Forced Positivity in the Abuse of Forgiveness

Some people find it hard to forgive because they were never given any other choice. Forgiveness was the noose tightened around their neck, choking their voice. After the strike to the face, the blow in the gut, and the tarnishing of their name, They were told they must forgive if they were truly good, or else live in perpetual shame. …

beautiful black woman with eyes closed holding autumn leaf in front of her face

Learn Who You Are Before Embracing Who You Are

“Self-love isn’t always about focusing on all the wonderful things about yourself. More than anything, self-love is self-honesty. It is the willingness to look deep into your soul and acknowledge not only the light, but also the darkness lingering there. It is commitment to truthfulness over comfort, and betterment over convenience. It is the daily process of self-improvement—even when it …

Muslim teen sitting wearing hat, jeans and lowered sunglasses, looking reflective and sad

We Need Spiritual Honesty and Compassion, Not Saviors

There are endless waves of darkness, but only one noor (spiritual light of faith)… When I found myself drowning in one of those waves of darkness and feared I couldn’t be Muslim anymore, I had no idea how I would find my way back to Allah. But I turned to Al-Haadee (The Guide) for help. Meanwhile I despaired of getting …

Hijab woman wearing sunglasses and hat with hands out

Does Your Pride Make You Honorable?

Once while I was teaching high school to young women in Saudi Arabia, some my Arab students were explaining how they felt about marriage. “Nobody wants to marry a prince,” one of them told me. “Really?” I said, a bit taken aback by her comment. “In America, many women see marrying a prince as the ultimate fairy tale.” She shook …

We Are All Being Tested

“Do you believe that your struggle is more severe than the personal trials of every other Muslim? Why then do you say yours is ‘unfair’? Is it unfair because you are facing it, or is it unfair because you believe no other trial is at least as severe?” — from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah The following is an excerpt …

What Worldly Garden Are You Rejoicing In?

“It doesn’t matter how little or how much you have. In the end, all that will matter is what you did with it—and what you allowed it to do to your heart.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah When my daughter was around five years old, I took her to a doctor’s appointment with a Muslim doctor I’d found listed …

black and white photo of hands raised in praise in church

Everybody’s Preaching Something, Don’t Be Naive

Loss has a way of bringing so many things to light. This is what I find myself pondering as I recall so much of what I learned from my father, who passed away recently (may Allah have mercy on him). When I was growing up, my father didn’t allow my siblings or me to watch television and movies simply as …

hands of man and woman (wearing diamond wedding ring) with pinky fingers linked

Emotional Pain Doesn’t Justify Changing the Religion

“Every trial that happens to you in life is doing two things: pointing you to who your Lord is, and bringing to surface who your ‘lord’ is in your heart. And everything you say or do thereafter is either a testimony for you or against you—in preparation to expose to you one last time the spiritual state of your soul. …

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No Calls, No Visits: A Bipolar Muslim Woman’s Story

Did you know that July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? The following is an excerpt from the true story, No One Taught Me the Human Side of Islam: The Muslim Hippie’s Story of Living with Bipolar Disorder: Sakinah ‘The Muslim Hippie’ says: My friend Halimah wasn’t the only one who overhead me being talked about negatively in the Muslim …

Image of Muslim woman wearing light hijab, black clothes and holding colorful umbrella

Compassion Means Supporting Sin? Idols of Emotionalism and Sexuality

“Beware of emotionalism. It is like a cheating spouse. Faithful to nothing except what excites it at the moment. Follow it and you’ll find yourself constantly off balance, furious, and confused, even if you’ve no idea why. Principles and morality are more dependable. They remain faithful, no matter what excitement is happening in the world. So choose principles and morality …