Life & Culture

13 August 2018

Zuhdi: Artist of the Prophet's Mosque

After the Prophet's Mosque had been damaged, a young calligrapher, Abdullah Zuhdi, was entrusted with adorning the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺwith calligraphic inscriptions. The results of his work were among the finest examples of extolling prayers upon the Messenger.

9 August 2018

The Trials of the Best of Creation: A Lesson for His Ummah

While many still find strength in God during trials, the result of our individual and collective trauma is increasingly the opposite – distance from God and a loss of hope. Amidst so much pain, where do we find comfort?

23 April 2018

Studying Arabic at the Al-Madina Suhba Program

We are studying this language, selected by Allaah to be the means of communication of His final message, together as a family. We get to go home and practice together. We get to share insights from what we’ve learned and we get to do this with people and families from across the world that are all dedicated to internal change and emulation of the prophetic legacy in action and in speech.

21 March 2018

Why We Should Support Muslim Fiction

Imagine growing up in a society where, throughout your childhood, the people you found most interesting, exciting, down-to-earth, and real (even if fictional), were almost never Muslim. When young people observe that there is no room for someone like them in the stories they love best, they begin to disassociate themselves from that marginalized identity.

12 March 2018

The Lost Art of Sisterhood

There is a different sort of love between people, that is often eclipsed by our talk and focus on romance. This is a quieter love, less exhilarating, but perhaps one of the best ingredients for a healthy and sound life — that is, love of one’s sister or brother in faith — the love between good friends, righteous companions, and those with whom we share this journey towards God. This is a meaningful and powerful relationship, the proof of which can be seen in how often it was talked about by our beloved Prophet ﷺ and his own deep and beautiful relationship with his companions.

26 February 2018

Reflections On Visiting Ghana

Muslims in America need to visit West Africa. The roots of Islam in America come from those who were walked in the hot sun in chains over Benin, the Ivory Coast and Togo to Elmina Slave Castle and brought to America. My trip to Ghana coincided with Black History Month, carrying extra meaning for myself, considering the struggle that African Americans continue to endure in reclaiming our heritage, a heritage that was robbed from us.

20 February 2018

How Visiting Imam Shafi Changed My Life

I'll always be indebted to Imam Shafi — may God sanctify his soul — as the visit to him opened my heart to a way to love and remember the Prophet ﷺ.

6 September 2017

Confessions of a Shaikh’s Wife Part 3: What Marriage Means

I’ll be honest: being happily married in this day and age comes with difficult hurdles and challenges for everyone, but being married to a shaikh or daee often compounds them.

26 July 2017

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq on al-Futuwwa

There is a saying in post-modern America that “chivalry isn’t dead” which is an acknowledgment that though there is an understanding that traditional moral codes and rites of passage have waned, they are not yet extinct. With that said, Islamic civilization has always held chivalry to be praiseworthy going back to the Pious Predecessors until today.

12 July 2017

Reimagining Islamic Finance

Islamic finance is no more than a representation of the Muslim condition, in its positives and negatives. Its most significant challenge is a spiritual and ethical one. Islamic spirituality, in its norms as well as its practices, establishes a methodological framework and impetus to establish businesses and markets that support sustainability and social and environmental well-being.

10 May 2017

Mystical Dimensions of Being a Mom

Our time is increasingly filled with the preoccupations of, well, occupations. And smart phones, social media, food, and endless to-do lists.

And, for some of us, children. Many who develop spiritual interests while young are challenged by how to maintain that desire once we become parents. Mothers in particular face a tremendous struggle. Keeping focused in salah, or sometimes even praying salah itself, becomes a tricky accomplishment in the presence of a nursing newborn, a rambunctious toddler, or bickering siblings. Our souls continuously gasp for a sliver of private time for spiritual practice: Is there childcare at the conference? At jum‘ah prayer? At taraweeh? Maybe daily Qur’an-time occurs via mini-van speakers before the afterschool carpool, if it even occurs at all. Our ‘ibada becomes chicken dinners, budget-friendly grocery lists, or just keeping our heads above water as we juggle laundry, career, and family. But these things are not small. When done for Allah’s sake by either parent, they are all truly ‘ibāda. Still, Allah’s beloved messenger ﷺ taught us that Paradise is at a mother’s feet.1

But what about the mother who feels an urgent tug within – a deeper spiritual calling?

10 May 2017

The Right Kind of Barakah

Even if we cannot all become masters of Arabic, we should strive to become lovers of this right-sided language with the intention that even if we lack proficiency in Arabic, our love for Arabic will be a means for us to speak this Divine Language in the Presence of the Divine in the Eternal Garden.