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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Limitless Learners Contest by - Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah

As salamu alykum readers & writers,

Long time no post! I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed and benefited from the month of Ramadan. I also hope you had a joyous Eid. I have been super busy behind the scenes and I am excited to get the posts flowing again next month, enshallah.

I just wanted to pop in and share an exciting offer from our friends over at  has a new contest for students in or entering K- 5th grade called the Limitless Learners Contest! This contest is encouraging kids to think creatively about what education means to them and use their art, writing, and language skills to express their ideas. The Limitless Learners Contest will choose a winner from each grade level to receive $500 for college and a free lifetime membership to! You can also help your local library win free money as well and you know this blog LOVES to support local libraries. 

Follow the link and apply today! And don't forget to share this page with your friends and families!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pre-Order Yaseen's Big Dream!

*New Book Alert*

Yaseen's Big Dream 

by Umm Juwayriyah 

Art by Azra Momin

Published by Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

February and March were busy months filled with lots productivity! The Black Muslim Authors Black History Month Event was held at NYU and hosted by myself and Author Layla Abdullah-Poulos! Now I get to introduce my latest Muslim fiction book, Yaseen's Big Dream! 

Yaseen dreams of helping his family, his friends, and his community. But is it really possible for a kid like Yaseen to do all of those thing?  Of course,  it is! 

Pre-order Yaseen's Big Dream for $12.50 to follow him on an adventure unlike any other! Books will ship out at the end of April, enshallah! 

Monday, February 18, 2019

This #BlackMuslimReads salutes our sister, 
Author Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins

Umm Juwayriyah:  You have an upcoming play based on your latest children's book that #MuslimGirlsRead loves, Bashirah and The Amazing Bean Pie: A Celebration of African American Muslim Culture. Can you tell us about the book and why you wanted to bring it to the stage? Also, can you give some insider details on the play itself?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: Bashirah and the Amazing Bean Pie welcomes readers  into the world of young Bashirah  who is preparing  for Culture day at her Islamic school and the Eid holiday. Bashirah  and her family are African American Muslims and she plans to share a Bean Pie for her cultural dish. Bashirah gets help from Pop-Pop (grand-father) to learn how to make the traditional African American Muslim dessert. Honestly, I had intentions for the message of the book to reach 1 million people. I did not have any specific intentions to make the book into a play. I truly believe that Allah brings beautiful opportunities to us when we are ready for them. We do not necessarily know in what form the blessing will arrive. I was approached by the head of the theatre department at The Please Touch Museum to transform the book into a play. Now museum goers can see Bashirah and Amazing Bean Pie  from February 16th - March 7th for a total of 15 shows:

Please Touch Museum
4231 Avenue of the Republic Ave
Philadelphia, PA

Umm Juwayriyah: Knowing the story of  Bashirah and The Amazing Bean Pie, I wont give it away, but can you explain a little about how you came up with the story? Why is the Bean Pie so significant and to whom?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins:  For me it represents a connection to the past, economic upward mobility, self-sufficiency, family, and community. I wanted to write a story that would have readers immediately know that the book was about African American Muslims. I (also) didn't want the current generation of Muslims to forget about the struggles and accomplishments that generations of African American Muslims made to the fabric of America  and the establishment of Islam in America. I wanted to honor the history and the thousands of Black Muslims who converted to Sunni Islam from NOI.  You would be hard pressed  to visit  a masjid founded by African Americans  and not find a bean pie after Jumu'ah.  It is ingrained in our culture as American Muslims. (Also) My father owned a Bean Pie factory. He employed  most of his family and baked thousands of pies a day.

Umm Juwayriyah: As this is Black History Month, how do you think Black American Muslims fit into the celebration and history?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: Black American Muslims are Black Americans! We share the same history (and month of celebration). Many people don't know or choose not to acknowledge that between 10% to 30% of free Africans enslaved in the Americas between 1711 and 1808 were Muslims!

Umm Juwayriyah: Your books often showcase Black & Brown Muslim characters. Is that a conscious decision for you?  Why is it important to you to represent Black & Brown Muslim characters in literature?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: It is important because Muslims have origins  from all over the world. It's all about the education and representation. If you don't highlight topics that are important  to you which in my case is the showcasing  of Black and Brown Muslims, who will? We cannot complain about the lack of diversity in children's books, media , etc. if we are not willing to do something about it. Heroes are born everyday. We have to be the change we seek in the world.

Umm Juwayriyah: Because it is #BlackHistoryMonth and #MuslimGirlsReads supports the #BlackMuslimReads initiative, please share your top five (dead or alive) #BlackMuslimReads.

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: 1. Servants of Allah by Sylviane Doiuf 2. Taking Action by Barakah Hassan. 3. Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammad 4. Tried & Tested by Umm Juwayriyah 5. If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah

Umm Juwayriyah: As a Muslim mother and entrepreneur, you're quite active, mashallah! What two pieces of advice can you share with our readers, especially mothers & youth, who want to actualize their passions and goals?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: Do what scares you but speaks to your heart! Keep your intentions pure and focused on pleasing Allah (swt).

Umm Juwayriyah: How can our readers stay in touch with you?

Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins: 

Instagram: @ameenah_diggins
Facebook: @AmeenahDiggins

Books by Ameenah Diggins

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#BlackMuslimHistory: Ustadha Omm Rafiq - The First Black American Female Graduate of Umm AlQura University, Makkah


This is an article I've waited 20 years to write. Every time I have an opportunity to chat with this sister, listen to her speak, or read some of her writings on a variety of topics it always - always rekindles my love for the Most High. Alhamduleelah, I used to be able to attend some of her online halaqat weekly. Now, not at all. But I have never forgot many of  her words, the adeeya she shared, and her "Deen Clips"! Nor had my desire to write her story waned, Mashallah. I was in my early teens when we were first acquainted. With no husband or children or responsibilities, I had the time to write and travel freely. But it was actually my first time living in Khartoum, North Sudan that connected us. She too many moons ago had lived near the Nile River and studied Islam there with her family. 

Time moves too fast though. Twenty years later, she was in Makkah and I was in Kuwait.  We had remained connected through our travels and friends of friends. I reached out to her  trepidatiously - not knowing how she would respond to my request. Omm Rafiq isn't known to be a harsh sister in the least. In fact, she is quite the opposite: low key, soft spoken, and very focused. She had always flown under the radar - but still remained a legend in many circles of sisters I moved through Sudan, UAE, Saudi, Kuwait and the United States. Mashallah. I knew Allah had sent me a sign that reach out to her again. However, my request to interview her about her life's accomplishments seemed very bold and the opposite of how she had lived. I thought it was going to be a hard sell. I pitched my ideas to her cautiously. I sprinkled heavily reminders to her of the sisters in the West and our youth around the world who needed to hear modern stories of sisters and brothers from cities and states like their own. I discussed how beautiful inspiration could be, yet for many Muslims today, young and old, very hard to find and relate to. Alhamduleelah, she accepted without any hesitation. I present my interview of:

Omm Rafiq ~ The first Black American Female Graduate of Umm AlQura University
Makkah, Saudi Arabia

As a Muslimah writer, I know that it is important to document modern Muslim history and to show representations of Muslim Americans, especially, to the next generation , bi'ithnillah. Can you answer the following questions:

Umm Juwayriyah:  Tell me about your background? Were you born Muslim or did you revert to Islam? 

Omm Rafiq: I am originally from California. I embraced Islam in 1972  after a series of what seemed "accidental" or "incidental" events that eventually lead me (and my husband)  to the guidance of Allah. I had been raised Catholic (and my husband was raised Baptist). We met some Muslims in Boston, Massachusetts where my husband was in college. We embraced Islam in Boston  and then returned to California. We went there for him to get a Master's degree, but left as Muslims, on a new path. Alhamdulilah.

Umm Juwayriyah: How did you end up studying in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? 

Omm Rafiq: When we first became Muslim in 1972 all we wanted to do was study Islam. There were precious few books in English available (in the United States), so we applied to the Islamic University of Madina. My husband received a response with one ticket to study. By that time our oldest daughter was born (so we didn't go). A few years later my husband met the Dean of the Islamic University of OmDurman (of Sudan) at a conference in the States. He invited my husband to study at the university with a scholarship. We sold all of our belongings and traveled to Sudan for a year. Things didn't work out as we had planned (the dollar was half its value and the scholarship was about 25 pounds a month. It was equivalent to roughly $50 a month. ) Unfortunately, it didn't cover the cost of living.  My husband traveled that year to Jeddah and applied to King Abdul Aziz University where he was hired.  We left Sudan and have been here in K.S.A ever since.  We lived in Jeddah for the first year and a half. Because we wanted to study Islam, we put in a transfer to Makkah.

Umm Juwayriyah: Can you explain your studies? What did it entail?

Omm Rafiq: In order to enter Umm AlQura University in Makkah, one has to first learn Arabic. So the first step was to study in the University's Institute of Arabic Language (non-Native speakers). At that time, it was a three year course. Now it has been lessened to two years. After the completion of the Mahad, then one was able to enter the University. I choose to study Aqeedah - Islamic belief (my husband studied fiqh and its origins). It took us four years to complete our Bachelors' degrees. However, I had my 6th child while I was studying, so it took me a little longer than my husband as I didn't take a full load of classes for two semesters after I gave birth to my son. For each level of study, every student had to take a course in Qur'an as well. In other words, it was required to memorize a juz (1 part of 30 parts of  the Qur'an) each year. 

Umm Juwayriyah: Were you the only Black American in your courses? 

Omm Rafiq: At that time, there were no other Black Americans in my courses. But several Black Americans were in the Mahad (Arabic Institute for non-native speakers) while I was in the University. There were also a few Black Americans there before me studying but circumstances did not allow them to finish, Qadr Allah, mashaa f'aal.  But Alhamduleelah, after I graduated, I knew of about three other African Americans studying studying there along with their husbands. 

Umm Juwayriyah:  We hear so much negativity about the mumlaka (kingdom) - in the news and media and from modernists. For those who have never been to Saudi or had the opportunity to take a class there, how were taalibatul 'ilm (female students of Islamic knowledge) treated in Saudi Arabia?

Omm Rafiq: The women were treated like other students - I mean the foreign students were treated the same! Most people (Saudis) had a great respect for those of who chose to study Islam. And the students held their professors in high regard. Those students who were just studying and not working as well - their path was bit difficult as the stipend from the university was not enough to support a comfortable life. Those students had to seek funds elsewhere and some had to even send their families back home. My husband taught at the University in the English, so his salary was enough to support us (and study).

Umm Juwayriyah: What sort of challenges did being a wife and mother (to many) add to your studies? 

Omm Rafiq: If I could have, I would have devoted all my time to my studies. But I had six children. Our day was something like this: get up at Fajr (before sunrise), pray and then get everyone ready. School began very early here because of the heat. A typical school day was from 6:45 am until 12 noon. By then the day was really heating up and by 2:00 pm it was extremely hot. That was the time everyone was home until Asr (midday prayer). Everyday my husband would drive the kids to school, then drive across town to drop me off at the women's campus, and finally he would have to drive back across town to go to work. At the end of the day it was the reverse for my husband. He would pick up the children, pick me up, and then we'd all go home. It was exhausting - cook lunch, short naps, and then the children's homework. All of this left little time for my (own) studies. Once I was complaining about this (exhaustion) and my husband quickly cleared my thinking. He advised me: "If you study hard and get all A's, but your children do poorly in school, then you have failed. If you help your children and do your studies and you receive C's and they succeed, then you have succeeded as well." Khalas! I continued to try my best to work everything in. Some nights, I just wasn't able to give my all  to my studies. Alhamdulilah! 

Umm Juwayriyah: What was your most memorable experience  from your studies? 

Omm Rafiq: There were many, but I think this one was significant: At this time TV stations would come on with recitations from the Qur'an and they would close with the Qur'an. One night I was studying late while everyone was asleep. Shaykh Ali Jaber (may Allah have mercy on him) recited an aya or two from Surah al Baqarah. He recited very slowly and distinctly:

قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى :كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ {28

I felt a shudder as I understood every _ single_word and thus the seriousness of the aya (verse)! It was then that I realized that I was (actually) absorbing and learning. Sometimes, I had thought, I would never get it (Arabic). I had began studying at the Mahad the age of 35! That isn't the ideal age to take on a new language. The Arabic language is complicated and I (some times) further complicated it by thinking I had to replace every word I knew in English with an Arabic word....impossible. Allah showed me I could it -- I was doing it!

Umm Juwayriyah: Did you know when you started studying that you were among the first Western Muslimat to join Umm AlQura and graduate?

Omm Rafiq: No, that wasn't something that I thought about. As I mentioned earlier, there were other sisters there in different programs from Canada, the US, and Germany. I was (just) there for knowledge, not recognition. 

Umm Juwayriyah: What degree do you hold?

Omm Rafiq: I hold a BA in Aqeedah from Umm AlQura University in Makkah

Umm Juwayriyah: What year did you graduate? 

Omm Rafiq: 1992

Umm Juwayriyah: Subhan'Allah, I was just starting middle school around that time. What advice do you have for your Muslim sisters back in the West - especially the youth?

Omm Rafiq: Strive to be best possible Muslimah you can be. Don't make comprises. Comprises start small and then they become bigger and more frequent.  Choose good companions who remind you of Allah and are not all about the dunya! Always ask Allah for help and to keep you on the straight path sincerely. 

Deen Clips: Imam Azza
Written by Omm Rafiq

It's early in the morning; fajr was about an hour ago. School is on the Ramadhan schedule (about 10 am til 3pm) so the house is quiet while everyone is taking naps. The weather is cool for here but not yet cold. The windows are open and I can hear an occasional bird chirping. While reading Qur'an and working on memorizing a surah, it made me think. It takes me back to our first arrival in this country. This is a continuation of a deen clip from my experiences as a Muslim. Often, we become affected by a person, some little thing they did or said. I want to tell you about my neighbor in Jeddah, a mother of six when I first met her who planted a seed and then kept tending it and watching it grow. She was just Azza then, but now they call her "Imam Azza".

We moved to the new apartment building after being in Jeddah for six months. My children were aged 7, 5, and 3 and were all going to school. My housekeeping routine was easy. I found myself with extra time. I wanted to study Qur'an. My husband had been going to a local masjid for several months. One day he came home and told me that one of the brothers said his wife held classes at her home. The lived in the building right next to ours! I didn't know this woman. I had never seen her so I was a bit nervous to go to her home for the first time. 

She opened the door, welcomed me, and brought me to her guest room. She was from Egypt and a Qur'an teacher in one of the public schools in Jeddah. She was also eight months pregnant. Twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays she had women and girls come to her house to study Qur'an with her. Her home was a small three room apartment. In the first room, the sisters were studying Juz' Tabarak, in the second room the women were studying surah Al Baqarah. In the third room, the women were study another juz, but the name escapes me now. Her place was small, but was filled with women and girls learning. Imam Azza had another one other teacher come in to the lessons and help while she circulated the rooms teaching. I was put in the first room with the sisters working on Juz Tabarak. The students were working on surah Haaqah. Imam Azza opened her mouth and began her recitation. It was so beautiful, clear, and it had a nice rhythm to it. I sat as if in a trance listening to the beautiful sounds flowing from out of her throat. Then the students repeated after her. I repeated with them. I think they were assigned the first page of the surah to memorize by the next class. When maghrib came, all the women gathered in the guest room and Imam Azza provided all of us with long flowing salat veils to wear. After we prayed, Imam Azza served everyone a glass of mango juice. I remember that pointedly because there were so many of us there and yet, she had not just taken time out of her day to teach us, but to serve us refreshments as well.

We all left after the the refreshments were finished. I remember the exuberant feeling that engulfed me after having spending times with those sisters and Imam Azza. I continued to attend regularly her classes. It wasn't long before she had her baby. She only missed one lesson before she was back to teaching us. I had been amazed at her energy and dedication. It was then that I learned first that women could recite and touch the Qur'an while on their menses and with post-partum bleeding. Soon I finished memorizing surah Al Haaqah, but it had been very difficult for me. Imam Azza suggested I continued with Juz Amma as it was better suited for me until my Arabic and reading improved (and it did eventually). I began memorizing the last chapters of the last Juz of Qur'an. Then summer came.

I was pregnant then with my son Muhammad so we returned to the States. When I returned to Saudi Arabia, it was Ramadhan. I continued to study with Imam Azza until I gave birth. While I was in the hospital, the Naseef family (specifically Saddiqah Sharifuddeen) opened the first Qur'an school for women in Jeddah (and the first in the Kingdom). My neighbor and Qur'an teacher decided to no longer teach out of her home. She decided to join the Qur'an school for women with Khalah Saddiqah.

As soon as I was able, I signed up to join the women's Qur'an school. Imam Azza was no longer my teacher. I used to see her every time I went to school though, but it wasn't the same. A couple of months later, I finally completed juz Amma at the school, then my family moved to Makkah, Alhamdulilah. Azzah stayed in Jeddah and worked at the Qur'an school for many years. Then I heard that she had finally opened her own Qur'an school for girls. I was really happy for her. By that time, I was involved in my own studies at Umm AlQura, but I kept hearing about Azza. She had opened another school and then another, and yet another. Many of my friends put their children in those schools to learn Qur'an, just like I had done. Everyone loved the schools, teachers, and their leader -- Imam Azza!

In all, Imam Azza opened 16 Qur'an schools through out Jeddah - 8 for girls and 8 for boys! May Allah reward her and her family greatly. I always think back to her little apartment in Jeddah and her children scrambling around while women and girls recited Qur'an. I always admired  how her husband and older sons would vacate their home for us twice a week for Muslim women and girls they didn't know to learn Qur'an.  

The last time I saw Imam Azza she had came to Makkah with some friends to offer condolences to me on the deaths of my two daughters who had died in an automobile accident. Imam Azza was the mother of 10 who had started 16 Qur'an schools.

Please make dua for her an her children. Please make dua for my two daughters who passed away. Allah have mercy on them.

 اللهم  أجعل خيرَ امرنا  أواخرها, و خيرَ عمالنا خواتمها, و خيرَ أيامنا يوم نلقك

Allahumma, aj'al khaira 'amrina awakhiriha, wa khaira 'amaalina
khawatimaha, wa khaira ayyamina yaum nalqaka.

O Allah, let our last days be the best days of our life and our last deeds be the best of our deeds, and let the best day, the day we meet you.

Omm Rafiq  
3 Ramadhan 1419/ December 21, 1998

Sunday, February 3, 2019

#BlackMuslimReads - Righting Wrongs By Writing Our Stories, Empowerment & Leadership


A mainstream African American women's magazine finally decides to feature a Muslim woman in hijab on the cover. They can't find one Black Muslim woman -- even though hundreds of them purchase their publication.

A prominent non Black Muslim organization questions a prominent non Black Muslim leader on issues about Black American life and trauma and police brutality only for the non Black American Muslim leader to spew the criminalization of blackness as he tried to White wash away White privilege.

A major non Black American Muslim organization moves their major conference into a metropolitan  area that is over 63 percent Black American and schedules a conference the same weekend as the largest Muslim women's conference that has been running for over 30 years and run by Black American Muslim women.

 A group of Muslim leaders gather together to protest DACA on Capitol Hill and are arrested in their support of young immigrant Dreamers. Boom - It Goes Viral!

Young African American Muslim girl in Philadelphia prevented from playing in a school basketball game because of  her hijab. No one knows her name!

Do you see where I am going with this? Too many times these types of situations occur in our communities and we either disregard it or get mad, Twitter fight over it, and forget about it until the next upset occurs. 

But what if we jumped out of that matrix? What if we stopped reacting to negativity? What if we beat a new path where we controlled our own narratives? 

#BlackMuslims have the numbers and efforts to lead! If we just looked to see the positivity in our own communities, we would have enough stories to write about for the whole year! 

We have sent many community members to study abroad and learn not just secular studies, but many in our communities have traveled to study Islam and Arabic. It is important that we write about these young scholars and honor their pursuits. It's important for us to support them and give them opportunities to share and speak and have a place at our tables.

We have many Black  Muslim sisters in our communities raising and rearing Muslim children successfully. Many of our sisters who have birthed five or more children go unnoticed and uncelebrated in our communities as if birthing one child is easy, let alone five or ten! They are a wealth of knowledge and experience and love that we have to take the time and energy to care about. We have to write their stories! We have to validate and cherish their experiences. We have to make room for these sisters in our communities to share and teach other young expecting Muslim women what they know. 

We have so many Black Muslim entrepreneurs in our communities across the United States. Many of these talented and creative brothers and sisters make clothing (that always gets copied), clean houses and businesses,  cook halal meals and desserts, tutor the youth, design websites, teach the Qur'an online and in their own store fronts and they deserve their story to be told!

We have so many Black Muslim educators, Alhamduleelah!  They are sharp-minded academics, dedicated teachers, professors, paraprofessionals, researchers, administrators in every type of school/college/university in the States and abroad. They get up before Fajr and they go bed way after Isha five days a week making sure their lesson plans are on point and that their students will be well prepared. They spend their own money to provide the essentials for their students and many of their students are our own children! We have to write their stories! We have to support and champion their works. We have to create and support tables for Black Muslim educators to come together and network. We have to be proud of them and encourage them to continue teaching. 

We have so many dedicated Black American Muslim fathers mentoring their children and other children in our communities. These brothers are our Abus, Babas, Daddies, Stepfathers, uncles, brothers and grandfathers, too in the communities who volunteer at every event, encourage and cheer on all the community, help and love up their wives without being asked, work hard and tirelessly to support their families and give sadaqah. These brothers need their stories written. 

As you can see we have important stories in our communities! We don't need to sit around and wait for something foul to happen to us. We can and should happen to us! We have to support us and raise up our leadership. We have to empower our youth and children to feel good about the good they do without others from outside of our community clapping. We have to right our wrongs by writing our good stories. And don't stop at just writing! We have to be proactive. We have to gather to support each other. We have to create, engage, and work on being the best community we can be to each other!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Save The Date: Black Muslim Authors: On The Tradition of Storytelling, Literature, Representation & Faith

Black History Month is right around the corner and we are cooking up an event you don't/can't miss! Black Muslim Authors: On the Tradition of Storytelling, Literature, Representation, & Faith  at the Islamic Center at New York University hosted by the talented Author Layla Abdullah-Poulos and myself, Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah! They'll be a panel discussion with some amazing Muslim authors, book readings, books and other merch for sale! Put this event on your calendar now.

Vending is just $30 and open to all! Send me a note at to reserve your table now!  

See you in NYC, enshallah! 

Monday, December 24, 2018

The 2018 BIG End of Year List of Muslim Fiction Plus by Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah & Juwayriyah Ayed

   Another year wrapping up and gratefully we were able to put together another fantastic list of Muslim fiction by Muslim authors to showcase their talent, creativity, and dedication to authentic Muslim narratives. I've said it a millions and enshallah, I hope that I am able to keep saying it and keep spreading it and pushing it: Muslim fiction by Muslim authors is necessary. It's not easy work. It's not an easy sell to get the traditional publishing world to see us and our stories as necessary. So this list and others like it have become vital platforms for marketing our strength and diversity to the Muslim world and non Muslim world alike. 

Juwayriyah and I are appreciative to all of the Muslim authors on this list! Thank you for writing your stories and sharing and networking with us at Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah & #MuslimGirlsRead. Enshallah, I wish us all a successful and creative new year. 
Your 2018 Muslim Authors and Stories are here:

#1 Expendable by Sahar AbdulAziz
Tethered to a man perfectly willingly to destroy her sanity, Bella must somehow find the strength within herself to leave and never look back. Logan appears to all who know him as a charming and adoring husband, yet behind closed doors, a dangerous, darker side emerges. To his circle of unsuspecting friends, he is the master of his destiny. To the trail of broken women left behind, a cruel and callous monster. But to his family and most of all Bella, he remains an inescapable and recurring nightmare. Trapped, isolated, and unable to seek help, Bella plots her escape, but time, as well as opportunity are quickly running out.

#2 Because of H.E.R by Jamilah F. Bashir, M.Ed

Growing up with a sibling that has a disability is not easy. At times Jamilah felt frustrated, sad, and embarassed of her little sister Aasiyah and her limitations. Having to help her her tie her shoes, get dressed, and look out for her, could be overwhelming. Through the experience she grew a deep connection with her sister as her protector and friend. Jamilah's journey growing up with her sister would shape how she would impact the world in the later years. Join her as she shares her amazing story.

#3 The Amulets of Sihr by Abu Bilaal Yakub 

Mukhtar is a young blacksmith facing everyday struggles to support himself and his widowed mother. Life is brutal and harsh, even harsher while the empire only looks after its own and the rest of the people are left to fend for themselves. In an impulsive moment Mukhtar frees four slaves from their captors.  Little does he know how this will shape his destiny. As the turmoil unfolds, his mother unveils her most guarded secret - an ancient and once powerful amulet once belonging to his long lost father. The amulet sets Mukhtar on a path to unraveling a grim and dark part of his bloodline. Now at a crossroads of good and evil, he must face his life's greatest trials in order to save the empire from annihilation.

#4 Fatima Al-Fihri - The Founder of the World's First University by Maryam Yousaf

Fatima Al Fihri, the founder of the world's first university, is about a non fiction figure from Islamic history. It is a story about a girl who wants to contribute positively to her community, this is her dream. As she grows up she is faced with loss and is left with great fortune. However, instead of dwelling on her loss or greedily keeping the fortune to herself, she decides to the extraordinary: she builds a mosque which includes a place of learning. As years go by, the mosque becomes one of the biggest centers of her time and eventually the first university in the world.

#5 Musa and the Blade by Q. Abdullah Muhammad 

In the village of Al'Aqrab there lived an orphan by the name of Musa ibn Rudainah. Shunned for what he inherited from his mother's legacy. He  was ever the target of his people's scorn and contempt. Even so, his aging grandfather, Talha, knew that Musa was the rightful heir to their legendary Ladghatul 'Aqrab, a sword whose fame and glory were known throughout the all the lands. With the countless foes plotting to get their hands on it, Talha, the current keeper of the blade, must prepare his grandson for what awaits him of impending perils and predicaments.

Chowdhury writes about the hijab from her own perspective, as a symbol of of choice and empowerment as opposed to one of oppression. Her writing provides an authentic voice, which is extremely necessary when it comes to discussion of such topics. We are in desperate need of having more genuine, witty, and sincere Muslim female voices like hers to be at the forefront of our discourse. --- Sadia Ahmed

#7 The Ducktrinors (Book  1 & 2) by Papatia Feauxzar

The world is coming to an end and Hanifa Ducktrinor can feel it. The seculars rule the world and keeping the sunnah and the deen intact became a challenge. Hanifa, the cadet of the Ducktrinor family, is a courageous young Muslim living in a time where practicing her religion is really hard. She wants to be the courageous, educated Coreishy woman she dreams of every day. When the opportunity presents itself to Hanifa  to fight for her dreams, she realizes she might have gotten in way over her head. 

Her brother Malik wants to be a teacher. He knows to be a scholar, you must have knowledge - ilm, amal - obedience to Islam, and ikhlas - doing everything to only to please Allah. Malik takes his deen seriously, but will it be enough to save the day?

In this ground breaking book about living with mental illness as an American Muslim, internationally acclaimed author, Umm Zakiyyah, shares the true story of Sakinah, "the Muslim Hippie" who thought she'd found a faith family and loving community after converting to Islam. However, as she lived with undiagnosed  bipolar disorder, her manic-depressive states led her to be ostracized, confused, and ultimately rejected and alone. 

This story gives a glimpse into the life of one Muslim woman as she finds her way from darkness of uncertainty to become a passionate mental health advocate. 

Now that Zayd had made the Gold team, he's hustling hard and loving every minute of the season. But when the team starts to struggle Zayd can't help wondering if it has something to do with him. Even worse, his best friend Adam starts acting like he doesn't care about basketball anymore, even though they are finally teammates. Does Zayd have what it takes to be on point and lead his team back to victory?

Nanni's Hijab is a story about Nanni, a little girl who loves wearing her hijab. She wears a different hijab everyday. Her classmates enjoy seeing all the the different colors and designs of Nanni's hijabs, except Leslie. Leslie doesn't like Nanni or her hijabs. She tries to bully Nanni for wearing her hijabs to school. Leslie humiliates Nanni in the school yard infront of all their of their classmates by snatching Nanni's hijab off of her head. Read about how Nanni handles her bully. 

It's anthology of writing that draws on the lived realities of Muslim women. Food and cooking, hardship and conflict, intimacy, baby-making, children, living with in-laws, and self-esteem are some of the experiences unpacked in this collection of poignant personal narratives. 

In Not Without My Hijab, DeOliveira walks you through her personal journey to self-discovery while navigating college, corporate America, and relationships. Her self-discovery leads her to create 11 steps to Reclaiming Your Faith. 

Amongst many things, Dahumie's mom uses her imagination through mimicking small hand cymbal instruments different than hand symbols to help teach the Al-Khaliq (the Creator) attribute of Allah. Throughout the story, children learn that Allah has created all that exists. 

The year is 2085! The world has reached the end of the evolutionary continuum. In this post-evolutionary word, truth and conscience are expendable. In the atheist dominated world, right and wrong are dictated not by God or His holy books, but by an overreaching World Government Organization. It is up to Kamil and Okoye to get the four points of the Dukyarian Rectangle to stop antagonizing each other and instead work together to unpend the WGO.

A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother's colorful headscarf in this sweet and fanciful picture book. 

I Love My Hijab celebrates the beauty and diversity of the hijab! It was written to encourage young Muslim children to learn, love, and be proud of their Muslim heritage. 

Meet Yasmin! Yasmin is a spirited second grader who's always on the lookout for those "aha" moments to help her solve life's little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and big imagination, she boldly faces any situation. 

Everyone in the village knows not to come near the cranky, old, monkey Rico or his precious bananas. However, after some unwanted encounters, Rico learns a life changing lesson.

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child determined to follow in her sister's footsteps. And lastly their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as the brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? 

A compilation of poems, prose, and quotes, and reflections on hope, healing, and empowerment and faith as we journey through life's trials and triumphs as we rise and fall. It invites us to listen to our heart's truth to find the peace our soul longs for and to be resilient in our pursuit of purpose and finding fulfillment. 

In this story Hadi and Sameer's mom explains having compassion to her children by underlining the universal value of having acceptance and love for others, regardless of our differences. 

Ivorian cuisine has started to gain recognition across the globe. In addition, many Ivorians are seeking restaurants to enjoy their favorite foods to enjoy their favorite traditional and street foods. Others simply want to know how to cook the foods their ancestors made. This is the cookbook for you. It's an easy to follow guide that will introduce you to Ivorian foods or quickly fall in love again.

The Forbidden Relationship illustrates the dangers of haram relationships. It offers deep insights into what a haram relationship is and why it is deemed wrong, all the while providing practical steps to on how to avoid such relationships and if need be, how to deal with the aftermath of such a relationship. It's a must read!

Ammarah thought she was ready for marriage. She'd thought the idea over for months before bringing it to her parents. Now that there is a chance that she might actually get what she wants, Ammarah is far less certain. Eaten up with anxiety over her own shortcomings and the impending challenge of altering herself to fit what a good wife should be, Ammarah has to decide what her next step will be. Will she let fear overwhelm her or will she find the courage to start her new journey?

Calling in a debt to get your granddaughter married was tacky. This time it was dangerous, too. Ibrahim Khan had devoted his life to ensuring that he was the most dangerous man in town. And now, his beloved granddaughter was the one suffering for it. Iman still couldn't understand why kicked her out! She'd forgiven him, but she was above using it in her favor. 

Adam had come to sorely regret the day Ibrahim Khan saved his life. If he'd known then that the help came with strings, he'd prayed for death, not life. 

Princess Alishba wears a VERY big crown and fancy frocks so people think she is arrogant and stuck up. In reality she longs to wear comfortable clothes like ordinary people - and her large crown actually hides a secret! Make sure you grab this book for your kids. 

Miss Never Pleased is the story of a relatable character in today's children's lives. She was naive and self-obsessed and nothing could please her. The diary belonged to a girl who longed to be perfect but failed miserably. She learns to embrace people and life with imperfections and discovers the art of living a happy life. 

Adam Lyons is a successful New Yorker who has never known his mother except that her life ended moments before his began. An unexpected letter from Pakistani grandmother sends him on a quest he didn't know he needed - a path towards satisfying his spiritual hunger. 

Iman, who lives on the opposite side of Central Park, couldnever have predicted the turns her life took. In her search for peace, she must submit to a fate she is desperate to escape.

But Max has his own plans. His entire life he has been waiting to give them what they deserve rather than what they desire. Now, he has to end things once and for all. His problem? He has to survive two life sentences to fulfill his hunger. 

A thriller about three Muslim highschool students who must uncover the conspiracies of the Sefids, a mysterious international organization. 

Zaafir is an intelligent, sports loving, and handsome guy who is adored by girls at his university. But he likes Ajlal who barely hangouts with anyone on campus. Ajlal has no interest in the popular Zaafir. She doesn't think he is a religious man at all. Fate will bring them together, but how? Read the book to find out how the mystery is solved. 

Would you help to look for a famous diamond if you knew it might cost you your life? Zaid had no idea of the danger involved when he and his sister Zahra joined with new friends, Layla and Adam, in a quest to find the missing Moon of Masarrah diamond. Their idyllic summer vacation takes many twists and turns as they rummage around Bayan house for the elusive gem. Will they succeed in solving the riddle that will led them to the long lost diamond? Or will they be scared off by dangerous enemies to stop them at all cost?

Bashirah and the Amazing Bean Pie shares a fantastic story of a multi-generational African-American Muslim family. A Ramadhan and Eid story filled with faith, food, and family.  

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Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah, M.Ed