black and white photo of swing set with chains on playground

First, Remove the Chains from Your Heart

“No, we are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. There is a huge difference.” —via @bilqeesquick (Instagram) How can I help? so many ask. Start by understanding what boat you’re really in. But that’s only possible if you first understand the storms of your own heart and soul—and the hidden chains keeping you …

No, We Don’t Have To Forgive You

today. we must protect ourselves from our protectors. citizens from officers laypeople from scholars children from parents women from men wives from husbands husbands from wives and our souls         from ourselves. —excerpt of even if. by Umm Zakiyyah The other day I read this post online, and it immediately hit my heart: Sometimes people pretend you’re a bad person …

young boy sitting on shore at sunset

Today I Feel More Peace in My Heart

“On the Day you shall see the believing men and the believing women their light running forward before them and by their right hands. [Their greeting will be]: ‘Glad tidings for you this Day! Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever! Truly, this is the great success!’” —Qur’an (Al-Hadeed, 57:12) Today I feel more peace in my …

broken, shattered home shack on water deck at sunset

Dear Survivor, Choose Yourself: Healing in Solitude (Day 8)

“Why is it always the ones inflicting the harm that trivialize the extent of the wound?” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah 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 …

Reaching for Love: Healing in Solitude (Day 7)

“Sometimes in order to love yourself properly, you have to be willing to be hated by the ones you love. This isn’t easy for those who care deeply.” —Khalil Ismail, founder of The Measured Path 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 …

woman walking on beach and cuddling young baby at day break

Unwrapping a Hidden Gift: Healing in Solitude (Day 6)

“…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” —Qur’an (Al-Baqarah, 2:216) 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 …

glowing glass on beach

Burying Souls To Build Legacies: Healing in Solitude (Day 4)

“If Allah loves a person, He calls out to [the angel] Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so-and-so, O Gabriel, so love him.’ So Gabriel loves him and then announces in the Heavens: ‘Allah has loved so and-so, therefore love him.’ So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on …

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 …

In Search of True Love for Allah’s Sake

“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another.” —Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him (Tirmidhi) Years ago I was visiting a Muslim woman I’d met, and she shared the difficult relationship she had with her uncle. Other than the …