August 28, 2016

You know that borderline-torturous feeling when you’ve been working out for a long time, but you’re pushing yourself to go on just a little longer? You’re exhausted, your muscles are shaking and burning, but you think to yourself, “Just one more rep,” or “Just two more minutes.” It hurts, but you know it’ll be worth it in the end. In a well-known hadith, the Prophet (saws) said, “No doubt, coming after you are days of patience and perseverance. Having perseverance… Read more

August 20, 2016

Whenever you’re going through a tough time in your life and feel like nobody can understand your situation or feel what you’re feeling, remember: – Financial problems – Poverty – Depression – Abandonment – Homelessness – Loneliness – Abuse (even by relatives) – Bullying – Marital problems – Identity crisis – Skepticism by others – Criticism by others – Slander by others – Trials and hardships of war – Death of parents – Death of children – Death of spouse -… Read more

August 15, 2016

I still remember how I felt, as a child, when walking past the intimate apparel section of a department store: it was equally awkward and curiosity-provoking. Although these areas usually seemed deserted, I felt the need to pass by them quickly, feeling out-of-place as a little girl who had no need to hang around there. The articles of clothing hanging in these departments seemed to be for much older females — grown women who had reached a level of physical… Read more

July 29, 2016

“You have such an interesting culture!” We’ve all heard this at some point in the context of our religion, whether it was referring to the Islamic dress code, five daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan, or something else. It can be the most well-intentioned comment, but it’s dangerous if we, as Muslims, internalize it and start thinking of our religion the same way we look at our culture. The issue with treating Islam like a culture, lies in the fundamental difference… Read more

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

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