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what they have done to your ‘Ali

it has long been a wish of mine a wish that my eyes may see may see what lays beneath the sky the sky of Madina’s pure city Madina, of you i have dreamed dreamed of your tranquil purity of that soul resting in your sands his grave, RasoolAllah, Allah’s Nabi in the depths of […]

drink water, and remember

“May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. Indeed my affliction due to what happened to you is immense. Therefore, I ask Allāh who venerated your station and honored me through you…” | Ziyarat Ashura  (The Sacred Effusion: Volume II (p.116) – Shaykh Muhammad M. Khalfan)

letters to our daughters

10:01 PM. New York City | Stand clear of the closing doors please. With a leap, I slip through the subway car doors just before they close, grabbing on to the nearest pole for balance. Probably not the smartest idea, but then again, as a student with exams on my mind, the unforgiving bite of the […]

words, that changed everything

“when you stand in front of Imam Hussain (ع), remember: you are standing in front of the personality who changed Hurr. that same personality is changing you.” —ayatullah basheer al-najafi najaf, iraq.   july 7 2015.

beloved of Ali

when i stood near the grave of Imam ‘Ali, i felt something in the atmosphere change— not when i cried, “Haydar,” but when i whispered: “Zahra…” هُمْ فَاطِمَةُ وَ أَبُوهَا وَ بَعْلُهَا وَ بَنُوهَا “they [those who are under the cloak during the revelation of 33:33] are Fatima, her father, her husband, and her sons.”

“carry on”

it’s easy to fight when everything’s right, and you’re mad with the thrill and the glory; it’s easy to cheer when victory’s near, and wallow in fields that are gory. it’s a different song when everything’s wrong, when you’re feeling infernally mortal; when it’s ten against one, and hope there is none, buck up, little […]

kindred spirits

it is a warm summer’s night in qom. i sit on the floor in masjid-e-jamkaran and look up at the ceiling, admiring the beauty of the architecture, the interlacing weaving of the arabic calligraphy – composed with such precision, but in its composition, somehow still as wild and free-flowing as foam rising on waves of […]

the taste of magic

when i open a harry potter book, i am eight years old again, starlight streams through the window, i can taste magic. “there are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” -harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone- in sharing, a […]

some days

some days, i walk down the street like everyone else bundling my coat close to my neck waiting for the stoplight to turn “some weather we’re having” “isn’t that right” “in my day, autumn was never this chilly” some days, i go through the motions scribbling my name hastily across a paper filling in bubbles, a code i can’t […]

exhibition: “the steps of Imam Hussain (a)”

it is the day of Ashura. after performing morning amaal with the Muharram in Manhattan community at NYU, i board a bus to New Jersey – to Bait-Wali-ul-Asr: the Islamic center of my childhood and the community closest to my heart, with whom over two decades of my Ashuras have been spent. as i journey, […]