مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إلَّا بِٱللَّهِ
Executive editor: Adnan Ashraf
My experience in publishing began in Manhattan, where I worked as an editorial assistant at Workman Publishing Company (home of the Page-A-Day Calendar and What to Expect When You’re Expecting).
After graduating from college, I worked on a multicultural literary journal and a journal of art criticism, also in New York City. I was subsequently a Publishing Operations Specialist at Mathew Bender and Company, at 2 Park Avenue for two years, before moving across the street to work as a content producer at Earthweb.com for nearly two more years. I loved frequenting Madina Masjid, the 96th Street Mosque, and Masjid al-Farah (when its imam was Feisal Abdul Rauf). I also earned a master’s degree in English, specializing in Creative Writing at the City University of New York, and later earned a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language (Kent State University).
I have taught English at three state universities in northeastern Ohio, as well as in Lahore, Jeddah, Fremont (CA), Amman, and (remotely) Shanghai. I have taught English to students in grades 4 through 7 and grade 10. I helped develop and refine curricula for schools in the MENA region while working as a full-time textbook editor at an educational publisher in Amman for one year (2018 to 2019), before leaving to focus on my own projects. Blessed with young kids of my own, and the compulsion to contribute to their literacy, I write and edit fiction primarily for children.
Founded in 2015 as Zainub Perisa Publishing, the effort to establish Zaynab Books LLC was revived in 2019 because few if any companies were equipped and motivated to provide young Muslim readers with novels and short fiction that combine the literary, the artistic, and the contemporary, while honoring and manifesting the norms and culture of Islamic tradition. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, my training as a fiction writer includes courses completed, in more recent years, at UEA London and the Center for Literature and Theatre in Miami. While I have found Arabic to be a hard nut to crack, I have been intermittently learning sacred knowledge from traditional scholars since I studied at the Zaytuna Institute in 2000 and 2001 and hope to benefit young readers and their families with what I have learned.
Assistant editor: Mustafa Adnan Ashraf
As Assistant Editor, Mustafa enjoys looking for mistakes and reading. He believes a good editor has a quick eye and thinks about how a story and its plot fit together, rather than just focussing on spelling errors.
The editors have been blessed to work with several talented individuals whose professional contributions are fully acknowledged where appropriate.
الحَمدُلِلهِ رَبِ العَا لَمين