In 2005, Hugh Miles moved to Cairo to work as a freelance journalist, and fell in love with a doctor. They decided to get married. There was just one problem: the Koran forbids marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men (Muslim men, on the other hand, can marry outside the faith, so long as the woman in question is either Christian or Jewish). Miles, therefore, decided to convert to Islam, and in this month’s Prospect he writes an entertaining account of the process. Readers may be surprised by how simple becoming a Muslim is, at least at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo (elsewhere it is more arduous). Little evidence of any religious commitment is required, and the whole thing takes less than two hours. The piece is based on the final chapter of Miles’s new book, Playing Cards in Cairo, an account of his year in Egypt (published by Abacus).