African American woman with humorous expression

Ignorant People Annoy Me Too…But

“I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for one who abandons arguments even if he is right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons lies even when joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character excellent.” —Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (Sunan Abu Dawud …

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 …

Muslim woman silhouette at sunset

Reality of Ramadan: You Might Not Benefit

“Ramadan is the month of mercy, not the month of perfection. You’ll still make mistakes, and you’ll still fall short at times. But Allah’s mercy remains. Seek it, and don’t give up.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah The following is an excerpt from the book And Then I Gave Up: Essays About Faith and Spiritual Crisis in Islam by Umm Zakiyyah: I returned …

black and white photo of Muslim woman looking down sad

Maybe It’s Divorce We’re Taking Lightly

“Marriage is not the end of the rainbow, and divorce is not the end of the world.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah The following is an excerpt from the book Let’s Talk About Sex and Muslim Love by Umm Zakiyyah: “This is really a shame,” the woman said. “The divorce rate of Muslims is so high. Why are Muslims taking marriage …

Muslim woman in red hijab looking pensive

She Couldn’t Have Sex with Her Husband: Modesty Gone Too Far

She was taught that sex was dirty and shameful, so she was never allowed to talk about it. In her family and culture, this thinking was considered the highest form of modesty. But unfortunately, this “modesty” led her to have so much anxiety about sex and nudity that she didn’t even feel relaxed enough to let her own husband touch …

Photo of African-American woman looking down, wearing red burgundy hijab

Nobody Cares About Black Muslims, He Said

alone. it hurts. I cannot lie to be abandoned by those who look like me because I see the other as brethren too and then to be abandoned by the other my brethren in faith. because I look like me —even if. The following is an excerpt from the book Prejudice Bones in My Body by Umm Zakiyyah: The first …

Yesterday, I Cried

The following is an excerpt from the book And Then I Gave Up: Essays About Faith and Spiritual Crisis in Islam by Umm Zakiyyah: Author’s Note: This was written when I lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and taught English at an international school. It was one of those moments when you feel the tugging at your heart and the moisture behind your …

dark photo of female robot with artificial face partially off

When Religion Is a Weapon: Understanding Spiritual Abuse

emotional abuse. the etiquette of disagreement in cults and sects and in families who love you so much that they hurt you for their own good. —even if. The following is an excerpt from Reverencing the Wombs That BROKE You by Umm Zakiyyah: Spiritual abuse is arguably the least talked about form of abuse. However, in religious families and communities, …

sad Muslim woman in blue hijab looking down in dark sunlight silhouette

Why Many ‘Good Muslims’ Aren’t My Friends

triggers. gunshots to the heart when all is well —even if. “Lol.” That was the response I received from a fellow believer whom I trusted enough to ask if I was understanding her emotionally triggering message correctly. After she “laughed out loud” at my pain, she told me how shocked she was that I would even think something like that. …