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 …

silhouette of row of houses and puddle of water at sunset

Journey of a Thousand Miles: Healing in Solitude (Day 1)

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Chinese proverb 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 her healing journey and/or a new day in the …

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 …