Umm Zakiyyah

Daughter of American converts to Islam, Umm Zakiyyah writes about the interfaith struggles of Muslims and Christians, and the intercultural, spiritual, and moral struggles of Muslims in America. She is the internationally acclaimed author of more than fifteen books, including the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, His Other Wife and the newly released self-help book for Muslim survivors of parental and family abuse: Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, with contributions by Haleh Banani, behavioral therapist. Her books have been used in universities in America and abroad including Indiana University-Bloomington, Howard University, University of D.C. and Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. To learn more about the author, visit

Umm Zakiyyah has BA in elementary education and an MA is English language learning. She has appeared on radio and TV in the United States and abroad, and has been a guest lecturer at conferences and youth events nationally and internationally.

The year 2001 marked the release of her first novel, If I Should Speak, which immediately received international attention from the United Kingdom and Australia, and quickly became a bestseller in stores throughout the United States. The novel earned national and international acclaim from professors and writers, as well as from magazines and newspapers.

One of the most noteworthy reviews of this novel came from Dr. Robert D. Crane, the advisor to former U.S. President Nixon, who said of Umm Zakiyyah’s first book: “I could not put it down…I was fascinated not only by the plot of the novel, but especially by the brilliance of the writing itself. As a life-long, professional writer and editor, I can say that I have never encountered Umm Zakiyyah’s equal in portraying the nuances of encounters between persons at all levels from the most superficial to the most profound. She is a clear example of a person who has natural talent. A person can be trained to write well, but no amount of training can bring a person without superb, natural talent to captivate the reader as she does and exert a permanent intellectual and emotional impact.”

The author’s novel was further elected for university studies in multicultural literature at colleges such as Indiana University, Bloomington; Howard University; and the University of D.C. It was further featured at Georgetown University and in the publication Multicultural Perspectives through Saint Cloud State University and University of Saint Thomas affiliation. Professor K. Bryant of Howard University said of Umm Zakiyyah’s If I Should Speak, “The novel belongs to…a genre worthy of scholarly study.”

In addition to the acclaim and readership the novel received in the United States, readers reached as far as the United Kingdom, Australia, Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Uganda, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and India.

She is currently working on independent film projects that share the American Muslim experience.

To learn more about the author, visit

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