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Download If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah PDF for Free: A Novel About Faith, Friendship, and Identity

If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah PDF Free Download: A Review

If you are looking for a novel that explores the interfaith struggles of Muslims and Christians, and the intercultural, spiritual, and moral struggles of Muslims in America, then you might want to check out If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah. This book is the first in a trilogy that follows the lives of three college students, one Christian and two Muslims, who become unlikely roommates and friends. In this review, I will give you an overview of the plot, analyze the writing style, compare it with other books by Umm Zakiyyah, and conclude with my personal opinion and recommendation.

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What is If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah?

If I Should Speak is a novel by Umm Zakiyyah, a daughter of American converts to Islam who writes about the interfaith and intercultural issues that Muslims face in America. The novel was first published in 2001 and has since become a bestseller and a popular choice for college classrooms and book clubs. The novel is also available as a PDF free download on various websites.

Why should you read it?

You should read If I Should Speak if you are interested in learning more about Islam and Christianity from a different perspective. The novel challenges many stereotypes and misconceptions that people have about both religions, and shows how faith can be a source of guidance, comfort, and inspiration for people from different backgrounds and experiences. The novel also explores the themes of friendship, love, identity, culture, and family in a realistic and engaging way.

Summary of the plot

The main characters

The main character of If I Should Speak is Tamika Douglass, a sophomore in college who dreams of becoming a famous singer. After a fight with her roommate, she is forced to move out of her room and ends up living with two Muslims, one who is religious, while the other is becoming discontented with the religion. Tamika is immediately drawn to Durrah Parker, the latter, who shares her love for singing. Durrah is emerging as a successful model and singer in her own right and enjoys a growing level of prominence in her career, which has earned her many admirers, Tamika being one.

The other Muslim roommate is Aminah Ali, a devout and practicing Muslim who wears hijab (headscarf) and follows the teachings of Islam strictly. Aminah is studying to become a doctor and has a strong sense of duty and responsibility towards her family and community. She is also kind and compassionate towards Tamika and Durrah, despite their differences in faith and lifestyle.

The main conflict

The main conflict in If I Should Speak arises when Tamika becomes curious about Islam and starts to ask questions about it to Aminah and Durrah. She learns that Islam is not what she thought it was, and that it has many similarities with Christianity, the religion she was raised in but has drifted away from. She also learns that Durrah is unhappy with her life and is struggling with her faith and identity as a Muslim. Tamika tries to help Durrah find peace and happiness, but ends up falling in love with her, which complicates their friendship and their relationship with Aminah.

The main themes

The main themes of If I Should Speak are faith, friendship, and identity. The novel shows how faith can influence one's choices, actions, and worldview, and how it can also be challenged, questioned, and changed by life experiences. The novel also shows how friendship can bridge the gaps between different cultures, beliefs, and values, and how it can also be tested, strained, and broken by love, jealousy, and betrayal. The novel also shows how identity can be shaped by one's family, society, and religion, and how it can also be conflicted, confused, and transformed by one's personal journey.

Analysis of the writing style

The use of dialogue

One of the strengths of If I Should Speak is the use of dialogue. The dialogue in the novel is realistic, natural, and engaging. It captures the voice and personality of each character, as well as their emotions and motivations. The dialogue also serves as a tool for conveying information, opinions, and arguments about Islam and Christianity in a way that is not preachy or boring. The dialogue also creates tension, humor, and drama in the novel.

The use of description

Another strength of If I Should Speak is the use of description. The description in the novel is vivid, detailed, and sensory. It creates a clear picture of the setting, the characters, and the events in the novel. The description also evokes the mood and atmosphere of the novel, as well as the feelings and thoughts of the characters. The description also enhances the theme and message of the novel.

The use of symbolism

A third strength of If I Should Speak is the use of symbolism. The symbolism in the novel is subtle, meaningful, and relevant. It uses objects, actions, and events to represent deeper ideas and concepts in the novel. For example, the title of the novel If I Should Speak symbolizes the dilemma that Tamika faces when she learns about Islam and falls in love with Durrah. She wonders if she should speak up about her feelings and beliefs, or if she should keep them to herself. Another example is the song that Tamika sings at the end of the novel If I Should Speak, which symbolizes her acceptance of Islam and her love for Durrah.

Comparison with other books by Umm Zakiyyah

A Voice

A Voice is the second book in the trilogy that follows If I Should Speak. It tells the story of Aminah's brother Daanish Ali, who is a successful lawyer and a devout Muslim. He meets an American woman named Michelle Reynolds, who is a journalist and a Christian. They fall in love and get married, but face many challenges in their interfaith marriage. They also have to deal with their families' reactions to their relationship.


Footsteps is the third book in the trilogy that follows If I Should Speak. It tells the story of Tamika's brother Darnell Douglass, who is a basketball player and a Christian. He meets a Muslim woman named Hana Malik, who is a teacher and a hijabi (a woman who wears headscarf). They become friends and eventually fall in love. They also face many obstacles in their intercultural relationship.

Similarities and differences

All three books by Umm Zakiyyah share some similarities. They all deal with the interfaith issues between Muslims and Christians. They all feature strong female characters who are independent, intelligent, and talented. They all have realistic plots that are based on real-life situations and experiences. They all have captivating writing styles that are easy to read and understand.

```html his religion and his love. It has a tone of sacrifice, loyalty, and courage. Its message is about finding a balance between one's career and one's faith. Footsteps focuses on Darnell's journey from Christianity to Islam. It has a tone of curiosity, discovery, and conflict. Its message is about finding one's true faith and identity.


The main message of the book

The main message of If I Should Speak is that faith is a personal and powerful force that can shape one's life in profound ways. The book shows that faith can be a source of guidance, comfort, and inspiration for people who are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. The book also shows that faith can be challenged, questioned, and changed by life experiences and interactions with others. The book encourages the readers to explore their own faith and beliefs, and to respect and appreciate the faith and beliefs of others.

The strengths and weaknesses of the book

The strengths of If I Should Speak are its realistic plot, its engaging writing style, and its meaningful symbolism. The book has a plot that is based on real-life situations and experiences that many interfaith couples face. The book has a writing style that is easy to read and understand, and that captures the voice and personality of each character. The book has a symbolism that is subtle, meaningful, and relevant to the theme and message of the book.

The weaknesses of If I Should Speak are its lack of diversity, its stereotypical portrayal of some characters, and its abrupt ending. The book lacks diversity in terms of the representation of different religions, cultures, and perspectives. The book mostly focuses on Islam and Christianity, and does not include other religions or worldviews. The book also portrays some characters in a stereotypical way, such as Tamika's mother who is a strict Christian who disapproves of her daughter's choices, or Durrah's father who is a wealthy Muslim who tries to control his daughter's life. The book also ends abruptly without resolving some of the conflicts or questions that arise in the story.

The recommendation for the readers

I would recommend If I Should Speak to readers who are interested in learning more about Islam and Christianity from a different perspective. I would also recommend it to readers who enjoy realistic fiction that explores the themes of faith, friendship, and identity. I would not recommend it to readers who are looking for a diverse representation of different religions or cultures, or who prefer a more conclusive ending to their stories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Where can I find If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah PDF free download?

You can find If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah PDF free download on various websites online. However, you should be careful about the quality and legality of these downloads. Some of them may be incomplete, corrupted, or pirated. It is better to buy the book from a reputable source or borrow it from a library.

  • What are the other books by Umm Zakiyyah?

Umm Zakiyyah has written many other books besides If I Should Speak trilogy. Some of her other books are:

  • Realities of Submission, a novel about a Muslim woman who faces domestic abuse.

  • His Other Wife, a novel about a Muslim man who marries another woman without his first wife's consent.

  • Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, a memoir about Umm Zakiyyah's childhood trauma and healing.

  • Let's Talk About Sex And Muslim Love, a collection of essays about sexuality and relationships in Islam.

  • The Abuse Of Forgiveness, a self-help book about overcoming emotional abuse.

  • What are some similar books to If I Should Speak?

Some similar books to If I Should Speak are:

  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, a novel about a Pakistani man who falls in love with an American woman and faces a crisis of identity after 9/11.

  • The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, a novel about a African woman who is enslaved and converted to Islam, and her journey to freedom and faith.

  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, a novel about the biblical story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, and her life in a polygamous family.

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a novel about two boys from different ethnic and religious backgrounds who grow up in Afghanistan and face betrayal and redemption.

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novel about a Nigerian woman who immigrates to America and faces issues of race, culture, and identity.

  • What are some tips for interfaith couples?

Some tips for interfaith couples are:

  • Talk about your religious differences early on and be honest about your expectations and boundaries.

  • Respect each other's beliefs and practices, and don't try to change or convert each other.

  • Learn more about each other's faith and culture, and find common ground and values.

  • Communicate openly and respectfully, and listen to each other's perspectives and feelings.

  • Compromise and negotiate on important decisions, such as holidays, rituals, and children's upbringing.

  • Seek support from family, friends, counselors, or religious leaders who are understanding and supportive of your interfaith relationship.

  • What are some benefits of interfaith marriages?

Some benefits of interfaith marriages are:

  • You get to learn more about another religion and culture, and broaden your horizons.

  • You get to experience different traditions and celebrations, and enrich your life.

  • You get to challenge your stereotypes and prejudices, and grow as a person.

  • You get to share your faith and values with your partner, and deepen your bond.

  • You get to raise your children with a diverse and tolerant worldview, and prepare them for the global society.



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