You’ll Be Invited To Hellfire Many Times

prayer. my lord, forgive me my lord, forgive me my heart sometimes goes numb from the pain of the little girl who lost her home because she took refuge in you —even if. The following is an excerpt of I Almost Left Islam: How I Reclaimed My Faith by Umm Zakiyyah: It takes only one shot to kill a person. …

My Soul Was Losing the Battle

vulnerability. that’s the problem with showing those weak and aching parts of you that make you human. it gives other humans the license to point at you, sneeringly, and pretend they don’t have human parts too. —even if. …coming soon inshaaAllah: even if, a glimpse into the tears and rage of the life of Umm Zakiyyah Emotions I Couldn’t Control …

Does Your Sheikh Need a Shrink? Healing Spiritual Trauma

“And fear the Day when you shall [all] be brought back to Allah. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.” —Qur’an, Al-Baqarah (2:281) In the community I was part of as a youth, spiritual salvation was not a personal experience. It was a community experience, and it wasn’t an optional one. …

Do I Have the Right To Exist?

“I have felt at times that I didn’t have the right to exist. Almost everything I was taught about being a ‘good Muslim’ meant living in denial of myself.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah “You have too much confidence in yourself,” a community “auntie” told me once, and from her condescending tone, I knew she meant it in the …

Life Is Unfair, So Islam Is Unjust?

“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, [and likewise] for women there is reward for what they earned. And ask Allah of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.” —Qur’an (Al-Nisaa, The Women) 4:32 I resented my husband. It …

Beauty Becomes Ugly Until You Heal

I wish I had more then mere words to convey this profound truth that I uncovered while healing from emotional trauma and spiritual wounding: You cannot appreciate the beauty in yourself, in others, or even in the guidance from your Lord until you do everything in your power to remove yourself from toxic and abusive relationships and environments—and until you …

When Muslims Wrong You ‘For the Sake of Allah’

“There will come a time when holding on to your emaan (Islamic faith) will be like holding on to hot coals.” —Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (Tirmidhi) I never knew that the hot coals in my hand would be enflamed by my very own brothers and sisters in faith. I never knew that I would live in a world surrounded …

Secret Marriages, Abuse and Religious Witch Hunts

Keep your private life private, and keep your heart connected to Allah. And be very careful about whom you allow into your personal space. Far too many communities are filled with Muslims who speak more about your obligations to them than about your individual rights as a believer in front of Allah. And they are very selective about which parts …

The Beauty of Not Forgiving

“Forgiveness is more for you than for your abuser,” we are told. And that’s true. But here’s what’s also true: Not forgiving is also more for you than for your abuser. When you make the healthy choice to not forgive because you trust in Allah’s justice, it’s more about your heart being at peace than it is about your abuser …

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. …