The Story Locked In My Soul: Healing in Solitude (Day 3)

“We tend to see the world in binary terms—sinner or saint, angel or devil—but I think life is much more nuanced than that.” —Judy Smith, Good Self, Bad Self The “Healing in Solitude” reflections offer a glimpse into the heart of Umm Zakiyyah, as she continues her emotional healing journey during the social distancing lockdown amidst the coronavirus epidemic. Each …

platform overlooking water at sunset

A Seat In My Restless Soul: Healing in Solitude (Day 2)

“Pain is a color. I realize that now. It’s the color of life. Or maybe it’s the canvas. But either way, I’m going to try to paint some strokes of love, patience and gratitude in the foreground.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah The “Healing in Solitude” reflections offer a glimpse into the heart of Umm Zakiyyah, as she continues …

silhouette of row of houses and puddle of water at sunset

Journey of a Thousand Miles: Healing in Solitude (Day 1)

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Chinese proverb The “Healing in Solitude” reflections offer a glimpse into the heart of Umm Zakiyyah, as she continues her emotional healing journey during the social distancing lockdown amidst the coronavirus epidemic. Each journal reflection represents a “new day” in her healing journey and/or a new day in the …

Come Back To Allah, Dear Soul

“This dunya won’t stop chasing you. Look at you, you’re tired. Bruised. Broken. And hurting. Isn’t it time you ran back to Allah? Isn’t it time you embraced His love for you? Tell me, and tell me honestly. Has this world or its people ever been able to comfort you the way one prostration to Allah does?” —AcceptingQadr (via @acceptingqadr …

silhouette of woman overlooking ocean at sunrise

Facing Your Moments of Truth

“We’re all experts at finding fault in others, so we see quite clearly the parts of their lives that need serious improvement. In this way, it’s relatively easy to recognize someone else’s moments of truth. But are you self-aware enough to recognize your own?” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah Years ago, when I was living as an American expat …

silhouette of person by sunrise

Mourning the Loss of a Beloved Soul Who Wasn’t Muslim

“Every soul shall taste death… The life of the world is only the enjoyment of deception.” —Qur’an (Ali ‘Imraan, 3:185) This past Sunday afternoon after having prayed Dhuhr, I was sitting in the prayer area of my home doing my daily Qur’an reading when my daughter asked if she could talk to me for a minute. She then asked, “Did …

ipad and smart phone on table

It’s Okay Not To Watch: Ten Points of Self-Honesty with TV

The other day a young Muslim woman vented to me about all the Muslims she saw online talking about a new Netflix series entitled The Messiah. “I’m not going to watch that crap,” she said. “Stuff like that just pisses me off.” I myself hadn’t seen it or heard about it before that moment, so I couldn’t offer her my …

empty boat on water at sunset

Your Lord Has Not Forgotten You: To the Non-Arab Learning Qur’an

“O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran), and a healing for that which is in your breasts, a guidance and a mercy for the believers.” —Qur’an (Yunus, 10:57) In some of my moments of spiritual confusion, I’ve wondered why so many of us are born into cultures and lands with no …

photo of drowning person's hands reaching out of the water

Are You Helping Others, But Harming Yourself?

“Soul work nourishes community work, and it nourishes family work. And all work begins with the heart. So the most effective work you can do for your community or family stems from nourishing your own heart and soul.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah In reflecting on our respective soul tribes in this world, I asked this question of social …

woman sitting on rocks overlooking water at sunset

But Are You a Blessing To Yourself?

“O you who believe, fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every soul look to what he has sent forth for the morrow—and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is All-Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the faasiqoon.” —Qur’an (Al-Hashr, 59:18-19) “Each day, someone …