Hakeem was born and raised in Chicago's North Side to immigrant parents. Her father immigrated to the United States in 1962, and her mother immigrated in 1972. Both parents were born and raised in Hyderabad, India.
Hakeem joined the Green Party in 2002. Her first run for office was in 2005 for Mayor of Minneapolis, in which she came in third among 12 candidates. In 2006, she ran for Hennepin County Commissioner District 4, earning over 17,000 votes on the election day (33% of votes cast in that race). In 2008, she ran for State Representative in District 61B of Minnesota, earning 30% of all votes cast. In August 2009, she was elected as a co-chair of the National Green Party, the first Muslim to serve in the executive committee of any major or third party in the United States.
- Madkour, Rasha (October 30, 2008). "On ballots this Nov: More Muslim American women". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Zaman, Sarah (November 03, 2010) "Bismillah: A new voice for the US?", Al Jazeera. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Macfarquhar, Neil (28 November 2007). "To Muslim Girls, Scouts Offer a Chance to Fit In". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- von Sternberg, Bob (October 23, 2009). "Minnesota Green Party officials are elected national co-chairs". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
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