Off to Perform Hajj- The Trip of My Life

In less than 12 hours, I will be leaving home to fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I am in the middle of packing, making last minute preparation and going over my checklist for the trip. But this is no ordinary flight. This is no ordinary checklist. This is no ordinary trip. I am embarking on a spiritual journey to perform the Hajj- the pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. I will briefly go over some of the rituals... Read more

Are Christians and Jews infidels, or Kafirs?

Muslims have been widely accused of labeling Jews and Christians as “infidels”, and many point to the teachings of the Qur’an as the basis for that belief. They further believe (and often promote) that the Qur’an incites hatred towards the Jews and the Christians. When I started to study the Qur’an over two decades ago, I paid close attention to the passages pertaining to the Jews and the Christians. As I mentioned on my post Spiritual Travelogue of a Born-Again Muslim,... Read more

Do Muslims Revere Jesus More Than Christians?

Was Jesus a Jew or a Christian? If he was a Jew, how do you reconcile that the “founder” of Christianity was not a Christian himself? Why do 1.6 billion Muslims around the globe think Jesus and his disciples were actually Muslims- but not in the way Muslims are traditionally viewed. Jesus and Mary have a very high status in Islam and in the Quran. I will write a separate post on Mary, and my focus here is on the... Read more

Why Does the Kind God Let Us Suffer?

Are acts of God really acts of God? The facts will shatter many long-held beliefs. Why does the Kind, Most Merciful God lets people suffer as a result of floods, tornados, earthquakes and other natural disasters, and as well as personal tragedies? Your heart melts looking at the images of the victims and their loved ones, and you want to fly, if you could, to go help them. You still do whatever you can to help alleviate the sufferings. Ever wonder if... Read more

Linda Sarsour and That Dreaded J-Word: Jihad

How did you respond to the speech of Linda Sarsour at the ISNA convention last week about Jihad? Do you believe that Jihad means ‘kill all infidels’? Let me separate the facts from fiction on her speech and what Jihad means from an Islamic perspective, despite the right wing’s claims and propaganda. The fact is that unfortunately some Muslims also have misconceptions about Jihad.   Linda, a fearless Palestinian Muslim American woman, and a champion for Women’s causes and a... Read more

4th of July: Independence From What?

Question to my readers It may seem directed at my Christian readers but it is a general question to all readers. When Jesus said “Love your neighbor”, did he put an asterisk on the ‘neighbor’? In other words did he say “Love your neighbor except if they are blacks, whites, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, gays, immigrants, Latinos…”? The independence of our nation on this July 4th is a stark reminder of the foundations our nation was built upon. What is the... Read more

Interfaith Dialogue: What It Is and What It Is Not

Before we get into what the interfaith dialogue entails, let me start by making it clear what interfaith dialogue is NOT about. Interfaith dialogue is not intended for converting people to your faith! This is a question that so many people, Muslims, and people of other faiths have asked me when I invite them to be part of the interfaith dialogue in their communities. They sometimes ask, “how many people have you converted to Islam in your years of working... Read more

101 Myths about Islam: Three Myths about Fasting and Ramadan

I know I may be a little late talking about Ramadan given that we have just a few days left this year before the month ends. However, it is not too late to dispel some myths we have about fasting. This includes Muslims. Muslims are very aware of all the blessings during this holy month and I hope we, the Muslims, did our best to earn them. It is a month when we are, supposedly, on our best behavior. Charitable... Read more