Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Women in His Life

        Dearest M, Where do we go from here? For the last year I have been writing you these letters like a distant admirer. But I don’t want to stay at a remove any longer. I want to be as close to you as I possibly can. And more than that: I [Read More…]

Translating Love’s Confusion: Hollywood and Misreading Rumi

The 2010 Hollywood celebrity fest chick-flick Valentine’s Day opens with Reed Bennett, a florist played by Ashton Kutscher, proposing marriage to Morley (Jessica Alba), as she wakes up on Feb. 14. Evidently startled, Morley initially accepts, sending Reed on a joyful mission to let everyone know his sweetheart said “yes”! But his elation is short-lived. [Read More…]

Mother Nature and the 99 Names

One of the aims of our new book The 99 Names of God is to help children, parents, and teachers build a spiritual link to the natural world, making us aware that God communicates to us through nature in the most beautiful, awesome, playful, and sublime manner. Young and old are encouraged to see how [Read More…]

Spiritual Wisdom In A Treasure The Burglars Left Behind

In the heap of objects strewn across the dining room floor, I spotted a sterling silver sugar bowl that was part of a four-piece tea set my mom bought about three decades ago to entertain guests. I picked up the bowl with one hand, while using the other to rummage through the pile of papers, [Read More…]

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and His Battles, Then and Now

Dearest M, My heart is heavy as I write this. Not because of anything between us: I feel my longing for you only deepening with the passage of time, the green dome of your mosque in Medina becoming a beacon of certainty before my mind’s eye. No, my heart is not heavy with doubt. It [Read More…]

America of the Heart: Whitman and Rumi

As we enter deeper into the introspection of the winter months and America continues to search its soul in the aftermath of the presidential election, I find myself turning to one of the great American voices: Walt Whitman. What can this champion of democracy say to us at a time when inspiration is so sorely [Read More…]

Before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Became the Messenger

Dearest M, I’ve been thinking about something you said: “Islam began as something strange and it will go back to being strange, so give greetings to the strangers.” To try to understand this for myself, I’m imagining the time before you became The Messenger. When you were still just an ordinary resident of Mecca, the [Read More…]

Interfaith Friendships – Not Just for Christmas

“All the heart wants is expanding friendship,” says Rumi.[1] Last week it was National Inter Faith Week (IFW) in the UK. Having been involved in IFW for a few years now, this year it felt more potent. Created to ‘build good relationships and partnerships between people of different faiths’, there seem to be even more [Read More…]

Guests of Love: Leonard Cohen and the Sufis (Part 2)

One of the greatest musical performances I have ever witnessed was one wet summer evening in Weybridge in 2009. For two or three hours, a 75 year old Leonard Cohen with his remarkable band kept us so spellbound that the increasingly heavy drizzle felt like life-giving rain. It was as if divine mercy was falling. [Read More…]

On Animal Companions

  Dearest M, Before I came to Islam, the only story I’d ever heard about you was about your cat. The story goes that she was sleeping on your prayer robe, and you cut off one of the sleeves rather than disturb her. I wish I could say that anecdote is an example of you [Read More…]