Got a Survival Kit? Help for Muslim Apostates

Originally published via MuslimMatters.org “I’m just calling to let you know I’m not Muslim anymore,” the woman said to me after I picked up the phone, “and I’m cutting off contact with all Muslims except you.” This was one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had. My heart ached for this woman; I knew her story all too well. …

Are You a Sign of the Last Day?

It was while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago when I realized that times have really changed… This particular show interviewed a mother who had written and published a children’s book and dedicated it to her daughter. The mother shared with Oprah that she now realized that she had spent many of the daughter’s young years working hard …

Your Marriage, Family, or Sheikh Could Harm Your Soul

From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah: Too often we associate “worldly life” with material things and carnal pleasures. So when Allah cautions us to not allow this worldly life to distract us from worshipping and obeying Him, we think of fancy cars, big houses, and sexual temptations. While these things are certainly common distractions from our purpose in life, they …

Is It a Test or a Punishment? How Do I Know?

From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah: “How do I know if it’s a test or a punishment?” This is a question I wondered about for years, and every chance I got, I asked an Islamic teacher or read whatever I could on the issue. Till today, the answer that stays with me is this: You don’t. Ultimately, only Allah knows …

Keep Talking. Your Test Is Coming. Allah’s the Best Teacher.

From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah: You are not me, and I am not you. We are not cookie cutters of each other, so let’s remember that when telling others what they should and should not do, especially regarding matters subject to permissible disagreement. I find it quite telling and profound that the foundational, clear, and undisputed matters in our faith …

It's About What Your Heart Wants Most

An excerpt from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah: In the end, everything boils down to what your heart covets most. Worldly circumstances and experiences only bring to surface who you already are deep inside. This is why relatively identical trials—whether of prosperity or adversity—bring out the good in some and the evil in others…and why some of us become more humble …

It’s About What Your Heart Wants Most

An excerpt from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah: In the end, everything boils down to what your heart covets most. Worldly circumstances and experiences only bring to surface who you already are deep inside. This is why relatively identical trials—whether of prosperity or adversity—bring out the good in some and the evil in others…and why some of us become more humble …

'But I Don’t Want Forgiveness'

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 the hardest thing,” she said. “I just didn’t want to wear it. So I made every excuse I could. ‘It’s …

‘But I Don’t Want Forgiveness’

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 the hardest thing,” she said. “I just didn’t want to wear it. So I made every excuse I could. ‘It’s …

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 …