Roses and Trees | When Caring Too Much Hurts

My rose bush has died a thousand deaths, but it has always come back again. When it would be watered has always depended on my mood. Our yard went through a terrific drought in California. It was very costly to keep the sprinklers going. With the severe sun and heat, every blade of grass in our backyard died. But through the Mercy of Allah, a few roses survived and depended on me to water them. The rest of the yard… Read more

“My Dear Child…” | Heartfelt Letters from Muslim Adoptive Parents

(This is part three of a series on adoption. Read part one here and part two here.) Earlier this year, I began my journey of finding out more about Muslim foster and adoptive parents. It seems like this topic isn’t spoken about much, so the first thing I did was figure out how Muslims in America usually adopt children, and why they decide to do so. I also got some insight into what their experiences are like as adoptive and foster parents. You… Read more

The Cult of “Specialness”: Why I Live for God, Not Society

Written by Anonymous Members of the American middle class are raised in a nation of strivers, a nation founded on the right to pursue happiness. Their discontent is “productive.” It gets things done. The drive to do better pulls them through graduate school and up career ladders, through salary negotiations and gym sessions. Claiming dissatisfaction with the status quo is just something everyone does. Everyone is trained in the West to strive for More, Better, New, and Now. “Think Different”… Read more

4 Ways You Can Support Muslim Converts This Holiday Season

The holiday season can be very hard for Muslim converts — not just Muslim holidays, but the ones they used to (or still) celebrate with their family. Personally, seeing Christmas decorations everywhere and hearing Christmas music makes me sad. This is because I still have not gotten that same exciting feeling I used to get on Christmas morning, running down the stairs and seeing all the presents under the tree. So, imagine seeing all of this nostalgia and not being able to… Read more

Holiday Reflections: Gratitude for the Small Things in Life

Each morning I wake up in the coziness of my soft, warm bed, my black cat sleeping near my head. It’s still dark, because we are approaching the winter months, and the rain for which we Californians are grateful is lightly making its sacred tapping upon the roof.  I do not want to leave the bed, as I’m listening to my husband make his Fajr (pre-dawn) prayers. The usual routine of getting up and praying, then making breakfast as he… Read more

Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness: This is My Story

Since the age of six, I have struggled with mental illness.  This was because of great losses in my life, including losing my family at a young age. I was taught never to express my grief. I was told not to talk about the death of loved ones – to go on as if nothing had happened. I could not take the injustice of my siblings being put into an orphanage by my abusive father. I was told that I… Read more

Red Pill or Blue Pill? | Accepting the Reality of the Afterlife

In a famous scene from the movie “The Matrix,” the main character is offered two pills: a Red pill and a Blue pill. He is told that he can take one or the other, and that his decision will affect him for the rest of his life. The Blue pill will keep him living blindly, like the rest of humankind. The Red pill will show him the reality of their existence. The man picked the Red pill. Many of us… Read more

Finding Strength in God

When I was young, my grandmother would work outside in the yard, and she would make gardens and terraces out of dirt piles. She could bake really well, and she could knit intricate designs. Mentally and physically, she was very strong. I was just the opposite of my grandmother. She called me Milk Toast because I had a soft heart and voice. She worked in a furniture factory for 50 hours a week to support my brother and I, after… Read more

Dear Hijabi Sisters: We, the Silent Muslim Men, Admire Your Strength & Courage

(I hope this doesn’t end up being too cheesy. I’m lactose intolerant anyway, so I’ll try to remove the cheese.) Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim (In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Especially Merciful) Dear Hijabi Sisters, We really think it’s absolutely amazing that you wear the hijab. Especially those of you living in the West! I can only imagine what it feels like to undertake this; it’s not something I can ever experience (nor do I want to…). The… Read more

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