“What A Relief” Podcast ##: ‘Scary and Exciting’: The Journey of a Muslim Woman AuthorB.C. Dodge & R. Mordant Mahon talk to Umm Zakiyyah in this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.

This week B.C. & Mordant welcome a special guest: award winning fiction author Umm Zakiyyah.

Umm Zakiyyah has been publishing since 2001 and has 16 books to her name. Every book features Muslim characters and tends to dive into issues that may be considered controversial. “A lot of what I write about is considered taboo to talk about in the Muslim community,” she says. Nevertheless, weaved carefully into her narratives are issues ranging from overcoming abuse, emotional healing, experiencing crises of faith and more.

“Two words: scary and exciting.”

That’s how Umm Zakiyyah sums up her experience being a public voice for Muslims as a minority. “When I first started writing there was no one else doing what I was doing,” she says. Now, her books are known all over the world and used internationally in universities.

“Some Muslims have the idea, if I’ve never heard of it, it must be haram,” she laughs, sharing stories of confronting misconceptions about her trade. “We’ve overcome that, the vast majority of the Muslims recognize that it’s valid as a genre. But in the beginning it was hard.”

In this episode, Umm Zakiyyah gives listeners an exclusive look inside her books, her writing process, and shares exciting new platforms for authors.

Tune in for your weekly dose of inspiration and hear about her challenges and successes as Muslim woman author.

“One thing that has been on my heart recently with the different books I’ve been writing about emotional healing is the importance of getting help when you’re struggling, whether it’s spiritually or emotionally or personally,” she says, “and I try to push that point home in that your right to heal is very, very important. And this is something that is not emphasized enough in the Muslim community.”


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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!


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