July 3, 2016

Oftentimes, when I hear that fasting in Ramadan is for us to increase in taqwa, I feel sort of disconnected. I know we try to do more acts of worship in Ramadan, but is that taqwa? Does praying taraweeh or making more du’a really give me more God-consciousness, in a way that will impact me year-round? Usually not. Does waking up for suhoor and having iftar with family and friends increase taqwa? Not for me. But maybe we’re just not… Read more

June 28, 2016

I’m not the healthiest person, but I do generally try to avoid eating junk food. Whenever I go to the movies, though, I just can’t stop myself from buying that huge bucket of popcorn. Not only because I love movie theater popcorn, but more so due to the price differences between the sizes that are offered. How can I justify paying up to $6 for a tiny Small, when a Medium costs only 75 cents more? But then, if I’m… Read more

June 23, 2016

In a certain episode of a TV show, one of the main characters is a woman who received a corneal transplant after going through her life nearly blind. She admits that she quit her career as an architect after the transplant, even though her vision was drastically improved, because she discovered that “the world was [still] ugly.” She had essentially been told that her life would be much better once she could see, but found that this was not the… Read more

March 12, 2016

Not too long ago, a new sign started appearing in front of many traffic signals, which indicates that the intersection is “photo enforced.” It’s kind of a “you’ve been warned” message from the local law enforcement. If a person is speeding or violating any rules of the road, they’ll be caught. Even if a cop is not physically there to pull them over, they will receive a citation in the mail to let them know about their mistake. It’ll even… Read more

March 1, 2016

By 8:45, Sarah grudgingly gave up on trying to make her hijab look half decent. The exam was going to begin in just 15 minutes, so she threw on a cardigan and rushed out the door. The crisp autumn air helped calm her nerves before taking the exam, but she still felt self-conscious; she couldn’t help but think that she had picked the wrong day to start wearing a headscarf. As she walked into the lecture hall, Sarah felt like… Read more

November 24, 2015

(Urdu print at bottom) Main woh de chuki hoon Jo vapas nahi le sakti: Daulat to haasil karli, Kirdaar nahi khareed sakti. Log mere kapre chahte thay, Maine apni haya hi dedi. Woh gheebat sunna chahte thay, Maine apni diyanat chordi. Un ki dekhave ki ummeed Meri aajzi ki qaatil thee. Sood-o-qarz ne mujhe gher kar Mujhse qabar khudvaadi thee- Uss aazadi ki qabar Jo meri kabhi thee hi nahi. Main un ke ishaaron par Zindagi bhar naachti rahi. Kab… Read more

October 20, 2015

If there’s one thing that everyone has in common, it’s that we always want more. We want to have better, do better, and be better. We want more money, things, love, respect, education, and status. We’re not easily content with having less than someone else, or being second best. There is always some part of us that keeps desiring and working towards more. Whether it’s studying hard to get the best grades, or working day and night to get promoted… Read more

June 29, 2015

I’m gonna be honest… I love hearing that I look pretty when I dress up, and I don’t know a single girl or woman who doesn’t like to be complimented that way. Everyone likes to feel beautiful, and even more than that, they like hearing it. We all like being validated, and that definitely includes our looks. Muslim women are no exception. If you dressed your best for a night out, and looked in the mirror and thought, “Dang, I… Read more

June 21, 2015

“If fasting was simply about feeling like the poor and hungry, then Allah would not make the poor and hungry fast.” -Sheikh Muhammad al-Shaarawy As I grew up, I had a series of default answers to the question, “Why do Muslims fast (in Ramadan)?” When I was very young, I would tell my classmates that we do it so that we’ll feel the pain of poor people who don’t have enough to eat. As I grew a little older, my… Read more

June 1, 2015

He was stunned. Adam was finally hit by the realization of what had happened. How he had been advised, during high school, to consider it a training period for college. How he had been warned that every assignment and exam would impact him in a big way after joining a university. How he’d heard that there would be stricter requirements and a bigger workload, but that it would be manageable if he learned to balance all of this with his… Read more

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