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 …

He Wants To Marry His Wife’s Best Friend?

This blog was originally published via MuslimMatters.org When I first began writing what would eventually become the novel His Other Wife, it wasn’t about marriage or polygamy, or even romantic relationships. It was about emotional and spiritual abuse, and it started off as a single narrative blog inspired by a toxic friendship that I’d recently broken off after having endured …

Self-Hate, Racism ‘In Style’

“Pakistanis are the worst!” a young Desi woman exclaimed wrinkling her nose, “I would never advise marrying any of them.” The other Pakistani women present nodded in emphatic agreement while others shook their heads knowingly. “Arabs are so extreme,” an Arab woman interjected, “Everything is harām to them.” “Americans are much better,” another woman agreed, “They’re the only men worth marrying.” At the last …

Prejudice Bones in My Body

“Good,” she said so matter-of-factly that I was momentarily confused.  Blinking, I held the phone’s receiver as I processed this simple response that held little connection to what I had just said. It was months after the 9-11 attacks, and I had just shared with my friend my distress over Muslims being unjustly detained and imprisoned on charges of “terrorism,” …

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 …

Are You a Glorified Victim?

“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 sacrificed their lives so that black people will have the dignity they do today,” he spat. “And what do you do with …

The Day Jessica Left Islam

a short story “Sit.” Jessica turned from where she was parting the heavily brocaded curtains to peer outside into the darkness. She found a large woman with deep olive skin gesturing toward a crushed velvet cushion on a chair in the dining room. The woman’s gold embroidered traditional dress that was wrapped about her made Jessica wish she could be …

Black Women Don’t Need to Cover?

a short story by Umm Zakiyyah  “Why isn’t the Qur’an and Sunnah sufficient for us?” Faith said, her hands trembling behind her head as she unfastened her niqaab. She tossed the face veil to a nearby table and collapsed into the softness of the couch, the cloth of her khimaar loosening itself from where it framed the brown of her …