I cannot tell you how delighted I was when Umm Muhammad Assami, whose translation of the Quran's meaning you know as Saheeh International, agreed to meet me during my recent visit to Jeddah.
I drove to her apartment with my mother who is her former student. She welcomed us with a tray of delicacies and drinks that she insisted on serving herself. Her friend Amena Tanveer was also present.
I have known Umm Muhammad as a role model, mentor and a caring elder, having been blessed to get to know her through email last year. I have since regularly benefited from her advice and support.
She was born in southern California in 1940 and embraced Islam in 1974 in Syria. In 1981 she moved to Saudi Arabia, and has taught classes in tafseer and basic fiqh at an Islamic center in Jeddah since 1991. She has authored and/or revised more than 80 Islamic books in English, mostly for Dar Abul-Qasim. She lives with her husband in Jeddah, has married children and grandchildren who are settled in different parts of the world. Baarak Allahu feehim.
Many may not realize how special she is. To give you a glimpse of Allah’s favor on her, her work is one of the most widely read translations of the Quran in English. Millions of people read it every day to understand the meaning of the Quran. Uncountable number of articles, books, websites and apps quote Saheeh International’s translation.
And yet, she remains virtually unknown to most of us.