Reality of Ramadan: You Might Not Benefit

I returned to my dormitory room after a full day of classes—and fasting. I was exhausted. Outside was dark, and my stomach grumbled. I had eaten only a little at iftaar because I had been so busy with schoolwork and meetings. As I settled at my desk with a bagel and some grapes, I glanced at the clock. It was almost …

Muslim Girl (a novel)

NEW! CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW Faith turns to shame, confidence to doubt, and conviction to rebellion. Inaya was only nine years old when her mother converted to Islam and moved the family to Saudi Arabia. Excited about the move and their new faith, Inaya learned Arabic, memorized Qur’an, and inspired Muslim girls to wear hijab and love their religion. …

Beyond Black Victim Status: Slaves Are Superior

“We were of the most disgraced of people, and Allāh granted us honor with this Islam.  Now, whenever we seek honor in other than that which Allāh honored us with, Allāh shall disgrace us (once again).” —’Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb “Black people in America can never be Muslim,” he said to me as I stood next to his desk.  I stared …

Polygamy, Not My Problem

“If you don’t want your husband to marry another woman,” the imam said, “then, reflect on the hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam. You should love for your sister what you love for yourself.” I turned off the video and sipped my tea in the silence of the room. I had planned to watch the prominent imam’s entire lecture …

Are Muslim Films Justifying Sin?

Like nearly everyone of today’s generation, I grew up surrounded by a culture fascinated with movie stars, singers, rappers, and “the big names” in the entertainment industry. We danced to the music of Madonna and Michael Jackson, we admired actors like Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and we whispered about models like Tyra Banks and Kate Moss. We knew the …

Woman in white hijab sitting reflecting

I’m Muslim and Don’t Pray. What Should I Do?

The following is an excerpt from And Then I Gave Up: Essays About Faith and Spiritual Crisis in Islam by Umm Zakiyyah:  I think most of us know how it feels to struggle in our faith. We know from personal experience the ups and downs in spirituality, so it comes as no surprise that a characteristic of emaan itself is that …

Are You a Glorified Victim?

The following is an excerpt from Prejudice Bones in My Body: Essays on Muslim Racism, Bigotry and Spiritual Abuse by Umm Zakiyyah: “Are you ashamed of who you are? Is that it?” His eyes were fierce as he regarded her. Carla dropped her head, unable to look directly at her father. “Our people have given blood and sweat, and even …

Be Careful What You Feed Your Soul

Most of us understand the psychological and emotional harm that comes from constantly exposing ourselves to negative, toxic social and personal environments. So we limit interactions with negative people, and we end toxic relationships. But when it comes to religion, we say things like, “If you truly have faith, nothing can shake it.” There was a time when I myself …