Posts from the “Prose” Category

kindred spirits

Posted on December 20, 2016

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 eastern seas. I follow the meditated pattern of their sweeping lines, marveling at their intricacy – musing on the intricacy of the path of my life that has been unfolding: a thousand hidden alleys, a thousand secret moments, a thousand twists of twine, a maze interwoven with the stars – all, to bring me… here. I think about how, in the span of a few weeks, the course of…

from every mountain top

Posted on October 25, 2016

“He (Imam Hussain) sees those who come to his shrine and he knows them by their names, their father’s names and their ranks in the eyes of Allah, the Glorious, better than you know your own children.” -Imam Sadiq (a)- To think – of our names, on your tongue…when the sins that weigh on our backs, the shadows that whisper in our hearts, make us unworthy of even speaking yours. Of ever claiming you as ours. But to think, when we whisper, “Mawla Hussain, we are here,” standing next to your body… to think, that you respond? Knowing every curve of every letter of our names? The heart stops. It still baffles my mind that to this lost traveler, so far gone from the path, wandering…

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…

this hijāb

Posted on September 24, 2016

Maryam. Aasiyah. Khadija. Fatima. Zaynab. This is your legacy. They will try to make you forget this. Do not forget this. The purity of Islam has been preserved through this line of intellectual leaders. Social reformers. Spiritual masters. Woman warriors – and their shield, this Hijāb. They will try to make you forget this. Do not forget this. To the world, it may seem like just a cloth. And this is what those seeking to weaken its power would have you believe. But to the guardians of its secrets, the preservers of its message, the ones who have uncovered its knowledge… it is starlight. it is magic. it is the taste of flight. This Hijāb is revolution incarnate. It is not a mere thing, to be neatly…

yourself with older eyes

Posted on September 11, 2016

i have always wondered what people mean when they say, certain stories greet you differently every time you read them. that as your story changes, so does the story for you on the page. a while back i took up the task of revisiting those many mandatory high school classroom reads – both the ones i loved and the ones i hated (except The Scarlet Letter… anything but The Scarlet Letter) – to see if they read differently the second time around. the first book on the list (which also happened to be the first book i had ever read for a high school english class) was A Separate Peace. which i had picked up last? when i was fourteen. i remember being sprawled on the couch with the windows open, a light breeze drifting…

choosing for your friend a person

Posted on September 8, 2016

do not choose for your friend a person unless they wake you in the early hours of morning for prayer. unless their company moves you to the book of God as they share with you a verse that moves them. unless they silence your tongue if they catch it in vain speech, reminding you of more lofty conversation. do not choose for your friend a person unless they weep in your presence and you weep in theirs when matters of the beloveds are remembered. unless in your moments of weakness they remind you of your strength urging you to reach your potential. unless when your feet begin to give way, they steady you with their step – two souls, one goal, a path to eternity. do not choose…

ascent beckons

Posted on August 25, 2016

the task of a carefree summer’s day: to watch the sunset over the city of Qom by climbing to the top of Mt. Khidhr… a task so adventure-y i didn’t think twice about it until we were halfway to the top – when (of course) i decided to do the exact opposite of what every book/movie/story/piece of advice on heights ever says to do – and that is, look down. which is when i conveniently remembered a fact that had slipped my mind in all the excitement: my greatest fear – the frequent haunting of many a childhood nightmare – is heights. and by greatest fear i mean *the* greatest fear… as in, the second i looked back, my knees gave in and i closed…