Footsteps: A Novel
by: Umm Zakiyyah
Published by: Al-Walaa Publications
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Reviewed By Michele E. Davis
Footsteps, is the third in a religious fiction trilogy that follows Umm Zakiyyah's, A Voice. It centers on Ismael and Sarah Ali who turned to Islam as a journey together during college. Sarah is Caucasian while her husband is of mixed race, Caucasian and Nigerian. Married twenty-six years, they have two children raised in the spirit of Islam.
Aminah Ali is ready for marriage to a suitable Islamic brother and when her father, Ismael, introduces her to Raid, she thinks she's found the perfect match for herself. Until she finds out that he wants to marry her because she is white, while he is black. Aminah preoccupies herself with the question of color, and longs for the day when the entire world embraces all the different colors in the spectrum of people.
Simultaneously, Ismael's been thinking of the Qur'anic passage that says, "...Then marry of the women who please you, two, three or four. But if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (between them), then only one..." He's considering polygamy because he met a girl half his age, Alika, who he wants to take as his second wife. Sarah, once she finds out his intentions, is completely against being a co-wife. She must learn to deal with her emotions, since Allah stated that women were naturally jealous and men pre-disposed to polygamy.
But being a white American, she always felt monogamy was important, and she begins to question her faith as a Muslim. This leads her to finally bond with her sister, after years of estrangement. The scintillating ending between Sarah, Ismael, their daughter Aminah, and her new suitor is poignant.
This book leaves the reader with a lot of questions about race, religion as well as America's customs and practices.
Armchair Interviews says: A well-written book that's accessible for non-Muslims, but addresses some of the taboos that some Muslims deal with daily.
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