurrection: Ertugrul – a 13 Century Turkish warrior fights the Sultan’s enemies, was taken off Netflix but can be sourced online. “This connected me to my Islamic roots in a deeper way than I ever expected. It gave me a sense of Islamic culture and genuine pride at being shown as the good guys for once! Can’t get over Ibn Arabi is a main character!”
  • One Cup of Tea – short conversations about navigating life as a Muslim in the West, with Ramy Youssef and a diverse range of special guests.
  • Ramy – available on Channel 4 and Hulu. It’s an award-winning comedy-drama about how the son of Egyptian, immigrant Muslims living in New Jersey, navigates through a life that is torn between faith, his community and new age ideals.
  • Rise of Empires: Ottoman – Netflix docu-drama about the rise of Sultan Mehmed II. “I enjoy learning about Islamic history – it feels exhilarating and uplifting. Where was this at school?”
  • Ms Marvel – miniseries about a young kick-ass Pakistani Muslim superhero available on Disney Plus.

Inspiring Muslim accounts 

Check out these social media accounts from Muslim content creators on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter to entertain, inspire and educate you.  

  • Alaa Murabit  @alaamurabit (Instagram) – a UN High Commissioner. “I fell in love with Alaa through her TED Talk about Women in Islam. She has done SO many amazing things to change the world and she makes no apologies for putting Islam front and centre of her work. I’m obsessed.”  
  • Omid Safi @brotheromid (Instagram), @ostadjaan (Twitter) – Professor of Islam – gentle, spiritual Sufi style reflections
  • Subhi Taha @Sbeih – funny, relatable culture-based content from a proud Palestinian-Filipino Muslim
  • Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan @TheBrownHijabi – poet, author and activist against Islamophobia.
  • Muslim Culture @muslimcultureorg (Instagram), @MuslimCulture (Twitter) – platform to acknowledge the humanities inspired & contributed by the Islamic world – beautiful pics.
  • Alhassan Umar @realallydeen (TikTok) – motivational Speaker and BLM activist, also on YouTube
  • Sana Saeed @SanaSaeed (Twitter)– a cool journalist who’s not afraid to give a straight up Muslim take on an issue 
  • Magic Magid @MagicMagid (Instagram) – Former MEP for Yorkshire & Humber and Former Lord Mayor of Sheffield
  • Sakinah and Zakiyyah Rahman @aint.afraid  (Instagram) – musicians and activists who focus on empowerment and religion
  • Mustafa Briggs @mustafabriggs (Instagram)– Writer and Lecturer exploring the relationship between Islam and Black History.
  • Yasmin Mogahed @YasminMogahed (YouTube) – motivational, uplifting spiritual speaker
  • Imam Khalid Latif @imamklatif (Instagram) – chaplain at NY University
  • Jamad Fiin @_jamaaad (Instagram) – hijabi basket-ball player helping Muslim women get into sport
  • Isra Chaker  @israspeaks (Instagram) – Syrian-American civil rights activist, humanitarian and public speaker
  •  @shabsheek (TikTok) – funny videos about growing up as an Egyptian Muslim in the West. 
  • Hussain Manawer @HussainsHouse – poet, artist and mental health activist who speaks on grief and loss
  • Ibtihaj Muhamad @ibtihajmuhammad (Instagram)– the first US Muslim woman to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab – she also had a Barbie doll made in her honour!
  • Halima Aden @halima (Instagram) – Somali-American former supermodel, refugee activist and Vogue Arabia contributing editor. “There was something super empowering for me as a hijabi when Halima Aden was like stop, I am not comfortable with going along with what the whole world is expecting me to do, and I’m ok with saying ‘no’ and leaving this industry. A lot of people thought she was giving up, but she was just taking her own time, then she stepped back on the scene but on her own terms. She’s professionally turning to causes that matter and open and vulnerable enough to bring us with her. A lot of people in their own way will relate to people trying to shape you into something you’re not. But it’s like, NO. Take me as I am, or not at all.”
  • Reading Islamic Texts @islam_texts (Twitter) – Islamic studies researcher exploring the beauty and drama of Islamic thought. Follow for threads on history, Islamic law, Qur’an and more
  • Suhaib Rumi @suhaib.rumi (Instagram)– poetry rooted in an Islamic perspective 
  • Hyphen @onlinehyphen (Twitter) – News and stories about Muslim interest stories in Europe 
  • Bayt Al Fann @BaytAlFann (Twitter) and @baytal.fann (Instagram)stunningly beautiful photos and commentary of Islamic art, architecture and culture – great feed cleanser 
  • Candace: @theblondemuslim (Instagram) – motivational influencer figuring out life as a new Muslim in the States

Interesting websites to explore: 

Books/audiobooks: 

  • The Search for Beauty in Islam, by Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl – poetic, thoughtful essays/ reflections on a range of topics – contemporary, historical, legal and mystical – especially for those seeking a beautiful Islam hidden among the ugliness of people’s actions in the name of religion.
  • Huda F Are You?, by Huda Fahmy (a graphic novel) about a hijabi girl finding herself
  • The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy), by S.A. Chakraborty – fantasy adventure series drawing heavily on the Islamic world 
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed – epic fantasy, sci-fi adventure 
  • Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, by Ziauddin Sardar – candid, funny and passionate memoir about a life of travelling around the world on a quest for spiritual revolution, to grasp the contemporary relevance of Islam, and find ‘paradise’. A fascinating, insightful journey.
  • Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak – about the relationship between Shams and Rumi and how their story inspires an American housewife to find love 
  • The Prophet’s Pulpit, by Shaykh Khaled Abou El Fadl – a collection of powerful sermons that weave together spiritual insights with biting political commentary – a must read for those seeking purpose, reason, social justice and the transformative beauty of Islam. 
  • The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalami – the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America, a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record.
  • The Marvelous Mirza Girls, by Sheba Karim – Gilmore Girls meets vibrant New Delhi in a thoughtful novel about a teen facing family expectations, relationship complications, and hidden secrets in a new country
  • Love From A to Z, by S.K. Ali – Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry. When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, she heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, and resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam’s…
  • Home Is Not a Country, by Safia Elhillo – Nima doesn’t feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her suburban town, which makes her feel too much like an outsider to fit in and not enough like an outsider to feel like that she belongs somewhere else. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen…
  • Radical Love, Secrets from the Islamic Mystical Tradition, by Omid Safi – showcases the love poetry and mystical teachings at the heart of the Islamic tradition in accurate and poetic original translations
  • Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women, by Dr Khaled abou El Fadl – Drawing on both religious and secular sources, this challenging book argues that divinely ordained law is frequently misinterpreted by Muslim authorities at the expense of certain groups, including women.
  • Journeys Towards Gender Equality in Islam, by Ziba Mir Hosseini – six interviews with influential Muslim intellectuals on why If justice is an intrinsic value in Islam, why have women been treated as second-class citizens in Islamic legal tradition?

YouTube 

  • The Usuli Institute – fascinating, mind blowing Qur’an deep exploration – check out the Q&As for answers to tricky life questions and the Project Illumine series to learn the Qur’an in a way you have never heard before.
  • Omid Safi’s Channel @hamiltonian1 – gentle, beautiful and insightful videos on spirituality and knowing oneself through knowing God 
  • Real Talk with Mido and Baba – a YouTube series featuring conversations between 14 year-old Mido and his dad – a famous Shaykh – about how to navigate growing up Muslim in the West, finding your own path, and questions about Islam you were afraid to ask.
  • Honest Tea Talk – honest conversations we need to talk about as a community

Podcasts: 

  • Sacred Footsteps Podcast   – dedicated to travel, history and culture from a Muslim perspective. Special guest writers, historians, artists and others, about travel as a spiritual practice, and discuss aspects of Muslim culture and history that are often overlooked.
  • The Young and Muslim Podcast – short conversations on issues that come up in daily Muslim life.
  • Generic Muslim Podcast – Exploring the complexities of today’s average Muslim living in the West
  • Qur’an for All Seasons – discussions about the Qur’an – scholarly and spiritual discussions about the Qur’an – on the academic side, but helpful for finding new perspectives which can impact how you feel about life, faith and Islam 
  • Identity Politics Podcast – on race, gender and Muslims in America with Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali

More to be added soon!

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