If you asked me what’s my favorite book of all-time, it’ll be hard for me to answer that question. As a Muslimah, my ultimate favourite book is, of course, our holy book; Al-Quran.

But what other kinds of books do I love to read during my spare time? Well, when I started working at IMAN, I began to explore my passion for marketing and also focused on becoming a better Muslimah as well.

So naturally, I read a lot of non-fiction books like biographies, spirituality and business books.

When I put together a list of books, fiction is definitely NOT one of them. But one day, one of my favorite authors, Norhafsah Hamid wrote a new book, a romance novel.

Before that, she has only written non-fiction that focused on her personal experience and spiritual journey. Her books like ‘Trying to be Muslim’ & ‘Back to Basics’ are some of my favorite ones.

So when her first novel titled ‘Heaven Sent’ came out, I gave it a shot. Fast forward to today, I have read all of her novels that are set in the same galaxy that included ‘Letters to God’, ‘Rough Diamond’, and the latest one — ‘Dear God’.

Each of the characters in these books spoke to me and affected me in such a way that I found their struggles and journey relatable. So here are 5 things that I learned from the characters of the ‘Letters to God’ Series.

SARAH.

Sarah is the main character in the first book of the series, ‘Letters to God’. She is a reader and a fan of Classic Literature, especially books written by Jane Austen.

Honestly, I’m not an avid reader nor am I a fan of Jane Austen. What I admire from Sarah is that she’s able to stay true to her identity and have an unwavering trust in Allah in every situation.

If you have read ‘Heaven Sent’,’Letters to God‘, you’d know that one of Sarah’s main struggles is to remain true to her faith while studying abroad at Reading University, UK.

I used to study in the UK as well and this is where I  find myself relating to Sarah. It was lonely, it was cold, and it was very challenging. But I’m happy to say both of us got through it.

What did I learn from Sarah?

  • Her calmness
  • Her unwavering trust in Allah

JONAH.

When I first read about Jonah, I’m like, “Seriously, a ladies man who tries to win the heart of one girl who is not even interested in him!” It’s quite a cliche, isn’t it? But don’t judge a man by his looks for this is not your typical romance novel.

In ‘Heaven Sent’ & ‘Letters to God’, the focus was more on Sarah’s story while ‘Rough Diamond’ focuses on Linda’s story.

Then came Dear God. Finally!! In this book, we get to know Jonah’s journey a bit better. We got to explore more about his family, his friends and also his background.

I just love the way the author, Norhafsah Hamid, portrays Jonah’s character from the beginning until the end. His journey of finding the truth after he meets Sarah is well-written.

Here, I learn from Jonah to be respectful no matter whom you encounter. 

Warning, spoiler alert! If you haven’t read ‘Dear God’, go read it now and come back to this article again once you’re done. Else, be warned!

During Jonah’s spiritual journey in finding the truth, he encountered a lot of people from different backgrounds and races. Even though he faced doubts and uncertainties along the way, he still managed to control his feelings and be a man with a respectful disposition, worthy of being called a gentleman.

 

MAT BOND & JAWS. 

These two are hilarious and awesome supporting characters. They are very understanding friends and always ready to be there for you. Always.

I loved the scene where Mat Bond and Jaws made fun of Jonah because they knew Sarah would not succumb to his charm. But after that, they kept a good relationship with Jonah, helping him in finding the truth while protecting Sarah at the same time.

Here,  Mat Bond & Jaws taught me to be helpful & to always be there for your friends no matter what. 

LINDA.

Fuh, what I can say about Linda. She’s a very complicated character. Glitz, glamour and gorgeous are the three things that best describe Linda.

When I first read about her in ‘Heaven Sent’, I found that she’s quite the mean girl, the kind you do not want to be friends with. She always has an issue with Sarah 😅 But deep down, I know there was something ‘special’ about her.

I’m glad Norhafsah Hamid wrote a story about Linda. Deep down, I think all of us can relate to her. For she puts on a confident and strong character on the outside, but on the inside, she feels alone and empty. Kind of like how we all feel in real life.

The final lesson that I have learned from Linda’s story is that Hijrah or spiritual journey requires pace. And I’m glad that Linda took her time to study Islam and make slow but steady changes, instead of drastically turning into someone she is not. I admire Linda’s determination to change and to never stop asking for forgiveness.

There you go, 5 things I learned (sort of, because let’s be real, there are more than 5!) from the characters of the ‘Letters to God’ Series. If you want to read more about these characters, you can grab all of the series at imanshoppe.com!

Written By,

Arinah Zainordin,

Marketing Manager at IMAN and passionate about digital marketing, creativity & film.
Follow her on Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn

LETTERS TO GOD SERIES

Prequel: Letters To God

Letters to God is about a journey of a young girl named Sarah in trying to find her footing in a challenging world.


Sequel 1: Heaven Sent


Sarah is a Muslim girl faced with challenges and obstacles to remain true to her religion. Whilst she endures hardship, she also found friendship and love.

Jonah is the ‘modern day’ Rome and enjoys the company of women but when he met Sarah, his whole world changed.

Both are from different backgrounds and religion but yet their path kept crossing. Is it fate or just coincidence?


Sequel 2: Rough Diamond

Linda is a rich heiress who seems to have it all; beauty, brains, wealth and social standing.

Desired by men and envied by women, Linda’s life seems perfect. But, deep down inside, Linda longs for true love and contentment.

Trapped between the glamorous world that she was brought up in and the overwhelming desire to find solace, Linda finds herself lost. Misery became her companion.

Will Linda continue her pretentious socialite life or will she find the hidden path to happiness?


Sequel 3: Dear God 

Jonah thought he had everything a guy could ever need to sail through life. A family that is supportive, cool friends that made university life a breeze and looks that won him the affection of many girls.

Except for one – Sarah.

An encounter with Sarah made Jonah realise that there is more than the one revolving around him. Jonah decides to brave the path least taken in the search for the meaning of eternal contentment. He found himself connecting to the One that he has long forgotten since he was little.

Is there still hope for him?

‘Dear God, grant me strength.’, prayed Jonah silently.