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 …

silhouette of man wearing cap backwards reflecting sad looking down alone

The Other Side of Hurt: It’s Not About You

No one should have to apologize for taking care of themselves. This is something that took me a long time to realize and embrace in my life, and I’m still striving to do better at avoiding saying “I’m sorry” for taking care of myself during a time that people deem inconvenient for themselves, or when they feel my absence proves …

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 …

Side profile of African American man with beard wearing a winter hat

Are You Worshipping Your Imam or Sheikh?

I was both shocked and heartbroken when I found myself on the receiving end of my community’s slander and character defamation, and it had all been incited when I chose my soul over blindly following the community imam. As I mentioned in my blog “Be Prepared To Be Alone:” I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and I had …

Muslim woman wearing black hijab

Be Prepared To Be Alone

“If what the imam is teaching is wrong,” a community elder told me, “then why would Allah bless him with all these followers?” I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and I had just begun my own spiritual journey of studying Qur’an and the prophetic teachings and striving my level best to do what I sincerely believed Allah required …

Two African American friends smiling

Be Merciful to Righteous and Sinful Souls. No Need To Choose

Nothing in this world belongs to you. Nothing. Not even your own soul is yours, as it will be returned to its Owner once this earthly journey of yours is complete. And all those worldly comforts and human relationships you thought you couldn’t live without? They were just temporary companions on your journey home. They were divine mercies—and tests—scattered along …

Sad woman wearing black veil and abaya with hands over her face in du'aa or shame

Do You Have a Toxic Relationship with Your Soul?

Some time ago, a friend of mine shared with me a humorous post that was posted on the social media account of the famous artist, Cardi B. I don’t remember the exact words, but it said something to this effect: I asked God to remove all the toxic people from my life—and I almost died. Though this post gave me …

silhouette of Muslim woman by ocean at sunset

Thank God for Pain: Ten Things Suffering Taught Me

Shukr. Looking within. Trusting the pain and loss. These are the things that I’m striving to focus on and implement in my heart and life. In these past few years, I’ve worked through so much emotional wounding and spiritual turmoil that it’s difficult to even recall at times, the memories are so painful. But Allah brought me through so much, …

Muslim woman in niqaab looking forward

‘But I Don’t Want Forgiveness’

The following is an excerpt from the book And Then I Gave Up: Essays About Faith and Spiritual Crisis in Islam by Umm Zakiyyah: Some years ago, I was sitting with a friend of mine and she started telling me about her struggles with hijab after becoming Muslim. She had grown up Christian and accepted Islam while she was in college. “For me, hijab was …