Dr. Ramona Zakiyyah Muhammad (1945–2019)


Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. [Holy Quran 3:185].



As-salaam Alaikum:

The Board of Directors of IMAS, with sadness in our hearts, announces the passing of our Founding Director and Chairperson, Dr. Ramona Zakiyyah Muhammad, on June 24, 2019.

Dr. Zakiyyah was a devout servant of Allah. Her love of Allah, His Prophet (pbuh) and Al-Islam was reflected in all that she did. Her intellectual approach to teaching Al-Islam was exceptional, and her undeniable scholarship will always be remembered.

She earned a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, and wrote the first dissertation on Islamic Schools in America. An internationally recognized expert in Islamic education and Muslim women, she was a teacher, principal, professor of education, and was appointed Director of Education for Clara Muhammad Schools by Imam W. Deen Mohammed.

She lectured at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, California State University-Sacramento, DePaul University, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought. She also was a social commentary columnist for the Muslim Journal and documented the educational evolution of the Muslim African American community.

A former research associate to Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, and an affiliated scholar at Howard University under the direction of Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Dr. Zakiyyah presented at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Georgetown University, and at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, ASALAH.

She published in the Journal of Negro Education, Journal on Religion and Education, Encyclopedia of African American Education, Muslim Education Quarterly, and the American Educational Research Association’s Black Education.

Dr. Zakiyyah led an exemplary life and was an inspiration and support for all who knew her. She was a mother, a sister, a teacher. Who can forget her extraordinary qualities as a Sister of remarkable character and strength and her indomitable will?

Dr. Zakiyyah will be remembered for her generosity of spirit, her kind nature, her understanding heart, her great acts of charity, and her loyalty as a friend and relative.