The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth


These twenty-one personal stories are told by women from practically all backgrounds and persuasions–devout and not-so devout, professionals and housewives, westernized and traditional, wearing jeans, hijab, or niqab, straight and gay, and originally from Africa, North America, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Asia–revealing in their own ways what it means to them to be a Muslim woman (a “Muslimah”). What we get is a complex of stories, all challenging conventions and stereotypes, and united by two ideas–Islam (or the Quran) and nationality (Canadian).

The Muslimah who Fell to Earth offers a timely intervention against popular, global discourses that seek to pigeonhole and simplify Muslim identities. The title documents quotidian, female voices, where these stories are often suppressed. Indeed, one might surmise that the rich diversity of the collection is its strength.”

“In a world where everyone thinks they know Islam — where everyone thinks they know the pain and the power of the Muslim body — these stories expose the gaps. In them, the hidden identities of an already hidden identity converge. In them, Muslim women become real.”
–Broken Pencil

The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth presents a kaleidoscopic view of Koranic interpretation, marriage and family, the role of women, and experiences of Islamophobia and tolerance, including perspectives from gay Muslimahs and Muslimahs with disabilities. Such an assortment allows for few broad generalizations other than a desire for more of these stories, hopefully in full-length works.”
–The Globe and Mail

“The candid and authentic voices in The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth add much to what is becoming an increasingly important conversation.”
–The Toronto Star

“In a world where we seem compelled to simplify, categorize and demonize “other” elements of our society, this book unveils the complicated universal struggles for identity, place and respect that we all share, no matter our religious, national or cultural heritage.”
–The Mississauga News

“The anthology is stocked with an impressive array of diverse stories and its takeaway follows suit: that Muslim women in Canada – and the world – are a diverse demographic. There is no mainstream voice here that dominates the others, no typical portrait that shuts out the rest. [. . .] Everyone is heard.”

“Highlighting diversity in terms of ethnicity, social status, economic position, and religious orientation, The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth is guaranteed to impress with the range of its scope.”
–World Literature Today

“Muslimahs are a group much talked about, but little heard from. Hussain’s collection is an important contribution to breakdown that muffling barrier.”
Katherine Bullock, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences


Publication Date: October 2016

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-927494-82-0
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
192 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-97-4

Photo of Saima Husssain

Saima S Hussain earned an Honours BA in English and History followed by an MA in South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. She is author of the award-winning children’s book The Arab World Thought of It: Inventions, Innovations and Amazing Facts. She lives in Mississauga.