The Adventures of Nur Al-Din
We have such a need for clean Islamic fiction for teenage boys and I am so glad that young men like @badees98 are becoming authors and filling this void!
Genre: Upper MG/lower YA
Ages: 12-15 (and up)
Screening: crush, battles/fights, blood/losing limbs/killing mentioned, mention of alcohol, drunkenness, prostitution, and a brothel being a disguise place for people learning Quran. (The main character is a practicing Muslim and immoral acts are not done by him, rather observations)
Farid is a young Tunisian asked to join the crew of Captain Barbarossa ( based on an actual Muslim pirate of the Ottoman Empire during the 1500s). He joins the crew, learns a great deal about sword fighting, and displays intelligence and leadership skills. On an expedition to Spain to help Muslim refugees escape to Algiers, a fellow Muslim crew member has a hand in Farid getting stranded in Spain- thus beginning Part 2 of the book, an intense adventure of Farid gaining the nickname Nur-Al-Din and making his way back to his crew and captain.
I really enjoyed the Islam in this book- Farid is very much a practicing Muslim who fears Allah and tries to do what is right in every experience he has. He prays, does wudu, reads Quran, and lives his life with morality.
It is explained throughout that Farid is fighting against the Spanish, who are persecuting and killing the Muslims in Spain after the Reconquista. Details are given on the pirating, and morality during fighting, including Islamic rules of battle and not hurting innocents or those who surrender. Details such as Jews and Muslims both being harmed by the cruel intolerant laws emphasize the reasons for Farid and his crew fighting and trying to defend their faith and land.
I liked the nonfiction aspects of this fiction book, and how it deals with real Islamic history, but I do wish the book included a map at the beginning and some historical background about Spain and how the Muslims were persecuted. Historical sources in the back would also have been helpful. I felt like the book could have used more editing too.
Can’t wait for book two in this series (already out!) and more from this author in shaa Allah!