First Female American Muslim Judge
Hijri Unknown–Present (AH); Common Era Unknown–Present (CE)
In 1997, Zakia Mahasa was appointed the first Muslim female judge to preside over an American court. 1 Zakia, who obtained both her Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, currently practices in the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court in Baltimore. 2 She specializes in family law and has served as master in chancery—akin to a magistrate judge—since 1997. 3 Zakia is a member of the National Association of Women Judges and in 2010 was honored with the Leadership in Law award. 4 Zakia converted to Islam as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland. Initially, her parents expressed concern over her decision, particularly since Zakia would soon enter law school and might encounter certain obstacles as a Muslim woman.5 In time, however, they came to embrace her choice. Throughout her career, Zakia has remained strong in her identity as a Muslim female in the legal world. In an article written about her in Azizah Magazine, Zakia said of her faith: “I don’t wear it on my sleeve. But I don’t hide it. It’s who I am.”6  Azizah Magazine Speaker Bio: Zakia Mahasa  Zakia Mahasa: Lawyer Profile AMWA: "American Muslim Women's Association Marks anniversary with dinner"> Azizah Magazine Speaker Bio: Zakia Mahasa Islam for Today: "America's First Muslimah Judge" Islam for Today: "America's First Muslimah Judge"