struggle

Finding God through struggle

What do we do when life becomes difficult? In times of uncertainty, struggle, and loneliness, it is easy to wonder if God really hears our prayers. We can seem like such an insignificant part of His creation. Why would He care for us, we may ask, when we are often…

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Anchored by Faith, I Rise

I came to Islam in 1993, influenced by  social consciousness in Hip Hop.  Artists like Rakim, Sista Souljah, and Public Enemy, all of whom who were popularizing Islam, nudged me closer to the faith through their lyrics.  I watched Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992) one year before my conversion, and soon after…

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The Hajj of Betty Shabazz 50 Years Later

Betty, you’ll have to speak for yourself. — Juanita Poitier Betty churned with rage, grief, and despair in her early widowhood. The beasts had slunk from their pit and robbed her of her hero, provider, and spiritual counselor. They had robbed her children of their father, her family of its…

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Normal Calm: A Novel

When I first began writing a story whose protagonist was the victim of date rape, my intention was to clarify that any social stigmas attached to such a woman are unjust and outlandish. In my naivety, I thought that these stigmas only existed in conservative cultures where marriage within the…

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The Stolen Hijab

When I saw her, I averted my gaze and walked toward my locker. I adjusted my backpack on my shoulder and squinted my eyes as if in concentration. I pretended that I had not seen her, that she and I did not know each other outside of school—and that I…

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The religion of my rape

Whenever the epidemic of rape in Egypt makes the news, I am destined to think of Joyce Carol Oates.   Last summer, the author took to twitter to question whether Islam was responsible for the widespread incidence of sexual assault in Egypt, an argument people continue to make today. As…

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Non-Desi like me

<< From the AltMuslimah Archives >>
Part of me wants to apologize for the relative melodrama of this title. I concede, of course, that my own experiences pale in comparison to the racially-based oppression John Howard Griffin recorded in his famous account of segregation in the American South.

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Part 2: An interracial marriage: Over my dead body

Although it took many months of persistent coaxing on our and the community elders’ parts, my wife and I prevailed; even after we tied the knot though, I continued to feel burdened by the suspicion that we were only one among hundreds, if not thousands, of American Muslim couples who fought against families and communities opposed to their interracial marriage. Within the Muslim community, I realized the power of the unthinkable: When it came to marriage, some Muslims couldn’t even entertain the thought of marrying individuals from particular “groups.” The idea of a black Muslim man marrying an Arab Muslim girl was inconceivable. Joining an Indonesian and a Pakistani in holy matrimony…forget about it.

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