Teaching Your Heart Love for Allah’s Sake

“And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” — Qur’an (Adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:55) In seeking to teach our hearts true love for the sake of Allah, it is important to remember that ultimately, this is an emaan issue rooted in the spiritual state of a person’s heart more than anything else. This spiritual reality is conveyed in the prophetic hadith: …

silhouette of female sitting on swing reflecting

Making the Most of Your Bad Days

“You know when I started feeling better? When I stopped feeling bad about feeling bad.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah “Why do you and your husband have only one child? Are you trying to have more? Or is it because you don’t want any more children?” These questions began when my daughter was around five years old, and they …

newly weds standing on shore near water

You Own No Heart or Life, But Your Own

“And all those worldly comforts and human relationships you thought you couldn’t live without? They were just temporary companions on your life journey.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah You cannot control another human being, and you cannot own another human being. And you have no ultimate responsibility or burden for any life or soul other than your own. Understanding …

silhouette of man wearing cap backwards reflecting sad looking down alone

The Other Side of Hurt: It’s Not About You

No one should have to apologize for taking care of themselves. This is something that took me a long time to realize and embrace in my life, and I’m still striving to do better at avoiding saying “I’m sorry” for taking care of myself during a time that people deem inconvenient for themselves, or when they feel my absence proves …

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 …

Ornament of mother holding a baby

Unconditional Love Doesn’t Exist, Nor Is It Praiseworthy

“Too much control thrives when family members cling to a myth that everything is perfect when it’s not.” —Dan Neuharth, If You Had Controlling Parents The following is an excerpt from Reverencing the Wombs That BROKE You by Umm Zakiyyah: Perhaps it is through observing the enduring affection between mother and child that has most significantly inspired our concepts of unconditional love, …

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 …