I Hope We All Die Together, She Said

“Black Muslims are not safe in Muslim spaces, which falsely offer ‘sanctuary’ but end up being asylums of pain.” —Layla Abdullah-Poulos Rage building inside me, I breathed in and out as I walked away from the computer. I recited some supplications to Allah to calm my anger, but the term “holy whores” kept playing over and over in my mind. …

Glorified Victims, Muslim Apologists and Western Culture Worship

Throughout my life, I’ve had several encounters with Muslim immigrants to America, and many of these experiences were not positive. I had an Arab high school teacher tell me that Black people in America could never be Muslim. In a predominately Pakistani masjid that I once frequented, the community’s sooq (store) stocked skin-lightening products that promised to be “the solution …

You’re Not a Scholar, Why Should We Listen To You?

“I’ve read almost all of his books, and I’ve never seen him say anything even close to that,” I said in response to the woman’s claim that a well-known scholar should not be trusted because he was involved in teaching some specific concepts that were contrary to the basic principles of Islam. “That’s because you don’t have the knowledge to …

When Family Hurts: Daughter of Rape Seeks Healing

The following is an excerpt from Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, wherein we learn the true story of Melanie Davidson, a convert to Islam who is a survivor of abuse: Is it true? Does God say I must honor my father? But how do I honor a man who dishonored my mother, who dishonored me? —the child born of …

What Is Forgiveness Exactly? Why Oprah Can’t Help Us

“You can’t dictate what forgiving and letting go of hurt looks like for someone else.” —excerpt of PAIN. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah The following is an excerpt from Umm Zakiyyah’s latest book The Abuse of Forgiveness: As I continuously faced forgiveness peddlers who effectively told me that I was a bitter, spiritually devolved person because I didn’t feel …

People Will Abandon You When You’re Hurting

The following are excerpts from Umm Zakiyyah’s latest books I Almost Left Islam and The Abuse of Forgiveness: In my fear of tying my heart and life to something that would harm my soul in some irrevocable way, I began to more and more distance myself from religious groups and communities. However, this was an extremely lonely experience, and I …

Anger Is Part of Healing, and That’s a Good Thing

“Neither forgiveness nor gratefulness can spring from denial of hurts, frustrations, or wrongs.”  —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah If there’s anything I learned during my own healing journey, it’s that no good comes from denying natural hurt and anger. Some things are just hurtful and emotionally damaging, and they need to be acknowledged as such. Anger is a natural …

Dear Daughter, In Search of a Husband’s Love

sore throat. I’m losing my voice to laryngitis of the heart. —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah Dear daughter and young sister in faith, I wish I could wrap the words I say to you in the language of love, in the power of experience, and in the calm solemnness of pain, then release them directly into your heart. Because …

Abuse Is a Blessing, Muslim Cults Taught Me

Who’s going to listen to you? When I was asked this question for the first time, it wasn’t really a question. It was a taunt. And I didn’t really have an answer. The man taunting me was a community leader, a respected imam, who was bragging about how he was going to drag my name through the dirt. He listed …

Guilting Victims Is Disobeying God: The Abuse of Forgiveness

The following is an excerpt from Umm Zakiyyah’s newly released book, The Abuse of Forgiveness: Manipulation and Harm in the Name of Emotional Healing. It is undeniable that God loves forgiveness. It is also undeniable that God views forgiveness as exponentially more superior than blame, punishment, and retaliation. Personally, I highly doubt that there is in existence a single survivor, …