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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …