silhouette of person by sunrise

Mourning the Loss of a Beloved Soul Who Wasn’t Muslim

“Every soul shall taste death… The life of the world is only the enjoyment of deception.” —Qur’an (Ali ‘Imraan, 3:185) This past Sunday afternoon after having prayed Dhuhr, I was sitting in the prayer area of my home doing my daily Qur’an reading when my daughter asked if she could talk to me for a minute. She then asked, “Did …

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 …

woman sitting on rocks overlooking water at sunset

But Are You a Blessing To Yourself?

“O you who believe, fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every soul look to what he has sent forth for the morrow—and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is All-Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the faasiqoon.” —Qur’an (Al-Hashr, 59:18-19) “Each day, someone …

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: …

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 …

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 …

woman in black niqaab looking up reflectively

Protect Your Muslim Image or Muslim Soul?

“Your Muslim image, or your Muslim soul? At a certain point, you have to decide which is more important to you.” —from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah “How in the world are we supposed to invite Americans to Islam if women are walking around with their faces covered and Muslim men are marrying multiple wives?” This is a question I’ve …