My Thoughts During a Late Night Study-Session

My Thoughts During a Late Night Study-Session by Bara Elhag 1:00 am Friday   Screech, silent night, or Do something other than let me think this hard through hard- ships sail away from the oceans of Nubia in my mind and back to my homework—   I am resonating between organic molecules and inorganic thoughts…

A Love Letter

Assalamu Alaika Oh Messenger of Allah(ﷺ), You(ﷺ) entered your house one day so cheerful that Aisha(ra) said, ask Allah to forgive me and you(ﷺ) so sincerely replied, “Ya Allah, forgive Aisha her previous sins and her future sins and her public sins and her private sins.” She was so overjoyed that she fell into your(ﷺ)…

Reflections in Rhyme

When we bow, are we truly praying or are we doing some hipster new age yoga? When we recite Quran, are our hearts in it or are we trying to spit like Hova? When we strive for the halal and stay away from haram, is it to please Allah or so everyone will look at…

How to Seize the Week of Eid-Ul-Adha

If you are reading this piece, you may be aware that there are five more days until Eid. But what you may not be aware of are the virtues of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Dhul-Hijjah is an eventful month, but for more reasons than the pilgrimage of Hajj. Dhul-Hijjah is jam-packed with important…

Ramadan Reflections

Alhamdulillah, we just completed Ramadan and I pray that Allah accepts from us all and allows us to have the blessing of another Ramadan. One of the signs of an accepted Ramadan is that we change for the better, even if that change is seemingly small, any change is a sign that we have used…

Welcome Ramadan!

Welcome Ramadan! You bring with you an energy that revives every dead heart and every neglectful soul. You give me strength to do the impossible; controlling my own desires. You make me generous with my time and money even if I have little of it. You give me a willpower that I never thought existed….

Moments of Peace

The door closes behind me and I feel immediate peace. It’s no surprise the DCC houses no more than a handful of people cramming for a late-night study. Certainly no Muslim would be caught in the prayer room, ten PM on a Friday night. I set my backpack down by the far wall. Walking slowly,…

Are You Bored?

Who was it that started the rumor that Muslims don’t have a single funny bone in them? Because I have a bone to pick with them. Ha! Sorry not sorry! This past year hasn’t heralded much good news for the reputation of our good Muslim brothers and sisters, so why not brighten the mood up…

Help Yourself

Dear Allah, I got a couple things to ask you this time around. I know they’re a bit trivial, and as much as people say I shouldn’t feel embarrassed of my du’as, I kinda am. But don’t mind me. Forgive my rambling thoughts. So I assume you noticed my lack of alarm clock for Fajr….

The Truth About the Truth

I can’t stop thinking about it. The concept of the “truth” is something I’ve struggled to understand for some time now. The truth is the truth is the truth is the truth. It’s simple—but is it really that simple? I think life would be a lot easier if it was, but as experience goes to…

The First and The Last

Then they found one of Our servants whom We blessed with mercy from Us and whom We gave knowledge, a knowledge from Our own. (65) Musa said to him, “May I have your company so that you teach me some of the rightful knowledge you have been given.” (66) He said, “You can never bear…

On The Banks of Giving Thanks 101

Every November, a yearly reminder comes through the form of Thanksgiving. People sit around tables saying their thanks for everything and anything. As usual, someone must come in and interrupt to say that they should be thankful not just this one day but everyday of the year. Mostly, we roll our eyes and take their…

Liberalization of the Muslim Community

Picture: a metaphorical social media flood. A tornado of posts- nay, an earthquake. Your newsfeed trembles at high magnitude in posts, this sheikh, that fatwa. The morning of Halloween, I prepared myself for the flood of posts that I have come to expect annually on this day. Typically, they’re very similar in nature: a detailed…

Blood Moon

Tonight I went out to see a blood moon. On the night of Sunday September 28th, 2015, there would be a supermoon lunar eclipse that would be visible for exactly an hour and twelve minutes. The resulting visual to be seen would be a moon thirty percent larger than normal, bathed in a blood red…

Captain America

Drained from an extensive day of babysitting, I was sitting and watching the Avengers with my 5-year-old nephew. I had actually never seen the movie before and certainly had no interest to. The only thing that succeeded to reserve my attention was my nephew’s occasional shrieking and excitement at the appearance of Captain America. I…

Eid and #IStandWithAhmed

First of all,  Eid Mubarak to you all. This is the day of sacrifice where Ibrahim was ordered by Allah (swt) to sacrifice his own son, Ismail, but instead Ismail was replaced and this has led to many Qurbani’s today. It is a day to remember that moment and celebrate it peacefully amongst our peers….

My Story

So it’s that time of year again. No, not Eid. No, not the other Eid. No, it’s not National Beard Day. What kind of calendar are you looking at? Yes, my friends, it is time for the start-of-the-year MSA Kickoff event, and this year’s theme is Medieval Times, but you knew that already didn’t you,…

What does the Qur’an say about violence in the name of God?

We all know that an integral part of offering dawah is clarifying the misconceptions that many NonMuslims  (and sometimes, even Muslims) have about Islam. However, while many of us are enthusiastic about offering dawah and battling through Islamophobia, not many of us are informed of the proofs from the Qur’an that back up the claims…

How To Overcome Shaytan’s Whispers After Ramadan

All throughout Ramadan we strive to strengthen our iman by practicing self-control and resisting bad habits. We hope to create a closer relationship with Allah (SWT) by reciting the Quran daily, praying on time, attending taraweeh prayers, gaining knowledge on Islam and sharing it. In this month, the Shaytan is locked away and the doors…

Seeking the Night

Imagine you are sitting in your cubicle at work, nearing the end of your monotonous shift at your 9 to 5 job. You are thinking of how you will soon join thousands of other commuters during rush hour on the packed freeway. Suddenly, your boss comes up to you and makes you an offer: a…

Beautiful Patience…

Patience is key to the doors that are yet to be opened, patience is the light that peaks through my basement window during Fajr time, patience is my drink of water that keeps me hydrated during times of emptiness. The moments spent, the laughter shared, the tears wiped in remembrance of my beloved grandfather, all…

The Idea of God

For the past couple hundred years belief in God has decreased drastically for many reasons. One of the most common reasons I’ve heard is that how could God create a universe with as much suffering as there is today? Why would a god allow so many children to die of starvation, cold, war, and so…

Seerah Intensive 2014

I wanted to write this post to share a great opportunity that I’ve recently experienced just so that you guys could become aware and maybe even take advantage of it. Over the winter break, I went to Texas for two weeks to learn about our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. This course was taught by Sheikh Abdul Nassir Jangda…

#MuslimsOfRutgers: Identity Complex

Remember #MuslimsOfRutgers, the project to get anyone with a Rutgers ID and a shahada to write their story and share it with the world? Click onto Submissions every Friday night for the rest of the semester (Insha’Allah) to read amazing pieces by your fellow students and alumni!  In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most…

Dear Brother

Dear Brother, I sleep, but I do not rest. I eat, but I can not taste. I read, but I do not comprehend. I miss you like the moon misses the stars.

I Love You, I Really Do

I love you I love you. I really do. Though sometimes I’m selfish and cruel, don’t forget that I still love you. I still love you with all of my soul and my heart that is weak with pleasure from seeking you. I love you, but I don’t know you. I search and search for…

To Be or Not To Be…

“To Be or Not To Be” is one of the most famous phrases of Shakespeare, nay, of all time. I moved to Jordan in 2010, and completed my high school education- which was 11th and 12th grade. When I came to live in Jordan with my grandparents, I was filled with doubt. I was beginning 11th grade, with barely…

Understanding Tawakkul…But Tie Your Camel First

We as humans like to plan. We plan everything we possibly can, for isn’t that what life teaches us? Planning is the path to success…so they say. So plan for tomorrow, we plan for next week, the next year and if not we sometimes plan for our long term future.  Planning gives us a sense…

Makeup

I have OCD. Or at least OCD is one of my personality disorders. Everyone has personality disorders, and you can take online quizzes to find the percentage you have of each disorder. For me, OCD ranks pretty highly. Don’t let these first couple of lines fool you into thinking this post is about OCD. It…

It’s the Little Things—That Save You from Burning Out

When you think of the things Allah loves from us, what comes to mind? Is it Hajj, traveling across continents and oceans to visit the Sacred Sanctuary? That’s a huge act. Is it Salah, spending time alone with the Master in the deep quiet of the night? That, too, has its reward. Is it spending…

The Problem with the Word “Miracle”

I don’t believe in miracles. Or at least I don’t believe we had any miracles for about 1400 years now. I’d even go so far as to say the idea of a miracle is one of the main reasons that pushed people away from Christianity, especially around the Renaissance era. A miracle is a surprising…

To the Dead and Dying: The Justice of Allah is Near

Our hearts break when we hear the news from around the world these days. Every dewy morning brings with it fresh news of the death and destruction of innocent lives. Syria has become an unprecedented bloodbath. The Central African Republic is being ‘cleansed’ of its Muslims by extremist militias. And the issue that weighs in…

Finding To Forgive

Forgiveness is said to be the attribution of the strong, and rightfully so, for forgiveness is not a matter of words. Rather, it is the matter of the heart. It’s easy to tell someone you forgive them. But how many times have we held a hurtful word, action, or hesitated a kind gesture out of…

It’s Not Life, It’s Allah

Were you ever upset about something or wondered why something bad happened to you, and someone simply shrugged and replied, “Well, it’s life”? A response like that doesn’t comfort me—it makes me want to pull my hair out. Saying something happens because that’s how life works can take Allah out of the equation. And that’s…

Face of Musa, Hand of Fir’awn

This advice is first and foremost for myself, before anyone else. Islam is beautiful, and it is us Muslims that sometimes give it an ugly face. It happens too often that a non-Muslim curious about Islam, or a less practicing Muslim, is pushed away by the behavior of the Muslim community. This Islam is interesting,…

The Little Things

In Islam, we’re required to do certain things. There are all types of small rules we should follow. When you make the effort to follow the sunnah, there are even more details to pay attention to. Rules vary from going to Hajj once a lifetime to cutting your fingernails on Fridays. From paying zakat once…

The Online Islamic Database

We constantly talk about Islam being modern, and catching up to modern ways. We have new interpretations of certain ahadith because of the way the world evolves. It’s become much more modern, yet we’re still stuck behind. Islam is not Internet accessible. Try searching anything related to Islam. You’ll quickly realize the sites that show…

Rediscovering the Pursuit of Patience

Growing up in the 21st century, today’s generation—infamously known as Generation Y—is characterized among the most hardworking and intelligent, however we are also characterized as perhaps the most abrasive, ungrateful and furthermore, among the extremely impatient. We demand the world, and we demand it now. We crave results, but we crave it now. Yes, we…

It’s Never Too Late—But Don’t Wait for the End

I introduced myself in my first post, but from now on I’ll share my father’s advice via Muslim fiction. Enjoy and benefit, Insha’Allah. ~~~ My name is Omar Islam, and this is my diary to keep track of my life changes and post-Rutgers journey. May 2013: Graduation Graduation day was long, hot, and extremely sweat provoking….

The Modern Muslim-American Identity Conflict

This past Sunday on December 1, I was honored to be asked to speak at an event hosted by an organization called We Care. We Care is an Islamic based not for profit organization that aims to build a safe space for Muslim youth around the state and to provide them with academic, mental and social…

Islam: The Greatest Anti-Depressant

Brother Mazen Mokthar joined the Rutgers University MSA  yesterday night in Paul Robeson and shed some light on the issue of depression. He talked about the differences between sadness, minor depression, and major depression. He emphasized some depressions  occurred because of a chemical imbalance and some medical reasons, situations in which medical assistance should be…

Our Special Greeting of Peace

As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum, When I was in Middlesex County College, I didn’t see many Muslims. And while that saddened me, it also made me happy at the same time. I was happy/hopeful those missing Muslims were in institutions of higher education, but it was sad because I felt I couldn’t relate to a lot of people…

More to Life than Just Living

A couple of years ago, I sat at the window and I just stared at a tree. I was fascinated by it for some reason. I thought it was amazing how various types of cells are so alike yet make such different things. Similar cells make up animals, trees, water, and humans. As humans, our…

Friendship in Islam: Reflecting the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The establishment of our comfort zones is a very intimate sphere within our personal lives. The secrets we keep, emotions we feel, and the thoughts constantly running through our heads are the minor details that contribute to the intimacy of our comfort zones. Despite what may be happening around us, we create a safe haven…

Bismillah: The Start of New Beginnings

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem. In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most Kind. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and vital phrases identified by Muslims across the world. Bismillah, or In The Name of Allah. Soon images of our childhood begin to flood our memories, as we reminisce the days of our younger selves sitting diligently in…

The Grapes of Wrath

By: Part Time Punjabi AsSalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh Alhamdulillah. You know, life is very confusing. And more confusing and twisted things make it worse! Especially when we are working on improving our deen and trying to get our questions answered. One time I was so sure about one topic related to the fiqh…

Check All the Ingredients First

By Part Time Punjabi We all do it. We constantly read those ingredients on the back of food items. Like citric acid, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, monosodium glutamate, niacin, soybean oil, xanthan gum and “artificial flavors”. And when we come across gelatin or vanilla extract, we automatically stop reading and put it back…

Priorities

Assaalamu Alaikum, It’s that time of year again….no, not Ramadan, though I really wish it was! It’s been about six months since last Ramadan and, unfortunately, as it so often happens, we tend to get so involved in our own lives that we temporarily forget our duties to our families, our friends, our communities, and,…

Unity

By: DH A popular buzzword amongst Muslims nowadays is the concept of “brotherhood”. “The event is for brotherhood purposes…” “This is great for creating brotherhood”, and other similar statements are often heard as the tagline for organized events, and has become almost something of a subculture for Muslim youth (represented by groups like YM and…