Book Review: That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story |

Book Review: That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story

Muslim parents and grown children who are looking for a spouse will find a charming blend of humor, faith, and insight in Huda Fahmy’s That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story. Fahmy, also the illustrator of the popular webcomic, Yes, I’m Hot in This, uses her graphic memoir to recount her journey to find a husband in the halal way. At the “ripe” age of 25, having struck out with a number of prospects, Fahmy was ready to throw in the towel and live a life of solitude with her cats. 

Fahmy describes her quest with a combination of self-deprecating humor and delightful spunk. Along the way, she discovered that self-love and self-respect are more important than meeting others’ expectations. She turned her first serious proposal down, even though the suitor seemed like he might be her last chance for marriage. She found him controlling and creepy and realized that she must honor her own right to happiness. From that moment forward, Fahmy decided to trust God to find her perfect mate and shifted her focus to self-improvement. 

One day at an Islamic conference, Fahmy found her qadr – her fate – onstage. A young presenter named Gehad instantly caught her eye, and Fahmy had a feeling he was “the one.” She asked a matchmaking sheikh at the conference to intervene on her behalf. Soon the youngsters’ biodata was shared, Fahmy’s father interviewed the suitor, and Fahmy went on her “first ever date” (chaperoned, of course). The author’s happy ending is all the more satisfying because she fulfilled her desire to find a truly compatible spouse while not compromising her Islamic principles. 

Practicing Muslims who are eager to find their soulmate while still respecting Islamic rules of gender relations will probably find they have a lot in common with Fahmy. As a girl growing up in Michigan, she faced the same temptations that most American adolescents do, including having crushes on boys and facing pressure to deviate from Islamic guidance. Born into a Muslim family, she also endured the challenges of overly-protective parents, nosy and opinionated “aunties,” and ever-mounting pressure to marry before she was “too old” to attract a partner. 

Parents and young adult children who are going through the courtship process can use Fahmy’s book as a springboard for meaningful conversation. The humor softens the complexity and stress of the marriage hunt, making it easier to approach difficult topics like parents’ expectations, community pressure, conflicting interests, and the right Islamic mindset about marriage. 

I highly recommend this book to young Muslim women who are thinking of marriage. It will give them food for thought about their priorities, their trust in God, their self-worth, and their expectations of marriage. It also reminds readers to be optimistic. Fahmy writes:

“Did you know that souls meet each other in a pre-earthly life? And when those souls meet each other again on Earth, it’s as if they’d known each other forever. That’s why you can meet someone for the first time and feel like you’ve known them your whole life. With Gehad, I knew almost instantly that our souls had met before. It was undeniable.”

Sometimes “happily ever after” is the exact ending we need to read to have the strength to continue our own journeys, inshaAllah, God willing. 

Laura El Alam is a freelance writer and editor and a first-generation American Muslim. She is the author of over 100 published articles and has written a children’s book, Made From the Same Dough, due to be released in 2023, inshaAllah. A wife and mother of five, Laura lives with her family in Massachusetts. You can visit her online at

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