platform overlooking water at sunset

A Seat In My Restless Soul: Healing in Solitude (Day 2)

“Pain is a color. I realize that now. It’s the color of life. Or maybe it’s the canvas. But either way, I’m going to try to paint some strokes of love, patience and gratitude in the foreground.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah The “Healing in Solitude” reflections offer a glimpse into the heart of Umm Zakiyyah, as she continues …

Let’s Be Honest with Ourselves During This Time

The other day I read a post about how people who are healing from emotional trauma and abusive relationships have been practicing social distancing and isolation for many years now. This is the “survival mode” they’ve had to implement to protect themselves from toxic environments and relationships. But what happens when the toxic environment is within us, and what happens …

silhouette of man standing on boulder near ocean at sunrise

How To Nourish Your Mind, Heart and Soul During This Time

“Therefore remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me, and do not disbelieve [or show ungratefulness by refusing sincere submission].” —Qur’an (Al-Baqarah, 2:152) Years ago when I was in college, I remember studying about how the body and mind instinctively react to fear and pain, and how they constantly seek comfort and peace—even if that comfort or …

Come Back To Allah, Dear Soul

“This dunya won’t stop chasing you. Look at you, you’re tired. Bruised. Broken. And hurting. Isn’t it time you ran back to Allah? Isn’t it time you embraced His love for you? Tell me, and tell me honestly. Has this world or its people ever been able to comfort you the way one prostration to Allah does?” —AcceptingQadr (via @acceptingqadr …

silhouette of woman overlooking ocean at sunrise

Facing Your Moments of Truth

“We’re all experts at finding fault in others, so we see quite clearly the parts of their lives that need serious improvement. In this way, it’s relatively easy to recognize someone else’s moments of truth. But are you self-aware enough to recognize your own?” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah Years ago, when I was living as an American expat …

silhouette of person by sunrise

Mourning the Loss of a Beloved Soul Who Wasn’t Muslim

“Every soul shall taste death… The life of the world is only the enjoyment of deception.” —Qur’an (Ali ‘Imraan, 3:185) This past Sunday afternoon after having prayed Dhuhr, I was sitting in the prayer area of my home doing my daily Qur’an reading when my daughter asked if she could talk to me for a minute. She then asked, “Did …

empty boat on water at sunset

Your Lord Has Not Forgotten You: To the Non-Arab Learning Qur’an

“O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran), and a healing for that which is in your breasts, a guidance and a mercy for the believers.” —Qur’an (Yunus, 10:57) In some of my moments of spiritual confusion, I’ve wondered why so many of us are born into cultures and lands with no …

Teaching Your Heart Love for Allah’s Sake

“And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” — Qur’an (Adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:55) In seeking to teach our hearts true love for the sake of Allah, it is important to remember that ultimately, this is an emaan issue rooted in the spiritual state of a person’s heart more than anything else. This spiritual reality is conveyed in the prophetic hadith: …

In Search of True Love for Allah’s Sake

“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another.” —Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him (Tirmidhi) Years ago I was visiting a Muslim woman I’d met, and she shared the difficult relationship she had with her uncle. Other than the …