Muslim Women in business; Asmaa Hussein

Celebrating the month of Ramadan as well as international women’s day we mention an inspirational business owner and author.

Asmaa Hussein writes children’s books and has set up her own publishing company called Ruquya’s Bookshelf in 2015 to fill a gap in the market, representation of Muslim children and protagonists.

Ruquya’s Bookshelf

The publishing company based in Canada creating work for children who have possibly never found themselves represented before.

Asmaa Hussein began her company to publish her book, ‘A Temporary Gift’ without having to censor and change the story. Other publishers asked her to steer away from religion and political references which Asmaa could not do and wanted to show her story for what it was meant to be, a reflection of her personal journey including the bad and the good. Asmaa wanted to create content for Muslims which was not watered down for a wider audience to understand.

They started with only three books in 2015 including, A Temporary Gift for Adults, Bismillah Soup & Yasmine’s Belly Button for Kids. With many authors reaching out wanting to publish they now have 35 different titles.

“The world needs your voices and your passion and your ideas. It can be discouraging when you don’t see results, but it’s worth it to keep going consistently and sustainably if you truly believe in what you’re doing.” – Asmaa Hussein

The Motivation to begin

In 2023, Asmaa became a widow and a single mother trying to search for helpful resources to navigate her new life. When finding anything her and her daughter could relate to became an almost impossible task, Asmaa decided to do it herself.

Asmaa found that the market for Muslim children was filled with instructional religious texts or stories where Muslims were stereotyped and negatively portrayed. Asmaa believed that all children deserve to have access to colourful, engaging fiction, something they could enjoy and have fun with.

The books Asmaa publishes are written by Muslims with Muslim children in mind so they can enjoy something that is meant for them and that they can relate to just as millions of other children were already able to do.

Asmaa Hussein now works as Author, editor and business owner. She is able to work with other authors to create work for their audience. Raquya’s Bookshelf is also a place for children to develop their love of writing with story competitions they can get involved with.


Asmaa Hussein acts as an inspiration to many women and Muslims through her work and motivation to do something she believed in.

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