Do We Care What Allah Wants For Us?

“No,” the sister said indignantly. “I’m not going to pray about this because I know Allah will make it happen. And I don’t care if it’s good for me. I don’t want it, period. And I shouldn’t have to deal with it if I don’t want to.” I grew quiet, as I realized that there was no further advice I …

Desi man with beard wearing sunglasses and pointing

We’re Not Muslim Just Because We Say We Are

“I’m really worried about my brother,” the Arab woman said. “He’s Muslim, but he doesn’t believe in God anymore.” Listening to her, I really didn’t know what to say. Before this moment, I’d had occasional encounters with people who labeled themselves “Muslim” but did not pray or fast or fulfill any other foundational requirements of being Muslim. However, it was …

He Apologized? We Have No Idea What an Apology Means

“An apology, if it is truly an apology, is no more than a hope and a prayer—that the damage you’ve done can be repaired, and that you will be forgiven by both your Lord and the ones you’ve wronged. An apology should never be shared for the purpose of silencing or dismissing those hurt by the original transgression. If it …

silhouette of bride and groom by water near trees and image reflection on water

How ‘Good People’ End Up Destroying Lives and Souls

“The tongue, O Allah, the tongue! Protect me from it, even as it moves in broken rhythm with my own troubled heart.” —excerpt of FAITH. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah “She obviously thinks it’s perfectly fine to break apart marriages, support friends backstabbing each other, and dismiss the rights of women.” The words were from a sister of mine—a …

newly weds standing on shore near water

You Own No Heart or Life, But Your Own

“And all those worldly comforts and human relationships you thought you couldn’t live without? They were just temporary companions on your life journey.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah You cannot control another human being, and you cannot own another human being. And you have no ultimate responsibility or burden for any life or soul other than your own. Understanding …

Shukr, Teaching Your Hurting Heart Gratefulness

O Allah! I have wronged my soul, so forgive me. I have forgotten myself, so pardon me. I have become frustrated and distressed, so have mercy on me. O Allah! I deserve nothing of Your goodness, yet You shower it upon me. I have doubted You in times of darkness, yet You gifted me with light.  I have stood before …

beautiful black woman with eyes closed holding autumn leaf in front of her face

Learn Who You Are Before Embracing Who You Are

“Self-love isn’t always about focusing on all the wonderful things about yourself. More than anything, self-love is self-honesty. It is the willingness to look deep into your soul and acknowledge not only the light, but also the darkness lingering there. It is commitment to truthfulness over comfort, and betterment over convenience. It is the daily process of self-improvement—even when it …