Posts from the “Prose” Category

everyone except us

Posted on March 12, 2018

Hugo writes, “Curiosity is a form of gluttony. To see is to devour.” Few exist the cannibals of the flesh, but many the cannibals of the soul. Many, who spend their evenings by the fireside, slavering over the slabs of a fellow man’s spirit, the blood of a fellow man’s struggle dripping from their lips. Many, for whom the call – “Will any of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother?” (49:12) is drowned out by the gnawing of their teeth – persistent, searching ever more and more, consuming with frenzy the appetite of who dids and what dids; eyes wild, mouth gaping, ingesting, feasting, destroying. What is it in us that is so drawn to the destruction of another human being?…

burn the dead wood

Posted on March 8, 2018

One of the most important lessons I have learned in the past few years is this: do not make yourself small for anyone else. Whether it is with friends, family, or in a romantic relationship – anyone who asks you to fold yourself into a smaller version of you so that they feel more comfortable, is not someone who has your best interests in mind. Anyone who asks you to sacrifice pieces of yourself, your principles, or your values, is not someone who hopes for your success. Do not minimize your desire for growth to keep someone who feels threatened by that growth a part of your life. Each soul is made for greatness. Each human is linked at his or her core to…

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…

“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…

from every mountain top

Posted on October 25, 2016

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 in a thickening fog, you still extended your hand. You still invited to stand by your side. How can I ever thank you for saving me? How can I ever thank my Lord for attaching my heart to you – allowing…

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…