Top US Muslim author known for tackling taboo topics billed for SA tour

By Al Qalam Reporter

Umm Zakiyyah, an acclaimed novelist from the USA who is known for tackling taboo topics in the Muslim community, will be touring the country next month, thanks to Durban-based Baitul Hikmah (Islamic Books South Africa) who is hosting her.

Umm Zakiyyah will tour SA from 18-29 October to promote her novels and share story-telling techniques. Her latest novel His Other Wife is now a short film which will be screened at the events.
Her Durban event will be held at the NMJ Hall on Sunday, October 22 (see advert).
The author of 15 novels, Umm Zakiyyah is the bestselling American Muslim author of the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, and Let’s Talk About Sex and Muslim Love, as well as the internationally acclaimed blogs and stories at

She will be accompanied by her manager Khalil Ismail, a nasheed artist who will perform at these events along with guest appearances by Zain and Rashid Bhikha and other local artists.
She writes about the interfaith struggles of Muslims and Christians and the intercultural, spiritual, and moral struggles of Muslims in America. Her work has earned praise from writers, professors and filmmakers and has been translated into multiple languages.

Her first novel, If I Should Speak has been used for multicultural studies in schools and universities in America and abroad, including Indiana University, Bloomington; Howard University; University of D.C; and Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Umm Zakiyyah holds a BA in elementary education and an MA in English language learning and is CELTA certified. She is an educator with more than 20 years experience teaching English, writing, and public speaking in the United States and Saudi Arabia. She has worked as a curriculum developer, a guidance counselor, a youth mentor, and a teacher trainer for Macmillan Education. Her volunteer work includes working as a resident advisor in a domestic violence shelter and advising youth and women in spiritual crisis.

She studied Islamic sciences, Qur’an, and Arabic in America, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia for more than 15 years. She currently teaches tajweed (rules of reciting Qur’an) in Baltimore, Maryland. She is also an inspirational speaker at Muslim conferences and youth events.

During her tour, she will conduct workshops for Muslim teachers on the power of fiction and how to get our children to read. She will also conduct a workshop for Muslim novelists, bloggers and budding authors.

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