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Why Every Muslim Should be Thinking About Al-Aqsa: A Primer

Walking along Jerusalem’s millennia old cobblestone steps, my pathway was suddenly blocked. “Muslims on—” “I am Muslim.” Heavily armed and sporting the Israeli Police insignia on his shoulder, the paramilitary police officer seemed startled by my reply. “Do you have your passport?” My U.S. passport in hand, he began suspiciously pawing through its worn, stamp-filled…

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Victims of the Media

The Boston bombings were a dark tragedy, without question. They represented a moral failing that we so often forget is present in the thread of daily life, and three people lost their lives. Although the occurrence was probably the most talked about news item this week, very little attention was given to the victims of…

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The “P” Word!

Whatever you choose to call it, periods are dreadful. During 5th grade, I remember hearing whispers from my classmates about the horrors of getting your period and learning about all the wonders of puberty. However, for a long time, talking about something that was a natural occurrence in the human body was considered taboo. At…

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Candy Bars, the Hijab, and Empowerment

“A man asked a Muslim man: Why do your women cover their bodies and their hair? The Muslim man smiled and took two sweets, he opened one and kept the other closed. He threw them both on the dirty floor and then asked: If I asked you to take one of the sweets, which one…

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Who Defines Liberation?

Liberation has always been a hot topic. Liberation isn’t an ideal, but a journey; it means to break the inevitable chains of societal norms and to rise above whatever causes one pain or hardship. For Muslim women living in Western society, it is particularly hard to decide where to turn when the question of liberation…

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Taking Back Islam

I write this post from the Karachi newsroom of The Express Tribune, a daily English newspaper in the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan where Shias are being killed daily during Muharram, women are getting raped, robberies are an every day thing, and at least six people were killed daily here in Karachi in 2012. In all…

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“Hijabi” vs. “Non-Hijabi”

I’m sorry, but why does this even matter? All my life, I have always heard this constant battle being spoken among religious gatherings, classrooms, and social hangouts. The distinction between hijabis (those who wear the headscarf) and non-hijabis (those who do not) was always brought up and viewed as a topic of discussion. Why though,…

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A Visit to Germany

I spent my day in Germany, where I had the opportunity to enthrall myself in a new country, culture, and people. We had 8 hours until our connecting flight, so we decided to go downtown where all the hustle and bustle of everyday life was. We took the train from the airport, which is when…

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The Treaty of Hudaibiyah

The Treaty of Hudaibiyah is called by the Qur’an a “clear victory.” Six years after migrating to Medina, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had a dream that he and his followers were performing Umra (pilgrimage). After having this dream, the Prophet (SAW) and about fourteen hundred Companions started towards Makkah. Since they did not want any fighting,…

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The Constitution of Medina

So Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his followers were now in Medina, in an attempt to escape the growing hostility, religious intolerance, and persecution of Mecca. They had migrated to Medina in the year 622 in search of freedom and peace. This year is also known as the year of migration, or hijrah. This is later…

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The Message of Islam

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّـهُ أَحَدٌ ﴿١﴾ اللَّـهُ الصَّمَدُ ﴿٢﴾ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ ﴿٣﴾ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ ﴿٤ Say: He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him. — Surat Ikhlaas. “Islam” means the submission of one’s will…

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Bored? Muslim Facebook Pages

So admit it, we all have Facebooks… Facebooks that we spend countless hours on even though it’s boring and nobody’s online and we should be studying. But, let’s face it, it’s addicting! So how about checking out some of our favorite inspiring, motivational, just-for-fun, or OMG-that’s-so-true Facebook pages? Hijab Tan Lines – it happens to…

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Malcolm X and the Real Islam

Change. Change. Change. A major problem among people isn’t that we don’t want to change, but that we don’t think we can. We think it’s too late to fix our mistakes or to re-evaluate the way we’re living our lives. But once one reads the biography of the honored and revered Malcolm X, we can…

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Paper in the Islamic Empire

Paper (or in Arabic, waraqa), a material which is used for so many things in our lives, can trace back its origins to over 2000 years ago in China. However, the Islamic Empire was responsible for spreading the use of paper throughout the world and sparked the start of its use in Europe hundreds of…