He Apologized? We Have No Idea What an Apology Means

“An apology, if it is truly an apology, is no more than a hope and a prayer—that the damage you’ve done can be repaired, and that you will be forgiven by both your Lord and the ones you’ve wronged. An apology should never be shared for the purpose of silencing or dismissing those hurt by the original transgression. If it …

silhouette of bride and groom by water near trees and image reflection on water

How ‘Good People’ End Up Destroying Lives and Souls

“The tongue, O Allah, the tongue! Protect me from it, even as it moves in broken rhythm with my own troubled heart.” —excerpt of FAITH. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah “She obviously thinks it’s perfectly fine to break apart marriages, support friends backstabbing each other, and dismiss the rights of women.” The words were from a sister of mine—a …

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 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 …

Muslim woman in red hijab looking pensive

She Couldn’t Have Sex with Her Husband: Modesty Gone Too Far

She was taught that sex was dirty and shameful, so she was never allowed to talk about it. In her family and culture, this thinking was considered the highest form of modesty. But unfortunately, this “modesty” led her to have so much anxiety about sex and nudity that she didn’t even feel relaxed enough to let her own husband touch …

Photo of African-American woman looking down, wearing red burgundy hijab

Nobody Cares About Black Muslims, He Said

alone. it hurts. I cannot lie to be abandoned by those who look like me because I see the other as brethren too and then to be abandoned by the other my brethren in faith. because I look like me —even if. The following is an excerpt from the book Prejudice Bones in My Body by Umm Zakiyyah: The first …