Who is Ify Okoye?

I am Ify Okoye or more precisely, one of the many people with the name Ify Okoye. Ify is a nickname for about 5 different Ibo (also spelled Igbo) names for both genders and my last name Okoye is also very common amongst Ibos.

Why did I add my real name? I don’t feel that I have anything to hide by claiming ownership of my blog and I disliked to see people (several people have done this so I’m not referring in particular to any one individual) refer to me as “Muslim Apple” in quotation marks as if I was hiding or disguising my identity. Since I’ve added my real name to my blog I have seen an increase in the number of incoming google searches looking up Ify Okoye.

Ify is pronounced like “E-Fee” and there is nothing iffy about it, remember it’s not an English name. Okoye is pronounced something akin to “O-coy-yeah” just don’t elongate either of the names and you’ll be okay.

Oh, that’s a beautiful/unusual name, I like that, what does it mean?
My full name, Ifeoma, is pronounced like “E-fum-ah” and means “something beautiful” or “something good” and my last name is a conjunction of the name of one of my ancestors and the day he was born, which happened to be one of the four market days called Oye.

I am not related to Christian Okoye, the football player.

Many of you have come to know me as Muslim Apple or MA or some other variant of that and feel free to keep calling me by those names. And some of you may have known me or remember me in my “other people kept asking me to please take a Muslim name” convert days as Zaynab or Zainab or just plain Z, and I would respectfully ask you not to call me by that name.

If you forget, I’m not going to harangue you, and I know this may sound weird but sometimes when I’m talking to myself (yes, I’m not embarrassed to admit I talk to myself, it often helps me think more clearly) that I occasionally refer to myself as Zainab but I always quickly catch and correct myself. If you would like more info on why I re-asserted my given name, I’ve written about it a number of times, you can find it in the Muslim Apple Storehouse.

From the Storehouse:

What’s in a Name?

I’ve Reverted

Conversion and Name Changing at Gun Point – Valid?

Convert Name Change Back

Ramadan Loose Ends


  1. Okay so you’re Nigerian, Igbo? Okay cool! Wow, I had always assumed most Igbo’s were Christian. I lived in Lagos briefly in my childhood…mom was married to a polygamist Yoruba cult christian. Got to your blog from alwaysred’s blog. Salaam alayki.

  2. Wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullaah wa barakaatuh

    Well then alhamdu lillaah for being guided to islam!

    You know I am a native of the Washington area, lived in front of Dar al-Hijrah for over 4 years before moving to Egypt mashaa Allaah. I’m still trying to figure out if we know each other?!?! Anyway, “Ummu” is actually first part of my kunya “Ummu Rahmah”. I’m sure you probably know that, but it just sounded funny as just “Ummu” especially since my kids call me “mommy”, LOL!

    Take care sister.

  3. I doubt we have met before but we definitely know some of the same people. I generally don’t shorten or abbreviate other people’s nicknames on my blog but often do so in person. I just liked the idea of calling you Ummu.

  4. asalamu alaykum

    When I was in nursing school there was a nice woman who’s name was Ifeoma. We referred to her lovingly as “Mamma Ify” as she had children our age or older. I admired her character and she would tell me many stories of her days in Nigeria…I remember her telling me once about how much a name could tell you about someones background…..

    It was nice going back memory lane…I think I should look up mamma Ify and see how things are going with her…

  5. Salam Ify,

    Wow! Alhamdulillah. never in my wildest dreams did i think i would come across and Igbo muslimah. I am Nigerian from the north and live in Nigeria but studied in the UK briefly. I have redsicovered the beauty of Islam even though i was born and bred a muslim and i am forever online looking and reading blogs of Muslimahs for inspiration. Sometime ago, i dated an igbo non muslim who was brought up in the north and knew alot about Islam but wouldn’t convert. I prayed he would but it didn’t happen.

    Ma as salam

  6. Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    Muslimah: I hope you do look up Mamma Ify and for sure names can tell you a lot about a person’s background.

    Hadiza: It’s true, you won’t find many Igbo Muslims. There is so much cultural, social, and political baggage that gets in the way of people seeing the beauty of Islam. Alhamdulillah, growing in the States, I wasn’t hindered by that baggage and so when I encountered Islam, I loved it for its truth, its beauty, and its simplicity.

  7. Amatullah, what are you going to do about the parking ticket? At my old house, Yusuf would sometimes call out for me or his mama so he would say “Mama…Ify…Mama…Ify” almost like Mama Ify or Ify Mama, I liked that nickname.

  8. asalamu alaykum,

    I don’t know I was talking to Oum Aadam’s sister and she said that she got a ticket once and tried to fight it, but they didn’t listen to her claim or anything. I’ll give it a try because seriously parking on the line cannot be a penalty, that’s just ridiculous. InshaAllah i’m going to go there on monday. I should bring you with me ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. As salaamu alaykum Ify.

    It’s very nice to meet you via your blog. Mabruk and may Allaah ease your affairs for as you take on the “ameeraship” in MD, aameen.

    I am from Nigeria too and I’m happy to read about your reversion to Islam. Though born into a non-practising Muslim family, I wasn’t raised at all to be Muslim, until college life in Ibadan. I have even learned more Islam in the States.

    U remind me of one of our Muslim brothers back then in college in Nigeria. He was a one-time ameer of our MSS (MSA). His name is Isa Okonkwo.

    May Allah bless u always, aameen.

    1. Wa alaykum salaam Maryam,

      Ameen. How did you hear about the ameerah thing and my blog, are you an AlMaghribi? May Allah protect you and shower his blessings upon you and may we meet again in a gathering better than this.

    2. Asalam muslim apple. I was in a bank in ikoyi Lagos Nigeria and saw your interview on CNN . This came
      at time when i desire to see an igbo muslim . May Allah use you to spread the light of Islam more among your people . Ma salam

  10. As-salamu alaikum!! i just saw your interview on CNN and mashaallah i’m very happy to witness such a thing happen to a beloved sister from my country. I pray Almighty Allah in his infinite mercy continue to guide u towards the right path. Ramadan Kareem

  11. Watched CNN today and saw u.Was really surprised. What so special about Islam, u had to convert leaving Christianity.

  12. Salaam alaykum,

    Qasim: Ameen to your dua and that’s an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing it. Truly, help put into perspective the global reach of a news outlet like CNN.

    Heedayah: Ameen and Ramadan kareem to you as well!

    Osita: Islam is beautiful, there are so many things that attracted to me to Islam. Among them, the simplicity and purity of the message of the oneness of God and the peace and serenity one finds in our willful submission to him. There is nothing and no deity worthy of worship other than Allah. Beautiful.

  13. I am very glad to read this. This is my first time of reading about an Ibo Muslim on the net. There are people who still think Islam is for the Hausa, mainly in Ghana and if u are trying to correct them, they just ignore it. Thanks for emphasizing on your point and i hope Islam will spread fast and very wide. You know, i am waiting for the time when every body in this world will be muslems and dress islamically, that day will be very marvelous and beautiful but i am not sure if i will be alive by then to witness it. May the Almighty Allah bless us all.

    Salam Alaik.

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