As an advocate for the “Healthy Marriage Movement,” Aqueelah Rasheed is utilizing her G-d given passion and purpose as an author, motivational speaker, and future marriage & family counselor. It is her ardent desire to contribute to the preservation and protection of community life by addressing issues that affect the longevity of healthy, happy, productive Muslim marriages and families. These challenges include but are not limited to: the treatment of women, gender stereotypes, work-life balance, distribution of household labor, and the rearing of children. Mrs. Rasheed uses the Qur'an, authentic life example of Muhammad the Prophet and the commentary of Imam Warithuddeen Mohammed as the basis for her critique, analysis, and solution-oriented recommendations.
Aqueelah has been married for 18 years and currently resides in Durham, NC with her beloved husband Luqman Rasheed, II and their 3 beautiful children Sajdah, Luqman III, and Adam-Deen ages 16, 13 and 6 respectively.
Mrs. Rasheed has a long-standing interest in the preservation of family life. At the age of 13, Aqueelah penned a paper on “Broken Homes” as an assignment for her 7th grade English class while attending John P. Freeman Junior High School in her hometown, Memphis, TN. The paper was an introspective and personal reflection on the effects that divorce or separation would have on children. Her 7th grade English teacher encouraged her to begin delivering this “speech” in local oratorical competitions. Eventually, her pursuits landed her in the ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) competition hosted by the local chapter of the NAACP. Aqueelah won 1st Place on the city level which opened the opportunity for her to compete on the State Level. In preparation, she was introduced to Julian Bond, a social activist, forerunner of the civil rights movement and eventual chairman of the NAACP. Mr. Bond helped Aqueelah to refine her public speaking skills and her ability to successfully convey her heartfelt message and connect with an audience.
In December 2015, Aqueelah was invited to be a guest speaker at the 33rd Annual Seerah Conference at Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, Harlem, NY. The topic of that she selected for her presentation was "Muhammad the Prophet as a Family Man: Husband, Father, Provider - Sensitive, Loving, Protector." After hearing a replay of Aqueelah's presentation on the radio, Muslim pioneer, Sis. Gloria Muhammad, commented, "It is clear and enlightening. Insha’Allah it will help elevate our understanding of and behavior in our rebirth of family life.”
The following year, Mrs. Rasheed was a guest speaker at the 4th Annual Sister’s Ramadan Session in Memphis, TN, in June of 2016. She addressed the topic: “The Role of the Um (Mother): Taking the Clay and Reshaping the World.”
Mrs. Rasheed has long held an affinity for writing and in 2009 started a blog called “Writing 4 Peace.” In 2016, she established Writing 4 Peace, LLC as an independent publishing company. Writing 4 Peace, LLC is committed to utilizing faith-based strategies to produce and share works, publications, and presentations that will help inspire, encourage, heal and promote the healthy growth and development of individuals, marriages, families, and communities. As a follow-up to her Seerah Conference presentation in December 2015, Aqueelah self-published her debut book via Writing 4 Peace, LLC entitled MUSLIM MARRIAGE MAKEOVER: Modeling Muhammad the Prophet to Make Waves in Your Marriage with the R.I.P.P.L.E. Effect (Respect, Intimacy, Partnership, Peace, Love, & Equality). The book was released on her 40th birthday, December 4, 2016. To address “common marital tests and challenges” and what Imam Mohammed referred to “Unenlightened Traditions” when it comes to the treatment of women as well as misogynistic and patriarchal translations of scripture, Aqueelah presents a faith-based, solution-oriented message in MUSLIM MARRIAGE MAKEOVER (MMM) that addresses the following:
Respect for G-d & Respect for Marriage as a Sacred Institution
Mutual Respect & Intimacy Between Husband and Wife
Husbands and Fathers as Consistent Loving, Emotional, Spiritual and Financial Providers & Protectors for Women and Children as well as the Importance of Their Consistent & Active Presence in the Lives of Their Families
Female Liberation, “Freedom & Flexibility,” and Consistent Support Systems for Wives and Mothers
Shared Household and Parenting Responsibilities
The Mutual Need for Self-Care & Work-Life Balance
In February 2017, Aqueelah gave an introductory book discussion about MUSLIM MARRIAGE MAKEOVER on the “Sunday Ta’leem Conference Call with Imam William Sabree” and later participated in an interview about MMM with “Omera Talks Back Podcast.”
In February 2019 Aqueelah was a guest on “WDM Islamic Center Presents” on the People’s Channel Television Show where she gave an introductory interview about MUSLIM MARRIAGE MAKEOVER and “The R.I.P.P.L.E. Effect.” Additionally, in February and March of 2019, Aqueelah appeared as an invited guest co-host on American Muslim 360’s “Courtship & Marriage Learning Lab” alongside the founders and co-hosts Br. Mark Shahid and Sister Munirah Habeel for 5 consecutive weeks. Some of the topics that they discussed were: The Importance and Sacredness of Marriage, The Etiquettes of Courtship, “Unenlightened Traditions” and the Threat to Mutual Respect, The Importance of Patience and Forgiveness, The Importance of Early Marital Education, and The Roles and Responsibilities of Husband and Wife.
Aqueelah was also selected to present a Workshop on Marriage & Family Life which she titled “Saving Our Families, Saving Our Future” at the upcoming Black Communities Conference sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill and hosted at Carolina Theater in Durham, NC, Sept. 9 – 11, 2019.
Mrs. Rasheed will participate in an "Author's Forum & Book Signing" at Masjid Ash-Shaheed in Charlotte, NC for their Annual "Moral Summit Weekend," Friday, October 25 - Sunday, October 27, 2019. The theme is "Cultivating the Growth of Human Excellence in Difficult Times."
Aqueelah is also an Invited Guest Speaker for the Brunch Symposium & Interactive Workshop Facilitator at the 2019 "Celebrate Marriage Conference" hosted by Masjid Muhammad in Washington, D.C., Friday, Nov. 22 - Saturday, Nov. 23.
Utilizing the (6) Universal Principles of “The R.I.P.P.L.E. Effect” (MUTUAL Respect, Intimacy, Partnership, Peace, Love, & Equality) from her book MUSLIM MARRIAGE MAKEOVER, Mrs. Rasheed and her husband, Luqman S. Rasheed, II, will facilitate a Couples Workshop in her hometown, Memphis, TN, on Saturday, January 25, 2020 entitled: "The More We Know, The More We Grow - TOGETHER" for the 2nd Annual 2020 "Muslim Marriage Retreat" hosted by Photos by April Abdul-BaaQee.
As previously mentioned, Mrs. Rasheed is a native Memphian and she is the daughter of Charmagyne Akram and Raghib Rashada who both embraced Al-Islam through the Nation of Islam and transitioned to following the leadership of Imam W. Deen Mohammed in 1975. She has 3 brothers and she is the 2nd oldest of the 4 siblings. Aqueelah is a Duke University Alum where she attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and a minor in African-American Studies. After graduating, Aqueelah remained in North Carolina where she worked for IBM as a Consultant and Delivery Support Specialist in Raleigh and RTP, NC. Subsequently, as an educator, she taught 7th-grade math at Githens Middle School in Durham. During this time, Aqueelah was also a Volunteer Teacher and Director of Ar-Razzaq Sunday School. After starting her family, she pursued her interests in Montessori Early Childhood Education for ages (3-6) and served as a co-teacher in the Children's House at Sterling Montessori Academy & Charter School in Morrisville, NC. Aqueelah and her husband Luqman Rasheed, III are founding members of Youth-N-Creation, a weeklong, overnight Muslim Youth Summer STEAM Camp entering its 16th year in 2020 G-d Willing! Mrs. Rasheed is also a member of WDM Islamic Center (Durham).