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 …

Desi man with beard wearing sunglasses and pointing

We’re Not Muslim Just Because We Say We Are

“I’m really worried about my brother,” the Arab woman said. “He’s Muslim, but he doesn’t believe in God anymore.” Listening to her, I really didn’t know what to say. Before this moment, I’d had occasional encounters with people who labeled themselves “Muslim” but did not pray or fast or fulfill any other foundational requirements of being Muslim. However, it was …

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 …