Posts from the “Prose” Category

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…

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…

whispered lessons from the dust of Najaf

Posted on August 24, 2016

is there any heartache for which i can lay out my heart that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any grief for which i can weep that you do not already know, my Lord? is there any separation wrought wound for which i can cry out in pain that you do not already know, my Lord?   (so then, how can any of these remain, when i know that you know, O Lord?)

the clock is chiming

Posted on July 17, 2016

the clock is chiming, marking the hour of separation and i am caught in a slow moving apart, a heavy gaze, a drinking in with the thirst of one dying the angles of your face, the wrinkles of your eyes, holding your cloth, breathing in the remnants of scent of the only person i have ever loved. the clock is chiming, marking the hour of separation and i am backing away, each footstep the crushing weight of mountains. “with each of my first steps, i was closer, now closer, now the closest to you in this world that i had ever been… and with my final ones, i am now farther, farther, farther from you than i wish to ever be…” the clock is…