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From the author of the internationally acclaimed novel If I Should Speak comes the anxiously awaited sequel.In this deft second book, Umm Zakiyyah again takes us through the lives of Tamika and those who brush her life. Now Muslim, Tamika must face her Christian mother who instilled in her a love for Christ and made church the heartbeat of the family. Torn between her dedication to Islam, the longing of her soul, and her mother, the longing of her heart--her "lifeline," Tamika struggles to find peace somewhere in between. But she finds that something must give.A story of faith, determination, and love, A Voice penetrates the heart and moves the reader like no other, as the reader is transported from fiction to a reality so profound that one feels part of it.

432 pages, Paperback

First published April 17, 2004

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About the author

Umm Zakiyyah

66 books279 followers
Daughter of American converts to Islam, Umm Zakiyyah writes about the interfaith struggles of Muslims and Christians, and the intercultural, spiritual, and moral struggles of Muslims in America.

Umm Zakiyyah’s work has earned praise from writers, professors, and filmmakers and has been translated into multiple languages. In 2008, Umm Zakiyyah was awarded the Muslim Girls Unity Conference Distinguished Authors Award. Umm Zakiyyah also writes under her birth name Ruby Moore.

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5 stars
167 (55%)
4 stars
85 (28%)
3 stars
36 (11%)
2 stars
11 (3%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Anisa.
1 review3 followers
August 28, 2008
This book was/is AMAZING! it totally changed my life forever.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
202 reviews17 followers
May 13, 2014
Rereading 3-25-14
Finished 5-12-14
It took forever to finish rereading this, but I finally did!

The sequel to If I Should Speak continues the story of Tamika from the first book. A lot of what A Voice revolves around includes what reverts to Islam may go through and the subject of marriage. The first is definitely interesting to read about and is yet another example of how committed many reverts are to Islam compared to born Muslims. I think it goes without saying that unfortunately, Muslims born into Islam usually take Islam for granted while reverts go through so much pain and struggles to change their life around. There are good and bad to both in my opinion when it comes to being born into Islam and reverting to Islam, and this is something the book makes one think about.

I enjoyed reading this book as an adult compared to when I was in high school. Since the subject of marriage in A Voice makes up a big part of the novel, I found it more relevant to my life now. Some parts were funny when it came to Tamika and a brother interested in marrying her. I did like the inclusion of many marriage related issues such as those mentioned on pages 249-251. For example, "...it wasn't without reason that marriage had such a bad name. Spouse abuse, high divorce rates, and bitter custody battles were among the most popular victims of the union...these problems were not created by marriage. Marriage was more a victim if these problems then they were victims of it... Marriage appeared the culprit only because it made these problems more official." I also believe that marriage, like government, isn't the problem that people say and think it is. The problem is actually the people involved in these.

Another part that was mentioned in A Voice that has to do with marriage, is the right to privacy; "The most valued thing to a newly married couple wasn't having a few extra dollars to spend, but privacy" (388). I couldn't agree more, although I think even those not newly married still deserve privacy and space of their own. I don't understand how some people, especially parents and relatives, expect married children to live with in-laws! This makes things uncomfortable and unpractical for both sides.

I had the same problems with A Voice that I did with the first book. There was too much added information like every detail of the character's surroundings, clothes, etc. that I didn't find necessary. Also some female issues were breifly discussed in A Voice which again, were not necessary in my opinion. Like his sister Aminah, Sulayman seemed like too perfect of a character (with some minor flaws mentioned later) which made him unrealistic. Although it would be nice for every Muslim man to be like Sulayman, the reality is, many are not. There may be exceptions, but they don't make up the majority unfortunately.

I recommend A Voice to older people, like college ages and up because they might find it more interesting, relavent, and relateable.

Now I'm off to read the last book in the trilogy!
Profile Image for Ammena.
32 reviews11 followers
April 29, 2012
masha'allah I have to say it was well worth the money masha'allah. I read the prequel quite a few months ago and wanted to get the second one for quite awhile now, I saw it at a conference for a good price and decided to go for it. Its a lot thicker than the first one, which took me 4 hours to read, so I didnt expect to get through this one as quickly as I did. I wont go too much into detail about the book but I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes novels but is looking for something away of the romance and desciptions in most of the novels in today society.The general overview of the book is this... it follows Tamika through a year of her life, the year after she converted to Islam. At the end of the book, she has found a husband, a life and is preparing herself for the future with a strained but workable relationship with her family and a year left of college. Masha'allah there are some ups and downs and her husband isnt who you would expect at the beginning but in the end they get there.. through all the tests, and after all the prayers masha'allah. What I wouldnt give to be so straight and submitted to my deen, insha'allah. I cant really tell you more because it would give it away, I dont know whether it was the obvious length of the book that took my longer to get into the story. There were times that I skipped over a few paragraphs when the author went into long and unneeded details.. but all in all, highly recommended to anyone who is a convert or looking to marry or just a reader :)
Profile Image for Rawia R.
21 reviews69 followers
November 8, 2012
Loved it and read it several times... Amazing writing style.. An the story itself is Romantic yet as clean as possible.. At times your heart would tighten and would be at a verge of bursting. And a moment later, it's filled with self satisfaction and contentment.. Tamika is like a reflection of one self
Profile Image for Heather.
138 reviews
February 14, 2017
I really hate to one-star this, but I have to. Massive plot holes, barely-there character development, and a whole lot of drama (in a bad way) that was pretty much caused by the characters - especially Tamika - assuming stuff and not communicating with each other.

If Tamika had been a real person, I would have shaken her! She is a drama queen. She overreacts constantly, behaves like a complete brat to Aminah and her parents, treats Sulayman like crud, and has the gall to criticize her sister's behavior towards her babydaddy when she is being just as awful (but in a different way). She never apologizes for her rotten behavior to Aminah's parents, just acts like she is entitled to live in their house, eat their food, and do what she wants, and then has the nerve to jump to another conclusion - namely, that she is just a charity case to them. She is always throwing pity parties for herself, is totally self-absorbed, and generally obnoxious. Tamika never grows up in this book, even though she winds up married in the end.

Again we are bombarded with stilted dialogue, forced laughter (SO. MUCH. Can we PLEASE find another way to have breaks in conversation????), and apparently dire situations occuring, but that are never resolved in a satisfying way. One of the biggest events of the book, Tamika being kicked out by her mom and them coming back together, occurs in a slapdash way. We never get to see her mom evolve her attitude on her own, so the whole event feels like a half-baked plot to get Tamika living with Aminah and her family so that she can fall for Sulayman.

Sulayman himself is a bit of a waffling door mat. He wants to marry Tamika, but when she turns him down after a spat, he goes back to Aidah. He seems to care more about just getting married so he can have halal nookie whenever he wants (because he's a Man with Urges), because the outside world is so awful and full of temptation and he just can't stand it anymore. He does ruminate on how "pure and pious" Tamika is, never acknowleging when she behaves like a brat. I think he's in for a rude awakening when the honeymoon phase passes.

At the end of the book, Tamika mentions that she will graduate the following year, but she is also mentioned as being 19. She should actually be 21, having been introduced during her sophmore year, and this book covering her junior year.

This book also retains the lengthy preachyness of the first, and the first several pages are just a rehash of book one. The author's tendency to tell, instead of showing, is also in full swing and hasn't changed a bit.

All in all, this book was twice the length of the first, and two times worse in everything that irked me in the first book.
20 reviews2 followers
February 27, 2008
This is the squel of if a should speak it has more information about the practices of islam and less information about the islamic beleive itself (as the first book covered this part).

It describe the live of Tamika after converting to islam. The story is great and it has a happy ending (I like happy ending)
5 reviews1 follower
February 25, 2010
Mashallah, this was a very good book. It is nice to read works by Muslim writers that give positive and realistic insight into the lives of Muslims. They characters' experiences are easy to relate to and their stories are true to life. I recommend this book for anyone that wants an accurate portrait of Islamic women.
Profile Image for Becky J.
287 reviews10 followers
March 27, 2011
LOVED IT! Starting about halfway through, I found myself updating my husband about the characters' situations every 5 minutes or so - drove him crazy. It's so nice to be able to enjoy a book with a Muslim perspective.
It's been a few years since I read 'If I Should Speak,' but I felt like I could notice the author's writing having developed. Looking forward to more!
Profile Image for Aicha.
26 reviews5 followers
July 18, 2012
Loved it... It changed my life style and my thinking.. so practical and realistic view in a muslimahz life.. delineated with such greatness..
i felt each moment.. and saw a girls life frm different perspective.. a convert muslimah.. Mashalah!
Profile Image for Alyaa-a.n.
22 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2013
Only one thing i hated about this book , , , ," too much of unimportant details" , , , which i found to be really boring , but aside from that its a good read , full of profound spiritual meanings .

I recommend it for both muslims and non-muslims.
Profile Image for Ahad.
1 review7 followers
October 7, 2008
1 review
June 5, 2014
Alhamdulilah this book touched me in a very personal way. I'm pleased I read it when I did.
Profile Image for Ahmad.
136 reviews3 followers
August 18, 2020
I stopped reading this back in 2014, and now going back to finish it I remember why I stopped. It’s not great, it is ok. The more I remember the first book from the recap at the beginning, I gave it a good rating back then, I kinda realize it wasn’t super great either. It has the same problem this one has. I don’t know how to describe my issue with this book other than it is a VERY halal book. It is the love story a Muslim preacher would enjoy reading and would recommend to his family. That can be good a thing and a bad thing. A good thing cause it doesn’t have haram stuff, a bad thing cause stories aren’t as interesting if most of the characters aren’t flawed.

All the Muslim female characters are Mary sues and the male ones are Marty stues, and the non-muslim ones are bigots. All the main characters being perfect, except in the final 4 pages they show some flaws, doesn’t make for a compelling read, there is nothing interesting in a perfect person without flaws. And the conflicts that occur are unrealistic at times, a whole lot of drama over silly things, and the characters perceive themselves as victims of a society of bigots, while most of the characters’ are bigoted against the lifestyle of the people in their society. It felt the characters whined too much. They were easily offended when others asked “is islam compatible with western secular ideals?” but they’re ok with offending the ideals that exist in secular western society. They don’t accept that it is ok if they criticize others to be met with criticism directed at them.

The main characters felt like cliched emotional Muslims, easily offended and delude themselves of being victims of bigotry, while the main characters most of them are succeeding epically in life in a society that they accuse of being bigoted.

Another issues the author throws into the midst of the story a lot of preachy sermon stuff that shouldn’t be there when writing a description of someone having a fight or going about their day. And the Muslim characters give some exposition that doesn’t forward the story but it feels out of place put there by the author to do Dawah about Islam to the reader.

What made the book feel so long and a chore to get through is because most of it is repetition. Events occur in a chapter, then in the following chapter we see description of what was on the mind of the character during the previous events, WHILE also repeating the entire events in the first chapter. This happens over and over again. So many pages of repetition, exposition, and Dawah.

Overall, despite these flaws, It is not in any way a bad story, It’s an ok one. It’s a halal story that would be greatly enjoyed by Muslims who don’t want to read stories with inappropriate stuff or foul language. This is a very clean story, and kudos to the author for managing to write a series of novels that are clean and are family friendly. That’s pretty cool.

I’d give it 2.5 out of 5.
Profile Image for ღ Ruqs ღ.
91 reviews65 followers
December 12, 2017
I love it! So happy that the author decided to give us the opportunity to follow Tamika's life even further! I know the book is long, guys, but it IS worth it :)

The only issue I had was the immense amount of description and explanation that took place, going on for a long time, and this knocked down a star for me. It really made me struggle with reading this, especially since they would continue for pages on end. If the plot hadn't been so immersing, I probably would have gotten to a point where I just dropped reading the book altogether (although I think a main reason for this is because I am Muslim myself, so all the explanations of Islam were things I was already very familiar with).

However, I wouldn't let this stop you from reading this book, it is absolutely fantastic still, and I highly recommend it to all teenagers and adults alike, whether you're Muslim or not (since the author has made it easy for those not familiar with Islam to enjoy it too!), to indulge in this incredibly intriguing read and continue to follow Tamika on her journey :)
Profile Image for Aiman Nissar.
2 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2022
A spiritually and emotionally refreshing novel. Absolutely loved reading it.

If I could talk to any one of the characters of this book, it'd be Sulayman, and all I want to tell him is
"Well played, bro" 🤭
9 reviews
August 3, 2021
It was not really a Wow for me like 'lf I Should Speak' probably because I was already familiar with the story line but it is a very good islamic novel and I'll recommend it to everyone
8 reviews4 followers
July 21, 2007
This was an excellent read and really captured the nuances of the life of a practicing Muslim. Not it did it do a great job in educating about the life of a practicing Muslim, but it went many steps ahead to really entertain and capture your heart.

I was like someone tryna get over an addiction once this book ended.

1 review1 follower
September 21, 2016
I loved it. Good work. Love to read more of ur write ups...
Profile Image for Aaisha.
24 reviews8 followers
April 30, 2017
This book, along with the rest of the sequel, opened my mind in so many ways and allowed me to see a perspective that answered questions that I'd been contemplating for months. MashāAllah tabaarakAllah, umm Zakiyyah is truly gifted.
Profile Image for Rafay Farooq.
2 reviews17 followers
January 1, 2018
The book describes in detail the difficulty faced by a newly converted Muslim and how she finds her way to Islam. A very good read.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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