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Meet Pakistan’s Star Figure Skater

At just five years old, Mallak Faisal Zafar began training as a figure skater in Pakistan. A lack of adequate facilities eventually led her family to Dubai, where she currently resides. Now at 12-years-old, Zafar has her first international title. Last year, at the 24th International Eiscup Innsbruck 2019 (Nov. 22-24), she placed first in…

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POEM: The Fabric That Defines Me

This poem is an ode to the headscarf, a fabric that has been heavily policed and debated, yet represents autonomy for many Muslim women. Who am I to you? Terrorist. Oppressed. Confined. Restricted. Hidden. Imprisoned. Controlled. The fabric which envelopes me, a welcome friend, a haven. Unnerves and offends. This barrier restricts myself to you….

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Poem: Nora

Author’s note: This poem is a reflection on the significance of daughters in Islam, and how children are signs of divine love. The poem is named for my own daughter, and is one reason why we named her “Nora.” Her name was chosen as an indicator of Allah’s blessings being showered upon us like a…

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5 Beautiful Lessons From Surah Maryam

The nineteenth surah, or chapter, of the Qur’an can provide immense strength and hope to those experiencing hardships, trials of faith, or disappointments. Surah Maryam is filled with wisdom for Muslims seeking to strengthen their relationship with Allah. The following are five takeaways from this inspiring chapter to illuminate your spiritual journey toward connection and understanding. 1….

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Raleigh’s Mayoral Candidate, Zainab Baloch, Talks Community, Faith and Politics

At 28, Zainab Baloch is the youngest candidate running for mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. The area, known colloquially as the Triangle, has made national headlines in recent years from “Our Three Winners” to President Trump’s condemnation of Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Middle Eastern studies’ programs. Baloch has witnessed how Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic…

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This Is Why I Removed My Hijab

The sun kissed my bare arms. My pale skin burned red, dripping pools of sweat. A forgotten sensation triggered internal conflicts: discomfort and relief; shame and freedom. My new beginning, birthed in pain and spiritual turmoil, reduced to the superficial. A constant friend’s comfortable embrace unraveled the strings from their stitch. Holes loosened bonds to…

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10 Ways to Obtain Taqwa This Ramadan

The most holy month in the Islamic calendar year is upon us. Ramadan is a time for spiritual renewal. Through fasting, Muslims draw closer to their Creator, becoming mindful of life’s many blessings, mercies, and challenges. Ramadan is a time to become more God-conscious in your everyday life. Increasing taqwa, God-consciousness or God-fearing piety, is…

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Sisters, Do You Know Your Financial Rights?

“I’m just on a green card. I have no rights.” A woman laments her fate to two unsuspecting Arabic store employees. The customers wanted the imam-boast of a white American woman’s journey to Islam. A few alhamdullillahs and mashaAllahs to celebrate the tale. Instead, an uncomfortable silence permeated the room, leaving the two men in…

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5 Ways to Beat the Post-Shahada Blues

For nearly eight years, I’ve navigated the murky waters of my chosen spiritual path. Both the outer and inner manifestations of faith can prove challenging for convert brothers and sisters. Over the years, my imaan has risen and fallen, but like the tide, I always return to my Rabb. During my trials, I’ve found solace…