The Truth Is Scary, But I Had To Tell It

I suppose some will see it as courageous to share with the world why I almost left Islam. And maybe some will see it as the unnecessary uncovering of my faults. But for me, it wasn’t a choice. Yes, it’s humiliating and embarrassing, but due to all the stress I was under, the decision was effectively made for me. It …

Super Muslims and Religious OCD in Ramadan

In the beginning, it all seems necessary, and even praiseworthy. The questions, the doubts, the paranoia…and the endless phone calls, emails, and inquiries to the local (or overseas) scholar, imam, or sheikh. Oh my God, am I allowed to wear a colored hijab? Is the ringer on my phone a musical instrument of Shaytaan? I work in a mixed environment. …

How Could You? A Movie!

When I was in high school and still trying to decide how I would use my writing professionally, I imagined I could be a scriptwriter for movies. I felt that the “big screen” was an excellent means to bridge the gaps of misunderstanding between Muslims and those who knew so little about Islam. I also felt it could help dispel …

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number? Child Marriage and Maturity

Years ago, when television was still a part of my life, I was watching a Seinfeld episode in which the character George saw an attractive, shapely young woman and subsequently made a comment to Jerry urging him to look at her body. Jerry in response told George that the girl was fifteen years old, and he playfully scolded his friend …

Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, a self-help book

NEW! CLICK HERE for eBook Her mother was raped. This is how Melanie was born. For years, the sight of Melanie’s face reminded her mother of the sexual assault, so Melanie herself was verbally and physically abused through childhood. But Melanie’s obligation was to love and honor her mother, she told herself. This is what Melanie believed as a Christian, …

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 …

We Love Labels and Following Our Desires

Conditions. Neither your love for someone nor their apparent kindness or goodness cancels out their shirk or disbelief. Allah says, “Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Messenger then doubt not…” (49:15). Even if you wish to interpret the ayaat in the Qur’an about the believers amongst the People of the Book as referring to religious people today, their …

You Don’t Matter. Our Image Does

Originally published via MuslimMatters.org ‘And here is the tragedy. Muslims, African-Americans, and other oppressed groups learn that suffering is something they must endure “for the greater good.” So private abuses and traumas are kept quiet so as to not upset or disrupt an already fragile reputation and tenuous image. You don’t cry out when you’re in pain, and you don’t …

Cutting Contact with Abusive Family Is Not a Sin

“…I wondered why children so easily accepted it as their place to absorb the sins of their elders, even if it meant losing themselves in the process.” —the character Sonya in Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani “Why?” I ask him for the first time in my life. It never occurred to me to ask as a child. I …

What Muslims’ Celebration of Beyoncé Says About Our Souls

 When I was ostracized and slandered by Muslims of my childhood community after I chose to wear a khimaar and stop listening to music, I was deeply confused. Here were people who were in the forefront of interfaith programs, community activism, and establishing movements that formed the foundation of today’s #BlackLivesMatter. They preached showing kindness and compassion to those struggling …