Posts from the “Beloveds” Category

becoming human

Posted on September 30, 2019

There is a special bottle I keep, tucked away in the corner of a hidden drawer: Use in Case of Emergency. A deep shade of pink, three-quarters full, sparkling with a liquid more precious to me than most of my possessions — not for the contents themselves, but for where they take me. Four years ago, on a summer night still with desert heat, a dear friend set off on a quest into a bustling market. Searching through alleyways, combing through side-shops, until she came across — there, what she had been looking for. Heart in hand, she returned, and gifted me a bottle of perfume, the same scent as that which is used in the sanctuary of Imam Hussain. In that moment, I…

“the steps of Imam Hussain (a)”

Posted on October 25, 2016

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, i go through old text messages with my sisters, pausing as i come across one in particular: “the Karbala exhibition is amazing. you need to see it.” throughout the first nine days of Muharram, i have heard much about the towering replica of Baynol Harramain (“Between the Two Harrams”) being constructed on the grassy lawn beneath the branches of the center’s aged trees. i have been messaged pictures of…

your love, from the streets, openly

Posted on October 6, 2016

For Shi’as in too many parts of the world, any type of public gathering is a risk. Whether in mourning or in happiness, the constant threat of murder is employed in an effort to silence the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad and his family. In an effort to erase the most beautiful piece of human history. Tactics of terror are put in place in the hopes that those who know and love these individuals will not only shy away from spreading stories of their message or speaking about their legacy… but will also hesitate, even when naming their children – knowing that a name that would reveal the depth of their love and affinity for the Prophet’s family might one day result in the stopping of a bus, a random ID…

the Prophet of God

Posted on June 23, 2016

from the creation of the first man, Adam, God sent 124,000 Prophets to each place on earth to teach humanity about His religion; to guide them all to a single path – a path of morality, patience, justice, beauty, and submission to the will of an all-Merciful, all-Forgiving Lord. from Adam to Nuh (Noah) to Ibrahim (Abraham) to Ismail (Ishmael) to Yaqub (Jacob) to Yusuf (Joseph) to Musa (Moses) to Dawud (David) to Sulayman (Solomon) to Zakkariya (Zachariah) to Yahya (John) to Isa (Jesus)… to finally, the last in the progeny of Abraham, the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad. Muslim or not, it is impossible to deny that what Muhammad managed to accomplish – a simple man, born and raised in the desert of Arabia, sent by God to…

soul work

Posted on November 8, 2015

it took Noah 200 years to build the ark. 200 years. 73,000 days. over 1,000,000 hours. of focus, dedication, persistence. from planting the tree to taking the axe to the bark to cutting and fitting and detailing — all the while being mocked and jeered by the masses. but still, pushing on: seeing the grandeur of the tree in the smallness of the seed; the destination in every moment of the journey; defying all odds to create a thing of wonder… such is the work of the men and women of God. such is the work expected of each of us. sometimes it feels like no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, nothing is changing. in both our internal and…

you, who are always saving me

Posted on June 16, 2015

you, who are always saving me. from the maelstroms i create. from the drowning i choose. from the salt-laced taste of sinking i have made so familiar to my tongue. from the seaweed tangled snares i have made so comfortable to my skin. you, who are always reviving me. a pitier of the dead, but a corpse walking amongst the living. a constant forgetter of the ‘where from’ and ‘where is’ and ‘where going.’ a voice speaking a thousand miles a minute in a thousand crowded rooms but whose thousand masks cannot hide the thousand chasms aching, pulsing beneath my skin. you, who are always reaching out a hand. even when my own are blackened by the ash i embrace; even when the half-moons…

the way i love you

Posted on April 8, 2015

Ya Hussain. A thousand years have passed, but your love still remains. The beauty being that, to each who loves you, you are something different. Each lover claims you proudly as their own. Each speaks your name with a different tenderness. Each cherishes your touch with a different gaze. Each whispers, ya Aba Abdillah, in a different, heart rending voice. A million loves and yet you ask one as unworthy as me – in what way do I love you? . . . O beat of my heart, in what way do I not love you? When every clap of thunder, is the striking of hooves of your horse as you ride away from me forever. When every calm before the storm, is the…