Ramadan reflections


The first time I fasted I was 18. I remember the splitting headache more than anything—always the headaches. Hunger I can manage, but the headaches are the ones that knock me down. I remember rushing home and preparing a massive dinner of Kraft Dinner, sandwiches, and a bevy of other dishes. And then, much to my surprise, I was barely able to stomach it. I was shocked to find that my stomach had shrunk its capacity during my fast.

From then on I was a bit more conservative with my iftar dinner. Continue reading “Ramadan reflections”

36. “Rooftop” (The Hajj Journal)

September 27, 2015

Back on the rooftop of Aziziya. Tomorrow we will got to Mecca after maghrib [prayer], do our farewell tawaf, then head to the airport for the long flight home. Though I’m ready to go home, I’m still sad to leave. Sad that it’s over. Amazed that it’s over. I don’t know how I’m going to explain it to people when I get home. When I walk into the office and [my co-workers ask], “So how was it?”, how will I respond? How do I sum up a life changing spiritual pilgrimage in only a few minutes? Continue reading “36. “Rooftop” (The Hajj Journal)”

The Changebeast

Destroyed room

The calendar just rolled over into 2016, and with it comes a smattering of top 10 lists, New Year’s resolutions, and top 10 lists of New Year’s resolutions. But no matter what it is, a new year always means the same thing: change.

When we look back at the year that passed, we’ll see some form of change in our lives. It may not always be good change, either. It may be bad change, minor change, necessary change, the list goes on. But who we are today is different than who we were a year ago. And who we’ll be in a year will be different than who we are today. All of this can be traced to the changes that happen in our lives.

But here’s the obvious thing: change is frightening.

Sometimes, change is a looming cluster of ominous clouds in the distance, and you can’t tell if they’re going to bring nourishing rain or calamitous thunder. But more often than not, change is a big dumb animal that comes crashing into your house, messes up your stuff, then tosses on a pair of shades, says “deal with it”, and leaves—but not before taking a dump on your carpet. Continue reading “The Changebeast”

Where Do We Go From Here?

Last night, Paris was hit with the worst attacks of terrorism since World War II. As suspected, ISIS claimed responsibility for these attacks as if it’s their own sick badge of honour. My prayers go out to the families of the deceased and to the injured. May they find a measure of peace in these difficult times. And also to the people of France as well; I pray that this cowardly act of barbarism doesn’t blind them to the humanity present in each and every one of us; I pray that they do not seek revenge against Muslims that, with them, denounce these radicals. Continue reading “Where Do We Go From Here?”