Shazia Ahmad

Shazia Ahmad grew up in upstate New York and studied with local scholar and teacher Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui before beginning her studies overseas. In Syria, she studied briefly at the University of Damascus and then at Abu Nour University where she completed an Arabic Studies program (Ad-Dawraat) and a program in Islamic Studies (Ma’had at-Taheeli). She also studied in a number of private classes and attained her ijaza in Qur’anic recitation from the late Sh. Muhiyudin al-Kurdi (rahimahullah). She then spent the following six years in Cairo, Egypt furthering her education through private lessons and study. She has ijazaat in a number of introductory texts in various Islamic subjects and has written on Islam for Jannah.Org,, and various other blogs and publications.​ She also holds a BA in psychology and history from the State University of New York.


19 September 2019

10 Points of Counsel for Students of Sacred Learning

There will obviously be obstacles and challenges, that come on the path of sacred learning. In whatever institution or program we are enrolled in, or teacher we are studying with, we may find flaws or problems. To help overcome them, here are 10 points of counsel for students who pursue sacred learning.

27 March 2019

Why We Must Recapture Scholarly Discourse from Extreme Bloggers

One cannot deny the move towards rhetoric and practice in the Western Muslim community that is more liberal, reformist, and progressive, but the extreme position some have taken in response to it is not only harmful, ineffective, and unwise, but decidedly un-Islamic.

11 March 2019

Goodnight Tales for Little Muslims: Chester and the Stomper

Goodnight Tales for Little Muslims is a collection of ridiculously interesting and thankfully short bedtime stories with spirit, soul and Islamic lessons for little ones.

21 January 2019

Goodnight Tales for Little Muslims: Ibrahim's Secret

Goodnight Tales for Little Muslims is a collection of ridiculously interesting & thankfully short bedtime stories with spirit, soul and Islamic lessons for little ones.

5 September 2018

The Road Less Traveled (Or, Why You Really Should Take That Trip)

Travel expands our minds, our experiences, our connections, and can be spiritually transformative and inspiring. The Qur'an encourages us to travel and reflect deeply on creation, and to ponder on the fate of those who came before us.

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.

27 November 2017

Wisdom from the Sages for Raising Those of Little Ages

The popular Arabic expression says, “Knowledge in childhood is like engraving on to stone” and if we want our children to remain strong and steadfast in faith amidst the currents and tides of life, we must engrave the best of teachings on their hearts.

20 February 2017

More Than A Headscarf: How Hijab Has Lost Its Soul

We must reaffirm hijab as a religious, spiritual practice — not merely a personal, social, cultural or political statement, and reconnect it with a vibrant inner spirituality. In a time when disciplined religious practice is considered nothing more than mindless ritual, we must also reaffirm the link between our spiritual state and deference to the guidelines and rules of our religion, and reconnect what we wear to our faith.

In our times, we have reduced hijab to a headscarf that serves as a badge of one’s Muslim identity, and have removed it from a larger understanding of haya’ and how this beautiful quality should cultivate our behavior in the public sphere and in our relationships with others.

The trend of hijab/hijabi fashion in particular has, in many ways, effectively divorced haya’ from hijab. The hijabi fashion trend has also taken no strides to changing spiritually unhealthy cultural norms, or to recasting definitions of beauty and a woman’s worth. Instead, in many cases, it has simply put a headscarf on mainstream fashion with all of its failings, including an extremely narrow and exploitative view of beauty and sexuality

22 December 2016

Remembering the Greatest Day

Many of us are deeply shaken by the bloodshed and violence meted out against innocent people in the world. We see images and hear the stories of — among so many others — the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma, the calculated starvation of the people of Yemen, brutality against black lives in our very own country, and in Syria, again and again, a people attacked by nations that have, as the Prophetic tradition so accurately described, “gathered against them just as people gather around a feast."

God reminds us of the great day we will all come to witness, a when the test of this life, with its painful trials and challenges, its triumphs and heavy tragedies, will come to a halt and everything within it will come to an end.

To intensely remember that greatest day - the realest day – is a source of grounding and solace. It is the day of ultimate justice and judgment, in which all those in positions of power will be uprooted. The day in which all the systems that perpetuate injustice will be broken, and all the chains of command will be cut. Might, military or otherwise, will be humbled low, and plots and strategies will be cast off.

We take comfort in knowing that God is the perfectly just, to Whom all affairs return. As we love Him for His promise of heavenly reward for the righteous, so too do we love Him for His promise to justly deal with those who harm and oppress.

12 October 2016

The Perils of Fame: How to Be a Famous Muslim

In our day and age it seems like everyone is trying to get famous. Activists, leaders, and everyday Muslims alike are putting themselves ‘out there’ to gain likes and subscribers, and to reach a large audience with their special brand or message. Many Muslim entertainers and fashionistas have found a niche market through social media and are thriving in the spotlight. Their efforts are often met with a huge response, with followers in the thousands and even millions as young Muslims seek out content and people they can feel a personal connection to and who can relate to their experiences.

While there is a huge potential for using these avenues for healthy and meaningful creative exchanges, there are also some concerns that must be considered.

24 August 2016

The Top 10 Islamic Kids’ Products for Children Under Seven

In the last few years, the number of high quality Islamic children’s books, toys and products has skyrocketed. Here are some of my personal favorites for smaller children. What great Islamic products have you come across for young children?

13 July 2016

Dealing with Current Events: The Etiquette of Sharing News & How to Cope Spiritually

The constant stream of news about tragedies, injustices and bloodshed at home and abroad can leave us disoriented, anguished, frustrated, angry and in a state of despair. When it all just seems too much, here are a few steps to consider taking.

31 May 2016

Kids in the Masjid: Rethinking the Babysitting Room This Ramadan

As Ramadan fast approaches, many of us are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation and quality time in worship in the masjid. But what of our children? If we are like many Muslim communities in the U.S., when we enter the masjid each night for Taraweeh prayer in Ramadan we part ways: our children go to babysitting, while we go towards the prayer room. While we spend extra hours in Ramadan in worship and feeling closer to Allah Most High, what are they doing in the (often now mandatory) babysitting room at our local masjid?

20 April 2016

Invites, In-Laws & Guests, Oh My! A Primer on Being a Guest and Host

For Muslims, inviting and hosting people should be an act of devotion in which Allah plays an important role. More than a mere social obligation or a means of furthering a network of connections, we should see it as a spiritual act in which one exemplifies qualities Allah loves. He loves those who are generous, and has emphasized the rights of the visitor and the virtues of serving them in the best way.